Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bullshit and General Update

Ever since there have been laws and rules there have been strange laws and rules. The trend seems to be continuing. India's IT laws seem to be the most screwed up thing ever conceived by the Babus. I am writing about this because of the unwarranted (pun intended) arrest of Avnish Bajaj the CEO of Bazee. It doesn't make any sense to hold service providers responsible for the content carried by them. It's not like Bazee bought the cd containing the video of the DPS students and decided to make a quick buck by selling it. They are an on line auction site for God's sake. X decides he wants to sell something and he decides to auction it and Y decides he wants it decides to buy it. Bazee just facilitates the process. Moreover the guy is the CEO. How the hell can he keep track of anything thats being sold. (as a side note anyone who is foolish enough to buy the video when it takes 10 mins to download from a site deserves to be shot. Why pay for something that can be got free?).

Even more ridiculous than the Indian IT law is this new rule thats been imposed in hell. They've banned camera phones in the campus. I am just ROTFL thinking about this. What purpose does it serve? It's not like that stupid video was shot inside the school.(or at least doesn't seem so). Also what do the guys who have camera phones do when they wanna communicate. It's one more of the rules in college I don't understand. There's this rule that says that we've gotta wear T-shirts with collars. Basically if you're a guy u've gotta wear something with a collar. They treat us like dogs I tell ya. Also the ban on Pepsi is still on in college. They use some sub standard local brand of fizzed drink instead. What sense does it make. Hell always seems to react excessively when some major scandal breaks loose. For God's sake let us choose our Cola at least. (I am glad I am getting out of there in another 4 months).

The biggest loser in this whole DPS thingy has been the poor camera phone. Albeit a camera phone was used to shoot the video; it was still shot with the girl's consent. It's not like the Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor kiss thing where the camera phone was used discreetly. I hate it when technology is blamed for the crimes that people commit. Don't blame the technology and don't punish it. Blame and punish the people. Nuclear technology powers up our lives at the same time it has caused immense suffering. That doesn't mean nuclear technology is bad. It's how the technology is used that is important. The point is that guy wanted to shoot a video. He chose to use a damn camera phone. He could very well have used a normal camera.

BTW CAT 2004 results came out last night. Apparently they weren't supposed to come out yesterday. After a question paper leak they've now got leaked results. I've gotta start preparing sometime in the middle of next year for CAT 2005. I don't know why it is but some people actually congratulated me on getting 96.8 %ile. I have no idea who told them that that was a good score. U can imagine how irritated I must have been.

And in case ur wondering why I haven't posted in a long while well I have been busy with exams, project work, standing in line for a Singapore visa (more here) and generally doing other things and plain lazy

I am actually reading three books in parallel. They are somewhat related. The first is this classic piece of work called 'Hackers' by Stephen Levy. This came out in 1984 and is a brilliant account of the hacker subculture. (When I say Hacker I don't mean the morons who break into computers for whatever reasons. This book deals with the Gods who defined a whole new sub culture and made a great deal of the computer technology we take for granted possible). I have read the 1st part which deals with the period from 59 odd to early 70s and talks about the origin of the term and about some 'true hackers'. Absolutely brilliant

The 2nd book is Richard Stallman's biography called 'Free as in Freedom'. The book is available here under O'Reilly's open books project. Levy in his book calls Stallman the 'last true hacker'. The book is good. Read a bit of it as well

The 3rd is titled 'Open Sources:Voices From the Open Source Revolution'. Its a collection of essays by some of the stalwarts of the free software movement. Its a little dated.Lots of things have changed in the free software world since this book came out. Its still seems like a good read. I would advice anyone who wants to know why software should be open source to read the introduction of the book. This is also available under the open book project and u can get it here

Also Animax has restarted Samurai X on weekdays at 9:30pm. A must watch. 12 episodes out of the 94 are over till now. Watch this. At least make sure u see it from episode 28 when Saitou comes and just after that the hunt for Shishio begins. Those episodes are simply brilliant

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Monday, November 29, 2004

Copulatory Practices of Blood Sucking Organisms: A Practical Handbook

Some time back my buddy ac put a blog post about mosquitoes and suze put a comment about mosquitoes doing it and all and then vinod put an even better comment. So all this talk about blood suckers and it reminded me about this book that I came across once. It's called 'The Copulatory Practices of Blood Sucking Organisms: A Practical Handbook'. Now this book u see is very hard to find and very few copies exist now. A Romanian friend of mine called Vlad had it and told me lots about it.

This book is only available in hard cover to live up to its topic of discussion and there are no soft copies of it available on the Internet.

The book has a foreword appropriately titled 'Foreplay' written by the eVam Bats Theatre Quartet. These guys are famous for plays such as 'Sonar Yet so Far', 'Death at Dawn', 'A Cave Roof with a View'. They recently released a music video called 'Here Comes the Sun (I Gotta Run)'.They have also authored the wooden cook book called ' Steaks for Your Heart' which was a follow up to Ray Cadbury's 'Death by Worm Infested Chocolates'. The foreword should set u up for the rest of the book. As I am constrained by space I shall tell you about some of the interesting chapters of of the book.

There is this chapter called 'Lecherous Leeches'. Let me warn you that you should take whatever you read in this chapter with a pinch of salt or you will find yourself completely drained. This chapter really is meant for suckers.

Also present is a curiously titled chapter called 'Promiscuous Proboscis' which tells how a male mosquito manages to seduce a female anopheles mosquito without contracting malaria.

In '69 Ways to do It in a Coffin' we get to know about the techniques used by master vampires to do ...er u know what they do best – suck blood.

There are chapters on Indian Zamindars of yesteryear and how they festered wounds and fostered bondage. Also mentioned are tales of Indian politicians and Indian software companies.

You will be glad to know that a movie based on the book is already out in Romania and will be hitting Indian theatres shortly. A reviewer in Romania who saw the movie with his wife felt the movie was fast paced and his wife felt that the ending came too quickly and she was left unsatisfied as usual. Another reviewer felt that the movie is very well paced and reaches an astonishing climax which is sure to leave you breathless thought not necessarily speechless.

Following the climax is a song that features Limp Bizkit which makes sure that you don't watch the movie for sometime to come.

The distributors of the film in India want to only keep night shows of the movie but are scared of competition from the movie 'Copulatory Practices of Carbon Based Bipeds Living in the Third Rock from the Sun' featuring Jenna Jameson and based on the book of the equivalent but shorter name by Madonna.

Thats all folks. I gotta go eat and then watch Area 88

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Microsoft does it again

mcall.com - EDS, Microsoft blamed for crash

looks like mine is not the only computer MS mangaed to f*** in the past few days. i reinstalled windows 3 times in 2 days and am totally pissed as i had to format a partition wiping out 8.5 gigs of songs and movies. aaaahhhh

fortunately all the important stuff was in another partition (whew!)

Sunday, November 21, 2004

It's over

CAT 2004 is over. I thought the paper tested both how well a test taker was prepared (via the quants) and how smart one was (via the DI/LR). Absolutely brilliant paper. Just reinforces the legend about how difficult the CAT is supposed to be. I think this paper will just direct more business to the coaching institutes which is definitely not a good thing.

Anyways its done for this year. I don't want to hear anything more about CAT 2004 again and if any of you ask me anything about it be prepared to experience the full extent of my vocabulary of the bird variety.

You will find that there is a new link added to the side bar under the links section. I think the addition of the link should tell you how I did the test.

Until CAT 2005 then...

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Home stretch && 15*2 minutes of fame && 69 && End of the wandering swordsman ( Not necessarily in that order )

Less than week to go before the CAT and even lesser number of days to go for the biggest academic farce ever envisaged – the Anna University exams. It also happens to be the largest money making racket since they charge you Rs 400 for re-evaluation and Rs 300 for a photocopy for your answer booklet when it costs 100 rupees a paper to write an exam and get that paper corrected and 40 paisa per page at the local 'Canon Xerox' shop which actually uses a Toshiba machine. That makes me wonder why they charge so much. Are they using industrial money printing machines to give the photocopies or do they get them photocopied at the local counterfeiter's. Some of my friend tell me they charge so much becoz they need to find your paper. WTF, if Google can find me a web page from 8 billion others for free why the f$%^ should the guys at the Univ. charge so much.

The 69th Acharya got arrested a few days back on charges of murder. I have always wondered how people can claim to be messengers and incarnations of Gods and how other people actually believe that. I remember the time in first year of college, one fine day the Sankarachrya came a visiting with his deputy and entourage. In college whenever somebody famous comes they have to come only after college hours. So I was not surprised to find lots of people cribbing when they found out that the buses would leave late. Of course after the function was over I thought to myself that at last i could go home but they announced that people could take 'blessings' from the seer so to my surprise, amusement and consternation lots of guys who were cribbing about going home late queued up to fall at his feet and the queue took longer to clear than the function itself. Just when I thought things could get worse they actually did. See I have only one paternal uncle whom I see as rarely as Haley's comet sees the Earth and by some miracle of the Gods he was in Madras on that fateful day and came to visit but by the time I got home he was leaving. He was coming down the lift when I was waiting for it. So I got to meet him only for a minute instead of the hour and more I would have. I wanted to scream. I am not complaining about the seer's visit but about the attitude of the people who feel at his feet. For some reason lots believe in him but others... well. I should have expected it considering most of those people realise there is a temple in the college campus only during exams and the day the results come. You can tell something important is there in college by looking at the crowd near the temple. People's attitudes amaze me.

My favourite animé series Rourini Kenshin (Samurai X) got over last week on Animax. I am hoping they'll restart it quickly like they did with Get Backers so that I can watch the 1st few episodes that I missed. Animax has done a good job of replacing RK with a with what seems to be a good show Area 88. Should be fun. Lot of my friends just don't get the point about animé. They think it should be like cartoons. The point is animé is not like a cartoon. Just because it is animated doesn't mean it has to be the same. Its different and that's the best part. I love cartoons and I don't see why somebody who loves cartoons should not like animé. Don't expect a cartoon and you'll love animé. Some others don't like the look of the characters with their big eyes. That missing the point completely. The eyes give the animé characters their emotions. The eyes shape and look changes according to the emotion. Without the eyes the characters would not have any way of showing what they feel. I'll write more about the joys of animé some other time

Can't wait for CAT to get over; then I can watch Animax for much more time, at least till next June/July. After that I will have to do one of 2 things. Start preparing for CAT 2005 or figure out how to survive 2 years in a place that'll let me sleep only 4 hours a day. I wish some one could tell me what's gonna happen on Sunday right now. Maybe the seer can help me.

Ps1: The telecast of 2nd round of UC is on 18th Nov at 10:00pm on BCC World. This bit of info is for anyone who wants to see me on TV. (I know its a shameless ad)

PS2: Hope the title makes sense now

Xbox: I couldn't resist the ps2 Xbox pj. Really sorry

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Rediscover the web

Its here !!!!!!!!! Mozilla Firefox 1.0 was released on November 9th. If u guys haven't yet done so I suggest you guys get it. It simply rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For those of you out there who think that Internet Explorer is the only way to surf you guys are sooooooo wrong. It is the WORST way to surf. Blake Ross' baby has come to life and how. Its amazing this guy is still in his teens and has been the main force behind the browser that is now IE's biggest worry. Over 2 million downloads in 2 days. Its only 4.7Mb for the Windows edition.

I had been using Opera for a while now but for the past few weeks have been using Firefox 0.8 for almost all my browsing. Now upgraded to Firefox 1.0.

Its amazing what people can do when they come together. Forefox has been another stunning example that Open Source Software is here to stay.

As the GNU philosophy says ``Free software'' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ``free'' as in ``free speech,'' not as in ``free beer.'' When Microsoft bundled IE with its terrible operation system it killed the Netscape Navigator and the freedom of millions computer users. It's a question of choice folks. Now you have the choice to use a faster,better,safer browser. I used to think few years back that what MS did with the bundling of IE was a brilliant business move and quite approved of it but I have come to realise over time that what they did was wrong and as a result lay computer users are stuck with what is a brilliant example of what a browser should NOT be. Think about it people if Tim Berners-Lee hadn't given away his creation without thinking about making a single cent, the World Wide Web would not be what it is today. Shouldn't you be using software that truly reflects the spirit with which the web was created, to access it?

Some Links:
CNET news articles
Google star of Firefox

Get Firefox!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Aiyo Ohio

Oh no!! not again. Dubya is back in power. When everyone thought that he wasnt gonna win he did And this time quite comfortably. That makes one wonder why he won. Now I've been watching all these analysis programs on tv instead of analysing CAT papers . No CNN this time due to CAS so had to make do with BBC and NDTV. People on these channels gave quite a few reasons like the Americans did not want to change their commander in chief mid way through a war and stuff like all the very conservative right wing religious types who don't like abortion and homosexual marriages voted for him(of course these people dont realize that homosexual marriages are the best form of contraception and abortion is not an issue with homosexual couples).

But if u ask me I have my own asinine theory as to why the undecided voters went the Bush way. I hope my intelligent readers would know that the Republican party symbol is an elephant and the Democrat party symbol is a donkey. Now an undecided voter to make up his mind asks his/her friend for advice

dude1: whom should i vote for

dude2 (a kerry supporter): vote for the ass

dude1: u sure

dude2: yeah

so dude1 goes and votes for Bush using his average American intelligence. After all u cannot get a more fitting representation of the ass. And dude2 goes and votes for Kerry.

I know this theory is as plausible as Mallika Sherawat coming fully clothed in a movie but stranger things have happened (for example Bush has won a second term).

Vinod has been reading a book about useless information but there is a piece of information that that book does not have. It was only in 1930 that scientists were able to determine the size of the brain of the average American because in 1930 was invented their most important tool -- the electron microscope.

I have been informed that they are still trying to measure the size of Dubya's brain. They are facing a practical problem when u try to measure the size of something – u have to find it first. They are still looking i have been told. And statisticians have said that there is a higher probability of finding Osama than finding Bush's brain.

In other news Yasser Arafat has died and come back to life googol times last night if tv reports are to believed. This morning they have settled for the safer 'in very bad health' line.

CAT is looming in the horizon. God only knows whats gonna happen.

Me going to watch match. Gambhir's already out. Looks like India is trying to do everything to lose by an innings

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Counting sdrawkcab

Ever since man invented numbers and could count he started counting backwards as well. Now i am not going to dwell into the history and the geography and angiography of counting backwards in eras gone bye bye but i shall bore you with the significance of counting backwards in modern society.

See if we were not able to count backwards we would not have countdown shows. There would have been no Superhit Muqabla and Baba Sehgal would have remained the engineer Babloo trying his hand in building things. There would no Mirchi Top 20 on the new suck it channel Zoom. So where would I get my weekly dose of Yana (of course in Mirchi Top 20 they put as much make up on her as the weight of Vijaykanth's a** and try everything possible to make a beautiful woman look ugly).

What would our movies be without counting backwards. How would the hero save the day from the time bomb if it was not ticking down to 0. No fun in seeing a timer trying to reach a hundred (like our Indian cricketers... oh sorry they are trying very hard to go from 0 to 1) and then the hero stopping it at 99. The fun lies in the hero wanting to cut off the blue wire cuts the red wire because he is colour blind and the counter reads 1. Wah kya scene hai!

Science would not have progressed without the countdown. Just imagine a space shuttle being launched without the 3,..2..,1 ..... and lift-off. We would not have set foot on the moon without counting backwards.

Without counting backwards Europe would never have had their hit The final Countdown. Talking about final countdown reminds me...

See the most important use of counting backwards is its use in counting down the days to a special occasion. Without counting backwards Vinod would not have the Doomsday counter counting down the days to the biggest rat race of them all CAT and without such a tool how would anybody psych out sleep depraved capitalist libertarians with Hutch connections.

See people counting backwards is sine qua non to the survival of human kind in the modern world.

Friday, October 29, 2004

How NOT to go about a programming assignment

This link was sent to my class' mailing list by Bubble boy. If u've ever had a programming lab u'll like this thing. its quite funny.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Orange Juice

Nagpur known for its oranges is now making pulp of only one thing – the Men in Blue. C'mon guys show some spirit. I don't know about others but my mood definitely changes in accordance with the team's fortunes. Right now i am nearing depression. Guys don't become squash at the hands of the Aussies. If u've gotta give away ur wickets give them to Hollywood atleast I'll be happy that my favourite cricketer is demolishing the team i love so much. Show some fight. Get bruised black and blue but don't go down without a fight.

InMoBlo news

Found a free image host.

Things i like about them

  • no limit to the number of images i can upload
  • no bandwidth limits
  • easy to use
  • no registration required(registered any way coz then i can keep track of all the stuff i upload)
  • they use Linux servers(go Tux go!!!!!)


  • max size of each image is 1MB
  • an image is deleted if its not accessed for a year

figured out how to put only haloscan comments. but figured i like to give the readers some choice so both forms of commenting will stay on except for this post.

put more gap between the end of comments link and the next post. feel there is too much space between end of post and the start of comments link. freed for the moment. hope the changes make it look less cluttered

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Recieived this amazing piece of spam which somehow found its way into my inbox breaching Yahoo!' s much vaunted spam filtering.Yahoo! Gmail just kicks your a**. (btw guys have u noticed Yahoo! has blatantly ripped a lot features from Gmail like address autocomplete and all.) personally i think Gmail has been in beta way too long. Time is ripe for regular junta to feel its awesome power. Anyways getting back; just read the mail. My thoughts are in italics just like this para and everything that stands straight up like this is the creation of some loser spammer

I am highly compelled upon strict recommendation,(who the hell recommeds my name unh?) to write you this very urgent and confidential letter.(no longer coz it's on my blog) I do hope my letter will not embarrass you(not in the least bit) since I had no previous correspondence with you.

I am sending this proposal with due sense of humanity, responsibility and with few awareness(is that correct English) that you will give it a sympathetic attention.(yeah right lots of it) I regret the inconvenience it may cause you.(no incovenience dude. U've given me a blog post)

I am PETER MALUSI the son of Dr. SIMON MALUSI, who was murdered in the land dispute in Zimbabwe.(sorry to know that seriously)

I got your contact from South Africa Chambers of Commerce (i have never left this country and just because i share my birthday with Gandhi doesn't mean i have something to do with South Africa) when I was searching for a reliable and reputable person(yeah that i am!!) to handle a very confidential transaction which involves a transfer of fund to a foreign account(not sure if i have any local a/c ) and I decided to write you, my late father was among the few black Zimbabwean rich farmers murdered in cold blood by the agents of the ruling government of president Robert Mugabe, for his alleged support and sympathy for the Zimbabwean opposition party controlled by the white minority. Before his death he had taken to Johannesburg South Africa to deposit the sum of US$ 10.5 Million (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) (i can read numbers no need to spell it out) with a Security and Finance Company as if he foresaw the looming danger in Zimbabwe. The money was deposited as valuables to avoid much demurrage from the Security Company.

This money was embarked for the purchase of new machinery and Chemical(forgot the plural) for farms and the establishment of new farms in Lesotho and Swaziland. This land problem arose when President Robert Mugabe introduced a new land act that wholly affected the rich white farmers and some few blacks that vehemently condemned the "modus operandi" adopted by the government. It is against this background that I and my family (should be family and I. Didn't u learn English in Zim or did u study Swahili)who are currently residing in South Africa as refugees have decided to transfer my Father's money into a foreign account.As the eldest son of my Father, I am saddled with the responsibility of seeking a genuine foreign account where this money could be transferred and Invested. More so, the South African Foreign Exchange policy does not allow such investment hence I am seeking for an "asylum".(i suggest Kilpauk)

I must let you know that this transaction is 100% risk free and the nature of your business does not necessarily matter. For your assistance, we are offering you 20% of the total sum, 70% for me and my family while 10% will be mapped out for any expenses we may incure during this transaction.

We wish to invest our money based on your advice.(my advice is give me all of it)

Finally, if this proposal is acceptable by you, please confirm your interest via my phone number or you reply through email.

Best Regards.

PETER MALUSI. (For the family) (if u're from the family shouldn't ur second name be Corleone?)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

InMoBlo news

fixed all problems with the commenting and all. old blogger comments are back and the new haloscan comments are also ......well .... er there .

thanks to all (read 2) people for the comments.

keep em coming!!!!!!!!!!

ps: had time to fix the blog coz some maha padips types sent the programs for the lab exams destroying all my study plans.

InMoBlo news

added haloscan commenting. to view/put the default blogger comments click on the time of the post. the old comments haven't disappeared. lots of free speech on the blog

Friday, October 22, 2004

UC travelblog [post 2]

(Continued from the post below the Durga Pooja post).

What does happen when u put 2 deranged young men(2DYM) in a room? That was the question I left off with in the previous part. I get the feeling that a lot of u perverted minds are expecting some spicy stuff. But u see the problem is this. 2DYM on their own are harmless unless one of them or both of them are gay or they are drunk or they are in the company of women. Now for AC and I none of the above mentioned conditions held true that night. So basically nothing happened. Gotcha!!. what did happen though was that that mad b@#!#$%^ AC decided he wanted to watch TV late into the night and ended up doing so and after he had finished he didn't put off the light in the room. As a result i got very little sleep the night before the 2nd round shoot. When i asked him why he didn't put off the light he said "it doesn't make a difference to me". What the F~!@ u freak you're not the only one in the god-damn room.

After the bright night i woke sleepless in seat.. oh sorry Noida. Next came a very chilling experience. See Noida for some reason was having quite low temperatures as was the entire north. As a result the temp. in the morn. was a very cool 18 or so degrees centigrade. Now this is very nice for someone coming from the searing heat of Madras. So why am i complaining u ask? The problem arises because of a human need to keep one's self clean by taking a bath. There was geyser in the bathroom but like half the keys in my 10 year old keyboard it wasn't working. As a result i got chilled to the bone. The only thing about a cold water bath is that it wakes u up. So in the end it was probably a good thing.

At breakfast met our opposition for the day the wonderful guys from NIT Calicut ( Roshit, Ravi, Kevin and Abid ). Also chatted a bit with my good friends from CEG (Vijay, Dipak, Psycho Hari and Venkat) who had their shoot scheduled in the afternoon against IITB (Rahul, Chitranshu, Vivek, Arijit); the team we beat in the 1st round. (if u don't know the format of UC basically there are 4 lucky losers from the 1st round who go into the 2nd round IITB was one of them).

During the drive to the studio saw a sight the seemed to defy all of Newton's laws of motion and his law of gravity. Well u c there was this car that had got on the median. There is nothing extraordinary about this but for the fact that it was on the wrong side of the road and somehow had managed to drive on the wrong side of the road and got up on that high median. U don't get the point. Just free it then coz i am very bad at describing weird road accidents and i don't have the help of Aaj Tak's amazing (read yuck) computer generated re enactments.

After a few 1000s of seconds we reached Eagle Studios in sector 18. I wonder if any movies were shot there coz there seemed to be a lot of posters of movies. The most familiar was Chamatkaar. Do u guys remember this movie. It had Naseeruddin Shah who was some kind of a ghost and helped Shah Rukh win a cricket match (Ganguly could do with a chamatkaar right now).

One of the good things about Synergy is the production team is made up of a lot of women. So their co-ords and stuff are female. I personally feel that they have too many people on the set but i am not complaining. After we were ushered into the make up room this pretty co-ord told us "give me your shirts" Before u get any naughty ideas let me disappoint u again by saying that she was doing her job and asking us to give her the shirts we were going to wear for the shoot so that she could get them ironed. She left the room after telling us to think of starting lines.

Thinking up imaginative and non-standard opening lines to introduce ourselves is the 2nd most difficult thing to do in UC. (I'll come to the most difficult thing shortly). After racking my brains i came up with something I'm sure will get me beaten up in college once the episode comes. I won't tell u what it is just watch it on TV. Let me just tell my potential assailants that i meant no malice.

Once we changed we went to the other room to get our make up done. Just the usual stuff that has to be done before anyone comes in front of a camera. Next we went to the set. The first thing that struck me was that it was cold, f^%$*^! cold. Somebody forgot where the switch to put off the AC was. Once we took out seats the co-ord (the same one who wanted our shirts) started telling us the rules of the game. Duh !!! as if we didn't already know. "u'll get starters for 10 points ...." zzzzz .... brrr brrr brr achooo. Then she heard our starting lines and after finishing an endless stream of instructions she went on to bore the NIT Calicut guys and some guy fixed microphones on us

Then followed what seemed like an endless wait. The audience was made to sit properly and some guy started asking the audience questions to keep them engaged while we all waited for the shoot to start. The audience didn't answer too many questions though. (the most obscure questions about Hindi movies got cracked though and they seemed to know more about Kishore Kumar than AC (hi AC ^_^ ) ) They weren't quizzers they were there for an altogether different reason.

This brings me to the most difficult part about shooting for an episode of UC -- keeping one's eyes off the audience. See the audience is usually made up of Delhi college students most of them girls.

Now if you're a normal guy u'll empathise with me when i say that it's bloody hard to keep one's concentration in amongst such an audience. They are supposed to watch us but the traffic goes the other way too. While we were shivering in our seats the crew began recording the audience applause. Basically some crew member starts clapping and the audience then joins in. they take a few retakes till the noise level is up to their expectations. Our microphone tests followed After what seemed like an endless wait the star of the show made his entrance.

Siddharth Basu ('Babu' to most of the crew) walked in to applause and some sighs of awe (made up the 'awe'ful part). He was dressed in a jacket as u'll see on TV. What u won't see was the jeans he was wearing. It's funny to see a guy in a jacket and jeans. He shook hand with all of us and took his seat padded with a cushion ( they gave me 2 cushions and strangely enough Goach also got one despite the fact he is so tall. Now me asking why give me 2 and him one. give me one and him none. (sorry for the terrible rhyme)) .

Before the shoot began Babu threw the teams a few practice starters just to calm the nerves and warm up. Now that I'm in the topic of practice starters i have to tell u guys about this funny incident that happened with the CEG guys. Now during their shoot with IITB Babu threw the practice starters. Being the better team CEG cracked all 4. Now Babu used his head to give the poor IITB guys a starter and asked the following question "What is Vivek's surname". Much to i guess everyone's surprise Dipak buzzed and correctly said "Ramamurthy". U c Dipak studied with Vivek when he was in Bombay ages ago and knows him reasonably well. Imagine the look on IITB's faces. A kodak moment for sure. They must've been totally psyched.

Returning to our shoot the intro music played followed by "Welcome to University Challenge... Asking the questions Siddharth Basu." The shoot had started. Babu intoduced us and we did our intros. Then the same was repeated for the NIT guys. Just when we thought the intros were out of the way the "voice of God" spoke. There is this control room located somewhere in the set where somebody sits and looks at everything that's been shot and advises changes and re shots if necessary. Now where we are seated we can't see the guy in the control room. He not seen; only heard. Thus my reference to the voice as the "voice of God". Basically the guy told us that there was some camera problem and we needed to redo the intros and so we did only this time poor Goach kept fumbling his lines and took 4 or 5 attempts to get it right.

The quiz proper started and i won't give u details about it coz i don't want to and u can watch it all on TV. I will mention two incidents though.

This season Babu has decided that he wants to make the teams look good as in seem like good quizzers, so if neither of the teams answers a question it's scrapped and not shown on TV unless a team gets -5 on an interruption. This led to quite a fiasco during our audio question. Basically 3 audios had to be scrapped during our shoot. Now that's not a problem by itself but the problem was that after every audio got scrapped they had to hunt another one and the production people took 10 to 15 minutes to get a song. So in the mean time we were freezing and the audio co-ord ran out of questions so basically people from the audience were asked to sing(of course none of the songs they sung became qns). Under normal circumstances i would have tolerated bathroom singing in a studio but not when the team is down on points and knowing that every qn from that point is crucial. Finally the audio qn did get answered and it was Pps who did it much to our relief.

The 2nd incident i want to talk about is the last question of the quiz. No matter what is shown on TV this is what happened. Babu said "Which toy dog.." and i buzzed. In the time that it took for the buzzer to go off and the light to come on and Babu to say "..it's Nandan from SVCE.. " Babu said some thing about Poland while continuing the qn. I was frozen. I was in a state of shock. U c i was thing about the literal toy dogs as in toys. So i was thinking about Aibo and tomagochis and not breeds of flesh and blood dogs. But when i heard Poland my head and heart stopped working. After Babu said that he was passing the question with -5 to the other team i said "dalmatian". Now Babu said that he wasn't going to allow that and said he was passing the question to the other team. Before they could answer the hooter went off. We jumped for joy in a spontaneous outburst of relief. We thought we had won. Then Babu did the unthinkable. He said he wanted the time to be turned back. I think he felt that i was stalling when i buzzed and decided to be what he thought was fair. Of course i wasn't stalling and moreover i had no way of knowing that that was the last question. Anyways they did turn back time and Babu repeated the qn and just before the qn ended Kevin buzzed and said "Dalmatian". Then Babu said "that is incorrect". Then he said words to the effect of moving on the next qn and before he could the hooter went off and this time we had indeed won. I found out later when Abid told me that Abid (who was pretty much their star performer) new the answer to the last qn was pomeranian but was waiting for the qn to complete before he buzzed and in between Kevin buzzed. I realised then just how close we had come to losing.

After the shoot they basically do dubs. Basically the 'voice of God' guy tells Babu to repeat some qns or some participants to repeat answers. They also reshot the last question where i buzzed and didn't give an answer at all and Kevin said Dalmatian. I guess this is what will get shown. After that reshot for the long shots the passes where one person gives a wrong answer and a person from the other team gives the right answer. Then they kept us waiting for some more time when the cameras took long shots of us and the crowd.

We went back to the hotel to rest up a bit. Saw a bit of TV and went for walks in the neighbourhood. While watching TV we saw this Airtel ad where a guy and a girl are in plane that crashes and ends with the tagline which basically says that their network goes everywhere. Now there is nothing remarkable about watching an ad for a cell phone network, really there isn't anything. Only small thingy was that AC's phone hadn't worked from the moment we landed in Delhi and didn't work again till we got to Madras when he got his signal back. This is where as Vinod put it irony makes an appearance -- AC's network provider is Airtel. (btw the look on his face when the ad came was another kodak moment).

The next day (Thursday) was our quarter final shoot against IITM. Won't talk much about it. Pretty much the same thing only thing we lost and lost really badly. A scoreline does not reflect our true capabilities as a team and neither does the result. But then that's the way UC's format works. One day u can look like a hero out of a Western the next day u can look like an absolute fool. Basically the qns are really easy. It's mostly about speed on the buzzer and IITM was much better that day. Maybe another day the result would have been quite different. And as IITM found out 4 hours later during their semi-final that UC can be very, very cruel. Still remember Babu's words that he told us trying to console us after the loss, "Don't look so mournful. It's only a quiz". Some how i don't agree.

In the night saw the telecast of our 1st round against IITB. Seemed to be much closer a contest on TV than what we felt it was during the shoot.

The next day we packed and left a little after 12. Saw the Lotus temple and grabbed lunch on way to the airport. Reached there at 3 for a 4:50 flight which was delayed by half an hour. Saw Ashish Nehra whose autograph Goach got and Jagmohan Dalmiya whose existence Goach wasn't willing to acknowledge coz AC told him (its very hard to trust AC these days). Of course after i conformed his presence we all saw him. Also saw Prabhu Chawla the India Today (bald) head who comes on Aaj Tak. He was there with some reporter from Aaj Tak whose name I don't remember though I think this is the guy who got slapped by BSP founder Kanshi Ram.

Reached home to find out that i didn't have any material for one of the 2 tests i had the next day. Anyways freed it coz we got the qns the next day and the answers.

Well that's about it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Durga Poojo

Its that time of the year when Bengalis all over the world come out to celebrate Durga Poojo and why should the Bongs (as u guys call us) in Madras be any different. So the Bongs in Madras have their own celebrations for their favourite and most important festival. There are quite a few pandals put up various groups and societies. I have been told that the T. Nagar one is supposedly the oldest and biggest. Today I went to the festivities organised by SMCA— the South Madras Cultural Association at Beasant Nagar as I do every year.

This time the pandal seems to be rather well made and arrangements have been made to prevent the rain from being a spoil sport as it did with the India-Aus test match. First went in to see the idol. Aarthi was going on so there was the beat of the Dhak which is a drum like thingy and smoke all over due to the burning incense and whatever else is used during one of these aarthis. The poor priest guy was sweating all over as were most of us. Got a little psyched when i heard so many people speaking Bangla in the place- just not used to that. The idol seemed the same as every year. The organisers haven't tried anything special. In Calcutta lots of places have themed pandals. Few years there were Titanic pandals. Basically the pandals in Calcutta reflect a lot of whats happening currently. Though this year the police in Calcutta have told organisers not to have any themes related to hanging as would have been the favourite theme considering the Dhananjoy Chatterjee story and stuff. The idol here in Beasant Nagar was simple and usual with Godess Durga in the middle killing the demon and to her right are Saraswati and Ganesh and to her left Lakshmi and Karthik. Don't ask me to put any fundaes on the myth and religious significances coz i know very little.

After the aarthi got over picked up the prasad and went to food stalls. I wait one whole year just for this. The poojo may mean different things for different; but for me poojo means great food at the food stalls at the pandal and the Bengali girls(by default beautiful) who come to the Pandal. Today had egg roll(don't have to explain what that is), chicken Muglai Parota(stuffed kind of a parotta very diffent from the Punjabi parottas and fish Kabiraji(fish fillets fried in an egg batter). The food is what i miss most about Calcutta. Madras just doesn't have that kind of roadside food.

After picking up the food came back home.

The Durga poojo here is nothing compared to what happens in Calcutta. One my biggest regrets in life is not actually seeing a Durga poojo in Calcutta. I've had to make do with the SMCA pandal.

I strongly recommend that all of reading this go to any of the Bengali pandals during this time of the year and sample a slice of Calcutta in Madras. The best time to go would be in the evening. Today was 'Saptami' the 7th day of Dussera. U've got 2 more days. So hurry up. The immersion is on Saturday and will take place at the Beasant Nagar beach.

HAPPY DURGA POOJO !!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

UC travelblog [post 1]

In my previous post i wrote that i was going to Delhi for the shooting of the next rounds of UC. Well i am back from the city of the Indian parliament, the India gate and awesomely[sic] hot girls. This post is about my experiences of the those 4 days. I dunno why i am writing this. The trip was on the whole extremely disappointing and has some painful memories. Writing things down will make me relive those memories i am desperately trying to get out of my system. There were some great moments too and maybe by writing them down I'll have something to draw from later on in life. I think the post is going to be rather long but read on if you're interested in knowing how a quiz programme is shot Synergy style or what happens when 2 deranged young men who have to share a room get up to.

Tuesday was the day of departure. AC told us to rendezvous at the airport at 12:10 for a 13:35 flight ( i wonder why oh why; but then AC is like that). So Goach and I went to the airport by car and Pps (read peeps) joined us at the entrance to the terminal at 12:15. now there was no sight of AC. Our man decides to turn up at 12:35. in the meantime Pps sent him some mean messages which basically meant that he had to get to airport rather quickly or else.... so after not carrying out our threats of doing nasty things to AC the 4 of us went in basically carried out all the formalities. We still had a bit of time left till the departure and the airport was really deserted. So we decided to throw random meaningless questions like "Connect the escalator and Adolf Hitler" and "What is the latitude and longitude of the airport?" at each other. Saw this very beautiful woman who seemed to be an air hostess but wasn't going to be a host but a guest. She was reading The Da Vinci Code. We decided to spoil the ending for her by telling her the ending but then we didn't carry out that plan either ' coz i don't think any one of us wanted to get slapped by a beautiful girl. I must make a confession here. She was definitely the prettiest girl on the flight. If she is reading this(high hopes dude!!) i hope she takes it as a compliment because the air hostesses like the food were hot. (oh God i just compared beautiful women to food!!!!!!!!! ( wonder what that tells about my thought processes)).

The flight was uneventful for the most part. There was a bit of turbulence. I didn't know whether to stare at the air hostesses or outside the window; the view outside was just amazing. The clouds looked as if they were out of a painting describing the abode of Greek Gods. Believe me they looked just like that. I could almost imagine Zeus in all his glory in there among the clouds. After imaging some heavenly images i decided to basically just keep my ornithological pursuits active. So the journey left me fairly satisfied and the food was also good.(wats m obsession with the food????).

After landing we picked up our luggage and began the task of finding a taxi to take us to Noida where our accommodation was arranged. Now the what appeared to be official tourism development taxi booth told us that we would have to pay 1080 bucks(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) to get to Noida. So we just went to the other booths and found one that was going to take us for 380 deer. So we hopped on(actually we just walked) in the black Maruti van. See Delhi has this policy that all public transport vehicles should run on CNG. A by-product of this(apart from the cleaner air) is that the Delhi transport corporation has the 'record' for having the "largest CNG bus service in the world" which the buses on the road very proudly proclaim. During the long journey AC went off to sleep and drooled all over the seat( of course he'll deny that (and maybe he is telling the truth)) but lets assume for the sake of the blog that he was indeed drooling.(not that achieves anything but just gives him something to do during the journey coz he was not doing anything). Anyways we were reserved .. well actually our accommodation was reserved at this place called 'Jewel Palace' in sector 61. this sector 61 happens to be a really far flung location and pretty undeveloped. The problem with Noida is that all streets just have numbers for names and all look the same. So it makes the task of finding a small hotel (well technically it was not a hotel.. I'll come to that in a minute(actually u'll come o that in minute (of course if u read fast then in about 30 seconds)) a very arduous task. Now the problem is compounded further by the fact that the place did not have a sign board saying that it was indeed hotel Jewel Palace. When we did finally meander our way to the address given to us we landed(actually we landed long ago) at a huge (i mean huge) house that said it belonged to some IAS officer. Puzzled Pps went inside and after seeing the receptionist's came out satisfied that we were at the right place. The reason he was satisfied was that the receptionist(cum manager) lady was the same person who had greeted us during our previous stay. Then Jewel Palace was in sector 41. See they apparently got kicked out of that place because of some "problems with the authorities" so they were masquerading as a hotel in an (abandoned?) IAS officer's house.

The rest of the evening went off without without any scares. The dinner was great. The food on all the days of our stay was really good. We decided to practice a bit after dinner just to get into the groove. After a bit Pps and Goach left to their room. That left AC and me in the room late in the night. (now is the part i promised in the beginning about 2 deranged young men in a room)

(to be continued...............)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

University Challenge part deux

In a few hours time I'll be on a plane taking me to the capital of this country (of course it became the capital only in 1913 (or was it 1912) after the Brits moved from the City of Joy,the wonderful city i was born in but have not had the good fortune of knowing that well ) for the 2nd round of shooting of BBC World's University Challenge. I might as well be totally correct and tell u that it's the shooting of the 2nd, quarters and semis. So at the end of the week the finalists will be known. Of course junta will come to know about it only after the shows are aired.

Feeling very nervous for some reason(actually thats why i started writing this post 'coz i was feeling very tense thinking about the trip and not doing anything. Have a strange feeling in the stomach for some reason. I really don't know what i am so tense about. I know we (Goach,AC,pps[captain SIR] and I (yeah i am the only one in the team who doesn't have a nickname)) are a good team and we can go far in the tournament but suddenly i am engulfed in self doubt. I don't know why. We almost blew it against a weaker IIT Bombay team (the episode it to be telecast on 14th Octoberthis Thursday at 10pm ). my fear is not performing to our full potential. I know that we can take on the world nut we gotta keep our cool. Maybe i am putting too much pressure in myself......... aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

no more talk about UC 'coz i feel relaxed already and that weird feeling is gone from my stomach. The purpose of writing this post is served.

Now moving on to other things.

Its been a favourable week. Hardly went to college. Any day that is not spent in college is a good day

Sunday was simcat 4. didn't do too well (not that's very surprising) but got a higher city percentile(national hasn't come out yet) than i expected so i am feeling a lot better.

Now my mood has changed from one of gloom to one of glee. Talk about the healing powers of writing a blog.

Will be back on Friday night. Hope to have made it to the finals UC by then. Anything less than that will leave us a team extremely unhappy, i am sure.

Wish us luck and the power to kick ass

May he answers be with us


Saturday, October 09, 2004

A blogger about blogging

maisonneuve :: eclectic curiosity

Link was there in one of the text ads in gmail. Mailed my self a post to check if the mail post thing was working properly and voila there were ads related to blogging. And guess what the 1st link was blogger. Boy what a surprise (sarcastic grin)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

What if Vijaykant decides to play for Arsenal

My good friend Vinod while writing about Emirates Air's new sponsorship deal with Arsenal suggested that Arsenal with their new found wealth could get big stars like Vijaykant(he's BIG alright and he's more like a black hole than a bright shimmering star) to play for them. That got me thinking. What would happen if indeed Vijaykant started playing for Arsenal?

Patrick Vieira is gonna have to step down. Now i don't have to explain this. There can be only ONE captain in the team. They'll have to get 42 metres of cloth to make the captain's arm band to fit it around Vijaykant's bulging(with fat) arm

They would have to reinforce the football stadia he's gonna be playing 'coz no football stadium i know of is earthquake resistant. Now why would they need earthquake resistant stadia?? well... imagine a herd of elephants running , the earth trembling begging for mercy ; that's the kind of impact Vijaykant with his 7 tons of make up will have when he's gonna run after a ball trying to kick it between 2 czechs.

The viewership of EPL matches is going to go thru the roof as all the captains men would want to watch his antics especially those who missed his circus days. This would mean that CAS gets revoked (yippeeeee!!!!) or ESPN becomes free to air or DD starts showing EPL 'coz how the hell are we, in Chennai supposed to watch the bloody matches

The referee's job is going to be that much easier, as by seeing the injury he'll be able to tell that Vijaykant is responsible for the blow. Of course Vijaykant is such an honest goody guy that he'll probably take the red card and leave the field (phew!!!!!).

Thierry Henri is going to lose all his sponsors as everyone would be backing the new(old, really old) kid [sic] on the block.

People who don't know much about football will be wondering which the ball is- what captain is chasing or what is chasing it.

Commentary would not be needed. Just give Vijaykant a mike and all the sound u need for the match will be there. Of course if u don't understand Tamil ur lucky because then u don't have to feel guilty about not having made any sense of his lines.

U would only need the most sophisticated software like Microsoft's Paint to do all the television graphics.

And most importantly Arsenal will have no fear of losing... u kant lose with a guy whose name means victory in the team

Thursday, September 30, 2004

At long last ......here is the first

After toying with the idea for weeks, i've finally put up my blog. So here are 2 kicks to the rear and a pat on the back - ouch, oucher , wheeeeee ^_^ . Now that i have started i am not going to stop with some self depracatory and self congratulatory thoughts , and imagined screams of pain and squeals of jubilation. So here goes.....

Stroke Edith at Aberdeen Colon She is Under Half

Dispense Royal Justice Napolean for Charlie Knows Tall Zebras Laugh

We Hear Young People Question on Best Grounds

quotations for a thousand fifteen pounds

Now before u begin to clap or criticize, let me tell u that this doggerel is not mine. This was created at the Univ. of Manchester in the 1940s with the purpose of mugging the following...


"SO... whats the point?" i hear u ask

Now the point is that the 32 characters the quatrain is a mnemonic for happen to be the...er mnemonics for the instructions of the Mark 1 computer built at the Univ. of Manchester. Now those of u who know assembly programming know modern days mnemonics like ADD,SUB, etc. For those who dont have a clue wat assembly language is; its basically a kind of ancient,weird way of communicationg with the computer which is still used today for various reasons (and in some situations is the only way of getting the computer to do ur dirty work). Say i want to tell the computer "Computer saab add the contents of registers (tiny places of memory) a and b and store the sum in register a" i would write something like 'ADD a,b'. I hope u haven't gone off to sleep or typed some other address in ur address bar.

So if u're still reading this (WHY???????) in the 40s people were still trying to figure out how to talk to the computer and assembly language itself was a new idea.Basically they used to punch a whole bunch of holes on cards and feed them to the computer. So in the 40s there lived a genius(i bow to thee respectfully and ask for thy blessings) called Alan Mathison Turing. Now basically he was a homesexual super genius who during WWII worked for the British government at the top secret Bletchley Park where these guys used to crack codes and basically had a huge role to play in winning the war. If he wasn't there this blog well may have been in Duestch. Apart from that he came up some brilliant ideas on how to well .. er .. communicate with computers. So when this Mark 1 was built he gave the 32 symbols for the 32 operations that the Mark1 could perform to make it easier to well ( u guessed it) communicate with the computer. Now programmers could just type out the symbols from a primitive keyboard to write their programs.

But... But there was a problem. The symbols were in no order and no body except the great Turing himself could memorize wat each symbol stood for (basically what binary(1's and 0'c combination) the symbols represented). So some despo dudes at the univ came up with this to remember the words they had with them to talk to the burly old computer.So thats why u have the poem. Now that i've told u how the poem came to be i'll be going. Here is a parting Haiku (well i'm not sure if it is but it'll have to do)

Let me know wat u guys think.

This blog is new.

Could do with a lot of encouragement

Auf Wiedersehen