Tuesday, August 29, 2006


The Kopitiam(Canteen/Food Court) outside of college has a pizza place which offers a Beef and Pork Pepperoni pizza, i.e pepperoni made of a beef and pork mix. This proves once and for all that it is possible to piss off both Hindus and Muslims at the same time.

Me? Its nice to be an atheist.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Forgotten Hero?

On Independance day, Indian TV channels run obligatory patriotic films on prime time and pretty much through the day as well. I'm guessing its a money spinner. Some are your old classics like Border, Gadar, Sunny Deol Kills a Lot of Pakis and Yells in The Process, and some are the new wave of period patriotic cinema, including but not limited to every single person playing Bhagat Singh. I had the misfortune to catch parts of an incredibly bad movie about well...an incredibly daft individual. Bose, the forgotten hero.

I tied it back to my trip to Manila, just before I had returned back home for my holidays. Over there. Talking to the local junta, and indeed Singaporean Junta sitting along with, there's a hell of a lot of continuing animosity against the Japanese. If you follow the news you'll know that their otherwise charming president has got himself into a hell of a lot of trouble with the Chinese by visiting old war shrines. See, here's why everyone has a problem. The Japanese imperial army was at the time some of the most vicious bunch of sick individuals walking the planet. They had in very simple terms no respect for human rights whatsoever. To say that carnage ensued where they went is putting it lightly. The population was tortured, the women were raped and/or forced into prostitution and everyone else was generally put through hell. In China, mass graves of over 100,000 were found. This is a ground army, may I remind you. Not an atomic bomb. 9.3 Million Chinese prisoners are estimated to have been killed, and only the relatively lower population of places like Singapore, Hawaii and Philipines kept that number lower over there. Horrific is a pleasant word for this. It puts even Hitler's Holocaust to shame, though seems to get far less publicity. Lets just say the Jews seem to market themselves better.

So here's the thing. The last thing any sane sensible person would want to do, especially an ASIAN sane sensible person during the world war is to invite the Japanese army to help take over your country. I mean, agreed the Brits at the time weren't the best thing going, but hell I don't think the UPA is any better in terms of securing my rights but seriously, the Japanese and the Germans weren't exactly popularity plus in the world at the time. So what does our Netaji do? He flees to Germany. Why? Cos they're at war with Britain, and anyone against the mother country can't be all that bad, right?

Before 500 angry bengalis attack me and tell me the times were different, I agree with you. They were. The entire asian region was petrified of having the Japanese anywhere near them for very obvious reasons. The rest of the freedom movement in India was against the idea of asking for Axis help too. I may bitch about Nehru, but even he stepped up and spoke against the facist rise in Spain, Italy and Germany. Stupid yes, but sane at least.

But here we have Netaji, who decides that he needs blood spilled for freedom (Hmm...I wonder who that sounds like now....oh whoops I forgot that the times have changed). We have a man who literally went and begged the Gerries and Japs to come and help him take over the country, and naive enough to believe that they'd just march right out afterwards. We had an insane fool at best, and a vicious facist supporter at worst. Both options don't seem pretty appealing. As far as his heroism goes, he managed to get himself killed and matryed, like everyone elses favourite insane mass murderer, Che Guevera.

I think its funny that if I mention to a Filipino, Chinese or Korean that in our country, we have a national hero who ran off, wanted to march in with Axis Support, and trained his army using Japanese help, they might even consider boycotting us, or generally issuing statements of distaste. But such are our heros. He was a great patriot, and that seems to be enough.

They say the Hezbollah are quite patriotic as well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Independance Day

I went out for a very nice breakfast today, at a place called Yellow Brick Road. Driving there, the streets were empty, almost deserted. My bua was much pleased, telling me how it was like the Delhi of old. Gone was the regular hustle-bustle and noise that makes a metropolis what it is, the entire place was empty, nary a person on Ring Road; the artery of Delhi.

Its time like these you question Independance Day. Great, so there haven't been any attacks today, so the terrorists will wait a few days. In exchange, my city is too terrified to step out, the airports are paranoid about people coming in or leaving and we've all accepted as a part of our lives the "Red Alert" that we're in. I'm dissapointed to be honest. I'm going back to Singapore tomorrow, and even though it is a token democracy, it is quite well functioning in terms of your basic rights. Critics abound over there over restrictions over freedom of speech, but the only people you can't criticise without getting into trouble are the Men In White (People's Action Party members). Here, there are a thousand holy cows. But free speech shockingly isn't even the highest of my worries. There's even my basic freedom of movement that's come into question.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again. I want freedom. I don't want Independance from having a foreign power making my laws. I want anyone making laws that empower me to do what I like. People don't get that. People are okay with shitty governance and shittier laws as long as they're ours. People value independance and our flag and our national symbols but they don't seem to value being able to step out of the house, or walk into a theatre without having to be checked. I value that, I'd like to live in a world where I can walk into a theatre even while carrying a bag, which quite frankly may contain a bomb. I'm mortal, and I know if people around me are crazy enough, they're going to kill me; whether that's because they're bad drivers and are going to get into an accident when I'm on the road, or because they're fundamentalists who think its going to send them to heaven, I really don't care. I'm more comfortable accepting it, and moving on with life. If they're going to get you, they're going to get you. They're crazy and are going to find ways to blow you up, no matter what you try to do. I think its time people realised that. There's no security from them. There's no stopping terrorist attacks, untill they stop terrorising you. Leave it be. Go to the hall, go to the airport and just relax.

That's how I learnt how to stop worrying, and love the bomb.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Honour My People

For centuries, my people have been systematically opressed. In asian societies in India and China, we've been labelled "wrong", "unnatural" and evil. The Catholic Church has spoken out against us, missionaries have resorted to capital punishment to make us conform. Even in today's enlightened times, clothes, sporting goods, instruments, and pretty much any object, building or proccess of note discriminates against us. I demand a correction of these historical wrongs! I demand a ten percent reservation in all institutions, to be in line with my representation in society! Goddammit, I demand my rights!

Hell, actually I don't. I'm left-handed by the way, and all the things written above are true. But we Southpaw's aren't much of a political demographic, nor are we a bunch of whiney wusses, so you'll never hear that kind of noise from our camp. Why would you? We've got the smartest brains, the coolest and most sexually prolific presidents and the rest of the jing bang as well. So Honour our People, just for today so that we can feel a bit important in the whole "lets be nice to minorities" scheme of things, because quite honestly no one seems interested in our lot. So here's to spreading the word.

I'm leaving this Wednesday, it's been fun.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Budget airlines such as Air Deccan have, or used to have a flexible fare system known as Dynafare. This basically means that the earlier you book your ticket, the cheaper is the price you pay for it, up to a point. Also, if a ticket cannot be sold, a last minute booking is also going to be considerably cheaper. Here's the logic behind it. The only way to make revenue on a plane flight is to fill the thing. Its going to fly regardless, so your fixed costs are there whether you stuff it full or not, so it just makes plane(sic) (please excuse the pun) sense to not have any empty seats, even at the cost of giving them away dirt cheap. If you are a budget airline, your variable cost per passenger is also low, as you're not exactly providing much in terms of service. Basically, its a really smart move, that has only really backfired because there is an extreme mismatch in India over demand and supply of plane tickets, i.e everyone seems to want to fly. Something that our "Ooh, spending any money on yourself is a fucking luxury" stupid ass government didn't seem to think of. The point is that in a market where demand and supply are evenly matched, this is a great system to maximise your revenues, as you encourage people to a)get into your flight early, garaunteeing you revenue b) More people to fly, by booking early c) Filling up the last few seats which would otherwise have gone to last minute travellers taking a train or having to pay insane amounts for a fixed final fare on Jet or other full service airline.

Okay, not that I've dealt with the explanation, here's my idea. There's another industry with high fixed, low variable cost ratio, that is also dependant on people buying tickets, also involves a lot of cheapasses, and also has to deal with a large amount of stupid and overburdening tax. It's also targetting a very similiar economic demographic, which usually has the access to internet (Deccan usually has its bookings online) and credit/debit card payments. It's called The Multiplex.

See, especially for morning/afternoon shows on weekdays, you have a lot of theatres going plain empty (which is a good thing at certain times, but anyhow...) I'm sure this entails a lot of lost revenue for any cineplex. It would be interesting to see how a dynafare system for a movie theatre would work, if you could price tickets dynamically. It would be of great convinience and advantage as well, setting up the online system, as it would save you the bother of having to buy tickets beforehand. If anyone has an eye on petrol costs right now, I'm sure the little extra you'd spend on the credit card service charge would kind of account for the money you'd spend going to the theatre to buy tickets in advance. It doesn't make sense. As with airlines, a printed ticket system for the movies could also be set up, making life a lot easier.

Basically, I think a system where the ticket cost starts off cheap, and gets progressively more expensive as the hall fills up is a very good idea. It'll encoura the last 10-20 at higher than average rates, so the people who really want to see the movie but were too bloody lazy can pay to get in it. Its supply and demand at its finest.

It would be interesting to see a study on whether it could be implemented or not. It might succeed, but then it might also be a fantastic failure. As with these things, you never know till you try.

Happy Rakhi by the way. If you're Mika, you might get more than you bargained for.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Okay, so I've been lazy. In my excuse I've actually had a decent amount to do, and have been spending the rest of the time (where I've not had a lot to do) doing pleasant things like reading very large novels. In the interim, I have gone to Gult-Land (Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad), organised a quiz for The Alma Mater, and done secret important things that are none of your business.

At any rate, here are the prelim main round questions(at least the notable dry ones), for those who might be interested. Leave your answers in the comments.

  • Let’s get it started. Commonly known as Rongi, or Lobia, these harmless little beans have been made quite famous, through oddly enough, the American Music Industry. Just tell me what their “Western” name is.
  • Mitchell Baker, the CEO of this organization has the designation of “Chief lizard wrangler” Name the organization
  • CryptoKids™ is a new initiative by the _________ Organisation. It’s a cartoon based learning site for children, starring Crypto Cat™, Decipher Dog™, Rosetta Stone, Slate, Joules, T.Top. It aims to encourage the youth to take up cryptology, and join _____, giving whole new meaning to catching them young. Which organization?
  • An _______ ___________ or Einser Vorhang was an obligatory precaution all German theatres had to take to prevent the spread of fire from the stage to the rest of the theatre. It was first used in its current context by Joesef Goebbels, who popularized the phrase. What are we talking about?
  • Okay, this is a visual depicting a kind of demon that visits nubile women at night and well, makes merry with them. What is it’s name?
  • The word ______ most likely comes from the Old Icelandic "______" meaning "bear shirt." This refers to Scandinavian warriors who wore, quite literally, bear shirts which they thought would render them invincible. These warriors would attack ferociously, and their name became synonymous with their attitude to life. Fill in the blanks.
  • The lunar cycle repeats itself every 28 days. This usually means that there is one full moon every month, as most months have 30-31 days. Every so often, a month will have a second full moon. What is this event called?
  • Connect Nyxem-D, Raymond India Ltd. and Sir Richard Francis Burton and Frederick Foster Arbuthnot’s seminal translation of an ancient text.
  • The official site for this new religion is www.venganza.org, which in Spanish means the vengeance. Its followers are called Pastafarians, and believe that Global Warming is a direct result of fewer pirates in the world today. Their prayers end with Ramen. This is the Church of the __________ ____________ ______________. Fill in the blanks.
  • His real name is Mahakshay, but since the name seems hard to pronounce, _______, his Father, decided to make it _______, which is both, short and sweet. In fact the name is a combination of Michael Jackson and Mohammed Ali who happens to be his father's idols. He’ll be making his film debut in the upcoming release “He- The Only One”. Name him, or the father.
  • According to Zainol Abidin Abdul Rashid of Malaysia's space science institute, "following Earth time and facing in the direction of Earth are the key elements to solving the problem". This is a new problem, being faced for the first time by Malaysia’s space program. The National University of Malaysia was employed to produce a program to solve the problem. What’s the problem?
  • She once told Malcolm Forbes that "you may be publishing the capitalist tool but I publish the capitalist carrot, as it makes it worth all that hard work!" She is the CEO of a publishing and merchandising company, taking over the reigns from her illustrious father. Her, and the Company.
  • Okay, so the Ravens at the Tower of London had to be moved inside, to “Protect the british empire” in February of this year. Put Funda as to why.
  • Heidi Klum has sent us to hell. Who about what?
  • Its been produced exclusively by McIlhenny Company, a family owned business, since 1868. The product measures between 2500-5000 units on the Scolville scale. The product shares a strong relation with the US Military, appearing in Military Rations, and was also recently used in space. What am I talking about?
  • Composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, sung by Shankar Mahadevan, and propped by Amithabh Bachan, this has a lot of big names behind it. It’s a part of a larger rebranding campaign, entitled “Think Bigger” which aims to make this brand more youthful and consumer oriented. What am I talking about?
  • During his tenure as chairman of West Bengal board of industries, he made countless overseas trips to promote FDI, signing Memorandum’s Of Understanding. This earned him the nickname “MOU-Da”. He was born in Tezpur, Assam and of his more recent held positions is the chairman of Santiniketan Sriniketan Development Authority. Incidentally, its his happy birthday today. Identify please.
  • Okay, so this US organization (name withheld) awards a certain award, known as the Golden Fleece award to senators and government organisations across the united states. It was started in the mid 70’s, and awardees include · United States Department of the Army for a 1981 study on how to buy a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, and Rep. Don Young, in charge of a 315 million dollar bridge project in Alaska. What is the award in honour of?
  • In Liverpool, the town council recently voted to rename several streets previously named after individuals linked with the Slave Trade, of which Liverpool was a major center. One street, however, has been spared, named after James _______, a wealthy 18th century slave ship owner. Which street, and why?
  • He started out his career with Zee TV, working for some 1500 hours. His first break as a music director came with the film Pyaar Kiya toh Darna Kya. Two years later, he got his first Solo Break, with Dulhan Hum toh Le Jayenge. He became a popular composer for Salman Khan Productions. Some of his less inspiring works include the music for Tarzaaan the Wonder Car, and Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya (please do not watch these films). Who am I talking about?
  • The story goes that X made a bet with his team captain about whether he would win a certain Davis Cup match. If he won, his prize would be a alligator skin suitcase. He won the match and got his nickname as a result. Who?
  • When the company took its catchy rhyming phrase for its Vacuum Cleaner “nothing sucks like an _______” and brought it to America from English-speaking markets overseas, they failed to take into consideration the fact that “sucks” had become a derogatory word in the States. The serious language barrier persuaded the firm to turn to a U.S.-based PR firm for future ad campaigns. Which company?
  • England-West Indies test series in 1928-29. Walter Robbins, the English batsman was stumped and on his way to the pavilion said "Fancy getting out to a ______". What?
  • Zorbing video : What are these people doing?
  • Nicknamed the dynamite from TNT, this guy named his daughter after the city where he gave arguably his best performance. Who?
  • He was born in Luton, Bedfordshire. He had a fine first class season in 2005, where he took 46 wickets at 21.54, was followed by a stint at the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide. In his international debut at Nagpur, he picked up his first international wicket, that of Sachin Tendulkar. Who?
  • It was created in 1994 and installed on the web in 1995 by Ward Cunningham, who also created the Portland Pattern Repository. It means "hurry quick" in Hawaiian. It also refers to a type of native fish of the islands. What word is this?
  • The mechanism used to open and close the stage curtains during a performance gave rise to this phrase. The hope is that the performance will be so well received and the bows of the performer will be so frequent and sustained that this mechanism collapses. Which phrase?
Answer away. Cheers