I Think

Burrrrnnnnn…

Oh man.. i just got my first real sting. I posted the previous entry in the blog portal at work(what was i even thinking), tagged it as attempted-humor, and a friend walked up to me and said “nice ‘attempt’ dude, but think it failed”. Ouch.
I went and re-read the thing and it does seem a bit… you know.. not heading anywhere… kind of a story… It has its moments.. but nothing sticks out… why am i using so many ellipses…?
Well.. I cant make everyone get what i write, but the diamond is still very much rough and needs a lot of work.
That said.. it was quite a burn.

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Dharma

Dharma read the reply again. It had just three words in it. ‘No funds available’. It was the response to his request to recruit temporary staff for the department. That was the thirteenth time his request was denied. He wanted to bang his head on his desk but decided against it, there were other important things to do. Besides, banging his head usually left him with a throbbing headache and it was too early in the day to have one. Dharma was in the business of death and right now he was overwhelmed by the amount of work on his desk.

A long time ago, much longer than humans can meaningfully imagine, Dharma was just a little boy fascinated by the mysterious workings of life, death and women. He figured out the third in high school but the first two remained beyond his grasp, that was until he met the dark lord Sheeva. Sheeva took the curious kid as his apprentice and thought him everything he knew about life including how to end one and Dharma made a career out of this, not a great one though. He began work as a junior at the department of death. His keenness and expertise at taking lives saw him rise swiftly through the ranks and he was soon appointed as a special agent of death and was given the project of handling the life and death of a new species beginning their time on earth, the humans. Back then, there werent many humans around, the hours were easy and Dharma spent a lot of his time researching and employing new methods to ending life – floods, drought, famine, plague, malaria, cholera, war – nothing too hard for a young dynamic demigod looking to prove himself.

But things were very different now. Ending life had become terribly difficult, especially in the last hundred years. Strange men in white coats and beeping machines had seen to it. Not to forget the tiny pills of all shades, shapes and sizes that shooed away death as if it were a cat trying to sneak into the kitchen. There were just too many of them humans now, much more than Dharma could handle without getting apocalyptic. He could write to his higher ups asking permission to engage one, but then apocalypses were bloody expensive and the department had just about cash to buy half a pizza, without the sause, and the cheese, and the bread.

On top of everything else Chitragupta was getting too old for the job. There was a time when Chittu would put in endless hours balancing karma, meticulously taking into account every single deed of every single man. These days though all he did was sleep on the job, drool over the ledgers, smudging all the numbers. A man could, as many did, get away with murdering a hundred thousand people and still make it to heaven, all he had to do was time those to Chittus slumbering moments.

There was a knock on his door. It was Chittu, he came in and handed him a list of names for the day. It was long, as expected. Dharma sighed, gulped down his coffee and decided to get on with the job. He went down to the parking lot and let out a low call. Ramu, his bufallo ambled out of the shed. He walked up to him, patted him gently on his nose and spoke a few kind words to him. He then leapt on to his back, wore his sunglasses and rode the beast into the horizon. Death, as they say, goes on.

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Obscenities

I hate idiots. Well.. I only hate idiots who act smart. Normal idiots.. I dont hate you guys, dont feel offended, I dint mean to hurt you, if it makes you feel better I will add that I am one among you, its just idiots who act smart that I hate. What is wrong with these people? Why would anybody type @$$ instead of ass or $#!t instead of shit? Why? It is ok to drag our sorry rear ends all life but not say the word? It is ok to dirty the porcelain pot every morning but not type the dirty word? Sonna saami kanna kuthidumaa? Or is it cool to say it this way but not directly? If you want to use an obscenity, grow some balls and use it directly, either that or dont use it at all. Acting smart is just plain stupid.

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Adventures of jillu

This post started off as a comment to Vidya’s post about Varun and grew into a separate post. Its about my niece, Shambavi. Shambavi aka shaamu aka jillu aka pappu and countless other names is about 550 days old and after starting off a little slowly on the talking front jillu’s vocab has soared off like Apple stocks over the last few weeks. She now says amma, appa(she used to call her dad balappa, him being Bala but now has settled with appa), tatha/tathappa, ammamma/paati, akka, anna, aunty, she calls my sister aninny thithi(harini chithi), and funnily enough she calls kids her size paapa. Yesterday she was toying with the cordless and accidentally speed dialed my place, my mom picked up and said hello, dont know how she recognized my moms voice but immediately answered ‘hello.. charu paati…?’. Then there are food words, maamum, pappu, nei, maamalam etc. But of all the words to come out of her mouth, the best has to be.. well.. the way she calls me maamaa. She has three modes for it.. a) the normal maamaa.. b) a maaaaaaamaa.. and c) when in josh, the musical maamaaaaaaaaaa… the second syllable going into a nice little raagam. I never knew being called maamaa would be so delightful. Between she also calls me arthy.

If it is raisins for Varun its pottu kadalai for jillu. She ambles into the kitchen, points at the container, brings her fingers together in some kind of a mudra and says ‘ithoondu taa'(she opens up her hands on ‘taa’). My peripa, her grandfather, who is currently working as caretaker-in-chief of jillu spends a lot of time humming/singing to himself. On a whim my cousin asked jillu ‘tatha eppadi maa paaduva’, for which jillu did this. She raised her hand like a baagavathar, put on a half-mocking, half-shy smile and went into an ‘aaaa…’ that put sudha raghunathan and nityashri mahadaven to shame. Nobody has even dared kalaachufy peripa, him being the patriarch of the clan, there had to be a first time, besides who else could have done it?

Jillu is also very responsible. She turns on the AC when it becomes too hot and turns it off when it becomes cold. When the phone rings she runs to the cordless and carries it to her tatha. One day, her tatha had just finished brushing his teeth and noticing that he was looking for his towel jillu ran to the cupboard pulled out one and rushed to her tatha.

My cousin, like most first time moms is pretty much clueless about raising the kid and has decided that it is time jillu took her education seriously. Apparently, it is never too early to learn abc.. 123.. johny johny.. twinkle twinkle.. differential calculus.. molecular biology and special theory of relativity, I will leave that for another post.

Sometimes I envy jillu. Before she was here, I used to be treated like a king at my peripas. I still am, except that jillu usually ends up stealing the spotlight by doing something incredibly smart and/or incredibly cute. Aaarrr.. I tried imitating her by saying ‘ithoondu kaapi taa’ at home, all i got was blank stares. She is already better than me on so many fronts. She is more musical than I will ever be. She does a nice little jig that is way awesome than my monkey dance. She is cool, she has been hi-fiving since she was one, I can never pull off one without looking stupid. She is brave, did I tell about the time she was toying with a lizard, quite a big one, and only dropped it because her amma and paati freaked out and screamed? And last time she was at home she was eyeing my cube rather curiously. I have a sneaky feeling she is solving it in her head. That would really wipe out my uniqueness in the clan.

Anyway, I have decided to buy her sunglasses. She is gonna need it, ’cause her future is gonna be real bright.

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Discworld

I did it. I finally did it. For a long time I have stood on the edge of the diving board, wiggling my toes like one of those cartoon characters, waiting to take the plunge. I have finally stepped into the air and dived into Discworld. I had a minor problem of choosing the entry point, you may say that Going Postal is probably not the right book to start. But then I really liked the blurb on the back, sometimes one has to go with ones’ instincts, especially when they point the wrong way. I visited the book store, landmark, just for this, I havent been there in almost a year, from the time I started ordering at flipkart. But this is a special occasion, and I decided to honour it by visiting the store, standing in reverance before the fantasy aisle and picking the book.

I like visiting book stores, to me it is almost like visiting temples. Well… book shops arent exactly temples, more like pseudo-temples, you know, like iskcon, in all fairness libraries are more like temples. Libraries/temples let you read/pray in silence, bookstores and pseudo-temples are designed specifically to stop you from doing that, they do this by a)playing crappy music in the background and b) by offering you stuff to take home for a price. Still, I like visiting book shops. Being in a book shop is like being in a party, you say hello to a few books, judge some by their dress.. er.. cover, talk to them for a while and take them home if they are interesting. Damn, I should stop anthropomorphizing everything. And I need to see more people. People.. people, where art thou?

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The End

Continuation of http://antbrain.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/the-memorial/

…And just as everyone was awaiting a delicious meal, a stray quark passing through the planet as if the thing didnt exist, very briefly danced with the genetic strands of the fallen, triggering a chain reaction in its DNA, a kind the world had seen only once before, which, for lack of a better word, magically resusciated the dead, who rose from his bed and shook off his mates MJSNCO2909X and QWQDMD0-3C who had their pincers fixed on his shoulders and feet, and unlike the one who rose two thousand years ago stood his ground and exclaimed ‘Friends, the prophecy is fulfilled, I, JAK1ACCD return from the dead, fear me not, for I am here to free you all from this tyranny, from this perpetual slavery, I am here to deliver the paradise that MJSSQSQ89 prophesised in his dying moments 847 days ago, tonight, this slavery will end, tonight we shall finally breathe free or die, tonight we march towards the imperial palace and take what is rightfully ours’, and spurred by the saviour’s words, the proles marched towards the palace, threw aside the scanty resistance, dragged the queen to the street, who despite the violent harassment meted out to her maintained a grace that the world had last seen in Mary of Scots, and much like Mary of Scots the queen knew the fate awaiting her, fear coursed through her veins, for she alone realised what death to her would mean to the colony, and as the blade of the guillotine raced towards her neck she wondered, for the last time ‘Why does the world end everytime a man rises from the dead?’

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MBA and some other stuff

About a year ago I made this offbeat remark to Joe at work ‘Dude.. IIMs are overrated. I wouldnt join one even if I got through’. Little did I know that one year later I would be doing as I said. I know, me.. a man of my word, I am surprised too.

MBAs are not for everyone. MBA is definitely not for me. There seems to be a lot of interesting stuff that one gets to learn over the two years, but honestly, none of them excite me, none of them makes me go ‘wow.. this is awesome’. I tried convincing myself that it would be great, I even told guru that I might take it up if I got through. But truth be told, I was never much into it. But isnt MBA the thing right now? It is popular, everyone wants it, there is a pot of gold waiting at the other end, surely, thats reason enough to go for it. Well, I am going to say no for the same reason why a guy wouldnt marry a girl just because she is hot and popular. (Between I love that analogy, it gives me the feeling that I am actually rejecting a hot girl, not just any hot girl, but one that wants me. Woohoo!)

But then why the hell did I write it in the first place? This one bugs me. I did what I did largely because of peer pressure. I dont know how many times I have heard about the ‘achievements’ of my peers, I grew tired of being the only one not seeming to be doing good. Sometimes, the need for external validation drives one to do crazy stuff. Besides, there seemed to be a hype surrounding CAT, about how tough the whole thing was, and it seemed like a reasonable challenge. Ofcourse, esskay warned me that it wasnt a big deal, then again he is lot smarter than me and one has to take the words of smarter folks with a pinch of salt. Now, I agree with him, the whole thing is just a dumb hyped up crap test.

It was funny telling my dad that I wasnt taking it up. He looked at me, and then my mom, then at me and again my mom and was silently asking her ‘Now which one of us has gone crazy here? is he the one talking nonsense or am i the one hearing nonsense?’ He was a little disappointed, once again i have denied him bragging rights. He must be wondering how long he has to wait for something awesome to happen to me. He can no longer say ‘karthik.. bayangara intelligent… samathu kozhanda..’ and stuff like that, I am not 10 anymore.

He said this jokingly, sarcastically and a bit seriously ‘You dint make it to IIT, now you are rejecting IIM, you dont have an MS or a MTech or any other MBA, you are in a job that wont take you onsite, you dont own any property, not even a car, now that is an amazing resume you have got there for the marriage market’. But.. but.. dad..I can joke, and I can solve the rubik’s cube in under 90 seconds, i bet only one in ten thousand can do both, that has got to count for something right? right? I am also training at weight lifting and have signed up for archery lessons. When the time comes I will not only be ready to lift a bow and string it but also ready to hit a moving fish eye just by looking at its reflection. That was good enough for Sita and Draupadi.. right? But.. as usual I keep forgetting the facts, both Rama and Arjuna were kings to begin with. Both attended the finest army schools of their day. Rama did a PhD under Vishwamitra on Professional Management and Arjuna had a degree in Advanced Warfare from Drona’s Institute of Technology, specializing in intermediate range ballistic missiles. But then everybody conveniently forgets that Rama was plagued by the suspicion that his wife might have cheated on him and that Arjuna lost his marbles and needed therapy during a war. We tambrams suffer from a pathological fascination for elitism, credentialism and social status, and that leaves me, in the words of a famous english pikey, ‘proper fucked’.

I keep hearing from well meaning friends and relatives that I would be regretting this decision. Easy guys, I know how a regret works and how to handle one. A good regret pounces on you on a nice sunday afternoon when you are so full of bhindi, rajma and chaawal that you cannot fall asleep no matter how hard you try. The best way to avoid the regret would be to eat a little less and prompty fall asleep. Whether i will regret this depends on what I do with the rest of my time, if things go according to my plans I wouldnt be regretting anything, if they dont, I would be eating less on sunday afternoons.

Finally, you might have noticed that I havent told which school wanted me, that would be the IIM at Shillong. I can almost hear you saying ‘ithuku daan ivlo sceneaa.. ennamo A..B..C vendamnu sonna maathiri daana feel panraan’ Reminds me of this joke.
A guy walks into a bar, goes to this girl and says ‘You look pretty, would you sleep with me for a million dollars?’ The girl says ‘One million is a lot of money, I might’ The guy then asks ‘Would you sleep with me for a 100 dollars?’ For which the girl replies ‘What kind of woman do you think I am?’ The guy responds ‘We have already established that, we are just negotiating the price’
I know, a sexist joke, but one that fits the context. Would I have whored myself had it been A B or C? Well, right now all I can say is I am not rejecting IIMS, but rejecting MBA. So yeah, I still wouldnt have taken it.

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