Monday, December 08, 2008


I'm sitting in the ITPL Pushpak bus, going back home from work. The bus is refreshingly empty and I have three seats to curl up on. The window is half open. The traffic is straggly and insubstantial. I'm listening to Tanha Dil as the bus glides almost noiselessly on the smooth road (even in Bangalore smooth roads exist) The wind rustles against my skin and hair. I have my laptop with me, but I'm not carrying work back home. I have a good book with me in case the Ipod runs out of power. I know there is a sumptuous meal waiting for me back home.

Now that is contentment.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Abysmal Jokes (AJ's) Part 6

What do you call a romantic cyber cafe which also serves North Indian food?

What does the fat terrorist call his dumb-bells?
Weapons of mass destruction

If you have some abysmal jokes and like getting hit with tomatoes, send them to

Monday, December 01, 2008

Visit to the Gym

I turned up at 1 pm for my physio at the gym, little knowing what to expect.
It started out quite ok, I thought. I met the physio Yograj. I looked forward to the procedure with a jaunty air, everything looked encouraging. Yograj asked some simple questions about my medical history etc. He was almost pitiful when heard my report.. no major illnesses; no surgeries ; no smoking ; no drinking, no untoward incidents. I could read the thoughts in his head as clearly as daylight.. stupid software guy does not have a life!! “ I’m a hardware guy and you’re only partially right about the 'does not have a life' part” I wanted to correct his thoughts but decided against it. The initial session went ahead without any further incidents.

Then came the height, weight and other measurements section. The height was no surprise, since man is not biologically known to vacillate in height every now and then. But the weight! Ah the weight.. waxing and waning asymmetrically (more of waxing in my case), always in flux and tormenting me in its uncertainty. The weight turned out to be 71 today. But this was not a the surprise.. The biggest surprise was when Yograj told me my weight was a little on the lower side!! What? I asked him twice aloud and 14 times in my head. How can I not be overweight?? Something was very fishy here, and I’m not talking about the smell my shoes and socks sitting innocently at the corner were radiating. Anyway the expert had manipulated data in my favor. Good for me! I could feel my self -esteem burgeoning into a big balloon over my head.

Then next, I was supposed to go through a number of physical tasks or mini exercises. Having categorized me as just another IT professional who's more interested in filling company coffers than in improving the temple of his soul i.e. his body, he proceeded to systematically puncture holes in every possible way in the hot air balloon that my self-esteem had become. He made me stretch legs, do push ups , touch the toes, balance on heel, balance on toes and what not. He was delighted that I couldn’t do more than x pushups (x being close enough to negligible to warrant not mentioning it). Paining at the hamstrings he he? he asked. My brain shifted gears in a effort to recollect where my hamstrings were, but since I was aching all over, it really didn’t matter where those hamstrings were, they were paining all right.

Here’s only a partial list of my physical fallacies he mentioned:
1) Less body strength (Ok fair call. Considering that I hardly do lots of things other than lifting the mouse and laptop)
2) General Flabbiness in upper body ( $#%^&*?? I think this guy is really pulling it now! After running 3 km daily and eating paltry fruits as lunch for two weeks this guy says I’m flabby. I'll ignore this one)
3) Limited Flexibility in muscles
4) Slightly high Skin Fat content

All in all it was a terrible session; he made me feel completely naked though I was only partially naked during some times of the session. Gym Instructors and dentists, they’re all the same!!

A Fitting Ending

Yesterday I was going through my cupboard, searching feverishly for a decent pair of pants. That I found clothes in the cupboard was in itself a big deal. Usually the peripatetic cottons were on a mission to get entrenched in every nook and cranny of my room.

It was then that I came across my trusty old denim jeans pant. It’s been a while, I thought. I’ve had few friends who are closer to me than my jeans have been. This pant was ancient: it dated more than 8 years back, and carried a lot of weigh for me - emotionally and physically. I remembered the first few times I wore the pair to tuitions while preparing for 12th board exams (2ndPUC in Karnataka). I was so careful not to get them dirty then. By the way, Sorry, jeans for never letting you feel the female touch - except probably the washer-woman’s scrapes - I missed it as much as you probably did (Note to self: make it clear that you missed the female touch but not the washer-woman’s scrapes)

Soon came the days of engineering, I had practically lived my four years of BE in that pair of jeans. There were many days especially during the internals and exams when the jeans and I did not get a glimpse of soap and water for more days than I will admit. I didn’t mind them getting dirty at all. Then there was football, I’ve played so often and have picked up myself from the ground battered and bruised but never once did I lose my cool or my pant.

Alas ! Then I started working. As life became comfortable, so did my waist. The first six months or so were ok for me and my jeans, but as time went there came a certain frostiness in our relationship, I saw less and less of my jeans. Of course it was totally my fault. I had found a new love. Food. I was willing to compromise … I cut back on sweets and fast food by a large extent, but the jeans were too demanding, no question of compromise! It remained stuck at 32 inches. Unwilling to change with the times or external circumstances. What else to do other than break up?

Anyway, alls well that ends well. I’ve found it now after about two years and am amazed that I have to suck up my tummy only so much before I could get into it ;)

Lesson: you ALWAYS have to suck up while mending a broken relationship. It’s the law.

Friday, November 28, 2008

RVCE Alumni Network

I was pleasantly surprised when last night I got a mail from Puneet Acharya about the RVCE alumni network website... because I didn’t think such a page would exist at all. That’s probably one downside of not going to a very highly respected college …you wont have much faith in the alumni network (rightly so in case of many engineering colleges coz they don’t deserve any). Anyway, I was wrong; there does exist such a page and its pretty neat too… They’ve come up with a neat database system where alumni can enter their contact details and other stuff. Wish such a system was in place when I was doing my engineering days.

Anyway, to all the other RVCE folks who have time to read drivel on this page, surely you have time to update your profile on this website? So go on and do your good deed for the day…

Link :

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Abysmal Jokes (AJ's) Part 5

Why do I call these jokes ‘abysmal’?
Because they are all ‘a bit small’. (This one is probably the limit AJ’s can go to …)

Why were everyone in the Boeing 747 laughing hysterically?
They were in cloud nine.

If you have some abysmal jokes and like getting hit with tomatoes, send them to

Back with a Bang! (Ouch)

Well, it’s been a long hiatus and I don’t seem to be able to come up with any post that is longer than half a page (or quarter for that matter). So I’ve decided to dump my half formed ideas and non-ideas as is on the blog. Any way.. here goes.

Finally I got some free time over the past weekend or so, and decided to do something that’s very arduous and tiring on the mind: going to the gym. That’s because I must have lost more weight exercising my brain over deciding whether to go to the gym or not. Can exercising the brain really make one lose weight ? That would be wonderful got a weight problem? Heres a maths paper…Im sure you’ll lose some weight on it. And for the heavyweights, what better than the CAT 2008 paper!! People will need a magnifying glass to find you.

Coming back to the point.. Ive finally started going to gym,and I hope Ill stick on with it. In a few months you’ll see a leaner and meaner me, and guess who I’ll remind you of…..Your Company OF COURSE !!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hardship of the Hardware Engineer

Signal signal on the screen
Why the hell don’t you turn Green

Always in a high impedance state
Is this all that’s written in your fate??

Every day there are meetings galore,
Add to this the traffic of terrible Bangalore

Days turn into nights, nights turn into days,
All this happens in such an a haze

So many hours I have to slog
When do I blog, when do I hog?

Deadlines get postponed so often they are as good as dead,
Im just waiting until its time to hit the bed..

God knows what the future may hold,
Im just watching the drama unfold …

Saturday, June 21, 2008



I could definitely smell hope in the air. I continued walking down the passage, becoming increasingly aware of my breathing pattern. I was surrounded by clear blank walls that stretched a long way. Far in the distance I could sense an opening through which golden rays of light entered the tunnel. My footsteps made no noise and I cast no shadow as I approached the opening. The only thing I was conscious of was my own self, the pumping heart and the rhythmic breaths.

The opening was fast approaching and the light was dazzling now. I felt surreal and weightless as I came at the threshold of the opening. The sight which greeted me was breathtaking. I saw a pristine mountain valley bathed in bright morning sunlight. There were still dew drops on the grass growing everywhere around me. I sat on a nearby ledge and surveyed the scenery ahead. The valley was nestled between two gargantuan mountains with a brook cleaving its way far below. The brook shot arrows of reflected light I had to shield my eyes from. The morning was cold in spite of the sunlight and I was nearly shivering.

There was complete silence but for the rare chirp from the birds. To my left a forest of trees stretched on all sides of a hillock but failed to conquer the top.
I settled down and prepared for the wait. I was wondered how long he would take to come. The suspense in the air was electrifying; I could almost feel it on the tip of my tongue. But I knew I had to be patient. I closed my eyes and tried to focus on my breathing again. I was aware of nothing else other than the taste and smell of the crisp morning air. Time seemed to have stopped in the valley. I felt I could stay like this for ever.

Almost magically I knew the time come. I would get my answer now. I opened my eyes and looked around. There, in the distance from among the trees I saw the figure walking towards me. He was real and imaginary at the same time. The whimsical man covered the distance surprisingly fast and before I knew it , he was just meters away.

He had piercing eyes, flawless skin and long flowing hair that half concealed his gown. “Yes, I’m immortal" he said. Taken aback at his ability to read my mind, I gained more respect for this being.

He sat on a nearby ledge and said "Ask".

My moment had arrived. I would now get answers to all my questions. I proceeded with bated breath "All my school life I sat through many boring exams. Was there any meaning in it at all?"

Sadhu-man answered "Yes. There was meaning in it. The exams serve the purpose of reminding you that sometimes you may not know why you are doing something, but should do it anyway. You must have faith, belief, karma or whatever else you call it. Without this life is useless."

I asked” College was mostly a waste of time for me. Everyone spent all their time trying to be cool and followed some random guy in everything he did. Was there any meaning in it at all?"

Sadhu-man answered "Yes. There was meaning in it. The college serves the purpose of reminding you that- You must always run your own race. Don’t be affected by dogma or by the people around you. Don’t waste time living other people dreams. The world is yours.. Go fly!!"

I asked " I actually wanted to become either a detective or a chocolate shop owner or a sky diving instructor, but ended up as a hardware engineer. Is there any meaning in it at all?"

Sadhu-man answered "Yes, of course there is meaning. Sometimes life does not give you what you want, but gives you what you need. Learn to accept reality and focus on how you can improve your current situation."

I said "Wise words indeed! I had two trivial questions to ask.. I want to inspire the people around me. What do I tell my friends who are unfortunately in the dark?"

Sadhu-man answered "Good Morning!"

I said "Oh.. Ok.. I really didn’t get that. Anyway next trivial question.. I'm the laziest ass on earth and also the baadshah of procrastination. In fact my No 1 hobby is sleeping. What do I do to rid myself of this habit?"

Sadhu-man answered "Wake up! There is nothing more important than waking up!!"

I said "Ok.. I was really looking forward to an insightful elucidation, but thanks. I won’t bother you anymore but for one question which is consuming me day and night. I can’t sleep; I'll have no peace till it is answered...
The question is --- What is the meaning of life? "

Sadhu-man said before dissolving "If you don’t get up now I'll pour boiling water on that head of yours!!”

Crap! Was I indulging in my favorite hobby once again?? Dammit, I don’t think I'll ever attain enlightenment :(

Friday, June 13, 2008

Abysmal Jokes (AJ's) Part 4

Why are sumo wrestlers so egoistic?
They keep throwing their weight around.

What did the religious donut say to the pastry?
I am much more holey than you.

If you have some abysmal jokes and like getting hit with tomatoes, send them to

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh Secret Admirer

Oh secret admirer from country X,
You make me feel like I have lotsa muscles to flex

Day and night you read my latest post,
To you alone I raise this toast

What you see in my blog I seriously dont know
but you give my hit counter a really good go

So many times you reload this page, it almost sounds lame
Dame, you beat me at my own game !!??@#$!!!!!

I wonder who you are, I wonder what you do
I wonder if you wonder about me in the same way too!

I know I'm making this public, I'm making up hype
Please forgive me if you are the shy type..

But I'm a nice guy (no, really!), I can be discreet,
Anytime you want I'm ready for a private treat

Dont worry about how I get my visa,
I'll do anything for a chat with you over a pizza.

With me baby its all uphill..
Impossible though it may seem, I'll even foot the bill !!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Abysmal Jokes (AJ's) Part 3

Whats the problem with cyborgs?
The immune system, they are attacked by both human and software viruses.

Why did Salman take a gun while going to the press conference?
To Kill the Mocking Herd

If you have some abysmal jokes and like getting hit with tomatoes, send them to

Monday, June 09, 2008

Games Children Play

This was taken when my college friends and I went on a trip to Karwar some weeks back.The children (Sumedh and Raghunandan)are both 23 years young.

Rants : How to read a textbook

Its been about six years since I first joined RVCE as an engineering student, and I finally (think I have) figured it out now.. The way to read textbooks is the way you read magazines.

First of all, start with a blank and clear mind. You don’t read Sportstar thinking
1) I have to finish the article on Sachin Tendulkar first because its the most important.
2) Oh, the cover story on Sania Mirza is 25 pages, I'll never be able to finish it..
3) The beach volleyball poster girls are the best part, but I can’t spend more than 5 minutes ogling at them, I need to do justice to all the other *chapters*.
Read what you find intrinsically interesting in the textbook. Don’t go like a drone from the first page to the last. To hell with what the author is trying to say. What’s more important is what you want to listen to.

Don’t always listen to others opinions (esp negative ones) about textbooks.
Each person is different and has pre-conceived notions about the textbooks he/she reads based on his experiences. Two people can almost never have the same experience with the same book. Once you start having pre conceived notions about a book, you take in only things which support your initial notions, and fail to notice other positive things in the book. You build upon your first impression and make a compelling negative image of the book in your mind.

You don’t know how your brain works. Accept it. For a million reasons you may find page 17 to be the most significant part of the book, while your friend may find it worthless. The brain is a complex man. If Mr. Brain likes page 17, give it to him. Don’t bother about page 16.

Mr. Brain likes to have fun, and doesn’t like important or responsible things. That’s why Mr. Brain doesn’t complain while wasting time with friends, while doing night-outs watching TV, while reading the back pages of the infamous Bangalore Times etc. So here is the trick. Impossible though it may seem, try to fool Mr. Brain into thinking you are having fun while reading that Goddamm text book. Make up imaginary plots where you are Superman, and all you need is the correct formula mentioned in para 4 page 216 to save the world from disaster. Hell put on a bright blue cape while reading if you want to. Once Mr. Brain is in the groove, there’s no stopping him. Desirous of saving the world again and again, Mr. Brain will, of his own free will, mug up all the formulas in the textbook!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Chicken Soup for the Soul-in-search-of-Excellence

Quotes from Harsha:
Arrogance is the biggest stumbling block to excellence.

Talent dazzles, but it has hardly anything to do with excellence. It is what you make of that talent that matters.

If you really want something, you will get it and there is no scientific explanation for this.

I can’t be Tendulkar but mind you Tendulkar can’t be me either

Friday, June 06, 2008

Abysmal Jokes (AJ's) Part 2

What do crocodiles and hardware have in common?
Both employ Very Large Scale Integration.

Why do verification engineers have a pearly glow around their corporeal endowment?
Because to bug is human, but to debug is divine.

If you have some abysmal jokes and like getting hit with tomatoes, send them to

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Abysmal Jokes (AJ's) Part 1

Yesterday this guy got into the lift with me on the ground floor. Is it going up or down, he asked.

Why can’t the new Intel processors be used within Apple Computers?
An apple can have only one core.

If you have some abysmal jokes and like getting hit with tomatoes, send them to

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Push-win and Python-ya

Best of luck to Push-win and Python-ya. They are leaving their ultra secretive organization which had been their rendezvous for the past 2 years, to pursue masters’ degree. I’m using codenames because if their ultra secretive organization comes to know about this treacherous act of theirs, they will be permanently blacklisted. This ultra secretive organization has a motto "Pintel Pinside". Pushwin, Python-ya and I worked on an ultra secretive project here the goal of which was shrouded in mystery. But we were able to convince our guide (lets call him Mr Mystery) about the cleverness of our project. After our project, I managed to escape the clutches of the ultra secretive organization, but Push-win and Python-ya were unfortunately lured. They have been hypnotized by the ultra secretive organization, which used techniques like making them work night-outs , and now insist they are doing everything on their own accord.
Push-win went so far as to say that he will join the same ultra secretive organization after he finishes his masters degree. I will post a picture of Push-win and Python-ya later (with their faces erased, of course).
Once again, best of luck to Push-win and Python-ya !

PS: Python-ya *may* have asked me to put up the following comment -- "All characters depicted in this article are purely fictional and any resemblance to a real person is purely coincidental"

BERMUDA TRIANGLE : Every young Engineer's Nightmare !!

Chicken Soup for the Living Soul

Quotes by Randy:

You’ve got to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn’t going to work.

When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and care.

The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.

We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.

Chicken Soup for the Scientific Soul

Quotes by Feynman :

"Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it."

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.

I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.

Chicken Soup for the Techno-Entrepreneural soul

This is the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University.

Quotes by Steve :

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Take this SOP with a pinch of salt

An anonymous quote that I found in a cookie goes "To eat is human, but to cook is divine". This perfectly describes my attitude towards cooking. From time immemorial, my passion for cooking (and eating) has never faltered.

Throughout my early childhood and adolescence, I have always been one of the best cooks in my family. Whenever I tasted something out of the ordinary, I was always piqued, and tried my best to find out more about the dish.

By virtue of the 10,000 plus taste buds (see letter of reference from family physician for proof)on my tongue and my shark-like sense of smell, I was the official food-taster in the Balaji household. Food tasting is a rigorous task, and requires extreme mental concentration. It also taught me to take courageous and risky decisions, like deciding to be truthful when my father asked me how his Sambar tasted.

In my house I was the youngest member to be allowed access to the kitchen stove. In what proved to be a seminal experience, I prepared Maggi noodles for the first time when I was only in 3rd standard. Making Maggi at such a young age gave me significant experience in cooking, and has served as an inspiring force which has kick started my lifelong tryst with cuisine. I was completely involved in all the stages of making Maggi, right from using correct type of scissors to cut the masala packets, to arranging a fork and spoon at 120 degree angle over the finished delicacy.

What I learned from this is ability of independent thinking and research. I learnt what research really means, the importance of hard work and perseverance. While in my initial years I attacked the problem of maximizing taste, later on I moved on to the most important problem mankind is facing today : how to make a healthy meal while maximizing taste , speed of devour-ment, and looks. I never gave up, and dutifully had my parents and younger brother sample every dish I made. Considering how obstinate they can be, this speaks volumes of my leadership skills and delegation abilities.

I believe discipline, determination and ability to work hard are qualities essential in a research cook. I look forward to a fulfilling career in cooking and particular, I relish the prospect of experimenting in interdisciplinary fields. I have sizeable experience in this matter. A selected list of my most innovative and bold dishes are as follows:

1) Ice-cream –la – Tomato sauce
2) Rabid Ragullas – Rasgullas dipped in cream colored phlegm-like molasses-derivative.
3) Brown Sugar – A highly intoxicating powdered mix of Marie biscuits, cashew, pista and sugar.
4) Curd Bread – Quick snack of curd, garam masala and groundnuts sandwiched between bread.

It is my firm belief that no other university can offer the exposure, experience and multicuisinal experience that Rice university can offer. And I have to admit the name of your university carries enormous symbolic weightage. I would thus like to submit my application to your university, and hope to receive admission, fee waiver and free meals.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ignorance is bliss

PS: To all the ECE,EE undergrads who like me never paid attention in college but now entertain romantic thoughts of doing further studies and making seminal contributions to world at large.. do not lose hope, there a good chance the textbooks will be rewritten and your ignorace will cease to haunt you...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Hairy Tale Ending

(first appeared in

Henry Baldacci hated his last name. Baldacci is definitely not as cool a surname as Bond or Balaji, but it isn’t something to be horrified about either, like Bush or Bairappa. Henry however was 18 years young and balding. Every morning his pillow seemed to have more hair than his head. He felt as a chicken must feel while its neck is stroked by the fine blade of a butcher. Childhood dreams of becoming a rock star and romancing bimbos seemed to be getting thinner and thinner….
It was the eve of his 18th birthday. Henry had two things to do before he officially became a man a) Get a tattoo b) Either get a respectable last name which didn’t hint at his (soon to be) unhairy status, or some sort of treatment for the time being. The former, being comparatively easy is no more the subject of this post. About the latter. He met up with his underpants friend (chuddi dost, if you will. Meanings do get lost in translation) Nick. “Wasssssssssssup maaan !!!” Shouted Nick, clad in a shorts, sea blue shirt and a hat that looked more like paper dosa. Nick, having discovered he was one seventh Jamaican now wore a Jamaican accent and dreadlocks. Angered by his ample dreadlocks, Henry asked him to shut the hell up.
So how’s it going with Shruti maaan, countered Nick. Henry and Nick were exchange program students at the IIM, Bangalore. And Henry was trying to convince Shruti how spending quality time with a (soon to be) tattooed American hunk might not spell disaster to her family after all.
“Forget her and get the car out, we are going to Dr Batra’s. And get rid of that hat, jackass”
“Maan , never heard of a pub like that before.. So you get some different sort of stuff there eh … and what about the drugs, are they medicinal too ..he he “
“Its not a pub”
“Whaaaat? So we are actually going to a doctor??!”
Henry painfully and shamefully told Nick that Dr Batra’s was a homeopathy clinic. Nick’s eyes took eternity to swivel on to Henry’s pate, during which time Nick was struggling to keep his mouth line as parallel to his hat as possible.
“So, you going there for stomach trouble??” Nick’s mouth gave up all pretense of being a straight line and assumed the semblance of a lopsided grin.
“ Cut it out and get the car, dude” Henry was definitely not in a good mood today.
“Why don’t you go by yourself, maan. The car has hardly any petrol by the way"
“Then people will think somethings wrong with me”
“Oh so nothings wrong eh?” (After an afterthought) “Maaaaaaan”
“Of course, nothings wrong. Just have a bad case of dandruff” Nick’s mouth began the struggle again. “And if you come, people will not know who’s got issues. You don’t look too healthy with your dreadlocks and all ,y’know” Fed up with his friends cowardice, Nick resignedly agreed but told him not to expect birthday presents for the next decade.
Nick got out the four wheels and both of them proceeded to Dr Batras. The tension was palpable. They parked the car far away from the clinic and furtively looked around. Convinced that no one they knew were in sight, they rushed out of the car and made a beeline for the clinic. Nick entered the clinic first. No sooner had he proceeded two steps ahead when he turned, and laughing uncontrollably he dragged Henry back to the porch. Henry looked mutinous. Before Nick could stop him again, Henry shrugged himself free and summoned his guts to walk straight in. And then he walked straight out. Although he knew the answer, he hurled a perfunctory “Why’d younotstopme???!!!” at Nick. But it was too late.
Shruti now was standing at the clinic door. She had clearly been accompanying someone elderly to the clinic. “Whats wrong with you two? In India people generally don’t act like raving lunatics at the doctors place” “Unless they are at a mental hospital…. she continued, extremely pleased with her sense of humor.
For Henry however , it nothing remotely close to humor. He felt completely exposed , balder than the baldest man alive. Nick asked me to accompany him, he shouted shrilly. Even a four year old with buck teeth could have sensed what Henry was trying to hide. Eyes swivelling on to Henry’s pate, Shruti desperately tried to keep her mouth as straight as possible. She failed spectaculary.
The tragic final scene looked like this to a concerned passerby : A girl and a dreadful looking dreadlocked foreigner rolling hopelessly with laughter outside a respectable clinic, with a albino kid looking at them defiantly and angrilty, all the while trying to force his wisps of hair to defy gravity and the forces of wind. This story being set in India, the passerby played his part by offering no help and continued walking with a chalta hai kinda attitude.
Unable to laugh any further, the two looked sheepishly at Henry while their brains raced in time to come up with possible words of comfort. Shilpa decided to humor him just this once. “So about the movie plan I cancelled last Sunday….”
“It’s still on this week at PVR” gushed Henry with bated breath, reminding Nick of the friendly IIMB dog which would wag its tail at the slightest hope of reward.
Ok, just this once... said Shruti.
Fine. I’ll pick you up this weekend. Henry barely managed to keep his cool as he walked back to the car.
“So its goodbye to Dr Batra eh “asked Nick from behind the steering wheel.
“Yup, goodbye to good old Dr Batra” told Henry. “And Baldacci’s definitely not such a bad name after all” thought Henry.
(This story is a product of my unbridled imagination, and is fiction to the best of my knowledge. Any resemblance to real people must be an act of God )

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

And then came the smile

(first appeared in

“Keep steady man, be cool, be cool “I told myself. She was 200 meters away from me. Immediately I sucked in my burgeoning paunch, adjusted my Infineon badge so it was prominently displayed (why I do this every time, God only knows. Even the sweepers in ITPL, Bangalore have their own badges to show off).I walked towards her with an air of nonchalance. She was my junior from college, and a damm pretty one at that. I had never spoken to her in college though; this must have probably been due to the aura of nerdiness I used to radiate back then. Now the aura has turned into a small halo, but is still definitely there.

This is my big chance, I told myself. My plan was simple (too simple, some of you might argue). As I strutted past her with my stomach tucked in, she just had to notice me and say Hi, I reasoned (the smallness of my halo of nerdiness being prominent in my reasoning). I would then pretend to notice her and feign surprise. In my surprised state, I would blurt out how beautiful (and sexy, if I still had my guts around me till then ) she looked in her maroon outfit today. She would then have to blush, I reasoned again. And so on continued my reasoning. I’m actually very good at reasoning , be it logical reasoning, verbal reasinong, reasoning to evade blame, to gain time etc.

Alas! Today my reasoning made me lose time instead. Before I knew it, she was only 20 meters away from me. And to add salt to the injury, she walked with this huge swarthy bouncer like character next to her. What I had imagined to be a magnified shadow when I first saw her had suddenly turned corporeal. Complimenting her sexiness seemed akin to committing suicide now. Why can’t I be one of those pathetic losers who miraculously seem to have a hot babe stuck to one of their shoulders, I sighed at the world in general and at God in particular. I resigned myself to fate. I decided to go with the ‘strong hunk’ look. Puffing my chest and narrowly avoiding a coughing fit in the process, I walked majestically towards the ‘couple’, all ready to supremely ignore them.

And then came the smile. Bang; without warning, when I least expected it, when all my defences were low. This girl has one of the cutest smiles in ITPL, and that’s saying a lot. ITPL has at least fifteen thousand people, to hazard a guess (as with all my guesses the figure may be considerably off the actual value, so please take this with a cup of salt). We can safely assume that 40 % of them at least are females, which gives us a minimum of six thousand females. Of these at least four thousand would be in the age group of 18 and 27 years. Needless to say, every girl in this age group is trying her best to look gorgeous. Let’s say about one fourth of them are successful. That leaves us with thousand gorgeous females in ITPL. My girl (‘my’ sounds possessive and ridiculously untrue, but what the heck it’s my blog) would rank somewhere in the top twenty to thirty – close to 99.9 percentile.

Anyway, about the smile. She did notice me, and flashed her perfect teeth at my two day stubble. Her face was framed by two narrow strands of jet black hair and her right cheek showed the hint of a dimple. It was a warm smile to say the least and a super hot smile to say the most. And she waved at me in a silly girlish manner which I found very arresting. And even more embarrassing was the fact that I dropped my strong hunk attitude before one could say ‘strong hunk’ and stood engaged in a silly hand wave exchange program with her for a full 3 seconds. And even more embarrassing was the fact that the bouncer guy started waving back !! I smelled something fishy here, and I was not standing at the seafood counter of Civet.

She came forward and introduced me to the bouncer guy. Believe it or not, the bouncer guy was actually a co-worker of hers. I still looked quizzically at him, I had not taken well the act of being waved back sillily(dictionary check) by a hot babe and a monster man at the same time. She explained. Turns out during the time we were separated by a distance of 200m to 20 m, the effects of my mental reasoning were quite physically conspicuous. I had narrowly missed colliding with who dustbins, trod on the toes of a elderly man, walked mostly on the wrong side of the walkway leaving big brown footsteps glistening on the otherwise spotless recently cleaned surface.I had even walked headlong into a nervous gang of girls without noticing, scaring them away from Coffee Day Café. The bouncer guy had found this very funny (I hate his guts by the way) and had motioned my girl to observe me.

I grinned sheepishly at them with a men will be boys kind of look. And walked away huffed. However the after effects of her smile lingered with me, strong and everlasting like the smell of my socks (note to self: quota of one disgusting comparison over for this post). Everything in the mall began to look brighter, and my work for the day didn’t seem so hectic after all. I was even prepared to walk all the way upto the barber shop to get my unsightly stubble replaced by an irresistible clean shaven silkiness (if half of what the Gillete Mach 3 advertisement promises is true)

Ah, the simple pleasures of life! A smile is all it takes to make the world a better place. So I need to stop cribbing and start smiling more even if others take me for a dork, I reasoned.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Learn to Forget

Yesterday Chandrika and I won First place in the anagram contest held by EMF (elctro motive force ) club in Infineon.Yay!!! Its been helluva long time since I have competed in any event, let alone actually winning something.

Competition is in todays world a part of everyones life, we are dead if we forget to compete in the a proverbial rat race.Or stated in an optimistic way, competitions and contests keep us alive !! This fact is sometimes easy to forget, especially for those people who are in a relatively stable job, whose basic necessities in life are met. These are the people who need to be all the more careful about what awaits them in the future. Its not like they dont have goals or passions in life. They have loads of aspirations, but what they lack is the COURAGE or GUTS to carry out their ideas. Getting out of the comfort zone which they build around themselves can be very painful, and many of them succumb to the withdrawal symptoms and relinquish their dreams. They are the people who are prisoners of their past successes.

In todays information age past success or experience is sometimes the most worthless quality you could possess. Nowadays, a persons success is measured by his adaptability or response to situations he could never fathom. When I look back at the last 3-4 years of my life most of my conjectures and theories about my future were not to happen. My life has been a roller coaster ride with joys and successes, as well as frustrations and failures. But these successes and failures always amaze me, I never seem to have a clue about either !

So I'm now trying to adopt a new way of looking at things, after being mesmerized by CK Prahalad and Gary Hamels signature book - Competing for the future. Heres the funda :

Its not about learning baby,
its about forgetting !
You have experience, maybe
but do you have innocence ??

So high and mighty yesterday you were,
that you forgot you might have to compete tomorrow.
Blunt are your arrows, broken is your bow,
How the hell will you compete,
with those kids with AK 47's ??

Forget your arrows,give up your bow
Practice using the gun,without any ego.

If the above lines are a poem ,I'll be dammed
but you will never get so much wisdom elsewhere,together crammed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Calendar man

Its been a long long while since my last post, Ive been really busy (note to self : see randy pauschs’ time management video again). To break the ice, here is a 20 min post.

Ive lately been using the Outlook Calender whenever and wherever possible to “improve my efficiency ”. Ive realized that just putting down bits and pieces of things down in paper and then assigning them a deadline in the Calender actually does save some amount of time per day, infinitisimal though it may be in the beginning . The first few days you try this the results are invariably hilarious – My list had things like

Use red color toothbrush,
Meet [amees] at bus stop
Phone friend and apologise for telling the truth about him – DONE

Ive come up with some simple conventions .. like words enclosed in square brackets to be read in reverse – so I can keep some stuff encoded from “evil” eyes..

After a long day's work I go home and check the calendar for a series of “DONE” remarks against all my tasks. If most of them have this remark, Im happy !!
Ah, the simple pleasures of life !!

Damm this post took 23 min… one task wont have a DONE remark tonight :(