I'm a Goan girl, working in Mumbai as the founder of a creative agency called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

I love Animals, Nature, Art, Relationships, Sports, Technology and Stories.

-

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Deaf Wife

Larry feared his wife wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family doctor to discuss the problem.

The Doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform
to give the doctor a better idea about her hearing loss. Here's what you do," said the Doctor, "stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response."

That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the den.
He says to himself, "I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens."
Then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?"

No response.. So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and
repeats, "Honey, what's for dinner?"

Still no response. Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks, "Honey, what's for dinner?"

Again no response. So, he walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away.. "Honey, what's for dinner?"

Again there is no response. So he walks right up behind her... "Honey, what's for dinner?"

"Larry, for THE FIFTH time, CHICKEN!"

Friday, December 30, 2011

Two Roads

29th Dec '11


"You're waiting for a train.. A train - that will take you far away.. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you can't know for sure.."

We discuss a lot of things with our friends, our families.. What we hear from each other and the experiences we share creates an impression upon us. We hear stories, stories that sometimes entertain us, surprise us, make us laugh or cry, or feel for a character. Some generate phobias, and some instill courage in our hearts. Stories that make us think of a 'what if'. 'What if I was in that position? What if I had to make that decision? What if I had a few months to live?' Stories define us, and change the way we percieve the world, and of-course, life, as we know it.

When I think back about the choices I've made, and the friends I have, I feel glad. I saw a short on child abuse, and I felt grateful for great parents. I heard a story of two people who didn't understand each other (or even try), and lost each other, and I thanked my friends.Watched a NatGeo docu on a badass car accident, and I even thanked my stars I was alive!! Maybe that's one of the many reasons I love stories, and feel the need to tell them all the time. But today I heard a new one, the one I will soon recite to you.

In a conversation I had in a bus, we talked about the two roads. You see, life has many roads. They're like branches of a tree. You take one and you keep wondering what would've happened if you took the other. Some misguide you, some show you the light, some tangle you up, and some bring you back. But it's that choice - that wretched choice that you gotta make that will change your life completely.

There's that fancy road; it has trees that bear apples, and gold that paves the path you tread on. An private jet waits for you at a private airport, and all you have to do is catch it! It seems easy and pleasant, and it makes you feel secure - although, it won't eventually lead to where you thought it would take you. But you survive. You're living, comfortably, but something seems wrong.

The other road is rocky and there is scorching heat - the vines block the path and you have to cut your way through with your bear hands. There are pitfalls. You have to cross rivers and climb mountains. Some would say that only the foolish make such a choice, and you doubt yourself, your dreams. But when it's over - you find true happiness in your heart. All the scratches heal and your cheeks turn pink again. You don't stop falling. The vines do come now and then, but towards the end you're like Indiana Jones! And life seems good; and rich - not in terms of money.

Either ways, you survive. But the journeys that are hard, the ones we run from, are the ones that will keep us happy. And not everyone has the courage to take it. To fight for it, to enjoy it and challenge themselves.

These are the kind of stories that we, as creators, artists, dancers, chefs, writers, musicians, have to tell ourselves. That it's all worth the wait - the scratches, the sores, the sweat and gore. It's all going somewhere - maybe even a way of living. We will enjoy the finer things that our lives have to offer.

We will always have something to do - something to admire, and someone to love.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas with an Inception re-watch!

25th Dec '11

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Here in India we don't celebrate much of Christmas - unless we're christian! Being Goan does has its advantages of being part of this festival. Goa is paradise in December. It's lit, people are jolly and exchanging cakes, Bebinka, Dodol and chocolates. You see Christmas trees and cribs around you and the churches have the traditional Konkani midnight mass. Although I didn't do much this Christmas, I think it may have just been the best 2 days of Christmas I've ever celebrated. My family got together and me and my cousins made it through an impromptu plan of Shaami(my elder cousin bro - Abhinav)'s reckless driving (he's gonna kill me if he reads this), a match of beach Frisbee, swimming at Shivani-Soham's place, Rummikub and Pictionary (with Dhanu's innovate drawing skills), ghost stories at the terrace, and more swimming and eating at my place. So much that my body's been ACHING! :'(

BUT here's the thing guys, this post is NOT about Christmas, although I have the gift for gab. This is about Inception - the best part of today!
I was waiting to get a copy of a Bluray print of Inception and had vowed not to watch for the second time until I did. Thanks to Alok and a wonderful Christmas vacation, I could fulfill my long awaited rewatch! :D

I noticed all the flaws, the glitches, the brilliance, the tiny wonderful detailing of every aspect, the well thought-out sequence of events, the non-linear narratives that I LOVE, and the sheer BALLS to even get the idea of ATTEMPTING this film!! Heck, Nolan, all hail to your wonderful creation that's squeezed the fluid out of your brains! And ours! He inspires us to push WAAAAYYY beyond the ordinary boundaries and stretch our thinking till our brains explode.
Had I not watched it again, I REALLY would have missed on SO MUCH. And watching it on Bluray was more or less a dream come true! Makes me feel like getting up and thinking!

One last thing! Incase you were wondering how they made that INSANE corridor and anti-gravity sequence, here's a sneak peak of ten mins!



Enjoy! Cheers and Merry Christmas!!! :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Skinning

2:58 PM 27/11/2011
Well that's the time. I'm gonna try working as long as I can with the help on the skinning tutorial. I'm starting afresh and deleting all the skinning I've done previously. Enough wastage of time, there are exactly 10 days for my jury and I want to be ready with everything. I have a bottle of water and chips to last me for the next 2 hours atLEAST. And my time starts... NOW!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Plant a tree!

In one day a human being breathes oxygen equivalent to three cylinders. Each oxygen cylinder on an average costs Rs 700, so in a day one uses Oxygen worth Rs 2100 and for a full year it is Rs 7,66,500. If we consider an average life span of 65 years; the costs of oxygen we use become a staggering sum of Rs 500,00,000. All this oxygen is derived free of cost from the surrounding trees. Very few people look at trees as a resource and there is rampant tree cutting going on everywhere which should stop. PLEASE PLANT A TREE!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, 17th October

01:58 17-10-2011

Well it's really been a long time since I made a journal entry. Today was a sunday. In a few days we'll be leaving for Chitrakatha and hopefully its gonna be an unforgettable journey. Maya has been going on forever and I have been in distress with the animation. So much, that I actually had to talk about it to Chandan sir, who told me that if I really truly wanted to practice pre-prod I'd have to work on it side by side, and that the indian industry doesn't NEED amateurs in the field. What they need now is animators, 2D or 3D, and the edge I have over the rest is my 2D base.

Today started out with the mess breakfast. Ate aloo paratha and chocos. Managed to finish my entire tray. I love Sunday breakfast. Went to coll, was watching Grey's Anatomy, playing the addictive fb game called Adventure World. It's pretty, love the graphics. Today was the "Shuffle" pre-quasar event. I really missed it. If I'd been better I'd go - or so I'd been telling myself today. I never miss this kinda stuff but I wasn't well. I haven't fully recovered from my cold, which turned out to be tonsils, bronchitis, and a climate change infection. Luckily I went to the doctor just in time. There's a decent doc in Loni, next to Shantai. We've returned the bike, so we've gone out less. Also I lost my debit card and later my wallet. Another traumatic event in my life. :( I can't seem to stop losing things. Anyway, I'm over it now. I'm forgetting the expensive new pink tetra pack wallet I bought from Either Or, the money in it, (Rs. 500), the credit cards, and worst of all - my license. Dunno how I'm gonna get it back. Hoping that I have a photocopy at home. Later today Alok and I played a lot of T.T after having some coffee and biscuits. He was low over maya and all its uncertainly. We've started becoming more drab. Anyway, the T.T totally worked, and we played a whopping 10 matches! He scored over 10 in 2. Lol! No, but he's getting better at it, right binge? He can spin sometimes, and I can't do that till date. I'm sure he'll make a decent opponent. We had dinner at the mess, and got back to the lab. I browsed a TON. Saw some seriously inspiring artwork online, a lot of blogs and a lot of story blogs, interviews and tutorials. Overdose of knowledge. Saw a nice movie on vimeo called Gristle. Brilliant treatment. Truckloads of effort must've gone into that film. It was commendable. Finally I got to the room and watched an episode of modern family after oiling my hair (which has now become a broomstick) and washing my cooker and utensils. Forced myself to write this entry. I haven't written in what seems like forever, but I'm glad I've started again. I missed it. It's as relieving as meditation, and I don't wanna lose practice and forget how to write!

Meanwhile HiVE Aug-Sept 2011 also happened. Turned out to be a great success with a thumbs up from everyone. Oct-Nov is in the making. That's all for now. Goodnight. :)

-
N.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs' Commencement peech at Stanford




I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.


My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

J.K Rowling's Harvard Commencement Speech



President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, proud parents, and, above all, graduates.

The first thing I would like to say is ‘thank you.’ Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion.

Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought until I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormously in writing this one, because it turns out that I can’t remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, the law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard.

You see? If all you remember in years to come is the ‘gay wizard’ joke, I’ve come out ahead of Baroness Mary Warnock. Achievable goals: the first step to self improvement.

Actually, I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today. I have asked myself what I wish I had known at my own graduation, and what important lessons I have learned in the 21 years that have expired between that day and this.
I have come up with two answers. On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called ‘real life’, I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination.

These may seem quixotic or paradoxical choices, but please bear with me.
Looking back at the 21-year-old that I was at graduation, is a slightly uncomfortable experience for the 42-year-old that she has become. Half my lifetime ago, I was striking an uneasy balance between the ambition I had for myself, and what those closest to me expected of me.

I was convinced that the only thing I wanted to do, ever, was to write novels. However, my parents, both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing personal quirk that would never pay a mortgage, or secure a pension. I know that the irony strikes with the force of a cartoon anvil, now.

So they hoped that I would take a vocational degree; I wanted to study English Literature. A compromise was reached that in retrospect satisfied nobody, and I went up to study Modern Languages. Hardly had my parents’ car rounded the corner at the end of the road than I ditched German and scuttled off down the Classics corridor.
I cannot remember telling my parents that I was studying Classics; they might well have found out for the first time on graduation day. Of all the subjects on this planet, I think they would have been hard put to name one less useful than Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys to an executive bathroom.

I would like to make it clear, in parenthesis, that I do not blame my parents for their point of view. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. What is more, I cannot criticise my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor, and I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools.

What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.
At your age, in spite of a distinct lack of motivation at university, where I had spent far too long in the coffee bar writing stories, and far too little time at lectures, I had a knack for passing examinations, and that, for years, had been the measure of success in my life and that of my peers.

I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated, you have never known hardship or heartbreak. Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates, and I do not for a moment suppose that everyone here has enjoyed an existence of unruffled privilege and contentment.

However, the fact that you are graduating from Harvard suggests that you are not very well-acquainted with failure. You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for success. Indeed, your conception of failure might not be too far from the average person’s idea of success, so high have you already flown.
Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.

Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.

So given a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.

Now you might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I personally will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.

One of the greatest formative experiences of my life preceded Harry Potter, though it informed much of what I subsequently wrote in those books. This revelation came in the form of one of my earliest day jobs. Though I was sloping off to write stories during my lunch hours, I paid the rent in my early 20s by working at the African research department at Amnesty International’s headquarters in London.
There in my little office I read hastily scribbled letters smuggled out of totalitarian regimes by men and women who were risking imprisonment to inform the outside world of what was happening to them. I saw photographs of those who had disappeared without trace, sent to Amnesty by their desperate families and friends. I read the testimony of torture victims and saw pictures of their injuries. I opened handwritten, eye-witness accounts of summary trials and executions, of kidnappings and rapes.

Many of my co-workers were ex-political prisoners, people who had been displaced from their homes, or fled into exile, because they had the temerity to speak against their governments. Visitors to our offices included those who had come to give information, or to try and find out what had happened to those they had left behind.
I shall never forget the African torture victim, a young man no older than I was at the time, who had become mentally ill after all he had endured in his homeland. He trembled uncontrollably as he spoke into a video camera about the brutality inflicted upon him. He was a foot taller than I was, and seemed as fragile as a child. I was given the job of escorting him back to the Underground Station afterwards, and this man whose life had been shattered by cruelty took my hand with exquisite courtesy, and wished me future happiness.

And as long as I live I shall remember walking along an empty corridor and suddenly hearing, from behind a closed door, a scream of pain and horror such as I have never heard since. The door opened, and the researcher poked out her head and told me to run and make a hot drink for the young man sitting with her. She had just had to give him the news that in retaliation for his own outspokenness against his country’s regime, his mother had been seized and executed.

Every day of my working week in my early 20s I was reminded how incredibly fortunate I was, to live in a country with a democratically elected government, where legal representation and a public trial were the rights of everyone.

Every day, I saw more evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans, to gain or maintain power. I began to have nightmares, literal nightmares, about some of the things I saw, heard, and read.

And yet I also learned more about human goodness at Amnesty International than I had ever known before.
Amnesty mobilises thousands of people who have never been tortured or imprisoned for their beliefs to act on behalf of those who have. The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet. My small participation in that process was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life.
Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places.
Of course, this is a power, like my brand of fictional magic, that is morally neutral. One might use such an ability to manipulate, or control, just as much as to understand or sympathise.

And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.

I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the wilfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.

What is more, those who choose not to empathise enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy.

One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.

But how much more are you, Harvard graduates of 2008, likely to touch other people’s lives? Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world’s only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden.

If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

I am nearly finished. I have one last hope for you, which is something that I already had at 21. The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life. They are my children’s godparents, the people to whom I’ve been able to turn in times of trouble, people who have been kind enough not to sue me when I took their names for Death Eaters. At our graduation we were bound by enormous affection, by our shared experience of a time that could never come again, and, of course, by the knowledge that we held certain photographic evidence that would be exceptionally valuable if any of us ran for Prime Minister.

So today, I wish you nothing better than similar friendships. And tomorrow, I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you remember those of Seneca, another of those old Romans I met when I fled down the Classics corridor, in retreat from career ladders, in search of ancient wisdom:
As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.

I wish you all very good lives. Thank you very much.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Exhausted.


Super tiring day. Woke up. Gym. Breakfast at the mess. Ran to college, the juniors who're publicizing HiVE kept calling to ask me if they can put up the poster, and so did Ishan for film club. So I ran to Dean for permission to print it. He says he wants to see the HiVE. I had a few changes to be made and then when I went up to make them I realised the file was overwritten and I'd have to do it again all over. HELL. Why did this have to happen? So I started all over and Brat came to help me. Met Ogale on the way who suggested sending the HiVE to Kyoorius to print it. Agreed. Ran to the class, showed Ishan the poster, put it up. Ran to lab, finished HiVE, took a print out and went to show it to the dean. He left. Showed it to Vinayak and luckily he signed it! Thank-god. He even read a few pages and laughed! :D Finally we went to the printer to print them but the paper got over. :| So the printing's postponed for tomorrow, by which time the juniors will finish putting up the teasers. Ran to canteen at 5.30 to have lunch. Ran to projector in 15 minutes with the movie and the trailers on it. Hosted Mary and Max, showed a friend from N.I.D around. Alok was disappointed bout not being able to show anything, and then we went for dinner.
She's my favourite character. Her name's Vera Dinkle, she's Mary's mom. She'd probably be your favourite too if you watched it.

That's Mary. Mary Dinkle.


And that's Max Horowitz.

So now basically I'm mentally and physically EXHAUSTED. Need sleep now! Am lagging like crazy in Maya. But for what it's worth, I had a great time today and I hope I can help and inspire a lot more people through what I do.

That's all. Gnight. Maya-time tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Art of Ratatouille






8:07 PM 9/20/2011

What wonderful art. The art of ratatouille will make you wanna watch the movie ten times over and totally fall in love with the characters all over again. Remy, Emile his brother, Linguini and the wonderful Collete, Skinner the villainous chef, all designed the contrast each other so beautifully. The interiors of a sewage systemn (underground Paris) so wonderfully contrasts the world above. Paris is shown as magnificent as in travel books and for real; so much, that it shows you how Remy dreams of living in Gusteau's kitchen without threatening his life. Designs which express the complexity of the character and the conflicts he faces are depicted so clearly and beautifully, keeping in mind that the audience should relate to this rat, and not get disgusted by the idea of it being in a kitchen of a restaurant. Remy has to hide the one thing he loves - cooking.

It's amazing how similar cooking is to design. The tastes, the smells, colors and textures are like colors and compositions. It made me wanna make movies, and start working on the process of creating the script, story and the visuals that would inspire me to make the rest of it. Brad bird has respectfully credited Jan Pinkava as co-director, who thought of the premise while he was cooking in the kitchen with his wife. These artists I worship, for creating a masterpiece of animation, something the world will love and cherish.

Mesmerizing, magnificent, insightful and delicious! The art of Rataouille is just as good as the movie itself.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Stairway to heaven


Grey's Anatomy - season 5 episode 13, Stairway to heaven, I think its one of the best episodes yet. I didn't like izzie's story at all. Thought it was crap. But the rest of the storyline was crazy. Bailey almost losing her medical license for a boy who needs new organs, Sloan finding a decent girl, Torres moves on, and the best story - grey attending the execution of a serial killer patient. After that I finally started liking her, and I understood her. I love how Derek handles his professional and private life and I loved how Christina was there for her after that huge fight of theirs. Epic. Overall it forces humanity inside you.

So I guess I'm writing this as a review. I had to. Maybe one of my first voluntary reviews. Chao.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dots - an illusion

This is another example of an amazing illusion!!! The last sentence is so true.If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, the dots will remain only one colour, pink.



However if you stare at the black ' +' in the centre, the moving dot turns to green.

Now, concentrate on the black ' + ' in the centre of the picture. After a short period, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see only a single green dot rotating. It's amazing how our brain works. There really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don't disappear. This should be proof enough, we don't always see what we think we see.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

For the parents

A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York the day before Thanksgiving and says, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams.

"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father says.

"We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this." She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "They're coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way."

Hope this makes all parents smile.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A battle we must not lose - Pritish Nandy


Firstly, let me make it clear that this article is not written by me. It is clear, concise, and well written.
I was going to write on the same lines, but this said it all, and way better that I can.

Please give it your time and attention, even if you're against the bill.


- - -



" A battle we must not lose " - Pritish Nandy

Forget Anna Hazare. The Jan Lokpal movement can go to hell for all I care.


Let us just look at the issues over which the battle between the Government and us citizens is being fought. And then let’s decide where we want to stand, each one of us, on the issue of corruption.

The first question is: Do corruption and bribery hurt you? If they do, do you want a solution? If your answer is yes to both, do you think such a solution lies with an independent authority? Or do you think a corrupt Government can fight corruption on its own, and within its own ranks? If your answer is no to that, then we need to create an independent institution to fight corruption. Right? Well, that’s precisely what Anna is asking for. He is asking for a Lokpal that the Government cannot influence nor manipulate. This is the first battle.

The second battle is over four things. One: Should the Prime Minister come under the purview of the Lokpal? Almost everyone I know thinks he should. A honest Prime Minister wouldn’t care. A dishonest one must be supervised. Or else, we will have cases like Bofors that will never ever be resolved. Two: Should Members of Parliament come under the Lokpal? I have not met a single person till date who thinks that our MPs are so honest that they need not be supervised. My guess is if a referendum is ever taken, Anna will get a 100% yes to this question, given what people think of our politicians and the standards of probity in public life. The third question is even more obvious: Do all public servants need to come under the Lokpal? My guess is India’s answer will be yes, yes, yes. Every day, in every area of our life and work, we are constantly harassed, intimidated and extorted by corrupt


Government officers. The poorer you are, the worse is the torture. So yes, every public servant, every Government officer must come under the Lokpal. Question four: Who should give permission to file an FIR against a corrupt judge? If the Lokpal can look into corruption charges against the PM, the MPs and Government servants, isn’t it only logical to expect it to do the same against judges?

The third and final battle is over an even simpler thing: The Citizen’s


Charter. Should every Government office have such a Charter which will clearly state which officer will do what work and in how much time? And should an officer who refuses to do his work in time or asks for a bribe to move a file be punished? The Government says a charter a fine but Government servants must not be penalised if they don’t do their work! Anna believes that officers not doing their work in time amounts to corruption and must face the same treatment. Isn’t it rather obvious what India thinks about this?

Do we really need a referendum on these simple, basic issues? I seriously doubt it. Every Indian will endorse the idea of a Lokpal as Anna and his team have envisioned it, with the help of thousands of Indians who have contributed online to the process of drafting the bill.

Yes, there are genuine fears that we should not create yet another monster out there, who will make life more difficult for us than it already is. But even that has been addressed rather adroitly by Anna’s team. It is a complex process, true but it also ensures that the choice is wisely made. And what if there are charges against the Lokpal? Well, there’s a provision there too. You can go straight to the Supreme Court and seek justice out there.

So why are we arguing so much over this Bill? Why is the Government digging its heels in and refusing to listen to us citizens? Why must Anna go on a hunger strike all over again to press home the point that corruption must be fought back? I guess it’s a question of both ego and fear. No one likes to give up the power they have, and certainly not the Government. In fact, it’s always trying to interfere more and more in our lives, grab more and more authority, more and more space. And fear? Well, I guess we all know the answer to that. This is possibly the most corrupt Government we have ever had. It has good reason to be scared.

If you like this article, please share it with your friends.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why some people have all the luck

RICHARD WISEMAN, Feb 16, 2009, 12.00am IST

Why do some people have all the luck while others never get the breaks they deserve?

I set out to examine luck, 10 years ago. Why are some people always in the right place at the right time, while others consistently experience ill fortune? I placed advertisements in national newspapers asking for people who felt consistently lucky or unlucky to contact me.

Hundreds of extraordinary men and women volunteered for my research and over the years, have been interviewed by me. I have monitored their lives and had them take part in experiments. The results reveal that although these people have almost no insight into the causes of their luck, their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for much of their good and bad fortune. Take the case of seemingly chance opportunities. Lucky people consistently encounter such opportunities, whereas unlucky people do not.
I carried out a simple experiment to discover whether this was due to differences in their ability to spot such opportunities. I gave both lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to look through it and tell me how many photographs were inside. I had secretly placed a large message halfway through the newspaper saying: 'Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $50'.

This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more than two inches high. It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it.

Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people, and this anxiety disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected.

As a result, they miss opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and miss other types of jobs.

Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for. My research eventually revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

4 Tips for Becoming Lucky

The lucky people had become even luckier and the unlucky had become lucky. Finally, I had found the elusive 'luck factor'. Here are four top tips for becoming lucky:

1) Listen to your gut instincts -- they are normally right.

2) Be open to new experiences and breaking your normal routine.

3) Spend a few moments each day remembering things that went well.

4) Visualise yourself being lucky before an important meeting or telephone call.

Have a Lucky day and work for it.

The happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems, but those who learn to live with things that are less than perfect.

Don't mess with senior citizens

An elderly lady decided to give herself a big treat for her significant birthday by staying overnight in one of London's most expensive hotels.
When she checked out next morning, the desk clerk handed her a bill for £250.00.
She explode and demanded to know why the charge was so high. "It's a nice hotel but the rooms certainly aren't worth £250.00 for just an overnight stop without even breakfast."
The clerk told her that £250.00 is the 'standard rate' so she insisted on speaking to the Manager.

The Manager appeared and forewarned by the desk clerk announced: "the hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference centre which are available for use."
'But I didn't use them," she said.
''Well, they are here, and you could have," explained the Manager.
He went on to explain that she could also have seen one of the in-hotel shows for which the hotel is famous. "We have the best entertainers from Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen performing here," the Manager said.
"But I didn't go to any of those shows," she said.
"Well, we have them, and you could have," the Manager replied.
No matter what amenity the Manager mentioned, she replied, "But I didn't use it!"
The Manager was unmoved, so she decided to pay, wrote a cheque and gave it to the Manager.
The Manager was surprised when he looked at the cheque. "But madam, this cheque is only made out for £50.00." ''That's correct. I charged you £200.00 for sleeping with me," she replied.
"But I didn't!" exclaims the very surprised Manager.
"Well, too bad, I was here, and you could have."

Don't mess with Senior Citizens

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mumbai TERI jaan hogi.

The day I reached I had a lot to think about. I had nothing much to do. I was at my aunt's place. It was a clean pretty big flat (for Mumbai) and her room was very Anita Maushi-ish. She had her comfort food and furniture, her cushions and curtains all placed. I told myself whatever would happen to me in a month would be fulfilling and I would learn a lot from my workplace and the city.

That very day mum called, saying Ashok Uncle was insisting that I'd stay with him and his family. I knew I could adjust anywhere, but I somehow I wasn't sure about my comfort levels coming to normal. I didn't want Anita Maushi to take any trouble to host me either. So I agreed, swallowing in any insecurities and fears.
A while later, two of my best friends called. Their place was terrible. It was in an unsafe area in Goregaon, and they had no water all morning. Their luggage was with me. They left the room and ended their contract with the broker who fleeced them at arrival like a hungry vulture. So they spent the night with us as it poured outside. Mumbai was very unwelcoming. I spent the day calling every broker, every individual wanting a roommate and every PG that could offer my friends accommodation.
We spent the next day looking at all the places we'd found. I learnt the train routes and names and dragged them along with me. I felt protective. I wanted to make sure they were fine. At the end of the day they confirmed a place in Andheri W with a rent of 8 grands. I was at peace.

That very evening I left for my mum's friend's place on day 3. I wondered, as Anita Maushi picked me up from Dadar station, how they would be. We passed by Bandra, the only appealing place so far. I thought, sure, they're my around age, but will they be those spoiled Bombay kids? The dopy crowd who doesn't have a care int he world? Or my kind. A kind I cannot define - and mind you, there are very few people I can understand and associate with without discomfort.

Tanvi and Karan turned out to be the coolest friends I'd made overnight. Their family was so welcoming I felt like a part of it in two days. Toulouse, their basset hound - was adorable (this was my first impression) and Uncle and Aunty seemed like the nicest parents.

Mumbai however, did not grow on me. The workplace was allright, but I could not stand the quiet formal exchange of looks. There were terrifying discussions in Suresh's (my boss') office - he gave the wide-eyed stares as sweat trickled on my forehead. It was quite the opposite of an Animation Studio. It was more like - a FIRM. Eventually I got myself together. En would be with me at office most of the time. Without him I would want to leave. Tanvi would talk to me at the end of the day, and I could look forward to home food and Karan's wackiness.
(Basically you guys, this is my way of saying thank-you - if you've read it so far.)

The place doesn't grow on you. The people do.
As I sleep on my comforting mattress tonight, I miss the sour smell of toulouse on the blankets and sheets. My legs, sticking out and being moved in the morning by the person who sits at the computer in front of the bed. I miss that annoying dog. Karan's dining table stories that made us all die and pee laughing.
(true story.) I miss not getting sleep because I got busy chatting. Giving Karan his pillows and sheets, and chatting with Tanvi about psychology and Apu. Her day. Cold sparkle coffees at CCD and the horrible buses and local trains. What wonderfully weird moments.

That was the weirdest 1 month vacation I've ever had. Thanks to all you guys who make my life interesting. Moreover those, who make it challenging. I love you.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's been long

I know It's been too long since I've been home when I see photos opf my mum wearing a new kurta that she now considers old. I know it's been long when I can't remember the last time I smelled that goan fresh monsoon smell. The scent of wet mud and sparkley green nature that's been washed after a year.
I know it's been long when I can taste fish curry rice with the faintest smell of a curry leaf.
I guess it's really been long.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Strangers whom we know

It's not often with most people that they have a talk with a stranger and leave with a smile. Well for me it happens pretty often. Especially when I'm in the worst of moods. I have no evil intentions to get an off on things I purchase, or to just get my design approved.

Today was one of those days. The best strangers to talk to are those kind of people who have nothing in common with you. Those who live different lives. I almost lost consciousness in a overcrowded bus today. There were mean with sweaty underarms and the woman on the left gave me a scowl everytime my laptop bag brushed her arm. The woman who was seated in front of me gave me dirts as I almost fell on her. It was all coming to a climax, and I was literally testing myself. Bile ran up towards my throat and I struggled to get the window's air that was hogged by the two seated passengers. I was claustrophobic now, and my motion sickness was getting the better of me. To top all of this, the bus halted for ten minutes at every signal, and I could see another one approaching just as the bus started moving. And then, it came. Unexpected, sour and pungent, like there HAD to be a climax to it all. Somebody let out a silent killer fart. That was it. If I didn't get out I'd faint or barf. I was squeezed out of the backdoor like ketchup from the red squeezy thingies. Gaah.

As I tried to gain my balance on the ground, I walked ahead till the traffic ended, towards Versova, where I was heading. I waited for the rikshaws to p0ick me up, as the bag straps cut through my shoulders. I felt like my arms would be sliced off any minute. And then finally, a rik came. A guy got in before me, and I stared in horror at the now-moving rik. What did I do to deserve this???!! :'( I yelled out. A few heads turned. I watched my bus pass by, people pouring out of it. Well f*** you! I yelled at the bus. The rain was still pouring on me. I didn't have my umbrella. And there was one last ray of hope as the rik came to a halt in front of me. The guy inside asked me if I could drop him off at the end of the road. What the hell, why not? So I did, and now we come to the real part.
"Traffic kitne hai yaha bhaiiya" I said to the rikshaw driver. (There's so much traffic here.) He was a kind man, who'd just turned 61. He had a white beard, a white kurta and a white skull cap. I guess he was a muslim, and had kind droopy eyes. His wrinkled face showed the pains he must have tried to overcome. He spoke about his family, his two sons and two daughters, how he had to get his daughters married, about his field in a village near lucknow, and about life and mumbai. He seemed determined to make enuogh money to pay for his 4th child's education, for which he became a taxi driver in mumbai.

Finally as I reached Rajdoot complex, I got down and with my broken hindi, I nervously said,
"Achcha laga. Achcha." WTH was that?
(It was nice. NICE?)
Even though I'd rehearsed this in my mind, I just HAD to screw it. I stood corrected,
"Aapse baat karke achcha laga" I said, my eyes closed. (It felt nice talking to you.)
He smiled, nodded and folded his hands together. "Ha ji namaste."

And so all that traffic, all the people, and the sadness of mumbai's ratraced culture just went away. There were a million other people who thought like me, none of whom came from the same place, culture, religion or background as me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mumbai travel

Still trying to figure o9ut my routes. I amost got them right today, except the frequency of buses is SAD. And this place is pretty far I guess. From the railway route, which makes the distance four times longer. Blech, why four? I just liked the number. Got puky in the bus. it took a whole 70 minutes. BLECH!!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jury time!!!

Jury tomorrow!!! Getting quicker with things. Kick starting my day, shoving away all the negative vibes. Spent the morning with Devaunshi looking for places. Its next to impossible. Anyway. Guess I'll end up stayin with Anita Maushi. Thats all.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sharkeys

Two great white sharks swimming in the ocean spied survivors of a sunken
ship. "Follow me son" the father shark said to the son shark and they swam
to the mass of people.

"First we swim around them a few times with just
the tip of our fins showing." And they did. "Well done, son! Now we swim around them a few times with all of our fins showing." And they did. "Now we eat everybody." And they did.

When they were both gorged, the son asked, "Dad, why didn't we just eat them all at first? Why did we swim around and around them?"

His wise father replied, "Because they taste better without the shit inside!"

Monday, February 28, 2011

Allopathy n Naturopathy?

Friends,

Today I learnt a new phrase from The Times of India: VEXATIOUS
LITIGANT. The news item on the front page reads: "A lawyer who dragged his estranged wife ... to court in a record 115 cases has been stopped in his tracks. The HC admitted the petition ... by Maharashtra advocate general Ravi Kadam to declare Kazi a vexatious litigant."
(Kazi is that lawyer fellow who has been filing 115 petitions against his wife.) I want to use this phrase. I declare Sir Vinod, Sir S Halagiri, and Sir Hemant as VEXATIOUS LITIGANTSÂ against Allopathy. And I declare Sir Arun a VEXATIOUS LITIGANTÂ against sanity in general.
Cheers
Sanjiv


Dear Sir Bhatla,
Thank you for awarding me this honorary degree (V.L.). Does it also come with a cash prize?
It is not easy fighting this Goliath called Allopathy that milks all Americans (even healthy ones via taxes) to the tune of over two trillion dollars every year, most of which is worse than pure waste. My problem is that the real Mr. Allopathy is not a member of this forum and is not obliged to respond to my litigation even once, let alone 115 times. I wish someone could actually litigate against Mr. Allopathy in a real court of law for all the countless lies he promotes 115,000 times a year.
Of course, we do have many strong supporters of Mr. Alloathy on this forum, starting with you. But in the end, it is not even about allopathy vs. non-allopathy because no system is best for every situation. The ideal system would integrate the best of all systems, but since each system, especially allopathy, has become so provincial, it would not even acknowledge the existence of effective alternatives. At Kaiser, a doctor would not prescribe a home remedy to her patients (e.g., ginger/honey/turmeric for cold/cough) even though she prescribes it for her own family members. Why? Because the gods of allopathy will frown on her and she may get fired.
Incidentally, people (especially us IITians at this age) don't learn anything significant from a casual discussion of most topics. They usually have well thought out and strongly held opinions on most subjects. Therefore, lines like "Allopaths are the Men of Medicine and Naturopaths are mere Boys' may make for good poetry, but don't help in any practical way. It is only when people's long-held assumptions are challenged in a substantial debate, that they are forced to think deeper.
Regards,
VijayG

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Portfolio preps

After so much procrastination, I have finally started with my portfolio. Who cares if my layout sucks now, I just hope they judge me by my work. :( It's so hard to pick the best and compile it all. Hoping the time invested will be worth it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Racism

Everyone seems to be in such a hurry to scream 'racism' these days.

A customer asked, "In what aisle could I find the Sarson Ka Tel?" (Mustard OIL)
The clerk says "You a Sikh?"
The guy, clearly offended, says, "Yes I am. But let me ask you something.
If I had asked for Italian Olive Oil, would you ask me if I was Italian?
Or if I had asked for German Bratwurst, would you ask me if I was German?
Or if I asked for a kosher hot dog would you ask me if I was Jewish?
Or if I had asked for a Taco, would you ask if I was Mexican?
Or if I asked for some Irish whiskey, would you ask if I was Irish?
The clerk says, "No, I probably wouldn't."
The guy says, "Well then, because I asked for Sarson Ka Tel, why did you say I
am Sikh?"
The clerk replied, "Because you're in a Liquor Store."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The art of losing things

29th Jan 2011
12:17 am

My heart thudded as I saw it lying there on the tile, alone with an empty coffee cup. Someone had left it there, and the first thught that ran through my mind was that this was my cap. It was my lens cap coz there was nothing besides it. No camera no case no person. Ravi had said I would find it back. He said he was my lucky charm. Bullocks, I had thought.
I grabbed the lenscap and my face muscles pushed into a grin. My cap.

I ran down the staircase, grinning to every face I passed. I removed the phone from my pocket and dialled Ravi's number. It rang thrice. I waited. Ring ring, and then Ravi answered, "hi tell me". "RAVI!!!!!!!!!!!!" I screamed, "I FOUND IT, I FOUND IT!!!! MY LENS CAP!" Now he must've thought, gosh, this chic, she keeps losing and finding things. He's never seen me losing things and not finding them. "Where?" he asked, and I told him my story. "Wow! You see, I told you I'm your lucky charm!" he must have been grinning. I clutched the lenscap to my chest as I walked (or almost ran) to the hostel. My pace was like flight, and I climbed the staircase 5 floors up faster than I nornally did, staring at the cap in my hand. So I guess I'd stolen it back from the person who stole it from me. I wouldn't have to look for that authorised Canon store, and I wouldn't have to pay 300 bucks for a new one after all. What a waste of my worring.

I thought of what I'd just done. I had stolen my cap back from someone else; but what were the odds of this cap belonging to someone else? A voice echoed in my mind, "Did I do the right thing, puppa?".

As I reached the room I noticed the letters embossed on it. Canon, in shiny metallix Silver. My Cap..it was silver matt finish...Under the letters was embossed in Caps Italic and gold, Ultrasonic. I could't remember my lenscap having those letters. My cap was simple, in black and silver matt. This one was almst elite, a mismatch - like it never belonged to me. I frowned, looking down.. Had I literally stolen someone's lenscap?

I tried hard to connect the wifi to my laptop. It wasn't getting detected and I needed to check my facebook album - "First shots with Canon". I found it funny that I had never been SO desperate to get on facebook, but I needed to know if this was my cap.
I found a picture of my lens cap. It was a simple round object with 'Canon' beatifully embossed on it in silver.

I paused and stared at the frame. It was there. This was not my cap. I sighed, and gave myself a half smile. My fingers typed, "Ravi, it's not mine.. I'll give it back."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jo App Kaho Ji

Jo Aap Kaho Ji.

Husband: aaj khane mein kya banaogi?
Wife: Jo aap kaho
H: Dal chawal bana lo
W: Abhi kal hi to khaye the
H: to sabji roti bana lo
W: bacche nahi khayenge
H: to chhole puri bana lo
W: mujhe bahut heavy lagta hai
H: eggs bhurji bana lo
W: aaj guruvaar hai
H: paraanthe ?
W: raat ko paraanthe kaun khata hai??
H: Hotel se mangwa lete hain?
W: roz roz hotel ka nahi khana chahiye
H: kadhi chawal?
W: dahi nahi hai
H: idly sambar?
W: usme time lagega. pehle bolna chahiye tha na!!
H: maggi hi bana lo, usme time nahi lagega
W: woh koi meal thodi hai? Pet nahi bharta
H: phir ab kya banaogi?
W: Jo aap kaho

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Bad Luck" back to back episodes.

“Bad Luck” – screened back to back.

Chapter 1: Losing

It was a fine day, because it was a holiday. M.I.T Institute of Design had a bunch of crazy people who kept screening the best movies of all time, and this very day, they would screen the legendary – Star Wars. An empty pocketed girl named Nikhita limped (as fast as she could) to the projector room where the movie was to be screened. She hadn’t seen it before, and her friends Alok and Ravi had promised it would be worth the watch. The previous day her friend Tanu had lifted her on his back and Bharat Singhal – an elfish friend (in behaviour and appearance) slammed her tow on the hard floor which caused it to swell in pain. So she limped to the room and there they watched the movies.

In the evening Nikhita and her friend Ravi went out for Chai at the local dhaba – kaka’s, but before that, she went to the pharmacy, to buy toe-healing medicines. From her sweatshirt she pulled out 2 notes of 50 and 500. The medicines cost her 45, so she used the 50 Rs. note. A little voice inside her told her to put the note in her jeans instead of the wide-open sweatshirt pocket, but she didn’t listen. When she reached her room at night and changed, her pockets were empty. The 500 Rs. were gone, and a 5 Rupee coin remained. She didn’t believe it. She hoped and hoped she had it somewhere. She turned out her pockets; the note had fallen out.

Chapter 2: Despair

Nikhita panicked. She had a record for losing things. In her past she was tormented for being irresponsible and careless. A series of images flashed her mind, and frustrated, she confessed to her elder sister Raina, about the unfortunate incident. Raina told her to let it go; that it was just a piece of paper, and that it happens to all of us. “It’s gone, Ravi.” she texted. Ravi told her to smile and that they would probably get it back, and Pankti sent a hug. She decided to sleep it off.
The next morning, she wanted to use her wacom to work. So she went to class and opened her locker. The wacom was gone. “Well, maybe it’s in the other class lockers.” She thought, and went to her old class and checked her lockers. The wacom was nowhere to be found. 23 grand. Her work. Her parents. The lost 500 Rs note. More images, more thoughts. She checked the lockers the second, the third time. She called her warden to ask if it was found in her room. She ran to her room and checked the cupboard where she was so sure of not finding it. “You have it, don’t panick”, she told herself. She asked people who she never lent it to. It was gone.

Chapter 3: Chances – the jokes by life

She got back to class. Her day was a disaster. Just like the Star Wars screening, even losing her stuff was back to back. As she searched she prayed and prayed and hoped that she had not lost it. That someone borrowed it, or that it was somewhere safe. She told herself to trust herself. First the note, now a wacom? “I hope noone’s playing a joke” she said, with watery eyes. Alok and Ravi helped her recall her memory. The last time she used it, (they traced back) was when she sat on a different table in class. She ran to the table and opened its unlocked drawer. A black case lay there with a wacom, untouched, unseen in 2 weeks.

She breathed a heavy sigh, and sucked back the tears. Never had she felt so relieved. Clutching the wacom to her chest, she threw a half smile to her friends in gratitude. They went to the projector room and enjoyed Star Wars on the big screen.

Chapter 4: The Magic Trick

The sun had set and the moon lit up the roads which lead home. Call it a day; she thought. It was as horrible as some of her worst. She changed, and emptied her pockets. Out came a 500 Rs. note.

She dropped the note in shock. It was definitely magic. Only the previous night she had turned out her pockets to see nothing but their fabric. The yellow-green note’s face stared back at her. She smiled. She would tell Raina and Ravi about this, but they wouldn’t believe her. “You didn’t check properly”, they would tell her. So she picked up the note, and put it in her savings.

Nikhita looked up at the ceiling as she lay on her bed. A rug covered her warm. It was cold, the fan was off. All that was heard, was a heavy sigh of relief.

Scraps 1

At lohri:
Anonymous: Hey get ur camera!
Me: Eh. It's in the class.
Anonymous: But your class is on this floor!
Me: Yeah but it's locked..
Alok: So jump in through the window!
Me: *bored face*
Alok: You're ridiculous.


In the comp lab:
Ravi P: Hey where's the projector?
Alok: Yeah it's in class.
Ravi: Oh.
Alok: It's locked man.
Me: So jump in through the window!

*Ravi n alok walking out of the lab*
Alok: It's boring.
Ravi: It's boring? you just have to jump in dude.
Me: Mahahahaha!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Passing thoughts on Eating.

14th Jan 2011

We stepped in and then ordered the food. Jahnvi - the local dhaba was going to shut down. As the food came, En gobbled spoons down like Puppa. I looked at him, then looked at the food. En had a peculiar way of eating his food. I was thinking, does this guy know what's going into his mouth? Does he taste it before swallowing?
I could smell the bits of spring onions at shredded chicken in fried rice, the coconut from the chicken malabari, and the butter on the roti which Tanu was eating. Vicky looked miserable eating a bland veg pulao, that had no distinct smell. "What're you looking at?" En asked. "Oh nothing." I replied, realizing it was rude to stare at people eating. I looked around to notice that none of them really looked like they were tasting it. It was funny how my brain travelled through thoughts, changing in milliseconds.

Well. I guess we were just hungry.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pickup lines.

Man: "Haven't we met before?"
Woman: "Yes, I'm the receptionist at the VD Clinic."

Man: "Haven't I seen you someplace before?
Woman: "Yeah, that's why I don't go there anymore."

Man: "Is this seat empty?"
Woman: "Yes, and this one will be too if you sit down."

Man: "Your place or mine?"
Woman: "Both. You go to yours and I'll go to mine."

Man: "I'd like to call you. What's your number?"
Woman: "It's in the phone book."

Man: "But I don't know your name."
Woman: "That's in the phone book too."

Man: "So what do you do for a living?"
Woman: "I'm a female impersonator."

Man: "Hey, baby, what's your sign?"
Woman: "Do not Enter"

Man: "I know how to please a woman."
Woman: "Then please leave me alone."

Man: "I want to give myself to you."
Woman: "Sorry, I don't accept cheap gifts."

Man: "I can tell that you want me."
Woman: "Ohhhh. You're so right. I want you to leave."

Man: "If I could see you naked, I'd die happy:
Woman: "Yeah, but if I saw you naked, I'd probably die laughing."

Man: "Your body is like a temple."
Woman: "Sorry, there are no services today."

Man: "I'd go through anything for you."
Woman: "Good! Let's start with your bank account."

Man: "I would go to the end of the world for you.
Woman: "Yes, but would you stay there?