Bumper Car

After leaving the office at around 7:30 pm, I thought I’d head over to Marine Drive and get some coffee at Barista cafe. A light rain took me by surprise as the whole day was mostly bright and I think it was a bit sunny in the afternoon. Anyways I got to Bay Pride Mall, filled with screaming kids, families and lots of idiots who just wanna pose, but Barista was closed! These morons always close early – it was just 15 mins past 8pm! On a fucking Saturday!

A little pissed off I came out and thought to myself that I’ll just suck it in and go home. So I stood outside in he drizzling rain and waited for an auto to come by. There was a maroon colour Honda to my left, parked on the side with the driver sitting inside chatting on the phone. He was parked parallel to the pavement with the engine shut off. I;m looking to my right and looking for an auto. Suddenly, this moron starts the car and backs up and the bumper pushes me a bit to the right! Sonofafuckingbitch hadn’t bother to look behind him!  Hence I was rudely pushed towards the right.

I hit the back of the car with my hand and then walked up towards the driver side. The driver of the car had now recognized that he had made a mistake and had a worried expression on his face. But bastard couldn’t be bothered to step out of his car or lower the window to check if I was alright. I just said “Fucker watch where you are going. You almost ran over me!” I let it go because he looked old enough to be my dad and so I went back. The driver of the car went on his way without a proper apology. Son of a bitch!

Crazy Dreams

Just in case you didn’t know, I dream a lot. I day dream at the drop of a hat. I remember some dreams very vividly even after years have passed by. I had one last night that made me think so much about an earlier one I had about 10-11 years ago. These two dreams are connected in the people who are featuring in the dreams.

When I was 22-23 I visited my cousins in Mattancherry a whole lot and spent a lot of time with them. Probably this is why I had a  dream about one of my cousins. See my cousin Aswin used to make up these weird stuff on the spot and chant them over and over. One of his chants was called the “churty nam” song! He would chant the following : “churty nam nammy nam, churty nam nammy nam…..NAM!”. Nothing but a silly nonsensical ditty that 11-12 years would create right?

Well, one night while asleep I had a dream that I was the security in charge of a big international airport. At my desk I had hotlines connected to Interpol, the FBI, CIA and other such agencies. And in this dream I was in my early 50s, a distinguished looking gentleman with salt & pepper hair and goatee, dressed in the classiest of suits. So I’m sitting at my desk when some of my people come to my room and say “Sir, there’s a commotion at one of the departure sections. A religious nutcase is creating a disturbance and soliciting people to join his cult and won’t back down if even guards have told him to come with them.” So I say, come on men. Let’s go and see what the fuss is all about.

So, armed and determined, my men and I head towards the departure section and go to see this religious zealot who is creating all this commotion. When I get there, its my cousin Aswin – as a 12 year old – dressed in saffron robes and a turban and singing “churty nam nammy nam, churty nam nammy nam…..NAM!” and going round and round in a circle, folding his hands in a namaste and dancing! And people all looking scared and trying their best to avoid them.

Well last night’s dream was not funny it was actually romantic! The reason I remembered this older dream is because it was around the same time as the dream that I also got close to this girl 2 years younger than me and started having some feelings for her. And I also told her about the dream of the airport and she had a very hearty laugh at that. Well  haven’t seen her in ages but I had a dream about her last night. That we were going on a real date. To a coffee shop and then to a library and then to have a leisurely lunch before I had to take her home. That was so weird, since I have never spoken to her about the feelings that I had at that time.

Well in the dream, I had arranged with her the previous evening to meet her at 9am and we went to a book exhibit first. There I tried to kiss her but the opportunity went by without lips actually touching lips. I was so disappointed and thought that she was quite oblivious to the fact that I wanted to kiss her. Then we went to the coffee shop and sat there for a long time sipping cold frappes. Then I took her for a movie and there she made her move and let me know that she wanted to kiss me too. So I did and it was a good smooch, all French kissy and sexy as hell. I put my arms around her and held her tight.

I woke up just after that and was surprised that I had this dream about this girl, one who I hadn’t seen in all these years. Weird!

Notes For 22nd July, 2010

  • I woke up with a temperature, cough, a cold and wheezing and so called in sick from work. I had plans on staying in bed the whole day and probably watching some movies or tv series.
  • I wasn’t helped at all  by the fact that today was a chilly day due to constant rain the last few days and the wind factor picking up. I wrapped myself up in a sheet for most of the day.
  • I ended up taking a many calls as an associate in the call center takes – mainly due to an issue created on the spur of the moment in the evening.
  • There’s a Cochin Tweetup on the coming Sunday, which I want to attend. I haven’t been to one in ages. It’s going to be held at Coffee Cube on Convent Junction. The plan is to take my laptop with me and copy the entire new BSG series from Binny.
  • Speaking of coffee, I’ve had 4 large cups of the strong liquid just to keep me coherent.
  • I’m missing the regular football season and can’t wait for the English premier league to start. I plan to watch a few Spanish la liga games as well this year.
  • I watched an episode a piece of Star Trek Enterprise, Star Trek TNG and Star Trek TOS the afternoon, while getting interrupted by atleast 25 calls from work.
  • My temperature went back to around normal by 6pm, helped by the fact that the sun had come out by 4:30 pm and it was a little less colder than it was in the morning. More coffee followed.

So how was your day?

The Youngest Cousin

Do you get these moments when it hits you with the impact of a huge truck slamming right into you and you exclaim “man, time sure does fly” or “how fast has the time flown by?” I’ve had such a moment a couple of days back when I noticed that my baby cousin Roshni had posted in Facebook that she is joining an Engineering college in Chengannur for a Computer Science degree. She will turn 18 in a couple of months. That makes her 16 years younger than me.

I remember when we all went to the hospital in Chullikal (Cochin) where she was born back in 1992. I was 16 years old and she was the first new born baby I had ever held. I can remember the fear in my mind when her mother, my aunt, told me to take her 2 day old daughter in my arms. Never been so scared in my life! I used to factor in babies along with crocodiles, rodents, snakes and other such delightful creatures.

Right from her birth Roshni (she was named that in my honour, no matter how much people deny it :) ) had a kind of reign over the rest of her cousins, being the youngest. And she was always very smart, quick witter and a barrel of laughs to be with. She started talking very quickly (I’ve joked that she started talking the day she came home from the hospital) and she could recite poems & dialogues by heart by the time she was 3. She thought of things that most 3-5 year olds never thought and she would often stun you with her replies. She would laugh easily and she could crack you up in an instant.

Her stories are many and I bet embarrassing for any 17-18 year old. I can’t believe that she is almost 18 years old. Like all of her cousins, I’m proud of her and we all wish her the best as she leaves home and goes off to study. I’m sure that her house will seem very empty to her folks. All the best Roshni :)

“Little Green Men” Visit Earth

A huge favourite of Star Trek & DS9 fans in particular, I just watched the season 4 episode Little Green Men last night post download. This episode is very Quark centric, along with Nog & Rom. The premise of the episode is that Quark takes his nephew Nog & his brother Rom on a newly gifted Ferengi shuttle from DS9 to Earth, as Nog is entering Starfleet Academy. After a going away party for Nog, where the young cadet also sells of some of his belongings in order to raise some capital, Quark takes Nog & Rom aboard his new seemingly perfect little shuttle.

He has also stashed away a load of kemocite which he plans to trade at a sizeable profit once Nog has been safely deposited on Earth. However, as the reach Earth Rom finds out that the ship was sabotaged; Rom says that if he can flood the cargo hold with plasma, its reaction with the kemocite should allow him to shut down the warp core. They do so but the reaction is that they also get transorted into the past – 1947 to be exact. They land on Earth unconscious and are found by the US army.

Now 1947 humans haven’t met any Ferengi or any other aliens and initially only the scientist on the base and his fiance nurse wish to communicate with them and gain new knowledge. The army men are a whole lot more suspicious and would like to know if they have any weapons and whether there is any immediate danger to Earth in the form of an alien attack. And the universal translators do not work  at first making communication extremely tough. Frightened at first and unsure of what to do, Quark becomes more confident when the translators are fixed and the humans and Ferengi can now understand each other. Quark is sure that he can manipulate this event into his benefit and profit from the greed in humans during that period of Earth’s history.

Only the scientist and the nurse are interested in the Ferengi for good will & learning new things. The military later turns hostile and it looks like their plans for the aliens might not be good at all. However the 3 Ferengi are saved by the intervention of Odo – the shapeshifter has snuck into their shuttle in order to keep an eye on Quark and now helps them to escape back to their ship. The scientist and the nurse come to their aid as well and soon the 4 non-humans are back in the shuttle and on their way back. They usean atomic explosion to ignite the kemocite in the same way and make their way back to their own time. Nog is dropped off at Starfleet academy and Quark, Rom & Odo go back to DS9.

While entirely entertaining and funny this episode lacks credible content towards the end. It seems rushed and is too quick to resolve all the issues. This should have ideally been a 2 part or 3 part episode arc with lots more interaction between the 1947 humans and the 3 Feregis plus Odo helping them out.  The solution was too easy in the end and it left me feeling incomplete once I watched it. Don’t get me wrong, it still is a very good episode but it could have been better.

Night Out In Bangalore City

While in Bangalore I was cursing myself for not having enough cash saved over in order for me to do some shopping. With me still paying off the cost of the laptop (on which I am typing) money is on short supply and hence spending is also less. But you can’t visit Bangalore without atleast window shopping!

On the second day that we were there, my colleagues and I decided to go out to Brigade road in the evening and look for bargain buys. So after the training we came back to the guesthouse and rested for a bit. By 7:45 we walked a bit and the took an auto towards MG Road. I must say that I was highly disappointed that this once behemoth of an attraction for both tourists as well as citizens alike has fallen on bad times. Blames the flyovers that are being constructed and hence the area is a little too dingy and dirty, blames the fact that Bangalore has prospered so much in the last 10 years that each of the big suburbs have developed at a frighteningly fast pace and are now self sufficient and doing lots of business on their own. Still it was a shame to see so much rubbish piled on some corners. There were more stray dogs than people on the big road! And quite a few rats.

We made our way to Brigade road and went to a few stores. While my colleagues shopped around for clothes, I snuck into an open cafe and ordered a lime ice tea. They both bought a watch each from the vendors and I bought a wallet – cheap but very nice look and make. We then went to have a pint of beer in Soul Cafe, a really cool but dark looking place where they have lots of people smoking hookahs. And the place has a strict no photo policy!

Some more walking around later, it was dinner time and we went to KFC and ordered our food. That’s my plate that you see in the pic over here. That’s 2 piece chicken, fried rice, french fries, a coke and gravy. Ketchup too. The fries sucked and I didn’t even bother opening up the small gravy cup. The chicken was good and the rice ok. KFC in Brigade has fallen on bad times – you can make out with the fading colours, chipped plates and overall look of not doing enough business in the once fine establishment. I dunno how the other branches in the city are doing; the one in Cochin is raking in the big bucks like crazy!

By the time dinner was done, it was almost 11pm and we were tired. We walked down to the auto stand and the first joker said that it would be Rs.160 to take us to our guesthouse. Fuck you asshole! We walked a minute down the road and got another auto driver who said Rs.50 and we said ok. Auto drivers give Bangalore a bad name but unless you own a vehicle, you are dependent on the auto rickshaws.

What A Day!

What a day! First I leave the apartment with a half attempt at breakfast as I was getting late and breakfast was not ready by then. I wolfed a couple of spoons of the stuff and then rush out through the door and left for work. I was supposed to be attending an HOD meeting with our new center head (the first with him) at 10 am.

On the way I noticed that there were vehicles piled up in four lines on a single lane and that we were barely moving. It took us about 10 minutes to travel half a kilometer. Turned out that there was a major accident on the road, just after Edapally Toll; a bus and a truck had collided and there was 1 dead and a few injured. Two ambulances made their way towards the scene and the cops decided to re-route all traffic heading to Kalamassery & Aluva via Thrikkakara by turning them right at the Edapally Toll junction. It was through this, my old stomping grounds, that my auto driver took us and I was nostalgic as I looked at the familiar sights & buildings on the path.

So I was delayed by 20 minutes in reaching the office,  but the HOD meeting was postponed to 1:30 pm. Oh ho, problem! I also have a regular scheduled conference call/review at 2pm with the training departments of our process. Basically it’s my counterparts from the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, West Bengal, Kolkatta & Andhra Pradesh and the MIS analytic person on a call with the Senior Manager of training for our process on the call. Worried about the clash in timings I checked and was told that I could attend the HOD meet at 1:30 pm, present my departments points and take down stuff in 30 minutes and then join the con call at 2pm. Ok, so it was talk, talk, and rush to get back to my system for the call at 2pm.

I was the only one on the call other than the Sr.Manager! 2 AMs are out sick, 1 AM and the MIS lady are attending a GB training, 2 others on leave and one guy was having lunch. You can guess that the Sr.Manager was not at all happy and I got it from him on behalf of the team (thanks guys :) ). He was upset and told me that everyone’s work on a recent report was shoddy and lacked initiative and that he did not like this lax behaviour for a con call. To tell you the truth I was upset too but I was also laughing inside. So I sent everyone else a message  telling them about it. I then rejoined the HOD meeting.

By now I was getting hungry and the prospect of lunch was also discussed but since most of them had already eaten we just got coffee and some chips. Famished I munched on some chips and sipped my coffee and waited for the meeting to get over, which it did only by 5pm. I then took my team upstairs to the cafeteria so I could get some food as I also gave them the download on a few things that needed to get done. Unfortunately there wasn’t much available in the cafeteria at that time so I opted for 2 vellappams and some channa. Post a quick meeting with my team and the welcome food I went down to sort somethings out.

A little after 7pm I joined 2 other colleagues in a 3rd’s car and left the office as I could get down at Palarivattom. As I got down I heard a snap and saw that my right shoe had come apart! Aargh! So I went to a nearby ATM, got some money out and bought a new pair of shoes. Atleast it’s a really nice looking pair! Tired, I made my way home and here I am, telling you guys about it.

Blogging & Longing

I haven’t been blogging much about the weather have I? It’s been raining a whole lot the past 3 days. The entire weekend I stayed back at home and every time I thought that the sun was finally going to come out and give us some heat, he would dart back again behind some clouds like the sissy that he is. More rain, wind & cold.

This morning was so windy and cold. And in the evening it’s like it was waiting for me to get out of the office (I stayed back for an extra 80 minutes) and then it poured down like it meant business. It was quit windy and my umbrella was getting bent outta shape and so once I got down from the bus, I ducked into a small restaurant and decided to wait until the rain died down a bit. I ate dinner there, noodles and chicken (yum), and then walked back home.

At the office we all got our new offer letters post the annual appraisals. I’m finally getting the kind of pay that I should have got….ages ago! I blame myself for losing out. And I’m not happy that some of my team members haven’t got better. They do work very hard and they deserve a lot more.

I’m feeling very lonely, especially during the evenings and night. I’m gonna turn 34 in 2 weeks and I haven’t found anyone yet. All this teasing of me with a colleague is only making me feel even more depressed. I’m starting to long and I’m starting to yearn. And look longing at women around me…..oh wait, I do that all the time!

Stargate Universe : Episode 14 “Human”

The repository of knowledge chair which was deemed to be highly dangerous and which Col. Young had asked everyone to stay away from proves to be too tempting for Dr. Rush. Taking Brody’s help Rush  finds a way to modify the chair in such a way that no harm comes to those using it, and this is the only way to unlock control of Destiny. Young is upset but Brody says that with or without his help Rush was gonna use the chair.

Meanwhile Rush is led to a visionary quest in his mind – he is back on Earth and in his house. He meets his ailing wife but goes about his way as he is aware that this is just an illusion. While at the university teaching his class, Rush sees a lot of Ancient symbols streaming in front of him. in his home office, the walls are completely plastered with papers full of notes and calculations, as well as a whiteboard filled with more calculations. Then Daniel Jackson comes to meet him at the university to talk about the Stargate program.

Rush already knows what Daniel wants to talk to him about; the Stargate program. He apparently knows what he is about to be told about the ninth chevron and the Icarus project. He admits that this already happened; he is experiencing a vision of what already happened two years ago, a side-affect of what he is trying to accomplish in the present. Young wants Rush removed, but Brody says that only Rush can disengage the interface safely; if he is forced out, it could kill him. Brody also reveals that they created a buffer to slow down the transfer of information and limit it to a small portion of his memory center; Rush is having a semi-lucid dream whilst gathering the information. Once he finds enough clues, he will simply have to walk through a certain door, and he will return, hopefully unharmed. Since T.J. believes he is stable for now, Young allows the experiment to continue, but orders Brody to pull the plug should that change.

By this time Destiny comes out of FTL near a planet and Lt. Scott, Greer, Chloe & Eli set out to explore it with just 6 hours showing on the clock before the ship goes off into FTL again. On the surface near the gate they find some ruins which does not look to be of a highly advanced culture. They go into a network of tunnels and run into a giant spider which Greer kills by shooting his machine gun. However the tunnel collapses sealing the team inside and Young sends another team to dig them out. Although they try to blast a new opening, it only makes things worse and Scott orders the team to go back to the ship and leave his group behind.

On the ship Rush comes out of his vision after saying goodbye to his wife. He has learned a lot about the ship while on his vision but not enough to stop the ship. As the countdown ends, Destiny takes off into FTL leaving Eli, Chloe, Scott & Greer on the planet and stuck in the dark tunnels.  Rush tells Young that he will work on gaining the controls of the ship in order for Young to get back the team stranded on the planet.

Darryl Sydor Retires From NHL

Veteran defenceman Darryl Sydor has retired from playing as a professional hockey player after 18 years spent in the NHL. Sydor, 38, played in only 47 games for the St.Louis Blues last season, posting eight assists.

Sydor played in 1,291 NHL games with Los Angeles, Columbus, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and St. Louis, recording 98 goals and 409 assists. His 1,291 games played currently ranks him 16th all-time among NHL defenseman.

The 6-foot-1, 211-pounder won Stanley Cups with Dallas in 1999 and Tampa Bay five years later. The Edmonton native spent most of his career in Dallas, playing nine seasons for the Stars.

Sydor, who was originally drafted by the Kings with the seventh overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, appeared in 155 playoff games, accumulating nine goals and 47 assists. As a junior player he won a Memorial Cup with the Kamloops Blazers and also represented Canada at the World Junior Championships.

The announcement was made on the 13th of July and he report is that he has currently signed on as an assistant coach with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.

Arrgh, I’m Walking The Plank!

I’ve heard about them before; sand mafia who plunder the river banks of our state. Now the Anti-Sand Mining Cub, a unit set up by the Aluva police in order to put an end to these miscreants, have successfully tracked down and destroyed 201 country boats which are used for pilfering sand from the river Periyar within the last year. The powerful sand mafia have been plundering the Periyar for many years with the cops and the district administration remaining mute about it until this special unit was created.

Many sleepless nights were spent waiting on the banks for the plunderers in order to seize the country boats and destroy them. These boats cost around Rs.3 lakh and the mafia have almost stopped mining as they cannot afford the loss. So the Periyar River Pirates have been stopped in their tracks.

Reading about this reminded me of this song: a humorous comment on the state of farmers in Saskatchewan, Canada. Down on his luck and broke, a farmer takes to becoming a pirate on a boat which sails the North Saskatchewan river looting boats that carry produce and other goods. Here’s the video for The Last Saskatchewan Pirate by Tractor Jack (a cover of the Arrogant Worms original).

KSRTC City Buses Launched

This should be music to the ears of the public commuting citizens of our city – (from the Hindu)

Fifty ‘Thirukochi’ series city buses of the KSRTC were flagged off in the city on Friday by Transport Minister Jose Thettayil.

They would begin service from Saturday. While 32 of them would operate from the RTC’s Ernakulam depot, 18 would be based at the Aluva depot. Thus, there would be a Thirukochi bus in the Ernakulam-Aluva route every 10 minutes and every 30 minutes in select other routes.

Mr Thettayil said that the RTC city buses are being introduced following public outcry over frequent private bus strikes and complaints of high-handedness by private-bus crew. “The media too has for many years been demanding the introduction of RTC services in Kochi.” Referring to the RTC being unable to operate 20 buses from the city to the Goshree islands and back, he said that this is because of the delay caused by a section of private-bus owners challenging the introduction of these services before the High Court.

Mayor Mercy Williams called upon members of the public to utilize the new city buses, so that there is less number of two-wheelers and cars on the roads. “These services would boost public transport in Kochi since the private buses in service are overcrowded.”

Addressing mediapersons here, Mr Thettayil said that some of the long-distance Superfast buses of the RTC would soon be diverted through the Edapally-Aroor NH bypass and the return direction, to prevent the buses from encountering huge delays after being caught in city traffic.

“Apart from saving time, money and reducing pollution, this would also save considerable amount of fuel. Passengers of these buses who want to reach the city hub can rely on the Thirukochi city buses, which would act as feeder services to the city. More AC and non-AC buses would be introduced in Kochi. Steps are also being taken to redress the woes of boat passengers.”

To a question on the State-wide private bus stir proposed on July 22, he said that a three-member expert committee comprising an economist, transport expert and a retired judge of the High Court would consider their demand for fare revision.

Thirukochi routes

The following are the list of 18 routes of the Thirukochi buses. Aluva-Aroor temple (buses would ply through both Padma and Menaka, Thopumpady, Edakochi); Aluva-Fort Kochi (through Padma/Menaka, Thopumpady); Aluva-Poothotta (Padma/Menaka, Vytilla, Tripunithura); Aluva-Chottanikkara (Padma/Menaka, Vytilla, Tripunithura); Ernakulam-Thevara-Pookattupady (Padma/Menaka, Kaloor, Edapally, Kalamassery); Thevara-Eloor ferry (Menaka, Kaloor, Edapally, Kalamassery); Thevara-Aluva (Menaka, Edapally, Kalamassery, Mupathadam, Kadungaloor); Aluva-Kumbalam North (Menaka, Vytilla, Kundanoor);

Ernakulam-Kumbalanghi-Kakkanad (Thopumpady, Perumpadaph); Ernakulam-Mattancherry (Thopumpady, Menaka); Thevara-Cheranaloor (Menaka, Edapally); Thripunithura-Cheranaloor (Menaka, Chitoor); Ernakulam-Kannamaly-Amritha Hospital (Thopumpady, Menaka, Kaloor, Edapally); Thevara-Cooperative Medical College (Menaka, Edapally, HMT); Ernakulam-Panangad-Kakkanad-Infopark (Padma, Vytilla, Kundanoor, Madavana); Ernakulam-Kakkanad-Wellingdon Island (Menaka/Padma, Naval Base); Thripunithura-Thripunithura circular (Eroor, Vennala, Alinchuvadu, Kaloor, Menaka) and Aluva-Manjummel-Thripunithura (Padma, Edapally, South Kalamassery, Glass Factory).

The buses would also conduct service in the Ernakulam-Cusat and Ernakulam-Ponekkara routes.

The buses would ply a total of 233 trips daily, of which 123 would be in the Ernakulam-Aluva route.