The Human Condition

27 09 2007

Recently Achilles and Odysseus were in the news, for their help in combating post traumatic stress disorder. And that reminded me of an amazing episode of This American Life, from early 2004, simply called Act V.

“Over the course of six months, reporter and This American Life contributor Jack Hitt followed a group of inmates in a high security prison, as they rehearsed and staged a production of the last act — Act V — of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Shakespeare may seem an odd match for a group of hardened criminals, but he found that they understand the bard on a level most of us might not. It’s a play about murder and its consequences, performed by murderers, living out the consequences.”


Pink Slip

26 09 2007

Look what Spacebar has gone and done.

I resisted two whole days. Did not click on that link (or even google Wondermark). You have any idea how much self-discipline this takes? No, of course you don’t. If you did, you wouldn’t be checking your feedreader so many times a day, clicking on the QC link every 15 mins from midnight to when you go to sleep, just hoping to catch the next day’s comic a few hours early. (Not that there is anything wrong with it). Let’s not even get to the more serious addictions.

But the real question is – how do you nurture one more addiction, when you barely manage the ones you have right now? Which one do you let go to make space for the new one? The oldest, the unpromising new one, the finickiest…?

In the interest of full disclosure

19 09 2007

The other occurences of pink in my cubicle. Though I must admit, I do not want to see them go.

seattle.jpg   filmfest.jpg
From a cute little cupcake place in seattle.   From the local film fest folks.


19 09 2007

There was this time in high school, when my then best female friend left for Pune. We wrote about two letters each week – she spoke of love and heartbreak and me of the vague things I did (that clearly did not involve any love or heartbreak). Since she had moved off to this exotic world of air-force trainees and what not, I was left with a bunch of guy friends. And no really female friend.

Which was all fine. Because a) they were (and surprisingly still are) good friends. b) that is the golden age when you don’t know enough of science / math to see why some of your most brilliant ideas will never work and you need motivated buddies to work on these quixotic theories. (for instance, why don’t we inject some cellulose digesting enzymes into humans so we can all eat grass and paper?… Or lets cut up some ants, mash them up, dilute them and figure out how pheromones work…anyway you get the drift). c) It helped with bunking classes and showing up at what used to be called Youth Festivals. and d) It is usually boys who sit around in the last bench playing book-cricket or some such nonsense.

I wonder if all this tomboyish-ness of my formative years explains why so many of my guy friends think talking to me is like talking to a guy. And why I am just too cynical and rude for my woman friends. My only redeeming factor in the eyes of one of my female friends is this – “atleast your sub-conscious mind has some good taste”.

Not so Pretty

14 09 2007

My cubicle looks like I work for Mattel! Why do people think it is Ok to pack insanely expensive complex pieces of computer hardware in PINK! Now that I am done setting everything up, I have a cubicle full of pink packaging material. Even the Anti-static wrap is that unutterable color. What ever happened to bland and boring grey, white and silver?


I walk away shaking my head in digust. To the cafe. And guess what? Our cafeteria served Free Cotton Candy (in pink, obviously) today. Since no self-respecting engineer will ever pass up on something free, everyone has these fluffy concoction in their hands. And I get mine. Well, Even grown men with beards reaching their belts have one in their hands. Tsk.

What in the world is geekdom coming to?


I have nothing against luggage tags, clothes, toys etc., being pink. I mean really. Like mom says, There is a time and place for everything.

You say Beer-Tarang

13 09 2007


I say Beer-a-tharangam.

Angkor Wat?

11 09 2007

You know, there are times when you spend days coming up with the right words and the percise flow of ideas*. You structure your arguments so they make most sense. Cover every possible nuance. Because this person is bound to ask you the question, you have to be prepared.

Except, the question never gets asked.

What do you do with that neatly planned, well rehearsed piece that keeps ringing in your head whenever you are alone? How do you make it go away?

* Please don’t tell me you do this all the time. It is not normal. Seriously.