Angkor wat

Angkor wat

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Walk along that muddy lane

Stop a bit and smell the rain

Slosh your way through scattered pools

There's nothing calling you..

Burst of colour in your eye

Stare on, rainbows never lie

Drink in dahlias sinfully strong

There's nothing calling you..

Hug that mug and swirl your tongue

NEVER let cocoa go unsung :>

Hear the traffic or let it by

There's nothing calling you..

Soak in memories old and new

Make up stories - none of them true

Grab that second of pure content

There's NOTHING calling you!

This is a very off the cuff 10 min rhyme but certainly truly felt! I just had three conversations interrupted within 5 min of starting- all with ' Ok I must rush..' It made me wonder- Are we contaminating our leisure so much with outside thoughts that we no longer appreciate what it means? Is 'free time' equivalent to a lunch or movie out? Or classified as compulsory 'quality time' with someone? I find it very scary that we're gradually forgetting the concept of pure undiluted contentment. God knows (if he exists :>) its hard enough to achieve- but are we infact selling it away?
These are my standard mood enhancers- possibly ridiculously simple, but they work :>
P.S. 'Calling you' I realised, could well mean the mobile phone, too!

Also, Verse 1 is for Anusha and verse 3 for Najla.. :>

To cheer or not to cheer?

This one's for Pritz who'd understand, and Kriths who'd empathize the most :>

Everyone loves a cheerful soul. Or do we? Some people are day-happy, others blossom at night. Some are habitually cheerful, others periodically. Some generally sullen, are given to emitting unexpected guffaws, scaring the daylights out of everyone in the vicinity. But nothing beats the compulsively cheerful soul. He (for purposes of convenience) will greet you at all times with a 42 teeth smile and bubbling excitement accompanied by unreasonable laughter. For example, a casual meeting would run like this-
You: Hi!
X: Hi!!! HOW was your day?!!
You: Um. Actually, not so expmt crashed..
X: THAT’s ok!! I’m 100, no no, 120% sure it’ll work tomorrow!!
You: (How? Are you going to tell off the contaminant fungi?)
X: (continuing) And anyway if it doesn’t, just give up PhD!! Thats all!! Ha ha ha!
Sigh. If not for the constraints imposed by civilization.
Or even-
You: Hello..
X: What happened? Why are you looking so sad? Why are you walking alone??
You: I’m not in the least sad! Just looking forward to a quiet cup of tea..
X: Alone?
You : Well, I have a book..
X: Book? Very bad. And yesterday I saw you laughing so much??
No comment.
Unfortunately compulsive exuberance can be overpowering, even numbing. All neuronal connections jam while you suffer..actually silence. Request to all well meaning hideously cheerful cheer-uppers- the last thing the dejected researcher (already fed up with the re- search angle :>) needs is an over happy 120 dB response. We know you mean well. And much grateful. Really. But would appreciate it much more at lower volume and with less close range enthuon emission. Not only does it make the person feel worse, it generates homicidal tendencies..
From the sufferer’s point of view, the trick is to avoid talk. X is generally bursting to inform you WHAT a perfect world this is, but so long as you circumvent the vocal cord output, you can take the visual effects. With time..
Not that you should seek out partners in dejection (so to speak!), but its either hurry past X or book that room in Central jail. And they don’t even have a Friday movie..

Sunday, March 16, 2008

An ode to my place of work :>


Do you, every morning, in honour of the day,
Recall the nights gone before, and filled with devotion pray-
Offering heartfelt thanks that the simulation worked,
Or that on the agar plate a suspicion of growth lurked,

Do you lie in bed estimating your advisor’s arrival time,
So you can make it a split second before (sorry, that didn’t rhyme)
Is your idea of a holiday the incubation time of your strain?
Or even the (rare) power cuts that you ask for in vain?

Do you tell yourself that the U.S is the place to be,
While religiously going to the Friday (hindi) movie..
Do you insist on a ‘half fry’ and drink endless cups of tea,
And try convince other people apple cake is a delicacy..

Do you groan at being ‘scooped’ at least once a quarter..
And wonder if PhD’s can’t be exchanged by some system of barter..
Do you think the campus probably has lots of animal (literally) charm,
And also think you’ve done a lot by not doing them any harm..?

Then no Linnaean committee would hesitate in proclaiming you-
Species ‘IIScia’ loud and true!

quote for the week

By Ali Ibn Abu Talib (602-662 a.d)
He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare. He who has one enemy shall meet him everywhere.
I totally identified with this quote!! Some things don’t change across centuries, I guess..:>

visit to the doc's

At the doctor's- me, mum and the Doctor
Doc:(Peering two inches to the right of me..turned out he had a squint..)So, what is the problem?Mum(nervously): Not me, my daughter..(pointing at me)
Me (brightly): Hello Sir I'm Laasya.
Doc: Hmm. (quiet for 10 seconds) So?
Me (taken aback): So..?
Doc: So what happened last year?
Me (already on the verge of giggling aloud): No, thats my name. L-a-a-s-y-a.Not 'last year'..
Doc: Oh. Nice name, nice name. V unusual. (hideous sudden smile)
Me (Ya, obviously not familiar to you..) Thank you. Umm (determined to introduce business)..I ve been throwing up all solid food for the last two weeks almost. Taken xyz, strict diet, anything beyond curdrice seems bad..
Doc: Happens. Happens. All stress.
Mum (eagerly): Yes she's always stressed out, you know how these students are..
Doc: Oh ya you're at the institute? No wonder. V grim place
Me: (Not sure what to say..)
Doc: (leaning over and directly)Your mother has told me everything!
Me (whispering to add to drama) Everything?
Doc (satisfiedly):Ye-verything. You are feeling stressed right?
Me: No Sir, actually I'm feeling v happy
Doc: Don't be shy. All institute students are feeling low. They go through these phases..
Me (will someone please pay attention to my tummy??!): Sir I'm normally v happy.
Mum (reluctantly):Ya she's always been v chirpy, but (recovering) very tense. Full of nervous energy (her favourite phrase)
Doc: So (heartily), v quiet girl no? You should talk more, I think?
Mum (stunned): N-o, I don't think thats a problem
Me:(put on a quiet introverted face)
Doc (foiled but not giving up): Oh. Anyway you should laugh. (to mum) you should tell her more jokes at home..ha ha
Mum (weakly): If she laughs any more..
Doc: Huh?
Mum:(firmly) She laughs a lot, actually. Now abt this problem..
After which the conversation was entirley technical and useful, but I have to say less entertaining!!

jodha-akbar- a VERY cursory review

Jodha-Akbar- a VERY cursory movie review

Hindi movie titles these days are binary. Either they begin with ‘K’ or they don’t. So this one doesn’t, for starters. The title is also unambiguous, unlike for example a ‘Pyar mein kabhi kabhi’ which could be set around anything from Mahmud of Ghazni to the September 11th attacks. Infact, make the most of the title, its one of the few things in the movie that is not subject to multiple interpretations..:>
Visually, for at least half the time, the movie is a treat. Tanishq has done as amazing a job on the stones and mirrors as whoever else has done on the clothes. Creative and genuinely harks back to a Mughal era feel. Personally I fell in love with Jodha’s room- my favourite movie room ever now. Except its a bit big by modern housing standards..The other part of the visuals may or may not be appreciated depending on your taste- I find the sight of a six foot something villain wallowing in a sauna rather traumatizing, as also a disgusted elephant having to pretend to be cowed by Akbar (I bet it had its revenge in the rehearsals).
Entertainment-wise the movie has little competition in the recent past, unintentionally that is. But a MUST is that you see it with the right kind of company..I had the best :>, particularly well suited for this movie’s requirements, too. It’d decide whether you collapse in an agony of laughter or get a migraine through staring unbelievingly. Think of a cliché, come up with an obvious dialogue, and its there. And the dances, Oh God the dances! (Special mention: ‘khwaja meri khwaja’- watch poor Hrithik forced to sacrifice those amazing dancing skills).
On a more serious (and generous) note, some of the character actors are genuinely good, and every actor is anyway desperately trying to rescue a non existent story. Unfortunately the movie’s neither good, nor so bad that it becomes good. It is, sadly, just painfully mediocre. How could you, Gowariker? Not after Lagaan and Swades. Really not.
So go watch it, but not alone. You may not come back...

timepass/alliterative abstrusity

An acutely amnesiac aged ankylosaurus ambled atop an angular ark aiming at adding apna ‘Amen’; attracted an annoyingly avid audience and announced ‘Alas! Amnesia accentuates awkwardness apropos adversity’..:>