Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Holiday of Errors

Here's something this particular friend of mine would have written in his blog, if he had had one.

Based on a true story.
Hi, I'm Jayee. I mean Joy. Without the ee. Because with the ee it'd seem I were a girl. Which I am not.

Anyway, I'm having an awesome holiday, and I'm gonna tell you all about it, whether you want to hear it or not. It began with news that a certain Mr. V celebrated the start of his holiday by auspiciously breaking - no, not a coconut, but two bones in his hand. Yes, he was checking if it was raining outside the train.

This single event brought meaning and direction into Mr. V's life; he has now adopted, as his mission in life, the task of revising and improving the Indian Railways field manual for trackside pole placement. Single handedly. (That being his left hand for now.)

I recieved this news with mixed feelings; for, although the misfortune befell an arch rival of mine, the rivalry between us was mostly about who can do the most stupid things. Did this mean that he had pulled ahead of me in the stupid-things-to-do summer championships? I could not let that happen; I steadfastly resolved to outdo Mr. V's two-boned act before the holiday was over.

My first attempt was unsuccessful; I went to the beach without telling anyone but the coastguard wouldn't let me drown. Disheartened, I returned vowing to do better next time. Another attempt at aggravating my chronic ankle pain with spirited (but none-too-skillful) cricket was moderately successful; but nobody took too much notice and I had to do much better to - well - better the likes of Mr. V.

Taking a deviation from mishaps medical, I made plans for a long journey to see more beaches; Eager to exploit every opportunity, I neglected to book tickets for about half the journey. Soon, I found myself getting on the wrong train which took me sixty kilometres past my destination - and I ended up sleeping in the railway station. At last - a decent goof-up!

Little did observers know that I was only getting started. Soon after my trip, another game of cricket saw me equalling, if not exceeding, Mr. V's score. The ball was hit straight towards me - I executed a doggy-catch-ball-with-mouth manouvre to perfection. Near-perfection, actually, but perfect for my purposes; I saved a six with my left eye. Of course, bleeding in the vitreous chamber meant I had also gone blind in that eye. No pain, no gain.

Then, of course, came the coup de grace. I decided to take driving lessons - my tutors insisted on using a parking lot, but I think I could've done better on a real street. After pretending to listen for ten minutes to all that banter about where the brakes were and the need to press the accelerator gently, I set off. I surprised my tutors with great acceleration... of course, I couldn't be bothered with trivial matters like steering or parked cars.

The white ambassador was dragged some five feet from where it stood. It's hood popped open, bumper buckled inward, and the entire car is probably a few inches shorter now. The mob was satisfyingly large. Touche.

Howwzat, Mr. V?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Asexual reproduction

I had learnt that the most important part of the life cycle is reproduction. The propagation step that keeps the species alive, no matter how short the lifespan of its individual members, no matter how fast they get buried and out of sight. And that in the vast majority of complex beings, reproduction requires the meeting of two individuals. Graphic confirmation of this fact, at least for one species, was obtained - and ever since, I have lived assured of this basic fact of life. That is, until last Sunday.

Last Sunday, fundoome shook my belief system to the core. She did something strange and terrible - something that made me question everything I thought I knew about how reproduction happens.

She posted a tag in her blog, without being tagged herself.

Is there no sanity left in the world? How can a tag reproduce itself without the hallowed interaction between two bloggers... the inocuous mention in the tag post, the unobtusive little comment containing the sacred incantation, "You've been tagged"?

I was sure that this abomination of a tag would mutate into something terrible. I was right. But it is too powerful for me to resist... I must appease it...

5 people who top your shit list, and why.
  1. Those who oppose freedom of speech. Freedom of speech necessarily includes the right to insult; to be blasphemous; to paint goddesses in the nude (hmm... i see what they mean by nirvana!); to draw a prophet with a bomb in his turban (though his suicide bombing followers can probably hide it in the hole in their heads, no turban necessary); to publish a crude mashup of images of some girl in your class and a porn star (however, note to "artist" - get a life).
  2. Socialists. Reds, Pinks, and other similar shades. I'm not responsible for anyone's poverty. I've never kept a slave; I've never stolen, extorted, or looted. I do not owe anyone. My effort, my money, my life. Get out of my way.
  3. Nationalists. Fake nazi/fascist pigs. Those who still live in the dark ages. Those who have no identity but their religion/caste. Those that use force to impose their dress codes, lifestyles, beliefs and rituals on others.
  4. People in government. Lazy, unproductive parasites who demand that the hardworking, in order to produce, take their permission first. They, who aren't capable of producing anything.
  5. Fanatics. Those who are rabidly anti-something, without a good reason to be so. Anti-american, anti-globalization, anti-big business, all go here.
I'm gonna skip ahead now... and just answer one more interesting thing. Short of time.

Strangest Dream

I'm in this gift shop (or something like that) and suddenly there are gunshots. I don't see who is shooting but I feel a sharp pain in my side, then all energy drains out of me and I fall on my back. I can feel the burning hot bullet inside me. There are still gunshots but they are getting softer and softer. I'm lying there, looking at the fan going round and round, and things go silent... then things turn darker and grayer like someone turned down the contrast. I realize I can't feel the bullet or the wound anymore... and then everything goes totally dark. And then I wake up.

This was so far removed from my everyday range of experiences that I had no idea what to make of it. Perhaps there had been some news story about terrorism that day...

I'm not gonna tag anyone. Since this tag started off by voluntary tag-ee-ism, so let it continue that way. You are welcome to consider yourself tagged, if you are so inclined. For more details, see fundoome's blog.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Tribute

It was an awkward moment - the techquiz meeting in Godbole's room during the closing weeks of OP, when he addressed me by my name as if we had known each other for years. Me, a timid second year who had stayed away from DFM throughout OP because he was too scared of Osama. This was how I got my first taste of the Tech GC. Seems like it had happened yesterday, not nearly two years ago.

Snapshots of last year's GC effort, from my memory - Shastry guiding us through brainstorming for product design, in the midst of the noise and clutter of Illu; the butterflies before the presentation; the disappointment of coming second by just four points; the meticulous planning for opensoft; the unflappable Sahni shrugging off a segfault to impress the judges for a gold; and my decision to stand for GSec Tech. It seems like yesterday - the funda collection, the sopboxes, the groundwork on proposals; the results, the worst GPL of my life, and the belief that this year would be the one in which RP's talent gets converted into the General Championship.

And here I am, one year later, the dream of bringing home the Tech GC fulfilled. But other than the fact of our victory, little else about this moment is like what I had expected. The feeling is more relief than triumph. Although I feel that this victory is sweet justice - for all the poor or biased judgements that had hurt RP - a stronger emotion is a desire to let bygones be bygones. But most of all, there is gratitude - for all my friends and hallmates who have made this moment possible. This post is for them.

For Shamik and Manav, of opposite shades of character but one purpose, the cause of the Tech GC;

For Panda, Pilania, Akhilesh, Padhy and Ahmed, whose unassuming ways hide many talents;

For Sahni and Niket, for their tempo and their leadership, and for Harish, Arpit, Kapil, Lokesh, Nishant and Sunny, for an incredible job done in O(1) time;

For Shanks, Himangshu, Bora, Hrishikesh, Swarnavo and Rushin, for there is no greater sacrifice than mugging for the hall;

For Rajeev, Vinay, Anupam and Mridul, for being so far above the crowd;

For Abhishek Ghosh for giving his best against insurmountable odds;

For Adi, Nikhil, Guha, Lunia and Abhineet, for the long hours of brainstorming and work;

For Karwa, for being my sounding board;

For Jyoti, for being there. All the time.

And for Seth.
For everything.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tag: Ei8ht

Tagged by fundoome and Sonik X-( Let's get this over with.
My ideal lover should:
  • be strong and independent. never ask for, or expect, being looked after all the time.
  • be intelligent. should be able to understand the work i do.
  • be ambitious. i'm ambitious, and i dont want to be held back.
  • love me for who i am. not who she wants to turn me into.
  • have strong principles, and ones not too different from my own.
  • be clear-headed and logical. know what she wants, have well-defined goals.
  • be able to communicate with me in words; not in hints, strange looks, or tones-of-voice.
  • be honest. with me, everyone else, and most importantly with herself.

I want to tag:
  • Karwa
  • Sarfarosh
  • Shanks
  • Chaavi
  • Sunny
  • Dewdrop
  • Mangu
  • Dayal

Template

Inspired by sonik, who was inspired by psycho, who in turn was inspired by by the bourgeois buffoon, I've made myself a watermarked background template. I don't know if it looks better, but it definitely looks new. More importantly, it's original, and not just because i spent a few hours thoroughly modifying Blogger's Minimal theme.

The background picture was taken on our wing trip to Chandipur. That road is part of the golden quadrilateral highways, just outside Kharagpur. An awesome maze of flyovers in what would otherwise be the middle of nowhere - even J, our wing's resident artist, craftsman, all-round nature-freak and photographer for the trip, had to choose between the road and the sunrise to frame his pictures.

Until he got this one. Road plus sunrise. Wallpaper material. And, of course, blog-background material.

Too bad only a fraction of our trip were on such roads. We were soon jolted out of our fantasies of hitting 100 kmph on an overloaded sumo, by the dirt tracks that pass for highways in Orissa.