December 21, 2008

If the mafia get into the software business...

I was into this Godfather thing once again last week. I watched the first two movies again! I like the third movie a lot but I hate to watch it because it spoils my mood for a full day and this is not the time for a bad mood(It's mood indigo time). I am not sure if the mafia still controls a lot of American drug and casino businesses like they used to, but I am sure their options are only decreasing. The mafia never made it into the huge Internet market.

I started to imagine what it is like being an online Godfather. The first thing would be to make really complicated, absolutely useless, UN-uninstallable software and distribute it for free. For legal reasons, we specify that the software is UN-uninstallable in the terms and conditions(no one reads them anyways). When unsuspecting users install it in their comp, it eats the resources of their computer and they have to pay me to get that software removed from their computers. Now, that's a million dollar idea!

In one round of distribution, I'll wreck havoc in the virtual world and soon, all the big corporations will start paying me insurance against such virtual attacks(which the media fancily dubs as an Ettack). Obviously people will steal my million dollar idea and start to abuse it (It's the Internet; people steal stuff all the time). Then I will be under the moral obligation to protect my clients who pay insurance against similar Ettacks from my duplicates. So, I will start a company which specializes in making anti-Ettack software and install it in all my client computers. Then I will network with all my competitors and enemies, make them offers they can't refuse and merge them into my ever expanding "family". That is how I will become the first ever Internet Godfather. All you Internet underlings shall hereby respect, fear and love me as Don g2 Corleone" ! :p

The theme was zindagi ek safar hai suhana. Clearly I suck and not just with the paint brush :D

December 14, 2008

How I plan to change the world

I always believed running was the most boring activity to do as an exercise. I have been running almost daily for 2 weeks now and trust me it is not the most boring thing. You wondering what’s more boring? Playing tennis without a partner is more boring. You hit the ball against the wall, it bounces back, then you hit it again and again until you hit it wrong and it flies over the wall. Then you breathe profanities under your breath, go fetch the ball, repeat the process. I tried it one day and I felt like a dog trying to train itself. Imagine a dog that has a ball and a pack of biscuits. Instead of eating the biscuits and sleeping under a shade, the dog kicks the ball somewhere, fetches it back and then eats one biscuit and repeats the process. Only Vodafone pups are that stupid! So I decided I am better off running.

One good thing about running is that you get to listen to music while you do that but the downside is that you can’t sing along. Here’s an interesting thing I observed while I was running the other evening. I was listening to this iron maiden number and I could totally get the lyrics! I’ve listened to the song a lot of times before but I couldn’t make sense of the lyrics but when I was gasping and panting for breath, I could make sense of every syllable. The whole song seemed to be in slow motion; at a much slower tempo than it was when I am not running.

This prompted me to do some research on the way the human mind perceives time. My kind of research is rather unconventional. I think of a really simple theory that answers all the questions. Then I search the internet to find any results or literature that contradicts my theory. If they do, then I adopt that theory, else I am in for yet another Nobel.

OK back to my theory, I think the rate at which we perceive time is indirectly proportional to our metabolism rate. That is why I found the song easier to decipher. The whole human body functions at a greater pace and as a result the reaction times are lesser. Just imagine the implications of this; if we can somehow make a drug (with no serious side effects) that increases our metabolism, we can have as much as 40 hours a day. The social implications of this theory could be huge. Just imagine a world where people cannot use the “I-don’t-have-the-time-for-it” excuse anymore!

However, there is a little loophole in the whole process i.e. all the series of experiments being done are based on the assumption that I do not have any super natural powers and we cannot rule that out. Unfortunately I cannot find any test subjects (read friends at IIT willing to collaborate with me in my research), so the world will have to wait a little while before I permanently alter the course of history (Or maybe I am just watching too much big bang theory!)

A rapid sketch of "The Godfather". Took just around 10 minutes. Looks much better on paper.

December 4, 2008

The Gods are winking

The Gods winked at Mumbai on Dec 1st, 2008 after a very very depressing week of loss and sorrow. The Jupiter, the Venus and the Moon formed a smiley in the sky. That's the way it looked in Mumbai. I don't know how it was for the rest of the world.

P.S: I clicked the pic ";)"

December 2, 2008

Seinfeld already said that

A couple of weeks back…

Its 9:30 in the morning, less than five hours to go to the exam and almost half the syllabus left uncovered, my phone starts playing the departed sound track softly at first gradually increasing the volume making it more and more irritating to the point that I start searching for the phone on my bed like a blind man searching for his pennies that just slipped out of his hand. Once I find it, my hand involuntarily goes to the snooze button and 2 hours later my ex-roommate wakes me up! Too late!

I sat and pondered about the snooze alarm. The snooze-alarm to me is the ultimate triumph for the marketing world. Just think of it, they advertise that their product doesn’t do what it is supposed to do and also concede that they cannot really do anything about it and that surprisingly, helps them sell more of those! I found the observation quite funny and jotted it down in my diary (the last few pages of my DBIS notebook) that night. I have had this habit of jotting down funny thoughts and random ideas as soon as I get them for quite some time now. The very next day I was watching this episode of Seinfeld I which Jerry Seinfeld while doing his 2 minute comedy routine at the beginning pretty much said the same things about the snooze alarm that I wrote down in my diary the previous night! I realized that I had already watched that episode a long time back and completely forgot about it. And when the snooze-alarm thing happened, the same things came into my head and I completely believed that they were my original lines. One more classic case of my brain trying to fool me and it successfully did! You know these brains of ours… it’s like we can’t trust them anymore.

This coincidence somehow affected me a great deal. Every time I thought of or said something there is an irritating high-pitched voice singing in my head in a teasing tone– “Seinfeld already said that, Seinfeld already said that”. So I made a mental note to blog about this and then I realized that even this Seinfeld-already-said-that singing is inspired from a Southpark episode which in turn was inspired from Simpsons and the recursion never ends! Even Seinfeld jots down his ideas as soon as they come to his mind! I read that in his autobiography. That was the boiling point, my brain was like- Holy Crap! Nothing in my world is original…
Apparently my brain works in a way that is different from others. Every time I hear something funny, I make a mental note of it and also process a list of possible realistic scenarios where I can use a line like that and have a database kind of a thingy in my thought process (ten seasons of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, nine seasons of Seinfeld plus hundreds of movies in three languages- that’s a massive database!). If I realize that I have a line that I haven’t used for quite some time now, I force the conversation in a direction where I can use that! (I don’t do this anymore). After a long seeking-for-answers analysis, I have made my peace with my brain. After all creativity is the art of hiding your sources ;)

P.S: "Reasonably" good advertising ;)

October 14, 2008


I miss being bored. Seriously I do miss being bored. I think boredom is healthy and necessary. Boredom is an emotional state experienced during periods of lack of activities or when individuals are uninterested in the activities surrounding them, a detachment from the external world like meditation. It is a time to explore the inner cores of the mind, a time to stop, reflect and rethink our lives. It is during those patches of boredom that we get insights into our life, like the epiphanies of a relationship or a new theory on how the universe was formed, it is a prelude to creativity.

My concern is that we are slowly losing the luxury of boredom because of the anti-boredom gadgets that are always in our pockets. In those precious moments of boredom that we get, we shut all doors to get any insights into life by seriously shuffling through songs in our ipods or playing pacman or tetris in our mobiles(I know people who do this), or refreshing the scrapbook of a social networking site or reading someone's blog. (Let's make just this blog an exception ;))Luckily I am still a student and I do get my healthy dose of boredom in the classes I attend and this happens to be the consequence of it.

P.S: the paper and the scanner didn't quite work as a team. You must have observed it by now.

October 1, 2008


I am going to Hyderabad for Diwali later this month and I was all set to buy the tickets. Everything fell in place so well. One of my cousins is getting married just a few days before Diwali, so I can directly attend the wedding and later head to Rajahmundry to celebrate the festival. I love attending weddings (though I cannot recall a single wedding that I attended and didn’t fall asleep in one of those plastic chairs while the rituals are meticulously being followed) and I love Rajahmundry, so it is double whammy this Diwali and my spirits are pretty high.
It was just another Wednesday afternoon after lunch, I just tapped my spider and gave it a hi-five (hi-eight may be) and sat down at the comp to book the tickets, RAC 12, not bad at all, I thought and clicked through a series of links filling up all kinds of forms to book an online ticket home. Everything was going on well, I Okayed the transaction through online SBI and the payment was made and I got the intermediate screen saying that my ticket is being generated and the site will be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. And that was when lady luck decided to ditch me; I was redirected in 5 seconds, not to my ticket but to a black and white screen showing my fate in bold capital letters SERVICE UNAVAILABLE. (My usual luck!) One of those error messages I can never make sense of. What exactly do they mean by SERVICE UNAVAILABLE? Which "service" was unavailable? Is it the ticket-printing service? Is it the ticket-booking service? Or is it the whole of IRCTC? The only service that worked was taking-money-from-your-bank service and may I add it was very prompt. They took 300-something rupees from my bank account and I don’t know what happened to them. I tried to access the failed transactions page in IRCTC and I get the same message SERVICE UNAVAILABLE. Ironically, five minutes later, SBI sends me an SMS thanking me for using online SBI for “successfully” booking my railway ticket! This is what happens when you depend on three Govt. services- Indian Railways, online SBI and last but not the least IITB’s LAN for doing one simple thing!
My money still hangs in balance somewhere, so does my holiday. Spirits still high, bank balance slightly lower :(.

PS: I am still waiting for the day when I can completely trust the internet to do simple things involving money.

September 22, 2008


Well I was looking at some gallery dedicated to Bapu( ) , a legendary telugu artist, painter, movie director and a lot more and felt like drawing a traditional graceful South Indian woman. Moments later I was just browsing and found some fellow blogger( r.kamal) whose sketch I used as a reference. I started drawing it directly with a ball pen so I couldn't correct those minor mistakes that inevitably creep in. Not really sure if I managed to bring out the grace element :(

P.S: for people who can read telugu only :p

కొంటె బొమ్మల బాపు
కొన్ని తరముల సేపు
గుండె ఊయలలూపు
ఓ కూనలమ్మ

September 13, 2008

spiders make good pets

Almost a couple of weeks back I was in my room doing my own things when KD knocked my door and with his usual devilish smile showed me a box that had this…

A huge spider, almost 4 or 5 inches of leg span; long slender legs- 8 in all curved gracefully to support a big yellow body having just enough space for its big tummy and 8 tiny eyes only two of which I could clearly see, tiny black spots and sharp hair all over. It was definitely one of the most fascinating things I have seen from that close a distance. It’s complicated movement with all the slender legs dangling and moving in a seemingly haphazard fashion, like the ropes in the back stage of a puppet show; and yet with all the randomness there is an element of eloquence which only made me painfully perspicacious of my inability to cohere the random swings with the svelte movement. I am not even trying to describe the way it hunts because that I believe, like all other uncanny creations of nature, beyond the vocabulary of the greatest of poets and the imagination of the greatest of painters (may be pixar can do something about it!).

Almost immediately I decided that I am going to adopt it, have it in my room and observe more fascinating things… we made a temporary accommodation in a transparent plastic box, bored holes put some moist cotton, some mud and slipped it in and the first night it was restless, trying to read the conditions and searching for a route to escape from what is going to be a happy home for it… that was when I started suspecting the credibility of my decision to have it as a pet. So I decided to ask for opinion of people around me. The opinions can be broadly categorized into two: Wow! and Eww! A lot of people expressed concern that I am restricting the freedom of a highly 3-dimensional unsuspecting arachnid that just came to grace the warmth of Swaroop’s CPU. So I researched... the more I learnt about spiders, the more convinced I was that it is ok to have a spider in a terrarium which is now officially 'The Spigloo’.

Having a spider in a terrarium is no different from having an aquarium with goldfish in it. In fact it is better. I feed my spider live insects which it hunts and eats if it likes them otherwise just kills them and leaves them to rot unlike those poor little fish which are forced to survive on those artificial food pellets which I am sure tastes like fish crap when compared to a live worm. Ask any fish and it would definitely agree with me on that account. Fishes are social animals and move around in schools and colonies and having just two or three of them in a small tank, there is a chance that the fish might feel lonely but spiders unlike fishes are not at all social. They eat just about anything as long as it is alive and smaller than itself. Even other spiders of the same species! The average male spider is smaller than the female and often runs the risk of being mistaken as prey and eaten when it approaches a female during the mating season!. So I am actually doing my spider a favor by keeping it away from those evil female spiders! (I am assuming mine’s male)

Spiders are very clean (unlike fishes) and noiseless (unlike a lot other pets) animals. They need no pampering, no socializing and more than happy to stay alone as long as an odd insect keeps flying in its web. They don’t need much attention either, a few hundred million years of natural selection has done a lot of good to them. Have a busy week ahead with exams, deadlines and submissions? It’s ok; just leave the spider alone because they can go without food for a couple of weeks (though I make it a point to feed it every alternate day... I don’t want to risk starving it). And feeding it is real easy and cheap too… All I have to do is catch a few bugs and insects that come to my room everyday and drop them in the spigloo and then enjoy watching spiders do what they are best at- hunting. I have also designed the least yucky mechanism that doesn’t involve me actually touching any of those insects with my hands (though I am comfortable touching insects and stuff). And the best part is that they can make real men jump around like silly little girls. :D

This is my spider in its spigloo… I hope you guys like it too…

Zeroing in on a large house spider, look at the difference in size!

P.S: I have to give my spider a name, I know they never respond to names but still people always name their fish and teddy bears! So I have zeroed in on Octavius. I think it is an obvious name… eight legs, eight eyes and I found it in the eight month of the year and we can go on giving instances of 8 like numerologists do! If you have any suggestions for a better name... Please comment

August 31, 2008


It cannot get any more frustrating... A few days back I have written an entry for the blog and saved it on my linux Desktop(I don't quite remember which one, there are four!) and was waiting for the weekend so that I can finish a sketch and post it... Now I can't find the document which has my entry for this week! May be someone deleted it or moved it somewhere else(I would've surely remembered if I did)...

Ironically the entry was about bad luck and superstitions!

If a white cat runs into a black cat... Is it a sign of bad luck for the white cat ???

P.S: In memory of c2 which I think, ran into a black cat like this before it went missing sometime during the summer.

August 23, 2008

I get nowhere...

SO... I have to say something about myself. Sometimes it is hard to introduce yourself because you know yourself so well that you do not know where to start with. When I start pouring my feelings into words, I worry that they will become the structure I give them; that my liquid essence will take shape of whatever phrases I choose, that my thoughts will be defined by the words I use, and confined to the rigid boundaries of a language unable to accommodate the fluidity of my mind; that they will be limited to one distinct avenue when a linear direction does not suffice to express these multi-variable musings. It is easier to float in the sea of my unarticulated thoughts than to build a language boat and sail on a definite course, but in allowing myself to drift at the whim of my mind's currents, I get nowhere…

i get nowhere

August 10, 2008

New CSE T-shirt

Ran into someone wearing the new dept. T-shirt the other day in the lab and the first reaction of most of the people around me was something like Eww! bordering on Yuck! It has something written on the back... something to do with hacking and Wall Street. One of those jokes i never get, I thought, and the worst thing about the T-shirt is this quote, To iterate is human, to recurse- divine. This quote actually inspired me to draw this.

So yet again I have one another T-shirt that I can never wear in public(read: outside the walls of IIT)

P.S: Drawing in GIMP takes so much time... from the next time on, I am drawing with my hand.

August 6, 2008

How do you name a blog ??

So here I am in the blogosphere finally, struggling with what would be my first official blog post. After all these years of writing diaries and penning down thoughts that no one else read, I wanted my first post to be prolific, grand in nature, broad in scope but when I actually sat down to type it, my mind went blank and I just couldn't think of anything. So, what was supposed to be 'broad in scope' is now just... scope.

I was reluctant to start a blog because I already write a diary where I bitch about the world and didn't quite find the need to bitch around in public. I always thought convincing myself to start blogging is the biggest hurdle but little did I know that naming a blog is even tougher. Most of the names are already taken. The name of the blog should be catchy and I have observed people around me and how they name their blogs and concluded that the most easiest way to name a blog is to choose two random words that stimulate your sense of smell or taste or color or a mix (preferably with some European etymology) and then join them with an AND. I went about trying a few names but I had to drop all of them because they either sounded really lame or they were already taken. So I gave up and wanted to name my blog as “i-don't-know-how-to-name-a-blog” or something like that but even those are taken!

So I had to ditch the tingling-your-senses formula for naming the blog and decided to try something new, something out of the ordinary, then I tried 'Salman's shirt – I write about things that don't exist' but eventually dropped the idea because I felt that Salman and his non-existent shirt joke were overdone in all circles. The next big idea was to append any two of the most random of words, so I decided to name my blog 'Blashedged and Quenosted – these are not even in the dictionary' or blasquenos in short. I liked the idea for a night or so but realized that I am already suffering from a really stupid gmail id because I thought it sounded cool a long time back and didn't want to make the same mistake again. So, I zeroed in on gtoosphere which makes sense and will continue to do so as long as I am g2. Anyways Sashi says that the concept of a blog is a tad greater than it's name so, it shouldn't really matter.

P.S: I just found out that a blog by the name Salman's shirt actually exists! I am not the only freak in town ;)