Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Between friends

The front door blended well with the sepia sky and the 'more wooden than wood' tree with the shadowy leaves. The light chocolaty sun looked very tame.

" Rose, Thank God you are here.... I swear I would have gone crazy if I was all alone at home breaking my head over these matters ".

Rose took her eyes off the reflection in the puddle and smiled at her friend...a trifle embarrassed. She walked into the sparsely decorated apartment and immediately parked herself at her favourite spot on the ancient divan and nestled into the heap of pillows. A bottle of cold water from the fridge seemed to have materialized in her palms.

Rose liked coming over to visit her friend whom she and pretty much everyone else called Sweety. She felt so much more at home here than her own house two bus stops away near the railway station. She had been visiting Sweety everyday except Tuesdays and Sundays ever since she cared to remember. Unlike most friends, they didn’t spend all their time talking or doing something together or even talking about the past. Over the years they had become close enough to be comfortable in silence. Sometimes Rose would be reading a magazine while Sweety would be on the phone with someone or entertain some other friend. But at the end of the day, they felt contented and seemed to have enjoyed the other’s company.

Neither of them ever cared to remember the day Rose was accidentally knocked over by Sweety's Green Premier Padmini on the way back home from school, and the subsequent offer to be dropped home. They ignored the fact that they had nothing in common and had no reason to be friends. The two girls had rarely been with a third friend ever since. This was especially true of Rose who despite peer pressure had been living single. Sweety wasn't as lucky though. Having married her college sweetheart, she was all set for 'happily ever after' and enjoyed being Mrs. D'Souza. But it was not to be. After a tumultuous time that lasted just about 2 summers, they filed for divorce. The reason was infidelity. A year later Sweety was lucky enough to re-discover love. Things were better this time. The marriage lasted quite a few monsoons. The last shower of the season was witness to the divorce proceedings of Mr & Mrs. Menon.

Now almost 20 years later, the girls still had each other and this duet seemed set to last forever.

Rose had got a call from Sweety in the morning asking her to come over since she 'had to talk'. There were days when Rose was invited, on other days the invitation was implied.

Sweety walked towards Rose with a cup of hot coffee. Taking a quick sip, she asked her friend if she wanted a cup too. The offer met with no response.

"I am really worried about me and Joe. Of late I've been having my doubts if things would work out between us anymore." Sweety said, as if they were in the middle of a conversation.

"Why? I thought things were smooth. Why both of you looked very happy during Mary's wedding. I was even asked if you guys were considering getting married and all..." Rose did not make eye-contact and picked up a magazine nonchalantly.

"That was weeks ago Rose, things change you know...."

"What’s the problem this time? “ Rose wasn't a big fan of leading into a topic, and preferred to jump right into the middle of things and sort things out from there.

"Things have not been well..... I feel he just might be...you know...too old for me..."

"He is 4 years older. Wasn't Matthew almost 6 years older than you? You got married to him, surely you knew his age by then." Rose could read the article about birth control and also carry on a conversation, one of her unrecognised talents.

"Would you just try to understand what I am trying to say....? And put away the magazine. I don't mean 'older older', he doesn't seem to be able to see what I want. He can't give me what I want."

"I actually liked the ring he got you. That was a big rock. And I know you wanted it. "

"It’s just no use trying to talk to you. I thought at least you would understand." Sweety collapsed onto a chair and picked up a book herself.

"Okay Sweety. You take care. I have to go pay my electricity bill."

Rose knew her cue well. She took a couple of magazines which were lying on the coffee table and walked back home.

She hated it when the phone rang when she was unlocking her door. The callers seemed to posses a sixth sense and hung up just as she hurriedly picked it up. Rose made up her mind not to rush for the phone this time and let the wretched phone cry its heart out while she patiently found the right key from the ring and opened the door.
She sat down on the bamboo chair and picked up the phone with a slight hope that incessant rains foil the ESP of the caller.
“Why does it take you so long to reach home? I hope you didn’t wait for a bus as usual instead of taking a rickshaw.” Sweety’s voice blared through the reciever.
Rose just replied with an acknowledging ‘uh huh’
“I was trying to talk about …. You know…sex and all.” Murmured Sweety
“I know you were Sweety, I just wish you would say it. You are not a school girl anymore you know. ”.
“We have been together for almost a year now, and other than holding hands he hasn’t done much else.”
“He gave you a kiss when you cut your birthday cake.”
“Do you maintain a diary about us or something? Anyway that doesn’t count and it never happened again anyway. I’ve tried subtle hints, but that man is daft. He just doesn’t understand that not everyone is as old as he is…. And don’t start your lecture again, you know what I mean”
“So what do you want to do?” Rose fished the magazine from her bag and continued reading where she left off, nestling the phone comfortably on her left shoulder, knowing she just had to contribute the odd sentence every now and then.

“Why the other day, after Mary’s wedding Joe’s car wouldn’t start and Michael dropped us to my home. I invited Joe to stay back, but he just kissed me and said he would walk home.”

“So he did do it again...” said Rose. There was no impish smile on her though it sounded as if she did.

“What?, anyway..I really don’t know what to do Rose….If I keep this relationship going on…God knows what else he would force me to do…”

“Sweety…what happened? Rose sounded concerned. She was.

Between sobs and sniffles, some phrases were heard. It was left to Rose to stitch them together cohesively.

...” feelings too…”
…“understands me.”

“I thought Victor was already engaged…” Rose blurted in a reflex.

“Rose… can we keep on the topic please….If I can’t talk to you….”

“Sorry Sweety. So, don’t you think you need to call things off with Joe?” The moment Rose finished her sentence she realized that it wasn’t her job to give advice. She tried to brush it under the carpet.

“Do you want me to come over Sweety…? It would take me just about half an hour.”

“I can’t go on with that man. Never knew he would stoop so low… Such a creep”

“What did Victor do?” For once Rose had lost track of the conversation, her mind being
completely absorbed into gossip snippet on some movie starlet.

“Am talking about Joe”

“Oh!” Rose resumed her reading magazine and was now headed for the agony aunt column.

“I am losing faith in men. Everywhere you see there are these Joes, Patricks and ..”

“Prem?”. Rose recalled the rainy divorce.

“Don’t even remind me of that sick man. Did you know that he was seeing Vandana even before our divorce was finalized? Men are such perverts.”

“They are all the same. Bastards.” Rose knew the conversation would end sooner if there was no disagreement on her part.

“Not all of them Rose….Look at Victor for example. Such a nice man he is… You know I am so lucky to have him.”

“So you have made up …..a good choice. Yes Sweety, you are lucky” Rose was proud of the smooth recovery. “But it would be painful to cancel all the preparations for your engagement”

“…with that bastard.” Rose added for good effect. She hated sounding repetitive and wished she thought up of a better expletive.

“I know….and we had made such perfect arrangements. Even Emily is coming down from Australia. She was saving all her holidays for this.”

“Is it? Good old Emily. She has always come.”

“Yeah. Anyway listen, someone is at the door. Must be Victor. I’ll give you a call later.” Sweety hung up. But Rose continued reading with the phone on her shoulder for sometime before realizing it.

When the phone rang again, Rose realized that she had dozed off while reading the magazine. She hurriedly picked it up.

“Hellllu”. She hoped her dazed voice wasn’t as bad over the phone as it sounded.

“I am getting engaged. It’s on!” Sweety excited voice screamed.

“You patched up with…..” Rose brain swung active to prevent her from completing the sentence.
“Really? Wow! Did Victor propose to you just now?” Rose hoped her excitement came through to the other end. It wasn’t often that she was excited, and when she was she liked having witnesses.

“Something like that….I am so excited. I can’t believe this is all happening. I have to get the cards printed an all. Can you come over right now?”

The auto-rickshaw driver had insisted on an extra, something Rose had accepted earlier in all her excitement. But now she felt the pinch of it and made a mental note to return home in an ordinary bus.

The kaccha road had a thin layer of slippery mud on it, but the puddles had disappeared. The mud was splattering on the backside of Rose’s legs, which prompted her to make a mental note not to wear her hawaais till this frightful season was over. The green gate was a few steps away.
Surprisingly the front door was open, and Rose made her way in, after diligently wiping her slippers on the Welcome mat.

Sweety was slumped on the diwaan, and looked busy with samples of wedding invitations. Rose came up beside her and wondered if she had to give her friend a hug. Expressing herself was not something that came easily to Rose.

“So …the bride is busy with the wedding eh?”

“Yeah, I just wanted to select the right card you know…. But I don’t have many samples here” lamented Sweety . Rose thought to herself that her friend could just go through her previous wedding cards which probably would make a larger sample. Instead she offered her suggestion.

“Why don’t you first write down what you want, then we...you could select a card which would go with what you wrote?”

“For once you are making yourself useful. Hand me the paper will you dear…”

Sweety couldn’t stop smiling and Rose liked her friend like this.

As the wedding invitation was being written…the smile slowly weaned…and Sweety just slumped on the floor with a look of horror and disgust.

“What’s the matter Sweety? You look …”

“Rose…. do you remember my maiden name….”

For once the girls had to do jog down memory lane.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Idea

The creation of the universe has long been argued about by philosophers, scientists and religious heads. While the formers views about it vary with every phase of the moon, the tide and flapping of butterfly wings, the other two have been at loggerheads with each other.  Scientists have theories ranging from the bizarre to the downright silly, while the religious heads (when they are not wrestling each other) agree that a supreme being created the universe on a rather boring Wednesday afternoon.

However, the incident which we are about to witness holds no relevance to all this, for it occurred much before we humans existed and pondered over questions such as our own existence or whether our clothes made our rear ends look swelled up.

It was a place which would be considered seedy by many of us, but for the two friends this was where they had first met and over many drinks had realized that though their jobs kept them at different ends of the pole, they had everything else in common.

As he walked in thru the haze, his eyes were looking for his friend. He hoped and was sure that drinks had already been ordered and was keen to know the reason for his being here. He spotted the “I Am Him” T-Shirt and headed towards it.

“So what was the all that about? You sounded so darn excited I left mid-way at work and rushed over. This had better be important!”

His friend seemed to be busy writing down something and over the loud music didn’t seem to have heard a word of what he said.

“Hey! What you busy with?” he asked, as he sat down right opposite his friend. His eyes quickly darted about and noticed that drinks indeed were already present and this produced a smile on his face.

“Oh, Hi! Sorry, didn’t see you come in… I ordered you a drink. And what I am busy with, is the reason why I called you over.  At work yesterday, I hit upon an idea, and its been bugging me like a forgotten lyric ever since. ”

What’s it about?

Remember the company’s last project?

The  one which was scrapped? How can I forget XPV3213. It had me working weekends. What about it ?

I was thinking about what went wrong with it, and how all the hard work we put in went to waste. And believe it or not,  I think I might have come up with a solution.

We quit and find better jobs?

Stop kidding! This is serious. Listen up, my idea just might make Universe Implementation Projects  work.

No Kiddin! Wait a sec, let me order something more. I am quite hungry.

By the time the order arrived, the conversation begun. Pages filled with obscure phrases – poorly drawn sketches and incomprehensible bulleted points flew up.  The Pandora’s box had opened.

Thursday, July 15, 2004


Date: 1st December 1996.

I first came to know about Mukund thru Vijay when I joined Inter. Vijay asked me to mingle with this boy called Mukund who would be my senior. Vijay painted quite a picture of him. A studious nerd with a bunch of cronies. He also told me that Mukund was a tamilian and that I should try and make him my guru...sort of.

I never paid this characted a second thought. But when some doubts about some computerese arose, I din't want to ask Vijay. So this Mukund characted came into my mind. That week, KG bus came quite late in the evening. So while standing, I chanced upon this nerdy looking, brown guy next to me and I suddenly felt that he is Mukund. And it was. Due to the awe inspiring picture that Vijay had painted of him, I wanted him to be my guru/friend. I talked to him about my likes and dislikes, heavily critisizing Heavy Metal etc. I was pretty sure that his tastes would be similiar to mine. How wrong I was. He and Me were poles apart. He abhorred Tamil music and swam in Heavy Metal. So, In short I made an utter fool of myself.

Me and Nimish, have played a signinficant role in Mukund's life, wether he realizes it or not. We have helped him go back to his childhood which I feel he has missed, although I don't have any idea why. Wether he would acknowledge it or not, If it were not for us, The little bit of humanness in him would have been destroyed. Mukund's best friend ( and my good friend) Sarosh, is a normal person as such. So I don't know why Mukund has turned out this way. All the time Mukund spent with Me and Nimish, he chided us of being childish. I agreed. We were in no hurry to grow up. But I knew that Mukund wanted to be one of us. Something he has not been able to do till today.

I have always felt that a persons maturity lies in the way he/she handles his/her first crush. And since Mukund was mature ( that's what I thought) I was surprized when he had this hopeles crush on Rimli. He was this typical boy in love. Making an ass of himself and causing his friends a lot of misery. I don't want to relate all the incidents that took place during this period. I hope you remember them. These incidents have made me realize Mukund's immaturity.
Too much negative has been said about him so far. But there is a lot more to say. Today, Mukund has a persecution complex. He feels that everyone around him are talking about him and talking real dirty about him. And in the positive side, Mukund is different. He is not your average Tom, Dick and Harry. His thoughts are different. Though I am not close enough to him to know his goals. I can say for sure that Mukund has only two images as his future. Either he will be a huge success or a miserable failure. And I really hope that he succeds. But not before he faces some real failures. And unless he recovers from the shell he is in now, I fear the first image can be ruled out.

And the only reason I continue this relationship with this person is for his knowledge, software and my pity for him.


Started 11 July 1997.

Inside every guy wearing a suite, there is a guy in a T-Shirt in him wanting to get out.

No mater how great your triumph or how sorrowful your defeat, About 1 billion Chinese around the world couldn't care less.

The turtle may not soar like the eagle, but It doesn't get caught in Jet Plane Engines as well.

Shower the people you love with love......... Or better yet, shower with the people you love.

If it ain't broke, fix it till it is.

I don't get even, I get odder.

I always wanted to be a procrastinator, never got around to it

I am not fat..I am a nutritional overachiever

My inferiority complex is not as good as yours

I am in shape. Round is a shape

Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let him sleep

It's as BAD as you think, and they ARE out to get you

Give me ambiguity or give me something else

He who laughs last, thinks slowest

3 kinds of people: those who can count & those who can't

Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"

Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself:
"Mankind". Basically, it's made up of two separate words - "mank" and "ind".
What do these words mean ? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

Santa is very jolly because he knows where all the bad girls live.

Why do they use sterilized needles for lethal injections?

I bet the main reason the police keep people away from a plane crash is they
don't want anybody walking in and lying down in the crash stuff, then, when
somebody comes up, act like they just woke up and go, "What was THAT?!"

The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.

I'd rather be rich than stupid.

If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming
and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mr. Brave man, I guess I'm a

To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and
the dancers hit each other.

To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kind of scary. I've wondered where
this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a
clown killed my dad.

If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We
might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

You know what would make a good story? Something about a clown who make people
happy, but inside he's real sad. Also, he has severe diarrhea.

We used to laugh at Grandpa when he'd head off and go fishing. But we wouldn't
be laughing that evening when he'd come back with some whore he picked up in

When I was a kid my favorite relative was Uncle Caveman. After school we'd all
go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us. It wasn't
until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear.

Instead of trying to build newer and bigger weapons of destruction, we should be
thinking about getting more use out of the ones we already have.

Sometimes I think I'd be better off dead. No, wait, not me, you.

If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one
of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and
while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them

I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it.

Life, to me, is like a quiet forest pool, one that needs a direct hit from a big
rock half-buried in the ground. You pull and you pull, but you can't get the
rock out of the ground. So you give it a good kick, but you lose your balance
and go skidding down the hill toward the pool. Then out comes a big Hawaiian man
who was screwing his wife beside the pool because they thought it was real
pretty. He tells you to get out of there, but you start faking it, like you're
talking Hawaiian, and then he gets mad and chases you...

Sometimes, when I drive across the desert in the middle of the night, with no
other cars around, I start imagining: What if there were no civilization out
there? No cities, no factories, no people? And then I think: No people or
factories? Then who made this car? And this highway? And I get so confused I
have to stick my head out the window into the driving rain---unless there's
lightning, because I could get struck on the head by a bolt.

The whole town laughed at my great-grandfather, just because he worked hard and
saved his money. True, working at the hardware store didn't pay much, but he
felt it was better than what everybody else did, which was go up to the volcano
and collect the gold nuggets it shot out every day. It turned out he was right.
After forty years, the volcano petered out. Everybody left town, and the
hardware store went broke. Finally he decided to collect gold nuggets too, but
there weren't many left by then. Plus, he broke his leg and the doctor's bills
were real high.

There's so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets? -- Dick Cavett, mocking the TV-violence debate

Calvin: People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize
how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. Hobbes: Isn't your
pants' zipper supposed to be in the front?

"Time's fun when you're having flies." -- Kermit the Frog

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a
voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night." -- Charlie Brown

His finest hour

This was my first writing effort ever... i dont exactly remember when I wrote this, perhaps in Inter. But the character of Balakrishna was based on our Physics Lecturer in Inter.... The story itself was inspired from 'To Sir With Love' and It was titled so till moments ago. Btw, no apologies for the immaturity of the story..remember i was young...besides, this story is still my favourite.

Even as the bus came to a screeching halt, Balakrishna's mind was still juggling decesions. How would they take in a new lecturer ? Are teachers ragged too ? Will he get a salary which would feed his growing needs ? Would they be well behaved ? No! They didn't make kids like that anymore. Not that he was the last of the well behaved kids.He had had his fair share of mischief in his childhood days..Or so he thought. He would steal back into school and read for the test next day. Other children were so stupid. After passing his B.Com with a first class, he was working in the same school he had studied earlier. But since his needs could not contain in his salary, the village couldn't contain him. So Balakrishna joined a college in the city as a lecturer of commerce.

The blaring school bell pulled him back into the world he was in. He trotted his way to the staff room hoping to find someone there...someone to tell him that lecturers were not hanged by their toe-nails over a blazing fire by the students here. But to his dismay, the hall was empty. Now how was he going to know how the students of this college were. On his way to his class his thoughts began jumping around again. When even the tiny urchins in the village school jeered him for his tiny build and bald head, how would a class full of.... A second bell jarred again. He quickened his pace.

His entry into his class was silent. The students did not greet him. But Bala far from minding it was happy. At least there were no giggles and hisses. A whole 'bunch' of droopy faces were looking at him now. His eyes probed deep into each, finding no intelligent life anywhere.

Suddenly a voice emerged from within him. ' Good Morning Students! Though it is customary that the students wish their teacher upon his arrival, I took no offence to your behaviour.' Bala himself couldn't believe the inspiring speech which was so involuntarily coming out of his mouth. It was as if a super intelligent life form had taken over his oral capacities. He could see pupils in his student's eyes expand as they watched in awe and respect. This was Bala's finest hour and he wished it go on forever, but then he found these words coming out of his mouth and realized that his moment had come to and end "And in conclusion I wish you good morning."

The neandrathals were silent and staring with admiration. Bala had never expected all this from himself. It was of the cuff, the whole thing. For the first time in his life he had people's attention for a reason other than his person.

The silence broke..Was that a snigger..? From where..? Soon the whole class was rolling in their benches. Balakrishna in all his nervousness had forgotten to 'do his Zipper'.

Somethings never change.


This is a 'Copy Paste' from my Diary.....and if u expected a disclaimer...u wont be dissappointed. The views below were certainly mine...but please also note the date. My current views may not necesarily be the same on all topics.

Date:- 14th June 1996

You may be surprized that the name Syed Asad is the first one in this book. But the only reason for this is that this was the name that came to my mind first.

Date:-15th June 1996.

I met Asad during my 5th class. We were not friends from that time. Far from it, we were enemies. Believe it or not. It so happened that Asad was the class leader and I was myself. One day ( if i remember right, it was Asad's b'day. So Kareem ( a boy in the class) decided to give him his watch. This was not due to friendship, it was solely for the sake of getting into his good books. I don't know whether Asad accepeted the watch or not. But for some strange reason I told of Kareem's deal to Amma.
The same week, Amma came to school and complained to the Vice-Princi. The news spread all over school. So that's how me and Asad came to be bitter enemies. A few days later, Asad came to me and asked me why I had done all this. I gave him a muddeled reply which even I couldn't understand, ( But it was intentionall).
I don't remember how, but quite soon after that we became friends ( not close though!) He still had his old friends like Sajeed etc. But he could not hold onto them for long. Maybe their 'lower than a snail's belly' intellect was irritating him. Anyway, both of us were steadily coming closer and leaving our old friends behind. Our interests, and intelectual thoughts were same. While the others talked of silly things we were into serious stuff.
In our 7th we saw our first movie together, It was 'Honey, I Shrunk the kids!' and it was in Sangeet, on a Saturay and the noon show.
By our 8th class we were well established 'best-Friends'. It was in this class that both of us learnt about intercourse and sex. I remember, We used to pour through the blue Oxford Pocket Dictionary ( It was supposed to be Vijay's. But he hardly knew that It existed.) We went to the word 'Intercourse' and there it was written, 'Insertion of Man's Penis into Woman's Vagina'. We for starters were dumbfounded, flabbergasted and all that stuff. To this day, I owe to the Oxford dictionary for most of what I know about sex. Even as I am writing I am sniggering to myself as I recollect these incidents. I am sure that you will too.

Date:-13th November 1996.
Asad & Me never realised that we are 'best friends' until maybe we were in 8th class. I don't recall, when we became friends and how our enimity faded away. Our thoughts were alike, and that's what brought us together. Asad is 2 years older than me. That made him one of the oldest in the class. So he probably felt alone, in a class full of 'kids'. So when he found me, talking uinlike the rest of the class, and being 'above the rest' probably made him like me. But I was mostly another one of those freaks in the class who loved fun and 'chutiye kaaman' as Asad himself would have put it. I could have survived without a super intellegent peer. So what attracted me to him. Probably his love for books, which we both shared @ that time.
But even in school, we hanged around with the regular freaks a lot. Probably Asad dind't need this, but I did. So Asad was there with me. The one main difference between me and Asad is ( I hope I get this right) that he dosen't hide his high thougts, but I behave like a childish, immature 17 year old with others, but with Asad I am something else. Only Asad knows this. I don't want to analyze this further because this chapter is about Asad and not me.
When school broke up in class X, I thought that this was the end of our friendship. Because, I certainly don't believe in long distance relationships. I had forgotten all about Asad and didn't worry about it much, thinking only about the college life ahead of me. But thank god, Asad remembered me. One day, I came back from Bhavans College after submitting the forms, to find Asad sitting in my home. He told me that he planned to take MPC in St.Marys. But I (with a little help from Amma) brain washed him into taking CS Voc. We didn't meet much in the hols. Though I don't know why.
While writing if it appears as if I am a very proud and haughty guy. Then you can go to hell. I am telling the bare truth. Me and Asad are definetely a cut above the rest. And we both don't have any inhibitions about this with each other.

Date:14 November 1996.
I could never decide who is more mature, me or Asad. @ first I felt it was him, but some of his views and ideas shows him to be very immature. He is conservative, thought not as much as the average muslim. He hates 'made-up' women. But you can't expect a muslim from his background to be a total revolutionary. He has very immature in judging people. A person who was an angel one day would be a bastard the other. So far, one Mr.Ahmed (Achmed if you remember), & A Sashi stand to prove my point. Relatively I feel that I am more stable in my thoughts and judging people.
Another of Asad's qualities which I ( I hate to say this) admire is his never tire attitude. He faces so many failures every day, most of which I make it a point to point out to him. But he is still confident about it. So confident that you can only call it over confidence. He always feels that things will work out peachy keen. Come to think of it, isn't this a bad quality in him. Won't this mar his future. I hope not.

16th January 1997.

More on his overconfidence. Asad is getting more and more overconfident. He has even gone to the limit of saying that WE are geniuses. We are certainly not. We are above average. I don't even consider us Very Good. In the international level, we are just above average. And that is very good I feel. Moreover Asad covers his shabby programs under the guise that his ' underlying engine ' is powerful. The only difference between his programs and mine I feel is that I pay lots more attention to the interface and intuitiveness than he does. Just because my programs look and feel good doesn't make them technically inferior. And just because his programs have a nerdy look dosen't make it great. This is something I have never been able to convince Asad about.
Once and for all, I certainly feel that I am better than Asad in computers.

November 10th 1997.
I have been reading the chapters on Asad and have added to the Asad vs Me chapter just a few moments ago. But my pen just doen't seem to stop. Since I have been critical of him in the other chapter, I guess I more than owe it to him to write something good.
I was just thinking and a thought occured to me. If it wasn't for Asad I probably wouldn't have been the intellectual that I am. But Asad probably wouldn't have needed me. This may sound to be a paradox to what I may have written earlier. But I have written what has come to my mind now. So there!
And even if we do achieve success I think Asad would have a bigger hand in mine than mine in his. This is probably because Asad is the one who is enterprising. He is willing to ' Just to it'. Maybe it is because business runs in his blood.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Divine Justice

It was a much too typical evening on the 14th of May. The sun seemed unwilling to set behind the hills with the high raise '60 lac each' condominiums, wanting to catch a glimpse of the night sky - an unfullfilled wish since the dawn of time. The early stars were loathe to come out of their hiding. The birds may get the worm but what do the stars get for coming out early? The wind was racing through the city adding excitement and confusion to the already congested and maddening traffic returning home - just in time to watch their spouses watch TV. The warmth of the afternoon was receding and giving way to the warmth of the evening.

The motley crowd in the 'Biryani Joint' was noisy, but unintrusive in a way that only motely crowds in Biryani Joints can be. In a corner the soon to be graduates from the nearby business school were making back of the envelop calculation on how many 'Murgis' are killed in the twin-cities every day, a calculation which had become a tradition, having been done by every college group for generations.In the streets, families were haggling, trying their best to save their precious money from the street hawkers - so that it could be better donated to the poor undernourished cola companies.

The two balloon vendors had long since accepted each others competition. The urchin seemed to be all of 12 years old and the old man more like 120. They seemed to have an understanding of standing 8 feet apart and never poached on each others clientele. The boy sold his 'heart balloon' to the odd teenager who was eager but unimaginative in expressing his feelings. The boy was clever and realized that he could sell his balloons at a premium to the love lorn. The old man was all too content going the traditional way and selling his wares to the parents of bratty kids.

It could have been the cruel summer or even the fact that the theatre nearby was screening the latest blockbuster and near empty; There was not a single love struck couple in the street that evening. Children were in full supply though, tugging their parents like a Maruti 800 pulling a broken-down Amby. The old man was looking forward to finishing early and returning to his non-home. It was always a pleasure to go home with an empty staff - void of balloons which always burst at night spoiling his sleep.

To his delight, a rather tired looking lady with an army of lollipop sucking 'baby sat' was headed his way, the army chanting for his wares. The old man was trying hard to conceal his pan stained teeth, but just couldnt stop grinning.

The army camped around the old man, and the distressed matron was fishing through her purse while making a mental note to never again volunteer to take the kids out so that the family could relax. The transaction was about to complete, just as the old man was handing over the bunch of balloons, his young competitor 'accidentally' chased a mongrel at the old man and the army.

The crowd at the biryani joint could hear the balloons burst as the staff fell to the ground - a 21 gun salute for some phantom dignitary. The urchin was smiling from ear to ear, not just from the success of his plan but because the movie in the nearby theatre seemed to have ended. And young couples seemeed to be hovering around like locusts.

Shil Chaterjee had been planning this for about a month now. Not that he didnt have prior experience - but proposing to his 'latest' girlfriend was something he was looking forward to...it opened doors. A huge buch of 'heart balloons' along with the poem that his confidante had written in exchange for two beers usually did the trick.

In a matter of minutes - fortunes had reversed. The urchin was all set to go home with enough money to buy him a decent dinner.

Suddenly a gust of wind blew - carrying with it pebbles from the nearby construction site. Another gun salute! A smile reversed!

The crowd had finished its Biryani, but were busy witnessing this drama. Everyone applauded the justice metted out and went home happy at the thought of some supreme power which balances injustice.

That night, the urchin slept on the pavement accompanied by the old man and the rest of the homeless...hungry again.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Alanis Poem

found this poem on the Alanis website...amazin!!! probably because its 2:40 AM now.... hope it still is as good later.

at some point perhaps we could sit cross legged, facing each other.
(I have not felt this attracted to someone in years)
let's go lie down in your houseboat...
venture in (with god nestled in the green carpet)
say things like "so have you read all these books..."
you will tell me tragic stories and try to fluff them off as though
everyone has members
of their nuclear family die when they're young...
and you will be so curious about how I handled everything with
such dignity
(we'll debate about whether it was dignity or denial)
I will then ask you the same.
and I may never tell you about the dream I had...
you bought me olivia newton-john posters
and black lights
and I had you all to myself for an hour and I pushed you
up against the wall and kissed you and it was

Friday, February 27, 2004

email excerpt

Oi guys!!

man! firstly thanx to nimz..ur C&Hs arrived just in time... what with me reading so much 'serious philosophy'... i needed something to rein in m thoughts...and this was just the thing..i finished the Sunday book.... savin the other book to read between 'Seymour: An introduction' and the next book am gonna read (on Zen).....

okie..first on the agenda... is something which ive already talked over with nimish on one of our booze rounds.... its a simple enuf experiment..

1) take a guy (kari, wait..dont be in a hurry, read the rest of it) who u think u know well..really well....your 'best friend' would be an ideal labrat... (the best thing about this experiment, is that you dont need your friend to be present..in fact its rather important that he/she isnt with you)

2) try to have an imaginary conversation with him/her ( at this point i would like to implore you at this point, to do this entire experiment 'in your head' so as to avoid looking like a lunatic)...

typically, this would work best, when you need to ask your friend for advice or opinion....in my experience, ive been able to emulate 2 of my friends (who is anybody's guess) fairly well.... and the reason i can so confidently say that i was fairly successfull is that i have 'rerun' the conversation with the actual person..and it was 40% - 65% close to what i had in mind.... and this i would say is close enuff considering that various external factors as well as the ever prevalant 'butterfly effect'..

i needed to do this since on of the said 'subjects' is physically away while the other is 'away' for all practical purposes....his brain having degenrated beyond recognition and is now incapable of carrying out a decent conversational thread.

Second on the agenda, for today....is some random ( Hi rahul) thoughts on the need for a 'guru'... anyone interested???

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The Art of War

According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one's plans

you must be guided by the actions of the enemy in attempting to secure a favorable position in actual warfare." On the eve of the battle of Waterloo, Lord Uxbridge, commanding the cavalry, went to the Duke of Wellington in order to learn wha t his plans and calculations were for the morrow, because, as he explained, he might suddenly find himself Commander-in-chief and would be unable to frame new plans in a critical moment. The Duke listened quietly and then said: "Who will attack the fir st tomorrow -- I or Bonaparte?" "Bonaparte," replied Lord Uxbridge. "Well," continued the Duke, "Bonaparte has not given me any idea of his projects; and as my plans will depend upon his, how can you expect me to tell you what mine are?"

All warfare is based on deception.
Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near

If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.

If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

He who wishes to fight must first count the cost

Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs

Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.

It is the rule in war:
a) If our forces are ten to the enemy's one, to surround him
b) If five to one, to attack him; [Straightway, without waiting for any further advantage.]
c) If twice as numerous, to divide our army into two.
d) If equally matched, offer battle
e) If slightly inferior in numbers, can avoid the enemy
f) If quite unequal in every way, flee from him.

In respect of military method, we have, firstly, Measurement; secondly, Estimation of quantity; thirdly, Calculation; fourthly, Balancing of chances; fifthly, Victory

Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.

Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

If the enemy is taking his ease, he can harass him
if well supplied with food, he can starve him out; if quietly encamped, he can force him to move.

Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.

The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known; for then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible attack at several different points

For should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear; should he strengthen his rear, he will weaken his van; should he strengthen his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right, he will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.

Though the enemy be stronger in numbers, we may prevent him from fighting. Scheme so as to discover his plans and the likelihood of their success

Military tactics are like unto water; for water in its natural course runs away from high places and hastens downwards.

So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak. [Like water, taking the line of least resistance.]