Friday, April 29, 2005

An evening to cherish

How many of us would be crazy enough to spend an entire evening at a concert inspite of having a tough examination the next morning? Now, I am not talking about the nerds amongst us that finish studying a couple of days or more prior to the exam. I am talking about the more predominant group, the lazy bunch, and that includes me, that likes to procrastinate things as much as possible. Well, I definitely was crazy enough. This happened when I was in the junior year of my undergrad in Hyderabad. It was only the afternoon of the day of the concert that I came to know about it from an acquaintance. The concert I am talking about was a violin concert by none other than the maestro, Dr. L. Subramaniam. He was accompanied by a few other notable musicians-Vikku Vinayakaram(ghatam) and Jorge Strunz(KB), being the two that I can recollect, at the moment, off the top of my head. Would any musically inclined person be moronic enough to pass up such an opportunity? I knew I wasn't gonna be the moron to do that although I was quite prepared to be the moron to flunk my exam(if that happened) :-). But it took me all my persuasive skills to convince my dad to let me go. And he did let me go....finally.

I came to know about Dr. L. Subramaniam when I was in my 9th grade. That was when I had a chance to listen to a cassette of his concert in NYC commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations and that was when I became a great fan of his. Since then, I've listened to quite a few of his Indian classical style concerts and also a few fusion albums, 'Conversations' with Stephane Grapelli(another great exponent of the violin), being the one I liked the most.

The setting for the concert was simply breathtaking-the vast expanse of land sandwiched between the scenic Necklace Road and the majestic HussainSagar Lake, the land basking in the golden hue of the twilight and the cool zephyr from the lake gently caressing the face-and the chief guest was none other than the then CM of AP, N. Chandrababu Naidu. I was quivering with excitement, never having imagined that I would be able to see one of my idols live in concert. The moment the musicians entered the stage, there was a deafening roar from the 10000-odd crowd and it could easily have been mistaken for a game of cricket had it not been for the venue.

Dr. Subramaniam kicked off the concert with one of his compositions in memory of his dear friend and fellow musician, Stephane Grapelli, who had passed away earlier that year. It was haunting, to say the least. This was followed by a slew of tunes, almost all of them being a fusion of Indian and Western Classical music. Many of them were his own compositions(he had even composed one to honor Naidu) while a few were from his past albums, the most notable of them being 'Conversations'. I stood awe-struck at the mastery and wizardry of the man. It was as if he was just holding the violin and it was playing by itself. I was so enthralled that I hardly noticed time fly by and before I realized it, four enchanting hours had passed by and he down to the last tune. This time it was a jugalbandi with just the ghatam and the violin and the song was "Vathapi Ganapathim'. It was absolutely mesmerising to see two maestros perform in tandem and a fitting finale to an absolutely magical evening. That is one evening I'll cherish my entire life-the evening I saw my idol live in concert. But wait, it gets even better.

The very next day, he was performing at a local temple and this time it was strictly Indian classical music and his wife and noted singer, Kavita Krishnamurthy, performed the vocals. I was there with my mom and although I do not know much about Indian classical music, I was still able to appreciate it a lot. And now for the icing on the cake. After the show, my mom and I went up to him and spoke for about half hour. My mom is a great classical music aficionado and knows a thing or two about it. So, as luck would have it, I got to spend a very precious 30 minutes with my idol and I was greatly impressed by his humility. What a great man!! What more could I have wanted.........atleast for that moment ;)? Who says you can't have the cake and eat it too? Rubbish!!.

In case you are wondering how I did on my exam, fortunately for me, I passed it and so was saved of some serious a**-kicking from my dad :-).

PS: Anyone who hasn't heard the "Conversations" should. Trust me, you will not regret it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Instant justice?? does it really exist?

Lately, there has been a spate of incidents of sexual assault on women in India and that is what prompts me to write this post. My views regarding such matters are very strong and outspoken and so I tend to use really strong language, and I make no bones about it, to drive my point home. Readers, please be advised and continue reading at your discretion.

The latest in a series of sexual assaults on women is the rape of a 16-year old girl by a police constable in Mumbai which has caused widespread furore all over the metropolis. The public opinion is that he should be hanged or atleast jailed for life. I am not too sure if he'll be hanged because, even though India is one of the few countries in the world that hands out capital punishment, it is still handed out only very rarely. Being sent to prison for life is probably the more likely verdict although, considering the idiosyncrasies of the Indian judicial system, it should come as no surprise if he is let off with a 5 year sentence. Apparently, the constable was drunk when the incident happened and all it took was a single act of indiscretion on his part to bring the girl's world to shambles. Had he paused for a moment and thought of his sister or mother, the girl would still be enjoying life like any other normal 16-year old should. How can women in India trust the police, when the very people who are supposed to uphold the law, commit the most heinous of crimes? I, personally feel that the perpetrator of the crime should be hanged although, a few among my friends like S might argue that a 14-yr sentence is all that is needed to make the guy realize his mistake. After all, he is a human and he needs to be given a second chance. But I ask you, Does the girl get a second chance? Can you bring back her lost honor? and can you guarantee the fact that, after serving his sentence, he will not recidivate and spoil another poor girl's life? Would you still be arguing with me if, God forbid, the same thing had happened to your sister or wife or mother? According to me, rape is the worst form of crime you can commit against someone, far worse than murder. When you murder someone, you are killing the person as a whole, body and soul. But when you rape someone, you are killing only the person's soul leaving the body to endure the pain and humiliation like no other.

A similar case cropped up in the news a few days ago about a man raping a 2-yr old infant. Can you believe that? A 2-yr old infant!! It makes my stomach churn at the very thought of it. I still can't understand what kind of sick mind can even think of doing such a thing. I am still awaiting the verdict on that one too to see if there really is such a thing as justice in India. If you ask me, I'd say these kind of sick freaks should be bobbitted. After all, in some of the Middle-Eastern countries, your hands are chopped off if you steal something. The low crime rate in those countries is proof of the efficacy of this method. So I don't think there is anything wrong in my suggestion considering the gravity of the crime. I know I am being draconian but this, according to me, is the only way such sick people are going to be deterred from doing such a thing. But again, that's according to me. I can already hear murmurs of disapproval from the human rights activists among you but everyone is entitled to their own opinions and so am I.

Correct me if I am wrong but I believe it was Mahatma Gandhi who said "The day a woman can walk alone at night without any fear is the day India will have gained true independence". Incidents like this really make me wonder whether we have indeed achieved the independence that Gandhi and other martyrs laid down their life for. Now that's some food for thought.

PS: 1. What I have spoken about applies not only to India but to other countries around the world too. It's just that I am more familiar with what goes on in India than elsewhere.
2. According to the news on the 27th April 2005, The Govt of India has categorically refused the death sentence for rape.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Hail Mary, I pass(ed) !!

I had taken a self-imposed exile from blogging and hence the inactivity in my blog for the past few days. During this period of hibernation, I had a chance to view the fireworks and airshow at "Thunder over Louisville" in person, watch superstar Rajni's "Chandramukhi" and catch up on some stuff that had been screaming for attention for quite sometime now. Now that I've tended to all that stuff, I am back to my rejuvenated self, attempting to regale my readers with my (mis)adventures. Today's post is yet another incident from the pages of my life's book(Huh!! I hate it when I get too philosophical) that is guaranteed to ATLEAST make you chuckle. Without further ado, here goes...

I was in the 8th grade at a christian school in Guntur. As is the norm in all christian(missionary or non-missionary) schools, we were required to spend atleast a half hour every morning singing the Lord's(read Jesus) glory before we actually started classes. As much as I despised doing it(nothing against Jesus. I just don't have the religious proclivity), i must confess, the songs were rather good and melodious that the singer in me insisted on singing and so I did. Our class teacher in those days was an elderly gentleman in his 50's named Mr. P. He used to teach us Social studies and English and he was rather good at what he taught. He was a very cheerful guy and we used to enjoy his classes. That is, until something related to religion cropped up. He was a very nice guy at heart, his only blemish being that he was a religious fanatic. He was a fanatic to such an extent that he would abuse other religious beliefs and practices openly. By abuse, I don't mean the soft words some people use just for the sake of it. I mean, really hardcore expletives which I shouldn't mention in this post(after all, this is a PG-13 rating post). Once, he even abused and humiliated a christian girl in front of the whole class for wearing a bindi. This aspect of his personality invited the ire of some of the students(hindu including me+muslims+some christians) and this would lead to serious arguments in the class. But none of the students was grevious enough to hurt him or anything just because, after all that was said and done, he was still a very nice man at the core.

It was mid-way through the year and time for our half-yearly examinations. That particular day it was social studies. I was very confident about my preparation for the exam and was confident of topping the exam as was my wont(do I sound pompous? so be it:)). I began taking the exam and things were running smoothly for the first hour or so and then screeech.... the roadblock. I could not remember the answer to one of the questions and however hard I tried, I was drawing a blank. I was pretty sure I had studied for the question but it was as if someone had broken into my mind and stolen it from right under(or should I say over? :-)) my nose. I tried to remember hard as I could not afford to miss it. It was a 30-mark question and if I missed it, I was sure to be relegated to #2 in the class or even worse. This was one ignominy I wasn't prepared to stomach. After much brain-racking, I managed to remember part of the answer. But that would still not get me out of the woods. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't persuade my memory cells to help me with the rest of the answer. So, I resigned to the fact that I wasn't gonna top the class that time and decided to write something for the other part of the answer instead of leaving it blank. That's where my teacher's fanaticism came to my rescue. I immediately starting writing praises in favor of Jesus like "Hail Jesus. Glory be to him. Jesus is my savior" and the like and finished the exam. Heck! I had nothing to lose and everything to gain from what I had written. It was time for the papers to be handed back. I was sweating in anticipation of what I might get. Finally, the moment of truth arrived and my name was called out. I walked gingerly towards the teacher and opened my paper and what do I see? Lo and behold! I had a 90/100 on the test. I was amazed at my luck and my teacher's fanaticism. I went on to top the class but it was only a year later, safe from any repercussions, that I shared my stupefying secret with my friends and they were gracious enough to have a laugh about it. But the one thing I haven't figured out yet is what Mr.P was thinking when he awarded me marks for the answer that I had written. Was he thinking that I would never show it to anyone and that way his foolishness wouldn't be revealed? Or was he too blinded by religion to realize the stupidity of his action? I'll never know but one thing I know for sure is that his action was what saved my position in my class and for that, I'll be forever grateful to him. Thanks, Mr.P, wherever you are.

PS: For those of you wondering what the title means, it is just a play on the phrase "Hail Mary pass" in American football, the last desperate pass in a game that results in a game-winning touchdown. Correct me if I am wrong, football aficionados :-).

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Clash of the Titans

As of today, it's been exactly a week since the clash of the titans began. Nope, I am not talking about the Redsox-Yankees games or India-Pakistan matches. I am talking about the simultaneous release of the Rajani starrer "Chandramukhi" and Kamala Haasan's "Mumbai Xpress". It was a momentous occasion, one which the masses had been waiting for a long time with bated breaths. Not since Thalapathi-Guna(blame our Vasu if I am wrong:)) have the two behemoths of the tamil film world released their movies simultaneously. The critics and the people have been salivating at the prospect of the clash of the titans for a long time now. Rajani's last movie "Baba" sank without a trace at the BO. I guess the masses who had been so used to seeing Rajani as the do-it-all man were mighty disappointed to see him go the spiritual way. He badly needs a film to resurrect his fallen image and hopefully, Chandramukhi will be his panacea. Kamal, on the other hand, had a fairly decent run with his tamil rehash of the Hindi blockbuster, "Munnabhai M.B.B.S", even though I personally felt that "Vasoolraja M.B.B.S" fell well short of depicting the same emotions that were portrayed excellently in the hindi version.

Let me give you guys a brief gist of the two movies. "Chandramukhi" is a remake of Fazil's Malayalam classic, "Manichitrathazhu", no matter how much director P.Vasu denies it. The malayalam original has been remade in kannada as "Apthamitra" and apparently, it ran to packed houses in Karnataka. The storyline is about how a couple moves into an old mansion and shortly after that, the wife becomes delusional and starts imagining that her husband is out to murder her and finally gets cured by a psychitrist. I have seen the malayalam version and the movie is amazingly made. Shobhana, as the delusional wife, was a treat to watch, what with all the sudden change of emotions and all. This movie garnered her a National award. The other cast members including Suresh Gopi as the husband and Mohan Lal as the psychiatrist also did a great job. The tamil version has Rajani portraying the doctor and Jyothika as the wife. Although in the original, MohanLal doesn't have a heroine oppposite him, we obviously can't do that with Rajani, can we? So throw in Nayantara as his heroine although it doesn't matter that all she has to do is to look pretty and utter a few sentences.

In "Mumbai Xpress", Kamal has teamed up with Singeetham Srinivasa Rao yet again, after the duo gave us the memorable and rib-tickling silent movie "Pushpaka Vimaanam". "Mumbai Xpress" is kamal's movie all the way. He has written the story, screenplay and the dialogues and has even sung a few songs. It is supposed to be a "laugh-riot" but it remains to be seen how kamal measures up as a comedy dialogue writer. The story is about a stuntman, Kamal, who unwittingly gets embroiled in a conspiracy, and eventually gets out of it andt things end well.

There have been mixed reviews for the two movies so far and it remains to be seen who comes up trumps. As for me, I haven't seen either movie but I plan to this weekend with a bunch of my buddies. Hopefully I'll like what I see. Even if I don't, I'll have had a great afternoon with my friends. That's what matters. Adios.

PS: Another much awaited movie of the year which was supposed to be released on the same day(April 14th), "Anniyan" starring Vikram and directed by Sankar, has been scheduled to release at a later date. It only takes two to tango so the third one is out :-)).

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

ssshh.... love's "on the air"

Well..... Judging by the response to my previous post, I came to the conclusion that either it did not sit well with many of you or that the topic was far too mundane to hold your attention. Ofcourse, all this is based on the assumption that you have read it. But sadly enough, fact really is stranger than fiction. I promise..no more preachy stuff from me for.......I can't say. Anyway, in an effort to thaw the frozen relations I may have developed with a section of my readers, today's post is going to be in a lighter vein.

What I am going to narrate now is an incident that happened in my office yesterday. Every Tuesday afternoon, we have a meeting of all our team members where we discuss the progress of ongoing projects and issues about future projects. This tuesday was no different from any other tuesday except that, this time the discussion among some of the senior team members was a very interesting and heated one. They were discussing about bugs that had to taken care of in the current product releases and features that had to be implemented in some of the future products and each one had his own opinion about the way it was to be done. In the midst of this heavy brain-storming session was poor yours truly, sitting beside a TV, not able to watch it though. I had joined this company only a few months ago and I was still learning the ropes although I had worked on and successfully completed a few challenging bug-fixes. So it was obvious from my countenance that I was clueless about a lot of the stuff they were discussing. Coupled with this was the fact that the meeting was right after the lunch break. The quintessential connoisseur of food that I am, I'd had a great lunch and was desperately in need of a quick siesta. Needless to say, my eyes started drooping mid-way through the meeting and I dozed off for a minute or so. The next thing I knew, I was rudely awakened from my slumber by the sound of moans. And what I saw on opening my eyes made me pale with embarrassment. The TV was on and what was even shocking was that a scene from some soap opera was being shown in which a couple was making love. I must have accidentally bumped the TV's power button during my nap which triggerred the hilarious and embarrassing(to me) event.

It all happened so fast that it took me a moment or two to gather my wits and turn the TV off. But by then, unfortunately for me, all my team members had had a chance to watch the scene. Everyone, including me, was aghast for a few seconds that there was absolute silence in the room. Those few seconds were the longest of my life. I desperately wanted to shrink into oblivion. But, alas, that was not to be. But after the "eternal" few seconds, contrary to what I'd expected and feared, there was a burst of laughter from my team members and the customary pulling-my-leg stuff for the next few minutes. It all ended well, atleast for me. I will be forever thankful to my team for taking the incident in their stride and not making an issue of it. But deep inside, I was chuckling, having realized how my seemingly innocuous act that day helped break the monotony in that room. I seem to have this uncanny knack for making people laugh at my expense, but I am not complaining, as long as everyone has a hearty laugh. Over and out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A case for the defenseless

What does the word "peace" mean to you? non-aggression? or maybe the feeling of calmness in your heart that would make you want to think of everything or everyone as good? Each person may have his own connotation of "peace" but to me, it means going about your business, not having malicious intent towards anyone or coveting other's belongings. If people really believe they understand the meaning of peace, then why is there so much unrest and upheaval in the world? Why are we baying for blood of our brethren? There has always been a clamor about human rights, the latest instance being after the recently concluded bloody war in Iraq. The advocates of human rights made a hullabaloo about how the POW's in Iraq were treated inhumanely and what not. But what these advocates do not realize is the fact that they are lobbying for something which they themselves fail to provide, albeit not to humans. If you are still clueless as to what I am talking about, it is animal rights. Yes, you heard it right. Some of you might be wondering whether there is even such a thing as animal rights and why I am for animal rights when there are pressing human rights issues. To them, my answer is, Yes, every sentient being is entitled to its rights and there are a lot of organizations to fight for human rights but very few for animal rights. There are, in the world today, peace marches, peace runs etc but do you honestly believe that there will be peace in this world as long as you perpetually perpetrate violence against defenseless beings? In this context, I'd like to quote Pythagoras "As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love".

Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated". Even proponents of non-violence seem to condone the violence being imparted on animals. So does that mean only we humans have a right to non-violence? Is it only because we can speak out and express our feelings and animals cannot? What kind of a dubious tenet is this? I've spoken to a number of people about this and all of them seem to share the same sentiment, that God put animals on this planet for our use. Yes, I do agree with this view but what the people fail to understand is that the animals are there for our use and not for our misuse. According to the Holy Bible, God said that the animals were for us to rule. But never did God say that we should turn tyrants. You can definitely rule without being tyrannic and that was the kind of rule that God meant. The Bible even quotes Jesus as preaching "Thou shalt not kill", the "kill" being applicable to all living forms alike. Even in the Bhagavad-Gita, under chapter 9, text 26, Lord Krishna says ,



patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanaha


which means "If one offers me a leaf, flower or even water with devotion, I will accept it". Nowhere deos He mention "maamsa" meaning meat. Don't you think He meant something there? I am sure many people would abhor meat if they happen to see the conditions under which it is produced. I have a number of friends who are really great persons. They would go to any extent to help me and would do anything for me but all of them share a common blemish(according to me). They all happen to be meat-eaters. They would be much greater persons if only they gave up meat-eating. The hard-core carnivores among you may be tempted to counter my wisdom of a plant-based diet by suggesting that even vegetarians kill plants and how that is different from killing an animal. It has been proven scientifically that plants lack the central nervous system which is responsible for the sensation of pain. From a spiritual stand-point, Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita says that killing plants is also a minor sin but which can be easily atoned for since God Himself out them there for our consumption. In this context, I'd like to narrate a small incident that happened a while ago. A good friend of mine(hardcore carnivore at that) and I were driving and we happened to see a dead possum on the road, most likely rurshed to death by a speeding vehicle. On seeing the dead animal, my friend exclaimed "Oh Poor thing". This remark of his took me totally by surprise. Here was a quintessential carnivore beside me who would have eaten the same animal had it been sold as meat in the supermarket, pitying it. I often wonder why a person who loves his cat or dog to death can be inconsiderate about the plight of a cow. Were they not made equal? Did God specify that certain animals are to be revered and certain are to consumed? I guess everyone is essentially compassionate deep down but somehow we tend to get desensitized somewhere along the way.

To summarize, all I am saying is that animals deserve just as much life as we do. They are also caring, sentient beings capable of all emotions we humans go through. God put them on this earth along with us so that we share the resources and live peacefully. Humans should learn to live with them in peace and only then can we ever dream of real peace in this world. Until then all the peace marches, runs or prayers will do no good. I am sure I will have antagonized more than a few of you with this blog but according to me, that is a small price to pay for a great cause. Hopefully when people realize what I am talking about, they will change their opinion about me. If this blog can coax even one person into adopting a more compassionate lifestyle, it will have served its purpose well. Peace unto everyone and everything.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A trip to the Georgetown Kite Festival

What do you do when you've had a busy and frustrating week at work? Look forward to the weekend and hopefully some fun and frolic which is exactly what happened to me last week. I'd had a thoroughly frustrating week at work, not able to achieve what I'd set out to achieve at the beginnning of the week. By Friday, I was sure the worst had happened. My brain had stopped functioning and I was afraid I might have killed all the grey cells in my brain. I badly needed a break from work to regrow my cells and put on my thinking cap again. And boy, was I glad the weekend was just around the corner. Even better, I knew this one wasn't going to be just another weekend because a bunch of my friends and I had planned a trip to the Georgetown Kite Festival, a carnival-esque atmosphere only a quarter of an hour's drive from Lexington. For those of you who have never heard of it(which included me until recently), the Georgetown Kite Festival is just a gathering of myriads of people, most of them flying their colorful kites of all shapes and sizes. Other activities like live performances, are aplenty. It promised a lot of fun and I was all agog about my first trip.

Come Saturday morning, we all set out for Georgetown where the festival was being held. There were about 20 of us and we all took off in a convoy of 4 cars at around 11:30 AM and reached the venue by 12. One of my dear friends, KS, along with a couple of other friends had worked hard on making a kite of their own for the festival. We were supposed to enter it in a competition for the best hand-made kite and apparently, there were great prizes up for grabs. According to the grapevine, there were even pictures of KS in the effeminate act of sewing the kite. I'd love to see them sometime. Boy, what a catch that would be. The head honcho, KS and his sidekicks, had done a pretty good job of putting together the huge kite although, I must confess, it looked like a sleeping bag or Kareem Abdul Jabbar's(For the basketball Ignoramus, KAJ was an incredibly tall basketball player of yore) shorts from afar. We also had a few kites that KS, in an act of incredible foresight, had brought from India. Well, coming back from our brief comic digression, the first thing we did on reaching the venue was to enlist ourselves in the best kite competition. The results were to be announced at 5PM, still 5 hours away. So we decided we were going to test the aerodynamics of our home-made kite. KS, as he is wont to doing, took charge but I guess the kite was far too heavy and snap went the strings(or was it the stiches? You tell me). So much for our kite's maiden flight. Either way, we had a bust up kite and so we decided to switch to plan B and that was to hoist our ever reliable kites from india. And by jove, KS did a great job of it. He would elevate the kites to a decent height and hand over the reins to someone else. To the onlooker, it would seem as if the latter had done it him(her)self, which, on second thought, probably was the idea. While KS was engaged in this, a bunch of us, me included, tried our hand at a game of frisbee. This went on for about an hour or so after which most of us were out of gas. We desperately needed a refueling, which, to our sheer delight, came in the form of home-cooked meal of an assortment of dishes, each dish having been prepared by one household. My contribution to this culinary treat was a potato curry. I am not sure to what extent the people enjoyed it but I guess they did(or maybe the pangs of hunger were so severe that they were left with no choice but to eat it), since there was nothing left of it at the end of it all. Either way, I am glad they finished it as this gave me chance to stroke my ego, whatever little there is of it.

Post lunch was the most fun and replete with incidents of interest to the gossip-mongers. We started playing a game called loaded questions. The way the game works, there is a bunch of cards, each having four questions on it. One round of the game involves one person picking up a card at random from the bunch and reading one of the questions from that card aloud. Everyone else has to write his/her answer to that question on a piece of paper and hand it over to a moderator(who is not involved in the game). The moderator then reads out each of the answers and the person who read the question has to try and match the answers with the person that wrote it. It is basically a test of how well you know the personality of the others in the group. There are as many, or more, rounds in the game as there are number of players, if fully played. One of the questions that came up during the course of the game was "What is the most romantic place to meet your true love?". There was a whole gamut of answers ranging from the Scottish Highlands to Greece to Paris. But the most rib-tickling of the answers were "bedroom" and "railway station". There were a lot of other questions and a fair share of silly answers, some too silly to even merit a mention. As the blog is already long, I'm going to leave them out. Hold no
grudges. In the midst of all this, my dear friend, Z, had his own travails to deal with. He had a crush on this girl and he was telling me how he was not able to gather the courage to approach her and was asking me for my suggestions. Hey buddy, I empathize with you but if I had known the answers to your questions, don't you think I would have had a girlfriend of my own? By the time everyone was tired of the game we had been playing for a couple of hours, it was already 5 PM and it was time to see if we had won the prize for the best kite. So we all trotted along to the venue of the prize distribution with trepidations in our heart, the kite makers leading the way, and the rest of us following them to applaud them in case they won.

It was only reaching the venue that we were informed, to our surprise and ecstasy, that our entry was the only one and that we had won the prize unanimously. Well, not a bad way to end the day. Coming out tops among 1 contestent is not something you get to do very often. The guy who handed over the prize wished us well and wanted us to make it three in a row. Heck, with us as the only contestent, you bet we would. Having been rewarded with a plaque acknowledging our unique accomplishment, we took a few snaps with our non-flying kite and decided to head home. That was when I realized that there were more couples in our group on our way out than there were on our way in. And I was not in any of them. Nothing like that ever happens to me. I decided to bide my time hoping for something to happen soon. But will it? Only time will tell.

But it was enjoyment par-excellence that evening, atleast for me. Hope we get to do things like this more often. Well, that was my account of our trip the Georgetown Kite Festival 2005. Hope you enjoyed reading it. Until my next blog, sayonara.

PS: Only 3 or 4 out of the 17 had anything to do at all with the kite making. So they deserve all the plaudits. Nothing I have written in this blog is aimed at defaming any individual and that's precisely why no names have been mentioned. It is all in jest, an attempt at humor and I sincerely hope all of you will take it in the right spirit.

Friday, April 15, 2005

what u lookin' at?

Hello everyone, I am back with my second blog in as many days. I am not a very philosophical guy and so you won't be reading many soul-stirring blogs from me. There are a few in here that do that job fantastically and I will leave it to them. But once in a while, I might be tempted to write something in that genre. But until then, I guess you'll have to make do with this. Without further ado, let me get to my blog.

This happened when I was in Junior college doing my Intermediate second year. For those of you unfamiliar with this system, Junior college is the two years of college after your 10th grade and before your undergrad. I, like countless other students, used to go to coaching classes for Math, Physics and Chemistry in an effort to sharpen my oh-so-ever rotting brain cells to face the Entrance examination for admission to undergrad. My math coaching class used to start at 5 PM everyday and my teacher was a strict guy. So 5 PM had to be 5 PM for him, not a minute later. My house was about 5 KM(~3 miles) from my coaching class and I used to go home after college, freshen up, get ready and ride my bicycle to the class. It was nothing different that particular day from any other day. Just as I was wont to doing, I started for my coaching class on my bicycle. No more than a couple of minutes into my ride, I started noticing something very weird. People on the road were ogling me and I had no idea what the reason was.

And so I kept riding. This ogling happened all the way to my coaching class and I still had no idea why. Then a thought struck my mind. Was it because I looked handsome? Was it because my hair was weird? or Was it just that I was imagining that they were ogling me? Still I had no idea. But all this distraction had slowed my speed and I was afraid I'd be late for my class and was sure to incur the wrath of my teacher. But, whew, thankfully, I reached my class just in time only to see that my teacher had not yet come in. Whew, I thanked my lucky stars, wiped the sweat off my brows, parked my bicycle and walked into my class only to be greeted by a roaring laughter. Oh God, it had finally happened. The very thing that I had dreaded my entire life of 17 years. I had been laughed at, not by my teacher, not by my relatives, but by my own classmates, my friends. I started thinking what I had done to deserve the worst of ignominies. That's when a whiff of breeze caressed me and I felt a strange, cold sensation in my groin area. I looked down and guess what? You guessed it right. Much to my horror, my fly was wide open. I couldn't believe it. How could I have been so forgetful, I thought, immediately zipped up and took my seat. That's when the teacher came in and the class went on as usual without any further incidents.

After the class, I got together with my friends and had a good laugh about it. That is one incident I'll never forget my entire life.

Until my next post, Enjoy.

PS: For the lascivious people among you, I had an undergarment on when this happened.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

To write or not to write

Even as I write this, I am working on something in my office which is thoroughly frustrating and starting to get on my nerves. So I have decided to take a break and blog for a few minutes. I had known about blogs for quite some time now but my curiosity was piqued only a few months ago. That was when I chanced upon a blog written by a dear friend of mine. It was very simple, nothing too fancy, nothing verbose, just about things that happen to all of us in our day-to-day life. But it was very impressive. That was when the thought "Hey, this looks like a fun thing to do. Maybe I can try it too" cropped up in my mind. But the problem was that I had been in a state of inertia of rest for far too long. I am sure all of you must have read about Newton's law of inertia which states that "A body in a state of inertia will change its state only upon the application of an external force". This couldn't be more true in my case. All I needed to get out of that state of inertia was an external force, something that would tell me to move my rear end. But alas, that was not to be. Even after reading my friend's blog, all I could do was muse how well he had written and wished I could write as well. So my thoughts about writing a blog were consigned to my mind's closet and were left to accumulate cobwebs.

Travelling forward in time to the present, lately, I had noticed a proliferation of bloggers among my friends here at UK. I couldn't stop myself anymore. I had received that external jolt that I very badly needed. There was no looking back now. I decided to scour my closet for the long-lost thoughts, clean them of the cobwebs and mould them into something concrete. I had been told by many that my spoken english skills were very good but I wasn't quite sure about my writing skills. It had been eons since I had written anything except, maybe, the odd technical report. And so, after much deliberation, I decided to take the plunge into the deep, dark waters of blogging. But I should say it was a very nervous plunge, akin to a small child being thrown into water for the first time, his arms flailing desperately, not knowing what to do, where to go, desperately trying to stay afloat. But, hey, I did take the plunge and what you read here is the result of that.

This is my first foray into the world of blogging but I think I am beginning to enjoy it. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them. As I get to know my way around and get more proficient in this stuff, I will post blogs about more interesting, funny or thought-provoking issues. Thanks for your time. Please do not hesitate to comment and critique this blog. Until my next blog, carpe diem.