Saturday, December 23, 2006

Things I did in my first semester of college...

1. Dropped the first class that I took.

2. Went to the University Health Services everyday for two and a half weeks thanks to a staff infection.

3. Stayed in my room and missed lunch because I thought that I lost my key. I found it inside my wallet later that day.

4. Spilt Corn Flakes and milk on my bed a total of 6 times.

5. Cut my lip with a Gillette Mach 3. It hurt.

6. Bought pop-corn at the movies before finding out how much it cost. My wallet became lighter by $5.

7. Bought Maxim magazine (it was for a Sociology paper) at a really posh book store. I loitered around looking to buy another book so that I wouldn't look like a perv, but couldn't find any that would fit under my budget.

8. Woke up at 2:45 am to watch India play Australia in the Champions trophy.

9. Bombed my first ever exam in college.

10. Dropped a 1000 page Math book on my foot.

11. Walked in sub-zero degree (in Celsius, of course) temperature for the first time in my life.

12. Ate the same sandwich (wheat bread with tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber) so many times that I just had to turn up at the sandwich line to get what I wanted. I didn't even have to say 'the usual'. I really wanted to though.

13. Completed my one year anniversary of not having used a comb to comb my hair.

14. Ran in my slippers to catch a bus to the airport (reached the bus stand in record time, I might add). Bus arrived 15 minutes after I did.

15. Got into a club when I was still 17. I attribute this accomplishment to my charm and charisma...others might attribute it to the bouncer's stupidity.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dhoom 2 - Movie Review

I saw Dhoom 2 the day after I saw Casino Royale and I think this played a role in me finding Dhoom 2 to be a pretty stupid movie. I did not see Dhoom (1) and so I cannot say if it was better or worse than its prequel. All I can say is that Dhoom 2 was an irritating movie (reasons to follow) devoid of a logical storyline.


Reasons for me disliking the movie:

1. Uday Chopra was very annoying. He was too loud and too blah.

2. Aishwarya Rai cannot act. Her dialogues were incredibly stupid and I don't know why the scriptwriters made her refer to herself in the third person. Plus, she keeps saying the word 'like' at the beginning, middle and end of every sentence.

3. Too many songs at unnecessary places. Wouldn't have minded it if the songs were good, but they weren't.

4. The amazingly amateurish graphics employed at the final robbery scene when 3d ants run across the floor.

5. The conversation between Hrithik and Abhishek followed by them dancing and singing together. That was just a stupid sequence.

6. The ending of the movie did not make sense.

7. There are more reasons but stating them here would spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it yet.

Reason(s) for not calling Dhoom 2 terrible:

1. Hrithik Roshan. His stunts were awesome and he was the only one who had any screen presence.

Final Verdict: 4/10 (If you want to enjoy this movie, leave your brains at home and don't watch an amazing Bond movie the night before).

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A coconut should have fallen on Newton's head...

Finally, a break from college! Although it is only a four day break with Physics and Math homework due at the end of it, it is a well needed break for me. I hardly have time to do 'fun' things, let alone necessary things like getting a hair-cut. I know it seems like I hate college, but I don’t. I just hate the Physics course here, my tormentor in chief.

I have no shame in accepting that I do not have a natural aptitude for Physics. I never went for IIT coaching nor did I study Physics for fun. In school, I learnt how to derive Bernoulli's equation, the conservation of linear momentum, Einstein's mass-energy relation and hundred other equations. I come here and I realise that such knowledge is fruitless when you don't know how to solve problems based on those concepts and theories. A friend here commented, "Dude, it's like you know how to stitch clothes but not how to wear it. Ha ha" What other metaphors are people gonna come up with about my Physics skills??

My Math professor, Dr. Goddard is an interesting character. He went to MIT for his undergraduate studies and then to the University of Nebraska for grad school (Generally, it's the other way around). I enjoy his class not because of the Math (he isn't a great teacher) but because of his anecdotes and quotes. For example, "I took French for some time in college, but then I dropped it because I sprained my tongue." Well anyway, we had a Math test yesterday and since it was the day before Thanksgiving, the students wanted to go home early on Wednesday. He had kept the test from 1-2 PM and people were pissed. Arguments in class only led him to mock us, "Go get a waaaamburger and French cries". He is kinda sadistic. The test had 6 questions and it seemed pretty straightforward. The sixth question though was a Goddard special. "Draw a turkey." I think I got that one right.

P.S: What is the similarity between people who don’t drink alcohol and people who drink tea with artificial sweeteners?

They are both teetotalers (tea-total-ers).

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pics from my first week at UT

I finally uploaded my first set of pics. So here they are, enjoy.


My second day at UT... Can't understand why I'm being photographed


My side of the room, at its messiest best



My room-mate's side of the room...


My closet space. Yes, I don't know how to iron my clothes. It is a skill that I am unable to master, however hard I try. I have this tendency to place the iron on my lap (accidentally, of course) instead of on the shirt and this kind of stings.



Gregory Gym: It is opposite my dorm (20 steps away) but I've been there only once so far. Definitely something that I'm not proud of. Plan to do more gymming, Muscle Mechanic training shall not go to waste!

The famous tower at the University of Texas. It is so beautiful. A bell in the tower rings every fifteen minutes. You can ask the guy at the tower to play specific songs. For my birthday, I plan to have 'Vaadiyamma Jakkamma' played.



The Robert Lee Moore Engineering building: Generally agreed to be the ugliest building on campus. The elevator does not go to the 6th, 7th and 8th floors. So I need to use the escalators, and sometimes they are switched off to conserve electricity. It really is the ugliest building on campus.



CRICKET!!! The picture above was taken during our first league game. We beat a bunch of mamas convincingly in our first ever match in the Central Texas Cricket League.


Gone To Texas: The freshman welcome event at UT. It was absolutely brilliant. There was this one moment when the whole college shouted 'Texas Fight!' ( the UT Football slogan) and at that moment, I knew that I was in the right place .



Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The grey box dictates my life

Well, it has been some time since I last blogged. The reason for this is not because I forgot about the existence of mendelismental.blogspot.com or because I had seemingly better things to do. It was because I had to complete one homework after another and study for one test after another. I did want to blog, as the picture of my desktop screen shown below verifies. I really did want to but as the grey box in the picture shows, I hardly have any time for non-academic things.

Click to enlarge

Life here as a college student isn't easy. When I left from India, many people told me that my first year should be a breeze. Their reason for that conclusion, "You're Indian da". Unfortunately, I am struggling to keep up with the course material being covered. I never learnt how to identify the different kind of discontinuities or figure out the value of epsilon when delta is greater than (x-a), in high school. In college, a couple of problems are worked out on the board and the remaining problems have to be studied by the student with the resources that he has, namely, a giant $150 book which is definitely not worth its weight in gold. The same holds through for Physics. My professor does half of the problem on the board and asks the students to complete the problem. That does not work for me because I don't even understand how he did the first half of the problem. Sociology is interesting but the book that I have to read is a drag. I should actually be reading that but I'm afraid that it would put me to sleep. Just thinking about it makes me yawn.

I haven't uploaded my pics yet and I shall put them up here as soon as I upload them. I’ve got to get back to my books now. A long and tiring week lies ahead :-(

P.S: A piece of advice- Alcohol and Math don't mix. Don't drink and derive! (Saw it on someone's t-shirt).

Friday, September 01, 2006

A post from the pavement

Right now, I am sitting on the pavement with my laptop, in front of the bus that I am supposed to take to Houston from the University here at Austin. I had a Physics class from 3 pm to 3.50 pm and my bus was supposed to leave at 4. So, I speed walked with two backpacks and a plastic bag filled with three books each weighing a ton, probably compensating for the fact that buying them made my wallet light, towards my bus hoping that I would reach the bus stand in time. I reached the bus at 3:58 only to find out that no one had gotten into the bus yet. There was some kind of engine trouble and the problem still hasn't been resolved. You might wonder how I am typing this while sitting on a pavement. The University allows me to use wireless while sitting on a pavement in front of a broken bus! That's how awesome this place is!

I'm having a lot of fun here. Just yesterday I had pizza, cake, ice cream, coke, a salad and some kind of pie for a total of $3.30(inclusive of tax). It hasn't all been awesome though. It is kind of tough getting vegetarian food here. I haven't seen a single veggie burger yet. The heat here in unbelievable too. There is no humidity and I HATE dry heat. That is why Chennai is the best city to live in. If I walk one kilometer, I will have my sweaty shirt to prove that I did do some sort of exercise. Here I walk around 5 kilometers and I don't sweat at all. I just become more and more tanned.

Hmmm, a towing vehicle has just reached the site. The bus is being lifted up. This does not bode well for me. My laptop is getting fried in the heat too. So, that’s it for this post. I'm getting a feeling that sitting on the pavement is not a done thing here. GTG!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Its dal, you know....err, you mix it in rice and eat it?

I reached Houston on Sunday feeling a bit dazed and worn out. I never thought that a 22 hour trip across the Atlantic would be so unbelievably annoying. I mean, I know people who jump up and down if they are going to take a flight to the US. Maybe they were more enthusiastic about the destination rather than the travel.

Anyway, due to the Brits' unexpected 'intelligence', a terrorist attack was brilliantly foiled and new security measures were put into place. No liquids or fluids were allowed on the plane. Now, I found this rule quite stupid because I needed to keep my retainers submerged in a Tupperware box filled with water. Since water was not allowed, whenever a security guard was in sight, I had to take my retainers from the box and put it in my mouth and empty the water in the nearest dust bin. To my distress, there were many security guards and many many security checks. You may ask me, "Why didn’t you just keep the damn retainers in your mouth the whole time?" Well I could not eat with the retainers in my mouth and when you go to the airport 5 hours before the scheduled take-off, you tend to feel a tad bit hungry an hour into the whole process.

Luckily I got into the flight to Frankfurt without incident. The security check at Frankfurt turned out to be a bit more interesting though. The security guards made the passengers remove their shoes, jackets, wigs (we could keep our underwear on luckily). Now, my mother loves her South Indian food and she had brought along 'paruppu podi (dal powder)' in a zip lock bag. The guard felt that something was wrong when he saw two Asians carrying what looked like a bag of whitish yellow powder in a zip lock bag. My mom, not realising that the powder keenly resembled a psychotropic substance, started telling the guard to throw the bag away (we were running late for our flight and my mom was panicking. I maintained a calm face throughout this trying time). So the bag had to be put through a special test after which we were given the bag back with the thumbs up sign.


The Bag of Paruppu Podi

My mom was like, "They think this is cocaine?" and I'm like "Shush! Put the powder back in the suitcase and let’s scoot!" You can never be considered innocent when you're carrying a bag of powder in an airport in this day and age. Sigh, what has the world come to?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna- Movie Review

Ah, finally the day has come. It's off to Texas (though some say Tex now, apparently something to do with the ass going to Washington) tonight and surprisingly all the sadness or whatever feelings I felt towards living in a different country have gradually receded. I'm all set, finally.


So to commemorate my leaving Chennai, I saw a film directed by my least favourite talk show host and director- Karan Johar. I had absolutely no expectations on how the film would be and I was pleasantly surprised. There were no annoying family bonding scenes but unluckily there had to be a kid with a violin. The songs were awesome and the choreography was good too. The story was realistic enough for Bollywood's standards. Amitabh Bachchan rocked! Abhishek, SRK and Rani were good enough. Preity Zinta could have been better. Arjun Rampal had absolutely no screen presence. I kept laughing whenever he came on screen. Plus, there were special appearances by Kajol (in Rock n Roll Soniye) and John Abraham (in Where's the party tonight). One big drawback about KANK is that the movie is 3 hours 15 minutes long! Just when you think that the movie is over, there is another twist to the storyline. Editing should have been sharper and there was no need to play out the whole title track when nothing really important was happening on screen. But overall, I feel that KANK is a decent film that does not depend on flamboyance (ala K3G) to keep the audience interested nor does it have a shoddy screenplay (ala Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) that makes the movie seem unbelievable. KANK-Worth a watch.

My Verdict: 6/10

P.S: I will blog in the US, so watch this space!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Press 1 to feel stupid

For the past two days I have not been able to connect to the internet and for the past two weeks my Internet Service Provider has blocked me from viewing any website that has the word 'blogspot' in the URL. A call to the call center dude of this ISP, asking him why his company continued to impose the ban when even the government had given the thumbs-up sign to the internet community to get back to their blogging and Mumbai blast investigations, did not make the situation better. He had apparently never heard of a blog before and he had considerable difficulty in typing ‘mendelismental’ in the address bar of his browser. At the end of a thirty minute phone call, during which he made me unplug my modem, restart my computer, clear my history and cache, he asked me what I meant when I said that his company was still blocking blogs. I think he could feel feelings of anger and frustration coming from my end of the receiver and so he followed the next instruction written on his "Steps to follow to make your customer feel like an amazingly idiotic git for actually thinking that a phone-call to the customer hotline will help him out" card. He put me on hold.

Let's just say that I came out of the phone-call more disillusioned and less enlightened about my current problem. I realized, with a touch of sympathy for myself, that my current situation could not be fruitful for me in any way. There was no internet, Bold and the Beautiful was getting more and more complicated with Brooke getting 'affections' for her son-in-law, and I had nothing to do or see. My IPod refused to work for some unknown reason and the fact that I would be leaving Chennai in less than a week seemed to bum me out. Luckily, the cast party for the play mentioned in the previous post was held yesterday and it was fun.

We played an intriguing game called "Truth or Chooth/Chute", an off-shoot of the more popular "Truth or Dare" game. The rules of the game: Say the truth or F*** off. I think that since the rules are so succinct, this game has a good future. It would be a good ice-breaker in a party, “Hey, who wants to play Truth or Chooth/Chute?”. Try it out - it’s bound to get you some fans.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Lights, Sound, Action!

I've been riding my boredom wave pretty well ever since the world cup got over. I've been busy helping out as crew for the play, "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp"(It’s the third time that I'm involved in a play named Aladdin). This time, I've got the incredibly demanding and difficult job of handling the sound system. Yes, many of you may shirk at the thought of doing what I am doing but I don't call myself bold for nothing. The task of handling sound involves me pressing the play and pause buttons with utmost precision while keeping a finger on the fancy gadget which I think is called a mixer.

Anyway, today was the first show and the audience consisted of 4th standard children who were accompanied by their teachers. It was like a school excursion for them and I suddenly had memories of me and my 4th standard classmates going to the Coca-Coal factory for our school excursion(Back then Coca-Cola was still used as a beverage. Its use as a disinfectant has been a recent discovery).

As soon as the kids entered the auditorium, there were the customary shouts of "Sit quietly" and of course the most famous sentence in a teacher’s vocabulary, "I WANT PIN-DROP SILENCE!!". I never understood what pin-drop silence meant when I was a 4th standard student. I only knew that it was a teacher’s fancy way of saying 'Shut Up'. But to be fair, I didn't know a lot of stuff back then and I can only feel proud of myself for having reached a stage in my life where I have been entrusted with the job of handling a cd player.

Since the crowd was full of kids with the mental capacity of the current US president, a lot of the jokes flew past their heads. They however seemed to enjoy dialogues which had the words 'fools' and 'foolish' in them. The kids also laughed a lot when the villain fell down on stage. I still don't get how someone falling on their fours and then rolling on the floor can make you laugh. Sadistic kids, I say. At the end of the show, the kids were so spent that they forgot to clap for me. Ha never mind. The kids these days, they do the darnest things.

P.S: If you want to catch me doing magic with the sound system, there are shows today, tomorrow and the day after at 7:30 pm in Alliance Francaise. Tickets will most likely be available at the venue unless of course they are sold out. In case the tickets are sold out, you can always slip me a hundred and watch the show hiding behind my chair. Now that would be fun.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Midnight Madness

The world cup is drawing to a close and I have come to the conclusion that whichever team that I unassumingly support crashes out of the tournament. Yesterday it was Germany and before that it was Brazil. Watching the world cup has been a very interesting experience for me. One thing I have managed to do in the past month is to stay awake past midnight and watch the football matches. I used to find it difficult to stay up past 10 before but this world cup has given me the power to conquer time. Given my previous inability to listen to the dogs bark at midnight or listen to the sound made by the Gurkha tapping his stick on the road, my new found power gave me lots of joy.

Yesterday night I was waiting for the football match to begin and I could feel myself drifting off. So I came online thinking that if I looked at a bright screen for an hour, my drowsiness would go away. I know that this idea of mine would make you think that my brain was probably misplaced but I beg to differ. I am very different from my fellow men and women. I like to do things differently. Why? It's just my way. I once woke up at 4, brushed my teeth and went back to sleep. Yea, I guess that is pretty weird but hey, you've got only one life, be weird.

So as I was saying, I sat in front of the computer for an hour and soon my eyes began to open and close every two seconds. Luckily the match was on its way by then and I felt that this would pep me up. As has been the case for me with all the midnight matches so far, I began to feel very hungry by the 25th minute of the game. Now, I do not pride myself on my cooking skills, especially when I am walking around with one eye open. I decided to make myself a nice, tasty sandwich. Unfortunately the toaster didn't work and I was not sure how to work the stove. So I took two slices of bread, placed a frozen cheese slice between them and stuffed it in my mouth. True to popular conception, it tasted horrible. I decided that I would have some unboiled, cold milk to complete my midnight feast. Unfortunately, my good friend returned to talk to me about his role as a night-time predator and I ran away from the kitchen with the bread in my mouth.

80 minutes into the game and I was sitting on the chair struggling to keep my eyes open. It was the same feeling I felt when I read Shantaram in the morning (of which I've finished 551 pages. I rock, don't I?). Before I knew it, I fell of the chair and on to the bread crumbs on the floor. I realized that there was no use trying to keep myself awake when the two stupid teams hadn't even scored a goal yet. So, I brushed my teeth at 1.30 and fell off to sleep, unaware that I had forgotten to switch of the TV. Man, do I rock!

P.S: For more weirdness, check this out. The author of that post has just been admitted to a mental asylum.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Why I haven't posted for the last 20 days...

I've been travelling. Last week I went to Coimbatore to meet my cousins and I realised that I can never get enough of falling into dirty water when I went to Black Thunder with them. The water slides were pretty neat but the 'dry' rides were kinda sucky. The only thing worth going on was that ship thingy where the ship goes up and down until you vomit your lunch on the bald guy sitting in front of you. I found eating a bit tough too with my dentist tightening up my braces the day before I left to Coimbatore. So I had to eat at the only place at Black Thunder that offered rice. It was a yucky mess where food is dropped on your plate with a resounding plop. It was similar to the movies where prisoners walk in a line, get some white goo dropped on their plates and then throw it away in protest. Well it wasn't that bad for me and also I wasn't in the mood for protesting. The next day I found out why my friends were so crazy about this game called Counter Strike. I fared pretty poorly (this 10 year old kid was killing me with his fancy gun at will) but it was exciting none the less. Also I wasn't paying, so that contributed a lot to the fun factor.

Next week I went to Hyderabad, famous for the Charminar, Golconda Fort and its IMAX Theater. It wasn't much of a sight-seeing trip but more of a relatives meeting trip. I learnt a little Hindi from my multilingual cousin. She was kind of miffed at me because I kept interrupting her while she watching the Disney Channel. Oh, I forgot to mention, she was about 5 years old. She knows Bengali, Hindi, Tamil and English. Makes me feel kind of, hmmm, non-multi-lingual. Whatever, I'm taller than her. So take that, all you multiple language speaking prodigies. The next day I went to Secunderabad, where a baby quite rudely urinated on my pants. I don't care if a 1 month old baby can't walk to the toilet, that was wrong! Anyway I had lunch in my wet pants at this restaurant famous for its distinguished guests. Sachin Tendulkar, Harsha bhogle, VVS Laxman and more recently Niyantha Shekar being their star visitors.

I also saw the first half of Krrish in the IMAX theater, got licked by a dog called Lollypop and bought this 900 page monster of a book called Shantaram which I have just begun reading. I had the wonderful opportunity to travel in Air Deccan to and from Hyderabad. I realise that for the money one pays you can’t expect much from this bus that can fly. But seriously, they've got to do a better job of cleaning up the seats. I look down and see my good friend, the cockroach having its afternoon siesta on my lap. They weren't kidding when they said Simply Fly.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Joga Bonito, whatever that means...

The FIFA World Cup begins tomorrow and I still don't know which team to support. Brazil has been touted to be the tournament favourites by everyone. Even a baby the size of a football might giggle when someone utters the name ‘Ronaldinho’. I generally like to be one who does not support the overwhelming favourites. So, I thought I would support England because I've been watching loads of EPL and I know how each player in the England squad plays(Well I don't know how Theo Walcott plays, but what the hell, even Ericsson does not know that). But the fact that the English treated us Indians like bitches in the early part of the twentieth century makes me feel guilty to say that I want them to win. It's a pretty stupid reason, but hey, there are 32 teams and I need to support only one of them.

To my dismay, I figured out that each team has a flaw:

France: The main supplier of footballers to Arsenal. Me being a Man U fan, I cannot even think of supporting such a team.

Netherlands: Arjen Robben always looks like he has something stuck up his nose.

Italy: I heard that an Italian company fired a South Korean footballer who worked for them because he slotted the golden goal in the previous world cup to send the Italians out of the tournament. Stupid spoilt sports shouldn’t be supported. Now, that’s a good example of alliteration.

Germany: Hitler.

Spain: They're winning everything. Alonso in F1 racing, Nadal in clay court tennis. Nah, can't support them.

That only leaves the underdogs and I don't think any of them have the quality to reach the World Cup Finals. So I have decided to be a neutral spectator for all the matches. It will be an interesting experience, not knowing which team you want to win. This is also helpful in a way cos I will not have sleepless nights wondering whether my chosen team will qualify or not.

The matches are slated to appear on ESPN-Star and I am really excited about the prospect of watching quality football on a channel that hires 'pundits' who actually know something about the sport. Hopefully, ESPN-Star does not keep up their annoying trend of having both English and Hindi commentary played simultaneously. Honestly, I cannot understand a thing.

So, with the World Cup beginning tomorrow, I can safely say that some of the enormous amount of boredom that I have been experiencing will go away and bother someone else who doesn’t know what to do with his time. So be gone boredom! See you on July 10th!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

All reals!

Yesterday I was so amazingly bored that I stood outside and stared at the street adjacent to my house for quite a few minutes. The street was completely empty but so many memories came flooding back. It was like in those films where the protagonist looks at a street which is empty, begins to reminisce and there's the flashback. The street is suddenly filled with people. Pretty cool, eh. Well anyway, I started thinking about the days when my friends and I used to play cricket on this very same street every day of the week a few years ago.

The tree would be the stump and the Onyx dustbin would be the boundary line. Those were such wonderful times and our lives were so simple back then. We would go to school, play cricket on the street, finish scribbling our homework at 8 am the next day and then rush to school. Street Cricket was our only past-time and so we took it seriously, very seriously. Like in any movie which involves a flashback, there was this guy who used to cheat all the time. He would get bowled and say that he was bowled of a wide and so he was not-out. It was sort of like the Obi Wan Kenobi-Anakin Skywalker story. This guy was the first person to call me to play on that street, he was sort of like a mentor. Soon more people started to join us and we cut him off because no one could stand this guy's cheating. So the mentor and his so called ‘student’ became enemies, except in this case the student was not the evil one.

Like I said, we took our hobby very seriously and anyone playing havoc with the rules passed down to us by our fore-fathers needed a wake-up call. So, to make sure that there were no more discrepancies in our cricketing laws, we created a Street Cricket Bible with all the rules explained in our own words (e.g. If you are called by your mother to drink milk while you are batting and you leave the crease without taking the permission of the bowler and if you get run out, you must not cry.) and we also planned events like charity matches every Independence day. Unfortunately no one sponsored any of our matches and so we couldn't make any contributions for charity.

It was now that our lives became a lot less simple. We had unknowingly created a Street Cricket Council (SCC) and we were too young to be dabbling in petty politics. But that's what happened and before you knew it, there were two separate factions fighting with each other for the possession of the street at 4 pm after we had drunk our milk. We fought, we made up and we fought and made up an this continued until one faithful day when Douglas Marillier of Zimbabwe defeated India single-handedly by playing shots that could not be found in any Cricketing book, not even in our Street Cricket Bible. Young minds can be very impressionable and one of my friends, going for Cricketing glory played a 'Marillier scoop'. The ball hit a lamp in the Colony President's (you might remember him from this post) house and unfortunately, the lamp broke. With that, our cricket playing days in that street were over.

No other street was good enough and soon we went our separate ways. Yesterday, like so many days in the recent past, the street was empty. But I realized that one broad strip of tar had meant so much to me. It was like a pensieve for me, filled with memories, good and bad, but luckily most of them were alright.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Monitory troubles

A week ago, I realised that I was wasting my post-twelfth standard holidays, doing nothing of use to myself or to the human community. I would get up, sit in front of the computer, eat, sit in front of the computer, have a bath somewhere in the middle, sit in front of the computer and then sleep. I felt really guilty whiling away my time looking at a monitor all the time. So, I joined java classes. Yea I know, it was a great relief from my otherwise mundane routine.

The problem with my classes was that my teacher did not know how to teach. Yea she knew a gazillion different programming languages but what’s the use if you cannot impart that wisdom to young minds that are eager to learn. Isn't that why we are born? To share knowledge with our fellow beings and make money out of it. So, I tried teaching myself but that didn't work because my teacher had taken my textbook to teach herself. Yea, very professional. Anyway, I tried asking her to explain the programs that she had asked me to copy but she just went, "I'll tell you tomorrow". Unfortunately she is the only teacher in this institute and she has to teach around 6 kids at a time and all of us are learning different languages.

Today was sadly, no different. Well slightly more entertaining, but teaching wise not so different. She started the class saying that she was getting ‘mischievous’ calls from an anonymous person in the night. The anonymous caller had apparently commended her nightingale-like voice and had asked her to be his ‘garl’ friend. Now, why she thought that I, a disgruntled student, would want to hear about her mysterious lover baffled me. So I started laughing. She thankfully did not take offence but continued talking about her anonymous admirer, telling me how she was going to take revenge on him for disturbing her sleep. I would have rather gone to an opera than listen to her. At least the seats would have been comfier.

Luckily, I do not have to go for java classes until Wednesday, because I am getting my Board Exam results on Monday (Yay! Finally some excitement in my life!) and I have to write my BITSAT on Tuesday. I'm not planning on going to BITS even if by some unforeseen chance I do get in. The only reason I am writing the test is because I want some change in my daily routine. How long can one stare at a monitor!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Poseidon-Movie Review

Poseidon is a remake of the 1972 film, "The Poseidon Adventure'. It was a short movie (I went in at 4.30 and came out at 6) and this I think helped make the movie quite absorbing. The only similarities between this movie and Titanic (which it has been likened to) are water (lots of it) and a huge ship. Apart from that, this movie is pretty different in every other respect. The movie is about the escape attempts of a group of people after the ship, 'Poseidon', is hit by a humongous wave. The scene where the ship turns over after having been smacked by the tidal wave is quite brilliant. There is no dilly-dallying as the ship is rocked within 20 minutes of the opening scene. From then on, the movie concentrates on eight people- a gambler, an ex-mayor, his daughter and her fiancé, a single mother and her son, an old rich gay guy whose partner has left him and a woman who has entered the ship illegally with hopes of reaching her brother in New York. Since the ship is turned upside down, the only way for these people to escape is to go to the top of the ship which is actually the bottom because of all the topsy turvy conditions. Anyway, whether all of them escape is the climax of the film.

I really enjoyed the movie because it was never boring at any stage. The pace was quick and it was maintained till the end. There were some very good performances, notably Kurt Russell as Robert Ramsey and Josh Lucas as Dylan Johns. The underwater sequences were quite breathtaking (must have been breath-taking for the actors too I think) and the graphics were top notch. A well directed movie with good acting and lots and lots of water makes Poseidon a good see.

My Verdict: 7/10

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The things people do to get a life....

I'm guessing that most of you would have heard about the plagiarism scandal involving Chennai born Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan. If you haven't, then you must not have been watching NDTV 24x7, which makes it a point to put 'Kaavya Cheated' in big, bold letters quite frequently at the bottom of the screen in their news bar. Very subtle. Anyway, there appears to be at least 40 instances of plagiarism in this book of 300 pages. That's a lot by any standard and when I heard that her publishers were pulling out the book from the shelves, I got a weird idea (not necessarily a smart one, I might add). I decided to buy this book now so that 10 years down the road I could like sell it on eBay for 3 times its current market value if not more. I mean, nothing sells like a plagiarised book.

So I went to Landmark in Citi Center (Wow, its huge!) wondering whether they would have removed the books already. On expected lines, it was displayed as their featured book. Hmmm, bad publicity is not always that bad if you are a new writer who can't write. So, I bought the book with my Machiavellian intentions and I finished reading it overnight. I personally found the book to be quite a bore, filled with the same stuff that appears in all these so called 'chic-lit' novels. Yep, it was recycled rubbish. I really do not think it would have been so hard for Kaavya to come up with original stuff. I mean writing about characters wearing clothes with playboy bunnies on them, c’mon! If you are gonna plagiarise stuff like that, God help you! So if you’re planning on buying this book for non-investment reasons (considering Landmark is still selling it), I seriously dissuade you from doing that. Buying an ice cream would be money well spent, I feel. Has Chennai always been this hot!!

P.S: My 100th post! A nice moment. As I always say, “Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments.” Ok fine, I didn’t say it. I may have just internalized Ms. Rose Kennedy’s words ; )

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Be wary, be very wary...

I really do not think much about most insects. They mind their own business, I mind mine. Sadly there is this one insect I am kinda wary of. I am not scared of it, mind you, just wary. I mean you too would be wary of an insect that can supposedly survive a nuclear war and come out of it unscathed. It can also survive without its head for a month I believe (If you feel like puking, hey glad I could help).

Well I have had a torrid relationship with these nocturnal creatures and yes you're right, they strike in the night (If you feel scared now, don't worry. Just be wary). There used to be tons of cockroaches in the bathroom in my house and so whenever nature called in the night it was a tad difficult to attend that call, if you know what I mean. The ugly cockroaches were always there, right next to the shower, looking at me with their compound (I paid good attention in my tenth standard zoology class) eyes. It was a difficult task, making them get the hell out of the bathroom and it required good maneuvering skills which I sadly lacked and I didn’t know how to use a broom as a weapon. I have a tendency to get wary (not scared) whenever they start running towards me and it was only natural that I closed the door and jumped on my bed with my feet not touching the ground whenever such a situation arose.

Due to my unhappy trysts with cockroaches, our house was de-cockroached, i.e., some exterminators filled up some holes here and there and locked up the cockroaches. A couple of nights back I felt really thirsty and so I went to the kitchen to make myself some ovaltine. It was then that I got a sudden visit from my smelly friend (cockroaches fart every fifteen minutes I am told). There was a big, black cockroach standing or rather sitting right in front of me. So I did what any normal person wary of cockroaches would do. I ran to my sister and asked her to accompany me to the kitchen. She claims that she is not afraid of cockroaches and so I asked her to keep a watch on the cockroach while I made my ovaltine. Maybe it did it just to spite me, but this brat of a cockroach hid under the chair as soon as my sister came into the kitchen. Talk about timing. This made my sister all smug and she started talking about how cockroaches are afraid of humans and not the other way around. I was so bugged that I spilt a lot of the ‘Aavin’ milk that my mom had kept in the fridge for the next morning and so I had to settle for a half cup of really bad ovaltine (it was past its expiration date I think). On the way back to my room, I could have sworn that the cockroach gave me a nasty look as if to say, “I’ll be back”. And I, the wary one, ran straight to my room as if to say, “Well I wont!”. Damn these darn disgusting insects!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Guess, I've just got to stomach it...

Well I've had a very uneventful and slightly painful three weeks since I wrote my last post. I have now planned to go back to the gym, start learning java and learn to drive. So as you may have noticed (if you had read my previous post just before you had started reading this one) that I haven't accomplished much at all in the past three weeks. I wouldn't blame all of it on my infinite laziness though.

I had gone to Kodaikanal a couple of weeks ago with my parents and sister and my physical ailments started there. Firstly the car driver made me feel incredibly agitated by playing songs of those olden days when men would wear more make up than women. Oh boy was it boring! My parents felt differently and started singing along. Wow, was that fun. Then there was the food at the hotel. Ah the food! It was so bad that I got amoebiosis! *I have no idea what amoebiosis is; just putting the exclamation mark for extra build-up*.

Somehow I always got the feeling from my friends that Kodaikanal was this wonderful haven that you had to go to during the summer because Chennai seemed to be just a tad too hot. But I seriously preferred the sweltering heat and humidity of Chennai to the cool and rainy climate of Kodaikanal. I had absolutely nothing to do as my sister had decided to spend the vacation poring through her history books and the swings were almost always wet. The people who had come to the resort were quite weird too as all the women had dressed up in the same sari (I mean the same type of sari, not THE same sari cos that would just be ridiculously creepy) and the men refused to come out of their hotel rooms. So due to lack of stuff to do, the rainy weather, the weird guests and a bad stomach the trip was quite the opposite of a vacation for me.

Following the Kodaikanal trip, I couldn’t go to the gym because of my stomach ailment and so I went to watch the newly released movies. I couldn't sit through Thiruttu Payale (what a bore) and Azhaggai Irukkirai...was quite stupid even though the first half was enjoyable. I saw Ice Age2 yesterday and that was hilarious, amazingly funny. Well right now, I am not suffering from anything. No amoebiosis!, nothing. So that means I have to go to the gym tomorrow. Hmmm, maybe going to the gym right after amoebiosis! might not be a good idea. I mean I don’t find going to the gym tough at all but I was wondering…. anyone game for a movie?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pain- A very painful feeling

Well, the holidays are moving at a surprisingly slow pace and I am finding myself with nothing to do. I had several plans for the summer like learning JAVA, going to the gym, learing to drive and stuff. Well I'm not exactly following the plan. I tried teaching myself JAVA with this huge 1100 page book but I fell asleep in the 11th page. Further I've not been able to install the proper software to practice my programs. It's pretty bugging, all the installing and uninstalling. So if anybody could tell me where I can download the required software with all the JDK and stuff, I’ll be really grateful.

I started going to the gym yesterday and I found out the pains involved in trying to make yourself look bigger and stronger. My whole body hurts and my shoulders are pretty sore. I went into the gym with all gusto but came out groaning in pain. The receptionist fellow at the gym is quite a weird character too. He doesn't know English but he likes to display his incredibly limited knowledge of it quite frequently. It's very similar to me speaking Hindi and if anyone has had the misfortune of listening to me going 'Maera khaana khaata hai', you would understand what I am talking about. He tends to wink every time he finishes butchering the English language as if to say, "Enna machi, English-la kalakkaraen-la!" (Literal translation: What brother-in-law, I am mixing English very well!). It is a bit unnerving talking to him but still you can't have everything for Rs.500/month (I know, its fricking cheap! The gym has AC too!!). I happen to be the youngest member of the gym and also the thinnest but I felt that this would change in a few days (I meant me being small. I will still be the youngest there because the others are all mamas who have this uncanny tendency to stink a lot). The name of the gym gave me a lot of hope. It is called ‘Muscle Mechanic’. Laugh all you want but I still feel it sounds much better than ‘Talwalkars’.

I realized quite quickly that working out at the gym wasn’t as glamorous as it turned out to be - I sprained my leg during the first exercise. I guess if you haven’t done anything but sit in front of your books for two months, sudden physical exertion can cause tremendous amount of pain. I have been advised by my mum to not go to the gym tomorrow but I plan to. It’s not often that I get the opportunity to act macho and all. If I remember correctly, the last time I did anything remotely muscle mechanic-ish was using my chemistry textbook as a dumb-bell. Yea, I like putting stuff to good use.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

5 films in 3 days!

I've been on a movie watching spree recently and I've managed to see some absolutely brilliant movies and some equally shoddy ones too. Well, these are the reviews of the movies in the order in which I saw them.

Rang De Basanti:

I don't think any movie has disappointed me as much as this one. It had such a brilliant first-half and the tempo was set for a meaningful ending. Unfortunately the movie loses its way in the last 30 minutes. It is a brilliant movie in terms of the acting, bgm, direction, dialogues. It remains a brilliant movie in terms of screenplay until the 5 protagonists decide to take revenge by using violence. I'm always of the opinion that violence will never help matters. You cannot draw parallels between the times of Bhagat Singh and the modern day youth to show and justify that violence is required to wake people up. The movie was awesome at several fronts but the ending depressed me. It depressed me because Rakeysh Ohmprakash Mehra messed up the wonderful platform that he had set post-intermission.

The Chronicles of Narnia:

Well, to put it mildly, I hated this movie. It was so boring and the acting was pedestrian except for the little Lucy Pevensie (Georgie Henley) who was so cute. The fight scenes were just a joke in which a guy who’s never used a sword before commands an army of weird creatures and manages to hold off the all powerful White Witch before Aslan, the leader of the good side, finishes her off. The ending was quite weird too. The only thing that kept me interested for the 2 hours were the amazingly bad subtitles (I watched the movie on DVD). Whenever Lucy said “wardrobe”, the subtitles would show “bar”. I don’t know how they misinterpreted wardrobe like that but it was really funny.

Goal:

My friends and I bought the tickets for Goal two minutes after the movie had started and so we had to settle for the third row from the screen. It was a decent time-pass movie but it had really obvious plots and clichéd lines. The football matches were fun to watch with actual EPL players like Shearer and Gerrard taking the field. Watch it with a group of friends or else it might just be too boring.

Black:

Hands down, the best movie that I have ever seen. It was such a well-directed movie with brilliant acting from Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee. Amitabh Bachchan as Debraj Sahai was so god damn amazing. I don't think I have ever seen an acting performance that has captivated and inspired me as much as this one. Ayesha Kapoor as the young Michelle McNally gave a stand-out performance. The idiots who sent Paheli as India's entry for the Foreign Film category of the Oscars instead of Black should have their brains checked. Black- a must-see movie from Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Schindler's List:

I've always wanted to see this movie and I finally watched it yesterday. Schindler’s List shocks you; it scares you because it shows you how cruel humans can be. During the holocaust, the Nazis brutally murdered more than six million Jews. The Jews were organized in a line and shot so that they fell like a pile of dominoes. Old men and women were shot because they were not capable of doing any work. There is a shocking scene where children are piled up in a truck and taken away from their parents. The children wave to their parents, unaware of the terrible fate that awaits them as their parents run after the truck. The holocaust was a horrific event and this movie makes you understand why.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lose control! No more paathshala!!

Finally, it’s over. After three torrid weeks of studying for my board exams, I can finally start studying for TNPCEE. Will this never end? Looking on the positive side though, at least the big one is over. I found the board exams to be a very interesting experience. I learnt a lot about the stink of my sweat while writing the exams in the fan-less dungeon aka our examination centre. It was so hot and sultry and writing the exams was an even bigger pain than it usually is. Like so many other people, I too messed up my Physics objectives though I never got the chance to give my views to the newspapers that put up articles on the great Physics tragedy. I would have also complained that the answer sheet that I was given did not have margins in it.

I heard some girl had to be sent to a mental institution after she wrote the Physics exam. It's sad how people place so much importance on their exams. I mean, I would never become so weird after writing an exam that I would have to be admitted in a mental institution. There are better ways to go to Kilpauk. You could be admitted because you spend your free time talking about globalization to your cutlery. You could be admitted for thinking that Atul Wassan has nice hair. You could even be admitted for trying to kill the Defense minister when he is going for a walk outside his house on an empty road with no guards around him. But to go insane after a tough exam, I don't get it.

I saw Rang De Basanti yesterday and figured out that my Hindi knowledge hadn't improved much at all. So while the actors were saying their patriotic stuff, I had to look at the screen with a blank expression on my face while those around me were having tears in their eyes. Well, most of them anyway. My friend kept going Ting-a-ling-a-ling during the whole show and was praying for the day when we non-Hindi speakers would get the chance to see a Hindi movie with subheadings(he meant subtitles).

Bah, I knew that this would happen. It happened after my tenth standard board exams too. I wait for this day for so long and when it finally arrives, I have nothing to do. Yes, this is my greatest challenge now - how do I waste my time usefully. It’s a tough one. Maybe its time to take out that cutlery again.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Farewell

Well its time to bid the final farewell, its farewell day today. As per the theme, I’m wearing cowboy clothes except that I don’t have a hat, a pair of boots or a lasso. Well whatever. In about half an hour it will start and before I even realize that this will probably be the last time I can have fun at school, it will end. Well that’s how life is I guess, good times don’t last forever, though the pictures I take with my Olympus SuperZoom 70G will, provided I don’t forget to buy the film. So, I am leaving now, wihtout a hat, for my farewell party which will signal the end of my wonderful times at school. Sniff.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Boards are nearing. I am fearing...

Time is running out! The boards start in exactly 16 days, 11 hours, 48 minutes, 33 seconds. I can’t help but feel nervous; the most important exams that I will ever have to write begin in 16 days. It’s so not going to be easy this year; the syllabus has been changed, the board is going to set difficult question papers and the abolition of TNPCEE means that I have to get 99.999% to get into the state colleges like Anna, SSN and the like. It’s sad that so much importance is placed on one set of examinations. There’s just too much pressure and as a result of that I have to go now and bury my face into my JAVA book. Reading this book is a good substitute for counting sheep, I might add.

I probably won’t blog again till my boards are over. March 22nd is that wonderful day when I smell freedom again and till then its slogging day and night. Hoping for the best and wishing the best of luck to everyone else who is writing their board exams this year.

Wearily yours,
Neon

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Man He Killed!

February 2nd, 2006

Time: 8:33 PM

Sometimes, you accidentally press a key on your keyboard and the result of that accidental action can turn out to be so hilarious that you fall off the swivel chair that you were sitting on and hurt your back. You then get up, look at the computer screen, and then fall down again, hurting your back even more. Amazingly, you don’t care about your back because the sight on the monitor is so funny that it makes up for all the pain that you are suffering.

I accidentally pressed Ctrl+V while typing out one of my English answers and following this line is what appeared on the screen.




Click on the image for a bigger view




February 3rd, 2006

Time: 9:52 PM

Ouch! Does any one have iodex?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A rendezvous with FAS

I had my first taste of the 12th standard board exams when I wrote the Physics practical examination on Monday. It was awesome; I got an easy experiment(Tangent galvanometer) and my result was only 0.4 Tesla away from the actual result. It wasn't easy all the way because my TG began to behave pretty weirdly as soon as I started doing my experiment. It gave me a diffference of 25 degrees between my two Θ(theta) values when it was actually supposed to be a difference of 1 degree. So you would probably understand the mental trauma that I went through having a malfunctioning instrument sitting before me and an unamused external examiner standing behind me. Luckily I a plan-B. I started fiddling with the connections and as soon as the examiner moved to the next hapless soul, I did what any sane twelfth standard student whose TG did not work would do. I wrote down the readings that I had memorised the previous day.Luckily the examiner forgot all about me and I didn't have to show to her how I got my almost perfect readings.

Today I had Chemistry practicals and it was equally awesome. I got a pale green salt and since I had mugged up the different combinations of salts that I could get, I figured out the salt exactly 33 and a half seconds after I saw it. My titration was ok. The dumb pipette tube offered almost no resistance to the FAS solution that I was trying to urunjify and so I had to taste that wonderfully yucky liquid for the fifth time this year. I also spilt the potassium permanganate solution on the floor because I forgot to close the burette. But apart form those slight mishaps, I did well.

Next up is Computer Science practicals and I am hoping that the examiner asks me some easy viva questions. If he doesn't, then I will have to resort to plan-B which is begging but I'm not a great fan of that, so fingers crossed.


P.S: Hope I get this program for the exam,

class twelve
{
for( ; ; )
{
System.out.println("Neon Rulz!");
}

}

Friday, January 27, 2006

It's just a dustbin!

Sometimes people can be so stupid. A few days ago, a fight broke out between my mom and two idiots who live in our adjacent road. The reason for the fight- a dustbin. Yes, a green Onyx dustbin,. The Onyx dustbin was placed in front of the compound wall of our house, right next to a tree. So, in the night, people tend to let loose aka urinate in the area behind the dustbin aka our compound wall. Now this happens to be a troubling problem because urine does not have a very pleasant fragrance. I have absolutely no respect for these miscreants because they quite plainly suck and I would strike them in their areas aka you-know-what if they weren’t bigger or stronger than me. Due to my inability to ward off the urinating dimwits, my mom pushed the dustbin a little farther away from tree hoping that this would stop people from ruining the smell of fresh air or rather the smell of the already polluted air.

This move of my mother’s received strong protest from the doctor opposite our house. I have never really liked that fellow and this time he proved himself to be an egoistic buffoon with the brain power of a smelly donkey. He claimed that the dustbin should not be pushed because he did not want to see it when he came out of his house. Now, that is what you call an argument. This was not said in a polite way, no it was quite the opposite of that. He made sure that his loud and stupid voice was heard all around the neighbourhood. He was also supported by the self-elected colony president who is also an equally enormous git. This guy actually plucked out the plants that had been planted in front of the tree and pushed the dustbin back to its original position. I seriously do not understand the problems of these idiots. So what if you see the dustbin when you walk out of the house and what the hell is the #$^%& problem of the colony president? Excuses like dustbins should be placed only at the corners of each road or my car will not be able to turn if the dustbin is 2 inches to the left of the tree is just grrrr!! I was unfortunate to not have seen these guys talk because I would have loved to say something incredibly weird to confuse them (though you could say 2+2=4 and that would confuse them). The awesome part was when the the doctor dude said, “Enna logic paesara?(What, you talking logic?)”. Heh, I wish someone urinated on him.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dictionary

I was reading, "The Meaning of Liff", written by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd the other day and the book inspired me to create my own book consisting of so-far-unkown words with their so-far-unknown meanings. It will be an incredibly weird collection and I hope to publish my dictionary temporarily titled, "Dictionary", by the time I am 33 years old (cos that's how long it will take to fill up five hundred pages with so-far-unknown words). I know that it will be impossible for me to complete the "Dictionary" by myself, so if any of you have any new words that have not been heard before, then drop them (with their meanings) in the comments box. Following this line is a preview of the book you can expect to see in the New York Times bestsellers list in another 16 years:

Aaadefu: The noise that one makes when he/she is punched in the stomach by a mentally deranged alcoholic seeking salvation.

Abedfore: The feeling of satisfaction one gets when he/she is knocked over by a bus.

Barezfeet: The amazing nature of a sock to change colour when it has not been removed off a person's leg for 7200 minutes.

Booperty: The destruction caused when a hippopotamus burps right after an intake of vodka.

Caishershlaudhen: A happy-go-lucky German who likes to eat peanuts for lunch.

Cojarda: A very soft piece of cloth that is dipped in mud to make it acquire an ancient look.

Diepschit: A man who falls into the Cooum river.

Diepshyt: A woman who falls into the Cooum river.

Doparte: A fancy term for 'Sod off, dung face!'

Eeler: A very handsome penguin.

Enuengo: The anger that one feels when he/she sees the bottom of a moist soap.

Fetera: The uncontrollable desire to cling on to a person selling cotton candy.

Feury: The back-side of a jelly fish.

Goprea: A fascinating piece of information that is of no use to anyone.

Hasap: The protective covering of a mp3 player.

Jetex: Fear of pink teddy bears.

Kresnick: The human equivalent of a smelly dog.

Laef: A term used to refer to people who like to drink a lot of juice.

Mokof: A very old diaper.

Neon: A term used to refer to awesome people.

Oqswgwjy: Unpronounceable words.

Perza: A wallet which has nothing but lint in it.

Rewery: A non-alcoholic beverage which has excess of distilled water in it. When consumed too much, it can make one feel wonderfully stupid.

Tumer: A person who considers God to be a multi-dimensional amphoteric compound.

Unuk: A pill used to make people talk sense when they are surrounded by zebras having self-esteem issues.

Vanderpo: An excuse to eat an overwhelming amount of cheese.

Xavior: An incessant need to dig one’s nose.

Zadaah: An exotic sound that one makes when he/she eats pistachio soufflé.

Zookli: A state of living where one needs to look at the toilet seat for four hours in order to attain mental peace and inner satisfaction. Bad breadth is a side effect.


P.S: Two down! Only 498 pages more to go!!