Tuesday, June 28, 2005

English Confusion

English is a funny language. Ok, it can’t get more clichéd than this. Almost along the lines of “Cricket is a funny game”. But I shall try to talk about a few things that have puzzled me in the English language.

For starters, the expression “walk the walk and talk the talk”. The context in which this is used is most often to tell somebody to do as he says. I’ve used this expression just once in my life – a week back – and no sooner had the words left my mouth than I realized there was something wrong. Something illogical, incorrect. Atleast to me.

If I really do want a person to do as he says, the logically correct thing to say would be “walk the talk”. This is simple enough. Walk denoting “action”. Talk denoting “speech”. In effect, “match your words with action”.

But the more popular WTWATTT is meaningless. Or if there is a meaning, it is definitely not what it is claimed to be (on the surface level). All that my slow brain can grasp is, it means “do whatever you are doing, say whatever you are saying”.

Fine, I admit I am being a bit over-critical and narrow-minded. Even if I remove the tone of exasperation, it still is a flat statement with no assertion of any kind, while the inferred meaning seems to imply an inherent assertiveness. Or am I missing something?

After throwing these words around my mind, something else struck me. If I used the phrase like this – “If you are not ready to walk the walk, don’t talk the talk…” it would make a large impact. And the meaning seems to recede to the populist one, albeit unconvincingly.

Now that I am done talking the talk on that matter, let me shift to another quirk – one that made the Devil the object of light-hearted ridicule ages ago.

Question: “Are you not going home today?”
Two possible answers: Either he is going home. Or he is not.
Ans 1: “No, I am going.”
Ans 2: “No, I am not going.”

Obviously the 2 answers are poles apart. But why do both of them begin with a No??? As the Devil used to argue feebly, Ans 2 should be “Yes, I am not going.”
We’ve been laughing at this one for ages…but sometimes I wonder…

I just realized that this weirdness isn’t restricted to English alone. The above two sentences in Tamil and Kannada would receive similar responses. Is it true for the other languages as well?

Ok, another minor irritant about the English language. What the heck is the difference between “toward” and “towards”? I never use toward, it’s always towards.
Is it because I have been brought up on a diet of British English? Or is it because I have heard the word with ‘s’ before, and after that I feel the lack of ‘s’ makes it incomplete? Or are both my supposed reasons linked to one another?

But amidst all this confusion, there is a silver lining. A quick Google of “toward and towards” shows me that there are a whole lot of people with the same doubt. I only wish I could delve deeper into the English grammar to come up with a convincing enough reason. Are there any distant learning English grammar courses that I could possibly join?

Finally, a word I abhor – “anyways”. People just seem to have stopped using the word “anyway” anymore. And they don’t even mean the same! But I fear that, years into the future, both would be used interchangeably. And if that happens I shall just quit speaking English. :)

Seriously, I refuse to ever use that word in any of my conversations apart from the ones that go, “Don’t you goddamn use ‘anyways’!!!”. Let’s all revert to the good old “anywise”. That might atleast help in hampering the process of “anyway” falling into the dark side.


Note: To preempt any brickbats on my poor grammar knowledge, I claim that all this is an attempt to flesh out my doubts, and maybe be directed to a good grammar course.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Crazy Weekend

After a day when my ears were privileged to hear the 4 golden words that I had been wishing to hear over the last few weeks, came the day when I hated myself the most.

Which do I begin with? Easy decision. Always begin with the rot, let the good things remain in the mind of the reader.

Today was a bad day. A day of a rare occurrence. A day that explained why the rare occurrence was “rare”, and should be relegated to the ranks of “extinct”. Enough of being cryptic, here is what happened – I lost my temper. (Ok, Rajjo I can see you itching to comment, “Chilli chilli…temper temper! Learn to control it like me. :)” Go ahead! Let the irony hit me hard)

Details apart, I felt bad. I hated myself for doing it. There is no way I could live with the guy who had taken hold of my body from 11AM to 1:30PM. Thankfully the insanity passed. And I am fine. But I shall not let this happen again. No sir. Really sorry Malhotra & Peter (names withheld on request :))).

Ok, now to the four words I’ve been aching to hear for the past 15 days or so – “You are an uncle!”.

Yesterday. 25th June. 6:30 PM. My little sister’s baby boy is born. Officially I have become a Maama. And I love it! Now time to rack my brain to come up with a nice name for my “apple of my eye”’s.


Thursday, June 23, 2005


26. 26. 26.

Yup, that’s how old I am. I have been flooded with warm wishes from all around me. People like the Devil went to the extent of “hacking” to post his birthday wishes. Fine, hacking is too harsh a word, especially when I am the one who shares his login and password with the Gang. But it was quite a shock!

But it also made me very proud of myself. I was gloating the entire 21st. Now that is a definite contradiction to what Akshai had posted on his blog. And its true, i.e. the contradiction. I am proud of a lot of things in my life, and never miss an opportunity to show off. But both the Devil and Akshai, and for that matter Chakku couldn’t stop themselves from being overly nice, and thus sprinkled quite a liberal amount of lies in their wishes.

Let me set the record straight here and clarify some of the purported “facts”:
I was and never will be a topper in academics.

Any person needs a hook in his life. Similarly any Gang needs to conjure a hook in each member of the group. Life is after all one long walk, and it needs to be packed with fun. So, when someone runs out of jokes, he just pulls up the old hook and evokes laughter. But that’s all it is – laughing matter! And I do not complain.

Coming to some of the things that I am proud of. There are in general 2 categories where pride can reside: 1) feeling proud of one’s own achievement 2) feeling proud of somebody else’s achievement. That’s it. Any sense of pride will always fall into either of the groups.

Frankly, the majority of my pride is in the second category. Rahman, Dravid, SK, Pistons, the list is endless. Chakku’s blog covers most of these aspects.

But my pride at my self would have been almost hollow if not for one redeeming feature. And that is the greatest achievement of my life. No two ways about it.

My Friends.

I can’t imagine a life without these guys. I’ve known most of them since 1995, and given the chance to relive the last 10 years, I wouldn’t choose any other way. Even a phrase such as “they complete my life” is shallow. Heck…they are my life!

In some ways a part of the credit for this should go to an old ally of mine – Luck. For most of the time, she has been very kind to me. And every time I begin to rue about certain places where my luck has never worked, I am reminded of these guys – they more than make up for the odd troughs. I just…forget it…I wouldn’t be able to complete this sentence without sparking a few tears in my eyes. So let it be.

And it is with these guys (barring the ones overseas) that I spent the evening of 21st. I loved every second of it…hmm…including the time Inder smeared the goddamn cake on my face, and left me breathing through one nostril for 10 minutes. :))

The present was something that should increase in importance after tomorrow’s NBA Finals. It was a Ben Wallace jersey. Lets hope he completes the rewriting of history. Hope!

As much as I hate it when my friends thank me for anything I do, I have to say this one more time.

Thank You Guys!

*well, thankfully I needed to wipe out just one tear drop*


Tuesday, June 21, 2005


No other words to describe the evening. Blessed to spend time with the Gang.
Cant ask for more. Cant ask for a better birthday present.

More on everything later.
Need to crash now.

And this is the actual Chilli resuming control of his blog.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Superlative Sridhar

Superlative: Pronounced - (soo -pûr l @-t v)
Of the highest order, quality, or degree; surpassing or superior to all others.

And I think dictionary.com is right. Take every single synonym to superlative raise to the power of infinite and you still would not get Sridhar Raman.

My dedication cannot compare to his plethora of word knowledge or his accuracy of English grammar, so dear readers please bear with me.

These days the word “God” is thrown about liberally, but when we talk about Sridhar Raman in the same breath, there is no ambiguity.


His accolades in the world of academia. His accomplishments in the world of gaming. His endeavors in the complicated world of women. His infallible memory. His skills at navigating the treacherous roads of Bangalore. His dedication to the gang. His fake laugh. His never-present anger. His dedication to traffic rules. His downloads. His super criticism of anything he dislikes and abundant praise of things he likes. His this … and that … and on and on and on ….


He has been around 26 years in this world. But the gang has been, I think, the only ones blessed by his divinity’s greater half of life. He had once commented that the devil is the one who gathers the gang, but I think he missed the point when it is the gang which rallies around the god.

Sridhar Raman was born 26 years ago to this date. It was one of the longest summer solstices known to man. And you know why …..

Happy Birthday Chilli, sometimes known as Sridhar Raman.

Post written by the devil and minor cosmetic change by Random Variable.
UPDATE: I have realised the mistake of sharing my login & pwd with the Gang. :)Anyway, thank you guys. I shall attach my thank you post with a few clarification of the purported "facts". Until then, people who are reading this post - please take everything with a pinch of salt. Its semi-fiction.

A lot of things are floating around my head screaming, “Write about me! No, no, write about me..”. And I can’t really choose one. Add to this a book-tag by Other, and I am confused.

So I took a call. All my specific blogs would be done through the week, while today I would just write about the last week & weekend. The tags, ……., etc would have to wait. If a few unrelated topics creep in, I cry your pardon. Concentration has never been my strength.

Last week saw the implementation of a new practice by our Gang – weekday night show. A typical Friday night show is fun, but where is the excitement in that! You reach PVR, and you realize that most of the IT crowd this side of Hosur Road – Ring Road has turned up there. The other half can be found at Innovative Multiplex. Getting tickets for movies that we really wish to catch is almost impossible. That’s where the Wed-Night show is good.

You stroll into the theatre almost 5 minutes before the show begins, and tickets are available. That is exactly how we saw Kung Fu Hustle, acronymed Ku Fu Hu by me. :) The movie begins in a very silly manner, but once the action begins, and the plot unfolds, you realize what the director is taking a dig at. Simply superb. Some memorable scenes are – the snakes scene, “lawyer/doctor” flashback, and the clincher – “Is he the One?!!”.

There is this character who flits across the screen often, always in a state of performing a daily ablution. I never found it funny, and the overall direction didn’t seem silly enough to make me consider this as an exception. My take on this is that the director was probably taking a dig at the “toilet humour” that is rampant in American cinema. He felt that no spoof is complete without some toiltet humour, or in some cases, a spoof is nothing but toilet humour.

The best part after all this was the fight against sleep next day at the workplaces. Mine was largely unsuccessful, and I didn’t complain. Looking to do the same this week – possibly Anniyan. But the Devil wants to catch Batman Begins as he has seen all the Hindi movies currently running in town.

Down 2-3. 2 away games. No one has ever come back from such a deficit in the Finals. Even the Rockets who lost game 5, and went on to beat the Knicks had the final 2 games at home.
So everything loaded against the Pistons. History completely against them. Backs to the wall.
Detroit has a tough week ahead. Go Pistons!

Over the course of the weekend, I spent quality time with all the guys. Saturday was spent in setting up an aquarium at Chakku’s place. I have never been one of those pet-loving kinds. But it was real fun to set the entire thing up along with the expert Inder, and the proponent of the idea – Devil. More on the aquarium in a later post.

Sunday was spent with the Devil at an NGO. More on that later.
And the night was a good time to meet the ever-busy, “I am somewhere” Malleswaram boys.

Overall, a nice week & weekend.

I need to sleep.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


I never realized that spicy food had such an impact on me. For the past 2 days, I have had to do with bland, semi-solid fare, and the experience has been excruciating. Another fact that seems to have reached home is that I am not really a big fan of ice creams. Yes, I do enjoy the occasional scoops, but is it a substitute for real food? Nope!
I long for some steaming hot sambhar with some spicy curry. And sadly, I can’t have any of these for atleast a week. :(

And now to the actual surgery, I am all in support for the “being frank and sincere” school of thought of dentists. But when you are reclining on that chair, and have your mouth pulled wide open, and then have him thrust some kind of medieval torture device into your mouth and begin to yank the tooth with god almighty might…the last thing I want to see is a shake of the head and a “No…its too tough. It is going to be a struggle”. But that’s exactly what my dentist tells his intern!! I have changed my mind now…hell to frankness. Lets have some good old-fashioned “straight face while lying your guts out”.

Remember the old computer game called Dave? Well, for most part of the surgery all I could think of was this game. There are levels in this game when you have a jetpack for a limited amount of time, and whenever I used to play the game I had this jittery feeling regarding when the jetpack would expire and let me fall down an abyss or a hellfire. That’s the exact same thing I wondered about my local anesthesia. After hearing the sawing of the bone, creaking of my jawbones from the yanking, I couldn’t imagine what would happen if the anesthesia just stopped working.

I can’t imagine the possibility even now.

After all the cribbing, now to some good things. The root of my wisdom tooth was shaped like a hockey-stick (in the words of the dentist). He had given up hope of taking it out in one piece as one part of the root was eager to come out while the other wasn’t. I was doing my best to be the bad host and get the damn thing off my mouth. But any increase of effort from my side was at the most a widening of the mouth. Not enough to get that wretched little thing out.

But then came those golden words. “Lucky!…I have just one word for you – lucky”. Just as the dentist begin his final yanking, out came the tooth in one shape. I had no words to express my joy. Neither did I have a proper mouth to express my words. But I did my best to smile, or something faintly resembling it.

Now I can look back at the entire operation in a less gloomy light. I can even look at the time when dentist asked his intern to increase the volume when Winamp began to play “Take it Easy, Urvashi” as less sarcastic, and more salutary. Circumstances…its all got to do with the circumstances.

All’s well that ends painlessly. I would like to dedicate this post to the person who discovered/invented local anesthesia.

Oh another thing. Check out this link – it is Stephen King’s graduation speech for the students of UMaine. Just one word – beautiful.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Devil De-viled

There are always people in this world who actually have the nicest heart, the softest personality, the calmest disposition, but attempt to portray themselves in a different manner. They find this need to call themselves something demonic, and trust me when I say this: they wouldn’t be able to say ‘boo’ to a goose! It’s just not in their mental makeup to be mean, bad, evil, etc…but they find it necessary to force them as such.

And one such person celebrates his 26th birthday today – The Good Boy who likes to call himself Devil.

There are few first impressions as impacting as one where you see a person on the stage doing his best to be a Drew Carrey. But that is exactly how I met him. Though he officially made his entry into my life as the magnanimous plutocrat providing succor to us famished souls (Rajjo, Kiddo and myself), the “Whose Line is it Anyway” act is something that I would like to associate him with, and he doesn’t. :)

After having “pillioned” his Kinetic Pride, Honda a million times & then “shotgunned” his Zen, Esteem, Lancer, City a gazillion times, I can say that he is one of the best drivers, if he chooses to be. But the problem is that in an effort to show his non-existent mean streak, he pulls off some driving antics – a charade pretty convincing to the unsuspecting eye, but not to anyone in our gang.

He will always be the soul of our gang – a fact pronounced by the fact that we had the least fun when he was away in London/ Hyd/ Chennai, and the most when in Bangalore. Give him five minutes, and he will concoct some sort of a get-together that would take us ages to plan. All this easily makes us ignore his idiosyncratic affinity towards TGIF, stupid car movies, bland European cuisine and innocent gaffes.

Despite his “cool devil” impersonation, he still wishes for the fervent birthday wishes, Murugesh’s Arab mails and maybe even a few flowers from the ladies. (So anyone who is in a position to render any of the following services, please free to do so)

A Happy Birthday to Kaushik aka The Devil aka Kojan aka XS aka Kaausheee!!!


Of Tennis & Damage Control

In between bouts of toothache, damage control and reading I caught the French Open live on TV. The women’s tournament couldn’t have unfurled out any better. My favourite player Justine Henin-Hardenne won the tournament in style. She began badly in her initial rounds against the weaker opponents and got into the zone against Sharapova and Pierce. The complete dismantling of her opponent was a sight to behold – that is if you are not a fan of the poor victim on the other side. That single-handed backhand of hers…wow!!

There are few things in tennis that are immortally tagged along with a player; like Becker’s diving around the net, Goran’s service, Chang’s fist pumping, Venus’ drive volley, Korda (and now Roddick) applauding a good shot by the opponent. But the one that I hold at the uppermost echelons is Henin’s backhand. Nothing has been invented yet in tennis to match this.

The men’s tournament was a disappointment as I was looking forward to seeing Federer stamp his authority as the best player ever, and brook no arguments. He may still turn out to be the best ever, but never unanimously, unless he wins on clay.

The men’s final was irritating to watch. When a guy drops his racket and begins pumping his fist, and you realise that the score is just 30-30 in the 1st set, 1st game, it annoys you. If I had been on the other side I would have jumped over and given him a tranquiliser shot. Nadal seems to be a good prospect atleast on the clay courts standing 5 feet away from the baseline. If he can do the necessary adjustments on grass, he could prove to be a tough competitor for Federer. But for me to appreciate his game he needs to drop his “Hewitt-act” soon.

On Sunday, in between snatches of the French Open, I watched the Tamil movie Kandukonden Kandukonden. After Rahman, the obvious star of the film is Mamooty. Right at the end when Aishwarya Rai tells him her love, his blustering, his anger (or fake-anger) and a sudden egoistic rejection of what he thinks is sympathy – brilliantly depicted and expressed. I guess the movie didn’t too well at the box-office as it was released almost at the same time as another classic – Mani Rathnam’s Alaipayuthe (which again had Rahman has the obvious star!).

This entire week will have to be spent on damage control. Our religious movement has taken a major hit. But now that the true God has attained complete autonomy we should see some drastic moves. Recruitment is a major part of this drive. The other actionables…hmm…will keep you updated as it happens.

Oh btw, do any of you believe that Raphael Nadal is 19 years old?!!!! He is on the lines of Afridi – always hovering around the 19 and 20 years age greoup. If Nadal is actually nineteen years old, then you might as well say Akshai is older than him.

But we know the truth…don’t we? :-)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

“Dumbing down…”

Do you know what mesial impaction is? I didn’t until today morning. And what is even surprising is that I am “suffering” from it. For all those whose first name isn't Ameya or are lazy enough to google or wiki “mesial impaction” let me give a layman’s definition – the wisdom tooth is trying to break out of my goddamn gums and causing a lot of pain simply because it is tilted at an angle. Atleast I think that is what it is. After the dentist showed the video of what they were going to do to me, I think I fainted for a few minutes and missed out on hearing about a crucial part of my problem.

I am facing the possibility of having two of my four wisdom teeth extracted! And the worst part is that the 4th isn’t even “born” yet. But the dentist wants to smoke it out and get it off my mouth come what may. I feel sad for this tooth. :( It just sat below my gums being quiet, causing no harm – heck! I didn’t even know it existed. But one fine day its contemporary on the other side of the mouth decided raise Cain. And now the troublemaker is going to be evicted…and maybe the silent one as well.

After having seen the video of the bone being cut and then the tooth being gouged out, things are pretty quiet dentally. The tooth is trying to stage a recovery of sorts and make me change my mind. Heck even I want my mind to be changed! But the damage has been done and there is no redemption…:(

So come Friday night, I shall be going through the “dumbing down” phase. I shall find out my threshold for bearing pain. Nice thought to help me get through another working week.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


There are times I wish I could play out my entire life like the movie 12B/Sliding Doors, and then come up with my life’s decisions. That’s not possible, so I am stuck with the unenviable task of making a few calls. I am at crossroads, and at various levels. And I am pretty sure that somewhere down the line these different roads and different levels would intertwine and make me rue the call at square one.

But let me try to assume that the levels are separate entities and I am able to manage total insulation between them. If this sounds like a utopian premise for a complicated problem, pardon me…but that’s all the brains I have. And I do not wish to tax them too much; they wouldn’t be able to take the stress.

If you think all this writing is a bit cryptic, I have news for you. What is going to follow next would make the previous two paragraphs seem like kindergarten stuff. Now that I have declared so, I need to match my words with real cryptic stuff. But that shouldn’t be a problem, I rarely work without pressure.

Now onto the first crossroad in one of the levels. I am in a position where I am confident of just “flipping a switch” and get things rolling. But the problem is the “when” and “why” the flipping needs to be done. Currently, I do not see any kind of motivation pulling me to flip – the switch, I mean, not my head. So I can take the easy road and wait for the motivation to germinate or maybe traverse the hazy path to push motivation to motivate me. Sounds confusing right? Well, that’s the state my brain is right now…and putting it in words has done nothing to clear it. Or maybe it has, and just taking its own sweet time to home in. That’s fine, time is something I have in abundance. Or do I?

The next crossroad is one I am most uncomfortable in confronting. But over the last few weeks, things have materialized (in my head), and I have resolved to stick to the resolution.
(When I begin to verb-ify my noun repeatedly, it is a clear sign that I have lost it – temporarily)
The world would reject my “resolution” because it sounds a tad stupid and impractical. And I am keen on sticking to it because it sounds very stupid and impractical.

To wrap up these “key” decisions, I am planning on putting a bit of effort in a different direction hoping/dreaming that things would eventually sort themselves out (i.e with minimal help from my side). How minimal is actually minimal is better left unanswered.

For that matter, there a lot of things better left unanswered.

I hope I have succeeded in being lucid in my thoughts and translating to unambiguous words.