Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Thoughts Of a Disgruntled Student

The second volume of books of the twelfth standard syllabus has arrived. I had not expected the book covers to be great and I was proved correct. The Maths textbook has a pink coloured cover with a circle in the middle. There are these weird lines inside the circle and all these cos and sin terms written on it. I have no idea what the figure is. It just looks sick.

If you have seen a government book before, you would have noticed a saying at the back. It is like a proverb of sorts. This year, the Maths Textbook contains the saying," Let us boil water and then drink it". Hear, hear! Never, ever forget to boil water. Now to the Chemistry textbook or shall we call it a pillow. It is a huge textbook which contains extractions, equations and of course rotten English. Dr.V.Balasubramaniam, the respected chairperson of the Syllabus Revision Committee says, in his own beautiful English "Sufficient reference books are suggested so as to enable the students to acquire more informations about the concept of chemistry." My reaction to this: "Poda loosu. Intha booka padikarthukuliyae naanga sethuduvon. Unmoonjikku vaera bookum kaekutha. Varaen dha. En chemistry booka vecchu un mandaila oru podu podaraen." For all those who didn’t understand what was written in the previous two lines, learn Tamil! The only advantage of having such a humongous book is that, I can put my head on it and have an undisturbed sleep in the afternoon during Chemistry class.

The Physics book has an incredibly weird cover. There is a test-tube sort of thing having a green liquid in the middle and it is mounted on a stand made with the use of the cheapest graphics around. The green liquid might be a baby Godzilla waiting to come out and kill the guy who took its picture.


The picture on the Physics textbook.

I seriously feel that The Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation consists of a bunch of idiots. They have an incredibly idiotic slogan too: Learn Thoroughly. Yes, I will mug up the telephone directories you've given me and I'll vomit it all on your face.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Cricket 2005 Review

The first review for Cricket 2005 has come out. It was reviewed by PS2 Magazine. The game has a few problem areas like the camera angles, fielding and the tough controls but has the potential to become a very addictive game.

Verdict:

Graphics – 07 – Decent mainly, but arse picture in picture
Sounds – 07 – Slightly repetitive, but some entertainment
Gameplay – 07 – Deep tactics, unresponsive controls
Lifespan – 07 – One match could easily last two hours
Overall – 7/10 – Cricket 2005 is not for casual, half hour sessions, its also sodding difficult. But persevere and you’ll find it’s a well judged simulation

For a full review, click here

Friday, June 17, 2005

My first bike ride!

I was incredibly keen to get a learner's license for riding a moped. I had a major problem though. I had never ridden a bike before. I did not even know that some bikes had gears. This was pretty humiliating considering the fact that I had told many of my friends that I was going to come to school in a bike in a few days. I felt that there was no use complaining about my lack of driving skills. We don't have a bike at home and so I asked my classmate whether I could go for a round in his moped. It was a brand new Honda Activa. My classmate surprisingly consented to my pleas. He had parked his moped in a dingy area near the watchman's dungeon. After school got over, both of us went to the "parking lot". He had a really cool bike. It was black and shiny. He asked me whether I had ridden a bike before. I muttered something under my breath and the fool didn't bother to find out the truth. He put the key into this hole like thing in his bike, but I didn't see him turning the bike on. I wanted to clear up a few things before taking my wild ride. I asked him which was the accelerator. Dumb though he is, he figured out that I had no clue about how to ride a bike. Before he could push me away, I put my hand on the accelerator and the next thing you know I am running with the bike. No, really it was as if the bike was dragging me along with it. It was an amazing sight. No one would have ever driven a bike like that before. I pressed the brakes just in time which was a good thing cos I was heading straight for the watchman. I found this test drive really funny but my classmate had a different view on the matter. I had driven the bike right over his foot and he wasn't amused. He used the "F" word to good effect and pounded me nicely. My Tupperware carrier was my only defense. If it hadn't been for it I would have had a broken nose. The interesting thing was I couldn't help laughing at the whole situation. I figured out later that this was a grave mistake. When you drive a bike over a big, fat guy’s foot, do not laugh. I repeat- DO NOT LAUGH. My angered classmate grabbed me by the collar and very nearly tore my shirt. He was about to beat me up again when I felt that I had taken enough of this injustice. “Idiot, why didn’t you tell me that you had switched on your bike”, I asked irritably. I did not wait for his answer. One look at his face was enough. I ran like the wind and crashed into another classmate of mine….
All I can say is that none of what happened on that ill-fated day was my fault. It was just God’s way of punishing me for not eating my spinach that morning.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Society Of People Who Have Nothing To Do

I have created a new blog along with my classmate Monk and it's calledThe Society Of People Who Have Nothing To Do. As of now the society has only two members and so membership is open. So if you have nothing to do, check out this fascinating, amazing, stupendous new blog.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Lunch Woes

I have probably created a record of sorts. I have since the second standard taken the same food item to school for lunch. Everyday, without fail. I hated my lunch in the second standard and I hate it now in the twelfth standard. You would be wondering what this food item would be. It is an odd couple of sorts. I eat Chappati with Sambar. Yes, with sambar. No, really. Sambar!! For 10 years I have been eating the same thing during lunch break. I sit during the sixth period anxious for the bell to ring so that I can silence the growl coming from my stomach. The bell rings, I take out my Tupperware lunch carrier, open the zip, take out the box, put back the various safety pins which is used to hold the carrier bag and then finally I am ready for an afternoon fiesta, or so I think. I grudgingly look at the Chappati and its longlasting friend, sambar and sigh. I cry out that I am offering free lunch. My fellow classmates do not even bother to look at my lunch box. They have assured themselves that I will bring only chappati and sambar, so they don't even care. I realized that complaining about my lunch in school was not the answer. I told my grandmother that I wanted a change of lunch. She said that she would love to give me something else. "Well, what do you want then?" she asked me. I thought and I thought and I thought. Understanding my problem, my grandma gave me a menu of sorts.

"Do you want dosa?"
"No, it becomes very dry and cold", I said.
"How about poori?"
"No, its too oily"
"Fried rice?"
"Don't like the vegetables in it."
"Curd rice?"
"Hahaha. Yeah right! Why would I want to take my least favourite food to school. My friends won't eat it. How will I finish it?""Tomato rice?"
"Don't like tomatoes"
"Aloo paratha?"
"Some other day"
"Idli?"
"Is too soggy"
"Chappatti and sambar?"
"OK. Fine"

So as you see, I have no choice. I am stuck with Chappatti and Sambar for the rest of my life. I have to find a substitue for that Tupperware bag though. It's almost in pieces. Or maybe I'll just stick some more safety pins.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Codemasters vs EA Sports!!!

Finally something to cheer about for Cricket gaming freaks like me!!! Both Codemasters' Brian Lara International Cricket and EA Sports' Cricket 2005 are coming out in July. This means that EA Sports has to come up with a better offering this time due to the tough competition. Cricket 2004 was pretty pathetic what with its numerous bugs and shoddy gameplay. One can only hope that EA has learnt its lesson. Both EA and Codemasters have released demo videos showing an over or two of play. EA's video is not great. I have not seen the BLIC video yet due to my bandwith limitations but you can see both of them by going to http://www.planetcricket.net/blc/ for Brian Lara Cricket and http://www.cricket2004.co.uk/portal/ for Cricket 2005.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Main Hindi Malun Nahi

Hindi is probably the most important language I should know after English and Tamil. Hindi is a pretty simple language to learn too. But to be honest, I suck when it comes to speaking our national language. I really want to learn it and people have offered me various suggestions as to how to learn it pretty quickly but I haven't made much progress. My dad learnt Hindi by watching Amitabh Bachhan movies (sometimes 40 movies a month (repeat shows included)). I decided to follow the path my dad took. I learnt a few words like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Mujse Shaadi Karoge and the like. I realized that using movie names in my conversations would make me look like a total nut-case and so I abandoned this plan. In December 2004, I bought a book in Delhi which teaches the reader Hindi in 30 days or so. I was really excited. I was finally going to learn when to laugh while seeing a Hindi movie! The book was quite informative but I didn't learn much. I was too interested in reading The Da Vinci Code which I had bought at the same time and I misplaced the Hindi guide. I learnt a little bit of Hindi when I had gone with my schoolmates for a North India excursion. I learnt to say "I don't know Hindi" in Hindi which is a really important sentence to know. I figured out how to haggle in Hindi but since I feel sad to deny shopkeepers their profit I never got to use lines like "Bees rupay nahi, Dus (I can't give you 20 rupees, only 10)" and "Kal Ho Naa Ho, bees rupay nahi, dus (There might not be a tomorrow, so can't give you 20 rupees only 10)". I tried learning Hindi as a third language in the eight standard. Unfortunately, my teacher was so awful in translating Hindi that I was busy stuffing my mouth with a hanky to prevent myself from giving a loud snort instead of listening in class. She would explain by using hand signals which was a good thing because her English was horrible. During a Hindi class instead of saying the word "worm" she said "warm" which really confused me as I wondered how a butterfly could a be a "warm" when it is born. Then she did it. The funniest thing I had ever seen. She closed her left hand and slid in the middle finger of her right hand into her left hand and wiggled it and started saying "warm", "warm". Everyone burst out laughing. Someone shouted out “Oh, you mean a worm" and we started laughing even more. She left the class in a fury and my Hindi knowledge is as it is now as it was then, pathetic.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

A brilliant movie, Revenge of The Sith is!!

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George Lucas is a genius. I saw Star Wars:Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith yesterday and the movie left me speechless. The amazing special effects combined with a gripping storyline makes it an absolute masterpiece. Lucas has beautifully shown the transition of Anakin Skywalker(Hayden Christensen) from an honourable Jedi to a Master of the Dark Side. The greatest thing about the movie is that you know what is going to happen yet you wish fervently for an alternate ending. You hope that Anakin listens to his Jedi master, Obi Wan Kenobi(Ewan Mcgregor) and his wife, Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). You anxiously watch the fight scene between the mater and pupil . You feel sad on seeing the tragic tale of a good man going bad. The scene when Obi Wan defeats Anakin is brilliant. You can see the sadness in Obi Wan's eyes when Anakin lies defeated and disfigured. He cannot believe that his talented disciple has succumbed to the Dark Side. Ewan McGregor is awesome as Obi Wan Kenobi. It is incredibly difficult to act in front of a blue screen but Mcgregor pulls it off superbly. Hayden Christensen has done a good job as Anakin Skywalker though he could have been better. The fight sequences were absolutely brilliant. There was some light comedy too in the movie with R2D2. Revenge Of The Sith is a fitting end to to this wonderful series and is definitely a must-see.

My Rating: 7.5/10