22 November 2005

Would you call

Would you call:
An atheist cult - A non prophet organization?
An Italian miser - A penne pincher?
A devious IT manager - An Administraitor?
An amorous vampire - A neckromancer?

15 August 2005

Numerology for NASA

Numerology supposedly works. Ask Mr. Numerology Sanjay Jumaani (with an extra 'a'), Ms. Ektaa (again with an extra 'a') and her assorted friends and the soaps she creates Kkahanii..., Kkusum, et al. It makes hits out of duds.

Come to think of it. NASA shouldn't have worried itself sick over its shuttle. They could've simply re-spelt it Kolumbia (Kkolumbia would've been two much). And while they're at it, they could also try KNASA.

PS: On a more serious note, while we doff our hats to the late Kalpana Chawla, do we remember a bloke who was Indian by birth AND citizenship who was the first Indian in space? Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma is his name.

And those that know by rote the 'One small step for man' quip, may I remind them that Sqdn. Ldr. Sharma had described India from space as 'Saare Jahaan se Achcha'.

Happy Independence Day.

18 July 2005

Mirror Error

Mirror Mirror at the news stall
Mirror Mirror had a great fall
All the BC&C hoardings and all the BC&C men
Couldn't put Mirror together again

Wouldn't accept it doesn't sell at all
Papa Times weaved a tale so tall
Oh! the demand, Ah! the supply shortfall
And the format is called 'compact', not puny or small

05 July 2005

Nary a Win

Narry boy Narry boy, what’s with you?
Smokin your tyres and engine too

You’d screw launch control and miss a turn
We’d say ‘Much, the padowan, has to learn’

But your best finish at number four
When there were but five others more

Makes me think if there’ll ever be a time
When Monaco or Monza would play my national rhyme

Additional Joint Secretary of the Narain Karthikeyan Fan Club.
What to do? We Indians like fancy concatenated designations.

30 June 2005

Sweating Bullets

Hello me... Meet the real me
And my misfits way of life
A dark black past is my
Most valued possession
Hindsight is always 20-20,
But looking back it's still a bit fuzzy
Speak of mutually assured destruction?
Nice story... Tell it to Reader's Digest!

Feeling paranoid
True enemy or false friend?
Anxiety's attacking me, and
My air is getting thin
I'm in trouble for the things
I haven't got to yet
I'm chomping at the bit, and my
Palms are getting wet, sweating bullets.

Hello me... It's me again
You can subdue, but never tame me
It gives me a migraine headache
Thinking down to your level
Yea, just keep on thinking it's my fault
And stay an inch or two outta kicking distance
Mankind has got to know
His limitations

Feeling claustrophobic
Like the walls are closing in
Blood stains on my hands and
I don't know where I've been
I'm in trouble for the things
I haven't got to yet
I'm sharpening the axe and my
Palms are getting wet, sweating bullets

Well, me... it's nice talking to myself
A credit to dementia
Some day you too will know my pain
And smile its blacktooth grin
If the war inside my head
Won't take a day off I'll be dead
My icy fingers claw your back
Here I come again

Feeling paranoid
True enemy or false friend?
Anxiety's attacking me
And my air is getting thin
Feeling claustrophobic
Like the walls are closing in
Blood stains on my hands and
I don't know where I've been
Once you committed me
Now you've acquitted me
Claiming validity
For your stupidity
I'm chomping at the bit
I'm sharpening the axe
Here I come again, whoa!
Sweating bullets

Dave Mustaine -Megadeth

02 May 2005

Auto Erratica

Bitchy has outdone herself. She used to stick to writing Lifestyle for the Senile. She whined about becoming a Dilli-Billi everytime Mum-bhai extradited her to Delhi and then whine again when the Dilli scoorty evicted her out back to Mumbai.

Now she's out(Alec)smarted herself by trying to write why men don't lash out at women for lashing out at them. Well, generally men get the lashes while women flutter them (the lashes, not the men).

What boggles the mind is that Bitchy is at the center of the page graced by The Eminents like Dileep Padgaonkar, Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyer, and His Penmanship Sir Jug of Clan Suraiya. My guess is Brindle of Clan Suraiya would do better than Bitchy.

24 April 2005

Poll-en Fever

A ToI-TNS poll says that 53% of those interviewed feel politicians are morally dissolute. But 69% (dirty number, wot?) think that the above mentioned morally dissolute politicians are ‘protecting’ the general public by banning dance bars, adult movies and interaction between persons of opposite sex. 54% think that these bans ‘protect’ our womenfolk. 72% feel that the state should intervene in issues like dance bars, and 53% think that it should regulate ‘behavior of couples in public’.

I’m going out on a limb here but 68.9% of me (69 is a dirty number, no?) thinks that these interviewees were sourced from the Sanitarium for Schizoid Functionaries of the erstwhile Taliban regime. 8% of me thinks its for the warmth while an astounding 82% of me feels that ToI-TNS and their interviewees generally have their heads up their derrieres.

The kesar on the shrikhand (‘cherry’ on icing is immoral too, and anyways, icings and cakes belong to the vile vile West) was a comment by Ms. Sridevi Goel, Inspector General of the Railways. To paraphrase, she ‘scolded’ a 12 year old girl since she was ‘speaking’ with two 20 year old boys. Did I mention that she was replying to a question concerning Constable Sunil More’s rape of a 17 year old college girl? It was an ‘aberration’, she says.

Yeah, an aberration like the one that allows some persons whose cranium and rectum are interchangeable to hold office.

23 April 2005

Sound of Music (Pound of Flesh remix)

Dough, a dear, a female dear,
Dancing the night and serving beer,
A vent for those that lech and leer,
This one's cop, that one's a seer,

Hide, flee and run in fear,
Oh! the moral police is here,
Our thoughts they'll cleanse and clear,
On the Shining Path, the nation they'll steer,

But once we stuff bribes up their rear,
The ban will suddenly disappear,
But fatter haftas will now be de rigueur,
And that brings us back to dough.

31 March 2005


M... Roman for Thousand. Thousand as in the Thousands of Thundering Typhoons of Captain Haddock. Thousand as in Thousand Island Dressing. Thousand as in the number of hits this blog has got till this time.

07 March 2005

'tis the season to be revving

Gentlemen, start your TVs. The Formula 1 season is here. I bid adieu to Sunday evening ‘shooting breeze’ sessions with the boyz. Matters of far greater gravity demand our attention. Matters like BMW Williams’ departure from the Walrus Nose, the repercussions of two maniacs on the same (McLaren) team, the possibility of yet another season of dominance by the Prancing Horse, and most importantly, the performance of ‘our lad’, Narain Karthikeyan.

Yes, I would still cheer for the Kaiser, Herr Schumacher for the drivers’ championship. But I would also cheer for Narry boy, for finishing races, for snicking into the points positions and God willing, a podium or two. Doesn’t mean that Narry’s EJ will be an also-ran. But we’re talking debut year here. Give the lad a couple of seasons and he’d be contending to replace the aging Schumi or Rubinho.

Of course, I’m willing to coach Narry all the way. He should learn a few things about the way they drive auto rickshaws and buses in deah ol’ Mumbai. I could get the Bombay Auto/Taximen Union to provide other eminent speakers. Eddie Jordan must also send his pit crew to Mumbai CNG stations to learn filling up assorted scores of rickshaws and taxis with CNG within the night.

Godspeed, Narain. You have the wishes of a quarter of the world and Prometheus, who more than makes up for the rest. Do India proud and don’t take off that Ashok Chakra on your helmet despite whatever our protocol pundits say. Always makes my eyes moist with pride to see the Chakra stand out in that cesspool of ads.

Afterthought: Is it within regulations to spike the fuel tank with a splash of Red Bull? Never thought ol’ DC could do with the RB car what he couldn’t with the superhot McLaren.

03 March 2005

Fall of the Evil Empire

Bring on the celebrations, let mirth prevail. For the Evil Empire has fallen. Yes, my loyal subjects, we have overthrown the vile Haloscan. We utter'd not a word when they deleted our Sacred Comments, but when they allow'd us not to uninstall them peacefully, we had no recourse but to melt down our plows and fashion from them spears. We fought them hard and fought them well and conquered them we have. And have won back the Sacred Comments as well.

Ergo, my people, you may now resume making offerings to the Sacred Comments again. I will now take that well deserved retreat at the Holodeck. You have the bridge, Number One.

15 February 2005

In Remembrance of Polly

You appeared in my dreams yesterday, Polly. You may call it coincidence.
I'll call it 'Celor ce duc mai mult dorul, le pare mai dulce odorul': Presence strengthens love, absence sharpens it.

26 January 2005

Operation Sea Waves

A diary account of my team's deployment to tsunami-struck Car Nicobar.

Thursday, December 30:
It had been a routinely hectic 9-hour work day, until the evening briefing about a mission to Chennai. En-route to the airport, I received a phone call about deployment to Andaman & Nicobar instead. This was late at night, so there was no time to react emotionally. Memories of exactly one year ago kept visiting me: We were all dressed up and packed up and at the airport on our way to Bam in Iraq that was hit by a major quake. Some desk warrior denied us permission and we had to turn back from the airport. I tried not to think about it.

Just shy of midnight I was at the airport, as Tactical Chief of a 50-man team consisting of rescue workers and sanitation experts. An initial snag: We had to leave our fuel supplies and gas cylinders behind as we were refused permission to take them aboard the plane for safety reasons.

Friday, December 31:
Our plane left for Chennai by 2 am. By 4 am we had reached Chennai for a stopover, and dawn was breaking when we reached Port Blair. We would spend the whole day there arranging for our deployment, liaising with army officials and the civic administration. My nightmare was breaking up the entire team and equipments into 3 functional units to fly to our designated operations area, Car Nicobar, as the AN-32 cargo aircraft weren’t big enough to take 50 of us and our 3.5 ton equipment payload. We reached and regrouped at Car Nicobar by 1945 hours and reported to the Military Operations command. As it turned out, they weren’t too happy with civilians and advised us to leave. Previous civilian teams hadn't been able to withstand burying decomposed bodies and had pulled out, they said. We had 30 minutes to decide. We took 5 minutes to decide that it was ‘No retreat, no surrender’. We were told to pitch camp anywhere; we chose the runway off-ramp. The world was celebrating as 2004 ended. But there was nothing happy about our new year. We were to find tsunami survivors, which would be a silver lining, but mostly we would have to bury the dead. We relished the first nap after nearly 40 stress filled hours.

Saturday, January 1:
The three of us (Mission Chief, Operations Chief and Tactical Chief) had strategy meeting with the military command while the rest were divided into 3 groups and deployed to different areas for locating and burying bodies and disinfecting the area. No, we weren’t assigned a fancy ‘Bravo Delta’ military codename.

By afternoon my group of three received input that there was one survivor in Lapati, a remote village. We were briefed that one of his legs was fractured and the other badly infected. The hope of finding a LIVE victim, and the general lack of any communications equipment, meant that just the three of us would undertake this mission. We took an ambulance and two doctors with a stretcher. A Times of India reporter from Mumbai covering the tsunami disaster also came along. Getting to Lapati involved a long drive and a 7 km trek through devastated jungle terrain littered with broken TVs, fridges and furniture. There was the smell of decomposition in the air, and every few meters something was rotting.

On reaching Lapati, it turned out the man had already been evacuated by other survivors. The trip wasn't a total waste of time, however. We were the first team to get there, and our mapping of the area would be useful to the army to remove the dead bodies. On our way back, we paused by a beach with almost white sand. The azure sea and the pristine beach was a sight to behold. It was difficult to believe that this very pristine sea was a killer a week ago.

Sunday, January 2:
Sunday passed in burying the dead. The only way of retaining our sanity was to steel the mind and body. By the end of our stay, we had buried 27 bodies. We would spray each body to kill germs, spray the spot, find a good burial spot, mark the grave with a red flag and heap stones to prevent dogs from getting to the body. We would doff hats and stand in silence for some time. Maybe the dead would rest easier for it. The daily evening debriefing saw the army heads praising our mapping data on Lapati, Tapoiming and other tiny villages that we had provided them the earlier day from our trek. They had found nearly 17 bodies there. One of our teams had located a 100 kg turtle trapped under debris and relocated it back to the water. We had rescued a ‘live victim’ after all.

Monday January 3:
Buried a small boy. His body had been in the water for six days, and
was bloated. His face was decomposed. He was wearing good clothes,
which told us he had a family that cared for him. Were they dead too?

We decided to begin planning the return trip there was no sense in taking undue risks overextending ourselves and our equipment. We had experienced mild tremors each day. Plus the psychological factor that we were cutoff from the mainland. Moreover, the air force guys told us their airplane sorties were going to be reduced or stopped because of the damaged runway. Either we could leave now, or wait indefinitely. The army command was full of praise. A Major said we had not only outdid civilians but ‘almost came close’ to their standards.

One team was still in the field so a few of us waited back to take the last aircraft out of Car Nicobar while I was among those who were to board the giant IL-78 aircraft. I sat up front with the navigator in a glass bubble under the aircraft’s nose. After a spell of darkness, I could see the lights of the mainland’s coastline approaching. Ahead still, the navigator pointed out clusters of lights as we flew over Maharashtra: Solapur, Navi Mumbai and finally Mumbai. I reached home and went to sleep.

Tuesday, January 4:
Back to sweaty elbows, and two inches of personal space in local trains. In the Andamans there were miles of nothing. The body and mind still tense up, but for alt ogether different reasons. I brace not for the stench of dead bodies but the onslaught of hundreds of live ones as I board the train. The few team members who had stayed behind had returned safely too. Tremendous sense of fulfillment for a tough mission done very well and safely. As I filed the report on the mission, I relived all those experiences. We have learnt a lot. We have earned our wings. My classification of Phillip Kotler's 'Necessity, Comfort, Luxury' stands changed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005:
At the debriefing I learnt that the entire Military Operation in which we had participated was named Operation Sea Waves. Back from the everyday job. Wonder what is more stressful!

Based on the article in the Times of India co-authored by Suhit Kelkar