Saturday, December 19, 2009


...makes me wonder how far one's imagination could go! James Cameroon has done a splendid job in writing such a creative story line. Apparently, he had this idea about 10 years ago and worked on this movie for 4 years before it released yesterday. The computer graphics are spell-binding and makes one completely forget that most of the movie is done through animation in the first place. Smallest details in the movie amazed me the most.

The movie starts grandly, becomes a little slow in the second half and later picks up pace/interest towards the end. If you have the opportunity, watch the movie in an IMAX. Or a 3D IMAX would even be better.

Bottom line: Fucking Awesome.

P.S: I hate to be one of those sky-people. But sadly, I am!

Friday, December 18, 2009


If one has not seen Nelson Mandela's photographs before, one could easily beleive Mr.Mandela is a hollywood actor. None could have performed the role of Nelson Mandela better than Morgan Freeman. Sports movies are typically inspirational, this one beats them all. The movie does scream Clint Eastwood's style in every scene.

Invictus - a fine movie!

P.S Did I say I'm a new fan of Matt Damon? And did I say my movie days are back? And did I say I've booked for Avatar IMAX 3D show for tonight? That's right!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Communication - thru characteristic facts!

As I was drinking my Pepsi during lunch, I looked at the tin and read the Calorie/Nutrition contents. It said calories:155 per container. It made me ponder a little about the Nutrition facts. There is not a single packed food item one could see in this country that does not come with the Nutrition facts. The reason must be the FDA regulations. Even Haldiram's Rasgulla tin, though packed in India, comes printed with the Nutrition facts.

It does give a very good insight into what kind of food one is dealing with. It helps one to understand a food or drink better before consuming it. It would be so nice if we get such an insight into people we interact with too.

One would assume it's an awesome idea to stamp people's foreheads with their 'Characteristic Facts'. It would certainly be nice to know one's fat and cholestrol content just by looking at them. Or perhaps their blood pressure rate and heart beat rate to judge their endurance before you say something stupid.

One can also be a little more creative and customize the 'Facts' differently for Men and Women. Men could have itemized information such as 'Potato chips Saturation Limit', 'TV endurance Level' or 'Sex craving limit' and women could have 'Shopping Spree Sensation', 'Footwear fantasy' or 'Weight consiousness limit'. Of course, all these in addition to the basic information. With all such collective information, one can stay away from people who seem complete nutcases. Or perhaps approach some with more ease.

This, if properly followed, I humbly think, would become a great leap in the field of effective human communication!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nearest Exit

Couple of days ago, I was on my flight from Phoenix to Philadelphia. As the flight attendant announced the mandatory safety instructions, I was wondering what the real purpose of those instructions were, as not a single passenger to my knowledge cared to listen with the seriousness with which the instructions were given.

It occured to me that most passengers in the flight would have heard those safety instructions probably a million times before. Made me thinking why even announce when people seldom care. Such instructions would be helpful only for first time travellers or those with selective amnesia. But in a local flight in the US, I doubt how many of them could there be.

For flights operating in third world countries, I understand the need for such instructions (I remember how I stopped everything I was doing and listened to the instructions the first time I travelled from India). For most other countries, I think its a simple waste of time. One could agree and say that the airlines could possibly use the time to start serving the food a little early or on a red-eye, switch the damn lights off so that people could doze off.

Or we would know only when there is an emergency and when people scurry around to find the nearest exit! That would be fun to watch.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baseball World series!

I was having a light phone conversation with a desi friend who lives in New York. He was watching Phillies vs Yankees baseball match on tv and as Phillies was on the verge of winning, he said something that a typical yankee fan would say when their team lose. I laughed at his reaction and said "okay!!! what difference is it going to make to us as to who wins these games anyways?"

He patriotically replied "Hey, I'm a yankee!". I laughed again and said "He! don't talk like a local" for which he replied "Yeah! I have lived in New york for about 5 years now!". I asked him "So, that makes you a die-hard fan of yankees, huh?! Its like when my friend asked all the H1s and F1s to control their emotions when they were talking too much about Obama and US elections. He asked them 'do any of you have voting rights here? Then shut up!"

My New york friend laughed at this and said "Baseball fascinates me, I even have a baseball glove in my house". I smiled, he continued "knowledge of baseball helps me have intelligent conversations at work". I agreed.

But this whole drama behind the Phillies victories in the world series is completely incredible. Most local tv channels mention Phillies at least once an hour, there is no single FM radio channel that does not talk about Phillies world series win. Wait a minute, did I say 'world series'? Shouldn't 'world' mean 'all countries'? The first time I heard the term 'world series', with my poor knowledge of baseball then (as much as I knew India doesn't play the game), I thought at least European nations paticipate in such series. Later I found out that only US states participate or even better, only US cities participate. Fantastic.

I'm not against the game, but the whole concept of having about 30 teams or so (all within US and a team from Canada) and then calling it a 'world series' is a little funny. Calling it 'National series' or 'American Championship', etc., would be a little apt. Though I hear that there are other countries that play baseball, they don't participate in such 'world series' making the whole term and American nomenclature debatable.

Nevertheless, I respect the enthusiasm and the fanfare behind the game. Living in the Philadelphia area, there has been so much going on because of recent Phillies sequence of victories. People come dressed in red most of the days to work and the HR gladly welcomes it. They even recommend every employee to sport a red phillies attire on friday and if one is not a fan, they say its a shame! Well well!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


...As I was driving out of the movie theatre parking lot, I felt like pressing the gas pedal and killing some zombies. That's how high one's spirit goes after watching the movie. On a serious note, if there was a movie one can laugh looking at disgusting blood-spewing zombies, this is it!

A definite entertainer!

Couples Retreat...

"I peed", says a kid in the very first scene and the movie begins. One thinks the movie might be fun. In about 15 minutes, one starts to yawn and realizes the first dialogue was the only 'fun' part in it. Except for some occasional humor, the movie is fucking boring.

Also, I haven't seen a movie where A R Rahman's re-recording is so poorly utilized.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Getting acclimatized...a little too much!

Uncle sam's land seemingly influences some of their inherent traits to immigrants so effortlessly, even without one's apparent realization. I see this happen mostly to students/IT professionals, because they seem to interact with more Americans in a day than with desis.

I did not have this habit to saying 'You too' for many things when I was back in India. But this country has taught me enough to do so at least a good 10 times a day. This has become a habit, making me say it, even when not completely necessary.

Couple of months ago, as I was boarding a flight, the flight attendant, looked at my boarding pass and said 'You seat is on the left aisle sir'. I said 'Thank you'. She then added "Have a good flight sir'. I instantaneously said 'you too'. She gave a blank and a puzzled look. I moved on without looking back, feeling slightly stupid.

The other day, during my visit to a temple nearby, the priest offered me the 'crown of blessing' (or satari if you will) and mildly said 'Aayushmaanbhava'. Instantaneously I said 'you too!' He gave me the weirdest of looks, as if to ask 'are you ok?'. I shamelessly smiled back, realizing what a douchebag I was. He muttered something that appeared to me like 'hopeless!' and moved on.

The western traits seem to catch on desis after a prolonged stay in this place (in some cases after about a month or so). And where else is this evident if not in desi temples?! A visit to a desi temple in Uncle sam's land has always made me come home with a tinge of self-smiling humour. The various people I see, the way things are organized, the discipline people exhibit and of all, the priests themselves!

Most priests, either because they stay here for a long time or because they interact with 'American-turned-Desis' way too much, get acclimitized to the US culture so well. They tend do demonstrate some characteristics which one wouldn't get to see otherwise.

The other day, at a temple nearby, an old priest (who looked like he hailed from kumbakonam) asked me, "how you doin'?"

I said "Fine, how are you?".

He answered, "I'm good!".

I doubt if he would have cared as to how I did, if we both met in kumbakonam.

Later, when he distributed prasadham, he asked the person next to me "Are you good or you need more?" That seemed indigeniously American to me. After a while, as I was doing my pradhakshanam, I overheard two young priests talking enthusiastically about Yahoo-Microsoft merger and how it affected their stock prices. wow, I thought.

It's interesting to see how people catch up on local culture and get used to the land. Not that there is anything wrong about it, it just seems a little funny when the 'getting used to' part becomes a little too much at times!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


...seems BIG.

I have been been constantly growing older every single year for the past 27 years. Becoming 23 or 24 made me feel I was still young. 25 or 26 did not seem too bad either. But 27 somehow makes me feel I move into a totally different league. (From this morning, I keep calculating my age to reconfirm if I have become 27 for real!).

27 does seem BIG!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My experiences with Macbook!

I vividly remember the day I received my Dell Inspiron laptop, back in July'05. Being my first laptop, my excitement was simply uncontrollable, more than that of a child running behind an ice-cream truck. I purchased the laptop against all thoughts by people around me, advising me that a laptop will be of no use to somebody with a PC at work. When have I ever listened to people!

After four years of merciless usage (perhaps I should call it 'rape' for the lack of a better word), I decided to part with the laptop. I decided to give it to my dad, who got addicted to using it in the last 5 months. I wouldn't lose a 12 inch beauty like that without a bigger replacement. I have always had my eye on the MacBook and thanks to iPhone, my love on Apple only got doubled in the recent times.

There I was, last week, cringing and squirming at work, waiting unbearably for the MacBook to be shipped. I even left work early and for the next 5 hours, nothing mattered in this world – it was just me and the MacBook. I wanted to explore the MacBook and I did to my hearts content.

Having used the MacBook for a few days now, I thought I'll share some of my initial thoughts on using the Mac.

  1. For a first time Mac user, I thought there'll be absolutely no learning to do. I was terribly wrong. End of first day, I wondered if I should buy the 'MacBook: Idiot's learning guide' book (if there was one).

  2. There is a slight ramp-up curve involved, when one starts to use a MacBook. If somebody tells you that Macintosh is intuitive, laugh on their face. Seriously, do it. (I can't imagine the number of calls Apple customer service gets from people asking simple questions like 'how do I install this application? Or how do I disable applications from start-up?')

  3. Most tasks which seems like a childs-play in a PC are not in a Mac. (I can't believe how many times I would have googled/asked my friend Amar for even simpler tasks, such as - how to make the Mac recognize my canon camera once I connect it!)

  4. Wait a minute, my view has been too lop-sided, talking only about the cons of the macbook. All said and done, MacBook is a very successful product. It indeed has a lot of good features.

  5. First comes the hardware. Their design definitely is much better than other PCs I have seen/used. With a light single-solid-aluminum unibody enclosure, the laptop is overall thin and light, yet being strong and durable. I certainly feel good when it sits on my lap.

  6. Trackpad: My most favorite feature of the laptop. There is no specific mouse button, the trackpad is one large button. The trackpad seems so large, I can almost sleep and roll on it. And the umpteen cool 'jing-chaks' like pinch-the-trackpad to zoom in/out, rotate-fingers to rotate images, two-fingers-swipe to scroll, three-fingers-swipe to flip photos/pages, four-fingers-swipe to move windows and twenty-fingers-swipe to cast a vote at the White house. No, there is no twenty fingers feature yet!

  7. Interface: Some of the cool features like Expose and Spaces, ichat (with video), Dashboard are definitely cool despite one's doubts of ever using them.

  8. Other minor yet noticeable features such as magnetic charger connector, doorless CD slot, large separated keys, bright LED screen are certainly nice and does grab one's attention.

Overall, MacBook has definitely been a cooler gadget. But for some initial start-up glitches, I have been a satisfied Macbook owner.

I don't think it can ever match the intuitiveness of a PC, but only Apple could make a laptop like this!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


If you want to watch a movie, which does not have huge up's and down's, yet trying to keep your attention in its own steady pace, maintaining the subtle day-today humour continuously and a fucking hilarious 1-minute climax, Extract is the movie you should watch!

P.S: I so am attracted towards owning a 5-series BMW and be the owner of a factory (in India).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Passion contnues...

My penchant for photography has increased tremendously in the recent past. Anything I do in the weekends (or at times in the weekdays), I try and associate it with photography. I plan trips only if the place I visit is worth photographing (in my perspective). For the past 4 months, I have been dragging my parents to various destinations (and not to forget all those gazillion places I visited with Kavitha before that) with photographic thoughts more than anything else.

I amaze myself at the amount of time I spend taking pictures. There have been times I have spent two hours or so photographing a simple bridge or a lighthouse. Every single time, I would be surprised at how fast the time flies. I seriously have to give it to people who accompany me in such trips, God must have blessed them with abundant patience! I'm not sure if I would be waiting so patiently if I were them!

For somebody in my stage, every single photograph is a learning experience. Each photo is a challenge. Every photo makes me understand the technology better. More than the photo, what fascinates me is the time I spend planning for the moment, researching, taking the picture, feeling satisfied or taking the picture again with different settings or try everything all over.

A small example is yesterday's lazy afternoon. I was absolutely bored as parents were asleep after a tiring trip to Cleveland Air show the previous day. I was doing vetti browsing and stumbled upon some water-splash shots in the internet. After a few minutes of reading/researching, I was at my bathroom, with my camera sitting on the tripod aiming at the wash basin. With a glass bowl, a red backpack and some water, I came with this shot:

I took over 120 pictures to get about 4 shots I liked. I was quite satisfied, yet exploring my areas of improvement. Here is the setup I used (in case anyone is curious, I used the comb as the point to focus, as I expected the water to splash at the precisely that height and there was no other way to focus the water droplet!):

The other day, I also happened to read at somebody's Flickr photograph that that was his best photo and he would have died to take that picture 6 months ago. He also said he isn't sure where to go next. I was thinking about what he wrote. After a discussion with Amar, the guy who inspired me into photography in the first place, I realized maybe, when one feels they are perfect in what they do (and attained a relative success), they may stop doing it completely.

Currently, I display interest in photography, because I have a zillion things to learn. One day, if I feel I have attained the stage where there is nothing left to learn, I may stop. Or I may redirect the interest to a whole new dimension. Or I may just continue to learn. I dont know. I see some very good photographers redirecting their interest towards writing a book or selling their photographs, making a good business model out of them. Others just continue to take pictures with unexplicable self-content. I guess it all depends on how one wants to realize happiness.

Not sure where my appetite for photography takes me to, but it makes me want to travel more. It makes me want to do things I wouldn't otherwise do. It makes me spend more money. It makes me spend more time. It keeps me busy. It makes me learn. And finally, it makes me happy. Very happy!

[P.S: My photographs:]

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inglorious Basterds

First 10 minutes of the movie were like reading a good novel, delineating the strength and the smallest intricacies of the scene like nothing else! And the movie kept the pace and the rhythm moving tight till the very climax which was a fitting end to the movie in itself!

Brad pitt was awesome with his southern accent and Christoph Waltz rocked in his own style too!

There are not many movies where every scene makes you expectantly wait for the next. This one does for sure!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


... Dhandasamy. Worst screenplay I have ever seen in the recent times. Pathetic storyline, poor scene selection, unnecessary song sequences and stupid characterisation.Thu!

On a lighter note, I would have been happier if Vijay was the hero of this movie. With his experience, he would have added to the 'screw up' so professionally. And I take an oath not to see another tamil movie in theatres, unless its Mani Ratnam/Shankar's movie or the movie receives rave reviews.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Calling Names...

Today at one of the meetings at work, I heard somebody on the phone say a name called 'Shaayaamaala'. She seemed to be our client contact and soon everybody started calling her 'Shaayaamaala'. About 10 minutes into the meeting, somebody uttered her name once again and I had a sudden realisation that the person's name could actually be 'shyamala'. It never occurred to me that it could be an Indian name. As I was secretly laughing at the discovery, my super-smart project manager called her 'Shaayaalaama'. God help the names!

The way people named themselved and places must have gone through some complicated algorithms somewhere in the past. It can't be this tough for people of one geography to clearly say the name of someone from a different geography.

One of the my collegues (a desi who got his citizenship in this country recently) said that he is going to 'kali-fornia' that upcoming weekend. I asked myself 'really???!!'. I know people can screw-up certain names because of their cultural differences and language problems. But someone who has lived in this country for a long time should be able to say 'California' pretty neatly. I have never understood the logic behind people mispronouncing 'California'. But atleast I guess it's better than those middle aged desis who call it 'kali-porn-ia'!

One can argue that being a proper noun, names of people and places can be called however one likes to. But thats just plain stupid. This basic cultural difference can go a long way, I still get a hearty laughter when I think of this Cindy-Guindy episode and habanadha episode. Language is a great source of humour I think.

Nevertheless, I like blogging more than ever these days. The more meetings I attend at work, more thoughts I get. I'm telling you - people are so funny!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Question against advice...

I have always had this question in my mind. How will one not wasting food at one place help hungry people starving in Africa? It would make sense if we cook less food in the first place leading to decreased consumption or even better, donating/contributing food/money to suffering people. Wasting cooked food makes no difference to African people, other than reflecting a poor attitude.

P.s: I hate wasting food myself - this post is not aimed at supporting 'food wastage', but the plain idiocy of comparing it to povery elsewhere.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I was at one of those otherwise dull meetings at work this morning. Today, unusually, the whole environment was sort of active. People were smiling and talks about baseball and what not! There was a lighter conversation and I said something that was slightly funny. The lady next to me churned an explosive laughter that rocked the whole room. I was almost thrown out of my chair.

She continued nevertheless. And more I said anything, she only laughed more. I wasn't sure if she was mocking, but I didn't drill into that thought-process, for obvious selfish reasons. She was definitely LOUD. The other people in the room joined, some cracking more jokes, some laughing uncontrollably and at one point, I even doubted if there was laughing gas being sprayed from the AC vent.

I was almost sure that some people were laughing by just looking at other people laugh. When I come to think about it, it is indeed funny to just look at some people laugh.

I have a friend who starts to sing when she laughs. She'll laugh to her heart's content and then when she is done (when her brain no longer sends the signal to laugh), she'll try to prolong that laughing sound, as if she wouldn't want to stop. It'll seem like she's singing the final verses of a song without knowing the lyrics, yet with high enthusiasm.

One of my friends in college used to look fairly skinny, but when you make her laugh, you'll be surprised at how such a high frequency laughter could come out of such a small body. At times, I wonder if her high-pitched laughter would make one regret cracking a joke in the first place.

Some people burst the first laughter out and then continue it silently, as if they were almost slightly embarrassed of the burst. Some people laugh which might sound as if they sneezed.

In general, I have an unclear feeling that there is a stronger association between fat people and noisy laughter. The other day, I was watching an episode of 'Deal or No deal' (a TV game show) in NBC and a hyper-actively-enthusiastic-cant-control-her-emotions participant (a fat lady) got excited for every single box she opened that the host of the show almost had to close his ears (mockingly of course). I had to lower the TV volume atleast 10 times during the show.

As much as its exciting to get the the joke, at times, one can just look at people who already got the joke and still laugh their heart out.

Laughter, well...I'm telling itself is funny!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Irony... when one blogs about being bored to blog.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Company - most needed, perhaps!

One's life changes in more than one way, when one lives with company.

A while ago, I used to live this 'give-a-damn-about-anything' life, where nothing seemed like a big deal. Watching 3 movies a week used to be a minimum requirement. Back to back movies and regular midnight shows used to be more than habitual. For the last three years, I could almost count the number of fridays I would not have gone to the movie theatre. One could bet and spot me at a Loews/AMC on any friday somewhere between 8pm and 12am.

Now, for the past 2 months I have seen 2 movies - UP and Hangover. It would be funny if I attempt to say I was busy. I was not.

A while ago, eating out regularly in restaurants has been a norm in my life. Thanks to kavitha, not many restaurants in Phili area has been left out. During normal workdays, I used to have breakfast at dunkin, lunch at subway/Chipotle/Quiznos/Pizzeria and dinner once again at Subway/Chipotle/Quiznos/Pizzeria. I have spent months not visiting my kitchen.

Now, for the past 2 months I have harldy eaten out more than 10 times. It would be funny if I attempt to say I was cooking. I was not.

A while ago, sleeping in the evening hours used to be a mandatory activity like bathing and eating. I used to come home from work and sleep away to glory for about 4 to 5 hours. I wake up in time for my offshore call, yak for about half hour and then watch tv/talk on phone/browse for the next 3 to 4 hours. I used to hit the bed around 3am. Weekends are only worser.

Now, for the past 2 months I would have slept in the evening hours maybe twice and I goto bed not later than 1 am. It would be funny if I attempt to say I have changed my habits. I have not.

A while ago, I used to write blogs without recursively typing the same stuff over and over. I used to write one line movie reviews. I used to write short stories. I used to post comments on fellow bloggers blogposts. I used to tweet more often.

Now, for the past 2 months I write the same type of sentences over and over in a single blog (like this one). I can't control my laughter if I attempt to say I'm trying something different. I am not.

I have my parents with me. I don't miss movies. I dont miss abnormal sleeping habit. I dont miss being active in the web. Yet, I feel good. I'm happier.

One's life changes in more than one way, when one lives with company.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


...don't believe the hype!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Algorithm at a urinal!

One trivia I may never fathom completely is the amount of importance women give to the position of their seating in a restaurant or a movie theatre. In resturants, when offered a choice to select the seat, I happily defer it to the women, for I have always known the seating position for some reason seems vital to them. The same happens at a movie theatre too. But if I go out to eat with guys, I'm sure the last thing that will go on in any of our minds is where we sit in the restaurant. We go to eat. We eat.

Thinking about how much of importance guys attach to such situations, one thing that perplexes me is the algorithm behind the urinal selection in a men's room. That's right!

When a guy enters a restroom, among various thoughts running across his mind, there must be one complicated algorithm to select the urinal of his choice. Factors that may act as inputs to his algorith may include (but not restricted only to) distance, cleanliness, access and juxtaposition.

If there are a series of urinals, some people select the one that's right in the middle, yet having unoccupied urinals on either side. Some choose to walk to the farthest end of the restroom to begin the work. Some always select the ones closest to the hand-wash area or the exit. Some never use urinals - they directly go to the flush toilets.

I have a friend who cant pee when someone talks to him or make him laugh. Such people have their own modified algorithm, bringing more factors into consideration before taking the final decision.

One may conclude that there are a lot of such activities and calculations going in a restroom, not to forget this. Most algorithms, I guess can't be generalised, for as they say 'To each his own'.

Only if one closely observes the human behaviour, such unsolved mysteries can be attempted for a proven solution. Only if.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


By virtue of inviting company, one graduates to a coveted position of a respectful son and in the process, obviating even the slightest house hold work done otherwise and basking in the seduction of opulent meal three times a day (at times four), to ultimately end up as one seasoned lazy bum.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cell phone driving - What's your IQ?!

This afternoon, I was driving back to work from lunch and I was talking on cell phone. No hands-free, no speaker phone. Regular hand held style. State-law here restricts usage of hand-held phones while driving. I saw a cop in distance and immediately switched to speaker phone.

A strange thought occured to Kabali. He has been driving cars for about 6 years now. He loves driving so much and believes strongly if one loves to do an activity, one performs well in that field. Also, because of cell phone driving, he has never committed any mistakes such as having the car shift lanes without control nor run over the curb nor miss a traffic light.

But not all people may be good at such multi-tasking. Some people do screw up. It was mentioned in the web somewhere that more than 30% of accidents in the UK last year were due to cell phone driving.

Kabali's argument is that the IQ level of such people must be quite low. Yes, IQ level!

Here is his recommendation: When a cop pulls over, he should conduct a quick IQ test on the driver. If the IQ level is good enough, the cop could conclude that the person is capable of multi-tasking without any problems and should let the driver go. If the IQ level is low, then he can issue a violation ticket for cell phone driving.

I'm basing the argument on the logic that every single human being is different and that their capability on doing different things vary too. Having said that, I don't understand how the law and order can be so generalised. Atleast in areas where it could be customized for people, it should be.

Kabali honestly thinks so.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How Blogging is like sex?

Beware: PG13.

Blogging can be directly compared to only one aspect of real life - Sex after marriage. I‘m 98.9986978% sure.

When one starts to blog, the inexplicable happiness of expressing and sharing would make one want to write more. Writing good blogposts would make one a delightful person, because of the ‘happiness partaking’ that happens. Like the sex after marriage.

In the early days of blogging, one would want to write a minimum of one blogpost a day or at times even multiple posts a day. Most times, all one would think of is to do nothing but write a blogpost. Like the sex after marriage.

But things don’t seem to remain the same. The priorities change, interests shift and thoughts drift. The frequency of blogpost falls with time. The number reduces from one post a day to one post a week, then to once a month and eventually to 'maybe I should visit my blog and see how it looks'. Like the sex after marriage.

The author is not smart enough to experience the above phenomena yet. But he is smart enough to think!

Update: After the last post, I got a new camera and did a super cool trip this weekend. I'm feeling happy!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What I didn't want to happen...

Last saturday, for the first time in this country, I felt deprived. There are certain incidents in life that we hear about, but it never bothers us because we'll be certain that it'll never happen to us. But apparently, at times, it does.

As a welcome break from the winter, the recent weeks have been bright and sunny. Past saturday was no exception. I set off to Longwood gardens with Kavitha, had a great time clicking pictures of tulips and lillies in the 1200 acres of garden land. Some of the photos turned out quite well, made me one real glad dude.

I had planned to end the day watching the movie 'Soloist'. There I was at King of Prussia mall movie theatre for the 7.30pm show. Movie was very good. I came out of the theatre at around 9.40pm laughing away and cracking jokes, only to see glass pieces strewn around the sides of my car. A chill ran down my spine.

I rushed to the car and found that my rear window was broken open. My backpack with the camera was not seen. My heart almost stopped. My camera being taken away is the last thing I wished in my life. And there it had happened - I could do nothing. I felt a strange fear. And my friend's laptop bag was missing too (not with laptop, but with books et al).

I immediately called 911. Ten minutes later, a cop arrived, enquired about the theft, asked some basic questions, prepared a police report and gave it to me.

I asked her about the odds of getting my stuff back. She calmly replied that the closest surveilence camera was quite far from the place I parked my car and that it rotates, creating abundant blind spots. Also, such thefts happen in less than 30 seconds, making it impossible to capture clear evidence in the surveilence camera. In my mind, the answer translated to a 'You wont get the camera back'. That, from a cop in the second largest mall in US.

Of all my gadgets, there are two things I love the most - my camera and my phone. I would have given most of what I have to get my camera back. But at times, life appears to hit hard. Very hard. Along with the camera, I also lost my bluetooth headset (a gift), my iphone earphones, work ID card and such day-today stuffs. Hearty good bye to all of them.

I have applied for claim through my renter's insurance and hope I get some money back - keeping my fingers crossed.

And in parallel, I'm researching for my next camera, hopefully a better one! And I promise to myself that I'll never keep bags visible in my car.

All said and done, I just cant forget this day that easily. Life seems bitterly unfair.

Update: Couple of weeks later, I got a new camera and did a super cool trip this weekend. I'm feeling happy!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

State of Play

...a movie which keeps one up through-out, even during a back to back movie session (after watching this) and the show timing being 12 am. Ben Affleck was naturally good, Russel Crowe seemed being at his coolest best, and Rachel McAdams as cute as ever! A good movie.

17 Again...


Sunday, April 12, 2009

An episode at the hospital!

Falling sick is the last thing one wants. And visiting a Doctor is the thing after the last thing one wants. And if the doctor carries a injection, thats the thing after the thing after the last thing one wants. Ok, you get the idea.

Last week I was down with cold and fever for a good 5 days. What started as a mild cold graduated itself into a matured cough-attack which then blossomed into a solid flue-stint and then stagnated itself showing no signs of growth nor exit. 

"I'm a survivor" I said to myself and fought the germs. Evenings they would seem to subside and as I feel better and sleep, they attack with full blow. Those germ bastards.

Attempting to work from (not for) home did not offer the solution. Sleeping in the bed for hours together (alone!) did not help either. For a guy who normally says "Aeemm, I'll rough it out", this fever seemed one of its kind.

I realized I was fighting a losing battle and decided to go see a Doctor (inspite of a well-wishing friend who warned that the doctor most likely say 'It's nothing. Go home and take rest. You'll be fine').

Being somebody who hates appointments (and the gargantuan wait time associated with it), I walked into the Emergency care center at a hospital right next to my apartment. After registering my name, I waited in the reception area for about 20 minutes. I was then ushered into one of the emergency rooms and made to sit in a stretcher. 

A nurse stopped by and asked me 'what do we have here, sir?'. I said 'I have fever and cold that wouldn't subside'. She asked 'Anything else?'. I said 'No'. She asked  'Are you sure? do you have breathing problems or any such emergency?'. I said 'No'. She looked at me a for a moment, as if she was going to ask 'why the hell did you come to ER then?!'. Instead, she said 'A doctor will come and see you shortly sir', and disappeared.

Two hours passed by. Before I fainted with a mixed feeling of hunger, tiredness and angst, an old doctor entered the room saying 'Hi'. I returned the pleasantry. "So, what brings you here today?!", asked the doctor. I offered the same reply for the third time. 'Just fever?', 'Yes'. 'Okay' said the doctor and got into action.

He took a torch with a pointed lens and he inserted that into my ears to see what's happening inside. He jerked out immediately saying he can't see much, but as far as he can see, I was all clear. He moved to the next ear. This time, he did not even enter - he slowly said 'Interesting!'

'What?', I asked. "On the outside rim of your ear, you have a pimple. We need to get rid of that first" said the doctor and walked out. Before I could realise, he came back with a small injection. I freaked out. He understood and said 'No, dont worry - it'll be a small prick'. Knowing that's the universal doctor's language of saying 'you are gonna be punctured dude!', I said 'I hate injections doctor, should we do this now?!'.

'Oh definitely' he replied as readied himself with the torch light and the injection weapon. I closed my fist and my eyes as tight as I could and expected a prick. One hell of a prick it was. I screamed mildly and thought it was done. The doctor attempted again and 'bang!', another prick. I almost called him names, when the doctor mildly said 'whatever is in there doesn't want to let go that easily'. So are you, I thought. 

He then threw the injection into the trash and I saw blood on his hands. F*ck! "Is that my blood?' I asked the doctor. He replied 'yes, but don't worry. I'll go get some bandage' and gave me some cotton to try and hold the blood. My fever was long gone.

Doctor came back with a bandage and put it across my ears as he said 'a slightly awkward place for a band-aid, ain't it?!' He laughed. Damn your humour, I thought. He then said 'your fever is a minor viral infection. It's nothing. Go home and take rest. You'll be fine'.

I thought of my clairvoyant friend, as I walked out of the hospital with a bandage on my ears and my wallet emptied by about 80 bucks.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


After a fulfilling 10 day road trip, I was royally subjected to the super fun of catching up with work, which took me another 10 days incurring more excitement than the trip itself. A total control freak I am, I find it a little difficult to agree something can happen right without my involvement, even partially. One thing leading to another, last night I ended up sitting on my couch wondering why is there just 24 hours a day. Just not enough, I said to myself like a scientist.

That spark of thought triggered more thoughts than my naive brain could answer. With limited span of human life, one gets a feeling that there is a lot that goes unachieved or even unrealized. There are so many places in this world (or universe?) that I may never get to visit. There are so many books that I may never get to read. There are so many good music that I may never get to hear.

There are so many cuisines that I may never get to taste. There are so many different climates that I may never get to feel. There are so many people I may never get to meet. There are so many technologies I may never get to lay my hands on.

The list, I guess, never ends.

Average human life span of around 65 years is simply not enough.

I watch 'Universe' TV series and marvel at our humungous universe. To make a one way trip to Pluto (in the fastest means known to humans), they say it takes around 10 years. And for further analysis and conclusions, it might take a few more years. One has to positively dedicate a good chunk of his lifetime for such research. Yet, there would be much more to still figure out.

Comparing the magnificence of things around us, humans seem pitiably small and endowed with minuscule time interval for what we call Life. Maybe, one needs more than just one birth to understand things a little better.

Only if I have the power to pace ahead of time (and space) to find out the unknown - But if I do, I promise I’ll write a blogpost.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fast and Furious... extremely fast most of the time and soporifically slow at others.

You would like this movie, if you are one who likes drooling at nice looking cars, not knowing that they would be destroyed to pieces in the very next scene; and also, if you are not aware that there are winding tunnels under the mountains on the US-Mexico border.

Adventureland... of those 'light' movies which is not as funny. (Just that it inspired me and a couple of friends to play dart game at the beach and win a monkey!)

Saturday, March 28, 2009


...certainly does not fall under the genre they say it belongs to. I hate sci-fi and the likes, but I loved this one.

That too, since the whole concept was close to what I once pondered, this movie made a whole lot sense to me!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I love you, man!

The hero has never had boy friends in his life. As his wedding approaches, he realizes he needs a 'best man'. All his attempted 'man-dates' flop.

He then stumbles upon this cool guy who seems as careless & irresponsible a person God has ever created in this planet. He drives a vespa, looks for single divorcees, sleeps around and deliberately refuses to clean up after his dog. 

The hero and the cool guy become friends, have fun, then fight and part and then finally rejoin. 

Hilarious movie, definitely for men. Cranks out the 'men laughter' in them, as I call it!

Duplicity... a story of how two seemingly smart people (spies turned corporate agents) end up as utter fools.

Needless to say, Julia Roberts was elegant. Other than that, the movie is a total thu! 

Friday, March 6, 2009


"Good morning, sir" the 60-year old security guard wished me as I entered my workplace this morning. "It is, isn't it?!" I replied, with all enthusiasm.

Today is certainly one of my happiest days - this evening, I'm leaving for a 10 day road trip across America. Anywhere anytime , I crave for driving, photography and travel. If I do this trip right, it would be sort of like three birds in one stone!

I have always been an enthusiastic planner - at times I even wonder if just the planning would give me enough satisfaction, even without doing whatever I was planning for in the first place.

This cross country trip is no exception - I sort of completed all my planning activities diligently. In the last few days, I have spent evenings sitting on my couch, staring at my laptop, persistently trying out multiple route options in Google maps, optimising the driving distance, choosing the best hotels to stay, selecting the right places to visit and jotting down the entire itinerary in a google spreadsheet. Ofcourse with the able help of her.

As much as I'm excited, my friends and colleagues at my workplace have been too. They have been suggesting places to visit, restaurants to eat and knowing me, a list of 'dont even think of doing that' stuffs!

After having heard all that and trying to curb the ever growing anxiety, I'm all set for the trip now. I'm hoping to write my daily experiences here. Do follow the action!

Cant figure out why, but I feel like a Pirate now!! Aye!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Seasons greetings...

It is that season where people make spending seem dispensable, by throwing unnecessary money on greeting cards and roses. They drop every single fruitful activity they could otherwise do in the time they think of a present or the type of the flower.

I have never understood the fascination that women crowd possess for flowers/bouquets. Maybe one has to be in 'love high' to even slightly understand the logic behind. Or perhaps, somebody like me, who buys plastic bonsai from IKEA to decorate the center table in the living room, can never understand.

If a guy, let's say is in love head over heels with a girl, he would certainly buy her a present for Valentine's Day. My sources also say that it would be considered a federal offense in the girlfriend court, if the guy doesn't! That's not the point anyways. The point is wouldn't the girl know that a gift is coming her way? And if the girl has set the expectation right, the guy probably is dreaming about the present too.

I wonder what's the fun in knowing they would receive something for sure on a particular day and still associate a 'surprise' element to it. Once again, 'love high' I guess.

Next lamest idea (probably the most ancient technique as old as 6000 years) is buying Greeting cards. And these days there are those "record your voice/music and send your 'love' through paper" cards. How creepy is that?! Wouldn't it just be easier to make a phone call and say I love you?! Atleast we can save the planet by cutting lesser trees.

I believe this is still so true.

Valentine's Day, like most other occassions, is definitely passé.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My other eye...

I give ample importance in life to friendship, travel & photography (necessarily in that order). Friendship has always been integral to me. The passion for photography in the recent times has increased proportionately with my penchant for traveling. As a measure of expressing all the three to a greater extent (than done otherwise), I take a step forward and start another blog. But wait, it’s not just me.

Looking back, I remember the excitement during the first few days of my acquaintance with one of my favorite bloggers. The excitement slowly turned into unadulterated joy, when I found we have myriad of common interests. And of all the interests, the biggest one is our love for traveling. From then on till date, we have spent a lot of time together to call ourselves very good friends.

She writes extremely well and the other day, in one casual moment, she asked ‘We travel a lot. We both write. We might as well start a travel blog together. What say?’ Bang! we started “Footloose on the Freeway”, almost instinctively the same evening.

Going forward, I’m planning to blog my travel experiences there. Encourage you to visit the blog.

[P.S: Arunsundarthinks would still be an active blog, throwing the same-nothings for lets say, a few more decades till the author gets either amnesia or euthanasia]

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Motor Pun'ire!

Indian restaurants in the US are strange in more ways than one. Though most of them do a good job in serving the food right, some simply don't. They rather specialize in screwing up things like professionals.

Outside India, most Indians know enough not to compare home food (or even food from restaurants in India) to food in US desi restaurants. Restaurants capitalize on this very idea. They effortlessly let the quality of food slide, but try in despair to infiltrate into other areas.

Maybe the hospitality matters.

Most restaurants make sure the guests half-way through their meal need to be asked 'how is everything'. I wonder what might happen if one says 'the food sucks!! '. Most waiters are uber-confident about the reply that they don't even wait to hear from the guest.

There have been times when I have asked for water and got looks as if I was asking for a good share in the thousand shares of Google the waiter owns.

To get a better feel of the (in)hospitality, one should enter a restaurant at 9.45pm, when the closing time is 10pm. The waiter might expect the guest to decide till the dessert, before even one is shown a menu card.

It eventually becomes a discovery that quality of food and hospitality are perhaps not the only reasons one goes to restaurants. Like most others, I have this habit of not eating the same variety of food in the same restaurant for the second time.

The other day, as I was browsing through the menu at this Indian restaurant, I found something called “Motor Pun'ire”. I almost thought it was a new dish, before I realized the intended name is actually “Mutter Paneer”. Whowould imagine mis-spelling to this extent?! Looking through the other items such as “Alu Motor”, “Chicken Mosolla” the laughter was more satiating than the food in the first place.

One infers the name of the food hardly matters either.

Despite all these, I for one consider going to an Indian restaurant a regular activity - as I believe "eating Indian food is the best thing to happen, especially when one does not have to cook them". I happily let go on a few other things.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Snapshot of one's life...

I sneeze. I drop the phone in my hands. I bend down to fetch the phone and the pen in my pocket slips. Trying to grab the pen, I drop the phone again. I miss the pen anyways. It bounces away to glory only to hide itself under the desk. I get the phone first. I try for the pen next. I crouch, bend and stretch myself to a crazy yoga position and reach under the desk. An abbreviated moment of stretching and twisting later, I find the pen and rise up fast, only to bang my head against the corner of the desk. The reflex makes me bend again, this time with more agility and with cartoon birds flying around my head. Only a moment later I realize that the water cup on the edge of my desk had been tripped by the bang. Trying to save the computer and other accessories from any more inundation than it had experienced in the past, I open the drawer with haste to fetch some napkins. The drawer door hits my knee hard enough to make me squirm with discomfort. The phone rings. I pick the receiver, only for the already entangled phone wire to snarl with the mouse wire. The receiver hesitates to reach my ears. Mouse refrains to let go. The flood on the desk spreads uncontrolled by the napkins. I am on the verge of sneezing again. I sit right there enjoying every moment of it as a habit of mine!

There you go...a snapshot of one's life!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Construed fact...

"Frequency of blogposts seemingly appear indirectly proportional to the success of one's relationship with people".

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Revolutionary Road...

...was like a dream.

One surmises "In a marrige, one should be smart and the other should be less smart. Or one should be dumb and the other should be more dumb. This movie shows what happens if either of the above is not true."

Did I say this movie was a dream? No I stand corrected. Nightmare.


Monday, January 12, 2009

People's curse..

...must be it. Three weeks since I watched a movie in the theatre.

That four letter word!