Thursday, August 31, 2006

How to blow up a plane

I found this post at Instructables, a site which lists actions in the form of steps, for example, how to light a ciggie. This one took the cake though, "how to blow up a plane." The article has invited a lot of flak from people who say it has been written in poor taste considering the events that have transpired over the past few weeks. The article hasn't been taken off yet. Take a look before it is yanked off the site in the name of protecting national security here.

Link via Amit Aggarwal (Digital Inspiration)

Rajnikanth - defying every law of gravity and logic in his films

A funny post that was forwarded to me. Here's to a great weekend.

RAJNI KANTH the the supasta' :P
(i used to know this guy who luvvvvvvvvvvved talking abt him, laughing @ him, remembering his stories/jokes, and maybe even watched them on tele, ya but most definitely "posing" like mr RAJNI KANTH! :P and ppl....he did it well!!! :P i mean i used to laughhhh.... :-) good ol' times!!!)
One one such Newton's trip to India, he watched a few movies...esp tamil movies... and they had his head spinning...he was convinced that all his logic & laws in physics were just a huge pile of junk and apologized for everything he had done... :P

Particularly in the movies of Rajanikanth, Newton was confused to such an extent that he went paranoid. Here are a few scenes responsible for this...

1)BRAIN DRAIN : Rajanikanth has a Brain Tumor which, according to the doctors can't be cured and his death is imminent. In one of the fights, our great Rajanikanth is shot in the head. To everybody's surprise, the bullet passes through is ears taking away the tumor along with it and he is cured! Long Live Rajanikanth!

2)Blade Splitter : A goon shoots a bullet at Rajni. What does he do? He simply takes out a blade from his pocket and throws it at the bullet. (All this is done while the bullet is still mid-air).
The bullet is split into two and takes different directions - avoiding our superhero. To add more spice to this crazy episode, two goons are standing behind Rajni and get killed by the split bullets!

3) Force of Nature :Rajnikant and miracles go hand in hand. In a particular sequence, spring-soled Rajni jumps high up in the air, stays up there for a few minutes, defying gravity. He then begins to wave his arms and legs in such a furious way that it generates a huge sandstorm! The sand gets in the eyes of the villains who fall to the floor. Thinking

4) Celestial Connection : Rajni plays a psychiatrist in a movie where he strangely doubles as a mind reader. No, he doesn't just guess what you're thinking - he can actually listen to every word, every syllable you utter in your mind.
He then goes on to display further celestial power when by merely waving through the air, he changes half a moon to a full moon progressively.

5)Inspired Shooting : Rajnikant gets to know that the villain is on the other side of a very high wall. Unfortunately the wall is so high that our otherwise gravity-defying superhero can jump over it. But the villain has to be killed because the film is nearing the climax.

So what does he do? He suddenly pulls two guns from his pocket, throws one gun in the air and when the gun has reached the height of the wall, he shoots the trigger of the first gun in air, with his second gun. The first gun ends up shooting the villian and he falls dead!

6) Ek teer, 6 shikaar : Rajni is sitting on one side of a swimming pool talking to the villain. On the other side of the pool, six goons of the villain are standing and observing. When the argument gets heated, the villain winks at his men & each one throws a knife at Rajni.
Our hero effortlessly catches all the knives in one hand hand (without putting them down or switching hands after catching!) He then spreads them out like a deck of playing cards in his hand so that all six knifes are visible (&in order).He then throws the knifes &kills all six goondas in one go! Laugh

7) Bollywood Ishtyle : Rajnikanth plays a police officer and is sitting on his motorcycle under a coconut tree. Suddenly he sees a couple of villains escaping in a car.
Not one to do things the ordinary way, Rajni holds the clutch, puts his bike in gear, takes his gun and fires upwards. A coconut falls on the starter, Rajni releases clutch, and away he goes chasing the villains - in ishtyle! ROTFL

8) Lord Rajni : A bunch of villains accost Rajnikant and without batting a lid, he puts his hands in his pocket, is it a gun....?? No. It is a knife which he throws in the air and voila - it defies gravity and stays there!

What's more, the knife starts rotating in the air like the Sudharshan hakra - Rajni has become Lord Vishnu. How can the Goondas fight the all powerful Lord so they faint and fall to the ground. Rajnikant walks out smiling and shaking his head in his typical fashion.
9) Saviour with Style : Rajnikanth always saves his women in style. Once while saving the heroine, he gets shot at and his quick reflexes enable him to pick up a hollow iron rod, stop the bullet by lodging it inside the rod and then turn around and, of course, kill the villain.

In another movie, Rajni's lady love is hanging on a high volt line and the goon switches on the transformer. No problem. Rajni simply runs faster than the current - actually shown - and saves the lady. Face Plant

10) Magnet Magic : Rajnikant is sitting in a college campus, waiting for some goons to harass the girls. When he sees them coming on their bicycles, he takes out two huge Iron Yoke magnets from his pocket, twists them wildly in the air which lifts the goons in the air with theiry cycles and they all twist in perfect harmony.

He then puts the magnets back in his pockets, the goons fall to the ground and run away as usual!
11) Rajanikanth is chased by a gangster. Rajanikanth has a revolver but no bullets in it. Guess, what he does. Nah? not even in your remotest imaginations.
He waits for the gangster to shoot. As soon as the gangster shoots, Rajanikanth opens the bullet compartment of his revolver and catches the bullet. Then, he closes the bullet compartment and fires his gun.

Bang... the gangster dies...

This was too much for our Newton to take!
He was completely shaken and decided to go back!
But guess what they were playing on the flight.. that is how he happened to see another Rajnikanth movie... for one last time, and optimistically he thought that at least one movie would follow his theory of physics. The whole movie goes on fine and Newton is happy that all in the world hasn't changed. Oops, not so fast!

The 'climax' finally arrives...

Rajanikanth gets to know that the villain is on the other side of a very high wall. So high that Rajanikanth can't jump even if he tries like one of those superman techniques that our heroes normally use. Rajanikanth has to desperately kill the villain because it's the climax.
(Newton dada is smiling since it is virtually impossible?)

Rajanikanth suddenly pulls two guns from his pockets. He throws one gun in the air and when the gun has reached above the height of the wall, he uses the second gun and shoots at the trigger of the first gun in air.

The first gun fires off and the villain is dead.

Newton faints...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Erratic posts

I am writing this after a while. My posts will be erratic as I will be out for personal reasons.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Guindy War Memorial - my thoughts

Driving home after paying property tax at the ramshackle municipality office in Ramapuram near Guindy last week, I happened to pass the Guindy War Memorial. I have always wanted to visit this spot and I wanted to do it this time. I was not sure if I would be let into the memorial or if an entry fee would be charged. I decided to take a chance and called a worker who was trimming the grass in the memorial and asked him if I could enter. He asked me to check with the person in charge. I was looking for the person when a man with a beaming smile came forward and asked what I wanted. "Ulla varalama?" I asked. "Vaanga saar. Vandi koduvandirkingla? Orama park punnunga." I had never expected the caretaker to be so nice. I asked him if they charged entrance fees and he said no, because the memorial is being maintained by the British Government (Is that true?). I walked in through the side entrance (the main entrance has been blocked because of maintainance work) and entered a different world.

This memorial is the cleanest and greenest patch of land in the middle of all the concrete structures that have been built in the name of development. 

I walked around the memorial looking at the name tablets- there were soldiers from Africa, Austrailia and Britain, young men of different regiments aged between 19-24 who died serving the Queen in various conflicts of World War 2. I saw names of Sierra Leonians, Nigerians, Aussies and Brits. All the tablets were neatly arranged in the order of relegion.

There is also a structure dedicated to soldiers who died during WWI. What struck me however was  that this memrial is dedicated to Muslim, Christain and Jewish soldiers, all sharing the same space. How nice is that? Can we imagine the same thing now, in a time of conflict where relegions are turning on each other and certains relegions are getting stereotyped in the name of terrorism?

Go visit the memorial if you folks have time. Its on the way to the Nandambakkam Trade Center. Ask people for the Guindy War Memorial and they will point you to the place.Technorati Entry is free, the place is calm and transports you back to the past- rewind 61 years.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happy Independence Day -- have we lost it?

This is what the man at the counter told me and my dad when we went to an electronics shop to check cell phone prices yesterday - "Happy Independence day saar." Happy  Independence day? Since when did August 15 become a festival? This day is supposed to be the day when we were freed from the shackles of the Brits. This is the day when India turned into a senior citizen. This is the day when we celebrate 60 years as a "democracy." But "Happy Independence day?" I even got a few attachments about the same topic.

Over the past few years, the significance of August 15 has begun to diminish.. It's that one day of the year where you can turn into a chest thumping, flag carrying patriot , watch loads of crappy entertainment programmes of the boob tube( as if we don't for the rest of the 364 days) and shout Jai Hind till you croak... sounds corny but true.

But Happy Independence Day? No....!!!

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Monday, August 07, 2006

On the English topic part deux

Another funny post on the English language I got in an email from a friend..


On the English topic – 2


 I almost turned away from the complex where I have now lived for the last ten years. It was the Diwali of 1994, and a holiday at the company I had recently joined in Delhi. Since my arrival from Mumbai I had been living in the company's guesthouse, and taking advantage of the holiday went hunting for a flat. Living in the company's guesthouse was a constant source of tension since company bigwigs used to haunt it.

On entering the gate of the housing complex, I saw the board 'Trespassers executed'; it was this board that almost turned me away. I had a pretty dim view of residents who seemed to execute people who strayed into the complex. Luckily for me I realized that this was Dinglish.

The British brought with them English, rather the Queen's English, which our patriotic people would not adopt in toto. They modified it, twisted it, turned it, and garnished it, as they have done to Chinese food, and made a new language of it. This Indianized Rani's English is now available in a variety of flavours, specific to different regions.

Every city in our country has its own variety of English. All very innovative and entertaining. After spending most of my adult life in Bombay I had started confusing Binglish for English. In Bombay one speaks the language with a Marathi flavour, and raining is known as 'pausing' (paus meaning 'rain' in Marathi). This language had become my own and I was rather proud of my Binglish (I believe it should be now called Minglish since Bal Thackarey changed the name of Bombay to Mumbai).

Dinglish is very much like Hindi or Punjabi or whatever mixture they speak here. It is a very simple language and one can adapt to it easily. What one needs to do is to sprinkle your conversation with a few 'jis' and a Delhiite will accept you with open arms.

Haaji, you speak very good English ji. Just like my neighbourer Jaspal ji.” Out-of-Delhi people should note that in Delhi, a chap staying nearby is a neighbourer and not a neighbour.

Don't get me wrong; Delhiites just do not corrupt English with Hindi and Punjabi. They also corrupt Hindi and Punjabi with English. When you are introduced to someone, he or she is apt to ask you in chaste Hindi:

Aap kahaa se belong karte hai?” The word 'belong' put in the middle of Hindi words gives you a feeling of comfort, especially if you are poor in Hindi.

Mai to Lucknow se belong karti hu,” or if it is Patiala in place of Lucknow,

Assi Patiale nu belong karta si.”

For a non-Delhiite it is important to remember that speaking a pure language (whichever) is just not done here. After all, this city is a pot pourri of cultures; any pure language stands out like a sore thumb here.

I was once shocked when a colleague Pradeep Wadhwa advised me to take my car to a carpenter.

“Carpenter?” I asked. My car had been badly scratched and I wanted the paint touched up.

Haaji, aur kithe le jaoge?” He was nonplussed. “You wanted to get your car painted, no? Then go to a carpenter.”

“Yes I will,” I told him and slowly walked away. Later I heard that he had cast aspersions on my capabilities as a Medical Advisor, especially since I didn't know where to go to get my car painted.

As days passed, I became immune to Dinglish, but still it retains its capacity to really shock me at times. Different professions in Delhi speak slightly different dialects of Dinglish. Bus conductors, motor mechanics and vegetable vendors have a birthright to commit literary murders; I began to take them in my stride.

“Tire Penchur,” I gradually learnt was a sign for a repair shop for punctured tyres. While 'Denting and Penting' meant that dents from the car could be repaired and repainted. Probably the spelling of 'Painting' had been changed by a poetic mechanic who wanted it to rhyme with denting.

Mechanics freely talk about things like pechkus, which would make most wonder what sort of implement this was. After a few interactions with this breed of fellows I learnt that a pechkus was a screwdriver.

“This is pech,” said Gurpreet holding a screw in hand, “and kus is tightening.”

We will ignore the supercilious comment he subsequently made: “In English this is called a pechkus.”

If I have missed out mentioning restaurant owners in the list of persons who have a birthright to murder English, they should forgive me. For they are the original butcherers (that is the correct word in Dinglish) of the language. Many a time I have entertained myself proofreading menu cards in restaurants, and for this I thank them. A hint to those of you who may have similar interests, check the spelling of 'omelet'; 90% of the time it will be wrong.

As I said some professions are bound to murder the language and one ignores it, but what do you do when school principals do the same?

A colleague had joined my department and he wanted admission in a prestigious school for his twelve-year-old. I accompanied the duo, more for moral support rather than anything else. For the first few minutes the principal tried to tell us that he had no place for the child, but after dropping a few names, he rallied around and pointed out that his school was the best for the child. Among the various plus points of his academy he added:

“We have a rule – no capital punishment for our students,” my colleague and I looked relieved but puzzled, till he clarified…

“Discipline is very good in our school, but we believe in preventing bad behaviour, rather than awarding capital punishment.” Probably someone forgot to teach him the difference between capital and corporal punishment.

Delhi is a strange mixture of many cultures, but the Sikhs and Punjabis believe that they are the only ones who have contributed to this mess in this city. Punjabis are boisterous characters who believe that they are the 'Loins of Punjab'. If you were to correct them
“Lions, not Loins,” they would tell you, “Same thing, ji. Tiger, Tiger.” Now missing the species too.

However, Sikhs do not boast thus. Their names clarify that they are the true 'Loins of Punjab'. Every Sikh is known as Singh, while some are Kaurs, which denotes the female of the species.

Sikhs have their own peculiarities, so far as language is concerned; one is their dislike for joint consonants. They don't appreciate any one joining 's' and 'p' as in the word 'sport'. For the sake of clarity they call it 'sapport'. But it isn't that they cannot pronounce the word 'sport', when they speak of say India's support to Nepal they call it 'sport'.

In Bombay the language is much cleaner. Secretaries speak a prim and proper language, which could be called Queen's English if they stopped using the word 'man' so often.

“What man, Tom Cruise looks so handsome, no man?” Sandwiching Tom Cruise between two 'men' must make him as uncomfortable as it makes me.

Once I heard an airhostess tell her colleague, “The flight is all full, man.”

I casually asked her where she lived in Bombay.

“Bandra,” she said “But how do you know I am from Bombay?” I gave her a mysterious smile.

Secretaries in Delhi would never say 'man'. Neither do they talk about Tom Cruise. Not that they don't know much about films, but they prefer to talk of Jennifer Lopez instead, since most of them happen to be men. But we decided to get a girl in our company. Firstly we had to hire a headhunter to find one for us, then we had to spend days interviewing them till we found one who could speak English as it is spoken.

The best candidate while telling us about her background, family and education, said she spoke good English.

“Queen's English?” I asked.

“No Sir, my own,” she said. “I had learnt it at St. Anne's Sakool, in Delhi.”

I asked her if she was Sikh. She was stunned and till today she tells all who care to listen, how I could guess that she was a Sikh in a few minutes. When I related this to my friend, Tarwinder Singh, he said it was not difficult to recognize a Sikh.

“They have beards!” he grandly declared.

“Sikh girls?”

“No!” he added hastily. “Not girls, usually.”

Neither of them realized it was the word 'sakool', that gave her away. Other Delhiites would have called it St. Anne's Iskool. As stated she was the best and we hired her.

Once I had to send a large parcel to Bombay so I called her and gave her the parcel and the address. She told me that the courier's boy had left and the parcel could go only the next day. I wanted the parcel safe in the meantime, so I told her to keep it safely.

“Don't worry, Sir, I will keep it in my drawers, I don't allow anyone to touch my drawers.”

I wanted to tell her that it was a good policy, but the parcel would not fit in her drawers. I desisted since she probably did not know that 'drawers' was not the plural for drawer.

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Telemarketing agencies - are they bothering you?

Call 1: Hi, this is Ramya calling from ICICI Bank. Are you interested in a free credit card?
Call 2: Hello saar, naanga HDFC bank lendu koopadrom, ungalukku loan la interest irukka?
Sound familiar? Hell yeah. The two calls are a sample of the umpteen calls I have recieved over the past two years from telemarketing firms hawking 'free' credit cards, mutual funds, home loans and other junk I do not want. Most of the time, I ask these telemarketeers as to how they got my number and the answer would be "Saar, we have it in our database." I once got a call from ING Vyasa, Bombay asking me if I had an interest in mutual funds! No, I don't. If I am interested in a particular bank's services, I will call them.
What irks me the most is that the companies care two hoots about privacy. Let's say you go to shop A in a swanky mall and you buy stuff, you are asked to fill out a feedback form. If you write down your contct number you can be assured that your number will be sold to telemarketing companies that can hound you and irritate you.
This topic about the telemarketeer menace has been troubling people ever since mobile phones became popular in India and has been done to done in mos of the mainstream newspapers. So what action has been taken by the government this blatant pilfering of confidential customer information? Most of the time, calls are made to mobile phones between 9 a.m to 6 p.m.
My suggestions to stonewall these bozos:
1. Banks and other agencies that specialise on customer information must desist from selling information to outsiders(does the RBI have a rule for that for banks?)
2. Initiate a don't call me list(I assume that already exists). Such a list exists in the United States. Firms found to be violating the agreements will be sued for hefty sums by customers.
3. Stiff penalties or closure for banks and firms that violate privacy agreements(That won't happen. Indian laws are like old people without their dentures). No teeth to bite.
4. Bank applications should contain a clause that says customer info will not be sold to outsiders and this clause should be enforced(people reading this post will take me for a loony).
For the telemarketing agencies who hire people for this crappy job:
Don't call!!
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Friday, August 04, 2006

New blog title

I have changed the title of my blog. I got this funky one liner from Dingchak, link via Desipundit. In case y'all are scratching your heads to understand what "eructations means," look here.

Coverage of the Indian blog ban by the Electronic Frontier Foundation

This may seem a tad late but it looks like the ISPs in India are banning blogs again judging by the messages that are being posted here. I had sent a mail about the Indian blog ban to the Electronic Frontier Foundation on the 20th on July and got a reponse on the same day. There was no communication between me and the press attache of the after that. I sent Rebecca(Media Relations) a mail on the 3rd of Aug asking them for updates and finally got a reponse. It turns out a founder of the EFF did an interview about the situation on the CIOL website. The issue was also covered on the EFF website.
This is the reponse I recieved from Rebecca Jeschke, press attache for the EFF.
Hi.  One of the founders of EFF did a long interview about the situation
in India: and
we also had an update in our minilinks section:  That is all the updates we have for now,
but we are continuing to follow the situation.
Rebecca Jeschke
Media Relations Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation
415-436-9333 ext. 125

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New look BlogCamp site

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The website of BlogCamp, the second blog un-conference that is going to be held in September in Madras has a new look. I tried accessing their old site yesterday but my browser kept displaying a page cannot be found message. The new site looks good but most of the links are not working( I use Opera 8.54). Try clicking on any of the overhead links, for example Contact and only the page is refreshed. It will be better is the site admins get all the links on the site running. I can't even access their Wiki link.
Any way, the countdown for BlogCamp has begun. Only 39 days left till D-Day.
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