Thursday, December 23, 2004

Snowed in in Lexington

Lexington is an isle of safety amidst this severe winter storm raging all around us. Cincinnati up north is snowed in under 2 feet of snow. Louisville is also under snow. All interstates between Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky are closed or almost closed. And two of my friends who came to visit me from Chicago are stuck here (poor souls!)...One of them has a flight to catch on Christmas Day (which I hope he makes). One other thing worth mentioning: Greyhound customer service sucks. I have had a couple of adventures the past two days which I will blog about when I am in the mood for it...Right now,I am signing off...Ciao!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Finals crunch

Well, it is that time of the year again. Finals on Wednesday and Thursday. And I have been on a marathon study of some 4 hours (quite a record by my standards) and I thought I'd take a break and do something else for a change....
Have a long to-do list for this week and next before going to India. Promising to be a very, very hectic schedule for a couple of weeks! But first order of business: finish off finals.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Land of the Cauvery

When I first set foot in Trichy some 5 years back, it was the #1 hated spot on my list. If someone told me then that after spending 4 years there, I'd be blogging about Trichy one day, I would have laughed in their face. But I guess the place grew on me and I actually began to love Srirangam with all its quirks, incoveniences and eccentricities!
Way back in December 1999, we had a good monsoon . Till then, in the 3 months or so that I had been there, I used to travel daily between Srirangam to my college. Everyday, I used to cross the dried up, desert-like horizon of sand that was the Cauvery and I used to wonder what inspired so many people to write verses on the so-called beauty of Cauvery. But after the monsoon, after a week of holidays, I ventured out of Srirangam in the good old TST (Trichy Srirangam Transports) bus. The roads were awfully water logged and I was wondering how in the world I was going to manage to come back home in the evening without becoming a muddy mess. When we crossed the Cauvery bridge, I truly held my breath. The water level was almost near the top of the bridge and the river was truly in spate with the swirling waters dashing against the embankments on either side. The coconut trees on either side of the river were lush green. And the big banyan trees were bent over the river with their branches caught up in the spate. It was truly one of the most amazing sights I had ever seen in my life and I realized then why Ponni was the touted possession of the erstwhile Chola kingdom. A couple of days later, I had to travel towards Ariyamangalam to meet a friend. And the lush green paddy fields after the rain and the cool green orchards enchanted me.
After my first year exams were over, one of my good friends suggested that we both start reading Ponniyin Selvan over the holidays. Back then, I was an ignoramus and I thought Ponni was some girl and the novel was about her son/lover or something. I wasn't too keen but because of a lack of things to do, I started reading it. And the masterpiece by Kalki had me at the first page. The Cauvery, of course, is the lifeline running through the novel. I guess it inspired me to learn more about the history and culture underlying the region and I was much the better for it. Anyways, I went on to read all of Kalki's historic novels.
The thing is that at the end of four years, which I thought would be the most hateful, I ended up being very much attached to Srirangam, the temple, its culture, its distinct flavour. When I had to say goodbye to Srirangam when I was leaving for the US, my heart was truly heavy. When the Rockfort Express crossed the Cauvery and headed out, I saw the temple tower soaring majestically from amongst coconut groves and I had a strange feeling of loss.
I have been in many cities and towns in my life. I am used to moving around and adapting to places. But this was the first place that inspired in me such deep sadness upon leaving. It might not be the hippest town (sometimes, it is dead boring!) and not perhaps the trendiest, but the land between the Cauvery and Kollidam certainly holds a special place in my heart.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Seinfeld Quips

"Our body is high maintenance. There's a lot of shaving, grooming, washing and feeding. Really, if our body were a car, you wouldn't buy it because it is too much maintenance!"

"Men's magazines don't contain a lot of advice because men think I know what I am doing.....just show me somebody naked."

Jerry Seinfeld

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


By the way, watched Manmathan on Sunday against all the better counsel of my brain (I had an unfinished project due Monday). Okay sort of a movie. Hats off to Simbu for a stunning performance. I am not a Simbu fan (in fact, I was virulently against him) but he made me sit up and take notice. But as far the movie went, it is desperately lacking logic. Because of one woman's adultery, a character becomes upset and murders her?! And because of his brother's heartbreak, the hero turns a "cleanser of all adulterous women"?
I am not a female lib person or a chauvinist or anything remotely close to it but why is it that female adultery is somehow more heinous than male adultery????????!!!??? I've never seen a movie where a female character turns to murder because the guy in her life cheated on her.
Anyways, I guess it is stupid to anyway look for logic in Tamil movies. And this movie is compared to Sigappu Rojakkal and Manmatha Leelaigal. I think those movies had far better cause/effect logic than this one. But oh well, it was an okay way to spend time...

Gone in 45 mins

I have an Algorithms class from 3.30 to 4.45 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To be frank, I rarely ever focus fully in this class. I am always in a half-dazed state. Not that I feel sleepy in class or anything. It is just that I cannot bring myself to listen to the lecture. The rambling style of the prof doesn't help matters much. But anyways, the one thing I learnt from this course: I know my attention span precisely to a minute. And it is exactly 45 minutes. Yup, everyday as I sit through this class, I will glance at my watch exactly at 4.15 PM for the first time. After that, it is 10 minute increments of glancing. The initial 45 minutes, I at least try to listen with half an ear. After that, it is all downhill.
Anyways, I just wonder how it is that people sit for hours together listening to lectures or even watch movies. The other day, my friend told me he watched 4 movies back to back. These days, I can't sit through a single tamil movie in one sitting. I start fidgeting after an hour or so. Maybe this is just a reflection on the sad state of movies or MAYBE I am getting old!!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Sound of a ticking clock

I have this little red mechanical clock, you know, the ones that operate on battery. I was using it until some 6 months back. Through the night, I would keep focusing on the interminable tick, tick, tick of the damn clock and I couldn't sleep. In the mornings, when I became half-conscious, the tick, tick would creep into my brain and I couldn't go back to sleep. So finally, I put the clock out of use and in storage. Well, this evening when I got home, a sudden surge of conscience made me think I should put my resources to good use. I rifled through my drawers and decided I would use the clock albeit at a safe distance from my bed. So I plomped it on a chest of drawers safely away from my bed and went to take a nap. Whaddaya know.....the ticking still irritates me..I lay in the bed tossing and turning for an hour focusing on the clock instead of sleeping and when I actually got out of bed, I had a horrible headache.
Well, now I am stuck with a bad headache and a horrendous loathing for the little red clock.