Thursday, October 21, 2004

Sandur Trip

Just like how the Scarlet Pimpernel eluded the French, so had a trip been eluding our Gang. In our defense, most of us live in different parts of the world..and those who aren’t can never come to a consensus on the place, date, etc of the trip.

But all that changed when 5 of us actually managed to extricate ourselves from our not so busy schedules and went on a trip last weekend. We (ie Akshai, Dhimant, Inder, Pramod & me) went to Sandur mines and places nearby and had a great time! Well, that would be the short version.

In the long version I shall begin by explaining the conspicuous absence of one our Gang members – the Devil. He had a problem concerning the fact that we had scheduled the trip on a weeked which was immediately followed by a Monday. Hmm..we shall rectify that once the updated Gregorian calendar makes its rounds and the names of the days are changed to our convenience. Another member couldn’t make it because his brother was visiting him.

There is no point in describing the scenery and the beauty of the locations when you carry 3 digital cameras, 1 non-digital and 1 video camera along. Hence, I shall skip those portions, which, by the way, can be accessed at this album(for starters).

But what I can talk about in this blog are the following, in no particular order of importance or priority, just time:

• Fresh lime soda at Comesum Restaurant in the Railway Station: Chakku (Dhimant) was given just salt and water. Not surprising, since they had used their entire monthly lime quota in my drink. The number of lemons inside me would have been enough to perform an Ayudha Pooja on a trailer!

• Young World Short Story Writing Contest: SMS wasn’t Short Messaging Service for Inder, but Story Messaging Service. He was involved in this exercise with another “friend” as long as he had mobile connectivity. Thankfully, that didn’t last for more than an hour, and we had him back with us after that.

• Drona & Arjuna: Inder was the proud recipient of 2 nicks during the trip (Courtesy: Akshai & myself). We shall speak about the first of those now. Pramod was the astute disciple to the photographing gurudom of Inder. Thus they were christened Arjuna & Drona. Be it the use of flash, sepia tone or just plain photo-ops Arjuna never moved a muscle until his Guru gave him the green signal.

• “Sharmila” Parekh: This was Dhimant’s nick throughout the trip. The Parekhs have always had a passion to control things. And Dhimant not followed the lines of Asha Parekh and decreed that every photo taken by each of our cameras needed his seal of approval.

• “Raping of Mother Earth”: Drona’s outburst at the miners and their practices. Watch the video for the crushing argument by Arjuna. This was the only sign of rift in what was otherwise a taut Guru-Sishya bond.

• Communists vs Capitalists: As we began playing the card game Flash (aka Three Cards), it so happened that Dhimant and I ended up raking in all the moolah while the rest of the gang were left nursing their losses. This prompted Akshai to label us the Capitalists and he led the Red Revolution against us. Unfortunately, he ended up winning the overall game and was promptly ousted from the movement by Arjuna (whose maximum balance over the two days was zero!).
I think it is appropriate to add that the very first game of the weekend saw me getting 3 aces and stunning Akshai!

• “We deal the cards – 3 * 5 + 1. Then if that is even…clockwise…”: Stomachaching moment of the trip by a light-year. Again during Flash, and it was Arjuna’s turn to choose his variation. And he opted to create the Ultimate Variation (as has been coined later) which consisted of immense mathematical calculations and complex nested IF-THEN loops. Play was held up for 10 minutes as we unraveled our intestines and put them back in place.
Oh btw, Arjuna lost that round. :)

• Silicon Man: Inder’s 2nd nickname. Inspired by his “act” of having just landed from Silicon Valley. There is also an extension to this nick which I cant reveal in this page for obvious reasons. If you think you have managed to crack the secret, you are indeed very perverted.

• Arabs, arabs and more arabs!: The walk up the road to TB Dam was filled with arab postings. (For the uninitiated, an arab is our Gang’s slang for a deeply sentimental, philosophical and thoughtful piece of crap-writing) The Sheikh was definitely “Count the fruits in a tree. Do not count the trees in a fruit”!

• Unseen Jokers: Though we were fortunate to get adjacent seats for the to journey, the return journey had us all seated at separate locations. This prompted Arjuna to force us all to decide our seats beforehand, in order to avoid a fight later. Obviously, the fight was expected to be one based on the neighbours.
Needless to say, the NPS Effect took place and we were all left sad (at our plight) and happy (at the other persons’ plight).

• Headbanging at Hospet station: The five of us were waiting for the train to take us back to Bangalore. In order to end our trip on a high note, we headbanged and foottapped in unison to a Kannada song that was being aired at the station. Arjuna’s lip-biting passionate headshake took the cake.

Special thanks to Thippeswamy for the incredible hospitatlity, food, etc. at the guest house. This entire trip wouldn’t have been such a great success if not for him.

There is another person who needs to be thanked, because it was his guest house, his company’s mines that we enjoyed at. But after knowing him for 25 years, I know he doesn’t expect one.

After all the positives, just the one negative. The ones who couldn’t make it to the trip were missed..and hopefully a day would come when the entire Gang gets together and makes yet another elusive trip.

I see no reason why that cant happen.
Hope springs eternal.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Creativity or lack of it

Just the other day I was reading an ad for Lufthansa Airlines. Apparently, they have broadband internet conncetivity within the flight. Damn it! Here we are in Indian homes where broadband hasnt yet mushroomed as fast as we would have liked, and now flights have broadband. For what purpose? case you need to check your mail on-flight. Talk about extravaganza!!!

Maybe I am under-imagining a bit. We can surely look forward to the day when dispirited youth form a terrorist organization called the Al Kazaa. Their mode of action is simple - hijack Lufthansa flights and download as much as they can.
Terrorist to Pilot: "Dickwad! Better not land the plane..we have just begun downloading the 3rd season of Friends. Another 7 more to go..."

Speaking of Friends, a Tamil version of it (titled Krishna Cottage) is being aired on Jaya TV. My heart goes out to the 5 actors (3 guys + 2 girls) who've acted in this show. I admire their reserves of self-control which definitely has prevented them from murdering the "creator" of this show.
And to top all this is the opening credits, which begins with "Concept by ....". Weird. As far as I know plagiarism is a pretty ancient concept.

Speaking of plagiarism, or rather the opposite of it - we had a class in which a certain guest spoke about original ideas for documentaries. She also began the introduction for her film with these words "The movie is long..very long! It might look like there is nothing happening, but wait..". I must give it to her, speaking the truth is definitely one of her positive qualities - nothing did happen! Of course, she won several awards for that film!

She also spoke about another "novel" idea that her friend used to make a documentary. It consisted of him using a handycam to shoot his hand that was resting on a table just beside a window. The focus is on the hand, but the viewer tends to get bored with that (obviously!) and then begins to observe the blurred happenings outside the window. How intriguing!!

I think I shall make one as well. The camera shall focus on me moving the mouse around while a screensaver is shown on the computer screen. The screensaver depicts a random motion, yet there is the element of a pre-determined purpose eventually. In case you are wondering how the screensaver is still on despite me moving the mouse..I have a reason for that. That shows the futility of human actions. We can do our best to change the world, but the actual control resides in a superior being.

I better get my award acceptance speech ready.