Thursday, September 24, 2009


In the midst of intellectual tumult, do come such wonderful gems (so, I say since there is none else to say)

cReAtEd him, iNiTialized to JoiN me but he didn't yIeLd. I lOcKeD him up, sElf . He uNloCkEd and eXiTeD. I had to cAnCeLl and TERMINATE.

By now, you should have guessed what this means.

In any case, something that can help to figure out
1. I am a grad student.
2. I have an assignment deadline to meet tomorrow.
3. I still have to go the distance.
4. It's crapping time and what better place than Facebook to share crappiness and get recognised for it too.

So, there you go...

Still can't figure out?
I can't help iy, Google definitely can..
Go find it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Sample this...

If you'Re not faiLing eveRy now and again, it's a sign you'Re not doing anythiNg veRy inNovative - Woody Allen

One of the most insightful quotations that I have come across in the recent past.
I happen to notice it being quoted from one of my old colleague's blogs. So, it's thanks to him!

Inspiration, seldom can, not be generated through such amazing wisecracks.
Absolutely loved and loving it. At 1:19 AM early morning with a paper commentary beckoning, this should push me, hopefully :)

PS : I am a proud ".com" domain owner now. Thanks to the constant pestering of my room-mate Uday who wouldn't let me go without lapping it up.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What to call 'em

I came up with this today, spotting a Nissan Teana, a grandiose car on the road.

Austria capital Vienna
Nissan Caru peru Teana
Asin ah Nayana?
Adhunaala enakku enna palana?

"Mudila machan" - I know!!

When India triumphed in the T20 World Cup in 2007, this was my song of success

Indha team ah gavani
Captain peru Dhoni
Vuttadhu World Cup Sani
Thodarattum ivargal pani
Ye! Dandanakka..Ye! Danakunakka

Summa..toooo much la :P
I know!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Goodbye 800, Welcome i-20(s)

More than 13 years ago, we bought the Maruti 800, India's first budget car, the one which swept across the country's automobile industry for its simplicity, comfort and affordability. Owning the Maruti was immensely pleasing as we were among the first in our street to have a car. I was not bothered nor aware of other cars in the market back then. Apart from 800, the ones that I knew were Maruti Esteem and Maruti Zen. Infact, it took me about 3 years to question what the "800" actually signified. I simply didn't care!

Thirteen years later, it was time to move on. Senility and outdated technology of the petite car forced us to think beyond. The natural inclination was to have a bigger and improved hatchback. A hatchback is the most preferred choice that fits well into the Indian transport and parking space set up, a constraint that any middle-class car owner will acknowledge. Inquisitive about the car market these days, and with the multitude of information available on the internet, I looked to shortlist the best cars in the class.

The market is teeming with a variety of budget models - Maruti Swift Diesel and Petrol, Hyundai i-10 and i-20, Maruti Swift Dzire Diesel and Petrol, Tata Indica and Indigo. Apart from the existing ones, some new models that caught the attention were Honda Jazz and Maruti Ritz.

Choosing a car in this segment turned out to be quite a task, nevertheless an enjoyable one at that. Swift Petrol, though the initial favourite, returned poor mileage figures and both variants(diesel and petrol) ultimately lost out to the "toad-like" body image. Again, the sprawl of the bumper on the Swift was uninviting, as though the toad setting himself up to launch upon his prey. Tata was not a natural choice for a home car since their models have been widely popular only in the Taxi domain. And both the models weren't attractive either. Honda Jazz, not yet launched in India lost out to the risk factor with Honda never having known to manufacture budget automobiles.

Coming to Ritz, Maruti's hatchback offering against its extremely popular and ubiquitous Swift. My first look at the design of the car was enough to put me off. It looked as if the Dzire's back was beaten flat and then dented in the middle to shape the Ritz. There is a popular Mallu line that goes - "Adichu Ninde Shape Eh Nyaan Maathum", meaning, "I will thrash you that your body will change shape". Fitting! It did have its "butt flattened"(a phrase that might cause JLo's insurance company to panic).

A look at that car and you will know what I mean.

Swift Dzire Diesel and Hyundai i-10 were very strong contenders. While Dzire was ably backed by a strong fuel economy, the necessity to switch to a diesel engine was always going to be a question mark given the limited driving that we do. The additional one-lakh for the diesel engine made sense only if the usage matched the investment, which in our case, didn't. The i-10, from the outset looked like the Big Brother of its cousin Santro, a car which I felt was too tall and flat both in the front and rear. The need of the hour was a stylish, trendy and curvy automobile.

The i-20, designed for the European market came across as the car to beat. No bumpy headlights, lots of boot space, sleek, sophisticated, the Korean maker's impressive interiors, lovely add-on features and Hyundai's reliable record in the Indian market. The car's performance was reasonable not considering statistics like the time taken to reach 0-60 km/hr and the mileage was comparable to some of the other diesel cars.

Having booked the car and waiting for its delivery, I am reminded of the fact that, co-incidentally, there are a couple of I-20s that I am eagerly awaiting for right now. One coming all the way from the States and the other from Europe. Both have caught my imagination in equal measure.

Go, Uber Cool!

Some car related technical jargons that I have deciphered
Hatchback - The typical small car like the Swift, Santro
Saloon/Sedan - Three compartments clearly delineated - the bonnet, the seating space and the boot - Corolla, City
Limousine - A chauffeur driven car with a separator between the driver and sitting cabins
SUV - A Hatchback with larger boot space and a boxy design - Innova, Qualis

Monday, May 4, 2009

Meter correction?

I am gasping for breath as I realise, for the third consecutive office<->home trip, I ended up paying 54/-

Questions that throng me now are
1. Have ridiculously priced auto-meters been cracked down and normalized?
2. Is this another common-man-friendly election stunt?
3. Am I simply over-reacting to this?

I tried googling "bangalore auto meter correction", "auto meter bangalore government rectification". No luck with the results.

Somebody please help here.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nallavanukku Nallavan indha auto meter

On any day, if I take an auto from home to office, the near 8 k.m. journey would cost me 65 rupees on an average. In theory though, I would have required to pay only 7/- per k.m and should ideally be 56/-. But, coming to the world of autos, auto-drivers and auto-meters in Bangalore, things would be "normal" only when you are quite lucky.

The last 2 days had forced me to catch an auto during the terribly traffic-y peak morning hours. To my surprise, on both days(yesterday and today) I paid a miserly sum(it's the actual rate btw) of 53 and 54 rupees. Considering that I have hit 90 rupees on some occasions for the same distance on high-speed,super-speeding autoed-meters, this was a revelation!

The moment I get inside an auto in bangalore, I can't help but start staring at the meter. I roughly know when the meter should start ticking from the "minimum charge" of 14/-. The meter should starting inching up and above when I cross the Airtel showroom on 100Ft. Road, Indiranagar. Yesterday was quite a surprise. The meter remained still even at that point. I readied myself to tell the auto driver that the meter might not be working(Sometimes I am tooo generous!) I had reached the start of the Domlur flyover. That's when it happened. I saw the transition to 14.50/-. "Good god! This fellow should have the best, untinkered, untampered meter in the whole of bangalore.He is the best auto-fella."

What followed was an on-the-dot inspection of critical milestones at which I know what rate to expect. The flyover loop exit, Cambridge-Airport road Signal and two other "strategic" points. Sharp the meter was!It was always 2 or 3 rupees below the actual rate.

A cheating meter and the driver would definitely be greeted with a sulking countenance. I was wondering if this fellow should be congratulated for maintaining a "legal" meter and charging me the exact amount that I am supposed to give.
Getting down,I realized I am always ready to give a mouthful when someone cheats but should I commend this fellow just for doing his job right which is the minimum quality that I should expect from him?

I paid the exact amount with the change and walked...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

FRIENDS maniac

Last week I completed 10 rounds of 10 seasons of FRIENDS. Quite a landmark achievement! Roughly calculating the total time spent considering 21 minutes of each episode and 24 episodes in a season,

10 * 10 * 24 * 21 = 50400 minutes or 840 hours or 35 days.

The staggering figure is over a 3 year period since Jan 2006. It was my 3-2 at BITS. I was averse to sitcoms before this. Even now, any other series doesn't elicit the same amount of enthusiasm as FRIENDS does. Getting used to the new characters is awkward having been accustomed to the 'Sooper Six' and I tend to draw out comparisons between the characters which is quite unfair on my part.

After ending each round, I would tell myself to stop this addictive behaviour, the results of which have been devastating since the "break time" between successive rounds has only kept decreasing till now.

So, why this craze?
One thing is for sure - Easy access. I secured all 10 seasons while I was in BITS. So no need to hunt for them now. Youtube does have it but in bits and pieces which is quite a mood killer when you want to watch a sitcom.
Useless TV programs - Entertainment on TV has become horrendous oflate. Nothing more terrible than poor 'Dada' forcing to judge dancing girls to cheerlead his team. What a waste of intelligence, time and money! And our NEWS channels continue to make an overkill of whatever story they are able to get.

Small pockets of entertainment with a good dose of meaningful humour served by FRIENDS is a major highlight. Moreover, watching a series just once doesn't give you the exposure to appreciate all the jokes. This is quite true as every time I watch the repeated episodes I happen to listen to a new joke that I haven't understood or missed before.

So, gearing for the eleventh round? Of course!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Curious Case of the Melting Ghee

The traffic overwhelms...
The signals perpetuate...
The mind wanders...

Thoughts, in thousands, surge across as the multiple gruelling waits for the GREEN leave me rattled. With nothing to do but wait, I find myself cogitating on the worthless but interesting topics :-)

This was conceived at the Airport-Victoria Rd signal today, a lengthy one at that.

The curious case of the Ghee being served melted
Yesterday at a typical South Indian restaurant, where I was having lunch, ghee was offered for the paruppu saadham. I took it. It was the melted, flowing version of the ghee.

"This is not ghee", I thought to myself. The viscosity was simply not there. It flowed like water or oil. I have been a NeiPriyan throughout, not so much for the sweets, but with food - YES, especially rice! Ghee is one of the most inviting savouries that has been discovered that can add intense flavour to the charismatic white rice.

Ghee is to be preserved in its semi-solid state for serving with rice. The definition of semi-solid needs clarification. Typically, it's the state between the fridge-frozen to the free flowing summer version. At room temperature, during summer, the consistency is ideal. While the frigid version is good to heat on a cheenchatti/vaanali to make a pongal or a payasam, it's no good to be served with steaming rice. The point being, it kills the mood to have to wait for it to melt and mix with the rice. Analogous to this is the case of trying to splosh frigid butter on the mildly toasted bread slice. On a hurried morning trying to gobble whatever you get at hand, when the butter refuses to co-operate, the frustration only compounds. There is no time to heat. Bad still, you don't like the taste of it when heated because it cooks into a ghee-ish taste. Alas! Only if I had decided early morning that bread-butter-jam was going to stave off my fast that morning and having finalised it, I had kept the butter out for it to cool down outside the fridge(oxymoronic?)

But things don't work out the way especially during its-getting-late mornings. Coming out of the analogy, the most relishing way to begin the lunch course, is

Plain steamed rice + Ghee (semi-solid, ablity to melt on rice) + boiled paruppu.

It should be mentioned that the viscosity of nei matters much here because, after this serving what follows is the ritual of cupping the palm and receiving the ghee and lickin' away. And that's not possible with the free flowing version.

The ideally ghee suited, to be mixed with items are
1. Sambhar - For arachu vutta sambhar, it adds to the already smoking hot manam & gunam. For podi potta sambhar, its ability to elevate the taste reaches the pinnacle. But for the ghee with it, I would have disliked podi pota sambhar to the core.
2. Rasam - The combination is good not great.
3. Morkootan and Vethakozhambu - Average to medium

For some reason though, ghee doesn't go well with Molagootal that makes me wonder why so....

Wooh! Too much for this signal now. I continued towards Richmond with another interesting topic in the pipeline.......

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A temple has to be a temple

After a long enough stay to warrant the title of an insider in bangalore, one thing(among many) missing was a visit to the famous ISKCON temple. Situated, comfortably in the old locales of bengaluru, it was a whole task getting there from the outer reaches of the city. A pre-paid auto ride that claimed much more than the normal avaricious auto driver was a surprise.

ISKCON temple was gleaming with gold literally. A markedly different construction from the usual south Indian temple styles was noticeable. They followed a nice crowd management tactic where the people waiting in the queue needed to proceed along a path laid with tiles each projected form the floor which could contain only two feet at a time. And the norm was to stay in that square for a whole "(Hare Rama)(3)Hare Hare. (Hare Krishna)(3)Hare Hare" that was being played. There were people who were devotedly following this while others really wanted the crowd to move quickly.

The idols of gods and goddesses in gold showed richness. This was in the main hall that housed the shrines of Radhe-Krishna. The exit route from there till the gate was painstaking. All of them had to mandatorily go through series and multiple floors of books, photos, photo frames, jewellery. Get this over with and you see another section with an absolutely wide array of sweets and savories - jamuns, rasmalai,rasgulla and what not. And on the top of it all, the actual FREE prasadham was being served after all this. In between all this there were bursts of pop-corn, ice cream, fizzy drink stalls.

A theatre multiplex inside a temple? did seem that way. People licking away snacks after visiting the deity doesn't constitute a good spiritual experience. The beauty of Indian temples lies in the divine presence that you feel inside the huge walls once you are under the gopuram. Sadly, it could not be experienced in here for reasons mentioned above.

Leave temples and devotees alone. Business and temple sanctum need not be mixed. They don't jell. That was the feeling as I came out.