Monday, December 24, 2012

Mythical Movie Blunders


All right, this post comprises a small yet heavily detailed account of the typical Mythical/Fantasy/Epic Movie stereotypes. So, without much ado, read on.

Wait, in this post for the purpose of convenience, The Supreme Hero (Singular main Goody-Good Guy) shall henceforth be called as, well the Supreme Hero, and The Supreme Villain (The Big Daddy of all bad guys on Earth) shall be referred to as Supreme Villain.


  • There is a SEC (Supreme Evil Creature) that has its jurisdiction in a varying number of nearby lands that lives in absolute darkness and in caves with deep chasms and very narrow and weak wooden/stone bridges with insufficient supporting and weak structural integrity connecting the ends that some architect gets built (yes, a man with an ability to design and build staircases and wooden/stone bridges in such difficult terrain gets out of the safety of the city in search of challenging architecture in such far-off and otherwise impenetrable lands and of course supposedly no monetary compensation in return for the said construction) for brave warriors in case they come to vanquish the said creature.


  • However, as this author later researched, it is also possible that such construction is actually accomplished by the SEC itself in its free time in order to ease the accessibility for such BWs (Brave Warriors) to reach it at which time the said creature will show its might by destroying such bridges and gobbling up the warriors if they are unable to vanquish it.



  • It just so happens that such caverns are strategically situated such that they become shortcuts to the destination that our warriors seek, and that the warriors have just enough time (poor project management on their part) that they absolutely cannot take the longer yet safer path, for any delay will result in end of the world.



  • There are also times when the SEC in utter futility and lack of foresight, captures and imprisons the fairest and most beautiful maiden of the lands in the tallest tower of its custom-built abode. On further deep thought, the author realised that said fair maiden may have been captured as insurance for the time when the evil dark creature (previously referred to as SEC) gets old and unable to hunt on its own, to relish a last "hearty" meal; since being of different species and vastly differing physical attributes, starting a family with the said fair maiden does not seem practical. Also, as a result of her unique predicament, the said fair maiden gets an alternative terminology, that of DID (Damsel in Distress).



  • It just so happens that the group of BWs (Brave Warriors) in question end up defeating or otherwise killing the dark creature (also called SEC) which had otherwise been so indomitable in the past that no other living soul entered the creature’s abode and lived to tell the tale.



  • The structural stability of the entire cavern inhabited by the SEC is such that just when the said creature is slayed, rocks and boulders begin to fall from the roof, and the cavern that had otherwise been standing for a thousand years gets destroyed. Now, that’s called Extreme Engineering.



  • Our BWs (Brave Warriors) time their exit from the said cavern such that just when they all come out of the said structure safely, it collapses into a great valley, with the hero doing the honors of pulling up one of his companions from near certain death.


  • During battle with a large army (with the hostile army counting at least 3 to 1 to that of the Supreme Hero’s), the Supreme Hero seems to repel all the arrows aimed at him or in his general direction by the enemy archers, keeping his face and general body posture such that all the arrows miss his body by mere millimeters. However, that is not the case with the unfortunate enemy foot soldiers who mistakenly come within his near infinite range for our Supreme Hero, being one of the best warriors since the Dawn Of  History in the use of a sword, a bow and arrow or just plain hand to hand combat,  has an excellent aim and just a single arrow is almost always sufficient in killing his target.



  • It is worth mentioning that our Supreme Warrior (previously referred to as Supreme Hero) has incredible stamina, since he just defeated most of the army/minions/cronies of the said Supreme Villain before beginning the ultimate battle between Good and Evil, and even though the Supreme Villain is a great sorcerer with enormous power, and near-infinite knowledge, he almost certainly ends up getting killed by the Supreme Hero.



  • On at least one occasion, there comes a time when the Supreme Hero has to choose between saving the DID (Damsel In Distress) who also happens to be the love of his life, and saving the world from destruction and utter chaos; and our supreme hero, in all the stupidity befitting well, a Supreme Hero, chooses to save the damsel. But almost always, things work out fine and the world is saved by some fluke incident.



  • There almost always is a SS (Special/Supreme Sword) with the unique distinction of being one of its kind (for when it was being forged by a special heat treatment process which was way too advanced for its time, the metallurgist decided to make just a single piece, not accounting for the off chance the sword might fall off into one of the hundreds of valleys frequented by our Supreme Hero, or just go missing out of sheer negligence on his part). It also so happens that the said sword can never be built again and you have to search through the entire world for where the last Supreme Hero left it after leaving weird instructions to locate it which are difficult to comprehend for an ordinary mind. Anyways, so this sword is the only one that can vanquish the great evil plaguing the lands and like always is the case, the metallurgy of the sword and the legend behind it proves just right, for when the Supreme Hero confronts the great evil with said sword he always succeeds in vanquishing the evil using this sword.



  • And finally, there is the case of the Supreme Hero and the Supreme Villain who come prepared having memorised well-crafted speeches that they recite to each other during their pre- and post-battle verbal jostle. There almost always comes a time during the course of the battle when it seems that the villain has gotten the upper hand, at which time he gets all boastful in front of the Supreme Hero, who utilizes this time to catch his breath before surprising the villain with a sudden attack and an awesome punch line before vanquishing him once and for all.


That's all I could think of for now. Do contribute to this discussion if you can think of something else. 

Ta Ta.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Nolanification of Hollywood


"Look, up in the sky!"
"It's a bird."
"It's a plane".
"It's Superman!"

That is how I remember Superman from my childhood. The ultimate symbol of super-strength. And as far as this eight year old was concerned, Superman easily obliterated Batman and Spiderman put together simply using his Heat vision.


That was the time when there were essentially three characters in the average superhero movie. The superhero himself, of course, occupied the prime spot. He would single-handedly bash up the cronies/minnions of the villain, give a lecture or two to the repeat offender of a villain before beating him up too and saving the damsel in distress as the cops looked on or cheered. There were a few minor details here and there about the superhero's parallel life as a simpleton, but that's about all there was to the movie.

In a way, everyone in the superhero movie functioned essentially as 10 year olds. And so the movie itself was meant for the 10 year olds.

  
                                       




That innocence has all but died. Come 2013, and we are going to be in another world. A world where nobody will look up into the sky and guess stupidly about planes and birds before finally getting it right. A world where Clark Kent has to ask himself,"Is the world ready for Superman?" It is like asking,"Is the world ready for incredible awesomeness?" It sounds incredibly lame.


This is the new world that we live in. A world of superheroes inspired by the creative brilliance of Christopher Nolan. A man who has given depth and meaning to these out-of-the-world characters, thus making them and their villains, well much more life-like.

The average superhero today does not just beat up the bad guy. He has a complicated life of his own, as does the villain. The Hero has become a selfless guardian who needs to comprehend the morality and consequences of his actions on the city, despite all the inherent good intentions.

We have a villain with a scary, yet noble vision for the failing city. An evil, violent man with a philosophy of his own on how the world should function.

There are times when the villain seems much more relatable, much more human. Even the average guy on the street has deep insights to offer. Every character has a shade of grey and the viewer is left flummoxed whom to root for.

Besides, there are a large number of back stories of minor characters all supporting the overall narrative. Politics, History, Economics and Foreign Policy are inter-mingled such that the city doesn't function by itself as previously portrayed but instead has a large number of outside factors influencing it.

This is a world where the superhero himself at times seems the reason behind such crazy villains plaguing the city.

So, we have a Joker, telling the sad series of events that happened to his family before he became the psychotic maniac that he is.

We have Rachel Dawes, the Damsel, who after being saved from the jaws of evil, leaves the Superhero in spite of all the muscles and charisma, to be with an average simpleton without superpowers or big money.

We have Alfred the Butler telling his Master how the Gotham city needs Bruce Wayne, his resources and knowledge much more than his alter-ego, the Batman to save the city from the latest villains.


And finally, as this trailer shows, we have a Superman in handcuffs being escorted by a bunch of policemen to prove that even the incorruptible and indomitable Superman isn't above the law.

These are exciting times indeed for the Superhero genre. Hopefully, the best is yet to come.   

Note: This post has been submitted for the Blogathon organised by A Potpourri of Vestiges. If you are a movie buff like me, do check it out, it has some nice reviews.               


       

Sunday, December 16, 2012

And it rained Credit Cards!!!

If the people named in this article are in a vengeful mood, then I am in for a lot of trouble. May be they will file an FIR against me and get me arrested; May be that will lead to the media rallying behind me and making me a Hero of the masses. Then, I will be made the Indian Prime Minister. Then, in a crazy fit, I will become a Dark overlord...Mwahahaha!!! 
Don't mind my mindless musings...Read on...


Following the recent expose by IAC activist Arvind Kejriwal regarding the nexus behind accumulation of black money in Swiss banks, the Central Government came up yesterday with a bizarre scheme to check the circulation of black money.


The central government has decided to provide credit card swiping machines as part of a national strategy to integrate the poverty ridden masses and check the flow of black money in the economy.


In a press conference attended by senior UPA leaders Kapil Sibal and P. Chidambaram, the government announced the ambitious scheme. Mr. Chidambaram informed the assembled journalists that the move, the brain-child of Congress’s PM-in-waitng Rahul Gandhi, is aimed to curb the flow of black money in the economy and integrating the lakhs of beggars into the mainstream, besides decreasing the economy's fiscal deficit through taxes from the beggars. The Union minister claimed that in a recent government sponsored survey, it was found that begging, if seen as an organized industry employed the largest number of employees in the country with all transactions in black. The minister claimed that with this scheme the government could recover at least 45% of the black money circulating in the system.


However, political analysts and our sources in various political parties are of the opinion that the move may backfire since nobody likes being taxed more or being taxed at all.


Meanwhile, reactions from various political parties started pouring in by the end of the day.


The BJP spokesperson slammed the government for being insensitive over the issue of poverty by aiming to tax the already poverty-ridden masses.


Apart from the BJP central leadership, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, on campaign trail at a rally in Vadodara claimed that the real Black Money was stored in Madam Sonia’s lockers in Swiss Banks and not minuscule alms obtained by the beggars.


Within an hour of this statement, Information & Broadcasting Minister and Congress spokesperson Mr. Manish Tewari condemned Mr. Modi’s authoritarian attitude, comparing him to Hitler while Ex-cop Sanjiv Bhatt wrote a letter to Modi, asking him to apologise to the nation for the 2002 riots.


The CPM alleged that the UPA government was anti-people and this move by the government was at the behest of the US government in order to benefit their banking institutions and Credit card swiping machine manufacturers.


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the government for its anti-people schemes and proposed yet another No confidence motion against the UPA in the Lok Sabha.


SP and BSP leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati threatened to withdraw their outside support from the government if it does not allow reservations for Minorities and Backward classes respectively in this scheme.


Meanwhile, MNS chief Raj Thackrey gave a new direction to the debate, alleging that the beggars hailing from Bihar will eat into the Marathi beggars’ share and challenged that either Marathi beggars should get preference in the allocation of the Credit card swiping machines or beggars from Bihar and other northern states shall be driven away from Mumbai.


Amidst the ensuing political controversy, this reporter had an opportunity to meet a recently upgraded beggar as part of the government’s pilot project before implementing the scheme nationwide. The Beggar, Mr. Ram Das enlightened this reporter about how any donation made to him being electronic in nature shall be exempt from taxation.


On being asked, if the scheme had empowered him or helped improve his and his family's condition, Mr. Das smiled and said,”Let us just say, that now I have to worry about investments and tax saving”.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Power He Didn't Have A Freaking Idea Of-Part I

Disclaimer: Its just for laughs folks! And yeah, I have absolutely no rights over Harry Potter, I am just borrowing him from Rowling (without taking permission, of course) to serve my nefarious purposes. I hope she has a large heart. :D

The Power Of Propaganda

He stood at the edge of the cliff looking down at the great abyss before him with a sad smile on his face. The greatest Dark Lord the world had ever known ready to jump to his death. That Skeeter woman would die out of sheer excitement if she got wind of this...How did it come to this you may ask...


Well, it all started one evening at that godforsaken place called the Gryffindor Common Room, a place where young kids with no particular mental faculties or physical strength for that matter, plotted against and influenced the seats of power in the Wizarding world at the end of the day’s lessons. A place where grand complicated schemes were hatched to keep him away from absolute power over the wizarding world.


It was one such day...

The trio sat in their usual chairs near the fireplace.

Since, Harry Potter had told her of the prophesy, Hermione Granger, the brainy maniac girl had been searching for ways to help her friend vanquish the Dark Lord while Ron Weasly, the mentally deficient but otherwise loyal friend indulged in a game of Wizard Chess with The Boy Who Lived.

"The Power He Knows NOT! Now, we all know that You Know Who is an expert at absolutely everything even remotely related to magic, then such a power needs to be unconventional like something from the muggle world." lectured Hermione, more to herself than to the others.

"It is not necessary that he knows everything related to magic, Hermione. He only understands evil, dark things. I think, we need the power of Love to kill him once and for all. Remember, that’s what Dumbledore told me in our First year", countered Harry passionately.

"Grow up Harry! Are you going to spike his drink with a love potion and try kissing him?, There are no such things like Love or Hate magic. she said sarcastically.

"Actually that could work" said Ron sincerely.

Hermione silenced Ron with a glare.

“I was going through the muggle newspapers and something just caught my eye. I think I know just the power. The Power of Media Propaganda."

“Do you know the reason for Voldemort's success and why nobody until now has been able to defeat him?”, questioned Hermione as if expecting some brilliant insight from the two chimps.

"He is immortal and very powerful?” asked Harry.

“Not to mention extremely scary”, added Ron.

“No. It is because a large chunk of the Wizarding population, though afraid of him still roots for his cause. Even with all of his tremendous power he couldn't have achieved such distinction if he did not have people who believed in his ideology. By making the pure bloods who form a significant portion of the Wizarding population feel victimized, he provides them with a cause that they identify with and which makes them rally around him.

"So, what do we do", asked Harry.

"We need to spread false propaganda against him, that will make his supporters detest him."

"Now, we know for a fact that Voldemort is a half blood, so he does have a muggle connection, a fact not widely known or talked about. If we are able to resurrect his muggle lineage and show him as sympathetic towards muggles, he would be exposed as a bigot, and his supporters will begin to desert him", lectured Hermione.

“But how shall we connect him to the muggle world? He hates muggles!”, countered Ron.

"We don't need just any muggle. We need the most controversial one. I was just going through some muggle newspapers when I got this idea, though it is pretty complex. There is a muggle politician in India who is an extremely divisive figure. Anyone who has ever been associated with him is trashed by the media and loses his credibility overnight. Now if we want to discredit You Know Who, we need to do it in a grand way. If we can somehow associate You Know Who with Narendra Modi, we might get the Wizarding media to rally against You know who", answered Hermione.

"Okay, Hermione, but how do we do it. What person in his right mind would want to associate with such an evil. How will we even contact him?", asked Harry.

Hmmm...

After half an hour, the girl came back with a wide grin.

"MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I secured an appointment with him; we are going to meet him next week. I just mailed his office from the Muggle Studies laboratory and told him that we are a business delegation from Great Britain and wanted to invest in his state", she said happily.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

So, Let us talk about Cows

It is 00:02 at midnight, I have just woken up from sleep; and in this orderly world of darkness, and generally agreed to “Ungodly hour”, it is time to begin The Really Long Cow Debate.

There are 3 kinds of people in this world:
  1. Who love cows (enough to worship them)
  2. Who hate cows (enough to eat them up)
  3. Who don’t feel much about them (These people are kinda lazy and disinterested as far as cows are concerned)

The COW LOVERS

For the people who love them, their hearts beat for the cows and when they see them on the streets in such a dilapidated condition, they cannot hold back their tears.

They feel that the cows, such noble creatures that they are, have the right to live with dignity and consider it the duty of the respective government/Municipal Corporation in power to provide suitable accommodation and means of livelihood for the cows.
.....................................................................

The COW HATERS

The people who hate cows, however, have a different train of thought. Watching a cow on the street drives them mad.

Yours truly has had the fortune of witnessing one such cow-hater chasing a cow on his bike, while beating it with a stick, laughing maniacally as if the purpose of his existence had at last been fulfilled; and the poor creature running for dear life.

Yours truly, in fact, has also been witness to a cow chasing after the same “man on bike”, and the guy (obviously an adrenaline junkie) speeding on for dear life. This incident shows that the feelings of cow-haters are reciprocated by the cows in equal measure.

The COWNIBALS [a different form of cow-haters(as the cows say)]

Then, there are others, let us say “cownibals”, in whose minds the first thing to pop up on seeing a cow on street is Beef, which as yours truly has been told by some concerned cows, makes them feel very uneasy...and the cows insisted that such people be categorized as cow-haters instead of cow-lovers, as in their own words,"Love without soul (the dead cow’s soul, in this case) is lust, and mad lust directed towards another species can be construed as to be some form of hatred."

.......................................................................................................

The AUTHOR STRAYS OFF TOPIC AND GLORIFIES HIMSELF AS A HERO (Yeah, I am sort of mad and restless inside; and yes, I am kind of a hero to the cows)

Now, you may ask, how is it that he can talk to cows and we can’t?

Well, I have an answer to that. You see, I am the Harry Potter of the Dr. Dolittle universe.

On a bright, sunny day (since Dr. Dolittle isn’t your average evil Dark Lord who chooses a dark, rainy night and gloomy and inconvenient site conditions to execute their evil plans), when the evil, dark (I am not being racist here) Dr. Dolittle attacked but failed to eliminate me, all his powers were transferred to me.

Since, they rarely speak, and do so only in moments of extreme emotion, while talking to cows, you have to pay particular attention to their facial expressions.

You can judge by a cow’s face if it is an intense cow or a happy-go-lucky cow; if it is just roaming about or out to kill somebody.

You also must pay particular attention to the teeth, if they ever do allow you to see them; the grinding of teeth may imply “seething with rage” or intense stomach-ache; while a tension-free “Battisi” means it is just plain happy.

But let us not distract ourselves and move onto the next kind.

...............................................................................................................................

The NEUTRAL GUYS

The Third kind, the neutral guys, doesn’t spend their day thinking about cows. Some have in fact been known to be so neutral as to deny the very existence of cows and end up walking into those invisible things.
However, these guys are still humans. Some love cars, others bikes and claim that cows take up the space on the street which does not leave anything for their BMWs and Hayabusas.

They say that the government should draft clear and concise policies for all living, non-living, real or imaginary things on the road. That everything should be at its rightful place and that they do not feel that road/street is an appropriate place for a cow, if the said creature so exists.


But ask any one category of people; Do they like it when some random guy parks the cows off at the very centre of the street for the above three categories to exercise their franchise?

The answer is a vehement NO.

Alas, this is the sad reality for most of India.

......................................................................................................................

The AUTHOR'S DAILY ADVENTURE (Can only be witnessed on weekdays and an occasional weekend, since the author is lazy and sleeps a lot on weekends)

It becomes kind of an adventure sport, where you have to dodge the hurdles in the form of cows, buffalos, bikes, cars, and that random guy or gal who doesn’t seem to see you and intends to walk right through you.

The barking dog with whom one has to play a game of staring while the creature is shouting away angrily at you as if it had just executed the deeds for that part of real-estate and figures one may end up littering it.

And then there is all the excretion! It is as if the cow, such a devious creature that it is, must have spent the whole night working out algorithms to find which exact place to plant the symbol of its eternal presence.

And when, in your blind happiness, walking to office with a song on your lips, you end up stepping on this eternal symbol of the cow, you begin to doubt, is the universe really that big? Is entropy really that big an issue or is it all planned out way ahead by an immensely naughty kid staring at the ant-farm like earth with mirth and glee.

Mind the NUTSHELL

In a nutshell, a humble request to that random guy who parks them off in the street every morning, kindly park your vehicles (which happen to be cows in this case) in a garage at your home if you do not intend to ride them during daytime.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Legend Of The Piper

Celebrating one year of Plant Layout and Piping Design... A peep into the life and times of the Legendary "P & ID Piper"


Once upon a time, in a far and distant land, was a beautiful and scenic town called Clientsville.


However, the townsfolk lived a miserable life, for in the otherwise scenic town, would pop out large chunks of curiously shaped metal from beneath the earth; and large bits of paper with weird line drawings would rain down from the Heavens. The townsfolk didn't know what to do with all that material. Waste disposal became a big issue, and people started leaving their beloved town.


Then, one day, came along a handsome young man, with a pipe tucked in his belt. Sensing the trouble of the townsfolk, the Piper brought out his pipe, picked up the drawings, and started playing a melodious tune.




Suddenly, all the metal started floating in the air. It started bending and welding together forming large vessels and pipes both large and small. The bits of paper had started materializing and the line drawings on them were suddenly making sense.


The townsfolk looked on in awe, as a whole plant got erected in front of their very eyes in a matter of minutes, and rejoiced for the magical spectacle they had just been witness to.


From the midst of all the fanfare where the townsfolk celebrated the town's redemption, the Piper slipped away quietly, off to his next big adventure.

.......................................................................................................................

I have been waiting so long to post this. Having completed my first year at job, I wanted to commemorate it with a piece on what I do.When you start liking the job you do, you tend to glorify it as something fantastic and legendary. Perhaps that's what's happened with me.

For the uninitiated into the nitty-gritty of the EPC business,

The town Clientsville, as the name suggests represents the client in need of an Industrial facility in the form of a Process Plant.

The bits of paper raining down from the Heavens represent the Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs), the essence behind the designing and operation of these plants.

I think of the flute as the tool (software) used by the Piping Engineer, to bring out his creativity, rather his take on what the plant should look like.

Of course, the Piper couldn't have done all that on his own, which obviously calls for a sequel :D

Do tell me what you feel about it, coz there's going to be more of it in the near future!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Government vs Ice Cream

Until this day, I believed my mother had assumed the supreme authority of reprimanding me for eating Ice cream (for obvious reasons). 

However, with the Home Minister of India Mr. Chidambaram also finding fault with the said practice, I really am starting to reconsider my eating habits, in case some day "The powers that be" decide to make eating ice cream into a punishable offence.

Jokes aside, the logic behind this statement seems a bit shaky. I mean, I am not allowed to complain of soaring prices just because I sometimes end up eating ice cream or perhaps drinking "drinkable" Drinking water.

As for the ice cream, I fear the best way to make people spend on staples such as rice and wheat instead of ice cream would be to ban its production and sale. However, I feel a certain bubbly girl who makes her living out of selling these "Utterly Delicious" delights, might be furious if ever such a decision were taken. 

But before resorting to any such step, I would request the Home Minister to improve the Electricity situation in the country. A lot of the people resort to indulging in this audacious delight only to beat the heat in the summers in the absence of electricity. But perhaps that may eventually lead to reprimanding us for using Air Conditioners, so don't mind what I just said.

As for the water Sir, the only alternative I have to Bottled water is the one supplied by our respective Municipal Corporations, if supplied at all. 

But being of weak heart, I am a bit doubtful of the quality of the "cheap water" supplied by you and terribly afraid of contracting a water-borne disease.

Again, I could go to some Government Hospital for "cheap treatment", but being apprehensive of the services there, if at all sufficiently available, I would rather go to a private clinic.

So, when it comes to choosing between a "Rs. 15 bottle of water" and the doctor's fee at a private clinic, I would easily prefer the former, for at the end of the day, I still have to afford my bowl of Rice!

In the end, to rest my case Mr. Home Minister, you can mess with anyone but kids. They won't understand whatever Advanced Economics you think are at work here (I doubt anyone else would).

Kids only understand that Ice Cream tastes "AWESOME" and that's the end of the argument. Anyone who claims to the contrary or tries to snatch it away from them is the Voldemort of their sweet little world.

Being a kid at heart myself, I couldn't agree more!

So, step back and rethink before you are disarmed by a collective EXPELLIARMUS!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Internet in Heaven !

Random Gandharva 347:Hey, did you hear the news?

Random Gandharva 489:What?

RG 347: I just heard that Lord Indra has been put on probation by the Trinity.

RG 489: Really? What for?

RG 347: You know,the usual. Negligence towards assigned jobs leading to mismanagement of Monsoons in India.

RG 489: Well, he had it coming, dude. Since this computer thingy the humans made, Lord Indra spends the whole of his time in front of it.

RG 347: Yeah man,and that new thing...what do they call it...the Internext, I hear he has even stopped organising the Dance Apasara Dance challenges.

RG 489: Well, he was always a bit loony at job. That’s why we got our jobs at Crisis management Department.

RG 347: You said it, dude!
..................................................................................................................................................
Meanwhile, at Lord Indra’s palace:

Lord Indra: Hey,Chitragupta, do something man! I narrowly escaped today. You can’t imagine how weird it feels when you have Lord Brahma’s four hands on your throat trying to strangle you!

Chitragupta: Sir,I have been doing some research while you were gone and I think I have just the thing you need.

Lord Indra: What is it? It better be good.

Chitragupta: Sir,your primary problem is that everyone in the Heavens knows that you are out of work when you are busy chatting on Facebook and Twitter. Now, your performance has been, how shall I put it, average from the very beginning. But now, since you are found absent from the meetings, workshops, etc. people have started realizing that you don’t do a damn thing around here.

In order to change that perception, you need to be away from your PC and inside meeting rooms.

Lord Indra: Don’t be ridiculous Chitragupta. I need to know what’s new on my Facebook and Twitter account, apart from checking my Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail accounts!

Plus, last week I found this wonderful game called Angry Birds on the internet, and making a new high score has become the new aim of my immortal life. I cannot under any circumstances leave the PC.


Chitragupta: That is why sir, the PC must come to you. While you were away for your hearing in front of the Trinity, I sent a Gandharva to bring you a smartphone. I have also installed a Vodafone SIM with a 3G promotional offer of 2 GB of free data.

And by the way, if you receive a call from customer service for activation, your name is Indra Kumar Barsati from Sukhapur village in UP.
.................................................................................................................................................

Lord Indra: Dude, this is even more awesome than the PC! Apart from facebook, twitter, gmail, yahoo, every game and application is either already loaded or readily available on the market!

Hey Google Maps! I wonder what this app does...

CAN'T FIND. SYSTEM FAILURE.

Hmmm...Well I guess,we will have to bring the Google satellite around here for updating their database to include the heavens.

Just then...a tweet from Tarkasur:

@Indra @Shukracharya Going to attack the Heavens with my army. See you all tomorrow. Ta Ta..

@Tarkasur Hey dude, Time Please! I just got this new gadget and I haven’t even explored it properly yet. Please come tomorrow instead.

In fact, you should try it too! Its called a smartphone and let me tell you, its much handy than putting up a PC on your elephant!

After 1 hour,

@Indra This thing’s awesome dude! May be I will come next moth then!

@Tarkasur Thanks man, you are the best!
................................................................................................................................................

The Trinity call Lord Indra after a few days...

Lord Brahma: So Mr. Indra, we have come to know that you scared away Tarkasur along with his army and saved the Heavens from destruction! That is indeed impressive!

Lord Indra: Thank you sir. When I came to know from my sources that Tarkasur was going to attack the Heavens with a huge army, I promptly decided, enough is enough; and took the battle to him instead.

Lord Shiva: And we hear that you went into battle alone, and just seeing you so angry, the whole army, along with Tarkasur himself ran away from the battle!

Lord Indra: Sir, I have been given the responsibility of the protection of Heaven. When I realised that it was in danger of being attacked, I just couldn't stop myself. I felt like...

Lord Brahma: Lord Indra, we are happy that you avoided an imminent attack on the heavens by "whatever means you employed", but your mismanagement of Monsoons on Earth still continues. It seems you are yet to learn your lesson. If you don’t improve your performance, then we may have to depute you for site work!

Lord Indra: But sir, I attend all the meetings, prayer reviews and ceremonies now.You can check my logbook.

Lord Brahma: Yes, you sit there and update your facebook status. And I believe that's how you "scared away" Tarkasur and his army!

Lord Indra (turns red) : How did you know that?

Lord Vishnu (With a grin):You see, in your blind attempts to increase the number of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers, you accidentally ended up adding Krishnakant Narayan and Bholeshankar Prasad too!

Lord Shiva: Moreover, Mr. Hanuman posted a video of you chatting away with Meneka on Skype during Mr. Shani Dev's presentation on the law and order situation on Earth. It already has 130,000 likes!

Lord Indra: But sir, if the three of you can be on facebook and you tube, why can't I?

Lord Vishnu: Errr...Ummm...We are the Trinity!

Lord Indra: So?

Lord Brahma: Ummm...So we need to be in the loop on what all is happening throughout the Universe.

Lord Shiva: Yes, that is what it is. We don't like being on facebook. But we have to...errrr...for the greater good! Now, go off, and do your work!

Lord Vishnu (With a wink): And Mr. Indra, just an advice off the record; next time you are chatting during a meeting, learn to type without looking at the mobile!
................................................................................................................................................

Humor apart, I sincerely believe that Mobile Internet is about to play a much larger role in all our lives in the years to come...It has the potential and will eventually become a useful tool to a lot many applications rather than just fun.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Boy Who Had Three Birthdays

As a kid, I liked birthdays.

Okay, so what, everyone likes birthdays, what’s new about that?

No, when I say I liked birthdays, I mean it in a crazy way, as are most of the other things in my case.

I simply loved birthday parties, especially when they were mine.


You know, the usual, you get to cut a cake, everyone in the class stands up and sings happy birthday, you distribute toffees to the whole class and the teachers, you get to eat your favourite dish i.e. Chhole Puri with your friends and the most important one: you get presents, the element of mystery while opening the present, and the joy one feels if the said present turns out to be a toy!

For a good amount of time, birthdays had become major milestones in my life. The only problem with the things you like is, you eventually start wanting more of them. That’s what happened to me.


I distinctly remember that particular day.

I was in senior kg back then. That day one of the kids celebrated their birthday in the class. Now, it had been 4 months since I celebrated my 4th birthday. But I guess you all know how we have a slightly distorted view of the concept of time as kids.

So, when I got back home, I asked my mother when is my birthday coming? She looked quizzically at me. “You just had your birthday 4 months ago, dear. It will come next year now.”


Wrong answer. Tantrum time!!


“But ABC (Okay, it is good enough I remember this incident; Bacche ki jaan loge kya???) had his birthday today. Even XYZ had his birthday yesterday; So, why can’t I have my birthday?”


“Dear, your birthday comes on first may. Today is XX August. Now, count how many months are still left to your birthday? (Yeah, that’s how my mother manipulated me into math and stuff)

“No, that won’t do. You are lying. It's been such a long time since my birthday. It should have come by now!  I want my birthday today.

And either the tantrum must have been terrible or I must have been a very persuasive child, for what happened next does not generally happen with normal kids.


What I next remember is myself latching on to my mother’s finger, as she would first take me to the shopping center to buy toffees; and then to my school. Since, it was KG, we had school only until 1130 in the morning. So, by now only the teachers would be left at school.

My mother would take me to the staff room where all the teachers would still be sitting, where I would distribute the toffees as my mother would stand aside apologetically. I didn’t know back then, but now I suspect there must have been some back-channel talks between my mother and the teachers before all this. Done with the teachers and if I recall correctly, the principal too; the rest of the toffees would be distributed to all my playmates in the evening.

The elder ones would ask me. "How is it that your birthday comes so early every time?"

And I would proudly tell them. " I have my birthday two times every year", as all of them looked on in wonder and as I like to believe, envy too.

At night, there would be Chhole Puri in dinner for me. And I would be satisfied.

But not for long.

In fact, I had three birthdays that year. The two fake ones working out in exactly the same fashion.

As I grew older, and got a hang on the concept of time; I started finding joy in my friends’ birthdays, so there was no need to celebrate my own every 4 months or so!

Vyom (An Ode to a dear friend), Purbash, Pranjal; their birthdays became the new milestones in my life. I would enjoy all that I did in my own birthdays in theirs too. I learnt to share happiness.

Fast forward to adolescence.

Over the years, I turned into a reclusive being. I did not like large gatherings (Not a party person). I scoffed at the very idea of wasting money in parties when more than a million Indian kids go to bed on an empty stomach.

But, now I am loosening up. The last year has opened up my character quite a bit. I do not know if it is for better or worse; I guess I will just do it and see how it works out for my conscience. So, after ten years, I am going to celebrate my birthday once again.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Back Benchers- Embracing the Dark side of Force

From ever since I can remember, I have been sitting on the very front benches of the class; right from kg, and through my college days.

Though I believe the practice must have started off as a consequence of my less than average height and poor eye-sight; the fact remains that the front benches have been the most prominent of the many constants of my student life.

Anyone who has had the fortune, or rather lack of it, of sitting on the front benches, might concur with me, that doing so requires the rare combination of concentration, stamina and patience.

Concentration and unwavering attention, for when you find the topic interesting enough; patience to still be attentive towards a topic, that in your personal opinion, the world could better do without. And above all, stamina, not to inadvertently tear away your mouth in a silent roar (yes, I mean yawn) when the speaker is standing right in front of you.

If not for these virtues, sitting on the front benches is pretty much a suicide mission, best left to trained professionals or adrenalin junkies.

So, having not had the experience of ever having sat on the back benches, I was in a bit of a fix when during one of the Soft-skills training sessions that I have at work, I found all the rows occupied, except for the very last one. For a few seconds, I just stood at the entrance, as if somehow people at the front would start vanishing into thin air to make place for me.

Now that I think about it, I must have looked awfully stupid doing that.

Well, so I reached at the back of the room and occupied a seat. And the class began.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Three Monkeys


Once upon a time, in the ancient realm of East, there lived a great wizard called Gandhi. He was a very righteous person who dedicated his whole life towards eliminating evil and making the world a better place to live.

Reaching his end, and still watching the world fighting a losing battle against evil; Gandhi, with all of his powers accumulated over the years, summoned three immortal Monkeys to be a beacon of Hope and Inspiration to mankind in the face of mounting evil.

Gandhi always believed that the root of all evil in the world were essentially the human senses, that exposed one to evils like greed, jealousy and all other forms of corruption. So, he gave each of these Monkeys a task. One monkey was to never speak evil, the second one, never to hear evil, and the third one to never see evil. He asked the Monkeys to roam the world for eternity teaching the people of the world these three basic qualities that, if followed would surely root out all the evil from the world.

The wizard died within a few days.

The Three Monkeys, obeying their supreme master travelled through the world, reminding them of their great master and inspiring people to follow these good values in order to defeat evil. People flocked where ever they went, and looked on as the three strange monkeys went about imparting their teachings.

But as they went deeper and deeper into the treacherous corners of the realm, they witnessed some of the cruelest warlords, dark wizards, and their henchmen. But, however hard they tried the evil warlords could not harm the three monkeys, for they had the gift of immortality and the imparted quality of incorruptibility.


The three monkeys worked in tandem in the face of evil. The one monkey who could see and speak, but not hear evil, would inform the one who couldn't to guard himself from the evil, by closing his eyes in order to guard their senses from the tempt the evil brings with it. And, thus, they journeyed together for many years.

The only downside to immortality is the constant, unending, existence.

Overtime, the three monkeys got bored of this tedious task given to them. The monkey that was forbidden from seeing anything evil, was tired of seeing the same old people; he grew jealous of the other two monkeys who could see, all the world they wanted. The caverns that inhabited some of the vilest creatures the world ever knew, the very symbols of the Evil. So, was the case with the other two monkeys. They started questioning the very wisdom of their master. After all, something that is good enough to be heard by one, must also be good enough to be heard by others too!

Eventually, they stopped obeying the commands of their master. They stopped moving around the world with hands on their mouth, or ears or eyes. They became just a set of ordinary monkeys, as fallible to evil as any other ordinary creature, travelling across the world.

After a few years, they again reached the point from where they had started their journey; the town of their Master. The people flocked to see the three monkeys, expecting to hear from them, words of wisdom, and tales from the farthest of lands.

However, they were disappointed, when they found that the once serene and noble monkeys, had become just a bunch of regular, gullible creatures, talking and acting lewdly.

Just then, a child from the crowd cried out loud “Shame shame!!!”

The three monkeys were furious. They were enraged at this disrespect and apprehended the boy.

“We are the mascots of the great wizard, and you dare disrespect us?”

“You don’t even know the difference between what is right or wrong, how can you then, believe yourself to be the mascots of righteousness. You are just like other ordinary monkeys who copy what others do.”

The three monkeys were speechless. They realised their mistake. From that day on, they stopped spreading the message of shutting down one’s senses to keep evil at bay.

They had understood that Knowledge was the supreme virtue. Without the wisdom of differentiating between what is right or wrong, what is moral or immoral, there was no point in following good or evil. One had to open one's senses to all information, and then decide to follow the path of righteousness after understanding and contemplating why something is good and the other evil.

Thus, the Three Monkeys mended their ways and started another tour around the world, in order to gain knowledge and wisdom, which would help them become the true mascots of righteousness, as they were intended to be.