Thursday, December 18, 2008

To no one in particular and everyone..

I don't think I'm being understanding enough..sigh, I really really wish I could, and I do try, you know that. I'm truly sorry.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Idiot Box at its Idiotic Best

So I've been drowning my sorrows in reality, comedy and lifestyle TV :) In the past 3 days, I've watched the following:
  1. America's Next Top Model: Very interesting show, bitchy as usual. The women are all rather ugly, the slightely pretty ones have no character and there are some really entertaining moments! All of them have issues with everything. Highly recommended!
  2. Ballroom Boot Camp: Its a sweet kinda show, it picks out three women who can't dance and allows them to 'discover themselves' by learning some dance form, which they have to present in the end. There's some nice dancing involved, but there's not too much bitching (which is the best party). See it if you have nothing else to do.
  3. The Fabulous Life: One seriously awesome show! Today's episode was on 'Young, hot Hollywood". The Lindsday Lohan, Paris Hilton, Olsen Twins types. The narrator or whatever he's called is really good with his super sarcy (somtimes overdone) voice. Other awesome episodes include the one on 'Celebrity Wives' and 'Celebrity Relatives'! You must totally watch this at some point :)
  4. Project Runway: Another show that I've grown to love, Heidi Klume is at her dumb best, the designers and their sliming is always fun to watch and some of the designs are actually really good. Another show in this category is Shear Genius about hairstylists, but I haven't seen it for a while.
  5. Great Hotels: I like this show for its host Samamtha Brown. She's warm, humorous and fun and has nice interesting observations about the hotels she stays in. And the hotels are gorgeous of course, the presidential suites are jaw-droppingly awesome and you wish you could stay there. Sigh, may be some day.
  6. Saturday Night Live: its funny in parts though sometimes the humour is very localised (in jokes about American icons and all) and slapstick. They usuallt pick hosts and the entertainment I've seen so far is Christina Aguilera and Kanye West, so I'm not so sure about that...But its good time pass.
  7. Nigella's Feats: of course, I've saved the best for the last. Her recipies vary from interesting and innovative (ice cream cake!) to "oh what a scam" (bread and milk..excuse me!!) to "oh those are a LOT of carbs makin' their way into mah system" (I've lost count of the numbe of these). But some of the most effective camera work I've ever seen, everything looks oh so tasty (not to mention the host herself for most men). My favourite of the lot :)
Another bunch of recommended shows, which I haven't seen in a while though are My Super Sweet Sixteen (this is entertainment at its best!!) and Million Dollar Agents (about a real estate firm that deals with celebrity clients. Its funny cuz of the eccentric owner of the firm).

I think its fitting to end this post with a cool description of Paris Hilton's new chopper:
"So Paris got like this totally awesome chopper, which is like hot pink...and encrusted with swaross-ski crystals! And its so cool cuz its got this really wack video i-Pod attached. AND the top of its petrol tank doubles as a compac mirror!!! Now that's totally hot!!"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Aaah Paris

No matter what I say, I can never get tired of this city...It always has something new to offer (this time it was a whole new look for the Eiffel Tower). Time moves on and yet the city seems unaffected, always enchanting, always exciting, always beautiful.
During World War II, General von Cholitz was ordered by Hitler to destroy all monuments of Paris but refused to do so. God bless him!

Nothing but a Tune

There are those songs and then there are those songs. The types that strike you suddenly while playing randomly on your playlist. The types you come across in a movie which impact you more than the movie itself. The types that get buried in the B-sides of albums, lost to the more superficial world of glittering singles and music videos. And the types which are simply too old to be paid any attention to! Here are a bunch of those striking songs that I have come across in the recent past. Have a listen and tell me what you think! (For some reason, I'm unable to embed the videos, so I am posting the links).

I Dig Love - George Harrission
Bob Dylan was undoubtedly the creator of the most enigmatic music. But someone who in my opinion can actually come close to his stature is George Harrison. While the innovations of The Beatles were of a playful and outrageous variety, Harrison worked on these techniques and moulded them extremely effectively to a level of music that can only be called intriguing. Behind the lovable and straight-forward facade of 'My Sweet Lord', his album 'All Things Must Pass' contains a bunch of highly interesting songs. 'I Dig Love' is my pick of the lot. The lyrics on first glance evoke another happy-go-lucky Beatles number:
I dig love
I dig love
I dig love
Hm, I dig love in the morning
I dig love in the evening
I dig love and I want you to know I dig love
The tune to the song however is strange, it sounds ironic and skeptical (don't ask me how, it just does). It seems to move up and down representing varying levels of enthusiasm in a relationship. And these same lyrics are sung in a deadpan, indifferent manner. At the end of the song, you don't know whether its supposed to be about a man who's in love with the idea of love but never found it...or a man who's felt it so many times that he doesn't care anymore. Harrison then adds another random lyrical twist in the next verse, singing 'I love dig' with the same above lyrics instead. Again you're confused as to what he's trying to say and wonder whether he's just playing with those who are jobless enough to interpret his lyrics (kind of 'I Am the Walrus'-esque). Whatever be the case, its one song that has stayed in my head after just one listen..certainly one of the most interesting songs I've heard.

Little April Showers - Some Amazing Choir..from the movie Bambi
A rather radical departure in genre you might think, but that's the power of music. It can move you in any form if you appreciate it enough. This song is in my opinion one of the greatest achievements in choral singing. It is picturized in the movie 'Bambi' on Bambi the young deer's first experience with a thunderstorm. Its introduction into the movie, the synchronization with the various images represented, the amazing vocal effects which convey the sense of a high speed gale, the layering of the harmonies...I have not heard a more perfect song in a very long time! Even more impressive is the speed at which the song is sung. The singers (God bless them, whoever they are) have still managed to get their timing and coordination perfectly. They would have had a lot of retakes I'm sure, but still..this song is definitely one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard...a song that can actually be described as 'pretty'. (for those interested, the musical score of Bambi is quite a marvel by itself)

Loveless Love - Billy Holiday
This would fall in that category of songs too old to be remembered, except perhaps Billie Holiday fans and some American old timers. But 'Loveless Love' is a song that is both suited for and way ahead of its times. In its lyrics, 'Lady Day' paints a picture of a cruel, heartless world which has become used to 'souless soul' and wishes she had 'wings like a aeroplane' so that she could fly away from it. Its a song that must have undoubtedly rung true during those war stricken times of the 30s the 40s and its lyrics have relevance even today. Because, while in those times there was still some hope, some positive feeling that after this war, there would be no others, these current times seem pretty hopeless (Don't they? Or is that just what I think). The music is poignant and melancholy and Holiday sings with feeling and a yearning totally 'hits the spot'.

Love Reign O'er Me - The Who
When you think of over-the-top emotional songs, your mind probably goes to Meatloaf or Whitney Houston type people. But The Who surprisingly has made a rather effective contribution to this genre, the pricipal differnece being, its not about love..and its a masterpiece of rock opera. The song is the last to appear in the album 'Quadrophenia' and talks about the hero 'cleansing his soul' as it were, in the rain on a rock in the sea. Everything in this song seems designed to convey the raw emotion and desperation of a man who is disillusioned and finds his world shaken, the things he held dear snatched cruelly from him. Roger Daltry delivers a bravado vocal performance letting his voice frequently crack while singing and Keith Moon as always goes crazy, pounding the drums to signify on one end, the crashing of waves on the sea-shore, the crash of thunder and the hero's own frustration. Pete Townsend's orchestral arrangements are once again fantastic; he uses horns and violins to give the whole song a feel similar to an operatic climax. Never have I heard a song more designed to make an impact, and that it certainly does!

There are many other songs, but these are the ones which came to me first and have hence affected me the most. The experience of finding a gem of a song on your playlist is exciting and enriching , it constantly serves to reaffirm the fact that the world of music is indeed vast, most of its territories uncharted. It lets you know that, no matter how much you may have heard, there's always something out there that eludes you...a piece outside your preferred genre that is worth a listen, a song that defined songs of its genre for generations to come...another tune that captures your imagination in fascinating ways. Music is undoubtedly the loveliest creation of man (apart from the Eiffel Tower) and I would say, his single redeeming factor.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And after all, we're all just ordinary men

Us, and them
And after all, we're all just ordinary men
Me and you
God only knows its not what we would choose, to do

Rick Wright was after all an ordinary man like all the rest. He had to pass away. But he has immortalized himself, in the haunting keyboard melodies that were an essential part of Pink Floyd's music. To say that he made Pink Floyd what they are, icons of progressive and psychedelic rock, would be a gross understatement. Here's to the man who in my opinion possessed the most soulful voice of the band and wrote/ sang some of my favourite songs of their's (Great Gig in the Sky, Us and Them and Echoes). He will be sorely missed....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Common Tie of Womanhood

Being a part of the feminine species has always been a rewarding and entertaining experience. The the only thing possibly better than being a woman would be..chocolate. (Cliched? Oh well).
I will however comment in this post on one particular aspect of womanhood that I just love i.e. the ability for us to overcome all our issues, differences, bitchiness, shyness, whatever when the other member of our species...loses weight! Believe me, it is an extremely interesting and exciting phenomenon. As you all might be knowing, I have successfully managed to effect a dramatic change in my waistline (if I may say so), of late. The reactions it provoked were quite fantastic. Firstly at my gym, two ladies who had thrown me general 'oh-here's-one-of-those-young-upstarts-with-headphones' looks in the first two weeks of my gymming career opened their hearts to me towards that later period. One lady told me about her son who was in engineering and how he was finding hostel hard and so on and so forth, after commenting on my grit and determination on the treadmill and how remarkable my progress was. Another lady told me about how she used to have an acne problem (acne is also a good conversation topic) and how she used some very effective cream and how I should also use it, following which she congratulated on my butt reduction techniques. It was most delightful.

Of course the widespread reactions in college have been amazing. I knew whispers followed me as I passed but I was bombed when one senior came and asked me how I lost weight and said "I heard that you were following this one diet.." I mean, wow! There are rumours doing the rounds about which diet I followed. And then there was the random LLM lady who kindly commended me on my efforts. The number of people who I have never spoken to who have come and asked me for tips, advice, blessings etc. is quite mind numbing!

Weight loss is a most effective bridge to any communication gap. Had Hitler and Churchill been women, Churchill would have just had to knock off a couple of those pounds and the two of them would have been chilling together in some sauna room somewhere discussing the benefits of low carbs versus micro-biotic diets. And World War II might never have happened, think about it!

I don't know if feminists will agree with this post..I don't know even if I am sanctioning the objectification of women herein. But I do know that everything stated in the above lines is absolutely true and that's why I simply love being a woman!

Monday, August 4, 2008

La Vie En Rose

I am right now listening to Edith Piaf. I can't understand a word she's singing, my knowledge of French is limited to a few catch-phrases and a basic understanding of phonetics. But I love her melodies, basic and singable yet beautifully and soulfully constructed. And of course the voice and the way in which they are sung! Whether the song is a celebration of love or Paris or a lament, the emotion is conveyed with grace with an underlying sense of poignancy indicating that everything is transient and passing anyway. The songs bring to mind, with an ever aching heart, the sunlit streets of Paris, walks down the boulevards and waltzing in front the Eiffel Tower to lilting tune of the accordion...Highly recommended for late night listening!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The City of Dreams: Part 1

I shall finally tell you about my stay in Bombay, this being the first in a series of entries. Bombay is one big obstacle course. Everything is systematically designed to make your life tougher. The population is too much, its really dirty, the rains clog up the roads and tracks, the trains are madly crowded, the women in the trains are pure evil, the weather is so humid that you never feel clean entirely...this and I am sure there are several other things people can come up with. But Bombay is beautiful, it grows on you and once you leave, you are practically addicted to the city and its spirit. I can't wait to get back.

When I first came to Bombay in class 8 or so (I used to live there as a baby apparently, but I don't remember jack), I was very fascinated. Mainly because I didn't know that cities with sky scrapers existed in India. Bombay's tall buildings and the dramatic curve of Marine Drive seemed to open up a world of possibilities and dreams, a thought that many before me had voiced. When I came this time, excited about the prospect of living there, slightly worried because I had no fixed place to live yet and rather apprehensive about the rains, I confess I didn't like it all that much. The place was too crowded, the weather really sucked, everyone hurried too much and there seemed to be no time to just slow down and talk and to top it all, the rains made the whole place even more wet and dirty. By the third day, I was whining about how I wanted to get back. And yet subconsciously, I was falling in love with the place. I loved the sea breeze, I loved the trains although I almost got smothered in them and my morning bath was rendered useless by the time I emerged from them, sweaty and disheveled, I loved the spirit of the people and I loved the fact that there was so much to do there. So I waited for the moment where I could get a bit free and tramp around. Any enthu traveller will agree that a safe city with a good public transport system is tourist heaven and walking is the only way to explore areas and I am a firm believer in this. So I gave in to my touristy urges, put on my trusty crocs and set off in my characteristic fashion without a map and any clue where I wanted to go! Recorded below are a few of my experience, as a tourist and as a 'Mumbaikar':

A Crowded Train from Lower Parel:
This was to be my day of unfavourable encounters with the public transport system, even if it happens to be on the better side. On my fourth day, I was asked by my office people to go to Lower Parel to meet a guy who could tell me more about my job. I liked my office..all the people there were good fun and drank beer and all the women called each other 'babes'. It was in short, a place I would enjoy :) So went to Lower Parel and finished my meeting and tried to catch a cab to the Lower Parel station, from where I could catch a train to Bandra where I lived. However, no cab was willing to take me and I concluded that the station was close by. I was hesitant to ask anyone as everyone looked so busy and pre-occupied. Then I spotted a crowd of 30 to 40 people heading in one direction and decided to follow them. Let my empahsize that these people looked like the types who'd finished a day's work and wanted to go home. Sure enough, I found myself walking into the station about 10 minutes later, with the added advantage of now knowing where the Lower Parel station was and how I could get to High Street Phoenix (a large mall) from there. I then boarded the terribly crowded train to Bandra. Now this train's compartment contained the by far worst crowd I had ever encountered in my whole life. The world's population plus the population of a few minor planets seemed to be crammed into that space. To top it off, I didn't know the station before Bandra and had no idea when I should start making my way to the door. A lot of women scolded me because I was invariably in their way. When the Bandra station came I began to push though I was rather far behind, trying to squeeze my way out but there was no way past those women. When I finally reached the door, the time for people to dis-embark had passed and women started getting on the train and pushed me back in. For good measure, they also yelled at me. With a lot of 'fuck you's and 'fat bitch's muttered under my breath, I manage to stay put at the door somehow and get off at the next station which was Khar Road. I then took a train back to Bandra. At Bandra station, I was further greeted with cold and contemptuous stares from auto drivers when I told them the adress of my dwelling place. I don't know why all auto-drivers say no with this oh-my-god-why-do-you-want-to-go-there-its-way-below-my-dignity-to-take-you-there expression. So i asked nearly 20 auto-drivers if they would go..some of them smirked at me, some of them made impatient noises and some of them shook their head as if my locality was abhorrent and foul. I also waited feebly for the bus, which never came. Of course during all this time it had been raining and the whole place was smelling of fish and urine, neither very pleasant. I finally walked back feeling very sorry for myself but also strangely elated that I had managed to negotiate all that. I soon evolved a strategy to tackle local trains, after observing one lady who elegantly weaved her way to the crowd that day. I am happy to say it worked beautifully and I will share it with you:

  1. My strategy works on the hypothesis that local train crowds operate in convection current. People get in at stations and move towards that center, pushing out the people on the edge. So the key is to finally get to the people on the edge as it is the law of nature that you will then keep getting pushed out till you are actually at the door when your station arrives.
  2. About three stations before, starting pushing slowly towards the door. Ask people where they are going and if they are going to a station further than you, move ahead of them. Wait for one station to come. As people out of the train, slowly edge and I mean edge (unless you wanna get screamed at) you way to the door. Stay inconspicuous. Most of the women will move to the center and you will find yourself moving towards the door rather automatically and not even of your own accord! If everything goes according to plan, you will reach the door in time of your stop and will again be pushed out by the crowd of impatient women behind you.
  3. Just to add, in order to get into the train you need to..push....push....PUSH!
Trains Generally:
Apart from that one experience, I quite delighted in taking the trains. Certainly the most enjoyable experience is traveling on the footboard, though I was warned not to do it. Feeling the wind on your face, whipping up your hair, with the thrill of electricity pylons and other trains that zip past you without quite touching you is pretty amazing. I also found watching the approach of a train a particularly surreal experience (I guess I was just looking for cheap thrills). Its almost un-scientific, the way a train approaches the platform or another train so silently and stealthily and then suddenly, it becomes this whirlwind of noise and colour, whooshing past you...and then equally suddenly, there is silence only punctuated by the occasional blast of the horn. I know the Doppler effect deals with this phenomenon but it never ceases to endlessly fascinate me. Having said this, I traveled by trains as much as I could..the further my office sent me on errands, the better. The Bombay local train system is no doubt a supreme human achievement with respect to connectivity and engineering. It brings with great ease, all parts of the huge city within 20 -30 minutes of each other..I know there is a London Underground and so on and so forth but in terms of sheer traveling pleasure, entertainment and joy this system is incomparable!

Coming up next...some actual sightseeing!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Watch it

Lots to write about but pressing issues have to be addressed first. Bangalore has witnessed serial bomb blasts in the past 24 hours. A total of 9 blasts apparently took place in prominent areas around the city including Richmond Town, Mysore Road, Langford Town, Madiwala and a bunch of other places. The moral of the story is that Bangalore is finally cool enough to be a target for terrorists!

Its rather unfortunate, I hope nothing further happens and the this is not the prelude to something worse...its like the whole world, the only world you've ever known has suddenly taken on frightening proportions and is experiencing things you didn't think possible. I hope the city can survive this and anything else that the terrorists have in store.

Take care Bangy, we're behind you!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

'To Dance Beneath the Diamond Sky, with One Hand Waving Free'

May be I could have only done the above when I was drunk but I did it, thats what matters (and scared a couple of second years in the neighbouring terrace in the process, I think). I was rather drunk yesterday and not ready to go to sleep yet so I grabbed my newly serviced i-Pod (yaay!), swigged some whiskey and shot off to the terrace. The initial plan was to lie down and general look at the sky. It was a lovely night, and as I was seeing double of everything, the sky looked quite full of stars (I guess this is what they mean by 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'). However the mosquitoes played spoilsports as usual plus once the warmth of the whiskey died down, it proved to rather cold. So I got up to walk around and a couple of high energy songs were effective enough to send me dancing, jumping, spinning and practically falling off the terrace. I was also singing at the top of my voice and I guess for DISCO (disciplinary committee for the uninitiated) creating a ruckus while in a drunken state, which was is a showcausable offence, but somehow tonight, rules as much meaning for me as archaic Tam songs (which is in effect, nothing).

It was an amazingly lovely experience, possibly even better than traveling on the footboard of a Bombay local train. No one came to check on me, though when I peeped down into the hostel quad once, I did see a certain someone peeping down.

And that my friends is the wonderful result of this potent combination of adequate alcohol, music and a starry night - a catharsis on one hand and on the other, a silent cry to the world, for someone to see me, talk to me, even showcause me for all its worth. I encourage you to try it all sometime...believe me, when you get drunk, don't go and crash on the this!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Today I slept only at 6 am. Since I was up till then anyway, I decided to see the sunrise, something I was seeing after what seemed like ages. It was such a quiet time of the day, I had forgotten. In the east, there was a red glow, just highlighting the edge of the trees while the west was still dark and brooding, with the moon shining on brightly in the center. Birds of every type seemed to welcome the day, there was one particularly melodious birdsong which was lovely to listen to. Apart from that, complete silence. I could imagine the bustle of the walkers beyond the boundaries of college, hurrying along with their heads down, oblivious to anything and those others who sauntered around, talking to everyone, drinking in the liquid pure air.

It made me sad, watching the sunrise today. I felt sad that at one point of time, I was capable of waking up to see it without fail, that I was a part of those walkers, a part of this surreal time. I had forgotten that summers in Bangalore weren't all that hot because the summer mornings were so delightful and cool, that the college campus was actually so pretty devoid of people, that such silence was possible at a time of the day, that the world was capable of looking young and unscathed. I missed being an integral part of it all..the early summer mornings, heading off for a walk or a swim with Mom playing the Suprabatham (always M.S.'s version) followed by Bhaja Govindam, coming back to a nice cool bath and continuing with the rest of that day having woken up into that lovely time with a fresh outlook in life.

Instead, I now wake up sometime in the middle of the day, into a dusty, noisy atmosphere that does nothing good for my temper and I sleep at an unearthly hour, my eyes smarting and red and my head heavy. I think its time for some discipline, some real improvements in my life..its time to cut away all the lose ends and ensure that my life is not full of gaping holes. Once again I resolve this, once again my resolve will break....thats what life has become, a series of unresolved resolves!

But someday I will actually wake up and see the sunrise again, and may be that day will signify some kind of turning point, some definitive realisation of what my life has become and what I have become. Because, though I know what's happened to me it hasn't hit me hard enough yet, I've started living with it. But there's still hope, as long as there is the awareness that life was better. As George Harrisson put it, "Sunrise doesn't last all morning...All things must pass away". Someday, as long as there is a sunrise, this phase will pass...

Saturday, May 17, 2008


"Hey, you wanna go hang in the club today? The guys are also coming."

"Cool! I'll also come off."

"So, 'ssup? What's the latest on that chick ya? I heard she's doing W?"

"Doing? She can't be doing da."

"As in, you know what I mean man"

"That's a sidey way of putting things dude."

"Dude, don't pull your superior knowledge of the English language on me ok."

"Aiyyo, fine da. Hey, so really what's the news man."

"Macha, IIT coaching is not something to be made fun of ok."

"Dude, chill, why you getting so hyper? Really sidey man. Shit da, I was supposed to call her. Damn I forgot, she's gonna kill me!"

"Chillax ya, don't chumma get worried."

Its pretty hard to imagine life without fuck, spaz, screwed, acha, challo, faff (I think we used to call it ramble on or something) and haan. But it did exist like that at one point of time. Its weird I can't even remember what we spoke like then. Its even more weird that most of the people I conducted these conversations with have finished college or are starting it and are moving out of here soon. I wish I could spend one more evening filled with gossip and pepper babycorn in Indiranagar Club with them and talk like we used to.

To the IC'll always be special!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Why do things in life have to go wrong? I know its an over-done, rhetorical, whiny question, but really..why? Just when everything seems to be coming together, when you've just reconciled yourself with your stupid mistakes of the past, it comes to your knowledge that you've made yet another stupid mistake (or its someone else's and you have to suffer for it), something with far reaching repercussions for you and the people you are closest to, them being dragged in unnecessarily, just because things have a tendency to go wrong in your life.

Its unfair, its tiring and its irritating beyond belief to have constant and I mean constant upheavals in your life. This is not one of those 'I hate myself' posts. Now I'm just plain bugged that things won't leave me alone, that circumstances keep changing and I am caught hopelessly compromised, having to come up with some solutions. I am practically in a perennial damage control mode. Really, really taxing.

Can't you just let me be? I'm not hurting you.....please?

Imperial Rhapsody

Seriously awesome..Thank you Vrinda for this one!

Imperial Rhapsody

(sung to the tune of Bohemian Rhapoody, by Queen)

Lando: This is the good life
This is a fantasy
Working on Bespin
An escape from Reality.
Leia: Open your eyes
Stand up to their guys and see.
Luke: I'm just a farmboy, I need some sympathy
Cus who's my dad, I dunno
Little whine, little moan.
Han: Anywhere the Force goes, doesn't really matter, to me

Piett: Vader just killed a man.
Raised an arm up in the air
Now his life is no longer there.
Vader, we had just begun,
And now I've gone and lost the reb-el scum.
Vader, oooooooo.
Did mean too make you mad
If I'm not alive again this time tomorrow,
There'll be a new admiral, as if nothing ever happened.

Yoda: Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time.
Luke: Goodbye everybody, I've got to go
Gootta leave you all behind and learn the Force.
Piett: Vader, ooooooooooo,
I don't wanna die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all.

Luke: I see a little silhouetto of a man
Palpatine, Palpatine, can it be the Emperor?
Thunderbolts and lightning, very very hurting me!
R2-D2, R2-D2,
R2-D2, R2-D2,
R2-D2, Where'd ya go? C-3PO O O O O O OH!

I'm just a farmboy, nobody loves me.
Rebels: He's just a farmboy, with a dead family.
Spare him this life of such mundacity!
Han: Spice'll come, spice'll go. Jabba let me go.
Jabba: Boo shuda! (NO, we will not let you go)
Han: Let me go!
Jabba: Bo shuda! (We will not let you go)
Han: Let me go!
Jabba: Bo shuda! (We will not let you go)


C-3PO: Oh R2-D2, R2-D2, R2-D2, Come along.
Leia: C-3PO has a rebel put aside for meeee, for meeee. for MEEEEEEEEEE!

(Stormtroopers start headbanging)

Luke: So you say you're the dear old dad of mine?
But you cut my hand off and left me to die!
Oh Vader, can't do this to me, Vader.
I know there's some good, I know there's still some good in you.

Obiwan: May the Force be with you.
Use the Force to see.
May the Force be with you,
May the Force be with you, alwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaays.

Han: Anywhere the Force goes, doesn't really mat-ter, to meeeeeeeeeee.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lawyers' Bangalore

Sights and sounds from around my workplace in the hols:

The Karnataka High Court

A View of V. Soudha from the 6th Floor of the City Civil Court

That's the Offiicial Liquidator's car: Fancy eh? (don't ask me why this is underlined, some technical glitch)

Vidhana Soudha - Well I sure got my fill of it in the Hols.
Karnatak High Court: Note - Not the Court of Judicature
Pigeons in front of the High Court
Isn't it good? :)

Sambhar Guide: Part I

People write reviews on a lot of things: movies, retaurants, books, albums, drinks and so on. I have decided to take the funda to a whole new level and write about.......drumroll please.......Sambhar!! Ta-daa! I think a good knowledge of the Sambhar in an eating joint makes all the difference about visiting that joint. It tells you whether you have have a good accompaniment to your idlis, what the general quality of other food will be like, what will be the ghee content and so on. So I have decided to address this vital topic.

First stop, closer to home, home being college in this case: SLV Upahaar (Nagarbhavi, also found liberally scattered throughout Bangalore).

One would not suspect this small hole of producing mind-blowing Sambhar. It does. The first mouthful on the uninitiated tastebuds produces and explosion of intermingling tastes, making it a singular experience. The Sambhar podi used by the samel-kaaras at SLV is undoubtedly potent and fantastic. There are so many different sensations and flavours captured in that one bite: a hint of coconut here, a dash of garlic there and several other spices that I am woefully unaware of; getting the combination just right. It is just spicy enough to make your nose run at the last moment, yet the spice never hits you in the face, knocking you out cold. And of course, the underlying essence of ghee...absolutely delightful! Sambhar Maami reccomends it with a capital R; enjoy it with your idlis or with some good old saadham or even just drink cup-fulls of it. The experience is always rewarding!

Coming soon: Saravanaa Bhavan - The God of all Gods!

Sambhar Tip: Most places are liberal with their sambhar so don't scrounge! Take large helpings with every bite and ask for more, they will be free of charge. A good sambhar is as good as any cocktail, being the foremost achievement as far as spice cocktails go. So, go ahead and indulge!

Last night while doing projects, I was letting the i-tunes shuffle function on my comp take me through the vast and wonderful collection of music that I have. I've recently acquired a lot of new stuff, so haven't heard a substantial portion of it. And then 'Mr Tambourine Man' started to play. At around the line yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, I felt a lump develop in my throat. The funny thing is, I was only half listening to the song, the other half of my attention being focused on the project. That is the effect Bob Dylan's music has on you , the sheer beauty and simplicity of it, the endless stream of brilliance that flows from his pen - together the combination is addictive. 'Mr Tambourine Man' holds the same eternal fascination and love that I have for all songs about escapism (the immortal 'Over the Rainbow' being the foremost among these). The lyrical imagery created by the song; the evening's empire, the smoke rings of my mind, the haunted trees, the essence of the song (for me) summarized in the line I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade. A song about running away, following the unknown stranger into undiscovered lands, being content to just follow for once and not take the decisions. No one could've have put it better than Mr Dylan.

I have been addicted to songs and artists in the past, but usually because of the adrenaline rush that their music gives me (U2, Oasis and so on). Only Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan have been addictions of a different nature, holding my attention because of their vast and breathtaking scope of their music; Pink Floyd in their complex other-worldliness and Dylan with his stripped down, back to basics mini philosophical discourses.

Mr Dylan fell seamlessly into the role of Mr Tambourine Man himself, he cast his spell on me. 'It Ain't me Babe', 'Masters of War', 'Desolation Row', 'Its All Over Now, Baby Blue' and several others followed, the first and the last songs in the list also producing lumps in the throat in due course. Such is the power of a man who impacted a whole generation, spearheaded (with ample help from other artists of course) the counter-cultural revolutions of the 60s, whose impact and voice reverberates to this day, still addressing concerns, remarkably trivial or remarkably far reaching..yet always remarkable. I had the good fortune to catch the VH1 showcase on his tour to England. While staying there, he was interviwed by a journalist from some British paper. To say that he thrashed the other man's ethics and profession would be an understatement: "You've got too much to lose by printing the truth."

Mr Dylan, I salute you!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Alaipayuthey, kanaa..

You might wonder who I'm putting on the mysterious act for. Not showing my face in photos and so on. Truth is, I don't know myself...I only hope that person knows.

Man to woman "So what do women want anyway?"
Woman to Man "I'll tell you. Can you keep a secret?"
Man to Woman "Sure. Cross my heart and swear to die."
Woman to Man "Come closer then", leans towards his ear and whispers, "We have absolutely no idea!"
Man to Woman "I knew it!"
(Being a summarized version of the exchange that takes place between Hillary Swank and Harry Conick Jr. in P.S. I Love You)

I want to write one of those embarrassing letters, which are usually written by well-to-do women in Agatha Christies'; the ones they get blackmailed for by their former lovers.

Will it ever happen to me? I wonder. Somewhere along the way I became cynical, self-obsessed and irritated at the thought of any intrusion into the well oiled mechanism that is (or was) my daily routine. But now I'm bored, I want something to happen. The question is, is just wanting it enough?

Sigh and its such nice weather...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Hallowed Clay

Can you imagine actually being there. The very ground where the champions of the champions walked on tennis's toughest surface. Where Justin Henin is the undisputed queen and Rafael Nadal is everybody's hero. The very courts which have stumped Roger Fedrer all these years. This would be a spiritual experience!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Here, There and Everywhere

"To lead a better life,
I need my love to be here"

I don't really know what this post is about, just some general things here and there. Its been a rather turbulent period in my life. Starting December, till about now, there were only a 100 issues to sort out: prize money, EMC work, make up forms, lost ATM card, an application for the negotiation competition in Leipzig, visa applications, CPC repeat, TP carry-over, projects, Client Counselling work (those of you from outside law school, who read this are forgiven for not understanding some of the jargon used. Nonetheless, please note: it was a :LOT of work). Now, I can finally say that everything has settled down and I am left with nothing but my academics. One would think an exclamation of 'Phew' followed by a long sigh would be very much in order at this point. While I have been causing minor hurricanes with my 'sighs' and 'phews', I can honestly say that after a very long time (those of you who want to know why, refer to this and this), I am quite proud of myself for coming out of it unscathed, except for, slightly strained nerves and a suspected increase in blood pressure (subject to medical opinion of course). I can also honestly say that I had a reasonable amount of fun during the process and was not collapsing in nervous breakdowns all over the place.

Have you ever gone away at the brink of it all? Just when all affairs were rushing towards a dramatic, filmy climax, when everyone was calling you with more and more work for you, when things were on the verge of being sorted out, but not quite yet...and you suddenly say "Sorry folks, I gotta go now. See ya when I'm back?" Its a good strategy and it worked beautifully this time for me. When I came back, everything had fallen neatly into place. Even the weather had finally made up its mind and had turned hot (which on reflection, is not all that great).

I'm proud of myself, I'm happy, after ages I actually am..I've even lost weight!

Monday, February 25, 2008

There are a lot of disadvantages about probing too deep..somethings should be left unknown, just to preserve their beautiful, mythic quality. It might be good to distinguish fact from fiction, but sometimes, you should just let things be, just allow them to carry you away into the realm of dreams and fantasy..In my case, this proved one wikipedia entry too many for me...
Ingrid Bergman on Humphrey Bogart about their roles in Casablanca: "I never really knew him. I kissed him, but I did not know him". I don't know about you but that kind of ruined the movie for me..It would have been nice to know that they were atleast freinds off screen. Sigh, sometimes, the truth is best left undisturbed...............

Monday, February 18, 2008

Canine Therapy

My blog is getting waaaaay too gloomy. I am feeling as embaressed reading it as I used to while reading my weepy journal of class 9. So now I shall talk about something or rather certain creatures which always manage to cheer me up even when I am in the blackest mood..namely dogs. This post is inspired by a walk I took the other day in a bad-temper. The presence of a few dogs along the way however unfailingly produced a smile on my face and I felt that this phenomenan deserved a mention somewhere.

I have always been pretty crazy about dogs since I was a kid, having tried several times to bring home strays, much to my parent's consternation. Of late, playing with dogs in the hostel has been the closest I have ever come to owning some, and although I have realised that it is a huge responsibility and not just fun and games, I have only grown more determined to have several pets. So what is it about dogs anyway? How is it that all the chocolates, good wishes or apologies in the world don't make me feel as good as when a single dog runs towards me, wagging its tail?

I think it is simply because dogs are just so cute. Actually, make that adorable. Everything they do is just so, well, cute! The way they randomly look around, when they walk or trot, they way their tounge hangs out, the way they scratch, the way they roll on the ground with their legs in the air and try to bite you while playing, the way they follow you looking expectantly for some treat, the way they poke around for things and land themselves in unexpected situations which they struggle to get out of, the way they eat, they way they wag their tails, that complete peace on their face when they sleep, they way they close your eyes when you pet or scratch them...everything they do moves you to smile, you simply cannot be in a bad mood in the presence of a friendly dog, its like his/ her every action is to make you feel better about life!

So here's to the loveliest creation of nature/ God, whichever way you want it (yes they even beat mountains and hot men)...Someday I will own 8 dogs! (4 strays, a Retriver, a Lab (black), a spaniel and a German Shepard)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I don't know why, I really like these Slambook kinda things :)

If I were a beginning, I would be: far behind!
If I were a month, I would be: December
If I were a day of the week, I would be: Sunday
If I were a time of day, I would be: dusk
If I were a planet, I would be: saturn
If I were a season, I would be: winter
If I were a sea animal, I would be: a whale
If I were a direction, I would be: north
If I were a piece of furniture, I would be: a chair like the one in FRIENDS
If I were a sin, I would be: gluttony
If I were a liquid, I would be: tea
If I were a fraud/scare, I would be: Harshad Mehta (what a stud..seriously!)
If I were a gem, I would be: sapphire or amethyst
If I were a tree, I would be: eucalyptus
If I were a tool, I would be: a hammer
If I were a flower/plant, I would be: a creeper
If I were a kind of weather, I would be: windy
If I were a musical instrument, I would be: a veena/ piano
If I were an animal, I would be: a dog
If I were an emotion, I would be: content
If I were a vegetable, I would be: a carrot
If I were a sound, I would be: a soprano :)
If I were an element, I would be: platinum
If I were a car, I would be: any SUV
If I were a song, I would be: 'Over the Rainbow' from The Wizard of Oz
If I were a food, I would be: Masala dosa
If I were a place, I would be: Wellington/ CubbonPark
If I were a material, I would be: cotton
If I were a taste, I would be: sweet-ish
If I were a scent, I would be: Ponds Sandalwood Powder
If I were a religion, I would be: universal
If I were a sentence, I would be: 'What's up?'
If I were a body part, I would be: arms
If I were a facial expression, I would be: smiling
If I were a subject in college, I would be: Corporate law / Music
If I were a shape, I would be: a circle
If I were a quantity, I would be: 55 kgs..someday!
If I were a colour, I would be: blue
If I were a thing, I would be: my guitar
If I were a landmass, I would be: the Deccan
If I were a book, I would be: Alice in Wonderland
If I were a monument, I would be: Mysore Palace/ Eiffel Tower
If I were an artist, I would be: Bob Dylan
If I were a collection of poems, I would be: err...the songs in Lord of the Rings
If I were a landscape, I would be: the tea gardens around Wellington Gymkhana Club
If I were a watch, I would be: the Swatch skin which I have now
If I were God, I would be: a little kinder
If I were a vowel, I would be: O
If I were a consonant, I would be: L
If I were a formula, I would be: "All You Need is Love"
If I were a Science, I would be: Zoology
If I were a theory, I would be: the Pythogoras Theorem
If I were a famous person, I would be: a tennis player
If I were an electronic equipment, I would be: anMp3 player
If I were sport, I would be: Badminton
If I were a movie, I would be: 'The Sound of Music'
If I were a cartoon, I would be: Josie in "Josie and the Pussycats"
If I were an explorer, I would be: Bill Bryson
If I were a scientist, I would be: a bad thing for science
If I were a relation, I would be: a sister
If I were a river, I would be: free
If I were intoxication, I would be: beer
If I were alone, I would be: listening to music
If I were a question, then I would be: 'What's up?" again
If I were a hobby, I would be: collecting memorablia
If I were a habit, I would be: drinking tea
If I were in an atom, I would be: bobbing around peacefully
If I were an end, I would be: never-ending
If I were you, I would be: madly in love with me

Monday, February 4, 2008

One step forward, ten steps backward

Sania Mirza today announced that she won't play in India for a bit, pulling out of the Bangalore Open in the process. The reason cited: the controversies that have been dogging her. Is she being fussy and stand-offish? I for one think not. First criticised for her 'attire' on the court (which is really nothing scandalous..merely a shortish skirt and a decent top that 'covers' everything) and then for apparently showing disrespect to the Indian flag. To her credit, she still had a good run at the Aussi open despite the emotional trauma of the incident. Imagine being one of the four ambassadors (the others being Paes, Bhupathi and Amritraj) for a sport that is internationally so well respected, even if the rest of the country is blind to it, representing the country repeatedly, managing to do reasonably well despite the poor facilities and support, being ignored and given less importance despite performing (why was the fact that Bhupati and Mirza reached the finals of the Aussi open, a grand slam, so underplayed? Because Harbhajan Singh was in great peril of course, what's a grand slam anyway?) and then being accused of undermining the country because of a small error, the small indiscretion of being caught on camera at an inopportune moment. And then comes the decision to not play in your own country because your own country deems you unworthy, guilty of undermining her culture. What culture I ask? Its a wonder that she resisted her initial impulse to stop playing tennis altogether.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have Bombay, a beautiful, cosmopolitan city falling a prey to the parorchial temperment that so characterises our 'culture'. Streets have been filled with mobs ravaging the homes and possessions of North-Indians, roughing up taxi-drivers and attacking homes (some South-Indians I know might even ask me why I'm so bothered). What is more shocking is that in the poll conducted by CNN-IBN, 40% of the people actually said that North-Indians are 'outsiders' in Bombay. Its really awful to see that such petty issues still rule the roost in India and watch politicians making irresponsible statements such as 'the character of Bombay has been spoilt'. What character? When I went to Bombay, I was struck by the freedom and openess of the city, the feeling of being accepted at is one of the few cities where I have almost immediately felt at home even though I have hardly spent anytime there. I always thought this was Bombay's character. Evidently I was mistaken..we all were.

A host of Indians who trusted this country, wanted to do something for her, wanted to develop her, bring her on the international map in more ways than engineers, sportsmen, industrialists, academics, thinkers and several others..and are constantly being pushed back in more and more ways..hurt and betrayed. Is progress ever possible here, you ask? Can you blame people from immigrating? Frankly I don't think so. Immigrate to what though? Racism and a whole bunch of other problems. If you are not loved in your own country, then where do you go?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Oh Dear

So I finally turned twenty. And I started work in a place where I..well, work..Actual constructive stuff which makes a difference, which is used..not the chilling on orkut/ wikipedia/ in malls kinda stuff that I'm used to. So I have been fully introduced to the life I am expected to lead..
"The legal profession, and it is a truly beautiful profession..At least at the trial court stage, you actually see the law you learned being implemented..those very procedures and practices being put into good use. Going to court is good fun...The judges are always interesting to watch, you're not struck so much by the majesty of the law at this stage (the civil courts being largely weird, badly lit, rickety places with insanely smelly toilets and no refreshment facilities whatsoever), but you still get the feeling that you're helping people in someway. You see the other advocates and notice how hopelessly incompetent they look and you feel proud of yourself..proud that you are worth so much more and yet, you are practicing this profession at its most basic level..hoping to actually reach out and make a difference somewhere. Also, there's the thrill of legal research..finding that one case which says exactly what you want, looking for loopholes in the opposite party's argument, finding ways to corner a witness and so of the best feelings in the world! Really, being a part of the legal fraternity is pretty stunning!"

Funnily, I don't really feel any of the above. Well going to court is nice and all, but its just for entertainment value really. And finding a case...well that makes me happy because my boss will be happy with me then, its pretty mind-numbing work otherwise...Of course I don't really care too much whether my boss is happy because, I don't want to work in this place again. Mind you, its got absolutely nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with me...which brings me to the essential question:
What the hell am I doing here? Its too late to turn back now, gotta move on. To where?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Underdogs Rule the Roost

Aussi Action!

Its been one of the best Australian Open's ever, with some of the most scintillating tennis being displayed on the court. Apart from the usual drama that accompanies any grand slam, this year's open has witnessed the rise of the underdogs, who have stolen the hearts and minds of tennis audiences throughout, even if not always the wins.

I'll start with Philipp Kohlschreiber. His name is so complicated that I had to copy and paste it from the net. But this man rose up to the challenged posed by the immensely powerful Andy Roddcik, in a thrilling edge of the seat five setter that went on for four hours. So who is Philipp Kohlschreiber anyway? Seeded 29th in the Aussi Open and reaching his highest ATP ranking of 27 this year, the man has know to upset veterans in the past including the indestructible David Nalbandian, whom he beat to enter the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters Tournament. On the Grand Slam circuit he has been rather low profile; the 3rd round of the US Open last year is the furthest he's ever got. However, in the marathon match played on 18th January, he displayed a real talent for the game, finishing off the match in style and finesse. I have been growing disillusioned with Roddick for sometime, though a few years back, I was hopelessly in love with him. Though his service is undoubtedly one of the finest in tennis today (he came up with a whopper against Kohlschreiber, 231 kmph, after having an altercation with the chair umpire about a disputed line call), that's pretty much all there is to him. He has specialised in the art of coming into the net and playing, but on a hard court surface, that's always not the right strategy. Nevertheless, he was unable to produce the aces when most required, in crucial games for the set. Kohlschreiber on the other hand, played beautifully under pressure, with his Fedreresque winners in the last game, including a massive cross-court backhand that seemed to defy all laws of physics. He succeeded in breaking the Roddick serve and winning the match in style. Today unfortunately, he lost to Jarkko Nieminen, being unable to convert 11 set points. But he has earned himself several fans and the name of a force to be reckoned with.

Talking about magical come backs and foiling people in their attempts to convert match points, the man worthy of mention here is Marcos Bagdhatis, who yesterday gave the Aussi hope (and decidedly irritating) Lleyton Hewitt a real scare, before finally losing the match. Bagdhatis is one of the most charming players I have seen on court. His good natured smiles, constant wonder at winners that he produces (always accompanied by a delighted, childlike grin and an improbable shake of the head) and general fooling around, while producing quality tennis make his matches a joy to watch. And yesterday, versus the jumpy and aggressive Hewitt, he was as irrepressible as ever. Imagine being down 5 - 1 in the fourth set, with your opponent serving for the match, and then breaking back, evening the score to 5 all, forcing a tie-break and winning the set! This is what Bagdhatis managed to achieve, with a sprained ankle and a bleeding knee, and having also played a five setter against Marat Safin just earlier in the week. Of course, he was helped quite a bit by a panicking Hewitt's unforced errors, but there's no denying the man's spirit! The fifth set was a bit of a let down after the titanic battle of the 4th set, but Bagdhatis had managed to turn the match into an entertainer of the highest order.

Another match which will probably go down in the annals of tennis history as one of the greatest matches ever played is the epic Roger Fedrer v. Janko Tipsarvich. Fedrer rightly remarked post the match "Sometimes, there should be a draw in tennis as well". Anyone who saw that match will probably agree wholeheartedly, and even despite allegations of "doubting the champion" would feel that may be that was one match that Fedrer should have lost. The tremendous scoreline of 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-1) 5-7 6-1 10-8 itself indicates the titanic nature of Fedrer's struggle against this talented Serbian. Tipsarvic has changed his style somewhat this year, last year, he had piercings almost all over his face. This year however, he turned up in black framed glasses which never seemed to slip off. After watching him play, my sister and me were convinced that those specs had endowed him with super-powers. The sheer power and depth of his ground strokes, with stinging returns required Fedrer to constantly come up with something new. Look at the stats for the match: 39 aces from Fedrer; from a man who doesn't normally rely on his aces to finish a match; from a man pushed absolutely to the limit. In the end, it was Fedrer's championship mentality that allowed him to prevail. In the midst of all the pressure, he was able to come up with a sweeping forehand, when the score was 8 all in the final set, which showed why he is regarded as the emperor of this sport. Tipsarvic soon crumbled under the onslaught of winners, but it was a valiant fight.

A personal heartbreak for me was Sania Mirza's loss to Venus Williams, with an impressive score of 7-6, 6-4. She is a very talented player and certainly has the potential to become one of the biggest hitters in the game. The depth of her ground-strokes even had Venus stumped for a bit. Her only problem is her serving as her first serve percentage is rather low. But I was impressed at the fine tuning of other aspects of her game. I really hope she does well and gives these cricketers a run for their money and respect.

There are several more matches going on and a lot of upsets. Both Kuznetsova and Chakvetadze lost their matches as did Fernando Gonzales while Henin, Sharapova and Serena sailed through. But I am not going to talk about all that here, my sole purpose was to highlight the magnificent role that the so called underdogs have played in this Aussi open. I will however, blog about the finals, or any other matches which deserve a mention (and I'm sure there will be). I want to finish off with an entry by Serena Williams (can you imagine!!) in her blog (it is pink in colour and has butterflies on the borders), which I stumbled across the other day:

Hello Fans,

I can't thank those of Y'all who were with me through Thick and Thin (literally) enough. You know life sometimes come at you strange. One day you are on top of the world, and the next day you are fighting to hold on... physically and mentally. U grasp onto a small string that's holding u between sanity and insanity.... groping in the dark trying to find the light that can lead u out of the dark tunnel.... then and only then u find and realize the true people that are your friends, and the ones that love u dearly... the ones that are willing to be there for you whether or not you are extremely successful, or just normal..... the ones that don't disappear because u don't have the face of stone. So I wanna thank my God Jehovah, my family, and my Fans, my True Fans for being there for me for always supporting me for making me hold on to that string. For making me keep looking for a light at the end of the tunnel.... though at times I almost let go... I have finally found it, I hope everyone enjoys the newly refreshed, newly revived Website.


That is so sweet!! Now who can not support her after that!? Serena, you've got yourself a fan..although in matches versus Henin, I'm afraid my loyalties lie elsewhere!

Facebook - Generally prescribed for Sociopaths?

I just did two interesting quizzes on what kind of a kisser I am and what my kissing style is. I got rave reviews, one said I was a romantic kisser and the other said that I kiss better than 85% of the people in the world. This is pretty interesting because I have never kissed a guy and had to fake some random answers, based on what I thought I would do.

I just did another quiz "What kind of music are you?". And the result was "Dance". I am pretty crushed by this, as you can imagine..I wanted the result to be psychedelic rock, especially since when I did "Which Rock Star are you?", the result was Jimmy Hendrix.

Now I wish there is a quiz which asks the question "Why the BLEEDING HELL do I do these quizzes and add these applications in the first place?!?!"

Facebook applications are probably the most charmingly pointless things on the planet. They are even more addictive and useless than a bag of potato chips after a heavy meal. The quizzes have you hooked, they convince you about various facets of you personality that you never even considered (though I'm still not convinced about this dance music thing), they tell you what kind of eyes you have, which movie star you are, and make you believe that you are secretly a homosexual or have a major anti-social personality disorder. In short, they are probably the most life-changing things you'll ever do. Then there are the Facebook applications, which range from "Oh that's funky" to "brainless, but I'll do it anyway". Through these applications, you can send gifts, send booze (I added all possible applications of this type, people barely send me stuff though), compare your personality traits, throw food, throw pillows, bite people and turn them into zombies, buy fish for an aquarium, buy shoes (virtual of course) and such other things which you can't for the world think of a reason for doing. But you do them anyway. There are slightly more sensible ones such as a virtual bookshelf, the flixster movie application and the i-like music application, and the dog book..all designed for those pompous show offs (like me) who have read/ watched/ heard/ possessed lots of books/ movies/ music/ dogs.

There are downsides also. Firstly, there's the endless business of inviting 20 friends when you add an application. This is very embarrassing especially when you do a quiz like "What is you secret sexual orientation?". I felt pretty shady inviting people to do the "What kind of a kisser are you?" quiz itself, but thent that's all a part of life. You win some (not sure what) and you lose some (your respect and brain among other things). Otherwise, the whole thing is pretty pointless. But the worst about this is, when you add more than 20 people, a red dialog box pops up saying "20 people is the limit" or some similar terse message, like you have committed a crime of breach of privacy or something like that. You feel shocked and cheated, after all, you're inviting people only because these application buggers asked you to do it in the first place. But of course, your dignity is anyway kind of in the mud, so you just click the send button with a feeble, accepting smile. Also, you need a really good net connection to actually send invites to other people. When I try these quizzes in college, the net just protests and stops working in anger and exhaustion. But of course I try again and again, sitting like a zombie in front of the comp to know "What my birth month signifies?".

Thus, days and months pass, and you go on discovering things, sending things, infecting people (this is what the zombie and vampire applications do), writing on people walls, funwalls, super walls, graffitti walls, poking them, x-ing them, hugging them, rating them...and the list goes on for ever. Your eyes grow wide and red-rimmed, you look like you've been infected by all possible infecting applications, you don't mind the fact that you fought with your best friend because you sent bought shoes for her, and you discover old friends online and promptly buy them a round of drinks. What more of a social life do you need?! (unfortunately, thats not a quiz offered)