Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Empty Space

To everyone who has visited "The Space", I render my heartfelt sympathies and apologies. It seems to have not only died, but in its brief period of existence, talked mostly about Bitchney. What scares me more is that its probably going to come back to life soon. Sample this conversation with One Shakey, (of lovelorn springdales dude fame)

Elated Buddha(Oh, Jaan! Ai, Tamanna! kidhar ja rahi ho?) says:
So, Baxtard returns tomorrow?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? says:
must be...

Elated Buddha(Oh, Jaan! Ai, Tamanna! kidhar ja rahi ho?) says:
I just hope he doesn't plan to blog about his experience

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? says:
he he

Elated Buddha(Oh, Jaan! Ai, Tamanna! kidhar ja rahi ho?) says:
for the sake of all Mankind

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? says:
it'll be all about how he dreamt about britney and
1)how you should have the lovely chaat in pune
2)how you should carry some aspirin too
3)how you should write your s ch
4)how you should try and look tall amongst people twice your size

With friends like these, who neeeds enemies?

Sunday, June 27, 2004

He's Off

Early this morning, Bhaiyya left for IIM, Bangalore. He's going to be gone the next two years, and well, after that, who knows where he'll be and where he'll be working. I might have bigshot brother in foreign multinational.

Strangely enough, I'm going to, and I think I already am missing him. Its not like when he was in Patiala, and coming home all the time, there's a finality about him going to Bangalore. He's not returning, and whats making it worse is that it makes me think, in a years time, I'm going to be gone too.

Compounded to this, my big house, which was not so long ago a little house, has now got even bigger. When once I had to share a room with my brother and cousin, I now have two rooms from which to choose from. Anyone who thinks that this is a great thing, and that so much space is great, can quite frankly go shoot himself in the head. Its big, unpersonal, and lonely.

Blah! Its damn hard to study in a mood like this. Thankfully, I finished the major portion of my padhai three days ago. I have today to relax, before I get back to serious studying, before my first paper on Thursday, Mathematics. Godwillingly, I'll get a 90 plus. But then, I don't believe in god, do I?

Bhavya's 406th Law
Everyone becomes a believer when exams come around.

Friday, June 25, 2004

A Room with a View

The Backwaters

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Irony of it All

Having nothing to do but maths (and a bit of physics) gives you a lot of time to think. Thinking is a terrible thing, by the way. It leads to ideas, and conclusions, and insights, which sound terrific while you are thinking, but are eminently boneheaded when you write them out, or reflect upon them in a busier, more practical state. To prove this, I'm going to write down what I've been thinking.

Okay, so here's the thing. A great premium is placed in this world on hearing, or listening, or inseminating knowledge. Music costs money, books cost money, listening to speakers costs money, the newspapers cost money, and all these things are really big business.
On the other hand, being heard, which actually is a lot more signicant than hearing, is almost free in todays world. This blog, for instance, is free. Writing your thoughts is free. Publishing them, though tough, is not only free, but actually makes you money. Thus something that should actually have more value, ends up giving you money, rather than spending it.

This is one of the few times that life is unfair in a good way. We are at a point in history, where being heard is easy, won't get you killed unless you're in one of the few surviving fascist or communist states, and can actually be a source of living. Its not always been like this. In the old days, being heard cost a lot of money, and a lot more. A lot of men died to get their point of view across.

So I thank the good world, for being this way when I'm around. For as pointless as my voice seems, at least I can get it across.

Wunnerful, wunnerful.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Kerala in Review, part Deux

Ah, let me continue where I left off. Kerala and related items.

Le Meridian, Cochin

The Meridian Resort, like all resorts has its inbuilt advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are, they're beautiful, particularly this resort. It was on the banks of a backwater, and was surrounded by palm trees. There was a nice swimming pool, which had little ponds around it, and the backwater behind it, and there were geese all over the place. The geese were also unually quiet, and not as indignant, and protesting as the geese in Deer Park, who always seem to have a major grouse in life.
The disadvantages of resorts are that they are all far away from anywhere, and thus you must eat at their overpriced restraunts.
Now the buffet here was quite shabby, but there was a seafood restaurant named Lagoon, which had the most amazing fish I've ever eaten. Seriously.


Aquariums abound all over the place. In the Cochin Airport, for instance, one got to observe Clown Fish and anemone, a la Finding Nemo. At Lagoon, the above mentioned seafood restaurant(the irony of placing an aquarium in an eating joint which had exclusively seafood dishes is inescapable), had these grumpy fish, which reminded me and Ma of my brother. They were grey, with orange colorations, and seemed permanently moody. There were a few of them, and every so often, a couple would get really riled up with each other, and charge full force, with their mouths open and gaping. It was quite amusing.
Aquariums, I have found, can provide endless entertainment. Fishies are not only good to eat, but quite enjoyable to watch. I think I'm going to go snorkling on my next vacation, I feel I should do that very strongly.


In the hotel room at the Meridian, my mother and I had the fortune to happen upon this wonderful program on Pogo. For the full ten minutes we were watching it, we simply could not contain our laughter. And this is why.
Teletubbies has the most simplistic plots in the entire world. I know they're meant for really young kids, but believe me, Sesame Street was a regular Lord of The Rings infront of Tellytubbies. Allow me to narrate the entire plot, running for a full 15 minitues.

Lala went to give Tinky-Winky a big hug.
Tinky Winky! Big Hug! (they hug) Again, Again! (this entire sequence runs for about 2 mins, and is accompained by really funny noises)
Then, Lala went to give Tipsy a big hug. Lala then proceeds to run around some hobbit-like dwelling for a couple of mins, while Tipsy is running at 180 degrees phase difference. Finally, they do catch up.
Lala! Big Hug!
Again! Again!
Then, Lala went to give Po a big hug.
Po! Big hug! Again, again! More weird noises.

All the tellytubbies love each other very much.
Big group hug.
You have to love what they're subjecting kids to these days. Makes you glad for your old days of He Man, G.I Joe, and Japanese Anime, with robots and spaceships and all-sorts-of-things-that-transformed-into-a-whole-range-of-other-things.


Muttancherry is this old Jewish part of Cochin. Its one of the oldest living Jewish settlements in Asia, and has one hell of an antique market. The whole range of junk availible here was incredible, ranging from semi-pornographic Supari Nutcrackers(which I really was tempted to pick up for Manav), to old lighthouse lamps. The lamp, by the way, was a steal at Rs. 2000, though the transportation costs would be great.
There were also these old fashioned telephones, which really caught my fancy. Money matters prevailed, and I couldn't pick one up. Besides, it would mean giving up cordless existence, which would mean giving up pacing around the corridors. Good sense prevailed in the end.
Next, we went to and old Dutch Palace, of sorts, which housed the Raja's of Cochin, who were all named Ravi, Rama, or Kerala. The palace itself was painted with these wonderfully intricate murals.
Notable were the paintings in what I could only presume was the Raja's Honeymoon Suite. They were incribed with Krishna getting it on with big busomed gopis, a LOT of big busomed gopis, and a whole lot of people getting it on with each other on one wall, and Shiv getting it on with Mohini, while Parvati watched in disdain. This is understandable, as she was the only person in the room( including various animals in the murals) not having sex.
There was also and old synagogue in Jewtown, which unfortunately was closed at the time we came.

Oh, and yes, Sarika, I did have the Puffy Rice, which is perfectly designed for soaking up ishtew, and other currys.

Well, in the words of Forrest Gump, thats all I have to say about that.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Happy 100 to Blah!

Yes, Blah has merrily completed one hundred posts as of this one, and I am back from Kerala to tell the tale.

But first, there is a lot of backlog that has to be cleared. Lets go one by one. Besides, it'll make for a bigass 100th post anniversary thingie.

16th June: Happy Birthday Bua!

Bua turned I-shouldn't-say on this holy day. She's still going strong, and continues to be unstoppable in whatever she wants.

17th June: Happy Birthday Vrinda!

Well, now she's just Seventeen, if you know what I mean. (Vrinda Maheshwari)moves a year closer to imminent adulthood, but we shan't depress her further with such rotten things to say.

19th June: Happy Birthday

SAT 2 Woes, Reloaded

As if doing badly wasn't enough, my scores haven't arrived, for some odd reason, leaving me even more tense and pissed. One word, of course can cover my entire range of emotions on the topic.

Ah, on to more pressing matters. I've just got back from Kerala from my first family vacation in bloody ages. It was, minus my brothers inccessant carping, amazing fun. Forget Lutyens, when I grow up, I'm moving to Kerala, and setting up home and housing.
So let us begin!

Kerala In Review

God's own Country

I don't know about God's own, but if he did this would sure be the right place to settle down. Kerala is simply bee-yoo-ti-ful. Its amazingly green, it has lovely weather, and it rains quite a bit, in the nice monsoony way. The hills are low, and thus not very cold. They are, however, so amazingly lush, its almost like being in a rainforest. Except you're not, so you can see the sky and not be pecked to death by bugs. Its basically perfect.

Its a Manly Country

Mallu's are a very manly lot. On my way from the Airport to Le Meridian Hotel, where we resided, I was greeted by billboards for the most incredible movies. One's english subtitle was, I kid you not, "Its a Manly Movie". All the guys in the movie posters had a minimum of 4 females dancing around them. I watched Mallu TV channels too, and it resonates in the serials, and music as well.
Every Mallu Male must, under all circumstances, have a thick and bushy mustache, that must be well maintained. It is perfectly acceptable in Kerala to wander around topless, with nothing but a lungi on. The strange thing is that this is a Matriachal Society, by and large. But yet, it's a Manly Country.

The food is Incredible

I spent the better part of my trip stuffing myself silly. Mallu food is by far, one of the best, if not the best in the world. Its simple, revolves mostly around coconuts, and inclues a LOT of fish. I went wild on fish. I must have had it twice everyday, along with a host of other things.
These things include, but are not limited to, Poriyal, Allepy, Pollichathu, some more unpronouncable things, par boiled rice, Moiley, Thoran, Crab something-unpronouncable, and many more. The food is amazing, its always spiced, frequently very spicy, and many many others.

Stupid Commies ruined my trip

Kerala, for all its brilliance, is unfortunately run by a bunch of commies, may their red souls burn in hell. A week after petrol fees were hiked, they decided to strike to protest against it, on the very day that we are at Thekkady to check out Periyar. As a result of this the forest department convieniently could not show up for work, and I could not go to see Periyar. Blah! Commie bastards, they ruin everything.

Well, I shall write a second issue on Kerala, and related diversions as a result of my vacations, including Teletubbies, and fishies in Aquariums, tomorrow. THis is quite enough for one blog, and 101 should have some interesting stuff too.

In conclusion, get your asses to Kerala. Its an amazing place.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well, correction. Tomorrow, I shall, infact, be leaving on a Sahara plane, to Cochin, where I shall spend the next 4 days stuffing myself silly on Malyali cuisine, which is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest in the world. This will be ultimately good for me, for reasons that I shall just explain.

Well, see, my mission for these summer holidays was to get some meat on my bones. I was about six kilos underweight, for my height, and quite frankly, I look it. I'm a stick, and I don't like being one. So, in earnest, I broke one of my longstanding rules, and in addition to eating in my general gluttonous style, I also snacked between meals, on namkeen, and biscuits, and bhuttas, and anything I could lay my hands on. Oh, and also lots of ice cream.

Well, I thought this would work, until today, when at the fancy smancy weighing machine at Centerstage Mall(CAUTION! LONG DIGRESSION AHEAD: Nisheet had taken us to Wave for his budday do, where we saw the funniest, worst scripted, and most unrealistic Hollywood movie ever made, The Day After Tomorrow. If I have the phursat, I'll give a full review of how incredibly bad this movie was, and why you should under no circumstances miss it), I discovered that I have actually lost two kilos, and am now all of 9 kilos underweight.
In hindsight, the reason for this is simple. In addition to all this eating, I was regularly swimming 50 lengths a day, along with gallavanting around town every other day. Thus, I seemed to have burned more than I have gained.

Well, I'll try to rectify that now, lets see how things go.

Moving on to other things, this is the 99th post on Blah! The next post will be the Hundreth, so bring out the bubbly, or juice, for us sober souls.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

The Continuing Saga of Huhn and Torr

Allow me to give a brief explanation. Huhn and Torr are two characters I created. They're cavemen sorts, who I claim responsible for inventing all those things that were invented back when men were men, women were women, and large furry animals were Mammoths. These things include, but are not limited to, the worship of all sorts of things, money, gold, fashion, fire, and stones(They only had boulders back in those days, and it was really impractical to rub two boulders together to get fire).

Well, today, I shall share the story of how Huhn and Torr discovered Gold.

One day, Huhn and Torr were walking along a river bank, to get a sip of water. Suddenly, Huhn spotted something shiny down on the bedrock. So he bent over, picked it up, and turned to Torr, and told him, "Huuhn! Shiny!"
(Allow me to point out that I am translating, here, back in caveman days, they hadn't yet evolved english, and their language, while elegant, and simple, could not be depicted here, as the sound of the grunt cannot be conveyed phonetically)

Anyhow, back to the story. Well, Torr saw the shiny gold piece, and owing to his own peculiar sensibilities, he took quite a liking to it. Thus, he looked upon it with a calm, composed, and highly greedy air, and said in the nicest possible grunt he could muster, "Huhn, Torr Want Shiny!"

Now, Huhn didn't take to kindly to this, and did not reliquish the gold piece. Suddenly, that gold piece had become the most valuable commidity in CavemanLand. Despite Torr's efforts to barter his good loincloth, his only pair of stones, and his new invention, the axe-like-thing, for the gold piece, Huhn wasn't giving it up.

So it came to pass that Torr, in true Caveman fashion, used his fast evolving brain to realise that he could use the Axe-Like-Thing to bash in Huhn's skull, and he did so, thus also inventing illegal trade practices, and ambritage in the process.

Thus, Torr got the gold piece, and using its mighty Shiny Power, became pretty much the most important guy in CavemanLand. This was, of course, till his good friend Gutt found two gold pieces, and bought over his land, property, and good loincloths.

And this is the true story of how gold was discovered, and how its power in this world came to be.

Oh, and do go visit Baxtard's "The Space". One should give the young lad some encouragement. Mebbe then, he will get self concious, and shave of that creature growing on his upper lip.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Happy Birthday Nisheeth!

The resident Pant-Splitter completes a whole year without splitting his pants. We congratulate him, and wish him another fully fit year.


I have all of 4 G-mail account invitations left, and these are now in short supply. A lot of the account ID's are already gone, and now its apparently got exceedingly tough to get ones first name as their G-mail account.

There has also been the happy realisation that the 1 GB of mailspace is simply not going to get finished, unless your entire life is spent recieving mail. Also, junk mail just doesn't seem to get through to the G-mail servers.

In other words, I'm definitely switching to G-mail.
I would reccomend you do the same. Four of you who do not have G-mail accounts, can of course, ask me for an invite. The comments space is open, dearies, and I will accept bribes.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Book Review: Transmission

By Hari Kunzru

Yes, this is the chap who's first novel, The Impressionist, broke all records for the most amount of money made signing a debut novel. Unfortunately, I never got around to reading it, as it looked big and boring. Transmission, however, looked a lot less imposing, and a lot more interesting.

It was. Its quite an interesting book, in the oddest way. You know what is going on, you know how it is going on, even though the narrative wildly switches between characters, but you aren't exactly sure why its going on. The three characters seemed so incredibly disjointed, right upto the end of the book.

Ah, what is the book about, you ask? Its about a Computer Programmer from Noida, who gets his shot at the American Dream, goes abroad, and has his dream shattered. First, unable to find a job, and then unable to keep one in the face of economic slowdown, he, in frustration releases the most deadly virus the world has ever seen, upon, well, the world at large.

Well, after this, as you may suspect, disaster ensues. And this is how the three characters are linked up, the effect on each of them. Again, as with each book, I refuse to give spoilers, so you'll have to go read it for the plot.

The book is intelligently crafted, though takes Bollywood a little too jocularly. The characters are all sadly real, and victims of circumstance. But the best thing about the book is the ending. Its unreal, it sort of defies the normal logic of literature, not in its content, but in the way it is presented. It is somewhat like a Martin Scorsese film. Go read it, this is great material, and short enough not to cut too far back on your time.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Book Review: Digital Fortress

My current form in devouvouring literature continues, and I demolished this nice, juicy novel by Dan Brown today itself, reading almost cover to cover(I had to break for lunch in between).

Needless to say, it was a really good book. Now, I generally don't enjoy thrillers, but Mr. Brown seems writes them exceedingly well. Digital Fortress was just as fast paced as The Da Vinci Code, and every bit as exciting. Each chapter, as the critics have said, is indeed a cliffhanger. The author uses the style of switching betweeen characters at the end of each chapter, which is quite perfect for the genre. In addition to this, the novel itself is well researched, and presented. Its about an unbreakable code, which if released, will render everyone's favorite non-existent spy agency, the NSA(National Security Agency) completely obsolete.

The characters in the book are also very well crafted. The author seems to have this love for keeping proffesor types as his main characters, which seems to work quite well.

The only criticism I have to offer is that these otherwise intelligent, crafted characters seem to turn absolutely dense at the turning points in the story, when the big ass clues are to be deciphered. As the reader, you usually guess way before the characters do, which quite frankly is not right. You feel like yelling at them, as the answer seems so obvious, but will not occur to them for a couple of pages more.

But, aside from that, it was an excellent read. Go pick it up, or if you have a decent library, go issue it. It will be an afternoon/night/week well spent.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

SAT 2 Woes and a Visit to "India Shining"

OK, so the SAT 2 didn't go all that well. I got royally jacked in Writing, unable to finish my essay, and messing up grammar completely. I'm sure that you'll have experienced the same on my blog, but the way I see it, who needs grammar when you have MS Word, eh?

Maths was better than I expected, and I might pull off 750, but again, just might.

Chem was the silver lining, on what was quite literally a cloudy day. If the good lords be willing, I'm getting a nice 800, it was that simple. Tiddly om poms.

After this unholy event, we went for dinner and afternoons entertainment to Damini's house, where she fed us well, and slaked our thirst, and kept us in much merriment.
Unfortunately, we were afterwards dragged off to this sodoff hell hole called Gurgaon, and to its unholy chapel, the Metropolitan Mall.
The Mall is a terribly boring place, and is designed for people who like to shop for clothes. It has all of one bookshop, OM Book Shop, which has 4 shelves on cookery, 3 on fiction, and 1 of those fiction shelves is stocked entirely with multiple copies of the entire works of Paolo Cohelo, which, lets face it, suck. The Alchemist was a decent enough read, but the rest are just quite terrible. The childrens section is also quite large, and filled with little kids who are at about Groin level, and there's no need to go into how dangerous that can be. Little kids have a habit of running around a good bit, lets just leave it at that.
I did not as much as notice a music shop, or a technology bazaar, but lets face it, places where two whole floors are dedicated to clothing aren't exactly going to be big on computer goods. The only music the Guppies probably listen to is Remixes, and the new Rock-Pop nonsense, thats got a lot of glaring and blaring, but not a lot of content.
Another decent reason for avoiding the place like the plague would be that its apparently a common hangout for my favorite school's denizens.
Basically, the only reason to "hang out" at a mall would be if you've got no electricity at home, and you need decent air conditioning, to prevent melting. Since BSES has taken over, this is happening less and less frequently, at least at my residence. For the few times it actually does occur, I'd advise going to the pool to take a dip, trust me, a mall is not worth it.

Now, call me an envious dilliwalla, but I just can't stand the place(Gurgaon). Its too artificial; they say that its like a little Singapore in India, but its not. Its Gurgaon, its a created township, that stinks of every created subarban paradise in the world. Cities, you see, have character, they have charm, the have a certain pizzaz that simply cannot be recreated, untill you decide to found a city, and not a suburb.

Basically, give me Dilli anyday, or give me Bombay, or Bangalore, or Chennai, or London, or Singapore, or any city in the world. I'm sure each will have a charm of its own. Just don't give me some builder designed subarban concrete paradise, with high rises to nowhere, and Guppies galore.

You want an example of planning that inculcates charm, head on over to Lutyens Delhi. Its the trees really, you have to have trees. And the architechture. Furthermore(I'm obssesed with this word now), its got something to do with the fact that the buildings generally aren't more than 2 stories high. Thats the way they should be.

Friday, June 04, 2004

D-Day Approaches

Ah, the hour of reckoning arrives. I have my SAT 2 tomorrow. Despite studying more than I did for my SATs, my practice scores are simply not good enough. I hope and pray for some kind of miraculous easy paper tomorrow, otherwise, I might have to give these damn papers again, something which I do not want to do.

But hope springs eternal.

On unrelated news, I've continued my reading form, finishing both "The Da Vinci Code", by Dan Brown, and "Is New York Burning?", by Dominique Lapierre and The Other Guy.

They were both decent reads, though lacking that killer punch that makes a book into a legend. But, such is life. Not every book can qualify for that priveledge.

I've recently become obsessed with a cartoon from the heydeys of animation, where they actually tried to make kids cartoons which were intelligent and funny, instead of the insipid crap they dole out these days. It was called, Darkwing Duck, by Disney, dunno how many of you remember it.

If you want to jog your memory, try checking out Darkwing Duck's Entrances, come what may, it'll give you a good laugh.

I'll also probably be posting a picture of DW on FUFASHION, as an example of the most ultimate fashion victim the world has yet seen. With purple cape in pink border, it doesn't get much worse than that. Unless, of course, any of you have seen Vrinda Marwah in pink bunny ears, but then I'd be seriously endagering myself if I decided to put that up for public display.

And I just love myself to much to do that.

Many thanks to picasa.com for their Hello software, that makes Photoblogging possible for us poor souls without webspace.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

My Gulmohar Tree in Bloom. Bee-yoo-tiful, isn't it?
My Gulmohar in Bloom

The Many Meanings of MBA

Ever since my brother started preparing for MBA, we've encountered several new definitions of the same.

The Original: M.B.A : Masters of Business Administration

The Gujrati M.B.A : Manne Baddu Avechh (I know everything)

Dinky Uncle's M.B.A: Marriage, Bhog, Anniversary.

Dinky Uncle is my ex-neighbour, now living in Chandigarh, who is quite often obligated to attend several social functions, travelling across north India to attend Marriages, Bhogs (something like Chauthas), and Anniversaries of his several contacts. Thus, he is self-styled M.B.A

Does anyone else have any more fun definitions of M.B.A? I'm forgetting the rest I've heard, and would love to be reminded.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Book Review

I've been doing a lot of reading during and before the holidays. Here's a low down on some of the ones that stood out.

The World According to Garp

By John Irving
This is an amazing novel. First of all, I'll outrightly say I'm biased. I love any piece of fiction that deals with writing, or writers. But this was good all on its own. A highly imaginative plotline, combined with exceedingly interesting characters. For the likes of Manav and Vinay, yes, there was also a lot of hot passionate sex. It also contained in it a critique of fundamentalism, and extremism, in a manner that I have never read before. All in all, an engrossing read, which challenges you to think, and also, as I have previously mentioned, challenges you to write.

Five-Point Someone

By Chetan Bhagat

This is a book about what goes wrong in I.I.T. Its an account by an ex-IITian, of the type of people you never hear about in I.I.T, the bottom of the grade curve, the five-point someones. More than that, its a story of how three guys struggle with freedom in college, especially a college of the likes of I.I.T. I reccomend it to anyone who's always believed that I.I.T was the perfect place, and has devoted their life and energy into getting in. You should know all the good, and bad that you are getting yourself into.
For the rest of us poor mortals, who don't even dream of the above, its a good read, and reaffirms my desicion to not even try.

The Ramayana of Ashok Banker

This is a seven part series, retelling the Ramayana. I have read the first two parts, with the third coming out sometime this year.
This book is a sort of amalgam of The Ramayana and star wars, not in terms of Characters, but in terms of Style. The narrative is fast paced, and thrilling, and this retelling does what quite a few simply have not. Pay attention to detail. All the stories are included, as each book is long, over 500 pages. Thats 3500 pages for the whole thing, so one can be assured that not one tiny bit has been left out.
I enjoyed that. A lot of stories were in there that I hadn't heard, and a few that I must only have heard from my grandmother when I was wee lad.

Well, thats about all. The rest were crap.