Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Quick thoughts

It's been 3 days since we got back to Pune. Here's my quick thoughts on how it has gone so far:

- I know it's a cliché but everyone DOES have a cell phone. Everyone but me and my wife that is. Even my grandma has one, and she doesn’t move out of the house

- There's easy money everywhere. And businesses are enjoying. Went out for lunch with a friend today and we got hit by a bill for 215 bucks for daal makhani, jeera rice and 2 masala chhaas. House prices are quite ridiculous. And the folks here are slowly discovering the joys of refinancing.

- Traffic is not so bad when you travel in a company bus. In fact the rush hour traffic works to your advantage when you have to cross the width of the main road on foot. No one's moving and there's no zebra crossing, so you literally walk into the open spaces up front.

- Movie halls play the national anthem before each show

- People want to be cool at any cost. Case in point: At Inox, they play English songs during the breaks. That's fine, but if you play Shaggy, there's something you are definitely not cool!!

- Things are getting a lot more efficient than before. Not a single bag of ours arrived with us. We filed the missing luggage report and had a status on it within 12 hours. The guys at the airport were also quite courteous. The A/C still doesn't work there though.

- Work is fine. Surprisingly I have been busy right from the get go.

- I was surprised to find that I don't feel the need to read the Times of India (or any newspaper) for that matter

- I miss being able to check my email at any time when I am home. I think that's a good thing.

- I think I am going to join a gym. There's one right behind our place. I hope it's open early morning.

- I really don't feel like I was in the US 5 days ago. Everything feels right in place.

- I think I should start a different blog on how India (or Pune at least) has changed since 2001

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What's in a "good" name?

Indian English is a unique language. There are some quirks in this language where the words are all English words, but the grammar and the context are so off base that most people outside of India attribute to incorrect knowledge of grammar. Case in point is the liberal use of the word "also" at the end of a sentence. "you can do ABC, and you can do XYZ also">. But if you speak an Indian language, the grammar makes perfect sense. "Aap ABC kar sakte ho aur XYZ bhi". In short it is a word - to - word translation of the Indian language that it is coming from. If ever I read some weird grammar in a sentence, I tend to translate it into an Indian language and try to see how it would sound. Most often it clears the doubt. Try it, it works.

But can someone please explain to me, what is the root for "What's your good name, sir?"

Monday, May 22, 2006

Silly PJ from our college days

The vector was walking down cartesian drive when he bumped into a confused Scalar.

The vector asked him what was wrong and he replied, "Help i have no direction."

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Coming Through in the Clutch at Stick-Shift U. - New York Times

It'll be 6 years since I drove a stick shift. But I know I'm going to get one once I get to India. I better follow this guy's example. A nice, funny read.

Blog Spam???

Normally, I don't get a lot of comments. 0 is most common. 3 is like the most amazing blog. So imagine my surprise (and pride almost) when I see 7 comments on my George Bush blog.

2 comments by D, 1 by T1, 1 by me. I knew that going in. So I was intrigued by the identity of the 3 that were new. 3 anonymous guys saying what a great blog I have, and how it's much better than most of the rubbish around. Wowwwww... My days of literary obscurity are slowly ending I start thinking. Dedicated e-audience. Life cannot get better than that. When I go back to the main page, there's a couple of other blogs with comments that I had not seen. So I go back, and here's Mr. (/Ms)Anonymous again getting my ego back to planet earth. Same message. What's worse, is that there's a weblink there. So I click it. And it goes to or something like that. I go back to the GWB blog and click the link there. New URL, same type.

Blog spam (BLAM?? SPLOG??) is something new for me. I would have prevented anonymous comments, but I don't like the idea. It goes against the blogging spirit.

Some smart people there with better ideas who could help?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Question for the day

I had Chinese food yesterday. I ate the fortune cookie today.
Which day does the fortune apply to?

Idiotic Box

As has been practice all of this week, I have nothing to do during evenings this week, except flip channels. And I come to this most ridiculous show. It's called Deal or No Deal. It's so fruity that it left me wondering what exactly it is all about. No wonder Howie Mandel doesn't have hair anymore. He must have scratched it out in totally frustration!! There is no skill involved, there is some wierd structure to the game, and worst of all everyone does a pitiful job of showing interest in the game. It's literally like playing the lottery on TV. Nothing more, nothing less.
So what do I do?
Flip the channel. And I come to American Idol. You know there's something wrong with this country, when there is a contestant of a TV show (contestant, not winner) is honored with a day in his honor in his home state. May 16, 2006 is "Grey haired American Idol contestant" day ( don't know his name) in the great state of Alabama. There's probably some 5000 people at the shopping mall waiting to cheer him. Either he is really good, or Fox has done some stunning PR work to get this show such a great following. All through the show, I am waiting for the damn guys to sing a competitive song. Turns out, that was yesterday, and today they just wait for announcing the winner. They had an entire hour about nothing but crap.
What's so attractive about the television set that 70 years after its invention, we still have not figured out how to make good use out of it?

Thought for the day

Talent does what it can, genius what it must.

I do what I get paid to do

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ever wondered???

Greying of hair starts from the side but balding starts from the top?

In case you don't know

D and I leave for Mumbai on May 26th. A week from Friday.

Maybe it's just me

Since I am on training in Detroit all week, we decided that D would spend the week in St. Louis at Yasmin's and I would be in Detroit for this week.
So here I am all alone, sitting on a lazy Sunday evening, on a hotel bed. Since the hotel here has nothing much as far as TV programming goes, I decided to stick with my usual staple for May. NBA playoffs. I see Dwayne Wade have his mom's name written on his sneakers. ABC has an entire segment donated to that. Well, ok, Mother's Day. To be expected. At the end of the game, there's no end credit roll for the game, instead they have a whole bunch of women carrying a rose each. Hain??? No mention of the final 3 pointers, nothing?? Surely something wrong. So I turn to ESPN. They have baseball on Sportscenter. And, believe it or not, they have pink bats to celebrate Mother's Day.
Now, I don't have anything against Mother's Day. I doubt anyone loves and respects their mother as much as I do. (Yeah, T1, my mommy is the bestest mommy in the world!!) But, to me, there's something hypocritical about what these sports organizations did yesterday. After 364 days of pandering for the 18-35 year old men (or boys) to catch their product and no sense of decency in how they package it, there's something fishy when they show saccharine coated images of how they respect their mothers. It sounds like an attempt to stop at nothing to get that one extra person to watch their sports. Maybe it's just me, but to me my family is very personal. I don't want some guy in a suit trying to invade this personal space just so that he can make more money.
Maybe it's just me.

Could one dream this up?

There are somethings so wierd in the world, no story writer can imagine it. This story is a case in point.

It would really be something, if it turns out that this guy got caught on purpose. I don't know for sure, but it does sound suspicious that you drive at 162 mph (260 kmph) into a pole, break it into two, and all you come up with is a cut upper lip? I am willing to bet, he is in bigger trouble than the cops. Jail maybe the safest place he can be at right now. A cursory glance on Wikipedia also adds to the intrigue. [We bow to thee, O Great Wikipedia]

Side Notes:

- How sad is it that this crash happened 7 days after I leave Los Angeles for good? Would have heard about this long ago.

- Can you imagine the rubbernecking that must have gone on for this accident?

- How ridiculous is it that the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority has an "anti-terrorism" unit?

- How ridiculous is it that the actual anti-terrorism offices of the United States let someone like this in?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Man of Clay

All good things must come to an end.

I am willing to bet, this one is going to end June 11, 2006. Nadal might beat Federer on clay, in a Masters series final each time. But in a Grand Slam final, and with the chance to complete a semi-Grand Slam, The Fed will cross the hump.

These are a few of my favourite things

- D
- The British style of spellings (notice the "u" in favourite up there?)
- Listening to a good guitar solo
- Waking up in the morning with a smile. A.K.A. Waking up without an alarm
- A lazy Saturday
- The brief silence after a long conversation
- A nice joke
- Fish fry made by D (esp mackerel)
- Live music (I am a sucker for live jazz)
- Writing a blog which stimulates some comments (Pl. note readers)
- Comedy Central
- A fast paced basketball game
- A ODI not involving India
- Any cricket match not involving India
- Roger Federer on the tennis court
- Walking in a cool breeze
- The 5th set of a tennis match (even if it ends 6-0)
- Going to Best Buy (NOT shopping there)
- A night of sleep without any dreams
- Long drives
- Good music during long drives
- A cloudy day on a long drive listening to good music
- A cloudy day on a long drive listening to good music and NO rain
- Cracking my neck after a long day at the office (I know it freaks people out, but call it one of my few addictions)
- The last week before going to India
- Radio commentary
- Having music playing through the day
- Lots of mails when I open my Inbox
- Silence
- D and I both doing our work, in separate locations, humming the same songs
- Greenery

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Thoughts for the day

-- I am too bored to write anything. Does blogger's block count as an excuse?
-- How wierd is it that Google offers more Inbox space than your office? Is Gmail the official office email for Google employees?
-- Is it wierd that Salman Khan gets off for driving drunk and killing a homeless man, and gets 5 yrs in jail for killing a black buck? ( I don't know if he did kill a homeless man, but Sudeep says he did and asked me to put this on my blog. It's an old story, but it's been bugging me ever since)
-- If I had to live my life all over again, I probably wouldn't change a thing!!
-- I waiting to hear what kind of a movie "Chupacabra Terror" is. I have a feeling, it's as great a movie as "Tarzan aur Jadui Chirag".
-- I think the Da Vinci Code movie is not going to be too much fun. There's just too much expectation. And there's a lot of people who are waiting with sharpened knives for it.
-- Speaking of expectations, I think actors who have super hit sitcoms (the folks from Seinfeld, Friends, Raymond, etc) should not act in any more sitcoms. There's too much pressure to be funny. It'll be fun to see Michael Richards in Lost or 24. Giddyappp!!!
-- I am too drunk to write anything sensible

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Get your priorities right

Every kid grows up wanting to be the leader of his/her country. Well, most kids do. Anyway, that's besides the point. When you are the (imaginary) leader of your country, you are always on the lookout for making your country the best in the world. Making your country the leader of the world order would definitely be your best moment in office.

But as you hear every third advertisement, politician, movie and TV show say, America is already the best country in the world. So, what exactly would be the crowning moment for American kid's dream job when the "best in the world" part is already taken care of?

Presenting the leader of the self-proclaimed free world.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Testing Testing 123 123 Check Check

Every day I spend 9-10 hours at work. 9-10 hours that I do not blog. Personally I don't like to blog from work. But I would like the option to. I also don't like to surf my blog from work. In short if I have to blog, I have to sign in to blogger, something which I don't like to do. I have also set up an option where I can email my blog, but since email at office can be checked, I don't want a blogger id visible. So I am setting up a dummy gmail id that will forward everything to the blog. It will be something worth checking into. Hence I am testing this system. If it works, I get the option to write in tidbits as and when I think of them.
Here's hoping it works.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hey, he can give it all to me

I most definitely will not complain!!!

I'd be glad to help out.

F$%@ing educational

Somebody has a lot of time editing all this info. And I have a lot of time reading all of this and then posting it to the web.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mission Impossible or Ode to Reality?

Anyone notice the new Mission Impossible - DHL ad playing on TV? The DHL guy jumps through tonnes of hoops to have the movie displayed in a Chinese market. (It's a public place, I assumed it is a market)

Now does that have anything to do with the Chinese backdrop of the movie or that the Chinese have seen the pirated version already?

Kahani ekdum filmi hai

Looks like this lady has seen one too many films

Monday, May 01, 2006

NBA Playoff thoughts

This year probably has been the least that I have followed the NBA Playoffs. Primarily since the Kings are playing the Spurs and probably have a small chance of winning it all. Also could be due to the fact that it just doesn't seem that interesting. But I think the most important reason is that the teams I follow are on the West Coast (but obviously) and by the time their first quarters are done, it's bed time for me. However, I saw a few games over the weekend and here are some thoughts on whatever I saw.

1. I think the Suns were robbed of Game 4. There's no way it was a jump ball at the end . Nash was fouled and it was about as obvious that he was being mauled.

2. The most boring series of the lot is the Clippers-Nuggets series. I tried to stay awake through the first half yesterday. Could not make it through the first quarter.

3. I don't know if anyone noticed Kobe Bryant's whisper in Smush Parker's ear after he brought them level at the end of regulation. But he clearly said "M&#^!F*&@er" to him. Not once but twice. And ABC showed it on reply twice. Is censorship only applicable if someone can hear it?

4. I hope the Kings at least make a fight of it. They were unlucky in Game 2 and lucky in Game 3. And they have Artest in foul trouble already for Game 4. Don't know why. At least get it to Game 6. Game 7 would be a bonus. Though I doubt the Kings stand a chance.

5. While on the Kings, I think Kevin Martin is having a series like Bibby had the year they reached the Western finals.

6. I thought the Miami-Chicago series would be the most boring. Shows how much I know. It looks to be the most exciting.

7. I always wanted to see an NBA game in person. Never managed to (primarily because I always was in Los Angeles. The Lakers were unaffordable, the Clippers were unwatchable). Now the only chances I will get will be in Detroit the week of the 15th.

8. I thought I saw a blurb which had something on TNT during the playoffs being sponsored by Google. I have never seen Google sponsor a TV event. Did I see something wrong?

9. I think I shall nominate Earl Boykins of the Nuggets as person of the year. He definitely is an inspiration that anything is possible. If you don't know what I mean and the Clips finish off the Nuggets tomorrow, go to Animal Planet and see any documentary which has a baby deer / gazelle fleeing a tiger. At 5'5" and 133 pounds that's what Boykins looks like!!

10. Both the Lakers and the Clippers are up 3-1. The winners of the two series meet in the next round. If they go ahead, there's gonna be 7 straight playoff games at Staples over the next few weeks. As if traffic in downtown LA wasn't bad enough.

And here's one final thought.
11. Much as open the Western Conference looks, the only exciting team is the Kings. And they don't look like they are going to beat the Spurs. SA/Dallas and Lakers/Clips is not very enticing. I prefer the Eastern games.

Anyway, that's about it.