Thursday, January 27, 2005

The World of Tomorrow

Yesterday began well enough, with an upsurge of patriotism in my heart, as me and my father watched the republic day parade. All that build-up went bust as soon as the following program showed some citizens, who were at Rajpath, expressing their feelings. Not that they didn’t say “patriotic, proud, happy”.etc. only thing being, they had no idea that we have a separate day called Independence Day during which time we thank our freedom fighters for getting us our country back. No one seemed to realize we were supposed to be celebrating the declaration of us being a republic and us having our own constitution.
Then I got cynical to the vein of patriotism that seemed to run through all the special programs that day and went for the movie for which I could manage to get decent tickets at the last possible moment. I thought I was lucky to get to go for a movie starring Jude Law, the added bonus being Angelina Jolie. I think that girl Rocks!!!

If the fate of the world depended on a guy like Joe Sullivan (Jude Law), the Sky Captain, in the “Sky Captain and the world of tomorrow”…there wouldn’t be a day after tomorrow. His taste in women, for one thing, is enough to spell doom. For god’s sake Gwenyth Palthrow [Who I thought I couldn’t hate enough after “Shakespeare in Love”, for which she even got a goddamn Oscar!!] is the nosy girl reporter ( a la Lois Lane) the ex-flame of our Sky Doofus who in his wooden way tries to hide how much she means to him. Painfully enough the intelligent viewer (me) is forced to sit through scenes where in the upside down reflection of the hero’s plane make hllod reads polly (the name of the heroine. Just say it out loud “Polly Perkins”-I break into hives), surely anyone who is not 13 years old and in the throes of his first infatuation will not find their supposed romantic banter in any way...romantic. Jude’s English accent, I mean Brit accent is so funny that the intelligent viewer cant take Joe Sullivan for the dashing adventurer he is supposed to be…I mean..”Ppawlee” and “taukeeng” are being said and we are supposed to hear “polly” and “talking”!!!
He is on his way to find the villain Totenkoff who with the use of his nepali girl and robots( straight out of 1960 sci-fi movies) manages to kidnap (among others) Dex [what else do they name boy geniuses?] the right hand scientific innovator. Polly wants (among other things) the story, so she hooks up with him. He and she do a “Hum-Tum” every now and then and reach a point when there is no fuel, just then they reach the abode of Capt. Frankie Cook( Jolie), who should be the Sky captain, in my opinion.
When She sets her eyes on the Perkins specimen, Frankie says “What is that?”. No truer words were ever spoken. Then there are some robot fights and then the hero and the heroine save the day.

So I was made cynical about the world of tomorrow. Then my neighbor Trup, who works for an NGO, gave me the CDs of “Guess who’s coming to Dinner?”. I have a lot to say about that one too. But for the maintenance of my reader’s sanity, my new concern, I will keep my views on that for the next post.

So don’t ever see “Sky Captain…” unless you want to commit suicide by killing your brain.
On that bright note,

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


A Fwd
There comes a time when even the most maligned form of communication called a forward starts to make sense to you. It is a symbol of just how lifeless a person can get.
Ordinarily, I would say that fwds have saved me from certain insanity that comes from paid unemployment. Lately however I have begun to understand the importance of pretending to give importance to dignity [whatever that is…]. So one should not enjoy the experience of receiving a mail not written by the sender, which is sent to a million others apart from you showing just how much of a priority you are given and which will no doubt be sent to you repeatedly by all your acquaintances who get it themselves.
So I will be politically correct and say I hate fwds- they are stupid, impersonal and annoying. So are most of the people you are forced to live around, however, we shall pretend that it doesn’t bother us. [Phoney alert]
Having strayed from the main path of just introducing this post, I will try and redeem myself. This fwd I got today morning. I think it’s a sad story of the certain clan of young people who have sold off their right to have a life apart from office to the MNCs they work for.
Cyber Age Movie Story
Hero is a software engineer. He does not have a life worth speaking of. He spends eighteen hours a day in the office working and browsing the net.
Heroine is a software engineer in the same company. She does not have a life either. She spends eight hours in front of her PC, thirteen hours in front of the TV and the remaining, sleeping.

One day, Hero meets Heroine in a staff meeting. They argue endlessly about the insanity of Microsoft applications.. especially Outlook 2003. Couple of such fights later, Heroine is found drinking coffee with Hero in Office canteen.
"What is life?" asks the Hero looking at the vacuum right above her head.
"I've been wondering too." sighs the heroine.
"Why are we fighting over Outlook 2003?" Hero drinks his black coffee.
"And why are we not talking about Lotus NOtes" Heroine sips her Latte.
Hero shakes his head.
"It's not about software products. It is about life. I guess life is much bigger than OUtlook 2003."
Heroine nods. "I think it is. I am not sure though. Do you know that Microsoft has come up with a fix to that bug you've been using to prove Outlook is a worthless piece of garbage?"
"Heroine," Hero is now determined, "From this moment onwards, I am not discussing anything remotely related to software."
"Fine Hero," says Heroine, "Good bye then."

Hero then returns all the Sybase manuals to the library and rents out "how to live a life?"
Heroine meanwhile gets into an altercation with the villain during a conversation on Sharepoint server. Villain vows to format the hard disk of the heroine.

Heroine takes her PC and runs away from the cubicle trying to escape from the villain's evil intentions. Since it is night shift, no one comes to her rescue.
Hero, who has been reading "how to live a life" very seriously, suddenly finds out that he loves the heroine as much as he used to love Tetris. So hero messages Heroine on Yahoo Instant messenger. But there is no reply. Hero does not understand it. He knows that the heroine is supposed to be in night shift. What is she doing in Night shift if not on Yahoo Instant Messenger? As far as he know that is what people are supposed to do in night shift.

Hero senses trouble. He runs barefooted on the InformationSuperhighway and reaches office just in time to see the villain snatch the PC out of heroine's hands and type the command "Format C:\". When his fingers get to the "Enter" key, hero delivers the killer punch on villain's face. Villain is thrown back. But in the process he manages to press the Enter key...

The world comes to a standstill. The sky roars. The Rain pours.Heroine breaks down. Villain is on cloud nine. But our Hero isn't sad.He is smiling. Villain cannot understand. Hero then says, "Villain, You should learn DOS properly. Your grave mistake...".
He shows the monitor to Villain. The DOS command prompt says "Are you sure?".
It is waiting for a "Y" to commence the formatting operation.
Hero then simply presses "N".Villain cries in frustration "Nooooooo" and charges like a bull. Then follows a lengthy fight. Heroine meanwhile calls the police and they come right after hero beats the villain to pulp. Without asking any questions, the police understand who is hero and who is villain andtake him into custody.

Heroine, tears in her eyes, takes her PC, switches it on and jumps with joy when she finds her favorite Calvin and Hobbs collection in tact in her C drive.
"You saved my data" she exclaims.
"No, you saved it yourself." hero says.
"No.. Jesus saves. I don't" she cries.
"Nothing happened na." Hero consoles.
"Let us get married" heroine sheds some more tears, "I want someone by my side to protect the Calvin and Hobbs collection on my PC".
"I love you Heroine" says the hero.
"I love you Hero" says the heroine.
"So you agree that Outlook 2003 is a bad product".
"No I don't. Why not we talk about Lotus nOtes?"
The End.

Ordinarily, I would never post anything I didn’t write myself, but just that, I couldn’t have written a more heart wrenchingly true account of the lives we s/w junta lead myself.
Lets just hope this is the first and last Fwd: Post

Friday, January 21, 2005

New Kid on the Block

Its tough being the new one in a set crowd.
Remember starting day at the new school? Of course you do; things like that you never forget. College was another thing, everyone was the new kid so everyone started on equal footing. But in office especially if you shift departments and projects you get placed among people who have been with each other ever since creation.
You don’t match in a million things- food preferences, personality compatibility, technical expertise, understanding and rapport. A grey alien would be more comfortable in your seat than you in that circumstance.
It takes time to fix your routine into the team’s and no part of that inclusion is bound to be seamless, in other , less kind words, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.
People don’t smile at you or greeting comes your way, no banter and lots of stiff formality.
Worst comes to worst when, more often than not, the new one commits a big momma blunder as an unintended part of an exercise meant to illustrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. That is, no one asked you to do it, but you did it, and you screwed up-big time.
That is fine. Anything that doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
Bloopers are just the after effects of the self-induced stress and the self-propagated pressure of trying to win over everyone instantaneously.
You’re no Princess Di. Deal with it.
Settling into a new group is a time-consuming process and is equally painful to all in the group. There’s always that optimistic thought that says –“ hey, who knows? I may be the best thing to ever happen to these people. They’d probably like to welcome me with open arms. Once I stop being on the defensive.”
Deep breathe. Remove self doubt. There is never going to be a “World’s greatest klutz” event at the Olympics, so to speculate if you would be the hands down winner at such a competition is , as it will always be, a fruitless exercise [ an exercise where there is no scope of weight loss]. Also there will always be quite a number of people are more pathetic than you.
Live to fight another day.
Or live till a even newer kid shows up on the block making you the veteran.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Where the Eagles dare..

hey all, happy pongal, sakranthi or whatever it is that is relevant to you that marks the start of spring.
I went on a mahabalipuram drive with my family on saturday that got extended into a pilgrimage when we landed at a place 18km from the resort beach front called "Thirukazukundram" loosely translated as " the blessed place of the eagles".
It was bad enough that my uncle forced us into visiting the croc bank on the way to Mahabs (where I had lost the massive appetite I am famous for) and that 5 super-sized adult homo sapiens sapiens were packed into one wagon-r along with a growing child of 9; but the cream was that this temple was on top of a hill, entirely to be covered on foot... needless to say, no one was prepared for it.
My uncle goaded the younger lot, that is , me (yaay , I am still young and restless)
my sister and my cousin (the 9 yr old aishwarya ) by telling us about the pair of jumbo sized golden eagles that would make a trip all the way from Kasi to come here by noon exactly every day and partake the offerings left for them in cups at a certain side in the hill. They were supposed to be Siva and Parvati themselves making an appearance for the benefit of the devotees. Eagles are a symbol of this divine strength, Romans, Americans, Sumerians, you name any country or civilization that was ruling the roost in their day and you’ll find eagle symbology in them. I am totally in love with the eagles for their beauty and their embodying all that is good and great. So I was desparate to catch sight of these show-stoppers.
My aunt, who everyone says I will look like when I reach her age, bravely managed to puff her way up even if it did take her a full 30 minutes more than it took the men (uncle and dad) and the young.
It was nearly sun-down when we reached the top and went in to pray to the mula moorthi (main deity). There the pujari (who spoke 3 languages) assured us that the eagles that had been coming for centuaries or to be exact, as long as anyone can remember, had stopped their appearances 5-6 years ago, but that very day we had come, they too had come and hovered around the temple in circles, but not landed to take the offerings.
He was not sure if the birds that had come that day were the very same representatives of the godly couple that had made this temple famous, for there were some speculations that the visits ad stopped because the eagles could've died and that the returners were new-comers.
I was certainly disappointed to have missed the old birds of the legends as well as the new comers (who we missed by some 4 hours)but the hike up and down the picturesque hill and the sunset view from the top more than made up for all of it.
Mahabalipuram is more somber than I remember it to have been, maybe because, of the near destruction it faced a month back. Also East Coast Road is dotted with the temporary relief tents and stranded people of the each front. So there is nothing much to say about it.
I spent some 200 bucks more on books (2 new-are you afraid of the dark, Prodigal daughter, 2 very very old- Jaws and 13 ghost stories). had Pizza over the weekend and almost bought new sport shoes. Is this mindless-money spender the new me?
I believe in Evolution,
PS: until I am settled, the posts will be sporadic. plz adjust.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

A non-typical weekend

I cleaned, hooked up with Jai, entertained my relatives, broke my spectacles after nearly tearing up my lenses, missed going out to meet Lavy, went out to book fair, bought some ‘unusual’ books. All this in the 2 days reserved for lazing and more lazing!!
Read on.
These afore mentioned activities either rarely occur individually or never happen at all.
First and foremost, I cleaned up the house. My parents nearly had heart attacks and my sister was struck dumb (ah..those few moments of peace) because of this, so I have decided to forego the opportunity to repeat this act again. Sacrifice for the family. That is my motto.

Why did I clean? Jai came over with her mom. Havent seen Jai in more than 2 years. I was so glad to receive her that I would have even gone on to the extent of cooking myself, but she wisely declined a potential health hazard, for I am all good intentions but I am no Yan (who can cook…remember the cheerful Chinese guy who used to chop things really fast?).
She had some great presents for me- a collector’s Library Edition of ‘Pride and Prejudice’
And the eternal favorites- chocolates!!
We talked like we’ve seen each other a lot, more about the current life and related topics. "Remember when we were…..” sort of reminiscences are usually associated with meeting friends made in school, a healthy dose of which serves to revive some pleasant moments, but if that is the sole sentence starter it means the people have out-grown each other and are just clinging to nostalgia. We, however, are still relevant to each other; we do interact regularly even though I am still India-bound. Jai Internet!!
Appa took me to their temp place of stay so we could talk some more. Which we did at length, and that is a nice experience.
Sunday dawned, I was looking forward to Lavy’s call as she landed in Chennai from the land of rasogullas on her way to her native to spend some days with her family. She called at noon and we made plans to meet in the evening. That plan was thwarted by the unfortunate tendency of my glasses to escape the confines of my spectacles frame which snapped a joint open. I was left blind. [my lens had been damaged the day before as the result of an accident concerning it falling on the ground ]
By the time my father got the errant spectacles corrected by the optician, she was well on her way to her home. Hopefully, I’ll get to meet her before she flies back to the land of gangully worshippers.
My vision was restored in time to make it to the book fair that evening. I enjoyed browsing the second hand pavement shops that thronged the outer boundaries of the fair grounds than the main exhibition itself mainly due to the variety, topics of interest and a point to consider – I could afford those.
Also, I stretched my boundaries by procuring, in good condition, A james bond novel [Gold Finger, I am sure it will be a novel experience] , 1984 [need anything be said? ], a collection of short stories picked by Alfred hitch cock [Sis’s pick, she seemed unhappy with that later], a self-help book [I’m ok, You’re OK. Really??] , the 3rd book of the Blade Runner series[I’ve only seen the movie and never knew of the books] and Ramana Maharishi’s very brief answers to “Who am I?”[that doesn’t come under fiction though].

The pavement book gods assured my sister of a ‘Prodigal Daughter’ in good condition in a few days time, so I think I will be going back there to uncover more treasures.
The weekend rounded off with watching ‘meet the fockers’- a really bad advice. You definitely don’t want to meet the burnses or the fockers. Ever.

Apoorv just gave me a very bright idea. Think I’ll just go with it.

Change is my middle name,

Friday, January 07, 2005

Who is Ramya?

I think that everyone at many points in time would've just asked themselves, "Who (or What )am I?"
Not like the bollywood routine with amnesia patients or Sachin's World Cup ad [mein kaun hoon?, mein kahan hoon?], but more like Bulla Shah's musical contemplation about him not knowing who he is, in a very theological or even spiritual sense.
More often than not, the answers will not please the questioner.

Googlism is a cool tool, to find what the www thinks of the keyword, in this case your name.
I present, the heavily censored version of "Who is ramya?", by Google. Afterall, its the internet, and it has more crap than good stuff. Having a namesake who is known for item numbers in the South Film industry does not help much either.
***the laughs may start here****
ramya is concerned about communication throughout akla and about communication from akla to people outside the
ramya is far from being solved
ramya is the theme of the film
ramya is the one of the first bharata natyam dancers to be included in the touring artists roster of the california arts council
ramya is good at ?"
ramya is not one of your part
ramya is presently undergoing intense dance training under prof jayalakshmi for greater finesse
ramya is his wife
ramya is waiting to kill karan when there is no "bottu" in kousalya's fore head
ramya is associated with the american model yachting association
ramya is more natural in her treatment of everyone around her
ramya is my rider
ramya is groomed in the illegal trade by narayan keni an ambitious fellow who slowly paves his way into active politics
ramya is a sadist
ramya is stunning
ramya is luckier
ramya is cool
ramya is writing a case study focusing more in depth on how differing discourses and practices of ramya is doing her m
ramya is pursuing a phd at mit
ramya is avoidable in role not worth writing home

ramya is a biomedical engineer
ramya is currently working in client side
ramya is now 12 years old and plans to go to the us and become an astronaut
ramya is not suitable
ramya is a different fish
ramya is not at all a bad move
ramya is willing to do light housework
ramya is the surprise element in the film
ramya is confident that by learning a lot of things in this program she'll understand the manager's role better given the opportunity [ROTFL!!!]
ramya is making food
ramya is inside israel
ramya is willing to bring her music system and jay will bring an extension chord
ramya is from the hebrew
ramya is working with denise milhorn and kara with michelle ardell; both professors are from the department of pharmacology
ramya is out
ramya is seen as an ultimate hero
ramya is there to help
ramya is currently at my house and we have been online for the past couple hours unsuccesfully looking for quizzes
ramya is the coolest
ramya is her good friend
ramya is currently finishing her ms in computer science at boston
ramya is from dubai
ramya is sure to provide voltas the same big push with the masses that she did to padayyapa
ramya is a rare chess player who is humble and unaware of her achievements
ramya is not
ramya is seemingly in deep thought on the ponderous subject of which dish to choose
ramya is my name
ramya is currently a senior at princeton university and continues to be an active volunteer with manavi
ramya is from bangalore
ramya is the most recent case in point
ramya is to star in a heroine
ramya is looking for
ramya is playing a junior to balaiah

There is also the "What is" and "Where is" options to playing around in Googlism. Although this exercise was bit fun at times (especially the results made bold), I don't think we've managed to find a satisfactory answer to the main question...

Scully, some questions were never meant to be answered, [I heart Mulder]

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I will survive

Gloria Gaynor, proclaimed that she would survive, what most assume, are heartbreaks and I plan to emulate her. Apparently Jude Law has proposed to Sienna Miller and given her a big cluster diamond ring, just when I was busy in hyderabad...
So I have decided to abandon him. Its one thing to pursue bachelors in daydreams, but engaged and married guys? No way... that is where I draw the line.
Goodbye Jude.

until your next eligible bachelor phase, that is :p
OK. So I am hopeless. Sue Me.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Windy Madness

Happy 2005 one and all.
I went round and checked out how most had spent the dawning days of this fledgling year, and FYI am presenting the way I spent it. In my most uncharacteristic way yet- by spending.
When Peggy Lee crooned "Hey, Big Spender", she sure as hell was not talking about a guy version of me. If I could publish testimonials from my friends, they would have to touch, at some point or another, on my aversion to spending. They would also mention quite a number of other things best left unsaid, hence they will not be asked to write anything for me which is about me.
Do I need any of the 6 items that I purchased ?
need as in 'can't do without' - definitely no. I have spent 23 years on earth without them and I don't see any requirement for them now.
need as in 'its nice to have it'- definitely yes. Its nice to have so many things, you can't buy them all, so why buy these ?
Yes, I am guilty as hell. Cant even be acquitted for being a victim of the "Impulsive shopping disorder", I did have sufficient time to think and decide. So I attribute it safely under the 'madness' category, as that is one thing I can never be accused of not having. And I blame the moon.
Anand has the moon calender in his blog, to which he gave a link from the comment window. So I like any other materialistic coveter took one moon phases calender to adorn my blog. Its beautiful. Notice the location of the calender, right under the moody section. So I can have my private study of how the waxing and the waning of the moon is connected with my moods, then I generalise that all crazy people and beings from outer space may be categorised based on the tabulated readings on me.
One of the things I bought, which I am proud to declare is my very own home vcd of "Gone with the Wind".

An ode to failed marriages. No one in the entire book has a good marriage, just like real life, and unlike most other literary works [except "Wuthering Heights" which is also a true picture of "happily married" being an oxymoron].
I bet, that most guys can't stand GONE.. unless it was about stealing cars and had Angelina Jolie in it. Katie Scarlett O'hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler(vivien leigh) is a southern belle who wants to seriously compete with Elizabeth Taylor in the maximum number of failed marriages a person can have.
Not really.
Scarlett is a person who will do anything to get what she wants. She has no qualms or guilty feelings when she marries Charlie to spite Ashley, or steals Frank from her own younger sister so she can take his money to pay taxes on her estate. When Rhett(Clark Gable), that rascally scallywag, who is of the type that can only appeal to you in books, suggests that she take up a position as his mistress as he is not 'the marrying type' (which again is appreciable in a straight man only in books), she actually wants takes up that offer when she is in need of money without much of a conflict with her non-existant consience. Scarlett is one reckless anti-heroine; if there is such a thing, afterall women need not be goody-two-shoes all the time. So that is her appeal.
If there be one really loathsome character who you want to slap its Ashly hamilton without a single shred of doubt. He is a really pathetic creature who wants to be loyal to his sweet wife, Melanie(Olivia De havilland) when she is around and wants to kissy-kissy with Scarlett when she is about him.
In between there is a picture of life during civil war and Scarlett re-deems her bad impression with the readers by heading her broken household and running the show, taking care of her sisters, servants, old senile father and Melanie & Beau (the baby she helped deliver).
So this ideal woman, having married once for spite and once for money decides to marry Rhett butler with cynical thoughts on his offer of 'marrying for fun' which she rightly believes exists only for the men. she has a daughter with him, the beautiful Bonnie Blue Butler (when wheedling Wade and sickly Elle are the products of her previous two marriages are completely cut off from the movie entirely) who dies the same way her Pa did, by falling off the horse trying to jump the hedge. This move entirely separates the Butler couple who already have many issues like the wife's 'mental infidelity' with Ashley who is 'technically loyal' still to Melanie and Scarlett's miscarriage that was caused by Rhett's mean insults. In the end, Melanie who has been the only woman admired by Rhett and the only soul who doesnt believe that Scarlett is out to get her husband Ashley, dies and at that point, after some contemplation, Scarlett gets enlightened with the fact that she loves and wants to live all her life with Rhett and not Ashley as she has wrongly thought all these years.
Famously Rhett says "frankly my dear, I dont give a damn" to her entreaties to work on their relationship and walks away.

Brinda gave me the book written by Margret Mitchell, when we were in School.
And there was this other girl Shalini with whom I discussed, researched and concluded that Rhett was Scorpio and Scarlett Aries (the latter part of the result irritated Brinda for a bit, but she took it sportingly in the end as it was not meant for being taken personally by her).

So was buying the original VCD of "Gone with the wind" akin to throwing the money into the wind?
Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn either,