Wednesday, November 26, 2003

It's all over the news!

kachhi_kali is breaking up. Well figuratively anyway. After reading Kets' latest post I got to wondering about kachhi_kali. Yes, the fact of the matter is that we are all going to go off in different directions, sooner rather than later. For those of you wondering what the hell I am going on about, it is a group of eight people here at CSU that used to hang out together all the time. And the name of the egroup we use to keep in touch with is called kachhi_kali. For those of you who don't understand hindi, or don't grasp the hidden meaning of the expression, it can best be described by the term 'nubile young maiden'. How we reached upon this name is a long and unnecessary story. Unnecessary in part because I don't want to offend the guy who started the whole kachhi kali business in the first place, on the off chance that he accidentally reads this post. And yes you read right - the 'kacchi kali' in question is actually a he. And blissfully unaware of it too. Trust Sachin to come up with an unmistakably feminine term and use it on a guy with such effect that it becomes a common and inseparable part of the Kali vernacular.

Yes, we refer to ourselves as the Kalis. The fact that none of us are kalis in any sense of the word is of course immaterial. We might not be old and emaciated, but we're certainly well past our sprightly youth. Be that as it may, Kalis we are, and Kalis we shall remain.

The direct offshoot of this strange name (or maybe one of the main reasons for it) is that whenever any of us get together, the topic of conversation invariably centres around sex and its various forms (no pun intended). Now this fact in itself might not seem too strange, but the Kalis have this habit of stripping this veneer of sophistication that we all go strutting about in and bring out the real person inside...which for most people (it would seem) is a person who likes to joke, talk, wink, wink and nod about things that are better left unsaid to begin with. All very funny, in fact so funny it should be a crime. We have a really good time with it. It's not the run-of-the-mill banter guys on the katta engage in - after all there is equal representation of both sexes in our group. It is quite special to Kalidom (specially sickeningly funny too, if I may say so myself). But it does tend to leave any non-Kalis who happen to chance by in rather a disconcerted state of mind. Like what is probably happening to most non-Kali readers of this blog right now, who are all probably wondering what the point of this post is anyway and why this guy doesn't quit writing about his silly mundane group and let us get on with our equally and silly mundane life.

The point is that I am at work right now and there is no work to be done, so I am doing what I normally do to put work off. Only there's no work to be put off. Um...whatever.

But there is a Kali birthday coming up soon so order will be restored shortly.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind...

Another dismal performance by the Indians. Losing to a below strength Aussie side at that. Jale pe namak.
And the 'experts' will have their knives out. Wonder who they'll have for dinner this time, now that Ganguly is missing from the team.
Here I was, all set to make a bold prediction about us winning the test series down under. That was of course assuming that we would win at Eden Gardens. But these confounded Indians never follow a formula when you expect them to. It's so simple - when you just barely scrape through to the final, you are supposed to WIN it; when you sail through, you lose it. That's the formula for the Indian team, and it should just stick to it. Makes it easier for us bold prediction makers.

Bah, Australia. Who needs them anyway.

Monday, November 10, 2003

The Matrix Revolutions

This movie is so pathetic it does not even deserve a review.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

The Grand Canyon Expedition Journal - Day II

A continuation of The Grand Canyon Expedition Journal - Day I

September 5
06:00 a.m.

We are up bright and early. We all glance morosely at the tent we assembled less than 8 hours ago and reluctantly start dismantling it. AN is all set to drive. This is the first time he'll be driving without an instructor. I fervently hope this is not going to be the last day of my life.

10:00 a.m.
We are going on our first tour of the The Mesa Verde National Park. All we know so far is that we are going to see some 'cliff dwellings'. We climb down to the trailhead trying to figure out exactly what that means. We don't have to wait long for our first glimpse of the dwellings. The first view we have is quite stunning. We see houses made out of a white brick built deep into an alcove in the cliff face. Some of the houses are three stories high, entirely built into what seems is a big hole in the cliff. I wonder how these people must have got there to build these things. But then, I wonder about so many things. Everybody immediately pulls out their cameras. We click away merrily, ecstatic that the first photo-op of the trip is so brilliant.
Milind immediately takes a liking to our chirpy tour guide. I immediately take a disliking to her. She keeps asking too many questions. I figure we have paid money to have our questions answered by her, not to have her ask us questions. After half an hour of what seems like a classroom session we finally finish the tour, more enlightened and thouroughly satisfied. Our camping escapades fade into the distant past.
The people who built these dwellings certainly led a harsh life. The average life span for women was 25 years and for men 35 years. The 'women' usually had children around age 12. I guess some things just won't change in this country.

11:00 a.m.
We finish the first tour and drive to the next one. AN does well not to drive over the cliff, but I'll need more convincing. RJ runs to the toilet immediately after we park. I am beginning to think there's something wrong with his plumbing. The ranger for this tour is a real cool dude and we all take an instant liking to him. This tour is definitely more fun than the last one.

04:00 p.m.
We leave Mesa Verde and are finally on our way to The Grand Canyon National Park. I have the misfortune of being in the navigator's seat and experiencing AN's steep learning curve first hand. I am sure he'll make a good driver. Someday. But on his first day he gives me a stomach ulcer and about twenty nervous twitches. I make the mistake of nodding off while going downhill out of Mesa Verde, only to open my eyes to see the car heading straight off into the side barrier. I just about jump out of my seat, but the seat belt chokes me before I can say anything. AN manages to keep the car in control though.

"Maybe you should just go slow for a while", I manage to get out after a few minutes. AN maintains a stoic silence.

But he gets much better as the day progresses. He still can't quite keep the car in one lane for any length of time. He especially has a nasty habbit of running the car over the grooves in the shoulder of the road each time I nod off. I swear to god when that happens it feels as if someone has stuck a pneumatic drill right up your butt. And it is an extremely unpleasent way to wake up a person. So we find out (many times over) that the grooves serve their purpose.

Admittedly AN's driving improves dramatically over the course of the day, but I still don't trust him to drive at night. We stop at a McDonald's in Kayenta for some food and I take over the driving privileges. Everyone seems surprised that there are only Mexicans working in this place. I try to explain that we are in the Navajo Nation and that they are Native Americans, but everyone just ignores me and keeps discussing about the profusion of minorities in Arizona.

08:00 p.m.
We reach GC much earlier than anticipated. Much of this is attributed to my tendency of driving at 100 mph in a 65 mph zone. Milind finds this amusing while AN stays admirably silent about my flagrant flouting of the rules.

RJ wants to find a restroom even before we make it to the camping ground. I park in an almost vacant parking lot some distance from the entrance. It's almost pitch dark. We sense more than see buildings around the parking lot. RJ jumps out of the car and strides in one direction. He stops and stands still for a while, then strides in the other direction. We follow him for lack of anything better to do. After a while he stops again and hides behind some bushes like a lion stalking his prey.


"What, where?" I think he has spotted a zebra.

"I see lights. That has to be a restroom."

And indeed it is. RJ might not know a zebra from a lion, but as God is my witness, he knows a restroom when he sees one.

And so, the weary travellers finally camp down for the night. The tent is up, stomachs are full, limbs are tired. We go to sleep in anticipation of the wonders the morrow is going to bring upon us.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

sometimes life feels just too cold and lonely....
especially on cold and lonely november nights...
wonder why I am listening to sad hindi songs...