Archive for April, 2006

how did this get in here?

Read this on rediff.com


Complainant Sudesh Sharma, a resident of Ujhani village, had purchased two bottles of Pepsi from a retail shop near Kashmere Gate in the Capital in year 2003.

He started suffering from severe dyspepsia and headache, followed by insomnia, after drinking from one of the bottles. His condition worsened over a period of time and he had to seek medical treatment.

Meanwhile, Sharma, on inspecting the bottle from which he had drunk, found dirt and other contaminants inside it.

Even worse, Sharma was shocked to find a condom inside the other Pepsi bottle, which was still sealed

SHOCKING!

Even more shocking was that Pepsi was let off with just Rs 1 lakh as fine…..

It shows total lack of care by the Pepsi for its consumers. For a company which can spend millions in roping in top stars for 30 second adverts, sponsor tournaments etc etc, it is absoultely bewildering that they dont care about the hygene ascpect… firstly there was the story of the lab reports which, has been completely hushed up….i dont think hardly anyone remembers it, and now this. A condom of all things….how insanely crazy it sounds.

At some level, I think that authorities in India are also to blame. I do not think that the Indian counterpart of something like the FDA in the US (wow! i dont even know what it is called!!!) are strong enough, vocal enough to protest against spurious goods, and I am pretty sure, corrupt enough to give the required permissions to products which are below the satisfactory requirements.

Still, surprisingly, I did not see this news on any news channel today.

You can read the full news here

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Supernatural?


Over the past two weeks, I have setteled into a nocturnal time table. I sleep from around 430 in the morning to around 12. After lunch, take a nap and then start studying for the exams from around 6 in the evening. The study session goes on till about 1 in the night, to be follwed by a movie for the night. Having gotten used to this weird time table, I got a jolt when I had to wake up at 8 AM for a 9’o clock exam this morning. Needless to say, I was totally exhausted (with just around 4 hours of proper sleep and an exam) by the time for lunch, and dozed of as soon as I came back to my room after lunch.

This is where the Supernatural happening takes place. Soon after I am deep asleep, I get a dream.

I dream that I am eating in the mess, and suddenly, the most melodious of songs sung in the sweetest of voice flows through the mess over the PA system. I quickly finish lunch and rush towards my room, to see that an old lady is singing accompanied by a beautiful young girl on the veena, right next to my room. I stand mesmerized by their song, which seems to be carnatic music. The song is about 5 minutes long. After the song is over, they get up and leave.

My sleep suddenly breaks at this point. I wake up and still am mesmerized by the song I heard. And at that moment, I frankly thought that the song was the holy grail for melody and that voice was the most beautiful voice ever.

It felt as though, some thought or some soul (proably of that old lady) had drifted into my room, and connected with my brain and played this amazing song to me.

There is no way else, I can explain this dream. It was about two people, I did not recognize, singing a song that I have probably never heard before, and the song itself, is so beautiful that it touched a chord in my heart. But still, tired, I was and I tried getting back to sleep.

Asleep again, I tried really hard to recreate that song. I managed to get the images of the ladies, but that song did not come. Getting irritated, I made those two sing rock, pop, bhangra etc etc, and in a few minutes, woke up disgusted.

I just did not sleep after that.
And whatever, that song that I heard, is still lingering on inside me. Totally unbelievable.


Since, I have already started about songs, I will just post the lyrics of my current favourite song. Its been playing on loop since the past few days on my computer. It is called If you see her, say Hello, sung by Bob Dylan.

If you see her, say hello, she might be in Tangier
She left here last early spring, is livin’ there, I hear
Say for me that I’m all right though things get kind of slow
She might think that I’ve forgotten her, don’t tell her it isn’t so.

We had a falling-out, like lovers often will
And to think of how she left that night, it still brings me a chill
And though our separation, it pierced me to the heart
She still lives inside of me, we’ve never been apart.

If you get close to her, kiss her once for me
I always have respected her for busting out and gettin’ free
Oh, whatever makes her happy, I won’t stand in the way
Though the bitter taste still lingers on from the night I tried to make her stay.

I see a lot of people as I make the rounds
And I hear her name here and there as I go from town to town
And I’ve never gotten used to it, I’ve just learned to turn it off
Either I’m too sensitive or else I’m gettin’ soft.

Sundown, yellow moon, I replay the past
I know every scene by heart, they all went by so fast
If she’s passin’ back this way, I’m not that hard to find
Tell her she can look me up if she’s got the time.

And another couple of lines that I cant just get out of my mind:

My hands are tied
My body bruised, she’s got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose

from the song With or Without you by U2.

ciao!
got another test tomorrow….the last one which i have to write seriously!!!

Saw this video on google videos recently…..

Aha!!! Two more RVCE bloggers in the net….check out Raut and Samarth!!!

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Dink Smallwood


Magic is in the air!!
Since last week (even though the stupid exams are on!), I just got hooked, once again, to the fantasy world of potter’s, frodo’s, skywalker’s and eragon!!
I went home on friday, and wih nothing better to do, started the ‘revision’ of Harry potter series. Had to start with the third book because my sister is doing her ‘revision’ of the first two in chennai!
That reminded me of LOTR, and so saw my favourite part of the flick (battle of helms deep and minas tirith and of course, the valled of the dead!) on my compu!
On Saturday evening, was browsing in the second hand book stall in Nerul, and decided that i will continue with more fantasy and picked up Eragon, the first of the trilogy by young author (he is just 20 now! was 15 when he started the book)Christopher Paolini.

As with all fiction novels, the plot is just same. A young teenager, hardworking but unsuspecting that huge responsibilities await him, a mentor, older than most of the characters in the book, a great magician, a hero of his times, totally hates the villian, a Dark lord, controls (or wants to control) the planet, his followers, well versed in dark magic, a rebel team planning to dislodge the dark lord etc etc.

But the magic of fantasy books is just this. You know the plot, you can guess the ending, but still it will urge you to read on!
Perhaps, it is the magic of being transported to a world where you can do anything is possible..
Perhaps, it is the magic of just knowing that come what may, hope is there, come what may, love, loyality, courage etc etc will come on tops
Perhaps, it is the magic that a young innocent fellow (something that we were a few years ago) plunges into a big-bad world (someplace we are in now), but manages to survive first, make good friends and finally conquer what he can ( something that we want!!)
Perhaps, just because it is just magic!!!

Coming back to the book….
This book is highly inspired by Tolkien, with elves and dwarfs and humans and shady magicians etc etc. It is about a young boy, who is selected to be a dragon rider. He is to start the new generation of dragon riders, as the previous one was overthrown by a evil rider, Galbatorix.
So this young boy Eragon, and his dragon, set out on the adventure, first to kill Ra’zacs who killed Eragons uncle, but the eventual goal being to restart the dragon rider and overthrow the dark overlord. On his way, he befriends a brave warrior ( like aragorn in LOTR, and (being very bold!) snape in the HP series), and a beautiful elf! The highlight of the book, though, is the relationship between eragon and his dragon saphira. You will just fall in love with this Dragon!!

Initially, I was surprised that the book was the work of a teenager. There was quite some amount of philosophy which you associate with books of this kind. But, as I finished the book, I was sure that it is the work of a teenager, the plot was gripping but there were a lot of loop-holes, unexplained events, events totally out of the blue etc….

Hmm….I still have not come to the title of my post. Well, this book reminded me of a game which I was mad about a few years back. The game, as you, might have guessed it by is called dink smaallwood. (download)

This amazing game is about a young boy (again), who goes out of his village, and gets task after task, which he accomplishes, with the final goal being to kill the dark overlord. On his way, he earns money by killing dragons and goblins and giants, meets magicians and learns lots of magic, meets different people and makes friends etc etc. It has minimal graphics, easy controls and interface, and is a delight to play. Not aan easy game, but an enchanting one.

That about summed up my last weekend and even more!
Just gave an exam today…..fared miserably…..
so planning to watch a couple of movies to move out of the miserable feeling….
watched a movie called ‘a gentlemant and an officer’ yesterday night….was real good
and ya! got to prepare for the exam on sunday 😦



PS: while reading eragon, was wondering how great the movie would be, when would it be made etc. Since fantasy movies are in vogue now, the movie has already been planned..

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Summer Vacations


Exams have not yet begun, but I am already dreaming about ‘Summer Vacations’. Though, it is going to be just 9 days of vacations for me this year (rest of the summer has to be spent ‘researching’), my mind is already churning out millions of plans for those days. For one, my sister and cousing is going to be here, exactly at the same time, I have the 9 days off, so lots of roaming around is there for sure! plus I am planning to learn palaghat cuisine from my mom in these holidays. Lets see, if it works out.


Since, I have already started on summer vacation, I don’t mind another jog down memory lanes, writing about the summer vacations past!


In school, summer vacations meant only one big event: The trip to Madras. Actually, all the excitement started a lot earlier, as early as march, when dad would go and get the tickets for our trip, to madras by coromandel express and from there by mail (was a tradition…never remember travelling the other way round!). My sister and me, would then just wait for the dreaded school days in april to get over. Each night, it would be the same talk, about traveling, about buying stuff for our cousins, about ‘what to wear’ in the train. We would be so excited, all the discussion at home would be about the trip only. My sister, even composed a song (to be sung daily in the bathroom) about the trip!
For me, my love affair with trains is due to this annual summer vacation in madras. THe most looked forward part of the trip would be the train journey, with all the days before it, spent shouting ‘chai-chai’ and browsing through the railway time-table.
Madras was awesome fun. Got to meet relatives and cousins, but most of all, got pampered by grand-parents! But both of us would never enjoy madras for more than 4-5 days. We would start pestering mom: “when do we go back to calcutta”. But, again, in the train back, both of us used to wish we were on the train travelling in the oppositte direction.

Apart from the trip, summer vacation was a time for hobbies. In the old house (lived at two places in calcutta), it was time for a movie a day. We had got a new VCP, and there was ‘HOPE’ and ‘INDU” rental shops close by. Mom would get one english movie a day, and I am sure we would have exhausted the childrens collection at both the places. Even dad would be more relaxed during the summer vacations, and would end up getting 4/5 tamil movies from ‘lake market’ to be enjoyed over the week-end. (No wonder, my sis and I are such movie buffs). The first day of summer vacation, both of us used to go to the stationary shop and get the thickest drawing note book available, buy lots of crayons and water colours and decide that the summer would be spent ‘drawing’. We used to draw like crazy during the summers. My other hobby, was obviously to ‘read’. ‘Jaico-Childrens-Classic’: that was what I used to read. Maybe a two or three of those books in each vacation and a mandatory revision of ‘tom sawyer’!! Summer days were spent lazing around in the back-yard, climbing the only tree there (until it suddenly fell down one day), eating mangoes, cycle races and ‘ghar-ghar’ with my sister.

At vishal (the other place we lived in), summer vacations just meant play-play and play. The place was filled with kids of my age and thus summer vacations were spent doing the one thing, spending all day in the sun. The bell would ring at 9AM, just as dad would leave for office, “Aunty, Kaushik hai kya”, and off we would go to play. Cant even imagine, the number of games, we have invented over those summer vacations. After a brief break for lunch, it was time for ‘Scotland yard’ and ‘The game of LIFE’ and ‘Monopoly’ at my place. Those were really great times, sipping rasna and playing those board games. Evening time, well again, do what, go play and the night was for a movie with dad! Sadly though, the only reading that I did during this time was the sports page of the statesman, read religiously daily. Still had time for drawing though!!

As I grew up, summer became synonomus with just two things. Cricket practise and cycling. There was a time when I harbored the hopes of playing for India and summer gave me the opportunity to spend nearly the whole day at douglas (incidentally, the same place where the great ganguly learnt to play the game) practising with 100 more young boys dreaming of playing for india.

And with my new hero ranger cycle, and a new found freedom given my mom to cycle on the main road!, i had formed a cycling clan. Each day, we would devise a new route to be conquered and go. The boldest of our plans: ‘To cycle 38 kilometers to Diamond Harbor’ (coming back would make that 76 kilometers). I am myself surprised now, but we went ahead with the plan, but dropped it after 12 kilometers (Still i cant imagine
myself cycling 24 kilometers in a day today!!)

How can I forgrt to mention our ‘Adda’ gang. Summer evenings spent in the terrace gossipping from movies to cricket to politics to studies to almost anyrhing!

The last evening of the holidays was such a tough time. Time to take out those dreaded uniforms again, ‘pack’ the school bag again. All this was done with a heavy heart and a feeling of ‘Oh my GOD! how can one month be over so soon!!!’. But the next day, in school, you meet friends after a month and all is normal again, except for the ‘home-works’!

I ‘enjoyed’ summer vacations a millennium ago!!!!
well, the last summer vacation in school,that of 2000, was spent going to the tutions morning to evening, and studying till 2 in the night, for the dreaded IIT enterance exam. Yuck!!

In college, sadly may-june was always filled with classes, and labs and exams.

May 9th, cant wait for it. Hopefuly, this will again be a summer vacation which reminds me of those lost vacations!


Ah! a RVCE chemical blogger!!! check Manjunath out

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