Deccan Chronicle Classifieds

Pipe pointed these out to me. They’re hilarious! I never thought you could ever have fun reading the Classifieds but Deccan Chronicle has managed to break the stereotype once more. Let’s see what they advertise:

  1. Male Gorgeous: Male to Male only. Head to Toe complete relaxation body massage, Hygienic North, South India masseurs anytime.
  2. Body Massage: Male to Male (Hotels/Doorstep). Complete Relaxation. Good Looking Guys. High Profile. Only Male Service.
  3. Mohini Friendship Club: Hi profile male/female contact for nice, real friendship (for earning).

There are hundreds more of these Friendship Clubs, each of them offering nice, sober friendships (for earning) and many more massage parlours all offering exclusive male-to-male massage only from hygienic, good looking guys to relieve tension. Ha ha, yeah right.

Some photos I took while in college

I stay in the college residential halls for a couple of hours and have lunch sometimes. Last time I was in Selaiyur Hall, having nothing to do I snapped a couple of shots of college. The camera on the phone is funny and has some funny settings, if you don’t change the default you’ll get pictures that look like the aliens are landing. Yes I just ran a script to resize some of them and then resized and put the rest in last, it shows doesn’t it? :D Design was never my forte.

Anyway, the point is, it’s a pretty nice looking college.

Vaikom Basheer – Perch – Moonshine and Skytoffee

Moonshine and Skytoffee This Sunday, me and the family went for a play by Basheer performed by Perch at the Museum Theatre. Apparently my granddad used to tell my father Basheer’s stuff all the time, so the parents were rather enthusiastic about the whole thing. Pipe and Bikram were there too – gone out of their minds. Anyway, the show was actually pretty damn good, and remarkably low priced for such a nice job. The play itself is really nice, I wonder how much I’ve missed out from not reading Malayalam literature. That’s why it’s useful to know people like Samyuktha who’ll tell you about stuff like this and not reserve tickets when you ask for them :P

It was lots of fun and it had all sorts of memorable characters and the like, and though in the beginning it seemed a bit forced, after a while everyone just slipped into their parts and it went off really well. There were some nice bits where they came to the audience and played around with a few of the front seat people, having a little fun at their expense. Yep, it’s worth watching but unfortunately Sunday was their last show. You can, however, watch next week’s play Sangathi Arinhya: Same group, same time, same place. And yes, don’t worry, it’s in English.

Pongal Holidays

Yay! I’ve got a whole week’s worth of holidays coming up, courtesy of it being Pongal for a few days. That’s one thing I love about India, there are always festivals for you to have holidays on. Of course, one thing I hate about India is the number of festivals involving a noisy bunch of people breaking melons on the roads and then proceeding to slip and crack their skulls on the same mashed melons a couple of days later. Like one of Pipe’s acquaintances said, “Why are they wasting vegetables?”

Anyway, what’s new is I’ll be posting much fewer ads after this last one because I can’t bear the sight of looking at the index page so full of that stuff. So another month and it’ll be clean all over again. It didn’t help that Google’s latest update sent my PageRank back down to 2 so I won’t get that many ads to post either. That’s a good thing, I suppose.

Fancy Vehicles

LexusLately they’ve been a lot of expensive cars going around Madras. The other day I saw a Lexus turning at the Cancer Institute signal, and today I saw a Suzuki Hayabusa today in front of my college. Man that thing looks beautiful!

A long while ago I saw a BMW parked outside the Audits office near DMS, it’s obvious what auditing is going on, eh? Okay okay, it was a really old vehicle. Then there’s Shray’s convertible, damn it, it’s enough to make you cry, looks freaking awesome. Lots of people with very expensive cars around here. Its funny, where’s all the money coming from? Give me some too!

And a UN High Commissioner for Refugees Land Cruiser in Gandhinagar? He must’ve been driving cross-country across the Gandhinagar club grounds or something or there’s no way they would use something as wasteful as that to drive across the cities. It’s the UN! It cares!

Marc’s going to be on TV

Well, on air anyway, he’s going to be on BBC’s Have Your Say program. That’s pretty nice, they’re going to talk about the Tata 1 Lakh car, must’ve found him via his blog post on that particular subject. That’s awesome. Naturally, once you know this you want him to say something that you’ve thought of so you can call him and talk to him. If I wasn’t baked out of my mind, I’d say something extremely witty, but right now I can’t think of anything.

He’s on at 11, don’t miss the Z speak.

Catch-22 at the reservation counter

The Tambaram Railway Station likes to be almost disabled friendly. For a long time they had a ramp for people to wheel up, except the ramp seemed to be blocked for use, there was one of those big traffic control barriers across it. Now the barrier is gone, but the ramp is a sight, the handrail rises at a funny angle so that at the bottom the ramp it’s at the level of your ankle and at the top it’ll be at the height of a standing person.

Another example of their almost-helpful policy is the following sign. How Nice!, one would like to say.

Catch-22

There is a problem, of course, the sign is on the first floor. You can get to the first floor only by using the stairs. This is a classic Catch-22! If you can get to the sign, you aren’t eligible for the ‘priority’ because you aren’t disabled and if you’re disabled you’re eligible but you can’t get any ‘priority’ because you can’t get up there in person. The Railways has quite the penchant for black humour.

What’s wrong with this picture?

This is the Adyar Bus Depot. I took the shot some time ago while I was on my way to Marc’s place.

Adyar Bus Depot

I’ll tell you: It’s the buses. There are beautiful new buses all waiting in the bays, just asking to be run around the city, but instead of the improved comfort, we have to put up with the old buses. It’s like the MTC is trying to get as much of their money’s worth out of the buses as possible. They’re probably losing it all on worse mileage anyway. I don’t understand why they can’t run the newer ones and make us a little happier.

Mathrix at Anna University

So we went to Anna University today for Mathrix ’08 and it was actually pretty nice. I left early in the morning and caught a share auto to the CEG campus where they were going to hold the events. While we were travelling it started raining like mad, and when I got off I had to take refuge along with some other people in a traffic policeman’s shed. The only problem was I had to keep standing. Ah well, better dry and standing than wet and sitting.

So I managed to get inside Anna University and to the venue in time. Yay! First on the list was:

C Debugging:

A while ago, someone mentioned something about this event in Arun’s blog and I found it hard to believe that such crazy stuff would be asked. My mistake, I should’ve heeded the warning. It was crazy man, CRAZY! There was a little timer in the corner and it would keep ticking down the seconds till twenty five minutes had run out. On the screen there was this box with code that usually goes something like this:
Find the output:

#include
int main()
{
int i = 24;
int * Iptr = &i;
[gibberish looking stuff involving TRIPLE POINTERS! Which sane person uses freaking triple pointers?!!]
[some more stuff]
return 0;
}

Triple pointers?! What hater-of-all-things-human uses triple pointers? And then to make it worse they had questions about a pointer to a pointer to a character pointer returned by a function that accepts a pointer to a character pointer. Man, you know what? I don’t know the damn language, I’m going to say that, and I’m never going to be able to program stuff in anything other than python if its all like this. Jesus, imagine writing Hello World. No way, I’m not going near C unless I’m in a Hazmat suit. Needless to say we were near the bottom of the pack, if not last. On the way out this girl organising it asked if it was easy, I said it was ‘Interesting’ – which it was, it gave me insight into my programming skills. Then there was:

The Quiz:

I had to walk through the rain to get to the quiz, and I was drenched by the time I got there. No umbrella you see. Waste of time standing inside traffic booth. Anyway, the quiz itself was pretty nice, not too tough except for the last page that was full of computer science stuff and had some weird questions about definitions. Since there were no negatives we guessed :) It turned out well, I have to go for the finals tomorrow. That’ll be cool, I bet they’ll ask all sorts of engineering stuff and I won’t know anything. Ah well, worth a shot I guess and besides, it meant I didn’t have to go to class today :D

Incidentally, about that traffic policeman, a really sad thing happened. He was sitting there waiting for one of those police vehicles to come by, and when the fancy Hyundai Accent showed up he ran up to it in the rain and tried to talk to the cops inside, but they just said they weren’t going to do anything and sped off all nice and warm inside their car. All he wanted was a raincoat, he was grumbling about how they could’ve just given him the raincoat.

Editorialising

I like my news to be news. For opinions, there are hundreds of blogs – each with no less credibility than some random journalist. I couldn’t care less. Sometimes I just want news, tell me what happened, be dry, be real. Don’t editorialize. I don’t want to hear what you think, you are not important. Honestly. I can form my own opinion, my mind is capable of thought, and I don’t like being told what to think. Really, neutral reporting and interesting reporting aren’t mutually exclusive. If something is exciting, it will be.

Let’s see, I get three newspapers, so I got to see how different they are. Three headlines (and lets leave out any talk about lack of originality), The Hindu reported that Benazir Bhutto had been killed, The New Indian Express and Deccan Chronicle had their headlines telling me that a hope had died. Sloppy, that tells me nothing until I read the article. Matter of fact, the former has more impact. It’s a problem with Indian newspapers, TNIE can’t describe the BJP or the CPI(M) without making it an opinion piece, DC likes celebrities too much and The Hindu has real trouble relaying bad news about the so-called Left parties.

See, I have nothing against editorialising per se, but why mark an editorial as news? You have those center pages, marked Editorial, or those other pages marked Opinion. Put everything there. Call everything an editorial. Let’s have some honesty please. And while you’re about it, those Opinion pieces, try to write some good ones. The only interesting opinion pieces in a newspaper here are a few in The Hindu and the ones taken from the NYT or the Guardian or some other foreign newspaper. TNIE thinks inflammatory articles must be good, by default, so they print utter rubbish with little facts and lots of errors. And most of The Hindu articles have this air of I’m-the-venerable-old-colonel all over them — stuck-up.

Really, I’m beginning to think that those people who read only the comics, they’re the smart ones.