Monday, June 30, 2008

You da Man!

A couple of weeks ago I was searching for "Where is Carmen Sandiego?" . For those of you who don't know what that is , it was this old DOS based game that I played when I was in the 4th or 5th grade.

Google popped up a "Where the Hell is Matt" as one of search results and at that time I paid no attention to it .... but last week someone at work shared a link from the site which had a video of Matt.

Now you are probably wondering who the hell is Matt , let along where the hell he might be. He is a 31 year old guy from CT , who went around the world twice ... dancing. No its not one of those guys who go around the world to learn about the native dances of particular countries - instead he is a guy who went around the world, and stopped at places and danced and took videos of that and posted it online. Its not like he dances well, and its not like he knows a lot of moves. In fact he has just the one move and that one is terrible at best. Its the sort of thing you are likely to do when you've had one too many shots of Tequila or the poison of your choice.

He went around the world the first time around in 2006... and once the videos of that were posted he became "semi-famous" and in 2007 he did it again but this time he invited all the people who had emailed him after his 2006 video, to come dance with him and they did.

His video is fascinating... not because of the places he's been to because am sure if you switched on Discovery or TLC you would end up seeing those places... but fascinating because of the way people in it are dancing ,with him, in it. Old men, young men, women, kids...everyone for that moment the video was being shot forgot whatever it is that they have going on in their lives and danced.... and it was nothing fancy.... but they had fun which is the most important of all. They jumped, they wriggled, they danced and had fun doing it which is evident in every single face .

The few things that stood out for me were the enormous wave in Tongatapu, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia (its fucking surreal) and the background song for the 2008 video.

The song is in Bengali and I didn't get till I watched the video for the 3rd time!! (shame on me... considering am a half Bengali!!).

So... if you think you could use a smile go watch the video at . It ll do the job and make you feel good about life .

And Matt, if you need a backup dancer, lemme know. I am terrible myself :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Of falling sick and purging

As a kid , I fell sick pretty often. According to my mom, it was because of some wrong vaccination shots I got which totally shot up my immune system for a couple of years. But this post has nothing to do with that.

Am down with a cold, a terrible cough and a fever to boot. So while in my bed weaving in and out of conciousness, I suddenly remebered what happened if you fell sick at home as a kid. Now my parents are great believers in home remedies and medicines were used only as the last resort. While these remedies were extremely effective and had no side effects and probably contributed to the fact that I hardly fall sick , they took their experimentation to a whole new level.

The thing that I remember the most is my dad's theory that everything arose from a "dirty" stomach. Till date, I have no clue what that means. My dad's way of monitoring my (and my sis's) health was to have us stick our tongue out, look at it and go..."Chee Chee Chee... thats dirty!!!" and then utter the dreaded word "Julaab". Julaab is the hindi/punjabi word for the entire Purgative family of products. Apparently having dark spots on the tongue (that I have had all my life and have had a doctor tell me a couple of years ago is just pigmentation marks) is a sign of having a "dirty" stomach and the only way to fix that was making sure that the toilet was the room I spent most of my day in . This diagnosis was for EVERYTHING. Cough, Cold, Fever, Stomach Aches, Acne, Rashes, Allergies...did I say everything???

However, as I have already mentioned, it had to be a home remedy and those things have scarred me for life. If it was a small pill, I probably would'nt have had these memories but no!!.... the stuff forced down my throat were the vilest of concoctions ever devised.

The chief amongst these was the infusion of Senna (Sona Patta in Hindi). The leaves are these pretty golden color but thats the only thing positive about it . The leaves were soaked over night (on Thursdays) and then it was boiled to produce this dark brown brew which smelt like the pits of hell itself and tasted like god only knows what. I cannot describe the taste.... there are no words to describe such a thing . A cup of this infusion was forced down my throat on Friday night and I spent Saturday with my stomach rumbling and twisting and all the things associated with a laxative.

Incase you were under the impression that this was something that happened only when I was sick, it was not. It was given to me weekly as long as I was home. Infact after I left for boarding school, the dosing continued the moment I got home for my holidays.

To all parents out there... Purgatives and Laxatives are NOT the cure for any sickness.... take it from a guy who knew each damp spot in the toilet intimately!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Thinking, House Hunting and Food... All in a day's work


About how some people influence our lives a lot more than others. In my case one person who really stood was Bro. Walsh, back when I was in grade school. Bro. Walsh was from County Cork, and used to the english teacher for 10th grade but by the time he and I met, he had stopped teaching and was retired and lived in our school. I was sitting on th bench in the "front of school" at my usual spot - the corner covered by the pine tree and the massive cactus and working my way through Kipling's Plain Tales from the Hills. He walked up to where I was sitting... so I naturally stood up and the first thing he said was "That's a strange choice for a saturday afternoon". I guess my expression told him how confused I was as to what choice he spoke he pointed at the book. He then spent the next hour or so quizzing me about what I had been reading and why I had been reading and what I remember and what I learnt from what I read. I was petrified... since I had no idea what was going on. Mercifully, the bell rang to annouce tea... and off I went... like a bat out of hell. Since I had practise after tea... I didn't run into him again and the day wound up and I forgot all about it. Next day, I was at my usual place finishing up my book... and all of a sudden he is sitting next to me. He didn't say a word, and started reading the book he was carrying... and this is how it went. Over the next 2 years, he gave me books that I should have been reading, debated them with me and even spoke to my mom and told her to persuade me to study literature once I got out of school (my mom was all for it, esp since she herself has a masters in English Litt) . The thing I learnt though (and I realized this muchhhh later) was he actually taught how to form my own opinions based on what I read and what I saw and not what others thought of it.

House Hunting....

Probably the most irritating of all human activities... I rate it lower than standing in line at a government office even. Its that time of the year that I need to look for a new place (our old is ok... but the area around it is a dump) . So we need to move... again.... to a place where its easy to find a maid, and have the garbage cleared on a daily basis and other small things. Well.... wish me luck!!!


This is something that I picked up from somewhere (dont remember where...) but is super for a rainy day :

You going to need :

4 Chicken Breasts

Whisky (not the cheap stuff - Use a Bourbon, or Scotch or Irish)

Double Cream


A twig

Add oil to a heavy pan, and sear the chicken lightly and evenly. Turn the flame low, add whisky to the pan making sure that you put enough on the chicken . Light the twig, and hold it to the pan, allowing the whisky to light up. Make sure you stand way back because its going to go up a treat and WILL take your eyebrows off if you are not careful. Once the flame dies down... add the cream and the chopped up mushrooms and salt to taste and allow it to simmer in the pan till cooked. You will want to check on it every once in a while to make sure its not sticking to the bottom and adding a teeny bit of water to keep it going until cooked. To serve.... out 2 pieces to a plate and pour the sauce over it liberally. You might wanna chop up some parsely and sprinkle across the top.

P.S. - You can do this with beef or lamb as well. Just remember that the pieces need to be small otherwise they aren't going to get cooked.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Living Life - Upside Down!

No it doesn't mean I hang from the rafters as I go through my day. Nor does it mean that I have one of those crazy urges that make me walk on my hands (I don't see a reason esp since I have two perfectly servicable legs).

I live in India, and work for a company in California . So if I have to work 9am through 5pm like normal Californians do, would mean I have to work local time 2230 through 0630. Oh and for the record, I have been doing this since Oct 2006 .

This means that I am up through the night and sleeping through the day. Now I have heard a lot of people tell me how its not right and how humans are meant to sleep at night and work during the day... about how the sleep of the night is true sleep and sleeping during the day is not the same. Damn it!! I knew my sleep was ripping me off!!

Sleep is important to me as almost anyone who knows me will testify. The level of my grumpiness can be measured by the lack of hours of sleep I have had. I NEED MY 8 HOURS. Some people may argue that 8 hours for an adult is too much but hey I been sleeping exactly 8 hours since I was 6.

I have had friends who have falled ill after working for a couple of months through the night and one thing I have noticed is that they do it wrong. They keep telling themselves that they are doing the unnatural thing and try to pick on the day when the wake up.

The key to getting this right is in fooling your body (and body clock) to not think that its lost half a day but instead go through your normal routine albeit assways. For eg. if you wake up and head to the gym in the morning... do that when you wake up in the afternoon as well. Don't compromise on your daily routine thinking that you've lost (a part of) the day.

My day goes some what like this...

I wake up at 3... and take an hour to wake up :) which is also the time the maid comes in to clean. So I finish the wake up rituals and by the time she is done... I am ready to head to the gym. Workout is usually about an hour and a half after which I head to my neighbourhood cafe to cool off and catch up on my emails on phone. This time is spent making calls, answering emails and drinking 2 glasses of juice . After this I head home, and do all the little things that need be done while waiting for the water to heat up slightly and also breakfast. Shower takes about 15 mins , 20 if I have to shave (which is something I do once in 2 weeks :D ). Out of the shower, time to run my errands or go hang with my friends whichever is on for that day.Home by 830 giving me enough time to make lunch and prep for work. Work from about 2130.... with lunch at around midnight..... well you get the drift.

So take control of your body clock and make it work for you. And more importantly... stop calling me Newspaper Delivery/Owl/Gurkha etc. I mean it. Stop it already! SILENCE!!! I KILL YOU!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pitter Patter and the end of my Writer's Block

So I haven't been blogging for quiet a while. Bit of a writers block there. Also the fact that I spend about 14 hours a day on the computer makes me not even want to come near one during the weekend.

However, something happened about an hour ago which not only broke my writer's block, hell it blew it up like it was rigged with charges.

I was on my bed, reading (Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series for all you have- to- know nosy prats!!) when I suddenly heard a sound in the room. Now considering my bedroom is bang next to a bus depot and when I say bang next I really mean it (my window is about 4 feet from the boundary of the depot) so I am used to the noise. But then at 2 AM local time its dead quiet and I know a sound which does not belong in my room when I hear it. It was a sort of a scratchy sound very faint. But it had my attention . Now I was listening for it but then it was not to be heard, so I put it down to the cat who invades my house to get to the garbage. Scarcely had I finished a couple of sentences then I heard it again. Again I stopped to listen and see if I could locate where it was coming from but all I heard was silence. So I went back to my book and lo behold... 2 sentences and the sound again. Its almost as if the sound could see me and was doing it just to annoy the crap out of me.Now I was really getting irritated since I really wanted to know what happened next but this sound wanted to play. So being the terribly clever person that I am I devised a plan. And a cunninger plan there was never devised. It was so cunning that it needed a whole new degree of cunning. Wait for it ! Wait for it!

So my plan was that I am going to PRETEND to read , all the while listening to for the bloody sound. Clever huh!? Utterly and totally diabolical you must admit. And the sound fell into my trap!!! A couple of minutes into my pretend read I heard it and like a bat triangulated the source to be coming from behind this picture I have on the floor (I haven't gotten around to putting it up, because am considering having it re-framed). So staying in my utterly devious and cunning mode, I creeped off my bed and and crawled on my knees and took a peek. And I saw..............

A mouse!!!!!!!! about 4 inches long . Sort of the brown that's called...well.... Mousy. Now here we were, looking at each other .... me on my knees and it is on its.... paws. Both of us looking at each other like 2 Gunfighters who are about to go at it. So I take a step (or in this case, knee) forward and the little bugger goes back.... and that I do not want. If he got in to my closet, I would have to go in there to look for him and I do not need my clothes to be bit through.

So I altered my angle of attack, and decided to flush him forward and towards the door. So I went around again, over my bed and behind him. But the little blighter was already looking in my direction. But since now I have the advantage of my angle of attack... I went towards the frame... and he was off.... straight through the door and into my living room with me hard on his heels. And straight into the couch!!!%^#$$%#$^%&% . I had turned the lights out when I went to bed and in my single minded pursuit of the midget monster walked straight into my couch and dinged myself on the shin.

Now it was getting out of hand! He was using my own furniture against me and this had to stop. After all it is my bloody house !!!!I didn't invite him in or anything. So I decided to give him the option to realise the precariousness of his position and make an honorable exit, through the window I and just opened. But being the nasty evil minded bugger that he was, he bolted into my kitchen.


So I chased him around in the kitchen and he decided to take refuge under the sink now. Gotcha you little nasty bugger!!! Armed with a broom and a plastic bag, I did Lion taming act except that this "Lion" was 4 inches long. But make no mistake, he was just as dangerous.

So I am trying to force him into the bag but the crafty lil bugger jumps over the mouth of the bag...onto my hand and off he is into the living room again. Gaaaahhhhh!!! This has to end! It he or I in this house now.

So I finally corner him and get him into the bag. And kick him out of the house. Job well done. Handshakes and Buns all around

To all the rodents out there.... There be a man in this house.

P.S. - No animals were hurt during the above events at any point of time bar your true self.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

So its been a long while since I last wrote. Call me lazy...thats exactly what I am...LAZY :)

A lot has happened since then, or not depends upon which way you look at it.

I finally found a house (YAY!!) but I haven't been living there :). 3 service providers turned down my application for a internet line., after telling me that it could be done. Go figure! No internet means no can stay. Why? Well I gotta work from home right so without the internet am as effective as a dumbbell. We know what it can do, especially if it falls on your head but its gotta land first innit :D. So my hopes now rest with Reliance, who have assured me on the heads of their first borns that it will be done this week. They better otherwise I have a serious problem.

I want to live in my own place. My bleedin bathroom is bigger than my current bedroom (at my sis's place) and I HAVE A TUB ! I haven't cooked anything in a long time and I want to start doing that again. I want to be able to listen to music and watch TV at 3 in the morning while I am working. I want, I want, I want ! hmpf!!

I am stuck at a place where I dont know where I don't know where am headed. I have always taken pride in knowing exactly what I want to do and when I want to do it. But of late am just stagnating. I stopped working out, I have stopped taking an interest in anything. Its as if I am catatonic.Even my work is suffering, I am tired and irritable not the usual patient guy that I think of myself to be.

People get on my nerves easy these days. Guess am becoming too intolerant and that is so not me. I just can't seem to understand why people don't see the obvious. Or maybe its just MY obvious. I have a uncluttered thought process. You do this, I will do that ...that sort of thing. Like a well drilled soccer team really. People let others walk all over them, they know they are being walked over and want to change that and instead of doing something about it, all they do is bitch. They talk and talk and talk some more and then go back and get walked on all over again. Its an endless circle...and the line that seems to be prevalent is , " Oh I don't know..."

BTW.... guys....if any girl tells you anything along the lines of "I am not looking to date anyone right now" or " I like you as a friend" it just plain means you are not good enough for her. Trust me on this, and no matter what the girl claims to mean. Why you not good enough for her? how the hell do I know! It could be anything or everything. My only advice is cut your losses and run ...and run like the wind at that. If you hang around all you will be doing is hurting yourself. My thumb rule for someone liking me is pretty simple. The other person will make time for you no matter what. For example ... you call and say " Hey you wanna catch a movie on thursday?" Now if the girl is interested in going out with you, even if she is busy she will say something along the lines of , " Hey am really busy today, can we do it some other day? Say Sunday?". Notice the definite time period for re scheduling?? It means that she wants to go out with you but just is plain busy. Now if the girl didnt want to go out with you, she would say something like, " Hey am really busy so I cant make it" or " We ll do it some other time"... all open ended statements. Once again thumb rule as my mum taught me, is go out with someone who wants to go out with you. Otherwise all it leads to is drama.

So endeth lesson one :)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Well the house hunting continues...nothing major to talk about there...except for the fact how most house owners seem to have a problem with the fact that I am single (read unmarried) and want to live on my own.Its as if I am telling them that I am going to set fire to the house but only after I have sacrificed some virgins and performed bizarre arcane pagan rituals in the house.

So not only getting into a club is a problem if you are add getting a house to the list.So coming back to the would think that you were interviewing for a post in a company the way they ask question.Actually make that an interview like you were asking to marry their daughter!They are decidedly unfriendly...ask too many personal questions and some of them are downright rude. There was one who asked me..."What caste do you belong to?"...I wanted to haul off and hit him much for being educated.Actually I should have...the house was crap anyway :).Also I have absolutely no clue what caste I belong to.I don't care to know either...

There was this other one who was initially all civil ...then asked.."How many of you will be living here"...and I said umm just one.Me.His face fell....he was actually disappointed...he rather hopefully asked...Ohh you are getting married sometime soon? I went NOO!!!! not. He actually looked disappointed that I had no intention of settling down anytime soon. I felt really sorry for him.I did...really....stop laughing!!! I did ...I kid you not.

Yet another one...the landlord after showing me the house and seeming to be OK with my marital house ...threw a bomb...he showed me a 4X4 space and said that's to park your car.I almost burst out laughing...because I suddenly pictured one of those clown cars that have bunches of clowns piling out of it and then falling apart on cue.Just imagine you pull up in that at the Leela and then your whole gang of friends piling out after you.

So the search continues...but I need to find something in a fortnight or am really dead.So I am girding my loins (whatever that means...I have never girded anything before let alone loins) and as my friend Krissy would put it "Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggeeeeeee "

Peace out!