Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Congrats Ameya!

Ameya, one of the kiddos of our gang, has got into Intel. And having chatted with him the past few weeks, I am sure that he must be relieved as hell. Though I hasten to add that his relief would be short-lived as, on his return to India, he would have to definitely give us the elusive Leela treat.

A few words on Ameya: Kid by age, aged in his actions, VLSI as passion, dog-killing as hobby. I shall not divulge anymore lest his killing extends not just to dogs! Congrats Ameya once again.

And what is even more great is the fact that his posting is in Bangalore!! Maybe our gang isnt really dispersing as I had feared in one of my early blog posts. Waiting in anticipation when we can rush to Net4U to game once again.
And also have Inder swear at you for not covering the flag properly enough. :)


Ameya's news was the toast of this weekend, which also saw the other kiddo Akshai giving his delayed birthday treat at Sufi.
Nice place, good food. Much better than the previous time we had gone there.

I am afflicted with an ear infection. The ENT doctor shoved a small cone into my ear, peered in for 30 seconds, gave his prognosis, scribbled the prescription. And then..
Doc: "That should cure you Sridhar. The fees is 125 bucks!"
(Yikes!!! I thought I had misheard 25 as 125..and you cant blame me given my current condition.)
Me: "Daaktaar, 25a? I shall pay the receptionist."
Doc:"Illa illa 125. Nooru ippathaidhu."
Me:"...........Seri daaktaar"

Paid the uncute, frowning receptionist 125 bucks and then bought the medicines. That cost another 168 bucks!
And I swear that my ear has begun to pain even more. It's almost like its status among the other organs has been slightly elevated. I can imagine it going..
Ear:"Hahaha! Did you see that guys? This human had to pay so much to set me right..125+168. That is....hmm..whatever!"
Eye:"Hmmmphh..this is utter crap. This moron watches so many things on that coloured box. All because of me. And when I try to impress upon him my importance by paining him a bit..he just SLEEPS!! $%#%#$%"
Rest of the organs:"Sad situation indeed. So much for just a teeny ear. And anyway he has 2! btw much actually is 125+168?"

The irony of this entire situation is that the medicines have done no good. A R Rahman's Swades which cost me 50 bucks is more soothing and mitigating. Maybe that is where I missed the trick. I should have just rested for 5 days and listened to the best of the God's songs. That would have cured my ear...and cost much lesser!


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Gods & Superheroes

Hello folks! Writing after quite a hiatus. Was busy doing nothing in particular, but a lot in general.

Hmm..notice that no pronouns in the previous few lines. That is downright irritating, but somehow I (yehh!!) seem to like it this way.

Anyway, today's entry is based on a sequence of thoughts that popped up in my head sparked by a mail from Kaushik. The actual lines were:
Lets look at the concept [of Alien vs Predator] . A species of one race and another race come to fight and the third race is a must for the fight to occur . I mean give me an Indian movie which has ever thought of this concept.

I would like to tackle this on 2 levels -
Firstly, on a very specific level, Alien vs Predator is hardly a unique concept. This is just the latest trend in American movies. You had Freddy vs Jason where Freddy of Nightmare on Elm Street series and Jason from the Friday the 13th series collude and then face off. There was Van Helsing which had Dracula and Frankenstein's monster getting together. It seems to be pretty obvious that US film-makers have gone barren on the plot front. So they are just exhuming old characters from cult classics and putting them into a single movie. Sheesh!!!

Now let me get to the more "intellectual" level. It is my opinion (and maybe others as well) that Americans do not have a history. Note, I do not say "sense of history". I am not one to judge that. But they do not have a rich history as the Indians, or the Romans.
Due to this "lack of history", they had to create legends rather than just read about them from their ancestors (like we do). Thus came the superheroes!

The superhero represented an amalgamation of all the strengths they aspired for. Their colletive fears manifested itself in the form of the "evil" that the superhero eventually vanquished.

Notice that this isnt very dissimilar from our myths & legends. You may be a theist or an atheist. Either way, stories of Ramayana or Mahabaratha do exist - as fiction for the atheist and as non-fiction for the theist.

So what is Superman - nothing but an extension of our Hanuman. What are aliens - nothing but an extension of our Asuras. LOTR - an inspiration from the Ramayana.

There are a million such parallels that could be drawn. As part of my quest to determine the likes of such extensions I shall begin reading the Mahabaratha..again! If anyone knows a more comprehensive version than Rajaji's, please let me know. I would be eternally grateful.

What about our Gods? I am a theist, if not overly religious. And I do believe that there does exist a supernatural power - a power beyond mere human control. Our ancestors gave this power the shape of a God (be it whichever religion).

Say that Gods do not exist. Maybe the superheroes created by our forefathers manifested themselves into Gods in our age.

Hmm..seems like I have begun to ramble. That is if what I had been doing before that doesnt count as rambling. :) Let me end my theological soliloquy right here and resume it another day.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Ceylon Sojourn

I had been AWOL for quite a few days. Because of two reasons – my end-terms and my Ceylon Sojourn.

I can summarize my end-terms in just one word: CRAP.
Enough said.

I cannot and will not summarize my Ceylon trip in one word. For that matter, I don’t think even a 1000 words would suffice.

Ironically the first thing that hit my ears on landing on Sri Lankan soil was Jana Gana Mana! Nope, not our national anthem..but Rahman’s anthem from Aayitha Ezhuthu. If there is anything else that Colombo could have done to form a stronger bond, I cant imagine what it could be!

My brother-in-law, Sriram and sister, Brinda had an expectant look on their faces. I would like to flatter myself by thinking that it was on seeing me, and not the huge amount of goodies I had got them from India. The one hour taxi ride to their house was filled with a lot of nostalgia. I was also made aware of the fact that there were around 10 Tamil FM stations in Ceylon. Yowza!!!

The next 2 days were spent in shopping around Colombo city. Anyone who has shopped with me before would know that it is a highly boring task. Simply because I take around 5 mins to make up my mind and complete the purchase. The remainder of the time was spent on eating. Added to my current craze for Thai food is now Sri Lankan food – especially Kottu.

After the shopping binge came 2 days of traveling around Ceylon. As much as I would have loved to visit Jaffna, security reasons prevented it. We first went to Ratnapur, where a couple of guys in a gem-pit showed us the process of digging semi-precious stones out of the earth. During the whole process, I missed Ameya, who would have rattled out the various hydrocarbon & polymer names.

Then came our next stop at Udawalawa National Park. I would suggest that you go through the entire photo album, as mere words would not be possible to express the sheer beauty of the elephants.

If I thought I had been completely sated with my experiences at Udawalawa, the next day’s 5 hour ride on the road along the beach proved me wrong. Wow! There were a million places to stop and capture the scenery on my camera. But photos would have somehow made the views normal..and they weren’t! So I chose to just sit back and enjoy them. (If you find a slight resemblance to the Dhimant style of blog-writing, it is purely co-incidental. :))

We then went on a 1 hour boat ride to check out the corals, fishes, turtles & other sea forms. The boats are fitted with a special glass bottom so that, instead of bringing the fish & turtles into an aquarium, you get to see them in their natural habitat.

And we rounded off the trip with a heavy vegetarian buffet in Colombo and a Tamil movie. Ahhh..a combo that I would enjoy for a million years.

Though my flights to Colombo were pretty eventless, there was this small incident on the way back. Indian Airlines air-hostesses need to have a retirement age! They either shirk their tasks completely or follow it too assiduously.

I had to get up from my seat and fix the seat belt for an old lady who sat a couple of rows back because there was not a single air-hostesses in the plane.

And when they finally did come and began serving food, one of them tried to coax me into getting drunk. A Kingfisher beer can was thrust into my face thrice and twice I was asked “Are you sure you don’t wanna?”! Nightmares of Kaushik’s exploits in Madras began to unfold in my mind.

So I scrambled from my seat and ran to the toilet to check whether my face had suddenly gotten a get-me-badly-drunk look. All I noticed was a significant increase in darkness of my complexion. Heaving a sigh of relief, I got back to my seat glaring in all directions, and pretended to sleep.
I don’t think I was offered the beer after that.

It was all smooth sailing from then on..
until the classes began on Monday.

Aargh..these subjects!!!!!