Nostalgia Part 2

October 14, 2006

The other day, I came across a community in orkut called “Pen Phirvaiya”, a community of interest to those people who like spinning pens between their fingers. I am not very sure if you are one of those lucky souls who have ever tried the same, but it gives extreme pleasure to all those, who have mastered this great act that is a perfect example for demonstrating Newton’s second law (Yes, it is f=ma). And not to boast of my own rotating skills though, I too feel privileged to be a member of the same class.

“Everyone has a right to be stupid. Some just abuse the privileges.” This is what my Physics teacher Mr. D N Sharma (popularly known as Dinu) used to quote. This was in context to the art of spinning pens that most of the guys had proudly inherited from their seniors. Though it defied no laws of theoretical physics, Dinu, a character with those grass cut spiky hair, unfortunately, was our class teacher and was always irritated to see guys displaying their spinning prowess inside the classroom.

It all started with the so-called “innovative acts” from one of our seniors and in due course of time, this great art of spinning was customarily passed on to us. I must admit though, initially it required hell lot of efforts, just to do the balancing acts. Sometimes, our mentors took special “sessions” near to the basketball court to teach us the finesse associated with this art, especially in terms of hand positioning and the amount of force being applied at a particular angle. And like a devoted pupil, we all listened and watched with complete dedication and practiced it with utmost sincerity. Boy! That was the only time in my life; I took my practical so seriously. We started with Reynolds 045 pen, experimented with few others, slowly graduated to Rotomac pen (of the Ravina Tandon’s “likhtey likhtey love ho jaaye” fame. God!! She looked gorgeous in that ad) till we discovered lightweight Stic pens that culminated our search for a perfect shaped pen. And then, it all started – the record-breaking feats (which was of much faster pace than even the Olympics) for maximum number of spins, without dropping the pen even once. I myself practiced it for several days for I dreamt of spinning it till eternity.

I still remember an exasperated Dinu, on a mission to stop this epidemic, carrying a long meter rule and hitting us on our knuckles whenever he saw us showcasing these skills. But for the poor soul, it turned out to be an exercise in futility. The harder he tried to stop it; more it got spread like dengue and malaria. And for us, it soon became an obsession, a style statement that was extremely gratifying. Later on, I could spin almost anything that was lateral in shape. It included long chalk pieces, dusters, keys, nail cutters, light weight pencil boxes and even vegetables like carrots 😉

We are never too old to learn something stupid. Isn’t it true? I wish I could learn much more, for people like me enjoy such activities to the core.


Nostalgia Part 1

October 14, 2006

Last month, I read an article in a popular travel magazine and I was completely smitten by the same. It was an entertaining anecdote by an Indian writer, who had traveled to the North Pole sometime during 1980s. She wrote about the Eskimos, their families, their lifestyles, and the much-talked igloos. Nostalgia gripped me at once and took me back to my school days when I was a geography student. My only exposure to the two of the most intriguing species in my geography books– The Eskimos and the pygmies, was confined only to our classroom. They always remained an enigma to poor students and I always compared them with the aliens – short and stout people, indulged in falconry and reindeer hunting. And now, after seeing the photograph of an Eskimo mother along with her child, I was left bewildered. They looked so human, just like us, and it took a while for me to digest this fact. If there were a prize for general knowledge, I could have bagged one for sure.

Keep your mouth shut and people will think you stupid;
Open it and you remove all doubts.
– Anonymous

Into the cradle…

October 11, 2006

Why did I write this?
Just for two simple reasons –
Firstly, I overheard that the word “elite” gets associated with you as soon as you start writing a blog. So, in order to scramble inside this cool category, I too decided to poke my nose, for I too wanted to flatter myself for being a part of this elite thing.
Secondly, and definitely the more profound reason – it is FREE (Yes, I am one of those typical Indians, who in spite of having sore throat and even with a bit of aversion for strawberry flavor, still stand in long queues outside Bangalore Central to collect cups of the same flavored ice creams, and that too more than once, for it was distributed FREE under some promotional offer. And lets not talk of the next day visit to the ENT specialist where they end up spending three hundred bucks for the medicines and consultation)

With a bit of enlightenment from some of the regulars, I was made aware of the fact that people use blogs to express their inner self. But still, why would I write one? For I was pretty sure that there are only handful of things I am good at, and writing crap is definitely one of them. Therefore, a bit reluctant initially though, I vetoed such thoughts with my sadistic senses, for blogging could become a perfect platform to torture my folks.

So here I am (Nah, not in style of Bryan Adams song), writing my first blog, and getting prepared to face those brickbats (only if someone reads it though). I’ll be at your dispense, so feel free to curse me anytime. I am neither a budding writer, who in spite of all his efforts, fails to find a publisher and gets lost in the obscurity. Nor am I an aspiring writer, still in reverie, trying to chase his tantalizing dreams, only to realize that they are ever elusive. I am just another so-called techie, or a cyber coolie to be precise (there isn’t a better term to define people like me) who gets paid for writing sheer crappy software stuff, most of which is either obsolete or notoriously buggy. But, at times, we are a revered lot and are euphemistically termed as “knowledge workers”. In retrospect though, it seems quite preposterous. Isn’t it?

However, even with such pseudo titles being bestowed on us, you’ll not find any techno stuff here. And except for the really humorous ones, no technical discussion or other software related gyan will rule the roost here. In other words – “Lets write what we enjoy.”