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Friday, July 30, 2004

10 Things I Learnt This Week

1. Never try to put your feet behind your head for a bet.

2. Never go late to the first class of a semester.

3. Even a person like Nafisa Joseph can be depressed.

4. Do not read a Peter F. Drucker book if you do not have a MBA degree.

5. Carry Drucker's book around, it makes a good impression on others.

6. Never promise that you will gift a CD to a chat buddy. One CD is worth 5 cigarettes. (Just hope that the chat buddy never reads this)

7. Never tell anyone that you like Cher, people will think that you are gay.

8. Do not use Yahoo Messenger Stealth settings. People can figure out that you are online.

9. Never decide the title of a post before you finish it.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Meet the Devil

I'll be going to Kolkata on this saturday and will be free from 0800 hrs to 1200 hrs. Stop laughing, I know I am jobless. If anyone of you wants to meet up, email me at ravihanda@gmail.com
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Monday, July 26, 2004

Brand Equity

One of the downsides of living in hostel, other than inedible food, is lack of TV hours. My mother tried to cut down my TV watching for many years but this was probably the only battle I won. Her prayers were answered when I joined Kharagpur and realised that even TV is one of the luxuries that I don't have. I do have 24/7 internet connection with a 100 MPBS LAN which lets us download various TV series from the big bad cyberspace but still I miss out on various advertising campaigns. I try to keep in touch through AgencyFAQs, but a few snapshots can never make the impact as a TV advertisement. During the India-Pakistan match I saw the advertising campaign for Voltas ACs. I know that it is a very old campaign but day before yesterday was the first time I saw it. Some of you might have even forgotten it, so here is a glimpse:

A slightly fat, short guy takes a run-up and delivers the ball infront of mirror. We can hear the excited commentator in the background who thinks that this person is no less than Shoaib Akhtar. The person then imagines that he has taken the wicket and does the infamous Shoaib's airplane celebration. He then mutters "Action Replay" and repeats the whole thing in slow motion. When the euphoria dies down he gives a huge sigh in front of his Voltas AC and the background goes "Kya hua agar aapke sapne poore nahin ho sake. Ab aap Voltas AC le sakte hain sirf Rs.9999 main."

I am not exactly sure about the advert but it was on the same lines. Do you think that this strategy is going to work for Voltas? This just makes people realize that they are nothing else but losers. As far as my understanding of people goes, they do not like to accept that they are losers. I agree that everybody has unfulfilled fantasies but no-one likes shit thrown in their face. It’s better to show them that they are Heroes and then convince them to buy the product. Better still; convince them that buying the particular product will make them a HERO from ZERO. The best; get Mr. Pandey working on your campaign.

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Saturday, July 24, 2004

Warning

Never read Neruda when depressed and drunk or that just might be the second-last thing you ever do.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.

-- Pablo Neruda (July 12,1904 - September 23,1973)
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Friday, July 23, 2004

Oh My GOD!!!

Tell me frankly, how many of you knew about this:

If you have sexual relationship with a woman you are not married to, and especially one you do not intend to marry, it may just amount to 'rape'. The consequences - rigorous imprisonment. Because if you are unable to fulfill your 'marital promises' and have sexual relations with your lady love, she may just drag you to court alleging 'rape' under Section 376 and Section 493 of IPC. While Section 376 deals with rape, Section 493 is cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage.

The complete TOI article can be found here and remember "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". More information on related topics can be found here. (Link provided by Abhaya)


A link for fans of the greatest CAT in the world:
Garfield : Rok means year. Complete collection from 1978 to 2004

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Movie Masti Magic

I can go on and on about "I hate the world and the world hates me" attitude but then I will have to change the title of my blog from "Intellections Of A Lesser Mortal" to WhyTodayStinks.com

I saw Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind couple of days back and must say that its one of the most decent flicks I have seen in a pretty long time. Well, my definition of long time might be slightly different from yours because I watch an average of 7-10 movies a week and more often than not, I am disappointed by them. First of all, let me tell you that this movie has Kate Winslet, a person whom I find neither beautiful nor talented and is directed by a relatively unknown French director Michel Gondry. After watching Jim Carrey in The Majestic,his only serious performance that I have seen, I didnt have much hopes from him either. The only thing that prompted me too have a bit of hope from this movie was the name of Charlie Kaufman who got an Oscar nomination for The Adaptation last year and was also the man behind Being John Malkovich. This movie embraces and transcends the quirkiness of Kaufman's previous efforts and forms it into a moving, inspired mediation on the funny-sad nature of love.

"To abridge is to murder" is a phrase that has been often used by people far more smarter than I can ever become. Giving a plot synopsis in a couple of lines will be doing the same but I think that would encourage people to watch this modern classic. Hence, here it goes:

When a lovelorn young man (Jim Carrey) learns that his ex-girlfriend (Kate Winslet) underwent a medical procedure to have their relationship erased from her memory, he is so hurt that he also enlists himself for the same treatment. However, as the doctors go to work they find that he is fighting to keep his memories--and his love--for her. For the punchline you'll have to rent the movie.

Its a tragedy that this movie will not be released in India and we'll have to be content to watch it on DVD or even worse, the bootlegged version. As far as the awards are concerned, Oscars have now become the Hollywood counterpart of our very own Filmfare, otherwise Titanic would have never won all the awards it did. Do I even need to talk about the Filmfare's populist nature? Well, just remember the year 1999 when Salman Khan(KKHH) struck gold defeating Manoj Vajpayee (Satya) for Best Supporting Actor. Despite of this, I would place all my bets on Kaufman for a Best Original Screenplay this year. Let time be the judge.
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Saturday, July 17, 2004

Handa's Top 10

Posts like these happen when you surf the net for 6 hours looking for articles on Hemingway,Cobain and Woolf, give 12 online tests for "Am I Depressed?", re-read your favorite passages from "Catcher In The Rye", curse every movie that you saw during the last week because of "Happy Endings". Well, the results are out. I am officially depressed. Here is the list of 10 most prominent symptoms of depression and this is the first time I can say, "Yes, I have done it all."

1.Appearance - Sad face, slow movements, unkempt look
2.Unhappy feelings - feeling sad, hopeless, discouraged, or listless

3.Negative thoughts - "I'm a failure," "I'm no good," "No one cares about me."
4.Reduced activity - "I just sit around and mope," "Doing anything is just too much of an effort."
5.Reduced concentration
6.People problems - "I don't want anybody to see me," "I feel so lonely."
7.Guilt - "It's all my fault," "I should be punished."
8.Low self-esteem - "I am a loser"
9.Physical problems - Sleeping problems, weight loss or gain, decreased sexual inerest, or head aches
10.Suicidal thoughts or wishes - "I'd be better off dead," "I wonder if it hurts to die."

I can see now that I am doomed to die a long slow suffocated death. The worse part is that I am tired of trying to figure out why.
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Thursday, July 15, 2004

List Of The Mohicans

I was planning to make a list of the blogs I read and put a link to them on my page for couple of weeks but was a bit too lazy.

Abhaya Agarwal -- He is blogging when he is not Orkuting.
Alpha -- You are not supposed to talk about Gods so I won’t.
Amit Goel -- Planning a career change from Programmer to Spiritual Guru.
Amon -- The MAN on the lost highway to hell.
Anant Singh -- Junior at KGP and refers to me as "Another load of Crap".
Arunima -- The glow of dawn.
Anamika -- Her wild thoughts.
Chandrachoodan -- Vanity is his favorite sin.
Cheesy Chopstix – Cheeselings from a biochemist.
Dipika -– Learning to fly.
Debalina -- Prolix of an empty brain.
Gaurav Sabnis -- Perfect blend of humor, cricket, movies and things that matter.
Jihva -– Partly liberal, partly secular and ANTI Times Of India.
Krishnendu Biswas -- The guy who taught me what blogging was.
Nupur Dave -- Lessons in hindi, gujrati, marathi and english from a Dancing Queen in Georgia Tech.
Pallavi -– Born to be wild.
Prasanna -- If you want to know what’s wrong with the IT industry, this is the place where you should be.
Ravikiran Rao –- The Examined Life.
Santosh Kumar -- Technically Speaking.
Shouvik Som -– Batch-mate at KGP.
Sumedha Sinha -- The day dreamer, Lady in green.
Sarika -- Says a lot in very less words.
Reshma Sanyal -- The online celebrity who doesn’t mind stalkers.
Salil -- If there is a topic, he has an opinion.
Surinder -- As playful as it gets.
Vinayak Nagpal -- Varun's elder brother and has some fractured philosophies..
Varun Nagpal -- Vinayak's younger brother. Food, sex, Zep and linux.
Vivek Kumar -- Life, universe and everything
Vardan Mathur -- Daily life is not always boring.
Wonderbug -- Mommie Buggie. Close up and very personal

Community Blogs
Buhaha -- Rating NC 17. A blog not suited for minors
Few Good Men -- Yeah, yeah.. IITians also blog.


Phew!! Sorry if I missed someone. If you have put a link to my page on your blog please tell me so that I can do the same.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Men Without Women : Does anyone remember Laughter? !

NOTE: This "Note" was added after Santosh's, Amit's and Arunima's comments. This post was supposed to be funny (in a kind of Woody Allen way) and but it probably didnt come out as I expected.

Men are always in an illusion that they are in control of the world. I know this because I am one. We, men, like to think we’re in charge because most of the top jobs in private and public sector are held by men, but I have a shocking statistical insight to share with you - THOSE ARE OTHER MEN. The total percentage of men in those top spots is roughly .000001 percent of the male population and I’m not one of them. If you are reading this then definitely you are not one of them. I have about as much in common with the Tatas, Birlas and Ambanis as I have with the spider hanging in my room and is actually giving me weird looks right now. Someone might argue that men have access to the top jobs whereas women do not. There’s some truth to that, but the mathematical fact is, 99.999999 percent of all men can’t get those top jobs, either. There aren’t enough of those jobs to go around. The rest of us men live in a world that is ruled by women.

MEN WANT SEX. If men ruled the world they could get sex anywhere, anytime. Restaurants would give you sex instead of breath mints on the way out. Petrol pumps would give sex with every fill-up. Banks would give sex to anyone who opened a Savings Account, but it doesn’t work that way, at least not at my bank. Instead, for the most part, sex is provided by women if they feel like it, which they usually don’t. If a heterosexual guy wants sex, he has to hold doors, buy flowers, act polite, lift heavy objects, kill spiders, pretend to be interested in boring things, and generally act like a complete idiot. Can anyone think men designed that system?

If men were smart enough to figure out what’s going on, they might be tempted to use their superior size and strength to dominate women, but women are too clever to let that happen. Thousands of years ago, women figured out they could disguise their preferences as “religion” and control gullible men that way. I can imagine this conversation in any household :

Husband: I’ll be late by an hour as I am going to flirt with my secretary.

Wife: You can’t do that.

Husband: Why not?

Wife (thinking fast): Um... God said so. He’s an omnipotent being. If you don’t obey him you’ll burn in hell.

Husband: Whooooa, that was a close one. Thanks for warning me ...
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Monday, July 12, 2004

The Seven Last Steps

The wooden door, turquoise railing,
Invite me, dare me, tempt me,
To take the seven last steps,
Scent of air without you, detest I

The over rated rocks, light sand below,
The knife in my back, still heavy,
Stale sun bantering my shabby soul, yelled
"Gutless puppet, give death a try"

My life didnt flash before me,
A still frame, few years old,
White suit, blue spotted diaphanous veil,
Curious eyes, grazing August sky.

Silence announces coaches of sorrow,
Annoyed angels waiting to deport me,
Scattered senseless pieces won’t let it go,
The misfit still hopes, you would say “Hi”
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Saturday, July 10, 2004

Same old, same old...

Around last week of March, some jobless people like me decided to do a survey about the most annoying clichés. For me, the concept of such a survey is annoying and clichéd. I believe it's best to deliver bad news to people when they're already miserable and if you have come to read my blog then definitely there are few souls on this planet who are more miserable than you are. So, let me give you the three most annoying clichés in English language:

1. "At the end of the day"
2. "At this moment in time"
3. Constant use of the word "like"


When readers or listeners come across these tired expressions, they start tuning out and completely miss the message -- assuming there is one. My personal favorite is "Bottom line" and it does appear in my speech atleast 3 times a day. George Orwell's advice from 1946 is still worth following: “Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print”.

If you are thinking that the people who did this survey are some couple of language geeks then you are highly mistaken. This was done by a group named Plain English Campaign, which is an independent pressure group fighting for public information to be written in plain English. They have more than 6000 registered supporters in 70 countries.

At the end of the day, you do need to ask yourself about how annoying you are and what can you do to change it. At this moment in time, I don’t think I am ever going to change.
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Friday, July 09, 2004

Rambling On

I have changed the commenting style from the annoying 3 click Blogger to Haloscan. Do tell me your views about it. I have also removed the previous counter and changed it to Statcounter. A lot of people have said that they dint like their IPs to be traced. The GoStats counter (ealier one) did that, hence I am using this. And last but not the least, a welcome addition in the list of links, CHECK ME OUT in TIMES OF INDIA. YAY!! The compu is fixed so I promise a proper post by evening.
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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Help Wanted!!

My computer has been my life and my wife for past couple of years and she is in the ICU right now. Doctors have said that if the capacitors are not replaced within a week, then it would be very difficult to save her. Donations for CRO (Capacitor Replacement Operation) are most welcome. Please email me in this regard at ravihanda@gmail.com . The doctors have estimated the cost of operation as Rs.500. I get an average of 50 visitors per day, so if each one of you gives me Rs.10, I would be highly obliged. You are most welcome to copy this message and forward it through your yahoo/msn messengers, emails,groups, orkut communities. If you wish you can also take a print out of this and put it on the walls of your city. For donations credit cards, paypal, cash, cheque, DD, moneyorder etc. are accepted. If you forward this message to 15 people, then you will find true love within 2 days.
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Monday, July 05, 2004

Living In The Past

Sun streaked through the trees,
The bluest blues were playing,
Picked up a telephone,
Heard voice after 118 days....
Drifted down the rabbit hole,
Met a dreamer, a younger me,
He grinned foolishly and wrote poems,
Trying not to lose his gaze...

"I see you standing,
Brown leaves falling around,
Raindrops in your hair,
Smiling at the ground;
Star of my life,
Get lost in my sea,
Come close and whisper,
Your little dreams to me."

She hung up the phone,
Dying dead-tone made me,
Spin back through the ages,
Forgetting the days of youth....
Now she jokes my story
To absolute strangers, and I
Pull the brown ruffled curtains
Keeping out the truth....
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Saturday, July 03, 2004

Reservation: Reloaded

Times Of India Article

For more than half a century, India has maintained quotas for socially disadvantaged classes in government jobs, political bodies and educational institutions. Supporters say they are merely trying to make the system fairer but in my opinion, this initiative is yet another example of how interest-group politics is subverting the goals of a vast experiment in social engineering that already bestows preferential treatment on roughly half of India's billion-plus people.

The country's 1950 constitution, written three years after independence from Britain, established quotas for members of indigenous tribes and so-called untouchables, or dalits, because they do not even register in the caste hierarchy and consequently have suffered the greatest discrimination. India has come a long way since then and if there is a dispute, it is all about the pace, not about the progress. We have been having reservations from almost 60 years now and if the politicians believe it is still not making a difference it is time that one starts examining the premise of the model. But the irony of the situation is that Dr. Singh is distressed by the low representation of minorities, particularly Muslims...in the public and private sector and is giving serious thoughts about providing quotas in education and employment to them.

The quota system, in reality, has become a huge political enterprise- increasingly literally so, for the new bargain is for reservations in political power, as the Dr. Singh's proposal shows. Every political party is responsible for this crime on quality and merit. Reservation has become a political mindset. The victim is India: a nation is only as good as the people who manage it. Reservation ensures that India won't be managed by the best alone.
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