Thursday, June 30, 2005

In Venezuela, a rat is a fish!

The capybara is the largest of living rodents. The early settlers considered this animal a major pest as it ate away their grains, causing heavy economic destruction. But now, the farmers make a valuable addition to their incomes by selling capybara meat (approximately 400 metric tons annually). The rodents are rounded up in February so that they can be slaughtered and sold just before the onset of Lent, when the meat is in high demand. This popular custom is attributed to a curious theological decision by the Catholic Church that classifies Capybara as fish.

When European missionaries first met capybaras in South America during the 16th century, they wrote to Rome for guidance, saying "there is an animal here that is scaly but also hairy, and spends time in the water but occasionally comes on land; can we classify it as a fish?" The question was significant, as the Catholic faith at that time prohibited the eating of meat (other than fish) during Lent, the period of abstinence lasting 40 days before Easter. Having a second-hand description of the animal, and not wanting the petitioners to turn away from Catholicism, the Church agreed and declared the capybara a fish — a decision that was never reversed and which has since, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, become irrelevant.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

One of my _colleagues_ in Madras office passed away, and we had a condolence meeting in Bangalore, and people recounted the last time they met her, and how other colleagues were very helpful in times of need.

I sometimes feel that I have to let out the 'Alex' de Large in me and lash out.

Nilu was right. We all watch movies as we would like to live vicariously, be it as Raj in DDLJ(puke) or as Tyler Durden in Fight Club. The difference between Nilu's and my perception of the vicariousness is that while his is pre-mediated, mine is post-associative.

An Airtel customer care executive called up an hour back, and started out by sincerely explaining how glad he was that I was Airtel's customer. I had half a mind to tell him to cut the crap, and get on with it. Airtel is supposed to lead the telecom revolution in India, and what is it doing with incompetent customer care executives who don't *care* but *pander*/*abase*.

Was chatting with Vaidy last night. He stated that he had become cynical of the world at large, and very dismissive. I welcomed him to the gang, but he refused to, saying that he didn't want to.

Lost in Translation - Part 2

Continuing the offensive on denglish, I present to you a collection of leave letters and applications written by people in various places of India...

Related earlier post

  • Infosys, Bangalore: An employee applied for leave as follows:

    Since I have to go to my village to sell my land along with my
    wife, please sanction me one-week leave.

  • This is from Oracle Bangalore: From an employee who was performing the tonsuring ceremony of his 10 year old son:

    "Since I want to shave my son's head, please leave me for two days.."

  • Another gem from CDAC. Leave-letter from an employee who was performing his daughter's wedding:

    "As I am marrying my daughter, please grant a week's leave.."

  • From H.A.L. Administration dept:

    "As my mother-in-law has expired and I am only one responsible for it, please grant me 10 days leave."

  • Another employee applied for half day leave as follows:

    "Since I've to go to the cremation ground at 10 o-clock and I may
    not return, please grant me half day casual leave"

  • An incident of a leave letter

    "I am suffering from fever, please declare one day holiday."

  • A leave letter to the headmaster:

    "As I am studying in this school I am suffering from headache. I request you to leave me today"

  • Covering note:

    "I am enclosed herewith..."

  • Another one:

    "Dear Sir: with reference to the above, please refer to my below..."

  • Actual letter written for application of leave:

    "My wife is suffering from sickness and as I am her only husband at
    home I may be granted leave".

P.S: Fwded by Hena

Lost in translation... from English to English...

I sometimes can't help but wonder the fate that would befall poor Lynne Truss if she ever finds her way to the desi land.
Not only does she have to tolerate the spineless pandering of a typical desi, but worse, listen to grammatically incorrect flavour of whatever is left of English in this land. And if fate has it that she meets a techie in the vicinity of bangalore who makes sure that s/he rolls every R, but is quite oblivious to the other mistakes that gush forth at the rate of 3 grammatical and 2 semantic mistakes per sentence with liberal sprinklings of hindi/tamil all over the place, she would be tempted perpertate much more than a symbolic act of defiance with a permanent marker, and would probablyl go on to throw up all over the place.

If the liberal use of apostrophes can drive a person crazy, sentence constructs can drive him over the edge, steal an XM-29, and happily pump round after round of bullets blindly in random directions, and once the ammo runs out, proceed to buy another pack and empty them too.

A popular outlet in Bangalore says:
Latest fashion dresses for men's women's boy's and girl's
And for God's sake, it wasn't even an undergarments outlet.

A leisurely walk along Hosur Road would have driven out the British faster than the Mahatma, who unfortunately, was a stickler.

Side sing Package trip to Ooty, Kodai, Mysore and Coorg
No, this is not a safari of the tribal heartlands of Kodai and Ooty where tribals line up on the either sides of the road to sing a soulful song on thier favourite two-headed dog-demon that kills innocent unwary tribals, and no, it is not the pot they smoke before killing snakes, though you might actually end up buying it. It is not a courier service either, as the package trip might suggest. What the board means by wisely tearing out superfluous letters is that they offer packaged tours for sight seeing. Parsimony at its best, I would say.

Further down the road, right next to the real estate agents who also rent out VCD's and DVD's, past several hotels that surprisingly don't provide lodging, and offer interesting dishes on the lines of Spinach omlet and Mashroom Manjuri, you would see a board that reads in bold letters

Child cutting done here

You pass out for a second, regain consciousness, shake your head in disbelief, rub your eyes just in case, see the board and promptly faint again. You are brought back to reality by the bakery owner next door who incidentally sells Cocanet balls and explains that it is a barber shop and they give children a haircut here. Relieved, you ask for a soft drink to bring down your heart rate. The shop owner gives you a look that is usually reserved for 25 year old men who run down the road screaming out loud that there is a tyrannosaurus rex in his underpants. You say 'Pepsi' and his face promptly brightens up and he exclaims, Ah, cooling, sir!.

You finally get a feeling that there are a few things that you don't understand, and the term cooling is one of them. If science can't explain cooling, there isn't much that you can trust science with. The shopkeeper then smiles, extends his hands and says

Myself Pandey sir, Dayal Pandey

Who is Myself Pandey here? you ask, after looking around to confirm that there are only two people in the vicinity. You are yourself, fine!; he is Dayal Pandey, great! but where is this Myself Pandey? You bend and look under the table to see if you can find this elusive Myself Pandey.

No, he isn't there. Quite a strange name for a person- a reflexive/emphatic substitute for a name. Interesting! So thinking, you go on to finish your pepsi. But Dayal Pandey is not amused.

You are comedy sir. Mein Dayal Pandey hoon, myself

You couldn't stop the violent spasm that makes you splash the remaining pepsi on the walls of the shop. Between the frightful coughs you also find time to wonder what makes you a comedy!

At this moment, your survival instincts take over. You suddenly don't want to stand near a shop that indulges in paedicide and to talk to a reflexively referring individual. You grope for your purse, pay him and rush out. As you come out of the shop, your eyes happen to notice that they sell Grill Sandwhich, shudder and run for your life.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Late Cretatious - An edmontosaurus is being viciously attacked by a pack of tyrannosaurs.

P.S: Had writen a long post. Blogger lost it :(
Deciding to get drunk and ending up not quite so is one of the several causes that can lead a young man into disillusionment with everything in general, and the principles of taxation in particular, eventually leading to severe moral depravity.

Realised this last sunday night on the way back from what could be best defined as a disastrous attempt at getting drunk, and ending up paying twice as much as i would have paid otherwise to get back

Monday, June 27, 2005

The problem is, choice....

I woke up today with a dream in which a lot of people died, and I was reading a short story in Ananda Vikatan.

Almost a decade back, when I was in Madras, I was an avid reader of a then-not-too-bad tamil weekly magazine called Ananda Vikatan. This particular short story that came in my dreams appeared in AV then. It was about a traditional-yet-modern college girl.

Her college allows women to wear only saris, and she takes up the issue in hand, fights for her rights, and ultimately the college authorities relent and scrap the rule, and the next day, bang, this girl comes in a sari.

When asked, she says the problem is choice. You can't restrict what I wear, but my choice is a sari.

Find the story really really funny now. This , I guess was the reason.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Just had the most honest discussion that i had in quite a while, with a total stranger over yahoo! messenger..

life is strange...especially when you think about it...

Friday, June 24, 2005

A friend of mine, sometime, somewhere, someone, told this story which had a huge impact on me then.

This guy had been to Germany, and was driving through a town somewhere near an Autobahn, and wanted to cross the road to get to a grocery store, presumably to grab a pepsi. There was a middle-aged woman with her son, who would have been 4 years old, and they were waiting at the pedestrian crossing. The Walk signal was red, and the road was empty for kilometres on either side, and this guy started crossing.

The woman called out and told him to wait for the signal before crossing, as he is setting a bad example for her son.

I heard this story a couple of years back, and went on to become duly impressed. Thinking back, i don't feel any sense of awe at her social responsibility.

Am losing my human traits one by one.

On a similar note, yesterday, I saw an auto-rickshaw driver with traffic sense. For a change, he did not honk, he did not bottleneck the perperndicular road, stopped before the yellow line at all traffic signals, and gave me back my 50 paise change.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy - the movie, is probably as bad as the pizza you get in tanjore. I guess the director must have done something on the lines of:
1. Take the book
2. Ignore everything from 2 pages before and 2 pages after every funny line.
3. Look out for the most inept cast, and sign them up, though I must admit - Trillian was cute...
4. Ask an arbit high-browed old man taking a walk along cobbled sidewalks in Southampton and having as much sense of humour as pigeon poop over your car windshield to narrate the *funny* parts.
5. Put in the most unimagniative graphics since the adam dude ate the apple.
6. Employ a PR person whos next only to Sitaram Yechuri in the list of bad campaigners.
7. And worse, go on to release this piece of crap.

Thankfully, DA is dead.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Last night, on the way back after a healthy poultry genocide, I saw a group of gaudily-dressed women running away giggling. It took me a couple of seconds before I realised that they are sex workers running away from cops...

Being logical is the silliest thing one can ever do in a relationship. But what the heck...

Want to go to Colombo.

Recently read that the encephailisation quotient of the smartest dinosaur was around 5.

Have you ever looked at yourself detachedly? I do it all the time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I've come to realise that narcissism is a survival instinct, but decided not to accept it for the same reason...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bihar is an ideal breeding ground for a communist movement. I wonder why there isn't any. It sits snugly under Nepal, and continues to be unaffected by the maoist movement....

Sometimes, reason just eludes you....
All my life I have been under ridicule from various quarters for having an unusually large cerebral volume.

Drawing amused stares, starting with the doctor who aided in my birth, right down to my post-grad lecturer who always managed to zero-in on me to ask unanswerable questions, this was the single most defining thing in my life.

And it continues to be. Read this.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Feminism in tamil movies

Disclaimer: I don't claim to be a feminist. I don't claim to uphold any values, and I don't claim moral superiority. In fact, I don't claim anything at all. But I reserve the right to have opinions, and opinionated is how I will be :)

Non-existent company loyalty aside, Yahoo! news has become my only source of news. Thier supercilious attitude towards what happens in the third world is extremely interesting. Consider the following news article for example:

Indian forced to 'marry' her father-in-law rapist

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian rape victim is being forced by village elders to "marry" her rapist -- her father-in-law, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Community leaders in Charthawal village, backed by local Muslim clerics, believe that by being raped, 28-year-old Imrana's 10-year marriage has been nullified under Islamic law, The Asian Age newspaper said.

Holding a special council on Sunday, village leaders ordered the mother of five to leave her husband, Noor Mohammed, and live with her parental family for seven months and 10 days and make herself "pure" again, The Age said. It did not say how she becomes pure.

After that, she must "marry" her father-in-law and live with him, along with his legal wife.

"She... will then be like a mother to Noor Mohammed," the paper quoted local cleric Shamim Ahmad saying.

Her four brothers have agreed to the edict. She has not but in India, victims of crime often have nowhere to turn and with even her own family supporting the edict she may have little choice.

Police are now investigating and say they plan to arrest the father-in-law. They refuse to comment on the village elders' ruling, saying it is a sensitive religious issue.

The village is in Uttar Pradesh, one of India's poorest and most backward states and its most populous, with more than 165 million people, more than Russia's 145 million.

Pudhiya Paadhai, a purportedly revolutionary movie in tamil, released in mid 80s was based on a similar, disgusting theme. Those were the heydays days of pseudo-feminism, when the likes of Visu and Balachander ruled the roost.

Tne stifling poverty of the 70s had forced the men to allow women to work. Visu's films dealt primarily with poverty and gender equations, with a housewife trying to get a job, her otherwise good husband seeing it as a bad trait, and finally giving in to the woman, which will involve a lot of appeasement over the bed. Balachander dealt in women as victims of circumstance, yet preserving their feminity, and the associated dignity. These two directors brainwashed an entire generation of tamil men and women, and effectively killed feminism in tamil nadu. I haven't seen a single feminist in TN, and lets not talk about Suhasini and Revathi, shall we.... Not that i care, just my observation.

Tamil movie's potrayal of feminism:
a. A strong-willed woman shouldering the responsibilities of the family, with all the usual doses of compassion, humility and servitude associated with a woman
b. A headstrong cruel girl tamed by the hero...

P.S: This was a totally pointless post...

Monday, June 13, 2005

Atlast, someones talking

Let's have X-rated films, says Kamal

There are a few things about tamil movies that strike you as being vulgar, much more than, say, bollywood movies. No, it is not gyrating hips, scantily clad women and the camera focussing on the belly button and other parts of the anatomy. Guess this is uniform across the Indian film industry to pander to the average sexually starved indian adult.

The vulgarity comes from the hypocratic contrast between people's mindset and the lyrics of tamil songs. The tamil society can be, without loss of generality and without fear of generalisation , described best as being affectedly demure especially in issues related to sex. Any tangential reference to sex is best avoided, and if that isn't possible, mentioned in such vague terms that can mean anything from a safety pin to a chicken to a penis.

Tamil songs, in stark contrast to the rest of tamildom, revolves as much around sex as dinosaurs did around the mesozoic tar swamps. Tell me the last song that did not have refernces to making out, anatomical features or deprivation, and i shall still refuse it. This fact, when considered in conjuction with the coy attitude is what makes the whole industry pukable.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Today's movie: The Unbreakable...

After this movie, it is rumoured that Shyamalan met Subhash Ghai... and the rest is history... This was his last good movie..
Today's movie: The Unbreakable...

After this movie, it is rumoured that Shyamalan met Subhash Ghai... and the rest is history... This was his last good movie..
A lot of blogs that I read have become such puke fests, but i still visit them for the simple reason that it gives me a kick. A number of people who i used to respect at certain points in time have fallen into the intolerable category, thanks to their blogs.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

It has happened finally.... Pancreas swollen... excrutiating pain... going to the hospital...
This time last month, I was in love with Nausea. Had been reading it for a couple of months then, but did not want the book to finish. Used to read a single paragraph for weeks at stretch.

This however, is taking existentialism to a different plane.... ROTFL..
Q: Whats more irritating than a gaboor playing antakshari?

A: A gaboozh playing antakshazhi

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

What follows is the unbecoming of me.. But what the heck....

I realised how cheap by ex-colleagues were. I was forced to pay for two treats(joining and farewell... thats right, i paid for my farewell...and no gift either... pretty cheap, isn't it..). How I was tricked into this is beyond my me now.. Are you people listening?

Have this uncontrollable urge to watch Lolita.

Am not sure if this is the case with everybody, but there are certain movies that don't make much of an impact when you finish watching them, but as time wears on, and certain aspects of the movie surface from beneath the obvious with a taste thats almost suffocating in some sense that you truly get to appreciate the movie. Don't remember what I wanted to say, but this movie is a musta....

Historically/statistically, all my crushes are on women who are elder to me....well, almost...Am intrigued.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Sweet young techie commits massacre.. Pandemonium in the city

This is the story of a young, soft-spoken, courteous and extremely sweet techie in Bangalore.

It all began 24 years back, when this cherubic-looking child was born to loving parents. Legend says that the child developed toilet manners when he was 2.5 days old when he realised the inconvenience that he caused to the nurses and to his mom. He then profusely apologised his mom and the nurses on the 4th day when his mom was discharged from the hospital.

He started receiving guests and engaging them in talks when he was 2 months old. What struck most people was the genuine streak of pain that spread across his face whenever he talked about the poor and the needy. By the time he was 6 months old, he had been to Orissa to overlook the flood relief operations, and involved himself in protests against Tienamann Square massacre.

When the world was praising this prodigy, he felt bad that he wasn't spending time with his parents.Consequently, he retired from active public life at 2.5 years, went out, stood in the queue under the scorching Madras sun for 2 days, and got the school admission form. The smile that spread across his mother's face was worth all the effort.

In school, he advocated non-violence, universal brotherhood/sisterhood, ban on animal testing, adviced students on their personal and academic life, taught teachers the importance of being tolerant towards students, created awareness about global warming, gay rights and the pan-democratic movement. By the time he came to 2nd standard, he had reinvented Buddha's teachings and Friggin's laws on Conjugative dissonance.

The prodigy continued unabated till undergrad when he decided to stay back to serve his motherland, moved to Bangalore, became a techie and continued serving mankind...

All this came to an abrupt end one day when he pulled out an MG 34 and pumped round after round of tracer bullets into every human being in the vicinity for goddamned honking at the signal when there were still 10 more seconds to go for the signal to turn green. Half the traffic had meanwhile decided on its own course of action, and bottle-necked the free-flowing traffic. The traffic police had no way of stopping this freaking senseless juggernaut.

Satisfied with the screams from helpless children, he waited till every sound died down and after counting 140 dead bodies, he smiled affably, uttered a satisfied sigh, and went on to other signals to continue serving humanity.
Nilu has something to say on Advani's volte-face. Am now left with no option but to disagree with him.

I really don't understand why Advani's resignation makes him centre-right, especially because he is alreadycentre-right. (Pls. correct me if i am wrong)

And how does calling Jinnah secular make him a centre-right winger is beyond the scope of my understanding.

The rest of the argument is compelling though... and doesn't quite derive from the first part.
As someone who has been watching the downfall of BJP for a couple of years now(*decay = loss of popularity), I must say that Advani's volte-face has taken me quite by surprise.To me,it is not so much the resignation - this man is too old anyway. What is probably needed is a new face - jaitley, for example. What actually matters is the debunking of the RSS ideology of a united india, in the wake of the oncoming bihar elections.

One of the following possibilites should have happened
1. Advani has finally gone nuts.
2. Nostalgia, finding his roots and all such crap
3. An identity swap: It is actually Ayaz Amir wearing Advani's mask.

Whatever be the case, this is going to be interesting. All those old men in ridiculous khakhi shorts and lathi would lunge for his throat. I hope he doesn't retract his statement too soon.

P.S: For once, Advani was speaking the truth. Jinnah was a secular person, in his own way.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The pale blue dot

Pale blue dot

The blue dot near the middle of the rightmost light streak in earth, as viewed from the Voyager from near the edge of solar system.

And the GDP of this dot is 45 million million USD, and consumes 2.5E15 joules of energy per revolution, has played host to a 100 million different species over the last 5 billion years, killing of 99.2% of them, has survived 7 mass extinctions in the last 500 million years.

Its funny the way we take all these for granted :)

Surprisingly, it doesn't fill me with a sense of awe. Anthropic principle has killed the awe-ability in me...
These environmentalists are the best irritators in this whole goddamned world.

The other day, I was walking along a busy road in Koramangala with my friend when this Green Peace person politely asked us if we have a few minutes to spare. My friend is this activisty type of a person. We can forgive her for that cos she is a sane person otherwise. ;)

This woman then went on to show us photos of various projects that they have halted due to perceived threats to the environment, and asked for contribution. I didn't obviously.

What was funny/irritating was her "holier-than-thou" attitude. I care, you don't. see, i am making you aware of all this

Goddammit, doesn't she know that every toddler knows that the amazon forests are being reduced at a rate of 2% every year, temperature is rising, sea level fluctuating, acid rains, mercury poisoning, south india becoming a desert, and so on.. And despite all that when I go ahead and have a beer, it means that i dont care a damn...

I then went on to make a significant contribution towards extinction of chicken.

Reminds me of an Issac Asimov story set in the future, where this person holds the last of the non-human lifeforms(two mice) and feels that he holds nature's fate in his hands. Quite hilarious.

Waiting for the next ship to Mars for emigration.

God save the world from environmentalists...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

This dude rocks... A very earnest dogmatic attempt to potray a scientific temperment, conditioned by religion.

Coming to think of it, what this dude is scientific in his/her own sphere. Establish a baisc set of axioms(they are dogmas here, but how does it matter), not question the axioms, and cook up theories to fit in facts. In fact, this was how most of Quantum Mechanics was developed anyway.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

It was disheartening - the blunder that i made.. glad i realised it before i did something irrevocably stupid, like blogging about it.

I thought of Open source movement as a communist movement in some sense. By thinking so, i equated leftism with communism.. Man, what a blunder... Sorry Raymond, you aren't a fucking commie... Only a leftie... and i am sorry that you haven't grown over it. Richard Stallman however, is no different from Sitaram Yechuri.


Last night, I had this irresistable urge to watch the duel between a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Spinosaurus - the much hyped giants of the dinosaur era. Hunted for a Jurassic Park 3 DVD, and watched the spinosaurus beat the hell out of t-rex. JP duped us again. Its not a vijayakanth movie where the unarmed weak hero kills a whole pakistani army camp with a used toothpick. Distortion of facts, at a Cretatious level.


Guantanamo : The place that showed the world how a book can bring even the most fanantic monomaniac to his/her knees. These people are crazy.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Commies duped us...

Another classic case of commie-written text book. We weren't taught about Mendeleev's greatest contribution to humanity - his doctoral thesis.

Mendeleyev is often credited for the scientific justification of the "optimal" ratio of alcohol of 40% (80 proof) used in vodka. The source for the attribution was his doctorate thesis "On Composing Alcohol with Water".

Screw Periodic table - someone else would have come up with it eventually. This is big time research man! rocks

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I call myself a secular atheist, in the sense that I see all religions equally , (pointless probably?), and I am also a major anti-associanist. I am not a member of any atheistic foundation, of alumni clubs, citizens' movements, open source.. anything... I have no idea why i should be saying all this now :)

I mean, a vociferous atheist is as much a fundamentalist as conservatives, jehadists or the saffron brigade. And why does a vociferous atheist feel any different from any of these people? Not that i have anything against fundamanetalism... i won't till the time i am affected by it....

In much the same way, I found striking smiliarities across the auto-biographies of hitler and gandhi. Fanatics at two ends of the spectrum and judgemental.

The god who wasn't there

Limits of my libertarianism

I am this huge fan of free speech and believe that anybody can have an opinion on, and comment about just about anything in the world.

I mean, I really don't mind if tomorrow a Suchomimus walks up to me and comments on how Open Source movement is a commie plot, or if a Baryonyx writes a book on the importance of having a well-groomed beard and a fights for gay rights, but I draw the line there.

For example, I can't tolerate this.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

My ego just took a huge hit... unsurmountable perhaps... just a couple of hours back.

The last time this happened was in second standard when i had a fight with my classmate over applied maths. We fought silly over what seemed to be an involved discussion then. Which is a bigger number- infinity or million?

Any person who knows me for a couple of hours and talked about addition of two two-digit numbers would be able to figure out the which side i was on.The same day, after i returned from school, i got to know that my my crush's classmate was my best friend then, and i dreamt of killing him..

But should i brush this aside like it never happened, or should something be done about it? am confused.