Reflections

..of a peerless nincompoop

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Expensive cars, affordable bikes, cheap bicycles. That is India. Things are slightly different on this side of the world. Everyone has cars, the rich buy bikes, and some kind of crazy people buy bicycles. Bikes are called motorcycles and bicycles are called bikes! No wonder it is called the other side of the world. Or is it because everything is crazy here? A weird game in which you hardly play the ball with your feet is called football, and the game in which you mostly play the ball with your feet is called soccer. Can’t blame them. If they can call that thing a ball (I think someone miserably failed while trying to make a real ball and it ended up like this!), they can call the game football also!

Two years on this crazy side of the planet is all it takes to make one crazy enough to buy a “bike”. Buying a car is day to day stuff, but buying a bike needs lot of money and careful planning. Test riding bikes at Sports Basement is fun too. If you are not too much into biking, you don’t need to sell your car to buy a bike. You get slightly cheaper ones too, like the one I got. If you pay more, you may even end up with just a handle or a saddle. Yes, the more expensive the bike is, the less stuff you get on it! First you lose the pedals, at about $1000 or so. Rich guys can pay more and watch bike stripping πŸ˜€ . If you are not that rich, they almost strip you instead! Well stripping is better than getting everything measured from head to toe in front of others (for the REAL mallus out there – It is almost like our dummy to body, body to dummy, dummy to dummy thing. The only thing missing is CID Dasan and CID Vijayan πŸ˜€ ). Once it gets over, you should collect your carry on baggage and proceeding for boarding. Oh, sorry! You are in a bike shop. Just make yourself comfortable while computerji fits the bike for your size.

More about bikes here while we wait for computerji. Bikes are super light. But take it with a pinch of salt. They make you buy everything which you find on a normal bicycle and attach it to your body! What is the point of giving a saddle that reminds of a police “lathi” and then making you buy a shorts that has almost a seat attached on its butt! You just look like a joker with a light bike and a bulge on you bottom as if you soiled your shorts! Once you buy all the accessories like jersey and biking shoes, you are heavier by a few pounds. But don’t miss the point, the bike IS light πŸ™‚ .

Computerji is ready with your custom sized bike. And you are ready with your custom fitted accessories. You even have a portable pump, water bottles, saddle bag with a quick repair kit! All set to go. Oh! wait a minute. How do you ride this thing without a pedal? You need to buy custom pedals. The rule of thumb holds here too. The smaller it is, the more expensive it will be. Who is crazy enough to buy a pair of minuscule pedals for $250? It is ridiculous to pay almost one fourth of the cost of your bike for two small pedals! You could as well get temporary ones and wait for a week for those “cheap” $60 pedals to come. It is a little bit of circus using biking shoes on temporary pedals. But who cares! A few days of circus is all it takes to get used to the crooked handles and blade like tires.

In a week, the temporary pedals make way for the $60 Shimano R540 pedals! It’s so easy to fall down with them! Basically it locks your feet on the pedals, and it won’t come out. When you want to stop, you put your nose on the road to avoid falling down πŸ˜• . The sales person sounds like he is consoling someone who spent $60 to fall down for fun. “The first few times when you fall down with these pedals, you will feel sad. But that is ok, you will soon get used to it”.

I still haven’t figured out whether he meant getting used to the pedals or getting used to falling down πŸ˜• . Crazy world indeed!

September 7, 2008 Posted by | On the lighter side | 5 Comments

Communication Skills

Scene 1

Babes are a rare sight in our male-dominated* company. So rare that the ladies’ restroom in my floor doesn’t know what it is supposed to be. For us, its just another gents’ restroom. So the extra energy and life that my floor gets at the sight of babes is justifiable.

We were so excited when two babes occupied a corner of our guy-dominated floor that the traffic through that corner was unusually high. They were sitting in the same cubicle since morning. A dude who sits right opposite to their cubicle tried to build a conversation after much hesitation and contemplation.

“What are you doing in the same cubicle?”

I guess they didn’t hear the first word (“What”).

He is hospitalized! πŸ˜€

*There was some hidden agenda not to hire ladies. I guess it was in the best interest of the company.

Scene 2

A friend of mine and myself went to the RTO office today. He had his driving test scheduled at 11.30 AM. To make things smooth, he had gone through some agent. They can get driving license for people who can’t even distinguish between a car and an autorickshaw.

After about an hour of waiting, he finally came to us. He pointed to a guy in pink shirt standing in the third floor of the RTO office building (it’s some 100 mts from where we stand) and said “^%$^%$%$%^$^ pink shirt *&*&^*^*&^&^^”. The ciphered text was in Hindi. Since my Hindi proficiency is well-known, I generally switch to ignore mode when people talk in hindi. But now I had this friend with me who understood what he said.

We were told to follow that guy in pink shirt. There we go, with all the information needed to trace him. We just need to find that guy in pink shirt in a crowded building (as if pink shirt is as rare as a blue-colored mammoth!!). We started our mission like troops chasing an enemy. We reached the third floor in no time and located the guy. He was moving so fast that we had to hurry not to lose sight of him. Dark corridors, left turns followed by right turns, fast straights, until he vanished somewhere in the crowd. We were lost, in a maze not knowing how to come out. But troops are no strangers to such situations and they have radio equipment(read mobile phone) at their disposal. My friend contacted the base station (read agent) for further steps.

I sensed a blunder when the phone call ended with a sheepish grin on his face. We were in fact told to wait where that guy in pink shirt was standing. The mistake the agent made – he assumed that we know Hindi :-?.

Soon we were waiting where we were supposed to wait, with an artificial calm on our faces and looking around to make sure no one else has noticed it. πŸ˜€

July 6, 2006 Posted by | On the lighter side | 36 Comments

Swimming Classes

No man is perfect till he learns to swim. Especially if he doesn’t get time to play cricket or badminton or TT. So I decided to learn swimming. I got two friends for company. They wanted to lose a few pounds. I wanted to gain a few :).

Day 1
We were being taught to float. Wiki says you need some fat to float. I pretended that I haven’t read that. That’s a good way to avoid sinking. The trainer told us to hold our breath. We did. I thought I was floating until I touched the bottom of the pool :(. Those plumper ones had already started floating. Some more tips and the circus repeated. The day ended with everyone except me floating. who cares? I have 20 more classes to go.

Day 2
Its time to learn moving. Press against the wall, then shoot yourself and float. Everyone did, till their momentum ceased. I did too, till I reached the bottom of the pool. πŸ˜• I must be the first one to introduce touchdown in swimming.

Day 3
Its time to learn kicking. Float and kick so that you move forward. People started trying it, moving at varying pace. They kept moving forward until they could hold their breath. My turn came and I did it religiously. Took a deep breath, closed my eyes (the trainer says don’t close your eyes) and started kicking. I didn’t sink! I was sure that I have almost reached halfway by the time I lost my breath. I got up and to my surprise, found the trainer and others around me with bewildered looks. I hadn’t moved a bit. I just hovered around where I started 😦

Day 4
The day started with a surprise. Till date, we stayed near the three feet deep end of the pool. On day 4, the trainer asked us to jump into the sixteen feet deep end of the pool. We had to somehow survive and reach the adjacent side where we could hold on to a pipe. It was fun to see people trying to swim, like cats being put into water. But I was still sceptical of the sixteen feet depth he said. I thought it would be less, until I jumped in with butterflies in my stomach and measured the depth :(. It was exactly sixteen feet deep :-?.

Day 5
Synchronizing your hand and feet movements with taking breath is the key to swimming. I forgot to kick when I tried paddling, and gulped down water. Next time, I made sure not to forget kicking. Kicking and paddling, but then I forgot to take breath and gulped down more water from the pool πŸ˜•

I still have 16 more days to learn swimming. The water level in the pool has come down by about a foot since I started learning. I drank the rest :-?. I would be surprised if the pool is not empty by the time I learn to swim. The circus continues..

Expert(?) says: The water in the swimming pool doesn’t taste good, especially at the deeper end.

May 2, 2006 Posted by | On the lighter side | 35 Comments

Things I have and things I need

I sorely miss someone who never was mine. I don’t think she will ever be mine. But I miss her. I don’t know whether she knows that I still care for her.

But now, that is not my main concern. How do I tell those idiots at google that I needed google cabinet search and not google desktop search? I am trying to find a credit card statement that I put in my drawer in the morning. Till now I have discovered all these things in my drawer:

1. A leather glove. I will search for its pair when they actually launch a google cabinet search.

2. A broken TT ball.

3. An old TT bat with no rubber on one side.

4. A boarding pass which shows that I had been to Kerala on 11/07/2004.

5. My xerox copy? πŸ˜• Oh! no, it’s an X-ray.

6. An empty brown envelope that is torn at all edges.

7. My degree certificate πŸ˜€

8. A T-shirt that is big enough to be used as my bedsheet.

9. My phone’s old cover. Looks like it had been attacked by some beast. My friend had run over it when my phone was kept in the middle of the local playground. Don’t ask me how I managed to do it. It was easier than burning the bed. πŸ˜•

10. A myriad of six and eight legged species. Usually I don’t mess with them.

Lots of things.. Feels like I am blessed with material wealth. But where the heck is my credit card statement? 😦

April 17, 2006 Posted by | On the lighter side | 14 Comments

Monday morning blues

Monday morning means time to go back to office. I had no choice and there I am, at my desk as early as 11 AM, sleepy, yawning and cursing my fate.

It’s rather surprising to see no one around. I always wanted to be a role model, but never thought that I have inspired my teammates so much. After an hour of happy browsing, I decided to play smart. Took out my phone, called my teammate and yelled at him for being so late to office. How can they be so irresponsible? I don’t care what others are doing, but I get really irritated when I am deprived of my sleep and still others are having a good time. I had to react.

After all, how often do you get a chance to yell at people who are busy with meetings on a monday morning? Damn it. Why didn’t they tell me if they were having a meeting? Just because I was sleeping when it started?

Boss has not turned up yet, seems like he’s the only one inspired by me.

Update: Boss is in Japan, and not “inspired” by my footsteps 😦

March 27, 2006 Posted by | On the lighter side | 30 Comments

A treat, and some fun

GP got her first job, in fact five of them. Great news, and giving a treat is the norm. Eight of us went to Lemon Grass this Wednesday evening. It was so crowded that we found ourselves seated in the family area, amidst a rather sedate crowd. Everyone ordered starters, SK opted for vodka, SRS ordered whisky and the rest settled for mocktails. GP helped SK and SRS with a small sip from their share. The rest were happy with their mocktails. We were waiting for the two (and a half – that’s GP) to start talking.

……silence……..

Occasional boasts of how spirits won’t affect them. And an odd funny prediction of GP after two sips – a la Jagathy in Olympian Anthony Adam.

“One more vodka please..” and “a whisky too..”

Hitherto secrets come out. Stories of people puking in the toilet, sleeping beside the toilet bowl thinking its their bedroom. Stories of people puking in the washbasin and sleeping in the bathtub. And the story of a unique hero who pukes in the bathtub and tries to sleep in the washbasin. SK’s narration at it’s inimitable best.

“One more vodka.. and a whisky..”. “Yes man, that’s the spirit..”

Stories start to dry up. Now the sources of fun is in the group itself. SK takes small sips from a Sprite bottle and enjoys the kick, blissfully ignorant of the fact that his glass of vodka is left unattended. SRS and GP involve in a serious discussion, amidst everyone rolling with laughter at the seriousness of the discussion. The mess we make takes a toll on others’ pleasant evening. People start leaving the place.

“vodka.. and a whisssky here………”

Perfect pandemonium. Eight of us have a restaurant of our own.

Congrats GP, enjoy your work. And thanks too, for the treat and the fun.

March 18, 2006 Posted by | On the lighter side | 2 Comments

Happy birthday, my dear friend

Some friends wait for you to call them. Some others call you, but ask whether you are busy before striking up a conversation. Then there are a few who just call you up in the middle of the night and talk about whatever they feel like, with the least concern about whether you were sleeping or not. Most likely, you won’t even get a chance to open your mouth. But you never get irritated when they call you, instead feel the warmth of your most cherished friendship. These are the friends whom you can rely on. She belongs to the last category. It’s her birthday today. Happy birthday, lakshmi.

By the way, it happens to be my sister’s birthday too. Happy birthday my dear sis.

March 17, 2006 Posted by | On the lighter side | 2 Comments

Life is like that

Life is busy like never before. Its almost a month since my boss talked to me. He never disturbs me when I am busy with work. Its rather funny that he doesn’t know what I am busy with. I won’t blame him. As a matter of fact, even I don’t know what I am busy with. It all happens in IT when you have great teammates. I am supposed to understand a piece of code, and then restructure it. The guy who wrote it belongs to the great school of thought that preaches flags are the next best things after sliced bread. True.. Why do they talk about state machines when you can get it done with umpteen flags? The small piece of code that I am supposed to modify contains nine flags. I don’t know what two of them are meant for. The author doesn’t know about another three. The rest four would suffice to get the task done. Incidentally, those four are not used anywhere after declaration.

It is this code that drives me to cricinfo, morning after morning.. after morning, for a little over four weeks. I hate it when work is humdrum. There was no ODI or test the day before, and cricinfo looked boring. After all, how much time can I spent on “March 14 down the years”? Yes, work has become monotonous suddenly. I need a change.. Blogging!! There you go. “Cogito, Ergo Sum” followed.

What do I write about in my first post? The day? It was a checkered day, an admit from UC Santa Cruz was followed by a reject from UC San Diego. No.. It’s not worth writing about. Last 24 years of my life? Does anyone need a definitive guide on how to waste so many years and be a nincompoop? Chances are less. If you really think you need one, watch this space later.

Now let me celebrate my newfound title, Kiron – The Blogger.

March 15, 2006 Posted by | On the lighter side | 10 Comments