Friday, March 28, 2008


We have an office NCAA basketball sweepstake. I drew Western Kentucky (12), Villanova (12), Temple (12), San Diego (13), Mississippi Valley State (16) and Tennessee (3). All but Villanova have been eliminated. Mississippi Valley State? What the fuck is that? Anyways, the good news is that I won the prize given each year for drawing the most no. 12th ranked teams. I would like to thank my parents, God, Richard Dawkins and the number 11.

All my no. 12s except Temple made it through the first round. I sent off the following celebratory email to my colleagues. This was also a threat disguised as stupidity.

"No matter how many No. 12s get eliminated from my team, I will still have a few more left. Go No. 12."

Then the second round began and UCLA kicked out Western Kentucky (ranked no.12). But despite my respect for the number 12, the highest hopes I had were from Tennessee. Tennessee, ranked at no. 3 was my best option. But last night, against Louisville, they really ucked it up, both s and motherf. At one point, Tennessee did not score a single basket for about ten minutes. Perhaps they have bigger baskets in Tennessee. The cheerleaders continued to cheer for their team but it was like watching the orchestra continue to play on the deck as the Titanic went down. Except Tennessee was like a small fishing boat, captained by George Clooney and being savaged by the Perfect Storm of Louisville.

Today my only remaining hope, no.12th ranked Villanova will be playing someone. I think it's no.1 ranked Kansas. It might be someone else for all I know. I don't know and I don't care. As it is, I can barely stand watching basketball. But 100 dollars worth of change is involved so I am trying to keep up.

It's good that Villanova is my final hope. If they lose, I can always drive to their campus and shout obscenities in their chapel. It's a beautiful chapel. Very peaceful.
There might come a time when I say yes, but for now it is still no.
(via Sadly No).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The fake blur

There was this huge news story that broke in the Indian media over the weekend. A Belgian model was walking down the catwalk and suddenly she had a wardrobe malfunction. Her wardrobe door fell off. And then, her top slid off her shoulders, exposing her breast.

On Saturday, I spent thirty minutes watching a Star Nyuz anchor analyze, in excruciating detail, the physics, the math and the free market economics behind the sliding of the top. I was also treated to innumerable consecutive television replays of the fateful moment. Except, every time, the replay would end just before the top actually fell off and despite the absence of on-screen areola, they still blurred the screen. I can imagine the discussion that must have ensued in the Star Nyuz studio just before they aired the clip.

"Okay, so it is decided, we will show her top falling off and then we will blur her breasts."

"Excellent. Congratulations, people, good job, good show. These blurred breasts will ensure, at least for the next week or so, that there will be food on the table for our families."

But then, a sour note.

"Hold on sir, what about Bal Thackeray?"

"What about him?"

"He does not like breasts."

"We are not showing breasts. We are blurring them."

"He might gather all the pieces of the blur, match them together in Photoshop and break our windows."

"Yes, our insurance policy does not include Bal Thackeray liability. Alright, cancel the blurred breast pictures."

"But what about our viewers? We have to think of them too. If we fail to show them blurred breasts, why would they continue to watch this channel?"

"You're right. My wife just purchased a new I-Phone. I need this job. That blur needs to be broadcast."

"Alright folks. Here's what we will do. We will run the video upto a point just before when the top falls off. And then, we will blur the picture regardless. Our viewers will mentally undress this fake blur and recreate a naked breast out of thin air. And no matter how much image processing Bal Thackeray performs on the video, he will not manage to piece together any nudity and stay in a window-friendly mood."

"That was some mighty quick thinking Varma! You are hereby promoted to Chief Blur Executive."

Why Varma? I don't know, seems like the kind of name a dynamic Blur Executive might have. A Chopra might have capitulated to blur anxiety.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tip of the day

The tip of the day is for people who complain that they never know when to stop while typing "banana".

The solution : Keep typing "na" till such a time as the word ceases to have any meaning. Then, remove the last "na".

Oh, okay, you mean you were joking, that was a joke, about not knowing when to stop when typing banana. Here, "ha ha". It's just that I've heard that one so many times that I was beginning to believe that it was a real problem in the fruit-referencing community.

Moral of the story : Invest some more time into the creation of some new fucking jokes.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Video of the day, high on daylight savings edition

If you're like me, if you are into late night drunken music sessions and at 2:00 am, suddenly notice that the clock says it's actually 3:00 am and the resulting heartache makes you drink some more and listen to some more music, here is what you need. Sigur Ros, Svefn g englar. Notice the violin rod on guitar string action. Also, the singing into the guitar mic action.


Saturday, March 08, 2008


It had been a long saturday. What with the monster rainstorm and the creek graduating to raging river status and lapping at my basement door and the roof starting to leak and then the windows joining the club and me doing a balancing act on my roof beams, trying to find the source of the leak in my attic amidst a garden of shredded cotton and glass wool insulation and then my neighbor's heavy glass patio table with umbrella, blowing clean across his deck and almost onto my deck but narrowly missing it and instead crashing down onto my lawn and breaking into a million shards and my flower pots flying off my deck and deflowering my patio and the DirecTV guy climbing onto my roof and fixing my Indian programming satellite dish and five minutes after his departure, the wind blowing the dish back into a state of inoperability and then, to cap it all, my inability, for the second consecutive day, to kill a single fucking terrorist on my new PS3, I was in no mood to cook. So I decided to go to the Korean barbecue joint I had been thinking of visiting for a long time.

"Bring your own bottle", the sign on the door said. The only bottle I had was an empty bottle of windshield washer fluid. Fortunately, there was a beer store next door. I parked in the 2 hour "customer only" parking next to the restaurant and tolerating a dirty look from the Korean-American waiter standing smoking outside, walked next door. I knew I would be back before the waiter called Seoul and got someone to tow my car. I purchased a case of Stella Artois beer. I have a message for the makers of Stella Artois. Get rid of the Artois, man. People usually only ask for a Stella. The Artois portion is suffering from severe disuse. But Artois is a nice word, lets not waste it. Why don't you come out with a new beer or a brand of mens undergarments and call it Artois. Artwa.

As I walked into the Korean barbecue joint, I was overwhelmed by the smell. It was a nice smell. Most of it was garlic, some of it was onion and the rest was whatever Koreans eat. It was a nice smell and it helped me forget my sorrows and made me hungry. The place was full of Koreans and only Koreans. Most of the diners were seated with big steel vessels in front of them. I decided that I also wanted to eat whatever was in those steel vessels.

They gave me a seat and a menu. It was written in Korean and translated into English. Most of the words translated into English did not light my tube. But I saw the word beef here and there. I know beef. It is cow meat and I like how it tastes. So I called the waitress and asked for "seasoned beef ribs". Instead of saying "Excuse me" and waiting for me to repeat "seasoned beef ribs" in my horrible Indian accent, the Korean waitress immediately opened the menu and said, "Show". Here, this is what I want, I said, pointing to "Seasoned beef ribs". Wokay, only one? she asked. I looked around and finding only me, said yes, wonly one.

There were two strange looking bottles on my table. I picked up the tall bottle, hoping to find out what was inside it. The explanation on the bottle said in these very words, "The seasoning in this sauce bottle will give you a delicious taste of food". I picked up the second bottle. It had the same explanation. I decided not to taste whatever was in those bottles. I did not want those bottles merely giving me a feeling that the food was delicious instead of actually making the food delicious.

Before bringing out my seasoned beef ribs, the waitress brought out 6 dishes of what looked like random accompaniment and laid them out in front of me. I inspected them with a critical eye. I could recognize a few of them. This was clearly sauted bok choy in garlic. That was kimchee for sure. This here looked like some sort of seasoned rice noodles with mushrooms. And that one over there looked like raw shredded cabbage salad with thousand island dressing. But I didn't know what that red stuff was and holy shit, that stuff over there actually looked like...could it be...?

"What is this", I asked the waitress, showing all signs of being extremely turned on. Please God, let it be fried pig's stomach, I prayed. "Seaweed", said the waitress brightly, drowning my dreams in a bathtub. Okay, I said sadly, thank you. I started belting the food. The dried seaweed was actually quite tasty. If some American megacorporation were to produce and market it through a multi-billion dollar ad campaign, I would surely buy it.

A few minutes later, my beef ribs arrived. Sadly, they turned out not to be the stuff in the steel vessel as I had hoped. Also, they did not look like ribs. In my expert opinion,the dish looked like a plate of thinly sliced beef rib-eye sauted with mushrooms and scallions. Basically, it was Philly steak without the cheese. Hell, good enough for me. I grabbed my chopsticks and prepared for battle.

"Do you need a fuck?" said the waitress, with concern in her eyes.

"What?" I said.

"A fuck. Do you need it?"

"No, thanks, I am okay", I replied.

What the fork man, why would she assume that I could not handle a chopstick? To me, it seemed like racial stereotyping. I was still steaming as I began to eat, holding my chopsticks upside down.

The beef was tasty. Not spicy. A bit sweet. But tasty. It tasted Korean. I liked it. I would definitely come here again. I polished off five of the six bowls of random accompaniment and then I polished off the beef. I was content. In between, the owner came by to ask me how I was doing. Fortunately, he did not tell me about his Indian friend like an American would have.

As I walked out of the restaurant, I walked into a group of Korean guys hanging out with a lone American guy. The Koreans were all speaking in Korean. It reminded me of my UMass days when I was the only Marathi guy hanging out with a bunch of Tamilians, trying to make sense of what the fuck they were saying.

That was when I knew what it meant to be American.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A decision has been made


Prepare to die.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Classically mild


We likes. We thinks it's brilliant. And not just because we's had a long and fruitful relationship with Raaga Des right through our childhood. We likes even though it contains shirtless Sonu Nigam dressed like a naked warrior.

We also listened to the rest of the album on The rest of the album is okay. It's like, you can see that the intention to blow your mind is there in the album, but actual mind-blowing only happens in this particular song. It's a great concept, fusion of Hindustani classical music with the discordant chords of jazz, previously adopted by Sushila Raman and maybe others. But the discordance, the vocal gyrations of classical music, combined with the frenetic pace of jazz only occur in this song. The rest of the album is less jazzy and more mainstream Indian pop.

I don't know, perhaps with repeated listens, it will grow on me like a french beard.