Saturday, February 26, 2005

To what purpose…

There are some truly humbling experiences in life. Some really unnecessary ones.
Just when you begin to get the complacent warm feeling of being needed at work, when you are being asked to learn things, do things and discuss things, suddenly from the blue, pops out a sitch that demands that you draw up a marketing strategy to sell yourself (in a very legal sense of the phrase).
A statement of purpose asks you questions that cannot be given researched or tabulated readings or straight answers, like-
Describe your job responsibilities and accomplishments
Why you want further education?

There is no right or wrong answer here.
Just ones that leave you feeling happy and those that require some help from St.Lamentine or the angels from the Bacardi company or both.

If I could really write what I want to on the statement of purpose…I am sure that I will not even be considered for originality, still, if I could do it, this is what I would say:
Can consume up to 4 liters of legally addictive stimulants (read coffee) per day and have the sobriety to carry on routine tasks without needing to regurgitate.
Can laugh as much at self as at other people.
Can reel out every dialogue of the Matrix and Godfather.
Has read the Lord of the rings trilogy atleast 45 times and will continue to re-read them.

How about saving the world? Then I have to change, in time for office, to my alter ego of a meek, mild mannered girl engineer who is:
In-charge of keeping Xeroxed printouts in each place before each meeting and also sharpening the entire team’s pencils,
supplying Sardarji jokes to all those down and out,
Contributing prominently to the discussion forum on books and movies,
Deleting the zillion forwards that come in and make that one all important mail from boss to bounce due to lack of space…(isn’t it ironic?…don’t you think?)
Playing the sarali tunes on flute to ensure movement of people away from the place of performance…etc.

Why do you want to study?
Why the hell not?
Why go to the moon or climb mountains…how about, I want to do it…because I want to? That is my honest answer.

If anyone thinks that they can judge me by my answers to three very pointless questions, they had better have another think coming, real fast.
Oh, it'll take a little time,
Might take a little crime
To come undone now
We'll try to stay blind
To the hope and fear outside
Hey child, stay wilder than the wind
And blow me in to cry
Who do you need, who do you love
When you come undone?

PS: USA, get ready to welcome Mrs.B, who in all probability will rock your world ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Block

St. Lamentine’s phone has been ringing non-stop and there is a good reason why she would be worked to exhaustion today. I complained that I got bloggers block, little did I know that I shouldn’t have used the word ‘block’ so lightly.
The exact magnitude of the word was explained to me by the set of events that has left the most brilliant resources of the Chennai IT industry sun tanning themselves just a few yards away from the office….
Tsunami formed a very persuasive reason for the slum dwellers of the marina coast to shift to the slum clearance board flats in thoraipakkam which is the start of the stretch of OMR (Ol’ Mahabalipuram Road) that houses software giants and pygmies one after the other all the way up to pondicherry.
But these city workers get just 2 buses going away from their present location back into the city…. a pittance for a force of 20000 people that have moved here.
Also for this last week, there has been no water or electricity for them. So they did what any desperate mob would do, hit where it hurts most.
As a result the artery to the IT offices has been blocked and the buses and vans stand paralyzed. The sardonic crowd says that this problem of getting to work and schools on time is something they are being made to face everyday and that they want the ‘upper classes’ (us IT guys) to walk in their shoes for just a day and see their pain.
Facing the undercurrent of the riots breaking out anytime many stayed back in the buses, venturing out only to the roadside shops to buy soft drinks and biscuits. But the plucky ones (like me) took the alternate route by the small alleyways that run parallel to the main road and reach the office now. The crowd of the protesters has now marked even that and I count myself as being lucky to have escaped the intimidation of a physical assault from the mob if anyone tries to get past them on the way to office.
“Call the collector to talk to us and we’ll let you pass”, they say,
“Call the Chief Minister to hear our case”.
All the administrative offices of the IT companies are no doubt in touch with the secretariat for a long time since the day broke. Mission Accomplished.
In all, if I were a protestor, I would call this a very clever and efficient way to attract attention to my cause.
The ‘sit-in’s were very much the 70s way to get things done in America and I am thinking, just like the 70s bell bottoms and the psychedelic colors that are making their way back into current fashion, may be the protesting styles are making a comeback too.
Meanwhile irate IT professionals have been giving St.Lamentine many earfuls since 8 AM, I think she needs resuscitation.
Time to get back to work (worship)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Introducing St.Lamentine

I am going to adhere to a new patron saint of cribbers, St.Lamentine.
She (yes, she is female, as would be anyone with more emotional spectrum than a teacup should be) will feature from time to time, whenever I wish to or anyone with affiliation to my blog wants to, bellyache, cry, scream and protest. She is a average looking girl of average IQ and is unique in between just about average in everything.
Her three miracles are:
She is a bad job and still gets up and goes for it everyday without fuss.
She has no social life and yet has never thought of suicide.
She can listen to other people’s problems and not try to commit homicide.
St.L can be invoked by any sad souls as they like it, and as with all saints, she will get the credit for the ‘miracle’ when the cribbing stops (at least for that specific topic)

I propose this concept around the valentine’s week mainly considering the fact that this kind of celebration is only for those who have love; these people form hardly 1% of the total population under consideration (got after carefully removing the dead, the comatose and the software engineers from the total population).
For the rest, 99% of the social active people, the dead, the comatose and the S/W junta, this week is the melancholy week where the predominant feelings are :
‘Nobody loves me’, ‘where can I find an un-registered gun?’ and ‘please god let me not have to go for the Valentines party with my cousin again…’
There is also a second group of predominant thoughts like:
‘Am I dead?’ ‘Am I comatose’ and ‘Am I closing all the internal loops before I compile the program?’
But these, we shall not take up for now, as they are hardly relevant, except to maybe help identify the schema of people who have them.

Whenever you want to cry out a 20 stanza ballad on the diminishing rainforest, or sing out Alanis Morisette/Sting lines like :
’Its like meeting the man of your dreams and then meeting his Beautiful wife..isn’t it ironic’ or
‘I am always hoping I wont end this way or is it my destiny to be the King of pain’ &
‘Why should I cry for you’
If you leave singing to those who can manage it outside the bathroom, you can go for the plain ol’ ‘whats he got that I aint got ‘ routine when you read the article about the forthcoming Aish-Vivek wedding or even ‘How come ugly ol’ Prince charles gets romance in his life although he is so ancient that Sotheby ought to auction him’ and other such ‘rain-on-the-parade’ train of thoughts.
St Lovey Lamentine is here to spiritually support you through your blue moods. She works with her gentle motto of: Nothing helps a bad mood better than spreading it around. A mantra learnt from that Ultimate Guru-Calvin.
She is the invisible force that sends happy signals to your brain when you enter into a diatribe against the other road users in a huge bout of Road Rage. She is the inner glow you have when you send Hate mails to your friend’s beloved from your friend’s email id or IM chat window. She is that feeling of calm after you have after you dump your trash in the lawn of that annoying neighbor.
She isn’t responsible for the consequences (of course) but she will let you come back to her with a new set of accusations, bitter curses and tears anytime, anywhere.
In the meanwhile, I am doing pretty well. I should too; considering I just invented the most perfect saint for the imperfect.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Bridesmaid Diaries

We were 16 when we decided that when she’d be married, I’d be her bridesmaid.
She did not ask for a vice versa decision because even back then, she had an inkling of the non-nubile single girl I was to become.
Time Passed, she grew up, I remained the same. We went to the same science course at Ethiraj where she topped subjects made notes (that I borrowed) when I was lounging around in the cricket ground (and Boy was I fit then!!)
We both jointly chose to quit that and move on to the professional course in the engineering college. There she topped classes, won scholarships and prizes (sports and extra-curricular) and I made my own notes (an improvement from the previous state).
We laughed, cursed, fought, made up, ran around, won, lost and did the same things in sequences repeatedly. In the end, we had lost a little of the bosom-buddies tag we used to wear. People started to get the fact that we weren’t Twiddle-Dee and Twiddle-Dum and that we weren’t joined at the waist.
We kept in touch though.
And she decided to get married on fine day in December. I couldn’t quite comprehend how generous of heart Brinda was to ask me to return to the fold implicitly. I was so touched that she wanted to share her happiest moments with me.
Knowing that she was to fly off soon to America where her groom was working, I wanted to make best use of the limited time we had together. You know they say that you wont realize the importance of the things you have until they are gone, but you just don’t get it until it actually happens to you.
Yesterday, the most beautiful bride in the whole wide world was married to her Prince Charming. I was a small part of this magnificent occasion.
Thank you for everything, Brinda. You are one very cool babe.
God Bless you.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Lion is King

Yesterday was the impromptu Movie Marathon Night!!
I landed some DVDs and the timelimit till today morning, and boy if my DVD player could would sue me for overworking it!!!
And this is in the ascending order of Watchability, maintainance of Viewer sanity and net worth.

The Lion emerged the King for a variety of reasons.
First it was a cartoon, so that fact notches it up by a few points automatically in my opinion; second, the Songs...each one lovable and each one so relevant.
Sample :
"Hakuna Matata...what a wonderful phrase"- also the great motto; as in, "what the motto with ya..." ok so its funny only for Timon.
"Circle of Life" - A lesson for humans as well as cubs that are about to be Kings.
"And I just cant wait to be king" - just what every kid feels.
and the closing strains of "can you feel the love tonight.." :
Timon (Muskrat)-"And if he falls in love tonight, he may leave us soon. His Happy days with us all history... in short our friend is Dooooooooooooomedd!!"
- self-explanatory. :p
Each and every small and great character is so finely tuned and made unforgettable:
Timon, Pumba, Rafiki, Zazu...these guys are the side kicks, but boy do they have some niche scenes!!
I could re-collect Zazu's mornful song as he is imprisoned by Simba's mean Uncle Scar:
" Nooo body knows the trouble I see....Noooo body knows my sorrow"
it tickles me to death!
The Lion King is for kids of all ages.
and I am a kid for all age...

Monday, February 07, 2005

International Treasure

Ordinarily, I would be the last human in the world to ever recommend a movie starring Nick Cage. The last as in, the aliens-came-and-blasted-everybody-but-spared-me-because I-am-quite-alien-myself, kinda last.
But if that big issue has been sidelined, and so also the other big issue of my blog starting to look like a Philum-review blog, then there must be a good enough reason for it;

It’s a fast paced Da-Vinci like enterprise taken by Ben Franklin Gates(Cage) aided voluntarily by the Computer nerd Riley (who doesn’t get the girl) and not-so-voluntarily by the Director of the National Archives, Dr.Chase (as if they let twenty somethings be that) , in his endeavor.
The quest is to save the Declaration of Independence, which doubles as the invisible treasure map, from falling into the hands of the nefarious (but foxy) Ian Howe (Sean Bean, Boromir of the LOTR, fame).
There is the dollar bills, American national monuments, loads of trivia, the unfinished pyramid with the all seeing eye, gunshots, car chases, hoodlums and the rest of the stuff that makes giving Rs50/- to a theatre, worthwhile.
And the ending is really surprising, the people find the largest treasure ever, the Hero gets the girl and a big house, the nerd gets a Ferrari. No, I was just kidding, its ending not surprising at all.
What is surprising is an old hag like Cage coming out with justice done to this movie. By making it believable that he is a cool guy obsessed with a apparent lost cause.
If you liked Da Vinci Code. Watch this.
(No I am not getting paid for promotion.)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


You know you are old when…
· All your favorite songs come under “Golden Oldies” compilations.
· When the son/daughter of the actor you had a crush on is in the film industry now.
· Young children everywhere call you aunty.
· People look at you strangely if you walk with a balloon in hand and no child accompanying you.
· You used to play outside with other children after school and not go for tuitions and abacus classes until high school.
· People everywhere call you “Amma” or “madam” when you can remember they used to call you “Paapaa” before.
· Sometimes you can’t remember what it is you are supposed to be remembering.
· Cousins look around in your closet to find “retro” clothing.
· You are not allowed to go on the caterpillar ride or climb onto the swings in the park.
· All of your sentences to younger people start with “when I was ….” Or “In my time…”
· You worry about the future of your country.
· You don’t get a hat on your birthday party and your mom won’t allow “Harry Potter” theme.
· You best friend is married and other friends have children.
· Latest heartthrob of the masses is young enough to be a kid-brother.
· Your parents are at the sans eyes, sans teeth…condition.
· You take sick leave when you are actually sick.
· All the characters in the cartoons are old enough to be your kids.
· You love giving advice.
· People never listen to your advice
· You start to use the aphorisms and maxims that you parents used to drive you crazy with.
· You dress like your mother.
· You wonder about the topic: when do I know that I am old?
· You call yourself 23 years young.
· You get jealous of the fact that school kids have cell phones now but you never got it when you were in school. [same goes for DVD players, sony play station and short kurtas]
· You like to say “Children nowadays…” with a disappointed expression and sigh.
· You were alive during the gulf war
· You’ve seen Pope John Paul when he could still move.
· Bridget Jones seems to make sense to you.
· All the best fun you’ve had, happened atleast half a decade ago.
· You are not allowed inside Cul Fests.
· Cops never ask to see your license.
· You wish they would.