Monday, May 29, 2006

Wedding Woes

I recently went to a wedding of a family friend. Now I go only to weddings which have either A/c halls, Parking, and a North Indian Buffet. Cause if you don't have them attributes, your not worth my time. After all my time is more precious than yours. I always want to know something. Does one take the wedding invitation to the wedding? I mean AFAIK, my family has never taken one to any wedding they have been too. I first thought that this was another small quirk running in the Ravichandar's.

So I decided to see if this was reality. I waited outside the hall entrance the my keen eye I observed the family from the car that pulled up behind us. If anyone will have the invite it wont be the Man of the family. Cause he has to pretend to look important and VIP like. Not the woman as she has to see that the damn kids she gave birth too are behaving themselves(and curiously only 10 yr olds are seen in weddings I never know why, that too the crying and bawling ones like you see in the movies). And there is the odd oldie who has to get out once in a while, they are the best bet, make some use of 'em..Nada!

So..No one who comes to the wedding brings the Wedding invitations. I don't get it. Do you have any idea how much it takes to print those? Like 30-50 bucks a card with all that gold decoration and a double fold that opens out like a majestic swan in spring. I always have the feeling as I enter the hall that there's gonna be sudden check buy a polite yet sharp guy asking me for my invite. Nothing. But Im not so lucky when it comes to Tailor guys, Photo Dev guys and of course the worst Ticket Checkin on trains -.- who all insist No ticket, No Service. In the last case it gets a lot worse.

essentially, the only place you can just walk in without any such ID is a wedding hall. I still feel like Im gatecrashing the place. Then as I walk into the entrance of the hall, I get sprayed with some scented liquid and sugar by three giggly females, probably friends of the bride/groom. I dunno what custom that Is, but I took a bath so don't insult me. So can the spray sista.

Now since I don't know the bride or groom, the highlight of the evening for me would be the dinner. When/Where/What. Before that happens you have to sit somewhere and not look like you just came here to stuff your fat self. All eyes on the stage as we see the parents and friends of the couple running around across to each others room conveying updates. Could be- 'who came?', 'Is he/she done with saree/suit' etc. Ahhh..So sad. The pressure on them would be huge seeing so many people turn up. And for the 1st time being the spotlight with 500 ppl facing only on you. Thought you dodged the ppt presentations @ college in front of a huge audience? lol your dead now.

As they make their appearance on stage, you can hear the screech of chairs and the shuffle of feet and the jostling of people trying to make it on stage being the 1st to give the happy couple their wedding gift, aka, compensation for stuffing themselves silly. Then I see the couple standing up, the girl in her 39483290432 rs saree(40% of the wedding budget) and the guy in his 3 kg Tux suit which is made of some wierd polyester that makes you sweat like crazy. As all the losers go and give the gift to the guy/girl, it is then handed over a small guy behind him the (probably the evil scheming cousin/loser who wanted to have some responsibility/someone good at counting in binary) . Reminds me of politicians go give flowers to the CM, then CM gives the garland to another guy. Both losers.

Anyway, the couple have to be on their feet for atleast 1 hr, pretend to know everyone who comes on stage with a smart nod and chit chat for the VIPs. What a pity. Add to that the intense 1000 watt light beaming straight at you from 3 strategically places cameras. The girl has to hope that her make up job don't melt in the heat. If the guy sees here as she really is he'd beat it in a heartbeat.

Now that the formality is over, all of them head out to the dining room. As expected the food was delicious. And people are eating like the plane was going down. Your not gonna believe this, but there was a separate chat section, serving bhel and pani puri! Is it ok to have second helping at weddings? If its a buffet style I mean, can u go back in line and ask for seconds? I mean the French fries were really good!

So I ditch this paper plate, get a new one and I stealthily cut in line and tried look like a first timer. The server gives me a "Havent-I-seen-you-before-here-you-fatso' look as I come to him. What the hell dude?!The server guy thinks its his family jewels on line?! I get my seconds! Diminishing returns tho :( not as good as batch #1. I see the sweets area as a 90 yr old dude is like loading 7 rasagullas into a steel container 5x7 made specially for this hit and run. Guess he wants to eat them in private and his nagging wide don't want him to die of diabetes type II.

Finally as the crowd exits completing its rampage, they are all given a 'thambulam' or a bag having 2 coconuts, another custom. Hmm..if I were the guy footing this marriage, I wouldn't be handing them the bags, probably use it as a club and clonk the heads of every blood suckin tick that walked through my door.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I've Got Mail!

What the hell..where did my 'I've Got Mail!' post go?!

If anyone hasa copy of it please gimme!!

Monday, May 22, 2006


'A hero commonly possesses superhuman capabilities or idealized character traits which enable him or her to perform extraordinary, beneficial deeds (i.e., a "heroic deed") for which he or she is famous '

- Wiki on Hero

That's not really a Hero which we want to admire. A better Version would be that of a Reluctant Hero

The Reluctant Hero is typically portrayed either as an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances which require him to rise to heroism.The Reluctant Hero is portrayed as having a period of doubt after his initial foray into heroism. This may be brought about by the negative consequences of his own heroic actions, or by the achievement of some position of personal safety - leaving the audience to wonder whether he will return to heroism at the moment when he is needed the most.

^^ This is more like it.

Who is a Reluctant Hero ? I would like to take explaing the concept of A Reluctant Hero using the example of a protagonist in three examples

  1. The Harry Potter Series

I'm not going to go into how well JKR writes, or how marvellous the magical world she created is. Her book sales will talk for that.

I want to focus on the protagonist. Harry Potter. He was not born with any magical gifts or powers. He did not want the [in]famous scar on his forehead. He did not want the double edged fame he was thrust into. He did not want to be a 13 yr old having to fear for his life everyday having death eaters or Voldermort after him.He did not want to fight them. But he did it anyway.

2. Temple By Matthew Reilly

A lot of you may not have read this book or even heard of this writer. But I urge you to read it as it has a lot to do with reluctant heroism[just like the examples above and below] and a jaw dropping ending . A small gist from to get you to speed.

'William Race, a mild-mannered professor, is impressed into the U.S. army on a bizarre mission: to retrieve a centuries-old Incan idol revered by a Peruvian Indian tribe. The idol, carved out of a meteorite, is the missing ingredient in a so-called "planet-killer," a weapon long sought not only by the U.S. government, but also by a neo-Nazi group whose scientists, linguists, and anthropologists seem to be one step ahead of the Americans. Only Race can translate the legendary manuscript that holds the key to the idol's location high in the Andes in a temple guarded by huge, man-eating panthers, on a moat seething with equally carnivorous crocodiles'

If you read the book, you can Race's character see as hinted above. He did not want to be in the amazons filled with hungry gators and Killer Legendary Black Panthers. He did not want to stop 20 highly trained elite commando terrorists from stealing the century old idol.
But he did it anyway.

3. The Matrix Trilogy (My Personal Fav)

Obviously no introductions needed here. Neo did not want to be the One. He did not believe it himself nor could other convince him. He did not want to fight the machines or take on the agents.
But he did it anyway.

What is common to Harry, Race and Neo?

  • They were all the Chosen Ones
  • Their coming was predicted in the Prophecy
  • They were all reluctant in the Heroic/Epic Task that lay ahead of them and had the potential to change the world

All of them were just three normal guys. But they did have some special qualities like Courage, Friendship, Self Sacrifice. These are the qualities that you and I want in us and in the people around us. Not the ability to fly or the strength to move a 1000 mountains. Our mind will reject that how ever fanciful it sounds. Because that is not real.

Ever wondered why all the three are so popular and deified all over the world? There is a hero in all of us. But we lack the courage and the self belief that we too can be as God like as they are. But our physche/id needs an outlet for our hero worship. That's how they emerge.

Thats why we all love a reluctant hero.

Because he is just like us - insecure,afraid and emotional.

In other words human.

Emerging at the

Friday, May 19, 2006


*Transalation= ZOMG!!11 Ranking for the Win!

I just registered @ Indian Bloggers, a site where..well a lot of Indians post their blog. Its a nice place to check what the other good reads are. It has about a dozen categories like Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Personal(which I choose) .. and guess what?

My blog ranks 55 out of 640 blogs in just a week! Woot! :)

A big thanks to you guys, gals,4 Nasa Trained Internet Savvy Monkeys,3 aliens, sit at home stalkers etc who made it happen!

--> Clicky on this icon and scroll down to blog No.59 aka Random Musings :)

And dont forget to keep visiting we can make this #1 people!

->Whats in it for you?

Uh..umm see...err there are a few tangible benefits for you err...


*Now that all have gone does The Robot*

To get a better visual impression, This is what it would look like...that kid ripped me off!

Edit: Now at 54 !! No damn went to 55..guess somebady stopped visiting :P

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Best Of Dilbert!

Some of my all time favourite Dilbert Strips!

1)I thought the PHB's joke was good...

2) Me too.

3) Why does this seem oddly familiar?

4)Asok Rocks!! Am looking for another IIT based strip where Asok blows up the head of a Texan Mentally, if you can get a hold of that, plz do tell me. Thanks!


I know this is not a 'real' post which Im sure my 943278423 visitors a day expect. Hope this link will satisfy your visit to my blog :)



Friday, May 12, 2006

A Trip To Ranganathan Street - II

If you have not Read Part I of my post, scroll down!

For the rest of you...

Where was I? Oh yea, on my way to complete Mission II. Getting the Mgmt Book. And there is only 1 place where I would go. BELLCO. (Rhyming bonus +5)

BELLCO is a great shop which has every book for School/ College Students. If you want a book, Bellco won’t let you down. So I go there ask for 'Essentials of Management by ...Stopped myself here. No need to waste time by telling them such trivial things like who the author his, Edition no etc. They are tuned to get it with as min info as possible. Cool right? Then the lady instinctively goes to the 2nd last book shelf and emerges.... empty handed. I was mildly perturbed by the scene unraveling in front of me. She is so deeply ashamed and does not even have the courage to tell it verbally. She makes a sad -no no nod of her head. aka, the book is not available. The 1st time I know that had happened. I had purchased over 7 books here for my three years @ Loyola. ZOMG!!!11

Now I noticed that exactly opposite to BELLCO was an another book store. When I say opposite, it’s about 5 feet away. It looked pretty well stocked too. I was tempted to go buy there but I felt the eyes of Bellco on me.-Betrayer. So, once u don’t get what u want, you turncoat?

Anyways, Now, I’m no John Kenneth Galbraith, but does it make economic sense to setup a book store right next to another one? I mean you lose practically half your customers right? I proceed to ask the new book guy for the book. It was there! He triumphantly got the book in his right hand and gave a smug grin to Bellco's Boys. The price of the book was 210. I forgot to tell you that ALL book stores in this area carry a 10% discount no matter what. I pay the guy 200 and he gives me back 10 rs.

Now wait a minute. I aint no Ramanjan either but, 10% of 210 was 21, the discount amount. So, 210-21= 189. I had paid 200 and got 10 rs back. So I paid 190. A small but vital discrepancy. Now I know most of you would let it go, but this is a matter of principle. And as you know I value them greatly. I told him the equation written above as lucidly as I could as I could see he was not the kinda guy who would clear a Math Olympiad in a hurry. He understood that he technically owed me a buck and grudgingly gave it to me. A moral victory for all principle holders. Caveat Emptor shop dudes!

Mission 2 accomplished

Finally, the last and final phase of the trip. What was it? C’mon think! Scrolled down? If u did, u need to pay more attention. If u did not, good keep it up. The Belt Repair.

Now, this is not an everyday thing. Very specialized skill is needed to fix stuff like broken buttons, unbudging Zips on a bag etc. I ask around and all point to 1 shop. Nargis Bag Works. Located on the 1st floor of the 100's of shops at R-St, I see I came to the right place. Hundreds of old zips, a huge box of tools, thread, screws, tailoring machines, scissors et al. There is 20 year old guy who takes a look at my belt. Diagnosed it in a jiffy and gets to work on it without uttering a word. I wanted to make so small talk to clear the silence..what to talk about ?His store, of course - Nargis..I knew she was an old hindhi actress dunno why she was in the news recently..maybe she died? Maybe this guys Grandmother named Nargis ?And she still alive and me telling nargis is dead when infact both of them Nargises could be alive and kicking. Zippped my trap shut.

Now, as a seasoned traveler, take a tip. In such shops, where the product is purely skill base like repair, you cannot ask him what the charges will be. Like A doctor. What ever he says at the end of it, you have to pay. You don’t have choice. Cause usually the charges would be really low and sometimes they might even do it for free. When the latter scenario arises, and you stupidly ask him the charges before hand, he will take it as a personal insult. That you dared offer him monetary compensation for a service he can render just by using his toes and blindfolded too.

But that feeling will always be there. Once he is done, you will have to; under any circumstance pay him what he deems worthy. Cause after the damage is done and you make a noise about the charges, he will say "Saar, moonadiya neega evalova ithu aahune ketirkalam" - 'Saar, before itself you could have asked the price'. I was under the vision that this is what was gonna happen given my earlier run in at the bus stop. But things worked out ok and he charged me 5 bucks which was fair.

2 out of 3 my way, not bad.
66.67% - Reminds me of my avg cat percentiles in my TIME Mocks.

But at the end of the day all I can say is..

Mission Accomplished.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Trip To Ranganathan Street

For those of you who are not from Chennai, Ranganathan street is THE shopping place in T nagar. The shops here sell anything from remote control covers to 99.99% Gold(.01% real) . Frequented by the lower -middle class as the the prices here are very competitive and even a steal compared to the upmarket shops in other places of Chennai. Its just a common observation don't go politically correct on me.

I went there today cause I had to get 3 things:
  1. A rain coat as it rains cats(i hate this animal) and dogs in Pune.
  2. Get my Mgmt Book as I felt guilt not reading and this has solid 200 pgs of theory which makes me feel like Im really doing something to justify the E-course from SCMHRD.
  3. Get my belt repaired
As Im a smart shopper, I called up Witco and conformed that a Rain Coat was there in Stock. [This is very imp as I landed up in a shop last time where I saw the last piece being taken away by some guy and I had to return home empty handed .] .

I had to take the bus for just a stop. Now I needed to know if a Bus would go to the T nagar Terminus as that was my stop which had to go through Panagal Park. But I was not sure of which Bus No would get directly to the terminus . So, the unavoidable public confrontation began. I looked for a seasoned bus traveller(guys only if i ask any ladies/girls there they will think Im trying to hit on them -.- ) . How do you find such a person? Chief Characteristics Include:

  1. Will not look in the dir of the bus coming, lazily sitting and scoping out the scene.
  2. Will stand about 3 meters away from the stop as he knows exactly that that's where the bus will stop.
But I could find only one guy with attribute no 1, so I had no choice but to ask him. There was a bus approching me, 27A Reg no and I had a faint idea if this was it. But I was not sure and needed conformation. I remembered my Mothers words "Open you mouth and ask to get ahead in life" I went to him and in the local tamil I could muster up-

Me -"Saar, inntha bus Terminal ke pohumma" ? (Will this bus go to the terminal?)
Looks at me as If idisturbed his dream of winning the TN elections - " Eh ?Illa pove pohadu!', '(Eh, way!)'

Now I knew there was something phony about the way he said it. As the bus pulled over, I was tempted to ask the bus conducter for conformation. Now this is extremely embarrasing. You have to ask him a so called 'silly' question in less than the 10 seconds the bus stops at the stop and everyone stares at your from the bus . Another added problem is if that guy I asked 1st heard me asking the conducter he would get wild and say "Enna pa, naa sonna nambammatiya" (enna pa, If I say, wont you beleive me?). The latter was the worst case scenario, so i trusted him and boarded the bus, hoping it would atleast go to PPark which is via the Terminus(u with me so far?)

As I board the bus, I need to pay 2 Rs to get a ticket. Picture this. The ride will be just for about a minute. The Conducter is all bizze with his collection he refuses to take the 2 rs from me. Its like he does not want to give me a ticket! I have heard horror stories where Ticket Chking officers are in mufti waiting there to catch fellows who literally, take a ride. I see the destination coming and I start to imagine how they are gonna bust me and arrest me for ticketless travelling. Finally as the bus screeches to a halt at the destination, he gives me a ticket. I wanted to kill that guy. And then to add insult to injury, I watch the very same bus to to the Terminus, my ultimate destinartion. So that guy did sucker punch me. I see that this is the 1298938213th time that this has happened to me.

As I walk along Ranganathan street, I see a flood of people around me. So many that you have to walk in a single file. As I was trying to breathe and reach Witco, this ten year old kid with a JUMBO pack of moth balls (About 100 of them) asks me to buy it. Now I take personal offence to this. Do I look like I have come from a house where I wine and dine with cockoraches and other 8 legged insects? He did not offer it to the guy ahead of me, only me. I guess he must have got an SMS from the Bus guy telling him "Orru vella dhadian onneoda route le varuvan, nee ethuvenam avanikku vikkalan, erruiju poona illiange moodi kooda" - ['A fat white sucka will be headed you way, he is so dumb you can sell him burnt animal hair and he will still buy it'].

Fianlly , I make it to Witco which has A/conditiong thank God, and is clean. I buy my Rain Coat and as I leave I check out the 'wind cheaters' there. Can one cheat wind? Only break it right? Anyway I see that they looks awesome with soft cotton padding inside and a fake Nike Logo. Wicked. The price? 700 rs. And to think I spent 800 on a goddamn Oswald-Wool Mark sweater which looks so uncool. I curse myself for the 100 rs loss and the uncoolness factor loss. Double Damage.

Mission 1 complete.

As I trudge back to get to mission 2, I see a famous saree shop -Pothys. I sneakily stand in front of the shop prentending to be stuck there but I savour the cool a/c blast from inside. I see the sad plight of 10 or so married men who have to wait outside in the swealtering heat while the Mrs is busy squandaring his months salary on the latest sarees . I grin at his foolishness and continue my odyssy...

Part II follows..

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Tribute to the Greatest Game Ever - Starcraft

Gamespot, [Click on the title of post to go the link in Gamespot] arguably the best source for gaming on any platform (pc/ps2/xbox) has come out with its Greatest Games of all time- Which includes not surprisingly, my fav game of all time,Starcraft.

I was playing Age Of Empires, which I thought was God's gift to me when my pal in school (10th std) told me that he just got a copy of this really new aweomse si-fi RTS game, Starcraft. He described it to me so well about how there are three completetly different Races- The nomadic Terran, The Voracious Zerg and the Mysterious Protoss- ..I was enthralled by it. He gave me the CD the next day and once I started playing the game,and was in front of my computer for 14 hours that day. I even skipped school the next two days feigning a fever.

Everything about the game was so perfect. The realistic sounds made by the alien zerg, the shouts of "my life for Aiur" by a Protoss Zealot, the Tactical Nuclear blast by a Terran Ghost taking out an entire Zerg colony! The graphics although 2d were animated for every single unit. You haven't seen anything until you see a Hydralisk Salaivating.

The story of the campaign was so moving I really felt I was one of them. The Cut scenes 1st time ever for an RTS were so well taken and added so much to the lovely story. The Characters are what made Starcraft- Raynor's wry and rebellistic way against the Confederate, Arcturus who deserted Kerrigan to the Zergs ,Then Kerrigan became an infested Zerg due to Arcturus' betrayal ,Tassadar blind faith and wisdom in the Dark Templars , The Terran and Protoss teaming up as unlikely allies to take on the overmind and finally Tassadar sacrifising himself so that Aiur(the Protoss Homeland) could be saved..I really was in tears when that happened. I never wanted the campaign to end. Ever. I played it about 12 times fully so far.

When Starcraft: Brood War the expansion pack came out, I was almost fainted with joy. It was the happiest momment in my life and will be more than my admit to any damn B school. New units- medics for terran, Lurkers for Zerg and Dark Archons for Protoss. And the kick ass story line with Kerrigan playing the pivotal role and the return of my hero, Jim Raynor. The campaign was so well done, and impossibly betters the original. The line where Raynor tells Kerrigan " It may not be today or tommorow..but rest assured darling..I'm the man thats going to kill you" was my all time best Starcraft moment. It gives me hope that SC-2 will come out in the near future. No other game can ever be as great as Starcraft. Ever. If there is, then let me not hear you as I would have to kill you.

A recent screen shot of a game me vs my pal- Terran Vs Protoss..I better stop now or I will never stop writing about Starcraft..

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Random IITian Facts!

IITians are awesome. CAT is a walk in the park for them. A BLACKI is an an everyday event for them. They land up campus jobs after a UG which is what I hope I will get when I complete my PG . In my 2 years of being caught up with this MBA maze I have been stunned by these guys. They can do ANYTHING! To honour them , I have penned down some of the amazing feats of past/present IITians, and thanks to a lil inspiration from chuck norris :)

So without much further ado..

  • IITians can build rome in a day.
  • IITians can simply walk into MORDOR.
  • IITians can prove 0!=1. It is not an axiom for them.
  • IITians can take a horse to the pond and make it drink.
  • IITians can divide by zero.
  • IITians play Minesweeper with real mines.
  • IITians know the colour of water.
  • IITians in USA are not assigned a Social Secuirty number, only an Atomic Number.
  • IITians have counted to infinity. Twice.
  • IITians know the last digit of Pi. I was told it is 7.

  • IITians have the 104th element in the periodic table named after them- IITianium.