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May 10, 2009


toddler watching tv and mom
“Maa…why is everyone showing their finger?”
Mom,busy working, looks at the tv screen from kitchen…
“They all have cast their votes dear…”
“Maa…What is vote??”
Decides against trying to explain…
“No dear, they are just saying hi
“Maa…what is hi ?”
“When you see someone after sometime, you say ‘hi…!’ to them.”
Before ‘dear’ asks more questions…
“Please wait dear, maa has something to do…”
Mom continues with her work…
A thunderbolt later…
Mom hurries to ‘dear’ and before ‘dear’ says hi to her…
“Dear…you don’t say hi like that…” Mom waves her hand and
“You always say hi like this…not like that…”

10 year olds

These guys are in the age where they are just updating their ‘vocabulary’. So anything ike this is simply amusing.

HEY!!, you saw the Bachchans showing their fingers yesterday?”
(Read : டேய்…!!! நேத்து TVல அந்த actors vote பண்ணிட்டு வந்தத பாத்தீங்களா. Imagine the ‘டேய்’ said in a long gasping tone…hope you understand.)
“…were absolutely crazy!!”
“Abishek is the guy…he really means it…Jus look at him…”

Adolescents in last bench looking at the newspaper

“hehe…dumb people…what are they thinking duude…!!”
“Tch Tch…Ash is getting older, look at her glasses…covers the whole of her face…she’s desperate to hide it”
“And this old man also tries to keep away from his lady…what is he trying…?!!”

“ALRIGHT young men…get out of the class now…!!”
“Sorry si…”


“Heard he’s a great fan of Ash…probably he heard us…”

The grownups
“Why on on earth do they have to mark their middle fingers…won’t the index finger like in all places do??”
“Whatever man…why do we care…”
“Blame the paparazzi…they are the desperate ones”
“Absolutely…trying to make news out of anything”

and I…
try to write out of nothing…and I’m not sorry for wasting your time…It has been a pleasure !


Video-Game Retrospective

April 26, 2009

Before you start – listen to the music i’ve placed as a link in the next line. Please open the links in a new window or tab as WordPress doesn’t allow scripts to open links in new tabs.

Click link to play audio Start Game – Level 1

Not long ago when I was talking with my brother and cousin one lazy afternoon, I found myself stating ‘I think we are the generation that saw the maximum change in video games.’ Though I find myself preferring PC games these days, long back I never had a PC. I got to play (or mostly see others ‘show me’) games occasionally when I visited some relatives. Since a PC was “a COMPUTERRRR…!!!’ those days, it was usually an uncle or aunt that showed me those – too expensive a thing to be handled by kids. I found those amazing but rarely played. But before many of my friends, I bought a TV – video game. That was the best thing that happened at that time … some 12 years back I think. India was already a decade or two lagging with respect to consoles. I started pretty early for a TV video game after which it almost became a rage.

When I thought what could have started all this, I made a few interesting observations. When we were content with playing under the sun and sometimes killed time playing board games, there was this handheld water game.

First handheld

I think this could have very well been the precusor of all video games. Press of a button resulted in a visual change. You press the button, the water pushed the rings randomly and they had to be set into some stick that served to hold the rings. Then came the other handhelds – called ‘The brick game’ by most people here in Chennai, it had Tetris and Arkanoid.
Then came the TV video-game – the joystick concept largely inspired by these handhelds and the TV serving to be the screen. The only difference was now you saw things on your TV and things were bigger.
Music played a huge part in video games. Since visually everything was cartoonish and yet to become 3D, music was the main thing. Take Super Mario Bros. for instance (which I have placed at the ‘Start’). You had Galaxian and Contra – the best game of that time with brilliant music and gameplay. I would still call it the best shooter. Then we had the ‘Laser Gun’ accessory. You were now able to shoot things onscreen using the gun instead of your joystick. This probably led to the motion-sensing games like the ones in Wii.

The PC gaming was growing slowly here. DOOM, Wolfenstein were becoming popular, I still hadn’t bought my PC. For that matter, I never had a PC that had a MHz processor. The first game i played in ‘my’ PC was Test Drive and NHL 2000, only demos which i installed from some freeware CD.

From TV to PC

I started playing PC games seriously, simultaneously experiencing lot of improvements in the visual, gameplay and sound aspects. With the hardware becoming cheaper, I also kept buying newer desktops primarily(or rather only to) to play the new titles. The dots that represented cars (say in ‘Road Fighter’), became cardboard boxes in Test Drive’s and Need For Speed’s earlier titles. They became solid cars that rode well till they had taken up some amount of damage. The environment looked more real and became more interactive. All these days I had been only playing seriously when someone(someone old and no way into games) passed by when i was playing a game and casually said…”Whether the cars look real or they look like dots, its still the road that moves on your screen and not the car “. “Holy…!!” It never occurred to me…why would I care. But I had to accept…it was a very good observation.

The athletes onscreen started looking and moving like their real-life counterparts. We could see their sweat dripping down from their clean shaven heads, we could listen to them yelling, see their jerseys move about when they moved fast. LeBron dunked like LeBron, Iverson crossed-over like Iverson and what not??

But today there is nothing much to innovate. I should rather say the ideas have reached a saturation. We will see a greater difference only if something new happens. The problem is, if something new happens, other gaming manufacturers tend to follow that. They don’t innovate. So I would say that its :
Click link to play audio Game Over
Remember which game has this ‘Game Over’ music? I hated to listen to it because it meant what it was meant to mean : ‘Game Over‘.

Any time money…

April 23, 2009

After another of those extremely mundane days at office, I realize that I have only 50 Rs. with me. Some three years back that’s the most I would have had in my wallet any day, and now its ‘only 50 Rs.’ . I got down from the bus and went to an ATM on my way back home. There was a woman struggling with her card inside the booth. I was standing next in line and there was this man (who is the reason I’m writing this) in his 30’s standing behind me.

He saw the lady struggle with her card, slapped the door and kept asking her ‘How many times are you gonna put your card in and out…?’ .What was his problem, he didn’t seem to be in any emergency also. She turned back with a puzzled look, then took her money and came out. She asked him what was the problem when I went in and the their conversation was muffled with the door closing behind me. I didn’t hear what he told her…and she actually tried explaining this guy what her problem was. Oh this poor thing…! How I wished this guy would have picked at me. I would have slapped him (yeah he was shorter than me and wasn’t intimidating either) and asked him to go screw himself. Now…would I have said that…?? No. I would have said something on the lines of “nnngotthaa moodtu podaah(u) baadu…“.Awww…the pleasure you get when you swear in your mother-toungue (or atleast the words that supposedly belong to the mother-tongue)…

What did this guy think?? He is the only guy who’s got no time? I imagined what this guy would have done some ten years back when not every tom, dick and harry had an ATM card. He would have waited in a long queue at the bank where the cashier would take his/her own time to do whatever that was supposed to be their work. I still remember those days when going to an ATM was a big thing for me and my brother. Few banks had ATMs those days. My dad had an account in some international bank that had an awesome ATM. It had a door that actually worked the way the door of an ATM is supposed to work (it opened only if you inserted a valid card). It had an air-conditioner that seemed to be out of control…it would be freezing inside. No one usually came in when someone was using the ATM also.

I’m sure when you asked this guy what do the letters ATM stand for he would have said ‘any time mani saar…idhu theriyaadha…!’ . Of course there’s no big deal in not knowing ATM stands for ‘Automated Teller Machine’ just because I know that for some ten years.(Wow! what a show off am I…hehe). Unlike this guy I take pride in knowing that I am someone who knows I was not born with computers and electronic stuff. He wouldn’t even know basic stuff in gadgets and I’m sure he would struggle for even making a call from his mobile phone like my dad used to be, why…even like I used to be. I called the lady a poor thing for trying to explain this guy and now I have started trying to explain him…so I would stop here before someone calls me a ‘poor thing’ and wait for slapping this guy next time. But I don’t remember his face…hmmm…Now what do I do…??!!


April 4, 2008

I rest my arm on the window… I rest a knee on the seat before me, i rest the other elbow in a rather tough-to-explain place…on top of my seat, i.e on top of where i rest my spine (hope u got it).
I already boarded the wrong route from office, so I got down at a place from where i can reach home using the public transport bus.

It was stuffy and I was starting to get restless when the conductor blew the whistle. Finally, I felt a gush of the cool sea breeze when i put my face outside the window. He comes, asks me to buy the ticket, I give him the money and ask for my place “Mandaveli”. It feels so good to ask for one’s place. The sense of relief, that I’m going home, going to do something I would enjoy doing atlast after a crappy day, idling at office as usual.
“அம்பது காசு இருக்…” I cut him in the middle of the sentence and hand him the half rupee (he asks for an extra half rupee so that he can give a whole rupee change).

Then it is as normal a ride as every other day in a public transport bus. For a taciturn(or rather someone who doesn’t talk much to strangers but is a pain in the neck to his friends) person like me, the enjoyment is from the lot of things one can find in this ride that one cannot find in a bus from a work-place. I have read so many people write tirelessly about these kinds of bus-trips and felt most of them cloying with the sense of belonging to ones own people and ones own places. But i realised how they felt only when i started traveling for about 3 hours daily in my office bus. I really miss the good ol’ days i used to use the public transport daily to go to college.

It is as entertaining to watch people fight as to set your eyes on ‘someone’ inviting.
There is always the unpredictably predictable things happening in a public bus/train compared to the monotonous office-bus-rides. There is some female shouting at the guy who occupies a seat reserved for ladies “Are you really a man?!!”. Then you have the guy complaining about someone stamping his feet. Then there is the man/woman who keeps acting as if he/she is about to die and asks someone to give them the seat. There is also the Mr. Romeo and there is the Mr.Nice-Guy who saves every damsel in distress he sets his sight on.

When my friend got posted in an office near to his place and I got an office in the outskirts of the city, I was pissed like anything…he said “Thats life!!”. When I ended up getting bad scores in exams I did very well, they said “Thats life!!”. But when everyone keeps fretting about these public transport, I want to tell them , ” ‘This‘ , my friend is life!!”

Be it a photograph I take or be it something I want to write, I always end up missing the most important thing I would have thought of saying. So i end this post as any of my ‘works’… unfinished…

When I post this, I would definitely remember what i wanted to say…”Thats life!!”