Wednesday, 16 April 2008

How the Maddu guy ordered tea

Relativity has always fascinated me. A minute on a hot stove, as Einstein so wonderfully put it, always seems like an hour, while one next to a hot girl seems like a second. In a classic case of the former, the last two weeks have been excruciatingly long. Confined to G86 with my laptop as my sole link with the rest of the world, it was only now that I realized why solitary imprisonment is meted out only to the most notorious of criminals.


The last fortnight saw the end of my longstanding loyalty to Opera. More out of the need for a change than that for a better browser, I have switched to Safari. A fancy new browser notwithstanding, the internet has all but lost its charm. Stage6 is now defunct, and Youtube takes millennia to load. It’s been a while since I deleted my Facebook account, and the 4000 odd spammed mails in my Gmail account have made me refrain from checking my mail altogether.  My GTalk account overflows with the ids of relatives I barely know and friends long since forgotten. The once addictive Orkut has become a pain, thanks to the one million scraps I receive daily on how I could unlock any album in a jiffy and the two million more saying that some fictitious girl had mentioned me in her ‘about me’ column. Me, of all the people in the world. Snowfall in the Sahara might have sounded more credible.


With little coming from my fellow bloggers in terms of entertainment, there was nothing to be done apart from some deep soul-searching. Even as the twilight of my teenage approaches, there is so much about myself that I can barely understand. I turned, yet again, to the internet for answers. What I found, though, only made me feel worse.


According to, I am ‘creative, smart, idealist, loner, attracted to sad things, disorganized, avoidant and can be overwhelmed by unpleasant feelings.


There was something about the result (look to your top-right-corner for details) that it occupied all my thoughts for the next couple of days. It wasn’t the not-so-flattering title of a ‘dreamer’ that bothered me. It wasn’t the fact that I had fallen into what seemed to be the worst of the 16 types on the database.  It wasn’t the twenty pathetic career matches (massage therapist, librarian, church worker, to name a few) that I received. It wasn’t even the fact that the Bulk, B-Pot and the Super Nerd had all walked away with fancy descriptions and career matches. What irked me the most was the knowledge that every single word on that page was true. 20 years of my existence had come down to just 75 seemingly absurd questions.


The list of personalities I resembled, though, did well to cheer me up- JRR Tolkien, Shakespeare, Peter Jackson, Fox Mulder and most importantly, Calvin! Hmmm, the test wasn’t so bad after all.


Elsewhere, a fairytale weekend saw United hold off the resilient Gunners (albeit with some help from Lady Luck and Emmanuel Adebayor) and Chel$ki slip against the Latics. The Premiership seems destined for Old Trafford. Again. Next stop- Camp Nou.

Glory Glory Man. United!


P.S: Pay no heed to the title. It alludes to a very lame PJ I heard way back in high school. 

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Comfortably Numb

The clocks in my room unanimously read 1 AM, save the one on my ‘study’-table that had acquired a stubborn liking for the 5 o’ clock mark ever since it’s batteries went dry a couple of months ago. Gripping my crutches, I set off on the excruciating journey to the canteen. On another day, I would have made it in under 15 seconds. Today, it took all of two minutes, thanks to the fact that I couldn’t take more than 5 steps at a stretch without stumbling. Nothing had hurt even half as much as this- not the huge bruise on my knee that has left me with a permanent scar, not the fractured bones in my forearm, not even the pin that I stapled into my finger as part of a game of ‘Dare or Confession’. With a torn ligament (and a two-foot long coating of Plaster of Paris) on my right ankle and a humongous blister on my left, if you were one of my hind-limbs, life just couldn’t get any worse.

I ordered myself a coffee and took the seat beside the lawns. The coffee was served and was halfway down my throat in the space of a few seconds. The warmth of the beverage spread to my entire body- for a few beautiful minutes, even my feet didn’t hurt much. A wonderful numbness engulfed me. This is probably what they call nirvana, I thought to myself. Though the pain was far from gone, intoxicated by the caffeine, my brain chose to ignore them, leaving me in a state of benumbed bliss.

Twelve hours later I was in an examination hall filled with an eerie silence uncharacteristic of the crowd of eighty hooligans that occupied it. The sheet I held in my hand made as much sense as a medieval Incan manuscript. As I looked at the questions on Laplace, Fourier, Poisson and a dozen other transforms with fancy names, I couldn’t agree more with Sushi and his views on the same. Exasperated, more out of habit than nervousness, I began chewing whatever little keratin was left on my finger-tips. Bored of that as well, I began counting the number of birds I could spot in the trees below, hoping to improve on my ten-minute-old tally of fourteen.

Two hours later, I turned up at another venue for another paper, though, sadly, the events that followed were the same as the ones before. The three tests today had a total of twenty two questions in all, and I managed to answer just one of them correctly. Yes, you read right. One. One in twenty two. Wes Brown probably has a better goals-to-games ratio than that. On the rickshaw ride back home, I couldn’t help but reflect on all that R-Land had done to me during my two year stay here. Two years ago, I would have died of shame had I performed half as badly as this in any examination. All of a sudden, I am this low-scoring backbencher who revels in being one. It’s hard to believe that until recently I was on par with the Ayush Goyals and Ashish Agarwals of the world, maybe even a shade ahead, if JEE rank is anything to go by. What is it that has gone wrong in the two years hence? Is it just another classic case of my indulging myself a tad too much, thanks to my new-found freedom? My fast-increasing age notwithstanding, am I still incapable of drawing a line between academics and indulgences? I entered my room determined to resurrect the Dela of old- the focused teenager who had inexplicably vanished in the twists and turns of time and fate. Ten minutes later though, another game of Warcraft commenced on our LAN, and I was the first to join in. For better or for worse, I have become impervious to the dispiriting effects of lousy grades and single-digit test scores. A CGPA like mine would have made an average person writhe, but I’m above all that. However dismal the score, I can face it bravely. Even without coffee.

‘I have become….. comfortably numb.’

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


Impossible, Adolf Dassler (and the innumerable celebrities endorsing his products) would have me believe, is nothing. Day in and day out, hitherto unconquered peaks are scaled, and new ones are discovered which, in time, will meet the same fate. At another level, everyone around us seems to be on a perennial mission to shatter every existing notion or opinion related to them, however remotely so. In the twelve hours that preceded (and inspired) this post, The Bulk had fewer naans than me, the Bihari Potter lost his temper, I stumbled upon a Nirvana song that actually made sense (it was 'Sliver', for those of you who care), and, in the biggest shock of them all, the iPot said something intelligent (just for the record, he said that I was a genius). Miracles, it seems, shall never cease. The ‘impossible’ seems to have a habit of failing to live up to its name.

‘Once bitten, twice sorry’ is one of the more popular of the dime-a-dozen fancy kibitzes you dish out to any freshie willing to endure your free advice out of fear or, on the odd occasion, genuine interest. Practising it, tough, is a different ball game altogether- one I'm particularly lousy at. Ten years ago, I watched Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and swore never to watch another Bollywood movie ever in my life again. Trust me, those were the twenty happiest days of my life. The oath was broken, and a couple of hours later, my hope that Bollywood might, at least by accident, come up with something decent met the same fate. Mast, Hello Brother, Karan Arjun, Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, K3G, Om Shanti Om and a dozen other movies have all been followed by fugacious vows to the same effect. In spite of the aforementioned bilge, somehow, time and again I muster the courage to attempt to endure more of the zilch that comes out of our tinsel-town. Yesterday, another entry was made to the long list above- Race.

I had to watch Pulp Fiction thrice to grasp what Quentin Tarantino was trying to tell me. It was the same with ‘The Butterfly Effect.’ But after understanding the underlying message, you are left with a feeling that it was worth all the effort. Race, presumably, is Bollywood’s answer to Pulp Fiction. Minus the satisfaction of course. Fpr one thing, the film has more twists than dialogues. Bipasha Basu, we’re initially told, is Akshay(e?) Khanna’s love interest. Five minutes later, she is shown coochie-cooing with Saif. Twenty minutes later, she sings a duet with Akshay. Couple this with the fact that there are six lead characters in the movie and you’ll understand why, at the end of the movie, I could barely spell my own name right.

Why did I start off with all that gibberish on the ‘impossible’, you ask? Race, too, achieved something incredible. It made me (and there’s no way I can understate the emphasis on the ‘me’) hate a movie that had both Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy in it. Before dismissing this post as another of my nonsensical, inebriated dawdles, look closer, dear reader. By narrating two seemingly irrelevant anecdotes and linking (or at least trying to) them with an absurd, virtually non-existent connection, (the genius that I am) I have made you realize exactly how you would feel after watching Race. Did someone say a picture was worth a thousand words?

P.S: Don’t pay much attention to the title. I’ve been working on TeChase a tad too long.
P.P.S: For the lesser-informed of my readers, TeChase was an online quiz that had questions ranging from the lame (Decipher, ‘River IIIIIOOOIIOOOOIOOOO’.) to the ultra-lame (Connect almonds and the phrase, ‘I love EVERY SONG you SING’).
P.P.P.S: Just for the record, I finished first.
P.P.P.P.S: Modesty is my middle name.