Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sundays @ 1930 hrs will never be the same

It's amazing how somethings grow in significance without you even noticing it. I never imagined how addicted I had become to the mostly covert 1930 hrs operation until it ceased to exist. The emptiness was killing me tonight and I wasn't really equipped to handle the situation. My life (personal and professional) was giving me much reason for concern and I was failing miserably to keep from becoming a nervous wreck. The crests and troughs were too wild and everything was beyond my comprehension.

There's now some semblance of sanity and order being gradually infused into my out-of-track life. There's hope. I could drop a live-bomb on my readers if CC's of my personal emails made their way into my vastly placatory blog! For reasons of privacy, I can't disclose them.

Mantu has finally moved in with me and I must say it's a godsend. At least my room is back in order and looks habitable!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mantu Moves In

Mantu moves in with me in a few days. I was just about beginning to enjoy my own space when the decision to share it with the affable Mantu was taken due to budgetary constraints. And I'm absolutely sure I'll have no regrets since he's been extraordinarily amiable and helpful during our period as neighbors.

So I'll now have access to a computer, the Net and cable TV. Howz that for a change!!! I have a lot of Pune snaps to upload from my recent trip. Seems like my blog is getting a new lease of life!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The end of a blog

Deepanjan Nag's Diary, as the world has known it, must come to its end. This doesn't mean there'll be no more posts, there will. But the textual content will be greatly minimized. I would like to keep my blog meaty by keeping it regularly fed with pictures and videos, but without too many means of doing so...the immediate prospects to that effect look rather grim. But things may change and I may revert to full-length posts occasionally.

I guess I've finally run out of steam!

Monday, February 19, 2007

The past few days have been very hectic with immense highs and lows. One thing is for certain: I'm losing interest in blogging.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A period of quiet

My blog will remain silent till next Tuesday.

Memories of a Valentine

There's a song by the title,"My Funny Valentine," though it's not one of my favorites. But it's not music on my mind as I type this post.

I was a student of Fergusson College in those days. Kaushik was my affable roommate and BM was, in a way, our common interest. Not that we were rivals but some healthy competition between Kaushik and me for BM's attention was always on. I was of the opinion that no relationship is entirely romantic or platonic; there's always a mix of the two contrasting emotions. It's only the proportion that defines the overall facet. With that sort of philosophy, it was unlikely that our subtle overtures pertaining to BM would ever turn acrid...and it never did. One event accentuates this.

It was the eve to Valentine's day. I was, as usual, strolling down FC Road when it suddenly became impossible to beat being allured by the blooming roses that had become too ubiquitous for my liking. An excruciatingly sweet smell literally hung in the air. Thinking of BM and and dithering about the roses, I decided to take the plunge and buy the reddest of roses for the pretty lady. I was sure the lady wouldn't mind my audacity.

So a rose was bought, though not with alacrity. I decided to spring a surprise on my Kaushik too by keeping my adventure under wraps. It was getting dark. Kaushik came home and began to fret. He realized that St.Valentine's day was about to strike and he was ill-prepared to welcome its advent. Now it so happened that Nayantara was endowed with a botanical garden of sorts. There were flowers of all shapes and sizes although the rose was conspicuously absent. What a night to feel the void!

Kaushik, the ambidextrous guy that he was, set upon crafting a makeshift flower vase. He, covertly from the landlord under the veil of darkness, plucked a few white flowers and neatly placed them in the beautiful vase that had by now got a facelift on account of its otherwise ugly body being covered by gift wrapping. The transformation was stunning, to put it mildly. Poor soul, we didn't have red flowers in our garden and Kaushik rued this treacherous fact as he went in search of more flowers to add volume to our bouquet. I began to feel a tad guilty for my hidden red rose. So when Kaushik was out once again to hunt for more flowers, I quickly uncovered my prized possession and placed it right at the center of our burgeoning bouquet.

In came Kaushik with a few more white flowers in tow only to experience the shock of his life! I explained and we exchanged mischievous glances! And the great iirony of it all: our lady was completely oblivious of the conspiracy!

So early next morning Kaushik and I sped off on his scooter carrying our priceless bouquet. The innocent lady lady was summoned, she emerged from the comfort of her house and was presented with, what must have been to her, the scoopiest bouquet she had ever received! She was obviously startled and asked us for an explanation. We narrated all the romantic pains and flowery gains, to which BM could only help a big smile. Mission accomplished! I can't recall now if we wished her a happy Valentine's day. Probably we didn't since we thought we had gone far enough for the day.

There was more to follow. We headed for Fergusson College (all of us studied there), only to be stumped when one of Kaushik's female acquaintances wished him,"Hello Bhaiya! Happy Valentine's Day!" BM and I somehow managed to keep a straight face then, but couldn't contain ourselves and started rolling on the floor with laughter at the irony of it all. Kaushik was red-faced with embarrassment!

Months later, BM fondly alluded to our audacious and shameless adventure involving the bouquet. Years have now gone by, but I'm sure the memory of that special Valentine's day remains as fresh in her heart as it is in ours. We remain great pals to this day although we can't afford to be all that adventurous.

Friday, February 09, 2007

My first 'real' dictionary!

Blame lethargy for this. I've rarely bothered to consult the dictionary even though I come across too many words that stump me.

Dad bought me my first dictionary when I was 9, a Bhargava with lots of colored pictures to hold the young mind captive. I brandished it before my friends as proof of my reaching a certain degree of intellectual maturity. After all, only the intellectuals consulted dictionaries. But I reached for my dictionary only to flip through the pages for the lovely pictures and not for meanings.

A few years later, we students were laden with the Orient Longman Dictionary. It was thick, dull, boring and almost without pictured. We were asked to troop all our brainwaves and consult it whenever in need, a directive we unanimously decided to ignore. I had outgrown my first dictionary and consulting the second provided me with no distinct advantage over my peers. So the appendage of a dictionary languished somewhere in my bookshelf, seldom to be consulted.

The third dictionary came my way after a long hiatus, when I was in Pune. It was a Cambridge Dictionary and came in a stunningly attractive red-colored paperback. Though I has seriously looking forward to consult it this time-my stunted vocabulary being a real cause of concern by now- I never got to use it. Still factory-fresh in my cupboard, it was stolen by someone whom I'll not identify here. Anyway, leveling charges without a shred evidence is not justified. Maybe my suspicions are misplaced anyway.

Cut to the present. The Net made the dictionary redundant, well...almost. Still, the good-old dictionary couldn't be done away with entirely. So I made the valiant attempt today at setting things right by buying the ubiquitous and universally trusted Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary on my way back home after work.

Mission accomplished, it was supposed to serve as a companion to A Suitable Boy. Seth's great book is endowed with so many words that throw me into a tailspin that I need some semblance of sanity while sifting through the pages. Yet, my new dictionary lies utilized. Old habits die hard.

Fret not, I'll use the dictionary soon.

A day for travel

Dhyani and Nilotpal are traveling long-distance today.

At last!

Yahoo! has finally built something that I hope to heavily exploit via Google. I guess my favorite site has finally ended its slumber to wake up to the realization that Google is getting far ahead in the race for web dominance.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I managed to download more than 14 Megabytes of data in 14 seconds. That's a speed of 1.05 Mbps!! Amazing...even by corporate standards in India.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sudipa tied the knot tonight.

A new record

Thanks to the roads being sparsely populated, we reached office at 0820hrs today.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ramblings of the mind

The tribunal set up to settle the Cauvery water dispute has reached its verdict and predictably some factions believe they've got a raw deal. Of course, our erudite citizens have the right to be contemptuous of judicial verdicts and the surest way to lengthen any issue of contention is to do some mischief until your grievances are addressed and your antagonist is made to pay the price. It's a vicious cycle and we've somehow learnt to expect mischief each time a protracted dispute comes to its no-one-wins verdict.

It just so happens that Karnataka was at the receiving end of the verdict this time and its share of the prized Cauvery water has been reduced in favor of Tamil Nadu. I don't have the semblance of an idea how jubilant the farmers of our neighboring state are, but Kannadigas are a shell-shocked lot. Going by past records when violence had claimed many lives, people took no chances. Shops downed their shutters as soon as the verdict was delivered, schools and colleges closed for the day and even some IT companies decided to call it a day at around noon.

We left our office premises at the usual hour and I was taken aback to discover that my shuttle was almost full. Had to take a cabin seat and though it was uncomfortable, clear visibility of the road ahead was my reward. Traffic had thinned considerably and jams were nonexistent. A fellow traveller said something about how soon we were would be reaching home, to which I replied,"Yeah, yeah! And just because of water!"

We set an all-time-record. I reached home at 1850 hrs. Even daylight hadn't completed faded by then! On reaching home, I let loose my Calvin-styled imagination power. Aiding me on my portable music player was a beautiful song sung by a Pakistani guy. Now it's difficult to articulate fantasies, especially the fantastic ones...but let me try.

I imagines I was singing the song into the hearts of Pakistanis. They're cheering me, they're crazy about me. The feeling is mutual. I have a Pakistani babe for a wide. She is doe-eyes and auburn haired. I work diligently to bring the masses of India and Pakistan closer. In fact, I spend a lifetime doing just this. I win the Nobel Peace Prize for my efforts, but not before winning the Nobel Prize for Literature years ago! I've won so many Bookers that I've had to adhere to a self-imposed moratorium against being nominated so that other writers could also win. I do my bit in glorifying atheism, which is now being embraced by many across the subcontinent. I'm exceptionally philanthropic and give away all my earnings to the poor and needy. I've voraciously espoused children's education and women's liberation...both of which are issues of grave concern for India and Pakistan. Then I die. The two one-time arch-rival nations declare a week-long mourning. The world media is focussed on yours truly. By the way, I've also been a successful cricketer for the Indian side and have never been out. So impeccable is my record that statisticians had a hard time reconfiguring their tables to accommodate my flawless achievements. The crowning moment of my cricketing career happens when I beat Pakistan (in Pakistan) and then run along the periphery of the ground carrying the Pakistani flag. The crowd is deafeningly noisy and there's a maddening hysteria all around. I tell everyone that I'm as much Pakistani as Indian since I'm nationality agnostic.

What utter humbug!

I return to reality and begin reading articles from Salon, The New York Times and International Herald Tribune. I take a few breaks and reward myself with spoonfuls of Horlicks. I had originally intended to consume it the conventional way, but the chances of that happening seem bleak now. I cook Top Raman and two omelets for dinner.

A 2007 record

I survived 63 hours without accessing the Net! And I'm loving every moment of it!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A visit to Santosh's new home

Mantu was rather insistent and I finally had to relent to biking to Satya's, Mani's and Santosh's new dwelling. We left at around 1100 hrs and reached our destination in less than an hour. Most picturesque site en route: Vidhana Soudha.

I wasn't too happy with their new place. At 2.1K, it was grossly overprices...though not by Bangalore standards. The rooms were tiny, the locality impoverished and unbearably noisy and no water supply yet. Still, it was closer to their new office and we all know how desperate work can make us!

Had mutton curry for lunch even though Mani was still forced to austerely adhere to is vegetarian diet. Clicked a few photos that were immediately bluetoothed to Satya's laptop.

We bid our adieus at around 1600 hrs and left for home.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Something I read somewhere...

A family is like a stereo system: A stereo system is only as good as its weakest component, and a family is only as happy as its unhappiest member.

I wish I could pass off the above statement as my own, but my readers know me too well to fall for that! And you don't need to be an audiophile to see the analogy!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Last Day

Today was Santosh's last day at my place. The poor guy was made to slog for the past few days and he decided that he needed some rest from work today. Dinner was cooked one last time (egg curry) and it tasted great. I'm going to miss all this and my pressure cooker will miss whistling thrice each night!
Prateek calls in response to a late night distress SMS from me. Talking to him makes me feel so much better each time.