Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How to make Japanese poets squirm

No clue what to blog
Mind blissfully blank and clean
Blabbering is fun!

Start typing something
Space it out neatly like this
And call it Haiku!

Five syllables here
Seven more here and, Voila!
We have a winner!

Then comes the part where
We run out of things to say
Blink.. blink.. blink.. blink.. blink..

Sheesh, this is hopeless.

Shall I end this now (Yes/No)?
Invalid option

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I am outtie

Kay kooda pesi theerthukaren indha title ku, no tensans..

Anyways, me the escape to B'lore today.. weekend vandhuduven though.. Be good everyone! En scribbler paavam, adhu konjam company kudunga..

And yeah, there's a bloggers meet on 24th. Ascendas. 3 PM.
For further details, ivana poi thollai pannunga! :)


Friday, June 16, 2006

The Rainmaker

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with the John Grisham novel. It is, infact, about the annual competition held in the sky.

Every year, clouds of different sizes and shapes and colours congregated for the "Annual Cloud of the Year Challenge". Mr. Varun, the official judge for the competition, selected the best rainmaker from amongst the clouds.

Mr. Stormson, the dark heavyweight who marked his territory in Cherappunji won almost every year. There were occasional surprise winners like Ms. Konkan Dunken, who visited Mumbai and rewrote the world record set by Mr. Stormson.

But not all clouds were champions like these strong dark ones. There was li'l Fluffy, who couldn't squeeze out a drop of rain even if he wrung himself thin. Ms. Cumulo Nimbette was a moody creature who could happily pour if she wished to, but chose to tease the parched earth by moving tantalisingly over it and then withdrawing as quickly as she arrived. However, she began to be plagued by bad luck ever since the villagers of Champaner cursed her. She had sadistically blown them a raspberry and hurried away as soon as they finished singing Ghanan Ghanan.

In the midst of these wide variety of clouds was Mr. Almost Grey. He was a very sad cloud, who hadn't made the grade even a single year. He howled, he huffed and he puffed, but never managed more than a slight drizzle. It was not enough for Mr. Varun, who had certain parameters for judging, and more often than not, gave him a fail grade.

"If I fail one more time, I'm committing suicide!", he confided to his friend, Cirrus Black. Cirrus was shocked. " 'tchoo blabberin' maann? yo freakin me out.. dun eva say such things again maann!". After he calmed down, he reasoned with Grey. "Lookit here maann, dun lose 'ope.. give eet yo bes' shot. This ain't everythin'.. yo big, yo very big, maann.. Peepol bless ya when ya block out da sun 'n' give 'em a break from da heat.."

Grey nodded, but he had made up his mind. This was do or die. He was even thinking of ways to commit suicide. He was broken out of his reverie by a booming thunder that signalled the beginning of the competition.

And so it started as all the clouds huddled around a television screen watching their peers happily pour over their selected territory. Stormson got a massive 93% for his strong steady downpour. He was furious when Varun told him the score. "That was a perfect rain! Where did those 7 percentage points go? I demand a reval!", Stormson roared. Varun looked up at him calmly and said, "I'm the judge for a reason. I know my job. I have some criteria. So please shut up and watch ur friends perform."

Almost Grey was almost in tears. "Sigh.. Why can't I perform like that?", he thought to himself. He watched as one after the other, his counterparts did their thing. Cirrus Black got only 72% inspite of a good performance. That was when Grey understood Varun's logic. He was taking into account the people's appreciation of the rain too.

Black had chosen St. Lucia in the West Indies and succeeded in washing out the 4th day's play between India and West Indies. The spectators weren't too impressed. Grey realised that this was the reason points were docked off.
Grey began to formulate a plan. Where he lacked in talent, he'd make up for it with timing and strategy.

He noticed Fluffy coming back, looking extremely dejected. "I got a 0. Would you believe it? A zero! I think I'm the world's biggest failure. I couldn't muster a single drop!", Fluffy whimpered. "There there... Don't be so glum, buddy. This ain't everything", Grey said in a soothing tone. Fluffy broke down, and started to shed loads of tears. Grey couldn't resist saying, "You should have done this in the competition, pal!", as his name was called and he made his way out.

Grey picked his spot. "Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.", he thought to himself as another bolt of thunder signalled his start. He whooshed down at full speed. "Target locked. Change course to go through the Bay of Bengal. That might help me refuel.", he muttered to himself as he gained speed. Whizzing over the Bay of Bengal, he made his way to Chennai. He noticed all the sweat and grime and the DermiCool Powder hoardings and smiled to himself that he'd made the right choice.

As he swooped over the city enveloping it in a welcome shade, the Chennaiites looked up in relief and smiled. Grey hung around for a few more minutes and gave it his all. The slight drizzle slowly built up a steady cadence, and Grey was beginning to gain confidence. He let out a whoop of joy and tried a little harder. His smile slowly turned into a frown as he realised he was losing steam. And before he knew it, he'd lost it. He'd cleared up into a benign mass of water vapour that refused to undergo condensation.

He returned to the arena, extremely disappointed. He'd messed up a good start. And he knew the drizzle wouldn't fetch him even 20 points. Cirrus came upto him and consoled him. "Tha' wazza bloody brilliant start maann.. Too bad ya couldn' keep eet goin'..", he rambled, trying to distract Grey from getting wrong thoughts in his head. Grey remained silent, fixing his gaze at Varun, waiting for his score.

Varun cleared his throat. "And here's the score of the final contestant, Almost Grey. His performance wasn't upto the mark. I'd give him a 15 for that." Grey's eyes started to well up. He was about to get up to do something drastic when he heard Varun's booming voice continue, ".. But did you see the look on the people's face. They blessed him with all their heart. He gave them a much needed respite from the heat, and also made sure he left soon so as to not trouble them too much. And that thoughtfulness deserves 30 points. You all know that the cut off is 40. So there you go folks, Almost Grey makes the grade for the first time with 45 points!"

All the clouds broke into an applause. Almost Grey wanted to scream "Aatha, naan pass aaiten", but held back realising not everyone understood Tamil. He had finally made the grade. He was not a failure, afterall!

He was surprised to know that the Chennaiites knew about his result too. Or that was what he thought, because even the newspapers had mentioned "Passing shower"!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The faithful companion

Ramesh Pillai was the security head at the Sony factory on the outskirts of Chennai. He led a bored existance, spending most of his time at the factory. "There's no one to care for me in this world", he often lamented to himself. An orphan who had come up in life the hard way, Ramesh thanked the day Vijay Ramaswamy, the kind-hearted factory owner gave him a job in the security department. He gave his all for the job, and slowly climbed up the rungs of success to eventually become head-of-security.

Things changed in Ramesh's life ever since his company brought in a made-to-order AIBO to assist him. He was in awe of the technological wonder. He was thrilled to bits when he was given the task of training the robotic dog. Slowly as the days progressed, he became attached to it. He felt his life wasn't insignificant afterall. There was finally someone who listened to him, cared for him and even threw tantrums in his absence.

The Sony factory was in a notorious neighbourhood, and thieves were known to make off with expensive gadgets. The company was working on a new technology and had assigned the R&D department to this factory to keep things confidential. The engineers were on the threshold of a brilliant breakthrough in the field of Optical Storage Devices. A DVD that had it's storage capacity upped 800 times. Security needed to be at its tightest, and hiring new watchmen was out if question as the atmosphere was thick with serious lack of trust. Ramesh had an idea. He suggested sprucing up the AIBO to do a lot more than it could.

Mr. Ramaswamy forwarded his idea to the Sony headquarters, and was sanctioned almost immediately. Ramesh missed the mechanical marvel for the time it was away. He went back to his silent, routine life till the AIBO returned, leaner, meaner and fitted with every kind of defence mechanism that the engineers could think of.

"... fitted with ultra strong reinforced Titanium, sir! It'd take a bomb to make a dent on him. See these holes near his paws, sir? It's a disguised short range pistol. The gunshot may not be fatal, but will certainly render the target immobile for a while. It can also jump a maximum height of 10 feet, sir. They've fitted it with an ultra-compact trampoline. They weren't kidding when they said the AIBO would now walk with a spring in its step.. ha ha". Ramesh was almost breathless as he extolled the virtues of the new-and-improved guardian pet. Mr.Ramaswamy smiled, amused at Ramesh's enthusiasm. "All the best, Ramesh", he cut him short, "I have a meeting now. Give me a demo sometime. I hope you provide us with the maximum level of security possible." Ramesh stood at attention. "We most certainly will, sir", he said, shooting another loving glance at the dog.

That very night, the robot proved his worth. When Ramesh returned from the toilet, he immediately sensed things were not right. "But I did flush..", he thought to himself and chuckled, but only for a second, when he realised things were seriously amiss. He reached his security post, and noticed a bunch of human bodies tied and gagged at a distance. He trained his binoculars on them, and realised they were his security personnel. It didn't take him long to figure out that a bunch of intruders must have overpowered them, stripped them and might be making off with the research papers at that very moment, in security uniform.

He summoned his pet with a low, long whistle. He removed his shirt and instructed the dog to attack anyone in that uniform. AIBO swung into action almost immediately. It sprinted along the perimeter of the factory before it rushed into the building. Ramesh was surprised at the speed with which the dog returned. He surveyed the scene inside the building in awe, as the AIBO bounded around his legs enthusiatically. He counted twelve robbers, in security clothes, writhing with anguish on the floor, unable to move. He also noticed that two of them had been pinned to the wall by their collars. "You are incredible", he whispered to the dog.

The news of how a Security Guard and a robot thwarted a robbery attempt whipped the media up into a hysteric frenzy. They bombarded Ramesh with questions, and he answered them all patiently. "Does he have a name?", a reporter asked. "Errr.. Yes, he does.. Vinay", Ramesh replied after a minute's hesitation. Mr. Ramaswamy raised his eyebrow. He'd never expected him to be so attached to the dog to give him a name.

Life returned to normal, and Ramesh and Vinay continued to guard the factory for a few more years. One day, tragedy struck. Ramesh met with an accident, and lost his eyesight. "Mannn, this is so filmy!", he thought to himself, "Am I supposed to go to a temple and bang my head on a corner-stone crying to God till He takes pity on me and restores my eyesight?" Luckily for him, the author spared him.

Vijay Ramaswamy visited him in the hospital. "Worry not, Ramesh. You have served the company well all these years. It's our turn to repay you. You will be granted accommodation in one of the company's guest-bungalows. With a car and chauffeur. I have also spoken to the doctor. He says a surgery holds a 25% chance of success, but let's not lose hope."

"Thank you sir, but I am not too interested. Vinay will take care of me. En sondha oorukke pogaraen."

"Err.. Vinay ah?"

"Yes sir. I don't want the bungalow or the car or the company's money. Vinay a mattum kudunga. My entire life revolves around him now."

"Vendaam pa. Sonna kaelu. Andha naaiya thavira vera enna vena kaelu."

"Yaen sir? Naan ivalo solliyuma ungalukku puriyala avan mela uyirae vechurukaen nu?"

"Ssshh, sathama sollaadhe. Vera evanavadhu ketaan na asingama nenaipaan! Hmmm, prechanai aagum pa. Seri, nee ivalo ketathukku aparam kudukaama irukka mudiyadhu. Aana be careful."

"I will, sir. Thank you very much"

After he was discharged from the hospital, he went back to his hometown along with Vinay. Mr. Ramaswamy drove him all the way himself, and wished him luck.

The very next day, Mr. Ramaswamy spurted his morning tea when he read that a blind man was shot in Ramesh's town. He immediately drove over to see if Ramesh was safe. His trepidation rose, as he found neither Ramesh nor Vinay at his place. He made his way to the hospital mentioned in the papers. He saw Ramesh, with his arm heavily bandaged.

"I was fearing this would happen, boy."

"Vijay sir, is that you? Enna sir sollrenga?"

"Hmmm, first tell me this. Where's Vinay?"

"Theriyala sir. He never came to help me when someone shot me. What did I do to anyone? Why would anyone want to shoot me?"

"Naan sollraen. Ellathukkum kaaranam un naai thaan."

Ramesh gasped. "But.. but.. sir, avan ennodu naai. Naanga epadi ellam pazhageerukom. Avan poi epadi..?"

"Avan un naai a irukaradhu thaan pa prechanaiye. Company soththa irundha varaikkum there wouldn't have been any problem. Adhunaala thaan naan anikke vendaam sonnaen."

Ramesh was almost in tears. "Pu.. Puriyala sir.."

Mr. Ramaswamy looked at him sombrely.
"than vinay thannai sudum."

Me extremely rusty. pliss echooch! inume ipadi ellam kodumai paduthaama iruka try pannren :)

Saturday, June 10, 2006