Of Haircuts,Discounts and Coconuts

This is how the going has been for me in Singapore. I should have posted this long back, but better late than never.
Curly troubles : I visited the hair saloon recently. “Ooo cully hai'(hair) aar? Very deefficul tu com’ lah (Though my hair is definitely not curly, its shamefully dull when compared to the straight, shiny hair of  the people here. I told the guy to cut it “medium” and not to make it too short. One thing I would like to mention here that I totally love haircuts. The lazy atmosphere in the saloon, the rhythmic sound of scissors and the slightly ticklish feel when they touch my hair transports me into a trance-like state where I drift away seamlessly between multiple worlds, with no boundaries between them. Or maybe I just get drowsy. Either way, like it has happened a lot many times, by the time he was finished, I observed with a shock that my crop is as short as freshly cut paddy! He happily told me, “See, looking neat ooreaddy(already). Very easy to com’ now laaaah”. What he actually meant was that he has saved the comb from the dastardly responsibility of working on my hair for a few days!   I expressed him my heartfelt gratitude, paid him “ten dollaa” and left muttering to myself. Seriously though,his position is understandable. They just have no clue how to go ahead when presented with the classic Indian hair, so one can”t really blame him. This is not the last time this happened. And this is the least of the problems I face here.
Thrifty wars: It sometimes gets on to my nerves how lot of conversations revolve around costs and expenses of something-something especially when Indians get together. Wherever you see a bunch of us hanging out, the most prominent topic of discussion would be who has got the said item(a tour package,an electronic gadget,onions – just about anything) the cheapest. Imagine an office scenario. This is how a sample conversation goes :
Person 1: Hey yesterday I bought a mixee.
Person 2 (automatically) : Kitte mein liya?
P1 (totally aware now that this is not going to end well for him) : $48
P2 (with a triumphant look) : I got it for $43. You should have gone to so-and-so place and bought it.
P1(to himself): OK fine. Thanks for the now utterly useless info. I’ll use it to bug somebody else.
Person 3 : (Let me introduce this person. No I cant, since I hadnt ever seen him or spoken to him until that moment when he suddenly popped up from the other cubicle looking as if he has waited for this moment all his life and this is the precise moment which will define his existence on the earth and render meaning to it. So he seizes the opportunity with both hands and jumps into the conversation): Did you say $43? What man? That’s too expensive. U just have to change two train lines, 3 buses and lo you are this so-and-so place where you have to bargain a little and you’ll get it for $37. If you had asked me before, I would’ve told you. Next time don’t do this mistake. Enquire with me first” Now that he is done talking, he looks around in slow motion, silently daring anyone to challenge his price. No one does. There is pindrop silence all around. P1 and P2 portray a variety of emotions simultaneously – awe, despair, disgust, anger and resignation to name a few.They take a silent vow to have their revenge on P3, when he buys something next. The battle is lost, but the war has just began. P3 grins and sits down , with a sense of joy and fulfillment gradually filling his heart. This will make a heartwarming dinner story for his wife,he reflects.
The coconut dilemma : Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined I will be facing problems of such gargantuan proportions in my tryst with the world outside India. I am a big fan of fresh coconut chutney and almost cant do without dosa and chutney once in a few days. And I do not like the packaged grated coocnut they sell in stores. Such blasphemy! It is like choosing …hmmm…a Mithunda movie over an Aamir Khan movie. Or for the international audience, choosing a Twilight movie over a Harry Potter Album. Anyway, one fine day, I got a coconut home. Then it occurred to me. Where to break the coconut? The question popped out from my head and lingered on, just hovering in the air, taunting me. This was not going to be an easy choice. I called my roommate to conference. He said no question of experimentation in the house for risk of breaking the tiles or the kitchen stand. I wondered why I never cared about the tiles back in India. And we could not find a stone to break it on too. When I sufficiently pestered my roommate, he calmly pointed me his head ala Lord Vamana Murthi to Bali Chakravarti and indicating that that I can break it on his head. I dropped the thought after pondering over it for a moment. As I was devising and destroying scheme upon scheme in my mind, I looked in our balcony. Voila! There was a small drainage opening right in front of the door. I was reminded of a quote from the Alchemist – when u want something really bad, all the universe conspires to help you achieve. As the sun set over the horizon and darkness shrouded this half of the earth, I opened the door, looked around for any signs of humans around and approached the hole ever so stealthily. I hit the coconut to the ground with all my might combined with a mental victory roar and quickly ran back into the house after collecting all the pieces. And thus fresh coconut chutney was made available for everyone since then.
The la-la effect: Well this is an attribute typical of Singapore. “lah” in Singapore is totally like “da” in Bangalore and “ra” in Hyderabad. Only difference is the Indian versions sound masculine like they are supposed to, and the Singapore one sounds,well,gay (because of the la-la-la sound, I guess) . What gets me slightly irked is the fact that Indians who have been living here since a long time catch the local English. Try this:
Me: Shall we go for lunch now?
Long time NRI: Can,can.
Me: Does this restaurant have vegetarian food?
Long time NRI: Have,have.
I think its just a part of natural evolution. Anyway, if you want to listen to some hilarious Singlish (Singapore English), check this out: Singlish chat on phone
More Singapore stories coming up!
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Crises of our times : Part 3 – To grow up or not to grow up

There are two kinds of people in this world : 1) Those who grow up and get serious with their lives and 2) Those who practise kung-fu in their bathrooms.

I think growing up is over-rated. Also being mature. Given a choice,and by choice I mean if someone tells you “You can be as successful and make as much money and pick up as my gals”, none of us will want to be mature. Most people are so engrossed in pretending to be mature and grown up that they have forgotten that they are all pretending to be so. Come to think of it, the truth is, all kids want to be adults so that they can boss around people and all adults want to be kids so they can do fun stuff without people suggesting they take tranquilizers.

Well, if you still haven’t got it, I am the second kind. Its not easy work being a kid, mind you. Being a child in a grown up’s body throws up its own challenges. There are times when we are forced to act grown up when it would be so easy not to. Like with the elderly lady at a wedding who pinches and twists your cheek so hard (“You are next in line”) it drains the blood off your face and you have a strong urge to yell on top of your voice ala Ross “You son of a bitch! It’ll be your funeral if you don’t let go of my face RIGHT THIS MOMENT”, yet you give the most genial smile ever and stand there rubbing your cheek and still smiling and nodding your head. Or in a team meeting at 2’o clock in the aftrenoon when you have to put a mildly contemplative yet interested face when your manager is rambling on about the project strategy since the last 25 minutes and all you want to do is fling your head back and make loud snoring noises just to annoy him or even better, slowly rise from your seat with both hands wide and shout “I have the power of the 9 tails now. I shall make the world tremble.Kneel before me or I will destroy this conference room. Muhahahahahaha”.

And there are times when we do pretend to be grown ups just for the kicks. I sometimes pour chocolate milkshake into a cocktail glass and sip at it like I’m having some classy Scotch whiskey while puffing at my invisible cigarette. Or when I borrow a highly intellectual sounding novel from the library ( like the one I’m reading right now “The greatest show on earth: The Evidence for Evolution”), force myself into reading it for the next 2 months and then forget all about it within a day of returning the book. Or when I get serious with my life and make to-do lists (if you have seen my last post) and fill it with tasks like – put used dinner plate in the sink, finish 10 pages of the book, call mom today, google if Captain Jack sparrow actually existed. Sometimes I goof up and put a herculean task like “FOLD CLOTHES” in the list but then end of the day, finishing 9/10 tasks is job well done anyway.

In fact this blog post is sort of a rant. Everyone says I’m still a kid.That I need to grow up. My parents and close friends sometimes go – “You are so full of yourself Pavan, you actually don’t know anything.You need to grow up”. The rest of them are no good either – “Pavan, don’t be so innocent. Grow up”. It must be my fault that I show totally different faces of myself to different people, but then so does everyone,right? That point aside,what used to irk me is that they both are trying to make the same point. That I’m still a kid. Now I’ve grown up enough to realize I’ll be happier being a kid than pretending to be a grown-up anyday. In other words,I’m not gonna say I loved The Curious case of Benjamin Button (which I saw recently and found dreary) when I enjoy episodes of Full metal Alchemist (another cheesy and awesome anime) more. And if somebody tells me I need to grow up, I coolly draw my death-ray blaster and…. PUFF!

Return of the blogger!

I apologize upfront for this post. Sorry, really. I just wanted to get back to writing. I’ll write something good next up :D.

From order to chaos…
Last 2 years have been really smooth for me. Real cozy and smooth. No speed breakers. No potholes. No nothing. Or maybe I was going so slow a speedbreaker didn’t feel like one when I encountered it. So I thought have had enough of this now. Its time to introduce some chaos. No, a lot of chaos. Muhahahahaha. And I have already taken steps towards it. Of course this was not without having endless brainstorming discussions and one-on-one gyan sessions from my myriad wellwishers.( If I am taking a decision, EVERYONE has to know before I take it). And I know some of the people involved are reading this and smiling. Yeah yeah, you smile now. But be ready to get ass-kicked if things don’t pan out as planned. But what’s the fun if things go as planned? There you go. Typical confused myself.

...And back to order
What else? Ever since I dropped my mobile while on my bike for the second time within 6 months ( and got it back by some awesome luck. I feel I expend all my luck for such stupid things and run out of it when it comes to the bigger things :)), I decided that I should get my act together and be more organized. Oh crap, I just realized the first para was about intoducing more chaos and second is about introducing more order to my life. Ah,whatever. So I am putting sticky notes on my PC, near the mirror etc. Below is a sample:

F.R.I.E.N.D.S
I have been watching random episodes of FRIENDS. And I am falling in love with the series all over again. The best quality about FRIENDS is that you can relate to the characters so much. I can assign each of the characters to my real-life friends and laugh heartily when each one acts like the other. (I am Ross :D ) You don’t get to see this other “popular” TV shows.

Movie every week!!!
The movie marathon has already began. I gather most of my friends are not even aware of what I am speaking ( I have no idea why, people have just stopped watching movies :P) but for me and Krish, the season has just begun. We are gonna watch the shit out of these movies,all the way upto August :D. Below is a list. I hope it motivates our other friends to shake off their lethargy a bit and make a move to the theatre:

22nd April – Rango
30th April – Thor
8th may – Source Code
15th may – No movie
20th May – Pirates of the Caribbean – 4
27th May – Kung Fu Panda 2
June 3 – X-Men : First Class
June 10 – Super 8
June 17th – Green Lantern
June 24th – Cars 2, Zindagi milegi na dobara
July 1st – Transformers 3
July 8th – No movie
July 15th – Harry Potter 7 – Part 2
Jul 22nd – Captain America
July 29th – Cowboys & Aliens

Crises of our times:Part 1 – The 25-odd single Indian male

At this point,some of my friends are going to point out to me that I’m not 25-odd and that I’m, in fact, 26 years and 5 months, 6 days old and ticking. May god strike down upon them with thunder and lightning. Seems like quarter life crisis is a real thing. These days, I find myself exclaiming, “WTF? That Miss World chick can’t be 17! Look at how ‘healthy’ she looks” I guess I’m just in a state of denial. 2-3 years ago seemed much….better. I hope to grow out of this very soon and comfortably fantasize about gals much younger than me. And while we are on the topic,I shall no longer be jealous of Katrina Kaif. 3 years ago, I expressed my shock like this – this woman, this huge,big bosom-ed woman is MY age? While I look like a bachcha?!  3 years later, circa 2010, she did a Sheila Ki Jawani and I have no choice but to accept her wholeheartedly.Now lets look at the some of the practical aspects of the issue at hand. Being 25 and single, you are subjected to every kind of slander – from uncles you have never known “do you have a clear path for your career and life?” to the aunties “Beta,why you no marry? long term good. If no marry now, you retire and your son still no job” to your 15-year old niece “25 and single? Disgraceful” to your mom “Ayyo,why have you become dark? Have you tired applying honey mixed with lime?”. As for me,I have no worries. The family elders have assured me of total freedom – “we have no problem with you finding a gal by yourself.But she should be a Brahmin…and a kannadiga…and of course she should not be of the same gotra….and the 28 qualities in your horoscope should match. But you are free to select any gal you want”.This gotra thing is a huge issue.Until now,I had no opinion of sage Vishwamitra(my gotra) except for a mild amusement,courtesy his fiery affair with a high-profile celestial maiden, but now I positively annoyed at the guy.Actually, that kind of proves that I’m his descendant, because being annoyed was said to be his favorite kind of emotion.(which n turn implies I’ll have a fiery,passionate affair with some celestial babe..hee hee hee) Anyways,going by this, if I fancy a gal, I’m going to start the conversation with “So, what’s your gotra?”.And if she is the same gotra,”Blimey! We are brother and sister! I’m so glad I met you and asked you this question before I asked you out”.

Not that its easy to find a gal you fancy at this juncture.Forget college years, you have even past the age where you could just send fraandship request you any random gal on orkut,”like” every gal’s status message and comment on every photo in FB or log in to yahoo chat rooms and ping a “cutegal008” with “asl (age sex location)?”. By now, you would have seen lot of gals come, pass by, get married and settle down; you would have analyzed and ruthlessly judged your female friends for all their good and bad points (sorry? :D) and then painstaking built a mental image of your perfect girl,carried it around everywhere mentally doing a “scan” on every gal you meet and always ending up with a “Pattern match failed”.Slowly,wisdom dawns upon you. The other day when I told my “criteria” to Rashmi, she was surprised “This is all? You are not able to find a gal with such simple criteria?” I said “Oh,these are my arranged marriage criteria. My love marriage criteria are different”.Go ahead and judge me all you want, I only speak the truth.

And all your married (ex-)friends are no inspiration either.Right after marriage, they suddenly disappear from the face of the earth and are zapped into a parallel universe where no single is allowed access.You can only access them through windows between the two universes,like facebook photo albums, gtalk and such. As much as you want to believe from their cute,smiling faces in the pics, you can’t help but think that is an elaborate racket going on here. Everyone including your parents,close friends,relatives,the TV,the government,Suresh Kalmadi(why not?) is involved in this racket and are trying their level best to push you into the proverbial well.You never know what goes on in the other universe.You finally ignore all the ominous signs,all the warnings and finally take the bait and then the truth dawns upon you.Then it will be your turn to pose and smile back from the windows and attract more hapless victims to the other side. Muhahaha, I’ve figured it all out now! But alas,I only very well know that at the moment of judgment, I am surely going to falter and take the same steps like so many have before me and fallen to ruin. And that is how the cookie crumbles ;).

Chaos Theory-The Common Wealth Games

The Commonwealth Games Organizing committee  has put up some travel tips for the foreign tourists traveling to India during the games. TOI ran an article.

I went to the website and browsed through the section. They have done a decent job of putting together a lot of detailed instructions, some seemingly trivial points to actually useful ones. Few of the tips are hilarious though, more so because they actually make sense and are perfectly applicable in the crazy milieu that is India.

Picked up a few gems from the list. And added my notes ;)

1) Be aware that public displays of affection (hugging, kissing) are generally not appreciated. However, it is common to see men showing affection and camaraderie on the roads and in villages throughout the country.

Crystal clear advice. Enjoy the joie-de-vivre around and our awesome camaraderie. Just don’t touch us. Or better, keep away from your boyfriend/girlfriend too.

2) If you are male introduced to a lady or a grown-up girl, don’t take the initiative of offering a handshake. If she extends her hand, you must reciprocate, but don’t be the first to extend your hand.

Taking initiative for a handshake is punishable by 1000 lashings in public under the Indian Penal Code section 203A. And if you do not reciprocate a woman’s handshake, the little finger on your left hand will be cut off and parceled to your home country.Cross your fingers correctly,or lose them.

3) If you find the lady is not extending a hand shake, go for the Namastey. Even with men, the Namastey can be an excellent little PR gimmick! Follow it up with a kaise hai (how are you?) and you have broken the first block of ice if one there was!

This is fun. Usually the response will be “Arey behnnc*od, yeh angrez hamari bhasa kab se bol ne lage.Oi vherry nice ji,vherry nice”. Don’t panic. Just smile and walk away quietly.

4) Many Indians are in the habit of shaking their head in the course of conversation or taking instructions. Don’t show amusement if you witness this.

Don’t show any amusement. Just tag along and nod your head vigorously too, the great Indian nod. Learn by watching this video :

5) Politics can be freely discussed in India and most people will have an opinion which they will not mind being contradicted, but avoid discussing religion.

So if you are in a mood for adventure, find a noisy bunch of Indians and start a topic on politics and just for the heck of it, contradict everything they say.
“Manmohan Singh is a bad PM”
“Nah”
“So are you saying Manmohan Singh is a good PM?”
“Hmm,nah”
“Do you even know who our PM is?”
“Nope”
Note: Indians eat spicy food and are considered to be temperamental people.Just a fore-warning.

6)In India, public toilet facilities are few and far between and outside of the hotels and restaurants can be of dubious cleanliness. We recommend taking every opportunity you can to use a clean toilet in hotels and restaurants and that you carry tissues/wet wipes with you.

THIS. This is the most useful advice to anyone visiting India or for that matter anyone living in India too. Don’t bring your dirty stuff outdoors . Leave it at home.

7) Never buy food from roadside stalls or mobile canteens. Not that they are necessarily bad, but one’s system may not be accustomed to such delicacies which may result in an upset stomach.

This is a polite way of saying – do not to get adventurous with Indian food. If you get cocky with Indian food, it will eat you, not the other way round. This and the previous advice are correlated, of course. Also,this is a clever way of making the tourists eat at expensive places and thus increase our tourism revenue .(Russell Peters Indian voice)India got brains,buddy.

8) Wash your hands before and after eating.

You need not carry any water bottles with you. We have a hand-wash facility every 10 meters in India. Just reach for your nearest pothole.

9) If you are buying from roadside stalls or hawkers be prepared to bargain. Start by offering half the price and settle for 60 per cent.

We are ages ahead of you dumb westerners. We’ve already instructed the shopkeepers to quote 8 times the price to start with.

10) Even in the most cosmopolitan of cities in India the chances are that your different appearance might mean that you will be stared at. Please do not be offended. No harm is meant, it is just curiosity.

Also,we Indian men believe ogling at a white female showers us with the blessings of the Hindu deities. No wild sexual fantasies are involved during the ogling.

11) Self- drive cars though available are not recommended as it is not advisable for you to drive on the Indian roads with all the traffic.

Never say “Over my dead body” when in India. You’ll never even know what hit you.

So while the other nations look on with amusement and the chaos and pandemonium going on,all we can do is pray that the games go on smoothly. I’m sure there is going to lot of unintended fun; lets hope that the safety of participants and tourists are ensured. Or we’ll simply blame it on the British.

As a song lyric in Peepli Live goes,

….Baat hai chhoti bada patangad
Arrey India sir yeh cheez durandhar
Jaib dalidar dil hai samandar
Jaib dalidar dil hai samandar……
:)

If interested : CWG OC Travel Tips

CALVIN! Where’s the TYRE!!!?

As much as I have a permanent inertia against leaving home (unless its for r a movie or hanging out with friends), I do have a couple of relatives who I visit sometimes just not to alienate myself( and of course, for the food ;) ). Ah,such adorable kids they have.Who wouldn’t wanna spend time with their nieces or kid-cousins, who entertain you with their sweet-talk, hug you and generally make you feel happy? Hehe, you guys already know I’m kidding(or “kid”ding,if you please),right? They are nothing less than devil- incarnate,believe me!. The “Enfant terrible”s have put me in such screwy situations they made me wish that I could disapparate (to disappear magically,HP) to the top of a lava-spurting Eyjafjallajökull. I think most people will relate to the below scenarios : 

Scene 1
I enter the house. The kids look at me and go “Yaayyyyy! Pavananna has come! Yaayy”! I reply cheerfully “Hiii Ankita!How did your exams go?” My mistake. Her mom,who was happily welcoming me till now,turns grim within a split-second and goes spiraling in a non-stop tirade on how the girl has left one “fill-in-the-blanks” blank (The heading says Fill-in-the-blank.How can she leave it blank? :D) and  done a multiple choice question wrong and so she’ll end up getting only 96.5% , and not 99.4% (as the next door aunty’s son haughtily claimed of getting). All this while Ms.Ankita looks daggers at me,muttering under her breath, “You $@#@#,I’ll have my revenge”. But soon everything is forgotten and we start playing and talking.

Scene 2
Everyone is watching TV. Suddenly the little devil yells “PAVANANNA, I WANNA PLAY WITH YOUR MOBILE.GIMME YOUR MOBILE!”. I oblige immediately, foolishly assuming that its better than the cacophony blasting my eardrums now. She occupies herself with the mobile for sometime while peace prevails (Noises from the TV are not even comparable). And suddenly, “PAVANANNA,YOU GOT A MSG FROM SO-N-SO GAL.IT SAYS ‘WASSUP?WHAT U DOIN”” I instinctively take furtive glances at the elders in the room,who, I am pretty certain, even with their heads firmly turned towards the TV, have all their ears on my side of the room now. They need not have struggled so much.My ever-inquisitive niece is not one to be silenced so soon. As I give a nervous fake smile and reach for my mobile,she starts off, “WHO IS THIS SO-N-SO GAL???IS SHE YOUR GIRLFRIENDDDD? HEE HEE, ARE YOU GONNA MARRRRY HER?HEE HEE” (Wait! WHAA….?) Now everyone else has no excuse to even look at the TV and have completely focussed their attention on me. I meekly & defensively say “Noooo” with a stupid guffaw (I dunno why I felt compulsive to answer a 9-year old) Then I begin my Rescue-thy-pride mission : keep staring down at the mobile with such ferocious single-mindedness & concentration that any outsider would believe I’m writing down the proof for a complex quantum theory equation which will disprove The Theory of Relativity and turn science,as we know it,upside down (Einstein would gape in horror and awe from his grave). And I stick to that stance until a messiah on the reality show TV yells something and everyone turns back to him

Scene 3
Me & my niece are sitting watching “Spongebob Squarepants” on Nick. After 20 minutes of marvellingon how these over-smart kids still enjoy something so dumb(and thanking god for that), I ask “Naina,can I have the remote? I’m bored”. “Nooooo,only 10 minutes more and the episode will get over. Then I’ve give you the remote.OK?” she says blinking her eyes ever innocently. I smile and say “OK”. Just then,the TV blares “….and stay tuned for the 2-hour weekend special of SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!!!”
She goes “Yaaay!”
“Hey come on, you said you’ll give me the remote”
“Baaaaaahhhh!Waaaaaaaahhhh!”
“Ok ok. You keep the remote.I’ll just go home…and never vist you again” (hee hee hee)
She contemplates once this for a while. “Okay fine. I will give you the remote.You can watch whattttever you want……till I come back from the bathroom!” and runs off leaving me open-mouthed.
I relax for a while and keep surfing channels wondering if anything good ever comes on this idiot box. A particularly riveting sequence in one of the English movie channels holds my attention for more than usual and I linger on for a little while more. (I’ll remind you here,Murphy’s law are not some random bullshit.Never ignore them) Right at that moment,the little devil comes running back to claim her remote. She turns to the TV and is horrified by what she is seeing. “CHEEEE! MUMMIE!!! PAVANANNA IS WATCHING GIRL AND BOY KISSING!!!” I can’t help shouting out inadvertently “Heyyy! Shhhh. They are just kissing”. As they say,the damage is done. What I would not give to just evaporate from the face of the earth in a puff of smoke that very instant. I fumble with the remote while that abominable thing is playing on TV,*click* (Priyanka Chopra in a luscious bikini in Dostana) *click* random woman dancing in rain in a South Indian movie *more frantic click* “This is Atul Mehta,Mumbai correspondent,Aaj Tak” Sigh.Safe.All this happens in a time frame of 15 seconds.My cousin laughs a bit and just stays in the kitchen,thankfully. I do not touch the remote the whole of my stay there and settle down to watch back-back episodes of Spongebob squarepants.

Scene 4
Little devil’s teen-aged elder sis comes in.They start arguing over something and start fighting and the elder one goes “Get the f*uck off me,moron”. The smaller one claps her hand to her mouth,
“Akka! You just said the F-U-C-K word! Wait I’ll tell mommy”
“Shudd-up!I didn’t, Reee-tard” (My uncle is US returned. So my cousins still retain a distinct accent.Cool stuff)
“Yes you did!Pavananna she said the F-U-C-K word, didn’t she?”
I was already grinning.”Yeah,she did”.
“Reee-tard,get lost” and she storms out of the room.
The younger one starts giving me gyan “Dad told me F-U-C-K & S-U-C-K are bad words. But I think “shit” & “crap” are OK.They didn’t scold me when I used them.And speaking of scolding, B-I-T-C-H is a bad word too.”(ponders a bit)”But I wanna know what F-U-C-K means? Do you know what that means?”
“Ah,I don’t know” trying to sound as ignorant as possible, to which I get a “Man,You are a dumbo.All elders know that.How old are you anyway?”

Scene 5
We are sitting around for dinner. Ms.Smartypants is at it again. Giggling she says, “Amma,Pavananna is hesitating to serve the rice for himself. I think he is feeling shy. Pavananna,go ahead. There is lot of rice for all of us” As much as this is most embarassing,more annoying and scary is the fact that those were the exact thoughts going on in my head.Phew,kids these days! Anyways, I get over the hiccup and continue eating with a lot of rice in my plate now. Her mom comes,serves her a gulab jamun and goes inside to get more. Little devil turns sweet “Amma,bari nange hakidiyalla.Paapa ivninge haakalva Jamun-u? (You served the jamun only to me.Why didnt you serve the jamun to him, Poor guy)”.Her mom says mockingly “No I wont give him. He’s nobody to me”. “Ayyo Paapa,aa thara ella madbaardu.Kodamma (Ayyo Poor thing,we should not act like this.Lets give him too)”. We couldn’t stop laughing. Its amazing how kids balance their minds with the inherent innocence which is part of growing-up and the pseudo-maturity they acquire from their surroundings.

P.S : I love my nieces,nephews and kid-cousins. They are better than the elders,anyday ;)
P.P.S : This is my tribute to Calvin & Hobbes,the greatest comic ever

Zangetsu – The Awakening

I have gone around trumpeting for long enough that I am gonna get a new PC now. Damn! One day I shall do something which will make people react as if struck by a lightning. Last few weeks were terrible. My old precious PC so doggedly brought itself down part-by-part that it was palpable the poor thing was finally fed up of my tantrums. So I made a sad face and decided to replace it(grinning wide inwardly). And for everyone who has expressed utter dismay about me getting a desktop instead of a ‘lappie’, for the millionth time “Desktops rock!Period“.

Me and Krishna (it was kinda surprising to see he himself offering to accompany me. PC buying can be a real pain, esp if you are not the one buying it!) reached SP road around 11.SP road as usual was delightfully vibrant,colorful and….CHAOTIC :D.A computer lover’s haven. We first headed to Ankit computers and next to hitherto unknown World Computech(‘Best prices’ written below) where Krish said he regularly visits. This guy had zilch knowledge on processors and motherboards but by then I had already finalised what to buy based on the input from guy at Ankit computers ;) And ‘World Computech’ prices were best indeed! So decided to buy it here :)

Sure the prices were OK but there’s no wholesome feel of buying something at SP road if you miss one aspect- haggling. First for each of the parts and then on the overall price :D (I believe I am better at bargaining than most people, a trait I acquired from dad ;)). Finally both parties reached mutual agreement .Krishna said he has to go somewhere else. His search for pirated DVDs nearby had gone in vain :). My PC was brought to life in a service center in some dingy,shady-looking alley filled with suspicious faces. By this time, Vini (my roomie) had arrived in SP road looking for his laptop fan (The fan which rotates :D . And who says lappies need no maintenance :P). Finally I couldn’t help laughing at myself for haggling for tens with autowallahs after just blowing up thousands :D.

Once I got home and assembled my PC and tried to switch it on,it didn’t. Of course it wouldn’t. It was my system after all ; if things went so smoothly with me, that would be ironic in an eerie way. A quick check revealed the SMPS has gone bust.Only a teenie-weenie bit of frustration :). Poor Vini had to drive me all the way and back. Took the whole cabinet along,just in case, and got the thing replaced. The day finally ended with my PC gloriously switching on and we watched an episode of Naruto on the big screen! :D

It does not get over so soon, right? I had to copy the contents of old hard disk to the new one. After discussing various alternatives, we figured the easiest method would be to switch on the old CPU (with no monitor,no keyboard,no mouse…only the CPU :D) and connect it to the LAN and then access the old HDD from there. The copying went quite smoothly with only two power cuts in between :P. Zangetsu has fully awakened now in all its glory, except…..except the voice is echoing :P. Gottu replace the speakers too,I guess. For now, I am all happy :) :)

And just for the record, Zangetsu :

  • Samsung 22″ TFT LCD
  • 320 GB SATA2 HDD
  • 2GB RAM
  • AMD Dual core 7750+2.7Ghz
  • Asus M3A78-EM with 256MB nVidia Chipset
  • Creative Inspire 2.1 Speakers
  • A brand new UPS too!