Anatomical Correctness

DNA realises, 32 minutes later that 'boobs' is rather inappropriate for a National Newspaper.

But anyway ... a rose by any another name ...



What is distance?

The dictionary offers a few clues in the first two definitions
  /ˈdɪstəns/ [dis-tuhns] noun, verb, -tanced, -tanc⋅ing.
1. the extent or amount of space between two things, points, lines, etc.
2. the state or fact of being apart in space, as of one thing from another; remoteness.

Actually, when applied to two people those definitions do clash sometimes. Its very much possible to be close to someone an ocean away. Its so much more easier 'these days' with our 24x7 net access and cheap ISD rates. The days of my grandparents' might well have been Good Old Days, but I am glad to be where I am, when I am.



After lots of dilly dallying around, I finally made my way to an Ophthalmologist. So turns out what I initially dismissed as 'staring at the screen' is an eye inflammation due to an allergic reaction.

Also, when reassessing my power, I was blown away by how little I can see out of my left eye. Classic seeing-double-when-drunk-as-portrayed-in-movies double. What I have to do is wait out this inflammation and then get it checked again. A week of eye drops and that should do it, apparently.

So why am I typing this out here.

The eye drops.

How appropriately ironic.


Atheism, again

Spent the majority of the day listening to this ..
Very Interesting.

I do think on these lines sometimes and I find myself increasingly subscribing to an agnostic/atheist point of view.

It also is the 200th post here, apparently ..


Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Dear La Presidenta,

Congratulations on the Sukhoi Flight. It seems you pulled 2G. Well done indeed.

But I see this photo of yours on the front page, and immediately notice only one thing.

I mean, I know we are all going through this hypocritical austerity phase. But then, you are the holiest of the holy cows. Surely, you could have dipped into the exchequer for a pair of new, clean gloves. Perhaps in your size too.

Just Saying.

[Image: ToI]

And so it is ...

Its been a while that I have written something personal here. Not that I haven't noticed it till now, but somehow there was never anything I felt like writing. Though as such, there was a lot to write about.

But yesterday, while chatting with Sudnya, she happened to mention it. I retorted with 'you should be the one to talk' and she replied on the lines of .. 'I'm not so interesting when I'm peaceful / happy. That's where I usually rant'.

So, I thought for a moment, and I realised, that its more or less true for me too. For the first time in many months, I feel happy. Its not that happiness is an emotion which prevents you from displaying your feelings. Far from it. The difference lies in the fact that there are people around me now. I can talk, I can laugh and I can share. All person to person, without resorting to this medium.

So in a way, its a good thing that this place has been empty for a while. Because it means that I haven't. Its a good thing that my phone bill exceeds my rent bill because that's my outlet now.

Which also means that I devote this place to criticizing Hrithik Roshan ads.
Like this.

Yes, we know the secret ingredient of any good cookie is 'Love'. But not when the word before that is 'making'. On the same counter! Disgusting!


Happy Birthday

What can we say but Happy Birthday!
The whole world is grateful.



So everyday while walking back you see a black Punto and a black Swift parked opposite each other on a side street.

The scene always reminds you why, regardless of her quirks and foibles, and the obvious superiority of the other, you always fall for the pretty girl..

Hope Fiat doesn't lose it this time.


Pre-paid Piper

Perhaps the good people at Reliance are not familiar with what happened after the interval in the Pied Piper story.

Yes, that's right.

Instead of filing a breach of contract lawsuit like any good man swindled by The State would, he kidnaps the town's children. And as if that wasn't enough he discriminates against the disabled kid.

In keeping with my previous views, yes, he still needs a haircut and a shave.
And oh yeah, Napoleon called. He wants his coat back.


Just watched Pirate Radio last night.
Two words.


That boat really rocked.
The sixties were an amazing time to be alive in, apparently.

Can't wait for the 'real' Radio now.


Afternoon Drowsiness

Monday Again.
The disturbed sleep cycle of the past two days tries to wobble into normalcy today.
But it takes its time.


Open Letter

Dear Toilet Cleaner Manufacturers,

You really spare no expense or creativity to come up with some of the best advertisements on Indian television. I mean, showing before and after shots of a (once) dirty toilet is sheer genius. Then there are those with your host visiting said dirty toilet's home with camera crew and getting reactions from satisfied customers. That is sheer genius with a cherry on top.

But hear me out here. How about not playing those ads on prime time TV, say between 8pm-10pm, because, you know, most people have dinner during that time. I don't know about you, but the sight of a dirty loo just as I am about to shove the next tasty morsel into my mouth unnerves me a bit. I mean, I know where all that rajma is going to end up eventually, but I'd rather not think about it right now.

How many customers do you think you gain by this? I certainly will never even consider picking up your product when I am in the market. You spoil my dinner, I don't buy your stuff. Simple.

So here's an idea. Pull those ads. Instead allocate that budget to 'adopting' the toilets on the Railway Station, Bus Stand, etc. Feel free to display your wares, slap your posters all over the place. But keep them as clean as the 'after' pictures in your ads. That would create a positive impression and people would appreciate it. And next time I go to the store, I would remember to buy your brand.





If you believe in one true god then you don't believe in all the thousands of gods that have gone before, roman gods, greek gods, norse gods, mayan gods, egyptian gods etc. I agree with you. I don't believe in any of those gods either. I'll just go one small logical step further and not believe in your god either.

Point is, you should be trying to be a good person, which basically comes down to a lifelong Hippocratic Oath of "first do no harm". Every ethical position comes about naturally from that. And according to JC in the New Testament, it doesn't matter who we pray to - the good guys get to Heaven anyway, and the bad guys don't. The humanists and atheists are at an advantage here, because they can consider "first do no harm" without the laborious framework of how to do no harm which has built up historically around every religion - the utterly unholy Catholic doctrine of "every sperm is sacred", for example, which has no basis in the teachings of JC.

So it's the reverse of Pascal's Wager. Blaise Pascal reckoned that you should go to church regardless of whether you believed or not, because if the Christians were right then it'd get you to Heaven, and if the Christians were wrong then you'd not lost anything. But according to JC it's the other way around - you'll get to Heaven whether you follow a religion or not, so long as you behave well. And if there isn't a Heaven, you've still led a good life which has generally improved the world as a whole (even if only in a small way).

Besides which, there's a deeper point. Unless your god bases its decisions about an afterlife on the way you actually act, and the reasons you act that way, that god isn't worthy of worship. And if it does (cf. Christianity, Judaism and Islam), then it's handling admission to Hell, not Heaven.

Saw this while going through the above article.
Exactly my position.
Just be a good person.
Who cares if you say your morning prayers or don't.


Dhak Dhak, Groan

Apparently Hero Honda sold another bajillion bikes and made record amounts of cash, bucking industry trends, recession, yada yada ..

But having loads of cash and throwing it by the gunny sackful at an ad agency gets you this ..

Wow! S-P-E-C-I-A-L E-F-F-E-C-T-S!

But Seriously, Wtf!

Hrithik Roshan is not in any way Moses ... and the SFX looks like those leftover reels from the Shaktimaan editing floor found a new home.

And yes, adding huge amounts plastic cladding to a piddling 150cc engine is like stuffing your underwear with a sock. Looks very impressive but when needed the most, you come up short.

Maybe they should stop making ads altogether. We all know people will still be buying a 'Passion++ Pro+++' a hundred years from now and it will still be a best seller. So why bother. Save that cash, add it to the balance sheet. But yes, deduct Rs. 15 for a shave, for Mr. Roshan.

Wide Load

So I found this in one of my Site Meter visit logs...

That, is an unbelievably wide screen, but running 16bit colour would be a letdown.


Is that your zoom lens or are you just happy to see me?

After a long hiatus, and some dithering about, the FZ18 is back where it belongs - with me.

Hopefully, the output will be worth the wait ..


What would I do?

Reminds me of a rather special someone ...



Space - The Final Frontier

They , howeverwilllearntoinsertanextraspacebetweenacommaanditsprecedingword.


Smokin Joe's

It started as an attempt to rhyme toes with rose, immediately moved on to Joe's, and apparently, we set the proverbial ball rolling because this is what followed..

foes / chose / grows / pose / lows / joe's / nose / woes / rose

how would that one go??

Dinner at Smokin' Joe's
was the start of our woes
how I wish we chose
someplace else, but - who knows

Dinner last night was at Smokin' Joe's
i love the way he strikes a pose
a cowboy hat, beware oh foes
and a thick black stache under his nose!

So we decide on smokin joe's
and the place is not even close
but there she was with her button nose
she smiled at me and my heart beat rose

Last winter we went to smokin joe's
the heat was out and the cold winds rose
we waited there with curled up toes
who ate our pizza - god only knows!

There was an itch between my toes
and that was the least of my woes
'cause when I went to Smokin Joe's
some of that chilli went up my nose

I was racking my brains to write a small prose
sitting by the window, watching the blooming rose
i crossed my legs and scratched my nose
thats it! i'm getting a pizza from smokin joe's!

I had a date at Smokin Joe's
But my best friend said, bros before 'hos
In love and war, I said, anything goes
Looking at the bill, I'm glad its her I chose

I saw this lil boy at smokin joe's
he looked all tattered and picked his nose
but when the pizza was served, in the air he rose
hell! that's the voodoo boy! - i simply froze!

Sitting outside Smokin Joes
We were besieged by hungry crows
I nudged the nearest with my toes
With a rude stare, the whole flock rose ...

(digressed into a discussion on ghosts -> david copperfield -> mediums -> shorts which are no longer medium)

We were making up verses about smokin joe's
but we gradually digressed to shorts - why? god knows
in the end, 'size does matter' is the tag line he chose
stop talking about pizza dude and shed some of those kilos!

(a long time later..)

i'm at my wits' end, as the day narrows
writing the report is adding to my woes
going through this hell, is not something i chose
how i wish singapore had a smokin joe's

The day has highs, then there are lows
I know you are bored, it really shows
Not hell, just one more of the chores
Finish it off and we won't talk of those ..

*The End*


The End

Conclusion and Epilogue:

To sum it up, Sony tried to push me into buying a new camera. Previous experience, here and here.

After showing them the finger, I gave it to a dinky small time camera shop figuring I had nothing to lose. So a couple of missed connections and a weeks delay, I finally got it back. Cost me 1800 for replacing the DC-DC converter.

Test 1: Put in approximately 80% charged 1900mAh and left it on in video mode. Lasted 1 hour 21 minutes till the battery ran out. I think that is a pass.

Later, I got a call from Sony about the feedback form I had filled in while collecting it. Apparently they wanted to know why I had marked most of the fields '0' and 'Poor'. I explained to the lady that when I take my vehicle to the service center and complain of low mileage, they don't recommend that I change the engine.
I think she got it.


Aaaand Good Morning!

How could I let this go ...


Goood Night!

Well, its 9:30 and I was late by a few minutes...
So, here goes.

You know who you are ..


Friends like these ...

Manasi Dhavale wrote:


akshay panday wrote:

isharoon se baat karna mujhe nahi ata

Manasi Dhavale wrote:

Seekho na, Naino ki bhasha piya...

akshay panday wrote:

tumhare nainon mein jhankne par to hum hosh kho baithte hai ...
bhaasha to door, hum apna naam tak bhool jaate hai

Manasi Dhavale wrote:

Corny dialog from where?

akshay panday wrote:

what the hell ..
i made it up ..

Manasi Dhavale wrote:

Aap ki hindi itni aachhi kab se ho gayi?
And so romantic! Ooh la la!
Main toh apne hosh kho baithi. ;)

akshay panday wrote:

humne na likhe hote to ye shabd 'corny'
lekin sach janane par ho gaye 'romantic' .. ?
tumse ye sab kehna samay ki barbadi hai ...
kya jaano tum, chand shabdo mein kitni badi kahani hai ...

Manasi Dhavale wrote:

Hum kshama chaahte hai.
Humne aapka dil dukhaaya hai.
Humein maaf kijiye.
Humein yakeen nahi ho raha tha ki aap itna kuch mehsoos kartein hain.
Humein aapke dil ki baat samajhne mein der lag gayi.

akshay panday wrote:

kshama maangna asaan hai, kamaana bada mushkil
maaf shabdo se kar doonga, lekin kya maaf karega ye dil
hume toote hue dil ka mareez bana diya hai aapne
iss majrooh jigar ko na milega marham sapne mein

Manasi Dhavale wrote:

Humein aapka dil kadaapi na dukhaana tha.
Hum aapke toote dil pe marham lagaayenge..
Aap nischint rahiye. :-)

akshay panday wrote:

ye sab kehna kitna aasan hai
lekin kabhi nibhake to dikhao
toote dil ka marham chhodiye
bas humara BBQ lautao ...

Manasi Dhavale wrote:

Aap maangke toh dekhiye. Turant de doongi.

akshay panday wrote:

dus mahine aapke paas jo pada hai
humne kitni baar vapas maanga tha
lekin aap hai ki roj naya bahana
turant ka matlab aapse shayad hai anjaana

Happily never after ...

Obviously, the nerds who designed the algorithm are irony impaired...


Deep Space Naan, it seems



Wait for me

Hey You,

Turns out you didn't have to wait all that long.


F1 these days ...

The line it is drawn
The KERS it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

~ Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-changin'



The Empire Strikes Back

Dear Google Overlords,

I am sorry.
Can I have the matrimonial ads back?





I sit here, waiting
Alone, but not quite
I see resolute grey
but expect blinking orange.


'Our' Song

Its hilarious when, out of the blue, you get a call with the phone held overhead.


The Con is On

To continue the story ...

So I received this wonderful text message from the nice people at Sony.
Your Sony service request is logged as job no. 000300646xxx. The initial repair estimate is Rs. 13811.50. For queries contact XXX-XXXXXXXX.
To Sony's credit, they do not round off to the next Rupee, like some places do.

An hour or so later, I got a call .... basically telling me the same thing, though he used the word 'at least' before the 13k ...
Wow, I thought, my aunt does eye transplants for less.
For a 5 year old camera whose purchase price was 12k, that is a bit of a shock, to put it mildly

Then he went on to explain how the entire mainboard has to be replaced. And how I would be better off buying a new one. No shit, Sherlock.

But I see what Sony is doing here... pass off what might be a bum flash capacitor or a spoiled DC-DC converter as a mainboard replacement and 'subtly' encourage the customer to buy a new one instead.

Very devious. But one thing they forgot is that their current breed of cameras is a bit crap, and if they do push me into buying a new one, there is no way I am buying a Sony with all its proprietary tie-ins. If anything, they have put me off Sonys for a long long time.

Better luck next time.


Customer Support for Dummies

Step 1: Assume that the customer is a dummy.
Actually, cancel that - presume that the customer is a dummy and then proceed.

Is it just me who has these encounters? Is it etched on the lines of my palm?

So, to start the rant, the old faithful, Sony Cybershot s40, nigh on 5 years old now, which in camera years is about 85 was having a problem. On fresh, highly charged batteries, it would last 5-6 shots maximum, before the indicator went to zero and the thing gave up the ghost. Sometimes, even before the lens had time to retract.

Act 1: Scene 1:
Telephone Conversation:

Me: Yes, I have this camera, s40 and it doesn't last even 10 shots on fully charged batteries.
CSE*: How old is this camera?
Me: About 5 years or so..
CSE: Hmmm ... I see, are you using Sony Batteries?
Me: No.
CSE: Sir, I recommend that you use Sony Batteries.
Me: What difference does it make?
CSE: Sir, its the capacity ....
Me: I have a set of 2700mAh batteries, same story.
CSE: Sir, there are other specifications...
Me: Really, like what?
CSE: Errr..... Why don't you test with Sony Batteries and see if it works.
Me: So you want me to spend 1000Rs. on another set of batteries just so you can test your theory? Are you going to reimburse me for them?
CSE: Our service center is open till 6:30 .... this is the address....
Me: You could have saved both our times and just told me this before ...
<hangs up>

*CSE: Customer Service Executive

Act 1: Scene 2:
At Customer Service Center:

Me: <repeating same old story>
CSE:(extracts batteries from camera)
CSE: Now, you see, these are 1.2 volt batteries. Thats why you are facing a problem.
Me: (thinking) Oh God, not another idiot!
Me: Really?
CSE: Yes, you need atleast 2500 megaAmps capacity.
Me: You just said volts.
CSE: Yours only have that written on them.
Me: (thinking) okkkk .. why isn't mercy killing legal, anyway ...
CSE: (showing Sony NiMh cell) See, this is 2700megaAmps. (the '2700' is printed in a larger font than 'Sony', presumably for people like him)
Me: (showing small, but perfectly legible print on my cell) Well, this is a 2000 mAh.
CSE: There is your problem.
Me: Look, when this camera came out, 1200mAh was all there was on the market. It worked fine then. Do your cameras adapt to higher capacity batteries?
CSE: (undoes lanyard) ok. We'll take a look at it. (fiddles with all the buttons)
The mode selector is stuck.
Me: Ohh is it? yeah, I probably didn't check while putting it back together. I moved the switch when it was open, so they don't align anymore.
CSE: (looking at me like I had just confessed to killing my cat and turning it into a handbag) You opened it! <shock><awe><disgust>
Me: Yes, is that a problem? Its out of warranty. And its mine, I can do what I want to with it.
CSE: (avoiding looking at me) I will have to consult with our Engineer to see if we can take this in.
Me: Really? Go ahead.
CSE: <hush-hush conversation on phone. Probably in proprietary Sony® invented language. And compressed in ATRAC>
CSE: Well, we can accept it.
Me: <batting eyelashes> My Hero!
Me: <getting up to leave> Ohhh and by the way... its milliamps. You almost solved India's power crisis single handedly there....

On a side note, 'Executive' in this sense seems to be defined as:
1.a person or group of persons having administrative or supervisory authority in an organization.
2.the person or persons in whom the supreme executive power of a government is vested.
3.the executive branch of a government.

4.of, pertaining to, or suited for carrying out plans, duties, etc.: executive ability.
5.pertaining to or charged with the execution of laws and policies or the administration of public affairs: executive appointments; executive committees.
6.designed for, used by, or suitable for executives: an executive suite.

Some dimwit recruited off the street and made to sit behind a desk after a week of training in parroting phrases out of a manual doesn't really fit any of those meanings.

What gives?

P.S.: Further Scenes and Acts to follow. No doubt, they will be along similar lines.



While generally flipping through the channels, I came across Star News' coverage of YSR Reddy's helicopter going missing. Typically, since they had nothing to fill the space with, they did what any non self respecting 24x7 Indian News Channel would do: pile on the bullshit.

So I got to hear how the Bell-430 is an inherently dangerous machine, with videos of random helicopters crashing (a few looked like tests to me), how hydraulic systems are a death trap and should be abolished and the like. But most glaring of all, to me, was the enlightened soul informing viewers that the Bell-430 has Rolls-Royce engines which are made by 'car nirmata' Rolls Royce.

About 30 seconds on Wikipedia would have informed them that Rolls Royce was split in 1973 and both pieces have since changed hands several times to get where they are now.

12 Hours after the thing went missing, some bad photoshops and wrong info - thats all they had.

Oh yes, and underwear ads, the bedrock of 24 hours news coverage.


Read between the lines


Good Morning, errr ... Vietnam!

So you wake up early this morning ... early by your loose standards. First thing you do is check your phone. No activity there equates no activity here.

A few minutes later, the phone buzzes to life. You flip it open and smile. Its time to get up - the day has just begun.



I don't get it.

What are they trying to say?

That Airtel is a company that will give up something it has been pursuing for 15-20 years for something that just flashed past? Just like that. Especially when it is so close to fulfilment.

Or that long term customers mean nothing to them?

Does it want viewers to identify with a dude who doggedly pursues his childhood sweetheart only to be distracted at the last moment by a girl with longer hair and larger assets?

Or does the 'Dil Titli Sa' mean that as customers, you will get momentary attention but when you really run into problems, they will have flitted over to the next guy - the one with the fatter wallet - and you will be left holding a dead connection and empty assurances.

How does that tie in to the whole MPEG4 deal? And maybe if his old MPEG2 box was looking so blurry, he should have gotten his eyes checked. Or wiped the condensation from his TV. Or gone easy on the Tequila. Because video codecs don't introduce Gaussian Blur.

Maybe its because I just watched the last episode of the first season of Mad Men ... and the Carousel message really hit me. So much so that I watched it five times after that.

But this sucks. Just having pretty faces and a pretty voice does not make up for lack of an underlying message.


Full Circle

So, Giancarlo Fisichella takes pole for Force India and Luca Badoer sits last. In a Ferrari.
We have come full circle.

Maybe its because Badoer has been driving in the protected environs of the test track and suddenly being thrown into the big bad world must be traumatic. But when you have been depositing a Scuderia Ferrari paycheck at the end of the month for 9 years, you don't come in last.

This is how it should be:
Luca di Montezemolo summons Badoer to the conference room. He takes a seat. Montezemolo reaches into a drawer and pulls out a .38. He places it on the table and looks at Badoer. There is sadness in those intense eyes. Imperceptible at first, but its there. With a slight shake of the head, he leaves the room.

As he nears the end of the corridor, a gunshot echoes down the silent space. He pauses, lost in thought, shakes his head and keeps walking.


Goodbye Old Friend.

May your inquisitive nose discover choo-stixs in every sniff worthy corner.

Its all you need,
and everything you give..
Its easy.


Say Cheese...

I know I keep posting a lot of Google ads here ... but its funny how they just pick up the words and pay no attention at all to the context.

Just as well. Its good to know that the Google empire is still a long way from becoming sentient.



Do I want the curve?
Or should I go for the flat abs?

Oooo!!! I don't know! I don't know!!!!




An amazing movie with an even more amazing soundtrack.
All the right songs, at all the right places.


Its an Outrage!

Though I would imagine that the one place in the US that Shah Rukh would be recognized at once would be New Jersey. (especially the airport.)


Why Do ...

While the rest of the world ponders over the redundancies of male anatomical features, our countrymen are looking to get that MBA one way or the other.

Here's to World Domination.


Pigs on the Wing ...


I am standing in line at the checkout counter at the grocery store, with my two packets of chips and a block of paneer. Third in line.

The nice couple at the counter have finished billing their million items and then proceed to have an extremely educated discussion with the clerk about whether the brand of Basmati Rice they bought is VFM.

Ten minutes.

There is a lady with a small kid in front of me. Both wearing masks. All of us are getting fidgety now.

I check my watch again.

Right next to where I am standing, is a stack of discount agarbattis for sale.

I have been sensitive to agarbattis since I was a kid.

I sneeze.

Woman in front looks at me with sheer terror in her eyes.

She grabs the kid and moves to the furthest counter just as the couple decide that their Basmati is actually the best.

I move in and place my goods on the counter.




Larger Than Life ...

From another innuendo filled register article ...

There was a joke going around back in the Cold War:

In an attempted propaganda move, the Soviet Government placed an order for a large quantity of condoms with an American manufacturer. The specified dimensions were considerably larger than the average male anatomy. In a brilliant counter move, the manufacturer filled the order but stamped them "Medium".
So it wasn't just about whose ICBMs have longer range .. heh.


A**holes and TP ... in Cuba

Continuing the quite graphic Cuban TP discussion ...

Incomplete thirst thirst?

Dedicated to the person who absolutely hates everything about this song ...

Though youtube's video transcoder pretty much cleans up all the halftoning inadvertently..


Moving on ..

Might take a fair bit of work ... and may not really happen, but I'm contemplating moving to Wordpress.

Let's see how that goes.



The end of the season.
And probably, the end of an era.

So it could well be the last unabashedly politically incorrect German related World War joke on TV for quite some time.


I'll Get You

On a Beatles trip currently.
Such simplicity and brevity!

The Song of the day. Very apt.

Here and Now

I guess that's all forever is. Just one long trail of nows. And I guess all you can do is try and live one now at a time without getting too worked up about the last now or the next now.

~ from 'The Horse Whisperer'


Rock 'n' Roll!

13x06 ....

I hate those tiles too ...

E.F.F.I.N.G. Awesome.

Liberal Media Rocks!


Feminism ...

"There is a simple test to find out if a woman is sexist. If they see the phrase white power as racist, ask if they find the phrase girl power sexist. Get them to justify the discrepancy."

another one from the Register Comments section


Growing up ...

You are watching Top Gear with your brother and James May cracks a very dirty but extremely subtle sex joke. You look sideways at him, wondering if he is laughing just because everyone else is. But you also really wish he got it. And you don't know whether to feel relieved because of the former or a strange pride because of the latter.

That is me.

Somewhere outside Satara ....

Courtesy: Parag


Lost in Translation ...

From a Register Comment from a article about a UK - US dictionary

UK -> US
biscuit -> cookie
scone -> biscuit
lump of dough -> scone
fag -> cigarette
gay -> happy
socialist -> communist
whig -> socialist
tory -> democrat
right-wing tory -> republican
green -> tree-hugging
bloke -> buddy
sod -> f*ck
oops -> f*ck
oh -> f*ck
jolly -> f*cking
very -> f*cking
really -> f*cking
quite -> f*cking
guy -> motherf*cker
bloody -> motherf*cking
darn -> motherf*cking
, -> , you know,
. -> , know what I mean?
! -> , man!
nude -> pornographic
nudity -> porn
flat -> apartment
lift -> elevator
chemists -> drug store
loo -> rest room
complain -> sue
chips -> fries
maize -> corn
corn -> grain
coffee -> espresso
tepid water -> coffee
cold water -> beer
tipsy -> drunk
drunk -> plastered
pissed -> dead drunk
annoyed -> pissed
irate -> postal
nice -> cool
cool -> cold
cold -> freezing
snow -> snow storm
drizzle -> rain storm
rain -> flood warning
light breeze -> wind storm
windy -> hurricane
foreign weather -> sunshine
brolly -> umbrella
telly -> TV
umpire -> referee
bowler -> pitcher
football -> soccer


Life. Is. Good.

Nothing more to say right now.



Bring out your smug smiles.


The key

To Whomsoever it may concern,

This is something I had to come up with very last minute and very hurriedly, so please forgive the extreme lameness.

But what went inside is really from the heart.

Happy Birthday.



Sometimes it is just so hard to state the obvious.
(and I do not mean the answer to 'Does this dress make me look fat?')

But you chip away at the matter, careful to only take it away piece by piece, hoping, trying to avoid the big blow. But sometimes, that is not always the best strategy.

The flip side is that one really can't be sure which was the way to go until you look back after its all over.

I, however have shifted the thinking a little. Decided to give it a push. Let's see how it goes.

In other news, I find the Sony Ericsson default ringtone more than a little irritating these days.


ahh ToI .. what would we do without you?

I don't think proof reading is a dying art.
It is dead.



How to Lose Friends and Alienate People...

Actually, a diet will shut them bi**hes up, but who am I to say ...

(Even though I did not mean that, I will watch my back from now on. Also, employ food tasters to ensure I don't get poisoned. And yes, have to dust off my bulletproof jacket.)


Footprints in the sands of time ...

Footprints in the sands of time ...

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
~ H.W. Longfellow - A Psalm of Life


Colbert in Iraq

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Recap - Week of 6/8/09
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

Sometimes self deprecating humor gets by as the most sincere kind.


Because objects in the rearview appear closer than they are....

So we are almost halfway through june, halfway through the year. Just spent 30 mins cleaning up my other gmail inbox, specifically, the chat histories, and boy does it feel good. You have never truly moved away while it is still visible in the rearview.

On the whole these six months have been better than the last ... and I hope this trend continues.

While I am typing this, the cloud cover gathers in the hope of an impending shower. 'June skies' was the phrase ... a long time ago. It means nothing to me now.



Put you're money where your mouth is ...


The misplaced apostrophe syndrome has reached epidemic proportions ..

FFS, you're = you are.


Question about Life, the Universe and Everything

Well, at least it comes after 'Life' and 'Free Time' ....


Spring Cleaning

Its that time of the year again....

It is crunch time. Clearly the moment of reckoning is upon me.

Question: Do I delete the Google Reader mails or not?



Get one, get the other?

Now that the elections are over and the BJP has lost, comprehensively, suddenly L.K. Advani's genial face has disappeared from 'net. Especially from the google reader feeds, where *every single* item would be appended by a 'lkadvani.in' advertisment.

But then, there is never a dull moment in cyberspace, so I now have this. New 'split screen' arrangement, presumably to bombard us with 2x ads in the same space.

I wonder what sort of algorithm pitches Arranged Marriages along with Rigid Inflatable Boats ... but there must be something to it. Surely.

But, I for one, think that the 'You're in Control' slogan is much more at home on the other half of the screen.


So this is what mobile blogging is all about. And there is the whistling supercharger again..



Bleed for me by ~Hoeg on deviantART

Was listening to the song on the radio after a long long time.
By far the best line of the song, especially the timbre of his voice when he says that.


Yes, I am a Grammar Nazi.

Original is [here].


Picture this...

You lazy lazy bastards at Samsung and Motorola ... In the end you are all the same.



Meet the Neighbours

Dear ToI,

Prabhakaran is the head of the LTTE.
Prachanda is the former Prime Minister of Nepal. And he is very much alive.



Two unhappy souls

from manasidhavale@gmail.com
to TheInvisibleMan

date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:05 PM

u knw what i'd really love right now??
a nice big fat juicy burger...
i wanna go to burger king!!!

from Akshay Panday
to manasidhavale@gmail.com

date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:04 PM

or that fat one at dorabjee's ... !

from Akshay Panday
to manasidhavale@gmail.com
date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:05 PM

damn! why did you remind me!

from manasidhavale@gmail.com
to Akshay Panday
date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:09 PM

devil's chicken..


hurry up and come for the weekend.. then we'll go!

from manasidhavale@gmail.com
to Akshay Panday
date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:12 PM

i'm just as unhappy as u are ok...

i cant go get a burger either...

from Akshay Panday

to manasidhavale@gmail.com

date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:10 PM

but now my head is filled with images of fat juicy burgers ...

i swear i can smell it ..

from manasidhavale@gmail.com
to Akshay Panday
date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:15 PM

:( yumm.. with the thick mayo... and struggling to keep all the stuffing inside...

from Akshay Panday
to manasidhavale@gmail.com date
Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:13 PM

vegetarians' lives suck so much ...

from manasidhavale@gmail.com
to Akshay Panday
date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:19 PM

u cant get the same flavour with a potato patty... now can u

from Akshay Panday
to manasidhavale@gmail.com

date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:17 PM

not even within a mile of close
and we're not alone here ..


from manasidhavale@gmail.com
to Akshay Panday
date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:23 PM

i want a burger NOW!!!! :(

from Akshay Panday
to manasidhavale@gmail.com

date Thu, May 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM


You gotta love the 5 O'clock conversations!


Total Recall, not

So it happened that during the course of the weekend, I watched a movie that I had already seen. Nothing unusual there, except both times it was rather involuntary.

However, this time my mind was blank as I divided my time between the movie and finishing the last hundred pages of my book. Well, that was true of the last time too. Just a half-hearted attempt at watching the movie, trying to outdo the last comment and surreptitiously glancing to the side when the screen brightened a notch.

But on Thursday evening, I did not think about the last time I had watched the same scenes. Not once did fake Sony voice recorders, palak-batata, epaulets, chocolate mousse or eating wada sambar left-handed enter my mind.

Not once.

It was only later that I thought, 'Holy Crap! That just happened!'

That movie was Fanaa.


Can I haz Home Delivery?

Recession? What Recession? Our Mobile Phone Salesmen travel in garishly painted Rollers.

The color palette might be distasteful, but Branson's choice of motor is spot on!

I guess all the money he saved on picking up F1's leading team for cheap has to go somewhere ... but dude .. keep it BLACK! It won't be much of a Phantom in two tone red and white, will it?


Failblog has a recursive application!

This thread is a EPIC WIN, that's what it is... !!



They let Brawn get away ... Todt ran off with a Bond girl and became CEO ... the Iceman cometh and doeth nothing ... its all gone very wrong.

Atleast Sutil had the good grace to crash out. Its not lonely at the bottom.


All that glitters ...

We sometimes have a funny way with metaphors. What exactly do they mean?
Most days I have been accused of having a heart of stone. Some people have been known to have a heart of gold. One is supposed to be bad and the other is a very good thing. Why so?
Both are hard (relatively), cold to the touch and a hundred percent inorganic. Sure, gold is malleable and stone isn't (maybe sometimes brittle), but that's not enough to put them on opposite ends of the scale.
The only thing that justifies the extremes of perception is the rarity and assigned monetary value. But who said that everything that is rare is necessarily good ... or vice versa.

I may be like everyone else .. but I ain't so bad, you know.


Look Down!

How supremely irritating is it when you use a new keyboard and the 'Delete', 'Home' and 'End' keys have all been shuffled around?



The funny thing is that life offers no undo buttons. And it holds true in the virtual world too. A couple of posts which I was asked to delete are still present in my RSS feed for whoever is bothered to read them.

You can change the whole look of your webpage but the google cache won't forget. Not for a long time.

It just doesn't matter.



Its quite some time past midnight, close to 3am, which is what I feel the phrase 'middle of the night' should mean.
I lay awake, staring at the ceiling, the blinking of the status LEDs of modems, routers and other assorted gadgets being a poor substitute for the twinkling stars that one can no longer see. The still air, heavy and foreboding, doesn't whisper the same lullaby that a softly flowing breeze sings without a second thought.
Alone, in the darkness, all my thoughts have been robbed of colour by the same all-pervasive gloom. I wait for sleep to come, to pull me along into the world of dreams. Not that its all rainbows and unicorns over there, but atleast its better than this.
I wait, the ticking of the clock - amplified a hundred fold - provides a metronomic rhythm which my slowly beating heart tries hard to match. I glance in its direction and observe the damn thing, stuck in a circle for all eternity, traveling many miles each day but not going anywhere. The second hand ticks past its brethren, but the stillness of the night seems to have taken its toll everywhere. I can feel the reluctance with which it advances - as compared to the day - ponderously taking the next step, an eternity between this moment and the next.
Somewhere in the distance, the high pitched squeak of a bat makes itself heard. I close my eyes. And see You. Like a pendulum, my imagination always swings back to the center, inevitably. Where ever I stretch it, however far. Its not a dream - I'm wide awake. I will my eyes open once again and wait for the dawn.
Meanwhile, there are some cracks on the ceiling that demand my undivided attention. I lay awake, staring at the ceiling ....


Espousing the inExplicable

People familiar with Applied Mechanics or App Mech as its known, will doubtlessly remember the brutal manner in which the subject mowed down students with the sadistic, cruel efficiency of the Grim Reaper during a cholera epidemic.

But its not just the subject that is totally incomprehensible and baffling. It starts in this case, with the first page.

What a masterpiece of seemingly senseless alliteration. An enduring edifice encompassing embarrassingly ersatz expedient eulogies, if I may say so myself.


Is it just me or .....

... is the whistle of a supercharger utterly fascinating?
... can everything be made better by subtle blue LED lighting?
... is it possible to be close friends with a person solely through correspondence?
... does the sight of the setting sun's rays bursting from behind a cloud never get old?

... Its probably just me...


Where's your crown, King Nothing?

Careful what you wish
Careful what you say
Careful what you wish; you may regret it
Careful what you wish; you just may get it

Even though its intended to be as a warning of sorts, I would welcome my wishes coming true sometime. Hell, how will I know regret if I don't get my wish in the first place. Considering how contrary to my wishes everything is running, a little optimism will be a nice thing. Regret - I'll deal with that later. I'm used to it now.


Unknown Caller ...

A new U2 Album ... and a new sound ...

Restart and reboot yourself
You’re free to go


Back and Forth

My pathological inability to throw away old stuff is manifested in the totally unused 'Shift+Del' combination on my laptop. Stuff that no longer is relevant, just like being consigned to the lower shelves of the cupboard manages to get burned onto a disc and relegated to permanent storage. Is it any wonder that at last count I had 554 movies on 225 discs or that my gmail storage has consistently been about 80% full as far back as I can remember ....

While I prefer to blame my genes (and I have plenty of evidence to back me up), there is no running away from wading through the clutter for something important or the humongous clean up job that looms when the shit hits the fan. So it was that I set about deleting stuff from my inbox. Clearing out old mails that are no longer relevant, drafts that are never going to be sent and conversations that are better off in the trash wasn't such a big deal. Once before, when faced with an ultimatum to delete, I had even registered a new ID and forwarded all the conversations there. Probably its just as well that I don't remember the password now.

So anyway, I chanced upon a conversation from a long long time ago, and I couldn't help but smile. Yes, you'll probably think both parties have the mental age of a 5 year old (and that is true sometimes, won't blame you there) but nevertheless, it was just impromptu and fun. This was way back in the past, and there have been so many after that.

Rest assured, there are somethings I will never delete ...
M: dozed off??!!
Me: scope
M: wide
Me: screen
Me: cabinet
M: joey!!
Me: kangaroo!
M: austrailia
Me: fosters
M: mug
Me: shot
M: doctor
Me: quack
M: duck
Me: hunt
M: helen
Me: troy
M: brad .....?!
Me: mr smith
M: angelina
Me: marianne
M: french
Me: wine
M: red
Me: shawshank
M: prison
Me: stripes
M: zebra
Me: discovery
M: earth
Me: 1947
M: aamir :)
Me: innova
M: role
Me: lead
M: pencil
Me: HB
M: 2B
Me: or not 2B?
M: stuttering parrot
M: !
continue na...
Me: (how is stuttering parrot related to hamlet)
M: (if u hv read "the mystery of the stutterin parrot" !!)
Me: ok ...
treasure island
M: pirates
Me: silicon valley
M: (??)
Me: (pirates of silicion valley - movie about bill gates, etc)
M: (ok)
Me: (there is potentially no end to this)
M: (hehe..but its fun)
Me: drivers
M: accidents
Me: serendipity
M: fortune
Me: seeker
M: endless
Me: space
M: jam
Me: dravid
M: tamil
Me: rassam
M: rice
Me: jeera
It's ironic where the conversation ended. Or just profoundly prophetic. Either way, the last few items have featured in more conversations than I can remember and have been an endless source of humor, leg pulling, exasperation and death threats. But mostly humor.

May the rhyme outlive the reason ...


Most of the Time

That's the problem, you see.



Make it Orange
The good thing about a West Coast is that you don't need to get up early for scenes like this. A nice relaxing nap and afternoon tea are way better than alarm clocks and bleary eyes.


Strawberry Fields Forever

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see.

What a poignant line ...
The Beatles live forever ...


Stranger than Fiction

As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true. And, so it was, a wristwatch saved Harold Crick. 
Its a beautiful beautiful movie and one that I don't mind watching over and over again. 


Sentimentality and a book

The block which I was referring to is a very real thing and I find myself with a head full of swirling ideas and random sentences but when it comes to actually putting something down, its blank canvas time. Its damned hard, this writing business, even when you are doing it just for yourself, really.

It sort of begins with a book. Now normally, and most people who know me will attest to this, I am an enthusiastic reader. Give me a book and I am happy. Don't need anything else. So its quite rare that I fail to finish a book I have started reading. There were a few that I couldn't because I was visiting and the book stayed put and once when I started Pride and Prejudice only to fall asleep every few pages. The book I am talking about is Shantaram, which happened to fall into my hands a long time ago. Its been a long time since May 2006 but I have only gone so far as 44 pages.

There is not one single reason I can pinpoint and I certainly can't say that it is sleep inducing in the Jane Austen way. It happens so many times when you are studying - when two hours pass by and you realize that you are 'reading' the same page while spaced out among distracting thoughts. Something along those lines, but not quite the same. Whenever I have picked up the book, I just end up lost on my own journey of memory interspersed with episodes of imagination.

Sentiment - how much of it is foolish emotion and when is it too much. What moves me to preserve an old chocolate wrapper that is rightfully garbage to the untrained eye but to me is all that remains of a tearful goodbye. Old restaurant bills that would be torn up and discarded are carefully preserved chronologically in envelopes because they represented some wonderful meals spent among careless laughter and the warmth of good company. But should I keep aside a book, unread, because it reminds me of a past that, rightfully belongs in the past. One that is painfully close to the horizon, when one more step forward will make it disappear, lost to the inexorable forward march of time. 

I suppose not. Plus, there is a certain satisfaction to be had when the final chapter ends and the back cover closes upon the last page.



Dear TopGear,

Toyota's != Toyota is


As the Text Message would say - GR8

Supercar spotting on S.B. Road.
After being foiled once by a truant watchman who understood the importance of light in the whole photographic scheme of things, attempt #2 appears to have worked somewhat.

Audi R8

Audi R8

Audi R8


In case you have already ordered this, and ran out of money before you could check mark the Carbon Ceramic brakes on the options list, there is one more aid to reduce those 100-0 times - one which is very much underrated. Again, spotted on S.B. Road.



Doping Dilemma

This thing adorning the skyline has caught my eye many times and as I wait for the lights to turn green, I wonder what exactly it is they were trying to say - and sell.
  • It is a secure hideout for druggies - but then it should say 'demands'
  • It is a secure hideout for druggies and this hoarding is an order directed at the people who run the place.
  • Since it is not an official venue for anything, doping is fine.
  • Other housing societies routinely conduct dope tests and its getting to be quite meddlesome. They don't - and that is their USP.
Other than implicit support for doping, I don't see what else this hoarding is trying to say. Perhaps it is something related to intrinsic semiconductors. But still, how is it going to help sell apartments?


Metaphorical Dishes

I logged into google reader after quite a long time today. As I expected, there were more than 3000+ unread items, a predictable consequence after I went on a spree of adding lots of blogs and news sites in the days when reading stuff written by strangers about themselves was about my only human contact. My own version of Das Leben der Anderen, if you will.

Reading all that was an impossible task, so all the news feeds were dealt with by a Shift+A (mark all as read), but for some reason, I just scrolled through the 'Personal Blogs' category that I had made, pausing to catch a sentence or two as they flew past.

Out of those, something about this post made me pause and read it in its entirety. I won't say that I identify with it, but in a way that is hard to explain, I sort of do. But one of the few times I turned emotions into actions, something went very wrong. Perhaps, in a way, it was my fault because the dishes were a metaphor for everything else and the emotions were misplaced. They needed an audience, but an audience that understood.



While some people were complaining of suffering from engineer's block two days back, I think I too have a case of genuine writer's block. This is the third time I am visiting this 'Create Post' page - and once I am here I realize I have nothing to say. Rather, I have a lot to say but no way to say it.



After a long long time...

You don't know how much you've missed certain things until you get them back.

In other news, this is the 101th post. So self-congratulations are in order. Champagne and caviar to follow.


A lost road...

In the beginning, there was a road. It wasn't just a road, but an escape. It was cooler, quieter and more importantly there was lots of space. Whether it was just a five minute ride to clear my mind or an hour long journey to have a conversation, it was the same road that beckoned.

Everything has changed now. Its hard to put a finger on it but there is no denying it. It feels different. Even though its the same layers of gravel and stone chips topped off with bitumen and asphalt it has lost its meaning.


Missing Persons Report

In the three days that I did not update this place, feedburner reports that my subscribers jumped to 18 (from 11). The moment I posted a new one however, that figure dropped to 13 and now, with another post, its back to 11.

Silence, it seems, is Golden.


Diet Hell

I'm sorry if you seriously follow this, but 280g of sprouts followed by six(!!) tomatoes is a bit ridiculous.

Living Dangerously