Pointlessly interesting

It was nearing five twenty. A ten minute ride was more than enough.. I hurriedly pulled on a tee and my faithful pair of jeans. I was on my way to this rather embarrassing thing called lab class, necessitated by the awesome faculty we'd got for our electronic lab sessions in S3.

The key was in ignition and on kickin the starter, dad's old warhorse the CD100SS roared sputtered to life. I downed the visor of the huge helmet I was wearing (Trivandrum cops were now in the no-helmets mode for the past one week) and started off. I made it slow this time.. going leisurely at under 40kmph, singing Stairway To Heaven to myself, and trying to imagine how Vincent in Pulp fiction must've been feeling when he drives his car, havin taken coc, to take Mrs. Wallace out for the evening :D

Past the hustle bustle, going up the flyover over the Vanchiyoor bridge aka Uppalaamoodu paalam.. I spotted something. Hurriedly braking and takin a sharp right, I let gravity guide me down the road.. past the smelly fish-hawkers' place and the various shops that adorned the side of the road. At the bottom of the slope, I saw what I was looking for. I pulled over, turned the bike off and took off my helmet.

One of my most familiar and relished sounds.. the chugga chugga chugg of the diesel warhorse of IR, the good old WDM2 idling at the TVC home signal with the afternoon passenger from Kottayam hit my eardrums. To anyone who must have been following me on the road must have quite arrived at a certain conclusion regarding my sanity now.. I was standing, just a couple of metres from the tracks, watching the 'engine'. I knew what I was doing, though! I was doing precisely that. The passenger was no doubt, waiting for the outgoing TVC-MAS express, which, I knew was coming in a few minutes now.

Here I was, in the evening sun, enjoying the breeze and just watching a loco idle away. I had nothing else in mind right then.. Exams were over, lab exams were still weeks away, and I had nothing to do for college the following day. Joblessness at its height... and under such beautiful circumstances, even a thing as pointless as standing by the side of a road, watching a train feels insanely fulfilling.

A short toot from the distance told me that I was in for another sight.. Slowly, the beast came into view. A brand new WAP4, #22806, hauling the late afternoon superfast to Chennai.. The loco pilots exchanged a wave and the beast passed me, its traction motors grinding away loudly while it accelerated.. the thud thud at the rails and the onlookers at the doors.. the last coach was easily doing 40 when it passed by.
Now the fellow waiting leaned on the horn and departed in classique diesel style.. the looooong horn, a tug at the coaches and the rhythmic beat of chug chug chug, slightly smoking away.. The chugging grew a bit faster and the loco disappeared out of sight.. People were already waiting at the doors to get down at the station and continue living their own little busy lives. Time.. business.. strange.

I took the U-turn, went back up the road and continued.. I was late for the class, but I was not complaining. It was back to working away at the world of resistors, capacitors, bootstraps and schmitt triggers.

Being 'crazy' over lots of things makes you insane in the eyes of people.. but it makes your life interesing. You enjoy doing something which otherwise means nothing to people, which they would just pass of as something part of the city or the world. They gain nothing from it.. and you lose nothing, but you gain the little pleasure you derive from watching a robot work, building a linux system from scratch, watching in dismay as an IC dies drawing a lot of amperes, or looking at and feeling a 3000hp beast chug off while its V-16 engines beat away in harmony.

Maybe I'm just crazy. But I'm not complaining :)


Mediocrity and Pissed-off-ness

Disclaimer: For the uninitiated, this post drips a vain and high-n-mighty attitude. If you know me well, you'll understand. If you dont, and still think the post oozes all that, fuck off.

College really pisses me off sometimes. Yes, I have an awesome set of friends in there and they are the reason why I go to college. But apart from them, the whole atmosphere there is, I may say, really disillusioning.
A thick fog of mediocrity hangs about forever. It's very disappointing. The average person on the campus is someone who comes, sits and gets back to his place. He comes to college for a degree and to sip his cup of chaaya. He doesn't care what's happening around him (as in the world), for he doesn't process such stuff up there. Thank god college is not filled with these species, for a lot of unfortunate people would have gone for the rope (or the dope) had it been so.

So here's something I'd really love to tell the faceless person in the crowd someday. Maybe I'm just exaggerating but again, if you really care for your time, go read the newspaper or soemthing.

1. Dont be the Average Joe. If you still are, understand for Gods sake that the Average Joe isn't very proud of being so. He's just a dumbass.

2. I dont need to have a goddamn reason for everything I do!! Just cos I wear a smiley badge to college one day, it doesnt mean I'm now a vaastu or tai-chi or whatever person. I wear it cos I can. Go dig your nose if you have any problem with that.

3. Sitting in the back row doesn't necessarily make you god. And for the fools who ridicule the guys sitting right up front, lemme tell u that we laugh our asses off, get online and tweet about it sitting there, while your sorry arses get picked on to answer a question by some prof.

4. Movies is not always equal to malayalam movies. There exist English movies that are not equal to porn. And English movies are not always equal to action/thriller.

5. Oh yes, a lot of people dont give a damn about politics. Maybe we're just not that passionate. Also, see #6.

6. When I say Fuck off, I mean it. Nobody says fuck off for the panache.

7. Nobody needs to turn heads when someone talks in English or uses some expletive. Sonofabitch is just the same as panna naayinte mone.

8. If you dont listen to metal, you can have my sympathy (and my collection if you bring a portable HDD). If you show your disdain/disgust(god save u!) for it without being asked, accept the finger.

9. There exist a lot of people who have interests other than what's required in the syllabus of the goddamn university. Just because someone reads a book on python or microcontrollers it doesnt mean you need to panic.

10. Relax, goddammit.

11. Girls, wearing tshirts is sweet :D The ones who usually don't needn't be embarassed to do it the first time (pun unintended :P )

Feels good to have administered CPR to the blog :) S4 starts soon. Hmm six semesters to go...


A tag to the rescue

The dear old blawg has been lying stagnant for a long time, thanks to both my laziness and microblogging (read: twitter) :D
And from somewhere in the blogosphere, like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, salvation comes in the way of a tag, by school buddy nitin.. thanks mate!

Well then here goes.. I'm supposed to: "Pick up an artist, fill up the tag questions with answers only using the name of songs from that artist". Interestinggg..

Pick your Artist:
]\/[etallica! \m/

Are you male or female?
Of wolf and man.

Describe yourself:
Master of puppets.

How do you feel?
The outlaw torn.

Describe where you currently live:
The house Jack built

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
I disappear :)

Your favourite form of transportation:
Ride the lightning!

Your best friend is:
Enter sandman.

Your favourite colour is:

What's the weather like?
The day that never comes.

If your life was a TV show, it would be called:
For whom the bell tolls..

What is life to you:
Sad but true.

Current Relationship:
Ain't my bitch :P

Eye of the beholder :)

Looking for:

Wouldn't mind:
Whisky in the jar :)

Your Fear:
Trapped under ice.

What is the best advice you have to give:
Nothing else matters.

If you could change your name, you'd change it to:

Thought for the Day:
The Frayed Ends Of Sanity...

How you would like to die:
Fade to black!

My motto:
Seek and Destroy!

Oh boy oh boy this was fun.. thanks to Metallica's ways of naming their songs! I had a feeling Green Day would have offered more choice but the days of listening to punk are over with school I guess...



Word definition: Theyppu (variations: theppu, thyeppu etc). Abstract noun, meaning the general but strong and definite inclination of things (or life in general) to screw themselves/itself up so as to cause maximum inconvenience and irritation to the person concerned (aka we).

Today dawned as just another day.. bright sunshine in the morning was a bit unusual given the chilly monsoon morning atmosphere. I woke up earlier thn usual, at six, and switched on the torrent downloads. After a long time downstairs I checked the computer only to be told that it had been doing precisely nothing for one hour, wasting free internet time, as the torrent signalled an error and was stuck. Thyeppu number one: Led Zeppelin download torrent stuck at precisely 50%, with not a single file fully downloaded. I cursed the computer and shut the damn thing down and got ready for college.
As I was getting out, I happened to notice that the charge in my phone was in depleting mode. Well my phone has this behaviour by which charge just drops as fast as possible once the battery level gets below the maximum number of bars in the level indicator. So this meant I would have to get back home as soon as possible, regular time, after college or else I would be stuck somewhere in the city/college with a dead communication device. Great.
The bus timings being rescheduled to being 10mins early meant absolute mayhem in the mental timetable I had carefully fabricated over one year of getting ready for college in the morning. Hence I arrived at the same old Vazhappally bus stop (rather, shed) a good fifteen minutes early (God knows how or why on earth).. After some moments of pretending to be busy on the phone I gave it up and resigned to just picking up random conversations with buddies at the stop. The sun had decided to give us a surprise. Give ME a surprise, more like. I was wearing this dark shirt with a round necked tee inside just because I expected the day to be cold and rainy.. well hence the sun was shining with all its might and by the time the bus made its appearance I had perspired off litres of water and got a good tan too :P

The devices lab in the first three hours was the only brighter part of the day.. we breezed through two experiments - a differentiator/Low-pass filter and the famed(in our circles) RC-coupled amp :) No batch in the history of our class had got the latter so far in their first try for some godforsaken reason and thus every experiment hence was succeeded by the RC-coupled amp ritual. My group was doing the ritual for the 238th time and today something happened. No, dont ask me what. It involves a deep understanding of the intricacies of the Chaos theory and various higher levels of philosophical-domain Fourier transformation on functions mapping the general theyppu behaviour of resistors, capacitors and the like. Anyway the result was that the damn thing worked this time (again, dont ask me why this time or how - we had been connecting it EXACTLY the same way every session) and left three boys and a girl feeling high :P

Post lunch were all (by now) boring hours. I was feeling sleepy and if our electrical madam hadnt called my name to answer a question I would have dropped my head on my book for sure. I vaguely remember her asking me the answer to some equivalent reactance of something something of a something in a transformer problem we were supposed to be solving. "Ma'am.. I still haven’t started doing it", I said, as matter-of-fact as possible, and sat down and attempted to fight off sleep. It was hopeless.. I longed for just six feet of space to lie and drift to slumberland. The last hour was, contrary to our belief hope, not free :(

Four o'clock. Finally. Was a boring day. I got my stuff and cheered up thought of a good sleep back home in bed. Theyppu again! Just for the fun of it, I offered to shout out my classmate's number during the attendance ritual. In my very alert state of mind, despite him telling me that his number was 45, I called out a proxy for 44. Only after he called out his 45 with a bewildered look did I realise the goof-up. I turned back to see the 44-girl with a 'WTF!" expression on her face. Now this was the ultimate in utter-nonsense-theyppu!

Time for the bus to leave... when another of our guys caught up with me and said I had to stay back for some ISTE work.. By this time I had given up my desire to get a good sleep anytime today and stayed back till five. That meant I had to catch a city bus back home. After having a bland sharjah at the bakery nearby I started the wait for the bus. The first bus showed ITS theyppu by just not stopping. I almost expected the driver to look back and smile a mocking grin but he didn’t :-| The next bus was packed with humanity and it stopped. No seats. Still blazing hot evening. Tee shirt inside. Library books and record to add to weight of bag. And I knew I'd kept my mp3 player at home. Theyppu!

So I stood with the bag all the way through two traffic jams, for a 45 minute journey and got a seat for the last five minutes. It was as if life was never missing out an opportunity to make fun of myself or itself ( I don't know!). Walking from East fort to back home I get a call from home informing me that my sister had gone for a carnatic concert from her music class at such and such a place and that I needed to stay there for her programme and accompany her back home. By this time I had lost all hopes of ever sleeping for many days or even weeks and I sighed and resigned to my fate. I arrived at the place to see my sis sitting with several other kids, patting 'thaalam's to what some singer was singing onstage. She signalled as if to say hers was yet to take place and that it would be later. I got myself a chair far back and started the wait. Ragam Hamsanaadam... rather fine song. Then came some weird ragam, which sounded like the typical 'made-for-complexity-alone-and-not-for-any-mood-or-emotion' kind of a song, so I just went out of the hall and walked along the road, which was the one overlooking the Padmanabha swamy temple pond. I got myself something to eat and drink, for I was famished, and it was then that I came into the same situation as hari chettan did in his blog post.
Nature's call. And there are no public toilets here. I slunk along dark corners of roads in search for darker ones to attend to the call, but had no luck. Finally I had to pee near a transformer while praying against any stray current in the premises :P Getting back, it was some other recital and there was no sign of the lady winding up. I sat nevertheless under a working fan and sent a good load of mosquitoes to meet their maker. I was increasingly getting impatient and tried various means of passing the time(It was still some boring song, not the sounds-good ones) - couting the number of heads I could see or the number of times the guy next to me said 'wah!' or 'besh!'.. My phone had now almost died (the battery, remember?), so I couldnt switch it on and that form of entertainment was out of reach :( I was getting real pissed off with my sis. Finally at 8.30 pm (after two hours of being in that place) she came up and told me that we could leave.

At first I didnt believe her.. I told her it wasnt proper to leave just like that without participating in her programme and singing what she was supposed to. And that was when the last and ultimate theyppu struck. Ladies and gentlemen, yes, after all the theypps of the day, this one 'was the unkindest cut of them all'..
She said, "Hey mine got over long back.. even before you came! I was just sitting and watching the rest"

I just ran out of swear words.


PS: So it was true: I never slept yesterday :(
PPS: One more theyppu. Getting back home I found I had my mp3 player in my bag!
PPPS: I'm getting delirious. I havent even read thru this post once fully before posting.. so ignore any errors.. It's now Friday and I need to hit the sack!! NOW!


Morning raga vs. the unsolicited songworm

Monsoon is the best time to be in Kerala. The weather outside right now is just splendid, with a cold breeze continuously yet unobtrusively keeping one fresh. Some soothing song from the temple nearby sails down in the wind.. at times rising in volume and other times falling.. the horn of the Malabar exp or the occasional night freighter.. Soft music is most beautiful when heard from afar, carried by the breeze. Metal, on the other hand is the most orgasmic when heard in a live concert.

My mind's always in a song.. it's been so for so many years that I dont know when it started. I wake up in the morning to some nice tune, (but not always though.. many a times has 'dappankoothu' frolicked in the morning), shower humming something to myself. Tap my feet in some rhythm or the other when I walk barefoot. Heavy metal runs in my veins when traveling in the college bus.. All this is interspersed only by minutes of speech or much relished moments of silence.

It's only a matter of time before technology is misused, as those idiotic oldies (who love criticising the internet, mobile phones etc) say. Somehow, God seems to have issued a royal decree ordering loudspeakers of highest decibel levels to be installed in the nearby streets whenever there's a festival at the temple.

God: ..and get the makes by Bose. Ye'know, those tiny unassuming ones which make a LOT of noise.. I LOVE them!
%$%!@#: Yes your omnipotence.. but those are real costl-
God: Do not interrupt me, thou mortal earthling. Thou shalt be playing all these songs *takes out a list of the latest, and time honoured favourites of the festival audio managers* This one in the morning.. then this in the afternoon.. NO SHUFFLE, mind you. I want this in the exact order and crossfaded. Get me?
%$%!@#: Yes your majestic Godliness.
God: Righto, run along and do what I told you.
*ching* (disappears)

%$%!@#: (to manager) Well we can't afford Bose.. We'll get a couple of 'duplis' from Thakarapparambu.. and dunk the rest of the finance heheheh
manager: njeheheheh hm.. okay.

Two days later, a petti-auto arrives and depostits loud-speaker dabbas every fifty metres, and special amp-cum-reinforcement-speakers at every junction surrounding the temple. The volume knob on the amplifier is disfunctional (nevertheless at highest volume setting) and the party is on!! And what a song selection this time... Usually the songs are bearable, but for the last one week (precisely the inspiration for this post), they are goddamn driving me mad! I can only arrive at the perfectly logical conclusion that the eject of the CD player they're using has stopped working and thus the one CD they have is stuck inside for eternity, for our sons and grandsons and greatgrandsons to hear and go mad. The guy behind the controls just comes and turns it on, and switches between live and CD at times. That's pretty much the arsehole's job. He's probably deaf, or with as much sense of music as a tapeworm. The same songs keep repeating in the same order every day, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again... :(

Seems 'Alaipaayuthe' has turned into the national anthem. I hear it everyday in the morning and at night, and every goddamn sonofamother wants to sing it in a carnatic recital and every damn daughter wants to dance to it. I've developed a clenching-fist reflex to that song now. Maybe my brain imagines myself strangling someone. And if somebody is listening, CARNATIC MUSIC SOUNDS REAL HORRIBLE FROM A GODDAMN LOUDSPEAKER BOX, EVEN FOR A MINUTE. Carnatic music is meant to be enjoyed live, not blared over some black box. Ditto for Hindustani. There's this real pleasure in hearing the sympathetic strings of a sarod or sitar twang richly in resonance with the strings plucked by the player..

Then there are the repetitive devotional songs. They're basically the product of a jobless tramp turned composer who suddenly divined on a tune for two lines of a song and met up with a devotional-song writer, and the two went out to a kallushaap to discuss plans to make quick money. The question of 'what abt the music for the remaining lines' changed into 'why any music for the remaining lines' by some spark in the godforsaken brain of the 'composer'.. and the influence of the spirit acted as a catalyst for the spiritual :P Result: One tune, three songs in praise of three Gods. Three hours of pure spirituality for the masses.
God knows how people tolerate the same tune going on and on and on with just changes in lyrics, for one whole hour. Height of retardation. And the lyrics ha.. Some of them are threats to the tourism industry. Straight from what clothes to pack, what bus/train is the best suited for the journey, to where the temple is, the history behind it, and what people do there.. all in a question-answer form of a child asking her dad. (Rumours of multiple-answer type QA albums about to be released soon are about)

The torture continues.. I restrain my urge to blow those boxes up... and I don't step out of my room nowadays. My headphones are my best friend. And sometimes Megadeth sounds infinitely better than spirituality.


Ninety nine plus ONE!

Finally.. after three years of kinda continuous blogging, my posts now count to a hundred :)
Pic Courtesy  www.marketingpilgrim.com
After a long thought about what to post on the 100th, I thought I'd be faithful to this good old blog by actually including a part of itself as a sort of tribute to itself... *sniff* For it's been what my mind has been all these years...
Hence I got an excuse to dig up all my old posts outta the archive and atleast glance through each one of them.. And it was worth it, for I really couldn't believe (and I'm not saying this just for the sake of saying it) that I had written certain posts.. I've really changed over the years it seems.. :D So ladies and gentlemen, presenting the specially handpicked (mouse-clicked) list of my favourite posts(as of this moment!) over the last three years (in chronological order: oldest first):

Horlicks Fest: My first post in the 'criticism' category. My total, comprehensive pissed-off-ness that day led me to "aishwaryamaayittu" start blogging (and swearing on it). Got my first comments on it too.. A bit of nostalgia wouldn't hurt eh..

Through the landscape...blah blah: Straight from the bored heart of a travel-bug cum shutter-bug cum railfan waiting for his exams to get over :)

Up and down the motherland: A longish post about that awesome trip with our dear Vice Princi and five class-buddies to Chandigarh for the 1st National Aerospace Olympiad. Enjoyed it like hell.. being my first trip this far with classmates :)

Vista on 128MB RAM?:
Misleading as the title is, it's undoubtedly the most popular post on the blog going by the two-three hits everyday for it by desperate people who are looking to run Vista on their old machines (LOL!!!). It reeks of Linux propaganda, btw :D

Ghanan Ghanan: A long short-story :P I simply love this one!

Chengalisation: One of the few posts from the Criticism category which made it to this list.. this was written with all disgust!

Top Linux Slogans:Another linux post :D But this one was a listing of hugely hilarious pro-linux slogans(which also happen to be jabs at W!ndow$... Became rather popular by appearing on tuxmachines and fsdaily.

This evening: My attempt at overcoming the lack of something to blog about, my just going for a walk and making this post out of absolutely nothing. Ironically I liked this one a lot :)

Up, up and away: The first of the five-part series of HUGE posts about my first trip out of India.. I typed furiously for days that I almost got Carpal tunnel syndrome :-| Still, going by the comments people felt it was a good read I guess...

Why am I so?
: A one stop explanation for people who got curious about my fascination for trains. Says it all.. and proves I'm not mental :D

A Monsoon Sojourn: The advantage of blogging these lovely trips/joyrides is that you can always refresh your memory by going through these a long time later...

Christmas as a Loyolite: Christmas was the best season to be in Loyola.. *sigh* I miss school!

A Leaf outta Life 01: Finally, a college post.. to complete the circle eh? But I like this one a lot.. makes it seem like lots happen in a day!

Well that ends what undoubtedly looks like a boasting vain display of posts.. well I don't care if it appears so :| Had such a nice time sifting through archives and poking bytes at parts of Google's databanks which remained unaccessed for years!

Finally... thanks to anyone who has gone though my blog at some point of time or the other.. And a warm hug to all who have stayed through till now :) Love y'all!


That HUGE tag

I'm havin no min for some serious blogging, yet it tugs at my heartstrings to see my blog having not been updated recently. Hence the lazybones, easy-peasy method of filling up space on the Google server... Picked this rather tiny tag from Nitin. Okies here goes:

1. Last beverage – Sprite :) Just emptied an ageing bottle lying in the fridge
2. Last phone call- Abhi
3. Last text message – Brajesh
4. Last song you listened to – Metallica - No leaf clover
5. Last time you cried – Hmm... Not very far back actually :D


6.Dated someone twice? – Nopes.
7. Been cheated on? – Nopes.
8. Cried yourself to sleep? – Ditto.
9. Lost someone special? – Not really. But miss them :(
10. Been depressed? – Lots lately. Over particularly nothing infact. Never thought such things would happen to me!
11. Seen ghosts – Never.. I don't believe in them!
Blue, white, green.


15.Made new friends – Definitely :)
16. Fallen out of love – Naah...
17. Laughed until you cried – Yeah.. big time :)
18. Met someone who changed you – hehe that never happens :P
19. Found out who your true friends were – Yup..
20. Found out someone was talking about you – Much to my surprise :)
21. Kissed anyone on your friend’s list – In my dreams :D That one was wonderful!
22. How many people on your friends list do you know in real life ? – Ah.. around half of them I reckon.
23. How many kids do you want to have – Two. A cute li'l girl and a naughty li'l devil of a boy :D
24. Do you have any pets – Visiting pets. There's ubuntu, g-man, cat#1, cat#2, BumbleBee#1.. can't think of more right now...
25. Do you want to change your name – Not given it a thought as of yet..
26. What did you do for your last birthday – Ah turned 18 :) A bit of gorging about restaurants, talkin to ppl over the phone, bossing my lil sister around.. Met KK, AO, RajeshSir to tell them where I was and that coll was starting the next day.
27. What time did you wake up today – 6:26. Woke up to her missed call :P
28. What were you doing at midnight last night – Texting Brajesh about how sweet, angelic, lovely (etc) Shreya Ghoshal's voice was... then switched off the mp3 player, and slept over my Mechanical Engg textbook.
29. Name something you CANNOT wait for – Get the hell outta this fuckin place after three years.
30. Last time you saw your father – Ten mins earlier.
31. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life – Ah.. lots *sigh*
32. What are you listening to right now – Some little birdie chirping excitedly atop the banyan tree near the pond. My headphone conked out.
33. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom – If I did, I don't remember now. Screw my memory.
34. What’s getting on your nerves right now? The infinite time needed by the Kerala University for conducting a goddamn exam.
36. Whats your real name – Tzreiraumm. What the hell.
37. Relationship Status – Single.. and experimenting :P
38. Zodiac sign – Libra/Virgo. Somebody called it a cusp or something. Whatever...
39. Male or female – Male
40. Natural Hair color? – Black
41. Hair color now – Kinda dark brownish to black.
42. Pet Peeve – The way people just can't seem to mind their own goddamn business.
43. Need Glasses- You bet!
44. Long or short – Now what the fuck does this mean? Length of what?
45. Height – Five ten.
46. Do you have a crush on someone – Have openly admired a lot of 'em.. No real crush as of yet :)
47. What do you like about yourself? – I can do a hell lot of things well. Open boasting but that's the truth.
48. Piercings – Ears. Not by choice though.. Had it done when I was a baby :)
49. Tattoos – Want this one: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2075/2417129525_43ec687684.jpg
50. Righty or lefty – Right. Don't even mention the other word to me. I've had enough of hearing it.. what with living in this state for 18 years.

51. First surgery – None as yet.
52. First piercing – Ears.. at the age of one I think.
53. First tattoo – Heh.. some fat blue bloke with Boomer written across his chest :P
54. First best friend – Ranjeet
55. First sport you joined – Cricket :)
56. First pet – Again a visiting one.. some striped tomcat.
57. First vacation – Oh this one I simply can't remember. We travelled like crazy when I was small.. all over South India I guess. So the location would be somewhere in there.
59. First crush- I remember I liked girls a lot right from when i was small :D First one was the girl in some ad behind the telephone directory.. I even used to keep the directory with me all the time.. Cute love eh :)
60. First alcoholic drink – White wine.

61. Eating – A couple of almonds...
62. Wearing – A black tee (it's almost a rag) and grey short. And Jockey. There u go :)
63. I’m about to – Resume that crap in the third module of the text.
64. Speaking to – Isn't it obvious that I'm typing dammit!
65. Waiting to – Go railfanning after the exams.
66. Want kids? – Naah not atleast a couple of years from now.
67. Want to get married? – Ditto.
68. Careers in mind? – Eh.. now looking at tech-journalism :)

69. Lips or eyes – Eyes.
70. Hugs or kisses – I love both :D
71. Shorter or taller- About the same height.
72. Older or Younger – Younger, or the same.
73. Romantic or spontaneous – Romantic :)
74. Nice stomach or nice arms – Ah.. both matter a lot!
75. Tattoos or piercings- Taken an interest in ear studs recently.. the ones on the edges of the ear lobes are cute :)
76. Sensitive or loud- Sensitive but not too much. Loud is kinda bitchy.
77. Hook-up or relationship – Relationship
78. Trouble maker or hesitant- Trouble makerrr!

79. Kissed a stranger – Nopes :(
80. Drank hard liquor – Not yet :P
81. Lost glasses/contacts – Never... Touchwood!
82. Sex on first date – Lemme see.. that warrants a blogpost anyway!
83. Broken someone’s heart – I don't believe I ever have.
84. Had your own heartbroken – Yes.
85. Been arrested?- Plenty of times on GTA and NFS but evaded 'em :)
86. Turned someone down – hm...
87. Cried when someone died – No.
88. Got someone into trouble intentionally – Muhahaha yeah baby :D

89. Yourself – Definitely. But tend to go overboard at times.
90. Miracles – Hopefully :D
91. Love at first sight – Yes..
92. Heaven – on Earth, yeah :) Up there— Where? Andromeda?
93. Santa Claus – No.
94. Kissing on the first date? – Yes :D
95. Angels – Which 'angels'? :P

96. Is there one person you want to be with right now? – Yeah...
97. Had more than one boyfriend/ girlfriend at one time? – Not really.
98. Do you believe it’s possible to remain faithful forever? – It is.
99. What’s the one thing you cannot live without? – Music. The computer. The internet. My people. That counts as a BIG one.
100. Posting this as 100 truths? – You need me to swear or something? Nopes sorry I don't fuckin swear in my blog posts.. yeah right :P


Study Hols - an oxymoron

Right when life kinda settles down after.. um.. well particularly nothing but I mean those smooth parts of life where everything behaves the way it should and there is a good whiff of the smug 'ah' factor in the air, comes the old enemy: the exam. Dragging before it comes the so called 'study holidays'. There couldn't be a worse misnomer. Not because it's an oxymoron but because the first part makes no sense. (Nor would this post, if I go on like this.. so I guess I'll narrow down to my case):

After the machine-gun fire of ten-exams-without-any-break-whatsoever-of-two-exams-a-day, (named meekly the 'series-tests') we collapsed, worn out physically and mentally, that weekend. I resorted to watching some movies and.. well.. spending pretty much the entire time in front of the good old computer. Then it happened. Dire threatening messages warning of impending doom. 'S1S2 university exam dates announced' it screeched.
It was a fake. After two or three more such forerunners, the real deal came up and pointed a jagged finger at May29th.

Fast forward back to today. The oxymoron thing.. right. Now there's this inevitable, undeniable truth about study holidays. However hard you try to study, the world against you doing it. Nature, people you know (and those you don't), your computer, your phone, your mind heck you yourself are dead set against the very idea of you opening the book. Hence there's absolutely no option except trying to have fun, albeit with an irritating, nagging thought at the back of your mind.

And who says you can't? Heck, I haven't been at home for two weeks for nothing! Here's a good but in no ways complete list of all the stuff one can do during "those three weeks" ;)

1. Computer *murmurs of approval around* Don't waste time shutting it down. Dont. If you're one of the unfortunate who just need to keep restarting the computer once in a while to keep the OS running (a.k.a Windows user), also see 4. Do random fun stuff if you're getting bored. Try rearranging the icons on the desktop, and play pegopolis with them. Press down Alt-tab with many windows open, and predict which one will appear when you release it. Award yourself another try when you win and two more if you lose (this one's obviously addictive ;) Play all your CDs in the drive and listen to it spinning over and over again to such an extent that you can identify which is which from the noise it makes inside the drive. (Dedicated and thorough practice recommended) Set up an infinite howling feedback by putting a microphone right in front of your speakers and turning up the volume. Play death metal in between such howling sessions for a break.
Also try the infinite screenshot thingy: Screenshot of a desktop inside another desktop inside another desktop inside another desktop inside another desktop inside another desktop inside another desktop inside another desktop (yeah that stuff..)

2. The internet Get addicted to it. Set a 'make 1000 friends' goal for youself at Omegle (If you don't know what Omegle is, click on the link. If you already know, go back to it only after reading this post :P) In my case, the addiction happened with twitter! (Yup, here I am on twitter :) ) Try tweeting so fast that twitter says "just a nanosecond ago", "just a picosecond ago", instead of the usual less than a few seconds ago. Another way of entertainment would be playing the amnesia game on all the friends in ur chatlist. Start with 'uh.. who are you?' and make it convincing so that you get bored of it soon. Then switch over to 3.

3. The TV Channel surfing!! Also try memorising all the numbers and names of the channels while not forgetting to watch all the movies in HBO and/or Star Movies. Re arrange the channels and memorise the numbers again. Again, keep track of the movies!

4 Install some very new distro of linux on a 486. Or better, install Linux from Scratch!

6. Learn to play a musical instrument, preferably one that's horrendously difficult and requires a lot of patience. Teach yourself and practise it day and night. Learn to juggle ice-cubes. Or water for that matter. Juggling liquid water sounds funny but I guess it's achievable. Give it a try and let me know :)

7. Blog huge posts like twitter updates. Around a hundred a day would sound fair.

10. Try to format your brain so that you forget to count.

11. Repeat all that I've mentioned. Then write a short blog post about it.

13. Try your hand at a bit of study (this is the unreachable part of the infinite loop I've set up between 1 and 10 muhahahaha)

Guess that'll do for now. Glad to have revived the blog. Gotta run... think I'll perfect the art of juggling water atleast today!


A Leaf Outta Life (LOL) - 01

"WHATTHAFUCK!", I exclaimed in horror.
"Yup.. it's true", said Gautam. "It reached most people around here.. Navaneeth, Sruthi, Praveen, Athulya, Balu.. everyone's got it."
He was right.. One by one, the survivors trooped in, shuffling under the weight of bags which carried mostly nothing. All with wan faces in which lingered the phantom of devastation.
The marklist of the recent test-series, with the marks of all the members of the class, had been mailed home, straight to their parents. A few of us had still not received it, so the only possibility was that exactly the following afternoon, our mailboxes would have a brown envelope, labelled "Parent-Teachers Association; College of Engineering, Trivandrum".

Not a very pleasing way to start off a warm Friday morning. The question remained: How to bail ourselves out? Gautam had stepped out; he now entered the class with a smug expression, under which shone a sinister grin. "Got it all planned... Have told bro to stow it away as soon as the damn mailbox feels it".
Easy. For him. I got the pest of a sister at home, who, unlike the fellow-conspirator-cum-comrade-for-life attitude of a two-or-three-year-younger brother, would do all that was possible in her power to bring shame and downfall or get me courtmartialled by all the folks at home. That, I may safely assert, when seen in the light of her ten-year old brain fuming under the recently stirred kiddy envy at my showing off my driving skills whenever and wherever possible nowadays, is an entirely unpleasant situation.
In short, the possibilty of getting the letter safely out of sight by an accomplice at home, while I fretted and waited anxiously at college, was Zilch. Zero. Don't even imagine it.

Home...just fifteen kilometres away. I had woken up to my alarm sounding for the fourth time, after being piteously killed (snoozed) thrice. "May u begin this day with a smile on ur face, and with happiness in ur soul to embrace.. Gud mng :)", sang the sms from a newly found friend of mine :D
The daily chores: Starting up the computer.. resuming all the torrent downloads checking mail quick bath charge the mobile-phone shave get dressed wolf down hot breakfast run up and downstairs stuff the wallet ID card phone into pocket.. and walk to the bus stop. This time, I had the violin with me. My ten year old beauty of a golden instrument.. the one which, I fondly remember, had earned me a standing ovation two years back, from a very special audience ;) As is usual with any accessory, I forgot it in the bus when I got off, only to be reminded of it in a casual remark by a friend, on which I had dashed back and slung it back over my left shoulder. Nothing very out of the ordinary.

Back in class... Statistical mechanics. The whole topic hung thick like a grey cloud, about which I knew nothing. After the initial futility at trying to grasp the stuff, I gave up and reverted my mind to the mark-list. Creating good but impractical theories I gave up. My hands reached down under the desk, till I felt the texture of synthetic cloth. I groped for a moment.. and unzipped.
The bag opened. I took out the book I had been reading: Salman Rushdie - Midnights Children. My head at the critical angle between looking-up and looking-down, I resumed reading.. with the applications of Bose-Einstein Statistics floating about the class.

"The frankness of the urchin girl, the honesty of latrine cleaners, made Ayooba sick; he told her she had a soul composed of pig-droppings, and a tongue caked with excrement also; and in the throes of his jealousy he devised the prank of the jump-leads, the trick of the electrified urinal. The location appealed to him; it had a certain poetic justice."

"You.. what does this g-i term signify? Yes, I mean YOU". I jumped and dropped the book into the bag between my legs. Looking up, I saw our Physics sir's stern gaze, his eyes fixed (I heaved a sigh) on one of the most picked-on guys in the last bench. I was happily reminded, for the umpteenth time, of the innumerable merits of being a front-bencher.

Fermi-Dirac characteristics... bosons. 'Can't feel, huh?' Ayooba sneered to Farooq and Shaheed, 'Just wait on: I'll make him jump for sure.' My outer ears picking up Quantum Physics and the inner one glued to the book, my brain was working hard to filter the rage of English streaming in.
And as if in compensation, the second hour was free.

Feeling slightly sleepy, I lay with my head on the desk and the book on my lap.. resumed reading. Farooq yelps, 'Grab your ears and pray for pity, he's brought us to this drowned place and run off, it's all your fault, you Ayooba, that trick with the jump-leads and this is his revenge!' The book was into me, gripping my soul and refusing to give my tired eyes the luxury of reprise. As a result, I drifted in and out of reality, and in and out of sleep.. oblivious of the two guys playing cricket in the class, oblivious of a professor who saw them and walked inside and started scolding, rebuking, advising and finally walking out.
Maths hour. This time, I paid attention. Thank God, for by twelve o'clock I had learnt something about Eigen vectors.

Lunch time. After contemplating for a few moments on whether to get out from the left side or the right side of the bench, I jumped out straight across my desk. (Sometimes in life you really take useless decisions). Straight to the cooler -cum- wash basin -cum- place to see some really pretty chicks come to hygenise their hands before having lunch. There must have been something jinxed in my timing since, at the exact moment I (and my pals), were greeted by the sight of some of the most lovely looking faces in the whole college. I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but the very presence of a beautiful face pumps a lot of feel-good-factor in the air :) We washed our hands, loitered about a bit and returned to class feeling as a light as a bird ;)
A bit of 'puttu' from Abhi, some soya-meat from Gautam, and lotsa curd from my ol' bottle.. my dosas doused in spicy sambhar went down a satisfied digestive tract. A visit to our Physics lab was in the offing for a while, and after a long wait our Optics professor found the right time to take us on a visit to the tiny lab. A Sodium-light lamp glowed menacingly in the distance... a Michelson's interferometer sat beside it. We were awed by the sensitivity of the instrument, which showed changes even on a small pat on the table. The next half an hour went in about ten of us engaging in admiration of the precise and delicate optical instruments invented by man.

Friday meant two hours off in the afternoon. Around one, finding all the computers in the CCF occupied, I joined Abhi, Gautam, Vishnu and a couple of others on a largely aimless walk, which somehow ended up at the Indoor basketball court. And after a long gap of more than a year, I played... a lot. About forty five minutes later about ten exhausted, sweating guys dripped down the road, and trickled into the 'civil-canteen'. Gulping down lemonade we warmed up the already hot room. There wasn't much time left... and our Civil Engg. hour was about to start. Gautam decided to call it a day, picked up his bag and left. If only I had known what he had in mind...

'That's it,' the buddha says. 'Saleem: that was it.' Damn, wrong page. Hardly twenty people in the class... easy visibility. No choice. I closed the Rushdie, kept it under the table and took up an almost-sleeping-but-not-exactly-appearing-to-be. Drifting in and out of consciousness, my ears grabbed a lot of stuff about paints.. base, vehicle, thinners... My phone buzzed a couple of times signifying the time when a host of messages: News, one-liners, quotes.. troop in from Google sms channels. Qualities of a good paint.. drying time.. distempers... moisture absorption. After some time the professor marked our attendance and made his exit.

A free hour at last... I mean, 'again' :) I thankfully waited until the horde of students had left the class. Walking over to under where the working fan was blowing warm afternoon air down, I placed my bag as a pillow and resumed reading, the book on my chest. The lone figure of Marco was busy completing his workshop record a couple of desks away.
He sat cross-legged amid the wailing storm of his companions' fear, forcing himself to remember; but no, it would not come. And at last the buddha, hurling spittoon against earthen floor, exclaimed to stone-deaf ears: 'It's not - NOT - FAIR!'
Solitary, under the breeze of afternoon fan blowing warm tropical air down over my sweaty self, I was feeling happy :) The feeling continued as a cutlet, a vada followed by a glass of piping hot chaaya went down my tract in the canteen.

Evening.. after the buses are gone and the silence of a dignified educational institution returns to the college air, the quick notes of a violin, in harmony with the melodious chords of a grand piano accompanied a couple of voices... Medley. Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil floated in the music-rich fabric of air that clothed us, till it was time for us to leave. We walked out of the main hall, past the lovely whispering crackling acacia trees, down to the main gate, and flagged down a crowded city bus. Violin between legs, phone in one hand and the other hand tightly gripping the overhead handrail for fear of being accused of harassment (I was standing amidst a crowd of chattering women ;) the bus rumbled on to the next stop where a bunch of familiar-but-only-familiar faces board. One of them is the lady with the beautiful eyes.

The reduction of ragging to near-nil has one major problem: You never get to know your elder-most seniors very well... Take our case for instance.. if only we had been forced to confront, propose to (etc.) senior girls, I for instance would have referred to the lady I mentioned previously by her name. But the sad fact is I don't know her name! Hence referral names take various forms such as: The shortest one, the sweet-voiced one, or in this case, the "aankhen teri.. kitni haseen" lady with beautiful eyes!

Srikanth and I were in the bus together and we finally got places to rest our tired bums. The rest of the journey was typical. A medley of topics... PIC microcontrollers, the Raga Jog, the lady-with-beautiful-eyes (I tried to logically prove she would alight at PMG, but later she proved me wrong and alighted with us, at East Fort). As we walk away ('we' as in Srikanth and I ;) Gautam sends me an overjoyed message saying "Lotsa chicks everywhere... don't know where to look :)" meaning he's at _____ Institute of Technology for Women, and he's at their tech-fest. I dash off a txt msg saying: "let my fire of envy burn you into hormonal neutrality, thou fiend!" and laugh over all our silly boyish infatuations and the gaping-at-the-fairer-lot business... and finally reach home.

The final good thing.. the completing significant bit.. the stuff that comes around, completing something in the story is: No letter reached my mailbox! Thank God!!


And you sir..?

There's this quiet little temple near my house... built to typical Kerala architecture: A closed Sanctum, surrounded by a walk forms the central portion. At various places along this you find other deities, most often under the shade of a huge banyan tree. Typical.
Then you have the lovely 'grove' in which a small path leads to a tiny pond, surrounded by small leafy trees, in the midst of which stands a Krishna, complete with his wooden bansuri, and a little calf grazing near his feet. Tiny little bells hang above the idol, which tinkle by themselves as the breeze filters through the trees after rustling their leaves, and the morning sun-rays illuminate the smoke wisps emanating from the sandalwood incense sticks placed nearby. As if to complete the serenity, a soft, devotional song in the soothing Sahana raaga or a mellifluous Yaman Kalyani floats in from afar..

This evening I felt the urge to spend a few minutes at the place and took off. After making some customary salutations I sat down to enjoy the evening breeze under one of the huge banyan trees which adorn the temple. A few people were sitting on the stone platform surrounding the old, wizened tree. One side of it, however, was a figure. An old man with an unkempt grey beard, a shabby, randomly buttoned green shirt, and a dirty white dhoti. He was sitting crosslegged, eyes staring into the distance. No one was on this side of the platform. Having given it a thought, I went and sat a few feet away from him. A few questions popped up in my mind... was this guy a tramp? Is he okay in his head? (this is one thing all we Indians think on seeing a haggardly dressed figure in a decent place).

Out of a few furtive side glances I saw that he was tapping his fingers to the music. My doubts started vanishing.. I wondered what he would be thinking of this young man sitting next to him. I feared he might have put me into the category of people who dismissed him as 'just another tramp'.. and something told me he was not what he seemed to be.
A couple of minutes later, I turned my wrist to look at the time.. but my watch had died the previous night and so I slid my hands into my pocket and had a look at the mobile phone's screen. 18:32.

Then he spoke. A quiet voice: "Samayam entha.. aarara aayo?" ("The time.. is it six thirty now?")
I looked at him, surprised for a fraction of a second, and replied in the affirmative.. "ah.. aarara aayi". He smiled.

I was right.

A few seconds later, he spoke again, in Malayalam. "You shouldn't get used to wearing these glasses... try moving about without them... do some exercises, ones that stimulate the nerves and the blood vessels of the eye"
I nodded, "Yes.. but my glasses' power is very high"
"You should have thought of that before... this has become a sort of a compulsive accessory for students nowadays.. and is promoted by certain medical companies too... forcing the community away from regaining good eyesight, and to become dependent on spectacles."

He asked me what I did, and I told him I was an engineering student. Where, he queried. "Trivandrum Engineering College.. at Kulathoor", I replied.
"Oh", he raised his eyebrows, "the government college?" he asked. I nodded.
After asking me which branch I was in, he asked me if I knew a certain Mr. M, in the Civil Dept. I told him that I didn't know him personally, but that I have heard of the professor.
Ente aniyante mona, he said. ("He's my brother's son")

He then went on to say where he had been working (I forgot), that he lives in Sreekariyam(12 kms from here), and also mentioned the names of some other lecturers in my college and how he knew them.
Every statement he made, was uttered from a completely normal, educated mind. I asked him his name and got an answer. He then asked me about the opportunities for higher studies in my field, told me how his sister moved to a good research post in the US after a brief stint at TIFR, Bombay, and made a remark about how nice an atmosphere my college has. All except about himself.
It was getting dark. I made a gesture as if to rise, and said "Well okay then.. see you again sometime". He nodded.

I made my way out of the temple, and walked back home. Just another day... and I had met a new friend. I wanted to ask him a lot of questions.. "Why are you dressed like a shabby tramp? Or have you fallen upon bad times? How do you come here all the way from your house? Why don't you give a thought to your appearance?"

I thought he would take the conversation to that direction when he spoke, but he preferred not to.

I respected his dignity.


Breaking the silence

It's been almost an era since the any bits and bytes went through this humble abode, thanks to one hell of an attack of acute blogger's block I had been suffering.

Anyway, the reason for the long hiatus? I just dunno. The reason for this sudden post? Goddammit I don't know!

"I dunno why.. I just did not feel like writing.." is what immediately comes to mind. Of late, I've been watching a lot of movies. Maybe to make up for the near-nil coverage of movies I did till now. For those in whom it didn't ring a bell, the piece of quoted text at the beginning is inspired by what Tom Hanks says ("I dunno... just felt like running..") in the movie Forrest Gump (bingo! I watched that one too.. it's a must-watch :). Since I'm too lazy to add links for all the movies I'm citing here, I assume you know the way to wikipedia ;) Forrest Gump, the Departed, of course the much-talked-about SlumDog Millionaire, RangDeBasanti (ok I admit, I'm this idiot who saw it only recently!), Kal Ho Na Ho (ditto :), Die Hard, the much-inspiring The Pursuit of Happyness, Castaway, Saving Private Ryan etc... all of them awesome ones.

I just finished watching 'Mozhi'.. a decent, lovely Tamil movie (yeah those are rare, aren't they? ;) My sis has already done a post on this, so I'm not going into much detail... but one thing about it is that it simply oozes feel-good factor. Something about all the Major-only chords in the soundtrack I guess :) Here's one from the movie.. the heroine is deaf and dumb, but the way the stuff is shot, and the way the characters are portrayed, it's just not like any movie in which you sympathise with her. Watch it yourself:

Heck, I can't believe that I, of all persons, am doing, of all things, a movie commentary! But you might excuse it to my having just got up from watching it. Anyway, it's one of the very few Indian movies that gives as much, or more, importance to the thoughts of the viewer than to his damn hormones.. one of the few Indian movies which have subtle symbolisms and "stuff that comes around, completing something in the movie", if you get what I'm trying to convey. English movies have lots of them.. in that respect our own little industry has to come a long way... whoa but I'm in no way qualified to be even the slightest critic of movies!

There's no point to this post, only a solemn promise to myself that I'm not going to let my beloved blog rust in piece!

A huge thanks to BSNL's Home-500C plan, for an awesome provision called Night-Unlimited, without which I would have gone broke and my broadband connection gone extinct by now :)

A lot of random thoughts are flowing in the moment I touch my fingertips onto the keys... a lot has to be said, a lot has to be thought... sometimes I think I have changed a lot, but sometimes my mind tells me that I'm the same little brat I always was :) Writing has to save my language from going to the dogs, since in college I barely have anyone to talk in English to, save a few. I find myself fumbling for words I would never have fumbled for a year ago... Sometimes I blame it on myself, sometimes it's easier to lay the blame on something called Fate, something I never believed in, but which increasingly keeps forcing me to.

Have to catch up with all the fellow blogger-buddies... have to get the great blogging machinery fired up and moving again :)


The shortest one ever

I wish I had done a lot of things I didn't
I wish I had been told a lot of things I hadn't been
I wish I could turn back the time
I wish my life hadn't turned out to be one great irony
I wish I wasn't where I am...

Life sucks real bad.