Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Check these out.. Top 10 international destinations for broke Indian travellers, put together solely on the basis of currency conversion rates that I happened to come across...
10. Iceland: 500 Krona = Rs325
09. Jamaica: 500 Dollars = Rs276
08. Sri Lanka: 500 Rupees = Rs176
07. Slovenia: 500 Tolar = Rs108
06. Yemen: 500 Rials = Rs99
05. Guyana: 500 Dollars = Rs97
04. South Korea: 500 Won = Rs21.56
03. Somalia: 500 Shillings = Rs14.23
02. Zambia: 500 Kwacha = Rs5.12
01. Turkmenistan: 500 Manat = Rs3.81

oh, and FYI, 1 CYP (Cyprus Pound) = Rs 96.38 (or, Rs500=CYP5.17...just in case anyone was beginning to gloat[:D])

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This is sort of popped into my head while i was rereading an old post.. First draft so please be kind..

My muse is out 2

He stepped out of the closet
Straight into my head,
A swirl of pink and violet
While others looked on,
a mix of confusion and dread

He flits in and out, between my ears
Prancing about most outlandishly
He knows every hope, every wish, every fear
And when I struggle to make sense
He helps me out, by arming me

With a word here and an image there
He knows that he's indispensible—
A lance-bearer from yesteryear
And if my thoughts aren't all together
Still makes me seem knowledgable

I'm not like the others, he once told me
I told him it really was ok
It wasn't a catastrophe
And when I'm lost for poetry,
I'm quite glad my muse is gay

The original's here in case you interested..
My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Milady the Right Reverend Ulibak-The Great the Excited of Lower Slaughter
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Resplendent in her madisaar pattu,
The girl of only iruvatti-aaru
Looks down at her feet with no shoes
Red designs making maps with no clues
She's got the nadaswaram blues!

The maapillai sits in his yellow veshti
Yearly-morning cold makes him want to pee
shivering slightly, deep thoughts does he muse:
From now, his life he has to plan in irendoos
He's got the nadaswaram blues!

"Maatikitaan" the mridangam announces
Through the frills and the flounces
While unknown relatives sit there and snooze
It's a good thing, they won't get any booze
For they got the nadaswaram blues...

*dedicated to a friend of mine.. thx for the inspiration!

Glossary of possibly foreign terms:
madisaar pattu : 9-yard silk sari, traditionally worn by Tamil Brahmin brides
iruvatti-aaru: 26
nadaswaram: a musical intrument that resembles a flute, commonly the main piece played at Tamilian weddings
maapillai: groom (or guy gettin hitched at said wedding)
veshti: fancy lungi (A cloth, often of brightly colored silk or cotton, that is used as a piece of clothing, especially the traditional skirtlike garment of India, Pakistan, and Myanmar, says
irendoo(s): twos
Maatikitaan: hindi translation:"pakda gaya"; English equivalent: trapped. cornered..u get the picture(also refers to the beats played on the mridanagam at weddings)
mridangam: South Indian drum, the other main piece played at weddings

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's been so long, I think I've forgotten how to do it
What once felt like the most natural thing in the world, is now an effort.
I thought it was like riding a bike -
Once you learn, you're not supposed to forget.
But I have forgotten to write. Somehow.

Maybe its just all the blue, but I think this pic of the London Eye at night is one of the nicer pix i've come across all week.

credit to Andrew Hasson of Bloomberg News.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The law of the chain of events proposes that s/he who is charged with finishing the last leg of the process, will sit idle till half an hour before deadline and tehn scramble as said deadline whooshes past, amid angry glares from his/her superiors.

Been at my desk four hours now, and haven't had a thing to do. Hope i can stand the excitement till then
Highlight of my day: Finding a 100-buck note hidden away in the backpocket of my jeans.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Today I learned what the first sardine in the tin feels like.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I miss having places I can walk into, kick off my shoes and just hang out... the closest thing to that, is my house. but hanging out at your own place isn't quite the same as bargin into a pal's at 7.30 in the morning demanding she make u coffee, is it?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Why we're more scared of gay marriage and terrorism than a much deadlier threat.
By Daniel Gilbert, Daniel Gilbert is a professor of psychology at Harvard University and the author of "Stumbling on Happiness," published in May by Knopf.
July 2, 2006

NO ONE seems to care about the upcoming attack on the World Trade Center site. Why? Because it won't involve villains with box cutters. Instead, it will involve melting ice sheets that swell the oceans and turn that particular block of lower Manhattan into an aquarium.

The odds of this happening in the next few decades are better than the odds that a disgruntled Saudi will sneak onto an airplane and detonate a shoe bomb. And yet our government will spend billions of dollars this year to prevent global terrorism and … well, essentially nothing to prevent global warming.

Why are we less worried about the more likely disaster? Because the human brain evolved to respond to threats that have four features — features that terrorism has and that global warming lacks.

First, global warming lacks a mustache. No, really. We are social mammals whose brains are highly specialized for thinking about others. Understanding what others are up to — what they know and want, what they are doing and planning — has been so crucial to the survival of our species that our brains have developed an obsession with all things human. We think about people and their intentions; talk about them; look for and remember them.

That's why we worry more about anthrax (with an annual death toll of roughly zero) than influenza (with an annual death toll of a quarter-million to a half-million people). Influenza is a natural accident, anthrax is an intentional action, and the smallest action captures our attention in a way that the largest accident doesn't. If two airplanes had been hit by lightning and crashed into a New York skyscraper, few of us would be able to name the date on which it happened.

Global warming isn't trying to kill us, and that's a shame. If climate change had been visited on us by a brutal dictator or an evil empire, the war on warming would be this nation's top priority.

The second reason why global warming doesn't put our brains on orange alert is that it doesn't violate our moral sensibilities. It doesn't cause our blood to boil (at least not figuratively) because it doesn't force us to entertain thoughts that we find indecent, impious or repulsive. When people feel insulted or disgusted, they generally do something about it, such as whacking each other over the head, or voting. Moral emotions are the brain's call to action.

Although all human societies have moral rules about food and sex, none has a moral rule about atmospheric chemistry. And so we are outraged about every breach of protocol except Kyoto. Yes, global warming is bad, but it doesn't make us feel nauseated or angry or disgraced, and thus we don't feel compelled to rail against it as we do against other momentous threats to our species, such as flag burning. The fact is that if climate change were caused by gay sex, or by the practice of eating kittens, millions of protesters would be massing in the streets.

The third reason why global warming doesn't trigger our concern is that we see it as a threat to our futures — not our afternoons. Like all animals, people are quick to respond to clear and present danger, which is why it takes us just a few milliseconds to duck when a wayward baseball comes speeding toward our eyes.

The brain is a beautifully engineered get-out-of-the-way machine that constantly scans the environment for things out of whose way it should right now get. That's what brains did for several hundred million years — and then, just a few million years ago, the mammalian brain learned a new trick: to predict the timing and location of dangers before they actually happened.

Our ability to duck that which is not yet coming is one of the brain's most stunning innovations, and we wouldn't have dental floss or 401(k) plans without it. But this innovation is in the early stages of development. The application that allows us to respond to visible baseballs is ancient and reliable, but the add-on utility that allows us to respond to threats that loom in an unseen future is still in beta testing.

We haven't quite gotten the knack of treating the future like the present it will soon become because we've only been practicing for a few million years. If global warming took out an eye every now and then, OSHA would regulate it into nonexistence.

There is a fourth reason why we just can't seem to get worked up about global warming. The human brain is exquisitely sensitive to changes in light, sound, temperature, pressure, size, weight and just about everything else. But if the rate of change is slow enough, the change will go undetected. If the low hum of a refrigerator were to increase in pitch over the course of several weeks, the appliance could be singing soprano by the end of the month and no one would be the wiser.

Because we barely notice changes that happen gradually, we accept gradual changes that we would reject if they happened abruptly. The density of Los Angeles traffic has increased dramatically in the last few decades, and citizens have tolerated it with only the obligatory grumbling. Had that change happened on a single day last summer, Angelenos would have shut down the city, called in the National Guard and lynched every politician they could get their hands on.

Environmentalists despair that global warming is happening so fast. In fact, it isn't happening fast enough. If President Bush could jump in a time machine and experience a single day in 2056, he'd return to the present shocked and awed, prepared to do anything it took to solve the problem..

The human brain is a remarkable device that was designed to rise to special occasions. We are the progeny of people who hunted and gathered, whose lives were brief and whose greatest threat was a man with a stick. When terrorists attack, we respond with crushing force and firm resolve, just as our ancestors would have. Global warming is a deadly threat precisely because it fails to trip the brain's alarm, leaving us soundly asleep in a burning bed.

It remains to be seen whether we can learn to rise to new occasions.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Everyone thinks they're better than someone else

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Moved yesterday. Got lost on my way to work today. took a wrong turn while exiting the metro station. So walked 15 minutes for a 5 minute distance. Still wasn't very late. relieved. embarassed, but relieved.
finished work on time (more or less) maybe i should get lost more often

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The last two weeks have been crazy. I have switched jobs, uprooted my life and settled down into a new city in less time than the moon takes to wax or wane. Although, technically, saying i've "settled down" would be stretching it more than a little.

Truth is, I'm pretty overwhelmed by the sheer expanse of this city. After living off the company for about a week, I've found more permanent accomodation - rent won't kill me, I'm going to be moving in with old college-mate, and it's relatively well connected.

Here, I'd like to note, that colege-mate refers to someone who went to the same college I did, at about the same time. The non-use of the words buddy/friends/pal is intentional. We have no problems with each other, but we aren't quite the best of friends either.

The connectivity I was talking about... It's, as my colleagues put it, "only half an hour away", which is true... by train. I have new respect for distances. Back home, a half hour ride would have would have taken me to the next closest city.

But the locality seems nice enough. Took a walk from the house to the Metro station, and noticed signboards - a doctor, atleast 2-3 inexpensive looking restaurants, a gift store, telephone booth, a medical store and a few provision stores.

Did I mention there's a police station a stone's throw away? While I haven't actually tried throwing stones at the cops, I might need to someday. Don't get me wrong. Security doesn't seem to be an issue. And even though I said my to-be roomie and I aren't the best of friends, I'm pretty sure neither of us is going to attempt murder.

What I am worried about, is my over-enthusiastic landlady, who I suspect might try to kill me if and when I either refuse to eat her food, or am late with the rent. while the latter isn't very likely to happen, I'm hoping (desperately) that we won't be running into each other too often. With my propensity of sleeping odd hours, I'm rather optimistic that we won't.

And this is just the tale of my prospective first (almost) solo accomodation... I haven't even started on my (mis-)adventures at work.. been here about 4 days now, and already have a tale to tell. but, I think I'll save that for later...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

What remains when memories fade?
'Non omnia possumus omnes'
We can't all do everything

Friday, February 02, 2007

He lay there when i opened the door. I thought he was dead. As that army of ants swarmed over his body, he suddenly convulsed.
I jumped. He stared back at me. I shut the door, repulsed.
He wasn't there the next time i opened the door. What a sad and painful way to go...
Maybe I shoulda just stepped on the little bugger...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

being honest is hard work
bloggin is the best way to rant and not be heard
Too bad life doesn't have a CTRL+Z

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I love baby-sitting. Especially since the freedom it gives you, to go off by yourself, instead being forced to socialise with ppl you don't want to...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I've started writing my "epic masterpiece". Pl come by once in a while, even if it is just to c if I'm still standing or if i've fallen flat on my face in the attempt...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Your results:
You are Superman

Wonder Woman
Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Everyone wears a mask.
Some just do it better than others...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Quirky is good, she told me
I didn't argue
There are no labels for quirky

Quirky folks get left alone
To live in their quirky worlds
Anonymous and masked

Quirky is carefully wrapped
Till the bubble-wrap changes its form,
And quirky is lost as new labels are found
I found this 55 word story contest thingie while meandering through the web and thot i'd try it out...

Here goes nothing:

She woke up shivering and swore. The heater was broken. Again. She climbed out of bed and headed down the stairs. The Christmas lights were still up - red and green.

She slipped into the kitchen, and opened the fridge. A glass of wine in one hand, turkey sandwich in the other. Life WAS good!

Tell me wat u think.. (if anyone's reading, that is)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Presenting, the greatest bathtime adventure since Barbie and the Unonut, the one eyed monster of Dweeboland........................................

Condoleezza Rice Holds Bathtime Talks With Undersea Representatives

The Onion

Condoleezza Rice Holds Bathtime Talks With Undersea Representatives

WASHINGTON, DC—Delegates worked out a new cease-splash agreement and broke an impasse on temperature reform.

need I say more? go read!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I started this a while ago, but decided to finish and post today. Nedless to say, I'm at work, with some time on my hands.

It's strange that I would never have come across him, if I hadn't forgotten his father's name.
Lt Elad Grenadier, 21, was supposed to leave the army in a month. He then could have, and would have travelled overseas. But he did neither. Killed in an attack in Emmanuel in Israel, in 2002, he didn't even live to see his 22nd birthday...

Today, i met his father, a respected cardiologist Dr Ehud G., in town to promote a particular brand of stent. For the uniniated, a stent is a wire mesh type thing, with a balloon type thing inside, that doctors put in to keep your arteries wide open. So I sat through Grenadier senior's talk, all the while grinning as I thought of the absurdity of sponsorhip in medicine... and the cute but very married dude sitting next to me, another doctor, presumably from the US of A. (Before you ask, I'd noticed the ring)

I came away still thinking about various advertising strategies used today, and the various new avenues that ad guys had entered over the years (the cute married doc being completely forgotten by now), which would have been fine, if i hadnt needed to write an article on the meeting.

I sit at my computer and stare... not into space... not into the distance... but straight my computer screen, thinking, "350 words... where the 'eck was i supposed to bring those from?" After weighing my various options about an opening line, I figure, a simple straight opening along the lines of DrBlah came here to talk abt a buncha things, one being the saftey of this particular brand of stent... yada yada yada..." u get the drift, right?

Then it struck me. I hadn't made notes abt who this fantastic doc was. I mean, sure i had a piece of paper wid his name on it somewhere.... but where??? After seconds of frantic searching went by like long minutes, it struck me - GOOGLE! of course! why not? "because u don't know the man's name, dodo" a voice echoed in my miniscule cranial cavity. So i shuffled back in time, inside my head of course, and remebered Ehud... "good. that's a start. Now think harder," said the voice... and my brains came up with the connection, "somethin wid grenade in it.."

SO began the search. Ehud Grenade... "Do u mean ehud grenadier?" asked the ever helpful elf hidden in the Google server.. (you didnt actually think a machine could be THAT helpful, did you?) So, my head makes like a yoyo and i head off, looking for the father, only to be waylaid by the son.
Suddenly, my article (and the question of of sponsorship in medicine) disappeared into the crevices of my mind. Staring at me from out of the screen is a smiling young man, and he can smile no more. And he didnt deserve to die. It wasn't his fault...
Did he know, when he went to the frontlines, that he wouldn't come home? Wouldn't ever taste his mum's cooking... or hear his dad's voice, a rather nice one at that... never bug or be bugged by his twin younger brothers... Wouldn't love or be loved again... I wonder, did he leave a sweetheart behind? and how long did she wait?
War has never made sense to me, but never have I come into contact to anyone who has actually borne witness to its sensless brutality before. ( I do know a cpla ppl in the forces, but they don't count)
He died fighting for someone else, willing also to kill people he had never met, and held no grudges against... except for the circumstances they met in, and an ideology.... strangers, like that old poem said, he may have bought a drink, had they met in a bar....

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

I got off work a lil early.
Came home to a silent house.
Put my food into the microwave.
And switched the TV on,
to drown out a neighbor's party.