Saturday, April 30, 2011

girl to boy

"abbe kya dekh raha hai? to you I might seem like a delightful arrangement of atoms, but come any closer and TERE arrangement ki dhajjiyan udha dungi!"

Friday, April 29, 2011

Nervous Intrepid Explorer

In the deep dark cave, his nervous head bobbed up slowly, breaking the surface of water - just like how the plastic air filled ball inside the flush tank would when a some man pressed the lever painfully slowly towards the unsure end of the urination.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


It’s hot and I wish I had 16 fingers. 8 on each hand.
No, I don’t want wish that I had some extra super human capability over and above the rest of the population. In fact my wish requires that all of the human species have 16 fingers.

A bead of sweat makes it way down the side of my forehead and slides like a glacier over the side of my cheeks. It leaves a burning trail. I hate shaving on summer days. I hate running out of aftershave even more.

I wipe off the sweat and suck on the straw leading into my cold coffee.  Nothing comes up. I suck harder. Cold coffee! What a joke – it’s a mix of super-frozen ice crystals, milk powder and ground coffee bean powder. CafĂ© coffee day Express. I remember Scrooge “Bah! Humbug!”

I reconnect with my train of thought (taking a nanosecond detour there to Sheldon Cooper and back ). The only naturally feasible way – think evolution – for 16 fingers to be possible is if our predecessors – all the numerous monkey species should have had them too!
And considering how humans have a knack for over complicating things with their “ingenuity” and uncommon common sense, I will include in my wish that we (and our monkey great grands) have had the same number of digits on their toes too – sweet sixteen !

I suck on the straw with all my strength now, putting to shame the suction capability of even the best vacuum cleaner in the world. Just before I was about to burst a vein on the side of my neck, a barrage of ice crystal spurt forward into my mouth. 2 seconds later brain freeze!!

As the pain subsides, a huge pile of innumerable consequences of having 3 supernumerary digits on each hand and toe slump down upon me – or rather spurt into my head akin to the way those ice crystal rushed into my mouth. I try to organize them in some fashion before I start slicing up my brain time to process each of them.

Enhanced pleasure – more fingers to touch, more fingers to feel. Enhanced speed – more toes, more thrust. Enhanced gripping strength – more fingers to pull-up your fatty fat body as hang on to the door pole of the oh so full fast local.. hey but wait! Damn! We would lose out on the most popular and expressive gesture of all – because now there is no middle finger!!!  With that said, I am sure we would come up with an equally capable gesture to replace that one.

The heat distracts me again. I wipe myself with my handkerchief. If we had eight fingers, I am sure the Chinese wouldn’t have gotten around inventing the hand fan – Who needs one when you can just use your hands to fan yourselves. The Japanese who had improved the hand fan by making foldable versions would have instead invented some sort of gloves to add webbing between the fingers and increase the airflow. I try to think how one of those would look like and absentmindedly  wrap my handkerchief around my hand trying in vain to create simulate one.

I fiddle with my phone. Landmark and Shopper’s Stop can’t stop offering me discounts that I am not interested. The SMS spam guard app kept the phone from buzzing and irritating me when they bombard me with texts. 900 rupees well spent. But the phone complains. It’s battery is low.  Which brings me to the point – the batteries of our devices would last longer – if we had those extra fingers. 16 of ‘em.

Computers and all kinds of tech gadgets have the same basic architecture. There is the Central Processing Unit, Inputs /Outputs and Memories. Inputs are those signals which are external to the system and fed to it via some interface. In case of cell phones these are the keypad for the humans to type with, microphone for them to speak into and the radio receivers – one each for the Cellphone network (GSM or CDMA), WiFi, Bluetooth and FM Radio. The USB interface is also considered and Input when connected to a PC and so is the button on the wired headset. The outputs are the RF transmitters (for GSM/CDMA, WiFi, Bluetooth), Speaker (ear piece, loud speakers and ringer), LCD screen, vibrator motor and the various LEDs which light up the LCD and Keys. The CPU is loaded with handling the plethora of I/O devices (some phones have even more of them, accelerometer, compass, GPS, proximity detector, touchscreen, FM transmitter) and hence the code comprising the software running on it is huge – millions of lines. And people like me all around the world spend their days staring at the computer screen trying to make sense of what the guy who wrote the code in the first place was thinking when he put together the piece of crap on the screen in front of you.

You curse the manufacturer when your phone dies on you. But the truth is that some dude just like you was responsible for the messed up code running inside it.  But that’s deviating from the topic. I round up back to the power saving part. Computers and computing gadgets spend an immense amount of electrical energy trying to move data from here to there.  Data which is represented in binary – numbers which are represented with just one and zero. Now just because we had 10 digits on the ends of our limbs (10 fingers and 10 toes) we learnt to count with 10 symbols – 0 thru 9 and not 2 or 4 or 8 or 16 which are powers of two. Computers use up extra processing power to convert these binary numbers from binary to decimal just so that its naturally legible to us when printed on the LCD screen.  If a two digit binary number can have 2 values (0 or 1), then by extension, a two digit binary number can have four values (00, 01, 10 and 11) similarly a 3 digit binary number can represent 8 distinct symbols and 4 digit binary number can represent 16 distinct symbols.  Displaying numbers which are stored in binary format but need to be displayed on the screen in a number system in which the number of symbols is not a power of 2 will always require processing. This means someone has to write code for doing this and what you have are thousands of billions of gadgets around the world doing exactly this and wasting energy. So much effort, so much time, so much energy – all wasted – just because we had 10 fingers and not 16 or even 8 for that matter. By the way, there will be the energy wasted in the extra muscle if we have 16 fingers, but balls to that. Making my life easier as a programmer (and the user of a cell phone that doesn’t waste battery on stupid tasks like number conversion) is the point here.

The cell phone beeps and displays the battery low message again. I imagine it shouting at me as if it was a real talking person “abe battery kam hai, charge karna!”. In hindi? Yes, sounds more dramatic that way. I would imagine it saying that in Gabbar tone.

Cell phone (in Gabbar tone): “Kabhi charge kiya tha?”

Me: “Kal Raat”

Cell Phone (in Gabbar tone): “Kitna kiya tha?”

Me: “pacheees minute”

Cell Phone (in Gabbar tone): “bas pacheees minute charge kiya, lekin istamal 10 ghante kiya? Bahut na insaafi hai”

Of course, I am surely must be exaggerating. Playing doodle jump on my Nokia 5800 definitely used up more juice than the trivial itoa() and atoi() conversions. But still Mother Nature has made it a bit inconvenient for us to discover it secrets. She plays with us. It sent us the wrong signals and caused wrong ideas to develop and by the time we realised what was happening, we were already used to the old convention that we found it difficult to change to the actual truth. For example thanks to Benjamin Franklin’s and his gang we have to contend with messed up electric charge signage. Current flows from positive to negative, while in reality the negative electrons which constitute the current flow the other way. And we had to rack our brains to deal with the equations properly while working on electric systems.

Other complications are manmade:  like the plethora of measurement units – Airbus’s A380 was delayed because while building the first prototype, some guys thought the measurement in the drawing was in mm and not inches.  Also the lack of symbols in Greek and Latin alphabets has really made life difficult. Many of the physical quantities have been assigned the same symbol. On top of that, unintuitive use of symbols as operators in Mathematics (like Calculus) haunts all students when they are first exposed to them. The only field of since which suffers the least from such kind of “natak” is the field of genetics. Genetics seems to be one of the youngest and most organized field - thanks in part to Mendel, who cared enough to acquaint himself with Scientific Method before getting on with his research. Genetic knowledge has few of these weird problems with formal representation of real life phenomenon.

So what we need is a full reboot of the human society withal the kinks removed.  That might just be possible. We have screwed up everything here on earth anyway. Maybe when we colonize Mars (aauw – closer to Sun – means “garmiiii”) we will get a chance to do that.

We definitely need to engineer a new breed. To do that we would need to create a transitional breed of engineered humans who would arrive on mars with all the kinks in their scientific knowledge removed and smoothen out. They would then procreate on the new planet - story would be somewhat like James Bond's Moonraker, but we will leave Earth intact. 

We would need to draft and document a new legal and socio-economic system. We would even need to get these new seed people to learn and use Lojban – a logically engineered language which eliminates the possibility of misinterpretation of meaning by the listener. This might be the only chance for the people who invented and promote this language to actually get some to use it.

The seed people would be bought in an isolated environment where we teach them the laws and language of the new society which they would create on the target planet.  We will teach them to count – using 16 digits and not 10. Just so that it comes naturally, we would need to pre-modify their genes while they are in their mother’s womb – even before they are born – so that they are born with 8 digits on each hand and feet. As for the mathematics teachers who are to teach them, we will hack into their hands & feet and implant 3 extra digits.

So calling all Genetic Engineers of tomorrow (i.e. biochemistry students of today) – there is lots of work to be done. You need to isolate the genes  for Polydactyly (mid ray duplications) and when the technology develops (and people stop cribbing about ethics regarding human experimentation) get hold of some good looking, well built, smart people and get them to have sex with each other and while they are pregnant,  screw with the fertilized egg and introduce the gene to create the next stage in the evolution . I remember the documentary they showed on TV about an Indian village where everyone has 6 fingers – what’s its name? Golida?. To start off, they can study the genome of people living there. Or what about that guy from Udaipur who has 12 fingers?. Or even Akshat Saxena : The Indian kiddo with 34 fingers and toes!

While you guys do that, engineers like me will fiddle with our gadgets and modify them for use by these new species. Gadgets ergonomically designed for 16 fingered humans (or whatever we call them) which last longer on a single charge because they don’t have any stupid power wasting numeric conversion calculations to perform.

I dunk the plastic container in the bin. Bid tata to the day dreamer in me and start forcing my mood to flip to being a Tata Consultancy Services employee. This I.T. Analyst has done enough analysis paralysis for the day. The software for 10 fingered humans must still be developed, tested and delivered to the clients. It will be a long time before the 16 finger thing happens. I might not be around till then. And so, I do what’s asked of me. At least the AC is working in the room where my workstation is located.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Look closely

Look closely at the patterns around you...

..... zoom out a bit and perhaps then you would be able to answer the question "why am i fat and unhealthy?"....

Photos titled: "McDonald's ki maa ki aankh!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

nice quote

Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Almost Died

warning: unpolished and a bit incoherent BUT factual story ahead (appended video is totally unedited real life video!!)
incident time: 2011-02-27
It was a grand plan. A grand plan to admire the beauty of much much grander one - The Sealink.
We were going to shoot a superb video of it and upload it online. We had done it before.
But this time we wanted to be alone about the bridge. No excited shaking and panning around of the camera.
No juvenile shrieks in the background. Just a serene video exposing the awe and wonder that is the Sealink.

We set out. Me at the wheel, Deeksha shotgun and Nehal in the backseat without a belt. Nehal without a belt.
As a driver I was just 5000 kms old. My car was as old as I was a driver - 5000 kms.
I had earned a few minor bumps and scratches over the time but got them old fixed during the second servicing of my new car - A shit coloured Maruti Swift.

Shit coloured - 'coz I didn't care to accompany my dad when he had gone to book the car. Of course the receipt said it was "Sunlight Copper" but that's just
a shiny name for orangey-brown. But once I learned to drive it around, I didn't care - despite the colour, I had managed to convince two girls to ride in it with me. Of course I had grown up with them, had known them all my life and one of them was going to be hitched in a few months - but that’s not the point.

Night. Car. Girls. Sea Link. And a camera to record the beauty. Beauty not of the girls, but of the Sea Link.
I just needed the girls to hold the camera while I drove.

We hit a massive body of traffic while moving on the road next to Juhu beach. People had come out late at night for some god forsaken reason.
Bumper to bumper traffic. I sighed! The city that never sleeps?? Balls!
The city which experiences traffic jams even at 2 am. Damn you Mumbai! Even though you fuck with me, I still love you.

Deeksha was beginning to feel pukey. I had to constantly alternate between accelerating and braking and this was making her nauseous.
Maybe she could hold her stuff till we reach the Sealink. Then I could stop the car and take a photo of her as she puked over the railing.
The camera's flash would highlight the length of her pukey stream and against the dark backdrop of the sea below, would show to the viewer how high the bridge is. I wished we had some water that I could offer her to thin out her puke and lengthen the stream.
I imagine her sticking her head out over the windscreen trying to dodge the wipers and sipping from the mist spray.
That's not what I was thinking as we were stick in traffic. But it could very well have been this. All I remember is that it was something with similar gross factor.

The final vehicle in front of us cleared out and we were free of all the traffic. We rolled down the window to enjoy the breeze. And because that would make Deeksha feel a bit less nauseated. But the damage was done. She declined to hold the camera to shoot the video. She just wanted to go home.
What a bummer. I pressed on "We have come this far, lets atleast go over it and take a u-turn and come back". She agreed.
Nehal, without her seat bealt on, wasn't saying much. Maybe she was asleep too. I thought to myself "thakeli kahin ki".

75 Rupees. Thats all it costs to experience driving over the bridge. Twice.
This time I drove slowly. Below the 50 kmph speed limit. I wanted us to experience the complete package of pleasure one gets by riding over it.
It reminds us of the power man can have over nature. I remembered the three reasons which make Reinforced Cement Concrete possible - steel and concrete have the same coefficient of thermal expansion, the microscopic surface of the steel is such that it improves the cohesion of cement to it and finally the alkaline nature of cement causes a passive formation of film on the steel which slows down corrosion. The awesome fact that all this is possible would make any one start believe in the greatest dude of all - God!. I don't know what else he wanted us to do or how he wanted us to live our lives. All I know is that he wanted us to make buildings. And bridges. Lots of them. And huge!

Anyway coming to back to the story, I drove over the awesome bridge, came out on the worli side turned around the circle and then a U turn later was back on the road leading back to the bridge. I was feeling sad that the girls were being useless and wanted to do something about it. I took out my cell phone. While driving. Over the bridge. Right when I thought the curvature had ended and the straight section had begun. I was fumbling with the cell phone trying to get it into video mode. At 80 kmph. Just then Deeksha shouted "Aya aye hey Anurag!".

I was about to drive into the side wall, and get us all killed. We could have dashed into the side wall, flipped over to the other side, crashed into the oncoming traffic in the other lane and then finally be bumped off into the sea where the filthy mutant fish flourishing in the mouth of the nala that is the Mithi River; would devour our bodies and return it to the polluted nutrient pool.

But that didn't happen. Amazingly neither did my testicles suddenly disapparate from my sac and apparate in my mouth. There was no adrenalin rush.
Within that split second I was able to brake just enough and steered and got the car to veer off away from the wall and back on the track.

Nehal was jerked hard to the other side and hurt her shoulder.
I thought the girls would kill me now. But neither of them knew how to drive. They had learnt how to but never practiced. So atleast I was alive till I got them back home till Andheri. I apologized profusely. I felt different. Like a hypocrite. I felt angry at myself for getting us killed almost. It didn't matter to me that we were still alive. Because this is how people die and I had done everything that could lead us to that. Sealink. Deathlink.
I felt as if my project had failed. Project, not to shoot the magnificent sea link, but to get us killed.
I wanted to kick my sorry ass. I remember thinking to myself that maybe I ought to drop them home and go right back and drive off the sealink. Fucking Shit. How could I do this.

"Dar gaya na" Deeksha said after a few minutes of driving in silence. Yup I was scared all right. Not at The moment when it could have happened. Weirdly I hadn't felt any rush at that moment when it happened. Maybe that helped  to save the car and myself and the girls. The scary part came later as I realised slowly what could have happened. And what made it worse was that I was very much capable of screwing up like that in the future too. Maybe I should give up driving. Maybe everyone should give up driving. Damnnnn...

Instead of screwing up my case, Deeksha was in fact thankful to me. Who doesn’t want added excitement in their lives?

As for Nehal, who wasn't wearing a seat belt, she wore her scar on right shoulder proudly. It could very well have been a hicke. So she thought that people would think.

As for me the experience was life changing. Worth sharing. Online.
Worth risking it being read by our parents.
I hope the probability that they will ever stumble across it is the same as the minuscule probability that saved us.
Or better still, I hope it’s the same as the combined probability that we lived and that the camera actually recorded the whole incident!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

april wish

Sometimes I think, do I have a choice? can't I just give up on you? nah!! The shit I am made of has too much of you in it.. punishment
for growing up with you, getting messed up same as you - no i am not being sarcastic - we aren't like two pillars standing parallel holding up elegantly a
magnificent piece of architecture that's what married people are supposed to be like - but they aren't and neither are we, but atleast unlike married people,
we have no illusions about it. we are more like two doughnut shape magnets forged into one another - chipped here and there and with pieces of ferric pebbles and rust clinging to them - as if some kid dropped them in the soil below and now is trying helplessly to get rid of the messy particles clinging to them
but somehow he can't - frustrated he throws them away, runs to his mom and cries asking for another pair.
our friends are like that kids, they have given up on us, discarded us - we are a lost cause they say, they think they have tried enough. according to them we suck all the light out of every room we enter.
a weird thought flashed across my mind today. maybe its not both of us. maybe its just you. maybe you are the screwed up one, the diseased one, the parasite. maybe if i tried hard, i could get rid of you, make it out on my own with whatever life i have left in me.
a few moments later, i flick off the cigarette bud into the toilet, pull up my shorts, flush it and say goodbye to the shit that just went thru my mind.

its difficult to imagine life without you. i call you up. you still haven't left office. like always i cant understand why. i wish we were a better team. i wish
there were loads of tickmarks on our life's combined todo list. but first i wish i had washed my ass before pulling up my pants. its april, sweaty and well now its stinky too!

this unpolished, incoherent, demag ki khujli dedicated to the person who only loves to think that she is a lost cause but in reality isn't: