Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Dream a little dream

I've been thinking about this, off and on, for quite some time now. My line of work requires me to travel about once or twice a year (at most) to the US. If I could take Sindha along for one of these trips, we could take a couple of weeks off and roam around. Both of us prefer to travel in Europe, so maybe we could break our return journey at Frankfurt or Amsterdam and then backpack wherever possible. We have a few friends and relatives at Holland, England and Switzerland, so perhaps we could stay with them for a day or two, cutting down on hotel expenses. We'd need to leave the kid with one of our parents of course, when she's old enough for that.

We might be able to do this in a year's time, if everything goes right. I haven't thought through the expense part though. Hope it wouldn't wind up terribly beyond our reach.

Interesting enough to dream about, anyway !

Hmm...

First since May '98. Let me see how this turns out, before deciding anything...

Monday, December 29, 2003

Finally won a quiz at KQA. Doesn't mean anything ...

Finally won a quiz at KQA. Doesn't mean anything much really as it was entirely on movies and the quizmaster was not from KQA - Pradeep Sebastian from The Hindu. Anustup was my partner, so that helped a lot too. Still, it was quite satisfying to win out there, after getting trounced in all the quizzes I've tried at KQA. came in second, by the way. He topped the prelims.

Am feeling much better after the Christmas break. Looking forward to the new year with hope.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

OD'd on Mohan Lal on Xmas day. Thandavam in the m...

OD'd on Mohan Lal on Xmas day. Thandavam in the morning, Ravana Prabhu in the afternoon. Don't think I can watch another movie of his for some time now.

Have been burning cds like crazy for the past three days. Almost all the movies in 's collection. Starting on his audio cds now. God's gift to piratekind, I call him.

But hark ! What light through yonder tunnel break...

But hark ! What light through yonder tunnel breaks ?

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Meme after a long time

Survey from 's post

Instructions:
1. Copy this whole list into your journal.
2. Bold the things that you have in common with me.
3. Whatever you don't bold, replace with things about you


01. I have ticklish feet.
02. I talk to myself. Sometimes out loud.
03. I've not changed my job for over five years
04. I would have been voted most likely to get married, by my friends in college. And they would have been right, of course.
05. I never worry about what impression people carry about me.
06. I don't really care if people don't understand
07. I hate when people type in all caps online.
08. I have stayed overnight in the hospital .
09. I love having friends from all over the world
10. I am glad I no longer live in the state where I was born. I was born in Gujarat, but please don't tell anyone.
11. I love tea and cake
12. I can keep a secret.
13. I remember birthdays. Sometimes.
14. For some things in my life, forgetfulness is a blessing.
15. I don't use shampoo.
16. I hate to shop.
17. I don't have a dog. Luckily.
18. I hate prudes.
19. I have a few friends.
20. I was born with an attitude
21. My best friend till I was 13 has vanished from my life
22. I hate when people yell.
23. I want to live in another country for a while someday.
24. I hate soaps and the shows on tv. I hardly watch tv apart from cricket and a few movies.
25. I have trouble finishing things I start.
26. I love to read.
27. I love going new places and seeing new things and trying out new stuff to eat.
28. I'm a weird person. Isn't everyone ?
29. Music's never been a big part of my life. I regret that.
30. I look extremely nervous when I am afraid.
31. I want to be thinner than I am.
32. I always force my opinion on other people.
33. Most of my friends think I'm an arrogant so-and-so.
34. I have ears
35. I have a child. I was not sure if I wanted one, but I have one now and she's quite wonderful.
36. I'm too lazy to clean
37. I have had one nightmare about having to use a dirty toilet
38. I shop for books, movies or music when I'm depressed.
39. I love my parents.
40. I wish I were more talented.
41. I really enjoy thoughtful gifts, even if they cost nothing.
42. I like people who are a bit out of the ordinary.
43. I hate people who talk in an "I know everything" tone.
44. I live in a house
45. I hate when songs get stuck in my head.
46. If I could live my life all over again, there are somethings I'd do differently.. Not all, but a few, yes.
47. I wear what I like, not necessarily what's fashionable.
48. I wish I could work out of home.
49. I am not very regular with e mail.
50. I'm losing my sense of humour. If I had one.
51. I like silence at times.
52. I find it hard to write, I prefer to type.
53. I've never been to a gym.
54. I trust instinctively. Sometimes I'm wrong.
55. I like being alone sometimes.
56. Taking out trash is fun sometimes. You feel you've done your bit for the home and country, you know.
57. My wife owns six cookbooks, one of which I gifted her four years before we got married. I can cook a mean chicken dish, though. And no, before you ask, I can't cook meen.
58. I love high heels. I am 5'7" tall.. (Now that was a coincidence. I don't love high heels on me, though.)
59. I haven't received a handwritten letter for over four years now
60. I'm pessimistic and cynical sometimes.
61. I laugh a lot.
62. When I'm depressed I prefer to be alone.
63. I never sweat the small stuff.
64. I never dream of being rich. I do dream of giving TV interviews
65. I have normal dreams.
66. I wish I could travel more often. Taking Sindha and Rachu with me
67. I don't talk to strangers.
68. I drink a lot of water.
69. I think GW Bush is ridiculous.
70. I am extremely saddened by child beggars.
71. I cut my hair at the closest saloon. Whatever. Whenever.
72. I'd rather be under dressed than over dressed.
73. I don't chase my dreams, often enough.
74. I am an okay driver. Not what I'd call good.
75. I find it hard to respect most men.
76. I want to be young at heart forever.
77. I know left from right, but I have a tough time figuring out north from south
78. I read many books at a time.
79. I have cried in front of people who are not necessarily close to me
80. I don't like dogs very much. Hot dogs, yes.
81. I can't imitate anything worth a damn.
82. I hate loud places.
83. I struggle with saying "no"
84. I pronounce pretty well, considering my mallu lineage.
85. I am not as responsible as I'd like to be.
86. I am male.
87. I don't understand why anyone in their right mind would oppose gay civil marriage. I don't understand why anyone in their right minds would oppose anything that didn't affect them.
88. I don't notice people's teeth. I don't notice most people, actually.
89. I always forget faces, I always remember names.
90. I am reasonably sure what direction my life is headed.
91. I've voted. And proud of it. Am trying very hard to vote next time, but I can't remember the number of the ward where I voted last
92. I've learnt that if you look cute, you can get away with most things. Not that I'm cute, but I've seen others who are and did.
93. I HATE when people freeze. Or act cold.
94. I have won at least one prize at most of the of lotto games I've taken part in.
95. I find it hard to throw things away.
96. I never complain about food, if it had moved once in its lifetime. If not and if it is coloured green, I complain bitterly
97. I want to live in New Zealand.
98. I don't have a tattoo. I do have a red birthmark, if that helps.
99. I'm right handed.
100. I am done with this survey now.


This was more fun to do than I thought.

Wow !

We won ! Bloody hell, We WON !!

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

This just in

The latest news is that Richard Branson, the CEO of Virgin Airlines, was very keen to sponsor the Indian Cricket Team. He approached BCCI with an offer to pay three times more than Sahara.

However, Saurav Ganguly refused the offer as he thought it would be ridiculous to sport 'Virgin' on the team shirts after getting screwed by the Australians every other day.

[Update] I'm eating my words. I really am. [/Update]

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Now and Zen

Finished Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ten years after I bought the book. Simply outstanding. Now to get my hands on Lila...

In other news, I'm back to walking that thin line.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Steve Waugh to retire

The last I felt like this was when RD Burman died. One of my favorite cricketers, easily the batsman I'd pick to bat for my life.

Lovely piece by Waugh on rediff, brought back a lot of memories.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Damn the stars, the ocean, the sun. They are just...

Damn the stars, the ocean, the sun. They are just too far away.

Of course, I've never built a telescope, crafted a boat or designed wings. I shouldn't complain.

Maybe this is as good as it gets.

Maybe I should stop looking at the sun, the moon, the sky.

And stop dreaming.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Back from Mysore

The trip went off very well. Driving is a pleasure in the morning: the roads are half empty, the morning breeze lifts you up, you sail through in 5th gear for most part of the journey. Coming back was a different kettle of fish, though. We stopped at a couple of places (Ranganathittu and Channapattana) and got delayed a bit. Took over an hour to navigate through the various half built flyovers in Bangalore, which was the most tiring part.

Charu and Harsha were quite happy we made it for the wedding. The lunch was not bad - quite a few sweets which I enjoyed. We could have had roast pork for lunch too, when a pig tried a suicide attack on our car, near Ramanagaram. I had to swerve and avoid it, more's the pity.

Rachu enjoyed the journey. We took her on a boat ride at Ranganathittu. I was slightly apprehensive but Sindha managed to convince me it was safe. The kid didn't really notice the difference between the boat and the car, until halfway when she saw that she was being held very close to water. She was fascinated after that, kept staring at the paddles and the way they cut through water.

We covered a total of 343 km yesterday - I still see trucks coming at me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Whats up ?

A few updates:

1. I took the red pill on Sunday and have been feeling great since. My mind is finally free.
It really is a relief to read the Hindu after the Times

2. The first quiz on is up. This was posted on quiznet once by himself, but what the heck. Its a good quiz, just perfect to start off.

3. Sindha, Rachu and I are off to Mysore tomorrow, to attend a friend's wedding. This is the first time we'll be going on a relatively long drive with the kid; hope everything turns out well. Planning to stop over at Srirangapatana and Channapatana on the way back, if we have the time. I would like to visit Ranganathittu as well, but my guess is that we won't have enough time to do all of this and be back in Bangalore by 7pm.

4. The battery of the car conked out on Saturday, the first real problem I've had with the Palio. Got a new one fixed today. Funny, it should have lasted for at least 2-3 years. The guy told me its because I didn't get it serviced regularly. Hmm.

5. And oh, here's a pretty decent photo of el kiddo:


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Quizbusters is born !

I've created a community for quizzers: . Lets see how it works out. takes credit for the community name, btw.

I've listed out a set of rules over there, I'd welcome and greatly appreciate feedback. Thanks in advance !

Thursday, November 13, 2003

I can't wait

42


1. One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it - it was the black kitten's fault entirely

A: Opening lines from Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll.

2. I can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight-thirty in the morning. The wind, even at sixty miles an hour, is warm and humid. When it's this hot and muggy at eight-thirty, I'm wondering what it's going to be like in the afternoon.

A: Opening lines of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig.

3. She gathered herself together. No one could describe the scorn of her expression or the contemptuous hatred she put into her answer.
"You men! You filthy, dirty pigs! You`re all the same, all of you. Pigs! Pigs!"
Dr. Macphail gasped. He understood

A: The last lines of the Somerset Maugham short story, Rain.

4. I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my ____

A: Last lines of Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. Yes, I am devious. Yesser, I am very obviously devious - most of you got this right anyway !

5. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

A: Opening lines of One Hundred Years of Solitude (or as put it, Cien Años de Soledad), by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

6.
Prologue
Part I: The Marsten House
Ben (I)
Susan
The Lot
Danny Glick and Others
Ben (II)
The Lot (II)
Matt
Part II: The Emperor of Ice Cream
Ben (III)
Susan (II)
The Lot (III)
Ben (IV)
Mark
Father Callahan
Part III: The Deserted Village
The Lot (IV)
Ben and Mark
Epilogue


A: A personal bias, Stephen King has always been a favorite. This is from Salem's Lot, one of his best, IMO

7. 1801-- I have just returned from a visit to my landlord -- the solitary neighbor that I shall be troubled with.

A: Opening lines from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Sounds very Bram Stoker-ish, I know.

8. `This must be Thursday,' said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer, `I never could get the hang of Thursdays.'

A: In between line from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. To use 's words:
8 is, of course, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the book, not the series. It is said after Arthur has been extracted from the mud in front of the bulldozer trying to knock down his house in order to build a bypass, and just before he is transported onto a ship of the Vogon Constructor Fleet destroying the Earth in order to build a bypass.

9. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.

A: Opening lines of The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler.

10. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

A: Last lines of The Old Testament. Malachi 4:6, as put it so very accurately


Well, that was fun again !

I am not listing out scores here, suffice to mention and got pretty much all correct. Well done ! The comments are now visible to all, by the way.

I got quite a bit of "you should do more of this" this time round too. Maybe I really should do more of this. I've been thinking of creating a community for posting quizzes. There are quite a few of them on LJ already, but I haven't seen any that posts stuff which I enjoy. Hmmm....

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Am not really at a loose end, but I thought this was as good a time as any to set a quiz. This is on books and features opening lines, ending lines, reading between the lines and general phrases which should ideally start you thinking along the lines of "Hmm, where have I read that before ?". There is also a short story thrown in, by the way.

Off we go. I'm looking for the name of the book, unless specified otherwise


1. One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it - it was the black kitten's fault entirely

2. I can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight-thirty in the morning. The wind, even at sixty miles an hour, is warm and humid. When it's this hot and muggy at eight-thirty, I'm wondering what it's going to be like in the afternoon.

3. She gathered herself together. No one could describe the scorn of her expression or the contemptuous hatred she put into her answer.
"You men! You filthy, dirty pigs! You`re all the same, all of you. Pigs! Pigs!"
Dr. Macphail gasped. He understood

4. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

Madhav's note: Don't bother. I just threw that one in there since it was a lovely opening line. The real 4th question is the next

4. I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my ____

5. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

6. Madhav's note: This is the contents page of the book:

Prologue
Part I: The Marsten House
Ben (I)
Susan
The Lot
Danny Glick and Others
Ben (II)
The Lot (II)
Matt
Part II: The Emperor of Ice Cream
Ben (III)
Susan (II)
The Lot (III)
Ben (IV)
Mark
Father Callahan
Part III: The Deserted Village
The Lot (IV)
Ben and Mark
Epilogue


7. 1801-- I have just returned from a visit to my landlord -- the solitary neighbor that I shall be troubled with.

8. `This must be Thursday,' said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer, `I never could get the hang of Thursdays.'

9. Madhav's note: Getting the book here might be tough. Just give me the name of the author:
I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.

10. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.


Comments will be screened, by the way. The screen will be lifted after I unveil the answers. Kindly excuse.

[Update]Googling for answers is of course, frowned upon. Whats the point of a quiz if you google ? [/Update]

Monday, November 10, 2003

Two Questions


  1. Should I buy an internal or an external modem ?

  2. Whats a good price for a 56kbps modem ?



No, I do not get broadband through cable in my locality.

Friday, November 7, 2003

Remakes, remixes...aarrgggh !

Why, dammit, why ? Why is everything these days a copy ? Look at this now - a remake of Run Lola, Run, for crying out loud ! Why do we keep churning out these imitations ? Its only in India that a movie called Ssshhh... could turn out to be a remake of a movie called Scream ! Sheesh !

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Matrix Revolutions - tomorrow at Innovative Multi...

Matrix Revolutions - tomorrow at Innovative Multiplex, first day, first show ! Muhahahahahaha....

Thursday, October 30, 2003

There is a thin line between whats real and whats...

There is a thin line between whats real and whats not. I am walking that line right now.

Feeling slightly ill. Will go home early today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Customer Service at HP

My cd writer has been illiterate for some time. It used to spit out CDs as soon as they were inserted, no doubt disgusted with my pirated mp3s and divx rips. I took it to the HP service center (tucked away in Wind Tunnel Road, off Airport Road) to get it repaired. After a bumpy ride over a few craters, I navigated past a few tough looking security guys (TLSG) and a bunch of fancy cars to get to the main office.

I stopped at the reception when another TLSG called me back to the entrance where I had to enter my writer's serial number in a register. Walked back to the reception. The lady there asked me to sit down and helpfully added that my cartridge would be ready in a moment. I managed to convince her I didn't have a printer, didn't need a cartridge, all I wanted was to get my writer serviced and get the hell out of there.

Went back to work. Waited for a couple of days. Called them today.

The lady goes: "Sir, I spoke to you in the morning. This will need a Unit Level Replacement"
"No, you didn't speak to me in the morning. This is the first time you are speaking to me. And I called you, not the other way round"
"er..umm...ok"
"Whats a Unit Level Replacement ?"
"The entire part has to be replaced. Will cost you Rs 6100 sir"
"Let me get this straight. I need to pay Rs 6100 to get my writer repaired when I can buy a newer, faster, sleeker model for just Rs 2900 ?"
"Yes sir"
"Thank you very much"

Well, maybe its a good opportunity to buy a new, jazzy writer. Just hope I don't need to get it serviced after a few months

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Found Nemo

Finding Nemo is quite cute. Watched it with Sindha yesterday. I would perhaps have had a different perspective if I had seen it last year, before Rachu was born. Interesting, I think I have become a dad !

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Roger Ebert rips apart the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre here. Pretty good review, that.

I had seen the original on video three years back, found it absolutely riveting.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Movies over the weekend

You know you are getting old when you prefer Bhagban to Koi...Mil Gaya.


Koi...Mil Gaya
Ha ha ha ha.



Bahgban
Cliche factory. They keep coming one after the other, relentlessly. Minutes after the mother is forced to sleep in the servant's room, the grand-daughter wears revealing clothes and gets on her boyfriend's bike. The adopted son is more dutiful than the real kids. The daughter-in-law attends kitty parties. The son refuses to get his father's glasses repaired. Modernity vs tradition. Old vs new. Towards the end, the father wins The Booker's Prize (sic) for his debut novel, a la Arundhati Roy. I suppose the sequel will have him write essays against dams and nukes.

On the positive side, Amitabh and Hema make a brilliant pair. Moreover, it was a relief to watch a movie that didn't have songs set in New Zealand passing for Kasauli or Pyar Nagar or whatever. Sindha and I were entertained enough to continue watching till the end, unlike Koi...Mil Gaya where we fell out of our chairs laughing when Hrithik showed up on a motorbike post interval. The TV had to be switched off after that, we couldn't stand it anymore


I've been able to watch most of the latest movies thanks to the friendly neighbourhood cable guy. He's got two channels that happily air the very latest in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam. He does show English too, but its mainly the Bad Boys 2 variety which I'm not too fond of.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Vernon God Little wins Booker

This made me feel good, not really sure why. I have nothing against Monica Ali, never read her book. However it would be good to read someone non-Asian, for a change. Dirty But Clean Pierre (and thats just the author's name) sounds very promising.

The headline 'Australia-born writer wins Booker' was irritating though.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Music update

Bought quite a few cds over the past few days. There's this nice little shop in Jayanagar called Calypso which has a very good collection. Better than what I saw at Music World or Planet M.

Movies
The 39 Steps (a steal at Rs 99), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf), A Streetcar Named Desire (yes ! Stellaaaaaa !!) and When Harry Met Sally (I'll have what she is having)

Music
Strange Condition, Bent (both modern rock compilations - Travis, Matchbox 20, Sugar Ray and the like), Edward the Great (I've never heard of this album from Iron Maiden - its a greatest hits compilation, with Eddie dressed up like a king, on the cover), Everyday (Dave Mathews Band), another compilation called Heroes (featuring folks like Dylan, van Morrison, et al), Takshak and an ARR Tamil hits cd from Lahiri for Rs 42 (!).

There was an Indian Ocean cd called Jhini which I heard raving about. I didn't pick it up as I wasn't sure I'd like the music. Maybe I'll sample a few mp3s first.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

I just can't wait

to see Kill Bill. As would no doubt put it, w00t ! And Tarantino r0x0rz !! (if I got that right)

Friday, October 10, 2003

Gods, Dogs and Automobiles

Finished American Gods yesterday. Got the book from who got it from - thanks, guys ! I thought it started off pretty well but meandered towards the end. Maybe my expectations were way too high. Nice idea, though. Should try reading a few more Gaiman books.

Is there any RJ more irritating than Sunayana Lal of Radio City ? She's too sweet and bubbly for the likes of me. I'd like a bit of caffeine in my coffee, not just lumps of sugar, thank you very much.

Have been playing Led Zepp's Black Dog endlessly in my head. An amazing song - dappan kuthu ! When will I get a radio station that plays rock 24 hours a day ? There's only so much of remix I can take without puking. Maybe its a conspiracy - the music companies pay the radio stations to play indipop, thereby forcing guys like me to go out and buy music we can listen to in the car without going crazy.

Funny, there's no one whom I need to pick up from the railway station tomorrow. My car might head there automatically, though.

Oh those Aussies...!

Australia 600/5 and its not even Tea on Day two. Hayden 312 off 370 balls and going strong. He's hit some 9 sixes already.

And we are going there in a few months...this should be fun !

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Thanks for all the <a href="http://www.livejourna...

Thanks for all the wishes ! I'm having fun playing with userpics - one of the benefits of a paid account, heh heh.

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Anniversary gift

I complete two years on LJ this month. I've been using this service extensively, its transformed into part of my daily routine. Have met some very interesting people and have learnt a lot - about technology, about Bangalore, books, movies, music, yahoo, chat and what have you. Thanks to all you folks for making these two years worthwhile.

I also owe a lot of thanks to the good people who run LiveJournal. So for the first time, I'm paying for something thats available free. I've moved to a pay account for a short period. I guess this is the least I can do. Thanks, LJ !

Monday, October 6, 2003

And that was the weekend...

Blossoms, Hypnos, Samarkhand, Long Island Iced Tea, Cantonment Railway Station, City Railway Station, Inside Outside, A Statue, A Bean Bag, American Gods, Planet M, Music World, Baristas, Coffee Day, Beef, Fish, Grilled Chicken, The Usual Suspects and Criminal Conversation.

Have a safe trip back, buddy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Interesting stuff that convince me the world is becoming a smarter, better place for mankind

The wonder that is email

I get this mail from Microsoft on my yahoo account every single day, asking me to use a patch immediately. The mail is sent from the address security@microsoft.com but has a return path to admin@duma.gov.ru. I cleverly went to this website but my browser settings appear to be incompatible with whats displayed. Couldn't make head or tail of these characters. A firebird bug, very possibly.

The mail is very nice though. It reads: "Dear friend , use this Internet Explorer patch now! There are dangerous virus in the Internet now! More than 500.000 already infected!" The mail helfpully contains an attachment called patch.exe which I think I'm supposed to use to kill all these 500.000 viruses (virii ?). Man, I feel like a Terminator already.

Traffic Improvements

The traffice police in Bangalore is implementing a new policy in some roads like MG Road and Airport Road. You need to switch off your headlights while driving on these roads. I think this is a very positive move and will make driving a pleasure, comparable to playing games like say, RoadRash and Need For Speed. I was cruising along MG Road the other evening, having a wonderful time trying to separate the autos from the Qualises (Qualii ?) when the streetlights went off. There was great merriment all round - some vehicles had headlights on, some had none, others had their parking lights and a few were switching from high beam to low to off and then again back to high. All the horns were working very well, though.

Speaking of Airport Road, there is this massive roadwork going on just next to my office. A clover leaf shaped flyover (in contrast to a horseshoe shaped one, I guess) is being constructed. It takes roughly twenty minutes to cover twenty metres on a good day. Not satisfied with this, the good folks of the BDA are planning another constriction construction upstream, near the Windtunnel road junction. This is going to benefit me a lot - I get to work from home or look for a job at ITPL. Win-win.

On the other hand, some really good stuff

My parents arrive tomorrow. lands up in the evening. Mu ha ha ha !!

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Current Affairs

My current boss called me yesterday night and told me that my current title will be taken up by a person who will be my new boss. However I will continue to play the same role I've been doing currently.

This new person is an American, never worked with him before. Hmm.

In other news, Oct 2 through 7 seems to have a lot of promise. Heh heh heh.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I M INTJ

Following a link on 's journal, I find I'm an iNTj. Normally I'd scoff at these things, but there are a few lines on that page which I thought was quite applicable to me. Then again, like would probably put it, most of this stuff is generic and could fit anyone.

Ho hum.

No more Firebird

I'm switching back to IE, as predicted. Firebird is a good browser which has a few improvements over IE, but it doesn't work for me. Mainly because:

- I cannot get my intranet sites to work correctly
- My product UI cannot run on it
- I have trouble getting the MoneyControl site to render correctly
- I just cannot login into the ICICI Direct website on firebird

, thanks for the link and the info on Firebird, but I'm switching back to IE. I can live without tabbed browsing. I do owe you one for introducing me to Thunderbird, though. Coupled with Hotmail Popper, I found it to be a very neat little email client.

I might continue to use Firebird for LJ and a few other websites, but IE is returning as my default browser.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Monday, September 15, 2003

Sound bites

1. A manager at work: "When the shit hits the fan, I'm the only one left without a club"

2. The name of a new song that I heard on the radio yesterday : "Tere sang, ek simple si coffee bhi kick deti hai" (with 'tere' pronounced 'tezhe'..a trend I've noticed in most of the new hindi songs these days. Maybe thats how its pronounced really)

3. The title track of a new Malayalam movie:
"Baaaletta, baletta,
baletta, baletta,
baletta, baletta, baletta".

And in case you missed the lyrics, the second line goes:
" Baaaletta, baletta,
baletta, baletta,
baletta, baletta, baletta".

This is actually filched from a song in an IV Sasi movie of the 80s, 'Ee Naadu'. That song went:
"Go go Meenakshi, pass it on to Savithri
There is a gap up, shoot the ball !
Po po Mary John, rebound aane - sookshicho...." *

Blatant plagiarism, what !

*Any resemblance to Rasputin by Boney M is purely inspirational

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Baby update

This kid really has an attitude. She is very miserly with her smiles and doles them out only after a lot of coaxing. Picture a visitor looking at her for the first time - typical visitors are female, about 40 and bring dresses as gifts. Said visitor goes :"Rachu baby !! Agoo-goo-goo-gooo !". Our heroine lifts one eyebrow three millimetres and ignores the visitor. The tenacious sort among the visitors repeats the goo-goo routine. Rachu looks at her out of the corner of her eye ('chirayal' in malayalam) and sneers at her. She then turns her head away and mulls over the Kashmir issue. Most people give up at this point.

She can stare at the fan for hours, ruminating over how it works and its place in the grand scheme of things. She would much rather prefer looking at it than at her parents, not to mention friends and relatives. Maybe she will grow up to be an electrician. [insert 'fan' jokes here].

On the other hand, she is happiest in the morning when she wakes up, after her feed. She likes being held close to my body, happy with the warmth and comfort I guess.

Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Phew !

Shifted home - lock, stock and bharani. My body is aching and I can't get proper sleep - probably a combination of jet lag and lugging heavy packages around. Why on earth do I buy all these books ? The new house doesn't have too many cupboards, so the books are going to remain packed. We will anyway move house again in another eight to nine months. I'm not unpacking the cassettes either - hardly listen to them these days.

The house looks okay though, much better than what I had thought initially. The living room is pretty big, there's enough space for all the chairs, the tv/music system, the computer and the cradle. The bathrooms are not that great however, like most small houses in Bangalore. I need to shave by the washbasin near the dining room and the geyser is connected to a small indian-style toilet. These house owners are crazy ! *tap tap*

On a totally different note: this is worth preserving - a short bio of Mohan Lal.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Heading back

'Twas a good trip, considering. Got a lot of work done, met quite a few people out here, got invited for dinner with a few others, learnt quite a bit about the direction the company is moving in, saved a person from potential layoff and got a PDA thanks to .

But of course, it will be good to get back. There's a whole bunch of things I need to do once I get back on Monday, all coming under the heading :"Moving House".

Monday, August 25, 2003

It feels odd reading about the blasts in Mumbai s...

It feels odd reading about the blasts in Mumbai sitting half a world away. I hope this doesn't escalate into something big. I hope there are no more deaths. I hope my brother and my friends will be fine.

Dallas is hot. Its not just the heat, its the intensity of the sun which surprised me. Bhaskar took me around yesterday, we were walking from the car to a store when the sun hit me at full blast. I couldn't see clearly for a while, it was that bad. Of course, I spent most of the day indoors, so I didn't really get affected. But I think sunstroke is a definite possibility if I stay out too long.

Didn't buy anything much yesterday, apart from a moisturizing lotion for Sindha and a few chocolates. I debated over buying a PDA but didn't find anything within budget (less than $100) that I liked. Sony's Clie is an option, I guess. Lets see if I get time over the next few days to go out again. I've got a few dinner invites, one from my boss for tomorrow. Two other people who've come with me from India are ex-Dallas employees, so they know quite a few people here. I'm piling on with them when they go out, so that takes care of most of the evenings.

Need to get busy with PowerPoint. There are three day long meetings starting Wednesday. Fun times ahead.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

From <lj user="beatzo">'s post

I don't agree with the lists, but this was too much up my alley to let go


1984, George Orwell
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Animal Farm, George Orwell

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
The BFG, Roald Dahl
Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
Black Beauty, Anna Sewell

Bleak House, Charles Dickens
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
Catch 22, Joseph Heller
The Catcher In The Rye, JD Salinger

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
Dune, Frank Herbert
Emma, Jane Austen

Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
The Godfather, Mario Puzo
Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, JK Rowling
Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
His Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

Holes, Louis Sachar
I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer

Katherine, Anya Seton
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, CS Lewis
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
The Lord Of The Rings, JRR Tolkien

Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blighton
Magician, Raymond E Feist
The Magus, John Fowles
Matilda, Roald Dahl

Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
Middlemarch, George Eliot
Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
Mort, Terry Pratchett
Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
On The Road, Jack Kerouac
One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Perfume, Patrick Suskind
Persuasion, Jane Austen
The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
Pride And Prejudice, Jane Austen

The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
The Ragged Trousered Philantrhopists, Robert Tressell
Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
The Stand, Stephen King
The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
Tess Of The D'urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
The Twits, Roald Dahl

Ulysses, James Joyce
Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
War And Peace, Leo Tolstoy
Watership Down, Richard Adams
The Wind In The Willows, Kenneth Grahame
Winnie-the-Pooh, AA Milne
The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte


Godfather, The (1972)
Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)
Godfather: Part II, The (1974)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Schindler's List (1993)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Casablanca (1942)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Star Wars (1977)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Memento (2000)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Rear Window (1954)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Usual Suspects, The (1995)

Amelie (2001)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
North by Northwest (1959)
Psycho (1960)
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Goodfellas (1990)
American Beauty (1999)
Vertigo (1958)

Pianist, The (2002)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Matrix, The (1999)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Third Man, The (1949)

Paths of Glory (1957)
Fight Club (1999)
Boot, Das (1981)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Chinatown (1974)

Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
All About Eve (1950)
M (1931)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Raging Bull (1980)

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Se7en (1995)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
Wizard of Oz, The (1939)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Vita e bella, La (1997)
American History X (1998)
Sting, The (1973)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)
Alien (1979)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Rashomon (1950)
Leon (1994)
Annie Hall (1977)
Great Escape, The (1963)
Clockwork Orange, A (1971)
Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Sixth Sense, The (1999)
Jaws (1975)

Amadeus (1984)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Ran (1985)
Braveheart (1995)
High Noon (1952)
Fargo (1996)
Blade Runner (1982)
Apartment, The (1960)
Aliens (1986)
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Modern Times (1936)
Shining, The (1980)
Donnie Darko (2001)
Duck Soup (1933)

Princess Bride, The (1987)
Run Lola Run (1998)
City Lights (1931)
General, The (1927)

Metropolis (1927)
Searchers, The (1956)
Full Metal Jacket
Notorious (1946)
Manhattan (1979)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Graduate (1967)


I actually have the divx rips of Memento and The Great Escape. Haven't seen them yet. I own Crime and Punishment, haven't read it yet. I'm such a dork.

Dallas Reloaded

So here I am in the Doubletree hotel again. Talk about Deja Vu. Leaving home was exactly like the last time - Sindha, Papa, Amma, tea, 6pm, goodbyes, the drive to the airport....one big difference was that the kid was 'outside' this time round.

The flight was boring. Lufthansa stewardesses haven't changed much in the last three years. They are still the hoity-toity sorts who roll their eyes when you ask them anything in Indian English. Hmph ! I managed to get some sleep though, ignoring them. Talking to the Russian student seated beside me also helped. (Yes, she was a blonde and her name was Anna. No, not the one you're thinking of, but close)

A colleague from office and his wife were also on the same flight. They were part of the m2i (move to india) brigade that arrived a couple of years back, i2ers who were working out of the US and took up the option of shifting to India. I get irritated by a lot of the things these folks say and do while comparing India to the US. My colleague's wife stepped into a friends car at the Dallas airport and started "Oh, its such a relief to sit in these cars. I missed the sliding doors" and to her husband who was driving: "You are not in India, you need to be careful while driving". I guess I have a chip on my shoulder. I get really bugged when Indians get into this India-bashing routine in the US.

I'm hungry. The cafe at the hotel doesn't have anything really good, but I don't have much of a choice. There is no restaurant or fast food outlet within walking distance of this place. I'll call Sudha and Bhaskar later on, I don't really want to disturb them on their weekend. There are quite a few of us Blr-based i2ers staying at the hotel this week. Maybe I'll scout around and see if I can pile on with someone.

Damn, miss Sindha and the baby like crazy.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Thankfully

I don't watch sitcoms. But who the heck is Maura Tierney and why does she always play me ?

And no, oh children of google, I don't want a helpful link to http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=Maura+Tierney&btnG=Google+Search in response to this post

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Confirmed

Shit. I'm travelling via Chennai. Aug 22 night, returning on the 1st.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Pointless points


  • Completed five years with i2 yesterday

  • Rachana likes Clapton, Knopfler, AR Rehman and Yesudas. She certainly has good taste. Of course, the only other singer she's heard is me.

  • My tickets to Dallas haven't yet been fully confirmed. The one route which has a confirmed booking is through Chennai, not Mumbai. Eeks !

  • Finalized on a house to rent, over the weekend. Its no great shakes, but its the only one we liked from the dozens we saw in Whitefield. This house is still 8km away from Sindha's college, though the traffic is low on this route. On the positive side, its very close to the house we are planning to buy in Brookefields. Will shift by Sep 2 or so, once I get back from Dallas

  • Prashant is in town, looking for a job change

  • My stomach is back in action. I'm hungry, as always

Thursday, August 14, 2003

3 walls and an upset stomach

Saw 3 Deewarein yesterday. Liked it a lot. The ending is slightly far fetched and a bit too clever, but the overall tone of the film is extremely good. Very well directed. Naseeruddin Shah is excellent as usual, Jackie doesn't really have much to do but play the strong sober type and Nagesh Kukunoor and Juhi Chawla are passable. Easily Kukunoor's best film yet and one of the better movies I've seen all year. In fact, this could be the best Hindi movie I've seen all year. Felt quite satisfied after watching it yesterday.


Have been walking around with an upset stomach since yesterday morning. Not sure what caused it, but its been keeping me awake for two nights now. Have started a course of antibiotics today, didn't seem to be any other option. Hope it gets better soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

If

If I were an artist, I'd splash red paint on an inky black background.
If I were a writer, I'd write about skulls littering the marble temple floors

If I get to paint, if I get to write,
If I get to break these chains of mine

Ok, now back to the real world.

Got a mail yesterday from the CEO, titled "Keep u...

Got a mail yesterday from the CEO, titled "Keep up the good work". Doesn't do anything to lift my motivation level, sorry.

Thursday, August 7, 2003

Offsite and off the road

Organized an offsite session for the team yesterday, at Eagle Ridge. Went off pretty well. Used the six thinking hats technique and came up with a nice long list of issues and ideas.

I wanted to return home early, so hitched a ride with Narasi, a co-worker. His car broke down in the middle of nowhere, also known as Bommanahalli. We were trying to avoid the Silk Board junction and had just entered a river cleverly disguised as a road when the car stopped and refused to start. We pushed it, we pulled it, we murmured sweet nothings into its bonnet but it just dug in its heels and didn't move.

Narasi calls the Hyundai Mobile repair folks, who assure him they would reach the spot in 45 minutes. This is at 7:15pm. We get a call at 8:30 reassuring us they were on their way, they got held up at Tumkur Road. In between these two calls, we witnessed a fight between two cows who had come over to examine the car.

We decide to get a mechanic and hail a passing auto. The passing auto has a passenger who has almost passed out, drunk. He very kindly gets out and ushers us into the auto. He then proceeds to walk away without paying the driver. The driver reaches out and slaps the guy twice. The guy shouts. The driver yells back. We sit in the auto, looking at each other. Eventually they kiss and make up and the driver takes us to Hosur Road, informing us there is a service center for cars very close by. There sure is one - a Maruti service center. The car we have is a Santro.

After much coaxing, we get the Maruti repair guys to come over and look at the car. The autodriver hangs around as he has nothing better to do. Its 9:30pm now. Narasi gets a call from the worthy folks at Hyundai saying that they are very close to Silk Board junction and should be at the site any minute now. We tell the Maruti guys to hurry up. They do and get the car to start. They advise Narasi not to jerk the car as the fuel connection to the engine has a loose contact. Narasi pays them, I pay the auto guy, the cows finally get some sleep and we drive off into the moonrise.

PostScript - Narasi gave me a set of chocolates today, thanking me for sticking with him. Nice of him, really.

The deed is done !

Actually the deed hasn't been drawn yet. The agreement however has been signed by both parties and my entire savings has been handed over to a total stranger. Hopefully this stranger will build me a home in about eight months time.

Monday, August 4, 2003

Fictitious leaders

Re-reading an old book is like catching up with an old friend. You take a while to start talking, but once you do, you start feeling very comfortable and cozy. You switch off the tv, put your feet up and relax. Picking up Watership Down on Friday instead of returning to The Tin Drum was a great idea.

Started thinking about great leaders in fiction when I was midway through the book. Hazel from Watership Down is up there on the list, without doubt. Who else ? Don Corleone is perhaps more of a great manager than a leader. John Galt ? Dumbledore ? How about Atticus Finch, even though he didn't really lead many people ? Gabbar Singh could also be on the list.

Hmm.

Friday, August 1, 2003

Just came across <a href="http://www.livejournal....

Just came across this while jumping from lj friend to lj friend. Read the last comment.

Words fail me. This is incredibly sad and shocking.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Here we go again

Bloody hell ! Another trip to Dallas. For another one hour presentation !

Scenes Revealed

And here are the answers to my earlier post on movies. The spoiler warning holds good, so caveat enter !

And oh, 's comment has been unscreened



1. The scene about the bulletin board, coffee cup, etc is from The Usual Supects, directed by Brian Singer and scripted by Christopher McQuarrie. I've probably spoiled the movie already for those who haven't watched it, but I sure don't want to spoil it further. No more comments

2. The scene about Mary's beheading is from Pyscho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and scripted by Joseph Stefano, based on an original novel by Robert Bloch. Mary from the book was changed to Marion, the beheading was changed to stabbing and a few other changes were incorporated, to make this one of the most memorable movie sequences of all time. Like I said, there is enough trivia here to fill a book. Chocolate sauce, turkish melons, the censor board's complaint about Janet Leigh's nipple, Ann Dore, Marli Renfro, Saul Bass et al are keywords. Remind me to discuss all this over a beer sometime

3. Helicopters and Wagner are from Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Robert Duvall won an Academy Award for his small role here. Other famous quotes from the movie: "Saigon. Shit. I'm still in Saigon" and "The horror ! The horror !". Lastly, if you want to see what Morpheus was like when he was young and restless, watch the movie. Heh.

4. The Charley dialogue was from Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront. Or like puts it, Ghulam. Or Parinda. The actor was Brando, of course. Charley was played by Rod Steiger.

4b. My favorite. This is from Martin Scorcese's Raging Bull. Robert de Niro played the role of Jake la Motta in one of the most brilliant performances I've ever seen. This dialogue is towards the end of the movie when la Motta has fallen to performing at nightclubs, reciting from great authors.

5. was right, the last line here was a giveaway - "Well, nobody's perfect". One of the most famous last lines in movies. The film is Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot. An absolutely brilliant - and timeless - laugh riot. I think it was remade into Hindi with Rishi Kapoor. What was it called, Hera Pheri ?


6. The "Hereeeeee's Johnny!" scene is from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, based on a Stephen King novel. Jack Nicholson plays the deranged Jack Torrance who goes after his wife and son towards the end of the film. Worth a watch. I found the movie genuinely creepy.

7. The line "I'll have what she is having" is from Rob Reiner's When Harry Met Sally, scripted by Nora Ephron. This is the classic reaction line to Meg Ryan's superb illustration of how easily women can fake an orgasm. A customer seated close by, played by Estelle Reiner (the director's mother), tells the waitress ready to take her order: "I'll have what she is having". One of my favorite movies. Get hold of the script if you can't see the movie

8. Had to put a Marx Bros movie in there. This is from Duck Soup directed by Leo McCarey, in which Groucho plays Rufus T Firefly, the president of Freedonia. Many a memorable line here, but I thought these were the funniest. This has the famous mirror pantomime scene, imitated in countless Hindi movies, mostly by Amitabh. Again, get hold of the script - and try not to die laughing.


Well, that was fun !

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Hungama

Priyadarshan says Hungama is based on the Charles Dickens' play, The Strange Gentleman ! There ! I always wanted to know the inspiration behind Poochakkoru Mookkuthy, the only Priyan movie which appeared original...

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Awww...

Bob Hope didn't mean much to me. But Johnny Walker's death leaves me a little sad...

Scenic Stuff

Because I was bored, because I haven't set a quiz in a long time, because I stopped receiving quiznet mails, because I love movies:

Identify the movies from the descriptions below. These could be descriptions of scenes from a movie, dialogue or just general background to the film. There are a few spoilers, so please, please click on the lj-cut tag below only if you are a movie buff who has the confidence of having seen or at least heard about 'em all ! Then again, if you are a genuine movie buff, all of these should be sitters. The idea is not to have unanswerable questions, but to tease your brain into rememembering these moments from the movies...

1. The screenwriter wrote the scene about the police lineup first. He then wrote the bulletin board scene and then the rest of the movie, effectively written in reverse. The most famous scene has a crashing coffee cup, a bulletin board display and a fax machine taking forever to display a face. There is also a voice saying "It's all there, I'm telling it straight, I swear". The director has this to say about the scene: "It was one of those rare occasions when you could lie to an audience and because there were so many aspects to the film the audience would accept lies - it made the ending all the more exciting and powerful."

2. The original novel describes this scene with the words: "Mary started to scream, and then the curtains parted further and a hand appeared, holding a butcher's knife. It was the knife that, a moment later, cut off her scream. And her head." This ended Chapter Three. 'Nuff said, there is enough trivia about this scene to fill a whole book.

3. Helicopters swarming out of the dawn light to flatten a village. Speakers blasting out Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyries'. Surfing. Explosions. The smell of napalm in the morning. Insanity.

4. "You was my brother, Charley. You should've looked out for me a little bit. You should've taken care of me - just a little bit - so I wouldn't have to take them dives for the short-end money...You don't understand! I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. Let's face it (pause) ...... It was you, Charley."

4 b. I had asked this question on quiznet long back. The lines above were uttered by an all time great who won an Academy Award for his role. These lines were spoken again by another all time great in another great movie, who also went on to win an Oscar. Who ?

5. "I called Mama. She was so happy she cried. She wants you to have her wedding gown. It's white lace."
"Yeah, Osgood. I can't get married in your mother's dress. Ha ha. That - she and I, we are not built the same way."
"We can have it altered."
"Aw no you don't! Osgood, I'm gonna level with you. We can't get married at all."
"Why not?"
"Well, in the first place, I'm not a natural blonde."
"Doesn't matter."
"I smoke. I smoke all the time."
"I don't care."
"Well, I have a terrible past. For three years now, I've been living with a saxophone player."
"I forgive you."
"I can never have children."
"We can adopt some."
"You don't understand, Osgood. (Changing to manly voice.) I'm a man."
"Well, nobody's perfect."

6. He stalks her into the bathroom, lurches after her, saying "Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in...Not by the hair on your chinny, chin - chin...Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in!" He smashes his way into the bathroom door, with each stroke of the blade jutting through the wood, as his screaming wife watches his progress with her butcher knife poised to strike. He peers through the broken slats with an evil grin and perversely exclaims: "Hereeeeee's Johnny!"

7. "I'll have what she is having"

8. Couldn't resist this - another long one to wind up:

- Never mind that stuff. Take a card
- Card? What will I do with the card?
- You can keep it. I've got fifty-one left. Now what were you saying?
- As chairwoman of the reception committee, I welcome you with open arms.
- Is that so? How late do you stay open?
- I've sponsored your appointment because I feel you are the most able statesman in all Freedonia.
- Well, that covers a lot of ground. Say! You cover a lot of ground yourself. You'd better beat it. I hear they're gonna tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here. You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.

.. and later..

- Not that I care, but where is your husband?
- Why, he's dead.
- I'll bet he's just using that as an excuse.
- I was with him to the very end.
- Hmmph. No wonder he passed away.
- I held him in my arms and kissed him.
- Oh, I see. Then, it was murder. Will you marry me? Did he leave you any money? Answer the second question first.
- He left me his entire fortune.
- Is that so? Can't you see what I'm trying to tell you? I love you.
- Oh, your Excellency!
- You're not so bad yourself.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Money matters

Finally signed up for the house. Paid the builder a cheque that almost wiped clean my bank account . Need to pay up a similar amount by Wednesday. Scary, really. Brrr.

I'm redeeming all my mutual funds apart from a couple of bond funds that don't move much anyway. Might keep HDFC equity fund also alive as a nest egg. I've cashed in most of my stocks too - the ongoing bull run has helped me no end.

HDFC is helping out on the home loan front, but the way their EMIs fluctuate each time I talk to them is wierd. Need to have them put it in writing asap. ICICI has been dogging me too. They seem to segrate prospects linguistically. When I went to them for a car loan, they had a Malayalee talk to me. Now for the house, I initially met a Mr Mukherjee over the phone and another Mr Mukherjee in person ("He is D. Mukherjee, sir. I am R. Mukherjee"). A day later I have yet another good soul from ICICI call me up and ask, "Naattil evide aanu veedu ?". Hmm.

HDFC also wants me to give them an undated cheque for the entire loan amount, which they say they will return when I give them the original agreement papers. Eeks ! My life isn't worth that much. What the heck am I getting into here ?


A very good Sunday after a long while. Rachana was quiet and well behaved. My parents left for Kerala early in the morning. Sindha and I lazed around the house, reading and listening to music. Peace.

Not sure how Sindha can manage without anyone around at home, though. Both sets of parents are now back in Kerala. I need to get home early most days, hope I can manage that.

Started reading Ripley's Game, thanks to this reminder from 's journal. Pretty good so far, better than Ripley Underground anyway. Highsmith has a very cool, almost cold style of wrting. Ripley is one of the most interesting characters I've read.

Saw half of Cider House Rules on Zee MGM. Since Irving wrote the screenplay, the movie was quite similar to the book.Some of the characters haven't been etched out very well though. Should try to see the second half on a repeat sometime.

Shakespeare in Love has been on my vcd deck for about a week now. Watching movies is next to impossible when you have a baby at home.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Monday, July 21, 2003

God's Own Restaurant

Tried out this new restaurant at Koramangala (near Jyothi Nivas College), called Padippura. Man, its probably the best mallu restaurant I've been to. Then again, like says, aren't they all ?

This place has a buffet lunch, kerala style, for just Rs 75 ! The decor is really good and quite unlike the one-step-better-than-a-mess ones I've visited recently. Buffet menu: chicken, fish, boiled rice, white rice, avial, sambar, theeyal, thoran, mezhukku purattiyathu, chammandi, pappadam, sambharam and payasam. Burp !

In news from the email front, I switched back to hotmail from netscape. Sorry, I just had to use an id thats stable and will survive in the long run. So sue me.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Word's Worth

Madhya Nadir - Friends:

2fargon, attiring, Bangalore, beats, beer bal, betel, buoy, birdonthewire, bobbin, boondocks, brains, cal Hobbes, Charles, chitin, contented bloke, hempen, Dilbert feed, eve_l_incarnata, fleeting moments, fling, foxtrot feed, fuss, ggollerkeri, grafixgirl, Grecian urn, harish_an, thorny, its joy, jade, jackal, jayasankarvs, jessyleen, jog, kalian, kanishka_sinha, karalla, Horvath, kaka, lj_nifty, madman, mkuruvil, mom, maim, mythrandyr, nachiketj, news, novellas, oolong, ox toxic, parody, Poona, Powell, preamp, psasidhar, psyched sunshine, quark, raga, random trivia, rates, rave, relining, scherazade, sea crow, seagull_29, shankerbalan, carat, saurian, Sid carter, spykeraven, surrender, tailback, auk, evened, Vijay, hazed, yell Sonja

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Another one of those husband-wife conversations

Me: "She looks lovely, don't you think ? So cute"
She: "She's extremely ugly"
Me: "What do you mean ?!!"
She: "Just look at that scowl on her face..there ! Now she's making all kinds of faces. Look at that double chin..I'm going to call her Dudley"
Me: "Dudley who ? Dudley Do-Right ?"
She: "Dudley as in Harry Potter"
Me: ".."
She: "Now she's banging her head against my chest. Maybe I should call her Dobby instead"

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Random notes


  • The King of Torts is probably the worst book I've ever read

  • Boiled tapioca and chicken liver fry is a nice combination

  • My cd-writer cannot read and hence cannot write. Need to start a saaksharatha program soon

  • The position of the TV is the most important decision while finalizing the plan of your new house

  • Mothers can be more intimidating than mother-in-laws

  • I need a good developer for my team

  • MSN messenger 6.0 is pretty nifty

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Of promotions, houses, boys, office space and baby girls

Sindha got promoted ! There she was, moping around at home post-delivery, wondering if her job would still be there when she returned to the college. Her principal calls up yesterday evening and congratulates her on the delivery, and extends it by saying "I've recommended you for the post of lecturer" ! Now she hasn't yet seen anything in writing and is not very clear on what this 'recommending her' means, but it does look likely that she has been promoted. This is good. This means a bunch of things, the biggest of which is that we don't need to think of returning to Kerala any time soon. All right !

I've given the legal papers of the site to Biju Small, a lawyer friend of mine. The Small is to differentiate him from another Biju, Biju Large. Now Biju Large gets his name not because of his size, but from a term commonly used in relation to measures of alcohol. But I digress

I also plan to show my dad the site and if possible, take an architect friend of his along. If all the above people certify that the property is good, we will go ahead. Should be able to decide in a week or thereabouts.

ARR's Boys is good. It has a very youthful, peppy feel to it. Catchy tunes, cheesy lyrics as always. Then again, I'm getting old.

Two new additions to my divx collection - Raiders of the Lost Ark and Office Space. I haven't seen Office Space yet, but had a peek at the first 10 minutes and liked it. I can see why its supposed to be a modern cult classic (if that phrase exists).

Rachana looks set to be a mimicry artist. She makes all kinds of sounds both asleep and awake. Grunts, sighs, tuneful moans and what have you. She has an interested look on her face when I play music, especially ARR (or so I would like to believe). She also seems to mistake me for the WC; she waits the whole day for me to get home and take her in my arms, especially after I've had a bath and changed into clean clothes. Maybe its my singing to her which does it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

And a house too !

This is happening so fast I can barely believe it. Sindha and I went looking for a house to rent in the Whitefield area. We didn't find anything good and within budget, so we were on our way back when we thought of checking out a new property coming up at Brookefields. Its a set of 20 row houses, located just behind the HLL corporate office and a stone's throw away from Ryan International School. We really liked the place and found it affordable too. Met the builder on Monday and signed up by giving a token advance ! Am now getting calls from housing finance companies and talking to various people on the merits and demerits of this property.

In all likelihood, we will go ahead. Just need to get the legal part checked out (a lawyer friend will do that) and get a good deal from one of the finance companies. Citi and HDFC are offering the best rates (8.25% for a 15 year tenure) but I've heard that PSU banks like SBI are better in terms of service. Does anyone have experience here ? What would you recommend ?

Friday, July 4, 2003

Odds and Ends

Longish update, hence the various lj-cuts.


Bought a few cds the other day, but don't tell Sindha - Meesa Madhavan, Nammal, The Ragpicker's Dream and a compilation of 18 modern rock hits. The last one is pretty good, though I thought all the artistes sound very similar. I was impressed with bands like Linkin Park, GooGoo Dolls, Nickleback, etc.

Has anyone got the new Metallica album, by the way ? I saw an ad that mentioned Planet M (or was it MusicWorld) was giving away caps with each cd. I'd like to see a good review before I buy it.

All my listening gets done in the car these days, what with the baby and people around the house all the time. Sindha's sis and family are at home right now. The house has been having a steady stream of visitors for quite some time. My ma-in-law will return to Tvm on the 13th, the day my parents reach here. Achan will be in the Ashram mostly, but Amma plans to stay home till the end of July.


I'd like to move into a new apartment somewhere in Whitefield by the end of the month. Prestige Langleigh is what I have my eye on, but I heard that the rent for a 3 bedroom apt there is close to Rs 20,000, which is ridiculous. Out in the boondocks and 20k for a flat ? My budget is more in the 10-12k range. If anyone hears of a good flat in that area, please let me know. Much obliged.


I had tagged along with Kamalachitta and co when they visited a relative of Kunjachan. This chap has a son who has done pretty much the same thing as I - hooked up his pc to the music system and the tv. He had a nice collection of divx movies, mainly new ones though. I noticed two Monty Pythons (Life of Brian and the Holy Grail), seeing which I immediately asked for copies. He also had this movie called Pi which has been on my must-watch list. However I didn't get time to copy that.

The office folks continue their merry spree of downloading the latest movies. They do come up with a few good ones from time to time. I'm picking up Raiders of the Lost Ark and Bowling for Columbine from the Bombay office. Office Space was another movie that I copied over from a machine on the network here. Oh, Bandwidth !


The baby is keeping quite well. We have decided to name her Rachana as planned, despite strong resistance from the l-j community. I went to the Registration Office at Kamaraj Road to get her birth registered. I have this morbid fear of government offices. You have seedy looking characters loitering around the place, who approach you with an ingratiating smile and a promise to get the job done at a small fee. You don't know the language, you don't know which window/clerk to approach, you don't know which forms to sign. You give up and give the set of papers to the agent and pay him an exorbitant amount to get the job done. You exit with the certificate in your hand, happy to get what you wanted but guilty and embarassed over paying a bribe.

Thankfully this place wasn't anything like I imagined. I had a bit of trouble finding the location but once I went inside, it was smooth sailing. The gentleman at the desk wasn't overly friendly, but was professional and explained what exactly needs to be done. I filled up the form (in Kannada, but luckily I had a spare copy filled in earlier) and coughed up Rs 65 for the paperwork. I need to go there on Saturday to collect the birth certificate. Smooth and easy, no shady characters, no bribes. Nice.

And in case anyone's interested, here's what you need for registering a birth:
1. A certificate from the hospital
2. A couple of forms filled in, you can get this from the registration office or the SBO (Sub Health Office, or some such)
3. You should know the exact SBO to go to. The Karnataka govt has a nice website which gives details on where you need to go.
4. Rs 65
5. The name of the baby, if you want the certificate to include the name


And now for the weekend...!

Monday, June 30, 2003

OoTP isn't even TP

Finished the Harry Potter book. Didn't like it. Takes too long to come to the point, lots of unnecessary pages about how Harry feels: frustrated, fuming, various rants and raves - maybe he should have opened an L-J account. Yes, the ending is good like most of the books but that doesn't compensate for the first 600 snoozeworthy pages. What has this book done to take the story forward from HP IV ? IMO, the Goblet of Fire is the best of the lot so far.

i2 reaudit results are due to come out anytime. Fingers crossed. And the re-org is going to happen - I'm due for another change of boss. *sigh*

Friday, June 27, 2003

Now this is a great article on great movies

http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/greatmovies/first100.html

Note to self - should resume the non-baby posts

This new movie - Italian Job - sounds interesting. I'm a sucker for crime capers anyway. Also on the list - Finding Nemo and Hulk.When can I get to see them, though ?

The Phoenix has landed. Managed to read the first 100 pages yesterday night. Looks good, looks good. Need to get the new Artemis Fowl book too - The Eternity Code. When can I get to read them, though ?

Damn. The non-baby posts also turn out to be baby posts.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Baby stuff - be warned !

First, thanks a million for all the wishes. Megha seems to be the name of choice for most l-jers. Actually most people I know prefer Megha to Rachana. However...Rachana seems to fit, somehow. Kichan and Sindha have already started referring to her by that name. So even though the jury is still out, inside sources reveal that Rachana Madhav is very likely to be the eventual winner

GK Vale screwed up my photo cd ! The pics arrived as hard copies yesterday but the jpgs cannot be read ("Can't read file header !"). Damn. Need to go shout at them and get this resolved. Too many folks - relatives and friends - waiting for the pics.

The baby wakes up every hour on the dot at nights. Sindha and I are having a lovely time. The sequence goes like this:

1. "Waaa-haa-waaa-haa"
2. Cotton, warm water, new nappies, baby powder.
3. Soiled nappies go into two buckets - one for the ..er..#1 and the other for #2 (or both #1 and #2)
4. Feed starts, wait for some time
5. Burp. Wait. If "Waaa-haa-waaa haaa" then repeat step 4
6. Back in cradle, parents back in bed. zzzz.
7. "Waaa-haa-waaa haaa"...and so on.

I'm back at office, catching up on email and struggling to stay awake.

Crib of the day: Indiatimes hasn't shipped The Book yet. Why am I not surprised ? Sent them a stinker. Maybe I should have gone to fabmart like I used to.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Baby girl !

Sindha delivered a baby girl at 8:15pm on Friday, the 20th of June. Both mom and daughter are doing fine. The daddy, too.

I'll put up a detailed post later - suffice to say that the last three days have been extremely hectic and a bit tense. She went for her regular checkup on Wednesday evening. The doc found that her BP was high and promptly admitted her into Chinmya Mission Hospital. We waited for a day without doing anything and another day with Sindha in labour. High BP, some minor bleeding and a scan that revealed that the baby had the umbilical cord around her neck forced the doc to go in for a Ceasarian section. Luckily everything went smoothly after that and the baby was delivered without any problems. Both sets of parents were here, which was good too.

Sindha is tired and a bit weak. She expects to be discharged by Tuesday. The kid is keeping us awake at night, as expected. Haven't yet finalised the name, but its most likely to be either Rachana or Megha. I'll put up pics when I get a chance

How do I feel ? I don't know, really. It hasn't yet sunk in, I guess. However it felt good to be with Sindha and the baby, cuddling together and looking into each other eyes.

We are three now.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Falling flat..

Remind me not to attempt being funny again. I just don't have the knack for it. And hey, if anyone's going to click on that link, Matrix SPOLIERS in the comments! Be warned !

, smileys are essential !

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Reloaded indeed !

I liked the first one better, frankly. But this movie had the most amazing chase sequence I've ever seen. Cut the philiosophical clap-trap and its definitely worth a watch. The action sequences are mind blowing.

And yes, I think I did understand what was happening. The bearded dude at the end was Neo's father, right ?

Friday, June 13, 2003

Reloading today

6:30pm. Balcony tickets to Matrix Reloaded. Muhahahaha....!

Septic Spam

This just landed in my Inbox:

Dramatically Increase the Life and Effectiveness of your Septic System

Try Septic Cleaner for Free by Clicking Here

You'll keep your septic system free flowing as SPC breaks down large waste materials into smaller particles and liquids so that they pass quickly through your septic system


Just what I always wanted

Monday, June 9, 2003

Name Game - latest results

Mythili is leading, closely followed by Rachana, Megha and Nandita.

The boys section is lagging behind, mainly due to a strong feeling from the mom-to-be that its a girl. The only names in contention are Manav and Siddharth (common, but the name I like the most).

Thanks a whole bunch for all your suggestions, good people of L-J. Sindha and I spent half of Saturday mulling over the list.

On the work front, I think I've played my cards right. Time will tell.

Thursday, June 5, 2003

The big question

To be, or not to be: that is the question. Should I suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune ? Or should I take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them ?

Hmm...

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Name game

Rachana, Megha, Keerthana. Manav, if its a boy. But then Manav Madhav doesn't sound too good.

Maneka Gandhi's book isn't helping any. We have reached the stage where we think Pinky is a better name than any of those mythological ones. Ghatotkacha is out. So is Avalokitheshwari.

Suggestions ?

Monday, June 2, 2003

The week that was

Phew, that was one tiring week ! Govind arrived on Monday, Sindha's cousin Vivin and his father turned up on Thursday evening. Kichan reached here on Saturday morn and Achan today. The last few days were spent ferrying people from one place to another. Covered CV Raman Nagar, Jayanagar, JP Nagar, Malleswaram, MG Road, Airport, Cantt Station...both Sindha and I are exhausted. Slightly scary - if a small crowd can drive us nuts, I can't imagine what would happen if the entire khandaan came over. And they might too, what with the baby due in another month...

But hey, its fun to have guests at home, too !

Wandered into Music World the other day and bought Woodstock - The Director's Cut, Mad Max, Citizen Kane and Sarfarosh (Kichan's choice). My movie collection grows. Now if only I had the time to watch all of them...Also picked up Best of MTV Unplugged 2, which turned out to be not as good as the first. Wanted to buy Mark Knopfler's The Ragpickers Story but decided to sample a few of the songs first. Need to download them from somewhere.


Have almost decided to exit the Reliance scheme. Two main reasons:

1. The coverage at MVJ Medical College where Sindha works, is pathetic. They say it could be because that part of town is under Hoskote circle. They also say she can easily enable coverage at Hoskote by dialing *444. And oh, it costs Rs 10/day to do this.
2. STD calls to Kerala will cost Rs 4/minute, out of which only 40ps comes out of our monthly payout. We will get an extra bill for Rs 3.60/min each month.

Exiting the scheme before 90 days would result in a loss of Rs 3000, which is a non-refundable deposit. If I exit after 90 days (next week), I need to pay Rs 3000 + Rs 40/month for the number of months remaining till the 3 year period.

What the hell. Airtel is the best option, IMO. Fellow LJ-ers, please don't go in for the Reliance scheme unless you are sure you won't travel outside the circle and you don't use STD (to landlines) much.

West Indies win the last three !

Hurrah !!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Of brothers and cooks

Guess what, Kichan gets a call from MBT after 2 years ! They had made him an offer during campus placements in 2001, which they withdrew later on, stating bad business conditions. One of his friends contacted them recently as she had heard they were hiring. They resonded asking her to join and to let her friends know. So our man mails them and gets a fast response, asking him to join on June 2 in Mumbai for training ! The stipend during the 3 month training period is very low, much lower than what they had promised initially. But at least he has a job in his hand right now.

He will be coming to Blr on Saturday. I'm putting him on the 700am flight to Mumbai on Sunday morning. , do you have any VIPs to receive on that day ?


Finally got a cook ! 's cook appeared yesterday and after a short round of negotiations, started work immediately. Sindha is now feeling guilty over having a cook and a maid to do household chores which she believes she should handle herself. Right.

Govind arrived yesterday. Sindha's cousin and uncle will arrive on Thursday evening. Kichan should be here on Saturday morning. The burning question on our minds right now - where will everyone sleep ???


Finished Owen Meany and started The Tin Drum. Read Ed McBain's Romance in between. Owen Meany is definitely good, but I still think Garp and New Hampshire are Irving's best. The Cider House Rules isn't bad either, but I'd place it fourth on the list, just behind Meany.

Saw the four animatrix shorts yesterday. Didn't really figure out what the big deal was. Only the Reniassance ones seemed to be relevant. Oh well, I'll need to wait till June 13 at least, I guess.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Friday, May 16, 2003

Homeward bound

My credit card problem finally got resolved. Used it today morning to check out of the hotel, so Rick's card didn't get charged. That was a relief !

Finishing up stuff at work here. Did an interview of a person looking to join i2 and move back to India. Had a few other meetings and a very interesting lunch discussion with i2's first employee. Met quite a few folks whom I had worked with earlier, either through email or over the phone. Its nice putting faces to names.

Spoke to in the afternoon. Thanks for all the help/advice and the invite to Canada ! Will take you up on it sometime. Called up too, it was good to talk to him after so long.

Bhaskar will pick me up in the evening and then we'll head over to Sudha's place. Need to stop by at a store and pick up the bare essentials - chocolates for the office, home and friends. I would also like to at least browse through a few electronic thingamajigs and see whats cheap and good. A Palm maybe ? A digicam ? Don't think I'll buy any of them but it might be good to browse through stuff, if I have the time. Or rather, if Bhaskar/Sudha have the time.

So the trip comes to an end. If Sindha had been here, I would have liked to stay on and roam around the US a bit. Maybe another time. Right now its back to Bangalore ! Yeah !

Thursday, May 15, 2003

The credit card saga is getting curiouser and cur...

The credit card saga is getting curiouser and curiouser. Called up the good folks at Citibank twice today (Sandeep had called them up twice yesterday too, from Bangalore). They claim - "101%, sir" - that my card is perfectly fine and has a healthy credit limit. Yes, they do see the 6 rejections but thats due to network errors from Visa. Its a Visa problem, not a Citibank problem. Do they have a Visa number for me to use and scream at someone ? No, they don't. So what do I do next ? Imitate King Bruce and keep trying till I succeed. *sigh*

Have a couple of meetings and an interview tomorrow. Plan to meet up with Sudha and Bhaskar in the evening. I'll probably check out of the hotel tomorrow morning and stay at Sudha's place in the night.

Went out for lunch with a few of the ex-team members. It felt a bit bizarre. The last time I was here, I was the odd man out. I was the guy from out in the boondocks, trying to learn the product and transition work to some place called Bangalore in India. Right now I own the product, the entire team is over in Bangalore and the folks who were originally part of the team and have not been let go are scattered around working on different things, uncertain of their future. Sad, really. I'm sure this is happening at a lot of American companies who are moving stuff to India.


The stock market seems to have picked up. Managed to offload my IOB stock at a small profit. Hero Honda and Aventis Pharma have both shot up the charts, boosting my net worth. Ditto Canara Bank and SBI. I just need to get rid of my SAIL and Infy stock for my portfolio to look healthy.

The Matrix Reloaded appears to be all sound and fury, signifying nothing. At least thats the impression I got from the Rediff review and from 's post. Fantastic action sequences, huh ? I can't wait.

My travel bag overfloweth with dirty laundry. How do I get space for stuffing in chocolates ? Thats all I intend to buy, really. I would have liked to get a digital camera, a palm pilot, some shoes and stuff for Sindha, etc. But maybe next time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Back in Dallas after a few adventures. Executive ...

Back in Dallas after a few adventures. Executive Summary:

  • The presentation was just about ok. There were very few customers to attend and their response was fairly lukewarm. Better than having things thrown at me of course, but I would have liked them to show a bit more interest.

  • Gambled and lost $45 at the Vegas casinos. , hope you are happy

  • My credit card refused to work when I came back to the hotel in Dallas. Luckily managed to get hold of a co-worker (an ex-boss really) who pulled out his card and saved the day.




Vegas was exactly how I imagined it would be, after hearing about it from many people. Its basically a bunch of casinos in the middle of a desert. The cab driver who picked me up at the airport mentioned that farming is the number one industry in Vegas. "Have you heard of cash crops ? Well, thats what we farm - cash".

Each of the big casinos/hotels have a central theme. Ceasar's Palace looks Roman, the Venetian (where I stayed) imitates the look of Venice and has a lot of Michaelangelo-like paintings, Treasure Island looks very pirate-y, etc. I walked down Las Vegas boulevard in the night - they all looked great lit up.

I tried the slot machines at The Venetian. Won a bit initially, which of course spurred me on. Lost about $40 when I called it quits. Lost an additional $5 at the airport in a last ditch attempt to at least break even. Oh, well. Was fun, though.

My hotel in Dallas first didn't give me a room as they said they were full. This in spite of me confirming with them that I would be back by today. Finally they gave in, but I got stalled again when my credit card stopped working. Had to run to office and pull out Rick, who used his personal card. Phew ! Had a scare. Still worried really. What if someone at the hotel had used the card (they had the number) and overshot the credit limit ? !!

Two more days at the Dallas office and I fly back on Saturday. Yesss !

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Leaving on a jet plane

But I don't want to go !! Want to kick in my heels and refuse to budge.

Am starting on this Odyssey today evening. First stop, Bombay. Then the blasted de Gaulle airport. Then Cincinatti. Then Dallas. Then Vegas. Dallas. Atlanta. de Gaulle. Bombay. Bangalore.

Damn ! At least it gets over in a week.

On the good news front, met Beladev after six years. He is in town for just a day, staying with his brother at Madivala. He looks the same, though struggling with a goatee right now (he's on vacation). His son looks very much like him and appears to be quite a handful. , he didn't get any mail from you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Who wants to be a millionaire ?


Dear Friend,

I am Mrs. Rosetta Kambia wife to the late Chief Kenneth Kambia from Sierra Leon. I am writing you in absolute confidence primarily to seek your assistance to transfer our cash of twenty-five Million united states Dollars ($25,000.000.00)now in the custody of a private Security trust firm in Europe. the money is in trunk boxes deposited by my late Husband.

Source of the money:

My late Husband Chief Kenneth Kambia , a native of Mende District in the Northern province of Sierra Leone, was the General Manager of Sierra Leone Mining co-operation (S.L.M.C.) Freetown . According to my Husband, this money was the income accrued from Mining Co-operation's overdraft and minor sales.this money could not be put to use as a result of the civil war between the rebels forces of Major Paul Koroma and the combined forces of ECOMOG peace-keeping operation that almost destroyed my country, following the forceful removal from power of the civilian elected President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah by the rebels.before the escalation of this war, My Husband had already made arrangement for I and my two children to be evacuated to Ivory coast with the CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT he made with a security firm in Europe through the aid of U.N evacuation team.

During the war in my country, and following the indiscriminate looting of Public and Government properties by the rebel forces, the Sierra Leone mining cooperation Was one of the targets(just as my husband suspected) and it was destroyed. My husband including other top Government functionaries were attacked and killed by the rebels in November 2000 because of his relationship with the civilian Government of Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.

As a result of my husbands's death , and with the information we got that the rebels are out for us, the burden became too much for me to handle coupled with the ill health of my daugther(she died in the process as i could not afford her decent medical care. Our only hope now is the boxes deposited with the Security Firm.

I cannot claim these boxes myself due to reasons i would explain to you in subsequent emails,if you signify your interest.

To this effect, I humbly solicit your assistance in the followings ways.

1. to assist me claim this boxes from the security Firm.
2.open an account with a bank in europe where the money would be lodged through the help of the security firm presently keeping the boxes.
3.once the money is in your possession and has been successfully lodged in a bank,you will assist me and my surviving son travel to your country to start a new life and transfer the money back to our care.

For your assistance, I am willing to give you 15% of the total amount for your effort and another 5% to cover all the expenses that may incur during the business transaction, Lastly, I urge you to keep this transaction strictly confidential as no one knows our whereabouts.

Please as you show your willingness, Forward your full name,and Telephone/ Fax numbers, to me via this email address(rosettakambia20@netscape.net). earnestly awaiting your response.

Thanks.

May God bless you as you assist us.

MRS. ROSETTA KAMBIA.

Monday, May 5, 2003

Alive

Survived the flu, was pretty bad on Saturday though. Reported for work today.

Might leave early - my throat is still sore and I have this irritating cough...

Friday, May 2, 2003

Down with fever

Not at work. Replicating office mail from home is such a pain ! Why do people send huge attachments when they don't need to ? Why do morons on the mailing list list then hit 'reply-all' , including the attachment in their reply ?

This isn't helping my fever any.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Sunday


The Resort

This place is about 35 km from Bangalore, on the route to Mysore. The idea was to chill out in the pool, play cricket, badminton, table tennis, squash and whatever tickled our fancy. 18 of us turned up, including three spouses and one cousin. (Came to know later that the cousin was actually the CFO of a company, which probably explained why he brought along the Economic Times for the trip and didn't play anything apart from Scrabble)

Up early on Sunday

The bus drive was irritatingly slow and ardous both ways, mainly because the bus seemed to have just two gears - the first and second. It refused to switch to higher gears and simply didn't acknowledge that it could move in reverse. It took a lot of coaxing from the driver and the navigator before it agreed to chug its way up the road to Eagleton.

In the bus

Once there, we started on cricket and then moved to the pool. Cricket was good fun, the match ended in a tie between the two teams we had formed. Pool-time involved walking on the pool floor, throwing a ball around and splashing water on everyone else. Sindha spent a bit of time throwing a frisbee and then switched to scrabble

Sindha and others at Scrabble

Lunch was pretty good, which forced us to take a small nap afterwards. There was a tree strategically located so that its shade spread on the grass, giving us enough room to lie down and sleep. Played a bit of frisbee after that followed by a short round of badminton, on Sindha's insistence.
Rare pic of Madhav playing

We were dead tired by the time we reached home. But the day was fun.