Wednesday, October 22, 2008

For The Memories, For The Love

I woke up an hour ago. I got an sms informing me that my paternal grandfather had passed away.

I struggle to put together words but I must. The least I can do is to write about him, at least the way he affected me.

My first memory of Nana Thatha is when I was about 2 years old. We were sitting in the living room in our home in San Jose. I was playing and he asked me to come sit next to him.

"Un peyar enna, theriyuma?" (Do you know what your name is?).
"Neeyuntha", I replied without excitement.
"Illa!" (Nope).
"Aaaaa aen? Adhu en peyar." (Why? That is my name).
"Illa, unakku rendu peyar irukku." (No, you have two names).
(I now sit up straight with an excited look).
"Madhuri'kkum rendu peyar irukku, theriyuma?"(Even Madhuri has two names, did you know?).
"En peyar enna??" (What is my name??)
"Un peyar Ranganathan." (Your name is Ranganathan).
"Enakku Neeyanthaaa've pidichirukku." (I'm fine with Niyantha).

Four years ago, my cousins and I were playing Kaun Banega Crorepati with 'Who wants to be a Millionaire?' question cards. I got to be Amitabh Bachchan and on one question the contestant wanted to 'Phone a Friend'. So I picked up my cell and dialed my home number.
Nana Thatha picked up and I bellowed through the phone, "Main Amitabh Bachchan bol raha hoon!".
"Chi phone-a veyyu da" (Chi, keep the phone down).

Nana Thatha was a learned man, and extremely good with words. His book on Iraq and the USA during the tenure of George Bush Sr. got published a few years ago, and I was so glad to see that smile on his face when he got his copy of the book. If you are someone who writes, I bet there is nothing like the sight of the first copy of your book.

He was a wonderful man. He was able to raise, with his wife, 4 children who are all now settled and successful. He cared for his grand children. He loved talking to me, speaking to me in his trademark style. "Boy, come here", he would always say when he saw me walking out to play Cricket. The foolishness of my age made me come up with excuses but I'm glad he persevered. I was lucky to have a grandfather who loved and cared for me and the rest of his grandchildren as much.

Nana Thatha, I will forever miss you. This post was an attempt by me to accept your death. I thought that maybe if I wrote it all down, I would stop crying. But I will stop, and I will accept what's happened.

Thanks for being there for me all these years.

Love,

Niyantha

P.S: Please leave a comment if you have met my grandfather and would like to share your memories of him.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Time wasting tactics to avoid studying Differential Equations:

1. Doing a vanity search.

2. Trying to take a 5 minute power nap and waking up drowsier.

3. Watching Charlie bite his brother on YouTube.

4. Getting nostalgic and going through Sachin's scores from his first test series (Cricinfo has everything!).

5. Checking my reflection on the laptop screen.

6. Learning how to say the ten most commonly used French phrases via an instructional video on YouTube.

Comment allez-vous?

7. Looking at the sun shining brightly outside and reminiscing about the extremely hot and humid days back home in Madras. Good times.

8. Staring absentmindedly through the window thereby freaking out people passing by.

9. Yawning for a really long time.

10. Making a pointless list.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How I Spend My Sunday Morning

  • Wake up one hour after the alarm rings.
  • Curse loudly and exclaim that I have so much to do with so little time.
  • Sit with my head on the pillow for 30 minutes wondering what I could have done if I had woken up an hour earlier.
  • Realize that my room-mate has woken up and so I jump over my bed with alarming athleticism and run into the bathroom.
  • Brush my teeth with a smile on my face as the water flowing from the tap partially drowns my room-mate's curses.
  • Come out with a sense of accomplishment (squeezing out toothpaste (correctly) takes skill) and avoid my room-mate's gaze.
  • The room-mate orders me to play some good morning music and so being the hopeless romantic, I play an assortment of Tamil music where the hero beseeches the heroine to give him the time of day.
  • Try to ignore the room-mate singing along.
  • Make myself some Nescafe coffee which is always heated for a minute and 20 seconds in the microwave.
  • Drink the coffee and catch up on the latest’s news of the day (movies.sify.com is a great resource).
  • Glance over at the pile of books on the table and then sigh loudly only to hear the room-mate shout "Stop cribbing! You know how much I have to do? I have two midterms, two interviews..............."
  • While slowly zoning out the room-mate, realize that the imaginary fans of my blog would probably appreciate an update on mendelismental.blogspot.com.
  • Finally understand that if I do not open up the scary looking textbooks soon, I will draw a blank on my three midterms coming up.
  • Scared out of my mind, I decide to watch The Office to forget my worries.

It’s time for lunch!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Hmmm

I was looking at the search keywords leading into Nazar on Google Analytics and I came across this:

Click to enlarge


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Proud to be lame

What did the Java programmer say to the C++ programmer at their 10 year college reunion?




"Long time, no C!"

Friday, October 03, 2008

Conversations - 2

(We are watching the VP debate on CNN. K and J are room-mates. B, Is and A are my room-mates)

K: Wow, your apartment is clean now.
Me: Yea, I cleaned it up yesterday.
K: You think I'm gonna fall for that. I heard you called a maid.
Me: Yea...
J: You guys called a maid?
Me: Yep, you saw how the kitchen was.
J: I felt so weird when I had to call a maid for the first time.
Me: So, you've called a maid too.
J: Yea, but I had never called one before.
Me: Well, yea. You lived with your parents.
K: It was weird at first but then when we found out that the maid service was booked for a whole week, we felt a lot better. Everyone does this shit!
J: How did your kitchen get so dirty?
Me: Well it started in the summer, when there were 5 people living in a two bedroom apartment...
J: Ah.
B: Me and Is cleaned up the living room and the bedroom. The kitchen was supposed to have been cleaned...
J and K: Ahh....
Me: I mean, yea, I was supposed to clean it, but see I did. I threw away the dirty dishes and A was supposed to get rid of the flies.
J: You guys had flies?!
Me: Yep, and A's solution was to attack flies with the hose of a vacuum cleaner.
J and K: WHAT!
B: Yep, we were watching TV one day and we suddenly hear the vacuum cleaner at work. We thought A was vacuuming the carpet but we turn around and we see him trying to suck the flies into the vacuum hose.
Me: It was hilarious, but completely unfruitful.
J: It kinda makes sense that the flies would get sucked in...
Me: Yea, but when they see a tall guy with a vacuum hose, their natural instinct would be to fly the hell away, right?

We then notice that the debate is going on.

Me: Did Palin just wink at us again?
S: No, she was winking at her dad.
Me: Great, now I don't feel special anymore.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Getting back that lost form

I've been opening the batting in the last 4 games for my league team and I've made scores of 0, 1, 0 and 0. It's a bit like how Marvan Atapattu used to bat when he first played for Sri Lanka. Only once have I lost my wicket to a good ball. The ball pitched outside off, swung in and sent my middle stump for a walk. There was nothing left to do but nod at the bowler for cleaning me up with a beauty, and then trudge back to the pavilion (two benches separated by a barbecue grill).

I used to relish opening the batting, but now I shudder to even think of facing the new ball. I've struck the ball thrice in the last 18 balls that I've faced (and two of those shots resulted in me getting out caught and bowled) . Venkatesh Prasad would do better than that against Wasim Akram.

I was able to justify picking myself in the 11 in spite of these terrible scores because I was doing really well with the ball. I was getting the ball to land on the right spots and the opposing batsmen were actually playing me out with the hope of trying to go after the other bowlers. But there are only so many failures you can take before anger and disappointment sets in. The previous game I was tonked for 26 runs off two overs and we lost the game in 11 overs.

I guess the only way to get back the lost form is to drop myself down the order and hope for a bit of luck. I know that my confidence with the bat is just a fluent cover drive away.

Harsha Bhogle often says, "When you're out of form, you see the fielders. When you're in form, you see the gaps".

I see the gaps alright. I walk through them, back to the pavilion, everytime I get out.

Update: This is unrelated to the post but this is a link to an absolutely fantastic article by Rohit Brijnath on Cricinfo. He talks about how the fab 5 of the Indian Cricket team have been such an integral part of the life of every Indian who followed Indian Cricket since the 90s. The last sentence of the article gave me goosebumps.