Location: Toronto

Try me.

29 March, 2006


-by Ms. V

Man stabs kid, woman gang raped
Children shooting teachers; Daily such actions aped

Steal, mug, murder; Disrespecting lives
Bullet through a heart, Blood stained knives

Car crashes, drunk drivers
Robbing banks, homes set on fires

Fed everyday with such negativity
Losing all faith in our humanity

People hurting people
Our own kind of people
Other kinds of people
Are we behaving like people?

7 hours on end, doctors operated
Miracle baby born, the world celebrated

Man risks life to save that of stranger
Adopting orphaned kids, keeping them out of danger

Charity houses, education trusts
Relief measures, human rights activists

Sharing, caring, giving; Humanity's not lost
Good Samaritans, helping at their cost

People helping people
Our own kind of people
Other kinds of people
Living like we're people!

26 March, 2006

A true friend is...

... one who makes you a cheat sheet for an exam when you haven't asked for one!!!

Thanks but sorry, Fong. I can't cheat. But I still love you :)

25 March, 2006

If you're human and you know it, READ THIS POST!!!

Okay. So before I get myself into any copyright technicalities here, I want to state that I'm blatantly stealing content off Mr. Scott Adams' blog. I could have put up the link, but most people just get lazy when they see a link. Even though it's just a measly click away, many tend to ignore it. And this post just NEEDS to be read.

So, I'm sorry, Scott. I hope you'll take into consideration the fact that my dad bought 3 copies of "The Dilbert Principle" just so he'd have the extras in case he ever lost one, and you'll let me get away with copy-pasting your work on my blog. Thanking you for your generosity in advance!

Recently there was a tennis tournament in Indian Wells. It's one of the biggest tournaments not counting the four "Grand Slam" events. Because tennis is an individual sport, there are always great stories within the game. This year's biggest story was James Blake's comeback.

If you don't follow the game, let me give you some background. Blake is the son of an African-American dad and an English mom. He was raised in Connecticut and had to wear a back brace for years when he was a kid. He took up tennis, excelled, and went to Harvard for two years before going pro. He looked promising, along with a number of other young Americans, but not top 10 material. He was most noted for his sex appeal and great personality.

I became a fan after watching him play Lleyton Hewitt a few years ago. After some calls that went against Hewitt, the Aussie singled out an African-American linesperson and complained to the chair umpire. Hewitt used a poor choice of words that led observers to think he was complaining of racial favoritism. Hewitt says he didn't mean it that way, but nonetheless it became the story. And the media tried hard to get Blake to bite. They wanted him to complain about racism, maybe get a little mad about it. That's good TV. But Blake didn't take the bait. He politely pointed out that people say things in the heat of the moment, and whatever Hewitt said was Hewitt's problem, not his. It seemed to me the perfect response. Sometimes trivializing is the best strategy.

Blake's ranking bobbed up and down, peaking at 22 in the world. He shaved his dreadlocks and gave up his sex symbol image along with millions in potential endorsements. (I'm guessing his hair was prematurely thinning.) Then in 2004 he had the year from Hell. He ran into a tennis net post and broke his neck. Then he got a shingles virus in his face that paralyzed it on one side. Then his dad died.

There was some doubt that Blake would ever play tennis again. He watched the major tournaments from his couch and wondered about his future. In time, his body recovered, and he felt that he had been given a second chance. He grabbed it by the neck.

I don't know what kind of training he did, but oh-my-god. I watched him play in person during the first week of the Indian Wells tournament and thought it couldn't be the same guy. There was ferocity to his strokes. He wasn't just hitting the ball, he was punishing it. His court speed was breathtaking. His shot selection was brilliant. His backhand, previously a weakness, had become a rocket.

You only needed to listen to the court sounds to know that Blake was heading deep into the tournament. When a tennis racket strikes a ball perfectly, it creates a sound wave that spectators can feel in their entire bodies. If you play tennis yourself, you can practically close your eyes and know who is winning.

Blake blasted through the field of world-class tennis players and found himself in an unlikely semi-final with a Spanish force of nature named Rafael Nadal. Nadal is the #2 player in the world. He hits with brutal topspin. It's a relentless attack that less than a handful of elite players have been able to withstand in the past year.

Nadal brought his best, but Blake blew past with a combination of game and gamesmanship that surprised almost everyone, not the least Nadal himself.

Now it was time for the championship match against Roger Federer, the best player in the world. Correction - make that the best tennis player who has ever lived. That's not just my opinion. He already has seven Grand Slam wins. If he stays healthy, many people expect him to hold every important record in tennis.

Against all odds, Blake blazed to a 4-1 first set advantage against the all-time greatest player on earth. It seemed as though nothing could stop him.

And then something happened. The momentum shifted. The rest of the match was all Federer. Blake seemed to fade away, settling for runner-up, but his effort that week was enough to put him in the top ten in the world.

At the trophy ceremony, Blake spoke to the crowd. He said that in 2004, when he was in the hospital with a broken neck, only one tennis player sent him a note to wish him well. It was Roger Federer.

I wanted Blake to win that match, yet somehow, by losing he found perfection.

Of all the things one can try to be prepared for, I did NOT expect to be brought to tears by Mr. Scott Adams.

24 March, 2006

Why haven't I heard from you?

Break ups are hard. They're hard even if two people have mutually agreed to part. Break ups are harder, however, when one person behaves like he's fallen off the face of the planet.

1 day has passed: Why hasn't he called? Is he mad at me?

1 week has passed: Why hasn't he called? Is he okay?

1 month has passed: Why hasn't he called???? Is he even bloody alive?

By now you realize the jerk he is. But here's a way to have the last word in. Send him the lyrics to this kick-ass song by Reba McEntire.

Back in 1876 an ol' boy named Bell
Invented a contraption that we know so well
By the 1950's they were in everybody's home
As a crazy little thing they call the telephone
Now there's one on every corner, in the back of every bar
You can get one in your briefcase, on a plane or in your car

So tell me why, haven't I heard from you
Tell me why, haven't I heard from you
I say now: Darlin', honey, what is your excuse
Why haven't I heard from you

Well there's no problem gettin' to me
Baby you can dial direct
I got call forwarding and call waiting
You can even call collect
The service man he told me that my phone is working fine
And I've come to the conclusion trouble isn't with my line
I'm sure the operator will be glad to put you thru
So dial zero for assistance if this all confuses you

So tell me why, haven't I heard from you
Tell me why, haven't I heard from you
I say now: Darlin', honey, what is your excuse
Why haven't I heard from you

There better been a flood, a landslide of mud
A fire that burns up the wires
And a thunder so loud with a black funnel cloud
A natural disaster I know nothin' about

So tell me why, haven't I heard from you
Tell me why, haven't I heard from you
I say now: Darlin', honey, what is your excuse
Why haven't I heard from you

Go country!!!

21 March, 2006


Have you ever stopped to think that if viruses had a smell to them, what a common cold virus would smell like? No? Well, neither have I. However, a couple of days ago, while I was waiting for my bus at the bus-stop, I smelt a smell I hadn't smelt before. And the only thing that went through my head at that moment was that if viruses had a smell to them, that's what a cold virus would smell like.

18 March, 2006


In the movies, it probably makes more sense to show flashbacks in black and white, and the present time in colour. In the movie of my life however, the flashbacks are in colour, and the present is in black and white.

[Standing (L to R): Mom, Dad's elder brother's wife, Dad's elder brother, Dad's sister
Sitting (L to R): Dad, Uncle, Grandmother, Grandfather
On laps (L to R): Sister, Cousin, Me]

It's been half a year since my dad died, and a year and half since his younger brother died. It hasn't sunk in yet. I don't think it will. And I don't think I want it to.

I dreamt about the both of them just two nights ago. We were all watching an Amitabh Bachchan interview on TV. It was a wonderful dream.

I wonder what will be the irony that takes my life. My dad's a road-safety freak. He wears the seatbelt even if we're traveling at 10 kmph. He never crosses the speed limit. His motto about getting to any destination is "better late than never". So, it is ironic that he died in a car crash, a horrific one at that, where the driver remains unscathed, but my dad is killed on the spot. Interesting how that works out. My uncle's a health freak. He's a fit man for his age. He works out at the gym on a regular basis. So, it is definitely ironic that he died in the jacuzzi which he had stepped into just after one of his workout sessions. I think a really ironic way to die is in a case of mistaken identity. I wonder if there is anyone who looks like me who's been getting into major trouble.

I've never believed in god nor did I believe in any sort of higher power. But then, I look at the past 4 years of my life wherein I've lost 5 people dear to me. That's a lot of deaths to deal with for someone my age. And then, I think of my young cousin brothers who are now fatherless, one who still doesn't understand why daddy hasn't come home in so long. I think of my mom and my aunt who have lost their husbands, still have children to look after and have half their lives to live alone. I think of my sister who doesn't have a dad anymore. I think of my 97 year old granddad and my 89 year old grandmother who have lived that long only to lose two sons in the span of one year. How could both of them die on the same exact date, one year apart? The cruelty of it all makes me realize that it wasn't a mere coincidence. There definitely is a higher power. The devil exists.

In the case of untimely deaths, most people sympathize with the fact that the deceased died too early. I think it's worse for those who are left behind to deal with it; to deal with the guilt of being able to live and go on about your daily lives when someone dear to you is no more. To me, my life doesn't feel like a gift anymore; just a guilty burden I carry that I'm alive today while my dad and uncle are dead.

They were both great fans of Kishore Kumar. I think that comes from being brought up in Bombay. And also having great taste in music. My dad was my very own Kishore Kumar. Every KK song that I've ever heard, I've first heard my dad's rendition of it. He sings beautifully, by the way. Dare I say better than Kishore da! Here's a song that has been playing in my head, on and off, ever since that night, in my dad's voice, of course.

Jeevan ke safar mein raahi

(In the journey of life)

Milte hain bichchad jaane ko

(Travellers meet, only to part)

Aur de jaate hain yaaden

(And leave behind memories)

Tanhayee mein tadapaane ko

(To torture us in our loneliness)

So true.

15 March, 2006

New Release!

I don't really mind change, especially when there is a lot of it. But could I have it in bills please?

Okay fine. I'll stick to not trying to be funny. But I was dying for a new look for a long time, and then it happened. The html bug bit me. Plus, I think the 100-post mark was great timing too!

Now, I'm very very excited about how this page turned out. VERY. A couple of days ago, I couldn't tell HTML from SPCA. (I'm not much of an acronym person.) In fact, I'd asked someone else to create a new template for me. But then he left to go home for Holi. And I couldn't wait 10 days for him to be back. So, I decided that I had to take things into my own hands.

First things first. This page looks FABULOUS. If it doesn't, then:

  1. You're using the wrong browser, OS, screen, computer etc.
  2. You don't have certain plug-ins, fonts etc. required to view this page in all its splendour.
  3. You have really bad taste.

If after 5 days, this page still doesn't look fabulous, it obviously means you don't have enough geeks in your life. Or you still have bad taste. So, too bad for you.

For those of you who are poorly equipped (technologically, of course), here's what it should look like.

[This page looks its best in FireFox 1.5, which is what I use. It looks okay in Internet Explorer 5.0 too. It's easier to read in IE actually because the text is more spaced out. There's a horizontal page scroll bar which can be happily ignored. The 'Now Playing' doesn't blink in IE.]

Now, I'd like to go over the features of this blog.

  1. As you can see, it's very black, white and grey, and I love it! I hope you've been able to catch that there's a theme to this page.
  2. Okay, so, I love the font of the title. It's called Broadway, weirdly!
  3. The popcorn picture and the moving reel rock! So do the tickets. Aren't they cute?
  4. I've used to maintain your links and they have a logo with colours that match my blog. And when someone updates, the name is appended with 'a popcorn'. So freaking cool, eh! (Is the singular for it also popcorn???) Oooh, and hover over the names for cool descriptions.
  5. The 3,2,1 animation you see has been created by me. Woohoo! Okay, just go along with me here. I've NEVER done such stuff before. I can't even use MS Office applications to the best of their potential. I downloaded so many new programs (Adobe Photoshop, Ulead Animator) to help me dazzle this page. And I feel pretty darn proud about every fucking pixel on this page. Gosh, I've never used the word 'pixel' in conversation before!!!
  6. I found the perfect tag board to fit with the colour scheme of the page. It's got some pretty cool smilies too.
  7. I love the idea of using a filmstrip for the writing area. I give full credit to Shvetank who came up with it. In fact, that was what sparked the whole filmy look! At first, I was going to have the full strip with those thingies (whatever they're called) on both sides. But it looks better this way.
  8. If you observe the clipboard carefully, you'll notice how I smartly got the hit counter to coincide with the 'take box' of the picture. I'm a genius, right?
  9. This blog is copyrighted. Not that anyone's going to bother copying anything off it. But it makes me feel important.
  10. I didn't want to remove the Blogger icon from the page. (I did remove the NavBar from the top. Yay!) It's convenient actually. So I 'black-and-whited' it. I noticed it read "I power Blogger". Then, by sheer chance, I came upon this really cute bunny animation. So, my genius brain put the 2 together and now, it looks like the bunny's saying that it powers Blogger with its cool dance moves. Fine. It cracks me up, at least.
  11. The only things that are out-of-theme are the clock and the 'countdowner'. (The colours suit though.) But I'm as excited about the World Cup as I am about having created this page. It's been a long, long time since I watched some good soccer, and it's about time!!!

Okay, so that's all, I guess. I don't think I missed anything. All you computer scientists out there, please don't burst my bubble. I know this page is far from perfect, but to a 'computer illiterate' like me, it's the best! If you've got any ideas, put them forth. I most probably won't give a damn, but you just might get lucky. (Okay, to be honest, I do want opinions on two issues. (1) Is the font okay? Or is it hard to read? (2) Do you guys like the haloscan commenting system, or should I revert back to Blogger's comment page itself. Let me know.) There are a couple of more things I want to add to the page but I couldn't wait any longer to show off my creation. And I do know that this page can do with some fine-tuning here and there. But hey, I'm not an expert. To me, this IS rocket science. (And not like how rocket science is to a rocket scientist.) If anyone has any questions to ask me about creating a template, I honestly have nothing to share with you. This was one of those things that I just could not have done on my own. For that, I'd like to thank the beauty that is the Internet, the beauty that is Google, Shaw Cable for the awesome internet service they provide me, all the wonderful people who take the trouble to put up "How to html" websites, and last but not the least, Blogger whose standard templates are 'tweakable'. I'd also like to thank all my fans who have spent precious minutes of their lives reading my blog. Thank you, one and all. Good night and good luck!

(No, this is not a post-Oscar blog theme. But speaking of the Oscars, and Crash winning over Brokeback Mountain, I think this one line by some newspaper-article-writer-whose-name-I-did-not-write-down sums it up perfectly - "I guess this year's Oscars only goes to show that the Americans obviously feel more guilty towards the Blacks than towards gays.")

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