Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Transcontinental Thrash

July 3, 2009

I often feel quite jealous of Europeans, because they live in Europe and I don’t. And that just isn’t fair.

Before we jump into it, this post isn’t really all me moaning on and on about corruption in India or the educational system or anything of that sort.

This is about how Europe is just so full of countries, all conveniently located next to each other and well connected by road, so that you can just drive down on the weekend to Switzerland, or the south of France, or wherever. Which in India, is pretty difficult.

A drive down to Pakistan (if the Paki authorities would permit such a thing) would mean risking being shot at by terrorists; a drive down to Nepal would mean risking getting shot at by Maoists; Burma is under a military rule which makes it less attractive to go to, and China would mean having to cross way too many mountains.

So the only remaining option is Bhutan.  And I went there.

The first thing you notice is that the roads are all better. The Chinese built them, or so I hear. The second thing you notice is the number of dragons. Petrol pumps are painted with dragons, trucks have dragons rather than the traditional Indian ‘Buri nazar wale tera muh kala’, and so does every shop. The third thing you notice is how similar to India the place is. I paid a shopkeeper in Indian rupees, and he gave me my change in Bhutanese money.

My point about the whole thing is: there’s nothing like driving down to discover a place you’ve never been to, and it’s an experience that I do know a bit about.

Driving to Kutch a few years ago was a great experience: I know, on a map it looks just like a crappy desert, but it’s a wonderful place. Whenever I tell people that I saw wild asses in Kutch, they just laugh, wondering why anybody would want to see such a ridiculous sounding creature. But these beasts were powerful, almost majestic- a bit like zebras, except that they were ugly. What’s more, they were quick enough to keep up with a car.

Ultimately, I have to say that flying or even traveling by train is so much more dependent, less adventurous, less fun, and most importantly, it’s like looking a place up in the map rather than really knowing it.

For me, exploring Europe has always been a dream I’d love to fulfill, but not before the experience of sitting in a big 4×4 and driving across as much of South Asia as possible. That’s at the top of my ‘To Do’ list now.

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Pictures from Rhinoland- 1

June 30, 2009

A while ago, I went on Holiday to a vague place. Let’s call it Rhinoland, because Rhinos is what they said I’d get to see. There were, of course, Rhinos, but quite a lot more as well. More pictures to follow, as well as a proper travel diary of sorts.

The first couple of things you will notice is the lack of Rhinos and the poor camera work. Please don’t blame me, as the Rhinos will arrive later. As for the latter, I didn’t have a very good camera, and most of the pictures were taken from a moving car. The pictures in the following few posts would include some that were taken from the back of a moving elephant. Be prepared.

Death of the Funny?

June 30, 2009

Of late, the world has seemed a much less funny place to me.

Take the virtual world, for instance. The cyber- universe was once full of rickrolling, hoaxes, and painfully funny jokes that were even funnier because most people didn’t get them.  Now, the closest thing to an attempt at humour is the annoying new Facebook memes that keep popping up every other day. No, I do not find labelling people in vague photographs with several Hello Kitty look-alikes amusing, and nor do I like sending out chain letters with twenty five lines of ‘About Me’ on them.

And don’t even get me started on why I dislike LOLcats. For one thing, I don’t think I’m nearly nerdy enough to like them.

Of course, a person can always escape the confines of the virtual world and explore the entity called real life. My life, for instance, is full of people who make fun of me, and people whom I make fun of. It’s a bit like a food chain within my species. But the unfortunate bit is that nobody rips on me anymore. I mean it- people no longer wish to make fun of guys who wear glasses, own a pair of Spider- Man undies and prefer milk to coffee.

And it isn’t just about making fun of people. I really cannot remember the last time somebody ran up to me, bursting to narrate a joke or incident. Even television has failed to deliver: all the comedy series are boring, South Park is airing some ancient episodes I’ve seen a hundred times, and Cyrus Broacha has all but disappeared from television.

The world seems to have gotten bad enough, but worse news follows the above: even sportsmen have lost the ability to amuse. I miss the on- court and interview room dramatics of Ivanisevic and Safin, as well as every single McEnroe- Roddick interview, not to mention Agassi, who once shaved his chest claiming, “It makes me more aerodynamic.” And no, that mongoose who won Australian Open last year isn’t very good at being a Joker.

So why is it all happening to the world now? Is it the recession? Does every one of us have someone dear to oneself who has had to suffer because of it? Rubbish. People tend to want to be happy in hard times. They need lightening up, and they try their best to put up a brave, happy face.

Then is it because humans have become so used to humour that we can no longer find anything new or funny? No, that’s not it either.

Then is it because I’m pissed at my work? Yeah, may be so.

Never mind if I said anything.

Should I stay or should I go?

June 30, 2009

Transfers, transfers. Nobody likes being at the same place too long.

Some people prefer the Pescado Frito in Madrid over good ol’ Fish and chips in Manchester, while others move from one Mediterranean fashion capital to another. I am, of course, making rather obvious references to football.

And I too feel like a bit of an expert on the subject of shifting base, having changed cities and schools more times than I can remember.

And a part of me feels that it may be time to outgrow the blog as well. I think I’ve enjoyed the place (if I may call it that), but gotten a bit bored of it. Frankly, this is the first time I’ve visited it in months.

But then again, I do feel obliged to stay on for a bit. I mean, I never really did much for the blog; I just dropped a few scraps off my table and expected it to live off them, I never really nurtured it or gave it half a chance to grow.

I think I owe my blog a decent farewell, and if only to leave later on in a blaze of glory (read articles), I think I’ll stay on for now.

What’s your perversion… er, profession?

January 14, 2009

The other day a friend of mine was talking about Woody Allen, and when people start talking about Woody Allen, they just never shut up about how stud they think he is. In my experiences, the average reference to Woody Allen in daily conversation goes like, “Hey macha, seen Annie Hall da? Utlimatest comedy. Too stud”, after which the speaker proceeds to describe how watching an effeminate, nerdy man stammer while trying to be witty makes for a great movie.

To me, he’s like an investment banker who accidentally got into film making. I mean, he just makes ordinary films about the lives of ordinary people, except that he fills them with long pseudo intellectual dialogue and monologues, making him a pseudo artist in much the same way that an investment banker is a pseudo economist.

Which is why I did not, and will not, see Vicki Christina Barcelona. I don’t care. Even if it wins every great award in the world, I will remain as opinionated as always. The movie wasn’t made by a real artist.

I must be in College

January 11, 2009

It’s been a while since my last post. Let’s just blame it all on a lack of joblessness. Personally, Id’ hate to mark the end of a short hiatus with an ordinary post about some arbit thing I saw… but guess what?

The other day, while filling up my bottle at a hostel water dispenser, I noticed something. What I saw looked somewhat like this:

0111_025014

Now if you take the trouble of looking closely at the floor of the dispenser, you’d notice an ant like creature in there. And if you look very, very closely, you would notice the following:

La Resistance

For all non science students (if such beings truly exist), that is a resistor. It belongs in an electrical engineering lab. And my old friend Mr. BB Roy tells me that its resistance value is 2200 ohms, with a tolerance of 5%.

Thus far, I have resisted (couldn’t help writing that!) the temptation of ending my posts with a question, but what the heck?

Q. In which part of the world would you be most likely to find a resistor in a water dispenser?

A. Athos

B. Pothos

C. Aramis

D. D’Artagnan

That was such a cup question.

I mean, Slumdog was pretty good, but 2 crore for that? Sheesh!