Friday, June 30, 2006

It's not a good idea to be loyal to your blog. If you inadvertently set an agenda (that is blogged) and have a change of heart later, you really wish better sense had prevailed earlier.
  • I stuck to the plan of Doing it, but only at 11:49 pm! And that too for just 5 mins only to stay true to my word.
  • I didn't cook the Chinese, at least not until it was past midnight (so it was technically the next day)!

Clever workarounds, though I had to cheat!

Something I figured

Good writers aren’t necessarily those with a more refined stream-of-thought. They’re simply those with above-average time to kill!

Agenda for tonight

  • Doing it
  • Downloading lost music
  • Not cooking the Chinese

Nothing to post...so here's the fillip (courtesy Sulekha)

Dear Deepanjan Nag,
We are glad to inform you that Sulekha Blogs Team has identified you as one of our most prolific and valuable bloggers. We read your articles which were really worth to read. We send this mail across to let you know that your blog had been viewed “793” times in the month of May.
We read your article especially "Doing it" which was really good.
Sulekha community wishes you all the very best and hopes to see more of your articles in the days to come.

Warm Regards,
Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx
Sulekha Blogs Team

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A fortnight's work gets ruined

I had been downloading music off the Net for the past 2 weeks and tonight I was close to getting my CD ready. Alas, when the job was nearing completion, the CD writer (there must be something buggy about it) completely ruined it and now my CD is unreadable! Should not have copied the final batch of songs!

It's my 3rd CD to be ruined like this and I'm sure there's a physical defect with the CD writer. I'm starting from scratch. Gotta download all those songs yet again. My patience is being tried.

The Checks

I checked, double checked and triple checked the key on my way out this morning, just to make sure even Houdini couldn't escape with it without my knowledge. The recent experience has shaken me up bad and now I'm really paranoid. I'm inching towards obsessive-compulsive disorder!
Gotta learn the nuances of writing formal emails (that's almost an oxymoron!). Corporate ways can sometimes be too stifling for my liking.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I feel @ home!

Because I am @ home!
7:15 pm, that's when I entered my until-now inaccessible room. It's such a relief!

Reading

It's high time I got into the habit of reading books as voraciously as I did as a child. Dad's no more and I have no more tantrums to throw to procure a book. I remember how excited I would get whenever I could lay my hands on a new book. I wonder what happened to the magical feeling that would overcome me.

Consulting the dictionary is also something I must get used to. Well, at least on this front I'm exactly as I always was: too lazy to consult someone (rarely helpful) or something (like a dictionary or thesaurus, both very useful).
Microsoft Corp. has launched an online preview of its new Office 2007.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Key to Misery

The day began ominously with a new bus being pressed into service to take us to office. I was oblivious to the change and made fun of the dilapidated thing when it approached our stop, little knowing that I would soon have to suffer the ignominy of boarding it! It looked like a pre-historic bus and the fact that it moved at all was a miracle.

My office bag's zipper was malfunctioning for the past few days and this morning it finally gave way when the sliding tab came off from one of the sides, which left the pocket that contained my pens and key precariously open.

What transpired at work remains off limits from my blog but I can let my readers in on one fact: I didn't use Firefox the whole day for the first time in a long while! Some achievement!

Anyway, it was while returning home at 8:30 pm that I thought of probing my bag for the house key. I was aghast to find that it was missing! Searched every inch of my bag, my pockets, my memory...my everything! As ill luck would have it, Santosh had left for Jhanjharpur (via Ranchi) last Friday and he had taken the other key to my house with him! All sinister forces was striking me at once!

Phoned Manilal at home to learn if I had absentmindedly left my key in the keyhole. No, I hadn't. Desperation was reaching a peak since I had no way of entering my room without it. Reached home to learn if Mani & friends had discovered my key which I may have dropped on my way out of my room in the morning. Again got a negative reply.

Contacted my landlord for a spare key even though I knew he didn't. I wasn't wrong. My only choice was to somehow contact Santosh (wherever he was) and ask him to courier me his key. Mani discovered his father's number after a prolonged and excruciating probe. Called him up only to learn that Santosh still in Ranchi at his uncle's place. Took down the number, called up and finally managed to contact the man of the hour!

After reciting the miserable turn of events, I asked him to send me his key at once. I wonder how long the courier will take to reach me. Maybe 4 days at least. Anyway, I sought refuge at Mani's place. Mantu offered to get hold of someone the next morning who could make a duplicate key. I hope the plan realizes.

I have no access to my bed, my pillow, my documents, my clothes, my slippers, my computer, my everything. I don't know how I'll survive.
Ravi Rajesh (the brand new groom) is back in office! I'm hoping to get the snaps as soon as possible.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Red Ants & Rubber Bands

Rubber bands are seemingly unknown to the city of Bangalore. Whenever I mention the name, shop attendants look quizzically at me - as if I had asked for Tritium Oxide for a nuclear plant in Pakistan!

I'm sick of ants coming uninvited to my room and invading anything and everything edible. Last night I had instant noodles seasoned with countless ants...all because I had no way of sealing the pouch. I guess red ants are tasteless.

This is the workaround I hope to implement tonight: I'll use the recently-retired pressure cooker to contain the noodles.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

It's back to instant noodles for me! I didn't learn any cooking from Santosh.
Finally got the tap fixed.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Teamwork Workshop

It was fun. It was participative. It was interactive. It allowed me to stay away from the computer (not entirely) for a day.

The workshop began at 9:30 am and we had our initial round of introductions-but with a twist. We were given 10 minutes to choose someone from the participants, get to know him better, and then assume his identity while introducing ourselves! Donning the identity of a stranger while introducing myself (as him) was a great novelty. I chose the guy sitting next to me (& vice versa) since we had already broken the ice . My partner was a man of few words and I really had to work hard to add bulk to my (actually his) personality! Stage fright is what afflicts me deep but I somehow managed to get through the work at hand before my partner began his part of the job. The bugger made me look like a hollow can with no identity! All forgiven!

The workshop was conducted by a guy named Sudhir and the way he carried himself was very impressive. We were 17 participants and three teams were formed based on our respective birthdays. My team had too many people and guess who had to be banished to another team to balance the headcount? Me, of course! I wasn't really happy about this manipulation since my original team had a pretty chick I hoped to get acquainted with better during the course of our teamwork. The divine conspiracy does it again!

There were a lot of events to accentuate the facets and nuances of a good team. The teams had to compete against each other and we had to suffer the ignominy of being the worst team in all (except 1, in which we were joint leaders) the events! We suffered the volley of insults with stoic grins! I'll recall two such events without going into a lengthy discourse on why they were conducted.

One event consisted of creating elephants out of newspapers, individually first and then as a team. As individuals, our elephants weren't too bad. Some tried a mix of folding and cutting the paper while I simply resorted to cutting. I'm glad to say my elephant was a remarkable replica of the real one, even though it had an overextended trunk- which was conveniently cut to size later. The team elephant proved to be a big embarrassment. One condition was that it had to be 3-dimentional, so my shortcut wouldn't apply here. Multiple ideas sprung up and each spawned a prototype half-built-and-then-abandoned elephant.

We couldn't arrive at a consensus and decided to rely on improvisations to break the deadlock. The folding and cutting began and so did the innovation. The body of our beloved elephant consisted of a hollow roll of paper. The hind-end was being folded when we realized we needed to stuff the stomach. We decided to do it by squeezing an earlier-abandoned elephant through its anus. Reverse child-birth! While the stuffing was being done, we realized the trunk of the 'baby' elephant could be used as the tail of the new one. So the trunk was kept dangling outside. To some, it looked too prominent for a tail, so why not reverse sides and flaunt the tail as the trunk, especially when we hadn't come up with any ideas for the fore-end? Sides were finally switched, although confusion lingered right till the end! So there we finally had a headless, limbless and tailless elephant. One of the guys sympathized with our severely debilitated pet and set about crafting legs for it. The limbs were created but couldn't be grafted to the underbelly. That's when we gave up. Our creature looked hideous and didn't even remotely resemble any life-form we had ever come across. In fact, many of our abandoned elephants looked better!

The other event involved creating a tower using straws and nothing else. And the tower had to stand for at least 30 seconds. I assumed the role of a challenger, shooting down all the ridiculous ideas my teammates came up with. They did finally zero-in on something that looked most unfeasible. Have you ever seen a tower with a broad apex and tapering base? Well, I'm sure there are enough of them but replicating such engineering marvels with straws is ridiculous. Our tower was never completed and whatever little we accomplished by way of experiments looked simply like what they originally were: straws strewn across! The winning team's tower was a beauty. It stood tall not just for the stipulated 30 seconds but for the rest of the workshop. It stooped, it tilted, but it never fell! Damn, what was wrong with us? Would our miseries ever come to an end?

Guess what, both the other teams were successful in the above-mentioned events. There were more events and more humiliation to follow. I couldn't help recalling participating in a similar workshop in August last year. My team (different from the current one) was the winner in all the events then. Consistency hadn't been lost, although we were on the wrong side of the outcome this time!
Santosh left for Ranchi early this morning.
I'm attending a day-long training session today and so will not get much access to the Net (except for now!). I'll provide a dissertation if it's worth the effort.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Yahoo! Messenger 8 (BETA) is awesome! The browser has been virtually rendered redundant by the plug-ins!

Mumbai's Reputation

According to a recent finding by Reader's Digest, Mumbai is the world's rudest city. I'm not surprised.

I'm in Bangalore and this is something I get to watch each morning while coming to office via the shuttle. People occupying the seats generally prefer the aisle side and refuse to move or make way for those standing to get a place. They use an age-old trick: look somewhere else and pretend to be oblivious of the poor guy. Better still, close your eyes! Only when the standing fellow pleads does the other guy consent to let him sit. Cheap mentality.

It's not that we are lacking only in being courteous. Even civic sense is often available in scarce. A case in point: we use disposable glasses in our office. Seldom have I found people crushing the glasses before putting them into the bin. Consequently, the bin begins to overflow pretty soon and the poor errand boys end up being needlessly overworked.

Mind you, I'm only talking about how the techies behave. Imagine how the less-privileged folks can be!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Another oddity

People generally have a TV but no Net.
I have Net but no TV!
Missing FIFA 2006 real bad!

Rohit calls...

...from Kolkata. Sounded happy about how life's shaping up in Salt Lake. His only gripe seems to be the odd timings. If you work for people strewn all across the globe, your biological clock is screwed hard!

Tuesday goes without a post

Many reasons to justify the drought.

  • I'm really really busy.
  • My daily routine remains stagnant and there's hardly any room for variance.
  • There's no babe in my life. If I had one, I would write about all the sweet nothings. But then again, she would be peeved by our secrets being published. She would dump me and it would be back to square one for me! I'm better off without all the heartaches! (Pretty babes are requested to disregard this argument. I'm all available!)
  • Santosh's lifestyle is as passive as mine. Letting out his little secrets could create a rift, something I can ill-afford.
  • I could write about others, but not without insulting or infuriating them! I've been in trouble way too often for any repetition.
  • I have a flair for desecration. If I spoke my mind, most readers would be peeved. I don't mind that much, but being in the good books of others isn't too bad. The more conservative I get, the more agreeable I try to sound. I don't like this change but I guess life is one long process of evolution.
  • My memory is highly volatile. I conceive so many ideas in my head, but when it's time to write...memory fails me! It's a culprit I'll never forgive!
  • Sleeping and working consumes most of my time. There's not much of life beyond that.

Life has hit a new low. Proof? Even Rhymer's complaining! And that's a milestone, right?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Keyless

Forgot my key at home. So when I came back from office at 7:30 pm, I was stranded for more than 3 hours in the terrace!

Waiting for Santosh to return has often been a test of patience and tonight was no exception. What he does all day when out of home is a mystery to us all. We've given up on unravelling the mystery though we definitely have some clues!

The cooking began at 11 and...

June 20th

...we had dinner (does it officially qualify for dinner after midnight?) after 1 in the morning. Went to bed at 2.

Adios, ICQ


Did you ever fall in love with a number? I did, with my ICQ number-210261840. I fondly recall how flaunting an ICQ number had become a fad and a sure symbol of geekdom in Pune. If you didn't have an ICQ number, you were an outcast! The lesser mortals could go play with Yahoo! or MSN IM.

Those days are long gone. I obstinately stuck to ICQ even when AOL did everything in its power to ruin this marvelous product. Luckily, they did make ICQ interoperable with AIM, something that facilitated in my remaining loyal to it even when all my colleagues used AIM. Each time someone asked for my AIM id, I supplied a long numeric id! Stumped everyone without fail!

Alas, there's only so far I can go. ICQ has been gradually stripped of its powers while AIM is being increasingly laden with new ones. I've finally decided to relinquish ICQ for good in favor of AIM. My AIM id (old id but new usage) is deepanjannag. Damn, I've lost my exclusivity!

Addendum: I'll keep my ICQ id alive as long as possible.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Backlog

Procrastination happens to my hallmark. Weekends are meant to clear the piling backlogs, but I'm too lazy to do that. You see, it's simply against my holiness! I was supposed to clear a whole ton of pending work, and I managed to do only one: cleaning a heapful of clothes!

What remains undone:
  • Filling the tax papers.
  • Doing an employee referral for a friend's friend
  • Blogging on some issues
  • Reading a book
  • Academia stuff
  • Getting our tap mended
  • ...(some forgotten stuff)

The one thing that I did (washing clothes) had to be stretched over a period of two days. Result: a shirt now carries patches of green from the color that bled from another because they were left in the same bucket for 24 hours! Something of this sort had happened a few months ago.

I desperately need a remedy for my lethargy. Are there pills available?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fish Fish Fish

Had fish after a gap of 4 months! Santosh went on a 5 hr crusade to search for fish and didn't give up before succeeding! He went out at 6 in the evening and came back only at 11. The cooking was over only at 12:30 this morning! It was well worth the wait!

Need I add it was delicious?!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Volatile Memory

I really suck at recalling names. This has posed serious problems for me ever since I came to the new bay. So many people gradually trickling into my professional life, yet I can manage to recall only a handful of names. Many people know me by name, but the reverse is generally not true.

The tags hardly help. The writing is too tiny to be legible from afar. What could be the possible solution? I guess people should stick post-its on their foreheads with their names written in bold using the largest fitting font.

I wouldn't suggest tattoo as it would be unreasonable to expect them to undergo such pains just because of my handicap. But post-its...they can try it for my sake.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Have been very busy over the last couple of days and blogging has taken the backseat. Will try to make up for it over the weekend.

When work begins to bog you, mental ramblings become its first casualty. I hate not having time to introspect.

Ah, I heard an iPod Shuffle today in the office. Maybe the recording was poor, but what I heard didn't impress me.
The date's fixed. Santosh leaves on the 23rd for Ranchi.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mantu's back from his New Delhi jaunt.

Mera Bharat Mahaan (A TOI Report)

The Madhya Pradesh government has removed several poems from the primary school syllabus, including the famous nursery rhyme, "twinkle twinkle little star...", saying it was an attempt to reduce 'Western influence' on children. "The changes have been made in the syllabus of standard one and four. Attempts were made to include poems that reflect nationalism and culture, instead of those having Western influence," State School Education Minister Narottam Mishra said on Tuesday.

To a query, he said the rhyme "twinkle twinkle little star..." was also removed from the course as it carried an 'aura of Western culture.' "We have got better rhymes that will inculcate patriotism among the children. There was no reason to hold on to the Western ones," he added.


Now let me get this straight. If a child innocently looks up at a twinkling star in wonderment, he is westernized?!!! How come? How do you detoxify such an imp who wonders? I guess you teach him sacred Vedic hymns to ward off the feeling of awe!

Wow! If you wanna see an entire civilization thriving under supreme political ludicrity, just visit India! And don't you dare wonder how we manage to survive. Wondering is just too westernized a concept to be allowed here!

Words of pragmatism

Never try to wipe anything off your trousers with toilet paper. It'll leave a stain worse than the original. Use a handkerchief instead.

Crab Nebula (in Taurus)

I remember falling in love with the Crab Nebula when I read about it in a book by Ian Ridpath. Taurus, though, was interesting to me only because of its proximity to the stunningly beautiful Pleiades group of newborn stars, easily visible to the naked eye.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Leaker

I've been monitoring the Firefox leaks for the past few days, and boy...does it leak! Firefox is especially vulnerable to some sites, including the venerable Yahoo! Even cheap buckets don't leak like this!

Addendum: Another leak occured as soon as I uploaded the companion image!
Just what Santosh needed.
Rhymer's back!

The Trip

Santosh is busy these days scouring the web for his imminent trans-India tour, Mumbai receiving special attention since he'll stay at his brother-in-law's place there for a week. This'll be his first trip to India's commercial capital, something that has got him both excited and anxious at the same time.

Let's face it, Mumbai has gained a lot of notoriety over the Indian populace because of the ways of its ruffians. Bollywood portrayals of these streetsmart people-though exaggerated sometimes-isn't too far from the truth. Country bumpkins are known to have been duped of their money and belongings on innumerable occasions. You have entire movies revolving around how the hoodlums make a living out of their shady ways.

Anyway, Santosh is using the Net to its fullest to prepare himself for the trip. Google Maps, Google Web Search, Google Image Search, blog accounts of city sojourns, Wikipedia entries, photos of landmarks, train routes, et al have been probed, researched and documented.

Everything's still in the planning stage and the exact date of journey hasn't been fixed yet.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Why are people so crazy about Orkut? I hardly find it alluring. People login just to enter crap scraps, say hi to random guys, forcefully add them as friends and read through their messages. That's hardly appealing to me.

If social networking is the big idea here, why not try MySpace and Yahoo! 360?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Watched part of the England-Paraguay 2006 FIFA World Cup match on the Internet via BBC. I love the way the media behemoth is taking to Web 2.0.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Untamed Decibels

Indian vehicles are so horny, they literally blow you away! The constant honking makes me go mad. Why is the horn blown meaninglessly even when the vehicle ahead is helplessly stranded in a jam? Rest assured, if only a solitary vehicle was allowed to honk, you could hear it from a mile away! There are no rules or regulations restricting the noise level of these horns; if there are, they're either just not implemented or way too liberal with the limitations.

The blaring is used rather indiscriminately and no one seems to mind, which shouldn't really be surprising since we are a stone deaf people-never bothering to listen to others. A mild horn would be tantamount to persuasion, preposterous by our rustic and nonchalant standards. So the easy and more efficacious method is used: just allow the sonic booms to blast away anything that lies ahead! Works like ultrasonic mosquito repellents, although we're gradually developing immunity!
Phoned Mr and Mrs Raddi this morning. They're travelling to UK in July to be with Shrirang bhaiya for two months. Uncle's tabla sessions are still in abeyance!

It'll be so nice to meet them once I'm in Pune!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Nilotpal leaves for his hometown tonight for a fortnight.

Troy Ploy

Serendipity happens to be one of the perks of having a computer network at home, something I've seldom come across because of my vastly different tastes and inclinations. I've rarely bothered to browse thru the shared folders on Mani's and Anand's computers; and each time I do, I hardly discover anything new other than the odd Hindi movie.

But the occasional surprises do spring up, thanks to Santosh getting into the snooping act! So it was, when at 12:45 this morning I discovered-much to my delight-the Hollywood movie Troy. Now I was supposed to get up in exactly 6 hrs, but temptations are hard to resist, especially when you seldom chance upon such movies.

I at once began watching the movie, although I wished we had discovered it a few hours ago. It was getting late and I was becoming increasingly worried about getting up on time in the morning. Needless to say, I found the movie thoroughly relishing and that egged me on.

A timely intervention came when the first movie file was over and it was time to load the second. It was also high time I went off to sleep since it was nearing 2. Decided to put off watching the second-half until after I came back from office. A timely decision!

I have my alarm set for 0645 hrs each morning, and this morning when I woke up (inspite of lacking in sleep) to its chimes, I decided to snooze a little, maybe 5 mins-I thought. Yeah, I snoozed all right...but for a longer duration! When I woke up with a start, I realized to my horror that it was 7:30!

For a moment, I thought of giving up since the situation was hopeless. Time to miss the bus again-I reckoned. But then I realized how indispensable I had suddenly become to the IT industry. The responsibilities, the expectations and the impending adulations to be heaped upon me were too much to be ignored. I couldn't betray my fellow techies lest the fledgling Indian software industry collapse.

So I sprang into action and got ready in record time-20 minutes flat! I didn't even know I had such hidden talents! Anyway, I successfully made up for lost time and dashed for the bus stop. Made it just in time!

I went on to work like an ass from 9 AM to 8:30 PM. Hey, whatever happened to all the adulation I was expecting?! Sigh, it's a thankless job. Came back home depleted and dozy. Watched the remaining part of the movie. It was definitely worth a watch.

Blogger.com...

...has drawn a lot of flak of late from blogosphere due to its servers being down for maintenance for extended periods of time. I'll echo the discontent.

Google has been guilty of neglecting Blogger, which is strange since all the major players have joined the fray and are increasingly adding goodies to their blogging services, the most significant being its seamless integration with social networking-a natural extension. My initial enthusiasm (when Google had bought Pyra Labs) has given way to disappointment.

You feel especially frustrated when you type a long post only to realize that it can't be published because the servers are down. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! If bells-&-whistles can't be added, at least the servers can be maintained better. I had never once regretted using Blogger.com as my tool of choice...until now.

Maybe Pyra Labs should have remained independent.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Little to write
More to gripe
Wish it ends
In one clean swipe

Just when I thought the world was hard of hearing...

...IBN comes snooping into my blog!
I just got my first breaking news on my mobile.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Got my Google Spreadsheet!
Will use it as an expense manager.
Alluring, isn't it? I fell for it exactly a week ago and supplied my mobile id, got the confirmation code, fed it, got final confirmation and waited eagerly for Breaking News.

No news has been 'broken' till now. I guess it was just a ploy to collect mobile numbers to be spammed with junk messages and advertisements in the future.
Damn! Missed my 1820 hrs bus...again by a whisker.

Questionnaire for my regular readers

  • How often do you visit my blog?
  • What do you like/dislike about it?
  • What would you like to see more/less of?
  • Is the page layout simple enough?
  • Any anomalies/irritants?
  • How would you rank the general quality of content?
  • Has my blog infringed on the privacy of others?
  • Should the content be more radical/conservative?
  • What can be done to improve the overall quality?

You don't have to answer them individually. Just a summary would suffice.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Late Late Late

Our meeting slipped past its scheduled period and I ended up missing my 1820 hrs bus. Ruing was an option I decided not to exercise, and I ended up spending another 2 hrs in office doing nothing. When it was finally time to leave, I took the wrong bus! Luckily, its route wasn’t too different from the one I was supposed to take. Landed up in Jayanagar from where I walked back home, although I wasn’t really sure of the way. Instinct made me traverse whatever lied ahead and though my sense of direction is generally very poor, it didn’t fail me this time. Lucky me, since it was already late and after a bad experience, I was wary of walking alone in Bangalore at night, especially through deserted and dimly lit streets.

On my way I thought about how little I knew of places that weren’t really too far from home. Whatever little I knew came mostly by way of similar experiences when I was lost and had to somehow find my way out! Reached home at 2145 hrs. Santosh was out under some pretext (I really don’t care about the alibis anymore) and reappeared after a long wait. I browsed the web for a few hours.
--------------------------------------------------------

7th June

Had dinner at 0100 hrs and went to bed at 0145 hrs. Santosh & I discussed how constructive contributing to Wikipedia could be and how it could serve as a specialized form of social networking. I agreed.

Woke up at 0645 hrs for office.

The Errors

It’s a habit I carry from my school days…never reviewing my work before submission. So when I sat down to finally give Bollywood Romance a hard read, I discovered glaring errors, much to my chagrin. Simple words were misspelt or forgotten altogether, grammar was faulty, punctuations were missed or oversupplied…the list is long. I did some repair work, but I’m sure flaws still remain. Blogs (even mine) bore me to death, and that’s why revising before finally posting is such a tall order. Long posts are the worst culprits; they put me to sleep by the time I'm halfway through! Is there a solution to the problem?

Monday, June 05, 2006

My blog entry 'Bollywood Romance' has been showcased in the Featured Blog Entries on Sulekha Blogs.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bollywood Romance

Not long ago, Doordarshan was the state-rationed television station monopoly we were all grateful for for being streamed steadily into our living rooms. Channel surfing wasn't the epidemic it is today. In fact, we didn't have to switch channels at all since we had only 1. Most TV's were without remotes. Those that flaunted them were endlessly praised to the skies by their proud owners. I recoiled in envy.

The broadcast and content quality were pathetic. Nevertheless, since entertainment in India had already become synonymous with Bollywood, we were regularly fed with a supply of Hindi flicks from tinseltown on weekends (only Sundays initially). I hated them, but had no option but to watch since we really didn't have any other source of entertainment, except the valve-driven radio. Well, watching movies on TV wasn't nearly as torturous as studying...and I would do anything to stay away from academia!

Bollywood baffled me. Still does. It was always the same old story enacted by a new set of players, same old setup facelifted by new locales and same old rhythms thumped by new percussions. The script remained basically the same, only the plot changed course marginally to accommodate and retain some attention from the audience. There was always a handsome hero who had no career to boot but who could woo any woman by his singing skills and natural histrionics. Of course he didn't exploit his talents, they were reserved exclusively for his heroine!

There was always a pretty heroine customized for our hero. Our heroine would be the quintessential embodiment of the perfect Indian woman, with a flood in her eyes and drought in her genitalia. All this changed whenever she was in close proximity with her soulmate.Needless to say, she had spent all these years fiercely preserving her virginity for her yet-to-be-discovered beau. Her singing skills would always be at par with that of the hero. They would sing love duets in the course of which tall promises of belonging to each other would be made. Endless love, that's what they kept promising each other through countless iterations. And since Indians value chastity above all, it went without saying that this was the first and last love affair of our leads. There could be no question of adultery or admiration for someone else.

I found such scripts utterly unfathomable. What could possibly motivate a guy & gal to run around trees and sing? Didn't they have anything better to do, I thought. Get a life, folks! What could be so interesting about a pretty lass who had a frozen smile on her face each time she spotted her guy, heaving her ample bosoms to accentuate her feminity? Why would such abnormal behavior cause endless distress to the villain? Feminine touch was revolting. How could the hero possibly find it interesting? Yuck!

The villain's primary role was to create hurdles where there were none in connivance with miscellaneous characters, so as to lengthen the plot as much as possible. Our villain was employed full time by sinister forces to ruining the fledgling romance. Assisting him inadvertantly in his plot were the innocent but gullible parents of our leads. If this didn't look convincing enough, a vamp would also manage to make an entry out of nowhere. Her mainstay lied in adding detail to the dilemma, er...flashing her larger-than-life assets at our infallible hero. Siding with the villain was second nature to her, her skimpy outfits and slutty looks were enough to infuse interest into those who found the heroine too vanilla for their perverted liking. What interest she could possibly have in disrupting the almost-established romance of our pair remained a mystery till the very end.

Of course, life wasn't all work. A comedian was thrown in for good measure. Our funny man provided the otherwise grave plot the much needed comic relief through his antics. He was an individual who was fed almost entirely on a healthy supply of laughing gas. Ya, it was nice having him around.

Well, how did the story end? This was where the audience was kept guessing. If the sinister schemes fell apart and ultimately triumphed upon, our hero would marry his lady, the natural culmination of a perfect love story. If the hurdles were insurmountable, out pair would commit suicide, leaving many folks amongst the audience heartbroken and teary eyed. Since loyalty of the audience was easily won by onscreen melodrama of the leads, the emotional wrecks would find drastic ends hard to digest. And since most folks didn't like their sides to lose the battle of love, a majority of the movies could only afford a happy ending.

Escaping Bollywood in India is like escaping sand in the desert...it's impossible. Since I had never seen people in real-life replicating the meaningless actions of Indian flicks, I inferred Bollywood must be a great departure from reality. I wasn't entirely wrong. I drew the conclusion that romantic love must be an entity integral and proprietary to tinseltown, a figmented emotion around which countless but nonsensical plots were meant to be woven.

My views on love were to drastically change in the years that lay ahead.

Sunday Sullenday

No electricity for over 9 hours.
No water supply for 9 hours. Luckily, I had stocked some early in the morning.
No fan for 9 hours. Luckily, the weather is cool.
No computer for 9 hours.
No Internet for 9 hours.

That pretty much sums up today.
The water in this high-tech city is so polluted, most residents have taken to buying it from other sources. Hopefully these alternatives maintain better quality.

Thought of doing some serious blogging. Had to defer by a week.

Guess what, Bangalore is one of India's most pampered, privileged and preferred cities. Way to go!

Friday, June 02, 2006

A testimonial

Dear Deepanjan Nag,
I can imagine Vikram Seth's suitable boy is quite addictive and really is a page turner. But nevertheless your post did keep me guessing till the end what you meant by 'Doing It". Quite an interesting way to develop a story and a very creative way to keep the reader hooked like I was. You dont have to worry about people going to another blog after reading the first few lines of yours. They are not going any where. Do keep blogging such interesting articles with us Deepanjan. They are interesting and out of the box.

Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx
Sulekha Blogs Team
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I had almost forgotten how it felt like to be praised!
The sender's name has been removed to preserve her privacy.

Insulted?

I'm usually in an upbeat mood on Fridays. Not this time.

I've taken great pains to see to it that no one is hurt by my outspoken posts. Sure enough, I've had to cut down heavily on the posts I would have otherwise published. Unfortunately, there's only so much I can do.

Some folks have now taken offence to a recent post of mine. Really, I've been taken aback by their disposition towards something that wouldn't be deemed even remotely offensive by sensible people. I wonder by what stretch of imagination have these folks become so upset by the message that wasn't meant to be anything more than a friendly joke.

What's worse is that these guys couldn't even dare to confront me on the issue that's ostensibly bugging them no end. Instead, they cribbed about it and exhibited their gaping wounds to someone else in the high hopes that news would seep in and I would take pity on their tender selves! The biggest problem with these guys is their limited understanding of the English language. Having lacked a decent learning, they often take things at face value. Very egregious.

Folks, wake up and broaden your horizon. Look beyond the limited confines of your lives and try to assimilate a diversity of opinion. And learn to take a joke sportingly when you come across one. Until that happens, I would be grateful if you could give my blog a miss. It's really a humiliation having semi-literate and narrow-minded people going through it.

Prasant Calls

Prasant called from Hyderabad. The bugger, understandably enough, is feeling lonely without friends. It had rained recently and the clime (otherwise pretty horrid) resembles that of Bangalore.

He's presently putting up with a few college buddies. Work, well, he'll have to do it in shifts.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Anish is back in office after his dad's sad demise. I can well feel his pain. Just hope his folks and he can have the strength to see them throught these difficult times.
Rhymer's leaving for home on the 3rd for a week to get engaged on the 8th! I'm happy for her...only for her!
Wishing her all the best!

(Comments for this post are being disabled. Hope my readers will pardon me for the curb.)

Pune!

The Pune facility of our firm has been launched! I'm counting my days!