Friday, September 30, 2005


Back after an extended weekend from home is a pretty sad state, especially when you took a bad bus, sitting next to a badly drunk loser. I wonder when I’ll get to learn to make drunks shut up.. This is one problem I had discovered in myself like 5 years ago, and marked the priority to high – to learn being un-nice to people that are being nice to you , but in a very irritating way - Brother, I need my sleep when I feel like it!

This trip home has made me discover a few other things as well..
a) I tend to swear at the assholes on the road when I’m home, although I almost never do that here in Bangalore
b) I tend to get much more office correspondence when I’m on a holiday than when I am actually in the office
c) Extending a weekend towards the Friday side is a far better idea than extending it both ways.
d) My folks at home have no intention of getting me married. They say they’re not even going to think about it for another couple of years at least.

Back in the office today, I am a pooped man. It’s a half floating, half rolling state of mind, where you feel your chair is actually in the air, and your PC is floating with you maintaining proper elevation at all times. Now thinking about it, I guess the last time I felt something like this was when I ate those two pieces of bhang for the first time, and was waiting for the trip.

I remember all of us sitting in circles in a dimly lit tiny room, windows media player playing some trance number with some weird visualization on the screen. I remember me starting to see the music, blended with the colors coming out of the monitor, flowing around the room. I remember my head growing heavier by the minute, and the rest of the body feeling like a hydrogen balloon. I remember me trying to physically connect with the feeling, trying to bury my head under the pile of pillows, kneeling on the bed with my bottom in the air.

I remember Kurup laughing like a mad man, and the rest of them laughing at the mad man, like other mad men. I remember me (by now a total inverted U) falling towards one side, falling off the bed, after which I don’t remember a thing.
Boy, those first times in college were fun!

Friday, September 16, 2005

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To work, Or not to work....

That is truly the most basic question for me these days; and if one looks at the number of times the question has been answered, and maybe make a plot of the outcomes, it can be seen to have a very prominent weight towards the second option namely, not to work. And from this basic question and the implied answer, there are so many child questions that arise like coffee or tea?, blog or not blog?, to go or not to go? and so forth.

The answers for these questions are not always as straight forward as the parent question though. There can be multiple affirmatives for individual questions simultaneously in which case a new question is instantly formed as in the examples below:
· To blog or to chat?
· To blog or coffee or chat ?
· To blog or coffee or chat or browse or read(magazines at the lounge)?
As you may have noticed already, the complexity of the decision making process has a direct dependency on the number of simultaneous affirmative outcomes.

I’m already working on a piece of code to automate this process, using a complex algorithm that weights the options in real time, taking inputs from the system clock, a recursive behavioral history tracking engine, calorie intake monitoring system etc. and thus reduce the load on my brain – I was always bad at making decisions anyway!

You must be thinking that I am pretty jobless – and how true that is.
Here as I sit n this cube farm brimming with typomaniacs (roughly translates to spectacled, multi lingual, overworked ghosts of people typing away frantically on black dell keyboards), - contributing my fair share to the project cost - my manager, and adjacent cubers definitely don’t share that sentiment you just expressed.

I’ll very shortly be publishing my latest book titled ‘Look busy- save your bottoms’.

To include -

  • Look busy in 10 easy steps
  • How to make personal phone calls sound official
  • The beginner’s guide to window tiling (Camouflage – the ultimate vanishing trick for chat screens)
  • The hitchhiker’s guide to having your boss on YOUR leash
  • How to develop a deep voice and 10 easy sound modulation techniques (trust me, this is MOST important)
  • The ultimate index of easy to use jargon (you needn’t even know what they mean to use them!) – comes in an add-on 100 page quick reference booklet

The book includes best tried and tested methods of looking and feeling important, and it could as well become your stepping stone to workplace success!

When I started writing the last book (that was an autobiography) I began with the intention of putting it on the blog as well, but after I read it and found out that some of the content might seem objectionable to a part of my audience - and going by the fact that this is an equal opportunity blog ( meaning I don’t discriminate between my viewers) – I was forced to refrain from going ahead with the original POA.

However after giving it a great deal of thought, I decided that I’ll take off the potential objectionable matter and give you what remains from one chapter.

Anybody that may require a full version may please raise an individual request with your email id, and I’ll get back to you with the e-book version as soon as possible..
Here’s the excerpt:

Chaprter 2 – Yellow flags on a glass boat

So many days have passed since then, in lumps of 365 (even an occasional 366 to avoid the monotony of the whole affair) - them whizzing past leaving no more than a trail like the ones left behind by the red tail lamps on a busy highway in the night.
The plant that I am has grown, suffering frequent transplantations in the process. Some say I’ve grown like a bonsai, but physical magnitudes don’t seem to matter anymore, for the years have passed, and if you cut me through, you’ll see the rings that are years’ gifts. On the outside there are new branches, and a blistered bark, and stumps that were destined to be branches, but pruned prematurely by someone else’s sense of aesthetics.

And the tree now sits in a seat with wheels in a glasshouse which has nothing to do with trapping the greenhouse energy, and nurtured by people for whom plants are way down on their kilometers long list of priorities. Here days are always predictable, for the simple reason that they never change. It is the same air refrigerated to the same temperature everyday, the same artificial lighting, and the same very artificial people.
But it is a small dynamic world, and I never believed this ever with as much conviction as much as I do now, that (contrary to what they used to motivate you with) past is a thing that never dies, and comes back to you when you least expect it, and sometimes with a painful punch packing such a brute force, that you’d wish that it had knocked the wind out of you in the first place.
(that was an addition to make the novel commercially viable.. people who know me please excuse the exaggeration – it is not completely untrue, though)

So there I was on a normal afternoon made out of the standard template – drowsy after a meal, the blue and green screen of code blurring away slowly in front of my eyes. There is a chime, and the bottom corner of my pc screen lets me know I have a mail . I closed outlook, a coffee mug popping out of a corner of my mind.

………….[Read more – post a comment, and raise an individual request!]

Thursday, September 08, 2005

void main{}

(Of Nothingness, with nothingness..)

Of late I have started wondering what it would be like talking, As in talking with no other intention than to talk - Maybe to let out some steam, but not in a directed spout – not pointed at any one, so it wouldn’t serve that purpose either - Pointless blabber with the only point in it being to stay pointless.

Best industries have the best practices, and the best of the best practices says get organized – Classify your data , so that your thinking may be evaluated, approved, and documented so the lower-downs can put reading them on their timesheets, and the higher ups can find the spelling mistakes..
Taking the aforesaid possibility, steam of course has to be classified (unless he’s Achuthanandan’s nephew, that is.. which I don’t think he is) into the ones that fit in the pattern – our pattern, and the ones that do not. What fits our pattern? Not the sort that comes out of the pressure cooker with that low hushed whistle (before you put the weight on it) and not the more noisy and irritated (and/or irritating – depends on your cooking- yes if dal or no if chicken) Shhh… after you put the weight and it had had enough.. They don’t fit in – no Sir!

In both the cases the steam has a purpose and a direction – the purpose being to cook and then the direction being upwards – all steam goes up, but that is a steady viscous speed – un-accelerated velocity – that is acceptable, but when the pressure in the cooker rushes the process, pushing it out, that is an unnatural directed push – wholly, totally unacceptable.
Like your boss asking you to work – wholly, totally unacceptable!

Thanks to all the free time that my job gives me, I have taken to reading – and of all the things in the world, I have taken to reading BLOGS! Until a very short while ago, all reading to me was futile (The fact still remains untouched by and large, but I have discovered in the meanwhile what a great pastime this can be.. writing stuff, and having people to actually read it – amazing!).
Serious fiction to me was useless depression; and all the lousy roantic thrillers make life look too easy and happening, so that amounts to the same thing as well, but of a slightly higher degree.. emotional desperation – total distress!

I have already deleted three whole lines (on MS Word 2003 – would have been two lines on the a fine print paperback, I think) because what I was communicating were my views about certain things – things meaning books and writers - plural, hence things. There would be two deviations from stated objectives – one being that it would be a breach of the original theme of this leaving a void in your brains, like a laxative – it goes in, and it goes out, and washes itself out in the process.. End of procedure- nothing remains, at least what remains would be less that what was already there, and what triggered the process would definitely not remain.. I have been told several times that olive oil taken raw works. Or was it olive oil ? Gramma’s cure – am I giving you an idea? Well I don’t think I am, because you’ll be a fool if you take it.. This was not supposed to give you any information*– remember? (*The book definition of information being data that has been organized and presented in a systematic fashion to clarify the underlying meaning)

I have a cold – contracted while riding on the outer ring road pillion to a friend whose bus was supposed to leave at six. It was a quarter past six already, and we were doing a sixty, and even at that rate, the bus bay was a good quarter of an hour away (provided we don’t fall down and split our heads open in which case it would be different – I have always fancied hanging like the city smog in the air post death, seeing all that is to be seen - distance no bar, engulfing everything, and the time standing still like the republic day tableau..)

Anyway, we were on outer ring road doing a steady sixty, when the rain came down, uninvited and most definitely unappreciated and seeped in through my permeable (instant discovery) jacket forming numerous serpentine streams finding their way past the chest hair..
Who said life was totally unpredictable? The first sneeze and I already knew he was coming – the cold clod Cold (the first two were adjectives and the last cold was a noun). He was waiting inside me like a dry withered seed, waiting for the first drops to comedown, so that he could grow a tiny root, and a tiny shoot.. and grow, against all odds, and become huge. Like them saplings on an unattended moss covered old cracky wall, growing in the crack, growing outside the crack, and finally leaving an enormous crack where the wall once was.

GSP (Something like GDP) This one is called Gross Slimy Product!

That seed of Mr. Cold grew in me, and his shoots emerged through my nostrils – thin watery shoots – watery would be a less than apt description.. It was much more free flowing.. Consistency something like that of alcohol.. Thinner, a lot quicker..
Like time thickened barks, the shoots have now grown thick.. They are so much like automobile grease now.. It has all coagulated into a sticky semisolid mass in the dark depths of my nose.. There is only one word that can describe the feeling in it’s in near wholeness – Irritating!
I cant breathe, worse still I cant smell the smells of the world.. The world therefore is much smaller a place now, There is a hollow now where the smells used to be.. Like a missing piece in a jigsaw puzzle- they never seem to make any sense without the pieces in the centre, and the smells for sure are pieces from somewhere there. It is like MTV when you got a call and the mute button was the minimum courtesy to be applied – it’s so much less than incomplete.

Mr. Smell has died of suffocation, because he tried to swim in that pool, but the pool thickened, like gravy that was put to simmer, and then forgotten... Gravy that has solidified, and got burnt at the edges of the pan.. Mr. Smell died of the state transition of the fluid he was swimming in - and he froze, like the fly in Jurassic park – A sad premature death.
Wonder how long it will be before some nosy scientist finds him, the fly, and builds the monster that once was, back..

(I sigh, blow my nose on the already sticky hanky, and leave.. exeunt Bala, his nose, the slime.)