Wednesday, June 07, 2006

We've moved!

We're bored of blogger. On a lark, we've shifted to Wordpress. We've messed up our display names there [Priya is called Wanderlust, and Tuhina is called dunnoany, no specific reason whatsoever with regard to the choice of names and there's no way to change it!], and I guess it'll be a bit before we get totally used to the place.
We've imported all our posts and comments there. We'll keep updating this post with the wonders of wordpress. The most obvious one here seems to be that we are able to categorize our posts on wordpress. Hope we discover the goodies that wordpress has to offer.
See ya there readers!!!
http://thenitknumbskulls.wordpress.com

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A morning gone awry

I surprised everyone at home this morning by waking up early. No, it wasn't because the mosquitoes refused to let me sleep, or 'coz my sister pulled my sheet away leaving me cold. Well, anyway, I was up before the newspapers arrived, and I didn't want to stick around shivering in the cold till then, so I gave my mum a heart-attack by going for a morning walk.
I'd first thought of just walking around the colony, but the surface resembles the moon's, very unkind on the feet. Hmm... miniforest wasn't very far away, I'd probably go there.
But when I got there, I decided the area's too familiar to me, so I'd just walk and walk till I felt like coming back.
I won't bore you with details of how good the walk felt, how amazed I was that my hay-fever had vanished, how beautiful things looked in the morning light, how vicious the street dogs were [mom maintains that they chase me due to the way I wear my jacket], and how far you can get carried away by your thoughts.
I don't still know what possessed me, but an hour later, I found myself four km away from home. There I was, demented with fatigue and hunger, too sleepy to walk all the way back. To my luck, I'd forgotten my mobile at home, and so had to get back before my mum started worrying. Luckily, I had a little money [and I mean little], enough to get back home by BMTC bus.
As I walked to the bus stop, I watched the direct bus home rush past me, the conductor smirking at me as I waved frantically for the bus to stop. Ten minutes later at the bus stop, I was amazed by how many destinations there were in South Bangalore, and how mine was but an insignificant one, that there's just one bus every ten-fifteen minutes to it.
The next bus did turn up finally, and my destination suddenly seemed to be very popular, everyone and his brother wanted to go to JP Nagar 3rd Phase just then. The bus was bursting at the seams, as aunties and tiny schoolchildren jostled for space, nay, entry into the bus. The conductor smugly asked some of the bigger aunties to get off, there was a rule against overloading a bus, and come to think of it, there isn't enough space. Finally, everyone did get in, me on the footboard [a more nimble schoolgirl pushed me there, squeezing her way deep into the bus], only prevented from being pushed off the bus by the two huge aunties behind me... I discovered they really had more inertia.
I was relieved it was just the morning, and that it wasn't all that warm, people sweated less, and used deo. I didn't have to worry anyway, I was asphyxiated and the breath was knocked out of me by the pushing and shoving from all directions. As I gripped the bar, closed my eyes and waited for the next stop, [the bus was moving very slowly due to the load] flashes of my past flickered past my eyes. The asphyxia reminded me of another time when I'd gotten into an equally crowded bus [not on the footboard, though] just 'coz this friend of mine who I used to travel home with wanted to beat the clock to get to speak to a certain someone. And the other time when I bumped into a long-lost friend on a bus....
Next stop. I had to get off and then get on. Now, this was tricky, coz once before, the bus had left without me. The aunties made sure I had no hassle. QED.
The conductor came around asking for tickets. Should I say "pass" like the girl in front of me and save myself the hassle of having to dig through my pockets for change? I unfortunately didn't. The ticket costed five rupees, which was daylight robbery [I wouldn't say robbery without violence, the way people rush to get into a bus is pretty violent] for four kilometres! No wonder BMTC is the only public transport corporation that makes a profit. Well, I'd been used to travelling by bus two years before, when fuel prices weren't as high as they are now. Didn't feel all that Rip van Winkle-y though. Well, I got back two rupees change, and no ticket! Why, the cheating scum, how petty can you get?
"Ticket kodtheera?" I bravely ventured. "Illa ma," the conductor said. Look, your stop is just a few minutes away, why don't you do us both a favour and stop asking for a ticket? "Checking-avaru bandare?" Main hoon na, he said.
I was too weak to argue, and wasn't ready for the consequences. Once before, when I'd asked for a ticket instead of half the fare, this conductor had the audacity to snap at me, and pull my leg the rest of the journey, and when I started raising my voice, had the guts to push this huge lady so that she fell on me.
Well, I finally reached home, tired and hungry. Sis was waiting at the door, ready to pounce on me, coz I'd worn her slippers for the walk. Thanks to all the pushing and shoving on the bus, I'd gotten bitten by the shoe [it can tell when it's in a hostile environment] and it was fully ruined.
She was done shouting at me, and then amicably suggested, "Well, you seem to like my slippers a lot, so you keep it, and I'll go get some new ones".
So I'm stuck with a pair of biting slippers, and I don't think I'll ever go out on a ramble again. Walking doesnt seem so good for my health anymore. I'll lie in bed and watch action movies for exercise.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Infidel

Here is yet another typically Shobhaa De piece. Where she boldly and bravely speaks out against the fairytale of happily married. And applauds Karan Johar for having the guts to come out with such a bold film [Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, and it's about *yawn* adultery], which can potentially damage his credo at the Box Office.
She also says that India needs a Bollywood film made by someone of Karan's sensibility and mass appeal for the Sati-Savitri stereotypes to crumble. Hell's Bells, the Indian moviegoer is upto his neck with themes similar to this one. And ha, will one movie, or for that matter, a dozen or more movies of this type do anything to the psyche of the moviegoer from the Cowbelt, or even the multiplex audience?
Well, maybe, just maybe, if the women had any semblance to what women are like in real life. I agree with Ms. De to the point where she feels that women in real life aren't the self-sacrificing types shown in the movies and people should stop expecting them to be so. But isn't it preposterous to suggest that Karan Johar portrays women faithfully? Just look at Anjali, or Tina, or Naina Catherine Kapoor, or Pooja... Aren't they just caricatures of Tomboy, Heroine, Stressed-Out Breadwinner, and an over-the-top, exaggeratedly comic version of Femme Fatale?
And just how is adultery a solution to anything? How does having an incompatible spouse justify your finding pleasure outside of the relationship? Divorce, maybe, is justified by the above reason, but certainly not adultery, which is, anyway just another word for unfaithfulness.
Ms. De foresees that the treatment given to the plot and the theme will be such that the audience empathizes with the philandering woman. But why should they? Why should we accept adultery as just another thing in life, and take it in our stride when it happens? Doesn't that go totally against our concept of marriage, as we know it? As far as we know, Ms. De isn't one of those who don't believe in marriage, or are cynical about it, that her having such a point of view is justified.
As for those who don't believe in marriage, and are applauding Karan Johar for Breaking the Rules [with adultery], ha, why at all get married, if you're not going to give all to the relationship?
As for Breaking the Rules, maybe we should be doing so, but not in favour of heartbreak and anarchy, which are not on the path to a more stable social structure.
Talking of a which, the only solutions I can think of, off the top of my mind are Galaxia, which is a global organism, as portrayed by Asimov in Foundation and Earth, or a society of hermaphrodites, like Solaria, from the same novel. What I'm trying to say is that there are no easy solutions to keep a marriage intact, unless the very existence of the parties involved in the relationship depended on the stability of the relationship, as in Galaxia, or the non-existence of such an unstable bond, as in Solaria.
And for this potentially epoch-making film... I don't think this is going to herald the coming of a great social revolution. Just like Salaam Namaste didn't make an iota of difference to people's perception of live-in relationships. It takes a lot more than films to reverse our dogmas and hypocrisies, or even bring them to light. And filmmakers make such films not 'coz they feel like on the cusp of a dramatic social change, or 'coz they rightly estimate the sensibilities of the audience. A hatke theme is a big draw, as far as curiosity is concerned, and this includes the Indian media, which promptly laps it all up, blows it all out of proportion and delights in declaring again and again that Indian audiences are growing more open minded. Add to that a dozen-or-so hit song-and-dance sequences, and heartstring-tugging dialogues and a director like Karan Johar who revels in three hours of swinging the audiences' emotions from crest to abyss to crest, and there you have a runaway success.
As for Ms. De, who so delights in declaring her hi-fi contacts so often in her columns...Pah! Advertising knows no limits.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Once 'round the sun

A year, now. A YEAR! It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since we came out with our test post. Forty posts up, this is the forty-first [roughly a post every nine days]. Are we proud, or are we proud.
It was a boring Sunday evening near the fag end of our second semester when Tu and me were reading The Hindu’s supplement, which had an article on blogging. Just like that [like most other decisions I make], we decided to start scribbling online.
And here we are, with The NITK Numbskulls Page [couldn’t think of a more open-ended title] still scribbling away, never having stopped to think.
We aren’t doing anything new, or path breaking, or epoch-making. We don’t write ‘coz it is going to help us down the line in CAT or GRE. We don’t blog ‘coz it’s cool to do so, or ‘coz everyone else is doing it. We don’t write here just ‘coz we want to know what the world thinks of us. No, this blog isn’t a stairway to anything else; it exists just for our love of writing.
Now comes the big question asked on birthdays… have we improved, generally? I should think not, as far as I am concerned, for reasons elaborated in my previous post. But then, putting thoughts into writing has generally helped: I am more confident of being able to write, and think better of my thoughts now. I also objectively analyze others’ writing better now, and don’t just take them at face value anymore.
Otherwise… well, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that verbosity while just getting your ideas across isn’t necessarily bad, but verbosity that obscures what you’re trying to say, is. Broadly, I can say that it all depends on what you want the effect of your writing to be.
And I’ve also discovered that the best writing comes from deep within, and comes only when you are actually strongly feeling what you’re writing. Maybe that is coz it adds believability and hence, life to your words.
I haven’t made any rules for myself as yet [should I have?], but write guided by what I would like to read.
I don’t yet know about good and bad writing, other than that while reading good writing, you’re able to feel what the writer feels, or wants you to feel, whereas with bad writing, you get thoroughly irritated with everything about it and you actually pay less attention to what the writer is trying to say than to how he’s saying it.
And there've been some posts which never came off, stuff which I tried to write, unsuccessfully: There was one on Woodstock, and whether we could have another edition in this age of rampant consumerism, which I tried thrice to finish, but it always ended up as another version of the Woodstock entry in Wiki.
Then there was one about how Rang De Basanti was such a farce, and how Ayutha Ezhuthu deserves to be the one hogging all the plaudits, and be telecast on August 15.
Of all of those which I have published, my favourite has been this one. It wasn't much-read, being written in the initial days of the blog.
As much as we’ve enjoyed writing here, we’ve also enjoyed reading other blogs and hopefully others have enjoyed reading this page. Thanks to our blogger brothers and sisters who read us and care to leave a comment… that’d be a whole bunch of people:
Starting with our batch mates Deepika and Nitin [or Speed and Finance Freak], dear friend Deepti Bhat who’s clear thoughts are a dee-light to read [don’t believe her when she calls herself Xtremely Insane], Anant Jain, who is among the first to read my posts [he's got RSS feeds, ;-)], venerable seniors Dhaval Giani and Gautham Shenoy, fellow NIT-ians Shashi, Jayanth, Tony, The Monk, and Karthik aka CB, Aravind and Abhilash, as also Karthik Ramakrishnan.
And how could I forget Mr./Ms. Anonymous? Of the twelve months we’ve been blogging, this person’s been reading us for eight [assuming, of course, that (s)he’s been the only anonymous person who’s stubbornly refused to use an alias]. We wonder who you are that you’re jobless enough to be trashing us for so long.
And, finally, to the guy who inspired me to start blogging- longtime friend and fellow Beatle-maniac Nakul Krishna, who’s Twelve-Bar Original was such a delight to read…Nakul, I thank you for having taught me new things, and new ways of thinking, and above all, being there as a constant source of inspiration, and a lasting influence in my life.

Over a cuppa

To my agony aunt, who learnt the hard way that all nice guys are either gay or taken.

I hate to say ‘I told you so’
Don’t despair, just let it go
There are bigger fish in the sea
Just waiting up for you and me

But care two hoots, who gives a shit
They matter not, and just don’t fit
Into the scheme of our lives
Cheer up, gal, high five?
Nothing’s changed with me and you
We’re still the same ol’ two
Crazy gals cutting chai
Hakuna Matata, plain yenjaai.

A cuppa, anytime, on me;
You’ve always been there for me
Let’s stick around this coffee shop
Till the waiters blow their top
And throw us out, like they always do
Who cares!
Our spirit’s never quashed, our laughter too.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sickness

Listening to: ­Love you to by The Beatles.

Was going through my previous posts. The ones I wrote when I started blogging. And the ones I’ve written recently. The degradation is obvious. My writing has lost the passion and the angst that made it what it was. I don’t anymore feel what I write. And re-reading the later posts is almost impossible.
No, I don’t say I’ve taken to writing to just keep the boredom away, or to fill space. It is just the stagnation I’m undergoing that shows in my writing.
I have no one to blame but me. I’ve stopped having a perspective on things that go on around me. I blindly look up to editorials and columns for perspective. In short, I don’t have anything much to say about the world around me.
I don’t anymore write what I feel, either. Staying in this place has hardened my exterior to such an extent that I barely know what I feel. My sense of humor has taken second place to my sense of rumor. All I come up with are clich├ęs and borrowed thoughts.
All I want to do now is to regain my sense of self, get in touch with my real thoughts and feelings and at the same time, not block out the rest of the world, but to take it all in and make sense of it.

I’M GOING HOME!!!

Epilogue: I haven’t been home for months. And I don’t think I can go home till May 10th the very least. It isn’t pleasant anymore here, being in the thick of intellectual stagnation.
All I need is a place to dust the cobwebs in my head, where I have unrestricted access to the idiot box, can read the newspaper for as long as I wish, debate on newspaper reports for hours on end, and have food so good that its warmth floods me, coaxing me gently to take yet another helping.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Limerix

Wrote these for Inci. One of the topics was a limerick that had to end with '...and that was the chicken that killed you' and another was 'That bird from Timbuktu'. Timepass writing by me and a long-lost buddy who turned up for Inci...

Bird Flu'
Into the coop flew
A chick from where, I have no clue
If only the butcher'd seen
The Jap DNA in its meat lean
It wouldnta been the chicken that killed you

This one's mainly by my long-lost buddy Rajdeep who I met after a real long time during Inci.


The Bird from Timbuktu
There was this chick called Eustreche
From Timbuktu, not Ulrich
Her neck was long, her legs were longer
I'd've dated her, she wasn't much younger
If it wasn't for that she was an ostrich

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Colours of life

Odd day of the week. Only reason why you wake up is your stomach. The clock is near the right angle. I drag myself out of the bed. I grab a rubbery sort of thing and butter all my fingers. I crawl the long way back to my room and push myself under the bedsheet. There is a pillar in the middle. I stare into it. There is a breeze and the top pages of the pillar flutter. A finger comes brandishing with the wind. The binary numbers are dancing around it. The fingers, the numbers and the pillar are surrounded by a ring. The ring is made up of the letters ‘e’,’n’,’g’,’i’,’n’,’e’,’e’,’r’. There is a huge glass beaker filled with crabs. One is trying with all its might to climb out. Another is pulling it down. There is fox in the well. A goat jumps in. The fox climbs on it and gets out. A snake slithers from behind and strikes with a vicious hiss. There is pyramid. I’m standing somewhere midway. The people at the top look below and laugh their heads off. There is a great thunder in the background. I push myself out of the cosyness and pull the latch. There is a downpour on me. Someone’s thrusting coloured powder into my hand. I’m startled and I throw it around. Everyone scream with joy and cry ‘Happy holi’.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Arachnomania, Ailurophobia

Wrote this when I was miserably bored studying Principles of Data Communication... The title has little to do with the rest of the post; Arachnomania isn't a theme, and ailurophobia doesnt figure until the very end.
Time: 1:45 am
Was listening to: Some arbit hard rock.
Roommate was faast asleep; she’s one of those who don’t need to be dog-tired to go into a state of alpha sleep. Which is a positively great thing as far as I am concerned, she isn’t disturbed by any amount of music I play however late in the night.
That day, I wasn’t particularly taking pains to keep the volume low; it was quite close to the beginning of the semester.
I was shocked out of my wits by a sudden /*you’d better watch your step now ho-neay, gonna fall on your faayce*/ creeping on my shoulder. Oh, dang, the window was open, there’s no telling what it could be…
Oh, thank god, it was only next-door neighbor, here to tell me to keep the sound on low /*catch yerself all ye need now/ state of graayce*/or I could borrow her headphones.
“It’s the goddamn beginning of the semester!” I wanted to yell. /*I need the money, need to hear you cry/ oh, just look at that, how I need to fly*/ But all I did was sullenly put mine on and apologize.

Well then, there’s no ‘mute’ button on me! /*sssomebody ssstop mee*/
Sound echoes all the way through a corridor, /*Heyy…ja ja jaaay-dead*/ and there were people lining up outside my door to tell me to stop, and one of them, /*you gotcho mamma’s style, but you’re yes-ta-day’s chaiile to-o-o meee*/ to get my attention, kicked the half-shut door open, /*my, my, baay-beh bluuuu*/ so that it slammed the wall and rocked me out of my reverie. /*Yeah you’re so jaaay-ded*/ Yeah right, like that helped. It didn't even wake my roommate!
In the end, I was forced to restrict myself to a low hum. /*Bay-beh I’m afraid o’you*/ Well, those gals had louder music systems and made me aware that they knew I didn’t like Avril Lavigne and Britney playing during exams.
I contented myself watching a spider weave its web on my open window. Would that be good enough to keep the mosquitoes out? /*Ah need a saaign/ just let me know you’re heer, mah tv set just keeps it all from bein’ clear*/ How effortlessly it wove its way across the bars, made perfect geometric patterns… and how well-matched it looked there, with its black-and-white patterns on that web glistening in the tube light… /*Ah need to know when things r gonna look up*/
I couldn’t handle that perfection; I just snapped one thread, with the tip of my pencil. /*There is no safe place, no safe place to put my he-ead*/ I knew the spider would eat its web up now, almost like saying “Look, if you want to ruin, let me do it, I can do it neater than you.”
No trace of the web in just seconds. I looked around for the spider. It must be gathering its wits now; they never give up or something like that, right?
Oh no! It wasn’t on the window! Hope it’s not on my table…
I stood up for a better look.
My feet touched something soft. No, I don’t possess anything even remotely of that texture…
Ick! It was a tiny kitten. Or rather, THE tiny kitten that has been tormenting my life since day 1 of this semester. [Aside: some kind souls decided that kitty needed some care, and so gave it a bath, and hung it out to dry. Kitty was alive after that ordeal…. Nine lives, seriously!]. The dames with the better music systems obviously knew no manners, and had left the door open.

This kitten has a mind like a blank page: she doesn’t know fear. She’ll walk in anywhere, go to anyone. Take a big cat and say “shoo”, it’ll KNOW it isn’t wanted, and it’ll walk away. Not this one. She’d just gaze back at you; give you that beseeching look, the resilience strong on her face. After her Bath, she sheds a lot, which is a good enough reason to not like having her around in your room, especially if you are a candidate for hay fever.
She scratches too, if you don’t know how to hold her.
So I ran for the resident felixpert, who got kitty out of my room in a trice. And in good time too, she was trying to climb into my bucket of (un) washing.
It was a cold night, which explains why kitty wanted to get to someplace warm.
As I tucked myself in, the hay fever set in.
One sneeze, then another, then another… and another from the other side of the room! /*There is no safe place, no safe place to put my he-ead*/
I HATE FELINES!

/*And I’m… callin all you angels*/

Saturday, February 11, 2006

V-Day

Currently Humming: The Look by Roxette.

Tried to write a post for V-Day, but the idea fell flat on its face. So here's some blatant plagiarism. No, uh, well, ok, I'll acknowledge the source... This is by Ogden Nash, who's style of writing and talent of altering words for putting things into rhyme I sincerely admire. This one's called 'To My Valentine' and am amazed it doesn't score over Pablo Neruda's poems as far as dedications and serenades are concerned [Uh, ok, that's an exaggeration]. Loved it the moment I read it, maybe 'coz it sounds so different from all the usual serenading lyrics.

To My Valentine:

More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That’s how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That’s how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That’s how you’re loved by me.