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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sudoku Challenge

After two months of hard work (well I don't know if "hard work" is the right term or not but any amount of work by me comes under the category of "hard work") I am finally getting good at Sudoku. Coolcat introduced it to me long back. It wasn't that long back as Sudokus have become popular during last year only. The first time it appeared in a newspaper was on 12 Nov. 2004. I was playing it on the web thinking that not many people would have been bitten by this bug but it looks like I was wrong because even after my best efforts I wasn't able to break into the top 5%. However, I do think that I am quite good at it. Some of you might be better. So here is the challenge:
Task: Beat my Sudoku timings in all 3 levels.

Easy : 3 Minutes 54 Seconds Medium: 4 Minutes 50 Seconds Hard: 5 Minutes 24 Seconds
Prize: Complete discography of Led Zepellin i.e. 9 studio albums. (Only for people from KGP or Kolkata)
Offer Valid for one week.
How to participate:
1. Go to Web Sudoku
2. Solve the Sudoku. Submit it
3. A screen will appear which has your timing on the top. Do not take a screenshot of this screen. This screen does not show whether you used hit and trial or not.
4. There will be a button "How good is my timing?" Click on that. A graph will appear with your timing on top. Take a screenshot of this screen.
Example :
5. Do one of the following:
a) Mail the screenshot to me at ravihanda@gmail.com
b) Upload it on the web and email me the link.
c) Upload it on the web and leave the link in the comments section.

PS: I hope you are not going to use Photo Editors or Computer Programs.
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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Kol Trip Number x

You didn't expect me to keep count did ya?
The train was delayed because of the accident that happened few days back. I did pass the derailed train which was lying in a ditch near the tracks. Well.. not the whole train but a couple of compartments. I must admit that it felt nice. Just couple of days back I was talking to my wingmate about how kewl it would be to witness a train wreck. Unless I am part of one there is nearly no chance of witnessing two planes crashing into each other but a train-wreck... may be. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
I met my friend at Oxford and then we went to watch Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. Nothing special about it. Just the same old same old. However I did think that it was a bit unsuitable to kids (I mean the ones below 9) because it had some pretty violent scenes. Indian television has definitely not prepared them for this kind of dark material and well.. do I need to say anything about the non-existent Indian cinema for kids.
About the quiz, it was by far the toughest in terms of competition. Gautam Ghosh, G. Srikant, Neil O Brien.... With these people around, lesser mortals like me did not have a chance of winning but we did make it to the finals. This quizmaster, R. M. Sen, was so bad and boring that I would prefer Pornob over him. The quizmaster was very proud that he was educated in Pakistan and World War 2 was something that he had read about in newspapers not books. I mean.. hello... isnt it time for your great-grandson to take over? The quiz had a large number of questions on Bong funda which pissed me off slightly but then I thought, "Hey.. this is Kolkata. What else can I expect." If you think this was bad, he started conducting the quiz in bengali. We had to interject because none of our team members was Bong. While the results of prelims were being announced Teleute, one of many classmates of my girlfriend who were present there, came and asked one of my team members, "What's your team name?" Akhauri Prasanna tried to evade that question but she asked again. The answer was, well.. "Ravi Handa". As my girlfriend aptly put it, "Lack of creativity and huge ego".

The rest of the day that we spent in Someplace Else (pub of The Park) was the best part of the day and can be summed up in two Master-Card advertisements:

Taxi to Someplace Else: Rs. 50
One Smrinoff Vodka: Rs. 180
One Screwdriver: Rs. 275
PDA in Park's lobby: Priceless.

Two Chicken Rolls: Rs. 34
Two more Smrinoff Vodkas: Rs. 360
Dancing, singing, flirting with a chinki after your girlfriend has left: Priceless.

The music was good as usual but they played a version of "Stairway To Heaven" which I had never heard before. It did not have, "Does anybody remember laughter?". It did not have the guitar lead. Instead it had drum beats. I think that Backstreey Boys could have made a better version than that. Or may be it WAS the Backstreet Boys version.
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Friday, November 25, 2005

The Dope Show

I am not promoting drug use, I am just telling you how much fun it is.

5 Songs that are extremely good on dope but mediocre/bad otherwise:
Because I Got High
2000 Light Years From Home.
Ek Chidiya Anek Chidiya (I have got the full version of the video if anyone needs it.)
Paper Puli (Its by TAAQ. A Bangy based band. Can be downloaded from here.)
Ziggy Stardust

5 Movies you should watch when you are high:
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. (You are going to fucking halucinate while watching this)
Harold And Kumar Go To White-Castle
Last 30 minutes of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. (You will think about doing it in a dramatics competition)
Andaz Apna Apna
Gunda

5 things to eat when you are high:
Potato Chips (Lays)
Vicks Candy (Keep rolling it in your mouth)
Beef Paranthas
Chicken Submarine
Jassi Burger

5 people you should get high with:
An uddu.
A guy preparing for IAS.
A guy who is sad about his CAT performance.
A guy who is in a hurry because his girlfriend is waiting for him. Damn, I don't know how he goes on a date after that.
Russell Peters.

/*****************************************************/

It has been a long time since I met my better quarter, so I am going to Kolkata after few hours. In addition to that there is an Open Quiz. 1630 hrs. Dalhousie House. I might go there if I am able to convince her. Trust me, it is not going to be easy. I might be looking for a team member, so if you are interested you can meet me there. How would you identify me? Well... You have seen the picture. More hints required? I will be the ugly fat dude with the cute small chic. We might hit Somplace Else later but that depends on how much cash is left with me. Now it is your turn to say, "Have a nice trip."
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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Vanity: My Favorite Sin II *

Scott Adams, the dilbert fella, has published a new book. You can download it from here. He posted the link on his blog. I really like him and I often wish that I could write like him. Well.. I wish that I could write like a lot of people but alas.... He is so confident about the success of the book that he has written in his post, "I’m giving it away because I found out that most people who read it end up either recommending it or buying the paper version as gifts for other people." Now thats something. I haven't read it yet but if its even close to his other works it would be awesome.

Added later:

I wish to write like these people:
Scott Adams, Salinger, Palahnuik, Bachchan, Javed Akhtar, Douglas Adams, Somerset, Baez, Swaminathan, etc.
Bloggers: Yazad, Ravikiran

People who are so good that I don't even have the courage to wish to write like them:
Gulzar, Shaw, Ahmad Faraz, Dinkar, David Gilmour, Bob Dylan, Ian Anderson, Camus, Satre, Miranda July, etc.
Bloggers: Inky, Coolcat

And last but not the least, famous people I think I can write better than:
Shobha De, Chetan Bhagat, Isaac Asimov(if you are raising your eyebrows you haven't read his crappy works), Sarnath Bannerjee. There are others in the list also but I don't want people yelling at me.
Bloggers: Once again I would like to keep my mouth shut.

Nice clock. Check it out.

*Original title of the post was God's Debris, name of Scott Adams' new book.
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Friday, November 18, 2005

Vanity: My favorite sin

A lot of people these days talk about Karma. What goes up comes down. They even made a series on this and I like Earl Hickey and his ex-wife and crab man. I am not saying that "My Name Is Earl" is a great TV series but its definitely a good time pass. Yes, I am seeking redemption but it is definitely not in the way Charlie did it in Mean Streets. They should make a religion like this where you confess your sins and you are forgiven. I don't know how people say that they don't have any regrets. I have loads of regrets. They are so many that I can't even count them. I am never able to admit that I have made a mistake. It is very hard for me to say something like "I am sorry". I would rather not talk to a person than say sorry to him. Here is the list of the deadliest sins (I have used couple of quotes because some people have articulated it better than I ever could):

Pride: I think that I am the center of the universe. I am quite sure that modesty is not a virtue, it might be a vice.

Envy: I very easily get jealous of people over small things. Mainly with my elder sister. I always had.. rather I always have the feeling that she has got everything and on the other hand I have nothing. Anyone who has met my family knows that she is the favored one. My parents deny it but even my sister accepts it.

Gluttony: I am 170 cms and I am 78 kgs. You do the math.

Lust: Its very hard for me to be just friends with a girl. At some point of time I am bound to be attracted to her in a sexual way.

Wrath: I do not get into fights but I have done some things in the past that I am not proud of. I don't let go that easily. I am too much of a sissy to have a one to one fight but I make sure that at some point in future they pay for what they had done.

Greed: What I want is everything. Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of it's forms - greed for life, for money, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind.

Sloth: I am so lazy that sometimes I do not go to eat lunch because I will to go down from the third floor. I have not called my parents informing them about the loss of mobile phone because I will have to go the phone booth. I haven't even lodged an FIR.

Why am I doing all this? Well, I don't believe in God but I am afraid of him.

/*****************************************************/

My mails to MindSport did not go waste and one of the two did get published. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see my name in print because in Kharagpur we get the big city edition. I found out today that MindSport is a bigger section in small city editions like Patna, Bilaspur, etc. in which you can read my entry in print. However, in big city editions like Kolkata, Delhi, etc. it was left out. My hatred for TOI is based on reason but once again they have made it personal (For the third time!!!). I know what you are thinking. Scroll up.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Just when I thought things couldn't get any more disturbing.....
My mobile gets stolen
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Monday, November 14, 2005

Kauva moti khavat hai

These are the things I did today to pamper myself:
1. Ate 400 gms of Alu Bhujia.
2. Drank 600 ml Pepsi, 200 ml Thumps Up, 200 ml Limca.
3. Smoked 1 Marlboro, 1 Gold Flake Kings, 1 Navy Cut and 17 Flakes.
4. Caught a junior and read my poetry to him.
5. Saw 2 episodes of Rome, 6 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Main meri patni or woh, The Full Monty.
6. Slept from 1400 hrs to 1800 hrs. (My average for the past 3 years is around 5)
7. Read the last two chapters of Catcher In The Rye.

I had said this to one of my close friends before that "You are closest to a person when you can share your insecurities with him". Main meri patni or woh makes that very point. I saw it with Inifnity who is from Lucknow. For those who haven't seen the movie, it is based in Lucknow. Every time he recognised a CCD or Gol Bazaar or a University or Hazratgang Bazaar or a bridge or a colony or a garden or a college-ground or a road or a scooter or a car or a plant or a dog, he redefined the phrase "jumped in his seat". The movie is very good as per hindi movie standards and is funny in many places. However, the best laugh we had was when both of us blurted out "CD change" (We were watching it in WMP and had enqueued both the files).

There were a few other reasons why I am less sad than usual:
1. Getting a mail from AA. I thought that she did not reply to my mail because she was angry at the content of the mail. It turned out that she was just busy with an exam.
2. Getting an orkut scrap and then a mail from a student of AA college saying that they are considering me to be one of the quizmasters. The surprising part is that I do not know anyone there personally. AFAIK none of my blog readers are from that college. I have never been to that city. Someone is putting in good words for me. Thanks.
3. SMS which read "Go to hell".

I cannot think clearly these days. With around 100 hrs to go I am FREAKING OUT.
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Saturday, November 12, 2005

GOAT - Greatest Of All Time

I am a big fan of "Best Science Fiction Novels", "Best Comedies", "Best Movies based in New York", etc kind of lists. It is very hard to choose works of art and rank them. Same goes with people. Premiere Magazine has come up with a list of The 50 Greatest Movie Stars Of All Time. This list, as usual, has many points that I don't agree with but that is not the point of the post. I haven't seen any such Indian lists but that might be because I do not read "Filmy Magazines". The only time I do read them is at the barber shop and as you can see from the pic it is not that often. However, I do remember couple of years back STOI listed the greatest comedies of Indian cinema but the standard of the list can be judged by the fact that it did not include "Jaane Bhi Do Yaroon". Here are a few lists that I made:

The 10 Greatest Indian Movie Stars Of All Time:

1. Amitabh Bachchan
2. Dilip Kumar
3. Shahrukh Khan
4. Dharmendra
5. Rajesh Khanna
6. Aamir Khan
7. Raj Kapoor
8. Rekha
9. Sridevi
10. Madhubala

The 10 Greatest Indian Actors Of All Time:

1. Naseerudin Shah
2. Amitabh Bachchan
3. Kamal Hasan
4. Balraj Sahni
5. Aamir Khan
6. Dilip Kumar
7. Shabana Azmi
8. Amrish Puri
9. Guru Dutt
10. KayKay

The 10 Greatest Indian Comedies Of All Time

1. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
2. Golmal
3. Andaz Apna Apna
4. Angoor
5. Chashme Baddoor
6. Chupke Chupke
7. Pushpak
8. Half Ticket
9. Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
10. Munnabhai M.B.B.S.

The 10 Greatest Indian Dialogues Of All Time

1. Kitne aadmi the? - Sholay
2. Mere paas maa hai - Deewar
3. Mogambo khush hua - Mr. India
4. Ab tera kya hoga kaalia - Sholay
5. Ka.. ka.. ka.. Kiran - Darr*
6. Saara shehar mujhe LION ke naam se jaanta hai - Kalicharan
7. Are bhai... koi hai... meri biwi beemar hai, aspatal pahuncha do warna woh mar jaayegi - Mashaal
8. Rishte main to hum tumhare baap lagte hain - Shehnshah
9. Bade bade shehron main, aisi choti choti baatein, hoti rehti hain - DDLJ
10. Naam Vijay Deenanath Chauhan, baap ka naam Master Deenanath Chauhan - Agnipath

*Had mentioned Baazigar earlier instead of Darr.
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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ravi Handa's Movie Yearbook 2006

Yes, Saw 2 has lived up to the expectations. That made me think about the other movies that I am waiting for. I got this idea from Pradyot long time back. So here is the list:

10.My Sassy Girl (dir: Chadda) (Just to see what she does with it)
9. Zodiac (dir: Fincher) (Who can make a serial killer movie better than him?)
8. The Good Shepherd (dir: De Niro) (Amazing starcast. But will that be enough?)
7. Motherless Brooklyn (dir: Ed Norton) (About a detective with Tourette's Syndrome. If nothing else atleast it will have one great acting performance.)
6. Sholay (dir: RGV) (Godfater ke baad ye to hona hi thaa)
5. The Da Vinci Code (dir: Howard) (With this kind of script you need real talent to make it boring and I don't think Ron has that.)
4. Munich (dir: Spielberg) (Based on 72 Olympics, the aftermath)
3. The Departed (dir: Scorcese) (Cast: Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio,Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen)
2. Inland Empire (dir: Lynch) (My gut says that this is going to be the best of the lot because Lynch has been making it for couple of years and he has worked very hard to keep it a secret. Even Lynch fans haven't heard much about it.)
1. Inglorious Bastards (dir: Tarantino) (__________________________)

This post is made with the intention that at some point in near future I can say, "I told you so".
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The Final Countdown

These days I cannot think of anything else other than CAT. Everywhere I go, everyone I talk to... There is just one issue that keeps on coming back again and again and again... and frankly speaking.. I am bored of it. When I was giving JEE, it had some value. It was a very important career move at that point of time. CAT on the other hand is just a stepping stone. People might disagree with the above statement but consider the fact that the people who are bothering me the most with CAT discussions are IITians and have a safe career. I mean, why the hell is anyone so bothered about it? Baah.. ranting isn't going to take me anywhere. I just hope that it ends soon. The worst part is that I am a part of the club. And I don't like being a part of any such group which would have me as a member. These days I often get irritated with myself. Instead of "You're gorgeous" I yell "Fuuuuuuuuck Man!!" at the mirror. There seems to be no solution to this other than waiting for 13 days for the storm to be over. When I was telling this to Bhatu last night, he came up with the lyrics of a song which seem quite apt at the moment:
Chingari koi bharke, sawan use bujhaye;
Sawan jo agan lagaye, use kaun bujhaye....
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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Handa Day Afternoon

Waiting. Afraid. Concious. Egoistic. I. Maybe. Evenings. Yelling. Meaningful conversations. SMS. Everything. Chauvinist. I dont know. Stubborn. Yes. I dont care. I cannot. Me and you and everyone we know. Agreements. Understanding. Faith. None. Green Eyed Monster. I never wanted to get it. You should try to. Always. Doors. Spoken. Histrionics. Time. Running out. Silence louder than broken dreams.
I am not losing either.
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