Sunday, December 30, 2007

More linklove

Good friend Kaustubh claims to have started blogging at Melancholic Ecstasy. which IIRC is a song by Indian Ocean. Just to get you to know you, he's introduced me to some great stuff by Agni - and is the recipient of the "unused guitar award which was lying at home anyway" for continued dedication to the pursuit of mostly music but also to math and open source.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

No buzz - but nice movie.

Just finished watching the Bee Movie. I accept that the main attraction was that we finally get to see more than a Saturday Night sketch, after Jerry Seinfeld hung up his boots. True, we don't do much seeing - but still he co-wrote it and voices Barry B. Benson, the main protagonist bee of the movie.

But the point of this post is to direct you to this article by noted entomologist, Natalie Angier "In Hollywood Hives, the Males Rule". It features some killer lines like

"bee flinging, like bee stinging, is a lethal affair."

"A successful male is a dead male."


"The drone is deemed a drain, and if he won’t die for love, he must die for its lack."

Do read.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

High 5 for Mood I!

I'll be leaving to participate in Mood Indigo, IITB's annual cultural fest in a few hours. This will be my fifth Mood Indigo - and unlike the first years that I'm carrying in tow (a la Hagrid?), I no longer have the excitement that I once did. In fact, were it not for the quizzes I would not have gone.

Shocking as it may seem - my objectives for this year are to sleep at a reasonable hour (by around 1 am perhaps?) and NOT eat the junk chinese at the hostel 3 canteen and get my throat all messed up.

Apart from that, all my moaning about "5 years and no Jagjit Singh" has borne fruit. The great man will be there this year, and though many of you might not be fans - I'm really looking forward to this. Also Shankar Mahadevan and troupe are performing. I hope they give us the kind of stuff that I like, and not the populist stuff that is famous. Here's my wishlist

1. Rind Posh Maal (Mission Kashmir)
2. Lakshya (Lakshya)
3. Taare Zameen Par (TPZ)
4. Kal Ho Na Ho (KHNH)
5. Aao Na (Kyun! Ho Gaya Na)
6. Koi Kahe / Jaane Kyun Log Pyaar Karte Hai(DCH)

Apart from that, as this guy is no longer at IITB, I wont have internet access or peaceful lab-solace when I need it. I will try and chronicle stuff this year - so watch out for that once I get back.

PS: I'm accepting suggestions for what team name we should use this time round. The best ones I could come up till now unfortunately are all puns on Modi and Mood-i.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Poor Joke for the day

Q. Why did the quarry workers not have bank accounts?
A. They were all miners.

More PJs here and here.

Note to self

No matter how much friends try to convince you, do not watch an Anees Bazmee movie at 8:30 am on Saturday morning. Ever!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Desperately Seeking

This book.: Comment saying you can lend it to me - and much kindness will come in your general direction.

Monday, December 17, 2007

P Diddy in Bloomingdale's?

That is the simile this reporter prefers for one Monsieur Barwick. You HAVE to read this rotflmao article about Capello's "unveiling".

Here are a few gems :

"He says that, when he meets up with the squad in a month's time, he will be able to speak English," relayed his assistant.

It seemed an extraordinary claim. Images came to mind of Capello wandering round his mansion in Lugano, a Linguaphone cassette-player dangling round his neck and a set of flash-cards in his back pocket.


And what about the arrival of his backroom team of four fellow Italians, who between them will be costing the FA an extra £1.4m a year?

Was this not the footballing equivalent of buying an extremely expensive gadget for Christmas, only to unwrap it and find that it won't work without four additional batteries (not supplied)?


And it ends, fortunately in hope

Capello might be overpaid. He might be as short of English as his new side are of world-class goalkeepers.

But if he controls his players like he controlled the wilful British media, he'll be in with a chance.

Read the whole article now!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Two Tech Tips

What is your homepage?

For many years, I've used the blank, going nowhere setting on my browser as my homepage. This was convenient - and really useful when you have dialup. Many people, prefer the Google Firefox homepage default, and thus give something back to the browser. But once the session gets going, everyone uses the in-built search bar - so not much money for Firefox to make there. Many people use Google Personalised Homepage. I personally did this for some time - my favourite gadgets? Gmail, Pune Weather, Orkut Birthday Reminders and Jay Leno quote of the day. iGoogle as it is known now, is much prettier - with weather-dependent themes and much innovation. It's very good if you have a nice, fast connection, i.e. say if your gmail loads in a second.

For most people in India, on broadband we're somewhere in the middle. So if you're looking to keep the "search engine" homepage option, but are bored of either or, then I have something exciting for you. Use Searchmash. It's my new homepage, and I'm loving it! It loads faster than Google, and has auto-cursor-to-text-box. Very nice indeed! Check it out. And if you thought, we finally have something to end GOOG domination, think again! This site is a Google experimentation pad - without any Google branding. So, the quality of results is as good as ever. Only with much better usability and UI.


Irritated by that Inbox(1032) message in Gmail?

I'm wondering why I did not think of this earlier. Due to a particular negligent phase of my using Gmail, I'd piled up a huge chunk of unread mails. What this meant, was that even though I had been reading all my mails regularly, my Inbox still said that I had 950 messages unread. Not that it made any difference. I have plenty of space remaining, but deleting all this stuff, just to get rid of that irritating sign seemed a bit excessive.

This is what I did.

Hit "select all messages". It will then ask you if you want to select all messages on that page, or all messages in general. Se you want to select all messages in general. Then, on the drop-down menu beside the delete button, you will find an option called "Mark as Read". Click it, confirm that you really want to do what you are doing - and you're set!

Mails remain, and unread messages zero. Yay!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

They are like this too

I enjoy reading Straight Dope sometimes. Today's mailer brought back recollections of an old quizzing chestnut about a cigarette tax or something.(Churchill was involved in some way I think) Shame is, I can't remember it! If someone could please refresh my memory in the comments that would be great.

Anyway - what reminded me of that question was this : How Come We never see Class B cigarettes. Any article that has the words "Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms" deserves special attention!

Finally, She purrs!

Yesterday night, I slept with the quiet joy of a man who know that his computer is going about its job of getting bits and bytes from people around the world so that when he wakes up the next day, it has a small present for him. Getting up, is an equally joyous experience - I act as if I really did not know, that my computer is going to present me with such bounteous gifts - and to some extent my surprise and admiration is genuine.

Now, this morning however was a rough patch in our relationship. I got up, as usual - and rushed to her hoping for another day of joyful gift-revelation. Imagine my surprise then, when I find a grumpy black face starting at me saying, "the computer has to shut off due to overheating" - or somesuch. This is the last straw I decide.

I knew it was going to come to this. She has been slowly increasing the intensity of what was a quiet whir, to a almost resounding growl. I somehow managed to sleep - and have been putting up with this obstreperous behaviour for almost a few months now. So - I decide, enough is enough!

I get up, and armed with my screwdriver and two pieces of rags I approach her. I yank open the side cover - and set about trying to figure out a way to get the heat sink off. After a little while, the heat sink is off - and I'm hacking away at her innards getting all that layer of dirt, slime and grease off it. Finally she's clean and good to go. Pleased at having done a good morning's work - I then put her back.

This is where the problem arrived. If you've ever tried putting back a heat sink without taking out the motherboard, it can be a bitch! Finally I manage somehow, but to no avail. Obviously it's not been done properly, and the system promptly shuts off in ohh.. about 3 seconds.

So finally, I take the last resort. Take her to the big daddy. I yank out all the wires - shove her in the car and bang her on the mechanic's desk. He's smiles at me as if saying - "you don't really know how to handle her, do ya?". He takes her apart, piece by piece and puts her back - lovingly. She obviously must've relented - because in about half-an hour she was all ready to go.

I was still mad. But when I put her back at my place, and plugged her in - she purred! Softly and silently as she did about a year back. And as I sit here typing this, and listening to her - there is no greater joy than a really silent computer!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Free as in free software

You guys must've heard about that famous quote by Richard Stallman

“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”.

So, someone thought, lets make this whole situation even more confusing by having beer that is free, free as in "free speech", not as in "free beer". Anyway, here is their website. You should start by reading their faq, to get a heads-up on things.

But the whole point of this post was to link to the interview these guys had with Stallman himself. I like it because it catches him totally off-guard, on a subject he;s seemingly ill at ease with, but eventually moving to the basic fundamental questions of "ideology". Here is the link, scroll down a bit, before you can see it.

Particularly interesting lines are,

"Open Source is a term used to co-opt our work; to separate our work from the ideals that motivated it. See, we developed software that users are free to run and share and change as they wish for the sake of freedom, because those freedoms, we believe, are essential. Then there were millions of people who appreciated the software and appreciated the chance to share and change it and found that it was very good software too. But they didn’t want to present this as an ethical issue, so they started using a different term,‘open source’, as a way to describe the same software without ever bringing it up as an ethical issue;"

"I’d rather not use the term ‘open source.’ I’m not a supporter of the ‘open source’ movement"

"Think of ‘open source’ and ‘free software’ as the name of two different political parties -"

Btw, here is the "source code".

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Notes from today

I was decidedly against watching Aaja Nach Le. But after reading Baradwaj Rangan say "Aaja Nachle is full of small, lovely moments about this world, about these people ..." I've become more malleable to the idea. More important is the fact that Taran Adarsh hates it saying (rotflmao here) "Sadly, AAJA NACHLE is below the mediocre mark and doesn’t meet the humungous(sic) expectations that you associate with the Yashraj - Madhuri combo." This one kind-of convinces me.


This one is tied to the above bit - saw "Dil to Pagal Hai" today (or most of it anyway). Was slacking off at home, with my feet hung up, quite literally due something about which you will read in the next bit. Anyway, I'm definitely a child of the mid-90s movie genre. This period starts with Baazigar, blooms with Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge - stays on with Dil to Pagal Hai and culminates (sort-of) with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Now you must note that all these are the quintessential movies that will one day typify Shah Rukh Khan's acting career in a phase where he became extremely popular - somewhat like Amitabh's "Angry Young Man" phase, with movies like Deewar and Trishul. Sure, they'll do other stuff - but this forever will remain their "coming of age" so as to speak.

Anyway, "Yashraj-Madhuri" combo reminds me of Dil To Pagal Hai - a movie which I remember liking quite a bit. Thankfully, I've found tell-tale signs that there has been some transformation in my tastes (for good/bad, time will tell). I hated it - the "Dance of Envy" that I once idolized as "something bhari" was nothing more than a contorted attempt at mutual provocation, Shah Rukh Khan is positively obnoxious and the dialogue notoriously kitsch. Immensely eeww!


What I did today morning was take part in this. Happy to report that it was a major anti-climax, finished it within 30 mins, and actually walked back from Nehru Stadium to Deccan, to build up an appetite to ensure that we could execute our carefully built breakfast plans to their potential. In a way, that too was a major highlight of the morning - the Chiken Cutlet and the Baked Beans at Prem's Restaurant in Koregaon Park. Not bad at all!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Me - Run - Yes. You Join?

Me, my friend and the monkey-man will be running in the 4.5 km section of the 22nd Pune International Marathon, day after(this Sunday). Please come see us blaze the tracks. Congratulate the guys who'll win, and we'll wish you back in return.

And if you're a 20 something girl, satisfying all the frequently mentioned criteria, and really impressed by us - then remember, the other two guys have girlfriends.

(PS: All this running enthu is thanks to Dhammo. You've inspired me for ages.)

(PPS: Just for the record, my target is to complete the distance in 1 hr.)

(PPPS: If you're wondering if you're reading the right Abhishek's blog - the one who would sit around, reading books and watching movies, imitating a hibernating bear - then don't go anywhere. This is the Abhishek. I'm just trying to improve!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jigrii Dushman - The return of the Killer "Local Author"

One of the best parts of the new "independent" regime at COEP, has been forwarding of subjects ahead by one semester, thereby cramming Automata theory in second year, and Computer Organisation in the 5th semester and suchlike. Today, friends, Romans, Countrymen - I'm going to write the last paper of this semester in about 4 hours. Why, then do you ask, I'm writing this in spite of cramming as much as I can into my short-term memory banks? The answer? Nostalgia.

Nostalgia, can make you do strange things - and now as I'm writing this, I'm least bothered about trivial matters like "doing well" or "getting good grades". These things happen to me, rather than any conscious effort on my part.(rarely of course) What I am bothered about, is the fact that owing to the aforementioned prefetching of future subjects, my next semester is virtually free. Sure, there is the pesky project(which I aim to do with utmost sincerity, O lord of project guides!) and the stupid elective(which is very likely to be "Advanced Entrepreneurship Development" mwahahaa!) - but it basically means - no day-to-day college! Sure, this has been my routine anyway for at least the last two years - but gone will be the burden of using all my charm and diplomatic abilities to ensure that I do not attend and still stay relatively safe. I must say, that it came very close this semester - but it seems like I'll make it.

Anyway, the nostalgia is basically that this will be my last turbulent stream that I will cross with the help of my trusted Nirali (ok, ok it's TechMax today, but you get the drift). As it sits in the corner, horribly used, edges frayed, line after line highlighted(all by some chap called Vikram Kamble, His Noodly Appendage bless his soul!) staring at me - all I can say is thank you! You have given me the confidence to step into today's "Advanced Computer Architecture" exam, having no freakin' idea what separates a Vector Processor from a Scalar processor. Sure, I know 10 points of differentiation, and am hoping this question will feature in the paper - but if by some freak chance my future employers put me in charge of the "Vector/Scalar Processor" department of their company (ah, choose this boy, he had good ACA grades) I will have no chance of facing my juniors with a straight face.

And what is important, is that, this has been pretty much the pattern of my whole undergraduate study. I've technically studied Computer Networks, Automata Theory, Compiler Construction and Digital Signal Processing. Tomorrow, when I go out to work in the domain, it will be on the basis of such extremely volatile education - which is brilliant, because my employers are anyway going to erase my easily destroyed EPROM and program me to their requirements. Now you know why COEP engineers are so much in demand!

Anyway, I want to end by basically saying thank you -- thank you to all you "Godse-Bakshis", "Bhutiyani-Joshis" and "Prasad-Prasads". You guys are no less than any super-hero combo!

(PS: Coming Soon! The Sequel : Killer Local Author in "The Revenge of the Firgans" )

(PPS: This post was supposed to go online with the entire contents at 11 am today, but thanks to blogger quirks on Konqueror and my Firefox being down, it goes up now)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Emergency, so what?

When people in India talk about the 1975 Indian Emergency imposed by Mrs G, it's always in hushed tones - or at least with some degree of caution. It was, and I'm basing this on the reactions of these people - a huge thing. The biggest thing to strike India since the 71 war.

Now unfortunately I have not read either fact or fiction which is based in the time, so all my evidence is hearsay. But my closest encounter was via Amu (v.nice film - go drool at Konkona in her arty-best.) There was general terror, head-chopping in Delhi, places were majorly closed. Of course, how places far from the capital, like say Gadchiroli or Bidar were affected is another matter to explore - but it would be safe to say that a certain sense of commotion mixed with fear prevailed.

Now - lets come to the current Pakistan situation. I'm assuming here that the legal provisions of the emergency are pretty much similar in both cases. But - apart from that fact that they've caught poor Imran Khan again - life on the street seems pretty much normal. Pervez had a huge send-off party, he threw to himself, where he himself cried at how much he was going to miss himself in an uniform. People around were generally hoping (pun unintended) that they would be rewarded for their troubles by hutta-gutta Peshawari gosht and chicken biryani. A dude I heard on the telly was pretty happy saying that "Musharraf sir ne vardii to utaarii hai, lekin ab aage kya karte hai dekhna padegaa". You strip-teasing-pervert! Shouldn't such guys be put behind bars - immediately? Isn't the emergency hugely bigger than the Rowlatt Act?

When people's freedoms are supposed to be curtailed, Nawaz Sharif - who's been enjoying Saudi belly dancers all these years, is permitted to enter the country. Benazir too drops in to see what the fuss is all about. "Oh, how lovely, emergency! This is something I have not seen. Babu, book my ticket on the next BA, will you?"

Life elsewhere continues as peacefully (or violently) as usual. Shoaib falls sick again, and political wrangling continues.

It's time these guys realised the value of an emergency. "Do din mein khatm hogaa, tab pataa chalegaa, keh detii hoon!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The eyes they closed
And off I dozed
On what seemed a sunny day
But it was cold outside
And it was cold inside
In a stupid, magical way

Eyes wide open
Eyes wide shut
No place where I could stay
They all came to see
Then they showed to me
That lonely yesterday.

I stared at me
Me stared at I
Eyes seemingly cast away
But I couldn't be
What I couldn't see
Until my dyin' day.

And then she said,
That she's afraid
That it turned out this way
But, can't you believe
She just couldn't leave
Her things on my byway.

The silver spoon
That filled my room
Had nothin' more to say
And I couldn't find
With enough money inside
A purse that would make her pay.

Eyes wide shut
Eyes wide opened
A place where I did stay
Showed to me,
what I couldn't see
What came to me today

'Twas Another face, In another place
To pass the rest of my days.

'Twas Another face, In another haze
To pass the rest of my days.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Injured playmaker - no cookie for you.

At least not today.

And if you thought this was sport, think again. You won't be getting any footage/videos from the Led Zep reunion concert because it is now postponed to the 10th of December.


Jimmy Page's injured, that is why!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Saved from the trenches of RFC 822

Lots more good stuff here. Esp this ravenous discharge.

Dir Straits

I want my
I want my
I want my FTP

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
You get the files from the FTP
That ain't programming, that's the way you do it
Programs for nothing and the code is free
Now that ain't programming, that's the way you do it
Let me tell you those guys aren't pissed
Maybe break a nail on your little finger,
Maybe get some numbness in your wrist

We've got to install operating systems
Custom software delivery
We've got to move these manual pages
RTFM those RFCs

See the little user with his gifs and the jpegs
Yeah buddy he's got root
That little user got his own workstation
That little user got his own disk to boot

We've got to install operating systems
Custom software delivery
We've got to move these manual pages
RTFM those RFCs

I should've learned to run xarchie
I should've learned to play them games
Look at that mama, her gif is sticking in the monitor
Man we could have some fun
And he's up there, what's that? Orgasm noises?
Playing sound files like a grade-school geek
That ain't programming that's the way you do it
Get your programs for nothing get your code for free

We've got to install operating systems
Custom software delivery
We've got to move these manual pages
RTFM those RFCs

Now that ain't programming, that's the way you do it
You get your programs from the FTP
That ain't programming that's the way you do it
Programs for nothing and your code for free
Programs for nothing and code for free

Monday, November 19, 2007

Original Joke of the day

Why did the judge sentence Ekta Kapoor to death?

Because she was a serial killer.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Verbatim: My college Sysadmin

Hi, there is a particular, unmonitored way by which you can send an email to all COEP students, via an alias. There are absolutely no restrictions - and anyone, using any ID can do so. As I predicted sometime back, ICICI bank has come to know of it, and soon will IMS, Career Forum and anyone looking to target college students. In fact, they would even be ready to pay for this.

Anyway currently, the misuse is mainly by college students to wish us a happy diwali, send us marriage proposals and offer free mobile phones. Finally - the giant called the sysadmin woke up. Here is the strict action he has taken

"It has come to my notice that a lot of students are misusing the college email id, especially the email address. I would like it to be known that this email address is for the sole purpose of making important announcements by the staff or secretaries of the various clubs in the college. It has been observed, that students are creating profile on social networking / matrimonial sites using this account. Please let it be known that the college has not provided you with email addresses for such frivolous activities. If you must register with social networking sites, do so using your personal email Id and not Furthermore, students are now spamming this id with emails promising free mobile phones. This is a HOAX. Please refrain from such blatant misuse of the college id in future.

System Administrator "

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The new Force India livery.

Thought you would like to see.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

You have to

check out the new uniforms of the ICL. No more comments.

Hat Tip : greatbong

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Abhishek's Law of education.

If I ever teach a class this is the first thing I'm going to tell them

"No matter how good or interesting a professor or a course is, over a period of time, formal education is boring."

Anyone agrees?

Bacon No 4 - here I come!

The director if Alliance Francaise de Poona, Monsieur Jean-Jacques Scaerou is an interesting personality. He is short, slightly rotund, always wears a smile on his face and is a connoisseur of music and art in general. I've seen him make fun - and in general entertain us often during boring phases of my study towards my Diploma. I must however add, that Alliance Francaise as an institution is as badly managed a place as I have ever seen, probably on par with COEP. But anyway, lets blame "the system" and move on.

So, the point is this. I was watching "A Mighty Heart" mostly interested by all the brouhaha created during the filming in Pune. So imagine when I see Mr. Scaerou playing the role of the French Ambassador(i think) in Karachi, Philippe Scaerou. He even has a couple of lines with Ms.Jolie.

Here is a screenshot.(some goof-up here. Will put correct shots later.)

Anyway, so Mr.Scaerou now has an IMDB page, and more importantly a Bacon number of 3.

Ok gotta go now - I've got to convince him to appear on a home video with me.


In parallel reading, you might want to check out A Mighty Shame, Asra Nomani's take on movie. She was one of Daniel Pearl's closest friends in Pakistan, and was with his wife during her ordeal.

BTW, loved Archie Punjabi who plays her in the movie. Dunno why, something was attirante.

Friday, November 02, 2007

"Whodunits" - BCQC November Open 2007

Ramanand is doing a quiz this weekend at the BCQC. Should be fantabulous.
Quoting his post here from his blog.

I'm doing an open quiz this Sunday called "Whodunits". The detectives theme is more than incidental and seems appropriate for an intellectual exercise such as quizzing. Anyway, I think it might be fun (mostly), so drop by even if it goes against your better judgement. All the details, complete with noir poster, below:

The BC Quiz Club will be organising an Open General quiz on Sunday, the 4th of November, 2007.

The details:

Date: Sunday, 4th Nov
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Persistent Systems Ltd. (see this link for directions)
Time: Prelims start at 1 pm sharp, so please report by 12:45 pm
Flavour: General
Who can participate: anyone; it's an Open quiz; Entry is free
Format: Prelims + Playoffs + Finals for 6 teams
Team Size: 2 per team
Conducted by: J. Ramanand
Prizes sponsored by Landmark, Pune
phone: Ramanand (97642 58560), Harish (93733 04910), Salil (98231 12258)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Look Ma, I'm quoting Dani!

From here

Looking back, we ( the VIT quizzers and Kunal S) have done so much of college quizzing in the last two years that I think that we should really think about whether its worth or time to go for such frustrating quizzes any longer. It is an enjoyable quizzing experience that we are looking for, not the incentive to get yet another certificate of yet another college event. But then at the back of my mind I do know that most probably I will end up going for many more such quizzes this year, just in the hope of getting a good quiz, and a taste of Pune college quizzing for what will be my last year in VIT.

Man! Can't believe that a) I'm in final year already and b) I abso-fuckin'-lutely agree with the man. Wait a min, the last time I checked, that can't be good!

Movies we're looking forward to

Believe it or not, I'm actually looking forward to seeing Om Shanti Om. Dunno why, but I have some confidence in Farah Khan, giving us a complete masala film - and I think I might become a Deepika Padukone fan too.

But, Khoya Khoya Chand Sudhir Mishra's next, also seems very promising. Very similar setting to OSO, 70's film industry. But it really has a stellar cast, some of the best young actors in the hindi film industry today IMHO - Shiney Ahuja, Soha Ali Khan and Vinay Pathak. Shantanu Moitra's title song drew attention, will be looking to get the full score soon.

Apart from that, how could we miss No Smoking. Anurag Kashyap's next film promises to be amazing. Starcast : John Abraham, Ayesha Takia, Paresh Rawal and Ranveer Shorey. This brilliant poster I saw of the film yesterday just reminded me what was to come.

Then there is Mithya. Rajat Kapoor's next after Mixed Doubles (which I missed). Should be decent home DVD watching, let see. And to round off the list : Amir Khan's directorial debut : Tare Zameen Par - ostensibly a "children's" film. I'm interested to check out how he does. Lets see.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rajat says I would never do that ...

“First of all, Bheja Fry is not my film. I was associated with it. I (associate) produced it. But I would never take another film (in this case, Le Dîner de Cons) and copy it.” But it’s certainly the kind of film he tends to get slotted with, and for that he’s grateful. “I’m lucky. What I like, people are somehow able to relate to.”

Rajat Kapoor.

Go read Baradwaj Rangan's full interview with Rajat Kapoor.

Go Robbo!

I've been recently sad that the quality of Robbo's work had gone down. But, pathos, they say brings out the best in you. So please read Robbo's rants about the crap weekend that England Sport had. Here are a few quotes in case you can;t got through it entirely.

About the Rugby WC

"All I can say is, thank God I was supporting someone. I'd be surprised if there was a neutral on the planet who hadn't switched off by half-time. There was a lot of what my Dad calls 'hyperbowl' from the combox, but by God it was bloody dreary stuff."

About Gordon Brown being there

By the by, why was Gordon Brown there? I've got absolutely no problem with a Scot being PM, so long as he doesn't pretend he's English from time to time. It just doesn't suit the bloke. You are Scottish, mate!

Just because it may take a long time for your countrymen to reach the final of anything, it doesn't mean you have to gatecrash the English party.

I think it would've been good to see him react like every other Scot I've met since Saturday, and say "bad luck, pal", with a barely-disguised smile playing around his lips.

And in conclusion

All in all, you're left with that feeling English sportsmen are better than any other when it comes to one thing. Heroic Defeat. Agonising Failure. Noble Effort. And it's bloody depressing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Best race ever!

Even though I'm a Massa fan!

(PS: Have you wondered that McLaren could've won, had Alonso dropped off to allow Hamilton to get by?)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Spyker Old - Force India new.

Read full story.

This blogger's comment is pending more info.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Silly Poem by Spike Milligan

(Psst: I knew I would blog about this even before I read it. Nice.)

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

YouTube's new rules.

I hope you guys have had the chance to read about the changes Google is making to YouTube. Read all of it, on the official blog.

In short, what it implies is that instead of checking videos before uploading, they will make "IDs" of videos - and compare them with existing videos owned by copyright owners. Then they'll automatically do what the copyright owner requests. Umm.. big move - which could eventually cost YouTube millions of uploads a month, and dwindling content will mean, dwindling traffic. Of course - YouTube's not going anywhere, but I sense an opportunity for someone in another country, (not governed by laws regarding digital content.) to make lots of money out of this.

And another major disappointment - "We require a 10-minute limit on the length of content uploaded to the site." That really sucks!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Nice ones from Quote of the day.

"I don't have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They're upstairs in my socks." - who else?.

"Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand"
Kurt bhai.

And I remember this from a re-viewing of Annie Hall yesterday,

I don't want to a member of any club that would have me as a member.

Those who can't do, teach. And those who can't teach, teach gym.
(re-used memorably in School of Rock, of course.)

Another world beater.

This, that is.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Pop Quizzing Joke Book - section I

The MELA quiz at MindSpark,(or barQing Mad as some of us like to call it) ensured conditions where I could comfortably stare at the screen, think about the answer for a nanosecond, and then resume with whatever I was doing before (i.e chatting, counting the number of tiles on the north wall, eavesdropping etc.) This is where these following jokes have their origin.

1. Why could Avinash Mudaliar never complete his maritial pheraas?
Ans: He insisted on a round reversal.

2. Why did no team finish the Military quiz?
Ans: Due to the rapid-fire round at the end.

3. Why did the times call the quiz "a victory of circular logic"?
Ans: There were too many rounds.

Yes, I know, the last one sucks.

What brilliance!

Look at this stud. This is IMS' list of the Top 100 at SimCAT 4.

(PS: For those who do not know, the test requires filling in OMR sheets(yes, the ones with many circles to darken. Oh! the idea of filling in circles patiently to read IIMS suck! Man, if you were a woman, I'd marry you.)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Flash News: COEP Girl dead. Suicide confirmed.

1. Rumours that she took pills, as the preferred route.
2. Her name is (was?) Neelambari Tuse.(or tusey as I say such names should be spelt.)
3. This apparently seems to be a "boyfriend break-up" case. Even more sad.1

Today is the first day of our first combined college fest. MindSpark However, news breaks into college in the morning by about 12 that a particular girl has committed suicide.(3rd year Production Engg. apparently.) This had the following effects:

- All events in which the college thinks we're having "fun" are cancelled. Frankly this might not be the reason, as everything I know up to this point is hearsay. Anyway, what is fact is that the cultural shows planned and the round-the-clock events at the "Lounge" stand annulled.

- We're keeping fingers crossed about the MELA Quiz. I kind-of feel happy that we called it the MELA quiz, and not the Entertainment quiz. Our chances of survival in that case would have been lower. I still (rather pessimistically) think, that it will be cancelled. Let's see.

- A series of rather sanctimonious repercussions the event. We've been told to gather all people taking part in our event at 4:something today.(even if the event is not today, and the participants are not here.) Then all these organisers with participants in tow asre expected to gather around the staff in-charge and "mourn" for 2 minutes.

- This rather pious statement is from the chief organiser, a rather kindly fellow I know named Priygun Jain. He instructed the main organisers "to ensure that everyone is wearing a black band. If you see someone not wearing one, ensure that they do." (PS: I'm NOT being sarcastic when i say he is a kindly sort of fellow. He really is.)

That as I rather think is enough reporting from the front-lines. My personal views on such suicidal cases is rather impersonal and some might say "stone-hearted". I will therefore express them later when the mind is more receptive to reason.

1: Details courtesy Aniket.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hello! This is nice.

I'm writing this from inside Flock. This is my way to send some link-love.And while you're at trying new software, do also check out Songbird. It's a new media player from Mozilla. It's still in developer testing stage - but still works pretty well. The best thing is that it plays OGGs and Mp3s.

(PS: I wish i could tell you to try Buzzword too, but then you don't have the private invite, do you? Mwahahaha!)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nice day at the Box Office

(Alert! Due to the insane hours in which this post has been written, it might contain many typos, non-sequitors, broken clauses and suchlike. I know this, but have no time or inclination to correct it. Please to excuse.)

Sorry, couldn't resist. ;-)

Anyway, as a dedication to QT, I'll commence this roundup of my day, (a very unusual post by my standards, but banal by blogosphere's) from the very end - and continue a-chronologically. If that is the right word that is.

Anyway, finished the day at 11:30 at ESquare after a wonderful couple something hours of watching "Manorama - 6 Feet Under", all thanks to the tip from this man. Kailash Kher song accompanying the credits was really nice - need to find out more. Still, whatever people do - no one stays for the credits! Not even supposedly trivially inclined quizzing friends. One of the few Miss India contests that I have seen - I remember Gul Panag's most vividly. I was appalled at her lack of sense even then - (remember the inane comment she made at the next Filmfares about how Preity Zinta and she were somehow divinely connected due to the quite prominent dimples?) I'd never thought she'd get somewhere in life. At least not to a place where I'd be seeing her. Anyway, here I am - a person who choosed very carefully what movies he watched in a theatre, and she's played a major roles in two of those. Dor and of course, Manorama. Hmm.. interesting to see how this story ends.


Had an unusually hurried trip to the British Council Library. Returned all the DVDs, not having seen, the somehow conjunctionally challenged Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Decided not to fill up my quota of 8 items with stupid DVDs, some of which will just contribute to my late-fee list - and picked up just books. Fewer, which I could hope to finish in a month. So here I am sitting with The Rupa Book of Ruskin Bond's Himalayan Tales,(I quite liked his other collection of Nature stories.) Ian McEwan's Saturday (again, was very impressed by Amsterdam, and he's been shortlisted again for the Booker's this year.) Graham Greene's "The Third Man" & "Loser Takes It All" (never read Greene before, shame on me!) and the prized-possession of today's raid "Notes from a Small Island" by Bill Bryson. The story of how I got the last one is quite interesting. I was standing at the counter checking my books out, when I noticed a teenagish girl with a bunch of books. The Bryson of course did not escape the eye, and I promptly and without inhibition (and you'll know how unusual this is for someone like me) asked hee if I could have it, if she's done with it. She did - and here I am, about to commence my third Bryson book, with "The Life and Times of the Thunderbird Kid" promised in the near future. Brilliant!


Apart from that, I'm about to finish the quizically famous "Murders in the Rue Morgue" . This book of short storied by Poe, (with the rather intriguing cover catch-line "horror now has a name") has left me quite amazed. I've never grappled with a book, as I have done with this one. I must admit, that I haven't experienced real horror via literature, and I don't think Poe is the man to do it. From what friends tell me, this guy is what I need. Still, his writing is archaic, sometimes pompous - almost always incisive and rich. It's very very different - and I feel enriched as a reader, by a book for the first time in many reads.


Now faithful reader, I must take your leave. For the night is long past it's youth, and the middle-age symptoms are about to hit. Till next time, cheerio!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In the water of the clear fountain ...

In the water of the clear fountain
She was bathing - with nothing on
A gust of wind, rain from the mountain
Showed us all, as she was born.

Damsel in distress, she made a sign,
Asked me to go and seek,
Leaves of rose, tulips divine
Before someone could get a peek.

With a few petals of a little rose,
I covered her up to the cuff
But the beauty was so very small
That a single rose was enough.

With the branches of a little vine
I made her a pretty skirt buff,
But the beauty was so very small
That a single branch was enough.

She clasped me with her arms so tight
Thanking me for the clothes so crude,
I took her with such manly might
That she was soon again in the nude.

The game must've pleased the maker,
Because at that fountain again,
She would have a bath - often
Praying - please let it rain!
Let it rain!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Has anyone noticed this?

We have 3 world cups going on at one time. I guess the biggest of them must be the Rugby World Cup in France, but in India it's the Twenty20 WC(crap!) that's bagging all the headlines - and in China it's the Women's Football World Cup.

Unique, or what?

My Solitude

FLASH : I've gone and done something radical. This song - sung, (by me in whatever voice) is now available on YouTube. I know I'll regret this one day. ;)

After having spent so much time
With my solitude
I know now, that she's mine
Like a lover wooed
She never leaves me alone
Loyal - like a brood.
She's outside and at home.
Like a shadow would.

No, I'm never alone
When I'm with my solitude.

When she sleeps with me at night
She takes up all the space
We spend hours by the light
Staring - face to face
I don't know till when
I'll run, this lonely race
Should I just say amen
Or mend, her wretched ways?

No, I'm never alone
When I'm with my solitude.

Thanks to her, now I know
That tears have been sprayed
When I fight her back somehow,
Never, is she afraid
And if I prefer the love
Of another chambermaid
She'll still be standing above
Standing, my last crusade.

No, I'm never alone
When I'm with my solitude.

(Being a translation(with liberties) of "Ma Solitude" by Georges Moustaki. Note that it is a song to be sung, and not a poem to be recited.)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Being a tribute to George Brassens

I heard him play,
I heard him say -
All those words -
All those chords.
But it's the song he sings that enchants me.

Umbrellas and women, lost in the rain,
Little boats - losing their way
And bigger battles of heartless pain.
And the swinging evening on the quay.

Gorillas that sodomize grown men,
Girls that don't come home
Uncles lost in a lion's den
And a meeting of two children grown.

He's sung it all - written it all
Straining from June to May.
He sleeps quietly with all wherewithal
But he lives, to this jolly day.

He sings - through electronic means
And through little boy-birds.
I sit here enrapt, speechless.
Speaking only through my words.

He enrages, stupifies, offends.
What if he lived! I'd smack his face.
Then kiss him - but alas he mends,
His ways - and vanishes without trace.

Leaving behind that hateful smirk
Like the Cheshire cat - in form.
And of course, those haunting songs
Springing now - from the lips of a new born.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

एक इवलीशी होड़ी

Trial post : in developement.

एक होती छोटी चिमुकली होडी
एक इवला जहाज
होती इवलीशी - अखेर कागदी
पाण्यावर झुले सहज

बांधाली तिला पाण्याच्या काठी
दोन लाकडी खाम्बा
उन्हा बरोबर हुरूप ही चढी
कधी पळ तर कधी थाम्ब.

अन् एक दिवस होडी पाही स्वप्न
मनात तिच्याही आस - करायची जगाची एक मोठी सहल

निघाली तुर्त नदीतून ती
झाला तिला उन्मेष
बघितल्या शिवाय न परतणार मी
जगाचे सर्व देष.

हे कळताच नदीत तिच्या
झाला मोठा कल्लोळ
चिंतेने सर्व म्हणे तिला
घलातेस कशाला घोळ

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Unlikely Movie, unlikely review.

Watched "Hollywood Ending" yesterday. Yes, another one of those Woody Allen movies, where he plays another one of those confused, nervous wreaks - something that he has made a living, and some might say legend, out of.

First glance intrigues. What with Debra Messing(in a juvenile role as Allen's passing love interest and struggling, talentless actress) and the quite beautiful Téa Leoni as the estranged wife. Ellie (Leoni) is Allen's now-divorced wife, who is all set to get engaged to a high-flying movie production executive Ed (George Hamilton). Allen's character is a genius-crazy movie director, who has fallen on bad days.

As fate would have it, Ellie convinces Ed to give the director one last chance to redeem himself, and Ed, not wanting to displease his soon-to-be wife relents. Val (Allen) quite delighted, takes up the assignment with great vigour and excitement. But much to his dismay, the extreme emotion of the situation has so overwhelmed him, that he suddenly turns blind. Not permanently, as he understands - but partly - a type of "psychosomatic blindness". But afraid that his last chance to save his floundering career would slip by, he decides to direct the movie blind - first with the help of a translator working on the set - and later with Ellie. It is during this later period - that the previous chemistry is rekindled, and Ellie finds herself drawn towards the wayward genius again.

Meanwhile the film itself is quite atrocious - but everyone trusting the director to "put it all together", keep quiet, not knowing that the movie is in fact being made by someone who cannot see. Ellie too, plays along - knowing that any disclosure on her part would lead to the destruction of Val's career. Of course, once the initial shooting is over, Allen regains his vision - and wonders how the utterly spoiled film is to be edited. He eventually churns out a film - which is of course panned by audiences and critics alike, but which to his great surprise is lapped up by the French audiences, paving the way for a successful European run.

Of course the film is semi-autobiographical, farcical and facetious. References to Allen's relatively stronger fan-base in France - and a jab at the film industry in general. The overall joke, "even a blind man can make a film" - packs a punch, but fortunately is not drilled through - just draping the background amongst an flurry of supplementary and sometimes downright irrelevant action.

Allen is brilliant as usuan Tea Leoni does a decent job, and Debra Messing shows glimpses of the timing she shows in Will & Grace. Yes, we've seen the semi-autobiographical, nervous, dibbly-dabbly Allen before - but frankly, I would love seeing him a million times more. It's just plain fun - and despite being, if looked at in a certain way, a "get-back-at-you" film, its hardly hard-hitting, the whole point lost in a fog of good-old Allen one-liners and mindless soliloquy.

Watch it, I say nevertheless - especially if you haven't watched an Allen before. It's all good ;-)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What I've decided to do.

I think I rather fancy the Linux from Scratch project. It involves building the entire linux source code from scratch configuring everything along the way. The whole point is to understand how the internals work. From what little I've read of the documentation, I've been warned many times about being an "intermediate to advanced user". Also almost all of the documentation stresses about netiquette, something which I find very annoying.

I hope to record my adventures here, so keep an eye out.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This is BackByte material!

I used to reach Chip magazine pretty regularly and it had this brilliant section called "BackByte" - the last page reserved for user contributions on funny stuff relating to computing and technology. I distinctly remember having seen a scan of the advt. for a certain "MacroHard Systems".

Anyway - I was playing around with my comp today - and was using this utility called SpinRite. Now SpinRite is no ordinary utility - it is pretty famous, with it's well formed Wikipedia page, and the much eulogizing website.

There are of course brilliant testimonials : "Your product saved my butt this weekend." and "I was blessed by having purchased Spinrite 6.0". It claims to "refresh" your magnetic loss on the HDD. Maybe - I dunno. I eventually didn't use it - but you have to see this brilliant UI design.

Now is that genius, or what!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Banging head against wall!

Please show me effective ways. Why, why do we have IE AND Firefox. I just can't handle it! Tearing my hair out!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Umm.. someone buying this commercial?

What would you do, if I ran out of juice
Would you move on and go bang someone else?
Give me a chance - and you'll never regret
That you never ever really crossed my fence.
Mmmm You'll get by with a little help from durex
Mmmm You'll get high with a little help from durex
Mmmm I'm gonna try with a little help from durex.

What do I do when I cant get it up?
(Does performing really worry you?)
What do I do when she feels really sad?
(Can't you go on because of you-know-what?)

Do you need a little help?
Yes I could do with some.
Do you feel a little cramped?
Yes I really need someone.

Take me now - to your home right away
Yes I'm gonna try that out tonight.
Write in to us about your pleasurous stay
I hope we never turn on the light.
Mmmm You'll get by with a little help from durex
Mmmm You'll get high with a little help from durex
Mmmm I'm gonna try with a little help from durex.

Do you need a little help?
Yes I could do with some.
Do you feel a little cramped?
Yes I really need someone.
Mmmm You'll get by with a little help from durex
Mmmm You'll get high with a little help from durex
Mmmm I'm gonna try with a little help from durex.

(with due apologies of course to these guys)

Good, it's raining now

"Can we not play under double waved yellow flags, or even a safety car? It worked at the Nurbergring on Sunday." asks Jamie Bidford on the TMS Blog.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Citizen Level Activism? Naah !

*** Summary : A rare "personal" narrative about a Sunday evening "rough up" with the Pune police traffic department ***

I usually spend my Sundays on FC road, preferable with a trip to the BCL and/or Jai Jalaram bookstore opposite Cafe Coffee Day. I also like to slip in the occasional Sabudana Wada at Savera. All this of course circles about the certain main activity which I do for four hours, in and around the vicinity. But, as you might have guessed, the details are impertinent to the comprehension of the events to follow.

What needs to be understood is that I had parked my bike opposite a Chinese stall besides Apache on the FC side, in between the new mall and the notorious but somewhat docile bar. I park my bike with the relative free-mindedness that pervades oneself on a balmy Sunday morning with a relatively traffic free road. I proceed towards the 4 hours awaiting me, which pass off smoothly - and which I spend along with a friend from college among others. I stay back for a second, due to which this friend leaves before - our departure uncoordinated unlike normal. I step down to discover, or rather not discover the presence of my bike at the same parking spot. The aforementioned friend is of course long lost by now. Oh! and yes, I've forgotten my mobile phone.

There is a new rule in place which mandates traffic cops to take photographs of a vehicle when it is picked up for no parking. Use this to ensure that you were really erroneously parked, if at all your vehicle is picked up.

We live however in a relatively carefree society where the disappearance of the bike from the parking does not elicit hasty conclusions of vehicular larceny, but points us towards the suggestion that the in-focus vehicle has been seized by one of the roving rollers of the Pune Traffic Police. There is of course no marking of the road about the whereabouts of the police station. There is another such vehicle there however, back probably for its next dose of metallic injections. Its almost leaving after having collected its haul - when I notice something strange. One of the clochards of the crack vehicle pickup squads is photographing the behinds of the targets before locking them up with their fellow auto-criminals. I ignore this seemingly trivial observations - and speculating that they must've carried the vehicle to "Modern Police Station" near Police Parade Ground decide to walk up till there.

This is the Sunday evening of the Silverstone GP - and in not resorting to a rickshaw to get to the desired location I have already wasted much of the precious moments watching old, haggard men rather than shiny new cars and their roaring engines. I reach Modern Police Chowky to find the place to be nothing but a mud-yard resembling one used to picturise the Abhishek Bachchan mud-fights in Yuva. Vehicles are parked at the edges in two groups - and I see a couple of policemen and lots of agenty people with cellphones. The kinds that went out of fashion a few years ago.

I identify my bike from the mêlée, when one of these agenty fellows indicated that my moto-offender was caught in his net - meaning which I was to deal with this fellow. I speculated from previous observation about the guy photographing the offending bikes, and stated that I knew about the new rule necessitating a photo of the incorrect position of my vehicle - to which he replied that there was only one camera and the photo was currently doing the rounds along with the pickup vehicle. I'd decided to see this through, and even though I was not confident about the right-parkedness (if ever there was such a thing) of my vehicle, I waited.

The vehicle came around after around 40 mins - during which I checked my license and the validity of my PUC certificate. I also got abreast of the parking rules from the agent - and ensured that what I knew was more or less correct. When the much awaited vehicle finally came around, the special photo-taking individual was summoned to show my the posterior of my bike, outside the dreaded white L shaped line.

Since my vehicle was picked up much before - he had some trouble in locating the photograph - and with every missed shot, I commended myself for having waited. He would never find the photo and I would be spared paying the 150 bucks - out of which I had only one 130 at that precise moment.

He however did find the picture, but much to his consternation unlike all the others there was no conclusive evidence to show that my vehicle was parked outside the white L. In fact using the zoom, 3 from the agency peered into the teeny screen, only to return empty handed - without any trace of the coveted white mark. He pointed to some rubbish lying around in the hope that I would accept, but even he knew that it was a shot in the dark.

By this time the vehicle had been emptied and it was time for them to part on another round of vehicle-picking, which meant the camera had to go too. The camera-wielder tried to hop into the back of the truck. I hoverer had no intention of letting either the camera or the person go, mainly because I had no time to wait another 45 mins. The held firmly the hand of the camera boy, and he shouted - asking me to let go of it. I summoned a police officer who was watching all this and seemed least interested in the proceedings. The crowd of the parents of the auto-wrongdoers gathered around to see the fun - and all this chaos summoned the head of the agenty fellows to come and check out what was going on.

The fracas continued to entertain with my witty but pointed arguments at this head fellow - at the end of which came the main Police guy to whom I explained the whole situation. He soon realised that resistance was useless, and ordered this head of the agents to let my poor darling go. It was almost 6 30 by this time, and I had no intention of missing the whole race.

I would have loved to argue more - and maybe even demand a compensation for my troubles, but that seemed unlikely and I was in no mood for a high-investment low-gain duel. I'd saved 150 bucks, and more importantly realised the value of how simple rules can empower common people. It was not really activism or a sense of social and public morality that made me fight. It was the simple case of me - fighting for my own personal cause. A battle in which I'm most likely to use my best resources and ensure the best possible outcome for me. The fact that it will make these fellows more careful from the next time and in turn save hundreds of people from trouble is purely co-incidental. Frankly all I care about is the 150 bucks still sitting in my wallet, rather than in that crummy bastard's sweaty little trouser-hole.

Why did the policemen go to the Rakhi Sawant show?

Booty calls.

I'm a good boy, I am.

And ergo we link to : this wonderfully written article on Nirali Mag. The photos are brilliant - and one wonders if someday either a) our amateurish college rags could achieve this quality or b)MSM somehow weeds out such talent from the crowd.

And on a sidenote do also check out This guy's designs really rock.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

You can check in any time you like but ...

When Mr. Randy Spectre dropped dropped him round the corner at Buckingham Palace in the morning, asking him to walk down the last part, as he'd to rush, remembered the last moments of the headless Ian rather fondly -

"yep he was was a right ol' chappie, all right, wasn't ya - He'd scupper his suppah and head off in the morning to knock 'em heads off those Trinidadians, didn't ya. He was a right ol' bastard, eating heavy, boozin' all night and (whispers) layin' 'em girls some real hot eggs - i'm told. He was a completely changed man, when I came round in the evenin' to pick 'im up. He won't even cross the bluudy road, he didn't. He tell me that he didn't even know no Beefy, and absolutely compelled me to call him Sir Ian Botham. I'm tellin' ya - the things that that accursed castle does to ya - its made grown men shiver. The story's round all the town. They say, it turned the handsome prince's mind such, that he married some right-ol' witch. She wasn't even a looker, I've heard."

"I'm tellin' ya - the person that came back ain't my ol' Beefy. It's umm like, they've a small certification centre out there - they all go decked in and propah - come out with a shitty label, that they've gotta carry round, all their lives. Just to ensure that the drain pipes have been checked by 5 different people. Crazy I tell ya".
*** *** ***
"I'm delighted and very honoured, not just for myself but also the people who have helped me get there," Botham later told Radio Five Live.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Catch this on Sunday Afternoons

As usual, spent the day before an exam (till now) procrastinating, and generally doing nothing. Chanced upon Zee Studio playing Truffaut's "Vivement Dimanche", and figured out they're going to show films from UTV's so called Olive Collection.

Every Sunday at 3. Vivement Dimache is of course great, apart from which I can see Kurosawa's "Seventh Samurai", something I have been wanting to watch since a long time. Also I see Robert Altman's Kansas City.

And yes, it's as good as a DVD, only 3/4 commercial breaks, with only the nice "MakeMyTrip" advert. Check out all details here.

PS: The timings on the site may be skewed, and some of the stuff may be already over. Keep a watch on the channel itself, methinks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

One more Google post

Notice that searching "Search" on Google returns Live Search as the first result!

And yes, have you tried out Google Experimental?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Noticed the redesign?

I'm getting this "redesigned" google page, sometimes. Dunno whether they will stick with it though. It's OK - nothing major, noticed that they added a "gradient" bar, and a drop down options chooser.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Personal Notes : Nice songs from Notre-Dame de Paris

Quelques chansons pour que je me souvienne après.

Acte I
Le temps des cathédrales
Le mot Phoebus
Beau comme le soleil
Ma maison, c'est ta maison
Ave Maria païen
Le Val d'Amour

Acte II
Les oiseaux qu'on met en cage
Le procès
Être prêtre et aimer une femme
Un matin tu dansais
Vivre (Later by Celine Dion as Live - For the One I Love)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

AS : We bow to thee!

I've always believed in the theories of the gradients and of the "gray vs black/white" notions, and that nothing in itself is either totally right or wrong. It's just a question of how far you are from the net, and are you on the right side.

This theory holds for the so called "Generation Gap", the name given to the tendency of people of different ages to differ in their thoughts, opinions and tastes. However as Stephen Hawking (who I owe much of my love of the history of science to) writes eloquently in The Brief History of Time about theories and saying that one counter-example was enough to disprove a theory, while even a million examples were nit enough to prove it.

The above theory, at least for the application in the case of Generation Gap has failed abjectly to explain the thinkings of a certain Anand Sivshankar, I and a few readers of this blog might know. I, for one, am absolutely sold, on this post that monsieur has published.

Calling impropriety of dress, a lack of "sartorial elegance" and commenting on lasses who "leave a strand of undergarment peeking out from beneath" is exactly the kind of words and thoughts you would expect to spew forth from It is as if the law of gradual increase in the generation gap gave up when it met against Anand, and said - boss, this one's impossible.

That said, this post is a must read. How we wished he wrote more often.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Shame, shame!

Fortunately Andrew Miller spares me the agony of putting this in words. Still, I'm somehow glad that I stayed up and watched.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Aane waalaa pal ...

I and Kapeesh were talking recently about how one looked back at old writings and often felt embarrassed, overcome by a sudden urge to purge the said material and disown any claims to the same. One often wonders if and how once one could've been so naive/stupid/inarticulate/idiotic and a litany of similar epithets.

I however very rarely feel this way - as the stronger feeling is that of understanding and assessing personal development in terms of thinking, writing in specific and expression in general. I was once obsessed with seeing the stats for this blog - and often cast the digital version of an envious eye at folks like this guy, this guy and sometimes even this guy. I dreamed one day of lazing around at home while adwords clinked money into the pit of my boundless web-sack.

A few months later however the realization dawned, and more profoundly so after the experience with revisits of older posts, that I should firstly write for myself - like a semi-personal diary for book-keeping and suchlike. I once tried writing a diary, but the whole enterprise is inherently flawed in that the basic premise is that no one is meant to read what is written, and though this may permit jottings of more personal details, totally no attention is paid to language and structure - the diary becoming more of a faceless log-book rather than a living, talking journal.

One of the things i most enjoy reading from that time - and one which floods back memories of dial-ups and Kimaya among other things is this thread from the now-defunct Fergusson College Cultural Committee forum. Do read if you have the time - and the desire to look back into my writing past. It might not be the best example for the contrast that I want to depict. But the effort would be worth in the content itself.

And yes, read quick - before I decide that this post is too amateurish and needs to fall prey to the delete button.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Go Ogle Gulp for Yash.

Normally, youtube posts are avoided to pay homage to long-past days of dial-ups and suchlike. However when a good friend, and co-quiz-organizer, celebrates by gulping down a bottle of Pepsi in less that 5 secs (exact times yet to be calculated) - it surely deserves a mention. And no, unlike joey, it all went in.

Pixelated video credits : Kapeesh

Finally, the right rumour.

I've been shouting myself hoarse since a year that a relatively easy, but extremely effective buy for Manchester United would be Blackburn's Morton Gamst Pedersen. I thought all those goals against us would've convinced the gaffa about the boy's quality. Anyway, finally i read the lines, that make my smile grow a bit wider. 8 million would be a steal, and if two of Owen Hargreaves/ Franck Ribery/ Fernando Torres also make it to Old Trafford, then the depth on the squad would be fantastic.

There is also talk about the Dutch wonderkid, Klaas Jan Huntelaar coming - but I haven't yet seen him play, so can't comment on that.

Even in Manchester United go on to win 2/3 trophies that would be brilliant because they would've done it without a really world class out-and-out striker, something that is essential to any team that has to do well at the highest level. People would point to Saha, but IMHO he does not count as one. Ronaldo, Rooney and Giggs' superior performances and Vidic and Ferdinand at the back have held the team together for the entire season and hopefully Carrick will show the trues potential that we all know he truly possesses.

To end, a few nice quotes from this weekend.(All from here)

"If I could go back in time I would have stayed at home."
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti after seeing his side beaten 7-1 by Manchester United.

Interviewer : So is the pressure now on Manchester United?
Jose Mourinho: No, no pressure. If they play well, they will win. If they don't play well, they will get a penalty and still win.
Mourinho after Chelsea closed the gap at the top of the Premiership to three points.

"I'd compare him to the incomparable George Best."
David Pleat singing Cristiano Ronaldo's praises during Man Utd's win over Roma.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Copy right ,Prime Minister.

Regulars here, and some quizzers might remember that my post introducing the Centaurian System of Scoring and Passing the concept of PMQs. i.e Popular Misconception Questions. However, a powerless and comparatively small in size isaam like me, cannot protect his own interests. The British Government has shamelessly ripped off the acronym, and is using it to promote what they call "Prime Minister's Questions".

It is supposed to be some pseud concept where the overpaid, under-worked smart asses called MPs questions the Prime Minister on questions of monumental importance like "what are your engagements for today", "how much did you stuff up Ahmadinejad to release those 15 pot-smoking, cast-offs" and " is it true that the reason why your ears are so big is that they were pulled forcefully by your nanny with coal-heated tongs because you were in love with Mr.Tabbot, your professor of mathematics at Chorister Elementary" ?

Now, prima facie, it may appear that the British Government in fact came up with this first, but serious investigative work on my part has revealed that this is not the case. It is a sheer case of the small man losing out against the big, power wielding goons at the top, that we have. This will not be tolerated and to protest I shall used the word PMQ 5 times in my next sentence. PMQ, PMQ, PMQ, PMQ and PMQ. That meant nothing, but it must've hurt - you spineless bastards!

Friday, April 06, 2007

You can quote me on that ...

The biggest gift of religion to the world is the concept of the holiday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

BCQC Quizzing Saturday!

The BCQC is at is again. We've ensured that this Saturday, you'll have nothing to do but quizzing!

24th March. College quiz in the morning. Open quiz in the afternoon.

All details here.

SUN lectures at COEP!

I'm the campus ambassador for COEP, and we're having lectures at COEP this friday. See my sun-blog for all details.

Please do drop in, its open to everyone and is free!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Neologism Time

Précis : Use the word Nudd. It means a studd nerd.

Kunal might claim to have the coolest blog tag line.(He was even nominated for the Indibloggie category. Yes, they had one.) Yes, his case is quite strong, however the whole "Omni Dicta Fortiora ..." effect seems to pall after a while. I think mine is pretty decent too.(In case you had't noticed, please see the lines below the header.) As for blog names, Maajorly Shadymax Arbit Fundaes takes the cake, candles and the cherry. Too bad it no longer exists. The title that is.

However, today I chanced upon a blog that goes by the title:

CONMEN (Club of Nudds Made Effectively Nuddier) : The Symbiosis Law Quizzing Society

This brilliant blog, ensures that full attention is paid to painstaking efforts chosen in the naming of this blog, that there is absolutely zero content to read. Zilch, Shunya. Not even a shred of flirtlessly flitted words strung together. It's as if they're saying - read wayfarer, read (much like this)Read this title that shines in all its glory for your express perusal. And we do.

Only to admire and gaze and wonder at that single word, spangled into the otherwise bland concoction - Nudd and the even more brilliant "Nuddier". I'm sure they meant something when they said, and we would've been happy to accept, sauf if they'd cared to elucidate and expand. But, nay, they hath not done so, so permettez-moi to put forth a definition :

Nudd : A studd nerd.

PS1 : Studd : Really froody shiny kinda guy.

Acceptable variations : Nuddy, Nuddier, Nuddiest, Nuddlesome, Nuddlike, Nuddletize, Nuddiness

Sample Passage:

Grunthos the Flatulent, in spite of being generally shunned by the poetic community of the Azgoths of Kria, (not entirely because they suspected him of being in cahoots with "Mach0 - Your Friendly Ear-muff and Sound Blocking Buddy"), the pan-galactic sound-blocking megaporation was generally consider to be a Nudd amongst his buddies at the Kria Krying Koats Poetic Society. They argued however, about his level of nuddiness - with the majority claiming that he was the nuddiest of them all. However a small faction of the KKKPS, voiced vociferously their claim, that Panthos, the Even Flatulent was the Nuddiest of them all, because they felt that the Worst Poet of the Universe competition was unabashedly rigged by SMS voting, and that they totally distanced themselves from such "populist" and "base, unmoralistic practices". However - in hindsight, the Guide generally notes that Grunthos was in fact one of the nuddiest persons to have graced the table. Panthos however has obscured into the ephemeral moats of wayside figures as is often the case with many small, petulant, incongruous and inconsequential bastards.)

Till next time, for all you nudds out there - happy moment of self-appellation.

Take that, India Shining

This, that is.

Psst: India Shining is as bogus as the Slimes itself. In case you hadn't figured that out yourself.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Guess who my latest friend is!

It's none other that MR Economics - Tyler Cowen.

OK, here's the deal. After succumbing to numerous emails saying "you have been invited by xyz to join Facebook" I gave in and registered. Then it searched my Gmail address book and invited everyone on Facebook and in my address book to "become friends with me". What this meant is that I inadvertently sent a message to Tyler, (with whom you may remember I'd communicated before) asking him for the same.

And guess what? The busy doctor condescended to spare a few moments of his busy life to click on "yes". Yay!

Here is proof for the more carping-variety of readers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hello all,

I and Aniket,(a friend from COEP) took part in the ESPN - Champions of the World, a quiz on the World Cup.
We stumbled along till the National Semi-finals. We appear on TV for 2 episodes, each of which will be telecast thrice.

You can catch us on ESPN at the following timings:

Episode 1 - quarter-finals

02/19/07 MON 21:30 22:00 - prime time broadcast
02/20/07 TUE 10:00 10:30 - repeat
02/24/07 SAT 15:55 16:25 - repeat

Episode 2 - Semi-finals
03/02/07 FRI 21:30 22:00 - prime time broadcast
03/03/07 SAT 08:00 08:30 - repeat
03/03/07 SAT 17:00 17:30 - repeat

All episodes on ESPN, hosted by Harsha Bhogle.

I am also uploading photos to Flickr (only 2 presently ;-) )
here is the link.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Notes from Parzania

The correct way to say it is Par-zany-ia and not Par-zaan-ia. This is the official website.

Smile lit up on seeing Parzun Dastur after some time. Always will remember the "jalebi" ad. Still retains small-boy-charm in spite of having grown up a bit. ;-)

Zakir Hussain provides the music for this one, (and also voice in some parts) along with contributions from Taufique Qureshi and Rakesh Chaurasia (nephew, and not son of the great Hariprasad.)

Corin Nemec, (an emmy award winning actor as rediff reminds us.) has only Smallville to his credits which I know of. Am ambivalent about his role in the film. Seems superfluous at times, though the role of the impartial narrator seems integral to the film. Rahul Dholakiya insists that a white guy had to play the narrator to emphasize this impartiality. Dunno, if that is strictly true. Also the idea of a foul-mouthed, vagabond, gandhi-researching American student might not be the perfect "clean" narrator that he wanted. But maybe he did not want that.

Sarika (playing Shernaz and not Shenaz), puts in a stellar performance. Big fan, will follow her forthcoming work keenly. Shades of Dimple Kapadia in DCH, but in a different kind of role. Very mature and restrained(but not overly so) in a role which offered full scope for brow-beating.

Would like to not talk about the "socially important", "this story needs to be told" type of commentary. Will like to point the (few) loyal readers to Amu, a film with a very similar subject but pulled off with more panache, IMHO. Also to articles about how Gujarati multiplex owners once again showed what smart businessmen they are, and how the Congress showed that it will try and gain mileage out of any stupid, small incident.

Note to self: writing these notes can be quite self-rewarding. Pat-on-the-back, and encouragement for the future.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Personal Record: The (screen) women I adore.

Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy from from Weeds.(and West Wing among other things.)

Patricia Heaton as Debra Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond.

Emma Watson, as Hermione Granger you know from where.

Roopali Ganguli as Monisha Sarabhai, only from Sarabhai vs Sarabhai.(and not other adapted reality TV shows.)

A Dixie fan out of the closet.

Does them winning 5 grammies mean that I can unabashedly proclaim that I really like their music? Was it really something one keeps in a closet? Anyway, 3 cheers to the Dixies!

Friday, February 09, 2007

From Aneesh Surendar's GTalk tagline.

When I'm gone, a player will come and amaze my progeny. I will not envy them. One Federer in a lifetime is enough.

How true.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Notes from Traffic Signal

Not enough time/inclination to string sentences together at 1:30 am.

  1. Sudhir Mishra fits the bill perfectly.
  2. Kunal Khemu does a decent job. Sticks out like a sore thumb in a few scenes though.
  3. Disappointed with Konkona Sen-Sharma, one of her forgettable films. Why do the credits say "Special Performance"?
  4. Ranveer Shourie profile is further elevated. His role however seems to lack something, fizzles out at the end.
  5. Neetu Chandra is unrecognizable from Shaadi No.1. Pulls of a really good performance.
  6. I'm happy the trilogy is complete. Still don't know why its a trilogy. Is Madhur going to change gears in terms of style? And why was Chandni Bar not part of this.
  7. Personal Reminder: Need to see Aan - Men at Work.
  8. Bhandarkar includes another host of Marathi actors, his favourite Upendra Limaye (who will also be seen in the upcoming Black Friday), Mohan Joshi, Sandeep Kulkarni and co.

Monday, January 08, 2007

You know what,

"There's loads of reasons why we lost but the main ones are this: crap batting and crap bowling."

Read the complete, no-holds-barred heartfelt outpouring of a bruised English heart. OK, fine i'll paraphrase - read another guy who satisfied himself taking potshots at the English team.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole ...

This is why we originally supported Man United. Last minute goals, and a baby faced assasin called Ole Gunnar Solskjær.