Monday, April 30, 2007

How Alice Got laid, Got sleepy and Got a haircut.

This article is an attempt towards understanding precipitants of anxiety experienced by a child when he gets a haircut. The danger posed by this experience is compared to a surgical procedure and seen as unique because unlike surgery, a haircut is not actually painful. Nonetheless, haircuts can precipitate great anxiety in children. Some sources of the anxiety caused by haircuts across libidinal lines of development are considered, and examples are presented. Ways to help ease the anxiety of this experience are discussed.

ok ok.... the above paragraph was picked verbatim from the third dimension. Public apology and all that :-) The content from here on is mine. First 'The Haircut'. [click on the picture to see the enlarged version]

A brief history of time and my conversations with barbers.

Age 7: The discovery of Hair
Barber: "Kaise ?"
Allaboy: "chota!!! mujhe kangi pasand nahi hai.... bahoot chota.... baal bahoot jaldi bade ho jate hai yaar!!! ek mahine tak cutting nahi karni hai... utna chota karna...", and then I would leave it to him, closing my eyes, relaxing in the chair.

Age 10: The discovery of The Mirror
Barber: "usual? short?"
Allaboy: "Errrr... hmmm."

Age 14: The discovery of Girls
Barber : "usual? short?"
Ali: "Naaaaa.... short from the sides. This much length out here.... like this out here.... blah blah blah blah".

Age 17 : The discovery of Women
Barber: "Aaj kaisa ?"
Alice: "Voh jo movie hai na..... blah blah blah.... parting left side pe hai... "

Age 21: The discovery of Ladies
Barber: "Sirji aap pe ye style accha lagega".
Alice: "Aajkal style kya chal raha hai.... blah blah blah... parting right side pe hai...".

Age 24: The discovery of the receding hairline.
Barber: "Usual ?"
Alice: "Haaji.... yahan se chota... aur uppar se lamba rakhna.... especially ye side walla part.... idar se baal aise aana chahiye.... ye part lamba hi rakhna haan... setting theek se karna... blah blah blah.... middle parting hai ..... "

Current Age: The discovery of global warming and the new effects of gravity.
The barber asked me, "Short?". I groggily mumbled, "Err, hmmmm.... hmmm...", almost ready for a siesta. And well, yeah.... thats about it. He cut my hair. So here are some of the reactions from friends:

The feminine gender
1) AAAgggghhhhhh !!!!!! what happened !!!!!
2) What did you do.... Sheeeeeeeee!!!!!
3) You look like Caesar... hehehehehehehe
4) oh my Gawd !!!!!
5) you look like those little naughty boys.... hehehehehe
5) [Silence. Just stare]
6) [Talking to me with rapid eye movement, checking out the sudden change in geography]

The masculine gender
1) hmmmm so as I was saying blah blah....
2) summer crop. nice....
3) just like your school days. You look the same.
4) you look like Sid in 'Dil Chahta Hai'

My reason: well wanted to see how I looked in a very short crop. Losing weight from the top anyway :-)

Got laid: rested behind on the chair in the saloon
Got sleepy: felt sleepy
Got a haircut: Got a haircut

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Who is Priya Sharma !!!!!!!

This incident took place sometime back. I have been itching to blog about it but then again was wondering how to break the story. Anyways here goes.

I was at a friend's place the night before, where we played cards till 5 in the morning. We did take a break inbetween at around 2am and had coffee on the terrace, watching planes land and take off. The next morning I went to church where I prayed for clarity, something which is often elusive, denying me its company. I battled with rational from the heart and the mind and decided that today was indeed the day to make declarations. And so I called up my mother aka Mamamia aka Mumzee.

"Hello baba... how are you ?", her voice taking on an overtone of delight. "I'm ok", I replied in an undertone. "The little fellow is making so much of masti. He is soooo cute.", and then she told me about all the things at her end. "hmmmm", I replied every now and then, as if trying to punctuate the dialogue with subtleties of another one that lay in the darkness, begging to break free. "What happened?", my actions directed her question in the right direction. "Nothing", I replied. "What... your just saying hmmm, hmmmm. What happened?". It was a tone I recognised. The stage was set, her complete attention was captured; heart, mind and soul.

"Errr..... I wanted to tell you something", I paused as I let thoughts metamorphise and anxiety and curiousity tap emotions. Silence tiptoed, only to be broken by, "What happened?". The rhetoric of tones strengthened my choice of words, "Err.... here... just talk to her", words that transferred the burden of dialogue to the girl standing next to me. "Hello Aunty. This is Priya Sharma, I'm Alistair's friend. How are you?". I stood there as I imagined my mother's response. "How is Sydney and how is the little fellow. Alistair told me all about him. He also got me this Easter egg today. Easter is next sunday na." A smile brimmed my lips finding its way from deep within. "I'm working in Bangalore. I met Alistair a year back". The conversation between the two carried on for 10 minutes and then I took the phone back.

"So", the voice from the other end had reached even higher overtones. "So", I replied in rhetoric. And then I spoke about work and things I've been upto and went on for sometime. "So baba", the voice from the other end beamed. "Errrrr...", I interrupted, "Talk to her brother". And so that conversation went on for a couple of minutes and the phone found its way back into my hands.

"So", the syllable repeated itself. "Err... so what else is going on out there". My mom then talked about the Mr Bean movie that had just been released and tried to talk about things, all the time being preoccupied with the question that finally beamed forth, "So, do you want to tell me something?". And then I decided to let her in on what she wanted to hear all along, "April Fool!!".

Addie, Richa, Shyam and I then went through our phone contact list to find new bakras. We used the name 'Priya Sharma' each time. First we called Pallavi, Ayush's wife. Ayush is an ex -flatmate and a colleague from work. Some background first. Another ex-flatmate had morphed this picture of Ayush and this girl during his jobless days. It was a pretty good piece of morphing I must add. Pallavi hasn't seen the picture yet. A very decent picture with Ayush smiling to glory. His moustache giggling with joy :-)

So Richa told Pallavi that she was a friend of Ayush and that there was this photograph that someone had morphed with the two of them together. Richa then went on to mention that she was getting engaged soon and that the photograph somehow had found its way to her to-be inlaws. The picture seems to be causing some tension and it would be nice if Pallavi could talk to her in-laws. Pallavi then told her that she would call her back. She then called me up and tried to see if I knew anything about it, which of course I didn't. But I did ask her to ask Ayush about Priya Sharma. And then I could only imagine the scene as Ayush replied, "Err.... But her name was not Priya Sharma".

The next on the list was Himanshu. He had asked me to touch up an article that he wrote, which finally manifested itself in its final form out here. Read his article and you will understand which avatar Priya Sharma was transformed into this time. He knew we were fooling and played along. It turned out to be a fun day for him and his friends as it was for us.

We then called up a couple of other friends and Priya Sharma or her father or brother spoke to them :-)

Finally we decided to end the day with our meeting with Himanshu at Cafe Coffee Day in Forum :-)

On the way I felt a bit guilty of playing with emotions a bit too much. Apologise for any harm done and hope that everyone took it in the spirit of April 1st.... till the next April 1st.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Reflections: The road ahead

Reflections: The Road Ahead
Speed. Heat. Beauty. Light.
Ephemeral windows.
Burning bright.

Shrieking silence. Shifting load.
Wandering minstrels.
Banking road.

Earth. Water. Wind. Fire.
Past continuous.
Renewing pyre.

Multiple refractions. Certainty bled.
Full circle.
The Road Ahead.

----- Alistair D'souza (24th April 2007)

Went biking to tamilnadu sometime back and got radiantly burnt. We zoomed past the banking on the road, the expansion of the elements and the refraction at various levels; which laid out before us those ephemeral reflections on the road surface.

The road is nice throughout, 2 lanes on either side. Kinda like a bloggers day out... Reema, Maddy, Goli and moi. The place is called Yelegiri. We did a total of about 350+ kms that day. Real nice ride, especially the reflections.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Breaking News!!! from the frontlines

The air was calm with no one in view. Weird voices were heard in the distance, a foreign dialect. He slowly moved his head above to widen his range of sight and then he ducked. Heart beats accelerated; it was now or never!

Heart pounding. Unknown waters. Outlines of objects. Deja vu. Spirit of adventure. Moving ahead. Conquering territory. Inch by inch. Conquering fears. One by one. The boy on his very first reconnaissance mission. A whiff of the Winds of Change and the wild duel that lurked in his mind. He looked up to where eagles dare. Stripped to bare necessities. Nothing to bare.

The choice was his and his alone. So he slowly and cautiously moved above the first obstacle. Fear again. Unknown thoughts. Unknown sights. He stopped for a moment to breathe in the ambience and regain his composure. Paper Monsters, all of them. Inertia finally took charge. He moved again and climbed to the top and slowly looked over the edge. Panting prose. Vast canyon. Razor's edge. Overwhelming triumph. And finally the war cry," Goo. Goo. Boo. Ech. Oiee. Goo. Goo. Gee Gee Geeeeeeeee. Eeeeeee. Boooo."

Flight of the phoenix. Dare to try. Nothing to lose. Maybe I'll fly. "Whiiieeeeeeeeeeeee". PLOP!!!!!!

War cry again!!! And this time till the fat lady sang.

Credits: (in order of appearance)
Cliff jumper ------- My little 5 month old nephew
Fat Lady who Sang -------------- Fat Lady who can sing.

I was told that I had a sling when I was below 1 year cause of some similar exploits.

Conversations with 'The Godfather'.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Burning Bridges

There is a thin line between arson and a friendly fire starter, between burning bridges and setting them on fire; and the difference is crucial. One destroys, the other builds; but the line is often blurred.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The First Mile

Click the picture to enlarge

It was just a random pic from the 2005 bangalore half marathon, sometime during May. It was my first attempt at a half marathon. The picture appeared in 'India Today Simply Bangalore April 2007 Edition'.

my body looks all contorted and stuff... and I look like I'm huffing and puffing.... it was just 1.5 kms from the start.... :-)

And so I began to wonder about the possible reasons that could have put me in that state:
1) ran too fast initially cause the crowd was moving too fast. And so I got syked, got touchy and decided to keep up with everyone else or atleast with the front runners and then realised I couldn't.
2) ate too many bananas/jam sandwitches before the start of the run :-)
3) was listening to a song with a fast tempo. My brain converted the tune into beats of 8 and subconsciously I tried to maintain that tempo.
4) saw a beautiful girl running ahead and was trying desperately to keep up.
etc etc

pick one or add a new one :-)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Madness, Fireflies and Chocolate mint liqueur

The fireflies festival this year was from 14th april 6PM to 15th april 6AM….

the wikipedia link contains the list of performers for this year… the Jazz guy you see out there is the one who operated on Dhruv’s knee…. i.e. Dr Chandy…. They had have some sufi, qawali, jazz, gypsy and Hindustani classical stuff….

I have been religiously going for it over the past two years…. The first year we had pillows … the second year we took mattresses…. My accounts of previous years are below….

2007: Madness, Fireflies and Chocolate Mint Liqueur

I was considered as a veteran and was consulted about the route, the timings, the directions, the cushioning mechanisms (for which I gave details examples :-) ), the type of music, the food, the ambience and blah blah blah....

Lakshmi, Srujana, Vinod, Simmi and Sunny joined Dhruv and myself. Relevant things were picked along the way and a matress and cushions were shoved into the car. As we arrived near the place I pointed out to the right; the deviation we had to take from the main road. Oh and with so much certainty!!! "Thats the turn. See I remembered it. It may be dark but I somehow remember the turn", I boasted, being the veteran that I was.

Oops!!!! wrong turn!!!!

So we retraced our path and went ahead on the main road and then found the right 'right' turn :-) So now we needed some manuveuring amongst those intersecting roads. "Turn there!!!!", I said again with so much certainty; trying to regain my post as navigator.

Oops!!!! wrong turn!!!!

Lost is translation yet again..... Sigh!!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lucha de Gigantes - Amores Perros

Got this from a movie called 'Amores Perros' that I had seen sometime back. I heard the song in Spanish lyrics and liked the tune, while I read the subtitles. And then it turned out that I liked the lyrics of the song too :-) The song is in Spanish and I have put down the translated can hear the song out here. The acoustic version is here.

For Luciano, because we are also what we have lost.

A giants' joust turns the air into natural gas
A wild duel warns me
How close I am of going into an outrageous world
I feel my fragility
Some nightmare running away
With a beast after me
Tell me everything's a lie
Just a silly dream and nothing more
I'm afraid of enormity
Where nobody hears my voice
Stop the deception
Don't try to hide
That you've never tripped while moving around
Paper monster
I don't know who I'm up against
Or is there somebody else here?
I believe in the terrible ghosts
Of some strange place
And in my foolishness to make you burst into laughter
In an outrageous world
I feel your fragility
Stop the deception
Don't try to hide
That you've never tripped while moving around
Paper monster
I don't know who I'm up against
Stop the deception
Don't try to hide
That you've never tripped while moving around
Paper monster
I don't know who I'm up against
Or is it that maybe there is somebody else here?
Or is it that maybe there is somebody else here?
Or is it that maybe there is somebody else here?

---- From the movie 'Amores Perros'

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Wanted: A Bride

Marriages are made in Heaven, and broken on earth. This is probably my tagline for my perpetual state of bachelorhood. But then again there are many realities. They say wisdom comes with age, but in my case age has just showed up all of a sudden. Not to say that women don't find me attractive. No, no, no, no, no.... and let this be inscribed in the third dimension. As I was reiterating, I have 'dated' all the beautiful women in my neighbourhood, and their neighborhoods for that matter. The only problem is 'Then I wake up'.

Being a computer engineer, aka 'a geek', I have always been preoccupied with the idea of starting something on my own; thinking, copulating the next big thing. Sitting day after day in solitary dimensions, spinning my cocoon, enveloping all. After a string of false starts my finances dwindled to the tune of a discharged amplifier; further affecting my listings on the matrimonial stock exchange. Aha! Maybe thats why I have had no luck with cupid. I had just proved the fixed quantum theory of love. Aha again!!!! I was just this free radical with an unpaired electron. Highly reactive and ever ready to help out with random chemical processes.

Realising that something was missing in my kingdom, I decided to become proactive. And so in the pursuit of the unknown, I started a blog so that women could 'hit' on me. Well I did get a lot of hits but that just got my blog rating up. I then started jogging and at times had 4-5 women running after me. But then I realised that I was pacing random alluring paths, losing sight of the task at hand. I finally decided to consult my more experienced engineering friends. Pierced by the nakedness of my plight, my electrical engineering friend, nicknamed Spark, said that when you get married you discover what real happiness is, but then its too late. Its better to have a mistress. The very thought 'electrified' his senses. My architect friend totally disagreed and said it was better to start a family in order to build a 'strong foundation' for the future. I, on the other hand felt it was better to have both. Then either one would think I'm with the other and that would give me more time to spend doing my own thing. My friends then suggested that I try out the trial and error method. you know, if you find that you'll are not compatible, divorce her. The thought of having more than one wife was ok, but more than one mother-in-law. NO WAY!

The next evening I graced the wedding of my neighbour; for the free food and some rampant ogling. Then it happened; in between ecstasy and dessert, my wandering pupils were stunned to discover how old the bride was. At first I thought 'Love is blind', 'Age is no bar' or 'Maybe cause he is an archeologist'. But later when I learn't that she was the heiress to a large fortune, everything became clear. I met my wise neighbour after a couple of months and requested him to shower me with words of wisdom to which he first thought for an hour. Finally breaking his meditative silence he looked at me and uttered, "Marriage is a mistake we all make." He then thought for another hour and said, "For me marriage is a means to more important ends, it is not an end in itself". So with those words of wisdom and thoughts of marriage as a means to more important ends I put an ad in the paper which read,

Wanted a Bride,
For a Computer Engineer, 27.
Girl must be rich and beautiful.
Those interested can also contact me at my website

The next few weeks were quite hectic. As I browsed through the many letters I had received I came across one which was quite appealing. It was from a girl named Monica who worked as an intern in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The letter said that she had excellent oral communication skills, was a cigar smoker and her favourite movie was 'Kill Bill'. After trying to find patterns out of randomness I decided otherwise. By now I had received over a hundred letters including those from the opposite gender.

Finally I struck gold and I mean King Solomon's gold. We were to meet at her mansion which was situated in the most luxurious part of the city. On the fateful day I went to her house completely suited and booted; my decision already enjoying its intercourse with grandeur. At first her mother came to welcome me and I said, "So where is the bride", to which she replied, "I'm the bride". Looking at her imperfect figure and looks I thought to myself, falling in love in not about finding the perfect person, its about learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. But that is falling in love; love is whats left when all the falling in love part inevitably withers away. I was in search of the perfect woman but then again I was willing to make a few exceptions. Though she was the perfect picture of imperfection at least she had a perfect bank balance; something that would complement, if not uplift my resources.

After flashing my credentials, a date was set and I finally tied the knot. Tight! I then took my wife to her new home. Seeing my humble dwellings she looked at me with a puzzled look on her face. Trying to retain my composure I told her about the financial mess I was in and how I would soon be starting my private enterprise with our (her) money.

Knowing that I had just pulled off the scam of the century I began dreaming of my bright future. she then looked at me with a smile on her face and said, "You know, that house where you met me wasn't mine. I was just a maid servant working there".

Thats something I wrote a long time back, in the past present continuous; during my early engineering days when I was part of the magazine committee. Since we were not getting articles I was forced to write one :-)
However the article goes back even further to my elocution competitive days in school. The article was written by a person named Prof Zade which we found in the newspapers. I then modified the words and content to fit the 5 minute limit we had. I have mentioned about that competition out here.
However in engineering I did not remember the words and the content but just the outline of the ending and so I sat down and added flesh to the skeleton using quotes/jokes that I remembered from the reader's digest. I changed the article yet again before putting up this post.