Monthly Archives: July 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!

In a few hours from now, I would be 23 according to US Eastern Standard Time, but since I was born in India, I am already 23. Number 23!  Twenty-Three!! I am getting old!!! Old!!!!

Do I feel any different?

Well yeah, of course, I can feel ageing at work. I think I felt my skin loosen a bit this morning, my face had a new wrinkle just below my ears (so not visible) and most importantly I felt a new annual ring form in my stomach. (I know, I know, some think that annual rings are plant things!)

Twenty Three and still retarded!

Twenty Three and still totally nonsense!

Twenty Three and still talking Anti-sense. That’s life I guess!

Anyways, whatever, Happy Birthday to me! 🙂

Scribbles from Last Week (Week 30,2008)

I noticed this 18-wheeler truck that said “Canadian Beer” followed by “Imported directed from Canada” in different font. Now these days, having watched “Dark Knight”, the only thing I wish on seeing an 18-wheeler, is for it to flip over, head on. It looked so amazing in the movie and it would definitely look more amazing in real life. 

But on this one, I could not wonder on anything else except that line, “Imported directly from Canada”. I mean, if you are in US, why would you export beer from Canada to Russia and then from there you export it to Singapore and from there via Africa, you get it to US. So, there it is ‘imported directly’.

 

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Whenever I am listening to music on my iPod, I put headphone only in one ear while the other speaker cable keeps hanging in mid air relaying the song to the rest of world. The most plausible reason for such an act of mine is that I am weird. But on second thoughts, I think I want to listen to what is going on around me and also if someday I go deaf due to listening too much ‘metal’, the fate dawns on only one ear.

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They should make it mandatory for malls to invariably have a ‘Barnes and Noble’ or gaming arcade so that when girls shop for hours and increase the economy, there are guys working on strengthening the arts.

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While working in lab, I spilled some liquid nitrogen over my feet. I was pretty sure that they would freeze and break off. But as it turns out you need much higher exposures to reach that level.

That reminds me, they are coming out with Terminator 4. I am happy but it is without Arnold, the governor of California. Not even a guest appearance! 😦

I distinctly remember that the first English movie that I saw was “Terminator II” and next day at school, I was doing this mechanical walk in front of everybody. In reply to every ‘Good morning’ or ‘hey’, I had replied, ‘Hasta la vista’ without knowing what that means!

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Within last one week, I have seen at least 15 people walking by while carrying their pillows. Just one pillow in hand, while you walk in broad sun lit afternoon. Why pillow? I don’t know and the mystery is eating me up. Has government recently announced that pillow is the most precious thing and you can exchange it for same volume of gold or are there some pillow thieves gang on prowl or is this world going to blow up and the safest bunker you can have is inside a pillow.

‘Flash’: My School Bus Driver

My school bus driver was a totally crazy person who thought that he was straight out of F-1 race or some video game and crowded streets of Delhi, were just another circuit or level.

Once he rammed his bus into a truck full off cooking gas cylinders. But somehow, we missed becoming the headlines of morning newspapers.  I never told my mother about this as she would have gone berserk on school authorities and I did not want this guy fired. Barring the truck incident, his driving was so much fun. Fast turns and kids tumbling over each other. In those 30 minutes bus drive, things used to get so mixed up that I ended up bringing home somebody else’s school bag, not once, but many times. My mother actually thought that I was either color blind, as I could not recognize my school bag or I was retarded. So she used to make sure that I could read those colorful alphabets from a pre-school book and ask questions like, “What Is this?”

“Bull”

“What? It’s a chicken!!”

“I thought you were asking about the next page”

“Are you retarded”

“What is retarded?”

“OMG!”

Anyways, so this driver uncle had a habit of making sound like racecars while driving. We initially thought that he used to do it deliberately but turned out that it was just a faulty larynx that had got entangled in loop over his sound box. Crazy, isn’t it? But racecar sound added to the fun and after some time the whole bus used to make that sound in unison.

Sometimes, if somebody overtook us wrongfully, he would go into hyper speed mode, and while in that mode he would start spitting little drops of saliva on to the windshield.  That added to the speed effect and we always thought that if all poke our hands out of window right now, we might even fly. During his hyper speed modes, I used to see out of window half expecting to see sparks flying out of tires.

Once I reached the comic-reading-age, I could think of no better name than ‘Flash’ for him. One of those days, a truck driver, unknowing of Flash’s power, broke our sideview mirror while trying to overtake us. Flash chased him for like 10 miles, off the usual route, caught him, took money from him and then let him go. As soon as he boarded the bus again, we had all clapped! Clapped harder then what we used to do for principal or our favorite teachers. Flash was a hero! A true hero! He would never let these sideview mirror breaking criminals, run free.

When we reached home that day, my mother was standing on the door and asked even before we entered home, “What happened? Why are you so late?”

“It’s just the bus, there was something struck in the carbonator.”

“Are you retarded? It is Carburetor!”

 

Oh! Also one day, he actually broke the railway stop sign! Fortunately there was no train, otherwise he would have ran over a whole train or maybe jumped over it! He was Flash! My superhero!

Downtown Bus Stop

 

Every day in the evening, I walk past two bus stops and catch bus from the downtown bus stop. Its not that if I don’t walk, blood in my legs would freeze and they might just crack, but because the downtown bus stop is one place where you can watch maximum people in state college. It is like the main bus stop, where all the buses stop and after a 10 min halt all of them go in same direction as it is on a one-way route. So it is the safest bet to catch a bus if you are new to the place, have a direction sense comparable to a mule and are still confounded by the bus numbers being marked as R, V, NV, N, X, Z. A, P. Back in my hometown, they write name of each and every location that the bus services, on the front windshield. Although it takes a lot of space, and while driving, driver has to see incoming traffic through those boldly painted words written on windshield, it is a less effective to confuse passengers.

Coming back to people, yes, you can watch a lot of people here. Today only, I spent a good 2 minutes staring at this incredibly eye-catching butterfly tattoo on the incredibly eye-catching back of an incredibly-eye catching girl. I sat there watching and wondering how the tattoo would look like once she gets old. Probably the butterfly would look like a sagging plant with just two leaves. Leaves, with their own midrib and veins.

Then there was this shirtless, probably homeless guy, with a lot of hair on chest. I have seen shirtless people with chests that look like mini-ecosystems but this one looked like a hazardous place even for microbes. One thing this guy definitely needed, even more than a weedicide for those chest hairs, was a belt. Every few seconds, he would pull his underwear up instead of pulling his trousers up. So the situation was so bad that his underwear and trouser seemed like troposphere and stratosphere. All this while, he was busy listening to something on his CD player.  Based on man’s looks, I presumed that either it was classic rock album or a motivational tape.

Then there was other guy who was approaching everybody and asking/saying something after which everybody shook their heads in ‘nay’. The guy came to me and said something that I could not really comprehend. But I also shook my head in ‘nay’ and he went away. Later on, I thought that ‘nay’ might have been an unethical, immoral, self-devastating or a wrong answer. What if, he was looking for a guy with B+ blood group? What if, he was conducting on a survey on people who say ‘nay’ without listening to the question? What if, he was asking my name so that he can bequeath all his property to me?

Then as the bus came, and we queued to get into bus, this guy who seemed to have received way too many bullet wounds in war and then decided to put a ring through each bullet mark, decided to walk up to the bus door and then not board it. I kept on wondering the reason for such a behavior and imagined scenarios that maybe he had to run back to the store where he works as a ‘ring hanger’. That explains ear rings, nose rings, lip rings, eye brow ring(s)…….

Scribbles from Last Week

One thing that you should never miss even if you have to break a lock up or bribe in millions or run faster than a cheetah or eat an uncooked ostrich eye or (if you can) change earth’s course of motion, is to watch a Chinese guy with an extraordinarily long face wearing Harry Potter styled spectacles. Its one thing you can never forget in your life. I happened to be that lucky this week.

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A friend’s Uncle, who lives in Illinois, has a bathroom that is about the size of Penn State natatorium and showers come fitted with inbuilt music system (with FM radio too). Wow! It is one of the most amazing thing I have heard till now. I definitely need those shower systems. I will keep them tuned to News Channel so that one day if earth is in peril, I don’t have to wait for 10 min before I finish bathing and take my plane to Mars!

Anyways, does anybody know if we can have use shower curtains for movie projections? Then I can have whole IMAX bathroom.

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Life is stale and boring at times!

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The best news of the week: Shah Rukh Khan and Salman khan had a verbal duel (which could have easily been called altercation) at Katrina’s birthday party. Then Aamir Khan tried to stop them, before Katrina and Gauri became the peacekeepers.

Oh! And they were all drunk! (including the reporter who reported this)

So filmy! The story should get a Filmfare right away!

*****

The Indian Govt. might fall next week, trying to save a future nuclear deal with USA. With the leftist’s taking their support back, a single MP from a constituency in Chhattisgarh (who may not even know what the word ‘nuclear’ means) might be in power to take a final decision on whether we should have that nuclear deal or not!

If elections become imminent, I am thinking of starting my own political party! 🙂

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The only music that has been playing on my iTunes and iPod since last week is that of upcoming Indian movie “Rock On!!” . Wow! Indie Rock! Its Rock, its amazing and it also has two exclamation marks in the movie name. I love exclamation marks!

Although, it would have been better if Farhan Akthar would have stuck to direction and acting, and left the singing part to someone else.

Anyways, whatever, just Rock On!!

*****

“The Dark Knight” is extraordinarily good. Although I had to watch the movie while sitting behind this guy who came dressed in full Batman attire. So both the bottom corners of movie screen were hidden to me behind ears of his mask. How can somebody watch a whole movie wearing that mask? And I always thought, I was crazy.

Talking about craziness, ‘Joker’ is incredibly amazing!  I agree with all those people who said that it is a performance that deserves an academy award. 

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I am planning to make ‘Scribbles from last week’ a regular feature.

Eat Me Alive!

This week, I got my first pet. It is a male Siamese fighter fish, and after two days with him as my roommate, we are already like good friends who don’t talk much. I spent the whole last two nights waking up after every one hour and walking up to fish bowl to check that it has not jumped out of it or not broken the bowl by hitting it hard enough or grown too large for it or developed into some weird creature who has potential abilities to eat me while I am in sleep. After two such nights, I have come to the conclusion that if I cover the fish bowl partially with the DVD of ‘Blair Witch Project’ and sleep hidden under my bed, while a dummy sleeps on my bed, the chances of me being eaten alive are very less.

 

The girl at PETCO had said that these fishes are very aggressive as it is a SIAMESE fighter fish. She had stressed on ‘Siamese’ more than ‘fighter’. She had also added that I can not keep any other fish in bowl with it as he will kidnap their babies and ask for ransom, tear away fins of other fishes and somehow stitch it to its own, pierce their gills with its whiskers, put some sort of duct tape on eyes of other fishes while they sleep, tear everybody else to pieces and/or kill them. I actually trusted the PETCO girl on everything but the duct tape thing. Although the girl seemed to know a lot about fishes, but its really hard to find the free end of a duct tape even with both hands. The girl told me a couple of things about the fishes and all this while she kept on looking at her watch as if she had just fed a turtle some ‘self-destruct-in-5-sec’ goggles and time for our survival was running out. On my last question she had said “you can feed him whatever you want!” but she gave me that look which said “it would be good if you feed yourself to it! And now let me go! Turtle is going to blow up!”

 

I think I should not have trusted the girl just because she was wearing blue. All her talk about it being the aggressive fish seems a farce. It’s damn lazy (typically like me). It never moves, whatever you may try. My friends keep on tapping on the fish bowl, put their finger in water, drop nachos in bowl, sing operas, do tap dance and much more, just to see it move. But I guess what it is waiting for is somebody to put his head inside his bowl, so that it can jump straight at the eyeballs. I actually bought a magnifying glass yesterday to look at his eyes to make sure that its not on dope.

 

The only time when it moves is when I play music. It loves John Williams ‘Window to the Past’ and hates rock! Wow already we differ on some things. But I can enjoy rock as long as the speakers are out of water, or it goes into hyper-evolution mode and evolves enough to buy its own iPod.

 

A friend of mine, suggested that I should give it a name. I thought of names like Hope, Ninja, Hellboy 2.5, PETCOAT, Blues, Street Fighter, ……. But then I saw that it really enjoys the miniature 3-pillared structure, which is Greek-roman in architecture. If it ever moves, it makes it a point to enter between two pillars and come out from next two. First time I saw it doing so, I thought that it is going to tie a knot with its own body. I was already on my way to search the 911 number for pets. But it is so smooth it its movements and seems so blissful when he is around those ancient looking structures, that I decided to name it ‘CAESAR’.

“You are good, I am better” says X

Excerpts of  my conversations with X.

 

“I got call from Penn state, Nebraska and Auburn. I decided to join Penn state as it was better ranked and ….”

“Oh! I had calls from Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Penn State. I chose Penn State as it was on the same geographical latitude as my hometown.” Said he.

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“I went for skydiving sometime back. Its like tandem, with you tied to an instructor and they throw you out of a plane from 10000 ft.”

“Well, I did go for that thing when I was in high school. Just that, in my case it was solo and we jumped from around 25000ft or maybe a bit more”

*****

X said, “I heard you went for white water rafting last weekend!”

“Yeah! It was so much fun! It was amazing” said I.

“In my case, it was not that much fun. It was more of a necessity as the cruise ship sank and I had to travel all the way from Hawaii to California on a raft” he said.

(Add a tiger and couple of other animals on boat and I just met ‘Pi’ from ‘Life of Pi’)

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“I was captain of high school soccer team”

“I once reached finals of Olympics 100m trials but could not run as there was  a scheduling conflict with my movie shoot dates.

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“My Dad had to spend a night in jail as he was protesting against the pay commission established by the govt.”

“Oh! My dad once killed 40 people and he has been in jail ever since.” Says X.

(I made this one up! But this is what I always imagine to soothe myself while  talking to X.)

100th Post! Why I blog?

100th post! (Applause!!!…….Applause!)

Thank You! (Applause dies down slowly…..)

Thanks to all those people who still read all the crappy nonsense written on this page. My apologies to all those who had nervous breakdowns with their cerebrums popping out, after reading couple of posts. I should have included a warning for you guys. Thanks, to all those people who prayed to God after reading those posts, saying “Please God! Help this retarded kid”

I could not think of a better 100th post then to design my own tombstone and present it you people. A friend of mine once asked me why I write like a retarded kid. I said, “Firstly because I am retarded! And secondly because it makes people smile!”

So that’s why I blog! I consider myself lucky if you guys smiled even once after reading any of these posts! Thanks!

Firefly! Firefly!!

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of  ‘Cheetah’?

Speed! Formula 1! Jason Statham! Maurice Greene! Engine oil (the one with cheetah in its ad)

 

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of ‘Fireflies’?

Hope!

 

What?!

 

Yes, I don’t know why but that’s the way it is. I always relate fireflies to hope. I mean not like ‘producing-light-from-your-bottoms-and-preventing-energy-crisis’ kind of hope but just optimism and positivity. That things-will-be-fine vibe.   

 

I am not really a big fan of class Insecta of animal kingdom. Actually I was always the kid who would not sleep as long as that black little thing in living room had been killed my by mother. All my mother’s claims that such a small being cannot cross through two closed doors and even if it does, it is not going to harm me, were just futile speeches to my ears. The only part I really heard in that argument was ‘…what if…’ and then I would add my own imagination to it.

 

I mean, how can she be so sure that they won’t develop wolverine like claws at night once my mother goes to sleep. Claws bigger that their own body. Two closed doors won’t be a problem then. Right?! They might kidnap me and take me somewhere. Some place totally spooky. Only God knows what they might do to me; they might  torture me in their own ways by tying a rope to each of my ribs and hang me in a spider web or they may think that my legs are my antenna and ask me to sit upside down and narrate to them what signals am I receiving from time to time. They might ask  me secrets to human civilization, secrets to our survival, ways how insects can defeat humans. What would I tell them? Don’t worry! We will defeat ourselves! Just relax and watch whatever you watch on whatever TV like thing you have.

 

As a kid I always thought that my mother does not know insects very well, that she does not understand their full potential. Now after growing up and reading a whole lot of zoology, I think my mother is not alone in that class. She has company of all my friends, all my biology teachers and so many other people, who have all underestimated insects.

 

But that opinion has never deterred me from liking fireflies. You know how, even the evil kingdom has a king’s daughter who is always there for a just cause, always standing by truth. Fireflies are those daughters of Insecta. They always fill me with hope and positivity. Maybe it has got something to do with that twinkle in darkness thing. Small stars floating so close to earth. Its so beautiful and captivating to me that I spend so much time watching them from my window.

 

Have you ever seen a tree full off of fireflies and when they synchronize their ON/OFF pattern? The whole tree lights up suddenly for a second and then goes dark again. Its so amazing to watch. I sometimes wish that my whole room was full off them but then there should be some physical superplasma barrier between them and me.

 

Having said that, howsoever poetically beautiful they maybe in nighttime, fireflies in daytime is not my thing. During daytime, they are as scary as any other of their class!

 

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By the way this is my 99th post! Next one is going to be special!

 

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To S.

(who, from now on, would be reading  this blog from a distance of more than 7,500  miles),

 

All the Best in all your future endeavors!

 

Cheers!