Month: May 2007

83 questions

Disclaimer: Read the following only if you have nothing to do in life and/or are bored to death !!

Credits: Veepeen for putting it up on his blog first and Akshay for dhaaping it from him!

Ok…so I’m in the process of writing an article for JAM and somehow it’s just not going right, when I see this questionairre type thing on Akshay’s blog and think…hey that looks like a fun break.. So if you are in a similar situation, instead of wasting time reading my answers, attempt it for yourself.. It’s quite interesting..

So, here goes –

1. Thought your cousin was hot? Nahhh…my cousins are bachchas !!
2. Been in love? Yep yep yep…
3. Gone over the speed limit? Do Pune roads have speed limits?!
4. Painted your room? No…that’s gonna happen this Diwali !!
5. Drove a car? Yup.
6. Danced in front of your mirror? Everyday!
7. Been dumped? Nope. Thank God!
8. Stole money from a friend? Nope. It’s more like they owe me money! Akshay, Mangesh and Gauri- pay up or you’re dead meat !!
9. Gotten in a car with people you just met? Yup.
10. Been in a fist fight? Yup. Loads of times.
11. Snuck out of your house? Not snucked out, but snucked in a few times.
12. Had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back? Hell ya, it sucks!
13. Been arrested? No.
14. Left your house with out telling your parents? Yup, and had them scream at me later!
15. Had a crush on your neighbor? My neighbors are all 10 year olds.. I think it’s time to change my house.. 😛
16. Ditched school to do something more fun? Of course!
17. Slept in a bed with a member of the same or opposite sex ? Yup.
18. Seen someone die? Yup, my neighbour’s dog. Most terrible feeling in the whole world.
19. Been on a plane? Oh yes, Doha to Mumbai, Mumbai to Doha for nine years !! 🙂
20. Kissed a picture? Haha…no !!
21. Slept in until 3? Naaaaa…that’s not my thing! I think the latest has been till 12 !!
22. Love someone or miss someone right now? Totally !!!
23. Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by? Yup, during vacation.
24. Made a snow angel? I’ve never made a snow anything…but angel…eww…
25. Played dress up? Never, not even when I was five!
26. Cheated while playing a game? Oh ya!
27. Been lonely? Hmmmm…quite often in the past one year..
28. Fallen asleep at work/school? What a question! Obviously!
29. Been to a club? Nope.
30. Felt an earthquake? Yup.
31. Touched a snake? Nope, but I’d LOVE to! Snakes are pretty cool…
32. Ran a red light? Yup, right in front of the cops!
33. Been suspended from school? Thankfully no! My mom wouldn’t quite like that!
34. Had detention? A couple of times…
35. Been in a car? Yup, five minutes ago!
36. Hated the way you look? Hmmm…I kinda hate my hair!
37. Witnessed a crime? Yup, Mumbai local trains zindabad !!
38. Been lost? Yes, loads of times!
39. Been to the opposite side of the country? No…
40. Felt like dying from embarrassment? Lol…yeah on a few occassions!
41. Cried yourself to sleep? Hmmmm…yes. Some days are just plain bad!
42. Sang karaoke? Yup, it’s awesome fun! So what if I suck at singing…most people who sing karaoke do!
43. Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t do? All the time. Mostly to convince myself why I shouldn’t do it!
44. Laughed till some kind of beverage came out of your nose? Again, loads of times!
45. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yup. Awesome feeling!
46. Kissed in the rain? Hmmmm…not exactly!
47. Sung in the shower? Everyday! Thinking of giving that Indian Idol thing a shot next year! 😛
48. Had a dream that you married someone? Haha…yes, once! One of the freakiest dreams I’ve ever had. And no, I’m not telling who I dreamt I got married to…poor guy would die of shock!
49. Played getting married? Never, its plain freaky!
50. Got your tongue stuck to a flag pole? No, does that happen to people!?
51. Ever gone to school partially nude? No!
52. Sat on a roof top? Yup, quite often!
53. Didn’t take a shower for a week? A week?! No no no… Max is 3 days!
54. Ever been too scared to watch scary movies alone? Nope! I love them!
55. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? More like I jumped into a pool with all my clothes on… C’mon, that’s fun !!
56. Been told you’re hot by a complete stranger? Yes, men and women. Errmmm…a firang woman staying in Pune once asked me out after seeing my snaps on Orkut. Yes, I think all those people were blind!
57. Broken a bone? Like a fracture? Yup, twice!
58. Been easily amused? Yes, all the time.
59. Laugh so hard you cry? Yes, loads of times when with my COEP bozos!
60. Cheated on a test? Yes, once at school. Couldn’t do it again ever!
61. Forgotten someone’s name? Lol…yeah! But that person forgot my name too..
62. Blacked out from drinking? No, it’s one of the things on my to-do list!
63. Played a prank on someone? Oh ya!
64. Gone to a late night movie? Yup. Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, 11:00 pm show, Mangala… Don’t ask why!
65. Failed a class? Haha…yeah!
66. Choked on something you’re not supposed to eat? Not that I can remember..
67. Played an instrument for more than 10 hours? 10 hours! No.. Maybe 5 or 6..
68. Cheated on a girlfriend/boyfriend? No, would never do that!
69. Did you celebrate the 4th of July? No.
70. Thrown strange objects? Yup…I do such things when I’m with my cousins!
71. Felt like someone? Ummmm…no! I actually don’t understand this question!
72. Thought about running away? Yup, loads of times!
73. Cried over someone? Yeah…but I was a 14 year old stupid girl then. And the guy’s my best friend now, so no worries…
74. Have a dog? Well, the neighbour’s dog is as good as mine. I have a cat though!
75. Own an instrument? Yup, a synth, a flute and a rattler!
76. Been in a band? In school.. Wait, Firodiya in COEP counts right?
77. Drank 25 sodas in a day? Nope!
78. Broken a cd? Not really. I’m pretty careful with them!
79. Shot a gun? Nahi yaar! Another thing on my to-do list. Akshay, can I borrow your dad’s gun?
80. Been on orkut for more than 5 hours? Nope. What a TERRIBLE waste of time!
81. Have a major crush on someone right now? A Crush?! I haven’t had one of those ever since SE..
82. Have a religion? Yes.
83. Thought about what people would say at your funeral? Not really, but they’d say good stuff for sure… I’m pretty lovable! Besides, people generally say good stuff about you if you’re dead.. 🙂

I’m done! And now it’s back to my article…

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A world without men….

Read this article in the Times of India nearly a month ago. But is one of the most hilarious pieces I’ve ever read (in TOI), so been wanting to put it up here for days…

The article is based on some new technique by which stem cells taken from men’s bone marrow can be modified into an immature sperm cell, which would help scientists come up with better fertility treatments for men and women. Now leave the science part aside, that’s for the biologists. Here’s the part on what author thinks would happen to a world without men-

While the research will be fine-tuned over the years, it’s already got people wondering. Is it possible that someday we might just have a world empty of the male species? For, once the technique of producing sperm from bone marrow is mastered, it is possible that female bone marrow will be used for the process.

Should that be the case, it’s obvious all the babies will be girls because females cannot produce Y-chromosome sperm. Science apart, the idea seems very appealing, if not ideal. For one, there will be no violence. Bomb Iraq? And forego all those exquisite carpets and exotic spices? Forget it, darling!

In a world without men, sports will not mean raging hormones (Whoever heard of a woman biting off another’s ear? Or butting her in the chest?).

Subtract men from this planet and ‘serial killer’ will just mean the person who fired the gun in the nail-biting final episode of your favourite soap, not a psychopath with a personality disorder. Without men, global decisions will be taken with a warm heart and world summits sealed with perfectly manicured handshakes.

It’s no secret that men are basically genetically modified women the female being the fall-back developmental pathway for any fetus. Bryan Sykes or Dr DNA as he is popularly known is a professor of Human Genetics at Oxford University. Sykes believes that men are headed for extinction in approximately 125,000 years.

While feminists are rejoicing at this latest research, chauvinists are understandably peeved. To pacify them, the idea of men not totally disappearing off the face of the planet but becoming a relatively less important part of the human race is being mooted.

As a result, the king of the jungle, the ultimate muscle-bound stud and God’s gift to womankind will have nothing to do really. Except, maybe drink beer and sit before the television watching sports all day.

But wait a minute…In a woman’s world, beer will be banned, television channels will telecast only soaps and sports will be the polite name for catfights. Men will exist, but only for our viewing pleasure. No foul-mouthed, beer-bellied, crotch-scratching, boorish men with receding hairlines, please.

In their place will be perfectly groomed, lip-smacking metrosexuals, all charm and chivalry… or is that extinct already? Their only use doing odd jobs and being toy boys of course, only after they’ve taken a crash course in foreplay. A world with such men? Amen!

Firstly, God…women are boring! And secondly, someone’s gotta stop this research !! 😛

TRRP and Sports movies…

One fine day, a pit-stop tire changer speeds along the roads of Manhattan in a taxi, coz he’s late for an appointment; in the process, he’s discovered by the team manager of a failing racing team, goes through some stupid selection and next thing you know, he’s a professional racer! Two days later, he’s won his first race, and subsequently goes on to win 50 titles over the next few years! This is the story of the first one hour of Ta Ra Rum Pum.. Now I didn’t know racing was that easy! No practice sessions, no rigorous training, no planning or talking sport with his teammates- all Mr. Racer dude does is sing and dance on the roads of NY with his lady love, get married and have children…and yes, race on the side! Interestingly he comes to know about the “bump and run” technique used in auto racing, only when he’s 50 laps through his first race; yet he sure becomes No. 1 !! And this is exactly how sports movies in India are made. Now if you are going to spend Rs. 25 crore on those racing sequences (which were really good, by the way), you might as well add a two minute prelude showing the guy practice a few laps, right ?!

See, the logic is simple. The focus of your movie may not be on the sport itself, but if your movie is about a sportsperson, do justice to the sport he plays. So if you have a movie on boxing, show the guy practice his footwork and pump some iron, coz without that, he’s not going to win those matches! Firstly, very few movies on sports are made by Indian filmmakers, and the ones that get made focus more on the iconic status and glamour of the “stars”, conveniently sidetracking the hours of sweat and grime.

I think one of the best Indian sports movies ever made is- Iqbal. (Of course, there was Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar and Bend it like Beckham too; but JJWS was the one of the first movies of this genre I think, and Bend it.. isn’t exactly Indian, so I’m leaving those out) Coming back to Iqbal, the movie’s main focus was on the protagonist overcoming his disability, going against his father’s wishes and fulfilling his dream of becoming a cricketer. But what made the movie stand out was that it didn’t glamorize cricket as a sport (For a change!) It showed the protagonist go through intensive practice sessions, Ranji selections, strategizing, dejections, rejections and lots and lots of hard work. (I specially loved the training using the buffaloes and the chakravyuh concept.) That is what added so much credibility to the movie and the character of Iqbal. No wonder attendance at cricket camps went up after the movie was released.

I don’t know why filmmakers shy away from showing the non-glamorous side of the sporting world. It’s something that everyone knows exists, and it’s rather illogical to show absolute novices become overnight superstars! I hope someone understands that!

By the way, apparently Abhishek Bachchan and Bobby Deol play boxers in some movie called Jhoom Barabar Jhoom or something! Bhagwan hame bachao !!

And while we’re on the subject of movie themes, I think someone should make a movie on doctors too! Yes, people who know me know of my fascination for this profession, but seriously, there’s a lot to experiment with, and no one’s ever made a film on the medical world before… Mr. Madhur Bhandarkar, are you listening?!

For TML….

Well, since I have spent a better part of the last one year at TATA Motors Limited, I think a post exclusive to it was long overdue. Kind of a record of the whole experience.. Of course, we do have a 110 page (yes, we wrote 110 pages; that’s why I haven’t been blogging !! :-P) colourful report, costing 400 bucks, to keep with us for as log as we’re alive..

Anyway, I think one of the best things about working at TML, especially in the Engineering Research Centre (ERC) was that…well, it looks good on the resume! I know that’s as selfish as it can get, but it’s also a fact. Firstly, for a mechanical engineering student, TATA Motors is one of the best companies you can get to do your project in, and secondly, Research is always an attractive word…makes people think you’re a rocket scientist! And of course, if you’re working on developing something called an “Active Bonnet”, which most people haven’t heard of before, it’s like sone pe suhaga! (No, I’m not explaining what an active bonnet is…google it if you want to know!)

Coz anytime your relatives and friends (especially juniors) ask you what your project is all about, you can start rambling about how an active bonnet is a growing field of research, because pedestrian safety is a big concern nowadays, especially in European countries! Of course, throwing in jargon like safety regulations, reversible hinges, retractor pretensioners, deformation space, head impact tests etc in good measure, helps a lot!

No, jokes apart, we were really lucky to have got such an amazing project. (Thanks to Gau’s dad and Gogate sir!) Actually developing and testing your own mechanism is something very few undergrads can boast of doing. (Yes, what we did was something no one in India has done before! Seriously!) Besides, the whole experience of working in a company like TML for 8 months helped put a lot of things into perspective. Like the fact that what we have learnt in the past 3 years is just a tiny crystal on top of the iceberg; and that some of our basics are horrible messed up! Plus, considering the bigger picture, it helped answer a lot of the what-do-I-want-to-do-in-the-future questions.. So it definitely was a learning experience!

And, we developed a lot of valuable skills along the way. For one, efficient photocopying! And how to work from 6 am to 7:30 pm for two days straight, something I hope we never have to do again! Most importantly, patience! And loads of it! Well, when you’re made to work with shopfloor people who take fifteen minutes to fit one hinge on a car bonnet, you are left with no choice but to be patient! Of course, eventually we ended up doing the fitting jobs on our own, which works out much better…and faster!

But one of the biggest advantages we had was that we had a fantastic oral exam! And anyone who’s given a project oral knows how difficult it is to get one of those! The thing was, our examiners, like most people, had never heard of an active bonnet, and so after our presentation, instead of asking us screwy questions on why we did what we did, they were asking us stuff like- “So does the bonnet work like a spring in this mechanism?” and “If you raise the bonnet by 80 mm, wouldn’t it hamper the driver’s vision?” 🙂

I should mention that it wasn’t all fun, one of the downsides was that we ended up working a lot harder than most of our friends and seniors. We could take a break only if we had a really good reason, and our project guide was an absolute perfectionist, which is good in the long run, but as students who are used to bunking lectures and doing nothing at BC, it was a little overwhelming at times!

Anyway, all of that is over now! We just have a couple of things left to wrap up the project completely. And there’s this amazing feeling of accomplishment whenever I see my 110 page, hard-bound report with my name embossed on it in gold. Of course, 160 students of my batch have a similar report, but mine is different coz it’s the biggest of them all, and coz we worked the most for it, without any stipend!

So all in all, it’s been good !! 🙂