Mostly Thoughtless

Tam Brahm, thank you ma'am

Monday, June 28, 2004

SNAFU!

Yup, the saying is a hundred percent true. Shit happens!

It was early Saturday morning. After being tossed around like crazy in a pencilbox-on-wheels owned by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, I had just about fallen asleep when all of us were rudely awoken by C-grade Hindi film music being played at full blast. The bus had stopped for people to relieve themselves. I looked at my watch - 3:30 a.m. It suddenly dawned on me, the France-Greece match would've gotten over! With my trembling fingers crossed, I connected to wonderful R-world on my trusty Reliance mobile and waited for it to load (Kids, don't try this at home because it's a really difficult thing to do with your fingers crossed. Me, I'm professionally trained.) Anyways, after quite a struggle, I finally connected to find out that my mighty France, pre-tournament favourites for Euro 2004, had been knocked out of the tournament by lowly Greece. Yup, shit does happen. If you're wondering, yes, a trip that started like that couldn't have possibly gone well. And it didn't. But we still had some decent fun. So, no regrets.

But I've got to admit it now. France have only been a shadow of their true self in this tournament. I'm just gonna stop with that, if you don't mind. But it's weird when you think that once les bleus had blown it, only then were the French really feeling the blues! Anyway, this might have been the last we see of the divine Zizou in a French jersey and I, for one, definitely didn't want him to finish off looking like this.



Hats off to a true genius. Thank you for the magic.

And in a related news item, the Shiv Sena and the RSS have instructed all cable operators in India to immediately stop showing ESPN and Star Sports. If you're wondering why, click here.

Yet another related news item. Following their good showing in Euro 2004, the Czech Republic football team has managed to secure a brand new sponsorship deal with Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, who are most famous for a certain drug they manufacture called Sildenafil Citrate. And they've already started endorsing the product. Don't believe me? Click here.

P.S: And no, I haven't forgotten you guys, here's your 'supporter' of the day. Enjoy!

P.S 2: I always knew it about Nistelrooy! He had that 'quality'. Maybe he'll like Koller!

Friday, June 25, 2004

Oh no, not again...

Doesn't the picture just say it all?



Yet again, England crashes out of a major tournament in heartbreaking fashion. My heart goes out to the poor English fans who've had to endure stuff like this every couple of years. And poor Beckham, he's been having a really torrid time of late. Maybe he can call Baggio for a few comforting words. But then again, maybe he already did that before the game, for some penalty taking tips...

But then as it is said, even the greats must sometimes bite the dust.


P.S: I'm off to Bangalore for the weekend, a couple of days away from the sweltering heat of Chennai.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Zen and The Fart of Resume Writing

With placement right around the corner, I decided last week that it was finally time I started formatting a good resume for myself and set out to do just that. A few minutes into the task, I realized that my resume would only be as good as I was. A real dampener that turned out to be!

Soon, however, I realized that my resume could turn out to be as good as I wanted it to be and yup, at this point, you would do well to keep in mind that I am mostly asleep during 'Professional Ethics' class.

Most engineering graduates from around here at least don't know enough technology to change the batteries in their camera. For them, lying on the resume is the best way to go. I know it's not the most desirable course of action but it is undoubtedly the most effective one. Moroever, your resume should also effectively play upon the subconscious of the reader. So, if you've decided to take the moral plunge and fart your way to the top, then you've come to the right palce for help. Here's how you go about it..

Mindset

First of all, if you have an inferiority complex that you're not as bright as the others in your class, you're probably right but that shouldn't stop you from targeting the top jobs available. Look at the guy holding the most powerful job in the world - George W Bush. Clearly, brains aren't everything.

Appearance

Don't make your resume too posh-looking. Keep it simple and use some really low quality paper. The object of this exercise is to arouse sympathy in the unassuming mind of the reader. This will hopefully make him realize how badly you need the job. If you find that this tactic works, follow it up by turning up for the interview wrapped in newspaper. This will further strengthen your characterization.

Objective

This is the perfect opportunity for you to show off the vocabulary you gained from months of mugging Barron's. A good objective will read like, 'Looking to procure mutually beneficial employment at a technologically advanced and prescient organization where I can continually cultivate myself into becoming a professional of higher efficiency'.

Errors

Don't bother too much about grammatical and language errors in your resume. Add a quote at the top saying, 'To err is human, to forgive divine'. This move, if successful, will make the guy feel like GOD when he overlooks small errors and calls you for the interview.

Dishonesty

Feel free about lying. Because you unsuccessfully tried to destroy a cobweb in your classroom, say that 'you helped in redesigning your college website'.

If, unfortunately, you're caught, say that you did it only to show your creatvity. There's absolutely no way you can go wrong with that. Also, there's no limit to where you can fart. Even in your personal information. For example, say you're part Japanese. This indicates a strong work ethic. The job is yours.

Extra Tips

Anything that any of your classmates did, you did. Keep this in mind and you'll have a veritable treasure trove of exciting content for your otherwise empty resume.

Make lots of bulleted lists under various sub-headings. This gives the impression that you've accomplished lots of things.


These tips should be more than enough for an entry-level resume. For more help, I'm always available, except on Saturday nights, when I like to act as if I'm out on a date. Invariably, I'm not. So, if these tips help you land the job of your dreams..... never mind!

Meanwhile, following up on Euro 2004, both France and England are through to the quarterfinals. That can only be good news and I hope they meet again in the final. France haven't been too convincing so far but hopefully, they'll get their act together against Greece.



Meanwhile, keeping the 'great supporters' theme going, here's another one I noticed. Have fun and take care.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Ubermansch!

It has now come to light that Switzerland had a secret weapon in their side last night for the game against England. But Alas! Even the mighty Superman (in pic) couldn't do anything to stop the Poms.



After all, with 'support' like this....

Unfortunately, France didn't do that well. So, somewhat sad right now. So, will stop here. Bye and take care.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Yaaaaaaawwwwnnnn!

Right from the time I reluctantly stepped into an Engineering college, there have been numerous occasions when I've wanted to drop out and run away from it all. But somehow, I've managed to rough it out for three years now. Just when I started to think that I was nearly done, I realised that I was up against a truly formidable foe indeed. Anna University is not willing to concede defeat yet. This semester, my 7th, promises to be my biggest challenge yet.

This semester, three subjects have been forced upon all the engineering branches under the university. One of them - Essentials of Management is manageable! And sometimes, pretty interesting even but the other two, OH MY GOD!

Professional Ethics and Principles of Environmental Engineering are just not meant for Engineering College, me thinks. I, for one, definitely don't want to listen to how rainfall occurs and the various methods by which we can prevent soil erosion. I believe I did that quite successfuly when I was nine! (All you local buggers who just thought 'when he was a 9' and sniggered, thooo!) And to top it all, our class has been 'promised' an educational visit to the local sewage treatment plant. What a load of crap! (pun intended) and in case you haven't realised, I am NOT looking forward to that.

Onto brighter things now, my beloved France play again tonight, so that means another two hours online on soccernet and though I didn't support them against les bleus, I actually want England to do decently in the tournament. So, wishing them good luck today as well. Am also pretty disappointed that Ruud Van Nistelrooy came out of the Germany game looking good. Though that goal was great, I think he's one of the most over-rated and shittiest players to ever step out onto a football field. And not just because he plays for Manchester United!

That's it for now. Will end with something funny I read recently.

"I had no shoes. So I pitied myself. Then I saw a guy who had no feet. So I took his shoes."

And here, presenting, the image of Euro 2004 so far. Pissed Spanish fans!



P.S: Could it be a coincidence that Principles of Environmental Engineering is abbreviated as PEE?

Monday, June 14, 2004

Zizou!

Zinedine Zidane - The undisputed GOD of contemporary football! (Phew, all those hours I spent coaching him!)



And Fabien, #$@% what a save! And what a photograph!



Go Bleus!

And a huge THANK YOU to ESPN Soccernet! Yup, no set top box yet!

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Changing Frames!

"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."

Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987), The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

The above has now come true in the case of my blog. For nearly four months now, I've waited to see if my template would change on its own but you know what? It didn't! So, after doing a lot of soul-searching, I've finally taken the matter into my own hands and changed the template myself. It is with a heavy heart that I'm taking this extreme step, but hopefully, it will be for the better.

"Things do not change; we change."

Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862), Walden (1970)

Now I'm really confused, but what the hell! With this post, I'm unveiling a brand-new, ultra-simple, extremely minimalistic and clean look to my blog. Guys, please let me know how you feel about it.

"Nothing endures but change."

Heraclitus (540 BC - 480 BC), from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers

There, I'm glad we've finally arrived at a compromise. Change is what drives this world. Till the next time, bye and take care!

P.S: Please don't forget to leave behind your opinion on the new design.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Catchy!

College reopened on Wednesday and so, the last three days haven't been too productive. Our teachers tried their best to keep us entertained, by teaching us about catchy memories (cache) and telling us that without our co-operation, classes would become very momentaneous (monotonous). In spite of all these extremely demotivating happenings all around me, however, I managed to come up with a PJ that had everyone I know groaning in pain. And no, I'm not going to spare you guys.

Q: What do you call a German rickshaw?

A: An Otto.


And before you lose your faith in mankind's sense of humour, here's something that'll definitely make you laugh. Allegedly, these are all actual headlines that have been published somewhere in the world. Have fun!

Something Went Wrong In Jet Crash, Expert Says

Survivor Of Siamese Twins Joins Parents

Is There A Ring Of Debris Around Uranus?

Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim

Inclusion Of Sex Education Delayed, Teachers Request Training

Monday, June 07, 2004

Of Mother Teresa and World Peace!

Host: Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date.

Miss Rhode Island: That's a tough one. I would have to say April 25th. Because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.


I was watching the Miss Universe 2004 contest the other day and by the time it finally got over, I was left speechless, and not necessarily because of the blinding beauty of all the participants. And at that low point, as it happens after every such pageant, I wondered what the world was coming to. And yeah, if it's Miss Universe, shouldn't they have girls from other planets as well? What's that all about?

I read somewhere recently that the CEO of the Miss America organization has said that the pageant is the end product of a year of competition that begins with 12,000 women and ends with one previously unknown woman, who overnight, becomes an international celebrity. This, he claims, is the ultimate in reality television.

Reality TV? Yeah, right and 'Baywatch' has a script!

Traditionally, my viewership ends with the swimsuit round, but this year, I was so bloody bored with everything else that I decided to watch on till the end. The final questioning round apparently constitutes the major part of the contestant's score. Gee, I wonder what else they're looking for! And even more shocking was the reaction from Miss India Tanyushree Dutta's family after the poor sod had lost. "We are very disappointed that Tanyushree didn't make it to the final interview round.", says her little sister, "We feel that had she made it, she could have shown the judges her real capacity." Yeah, her real capacity, by saying, "If I could be reborn as someone else, I would like to be reborn as Mother Teresa because she helped the poor and sick." Thoo, shut the fuck up! And organisers, please don't insult the intelligence of the audience by saying that the girl who wins does so because her I.Q is high.

Before the stage show started, there was a video presentation where all the contestants introduced themselves and one thing that struck me during the whole thing was how unlucky some of the girls were. Let's face it, when it comes down to the intros, the unfortunate girl from Serbia and Montenegro is at a definite disadvantage. "Hi, I'm so-and-so from Aruba." is definitely sexier than "Hi, I'm so-and-so from St.Vincent and The Grenadines!" That way, Tanyushree was lucky because I think India has a very exotic ring to it.

My suggestion to the organisers is this - Don't reveal their countries, judge them first and after a particular girl has won, tell us where she's from. I think it'll be far more fun that way. And yeah, it'll definitely be more fair. Don't let their country's name affect their chances, I say, give Bosnia and Herzegovina a chance!

In other cases, the participants themselves have bad names. Ever wondered why you don't see too many Sri Lankans at these pageants? Here's why, "Hi, I'm Susanthika Bandaranaiyake Kumaratunga from Sri Lanka". Need I say more?

After the intros were over, each contestant had a home video that told us more about them and it was genuinely funny to see how hard each of them was trying to win. I saw one of the contestants digging and planting trees with poor kids dressed in a silken shirt and tight pants with full makeup and hair done. A word of advice for future aspirants, If you have to put on an act, do it properly the next time around!

Next up was the swimsuit round and that, lemme tell you, was awesome television! But the whole thing turned into a farce when it was announced that the round was there in order to display the healthiness of the contestants! Geez, gimme a break! But no, not complaining.

And yeah, the most cliched line of them all, "Let's not forget, all the girls here are winners!" Bullshit! Are they trying to tell us that all the girls there are capable of walking around the stage, sporting toothpaste-ad smiles, that all of them can stand with one hand on their slender hips and stare with twinkling eyes at the judges, and that unthinkably, all of them can be wise enough to know that the most important thing our society needs is World Peace. Naw, surely not all of them can do that!

And as in every pageant, there are some other consolation awards that are normally given to the losers, like 'Miss Beautiful Smile' and 'Miss Evening Gown' etc. I think there should be a few new ones, like maybe 'Miss May-be-secretly-married' or 'Miss Would-have-a-better-chance-of-winning-the-lottery'.

But finally, to end on a positive note, Miss Australia Jennifer Hawkins was probably the best of the lot. She was a real classy babe, the only one who was real to an extent and yup, she completely deserved her title. But that doesn't change the fact that these pageants suck. Still on the subject, 'Miss Congeniality', where Sandra Bullock is a cop undercover at the Miss America pageant is a fairly decent watch. This and the piece of dialogue at the beginning of this blog are from the movie.

Host: What is the one most important thing our society needs?

Sandra: That would be... harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan.

[Crowd is silent]

Sandra: And world peace!
[Crowd cheers ecstatically]

P.S: All current and former contestants at beauty pageants have been granted honorary membership of WoMensa. (Wondering what WoMensa is? Refer two posts back.)

Sunday, June 06, 2004

20!

Happy Birthday to ME,
Happy Birthday to ME,
Happy Birthday to dear old ME,
Happy Birthday to ME!


Also to Bjorn Borg, The Dalai Lama, Sunil Dutt, Asif Iqbal, Sunil Joshi and Steve Vai.

P.S: Suganth got it right last night.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

LOL!

This is the closest I can get to a transcript of a telephone conversation I had at 12:02 a.m this morning. This was after I'd returned from 'Wang's Kitchen' (Subbu's treat for getting into IIM-A) where we (Subbu, Sarath, Hasta and me) had had a rocking good time. Anyways, after this conversation later last night, I had a really hard time falling asleep because I just couldn't stop laughing. Read on..

Me: Hello.

X: Hi da. (vaguely familiar voice)

Me: (slightly sleepy) Who's this?

X: Guess da.

Me: Machan, I'm not in the mood da, who's this?

X: Guesssss da.

Me: Er...er........machan.....please tell da, whoever this is.

X: Suganth da.

(Suganth Christopher is a good friend of mine right from school. He's a great guy and if he's reading this, he's probably having a good laugh himself! And now that X's identity has been established, from now on, we will refer to the two conversationalists as S [Suganth] and V [Vinod] respectively)

V: Hi da, howz life? Why calling at this time and all?

S: Happy Birthday da!

V: Oh, thanks da, but why today, my birthday's only day after tomorrow!

S: Eh?

V: Ya da, day after tomorrow, Sunday.

S: WTF? What're you saying da?

V: Sunday. The Day After Tomorrow. The 6th of June.

S: Thoo, today's the 6th da, fool.

V: You think I won't know when my birthday is. Today was the 4th. Actually three minutes back was the 4th, now it's the 5th.

S: Bull, wait, lemme check.

(Suganth checks. And quickly returns.)

S: FUCK!

V: (laughing uncontrollably)

S: What a flop, da? Ayyyyoo

V: (still laughing uncontrollably)

S: SHIT!

V: (still still laughing uncontrollably)

S: Stop laughing da, idiot!

V: (still still still laughing uncontrollably)

S: Ok bye da, will call 24 hours later!

V: (ha ha) Ok (ha ha) bye (ha ha) da!

V: (still still still still laughing uncontrollably)

P.S: Oops, forgot intros, Subramaniam a.k.a Subbu is from IIT-M, ex-secretary of Mensa Chennai and soon joining IIM-A's class of 2006. Sarath (current secretary) and Hasta (wannabe secretary) are also Mensa members. Together, they head SIGNA (Special Interest Group for Nefarious Activities). They are also planning on starting a sister (NOT!) concern aptly titled WoMensa. To join, you'll have to possess an I.Q that is less than that of 98% of the world's population. It would certainly help if you were blonde. Needless to say, you would also require the necessary equipment as indicated by the name of the organisation.

Pure Magic!

It's official. 'Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban' rocks!

Considered by many Potter afficionados to be the best book of the series, the third installment of the boy wizard is awesome on screen as well. It's not that the first two movies were bad, but for those who had already read the books, the movies contained no surprises whatsoever and that's why, although they made loads of money, they weren't really much talked about in a cinematic sense.

But this time, director Alfonso Cuaron brings his own distinctive style to the series and breathes new life into it. There is absolutely no doubt that this movie is streets ahead of the first two, and even though Cuaron had a better book to adapt from, the style of the movie is what captures your attention.



Small inside jokes cleverly embedded in the script, addition of detail to scenes which were just narrated in the books, (The Fat Lady trying to shatter the glass at the beginning of term), and the changing of the order of events to add a sentimental touch at the end (The Firebolt). Other nice touches include - rock music playing in the background when the students take on the boggart, the marauder's map effects, the knight bus driver being an old man with soda buddis (For a second I thought it was my college bus!) and the school choir singing with frogs for accompaniment!

The time-turner scenes however, reminds one of the 'Back To The Future' movies, but then, I guess that similarity was inevitable. The photography is superb and extremely fresh and the special effects are, as is to be expected, God-level. Overall, the movie just rocks. It's really a shame when you come to know that Cuaron is not going to be around to do the fourth film, instead, Mike Newell has been signed on for the job. For those interested, his last work was 'Mona Lisa Smile', so, go figure...

Daniel Radcliffe is good as the boy who lived. Most people say that he's pretty expressionless but then that's the way I've always pictured Harry whenever I've read the books. Rupert Grint, as Ron, is hilarious with his constantly constipated look but he is a little too big in this version to still talk like a kid. Emma Watson (drool, drool) is probably the best of the three, carrying off the role of Hermione Granger with confidence.



The new Dumbledore, Michael Gambon, looks disturbingly like Richard Harris, who I thought was too dull for the role anyway. Gambon is much more animated, more like the Dumbledore we've all read about. Gary Oldman was ok, but his casting I have problems with. Sirius Black was this dashingly handsome guy with fire in his eyes but Oldman lives up to his name and come across as a haggard, worn out loser. Someone like Viggo Mortenson's Aragorn was what I'd imagined for Black. Another big surprise was a almost anaemic looking Neville Longbottom.

Another highlight for us while watching the film was the crowd of kids in the movie hall. My friend Dipak and I consider ourselves to be Potter gods but we were psyched out by these kids. Movie goers in Chennai at least, watch out for the scene where Professor Trelawney (Emma Thompson) makes the real prophecy. %&^$#@ the whole bloody theatre was saying it along with her. And moroever, every scene prompts some really hurried discussions all around the place. It was mindblowing, to say the least!

Apparently, director Cuaron coached Radcliffe in one scene where the latter had to act awed (Me thinks it's the scene where he has to summon up a happy thought for his patronus) by telling him, "Pretend you're seeing Cameron Diaz in a G-string". I'm not an expert in cinema, but that is some awesome direction!

Friday, June 04, 2004

God's Own Country

Sigh! Just back from a 4 day trip to a small place situated just outside Palakkad, a small town in Kerala and sort of native place for my family. And it was absolutely lovely.

Small town life rocks and it's exactly as cliched as it sounds. Away from the noise and pollution of the big city, the silence is a little disturbing at first. It's not as if it's a place time forgot, as a lot of writers like to say but instead, a place that is slightcha slow to keep up, and according to me, that's actually a good thing.

The place is positively primitve. There were only four movie halls in total, and they showed only Malayalam and tamil movie, and that too only because the town is on the TN-Kerala border. Hindi movies are very rare and English movies? Huh? Yup, not exactly the perfect place for me, yet I somehow managed to survive because fortunately, Kerala has not yet fallen victim to CAS. But seriously, I didn't miss it all that much.

The weather there was simply fab, #$%@&#$ I'm so bloody jealous. Intermittent rain all through the day and even when it's not raining, there's this cool breeze blowing all the time that is so divine that I cannot even hope to praise it enough. Lush greenery everywhere and every breath you take brings with it that unique ground-wet-with-rain smell that is almost intoxicating. Sigh! Ok,that's it, I'll stop my campaigning for Kerala Tourism right here. You can read Arundhati Roy's 'The God of Small Things' for more on Kerala's beauty.

But this blog isn't just about that, it's about the bigger picture hidden underneath that shows the many joys of a simple and uncluttered lifestyle. What is a lifestyle anyway? Why does one have to live in accordance with any particular "style"? Isn't life really about doing what one wants and likes? Not to have a lifestyle, then, is truly living.

On a more personal note, I'm going for 'Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban' this afternoon. I'm certainly not expecting another 'Y Tu Mama Tambien' from director Alfonso Cuaron (though that would've been nice!) but instead, I'm just hoping it turns out to be decent fun. I'll try my best not to put up a review but I'm not too sure I'll be able to resist.



On a more local note, a meeting of all Madras Bloggers has been fixed to be held this Sunday, the 6th of June at Amethyst in Gopalapuram. I don't know yet if I'll be able to make it but I sure want to. I'll be a first timer too, if I finally end up going. Click here for more details. Till the next time, bye and take care.