Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Do Check out

I've been discovering a few good online comics recently. And no they are not four lettered nonsensical words beginning with x.

Salil recommends Fly You Fools, which is on the whole quite appetizing.I recommend "See Mike Draw." On initial reading I particularly liked these two.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Two (original) jokes for the day

Why did Raju submit just half a picture for his essay competition?
Because it had a 500 word limit

Why did Thaimei feel sad that she had lost her shin guard?
Because of reasons of personal attachment.

What is common to ...

Steve Redgrave, Sebastian Coe, Daley Thompson and Bradley Wiggins haggling over a match in August
a 10-foot high stack of cash being pursued by a line of footballers
a restaging of the Gunpowder plot
Emperor Hadrian, keeps pointing at his sundial and (saying) to "get on with it".

They're all likely to feature in another 4 years when Britain decides to show the world "what its made of". At least according to Robbo in this piece here.

But the most important point - and one to which he concedes right at the start is that "the idea of organising 40,000 Brits into one four-hour spectacular is a complete non-starter."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lyrics - Tun Ho Toh - Farhan Akhtar - from Rock On

तुम हो तोह ...
फरहान अख्तर

तुम हो तो गाता है दिल
तुम नही तोह गीत कहा
तुम हो तो है सब हासिल
तुम नही तो  क्या है यहाँ
तुम हो तो है सपनो के जैसा हसीं
एक समां

जो तुम हो तोह यह लगता है
के मिल गई हर खुशी
जो तुम न हो यह लगता है
के हर खुशी में है कमी
तुम को है मालूम
यह जिंदगी

तुम हो तोह राहें भी है
तुम नही तोह रस्ते कहा
तुम हो तोह यहाँ सब ही है
तुम नही तोह कौन यहाँ
तुम हो तोह है
हर एक पल मेहरबान
यह जहाँ

जो तुम हो तोह हवा मैं भी
मोहोबत्तों का रंग है
जो तुम न हो तो फिर कोई
ना जोश ना उमंग है
तुम मिले तोह मिली
यह जिंदगी

Lyrics for Tum Ho Toh, sung by Farhan Akhtar, written by Javed Akhtar for the movie Rock On. Lyrics in devanagari.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Come armed with a feed reader ...

because India's short, pudgy and slightly dark-skinned answer to Dave Barry has finally resumed blogging. He's decided to shift to Wordpress too, now that he's going the whole nine yards - and he's forgetting things and getting scolded by women he does not know. Ah! just like the good old days.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Waking out of slumber to link to ...

Brangan reveals another side to his writing. And what can I say, but to agree wholeheartedly!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tweeting finally!

You can find my twitter-droppings here : twitter.com/abhishekn

And yes, in case you were wondering there is a RSS feed for that too.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hate the new Dilbert.com?

If you, like me, cant do without your daily dose of dilbert you must hate the new site redesign. Even the email they send to me is now overloaded with hajaar images, mashups, flash and what not.

Well the best thing about Scott Adams is that he's a geek somewhere far down. So for all of us, he created (or got created) Dilbert Fast. Welcome to hassle free Dilbert!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Towel Day!

any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I'm celebrating towel day. I have a brand new pink cloth towel around my nape as I walk around at home. Hopefully I'll get a picture to show to you guys.

All the info about celebrating Towel Day can be found here. Go ahead, and join in!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another fan-post

I am a huge fan of Shamanth's writing. Unfortunately he writes very infrequently. I like this post a lot. Do go through the archives. There is some really good stuff in there.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Did you know?

This came via Wordsmith today.

After Ambrose Everett Burnside (1824-1881), who served as a general in the
Union Army in the American Civil War, and who earned more recognition for his
side whiskers than for his military career. Eventually the term burnsides
morphed into sideburns as such a facial pattern was on the sides of a face.

They're doing five words about facial hair this week. I cant wait for the rest!

What other activity?

Ok, Ok. For people who know me IRL, this should've been up a long time back. Anyway, I have got into IIM, Calcutta. And taking this as an inspiration I have decided to blog about this separately. Unfortunately this means that blogging here will be sporadicer than ever. I don't mean it to be this way, but going by the famous no-time-to-breathe schedule that one has to follow in the IIMs, I dont think I will have time to do justice to both, and in that case, esp. for IIMC related stuff that blog will get precedence,

Of course, I love this blog and could never let it go. (Even though I forgot it's 4th birthday on the 30th of March). I shall return here from time to time, so don't delete the feeds for this blog in a hurry.

But definitely say hi to my new IIMC blog! The RSS feed is available too.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

More Linklove

I've been slacking off on my blogging recently. I promise I shall return.

Anyway, you can enjoy this Robbo column till then.

In all the uproariously funny lines that he writes, he makes a point that I will never forget. Talking about Ronnie O'Sullivan he writes,

"If you judged a sporting entertainer by the number of times you gasped at what he did ..."

I'm going to be using that barometer.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Awesome is how I feel

I've never felt so absolutely amazing as I do now. Not only have United progressed to the CL final, but my very own dear Scholesey scored one of his trademark 25-yarders into the top right hand corner to secure the game for us. I cannot even begin to tell you what a huge fan I am of his, and he is by far my fav. united player of all time. Awesomeness is coming, and rapidly.

Anyway - this would be a good moment to introduce you to Saket and his online blogging self. Happy blogging mate!

PS: Please leave comments about how the cocked-up the Ten Sports commentary was. Expletives in Hindi welcome. I will not even deign to curse their total lack of appreciation of genius at the Scholes goal.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Advice to people new to this part of the Blogosphere

Read the George Thomas blog regularly.Or even better, subscribe to it.

For those who came in late (for whom this post is intended anyway) GT blogs mostly about Hindi Cinema. I'm always left amazed at how closely he manages to follow the bloody mess that is the Hindi film industry sitting that far away in Amrika. You could use a thousand cliches about "the internet brings us closer", but the fact of the matter is that we, as in the Indian Film Industry are not as well represented as we should be on the internet. Sure, we have cretin reporters from Rediff and the like, but we need more of this kind of stuff.

Anyway, to introduce you to George's writing, firstly don't shy away from it because its "hindi films". Even if you have no interest in them (something which I can understand) you still would be missing out on smashing alliteration like "LipLock Lallu" and the whole smorgasbord of exotic vocabulary that the man uses. And when I say exotic, I mean exotic - these are a few words from his latest post. cheiloproclitic1, exosculation2, crinigerous (in the quite wonderful alliteration crinigerous cretin) and dipping further into the 'invent'ory with kissee and smoocheroo.

All this in an article about Eemram #me, and his latest kissing exploits in the movie Jannat.

1 : cheiloproclitic as this source tells me means "Characterized by an erotic attraction to women's lips." Wow, I say to these people, now THAT's an useful word. Note how I had to refer to a specialised dictionary to find out what that meant. define: on google are unlikely to be of any use as far as GT is concerned.

2 I've asked the man himself what that means, since the great goblin was of no help. Hopefully will hear from him soon.

PS: I shall also use this opportunity to spread some linklove to the quite recent "The Movies and Moves of Vishal Bharadwaj". GT and JR are partners in crime.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Out of the Quote-idien

"The only way not to do silly things in one’s early 20s is to die at 19, .. "

Amit from this otherwise typical post.

Reservation Please!

This post is for all those who keep asking me about my IIM results. No - I would like to say - they're not out yet.

And to tell you the truth, I'm kind-of relieved that they're delayed. Though this issue of reservation makes us wait-listed passengers, it is a little surprising that most of us are unconcerned. Or at least the "most of us" that I know. And a few like me are perhaps even gleeful. And its not because I'm afraid in some way, or "unable to face the future".

They'd told me about self-doubt and uncertainty and all that kind of stuff via stories and anecdotes. I listened to them as faraway emotions that I would never have to face. A bit like you reading "What to do if you come face to face with a Tiger". You listen, attentively even, but knowing that stuff like this is never going to happen to you.

But I'm afraid - I think - that it has. And at a moment like this, I'm glad that there is still that element of "luck". For I'm trusting random chance, which is how I see luck, to make my decision for me. I know this idea of leaving it up to a celestial (pseduo?) random number generator is crazy to say the least. But, that is one thing I'm sure I want to do now. Something crazy. In a safe sort of way.

A position someone I know would call a "weak-ass way of thinking". Again, what can I say but quote Metallica - Sad, but true.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

When I pay tribute to words

I knew about the word "amanuensis" - and like Shah Rukh Khan the race driver and Kajol, the spoilt brat in Baazigar - I fell in love with it. Instantanement. It just felt wonderful to say - that latin feel, just rolling off the tongue. I sensed the root "man-" which pertains to the hand, and guessed it involved some sort of manual work. Princeton Wordnet obliged me with this :

"stenographer: someone skilled in the transcription of speech (especially dictation)" -

Ok. I said to myself. I get that.

But like most love, there was a problem. I didn't really GET it. I would never for example have enough courage to use it in a sentence. It was there lurking, like a shy peacock. I knew it was male, colourful and potentially beautiful. But, only potentially.

But age and experience they say solves most of these tiny knots that dot the timeline of personal experiences. And today - I grasped what an amanuensis truly meant. Not meant - implied.

The point d'inflexion? The quite wonderful, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly". Directed by Julian Schnabel and based on the best selling french book of the same name by Jean-Dominique Bauby, the movie is in three words, quite excellent indeed.

For those who came in late, it is the story of a man who has "locked-in syndrome", i.e he is paralysed completely except for his eyes - but that does not affect his mental capabilities of simple thought, and more importantly wild imagination. He decides to fulfill a past contract for a book with his publisher - only he has to write by blinking.

Enter the quite wonderful ladies. Marie-Josée Croze as the Speech Therapist (the french word orthophoniste is quite wonderful indeed) and Anne Consigny as the amanuensis are quite wonderful. What could've been a dull, dreary dark story is suddenly a vivid trip through a man's imagination which unfettered by his corporal shackles flies higher and farther than ever. Any review of the film would be incomplete without a mention for Janusz Kaminski's awesome cinematography. I would've loved to watch this one on the large screen - I felt awkward, inadequate and repulsed just on a 14incher. I wonder what the real experience would've been.

Anyway, definitely a movie worth watching, if not for anything else - but for a really different story in a long time - and some awesome cinematic treatment.

PS: I remember my second rencontre with the word amanuensis while "studying" for my GRE vocab. I found the entire process richly rewarding, even though the expansion in my vocabulary might not've been as large over time as I would've desired. Its an exercise I urge everyone to undergo - and I wonder if there is a way I could repeat such an exercise for Hindi or Marathi. If anyone knows of such "wordlists" in these languages, please do comment and tell. I end with reprimanding these two boys for making hard work of the entire process. Avnish for example dares to suggest that the word "lexeme" is pointless and wastage of dictionary page in general. I wonder what a few people from a certain profession feel about that.

UPDATE: PPS: In a somewhat unexpected move JR actually replies. Here.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Master Patient?

Update: Jeev finished joint 25th at +4. Immelman won.

I distinctly remember that when I first heard the word, I actually misheard it as "master patient". This misunderstanding was compounded when one of my other good friends distinctly said 'Master Patient'. I remember being extremely confused as to this particular nomenclature and it was not until I looked, and looked hard into my dictionary that I came to realise (much to my relief) that it was NOT master patient after all. My belief in the english language was restored.

Anyway, that term could and should have a new meaning. Of course, going my general level of inanity at making these comments - most of you would have sussed out that I'm talking about the one and only "The Masters". Yes the one with the "green jacket and golf" thing, for those who came in late.

Now most Indians have never played golf. I'm one of them. In fact I've never even come close to a golf green - but then that is true about a lot of other playing surfaces too. But the average Indian middle class biological machine of the genus Homo Sapien Sapien would've played cricket, football of course - but also very probably touched a basketball, fondled a volleyball (both playing dodgeball), swum in chlorine infested waters and maybe even swung a racket or two. But Golf - which if you believe the story is meant to be Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden - should probably somewhere there read Ladies (and Indians) Forbidded. Or at least till now.

When in a few hours from now Jeev Milkha Singh walks out for his second round on the Augusta Greens he would be placed joint 11th. He's one shot under, 3 behind the leaders(Rose and Immelman) while everyone's favourite Tiger, languishes (by his high standards) BEHIND him, on a par round one. JM Singh as the Master's website refers to him, in a machinely sort of way that only machines can - is one of India's brightest ever sporting stars. And what's more awesome is that by paying absolutely no attention to him whatsoever, we let him stay that way.

He finished 2nd on the Asian Order of Merit last year (behind the quite fabulous KJ Choi) - and 37th at the Masters last year. Of course, he could totally screw up the next few rounds - but I would be very surprised if he did. With more experience and certainly more pedigree than ever before - lets hope and pray for a top 10 finish. Many people would be shocked if I say this, but a top 10 at the Masters is equivalent to at least an Olympic Bronze if not more. It simply is that big.

Of course, India as a nation needs an Indian to win a major. Then even Aaj Tak could not ignore that piece of news. Till then, we wait for these little flashes of joy across the tele (very rarely) and other electronic news flashes. Headlines Today had a story on TWO Indians playing at the Masters. They said "Daniel Chopra and ..." - That was when I flipped the channel. Sad, but true.

Friday, March 28, 2008

At the time

Rosenbaum once said to me
Lets go on a drive
I said yes
It seemed fun
At the time

We drove through the party bin
With no one in the back seat
He looked out, while i looked in
And we both said
This is fun
And maybe it was
At the time.

Rosenbaum once said to me
Find you a girl to marry
I said yes
It seemed fun
At the time

I looked high and I looked low
Through nooks corners and every row
Of his bungalow - of OUR bungalow.
And we found me a wife to marry
So I did.
It seemed like fun
And maybe it was
At the time.

Rosenbaum once said to me
Lets go for a walk
I said yes
It seemed fun
At the time

He showed me a nice grave to buy
All nice trees and fallin sky
He said, give it a try
Dont be shy
So I said yes
It seemed fun
And maybe it was
At the time.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When I use xkcd to understand India Uncut

I must confess that I have not used this blog to make it clear what a big fan of Amit's writing I am. What with lines like

"Rediff reports: “Britney’s pregnant teen sister gets engaged”. That’s too much information for one headline, no? By the time Rediff’s readers process it, the baby will out and cutting records."

you can't help but admire the guy.

But its a scary day when I reference something he quotes via xkcd.

Fire and Ice
By Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Read that, and then READ THIS.

Hah, segfaults indeed!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Serious of Joking?

I'm also tempted to ask that old Derek Question on this. Sigh! as resident (self-appointed) expert I have a lot of writing to do on this subject.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I wrote a bunch of stuff for LimerickDB.com.

John, a man from Darjeeling
Could have all the jobs under the ceiling
But whatever he did
He was totally forbid
From being the salesman travelling

Neil, the rich man with the cash
Was searching for space for his stash
But he totally forgot
That space cannot be got
Unless you grep it with backslash.

Rakhi the goddess of beauty
Was just trying to do her duty
What if she shed off her clothes
And hung out with rogues
She's still a pretty hot cutie.

Evangelising one day for firefox
Roger got a bout of chicken pox
No matter what he tried
Synaptic always replied
"Medicines are currently under locks."

** The next one is inspired by a friend. I swear I HAVE NOT heard Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.***

Mark Wahlberg was once my obsession
I once saw him at the station
With the funky bunch,
And I spat out my lunch
When they sung "It's such a good vibration"

Once upon a silvery tree
A quizzing fairy said to me
That you will always lose
Until you choose
Randall Munroe & XKCD

A girl was raped upon the shore
She went quizzing, so goes the lore
"Do you know
the Bond in Dr.No"
It's Sean Connery - she said Roger Moore.

So they did.


I made some more!

A 5 yr old cannot say fuck
Unless his teachers really suck
And they teach him to say
"A duck in the quay"
And he gets his d's and f's all mixed up.

** this one is dedicated to another friend of mine ***

Cut him up with a knife
And go and murder his wife
He's such a dumb bird
That he hasn't heard
"Coming Back to Life"!

Yesterday they confessed to me
And today I tell it to thee
Yes it so is true
Oh! the lying crew
It's all fixed - on WWE

I just have this disease
I just cannot cease
To end with stupid lines
So that it rhymes
Can someone help me please?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm ambivalent about this ...

That means, I don't particularly approve of Maddy hijacking Neil's blog like this. As long as her every post is approved of, I guess, its fine.

PS: Another year, another HUGE R-I-P. Sigh!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More linklove

I usually find Shruti Rajagopalan monotonous and mundane. But this piece is surprisingly insightful and very well written indeed.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sad day indeed

When Manager are judged by what Office program they use.

I'm on my way to becoming one? O! God of Open Source, I'll never desert OpenOffice.

Open Letter #2

Here is the first, in case anyone is interested.

This was written to fellow COEP students, on the 4th March '08.
The Importance of Giving Back

Dear Fellow Students,

Today I attended the lecture by Dr.Smoot in our college about the
origins of our universe. Granted that he could've been more engaging
and probably made his talk better suited to the audience, and more
far-ranging - it still was a pretty darn neat. I don't mean to be
derisive or anything here, but I was personally glad to see our huge
auditorium filled people, when no one was singing or dancing. We must
also commend the folks from Honeywell for thinking of such a great
idea, and more importantly executing it so well.

But on a wider scale, this is an excellent opportunity to talk about
our responsibility as students. I'm in my final year, and I'll pass
out this year. I've seen the college change under autonomy, and a lot
of what is happening is excellent and I personally like it a lot. A
lot of this is due to Dr. Sahasrabudhe, and the new regime of
administrators and policy-makers at COEP. We must commend them for the
work they're doing, albeit in small, sometimes unseen ways. What I've
found out about them is that, most importantly, they're reasonable
people who are willing to listen to us. So as students, it's important
that we think of issues that concern us, and make sure they're
addressed. The college has changed, and will keep changing, and it's
important we change along with it.

More importantly, the point of writing this email is that we remain
connected to our college, in whatever way possible. As I'm sure most
of you will realise, what our college gives to us is not instruction
in *a* particular subject or a particular discipline, but general
lessons overall. It also gives us opportunities and a brand - that has
been created by a lot of other students, who were exactly like us in
many ways. So realising that COEP is not just another chapter in your
life, but a part of your identity as a person is an extremely
important step into this journey of giving back.

We're a culture of quantity. To be frank, though we might have
hundreds of thousands of institutions of higher education. their
quality is abysmal to say the least. Even COEP, considered to be among
the best in the country, has a long way to go - if it has to come even
close to its American or European counterparts. And we, as students
have an important part to play, in achieving this goal. I'm sure we'll
get there sometime - but like good, professional organisations we must
set targets, and achieving transformational change within our
lifetimes has to be our goal.

On a more basic level here are a few ways one can stay connected, and
"give back" to use a cliched term.

1. Time
Come back. Visit. Say hi to old folks, old professors. Drop in
whenever you're in town and see what's going on. Maybe even teach,
full time or part-time. Mentor someone.

2. Money + Time
Set up prizes, develop a sustainable scheme for keeping these going.
I'm sure if everyone sets apart Rs.10,000 per year, to award one
deserving student, that itself would be a great achievement. People
are already doing this in small measures - and you can think of
innovative and effective ways to make your money count.

3. Just Money
This is the simplest really. Donate to college fund on a regular
basis. Convince colleagues, maybe past students to give back too. I've
just talked to a friend of mine who passed out, and he said he'd give
$2000 a year to the college, once he starts earning. That's not bad,

I hope I've got you thinking in this regard via this mail. The whole
point is to keep this idea somewhere in the back of your mind. As long
as the thought is there, we'll maybe have our own Nobel Laureate
addressing people in 50 years time!


Come March the 15th

I'm going to switch loyalties and support Force India as my primary team. Somehow, I don't really like Raikkonen, and Ferrari has never been the same since Michael left. Hence, the decision.

I never really liked the Force India name but I seem to have grown into it, and there is something exciting about having a F1 team named after the country you come from. Apart from that, the most brilliant thing was when Mallya said that he realised that buying the team was "the easiest part". So he's actually committed to spending on research, and I firmly believe that F1 too can be "outsourced" to India, in the sense that you can do the same technological wonders, but with a smaller budget. Mallya has doubled the budget from what Spyker had. Its still pretty small compared to what some of the huge teams have, but if they tap into Indian engineering talent which would be available at a much cheaper rate, it could mean much more.

There already seems to have been some substantial progress. Take a look at this testing data from Barcelona.

Day One:

9. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:23.091
12. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 1:23.239

Leader: : Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:22.276

Day Two :

6. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India, 1:22.516
10. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 1:22.942

Leader: Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:21.234

Day Three:

12. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India, 1:22.233
16. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:22.521

Leader: Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:20.801

Those are pretty good timings throughout. True, we won't know the true standings till Melbourne in two weeks time - but target for this season should be a double digit points tally for the team. Definitely achievable.

All figures from various charts on formula1.com

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ganya has restarted blogging

or at least we hope he continues. Anyway, this post is charming.

How things tie up ...

Tomorrow, if all goes well I shall be attending the lecture on the origins of the universe by Prof. George Smoot at COEP. He was one of the two guys behind the COBE experiment.

I'm also kinda, reading more about XKCD in all my free time.

Guess what, Randall send Smoot a free XKCD T-Shirt wishing he'd wear it to the ceremony. I'm guessing he didn't. Tomorrow, I'm going to ask him why!

Smoot, you think you'd escaped, but we deserve an explanation!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dropping a line to say

I'm 1 hour 5 mins through watching this movie. It's already got so many amazing moments, its unbelievable! And yes, I've fallen in love with Debra Winger!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quizzing 101

This is college quizzing season. Which means a lot of people will be setting quizzes for their college fests. It also means that a lot of people will be setting and QMing their first quizzes. This is by far one of the most important experiences for quizzers.

However, it takes experience to grasp the nuances of setting, organizing and making questions for a successful quiz. It's not difficult or anything, its just you need to fall and fail to realise what went wrong.

The good thing is, a few stalwarts at the BCQC have already done some excellent writing on the issue of a) making good quiz questions and b)organising a quiz event.

You can find these essays here on our website. This Quizmaster's Checklist is a must-read especially if you are organising a quiz event.

(cross-posted on Notes and Stones)

Friday, February 22, 2008

SKimpy, we bow down to thee.

SKimpy should really have been at one of those round tables while the auction for the IPL was going on. It was painful to see Dravid writing/calculating stuff ;D.

Anyway, his knowledge of the domestic cricket scene is unparalleled. I had a few views on the issue (of the IPL), but till now absorb these two posts about the Bangalore and the Delhi team.

I will be looking out for his analysis on the Mumbai team. Also, if you are a girl who wears Yellow kurtas and travel by BTS Volvo buses (esp. Route 500K) please contact him!

I'm hoping this good deed will stack up some unseen points somewhere which will come to my aid in the future. I'm not that generous normally :P

Monday, February 18, 2008

Two words - Watch it!

** This review contains mild spoilers **

Just got back home after watching Mithya. I'll try and be as objective as possible - even though I'm still reeling.

To put it plainly Mithya is so so much better than Rajat Kapoor's previous efforts. Its funny, dark, fast and exhilarating. Ranvir Shorey puts in a performance of a lifetime - and no, the role was not written with him in mind. Even Neha Dhupia is passable. Good directors get performances out of anybody. Case in point Abhay Deol in Manorama - 6 feet under.

Mithya is like Manorama in the fact that it's real and satisfying at the scene level. But beyond that its totally different, The writing, especially in the first half is tight, and wickedly funny. Like every "indie" movie, there are cruel jabs. At the film industry, at established stars. Hell, even at indie filmmakers. Of the supporting cast, Vinay Pathak is obviously brilliant. But he's totally overshadowed by an absolutely superb Brijendra Kala. Naseeruddin Shah is not even in my top 5 as far as performances go. And Rajat had got the guts to do that.

I'll probably write a more "revealing" review, sometime later when the two readers of this blog have read this post. I'll extol about specific scenes and specific storyline elements. But I'm writing this to ask you to go the theatre and watch this movie. Ensure than you give your monies to good film-makers. Then I'll forgive you if you pay 200 bucks to watch Jodhaa Akbar. Even if you normally don't watch Hindi movies, give this one a shot. And if you don't like it, please tell me. I'll direct you to a few (stupid) "friends" of mine!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why City beat United

Because they quiz before every game! Here is Micah Richards in his column for BBC Sport.

We get there[Manchester city centre] at about 6pm and always have a general knowledge quiz the night before the game, which is run by Les Chapman our kit-man. We do not split into teams, it is every man for himself!

The best by far is Didi Hamann, he has got a lot of knowledge, and the worst has got to be Kelvin Etuhu. He is actually good academically but some of his answers are ridiculous.

Me, I'm in the middle somewhere. I have not really got a specialist subject, although I normally do well with the music questions.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Another set of notes

I've been wondering what attracts me so much to Gaiman. I've not read Sandman, Coraline or American Gods. All I've done is seen an interview, read a few poems and essays and follow his blog. I think I have an answer. All the god-level people I knew, all belonged to a similar kind. The scientific, cold, calculating, trade-off oriented. They are brilliant. They write lucidly, they understand and analyze immensely well. But there is always a reason behind what they do.

Not Gaiman. He sees stars in the day, he believes in monsters, and other worlds and fairies and princesses. He adores little girls in frocks, he uses a fountain pen, he dreams. I know you'll tell me there is a word for this - "fantasy". True, but Gaiman is the only person I know, of my generation who seems accessible. There. Real. The internet has allowed him to talk to us, unlike with Tolkien or Asimov or Arthur C Clarke. From what I've read about Clarke, he seems immensely likeable too, but somehow distant - like speaking from the past. Gaiman is here, real. His colour photos still have him with those glowing eyes and flowing locks. There is something immensely endearing about him. Now I better go and find a copy of Coraline somewhere ;)


JR writes here about his Hitler-esque attitude towards wasted food. I too have very similar "values" embedded about not wasting a shred of food - but like all things in life, there is a balance to be maintained. We're not in a state of a Malthusian Catastrophe and maybe in today's (urban) world, obesity is a bigger issue than food wastage.

The hungry are often hungry not because there isn't enough food, but because enough food does not get to them. It is more a distribution and allocation issue than that of production. True, appropriating huge sums to yourself at a buffet dinner and then wasting it is mindless - esp if it becomes a regular habit. But realising you've made a mistake in talking more than what you really need, sometimes its best to "waste" than to over-consume. Remember, the so-called sin is going to take place anyway, the caterers are probably going to end up throwing some food all the same.

The point is, as I've realised, there is no need to be overly guilty about having not eaten some portion, if one realises that it can't be taken. Mental notes should be made about avoiding such instances in the future, but puh-leeze don't fall to the prey of food-conserving-zealots and finish whatever's on your plate at all costs. Its just not worth it.


My IIM interviews near closer, and I realise that I've done absolutely nothing, in terms of personal prep. I really need to get my file in order - and ensure that I'm not at the receiving end of "why do you you leave such important things for the last moment" rant. I'm consigned to saying this, but moms have an uncanny ability of being right.

Sigh! off I go.

Monday, February 04, 2008

My xkcd recommendations

Firstly, thanks Randall for allowing me and other freeloaders to hotlink to your strip! That is just awesome. Here are a few of my favourites so that you guys can fall in love with it instantanement. There are tons more that I love, but this is a decent list to start with.

Exploits of a Mom
Real Programmers
Fixed Width
Pix Plz

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Centrestage Clown

How can you see me and turn away
How can you tell, that it's not your day
Well, Delilah in a dream, she came to me
And the barber in the wings cut me aimlessly

You're the one who's got to go
And play the clown at the circus show
I'll be there watching intently
I'll be there, but it'll not be me

Come one and come all
Come and see me getting small
Getting whipped and all teary eyed
My mom's here, but she doesn't mind.

She's the one who said to me
Don't fall in love so hopelessly
But its all done, and here I am
Wham, bam and thank you maam.

She's gone, but she's left some proof
Like a cat on a hot tin roof
There it is, if you want to see
The hair's still lying in my dormitory.

She's the one who's playing the role
City's empty and the circus is full
Centrestage, what a clown is she
But everyone's --
just laughin' at me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

2nd choice

This happened at the GD/PI training I was attending today. Basically each person is interviewed as others watch - so that you learn as you watch.

So this is what happens to this generally sensible, likeable sorta guy. His major achievement is that he has a 100 percentile in the CAT, effectively topping it.

Interviewer : "So, what do you think about gay people?"

100 percentiler (thinks a bit) : "I would like to say sir that they have the second most popular sexual preference in the world."

Is that a story or what!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Answer to Sci-Tech

Here are the answers to Scitech - the online quiz conducted as a part of the elims for Techfest 2008. I do not know the answer to q7 and q12 for sure. Please to use comments and point out if you're wiser than me. Pdf can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: This is what I think the answers are. I qualified, so chances are most of them are right ;)

1. Nicholas Flamel.(The alchemist finds mention in all these works.)

2. That is Freyja, also called Vanadis - after whom Vandium is named.

3. Super Glue (Dr Harry Coover)

4. Carl Sagan

5. Logitech (this seems to be from here. )

6. Nike+Ipod

7. We wrote, People from Bell Labs winning the Nobel Prize for physics. (This is mostly incorrect. All of them have won the Nobel Physics. But 97 guy is not Bell.One or two others also I think. Also some groups are mentioned completely, some are not. Weird. Shockley is the most famous by a mile though.)

8. Radio Shack and Issac Asimov

9. Camera works on smile detection.

10.Guitar Hero Controllers, company is Gibson.(Pretty sure, though not 100%)

11. Google Doodles (Burning Man Festival - first doodle, Dennis Hwang who draws them, Dali and Miro paintings were also Google doodles once.)

12. (Thanks to V) People after whom craters are named.(Bunsen etc)(Volt, Galvani, Diesel etc. Dunno how diesel can be "lab equipment")

13. Project Gutenberg (Declaration of Independece, Gutenberg, Michael Hart)

14. Alan Turing

15. Schroedinger's Cat

16. Butterfly Effect(Bradbury's book made it popular, Ashton Kutcher starred in the movie and The Lorenz Atttractor named after Edward Lorenz is where term is applied to Chaos theory.)

17. Nikola Tesla - Gas Ignition(Spark Plug for automobiles)

18. Locations of the 5 Jantar Mantars. (Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura(?) )

19 Screens of Death

20 Algorithm and Algebra

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Can't remember last when ...

It really pained me on seeing India lose. In fact, I don't think I've had this feeling since Manchester United lost to Arsenal in the FA Cup final - and really can't remember the last time I felt something like this with respect to cricket. Maybe it was when we didn't win the series in West Indies. Anyway, from a personal perspective - I'm amazed at how much I care, and how much it pains!

Firstly, there is no excuse for not drawing. True, Bucknor and Benson are idiots - but still, losing 3 wickets in 5 balls! That is not justified. RP looked more miffed than really pained, and Ishant Sharma should be told better than to leave his bat hanging like that. True, they are tail-enders, but sometimes when misfortune befalls - you've got to to stand up and be counted. And it was the situation which got to them, not Michael Clarke.

I think India should NOT complain about what happened. The questions will be raised - by the media and by a whole lot of other people. Nothing will change the result though - and India's main aim from here on should be a) Not to lose any of the remaining tests, while trying to win at least one. We've won the last one at Adelaide, and drawing at Perth would be as good as winning.

No doubt, the Aussies behaved inappropriately - Harsha Bhogle euphemistically calling it "an imperfect victory". Though that might console a few, fact is - India's two down, and things are looking pretty dire going into Perth. Rather than cry and whine and complain over spilt milk there are a number of pressing issues India needs to think about

1. What to do with Jaffer? Should Sehwag be inducted in?
2. Same with Yuvraj. Really seems to be struggling, Padukone or no Padukone.
3. The batsmen, especially Ganguly have struggled against Hogg. They've given too many wickets to the Hogg/Symonds combine. They're not really of that class, that they should be troubling the experienced Indian lineup.

That is my two-cents. I smirk at the joke Gaurav makes here. But needless to say, totally disagree.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Some movies you should check out

It always irks me when I'm not at the forefront of discovery. Most of the stuff I read/ watch / hear do is recommended by friends - and so there remain very few people I can tell, "you know what, this movie is really excellent, you should really watch it sometime."

But with the aid of a few internet reports, and plain hunches - the last three movies I've seen have all been really really excellent. So here we go, please allow me to introduce them to you. (No Spoilers therein. Safe reading)

1 Atonement

I'm just realising that I'm a big fan of Ian McEwan. I've read only a couple of books (Amsterdam and Saturday) - absolutely loved Amsterdam. Atonement apparently is the piece de resistance of his oeuvre. It has been named in huge lists like Time's All Time best 100 Novels. So when the movie came out, I HAD to watch it - even though it has Kiera Knightley.

The movie at first glance reminds me of The English Patient. Another work that I wholly consumed (as book and movie). Visually it's splendid - and hopefully I'll catch this movie again when E-Square and co wake up to it when it wins the Oscar(that's what the talk is anyway). James McAvoy is decent, Kiera Knightley is much better than expected. The star is undoubtedly Saoirse Ronan as 13-year old Briony Tallis. Her acting is absolutely delectable!

The movie is not flawless. It suffers from an identity crisis in the middle amongst other things. But on the whole it will satisfy you visually and intellectually. Definitely worth a watch.

2. I'm not there

The movie inspired by Bob Dylan's life - is not another biographical tracing someone's life. Bob Dylan's life is just a basic framework for the movie to work on. There is so much thought that has been put on top, so much creativity and so much execution - one would have thought impossible! Again, I like this movie for the sheer feel that it creates, the ambiance of the film is brilliant, visually sumptuous! No more giveaways - go watch.

3. Sweeney Todd

I accept that the original intention was to watch, Johnny Depp's musical Sweeney Todd : The Demon Barber of Fleet-Street, but I ended up watching the 2005 BBC adaptation for TV - Sweeney Todd, starring Ray Winstone. But, no complaints at all! I had no idea of the old story, excellent adaptation indeed - and what's more my interest is piqued - about how a story of a barbaric maniacal killer-barber (yes!) could be made into a musical. Rest assured, I will not rest till I watch Mon. Depp's adaptation. Tell me if you've watched it / if I could get my hands on it somehow.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I believe this ...

Woman: If I die, will I go to hell?

Man:Hell is an invention to frighten us.
There is no hell...

Man:...except the one we make
for ourselves on earth.

What is there, then?

Man: Oblivion.

Woman: What if you're wrong?

Man: Then we're all damned.