Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Simple Life

For once I will let something remotely related to Paris Hilton enter my blog. But it stops at remotely of course.

A few weeks back I chanced upon an offer to eat a butter biscuit. I'm not really saying that its a big thing, but a lot like the butteryfly (no pun intended) effect, it caused extreme chaos.
Now circumstances were such that my wish to take another biscuit from the kind offer-er would be cruel. So I set up on a Frodo-like quest to find the original butter biscuits.

As soon as I got back from work on that fateful day I walked into the closest bakery I found. Adyar it was. About 7 PM. This place had a decently young and seemingly active crowd (blame it on the IT). And as soon as I entered this place a whiff of virgin, just born biscuits absolutely permeated my senses. Its like the smell of someone you love, and how you'd identify it. I really never thought I love butter biscuits, till that day of course.
I hurried to the man behind the counter, bought a box of cookies that were labelled butter and ran out of the shop, my preciouses tucked under the arm. And then I awaited that special moment. When the little box of biscuits is first shown the world. And although my hungry,  barbaric (actually guy-ish) instincts slighlt tainted the beauty of it all, when I had my cookie it was a certain let down. Nothing happened.
I did not regret spending the 35 Rupees. It was the anti-climax that troubled me. Quite annoying in fact. I looked around for something that would amuse or entertain me, quitely observing my exceeding self centricity. Hmm... I guess I'm growing old.
The next door tea shop provided a peaceful retreat, and just as I finished my masterful rendition of Anna, onn tea! I saw them. In all their glory. In a burly glass jar that was their eye to the world. No fancy boxes. No seducing smell. I asked him how much they cost. He said a ruppee each. I got one. And even before its genuine and almost known flavour chanced upon my taste buds I knew I had found them. 

Who's your daddy?

Is it just me or does this place look good? LOL
I hope peoples like it nad drop in a couple of kind of words of exreme appreciation. :D

Sunday, May 25, 2008


My last two bus ides have been absolutely wonderful. Not because there were no nagging women on the bus. That would make the bus rides heavenly. But because I came across two bands that I instantly fell in love with.

A couple of years ago, when I first heard Dreamtheater, I was more than impressed. They have an amazing lineup and their music is very progressive. Sadly there was one major flaw. They had a lead singer. And that thought ravaged my mind for a very long time. These guys were brilliant, they never needed a lead singer or a voice. Their music spoke truck loads.

And on one fateful night, I came across this video of them playing in Budapest I think. No one sang. And it was absolutely brilliant. Maybe more so because I was bored. Or maybe because I was extremely high.

But one fine day I realised a DVD of mine had their albums, as Liquid Tension Experiment. And that made my ride.

The other accidental discovery is almost shocking. I had never come across, till that fateful day, an American band that had the balls to touch a Lennon and a Zeppelin composition and then twist and remodel each of them into dark sinister songs. Till of course, I found two covers by A Perfect Circle. Of course, if it was anyone who deserved to cover the greats, it is this alternative-progressive super group. But the covers are, conservatively put, brilliant.

I am a huge Beatles fan and for someone to invade their musical sanctity and get away with it would be quite an achievement. And that is exactly what APC has done. Their cover of Imagine by Lennon replaces his mellow cheerful piano progression by sinister chords. The initial part of the riff remains the same but the is follow up changes the entire mood of the song. The drums are much more progressive and their almost out-of-phase-but-in-the-beat sound adds to the creepy effect. The vocals are top notch. A lot of layering and mixing is evident and that totally gels with the guitars. Personally I love the grumbling,growling bass the builds up.

I am also a huge Led Zeppelin fan, and although their sanctity has been penetrated like a lady of the trade by amateurs and pros alike, this cover of When The Levee Breaks is a class above. Its a song that is rarely covered. And as soon as it started playing, my first impression was, hold on, I know this bass line, and steadily the lyrics just followed. The characteristic drums are not missing, but have been converted into a sombre, unsettling version. The vocals are brilliant, including a Robert Plant like panting in the background.

And although they've been in hiatus since 2006, I'm looking forward to more materials, and this may sound weird, more covers!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mine's Bigger

One day, in a restaurant I have started detesting, I quite unfortunately happen to occupy a table next to a bunch of over-enthused college kids.
Quite apparently, they seemed to be from different colleges.
Do you know what is the worst part about a bunch of people from different colleges? The bragging. Its so plainly irritating. 
Anyway, I am sure my analysis will be certainly biased. So I've decided to accurately put the up the conversation here so that you can judge for yourself.

CG1:College Guy 1
CG2:College Guy 2
CG3:College Guy 3

CG1: Dude, you know in my college no one studies. Ever. Its like banned. If you study you get a year back.

CG2: Oh that's nothing. My college people dint study and still get year backs. The there are other who reverse study. They lose all their knowledge before their exams. These are normally the 9 pointers.

CG3: What? Thats nonsense. No one can lose their knowledge of course. But that 9 pointer part makes sense. Anyway, my college is way cooler. Everyone smokes marijuana. One day, my roommate smoked 450 rupees worth of marijuana.

me:Groaning and looking at the waiter. Begging him to get my food.

CG1: Oh thats peanuts. My roommate smoked 1500 rupees worth of maal. I'm not sure about this marrijuna. What is it?

CG2:Its the same thing stupid We put it in our mess food. Oh it was so much fun..blah blah blah

me:Still looking at the waiter. Making life size B52 models with tissues.

CG1: Does your hostel have LAN?

CG3: Oh what a stupid question (!) My hostel has 10 kzillion fourteen billion GB shared. We have all the latest songs, movies, games useless and absolutely non sensical photographs of rabbit couples and woodpeckers in wife swap like compromising poses.

CG1: Ha! Thats it? We have turtles and sea otters too.

CG2:All that is nothing compared to what you find on my LAN (One waiter brings a plateful of food. My eyes light up) Even before movies release, they're on our LAN because the photons in our lan move faster than light and hence they time travel. (bus boy laughs. Even he knows photons can't travel faster than light)

Waiter puts food on their table. My blood curdles. He looks at me and passes out.

CG2: (between mouthfuls) The food in our mess is so bad we found a cockroach in the pulao.

I fantasize cockroach pulao. Seems sumptuous.

CG1: OH thats nice. In our pulao we have to hunt for rice in between the cockroaches.

A small spider crawls up next to CG2's plate. He instantly throws up. He accuses the spider of ignoring the fact that he is brahmin.

CG3: Oh thats like the scent of summer. In my college people puke such stinky stuff that....

After completing a Live Size model of Pamela Anderson and INS Vikraant I realize my food has come. I gobble it up and make my exit. 

Some post trauma inquiries revealed that these were professionals who were actually working in a nearby company. They were reminiscing. Or whatever the word is.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Socker Punch

As it often happens, my mood shifts from one level of randomness to another. And considering its love for entropy, the degree of randomness rarely decreases. Make that never.

The Wet Socks Study

In the Spring of 2007, Dr. Vocksman Joure, a Franco-German scientist at The Max Planck Institute of Scientific Research was washing his socks. It then struck him, that in this process his socks were obviously moistened, or as the layman would say, we. But in spite of his dedicated efforts they refused to stink. Dr. Joure was puzzled as whenever his socks were 'moistened' by the rain, they smelled like 5 day old cow dung after the beetles had their eggs hatching and larvae growing.

Being the brave scientist he is, he decided to venture into this unchartered territory armed with nothing but his razor sharp Swiss army knife, and what he liked to call intellect. Later he would regret his folly and blame it on his naive ego.

Anyway, Joure waited. Waited for summer to come. And all this time his mind was focused. Every morning he thought about his stinky socks and how his research would change the world.
And soon the rains were here. The rains. They were here.

His beacons of joy were lit, the flame of his research desire let loose its forked tongue and gasped for more scientific air. Oh! How they smouldered in his heart, his soul and mind were one. He saw nothing but the socks, he smelt nothing but the smell of wet socks and he felt nothing but euphoria and adrenaline of inching towards one of the greatest scientific marvels of the 21st century. He wept as his mind envisaged heroic welcomes and people thronging every city he entered.

Three hours later Dr. Vocksman Joure passed away due to a heart attack. Apparently emotional exhaustion was the cause.

Note: In his honour, the Wet Sock Study was officially suspended. This intriguing subject will never be dealt with again by any scientist in the world, and anyone who dares to defy this rule will be struck by the Vocksman Joure curse. This horrible curse causes socks to stink even after they are washed. Let us pay homage to this great man. Whatever little we know of, about this great smelly mystery is all because of him.

"White socks are like virgin teens. They are just dying to get dirty. Ad you know what? Just like the teens, they will never be clean again. This is the ultimate universal truth."
-Dr. Vocksman Joure
Paris White Socks Conference, 1978

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Chronicles of ChennaiBusnia

This is an article dedicated to all the Chennai Bus N00bs. I was once like you are now and I know that its not easy to recall something going wrong. (no, I don't like boy bands, this line just happened to be an exact match. Seriously.)
After in-depth analysis, pondering and near death experiences I have decided to formulate a list of rules that will govern the living and existence of every n00b that wishes to survive on a MTC bus.

Without futher ado, I present my ISO:190087 certified theory that has been approved by the head of theory approving council, Barbie, himself. Or herself. Hmmm... that might need another theory. Anyway enough of the distractions. Lets get down to business.

Abbreviations you better know (Or MC Conductor Bro ain't gonna be happy with you homie):

1. MTC: Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai) Ltd. Where the Chennai and Ltd come from is a mystery. Some theorists believe the force is with them.

2. SRM: Seats reserved for Males. Please note M is not for MEN. It could be for MICE though, Although genetic studies seem to point towards Ninja Monkeys. Therefore, we settle for Males, whatever be the species.

3. SRL: Seats reserved for the Ladies. Note the word "Ladies" and the word "the" before it. I must warn you though, speak not about the dark lords or their throne (SRL).

Basic Rules:

1. A Male may never sets eyes or ass upon a SRL. This would lead to an instant and painful death due to Human Self Combusion.

2. When a she-who-must-not-be-named sits on a SRM, it automatically converts to a SRL. This is skill is learnt at a young age by all shes-who-must-not-be-named in the monastry. And although this might seem similar to a strategy game spell, beware, this is real and this is your life, or the lack of it, decided by your actions of course.

3. In case a Male tries to recapture the SRM which has the now been converted to a SRL, his fate is decided by the application of Rule 1. This is the reason why many shes-who-must-not-be-named wear gas masks and safety goggles. They must protect their eyes from the flames.

4. If, in the unlikely anamoly, that the SRM that was converted to an SRL is brought back to being an SRM, then what may seem like an educational video for the devil starts. In fact, recent reports have suggested that Satan himself comes down (or up?) and watches the scenario to learn how all hell is supposed to break loose. Subsequently, may hell dwellers have reported better torture facilities and infrastructure.

5. The conductor's and driver's seats cannot be classified as SRL or SRM. Though the Seats Reserved for The Ladies Rights and Protection Group(SRLRAP) is applying pressure on the State Government to apply Rule 2 to this procedure, the State Government has claimed lack of rights to do so and has instead promised free Guitar Hero 3 CDs to all shes-who-must-not-be-named.

6. In any event, or rather calamity, if there exists physical contact at any arbitrarily chosen point in the time-space continuum between the shes-who-must-not-be-named and a Male, all funeral expenses for the Male are to be borne by the closest kin of the Male. They must also pay for towels to wipe the bloodstains off the shes-who-must-not-be-named.

7. You must draft your will and complete all legal proceedings, including paying the bills before calling any of the shes-who-must-not-be-named dark and fat.

8. The above rules apply to everyone including Rajnikanth and Chuck Norris.

9. The growing Chink population believes they must also be included in the shes-who-must-not-be-named. It is believed the shes-who-must-not-be-named smiled at this suggestion. Sadly the reporter who is responsible for the valuable tit-bit could not see the light of day ever again as the smile turned him to stone. May his soul rest in peace.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tamizh Teriyadu Machan

No, this is not another post about my ever expanding Tamil prowess that has left Dravidian scholars in the search for the next The Onne ( or in english, the one). This is my experience living in TN for 3 years, a refreshing, fresh culture shock to my super adaptable mind, to warn it that well, its not genius, not yet.

- Its 14:00 hours. Its a Wednesday. Its also 43 Degrees Celsius. And there's a queue outside the TASMAC liquor shop. There are drunk people on the road, some have passed out maybe because of the heat. Maybe because of the alcohol. Next day, the newspaper casually mentions that 2 people died because they had too much XXX rum.

- I live in a state where alcohol is banned, or in a more refined way, prohibited (Gujarat). In TN, the government sells alcohol. The government. The one that is supposed to stop people from drinking themselves to death.

- Do you have any clue how much these buggers make out of alcohol? The last Google search lead me to an article in The Hindu that said, alcohol revenues in 2006- 6030 Crore, in 2007-7438 Crore. Its not a crore or two. Its a clear 23% rise. And its THOUSANDS of crores.

- Tamil Nadu is also the only place where I have seen public domestic violence. Mess workers beat up their wives in intoxicated fits of anger in full view of the college. Take a 23:00 hours bus back to college from trichy and half of the bus stinks of local liquor. And that's not all. All this can be seen in Chennai as well. My friends would often tell me how their neighbours would come back drunk and unleash household mayhem.

- Chennai, at least, is known to have a well informed and well educated vox populi, maybe its does. But its one vox that I don't see making a difference.

- Tamil Nadu also has an amazing music industry. They are, quite clearly, heads, necks, torsos and even pelvises above their bollywood counterparts. And they really know how to slap a bass.

- This is also the only place that I have physically seen, wherein exists a University with apparent credentials, that imposes dress codes, going to the extent of limiting the fairer sex to a certain set of bland colours. They have also banned mobile phones, for it is a device of the devil. A recent study has shown that my cat is smarter that the entire board of directors collectively.

- Having said that, I must also notify the reader of what Kollywood (yes it is called that, and is as ridiculous as Bollywood) has to offer. Every single videographic clip  that is made here has super-suggestive references. The movies and songs are saturated with sexual innuendos. And quite shockingly no one says anything.

- Also my recent foray into Tamil reality shows has resulted in a set of conclusions that may be treated as a set of rules when further research is done in this intriguing field of Discrete Tamizhism. Every Senthil is trained in carnatic music, which is a good thing. And a lot of slightly large, expressive women believe it is a good thing to bare their mid-riffs and dance wildly on television.  Good thing? You decide.

DISCLAIMER: The above views are not my own. They have been forcefully inserted into my brain by an American doctor's invention,  The Forcefullyinsertthingsintobraintor (Patent Pending). So blame America.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reverse Brain Drain My Arse

Recently, in the news, apart from Slapgate and the constant terrorism section, I came across this article that spoke about "Reverse Brain Drain". At first sight I thought, "This MUST be some stupid American way of actually inserting brains into empty skulls, in which case of course, Indian brains would go to the highest bidders, in which case, would'nt they be too dumb to know they need the brain?? Hmm... sound shady.. So quite surprisingly I decided to grant the article the joy of my vision (sounds japaneses.. like all your base are belong to us)".

Apparently "Reverse Brain Drain" or "niarD nairB" is the phenomena in which IIT grads are returning to India after working for X years in the US (X lies between 10 and 1789) and these  super philanthropic ninja monkeys claim that it is the love for their motherland and hunger for dal chawaal etc etc etc that has brought them back.
And that claim is almost as authentic as the fact that that Queen Elizabeth is actually a man. Almost.

What do you do in a country filled with people who think you've stolen their job? A country that is drowning in the sea of recession and believe that every Indian left on the planet is hell-bent on making sure that lasts? A country where "brown people" are treated like Christmas turkeys?

So much for their love for their motherland. As the ubiquitous tambi would put it.. poda.. die off.
I would'nt really complain if these guys just finished their masters, stayed there for a year to enjoy strip-bars and good beer and came back. But no! These guys settled there, started a American Football team (or family, whichever way they want it) and now, after more years than I might have seen, they're chickening out.

In all fairness they have a right to social security and dal chawal and all the etc they talked about, but why call it their love for the motherland?

And if you're young and opininonated and still in college and want to do something, here's the gauntlet, stay here.

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