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Archive for April, 2009

Mistake me for what, a clown?! The clause don’t mistake me is classic Indian English for do not misunderstand what I’ve said or don’t misconstrue what I’ve said, just like other great additions of our nation to the English language – cousin sister, co-brother, prepond, close the tap, and so on. No, my objective is not to flaunt my little knowledge of the English language (as is common practice down South of India) – I like to see languages as they are.

So the objective of this post is to put forward the importance of effective communication. A few months ago, I played a game of chinese whispers (a.k.a. telephone, gossip, le téléphone arabe, stille post and so on) with a bunch of my friends. Hey, it’s that game when one person whispers a phrase to the next and it goes on in a chain and you try to see if the information has been passed on right to the last person. And of course – the message was lost when it went to the third person in line. What’s the relevance? I’ll tell you why. It begins with my receiving a million e-mail forwards everyday (yeah, it’s an exaggeration, I get at most 4 a day). I seldom forward them, but I do read every single forward that reaches my inbox. Some of them are fun to read, some plain stupid (my blog-post kinds), some informative (gets me all excited at times, and I choose to forward them), and the rest are just boring.

A while back I got this e-mail regarding rule 49-o of the Indian constitution/book-of-rules/election-guide/whatever. Especially with the voting season setting in, I was all pumped up to share what I found out with my friends and forwarded it to a lot of people. Right after that, I decided to do some research on the thing – turns out that part of that email was a hoax – the part which said re-elections would be conducted under certain circumstances. Anyways, if you’re very keen on knowing more about it, look it up my older post, or on God given gift to dorks, or their own awareness site. And right after I read this, I sent a second mail clarifying what I’d written earlier – yeah, not many bother doing that I know.

Second case. I got an e-mail forward this morning about how you can save someone experiencing a stroke. And in case you’re still bummed, a stroke occurs when there’s a clot in one of your arteries (those tubes that take blood around your body) leading to your brain. The brain needs fresh blood, and if it doesn’t get it, it’s not good. So this mail I got tells you how you can identify someone having a stroke. Use the words STR (ask the stroke-ing to Smile symmetrically, then Talk coherently, and Raise both arms – if they screw up any of these, you can panic and call for an ambulance). So I thought I’ll enlighten the few who read my blog with this information, and thought I’ll google it up before I put it up on my website, and the first google hit for identifying a stroke was a link to Hoax Slayer. It turns out that a person could be having a stroke even without showing any of these symptoms. Can you believe it? There’s actually a website that goes around busting myths about email forwards! Whether those guys are jobless or not is debatable.

So here’s my request to entusiastic e-mail forwarders, “do a little research on the e-mails you send – it helps to convey the right message across to people.”

P.S.: If you want to read more about how to identify a stroke, look it up the hoax-slayer link earlier, or on Pony’s site, or at About.com.

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A disturbed mind

There’re happy times in life. And then there are happier times (in view of the optimist residing within me), which make the sad times look more crappy (the antagonist to the optimist). Life being full of ups and downs, or twists and turns, or compressions and rarefactions (for the geeky), or strained and relaxed (for the normal folks), things really haven’t been smooth around me (like duh)!

First it begins with happiness, butterflies in my stomach, and I’m celebrating, spreading happiness, thinking optimistic about everything. And then there’s the part where life plays a bitch. The source of my happiness disappears, then the world starts debating (thanks to my spreading my happiness). A set of people mock me, one bunch can’t believe it, one bunch choose not to believe it, and the rest of the world’s just ridiculing. There’s one idiot who’d sympathize, but managed to time when his laptop would get screwed, making him non-communicate-able. Aaagrh! I’m so angry that I could beat someone up! I hope this would ease my mind. Rest in peace, anger.

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Collision course

Sometimes we’re on a collision course, and we just don’t know it. Whether it’s by accident or design, there’s not a thing we can do about it.

On a thursday morning like any other in Bordeaux, three ticket-inspectors were chatting in the lobby of the Pessac railway station; a 15-year old girl was trying to finish her homework due that morning. At the same time, I was taking a shower before leaving for work. Meanwhile the girl had finished her homework, and put on her coat to leave, while the ticket-inspectors were discussing the prospect of France winning this year’s football world cup. By now I had gotten out of my dorm, and sprinted to the tram-stop outside my building and barely managed to get into the tram that was leaving as I jumped in. The girl was now halfway from her home to the bus station when she realized she had forgotten her bus membership card, but didn’t bother going back to pick it up because she was already late for school. The ticket-inspecters were still discussing football, smoking their cigarettes outside the entrance of the Pessac railway station. The girl was now in the bus, and the bus departed. Although she did not have her bus-card in hand, she didn’t bother purchasing a ticket just for the day. The tram reached the terminus near the same bus terminus as the bus left the place with the girl inside. I ran towards the bus, but it had left and the driver obviously didn’t notice a mad man running towards it. It was then that I decided to outrun the bus to the next bus stop. I ran down the nearest road,  wondering if at all it would lead me to the next bus stop. While I was on it, the bus was stuck at a signal outside the Pessac railway station. Just before the signal cleared, those ticket inspectors standing near it decided to get in. In the meanwhile I was finding my way to find avenue Curie, where the next stop was located. The bus paused for an old lady to cross the road, while the ticket inspectors inside were arguing with the girl without her bus-card, and I was still running towards av. Curie. I finally got a glimpse of the bus turning into av. Curie. The bus driver tried to vouch for the girl, but the ticket inspectors had to ask her to get down at the stop.

If only one of the things had been different: if the girl had finished her homework earlier, if she had remembered to take her bus-card, if those ticket inspectors didn’t bother getting into that bus, if the tram I travelled in had reached later, if that girl had bothered to buy a ticket for just the day, if I had not bothered running to the next bus stop, if the bus driver hadn’t paused for the lady to cross the road, the bus would have driven by, and I would have had to watch it just leave again.

But life being what it is: a series of intersections of people and incidents, out of anyone’s control, the girl did get off at that bus stop, and the bus waited just long enough for me to get in. And as I walked into the bus, panting and my legs begging me to give up, I looked up and muttered merci.

Yes, I have shamelessly copied the narration style from The curious case of Benjamin Button. And here’s the irony in the incident: there was absolutely no necessity for me to rush to work that morning. It was a plain whim, which made choose a mad-chase to the next bus stop over waiting another 15 minutes for the next bus. But I must admit, the first two seconds inside the bus made all of it totally worth it!

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The darker side

Of me. Oh, that was the intended title: the darker side of me. But somehow I’ve managed to hit the tab key before I could complete. Never mind. I’ve been watching a lot of a television show named criminal minds, of late. For the criminally challenged, it’s about the behavioural analysis unit of the FBI, just like House MD is about a doctor, Heroes is about abnormal folks, and How I met your mother is about Barney. Now wait a minute, was it? Anyways, that is immaterial. And as it usually happens when one does too much of something, one starts imagining things. An empty alley appears like a murder site, I walk down my apartment corridor apprehensive of someone suddenly springing up in front of me holding a gun. And my friend Ashwin started wondering what it would be to start randomly murdering people – and I actually said if there wasn’t a stresser or a motive, no one would be able to track it down. But neither of us are psychopaths – no seriously, we wouldn’t dare murder anyone, or hurt anyone physically even.

But I did wonder what an evil side of me would look like. And incidentally I got into a conversation with Shashank. A random skype conversation led to the creation of this. A blog dedicated to boredom, and it’s for fun titled of wigs and muscles. Now that’s what an FBI behavioural analyst would call a devolution in a felon. And if you didn’t find this post incoherent enough, you might take your time to visit wigs and muscles. Trust me, you will regret it – at least once you read all the posts that are up on it. Cheers!

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