Sunday, December 30, 2007

my december

Well... i don't think i will start this post for apologizing for not updating my stuff over here. Heck! It would be like being sorry for not having eaten strawberry ice-cream when i was swimming in thick-drippin-chocolate-ice-cream all this while (PS: strawberry's not my flavor of the "any month of the year"). But then my gentle readers want to know what's up in my life(or at least i will pretend that you do want to know. Think positive and all, you know?). So here's a small list of what i can remember so far:

1. Grooving with my colleagues: There comes a time when you realize that you are spending half your life in the cubicle. When you are filled with that over-flowing knowledge, you do one of two things: (a) you gripe, complain and make a total mess of your face with that god-damned frown. (b) Or you make the most of it. As in, you drink gallons of office water, tea, etc. You get to know everyone in the office (such that even security personnel breaks into a warm smile when they see you). Extra points if you can walk up to the opposite/preferred sex and strike a conversation. Extra, extra points if you can stay cool and make them laugh. You work so hard that you earn two years of experience with every one you spend in your firm. Hmmm... am getting carried away here and i better stop before you guys start seeing a workaholic giving a million excuses for not having a life ;).

2. Christmas with family: Nothing beats having Dad and Mom come over and spend christmas with you. And its extra fun when the Mom in question is a whiz in the kitchen. She even made those superb chaat in between cooking up a stormy meat buffet. And not to mention the great choir singing at the local church celebrations. I am sure the lead singing lady had broken a few hearts along the way ;)

3. Free therapy courtesy of little sis: When you have to act like a man and keep all those stuff inside you, having a little sis who understands is one big life-saver. So i poured all my sob stories to this lady who is training to be a psychologist. Hey girl! You might be able to put all this stuff in your resume anyways. Am your number one cush-tomer, right? Loads of money comin up when i get some in my pocket, k? And watching "Om Shanti Om" wasn't bad either. I didn't expect you to enjoy it more than me. (sniff sniff). Where the Fish is my hanky when i need it. I better stop before i get overly nostalgic.

4. Falling in love (or somethin close to it): Somethin like this had already drained me out while i was in college. Now getting up every day is a chore cause i see this awful question on the wall every time i open my eyes: "When will i see her again?"

With that i bade a bitter-sweet farewell to 2007. Wishing you guys a wacky 2008. Letsssss. PPPPParty!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Dreamy Slashfest

Last night i had this weird dream. I saw myself, in the first-person-shooter-game-style, walking around and all of a sudden i pop these adamantum claws from my hands a la wolverine. I gaze at it, startled at first, but i grin when i see some bad-guy-type of fella running towards me and i tell him "Time to get slashed into itsy bitsy ribbons, bub". Well... i wished i had said something like that anyways, the way heros are supposed to do and all. Anyways, after the carnage scene is over, i hang around looking for more stuff to try my new claws on but am suddenely confronted by my clone smoking one of those cigars. Contrary to cinematic expectations, he's not here to challenge me to a me vs me fight, psychological or otherwise. He just stands there, in the third person, and smokes the damn cigar while looking at me with one of those "Bet you don't have the guts to smoke despite all that tough guy posturing", and i wake up all of a sudden, sweaty faced and panting hard.

And then this still sleep-fuzzed brain gets into analysis overdrive. Number one. Explaining away the claws is easy. Almost everybody wants to be in logan's heavy canadian branded, probably made in china, boots so thats a piece of cake. Number Two. But since i am one of them non-smokers it looks like, even in its house-keeping and filing-away process, my brain couldn't make my dream of being my fav x-man even virtually true along with the fact that i am supposed to be blowing smoke if that has to happen. So it, divides me into two to keep me happy while at the same time getting me to wake up cause you know, the memory spring cleaning is over for the day (or night) dude and you better rise and shine, sonny. It was only later that i remembered that since wolverine has this high regenerative ability that it didn't matter whether he smoked or not since his lungs would repair itself into that of a new born baby's faster than you can say "adamantum balls". So, if you managed to put him into one of those huge hospital scanners, which seem to be used for almost every other diagnosis whether in the movies or in real life, and you made him smoke his cigars while zooming into his lungs area, you would see his lungs turning black and then his mutation kicking in and turning it bright healthy red (yellow? white? somebody with the necessary medical knowledge, help me here).

So, in the parallel universe where our mutants are having fun and getting a piece of each other, you can imagine the disclaimer on the cigarette ads: "Smoking is a major cause of... blah blah... except if you are born packaged with the quick healing chromosome. So to all you unlucky ones, gnya gnya :P"

With that split resolved, i go back to sleep and get ready to enjoy the rest of the dream, blazing cigars, a stronger than steel, six bladed beast, smelling blood in the cold night sky and running towards his prey composed of gun totting army men from the Weapon X program. AWOOOO!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Look and The Way

When you go places, you notice this one thing. If you are a girl (and you don't need to be overly hot for this to happen in India), you get a lot of stares when you are walking the streets. If you are a guy, you catch other people (or yourself) doing the same. I do it too but i have perfected the art of subtle observation to perfection and would like a lot more guys to go about it the same way. When most guys give "the look" its more like as if they were panting with some sort of animal lust and wear a gaze so intense to put even super-man, with his X-ray vision, to shame. So here's the solution. When a girl passes by, look coolly at her (eyes NOT popping out) and then look away after a few seconds. If you really need a second "helping", go for it but keep it to few seconds at a time and not as if you will die there staring at her forever. And if she sees you looking, give a gentle smile (showing 32 salivating dracula like dripping fangs doesn't count). That way, she knows you are admiring her and not about to do some unmentionables at that exact moment. Try it out... she might actually smile back.

By the way, this sort of stuff used to piss me off until i realized that i should be grateful that at least men were not staring at me THAT way :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

City City, Bang Bang And Boom Boom

Diwali's here and the competition is up. The race is on to see who's the best city in terms of most decibels produced with (deep) respect to crackers exploding, drunkeness (minds imploding) and general nuisance. To prepare for this situation, i had readied my mind to acquire that state of perpetual numbness to irritating, asynchronous sounds. To be frank, i really had not much of a choice in the matter (refering to the Noise Lessons here). My gentle, regular readers have already read my post on the many advantages of living literally under construction so i will not bore you with the same details but will only link it here. And here again in order to give you double the chance in case you decide to close your eyes and click randomly on the screen and let fate decide on whether you should read the dusty, web-covered post. But i digress, for the nth time, so lets get back to more digressing later on. Ahem! Yes, yes... regarding my sound therapy, here's the list:

- Dogs barking in the neighborhood at random. And damned Pomenarians barking 3 and a 1/2 times the normal output of the yellowish-brown color fits all standard sized street dog.
- People yelling (AAAY!) to talk to someone regardless of whether both of them are standing a quarter of a kilometer apart or are ear to ear.
- Homo sapiens yelling louder when they are using their cellphones.
- Guys trying to be macho and reving up their bikes for five minutes. Wroom wroom. Extra points to global warming here.
- Traffic and the ready "Horn Ok Please" attitude.
- Near my home, a regular BOOM goes off in the background every fifteen minutes or so. Don't know what made me decide it was a canon sounding the time. Furthur research, which was simply passing the area courtesy of public transport, yielded the fact that the place was some kind of stone mine with loads of dynamite necessary to make smaller morsels for the lorries to transport.
- And the list would be incomplete without the in-your-ear music, broadcasted non-stop whether its your neighbor's tv, his/her recently acquired car or ancient sound system, marriage function, funeral or simply, for the heck of it, radio volume on max.

Advantages of the treatment:

- Could stand the noise generated on double diwali (both south-indian and north-indian).
- When someone on the road lights a cracker, didn't even need to mentally brace for the explosion.
- All related music and lights suddenely acquired background (and hence unimportant, taken for granted) status.
- Of course, my trusty headphones did share in the burden too (both therapy and reality wise). Its all about teamwork, you know :)

So here's wishing you a Happy Diwali, my friend!

PS: Inspite of all the irritations, the huge sky fireworks were awesome!!!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Under Construction

Currently i am staying in this rented apartment right in the middle of a small village in bangalore. In the morning, it looks all breezy and peaceful. But, come nighttime and thats when the creeps come crawling out and infesting the seedy local bar and shooting out unmentionables around the area and emptying their stomachs in public for extra effect. Its been two years here and am itching to move on. Add to that the fact that my landlord suddenly decides to add a few more floors to his building in which i am meek tenant, and i am close to selling my kidney to get me some money to fund my driving away into the sunset dream. Here are a few of the side effects of living in/near an under-construction sign post:

1. You pick up a book to de-stress or get some learning done and the laborer decides to do some hammering done, at exactly the same moment. So its like, bang bang bang and am trying hard to not pick a chainsaw and run screaming on to the roof from where the culprit is bugging me.

2. A few days later, i acquire the knack of relegating the background noise outta the way of my concentration and i get comfy with the routine. When evening sets and the workers go home, it suddenly dawns on me that i can't get any reading done in the silence. Oh crap... now have to re-learn doing stuff in the quiet.

3. The landlord hires this painter who thinks that he's Karnataka's answer to sonu nigam. The guy's clearly in love with his voice so he starts belting out recent kannada hits to the nuisance of good old me. After waiting for a while and praying that he gets his tongue twisted into a knot or somethin, i decided to do something 'bout it and so i step out and tell the guy in hindi: "Ghana acha hai magar hum idhar padtha hai... tho volume please kum karo..." (The singin is nice but am studying here so please lower the volume buddy). The guy says "okay okay" and after a few seconds of peaceful quiet, he starts singing louder. Hmmm... he must have thought that i liked his singing so much that i asked him to increase the volume. Oh well! Atleast one of us is happy, i thought to myself and muttered a few magic words to mute out the extra noise.

4. Mud slides falling on you when you are all showered, dressed and stepping out to go for work. (Cough cough!). Hey dude... am hyper-allergic to dust, man!

Some one get me outta here!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gone To The Dogs... Singular In This Case And What A Singular Case This Is!

So i get up one Sunday morning. The birds are chirping, the buffalos are mooing and all is right with the world (cue for a random soothing beethoven concerto). I take a warm shower while singing the latest and greatest from himesh buddy's hits (and hence driving away all single and multiple celled organisms in the radius of half a kilometer. Forunately yours truly is not inhabiting a very prosperous community and so there's no danger of breaking wine glasses here). I hum the same tune in low key while dressing up so as not to drive away my parents who are waiting for me in the next room so that we could go to church together. And then it happens... i step out to get my shoes and notice that (horror of horrors...) that there's only my left shoe is there in front of me. I quickly put on my sherlock holmes hat and start searching around the vicinity for the missing object and if possible the guilty culprit. Nopes... no sign of former-latter and i am about to explode into some choice unreadables... and thats when dad walks up to me and hands me the previously-lost-but-now-found shoe minus some bits of leather round the leg input part. What have we here? I zoom to the part where the bits of the shoe are missing and it looks like some random stray dog had adopted the thing to be its play toy of the day (or night, in this case). Out of all the shoes spread like tantalizing mines between the gate and the door, the creature had the sense of mind to swoop on the most expensive one on which i had shelled out more than 1.5k. And it lasted more than 2 years too and... then i burst out laughing when i realize that the brand of the shoe was "red tape" of all things. Yeah right! If anything had to go to the dogs, then that would be one of the tops in the list. With that out of the way, i rub my hands and wiggle my toes while thinking up what my next pair of shoes should be (no laces and plain black will do, i guess). With a smirk on my face, i put on a pair of "back ups" (you know, the ones one wears when one feels like giving one's feet a suicide mission). Ah well... what's life without a few pains in the you-know-where. Provides good blog fodder though (as my good-old-blogger friends already know and what our bad-new-newbies will find out very soon ;).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Mallu From The Middle East

The prerequisite to understanding this post is to read hem's "paean to the city of sharjah"... man! i wish i had more friends with whom i could get nostalgic over that city... here's some more comparisons w.r.t. my... er our sharjah:

First steps: check!

Fell in love in: check!
It was a one-way love: uncheck!

Malayali-run cafe's: check! and how come u r skinny while i grew to weigh the equivalent of a teenage elephant?

Exile in school: CHECK! damn desert ;)

Fire, quakes and explosions: nopes... must be just u then, hems

Alcohol: nopes again... i had to wait to get to bangalore to get the relevant experience

Mobile street: that reminds me of the street across the roundabout facing mega mall...

Censorship: grrrr!

Academic learning: yup... big check! and dad needed a big cheque too :)

Bachelors and underpaid laborers: sick and thats why we ran out of living near rolla square, i guess

Safety: this was an excellent feature... i loved it!

Platonic hugs: i was too huge to try it out there... hmmm... was this why mom and dad wanted me to remain horizonatally challenged?

Piercings: nopes

First job: does an internship count?

Accidents: one and only one and it just scratched the paint job on my car... the opposing party had to let us go since they couldnt find a dent on theirs

Vows: check! hell, i broke a lot of vows...

Languages: learnt hindi everytime i hanged around those urdu cab drivers... wish i had paid more attention to those arabic classes though

Tea and AC: hehe... i totally get this one

Photographs: egad! i dont ever wanna let anyone see my childhood photos... i look SOOO geeky

Running away: when i left, i never looked back but i keep returning to you... after all, it was you who made me the mallu-from-the-middle-east...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Meet The Parents

My parents do come down to Bangalore now and then to see how their only-begotten-son is doing. During one of their first visits, i had just lost a couple of kilos and was looking like a refugee camper (65 kgs was too little i would admit to myself later), which left pop and mom devasted. Since then, they used to always enquire about my eating habits and mom used to try pumping me up to my former shape every time they visit me. In a way that was a good thing cause i now know how much i should weigh in order to not have relatives jumping on my head to terrorize me on my weight loss and to not look like i am going to disappear into thin air ;). So, i made a vow to remain in the 75 to 80 category and told them about it which, thank the Light, reduced their fussing. So, when they came down here this time, they were relieved to see that i was not making any empty promises. Ofcourse, that didn't stop mom from commenting how tired my face looked to which i retorted that body-parts don't shrink randomly but do so altogether. Seems like my mouth's not gonna go small any time soon :P.

And then there are the lighter moments when we get together. Here's a few which this time and that made me roar with laughter:

1. We were travelling in those big red luxury volve public buses here and Pappa accidently lifted his leg to rest it on the opposite seat which was facing him. I tapped his foot lightly and said "Pappa, we are not at home". Mummy was trying hard to control her laughter and Pappa was starting to turn a shade of beetroot red :).

2. We were visiting our relatives (mom's sis's family to be exact) and my little cousin was playing hard-to-eat-the-lunch. So mom performed one of those "crow eats the food" trick to get Deol to gulp the food down. Here's how its done and am sure it might come in handy if you have been trying to get your own kids to eat their greens:

mom (hand outstretched with rice rolled into a small ball and eyes-closed): "Better eat the food or the crow might eat it"

Deol swoops and eats it

mom (after waiting a few moments for deol to make his getaway opens her eyes and exclaims): "uhoh! Seems like the crow has gotten the food!"
By now, the "victim" has gotten the gist of the game and he/she plays the part of the "crow" according to mom's script :).

3. And then there was the time when Deol literally climbs up on my back to try all sort of his spiderman inspired stunts. During one such dare-devilry, he notices that i have this small spot at the back of my head where i am starting to go bald. So he announces the same in this very matter of fact voice and tries to close the gap by (and this is the only way i can say it without making it sound weird) tugging at my hair in a particular direction :)

Ah! Family... its all worth it in the end...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Goodbye Robert And Thanks For All The Books!

The unfortunate and untimely demise of Robert Jordan, author of the acclaimed and/or much criticized Wheel of Time fantasy series (depending on which side of the fence you are sitting on) on September 16, 2007...... man! i can't get past the damn formality so here goes the casual one: We will miss you Robert and just hope that whoever finishes book 12 will make it worth the read... and since you were kind enough to think of us, your readers, before you went away, by making sure someone got to know how you wanted The Book to end, we would like to proclaim you a Swell Dude and bless you in your own words:

"The Light illumine your soul, and may you shelter in the Creator's hand untill you are born again"

... and when you are born again, do write your next series "in a more linear approach" just like you regretted not doing ;)

God bless!

RJ's blog:

Slashdot's tribute to the man

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What Blogthingies am I?

Noopur's post on blogthings got me going to write my own version. The results were insightful and fun to know. If you feel like taking up the same, consider yourself tagged ;)

You Should Play the Trumpet

You are a natural leader. You have a very dominant and strong personality.
Working with others suits you. As long as you're in charge, that is!

You are aggressive and strong in your approach to most things.
You feel like no one is as competent as you are, and you rarely make mistakes.

The limelight is where you feel most comfortable - and you'll take risks to get some extra attention.
You definitely would bring your own flavor to any music you were a part of. Even if it means being a little loud and obnoxious.

Your dominant personality characteristic: you're a showoff

Your secondary personality characteristic: you like to be in charge of other people

Blowing my own trumpet, am i? That is TRUE but i definitely prefer the guitar

You Are 68% Good

You are a good person. You do the best you can to be ethical, fair, and moral.
And as you know, being a good person means making hard decisions... and following them through.
If you're confronted with an ethical dilemma, you will usually do the right thing.
Of course you do slip up. No one's perfect. But you do your best to correct your missteps.

You are also probably: incredibly honest, especially with yourself

Right now you are on track to being: A respected leader

To be a better person: Be kind to someone who is not very kind to you

So, what is the pass mark here? ;)

You Are a Roller Coaster

You live for excitement, adventure, and the most intense of thrills.
Nothing is better than feeling you're truly alive, and you're willing to take risks to feel this way.
In relationships, people often feel a bit nervous about what they're getting into...
But generally, everyone enjoys the wild ride you take them on. Unless they stay with you too long - then they're apt to feel a bit nauseous!

Your life has more low points and high points than most people's lives.
But that's okay - you love them. You figure that a smooth ride is boring!
Besides, you know that super high highs only come from knowing super low lows.
You cherish every emotion you feel and feel it fully. Why deny what life is truly about?

At your best, you are loving life and sharing your wild times with everyone you know.
You are able to open your friends up to a whole new world of experiences.
At your worst, you feel extremely disoriented and even a bit dizzy.
There's only so much intensity a human (even you!) can take.

Smack on target... Hop on for the ride of your life, mate

Your Fragrance Profile

The best calming fragrance: vanilla
The best fragrance for everyday wear: orange
The best fragrance to boost your sex appeal: lavender
The best fragrance for energy: pine

Okay! Time to go perfume shopping

You Make a Good First Impression

You probably are making a much better impression than you realize.
Social situations can be a bit awkward for you at times, and you tend to over think what you say and do.
If you make a social faux pas, you remember it a lot longer than anyone else does.

Just relax and do your best. There are little things you can do to improve your social image.
Express more of an interest in the people around you, and be a good listener.
The secret of fascinating people is that they find everyone else fascinating!

Ah yes! The result of hard work talking to loads of people has finally paid off...

Your Superpower Should Be Manipulating Fire

You are intense, internally driven, and passionate.
Your emotions are unpredictable - and they often get the better of you.
Both radiant and terrifying, people are drawn to you.
At your most powerful, you feel like the world belongs to you.

Why you would be a good superhero: You are obsessive enough to give it your all

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Your moodiness would make it difficult to control your powers

Playing with fire seems to be a piece of cake these days... yawn

You Are Cereal

Playful and lighthearted, breakfast is likely your favorite meal of the day.
(In fact, you're probably the type who sneaks cereal as a midnight snack.)
Your culinary skills are probably a bit lacking... and you are a sucker for junk food.
Some people accuse you of eating like a kid, but you prefer to think of yourself as low maintenance.

Bite me, bite me, bite me

You Are Paper

Crafty and creative, you are able to adapt freely to almost any situation.
People tend to underestimate you, unless they've truly seen what you are capable of.
Deep down, you're always scheming and thinking up new plans. Your mind is constantly active.
You are quite capable of anything you dream of. You can always figure out a way to get what you want.

You can wrap a rock person up in your sheet of trickery.

A scissor person can sneak up and cut you to pieces.

When you fight: No one can anticipate your next move

If someone makes you mad: You'll attack them mercilessly when they're unprepared

Paper? Where did all my toughness go?

You Would Be a Pet Dog

You're friendly, loyal, and an all around good sport. People love to be near you.
You are very open with your feelings, and you're quite vocal in expressing them.
You are sincere and kind. You love many people - without any sort of agenda.

Why you would make a great pet: You're content to chill out with your friends

Why you would make a bad pet: You always find yourself getting into trouble

What you would love about being a dog: Running around and playing

What you would hate about being a dog: Being left home alone while everyone else is out having fun

Woof, woof! Time to pee on someone...

You Are a Turkey Sandwich

Conservative and a bit shy, you tend to stick with what you know and trust.
You are very introverted, and you prefer to blend in whenever possible.
Though you may be hard to know well, anyone who does know you considers you a true friend.

Your best friend: The Ham Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Tuna Fish Sandwich

Yummy! I wanna eat me

Your Famous Movie Kiss is from Spiderman

"I have always been standing in your doorway. Isn't it about time somebody saved your life?"

Okay girl! I am gonna get my web shooters... u ready?

Your Psyche is Red

You are bright, bold, energetic, and intense.
Your upbeat, zany energy inspires those who are down.
Spontaneous and playful, you also have a courageous and fearless side.

When you are too red: you are angry, overprotective, and truly scary.

When you don't have enough red: you are depleted and lifeless.

Introducing Red Rejoy...

You Are a Mac

You are creative, stylish, and super trendy.
You demand the best - even if it costs an arm and a leg.

And i wasn't in apple tech support for nuthin...

You Are From the Sun

Of all your friends, you're the shining star.
You're dramatic - loving attention and the spotlight.
You're a totally entertainer and the life of the party.
Watch out! The Sun can be stubborn, demanding, and flirty.
Overall, you're a great leader and great friend. The very best!

Am i hot or what?

You Are a Dragon

You are very charismatic and incredibly popular.
People are drawn to your energy, but you are a very difficult person to get to know.
You are very active - you are usually hard at work or play.
You enjoy drama, and you enjoy anything unusual or eccentric.

I AM the Dragon Reborn!!! ;)

You Are Superman

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
And pretty cute too. No wonder you're the most popular superhero ever!

Its a bird, its a plane... its Rejoy!. Frankly, i prefer spiderman in honor of us sharing geeky ways in school days and the longing for the one hot girl who got away. And not the mention, the excellent one-liners he throws at villians along with his webbings

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Losing my...

beep! beep! and my mobile tells me that my axis bank account is recharged with the finances needed for the coming months. I never liked the name uti bank but even thats better than "axis" (for those not in the know, uti bank has changed their name to axis bank)... i am guessing that george bush's dig at the Iraq-Iran-N.Korea axis of evil was the source of inspiration. But i digress. Not really. I just tried to think up something to say so that i could "i digress" about somethin for the first time in my blog :P. So i think to myself, its time to cash in and go hunting for my debit card. Where is it, where is it... ooo debit card (musical lilt in my voice and a memory of cash registers going cha-chung in my ears)... and thats when it hits me: the damn thing's lost!!! Now, you might not know this but i am very particular about where i put my things (the phrase "a place for everything and everything in its place" comes to mind here) and due to this i rarely lose the stuff in my keeping, borrowed or otherwise. And to balance this God/Destiny/Fairy-Godmother/Coincidence given blessing, the All-Mischevious Loki/Fate/Entropy/Bloody-Watchamacallit makes mighty sure that if i ever lose anything it should follow the Law of Loses*:

"If there is ever a choice on what it is one should lose from a number of items (where n = 1 to infinity ;), it WILL be the one which costs more than the sum of the prices of all the rest added together"

Flash back to college days when i lost Dhs 500 (dirhams people, not the blessed-rupees... multiply it by 11 if u dont know foreign exchange) and dad was somehow not convinced that i had lost it due to my tendency to "borrow" a few coins now and then from the coin box on top of the refridgerator when i was a kid. And fast forward to Bangalore days where someone else borrowed not one but two of my nokia handsets while i used the public transport. It all just goes to show that even the most careful of us do get greasy fingers from time to time.

So, there i was now, debit card lost and rummaging through the bank manuals for a customer care number and when the damned leaflets refused to throw up any thing, went running a kilometer to the nearest browsing center to get it and call support to report that my debit card was lost. Phew! That was close. But then i was not overly concerned since before the money got credited to my account, the balance was a just a measly sum of Rs 80 and if any one had tried to use my card then, they would have gotten an "insufficient funds" message and i would like to take the opportunity to say "haha! gotcha pal" and give them the finger ;). Vengence is mine and boy, is it sweet! Mmm...

*Loses rhymes with Moses :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Me

Since roshan (aka The Doc) had tagged me in the "seven interesting things about me" department, i am left with no option but to say the least worst things about me cause believe me, my life's no moral science book mates ;)... so here they are without further ado:

i scratch your back, you DON'T scratch mine: I do walk around with this "i am better than thou attitude". So, while i shower my friends with generous dosages of help, i refuse to take help from them. I guess it must be some crazy habit i picked up many years back when memory was vague and foggy. I simply can't explain it. An extension of this strange behavior was when i came down to bangalore in search of a job, my friends suggested faking the resume and taking references, to which i staunchly refused (Ironically, my first I.T. job happened when i caved into the reference pressure. It was either that or going back to live with my parents. Brrrr! ;)

dust particles enter my eyes when i see mushy, makes-you-cry movies:
Okay! i admit it's quite embarrassing when i have this urgent need to cry a river when i am watching film scenes involving loss of a loved one or the poignant separation of lovers blah blah blah. I mean, i even cried while watching the animated movie shrek which means i am beyond redemption. When one of my work colleagues came to know of it, she told me that men should never cry. I retorted with "i bet you make the exception for Shah Rukh Khan" and i added "you double standard !@#$%^" not quite aloud.

my smile:
during my early twenties, i realized that i had the God-given gift of stopping people in their tracks like forest deers caught in high beam head lights when i smiled at them. I kind of learned of this by accident when i showed my dimples to a girl in the office and she mouthed the words "nice smile". And i was like, whoa! when i tried the same in the mirror :)

i eat implies i read:
talk about multi-tasking. This habit's one i definitely don't regret having around since i can get twice the amount of work done if i read something while i am eating. And somehow the food tastes better when i read fantasy like Lord of the Rings or the Wheel of Time series. But my parents insist that its dis-respect to the food when i do this. Hah! i say and i get back to burying my nose in said book and my mouth into breakfast/lunch/dinner.

a gallon of tea, please:
my grandma (mom's mom) used to replenish my beer-mug-sized-tea-cup all the time when i used to stay with her. And that's how i got addicted to the thing. And when i ordered my first Rs. 2 half-tea from the authentic tea-shop over here in bangalore, i squinted at the tiny cup (and the even lesser amount of tea) and asked myself: "thats it?"

people open up to me easily:
i had heard this urban legend that said that if you had a disability, you will be gifted with some other talent which would more than make up for your deficiency. And since i have the advantage of not taking my ears for granted (courtesy of moderate hearing loss which i am diagnosed with), it came as a very big surprise to me when people started to talk to me about things which they don't usually talk about. After they are done, they usually add the comment "I don't know why i told you this" to which i nod and say, "Its a gift". Must be that i concentrate on the person when they start to speak since i am not so fortunate in the hearing department and this signals to the person that he/she has a captivate audience in this person. I also tend to nod my head like a wise old sage when i agree and/or understand what they had said. Frankly, i don't give a damn about this scientific explanation and just like to think that Listening is my Talent :).

the ABCD aka arab born confused desi:
well, i was born outside india for starters (U.A.E. to be vaguely specific and sharjah to be kinda accurate). While i was young, and since both my parents were taking on the big bad world through their careers, i used to be baby-sitted by a goan family where they fed me english as a first language. My parents half-jokingly tell us that they had to learn english because they couldn't understand what their own children were talking about ;). And when i used to go to kerala for the holidays, i used to feel a little odd among my cousins. Defensive action was in order and whenever someone made fun of my accent, i would give them them the same stare of disgust i'd give to someone who said a racist joke and they would sputter into embarrassing mumbles. If someone asked me whether i knew malayalam, i would say that i did know enough to marry a mallu babe ;). Later, i took it in my stride after i had learned to accept myself for who i was (and i was not THAT bad considering my above average intelligence and obvious charm :P).

And since i have to pay this tag forward, the ;) unlucky losers are: reji, reni, hemlyn, pravin, kalpana, georgi, and arnab

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Journey So Far

i looked back on what was
And i realized that
now was not the end,
but just another would-be past

26 years... thats a lot of seconds in there. But then i dont feel comfortable thinking in seconds. They always seem to have the knack of slipping through my fingers when i am doing something... or maybe i am old enough to put on the "time flies fast" mindset. Well, as long as i dont spout those "in my days" lines, i think i'll do just fine.

So, what's the story so far, you ask? Time for a timely flashback:

Just Another "Boy Who Lived"
The tale starts with a kid born in sharjah and named Rejoy. There's a lot of stories revolving round the name given to me. The most official one, according to Dad is that, when i, his first born child, came into this world, i gave him joy again. After this sound explanation was given to me, i used to always wonder what was Dad's first occasion of happiness before i had happened. It was not until several years later that i realized that that must have happened exactly 9 months before i flew out the womb. You do the math :).

The Wonder Years
Most of my time in this category was devoted to what stories i could make up so that i could act them out with my toys. Major sources of inspiration were cartoons for the action elements and hindi movies for ideas on romance (i shudder even thinking of the latter. Remember, we are talking of times when mithun chakraborty was cavorting round trees).
And then , there were my sisters. Yeah, we used to fight a lot just like very many siblings. Rejy and me used to find some insane pleasure in scaring the shit out of Reni which would lead the youngest to screaming "MUMMY!!!" for divine intervention.
Other than that, I used to be a hungry little kid (I still am, but now there's that thing called self-control fortified with "what will girls think of me if i am nothing but a fat ass" syndrome). I use to eat and eat cause there was nothing else to do. And Mom used to enjoy keeping me satisfied. Add this to the fact that Reni was not a big fan of eating and i used to "help" her in eating her meals and you had a Big Boy in the making. Dad later told me that he and his family had suffered financially during his teenage years (when his father had passed away), and during those times, they would rarely get to eat. He had vowed then that it wouldn't happen to his own family.

School Ties
And thats how i transformed into hulk, without the super-dooper strenght and even cooler leaping-capacity, by the time i hit high school. Strangely, this never effected my social standing in school. I mean, my classmates and teachers loved me cause i was too nice and always right. My grades were never as high as in during those days. I even topped the charts... er 10th grade in my school. Life was good except for the -11 powered pair of glasses i had to lug around.
Around this time, i was also diagnosed with partial hearing loss (which would later turn out to be a recurring theme in my mind and the source of all my frustration to lead a normal life... the day i made my peace with this issue was when someone commented "the one thing I noticed about rejoy is that he gives you his undivided attention when you are speaking to him"... ha! finally! i totally kicked my ear's ass :P)

Rebel Without a Cause
And along came college, and... the typical rebellion phase. I labelled myself the black sheep of the family and started practicing debates with Dad and Mom, questioning their way of doing things and more importantly, their way of making me do things. When i got my driver's license, i used to literally drive my dad to desperation as i sped along the roads in sharjah on our mitsubishi pajero.
Studying suddenely became less important. I used to read up everything else except books on computer engineering on which i was doing my degree.
Luckily, my teenage angst never went so far as to making me pick-up smoking, boozing or drugs.
My friend Thomas made this ride a little easier. Thanx dude!
side note: at around this time, the lasik center in coimbatore did their bit in making my life easier by blasting laser into my eyes and giving me my eyes back. Thanks to dad for sponsoring this major life turning event. i remember the moment when dad saw me for the first time without glasses after this and told me that i looked like hritik now ;)... it was august the 15th that day and certain independence from the damned spectacles that have been weighing me down for almost a decade.

The Other Silicon Valley
After 23 years of sharjah, i got tired of the place and thought that a change of scenery would do me good. And there was the chance to enjoy the much dreamed about concept called independence. So, i came down to Bangalore looking for work. After a short stint at a call center, i moved into the software industry. Its been more than 3 years and i am still here trying to make the most of it.

The Moral of the Story
If i have to be honest with myself, i have a long way to go yet. There is this matter of career still having to lift off. But boy have i learned a LOT about life by just throwing myself out there. I learned about friendship: Denny, Naveen, Sampath, Sanal, Prakyath, Ajai, were few of the many chaps who made the process easier. Thanks fellas. Learned about falling in love, and getting up quickly after it :). Learned about money and expenses: theory's not enough for this one guys. Learned about patience: you need to go through the furnace to get even a drop's worth of tolerance but its worth it in the end. Learned about family: distance doesn't matter as long as you keep in touch. Learned about happiness: how its really a choice, even if a very hard one in the face of circumstances trying their best to make you frown. And that just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. And the moral of the story is: a very happy birthday to me (you deserve it, old guy :).

PS: seems like the number of messages in my orkut scrapbook peaked today (and a molehill of the same in facebook when compared with orkut's mountain). Thanks for the wishes guys. But then again, i can see the dangers of having lots of friends since i had to reply to each of them. ouch :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

why i dont answer my mobile phone calls these days

1. telemarketing calls: i got so tired of calls trying to sell me credit cards, loans, country club memberships, and better post-paid plans that i quote this as the number one reason. Its also an easier way of saying "no"

2. wrong numbers: this is kind of irritating. Some of these callers don't know english either and they tell me they want to talk to somebody with some random name. Imagine my surprise when a small subset of these privacy intruders used to actually get angry when i replied that it was a wrong number. One guy was rude to the point of swearing to which I calmly replied "up your's, buddy"

3. friends: i don't really mind them calling but they usually start the conversation with the inevitable "what's up?" question and i wonder what that means. I mean, i do know what that means, but where do i start? It gets more embarrasing when they ask me where i am working and i have to say some shit like "i am studying" or "not working dude" and they naturally start giving me unwanted advice. Oh well! "Hang in there, guys... have to get this job thing fixed before i get back to you"

4. God: so that i can be my mischievious self, ofcourse. Being the All-Knowing and All, He/She/Thing usually calls me right in the middle of my favorite naughty past-time and start quoting the Bible/Koran/Veda/etc. Relax Dude! Its live and let live down here. But i am sensible enough to send an sms occasionally: "i am alive and kicking, thank You very much... and see You on sunday!"

Thursday, May 31, 2007

In Your Face(book)

U moan: "Oh no! Not another online community to join! Seems like rejoy has nothin better to do than send these damned requests to orkut-like websites. Humph!"... And if u'r a girl: "Yeah right! Another place to get flooded with annoying messages from losers"... well... nope nope nope... thats the beauty of facebook... allow me to list a few of its advantages... not just anybody is allowed to message you; only those who are in your network or those who are already friends with you can do so... if that doesn't satisfy you, you can also adjust the privacy settings to satisfy your own degree of paranoia... and the interface is more sexier and closer to google's philosophy (hmmm... google should have bought facebook rather than orkut, but that's another story...). so there u go! now all u have to do is sign urself up on FB and bring urself closer to me :)

PS: if u want to do more r&d before u signup, here's the link.

Tabbed Windows Ahoy!

Tired of all the multiple instances of windows explorer you have to open up everytime you have to drag and drop a thingy from one folder to another? Fed up with waiting for another new explorer window to open up while you tap your mental feet in frustration? Feel like pulling your hair out (or bang you head against a wall, if you're a baldy), when you find it hard to locate the particular explorer window in red alert situations similar to those movie moments where the hero has to snip a particular colored wire off the time bomb, seconds before it goes off? (yawn)... alright already!!!

Time to get your hands-on/cursor-to ExplorerXP. Basically, it has tabbed browsing which makes it easier to open/use multiple instances of explorer (similar to the firefox browser and the new internet explorer, which has the equvalent tabbing for surfing the web).

If you're (still) running Windows XP, go get this neat freeware for yourself.

PS: Its been a long time since I posted anything. And my little sis' bugging me to post somethin on my blog has finally paid off ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thus Spake The Wussy

1. I will always apologize to people for every small mistake I make so that they know I have good intentions.
2. I will give gifts/presents to as many people as possible (especially women I like) so that they will like me.
3. I will always be "humble" (have low self esteem) so that I won't hurt anybody.
4. I will try to help others by solving their problems so that they will help me when I am in need.
5. I will wallow in self-pity when people reject me. I will think to myself: "what have I ever done to deserve this?.. I helped them so much and look what they did to me now..." and other "feel good" thoughts.
6. I will try to make friends with people on online communities (especially with those girls who have beautiful profile pics belonging to some random actress or model).
7. I will flatter people so that they will do the same to me (which makes me feel good).
8. ...

and ofcourse there are loads of other things which one might do in the same situation but I am fast phasing out and thus finding it hard to remember (wink wink) and capture the perfect example of the nervous, huddling bundle of less-than-nothingness.

PS: There's nothing wrong with helping people out. I still do it. But now I don't associate it with getting something back. The problem is finding the delicate balance between giving your time to someone else and to yourself. I better not give any advice on this since for some people sacrifice is important where as others stress on the importance of self service (and some people like to do both). The only point I would like to make is that if you feel the need to help someone then it would be preferable to "teach them fishing, rather than giving them fish every time they need one."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Home Is... Wherever You Decide It Is

Today, for some strange reason, I started humming the UAE national anthem. After being done with it, I tried to think back and remember whether any thing triggered such "patriotic" feelings. After finding no evidence of the same, I shrugged it off and thought that maybe the memory might have escaped from some inner recess of my subconscious mind and must have found its way to explode... or rather whimper out my vocal chords.

For those of you guys who don't know my history, I was born of Indian-Keralite (yes, they are a different political scenario, altogether) parents in the blazing hot deserts of the United Arab Emirates, in the then, small but rapidly growing, city of Sharjah. It was there, far away from the spiritual motherland of India, that the doctor, upon my silent and dignified entrance into the real world, slapped my butt to get me howling (no wonder we are, one and all, fated to get our asses kicked from that point on...).

Some things, you don't remember learning. You just know that you know them. The anthem was one of those. Must have memorized it while my brains had not yet received their ability to grasp thoughts and keep them. Those recordings are like the morning mists where one finds nothing when they probe into it. My school teachers must have made me learn it by rote before understanding was born between my ears. Another testimony to the power of parrot-like rote memorization.

Sharjah... where I will always find my way back to... Home and not home... but where I desire to be and long to see when rainy days lash out on me...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I Like to Move It, Move It

There was a time when I used to keep my mobile on ringtone mode. It became a thing of the past when the following scene repeated itself until i got the lesson:

me with friends
ring ring
me (oblivious to ringtone): blah blah blah
ring ring
me: more blah blah blah
ring ring
me: blah blah black sheep
ring ring
me notices people checking their mobile phones
ring ring
someone else to me: Rejoy! Your phone's ringing!!!
everybody else except me: hahaha try to melt into the shadows,
cheeks red like a couple of tomatoes...

After that, I started putting the damned thing on silent-but-vibration mode. Of course there are circumstances when I am moving around and its not enough to just have it in my pants in said setting. Sometimes I feel that the perfect place would be to shove the thing up my @$$ to know whether the thing is vibrating when there is an in-cumming er... in-coming call. Fortunately and unfortunately (for my heterosexual ego and my callers respectively), thats never going to happen. I did think of ways to circumvent the issue. What about headphones? I thought. Naah! Too weird. I had been at the providing end of mocking smiles/chuckles when some random guy takes his call using a headphone giving the appearance that he is talking to thin air or worse, looking at me while he shouts at the top of his voice. But then again, there is this eternal debate of getting your brain fried on mobile phone induced electromagnetic waves (for and against). I am tired. You do the homework.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Little B.O.B.

Nope. I am not talking about some guy named bob but do say hello to my theory initialized by B, O and B again. You might have had one of those days when some friend of yours (or maybe you but I would not want to put it that way since you might get offended... oops) is going on and on about some side they are taking on an issue. For example, is it nature or is it nurture which decides the development of a child? And they/you press on, quote the authorities, shout themselves hoarse, spit in the opponents face and do all that can be done to make the other party believe you. And sometimes its not so much that the others believe what we say as much as we trying to convince ourselves of the principles we have chosen to live by.

There is something going for debates. That you can actually intimidate others by presenting facts is some new kind (or the ever old tradition) of tactical warfare, is something which I call uniquely unique. And what any woman would immensely relish... I can almost hear them smacking their lips in anticipation ;). I remember that the very mention of the word "debate" used to freeze my blood in my halcyon school days. It always summoned up images of violence and gore. As if the contestants would at any moment just jump from the stage and at each others' throats while I could have participated as the active audience with popcorn in hand. Unfortunately that didn't ever happen otherwise we would have borne witness to our forefathers mode of resolution management which is "might is right" (is it me or is some types of related world politics scenario still in the dark ages? Clue: BUSH fire).

To cut to the chase, what I am trying to say is that the answer usually lies in embracing both options and suspending judgment. A little Bit Of Both (and from henceforth referred to as bob courtesy my-lazy-fingers). So, to the question of Nature/Nurture? bob! Creation or Evolution? bob! God or Nothing? bob or another bob! Love or Lust? Definitely BOB! Murder or... ah ah aah. And of course like any good theorists, I must know when to make the exception. So, next time you get to an argument, see if this works for you. If it doesn't, to hell with it, write to me, or we could go out for coffee to argue between bob and... any other three lettered acronym you want to throw at me.

PS: I would like to take a moment here to pray that the soul of Bob Woolmer rest in peace. If he was murdered, let justice be carried out against those who dared to lay their hands on the life of a teacher and a human being. Over and out...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Get Moving to Blow up Your Mind

Study shows that the ever exercising jock is actually the best potential nerd-to-be. Here's another excuse to get/remain fit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Its Time To Give A Damn

Sometimes, one of your friends/acquaintances gives you their inattention when you are talking to them(assuming that you are not speaking something obviously stupid ;). This happens due to one of the following reasons:

1. Something else is on their mind.
2. They are playing power games with you.
3. They think you below their "status"

You can make out its case (1), if he/she immediately apologizes and asks you to repeat what you were saying. The story continues and case closed. Case (2) means that he/she thinks that one way to enslave you is to make you crave for their attention. If they give less of it, you want it even more. And case (3) is similar to case (2) except that your supposed friend actually believes that you are not worth it. Here's the best way to handle 2 and 3: Ignore them for a change. This sends out the message that you too can be hard-to-get and you do not need to be with people who either give a damn or don't. And don't get hung up over it. Move on. Its time to get yourself real friends.

PS: The same can be said for people who want to get your money, stab you in the back, don't pick-up/return your phone calls, talk negative shit and leave you bleeding after you have been there for them, as long as you had known them. That's when you know that its time to tell them goodbye.

Monday, March 12, 2007

What Are We About?

After spending time with Ajai yesterday, on what would have normally been a slow Sunday for me, it reminded and confirmed the fact again to me of how important goals are for living a fuller life. My friend's passion to fulfill a certain ambition of his was an inspiring testimony to just how we need that extra anchor in our lives besides having a family to love and good friends to cherish.

I guess the goal doesn't matter as long as it has a personal significance to your own yours truly and become what we want ourselves to be, on our own terms.

Makes it easier to jump out of bed, early in the morning too...

PS: While Ajai was making his "great escape" from Orkut, he forgot to rescue the testimonial I had written for him. So here it is, the upgraded version:

Ajai is Mr. .NET :-). He is very interested in programming and will write a lot of useful/useless applications in C# just for the fun of it. I remember him jumping up and down when he was trying out the new .NET development IDE of Visual Studio 2005.
When he was my neighbor, we used meet over at his residence on a regular basis to watch loads of Popeye, Richie Rich and Tom-and-Jerry shows if there was no Jackie Chan movie running :-)
We share a lot of similarities, one of which is the rare commonality that both of us won't have anything to do with cricket. "Run Ajai! They are picking up stones to throw at us!!!"

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Honeymoon Travels

This hindi film surprisingly clicked for this hopless and optimistic romantic. Ladies and Gentlemen, I hereby present you the Not-Fair-Too Awards (Name changed due to copyright reasons)

The Krish Award goes to Abhay Deol and Minissha Lamba. Great chemistry, idealism and red-caped costumes.

Best Realistic Couple Award goes to Boman Irani and Shabana Azmi. For an excellent, all round, power packed, softened in a silk glove performance.

Most Entertaining, Opposites Attract Couple Award goes to Kay Kay Menon and Raima Sen. KK played to perfection the role of a stuckup husband until a bottle of coked-coke gets him loose. But the unexpected package was Raima. She sizzles at letting down her raven black hair, naughty bedroom tricks and martial arts. Go girl!

Typical Aggressive Hero and Submissive Heroine Award goes to Arjun Rampal and Dia Mirza. The guy is in your face, tough as nails. The girl's in god's face, mumbling request after prayer request and cries herself rivers on demand.

Most Irritating in a Sweet Way Award goes to Amisha Patel. Cute in the way mouse Jerry is.

Really Gay Couple Award goes to *Censored*. No comments ;)

Tough as Nails But Spunky Award goes to Sandhya Mridul. Its not easy to put up with being cheated on. Even harder when it happens twice.

Best A$$-h*** Award goes to the guy playing Dia Mirza's husband. Post Arjun Rampal, gets him relegated to being the ex-hubby.

Best Soundtrack Award goes to Sajani Vaari Vaari. A very groovy and funky number. I couldn't help my legs going out of control. Click on play to get the hint:

Warning!!! Music is catchy but gets SCRATCHY at the end. Lower volume @ 1:22 minutes

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Will to Go On

Throw me some of your stares,
mixed with disdain and scathing reviews
Would i give a damn or show some care?
Its like diamonds meeting the morning dew

In the end its me to be answered to
not another heart which beats semi-silent within
Even conscience i spit at, its protests noting nothing new
old as me is its tired, grotesque and guilt colored prism

Dig out the rotting caracass,
from the ancient grave of my soul, with passion
The tree bears fruit no longer, its all a farce
And the fire, its roots and leafless limbs, shall gather and ashen

The lessons of the giants are plain and simple
Just climb up and stand on the top mosts' shoulder
Lookout to see whats they have seen and treasured
Be open and ready to be the foundation of another

Propel the soul and the harley's motor,
since the highway's clear and the sky's not so blue
Then stick out the leather jacket collar
and ride into the inevitable storm thats always waiting for me and you


Wimbledon. I don't want to waste my time hinting at the plot. Its worth the mention because it has a lot going for it. The old under-dog comeback, Kirsten Dunst playing the muse, family/friendship/love/business/(fill in your favorite relationship) ties getting fixed (we are speaking of all types of permutations and combinations here like father-mother, father-son, between-brothers, between-friends, bf-gf, tennis-star--ball-boy, client-agent, and the list goes on), hero-defending-heroine's-honor, the guy-n-gal's great paparazzi escape, the ever reliable British humor (Here's a sample. Bad guy Jake : "I tried to warn you about her. By the way, how's the weak back?" Cool dude Peter: "It's fine. Thanks. How's the weak mind?"), and one memorable/sticky soundtrack (This Year's Love).

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hide and Seek for the Peek a Boo

Since getting the peek-a-boo comment-feature up on our shiny New Blogger has left Hem feeling "finicky" and me scratching my head like a monkey for quite some time, here is the solution, once and for all!

(Thanks to Stephen Paul Weber for this great stuff)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Anti-Climax

The scene: one of those Bangalore-Kerala trips for the vacations
The venue: a random semi-sleeper bus with LOUD t.v.
The thing: I was making my way, to and fro, between those blurry states of sleep and wakefulness when I notice that there was a new tamil movie playing on said television. Hmmm... here's something new. I see the villain going around with his somehow uglier looking sidekick. What's this? It seems that baddy is looking to take a wife! And surprise of surprises! He is actually quite decent about it by going about visiting families and formally asking the girls' parents etcetera. I am wide awake due to this unusual turn in events and resolve to see this through. An hour later, the hero has not shown up and I am drifting to dream-world... when WHAM! I am feel this giant psychological whack on my head and suddenly realize that it was not the bad guy I was looking at this whole time but the hero! That's when my system finally shut's down early in the morning and I get back to my world of sweet, zipped z's.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wings Over The Seas

(For my sister Reni)

Little bird,
Your wings are grown
For a long time, you were our baby,
the youngest, the apple of our eyes

We see you take hesitant steps
into the outside world
That heart in you is growing stronger
and those arms are willing to be tested

You swoop down,
and for the first time
no help is needed
Be steadfast, we encourage you

Step out of our shadows
O fiery one
Fly yourself, guide yourself
and do not forget the prayers
that we learned together
Chirp and sing out, trilling
Let your songs be heard
in all valleys
And may the mountains be your resting places

The world waits for each of us
Choose your part, do it well
Go! God Himself has sent you

Our prayer is that
you will find the Way
Our desire is that
our little one will remain True
God is all around
and mankind waits for healthy springs of Love

We give our blessings
may He multiply them
May sorrow strengthen you,
allow Joy to lift you up
And let peace be that
constant companion
who never deserts you, O flying one
as you soar above the seas

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Born of the Stars

My journey into self-analysis using astrology began when a former colleague pushed Linda Goodman's Sun Signs into my hands a few years ago. Now, the book remains un-returned but I have made amends by using the book every time I need to remind me of myself or when a prospective friend or girlfriend walks over the horizon into my life.

Although I pride myself in using reason as my only choice of weapon for my day to day interactions with myself and others, I have found that the personality analysis of the twelve star signs are an accurate portrayal of the various mass of humanity I have encountered so far. Initially, I did try to explain it away by telling myself that it was just a variation of the placebo effect or self fulfilling prophecy or some such explainable science which was interfering with my thought process but the evidence was over-whelming and even allowed me to understand the motivations that drove my friends. More importantly, it did provide enough fodder for my own mind and ways I could reduce the negatives that could arise out of my personality makeup and lay traps to discourage the same. And to also celebrate my own uniqueness and not be ashamed for the wonderful Leo and Rooster (Chinese sign) I was and will always be.

Here's some for you:
Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.

The "External links" section is worth pursuing.

And for those who want to try Chinese: I found that it had some useful stuff to offer too. First, go here to find your Chinese sign and then here for detailed information (Click on your corresponding animal). Have fun!

PS: Other ways to know more about yourself are by doing the various personality tests which you can find for free, floating round the web. Just google "personality tests"

Friday, February 16, 2007

Cygwin: Getting Linux on Windows

I started using Linux after reading about how Microsoft used to conduct its business with its customary "pain in everybody else's ass" attitude. The blue screen of death kind off helped too. I then began to experiment with various versions of Linux including Redhat, SUSE and Mandrake(currently Mandriva). They were neat but they always lacked something or the other. Like the inability to play great looking windows games. Or when you needed to use the internet and you had not figured out how to configure the connection configuration between Linux and the web yet. It is kind of annoying to reboot every time you wanted to switch between these two operating systems that I was seriously considering trying some other options to make my life and open-source philosophy click together. And thats when I came across Cygwin. Its a great piece of code which you can install on your Windows XP (or NT, 2000, 2003 Server) machine which allows it to act like a Unix terminal. It can even run those graphical applications as long as you have installed the required software. Installation is easy and intuitive. If you don't know Linux or any of its various *nix cousins but want to give it an experimental shot, then here's the chance to learn one without undergoing the torture of having to partition your PC disk or having to totally abstain from using Windows while you are at it. Since I am currently trying to teach myself development under Unix, I selected the whole programming package during setup. Try it out some time.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Ideal Form

Those who have watched me grow into the equivalent size of a small elephant have mixed reactions on my shrinking back to almost human proportions (@ 75kgs). My school buddies and collage mates are pleasantly surprised when they see me grinning back to them on my orkut profile pic. My work colleagues don't know about the transformation since it happened before I got my sorry ass in to any form of career here in Bangalore. But when I do mention to some of them that I had been over a 105 kilograms at the peak of my weight gaining lifestyle, their mouths go wide open and hit the floor. On the other hand, my relatives went berserk with rage when I got back to Kerala after the diet. They then proceeded to try to pump me up to my former self from which I somehow managed to escape. Whew! That was close!

(Me looking sheepish): Well, the only clue I can give to explain for my current state of "lean and mean" body mass is the movie Just Friends.

Back to serious matters, if you want to find out what's the ideal weight for your body type, go here. All the best to those who are gonna want to make themselves leaner. You'll need it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An Ode to My Friend (this one's for you Sampath)

I have this addiction for writing orkut testimonials as those who were at the receiving end would testify. Its not orkut per se which gets my fingers go typity-type on the keyboard but the intersection of my skills with psycho-analyzing people, writing and my God given talent to bug people no end. Hmmm... hopefully my friends are not aware of the last point. Anyways. I had always wanted to write one for my dear friend Sampath but the fellow, for some strange reason, doesn't want to get himself to sign up a profile for himself. Even gentle probing to ferret out the reason is met with polite diversion of said topic. So, here's my revenge! One testimonial coming right up, served hot and piping:

My initial assessment of Sampath happened when we both were being trained in SRIT where we started at the botton of the career ladder (or at the starting point of our hamster wheeled rat race. Take your pick) as project trainees. We were both freshers then, filled with enthusiasm to be all and give all. Back then, Sampath struck me as an easy going character. That was the problem. He seemed TOO easy going. Like those banana-skin-on-the-floor-OOPS-slip-CRASH kind of people who disappear into the mists after landing on some similar shit and finally landing very hard on their ass.

When we were being alloted our PC seating arrangement, we got to sit near each other. And thus began the slow odyssey into learning about each other. While we worked, we took the occasional break together making the usual office chit-chat or picking our mugs up for those memorable rounds of coffee/tea time. And since most of our other friends were placed in the opposite corner of the floor, we also took time out to make regular visits to them and begin leg pulling some innocent soul. Lunch time had us herding into the canteen queue like two peas in the same pod and many frustrated waiting-for-lunch-to-arrive-from-disneyland was bearable just because we had each other. Or more precisely: We did our verbal bashing as a team and pounded our colleagues as if we were the office version of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. And like that controversial pair, we did have disagreements. But that didn't stop us from accepting each other for who we were since we both shared one important goal. And that was self-improvement. Many were the days when we used to walk from Brookefields to K-Gate, a distance of one kilometer, having conversations which were deep or shallow according to what tsunami was playing havoc with our minds. When one of us needed encouragement, a listening board or just plain old cheering up, the other gave it to him in accordance with the rules of demand and supply. We were so inseparable that if by some fate of luck/unluck we were caught alone by our colleagues we would naturally be asked: "Where is ?". And before this turns into the slightly embarrassing moment Joey and Chandler experiences in the sitcom Friends after they have done their hugging bit, I better clear my throat and think of getting myself a can of beer.

It would be reasonable for the reader to now ask the important question: "How did you guys ever get work done?". We almost didn't. But then, unlike many of our friends, we had brains and I will say no more on that topic ;).

And after that long introduction, here is my bit on the Sampath of 2007. Its not much, but its the least I can do:

1) Sampath has this very relaxed body language. This was immediately observable to me when I used to watch how he interacted with others. Its very easy for anyone to just walk up to him and start a conversation and many people do just that.

2) He has a soft corner for Rahul Dravid. Not just because he is a great cricketer but because he is a very good human being. Plain and simple. I don't think I need to elaborate on this one. Its easy for us to understand a person based on who they look up to. I didn't give a damn about cricket before I met Sampath and I still don't. But "The Wall" has earned some of my admiration with a little help from Sampath.

3) I also learned much about Swami Vivekananda's teachings from him and another common friend we shared by the name of Sanal. I realized that many of his teachings were on par with many western philosophers. But that was not the important point for Sampath and me. We both agreed to the view that we would pick up what was right regardless of who was teaching it.

4) As already mentioned before, there is a bit of playfulness in this guy which enables him to say something funny or make people laugh often. Its something he picked up from his school and engineering days.

5) And that sense of humor he will definitely find useful alongside the seriousness he has adopted for himself to achieve some major goals in his life. Don't ask me what they are. Its enough that each person know his or her own. I am proud, as a brother, to say that he has claimed some very good ambitions for himself and that I wish him luck in all those heavy but delightful endeavors.

Yes. The so called "initial assessment" of mine of Sampath (mentioned in paragraph 2, line 1) was right. But the mistake I had made was assuming that he would stay the same. I forgot to remember the assumption that "people do change..."

And so Sampath, my friend: Here's to what life will bring you and what you will bring out of life. All the best and Congrats on the Mindtree offer. May we all go to greater heights. Goodbye. For now.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Some Timely Opportunities, I Do Not Need

Sometimes, when I am on the Bangalore road, minding my own business and going someplace where I can do my... er my own business, I get asked what time it is. At first, I thought I could at least be polite and give them what they asked for using my trusty Casio AW-80 (check out the pic on the left).

Imagine my surprise when this seemingly helpful gesture from my side lead to some surpisingly unpredictable results. Like when I give him the time and the person furrows his brows questioningly. I guess he doesn't understand english. So I thrust my watch to his face. Sometimes he asks me whether I know kannada and is offended when I don't. Some of them give me long lectures on the concerned topic. These sort of situations are easy to handle since I look elsewhere and pretend that I cannot hear what they are saying. And since they are preaching to me in kannada, this doesn't help their case anyway.

There has even been times when its the middle of the night and someone pops at my side to ask me the innocent question. Now, I am sensibly paranoid during such hours since we never know when some gang of thieves would want to jump me and take of with my valuables including my watch. When I keep quiet in such cases, they start getting verbally violent and ask me louder while vigorously pointing to my wrist watch.

That was the last straw and I vowed that I would not wear the damned gadget any more. Nowadays, you might catch me whipping my mobile like some old western cowboy when I want to know the time. Come to think of it, that might be the reason why dad doesn't wear one. I'll be damned...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Of Desires and Tendencies *

*Note: This post contains mature themes such as homosexuality, child molestation and homophobia. Ask yourself whether its okay for you to proceed reading this article. Its a short history of how I, a heterosexual, had to learn to deal with my own fears regarding gays, theoretically and experientially. There is only good reason which justifies my posting this and that is the possibility that someone else is also trying to figure out his/her feelings on the same and that a little help might be useful to get them in the right direction.

"It got Lawrence to thinking. From an evolutionary standpoint, what was the point of having people around who were not inclined to have offspring? There must be some good, and fairly subtle, reason for it.
The only thing he could work out was that it was groups of people - societies - rather than individual creatures, who were now trying to out-produce and/or kill each other, and that, in a society, there was plenty of room for someone who didn't have kids as long as he was up to something useful."


Since things like these usually have a story behind them, here's mine:

Scene 1: I must have been around my middle-teens when I had my first encounter with a homosexual. This was while I was living in Sharjah and I was walking back home from the bus-stop. A man stopped me and asked for directions. Since it was nearby, I walked him to my building and told him to go further on and he would reach his destination. As I entered my apartment complex, he started following me. While I walked up the stair-case, he runs up to me and starts to touch me near the area below the waist while at the same time making indecent gestures at his own pelvis. I am scared shitless so I run to the elevator, get it to open and jump abroad leaving the pervert on the ground floor. Thankfully, that's the last I see of him.

Scene 2: While I was working in Accenture for its BPO section in Bangalore, a colleague started sending weird messages to my cellphone. It did sound strange and I told him frankly that his sms' were sounding gay. He denied it was anything like that and so I told him that I didn't have any problems with people being what they were but please leave me out of it since I was happily hetero. At this point he confides to me that he's actually not gay but that a male friend of his did get him drunk once and took advantage of him. After I left Accenture, I never heard of him either.

Scene 3: This happened a few days back while I was traveling in a public bus (in Bangalore again). I am standing inside and holding one of the bars located on the roof with my right hand. After a while I feel that the person in front of me is staring at me so I look back. He has this strange look on his face and continues looking me in the eyes. I don't know what to make of it and I gaze away. Then he positions his hand near my right hand and tries to put his fingers in my hand so I just pull my hand back. The message is still not clear for him and he tries to get my attention by hitting my elbow once in a while with his own. I feel my anger rising but I act as if I don't understand what's happening and get out as quickly as possible when my stop comes over.

It was unfortunate that my first experience with a homosexual should also be with a child-molester. Of course, scene 1 is not a clear representation of most gays but that doesn't register in my mind then. Thus begins my aversion to men who prefer men the way I prefer women. My Catholic upbringing also reinforces the idea that they would all go to hell some day and I didn't have to bother myself by thinking about them anymore.

After I start college and get myself a more "liberal" education, I start opening my mind to the fact that gays and lesbians are people like us and that they were just wired that way through no fault of their own. Since I was not still fully convinced with the scientific reasons of such cases (is it nature or nurture?), I resolved the case by telling myself that since everyone could do what they wanted with their life, so I wouldn't have to mind what they did so long as they didn't want me in the picture. That's how I could handle scene 2.

Scene 3 was not pretty. It triggered my initial fears and homophobic reaction. And I suddenly realized that one of the reasons why some heterosexuals beat up homosexuals is that they, on some level, harbor the fear that they might get raped by gays and that the best defense would be to attack. I tried thinking it through but it was real difficult for me to get myself to think logically for two days. After a while, I got a different track and started thinking about some of the crushes I have had on some of the beautiful babes I had met in Bangalore. I also recounted to myself of some cases where some girls had taken a special liking to me too. This led me to remember a particular lady who I liked at my work. I had sent her an sms expressing my feelings when I left the place but she didn't reply to it. Emails were unanswered and when I tried to call her, she didn't pick up the phone. While I am going down this memory lane I suddenly realize that my previous feelings of homophobia were gone. Poof!

Here's what happened. In the bus, it was gay-boy and me. While I was thinking about the girl who didn't return my calls, I actually stepped into the shoes of the homosexual for a moment. The scenario was the same. I was not showing any signs of reciprocating the gay's feelings which was similar to the girl's psychological rejection of my own feelings for her.

This made me regain my original state of mind and I could finally see things clearly. Rather than be angry at him, I realized that the other person was just different and that I could not do anything about it. And that was okay since that's how it should be.