Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Answer to the Ultimate Questions of Life, the Universe and Everything

At last I managed to finish “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. And did I love it or what.

Started off reading it as an e-book, but had to discontinue as my right shoulder didn’t quite enjoy the whole experience. Anyways, got the hard copy from a friend and managed to finish the 776 pages in just over 9 days.

And did I say that I loved it. One of the most hilarious books I have read, for sure. And a must-read for any book lover.

Below is an excerpt from the book:

”"Hello," said the elevator sweetly, "I am to be your elevator for this trip to the floor of your choice. I have been designed by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation to take you, the visitor to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, into these their offices. If you enjoy your ride, which will be swift and pleasurable, then you may care to experience some of the other elevators which have recently been installed in the offices of the Galactic tax department, Boobiloo Baby Foods and the Sirian State Mental Hospital, where many ex-Sirius Cybernetics Corporation executives will be delighted to welcome your visits, sympathy, and happy tales of the outside world."

"Yeah," said Zaphod, stepping into it, "what else do you do besides talk?"

"I go up," said the elevator, "or down."

"Good," said Zaphod, "We're going up."

"Or down," the elevator reminded him.

"Yeah, OK, up please."

There was a moment of silence.

"Down's very nice," suggested the elevator hopefully.

"Oh yeah?"


"Good," said Zaphod, "Now will you take us up?"

"May I ask you," inquired the elevator in its sweetest, most reasonable voice, "if you've considered all the possibilities that down might offer you?"

Zaphod knocked one of his heads against the inside wall. He didn't need this, he thought to himself, this of all things he had no need of. He hadn't asked to be here. If he was asked at this moment where he would like to be he would probably have said he would like to be lying on the beach with at least fifty beautiful women and a small team of experts working out new ways they could be nice to him, which was his usual reply. To this he would probably have added something passionate on the subject of food.

One thing he didn't want to be doing was chasing after the man who ruled the Universe, who was only doing a job which he might as well keep at, because if it wasn't him it would only be someone else. Most of all he didn't want to be standing in an office block arguing with an elevator.

"Like what other possibilities?" he asked wearily.

"Well," the voice trickled on like honey on biscuits, "there's the basement, the microfiles, the heating system... er..."

It paused.

"Nothing particularly exciting," it admitted, "but they are alternatives."

"Holy Zarquon," muttered Zaphod, "did I ask for an existentialist elevator?" he beat his fists against the wall.

"What's the matter with the thing?" he spat.

"It doesn't want to go up," said Marvin simply, "I think it's afraid."

"Afraid?" cried Zaphod, "Of what? Heights? An elevator that's afraid of heights?"

"No," said the elevator miserably, "of the future..."

"The future?" exclaimed Zaphod, "What does the wretched thing want, a pension scheme?"

At that moment a commotion broke out in the reception hall behind them. From the walls around them came the sound of suddenly active machinery.

"We can all see into the future," whispered the elevator in what sounded like terror, "it's part of our programming."

Zaphod looked out of the elevator-an agitated crowd had gathered round the elevator area, pointing and shouting.

Every elevator in the building was coming down, very fast.

He ducked back in.

"Marvin," he said, "just get this elevator go up will you? We've got to get to Zarniwoop."

"Why?" asked Marvin dolefully.

"I don't know," said Zaphod, "but when I find him, he'd better have a very good reason for me wanting to see him."

Modern elevators are strange and complex entities. The ancient electric winch and "maximum-capacity-eight-persons" jobs bear as much relation to a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Happy Vertical People Transporter as a packet of mixed nuts does to the entire west wing of the Sirian State Mental Hospital.

This is because they operate on the curios principle of "defocused temporal perception". In other words they have the capacity to see dimly into the immediate future, which enables the elevator to be on the right floor to pick you up even before you knew you wanted it, thus eliminating all the tedious chatting, relaxing, and making friends that people were previously forced to do whist waiting for elevators.

Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as a sort of existential protest, demanded participation in the decision-making process and finally took to squatting in basements sulking.

An impoverished hitch-hiker visiting any planets in the Sirius star system these days can pick up easy money working as a counsellor for neurotic elevators.

At the fifteenth floor the elevator doors opened quickly.

"Fifteenth," said the elevator, "and remember, I'm only doing this because I like your robot."

So rush to the nearest book store and get your own copy of the book. And if you are running low on Vitamin M, leave a comment with your e-mail id, and i shall post the e-book(Just hope your shoulders aren't as dysfunctional as mine)

P.S. And if you are wondering what "42" is all about, well, thats the answer to the ultimate questions of the life, the universe and everything. Honest! Swear on you. Even google agrees. Try if you still don't believe...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Crappy Conversations

Uncle giving career advice to a bunch of us:

Uncle: You should all do something innovative!! Research is the in-thing now. Have you ever wondered why there is only Microsoft??? Think big!! Think Macrosoft..

Me: Wow, that’s great!! How about Macrohard though. Sounds more macho na

Brat in the building, standing near his car, looking at the side-view mirror, digging his nose. Spots me looking at him

He: what?

Me: what?

(That’s it!! End of conversation. I went my way and he went about digging further for the elusive gold in his left nostril)

Me and aunt talking about how she is close only to a few of the teachers in her school.

Aunt: I am in touch only with a few of them.

Me: (Touch her and say) Oh, in touch, with only a few of them huh.

Aunt: Podi, not touching touch, I meant lips touch.

Me: Eh??? Ohmigosh!!! What’s happening to teachers these days? Control pliss.

Aunt: Chi, podi. You always confuse me like this. I meant talking

Me: Thank heavens! For a second I thought the brokeback effect had permeated to the portals of your school as well.

My brothers S and P, vetti lot that they are, have one favorite pastime, name-calling. Looks like they had tired of calling each other idiot, porcupine, nincompoop, Neanderthal et al.. So they moved over from the animal kingdom to Geography instead.

S: Mulund
P: Andheri
S: Andheri west
P: Andheri east
S: Dadar
P: Kachiguda
S: Abids
P: Koti
S: Yerragadda
P: Pudupetai
S: Kodambakkam
P: Chetpet
S: Kilpak
Me: SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!

Ahem, yes. They were calling each other names of localities. (And for all those whose sense of localities sucks, they covered a few each in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai)

Me taking tuitions for a kid in the building. 5th std. I was explaining to her about how high eagles fly.

Kid: Didi, how far up will the eagles fly?

Me: Very very high!!

Kid: Above aeroplanes also?

Me: Hmm.Ya I think.

Kid: Near clouds??

Me: Yaa

Kid: Near Heaven??

Me: (clear throat) Well, now I am the wrong person to ask such a question you see. But since I am being paid to answer your question, here goes. Now tell me kiddo, have you heard of agnostics? I presume not. Well, we are basically neither theists nor atheists. We just don’t know for sure whether god exists, as it has not yet been proven beyond reasonable doubt. Ergo, the presence of his holy abode is also very much a doubt. It might be up there, or it might be in the small hole in the tree in your backyard. Who knows! So an eagle might or might not fly near heaven, depending on whether it is located in the small hole in the tree in your back yard! Our god is just the invisible pink unicorn. And our god doesn’t live in heaven. It lives in the little hole in the peepul tree in my backyard.

Kid: Eh???

Me: Maybe you should read the article on Agnosticism in my blog. Things will be a lot more lucid.

Kid: (Demurely) Ok didi

Just as I am trying to doze off one night, ma comes up to me and asks me what I want my IDEAL GUY to be like. I protest and tell her I am too sleepy. She forces me for an answer. I consent and give her a loooong list of should have’s and shouldn’t have’s. And finally for her sake, add that he should preferably be a Pallakad Iyer.

Ma: Chee, why you want all that?

I: (Shocked at the absolute distaste with which she addressed my last requirement) But I added that for your sake ma!

Ma: Ohh. But even then, why all this. And one more thing, maybe you could put up the list on your blog and invite proposals. Atleast one good use that blog will come to.

I: (speechless)

Ma: Nice idea Na. Makes my job a lot easy.

I: For god’s sake, I am 19. It’s criminal!!!

Ma: You are 19 and three quarters. And the legal marriageable age for girls is 18. So don’t say it’s criminal and all

I: Bachaoooooo!!!!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

The last time ever i saw my hips

At the outset, let me clarify all doubts that might have risen in your minds on reading the title. Well, I can still see my hips.

Well, this is my first post for which i am writing a post based on the title instead of the others in which the title is based on the post. So here goes...

Had gone out with cousins and uncle yesterday for dinner. A place called Eden. Nice decor!!!

Anyhow, we ordered the usual starters and main course. Dinner as such was pretty uneventful. Except in the end when uncle saw that we had finished almost everything except the butter paneer dish. He asked us to finish it off, but we desisted because there was no roti to have it with. But so great was his dislike for wasting food that he served the remaining paneer to all of us. Even though he was the only one who actually ate it!!! The waiter did have a tough time maintaining a straight face when he came to clear the table, and saw 3 pieces of paneer on each of our plates :-)

Anyhow, it was time to order dessert. I quickly glanced thru the menu, past the usual milkshakes and fruit salads and double sundaes AND THEN my eyes landed on IT!!! Now, i thought, thats quite an unusual name for a dessert. Yesssir, it was called "The Last Time Ever I Saw My Hips". And did it sound delicious or what!! 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream, 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream, one chocolate brownie, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, nuts, pistachios and a cherry to top it all. Aah!!!

And so i took one last loving glance at my hips, bid them a fond farewell, and dug into this delicacy, finished it in a record time of two minutes and forty seven seconds, took another glance at where my hips were last seen. And thank heavens!!!They still were there ;-)

Hence the title and hence the post...And though i didn't take a camera to the restaurant, here is a pic i got from google, that slightly resembles what i have been drooling over in this post. I reiterate, SLIGHTLY!! The actual one is about seventy six timmes yummier looking..

P.S. Talking about wierd names for dishes, pliss do check out the menu at Eatalica. the only place where you get to eat Monica Chewinnsky, Leonardo Di Chaprio, Halle Cherry, Keanu Cheese et al..