Saturday, November 21, 2009

Caffeine for dummies

Hard to believe there are people out there who haven’t discovered coffee yet. For those of you who don’t mind being initiated into the world of coffee by me (which could be risky for your health and general well-being), read on!

How to become insanely active in a few minutes:
1) Gulp mugful of coffee.
2) Close your eyes.
3) Chant following mantra 11 times:

O caffeine!
In a coffee bean
Win o’er my woozy head
Promise! I’ll be addicted

For best results, hold up your mug and sing. Appeases the Caffeine Gods faster than you'd think (you could get imaginative and do a small jig too, but make sure not to get carried away and spill precious coffee all over the place. Angry roomies and offended Caffeine Gods are never good for you).

And there you go! So active that even your quintessential conference paper can’t deter your consciousness*, you may now don your best warrior hat/thinking cap and conquer the world!

Now comes the difficult part...

What to do when you can’t sleep at night anymore:
1) Curse your coffee mug for being so big.
2) Curse those megalomaniac mug makers.
3) Curse yourself for gulping that extra mugful.
4) Curse your roomie** for sleeping so peacefully.
5) Promise yourself you'll never repeat this foolish act. Ever.

And then... get ready for a long night of sleeplessness. Because nothing's gonna help, really. And yes, you're bound to face the consequences of your sinful indulgence anyway (because coffee hangover lasts long. Trust me, I'm a subject matter expert). So then, why think about tomorrow and make life more miserable? Okay, so you're all groggy and brain-dead the next morning... so what? All it takes to get your zing back is another bigggg mugful of coffee :)

*If you confuse consciousness with concentration and expect great things to happen, you're not a dummy. You're a dunce. Being marginally awake under such circumstances is a miracle in itself. Be thankful and do your part, you lazy shortcut seeker!
**Just kidding, roomie dears :) On an entirely different subject that’s got nothing to do with this, you’re awesome cooks!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Random, ironic and meaningless

High school passouts go to college while doctors are still stuck in school (Grad school. Whatever. Not fun.)

Rhett Butler is a rude, middle-aged flirt with a reputation so bad he's disowned by his family. He spends like crazy and eventually ditches his wife, yet almost every girl who's read Gone with the Wind has fallen for him. Crazy, right? Well... we look at it this way: he is frank, mature, charming, unconventional, spends like crazy on his woman, and now he’s single! ;)

Q) Does Cupid strike with thunderbolts?
A) Godfather only knows.

Song and dance sequences in Bollywood weddings are silly and unreal, but we’re cool with magic, superheroes, robots in love*, Neo’s stunts, green aliens, undead mummies (and oh! vampires) that go out of their way to defy gravity, quantum relativity (random high-funda word, but yes, that too) and mainly, reason.

Q) Random is Arthur’s daughter. Who is Arthur?**
A) A Random Generator (tee hee :D)

*WALL.E! The cutest sci-fi + animation movie ever :)
**The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - insanely funny!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This could be me

350, actually. And no chocolates either :( Cecilia, you are so better off.

Sighhh. Can't afford to procrastinate anymore.
Let the grading begin...

Sunday, October 25, 2009


All of us, at some point of time or the other, take things for granted. Human nature, I guess. Even I do it. A lot. But worse, I end up acting all shocked and indignant when I realize what I've been taking for granted is slipping away from me, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Feels like a breach of trust by the other party, for going back on their promises. But what if the 'other party' is inanimate, and all those promises are just a product of my hyperactive imagination? All the more reason for getting upset, I’d say. Before you wonder what’s wrong with me, let me tell you myself.

Living on the east coast has its own advantages, one of the best being its seasonal diversity (you will not hear me say this during winter, when slush and subzero temperatures make me long for sultry Hyderabad even more. But since it’s not yet snowing, I can confidently say snow is my thing). Right now, Fall has unleashed its full glory and charm on my small town. From deep reds to golden yellows to the brightest of oranges, the range and intensity could put a rainbow to shame. Even a casual glance while walking across campus or looking out the window brings about a smile these days, and I have no attention left to spare for mundane thoughts when it’s all being held in captivity by nature.

Agreed, all this had almost made me forget that Fall is just a season, but you’d think it will stay on until at least end-of-sem (its ‘Fall semester’ for God’s sake!). But no, it had to go. The leaves had to start falling. And that’s what they’re busy doing. I was dead sure Fall would be longer, and I would have time to take in all of it, to explore pretty drives, to take enough pictures to hold this season in memory. Well, it wasn’t meant to be. Darn! I’d taken it for granted, and now it’s teaching me a lesson... for ignoring it (albeit unintentionally) when it was being good to me. Harsh, but just.

It got me thinking about human relationships, and I'm really glad they don't work that way. Dealing with blind justice when your feelings are involved is just not possible. And thankfully, people have never done that to me. At least those who really matter, whose presence has made a huge difference, who have touched my life in a special way making me a much better and happier person... I can go on and on praising the angels in my life, yet it will never be enough. No matter how much I take them for granted, their affection remains steadfast and their anger is just fleeting, ready to be relinquished over a single phone call or a short-n-sweet mail.

It means a lot to me, much more than I can express. And maybe that's why I don't often express gratitude for your unshakable trust. For putting up with my possessiveness, occasional crankiness and (a lot of) other idiosyncrasies with grace. For holding me responsible for your happiness. For your evergreen presence in my life, unlike fickle seasons that come and go. Here is to you, dearest family and friends! For being there... always.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

And then it thundered... Part III (where it actually did)

Warning to readers (if there still are any, after all these months of inactivity): this post is probably gonna sound totally anticlimactic. Truth is, I'm no good at this write-in-parts business. Whenever I found something else interesting to write about, the voice in my head went "No wait! Finish your other story first, lazy bones!" (I'm guessing it was my organized subconscious that didn't like the creative me). All the accumulated resentment against that voice, every time I wanted to write about something else, is gonna show up in this post (okay, that's enough. Louisville, here we are!)

The test-fire (plus random people shouting) finally reminded Priya and Nitya why they were there. Fries in hand, they started hurrying back to the venue. Apparently, it had the same effect on everybody around, and people began pushing, jolting and what-not so they wouldn't miss any of the fireworks. This didn't help Priya and Nitya at all, who ended up somewhere in the middle of this big sea of impatient (and seriously hefty) people. Priya sensed what it might just lead to...

Priya: We better throw the damn fries and concentrate on getting out of this alive!

Nitya: Ohh... let's keep the fries. Why are we throwing them? (budday girl didn't yet figure out they were in the middle of a would-be stampede)

Priya: Whaaa?! Oh, c'mon! Life or fries, tough choice...

Nitya: Uh...okay, okay. We're throwing them.

They did, and tried to inch their way back. Alas! Another bunch of rowdy people began joining the sea from their left. Priya totally panicked, and decided all this wasn't worth it.

Priya: Hey, let's push our way to the right and somehow get out of here, okay?

Nitya: Ohhhkay...but the show?

Priya (totally exasperated): Here we are, in the middle of a stampede, and all you can think of are some stupid fireworks...

Nitya: Are you serious??! Whoa, let's goooo!

That wasn't so easy either, but they finally managed to pull each other out of the mess (Priya tells us she actually had to yank budday girl by her jacket, after their hands slipped away in bollywood ishtyle). Luckily, the crowd cleared in a few minutes and they made their way back to us (a barrage of shrieks, questions, and shocked exclamations ensued, but lets not get into all that now :)).

Our adrenaline rush had barely subsided, and before we knew, the show began... and GOD! was it worth EVERYTHING!!! Fired from barges across a bridge over the Ohio river, the pyrotechnics display was truly magnificent... a riot of fiery sparks and bright colours lit up the night sky and the river, and it seemed as though the whole world was ablaze. And the sound! It shook the ground we were standing on, pounded in our hearts and numbed our minds... no wonder it's called Thunder! I lost track of everything, as a deep feeling of awe and childlike wonder washed over me... filling me with serenity in the midst of thunder and lightning...

And this time, the cute kid crinkled her eyes and smiled at me :)

P.S.: The return journey was not exactly uneventful, with me talking utter nonsense while trying hard to prove I wasn't asleep, and misguiding Seby on the highway with GPS device in hand (for a good number of miles)... but of course I'm not gonna tell you about it :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And then it thundered... Part II

Only when we reached the 'venue' did we realize we had to spend the next 6 hours in an open ground, with nothing but grasshoppers for company. There was an airshow going on, that Seby said would be fun. It was, for an hour, after which it got so slow we could've sworn it was the same pilot manning all those fighter planes, and still finding time to take breaks in between.

1 hour later...

Me: I'm bored.

Priya: Me too.

Nitya: Me three.

Seby: Stop it, I say! Hey look, here's F-22! Isn't it a beauty? Whoooooo.....

Me: It's about time. The pilot went home after F-18 or what?

Seby: Shut up, will you? Look look! Did you see him do the somersault? What a guy!! Man, this is frikkin' awesome!

2 more hours later...

"Heyyy!", I smiled at the cute girl in front of me. Back home, kids would either smile back or hide shyly behind their mothers. But here, they simply stare. And God forbid you smile for longer, the parents begin to stare too (the dad looked pretty strong, I noticed). "Uh, oh", I backed away and smiled at them, trying to assure that I just found their daughter cute, nothing else. They turned away and I sighed in relief. I looked up hopefully, found nothing. Looked around, found nothing. Looked within. Ha ha... no hope.

1 more hour (that seemed like ages) later…

Me: What’s taking these girls so long? I tell you, they want the best brand even for fries!

They had gone, upon public demand, to get some fries. We almost had to hunt for food last time, and it was their ‘turn’ now.

Seby: All your fault. You shouldn’t have given the click-happy idiots your cam.

Agreed, both of them are good at photography. Priya had also taken ‘classes’, and would click away at things from crazy angles and still make them look good. In fact, she got compliments on how she could make EVEN ME look good (rude, I know). But right then, we wanted food, not photos.

Seby: They’ll go around taking pics of everything, and get lost in the crowd.

Me: Good riddance!

Seby: I know… But what about the fries?

Me: Oh yeah...

WHIZZZZ! BOOOOOOOMMM!! We looked up to see the dazzle of fireworks.

Me: Oh no! The show has started! Where ARE these gals? What are they gonna do? How will they enjoy the show? How are we going to take pics?

Seby: Shusshh, ok? You’re getting on my nerves. They’re just test firing, that’s all. But these idiots better make it fast. Where ARE they?

Little did we know…

To be continued…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And then it thundered... Part I

"DJ, HAAYE HAAYE!", Seby chanted at the top of his voice. Nitya pretended not to hear, and continued playing Tum dil kiiiiiiii dhadkan meeeeein... Apparently, the song was so boring he was sure he would fall asleep. What's wrong with that, you may wonder. But considering that he was driving on the highway at a full 100, that may not actually be the best thing, you know.

Priya and I were nevertheless rash enough to "take light" the consequences, and backed the DJ's decision from the backseat. Poor Seby sighed, and drove on. I think he was hoping for the Seminoles' war chant, or some adrenalin-pumping chest-thumping number (the kind that generally gets guys all excited and ready for war). But with three obstinate girls for company, he couldn't have expected any more.

We were headed to Kentucky to watch 'Thunder over Louisville', the most mindblowing fireworks display in the US (according to Seby, who had totally sold us on it). One day, he drops by and casually lays the bait:

Seby: Oh! It's a total pity I'd watched Thunder...

Me: That bad, huh?

Seby: No, you idiot! It's so supremely cool you'll not appreciate any other fireworks show in your entire goddamn life!! A million dollars worth of fireworks, all blown up in half an hour! Can you believe it?

Me: Whaaaa..!!! A million dollars just to kick off their stupid Derby festival? Is the govt. rolling in money or what? (I could hardly tell between Derby and Dobby, but was still entitled to an opinion).

Seby went on to prove that it was totally worth it, with the help of his pal for life (a.k.a. youtube). 3 minutes into the video, and Nitya and I were totally floored. It didn't take us long to convince Priya, and before we knew, the D-day arrived!

to be continued...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Enough is enough, I thought. I've been 'planning' to start my own blog for a long time now, along with a 100 other things. I like to think I'm brilliant at planning; so much so that I don't want to spoil the beauty of it by even contemplating execution. In fact, my to do list, I tell myself, is a planner's ultimate dream, with categories, sub-categories, bullets, multiple fonts, et al. I totally swear by it, but somehow my roomie doesn't seem to appreciate it...

Nitya: Will you please return those books today? They're long due, and I've been telling you since...
Me: No worries! It's on my list. You know I go through it everyday, so chill!
Nitya: Ayyo, Shambhavi!! (bangs her head in frustration)

There is also a category for 'list of things already accomplished'. It serves to remind me that I'm not so bad at actually getting things done, so I can extend those periods of blissful inertia (minus the guilt that's part of the package. After all, how much can one person be expected to do?) A subconscious procrastinator, that's what I am, and now I know why. Maybe I should change the title of this post to "Planners are procrastinators", or something like that.

Wait a sec! It's my first post ever, and I've already started rambling. "Is this some kind of a sign? What is the Universe trying to tell me?" I start to ponder... "Stop rambling and JUST DO IT, will you?", my over-taxed brain cells shout back (before a few of them commit suicide). Nike has always had a tough time convincing me of their generation-defining slogan. Okay... so here I am, wondering what to write in my first post, when suddenly I realize I've already written quite a bit! (of crap, people might say, but naturally, I tend to disagree). Whoa! I pat myself, and head off...