Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ranting in Rhymes

There once was a little boy called GoJavas,
A skilled courier boy, or so he claimed he was.
Simple tasks he thought he had to do all day
Take things from one point in B to point A.

Now easy as this task may sound to all
It really wasn’t just a game of ball.
Coz things became tough as business grew
With such bad service, how, only they knew.

Meet this little guy, I’ll call him Lenskart,
About him now, let’s see where do I start
Really nice guy, wanted the world to see nice,
Ironically clueless, like the three blind mice.

Now you know the big hunters’ names
Hunters I call them since apparently it’s a game.
Well I asked Lenskart to send me a package,
But the whole deal has now turned into a wreckage.

On asking, one says it has spoken to the other,
The other then says “It’s coming. Don’t bother”
Every day they set out with an SMS sent
To wait for them, until they come it is meant.

Wait I did on a Saturday,
Monday again, I thought it would be a better day
But both those days were just a wasted wait
Apparently I had fallen for their devious bait.

On calling, they told me I was “out of station”,
On vacation? A news I received with much elation,
But on second thought I realized “Wait, that can’t be true”
Not on holiday, just sitting without a clue

It’s day 4 now, and another message is here,
Another wasted day waiting it’ll be, I fear.
The 2 are still promising to deliver my eyewear
Lenskart, GoJavas - horrible customer care!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Digital Friendship

In an era of constant discussions regarding the uses, addictions etc of Internet usage and computers in general, I thought it would be interesting to give a perspective of how the different phases of friendship develop over the digital spectrum. Sparking the growth of relations used to be a very simple affair before the advent of internet. Along the different stages, before phones, I can only assume that it essentially needed direct contact. Probably letters played a key role as well inorder to keep in touch with “long lost friends”. I remember a time where there even used to be the thrill of buying a Season’s greetings card and sending it. Addresses had more meaning than IP or email.

The next phase, more relevant to the late 90’s were the phone years. You meet a person, become acquaintances and then continue “hanging out” or talking for a long time. The next stage was exchanging phone numbers. The occasional call, the long talks became essential. But being at a fixed location was mandated. This implied that having a landline was not only essential but most useful as well. Landline bills running into the 1000’s became common. Mobility was fixed though and setting up plans involved carefully planned timings and no last minute changes unless everyone was around. Blank calls were so common where you have that awkward moment of the friend’s relatives picking up and you really don’t want to say much to them. It had to either hope that it would be quick or try your luck next time.

The stages have evolved today. From simple interactions to letters and then to phone calls, today relationships are maintained over stages. Each stage can also be described as a level higher in the bonding cycle.
The stages defined are just a generic opinion, it would depend largely on the individual’s comfort levels as well.
STAGE  1 : The initial contact for most cases is thankfully still personal interaction. But unlike the yesteryears the maintenance is largely online or when not on face to face terms, Although there have been many instances of great friends and even more being formed over random introductions across the internet.  Most common platform this is FB today.

STAGE 2 : Then comes the build up period. Now the strength of the relation is defined by the communicating medium used. These span phases which have been dynamically adjusting to the newly introduced softwares and apps. It used to be a simple matter of  Contact -> Phone -> Online chat but this too has evolved. Phone period itself can be hierarchically classified as Messages - > Calls

STAGE 3 : Getting closer. With the new changes, phones were bumped up . Online chats became much more common, and the degree of closeness was stronger when numbers were shared post that. The order still remained with direct calls forming the stronger connect at the end

STAGE 4 : With the constant connect opportunities like FB messenger, Watsapp and BB messenger. Online chat bumped down.. they became casual everyday objects of conversation just as you would talk to the person sitting around you at work or class. The new hierarchy formed involved much more use of the phone but less as a calling device. But still the “pinging” apps came after online chat, stronger than messages but I would still assume lesser than calls. This stage has evolved in such a way that a large amount of time is spent in this period. Creating more opportunities but diluting the strength of actual bonds. The elongated period resulted in larger numbers, which in effect caused distribution of bond perception which a person might have.

At the current point of evolution, the order is defined as:
 Contact -> Online Chat -> First phone call for reason -> Messages -> “Ping” Apps -> Random Calls 

These are just ramblings based on general observations. But if you think about it, they more or less come across in some phased hierarchy for all contacts you have made. J

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Yes, this post is going to be a direct explanation of a question on everyone’s mind.. Call it egoistic, call it what you may. But in effect I hope to lead into some food for thought.

One reason branches out from the reason why the famous quote “Look before you leap”. At most occasions it is essential to plan out what is to be said. Sadly, though I am an advocate of such a obvious reasoning, I cannot claim to be one who practices it. Most conversations which take place involve sharing ideas as they come. Now these ideas, might be sudden and being created dynamically. In that case, as the idea evolves the sentences begin to vary with them. In most cases the observation is that the beginning of the sentence might not even have any connect or even contradict the end. This is mostly since I might have thought up an idea, analyzed it and refuted it. All this while, I would be stating the idea as it builds. By, around the 4th sentence you will see the confusion as the words come out while the idea is being refuted. And so by the end, you have no idea what I just said. Don’t feel bad, I admit, more often than not I don’t too. But along with the complete thought process in mind, all the pieces fall into place. Sadly, or maybe not most of my posts follow the same format.

Now moving into the food for thought, sometimes it so happens that the sentences are appended with clauses or conditions or explanations which are obvious.  It is the characteristic attribute and the proud differentiating factor for human beings from animals to be unique. (No offense, animal lovers and alien believers). With such an individualistic nature floating around you, and keeping that in mind, it becomes all the more necessary to assume that any action, any word or any thought can be interpreted in umpteen number of ways. These interpretations stem from the past, the present and the future. A person’s experience directs him to decipher the meaning of a sentence in his/her own manner. Being aware of this possibility is truly hell. Since at each word it requires that you estimate the percentage of listeners who would interpret it the way you want it, the percentage who take it optimistically and worse the share that take it negatively. Now, analyzing this as you go requires you to add words, clauses, “buts and ands”, just to ensure that a path is given so that the right destination is attained.

I’d like to visualize a conversation as guided tour. The only thing known is the beginning. Now, to reach a destination there are many ways. Taking an Indian context, deciding the way, goes through evaluating criterion such as bad roads, bad crowd, bad timing, good amount of traffic, bad weather and worse roads. In such circumstances, the trip becomes more important than the source and destination. It so happens, that even the destination is evaluated by the worth of the route.  Now mapping back to a conversation, it is required that the right route be given to give the right experience. So, those explanations and add-on sentences are just to make the listener’s experience of the entire conversation a more wholesome one. And at times, even if desperately attempted, a more entertaining one.

Besides, all this , there is also the simple explanation. I just like talking! J

NB : No listeners were hurt, in the making of this post. Readers, I can’t speak for you yet.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A romantic poem....

We never value what we have, it is said
We never know, even when promises are pled,
Finally one day, when she slips from our fingers
From that day just a memory lingers.

When I set my eyes on you first,
With emotions my heart did burst
Although friends said there were better
My only thought “I should get her”..

After a long wait we were together
World became easy, light like a feather.
Whenever I came up against a wall
You were always there to take the call.

Your sweet voice would wake me from sleep
Reminding me daily of promises to keep,
Or  when lonely, to sing me a song.
It was always fun, all day long.

With a hand behind just holding you close
And in my mind when questions arose,
I used to move my fingers across your face,
And hope I could take you to every place.

Never feared how the directions lay,
Over the bridge or the next turn was the way,
I knew with you sitting by my side,
I’d never go wrong in any ride.

Many times before, when I feared I lost you
I cannot imagine how I got through.
But now that I know you are far from me
There is this hole that feels so empty.

Its hard to believe I have lost you now
To put it into words I cannot imagine how
Without you in my hands I feel alone
Oh, Where are you my Android phone!

Now read it again…. ;) ;)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


Mumbai. A city which people extol over and over. Frankly, a reason which I may not be able to see so clearly. Probably coz I have not been able to live life as fast as the city moves. Some day, down the line, probably this will all seem natural. But there is one thing to love about the city; to look at with thought and respect. The Marine drive. A whole 3 kilometre long stretch which contains people from every point in life. Babies, kids, working youth, adults and the old. Anything you want to classify mankind by, the people exist here.

Personally, I feel, that at any point if you ever feel that you might be feeling stuck or alone with problems, take a drive through this brilliant collection of humanity. Irrespective of the background, gender or roadblock in life you will see relevant people here. Every person will have a story. Even if it is to celebrate an occasions or mourn a stage in life, the place, the view is the same. The all absorbing sea.

At times it could be surprising that the same tranquil sea can play host to a person’s happiest moments while assuming the comforting role for someone else’s problem.. Observing this long stretch of myriad of humanity, one makes you wonder if any of it matters. Are we really unique in assuming whatever we ponder about in life. As an individual we assume that our problems are our own, our happiness or success are our own doing. But the fact that can be seen as we see the different kinds of people over this stretch is the randomness involved in life. At one glance, they are just a large number of bustling people, but on closer observation they are “you” at any point in your life. The lonely person with no job ponders over his future as the BMW driving family enjoys their day out with their family. As that family guides their 1 year old baby taking his successful steps by the edge of the walkway, two old friends share their moment catching up and feel the wind in their air as they recount stories from their youth.

That, in fact is the beauty of Mumbai. And frankly, that is the only place I have managed to love Mumbai till date. But for this plethora of mankind bustling at any time of the day, the trip is worth it. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's Up?

Pic : Depiction of the possible origins for the subject matter discussed below

To begin with I would like to point out that the title to this post, by itself, is very controversial. Considering the topic at hand, there would be a lot of passionate discussion among all the readers as to what exactly would be the spelling of the “oh so often” used shortened form of “What is up?”. Technically, the response to such a statement can and in all reality, should be of the order of “Fan”, “Sky”, “Ceiling” or to crude double entendres which I would rather not touch upon here (no pun intended). All the same the nature of the generic “Watsup” (the spelling I will follow for convenience), has developed over the years to mean more and much more than more.

In the annals of history, two strangers passing each other by, only had the ‘smile’ to confront each other with. This passing gesture was densely packed and ridiculously conspicuous with the absence of any vocal acknowledgment. Ofcourse, a tip of the hat with a nice “How do you do?” or “Good morning” can be imagined. But then I would have to account for the cross legged, knee bending, skirt holding ladies. All of which I will have to imagine up from movies. So, for now I choose to ignore the overly polite gentlemen and wonderfully cultured ladies here. Anywayyy, as I was saying, the smile stood for all that we, as humans did not represent. If baring of teeth or widening of lips was enough to pass messages, how would we distinguish us as the evolved individuals we are!!!

And thus comes the role of “Watsup”. No amount of Googling will be able to explain when along the history of English language this came into such common usage. But certain mannerisms in which it is used does hint that it has to be over the last few decades. Now, as mentioned earlier, there is a confusion as to how it is actually said, typed or heard. The variations in emotion as well as actions associated with this small word can only be matched by the equally stunning “Awww”. Listing out a few of the usages would be as below :

1. SUP : This is a highly shortened form of the word and is usually given with a nod or tilt of the head in the backward direction

2. WATSAAAAP/WASSAAP : Usually used between people who know each other very well. Actions associated with this could be ‘High Fives’, ‘Fist pumping’ (sometimes followed by an imaginary blowing up of the said fists) and in extreme cases, running into each others' chests.

3. WHATSUP : This normal usage of the word can have multiple connotations. It could either be in response to “Can I speak to you” etc, or in place of customary hi’s. At times, when said in a solemn tone and preceded by “Awww”, it can imply deep concern and interest.

Other variations to the above mentioned usages can be WAZZAAAP, WAZZUP, WASSUP, WADDAAAP etc. All these can further divided based on the number of A’s, Z’s or S’s. Years of usage and observation have shown that the first W and second A are rarely extended.

The beauty of the word is in the fact that, a mutual exchange of “WATSUP”s can be followed by a smile, a nod or even nothing at all and still the conversation can be deemed a success! In addition, any amount of translation to other languages can not give the same feeling or impact. Eg. Upar kya hai(Hindi), Molil entha (Malayalam).

So, go forth, enjoy, interact and don’t forget the customary smile and the WASSUPs that makes us social beings and the world a better place to live in.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The coincidence is STUNNING. An unplanned post exactly after a year!!

What every student seeks in his/her years of education are different techniques to stay entertained. I have to admit that the modes of entertainment vary a lot over the years. By this I do not just mean the “generation difference” which is highlighted by the advent of mobile phones right at your finger tips, to chat, message and play. I mean the difference between what is possible in your school life, under graduate and post graduate. The fact that I have experienced all three and experimented across the years is both a matter of pride and concern. Pride, for obvious reasons and concern coz if I wanted to study so much I would have become a doctor! (No offense to more than 50% of my family).

Although I do not want to go into details of the fundamental avenues of entertainment in classrooms like talking, hitting the person next to you, staring longingly at your latest crush etc., I will all the same for the benefit of the confused, give an idea of the difference across different courses. In schools there was a limitation to how much freedom our hands had. A question used in one of my blog posts earlier, “Why is there so much noise, are you writing with your mouth?”, if not analyzed for its sheer logical idiocy actually signifies the need to constantly write down what is being taught. Over the years, this need has decreased due to two reasons – the need of education changed and the “no need” attitude of students increased. Moving onto an under-grad course, it called for a different classroom setting. The mistake in analyzing this would be the fact that different students have different experiences here. But on the whole the scope for entertainments increased since the students were older, bolder and the topics were boring and tough.

Experiencing a post-grad course now, I found the need to list out 3 techniques of entertainment in class which I occasionally implement. Since the classification under academic circumstances, I have felt free to use relevantly catchy self-proclamations for my techniques.

1. “SAME” Technique: This is a beautiful technique which I have only had the opportunity to implement once or twice. The attractiveness lies in the fact that it achieves a dual advantage of remaining active in class while giving an image of being attentive as well. The execution requires utmost care and timing. All it involves is paying 2 minutes of attention or even lesser. As soon as the faculty asks a question wait for someone to raise their hands and be noticed. At once raise your own hand. This can also be done if you don’t even hear the question and just see the raised hands. Be very careful you don’t get his/her attention before anyone else. The crowning moment of this technique is in the reaction given once you are called for an answer, after the first person. With utmost conviction you go “Sir(Madam), Same point”..The intention is to give an absolutely disappointed look with a shrug of the shoulder to ensure that the faculty feels guilty for not having called you first.

Courtesy : thebadchemicals.com

2.Random Number method : This one is much more simpler and fun. As soon as a question beginning with the word “How many…” is put to the class, start shouting numbers. This can also be used as a two or more player game with the victor being the person closest or furthest from the required answer. Other variations of this include “Guess That Place”, “Who’s that Guy” etc. which originate from random guesses as obviously applicable

3. Shouting Along Phenomenon : Now one thing that has stayed constant throughout the year is the visualization of the difference between combined knowledge and individual knowledge of the students. As soon as the tutor asks a question, the entire class knows the answer but not one single person does. This phenomenon of shouting out answers and theories all pointing to the same answer for the careful listener is in fact something that can be analysed by itself. The method originated years ago from the gypsy fortune tellers. Their technique of throwing out words so that the listener hears what he wants to hear, has been adapted beautifully by students everywhere and of all ages. Although an insult to the historic origins of such a respected method of classroom participation, this too can be used as a perfect source of entertainment. The techniqueis simple. As soon as the class starts answering shout along. But the fun is in challenging yourself to be more creative. My initial days began with words related to the respective subjects. I have moved on successfully to movie names and the occasionally comic references. There is a slight requirement to know that subject, so that you avoid saying the right answer accidentally and being dragged into the discussion.

All these techniques have been tested and proved but at the same time there are two warnings:

- Use at your own discretion

- Do NOT use it in the class I am in. I can’t have two people saying “Sir, Same point”!!

*Author is noted for his unique multitasking ability to keep himself entertained while pissing people off at the same time.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You want privacy? You wish!!!

Privacy invasion hit me hard… But luckily for them it hit me on the funny bone.. (Frankly, I’m not sure if that is supposed to make me feel that things are funnier or less funnier but let us go ahead with my initial assumption.). I have only heard of the risks of putting up your pictures for all of FaceBook to see. And also of the horrible things that is carried out in “Yossarian Speaks”. But a deadly combination of both over a period of time, along with a nonsensical game show by a renowned (they wish!) TV channel ended up in quite a hilarious infringement of any privacy laws that may be in this country.

I shall introduce the situation from a first person perspective. Imagine yourself to be casually having a good weekend with your family. As all families who complain about the television ruining the family unity, you are all gathered around it in an unnaturally abnormal and apparently non-evident sense of unity to watch some particular show. And as the whole room looks on, there pops up your picture.. right there! Right when everyone is watching, you are on TV! And you have no damn clue how! Worse yet, you are on TV coz the channel wants the viewers to wonder, if you are the son of some random guy!! No no… NOT the son of YOUR father but supposedly more honourable that you have a 0.25 probability of being the son of that famous guy on screen. Now in case some of you do not have the extreme imaginative capabilities required for this exercise. Here is a sample video of how it might look if you were me :

Subtitles :

Only cute lady on the whole set (from now on CL) : Who is the son of Murali Mohan? Option A

CL : No? you don’t know the color of his jeans?

Lady in brown saree hiding her goatee(??) (LG) : *shakes head* B

CL : Option B

LG : hmm…this looks less random.. let

me see C

CL : Option C

- Nefdyl Cold: Blah blah blah blahu>

CL: Do you have matching jeans for that shirt? Or atleast some lungi mayb?


Option D

LG: yes yes…matchin lungi for this I have.

CL : Ok..Option B and Option D have nothing to do with Kerala

LG : I miss option A.Can I see all 4 pictures?

Program editor : I’m so smart!

Viewers : Wow..all famous people..so lucky fellows, no…


And while this whole ordeal is happening the rest of the family watching with you can be picturised as below:

Well so that's that i'm apparently a TV star now, thanks to FB,google and a side dish usually had with dosa or vada (http://yossarianspeaks.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/gossip-girl-3/).

*Video courtesy Youtube; Picture courtesy : Family guy on my hard disk (And that's how it's done!!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dial C for Cheta...

It isn’t what is said that matters but what is meant. The tone alone can convey what you are trying to say even without the words being right. And that is how a person can survive in whichever linguistic region he goes to….*SCREEEECH*

Atleast that’s what I thought until I had that stupid incident on a bus in Chennai. There I was peacefully….oh wait..let me get that right. There I was nervously standing in the bus with one hand holding the top bar, another on a seat trying hard not to get too close to the neck of the person sitting there. Aw..comon.you know what I’m talking about. That posture you maintain in the bus, when you don’t know where you are supposed to be getting down. With your head somewhere below the elbow of your raised hand , looking out like one of those hens they show on cartoons scratching the floor and trying to find at least one place which looked familiar! Well, there I was standing in the above mentioned manner when I happened to see an unexpected face at a bus stop we just passed. All excited to spot a friend out there, I thought I’d get down there, chit chat with the old chap and catch the next bus. Being a mallu, quite naturally as the blood that runs through my veins I started : “Chetaaa..Chetaaa…Stop..Chetaaa” (Ask that mallu friend of yours..). Baffled by the absolute disinterest shown by the the “Cheta” on board, I thought for a while and it hit me. Ofcourse! I was in Chennai.. No one is a cheta there!! “Anna..stoooopp..Anna”… And I had hit the right note! The bus stopped at once and a very pleased guy bounced out of the bus. But sadly enough, this whole process and the thoughts involved did not take place at the lightning speed I might have preferred. In effect there I was, stuck somewhere in Chennai with not my friend or my destination in sight.

Setting aside all happy memories of that day, let me get to the point. Whatever they told you about being in a new place was a BIG lie! NO! The first thing people learn in another region is NOT how to swear. That would come somewhere between the first thing and “How are you”. The first thing anyone learns is to call a stranger on the road – an auto driver, the shopkeeper, the guy who you want to ask directions to... I’ve seen my share of people visiting Kerala and besides the occasional buddy of ours who was taught completely irrelevant and censored stuff that even I didn’t know then, almost everyone else knew one word in common – “Cheta” (Brother). Okay, I don’t want to come out as a male chauvinist here. As the occasion called for, they did use “Chechi” as required too. But you could get by anywhere with those magical words. “Cheta, tea”, “Cheta, juice”, “Cheta, this” and “Cheta, that”. Ofcourse, next up in the words most understood by non-mallus came poda and patti but I’ll refrain from going into the details since this is not about the “Mallus”. Oh..by the way…there is a HUUUGE difference between “Cheetaa” and “Chetta”. (Ask that mallu friend again)

Tamil Nadu had the characteristic Anna as referenced before, which meant the same as Cheta – brother. And the utility of this word is pretty much the same there too – “Anna,tea”, “Anna, coffee”, “Anna university” and the likes.

I have not yet discovered what it is in Karnataka, but I have heard that you can get by with an interchangeable use of “Cheta”, “Anna” and the sorts. I shall not venture into the North since, as all below Mumbai are Madrasis, I am going to irrationally assume that it should be “Bhaiyya” everywhere (Foreigners, ask that Indian friend of yours. Yes yes..the mallu itself..he’ll know at least that much Hindi). One trend I DID notice ofcourse was that everyone was your brother: the rickshaw guy, bus conductor, even the guy younger than you who you need something from.

But then again, 1.5 years in A.P and I have learnt to use a new word. It could be due to the possibility of a majority wanting to badly dismember and swear at the person holding the actual title as referenced by this word but extensive use of it has ruined the title holder’s value. And not to mention the condescending manner in which it is uttered : “Boss”. There are variations to how it is said : “Booss”, “Booasss”, “Boohse”, “B-hose” etc etc.. Oh! This just in..apparently its catching up in Karnataka too. Well as long as I get the things I want done without having to walk over and poke the person or wave my hands crazily in front of him, I’m happy to call him anything. So I got no complaints. Besides, you know what they say " When in rome…

DISCLAIMER: This post was not intended to insult any region or faction of the society but if in ANY way you feel hurt or offended, Thankyou for reading.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Who we are....

Over the last 2 days I have been on a mission of searching for long lost contacts. People I shared incidents in my life with 18, maybe 19 years ago. People with whom I grew up, who I always took for granted at that age. But regardless of the extensive utility of social networks, I was unable to locate any of them. Well, the fault isn’t completely on those addictive time-consumers, coz it really is hard to remember full names from that age! And add to that the extensive collection of Indian names with their multitude of possible combinations along with minor variations which could include - the addition of an “h”, removal of an “a” and the occasional “…ia” instead of the commonly assumed “…ya” - and you have a huge database to go through. Of course even if I get a name right, identification based on their facial features would be a near impossibility as I have practically no clue what they would have changed into now. And let’s not forget the distractions posed by the empty pangs of hope that “that particular profile pic could be my friend now…or I wish it is. Maybe I should drop a message and find out. If not the old one, a new friend made.SCORE!”.

Anyhow, the relevant point here is that I didn’t make any new friends NOR find the old ones. But it made me wonder. It made me wonder about the people, the people that were around us and the people that may or may not be around us in the future. In effect it made me think about how we are, what we are…

I may sound like I’m turning 70 next month, the way I put it. But the fact is that our life, and more importantly, who we are has basically been a culmination of incidents – both big and small- over the ages. It could be as big as falling in love and breaking your heart, or as small as choosing where to sit in class. The butterfly effect phenomenon plays a huge role in making void any possible measurement of the impact of these incidents. The same circumstances would give completely different outcomes to different people. How one incident impacts a person, would depend on how he/she assimilates it. Recursively, this depends on the incidents before it. Thus, at any particular point the Past adds up, to help read the Present and thus, define our Future.

The question here is for how long does this last. Could it be an endless relation where every single day we learn? This would imply that every day we change something in ourselves. A minor touch here, a slight push there , to try and perfect who we are. As I type it, it sounds like the most possible thing but how big are these changes as compared to how they were possibly ten years ago!! Somewhere along the line the base was made; what is inside had been largely fixed and sealed. All ongoing changes are purely superficial, and sometimes just a temporary volatile addition . A change to who we are, how we think, how we react will require harder work; breaking open the seal to rebuild the base.

But on the whole, can we change who we are? Would we WANT to change who we are? What defines how a person is supposed to be? Every person is simultaneously in the right and the wrong when he reacts the way he does. He is right in his eyes since his actions are defined by his ethics, thoughts and experiences. At the same time, for someone else his actions could be interpreted to be defiant, unethical and even outright vicious. So how exactly do we define the change that is required? Aahhh..who knows J