Aboltabol Unlimited

Friday, September 01, 2006


This is quite addictive, have been following the weekly 55s for sometime now, but never had the enthu to link it here - but this story i think is turning out to be quite interesting.

In response to this from b'lore bytes and this from Chamique.


The Captain smiled wryly on seeing the couple go in, when the blonde joined them discreetly, he couldn’t resist turning on the newly installed lavatory surveillance camera.

Two masks came out from pockets; the blonde slumped down unconscious on the floor.
“It’s working, lets kill ‘em all”.

The Captain knew he had seconds to act.


Pls to continue...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

aboltabol unlimited

when its drought in assam, the heat is so bad
while the sabarmati overflows in 'dry' ahmedabad,
when the father of indian reforms bows to quota raj politics
as leftist bengal says 'yeh dil maange more' to MNC pesti-cola mix,

when india pip saudi in soccer on shots on target
but the scoreline still makes it a game to forget,
when saurav's inclusion in a squad of 30 is intensely debated
all you can say is sab maaya hai, its all Aboltabol Unlimited.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

what do you do...

...when you've got a long weekend ahead- which could be extended by two days by taking a day off - but no plans, when your PC has crashed and you don't know how many of those priceless claptons and knopflers you would be able to recover - oh yes and the best ".dat"s from campus as well, when you don't like KANKy movies but nothing better seems to be playing anywhere, when you can't even manage tickets for the said movie because apparently there are enough and more people who love to KANK with Karan, when the EPL is still a good week away and not much of sports for company over the weekend either, when you know its likely to be another boring Chelsea-dominated EPL season to look forward to, when the only indian cricket action on tv is a greg chappell interview, when terror and fear seem to outweigh joy and patriotism as we approach yet another Independence Day...
You sulk.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

on the subject of subjects...

My cousin brother, who's in Std 12 and on the verge of college-hood, recently asked me for some gyaan on which subject he should take up for graduation. Now I don't consider giving random global gyaan my forte, but its a sign of the times - it tells me that from being 'one of them' I'm fast becoming...well...one of 'the others' (people you ask for gyaan).
And there are other pointers as well. When Ma's 'daily nag' changes from "so have you thought about higher studies...a Ph.D maybe" (thats a part of the Bengali psyche i think, the 'higher' the better) to "so have you thought about when you want to marry...should we start looking", when reviews and filing tax returns are things top of mind on a breezy July morning, and when the most valuable (well, almost) files in your home comp are MP3s you know you're past 'Brahmacharya'.

Anyway, i digress. This post is supposed to be about how to help my confused li'l bro on choosing the right subject for him. The reason this has me confused is that its a very difficult choice, for me it was almost a trial-and-error, and my favourite subject has changed so many times in school that I lost count. And I've realised its very difficult to figure what you're best at, or what you'll enjoy doing the most, very difficult indeed.
Here's my list of fav subjects, or how they have evolved-

Class 1 to 4: I don't remember subjects, only remember I used to get punished a lot for not doing homework; my most vivid recollection of these years are the games classes - we had this huge football field with some twenty boys running after the ball and tugging at each others' pants and shirts at any given point of time. Goes without saying, I was terrible in studies these years.

Classes 5 and 6: I really started liking Maths, the only two Maths exams in my life in which I scored a 100/100 happened in Class 5. My Dadu (grandpa) was delirious, he used to be my principal tutor at home and the raison d'etre of my numeric abilities. Anyway, I got a whole box of Fruit n Nut chocolates from Dadu...i still dig after those...after the Class V finals and the nuts must have gone straight to my head coz that was the last I saw of the magic three figures in my answer sheet.
My fav in Class 6 was probably Algebra, we had a good prof who made a+a=2a and a*a=a^2 sound really very interesting - I was almost dazed by his magic.

Classes 7 and 8: This was a period of brief flirtations. I liked Chemistry for sometime, especially balancing equations, but it soon lost charm. I started disliking Maths, and I hated Geometry. Physics was interesting in parts but overall, this was a lacklustre phase were I studied to pass exams.

Classes 9 and 10: I was mesmerised by Shakespeare in Class 9, and we had a teacher who used to make the drama come to life in the classroom - the words were difficult and reference checks too many, but we still loved it. First Julius Caesar and then As you Like it, I had never enjoyed English classes so much before. Oh and the same teacher also taught us poetry - and, I'm serious, I even dreamt of Kubla Khan...of sacred rivers, pleasure-domes with caves of ice and caverns measureless to man. Little boy's dreams.

The other subject I loved was Geography - I didn't like layers of soil or kinds of rocks...stuff we were taught in the previous classes, but I grew really fond of drawing colourful rivers, seas, lakes and mountains in maps. If map-pointing was my favourite, topography came a close second, there was something very un-bookish and exciting about examining maps and terrains.
I also found History interesting, especially the freedom struggle part (a welcome break from studying details of medieval temples and Vedic literature) - but somehow the dates and details marred the effect a little bit.

Classes 11 and 12: Since I aws pretty confused after Classs 10 about what I wanted to do, and since I had somehow managed an A in Science in the Boards, I stuck to the default (it was still, my times) option of Science. I don't regret it but I don't think I was cut out. I hated Chemistry (the physical and inorganic parts were ok...the periodic table part was actually interesting, but how someone could like organic chemistry never ceased to amaze me), Maths was ok, Physics was the only science subject I actually liked, and Bio - apart from the frog-killing bit - was tolerable.

After 12, I was genuinely confused. My sister was watching movies (how cool is that...movies as part of curriculum!!) and studying Black literature...among other things... in JU. Even the names of her text books and lit critics (Goodness gracious...David Daiches, she used to say) started sounding interesting. I also had a sudden impulse to study Architecture.
And then I finally got admitted into Statistics for graduation, soon realised it was not for me and changed to Economics in the same college. And, despite having never studied Eco before, somehow it clicked - or so I think.

So how the hell is someone as confused as me supposed to give gyaan to someone on what subject is best for him??

Saturday, July 15, 2006

get up, stand up

Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: dont give up the fight!

Most people think,
Great God will come from the skies,
Take away everything
And make everybody feel high.
But if you know what life is worth,
You will look for yours on earth:
And now you see the light,
You stand up for your rights. jah!

Get up, stand up! (jah, jah!)
Stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up! (get up, stand up!)
Dont give up the fight! (life is your right!)

The Jamrocker crooned this in a very different context, but out in the streets they still call it murder!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

rain, i don't mind

The rains are here, finally. Clicked this snap from my balcony today morning, it was still drizzling although you can hardly see the drops, but the smiling trees and the clean-washed skyline still tell that story.

They say Mumbai has only two seasons - rainy and 'non-rainy' because when it does come, the monsoon lasts for a good 4-5 months. But I can't get enough of it.

You wake up with the sound of rain, its still dreary dark outside and its been raining all night. Most of the clothes hung in the balcony line for drying, are still miserably wet. The newspaper-boy is late, and when you finally get your hands on them the papers are soft and wet. You don't feel like taking a bath in this weather, the water is ice-cold and your wet hair will stay like that, like a coat of heavy fresh paint on your scalp, for the next two hours.

These are the times when you curse yourself for still not having a car, auto-rickshaws make the most of a severe demand-supply mismatch in this weather, and you stand in the rain like a clown, umbrella in hand, waiting for some passing rick to have pity and drop you to office. When you finally get an auto, it feels like winning a lottery, so what if the seat is wet and there's no plastic cover on the sides to shield you from the rain. The 15 minute journey takes longer than usual, the rick inevitably stops next to a puddle in a signal, waiting for a rash biker to splash some more water on to your trousers.
Not the greatest start to the day, but...I still can't get enough of the rains.

My mother thinks its because I was born on a rainy, stormy night in the middle of an intense Calcutta monsoon, my sis thinks I was a Mongolian from Gobi desert in my last birth (but she enjoys the rains as much as I do) and my 'childhood friend' puts it down to an unusually long hangover of watching Raveena shake it in 'Tip tip barsa pani', but I just continue to lust for the monsoons year after year.

Some of the most lingering images and memories I have...of places, people and phases in my life...feature these wonderful 'monsoon moments'.
Every major place I've lived in have these moments.

Kolkata: of course has too many of these, rainy day-offs in school (best part- the ride back home in the school bus), swimming in the rain when officially the swimming pool was closed but the guard grudgingly relented because you promised you'll be in for only 5 minutes and he's too sweet to break your heart, afternoons of Pujobarshiki and coffee - a drink for 'elders' allowed to bachhas only on these special days, later - bunking school to watch 'A walk in the clouds' in New Empire (or was it Lighthouse!) in pouring rain, coming late for the first class in college every day for three months- and flashing a dripping wet umbrella by way of explanation to the prof, and of course...countless adda sessions in the canteen over steaming tea and shingara. Oh yes, and how can one forget that tram ride over Red Road with a breathtaking view of a freshly green-coated Maidan.

Ahmedabad: the dry soil absorbs rain like a magnet, the neem trees are moist and the branches - which stay gloomily still for the most part of the year, dance madly in joy in the strong breeze, together the smell of the moist earth and the soaked neem leaves creates a magic you can't describe in words, little puddles of water appear on what used to be a dusty patch of barren land, the Sabarmati flows again below Ellisbridge and reminds you of a great river that once was,the drive from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar suddenly feels like a forest expedition and the road seems to be running through a jungle of greenery, rain-dance, dunking, more dunking, the scary cry of a peacock in the dead of the night takes you back in time.

Delhi: The wide rain-washed roads in Central Delhi are picture-perfect,the North Campus is beautiful and fresh and there's a spring in the step of students who are going to give lectures a wide berth, the aloo-paratha tastes even yummier, CP to Dhaula kuan to Gurgaon - the early morning ride which usually reminds you of the (lack of) road-manners of Delhites suddenly becomes the most beautiful ride in the world, lawns of Hotel Ashoka where some random exhibition is happening suddenly come to life on a sunny winter morning as unseasonal rains have people running helter-skelter: most are only pretending to run away from the rain and looking busy trying to find shelter in the makeshift stalls - they're enjoying every bit of it.

Mumbai: a big 3 day adventure called 26/7, getting wet against the waves in Worli seaface, a quick run along the wet brown mud path in Joggers Park during a sudden burst from the skies - 3 laps is all you get before the jogging track is too muddy for them to allow you to continue, 3 laps to remember for a long time to come, coffee on a wet & breezy Bandstand, drive to Khandala - a Walk in the clouds revisited, pleasant surprises at office - rains equal to early chutti (reminders of a 26/7 that Mumbaikars haven't still recovered from psychologically).

And there's more: a wet chilly evening in Cubbon Park - and then Brigade Road - in Bangalore during a short visit, a ride in the Konark-Puri seaway in the middle of a cyclone - with the surging sea never going out of sight for long, the 14 km climb up to Kedarnath from Gaurikund along a wet slippery trail with mortal fear of a landslide just around the corner - but the best trek of my life...and I can go on.
Here's welcoming monsoons with two open arms...may this year's stay be as memorable.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

perfect World Cup...gone wrong

Yes its heartbreak time, first Argentina, then England and now Brazil knocked out of the quarters. At the start of the WC, Brazil vs England looked like a dream final (although that was always impossible if both topped their groups, as they did), then Argentina sparkled and we saw flashes of '86 in their attacking game and the dream final one hoped for changed to Brazil-Argentina, and now - in a span of just over 24 hours, both teams are out of the World Cup. Its all gone very wrong.

Brazil and England never looked good enough to be world-beaters, with Brazil a change of gear is always possible, or so we hoped...right down to the last minute against France. With a defense as poor as that, its a wonder how Brazil have conceded just 2 goals in the tournament. In Brazil's opening match when Cafu was caught off-side in one of those trademark counter-attacks, the commentator had remarked "When a right-back is caught off-side, you know its Brazil playing". Yes, goes well with the spirit of Samba magic, only the defenders seem to have forgotten their primary responsibility is to defend - how Roberto Carlos could allow Henry a free header, completely unmarked, can never be explained. I won't shed tears for this Brazil team.

Its different for Argentina. We were watching the Argie-Germany match yesterday at a pub in Khar and when the match ended we just came out on the road and trudged along silently in the rain, totally blank, none of us fell like going home. So much talent in one team that Messi and Saviola had to warm benches, and they still lost!
Some feel the turning point of that game was the injury of goalkeeper Abondanzieri, the reserve keeper looked a bit out of sorts and was no match for his seasoned German counterpart in the penalties. But the real clincher in this game has to be two bad substitutions by Argentina coach Pekerman. Riquelme is Argentina's midfield game-maker, no one makes as many goal-making passes as he does, Cambiasso coming on for him was a surprise. But a ruder surprise was Crespo being replaced by Julio Cruz: if you had to substitute Crespo, why wouldn't you bring on Messi, or Saviola - probably two of the best ball players in the tournament. And when we have already seen Messi and Tevez combine so well with their tricky pace in previous matches. Beats me. I'm sure the explanation would have been that Julio fits a center forward description more cleanly than the others who are primarily wing-players, so he's the right one to replace Crespo. Bullshit. Pekerman simply chickened out in the crunch and went in with the tried and tested, putting experience over talent.

Everyone knew Germany would win if this went into penalties, Lehmann is an expert penalty saver - Arsenal vs Villarreal was not that long back afterall - but with all respect to Germany and the wonder-duo of Klose and Podolski, this game shouldn't have gone into penalties. It was sad that the two best teams in this tournament had to meet in the quarters, but I'm sure the Argies will come back stronger in South Africa in 2010.

Tonight's England-Portugal match was not so much of a heartbreak - I was actually rooting for Portugal. The English had the best defense in the tournament, which is why they have progressed this far, but they simply didn't have enough magic in the midfield or incisive firepower upfront to go any further.J Cole and Lennon were good along the flanks, but Lampard and Gerrard looked strangely off-colour throughout - maybe because their legs are too heavy after a long and busy club season (it isn't funny how the best players who score goals by the dozens for their clubs - Rooney, Ronaldinho, Nistelrooy are the names I can think of in addition to Lampard and Gerrard - have let their fans down this WC).
Yes Rooney's red-card was a bad decision, but remember Portugal got a raw deal as well in the last match and were forced to play without Deco (their best player) and Costinha. Overall, I think Portugal will pose a bigger challenge to France now than England could possibly have. Wth Deco back in the middle Portugal will be a tough team to beat.

But the Cup is now Germany's to lose. How sad is that?