Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why Juliet won't help...

Temporal Locality -

Locality of Reference -
(Courtesy: thalaivar Simbu :P) - Lakshmi, Padmini, Vidya, Rekha, Sita, Gita or Vinitha...

Ok, so without misleading you to any further misconceptions, let me assure you that I am not likening myself (us) to either hero (Sidharth or Simbu). Well, actually, only Sidharth is relevant here, primarily due to the "We need a Juliet"-factor, only, in our case, we'd probably be needing any of the names above and not a "Juliet".
By we, it's primarily me and my closest buds (for sake of privacy, I am not mentioning the names of my upto-now-and-currently-single 2 best friends, kh kh kh). We have wondered, more out of jobless dejection & job/post-MSEC induced frustration added by a (minor but not-insignificant) dose of post-teenage testosterone, about how better life would be if we had had a girlfriend/lover/soulmate. Obviously, nalla pasanga naanga, so any of the 3 words would refer to a girl each of us intended to marry and took seriously, as opposed to kadalai or flirting or time-pass. Another major influence on us thinking on these lines is the abundance of couples (married or committed) that surround us. And the list seems to rapidly increase by the day (with the addition of another new member barely a few weeks back). So please...before any of you term us "despos", take into consideration all these factors. That being said, if you still think we are despos, we probably are! :P
But why I actually feel we are technically not despos is because, primarily, we best friends have been separated by physical distance. Leave alone best friends, even good friends that were made in college aren't around. Not that we are totally isolated wherever we are. I, for one, am blessed with 3-4 wonderful friends here in Chicago. Yes, the number might not be large, but I'm ok with this small number as long as they are genuine people and good folks, as opposed to kooth-adichufying junta and for-the-sake-of-freaking-out gumbal. Let me confess (with a sheepish expression on the face in the mind), I haven't touched liquor or smoked or been to, ahem, well...Ok, that's not entirely true. I've handled dozens of bottles of alcohol while working at the departmental store, and personally sold tons of cigarettes, besides a few con***s (including one to a 70-something guy who insisted on lubricated ones). And yes, I've been to a disco 2 times (the second time to show my very-interested friend another of the grandeurs of Chicago :D). But the point is, I sometimes feel I haven't a 'strong' "gang" here due to these not-so-sociable habits of mine (which includes not eating out at non-vegetarian restaurants => only Arya Bhavan, Udupi Palace, Mysore Woodlands and Uru Swathi are the 4 realistic options [:-(] I have here). So this is bullshit right - not having friends because of some extrinsic supposedly good habits? Yes pure bullshit, I think the reasoning is as flawed as can be. Which can only mean I've woven myself into a shell. But I don't remember being this unfriendly or unsociable or introverted kind of bloke back home, especially towards the latter stages of college life. Whatever. But this whole analysis of friends and their availability/proximity (lack of, more like) was because I personally feel we, being social animals, need likable and like companionship to row along life. If we take out family and close friends, the next available option appears to be, logically and in the current chronological scenario, soulmate/girlfriend/lover-girl. Seriously, I don’t at all think I would be ruing my singularity if I were in Chennai with Keshav and my parents around me (besides MSEC :D), or, [realized-more-recently] in Silicon Valley, where more known-to-me people live than I ever knew were in the US. My life demands a sense of familiarity, I think. So what's with being single? Just that we are ready to mingle. And do some jingle (Lame rip-off from Jeppiaar...kindly adjust). So the major advantage (among others...;) of being committed to a female is that you can, without any major health-related worries, be synesthetic. Like feeling caterpillars-in-their-final-stages-of-life in your stomach when thinking about somebody. Like feeling physically hungry and totally satisfied/contented at the same time. Like being reasonlessly crazily happy from time to time. Well probably not entirely only these chilly peelings, but see the point? Like I'm not sure what I want a girl for...I mean, I don’t think it's fair for me to be committed just because of some situational requirements and logistical constraints. Like I am not entirely convinced I would want to have a romantically-inclined-feminine-soul-mate if I was back at home, or in the midst of friends someplace like SJC. Yes, I would love to have this girl I have so fallen for. Someone I'm implicitly and explicitly mad about. Someone whom I would want to love loving. Quite romantic and nice to hear, but this should Happen right? As opposed to "want to happen", which, I think, is our dilemma right now. I, for sure, don't want to become committed to a poor girl because I'm far away from friends and parents and home, and because I feel left-out in this rat-race called "Get Committed". :D Just kidding all you lover-boys and lover-girls, before y'all start gunning for my head. You see, there is this fundamental difference between "need" and "want". And of course, there's the "it is destined"-factor (partly inspired from Slumdog Millionaire). Besides, there are quite a lot of responsibilities in a committed man's life. *Sigh*
Ok so the responsibilities are not strictly confined to 1.5 mozham malligai poo and kaal kilo halwa (wait, this is only for the latter stages of involved+passionate+willing+{consciously-enjoying} commitment right?) alone. Lol, still, there is this sense of unbridled freedom in being single. No, I'm not talking about going for dates or sappaiya-sight-adikkardhu. But you seriously live life king-size. No, I really mean it. You save as you want, you spend as you want. You don't have to wait for a second opinion about spending for your friend or giving money to some needy soul. You don't have to bother about the uni-directional flow from your account to your parents' account. And you don't have to keep in mind that additional soul always (which is what I would do, if committed).
Piss...And a few personal Problems - No no, I'm not going to crib about why (a lot of) girls don't like me or I don't get going with most of today's girls. That's secondary. In fact, that's quite insignificant and inconsequential. The thing is - I seem to have created such a hysteria wrt girls that if and when I get committed, whether or not I keep track of my female's dressing/habits/actions/words/thoughts/food-eaten/language-used/articles-read+written/degree-of-religiousness/customs-practiced/movies-liked/music-preferred/dupatta-worn/eyebrows-trimmed/etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, there's this overwhelming mass of my ardent friends who will be baying for the poor girl's blood more than me (which is quite something). And the poor girl will, I think, simply be swept off her (cute) feet. Spare her, no, let me spare her. :P
Mothathla matter enna'na...chi, I sound like a local chilrai-philosopher.
Ya, so this post, in effect, isn't a comparison between the advantages & disadvantages of being committed vs being single (Oh gosh, just the thought of such a tabular column is sending me into splits =)). And like you would (hopefully) have understood, it isn't a sob-story about the ineligibility of my bachelorhood either [:D]. Simply the realization that even if String theory IS indeed the theory of everything, you haven't understood it until you actually know it. Likewise, there is no point in wanting to fall in love for mortal reasons. Love is divine...(Ok, I give up, I couldn't control my laughter). Logically, you aren't in love until you Are in love. And you definitely will not BE in love if you WANT to be in love.
(Dho soltaarra Governor'u).
Adhaagapattadhu ennavendraal...ippo inge Juliet maadhiri oru ponnu irundhaalum prayojanam illaiyaam.
And what if never happens? Let's just reserve that judgement for later, shall we?

PPS: This post was begun a few weeks before my CA trip, but due to logistical reasons, could not be continued ;).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ennatha Solla (Sigh)

Couldn't resist it, had to jump the bandwagon of thousands all over the world, even if that risks my blog being (wrongly) stereo-typed by hyper-creative souls.
Like most, nothing much to say. I look up to the skies...hoping...praying, hoping against hope.
PS: I had to change the template specifically to display this sad table. :(

Date Incident No. Of people dead No. Of people injured Organisation suspected to be responsible/Claiming responsibility Status of the Case
March 12th, 1993 Bombay bombings 257 1,400 Islamic organisations based in pakisthan, Dawood Ibrahim Verdict given, Prime accused still at large
February 14th, 1998 Coimbatore bombings 46 200 Al Umma Verdict given
October 1st, 2001 Attack on Jammu and Kashmire assembly complex 35 Unknown Unknown Unknown
December 13th, 2001 Attack on parliament 7 --- J-e-M Verdict given, Afzal guru yet to be hanged
September 24th, 2002 Attack on Akshardham temple, Gujrat 31 79 Islamic organisations based in Pakisthan Unknown
March 13th, 2003 A terrorist bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai 11 Unknown Unknown Unknown
May 14th, 2003 Terrorists attack an army camp near Jammu 30 Unknown Unknown Unknown
August 25th, 2003 Simultaneous car bombs in Mumbai. It is the last in a series of 5 bombings in the city in a period of 8 months starting 6th December,
52 150 L-e-T Unknown
August 14th, 2004 Assam bombings 16 ( mostly school children ) --- ULFA Unknown
July 5th, 2005 Shri Ram Janmabhoomi attack in Ayodhya 6 ( including 5 CRPF personnel ) Unknown L-e-T Unknown
October 29th, 2005 Delhi bombings, 2 days before Diwali 70 210 L-e-T Unknown
March 7th, 2006 Varanasi attacks 21 101 L-e-T Unknown
July 11th, 2006 Searial blasts in Mumbai`s 7 suburban trains during evening rush hour 209 700 L-e-T, SIMI Unknown
September 8th, 2006 Malegaon bombings 37 125 SIMI initially, Lt.Col Purohit Prasad is recently named prime accused by MH-ATS Unknown
May 18th, 2007 Bombing at Mecca masjid, Hyderabad 13 50 Foreign elements Unknown
August 25th, 2007 Hyderabad serial blasts 42 --- HuJI Unknown
May 13th, 2008 Jaipur bombings 63 216 Indian Mujahideen Unknown
July 25th, 2008 Bangalore bombings 2 20 SIMI Arrests made
July 26th, 2008 Ahmedabad bombings 29 110 L-e-T/HuJI Arrests made
September 13th, 2008 Serial bombings in Delhi`s markets 21 110 Indian Mujahideen Unknown
September 27th, 2008 Twin blasts in Delhi flower market 1 17 Unknown Unknown
September 29th, 2008 Maharashtra and Gujrat bomb blasts
10 80 Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Unknown
October 1st, 2008 Agartala bombings 4 100 HuJI Unknown
October 21st, 2008 Imphal bombings 17 40 PREPAK Unknown
October 30th, 2008 Assam bombings 84 470 ULFA Unknown
November 26th, 2008 Coordinated terror attack in Mumbai 155+ 327+ Unknown CURRENT EVENT

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Papa Kehte Hain...

I had initially titled this post "Appa Sonna Pechu", but since Papa Kehte Hain happens to be a popular song (besides being a not-so-popular movie), I decided to have it as the title (though the grammatically correct version would have been "Jo Papa ne Kaha" or "Papa Kehte The") for obvious reasons of increasing viewer count and curiosity (by a stretch of conceivable imagination).
Ok, so this is not going to be a touchy recollection of how we forget our dads and remember their thoughts and words on Father's Day or their birthdays or when they die (ala Vaaranam Aayiram). I forgot when Father's Day is, my dad's birthday is on Jan 31 and he is very much alive (and kicking ;-). It's been almost 5 months since I started working and let me tell you - software development for financial firms IS demanding. Probably not especially demanding, since I have no idea of how hectic coding in proper normal software companies is, probably it is in fact. But that's the impression I got here, especially since there's millions of bucks on the line of the software that we write here (currently, I'm nowhere near the line of fire). Still, take nothing away from my performance. (In general) Popular opinion exists that I am a relatively bright fellow who will find his way in more-or-less most places in the world. Ok. But I've been lazy enough for most part of the 4 years of my BE to not spend enough time with code. I believe one of the essential aspects of good coding is that you sit with code - even for highly intelligent souls (I am categorizing myself as moderately intelligent, out of modesty or truthfulness or both, I don't know). As far as my Master's was concerned, I fell in love with Theory here (I was infatuated in India) and fell all out for Cryptography and Network Security-centric Game Theory, Theory of Computation, etc. Somehow, I focussed and was interested in CS-theoretical subjects rather than project-based ones. So not much compulsion to sit with lots of code.
Or this whole issue might not have got anything to do with code at all.
Which is where appa comes in. I am not crudely implying that I have become dumb wrt intelligence. I am not sure I have become less sharp (which is a possibility though). So when I get screwed royally at work, I just have to attribute it to lack of coding skills. I mean it when I say I get royally screwed - some of the coding issues, I feel so damn dumb. Somewhat retarded too. I don't know if it's my colleagues who end up making me feel like that, but I really stutter and feel awkward a lot of times...have been, at least. Which, in a queer sense, somehow rewound the clock to some time around 2000-2005, when I had a partially tempestuous time with my dad, mainly due to academic reasons. Well, there was not much of an issue otherwise, but since the 10th-12th std school-phase of a normal middle-class guy is so crucially important, there is not much to life than academics, during this phase. And since my dad very much believed in my brightness, my regularly appalling and horrendous academic performances left him in utter distaste over me. Again, this might or might not be directly related to what I am going to say, but my thought-process included this bit of past, hence I trust my mind to think something relevant (not sure again :D). So yes, given this not-so-happy stuff between me & my dad besides my bright nature, plus the major fact that I was/am horribly impatient in expecting people to understand things, there were a lot of times when I thought my dad was dumb. I really felt that it was the most obvious thing in the world and my dad didn't grasp it first-hand. (Note here that though my "bright" nature failed my academic pursuits brilliantly, it did, somehow, maintain the light in general issues of life...and to a very faint extent, the thought that "intelligence leads to impatience/arrogance" was true in my case, though to a much lesser extent of intelligence, mediocre amount of arrogance and overwhelming dose of impatience). This actually started to happen quite regularly, especially during my 12th standard (when my academic non-performance was at its peak). I literally used to wonder how my dad could fail to understand what I was saying when it was oh-so-obvious. Then, like all dads, he used to say - "You also one time coming, that time you realizing, now you not understanding," obviously in much better grammar. Though I was not stupid enough to think that I was immune from going through that phase, I hoped and prayed I wouldn't have to go through that. But it seems I am precisely undergoing that kind of treatment here. Now, though, another line of thought has cropped up - that I am OB-adichufying at work [:(]. Which is, again, not entirely true, because I am beginning to like I am doing, and I am really REALLY learning a lot. But I am slow, I am taking time, that probably pisses my manager/mentor(s) off, so sometimes not much work, so browse -> more irritation. Still, my feeling of dumbness was/is true. Of course, I don't blame my manager/mentor(s). In a sense, I am hoping that feeling kind of spurs me on to learn more.
But yes, it did rewind the clock by a few years. I still hear my dad. Again, I don't say what he said has exactly happened, but the symptoms are remarkably similar. Which prompts me to quip - "Paatti sonna pechai thattadhe, Appa sonna pechai marakkadhe."
:D Some thought, eh?

PS: By the way, for two specific souls, I just noticed that my blog contains exactly 2 posts each on Cricket and Politics - one of those on cricket was more out of a national controversy (Bhajji slapping Sreesanth) than something regular - this, out of 30 posts totally. Quite funny actually, considering that the politics blog compared to mine contained 7/11 posts on politics and the cricket blog contained 12/27 posts on cricket. Chippu vandhudhu Chippu.
Oh and btw, this post isn't politics or cricket, right? ;)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

'Supporting' the Wall...

I am on a high now. No marijuana, no coke. A comprehensive series win against Australia, a wonderful performance by Team India, yes...but both those got me on level ground from a lower ground. The high was a result of a man not much known for 'grace' outside of the off-side of a cricketing pitch, bowing out in style, graciously. I cannot remember too many other recent instances of a cricketer signing off in style, on a high (notwithstanding a Bradmanesque final innings duck) the way Dada did (yes there were a few). Sourav Chandidas Ganguly gave us yet another surprise thus. Not that we ever doubted his talent or ability. Still, the way he retired probably surprised him too, albeit in a pleasant way. Of all that has been said about him, I suddenly felt this about him one fine day - Sourav Ganguly is a monk. Yes, if a monk is a person who has achieved conditioning of the mind and body. Let me unabashedly declare that I have been a fan of him for quite some time now, and I did not like him for the perceived negative characteristics that he possesses. Yes, there are some negatives about him, but the man was much more than those. People (like this one) who like him for his negativities are misguided. I loved his beautiful batting and relegated him to the top of my list of favourite cricketers not very long after he became captain. But even a die-hard fan like me did not think much about what would happen after he was dropped. I felt a sickening crunch, and was at a loss for words. But the emphatic manner of his comeback totally beat me. Here was a man well past his prime who, by sheer will of his mind, forced himself into the team purely on performance. It was quite shocking, what the mind can do. This guy is a monk. For sheer command over his mind.
How I felt when he played his final test, when he looked up to the skies on the pitch one last time after getting out for a duck, these are feelings too personal for me to reveal outside and publicise. Emotion, sorrow, happiness. Period.
But I feel for another man. And I want to make it known. And I want everyone to feel for him. Rahul Dravid has done more for this country than most of us can dream of. He is the epitome of industriousness and hard work. He is not a Sachin Tendulkar with natural brilliance. He is not a Brian Lara with born flair. Yes, cricket is in his blood, and he is one of the most beautiful batsmen ever. But Rahul Dravid is one of the all-time greats of the game simply because of his application. He is not very expressive, but his grit and effort show in his eyes when he plays for the country. He has performed when the chips are down and he has performed when the chips are up. He is more than just a crisis-man. He contributes as an individual, he is an able ally (as can be wonderfully shown by the 318-run partnership with Sourav Ganguly and 331-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar in ODI's, and two unforgettable knocks with Laxman in Eden Gardens and Adelaide AND the fact that he shares the most number of 100-run partnerships), he is the ideal team-man, he is everything you would want from a sportsman, and everything you would want from a warrior. He respects and loves Indian cricket more than most of us. He wants to contribute to the team more than what we know is possible. And yet, even the greatest of warriors sometimes comes up against a wall he cannot scale. This man has been a wall to cricketing opponents, now he is up against another himself. He will scale it. But give him time. Don't prey for his blood. As Sachin said and Dada rightly agreed - Respect the seniors. In a way, each of the Big 5 commands as much respect as any great person in our country. Don't trivialize them by pitting one against another. Don't insult them by reminding them that their time has come. They know. They are more concerned about the future of Indian cricket than us. Simply because they have been that past which is "history". They are the present. In a way, Rahul moves me to tears like nobody else. I almost shed tears for Jumbo. I cried within for Dada, but overcame outright tears because of the manner in which he left. I cannot imagine what will happen when Sachin leaves. I will miss Laxman. But Rahul moves me beyond any of them. This despite me being a Ganguly fan. Coming to think of it, I have never called myself a Dravid-fan. But it seems I admire him and adore him as much as I do Ganguly, albeit in a different light. And I cannot bear to see what is happening to Rahul. I know he will be back. I want him to be back.
No, Please dont read this as an obituary. Respect the man. Feel for him. Pray for him. No, don't do the last two. He wouldn't like it. He is not the Terminator to "be back". He has always been here. He will always be. No excuses for a bad performance, but this isn't his time. It just isn't.
Rahul, whatever anyone criticizes you for, know you are the best and the greatest. These two series are not going to make a difference to someone who truly respects an individual's commitment and contribution. Please don't feel bad. We cannot stand it. You don't deserve to feel bad. After all, you have been an impregnable wall for India. Yes, a few bricks might be falling off. But you are a monument, and will continue to be one.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Midnight Madness

Four months since I've been working now, waking up each day at about 5.30 AM. Add to it another 3 months of 3-days-a-week-Internship at Siemens from Feb-May when I used to wake up at 5. Today's comedy/farce/joke hasn't happened once, not ONCE. My phone has been behaving strangely of late, and the anxiety of the phone-alarm ringing or not probably played on my mind. I woke up as usual, looking at the minutes digits of my phone, and (barely) glancing at the hours timer, and convinced it was something like 5.35-38, I proceeded to wake up fully, fold my bed, brush my teeth, make coffee and switch on my lap-top for the morning prayers+mail-checking. Even after having done my coffee, I glanced at the time in the lap-top, and cursing myself that it was a bit late (once again, I looked at the .56 part, assumed it was 5.56, and cursed myself since normal coffee-time is like 5.46'ish), hurried on with the coffee. While drinking coffee, I noticed that the time was strange in my lap top. My lapt-top's battery had actually conked out a few months back, and rather remarkably, after returning from India, it started functioning, although giving powerless life for about 10 minutes or so, hence the time in the lap-top has been proper for a while now, though it was wrong before. Since it showed 12.58 or 1.01, I thought it had conked out again. Just to verify that it had conked out (I was still fairly confident the time was morning), I checked out my cell phone and saw that it too showed the same time. Now I sort of got a little worked up since my cell phone has also been behaving strangely. So I wondered how else I could check the time. I returned to my lap top and typed out to check the time (Brilliance, right?) and it took me to TIME magazine's website. In that early morning sleep, I was making a fool of myself. I then went to check the time in my room-mates' cell phones, but since I got hold of none of their phones, I returned to my lappie with a little bit clearer mind. This time, I got properly and it showed me the same damn time! Now I was clearly panicking and started thinking weird stuff like someone cursing all the watches/sources of time surrounding me to show the wrong time. I wandered around for some more time, saw how the outside world was and thought like a dumber for some more time. Finally, convinced there could be no other option, I finished my coffee and went back to sleep, a total joker. Though I was quite amused with myself, I couldn't quite believe what had happened. The worst deception was because I was feeling surprisingly awake when I woke up, this despite the fact that I had slept barely an hour prior to waking up.
Am I losing it more and more? I wonder.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My two anna's on Obama's Triumph

(Bandha) See here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Points to Ponder - Jai Singh Rathore

After my 10th or 11th viewing of Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na, I just couldn't help but dedicate a few words to that supremely affable and cute character played by Imraan Khan in his debut role - Jai Singh Rathore. Apart from his bloody brilliant looks (seriously, despite being a proper guy, even I was quite smitten by Imraan's absolutely chocolatey-boy looks. After a long time, we have a genuinely good-looking chocolate-boy hero who can act, well, at least Imraan did a wonderful job in Jaane Tu. The last time we had something similar happening was this. But anyways, chocolate heroes aren't my focus. Jai Singh Rathore - that ever-so-polite "Ranjore-ka-Rathore" with such a sweet and delightful non-violent character whose instincts get provoked into action on an attack on his mom or his love/girlfriend. Amit (Aditi's brother in the movie) brilliantly described it when he said - "Jai Singh Rathore, har waqt itna sweet, itna polite? Tum apne aap se bore nahin hote ho?" Probably because the contrast is so stark, I was driven to think of myself, looking at Jai's character.
(It's an entirely different issue that struck me on different lines - why we always try to see ourselves as the protagonists. In this movie especially, barring Sushant Modi [Aditi's fiance] and to a much lesser extent, Mala [Jiggy's girlfriend, the airhostess to whom the story is narrated], all the characters were very very endearing. Personally, Jai and I are as different as thakkaali thokku and keera koottu, still, I, like most others I am sure, tried to relate myself to Jai, though each of the other characters is as good as him. Self importance does irritate me sometimes [:(].
Note: But this is not the reason why I was compelled to think of myself on looking at Jai.)
I Will not comment much on the "endearing" part - there definitely is a minority to which (I think) I am that (endearing), but to an overwhelming majority, I probably am somewhere between avoidable and nothing special (for various reasons). Nevertheless, one of the most earth-shattering differences was in how patient, calm and collected Jai was compared to the "ticking time bomb waiting to explode"+"rabid dog" that my best friend 1.1 described me to be. Well, he probably wasn't entirely right, but there are easily-mentionable instances when I have been exactly what he said. I was going to write a blog post a few months back titled - "Depression Waxing, Tolerance Waning" or something on those lines, primarily describing how increasingly irritated I am becoming here, in Chicago, being away from home and familiar faces/territory, despite it being a good 2+ years since I came here. Even if this homesickness and pointlessness is the reason for all my "intolerance" and easily ignitable temper, it's still a weak justification for being rude to and snapping at people. I mean there are people who deserve rudeness and scorn, but what's the point? Jokes apart, I find it more irritating to remain dumbly non-reactive and quiet as opposed to saying what you feel, assuming of course that it is "absolutely" right. My problem was/is that sometimes, I felt the wrong thing (misplaced anger?) and more so, conveying what you feel must also be done to the right people, well, at least, not-the-wrong-ones.
Still, Jai is supremely gifted. He wasn't dumb, he wasn't a jada-prabhu. Among my friends, there are some who come close to possessing many of the attributes like patience/politeness/calmness/non-anger that Jai possesses. Keshav, would be the foremost, but no - though he is affable and easily liked owing to (apart from his drop-dead-gorgeous-looks) his calm demeanour and oh-so-polite nature, he is exceptionally slothy. There can never be an energy about him or a spring in his step - he can either amble along or walk. If he is enthu about something, and tries to have a spring in his step, he ends up doing something which becomes a cross between bouncing and bobbing (awkwardly). But the main difference between him and Jai is that Keshav is more brotherly than boyfriendily. Jai was caring and concerned, still, he was also boyfriendily. No harm in being anna, but if you become "engal anna" for everyone, then how will you become "yennaa..." for someone? Talking about which, another person who is closer to Jai than Keshav is Anand - my classmate from DAV and one of my really really good friends. Though I never realized it in school, he seems to have been this typical Jai'ish character, though there were no suitable Aditi's around (Loo isn't Kaali Billi :D), nor was there a very wonderful circle of boy-girl friends. My mom probably was one of the first to enlighten me in this regard (that too, thanks to akka, courtesy loo, I guess), and after that, I have really realized that side of him. Quite definitely good looking (maybe not in the league of Jai, still belonging to the top league of good-looking guys) Very non-committal without being aloof, caring & concerned without being loud & imposing (aka me), gentle, calm, etcetera.
Typical Example: Another of those intense conversations between (main group) me, Karthik, Keshav, Tejaswi, (sub-group) Suresh and Anand about kalaachaara azhivu, hypocrisy, pseudo-religionists, pseudo-Brahmins, blah blah -

On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 3:18 PM, cowmaaa wrote:
This hawkeye guy (***'s cousin) is seriously getting onto my nerves. Tejaswi, see the comments and tell me how else hypocrisy would be defined?

On Thu 9/11/2008 4:42 PM, Anand Balakrishnan wrote:
yevan yepdi irindha yenna da...

Though I was rotfl when Tejaswi said - "Ivan enna da Dr.Rajashekar padam range'lareact panraan - Evana irundha enakkena, andha maadhiri irukku!", Anand's penchant for avoiding unnecessary perturbation/controversy was evident, in his own cute way (I am told girls luvv this :P). Recently, our man has had a totally unexpected fan on his blog asking him when he is going to post next, based on 1-2 blog posts [:D]. Adhaan Anand.
There's another DAV-best-buddy - Suresh, who is more or less similarly likable (especially to gals) without being this eternally calm smile-on-the-face guy, he does be animated many times, still is more than quite compatible and his-company-is-enjoyable-to-a-lot-of-people character. Coming to think of it, Suresh is as fair as Jai, and definitely comparably good-looking.
Which brings me back to the villain of this whole post - yours truly (No, I am seriously not seeking public sympathy {though I could do with some ;)}, just trying to critique myself objectively and honestly). Sometimes, I feel foolish because I have an opinion on a lot of things in life. Most often, I take things seriously, and just cannot bear to see them happen. That doesn't mean to say that I am a very good samaritan or a wonderful human being (I might be one, I don't know :P). But it sort of becomes a problem when the perturbation shows in me - it could either be my anger, sorrow, depression or simply feeling bad/upset about stuff, but I show it, and take things to heart - even stuff totally not personal to me, some Brahmin boy somewhere in the world might be eating cow dung's perpetrator or some Muslim guy might be marrying a Christian girl. Which is not Jai. Jai is a good guy, he does lots of things for his friends, like going to the hospital at 5 in the morning because his friend's cat died (No, unlike others, I think he would've done this for Rothlu, Shaleen, Bombs or Jiggy too, only with Aditi - it's personal, that's the difference). But he is cool and patient. I just am not. :(
Just yesterday, I had to sound off myself to this poor creature because she childishly did something brilliantly dumb like pasting a needless-yet-potentially-controversial YM chat in my scrapbook. Period.
Yes, that might be my "individuality" or whatever you call it. But, sometimes, it's better being something not-unpreferable (calm/cool/composed/patient/tolerant) to what you are sometimes better off not being (even if it gives you your identity and people like you for this not-so-preferable trait), if it is not going to have any substantially positive effect.
Bah, I just adore Jai Singh Rathore.

Open Question to anyone who watched Jaane Tu..: In that awesome scene when Jai walks into his house whistling and with a spring in his step which his "The-Beauty-Myth-by-Naomi-Wolf"-reading mom classically captures ("Jai Singh Rathore, honton pe seethi, chaal mein ujhal, maajra kya hai?"), to which Jai says he has a girl-friend, his mom then lists her correct observations about the romantic tangle in his group (Jai:Aditi + Rothlu->Aditi + Boms->Jai => Boms:Rothlu), Jai (with a cute wave of his hand :D) says in an exasperated tone, "Mom...good night". Does that mean Jai thinks what his mom says is wrong/absurd, or does he know what she says has a semblance of truth, but doesn't want to consider it?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Crazy Bugger!

I know I do get weird dreams, most of us do, but this was one of its kind.
As usual, around early morning. I guess around 5.00-5.20 AM, because when the alarm went off at 5.20, the dream was concluding. But it might be the temporal locality thing from Comp Arch.
This dream was basically a mini-documentary type movie. Obviously, there is this guy-girl love, say B1 and G1. G1’s parents don’t know of this ‘affair’ of hers. Then, something really crazy happens. The guy somehow manages to kill the girl (I’m pretty sure inadvertently). The modus operandi, I vaguely recollect, has something to do with a gentle hilly area, some trees and a slope. Then there’s this close friend of B1 – B2 (let’s say), who is like really close and knows what happened. Then there’s this court case and all that. The protagonist here is B2, because most of the movie/dream is from his point of view. He is asked to testify (In fact, I am B2, or at least, I feel I am B2 for now, because I felt the lie-detector test, but I will not refer to B2 as because of something later on). Now, some part of B2’s character was actually an offshoot of my actual nature, and though B2 wants to tell the truth, he is also driven by two major factors –
  1. B1 killed the girl inadvertently and hence, doesn’t deserve the punishment.
  2. G1’s parents don’t know of the affair, and B2 feels it should remain as it is.(There is also a blurry memory of B1 and G1 “mudichufying matter” because of which B2 wants to ensure that G1’s parents remain ignorant of their girl’s deeds so their last memories of her aren’t negative or depressing. Now, I’m not actually sure why this “matter panra” part came into – it seems like it has a genuine part in the theme, but it might as well be Tamil cinema effect. But I am surprised I, of all people, thought this :P).
So then, when testifying, I try very intently to tread on this thin path which lies between not saying the truth and not saying a lie. I actually don’t remember the technicalities, but over the investigation, I am also asked to take the lie-detector test as well (quite weird because I’m not the criminal, but I knew the truth, but I don’t think anybody knew that I was not saying the entire truth). So much so that I was actually trying to prepare for the Lie Detector Test! I even remember writing down both their names as part of the preparation (I just don’t remember the names! :(). So, some time during our court traversals, I (i.e. the dreamer me) was shocked to see one of my Department heads from my company (a slightly oldish vazhukka thalai who heads one of the main sub-divisions in our Technology group), KL being escorted somewhere. So later on, B1 is finally acquitted and while coming downstairs, the two of us (B1 and B2) see KL sitting behind a counter or something like that. It turns out that KL is a criminal behind bars and this is some sort of conversation window. There is a slight logistical issue here – while coming down the stairs, B1 and B2 see KL behind the counter, but KL can never see beyond the counter on his side. Once we are seated, i.e. B1 and KL are face-to-face but with an opaque barrier between them, but with the ability to communicate. Now it’s kind of nonsensical because I don’t think B1 and B2 or KL know any of each other. So, it was something like this Confession window (so to say). Since B1 was feeling quite guilty and wanted to totally vomit the truth to somebody (this, I guess, is again the conscience of the dreamer me since I want the truth totally out somewhere and I probably went into B1’s conscience), he starts telling the entire truth to KL, who proves to be a good listener. Then, some interruption occurs, and both B1 and B2 turn away for a few minutes to talk/see what the issue is with somebody. When we turn back and see, the barrier is gone and there sits KL with some wires connected and a mike to record. Turns out that he was a fusion between the jury/judge/detective and had somehow elicited the full confession of B1. :D
Now another crankiness – B1 is actually cornered and supposed to be apprehended, but the concluding part of the dream has B1 going back home in a car with his dad driving, who has come to know that B1 had actually been responsible for G1’s death. B1’s dad has some sort of cold fury within him, and questions B1 throughout the hilly car journey and suddenly, B1’s dad says something on the lines of “This is how G1 would have felt” and drives the car straight onto a hill-slope and the movie/dream dramatically concludes with this single frame I remember – B1 in the car, with the car upside down, hanging by/onto a tree and the screen goes blank.


1. I am not sure what happened to B1. I think B1 died, probably not, but I’m pretty sure B1’s dad lived, after (supposedly) teaching B1 a lesson. I also think B1’s mom was in the car, but she was a silent spectator during the entire conversation, and she too survived.

2. I have absolutely no aspirations as a film-maker/story writer, never had, and probably never will have. All I have been associated with movies, apart from watching them, are dancing (which is more personal and social gathering-type than cinema), stunts (I just love and have this crazy desire to do a lot of stunts from the movies), a once-or-twice desire to act in a Mani Ratnam movie once I returned to India immediately after finishing MS here (which was, incidentally, the starting point of my plan to try and make Trisha also fall in love with me and later on marry ---Joke/serious comedy---), more recent occasionally rare desires to act as a Villain and finally, based mainly on friends’ wishes about making a movie out of my life, especially the part from my 11th in DAV to end of MS (Back in DAV, the proposal was mooted by one girl, who named the movie ‘Paakka Paakka’ :D …. because Kaakha Kaakha was ‘happening’ then {Interestingly, Paaka Paaka was mooted by the girl as an attempt to ottify me and another girl, but Tejaswi, Keshav and others planned the same name to a movie which was supposed to be more a depiction of what happened those subsequent years in and after school}).

3. After waking up, I thought this –B2’s noble intentions notwithstanding, a postmortem test on G1’s body would have revealed that she had, indeed, “done matter” with B1. Not so logically, this didn’t seem to happen or exist as an option.

4. I have cautiously referred to having s*x by various references as “doing matter”, “matter panradhu”, etc.

5. I managed to realize a couple of inspirations which might have possible influenced the dream/movie or its contents.

  • “The Partner” by John Grisham – I think the ending was more or less fashioned by this book’s ending. In a sense, quite anti-climactic.
  • The story of the Indian girl’s murder in Illinois – This, I realized only after I told the dream to my colleague who reminded me of the incident. This colleague, incidentally, works under KL’s team in my company.

6. Oh how I hate Tamizh cinema for making me bring in sex to my story also :(((((((((( -- (Incidentally, just in case you’re wondering if there were any depictions, NO, I was thankfully spared of that, it’s just that I (B2) knew B1 and G1 had done it, avlo dhan).

7. Is this worryingly insane?

Monday, September 15, 2008

(A?)typical Data Flow

Tejaswi, as always, even recently accused me of thinking too much. I vehemently disagreed saying there were instances when we have to think about and consider certain things, the failure to do which by a lot of people being the primary reason for a lot of things being screwed up and nonsense thriving today. But yes, I agree that I have a tendency to think too much or think lots of things from one issue occasionally. Now was one.
Let me also give you my background and current frame of mind. I am quite excited about the LHC being put to operation and though the success of the LHC would give a lot of the atheist physicists (a good many theoretical physicists are atheists) reason to crow about, I am, nevertheless, looking forward to knowing more about what happened those precious moments after the Big Bang. (Hope the guys at CERN dont screw us up, as feared by some. Still, despite my obvious concerns at dying before doing a lot of things in life as also dying when living away from parents and best friends, going down in such a dramatic fashion would be quite exciting. Imagine how it would be to be inside a black hole!).
Anyways, this just happened a few minutes ago when my mentor came to me and discussed a few things I had to do. Among other things, I had to implement a timer function to estimate the time taken by one of our applications to run, and he said it would possibly be of the order of microseconds. "Microseconds" immediately triggered the LHC in me (I hope you understood why). Since I had been thinking about discussing the LHC with Karthik Raghavan, I was prompted about a recent email-discussion with Karth Rags and Kesh which, incidentally, started about detachment (which, in turn, was because of an earlier discussion about vegetarianism with Kesh) and subsequently went to buying houses, wealth creation and the financial world. Which brings me back to where I am. And I realized my mentor had finished giving me the task and was back at his desk.
All this in a matter of seconds.
The power of thought, eh?

Yeah yeah, I hear all you guys sniggering about how I dont do my job at work. I cannot explain to you nincompoops about how I am using my office work as constructive inspiration for higher things.
:D :D :D

Some thought.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Situation Intro:

Situation Song:

Situation Conclusion:

All the best!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The ineligibility of my Bachelorhood

I don't know why my life seems quite cinematic right now. The previous post about my corporate party was one of success (quite cinematic at that, too).

PS Warning: If you're not one for tragedies or not-so-happy movies, then this post probably isn't a good read for you. Yes, it's a sad story, not the typical happy-go-lucky kind of story which has a happy ending. In fact, this one's tragedy is quite entertaining, though there is, thus far, no ending. So if you don't mind entertainment even if it's sad, stay on.

Male/23/Tamil Vadama/S/W Engineer-USA (5-figure salary)/Never Married/Teetotaler/Strict Vegetarian/Orthodox Brahmin Boy seeks girl with "a few" 'qualities'.

(PS 1.1: Remember that English lesson we learnt in school way back explaining the difference between "a few" and "few"?

PS 1.2: Note the different quotes.)

Ladies and gentlemen, mama's and mami's, machan's and machi's - NO, that is Just Not a sought-after profile in matrimonial circles nowadays. Absolut No. What a misleading world this is! There was no specific intention to publish this post on this particular day, I'd started this a few weeks back, it was on the back-burners, but now that the time has come, I chuckled at the coincidence and thought – let's increase the comedy.

But yes, the profile you saw above is actually a major misnomer - both from the point of view of the type of guy who advertises it and the girl who reads it. Girls these days, though externally professing such desires (the number on the other side, i.e. those that openly say that they dont want such guys - is also on the rise). Since the post refers to Brahmin guys, let's just also restrict our scope of girls to Brahmin girls, since they are most likely (or should it be least unlikely?) to read through more, given such a profile. So yes, many of today's girls actually look for much more (Well, it's actually good that they look for much more, but what 'much more' is, is what matters). Gone are the days when girls looked for guys with a decent enough pocket who are quite contented with life and tend to think about "higher" things. One recent case was of a friend's cousin (girl) who works in an IT company back home (yeah, where else?) getting a relatively decent paycheck of about 30K whom a guy had seen (not the "seeing", more of "paakkardhu" type :D). Incidentally, the guy, though earning more than the girl, was in the immediate vicinity as far as financial consideration was concerned. So our girl rejects him saying she was looking at raking in 50K in another couple of years, and that the guy did not have much chance to rake in the moolah by a larger deal. That's that.

Then, there's the issue of being "modern". Even "aacharamaana namblava aathu ponnu"s from W.Mambalam and Mylapore and Nanganallur insist on wearing Jeans and T-shirts and what-not, irrespective of their size or the feel-good-factor. And I’m confronted with - "It's time you grow up, stop thinking like a 1950's mama. There's nothing wrong in doing it as long as it isn't bad or vulgar." Adiyei, It's just not about that. Why the heavens do you want to do something that is not bad just because you feel HAVE to do it? Why do you want to do it when you are perfectly comfortable with how you are right now?

And then, there's this concept of beliefs. No no, I'm not even going to touch upon Brahminism or anything. Simple aspects like eating non-veg, drinking, smoking, etc. It was shocking for me to learn about the overwhelming majority of namblava aathu ponnunga who were not even slightly bothered about any of this. Well, "thankfully we are not into any of it" they say. =)) And, sometimes, it's a matter of pride to do it (thanni-non veg) in social circles. "Ada aama pa...marandhe poitten".

And of course - Amarikka aasai. Settle aaganumaama. Green card vaanganumaama. Kadavul bhakti vera - almost like non-veg, et al. They have it, they are not too bothered about whether their husbands have it.

History of the accident and geography of the incident - read college kasa-musa's of the girl (increasingly increasing) should be strictly ignored. And they are not bothered much about the guy's as well.

And then -

Well, of course, I'm not (yet) dumb enough to purely believe the usual sleaze-related bullshit TimesOfIndia regularly churns out. But...(read BUT)

Ennavo ponga pa. Idhukku mela enna solla? Nalla pasanga innum indha oorla irukkaanga. Guys who actually mean such stuff do exist. But girls who expect such stuff don’t seem to, rather…are either already taken or are rapidly diminishing.

I feel old. I feel philosophical. I feel funny. I feel old-fashioned. I feel outdated. I feel like a rebel rebelling against rebels. I feel out of place. I feel single.

And that’s why I know I am the most ineligible bachelor in the world right now.

And I feel good.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Of Blood and Water

Something Tejaswi, Keshav and I have talked a lot about. Tejaswi always kept telling us that "Blood was thicker than water" - about relatives and friends. Well, I've thought quite a lot about this, pretty interesting actually, if you think. Lots of experiences, many interesting, some disheartening. Let me play a smart ass and not say my opinion explicitly, but these are some "quotes" which I chanced to say, during another of our discussions. Quite obvious, actually, what they mean, still, I'm not saying the words exactly :P.
  • Blood may be thicker than water and have a greater stain, but it is water which washes off all wounds (including the stain of blood from the body).
  • Blood always comes out only when there is an injury. Water is always there for us.
  • We dont get to choose the blood that flows in us, but we get to choose the water that we drink. If we drink impure water, that's our mistake, we should have been more careful, no point in blaming the water or saying Blood is thicker.
Even my dad actually supports blood...But yes, the water definitely needs to be pure.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Alone against all odds...

I remember reading a quite inspiring story called "Alone against the flames" by a woman called Tracy Aubin. It was one of the "lessons" we had as part of the English subject, I guess either in 11th std or 9-10th. The story was about how a woman met with an accident on a hot afternoon in a deserted location somewhere in Australia, and I think she had a few kids, and how the car caught fire, and she was in unimaginable pain and she managed to get her kids out in time as the car burst into flames, and how she managed to hang on to dear life for a few hours, in desperate pain, until someone just came by.
With all due respect to the courageous lady, her story was an inspiration.

This article is about the courage and determination of one he faced a do-or-die situation to save his face and he faced ignominy and overcame he eventually battled all odds to emerge successfully.
Yes This story is about me and my first corporate party experience...alone.
It all began when my company sent out an invite to the annual company party. Having no prior corporate party experience yet, knowing the associated "procedures", my initial excitement was soon replaced by anxiety. "What would I wear" was one of the questions that popped up in my head, but since I'm not exactly horrendous with my dressing (despite my utter lack of fashion-consciousness), the dressing-associated trepidation subsided. Then, the real thing. It is more or less a practice here for people to attend parties (in general...corporate parties, in particular) with their spouse, boy/girl-friend, a date or at least, a person from the other sex. Since the first three cases are (obviously absolutely) not applicable to me, the only case even remotely applicable (if any) to me happened to be the fourth one. I further understood that to take a girl to a party, neither do you need to have any remotely romantic affiliations to her, nor do you need to be someone well acquainted with her. Let's just say it's enough if you don't feel uncomfortable in her company. (PS: This isn't a bad way to start off, in case you are contemplating "attempting" anything with the girl.) Or if you're the really gregarious free-moving or kadalai type, you just don't need to know the girl at all. But since I think twice before even saying Hi to a girl I know (but don't know well), I basically had to consider girls whom I knew even somewhat decently and did not feel uncomfortable with. But since the girls I know well, am good friends with and talk to quite frequently all happen to be old college classmates from MSEC, none of whom is nearby, I (sadly) could not consider them. The only other old-acquaintance not-uncomfortable candidate was one of my juniors who had come here recently for her Masters, but since I presumed she would not be familiar with the harmlessness of this exercise as also the fact that since she wasn't as close to me as my classmate-girls and since she happens to be another middle-class Brahmin girl from "our background" and since I've had some not-so-good-experiences with her circle, despite the girl being a definitely decent & nice type, besides being a good sport, I didn't want to risk anything. Now, in case you didn't know, my female contacts here in Chicago are zilch, well, almost. There is absolutely one girl I respect at IIT and since she is semma innocent and paavam type (also attested by my
roomie Dhesikan), and since I would definitely feel uncomfortable going with her, despite her good nature, I had to rule her out. The final candidate was this not-very-goody type of girl here (my roomie's occasional part-time daavu, but his strong recommendation too) with whom I have spoken occasionally. She isn't bad looking either, and I have known quite a few guys to have expressed admiring interest in her. Unfortunately, I didn't think it would be fair on my part to ask her since I haven't exactly been appreciative of her, mostly, (I abhor hypocrisy) as also this concept of introducing her to my colleagues. "Hey Whitney, this is my friend, *****." - wasn't a very encouraging prospect. My roomie, though, commented that more than one person would have been appreciative of my "catch", had I taken her. Quite possibly, but this never happened, and it probably was never meant to happen, and I'm thankful it didn't. :P Now there I was.
An interesting aspect here is this process of consideration. My besht friend (1.2) Tejaswi said he was very happy and surprised at my thought process. He apparently thought I being me wouldn't even embark upon such considerations, the conservative fellow that I "was"(:D). I actually feel it hasn't got much (if any) to do with any conservative mind-set, even considering a guy like me. For one, however averse I am to the idea of dating or "going out" with a girl I'm not serious about, this was neither a date nor a "seeing-her" type of thing, if I had taken some girl, that is. This was just a professional assignment and even if I had been able to zero in on a suitable "candidate", I don't think I would have done something which I wouldn't have, before...nor do I think this is an indication of some new-found openness in me. It was pure logic and the situation demanded a "logical" approach [k1 ;)], which, I
think I did. My besht friend (1.1) Kesh nods his head.After an intense round of considerations, I was back at square one, probably a couple of squares behind. Faced with the prospective ignominy of having to go alone, I started considering less advisable, nevertheless face-saving options like going with a guy. The options were more, in this case, but for some reason, I ended up asking Aswin (another roomie) who refused point blank, citing the normal reason most guys would state - that he thought it wouldn't be nice for a guy to accompany another - which, I felt, was a myth. Nevertheless, I wasn't keen on forcing anybody and since it was quite late, I didn't ask anyone else. On the last day of work before the D-Day, I asked my manager how pathetic my situation was, and if I could take a guy with me. He was quite cool about it and said I could bring along anybody I wanted. When I asked him about the opposite-sex thingy, he said it was a general habit here to bring someone from the opposite sex, but by no means was it a rule or a norm. Plus, he added something that was absolutely totally unthinkable to me-he said it would be fine even if I came alone.
It is often a tiny spark of inspiration and help that has often led to the most memorable of triumphs and victories for mankind.
I don't know if my boss' suggestion of going alone also being a possibility was that tiny spark of light which acted as a guiding light to me in my solo battle, but I know I will definitely look back to his words years from now, when I recount to Keshav's grand-kids (since it is the only sure event...Tejaswi's marriage seems a partly sure event with equal probability for both sub-events, though declining towards the negative...and mine seems almost a sure event...on the other side [=(]) fondly of this memorable battle of mine, 40 years from now. Emboldened, re-energized and ready-to-face-the-battle, I prepared to enter the arena on the historic August 16, 2008 (yes, a day after our Independence Day, my day of glory arrived).
"They are great souls who have well and truly conquered the demons of self-doubt" - this was sooo true in my case! A couple of minutes before actually entering the event, I just had to speak to Tejas - out of despair or anxiety or helplessness, I dont know. Still, Tejaswi, being my ever-faithful Surya, instilled further belief in me and gave me that last-minute push (which only a true friend can) along with self-confidence that I could do it. Thanks Teja! On I went. I was dressed in Black and Black, which I was told, was an official party dress. My company founder (An ultimate stud guy, both in looks and smartness and wonder...just 39 years old and a 11-year old company founded by him and billions) was at the entrance to welcome me. Anxiously, I shook hands with him, alone. The first few moments were actually pretty awkward. Like Dravid having to face a barrage of bouncers from Shoaib Akhtar. The next were quite unnerving. Like Dravid having to face McGrath in his second over. And then I grew in confidence. Grabbing a glass of cranberry juice, I was looking around for some decent company when I met my fellow new-hire, Ray and his wife. We started chatting up pretty casually, and as time passed, I was more assured. Yes, most of the people who came there were opposite-sex pairs, but still, for some reason, I was feeling better. Gradually, though, I did see people walk in with their friend, a model-like colleague of mine came with her mom (Mom, I assume). Still, most of my new-hire colleagues had managed to find someone to come with, from the opposite sex, even if they were single. But by now, I was ready to take on the world. Like Dravid feels when he has driven Brett Lee straight back past him with the straightest of bats, for a stunningly exquisite boundary, and completes the follow through and holds the bat in position for the cameras. The evening progressed, and I spoke to quite a few of my colleagues, and ate some fruits, apart from drinking more cranberry juice and another less innocent juice. The band played, I felt on top of the world. Interestingly, my desi colleague, Chaitra, had come with her husband, and she knew of my plight. But to my total surprise, her husband told me that they were discussing earlier in the day about getting me someone to accompany me (one of Chaitra's friends), but, they too had to cross out all the candidates and finally thought I was better off alone. (Sucks actually, how much ever I try not to be obvious and easy to understand, I just end up being this shockingly open and easy-to-read book). Kudos to them, though :D!
But yeah, there I was, at the end of the party, victorious, gallant and successful. Success is sweet, let me tell you.
And to all ye single guys out there (Girls...I will not address because I dont exactly know the plight of a "single" girl), never lose hope. You may have lost the battle, but you would have won the war.
My first ever corporate party experience. What a bummer, don't you think?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kuselan: Pure Bullshit

PS: Please note my referential tones to the Superstar.
It isn't often that you go to a movie with very low or no expectations...and still end up realizing it was so dumb you couldn't have gone there expecting how bad it could be. Of course, low expectations should not be equated to having a negative bias for the movie. Kuselan is a classic case in point. The title credits kind of set you for the movie - they show a lot of blades and scissors, and you get a little curious about why it seems like it is boring, the titles itself. Quite funny, because I felt bored during the credits, but the unintended pun (of blades) was pointed out to me by my friend SK. I wont run you through the entire movie and bore you more. Simply put, Vasu is one hell of a cheap bugger - money minded punk or what, I don't know. I am very tempted to use Tamil expletives on him, but since I am not used to them, and don't want to ruin this blog, I will not. But still, I am appalled at why Rajini even agreed to do this movie. Chandramukhi itself wasn't exactly a very well made movie, but it at least stuck to the plot, and did not deviate too much. It had masala, and was not boring. But looking back, it was pathetic direction too. Still, it's nowhere near how shitty Kuselan was, First, you cannot watch Kuselan for Rajini. Second, there isn't any spectacular performance by any of the actors - Pasupathy, who comes closest to some "acting", is reduced to performing one of the 3 actions throughout the movie - crying/cribbing to Meena, asking for a "loan" to improve his saloon and trying to get to Rajini, aka "Asok" [=))]. Pasupathy, Meena and his 3 kids barely resemble a family. You just dont get the feeling of a family of 5 looking at them. (I am not even going to comment on the quality of sarees Meena wears, despite Pasupathy's supposed poverty). The climax is where a semblance of something not totally ridiculous exists - Rajini doesnt perform brilliantly or anything, more so, the situation is a bit moving, and it's evident that Rajini no longer possesses the histrionic capabilities he once had, by way of his "efforts" at acting well. Make-up for Rajini sucks, blatant, period. From time to time, I really felt for "Katha Parayumbol". There is very little similarity to the original, and save two scenes, there is no reminder of any Malayalam movies. And those two scenes, incidentally, remind one not of the original, but another genre of Malayalam movies - yes, the two scenes in which Vadivelu (I'm quite exhausted of thinking how much he has cheapened himself) looks at his wife, and the other one in which he looks at Nayanthara. Now, as for Nayanthara, the transformation is complete. It's like she is just looking for an excuse to expose. Quite literally like Mallika Sherawat. Well obviously, the percentage of cleavage, etc - exposure of the two might not yet be the same, but that attitude and mind-set with which Nayanthara is acting nowadays reminded one of Mallika when she came to the field. I'm quite conservative, hence, even though I flinched at Nayanthara's scene in Billa, I wholly feel it was not out of the place, it quite fit into the scheme of things. Nayanthara's exposures in Kuselan were vulgar, blatant, cheap. Such blatant vulgarity, damn. Not to mention Pasupathy's elder daughter - call it perverted thinking or not, it quite seems that the main reason she is there in the movie is to arouse a few testosterones, she barely fits the description of a 10th grader. I felt kind of guilty initially, thinking I was thinking bad-bad things, but a quick confirmation with my "more educated" friends confirmed that her presence itself was more out of a perverted intention, than innocence or mere coincidence :P. So much so that, in the final scene when Rajini goes to Pasupathy's hut and tells them that he should come with his family to Rajini's place, Rajini goes straight to the eldest daughter, and the whole theater started laughing :D. On the whole, here, in Chicago, towards the end, all of us in the theater started mocking the movie big time. The one "sentimental" scene where Rajini talks about his friend in the school - where everybody weeps...AND some god-forsaken old lady cries...was just too much fun, the entire theater was in splits, it was so comical!
Overall, no more to say about this pointless venture. Sucks for Rajini. P Vasu doesnt deserve a consideration. Please dont remake Malayalam movies for some more time. Kuselan, pukeworthy.

Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na - I know...for sure...

I sort of take pride in what I write. And I generally write something if I badly want to express it (from what I know, I express myself best through words - writing...English) or it's something different...generally, a combination of the two.
I loved Jaane Tu, quite simply loved it. Nothing exceptional about the actors or the story-line, but one thing - every single person in the movie fit his or her role to the Tee - be it Shaleen or Jiggy or Aditi's parents. Mala was emotive too, but sometimes a bit irritating and overactive, still she was quite entertaining. But, apart from Jai and Aditi, the people who really fit their respective roles and stole the show were Jai's parents - Ratna Pathak Shah and Naseeruddin Shah, esp. Naseer as Amar Singh Rathod, wow!!! Rahman rocked, quite differently though. I fell in love with Kabhi Kabhi Aditi and Pappu Cant Dance, though, as usual (like Harry Potter), I was initially skeptical about both the movie and its songs and all the hype associated. Again, thanks to my dear Kesh, I watched Jaane Tu, and fell in love with it! Boy oh Boy, Imran Khan is CUTE! Despite my quite normal sexual orientation, I couldn't help but notice Imran's cuteness. And for a first-timer, he has done a wonderful job. The role probably did not demand much histrionic capability, but he was at ease with the role and essayed a truly likable performance. And after a long time, I loved Genelia's role. The best thing about her was this - she hasn't been tried to be portrayed as this amazingly beautiful or fall-flat-for cutey gal, her role took the cake. I was so sick of her role in Bommarillu (Santhosh Subramaniam), quite literally irritated. But in Jaane Tu, she had a role which was not exactly dumb, but definitely offered her a lot of scope to perform - and perform she a great extent. Her expressions are just awesome! Be it her facial features in Pappu Cant Dance (the moment right before she steps in to dance or the features when she says "Papa Kehte Hain") or her tone when she drops Meghna and asks Jai to come with her) - so damn adorable! Ya of course, if you're this sort of no-nonsense female or guy, you might tend to get irritated or scorn at her. But despite my supposedly "correct" stance and all, I really loved her character, which doesn't mean I admired every single thing she did. As for the movie itself, I've probably watched it like 4 times now. I kept wondering why I got hooked on to the movie so much. It's obvious that the movie's story-line is not something that happens in everyday college-life. Still, the way Abbas has handled the realization of each character of his "love" is quite admirable. More so, the concept that "love" is when you love spending time with the other person or simply enjoy the person's company, has been beautifully elucidated. Well, obviously, I didn't fall in love with Aditi, nor do I want a girl like her - but it's just about how he handled this budding love story between two quite-unlike characters. It pretty much transported me to another world - not necessarily something which I have gone through, but something which is very cute and adorable. I know I've been saying the same thing over and over again - my adjectives have pretty much revolved around - cute, adorable, beautiful, wonderful, admirable, etc., but the thing is - this was just what the movie was. The direction was some seriously good direction. Hats off to Abbas Tyrewaala.
And yes - I've started wondering if I've turn this softy kind of guy who enjoys mushy mushy romances, yes, no doubt I am chamathu to a major extent, but I was quite perturbed when I came across two girls (with whom it happens to be a necessity for me to interact, daily) who really did NOT like the movie! It definitely is understandable if everyone did not go GAGA over the movie or didn't fall as flat for it as me, but these two girls DISLIKED it! And the worstestst part was...they said they liked and enjoyed Boys. x-((((((((((((((((( >:PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
Now, that's kind of been something that has been bothering me for quite some time, ever since one of my close friends from college (a girl) said she liked Boys and said the movie kind of reflected what was happening predominantly in "our" society. I have become mature enough to understand that girls are generally required to "know" more about Adult stuff, but that just doesn't mean their thought process has to be perverted! (If you're this "girls rock" kind of female, I strongly advise you to close this tab right here right now, what I'm saying here will, in all probability, not reach you the way I want this stuff to be understood). Now my friends and I have discussed more than enough about the movie "Boys" and could arrive at no other conclusion than this - anyone who can even appreciate or like the movie for its entertainment is definitely not a totally non-perverted thinker. And it was quite shocking for me, among people who had a similar background to me, the people who came closest to liking "Boys" happened to be now, I am not judging girls just based on their taste for "Boys", but it was quite unbearable for me when a couple of girls said they didn't like Jaane Tu (bad enough...not unacceptable), but when they ALSO said they actually liked Boys, I just couldn't take it. And it's been somewhat this way with a lot of girls I am acquainted with. And let me add that the girls I interact/am acquainted with are of the top class, seldom can girls get better than them, serious! So, it's not just trivial things like liking Boys and disliking Jaane Tu, more their tone, sense of acceptance of nonsense, quasi-appreciation of externally screwed up guys (more often, internally too) that disturbs me, the dumb do-gooder, nay, good-should-happen-thinker that I am. Anyway, I think I've deviated quite a lot for a movie review. Hopefully some thought provoking writing, based on a movie. :D
Jaane Tu rocks!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Silent Satisfaction...Humble Happiness

I will not go into the story of my life and my transformation from PSBB to DAV to MSEC. Let's just take it that I was a total introvert in PSBB with few friends, a partially total pure-academic geek, then started opening up in DAV - was labelled a flirt there, pretty open-spoken and known quite well to the teachers, for being somewhat of an enigma as far as my academics were concerned. Also, my teachers knew me quite well in PSBB for being this totally chamathu and sincere boy, very respectful to all teachers (which I still am), but nowhere near what I am known for MSEC. Hence, it was not exactly a trip down memory lane when I went to my alma mater yesterday (I probably would never call MSEC my alma mater because I believe I will be associated with it all my life, at least, hopefully ;). Since I was not very different in DAV from my MSEC days, (though there existed quite a marked change, it wasn't as different as how I was in PSBB), the feeling, though definitely different, had traces of what I am today.
PSBB, on the other hand, was a totally different experience. First up, I had to introduce myself to YGP ma'm a few times, obviously, she never knew me as long as I studied there, and though I had visited her to seek her blessings before I left in 2006, the Grand Old Lady surely did not remember me, though she tried her best. And again, my identity was further enunciated by my reference to a couple of my classmates - Harish Anand and Sanjeev Vaidyanathan, for her to place my batch, at least. And though most of the teachers remembered my face (I met Rama Narayanaswamy mam {my class teacher and Math teacher in 10th}, Vijayalakshmi mam (English teacher who knew me, but did not handle any subject), Raji Babu mam (Chemistry teacher), Mahalakshmi Ramjee mam (Economics and Geography), Hemalatha Seshadri mam (History) and Vaidehi mam (Math, but did not handle for me), only Mahalakshmi mam spontaneously burst out my name, and Vaidehi mam managed to hit upon my name after constructing some proof trees. Sample this with an event (shocking to me) that happened yesterday - a couple of my sub-juniors had come to visit me yesterday, and one of their sub-juniors was asking my sub-junior about a mini-project. Since she was talking on the Speaker phone, and I chanced upon a favourite topic (Our HoD), unable to resist, I blurted out some gyan on the speaker phone. The sub-sub-sub-junior asked my sub-junior who this gyan-giver was, my sub-junior replied saying it was a senior, nay super-senior. And despite my Pillar-hype I wasn't even prepared for what was coming next. The sub-sub-sub-junior quite casually replied on the phone - "Oh...Kaushik anna'va? Ok Ok." I lost it there.
Coming back, it was seriously a humility-enhancing experience in PSBB. It's a very sweet and cute kind of happiness that you derive out of being someone quite inconspicuous, and still, going back to that place because you have some sort of attachment and gratitude to the place. Not to forget, of course, the feeling of self-satisfaction you get, at being true and thankful despite not being someone famous and well-known. This different sort of happiness, in a sense, made my day.