Dec 30, 2009

All I Need

An interesting football world cup, a new Radiohead album, even just a new flavour of bingo potato chips may make 2010 more eventful/exciting than this year. But it would be damn difficult to top this decade where I have gone to 2 colleges,worked in 3 different companies in 3 different fields, lived in 6 cities and visited many more, discovered Internet, Music, Movies, Alcohol,Vonnegut and That 70's show and almost died 5 times(just to make it sound more dramatic).
Ever wondered how cool it would be if you could spend a large part of your life(say 10-15 years) pursuing just one special thing( that's a different matter that fear of failure would probably stop you from start pursuing it in the first place). For example this guy in this movie builds a rocket in his backyard and even takes a trip around the earth after fighting against the society, FBI, government and common sense of the viewers . "Astronaut Farmer" is the name of the movie, not that it's a great movie, but still could provide some inspiration.
Anyway, (Warning: anticlimax ahead-), I haven't had any such vision/talent in the last decade.
But I probably will, in the next.


OR I can simply have more fun :)

Nov 24, 2009

Of Animals,Colours,Rock & Roll,Drugs,Alice & Desire

Is it a coincidence that the two grooviest songs ever are named White Rabbit & Black Dog ?


Hey hey mama said the way you move,
Gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove.


Nov 8, 2009

Importance of science in day to day life

The title of the post may sound like that of a 6th standard essay but believe you me , the post itself is much deeper and can have very positive effect on your life.
Somebody may ask why he needs to know why it rains or what we breathe - after all he is not the one who is searching for water on Moon or Mars ( and I keep coming back to water on Moon and Mars). Well, a very valid point except that you won't be a hit at the parties. You simply have to say that you are shocked that Large Hadron Collider stopped working because a bird dropped a piece of bread on it! Some poor soul may ask what actually Large Hadron Collider is and you just have to say that LHC is a frighteningly ambitious project - protons and stuff collide at high speeds and a big-bang kind of scenario is replicated. Some moron may even ask what actually big-bang scenario is - to this you just have to say - " You must be kidding, even India TV knows what a big-bang is" and that moron will be left visibly embarrassed. Finally, a drunk buffoon with a foolish smirk on his face would comment - if LHC is so advanced and all how can a fucking bird "dropping" make it stop? Here, you have to be careful enough to bring out your most contemptuous look and say - it's complicated... you won't understand. By the end of this statement everybody in the party will be in awe of you.
Science can have unlimited other benefits in your daily life - knowledge about global warming can help you win elections, knowledge about chemistry and chemicals and drugs can make you win tennis matches and what not.
Science can help you get ahead. Science can help you get away. I'll explain how but first a bit of diversion:

****************************DROGBA***********************************
The Persons of the Play: Didier Drogba

Act 1:

Scene: A Football field.

Drogba comes charging in the penalty area , bulldozing his way through 3 defenders using sheer brute force.Oh Drogba, you animal!!

Act 2:

Scene: A Football field.

Drogba sensing that he has lost control of the ball due to the lack of skills/confidence/hard work brilliantly grabs the opportunity to fall down on the ground just because the lace of the left shoe of one of the defenders somehow manages to touch the lace of the right shoe of Drogba.

Act 3:

Scene: A Football field.

Drogba rolls on the ground holding his face. He seems to be in an unbelievable agony. Spectators are shocked. Stretcher arrives.

Final Act

Scene: A Football field.

Ending 1: Referee gives a penalty. Drogba gets up within a blink of an eyelid, takes the penalty and scores.

Alternate Ending ( more popular): Referee gives Drogba a yellow card for theatrics. Drogba has a look of sheer disbelief on his face. He is angry and he wants to show it. He hurls choicest of abuses on national television.

******************************The End*******************************************

Didier Drogba recently commented that he falls down so easily because he is very tall and his Centre of Gravity lies way above the ground unlike some midgets like Wayne Rooney. Applause , Sir Drogba. What scientific acumen!! While you are at it, you wouldn't mind explaining why an impact on your foot is so painful for your face...maybe a nerve connecting foot to the face.

I hope by now you have realized how science can help in your daily life. And the good thing is that you don't even need to be well read or anything . You can get away with almost anything. You can't prove/disprove anything in science just like religion or ghosts. If on a bad day you tell someone that you saw an apple rising up (as opposed to falling down) and the other person is laughing at you uncontrollably , you should first make the other person shut up and then say to himin an astonished tone - " Which century are you living in? Pluto is not even a planet now. You still believe in that Newtonian shit?"

Sep 25, 2009

News!

They found water on moon! What the fuck did Neil Armstrong and party do on Moon? Jump around, take photos, come back and become legends? I mean what the fuck. All this time we were wasting our time searching for water on that planet. Oh what an anti-climax.All this while, aliens on the moon may be watching you cheating in the exams or bathing in the shower using household binoculars.

Rani Mukherjee says that she'll quit acting if "Dil Bole Hadippa" doesn't do well. And my faith in God is renewed.

Talking about Gods, Messi is now the best paid player in the history of football. And from the first few games of the season it seems he has ..hold your breath..improved his game further.
Also, Xavi lost the ball in the last match, first time since 2006.

Champions trophy is the most awaited cricket event of the year - i mean that's what ESPN- Star Sports tells us every other minute. Oh wait, breaking news coming from Australia, oh and England , and from South Africa and Pakistan, India too. Ponting is saying it, Pietersen is saying it, even Gavaskar is saying it( this must be really big!) : "One day cricket is a kind of game where the team which plays better on the day wins!!" . Ah, what novelty - especially considering that in Basketball the team that played better yesterday wins, in football the team that played better two weeks back wins and in hockey the team that plays worse on the day wins.

Finally, Fidel Castro praises an American President ! According to him Obama had the courage to admit that developed nations have fucked up the environment beyond recognition. Castro must have been a really attentive student in his childhood days, if he could catch that from Obama's emotionally enlightening speech - "We can.. blah blah ....yawn.. change is inevitable...blah blah... the time has come... blah.. we can.. blah.. change... yawn ... stop people like me from uttering so much of nonsensical globe to contain global warming.. blah..".

Our home minister says that Common Wealth Games is an opportunity for Delhiites to change their "behavioral pattern". True. They'll learn to cope with rejection. Not that CWG committee is very sexy anyway.

Air chief Marshal says that Chinese have a better air-force than India! That's really encouraging. No seriously.At least we have an air-force! I thought all our planes had crashed in trial runs only.

From 2nd October onwards bastards will be spelt as basterds as a mark of respect. That's when "Inglourious Basterds" releases in India.

Swine Flu is suddenly feeling ignored. Come on people have some heart - force a sneeze here and there, report to a news channel that the truck hitting the pedestrian was not the real cause of his death- swine flu was, do a bonfire of Tamiflus, eat some half-cooked pork, do something!

Sep 20, 2009

An Experiment in Masochism

Nine Inch Nails' album - "The Downward Spiral" is one of the best pieces of music I have ever heard. It's angry, it's violent, it's depressing and it's not for weak at heart. This 1994 album is an industrial rock classic- no I am not throwing jargon at you - it actually sounds like it was recorded in a steel factory. The Downward Spiral opens with "Mr. Self Destruct".
Here's what you have to do :

Step 1: Go to a calm, tranquil place
Step 2: Put on your earphones
Step 3: Turn up the volume to "Are you fucking nuts !" level
Step 4: Play "Mr. Self Destruct"
Step 5: Sit back and relax(while you have time)

There's this thing about "Mr. Self Destruct" - it's loud, it's hard, it's abrasive , it's downright nasty. But it's hypnotic and it is in some way pleasurable. I'll try to explain - ever tried scratching your nails on the wall, what if doing that could make you get rid of lifelong torture of trimming your nails again and again.Ever heard the chalk make that whistling sound on the black-board, what if someone was drawing a billion dollar treasure-map for you. Well, that's Mr. Self Destruct for you.
You'll be left shaken for sometime after you have heard the song. But after say 5 minutes when the after-effects have worn out, you'll play the song -again.
Quite an apt name for the song I must say. It is written for some kind of addiction, most probably heroin. But it could very well be about the song's addiction itself.

I am the need you have for more
(and I control you)
I take you where you want to go
I give you all you need to know
I drag you down I use you up
Mr. Self-destruct


PS: There are hundreds of live performances of Mr. Self Destruct on Youtube. This one is just the AUDIO. But it's not of great quality.You ought to download - to understand the full implications of the experiment.

Sep 12, 2009

Carolina Drama

The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely - Carolina Drama

I'm not sure if there's a point to this story
But I'm going to tell it again
So many other people try to tell the tale
Not one of them knows the end

It was a junk-house in South Carolina
Held a boy the age of ten
Along with his older brother Billy
And a mother and her boyfriend
Who was a triple loser with some blue tattoos
That were given to him when he was young
And a drunk temper that was easy to lose
And thank god he didn't own a gun

Well, Billy woke up in the back of his truck
Took a minute to open his eyes
He took a peep into the back of the house
And found himself a big surprise
He didn't see his brother but there was his mother
With her red-headed head in her hands
While the boyfriend had his gloves wrapped around an old priest
Trying to choke the man

Ah Ah Ahhh...

Billy looked up from the window to the truck
Threw up, and had to struggle to stand
He saw that red-necked bastard with a hammer
Turn the priest into a shell of a man
The priest was putting up the fight of his life
But he was old and he was bound to lose
The boyfriend hit as hard as he could
And knocked the priest right down to his shoes

Well, now Billy knew but never actually met
The preacher lying there in the room
He heard himself say, "That must be my daddy"
Then he knew what he was gonna do
Billy got up enough courage, took it up
And grabbed the first blunt thing he could find
It was a cold, glass bottle of milk
That got delivered every morning at nine

Ah Ah Ahhh...

Billy broke in and saw the blood on the floor, and
He turned around and put the lock on the door
He looked dead into the boyfriend's eye
His mother was a ghost, too upset to cry, then
He took a step toward the man on the ground
From his mouth trickled out a little audible sound
He heard the boyfriend shout, "Get out!"
And Billy said, "Not till I know what this is all about"
"Well, this preacher here was attacking your mama"
But Billy knew just who was starting the drama
So Billy took dead aim at his face
And smashed the bottle on the man who left his dad in disgrace, and
The white milk dripped down with the blood, and the
Boyfriend fell down dead for good
Right next to the preacher who was gasping for air
And Billy shouted, "Daddy, why'd you have to come back here?"
His mama reached behind the sugar and honey, and
Pulled out an envelope filled with money
"Your daddy gave us this," she collapsed in tears
"He's been paying all the bills for years"
"Mama, let's put this body underneath the trees
and put Daddy in the truck and head to Tennessee"
Just then, his little brother came in
Holding the milk man's hat and a bottle of gin singing,

La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la, la la la...
La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la, la la la...
La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la la, la la la la, yeah

Well now you heard another side to the story
But you wanna know how it ends?
If you must know, the truth about the tale
Go and ask the milkman



Sep 8, 2009

I refuse to be a victim OR Revenge of the harassed

Autos in Bangalore will stalk you.As you amble on the side of the road( feeling lucky to be getting some exercise), they will keep up with you. They'll block your view, they'll confine you, they'll give you claustrophobia and then when you finally give up and ask ," Forum chaloge kya?", auto-driver won't say a word and will turn away and accelerate at such a rate that would put Ferraris to shame. Apparently , a distance of less than 2 kms is beneath their dignity.
Sometimes, you may be lucky and an auto-wallah may stoop below his level and even consider traveling 0.75 kms. He'll say in a way which will leave you utterly obliged - "Chalo bees rupaiye de dena. " ( btw the minimum charge of the autos in Bangalore is Rs 12 for a distance of 2 kms). You'll try your luck - " 20 rupaiye kyun?" . He'll say in a matter of factly manner - " wahaan se khaali aana padta hai." Then you being a logic fan and all will say -" khaali bhi aaya to bhi total distance 1.5 kms hota hai. Minimum charge to 2 km ka hota hai na." Auto- wallah sensing his limited logical abilities and seeing that he's losing the argument takes a seemingly sentimental stand - " Kya saahab. Badi badi software companiyon mai kaam karte ho. Garib se kya choti si baat ko leke lad rahe ho!" In other words : " Either you give 20 bucks or you can take your ass somewhere else."
No wonder, for the excellent service they provide, auto-drivers in Bangalore consider themselves tip-worthy. Consider this: you have just availed a Rs 43 worth of service. You dutifully pay him 50 bucks and while you are expecting some change back, the esteemed service provider is ready to take-off. And when you ask for the change, this is what he says- " Saat rupaiye mai building banaoge kya bhai?" What a hardhitting question I must say! Hats off to you sir. You really deserve a tip.

In Delhi, you need to know your distances.As they say, it's the capital.You get down at New Delhi railway station and have to go to India Gate. So you ask for a ride. Capital is quite well-known for it's tourist friendliness and the auto-wallah is over-zealous to live up to that reputation. So he decides to make an announcement - " Bhaisaahab ko India Gate ghoomne jaana hai!!" And he goes on to describe how India Gate is almost at the other corner of Delhi and you are lucky to be going to India Gate because on your way you will receive a complete Delhi tour. So Rs 150 he is asking for is really like peanuts. But you know better. You ask 2 other auto-drivers for their best rates, and they say in exemplary unison -" Rs 150 only". But your well-wishers have pre-warned you - in Delhi bargaining at autos work much in the same way as it works in the Palika Bazaar. So you take a stand - Rs 75 and no more. After some negotiation final figure arrived is Rs 100. You revel in your accomplishment. Oh, btw in Delhi auto meters are used only to put up a show in front of the super-strict Delhi Traffic Police. Anyway, in about 10-15 minutes, after about 4-5 kms, at about 35-40 bucks on the meter you reach your destination. And when you express your shock , this is what you hear - "Stick to your word. Be a man."
Even the "Easy Cab" service which is supposed to be Delhi's answer to all these hassles refuse to be left behind. And only amazing alertness can get you from getting fleeced when the Taxi-Driver puts up the night charge(1.5 times) meter in broad daylight hoping you'll be too busy on phone or too rich or mostly too naive to notice .

The above are real experiences I have had in Bangalore and Delhi. But wasn't Mumbai supposed to be the mecca of discipline,professionalism and honesty.It took me some time to realize that all three start and end the moment taxi driver puts down his meter which he will do even before you can blink your eyelid. Oh, this is too common to even deserve a mention - this is when I gave a 500 rupee note to the taxi guy for the payment of Rs 30 toll and he gave me back 70 bucks. And when I asked him about the other 400 bucks, he said with a childlike-innocence - what 500 bucks? I just had to threaten him a little before he confessed, not to his failed crime but his poor vision/memory. Then there was this time when the taxi meter reading from airport to my house defied all normal logic. And in my utter disgust I just skipped the haggling part and warned the taxi guy that I had been living in the area for last two years and I knew the people around pretty well. It would just take a call before he would be badly beaten up by a mob. He could even get lynched if he was unlucky. Yes, I really said that. This was enough to scare the guy into taking the right fare. Or this time only few days back when meter reading seemed ok, but the card he was using used a multiplier of 20 instead of 14 ( hence a meter fare of 400 instead of 275). And this time- it was the payback time. So I made it very clear to the taxi driver - " Today is your unlucky day. The correct meter fare is 275, but I'll pay you only 200 and you can do nothing about it. Either you accept that or you can come to the police station with me."
And I thoroughly and unashamedly enjoyed that part. And I will look forward to every opportunity to do so again and again and again and AGAIN.

Aug 31, 2009

Kaminey Review

You don't become a Quentin Tarantino film by using some violence, foul language and cocaine. You need some engaging dialogue.

You don't become a Guy Ritchie film by having some gangsters who desperately try to act unique/cool/psychotic( but fail miserably at that). You need some humour and intelligent plot/twists.

You don't become a coming of age Bollywood film by having a kissing and condom searching scene.

I'll just say it without being diplomatic: Kaminey is a piece of crap. I slept twice during the movie and was awakened only by the loud and mediocre background score.

Aug 24, 2009

Ten best songs of the decade

I have spent a large part of the 2000s listening to the songs from 90s and 70s (ok 80s and 60s too), but I have caught up with time from time to time. And whatever I may normally proclaim, there has been plenty of awesome music this decade too. The title maybe a bit misleading(but only just) because I have taken only 1 song per band. Anyway here are the songs which you must listen to NOW( I can't stress enough how brilliant they are):

(again, in no paricular order)

1) Parting of the Sensory - Modest Mouse ( We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank)

Stairway to Heaven of the modern era.

2) How to Disappear Completely - Radiohead ( Kid A)

Oh, this was tough. Radiohead has released 4 albums in this decade. Yes, 4. But Kid A is special.

3) Can't Stop - Red Hot Chili Peppers( By the Way)

Cool lyrics,cool bass, cool intro, coolest video. A very very cool song.

4) Rebellion(Lies) - Arcade Fire( Funeral)

Who knew Canada could produce such musicians! This song is so beautiful that it's scary.

5) Fans - Kings of Leon( Because of the Times)

KOL can go on to become Led Zeppelin of this generation - they are so consistently brilliant, they have style and they rock. "Fans" - the song that got me hopelessly hooked to them.

6) I Never Came - Queens of the Stone Age( Lullabies to Paralyze)

Forget the music, forget the lyrics, just follow the voice. Well, a lesser known song from QOTSA, but this song just never leaves me.

7) Man of the Hour - Pearl Jam(Live at Benaroya Hall / Big Fish OST)

Pearl Jam has been rather disappoiniting in 2000s( considering how fucking awesome they were in 90s) but then, only they can produce such gems out of nowhere.

8) Lateralus - Tool(Lateralus)

You can either spend hours discussing spiritual and evolutionary connotations of this(or any other Tool song) like all those crazy Tool fans , or you can just rock out to this masterful song.

9) The Union Forever - The White Stripes( White Blood Cells)

Something about this song, probably the raw quality of it makes it irresistible.

10) The Way We Get By - Spoon( Kill the Moonlight)

I had to justify my earlier post on this blog.

Aug 18, 2009

Can we have more "total creativity" please?

Today I'll talk about this genre of sci-fi movies - (natural) disaster movies. Any disaster movie/book can be broken down into 5 distinct parts - 1) The Cause 2) The Primary Effect 3) The Secondary Effect 4) The Approach 5) The Solution. Almost all of the movies are very creative in the first two parts , but leave a lot to desire in the last two - especially the last one. I'll use and abuse 3 movies to prove my point.

Armageddon

Cause: Some asteroid gets naughty ( happens due to lack of parental control)

Primary Effect: It is on a collision course with earth. ( who wouldn't want to bang the earth!!)

Secondary Effect :It will create kilometer high waves, dust blanket and all the other cool things resulting in mass extinction, total annihilation or any apocalyptic phrase you might know. ( Are you kidding me? Oh my God!)

Approach - A bunch of people who drill holes will drill a hole in the damn thing. ( quite obviously)

Solution: NUKE THE BLOODY THING. ( Now we are being creative!)

Sunshine

Cause: Sun is infected with Q-ball( refer to the great google for greater details). Btw, this is never told in the movie, but is assumed to be a common knowledge - oh come on, who wouldn't know what a Q-ball is? ( Don't go out in the sun.Don't stare at the sun. Hell, at least Q-ball had the balls.)

Primary Effect: The sun will soon stop shining. ( Go on, I am all kicked. Perpetual Night Life and all!)

Secondary Effect: sun's death => earth's death ( Are you kidding me? Oh my God!)

Approach: Travel to the sun in a sexy spaceship with a sexy reflective shield which can never burn, which can never melt, which can never give up. ( only 6000 degree celsius. That's like insides of my oven)

Solution:NUKE THE BLOODY THING.( Holy shit. I could have never thought of that!)

The Core

Cause: A man induced earthquake. ( We have heard of this..haven't we)

Primary effect: Earth's core stops spinning. ( But we haven't heard of this!)

Secondary effect: Earth's electromagnetic layer gets all fucked up causing beautiful thunderstorms and giving free passage to the almighty UV rays which will result in, yes you guessed it- mass extinction. ( Are you kidding me? Oh my God!)

Approach: Fly inside the Earth in a laser guided rocket made of indestructible material quite amazingly named "unobtainium" in the movie! ( No space travel this.)

Solution: NUKE THE BLOODY THING.( I am getting goose bumps!)

So you have got the point. If you haven't - Nuking is the panacea. Someone may argue that nuking looked like the only logical solution in those cases. But why are we talking logic now? Who wants logic? Even I could have suggested some options(worthy of the extremely creative causes and effects) if they had paid me to write the script. It's like the writers got an idea but didn't want to work on it. It's like they loved to initiate it but got bored of it in the middle. It's like what Kurt Vonnegut has said ," “Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.” ( maybe not a very apt quote but a quote nevertheless. Vonnegut one at that)

For a change , it would be great to see some movies with very normal causes and effects but very imaginative solutions. But that's always difficult, isn't it?

Aug 11, 2009

Gifting Ideas

One of my Wingies got married some days back. Rest of us dutifully chose a seemingly perfect gift after exchanging 100 emails or so. This time we have really outdone ourselves - yet again. To give you some background - it started with a camcorder ( Can you believe it? A camcorder! yuk), but it was the first one, so we can blame our lack of creativity on our lack of experience. Next one got a Playstation 3. Yeah, he is damn happy with it but his wife is not. The third one got an Apple TV( which is really cool) but not without lot of deliberation . Options like Treadmill ( which initially seemed a pretty cool idea but was rejected because we thought that it might give an impression that we think that they are unfit!) , Skiing & snowboarding kits, Home Theater System, Handheld GPS , even Telescope(:D) were discussed and discarded.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you - iRobot Roomba 500 series.
It's a vacuum cleaning robot with wireless command center, virtual lighthouses and what not. You just have to press the clean button and you can go out for a movie while Roomba cleans your whole house room by room, without getting stuck , without falling down. It automatically recharges if it runs out of energy and finally returns to its dock after finishing the cleaning! Ain't it hi-tech?
But the real clincher was not its utility or coolness or technology. The real clincher was the reviews like this : " Love my girl Rosie." OR " Roger is a family member now."

Check out the video : Roomba At Work

Aug 5, 2009

Possibilities

It could be what Jack the Ripper thought of his prospective victims.
It could be what Milky Way thinks of unruly earth.
It could be what a Biology geek thinks of a juicy frog(still alive) kept in the lab.
It could be what Gorbachev thought of Soviet Union.
It could be what a critic thinks of somebody's self respect.
It could be what Black Mamba thought of Bill (before deciding to use the boring 3-step technique)
It could be what Pink Floyd thought of that radio jockey who used to babble a lot.

"One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces" - One of these days, Meddle.

Jul 20, 2009

My deepest, darkest secret

There are two words which I just can't pronounce : Infrastructure & Theta. And they are not even widely acknowledged tongue-twisters!

I mean who the fuck creates these words. Who places two 'r's in strategically idiotic places in a word so as to make it impossible to articulate.And I suspect I am not the only one here. I have seen many people using the short forms like "infra","i-structure" ,"IS"," roads and bridges", "r & b" in conversations which they try to project as cool but is actually a trick to mask their inability to pronounce the correct word.And we cry of lack of infrastructure in this country. I say if we can't pronounce it how can we expect to develop it.A wise man once said that development begins at the grassroots level. Change the word - let's say to "bricky" or "tartarum" and you'll see 10 Shanghais in India by the end of the next year. How is China doing it? Haven't you figured it out yet - THEY DON'T SPEAK ENGLISH.And I am especially sick because in my line of work THIS word just doesn't leave me alone. I mean, " INDIA LACKS GOOD SPORTS INFRASTRUCTURE." is the most uttered sentence in this business.How unlucky can I get?
For those who are reading this with contempt for my articulation abilities, I say get your tongues checked or apply for a job at a circus nearby because no normal person can pronounce INFRASTRUCTURE with ease.

Thank god I don't have to say "theta" much these days.I have left theta far behind in those days of trigonometry & differential equations."Teta", oh sorry, "Tetha" sorry again, "Thetha" , sorry yet again, "Theta" is a nightmare of a word to speak, if you haven't realized it yet.It's a total tongue-fuck. Look at alpha, beta, gamma, pi,delta,iota,omega,mu .. they are so smooth, so easy and hence have become so legendary in what they represent or how often they are used in life governing physical laws or mathematical equations. Yeah yeah, "THETA" also has a fair share of usage( though nothing in comparison to others i mentioned) but that's because of limitation of Greek alphabet and obsession of scientists with them.No wonder "theta" was the symbol of death in Greece. Symbol of death it is. Death of linguistic common sense. Death of beauty of speech.

Jul 7, 2009

Greatest Ever?..hmm.. How? Are you joking?

First it was about not being consistent enough to justify the style.
Then it was about not breaking Pete's record.
Then it was about not enough competition.
Then it was about not hitting volleys.
Then it was about not hitting aces.
Then it was about not enough mental strength.
Then it was about not winning on all kinds of surfaces.
Now it's about not winning against that bullfighter in the finals ( even if he can't manage to reach the finals).
Then it will be about not winning all 4 finals in the same year.
Then it will be about not winning all the finals in straight sets.
Then it will be about not controlling your emotions when you win or lose.
Then it will be about not making loud grunting noises.
Then it will be about not winning with one eye closed and both hands tied together.

You people, do you just want to keep debating because you love debating or are you seriously blind/dumb.

Jun 9, 2009

31 songs

Yes, I found my alter ego. It is the English author Nick Hornby. And this one isn't the Fight Club type everything-that-I-am-not alter eg0 but a perfect substitute, a similar-traits alter ego. He thinks like me. He loves his football and football club. He loves his music. To be very frank, I am not a die-hard fan of Nick Hornby's writings. He is witty and intelligent and passionate , but his books are not what I'll kill for. I have read only 2 of his books - Fever Pitch and 31 songs/ Songbook ( this one I am still reading) and I have seen 2 movies based on his books - High Fidelity and About a Boy- that's about it. Moreover, our choices don't match - he loves Arsenal and he loves mediocre music. But we think alike. If I had written a book on my favorite music it would have read pretty much exactly the same( except obviously the songs). Obviously , I don't have those kind of writing skills - that's why I let my alter-ego do the hard work. When I said I am still reading "31 songs", it's because I haven't heard many of his favorite songs( remember I told you his music choice is mediocre), so everyday I have to listen to 1 song from the book, try to like it and then read the chapter on it. But the way he writes makes you want to fall in love with music all over again. And we think alike.
He says, "All I have to say about these songs is that I love them, and want to sing along to them, and force other people to listen to them, and get cross when these other people don't like them as much as I do" . That's not him, that's me.
He also says, " If people remember songs only because they have some memories attached to them, then they don't love music at all." I agree.
He says many other things in the book which I wholeheartedly agree with.
Now, the cheapest and most cliched thing to do would be to make my own list of 31 songs which is exactly what I'm going to do. As I have told you , I am not as good a writer as Nick Hornby so I can't write chapters , but I'll write small paragraphs on the songs I like.Again, it is impossible for me to select my favorite 31 songs( as it would have been for Nick Hornby), so I'll just write about some great songs and why I consider them great.

In no particular order:

Spoon - The Way We Get By

Unfortunately, this song is associated very strongly with OC. Yes, I am talking about that crappy drama of/for teenagers which had nothing going for it except for some seriously good looking female actors. Anyway thanks to OC people noticed this song, people noticed Spoon. I heard this song 6-7 years back and it appealed to me then. Why wouldn't it? It's damn catchy and talks about getting high and listening to Iggy Pop( What's the deal with Iggy Pop. I mean, why do so many people tell us to listen to Iggy Pop?) OR if we don't take words just for face-value, basically living a carefree life. If more people had listened to it, it could have easily replaced "Another Brick in the Wall 2" as the college anthem. What's the big deal of not wanting education,isn't it granted anyway? "The Way We Get By" is more insightful /apt that way. It reminds me of another great song by Smashing Pumpkins, "1979",which has a similar theme and on some other day would have been on the list instead of this song.The way we get by is so universal in its playable quality that you can play it in parties, you can play it during a road trip, you can play it in your headphones in the repeat mode, you can play it anywhere. And what a wonderful use of piano!
Why should this song appeal to me now? Why shouldn't it? I still crave for a carefree life or as Iggy Pop would say I still have a "Lust for Life".

"We go out in stormy weather

We rarely practice discern
And that's the way we get by"

Who wouldn't have done this sometime?
Who wouldn't want to do this forever?

You would be crazy to think that I'll be crazy enough to write about all 31 songs right now. I probably will, in due course of time.But not now.
Meanwhile I'll force you to listen to "The Way We Get By", and get cross if you don't like it as much as I do.

May 28, 2009

Greatness


Too bad that you need a resume to prove that you are too good.
But then,nothing can be too bad for those who are too good.

Quite possibly the greatest team to have EVER played football. I believe it today. I believed it even a month back.


PS: I can slaughter 1000 lambs right now if it would please Xavi, Iniesta or Messi.

PPS: I just wanted to add this VIDEO. As Phil Ball from ESPN- Soccernet would put it - pure romance.

May 26, 2009

From CIA files

Two North Koreans - Xing Zoohoo (x) & Yang Ponguin (y) having a breakfast conversation. (Translated to English for the benefit of the readers)

x: You know what I feel like doing today?
y: What?
x: I feel like stealing an atom-bomb from the Kilju facility.
y: And do what?
x: Nuke the bloody Great Wall.
y: That China one?
x: Yup
y:And how do you plan to steal this bomb?
x: Oh it's easy. I'll just bribe the security guards.I don't even need to spend money.I have lots of southie( South Korean) videos and movie CDs! Sure they can't resist those.
y: Hmm.. yeah. But how will you take it from here? Won't they catch you at the airport?
x: Oh they'll catch but I'll bribe again. You wouldn't think that I am naive enough to use all my rare CD collection on the kilju security guards alone! But I think, that sucker may be very heavy for my backpack. Sometimes these economy class airlines can be pretty strict on their weight rules.
y: So?
x: I won't steal the ready-made bomb. I'll steal plutonium.I've heard there are lots of factories in China which do this bomb-making stuff at very low cost! And with a 2-day delivery guarantee too!
y: And what if they catch you at the Chinese airport?
x: Oh, that's no problem. I'll just say that plutonium is for the ultra-confidential next generation power generation technology to be first tested in Shanghai.
y:Pretty cool. But why Great Wall of China? I mean, it's been there for years! It's one of the wonders of the world! Why would you want to destroy it?
x: What purpose is it fulfilling now? I mean, it's just there. Like the Appendix. Like the wisdom teeth. It's not even a pretty sight.
y: Oh, what are you saying! you can even spot Great Wall from space!
x: Which idiot would like to go to space and spot earthly things and that too a bloody brick & stone wall. Aren't there enough mindboggling stuff in the space itself? It's like going to India and searching for North Korean Lizard noodles instead of enjoying Hyderabadi Biryani!
y: But isn't it a waste of a nuclear bomb?
x: Waste? What do you mean? You'll rather kill people?
y: No, no. I mean why waste a bomb to destroy a wall. And anyway it's like 7000 kms . I don't think one bomb would be enough.
x: Sure it won't be enough. But it will surely develop some cracks in the bitch. Moreover, it's symbolic.We don't want barriers. We don't want WALLS . I think even Chinese people will welcome this act of mine.
y: Oh, what a noble thought.You inspire me.

Apr 21, 2009

Movie List

10 MUST WATCH cult movies:

28 days later

What is scary: Waking up and finding yourself in midst of chaos or waking up and finding yourself totally alone? The bloodthirsty disease-infected "zombies" or the "sane" army personnel who are supposed to protect you?
The brilliant shots of deserted London streets, the breathtaking soundtrack, the bit of gore or the edgier, non-crowd pleasing Danny Boyle; everything about this movie is pure classic.


The Descent

I'll just say that this is the best horror movie I have EVER seen. Yes I liked it better and I found it scarier than than Shining and Exorcist and Halloween and Omen and Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho and Rosemary's baby and Blair Witch Project. If the creatures don't kill you, claustrophobia will.



The Blair Witch Project

OK, the handy cam may be the only reason why this has achieved the cult status. But quite frankly, the "true story" feel it gave, the very palpable desperation and fear it contained, the torch on the face, the horrific ending, everything blew me away when I saw it for the first time.



Clerks

Enough of horror movies. For those who can't tolerate a generous helping of foul language, twisted jokes or Kevin Smith( read bordering to toilet) humour even clerks is a horror movie. For others like me , watching these two people talking crap for 1.5 hours at a grocery store is a laugh riot.



Office Space
A movie with the tagline : "Work Sucks" has to be a cult movie, isn't it?
Peter Gibbons:
Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door - that way Lumbergh can't see me, heh heh - and, uh, after that I just sorta space out for about an hour.
Bob Porter: Da-uh? Space out?
Peter Gibbons:
Yeah, I
just stare at my desk; but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.



Pink Floyd: The Wall

What have we here, laddie? Mysterious scribblings? A secret code? No! Poems, no less! Poems, everybody!





Barton Fink

One of the best Coen Brothers movie. Definitely the weirdest.
It's got everything : Broadway, Hollywood, writers, murderers, mutilated corpses, very fine acting, confusing ending and your own interpretation.
Dark, surreal and exquisite.


Pi

Maths and mystery of the universe.





Dazed and Confused

It was the last day of school in 1976, a time they'd never forget... if only they could remember.

All those who love 70s, raise your hand!



Adaptation

It may sound blasphemous but I liked this better than the legendary "Being John Malkovich".( From the same Spike Jonze-Charlie Kaufman combination).
Even Nicolas Cage couldn't make me like it less.

Apr 4, 2009

Enlightenment

I thought I understood the meaning of treachery and deception, politics and power struggle, murders and suicides, good and evil, grandmothers and relationships, marriages and infidelity, entertainment and cruelty, family and kingdom, slavery and freedom, monarchy and tyranny, fear and loyalty, reason and treason, kings and gods, food and poison,own blood and cold blood.
And then I read "I, Claudius".

Mar 24, 2009

Messiahs are not Gods after all

There was a moment in the Barca - Malaga match on Sunday when Messi was in a one-on-one situation with the Malaga goalkeeper. And he missed. There was a stunned silence in Camp Nou. Even TV commentators stopped talking for few seconds. Pep Guardiola sat there with his mouth open. It wasn't that Barca was in a desperate need of a goal - they were already 3-0 up. It's not uncommon for strikers to miss such chances. This chance probably won't even qualify as a sitter.
Still, people were speechless.It wasn't anger. It wasn't surprise. It wasn't even shock. It was sheer disbelief that struck everybody.

Anyway, coming back to the missed opportunity. Actually, goalkeeper made a decent save and it was a clear-cut corner. Probably referee too was too stunned to notice that; he whistled away for a goal kick. Under normal circumstances, a normal player would show his disgust , even hurl a Latin version of motherfucker towards the referee( if he can afford to take a yellow card). But well, Messi was so very disappointed with his own mistake that he couldn't care less about mistakes made by other lesser mortals.

Messi's mistake was not the only speechless moment at Camp Nou that night. One came before that. That was when Messi scored a goal, well, which only Messi can. Crowd went silent for a moment. And only after the brilliance of the goal had sunk in, that the stadium went into ruptures.

Mar 2, 2009

Godzilla


With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
He pulls the spitting high tension wires down

Helpless people on a subway train
Scream bug-eyed as he looks in on them

He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town

Oh no, they say he's got to go go go Godzilla
Oh no, there goes Tokyo go go Godzilla

History shows again and again
How nature points up the folly of men

- Blue Oyster Cult


Jan 23, 2009

One fine day

I'll be brutally honest and say that I was not born with a burning desire to join a sports management company. In fact, I don't think anybody in India knows what a sports management company does ( even now, I am not sure). Some knowledgeable people may disagree, but I bet even they didn't know much 15 months back. IPL did not exist then. Also, economy was doing pretty good.

Anyway it was just a regular night. 3 of us were sitting in a restaurant , having dinner, gulping beer. We always had(still have) arguments in general on random topics. Beer just made the discussions much more passionate & uninhibited. Anyway the topic for the day was : "Future of Indian Sports."
If I remember correctly, Indian youth football team had won something important that day( important from Indian perspective but utterly inconsequential in the larger scheme of things).
So Pranil said, "I see a great future for Indian football and Indian sports in general". Pranil was/is the optimistic type. We(me & Meka, pessimistic,cynical type) said " what nonsense". And hence, the discussion began.
Facts were quoted. History was misquoted. Passions rose. Even tempers rose.Naturally, volumes also rose. So much so that everybody else in the restaurant stopped eating and started staring at us. It seemed, some of them even wanted to join the conversation ( who wouldn't?).

Meka had slowly phased out of the discussion because he thought watching two people fight over something that doesn't affect anyone of them was much more amusing. He just made sure that argument didn't die down by carefully voicing his opinions now and then.

Noisy BLAH.BLAH.
Mellowed out BLAH.BLAH.

"Indians lack skills, strength and stamina required for football. You can acquire one or two of those but not all three. You have to be born with at least something."
"Not true man. Have you seen kids playing football in the park in front of our building. They are damn good."
"Have you seen Brazilian or even Japanese kids play?"
"I bet if there is an excellent academy here in Bangalore , excellent football players can be produced."
"Why don't you open a fucking academy?"
"Oh. Actually a good idea. Let 's start an academy."
"Huh? I was just kidding. Anyway we(you) don't have resources to start an academy. Why don't you start with a small football tournament or something. Probably for schools. You'll know what talent we have here."
"Right. We can field our own team! Getting funds for kids shouldn't be a big problem."
"Yeah it shouldn't be."
"Let's do it."
"Ok. Although I am not convinced about the talent, it can still turn out to be a good business idea. We can even start a club!"

BLAH. BLAH.

"Waiter. Bill."

Normally these grand plans which start at the table, end at the table itself. But not this time. Next day emails were exchanged.Definite plans were made.Time lines were decided.

And after a week of not doing anything, we reached a grand conclusion :
"We don't know anything."

So we pondered over the fact if there was someone who knew. I decided to do some research and was pleasantly surprised to find some companies in India who did something in sports. And one of them was located very close to my house!We thought we could get them as our partner, or still better- tactfully extract some gyan and do our own thing.
So, I went to meet them. And here I am working for them. For the past 14 months.

We still can't/don't even contemplate opening up an academy.
Pranil is still working in his old tech-startup. He sometimes tells me, "Dude!A beer changed your life!"

Jan 6, 2009

A philosophical take on Life & Universe

Somewhere some scientists are perspiring over the fact that they underestimated the mass of Milky Way and that our beloved galaxy will "collide" with the big daddy Andromeda much earlier than what was predicted earlier. And hold your breath, collision will happen in less than Seven billion years. Holy Cow! I have already started preparing my bucket list. Have you? Moreover the dude says, "One thing we don't know yet is whether Andromeda will hit us square on, or whether it will be a glancing blow."
SERIOUSLY, who pays these guys? Recession anyone?

By the way, I am not exactly opposed to all these scientific studies. I believe only curiosity & exploration(no matter how misplaced it may be) can make life on earth worth living. Yeah yeah I have heard the argument on why waste money on sending rockets to moon when you can spend the same money on building roads or distributing food. I am in no mood to point out flaws in that argument right now. But well, the argument is flawed.

My only grudge is that despite this focus on scientific research and all, the advancement in the technology has been nowhere close to what we had expected in 1950s and 1960s.
We thought that man would be traveling to Jupiter and beyond in 2001. And what do we know, we clap like infants when we watch Neil Armstrong jump on moon. On MOON? Distance between Earth and Jupiter is like 900 million kilometers. And moon is just a stone throw away. Last time I checked pictures from one of the satellites I could spot the ball which went missing when Yuvraj was molesting Broad.
That too happened in 60s & 70s. That too probably never happened.

We thought that we would have cocktail parties with aliens. And what we have are some people getting orgasm on sighting some ice on Mars which ain't enough even for 1 whiskey on the rocks.

We thought that we would have pet robots who'll wash our clothes, do our homework, tell jokes to us or even assassinate people for us. What we have is an aluminum box which mumbles 1 of the 10 pre-recorded messages after measuring our body temperature and we think that we have got the friend we had been waiting for whole our life.

We thought we would travel through time. But all we have is lack of time. *****
We thought we would develop advanced telepathy. What we've got here is a failure to communicate.
( I could not resist that :))

I can go on and on. But what's the point ? It will just add to the frustration.

I don't know what the reasons are for this utter failure. Is it that the Cold War is over? ( Which idiot said peace and development go hand in hand). Or is it due to the invention of internet?( We have porn and social networking, what else do we need?)
Maybe in 7 billion years..........


***** Socrates would have been proud of this line!

Mind-boggling Science Fiction 3

Me to my personal Artificially Intelligent buddy, Rocket:  Rocket, can you do this calculation for me. What's 7 + 4? Rocket: Dude, d...