Thursday, June 15, 2006

Blocked and Tackled

Block and Tackle is an interesting game played in university fests. It is a slightly different version of the normal debate, with the topics being a little lighter. Here, you don't have two people, one rooting for the motion, and the other ranting against it. A single person gets a topic, and for 3 minutes he starts speaking on it. His initial choice may be for or against the motion, but he has to keep it throughout.

Suppose a speaker starts speaking against reservations. This is his block position. He will continue speaking against reservations, until the judge calls out "Tackle", where he switches sides and starts speaking FOR reservations. Again when he is tackling it, if the judge calls out "Block", he switches back to his original stand, against reservations. Much fun comes when the speaker changes his stand when judges call out "Block" instead of "Tackle".

The winner is the one who had spoken on varied points, made their stands clear, and switched sides seamlessly. And did not switch sides, when judges called "Tackle" when they were already tackling the motion.

Shweta Jha was a clear winner. At our yearly fest, PESCO, she was an external candidate, who came along with Sudarshan Avadhany, from VVCE, Mysore. I had never seen anyone play B&T so seamlessly. It was obvious that a lot of effort and practise had gone into it. Her debates were something which I never missed, during the fest. Being busy with stage events like Dumbcharades and Mad-Ads, I never got a chance to congratulate her that evening, though I was in the front row, cheering at her every successful switch. Applauding at every relevant point she made in the debate.

I never knew her personally, but used to hear about her from friends. During the little I saw her on stage, she came across as a bubbly vivacious girl, with a ringing infectious laughter. She would laugh at every little mistake she or her teammate made, and the joy on her face was radiant. After PESCO, I heard a lot about her through Datta and Naveen (both VVCE) about her activities and wins in other tournaments, and VVCE's own fest, Vidyut.

It came as no surprise to me that she had carried across her enthusiasm to the workplace as well. Her colleague, Uppu Prasanna, remembers her as a, intelligent and a cheerful gal who took part in all group activities which involved making a lot of noise. A typical, fun-loving gal, who wanted to make the most of life.

Before fate blocked and tackled her life tragically.

On 10th of June, after hectic weeks of coding and stuff, Shweta and her colleagues went on a project party to Sivanasamudra, where, while playing in the water, she slipped on some rocks, and disappeared forever. By the time her colleagues recovered from the shock, it was too late.

When Naveen (ECE, PESCE, 2004) told me about this yesterday, we were silent for a long time. The mail he sent further mentioned that the body was found next day, badly mutilated due to all the rocks and debris it hit on its course. Prasanna, who wrote the stuff, further warns us, in such outing we hardly think of anything else but the moment. Before you enjoy like there's no tomorrow, do spare a thought for your parents, and the people who care for you. What will happen to them in case anything happens to YOU.

Like any other kid, Shweta's parents too had dreams and aspirations for her, they had a picture of their daughter's lively future. Her friends are inconsolable, and are yet to come out of the shock that encompasses them. It is hard for me to believe that the infectious laughter has been silenced forever. When it affects me, who saw her on stage for a couple of days, to this extent, I shudder to think of those who knew her better, as a close friend, as a classmate, as a colleague, as a relative...

Shweta Jha, Rest in Peace. May your ringing laughter illuminate your heavenly abode.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

All weirdos, man

I saw this tag coming when she was doing it, but it was she who tagged me.

You gotta write five weird things about yourself, and then pass it on to five others. Of course, these can't be held against you in any court. Awright, here goes.

1. I always take the phone to my left ear to answer a call. Why? I don't know. This is about being weird, right?

2. I always keep my money sorted by denominations, the mutilated notes preceding the crisp ones for each denomination. And Gandhi always has his bald pate on top.

3. I can never wear a baseball cap with its peak in the front. It always has to be back. I used to, but once while riding fast, the wind blew it away, and my cap came under a bus, and I lost it. I have that fear ever since. Even when not riding.

4. My company is quite lenient on the dress code, and does not insist on a tie. Yet, you can catch me knotting a tie on a Monday, even though I don't wear it to office. I just remove it and put it away.

5. My comments usually end up being of a length fit for a post, and I quietly convert them to posts on my blog. I'm restraining it though, and the fact that there is no post on Mysore even a week after she put this up, is proof enough.

Now for the next five: Its her, her, her, him and him.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Quick one

All right, this is a quick one now.

What is Himmy's favourite toy?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bride and Prejudice???

I personally don't like putting up forwards here, as blogs, but when she sent it, I couldn't but resist putting it up.

Ah, lady, this is for you. And for you too, my dearest.

Here is a girl,
who is as much educated as you are;
who is earning almost as much as you do;
one, who has dreams and aspirations just as you have because she is as human as you are;

one, who has never entered the kitchen in her life just like you or your sister haven't, as she was busy in studies and competing in a system that gives no special concession to girls for their culinary achievements;
one, who has lived with and loved her parents and brothers and sisters, almost as much as you do for 20-25 years of her life;
one, who has bravely agreed to leave behind all that, her home, people who love her, to adopt your home, your family, your ways and even your family name;

one, who is somehow expected to be a master-chef from day #1, while you sleep oblivious to her predicament in her new circumstances, environment and that kitchen;
one, who is expected to make the tea, first thing in the morning and cook food at the end of the day, even if she is as tired as you are, maybe more, and yet never ever expected to complain;
to be a naukraani, a cook, a mother, a wife, even if she doesn't want to; and is learning just like you are as to what you want from her, and is clumsy and sloppy at times and knows that you won't like it if she is too demanding or if she learns faster than you;

one, who has her own set of friends, and that includes boys and even men at her workplace, too, those, who she knows from school days and yet is willing to put all that on the back-burners to avoid your irrational jealousy, unnecessary competition and your inherent insecurities;

yes, she can drink and dance just as well as you can, but won't, simply because you won't like it, even though you say otherwise;
one, who can be late from work once in a while when deadlines, just like yours, are to be met;

one, who is doing her level best and wants to make this most important relationship in her entire life a grand success, if you just help her some and trust her;

one, who just wants one thing from you - your unstinted support, your sensitivities and most importantly - your understanding and love.

Are you man enough to give it to her?

I, for one, am.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


You must be knowing that Oxford adds a new word to its dictionary every year. This year's word is oooonning.

Oooonning: verb, the act of singing through one's nose, usually before or in the opening lines of a song. The most famous proponent of this form of singing is Himmy, who compares himself to the legendary sufi and ghazal singer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

All was fine when Sallu offered Himmy his first break in PKTDK. Humraaz, methinks, was the latest display of his sanity. Later, he appeared as a gharana trainer in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa- Music Director ka Mahayuddh. He was just a music director then, like Jatin-Lalit and Ismail Durbar. He was okay in the first few rounds. Later when his protege Vinit's luck turned with a baseball cap, Himmy took to it as well.

What Himmy does is - he doesn't bath for a week, gets a crew cut, grows a beard, gets a torn baseball cap, a worn leather jacket, a steel mike and starts ooooonnning. First he is seen sharing space with heroes in remixes of his own songs. Then others are seen sharing space with him, in his own music video. Talk of role reversal. (Come to think of it, oooooo sounds same if you sing it forward or reverse. Oh! Dear Me !!! Such versatility.)

Aashiq Banaya Aapne, the first product of this oooonn business is a smashing hit. It breaks all records (There were none, in the first place. This was the first ooonn album, remember?).

Then, my friends, begins to spread - the Himmy virus. So much that MTV makes a spoof of it:
A person affected by Himmy virus (ooooonnn Khajoor, 13 13 13 surrooor)
-> begins to wear a baseball cap suddenly.
-> wears a old leather jacket.
-> grows a stubble.
-> thinks Ismail Durbar does not know anything.
-> holds a guitar with no idea of how to play it.
-> thinks the nose is for singing and not for breathing.

If you know any person affected by this please send HIMESH (ech eye yem eee yes ech) to 8459, for vaccination.

Himmy delivers hit after hit in Aksar, Chinatown and his first non-film ooolbum "Tera suroor". Research done on "Himms", yeah these are the names for Himmy compositions, show that one particular single or double syllable word repeats at least twice. And more often than not, its 13 13...13 13. No?

Take a look-
Mar Jawa Jawa Mar jawa mar jawa mit jawa..
Aa Aa Aashiquin mein teri..
Zara Jhoom Jhoom..
Naam hai tera tera..
Tera tera tera surroor..
Laagi Laagi laagi prem rog laagi..
Jhalak dikhla ja, ek baar aaja aaja..

Ad-men try to catch in on his popoonnlarity by using his song "Jhalak Dikhla Jaa" for motorbikes. Methinks they want to prove that their bikes would also go oooonn once started, so like in cars, you can also enjoy music on the go.

By this time, wisecracks have come up with their PJs. Like this one:
Identify the song:

Didn't guess?
OOOOOOOON Huzoor, 13 13 13 surrooor.

And this one: There is a house called "DIL" where all the walls have 13 written over them. Identify the song:
DIL ki surkh diwaron pe, naam hai 13, 13... naam hai 13 13...

In spite of all this, people like her indulge in Himmy-bashing. What I don't understand is how can people say all these things about dear Himmy?

Crooning Himmy's songs in Karaoke will help you clear your nasal passages. Breath control and nasal voice modulation improve beyond imagination. In fact, those who croon Himms breathe better than those who chant vedic hymns. I think they fare a tad better than those who do Surya namaskar and Art of Living.

Ooonning once at bedtime will convince the mosquitoes that you are one of them, so they will not bite you. It will also identify you to the diseased dogs in the street, so they won't howl in front of your house.

Oooning with greater gusto, with increase in tempo, while listening to dhik chick dhik chick music will help cure constipation, and improve bowel movements. Himmy has 'himm'self said that he does not rest until he composes at least 3 songs a day. No wonder you don't get his appointment in the mornings.

Here is a man who is curing ailments, repelling mosquitoes and rabid canines, giving ideas for making brand new PJs, and all you do is indulge in Himmy-bash?...Tch tch...

Ok, thats all...I'm rolling on the floor now....Hoo hoo hoooooooonnn...Oh no, now i'm laughing in ooooon.

Update: Oh!! I thought I had heard it all. Villagers have now banned Himmy's Jhalak dikhla jaa, because the "ek baar aaja aaja" brings back the dead from their graves. The villagers have turned off the radio, and burnt all CDs and cassettes of that song. Wonder how it will affect the sales of bikes though.