Through Images

* For the 20 questions that have been asked, write down your honest answer (in a word or two).
* Type your answers, one by one, on an exactly-as-written-on-paper basis, in the search bar of any image search engine that you prefer (Flickr / Google Image Search etc.).
* You MUST MAY use the same search engine for all 20 answers.
* For every answer, only from the FIRST page of the search result, save exactly ONE image.
* Once you have a list of 20 images, each corresponding to one answer, compose a post in line with this post that you are reading right now.

I was tagged by: Twilight Fairy

I tag: Neethu, Abhishek, strawberrymargaritas, Shady, Shravan.

Image search engine used: Flickr, DeviantArt

To read the answers, hover over the image.

1. My age:


2. I am passionate about:


3. My favorite place:


4. I have a thing for:


5. My comfort zone:


6. My favorite animal:


7. My kind of art:


8. The town where I was brought up:


9. The town where I live:


10. A past pet:


11. A past love:


12. Current love:


13. Best friend's nickname:


14. I want:


15. Screen name:


16. A bad habit:


17. A dream:


18. First job:


19. I miss:


20. What am I doing right now:

30Q

It's Tag season! Neethu tagged me for this 30Q tag.

1. Last movie you saw in a theater?
A. Eagle Eye. I'm not a theater maniac and usually I'd have an insti OAT movie for an answer but this time I have a real movie in a real theater.

2. What book are you reading?
A. Lila by Robert Pirsig. I know! There's a book in my name!

3. Favourite board game?
A. Monopoly. I used to be crazy of this game primarily because I didn't have it but one of my well-to-do friends had.

4. Favourite magazine/s?
A. The Week (the only book I flipped pages of at the school library for the endless pics of cute cricketers I had crushes on), Tehelka.

5. Favourite smells?
A. Dior Addict.

6. Favourite sounds?
A. My sister's voice over phone. It's extremely sweet.

7. Worst feeling in the world?
A. Helplessness.

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
A. How much I love sleeping.

9. Favourite fast food place?
A. I'm not that much of a fast food person to have a favourite.

10. Future child’s name?
A. !

11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d…?”
A. Finish it.

12. Do you drive fast?
A. Sometimes, yes. But considering the fact that I am legally allowed to drive only a cycle, that doesn't come under rash driving.

13. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
A. No, they gather dust.

14. Storms - cool or scary?
A. Cool. Literally too.

15. What was your first car?
A. There was this one time when I was a little kid, when I broke open my cousin's toy car to take out the motor. I like to call that my first car-part.

16. Favourite drink?
A. Tea.

17. Finish this statement, “If I had the time I would...”?
A. ...think on how to complete this statement.

18. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
A. I have a feeling I would. Is that weird?

19. If you could dye your hair any colour, what would be your choice?
A. My choice would be to not dye it.

20. Name all the different cities/towns you’ve lived in?
A. Tirunelveli, Trivandrum, Chennai

21. Favourite sports to watch?
A. Tennis and Football.

22. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
A. She gives me Christmas cakes.

23. What’s under your bed?
A. Absolutely nothing.

24. Would you like to be born as yourself again?
A. Definitely.

25. Morning person, or night owl?
A. Neither. I sleep at night and in the morning.

26. Over easy, or sunny side up?
A. Over easy.

27. Favourite place to relax?
A. Home.

28. Favourite pie?
A. Pies look scary and huge.

29. Favourite ice cream flavour?
A. Chocolate.

30. Of all the people you tagged this to, who’s most likely to respond first?
A. I ain't tagging this to anybody in particular.

Update: I am tagging strawberrymargaritas and Shady for the sake of his rusting blog.

Voila - 3

I wanted to change the look of the blog, so here's my first attempt at personalizing a template. I particularly liked the radiant RSS feed logo on the right hand side and the 'Copyright 2008 Leela Aarthy' at the bottom. *wink*

Well, what do you think?

Lone Coward

There are bad times just around the corner,
There are dark clouds hurtling through the sky
And it’s no good whining
About a silver lining
For we know from experience that they won’t roll by,
With a scowl and a frown
We’ll keep our peckers down
And prepare for depression and doom and dread,
We’re going to unpack our troubles from our old kit bag
And wait until we drop down dead.

- Noel Coward

PS: 'Noel' anagrammates to 'lone' which makes 'Noel Coward' 'Lone Coward'. 

First time for everything - 3

“I am telling you! Pongal at Tifanys is not worth it. I have only ten minutes left for the next class and I really don’t want to miss it. You can have your breakfast later, can’t you? I repeat; Pongal is not that tasty there. When I said I wish I could have some, I meant it as a wish. Nothing more.”
“Pongal at Tifanys. And that’s that. No arguments. You can get to class a bit late, I’m sure.”
“Oh well. Fine. I can’t believe you are making me do this.” smiles

After some fifteen minutes, I got back to class. I had left my bag in class when I left. I entered by the back door and found, as expected, that someone else had taken my seat with my bag beside it. I tried my best not to disrupt the class as I entered and settled down. Being almost invisible helps at times.

As my bag containing my stationary stationery and notebooks was elsewhere, I asked Ramya, who was seated in front of me, for an extra pen. She gave me one. And a notebook to write on too. Just then, the professor shouted, “Out! Get out of my class this instant.”
“But, sir. I had come early to class. Even my bag is somewhere here only. I had just gone out for a couple of minutes.”
“I said out.”

I walked out of class thinking what was going to be my next first.

PS: This is the first time I have been sent out of class by a professor. Ouch!

PS2: And presenting, one more from the Dream Productions. If you are new around here, that means that this was a dream I had on the night of 4th November. :D

F*** You!

Step 1. Imagine the situation to be a fart session.
Step 2. Imagine the swearing as about to start.
Step 3. Realize that you are talking to a girl.
Step 4. Realize that the girl seems to be conservative.

What expletive would you use, then?

"Fart you!"

PS: Swearing is 'poison'ous to health.

Heights of Cogging - GTalk


But, who came first?

Then again, I get my share of the entertainment. So why bother?

Heights of Cogging - TCF

When the Teacher Course Feedback* form gets cogged in front of your eyes, you know new heights of cogging have been reached.


*Teacher Course Feedback form is an OMR sheet ritual that's done for every course at the end of the semester for feedback regarding the professor and the course.

BD101-Introduction to Bar Dancing

Objective: The year is 2050. There is going to be a nuclear holocaust soon and two representatives of the most necessary professions are going to be sent for five years to stay on board a spacecraft till all the radiation and all that has subsided so that they can come back and bring up a civilization. One member from each team is to represent that profession and prove to the audience why they must be one of the two to be chosen.

Whistle

"Who was that?

I represent the not-so-humble not-so-neighbourhood bar dancers. Let me transport you to a world five years from now. Those who have survived the nuclear holocaust will be at an all time low. They would have lost everything they ever had till then. Everything they ever lived for. Imagine that! We, the bar dancers, have been around for a long time now; from as early as the times of the Mahabharatha. We have survived through all the lows of life possible. Trust me when I say lows. We have been through hardships that you can never imagine. And hence, it is we who can help you through these troubled times.

We give hope to the hopeless and ensure they get what they need to survive through the tough times. We all remember the scene from Munnabhai MBBS where the guy with the cancer dies a happy death, don’t we?

We can understand emotions and connect with all kinds of people. We know pretty well what others need, if you know what I mean. And we give them what they need too.

We teach people to love and live happily. That is exactly what would be lacking five years from now. And that’s exactly why you need us at that time.

Besides, we don’t pose a threat to others. Corruption and other such big words mean nothing to us. Actually, we don’t even know their meaning properly.

Last, but definitely not the least, point is that, you see, two people will be chosen to stay on board the spacecraft and five years is going to be really, really boring. Wouldn’t it be better if we could, well, spice it up?”

PS: This was a part of the workshop organized by Shell to Fuel our Career. And, for the record, I won the most votes in a show of hands. Overwhelming win, it was. I did see some people with both their hands up. :P And a few compliments later that day.

Expresso!

Well, what do you know? It's time to change the blog header. The pic used in this header is one of my favourites as of now, primarily because of the expression that has been captured. I never believed it when people used to tell me that I am very expressive. Maybe I am.

Meh.

So there! We have Expresso!

Nurture, nourish, nurse

Shadowed by misguided decisions,
Brightened by a candle in a storm.
Ephemeral rapture; the rule of the day.

Choking on my own words,
Gasping on hearing yours.
Leave me alone to rot and die.

Take me, use me, leave me.
A forthcoming frown found I for a friend.
Pessimism; my way of life.

Tears safely hidden in smiles.
One credible play after the other.
A facade to keep me alive.

They chose to abandon;
They increase in number.
I run back; I bleed, yet again.

You have it all; you make a statement.
You have nothing; you cannot even try.
Nurture, nourish, nurse and ditch.

PS: I think I can finally post this. Each stanza was written at different times during March and April 2008 and then I changed the order for some logical flow. I thought it was too negative to be posted then.

First time for everything - 2

fTime: 9:15 am

New text message

Put proxy.
[backspaces]
Put its the proxy.
[backspaces]
Please put its the proxy.
[backspaces]
Please put its the proxy for B slot.
Message sent!

..and that is the first time I asked someone to put a proxy for me. It has taken me 4.5 semesters to get myself to do that.

Ah, well. What's next?

PS: Here's First time for everything - 1

I am...

...not going to do anything as insanely selfless as waking up just to wake you up. Ever.

status: Encrypted

There was this short span of 4 days when the crossie fever got so high that it spilled onto my GTalk status message and took its place. People who I hardly get to talk to pinged with the answer/hint. Here are the four clues. One of each of the commonly encountered type of cryptic clues. One for each day.

Clues:
1. Posh photo altered for design. (9)
2. Vortex amazingly has a test within. (4)
3. A vehicle in sequence. (5)
4. A part of convergence is in the fiftieth cave. (8)

Answers:
1. Photoshop.
Hint: Anagram.
Thanks to Aniket for being directly responsible for making Photoshop the status message of the day.
2. Exam.
Hint: Hidden clue.
Thanks to the fortnightly quiz on Analog Circuits. You will never feel the beginning or the end of the quiz week. A toast to perennial quizzing.
3. Cycle.
Hint: Two definitions.
Thanks to the multilingual cycle repair shop guy for giving my cycle a makeover. It was enduring the sun and the rain, the dew and the dust and the good times and the bad at the insti In gate for 6 months because somebody was just plain lazy to get it.
4. Conclave.
Hint: Encrypted in convergence, fiftieth and cave.
Thanks to the organizers of the Shaastra Conclave 2008.

..and Harish comes up with this:
5. Krishna and Radha play with Bruce Lee first and then with Laplace. (5)

That made my day!

PS:
Just in case, you didn't get it:
5. Leela.
Hint: Encrypted in Lee and Laplace meaning something that Krishna and Radha play.

Laat or Laathi?

Disclaimer: I am sorry if you don’t understand Hindi (Woah! The sheer thought of such a fellow human being makes me squirm. Sarcasm alert!) but this, unfortunately, will not make sense if translated.

I read this and laughed. I think it’s about time I shared my worst ever Hindi experience. So here goes.

The year: 2007.
The time: About 6.00 pm.
The place: Outside Gurunath.
The people: Coke, Van and me.

It was one of those particularly exciting days when we would go all the way to Gurunath just to have that cup of tea. We had the tea, relished it and walked back to the hostel. Just then, a dog decided that it was jobless enough to walk along with us. We decided our moves just in case it decided to attack us. Coke exclaims, “Ek laat maarenge!” Yours truly couldn’t just listen and keep quiet about it but on the contrary, decided to respond to that. Quite fair, you might say. But, the point is that I spoke in Hindi. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I don’t know what made me do it. This is what I said, “Hum laat kaise maarenge? Hamare paas toh laat nahi hai na.” Laughs followed. Naturally.

Oh, by the way, I speak decent Hindi now and it feels good to be able to do so.

PS: In my defense, laat and laathi can be a bit confusing sometimes.
PS2: I have had 10 grueling years of Hindi as a second language at school. Thank you.

Dancing Desktop

It was just another eve-of-the-fortnightly-quiz. I was going through the list of songs in my Music folder and I was surprised when I saw that there were videos of a couple of songs. I don’t usually download videos of songs; hence, the surprise. I played them in VLC player and gave up on seeing the video a little into the song. For the record, it was Speed of Sound by Coldplay. I minimized it and guess what I found?

At first I thought my monitor was going to go kaboom! Or maybe it was interfering with interstellar signals and was trying to contact some intergalactic spaceship. Ok, I am not that eccentric. But, it didn’t. Instead, it was sparkling. A few select regions on the wallpaper seemed to be dancing to the tune of the music. Red, purple, blue, yellow, orange and white glitters were strewn, surprisingly in an orderly fashion, on the wallpaper in a way that actually complimented the image.

I paused the song and the dancing paused. The song got over and so did the dancing. I changed the wallpaper to pitch black so that it would be more clearly visible and there was no sparkling. I changed the wallpaper to another arbitrary image and there was
no sparkling. Had it gone for good? No, it came back once I reverted back to the original image. I tried taking a screenshot of the desktop but the sparkling continued on what we would expect to be a static image. It would cease dancing and become normal once the song was over.

I must add, however, that I liked seeing the dancing desktop more than the video. So, I played the song and watched the desktop dance to it. :)

PS: For those of you who think that I might have hallucinated the whole thing, here’s a picture I took of the desktop. Can you see little red sparkers on the bridge and the trees? I told you so! :P


The Last Bullet

It was an old ramshackle pub, deserted and lifeless. He and I were seated on opposite sides of the table which was utterly empty except for my loyal Smith and Wesson revolver that chose to rest silently on it. There was no air of tension, whatsoever, in the air. But, he knew it and so did I. It was unpardonable. There was no need for a reason to be explicitly mentioned. But, on that fateful day, I felt otherwise. Perhaps, I was in good spirits or maybe just spirits.

The question was laid naked on the floor. It was not explicitly asked, though. He knew pretty well that it was up to him to break the silence. After hours of confused thoughts on his side and antipodal ones on mine, he spoke. He said it. He said it in such a contemptuous way that I squirmed in my seat. The shame and the regret of having trusted him to be what he wasn’t filled me. There was no looking back now.

I was justified in what I had to do. He wouldn’t fight back. I didn’t expect him to. I shot him. He needed two bullets in his filthy skull before he showed signs of death. And then, I noticed something. Something that was capable of changing everything. He had been a live transmitter to those cowards all along. They had obviously set it up just to frame me for what they couldn’t possibly dream of proving by themselves. And, he had given in to whatever it is that they offered him. A selfish worm that did not qualify to be a man.

I did not need any mental preparation for it. I would obviously prefer to take my own life than give myself up to those bargainers. Damn! That was the last bullet! I felt an eerie sense of helplessness that I had never felt before. Disorganized thoughts filled my mind for the first time. He lay on the floor; the blood proclaiming my victory. I fled in no particular direction; the sweat proclaiming my defeat.

PS: Courtesy of “Dream” Productions dated Aug 27th, 2008.

Have You Ever

Have you ever felt something that has made your day feel complete?
Have you ever waited for that something all day?
Have you ever held someone responsible for that something?
Have you ever felt like blogging about it?
Have you ever wanted to post it before LAN goes off?

Of T. Nagger

Disrespected T. Nagar to Koyambedu,

It’s broad daylight. This deluxe bus is far from deserted. I am making it amply clear because it didn’t seem like you were aware of either of these facts. Do you really think your shameless show of senselessness was commendable or manly in any way? A disgusting demonstration of man’s basal nature – that’s what it was.

My hands are not waxed. Neither are they moisturized religiously. I wasn’t wearing anything even remotely stylish or revealing. I rarely do. Why me? What made you look at me with those animal eyes? Why did you decide to stand near the door in such a way that you couldn’t see me but could brush your arm against mine?

You look like a typical Tam movie villain’s spoilt son. Are you? Is that your license? Like a helpless girl, I shrank in my seat. I can’t really do anything like they show in the movies and expect Mr. Hero to come and kick some butt. Were the elders in the almost packed bus blind to it all? Were they deaf when I asked you to move your hand away? Are you deaf too?

I suppose you saw the cheer come back to my face when I got the chance to move to another seat. I suppose I saw the irritation on yours. The “Hi” you shot getting down at your stop from near my window would have met with a class-A expletive had the bus not left the next instant.

Zilch regards for you.

-T. Nagar to CMBT.

Chaos

I can hear the busy life of a fellow human being unfolding just outside my room. I should not be overhearing even if is not disturbing my mindset at all. Like a careless child, I lay face pressed against the pillow that’s clutched firmly by my hands. It almost makes it seem like I am worried. Am I? I do not know. All that I can feel is the numbing sensation one feels right before sleep sets in.

The fan makes its rotation felt. It is not a disturbance; it is just a desperate call for attention. The arcane sounds from the woods outside my window have subsided. Or have they stopped affecting me?

One of my eyes sees the world around; the other shuts itself and lies buried. The open eye aches at times; the other has always been numb. Bikes whiz past proclaiming their blaring engines in a vain attempt to tease me.

I have given myself up to the play of Time.

Tour Tidings '08: North East Movies

Movie #2:
Reporting from Tezpur (Assam), Bomdila (Arunachal) and Sela Pass.



Movie #3:
Reporting from Tawang (Arunachal)



Movie #4:
Reporting from Dirang (Arunachal) and Nameri (Assam).

Tour Tidings '08: The Dessert

What better than the videos and photos of the oh so beautiful North East for the dessert?
Photos are on picasa.

Videos follow.

Movie #1:
Presenting the first movie made by yours truly. It's an edited compilation of the videos taken when dad, mom, sis and myself visited Haridwar during the latter part of the North East expedition.
video

Tour Tidings '08: The Main Course

The adventurous resignation to the impossibility of returning safe and sound.
The Boro (of the Boro militant fame) for a driver cum guide.
The fight to the death for the front seat.
The vain attempt to figure out Assamese accented hindi by changing back all ‘z’s to ‘j’s and several other combinations.
The realization that it gets better with time, quite effortlessly.
The rendition of early morning Buddhist hymns.
The transportation to the world of the Lord Buddha.
The warm welcome smile.
The heated football match in the numbing cold.
The worried expression at kids playing hide and seek at the edges of fenceless houses on sloping mountains.
The scary feeling of dying of frostbite.
The childlike grin from feeling mature on being wished, “Good morning, madam” by the receptionist.
The sensation of awe, admiration and appreciation for Nature, at its best.
The view of three holy rivers demanding respect in their every drop.
The eco camp hut with Velcro for doors and windows.
The morning nature walk with hornbills for company.
The hundred beaming fireflies during a perfectly unplanned power-cut.
The waiter with a strangely emotionless, irritating mechanical yes for every question, clarification and suggestion.
The laughs at dad’s pathetic Hindi.
The proud grins on being complimented my better hindi-accented hindi.
The whole lot of memories to last a lifetime.

This day, last year

I found this little word doc hiding somewhere in my laptop today written one year back.

Nine year old 1: “Hi.”

Nine year old 2: “Hey, listen. What do you want to be when you grow up?”

1: “A cryptologist.”

2: “A what?”

1: “You know… a cryptologist.”

2: “What do cryptologists do?”

1: “They decode coded messages.”

2: “Wow! Sounds interesting. What will you have to study to become a cryptologist?”

1: “Mathematics and Computer Science mainly.”

After witnessing a conversation like that between two nine year olds, only a dimwit would sit idly and do nothing about it. I guess I should at least record it. How many children would have heard about cryptologists, leave alone spell it correctly, at that age? Where is the world heading?

You guessed right. She read ‘Digital Fortress’ by Dan Brown. I was amazed too. It’s not like she read it for the sake of reading or for putting pseud for the book was not bought for her in the first place. The book brought for her was good old Nancy Drew which she finished in just a few hours.

“That’s preposterous! How will she understand that high a level of English?”, you ask? It turns out that she has a remarkable command over the English language and manages to read the book without too many visits to the dictionary. Well, she probably didn’t understand ‘Fuck’ but she was thoughtful enough not to ask anybody or maybe the suspense of the story made her skip every occurrence of the word.

The other day, I got a text message.

“07/07/07 07:07 am. 7 days/week, 7 janma, 7 seas, 7 phere, 7 wonders, 7 colours. Why 7?”

I meditated on this all morning but couldn’t figure out a satisfying explanation. Googling didn’t turn up anything substantial either. That’s when I asked this to her almost completely certain that she would have no idea and would appreciate my processor for having come up with such a brilliant question. Pat came the reply – “Because God created the world in seven days.” She knows that too! And that too a belief attributed to another religion.

Recently, at a medical store she was overheard saying in hushed tones, “Doesn’t that look like the fake medicine they showed on TV yesterday?” Oh! Come on! Spare the news atleast!

That brings up a strange question. Will such a generation reach an age when there will be nothing left to learn? Freaky!

Keybored

After a long, long time, I decided to use my laptop, just to see if it was still in working condition. And what do you think I saw? Pressing j produced a ‘k’, k produced a ‘;’, and l did not show anything. The keys were all mixed up!

I wouldn’t stop until I knew exactly what was going on. So I opened Word and decided to try out each character on the keyboard. Suspense and excitement filled up as I pressed each key. Click! Click! Click!

‘8’ didn’t turn up anything; ‘=’ donned a shift to left function while ‘\’ donned the shift to right function. It was all a total mess. But how? I haven’t heard of anything remotely close to this before. The on-screen keyboard came to the rescue but it was not even close to charming. I, naturally, gave up on the laptop.

But what do you know? It was all right the very next day. Weird. Very weird. Maybe the keys wanted change. Maybe dust had messed everything up. Maybe a ghost was playing tricks. Maybe they just got bored of having to do the same old function every single time. No wonder they call it the “keybored”.

Voila! - 2

A header that I have been thinking of for sometime now. The fact that dark font on light backgrounds is easier to read had been haunting since my previous pitch black layout so here's one keeping in mind. I feel so relieved now. Although, it seems incomplete somehow and I know not why. Any ideas?

That's me in the picture, by the way. :)

Related Post: Voila! - 1

Made You Laugh

Out of the blue, he asks me to suggest possible additional features that the system could be incorporated with. Gulp! I hadn’t thought of that! I had just given him a basic report on the product to be designed and had included all the necessary features, the requirements and specifications. The system under discussion is a queue management system which is basically the type used at banks and reservation counters etc.

Was he not satisfied? Well, he has taken a printout of it. Think! Think, lady, think! I can’t recall exactly when I started blurting but here’s how it went.

"Why not make two prototypes? A low - budget alternative, perhaps?"

"Why waste on a printer when printed roll with a stepper mechanism would suffice?"

Boy, was I on a spree!

Some more technical talk (both ways now) later, he came up with the idea of adding an extra function to the keypad for the employee to be able to select a particular customer. “But, sir!”, I interrupted as he was explaining, “That would lead to bias and corruption!” Er, what did I just say? Blame it on the hangover of reading Tehelka.

And that’s when he laughed. I made him laugh.

Tour Tidings '08: The Starter

I'm back! And, I have one question for you. Have you been to north-east India? If not, do so for it is an experience of a lifetime. After 7 nights and 8 days in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh as a part of the packaged tour titled Mystic Arunachal Safari, I'd say I insist. The mountains, the valleys, the rivers, the greenery, the fog, the altitude, the winding roads, the safari, the food, the animals, the people, the war memorials, the cold weather, the icy water and the culture will leave you spellbound. I assure you. It feels like being a part of a typical Nat-Geo programme. Amazing, I tell you. Truly amazing!

Driving up and down winding roads on the edges of the Himalayas passing in and out of white cottony clouds and clutching life in one’s hands as visibility reduces to a little over one meter on a road half absent owing to landslides, overlooking the dark abyss shadowed by fog on one side and of which only a hazy outline remains amounting to having to guess the angle at every curve.

Tempting, isn’t it?

PS: More details, photos and videos as and when I finish transferring and organizing some infinite stuff from all these memory cards.

R-Ant

We all know ants, right? Yes, those tiny creatures that cannot possibly do any harm to any fellow living being. Think again keeping in mind a situation where they become regular visitors to your laptop keyboard. If that doesn’t impress you too much, how about ants living in your keyboard? Note the use of the preposition ‘in’.

Welcome to my world.

It feels very awkward at first but then, you get used it with time. Of course I am no Buddhist towards these gypsy-ants. Clearly, I exhibit no qualms about squishing or flinging them away whenever I get the chance.

Tip: repetitive pressing of keys is known to flush them out and has to be followed by quick reflexes.

You can even hear them marching if you keep your ears close to the keyboard. Well, there was hearing the march-past, key pressing and hurling them into the air and this process went on. The era of the ant-infested-keyboard lasted a few days only to be followed by the ant-infested-cell phone era which lasted only a few hours probably due to the inaccessibility of enclosed spaces.

Now, after all these days, the ant-infested-insert appropriate word era is back and this time it’s my office desk. Meh!

PS: I'm leaving tomorrow morning for a much-needed vacation.

Two Decades Ago

..the Leela* was born. Yeah, I know this comes a bit late but I wanted to wait for it to be well past the day in all parts of the world and for the last of the wishes to arrive. Simple and sweet, the day was all I could wish for. Gosh! Would you look at the fake humility!

I woke up early just to confirm that the nightmare of my sis and dad having eaten up all the cake before I woke up hadn't came true. A huge sigh of relief later, we dug into the cake. Chocolicious.

Yes, I went to work. Nine hours down. The idea of bunking never really came to mind. Three long phone conversations and four smss later, I got off work. I gave God a few thank yous and a few sorrys and got back some of my favourite Paal Payasam. Mom had sent coconut burfi along with dad who had come to pick me up and yours hungrilly, perched on the scooter, ate it all up on the way, through the roads of the capital city. I can get very, very insane when it comes to food.

Six more phone calls, two of them forming a nested loop and one sms later I was off to Plucky's place with cake and burfi. As usual, she and her weighing machine welcomed me. "Not on my day!", I snapped. Talk about birthday gifts. My weightlessness was the last thing I wanted to think about. But guess what? I am officially one kilo heavier. Yay!

The day is done and what stares back at me is two decades of existence.

*and I don't mean The Leela. :P

Voila! -1

All those who wanted a change in my blog's url (me included) may rejoice for it is here! Voila!

This marks a series of changes that I am planning for my blog. A total makeover. :D

But, first things first. Don't forget to change your Google Reader, Blogroll and other important settings. Thanks in advance.

PS: 50 posts up. Yay!

123rd page

Here we go again! Tagged by Amrit Bhaiyya.
The rules: Pick up the nearest book. Go to page 123. Find the fifth sentence. Post the next three sentences. Tag five people, and acknowledge the person who tagged you.
"The head of the family was called Mehboub. He was a wiry, muscular little man in his thirties with a lively,determined expression beneath his shaggy eyebrows and a forehead half-concealed by a thick shock of curly hair. His wife, Selima, wore a little inlaid stone in her nostril."
Guess! Guess!

I tag Neethu, Abhishek, Kaushik, Akila, Shady.

Kerala Culture Centre - 1

Kerala Culture Centre is organizing weekly programmes at Vailopalli Sanskriti Bhavan, Trivandrum. I really don't have anything to do with them but I happened to attend this Saturday's programme. Two plays were put up both of which were simply superb. I have attended plays at Chennai as well but something about these plays simply leaves you asking for more.

The first play was about the life of a butcher and how his life changes drastically after he sees the body of a bleeding child with a slit throat. The lead was played by the famous dramatist, Kannur Vasu. The way he brought out his character was simply stunning. The narration was a bit monotonous and unnecessary in my opinion.

The second play, "Ithu Bhoomiyanu" by KT Lovers (sounds gay, doesn't it?), was about a family ingrained in Muslim superstitions. How they face the real truths of life forms the crux of the play. The message is brought out in a simple, yet effective manner. KT Lovers, by the way, is a group of dramatics enthusiasts who are fans of KT Mohammmad, the famous playwright.

Here's the best part. All the programmes are open for the public. At Trivandrum, good entertainment comes for free. Which other city can boast like that?

PS:
Next Saturday's programme: Prathibha Sangeetha Sangamam courtesy Swaranjali, Trivandrum.

Solitude

Like identical drops of water, we live;
The same space, we inhabit.
Coalesce! You say?
Nay, for a wall have we created,
And like spawn shall we subsist;
With gooey stuff separating.

PS: This poem created itself in a dream I had on the night of 28/05/08. Freaky!

I feel..

..like using the Blur tool on the lyrics of songs.

Freely Captive

Neglect me; forget me; you do it perfectly well.
When I free myself you will not even realize.
A bruised child left to die in a rotten, hypocritical world.

To hold tightly a hand that will not let go
While I shut myself off for a permanent sense of freedom,
And shed that last tear, one that will merge well with this frown.

Here I linger till that day;
The day I’ll get to really go away.
And trust me, you will not miss me.

PS: This created itself as I woke up on the day of my C slot exam dated 28/04/08. Need I say more?

In the Light of Fireflies

In the light of fireflies is a collection of poems written by Sudha Rajkumar. I got hold of a copy of the book and here’s a small review I thought I’d write.

The book, comprising of poems written over five years, gives the reader an insight into the thought process of someone who tries to recover from a shocking misfortune. The author has gracefully brought out the feelings and the emotions that defined her during the course of her life after her husband’s accident. The poems, simple though they may be, invoke questions on the mere existence of man. All through the book, one can see a sincere attempt to find answers to these questions and more. The book is, surprisingly, neither cynically pessimistic nor is it incredibly optimistic. Here is an excerpt, that I couldn’t help relating to, from a poem that I have bookmarked.

Rising to the peaks of happiness,
Flying free in air,
The very next moment falling down
Deep into the ocean of sadness.

Here’s the review in The Hindu and here’s the review at Vatsap?

Black gold

I just had to dedicate a post for this. I had black coffee for the first time today. I have always wanted to try it. For those of you who don’t understand the seriousness of the issue, I am someone who takes coffee just for the smell and invariably always requests it to be made light. Black coffee is like the extreme end, for me, in caffeine intake. I was sure that I wouldn’t drink more than a sip of it. No milk, no sugar; just water and Nescafe. Imagine that!


The water was getting heated. I was told time and again that I wouldn’t like it. Bah! I myself knew I wouldn’t like it. I just wanted to see what the fuss was about. New taste buds need to form, it seems, for one to appreciate the taste and these would form only after drinking a few glasses. After these new taste buds form, one will die for it. Someone who hasn’t tasted a particular thing before wouldn’t know what it should taste like and hence wouldn’t be able to appreciate it. Imagine having to hear all that while that innocent little mug of coffee was carving itself. I must admit I thought I would puke at the first sip.

The coffee was finally ready. The exotic aroma was totally exciting. I really wish I could smell it again. It was a heavenly, irresistible smell. The drink as such was as simple as simple can be. Clear, black and inviting, there it was in front of me in a homely little mug. I ventured to taste it; I didn’t puke. On the contrary, I drank the full mug. I have never drunk a full mug of normal coffee, of anything for that matter. Didn’t I say that I am a unique person? It didn’t feel unpalatably bitter, which is, quite frankly, all that I expected from it. It didn’t feel awkward; neither did it feel special. But, it had a wonderfully unique taste, something that I really can’t explain. It doesn’t taste like normal coffee at all. Milk spoils the real taste of coffee, not to mention dampening its pure aroma. I drank till the last drop; I felt good.

After about ten minutes, the taste started to manifest itself like the hangover of a funny lunch at the mess. It had an eerie lemon-tee without lemon like taste, albeit not in a bad way. It goes without saying that I am wide awake and I feel more energetic. On the whole, it was worth it. As far as my second cup is concerned, I guess only time will tell. I would, however, suggest you get yourself some black coffee sometime, if you haven’t tried it already.

Here's something to read in this context.

@Amrit Bhaiyya: Thanks! :)

Gone with the Wind

Yeah, the movie 'Gone with the Wind' is an American classic and all that but I wanted to see how mean I could be to an 'epic film'. What can I say? I guess I derive satisfaction out of thinking differently. So, here goes.

The movie begins with a couple of supposedly handsome men taking shots at Scarlett O'Hara, the childish lead heroine in the movie. It has been made very mechanical and unbelievable. There is no way a sensible woman would have found it, in the least, flattering. The lady, little girl rather, has been made to witness the Civil War waged by the Yankees, three marriages and infinite amount of flirting during the course of the movie. It seems more like a deliberate attempt at squeezing war, romance and stupidity in one big package.

The girls in the movie have been portrayed as gullible and worth only to be flirted with. The change that comes in her, as shown later in the movie, is even more outrageous. There seems to be no trace of the old Scarlet in her at all, until when Ashley comes back and confuses her. Perhaps it’s his presence that brings out the unrealistic, impulsive part of her.

There is a line in the movie ‘She’s after your beau now’ which clearly removes any doubt about the intention of the ladies in the movie. It is hard to believe that she agrees to dance with Mr. Butler, who she had addressed as a dog in the first part of the movie, for no apparent reason. The impulsiveness of the character, Scarlett, is that of a child while the role she plays in the movie is that of a fine lady.

The men in the movie are not as refined as they are supposed to be with respect to the theme of the movie either. They address Mr. Wilkes as the ‘Captain of the Troop’ and they don’t even rebel against him when he says that there shall be no war. What could get more cowardly than that! The way Mrs. Hamilton says, “Oh dear, oh dear!” and faints is nothing less than melodramatic. It’s hard to miss that Scarlett seems turned on when Melanie cries on her shoulder when the list of those who died in the war comes. The scene gets, quite interestingly, abruptly terminated.

Even in the middle of the civil war, Mr. Butler keeps his cool. When she asks what he was laughing at, he answers back that he was laughing at her. He looks so calm that it seems that might actually have been organizing the entire uproar. After the war is over, she sees the gory remains that the war has left behind. Even at this point of time, all she has to say is, “Dirty Yankees!”

Overall, the movie seems way too far fetched to believe. There are a few characters who are suffocated with too much to deliver in the movie while there are others who have little or no relevance. It is an over-ambitious movie that has managed to convince people that it is good entertainment, of the laugh at the movie genre. As far as the ten Academy Awards that it won are concerned, I’d say, “Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.”(Quotes from the movie here)

PS: This post is the first of the three musketeers who felt bad because of Mr. Murphy.

Update: Check this out. Blogging just gets better. :D

Murphy's Law

On the one fine day that I have three blog posts to put up and I am all ready to put them up, this happens! Bah!
Talk about Murphy's Law.

A full circle

Two extremely bored people might find themselves doing this on GTalk.
On a more philosophical note, life came a full circle. The game quite involuntarily,
began as well as ended at 'life' and we just played. Relentlessly and patiently, we (Santosh and myself) played and played till it was done.

Oh, and designed another header, in case you didn't notice. :D

L: life
S: death
L: grave
S: black
L: blog
S: write
L: poem
S: beauty
L: smile
S: joy
L: laugh
S: thrill
L: bunjee :D
S: fall :)
L: fracture
S: :D
L: :D
S: bone
L: weight :))
S: fat
L: argh :))
S: Leela! :))
L: :PP unique
S: identity
L: loss
S: faith
L: arbit
S: thought
L: mind
S: fickle
L: gullible
S: weak
L: malnutrition
S: food
L: chocolate :D
S: love
L: blah
S: :D idiot
L: dumbo
S: :| stupid
L: Santosh :))
S: stud
L: lingo
S: regional
L: doordarshan :|
S: outdated
L: oblivion
S: forget
L: bliss
S: tasteless
L: fever
S: cold
L: frostbite
S: ignorance
L:Weirdo max! useless
S: redundant
L: coding !
S: program
L: assignment :(
S: submission by 12 tonight :D
L: website
S: info
L: data
S: table (data tables)
L: graph
S: point
L: pointless
S: conversation
L: coffee
S: hot
L: burn
S: fire
L: plasma
S: !!!!
L: :D
S: television
L: news
S: update
L: blogpost
S: again???
L: obseessed!
S: clearly diary
L: personal
S: feelings
L: vague
S: ideas
L: bulb as in cartoons
S: light
L: optical fibre
S: road will explain
L: tar
S: smooth
L: touch
S: sparks :D i am weird, very
L: No doubts welding
S: bright
L: sunshine
S: heaven
L: angel
S: innocence
L: child
S: youth
L: wasted
S: opportunity
L: knock :))
S: door
L: duh! break
S: lunch :D
L: king size!
S: drowsy
L: numbness
S: blood rush
L: river
S: bank
L: stones
S: obstacles
L: life

Sing

Tagged, yet again. Twilight Fairy, again! Bah!
The game doesn’t seem to have a title. The title, Sing, is a song by Travis.

To music!

1. Which song is being played in your mind right now?
One Last Breath by Creed because it is being played on my player right now. Duh!


2. One song that describes your life... (No self made compositions please!)
She’s Always A Woman To Me by Billy Joel. I like to think the song was custom-made for me. Between you and me, it really was. ;)

3. The song you listen to most on your I-pod/ MP3/ cell/ PC/ etc

Moi Lolita by AlizĂ©e. My neighbours get psyched out 'coz of the number of times I listen to it both on my laptop and on my phone. Jus’ love the peppy beats.

4. A song that describes best the following stages in your life
-
School
days: I’ll be there for you by Rembrants. It just had to be this one. Ah! Good old times! Miss you guys.
- Love: A Whole New World from Alladin. The song keeps it simple and sweet.
- Your mood right now: Square One by Coldplay. Beautiful lyrics.

5. Your all time favorite song and the reason for it... maybe some memory/ some funny story etc!!!

Unchained Melody by Gareth Gates. Acute Amnesia.

6. A song you wish you hadn't heard!!! (More than one is always a pleasure!!!)

Hotel Kalifornia – the weird Mallu version and the like. Eww! They totally make me wanna puke.

7. A song that would best describe... me
(Hey, I took pains to tag you, I guess I deserve this ;-) )

She Amazed Me by Rivo Drei. Crazy lyrics, crazy stuff for the crazy girl. I can so imagine you ‘spinning round and round with a frog in your ear.’ :D

8. (I just couldn't miss this!!!) If, you were in an elevator with Himesh Reshammiya and Altaf Raja, you would...
(please please please... something funny!!!)

It makes more sense if the question was rephrased as they were with me in an elevator. Oh trust me, they’d wish they were never born. ;)

Yay! I'm done. Now to tag people.
I tag Abhishek, Akila, Kaushik, Neethu, Shady, Shrek, Taz, Whitelighter.
Phew!

Update: Somebody decided to give it a go. Here's Tagged from Shady.

Inspiration

Words carefully chosen,
Braided one after the other,
Perfectly, flawlessly.
Ideas, new and old alike,
Weaving their way through.
The flow remarkable,
The fabric exquisite.
A smile plays on the reader's face.

PS: Inspired from here.

Nerd!

I am nerdier than 81% of people according to this test.

18% scored higher (more nerdy),
1% scored the same, and
81% scored lower (less nerdy).
Your nerdiness is:

High-Level Nerd. You are definitely MIT material, apply now!!!

Gee! I am not sure if it is a compliment.

@Rambling Perfectionist
Thanks for the link. I thought your score was far too less which is why I took the test. :D

PS: I suppose I should start quiz preparations seriously and put this high-level nerdy brain to efficient use.

Wasted

My mind; it drifts and speeds,
Farther and farther it flees;
Away from the din
Of sincere drilling machines.

They stare at us;
Those shameless zeroes and ones;
Have you not stared enough?
It is not funny anymore.

These mechanical steps I take,
These callous decisions I make,
These confused looks I don,
Need I say more?

I said I was strong,
Can I not be wrong?
Is it too much to ask?
Pray, tell me.

All of this belongs to me.
A life in them, I fail to see;
Chaste and pure,
Adored and cared for.

They say I am expressive;
I stop short of an expletive.
I have lost myself.
Help me search?

Gone

Gone are the days I used to wake up cheerfully to bright summer
mornings.
Gone are the days I donned a genuine smile on my face, instead of
this fake one that I have oh so beautifully mastered.
Gone are the days I used to wonder what is it that makes this world
so perfect.
Gone are the days I used to get marks above average in class.
Gone are the days I used to listen in each and every class.
Gone are the days I felt good about caring for someone.
Gone are the days I looked at a thing of beauty and admired it.
Gone are the days I wrote down every conversation I had with people I considered special.
Gone are the days I used to feel special.
Gone are the days I used to feel visible.
Gone are the days I thought I was lucky.
Gone are the days I had firm, unshakable principles of living.
Gone are the days I went to sleep with a calming feeling of satisfaction.

One year old

It has been a full one year since I started blogging. It has truly been a wonderful experience. The new header has been designed especially for the occasion. Blogitto, Ergo Sum is officially one year old. Yay!


I am glad that every month has had its share of blogposts, just one post in some while four in a few others. My blog has come a long way since it was born. It reflects how my life was at different points of time. From academics and classes, the focus shifts to sports to getting bored like every other person during the three month vacation. Who can forget that phase of my life when I used to Bang!, Bang! again and Bang! not again! away to glory with no rhyme or reason? Hell, a Bang! Counter was created thanks to Aditya! I was rumoured to have a crush on my then brand new watch which, by the way, I still admire though it has lost a reasonable amount of the erstwhile captivating lustre. There was a marathon I don't remember much about. The world around me came to know how very angelic I could be on the day I had a blast of a birthday. Notice the infinite sarcasm in the previous line.

I got tagged. I revealed eight random facts about myself. That's right! Eight random facts! I realized that it was time to revisit kindergarten and see if I still remember The English Alphabet. Guess what? I remembered all twenty six of them. And then it was time. It was time to step into the Devil's shoes. The Devil struck again in an episode that is quoted till date for the pure evil that it was. My first addiction arrived grandly but I must say it has decreased with time. I got caught in class for not paying attention for the very first time. I tried my hand at open ended fiction having had a disturbing dream about an underworld don. I took part in that 3:11 thingy. Watch out for it next time if you missed it. I bid adieu to a very happening year in a very unique way and New Years' Day brought along with it a few drastic changes in my life.

A typical day in my life is reflected in this post. I was absolutely thrilled to have designed my own header and even more thrilled to get compliments for the same. I learnt the weird way that vague senseless stuff like this will be analysed and distorted in every possible way. There was a time when there was a rainbow within me. Now, just the sun remains. It shines with all its glory. I admit that I can be passionate about very unusual things. I loved this song so much that I googled enough on the Greek mythology behind it to write an IEEE paper.


My blog has come a long way and so have I. As far as the future goes. You will just have to stick around and find out. :D

Orestes

The music.
The anger.
The frustration.

The desperation.

The passion in his voice.

The numbing sensation.


The song "Orestes" by A Perfect Circle on the album Mer de Noms is truly a masterpiece. It is beautifully woven around a captivating Greek mythological story about the character Orestes.
Wikipedia link.
Mythology Guide description.
Songfacts gives a lot of interpretations to the song.

Metaphor for a missing moment
Pull me in to your perfect circle

One womb
One shame
One resolve
Liberate this will
To release us all

Gotta cut away, clear away
Snip away and sever this
Umbilical residue,
Keeping me from killing you
And from pulling you down with me here,
I can almost hear you scream

Give me one more medicated peaceful moment
Give me one more medicated peaceful moment

And I don't wanna feel this
Overwhelming hostility
I don't wanna feel this
Overwhelming hostility

Gotta cut away, clear away
Snip away and sever this
Umbilical residue

Gotta cut away, clear away
Snip away and sever this
Umbilical residue,
Keeping me from killing you

Snip away and sever this
Keeping me from killing you


There's something about this song that makes me listen to it almost every day. Do listen to the song, if you haven't already. If you cannot get the song, drop a comment and a mail address and I will mail it to you.

PS: @Shady
Thanks for the song.


The Rainbow

I feel a rainbow within me.
The sun shines because I feel alive.
The rain pours because well, it just decided to.

Recursion

My heart leapt in rapture as he sang whilst my eyes gleamed in his presence; the very presence that haunted my dreams back at the institute during lengthy dreary nights, but alas! he vanishes, fades away just like in the dreams I have at the institute where I am while I speak thus.



Update: This is to clarify any doubts regarding the post. It is a line from one of my entries for Creative Writing at Saarang '08. The entry conforms to the constraint that it does not contain the letter 'o'. As regards the matter, it just came up by itself. As mentioned, it is tagged under fiction with the valid reason that well, it is fictitious.

A Brand New Look


Voila! My new personalized blog header. I love it.
Created on Jan 12th 2008 using Adobe Photoshop.

Whose tikka is it anyway?

There is a considerable amount of defiance in the air when a nineteen year old girl goes all by herself to a real family restaurant. Tifanys is, clearly, not counted. I called up my parents to let them know I had reached home (others call it IITM) safely. I made sure they realized how grown up I was. It felt good. I ordered something and decided to set my eyes on my television till the time my phone stopped bulbing. That's when I noticed them; the family. Well, I noticed the guy in the family first. Typical goody goody boy - I don't behave indecently - I don't eat nonveg - I smoke not - I drink not and so on. And then I saw the rest of the family; all glued to the television. "Wow! A Samsung plasma TV. I have never seen one before. Beta, dekh lo. You might not get this chance again." I did not technically hear this, but this is pretty much what they would've said, if they did talk that is. I decided then and there that I was going to sit back and watch the show. ( And I did not mean the one on TV, in case you are a total moron.)

A plate of mouth-watering paneer tikka arrived on the table. They kept worshipping the television. What an insult! It was the son who ventured to set his eyes upon the impudent foreign object that had dared to intrude into his life. The look of disgust on his eyes went well with the scorn on his face. A classic example of the 'look before you leap' category of people. Note that the others had not so much as looked in the direction of the solitary plate on their table.

Somewhere between then and now my order arrived and it felt luxurious to have something to munch as I was getting entertained. As far as the paneer tikka goes, the dad, the 'leap and then look' category, was the next in line. His hand shot and grabbed a piece of onion. Onion! Raw onion! Was the paneer part invisible or was I hallucinating?

Daddy then asks daughter to have a look. She, the 'don't look, don't leap' category, carried on her disturbing admiration for the particularly irritating comedian on the flat screen. Of course, mummy was not to be left out of all this action. She consults daddy, "Do you think it is eatable? Is it a part of the table deco.." only to be intruded by daughter, "Mummy, talk softly. I'm watching TV." That served as the cue to bring all those who were distracted by that lowly dish (or was it a table decoration?) back to what they did best. "All hail the Samsung Flat Screen."