2.26.2010

iSpeak!

I was born unilingual. After a year or so of staring at whoever came up to me and uttered 'tcktck' or 'Heyo there chweeeeet baby wassup?' it seems the revelation about every Indian's freedom of speech finally stuck the li'l ol lemon, and thus spake the baby:
"BRBRBRBRBRBBBB"

Sadly, my folks werent that savvy enough (it was in the days of Windows 3.1) to understand that i'd said, with a large effort, that I'd BE RIGHT BACK.

By the time I'd got to LKG the vocabulary had greatly increased and I was capable of a few coherent sentences in Tamil. And no, the puns hadn't gotten in yet.
Once in playschool, I immediately was aware of the fact that none of the kids, save one or two, actually knew to speak!! LOL and I was pretty proud of being to only one who could speak the language, until life, as they say, introduced a bat to my face, and (recovering) I realised it was another species which spoke Malayalam. #Awesomeness
So in the fourth year of life I was Tamil-ready and Malayalam-ready (Vista-ready came much later but by then I knew much better. And Eveready is a battery, dumbass).

Somewhere around this time we were also taught a string of nonsensical sounds and letters going somewhat like this: "Yaay bee, see, di. Eee effigy! eh chai jaykay LMNO Pee...", looping from that last word LMNOPee again and ending in a solemn "Ex-wife Zed", followed by a moment of introspective silence. Had I been older, I'd have called it a total WTF silence, as in WTF are we learning? (Sadly that was outta question since WTF was part of the syllabus and thus not part of everyday language yet).

Fast forward to class three. We get introduced to this strange language called Hindi. What looked like lines and (familiar to us southies) squiggles all seemingly suspended from one omnipotent line drawn atop every word. I gave the language a one in ten chance of surviving for a year, what with all that need for support, and hence never took it seriously. As it turned out, I got a one in ten for my tests. It had to recur a couple of times through the year, and then the Konkan skybus project came up. By then I thought stuff hanging from lines had to be taken seriously, and therefore the beloved national language had to stay :D (Further reading: Civil engineering. Building-structures or whatever keeps proving that point too, in a less patriotic way)

By tenth, Rashtrabhasha had gone (being reduced to an elective) but the Mathrubasha stayed, along with that yaabee see di thingy we now knew to be the grand old beloved-of-Shakespeare, lover-of-Milton, taught-by-a-funny-guy English. 'Mathrubasha' was supposed to mean the language of mom in malayalam, but in tamil 'mathrai' meant a tablet, so I swallowed all its phrases and idioms like pill, and regurgitated them colourfully on the board exam paper, for a mindblowing 88 percent :D #EPICawesomeness

Finally, to college. Quad-lingual, da! Whatay awesomeness allede? English is here, Tamil lesa appidi local groups-la irugudhu, ha Malayalam illathe pinne? Aur kuch hindi bhi yaar. Albeit a very mix-n-match form of the four:

1. Retardedspeak: This is the name I give my struggling (and usually vain) attempts to butt into a Hindi conversation and do the 'while in Rome..' act. Usually results in me getting LMAO'd out or ends up being totally kickass (my getting my posterior kicked). For example:
Hindi dude 1: Abey yaar vo staffie hai na? Chootiya saala vo mere ko blah blah blah.. Aur kayi kaam hai assignment, record..
HIndi dude 2: Mere ko bhi yaar..
Me: Eh.. ahem.. Mujhe karne do. (trying to say, 'I have two jobs to get done')

*two HDs falling on the ground and laughing their goddamn asses off while I scoot before I start laughing. Someone says, "Sambhavame you gay, you gay" (due copyright to kevin for that one) :P

2. Manglish: Spoken rather offhanded.ly, careless.ly and a bit.ly consciously. As in "WTF man!!! Aarengilum aa my*inittu onnu pottikku. Chumma avidirunnu aalkare desp aakkuva. Sonofabitch." Includes novel words like thallu, kallippness, despoy, verumm. (meanings will take a new post in itself)

3. Tamanglish: Evolved because my Tamil is corrupted with Malayalam and I have to make conscious efforts to prevent sentences like "Ente akkaavinte vittile kadhavine ongi chathi", if I try to speak Tamil. And Malayalam is corrupted with English.
Usually involves liberal use of words like Macha, aliya, monay (and other family-relation-speak), plus long stretched exclamations like Daaaai and Dooood dudedudedude. (As in "Dududude.. check out the chick at 9 o'clock!)

4. Broad-house: Unlike what it sounds, this is a style dedicated to two people: My buddy Brajesh and PG Wodehouse. (Before you start makin up jokes on the first part of the former's name, I'd like to say that half his class and probably the whole of the ladies hostel calls him that, so you're late). Also, this language exists only in txt and is not spoken (for obvious reasons). Sometimes consists of archaic swears or ones like 'u dilapidated dick' or 'u drunken gravedigger'. Its familar, one sentence consists of fifty six words or more, packed into comprehension with the help of commas and semicolons, or even the occasional colon; including maximum use of words and phrases like blighter, old-lemon, wassup old bird, etc: the prime significance being, over txt msgs this sounds chuckle-inducing, but over speech nobody attempts this until he or she ('she' being a rarity) is drunk and completely plastered.

Self explanatory.

5. Panjaara-speak: (As the name suggests, its a sweet one) Used usually when talking to nice girls. More than usual use of 'da' (the male to female 'da'), sweetie, nice, yuppie, hehe, etc. Its rarely used in my case, but I know people who can use it very very efficiently :P People who blast their way down the humble 2000 free msgs balance in a single week :P

6.English: Spoken rarely.
7. Malayalam: Spoken rarely.
8. Tamil: Naah
9. HIndi: Dont even think!

Appo sheri, njan publish-atte, kai valigithu.. Adios and shukriya buddies :)

2.14.2010

Glimpses of the city

I've been very busy doing precisely nothing these days. And when that itch to update the blog grows into a nasty guilt (similar to the one you experience when you suddenly realise you havent fed the dog for a week) you have all sorts of nasty guilty dreams of the God of the Internet condemning you to dial-up speeds for a month, or worse still, sending his thunderbolt outta heaven and frying your modem.

*shudder*

Salvation comes in various forms, sang they. So I rummaged (what's left of) my memory and tried to recollect all what had happened in the last few weeks. What follows is a vague and totally pointless narration of the 'stuff I've been upto' for the past (calculate) days.

First and foremost was this much revered, overhyped and sexily named programme held at college called CETEX. (The nickname 'sexily named' is a misnomer. It sounded to me like a mixture of a co-operative textile and a poorly named contraceptive). No offences anyone. We lurve CET :D Yeah we love Mohanlal and Mammooty too. (Dear whoever-it-may-be I beg your pardon because I named these two in the same sentence and some aliyan says, by the rules of either's welfare association it's supposed to be a punishable crime). Yup, CETEX was a boon to us poor slogging assholes condemned to the yoke of Kerala University Syllabus. It was the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, cos it gave us, apart from other benefits, the possibility to enjoy five days of doing-precisely-nothing vacation at home :) It also offered (on the proverbial other pan of the balance) the opportunity to make something in the way of a product for the tech exhibition.

I preferred the latter, for a change, because all these strikes we'd been having had put us on an OD of the former. And so it was decided. I'd heard of this awesome thing called the Arduino and was determined to do something with that.. And as luck would have it, Gautam bought a lappie :) Man oh man oh man we took one look at the device, and we threw our thoughts to the Kaamadhenu which was the college Wifi, all ready to be milked. And that's how all those "Muhahahaha!" "God bless internet radio" and "Die firewall, die" tweets turned up in various twitter accounts :)
Righto, cutting stuff short, we got our heads and hands together to create this nameless thing which we later named, in the most boringest stiff-upper-lip-way possible, a "360 degree dynamic display". The thingy was essentially (oh goddammit here I go again) a row of five unnassuming LEDs, which, when made to rotate on a fan, blink in a specific sequence such as to display any word we program it to. Oh, and the reason behind the whole 'seeing words' phenomenon is the old trick again - Persistence of vision.

So we made it and were pretty proud of having got a real experience of having done it (plus all the supplementary experiences like soldering-iron-burns, breaking legs of microcontroller ICs, displaced sleep cycles and a whole lot of swear words tailor-made to be hurled at electronic items). By the end of the week I knew my way around Thakarapparambu blindfolded, and most of the chaayakkada owners around there knew us by name :P

Finally once the exhibition began, EVERYONE was interested in the college.. people from God knows where turned up, (chicks included :P) to the very same place we'd been calling a shithole, the_grind and other assorted names. Finally it ended in a pile of exhausted guys, aching legs and sore throats.
Boy and the next day was 'regular class'. We swore under our hushed breaths and cracked voices, and then my classmate and I hatched up this nifty trick; and turned up to college in the most disheveled way possible, hair all untidy and falling over eyes, dirty denim and long saggy tees. As if in appreciation/disgust we got the day off right after the first two lab hours :D
We got a special jury mention for what we did(the display I mean), and it was a tad too literally meant. Our names were 'mentioned' during the prize distribution ceremony. Classic :P

On a different note, I've become more and more addicted to twitter nowadays. There was this #kickass night once. It began thus: Shuffle was on, and my music player was belting out one good one after the other. Finally, it played a paandi dappankoothu bit: Puli Urumuthu from 'ilayathalapathi' super duper trooper red pink shining 'thalaivaaa' staaar Vijai's 'Vettaikkaran'. One listen and I went all nostalgic to the days Guru and I used to get high off pandi dappankoothu, featuring the awesomest instrument of its kind, the Urumi. The ultra awesome classique growling moaning sound produced by this 'drum' is what infuses the ultimate high in the whole drumming ecstasy induced by tapping out these beats on anything sonorous, like school benches, waste bins, geometry boxes and stuff. And so it began. Tweets @tuxerman:

- #nowplaying Verum Dappankoothu!! Addi Monay adi!! LOL!!
- Thalley I'm on a fuckin high off dappankoothu!!! Adi machi adddi!! Podu!!! Bring in the urumi :P
- The urumi should be incorporate in the standard drum kit :P Preferably with a foot pedal! #kickass #dappankoothu
- Shit I'm laughing hysterically!! This is definitely a #dappankoothu high! Time to stop the music! Illengil ippo aattam thudangum!
- LOL! #kickass #nowplaying transition today. Nightwish in the morning, Sajda in the evening, Rahman, then Neelambari, finally #dappankoothu!
- Absolutely!! RT @vanwinkle: wat do u get wen u cross black metal n dappankuthu??laid to rest by lamb of god!! #nowplaying
- More #awesomeness #kickass stuff: Listening to #dappankoothu kidichu paambaayi royally plastered :P paandi lungi, burmuda-jetty :D
- LOL #nowplaying Cheena Taana from Vasool Raja MBBS.. tana toin toin toin toinnggg!! LMAO!! #dappankoothu
- Whaaataay way to bring in the weekend mwaaney! #kickass
- Paattu kettu paambayi! LOL!! God bless #dappankoothu God bless @twitter God bless music :P Adi mwanay good night tweeps!! Whew!

So that made up my twitter timeline at around midnight last Friday. School friends and awesome college buddies piped in and everyone's timeline was a mess of #dappankoothu and for a while, life seemed all crazy and fun, just like the old days :)

Mosquitoes. Bloody bloodsucking bastards. Ah I do so miss the good old bat which dispensed these infernal parasites off on a shocked death. LOL that was funny :D

Weather in trivandrum is fucking oppressive. Sweat and heat everywhere. Amazon rainforest, zaire, Spa, come to mind.

Note: This post is titled glimpses of the city on purpose. It means nothing, but that is precisely why it's there. Please bear with the goddamn thing.

LOL now that this post is up on the mainpage, the goddamn college firewall's gonna blog my blog with the reasons "P0rnography(African), P0rnography(Dutch), Goddammit-just-a-bad-site", etc listed in red. Poor automated piece of code.

Haha I'm going mad. Someday all this will make sense. Bye for now.

Update: Shit I hate this post.
And for the people to whom a lot of words would sound Greek and Latin, please note that they are probably not Greek and Latin(owing to my not knowing these revered languages) but zimbly Malayalam and Tamil.. Ah the pleasure of being multilingual :)