Wednesday, 29 June 2005

All the quizzes you weren't afraid to take, but no one asked you

If you're fed up of the wimpy which-harry-potter-character-are-you kinda quiz, go see the Quiz Diva. And for the young 'uns and the ones who are reading this in the office, not to worry. They even have a set of Work- and Parent-Safe quizzes.

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Offline

Our namesake had a bad net day
It started out like any other Monday morning. I booted up my laptop, logged on, checked my email and began browsing the world's news websites.

But at 10.48am my electronic routine was shattered - the web traffic inexplicably stopped dead.

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and the marginalien will get back to you shortly.

Our laugh-out-loud (for some reason, we cannot get ourself to go "LOL" even though we abuse the language with all manner of other abbreviations when we SMS or chat) moment for the day: the marginalien has hilarious post up on Words with THREE Meanings.

(Not) Doing it for the country

For a Hindustani like me, this attitude is a little mystifying. In our lands, squeezing, groping and fondling your beloved in a public place, if you survived the riot that would most likely break out, would result in a flogging by the village Panchayat or, at the very least, the payment of a equally painful bribe to the staff of the nearest police station. On the other hand, as any woman who has ever traveled on a Delhi Transport Corporation bus will attest, it is perfectly acceptable for men to play with their penises in public: no one will bat an eyelid.
Intrepid explorer PS, who we featured in our first Mousetrap column, on taking matters into one's own hands.

If you can't go, call.

Pal Devangshu Datta in Business Standard:
Unfortunately, we carry cellphones into all sorts of situations and a corollary to Murphy’s Law guarantees that the cellphone will always ring when the user is in the loo.

As this happens, over time, the preferred ring tone becomes associated with popular brands of toilet paper and soap.

If the ringtone happens to be a religious hymn or patriotic ballad, this isn’t particularly appropriate. It gets worse once the ringtone starts to trigger Pavlovian responses by actually provoking the desire to perform natural functions.
Read on.

Monday, 6 June 2005

"Ji, Meme-Sahib"

That's what we say when star bloggers tag us, even though we hate chain mail.

Also because we're kinda inclined to forgive book-related chain mail.

And also because we're going to stay with the Babu for a few weeks, and the Babu's going to feed us, and we like being fed.

Anyway.

Here's the Book tag meme

(We're just filling these in roughly now, so we can get this hot potato outa our mitts).

Total Number of Books I Own
Um. Lots. A fraction of Nilanjana and DD's stockpile, and we don't have ancestral homes full of books like Annie (the Zig ancestral place did have piles of books, but they were sold for scrap after Granny died. Argh.), but lots.

Last Book I Bought:
Several in one fell swoop. It's the only shopping we do where we go a little mad. We go out to buy just one book, just one, focussed, we-will-not-go-wild-again. And we come out a few hours later with glazed expression and carry bags digging deep into the tender flesh of our artistic hands. Right, where were we? Yes. The Bill Bryson thingy. A trio of Jasper Ffordes. A couple of Pratchetts. Telling Tales. Elsewhere. Stephen King's On Writing for a certain talented young writer we know. And around the same time, a signed copy of pal Anjan Ray's Just Beyond, at his launch. And a few days later, back in Bombay (all the above were picked up in Delhi's Khan Market, except Anjan's book), at the Kalaghoda Fair, three faux-leather-bound classics, Frankenstein, Three Men in a Boat, and Time Machine and The War of the Worlds in one volume. Oh yes - we didn't buy these, but we're slipping all our acquisitions in so we can look all learned like - while in Delhi, Manjula Padmanabhan gave us a fresh-minted, signed copy of her This is Suki!, and Nilanjana gave us a signed copy of her A Matter of Taste. She then borrowed it back for a magazine to shoot the cover, and hasn't returned it, which explains why we're going back to Delhi in the middle of summer.

Last Book I Read:
Short History... accompanies us as we speak. The Archie and Mehitabel Omnibus lies beside our sleeping mat. A volume of world poetry translated into English is dipped into whenever we're feeling particularly nasty about ourselves and when we want to tell ourselves that we should be attempting to write, dammit. Elsewhere, Telling Tales and Just Beyond are also being read bit by bit. And we're going to leave all that behind because we're going to Nilanjana and DD's bookshelves for the next few weeks. Er, we meant to say their home.

Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me:
To Kill a Mockingbird If we ever get be a dad, we want to be like Atticus.
H2G2. All of 'em. Even though DNA broke our heart by showing us that there was such a thing as funny SF&F, and we wouldn't be able to corner the market by inventing a new genre.
Anything by Wodehouse. When we can write one-third as well, we'll be a great writer.
Elements of Style
The Readers' Digest Encyclopaedia, Volume Three Favourite reading since we were first told to "go look it up." We haven't stopped since.
And all the books we're reading at the moment. We're impressionable.

Tag Five People And Ask Them To Do This On Their Blogs:
We weren't going to do this bit, as our form of protest against being tagged, killing this strain of the wild gene meme right here. But then we thought, what the hell. Let's tag all of Caferati's collaborators. And why stop at that? There's almost a thousand members on Caferati's message board. We hereby tag them too.

Hah.

Top that.

.

Summer Sonnet

Like corporate annual reports,
Odes to summer, are, I confess,
Not among my favourite thoughts;
They're things I write under duress.
But having decided I would write one,
I sit, sweating, with pursed lips,
Should I make it funny, a light one?
Glib, nonsensical, even - gasp - flip?

(Alas! I'm using up the quota
Of lines the classic sonnet permits.
I wouldn't mind if it was shorter.
A full fourteen lines can be the pits.
Only two more lines? What a bummer!)
Oh well. Here's my poem: I hate summer.

Written (in a bus, in a bout of self-loathing at not having written anything that wasn't work for ages) for, and read at, Caferati's Bombay Summer read-meet.

Friday, 3 June 2005

Didja know...

...ze faymbus Craig's list now covers Bombay? And Delhi? They have been in Bangalore for a while, if we remember right.