Thursday, December 20, 2007

last post ............ of 2007 A.D.

Its pretty cold here .. freezing everyday.

Everyday is different in many ways, but still remains the same.

Just wanted to denote that I am still here :).

Doing some writing of the technical kind completely kills any enthusiasm to write anything more .. even informal .... like, say a blog post.

40 days .... too long a shot ... but no harm right?

Mythalez wishes every reader, a very happy new year .. lets hope this year is radically different from the rest ;)

Aaah, no .. no new year resolutions for me ... no resolutions of any kind at all .. mythalez claims he is perfect as he is :P

Au revoir!

Monday, December 10, 2007

memory fading out ...

Nostalgia may be painful. Nevertheless, it is quite agonising when you realise that many of your memories are slowly, silently fading out. When you try to recollect various time-periods of your life, your are confronted with some faces floating around and some scenes blinking in and out of sight. You focus your attention on some of these scenes only to realise that they depict some random incidents that have occurred on some arbitrary occasions and are quite inconsequential. You have no justification as to why your memory chose to register these sequences so strongly while overlooking the actual major events. You might consciously force your memory to gather those moments that you feel are important and should be treasured. It will cough out a few flickering images and you have to carry out extensive extrapolation to make them coherent. But you begin to wonder how much of it is a genuine part of the memory and how much of it has been cobbled up just now using your imagination on how it should or could have been.
And then, you sigh and give up .... after all, soon you wont even remember that you were trying to hold onto those fading memories.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

teaching wordpress !!!

Wordpress users .. can you tell me whether it is so complicated to use wordpress that anyone would be interested to fork out £400 to learn how to use it, as proposed by this course?

I know I am inadvertantly advertising them .. but seriously ... how many participants would they get!

Monday, December 03, 2007

When you want to just talk ... blog

Aren't there occasions when you suddenly get this urge to talk to someone? Not someone in particular but not any-every-one either ... just that you feel a need to talk, about nothing in particular but not too inane to be ignored either. And, as it is bound to happen, you would not find anyone worthwhile to talk to. You can't call anyone reachable at the time without mildly upsetting them or making them question your sanity. You do not have the other easy option of chatting either since you strangely find no one worthwhile online. The adjective 'worthwhile' does narrow down your choices quite considerably. So, you think, what the hell, just go to sleep! But you can't! As a result, you decide to have a monologue ... via your blog.

However, the point of contention then is that since you had no particular topic in mind to carry out the much wanted conversation, what would you start blogging about? Yeah, you can just type what you are thinking. And some thoughts ramble out.

There is as much mystery outside as there is inside .... both literally and metaphorically. Isn't it much tougher to figure out what you want then to actually obtain it? Even when you think you know what you want, you cannot be completely sure, since there always exists an uncertainty (no thanks to Heisenberg though). It can get more complicated if the only way to know whether you want it or not is to try obtaining it but you cannot risk not wanting it once you obtain it leaving you are in a catch-22 situation (that reminds me, I still need to read that book)

Sometimes, you wish your mind would stop all the pondering and contemplation and give itself a break. You try to bring about the break by watching many hours of gripping drama or hilarious comedy but as soon as you stop, the mind jumps back to the same old state ... just as I am typing this, the song 'comfortably numb' comes out of the random selection of winamp ... how ironic.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The general trace of life:

zero-teens = you learn about the world.
early-teens = you intend to change the world when you grow up.
late-teens = you realise you can't change the world, ever.
early-twenties = you intend to direct your own life as you want it.
early-thirties = you realise you dont control your life, rather it controls you.
late-thirties = you vow to direct the life of your children.
early-fifties = you realise you can't control your children's life at all.
sixties and later = you give up all hope and continue living.

ofcourse, I am just guessing, but I feel its true :D.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Occasion, just another
thoughtlessly, words spoken
skin pricked, by needles
the heart and the words.

scornfully, smile appears
wistfully, mind escapes
imagination, its personal
we shall survive it all.

cold wind, chilling effect
warmth inside, no reflect
frozen exterior, fire within
frown inside, show a grin.

overcome, the day, the night
and you shall be all right!

.. this poem will remain special to me for one reason ... for its written without sobriety :).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The one about the barber and other stories

Okay, I need to confess this. Ever since I had consciousness of this world, my hair and barbers, I tended to have longish hair compared to the average (of the guys of course). I have had long hair on many occasions in the past 3 yrs. Atleast on three of those occassions it was more than 6 months long. To the outside world, I supplied many explanations, ranging from the absurd like "it just keeps growing!" to the pretentious like "yeah, I look good with long hair". The fact is that I do not look good with long hair (inspite of the fact that it atleast makes me look older and not mistaken for a high-school going kid) and I have no inclinations for fashion or hair style. Yet, I generally have my hair long because, well .. umm .. I loathe going to a barber :-s.

Yeah, I am scared and fearful of those peaceful but sly, scissors wielding, smooth talking tormentors. When you go and sit in those comfy chairs, you submit yourself to their mercy and are practically helpless. Specifically in my case, since I have to remove my spects, am practically blind also. When their scissors whizz all over your head, cutting and chomping your dear dead black cells at will, you can only close your eyes and pray that the dark storm passes over quickly. And then, when he disdainfully takes out a brand new blade or those electric shaver thingy, you gather all your will power to stop yourself from bolting out. And then, a particularly raunchy song comes up in that miniature tv set in the room and you start fearing for your life; since the barber continues as before but with both eyes fixated, not on your head, but on the tv screen. And when the ordeal finally finishes, you are proudly glad that you have survived and ecstatic that you wont have to go through it again any time soon. And therefore, I end up having long hair :(.

Yeah, I will be going to a barber (or should I be classy and say hair-dresser?) tomorrow morning ... wish me luck :D.

And now for the other stories:

* I met a British-Asian the other day (as they are called) and he said he was originally from Pakistan. I asked where exactly and he said Kashmir. I was about to utter, "oh, you mean POK?" but just checked myself in time :D. I guess not everyone in the world calls that area POK.

* There was a talk show on TV about 'what brings happiness'. The panel included lottery winners, self-made multi-millionaires, members of salvation army, devout muslims, charity workers, money-less folk etc. It was pretty interesting. What I gathered from it and the theory I later developed will be told in another post :D (pathetic attempt at building up a suspense ;) ).

* Yeh mera diwanapan hai: this song, supposedly from the movie Namesake has been haunting me! I have been listening to it continuously for almost a month now, and I continue to do so. Perhaps it's the unique blend of involving lyrics, detached singing and unobtrusive music that makes you want to listen to it again and again and again! I had force myself to listen to other songs just to liberate my mind from its clutches. It sure is addictive; stay away from it :P.

And yeah, happy children's day everyone ... go get yourself a lollipop :P

Monday, November 12, 2007


frozen. stolen. ephemeral paradise.

retreat. quashing gently, unnoticeable. unaffected.

treasure, yet trivialise. enclosed eternally.

fake. brush-off. shrug, sigh. wonder, incompletely.

smile with a raised eyebrow.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

a random post ...

° Why? because I have some work to do and I am running out of procrastinating options ... there is no one online to chat either (and that's a rarity given the huge chat-contacts list and the large number of people I chat with) as most of them must be at their homes, gorging sweets (read as gaining weight) and running around bursting firecrackers (read as damaging the nature).

° I started writing this post when, after analysing all that I was supposed to do, I heard myself say, "aah, its so simple, I don't want to do it." And let me tell you, this 'simple' thing will hopefully solve the problem that has been dogging my algorithm since the past 3 weeks :D. Finding the problem is always harder than finding it's solution ... yeah thats my quote .. feel free to reuse it, with due acknowledgments of course :P.

° Global fusion of cultures? cutting out small pani puris from the big rolled out dough using a shot-glass. Yeah, I did this last week.

° Is the 'Fall' season named so because the leaves fall from the trees or because of the drastic fall in temperatures from a pleasant 15-20 °C to a frigid 1-5 °C ?? :D This is a rhetorical question, readers are not invited to answer it!

° There are so many movies that I ought to watch :-s, ranging from Pirates-3 to Bourne Ultimatum to Chak De India and a host of other movies in between.

Better get back to work and start doing that 'simple thing' (only to discover that it is not so simple after all).

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

home ...

Home. When you think of home, what is the first image that you get in your mind? For most people. it should be that of their mother doing something in the home. Generally, all of us associate our moms with our houses, they ought to be the most significant part of it.

So, when your mother comes to visit your house for a few days, you realise that you must have grown up after all. So, when you show her around the kitchen, tell her where the masalas are and where the utensils are, which bottle contains haldi and which one mirchi, you realise you have made a home for yourself. So, when you inform her, just as she gets ready to make your favourite dishes, that she should put more salt and chilli than usual because they are not strong enough in these parts of the world, you realise you are more a part of this kitchen than she is.

And then, when you see the ease with which she adapts and is seamlessly integrated in your house for those few days, you realise she is not a mom for no reason.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Books read in recent times

First of all, by 'recent times', I am not exactly referring to yesterday or past week but the past 12 months :D. My reading rate has been appalling over this time (due to several reasons ;) ). Though I must have read close to a 70-80 research papers (many just introduction and conclusion so that they could be discarded as irrelevant), I only managed to read a few books. Hence there are not many books that I am in a position to discuss now. The plus point, however, is that my choice of books has been pretty good and I have enjoyed most of the books that I read.

» My autobiography - Charlie Chaplin: I have only read a couple of other autobiographies, and this was by far the best of them all. Right from his poor beginnings to meteoric rise in popularity to being assailed by various people for various reasons, he narrates all events in an enthralling way with a hint of dark humour, I guess much like his movies. Statutory warning: Reading the book will make you want to watch all those movies asap, so better be prepared with the CDs etc before you start reading.

» For Esme, with love and squalor - J. D. Salinger: I picked up this book as it was the most attractive of the Salinger books in our library. No, I did not read any review about it and had no inkling of what to expect. After reading, I was slightly disappointed as perhaps I was expecting a bit more from the Salinger of Catcher in the Rye fame :D. It is a collection of short stories (took a while for me to figure that out :D, as I initially thought he was just introducing different characters in different chapters) and I wasn't able to see the point in some of them. However, the short story of the same title was pretty good along with a few others (that I dont remember now :-s).

» The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut: Now, this was pretty awesome. The sarcasm and satire of the book just kills you with its ingenuity and humour. It is a science fiction of a different kind and the story moves from Earth to Mars and back to earth and then yeah, to Titan. It has an all powerful but subservient alien, mind-controlling and pain-inflicting devices, space shuttles, Earth attacked by soldiers exported from earth and train in Mars and so on. It has an idiotic multi-billionaire, an omniscient future knowing person, a glass-doll but later rugged woman and her illegitimate son and so on. I can't do it justice, you need to read it to appreciate it :D.

» Sweet Thursday - John Steinbeck: A pleasant story which is both funny and warm with an excellent narration style. The characters leave strong impressions even long after they cease to exist. All in all, a feel good novel and as most such novels ought to be, it is a love story, though of a different kind. It is actually a sequel to another novel, but I read this one directly and thoroughly enjoyed it.
PS- the librarian was mighty impressed when she noticed me getting this book issued ;)

» The curious incident of the dog in the night-time: Mark Haddon: This book has a very high reputation and not without reason. A must read is all I can say. I absolutely loved it, having read it on a one-day journey to London and back .. quite a coincidence that is, though. Why? you will know when you read it :P.

» 5 People you meet in heaven - Mitch Albom: I don't know, how I end up reading such books sometimes. They sound interesting because of their titles and their reviews, but once you read, you are left with that feeling of promises not being fulfilled. This is on the lines of the 'Alchemist' with an influence of 'The Christmas Carol' as some important people from the life of a dead man show him how his life was not so useless after all. I guess, the book attempts to provide some hope to people who find their lives quite insignificant :P. Did not impress me though.

» The Thought Gang - Tibor Fischer: I went to the library to pick up some other book but picked up this one instead. Why? The back page review was captivating! The context of the story is also so novel- a philosophy professor at Cambridge University turns into a uncatchable peaceful bank robber in France! He also has a one-hand-one-leg but very powerful associate who is a veteran criminal and falls for his philosophy. Together they form the 'thought gang' and rob banks while showering the bystanders with philosophical musings. Yeah, the book is continually peppered with references to Ionian philosophy and those ancient philosophers about whom I have no clue. But, the form of writing is so different and the story so humourous that together it turns out to be a terrific combination.

» The monk who sold his Ferrari - Robin Sharma: Aah, I had no clue about the contents of this book. But, having seen it in the favourite books lists of lots and lots of people, I assumed it should be good. However, it turned out to be a preachy self-help, improve your life dramatically by following these hazy but obvious steps that everyone knows but no one implements kind of book. The most impressive part of the book is the title :P. The book got so tiresome that I skipped a lot of pages jumping ahead to see if the next chapter had any awesome revelation hidden among its folds, only to repeat the steps and reaching the end :P. Well, what to say, I am sorry I don't like self-help books :D.

» Saturday - Ian McEwan: Set in the modern day scenario of terror threats and anti-war protests, the story is about a not-so-usual saturday in the life of a well-to-do, decent, generally happy neurosurgeon based in London. Told from the point of view of this doctor, the story conveys his various emotions, fears, love, confusion etc pretty well. Well, you get to read all this in any review :P. What particularly captured my attention was the way author easily keeps you captivated even when there might not be much happening in terms of the story. The doctor's thoughts keep going back to his memories and thats how we get to know the background of the characters. I guess this book is a nice example of how to tell a good story in an excellent manner. Now, I want to read his other works particularly Atonement and Amsterdam.

» An Equal Music - Vikram Seth: I love his poems but never read any novel, so when I found this book in a second-hand book sale, I immediately grabbed it. That was back in February. Yet, I have just finished half the book. It wasn't easy reading for a musically-ignorant person like me who didn't even know that there existed other western string instruments than guitar and violin, like say viola and cello. Yeah, the story is about a musician and his sorry life :P. Narrated in first person, the protagonist is a depressed loser and reading the book manages to depress you too :D. Hence I stopped. Also, there is a lot of music jargon that I had to read through without understanding a bit. Anyway, some day I hope to complete it :).

Book that I will soon start reading- Cakes and Ale by Somerset Maugham. No, its not a cookery or a brewery book :P. It about authors ... yeah authors who write literature.
Other books on my shelf in wait for a reading are: Catch-22, The Inheritance of loss and the Golden Gate.

Monday, October 15, 2007


¬ After a long time I feel like writing without the idea of what to write. There is nothing concrete that I want to say, nothing I want to narrate. But I feel I have to write (type rather) and so I do. By the way that reminds me, when was the last time that you have written a letter i.e literally written a letter to some one using pen/pencil and paper and posted it using snail mail? Yeah, small memo/todo/message notes are not what I am asking about. A proper letter like we all used to write sometimes in that bygone era :P.

¬ I realised that more often my weekends are more hectic than my weekdays. Hecticity being measured by the number of hours I spend at home (not doing any work). By this I dont mean that I work on weekends or anything.

¬ I find that sometimes, some one comments on an old post. And since I do not have any kind of comment notification enabled, I do not get to read it unless I go through the archives. And no, I dont do that normally.

¬ Now for the serious stuff. Aah, am kidding, there is no serious stuff, there shouldnt be any serious stuff! It's all just blah. Like the ones below:-
Sometimes you need a pain to experience the joy.
Sometimes, you need to close your eyes to see the light.
Sometimes, you need to lose the thing to comprehend its importance.
(I just came up with these .. though the last one is a common one, oft repeated in various forms)

¬ I am 23 years old. This is the 'prime' year. The previous ones were 19, 17, 13, 11 etc but the next one will only come after 6 years at 29 (and then 31). I dont know why, but it's kind of scary!

Click, click and click.
left, right and still.
scroll, up and down
cause smile and frown.

with a wiry tail
send a dull email
and the reddy glow
helps the PC flow

become dirty, stick!
sudden, very sick
end up in the trash.
And then a new mouse
comes joins its new house

I guess this is one of my rare verses in which all the lines in a single stanza have the same number of syllables. Dont ask what prompted me to write this!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A walk on a bad day ...

What do you do with days that stubbornly refuse to have a single decent thing about them but are associated with an abundance of annoyance??

--- By the way,

Ever tried walking with your eyes closed? If not, try it on a silent, deserted pavement (alongside a straight deserted road) with no chance of bumping into anyone/anything other than the fences and parked cars and find out how far you are able to go before you succumb to the irrepressible urge to open your eyes.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

An year .. I have been here

Somehow, searching for something, I ended up reading some of my early posts (nov-dec 2004) and wondered at how different and care-free my blogging was back then. I used to jump from topic to topic in the post, sometimes touching upon completely different topics in the same sentence!

Also, did I mention that I have completed an year, living alone in a foreign country? To be precise, as of today, it is 1 year + 1 month + 1 week + 1 day .. I think, didnt bother to be calculate exactly.

In the course of this year, I finished an year of cooking, an year of 'agent-research', an year of meeting people from all parts of the world ranging from Brazil and Australia to Europe and Ghana! It also marks completing an year of being paid regularly (the TAships in IIIT dont really count), as well as self-managing all my issues (from banks to bills).

It was an year of several trips (a lot of south England, Hyderabad+Delhi, Wales, Paris, a bit of north England and Switzerland). An year of watching several TV-series (continuing Lost and PrisonBreak and all of Battlestar Galactica, MITM, Seinfeld, Friends, HIMYM, Heroes etc), many many movies but reading very few books :(.

It was also an year spent by corresponding with your old close friends by chat /phone /orkut /facebook /batch-mails to realising you haven't known a single person in this country for more than an year (Blair, Beckham etc don't count, I mean personally knowing someone and they knowing me too)

It has also been an year of blogging in bursts and living in moments :)

this is not a PS: too many 'an year' in the post
this is still not a PS: I hope 'an year' is grammatically right? :-s

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Yet another day

Looking up at the night sky, which was still bright enough to discern the clouds even as the time was galloping towards midnight, he wondered at the sorry state of his poor heart, at how mercilessly he has been suppressing his never decreasing desire. The unspoken wish has crippled his usual jolly self and made him a lost, miserable wanderer. Of course, neither his countenance nor his outward behaviour ever disclosed a tiny hint of his inner turmoil.

He wondered how long he could go along like this. While everything is seemingly fine, he no longer finds any joy in his activities, in any of his activities. He has easily dissected his condition into the minutest possible pieces and deduced that his want was just a want for love in general and not her in particular. But, since she is the only attractive one in the vicinity for a long time, the want has donned her effervescent face. Furthermore, there is no denying that it was her gorgeous presence and her gregarious interaction that had initiated this whole tasteless issue.

He looked up at the night sky again, sighed at the clouds and turned back. Today didn't feel right for the ultimate jump into eternity either. So he went back to live another day ... yet again.

Savour this piece of fiction for some time as there won't be any posts for the rest of this week :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

away ...

I want to keep away from myself today !

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Heard during a research talk -- "The expression is not expressive enough to express what you wish to express"
.. 'expressive' vocabulary eh? :D .. impressive ..

Friday, September 28, 2007

Restless ...

There would be times, when you just don't have the patience. You don't find anything interesting, but are too restless to not do something. You have no expectations, yet you feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled. You take deep sighs trying to calm yourself down, but every new breath adds more life to the unfounded anxiety.

And just then, comes a whiff of fresh air distracting you long enough to forget that you were supposed to be agitated and fidgety.


Having taken the baton of daily posting from Dailyrium, I also have to pick up the associated baggage of PJ posting. While I cannot be expected to blog as well as he did, I can atleast come up with poorer PJs. So, here you go ...

R: "You know, pollen is used for archaeological dating"
S: "Well, roses are also used for dating " (courtesy Su)

R: "Dont dare mess with him!

try the canteen next door"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

'myth' for some, history for some

In the context of the Rama-Setu controversies,

I came to know that, in fact, Indonesians read about the story of Ramayana, stories about Krishna and Mahabharata as part of their history lessons :) Surprising eh?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

permanent change?

What do you do when you realise that your permanent address is about to change??

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

'you' verse-ling

smile clothes the pain
emotion obscures reason
I had wished for you
but you had a liaison!

I know, it looks like it rhymes but doesnt; a deception, just like the narrator's smile :P.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Today, I asked my Srilankan friend, "why does your country flag have a lion in it?"
He replied, "Dont know, maybe because the LTTE have a tiger as their symbol?"

Its true! Thats what he said. Though he later clarified that its rather the other way round, as obviously, Srilanka came into being first; before the tamil liberation movement.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I wished for heaven,
you put me on earth.
I wished for the sun,
you sent me to Britain!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The strange case of the unaccounted flowers

This story is on the same lines as the 24 hrs one and with the same characters.

"So when will you be leaving?", she asked him.
"Sunday evening and back by next friday night", he stated somewhat uncertainly.
"Okay, all the best for your workshop", she said and extended her hand catching him completely in surprise. Shaking hands was not something they had ever done before and his countenance completely betrayed his opinion about it while they carried out the formality

He was watching the cricket match. India seemed to be losing despite having the opposition 7 down quite early. This end to an insipid day at the workshop didn't exactly exhilarate his mood. Then, he felt his mobile phone buzz inside his pocket. He was expecting her call though without any explicate reason. They had talked only twice the past week, perhaps that made him certain that she would call tonight.
Yes, it was indeed her. But before, he could press yes, the call ended. So, he proceeded to call her, but once again, before he could press the green button, his mobile started flashing her incoming call. This time, he did accept it on time.
"Hi!", his voice was sweet but tired.
"Hi!! thanks a lot!!", she sounded extremely excited about something.
"Eh? for picking up the phone?", he enquired trying to sound funny.
"I got them. They are wonderful! But what's the ocassion?", she blurted.
"Eh?" , was all that she got in return from him for all her enthusiasm.
"The flowers duffer! I just got them, they are huge!" she rambled on.
"Flowers?", he was not being able to register what was going on.
"Yeah mister. You needn't put up an act. The delivery guy spilled the beans", she stated emphatically.
"Eh? flowers? delivery? who sent?", he still didn't seem to get the picture.
"You did!! But seriously so many!! Must have cost a fortune", she was finding herself in the strange position of trying to elaborate his own actions to him.
"What? I sent flowers to you??", and with this he burst out laughing so loudly that he had to leave the room so as not to disturb the more serious cricket spectators around.
"Come on, the delivery guy told your name. Ofcourse they were meant to be anonymous, but I got the name out of him", she said trying to justify her achievement.
"The delivery guy told you my name? Are you sure? Did you even get any flowers!", he continued laughing at the whole absurdity of it all.
"Almost 50 of them! and he did say your name. I dont know anyone else whose name even sounds remotely like yours. So it got to be you.", she persisted.
Finally, he started thinking seriously, trying to remember if he did indeed order some flowers. Perhaps yesterday, when he was slightly drunk after the banquet? Once again he started laughing. Not only had he not ordered flowers yesterday, he had never sent flowers to anyone all his life! And even if he had to do something extraordinary like this, he would do it online. But, he had been crippled without a net connection for the whole duration of this workshop. So it was practically impossible that he should have sent any flowers to anyone!
"Seriously, are you kidding?", he asked perhaps hoping she was trying to pull a fast one on him.
"Well, you can see with your own eyes tomorrow when you return", she stated matter-of-factly.
"But why would I send you flowers?", he wondered out loud.
"I have no idea. I first thought someone must be playing a prank, but it would be such a costly prank. Such a big bouquet will cost around 100$.", she revealed.
"It makes sense that you get anonymous flowers, after all you are so popular.", he teased, "but why would anyone send it with my name!! A weird prank it would be. Hey, maybe its Dummy?"
"Yah, I thought so too when the delivery guy told me your name. Then, I called Dummy to look at the flowers and he was more dumbstruck than me. So, it can't be him. Anyway why would he send flowers under your name?", she explained.
"Why would anyone do such a thing anyway! And when did you get the flowers?"
"At 8".
"And its 9 now. Why didn't you call earlier?", he questioned her.
"I was trying to figure out who must have sent the flowers", she answered.
At this, he changed track, "What? you said the delivery guy supplied my name. So what was the doubt then? And despite that, how could you first think it was Dummy and not me??"
"Yeah, but it seemed so improbable, so I was wondering if your officemates were playing a prank or something."
"My officemates? They have no idea where you live and I cant visualise any of them doing such a thing either. But seriously, if the guy told you it was me, why didnt you believe him? Am I not capable of sending you flowers??", after saying this he realised he had no idea what he was trying to convey.
"Well, I think its you, thats why I called you. So thanks for the flowers", she said but without conviction.
"I would love to take the credit if I could", he said further complicating matters.
"So, you havent sent the flowers? If not you, I need to find out who sent them", she tried to clarify.
"I could have sent them", he stated ambiguously.
"Well, thank you if you have sent them, otherwise thank whoever sent them. And bye for now, talk to you tomorrow", she said obviously miffed with him.
"Ahan, bye goodnight.", was all that he could manage while his mind was furiously trying to figure out how to respond to such unwarranted, unexpected, undeserving gratitude.

Faced with the strange dilemma of whether to untruthfully accept the claim that he is the sender and create mystery around his 'actions' or whether to rightfully reject the credit and turn attention to the actual mystery of the unaccounted flowers, he went back to watch the match and witness an Indian win.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mythalez's blog is back!

yeah, after more than a month (just a month! some people may exclaim with an appalled look):-

with a new look- simple, broad and hopefully easy to read.
with all the past posts accorded their proper labels (was a great pain to go through all the 200 odd posts you had written before google realised that it could add the concept of labelling to posts in a blog)
other changes to the architecture of the blog template that came to a nought and have been subsequently discarded.
with an assurance that posts shall now be made on almost a daily basis (thank you dailyrium for the inspiration... the process of commenting on your daily posts made my blogging a daily activity, so I might as well do it on my blog :P)
next post: a short story

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Have a Break! Have a 'Chit-Chat'

On account of the notorious author of this blog suddenly taking a dislike to the atrocious colour combinations on display here and the unexplained unwillingness on his part to put down the several ideas that have been incessantly popping into his head, mythalez's blog has decided to take a break from its tyrannical author and remain stagnant for a while. Yeah, it could have done so without announcing it's sabbatical in this way, but it didnt want the readers to imagine that the author hasn't yet awakened from the dream-mare described in the previous post.

A preview of the posts that should have been written (in random order):

a. Philosophical discussion about the stupidity of bravery in anecdotal form
b. A short 'senti-sweet' story about a small working boy and his wish
c. A short nonsensical story that tries to masquerade as a supernatural horror
d. A verse that actually tries to follow some rhythm
e. The significance being shown by the British regarding the 60 years of independence of India and Pakistan through shows on Tv, photo exhibitions et al.
.. and many others which the author doesn't even remember anymore :-s

Friday, August 03, 2007

My thrilling futuristic Sci-fi DreamMare

I woke up early morning at 8am! As it is against my existential principles to be awake before it is compulsorily required, I went back to sleep. And what a sleep I had!

I was transported to some strange place. It was teeming with people, all of whom seemed as clueless like me. We were on some built up area crisscrossed by several roads. The roads didnt have any traffic. There were just people everywhere and they all looked scared. There were some loud noises continuously badgering our ear drums. Just then a huge truck came into sight and moved slowly on the road. It was really really huge, must have been two stories high and as long as a decent train. The people around me screamed and ran helter-skelter. I followed their cue and hid myself too behind a big box (what it contained I didnt know and hence shall never know!). Apparently the truck was dangerous. There were some human like creature on top of the truck, but since it was too high, I couldnt distinguish them properly. The truck went by and the people re-gathered.

I realised I was in the middle of a futuristic drama. The world has suddenly come to something and now the humans like us are battling for their lives. But, it wasnt clear as to what the problem afflicting the world was. I continued my walk with the hoard of people. We were now walking over lush green lawns spanning the length from the buildings to the roads. I had some small conversations with the people around me. The substance of those conversations escapes my memory now, so lets assume they were insignificant. The only conversation I remember was with a girl who informed me that there were some weird beings who have descended upon the world and scaring the poor peaceful humans. From other conversations, I gathered that it was being blamed on evolution.

Suddenly, the truth dawned on me. Yeah, it was as bright as the sun. And I have no clue where it came from to enlighten me with its revelations. Now, that I knew the truth and the reason behind all the strange happenings, I had to let the others know. So, I asked the people to gather in a huge room in the nearby building. As we were collecting all the people, the girl with whom I had talked earlier, slowly emerges from some dark corner. And, she looks shocking! Her face was bland and featureless i.e no eyes, ears, nose, eyebrows, mouth etc. She was walking towards us like a zombie. People noticed her and ran screaming towards the building. I did the same too but without the screaming, ofcourse. Thus her appearance made our job much easier. No, I dont know what happened to her next. We were all inside the building and she wasnt. Inside I gave the following speech:

"I hope you all know about the theory of evolution. Yeah, yeah I know some of you argue that its all rubbish and that it was God's design and it was he who left the clues and the fossils etc. However, any self-respecting scientist believes in evolution and lets go by their word. However, the more important question is how is the evolution going to continue? Till now it has been a specialisation process. That is, as the living beings have become more and more developed, the cells constituting them have become more specialised in their functions. Earlier, the amoeba had one cell which did everything, but in our body for e.g, the liver cells do completely different functions as compared to the brain cells. Now, this evolution process can continue specialising, or it might have reached the 'evolution peak' and now started on the downward slope and hence start generalising. Yeah, consider the evolution to be a normal curve, and after reaching the peak of specialisation, it will start generalising again to end up back where it started.

This generalisation process should be as slow as the earlier specialisation one. However, something seemed to have catalysed the process and made it extremely fast. Hence, the humans are now becoming weird! The girl that we ran away from- her face has generalised. Therefore, there are no particular features like nose, eyes or ears but one whole face which does everything! "

Yeah, then it was time to wake up. I woke up and realised that I was just part of an interesting sci-fi thriller and was actually playing the lead role :D. However, what put me in a conundrum was whether to call this a dream (I was saving the world!) or a nightmare (what with faceless zombies running around)?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Palace Serenity

Restless with tired heart beats,
I arrive at 'Palace Serenity'
Craving for silence, pristine
away from the stark routine
away from the 'suffocacity'.

Lost amidst the tall thick trees
the building creeped into sight
covered with creepers, vine
manned by staff, numbering nine
seldom permitted in, any light.

Welcomed by manager, eager eyes
a smile disguising the smirk within
the bellboy, gloomy, dark as the air
the room, unfriendly and very bare
the palace had secrets, hidden in.

The sun deserts me, darkness lies
the dinner served, bland tasteless
five other guests around, a couple bickering
another courting, and a drunk stumbling
I see myself here lost in wilderness

Late night, howling winds, animal cries
Outside I walk, searching for my sleep
Deathly moonlight shows me the way
Up ahead, a moor mystic, shining lay
I walk around, making a complete sweep

A figure, crouched behind a rock, hides
I approach slowly, making no sound
Covered by the shadows, indistinguishable

PS- I was writing this sometime in april, but had to leave it midway to attend to some 'urgent matters' (which I dont remember now :D). Never again got the mood or the 'inspiration' to continue it. Hence, I post this incomplete poem ... after all .. not everything needs an end, right?
For the unobservant, do notice the strange rhyming scheme: abccb adeed a...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

this and that ...

My first blog post from my new home. Yeah, after 20 or so days, we finally get internet at our new home. Its a 8mbps max broadband line .. currently I found the download speed to be around 1.2Mbps .. good enough I say :D. The incoming broadband line is via the telephone line (ASDL its called), so there is a filter which separates the phone and the internet wires and then a modem to connect it to the pc. We had bought a router to divide the single line to our 3 rooms at home. However, the modem which is supplied by the ISP is a usb one. So, we cant connect it directly to the router. So, I have set it up such that the modem connects directly to my pc (through the usb port) and the lan wire from my pc connects to the router. The other two rooms get their connection from the router. So basically, my pc acts as the gateway for the internal network of our home ;). And it was pretty easy to set it up on Windows. And configuring the router also is just too easy. All of these seem to have been particularly designed such that 'anyone' can set it up.
However, the only problem now is that there are no empty usb slots of my ancient pc. It has just 2 slots which are used by the mouse and the modem! Now, where will my usb drive or webcam go!!

Floods in the northern part of England. The visuals that I see on TV are starkly similar to those I am used to seeing back at home in India, at this time of the year. The same with houses filled with a foot of water, the cars on the road submerged in the muddy water, the whole transport system in turmoil, the army being called in to help in some places, and so on.

We must be in the peak of summer here, however the temperatures havent gone beyond 25 as yet. By the way, going uphil on a geared cycle is much more comfortable than otherwise.

My '9 month viva' is on tuesday morning. Should I start preparing??
There is no humour in this post!! Noooo

Friday, July 13, 2007

long time no post!!

Yeah, had been pretty busy the past few weeks. Finally finished my mammoth of a report (90 pages whoaa!) .. officially called the '9 month report', expected of every phd student at the end of 9 months of the start of his studies. I wonder why they chose '9 months' .. to represent the gestation period of a Phd? :D.

Moved home. From the impersonal university halls of residence to a private rented 3 bedroom house that I am sharing with two others (obviously) .. who were my flatmates at the university flat also. An Italian guy, a Greek-Cypriot girl and an Indian guy (thats me incase you are in doubt!) make up the composition of my new residence. Nice home. Finally, have a lounge and more importantly a huge couch in the lounge. A garden at the back too. Bought TV also, on the same day that we moved :D. No internet connection as yet though :(. Will be getting it in a week I hope.

More importantly, bought a bike. A bicycle I mean. With 18 gears and no mudguards, stand or anything else (yeah there is a seat in case you were wondering :P), its pretty good. Though I bought it second hand it costed 60£ .. yeah everything is damn costly here. So, after a decade or so, I once again own a vehicle. Yeah, used to have a bicycle until my 8th class or something. And after that, never had a vehicle I could call my own. Ofcourse, used to ride around in scooters. bikes etc, but they didnt formally belong to me. Hmm ... so 10 years .. and I am again at the same state of having a plain bicycle! Should be owning a car or something. But then, whats the point? I dont know how to drive, anyway :D.

Will be touring London this weekend. Yeah, I havent seen much of london. So, will be going to Madame Tussauds, London Eye, change of guards at Buckingham Palace, Oxford street and the other famous areas, Westminster areas etc etc. No .. not alone .. with my brother who will be coming here for the weekend.

This post almost looks like a regular blog post, detailing the author's activities, which is quite rare in this space. To get it back to the usual tone that we all are most used to (Wrote this on paper using a pen, yesterday night at home! .. no net at home you see):--

a passing second
a restless mind
a darting glance
an image left behind.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Flowers presented or stones thrown??

Deepa Mehta recently said after receiving an award, "This feels much better than having your effigies burnt". Nice quote eh? However, this set me thinking- whether it is better to have some radical, crazy people burn your effigies, raise slogans against you and create 'hungama' in general or receive an inconsequential award from a flattering uncritical audience? I would chose the former anyday. It gives a greater sense of accomplishment I guess :D.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Smarted by the smart card

Saturday evening. After a hectic week in which despite working seriously (with minial distractions i.e chatting and almost no procrastination :O ), I was still lagging behind quite a bit with respect to the work that needed to be done. And that afternoon was quite weird, weather wise, as it displayed the full essence of the whimsical english weather. It was bright and sunny for an hour and then it poured like the first monsoon rain back home and then got back to sunny. And repeated this whole cycle every hour. Anyway, I decided to go to the lab and get some work done. I often make such decisions during weekends but rarely implement them. But this time, I actually did, so what if I was supposed to go before 4 but went after 6?

As I reached the building and was entering the lab, I came across two other such 'lifeless' souls (lifeless because they dont have a life! they come to work on weekends!!) who were just leaving the lab and exchanged our trademark sad smiles at each other's fate. It is not usual for the 150 people strong lab (spread over two floors - internally connected) to have even 2-3 geeks working on a saturday like this. Well, I entered the lab, swiping my wallet (which contains the smartcard having the rfid tag) against the sensor to open the door only to face a dark lab. The corridors light up as I walk through them to reach my desk. Yeah. every nook and corner of the lab has a movement sensor. I sit down at my desk, do some work and lots of chatting. Right in the middle of work, it suddenly strikes me that I might me the only person in the lab. Atleast, I was sure that I am the only person in 1/4th of the lab. And looking at my wallet which is placed on the desk, I vow not to leave it behind while going out of the lab. Then, I tell myself not to be silly, as in the past 7-8 months that I have been working in this lab, I had never left my wallet behind while leaving the lab, even if for a minute. It was kind of ingrained in me to carry my wallet whenever I leave the lab. There have been numerous ocassions when other people have forgotten their cards and had to knock on the doors and wait for someone to hear them and let them in. Ofcourse, today there didnt seem to be anyone else to even hear the knocking. The best part of the building was that the wall to the external corridor had huge glass paned windows, so anyone inside could see the people outside and vice versa. Coming back to the narration, I did some work and then decided to go home. Checked the bus timings online to see that I would be leaving at the right time and not have to wait outside in the rain.

And then I leave the lab. Just as I step on the corridor outside and just after the door closes behind me, I realise that I have done it! I forgot my wallet inside! Now, I dont have the card to get it. The same card also acts as my bus pass and ofcourse, it contains my money too. Yeah, and I left my cellphone inside too. Cant even call one of my lab friends to come and help me out. I had exited on one end of the lab. I start walking to the other end, with the faint hope that someone might be there in the lab, near the windows to notice me and open the door. And yeah, right at the very end on the other side, there was this guy inside. If there was to be only one person in the lab, it had to be him. On the many ocassions that I leave the lab, late at night, I find him staring deeply into his monitor and wonder at what I assume is 'his boring life'. However, today I was thankful that he was such a workaholic. He notices me and opens the door. I thank him, and get my wallet and cellphone and then out of curiosity make a round trip around the lab to see if there was anyone else who could have helped me.

Nope, there was no one else in the lab! Whoaa, had this guy not been there, I would have been in deep trouble. Lets thank the world that it still has some no-life workaholics around. Also, lets accept the fact that your subsconsious mind holds great power over you and makes you do things that you fear you would. Or we can just say that I am clairvoyant :D.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Happy birthday Mythalez's blog!!

Happy Leather anniversary to the blog. No, I dont like leather in anyway. But thats what third anniversaries are called. Yeah, today, this blog completes 3 years. Congratulations to mythalez. Started on a bored summer afternoon, today it contains 218 posts-- 212 published and 6 drafts (some of which would never be published) .

Both the blog and the blog-author have gone a long way (in many directions) over these three years. From the first post which was random typings to one which had layers of deep meaning interwoven into it. From being a nondescript guy in IIIT being initiated into the luxuries of the internet to one who blogs about the evolution of spam. From a train journey to the first plane trip on to small travelogues of Japan, Switzerland and Paris.

From winning the second place in a local programming contest to coordinating the IIIT techfest called Threads to coming third at an international competition, RoboCup. From one undecided about his future, to applying to universities, attending job interviews to a budding PhD student.

The tag posts changed in their content and the blog changed colours. Descriptions about mosquitoes and horrorscopes lead to short stories-- smallish abstract ones to slightly inspired, imaginary to partly factual. The blog is home to the prologue of a unwritten book, the provenance of 'mythalez' to mythalez's own astrology.

Mythalez varied from not wanting to meet an old friend to saying goodbye to his close ones. Campaigned, discussed and participated in IIIT elections, wrote about the institute and then bid farewell through a todo-list which was also evaluated.

A hurried preparation to leave India was complemented by the exciting journey back. The meantime was peppered with various descriptions about the british land. Fledgling attempts at cooking progressed to elaborate invitations.

And ofcourse, attempts at poetry always peek in every few posts, just too many of the verses. Every five-ten posts ought to contain some pathetic poem distorting the indentation of the blog. Anywayz, the blog rocks (Mythalez is an arrogant presumptuous narcissist :D)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Un week-end à Paris

1. Eiffel Tower is magnificent. It is pretty tall and can be seen from most parts of Paris if the view is unobstructed. And yeah, its awesome, the symmetry, the metal, the curve to the tapering top, just too good. And when its lighted its better. And when it sparkles (which is like 10 minutes every hour from 10pm in the night in summers), its quite a sight to behold. Sadly, cant describe the view from top, didnt queue up for it. Personally, I liked it better than TajMahal (these two are the only modern wonders I have visited)

Most of the tourist attractions are along the Seine river. And the whole area around that is very very charming. Especially the famous road, Champs-Élysées. The square (near Concorde where this road starts) is the biggest I have ever seen! Walking along the Seine should be quite romantic.

Sacré-Coeur, the basilica is very tall and is situated on a hill and has very rich stained glass art. Arc De Triomphe isnt very impressive, quite similar to India Gate. The palace in Versailles too is no great shakes.

Every other shop on the streets ought to be a cafe, bistro, restaurant, takeaway or some such eatery place. And those which arent about food, are about fashion like clothes, hairstyles etc. Yep, food (including drinks) and fashion seem to be their only passion :D.

Monalisa is a very small painting, attracts huge crowds and looks over rated. Other paintings around it, however, are marvellous to say the least. The beauty of these examples of the best art in the world can be perceived even by art-ignoramouses.

The Louvre museum is very well maintained. Its quite friendly and lets visitors use their cameras, mobiles etc unlike some of the less important museums around the world. Photos are not allowed only in 2-3 rooms which have the major paintings (including Monalisa). The glass pyramid entrance sets quite a contrast to the rest of the museum. In all, the museum is surely a must visit.

The public transport system is very good. The metro has many lines all of which are regularly dotted with stations, so not much walking is neccessary when using the metro. The normal rail inside the city and to the suburbs is also pretty good. But some of the metro stations would do well to have escalators. And the metro symbol painted on the trains looks pretty silly with an outline of a face cutting across a green circle.

France is famous for strikes. Well, the postal department was on strike while we were there. All post-offices were closed even on monday.

Going to Paris from London in a bus (Eurolines coach) would mean that there would be visa checking and a terrible journey on a ferry at the dead of the night (2am). Channel tunnel is only for railways, sadly.

Parisians arent friendly or inviting. They are almost rude. The concept of excuse-me and sorry exists as much on the streets of Paris as in India, which is almost nil. They dont even respond to sorry or pardon. Unlike the general perception, Parisians do know and respond in english. They also carry huge umbrellas which can almost be substituted as canopy-shades (patio umbrella) on cafe-tables in the open.

Paris has a lot of immigrants. Its not easy to spot many native French. And in general, the parts occupied by the immigrants are dirtier than most cities in India. As such, Paris is the dirtiest foreign place that I have visited.

Paris tip1: In the direction boards, an arrow pointing downwards signifies that you should go straightahead.
Paris tip2: Stamps are available in shops labeled 'Tabac'.
Paris tip3: Buy metro tickets in bunches of 10, it will cost much cheaper.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

I didnt mean to write it

Since I was finding new ways to procrastinate, I started trying to put down my signature properly using my left hand. Having succeeded, I started writing some random sentences and before I knew it, the pen switched hands and I ended up with this. Whew, its been a long time since I wrote a poem on paper :) And I guess, this is the first one that doesnt rhyme.

I walk a deserted road
by the side of the stream
with the sun playing the clouds
and the breeze with the leaves

My hand ought to caress
the gentle sparkling waters
but it twitches for the touch of
the smoothness of her skin

My ears ought to be immersed
in the pleasant twitterings of the robin
but they silently earn for
the bustle of her laugh.

My eyes ought to leisurely gaze
upon the yellow flower amidst the green
but they blur trying to remember
the radiance of her beautiful smile

My hair ought to dance
joyously with the breeze
but it sits tight longing for
her fingers to waft through it

My heart ought to blissfully relax
soaking in the pristine beauty
but it beats harder, craving to
feel her magical presence.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Proposal for Culinary Experiments

PS ('PreScript') - I wanted to invite some friends for lunch on this sunday .. instead of the conventional phone call, i sent this mail.

The author has been cooking since almost 9 months. Lately most of his dishes have been arbitrary, innovative and often edible. However, most of these experiments only dealt with vegeterian items and the testing team comprised of only the author. The author, for no reason, wishes to expand the horizons of both his culinary domain and the testing team.

Related Work: Chicken is a very popular food item and is cooked in several ways in various cultures. However, one of the most delicious ways of consuming it, Chicken biryani, is a rarely explored idea in these parts of the world. The author, hailing from Hyderabad, the supremo of this dish in India, assumes that he has enough background knowledge to try cooking this wonderful dish. More truthfully, the primary motivation is that the author had bought some chicken on a whim on his last visit to the not-so-entertaining Asda and wishes to utilize it.

The Proposal: The author, having a busy schedule, finds no other day of the week except sunday suitable to invite people for lunch or dinner. Also, the chicken may not be able to stave of the bacteria for another week. Both these conditions imply that the chicken has to be cooked today. The author has some kind of a fair idea of how to cook it on basis of the innumerable ocassions he watched his mother cook delicious chicken biryani. At the same time, the author also realises that one of the recipients is a pure vegetarian and may not wish to consume rice that has been cooked alongside the chicken. So, the author is ready to embark on another experiment in parallel and toss up some kind of vegetarian noodles for the 'exceptional' case. The recipients may also, alongside, enjoy some of the many movies downloaded on the author's machine if they wish to. The author being quite flexible has suggested no timeline and is willing to act as the host for either lunch, tea or dinner or a combination of them on the pre-condition that he is informed considerable time before so that he can make himself awake and active.

Conclusions and Future Work: The author has shown why cooking chicken is both an interesting and neccessary activity for this sunday. He has also presented a guideline on how this activity could be conducted and how to deal with the exceptions. In summary--
Enjoy chicken biryani and/or vegetarian noodles (hopefully .. depending upon how it turns out) at Monte R365 today.
Time no constraint but preliminary confirmation neccessary.
The future work has to be conducted by the recipients who are expected to call and confirm/reject this invitation.

References: Have been ignored.

PS ('PostScript') - Guess, this makes it pretty evident that I have become a complete phd student now ;))

Friday, May 18, 2007

Writing ... and the rest of blah

Having painstakingly accomplished the task of writing the introduction to my report (almost, havent finished yet), I have come to the conclusion that it is much more easier for me to code something in java rather than to explain the same, scientifically in the english language. Perhaps thats the distinguishing feature of a programming geek?

I attended a very interesting, rather entertainingly lecture by Prof. Rodney Brooks about the latest home robots being developed by his lab. He is the director of the CSAIL at MIT. He sure is a very good speaker. We have been having such lectures by imminent professors from all over the world as part of the 60 year anniversary celebrations of our school. For every such lecture, posters are put up all over the place announcing it. I have been noticing that almost without exceptions all the speakers look much older in person than they do on the photograph in these posters :D.

Today, I tried to sleep before 11, blasphemous I know! But, I also put an alarm for 6 in the morning, hoping to wake up and complete the introduction. However, what do you know, just as I was about to doze off, my chinese flatmate (the cute one) knocks on my door. Apparently, the windows on her laptop was acting crazy and was just continuously rebooting itself. I went to help and what do I find? That everything was in chinese!! So she had to keep translating to me what each of the options on the screen meant and on basis of her not so perfect translation, I had to figure out what to do. Anyway, since she had no important files on C:, we just recovered the windows. Nice laptop it was, didnt require CDs to recover, just needed to press a combination of keys at boot to start the recovery. And since I am wide awake now (because of this), I am blogging and after I click on the publish button in the next minute, I hope to get back to the introduction and finish off!! Its not that easy.

update: the problem with the laptop of my flatmate was due to an automatic update of Norton antivirus which deletes some system files in chinese version of xp. It was over the news as it effected, well, lots of pcs.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stupid Tag post and other random observations

I am not particularly fond of tag posts. Yet Sumanth tagged me despite knowing this. But since he keeps linking to my blog in every other post of his .. guess I shall have to humour him. So here we go (I shall try making it as nonsensical as possible)-

1. A living person I would like to meet - I dont really like meeting people, be they living, dead or in coma. But, if I am forced to meet someone, I would rather meet someone who doesnt want to meet me. Since then, I wont be the only one to suffer and the meeting would most certainly be short :P.

2. A dead person I would like to meet - I can reiterate the above. But on second thoughts, I would like to meet any dead person. Yeah anyone as long as he/she is dead. Because I could then find answers to the age old questions about the existence of ghosts, souls, heaven, hell, god and what not!! (my inquisitive research mind seems to be acting up again!)

3. An event in the history I would like to change - The creation of blogs and specifically the idea of tag-posts. Think of all the time that people would spend productively had there been no blogs acting as a means to procrastinate work.

4. An event in the history I would like to witness - the birth of life, universe and everything ... well wouldnt that be the start of history itself? whatever.

5. A movie I would like to witness without being a part of - None! I have chanced upon some film-shootings from the balcony of my home a few times and believe me, there arent more boring things to watch in this world. Perhaps watching a snail sleep would pip it to the post of most boring event.

6. A literary character I would like to meet - Bill Waterson .. yah he is not fictional .. but he is a literary figure nevertheless (comics are literature!!). But if you insist that the character has to be fictional .. then .. Calvin ofcourse! And yeah Cecilia of PhdComics is fine too. Actually on second thoughts, Cecilia is my answer .. not calvin :D.

So, should I inflict this torture on some other souls? Ofcourse! I do have a few people whom I hate right? So Su, you are the one :P. And Halley! I dont care if you have already done this thing earlier, just post something. I seem to be missing your daily dose of inaneness :P or is it inanity?. Better not lose my sanity :D.

Aah .. now that its done .. I can get back to some normal blogging.

Been to southern part of Wales, the previous weekend. Nothing much to write about other than that we learnt how to set up a tent (we had to camp as we got bored of searching for a cheap decent place to stay :D), realising that most of the words in Welsh do not have any vowels in them (they seem to use the english alphabet but seem to only have words like wychlwchllm :P) and that driving on the motorways (M\d where \d stands for an positive integer) is very convenient and a very quick way to get around.

Watched one of my chinese flatmates make a poached egg today. She was using chopsticks to flip it over. They seem to act like extended fingers of her hand. No idea how the chopsticks users are able to control them. I never got the hang of it the few times I tried (at Japan and at Hyderabad)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Curious book in London

Finally I got my hands on this book- 'The Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time' and read it in one go. Before reading, I had no clue as to what the book was about. I just knew that it was well appreciated by people whose opinions I value in these literary matters. And I loved it. It reminded me of 'Catcher in the rye', another book that I loved reading. Both are quite different yet similar in some ways. For one, both have the protagonists as narrators and these protagonists are not 'normal' per se. And the books are filled with their opinions about things.

I read this book in the unlikeliest of places. Sitting in the French Consulate in London, I started reading this book. I only had to read a few pages to discover that the narrator was living somewhere in England and that he had been to France and also that he hated France. And there I was waiting for a visa to go to France. All in all, the book is a must-read if only to realise how there could be a simple view of the seemingly complicated things around us.

Yesterday, I did spend a good deal of time walking around a small part of London between Victoria and Kensington. I had been once before to central London (have been many times at Heathrow but thats not exactly the London you would want to visit) and wanted to blog about it then but never got down to it. The best memory of the previous visit was sitting high up on Trafalgar Square and watching the traffic whiz by at 2am on as saturday night. And this time, it suddenly struck me as to what exactly I was doing. I was walking in London! I would have been easily passed over as yet another South-asian origin Londoner. I was being a part of that same London that I have read about in innumerable stories and saw in so many movies. Half of the road names seemed familiar though I was in those places for the first time. I would have come across them in some story obviously ranging from the 'Umbrella Man' of Roald Dahl to various Jeffery Archer novels. Looking at the high profile shops- Armani to Harrods made me think that the world isnt such a big place afterall :D. Spent some time going around the famous 'National History Museum' which was right opposite the consulate. got drenched by the popular 'London rain' wherein you would find quite many people walking around in black suits and holding black umbrellas.

Another city that I remember most from novels is Paris. Will be visiting it some day, perhaps sooner than you think ;).

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gibberish verse

This has to be some random nonsensical words strung together without any logic because am in no position to actually write anything sensible. Yet, I am trying since I am in the mood for it. So lets see how it comes out :-s

You may never have cared
discounting the few pretentions in the past
but what matters is that I care no more
and hope this condition will forever last.

The intimacy may have withered away
a formality may have pervaded in between
Yet, endearing as you are and you shall be
you shall never be abandoned by me.


I felt like ending that. And start writing something else. Lets see how this new attempt comes out :-s.

An yellow that colours the sky
covering the green people moving about.
Dont ask the obvious question 'why'
because, this, I shall explain not.

The trees with their blue leaves,
fidgeting against the red wind blowing
the white barks with their numerous circles
testimony to the numerous years flowing

Throw a stone high up into the ocean
rippling the air as it cuts across the dry
followed by a reflection on the ground
and a shadow reflected on the sky

the colours may be radical, unexpected
but the vision shall remain the same
The actions may be contradictory
but the old feelings are still to blame

Sunday, April 22, 2007

India vs Pakistan .. cricket series

This is not about the teams that couldnt go beyond the first round in the world cup. This is about the cricket that I played yesterday. Yeah, we were a group of 9 Indians playing against 9 Pakistanis. It was an initiave of the Pakistanis. They knew my friend and invited him. And my friend like a true Indian gathered the troops i.e others like me. The bat, ball, tape over the ball, wickets, bottles marking the boundary, everything was supplied by the Pakistanis. They apparently play regularly. And our team contained people like me who firstly, cant do much with either the bat or the ball and secondly havent even played cricket once in the past few years.

We played in this huge {park, ground, green area} kind of place in the city. It is a huge area, makes up a sizeable fraction of the city, dotted with lakes, a small reserve etc. The ground that we were playing on, had atleast 10 football games, 5-6 other cricket games, a couple of rugby games, a few kite flyers and frisbee throwers, lots of dog walkers and sunbathers around. We were playing with a taped tennis ball. This form of the ball is the commonly used one in Pakistan, I think. Its the kind of ball that all their famous swingers and fast bowlers have started learning their art with. Its a regular tennis ball that has a regular tape tightly wound around it totally covering it. In this way, the fur of the ball it protected and it becomes a bit heavier also.

Now lets get to the match details. The first match was of 8 overs each. They batted first and scored 71. The runs were scored either through wides (which were more than just a generous amount) or through boundaries. We had a few bowlers who were so quick, that you could grab a few winks between the time the ball is released and the time it reaches the batsman to be hoisted for a six. Yeah, they did seem to have a couple of Afridi followers :D. There was one bowler in our team though, who was stout, bowled very slowly and got 3-4 wickets in his two overs. He was duly rechristened as 'Ramesh Powar' by the opponents :D. The Indians started the chase disastrously, as expected, losing the first wicket in the third ball with one run on the board. Yep that was me :D, clean bowled by a fast bowler who emulates Shoaib Akhtar, i.e his run up starts closer to the boundary than the wicket. And that led to the usual top order collapse. But, then walks out our captain, my friend and like Yuvraj Singh these days, belts the ball everywhere and starts scoring very quickly with a lot of easy looking shots that have the ball 'racing to the boundary'. So, from a really hopeless situation, we were back with a chance to win the match. The game went onto the last ball, of which 3 runs were required but the batsman on strike was not the captain and so we lost.

The second match was just 6 overs each. We chose to bat first and scored 48 runs. This game 'went down to the wire' too. However, this time the Pakistanis required 4 runs of the last ball to win. Then our bowler gave them a wide. So once again, the equation for the last ball was same as before. And they too lost like we had done earlier, being unable to score any run of the last ball. (No, I didnt get to bat in this match. Probably the reason why we won?)

The third and final match (final in all senses ;) ) was again of 8 overs each. We chose to chase this time (I have no idea about the reasoning behind this decision). The Pakistanis went beserk, hitting a sixer every other correct ball (we didnt relent on the wides either). By now, we also had a few tired football players who were resting, following our match with interest. So, they ended up scoring a little over one hundred. And I opened along with my captain this time. My captain started the proceedings with a six of the first ball. That somehow affected their Shoaib Akhtar emulator, who sent down 5 wides :D. And they were really 'wide'. However along came a ball straight onto the wicket, the batsman i.e captain hit it back even straighter and really hard. Standing at the runners position, I worried about the umpire that he would have to be carried off the field as the ball was sure to smash his face. And it would have, had the bowler not stretched his hand and had the ball not stuck to his palm as if there was some glue there! And our captain was gone! Two other wickets tumbled too while I was watching from the non-strikers end. Then in the next over, I got my chance to survive a few wides, score a run, run a few more as the non-striker and finally be completely beaten and bowled. The collapse never stopped and soon we were all out having just scored some 30 runs. True to the Indian style, we buckled helplessly, facing a daunting score to chase in the 'final'.

So my dear readers, it pains me greatly to report that the Pakistanis won the series 2-1. My complete contribution to the Indian team in the series was a single run scored, a few runs saved and a run out.

Trivia: A pakistani guy commented that after Pakistan was kicked out of world cup, he was hoping that atleast India would go through to later stages and there would be some matches worth watching. My friend responded, "we are good neighbours, you came out, so we had to come out too". To which I added, "ofcourse, we are good neighbours, we not just came out in support of you, we also let our other two small neighbours get through."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ringing in the Spring

Yayy .. its spring time. Its been more than 3 weeks since it rained here. Thats the longest no-rain period since the time I have been here i.e almost 8 months now. Actually, I had to write this post in a hurry, since the ominous clouds have gathered today and seem intent on breaking the dry spell. Anyway, yeah, it had been sunny the past few days, temperatures have gone upto 25 degrees on some occasions. On the afternoons, you could find all the lawns in the university completely covered by human bodies, lying on the grass, soaking up as much sun as they can get, trying to get a bit of colour on their white skins :P.

My chinese flatmate remarked yesterday, 'every season has its own distinct smell'. Frankly, I dont know and dont care :D. But yeah the spring season seems to be quite popular. Last week, when I went to Bristol, I found photographers all over the place, clicking every last image of 'Spring time' that they could lay their eyes upon.

The major change for me however is that I no longer need to wear a jacket or a hoody or a sweater while stepping out. Got so used to wearing one or the other of them all the time that now it feels quite different and new to be going about in just a shirt or tshirt or both :D.

The university has started full scale after the month long Easter break. This break was for undergrads and msc students .. not for staff or research postgrads like me. We just had a measly 5 days.

Finally, though many appreciated the new look of the blog, I have heard a few disgruntled voices too who felt the old dark black one was better. My response to those voices: When it was dark and black as you wanted, you never appreciated it. I only used to hear complaints about how hard it is to read and so on. But now, you come out with your voices into the open and praise the old look rubbishing this new colourful one. Sorry mates, the time has passed, now you got to live with this white-green-orange-blue-red-grey thing :P.
Moral of the story, appreciate something when its there, so that it doesnt go missing before you know it :P.
I better end here before the post gets even worse :D.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

a verse and then a few lines

Extravagant verses, may not rhyme
Grandiose metaphors, may not chime
Inherent meanings, often overlooked
Unspoken feelings, standout sublime.

Now, for a change, some quotations, some my own, some I read somewhere in some books.

"Life is running away and I m trying to catch up with it" -(made it up just now :D)

"In just two days tommorow will be yesterday" -(Dont remember)

"Ingenuity is the father of invention" -(my own, was my mail signature for the longest duration)

"I dont exactly know what i mean by that, but i mean it" -(Catcher in the Rye)

"Research is what I am doing, when I dont know what I am doing" -(My own, used to be my signature a year ago)

"It was a lie, of course, but the thing is, I meant it when I said it." -(Catcher in the Rye .. again)

"Iterative is human, recursive divine" -(read somewhere, used to be my signature too :D)

"Music was like a rose blooming on a boundless snow-covered plain of silence." -(dont remember, brings a nice vision to the mind eh?)

"I dont have to know where I am going, I just need to know where I have been." -(Cars .. the movie .. my current signature)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I moved in time and I didnt know it!

The prerequisite for reading this post is that you should be aware of the crazy policy of daylight saving time that is followed in most parts of the northern western world. I had first experienced it and actually learnt what it meant on the last sunday of the October gone by. It was the day when we had 2am twice :D. That was the day when our timezone got back to GMT from BST (which is GMT+1). And I knew that we would get back to BST i.e lose an hour on the last sunday of march i.e today. But I somehow crazily assumed that it would be on the night of sunday (that is 1am of monday) rather than the early morning of sunday.
So, now that you have been provided with the background, lets get down to the story :D.

It was around 12:30am on 25th mar'07 (late saturday night, early sunday, whatever). We were at a pub with some nice music going on. I prod my friend to go ask the DJ (who seemed to be resting his ears, having taken off his headphones) at what time the pub would be closed. I watch the conversation that goes on between them and notice that the DJ signals both 1 and 2. My friend comes back shaking his head and says, "the DJ said it would close at 1 i.e 2 or something like that". We concluded that maybe the bar would be closed at 1 and that we will be kicked out at 2. Anyway, we left the place at 5 minutes to 1 and started walking back.

We reached my room and noticed that the time on the computer was 2:30. I was flabbergasted. The walk was supposed to take half an hour. It felt so too. But somehow strangely, we apparently walked for 90 mins. Anyway, at that time we were in no position to deliberate on this matter further.

I wake up in the morning and start chatting with my friend Gyan. Soon, he says that his lunch was served and goes away. I notice that the time then on the computer was 9:30am. That would mean that back in India it would have to be +5:30 hrs i.e 3pm, a little late for lunch. But, anything is possible with Gyan, so I ignore it. Then, I go back to sleep again.

The phone rings and wakes me up. After the conversation, I check the time on the small ancient analog battery clock on the table beside the phone and see that the time it displayed was 9:35. I couldnt have slept for just 5 minutes. I felt like I had a restless sleep of much longer duration and I recollected even having a couple of dreams. It couldnt possibly have been in 5 minutes. Intuitively, I check the time in my cellphone. It displayed 10:35. So either my dear clock had slowed down considerably or we have jumped ahead in time and I didnt know it. So, I rush to the pc (which also displayed 10:35 by the way) and check when exactly we would have saved daylight. And realised that it was 1am on the sunday morning. Yeah, while we were walking back. We started before 1 and reached at 2:30, though we had walked for only half an hour :D. And then everything else fell into place. Why the DJ was so confused whether the pub closed at 1 or 2, why Gyan was having lunch so late etc.

The conclusion? Having smart devices like a computer and cellphone which take care of such weird happenings like Daylight Savings automatically sometimes renders us oblivious to some of the joys in life like jumping ahead in time. Thanks to my small antiquish table clock. Otherwise, for anytime soon, I wouldnt have realised that I had missed an hour! I even wonder that some people in these parts of the world who do not have interactions with people from other time zones may not even realise this event most of the time. They may fall back an hour in their sleep and they may jump ahead an hour. But they may not notice that. :)

Trivia: This post was written to prove to the sage that I wasnt in a dreamy state and that I was making coherent sense :D.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A morning verse, written at midnight

Fluttering curtain, an open window
a cold glimpse of the grey sky
breeze, valiant against the bricks
leaves, clinging on to the twigs
early light, dispelling the night.

sleepy eyes, a restless mind
a look at the dry itinerary ahead
work, jostling amongst the meetings
pleasure, finding not its bearings
long day, life rushing on its way.

Monday, March 19, 2007

good? bad? or ugly??

I have been deceived. I knew it was coming. At that time, I had promised myself that if I was indeed being taken for a ride, I would get back strongly, be angry, lash out etc. But now, that I am facing the situation, I dont feel an iota of any emotion. I am not angry, not disappointed, not sad, not even annoyed, though I have every right and reason to be. I seem to be as placid and nonchalant as ever.

Now, what I wonder is, whether being so stoic is a good or a bad thing?? Well, the whole issue is surely ugly :D.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I was about to post ...

1. Felt like blogging.
2. Logged into blogger.
3. Clicked on NewPost.
4. Staring at the textbox, realised that I no longer felt like it.
5. Typed out these points.
6. Will be publishing and signing out.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

" All I want is everything?? "

"Hari! take up your usual position", shouted the trainer. Hari grudgingly walked up to his position, a few yards in front of his goal. These days, when he hears these words, he is reminded of the cruel fact that just an year ago, his usual position used to be somewhere near the opponent goal. When he had first joined the school last year, he was quickly elevated to the star striker status. True, it was just a primary school football team comprising of 11-10 year olds. But each member of the team took the whole issue very seriously. In fact, the whole school took their football team very seriously. It was one of the few good things that they could boast of. He was unanimously considered the best player last year. When exactly did things take a turn for the worse, he couldn't figure out now. From being the captain and the primary striker of the team, he was now fighting for his place in the team, that too for the position of a 'lowly' defender as he considered it.

"It is so unfair", he kept repeating to himself as he was waiting for the practice match to start. He had often complained about the unfairness of it all to his father in the last few months. He recollected his father's words. "There is no concept of fairness in life, my boy. So what if you aren’t doing as well in football now? You are still the top ranker in your class, you are still the best speaker among your classmates, you are still the best badminton kid in the colony, you are still the best dancer in the school!! And yeah, you are still the most popular kid that I know". His father had said that last sentence with a wink referring to the numerous girls of his class who kept frequenting his house on one reason or another. His father's reply had succeeded in making him smile then, but did not diminish his fervour to do well in football. It wasn’t sufficient for him that he was the best in some. He wanted to be the best in all of them.

He looked up at the orange sun. He had been playing football every evening, for the whole of past few months, but hasn’t been able to improve. He quietly resolved that he would succeed today. Today's practice match was quite important as at the end of it, the coach would choose the school team for a major match next week which they would be playing against their 'arch-rivals', the school adjacent to theirs. Hari resolved, that not only would he defend well as he is expected to, he would also score a goal.

The twilight was fading quickly. 5 minutes left for full-time, Hari was growing desperate by the second. His team was down 2-0. He knew that all his team members would be blaming him for letting in both the goals. While the first one could be attributed to an unfortunate stroke of luck, he couldn’t ward off blame for the second goal. He had practically gifted away the ball to the goal scorer. Hari realised that the only way to salvage his position in the school team would be to score a goal now. A goal in the dying moments always does wonders to the reputation of the goal scorer. The players of the other team were making many inroads into their penalty area while his team members were defending desperately. Hari notices that the player running towards him with the ball is Balu. He remembers that this guy was first enlisted in the team when Hari was the captain, as a substitute incase Hari gets injured. Now, while Balu is assured of the center forward position, Hari is being forced to compete for a defender position. Angered by this thought, Hari rushes towards Balu, tackles him efficiently without a foul and dribbles the ball in the other direction. Pleased with his effort, Hari now looks in front of him, concentrating on the task ahead. He would have to score a goal now. He is at the middle of the ground now. The forwards of his team are waiting expectantly for a pass. But, Hari puts his head down and continues dribbling his way forward. "I have to score the goal myself", he tells himself. Suddenly, something strikes him and before he knows it, he is lying on the ground, with the ball nowhere to be seen. He looks back just in time to see the ball enter hit the back of the net. His team had conceded yet another goal. He is being glared at by every player of his team. He could even hear some sniggers. Soon, the final whistle is blown.

Hari doesn’t wait to listen to the coach's verdict. He already knows that he is out. He packs his bag and starts walking back to his home. He concludes that he couldn’t possibly feel any worse than he did now. He reaches home, dumps his bag in a corner of his room and falls on the bed with his dirty clothes on, ignoring the shouts of his mother. He turns to look at his shelf full of trophies, many of them products of his previously excellent dribbling skills. He turns away and smiles. Sadly at first, the smile slowly grows larger and brighter. Suddenly, he gets up and stretches his body and jogs his way to the kitchen. He is very pleased with himself now. He had just realized that he no longer cared. He no longer cared about football. Munching on the hot bhajjis and just having a weight cleared of his mind, he looked forward to the daily evening violin lessons that he would be joining tomorrow.

1. This is the 200th post on this blog ... whew!!
2. Why is the protagonist's name Hari?
Ans. When I was in primary school, and we used to have to create sentences (as in 'He is a good boy'), everyone generally used 'Rama' as the default proper noun while I used to use 'Hari' ... for obvious reasons :D.
3. Does this story have a moral or something?
Ans. eh?? /:)
4. Any copyrights?
Ans. All copyrights are held by the author i.e me, mythalez. Producing parts or whole of this work in any form is prohibited without the prior permission of the author.
5. Why in the hell, did you write this?

Ans. Was bored, tired and had nothing better to do. So thought, I would type out a story. It turned out to be this one.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Any either way

There is a threshold, metaphorically a border. It is tough to cross, but not impossible. However, there also is a restoring force which is pretty strong. Although, many attempts are made to cross the threshold with some even being successful, the restoring force acts quickly and strongly enough to get it back to the normal state. The default stable state.

Rarely but surely, there come occasions, when an incursion beyond the threshold is too deep for the restoring force. In such cases, the restoring force may make some feeble attempts to negate the effects of the incursion, but quickly recognizes the high improbability of success and gives up. The vestige of the incursion, a deep glaring gash acts as a constant reminder of that unfortunate incident. Such deep incursions would permanently change the configuration. The older state is no longer viable. A new stable state has to be found and is gradually found after a few fluctuations. And life goes on....

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dont worry, you are at the right place!

Dont be alarmed. No one has taken over this webspace. It still belongs to mythalez :D.

Whee ... i have done it!! I have finally done it. That day had finally come. That day that I miraculously had the energy and the mood and the patience to change the look of my blog! After two and half years, my blog dons new clothes .. urm ... colours :D. Choosing the right colours turned out to be more of a pain than I expected it to be.

Some acknowledgements are in order. Thanks to the sage and the coolcat for their comments on the colour combinations and the sumanth (for lack of a better nick-name) for the pic.