Friday, September 26, 2008

Somebody's Watching You

Lets start with some good news. The evil force aka Maharaj has been vanquished. Quailing before my brilliance like a village idiot would in front of Einstein holding forth on Quantum Physics, he has fled to the remote village of Rajasthan from whence he emerged in the dark ages. The caretaker slyly suggested that he left to attend some festivities there, but I think he is just jealous of the fact that I singlehandedly wreaked havoc on their evil dominion. The cook has been replaced by his son. Slightly unsettling is the fact that the son has been trying to convince me and Poli that Misal Paav and Vada Paav are excellent nutrition-rich breakfast. This is in addition to the Poha torture routine that I have now got used to.

Now to the bad news. A few days back Poli walked up to me with a worried look. Before I tell you more, it is important I tell you more about Poli. A proper introduction is in order. Poli aka Rampant Orbit is someone I have known for about a month now. Drawing on my experience with mankind, I have concluded Poli is, by and large, a pretty harmless chap.

Once in a while he does start reciting some poems he claims he studied in school. Loudly. Without being asked. Usually this recitation starts while we are having breakfast and at the exact moment when I am about to swallow the cook's greasy cholesterol-rich offerings. Thanks to Poli's impeccable sense of timing and lung power he manages to startle me every time. Such minor foibles aside, Poli spends most of his time at work staring away at his laptop, mostly traversing through wikipedia. Meanwhile I traverse the blogosphere with unparalleled glee. Once in a while he pauses to loudly wonder where his career is heading. After having concluded its heading nowhere, he resumes his staring. I reassure him that mine is heading nowhere either and we both return to what we seem to do best. Browsing.

Yes, now back to the bad news. There I was blissfully sipping on my morning tea and catching up on Dr. Mahinder Watsa's invaluable advice when Poli nudged me. Luckily I had finished the tea, so there was nothing left to spill on my clothes after I heard what he had to say. "I think someone in the building across the road has been videotaping me", he said. "Poli", I said in a soothing manner," I know we are both single, handsome (Greek god good looks, Poli emphasises), strapping young lads in our late twenties and willing to marry intelligent young women in their mid-to-not-so-late twenties (early-to-mid, Poli suggests) but I don't think anyone would want to videotape us". "I am pretty sure someone did", he said. "When exactly did you get this feeling .. and what exactly were you up to?", I said remembering our last encounter with Mr. XYZ and wondering if the encounter had inspired Poli to do something that he shouldn't be caught doing. Especially on tape. "I was sleeping when I got this feeling someone was watching me", he said. I breathed a sigh of relief. I told him it must have been a bad dream. Nevertheless, we went into Poli's room and stared at the said building. Everything seemed normal. Patting Poli on the back, I returned to my room.

But after this incident, Poli is no more the Poli we always refered to as the Rampant Orbit. He is now more of the Suspiciously Rampant Orbit. He sleeps with a camcorder next to him hoping to record the person whos doing the recording from the building. So, if you just happened to notice someone in the building across the road pointing a camcorder at you and you are not the person shooting Poli, then thats Poli shooting you.

In other news, Mama-Mia has awarded me the "Brillante Weblog Premio - 2008'. "Head over to his blog for some seriously hilarious stuff", she tells her readers. Such nice praise. I am honored. I could say more except that my British upbringing doesn't let me do anything other than keep a stiff upper lip. Hmm, actually I am neither British nor have a stiff upper lip. So, I must say "Woo hoo!" What joy. Thank you, Mama-Mia. And you should really remind them again to head over to my blog. My life has changed after the award. In addition to allowing me to use two meaningless words - Brillante and Premio - in my blog, I wondered how I could get hold of prize money such prizes usually bring. So, I decided to search online how much money I could expect in my mail now that I am a 'Brillante Weblog Premio - 2008' winner. As expected, it has substantially added to my status in society. I am now an extremely rich, single, handsome(think Greek god), strapping young man in my late twenties and willing to marry an intelligent young woman in her early-to-mid-to-not-so-late twenties (Thank you, Poli)

I am also supposed to pass on this award to seven others. Seeing that everyone whose blogs I trawl through have been nominated for the same by ten others and have enough awards to fill a medium size tractor, I am hereby awarding myself this award 6 more times. For "Brillante Weblog Premio - 2009", I will nominate 7 other blogs. Just be here on Jan 1, 2009 as I start the sequence.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Socha Nahi to Socho Abhi .. Hmm, okay.

I remember a time when I enjoyed this song. Now I am positively bugged by it. I am tired of being asked to think. One of my multiple personalties, some chap who fancies his science knowledge, has kicked in. Thanks in advance to my teachers in high school. And my trusted friends - Google and Wikipedia - who helped in moments of extreme doubt.

Aasma Hai Neela Kyun, Paani Geela Geela Kyun Gol Kyun Hai Zameen

Easy. As light moves through the atmosphere, much of the shorter wavelength light, mainly the B in VIBGYOR, is absorbed by gas molecules in the atmosphere. The absorbed blue light gets radiated in different directions and gets scattered all around the sky.

Easy. By definition wet is to be liquid or be covered in liquid. Water is a liquid. Therefore, water is wet.

Easy. Earth is round due to gravity. Gravity ensures that earth retains a shape that is most optimal way for packing in mass - a sphere

Silk Mein Hai Narmi Kyun Aag Mein Hai Garmi Kyun, Do Aur Do Paanch Kyun Nahi

Tricky. The softness of silk is mostly due to the fact that they are strands of natural protein fiber. It has a smooth, soft texture which synthetic fibers lack. It is conceivable that silk woven from a spider also would be smooth but may lack the lustre from the silk woven from a mulberry silkworm.

Easy. Where there is fire, there is combustion - the main reactants being fuel and oxygen. The energy required to break down the chemical bonds in the reactants is less than the energy released during the reaction.This extra energy shows up as heat.

Fallacy Alert!
From school, 2+2=4 ..... (A)
Now, take two variables a and b
Assume a=b=1 .... (B)
a*a=b*a (* indicates multiplication)
a*b - a*a = b*a - a*a
a*(b-a) = (a+b)*(b-a)
Dividing both sides by (b-a)
Therefore, a=1+1=2 ..... (C)
4= 3+1 = 3+a (From B) .... (D)
5 = 3+2 = 3+a (From C) .... (E)
From D and E, 4 = 3+a = 5 => 4 = 5
From A, 2+2=4
Therefore 2+2=5

Pedd Ho Gaye Kum Kyun, Teen Hain Ye Mausam Kyun Chaand Do Kyun Nahi

Easy. Because of deforestation. Elementary. Reasons for that are also pretty elementary.

Easy. The number of 'different' seasons a region experiences are due to two reasons - one is due to the positon of the earth relative to the sun as it orbits around it and two is the position of the region on the earth. Thanks to where India is on the globe, we see three differentiated seasons.

Easy. The moon is a natural satellite of the earth. The earth probably doesnt have enough mass to support two satellites through its gravitational pull. Another moon would probably knock earth off its current orbit around the sun. There are bigger planets such as Jupiter that have multiple moons (satellites)

Duniya Mein Hai Jung Kyun Behta Laal Rang Kyun, Sarhaden Hain Kyun Har Kahin

Wars have been fought over issues such as land, religion, women, insults et al.

Amateur Philosopher alert!
Wars inevitably lead to blood shed.

Easy. Borders and boundaries are theoretically needed to define the territorial reach of any nation. Within a nation, boundaries may be defined to ease administration and to satisfy the need of the population to be classified on the basis of parameters such as language, ethnicity etc.

Socha Hai... Yeh Tumne Kya Kabhi
Socha Hai... Ki Hain Yeh Kya Sabhi
Socha Hai... Socha Nahi To Socho Abhi...

Actually, I have

Behti Kyun Hai Har Nadi, Hoti Kya Hai Roshni Barf Girti Hai Kyun

Easy. All bodies tend to move towards a state of equilibrium. Rivers, with enough water in them, tend to keep flowing downhill typically terminating in a sea or in a lake, through a confluence. As an addendum, rivers can stop flowing due to evaporation in arid areas. And sometimes they infiltrate the soil ending up as groundwater.

Easy. Light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum - this ranges from radio waves to gamma rays. Visible light is similar to other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. In this case though, the human eye can detect visible waves.

Tricky. Ice crystals in cold clouds grow when they pick up water vapour from the supercooled water droplets in clouds. Heavy snowflakes formed when these ice crystals stick together fall to the ground. If the temperature on the ground is below freezing, it results in snow

Dost Kyun Hain Roothte Taare Kyun Hain Toot The, Baadlon Mein Bijli Hai Kyun

Amateur Psychologist Alert!
Friendship, like any other relationship, is based on trust and understanding. Whenever any of the people involved feel that these core values have been violated, there could be a strain in the friendship. Phew!

Easy. A shooting star is the common name for the visible path of a meteoroid as it enters the atmosphere. The meteoroid tends to burn away due to the massive force of friction it encounters as it enters the atmosphere.

Tricky. Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity. Ice inside a cloud is thought to be a key element in lightning development. It could cause a forcible separation of positive and negative charges within the cloud which leads to the formation of lightning

Socha Hai... Yeh Tumne Kya Kabhi
Socha Hai... Ki Hain Yeh Kya Sabhi
Socha Hai... Socha Nahi To Socho Abhi...

Been there. Done that.

Sannata Sunai Nahin Deta, Aur Hawayen Dikhayi Nahin Deti
Socha Hai Kya Kabhi, Hota Hai Yeh Kyun............

Easy. By definition, you would not hear silence in any form

Tricky. The wind that we all feel is air in motion. Air has the property of being transparent to light and also that it is homogeneous. As a result, changes in wind do not register in our senses. To truly watch wind, you could trying going high in the atmosphere. Due to changing wind pattersn over a wide area, it should be possible to see wind move.

Aasma Hai Neela Kyun, Paani Geela Geela Kyun Gol Kyun Hai Zameen
Silk Mein Hai Narmi Kyun Aag Mein Hai Garmi Kyun, Do Aur Do Paanch Kyun Nahi
Pedd Ho Gaye Kum Kyun, Teen Hain Ye Mausam Kyun Chaand Do Kyun Nahi

Duniya Mein Hai Jung Kyun Behta Laal Rang Kyun, Sarhaden Hain Kyun Har Kahin
Socha Hai... Yeh Tumne Kya Kabhi
Socha Hai... Ki Hain Yeh Kya Sabhi
Socha Nahi To Socho Abhi...

Haan .. socha hai!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Incomplete Search

The alert reader - one of my ten multiple personalities or that marvellous lady who publicly declared her loyalty to this blog - will remember that the previous post ended with me and Poli* surviving multiple spittle bombing attempts during our journey to the client premises.

In the lift, I did a quick check to ensure that there were no traces of mud, paan, grime or any carbon based lifeform on my clothes. We reached the front desk. I walked up to the secretary. "Spanker", I said with my winningest secret agent smirk, "Avionic Spanker." Blank look. Clearly the only Bond she knew had the first name Brook. Smirk duly wiped. "Avionic Spanker from the-company-you-are-paying-an-insane-amount-of-money-to-tell-you-nothings-wrong-with-you". I saw a look of recognition light up her face. "I am here to meet Mr. XYZ". "Of course, please wait. I'll let him know you are here" .. and so we waited.

Finally we were ushered into XYZ's room and I did a double take. Poli stifled a gasp. No, its not what you think. XYZ was not our friendly cook, Maharaj, in disguise. He did remind us of someone else though. As he stepped out to take a phone call, me and Poli exchanged notes. Our verdict was unanimous. He had a remarkable resemblance to an actor starring in multiple movies of a very popular genre. The name of the genre rhymes with torn. If you are familiar with the Indian word for this genre, it rhymes with brandy (If you haven't guessed it yet, stop soaking in the comfortable warmth of your ignorance and ask the first teen you run into) As we were trying to remember which movies we may have seen the actor in, XYZ returned to resume the meeting. I don't know if this has ever happened to you but talking to someone AND trying to match their face with someone you vaguely remember is a tough job. Now if this person you vaguely remember was always minimally or never clothed, the complexity gets magnified manifold. Besides you have to understand that as far this genre goes, the focus is never on the actors. Its always on the *ahem* action. As I mentally ran through an inventory of such movies I had seen, I realised all I could remember were the female actors.

This had to be a bad dream. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and in an absurdly wrong state of mind. This was like a 90 year old with arthritis deciding to compete with Usain Bolt. On ice. This was like being an industrialist in Bengal. With a name called Ratan. This was like randomly opening a page in Atlas Shrugged and landing in the middle of that monologue. Yes, THAT one. This was like entering the theatre and watching Tushar Kapoor's name in the opening credits. As sole lead. One just knows something bad is going to happen and that one will be scarred by the experience. And here we were, seated opposite a man droning on about his business as we racked our brains trying to identify his doppleganger. Never one to leave a question unanswered, I have made a mental note to go to certain websites as soon as I get unrestricted internet access and find XYZ's clone. I am pretty sure that industry has a very small workforce. Wonder how it is to work there. Everyone there must know everyone else. Intimately.

Many people have responded to my previous post to assure me that I do not have a future as a writer in EK's coterie. One of my loyal readers, most likely the 6th personality, even threatened to commit suicide if I joined EK's bandwagon. I have tried to think up ways of introducing saree-clad fat women with bindis longer than your average kitchen knife and their thin daughter-in-laws (or is it daughters-in-law .. pshaw!) with tear-filled eyes into this story. Sadly, I don't see how that can happen unless some of the characters in this story have simultaneous gender reassignment procedures and multiple plastic surgeries. Alas, joining EK is a dream that will have to die. Thanks for your feedback, people. EK's loss is your gain. I think.

*Poli refers to himself as Rampant Orbit and recommends you do the same