Archive for November, 2006

Five Rupee Picture

November 30, 2006

That’s basically what it cost me to send a picture taken with my cell phone to my email address. Not too bad, especially if I don’t overuse it. Besides, the company’s paying my phone bill.

I was in Dad’s office while he was on the phone with Mom, and I thought I’d take a picture of him. I even asked him to smile. It turned out even better than I could have hoped.

He was actually talking like that when I took the picture. I think captions are unnecessary.

An early weekend treat

November 30, 2006

To recap, Part 1 , Part 2 , and Part 3

Comkid (part 4)
– by Chirag Fifadra

; ; ; ; ; They tied and gagged the guard with some rope. They then hid him under a tarpaulin covering. They they waited for fifteen minutes, but no one else came. Then, following the signal, they moved forward cautiously. Comkid stopped, pointing towards a door.
; ; ; ; ; “He’s in there, somewhere.” he said.
; ; ; ; ; “Well, lets go get him” Arjun said.
; ; ; ; ; Suddenly, they heard footsteps coming from inside the door. Each one of them went to one side of the door. Comkid raised two fingers. Arjun understood immediately and nodded. Then two men came out, holding machine guns. Arjun went for the one nearest him. He karate chopped the man’s hand, making him drop the gun. Then he turned him around, gave him a fast, powerful thrust kick in the solar plexus, making him double over, held the sides of the man’s head with his hands and, in one fluid motion, brought up his knee with amazing speed and power. Then he released the man, letting him crumple to the floor. Comkid had as easy a time. He caught hold of the gun, used it to swing the man around to face him, and pulled the gun out of his grasp. He then swung it into the man’s face. Despite being stunned, the man remained on his feet. Comkid dropped the gun and swung his fist. It was an upper-cut that sent the man flying a good two metres. He then turned to look at Arjun, who had just seen the punch.
; ; ; ; ; “Not bad.” said Arjun.”Not bad at all.”
; ; ; ; ; “You’re not too sloppy yourself.” Comkid returned the compliment.”But before anything else, take out the poison.” So saying, Comkid went over to the terrorist he had hit, opened his mouth, and quickly took out the false tooth with the pill. Then he looked over and saw Arjun doing the same.
; ; ; ; ; As he walked back, Arjun looked at him and asked,”Who are these people, exactly?”

Indian Legalese

November 29, 2006

I’m reading a a contract that we put together for a client some time
ago, to get an idea of how it’s done. I’m skimming the terms and
conditions, and I come across this:

term “Force Majeure” as employed in this contract shall mean wars
(declared or undeclared) or revolutions, civil wars, tidal waves, flies , major floods,
earthquakes, epidemics, quarantine restrictions and freight embargoes
and transporters strikes affecting the country as a whole.”
(emphasis added)

I’m pretty sure they meant fires, not flies. But it still elicits a chuckle. I didn’t know our insect problem was that bad!

And some more

November 29, 2006

Another winner from the contract terms and conditions, regarding methods of raising safety awareness:

Posters with safety slogan in humorous, gruesome demonstrating manner
may be used to discourage bad habits attributable to accidents by
appealing to the worker’s pride, self-love, affection curiosity or
human aspects. These should be displayed in prominent locations.”

They want to put up posters appealing to the employees’ self-love. Right.

More Driving

November 29, 2006

I drove to work for the first time yesterday. Dad needed the driver to
care of some other stuff, so I drove us in the Opel Astra, which is
considered the medium car (the Santro being low, and the Camry being
high). The experience was a lot better than I expected. Normally, I’ve
never liked driving that car, because I just didn’t feel like I was in
control of it, but I guess I must be getting the hang of it or
something. It’s not as much of a problem anymore. And I’m coming to
terms with Indian traffic myself. My strategy is, I’m going to follow
the rules as much as I can. You don’t like it, go around me. And for
all the two-wheeled drivers (bicycles and scooters alike), it’s your
job to maneuver your way out of trouble, and I promise not to make it
too hard for you. So long as I’m patient, I’ll be fine. I’ll let
everyone else worry about being in a hurry. I mean, Indian Standard
Time is the actual name of this time zone. ;

Just Do It

November 29, 2006

There’s a very popular school of thought that goes something like,
“Hope for the best, expect the worst”. It was an approach that I
subscribed to wholeheartedly, because I believed I was hedging my bets.
My reasoning was that I would never be disappointed, but only
pleasantly surprised. The obvious problem is that it’s an inherently
negative way of looking at things, and can often be a self-fulfilling
prophecy. Kinda like, things go wrong because I expect things to go
wrong. But even though I recognised this, I was still content to
imagine all the ways something could possibly go wrong whenever I was
looking forward to something.

What made this even odder in my case was my belief that,
whenever I imagined an event would play out a certain way, it would
invariably turn out to be quite different. If I imagined the resolution
to be good, it would be bad. And if I imagined it to be bad, then it
would still be bad, just in a different way than what I imagined. My
answer to this conundrum was to imagine all the possible ways something
could go wrong, and do my very best to not expect the good outcome, or
even think about it.

Obviously, this isn’t a realistic approach for any attempt to
attain a sustained level of happiness. But I didn’t know how else to
approach the situation. I was just so afraid of being wrong, and being
disappointed, that I would rather lower my expectations than think
something good would happen. And some time ago, I guess my subconscious
decided that I’d had enough of that.

The question that one has to ask is, if this is the case, what
does one do about it? How do you deal with it? I don’t know if I have a
general answer that will work for everyone. But I do know how I’ve
ended up handling situations like that. And my answer is to allow
myself to be disappointed once in a while, because at the end of the
day, it’s not really a big deal. Yeah, I’ll mope about it and be upset.
My friends might even have to deal with my bitching about it. But after
a while, I’ll be fine. I’ll shrug my shoulders, and move on. After all,
this is life and shit happens. Now, don’t assume that this is just me
giving a new face to the same “expecting the worst”. It’s more about
realising that shit does happen on occasion, sometimes without warning,
and when it does, you deal with it and move on. Eventually, you’ll get
better at deciding when to get excited about something, and when not
to. And even if you do get excited about something that turns out to be
a letdown, at least the anticipation was fun for a while.

On the whole, I’ve found it to be an easier way to deal with
situations. Worry about the things I can control. Don’t stress about
what I can’t. Life becomes a lot simpler then. At least, it appears to
be. And sometimes, that’s good enough.


November 28, 2006

Talk about an anticlimax. That wasn’t quite the quiz competition I expected it to be. The meeting was in a small room, with about 30 members showing up, of whom only two (including me) were under 40. The evening started with an aunty singing a prayer in a voice that reminded me of my own falsetto, and things didn’t get much better. The quiz consisted of a bunch of pictures that we had to identify. (Oh, and we all played as groups, instead of individual competitors). Each round, we had to identify different things, so there were places, film stars, events, advertisements, etc. I was keeping personal score to see how many of the questions I knew, even those asked to other teams. Let’s just say I was under 25% and leave it at that.

There was one unexpected potential benefit to going, though. I went down to the lobby a little early to snag some cake from the Cake Shoppe, but they’d already closed. But I did end up running into a guy I knew vaguely in high school, who was one year senior. Turns out, he’s planning on opening a restaurant in the city in 4-6 months, and he’s getting some on-the-job training at Surya Palace (the hotel where the Rotary meetings are). He’s not even sure what kind of restaurant he wants to open. I told him we should stay in touch, and gave him my business card. Let’s see if something comes out of that.

Oh yeah, and in other news… I have business cards. I’ll post pictures of them soon. They’re nothing special, but they’re the first personal business cards I’ve ever had, so I’m pretty stoked about it.

BTW, if you don’t know what the title refers to, click here .

The Quizmaster!

November 28, 2006

I learned a couple of new things about yoga this morning:

It’s not a good idea to go in sleep deprived. I’m changing my schedule
to get 7 hours a night from now on. This shit isn’t gonna work anymore.
Ustrasana hurts. And after you’ve been in the Supta Baddhakonasana for
over ten minutes, your inner thighs don’t like being moved.

I asked dad about the Rotary meeting tonight, and he said
there was going to be a quiz competition. This got me excited, because
I was a very enthusiastic quiz participant in my youth, even winning a
few prizes. Then he told me it was a quiz about the Rotary Club, which
brought me back down again.

*Update* Dad called
while I was writing this post. Turns out, it’s a general knowledge quiz
after all, and it’s open to all. Yay! Let’s see just how rusty I am at
this. I’m excited! ;

I need to get this album!

November 27, 2006

Someone sent me this link . Turn up the volume and enjoy!

Getting a license should be harder

November 27, 2006

I’m getting used to life in India, and for the most part, it’s not a
big problem. The gym’s good enough (and protein shakes are available),
I’m able to download all the TV shows I’m missing (just need to find
time to watch them), and my days tend to be pretty full. But my biggest
complaint about India so far, and it’s something that infuriates me on
a regular basis, is the traffic.

See, the main problem isn’t that there are so many cars. It’s
not even the roads are so narrow and in such bad condition. What pisses
me off the most about driving in India is that 90% of the people on the
road are fucking morons who deserve to be taken out back and shot. I
swear, I’ve never felt the kind of road rage that I do here. There
seems to be no sense of road civics whatsoever. Almost daily, we
encounter a traffic jam, caused when a large number of vehicles are
trying to cram through a choke point of some sort. Now, normally, you’d
expect people to let each other through, and have some sort of orderly
procession. Instead, everyone drives as if they’re suffering from
severe diarrhea and are 5 seconds away from blowing. The instant a
space opens up, some maniac (usually on two wheels) sneaks himself (or
herself) into this meager gap, and blocks traffic some more. Hence,
total gridlock.

So far, I’ve observed four major sins of two-wheeled motorised driving.
1) Two scooters driving side by side
2) Driving at night without headlights
3) Driving with one hand while talking on a cell phone with the other hand.

4) Driving on the wrong side of the road to avoid having to take the U-turn further ahead.

various points of time, I’ve seen all four of these sins being
committed. Yesterday, while driving to my friend’s place for dinner, I
saw a girl committing the first three at the same time ! Am I a bad person for wishing she’d lose her balance and fall?

Trust me, there will be more rants on this at a later time.