Friday, December 09, 2005

No Frills TV

Have been catching a lot of TV these days (thanks to staying at home and at my aunt's place in Hyd) and it makes me wonder if the TV people are putting themselves out a bit too much to win the channel wars. If I had the time and money and lots more inclination, I would create a no frills television channel.

Take these emcees for instance. They go and on and on before playing a song or a clip. And the best part is what they speak has nothing to do with the song to be played. So I plan to get a bunch of those guys and gals, ask them to speak impromptu for a few hours and tape it all on the same day. Then I can play permutations and combinations of these before songs and not pay for regular comperes.

And no channel worth its salt can desist from playing movies. Apna channel cannot afford to screen "India tholakatchigalil mudal muraiyaga, thiraiku vandu sila vaarangale aana"(For the first time on Indian screens, just released a few weeks ago) movies. A better ploy is to screen age old hits when the rival channel is screening a 3 week old flop. C'mon what would you rather watch Michael Madana Kama Rajan(one of the best movies ever made) or Bambara kanaaley(a recent flop)?

The USP of my channel would however be the commercials. You know how a half an hour programme is usually only 22 mins long? I am going to make it 26 instead. When I am shooting for a 22 minute sitcom episode, I am sure that adding 4 extra minutes won't increase the expenditure much. And no in-house ads i.e you won't see ads for Will and Grace between the FRIENDS episode. There will textual ads (like Google ads) that run while programmes are on, to inform viewers about other shows. And ad time is considerably cut down, one ad minute in my channel will sell more and so I can make a profit too.

And there will be none of those contests which give expensive prizes for answering questions like "Who is the hero of Salaam Namaste?". And there will absolutely be no special programmes during Diwali and other festivals. To the contrary, even regular progamming won't happen on those days since we can't compete with other channels. We will just play movie songs all day or simply just echo some FM station.

Any other ideas?

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Yellow Rubber Band

"Pooja, get those yellow rubber bands, the ones that Maya Aunty got from US." Six year old Pooja looked askance at her mom. The band in question was bright yellow and shaped like a big sun flower. "But amma...” she hesitated. “That band is perfectly good and will go with your frock" Pooja looked at her dress, it was white with the tiniest of yellow dots on it. "But amma ..." she wheedled again. "Oh kids these days! You can dress the way you want to and throw your tantrums when you are older, listen to me now. Maya will feel so bad if she knows you hardly use the band. And what's wrong with it? It nice, bright and colorful", her mom started her tirade. She looked at her father for support, but he gave her a you-know-i-like-to-help-you-but-in-such-matters-your-mom-rules shrug and hid behind the paper. She considered crying, but there was the question of the empty cookie jar and missing pieces in the new Lego set which were yet to be discovered and she figured she would need the tears then.

Pooja got ready for school with a thoughtful attitude. “Pooja wear your raincoat, it is drizzling outside.” She smiled, the rain coat’s hood would save her from trouble at least in the school bus. But there was still the question of a full day at school to be endured and Sanjay too. Sanjay was the class bully and he gave everyone a hard time for no reason at all. And here she was, wearing a yellow rubber band – it was like waving a red flag at an angry bull.

“Hey Pooja wanna play Color Color?” Pooja froze at Sanjay’s sneer. Her hand instinctively went to her hair. “Hey Pooja has two different colored socks on.” Pooja looked down; she was wearing blue with green stripes on leg and green with blue stripes on the other. With one hand on her hair, she tried to roll down her socks so that legs were an uneven mass of green and blue.

“Class, please submit your leaves assignment”. Pooja remembered collecting the leaves, categorizing them, pasting them in the scrap book, showing them off to Amma and Appa, putting it on the table for the glue to dry and then her memory came to a halt. “I must be growing old”, she told herself while walking to her teacher to explain her predicament.

The rest of day dragged on, especially since she sat alone in the last bench to avoid eyes and unnecessary talk. There weren't any incidents, except when her dance teacher pulled her up for talking in between and her math teacher called her to the board to work out 9+7.

“So sweetie how was school today?”, Amma met her at the door. She burst into instant tears and amidst sobs piteously said “I told you I wouldn’t wear the yellow rubber band to school.”
So people, this time will you please believe that Pooja isn't me? Thank you! :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Totally Uncool Things

that I see people around me doing and which you shouldn't be doing if you wanna be in my good books. ;-)

* Fill bottles of water from work to take home. For God's sake you all are software engineers, drawing the highest salaries in the land!
* Owning a cool cool bike like Pulsar and actually fixing a kind of hook on the side to hang your lunch dabba! Carrying a dabba to work is bad enough and you actually defile a great bike for that?
* Giggle during a team meeting. Oh my God, please don't do that - a meeting is hard enough to endure without having someone giggle when you are thrashing out an idea. And while at it, please stop asking irrelevant see-how-smart-i-am questions. And don't ever ever speak for me . Thank you
* Wear plastic footwear to work! "Plastic" - no more explanation for this one.
This list shall be updated ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A One Night Read

And the verdict is disappointing. Chetan Bhagat's second book hardly lives upto the expectations of the first. The story deals with six people who work in a call centre. All their lives magically leap to definitive misery on the same night. That's when a phone call changes their lives.

Bhagat's USP which made FPS a runaway success, was his free flowing narrative. Sadly in ONCC, the flow stretches like well chewed gum in the first part of the book. And the characters seem to be too cliched for my taste. And I don't understand why he has almost panned working in a call centre. Whatever happened to dignity of labor and so forth! The "God" factor that was attempted was cheesy to say the least. The ending seemed to be almost a rip off of Yann Martel's Life of Pi(which wasn't very good too btw!) And since his first book is being made into a movie, I guess he has decided to write a screenplay directly as his second book - complete with the Bollywoodish action climax, lots of mushy flashbacks and so on.

Despite the short comings, the book is good for a read. The story does pick at a point and if you don't invest any thought, it entertains well. It costs just Rs 95 - comparing well to the cost of a ticket in any multiplex. Where FPS was a DCH, ONCC can best be compared to a no brainer like Salaam Namaste.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Things I Wanna Do Right Now

* Get rid of my bandages and swing n bend my arm and fingers

* Get all my friends online on IM and chat away to glory

* Drive my bike

* Watch Seinfeld

* Wear my lens n fix my hair all by myself

* Blog something decent instead of whining

* Go back home!!! (I came back to Hyd todoay evening)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Fall

On a dark and rainy night, a sweet n nice gal was driving home from her aunt's place on her sister's Scooty Pep. And then there was a wham, and she fell off her bike breaking her left arm in the process.

:-( Poor ol me is still in Chennai 'coz of that. My left hand is temperarily out of service for another month. :-( I never knew my left limb plays such a vital role in life. I almost feel like an invalid now! So much that I am able to sympathise and to an extent empathise with people without an arm or a leg.

I also realised that roads are filled with lots of good samaritans who take that extra effort to help people in distress. Many thanks to the guy who forced his mobile on me to call home and to the couple who drove me to the hospital and to the many others who helped me off the road and made me sit and so on. Sorry Mr Shankar, but now I find it harder to believe that scene from Anniyan, where no-one helps an accident victim.

Well the upside is that broadband internet is finally configured on our rickety ol system at home and since I am able to type reasonably well with just my right hand, I guess my blogging frequency should increase substantially! :-)

So long folks, will be back soon. And hope everyone had a good Diwali! :-)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Weekend Hungama

This weekend was a marathon weekend of three movies. Three movies coupled with shopping and dining out makes Janani a tired girl! :-)

The first one (for which I had to resort to blackmail and other related stuff to convince my friends to accompany me) was Madagascar. I am a sucker for these animated movies and I loved this one too. The storyline is about a bunch of animals from New York Zoo who land up in Madagascar inardvently. The bunch of penguins with their motto of "Cute and cuddly" are the show stealers. They are wickedly comic and pity weren't shown more through the movie. King Julian of Madagascar(a kind of monkey or marmoset I figure) with his very Indian voice and very catchy song was also a treat to watch. Though this movie can't ever join the ranks of Finding Nemo or Shrek, it is definitely worth a watch and I bet you'll come out of the theatre singing "I like to move it move it" :-)

The second and the best movie of the three was Iqbal. It is the story of a deaf and dumb veillage boy's dream to play cricket for India and the movie is just about that. The best part of the movie is the characterization. All the characters are etched out very realistically without any cliches. Iqbal's enthusiasm and cheer is the mainstay of the movie. Iqbal's sister who supports her brother through everything has done a good job. The other smaller characters like Iqbal's father and mother are also potrayed well and stick in our mind long after the movie. Naseeruddin Shah has done excellently well what comes naturally to him. He is very convincing as both the village drunk and the dedicated coach. The background track is soothing and the song aashaein is very hummable and pleasant. Overall a refreshing movie which reinforces the idea that Nagesh Kukunoor's movie is definitely worth a watch.

We ended our orgy with Salaam Namaste. After reading the reviews and watching the trailers, I was convinced that it was going to be bad and utterly bad at that. It was a no-brainer all right, but to my surprise it turned out to be a a little entertaining too. But I think it is high time Zinta stops screeching on screen in an attempt to be cute. Saif is portrayed as a metrosexual and that was a pleasant surprise that Bollywood has chosen to shed the macho hero image and chose to show Saif as a chef who is obsessively clean. The concept of the both living in is supposed to be radical, but it's actually pathetic considering they decide that based on one day of partying together. And it is bad enough that movies are copied from Hollywood hits, but this movie actually borrows entire scenes from FRIENDS! But the movie seemed to move at a good pace and Australia has been pictured most beautifully. And hell even I will move in with a guy if I can live in a house like that - near the sea, with an open air patio and the huge French windows and all.

We trudged home after convincing the folks at Prasads that we really aren't coming back for another movie! :-)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Guy

"No ma, I don't want to meet any guy now.... Yeah I know that I know nothing about him .... Ma, everyone earns five figure salaries these days.... I don't care what Ambujam Aunty feels.... Ammmaaaa ...". Nivedita slammed the phone down in disgust.

"I don't know why my parents are doing this" she fumed. "Relax Nivi. Nobody is forcing you into a marriage as yet. And face it, you are 23 now. Can't blame your parents for trying to get you married.", drawled Preethi. "Oh what, suddenly I am old now? Is there something so unmarriageable about me that I need to play up to any stupid proposal that turns up?". "I don't know why you are so angry. That guy might be a cross between a Greek god and a knight in shining armour for all you know.". "Oh there are chances of that happening all right! It's just that I haven't met any Casanova as yet with a name like Raghavan Iyengar", Nivi retorted. "Oooh the name is alright. You can call him Raghav - like the pop star", Preethi groped out at anything that looked like a silver lining. "That's probably the closest he is going to be to cool. I bet he is going to be scraggy, attired in a floral shirt, wearing horn rimmed glasses, and sporting a thin but detectable sricharnam* on his forehead."

At eight in the night, her cell phone lighted up showing an unknown number in the pane. "Hello, is it Nivedita?". "Yeah speaking". "Oh hi, I am Raghavan.". Uneasy silence followed after the customary "Hello How are you doing"s. "Perhaps we could meet for a cup of coffee sometime" he ventured cautiously. "Sure. This Saturday is good for me.". "That's great. How about Barista at around six in the evening?". She smiled for the first time, Barista was one of her favorite places. "Atleast he didn't suggest some cheesy place" she thought to herself, mildly comforted.

At 5:45 on appointed day, she was sitting at her favorite place by the window in Barista, mildly excited and mostly bored. In a few minutes she saw a guy drive up on a black Pulsar. So far, so good she thought. And then he parked his bike and removed his helmet. She gave a quick scan and liked what she saw. He definitely worked out and his face did have a Greek godish look, with high cheekbones and a rugged handsomeness. His pants were alright - the right blue denim and not too faded or patched, T shirt was red and proclaimed "My colleague went to London and all I got was this lousy shirt", she giggled to herself reading that, and his sneakers were positively gorgeous. He was chewing gum and ran his hand over his mop of hair casually. Nivedita silently thanked her mom and Ambujam aunty and wished she had worn that black skirt which everyone had admired or that pretty green salwar kameez that Viji athai** had bought her. "God, please let our tastes match and please let him be capable of intelligent conversation, please please please. I promise I will listen to Amma and Appa and not speak back and come to the temple every week.", she fervently bargained with the Lord.

He walked up the stairs with a brisk air and an easy smile on his face. Nivedita took out her compact and adjusted her face, giving him small looks on the side. And suddenly an extremely pretty girl walked to him and started talking to him while holding his hand. Barista seemed to wobble and the proverbial thunder and lightening appeared out of nowhere just like in the movies. Greek gods are never single, she should have known that and they certainly did not depend on Ambujam Aunty to find themselves a girl.

Just then a car drove up and out came a bespectacled guy. Pretty white daisies stared at the world from his blue shirt, which flapped around his sparse frame. As he came closer Nivedita could see the orange I on his forehead. He was walking towards her and she heard him say, "Excuse me". Thunder and lightening happened with double intensity and she felt like screaming "Nahiiiiiii" and run out of the place.

"Excuse me" he said again. She wished he would stop repeating that stupid phrase. "Yes", she said, pouting. "Can you tell me the time please?" "6: 05", she said dazedly. He said "Thank you ma'am" and left. She put her face in her hands and tried to make sense out of everything. "Hi, are you Nivedita?", a voice rang out. It was the Greek god himself. She nodded weakly. "Sorry I am late, but I just bumped into an ex-colleague.", he said while pulling up a chair. "Hi Raghavan" she said coyly. "Oh please don't call me Raghavan, call me Raghav, like the pop star" She smiled and their eyes met.


PS : I am not Nivedita

* - A thin orange line on the forehead as a mark of religion

** - Aunt

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A Love Story (in 55 Words)

She met him at a party and they couldn't take their eyes off each other. Lust turned to love and they discovered they were soulmates. Then her parents found her a "suitable" boy working in the US and his parents married him to a "homely" girl who didn't party. And they lived happily ever after.


Thanks Rohan for this different tag. :-) I am passing it on to tag to Harini, vettymax, jinguchakka, eroteme, littlecow and kaps. C'mon ppl its story time! :-)

Updated: Check this out. It has a great collection of 55 word stories

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Different Strokes

Working in a software firm is fun. Especially if you have the time and energy and inclination to analyze the people who work there. Of course you can observe people anywhere, but it's more easy in this case since s/w techies spend 23 and 1/2 hours out of 24 at work and since you are one of them too and since brains do not co-operate to working continuously you can have some fun on the sly. Or if your company blocks IM you can analyze people. :-)

The most common category which is the majority in almost all companies is the Bored Bachelor. Most of them would have relocated from their hometown and are staying away from their family. They look for houses which are very close to office to save money and time on conveyance. They don't have a life outside work and so spend every awake minute in the company - working or working or working or playing TT or working or having free coffee and Cola or working. They are the kind who try too hard - to impress managers, PLs and psyche hapless co workers.

The True Nerd is a smaller category that is sometimes confused with the above. They are geeks at heart, swear by Slashdot, know all UNIX commands by memory and play with GreaseMonkey. They can also be found always in office but mostly contributing to some open source project or checking out the source code of Google. It is not that they don't have a life, but their life (un)fortunately revolves around computers.

The Social Butterfly is another important kind. They usually dress to kill and have a jaunty air about them. When they open mouth, foot gets inserted automatically 'coz they try to funny always. Despite that there is always a crowd around them (mostly of the opposite sex) who genuinely enjoy the company. They flirt endlessly and enthu is their middle name. They are usually responsible for introducing some semblance of fun in the company.

And how can I forget the little HomeBodies! They are ones who are staying with their family. The first thing you notice about them is the huge lunch dabba they carry with them to work that their mother/wife has lovingly packed for them. They come on time to work and try to leave early (but not always, c'mon you have to give moms a chance to boast to the neighbours "My son/daughter works soo hard. The boss simply can't do without him/her."). Any dinner plans or party has them raising objections that they can't go home late or drunk or both. These mamma's boys/girls are sometimes Bored Bachelors as well, but they don't have a choice to stay late 'coz folks will be worried at home.

Lot of other categories like Giggly Gigli, Dude-Straight-From-America, Pervy Perverson come to my mind, but another day another post. :-)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Blog is Born

Diamond words strung along
In a pretty pattern make a song

Bigger words thrown astray
Mightier and more profound is an essay

Words can also be spoken by men
A play is what happens then

Sometimes the words can go on without close
This distinguished form is called the prose

I can talk of people and how they live
And that my friend, is called a narrative

Stories in short with words just a few
Are fables that gave Mr Aesop his due

Throw in some rhymes, and frills and lace
Then poetry stares right into your face

There are the sonnets, ballads, limericks and more
And dramas, their epilogues and tales of yore

But when you write something that into no category will fit
Just call it a blog and publish it! :-)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

If You are Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands

Me is back in Hyd after three happy days at home. Oh yes I had a good time, thanks for asking! :-)

Salient features that were noticed (arranged strictly in random order) :

1) Chennai rocks period

2) The amount buzz you generate at home is directly proportional to the amount of time that has lapsed since you previous visit. (Once upon a time, when I used to visit once a month I was expected to lug my own luggage and find my way home from the station. But this time I was offered to be picked up even though the arrival time and place was shaky as I took a bus)

3) Shopping is definitely "funner" in T.Nagar than in any other place anywhere else especially if you are with sister dear who is endowed with good taste in clothes (if not like like same same taste as you) and you have a Scooty Pep to zoom along and if you stop for chaat at Hot Chips on the way.

4) Amount of stuff you bring back from home >> amount of stuff you take home

5) I haven't used the words "salient features" ever since I discarded social studies in Tenth std.

6) Every train is endowed with lot many creeps and one of is sure to land in your bay. (The creep in question started talking to me in Bengali initially and kept ridiculously remarking that I look like a Bong. Then he took out a box of tobacco, rolled it with both his hands and chewed on it. Immediately after that he asked for my India Today and thumbed it without washing his hands. And despite my monosyllable answers to his prying questions directed at the book in my hand rather than his face, he shamelessly asked more questions, shared info about him very generously and lost the flimsy shreds of dignity that held on to him)

That's all folks! :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


So go and check this out now! C'mon it's worth the effort of actually clicking on the link!

So How Are You Doing Today?

Ok the title is a rip off from Will & Grace (Jack's magic act). But my blogging is on the decline and I thought it was time for a this-is-what-is-happening-in-my-life post. :-)

On the work front, things have gone down from "crazy" to just "lots of work". I had my first weekend off in weeks and made merry. Microsoft had their annual party last Saturday and D very graciously invited me and gave me company the entire time - Thanks D! :-) The party was like all other company parties but with a lil more granduer ('coz it's Msft you see! :-) ) The highlight of the day was the dance by all the directors and some/all their wives. It was in very good enthu and really seemed to shatter atleast a teeney bit of the sense of bureucacy.

And yes, Moi has now got a private means of transportation. My first choice was

but finally I settled on this! :-) Drives beautifully and me is happeee! :-)

The coming weekend is also a long weekend and if things go as I have planned, me will going home after 4 long months! Wish me lots of luck and less of work! :-)

So how are you all doing? :-)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

After a Long Time

I am staring at the "Create Post" screen. Contrary to what certain gentlemen think, neither have I gone into hiding and nor have I moved my blog elsewhere. It's the same ol sob story actually - work and lots of it! (How about some sympathy here???):-) )
Yanways yesterday I was struggling with a simple ALTER TABLE query and when that column stubbornly refused to add itself to the table, my mind wandered from the scary land of SQL into
nice things in life. And I started thinking about my favorite columns in The Hindu. (TOI readers can stop right here. :-) And don't get me started about people in Chennai who read Indian Express on their own volition when Hindu is available! :-) )
One more reason to look forward to Sundays is the Hindu Magazine. My favorite part is "Slice of Life" by V. Gangadhar. His columns always remind me of the stories that Amma and Appa keep telling, about the good old days back then. The sporadic "Short Story" is usually very good and it was one such short story that got me started on Wodehouse (That's another story in itself, and therefore will be another post in itself :-) ) There used to be this column called "Village Vistas" by some Ghosh or someone. I used to like that too in a differert way. I could hardly relate to any character, but it was good reading all the same. Wonder why it isn't on these days. I also read the odd article in "Literary Review" (most of the stuff are a lil high brow for my taste! :-) ). But I like Pradeep Sebastian's Endpaper where he discusses lots of random stuff about books and reading. Art Buchwald's column was pretty entertaining and gave my first insight into American life before the advent of sitcoms and Star Movies.
"Know Your English" is a little cliched and sometimes slightly boring column that comes on Tuesdsays but I read that anyways. The best part about it is the quote at the end which makes it worth reading the whole article. It used be written by Krishnan and Upendran years back and now it's just Upendran's. "Between You and Me" (by the same Krishnan I think) was another favorite Tuesday column. It talked about various issues in the city and always ended on a joke told to a fictious Parthasarathy. Needless to say, it was the joke I looked forward to more rather than city happenings. :-) As a school goer, the science and technology section interested me a lot and I used to cut out the "Question Corner" section with the aim of making a newspaper clipping encycloepedia.
I used to follow "This Day That Age" with a lot of interest until the news about our independance. Somehow it lost its charm after that. Nowadays I check it out once a year, to find out what happened in "that age" on my birthday. :-) And yes the famous Hindu crossword. I have always held in the highest esteem and have never attempted to solve it even once. :-)
The Friday Review, Metro Plus, Young World et al are also good reads, but no regular column in them.
I realise that no column like Paul Krugman's or any sports column or anything of actual importance has made it into my list. Heck, I am made this way! :-) So what's your favorite?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain! :-)

When raindrops go pitter patter
Most people go "awww"
Worries do not seem to matter
Cheer seems to be the law

Count me outta that group I say
I simply seem to hate the rain
Oh I yearn for a sunny day
Where my plans don't go in vain

Rain is alrite for the poets and the like
Who wonder at beauty every hour on the hour
But the rest of us commute with a bike
And with gushing sewage we have to spar

Getting drenched sounds romantic and fun
"Oh join us for a rain dance", they all sing
But I am late for work and I must run
Wetter and soggier than a wet hen's wing

Umbrellas protect the top of my head
But just that and nothing but that
Into murk, dirt and germs I've been lead
And fallen over hidden potholes and ruts

A soggy air envelops the whole wide world
Clothes remain damp and undry
Tis the season of cough and cold
Sickness beckons from far and high

In short I want the monsoons to be over
And the bright sun back in its place
No more black clouds that glower and hover
And I can live in peace till the end of days!


On a by-note

Sorry folks for my vanishing act
But if I didn't do my work I would be sacked
Duty beckoned, very powerfully so
And my blog was suspended, much to my woe

Jinguchakka and Eroteme will be happy I guess
Now that I am under pressure and duress :-)
But not to prove a point did my blog lie still
It just happened and much against my will

Now I am back with a mediocre post
Soon will spice up with stuff hot and roast
Keep reading my blog and keep coming by
For now - have a nice day, tata and bye! :-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Not So Dumb!

Early morning I got a call from this guy in our Finance department. He said that there was some tax form that I hadn't filled in yet and wanted me to do that right away. So I went down to his cabin and he gave he some form where I had to fill in some basic stuff and sign. I am not so good at reading the fine print, but after watching umpteen Thamizh movies, I know that one shouldn't sign anything without knowing what we are doing it for. So I put on my polite persona and asked him what exactly this is for. He said with a straight face, "Let me explain it to you. You've joined this company a year back and every month the company pays you a salary. You have to pay the government income tax for that." I was flabbergasted. I told him that I was familiar with the concept only to have him launch an explanation about TDS and how the company deducts tax every month from my salary. I filled my form in silence and left.

This kind of behaviour beats me seriously. I didn't know what to do this morning. It's not like the usual dumb questions that we all ask and don't expect a reply - like asking "Are you getting married?" when someone gives us an invite card or "Are you eating?" to a person who has an open box of pizza on his table and a huge chunk of it in his mouth. I don't know what makes people think that they are surrounded by imbeciles whom they have to enlighten. And what do you do in this kind of situation?? (if you are not an imbecile awaiting enlightenment :-) )

I get this feeling a lot while watching movies. I know a movie isn't real yada yada yada, but sometimes while watching something reallllly stupid I feel like taking my brain out and literally throw it far away. And I feel like screaming to the film maker "I am not this dumb." It is worse when the director is someone sensible, the movie is kinda off beat and gets yourself thinking "Hey this could have been me" and then that thing happens!

And yes, if any of you are looking out for tax gyan, you know whom to ask now. :-)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Ten Things to Do

if you don't know what to blog

10) Respond to tags or create one of your own and pass it along

9) Blog about why you blog

8) Blog about why others blog

7) Write a high-brow post on "writer's block"

6) Make lists like 10 things about me, 10 things about this universe and so on


The above space is left intentionally blank

4) Announce a break from blogging and come back after a few days

3) Tell people you are getting married and watch the comments section fill up

2) Post pictures of you, your home, kid, cat and watch people go "awwww"

1) Don't blog

The blogger shall return!!!


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Eigo wa hanasu hito wa imasen-ka? *

Long long time ago, when I was an under grad student, someone told me that chances of employment in software firms are high if you know Japanese. (Apparently it has something to do with the fact that the company may have clients in Japan and you might have to go onsite and then your Japanese skills become wieldy and so you are the more attractive candidate for the job. More on pre-placement myths soon. Watch this blog! :-) ) Then my industrious cousin M started going for Jap classes (I can't tell you more than this about M, he's threatened to sue if I make fun of him on my blog) At about the same time my friend D who had taken up Japansese in her college, wrote my name in Japanese on a scrap of paper. The squiggles looked so cute and I felt that I just HAD to learn how to do them.

Then PS 2 happened in Bangalore and dutifully I went around searching for classes. I found one and almost paid the money when I discovered that the place was called "Learn Spoken English". Worse still they had a huge board advertising this outside the building, on the building and in a few places leading to the building. Since I had got the number of the place from someone and had conducted the preliminary investigations over the phone, this fact had eluded me for long. That was a cheesy position to be in! The snob in me decided that I couldn't be seen entering that place, lest people (read handsome guys who had the potential to be future bfs) think I know no ingles! I told them I would be back in 2 days to pay the money and successfully avoided that place by taking a more circuitous route to work.

Then I was back in Pilani for my psenti sem (final semester) and the first thing I noticed when they gave us the timetable book is that Beginning Japanese was now offered as an audit course (Audit course means you pay extra for that and it doesn't contribute to your CGPA) Expectedly I was one of the first to register and roped in S also. The first class was nice, we sat on the first bench. The instructor squiggled on the board and I dutifully re-squiggled them on my new note book that had "Beginning Japanese" (in capital letters) written on the cover. And then the instructor asked me to come and squiggle on the black board and feeling like kindergarden kid I wrote (or drew) something on the board and blushed with pride when she told me my answer was right.

Campus interviews were on and like 95% of the BITSians I also made a job in the first week. And then my enthusiam for Jap waned a little. Now that I had a job at hand it seemed silly to learn Japanese. But a cursory query revealed that audit courses could not be dropped - not only would you lose your money, but it will listed on your transcript with an E grade (Unsatisfactory). I was no A student, but the thought of an E was somehow disturbing. Then I remembered that it was all about cute squiggles and I started attending classes.

The classes graduated from boring to un-non-sleepable. The squiggles weren't so cute anymore. And writing on the board was embarassing 'coz I didn't know any answers. S became the star pupil though. She discovered that she had been a Japanese citizen in her previous birth and attacked the language with a vengeance. And I started doodling in class instead of squiggling. I mastered Hiragana when the class had almost finished Katagana and when I started learning Katagana, I forgot Hiragana. And by the time we started doings kanjis, I had given up on my Japanese dreams and started taking care of my life. Meanwhile S carried on being the starriest student in class and by association the hapless instructor assumed I was good too. When I stopped attending classes, she passed on umpteen messaged through S, asking me to be regular. And caught me three times on the road and once in the temple and made me promise to attend classes - which I didn't!

One fine day, in the middle of the farewell parties, S nonchalently told me that the Jap compree (final exam) was scheduled for the next day. I scowled at everyone in sight and spent the whole night discerning Hiragana, Katagana and Kanji. The day dawned with a fierce dust storm (the fierecest I have ever seen in Pilani) and I trudged to FD I (the building where the exam was taking place) and squiggled away to glory. I knew a few answers and "inteligently guessed" the rest.

I got my papers a few days later and made a E anyways. I swore at my Japanese instructor, the Japanese language, Chinesese language, software firm with Japanese clients, my Japanese instructor again, sushi, Hiragana, Katagana and Kanji and my Japanese instructor yet again in order.

The sem was over and holidays flew by and I joined my present company. People told me that there was there was this guy who was BITSian too and thamizh and from Chennai and from my school. The heart went out to him as a fellow survivor and I was determined to make his acquaintance. Just before I could go and meet him, the person who told me about him said "You might have heard about him in BITS. He is Prof T's brother-in-law. Yeah his sister (T's wife i.e) took Japanese classes too". I stopped in my tracks and till date haven't exchanged even a smile with him! :-)

* - Is there anyone who speaks English?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Story of My Life!

A white eclipse screen I stare at all day long
Eyes fixed and mouth devoid of any song
My fingers keep typing int long and double
And I must do this all day to avoid any trouble

My manager walks about and peeps right in
It is a regular check to check me from sin
No surfing, mailing, googling or blogging
And never never should my cell phone ever ring

My extension can sound when it pleases though
So that my progress my PL can know
This is reviewed in meetings aplenty
Amidst lots of yak and lots more coffee

At the crack of dawn, about 9ish or so
Into my office I put in a show
I stay put in cube, my haven and home
I have no time to dither and roam

I have to code to write, that must compile and build
And all those time sheet things to be filled
My goals are set, straight and forward
No choice or time to be anything but a nerd

"Then why do you do this" you may rightly say
Oh I guess I haven't told you about my pay
It comes every month and tis quite fat
For all my complaints, I have uses for that!


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Places I Want to Live in

I mean places I want to actually live in for a considerable amount of time, not just visit or tour.

I want to live in Kerala and not in Trivandrum, but somewhere near the backwaters. In a house like this

So when someone comes home I can say "You wanna see the famous lagoons of Kerala? Just come to our backyard". And how great would it be just able to have a view like this while dining? And maybe catch a boat race or two while munching banana chips.

And I also want to live in new York for a while. This is not a dollar dream and I don't want to just live in the US of A, but I want to actually live and experience New York. I want to go to Central Park and the Met and check out if places like Central Perk exist and travel on those topless buses and Broadway and so much more! Having most of my favorite sitcoms based on New York is the cause and fuel for this. Also I get to wear this too! :-)

I want to live in Venice too, just for the canals thing. I like the idea of taking a boat (or a gondola for the politically correct) just to buy bread or pay the electricity bill! :-)

I don't know how much it snows in NY. In any case I wanna live in a really snowy place where I can get bundled up in warm wear and trudge on snow like a penguin.

Thats all folks! :-)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Show Me a Man Who

believes in religion but is not religious

talks well except about himself

is clean shaven with a french beard

is a sports fan and not a fanatic

reads and is not a dork

is aesthetic and not artsy

speaks with perfect grammar and doesn't think its a big deal

doesn't write poetry and certainly not about love

is romantic sans mush

has a blog and well, updates it

Well, show me someone like that, seriously! :-) And I promise nothing. :-)

Friday, July 08, 2005

"You Know What ...

You really shouldn't have come to me now. But then you have and I have to let you down. You have the right questions which maybe I can answer, but the timing is just not right. We've had good times together and I don't want to sour things between us, but I really not in the place now. But you know what they say about time; I can't do anything now, but maybe in the future. So please understand that I am helpless. We can work things out if you approach again later. "

How about this for my "Out of Office" message??? :-)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Parineeta, Saltwater Taffy and Living Single

I saw Parineeta last weekend and I am obsessed with it. That's the only music I listen to these days and I am driving everyone crazy by humming "piyu bole" all day long. (Contrary to what some people think, this is my favorite song from the movie :-) ) . And I am searching for this now


Yup thats the book, the English translation that is. I am calling 3 book stores (Odessey, Walden and Himalaya) everyday and they remain bullishly out of stock. So Hyderabadis help me here, any other book store I can try?

Do you know what this is?


Apparently it is saltwater taffy. I read about this once while at school in some book or magazine. And some years later I came across it again in a FRIENDS episode (TOW the Birthing Video). Now, I have this absolute craving to eat them or rather try them and find out what they actually taste like. And they aren't available in this part of the world. Grrrrr!?! I want to eat saltwater taffy NOW! So what do they taste like actually?

When I was about 10 years old, we went on a trip to Calcutta(it wasn't Kolkata then). About a month before the trip, I distinctly remember my mom telling me "In Calcutta you can eat sandesh". I heard "eat" as "meet" and thought Sandesh was a boy we were going to meet there. :-) So when I was finally in Calcutta and was shown sandesh, it was quite a shock, and not very pleasant 'coz I didn't like the sweet too. :-) Anyways, this has nothing to do with the post, but Joel has asked us to tell stories while making a point and that's why. :-)

While on obsessions and whims and whatever, a few years back, this sitcom called "Living Single" about a bunch of Afro American females used to be aired on Zee English. I want to watch an episode of that now. :-(

And before you ask, I don't need to meet a shrink. :-)

The image tool of blogger (which everyone is raving about) isn't working today!

Update: Walden people called up just now and they have got the book! Woo hoo! :-)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Proverbs and What They Mean

When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Going where? Oh you mean away from the problem?

Well begun is half done
And who's going to do the rest of it?

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
What about when it poops?

A barking dog never bites
Do dogs know this?

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise
And a party pooper

Honesty is the best policy
Must try saying this to the insurance agents

Don't bite the hand that feeds
And the hand that's dirty. While on the subject of hands and bites, just don't do it at all

H complains that my quality of writing is coming down. To her and others who feel that - wait baby wait, till my project gets over, then I promise deliver on my blog. :-)

And on a totally unrelated note, me completed a year of corporate life today! :-)

My sister's the Beshtesht!

H feels she isn't mentioned enough on the blog. So here goes:

Harini Sundarrajan
Harini Sundarrajan
Harini Sundarrajan
Harini Sundarrajan
Harini Sundarrajan
Harini Sundarrajan
Harini Sundarrajan
Harini Sundarrajan
Harini Sundarrajan
Harini Sundarrajan


Sunday, July 03, 2005

Why Do I Blog?

I've been accused by D of not being serious on my blog! (Not so much of a accusation as a gentle rib yanways :-)) We had a small discussion about her blog and she was telling about what she wanted to blog about - very thoughtful and thought provoking. And then we got talking about why people blog. She talked about global ideas and intelligent responses and so on.

That's when the topic slid to my blog and then the word entertainment crept in. And that got me thinking about why I blog.

I've seen some blogs that are just a personal diary which chronicle their day to day lives. This is a good way for friends and family to keep in touch and know how the blogger is faring.

And then there's the frequently updated typical geek blog - news, updates, Google and MSN, condition of Iraq and so on. The path advocated by Joel and the like for putting your blog on your resume.

We can't forget the literary blogs which create magic with words. Beauty reigns and its sheer delight to watch the words play with each other.

And the sports blog, lingual blogs, life@Msft blogs ...

My blog is certainly not geeky, no news or even sports. And I try to keep personal stuff to the minimum. When I started blogging, I resolved to not write about anything about my life, but it's difficult to separate me from my writing. So now I just try not to make it very what-I-did-todayish. What I am trying for is essentially a "feel good" feeling. I want people reading my blogs and I want them to read it hopefully with a smile and to relate to what I write (and not judge me :-) ). Even if I feel strongly about something, I try to disguise it under something frivolous.

So I sign off with a promise to be shallow and silly forever and ever! :-)

PS 1 : I will link to D's blog once it is up and running.

PS 2: Its become fashionable nowadays to talk of motives behind blogging. I am feeling relieved now, I am on the right side of the boat! :-)

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus

If they are hitched that is! :-)

Part I
Boy: I will do anything for you

Girl: Really?

Boy: emphatically Of course I will!

Girl: That's cho chweeet. Why don't you take me shopping today?

Boy: Hmm, I am supposed to catch a movie with my friends

Girl: So cancel!

Boy: The tickets are already booked actually and I've promised everyone.

Girl: Ok, what about after the movie?

Boy: Well, we have pizza plans

Girl: Tomorrow?

Boy: Why don't you go with your friend Priya?

Girl bites her lower lips and the conversation ends

Part II
Girl to her friend (not Priya, say Megha) : sniffing I think he wants to break up with me!

Megha: C'mon now, you two are so good together. Why would he do that all of a sudden?

Girl: No, lately he doesn't seem the same. He gives the lamest of excuses to get out of spending time with me.

Megha: Ohhh

Girl: And you know what, I think he is seeing that bitch Priya behind my back.

Megha: You don't say!!! How did you find out?

Girl: He seems to be pulling her into the conversation always and he actually-wants-me-to-go-shopping-with-her - starts to break down

Megha: Oh no! Here take a tissue.

And the conversation continues well into the night

Part III
Boy to friend Arun: Dude let's catch a movie.

Arun: I thought you were meeting with your girl.

Boy: She wanted me to go shopping! I wiggled out of it though.

Arun: How did'ya do that?

Boy: I said we were going for a movie. And I think I scored a point too, I actually remembered her friend's name and asked her to go shopping with her.

Arun: Whoa

Boy: It was easy actually, her friend is hottt!

Exit boy and friend


Yeah feels good to be single! :-)

Monday, June 27, 2005

I love

good weather on Mondays that cheer me on the way to work

getting 100s off the ATM

getting a mail from someone when I am thinking of them

the cute smileys and hearts that fall off the Hello screen

the statcounter on my blog rising

(nice) comments on my blog from people I know and don't

my new music system that N bought me

humming an old Ilayaraja song the whole day

fixing a bug in G's code and shoving it on his face!

alone time in the temple with no-one else

It's a beautiful world! :-)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Nursery Rhymes Revisited

Jack and Jill
Went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down
And broke his crown
And Jill said "Serves you right for wearing a tiara"

Humpty dumpty sat on a Wall
Humpty dumpty had a great fall
All the King's horses
And all the King's men
Couldn't put inflate Humpty's shares again

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dollar dream

All around the mulberry bush
The monkey chased the weasel
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun
Pop! goes the weasel
And sued the monkey for damages


The Magic Number....

My statcounter is inching towards 1000 yay! :-) It's 992 now. C'mon people, visit my blog more. A treat for the 1000th visitor. :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Hello Hello

Me is hard at work and kinda bored at work too.

At about 11 in the morn
Tring Tring (or Whrrr Whrr since my phone is on vibrate)
Me: Hello expectantly
Other Side: Namaskar this is a free call from Airtel. If you haven't paid your bill ....

Just before lunch
Whrr Whrr(a SMS this time)
Since I've already received the customary daily SMS from Airtel, I open it again eagerly. It is from an unknown number
Emi chesunavu? Blah blah blah in Telugu

An hour after lunch
Tring Tring(my desk phone this time and from an outside number)
I pick up with mixed feelings, hoping it isn't a credit card or insurance agent.
It is M
M: Hi di. I haven't paid my elec bill for this month, do you know where to pay it?
Me: Check out the website da, it's pretty clear.
M: Ok I'll call you later

Few hours later
Whrrr Whrrr
Yippie it's P from Mumbai
Me: Heyy, how are you doing? How is Bombay? Have moved into a flat yet?
P: Yeah things are good, it's very different out here. Everyday I do #@#$%@! - That's not a swear word, its the funny beep before the line gets cut

At 7 in evening
Tring Tring (my phone is loud now since it's after office hours)
Home sweet home
Me: Amma, I am so glad you called.
Amma: Where are you now? Are you still at office?
Me: Yes ma In a pitiful tone to exact pity
Amma: Did you take your medicine today?
Me: Err no
Amma: Yesterday?
Me: Nopes
Amma: Are you taking them at all?
Me: Yeah sure
Amma: Did you buy them atleast?
Me: Will do today
Amma: #@!@#$%#@ - This isn't a beep, it's Amma scolding me loud and clear

It's time to take things in my own hands now. I call up S in Bangalore.
Me: Hi S
From the other side: This is actually S' mother speaking. She left the mobile at home today. Why don't you call later?

Why do I even bother to have a mobile??? Someone call me please and soon too, before I fling my phone into the far beyond, then retrieve it, break it into bits, stamp on it and then throw it farther beyond!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Happeee :-)

Sister dear has made a job in her campus interviews and in the first company too! :-) The relief is overwhelming and moi is very proud of the little one. :-)

On the same note, congrats to K and P who are starting on their first jobs in Hyd and Mumbai respectively! :-)

And wishing V and her hubby marital bliss and joy and cheer forever and ever. :-)

After a gruelling test, interview and GD
It's time for H to celebrate and party
The air is filled with balloons, confetti and joy
'Coz V has hitched with her dream boy
K and P have started on new jobs
And started donning corporate garbs
The only thing left is a treat for the fete
And this you can do next time we meet!


Monday, June 20, 2005

Of Books and Tags

Me has been tagged by vettymax. So here goes...

1. Books I own:
I own about 60 books totally, most of which are mine. Working hard to increase this number ever since I started earning. :-)

2. Book I recently bought:
English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee

3. Book I am reading now:
The Modigliani Scandal by Ken Follett

4. My favorites:

a) Wodehouse is my favorite author and I just love his works. "Right Ho Jeeves" scores the first place amongst his books though. It is delightful comedy with such absurd situations and the humor is accentuated with the right usage of words. The scene that comes to my mind immediately is when Gussie makes faces at Anatole from the skylight to make him open the door - absolutely hilarious. :-)

b) And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie - This is a thriller in the true sense of the word. No other novel that I've read has ever been able to grip me to this extent. I read this book while I was at school(in my 9th Std to be precise) and it was sooo unputdownable that I kept it under my desk and read it while class was going on. :-)

c) A Room With a View by E.M Forster - Nice, slow book dealing with life, society, love and passion. Something about this book that pulls me with it.

d) Something Under the Bed is Drooling - a Calvin and Hobbes collection by Bill Watterson. I love this madcap kid and the super calm tiger. This strip truly cheers me up when I am in the dumps.

e) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - My librarian at school used to beg and beg me to try this book and yet I somehow never took it home. I chanced across this fortunately while at college and is one of the best books I've ever read. It's funny, preachy, sentimental at the same time and is one book that I will never tire of rereading.

f) Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsythe - "Whoa" just describes the book in one word. I am always a sucker for spy books especially dealing with the erstwhile USSR and this coupled with the level of detail made a worthy read.

I guess I have to tag others now and the axe falls on the people who read my blog and have blogs of their own - kaarthik, sagnik and littlecow. If you guys haven't been book tagged before, please do fill this up. :-)

Friday, June 17, 2005

Whoopsy Daisy :-)

No this is not a post about Notting Hill(which incidentally is one of my fav movies, but more on that later). This is about some weird or off beat phrases that people keep saying.

When I was a little kid, I picked up "Whoopsy Daisy" from somewhere and used it so frequently that even now it's a standing joke in my family. They refused to believe that it is a legitimate phrase and would try and make many other normal words sound like that to make fun of me, like "Sopsy Daisy" for sorry. :-)

Will and Grace had a whole episode dedicated to this, where Jack invents a phrase "Stake it" and then finds someone else using it. Actually lots of them on the screen - Joey's "how're YOU doin?" and Jim Carrey's "B-E-A-Utiful" in Bruce Almighty and Michelle's "You got it dude" in Full House and of course the famous Trump's famous "You are fired".

A certain respectable gentleman has conceded in the comments section of his blog that he says "ai ai yo yo" a lot. :-) So anything like this that you can share, something that you or someone you know say?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

When it Pours!

The most wonderous sight of the morning
Each drop is pure and inviting

It bathes the Gods who live above
Aah the elixir of life

Drop by drop it starts falling
Slowly and gently, at peace with the world

Soon it becomes a torrentous flow
Swallowing everything in its wake

And then touches the earth below
Spreading the wonderous smell all around

So I rush to the kitchen and turn the gas off
Drat the milk has boiled over again!


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Three's Company

Scene - The cafeteria

Present - Obnoxious R, Simple Simon P, Fake Charming D and poor 'ol Me

The four of us are seated in a table

D(to me): So, what are you doing?
Me: Eating! duh
D(loudly): Ha ha ha! I mean, in your project
Me: Coding
To prevent laughter again
The design is almost done, just started working on implementation
D: Wow, great yaar. Design, coding and all!
Oh yeah, software is not rocket science
Peace reigns for a while as chatter continues in Telugu

R(trying to include me in the flow): You know I shouted at someone today
Me: I couldn't care less Oh I see!
R: Actually it was at that S blah blah blah....... I don't know why he did that!
Me: Because he wanted to do that? Yeah!
R: So I told to him that I would report this. And nicely shouted at him.
Me: You don't tell "to" people, you tell things to people. And nicely shouted? Hmm
P: Yeah R, you are right. He shouldn't have done that. And then starts babbling in Telugu, obviously in the same vein 'coz R keeps nodding indignantly

Two recent hires join us at the table
Me: Hi, I am Janani and I'm in XYZ team
They introduce themselves and I am asking them about their college
R: Ragging huh?
Me: What?
R: Ragging the juniors. Hahaha Raucous laughter from all around
The guys throw awkward smiles and soon excuse themselves to join their friends at another table

P: My telephone bill is very high this month - its xxx.
xxx is just 20% of my bill and I express this
You have a boyfriend that's why you bills are high. Nudges me and laughs again
I smile and continue eating. Not fool enough to start a discussion about my singlehood
D: No R, even if Janani wants she can't get a bf Turns and beams at me seeking appreciation
What?? This is supposed to a compliment? Oh God, just take me away
Me: Oh no, I use normal sunscreen, it screens only UV rays and not guys
P: No no I know you mail this guy xyz@abc. com everyday. You must be calling him in Bangalore everyday, that's why your bill is high.
I almost choke on my food
Me: How the hell do you know I mail him?
P: I checked out the SMTP logs. Don't worry I can't see your mails, just the headers.
I silently resolve to use only gmail for all personal correspondance

I finish my lunch and leave.
Time spent in cafeteria - 17 mins
Time allowed for lunch - 1 hour

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Why Me Again?

I just wrote out the biggest ever post in the history of and while trying to publish it, it asked me to sign in again and then bam! All is gone. This post was bigggg, funny in places, had a few songs thrown in and a matrix like fight sequence and all other makings of a blockbuster. :-(

Now repeat after me,
Save and then publish
Save and then publish
Save and then publish

I am in mourning! :-(

P.S. I really try not to crib on my blog, but when karma catches up with me, I am helpless! :-(

Monday, June 13, 2005

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Why does the office have to be vaccum cleaned loudly at 6:15 p.m, when phone calls and meetings die out and I am trying to get some actual work done?

Why do people leave their mobiles on their desk which scream out gawdy tunes loudly?

Why don't people realise the cubicle is shared by 4 people and there are discussion rooms aplenty to have have mini meetings that last an hour?

Why does the desk phone have to ring always?

Why doesn't my mobile ring at all?

Why is only hot water coming out of the coffee vending machine?

Why does this guy M keep sending me fowards when I don't know him from Adam?

Why don't people say "please" and "thank you" any more?

Why can't I attend V's wedding?

Why isn't Amma at home now when I want to talk to her?

Why me? :-(

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Friday, June 10, 2005

Thamizhuku Amudenru Per! :-)

For the non-Thamizh readers, that line says that Thamizh is comparable to nectar. It's the first line of a famous poem by Bharathidasan(and not Bharathiyar!!) And don't stop reading now, much as I love my language, I am not going to extol it's virtues or anything right now. :-)

When we take any language, the spoken language has certainly become a little warped whereas the written is less affected. We write "Where have you been?" and we say "Where've you been?". Warped but not so much! The same case with Hindi, the spoken is a mildly contracted form of the written. (Since my Hindi is not so good, I am not typing out an example! :-) ). To clear things up, I am not talking about slang here, just talking about normal lines that we use everyday. So if a person learns English by reading some recent novels, he can pretty much manage the spoken part of it too.

But I notice that in Thamizh, what we speak is so much distorted. For example, "Nee engu sendru kondu irukirai?"(Where are you going?) becomes "Enga pore?" while talking. Why is thamizh alone in this state? When we can write decent thamizh, why do we mangle it while speaking? I am not even talking about the famous "madras bashai" here, just the normal thamizh that most people speak at home. A person who learns thamizh from "Learn Tamil in 30 Days" is screwed if he tries to live using it in Chennai. I mean things don't even sound remotely similar.

Any thoughts? And how are things in other languages?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Words and Words Are All I Have

Not mine though, since I am feeling lazy today! :-) Here’s a pick of my fav quotes off gmail’s RSS feed.

Some people see things that are and ask, “Why?” Some people dream of things that never were and ask, “Why not?” Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.
George Carlin

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
Bob Hope

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.
Woody Allen

Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.
Robert Benchley

The way taxes are, you might as well marry for love.
Joe E. Lewis

All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy.
Spike Milligan

Now they show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you've got a T-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn't your biggest problem.
Jerry Seinfeld

The first time I see a jogger smiling, I'll consider it.
Joan Rivers

I really want to love somebody. I do. I just don't know if it's possible forever and ever.
Jim Carrey

Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song? The guy who wrote that song wrote everything.
Steven Wright

Do you think that when they asked George Washington for ID that he just whipped out a quarter?
Steven Wright

I went into a McDonald's yesterday and said, "I'd like some fries." The girl at the counter said, "Would you like some fries with that?"
Jay Leno

If you come to a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra

We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbor.
Chesterton, Gilbert K

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it.
W. C. Fields

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Whine and Rant and Crib

Warning: I am now going to launch into a full fledged rant about today. Rant phobics can stop reading here.

It all started when I woke up late. And I decided to cook my lunch as well(I should have realized that trying to take my lunch is a recipe for disaster). Then the usual - stuff got boiled too much, something in my breakfast i.e either the bread or the cheese(ahem low fat) was spoilt, no auto etc. Then when I finally reached work, late of course, many people helpfully pointed out that my bindi was missing, and I hate it without my pottu, I really really do. I slid into my chair whewfully(blogic license) and started checking gmail, blogs etc. And then a mail popped up saying the weekly status review meeting was going to happen in 5 minutes. To my horror I then discovered that a cron job for which I am responsible, has been failing continuously and has been generating lots of mail alerts. I went to the meeting hoping and hoping and hoping that nobody would have checked it and of course somebody had.

After this hungama I went for lunch and discovered that I had forgotten to put salt in all that I had made. :-( I really hope later in life, I don't suffer from high BP or some other medical condition that restricts me to saltless food. (And no diabetes too, I want my ice cream! :-) )

A mini meeting with my PL followed where I dared to pooh pooh one of his ideas and he pooh poohed me back. A bigger meeting with my manager and he also pooh poohed my PL's idea - score one for me! :-) And then he accepted one of my ideas and even praised it. ++1 for me again :-) I was feeling all hotsy totsy and I slid back into my chair with a triumphant half smile. My PL turned to me and said "Janani, why don't you now explain the other suggestion you had regarding blah blah." and I just stared back at him and my manager 'coz I remembered I had some idea and I remembered that I had touted it in the previous meeting as the next best thing to mankind since gel pens, but I remembered not what it was! My manager was pretty helpful and asked to go to the board and explain just the basic flow of logic. I looked at both of them with glazed eyes and mumbled something about preparing a doc and mailing it.

Anyways there is this huge project coming up and I am very excited 'coz it involves lots and lots of coding most of which will be interesting. And I get to dabble with number sequences and random numbers and mail delivery - whoopie! :-) But the downside is that I can't attend V's wedding in Chennai. :-(

Just while writing this post my PL called me and told me that he is going to take care of the mail delivery part. Me sad! :-(

Btw, my roomies aren't coming home for dinner and since I have this problem with eating out alone, gotto cook for myself when I get home. :-(

I hope tomorrow dawns nice and bright "for you and for me and the entire human race" :-)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Me, Myself and Someone Else

On my way to work I saw this girl on the road and she looked vaguely familiar. After lots of thinking I realized that she had reminded me of myself! It was spooky for a minute 'coz this kinda thing never happens. Why do people always remind us of others and not us? Many people keep telling me "There's a girl just like me" at work or college or near their house or whatever - I guess I have a common face! :-( . I've looked at a few of them and I always felt that they looked nothing like me.

It's this way with voices too. People always feel that my sister and I sound similar and no-one's ever been able to differentiate between us on the phone. But we both have difficulty believing that we sound the same. But then, when I listen to my voice on the answering machine or something, I feel even I don't sound like myself.

And btw, about that girl I saw on the road today - I am much prettier! :-)

PHYSIOGNOMY, n. The art of determining the character of another by the resemblances and differences between his face and our own, which is the standard of excellence. :-)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Bunty Aur Babli

We tried to get tickets for this movie last weekend itself(failing which we went for Naina.) Wiser, this week I booked tickets on Wednesday itself only to have the movie hall folks call me to say that they are canceling the morning show 'coz of technical probs. Not willing to let this deter plans, I hunted all over the net and booked tickets in this obscure theatre miles away from where we live and set out in the hot sun only to find that the movie was sooo not worth it.

The movie starts well, the parts when Rani and Abhishek set out from their small town to make it big in the city were pretty enjoyable. They start doing small con jobs first to make ends meet and then for plain fun only to realize that this is their life's calling. So they get married and resolve to be together the rest of their lives and to keep pulling jobs. Amitabh Bachchan is introduced pretty late in the movie as the cop who resolves to catch them. The chase and whether-he-catches-them-are-not is the rest of the movie.

The promos about the movie were pretty clear that it is no intellectual fare. So I was pretty prepared and left my brain at home, but even so I was unpleasantly surprised. It seems as though the director first set out to make the an Ocean's Eleven kind of movie, but failed miserably by including preposterous ideas like selling the Taj Mahal (Sheesh, give the audience some credit!). The humor that you expect in this kind of movie is conspicuous by its absence. And then halfway through he decided to add sentiment as well, as a result there are some totally unnecessary weepy scenes. Of course there has to be some kind of masala and so a cheesy item number by Aishwarya Rai. Amitabh Bachchan's role didn't have much scope, and yet every scene of his was hyped up and the neck cricking mannerism was very irritating. The drunken scene with Big B and Ju B was drawn out like an obstinate bit of chewing gum(I think this is when my roomie fell asleep). To be fair the first half has a few enjoyable moments, but there is absolutely no excuse for the part after the interval. The songs are nothing to write home about except the "dhadak dhadak" song which I kept humming throughout the day.

Verdict : Average bordering on bad

Friday, June 03, 2005

That Thing You Do :-)

My hands kept twitching,
Touching the keyboard, not quite typing.

Red light shone into my eyes
When I explored the underside of my mouse

I clicked refresh all the while
Only to be told there is no new mail

Made sure my mobile was on loud mode
Can't afford to miss a call today

Called my deskphone from my mobile
Yeah all the lines were working fine

The things that we do
On a slow day at work!


Thursday, June 02, 2005


I have decided not to continue with "Storytime: Untitled as of Now" anymore. The reasons behind this move are manifold. Mainly it is not moving in the direction I had wanted it to - I didn't want it to be yet another overly saccharine love story. Now it is so dripping with mush that even I can't bear to read it! :-(

Also despite rejoinders that these characters are fictional, people seem to think that I am writing my life story and are guessing as to who is Venkat. Folks, Srishti really isn't me.

So until I hone my story writing skills a bit and churn out something better, you can rejoice at not having to put up with Storytime! :-)

Storytime: Untitled as of Now - Part III

*This won't make sense until you've read Part I and Part II*

Venkat was surprised to see the empty cube. Her blue and green bag was also missing, which meant she hadn't come in at all. A sudden feeling of fear swept over him and he swept out his mobile and called her. She picked it in half a ring, "Today's started out on a wrong note, I woke up sooooo late and then I took bath and rushed to my mess for breakfast and they were out of food. So I went to this hotel round the corner all alone and realized I had only 500 rupees notes in my purse and had to hunt around for change. And now this traffic jam", she drawled out each word for emphasis. "Oh ok, I was just wondering if you were on leave today. Ok, don't drive too fast." She knew he would call and she could sense the relief in his tone.

She liked him. She had justified it hotly to her gal pal, "Why wouldn't I like him? He is kind, thoughtful and really cares beyond the superficial level. He is charming in his own way, can be trusted and in short super nice." "That's just your way of covering the fact that he is as dull as ditchwater. Yeah have a passionate affair with reliable ol Venkat", her friend retorted.

The truth in her friend's words hit her and she frowned a bit. It was not that reliability didn't go down well with Srishti, she admired that quality in men. But she fancied herself as a romanticist and in that role, Venkat was hardly the Prince Charming. She had no siblings, and most of her childhood was spent dreaming. And in due time she started dreaming about her guy, gave him form and even held imaginary conversations with him. The problem was, Venkat resembled him in no way. She wanted her guy to be spontaneous and even impulsive; Venkat thought twice before even saying something. Her guy was a brilliant conversationalist mixing knowledge with humor and could argue a tail off a donkey; you were lucky if you could tear ten words continuously off Venkat's mouth. Mr Right also had to be a party animal, clubbing, pubbing and so on; Venkat thought twice before attending the annual company party and decided to attend in the last minute only because she was going. He hated staying up late and considered watching too much TV a vice.

Srishti was a small town girl herself. And she liked being so. But heart went out for these oh-so-cool guys of whom Venkat was not a part of. She knew she was being a little shallow when she rejected Venkat outright. But she felt like she was killing something in her heart if she said yes to Venkat. Venkat hadn't said much, but the look on face shot to her heart and she wondered if she was killing something by saying no. She always convinced herself that she didn't "love" him. Sure, she liked being with him, liked talking to him, liked listening to him, but was it something more than that? Srishti could never give a straight answer to that question, which kept asking itself so frequently.

And the fact that he was her colleague and lived two streets away from her didn't help. Whenever he smiled, she felt like ruffling his hair and when he was down, it took her a lot of resolve not to hug him and tell him things will be alright soon. She wondered if Venkat shared these urges. And sometimes she wondered if she had killed the love in his heart by her refusal, leaving behind just affection. For a period of time, she forgot all about her imaginary X and almost waited for him to approach her again so that they could live happily ever after. Unfortunately he was the perfect gentleman who didn't disturb the lady again and she was the Ice Princess who didn't propose to men. As time went by and nothing happened, she forced herself to abandon such feelings and stopped feeling sorry for what she did.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

TOW the Lunch Box

When I recovered from chicken pox a few months back, my mom suggested I take lunch from home for sometime atleast(Yeah I am a reasonably good cook). And the obedient child that I am, I made a nutritive meal of rice, greens and bhindi, packed in it the lunch box that I had stolen from my sister when I was in Madras and trotted off to work. During lunch everyone went gaga over the fact that I had actually cooked all this by myself and in the morning. My head was literally bursting with pride and I resolved to do it everyday if only to prove a point. That evening I left early (since I was convalescing and all!) and after going 6 floors down and walking a few yards I realised that my lunch box was left behind. Up I went again and brought it back and felt very smart for remembering. Then I shopped at Food World (for next day's lunch), made a call at a STD booth(it was my days of prepaid) and then autoed home. And realised that I had left my beloved lunch box (feels wierd to keep saying that, like some pre school kid or something) in one of those places.

So the next time I went to Madras I hunted for a Tupperware agent and bought a sleek lunch box for a ridiculous amount of money. And after coming to Hyderabad I left it in a relative's place where I landed for breakfast the morning I reached. I managed to get it back later though. It slept at home for a while after that since I completely forgot about its existence. I found it while cleaning up the kitchen this weekend and I resolved to re-attempt cooking-and-taking-lunch. And I woke up early, made roti and dal and packed it in - everything perfect, except during lunch time I forgot that I had brought lunch. Eeeessh! My resolve was more strengthened by this fiasco and yesterday I made lunch took and ate it. Mission accomplished but I forgot to take my box home.

I have decided not to fight providence any more. If I manage to take my lunch box(7th time I am using "lunch box" in this post - ooops I did it again! :-) ) safely today and dump it in my kitchen, I will leave out cooking for dinners and weekends and eat the grub that's served in our cafeteria. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ten Things About Me

that you probably don't want to know, but are going to know if you read on further. :-)

1) It's very easy to make me cry

2) I like geeky people in general, but I hate it when people call themselves geeks and are proud of it. (Puhleez, geeks are at the lowest rung of the social ladder in many worlds)

3) I love wearing rings but I don't and I hate guys wearing rings

4) I obsess a lot about my hair

5) I alternate between a forthcoming extrovert and a painfully shy introvert

6) Whenever I pose for a photo, I smile so that all my 32 show and tilt my head to the right

7) I smile too much in general, sometimes people on the road have come up and asked me if we know each other

8) I hate aloo if it is the main dish but I like it when it is a part of something

9) I still don't know how RSS and feeds and all that work and I bookmark my favorite blogs

10) I like my left hand more than my right


Monday, May 30, 2005

Naina - The Movie

I entered the theatre with some amount of misgiving as we had seats on the first row and also since people told me it was a remake of a Thamizh movie that flopped miserably at the box office. And I was pleasantly surprised at the end of it all.

The movie begins in London when young Naina loses her eyes(and her parents) in an accident and in that exact instant a child is born to a tribal woman in Bhuj. Naina grows up into a young woman who undergoes a cornea transplant and her eyesight is more than restored and she begins having strange visions. She meets up with a psychiatrist to discuss this condition and together they undertake a journey to India to unravel the mystery.

The movie introduces chills and thrills in the right places albeit without the usual garish background score. The cinematography is pucca be it the streets of London or hamlets in rural Gujarat and portrays the supernatural without the usual hoopla. And surprisingly it has a solid storyline with logic and reason woven in, for a movie that deals with the occult. The twist just before the interval truly surprises and the ending is very mature and complete. And the best part is the complete absence of songs - Bollywood is growing up!

Urmila Matondkar is brilliant as usual as Naina. Her frightened yet eager expressions when first opens her eyes to the wide world, the fear and desperation in the final scenes are near perfect. Malavika as Kemi the tribal girl remains etched in our memory though her screen time is short. Anuj Sawhney as the psychiatrist Sameer is one of the pleasant surprises - he pleases the eye and the intellect with the right amount of dignity, credibility and honesty. Certainly going to watch out for him.

Blood and gore has been used extensively in the movie and sometimes moves us to a point of disgust though the story doesn't require it at all. Kamini Khanna as Naina's grandmother is too garrulous and loud to be pleasant. London has no relevance to the plot except to perhaps satisfy the whims of "phoren" locales.

Verdict: Good

P.S. My roomie K wishes to make it clear that though she accompanied me to the movie, the views expressed here are entirely my own and she doesn't recommend this movie to anyone! :-)

Friday, May 27, 2005

What do you do when

People around you talk continously in Telugu and then turn to you and ask why you are so silent

The guy sitting behind you is staring at your screen while you mail and doesn't know that you know he is staring

Someone wearing an atrocious attire is asking for an opinion and you don't want to lie or burn bridges

You talk loudly about someone only to turn back and find him looking at you

Someone you are trying to avoid keeps coming on to you and socializing

You receive forwards from strangers at work

Your normally considerate PL loads with work at 7:00 p.m on a Friday and wants it to be done immediatly.

*Yes, I promise to make an attempt to stop cribbing all the time and blog about nice things in life too *

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Eating Alone

Today we did something high funda at work - failing over the primary server to the secondary server on purpose and checking if all the jobs, scripts blah blah run fine. And this had to be done during lunch to affect minimal users. So by the time I reached our cafeteria, everyone from my dysfunctional lunch group had left leaving me to lunch alone. :-( I looked around and though I found a few people I knew and who would engage in decent conversation, they were sitting with people I didn't know or people I knew and knew they wouldn't talk! Feeling very pathetic and wallowing in self pity I sat a table all alone, finished my meal in record time and ran to the refuge of my cubicle.

Now don't get me wrong here, I not a namby pamby girl who can't get anything done alone. Heck, I've survived three and a half years in Pilani, half a year in Bangalore and almost a year in Hyd all alone. I am pretty brave and independent kinds. But I can never ever go to a restaurant alone and dine alone!

I don't know why this is so. I have gone shopping alone umpteen number of times and never felt odd. Come to think of it, it makes more sense to drag someone along while shopping to prevent impulsive purchases that lose its charm as soon as you go home. A meal is for an hour but clothes are forvever! :-) And I do other stuff (that I can't think of right now) also alone. But eating is a big no-no! Once I almost entered a restaurant alone, and then I perceived the imagined snickers, glances of pity, shouts of "loser loser" reverbrating all around and ran right back!

Ann Landers (no I don't know who she is) said "It is far better to alone than to wish to be alone". So with this knowledge in mind and a book in hand for company I am going into march into someplace nice and dine alone and then blog all about it! :-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Storytime: Untitled as of Now - Part II

*If you are new, read Part I first, just in case.*

The day was grey and dull and seemed to be geared up for a storm. Srishti hardly noticed it though. With a crinkled nose she tried to find out where that tricky variable was initialised. Like a mountain looming over the sleepy village, Venkat waited patiently. "I have some work, you leave da", she attempted a futile battle. The chivalrous giant never let her stay late in office and never let her go alone. And she always acquiesced after mild protests. She had always been the spoilt brat at home, fussed over and coddled. Her first few months in the city had been choatic to state the least and she had wandered like a wet puppy that had strayed from its home. Until she met Venkat that is. Venkat treated her like the princess that she felt she was. He knew when to take her out, when to put his foot down, when to pander to her whims and things like that.

It was love at first sight for Venkat. He was that kind actually, he had never been the ladies man and when he found his woman, he intended to stick to her. It this were Old England, he would be of a sturdy peasant stock and funnily enough he looked that way too - tall, well built with a ruggedly handsome face. Dependabilty was his middle name and that was one the reasons he was well liked all around.

And he loved Srishti with all his being. He wasn't the kind of guy who made lists like "I like the way her hair falls about her face. I adore that tiny mole above her lips. I love it when she tilts her head to the right while talking. Her tiny smile, her flowing dupatta ...". He didn't watch romantic movies, he never took her handkerchief when she wasn't looking to sigh at later and he couldn't rhyme to save his life. He was chivalrous though, he pulled out chairs, carried bags, held umbrellas, never allowed her to pay - almost romantic but not quite.

He pondered a lot before proposing. He knew she was his, but he didn't know the protocol one followed while declaring that. But he didn't like to go on as though nothing had happened when something indeed was happening deep inside. So like all good men do, he bought a bunch a roses, gathered himself and gave words to his feelings under a shady tree. And to be honest, he never expected what happened to happen; they were meant to be. It hit him hard, more because he couldn't understand it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Mixed Bag

We had this small birthday party at work and looking around I realised that I hate a lot of people!For example, I hate R for talking and laughing too loudly and for her general brash behaviour and I hate A for his taste in clothes and I can go on and on and on. Something is wrong somewhere...

And going in line with my hate theme, I am going to repeat my smileys rant with added emphasis. Every site I go to seems to have this Smiley Central ad and there is this one smiley with red rashes scratching itself furiously and this really takes me to the lowest point of disgust! Yech, why would anyone ever want to use that in a mail?

On a happier note, my much missed roomie is coming back tomorrow. Yaayy! And I have started my plans for elaborate weekend revelry. :-) Also L has made a job in Pune, congrats girl. :-) And oh it is S' birthday tomorrow and in case you are reading this, "Hap hap happy birthday!" :-)

I am reading English, August now. (If you haven't clicked that link, do it now.) It's been made into a motion picture and so the cover has a picture of Rahul Bose(I am not going to link to him in imdb, do it yourself!). And now I have lost a little of the pleasure of reading the book 'coz in my mind Agastya is Bose! I have this thing actually, I don't like to see movies made out of books and if I happen see the movie first I never can read the book!

Moi hasn't got a single call since morning! :-( But lot of emails to make up! :-)

Ok ending with a snippet from Carry On Jeeves -
"Yes, sir,'' said Jeeves in a low, cold voice, as if he had been bitten in the leg by a personal friend.


Monday, May 23, 2005


A question was thrown at me
My answer was lost in silence

Friends poured forth pleasantaries
I smiled weakly in return

My boss asked for an estimate
And I emailed my answer

I ate the lunch which was served
Without making any demands

Inquiries, questions and condolences
I replied in tenorless single syllables

The world is a hard place to live in
When you have lost your throat to soreness!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I Wanna Go to Switzerland

Picture 155
Originally uploaded by sjanani.
and I wanna go NOW! This is what happens when a friend sends picture perfect snaps from Europe and you are stuck in hot hot Hyderabad! :-(

Thanks Sharan for the lovely snaps and for permission to reproduce them! :-)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Calling it a Day

How do you objectify a day? One question I hate answering is "So, how was your day?" (But I am guilty of posing this question many times though - it's is one of the easiest things to say when you can't think of anything else.) How do I answer that question without seeming curt? If I had an exciting job, maybe my reply would have sounded like "Yup me had a good day, managed to isolate yet another stable isotope in the lab today" or "Not so good pal, broke my neck while bungee jumping today". Unfortunately moi is just yet another Indian software engineer. Most of my days are spent looking at and some days writing code. And more often than not, the person who is asking this question is also YAISE and I am always worried that answering this question might lead to the complete dissection of my job profile, my project, the team I am into, the method of source control we use, C++ or Java yada yada yada or worse it could lead into a detailed monologue of his/her job, the kind of project she is into and so on.

So leaving the work part aside, the other parameters that I could use to evaluate my day are my journey to work which takes approximately 15 minutes, my lunch and my travel back home! I can imagine myself answering "Yeah I had a great day, in the morning I got an auto very easily and they actually served gobi for lunch today" and the other person's opinion of me will sink to an all time low.

After a lot of pondering and rejecting many possible possibilities, I have hit upon this one - "Yeah my day was not bad. Survived a man eater in the morning, and then the afternoon was spent disproving the Pythagoras Theorem. My evening was good, I swam across the English Channel - nothing more invigorating than a brisk swim. And now here I am talking to you." Either she will give an awkward laugh and quickly change the topic or hang up - works for me eitherways! :-)