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Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Contact Lens


Something that someone as unhygienic as me wouldn't even dream of wearing.
But it's got a rather interesting history.

~~~*~~~

Disclaimer:
The following post is almost entirely the imagination of the author, and made in jest. No offense or disrespect meant to any person, living or dead. My apologies to those I might inadvertently offend along the way. Idhukku melayum evanavadhu vandhu "These are great ppl. How dare u insult them!"-nu sonna ennaala onnum panna mudiyaadhu!

~~~*~~~

It was the year 1508. Leonardo Da Vinci, when he was not making small painting errors that we'd later go on to fawn over and try to decode the "hidden meaning" of, was busy trying to think ahead of his time and being called eccentric in the process. The poor man had trouble sleeping though. He had terrible nightmares. His in-house psychiatrist had suggested he draw what he dreamt so that he could put the nightmare behind him and start the day afresh.

This was how his fear of bats, and his affair with his rich landlord's wife got translated on to paper. He was haunted so much by bats, that he'd sketch its skeletal structure every morning and imagine that he was breaking it bone by bone, joint by joint. He also had recurring dreams of being "caught in the act"(!!) by the landlord, and how he'd jump out through the window clutching at the curtain in a desperate bid to save his neck, and how the curtain performed the dual purpose of parachuting him slowly to the ground floor and giving him something to cover himself with as he fled for his life through the streets of Florence.




He later refuted all claims of having nightmares and proclaimed that these were flying machines invented by him. Ha! It takes more than that to convince super intelligent creatures like me.

But that's not the point of this post, is it? It's about how one of his nightmares went on to inspire him to do something so ahead of his time, we'd desperately wish to believe that the historians were kidding. (For a change, I believe him too) It was quite a vivid nightmare. Painting the church window... accidentally knocking the glass with his heavy brush... a glass piece getting embedded in his eye... He'd wake up screaming everytime. Taking the advice of his psychiatrist, he started sketching the nightmare, and tadaaaaa, that's how the concept of contact lenses first came into existance. A "believe it or not" moment, if ever there was one.

~~~*~~~

In 1936, William Feinbloom, an optometrist from New York, fabricated the first plastic contact lenses. This was where JFK came in. Even while he was at Harvard, he knew that he'd become the American President one day. But he had a major drawback. Of being short sighted. Not that he didn't have long term visions for the country, but just the small glitch of having a power of -2.5 in both his eyes. And he knew the Americans would never elect a guy wearing specs.

[Silence falls. Read the following paragraph in the same spooky manner that the Osment kid says "I see dead people"]
No one ever knew this dark side of JFK's life. The historians took all possible measures to erase this piece of trivia out of the books and studies of American History. But it was all in vain, as the brilliant, charming, clever (..err, ok, I'll cut it out) author of this post saw through the entire scam and is about to bring a startling revelation out into the open.

Hold on to your seats folks, coz what I'm about to say is perhaps one of the biggest disclosures in the history of American Presidents. Ok, make that second biggest. Even I'd vote for the Clinton episode any day!! :)


*drum rolls*
JFK was the first person in the world to wear contact lenses.
Yup. I'm serious.
Before that, he was called John F Kannaadi.

Monday, July 25, 2005

And it finally happens


Remember this post? :)

Dread


Lemme try this the James Bond way..

I'm scared.
Shit scared.

Inspite of all the inspirations for a blog that kept poppin' into my head over the last few days, I haven't dared to update my blog. And after all those comments in my doodle-board, you needn't be a rocket scientist to know why.

My whole life seems to hang on these 7 letters now..
Results.
(Fine.. technically it's 6 letters. But I'm in no mood for a kadi.)

I always get these results-around-the-corner symptoms. But this time around, it's been overwhelming. My academic degradation over the past few years is jus' about complete now, I guess.

Thoughts like "Why did I have to study well in school? Why did I have to raise my folks' expectations?" have started to fill my head. Ok, Matriculation and Anna University are completely different ball-games. It still doesn't explain how I've gone from good to bad to worse to worst. English needs an updation to plot my plummeting graph. Double Comparitive and Comparitive Superlative Comparitive words like worser and worsester (sounds like a county!) have to be used to get the true essence of my woeful downward spiral.

School's never managed to make me understand the term "exponential". College has managed to do it. Practically. Through my academic record. Exponentially downwards. In the third quadrant. Reverse bias condition-ku graph plot pannara maadhiri irukku. :( 83 to 69 in one semester. Sounds like an advertisement for a car's advanced braking feature.

My old friends pooh-pooh my fears. They say "ivalo build-up vittutu, kadaseela nalla mark vaanguvae da nee. Unna pathi theriyaadha, kedi!". They don't seem to understand that if I've done my exam well, I'd be more than glad to tell them just that. My new friends (Blogging does have its own perks!) are a lot more sympathetic but still don't get my quandary. Never failed in a biggie. The first time I actually failed was in a stupid class test in my first year.

An arrear in a sem exam? Hope it never happens. If it does, I've mentally prepared myself for it. What I'm really scared of, now, is my parents' reaction. But more than that, their disappointment. I really don't think I'd be able to take the guilt.


For once, I hope my old friends are right.

Well, my old friends weren't! Flunked in Electronic Circuits. The stupid subject with puzhu poochis that they call circuits!

Funnily enough, the first thing I did when I saw an F beside my mark was to grin. A pretty broad grin at that! There was a marquee running through my head saying "Take that guys! Now you know I wasn't joking!" The silly thought was short-lived though. I was jolted back to reality when I wondered how my mum would take it.

I wasn't able to delve into the thought much as I was flooded with messages and calls from friends asking me to check their results too. By the time I was thru with them all, I realised it'd been an hour and I still hadn't told my folks. My dad and sis weren't at home and I had to break it to my mom. And as anticipated, she took it pretty badly. That was pretty much the only thing I felt for. To have disappointed my folks.

There were other things that nullified this negative feeling I tried to bring upon myself pretty forcedly! Like Praveen's results. GRE and 6th sem.. renduliyume kalakeetaan! And another friend of mine who'd got the best girl student award in college. They were giving me reasons to be happy, and I'm grateful for that! And to Ferrari who told me he'd kept an arrear too! :D

Right now I have my friend and my mom telling me, "konjamaavadhu feel pannu da!" :)

Feel pannina mark kidaikka poradhillai. I might as well apply for re-eval and then see what can be done. Now I'll jus sit back and watch the condolence messages flow in! :) Bomb away, people!

Update:
Dad hasn't spoken to me about it yet. Why can't he jus' scold me instead of glare at me with disappointment in his eyes?
Sis is acting really funny trying to act casual about it.. giggling for stuff that wasn't even intended to be funny! hehe, sisters can be cute :)


Saturday, July 23, 2005

Jus' a few things


First things first.. Oy Murali, here's wishing you a speedy recovery da..

Second things second!!
Is anyone I know going to the bloggers meet today? Yaarum varalaina naan pogala :(

MASAT-a konjanaal mootai katti vekkalaam-nu plan panneeten! :) semma ushaar party thaan avanga!
(You expected me to say third things third, didn't ya?)

Prayer club restarted with renewed vigour. Thanks Ferrari! :) Prav-ku spl prayers coz GRE ezhutharaan.. un nakshathram gothram ellam Ferrari kitta sollu da! :P

IV-a pathi ezhuthalaam-nu romba aasaiya irundhudhu, but I forgot the names of all the places I went to! A travelogue wouldn't look too good with places named like "That dam where I saw the snake" or "The waterfall with the hanging bridge".. So I ditched the plan to write one. :)

And yeah, Ah Aah lyrics irundha pls drop me a msg!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Rising


I make it sound like my resurrection, don't I? :)

I was going nowhere.. Thought I'd jus put in a li'l be-back-in-a-while puzzle or something. Vandhu paartha, I realised quite a many didn't get it. So much for thinking that the clue was too easy and for wondering if I should make it a bit more cryptic!! (In case there are a few who still didn't get it, try selecting the entire post. That should do the trick)

But that's not the point of the title. It's my take on the album I've been waiting with bated breath for.

Mangal Pandey - The Rising

1. Mangal Mangal (2:31)
Kailash Kher, with his rustic zing, adds just the right amount of pep to this patriotic number. A catchy tune, I found myself unconsciously closing my eyes and swaying my head like a boom boom maadu.. A short track that ends just when you begin to get into your groove. It's almost as if Rahman says "Ishtart meejic".

2. Main Vari Vari (4:53)
Probably the song of the album. The tabla flourishes are followed by the versatile voice of Kavitha Krishnamurthy. Damn, I missed her! Even as I notice how her voice has that evergreen feel to it, another voice comes along to completely sweep me off my feet. Reena Bharadwaj. Though all she does is croon Tumhari adahon pe main vari vari, her crisp but extremely sweet voice has me melting like putty. A mujra kinda song a la Maar Daala in Devdas. Love it!

3. Holi Re (4:53)
Check out this singers' list. Aamir Khan, Udit Narayan, Madhushree, Srinivas and Chinmayee. Yup, you read that right. Aamir does an Indian version of rap that's so closely associated with holi songs. Srinivas and Chinmayee are unfortunately relegated to the background, but what the hell, the effect the song creates is just right! Colourful, catchy, foot tapping.

4. Rasiya (5:57)
The sexiest song I've listened to in quite a while. Without being unnecessarily raunchy, this song succeeds in creating that perfect purple mood. Richa Sharma, in her deep deep almost male voice in the beginning gets it bang on target. Bonnie Chakraborthy takes over. From where does Rahman get hold of new talent on such a regular basis? :) If it was possible to compose such a song with purely Indian instruments, I can't help but wonder the effect this song would have created if Rahman'd used the tune in another album, complete with thundering beats. All you DJs, you've got your next remix fodder ready!

5. Mangal Mangal - Agni (2:54)
Same tune as the 1st number, modified here and there.. a lot more beats. Everytime I listen to this song, I'm reminded of my classmate. I expected she'd like this song best and gave her an earphone while I was on tour. She gave me the most unexpected reaction to the song. Have you seen this screensaver where the baby in diapers does a jig with one finger raised shaking its shoulders and butt in synch with the beat? I hope she doesn't read this!! :)

6. Takey Takey (4:34)
Begins with the same ethnic sounding loop he used in Saiyaan from Nayak. Sukhwinder Singh, Kailash Kher and Karthick Das Baul take it away from there. A hardcore bazaar song, with a pretty strong Punjabi flavour. Yet another newcomer! This number seems to have a strong The Legend Of Bhagath Singh hangover. The kids chanting "Ah takey takey" sound really cute. Peppy stuff.

7. Al Maddath Maulah (5:57)
Thalaivaaaaaa!!! AR Rahman, Kailash Kher, Kadir and Murtaza.. I guess this was the song that had Kailash Kher quite emotional as he came out of the studio and likened Rahman's studio to a temple. Rahman sticks to his shouting in the background, but does he do it panache! Bloody hell, he sings with a lotta feeling. Sorry if I'm gushing a bit too much here, but can't help it if I break into goosebumps everytime he yells "Maulah"!

8. Mangal Mangal - Aathma (4:19)
In case you're wondering what's in this track that lacks in the tracks 1 and 5 that make this so lengthy, it's a pretty straight forward answer. Long pauses! :) The song blanks off quite often and has Sukhwinder render Mangal Mangal in a pretty slow tune. Tries to touch the aathma, alright. The song gets back on track as it picks up speed in time and reminds me of my friend's dance step yet again! :) My favourite moment - Sukhwinder screaming "Allah Bol". Just the right finish to a beautiful album.

Verdict - Must Buy
But if you're into pop, forget it! This is too good an album to be criticised! :)

PS.
Sorry about such a long delay. The IV took quite a lot outta me. (Oh, get your mind out of the gutter!)


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The end


I've planned to quit blogging
.. for a week :)
Bangalore, Mysore, Coorg.. here I come!

PS.
Did Darwin highlight his theory of Natural *ahem* Selection?
(Manasula Dan Brown nenappu-nu ellam thitta koodadhu! Bye Folks!)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Nightmares in the sky


It was the first time on a plane for little Sara.

Her life had turned topsy turvy ever since her dad announced that he had been transferred to Singapore and that was where everyone was going to stay for the next 8 years. It wasn't easy on the poor kid. She was going to miss her friends, her favourite teacher, not to forget the little dog in the parking lot that she'd secretly adopted with her friends. But she was too sweet a child to kick up a fuss, and mustered a weak smile when her father asked her if she was all excited about the trip.

At 7, she was at a very impressionable age. The television in the airport was the only thing keeping her distracted. She was afraid she'd cry any moment. That was when she saw the Pepsi ad for the first time, unedited. Lips popping out of the ladies' navels, floodlights following the car, a burger talking back to Shahrukh.. it was all too much for her. A torrent of tears streamed down her face. "Papa, I don't want to drink Pepsi again!", she whimpered. Her father was taken aback by her sudden change of mood. "It's alright honey, it is just an advertisement", he said in a soothing voice.

"I never knew food could talk. I never thought it had a life of its own too. Imagine how painful it would be when we bite it!"

Her father didn't go to say anything further. He let her cry, realising she'd been needing an outlet all along.

It was time to board the flight, as the last announcement was made before take-off. Sara looked at the size of the monster plane in awe. She was unable to revel in all the attention and fuss that the air hostesses were showering on her. Unusually quiet, she seemed preoccupied with something that seemed to be gnawing her. Refusing the food that was offered to her, she told her dad she was feeling sleepy.

Sara's father was confused but at the same time amused by his child's behaviour. "What an imagination the kid's got!", he thought to himself, "And so sensitive to others' feelings too. She'd forget all about it when she reaches Singapore."

He took his food tray from the air hostess. His mind was still deep in thought. "Imagine the food talking back to me. Ha ha.. kids these day.."

He was about to sink his teeth into the sandwich when he heard a tiny voice say, "You're looking good today, Sir." He blinked at his sandwich wondering if he was hearing things. "Yes Sir, I was talking to you", the sandwich continued, the bread slices moving up and down as the lips would. "A very smart tie you have on. Did you have a haircut recently, Sir? Looks fabulous!"

He looked at the air hostess, eyes pleading for an answer, to tell him he was just imagining things.

"Complimentary food, Sir", the air hostess replied cheerfully.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Life's little ironies


Irony doesn't seem to leave me alone. It follows me around like that Hutch dog even when the network's down.

I've seen transcendental ironies like this one. [For those too lazy to click, it was dust on a vacuum cleaner ] :)

But the ones I came across in the last couple of days are a lot more down to earth.

Irony 1:
I'm an advertiser's delight. I try to look at all the ads at once, even while travelling. This is usually accompanied by a "road-a paarthu oatu da, &^%$#@!". It was on one such ad gazing spree, that I saw a quite peculiar sight.

It was an ad for an exterior paint, painted with permission on the wall of a house that was quite prominently visible from the road. It screamed "XYZ Exterior Paint. Waterproof. Lasts Long." or something to that effect. Pity it had been half washed off by the Chennai rain. :)

Things to note:
I'm talking about the Chennai rain here. There are no meteorological explanations for it. It only happens when God looks at all the parched land, clucks his tongue in pity, takes aim, targets Chennai and spits. And the 5 minute shower, that dries up as quickly as it poured, occupies Page 1 in all leading newspapers.

With this as a background, spare a thought for the credibility of the paint company. Advertising for exterior paint, it's only logical that they paint the ad using their own paint. If they use some other paint, that speaks volumes about their belief in their own product. If they use their own, sorry buddy, your product sucks anyway!
Catch-22, ouch!

Irony 2:
This one is tragic. Heartrending, even. Expecting a few condolence messages for it.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is releasing on July 16th.
Here's a run through of how childishly excited I've been.

1. Excited about JKR completing the book. No, not releasing it or letting out a secret. Jus' telling the world that she's completed the book. Was so excited, I could hardly think of anything else that day.

2. Pre-ordered the book a couple of months earlier to make sure I get it on the first day. Second day, wouldn't do. No. It better be first day.

3. Marked July 16 on the calender, and a countdown on the dates preceding it. I've been striking them off one by one everyday and soaking in the bitter-sweet anticipation.

4. Realised the fact that I won't be in town on July 16!

Yup. It's Industrial Visit time. That time of the year when we announce to our folks that we're visiting MNCs and koothadichufy in tourist spots. And it so happens that I'd still be travelling on D-Day. What did I do to deserve this?


Sunday, July 03, 2005

Taking the fashion world by storm..


.. is the new merger by two companies who are leaders in their own domains.

Levi Jeans




and


Hula Hula Hawaiian Apparel Ltd.






take great pride in





:)

Disclaimer:
It's just a PJ. No, not a Pyjama, it's a trouser. But I meant Poor Joke when I said PJ. If you work for either of the companies, no offense meant! Sorry! :P
(edhukku vambu!)

Friday, July 01, 2005

What's in a name?


Once upon a time,
Lived the legendary Ruffs
Who embraced a life of crime,
Of fraud, deception and bluffs.

They had only one desire,
Which was to be known for aeons,
As being a notch higher,
Than the immortal Corleones.

David Ruff, the grand old man,
Had been the first to take the plunge,
To start building a Mafia Clan,
Creating polished crime from grunge.

David had an able son,
His only successor named Dustin.
For his dad, he'd wield the gun,
Without a single question.

Though the Ruffs soon grew in stature,
They had a fear, leaving them feeling riled.
They began to panic about their future,
When Dustin grew older, still without a child.

Finally one day, Dustin's efforts paid off, :)
And brought the Family euphoric joy.
The Grand Old Man could finally laugh
In happiness, looking at the baby boy.

The family decided to name him
While David was still in town.
The old man, acting on a whim,
Named him after Dan Brown.

That was when tragedy struck,
And the Old Man realised his mistake.
He'd landed his family in deep muck,
With family prestige at stake!

But alas, the damage was done,
The kid, as suggested, was named.
A terrible thing to do to his grandson,
The Old Man felt ashamed.

David was filled with sorrow and dread,
A sense of shame overwhelming enough,
To make him wish he were dead,
After having named the kid, DAN D. RUFF!!