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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Long time no blogpost da...

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Yeah. the mans been busy. not like anyone cares. but anyway.

Seems like age is catching up with me. Or thats how i feel when I open up my inbox. Suddenly 50% of the unread emails have 'humbly requesting your presence at my marriage' at the subject line. And. most of them are from the guys in my class. I remember that I was young for my class - on an average, 8 months younger than the second youngest, which makes me think - does this mean I have to get hitched in a years time to avoid the 'oh you're not married yet?' 

Why is everyone in such a hurry to get married ? - an old classmate (OM) and I caught up on gtalk after a while. Heres how the conversation went:

OM: Machan howre u da ? been such a long time...
Me: Yeah, Yeah, I'm fine, sup with u ? hows life in whereever you are ?

OM: Great !! Im due for promotion next month ! and the wifeys loving it...
Me: The who ?

OM: I got married to my girlfriend last june da. shes working with infosys.
Me: Oh great congrats man ! (thanks for not inviting me. chutiya.)

OM: Yeah Yeah. I wudve called you, but I heard you were in the US.
Me: (Yeah right. and I have a pet grebe) Ah, thats ok man...

OM: So how about you ? Hows the kid doing ?
Me: (ZONK). The what da ??

OM: The kid da, You had a kid sometime recently right ?
Me: (Not unless I was made compulsory sperm donor while I slept. And someone actually picked my sperm -  A lesbian couple from prague, perhaps) Err, no, what gave you that idea da ??

OM: Man, I though you got married like ages ago... someone told me u have a kid n all...
Me: (WTF). Dude, u sure u know who you're talking to ?

OM: Yeah Yeah, maybe i got the whole ,marriage and kid thing confused with someone else.. so hows life ??
Me: (Still recovering) Yeah, blah, blah... and blah.

Scary. Maybe I should begin every conversation with my married friends like 'hows the old ball and chain ??'. That'd pre empt mistakes of this sort. and probably all future conversations too, but its worth it. :D

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lets go Clubbing da...

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Ok, all city folk know that you aint no cool until you go clubbing.

When I landed in madras a while ago, some old friends of mine also flew down, and we really did not have much to do except meet up at the beach, eat someplace, talk for a while and and then go home. Thats when somebody came up with the 'lets go clubbing' idea.

Apparently, there are a large number of pubs and discos in madras, and clubbing is a major activity of the hip and cool. It usually involves payment of some kind of fee to enter the pub or disco, and inside theres some really loud music and other stuff going around.

Confession - I havent been to one of these places since my awesome experience in the second year of college. I wasnt blogging then, so heres the summary of that event - I went in, couldnt see much cos the lights were bad, couldnt hear much cos the music was loud, friends got completely sloshed and had a real bad headache after I got back home.

Realisation - nothings changed. The lights have gotten a bit worse, but apart from that, nothing. A friend i knew knew someone who knew someone else, so our entry was 'taken care of'. We went down some wierd looking catacomb like thing and entered a predominantly green looking room, with smoke and rays of light going thru the air. It was like something out of a bad LSD commercial, if they were allowed to make one.

So we got around to catching a place to sit, and ordered some snacks, but never got to talk. So much for catching up. We quit the joint asap, and headed straight down to the beach. My impression of the clubbing activity has sort of gone down this week. Doesn't appear as cool as it used to in college.

I went back home and hit the urban dictionary, and looked up clubbing :

1. clubbing 380 up, 115 down

A favourite activity of the moronic majority, this involves being shunted like cattle into a converted warehouse... sadly not to be slaughtered, but to wear ridiculous trendy clothes, listen to crap eardrum-shattering music, try to pick up brainless members of the opposite sex, and generally stand around aimlessly in a desperate but pointless attempt to show how cool you are.
"Wanna go clubbing tonight?"

Looks like I'm not the only one.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Finally, Firefox with the goodness of Chrome da...

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Yeah, tech stuff. I did not imagine that Itd feature on my blog either. But Ive finally got a great looking and performing Firefox - which looks like chrome, and has the add-on capability.

Heres a list of things I really liked about chrome -

1. Minimalist - the design is awesome. The color scheme is also good; doesnt cause as many headaches from constant work with the lappy.

2. Speed - streaming videos load fast, and theres a visible difference in how long a page riddled with javascript takes to load. (compared to Firefox 3.0, ie)

3. The new tab page - The recent bookmarks, search history, and recently closed tabs with thumbs of most visited pages was well received. Infact, this new format for a new tab is very useful.

These were the things I missed about chrome. But then, firefox has the 'add-ons' capability, which is way too handy to give up, even for these chrome given advantages.

With a heavy heart, I sacked chrome and got back Firefox. 3 days later, I googled up what I needed to do in order to get the best of both worlds. im sure theres someone in my super long list of faithful readers who shares the need.

Heres the checklist -

1. To make FF look like chrome - get Chromifox. Its a cool skin. Looks very much like Chrome.

2. New tab - get the JumpStart addon. replicates the exact same functionality as chrome, but also plans to enhance the search to run thru previously stored bookmarks, and a general google search.

the speed with which streaming video websites are handled are pretty much the same with FF 3.0.5 and Chrome. So no complaints there. In addition, I use addons like scribefire, greasemonkey, and also imported all my bookmarks from chrome. (Yeah, thats easy nowadays).

Finally, a great looking and super performing browser.

In the streets of Madras, Da...

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Ive you've read my earlier post about getting caught driving fast in the US, you wouldve inferred that I did drive in the US. Now that I'm back in Madras, the difference between the american and indian ways of getting places is just so apparent.

I landed at Anna Intl airport and walked out to the road at 3am. As with any 'foreign return' flight, a huge crowd of drivers and anxious family members had gathered to welcome the 'foreign returns'. In this case, 'Amreega returns'. Anyways, I dragged my overloaded trolley out onto the road to look for my contact person. The agreement was that Id wait near an airtel Phone booth. Sadly, my contact had other more important matters of national importance to attend to. (snoring to glory inside the car in the parking lot).

This gave me about 35 minutes to look around and observe. I noticed when I landed in the US how everyone diligently follows a lane discipline, ie sticking to lane on the road and indicating when lane changes are about to be made. In good ol madras, its a free for all. I saw 3-4 ambassadors speed and screech to a halt in front of the departure terminal, only to be screamed at by a huge family waiting there. Meanwhile, several auto drivers took the opportunity to squeeze their monstrous vehicles of doom in the gap between the family members in order to overtake the ambassador. its like theres some adrenaline induced frenzy to stay 2 feet ahead of guy in front of you in a packed road. Frankly, it defies all logic.

After I met my elusive contact, my journey home began. In short, it was like sitting in a crash test vehicle. After every 15 seconds of fast driving, a near sudden brake would be made since the car's overtake attempt was foiled by the angry SUV driver in front.

Yeah, there are stupid people in the US too, but our country needs an overhaul of traffic rules. People should start making petitions, actively campaigning for some sort of system level change. This is all the more important when considering the sheer number of vehicles our cities have in comparison with the width of the roads.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Poi solla porom, da..

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Thats right, the first post with a tam title on my blog.

There are a category of movies called heist films. It involves either a sophisticatedly executed bank robbery, or art theft, or any robbery for that matter. The key to enjoying this genre is to appriciate the modus operandi.

Im a big fan of heist films, and I was very thrilled to learn of a tam movie being made along those lines. and it did not disappoint at all.

Karthik Kumar of Evam fame plays the near-centric protagonist, and its a low budget 'get back at the bad guy' kind of movie. I wouldve been very impressed if the heist itself had more detail and story built in to it. The backstory seemed to have the lions share of screen time here. Piaa Bajpai plays the love interest of the hero, decent performance. I could go on about the cast and how well they did, but thats boring.

So these guys make believe that a huge area of land surrounding the old mahabalipuram road is theirs, and fool a bad guy who is played by Nasser. This movie became a pseudo hit - so is madras ready for a wider range of movie/serials ? could the next prime time serial on sun tv be a sci fi thriller ?

There have been attempts bordering this genre before - a slew o f serials starting with 'marma desam' brought in the horror/thriller angle pretty well. But what they did not do was immerse themselves into a dedicated multi season format with a compelling story line. Some reasons why programs like NBC's Heroes succeed in the US is the strong plot, and their ability to get the viewer thinking - what if I could do those things?. This is brought out by the characters themselves who portray their parts to perfection, striking a chord of familiarity with the audience.

From a purely business standpoint, if someone has a scifi story set in the city of madras, people can go about raising investment from private parties and get a good show up and running. Im fairly confident that the returns would be sufficiently high given the low average age of the city, tempting advertisers to pay a hefty premium. I know id tune in if a tamil remake of Heroes with good enough graphics came up on TV...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I look good in that, Da ...

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Great people have said that theres no love like self love. Anyone wishing to misconstrue that to suit their own nefarious purposes are free to, so long as its not on the comments section :D ..

What embodies self love more than monuments to the self ?? Pharoahs built monuments to themselves. Roman dictator Caligula had 17 stone masons each carve out 3 statues a year depicting him neck up, and roman atheletes neck down. 

Anyhoo, most of us dont have the time or the money to comission odes our god given beauty. We do what we've been doing for 2 million years now - improvise.

A guy named Orkut Buyukkokten came up with the social networking idea with Orkut, and then Mark Zuckerberg came up with Facebook. Both these websites offer its members the freedom to upload photos. Unlimited number of photos. 

BANG. It was like the WalMART for compulsive narcissist. I was logging into Orkut sometime ago, when I noticed in the 'recent updates' section that one of my friends had uploaded 17 photos of himself, all different poses. I would like to emphasise 'poses'. The same clothes, same hairstyle, same everything except the 'pose'. You can equate 'pose' to stance, look on the face, whatever.

I could not resist a small q and a.

Me : Dude, why all the photos ? is that like On-Demand, or launching a new product ?
Compulsive Narcissist (CN) : WTF ? uve uploaded photos of urself too !!

DISCLAIMER : True. I did uploaded photos of myself. Photos that I thought brought out the best looking me. But hey, thats just 1 photo, among other non-me photos, and recommonded for upload by entitites other than myself.

CN : So what ? I have other photos too ! Hypocrite !
Me : Ok. Your album has 158 photos, 20 of which feature you standing in front of a wall, photographing yourself. And of the 158, 16 dont have you, but they are pictures of wallpapers hooked off some other websites. and 40 have you standing with other people....

CN : So?
Me : Nothing, im just surprised that you have a different photo for every way you can twitch your eyebrows, and add captions like 'you lookin at me?'  and 'im sad..' and 'watcha!' .... among others....

CN : The babes want that man !!
Me : No kidding... So whats the news on that front da ? Ive been hearing some stuff...

etc etc. The conversation went on.

My point here is simple - the internet is a very  very powerful tool. Now its almost as though everyone who has access to the internet can establish an indentity for themselves, which is in many ways much larger than they can ever hope to do without the internet. That leads to interesting results motivated by the psyche, as Ive just described. 

It would be very interesting to explore exactly how a persons activities online, read against his/her psychological profile ? or maybe someones already done that, I gotta get googling.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Harold and Srivats get caught speeding, Da ..

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Seattle is a funny place. Its a very liberal city. (Obama rocks, as they say). There are more libertairian and Minarchist discussion groups here than anywhere else in the states, they say. Ive been to these meetings, but thats not what im writing about.

On my way there, i got pulled over by a cop for speeding. I was running at 60 in a 40 mph road. The cops here are very different compared to the ones we find in India. No 'beer belly', handlebar moustache, or the feeling that your purse is gonna get flushed. 

The cop walks over to the car window, and I ask him after lowering my window - 'what seems to be the problem, officer ?' all in an indian accent. He gave the 'wtf ?' look, and said ...

cop - 'You were driving at 65 mph on this road sir.. is that correct ?'
me - 'yeah, maybe, but i wasnt at that speed for long officer, just the occasional burst, you know its impossible to maintain constant .... blah... also, blah ...'

cop - 'yeah. sure. can i see you're license, sir ?'
me - (here we go) 'k, here'

cop - 'this is an indian license, sir'
me - 'really ? i mean, yeah, it is..'

cop - 'u need to apply for an international drivers license in washington state to own/drive a car, sir'
me - 'yeah, but i moved here a week ago, an blah, more blah...'

After that, he was getting pretty serious, and indicated that I might need to come 'downtown'.

me - 'what ?? why ?'

cop - 'i see that ur partner in crime isnt here with u'
me - 'huh ?'

cop - 'is ur last name coomar ??'
me - 'yeah ?'

cop - 'so wheres harold, mr coomar ?'

Thats when I got the joke. It was a good laugh, and then he said my indian license would definitely not work. I said alright, and got let off cos it was my first time. Infact, the surname Coomar hits a chord of familiarity with the people here, so much so that I do not have to spell out my name each time I make reservations at restaurants and wait at the barbers. I think i'l use it more extensively, now on...