Aboltabol Unlimited

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

bhartiya rail: loo(ny) history

I got this fwd from a friend today at office, and almost fell off my chair laughing...

Okhil Chandra Sen wrote this letter to the Sahibganj divisional railway office in 1909. It is on display at the Railway Museum in New Delhi. It was also reproduced under the caption "Travelers' Tales" in the Far Eastern Economic Review

Okhil Babu's letter to the Railway Department :

"I am arrive by passenger train Ahmedpur station and my belly is too much swelling with jackfruit. I am therefore went to privy. Just I doing the nuisance that guard making whistle blow for train to go off and I am running with 'lotah' in one hand and 'dhoti' in the next when I am fall over and expose all my shocking to man and female women on plateform. I am got leaved at Ahmedpur station.

This too much bad, if passenger go to make dung that dam guard not wait train five minutes for him. I am therefore pray your honour to make big fine on that guard for public sake. Otherwise I am making big report to papers."

Any guesses why this letter was of historic value?
It apparently led to the introduction of toilets on trains.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

hard times - telly, beer belly and other things

Now that the World Cup has hit a mid-life crisis (sure to be soon revived once the pre-quarters start though), its time for me to take stock of how footie-mania has impacted my professional life, personal life (!) and social life (??).

Ok, staying up till 2.30, and having to get up at 7 next morning, is fine for 1 or 2 days but it gets to you when you stretch it beyond that. Now what do I do when England plays Sweden (what a match, and what a shot by J Cole!), its Argentina vs Netherlands night after at the same bloody time 12.30 am, and there's a Brazil match (I didn't regret seeing this Ronaldo comeback match though) the following night! Simple, you can't resist: first you promise yourself - okay only till half-time. Then England suddenly play well after ages, or you get to see Tevez and Messi combining together like a dream, or see Ronaldo score a goal in the WC (after...what! only two matches...whatever). Now there's no way you can dump that match, so you reconcile yourself to getting up next morning bleary-eyed once again.

Worst part about that is you're inevitably late 'morning after' coz you wanted to sleep for 15 more minutes, your trusted maid who's your emergency alarm-bell doesn't turn up (tells you later she rang the bell twice but you didn't respond) and you're ready to shout at anyone who comes your way, the traffic signals always seem to be conspire against you and, this is the most irritating part, most people in office look perfectly cool and composed when you finally huff and puff to your desk. One look and your boss knows it was another late night and the look screams 'oh grow up child, get a life'.
Ok now on my boss. He's a nice guy. He even followed sports - mostly cricket, but football also - till recently. He can rattle off the jersey nos of almost everyone who played in the '86 world cup. But something has changed - he got married last yr and...well, is totally domesticated now, I'll leave it at that.
So you slog through the day, controlling post-lunch yawns is a big fight but you valiantly march on!
6.30 pm: you're thinking about sneaking out early today, when you're unexpectedly called for this meeting (ya Q1 is the time for plans and reviews and more crap) which carries on for...yes I'm lucky... only one hour. Off for the day!

8 pm: the gym usually doesn't let you down - good music, more bleary-eyed people like you who discuss soccer and abuse their bosses, relaxing workout, and usually some more relaxing...err...inspiration of a different kind. All is well till the instructor remarks "Umm, that li'l belly you're putting on...is that because of all the pubbing you're doing lately?". This guy knows me too well - I valiantly argue to prove 'beer-belly' is a concept that has long been written off by scientists as baseless: case in point - European countries where the per capita beer consumption is highest don't have more overweight people than other countries. Plus, I'm not really a hardcore beer-guzzler who drowns a pitcher all by himself! I stop at 2 mugs, and I drink only when I'm out on weekends: nothing doing, I'm subjected to the tread-mill which I genuinely abhor ! While sprinting with a scowl on my face, I do a lazy recollection: actually, that was four times in the last eight evenings - all with friends over soccer matches; worse, I can't stop eating when I'm drinking - and pubs have a great non-stop supply of chicken wings, french fries, peanuts and popcorn just for people like me! I run some more to feel better.

PS: The newspapers say Ronaldo at 1.83 m and 90.5 kgs, is just 500 gms above the ideal weight for his height. I have much reason to cheer - I'm a Greek God.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

cause and effect

Effect: Messi is back and Argentina rocks, Ronaldo can't move and Brazil shocks
Cause: Thats called Sweet-zer-landing into trouble

Disclaimer: I'm still a Ronaldo fan and think he will make a strong comeback after all the flak he received on the Croatia match...just weight and watch man.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

what a start!

What a fabulous soccer weekend this was! And so far the Boys in Blue have rocked. I'm a loyal Man U fan but Mourinho's boys have showed over the last 3 days just why Chelsea has made the EPL such a painfully one-sided affair in the last 2 yrs.
Consider this: Crespo and Drogba both scored in the Argentina-Ivory Coast match, Robben single-handedly won the game for Netherlands yesterday, and Lampard was the one English player who looked like scoring. Thats a lot of strike power from one club!

Ok, summary of the first weekend-
Best team: Argentina (what a match!)
Best goal: Frings (Geramny, last goal against Costa Rica, BOOOOMM)
Best Player: Robben (anybody will die to get two left feet...those of Robben that is)

PJ of the weekend: Ya you get to hear lots of PJs when you watch matches with nutcases but the worst one was when this Angola player Loco (the one with the strange haircut) fouled Figo in the Portugal match.
Nut 1: That was a pointless challenge, needless yellow card
Nut 2: Ya but Loco is like that only, no purpose in his game
Nut 1: "No purpose"... what is that supposed to mean?
Nut 2: Think about it, if Loco had a Motive why would he run in a football field?

Aaargh! But what a weeekend.

PS: To the four and a half regular visitors here - no I haven't given up on this blog just yet - its just that my home Net connection is still down, and all the posting I get to do is from office or cybercafes; hopefully more frequent posts in the near future.