Friday, December 07, 2007

Butterfly Huntress

Papilio polytes

Catopsilia pomona

Hypolimnas missipus

Acraea terpiscore
(check out the proboscis)

Melanitis leda

Gangara thyrsis

Ariade ariadne

Source : wikipedia

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Before I say anything, I must mention that I have this new fancy for the phrase "baap re baap"
I think it's an equivalent to the "!" ? Anyway, so i've started going about just trying to use that word. Now I can't create a post specially for it, so I'm putting it here. Have you every been to the cinema and come out thinking that the trailers were the best part ? Get ready for deja vu. Oh and this is definitely one of those moments where I purposely get self effacing so that someone will drop me a compliment or two. Hey, at least I'm honest about it. It's one of my greatest virtues.


Bistability is this condition where an unstable equilibrium point is flanked by stable equlibrium points on either side.
*Somehow* and I've never understood this part properly (alternatively, I think of it as no one has ever been able to explain it properly) let's assume a body reaches unstable equilibrium. I dunno how that happens, but trust me, it happens. And if you shake it just a wee lil bit from the point of unstable equlibrium, it'll quickly go to one of the more stable points. However, if a body is shaken from the point of stable equilibrium, it'll manage to come back to that same equilibrium point every time you disturb it even a lil bit. That's the difference b/w stable and unstable equilibrium. And generally, if you give it enough energy, it can somehow manage to jump from the stable equilibrium and go into unstable equilibrium

I believe that laziness and productivity are two stable points. Have you seen lazy ppl ? They'll go on and on and on doing nothing and just that. And have you seen these ppl who are irritatingly productive ? They'll manage to do so many things in one day and still keep track of SRK's six pack and that ranbir kapur's free butt show. And you simple cannot stop them. These are lucky people. They've found their niche I think. And there's the majority of us who simply cannot make up our minds about which we like better. We get bored when we're lazy. And we get tired when we're busy. So we dont like either place and we want to strike a balance, and we think we're doing a super job by being in this unstable equilibrium point, except, excuse me, you cannot stay there for too long. I mean, smart guys don't just draw pretty curves and bored guys don't just upload them on the net. These curves are drawn based on actual data ( not cooked up- I know a coupla ppl who do that too) and they say that honey, you can't strike a balance, pick a side.

Right now, its so important that I am productive. I get up in the morning and tell myself, I'll do this and this and this and this, and by the time I come down the stairs, I;ve sorta given up. If I can just manage to give myself this nice really good shove, I'll reach the point of stability on the productive side and that'll be just fine for me you see. Right now though at least. Except, you know, sometimes even when there are these two stable points, the curve isn't exactly symmetric. One point is ever so slightly more stable than the other. And it simply doesn't bode well for me that its the lazy side.
Baap re Baap.
oh mission accomplished.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I'm in one of those ponderous moods today. Not the kind that frustrates me, or the kind that comes with a deep insight into the inner workings of the universe, but a general "what have i learnt in my life" summarizing sort of mood.
Today I sort of realized that the things you want the most are things you have no control over. Weirdly enough you don't know it when you start wanting them. You think you're different, you're special, somehow you can figure it out where others have failed, you can crack the code, you can avoid making the mistakes. But guess what. You really cannot do anything to get what you want. You can sorta try very hard and make sure that if you're on the path to getting it, you dont do something crazy and undo it, but beyond that there's simply nothing you can do. It just has to happen. That's all. Maybe it will, maybe it won't.
I think that's what growing up is all about it. Realizing it and getting to the point where it's so obvious you needn't remind yourself about it or go into frequent fits of denial about it.
That's my today's thoughts anyway.
Am I happy that I know all this ? Does it make life better somehow ? I truly don't know. There's a tiny bit of me that hopes I am wrong, and there's another bit of me that tells me that if I'm wrong, I will have to continue to try cracking the code, and God forbid me from stopping to do that on a notion that perhaps I am right. So I suppose I'll continue to think I can control my destiny. Ironical, but there you go....

Older, but none the wiser,
- Me :)

Friday, October 26, 2007


Pakkuvam is a tamil word. It means earthly wisdom. When you understand things like
  • not everything has a happy ending
  • fair is an unreal concept
  • of 5 puppies only 2 or 3 will live. that's the whole point of multiplying your chances. and even then you aren't guaranteed anything.
  • santa does not exist.
  • happiness is a state of mind.
  • weird things like deep breathing do work, despite your pooh poohing it.
Some things can affect you deeply and badly. When these things happen and you're wise enough to take it in your stride and carry on, then you've got pakkuvam.
That recently happened with me. I was fuming at an injustice. I wanted karma to do it's bidding and punish the wrong doer. Now I don't think it matters. Take it in your stride. Beware that there are ppl like that. But also honestly appreciate the fact that many are not. Be thankful then. Carry on.
What does not kill you will only make you stronger. Especially when you are so young.

"He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just and are not true. But teach him if you can, the wonder of books.. but also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hillside.

In school, teach him it is far more honorable to fall than to cheat.....

Teach to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him he is wrong.

Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone getting on the bandwagon...

Teach him to listen to all men; but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad... Teach him there is no shame in tears.

Teach him to scoff at cynics and to be beware of too much sweetness.. Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to highest bidders, but never to put a price on his heart and soul. Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob.. and stand and fight if thinks he is right.

Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel. Let him have the courage to be impatient.. Let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will have faith in humankind.

This is a big order, but see what you can do. . He is such a fine little fellow my son!

- Abe Lincoln

*whatever happened to that son of his. Did he ever learn all that ?*

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


it is *f*itting that the word *f*rustration starts with a *f*rigging EFF!!!

just trying out this new "let out your anger" approach.
this woman draped in the choicest of silk and silver (when did clinical psychiatrists start getting *f*ashionable)
taught me this on NDTV good times.

don't think it worked.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

being an advisee

Hint no 1 - Value
Every piece of advice is worth exactly what you paid for it. This is not a probabilistic rule. This is deterministic and irrefutable tangible fact.
If you get free advice, it means you paid nothing for it. That in turn means it is worth nothing.
Every piece of advice will only get you as much as you paid for it.

Hint no 2 - Signal to noise ratios.
Your signal is what you want. The noise is the extra unwanted stuff that they'll give you anyway ( most of it is free advice, but there are other sources of noise too). If you ask someone the way to the taj mahal, there are some people who'll also tell you the way to the qutb minar. This is inherent in the advice mechanism. People are made this way. They can't help it. Evolution might some day fix the bug. But until then it's noise. Noise is always free. But everything that is free is not noise.

By asking very few people, you get very little signal and a lot of noise. If you ask too many people, your signal will of course increase. So will your noise. Eventually, your brain will not be able to handle that much input. Because brain first takes the signal as well as the noise, then decides which is signal, which is noise, and then tries to dump the information. Most of the time it doesn;t dump it. It just marks the way to taj mahal as signal, the way to qutb minar as noise and stays put. Look what happens when there's plenty of signal and noise. Poor brain is spending all that time deciding which is signal, which is noise, it hardly gets time to use that signal. And when you aren't using your signal, it's the same thing as not having any signal to use in the first place. Artificially, your signal to noise ratio drops.
This is very important. Don't go overboard on getting advice. More is not always great. Quantity is not quality.

Hint no 3: Wisdom and experience.
There's a difference. Wisdom is what you get after experience. Experience is experience. Most of us aren't really asking for wisdom. We're asking for facts about experiene. We're asking for "what did you do in order to get the wisdom. Please tell me. I shall also do that so that I may get the same wisdom". Wisdom cannot be bought. Neither can experience. The experience must be had personally. The wisdom must be got personally. However, someone can tell you how to get the experience. They cannot tell you how to get the wisdom. They cannot. But they try. (Gah!!!). It is important to separate the two.

PS :
Funny thing. I am trying to give out wisdom here. But as my rule suggests, I cannot give it. Somewhere in the above pile of rubbish, there is signal. You have to separate it from the noise ( take the facts about how to get the experience; if there are any). But hey, this advice is free. You paid nothing for it. And rule 1 says ?????????????????????????????????????


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm famous!!!

Every year since I was 4, we've celebrated the 10 day dusshera / the 9 day navratri very traditionally. It's one of my favourite festivals (also Diwali, but not so much since the advent of cable TV when the whole family from 4 corners of the world gather and watch some buckwaas programme together). Anyway, we celebrate navratri by making/doing the golu.

See wikipedia's entry on golu

Anyway, I've always loved doing it. For 9 days every year I get to be queen to my own little liliput. My mom complains that I never take pains to invite people to visit or to pack gifts or to make the sundal, but I'm kinda more interested in the decoration. This time though, a guest of ours ( a very dear friend too), took pics and posted it along with a detailed explanation on the net.

Ergo, I am famous.

See pics of my golu


Bi-the-bi ( been so long since I heard someone saying that)
The post doesn't make any reference to me, but apparently given my laziness it's easy to assume that I had nothing to do with the golu. I swear on every single one of my deepest desires that I did all the arranging. It may not be the prettiest golu (I've seen several better one), but it certainly is fun for me every year. And it is certainly one of the traditions that I hope my daughters and grand-daughters will carry on.

Shamelessly canvassing,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

castaway??? gimme a break

There used to be a time when I had romantic notions about being castaway. I thought I'd be able to do a much better job of it than most people I know.

See *this is how silly I really was*

Now I am proud to say that I know different.
Being castaway indeed. It'd drive me mad. I'd throw myself at any shark that came along.

There was this extremely wise lady that I spoke to a long time ago. I was telling her that often I thought that I should have spent the day doing something much more productive than talking to people. Why isn't talking to people productive, she asked. I told her I wasn't learning anything new. In fact, I'd only spoken to them about myself; by extension, about things that I already knew about myself. You've got it all wrong, she said. You've no idea what productivity is, she said. I pooh poohed her and immediately concluded that all she did was talk to her right side neighbour about how the left side neighbour was embezzling funds and talk to the left side neighbour about how the right side neighbour didn't get along with her mother-in-law. Maybe she was. But what's really wrong about that? I just really don't know. I've just been brainwashed into believing that it's alright to know how many legs a millipede has- that's learning and useful knowledge, but knowing that the neighbour embezzles money is outta line. Which is going to help me lead a safer, more secure life? Right. QED. Okay, one can argue that the examples I chose were self-servingly chosen, but that is the WHOLE POINT OF EXAMPLES. They are self serving. Why indeed would anyone use the wrong examples to illustrate a point. Anyway, what I mean is, I need to talk too.

I need to talk rot if it comes to it. I need an audience. I need to tell someone really badly that I saw this woman whack the daylights out of this man because he was feeling her up in the bus. I swear. I saw this happen- three days ago. And I haven't been able to tell anyone. And it's driving me crazy. (Telling moms don't count. With me, telling my mom, is like telling myself).

I come back to this great line in shall we dance. I think I have only three great lines I repeatedly quote. But as long as it's different ppl listening each time, I always come off as very *knowledgable*
Anyway, the shall we dance line is powerful.

We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything--the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things--all of it, all the time, every day. You're saying, 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.'

My point isn't get married, it's more about having someone to notice you.

We need someone to see us. How the hell is that going to happen when you're a castaway. Every single day we underestimate the therapeutic power of being around other people. Not buildings and cars and infrastructure and qyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi. But people. Any people. The worst kind of people. But people. The worst thing is not having someone to talk to. It's cruel in the "it's not so bad so you oughtn't complain about it because there are ppl dying in iraq and getting lynched somewhere else and not having someone to talk to isn't half as bad but in fact it's bad precisely because there's no one who will agree that it's bad and therefore you are stuck in your own pot of self pity and beyond a point self pity is noxious toxic waste" kinda way.

I'm kinda glad that I'm woman enough to admit it. I wouldn't have been a coupla years ago. And I'm not going to mask it with important sounding words like vulnerability. I've just begun to hate the idea of giving everything a name as though that's explaining it. Sorry.

Anyway, there's nothing romantic at all about leading a life as a castaway.
I stand, thankfully, corrected.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

two thoughts

Disclaimer : This entry might be very very morbid. It is in now way a reflection of my current state of mind. My current state of mind is really *null and void*.

I just like this poem that's all. I'll prolly like it in summer/winter/autumn spring just because it's a very very pretty poem. On a lighter note, I find men who are able to write poetry about feminine feelings very very gay. The poem's darn good and all, but the author's kinda gay.

NOTE to self : The lines is bold are the ones I like.
Especially But void the sea and void the beach.

The sun has slipped his tether
And galloped down the west.
(Oh, it’s weary, weary waiting, love.)
The little bird is sleeping
In the softness of its nest.
Night follows day, day follows dawn,
And so the time has come and gone:
And it’s weary, weary waiting, love.

The cruel wind is rising
With a whistle and a wail.
(And it’s weary, weary waiting, love.)
My eyes are seaward straining
For the coming of a sail;
But void the sea, and void the beach
Far and beyond where gaze can reach!
And it’s weary, weary waiting, love.

I heard the bell-buoy ringing—
How long ago it seems!
(Oh, it’s weary, weary waiting, love.)
And ever still, its knelling
Crashes in upon my dreams.
The banns were read, my frock was sewn;
Since then two seasons’ winds have blown—
And it’s weary, weary waiting, love.

The stretches of the ocean
Are bare and bleak to-day.
(Oh, it’s weary, weary waiting, love.)
My eyes are growing dimmer—
Is it tears, or age, or spray?
But I will stay till you come home.
Strange ships come in across the foam!
But it’s weary, weary waiting, love.

rest assured. he's male.

and to be clear, i ain't waiting for love.
no. actually I'm waiting for a project to get up and running. The moth eggs are ready. I've to hatch em and grow em. But there is a biosafety committee that'll take a couple of months to approve their *home coming*.
actually i'm waiting for december to end. when there will be no point bothering abt did i apply to the right schools, did i write a good sop, have i applied too high/too low. post december- my worries will simply not matter.
actually, i'm waiting for months to slip by as though they were seconds.

and it's weary, weary waiting, love.

Monday, September 17, 2007


A dog littered in my garage a week back. I am now the proud caretakes of 5 gorgeous puppies. I don't have much work to do, because the mother (harried though she looks) takes very good care of 'em.

Their names
1) aqua
2) mischief
3) lightning
4) spunk
5) laser

Truth be told, I dunno which of them are male and which are female.

There's a Subramanya Bharathiyaar poem

VeLLai niraThoru poonai..engaLL veettil vaLarudhu kandeer...
piLLaigaLL perrandhap poonai..avai pearukkoru niramaagum...
saambal niram oru kutty..karum saandhu niram oru kutty..
paambin niram oru kutty..veLLaip paalin niram oru kutty...

endha niram irundhaalum..avai yaavum oru tharam antro...
indha niram siridhentrum..idhu yeatram entrum sollalaamo...

Roughly translated, it means, it doesn't matter which colour the baby is, the mother loves them all equally. I suppose that's true :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Friends, romans and countrymen! Hair ye, Hair ye.

Have you ever looked at the shampoo ads ? The hair shown there is fake. It's made of acrylic or one of those polymers (yeah- polymers were big coupla decades ago. Everyone thought of them as wonder material. Until they were not only wondrous but were indomitable and immortal. They take forever and forever to degrade.) But anyway, those gals and nowadays metrosexual guys (I'm still warming up to the idea that guys care about their hair and their gel and their fairness. There goes that fair beautiful guy is NOT a compliment.) in advertisements have the most amazing ads. They toss their heads and the hair sways as though it has never heard of the concept of friction which is the thing that generally brings things to rest. No- the ad gal's hair will sway and sway and sway until you're reeling and finally everything's dark. Oh! The darkness is not because you're feeling faint. It's because the whole TV screen is now full of black hair.

But here's the thing about shampoos. There is no all purpose shampoos. Remember there used to be a dilemma about whether to choose ugly white calcium toothpastes or gels- one of which is good for teeth and the other is good for fresh breath, and how they finally decided to combine both of them on the same toothpaste ? Apparently, such common-sense wisdom has simply deserted the shampoo makers. I've been to the market. One will say silky hair. The other will say smooth hair. Another will say soft hair. Yet another will say shiny hair. Who in the world is content with just one kind of hair ? Who doesn't want smooth and silky and shiny and soft hair ? And the dandruff shampoos will promise nothing except the removal of dandruff in 4-6 weeks until which we're going to have to be content with drab dry brittle hair, the very thing that we go use shampoos for.

I watched a movie recently- "Friends with money". I didn't quite understand the point of the movie. I mainly watched it for Jennifer Aniston, who, I think is just going to live the rest of her life riding off her FRIENDS fame. I've never been impressed with her in any movie. Regardless, there's another character in the movie that simply stops washing her hair. She's going through a mid-life crisis you see ? At one point she says something like" Remember how many shampoos I used to buy? I always thought if I find the right one, life would be perfect. But I never found the right one" I understand that sentiment- completely. Everytime I try a new shampoo, I think, maybe this is the one. And it never ever is. I'm not going to stop washing my hair because of that, because, I've never yet used a shampoo that made my hair worse than before I washed my hair. But yes, I generally understand the "why even be bothered".

But seriously, what is it with not making shampoos that don't do everything. If they're just finding a market in the discontent of their clients, then I suggest that all clients simply stop washing their hair until and unless the shampoo companies give us a better deal than the one they've chosen to give us. They want money. We want perfect hair. It doesn't get more straight-forward than that. My country got its independence by following civil disobedience. This cannot be half as difficult. Or if we don't like the fact that our hair will stink if we stop washing it, perhaps we should all just shave it off. Ya. Keep shaving it until the shampoo companies react. I don't know which work. The play-by-play hasn't been worked out in my head yet. But I think it's a superbly brilliant idea.

What the hell. Good hair is my BIRTHRIGHT.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

carpe diem

nike mexico headquarters

i rather like nike's slogan.


it's what i need every morning along with coffee. one nice smack on my head that reminds me to not just sit there and think and ponder and wonder and what not, but to just get on with it and do it.

PS :
The real reason of this post ? I just wanted to upload an image and for some reason i chose this image. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

the voice of my conscience

I often find myself doing little soliloquies- talking to myself, scolding myself. I'm very clearly at home with the idea of a little homunculus within me that is always pushing me to do the right thing, daring me to overcome fears, prodding at my insecurities, rebuking me, goading me, generally being just very irritatingly righteous all the time. I swear I have it within me.

Ask yourself, I've been told several times. And I have. And oftentimes, the person asking the question is very different from the one answering- I am very sure of that. I ask myself. I, and myself are two very different people- the former always asks the question, the latter always answers the question with conviction, and the choice of whether to act on the latter's suggestion belongs to the I. The myself suggests, and the I does as she pleases. Oh, I and myself are both straight females.

This myself has a voice, a tone, a timbre. It's different from the one I have. I've never chosen it, but lately I've been wondering, and here's where all the schizophrenic mumbo jumbo so far takes a nice juicy turn, if perhaps I could change the voice. I don't like it. It isn't classy/cool/breezy/stylish.

So who would I choose ?


She's the narrator of the desperate housewives. Yes! I love that show. I love the beginning and the end of each episode. I love the way Brenda Strong speaks.

I swear, if my homunculus spoke to me like that- slow, deliberate, enunciating every single word so clearly, I would listen to it. Of course, I would also need those scriptwriters who write those superb lines, but still, I need a Brenda Strong to carry it off.

So much for whims and fancies. You have the conscience you get stuck with. And you are who you are despite it methinks. And considering I often swerve from the path that my conscience so desperately wants me to follow, and considering I pay nothing to it, I suppose Brenda Strong's voice is doing so much better on TV, than caught within me. But heck! It's just a thought. Even if no one's listening.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

in memoriam to auntie.

She knew me while I was growing up -while I was melodramatically realizing that even Cinderalla did hard time in the cinders, that she didn't just jump rightaway to "happily ever after". In some ways, she was the reason I grew up at all.

She taught me to use deodorants. She taught me to take care of pets- to bother about cleaning their bowl just as much as the other kitchen utensils. And she taught me not to believe in revenge, not to plot it, not to whimsically want it, not to wait for it. And she taught me to believe in magic even if it made no sense. And she taught me to believe in Karma (however childishly I've absorbed the concept in my life). And she taught me to enjoy solitude- which is one of her greatest lessons, considering I was a single child and didn't exactly grow up with playmates. And she taught me the joy of swings and the joy of reading and the joy of singing and doing everything without the need for an audience. She taught me the power of patience ( not that I've learnt it well at all).

She taught me how you could spend your whole life waiting for someone (she waited for her daughter who was lost somewhere in the Himalayas. Lost, she insisted. Not dead, but lost. No one could convince her otherwise). Yet, I hope she lived as fully as she could, as completely as she possibly could.

She passed away recently. I realized that a tad too late. Whether she did meet her daughter I do not know. But I believe in heaven. If she didn't meet her here on earth, she probably will meet her daughter in heaven. There is no one I know who deserved it more.

Oh auntie!!!

Thank you for everything.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

the devil's dictionary

it seems like a long time ago when i was sitting insanely cramming up words and their meanings to write the GRE.

if only someone had told me about the devil's dictionary, i'd have had a lot more irreverant fun.

here are some entries in Ambrose Bierce's devil's dictionary (copied from of course, wikipedia!!!)

A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.
An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
A soft indestructible automaton provided by Nature to be kicked when things go wrong in the domestic circle.

The civility of envy.
That which discloses to the wise, and disguises from the foolish, their lack of understanding.
The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.
One of the sauces that serve the French in place of a state religion.
A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Devoid of all delusions save those of observation, experience and reflection.
A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
A strip of land along which one may pass from where it is too tiresome to be to where it is futile to go.
The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

A certain nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced.
thankfully, a lot of his work's available online.

ogden nash

just love this whackpot of a guy.
he takes the simply vagaries of everyday life as we go about believing ourselves to be very special and just gives us something to think about (which is... duh... we aren't that special really)

like this

The hunter crouches in his blind
'Neath camouflage of every kind
And conjures up a quacking noise
To lend allure to his decoys
This grown-up man, with pluck and luck
is hoping to outwit a duck
or considering the war ridden world we are in today (yeah- when weren't we warring and sparring)

Once again there is someone we don't see eye to eye with, and maybe I couldn't be dafter,
But I keep wondering if this time we couldn't settle our differences before a war instead of after.

oh well... we'll just keep wondering i guess, until, we'll be as extinct as the dim witted dodos.

but ogden nash!!! love the guy.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

epiphany part 2 : cleaning day

in the spirit of sequels- shrek 3, pirates 3, die hard 4, fantastic four (2???) et cetera et cetera et cetera, the new spirit that awakened within me in the light of my epiphany continues to walk around alive and kicking.

which is why, today i find myself cleaning my room with a vengeance.
when i say with vengeance, i mean with fm radio, with water, with marie biscuits, even a book (an anthropologist on mars), and naphthalene balls und so weiter so that i will not have to leave that room till i really finish cleaning it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

of mouse and mice

i have always been a stickler for good english and completely lousy when it comes to anything computer related.

y'day i had a bit of an epiphany. i realized that i couldn't do anything involving a routine. i manage to brush my teeth everyday, but that's only because my mouth stinks otherwise. but something like bathing, i generally have to push myself to do. eating, i often refuse to do for reasons such as being too lazy to walk to the kitchen. sleeping, i do but there again the boons outweigh the banes. i had a scooty for 7 years, and not once have i remembered to keep it in the garage despite my mom reminding me every single day. no- some habits simply don't stick. now that i have a new activa and my mom has threatened to take it away from me the day i forget to keep it in ( and i am certain that she will act on the threat), i have changed ways. the reason she never threatened to do any such thing with the scooty was that- hello! her honda was so much better. mom doesn't believe in sadomasochism.

so y'day i was sitting in front of the computer when i suddenly had this epiphany about how perhaps if i manage to make those small changes, they'll dynamically multiply and bring about super size changes. like the butterfly flapping its wings somewhere and there being a downpour elsewhere.

so i thought i'd clean my mouse.

and i cleaned it with electronic cleaning fluid. but for some strange reason the mouse didn't work. another bad habit of mine is just giving up. so i told myself sternly, that i wouldn't give up. i got a screw driver set and vowed to open the mouse up and fix it. i had no idea how i was going to do it. but mostly i figured that if i opened it up, i'd find little drops of condensate, which if i let dry, would leave the mouse beautifully working again. yeah- i opened it. there was no condensate. i lifted the chip. and then that parts started falling off. there was this spring metal thing that fell and an L shaped metal thing that fell, and the rolling wheel was attached to something, and i didn't know how i was supposed to fit it back in.

i felt very glad that i was in india where cobblers and key duplicators and mobile phone repair(ers) and dvd servicers were just a earshot away, generally found happily colluding with the vegetable vendor, the pharmacist and the "iyengar baker" (whose honey cake and bun with tea, i must say, is so much more tasty than the black forest pastry and terribly puffy puff at sweet chariot). anyway, i put the mouse and it's electronic intestines, and its metallic thingummies (which i hoped would be as vestigeal as an appendix) into a plastic cover and took it searching for a repair wallah. when i eventually found one, he took one look at it, said it had come part by part, why was i even bothering to fix it, a mouse cost only 200/250 bucks.

alright! i was shocked it only cost so much. sometimes i don't understand the logistics of economics. i saw SIVAJI for 200 bucks (not worth it). somehow that justified spending 250 on the mouse (just a lil perspective).

i found my regular computer applicance shop, which sits rather smugly next to a tailor and a stainless steel vessels vendor (as a kid, i used to enjoy looking at new plastic soap dish designs- still do, as a matter of fact). while walking into the store, i wondered what i was gonna ask.

do you sell optical mice ? no- that sounded ghastly. am sure he'd laugh at me for having such terrible pronunciation. the i(soft "r") ony!!!

do you sell optical mouses ? sounded more right, but somehow not quite there.

do you sell rats ? overdoing it there.

so then i figured, i might as well resort to a language that i wasn't squeamish being bad at.

i went up boldly and said "optical mouse(u) sell madtheeraa ???" which i suppose was better than "optical mouse(galu) sell madtheera???".

the shopkeeper didn't so much as bat an eyelid.

black or white ? he said.
silver, i said.
USB or PS/2 ?? he said
ah! i knew this one!
USB, i said.
six months warranty or 1 year warranty he asked ?
the cheapest, i said (i have to save up for the next rajni movie you see ? which i will watch without even bothering about tickets being inexplicably expensive. but good mouse(galu), had to be got for 250 bucks. 400 would be unjustified. )

so i got this silvery black/slim/ ENTER brand/ cheap optical mouse which i successfully connected to the comp without encountering any problem. i even figured that my old mouse was actually a USB one that was connected to a PS/2 port via an adaptor !!!

about the confusion about whether it's mouse or mice.
i am assured that its rats and mice and dormice and computer mouses.
why computer mouses ?

because in language, usage is king. what's acceptable is decided by the majority. not by a lexicographer in his ivory tower. but by talking using people. in this days of blogs and chat rooms and instant communication by laymen, if they decide its computer mouses, no one can stop them.

and if u think of it, computer mice sounds a tad too much overdone. it's like too much lipstick.

for future reference- the brand of the electronic fluid cleaner is called Endust. it works rather well. and it does say "do not spray on vented surface"

i will not even begin explaining where and all i sprayed the cursed fluid.

yours humbly and ignorantly,

Saturday, July 07, 2007

terry bisson

This is something that Terry Bisson wrote. Apparently, he's quite famous. I myself have been blissfully unaware of him until now. I came upon this script entirely by chance. I'm putting it up here to serve me as a reminder to read more of his stuff, which thankfully, is on the net on his site (i think). But for now I'm putting up his one act play here.

this is legally wrong- putting up someone's stuff without authorization. but the upshot of this, is better circulation stats for Terry Bisson which ultimately is what all writers need. therefore, it ain't morally wrong. :)

Apart from h2g2, this is the only other intergallactic sci-fi stuff that's impressed me. This one is incredibly humorous, tongue in cheek, and strangely humbling. We're just made of meat- finally. And that's the most miraculous thing about us. That we're made of such silly squishy goo and and are capable of so much. Were we made of more complex stuff, perhaps it wouldn't have been so unbearable to believe.

Link to Terry Bissons' showcase


by Terry Bisson

"They're made out of meat."


"Meat. They're made out of meat."


"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

"So ... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat."

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"


"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."

the end

Link to Terry Bisson's Showcase

Sunday, June 24, 2007

duping murphy

Disclaimer: None of what is about to follow is scientific. I am aware that Physics, if given eyes to read this, and hands to wield a hammer with, will read this and beat me to pulp!!!

I think there's a murphy's law that goes something like "only when you absolutely give up on something, do you get it"

Ever lost a key ? You look everywhere, backtrack everything you did from when you last remember seeing it, and then go to all those places and search for it and then never find it. Then you kinda give up. You take the duplicate (thank god you found that one) and begin using it rather remorsefully. You aren't able to really stop searching though. Suddenly, maybe in the middle of the night, you go to the fridge to drink some water and start searching in the fridge (just in case you know ? you've searched in all the right places and didn't find it. maybe you oughtta search in the oddest of places) but to no avail. A couple of days go by. Everytime you use the duplicate you feel slightly incomplete. You miss the old key. You liked the old key. When you had the old key, you always knew that if you lost it, you'll be able to use the duplicate. But now you panic a tad about making a duplicate of the duplicate. You pray that you find the key

Few days later you're closer to giving up. You've given up trying to find it. You've given up missing it. You've even given up being extra careful with the duplicate and decide the time has come for the final burial, symbolized by the making of the triplicate. The key maker asks you to come back in the afternoon. You say ok. Just as you're leaving home, you find the original-staring at you as though it was always there, staring at you as though all the world's a blind spot to you.

I've seen this happen with me so many times (yes -I am in the habit of losing things and often(the definition of often being as vague as it can be) finding them too). But it's always always only once you've truly given up.

In the last one week, by virtue of doing absolutely nothing about it, I've found a shirt, a very important marks card, some more clothes that I thought I'd seen the last of, old memories and so on and so forth.

The trick to getting something or finding something is to do nothing about it. Nothing. The only requirement is that you set the balls in motion. As in, i suppose it's important that you realize that you've lost something, or haven't got something yet and generally let it be known- a plea into the air. You have to let it be known to Murphy's random quark cluster (or any fancy word) that they're supposed to re-aggregate into a key, or a yacht, or a dog or whatever it is you've lost. And then, and I think this particular step is important, you have to let go. Forget about it. Not pretend to have forgotten about it. No- that won't work. Murphy's quarks can sense that you don't trust them. And you see, that, i think is perceived as terribly insulting behaviour. And they will of course refuse to acquiesce to your wishes. Maybe they draw energy from your trust. Maybe they require you to be their moral support. I don't know. But the point is, you have to let go, and decide that your key is doomed for, that your yacht is being eaten by crazy beings deep under and that there's an alien with ten hands somewhere who doesn't quite know how to fit into your two handed shirt, but will choose to keep it as proof of alternative forms of intelligence. You simply have to let go.

And then, the quarks will go about their business, and voila!!!, you've found whatever it is you've lost.

I know this works for small things. But I wonder about big things. Is it possible to get something that I want really really badly, if I really, truly sit and do nothing about it ? It throws the whole "as you sow, so you reap" philosophy into debris. But if it is true, I wonder if i'll ever be courageous enough to try it.

There are things in this world that just need to happen. It isn't about your potential or how much you've worked for it or how much you deserve it. There are things that happen that have no specific relation to the input. They're born from nothing, and they're beautiful and exciting and fulfilling and perfect. There's nothing more you'll need and nothing more you'll want, and there will be no point in remembering a time when you didn't have it, or worrying about a time when you won't have it. for the time they last ( a few seconds to eternity), they define perfection. And yet, i wonder, if i can be lucky enough to get it by simply not bothering about it.

Dare i try ?
Sadly, the answer is- no.
I don't!

But until then, i'm quite content with knowing that i'll never lose what i already have.

Friday, June 22, 2007


dear myself,

it's raining in bangalore.
it's constantly drizzling and i love it. you can walk through a drizzle without really getting wet but by just being barely enveloped by the moisture. it's bangalore at it's very best.

and i'm happy. not just coz it's raining, but coz it's the goodie lucky variety of rain. the kind that brings along yummy presents and gifts.

ya, i'm happy :D :D :D (with all my 31 teeth)

and sometimes, there's no need to say anything else is there.

love, cheers, hugs and kisses !!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007



This one, I uploaded online in May, 2005. I was writing at another site that time, and every single one of the writers there were having a dab at love stories. I kinda had to get on the bandwagon, and came up with this one. Am trying to clean up my desktop, and am recycling all the odd things I've written here and there. But this one, I really like. If i may say so myself, it smells strongly of smart-assishness, and I kinda like that :)

And here we go again

I've never written anything in this genre (if it can be called that at all) before, because its really hard to get away from all oft-repeated plots and say anything new and I don't think i'll ever manage to overcome that hurdle. Anyway, here it is :)

“Why”, she asked him, forcing herself to look into his eyes with what she hoped was a penetrating stare.
“Why do you like me ? I am a smartass, and not one of those pretty babes”
“Don’t kid yourself. You’re no smartass”
“Get your eyes checked. I am not a pretty babe either”
“ I see what you want and I am not going to give it to you”

She wondered if he’d known all along. If he knew how badly she wanted to reciprocate and how badly she detested the vulnerability that always followed an admission of love, even if it wasn’t going to be everlasting. She had never been vulnerable. She’d always detested the feeling of being weak in the knees, and the giddy feeling that she’d read in umpteen romantic novels, and had heard being described by friends. She for one had never let herself go there. She’d always found a reason to “keep standing”, she told herself. Yet, somewhere inside her, she knew it was all a farce. The fact that she had to continually remind herself to stand up straight, continually remind herself to ignore the flutter of the heart when an interesting guy smiled at her told her that she was no different from the rest of them. Perhaps she was even worse. Her only consolation was that she knew the alchemist’s trick. She could always turn her heart of gold into stone.

“No, I don’t want a big romantic speech about love, if that’s what you’re thinking”
“Let’s say it was. But I’m glad you don’t want it because I hate lying”, and he smiled.
“What are you so afraid of anyway?” he asked.
“What makes you think I’m afraid of something?”
“Because I am mostly irresistible, and I’d be surprised if you found me objectionable. I’m assuming it’s my perfection that’s actually throwing you off guard”
“I’m worried about the Cupid impersonators. The kind whose arrows will only ever lead to heartbreak”
“Ah! The smartass believes in Cupid and fairies and Santa Claus”

This time she couldn’t hide it. She let herself do what every cell in her body was demanding of her. She smiled.

“I suppose you think that since you’re smart you can discern every wrong arrow from the right one. But here’s a question. What if you’re not? What if you miss the one opportunity because you weren’t willing to let go of your shield and let the arrow pierce you”
She looked up at him, wanting to run away from there. She couldn’t stand there being exposed any longer. On that bright, hot, day she felt cold, unprotected and unguarded.
“What if you lose”, he paused and then whispered “me”.
“I noticed the dramatic pause. Work at it, will you ?”, she said and started to walk off hastily.
“I’ve decided after all, to make the romantic speech”, he said, rushing after her.
“Here’s what I’d like you to think about tonight. The speeches are cliché, but perhaps it’s so because no one has really been able to answer it, settle the debate once for all, and allow it to accumulate dust somewhere. Love is a matter of the heart. Do you really think you’ll be able to dodge it with your head ?”

She walked faster, not noticing that he had already stopped following her. Why did he think he could get her simply by reading her every thought? She looked back and saw that he wasn’t around anymore. Why did he have to be right , she thought and smiled more fully this time. She truly was no different. Hurt was what she feared. Hurt was what she had never felt. She looked back again to where he last stood when she was still capable of looking into his eyes and manage to hide behind closed doors in her head. Who was she kidding? The door had always been ajar, and he had unabashedly opened it wide and had looked right through. Somehow she couldn’t tell herself to push him out and shut the door on him.

Dear diary,

But it never works that way does it ?
Until I know the answer, I am going to have to lock these thoughts in you. In all honesty, I’ll only be half asleep tonight, waiting for a charming lock picker to come, open you and release me.


I do solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The truth ? check
Nothing but the truth ? check check
The whole truth ? na uh!!!!
(therein lies my form of deception)
I'll talk but I won't say all.

noah's ark

I've always loved the story of Noah's ark. I don't know how much of it is true, and I don't know how much of it is plain symbolic, and if it's symbolic, I haven't a clue regarding what it symbolizes. The idea of saving the few essential things so that life may continue is simply very appealing probably because, everything we do is somehow connected to avoiding death.

Even today, the concept of Noah's ark is important. We have sperm banks and egg banks and germplasm preservation centres and loads of green money thrown into finding out who we are and where we came from, so that perhaps tomorrow we'll know exactly who to put in the ship.

I am sure governments think about keeping an aeroplane containing important people that it believes will continue mankind's journey to immortality should the ones at ground abysmally fail by very carefully planning nuclear attacks despite talk about deterrents. I've always wondered though. Who will those people be ?

Scientists ? Doctors ? Children ? Saints and priests ? Happy families ? Politicians ? It's an interesting question. What does it really take to make sure man survives ? It's a hugely debatable topic. But it's something I'd like to think about anyway.

Live each day as if it's your last day they say. But wait, I am saying. What about Noah's Ark. How does one buy a ticket into that one ?

I've never judged beauty competitions before. I don't think I ever shall. But if I ever have to judge one, I'll consider asking them "who do you want to be", and I'll accept the answer "one of the people who get into Noah's Ark", because then it means, s/he really did make a difference, and in many ways, that's the only difference that counts.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

billboards and sachin tendulkar

I was in chennai recently, and one of the things that strike you is the huge amount of hoardings everywhere you go. Every rooftop has a hoarding. The sides of every bridge have at least a dozen hoardings- hoardings of movie stars, and movies, saris and soaps, computers and mobile phones all cramming together, yelling at you for your attention. It's not just the number of them that hits you, but even the size of them. They're huge. Every single one of them is at least four times the size of the ones in Bangalore. Even today, if you go around in Bangalore, you'll find several empty ones that say "contact-########", meaning they're vacant and ready to be hired. I couldn't find a single empty one in Chennai.

An Ogden nash couplet comes to my mind.

I think that I shall never see a billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall, I'll never see a tree at all.

I've always wondered though. When do they fix up the billboards. A long time ago, people would paint billboards. I remember those days. You could always find a man atop a wooden framework, skillfully painting a billboard with images that bore strong resemblances to real life people. I know today that it isn't at all easy to be able to draw anything that looks like a human being, let alone draw it well enough to be identifiable as a particular human being and not just any random one. Boost sells because Sachin, in particular Sachin, drinks Boost and not any cricketer in general. And billboards had paintings of someone who was without a doubt, Sachin. Yet, I am sure those billboard painters had no idea of how skillful they actually were. Most of them were just earning their bread and butter by doing acrobatics in mid-air and painting in mid-air without real safety precautions except a plastic helmet and faith in the power of life. I wonder if they had training programs and apprenticeships before being hoisted to such an honourable position (all sarcasm/respect intended).

And then suddenly, someone discovered a way to print large size hoardings and just pin them on to the framework of the hoarding. I don't know when that happened, but it did happen. All they need to do today is print out the water proof, weather resistant colossal advertisements and pin it up with a few nails. And I continue to wonder when they do it. Do they do it in the middle of the night when nobody can see ? Do they do it in bright daylight and we just happen to miss them all the time, or do so few of them get changed that at any given point, the probability of seeing a billboard being changed is very few ? I don't know. It doesn't matter.

But what of all those painters ? What happened to them ? Where do they paint now ? In national galleries and billion dollar exhibitions ? I don't think so. Where do they paint ? Or did companies that were hiring them decide to also give them a crash course on printing, so that now they print out the ads ? What of their kids ? The kids that were at least learning alongside their father, the art of painting Sachin Tendulkar. Did they not learn that then because their dad sent them to school by painting Tendulkar ? Or are they not going to school now because their dad doesn't have a job ? I actually have no clue. And at one point, the government of India was considering waiving the import tax on the ferrari gifted to Sachin Tendulkar. It's just very very strange how things work sometimes. Because Sachin was the last person who needed to keep the money. And the government, clearly, was the last organization that needed the money. But people who played a HUGE LIFE SIZE role in creating the idol that is Sachin, bloody well needed that money.

Ya Billboards. When do they change them these days ? And perhaps, more importantly, who does ?

Saturday, June 16, 2007


time : one week ago.
I think I'll like long walks on the beach. I think I'll like walking aimlessly across the whole length with feet one moment knee deep in the waves, another moment ankle deep, and another moment no water at all.

time : now
I *like* long walks on the beach. I actually did it- out there- in reality. Not in my head; not walking like some angelic vision; but actually, in the dirtiest set of *decent clothes so that no one will think I'm some roadside tramp* clothes, and it was every bit as good as the dream version.

And, it was a lot better. There are details that dreams can never get. Imagination, when not informed by brutal reality, is always a blur. Ever wonder why we always get up when we're just about to fall, or just about to hit a car, or maybe just when you're getting awarded some prize, or just when you've finally managed to gather the courage to tell someone something nice/rude/obscene/frank ? If you've never done it before, then there's no way you're gonna know how it'll feel. Not even in a dream. I think, if you haven't experienced falling down a ten storey building, then you're not going to be able to dream the feeling of the bones cracking or the skull breaking. The brain doesn't know, because you haven't felt it before.

Ok- that's my theory (or perhaps I've read it somewhere and now I'm dreaming it's something I came up. Plagiarism is very easy for dreamy souls :D. No ? It's not someone else's theory ? It's mine ? Oh well, take it. It's my contribution to science. Sell the stuff of dreams and give no pie of it to me. I'll dream up the revenge if I have to. Oh wait... I've never taken revenge. Hmm. Never mind. Do whatever you will.) But I digress.

My point is, sometimes things are just as wonderful in the doing as it is in the dreaming. I dunno how many things are. I dunno if becoming a movie star is the same as dreaming of being one. Somehow, I don't think it is. But something like being a mom, is probably going to be better than dreaming it. Or something like walking along a beach is going to be absolutely delicious.

It was ten thirty at night. There weren't too many people. The two people I had come along with didn't want to wet their feet. It was just right. I walked one way and then the other and then this way and then the other again. Each time felt different. Each time felt wonderful. Each time was addictive. I would've loved to scream at the top of my voice; not in a God! help me kind of way, but in a happy, ridiculously elated, God!Thank you kind of way. Thank him for nothing in particular. If every atom/gluon/mesons etc were truly in his control, then thank God in a making them atoms move about such that somehow I came to stand at that beach that night sorta way.

Oh and if God, you were pleased with my presence at the beach that night, could you maybe also at some point during *the rest of my life* make things happen so that I am standing in a large stretch of real snow and fir trees ? (suitably warmly clothed, with suitably warm persons around, with suitably pleasant things to say) Just a thought :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

unfinished business

i like making lists these days. nice long lists. so here's a list of stuff (odds and ends) that need doing. i'd like thing that i'll actually do these things (they absolutely have to be done) but no- i'll prolly look at this list and feel something in the zipcode as "ah! how pretty" and go right back to not having done 'em.

1) fix camera. its ***** broken.

2) get camera batteries and charger from the person who has it *name undisclosed for privacy purposes*

3) get all my horcruxes *stuff of mine, that other ppl have, that have actually come to define me*

4) drink water *i have an obsession with wanting to drink water, but never actually doing it*

5) return horcruxes that other ppl have *stuff I have of other ppl*

6) find out if horcruxes is a word in the oxford english dictionary. its about time they added it.
the world can be defined as before christ and after death (yes yes i know its anno domini and not after death) or more appropriately (before harry potter and after harry potter)

7) book the seventh book

8) consider allowing mom to read seventh book before i do. it seems like a nice touching thing to do.

9) actually do it ? naaaaaaaaa

10) actually no. maybe. depends. dunno/ can't say.

11) get new comp/fix old comp/throw old comp

12) find out if the US universities let students bring along their dogs. i umm... dunno who to ask.

13) if yes - get a dog. if no- wait till mom retires. that ain't ever happening from the looks of it.

14) one of those huge dogs. like a collie

15) buy sari. only bottle green sari. do not succumb to anything else - like bad customer service and aching heels and sweating, or the smell of the sweat of the huge guy standing next to you soaking in this super "non absorbent" cotton shirt, waiting for his wife to select a sari, who of course is oblivious to her husband's sweat (either that woman likes shopping too much or her husband too much). yuck. it's madras. the huge sweating guy is only to be expected. these madrasis are jatravartids

"Jatravartids, who live in perpetual fear of what they refer to as "The Coming of the Great White Handkerchief." This is their cosmology's version of the end of the Universe, and can be explained by the fact that they believe that the Universe was sneezed out by a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure.

The Jatravartids are also unique because they were the first people in Universe who invented the spray deodorant before the wheel"

16) catch up on movies like h2g2. haven't seen it yet. (shit... loads more to watch actually)

yep... and ravens have intelligence apparently. ya- i haven't read abt it yet, but i'm gonna. i'm convinced that the only non intelligent race is us human beans. very convinced.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Movies, especially the Indian variety, have the nicest of endings. Ten minutes before the climax, everything is chaos. The girl is almost going to get married to the villain who has through the most machiavellian of means managed to convince the girl that he is the one that she should be marrying and not her true love who only used her as a point of leverage to further his own self-interest. I wonder if the heroines in the movies watch hindi movies. If they did, they'd know how to tell the villain apart from true loves. But for some strange reason, the women in movieland do not watch movies. The truth probably lies with a letter which is in the possession of some sanyasi somewhere who does not have the transportation to come to the location of the wedding. But of course, a dog, a snake and an elephant who are all friends of the hero and heroine (they were befriended during the 2 weeks when the hero and heroine stayed in the jungle to hide from all the bad people) manage to wheedle the letter from the sanyasi with consummate ease and double back to the log cabin where the hero is being held captive (the elephant smashes the log cabin down and all the wood splinters fall miraculously away from the hero. To make sure all contingencies have been taken care of, the elephant smashes the log cabin in which the villain's handymen are staying. This time though, the wood falls right on the thugs and manages to handicap all of them. ) The hero, the snake, the dog and the elephant then go back to the mantap (running, with the snake overtaking them), when the villain is *still* seconds away from tying the knot. Chairs are thrown, flowers are shed, coconuts get broken, words are exchanged- no one knows what's happening. In the end everyone sees the truth. Suddenly the mantap's all ready for a marriage again. Chairs are back in place. Flowers disappear from places they are not meant to be. Coconuts self seal and repair themselves. We don't know how all this gets done- it's never shown. And the boy and the girl get married and live happily ever after. The villain either turns a new leaf and becomes a priest or goes to jail (when he comes out 20 years later, he will seek revenge .He'll try and get his son married to the daughter of the blessed couple who, of course, unaware of all this, is playing with the dog, the elephant and the snake).

Pardon the long detour. But I love them. I love how honesty and sincerity and love and devotion always wins. I love how justice is meted out fairly. I love how all the bad men get punished and the good men get retributed. But most of all, I love how everything comes together in the last ten minutes of the movie. They say art imitates life. I wonder if such things happen in real life too. Hmm. It'd be nice if it did. I'd take irrational events and crazy co-incidences any day if it means happiness. I'd like a little bit of melodrama in my life too. It's fun apparently.

Monday, May 21, 2007

desire, destiny

It's a strange habit with me. I tend to remember where I first came across a word. The word cul-de-sac for instance, I first saw in an english lesson about a cellist. The word "peculiar" , I read about in a story called "the peculiar horse". Humbug of course is from wizard of Oz- well- just to give you an idea.

A senior of mine had written an article about herself in a school magazine, in which she described how similar she was to her father. "Maybe it's genes", she said. I wondered if she'd spelled it wrongly. Eventually, my mom explained what genes were. I remember being overwhelmed. The concept of a gene was "cool" to say the least. I'd been told so many times that I looked like my mom, but had teeth like my dad, but spoke like my dad's granny, and had the obstinacy of mom's mom and what not. The idea that one tends to take after relatives wasn't knew. But the fact that there was a whole scientific principle (like gravity) was too good to be true. No one had ever spoken about genes before. I thought this senior of mine was absolutely brilliant and smart. And I felt so grateful to her and that article of hers and the weird game of chance that gets played so that you're so bored reading your own article in the magazine over and over again that you decide to read a few others' as well and in doing so manage to discover the concept called a gene.

Almost immediately my life felt more complete. I couldn't bear to think of the possibility that I might have just gone through my entire life without knowing what a gene was. Oh how horrid that would have been. And oh how lucky I was not to have been subjected to such a fate.
Weirdly enough, today as I complete graduation, for the past four years, academics has been mostly about genes. Well (supposed to be. What it turned out to be is a very one sided debate about the system having botched the entire thing up and making sterile life-science/chemical hybrids out of us_

I dunno why I thought of this, but its just one of those ironical things about life(???). I'd like to use a less ostentatious word than life, but for now I'll let that be. It's just funny how things turn out. One day I didn't know what a gene was. A decade later, we're being told genes control every damn thing. I guess, I eventually would've come across the word- to say the least.
If I were given infinite opportunities to change certain instances of my life, and see how things turn out, one of the things I'd do is to make sure I didn't read that article- just to see if it would've actually mattered at all.
Somehow, I believe it would've.

Very pointless article. But right now I'm sitting and reading crap in this subject called industrial management. Tomorrow I'm supposed to write things such as this
"The function of a purchasing manager is to make sure supplies are bought from the right place, for the right price, at the right amount, in the right quantity and quality"
And if you're thinking, what's so bad about that ?
I also have to go and explain the following
" If purchasing is not done properly, then items will be bought from the wrong place, for the price, at the wrong time, for the wrong quantity and quality"
Because it wasn't so obvious in the first line.
And even then the fellow correcting my paper will sit and wonder "umm... so what ???"
And then one writes a rather tragic story about how, goods will suffer, so standard of living will decline, and how people will start to get frustrated and will start to rebel, which will result in bloodshed and the extinction of human species, when a small dinosaur egg somewhere will finally hatch and put its tiny brain to more dignified purposes such as eat, sleep and reproduce instead of fighting like barbarians.
Because I used the word bought. Not purchase. You see... his answer key indicated purchase as a key word. Not buy/bought/obtain something in return for monetary value.
Its criminal.


Thursday, April 19, 2007


1) a colouring book and a brand new set of crayons.
2) apple pie and vanilla ice-cream.
3) walk through a rainforest where the rain has just stopped.
4) walk through a forest full of icicles.
5) skate
6) ice skate
7) ice skate gracefully
8) swim in a cove- a la enid blyton bookish
9) start each day with "did you know that.... "
10) start each day with someone else telling you "did you know that.... " and you didn't know it.
11) paint something pretty (at least once)
12) sing more.
13) dance every night (dark room or otherwise)
14) cook
15) love
16) be loved
17) learn to sail
18) ride a motorbike
19) drive a car
20) rock climb
21) get drenched in a downpour in the middle of an empty road
22) spend a night alone on an island
23) walk on a beach till kingdom come
24) get married
25) have kids
26) raise 'em well
27) learn braille
28) learn a coupla more languages
29) actually, stay in a town for a while where you don't know the language at all.
30) stay alone for a while
31) then get bugged and get a family
32) but never fear staying alone again
33) cry
34) laugh
35) stop talking like a self-help book :D :D (cry/laugh it seems)
36) learn to train a seal/ dolphin/ chimpanzee
37) learn to whistle
38) whistle a tune
39) bird watch
40) bungee jumping
41) persistence
42) let go

more to come

Friday, April 06, 2007

simple question

location : bangalore
illusion : paradise
confusion: where is the rain
frustration frustration frustration.

it's a simple question. where the hell is the rain. i mean, its not too much to ask.
the roads are waiting for their annual supply of potholes for crying out loud.
i am waiting simply to smell the air before it rains, and then, sneakily try and get wet, and then look at how green bangalore really is.
houses are so dirty with all the filth- they need to be cleaned. and we don't want to spend precious water from the ground cleaning 'em.
the rain ougghtta do it.
where is the rain.
i know my asking in some invisible corner of virtual space will not help.
but i've stood in the middle of the road and looked at the sky daringly and raised my eyebrows and wondered where the rain is. no answer.
it would've been picture perfect if exactly then a solitary raindrop had fallen on my face.
god! talk about useless fantasies.
where is the rain i ask again in pain.
useless the sky is.
chumma it's blue all the time.

Monday, April 02, 2007

mommy dearest

My mom's been an english teacher for 17 years now. She's loved every minute of it, every second of it. She even taught me for a coupla years. People ask me if I ever found it odd to sit and be taught by my own mom in class. I have to admit- i never did. And the credit goes entirely to her. She was very clear- in class she was a teacher. At home, she was my mother. There were other teachers who didn't get that distinction all that clearly, many students who never got the difference at all, but my mom always did. And it takes a gem of a woman (if I may be allowed to say so myself) to be able to stand there and not feel bad about correcting your daughter's mistakes anymore than another student, or not feel proud to commend a good essay anymore than another student. We were all equally her students, perhaps equally her children as well.
What makes her (notice- I use the present tense, although currently, she's not sure if y'day was the last day of her teaching career or not- and perhaps I'm overly dramatizing the situation... all that notwithstanding...) a great teacher is not her great english or her love for shakespeare or a passion for teaching- in fact, what got her started was the fact that she was getting bored at home, and wanted something interesting to do.
What makes her a great teacher was that she managed to do it with dignity, with self-respect, with compassion and understanding, and eventually a desire to learn as much as she taught. She'd come home telling me her student told her something about playstations- what is that? she'd ask. Another student told her about harry potter. I've found it humourous, even funny. Internally, I've always found it very cute. We once went to forum to "check out" the playstation- so she could go back and tell her students that she thought it was cool too. I've chided her several times for getting too close to those students. I bet she thought it was jealousy. Or maybe she thought I didn't respect her enough. It was just that, I found it strange. I'd never really been all that close to a high school teacher before. I've certainly never gone and told my english teacher about shah rukh khan. My mom's craze for SRK is widely known. When KBC- 2 was released, so many people called her and asked her if she liked the show, and as she said "oh! he's a charmer", I was very embarrassed, but at the same time, very pleased that I shared half my genes with this person( yep- the SRK craze gene included, with a bonus "keep the craze closeted" gene, which I think I got from my dad, coz he likes SRK too)
There have been times when mom would come to me and say "oh you remind me of this girl in class", and I'd be gravely insulted. There's a stark difference between my reminding her of that girl, and that girl reminding her of me- I'd insist. "I love both of you", my mom would insist flatly, and I'd only be further insulted. Such was her love for teaching, that sometimes she'd get daughter and student mixed up.
And then things started to change. For a long time it's been the only thing I've taken for granted- the fact that mom goes to school and teaches, comes home prepares for class the next day (or more recently chats with her students on orkut) and somehow finds time to make dinner and yell at me for not keeping something in order etc, and goes back the next day to teach again. But things change, and for a desire to not say too much, today my mom has had to quit.
When one gets old, change is not something that one easily adapts to. These are things I know. I've been so used to my mom being such a strong pillar in my life, that I forgot to see a crack in hers. I wish I could tell her I still loved her every bit the same way. She certainly knows that her students do. Before I went off getting all high-priestess(ly) about karma and retribution and jeopardizing innocent students' studies, I should have known that my mom would've never willingly hurt anyone. I suppose she knows I didn't mean to abandon her when she needed me the most. But still, it would've meant a lot if I hadn't.
One of the most special things I share with my mom is the fact that she'll listen.If i go upto her and tell her "ma, listen. Don't comment. Don't give me solutions. Don't even tell me the fault is partly my own. Just listen", she'll do exactly that. No more will be said about it. No more will be asked about. That's exactly what she needed right now. A little listening. Not even understanding. Just a little listening. I wish I'd done that. But I'm glad that even this didn't perturb her. She has managed to march on and keep her chin up. I hope I've conveyed that this time around I'm ready and willing to listen sans any chicken soup bullshit that she simply doesn't have to hear. Still, I wish, she'd be as happy teaching at whatever new place as she was at the place she taught for almost two decades. She deserves it (partly because she's my mom, and I'd want her to be happy, regardless of anything, and partly because even regarding everything, she deserves to be happy).

Monday, March 26, 2007


there's all these things hanging and jutting out in a lotta weird ways from our bodies (or from the core of our bodies ?) and i'm wondering why i haven't put a lot of them to better use. my hands especially- i've never really used them for much. apart from the eating, cleaning, moving them while talking motions, haven't used them for anything.
there's so much one can do with them- artily craftily speaking. wonder why i haven't.
and there's this circular logic thing that i've run into-
the dexterity and co-ordination comes from having neurons in your brain properly wired, and neural networks set at the right threshold impulse levels and such.
so now that i wanna do all these things with my hands, i wonder if i'll be able to. i mean, will my brain listen to me ? probably not ?
so is there any point even bothering to do it ? i dunno. i really dunno.
but if i never try, i will never know.
but if i already know, is there any point in trying ?
i mean, sure it's the journey that counts and not the destination. but... i mean, honestly.

but the point still remains, if i never try, i will never know.
will i ever try ? apart from just sitting and wondering what "if".
i hope i do.
i really hope i do.
miracles happen right ?
and a badly made clay pot ain't a miracle is it ?
no siree...
i'm rambling away in the hope that i will convince myself to do something about it.
ah nvm...
i shall meet this former self a coupla weeks/months/years from now... and let's see if that latter self has done something about.
which brings me into a whole different realm about time travel and stuff...
that's reserved for another rainy day...

Monday, March 19, 2007


how full of oneself does one have to be to come and write something about oneself each day. very.
nvm... i ain't gonna pretend to be ashamed by it.


i don't like too many fruits. ( and the phrase "too many" is subject to a very stringent interpretation by me and me alone )

so ever since i've had the power to decide what i will and will not eat ( mom says that's since the age of 4 thereabouts), i've always refused to eat fruits.

i wonder why my mom never forced me. but well, its all that new age parenting i think- let children decide for themselves and what not. but mostly, its just coz she wanted home to be peaceful. apparently i could throw one hell of a tantrum. ( i personally believe i'm as demure as a mouse, but then, no one really listens to me )

now i'm almost 22 and i still refuse to eat 'em.

but i'm grown up and educated and knowledgeable and more in control of destiny (or so we educated, knowledgeable ppl would like to believe. the learned and the wise will of course tell you that we never are in control of our destiny. but hey... you pay about 50 dollars for a book written by the learned and the wise. therefore, the only information that is available to you freely is the one dispensed by us folks- the educated and knowledgable i mean - and we tell you, that when you're grown up, you are much more in control of your destiny than before.)

back to fruits.

so i thought maybe i should start eating more fruits. it has vitamins you see... and it's important.
trust me- it is. i am about to graduate with a degree in biotechnology, and i've studied, over and over and over again that vitamins are very very important. they are vital amines- you see ? but then somebody discovered that while all these vitamins are vital, they aren't all amines. but who cares- let's just continue to call them vitamins. good decision i think. you've no idea how much these scientists like to classify and de classify and re classify and have whole unions about naming and nomenclature. IUB, IUPAC. and though they'll go on record saying its very good for planet earth and as of yet undiscovered planets sustaining life and such, off the record they're still sticking to the old "no order to it" names. its very hypocritical. it's very cute.

so i'm trying to eat fruits you see. to get an idea of why this is very unusual for me, here's a list of fruits i've tasted so far.

1) mangos - (maybe a few every season)

2) grapes - (the green ones - i had 'em for a whole month in 1998 - yes exactly one month)

3) apples - ( rarely. if someone cuts 'em up for me, then a coupla pieces. and that's generally because i have to be polite to the hosts in whose house i am eating these apples - and that happens so very rarely)

4) papayas - never never never. they stink. mom loves them. she'll cut em up and keep em in the fridge. the fridge also starts stinking. blech.

5) pomeogranate ( they add them to curd rice sometimes. and sometimes i don't manage to spot it despite my best efforts. so that's what- 10 beads maybe ? )

6) strawberries ( yes. these i've tasted. i've liked. but it's seasonal and too costly)

7) oranges (yes... i've been liking these for a while now. yay!!!)

8) watermelon ( like it. dad says it's not really really a fruit. its more like water. but my biotechnologist, vitamin sensibility says otherwise. watermelon is a fruit. enough said.)

9) sapota/chickoo ( like 'em. but mom never buys em. its too fattening apparently :(. and she's into weight watching. gah!!! )

10) banana ( they're ok. still, won't eat em if i can help it)

11) musk melon ( whatever is that. they make this juice out of it. and they keep it in the fridge. and it's all cold. and the entire family relishes it. i drink it quickly. love that its cold- another advantage is you can't taste it)

12) guava ( with salt and red chilli powder- slightly more than acceptable)

13) pineapple ( my tongue itches- anyone else have this problem ? but its nice with salt and red chilli powder)

14) jackfruit ( not bad at all. not bad. but mom makes this sambhar out the seeds- like that better)

hey... that's a lotta fruits i can remember the taste of.
not bad.
wonder why i fussed.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

apple pie

they changed the apple pie at coffee day. i don't like it. grr!!!
the apple pie at mc donald's at s'pore- mindblowing.
its this thick crust. its this apple goo (goo- literally) inside. and it's so hot. and it's the one thing i'd just burn my tongue for.
wonder what happened to em.
but this new round over baked apple pie at ccd-
nah *sticks tongue out*

Friday, March 16, 2007

2 poem/prose that i love.

See- this is healthy advice. If you can pull it off- you're neither saint nor thief. you're just a MAN.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

And here's three cheers to being - well - dysfunctional ???

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97.

Wear Sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idel Tuesday. Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year- olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Mayber you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody's else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Dont' be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths. Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will Look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.