Saturday, August 26, 2006

My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine (Blank)

yeah, that's right. this is a post, about one of the most monumental moments in my life.. you know, how it is, when, you are told, that the idol you have worshipped for so long, had feet of clay.

you feel a tear bubbling under your eyes, then the floddgates open, and good bye, calm persona...

the events over last 3 days, have left me with little faith in humanity now.. nothing, it seems, is sacred any more... there is nothing that a bunch of human beings will not descerate, in the name of progeressive science..

i speak of course, of the removal of Pluto, from the exalted council of planets..

my astrologer uncle, told me, that he had foreseen this calamity( " It was under the influence of Saturn you know, very very evil planet!!").. And never once did he warn us, about it..

imagine, an entire childhood of naming Pluto, as one of the nine planets.. the number of quizzes, that i won, just because i was the only guy, who knew the name of that " Small, blue planet, outtest(sic) in solar system".. what happens to the results of those quizzes now, huh?

there was an irritating guy , who was my nemesis, in 2nd std. we used to battle it out in quizzes, and exams( now, of course, even harbouring such thoughts, of competing for scholastic achievements, on my part, require the greatest suspension of belief, in mankind's history)..

and we were even stevens, right upto 5th, where i beat him in a quiz, which asked us to name the outermost planet.

and on the same day, in my GK test, i wrote the nine planets in order(courtesy the title of this post)..

needless to say, i was up, in our tally(something like 11-10, in my favor).. and then, i left Jamshedpur..

needless to say, that guy grew up in a complex, the memories of his defeat to me(he told me once- " of all the people in this country, why did i lose to YOU!!!!!"), scarred him emotionally, completely..

now, with this news, do my answers, stand incorrect now? does this mean that we have a status quo still? will it ever make him a normal human being again? does this mean, that whatever ego i had, because of this, must now shrivel and die?

and it's not just this... now textbooks will have to be corrected.. maps will have to be republished.. teachers will have to be retrained, in astronomy, to get rid of the habit..

Disney will have to come up with another reason, for naming Pluto (what else?) Pluto..

there will be books, about conspiracies against a poor innocent planet, by the Big brother, Arrogant Earth( Jupiter sighs, due to gas problems).. there will be counter claims, by the scientists, who will justify their decisions.

there will be an outcry on the internet, where people will spend 10 min more, per week, to put their opinion.. and i have spent 20 so far, btw..

then, Hollywood wont let go of this oppurtunity. either Discovery, or Warner Bros., will launch a space probe, make a Docu/ Film called " Pluto : Planet or Not!!"..

and Nasa will get more funds, to prove, once and for all, if Pluto is or is not a planet..

all in all, around 3 Billion $ will move around the globe...

i smell something fishy here.. i invite my good conspiracy theorist friend, to look into it..

Entrez Vous, Dan Brown..

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Need For Speed 2

this is more of a PS to what i wrote yesterday. so if you havent read that piece, then please read this after you have finished reading part 1.

right, i will make this really brief...

i mentioned the power to weight ratios yesterday.. i realise that i might have left picture incomplete . so here's the list of P2W ratios, for those interested..

Bugatti Veyron- 529 BHP/tonne

Zonda F Clubsport- 521( this is the production version, the first prototype, without any cockpit, reached a 1000 BHP/tonne figure)

Ferrari Enzo-483

Koenigsegg CCX-765!

now, to put things into perspective, here's the specification for the 2006 F1 car, made up by the FIA..

The 2006 F1 cars have a power-to-weight ratio of 1250 hp/tonne (930 W/kg)

that translates into some dizzying numbers.. like

0 to 100 km/h: 1.9 seconds
0 to 200 km/h: 3.9 seconds
0 to 300 km/h: 8.4 seconds

an F1 car can come to a complete stop from 300 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds. without locking UP!!!!

so, here's to all the petrosexuals( i came across this term in autocar india)...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

need for speed!!!

most of my teenage nights were spent in fantasies( Not those kind, you pervert you!!!).. while some of those did involve skydiving, climbing Mt Everest, and getting a Nobel prize( it's a fantasy people!!!), some nights, in my dreams, a blur of scarlet would appear, and my dream would break up.

I would wake up, hold my head in my hands, and check them tears.... but that vision of holding the steering wheel, with the prancing horse in it, would prove so moving, and the realisation that most likely, i might one day die and be forgotten in the annals of time, without ever experiencing the force of 2 G, as an enzo sets off, overwhelmed me..( yeah i know, the Enzo came much after the ashes of my teenage years lay to rest somewhere, so substitute a modena there)

i am still nowhere remotely close to having my dream realised, but the last few months have slowly forced me to create a space, in the enshrined hallow that me mind had set apart, for ferrari..

2 companies, by the names of Pagani, and Koenigsegg( go on, try pronouncing it ;) ), have increased my agony.. now, i fear that i may die, without ever touching a Ferrari, or a Zonda or, that masterpiece, every millionaire worth his dollar's dream, the CCX..

now for a flashback.. way back, around 1986, there was a little known car called the McLaren F1..

now, anyone who has driven it, would tell you, that it was like a deathwish, driving that car, and that most people actually took mind numbing injections, to supress their fear, while driving it.

ok, maybe that last bit was an exaggeration, but still, fact is, it shattered the speed record for a production car, clockin in that magic number, that all car lovers have memorised( like bradman's average), 241 MPH (385 KPH) on a straight. And drove straight into many car freaks hearts.

that record held for nealy 18 years.. seems incredible isnt it? that despite all the progress we made in that time, a car made in 86 was still the fastest on the planet..

well, you have to remember, that 241 MPH was made on a straight piece of airway tarmac..
in those intervening years, cars have become faster around the corners( the SLR is faster than the F1 , in corners, by around 40 MPH), and much safer to drive..

so, anyways, in 2002, came the koenigsegg CCR, which came straight off the production line, lined up on the test track, and clocked in 242 MPH!!!

the earth split, and skies cracked, and Mclaren almost panicked..
to get a sense of what actually happened, just imagine a newcomer in brazil, entering the world cup for the 1st time, and scoring 10 goals in one tournament..

so, the CCR held the record, but, in came TOP GEAR with a new format, and they have a pretty good lap setup, for cars to prove how fast they are, overall..

every episode since, they have a chart, which maintains the lap times posted by cars, driven by that man, every child wants to be, THE STIG(will we ever get know, if he's human or not??)

well, till a few months ago, the top car was the masterpiece of automobile engg(i am a full blooded TIFOSI, so shoot me) was the ENZO.

then, Pagani, a small company, came in with the Zonda F, which had a 500 BHP engine.. nothing remarkable on the surface, but the car weighed only 500 KG!! that makes a power to weight ratio of 1000 BHP/ tonne!!

sure enough, the Zonda came in at the top... and all looked well, for the dreamers like me..

Enter Bugatti, with the Veyron.. if you havent heard of it, shame on you.. it costs around 700,000 pounds, and, this is where it gets interestin, apparently, has a top speed of ( hold your breath!!) 405 KPH!!!! that's right, 405..

so,anyways, the problem was, bugatti are very secretive about the car. only a few pieces have been sold to select buyers( which includes the like of Beckham).. more to it, they have refused to let Even Jeremy Clarkson, feature it on the show, making people suspect, that, maybe, just maybe, bugatti concentrated too much on straight line, and cut around the corners(pun intended).

remember i had mention koeningsegg earlier? there's a reason..

they decided, that for far too long, they had languished in the background, and was time to assert themselves..

they released the CCX.. if ever there was poetry on 4 wheel, this was it, my friends.. an 850 BHP V6 engine, screamed F1 performance..

and it did.. on Top gear, it shattered the Enzo's record, by a fair mile.. only after, it challenged the mighty STIG and forced him to crash(the only car, that proved too much for him)..

and this is the best part, the car posted it's time, AFTER, they put rear spoilers on the car(which actually slows the car around cars, by generating excessive downforce)..

like putting 1 KG shoes on Powell, and him still braking the olympic record..

and the CCX posted 398 KPH, right out of the box...

the thing that most of us swift watching, and enzo dreaming guys are anticipating this year, is a straight down drag strip battle between the veyron and the CCX...

and, there go my nights again!! sigh!!!

and if you want to, check both these beauties out on the net. SIGH!!! if only....

Monday, August 14, 2006

ID 15

All set for the flurry of patriotic barrage tomorrow. All those grumbling scrooges will suddenly rediscover their love for our nation. And all that carping about our faulty system, the nexus all around us, the poor INFRASTRUCTURE ( favorite word of all noveau upper class segment, a sure sign that they have arrived), poor hygiene etc, will suddenly vanish.

Everyone will be all smiles for a day, pin a flag on their dresses, watch Vande Mataram ( took a SONY Music to arrive, for such an album to release), or a RangDe Basanti, the rest of the day, as if it were Sunday.

INDEPENDENCE DAY!!! Pah! Humbug...

We do not know and cherish our independence, nor do we appreciate what a boon this freedom is.

None of us ever count ourselves blessed, that we and our parents, were born, without the burden of oppression, weighing us down.

There is also a wistful talk, gaining currency( pun intended), that had we continued under the British rule, we might have progressed further than the place we find ourselves in.

All our troubles seem to be caused, either by 1) “ Those dirty politicians” or 2) “ The aging and outdated bureaucracy!!”

How convenient.. though, fact remains, that both of the above, remain reflections of the current state of society, which is made up of people like you and me.

We bemoan the lack of ethics and honesty, yet, pride ourselves, by telling tales of times, when we got the better of the law, or bent the law, to our advantage.

We keep despairing, that if, somehow, we could give telephones, and roads, and other things that are paired under the term “ Infrastructure”, somehow, the villager, who doesn’t earn enough to even earn a square meal for his family, will transform into a picture of rural prosperity.

We grow up today, in an atmosphere, that rewards an adoption of value systems and practices, that have entered our shores, on a tourist visa. Think about it. While Tamil Nadu is relatively better off, as far as linguistic preservation is concerned, the average populace, feels that proficiency in mother tongue, is not essential, as much as a knowledge of English or Hindi is.

We are a generation, that dreams of going abroad , and work there, after polishing off an education there.

We are a generation, who do not believe that going out to vote, is a essential duty. No, the common refrain is “ there is nobody worth voting for”. Thus, the 400 million people, who nevertheless turn up to vote, are dismissed, as people whose sensibilities lie on a lower scale than the “Smart” You.

We are a generation, that looks down on professions like teaching, or on women or men( Yes, Men!!) who take the option of running a home, rather than slog in an office.

We are a generation, that judges a man’s worth, only by the last line, in the person’s pass book.

We are a generation that can discuss The beatles, but will be hard pressed, to name atleast 5 ragas, or 5 epics.

We are a generation, that has no time for appreciation of literature( not popular trash, meted out in name of pot boilers), theater, drama, philosophy( That guy thinks he is some big philosopher, hah hah!!), religion, cinema( as opposed to movies, there’s a difference you know).

We are a generation, that knows more America, than the heartland of India. Who can name places in New York, but not agartala. Who will gladly take a trip to London, but will blink on suggestions of lakshadweep.

We are a generation that can identify a Bill Clinton, but not a J.P. Narayan.

We are a generation, that prefers eating pizzas, to idli, and don’t mind the trips to the cardio later on.. it’s the price we have to pay for progress, you see.

We are also the generation, that is going to smash the records, for broken marriages, psychological counseling, stress disorders, job hopping, and burnouts.

And the scary thing is... we are the generation, that is going to run this country, for the next 20 years..

INDEPENDENCE DAY!!! Pah! Humbug...

P.S. : I know what many will say:

1) you’ve got some issues man!

2) Aren’t you one of those yourself?

3) So what, if I like doing these things? You got a problem with that?

4) Why bother? Just get along in life!!

5) I don’t care..

Saturday, August 12, 2006

alvida kehna padega

It’s really a very bad time, to be in karan johar’s boots right now. Now, don’t mistake me, I have never liked a single movie of his, and have not yet committed the sin, of watching any of them on the big screen.

Far from it, I am in fact, as my classmates will testify, quite the bugbear, when it comes to discussions on his oeuvre.

But you have to feel sorry for the guy. His latest tear jerker was released yesterday, amidst tremendous hype, and within one hour of the ending of the first screening, news channels(except that supposed saint NDTV) went on a blitz, to cover audience reactions.

And, most of them announced quite smugly, that KANK was more SKUNK and was surely going to TANK at the B.O.

Well, it seems surprising, that one man and his movie would draw such ire, from the media.

Sure, it’s a lousy movie. Even my friends who absolutely devour rona dhona stuff reverently, told me that this was definitely not a movie that was worth the 150 bucks they forked out.

Sure, the movie doesn’t live upto it’s hype, and the music sounds just like a cover version of Kal Ho Naa Ho.

Sure, SRK hams his way throughout, and the others really have not much to do, in substantial terms.

But surely, those aren’t causes enough, for this outrage and vitriol to come out in full force.

Headlines Today, in particular, seems pleased to announce that KANK is not a “ Typical Karan Film”.

Poor guy has just made 2 movies before this, and produced two. How can a generalization be arrived at?

And about the hype, well, it’s the movie biz for god’s sake.. try investing 40 Crores and then not publicize your efforts.. plus, wasn’t the media too, eager to partake in adding to the hype?

Don’t mistake me. I am not suggesting anyone to watch this movie. Nor am I defending Karan as a director.

All I am saying is, give the guy a break. This movie doesn’t look like it’s going to top this year’s collection records.

That ought to be verdict enough.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

hatred and ill effects

you know, today, there was this really boring class( i know all of them are, but this was the tops).
i got a flash back to my IIT classes in the now dim summer of 2001.

there i was, all wet behind the ears, truly believing in the lie, that a lot of hours spent with the prescribed sure shot guide books( absolute bargain!!! 3 for price of one!!!) and enduring the torture of classes from 5 to 8 and then 10 to 1, on sundays(!!!), would suddenly bump up my till then dormant mind, into stratospheric zones, and leap frog into the hallowed and media shined(stretching grammar here, but what the hell) gates of IIT.

well, 2nd class onwards, it was a tremendous struggle against newton's laws of gravity, trying to stop my falling head, from joining the class table.

somehow, sleeping made me dream of elizabeth hurley and Ash, which made for a far better sunday morning, than trying to figure out the mysteries of molarity and molalities.

and i used to feel like this typical good for nothing guy in the movies(but who ultimately hits it big), when i never used to respond to the enthusiasm with which my friends attacked a conversion problem( Wurtz Vs Hoffman was a truly polarizing moment in classroom, students actually threatened each other with test tubes).

so, to come back from the past, there i was, terribly bored.. and due to unfortunate turn of events, i was seated in the FRONT BENCH!!! i had boldly gone, where i had never gone before....

and here i was, that old familiar feeling coming again, of head on a collision course with the table..

had to think of something fast, to distract my sleeping mind.. so, while normally, i think of Keira, this time, i had to resort to this poetry.. had my own set of bull !@$% scruples to adhere to..

it's titled- A Rose that became a Thorn, or Milk that has turned Sour...

Why must we argue, for arguement's sake?
This much anger, leaves hate, in it's wake.
Now it seems impossible, we were friends before,
We are moving apart, like waves from the shore.

It kills me now, to think of those times,
We would kill for each other, Partners in Crime.
For you, i would have, the whole world fought.
But now, your hurt, doesn't leave me distraught.

All thoughts of you, prick me like a thorn,
It's best if we stop,let new friendships be born.
I lie hoping, that time can, heal my wounds,
That this darkness shall make way, for a shiny moon.

I am fighting so hard, not to sink into Hate.
Nor curse unto you, a miserable fate.
So please remove yourself, from the realms of my eye.
Let me never hear, the echoes of your cries.

I am begging you, to take your leave.
And all the things, from each other, that we recieved.
Let there not remain, a single trace,
Of the time, we held each other's hearts, in Grace.

I am glad, this torment's over,
Now we can move on.
Never will i ponder,
Where all that love had gone..

yeah, it's over..

P.S. for the sake of my continuing existence, let me assure you. that there are no real life ppl, on whom this is based. just wrote it for a lark. it was Cathartic (another of those perfectly useless words, never found anywhere outside CAT/GRE manuals).

Friday, August 04, 2006

Death of a Martyr

My friends and family lie convinced,
i drape a curtain over their sights.
The person they love, they think, is
a result, of imagination's flight.

And that a wolf lurks beneath,
the finest coat of wool, on a sheep.
That one day, these jaws will snap,
on those caught in my image trap.

I lie poked, and stabbed, but still,
not to move, lest those shrill,
voices utter their terrible cry:
“ This man's life is all a lie!”

And yet, if I not respond to their,
jabs and jives, nor their stares,
My guilt, they shall proclaim.
My silence, a reason to maim,
Damnation, would they joyfully declare..

All because, I never did mould,
to the shape, ordained by the world of old.
All because, I listened to my heart,
from servitude, did I depart,
onwards to my destiny..

And because, i spoke in a tongue,
they understood, and they tried to run.
But my vision, did theirs shorten,
as it tugged at longings, long forgotten.

Ashamed them to admit,
they felt as I did.
That it's not a crime, to dream of being splendid.

That all of us, beneath the skin,
are flesh and bones, kith and kin.

That the only god, lies within,
the walls of conscience, untouched by sin.

That the wealth of the heart, greater than gold.

This new world is the same as the old.

And we live in a world, which worships vice.

Backs are stabbed, deemed a fair price.

It hurt them, when I called their bluff,

All their money would never be enough.

For one who cared not a pence,

Of how much land lay within the fence,

You set up, to cut yourself,

Off from the rest of the world.

I cry, not for the wounds,

Them, I do not mind.

Saddened, while I see,

My race remains blind.

To the glory, that awaits the one,

Who, all appearances, temptations,

will shun.

Bring forth, the knife, that will end,

Be it may, the final stab, of a friend.

Let me close my sights, on this,

World that has forgotten, it’s heavenly bliss.