Unhandled Exceptions

The world through the eyes of a guy who feels that idleness is the only sensible state of matter.

Friday

Medi(a)crity

Somebody said, "Only sex(sleaze) and SRK sell on TV". In the print media however, the former seems to be the dominant factor affecting sales and the highest selling newspaper in the country seems to be thriving on it.

Some of my friends who are strong proponents of this newspaper swear that it is presented in a great format and can be read very quickly. But then of course they don't read anything beyond the sports page, TV column and page 3.

It is not of much surprise that this newspaper hasn't spared even sports from its 'sleazification'. Recently a photograph of Sania Mirza, taken while she was playing was published on the sports page. This snap did heavy rounds on the internet because it had beautifully captured a cross section of her anatomy. For the giant leap (forward) that women's tennis in India has taken because of Sania Mirza, you would expect the media to extol her talents. However the newspaper in question seems to think that her rack, more than her deeds with the racquet need focus and attention !

There is also this dating column that comes out once a week. It makes a very funny read and I would advise all of you to read it sometime. A few appeals for dates that caught my attention :

Suicidal Attempt
I am a fun-loving guy........... Need somebody who is also fun-loving to hang with.

Harishchandra's Patni
I am a good looking, fun-loving girl...... Want to meet people who are honest and truth loving.

Decent guy wants decent company for decent relationship ?
I am 32, married, businessman..... Looking for decent girls for intimate relationship, to go on long drives and have fun.

The million euro (my protest against American hegemony) question here is why can't/don't we do anything about it. Firstly, most of us like the sleaze (atleast initially). Now when you like the sleaze, you buy it and also make it the highest selling newspaper in the country. As a result all companies make a rush to advertise on it and thereby useful information also gets printed. So even if you get tired of the mushy stuff, you have to stick to it because when a CEO wants to give an interview you can be sure that he will want to do so on a newspaper that has the highest subscription base. And the mediocrity in the media continues.

Saturday

Strange thoughts

Isn't it ironical ? Shakti Kapoor thought that his little meeting was in camera !

Tuesday

Contradictions ?

All modern day cars and bikes seem to come with intelligent transmission control, intelligent braking, intelligent fuel control etc. But what stumps me is, if these vehicles are really as intelligent and smart as they are made out to be, then how can you take them for a ride ?

Sunday

The cultured techie

The cultured techie propositions his arrogant sweetheart. But she says that many a worthy gentlemen have already expressed their unwavering love for her and asks him to wait his turn till she processes all pending applications. Unfazed by the burden of unrequited love, what does the techie say ?

"I'll wait for my turn and join the line at the back,
But only if you promise to make it a stack."

Thursday

The language of the Gods

Towards the end of my eighth standard I decided that Hindi was no longer a viable second language option and decided to shift to Sanskrit. My school was reasonable enough to allow me to effect the change, subject to me clearing a test in Sanskrit. I had two months to learn what I had missed out in three years and to get on par with my peers. Under the guidance of a very able and dedicated teacher I slogged for two months in the company of a few friends who had also joined me on the venture. I cleared the test and since then Sanskrit has been an unexplored passion of mine. To brag a little, I secured the first place in the 'Sanskrita Vadhini Pariksha' that was conducted across many schools in the subsequent year.

Prakrit was the language of the common man in those days. Panini the new age entrepreneur of that time saw the need to produce an unambiguous grammatical style of speech and writing for erudite scholars to communicate. Thus he wrote what is considered as the best ever grammatical treatise written - 'The Ashtadhyayi'. The word 'Sanskrit' literally means something that has been perfected. Thus Panini's untiring efforts resulted in the perfection of 'Prakrit' to 'Sanskrit'.

To draw an analogy, Sanskrit was the Linux of those days. Only the educated used and conversed in it. Prakrit was like Windows, full of bugs but convenient and no level of sophistication was required to learn and use it. Prakrit is considered to have evolved into what we know as Hindi today. Tenth and twelfth standard students in India have Panini and his debugging efforts to thank for giving them such a wonderful subject to make some easy marks.

Sanskrit like any other software language was not totally devoid of bugs. Future grammarians like Patanjali suggested commendable changes but the grammarians after that stuck to maintenance for most parts. Prakrit grammarian Vararuchi also deserves special mention (why I don't know, but in a particular shloka he was mentioned alongside Panini and Patanjali).

These days I remember hardly anything from what I learnt. The grammatical rules that I knew (small in number though they were) elude me. I struggle to form sentences. But for a few 'Shabdhas' and 'Samasas' (thats not Samosa) that remain as a vestige of the language in my mind, Rajinikanth and I would know the same amount of Sanskrit - 'ekameva dvitiyam' and 'gatham gatham'.

Monday

Piracy Prevention - The Ayn Rand way

With all hell being raised about plagiarism on the net, I was wondering what would Ayn Rand do, if she found out that her works were being plagiarized?
Maybe start writing badly so that nobody would copy it.

Saturday

Ocean's five

The blogging world seems to be getting along fine without thoughts being espoused from my keyboard. My blogging frequency has taken an exponential curve for the worse. I started out with twice a week, which reduced to once a week and then once a month. Not wishing to make it twice a month or lower than that here I go eking out another piece of trash on to the minds of jobless and unsuspecting readers.

There was a music concert that happened yesterday at IIM B - a unity concert the tickets said and the star performers were our brethren of 'kandisa' fame - Indian Ocean and the band from across the border - 'Strings'. To start with, I wasn't very interested in going to the concert, but strong persuasion from the depth guy forced me to brave past a million cars and motorcycles mired in endless traffic jams and reach the venue, a full thirty minutes after the concert was scheduled to begin. I really shouldn't be complaining about the jams because I was riding pillion, but even a pillion rider hurts his privates when he rips through pot-hole filled roads and zooms over speed breakers, to reach the venue on time. At times I felt I was absorbing more shock than the shock absorbers! Something has to be done about those roads.

There was much waiting in store for us even after reaching the venue. The ticket checking process was two fold, heaven knows why. Even after checking tickets, people were let inside in small batches only, another aspect that eluded rationality. Thankfully some decorum was maintained and there wasn't too much of pushing or jostling of any kind. After what seemed like three working days, we made it to the ground where the concert was happening. It wasn't surprising to find out that the concert had just started and that Indian Ocean were on their first song.

Am not really a connoisseur of music and so won't bother with a detailed review. But on the whole, I would say that the show didn't live upto my expectations. I mean what kind of girls were they ? Not too many skimpy clad ones to ogle at. The food being offered at the stalls was overpriced with very little to choose from. Oh! And the music was good. But they didn't sound the way they do when I play the same song from my hard disk on winamp.

Something I noticed at the beginning of the concert was that when songs that I had previously heard were being sung, I wasn't actually listening to them. I was murmuring those songs inside my head and singing along with them and not actually listening to what they were singing. I knew what the next words would be and as long as the lyrics were the same, I didn't really care to find out if it was being sung in the same tune. I didn't particularly notice if the instruments were supporting the music in the amazing way they did in those pirated mp3s. After this realization struck me, my error finding instincts took over and I started looking for deviations from the original composition in the close to five songs that they played.

The result - there were a lot of deviations or errors when compared to the CD version but the instruments sounded mostly the same. 'Ma Reva' was enchanting with each instrumentalist displaying his talents solo and the much awaited 'kandisa' was played last with the guitar sounding not that different. I guess I am being a little unfair to 'Indian Ocean', because on the whole I think I enjoyed their music, especially the instruments.

After their concert ended I was pretty tired and devoid of any enthusiasm. I had been standing for more than two hours and my feet were aching, my privates had taken a severe beating and there weren't pretty looking girls around me. 'Strings' who followed a few minutes later didn't really latch up my interest. Their attempt at trying to forge Indo-Pakistani ties by making us sing 'Mein tera tu meri jane sara Pakistan' didn't really give me goosebumps. Thankfully they performed 'Anjane' towards the middle of the concert and I persuaded my friends to leave before they could actually get rocking. My feet were aching, ....................


9A - Those were the days !!!

Everyday after lunch, when I sit in my cubicle, there takes place a tug of war contest between me and that voice within me that keeps reminding me of my deadlines. Sometimes I win and peacefully lay my head down on the desk and visit Alice in wonderland for a few minutes. But sometimes, I capitulate to the urges of the voice within and put up a fight, to stay awake. When faced with defeat, as an act of rebellion, I stare intensely at the monitor and do nothing but scroll up and down the file using the 'Page Up' and 'Page Down' buttons.

On one such trip to wonderland, I was back in my school days with friends, recapitulating those wonderful, fun-filled moments that I had. The rusty old building which occupied a measly three floors of vertical space is not worth writing about and neither is the dingy classroom into which all of us were huddled. About the campus, the less said the better. Only Lilliputians would have called it big. The surroundings were nothing to brag about either. 'Valluvar Kottam' which neighboured the school was not exactly a hotspot for escapades of any kind. But what does inspire me to write is the warm blooded creatures that inhabitted that room from 9.00 AM to 3.15 PM on all weekdays. We were all made of flesh and blood. The similarities ended there, each of us unique in our own ways.

I occupied the last benches for most parts of my academic career. A born back-bencher, my gurus never had second thoughts about confining me to the last rows of a classroom. Those of you who have been accorded such honors as a permanent back bench position would know the privileges that this position offers. When to listen to the instructor, when to look at that girl to the right of you and when to play naughts and crosses with your benchmate becomes your prerogative. When faced with a boring session on 'Lateral Thinking' or 'Economics', the option of not listening to it, is something that many would give their right hand for.

A typical day would begin with Mrs.VM, our class teacher entering the class for the roll call. The roll call was a much awaited event everyday and though day after day, she called out the names in the same order, in the same way, none got bored listening to it. Infact you could be sure that this was the only time that all of us would be listening to her. Be it roll call or teaching us trigonometry, MrsVM would punctuate it with frequent yawns, opening her so mouth wide that you could put your fist inside and play with her larynx. The more scientifically inclined amongst us ruminated that the amount of oxygen she could suck in, with her mouth that wide open would suffice an oridnary individual for five 'breath cycles'. A statistical study revealed that she yawned thirty times an average in a session lasting for forty minutes giving a yawn average of 0.67 per minute !!!!!

While Mrs VM would be busy reading problems on linear algebra (the reading punctuated with gigantic yawns) the rest of us would be busy updating ourselves with the happenings in each other's lives. Some would be pursuing private agendas wooing the damsels. Take for instance this guy who joined school the same year as me. At an age when most of his friends were grappling with the effects of testosterone, he had a girl friend !. Well no, Cupid struck no arrows and romance evaded me then too.

Lunch was never a peaceful affair. Even before any lunch boxes were opened, the predators would be out sniffing for their prey. The curd rice, the sambhar rice and all allied rice items were spared of the butchery. The chappathis, the paranthas, the puris and the biryanis were attacked with a fervour and vigour never seen anywhere. Civilization would be at its lowest level, but we never gave a damn. Infact after witnessing one particular raid on the lunchbox of a guy who dared to bring some delicious Biryani, passersby commented that rugby could be termed as a gentleman's game.

Gossip and chat sessions that were not completed within school time were continued on the telephone from the comforts of home. I am sure we contributed majorly to BSNL's revenue. On days before tests BSNL's profits would soar to new levels. N people would call N-1 people to find out how much of the portions N-1 people had completed. Truly, there are somethings in life that money can't buy. One of them is the comfort of knowing that there are people who have not studied as much as you and are as ill-prepared as you. Calls would be made, not just to find out how much the other person had studied, but also to discuss probabilities of questions appearing and not appearing. Minutes (and sometimes hours) would be spent discussing how important some questions were and some not. The following day would reveal that decibels of energy had been wasted on nothing. It was only later in life that I read a book on Murphy's laws.

Free time was never wasted on trivialities like academics. We had our priorities right and the gossip sessions would start within minutes. Some indulged in more interesting activities like pushing unsuspecting innocent guys on to the laps of even more unsuspecting girls (that lucky guy !!!). Any discussion, whatsoever be the starting point would always converge on topics related to the opposite sex. The conservative guy would state in a serious tone that the girl of his dreams should be righteous, virtuous and devoted to him. The more anatomy-inclined ones would mock in disdain at the above claim and profess that their girls should have hourglass figures. The all desiring ones would unequivocally claim that a combination of both is a must. Ah!, simple demands we had - straight records and curved statistics.

In retrospect, the times that I spent within the walls of that classroom are some of the best ever. Today with most of us being located in different latitudes and longitudes of the globe, I wonder if we shall all ever meet again. A few excited frequencies in a ray of light we were and each year acted as a prism, dispersing us further and further away. Some left school the same year, some the next year and for college all of us trod different paths. Life does not offer the same destiny to everybody and I knew the scattering was inevitable. But at times, its irreconcilable. One thing's for sure -the people with whom I have maintained contact since those times, I shall continue to do so, be it dinner at a restaurant (if they are in town) or bytes of characters through the www.

Friday

Stopping By Pantry on a Busy Evening

Whose bag of chips these are I know.
He sits in some distant cubicle though;
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his chips lie waste below.

My little belly must think it queer
To not munch, with a bag of chips near.
Potato wafers seasoned with spices varied
The best that is available here.

Deprived of his chips, he lets out a growl
As if he were duped and cries foul.
The only other sound's the click
Of keys, huddled on the keyboard, cheek by jowl.

The pantry is yummy, stocked with delicacies in a heap.
But I have deadlines to keep,
And files to debug before I sleep,
And files to debug before I sleep.

- Vitalstatistix

Monday

God's own country

The train journey from Bangalore to Palakkad was hassle-free. My parents were apprehensive whether I would be able to wake up before the train reached Palakkad and much to my indignation, advised me to request my co-passengers to wake me up before the train reached the place. They feared that I would sleep through the entire journey and wake up only in Kanniyakumari. What were they thinking ? I was traveling, not working !!. Much to my surprise and their relief, I woke up even before the train entered the borders of Kerala.

Palakkad was actually a small detour on my Kerala itinerary. The purpose behind making a stop here was to visit a temple housing my 'family deity'. Pallasena is a small village around forty five minutes drive from Palakkad. I'm not bothering to clarify whether it's forty five minutes from the center of Palakkad or from the outskirts because it really doesn't make a lot of difference. Now you can probably imagine how big Pallasena is. The only claim to fame of this village is a temple called 'Meen Kulathi Kaavu' and the Goddess in this temple is my 'Kula Deivam'. The autorickshaw journey to Pallasena was pretty enjoyable. The roads were in excellent condition for most parts of the journey. I would have preferred cruising in a 'Honda City' at 100kmph but Bajaj Autorickshaw at 40kmph suited me just fine. Women in the fields were planting rice crops. The men were cleaning the water canals and pumping out extra water. Coconut trees were dancing merrily everywhere. Sometimes I wonder if Kerala has more coconut trees than human beings. If acclaimed director (or is he a producer, whatever) Bharatiraja had been out there, he would have shot a movie immediately.

We reached 'Meen Kulathi Kaavu' in a few minutes and were a little intimidated by the queue of devotees waiting to enter the temple. My father alleviated my fears of a long wait by assuring me that he knew of a backdoor entry and we wouldn't have to do any waiting. Backdoors seem to be a popular option for restricted areas. While my father was busy buying offerings for the Goddess, I occupied myself by marveling the ethnicity and simplicity of the temple. My father came out with a small package and explained that this was 'fish food' and that I was to feed this to the fish in the pond (most temples in Kerala have a pond). Throwing a few grains of food into the pond, I watched in awe - even before the grains reached the surface, a school of fish would devour every morsel of it. I started seeing myself as a champion of the needy and the hungry and had visions of being accorded many laurels for my generous act. After a few seconds I realized that I was only feeding the fish near me and the ones that were a few feet away were not receiving the benefits of my generosity. Well, who am I to discriminate between fish near the edge of the pond and fish away from the edge. Human society is beset with enough problems because of discrimination and I didnt want to contribute to new problems in the society of the Pisces. And so, I started throwing the grains in every possible direction and as far as my arms could throw.

When I had finished feeding the fish and was preparing to enter the temple, my father tugged at my shirt and smiled, as if I had forgotten something. Oh no ! not again. Now here is something unique to temples in Kerala - all males have to remove their shirts, before entering the temple. This was one ritual I totally detested and always complained against. I have been hitting the gym for two months in a row now but have not been able to perceive any change in the structure of my body. The extra flabs that have crept up in the last few months show no signs of disappearing and the biceps seem loth to appear. Normally I carry my body around with a certain amount of dignity and sometimes when I get lucky, I even manage to brag about my physique. But when the upper of half of my body is disrobed, in public, I am vulnerable to attack and criticism. I decided that I would have to find out why this tradition was being followed and put the question to my father. He explained, "When the Goddess wants to bless you, she will do so by putting her foot on your shoulder. Thats why you remove your shirt. Its a sign of subservience and devotion". Finally, the question that had been intriguing me for ages had been answered and the answer seeemed pretty logical. But something still tickled me, what about the fairer sex ? Do they not seek any blessings ? Anybody out there with answers ?

The temple visit ended without much ado. My father introduced me to a 'namboodhari ' in the temple who advised me to visit as frequently as possible. We collected 'prasadhams' for everybody back home. We also anticipated that we might meet some people who we had not anticipated and collected 'prasadham' for them also. Before lunch hour had neared, I was back in Palakkad and within the comforts of my mother's aunt's home. After feasting on a sumptuous meal of 'molagutal and pachadi', we set forth on the next leg of our journey.

This might be continued later........

Thursday

Big Mac and chics

Big Mac entered Bangalore this Thursday. Having already visited the Mac outlets at Delhi and Noida, I can tell you for sure that the food is decent and it doesn't burn a big hole in your pocket. So 'Forum' will probably witness an increase in the number chics flocking the already overcrowded mall. My friends in Noida always keep telling me that Bangalore is way behind Delhi and Noida in terms of the quality of 'chics'. This brings to my mind an incident which occurred two years back when I was in Delhi for a short stay. I knew that there were a few McDonald's outlets in Delhi and I found out that the closest one to Karol Bagh (where I was staying with my aunt) was on Ajmal Khan road. I had always wanted to try out their famed french fries and burgers. I managed to reach the road after pestering many irate pedestrians with requests for directions to the road. I was walking down the stretch of the road, one eye on the look out for McDonald's, the other, feasting on the pretty damsels walking by and the mind, regretting the fact that I was not walking with them. I guess its just not meant to be !

When I was thus mourning the lack of any spark in my life, something made me stop dead in my tracks. Standing in front of me was the Indian version of a Baywatch model - svelte, midriff-bared, navel-pierced, basically the kind of girl who would reject me even for a brother. The t-shirt she was wearing was designed with the intention of covering less and revealing more (a cliched sentence but definitely true). Engraved on the t-shirt, in bold letters was, the now common caption, "I was born intelligent but education ruined me". I marveled at the skill of the t-shirt designer who had managed to squeeze in two lines of text in the limited space that the apparel offered. I knew I was no Joey to walk up to her and say 'How you doin' and pick her up. I had also given up looking for the restaurant myself and knew I would have to ask somebody for directions. Well, that somebody could be her and if the response was encouraging enough, maybe I could strike up a conversation (or so I thought). I paused to take a deep breath and went up to her confidently and said, "Excuse me". She turned to face me. "Can you please tell me the way to McDonald's", I continued. "Kya ", she asked me. Hesitantly, I elaborated "Well, you see, I am new to Delhi and I was told there was a McDonald's on this road. I am not able to find it. Can you please tell me where it is". Nothing could have prepared me for the reply I got, " mein samjhi nahin, matlab, wo kya bola aapne". Reeling under the shock, I slowly repeated, "McDonald's restaurant", and made gestures of eating, to depict the word 'restaurant'. "Oh acha Mack Donaaalds !!!, wo tho yahan hei", she pointed to the next building.

All the excitement of eating at McD's was lost. I entered the place and ordered french fries and veg burger and collapsed into a chair. Infact I didnt even bother to analyze how the burger and fries tasted. Between sips of Coca-Cola, I ran through the entire sequence of events that happened. I was walking down Ajmal Khan road looking for the big Mac. I saw this sexy lass (with and without the l) who was wearing a t-shirt with the caption about how education ruined her intelligence. I asked her for the way to McD's but she didn't know English. Then how could she claim that education had ruined her ? That is the million dollar question.

PS : I have nothing against people who cannot speak English. But this female was definitely literate. After fifteen years of schooling, if she could not understand a few words of English, what had she understood in those years ? What lessons had she imbibed ?

Saturday

To him, in lands yonder..............

I was sitting outside my room, lost in thought, dreading the next few days to come. I was in an unknown land about to meet unknown people and was not sure how I was going to handle it. A few doors away, he stood, staring at the bushes as if waiting for something to come out of it. He turned to look at me and I gave him a smile. The introductions were made and thus was struck a chord of friendship. I used to laze around from room to room gossiping with everybody and he used to invite people to his room, to make gossip. We shared our laziness. We used to share everything except our girl friends. I know you'll be saying, "You wish, you doomed to be single moron", but it was worth a try. Big talk has never been my forte anyway.

One of the few things that I remember from high school is that nothing is faster than the speed with which light travels. But the speed with which he used to consume his food made me doubt this very concept. Before we had noticed, he would have tucked in a few mouthfuls of rotis and a few spoons of paneer. If at all there was anything faster than the speed with which he ate, it was the speed with which his intelligence evolved. At the age of five, when he found that the few extra pounds he had gained, was making it difficult for him to move, he indigenously deduced that Force must be equal to the product of mass and acceleration(F = m x a). A small pity though that Newton had beaten him to it. After finishing our tests the looks on our faces would be an indication of the single digit marks we were expecting. With the same look he would declare to us in a sullen voice, 'I might not max it this time'. Intelligence however should not be confused with general knowledge and being a know it all. When asked how many states there were in India, he coolly replied 'fifty'. Its no irony though, that today he is in the land of fifty states doing his masters in the best institute in the world. This week was also his birthday. A friend in need, jovial and generous to a fault. To him !

Sunday

Atlas Shrugged !!!

Whew, after what seemed like ages I finished reading the last page, the last line and the last word of Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. After reading Fountainhead (which left an indelible mark on my mind) I was determined to read all her books. So I started on my mission by trying to conquer the monstrously sized 'Atlas Shrugged'. Was I successful? Yes. But it took me close to two weeks to read through the entire thing. I wondered whether my reading speed had reduced or was it actually that the book was too long to read. It then struck me that I had also read and understood ten lines of java code in the same two weeks. Well, ten lines of code in the same time as a thousand pages of a story book. There remained no doubt. I concluded with absolute confidence that my reading speed had actually improved and that the book was indeed long.

Let me begin at the beginning by telling you how I got the book. I was walking down the main road looking to make a quick bargain on one of those pavement bookshops. I came across one such shop (if you want to call it that) and imagine my shock when the guy quoted a hundred bucks for the book. He actually started at 120 and said he would make a special discount for me and give it to me at 100. As a policy, I don't buy books unless I have read them before or they are offered free of cost or they are highly recommended by a select few friends who share their literary tastes with me (Note : Books featuring Pamela Anderson and a few celeb friends of hers' might be exempted from this policy). I content myself with borrowing them from friends and libraries. I do buy books when I have to give presents but even then I make sure that it is a
book I have not read so that when I 'accidentally' run into that person again, I can borrow the book and read it. But we are deviating here. I didn't buy the book and decided that a second hand book would suffice. A few days later I happened to be near a second-hand book shop (this one also on the pavement). The book-keeper was a kid and he didn't look anything older than
ten and he didn't look literate either. I took upon myself, the task of browsing through the racks, searching for anything with the name 'Atlas' or 'Ayn Rand' on it. After five minutes spent in despair, the kid asked me what book I was looking for and I told him "Atlas Shrugged". "Oh! Atlas" he responded and coolly fished out a book from the closet beneath the racks and handed it to me. I cursed myself for underestimating the kid purely based on his looks. I wondered, this kid who might never have been to a school and not learnt a word of English would probably know more about books than me. My thoughts were interrupted by the kid, "Atlas sir, besht book ". It then struck me that to him this book was not 'Atlas Shrugged', it was just 'Atlas'. He probably would only know the first word of all book titles and I glowed in arrogant self-contentment. I was also thankful that he didn't use the last word of the title to identify a book - imagine the plight of a customer wanting to buy 'Moby Dick'. Now that we had the book, the haggling on the price started. He quoted an unthinkable eighty-five and I told him in no unclear terms that I would settle for nothing but thirty. He said in the oft repeated template that since I was the first customer for the day he would offer it to me at sixty. I made the oft oft repeated drama of not being interested and walking away. Finally the deal was settled amicably and a second-hand copy of Atlas Shrugged was mine for Rs.40.

I shall not bother reviewing every page, for fear of wasting gigabytes of server space. Those who haven't read the book, content yourself with knowing that the Ayn Rand mark is there - liberty, capitalism, ethics, logic etc. The storyline is captivating and fresh, the concept is enchanting but what I cannot come to terms with, is the sheer length of the book. In many places, what could well have been said in a paragraph or two has been extended to pages. Take for example the hundred page long speech by a certain character in the book. Does every line of the speech have a meaning? Yes. Is every line different from every other line ? No ! Then why have it ? It gave me memories of those verbose answers I used to write for my English exams with a clever twist of words - the idea conveyed would be the same but the sentences many, varied and unnecessary. The court room speech by a certain character was stimulating and though it was more than ten pages it had a certain effect on me. Well it was ten pages long (which is pretty long) but ten pages is just one tenth of a hundred pages(the size of the other speech). Its tough to describe the book more without revealing a bit of the story line. You might think that I have run out of words to write any more. I confess my inability to write pages and pages on things that can be written in a paragraph or two. My final verdict - a great book which could do with a twenty percent reduction in size.

At last, a joke to which I can claim ownership and publish a copyright :

Ayn Rand (to APJ Abdul Kalam) : Why do people from Andhra Pradesh constitute the maximum population of the IITs, BITS and RECs ?

APJ : How am I to know? Well, who is John Gult ?

Saturday

Intro

My name is Vitalstatistix, the uncrowned king of the idle world. Languor is my birthright and I shall enjoy it and also get paid for it. Twenty one years of my life, I haven't done any work and I see no reason why I should, now. Think twice before you move your butt and before you type a line of code, think thrice, take a snack, have a small siesta and postpone it to the next day. This is the motto by which I live. I hereby proclaim that I shall make "a best effort attempt" (this is what happens when the idle mind is hit by a text book) at remaining idle everyday.