I've Got Culture!

Yes! This is the wonderful kombucha which has been used as a health drink for more than a thousand years by people of the far east. And now I have one of my own! A very good friend of mine had got one all the way from Russia, and has been drinking from it for years now. She decided I could do with some better health and gave me a baby culture to grow in my own home :) And now, after a week, I am really fond of it!

The culture grows in a glass jar, full of sweet tea. This pic is from the internet of course, as my culture is little more than a film on top of the tea surface. But I will post a pic once it grows enough to be discernible in a photograph, and will also post details of all the benefits I have got from drinking the elixir! And, if you want, you can have your very own kombucha culture from me!


Back to blogging!

I am able to access blogs freely again from home (Airtel broadband). Actually I have been able to do so for more than 24 hours, I just didn't pay attention. So I guess bringing it to the attention of the media did help in getting the powers-that-be to reconsider. Desite the mixed feelings most of us have about the media, I suppose in a country like India it is still the most effective way to get your opinion heard.


Mission Accomplished!

Alright! I have finally got "Recent Comments" on my sidebar! Many thanks to BloggerHacks! Now all the hairless primates can have as many last laughs as they want on my blog! *Does happy dance*


Unique? You bet!

I read a column in yesterday's paper about how Inglish (Indian English) is the slowly becoming the most-spoken variant of English in the world. Well, here's some food for thought:
This pamphlet has been hanging on my colleague's pinboard for a while. His cousin was handed the pamphlet somewhere in the market.


What sort of writer should I be?

You Should Be a Joke Writer

You're totally hilarious, and you can find the humor in any situation.
Whether you're spouting off zingers, comebacks, or jokes about life...
You usually can keep a crowd laughing, and you have plenty of material.
You have the makings of a great comedian - or comedic writer.
What Type of Writer Should You Be?

The re-incarnation of PG Wodehouse? Yeah, thats me!


Movies first?

Just got back from watching the last show of Krrish at PVR. I liked the movie well enough, the actor was believable as a superhero, the hi-tech futuristic equippment did not look like it was 20 years old, and the special effects did not look plastic or too animated. But this isn't about the movie. This is about the movie theater, specifically PVR cinemas at Hyderabad Central.

If you are familiar with Hyderabad Central, you will know that it is a 6 storey building with two levels of basement parking. Levels 0-3 house the mall, level 4 is a foodcourt and level 5 is the multiplex. To get to the multiplex, you either take the stairs and/or escalator through the mall upto level 5 or you go to the back of the building and fight your way into a lift to get up there. The inside of the multiplex is the standard plush PVR decor. The loos are clean and equipped and "audis" have deep pile carpets and very comfortable seats.

The movie ended at about 12:40 AM, and the audience headed toward the single exit door that had been opened. After probably circumnavigating the whole building in a narrow corridor (made me feel like I was at the Tirupati temple) we reached the equally narrow staircase. The good news is that the flooring on the stairs is not as slippery as the one inside the mall. Now for the bad news. For the late show, a whole throng of people have to walk seven floors down a single narrow staircase to reach the parking lot (or at least five to reach the exit). This is because all the exits to the mall from each floor are close. So here we have a slow-moving river of people, kids, grandparents, et al walking slowly down. And then two floors down, we encounter the wonder of wonders. Three buckets of water left upon the landing, and one that has been upturned.

Holding on to the stair rails to keep footing in my heels (of course, I had not come prepared for an adventure trek), I somehow reached the ground floor, where we were all ejected out of the building. Now, to get to the basement parking, we had only one entrance. The same one that the cars and bikes were coming out of. Trying to drive your vehicle up that exit ramp is hard enough with the steep incline and the strategically-placed speedbreakers. Now you have to evade an oncoming stream of pedestrians as well!

My only thought during this whole exit (which took a full 15 minutes from getting out of the auditorium door to getting out of the gate on our bike) was "what happens if there is a fire?" People may recall that this theatre had some delays in opening due to lack of proper fire exits. And that it had opened after installing an external fire-escape staircase. (I can't find the link to this at the moment, but I'm looking). Imagine the stampede of people during a fire, pouring out into the corridor from all five auditoria instead of one, running about 200 mts to get to a narrow staircase which may very well be innundated with buckets of water. I don't want to imagine it. But I couldn't think about anything else for those 15 minutes and all the way on the ride home. I have decided not to visit the theatre for a night show, and if it can be helped, for any show. It's all very well to put the "Movies First". But what about the movie-goers?


My next project

I am always happiest when I have a "project" to look forward to. No, not the software kind! Those are projects at work. This is the kind of project that you put to yourself as a challenge, or for learning, or just to have fun. Some of my earlier projects have included: chocolatizing my blog (done, as you can see), learning French (ongoing, but not going anywhere really fast), learning Mandarin (abandoned, coz it's really difficult!), making a "disco" shirt for myself (done, and worn at a nightclub in Goa), and so on. So you see, the project does not have to be big, or difficult, or expensive, just something that interests you, and something that you wouldn't do in the ordinary course of your life.

So here's my new project: Shab Deg. This is what it looks like: Interesting? You bet! Go check out the recipe. It will take me days if not weeks to get all those ingredients in one place. Or even to figure out what they all are. Hmm, if anyone can tell me what "Balai" is, in the context of this recipe, they can come home and have a taste of the final product whenever I get around to the actual cooking part. And the Kashmiri ver. It would be a great help if someone could tell me where I can buy this in Hyderabad so that I don't have to make it myself. So you see, it doesn't just have to be my project! Y'all can join in too! I will definitely be posting an update with the results when I complete this project. Wish me luck!

ETA: Wokay, I have found Balai. What a relief! Apparently, it is the same as Malai. (I was suspecting that. It's what "malai" would sound like if spoken through a stuffy nose). OK, so this is not such a hard-to-figure-out-and-acquire kind of ingredient.


God's Own Blog

I have found God's Own Blog on the internet!


Man, Woman and Superman

After watching the new Superman movie, a lot of the guys I know are very disappointed. They will give you a lot of reasons: the movie was more of a melodrama than a superhero movie, the new guy is not as broad and Superman-like as Reeve was, etc., etc. Got me wondering why, since I loved the movie as well as the new guy (I have said as much in my last post). So here I present my analysis (hah!) of why a generation of people who had seen the first set of Superman movies in the childhood or early teens would show such a marked difference in the reception of the new movie, based on their gender.

Why women loved it:

There is an alien superhero who has human emotions, who empathises with the pain of others. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he has the most dreamy eyes and incredibly pouty lips that are begging to be kissed! And the love of his life has hurt him, so it's perfect timing for her to step in and take over!

Why men hated it:

Superman was always larger than life. He was the superhero of all superheroes, invincible and indestructible. He was the superlative of "man". And then, in this movie, he cries! I am sure this has caused him to fall from the exalted position in many a male heart. It's fine for him to take his gal out for a spin in the stratosphere, to romance her in his icy Arctic castle, but to cry because she has moved on? That is unforgiveable in any man, let alone the superhero.

And why does he fly around the world doing good deeds anyway? Because he can hear the cries of the people! Sheesh! What a ninny! The male viewer would have thought that he did it because he could! I mean of course he would want to fly around pulling airplanes out of the air and rescuing maidens from runaway cars! He has all this power, I would do it too, if I had the powers!

And then there is the relativity factor. When the male viewer saw Reeve as Superman for the first time, he in all likelyhood was a tiny tot, all of three feet tall. And someone of Reeve's stature would have seemed like a towering giant! But now, he is not all that little himself, and the new fella doesn't seem to be as big, broad and brawny as the male viewer's mental image of what Superman should look like.

So I guess, for them, Superman doesn't seem all that super anymore.


Me too!!!

This is a "me too" post. Inspired by Aparna's wonderfully-written post , to appease Anshuman's demand for a new post, and also for Mehul, who has been very patient, this is a list of things I have decided to put a stop to:

1) I will stop accepting friend requests on Yahoo, Orkut, etc. from unknown people. I know, I know, I have made a lot of good friends on communities like these, but it is too much of a strain on the resources to have to weed through all the creeps to get to the "few good (wo)men". So, I am going to give up all the potential good friends I may have made on all these communities and messengers by refusing to friend anyone whom I don't already know, either personally or through debates on some forum or through reading/commenting of blogs.

ETA: It's so much easier on the concience to press the ignore button now that I have made this decision and posted it in immortal prose on the blog!

2) I will stop letting pesky, peristent salespeople get under my skin. I am going to work on developing a thicker skin when it comes to pushy salespeople who try to sell you things that they think you need, from "anti tanning face pack" to "massage oils that will reduce fatness". I will calmly go my own way without snapping back at them, just smile and say "No thanks", because, after all, it is their job. But more importantly, I will not get worked up about the fact that they thought I was too fat to be walking around in the store or something like that, and was desperately in need of "massage oils that will reduce fatness".

3) I will stop wasting my time arguing with trolls on Usenet newgroups, Orkut communities or even in real life. I will not try and enlighten anyone with my more rational and lucid thinking, because most of the times, the posts are made just to get a rise out of people like me, and to make us feel frustrated that there are such close-minded people in the world. So, I am giving up arguing with people who resort to the Argumentum ad Capslock or the Chewbacca Defence. Because there are some fights that are just not worth the rise in blood pressure.

4) I will stop day dreaming about Superman and about the actor who plays him in the movie, no matter how dreamy his eyes are! If he looks too good to be human, then he probably isn't human.

5) I will stop letting a month pass by without making a blogpost!

**That was a real short list! Will try and add to it over time...**