Thursday, April 29, 2010

Text your day!


For all those who’ve got summer vacation - It’s a boring day and you don’t know what to do. But you are left with your mobile and you’ve got message booster with which you can send 16,000 free local SMS. Here are 5 fun ways to beat time. I guarantee that I’ve tried them and they are safe.

Create your own slam-book.

Here’s a sample.
Nick name:
Date of Birth:
Fav food:
Fav dress:
Best friend:
What gift would you like to get on your birthday?:

Or you can ask a host of other questions that you’re afraid to ask your friend, for example, What do you think is my weakness? or How close am I to you?
If you send it to some ten people, atleast six are bound to answer it.

Say their horoscope

Just ask their date of birth with which you can know what zodiac they belong to. Here’s the chart.

Aries               March 22- April 20
Taurus           April 21- May 21
Gemini           May 22- June 21
Cancer            June 22- July 23
Leo                 July 24- August 23
Virgo             August 24- September 23
Libra              September 24- October 23
Scorpio          October 24- November 22
Sagittarius   November 23- December 22
Capricorn      December 23- January 20
Aquarius       January 21- February 19
Pisces           February 20- March 21

Start your SMS with “You belong to the zodiac-…..”(to make your forecast believable).
You know your friend don’t you? If he/she is going for a trip that day, text “You are bound to go places today, meet new people and bond with nature. Be careful not to eat food that you are not familiar with. Don’t talk to strangers for you are a person who can be fooled easily”
Or if you know he/she is at a relative’s house, “You will feel like a fish out of water today. Learn to keep your cool amidst the zoo like atmosphere. Your loved ones may spell trouble.”
Cheating? Yes it is and it’s fun. Tease your friend to the maximum. “As you are known by everyone as a gutless person, it’s better you have your mom accompany you to the toilet at night”
If you are afraid that it might invite some trouble just type at the end “Source: Internet.”
But I don’t think they would buy it.

Quiz contests

Ask no more than 3 questions and provide the clues. Make sure the questions are the easiest. Otherwise you would get no replies.
For example, Who is the son of Sonia Gandhi? Clue: R_ _ u_ 
If you can afford it, promise them prizes and ask tougher questions.

Lost in translation (My fav)

Choose any song of your regional language. Then translate it into English. Now ask your friends to find out what song it is. Start with easy ones. Make it sound comical too. You can ask as many as you want to as long as you find the right words to translate into. You would have created a musical storm after a few songs.

Pull off pranks

If you have borrowed something like a notebook and it has to be returned to your friend the next day, just SMS him saying that you are unwell and you can’t make it.
But you aren’t the kind of person who would leave your friend notebook-less, so you tell him that you have asked the person who delivers the newspaper to give that notebook to him along with the paper the next morning. You’ve got to assure him that the newspaper guy would give him the book when asked.
And when you face your friend the next day, be ready to receive a nice spanking.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

People who made news – the “bhut jolokia” hot list

Shashi Tharoor – a professional Twitter ‘bird’ and also burdened with the post of Minister of state for External Affairs, is blessed with being targeted by the media and the opposition parties not once, twice but thrice (or is it more?) Can’t wait for the next one…

Shoaib Malik, Sania Mirza (and Ayesha Siddiqui too) - a seemingly love triangle that occupied the prime time slot of every news channel. A broken previous marriage (and heart) for him and a called off engagement with childhood friend, Sohrab Mirza for her, they eventually got married a day before. Let’s take it sportive, guys.

M.F.Husain – Quatar nationality conferred, ah! at last! Let the most controversial artist spend his twilight years at peace.

And finally,

Chidambaram- Being the home minister doesn’t come cheap. Often being reduced to tears; constantly pressed for resignation; blamed for anything and everything that includes a dead man and a gun is the price he pays for it. Give the man a break, he really is upset emotionally for the death of all those CRPF men. Maoist menace, the heck with it!

Chetan Bhagat’s “2 states - The story of my marriage”

The book surely sounds like a true story; of the author’s of course. But here is Bhagat’s clever disclaimer, “The story is inspired by my own family and experiences. However this book should be seen as a work of fiction”.

The story is all about two IIM-A graduates Krish and Ananya who belong to 2 different states of Punjab and Tamil Nadu respectively.  
The former is also an IIT graduate, lives in Delhi and hates his army dad to the core.
The latter is a Tamil Brahmin who outstandingly loves chicken and beer (does being an IIM graduate have anything to do with that?)
After madly in love for two years, they decide to get married. They have got to convince their two very different families as they don’t want to elope. But things aren’t so easy. Their efforts to make their folks like each other, goes in vain. But the determined couple doesn’t let go of the situation just like that. Boy makes the girl’s family like him and girl tries to impress the boy’s family. Though not entirely successful, their objective of getting married is eventually fulfilled (phew!)…….

The narration of the oft-seen and heard inter-state love story is staid yet simple. It wouldn’t hurt Bhagat if he makes some of the dialogues of the other characters longer.
Tamilians are teased to death. Inspite of being a Tamil girl, I can’t help laughing at the instance where he quips about the bad Tamilian way of joking or how funny the translucent loin cloth seems to him (or to Krish, it is all very similar)!
Some Tamil words are mispronounced but they add to the ludicrousness of the situation.
Certain episodes like the Punjabi wedding and the musical concert are interesting but I wish the narrative could’ve been better.

Bhagat stands nowhere when compared to other accomplished writers of love stories the worldover. But he continues to be the leading writer of the Indian urban youth who ape everything westerners do (Even I do; can’t help it!)
I finished the book in half a day as it was so easy to read. I’d take longer to read a novel about the same size if written by a hard hit writer.

Whatever, I had always wanted to read a Chetan Bhagat book seeing how popular his books were. And I don’t regret reading it. At Rs.95, it’s worth its money. It just seems to be an extended version of a lovable short story. In other words, it reads exactly like a Bollywood (or Kollywood!) script.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

IPL to cricket - a boon or a goon?

You've got to admit that Lalit Modi's a genius. Forget that he's been called a gambler, a swindler etc.., and also the fact that he didn't make it to the presidency of the Rajasthan Cricket Board. He sort of made it all up with the money and fame he earned from the latest IPL.

"Apple introduced the concept of Windows. But Microsoft popularized the Windows concept." So says my class 11 computer textbook.
"ICL recognised the potential of domestic cricket but it was IPL which commercialised it" (I said this!)

ICL (Indian Cricket League) was the brain-child of Kapil Dev & co. - the rebels of BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India). The twenty-twenty event managed to turn quite a few heads but the money it drew wasn't any big. The BCCI wouldn't tolerate all such competition and came up with a slew of stringent actions. Players who participated in the ICL were banned from playing international cricket by the ICC. As a result, many players dropped out and there's been no ICL season 3 this time (I don’t know for sure).

So IPL (Indian Premier League) was brought out as a rivalry measure by the BCCI with more pomp and glory (and of course, with more dosh). Players were auctioned at unbelievable rates; teams were purchased by celebs; tickets were sold at exorbitant rates and TRP rates were mounting. The IPL sounded just too 'glitz' for the common cricket-frenzy Indian who absolutely seemed to love it (I did!)

There are 8 teams as for now - Deccan Chargers (won the last season), Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Rajasthan Royals (won the first season), Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and the Mumbai Indians. Two more IPL teams are to be added in the next season – Kochi and Pune.

Each team has the best of both worlds, I mean, there are both Indian and Foreign players. It was the first time I saw the Indian crowds cheering Mathew Hayden when Harbhajan Singh was bowling or Anil Kumble being booed when Adam Gilchrist was wielding the bat.

After the astounding success of IPL, came IPL season 2 with a bang. But it wasn’t as successful as its predecessor due to the fact it was played in a foreign country (South Africa). It remained popular though its TRP ratings weren’t actually soaring.

The on-going IPL season 3 is by far so boffo and is raking in so much money for itself, for the teams and for the Government as well (in the form of taxes). Even producers are hesitant to release their films during the IPL season. Exams are a hinderance but kids sometimes sneak to watch their home team heroes play.

 Test cricket was authentic but tiring. ODIs were adorable yet inconsistent. Cricket in its shortest format of twenty overs seemed to overcome all its shortcomings. It’s either cricket, lovingly gift-wrapped, complete with a satin ribbon and given to cricket lovers or just cricket, shortened, like cutting the feet according to the size of the shoe…

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Generally, it’s just about knowledge.

It’s at times a scary term. General Knowledge (G.K) isn’t always about winning quizzes or getting through IAS exams or facing interviews, debates and group discussions. It’s very, oh so very essential for chit-chatting, a word very similar to the infamous gossiping. Everything, from the limited edition Mont Blanc Gandhi pens to Sania Mirza’s latest beau, comes under G.K.

Just think, without speaking about things other than our family or our society, how lifeless our conservations will be? What can two elderly, retired men talk about when they settle down at their neighborhood park bench? How can they keep conversing without finding fault, atleast once, with Mayawati’s garland of money or Pranab Mukherjee’s Budget (though they might get little of it)?

I’m a G.Kish person. I adore facts, just the facts. I wouldn’t read a 19 page long story about how tribals are being ill-treated in our country word by word (I bet most of the readers don’t) I’d just see where, when, why and how. And thus I’d get the basic picture of that particular story. That’s how you develop your G.K. There’s no need to mug up quiz books or yearbooks to develop your intelligence through G.K. Just skim magazines of every kind - political, fashion, travel, lifestyle, cuisine, movies and of course, the newspapers.
You need to refresh your mind each day to develop that kind of thirst so that it becomes a habit. You know what I’m talking about - ‘Reading

If a magician can conjure a rabbit out of a supposed empty hat, clever folks can conjure up several ideas out of a single or a rather bland fact. The media is, obviously, the leading player in this field.

Picture this- about a year ago, there was the well known clash between the Marans and the Karunanidhi & sons clan. It was mainly due to some defamatory articles in the Maran owned Tamil daily ‘Dhinakaran’. One was the poll where Tamil people were asked to choose the next political heir of Karunanidhi. Most of the votes went to Stalin while Azhagiri and Kanimozhi were left far behind. It resulted in Azhagiri seeking vengeance through the violence in Madurai, where the newspaper office was attacked with 3 employees killed. The other was an article about a zoo-kempt orangutan’s birthday celebrations on the same day when Stalin celebrated his 57th birthday. It might have been a co-incidence if not for the other media (or rivals of that newspaper). It became quite a big issue resulting in the stepping down of Dayanidhi Maran as Union Minister (never mind he is one today). And you know the rest of the story of how the two black sheep  got back  to their beloved heard. Well, it was Jayalalitha’s cup of tea for a while…

Ahem, we’ll get back to what we were speaking. Some people cannot finish a joke, some people cannot stop finishing a joke. And that’s my problem, I can’t stop elaborating each fact I know.
My friend once pointed to a nano car passing by and said to us, “See gals, that’s a nano. Just costs around a lakh”. And this genius here in my shoes couldn’t just stop the urge and began, “Yeah. It’s a nano. Must be the basic thing, looks like it. If you need the additional features like the A.C, you’ve got to pay some 25,000 more. This car was a great launch pad for Tata motors in the international car segment, as it is the cheapest one till date giving other car-makers a run for their money and of course, along with the much touted Jaguar and Jaguar is nothing but….” Get it? I just found myself being stared at by a dozen familiar eyes which all meant, “Won’t you ever stop?”

So I’m here saying this. If you’re absolutely rubbish in thinking analytically or solving things systematically, gaining intelligence through G.K is your call.

Just talk about every stuff they show on the news and you are crowned intelligent or atleast, smart. And well, if you are wondering who’s Sania Mirza’s latest beau, it’s Shoaib Malik former Captain of Pakistan’s cricket team.