Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Channel V Launchpad Finals - Pictures

OK people, here are the pictures from the Channel V Launchpad Finals in Delhi. The 4 bands who made it to the Finals were Cyanide, Bhayanak Maut, Frequency and Superfuzz. All 4 bands performed truly rocking sets and in the end, Superfuzz was took away the top dog honors. They will now fly to NYC to play at the Hard Rock Cafe there.

I wasn't present for the show and the pictures were sent to me by our good friend and rock journo Mamoni. Cheers to her..

In case you want to check out some of the coverage from the prelims at the Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai, you can click here and here

Click on the thumbnails to view the bigger image

Bhayanak Maut Set

Cyanide Set

Frequency Set

Superfuzz Set

The Winners - Superfuzz

The Main Act - Parikrama

The Crowd & Stage

The VJs

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Behench*d Sutta ...

Quitting smoking is damn easy. I have done it a million times

... only to catch it again. This is how I would summarize my efforts of quitting this smelly habit. I have been smoking since high school with the legendary Wills Navy Cut (WNC) being my poison of choice. Other brands came and went, but WNC was my steady girl.

Before we go further, let me assure you I am a health freak otherwise. My 72 inch tall (I wish i could say 'long' instead :P) frame weighs 75 Kg and I have a head full of hair, teeth still intact, agile limbs and an otherwise active lifestyle. I take my meals on time and I stay away from fizzy drinks and fast food. I do my daily routine of 60 push ups and shadow boxing in the morning which help me sleep at work. I stay away from women (not by choice) and take my 8 hours of beauty sleep (plus the doze at work). My only major health vice had been my addiction to the cancer stick.

This addiction started off with me just like 99.9% of all smokers, which is peer-pressure. As discussed as point 9 here, I always believed that my 'good boy' image was responsible for me not getting enough action with the women in high school. And the statistics didn't lie. All around me I saw guys with cool motorbikes and cigarettes hanging out with the women, while your's truly was trailing far behind on his Hero Ranger and getting bitten by dogs. I realized it would be easier to build my own bike than convince my dad that I needed one to be popular and so I decided to take the easy way out. I went for cigarettes. I don't know if it helped, but it sure burnt my frugal pocket money and my image went for a toss. Now I was a geek who smoked and that is not as cool as it sounds. Trust me on this one.

Enter Engineering School where almost everyone smokes. At this stage when most of us are busy doing 'higher studies' (the study of the effects of illegal substances on the human brain) smoking was considered a very tame habit. It was only during my final year I realized I had an addiction problem. Every time I picked up a newspaper or went online, I was plastered with researches and images of the ills of smoking and trust me, they aren't pretty. Till then, I always thought that I could quit this nasty habit anytime. I totally misjudged the intensity of my addiction to these deadly paper sticks. My first attempt lasted a whole princely 2 hours and I didn't even realize when I lit up my next stick!

The next attempt was a more serious attempt. But the road wasn't easy. I was living in a wing where getting a cigarette was easier than getting a bar of soap. I tried every method under the sun to help me cure myself. I tried yoga, read books on the subject, took up a hobby and even started attending classes. While all this had a positive effect on my grades, it didn't do much for my habit and I was back to it in 1 month. But I will have to admit that it does feel good when you don't smoke for a couple of days and the biggest factor for my failure was that at the back of my mind, I didn't really want to quit smoking. I justified myself saying that I will quit once I start working and leave my crazy lifestyle.

I was so wrong :)

Late working hours, crazy deadlines and even wilder colleagues made my mission so very hard. And to top it, my clients! Since I am in the gaming industry, I have to deal mostly with people from Asian countries and if you thought that I smoked, wait till you see the Koreans, Japanese and the Chinese smoke. They take it to the next level, despite the gory pictures of cancer victims on their packets. In contrast our “Statutory Warning: Smoking Is Injurious To Your Health” looks quite tame (click on the thumbnail to see what I mean). You can imagine the effect it had in me. While I nurture dreams of making it to the cover of Time Magazine, I definitely didn't want to end up as a picture of the ill effects of smoking on a cigarette packet. This time I had it for good. Now the resolve was firm and also the desire to father children, keep my hair and teeth and most importantly retain my lungs helped. I am off it for quite sometime now and I can't see myself going back to it again. I am surrounded by people who smoke and I hang out at places where smoking is very common, but I have been able to hold myself and I don't even think of it anymore.

Some useful pointers for people who want/trying to quit:

1. It doesn't really help score with the women. The smell drives them away (at least this is how I console myself for all these years of failure). Not scientific but is great for my fragile ego.

2. Try to quit for the right reason, which is for your health. No other reason is as compelling

3. The most common strategy of reducing your numbers till you even out is effective in the short term, it doesn't really help in the long term. Your mind still knows that you are going to have a smoke and so you don't really develop the will to quit smoking

4. When you have a craving, eat a fruit. It sounds corny, but it did help in my case. I think the extra energy gives you more strength to stay away :P

5. Keep count of the number of times you refrained from smoking in a day. Within a month you will notice the number dropping

6. Take up a physical activity. Once you work out your muscles and lungs, you won't have the heart to kill them

7. Floss your teeth. Studies have shown that people who floss stay away from smoking. I think the reason might be that if you floss, you take care of your health.

Reminds me of the poem “for want of a nail.. the battle was lost”. In my case the nail was a bike :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Save The World

So as we see above in the docudrama by Mike Judge, mankind faces a great danger from ITSELF! Unfortunately now, we don't have one mankind. Mike Judge is one of the greatest writers, animators and scientists that the MTV generation has ever seen. His past research includes Beavis and Butthead, so we can rest assured that this docudrama is as reliable. On one side there are Smart People (SP) and on the other there are Dumb Asses (DA). The documentary deals with the smart people who never let their sperm and ova share the same room at night like parents at their daughter's slumber party where guys are invited. But yes, there will always be that ONE defective condom, that one loss of control moment, that one last temptation or that one perfect set up when a smart kid will be born.

Note: When we refer to someone being "smart" in this article, it simply refers to a high IQ and has nothing to do with common sense (which incidentally is a most uncommon thing).

So what happens to the smart kid? How does he live in this growing world of super terror, the terror of the dumb asses?! By sheer number, DAs continue to screw the SPs over and over again! It wasn't always like this. Back in time, whenever the number of DAs would cross a certain number, the SPs would devise wars and disease to reduce their numbers. Like, take AIDS for example. do you think a DA could ever go screw a monkey? No way, man! DAs get their DA women! It's easier in their clan! For the SPs, their survival purely depends on the successful pick up line. Researcher Dave Barry puts it well in this white paper:

Now, as time forged forth, SPs have moved on to better activities like managing the world, saving the planet, genetic engineering, stem cell research and PMRC. This has led to sudden vacancy of positions in the war and disease department which in turn has been filled by the only greedy, poor and unemployed side of mankind: Dumb Asses! We all know what the real name of the "War on Terror" campaign is, don't we? If you don't, then check this conspiracy theory out. 'War on Terror' abbreviated becomes, WoT, which is internet slang for, "What?" The answer to that "What?" is, "Exterminate all SPs!" Only a DA could've thought of a dumb cipher like that! If it was any cleverer, some SP would've decoded it.

Some of you might say that we are talking very macro here. Ok, let's get micro then! Everyday, right from the time you wake up, DAs are trying to kill you. Your milkman delivers stale adulterated milk, your baker gives you fungus ridden bread, eggs are bird-flu infected, your neighbor throws garbage bags at you, your car mechanic person forgets to enable your brakes, DA taxiwallas and autowallas drive through heavy motor vehicles and into the No Entry signs... The list goes on and on. If you think that you are safe in the office which is full of smart people, think again. Read the newspaper clipping below.

Now, let us analyse the life of an average smart kid who is born under circumstances stated in the first paragraph.

Phase I: Innocence and Childhood

Smart Kid: Plays with science kits / books and has conversations with the stars, the neighborhood dogs and other creatures. Lost in his/her own world.

Dumb Kid: Plays with toy trucks and barbie dolls. They are preparing themselves towards the grand union once they come of age. They're already asking each other out into their cardboard box houses and have discovered that one of them doesn't have a wee-wee.

Phase II: Adolesence and Teenage Years

Smart Kid: Too caught up with exam scores to consider haircuts and personal grooming. Clothes are generally unisex, so you don't really know which sex the person is. Are either religious or have strong ethics which prevent them to explore the physical aspect of the other sex. For them, human genitals are diagrams which might come in their term exams or they reside only in TV screens

Dumb Kid: Usually the most popular person around school. Cheerleading, sports and parties take up all their time and most of them have already started the process of reproduction by now, with quite a high rate of success.

Phase III: College Years

Smart Kid: Finally the smart kid finds a place where he/she can pursue their interest (usually something academic) without things like baths, haircuts, change of clothes etc. being a bother. He/she does all activities online and their online avatar is much more presentable than their offline versions. Is part of clubs and societies of similar kids and again the confusion of sex determination leads to very less hetrosexual 'activities'

Dumb Kid: College is a never ending party. The Cheerleader and the Jock continue their mating habits with multiple partners, thus increasing their chances of propagating their kind. The gene pool widens and stronger and dumber kids are born. Drunk sex with strangers happen often.

Phase IV: Adulthood

Smart Kid: This period is the last nail in the coffin for the smart kid. Due to their ability to put in long hours and work like a machine, they are usually lapped up by finance companies, technology companies and research companies. They are then caged in a 6 X 6 area called a 'cubicle' and the last physical interaction with real people die out and the only sex they get is online. By now the smart kid has got used to having no/less sex and the very prospect of physical intimacy is enough to give them an anxiety attack (which it does). Online community sites happen next where the smart kids don't go beyond scrapping each other.

Dumb Kid: This period is like the golden period for the dumb kid. They would generally be seen in jobs which doesn't really require much smarts and will have easy access to a lot of members of the opposite sex. They usually go on a rampage and fill the world with their 'juniors'. Most of the 'juniors' would have no idea who their biological parents are. Marriages and Divorces and Drunk sex with strangers continue to happen, just that this time condoms are long forgotten and gonorrhea and HIV and herpes are introduced, but mind you, these are not deterrents! Well, Online community sites happen where they meet more DAs of the opposite sex and more the merrier! Cheap lodges zindabad!

Phase V: Marriage

Smart Kid: What? No way! Career! Money! Flat! Sofa! Convertible! Microwave! Promotion! MBA! Where's the time? And even if they get married, where's the time or inclination or for that matter state of mind to screw or "make love" as they've learnt to call it 'in R/L'.

Dumb Kid: What? No way! Been there, done that! Might do again if another condom splits!

Part VI: The Offspring

Smart Kid: In a few years when I am all settled and I can afford a Ivy League education with a good International Business degree for my child.

Dumb Kid: The offspring's already having offsprings! Ha!

Moral of the story: Stop reading if you're STILL reading this! Go offline! Get out of your office! Go to some bar, get drunk, have sex! Help save the smartness in the world!

PS: On a slight offshoot, doesn't it strike you as odd when you see an undernourished street couple having tons and tons of kids while a highly privileged couple visiting an infertility doctor??? I think the reason for it might be that the internal machinery of the street couple start to think that they are dying out as a species and hence the increased fertility. Don't know.. its for you readers to think and come up with an answer

I am not the only wise guy to be blamed for this monstrosity. Chief contributors are as follows:
Editor: Jugal Mody
Fellow sufferers: Sharan & Angelo

For reference, you can read up this interesting study on intercourse and intelligence

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hari Puttar Mania

Umm.. today the last book of the Harry Potter series is being released and it would be criminal if I didn't put up something to commemorate this maniacal event. But then I realized it would be equally ridiculous on my part to even try to write anything on this subject and come up with something original that hasn't been written or discussed about somewhere else!

Instead, I decided to add a little 'desi' touch to this whole affair and have come up with something I borrowed from a good friend. With just one shot, he has managed to combine Harry Potter with our own homegrown superhero Krishh and our mythological gods/goddesses who have been performing magical feats far greater than any Hogwarts trained wizard make their presence felt in the backdrop.

And yea, the suit did the trick for him at the Annual Ball for desi superheroes

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New, Better And More Convenient!

Hey people,

Thanks for the overwhelming support, response and google ad clicks the past 2 months. When I started this "blog" project, it was nothing more than a place where I can put up a lot of nonsensical stuff and get away with it. But thanks to all you wonderful people and your really bad sense of humor or rather 'sense of tumor' (as coined by my good friend Udit Kulmi) which made you come back and read my posts. I am shocked to inform you that this blog gets like around 300 page views on posting day and around 100 views average on other days!!!

If you have been coming back regularly, you must have noticed a couple of new additions to the blog. I would like to take this opportunity to familiarize you with them. Trust me, they have been put up purely to make your life easy :-)

1. This blog finally has a RSS live feed button on the top right panel. So all you people who subscribe to RSS feeds can now subscribe to my blog! If you are new to RSS feeds, you can read more about it here

2. In case you don't want to read what RSS feeds are all about and are as simple minded like me, then you will choose the "email subscription" option, where you enter your email id and once I put up something on the blog, you will receive it in your email. Plain and simple, just like the doctor ordered

3. Finally, for all you high fliers, a simple way to book your air tickets. A couple of my seniors from college have started a travel portal called ixigo.com (pronounced 'Easy Go'). They will show you the least of fares for all your travel destinations across all airlines. I have switched from a very popular travel portal to them now and this is my testimony to their excellent services. So everytime you come to the blog, you can check out the fares for your next business/leisure trip.

And lastly, many thanks to all of you for clicking on the google ads and very soon I shall be sending across a couple of really funky tee shirts and gaming gear, bought with the money from google to a select few readers. The lucky few will be decided by popular vote and the ones who contribute regularly via comments and feedback will be eligible.

So that's about it. On a personal front, my parents are staying with me for sometime. They are just back from Singapore and are suffering the dirt of aamchi Mumbai. More on that later...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ayurveda Marketing 101

This has to go into history books as one of most innovative marketing ad for Ayurveda ever. Check out how they have managed to integrate humor and the Queen's language to showcase the depth of this ancient traditional Indian medical science. You see a lot of these posters at public convenience places, but this one takes the cake

The picture credit goes to a cousin of a colleague of mine. Click on the image for the bigger size and to read the content :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Those Were the Days... (Good Habits)

For all those who grew up in the 80's this is something which will ring a bell and bring back a lot of memories from school. For those of you who missed out on these beauties, these charts were put up on our school walls and homes and were supposed to instruct us on a host of things, starting from how to cultivate good habits (this post), correct food habits, religion etc. to the more bizzare ones on how to greet your Japanese guests.

Now when I look back at these posters, I realize that most of them are sexist, stereotypical and were written in bad "Hinglish". But I guess the intentions were harmless and we should not really judge them.

Will continue putting up more of this stuff as I find them. Have fun... (Click on the picture for the bigger image)

If you want to purchase the book with the complete collection of such charts, you can order it from here

Monday, July 9, 2007

South Indians Cuisine

We have all heard of South Indian Cuisine, but this is the first time I came across cuisine made OUT of South Indians. If you don't believe me, check out the picture below

For all you ignorant people, Reddy's are a community in India, found mainly in Andhra Pradesh and neighboring states. Since the store sold all types of edible Reddys, we need to know what all varieties are available and which Reddy flavor would be suitable for your palate.

Political Reddy
Reddy's are traditional village headmen and amongst the first non-brahmin community to actively participate in national and regional politics. Ten out of the twenty elected chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh hail from this community, including the current one Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy. India got it's first edible President in the form of Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy from 1977 to 1982 (pic). This was the period when India implemented the Green Revolution and an edible President ensured that the country had enough food to sustain itself. So if you like your daily dose of politics and you have a preference for restaurant menus not delivering what they promise, be sure that you want your Political Reddy

Business Reddy
This is one of the new flavours introduced due to the changing economic scenario. The younger Reddys are losing interest in rural life and are becoming urban professionals and businessmen. A couple of notable ones are the current Governor of the RBI, Y. Venugopal Reddy and Shashi Reddy (pic),Chairperson and CEO of AppLabs, a leading IT services company. However not all of them are good for your health. Lakhireddy Bali Reddy, a prominent Landlord in Berkeley, California, was convicted in 2001 for immigration fraud and trafficking minors for illegal sexual activity. So if you like your power lunches, make sure you order your Business Reddy

Academic Reddy
Reddy's have achieved new frontiers in academics. They have managed to come out of the agriculture mode of older generations and have made a mark for themselves in sciences and arts. The more prominent ones would be Kallam Anji Reddy (pic),an entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry and the founder of Dr Reddy's Labs and Dabbala Rajagopal "Raj" Reddy, a world-renowned researcher in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Human-Computer Interaction. Raj is also a recipient of the Turing award in 1994, the most prestigious award in Computer Sciences. So if you like your food to have the precise mix of ingredients, which have been tested in the labs, then you should go for the Academic Reddy

Sporty Reddy
A not so popular dish. It was introduced in 1978 with the induction of Bharath Reddy into the Indian National Cricket team. But due to the presence of another stalwart wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani, Bharath couldn't really achieve much. He played 4 tests ad 3 ODI's for India and was instrumental in discovering current talents like Dinesh Karthick and Lakshipathy Balaji. So if you are a sports freak and love your cricket, you can order this not-so-popular Reddy dish and be pleasantly surprised.

Arty Reddy
No it is not a name of a girl.

Reddy's have always dabbled in art and popular culture. Earliest recorded work of a Reddy would be of Gonabudda Reddy - 13th-century poet and translator of the Ramayana. Reddy's have produced a lot of famous film directors and producers like Bomireddi Narasimha Reddy and Pattabhi Rama Reddy. And who can forget the 3 hot saucy sizzling Reddy sisters, Sameera, Sushma and Meghna. So all you arty star struck foodies should not look beyond the Arty Reddy.

I have just ordered my Art Reddy and I hope it turns out to be Sameera Reddy.

Friday, July 6, 2007

How Sukamal Pegu Got Chased, Got Bitten And Got 16 Injections - Part II

The story so far...

Having had some rather 'biting' experiences with the canine species early in life, I had started to get really careful around them and even started being friendly with a couple of them. Fate, it seems had other plans...

Episode III
Fast forward to the year 1988. Those were the times when the VHS tape was the rage and VCRs were the preferred source of entertainment for the entire family (and sometimes the entire mohallah). Our neighbors were the Hazarikas. Their eldest son was a year older to me and they had a dog called Babur (pronounced Babor in Assamese). Whoever gave him that name must have been a genius as it described the dog perfectly. Just like his Mughal namesake, our neighborhood Babur was a terror to everyone who walked past by within 15 meters of the Hazarika household and must have tasted the blood of at least 15 people. Luckily I was very friendly with Hazarika Junior and so there was an uneasy truce between Babur and me. But not for long

I had just watched my first Bruce Lee movie (Enter The Dragon) and like everyone else I thought he was a god. Whatever few karate chops I learned from the movie, I ran out to show Hazarika Junior. I started off with a basic hand chop, followed by an elbow jerk. Trouble started when I started doing the really complex kicks. Babur took this as a sign of hostility towards his master and did what any faithful canine would have done in his place. All my kung-fu sounds of Aaooo, Heuuuuu and Haaaii turned into one big painful AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! Luckily only one shot this time, but they had to use acid to clean the huge gaping wound on my right thigh which was a little painful

Episode IV
I was in class 9 at that time. Like any other normal teenager, I had to rely on tutors to shove stuff down my throat and 'groom' me for my exams. I had tutors for almost all subjects (dumb kid I was/am you see). Some tutors used to come to our house and I had to go to the tutor's place in other cases. My math tuition timing was from 5-6 PM in the evening and it was that time of the year when dogs turn naughty and do stuff to each other. Kids remaining kids, when they see 2 dogs humping away to glory, they think that the dog on 'top' is hurting the one 'below' and try to 'chase' the dog on 'top' by pelting it with stones. I am sure you know that after the 'act' dogs remain joined at their naughty parts for some time (I am still not sure why). So what happened was that I was walking back from my tuitions and I guess some kids must have pelted this particular pair whom I could see was still 'joined'. As I neared the couple, call it bad luck or whatever, they became 'un-joined' and since I was the only person there at that time, I guess I don't really need to say what followed next. So please please explain to your kids about the birds and the bees, least innocent people like me get hurt.

Episode V
This one is really hilarious and it's a little hard to believe and trust me, even I find it a little hard to believe that it actually happened. I was in my 2nd year of college and I had just come back home for summer vacations. My mahi (mom's younger sister) lives just 2 blocks away from our house and I was invited over for lunch. Menu was my favorite pork cooked in Naga style. It was hot at that time and so I was in my flimsy shorts. On entering their hall, I saw the latest edition of the Rock Street Journal and picking it up, I slumped on the couch near me. Suddenly I could feel a needle go in my ass. Ouch! I get up and what do i see? A small puppy whose teeth just sank into the soft tissues of my ass! It seems they had recently bought a nice little Pomerian puppy whose white fur perfectly blended with the white color of the couch. Damn! Not again and definitely not in this fashion.

Now comes the really scary part. You must have noticed that the most entertaining films are either a trilogy or a double trilogy, like Star Wars, The Matrix, Lord of The Rings,Rocky, Rambo etc. and the second thing to note here is that my saga with our canine friends have resulted in five entertaining episodes so far. So if you go by Hollywood logic, the last one is yet to come. How, where and when is a mystery but I have learned to accept my fate here and I silently wait for my impending doom

But yea, life is not all that unfair. I got back at our canine friends when I ate dog meat some time back. Before you peta people sue me, in my defense, it was totally unintentional and was a result of another hilarious episode. But more on that later..