Friday, October 16, 2009

Billy recovers his poise

With a quick surreptitious glance over the landscape making sure that there simply was no dignified way of making myself scarce- one of the brambled hedges lounging on the roadside looked promising but I daresay my Violet velvet jacket would not have taken too kindly to breaking bread with spiny what-nots - and squaring my shoulders for the assault ahead, I donned my "Ho there" face and beckoned the lost soul.
"Ho there! Ruddy nice morning we are 'aving, eh?", I said.
"Uh huh."
"I concur wholeheartedly , my friend. Not at all like the late November ones that makes you think you were serving time in a gulag winter camp and they had forgotten to issue you your regulation orange jumper suits."
"Uh huh"
"You are right! It does remind you of that song. Now how did it go. If i remember correctly , it starts from the fourth high tenor
tum tiddly tum sunshine tiddly tum
to the 5th scale in baritone
tiddly shining Sun toom toom
concluding with a flourish
toom Sun shines toom tiddly tum tum.
Excellent song, that. Eh? "

Canny objective observers as might be found buzzing around in the Hostel Quadrilateral when this exchange was going on , might have noticed an uncanny feature of our conversation. Even though ,I, for the sake of the greater good and all that, tend to collar any spoken interaction that I might be a party to, I do concede at least one word to the opponent for every four that I throw into the pot. But this was way beyond the not-so-fine line that separates a Dialogue from a Monologue. I half felt that I was rendering one of Shakespeare's soliloquys while the other contract actors on stage carried on with scarce regard for the literary merit of what I had to say on the subject of Sunshines, suns and mornings in general. Something, as they say, was afoot.

It was common knowledge that Billy had been very recently and equally unceremoniously dumped by that inexcusable piece of a girl that went by the name of Perry. But this diagnosis for his new found reticence failed to cover all symptoms . For break ups(and experience had taught his coterie well) usually gave a fillip to his usual prolixity and a dumping more often than not found our pal ready to recount his tales of woe at the drop of a hat, , to anyone who cared to listen with him(Billy,not the unsuspecting, hapless one lending his ears) invariably playing the Wronged Saint, the Mr. Nice Guy, the Chivalrous Knight and in one case, the Hunchback of Notredame. Long story that!

"Uh huh."
"Man U got their collective behinds kicked by Arsenal."
His eyebrows raised by a sixteenth of an inch.
"Oh. I see."

That was the last straw. Immediately grasping the urgency of the situation, I decided, prevailing over my better sense of self preservation , to get to the bottom of this mystery and calling for two restoratives from the canteen boy got down to brass tacks. I mean, what is a friend if not in need and as I saw it , if corrective actions were not taken with promptitude, things would deteriorate beyond redemption. I silently oversaw the proceedings as Billy downed the twins simultaneously and sighed. It was a deep resounding sigh, from the deepest darkest trenches of his heart, that proceeded from his lips, heard even, as is sometimes claimed to have been heard in the neighboring district, causing innumerable fatalities among a visiting flock of Pelicans that were caught smack in its wake .A sigh, in fact, that could make Karan Johar wallow in despair and in a frenzy of inspiration, go and shoot a black and white movie.

"Out with it, my man. You seem a tad off your game.", I bespoke.
Another sigh. A long brooding one.

"I hope you have learnt your lesson. Girls are nothing but trouble. You remember that TShirt PK was wearing the other day. Apparently , there is even a mathematical proof for the same. Very elegant one too. I must say, for all the tribulations that the fairer sex causes, there are times when I would rather pick A. Extinction of Human Species over B. Being manipulated by a piece of Rib. Toying around with human playthings, throwing scraps to the queue of slavering hoi polloi and when they finally leash one, teaching them tricks like Shopping, buying Shoes and causing general nauseousness all around. And for what? They rub their pets behind their ears and watch their tails go wag themselves crazy. Human rights violations, I say! And whats gone and whats past help should be past grief and all that."

I was just warming up on the general topic of "Why girls should be banned" , a topic on which I had had a treatise published in an international refereed journal brought out by free thinking men all around the globe, when Billy , still with that dreamy faraway look in his eyes said,

"Nice, one of yours?"
"Nah! Some bloke from the middle ages. Apparently he survived the Plague."
"Tell me JD, have you ever been in love?"

You know, one of those sitcoms where there is unsolicited laughter every 10 seconds on the most inane and sometimes non existent jokes. I could hear them over the crickets. Recovering my poise, I combusted.

"Is it still her? Does the heart still ache to hold her close to your bosom? Was not the dagger that she plunged through your heart enough ,when she snipped off your jugular when you weren't looking, tying that noose around your neck while tying the knots and so courteously fastening the anchor to your feet when you went swimming in the vast ocean of love, commitment, honor and chivalry? "

"Perry. Who else?"
"Ahh,Perry. That abominable atrocious pipsqueak. Speak not of her to me, for enough of her I have had. Truly fine a day it was when we parted rags for no longer could we have been together."

I could see that he was distressed at her name for he had slipped into Yoda tongue again but I was thankful that he had got over her. But then again , the droopy eyes, the lolling tongue.


"Already?How long has it been? 5 days?"

What followed was one of the squeamiest, disgusting bilious load of mush that ever were spouted from human lips. I have often heard of these modern day critics oozing praise for the exhortations of love that once flowed forth from protagonists of romantic poems authored by the Tennysons, Byrons and Wordsworths but I would bet my bottom penny if those chaps could even touch the heights that Billy surmounted that day when he unveiled his new Flavour of the Month. I am forced, keeping in mind that the readership of this column likes to keep its food in its rightful place, to snip off the more lyrical parts of the monologue and reproduce its paraphrased version below.

Billy gushed thus:

I called for a restorative ,on the ice and it was only after they had safely made the trek down the alimentary that I was able pull myself together.
"Billy, I hate to break this to you, but she already has a boyfriend."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Billy's BreakUp

Disclaimer: Any resemblance , real or imaginary, to people living or dead is most definitely not a coincidence.

It was a good morning.

Mountains were dew-pearled, my pet snail, Roger was on the thorn ,the lark on the wing. All in all, the sort of morning when God comes out of his house, sees all’s pippin’ with the world and goes back to heaven, fresh milk delivery in his left hand and the latest Cosmopolitan issue along with the daily newspaper curled up in his right. The sort, in fact, that would have sent The Boatman of the river Styx to take the day off and go springing from bower to bower , Communists hugging George W bush like a long lost brother who ,on his part, would snip off to the closest orphanage to kiss little kids’ foreheads . If, on such a buoyant morning , I put down the feeling of impending doom to a concerted conspiratorial attack of last night’s dinner and the 4 shots of Caribbean’s strongest- whom I had sent down to investigate the riotous upsurges from down below, immediately after- a graceful murmur of “ Perfectly mot juste , my dear DJ. We understand”, should immediately conspire among the citizenry. The joint operations by Messrs buttered bread and cream-and-sugared coffee cleaned up the effervescent tingling of the aforementioned dark, hovering clouds of wars, treasons ,stratagems and spoils ,as poet Brown puts it, so much so that after ferrying a couple of revolutions full of people through the revolving doors of the cafeteria , the people who beheld me walking on the streets would have gasped in amazement if some philanthropic soul had informed them that I had no springs under my feet. “Gorblimey Guv’nor, You are mistaken about the Mister that has just passed away(Uncouth barbarians! Passed away indeed) . Positively leaping, I say, by as much as four and three-quarters of a feet in the air”. With such energy I made my way through the thriving throng that thronged three-tenths of the triangular thoroughfare.

Of course, it is expected by the more discerning of the audience , who are asphyxiating with bated breathlessness at the current state of things , that a disastrous denouement must immediately follow, for a good thing as this cannot last and that the peace of the tranquil street will be shattered by , if not a boisterous rally by the Uttar Pradesh Navyuvak Utthan Mandala to protest the recent hike in the wholesale price of White truffles ,then at the very least, a couple of philanthropic knife yielding gentlemen who would be kind enough to rid me of the antique watch that I have to lug around with me on my wrist day in, day out. In retrospect , I would rather have taken my chances with them, perhaps practice my newly acquired skill in executing triple steps and twirls in the arcane art of Ballroom dancing with my adversaries, than submit to the nightmare that followed.

I ran into Billy.

Inadvertently , of course. Ever since the bloke encountered his first dumping of the season , he had been haunting the campus hangouts , looking as cheerful as a prisoner on death row watching his hangman doing crosswords even as he is being led to the noose. Dare ask him a 7 letter ending in an E for “One you won’t find in a foxhole” and be prepared to lend him your shoulder for the better part of the next three hours(if you are lucky and he isn’t inclined to prolixity) while he pours out his Italian opera, all this time ,tucking into your stock of Cheese sticks and Chicken wings. And when the meeting breaks up , him being none the worse for the experience and you set back by a couple hundred quids, he invariably touches you for a Grey one to help him get through the testing times.

General consensus as to what led to the breakup varies. Some attribute it to the slightly apocryphal story of when he smuggled in his pet mouse, Monsieur TickyTock, into the girl’s dormitory ,who finding itself in alien surroundings, viz tidy cupboards, books arranged in order of their dimensions and the dainty smell of Chanel No. 5 wafting in the rooms , instantly went about setting things right, causing a not insubstantial amount of disquietude among the dorm residents . Used to order, discipline and world peace, the flurry of small furry legs on bare arms , kempt hair and the recently procured supplies of Thaggu’s latest (the city’s favourite laddus) seemed to exercise a strain far beyond what Adam’s rib was built to tolerate to and led to an immediate schism between the two love birds. The veracity of these claims is questionable since Billy housed no other known pets besides Mr Mac and the modus operandi of the disaster does not jel well with the iguana who used to be choleric the whole day if he didn’t get his 20 hours of sleep. I mean, Who wouldn’t?

Another school of thought , founded by Smart Alec traces the origins of the break up to the following alleged event the evening of 17th September, 2009. According to one eye witness, the cooing lovebirds were nestling under a neon sign in the solitary Multiplex of the city, whispering I am sure, sweet nothings in to each other ears, giggling and being generally nauseous to the surrounding multitudes. The eye witness, call him A, much shaken by the ongoing goings on ran out for a quick sobering smoke and handed over the reins of observation to another by stander, Mr B. This person was more assiduous in his duties of Public Nosey Parker and continued to keep a shifty eye on the proceedings.

Time passed.

Time continued to pass.

There seemed to be no ebbing in the flow of pleasantries between the couple , completely oblivious to the queasiness their cuchy-cooing was causing until presently a free thinking stalwart of free society took it upon himself the responsibility to put an end to the marsh-mellow fair the whole mall had degenerated into. Rallying forth like-minded citizens, they congregated a couple of feet from the couple and according to Mr B, complimented the fairer half of the duo on the aesthetes of her anatomy, including but not restrained to the gorgeous curves, radiant physiognomy and lush flowing tresses of her hair. My friend Billy, being a socialist at heart, thought it was very kind of them to lavish his partner with such well thought out comments ,some which he thought had great literary merit and with a little bit of polishing and Old English, could be added to his already burgeoning repertoire of romantic missiles.

“Aren’t you going to teach those arseholes a lesson ?”.

I daresay women since the beginning of time have had this misconception of their partners being veritable Supermans who can dodge bullets, kick the crap out of any other male in the vicinity (no matter if the male in question looks like Hulk on steroids) and be generally up and about all the time. Bringing to their notice the ashen visage, the protruding belly and the balled up fists of fury holding on fastidiously to their Big Macs is an exercise in futility for the fair eyes are already shining with pride on their very own dashing knight in shining armour that hath come to rescue the fair maiden. They absolutely refuse to consider that the poor guy might be the New Age Gandhi with excellent ideals of “Ahimsa”, “Live and Let Live” and “Slapped on one cheek, set forth the other”, these being more the consequence of muscular penury than any real fondness for the MoneyMaker and an attempt on part of an objective observer to bring this to their kind attention has more often than not led to.... let’s just say, unpleasantness .

I daresay(yup, I daresay a lot), Billy articulated these points in some detail and was later seen slinking out of the mall, his face slightly aglow with the allegations delivered by his girl-fiend ,beg pardon, girl friend in full public view, the allegations being mainly concerned with the detection of what are commonly considered as his manly organs. And there and thus the matter rested.

Of course , a major romantic tangle doesn’t rest on its laurels . With two theories already doing the rounds, the third hypothesis made its appearance in a pot smoking session. This one was more lenient towards the defence counsel in the sense that it judged the recent altercations as being an amicable separation of the two sides due to reasons of mutual incompatibility. The story claimed that Billy had a confidential amorous relationship with Megan Fox while she mingled with George Clooney and his ilk, hence they parted ways promising to be good friends forever a la Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt. But you know how pot smoking sessions are. It’s hard to make out the truth in the smoke.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Girl in the Library

26th July, 2009

ToE : 1 PM

Just a routine jaunt to my favourite haunt in the campus. As expected, the place was silent as a tomb not because of any strictness in adhering to the “Keep Quiet” signs, quite conspicuous by their absence but because it would have been completely out of character for any person to come here when the semester had just started. Imagine the consternation if he/she was found out by their peers, immersed in a novel in the library, barely 24 hours after registering. Horror!

Nothing much has changed over the vacations. The guard on duty, roused out of his mid-morning stupor impetuously asks for an ID, happy to have found someone to heckle for no reason. He is a new one on the job, I see. Thakurji usually waved me in without such ceremonies. Well, he will learn over time. I see a couple of matkas in the corner(M.Tech students) going at it like rabbits( rabbits very sincere towards studies, that is). For them the year is usually one giant monolithic study hour and I can make out 3 very old timers poring over manuscripts like there is no tomorrow. They all as a rule, keep to themselves and its always awkward to smile at them while passing by; they seldom smile or even frown back for that matter. The books are all there of course, except those that have been listed as reference texts by the respective Course Instructors. They are the first ones to be whisked off in bulk by rampaging students and I suspect that they will fulfil their destiny of gathering cobwebs through the semester in somebody’s room while he/she plays Counterstrike on his latest laptop. Well, it’s our not to reason why...

But the rest is all there. Works by Spinoza, Landau, a solitary Wodehouse, Coffee table books on the murals of Ajanta and Ellora, a veritable feast for one who looks closely enough. The library seems to be the perfect place to be, to curl into one of the wooden chairs that would give a neck pain to ElastiGirl with a newly discovered Thurber in hand while the sylvan fountains outside blocks out the world from your consciousness. Ah... it is good to be back.

Found Nirad C Chaudhuri’s 1979 edition book “Hinduism”. My day is made.

27th July, 2009

ToE : 7:45PM

Headed straight for my customary ‘workplace’ on the third floor. The hostel quad is witnessing unparalleled levels of ragging the freshmen. Needed some peace and quiet and 34 degrees at 90% humidity in a room isn’t really my idea of one.

A new entry. Usually you don’t see freshers coming to the library so early.,mostly because of the blanket ban on movements outside the hostel gates once the classes are over. And a female at that. Interesting. I steal a glance .Yes ,definitely a fresher . The dress code, the flinch on hearing footsteps that might herald the discovery of her blasphemy, the sigh when I had crossed, all there. Didn’t see her face in that millisecond glance.

I pitched tents 3 desks behind her and got down to the Adventures of Bertie Wooster and Reginald Jeeves in the county of Snodsbury-in-the-Bush. She had luxuriant brown hair knotted in a cute ponytail. Wonder what her face looks like. She had taken off her shoes. Clever move. Salwar Kameez with shoes are always incongruous and distinctive especially with Fresh-men and Women are being hunted by rabid squads in the days before the Fresher Party. She left at 10 so as to make it back to her room without arousing suspicion. Wonder if she made it back safely.

1st August,2009


By binary search , I have isolated her time of arrival. She comes in at 6:30 and leaves at 10. I suppose she hasn’t met any of the squads yet on her way back. Good. Good. I look up as she enters, cast a knowing eye on her dress code, throw in a reassuring smile for free only to see her blanch. Seems like the smile is more evil than reassuring. Maybe my facial muscles have atrophied. But at least she knows that I mean her no harm as she slides her Reeboks beyond sight. I could have applauded her grit. Though she can do with some more humor in her reading. Dostoevsky isn’t very healthy to read especially in times like hers. Well, every man his own poison ,every woman her own eu de cologne .

2nd August, 2009

Things brought to a head today. Gave her a nod and a smile to her. I see she wears specs and the physiognomy tends to the cute end of the spectrum but other details are still hazy.

3rd August,2009

Feeling like Young Lochnivar galloping in from the East. Sat facing her today. Two overzealous sophomore girls pottered into the section and suspecting foul play, zoomed in on the prospective offender. Now there wasn’t enough number of people around to annoy if you raised your voice and that’s what they did. After a dialogue or two on the importance of interacting with seniors , they were going to embark on an exposition of the choicest abuses that you can hear from members of the IITK fraterinity when I stepped in. I didn’t of course physically step in,just cleared my throat from a distance to announce my presence.

The proceedings then became more muted but I could see the terror in her eyes. For some reason, I went up ,said she was studying with me and them shooed them away. There are some advantages of being in the seniormost batch of the college. You are assured that you are not messing with the wrong person at any point of time. No doubt muttering oaths of being deprived of fresh meat, the two sounded retreat. She didn’t say anything as I made my way back, nor did I.

5th August,2009

Dropped off the customary half pack of ‘Polo’ on her desk. She accepted with a smile and said ‘Hi’. Strangely enough, yet to get my voice. Got 2/10 in a quiz in Mth509 despite studying for 5 hours in the library. I know I should start sitting somewhere else and I know equally well that I won’t.

Seeing that she had finished her Dostoevsky when she was out for lunch, I surreptitiously place my favourite Wodehouse copy, “Jeeves in the Offing” on her desk with a small note specifying when I want it back and slide back to my place. She is bewildered, I am sure, but then laughs out lightly and I can feel her sight boring into my back. I desist from looking back.

10th August,2009

The date of returning has come and there it is. I imagine I can smell a tinge of perfume on it but specificity as to whether it is Chanel No. 5 is beyond my reach. Tucked into the book is a small note saying “Thank You.” And I see a copy of “Crime and Punishment” on the desk too. Not very promising ,I must say, when a girl give you a blighted book as that. Next thing I know, she would be handing around Khaled Hosseini’s ‘The Kite Runner’.

Addendum : Heard her speak for the first time. Completely different from what I imagined it would be like but in a nice way. Ran into her in the Shopping Center. She seemed surprised on seeing that I existed outside the walls of the Library. I thought of asking her, her name, but somehow the fascination of the mystery seemed too precious to destroy.

20th August,2009

It’s mid sem time again. The time of the year when everybody suddenly remembers the Old Faithful and comes flocking back . reminds me of the old couplet:

!! Dukh mein sumeeran sab kare, sukh mein kare na koi

Jo sukh mein sumeeran kare, to dukh kahe ka hoye !!

I just hope i have been praying fervently enough through the first three weeks to get me through the midsems comfortably. Usually I am cool at this time of the year but I know something hasn’t been the same and I am as worried whether chapter 4 is coming tomorrow or not as anybody else. I see her sitting at the same place but this time she has her friends with her. She acknowledges me with her customary bright smile as do I , with my insides freezing simultaneously to render any and all dialogue impossible.

Reminded me of the fast moving montage of two people sitting at the same position in Central park, New York while the world rushed past them in a blur and the leaves of the trees turned from yellow to red to green and then brown and crushed on the ground. I think I have seen too many romantic movies.

Reminder to self: Watch Transformers: revenge of the Fallen as soon as possible.

24th August,2009

Back to the great Gobi Desert scene. She doesn't turn up. Probably out enjoying herself at the local Hookah restaurants with her wing mates ,just like normal people. Feeling alone. Absolutely no one in the building except the staff. Head back home for a day of watching Will & Grace, You've Got Mail, A Walk to Remember. WTH!

27th August,2009

Saw her sitting as usual and exchanged our non verbal pleasantries . Looked like a guy had joined her for studies. Didn't like the looks of him, no sir. He had what novellas referred to as having the Shifty Eyes. Break a leg, moron, on the first opportunity that presents itself to you and the world will be a better place for it.

The leech leaves at 9. She too heads out for a cup of coffee. I take a swig from my flask and head out after her. Today, I will know her name,dammit! She orders coffee,black as usual. I place one for a cold coffee,strong and head out to the seating area making straight for her. Commanding my voice, I hum and haw while she looks with those beautiful eyes at me. Ggr..gaw..glug... it goes on. It seems it will never stop. My tongue is tying itself into nice sailor knots and the mouth is dry as the Great Australian Outback.

And then , the rum kicks in and I say , in a John Waynesque drawl, completely unlike my voice , " Umm... Hi , Do you have a name?". Stupid line.

A smile to die for. "Thought you would never ask."


Monday, September 7, 2009

Ode to the Important and the Compulsory

2 little orbs
and the faint print of a nose
pressed against the frosted glass
his little sobs
behold his friends who chose
to play in the rain, coming home from class
Even as he turns back
at the clarion call
of the Important and the Compulsory

Hand in Hand
they walk on the lonely road
in the moonless night, the yellow arcades
A sliver of pain , a prick so cold
pierces his heart as he draws back the shades
Blinding out the scene
at the behest of the effervescent call
Of the Important and the Compulsory

Distant memories of
lazy afternoons , curled up with a book
Daily fixations
in an era long lost
that melted away at a single look,
One of the many
sacrifices at the altar
Of the Important and the Compulsory

Monday, August 31, 2009


Something very funny happened to my sister last night. It isn't something that would send a concerned brother yabba-dabba-do-ing around the house, in fact it is more likely to give him a fit, one of those apoplectic ones, with foam at the mouth added for effect. But analysed with sang froid; one of the 4 french doublets, the existence of which i am aware of; the event props up uncomfortable questions concerning the Life , Universe and Everything. And no, 42 doesn't fit the bill.

There isn't much in the story. Apparently , a guy in her college had 'seen' her studying in the lib and being more adventurous than most other guys ever are, approached her with the customary protocol of a stranger, greeting "Can i talk to you for a second?" and moving with extraordinarily blitz on to the next item on his agenda "Can i have your number?". I have it from experts that this Number is what people call, the nub of the matter, others call it the crux. Now the nub, anon the crux, it remains the axle on which the future of this 'friendship' exists.

My sister, knowing of my disapproval at her being accosted by random strangers in the night asking for a minute and then a number(and he didnt even know her name!), decided, for his own safety, to shoo him away by asking him flippantly if he was a first year student. This ,i am sure, stung where it hurt, for he was clearly in the same batch as hers and the subjects they took intersected partially . At this point, I must commend the guy for not completely breaking down and getting lost with his drooping tail stuck between his legs; rather he rallied ho, stammered an incongruous reply and politely informed her of the facts of the matter and where he came in, the status as it is. What finally caused him to slither away and dissolve in the grimy glare of the yellow sodium lamp was the slightly bemused smile that was frolicking on my sis' face all this while, the prolonged stare and the all important plugging the flow of conversation, already reduced to a drizzle, and now further accentuated with a chorus performance by the ever present crickets. It took a full 15 seconds of this concentrated coupled cooperation of the facial muscles to make the guy finally realise that he was on sticky ground, if not a morass in the Lands of Mordor. Seeing the position untenable and finding an audience unreceptive to his enlightening and intellectual questions, he decided to call it a day and slunk off ,no doubt in search of a restorative, an effect my sister has grown quite adept at having on people,especially juvenile infantile asinine arses including yours truly. I remember there were days when i looked askance at the house for not having enough beds or spaces under them to hide and escape from her roving gaze . But i deviate.
The kind reader by this point is certain to be thinking: "This is a jolly good story and i am sure the author has been assiduous in his reconstruction of events for our sake. But the point still eludes me. Maybe we missed it during that boring section when he went off on a sub-tangent to his tangent as he is wont to, every once in a while." And thinking thus,might embark on another more intricate reading of the whole thing, an exercise in futility since the Point is yet to be elucidated.
Alright, keep the ripe tomatoes in your grocery bags, for now. No need to get all worked up on such a beautiful day.
From the perspective of a brother , the whole thing couldn't have gone any better. The boy learnt his lesson, and no doubt his hostel will be ringing of the legend of My sister's eye and How a boy is doomed , come he closer than 3 furlongs from it. This urban legend should keep off buggers for the next 2-3 weeks until the message is lost in the mists of time, known only by the discerning elders who nobody listens to and some fool of the clan hazards on another quest for a taste of the old Iodine.
Its the boy's perspective that i am concerned about. Cast an impartial eye and you will comprehend that he did nothing wrong per se (That's right! I know Latin as well . Well ,Snatches of it at least). He was sufficiently diffident, hesitant and looked like there was nowhere where he would rather not be than there, if you get my drift. Now it isn't as hard for me to imagine that at any other time and any other place for some other girl , I would be found rooted in the same situation, stuttering my way in professing my desire to 'know the number'( a phrase used for want of a better one). Or the Gtalk ID :) And this brings me to the question:
What can you do in a situation like this and not be blown off like a weak autumn leaf ?

Monday, June 15, 2009

This too shall pass

For better or for worse this too shall pass
like a small bump in the undulating grass
of memories of a time long past by
some nice,some beautiful and some downright ugly
but memories nevertheless ,as time does fly

as you see him play,ur 5 yr old
and walk along the pavement with your love
who warms your heart on a day so cold
as u all retire to your home, your own private cove

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Hi thr,
Considering I am now 19 years old--not exactly , records indicate there are a little over 147 days in my account over and above the 228 months that I lay claim on in my opening phrase, but then thats just a technical detail not really relevant to the matter at hand except as menial fillers who will from now on traverse the time axis ,bamboozling readers with their irreverent irrelevance and force them to wonder why in the first place they were put where they currently reside and why doesnt the writer get on with whatever he was getting on with at the time of writing besides guzzling beer at one o clock in the afternoon.
The length of the opening sentence, I am told on good authority, can be compared to the writer's random walk index. Which deserves another definition. Consider a writer's imagination ,and a well endowed writer at that, as a Vietnamese mine field, muddy, wet and full of randomly placed ,what else, mines amidst dense jungles and rice fields. What separates a good writer from a drunk sleeping on the bank of a murmuring brook is how easily can he flit from one mine to another blowing himselves up in the process several times over with ideas that he had buried in his mind during some highly interesting episodes from his life: the time he kissed his girlfriend for the first time[ by a glaring ommission of length scale consideration, his lips ended up on her midriff but then they werent really made for each other], the time he was buried in the sand at the beach by his friends and left there till he was light golden brown at which point they very thoughtfully turned him over etc etc. u get my drift ,right? Now these are what are classically known as inspirations and go a long way[213 pages in his latest novel to be exact] in filling inconsequential details about the Countess de la Roche and the dark brooding General Augustus or the escapades of idiosyncratic spies who like to eat bananas or cut hair to apply their minds to the case[cutting hair,especially ones own ,i s a mildly therapeutic activity and goes a long way in saving your monthly bills for the purpose in case u wish to know]. Now ideas are all very good but I daresay ,coherence in dictation is also a very important if not essential weapon in a writer's repertoire. And that, I am told but on shady authority this time, can be directly mapped to the phenomenon of the bombed writer's return to the same spot where he started after 'x' number of flits from his initial blow up, only to be surprised " Hey i was here before, let me pick it up from where I left." This maintains what snobbish writer refer to as the "flow" of the story. The current author however is one of the new schools' who would rather be caught pants down in the Buckingham palace while having tea and scones with the Queen than consign his obnoxioulsy random ideas to the burning fires of this "flow".At the same time, as general trend shows that people, though opening up rapidly to new and queerer forms of mass communication are still not that comfortable with the literary equivalent of a hotch-potch,( it is time that I found my final flit back to where I started.The random walk index [RWI if you are into TLAs ] is just what you presume it would be, if what you are presuming is what i presume you are presuming and not something else. It is the number of ideas, landmines if you will ,that the author [or A is you are the sort of weird nutcracker who likes OLAs ref: TLAs] finds blown in his face before reaching back to his original mine, given that his flit from one to another is completely random. This is a very important parameter ,among 113 others, that a publishing house measures while considering a new manuscript that some school teacher wrote in her past time when she should have been teaching kids. Current records indicate Douglas Adams was the undisputed champion in this,having once managed to get stuck in an infinitely long infinite loop that is infinitely challenging to pull off and infinitely complex to create not to mention infinitely impossible to keep the reader going on for an ,you said it, infinite amount of time not forgetting the fact that he/she has a finite time at his/her hands. I mean , you absolutely have to be up to filling up pages no matter how flimsy or strong your initial plot is.Look at Ayn Rand. The fountainhead is like the Seinfeld of literature.
I am tired.
Signing off
P.S. If you aere wondering about the topic of the blog it had something to do with the categories of smile.. Am not too far from the topic now am I?

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I got car rental for thee long memorial day weekend. Oh god, i so miss the regularly intermittent holidays that pepper every month of our existence in India. Like the chocolate chips in a chocolate cookie, they are capable of sweetening any dour month/week/year you had in office. unfortunately the US has this 'work culture' and proud of it too that they work their asses off the 5 days of the week celebrate weekends like there no tomorrow[or next week if u will]. Not for me the headbanging on a computer monitor 8-7 . I would rather work with the deadline a week in front of me and no other constraint conditions[well i would rather NOT work but thats not an option i guess] . So there it is with a 3 day weekend the americanos have gone crazy. there's festivity in the air ,families are packing up for a getaway to sunny beaches where they will cook themselves and their children in the scorching sun, slowly turning over in the hot hot sand with clothes that would make mallika sherawat look as well covered as a desert bedouin. I had the misfortune of accompanying my friends here [fellow interns] to one such place, the santa cruz boardwalk. forget that the sun was 35 degrees,peanuts if this was india but oonce you are acclimatised to the cooll MTV air at 20 degrees odd,believe me , you would wish to die or swept in the 15 degree sea water of the pacific before being subjected to such a step gradient over a period of 3 hours.
The drive there was nauseating. Ghaatis were never my cup of tea and the way to SC was full of twisting winding curves that urged my intestines to come out and say 'hi' to everyone. Thankfully it all passed before it got too ugly and we were at the first stop of our trip : the Mission.
Which brings me to another thing abt Americans. Their heritage is as old as that vintage 1940 fiat that you see rusting in the sun in india at some quaint location in almost every city. Forget that they take care of it as if it were something that they could use to get into the exclusive club of 'Having an actual past' club [beg pardon not at my sarcastic best today ,not deleting anything i type u see which of course raises the question : how long did my previous posts take to write with all the editing?] anyways to jump back from the smallish detour, america would love to join the big league of china,egypt india ,europe, etc who can actually boast of heritage but unfortunately it has to do with smallish brick and mortar cottages as heritage sites.
so the mission was nothing but a couple of churches. must have had some significance but then i am not one of those travellers who like to know the history of the things we see around us .if its there click it,share it on facebook and u are done with the responsibility placed on you by society[or at least pple from where u came]
after that the fellow indian on the team urged us on to santa cruz[he is from florida] boardwalk which he assured us in the most serious tones possible ,was infested,NO, overrunning with chick ,scantily clad chicks[indians...dont get me started on them :P] what he didnt warn us of was that the operative word there was overrunning . seemed like everybody had picked that particular day to grill themselves .to make the best of the bad deal we headed to the rides. they looked fun. one of them was one of those ones that propelled u vertically thousands of inches above ground before giving u a taste of free fall. then the rollercoaster shooting alleys, riding the water Wave, dangerous looking merry go rounds,glider slider and so on and so forth. Now my friends rode the scariest ones . i being[it it me being or i being??] the most dastardly miser in the world of course stayed back. the fact coupled with the one that i am more sure of the power of gravity than the electromagnetic forces that give safety straps their name ,simply made my choice more certain. not for me the whale splat on magrathea[ref: HhGTTG] so i ran for the nearest place under the sun,no sorry, that was in plenty. what was scarce was a place in the shade under the sun. after squeezing myself in between a superheavyweight lady[alas no ride could fit HER in] and a guy dressed like the Village people,i settled up on reading my book of the day :ten little indians by agatha chrsties,if u permit a Small detour[remember we have detoured away from the original topic of driving so this is a nested detour in the 2 higher order detours we have already taken]
let me go on record and say that that book completely reaffirmed Cristie's claim on my favorite novelist' throne. awesome book. read it.
by the time my friends returned 3 people had already been murdered and still no clue as to who the killer was. by then my throat was parched and i set out for a drink. bought one for 200 bucks i think. the conversion rates are killing me,man.. and the bottle was half filled with ice. talk about cheating.
since we had come to the beach and we hadnt walked on the sand, that crept up as the next -to-do- agenda . so we walked abt 100 meters to the water by which time the feet had turned a nice golden brown like they show on cooking shows. the water of course was frigid and i was reminded of the calvin and hobbes strip where they run to and fro from the snow outside to the warm fire inside,sizzling ice with their warm butts before running back for a refill. we walked along on the transition area just to be safe. two of us attempted a swim but the water was too cold even for canadians .Now how colder can it get! the 'two of us didnt include me despite their being no cost on entering the water. but the gravity god is relentless. he doesnt spare u .only normal reaction can save you fromm his wrath[apparently they are married.pple say it is not a happy marriage. Think of the kid ] and water isnt too strong on the normal reaction front.
as far as the scenery is concerned , it wasnt too alluring.sure the dress quotient was low but the dress material to adoration[for want of a better word] is a gaussian distribution and though it is skewed to the left ,the maxima is still positive. and most ladies on the beach were near zero. some of course were at zero. and after a while , you think : another one! sheesh put something on dear.
castro street on fridays is quite close to the maxima :)
am tired of writing as u are of reading.
oh thus ended the day at the beach. i practically jumped into the swimming pool after coming back .i was broiled .no more beaches for me

Monday, May 18, 2009


warm mellow .
blazing yellow.

Today i threw in 2 eggs, bread pieces, oil, sauce, garlic, chocolate and fried chips in a pan and ate the aggregate. Oh and a covering of shredded cheese. I like to call it random dish number 3

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Some pics

Brushcetta with Omelette du fromage and a steaming hot cup of Coffee[the Indian nescafe kind, Americano coffee is atrocious !!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Update 1 : Journey to Mountainview

Arrived at Delhi airport with my parents 2 hours before checkin time. Consigned the company car to the 120rs/hour(2$40cents/hour) parking lot and proceeded to appreciate the Bus stand/fishmarket that terminal 2 is. Went into the adjoining visitors lounge and to deserve a table,proceeded to order a Lime Mirinda[small] the cheapest item on the list[yes,less than a 1 litre mieralwasser] and sucked at the straw to chiselle out the impression of an unending source of sweet fluids in the dark recesses of the plastic covered cup. dad continued to ogle at girls/aunties at the airport.he needs to grow up and fast! finally struck the hour to enter

went in.looked around took a deep breath. joined the long sinuous line of lufthansa.seemed by the turnout that some of us might have to sit on the wings/plane top. joined the frequent flyer slip to while away the time. i fly as frequently as somebody is happy to finance my trip. had a vacationing couple on front of me. had like a ton of baggage.daresay spent half his trip money on bokonig the baggae. wonder what they'll doo on the ay back. finally my turn. 2 bags total 39 kgs.7 kgs less than regulation 46 kgs. guess what the asymmetry might thro the plane into turbulence so waa given the following constraint equation to solve

x+ y = 39,
currently x= 36,y =5
now this was difficult if you appreciate the fact that my smaller bag was small . tranferred high density packets of rice/maggi/shampoos/sabuns etc etc there and then under the sneering eyes of my co=passengers, confident in their slolutions to the afore mentioned constraint equation. one of them followed me down the same travesty stuffed stuff into my hand baggage,my laptop bag and there where the sun dont shine[the back pack that is] managed to get it down to 23.1 and 12.4 the over enthusisatic lufthansa incharge was a bit apprehensive at the extra 100 grams but very kindly decided to wave it in with one of his royal flourishes. thank god he didnt check the handbaggage the remaining 5 kgs went into that. breezed thru baggage screening,only suspicion was the sugar bottle in my back pack and a lady who very smoothly tried to take away my mobile andlaptop alongwith her purse. thankfully caught her in time.
learnt the hard way that wifi at airports is NOT free. quite a shocker ,that was.
boarded. got the merggency exit seat do ample leg space.thank god for small mercies and large legrooms. slept. slept .slept again. said hi to old couple sitting beside me.s;ept. got up . asked for bit of bread. decided lufthansa sucks. audio entertainment and lousy magazines. as revenge decided to drink up all their onboard reserves of nonalcoholic beverages. got drunk on coke,sprite,apfel juice,orange juice. couldnt tolerate tomato juice so i let the rest of them have it. o'course vodka et al were untouched .that will be on the way back
landed at frankfurt. went out saw thw airport.huge,beautiful etcc etc. met a jet hopping indian. went looking for a webcam.still didnt buy the 220V-110V converter. lounged in the Gucci outlet. salesgirl saw thru my ruse. gave me a look that teleported me out of the august gates of the establishment. guess they are trained in seeing thru ruses/cheapstakes like me. saw asians trotting around in masks. wondered if i shud get one too. wondered against it. boarded again.
got the worst shock but then i am now accustomed to this.[ref:poem on co=passengers] was again seated on the head of the column so again lots of leg space a la business class.but that wasnt the shocking part :) the head of the column is reserved for ladies traveling with small toddlers,yes the same whining crying crying whimpering drooling pack of pain in the ass kids that make them so adorable [thick with sarcasm] tried to go to sleep. tried again. the little devils didnt allow me a wink. got red eye.tried to sleep again.failed. went to the back of the plane.stood thr looking out of the window.stood for the next 7-8 hours coming back for lunch[europe] and lunch[US] had breathtaking view of the arctic circle,gorgeous snow till the eyes could see. crossed the rockies.awesome shots taken. landed after a very forgettable flight. the hostesses had the nerve to give me a parting left hook by saying 'travel with lifthansa again' jeesus! not if i am paying.
literally ran off from the plane.pple wondered if i was in a race. went to immigrations.answered a few innocuous raised eyebrows,computer 'professionals' are a dime a dozen in this part of the world,especially indians. came out.found to my great amazement that wifi is not free inSFO. shutted down and went out for a taxi. breathed the cool SFO air.light drizzle.grat weather for one coming from a place where 40 degree celsius is 'a cool day'. taxi driver from Nepal. acknowldged that LALoo is known EVERYWHERE. Bihar and Laloo are now officially the one and the same. astounded by the speed of the cars on the highway,beg pardon the freeway . thanked got hadnt opted for the car rental. beautiful cars and drivers all around.reached my partment an hour before i was scheduled to . wasnt ready.sat on a couch in the lobby trying hard not to go to sleep. failed. woke up.still wasnt ready.went for a walk in the neighbourhood. stumbled across the spa swimming pools tennis courts etc. stubled back into lobby.Awesome wifi all around.chatted with mom. lugged my luggage to my room.the bed is so fluffy. i dont remember anything after that :)
dj from pahadi nazara

Monday, April 27, 2009

21 things to do before i turn 21

And i intend to make a similar list
"x things to do before i turn x" every year till i catch up

1.Go to Shimla and thereabouts to see where I spent the first 2 years of my life and see if i remember anything at all
2.Talk to a girl,not g-talk
3.Talk to a girl and she doesnt run away on some pretext or the other
4.Do one death defying act:with proper safety precautions of course
5.Abuse someone with the choicest expletives that I have learnt from my stay at IITK[never used One]
6.Drive a BIG car and preferably crash it into the sea.
7.Go on a 'Date' whatever that means,Not a blind date though
8.Get a honeymoon trip to Switzerland ,for my parents.What with two kids,they havent had a time for themselves in a long long time.
9.Give one of Dr. Cox's speeches to one of my department teachers
10.Get a Btech degree
11.Learn to speak Victorian english/Wodehousian dialogues fluently
12.Grow up
13.Not smoke or drink anything stronger than a cough syrup
14.Go on a train trip across India,not getting down on stations,just sitting in my sleeper coach ,looking out of the windows[in the winter though]
15.Ride a motorcycle,even sitting on the back will do but only if a girl is driving . :)
16.Grow my hair and grow a beard
17.Girlfriend: thats probably too much to ask for
18.Write a novel
19.Sleep for 2 days straight. Only 3 15-minute breaks to eat and drink
20. Do something.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A composition with a tune in mind

I wrote this song in class based on the tune of the Musical Hit "The bitch of Living"
Listen to the sing tune and try to sing along if you can:

The Beauty and the Goon

He first saw her in her backyard
and knew that he was doomed
She the Helen of Knightsbridge
and he the local Goon

No no never could they be
'gether in 'n embrace
nor linger close to her radiance
lest she whips out her mace

Its the bitch of living
which has us by the balls
Its the bitch of living that tells us
What went wrong!

with No moolah in the bank
and the urge he cant control
he must walk down the aisle
Its just so not fair at all

No no never could her father
let them see eye to eye
or hold hands in the park
or share an apple pie

Its the bitch of living
which makes meat of us
Its the bitch of living that
writes us off!

He could see her at the door
waiting for his return
and ask him how his day went
and how much he had earned

and how many had he threatened
kidnapped or extorted from
and clean his knife and gun barrel
and put 'em in the sun

Maybe cook an extra meal
for a hostage every day
and take care of local matters
when the Head is gone away

its the bitch of living
that makes us dream the crown
its the bitch of living that
sends us crashing down!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You've got mail

I watched this fluffy movie last night[at the expense of some infinitely more important work] and a small part of it got me thinking: "beautiful penmanship". Now that is an art form which never recieved is due.

Until the dawn of the internet.

Of course it is buried a thousand feet under the slew of asinine grammatically incorrect memes but it has made a comeback of sorts. I mean even if you disregard the innumerable blogs which are more impersonal and directed at an audience[sometimes just for looking at it on your own] the net has opened up unexplored vistas of fraternising over the ether. The sheer pleasure of meeting an unknown online aquaintance whom you have never laid eyes on[and might not ever,by sheer geographical constraints] and conversing on things as abstruse as the latest Booker prize winning novels to ethnic delicacies in the Lucknavi repertoire and to share abstract and highly personal dreams that you often indulge in ,ones that you never shared with people around you ,not even close friends, relatives. There is a peculiar freedom associated with an online 'chat' with an online friend which is lacking in our more normal day to day correspondences.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ska, the necessary evil

This prof at my dept recently held a 'surprise quiz' yesterday[it was announced by mail beforehand]. Despite the idiosynractic way the same is defined we were,as minions in his domain, compelled to finally dust off the mothballs from our bags and books and trudge our way to the faraway dungeons of our building. The prof was seemingly very pleased with the turnout considering his ratings and attendance in his classes have plummeted with astonishing speed,so much so that 60 percent of the class now is below the 'mandatory 75%' mark. There was another reason for his glib smile as he took a lonh supercilious look at his junta. The quiz as it turned out was another one of those feedback forms in which he expected us to tell him
a. the reason of our dismal performance in the Mid sem exams
b. the reason why we didnt bring our sorry asses to class
c. what he can do to make us bring the same to class
For reasons unknown I suspected his sincerity. For one, he is one of those slide-runners, the of professors who take pride in preparing emaculately designed presentations on chapter which run in to hundreds of pages per chapter , warms up the projector and jet...set...go. For the students of course, it is almost a movie. If only it had cartoons/babes/a bloody Plot for gods sakes!! Anyways I am drifting from the objectivity I promised at the beginning of this post[Dont look for it,it was a pact with my soul,no sense in putting it down in writing.Can be held against me later]
Retunrning to reasons , he has a abject sense of humor. After substantial polls in the CSE dept, it has been conclusively proved that asking doubts to him is the most demeaning thing you can do to yourself. The look that he gives you if you raise your puny arm in the air,my oh my..., makes you squirm like a buzzing mosquito under the microscope. Unlike our previous profs[who now appear benevolent] he has this evil aura arnd him that makes him so unapproachable and he remains the only prof till date who hasnt given the students a single bloody extension on any of the project deadlines. Not to mention i hate the guts of his course[not disinterest mind you,i pathologically abhor his classes] Of course the usual wrecking the weekend by dozens of extra classes/postponed classes is a WMD in his repertoire. i wonder if he ever thinks of us as anything other than mules with brains[or without,the operative word here is 'mule'].

Come to think of it , why dont the professors talk to us as equals :D i mean, look at our happy hour,it is so forlorn. the profs come and talk among themselves, the students invariably either try to suck up to the Big Boss or talk among themselves. Outside the classrooms, why cant they be 'cool',forget for the moment that they are teachers. I mean , i would love to play a game of cards with them anytime if they are up for it.

Wishful thinking!