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Posts Tagged ‘bosh’

It’s been a couple of weeks since I shifted to Bangalore, and whenever someone asks me how’s the place, I respond with an automated message, “oh it’s great, except for the traffic that makes you suicidal.” If you’re someone who loves driving like me, you’d understand what I mean. It’s the kind of town when you tune into radio while driving to work, and the RJ says, “I’m giving up my daily samachaar at 08:08AM to warn you people not to go to work in case you haven’t started yet. The entire city’s traffic situation is satya-naas.” Could you ask for a brighter morning?

However, this sob story is all too well known to everyone. Being the optimist that I am, I try to find a silver lining in any situation that gets thrown in front of me. New company delays joining – I get more time with my wife. Mother cites aadi maasam sentiment to not move into new house – we invite ourselves to friend’s place for a month to party hard. Car’s gone in for service – let’s pick up an Uber pool to commute.

So that’s how I unassumingly hired an Uber pool last evening to go from the KR puram tin-factory area to Trident Hyundai’s showroom on the intermediate ring road off the Domlur flyover to pickup my car from service. I was logical enough to cross the road so that I’d be in the direction in which I need to commute, got into the cab. The cab driver, Suresh, was a very well mannered person (judgmental assumption from one gentleman to another), and addressed me “Sir” at every conversation, and we start talking about traffic related stuff.

Fifteen minutes later we’ve crossed a whole fifty meters in the evening traffic, and he’s excited to see another passenger whom Uber matched. I was all too happy, to think that I might get to travel along with interesting people, pick up a conversation perhaps and forget about the bangalore traffic (or about the overcharging that the service centre is going to do). So he accepts the co-passenger(s): they’ve marked their pin at RMZ infinity, and we were bang opposite (at the fag end of Gopalan Mall on Old Madras Road). I asked him if he could please request them to cross the road and get into the car, as a couple of U-turns would mean we lose another half an hour. I mentioned that I had also crossed the road to get into the cab as I knew which direction I needed to go. He turns to me, and I quote him: “Sir, aap jaisa log sochte nahin hain. Dekhiye, yeh log faltu mein drama karenge.” He very politely explained to them over the phone, that he’s across the road, he accurately gave the cab’s position so that they can locate it, and the ladies agreed to cross. Five minutes later he gets an angry call from one of them yelling, “paagal ho kya? Kitna chalke aana padega?” He still keeps his calm and gives me an I told you so kind of look and tells me, “Dekhiye Sir, drama shuru ho gaya.”

And enter two young girls, and I presumed they work at EY, looking at the ID-tag on one of their necks. One of the passengers was Megha (who was very calm and coy), and I don’t know the name of the other – she didn’t bother with pleasantries (let’s call her UNK_GRL). They stormed into the car – the UNK_GRL turns to Suresh and yells that they had to walk a whole kilometer and the car was too far away, and if he couldn’t explain directions properly he should have taken a U-turn and come to pick them up from the building – even better the reception (I’m sure if possible, she would have wanted him to directly pick her up from her work desk). I can testify that the location they had dropped the pin was bang opposite where our car was located, and after getting into the car she says that they were beyond the Gopalan mall, and had to traverse the entire length of the mall. I kept quiet for not wanting to lose my mind, but just wanted to tell the UNK_GRL that if she’s so particular on people being clear, she must have known better to mark the fucking pin in the uber app. And I just wonder what achievement makes her feel so superior that she’s better than the cab driver. He’s doing his job: one doesn’t need to appreciate him, but could at least be polite to fellow human beings – the cab driver and the darned co-passenger. But I must be grateful that at least they didn’t ask me to get out and sit in the front seat. And before Suresh could respond to her accusations, she turns behind and says, “you know what Megha, just leave it! I don’t want to end my day like this.”

And begins the journey. We’re all on the phone, and Suresh turns on music to avoid any more accusations and drives away peacefully. Every now and then there are random conversations between the two on what to cook, about the traffic, about a random test UNK_GRL needs to take the following day quoting how stupid her employers are, about small gallis and how she wouldn’t know alternate routes to her destination because they were in tiny roads. The irony was that eventually their drop point was in the middle of a heavily congested locality filled with tiny roads. I mean, what the hell is all that fuss about. And finally they pay Rs. 32 for the shared ride and get off. THIRTY-TWO RUPEES. That’s it, and she acted as if she owned the darn car and as if Suresh was her slave imported from some other land.

I just sighed, “all this fuss for thirty-two rupees!” Suresh turns to me, he says, “Sir, I told you, right! This is pretty much how most of my customers are. What would UNK_GRL be earning? 40-50k per month? I hold a fleet of four cars I own. I got three other drivers who work, and in net profits (after deducting operating costs) I make approximately 2.6 lakhs every month. Sometimes I wonder why I need to put up with such people, but of course, I can take off whenever I feel like it.” He also tried to stereotype North Indians as being crass (I didon’t agree with his sentiment), but anyway that was his point of view. I just passed a judgmental joke or two about UNK_GRL (my bad), and we shared a hearty laugh.

That was the last of the conversation about them. We continued talking about more relevant things – some philosophical, some about current affairs, minimal about Bangalore traffic, and I even found out a place that’s better for car servicing, etc., and possibly made a very resourceful friend. After all, you meet people to enrich your lives, right?

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Unlike’ly

Facebook has a like button. The like button is rampant, and gives you the possiblity of liking pretty much anything, from someone’s wedded life to possibly thier terminal cancer diagnosis. And once you like something, much unlike you’d expect, it gives you an option of “unliking” the same thing.

So I wonder, what it is to unlike something. It is pretty much unlike any other form of un- based negation: you can undress someone who is dress, someone unwell can recover and become well; some stuff that were once a luxury and unnecessary have now become necessary; and many went from being employed to the un-prefixed version of it when recession hit them.

But to “unlike” something is to redefine English, unlike any other common misplaced word. It’s so commonplace that we don’t even realise that instead of saying, “I don’t like this anymore,” we decide to “unlike this.” Also, you can “unlike” something you once liked but just don’t appreciate anymore without necessarily disliking it. Too much for your liking? Go find something unlike this then.

P.S.: I do strongly support Krish Ashok’s suggestions to Indianise the Like button, unlike Grammar Nazis who believe in changing Aashai mugam to Aasai mugam.

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Now, this might sound like an abuse to anyone like me who’s grown up in Chennai Madras watching thamizh cinema, and I am confident Samosapedia would agree with me. What, they don’t? Bloody buffaloes, they deserve a thodappa kattai. Anyhow, I am not here to abuse anyone, or take any. In fact, this blog post has nothing to do with thodappa kattai in an abusive connotation.

It all started when my friend asked me last week, “Vignesh, in India, you don’t have aspirateur?” to which I responded with a proud, “why of course we do! We even have one at my parent’s place.” And then comes in response, “then why don’t people use it? I thought it didn’t exist in India. People use that thing, why?”

What thing, you might wonder. It is none other than the Indian broom stick, or jhaadu, or thodappa kattai. This blog post is just about its history, geography, therapy, and more! But while I kept thinking “oh this would make an amazing blog post,” I had to respond to my friend who was standing wondering what great logic millions of Indians share about the thodappa kattai. So I put on my thinking hat:

Think baby think

And I tried to come up with an explanation; many in fact:

  • No no, in India there’s lot of dust on the floor. And a vacuum cleaner can’t clear it out. Neither does a broom.
  • It’s good for health. Really?! Stay bent down, screw up your back, very nicely put.
  • We use the vacuum cleaner for removing cobwebs in remote corners of the wall & ceilings. So, that bans you from using it on the floor?
  • It’s cheaper to use brooms. You have the darn vacuum cleaner at home already. Why won’t you use it? What’re you trying to conserve, electricity?
  • We have servant maids at home. So you can’t train them to be more efficient.

And then it had to be, “we’re just used to it.” Finally, an answer that even I’m sick of. That’s a sure shot conversation winner. But after some time-wasting with google, I figured it is perhaps a style statement. BigStock certainly thinks so:

Thodapamista! There’s a whole series of photos by the way. Visit the page and you’d see how trendy it is!

I think I can actually go on and write a whole new entry about this series of photos. Thin sleeveless blouses, matching handle to the broomstick, kitch colours, it’s perfect for the common Indian bride-seeking boy! Oh darn, I’m deflecting again. Alright, as promised, I present to you, the history, geography, and therapy of it.

History: well I know it comes from the store. Why does it matter who invented it? If you want one, you can buy from Bison Cleaning Products Pvt. Ltd. And their brand name is in fact consitent with my earlier abuse to samosapedia. Another interesting fun fact about the Indian broom is that you have to tune it first. Because the new broom releases more dust than it cleans. In tamizh, we term it poo kottaradu (meaning the falling flowers). I’ve seen the maid in our house scratch the newly purchased broom against a coarse surface until it wears out. Just beats me!

Geography: it seems it isn’t limited to the Indian household. This England-raised Irish Liz Scully woman has extensively written in her smitten dust trilogy, in three parts, namely part one, part two and part three, on India, dusting and maids in India dusting.

Therapy: See photo on top, if it doesn’t help, buy yourself a broom and hit yourself with it. Slipper would also do. Make sure it’s torn. If needed, I will provide you with worn out slipper.

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I have a problem. I get distracted easily. Very easily. And my attention span is becoming shorter than that of a goldfish. Speaking of goldfish, it seems it isn’t true that their memory lasts only five seconds – ask wikipedia. Speaking of wikipedia, it’s amazing how they run that website without advertisements, and how something free could have so much of reliable content. Speaking of content, if only their contribution system was more user-friendly and didn’t look like a geeky computer programming page, I would have also contributed. But yeah, I shouldn’t talk about giving reasons – I’m just lazy. And now I’m wondering how my line of thought is drifting so fast! Much like how Sheldon Cooper explains his train of thoughts. And then how he dreams of trains in the episode “The Herb Garden Germination” (The Big Bang Theory s04e20):

Sheldon: I’ve been thinking about Dr. Green’s efforts to make science palatable for the masses.
Leonard: What about it?
Sheldon: Nothing. I’ve just been thinking about it. Now I’m thinking about fractal equations. Now I’m thinking about the origins of the phrase ‘train of thought’. Now I’m thinking about trains.
Sheldon: Now I’m thinking about Jello. . . . Oh! Back to trains. Whoo whooooo!

So you see my point? I get distracted quite easily. In fact, I drift away while talking, which would be much seconded by my dear friends. I do, however, in most cases, come back to where I broke off. So why this article: distraction is probably what keeps my mind running! So here’s a nicer example of what pushed me into facebook in the middle of a working Friday. Okay, don’t laugh at me saying who works on a Friday in France – I’ve had my bad experiences, but here’s what happened this Friday:

It all started when a friend of mine asked me if I had access to a scientific article. This one, to be precise:

Image

Well, we didn’t have access. So I thought I’d ask some friends of mine who might perhaps. My trusted Trio – well, the three people I keep bothering every second day with some favour or another – one from a cold Sweden, and a couple of Etas-Uni-ers. And they didn’t either. I could have closed the story then, but never give up, right? So I looked at the article again, and noticed that the authors are from Cornell. Wondering whether the University might have subscription, I went into facebook to look for any friends I might have at the Unviersity – none presently there. But then I thought while I’m at it, I might as well see what’s happening on facebook. And then stumbled upon this picture on facebook:

Icky nonsenseYes, it’s one of those pictures that you cannot un-see once you’ve seen. And my friend is good at making sure he hits as many people as possible with such atrocities. And to add to the distraction, I had to see a comment about how that resembles someone who’s eaten too much of noodles. So that got me reminded of the movie se7en – and the first crime in it – murder for the sin of gluttony. And then a few more videos on the movie, how Kevin Spacey surrenders, and gets shot by Pitt, and a couple of other youtube videos on Spacey – and then I remembered electrophoresis. Got back. Ah work, if only you would accommodate all this loss of focus!

P.S.: This blog post took over an hour to type – it included a skype talk in the middle, some motivation from friend to complete a blog post saying that it isn’t energy consuming, and 30-40 mins of wikipedia, google, and wikipedia on google. I think it’s time I call it a night. Before it hits morning. Sigh!

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Yes, I know a lot of friends who read the Times of India for entertainment. My good friend Mashank Shasaldan in fact gains kicks out of finding the creepiest articles, invariably lascivious in nature, and pings me on Gtalk going “dude, check this out.”

The news did catch my eye today, for one, Ajmal Kasab was hanged today. I’m sure you can read enough in the blogsphere about what his emotions were before he was hung, but I sought for the more traditional news channel, and bumped into this article on how secretively he was finished. They’re sending letters by courier to his family. Seriously?! I wonder what the letter would say:

Dear Smt. & Shri. Kasab Sr.,

Your son Ajmal was caught four years ago for killing a lot of innocent civilans, and setting a few buildings on fire. Justice has been served. He has been hanged until death today, in secrecy. FYI.

Regards,

Secret Justice system of India.

But what was more interesting was the comments that followed, a few of which were very carefully penned, empathising with the families of all those lives he is said to have claimed. But before I could read a couple of them, my attention was attracted towards big badges that TOI gives its dear readers. There are influencers, word smiths, networkers, movie buffs, etc., a detailed wooing elaborated right on their website:

Image

So without wasting more time into even trying to understand what each of those “rewards” mean, I am going straight to the skewed comment that caught my stray eye. I saw Mr. I am Nobody from the United States Of INDIA (yes mind the upper-case emphasis to patriotism). He quite represents the quintessential abusive anti-islamic commentator, if I may. I’m positive that he would answer any question of mine with his sentence beginning with the clause “I can able to”, but I’m not going to judge him either. So here’s one of his eye-candy comments:

From what Indiatimes suggests, his comment has an ‘influence’ value of 7 on a scale of <unknown>, and he is a “wordsmith”, and has a network badge because he has 76 “followers”. God save him. Even if it be Allah. Because what I see from his posts is that he is anti-islamic, rather quite baseless, and what got me laughing was when I scrolled over one of these badges for an explanation:

That thing’s (I’m sorry Mr. Nobody, I can’t imagine you are human anymore) name in this page is “Pedophile Mohammed” – yes, spelt correctly. I can understand you can’t screen each comment ToI, but you have to get your things in place. And this definitely isn’t the first article I’ve seen where the comments section flow in with abuses. Please put in a screening filter mechanism before comments are so highly propagated, or fucking close the comments section. Sigh!

Anyway, this wasn’t what got me blogging after nearly two years of silence. There’ve been a lot of factors – a change in my lifestyle, thinking, etc., that’s gotten me to write again.

And before I finish, it’s Nick‘s birthday. And one thing I know that he enjoys is writing. The guy has a passion for it. Nick, I’m dedicating (not this post – it’s an excuse for something not even remotely readable) “my return to writing” to you. Happy birthday dude! I hope you have a great year ahead!

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If

If I started my own private engineering college,

  • I would call myself the chancellor to the college, and make my children pro-chancellors at the age of 10 in order to get a place in the Limca Book of Records. Don’t blame me, if you want, build your own college and make your 2 year old son a pro-chancellor.
  • I would locate it on either sides of a busy railway track and use bright spotlights so as to attract attention from people passing by. Don’t blame me, the shiney prospectus isn’t doing much good.

Location

  • I would employ the best photographer in town to take pictures that show shining faces in front of huge buildings to promote tourism, oh sorry, to attract students. Don’t blame me, people like to see beautiful looking campus.

Prospectus

  • I would accept donations for building the college, selling engineering seats. Don’t blame me, I’m just taking money from those who have it.

Seat

  • I would sanction 20% reservation for women students to access elevators. Don’t blame me, I’m just helping them grow in the society.

Lift

  • I would employ security guards, provide them with whistles and ask them to shreik when they see people of opposite genders within two feet of each other. Don’t blame me, I do support the abolition of section 377!

Gay parade

  • I would put up vast lawns, water them with semi-treated water (which still contains ammonia in order to spread its wonderful aroma). Don’t blame me, I’m recylcing water.

Recycling

  • I would put up huge walls around the women’s hostels (that even prisons would consider a high-benchmarks), barbed fences over the high walls, and 4-feet deep open-stormdrains right outside so that there’s no escape. Don’t blame me, I’m just concerned about their security.

Hostel security

  • I would issue hostel ID cards in order to keep a tab on how long each one of them are going out. Don’t blame me, I am answerable to parents should their irresponsible 20-year old child goes on vacation.

Hostel ID

  • I would impose a minimum 75% attendance per month criterion for students. Don’t blame me, I can’t bear to watch classes empty.

Attendance

  • I would increase the student intake exponentially every year. Don’t blame me, I’m providing an opportunity for people to study.

Intake

  • I would put up speedbreakers that are so high that even people walking would have to slowdown to jump over. Don’t blame me, safety is of prime importance.

Speed breaker

  • I would change college policies faster than people normally update facebook status message. Don’t blame me, no one else survives in my college beyond 5 years.

Tweet

  • I would waste paper by setting up an elaborate feedback system that could be computer-read, and make every student fill one up without ever taking the feedback into consideration. Don’t blame me, I just want the form to look cool.
  • I would enable wifi access throughout campus, however block over half the sites that are there. Don’t blame me, I’m just making sure everyone uses the internet right.

wifi access

  • I would make students fill several unnecessary forms for the same thing, and update the forms from time-to-time without any notice. And I would employ double the number of people to sit and type the filled in forms in excel-spreadsheets. Don’t blame me, I’m just providing jobs.
  • I would make people write letters for things others might consider trivial. Don’t blame me, I’m just making sure that the paperwork is clean.

Letter

  • I would allow everyone who is a staff to exercise power they don’t have. Don’t blame me, I’m just empowering people.

Hierarchy

Disclaimer: This blog-post is a work of my creativity. Any resemblance it might have to anything in reality is purely co-incidental. Yeah, right!

Picture credits: The elevator picture is derived from realityRN.com, which can be found here. Gay simpson cartoon courtesy Slap Upside the Head. Spongebob picture courtesy Parodies. The attendance shortage image was developed from this image up NCAH’s website. The speedbreaker image was lifted off cartoonstock. Tweets and firefox error page altered with the help of a script from here. All other cartoons, graphs, and smartarts were made using microsoft office, with help from good ‘ol photoshop.

P.S.: Do look through my newly updated blogroll.

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\/\/ Ŏ ® |) $

Wordle is beautiful. It is of course besides, the point that it makes beautiful word clouds. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And why wouldn’t it be? Especially when it is made up of a thousand words. Well, maybe not a thousand, but a hundred perhaps.I’ve more or less been stuck to my computer screen all week – preparing my report for most parts of it, checking my mail, having fruitful and not-so-fruitful gtalk conversations, watching new House MD episodes and so on. While at the above mentioned, I did look into the updates my reader had to share with me – and found a few new blogs to follow. Notably, an unquiet mind showed me the world of wordle through his post.

What the website does is simple, you give it content, it would give you a weighted cloud of words in return. It gives you an opportunity to analyse what words you use most often (for those with a geeky touch in them) in a beautiful cloud form (for the lesser mortals). So I thought I’ll use the website to analyse what my blog’s about. It gave me this:

Wordle of my blog

Turns out I give a lot of importance to people in my blog and like football. And I didn’t feel like stopping with just figuring out how my blog looks. So I took the previlage of feeding the toy some of my friends’ blog feeds. Ashwin writes thus:

ashes wordle

Ah, “good times around” it says – in coherence with his post on good ol’ days in college.

Nikhil (along with Vyaas of course) goes:

nikhil worlde

It almost looks like it’s a riddle. Or a jumbled set of words from which you’d have to make sense out of. The best part is that you can connect them as you like: “take chemistry and graduate actually, little students in ya favourite class” – doesn’t make sense? I don’t understand either.

My other blog with shashank appears like this:

wigsandmuscles wordle

Classic. Pure rubbish – totally unrelated, and nothing is prominant. It defines what the blog is about – pure gold plated shit!

You can of course go on all day playing around with wordle. Feel free to explore! Before I end this post, I’d like to attribute all the images in this post to wordle, respecting the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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