Sunday, December 23, 2007

A moving story - the end

What a day.
I mean, seriously.

Phase 2 - the heavy, bulky furniture - successfully moved, and unpacked. The rubbish sold off. The post-move check for all the stuff left behind, done. Identified. Packed. Moved.
PC set up.
Kitchen functional.
Fridge working, even some food stocked.
Cupboards filled up.
And now - finally - I can sleep.
So tired. So completely bone-tired. But we did it. The most intense shifting experience till date, over and done with.

My roomie's room, after packing. I don't see much difference.

My room - a last look. Strange sense of - a kind of loss. We've moved on, but the room is still there - so much happened here, the last two years. Life changed so much. Everything changed... and every night, this was the room I returned to to rest.
Goodbye, A-7.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Yeah, yeah, movin story, thats right

The Island of Dr. Moreau
Packing the kitchen
I remember the last time I was packing the kitchen - found a full-grown rat, complete with nest. This time around, that particular pleasant little surprise wasn't around, but it was pretty interesting even then. There's an ecosystem in the sink, and the rubbish heap moves by itself at times.
It's also fascinating what a collection of food one builds up. This is a realization that hits really hard when you realize that the fridge now needs to be emptied. In a day.
I can now either stuff myself with rotis like rock, fossilized pizza, and something red and greasy that I can't even identify anymore in a plastic jar.
Another round of luggage has been shifted; there's now a deep, stretchy ache in my forearms and shoulders, and thanks to a minor bike mishap, in one leg as well... but it's 3:30 AM, I've been sleeping four hours in the last 48, and I'm absolutely, brilliantly, completely wide awake, excited, nontired, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the works. It's fun. I should throw out rubbish more often; it's better than amphetamines.

A Moving Story continues...

Laws of Packing
  1. Everything is covered with dust. Thick, grimy, cobwebby, full-body dust. The Dara Singh of Dust. Dust that's been working out and wont give up easily without a solid fight.
  2. When a bag is closed, an item is immediately found that needs to be put in the said bag. The probability of this happening increases in direct proportion to -
    1. The bag being locked
    2. The key being misplaced
      1. Corollary - the more essential the item, the higher the probability of the key being lost. In case of self-closing locks, the key has a 98% chance of being inside the bag.
  3. Rubbish is infinite.
  4. Number of available bags will always be less than amount of available stuff.
    1. This will happen regardless of the number of bags. A Duckback warehouse will be insufficient.
  5. The duster, when required, will always be at a distance of minimum 75% on the other side of the room.
    1. Corollary - The distance increaes in direct proportion to volume of rubbish obstructing your path to it.
    2. There are 3 exceptions to the Duster Distance Theorem.
      1. The duster is under you, if you are sitting down.
      2. The duster is underneath the large, heavy bag you just packed.
      3. The duster is not in the room at all, but has been slyly 'borrowed' when you weren't looking by co-packers.

Friday, December 21, 2007


... had his eyes closed. Cliff thought he could see a very, very faint glow surrounding him, like a thin mist. There were tiny points of light in it.
He was still standing with his eyes shut, as if he was asleep on his feet.
'Yes,' said Cliff, 'we'll get on out there, will we? Er. Buddy?'
Buddy's eyes snapped open suddenly.
'Let's rock,' he whispered.

Soul Music
Terry Pratchett

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Moving Story, Part VI

Phase 1, round 1... done.
Minor luggage successfully shifted, ECG and blood test done, Aquaguard cleaned, cleaner identified and arranged, security guards pal'ed up, and I still made it to my office on time! And I didn't even sleep in the train!
Next - more smaller luggage shifts, and arranging for movers.

A Moving Story, Part V

Packing, round 1.
15 items.
2 rucksacks.
3 cartons.
1 large duffel bag.
4 medium carry bags.
1 small knapsack.
1 small sling bag.

What any average Great Indian Train-Travelling Auntie would normally carry.

I think it's in control. Most of it can come in a cab. I will have to entice roommate with beer to accompany me and help out with the carrying stuff up. If we can this over to the new place in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, I can dump it, freshen up, get my blood test (the insurance guy had to pick this day of all days, man) done and head to office. Do the review meeting, then back and unpack there all evening, go home, and pack the big stuff. And call a large-size tempo.

The Junking Process has unearthed 15 expired credit / debit cards, a glass model of the Burj-ul-Arab, and 3 mismatched foam earphone covers, pristine new.

And I'm tired but feelin' go-o-o-d.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Moving Story, Part Fuckit

Where the fuck did I get so much STUFF from???!

More stationery than a kirana store, more electronics than GN United Computers and Spares across the street, and that's without even packing my comp and speakers. I mean, the photos alone have occupied an entire airline carry-on strolley-sized bag!
And my superboss is in town... which means reach office by 9:30, so no morning shifts. And coming back is as late as always. And my damn blood test had to happen on friday... which of course, being an optional holiday, has been promptly commandeered into a working day. Aaugh!
and don't even get me started on the books and DVDs. Just about half of them have filled up another 3 rucksacks. Big ones. I'm fast running out of place to put them, and the idea of actually moving them is...

You know what the trouble with being a superefficient packer is? It also makes a superefficient stocker. I've managed to pack so much stuff into such a small place, through genius-level application of inventory and space management, that taking it all out is like watching the Sorcerer's Apprentice' brooms go wild. Expect a wardrobe-related accident any day now, when I get deluged in the bursting dam of pent-up possessions.

Time for emergency measures. Starting tomorrow, every stitch of clothing goes into the washing machine. Let the dhobi can transport them on the weekend.
No more sentimentalism. It doesn't matter if X was a much-cherished gift from some long-ago girlfriend, if it doesn't work and is falling apart, out it goes.
Promise to self - once I move, I'm going on a donation spree. Books, movies, clothes - give, give, give. After flogging off as many as I can, naturally.
Stop. Storing. Boxes! Please! Billions of camera, phone, shoe, and miscellaneous other containers are emerging like ants before the monsoon. Stop being a packrat! Some cardboard cartons - which are normally subjected to such abuse they never last beyond a single shift - have GIM address labels on them. I've nursed them through 6 moves, over eight years!

On the good side, I've found stuff - mysterious foreign coins. My PAN card. My electric drill chuck, would you believe it? An Alfred E. Neuman poster. Neuromancer, that I was convinced was borrowed and never returned (and won't be lent out again, never fear, and don't even try). A pack of Malaysian cigars. Fifteen different adaptors, and not one, but two cordless headphones, complete with their own transmitters. 2 windcheaters.
And somehow, my external HDD has suddenly started working perfectly. I don't think it's related, but still a good thing.

I need a drink.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Moving Story, Part III

Last time we moved, we ended up having 43 individual pieces of baggage (including a bucket full of brooms and mops). It's too much to manage. This time round, I think it'll make more sense to do couple of quick trips to the new place and start dumping bags - and emptying them and bringing it back as well.
Advantage -
  • It'll do away with the need for superpacking where every available cubic centimeter is utilized, which results in superdense cartons where you have no clue exactly what has been packed where.
  • It'll allow re-usage of available bags
  • It'll let us set up the new place in phases, so the exhausted period post-move isn't occupied by an even more exhausting re-setup; last time, we were so pooped that stuff stayed packed in cartons for months at a time. In fact, some cartons are going today as is from the last shift.
Disadvantage -
  • Multiple trips, so I need to be able to leave early enough to pack, and reach late enough (from and to office) to do a baggage dump in the morning and an unpacking exercise in the evening.
  • Finding cabs willling to go short distance, with a luggage rack.
  • Anyone in the Andheri West area willing to help and with a big car, and lots of free time?

A Moving Story, part II

yep, that's my room.

cartons, bags, dust, electricals, Jon Bon Jovi, and the bright clean table in the middle is where a chicken patiala rested not very long ago. It's an explosion in a psychotic warehouse, and I'm lovin' it.

All the interesting stuff i never knew I had has started turning up... and will be going on eBay soon. Advance booking open for cordless headphones and an ancient Yashica.

Another fun bit of this phase is imagining where some of all this stuff - so useless so far - will go in the new place. This tiny bulb on a bedswitch? Can it be used to make an illuminated drinks cabinet? Or how about this...2.0 speaker set? Can I wire up the entire house so I get my music in every room? I already have the 5.1 set, the old 2.1 set... and an amplifier... and lookit this, thirty feet of shielded cable... heheh.

in the watches of these dark nights...

...the most innocuous takes on... overtones.
like the laundry. close to twenty shirts hanging in the dark corridor. like a battalion of emaciated, headless corpses.
gently swaying in the wind, like they're giving a chance to let those at the back peer forward.
twitching. crowding around the door.
if I go to the loo, brushing past them all, what will I find outside waiting for me when I come back?
dead quiet... but moving. coordinated, twitchy, random movement. like a silent mob.
it's creepin me out...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

moving... again

After 2 years at Veera Desai, it's time to go. I like moving. It's cathartic. A chance to leave behind all your mistakes, your messes, and start over, now that you've learned from the past. A sloughing-off of the dead skin, the ultimate housecleaning.
And while brokers, societies, landlords, and other such blots generally conspire to make it horrendous, this time around, the entire process of closure took less than a day, thanks to Harish.
And now we're the proud owners of... well, just a single key right now, but the next 6 days are going to be action-packed. Packing, unpacking, repacking, scotch tape, cartons, dust allergies, finding things you thought had been forever lost, arranging, buying stuff that had been waiting for a better setting... it's an awesomely fun experience.
Signed off with the landlord, an elderly lady who for some reason has assumed that my roommate is so junior he could be my son; a fringe benefit of the beard, I guess. Roommate naturally is frothing at the mouth.
And the celebration parties never stop.
As I look around at the awesome wasteland of debris that my room is, I can't help wondering how the fuck is it all going to be shifted.

Friday, December 14, 2007


you can be a boring guy
with boring friends
and a boring life

you can be a rockstar
with rockstar friends
and a rockstar life

you can be both
with no friends
and no life

from the outside.

zoning in

only way to describe it is, it's like runner high.

remember feeling this way... more than a decade ago, in my XII boards. and Macleodganj.

a moment of perfection, when everything works. not hungry, not thirsty, not tired, not sleepy. your head, your whole body, trembling with an energy so frighteningly abundant you can feel it barely contained.

everything coming together, at the right time, the right place. synapses, situations, reflexes, thought, hands, the world around you, in a perfect ballet where you can't go wrong. in some extraordinary way, you have reached a level where you can actually make the world behave the way you want it to - or where it doesn't matter how it behaves, you can handle it. easily.

like a dragonfly climbing out of the husk of the nymph it used to be, and spreading it's wings for the first time in it's like in the sun. the world just changed forever, and it's a wonderful, exciting place to be in. where there are endless possibilities, everything is - not easy, but fun. you look back at what you were, and you marvel that you could have felt like that, lived like that, once...

it's also lonely. when you try to describe it, you come across as - you can't come across. it's such an intensely personal experience, it can't be communicated. the other won't understand. at best, you can be boring.

it's an interesting thing... this is probably what someone on serious amphetamines, or in a high-altitude climb, feels like. but from outside...


piles of work.
piles is a good description.
work that looms
tottering in treacerous, terrible, terrifying, tall towers, trembling with tons of terrific trouble trapped tightly, tormented and travailed, waiting for the toil of the time-lagged tasks to transition from then to tomorrow.
emitting the ghastly pong of putrefied deadlines
surrounded by buzzing clouds of outlook reminders
while the boss sniffs around, wagging tail and drooling, searching for rats
and colleagues caw and peck, and fly off with a little bit now and then to squabble over while the pile teeters and wobbles...
and the outsourced independent parties scurry around within, living their own lives, blissfully unaware of the world outside
and distractions sprout in pale clumps in the shady parts, giving you dreams, nightmares, and hallucinations if you pick and eat them. Some can even kill you.
Such is my work. And now I shall return to it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Smoking your way to good health

Did you know that smoking, apart from being injurious tohealth, can also be used as an effective tool towards a better, fitter life? Here's how - with Dr. T's Ten Tips for Smoking Your Way To A Healthier, Fitter, Slimmer You.
1. If you have a sedentary job, look at the first advice any fitness authority gives - Keep Moving. Walk around. Sit, stand, stretch. And while doing this for no reason can get you classified as a freak, look at the same activities with a cig - you're a hard worker, stressed but in control, dynamic, driven. Wonders for your image.
2. Frequent legitimate breaks. If you're in a non-smoking office; so much the better; every break means at least ten minutes of getting up, walking around, standing, moving... count the calories.
3. Walking. You can't smoke in public transportation, so don't take it. Just walk instead. Billions and gazillions of health benefits from a ten-minute brisk walk every day.
4. Buying. Never buy a full pack, you'll lose the entire health benefit of getting up, walking downstairs, across the road to the corner shop, back, skipping briskly through traffic, smoke, then back up the stairs.
5. Reminder value. Once you're smoking, all those activities you thought you could take for granted will suddenly become effective reminders for you to get into shape - huffing on the stairs, seeing black spots in front of your eyes on steep climbs, altitude sickness on holidays, the works.
6. Food control - feeling the urge to snack? Smoke instead. Not only do you save the calories of the pakora you would have otherwise consumed, but the nicotine will be an effective appetite-killer, so you don't pig out on regular meals either.
7. Binge-ender; Smoking kills off taste and smell buds, so food is less tasty and alluring. The sight of that Lebanese chicken grilling in it's brightly-lit glass counter will, in time, no longer sending you into paroxysms of a feeding frenzy.
8. Shorter meals - A cig tastes the best after meals, so when you're considering tat second helping... think of the smoke instead.
9. Social benefits - Social people are happy people, and happy people are healthy people. The entire smoking subculture will give you undiluted support; borrowing, sharing, cadging, asking for lights, inviting fellow smokers (many of whom will be attractive young women) acts as an instant ice-breaker, as well as a great conversational support. Don't know what to say? Just nod and take a drag.
10. Cleanliness. Very quickly, your house will start filling up with packets, matchskicks, butts, and that all-pervasive grey ash. It'll drive you to insanity with it's sheer untidiness, not to mention asthma, sneezing fits (also assisted by the reduced-efficiency lungs you now have, another benefit) so you will be forced to keep constantly cleaning up. Massive calorie burn, as well as impressive to girlfriend / landlord / wife.
And finally, tip zero - when certain aspiring authors, after having convinced you to smoke, ask for a cigarette, don't deny them. It's healthy, trust me, in strange and indefinable ways.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Claims, investments, bills, proofs, receipts, and other such blots upon the world

Rent receipts from an absentee landlord who squeals at the thought of any trackable transaction.
Medical bills from a shifty-eyed chemist's assistant who acts like he's selling you stolen russian nuke warheads under the table.
Insurance premium receipts from a company which is still convinced you live 3 moves in the past, and will unfailingly send you everything you needed precisely 1 day after the final deadline.
Banks that want you to change login passwords, transaction passwords, One-Time passwords, secure PINs, phone PINs, CRNs, DoB verifications, all via brain-damaged, abysmal imps of CSRs that were thrown out of Hell for being too obnoxious.
Salary slips, more lost than the key to the Rosetta Stone.
and over and above everything, fluttering like Hitchcock birds, like blurred, smudged passenger pigeons, are the forms, forms, forms...

Monday, December 03, 2007

SMS From 91**********

and this one came on sms. I am now fully enabled to moblog, at the rate of my operator''s premium sms charge per post! Viva la tec

Please visit

Isn't technology wonderful?

This post has been written via an email. If you're reading this, it means I needn't log into blogger anymore to post... next step, blogging on mobile. be continued...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

life goes on

the funny thing is, life is not clearly delineated chapters. my blog is losing continuity. one incident or another, floating past like dead, swollen rats in the black water. or rain-bubbles in the downpour, whatever gets you through the night

had a nasty taste of mortality when i realized more than half of my friends are married, when the conversations that used to go 'my girlfriend says...' became 'my wife says' and i saw myself slide into that inevitable cycle of comparisons - who's married, had the baby, bought the big car, bought the freakin house, whoa, started own biz, become something that has 'president' in the designation... when all this is happening now, you realize that there's been a very subtle shift in milestones.

learning to drive, the first cig, the first kiss, first / second / third base, college, staying alone, bike, trips, the first fight, the first drink, the first job...

the promotion, the engagement, the marriage, the birth, the house, the car, the foreign holiday / trip / posting...

you got it. the first heart attacks, separaion, divorces. the first death.

is this what they call a pivotal moment?

Monday, November 19, 2007

we're all dogs

Take this test!

No bones about it, you're a popular, fun-loving Golden Retriever. Adored by all and too cool for school, you're extroverted and enthusiastic. Your magnetic personality makes you the life of any bash. Since you're a true people-dog, you genuinely love all kinds of social gatherings. Going to parties, dinners, and other shindigs is the best way to add faces to your constantly growing circle of friends. But besides being on the social A-list, you're a confident, well-rounded pup who's definitely something to bark about. Pretty accomplished at anything you set your mind to, your sunny nature and winning ways make you one of everyone's favorite dogs. Woof!

I'm your favourite dog! Throw me a frickin bone here!

Friday, November 16, 2007

looking back

I was reading an Asterix yesterday, and was thinking that somehow the impact isn't the same anymore... I remember laughing out loud, ROTFLing, the works. I remembered the other comics, how they would have a larger-than-life, story playing visually in my head even as I curled up under the wooden stairs of the Hobby Corner at Janpath, browsing away, complete with backstories, sound effects, even smells and vibrations. The same used to happen with the books, the music, the movies.
But it's not the quality that's gone down. It's not my brain that's degrading, my sense of imagination and humour fading.
It's nostalgia.
The books I read today will be remembered as having the same impact, five years later.
Do you realize how rich every experience you have today is? Ask your future self. He'll remember.
Appreciate today! It's more fun than you thought it was.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I'm a perfectionist. It's what I am. It's not something I chose to be or want to be... I just am.
How can you live life sunk in a sloth of mediocrity? It's warm, it's comfortable, it doesn't demand anything out of you, it's easy to achieve and easy to maintain, it makes you normal and one with the vast majority of humanity. But at the end of it, you're still a pig wallowing in the warmth of decomposing feces in a gutter. You can't become more than what you are if you don't try. You can't be something greater. You can't look in a mirror. You can't look back, in the end of it all, with pride.
Losing is not okay. If it were, it would be a habit, after a while. And then it's all over.
That's why it really hurt, today. I tried. I really tried. But I... I couldn't do it. Somewhere, something was missing. And when someone so important tells you that it's okay- it doesn't matter- it's a load of crap, because it does matter. It matters more than anything else in the world, and to know that you are the protagonist of a compromise, that someone settled for second best and ended up with you, that's a shitty feeling. There is no second best, there is no silver medal. It's a binary function, 1-0, on-off, you either make the grade or you don't. And I didn't. Something this important - maybe the most important thing ever in my life - and someone watching, sighed, and said, oh, well. I expected too much out of him.
I want to be that too much. I will be. I will make the grade. But tell me what the fucking grade is!
And that's the biggest failure. Something so important, and I don't even know.

So tired. It's been such a long time.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

it's been a while...

...but I'm back.
Didn't feel like blogging for some time, but I can feel that phase is over. Maybe I just need to get out of the regular routine more.
I feel like I'm just bubbling over with ideas today, especially about stuff that I want to talk about - one of which will result in a new blog, coming up soon.
Anyway, time for a li'l drinkie.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Budday Ashish!

So, another year gone.
Some things I wanted to do, done... others, still on hold. No regrets. It's been eventful. And fun.
But just to keep it in perspective - a decade ago, I was eighteen, and walking into college.

It is thought that the large-scale celebration of birthdays in Europe began with the cult of Mithras, which originated in Persia but was spread by soldiers throughout the Roman Empire.

The Happy Birthday Song melody is thought to be the most frequently sung melody in the world. Similar songs exist in other languages such as "Lang zal hij/zij leven" (and several others) in Dutch, "Zum Geburtstag Viel Glück" in German, "Cumpleaños feliz" in Spanish, "Sto lat" in Polish, "Lá Bhreithlá Shona Duit" in Irish, "Joyeux Anniversaire" in French, and "Tanti Auguri a te" in Italian.

It is also common for the "birthday boy" or "birthday girl" to cut the initial piece of the cake as a newlywed couple might with a wedding cake. If the knife touches the bottom or when withdrawn from the cake comes out dirty the Birthday boy or girl may have to kiss either the nearest boy or girl (Opposite sex).

A birthday is considered a special day for the person, and so the person will often get special treatment from friends and family. In addition to parties, people often get gifts on their birthday.

Author's note - I shall therefore shamelessly solicit gifts from my vast, noble, kind, and generous readers. Click here for the wishlist.
Back to you, Narcissism.

Libra is an astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Libra, in the Southern Hemisphere near Scorpius and Virgo. The only symbol of the zodiac that is inanimate (it is not represented by an animal or person).

In mythology Libra is often associated with the Greek Goddess of Justice, Themis,[1] the Greek mythological figure of Atalanta (meaning balanced), and Astraea (daughter of Themis), who ascended to heaven and became the constellation of Virgo, and carried the scales of justice, the nearby constellation of Libra.

Libra is also associated with the Greco-Roman goddess Aphrodite/Venus and sometimes also the goddesses Eris/Discordia & Hermione/Concordia, Hera/Juno, Ishtar, Freyja, and Frigg and the god Xolotl.
In astrology Libra is ruled by the planet Venus. The Indian equivalent of Libra is Tula, the Chinese equivalent is the Dog.
Many modern astrologers regard it as the most desirable of zodiacal types because it represents the zenith of the year, the high point of the seasons.

Individuals born under this sign are thought by practitioners of astrology to have a pleasant, clever, articulate, charming, charismatic, beautiful, outgoing, fair, artistic, social, refined, diplomatic, even-tempered and self-sufficient character. The Libra person is said to be co-operative, sees both sides, open-minded, just, urbane, partnership oriented, avoids conflict, balanced, graceful, debative, idealistic, and equalitarian.

Ooh. Don't stop.

The big day.
26th september is the european day of languages
26th september is johnny appleseed's day
26th september is not to be missed
26th september is tool day

Let's see what the world says about me instead.

ashish is gassing the forum
ashish is a computer scientist with the nasa ames research center in mountain view
ashish is a dashing opener for clcc
ashish is a genius
ashish is a dean's scholar
ashish is trying to rub aluminium to make it shining
ashish is excellent chess player and received best chess player award on all india university level
ashish is highly respected by patients and their families for his concerned bedside manner as well as the personal interest he takes in them
ashish is an intelligent and bright student of the school who has brought honour to the institution
ashish is getting fitter
ashish is currently a director of skyblaze ventures
ashish is an electrical engineer from iit
ashish is founder/director of exchangenext
ashish is the founder of bigtree entertainment pvt
ashish is not satisfied with being your regular villain
ashish is only one step short of the master black belt
ashish is well known as one of the original founders of junglee
ashish is late
ashish is the troublemaker of the house
ashish is also a part of who i am
ashish is a man of his word
ashish is the chief strategic officer for tavant
ashish is home and gets down to play the latest game that he?s got
ashish is a founding member of idiscoveri
ashish is obviously chuffed at the turn of events
ashish is a graduate of harvard business school and is currently the managing partner of think investments
ashish is a regular guy
ashish is perfectly okay
ashish is an associate at lehman brothers
ashish is a director of engineering at amazon
ashish is on his trail again
ashish is fascinated by emerging technologies and enjoys working at tblr where he can employ his previous experience and realize new abilities
ashish is really bright
ashish is the chairman of the board of bridium and collectionsx
ashish is responsible for strategic alliances and client interaction as it&t
ashish is relief kitchen supervisor
ashish is married and is expecting his first child soon
ashish is married to misha grewal
ashish is from india
ashish is correct
ashish is a phd student in strategy in the management science and engineering dept
ashish is a master therapist as well as a spiritual master and guides the author through the territory of his personal issues
ashish is the country head
ashish is neither a mathcad user nor does he intend to become one
ashish is accused of having murdered his brother
ashish is vociferous about this
ashish is the chairman of the board for bridium


I share my birthday with...
1774 John Chapman [Johnny Appleseed], frontier nurseryman
1820 Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar father of Bengali prose (Exile of Sita)
1888 T.S. Eliot St Louis poet/dramatist/critic (Waste Land-Nobel 1948)
1897 Pope Paul VI 262nd Roman Catholic pope (1963-78)
1947 Lynn Anderson ND, country singer (I Never Promised you a Rose Garden)
1947 Richard Roth US, 400m swim medley (Olympic-gold-1964)
1948 Olivia Newton-John Cambridge England, singer (I Honestly Love You, Physical)
1948 Vladimir Remek 1st Czechoslovakian space traveler (in Soyuz 28)
1985 Shamu was born this day in Orlando, Florida. She was the first killer whale to be born in captivity and survive. Her place of birth was Sea World.

I don't have any reason to believe - or disbelieve in reincarnation; but it's interesting to see Daniel Boone frontiersman, dies in Missouri at 85 in 1820.

1687 Parthenon destroyed in war between Turks & Venetians
1824 Kapiolani defies Pele (Hawaiian volcano goddess) & lives
1950 Because of forest fire in Br Columbia, blue moon appears in England
1954 Typhoon strikes Kakodate Bay Japan, killing over 1,600
1955 NY Stock Exchange worst price decline since 1929
1991 A group of scientists, four men and four women began a two-year stay inside Biosphere 2, a sealed structure in Oracle, AZ. They had planned to have no contact with the outside world; to grow their own food and live peacefully together as future pioneers in a harsh and alien world. Unfortunately, the outside world had to intervene a few times; to get rid of an ant invasion, to pump in oxygen, to tend to a health emergencies, to bring in forgotten necessities like makeup. The scientific team managed to last out the term, but they were half-crazy and half-starved when U.S. marshals led them out two years later.

Music that topped the charts on this day -
Smoke on the Water - Red Foley
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) - Hank Williams
Hey Jude - The Beatles
Hush - Deep Purple
Drive - The Cars

Wikipedia delivers a nasty aside when I'm not looking -
Wednesday's child is full of woe.

That's it for now. Happy Birthday, whenever it is!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

what not to do when alone on saturday night

The below activities are perfectly fine when taken separately but together make for a... memorable experience, and not in a good way.
1. Stock up on beer.
It's 8:45 and I decide to pick up some suds to generally relax and pass a pleasant sat evening
2. Don't check roomie's whereabouts.
Fucker has been missing and no clue when back... house deathly quiet... might as well start on my own
3. Download a massive collection of movies
I have 237 movies at the last count, some seen, some unseen but heard of, and it's playing on my conscience.
4. Get drunk
It's 11 PM and I'm fairly high. and bored. Maybe I should start watching some of my movies?
5. Of all the movies to pick, do not, repeat, do NOT select The Shining.
It's midnight, and the house - and the neighbourhood - is deathly quiet. My head slightly blurry. Jack Nicholson slowly going insane in a deserted hotel in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, while his son has this deplorable habit of roaming the hotel alone. Very quick cutscenes of chopped-up bodies. An extraordinarily creepy pair of ghost twin girls. What is it about twins? From The Shining to Ghost Ship, they've successfully creeped me out each time. Even in porn they creep me out.
1 AM, and I'm distinctly twitchy. Keep seeing half-glimpsed flashes of movement out of the corner of my eye but when I look, there's nothing there.
6. Get a 5.1 speaker system.
The music is awesomely creepy, right enough, but at this time of the night and in this state of sobriety, I do NOT need to hear faint ghostly whispers coming from precisely behind my head from the rear speakers.
Now officially too freaked out to continue. Everything's slightly out of whack. The shoes look too long. Beer cans too yellow. Open cupboard too hungry. Speakers too w-watchful. Boxes too full of something I don't remember putting in. Curtains moving in a... wind?
Wasn't that chair in the corner five minutes ago?
It's too quiet. Maybe I should put on some music and


It's ok. It's ok. It was just the water coming in the open tap... but the last thing I need to hear at this stage is the sound of something uncannily like a throat being cleared noisily and violently at the end of a dark passage INSIDE the house.

Ok, need to watch something funny. Fast. What do I have? Open the movies folder.

28 days later
Dawn of the Dead
Day of the Dead
Land of the Dead
Monster House
Monsters Inc
Nightmare on Elm Street
Primal Fear
Resident Evil
The Blair Witch Project
The Descent
The Fly
The Frighteners
The Machinist
The Sixth Sense

I have a truly inspiring collection for times like this, don't I?

Have no clue what to do now. Help.

Friday, August 31, 2007


This afternoon, I had a presentation in a fairly faraway part of town, so coming back took a long time. It was one of those evenings where anytime a plan can happen - one that you may want, and just as easily one that you have no choice over.
For some reason, I wasn't listening to music like I usually do. Took an auto, switch autos, auto again, chatting about work, then train for an hour, walk a while, eat a samosa-pao on LP station, then train again, and finally a half-hour walk back home.
Something... happened. Looking around me. Potholes and slush, no lights. Exhaust's blue haze swirling in the headlights of the stalled traffic. Constant rubbing of people squeezing past. In the train, people either fast asleep, or on the phone. Cells that just wouldn't stop ringing. Expressions of... life. Relaxed in sleep. Scrunched up in worry. Scowls. Smiles. Eyes flickering, flickering, flickering. Thinking. Moving in a herd up the overbridge, close press. The same steps. Every day. For five years.
Why do we do this?
We - distract ourselves. Flickering fantasies coming and gone on the screen. Conversations in cyberspace. Escapism. Music turned up loud, painfully loud. An empty road that must be raced through. Package holidays, point to point, on schedule. Today's bestsellers. Blockbusters. Superhits and megastars. Mob frenzy and media hype. Fast food and slow deaths. Cigs, booze, grass, hash, coke, E, meth, tranks, amphetamines, glue, iodex on bread.
We numb ourselves.
We don't want to see. We don't want to know. The harder reality bites, the further we go from it. We don't know what to do. We think there's no escape. We don't know what we want.

But I... think I do.
At least, that's what it feels like. It's not a depression. I''m not feeling trapped. I feel like I'm on the edge of the answer, the feeling you get when the equation suddenly starts obeying the rules, opposing variables start canceling each other out, and the scrawl burst over the page suddenly starts narrowing down, when you know that it's just a matter of time before x =


I don't know. Not yet. But I'm getting there. I feel... excited.
It's going to take time. Months. Maybe the whole year. But I'm onto something.

Life isn't just about to change.
It's already started.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

perfect moments

Once in a while, they just come along and hit you when you're least expecting them...
midnight on a dark empty road
no streetlights
60 kmph on a rain-slicked darkness
flashes of headlights
humming engine
sleeping city
light drizzle
warmth in the jacket
cold on skin
a little rain

Somebody saw you at the station
You had your suitcase in your hand
You didn't give no information
You walked off with another man
I'm always standing in the shadows, baby
I watched you give yourself away
You take them home into your bedroom
You had another busy day

I tried to look the other way and fake it
You push me to the limits
I can't take it

One down, one to go
Just another bullet in the chamber
Sometimes love's a loaded gun
Red lights, stop and go
Whatcha gonna do when you play with danger
Sometimes love's a loaded gun
And it shoots to kill

Someday they'll put me in a squad card
Someday they'll throw away the key
But 'til that day I'll be a mad dog
Cuz that's what you taught me to be

You looked into the eyes of men above you
I was the one who really tried to love you

One down, one to go
Just another bullet in the chamber
Sometimes love's a loaded gun
Red lights, stop and go
Whatcha gonna do when you play with danger
Sometimes love's a loaded gun
And it shoots to kill

Monday, August 13, 2007

blogger's block

doesn't matter anymore. i don't know why.
nothing seems relevant enough, important enough... or maybe i just don't care.

maybe it was just a phase.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

gaining time

I've heard of people losing time for brief periods, looking at their watches and wondering where the last hour or two vanished, no memory of what they were doing.
Ever heard of anyone gaining time?
Happened to me today; looked at my watch, and had the extraordinary feeling that somehow, I've moved back in time. It should have been at least an hour and a half later than it was.
I'm scared. My mind either misinterpreted everything that had happened before that... or created incidents that never really happened.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


When I was coming back from the office to Dadar today, the cabbie charged me ninteen rupees. I immediately thought of my friend Unny. When Unny returns to his home town, he'll start his own business. And he'll call it Unny's.
What business? Obviously, manufacture of honey. And the enterprise will be blessed with the moniker - Unny's Bees.
But in today's world, simply the product is not good enough. It needs to be marketed with a little... flourish. And Unny will use, as his trademark, Love as the USP of the honey, and his business will come to be known as - Unny's Bees + Ek Kiss.
Then, as the business flourishes, Unny will realize that he needs to diversify and branch out. So he will also open a domestic help referral agency as a division of the main business.
Thus will end the story of how there will be, one day in a town in India, a company called...
Unny's Bees + Ek Kiss, and Bais.

Update: Soon after, Unny's parents, who stay with him, encourage him to accept into the family an aged friend of theirs. Unny, the essential entrepreneur, goes a step further and opens for her, an old-age home for ladies that she can manage, called Tai's.
With the money now flowing in like crazy, a professional finance manager is needed. Unny hires his childhood friend, Mr. V. Choubey, who combines his investment-advice firm with Unny's business, a company called Choubey's.
Thanks Praveen for the contribution!

Unny now is the master of Unny's Bees + Ek Kiss and Bais, Tai's, and Choubey's. The name is too big to fit on his visiting card, so he combines the five things into a single group called Paanch Cheez.

His success inspires his neighbor, a Korean gentleman, Mr. James Cha, to go into business himself. Unfortunately, he chooses a field which brings him into direct competition with Unny, when he puts up a board bearing the legend - Cha Bees.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Who are you?
What do you want?
What do you like?
Where do you belong?
What do you live for?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

living discretely

Walking through a bookstore, picking random books. A page here, a line there, an entire chapter elsewhere. Fragmented scenes. Shattered stories. Broken plots. Kaliedoscopic melange.
A jigsaw with a million pieces. Impossible to see what it makes. But a sense of expectation, the fun of finding out.
One day, I feel, it's all going to fit together. Somehow, someway, impossibly... it's all going to fit. It's all going to make sense.
These days. These hours. These minutes.
Sometime, they'll fit together, too.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


cobweb strand, floating in the current
single sliver of sun suspended
heartstopping heartbreak
remembered childhood
dusty summer days
this is here, now
dry hum of ac
cold lobby


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

system crash

Evil carries the seeds of it's own destruction, they say. Well, so does Organization.
If I hadn't wanted a cleaner, neater, faster PC, I wouldn't have tried to format my HD. If I hadn't done that, the wrong disk wouldn't have been wiped. If the wrong disk wouldn't have been wiped, my entire picture collection would still be there. Sorted by place & date. Cleaned, unduplicated. All the right way up.
Don't panic - I had backups. But now I have to sort the whole collection out all over again.
Ultimate Timepass.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Finally, after much trepidation, I migrated my blog to the new Google templates. Surprisingly easy. I was terrified that all the special widgets I'd built in over time - sitemeters, polls, badges, blogrolls - would somehow just disappear in a puff of logic, but I managed to keep all of them.

Also found an unexpected benefit; catharsis. The act of seeing all the junk you've accumulated, putting all those code chunks into a notepad, and then sorting, organizing, and throwing away the unnecessary stuff - I feel cleansed.
In fact, it's been a good day for cleansing. I jogged, I (semi) cleaned my room, serviced my bike, formatted my HDD, washed my clothes, and sorted out my blog. My psyche feels lighter.
Maybe I should get a haircut as well.

But it's interesting, isn't it - I don't know how many of you out there are packrats like me, but I have a pathological aversion to throwing out anything. And I mean anything.
Plastic packet? Will be useful for throwing rubbish.
Beer can? Use it as an ashtray.
Paper napkin? Keep it for when you have a runny nose.
Torn T-shirt? Can make a decent duster.
Bit of wire? Computer cable organizer.
I swear, I accumulate so much junk, I'm surprised I can still get into my room. So this - clearing - is all the more dramatic.

But I can't even make a habit of it - to be effective, I guess it needs to be really massive. Event of the season.
Once I'm all done, I'll take a pic. Frame it and hang it - See? I lived like this once too!

At least, until the next cleaning.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came

Found a nice quiz where you get to find out what character you are. And no, I'm not Roland. Though I'd have liked to be.

On Writing

Why do I blog?

Is it narcissism? Loneliness? A sense of wanting to be heard in a world where, as an individual, I'm increasingly irrelevant, crowded, pushed aside? A desire to belong to something, a clique I look up to?
Answer: None Of The Above.

More than anything, the act of writing - especially blogging - reminds me of nothing else as much as lying in the shade on a summer afternoon, building rock castles among the trees. Constructing Lego leviathans on the carpet in cool hum of the AC. Sketching portraits from magazines, the thrill when someone recognizes the person. Putting together a do-it-yourself circuit for a light-powered alarm in the middle of the night. Organizing the 42-GB MP3 collection, the photos collected over 27 years, the 500+ divx movies.

It's absorption. Self-realization. Excellence.
It's a craft.

I do it because when I do it, there's nothing else. The story starts as a vague, amorphous shape in your head and dreams, and slowly comes out through your fingers, through your mind's eye, where you see it taking shape, life. It's like watching memory in reverse, when a remembrance becomes the experience. Suddenly you can't stop, because stopping will be like slamming on the handbrake when you're crossing 60 in neutral on a downhill slope.
Or, more usually, you suddenly... wake up, with a finished story before you, several minutes - or hours - gone, and your head ringing with the aftermath of an intense trip.

And that's just the art.
As much fun - if not more - is from crafting it into something that's good. There's discipline. fonts to be standardized, justified. Pictures. Code. Widgets. Usability. Labels. Tags. Links. Captions. Infotips. Consistency. Cutting out the loose threads and ends. The spit and the polish.

And it's never a feeling that I'm making this for someone. I'm making it perfect because it has to be perfect.
It cannot be anything less than perfect because if it is, it's not what I thought it to be. It's not what it was meant to be. I can feel it, sometimes, as nearly alive, and every misplaced punctuation, misaligned table, mismatched font, misrepresentative image and mistaken link is a nagging ache, a fishhook in your mind. You can't rest until it's fixed. The story won't let you.

You can feel that it's alive.
Sometimes, there's a sense of... duality. Being outside yourself. Being someone, something else. Especially when you're in the flow; you're not you, but what you're making. And what you're making is not necessarily the same as you; it has it's own desires, wants, concepts of what it wants to be, and it won't let you rest until you make it what it wants to be. At the time, you are nothing more than a tool for it to self-create.

Coming back is a shock.
Going out... is the ultimate rush.

Friday, June 08, 2007

There's a ghost in the loo

It's late night, and the office is nearly empty and deathly quiet except for a faraway clickety-clack of the keyboard and faint Dire Straits. Half the lights have been switched off. There's generally a dark, gloomy feel, and because there's no warm bodies, the air is icy cold.
No warm bodies. Damn. Why did I put that thought in my head?

I'm standing in front of the cold porcelain of the urinal, doing my thing, when a drift of cold air sweeps across the back of my neck.
The stall next to me, which was empty all this while, suddenly flushes in a shocking explosion of hisses and gurgles.
Nobody was there. Nobody's in the toilet. Nobody's in the frickin' office but me!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

O Mighty Adsense Algorithm

I bow before thee.
I prostrate my unworthy humble self at the feet of thy Adsense text ad, for truly, thine is the Power. Thou hath read my mind verily like it were crystal clear text.

And posted a link to Workplace Violence upon my blog.
And one for Jobs.
And one for finding new friends.

Friday, May 25, 2007

ten days

It's been ten days since I returned from my break.
It's already like it never happened.
Pleasant memory, the way your childhood is a pleasant memory.

What am I working for, really?
One day after another, passing in seconds but remembered like years.

It's fuckin scary.

There's gotta be more to life than this.

Monday, May 21, 2007

And I am...

Which Peanuts Character are You?

You are Schroeder!
Take this quiz!

Yes. I agree.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Should this be classified as child abuse?
Which sane five-year old is going to go to sleep after an afternoon at the Infiniti mall, emerging shaken and stirred from the raucous music, clashings, sound effects and flashing, pulsing lights of the kids' section and coming face-to-face with this - all of ten feet tall - and not wake up with the screaming nightmares?
Psychologically scarred for life.

Saw a guy in the movies section wearing giant wraparound black shades.
R: Why's he wearing shades indoors?
Me: He's probably looking at The Shining.
At this point R suddenly and inexplicably launched into a violent assault upon me, screaming abuse.

Are they remaking Omen II as well and is there an audition for the role of Damien in progress at Inorbit? Saw more shrieking, screaming, struggling, yelping, running-from-parents, kicking-random-strangers children there in an afternoon than I would ever want to in a lifetime. This is proof positive, as far as I'm concerned, of the presence of demonic infestation in Malls. It doesn't affect adults because they already have the local trains to deal with (a level of hell that's used to threaten demons, imps and lesser devils by the arch-dukes of Hell during Appraisals) but children, I suppose, are fairly receptive.

Escaped with my life this afternoon when a small gremlin-like creature scampered past me, and I spotted her, coming behind, with the corner of my eye, like Alan Quartermain espying a charging rhinocerous upon the veldt.
I leapt aside!
Just in time. A five-ton Mother, dangerously pink in the face with high BP and embarassment, charged through where I had been standing a bare fraction of a second ago, in dead silence but for a faint wheezing, in hot pursuit. The floor vibrated for several minutes afterwards.

The height of embarassment: offering to hold your (female) family members' stuff while they go to the loo, and realizing you need to go yourself. Saw a guy in the Infiniti loo gritting his teeth and ignoring the world at one of the stalls, an elegant black leather purse with gold buttons slung over one shoulder, and a small pink nylon backpack with a pair of bears clad in blue bows on the other.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Remembering Baazee

Sitting in the train on the way back home today... realized, after having worked in 3 companies, what a absolutely brilliant place to work my first company had been.

But then, you never know what you have till it's gone.
A set of all completely brilliant people, and all equally insane.
All scattered everywhere now... but still feels like family.

Wish I could turn back time.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

you know you're a success when...

people make fun of you.

Long live blogging!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Immediately following my zombie post, Google Adsense changed it's ads to water purifiers and desalinators. Do they know something I don't?

yet another obsession

Seeing another pattern here... started with Resident Evil and Apocalypse, then Edgar Wright's Shaun & Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, then back the the original master George Romero's Land of the Dead on Sunday, and now back to back Day of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead (original 1978 version, in German)
Apart from Night of the Living Dead, which I still haven't acquired, there's just Russo's Living Dead series left to watch... and oh yes, I almost forgot, I still have to watch Evil Dead and Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness which is sitting somewhere on my HDD.

I remember I did this with books, going through three or four a day when I really got into the mood... movies is something new, though. Call it an unhealthy reaction to unlimited download capabilities. Like net porn, in a way...

Interestingly enough, there've been no nightmares, not even the fun zombie-mod in FPS types which I usually immensely enjoy...

and in the meantime,

Monday, April 23, 2007

can't believe I actually did that... horrify myself sometimes I do

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What do you think of me?

Ever wondered what people really think about you? I just got to know. Granted it's not a very large audience - but very telling, especially when just 1 or 2 traits emerge.

It's something called Johari.
Nothing to do with KJo or any associated creatures; It's a prog developed by John Somebody and Harry Someone.

Setup your window, and forward it to your friends / enemies.

If you want to know all the good stuff, go
here, and if you want to know how evil you truly are, here.

You tell me!
Good Stuff
Bad Stuff

Results so far -


(known to self and others)

aloof, selfish, dispassionate

Blind Spot

(known only to others)

inflexible, violent, vulgar, withdrawn, hostile, inane, cruel, distant, blasé, chaotic, impatient, insensitive, smug, overdramatic, inattentive, unreliable, cold


(known only to self)

timid, cynical, passive


(known to nobody)

incompetent, intolerant, cowardly, glum, stupid, simple, insecure, irresponsible, lethargic, unhappy, unhelpful, needy, unimaginative, brash, ignorant, irrational, childish, boastful, imperceptive, weak, embarrassed, loud, vacuous, panicky, unethical, self-satisfied, rash, dull, predictable, callous, foolish, humourless

Dominant Traits

80% of people agree that ashishtewari is aloof

All Percentages

incompetent (0%) intolerant (0%) inflexible (20%) timid (0%) cowardly (0%) violent (20%) aloof (80%) glum (0%) stupid (0%) simple (0%) insecure (0%) irresponsible (0%) vulgar (20%) lethargic (0%) withdrawn (40%) hostile (20%) selfish (20%) unhappy (0%) unhelpful (0%) cynical (0%) needy (0%) unimaginative (0%) inane (20%) brash (0%) cruel (20%) ignorant (0%) irrational (0%) distant (40%) childish (0%) boastful (0%) blasé (20%) imperceptive (0%) chaotic (20%) impatient (20%) weak (0%) embarrassed (0%) loud (0%) vacuous (0%) panicky (0%) unethical (0%) insensitive (40%) self-satisfied (0%) passive (0%) smug (20%) rash (0%) dispassionate (20%) overdramatic (40%) dull (0%) predictable (0%) callous (0%) inattentive (20%) unreliable (20%) cold (20%) foolish (0%) humourless (0%)

Created by the Nohari Window on 18.4.2007, using data from 5 respondents.
You can
make your own Nohari Window, or view ashishtewari's full data.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Once in a while I come across stuff that suddenly makes it all seem worthwhile...

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

he he he.

who's going to remember?

Saw this a while back, and while I laughed my ass off then, seeing it again now made me think.

What's the point? Why am I even doing this? A banner that's seen for barely a tenth of a second for one day... and forgotten in ten seconds if it was ever noticed to begin with...
What's the point? When you get right down to it, what's the fuckin point?

I want to do more than just this.
I want to do stuff that changes the way people look at this medium, that changes the way people live.
Stuff that makes a difference to Life.

An approved 468x60 animated gif on the homepage is not it.

I don't know... just tired. maybe a little disillusioned, but mostly tired.
I need a break.