Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Dunked, er... drenched

If you can't take the horse to the water, take the water to the horse...

While celebrating birthdays, section-C maintains a tradition of dunking the birthday boy's study group, close friends, not-so-close friends, innocent by-standers, and people who show up just to have the cake. We proudly kept up our tradition on the last birthday of the core terms.

Happy birthday, Watson!!

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

After a long-due haircut..'s what a bloke gets to hear

R : (over sms) nice hair cut, much needed.

Major : hmm.. fauji hair-cut, eh? You look like a fauji, returned from the front, especially with your crutch.

Kan : You used to look like a pomeranian before you got your haircut.
Me : (with one eyebrow raised) What do I look like now?
Kan : A pomeranian with a haircut.

ATK : You must be feeling very light-headed.

Fender: Act 1, Scene 1

  • Fingers hurt just as bad as my ankle used to.
  • A dissonance of strings frequently emanates from quad A-09 in Student Village #1
  • Flatmates eye me as menacingly as Fulliautomatix looks at Cacaphonix.

Yours truly is learning to play his first guitar, a Fender.

Friday, 15 September 2006

One pizza too less

This blogpost contains many references to non-vegetarian food. If you are repulsed by talk of non-vegetarian food, or are related to Maneka Gandhi by blood or by ideals, please stop reading right now, move over to the next blog you were planning to read and pretend that you never opened this post.

What does one do when Domino's takes down the order for a Pepper Paneer Pizza, but delivers a Pepperoni Pizza? Does one:

a) Curse Domino's
b) Go hungry
c) Fall back to good-ol' Maggi Noodles

d) Turn non-vegetarian
e) Option (a) followed by inky-pinky-ponky between (b), (c) & (d)

At the outset, let me clarify -- I still am non-vegetarian. The above-mentioned decision dilemma didn't affect me, it affected two of my quaddies. Domino's managed to bring my pizza alright - a delicious Meatzaa1, which is supposed to have every non-exotic meat that Domino's serves in India. Non-exotic - that's the operative word here. As most of us non-vegetarians know, you can't really get exotic meats easily. Can you call up Wan's Kitchen and ask for a dish of "Yak curry"? Probably not. Anyway, Meatzaa comes with this great assortment of chicken, keema, ham, and umm, that's it, I guess, that quite literally melts in your mouth. (Damn, my mouth waters even as I write of it) Oh, and I think this particular pizza has the greatest density of non-vegetarian toppings per square inch ever. Probably not good for those who care about their cholesterol; but then if you do care about your cholesterol, I'd suggest that you not order pizza.

All right, let me come back to the original problem. The four of us had ordered four pizzas (two non-vegetarian and two vegetarian) to celebrate A's birthday. And thanks to the static on the phone provided by the Huawei equipment that separates Hutch & BSNL, a Pepperoni pizza was delivered instead of the desired Pepper Paneer. To make matters worse for my vegetarian friends, we noticed this problem after yours truly had devoured most of the garlic bread (I should ask them to send more of the dip the next time). So now we had two veggies and one veg pizza. (I faintly recall someone named Gabbar saying something very apt for such a situation). Nice people that we non-veggies are, we asked V to switch to non-vegetarian ways. But his response was a quick "No", which he topped up with a "Maggi banaoon kya?" to the other veggie. Somehow, Maggi noodles didn't seem very appealing to them after a pizza, and they decided to pretend to relish their lone green pizza & 7-up and then went back to their studies.

I think I heard the cupboards in the kitchen creak later in the night, but I have to sympathise with a bloke who's been denied his Pepper Paneer.

1 I'm not sure if the name Meatzaa ends with one or two or three 'a's - I've just taken the average (yes, I pay great attention to detail).

Saturday, 9 September 2006

The Ferrari lies parked in front of A-block in SV1, untouched for the day. Its temporary owner has started to use a crutch to limp around the campus. A chap who could run for twenty minutes non-stop a few weeks back can now be easily overtaken by snails.

After a long day, as I sit back in my quad, mulling over my new-found respect for snails, V walks in and asks if his French beard looks all right. "It's perfect", I reply. V goes on to describe how he needs constant reassurance about how his beard looks. I give the most sensible reply that I can think of. I say something monosyllabic that starts with hm and ends with mm.

Thankfully for me, the conversation shifts to V's new-born son. He shows me a picture of his son, sleeping peacefully. "He's always sleeping", V comments. "As are you", I observe. "Oh yes, he's just like me. I used to look exactly the same way when I was born", says V. Twenty-five years hence, if this kid dons a French beard and V is kind enough to send me a picture, I might be able to make more than a monosyllabic comment.

Back to the present, a case on Palace Hotels is staring at me in the face. And the clock reads 2:58 AM.

Saturday, 2 September 2006

Cuteness explained

Dee & I had our first meeting for our PaEV1 project. Our meeting was far more productive than what my quaddie, A, has been having for his project. He leaves promptly at nine in the evening to work on PAEV and returns at two in the night after having watched a movie. So far, he's managed to watch Omkara, Les Miserables and The Unrecollectable.

I, on the other hand, have not had to rely on PaEV meetings to watch movies. Having created an average of one movie per day of the break right on the first day of the term break, I had very little carrot to distract myself from making the initial document that we set out to do. Plus, an email reminder from a professor saying "You're a week late, duffer!" is a pretty big disincentive all by itself2.

Anyway, once our PaEV idea document was scribed and owls despatched to our pre-occupied team-members for comments, Dee & I had a lengthy discussion on cuteness. I had posted eons ago that I had one theory on what made something cute. I never got down to blogging my theory, though. But Dee & I were able to elaborately define the broad area of what would and would not be considered cute. Actually, it was Dee telling me her views, and I was trying to impress her with my listening skills. By the way, my listening skills are legendary; I have a diagram from yesterday’s conversation to prove it.

It transpires that the factors that lead to cuteness can be of two kinds (I had suspected this all along) - the lusty and the non-lusty. Yeah, some of these factors can fall into either category (the diagram below makes that evident). And you could also have situations where people negate an aspect of their cuteness with some other part of their character. And, there could be cases where a person is cute due to multiple reasons, one of them being lusty and the other, non-lusty.

Anyway, being an Engineer, I shall resort to this fabulous diagram (I can hear the applauses, thank you) to make things clear. Oh, and the "size of eyeballs" factor is what my original theory was. That's what helps Nickey to be perceived as cute and Mr Tinkles as ugly.

"All right, smart engineer," I hear you say, "so what's the point of all this?" Well, here's the meat of this post. If you're a guy and are trying to hit on a girl, you should position yourself in the lusty-cute type. People with casts on their legs fall into the non-lusty cute category. Seriously, breaking a bone or tearing a ligament while playing basketball won't get you anywhere on the lusty-cute-index4. Even if you are wearing a cast and getting a lot of attention, it's the wrong kind of attention. It's the kind of attention that kitten get because they're small and vulnerable. There's no difference between you and the li'l bird that a lady on her morning walk picks up from the street, says "oh, cho chad" and puts it back in its nest. Apparently, this is a reinforcement of Darwinian theories here… I won't bore you with that (even though Biology was one of my favourite subjects till XII5); instead, you can check out this article on NY Times.

Right, so that was what I've learned about cuteness in the last 24 hours. Shall update this space if my views alter significantly.

  1. PaEV = Planning an Entrepreneurial Venture - a course that we have.
  2. No, I made that up. ISB's professors are more polished than I've described.
  3. Dee - I've made some modifications to this diagram from yesterday. Hope you don't mind.
  4. The author is in a state of vexation due to the newly-found realisation of his cast's dismal value.
  5. Primarily due to the opportunity to dissect rats.

Why do I like iTunes?

'Cos every now and then, I find a feature as cool as this!

Here's the iTunes main window:

Here's the lower left hand corner where you create new playlists:

Notice what happens when you hold the "shift" key...

You can create a smart playlist that allows complicated searches of this kind:

Of course, one better have one's mp3s tagged accurately :-)

Friday, 1 September 2006


Trashmail is a remailer service that I've been using for some time. Pretty handy when one's filling up one of those anonymous surveys on the Internet. It's also available as a firefox extension.

This post has been inspired by the increasing number online surveys that ISBians are being requested to participate in.