Happy New.... Oh fuck that shit!

Enough! Enough with the messages. The pings. The mails. 

Enough with the hand-shakes and the cakes. Booze is exempted. Not that anybody is bringing me any. 

Let's face it. This year is going to suck just as bad as the last one. It has to. The last time people said 'Happy' to me so many times, I ended up having 12 shitty months.. 

My resolutions evaporated in less than 10 days I think. So no. Not again.

Better idea. No more resolutions. I shall have projects. Realistic. Not generic. And doable. Yes. Totally doable!

Project list for 2011:

1. Get passport
 1.1. Travel abroad someplace. Anyplace. 
2. Get tattoo on biceps 
  2.0. Get biceps to put tattoo on
3. Travel more than 10,000 kilometres
4. Buy camera
5. Grow beard, and sport sanyasi look for a week at least
6. Get invited to at least some 2012 New Year Party so that I won't be sitting at home writing shit again
7.  Put on atleast 10 kilos so that the sanyasin look won't scare people
8. Drink at least 4 times a month
9. Find a better place to live
10. Find some people to drink with on a regular basis
11. Think of more stuff to do.
12. Update this list throughout the course of the year. 

So there! Take that 2011. Fuck you too!
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Things you learn from a North Indian Wedding

Thank you my brother. Thanks to you, I have learned some valuable lessons on life, weddings and life during weddings recently. 

Now. I don't like weddings. We Mallus have five minute weddings. As in, if you're not the groom or bride, the wedding basically is a five minute affair. Show up, smile at some people, go eat, and then go home.

I hate going to those! I hate all those relatives who come up to you, pinch your cheek and say: "Do you remember me?" I usually say: "No I don't." which is met with condescending looks from all around. It would eventually turn out that they last met me when I was a five month old baby in diapers.  

North Indian weddings, my friends, are sadly not that easy. The lessons I've learnt at the one I was at recently?

1. Be safe than very sorry
Never EVER get married to a North Indian girl. If you unfortunately happen to fall for one, make sure that she is not one of those who always dream of having a big wedding. 

2. Don't play Who's Boss?
Don't tell your parents that you're getting married, until after you're already  hitched. Unless of course, you willingly want to spend your time listening to, and being party to, the myriad efforts trying to out-do the other side. 

"They are coming in Volkswagen for the wedding, we'll hire BMW." "They bought new shoes from Bata? We'll atleast have to buy Luis Vutton!" Yes, you will feel like killing yourself after a couple of days of this. 

3. Beware of 'em relative folk
Do not force people into coming if they really are not up to it. Asking them to dress up and take part in customs they do not understand or endorse is only going to start a crib-match. Which you do not want to listen to. If you're related to them or not. 

At the reception, somebody said: "When you get hitched, don't go for somebody outside our fold. Going through all these customs is very difficult for us" I answered: "Even if I do or don't, you are not invited. There! Problem solved!" 

4. Horses don't dance
Sadly, people are expected to. Northies have this Baaraat thing where the groom (who got the rest of us into the mess) sits on a horse and his relatives are supposed to dance him from some kilometre or so away up till the wedding venue. 

Baaraat: Needed: Young relatives who have no shame. 
What we had: 40+ relatives who hadn't moved their upper body since 1974. 
Recipe for disaster.
What is worse than being the only guy in a young age bracket and having to do the honours of writhing uncontrollably to shitty music? Having to watch your older relatives try to follow suit. Trust me. Painful. Very. 

5. The law of Exchanges
Which, sadly, do not apply in the case of such weddings. Why do I propose this? Because of the needless amounts spent on things that go to waste or are not appreciated enough. 

For example, at this wedding, both the sides were expected to give each other kilos upon kilos of dry fruits. Nobody eats them (well perhaps maybe me. But I do have limits you know!) and they didn't seem to serve much of a purpose. 

Instead, why couldn't they just have called it even, and said: "OK. Let's just not buy any!"

The sides were also expected to give each other apparel. I caught disapproving looks on stage many a time as the gifts were given and received. Can't blame them. Can't blame myself actually. Pink really is NOT my colour. I mean, come on! Seriously?

Anyhow, going to one is enough to put one off marriages for the rest of his life. I still can't understand why we're struggling with a population problem!

(Images Courtesy: Talash.com, Indycarriage.com)

The On-Day and the Off-Day

I have two kinds of days. No matter how much I try, it is always either one or the other. 
It is either an On-Day, or it is an Off-Day

4:00 a.m.
What else do I do now? C'mon think of something. Get off your ass! Jeez!
Why am I even up at this time?

9:00 a.m.
Oh I'm up early. Have to get things done. 
I hate you sunlight. Fish you God!

11:30 a.m.
This and that and that is done. I feel happy about myself. 
*Drools* Say what? 

1.00 p.m.
Now I will have lunch!
I should probably brush my teeth. 

3:00 p.m.
Get on train, go for work. Awesome!
I should probably get out of bed now. #fml! 

5:00 p.m.
Work is awesome! They'll probably promote me if I work this hard!
What's the point? I'll die an old man doing the same job. Why God, why?

9:00 p.m.
I belong here don't I? I could work like this without taking an off for days at end. 
I need a vacation. I need a camera. I need a car. When is the pay-day again?

10:30 p.m.
Time to leave already? But, but, there is nothing to do at home!
Gawd! I thought this would never end. Home sweet home. Well not quite, but atleast it's quiet. 

11:30 p.m. 
This movie, that movie. Book. This one, that one. I'm hungry. What restaurant will be open now? 
What movie have I seen, does not require me to think, and is fun? Damn, I'm hungry. 

2:00 a.m.
I should go to sleep shouldn't I? Will wake up early and have another awesome day tomorrow. 
What's the point. No sunlight. Awesome time to be up. Yayy!

4:00 a.m. 
What's the point? Why am I even up at this time?
Alright enough! Get up off your ass NOW!

(Image Courtesy: antonylowe.wordpress.com)

Overcoming Blogger's Block

And then, there are those days. Days without one word being written!

Or weeks. Or months. 

Steps to overcoming the dreaded disease that all Bloggers face one time or the other: 

Step 1: Denying Denial

Tell yourself that you ARE actually blocked and can't write even a few scant words. 
Stop telling yourself that you're not writing because 
a) There is not a good enough topic; 
b) You don't have time; 
c) The keyboard isn't good enough. 

Step 2: Think of an Action Plan

Come to the realisation that all awesome things happen because of action plans. Figure out how you might possible go about getting around the block. 

OR. If you're NOT an anal freak, skip to step 3. 

Step 3: Get off your Ass

Come to the realisation that your endless procrastination skills are not constructive. To anything. 

Give yourself a date. A deadline. Try and figure out a topic. Or don't. Just decide to go with the flow. 

Step 4: Fight the fear

Refrain from asking yourself questions such as:

- But what if it isn't interesting enough?
- What will all my thousand readers thinnk?
- What if nobody comments?

Step 5: Truth Time

Tell yourself the truth that you keep buried deep, deep inside:

- Your posts are never interesting.
- You don't have a thousand readers. In fact, you might not have more than two. 
- Nobody usually comments anyhow. Besides you, yourself. 

Step 6: Final realisation

Come to the painful but beautiful conclusion that you primarily write for yourself. So who gives a shit anyhow? 

Step 7: D-Day

After a further procrastination of a few days, and just type what comes to mind.

Hit 'Publish' and keep your fingers crossed for all the critical acclaim, tons of comments and showers of love from subscribers. 

(Image Courtesy: storesonlinepro.com)

He said, so I said.

This post had been in the making for quite some time. First lack of time, then lack of sleep, and then lack of a laptop put me off from writing it.

Until I was heartbroken to see that somebody else had already written on it. My good friend Jonva, over at These Days, wrote this post to commemorate the Independence Day. Oddly enough, staunch and proud Indian I was, I couldn't but agree with what he was saying.

First off, this is the first Independence Day that I've seen quite a few of my friends actually saying that they did not quite enjoy celebrating it all that much. Possibilities:
1. I made a lot of friends this year.
2. I made a few friends this year, but they were all 'rebels'.
3. Independence Day fell on a Sunday this year; hence people actually started thinking about it, rather than thank it for a merciful holiday.

Whatever the case maybe, they are right. We're all pseudo-patriots. We take pride in our country because everybody else does. Not because we understand, give two-hoots about, or because we know what it stands for.

Our national pride and sentiment are restricted to the days when our nation comes to the rescue in the form of a national holiday. Now that is the case with most of us. I'm not quite sure where to put the army-men, freedom fighters and their kind. They seem to be fighting for the country, with the staunch belief that they're doing some good.

Though, I wonder, won't a soldier in Pakistan think the same thing? Will he, for instance, wake up one day and say: "Oh damn, Musharraf is such a dick!" I suppose not. What makes him better or worse than one of our own soldiers?

Our forefathers. And their brave actions that gave us freedom from the fat and boring English (of course, they did not have the EPL then). Why? Why did we need it so bad? What good did they think they were doing?

Fact of the matter is, we need those army-men and politicians. Though I agree with every word Jonva said in his post, I don't think he sees the point.

You see, in an ideal world, there are no hypocrites. In an ideal world, there are no politicians. No hunger, no poverty. No richer man. And no poorer man. In an ideal world, there is no money. There are no differences.

Unfortunately, we don't live in the ideal world. We probably never will. I keep thinking it will take a nuclear war for the ideal world to emerge. Still might not at the same time. We're too damaged to think as one now.

There is no answer. Just. Hope.

(Image Courtesy: human3rror.com)

Them Trucks Need Condoms! #justsaying

She had her eyes trained on me. All eight of them. For a moment, I was lost.

Do I let go off my bike handle bars, swat the damn thing away; or do I keep on riding, stop somewhere safe and then make sure that I don't become as big a pathetic loser as that Spiderman freak.

Option 1, sounded better. SWAT! Spider gone. I'm safe.

With new found confidence, there rose an anger. I looked toward the source from which this not-so-radioactive arachnid sprang hence. A garbage truck. As it braked, and then accelerated, and then braked again in the noon traffic on Sardar Patel Road, bits and pieces were showered on those unfortunate enough to be riding anywhere close to it.

Which took me back to another incident a week or so back. Riding back from office late at night, I ended up behind a truck that was carrying rubble of some sort. Concrete that was dug up from somewhere. Presumably a good-looking road.

As I came up behind, the flap was lifted off by the wind, and I was showered with debris. The bike started wobbling after it went over a few stones that were being sprayed onto the road. Weirdly, it reminded me of an action sequence from some Will Smith movie. Bad Boyz I think. Dunno.

Anyhow, point is, half the stuff that these idiots carry end up on the road. Another reason why our roads aren't so great. I mean, in a way, it makes sense. If you're carrying things that people don't really WANT, such as garbage or rubble, who cares if it reaches the end-point or not right?

Well, I care you fucking morons. You fuck up my eyes, you screwed up my tyres, you almost made me into fucking Spiderman!

I think the folks that pass all those unnecessary laws should enforce some rule enforcing condoms on the back of trucks. Desired results:

1. Less number of freaks running around in tights,
2. Road safety;
3. Something to do for those damn traffic cops, other than terrorizing little-to-blame sane riders.

Just saying.

If Rupee can, Why not Sarcasm?

I was reading an interesting article the other day, about how the two slashes (//) (as in http://www.iamdumb.com)  in web addresses was a mistake and how actually there should have been only one.

Now, imagine how many keystrokes would have been saved if it hadn't been for that one error. It's weird.

Yesterday, I had that same feeling once again. I was tweeting, and I shared a link, and added a sarcastic comment to it: It went something like:

Now, you read it as sarcastic coz I already told you it was going to be sarcastic. But, I kinda figured some people hadn't got that message when the link was retweeted five minutes later:

The dude who wrote this though, later clarified that he had meant it in a sarcastic manner too. What confusion.    
Anyhow, point is, it got me thinking. Since sarcasm is such a widely and popularly used literary tool, why relegate it to ambiguity?

Hence, I thought that we should have a universal symbol for sarcasm. I mean why not? Rupee has it. And I'm kinda sure that more people use sarcasm than they do rupee. 

We could just plonk one of these down at the end of a sentence to imply to our readers that we didn't ACTUALLY think that the pink dress was nice, or that Iraq is having a ball of a time, or that Ricky Martin is gay. Oh wait, no, strike that last one. You get my point. 

And like a responsible citizen, I've even managed to come up with a unique design. Lo and behold! The Sarm Symbol!
Any suggestions to improve, campaign for and get this done are always welcome!

The Case of the Empty Metro Stations #justsaying

What do you do when you see something that you have an opinion on, and then you realize that your opinion doesn't count for shit, and that nobody is going to pay attention to it? You tag it with #justsaying. (Sorry, Twitter Hang-over :|) To get to it:

Metro rail travel might not be that popular in Chennai, but as I've been finding out over the last week or so, it is the most economical, fast and least hazardous mode of travel. One drawback: it only  traverses two routes. I hear seven routes will be up by the end of 2014.

Anyhow, to get to the point. Every time I walk into a metro station to catch a train, one thought is predominant in my mind: What a colossal waste of space!

Every station is a monstrosity. And since the rail is elevated, there are three floors to the construction. Two are empty. One has the rail line itself (and a couple of bathrooms, though, most people prefer the ground floor walls for relieving themselves. :|) 

I keep wondering why the city does not actually lend out space here and accomplish:
1. Revenue Boost.
2. Use of empty space in prime locations (in most cases).
3. And maybe even a bit of good exposure for the project of itself. 

Station in need of some human occupation the most? Chepauk. It's scary to walk through the station in broad daylight. Reminds one of the set of a cheap B Grade Hollywood horror flick. I was half expecting a vampire to jump on me. (Not one of the gay ones from Twilight. More along the hard-core Dracula cadre lines.)

Anyhow, Just Saying. 

The Fuck-Up that is Language

Being Indian will definitely help one understand why language is such a fucked up thing. In North India at least, people get to speak Hindi in a larger area. Down here though, a bit west and it's Malayalam, a bit north and it's Kannada, a bit to this side is Telugu and a bit to that side is Tamil. 

But, why do we still keep enduring it? Today I read an article about lawyers who are on a hunger strike to enforce Tamil in the Madras High Court. What if the Judge does not understand Tamil? What if the defendant or the accused doesn't? I'm sure they forgot to ask themselves THAT question. Hence, shouldn't they ideally know BOTH languages?

Point is, I think all this comes down to the fact that we live in an age of linguistic chauvinism. Which in ways are related to regional chauvinism. Saw a friends status message the other day, saying that quite a large number of students in Maharashtra had failed in Marathi. She was asking the MNS what they had to say about it. Marathi language of course is the sole responsibility of the MNS last time we checked.

Have we all forgotten what language was meant for? To communicate wasn't it? Since when did it become a part of narrow minded identities? If I speak Malayalam, and you speak French (which I can't speak) will it really hurt to pick up each other's language? 

Is picking up a language being a slave to it, or the region from in which it was born? Is it somehow construed as bowing down to their culture and accepting that they're better than us?

I think, we should take a relatively easy, relatively not popular language, and introduce it into schools across the world. A language which the Whites did not use to advance Colonialism, or the West used to advance Globalization, or which 'primitives' speak. It might be hard to find, but I'm sure there should be one such language. 

Yes, a compromise on language. When these kids grow up, across the world, there will be one language that everybody can speak. And hopefully, nobody's ego will hurt. 

By the way, I'm just thinking out loud here, but, how difficult is to invent a language?

(Image Courtesy: IndianMirror.com)

One Mallu CAN make a difference!

What have the true stories of Spiderman, Batman, Superman and Wonderwoman taught us? 
That superheroes dress so gay? Yes, you're right. But besides that, they've also taught us that one man/woman CAN make a difference, and so totally kick ass at it. (which reminds me, MUST check out this movie).

Now, I don't have radioactive spiders, Kryptonite or power-hungry freaks in my life. Oh wait, I do have power-hungry freaks in my life, but they're not as irritating as warrants an ass-kicking. 

What though is irritating me most these days is riding in Chennai. Chennai has a different set of riding/driving etiquette(or lacks it rather!) that just gets on my nerves. Hence I figured someone should do something about it. 

Point number 1:
In Cochin, where I come from, if you're stranded somewhere with no bus, no auto fare and no friends to pick you up, what do you do? You stick your hand out and ask someone for a ride. And you get one too, guaranteed! 

In Chennai though, NEVER have I seen anybody offering a hitchhiker a ride. Not that nobody asks for it. People just don't stop. And may I add, it's very rude to the hitchhiker if you blow by and pretend that you did not see anything. I have had it done to me before on countless times, trust me. 

Point number 2:
Why can't these Coco Cola (another word for which is __) sucking bastards NEVER use their dim lights? You perfect-eyesight-fucks might not realize it, but especially people with glasses are effectively rendered blind when you shine your high-ass-beam at their eyeballs. 
Combined damage as a result of your high beams is me having to replace my bike's shocks after falling into too many holes. 

The Campaign
They say one man can't make a difference, huh? So be it. They were probably right, but I'm still gonna try my hand at reforming these manner-less pigs of drivers. 

Point number 1 shall be addressed by giving rides to anybody who asks for it, anywhere anytime. As of now, I don't intend to force anybody else to give rides, but hopefully the example will suffice. If you see a 6foot4 guy on a Midnight Blue/Skyblue Splendor with Kerala plates, and if you need a ride, don't hesitate to stick your hand out! :D

Point number 2 shall be addressed by a combination of hand-signals and shouting. On a dark night (or not), if you see a tall rider approaching from the opposite side, and making hand gestures (opening and closing palm) combined with a fair bit of shouting, which, even though he whooshed by, sounded a lot like "Fyakyoomadafakkaaa..", then, he was not commenting on  your wife's boobs (which may or may not be good), he was just asking you to switch to your dim lights once in a while. 

Heh! They say one man can't make any difference? I'll show them what one Mallu on a '99 Hero Honda Splendor can do!

(Images Courtesy: maniactive.com, zcache.com)

The Dilemma of Weather

This is as much a poll as it is a post. I have a question to ask. How many of you have been happy with the weather for a period longer than, say a week? Or a month?

I don't know if it's exclusively a Chennai phenomenon or not. But it seems that I'm incapable of being happy about the weather for more than two days at most.

After a grueling summer, which included endless traffic at noon and buckets full of sweat, the words on everybody's lips ranged from 'respite' to 'rain' to 'mercy' to 'Sambar'. (Yes, that last word has nothing to do with weather. But this is Chennai you know! We love our Sambar!)

I was no different. I wanted to ride through Anna Salai at noon and not feel sorry about it. I wanted to drink less than 10 gallons of water everyday. I wanted to not dread power cuts and not depend on ACs (which I don't own).

And then it finally rained in Chennai on Sunday. I was happy. I got drenched a bit. Everybody was smiling. It was almost like it was wine, not water that was falling from the Sky.


Today it rained again. I'm no longer happy.

Because it means:
1. Now I've to make my way through endless roads streaked with puddles, of which some are capable of drowning a full grown man.

2. Riding is no longer that much fun. It's cold. You've to pull on raincoats (Which I haven't bought yet). And it's not fun to get drenched and then go freeze your ass off in the office AC.

3. You don't feel like getting out of bed anymore. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but considering this is only my second week at a new job, I'm thinking it's a bad thing.

Anyhow, I suppose this is just a passing shower. Soon, November shall come. (sigh)

(Images Courtesy: Cj.Ibnlive.com.in, chennaiplus.net)

Who Wants Mumbai When You Have Shrivardhan?

I made a Mumbai trip recently. Yes, the city has changed a lot in 8 years since I went last. But this time, it was not the Gateway of India or Monginis that I remembered most. It was a trip I made down to a place called Shrivardhan.

Felt obliged to up a few pics and feel proud about myself for going there. (Even though I had very very little to do with the planning) :D

Oh and yeah, looking back on the planning process, I'll take sympathy on you and make it easier.

If you ARE planning on going, call this guy called Sagar at the Anandi Beach Resort (09921247443). Very nice place and people! Fed me Kolmbi Bhaat for a couple of days and I'm sure, made me gain a couple of kilos! :D

Traffic: The Things You Knew, But Didn't Say...

Traffic is a great source of conversation now ain't it? Even a pathetically bad conversationalist such as me can sustain a conversation of traffic for well over 2 minutes! I know! Unbelievable right?

Though, while talking to people, I've noticed that most don't make interesting or very observant comments about traffic at all. Yet, I know that these are things that everybody knows, but never really say. So I figured I should do the honours.

Ok. Here goes. Things about traffic you always knew, but never really said out loud:

1. Auto Drivers always think that from all the horns blaring around them, none of them are aimed at them.

2. Car drivers hate Bike Riders while stuck in traffic because riders get to squeeze by more easily.

3. Bike riders hate Car Drivers because drivers get to sit in AC while they're out in the sun (rain, smoke, or dust)

4. Bus drivers are sadistic bastards since they don't have AC nor can they squeeze by. They purposefully squeeze you out of every inch of road you have if they can help it.

5. Just as the light turns green, there is that one last pedestrian fucker who always HAS to run in front of you just as you're taking off. Always!

6. Traffic Policemen are the most useless cadre of public servants ever. They don't do a good job with traffic control in the first place, AND they end up stopping all the sane riders, asking for papers and alcohol consumption details while the drunks, fanatics, racers and Ghost Riders fly around killing and maiming people.

I'm sure there are so many more patterns in the chaos that is traffic. I just remembered something about the Chaos Theory. Anyhow, there is sure to be part 2 for this. Keep reading. :)

(Image Courtesy: LiveChennai.com)

Why Does the IPL Suck at Times?

Dear Mr. Modi,

I think I will go for an entirely original approach to this topic. You see, if you were on Twitter, you would've noticed, that there are two kinds of people when it comes to IPL. 

1. Those who are Cricket fanatics and ALWAYS talk about the IPL. Sometimes too much. Including those who watch it on YouTube at a 5 minute delay and hate the rest of the tweeps at home for spoiling the suspense; and,

2. Those who hate everything about IPL and thinks that basically, you're just a dick out to rip off everybody and make a lot of money, and screw over every Indian in the process. These are the people who sign into Twitter only after games get over, or have successfully made use of filters so that they don't see anything with the tag #IPL. 

Now, I don't belong to either category. See, I like watching cricket. I like it when Yusuf Pathan blasts a 37 ball 100, or Warne flights the ball and makes an idiot of the batsman. 

But, I should tell you, the IPL sucks for me too at times. And like a responsible citizen, I will tell you the reasons why:

1. Why the fuck does it last so long?

2. I like using the terms 'Catches', 'Sixes', and 'Awesome'. Your puppet doll commentators, for some reason insist on using 'Karbon Kamaal Catch', 'DLF Maximum' and 'Citi Moment of Success' instead of their better substitutes. The retards!

3. How do you guys manage to squeeze in an ad while the spinner takes his run-up?

4. I DO NOT WANT to see that stupid MRF Plane anymore!

5. And also, I know you went a long way and worked hard to steal the IPL idea from Kapil Dev, but still, try and feel a little less important. Think that'll stop people thinking 'Oh he's such a dick.' whenever they see you. 

As conclusion, I'd also like to politely request you to take a look at the English Premier League. It's obviously bigger than the IPL in terms of viewership. But there are no Barclay's Super Goals or a Nike Super Duper Tackle in the EPL now is there?

See Mr. Modi, I know you like money. I do too. But we all gotta draw the line somewhere, don't we??

(Images Courtesy: Starbozz.files.wordpress.com, Cricket.butjazz.com)
Category: 10 comments

This is Democracy!

If it's really hot, and the sun is out, and it's noon, what do you NOT want? You Don't want unnecessary delays.

Yet today, I had to endure one. After finishing a meeting, me and a friend were walking back to the Bus Stand. There were Police Personnel lining the road and traffic was frozen on all sides.

Do keep in mind, this was during the final phases of the morning rush hour, and there was a mountain of traffic  piled up in all directions. For a moment, I was glad I did not take my bike. Yet, I had thought too soon.

We were walking along the side of the road, when this cop asks us to stop and wait. I ask "Why?" And he shouted back: "Just wait." Gee, you're asking me to wait in the glaring sun in the middle of nowhere at noon on a shit all hot day, the least you could do is extend some fucking courtesy.
Anyhow, we wait. Then we figured out what was happening. The Chief Minister was passing by. His motorcade rolls by eventually, and then everybody is allowed to unfreeze again. After HALF AN HOUR!

Precious time has been lost, pandemonium breaks out, bottles of water are sweated out by us poor souls who are out in the sun, and not in the AC comfort of a luxury car.

This is democracy! We elect these people, and yet we suffer endlessly because of them. I've seen this in many places, and I still don't get it. Politicians are the representatives of the people, they are supposed to serve the people. Having said all that, how come rush hour and traffic are not applicable to them?

My friend told me that there was nothing than anybody could do. "These people are too powerful. The cops HAVE to do what they say. So can't blame them either."

Yeah. I'm one among those who are part of the world's largest democracy. And look what I get for it.

(Image Courtesy: Chennaiplus.net)
Category: 4 comments

Why We'd Have Been Better Off as Monkeys

I saw a monkey today. I smirked and thought to myself: "To think we all came from THIS!" (Theists, don't worry. I'm sure God still loves you loads. He'll send down goodie packs very soon)

But then I was thinking. Life would have been so much easier if I had been a damn monkey.

They don't have to write exams. They don't have to deal with identities. They don't get married. Hell, they can sleep around with anyone they want to. There's no poor monkey and rich monkey. There are no monkeys that go to war in Iraq. Or Afghanistan. As far as I know, there are none that blow themselves up to prove a point.

There are no Monkeys that preach bullshit to others and has a huge following. There are no Monkey Gods. There are no Monkey temples. Monkeys don't have to listen to Pop Music. Or Britney Spears. Or Justin Whatever-that-Kid-is.

In Monkey life, everything is fair.

Yes, I know what you're going to say. You're going to say, if you like it so much, then why don't you go live in the damn forest. Why are you enjoying the 'comforts' of life and still complaining?

Well, if I didn't know there were any comforts, would I miss them?

They say that the greatest thing that happened in evolution, was the evolution of the human brain. A brain with ultimate capacity to do wonderful things.

And here we are, quite a few billion of us. Our lives are too complicated. Too pointless. And we've destroyed, or in the process of destroying, everything around us.

But it seems that the Universe will win again. There should always be a balance right. Calamities occur and ALWAYS balances out the equation if there ever is a surge.

Our own brain is our biggest calamity. So bring it on. Bring on the pollution, the nuclear bombs, the international disputes, borders, heavy artillery and more teen pop music.

We will be balanced soon.

PS: Sorry for this post. Just one of those days when you feel like this. I should be back to normal in about 24 hours.

(Image Courtesy: potstuck.com)

Note to Self: Never Encourage Free Riding!

Team work is never a problem until you get to work with the shittiest team there ever was. Now what if you're the team leader and you're expected to deliver results?

So what do you do? The way I saw it, there are two options.

Option no 1: Sit back, relax, do a bit of pointless facebooking, be at the receiving end of some bollocking and the wait until somebody says : "Ok, dude, we're in. Let's get to work on this."

Option no 2: Tell yourself: "I have never gone behind schedule. Nor have I not completed anything that I was given. I'll do this myself and prove a point even if no one is willing to work with me."

Now, if you are one of those idiots who picked Option no 2, listen up very carefully. This is the best advice you'll ever get:


You see, at my illustrious college, we were given one such assignment. A website it was. I put my heart and soul into it, spent one sleepless week on it, went to the verge of a nervous breakdown, lost quite a bit of hair on my forehead and had frequent fights with almost everybody who I could afford to have a fight with.

A couple of months on, the grades come. And I got a lesser grade while the assholes who sat in class facebooking (If they did show up for class that is) and ran around doing nothing actually did better than me.

Result: Depression, verge of another nervous breakdown, anger, rash riding (on Hero Honda Splendour, but rash riding nonetheless) and another set of fights.

But I'm the more lucky kind I guess, I fought for it and actually got some semblance of justice from my illustrious faculty.

If you're one of those idiots who picked no: 2 as well, my big brother's words should sum it up for you: "It's your fault too. You encouraged free riding. You can't really blame anyone!"

Lesson learnt. The hard way.

Note to self: NEVER encourage free riding!

PS: Faculty people, if you're reading this, as you already guessed this is a pure work of fiction. Obviously. Y'all are like the greatest people ever to have walked these corridors. You wouldn't do something as grossly stupid and biassed like this now, would you?

(Image Courtesy: Foundshit.com)
Category: 4 comments

Things You Learn When You Go Pondy Again..

My second Pondy visit was better than the first one (company being a major deciding factor, no prima-donas around as compared to last time). But, as life goes, there were lessons to be learnt. Such as:

1. NEVER ever think you can just catch a bus on Friday evening. You'll have to kill, murder and obiliterate to get into one. 
2. If you do decide to risk all and just get on a jam-packed bus, make sure that you get on one that is tall enough to accommodate you
3. If your prime intention is NOT drinking, Auroville is THE place. 
4. If Auroville is where you end up, you HAVE to check em 'cottages' out!
5. If you're in Auroville on a Full Moon night, and you don't go to the beach, you're what paleontologists term as a 'douche-bag-ophus Rex'
6. One thing you've to have if you're eating from any restaurant at Auroville: Patience, loads of it.
7. (sigh) (Just like last time:) Get Job, Buy your own camera and then take with you to Pondy
8. Take friends along who let you borrow their camera in case you could not execute Lesson no:7
9. No matter what anybody says, do NOT buy cookies from Daily Bread for jobless women such as ThingMaBlob and NewsRoom Person!
10. Upload pics on blog as soon as you get a chance!


A Few Kind Words to SOME Chennaites...

When you get to a new place I guess, at first, you only notice the bad things about that place. You don't start noticing the good things until you move away perhaps.. 

I've been in Chennai for 8 months now.. And yesterday I was thinking what all the city needed to learn before, for example, some big event came to it's doorsteps.. Like say, the Olympics, or the FIFA World Cup (yeah host nations qualify automatically.. :P)

Anyhow, disclaimer: I DO NOT mean to imply that all Chennaites have character disorders and are total snobs.. I do run into some genuinely nice people everyday. Like the lady at the provision store nearby, who has in all probability never attended school, yet attempts to talk to me in English.. But their charm is overshadowed and shit upon because of what the Snob minority does.. 

So, a few kind words (read constructive criticism) for the Snob population of Chennai:

1. A Red Light usually means stop your damn car. It DOES NOT MEAN:
     a) A game of dodge-the-pedestrians has just started,
     b) That it will change to green if you lean on your horn for two minutes.
     c) That pedestrians are purposefully crossing the road to make YOU late for work

2. A Zebra crossing (I've provided image below for reference) is a place where people CROSS the road. Yes, not everybody has a car like you. Please bear with us. We're trying to get there.

And, at a Zebra crossing, the pedestrian has first preference. You're sitting in the AC comfort of your car, we're out in the sun. At least try to be a bit more considerate, and brake down from 90 to 30. You'll only lose 5 seconds at the most. 

3. Anybody who does not speak Tamil is NOT the Arch Enemy of the Tamil Empire and all the glory that Tamil people stand for. And yes, anybody who does not speak Tamil is also not always a North Indian.. (I don't speak Hindi that well either.)

4. Nope. Mallus don't speak Tamil. 

5. Do make an effort at times to NOT be Obnoxious. Nobody will think you're a sissy if you're nice to somebody. It actually makes the other person feel better. YES, I'm NOT kidding! 

6. When you're talking to somebody who is standing right next to you, try to keep your voice below 120 Decibels. Also a very valid point when it comes to talking on the phone. Especially valid if you're talking on the phone INSIDE a bus! 

7. Try not to shit, spit and urinate EVERYWHERE. If natures calls that bad, find a clump of trees, not the middle of the road. 

This is just some of the things I thought somebody should say to these folks. The Nice people reading this, who are from Chennai, don't be demoralised.. If it weren't for you, and if it was just THEM here, most people woulda packed up and made a run for their lives.. You make this city bearable.. Thank you... :)

(Images Courtesy: lovethatfeeling.com, bloguerrilla.it)

Why V-Day Might Possibly Suck..

Yes, it's no secret that V-Day can be very irritating and might get on your nerves. Cracked.com's detailed survey and resultant graph are proof of this..

V-Day could also suck because:
1. You might forget.
2. You might not like getting messages all day.
3. You might not be a 'lovey-dovey' person.
4. You might not have a girlfriend/boyfriend.
5. You might have a girlfriend/boyfriend who expects you to send flowers on V-day.
6. You might get married to your sister/brother if you live in religion infested areas.
7. You might not have a credit card.
8. You might have friends who have girlfriends and credit cards.
9. You might get mail forwards that make you wish the internet was never invented.
And of course, my personal favourite:
10. You might live in Chennai and it might not be a cloudy day..

(Image Courtesy: www.nolimits2life.com)

What If..

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 7; the seventh edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
He sits in the ante-room with his head bowed. He can hear the crowd outside. They're loud tonight. He knows he'll do a good job. But one can never truly get rid of pre-show jitters. 

The band which is playing on stage moves on to their last song. "You guys are on in 5 minutes." somebody says. 

He smiles to himself. Daddy said it was a waste of time. Mommy said she was ashamed to tell the cousins what he was doing with his life. 'Friends' asked him to grow up. Grandma kept asking him why he didn't want to be an engineer. 

What if? What if they were just happy for him and told him to go live his life? What if they told him it was alright, as long as he was happy.. What if he didn't have to starve on some days because he could barely support himself? What if he had a trust fund and didn't have to care about anything or anybody else? 

What if? 

He smiles to himself again. If life was so easy, I wouldn't have been this good, he tells himself. 

It's time. He grabs his guitar and walks out. The bright lights and the screaming fans hits him as he steps on to the stage. He smiles to himself. Tonight is going to be a good night.... 

(Dedicated to the man who taught me English by asking me to write short stories. Grandpa.)
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
 ( Image Courtesy: media.10best.com)

Now THAT is Customer Service

Life was all fine until one day my Tweetdeck stopped functioning. For anybody who tweets at least a respectable amount, tweeting from the web is a pain that is desperately avoided at all costs. 

But yet, there I was. Tweetdeck: Not working. Twhirl: Not working. Seesmic: Not working. Web: The Only Option!

Installations, Uninstallations are Reinstallations followed. To no avail.

Defeated and done for, I finally gave up, and tweeted that I was about to unistall Tweetdeck and Adobe AIR once and for all.. 

Then, out of nowhere, some guy called Richard Barley tweets me, and says he can help. His Twitter Bio says he's Community Manager (which is..er..) for Tweetdeck. 

In bits and snatches over the rest of the day, he walked me through step by step of troubleshooting Tweetdeck.

Turns out, Twitter updates fail if Internet Explorer is set to 'Work Offline'. Don't ask why. I just saw it happen with my own eyes. 

This made me realize two things. 
1. The beauty of the Internet and Twitter and how a random person can help you out. 

2. How bad Customer Service is here. Especially Chennai I've noticed. Even shopkeepers here don't smile. Half the time it's almost as if they think they're doing US a favour by 'allowing' us to shop there. 

Anyhow, point is, I used to like using Tweetdeck. But after this, I'm a big fan! I guess that's what you call Atta Customer Service!

(Image Courtesy: wp.appadvice.com)