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Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Here I come, Bozo!


No, don't worry. I'd never dare to call you a bozo! :)

Bozo's my li'l dog in Bangalore. And I'm off on an indefinitely long visit to play with him. Oops, sorry da Karthik (that's my nephew), naan unkoodayum vilayaduven! But I get to hog the PS2, deal-a? Actually, I have no clue when I'm coming back. Adha naan decent-a "indefinite trip"-nu solli peela vittutu alayaraen! :)

***************

I really don't know why this happens to me. Maybe God wanted me to remain grounded. (Note to self: Erase all the words from your vocabulary that remind you of that stupid Electronic Circuits subject) I was on a high after getting my license. Nothing else could have prompted me to write such a long post! But the very next day, I was brought down to earth with a thud... and a heavy cold.

I thought one of my many allergies had been triggered off. Misery seeks company-nu summava solluvaanga? Nee cold-a mattum vechundu enna panna porae? indha, headache-um vechukko-nu adhayum kuduthutaaru.

I so wanted to make this B'lore trip that I actually took rest for 2 whole days, hopin' I'd be better by today. It kinda paid off! I've sacrificed two days of cricket, God. I better not fall sick again in Bangalore! So kindly do the needful. Danku!

***************

Suderman, if you're reading this, I forgot to tell ya something yesterday..
THANK YOU!! :)

It definitely made my day! I was half asleep.. and it woke me up for good! Aaah, I now have something to say and change topic if my relatives start asking me about my exams! :D

***************

Oops. I've a train to catch in a coupla hours, gtg... see ya folks! Don't forget me! :P



Saturday, May 28, 2005

Driving me crazy


Ladies and Gentlemen,
Harish is hereby officially recognised by the Government of India as a traffic troubler! :)

Thank you, Thank you!
And quite a lot happened during the course of being granted this status..

Flashback time! [Extremely lengthy post! Read at ur own risk!! :) ]

27th May, 2004:
Yup. Check that date. That was when I got my Learner's license, or the LLR. And what was supposed to be a month's wait for the permanent license stretched out to a whole year! Every time I decided to go for it, something or the other cropped up. Lab classes, internal exams, laziness, internal exams again, laziness, chicken pox (yup!), laziness, semester exams. Aaah, fate was hell bent on makin' me renew my LLR for another 6 months. I've a friend who's renewed it thrice. I seemed so responsible in comparison!

27th May, 2005:
It wasn't preplanned. It was jus' coincidental that I was to go for my license tests exactly a year later. But it surely wasn't short of action!

7:32 a.m : Who let the dogs out?
The driving school had warned me to come at 7:30 on the dot. "Ettu poda practice pannanam pa nee. Late-a vandha avanga unna vittutu poiduvaanga." Adada.. engayo dhoorathula edho ground-ku kootitu poga poraangalo-nu naanum avasaravasarama kilambinen kaarthaala. Turned out that the practice road was practically 20 yards away from the driving school. Grrrr!

There were 4 of us planning to practice the 8. The tutor showed us how to do it first. He went diagonally between the two stones around which we were to put the 8, and started flailing his right hand as if a lizard fell on it. It took me a few seconds to realise that was supposed to be a signal for a left turn. A U-turn around the stone later, he stretched his right hand to signal right. Yeah, now this seemed more sensible and practical. He went around for the second time repeating his "create ur own tornado" step. And came to a stop after two 8s.

The youngest of the lot went first. Ah ha! So there were ppl younger than me in that driving school. He was pretty funny. He signalled with his left hand, (kinda reminded me of Rajni's "en vazhi, thani vazhi"), kept his foot down and made all sortsa funny mistakes. But I was distracted by a li'l dog that kept staring at me. I bent down and said "Hi, what's your name?".. and realised that the dog wasn't the only soul staring at me now! A gal eyed me with the kinda disdain reserved for creeps. I stood up and decided to concentrate on what was going on. Another guy went next. He'd been practicing the moves even as the tutor was showing us how to do it. Looked like he was dancing to some inaudible tune. Ha! I wasn't the only person acting weird! the gal went next, and she seemed pretty comfy doing it. Err, putting the 8, I mean. (ugh! "ettu podaradhu".. adhukku literal-a translate panneeten!)

Yours truly went last. The minute I revved up the Kinetic, the li'l dog's ears pricked up, and thought I deserved an escort. So the little one jogged alongside me, dodging the wheels, wagging its tail, fixing me with a rather silly look with it's tongue hanging out at a funny angle. It made me keep my foot down twice. I saw the funny side of the situation and grinned at the tutor. The tutor meanwhile was yelling at me for wasting his time and not practising properly! I shot a "It's all your fault!" look at the dog. It slunk away looking sorry! Wow, enakku ipadi oru power-a? :)


10:45 a.m : At the RTO office
My mom shooed me away before 10:30 citing Yama Gandam. Didn't wanna upset her when she seemed to look more nervous than I was supposed to. Chammathu payyana I went to the RTO only to realise I'd forgotten my wallet. So, went back home giving my mom a sheepish look. And left to the RTO exactly as Yama Gandam was turning on its heat! He he, I still cannot forget the look on my mom's face..

I had to wait for quite a while till another tutor from the driving school turned up. Hey, this was the guy who taught me to drive a car last year! I didn't have too much difficulty coaxing him to gimme a practice round before the RTO arrived. I completely screwed up! 2 seconds after ignition, the car jumped and came to a stop. The tutor was glaring at me! I don't blame him. Jus' seconds before, he was proudly telling the man sitting at the back of the car (another person who'd come to get his license) that I was one of his better students. Cha, endha nerathula sodhapanam-nu vevasthaye illai enakku! :( The next 5 minutes were no better. The tutor gave me a rather piteous frown and said "RTO-ku munaadi aavadhu urupadiya oteedu pa!"

Sheesh. Nervousness. Jus' what I needed. I thought I'd have no problems with the car, coz I drove pretty decently when I learnt. Now I had to contend with the fact that I had a rickety Kinetic Honda AND a jumping Maruthi 800 looking like an imposing barrier to my driving license. Since I was supposed to get one for a bike and car, I'd lose both if I screwed up even one test. Coreeta oruthan vandhu thathuvam pesinaan.. "If you're nervous, it's a sure sign that you're going to come back for your tests for the second time. ha ha ha." Almost everybody next to him threw him a dirty look. That shut him up for good.

11:40 a.m : Testing times
The RTO arrived. It was time for the bike test. The mere sight of him gave me the jitters. He was bald, unshaven, huge, wore a big kunguma pottu on his forehead, and looked really menacing. In other words, he looked like a villain straight out of a telugu movie! And he even tried to act like one. He made a man stand a few feet away from the stones, and that meant we had even lesser space to manipulate the vehicle. The ladies went first. Two of them kept their foot down. The first thought that came to my mind was not to befriend a dog now! And finally, when I was called, my palms were already sweaty. Aana ennavo therila, the minute I sat on the kinetic, all my doubts and worries vanished. And before I knew it, I'd done it. Half the mountain climbed.

I was so busy congratulating myself that I didn't notice the bike tests were over. Everyone was crowding around the Maruthi car. The RTO was seated comfortable on the passenger seat. The two others who'd come for the tests and my tutor sat in the backseat. I jus stood staring at the car. "Ukaaru pa. Beach varaikkum otitu po, anga thaan test nadakkum", the tutor said. Ada paavigala, naan thaan bali aada?

But I got on and prayed that the car doesn't twitch like a bucking horse. Thankfully, it didn't. The only route to the beach was a really bad road, with sand, stones and construction workers! And to add to my woes, 4 huge speed breakers. I somehow maneuvered my way through it all, and came to the beach. The RTO was staring at me. I was in for it, I thought. The tutor had warned me that this particular officer took sadistic pleasure in putting us through the paces. Like in a dog show. :(

Once near the beach, he asked me to pull up to the side. And even as I was wondering if I'd be asked to take a reverse or a u-turn, he asked me to get off! What?? How?! Why?!?! He said my test was over and I could go! Brilliant! This meant, the only thing the RTO asked me was my name! Yaaayyy!! Confident that I'd passed both the tests, I went and sat in the RTO office. And sat and sat and sat. :(

12:50 p.m : Treat!
Looked like the car tests were over too. My tutor came back in the car, and immediately walked up to me. He said, "kalakittae pa! Andha RTO unna thaan romba sonaar. 'Chinna payyana irundhaalum pakka-va otinaan'." Chinna payyan? Who, me? Ada paavigala! He continued, "Nee nalla otuvae-nu enakku nambikkai irundhudhu. So treat eppo?".. I could only think "neengaluma? :( "

1:45 p.m : Say cheese
It was officially declared that I'd passed the tests. This strangely gave me more satisfaction than clearing my 12th boards. But all that waiting in the searing Chennai heat in May took its toll on me. I was drenched in sweat, looking completely exhausted and sleepy. Somehow, the sadistic streak in these RTO ppl kept rearing its ugly head. Of all the times they could have called me, they chose to take my photograph NOW! Sheesh..

The room they took my snap in, was air-conditioned. I jus' didn't want to leave. I sat down on the chair and wondered if there was any point in trying to make my unruly mop of hair behave. I also wondered if I should smile. Even as I attempted a very feeble smile, they shooed me away saying they'd already taken my pic! It was almost deja vu as a familiar set of questions ran thru my head. "What?? How?! Why?!?! When?!" :)

A wait of half an hour, and I was given my unlaminated license to sign. I was asked to check if the details were right, but I wasn't able to look at anything else other than the photo. I looked like an urichu vitta kozhi! :( Hair sticking out at all wrong angles, my T-shirt visibly sweaty, my specs hanging in a lop-sided manner.. Bloody hell, why were they doing this to me?! That put an end to all my plans of showing off my license to everyone. There was no way I was gonna show THAT photo of mine to ppl!!

2:30 p.m : Licensed to trouble
A shiny new license was in my hands.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Harish is hereby officially recognised by the Government of India as a traffic troubler! :)


Footnote:
If you've actually read through the whole thing, congratulations!! And sorry! :)


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Pocket tales


An intense game of 8-ball was in session. My friend and I had sunk all the stripes. The 8 ball was giving us a headache. Ok, so we're not experts. Heck, I wouldn't even call myself an amateur. I play the game jus' to make a complete fool of myself.

Surprisingly today, I'd sunk 4 balls in 8 tries. That, to me, was equivalent to taking a double hatrick in an over! And even as we struggled with the last 8 ball, the other two were calmly pocketing the solids, with smug looks on their faces as if to say "Yup, this is like a handicap match. We let you take the lead, and we're coming after you!"..

Another surprise was the complete lack of smoke. My friend later told me that smoking was not allowed inside.. Aaah, no wonder! I'd usually be too busy coughing to notice what ball I'm supposed to be aiming at.

So there we were. The cue ball and the 8 ball had lined up perfectly. One shot away from victory. My friend scanned the warzone and plotted his strategy.





"I'm going after it hard", he said.


"Stupid move.. the softer the touch, the better", countered the opponent (who was my friend too, but hey, this was supposed to be war!)

"I don't care.. that bloody ball is gonna regret setting foot on this table"

"Ok, fine.. but you're supposed to say which pocket you're aiming to sink the ball in."

"Duh! Isn't it obvious.. I'm going for that one!", he said, pointing to the pocket right in front of the opponent.

He screwed up his eyes in intense concentration, did a couple of practice shots a few inches away from the cue ball, rolled up his sleeve, shut one eye, lolled his tongue and WHAM!!

The cue ball went flying, almost outta the window.

The 8 ball fell into the pocket alright. The one in my opponent's cargos.

PS:
My traditional pool table cough paid me a visit after all that laughing. :)
And yeah, we lost!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Yippeeeee!




And one of them has already got my name on it! Yessssssss...

Thanks a million, Krithika, for letting me know abt this.

Thought I'd try my luck at Odyssey on my way back from the Bloggers' Meet. [Pics here.. thanks CC!]
And jus' like she said, 135 bucks waived off if I pre-ordered the book. Damn, did it feel good to walk up to them, wave my card and say "I'd like to pre-order my book please, thanks"!! :P

But almost immediately my "all grown up" feeling flew outta the window when they gave me a Bookube.. kinda like a rubik's cube but it opened up in different ways and gave me rare Harry Potter trivia like "Harry was a born seeker" and Quidditch being the "The most exciting and celebrated of all wizard sports". Ugh! I hate to sound sarcastic when it comes to Harry Potter. Halfway outta Odyssey, I was already ripping the cover apart and checking out the different combinations!!

Can't wait for July 16!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Funnybone?


Anyone who's got hit there'd tell you it's NOT funny at all!

But that's not the point. Have you ever noticed the "type of humour" field on the Orkut profile? There's a long list including "slapstick", "sarcastic" and "quick witted". They've left one out.

Self-Depreciatory. [did u know it doesn't have an 'i'? I didn't! :) Thanks Shyam!]
Self-Deprecatory

I kinda like this particular type! :) And I might have even overused it on my blog. But there's a certain charm to it. A certain something that gets even complete strangers getting to know you for the first time, to warm up to you instantly. To kid around like an old friend.
I'm not complaining at all! :)

I jus' hope all this self-depreciation doesn't leave me feeling worthless! :)

So for a change, I'll make the protagonist of the following narration anonymous! :P

There lived this boy who couldn't believe half his college life was over. He realised there were so many things in life he might have missed experiencing. (Perverts might want to get their minds back on track. I'm talking about the simple pleasures of life. Hey! Why's ur grin getting wider? Stop!)

That was when he realised he hadn't gone on a plane. At least not when he was old enough to appreciate what was happening. He must have flown 3-4 times, but all before the age of 4. Now who wants that? But there was one incident etched quite deeply in his mind. And it happened in-flight.

He remembered dim lights, he remembered an uncomfortable seatbelt. Pity he didn't remember the pretty air-hostesses. But one of them had a part to play in this li'l flashback of his.

*li'l flashback*

He was extremely excited to see an entire tray of chocolates being held in front of his face. His reflex to grab the entire lot was cut short by the "Now let's see how you behave.. One step outta the line, young man, and you're in for it" look from his mom.


So, the well-behaved kid that he was, he looked up at the airhostess with saccharine sweetness, picked jus' one chocolate, gave her a grin so sincere that he hoped she'd melt and give him all the chocolates, and said "Happy Birthday!"

He never forgot the laughter that echoed off the aisle of the plane.

He never forgot the lapful of chocolates either. :)


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Airtel Students Pack


.. has a 350 msgs per day limit.
And yesterday was not the first time I exceeded it. :(


Happy B'day, sissie! You owe me a treat today! :)

Update (17th May, 9:15 PM) :
And again!!! :"( It doesn't feel like I've sent 700 msgs in 45 hrs! :(
I need counselling!



Wednesday, May 11, 2005

On my way back...


Travelling in a share van* has its own set of pleasures.

After walking outside for 1.5 km (Why do they keep the campus so well hidden inside??), I really don't mind the cramped vehicle.

Where else would u get to see a drunk man drill a hole thru the shirt of a guy in front with his cigarette? :) The fight that ensued was even better. Got a ring-side view!

With the radio blaring in full volume, we get to hear stuff like this and also some really ill-timed incidents like the one that happened today...

There I was, completely exhausted after a tough exam, (It was an okay exam when I came out of the hall. Status went down by quite a many notches after we discussed the paper. NEVER discuss a question paper! ), made more tired by the 1.5 km walk at 1.30 in the afternoon. Getting to sit down in the share van came as a major relief. Never mind the fact that the cramped excuse of a vehicle looked a li'l worse than the scene in Swades with Shahrukh in a train. Never mind the fact that I was all sweaty, completely sapped out by the dry heat. Never mind the fact that my brain was screaming in agony. I got a place to sit, and that was a moral victory by itself. Or so it seemed. The place was like a furnace! And right on cue the radio hollered "Semma hot machi!". Yeah yeah, you don't have to rub it in!

But I cheered up quickly enough. It was pretty funny when my friend Bharath read out loud a signboard for a school. He said, "Dei, inga paaru da! 'No Donation. No Admission'.. ada paavigala!!". We grinned broadly when a man standing in front of the signboard moved a tad to his right to reveal the word "Fees" after the word "Admission"!

A hotel that we passed by a few minutes later was even funnier. It's strange enough if you name your hotel "Hotel A ROSE", but to put a picture of a rose instead of the letter O was taking things too far. The words were in a dark colour, and the rose in light pink. Unfortunately for the owner, the picture got all but washed away by the rain. I had to exhibit tremendous self-control from laughing out loud! Why, you ask? Read the hotel's name again without the O!

The clincher was the conversation we had about the Answer Sheet Scam.

Me : Do you think the correction will be strict because of this?
Bharath : Theriyala da. Enakkum adhaan bayama irukku!
Me : Loosu pasanga.. pannradha ozhunga pannalaam la!
Balaji : What did they do?
Bharath : Guess they wrote in a new answer sheet, somehow managed to get the answer sheet that they submitted, tore the first page, and stuck it on the new answer sheet.
Balaji : That'll be very evident! Baekunga!
Bharath : Yeah da. Instead they could have handed over their answer sheet empty, or having written jus' a little. Anyway they're able to get paper somehow. They might as well write the answers and put it back!!

Balaji and I gaped at him in awe...


* Ok, in case the term Share Van still doesn't ring a bell, it's a maxicab that has a capacity of 16 (including the driver), but stuffs in at least 30 people and hauls them to and fro across the Old Mahabalipuram road.

PS.
If you're a University Official or a Policeman, I hereby declare we're incapable of pulling off anything like that! Leave us alone! :P

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Tch!


He'd decided to sit the entire three hours.
He knew it wouldn't be easy.
First peek into the paper. Didn't look too bad.
The minute his pen touched the answer sheet, it all seemed to blur. Some problems hit a dead end. Some just didn't start at all. His worst fears were confirmed.
But he decided to hang in there, trying to extract forgotten pieces of formulae (from his mind. bit adikka dhairiyam illai!), trying to do something about it.
At the end of the three hours, his insides seemed like it was filled with lead. (And no. It wasn't a case of constipation!) :)

He came out feeling totally bummed out. The thought of an impending arrear loomed around his head like a vulture sensing a dying prey.
He didn't dare look at his friends. He wasn't sure he could maintain eye-contact after such a dismal let-down.

But he chanced a tiny peek. Just a small glance from the corner of his eye.
And the sight took him by surprise. Crestfallen faces everywhere! "So it wasn't jus' me!", he thought, and gathered courage to ask his friend, "dei, epadi da panninae?"
The reply : "Confirmed arrear da :(".

He felt a sense of calm descend on him out of nowhere. His spirits lifted. (Oxymoronic sentences?)
Everyone told him the same thing. He saw a few souls trembling with trepidation. He noticed dejected faces, glum emotions.
Yaarume nalla pannalainu theriyumbothu, manasa avalo nerama uruthina sogam kaanama pochu. He smiled for the first time in three hours.

Sigh. How fickle can the human mind get? :)

PS:
No, these Mani Ratnam-ish sentences weren't inspired by Ammani! :) That's all I'm able to come up with now. Broken sentences. Time to get the Prayer club dusted and ready! :)

PPS:
This is the worst possible gift I could have given my mom. Sorry 'bout it!
But Happy Mother's Day!