A great start

Posted October 18, 2011 by deshvaasi
Categories: Uncategorized

I know we like to pick on our students, but this time they deserve a huge pat on their backs.  The MARG Chennai Runners Half Marathon 2011 is being held on Nov. 6 on our sweet campus.  In two and a half days after I sent out the announcement on the campus newsgroups, we have received a whopping 375 registrations for the race, almost entirely from the student community.  Most of them are for the 10K, but there are about 30 for the half-marathon.

We offered to help anyone who wanted to finish the race with their training.  The first training session was a couple of days back and 13 students showed up at 6:30 a.m.  On a sunday!  And each of them completed the assigned 5 km without any issues.  I am feeling really kicked that these kids showed up and went with the plan.  Hopefully, we can keep this going for the next three weeks and they will all receive a nice finisher’s medal.

And now, it’s time to get some faculty and campus residents to join the party.

MARG Chennai Runners Half Marathon 2011

Posted October 13, 2011 by deshvaasi
Categories: Running

Chennai Runners are organizing their half-marathon inside the IITM campus this year on Nov. 6.  You can register here for either the 10K or the half (21.1k).  If you are a current IITM student, you are a lucky dog, you can register here for free and still get all the race goodies.

CR members are some of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable runners you will ever find and will ensure a beautifully organized race.  And you can’t find a better setting than our sweet campus for a road race in Chennai.  So please get off your ass and sign up; you will enjoy this one.

Preview of Coming Attractions

Posted October 10, 2011 by deshvaasi
Categories: Humour, Parenting

Screech!

‘F***ing Idiot! F***! F***!’

‘Ahhh!’

‘What an idiot!  He could have killed us.  What a moron, I didn’t see him coming out from behind that other genius with the high beams on’

‘You said IT!’

‘What?’

‘You said like the baddest word there is in the whole Universe’

‘Which one is that? And Universe is a bit thick, no?’

‘You said the F-word’

‘Did I?’

‘Yes, you did! YES, YES, YES.  THREE TIMES!’

‘Calm down, little man. How do YOU know about this word anyway?’

‘My friend R. told me’

‘And whom did he learn it from?’

‘From the others in class’

‘So, people use this word in class?’

‘Well, some do’

‘How about you?  Do you use it?’

‘No, I just know it, I keep it in the knowledge bank’

‘What else is there in the bank?’

‘Well, I know how babies are made’

‘Really?  Umm, I am afraid to ask, but how?’

‘The egg gets fertilized to form one cell; this cell multiplies a few times, forms the embryo; the embryo then multiplies several times, forms hands, legs, organs, and finally the baby comes out in, like, 4-6 weeks’

‘It takes a bit longer, more like 36-40 weeks’.

‘Is that a long time?’

‘You should ask your mother that.  I must say though that you seem to know an awful lot for a 9-year old’

‘Yeah, that’s nothing. I also know the capital of Tuvalu …’

‘It has one? Sounds like a south-Indian breakfast dish’

‘Ask me’

‘Okay, what is the capital of Tuvalu?’

‘Funafuti’

‘That’s pretty impressive’

‘What else do you know?’

‘I know why that girl S. kicked my other friend S. in the MP’

‘What is this MP?’

‘You don’t even know what MP is?  How do you get to be so big without knowing this? You really don’t know?’

‘Really’

‘Main Point’

‘Oh, sure. She kicked him in the MP; why?’

‘Because he used the baddest word in the Universe on her’

‘I guess he deserved to be kicked in the gonads, then’

‘Go-what?’

‘Oh, no, nothing’

‘Was that another baddest word you just said? I am going to tell on you’

‘How come you don’t show this kind of attention when we try to teach you math?’

‘Because math is useless.  And I am a words person anyway.’

‘I see.  Is there anything you don’t know?’

‘Well, why are those two dogs stuck like that?’

Cape Fear

Posted April 4, 2011 by deshvaasi
Categories: Uncategorized

People, if you are not following the elections in TN, you are missing out on a whole lot of fun. Especially, the adventures of one Dr. Cape-tan, who used to be called Vijayakant in his acting days.  Our man has a party called DMDK (not to be confused with DK, DMK or MDMK), which is in a coalition with ADMK.  BTW, the Dr. was awarded by the International Institute of Church Management (IICM) ‘in appreciation of his services to the society’.

My retired parents have become certified Cape-tan watchers and first thing in the morning, even before coffee, they feed us Cape-tan news (some of these facts might be less true than others, but it is more fun this way, so just play along):

1. A few days back, our man was campaigning for one of his candidates. He was belting out the usual stuff: ‘Pandian will make you all rich, Pandian will lay roads, Pandian is a lion, Pandian is your son, Pandian will restore virginity to all mothers and grandmothers … etc. etc.’ Except that the dude’s name is not Pandian, it is Bhaskar. So, Bhaskar a.k.a. Pandian goes up to Cape-tan and tells him softly, ‘Anney, en peru Pandian illay, Bhaskar’. Cape-tan acknowledges his mistake and promptly grabs him by the head and beats the crap out of him in front of TV cameras.

Newspapers report next day that Cape had taken it out on a mic. 🙂 Yes, a mic owned by a man called Bhasdian and worn on top of his torso.

2. And Cape himself releases a statement the next day: ‘I didn’t hit anybody. Even if I hit someone, it is only MY candidate. And, whoever I hit will become a Maharaja’. To the uninitiated, three divergent statements that may seem like multiple choices to an exam question that has only one answer. But, these are in fact, bullit-proof defenses based on solid principles: Denial of guilt, slavery, altruism.  All three time-tested responses used by the best of us when pushed into a corner, so who are we to judge?

And comedian Vaidvelu has taken it upon himself to ridicule him because Cape had him and his house beaten up a couple of years back. He says: ‘Maybe he should just go around beating up everyone, they will all become rajas and the country will be propserous.’ Great idea, actually. Given a choice between a free home appliance and becoming a raja (especially, A Raja), heck, I will take the raja any day.

3. At another meeting, Cape sees an ADMK (his coalition partner) volunteer holding his party’s flag. Cape gets pissed off because he wants his flag to fly higher and asks his people to get that dude to down his flag. The dude says ‘No’. (Who can blame him? He knows that if he downs the flag here, he will have to face Amma when he gets back. Cape might just give you a few slaps, but Amma might sit on you. He is properly caught between a dick and an extremely soft place).

Simultaneously, this whole episode reminds Flag-Boy of that scene from ‘The Holy Grail’ in which the French taunt Arthur and  his knights. He says:  ‘I look at you Cape-tan types and fart in your general direction’. So, no, no way the ADMK flag is coming down. Cape yells a couple of times, lets out a loud belch and a fart, and then doing what every leader should do more of, runs away from the stage crying for ‘Mummy’.

4. People have finally come around to noticing that the perennial redness of the Cape eyes is not genetic nor is it runny rose-powder, but is internally generated and maintained by a constant supply of several 1 #s. And, the party (I think Cape interprets this word slightly differently) comes up with a slogan ‘aaf (half) adicha thaan aapu adikka mudiyum’.  Roughly translates to ‘Only if he is drunk can he destroy’.  Sheer genius!  I think they have latched on to the fact that in the long history of superhero-dom, there hasn’t been one fueled by alcohol.  I think they are going for that niche, and boy, are they going warp-speed ahead!

What a man! What a party! Makes me want to buy him a half and a few votes immediately.

Ensoyulu and Happy Ugadi to all you Gults out there!

Those who can’t teach, can’t

Posted February 14, 2011 by deshvaasi
Categories: Uncategorized

Ah, this had all the makings of a personal feel-gooder.

Teacher finds out that some women working in his building are illiterate.

Teacher asks if they would like to learn.

To a woman, they say ‘Yes’.

Teacher’s mind plays movie of the cream-of-the-cream-of the-nation sleeping through his classes on one half of the screen.

And these women saying ‘Yes, we will’ on the other.

Teacher rushes out note to campus students, asking for volunteers.

A dozen are moved to action.

Meeting is arranged in cafeteria and roles and responsibilities discussed.

First class scheduled within a week.

Stationery items purchased, classroom arranged.

Students show up, and the Tamizh alphabet is taught.

Basic math lessons are delivered.

Women become literate, and pass high-school equivalency in 3 years.

All involved in noble activity pat one another’s back.

Wow!

Nnnnnnnnnot quite.  You seeeeee, the ladies kind of decided to not show up, in spite of several personal reminders, the last one just a couple of hours before class.  Teacher and four volunteers spent 45 minutes twiddling thumbs.

Makes the teacher wonder if he is just too hopeless a romantic.

Balloons

Posted October 22, 2010 by deshvaasi
Categories: Humour

I would like to buy some balloons.

A packet of balloons or just a few?

A few packets, please.

We have a few, let me show you. We have these …

I don’t want heart-shaped ones.

… and these …

These look like snakes, I am looking for round ones.

Okay, here are some round ones.

But this one says, ‘Merry Christmas’, it is almost the end of January.

How about these then?

They say ‘Happy Birthday’.  I want these for a non-Christmas, non-Birthday event.

I don’t know why these are not suitable.  They are big and bright.  When is your function?

Tomorrow evening.

Is it going to be held inside or outside?

Outside.

So, it will be dark and no one will be able to see what it says on the balloons, then.

But, it’s not going to be dark when the event starts.  And that is not the point, is it? It is just not appropriate to use ‘Happy Birthday’ balloons for an event that is not a Birthday.

Okay let me check on what we have open.  (Comes back in a few seconds) You are in luck, I found some for you.

But, these are the same Merry Christmas balloons you just showed me.

No, sir, they are not. These are not in a packet, so I can give them to you a bit cheaper.

I Love Isha

Posted October 15, 2010 by deshvaasi
Categories: Bullshit, India, Pseudo-science

Tags: , , , ,

Not this one (photo from www.realbollywood.com); she seems like the kind that will steal your baby’s pacifier from her mouth.

But, this is the one I am talking about, founded by this guy, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.  I louw you, maan.   

Peddler of all things spiritual and pseudo-scientific, like lingams and inner energy and inner science and chakras and more energies and more lingams and dhyanalingams and divine ellipsoids and solidified mercury and such.  Fascinating person, really. The reason I even came to know about him is because he will be on campus next week to speak to us about ‘Source for Success’. I will have to admit that with all the money he seems to be awash in, he is eminently qualified to talk about success.

Apparently, (according to his own delicious website) he

is a yogi, mystic and spiritual master with a difference. An arresting blend of profundity and pragmatism, his life and work serve as a reminder that inner sciences are not esoteric philosophies from an outdated past, but a contemporary science vitally relevant to our times.

Right!  I love it when descriptions are sufficiently abstract to be completely meaningless, kinda like some descriptions of wine.  Just curious, how do these people qualify to dish out said mixture of profundity and pragmatism?  Do they study for countless years with a master, or they introspect on one leg for decades? Or perhaps a lady of the lake clothed in shimmering samite comes into their dreams and whispers ‘You are the One, you know?’.  And he’s like, ‘What?’ And she’s like ‘Yea-huh, really, we are looking for a guy who can blend fecundity and astigmatism, and we think you are it.  But you will have to grow a beard, … a great big one’. And he’s like, ‘Sweet! I can do that’.

I also totally dig that each of these snake-oil salesmen usually has a catch phrase: here it is ‘inner sciences’, and its bastard-child, ‘inner engineering’.  You, discerning reader, may ask what it is this inner science or engineering; here goes (with some confusing semantics):

As we have physical science to create external well-being there is a whole inner dimension of science to create inner well being. I call it Inner Engineering.

Cho chimple.  Outside, outer engineering; inside, inner engineering.  What happens if your guts spill out?  Never mind.  And why might you be interested in making our rich man richer by taking this course?  Because it will

  • Optimize health and vitality
  • Reduce stress
  • Promote mental clarity and emotional balance
  • Increase and maintain high energy levels throughout the day
  • Reduce sleep & rest quota
  • Prevent chronic diseases like Asthma, Allergies, Sinusitis, Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity, Rheumatism, Arthritis, Epilepsy, Back pain, Skin and eye ailments, Migraine

How many treasures we find in the website in a mere few minutes!  We come to know that he is the supreme dude, he looks like God, is more compassionate than God, has a turban God wished He had, but is way cooler than God because he rides a Beamer motorbike in the Himalayas wearing just a loincloth.

We also find some really mortal-like things coming from such a highly evolved person.  Check out this page, most of the pictures are of white or foreign-looking people, for some odd reason. Why so?  Where are all the brown-skinned desi-type people?  And Sad Guru’s pics themselves are interesting.  He appears to have actually gone to a studio to pose for the first three pics. Is this consistent with the image of someone who is on such a high spiritual plane?

And it looks like the place is rolling in money. I actually have no problem with this; if suckers want to part with their hard-earned cash, it is their prerogative.  But what I absolutely have a huge problem with is this spewing of scientific terms in random gibberish sentences, designed to appear like rocket science to the layman.  Take for instance this breathtaking passage about ‘The Science of Dhyanalinga’ a.k.a. ‘The Ellipsoid Manifesto’:

“The core of every galaxy is always an ellipsoid. A perfect ellipsoid is what is referred to as a linga. So the first form, from un-manifest to manifest-when it begins to manifest as creation-the first form that it takes is always the form of an ellipsoid.

And from our experience we know if you raise your energies to a certain pitch, the final form that your energy takes before dissolution is also that of an ellipsoid.

So the linga is seen as a doorway to the beyond, from both ends. The first form of manifestation is an ellipsoid. The final form of dissolution is also an ellipsoid. So because the A and Z of creation happen to be the linga, it is seen as a doorway to the beyond.” – Sadhguru

Help, it is raining non-sequiturs here!  And you raise energy (units of Joule) to a certain frequency (units of 1/time), and the energy takes the shape of an ellipsoid now?  How many chemicals and how much of each does one need in the bloodstream before one comes up with this sentence, which makes George W. Bush look like a genius?  Anyway, if the stuff above has left you a tad confused, here comes the deep scientific explanation, which I assume will cost you extra (emphasis below is mine):

A linga is a perfect ellipsoid. It is one form that when energized becomes a perennial storehouse of energy. Although generally associated with Shiva in Indian mythology, scientifically, this shape is the only shape that can serve as a perennial storehouse of energy.

The yogic science of making a Linga is based on this knowledge. In the Dhyanalinga, energies of all the seven chakras in the human system are raised to their very peak and locked to prevent dissipation over time, through an intense process of prana prathistha. Hence there are no poojas or rituals in the Dhyanalinga. It is expected that the energies of the Dhyanalinga will not dissipate for at least 5000 years.

Don’t know if they are taking orders for lingams, but I think I am going to get a few for my Birdday this year.  I would love to see how they convert this human energy into lingam energy, and most importantly, how do they lock it?  Would also be very cool to see the calculations behind the expecation of a 5000-year life for the energy.  Maybe I will just ask him next week when he comes to campus.