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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A celebration of Life - My Father!

He was not the best dad in the whole world, not even close
Although not the worst by any standard, I've seen worse

You see, I did not have a choice but to I love him as he was my ONLY dad
He did love me back although I was NOT his only kid

He was always curious to know how much money I made
I never told him for the fear of spreading the word

Although it was peanuts here, but when you convert it to rupees - it was millions
As soon as I told him, the whole neighbourhood knew and that costed me big bucks

"He had a unique way of boasting about you" - my brother rants
I blame my dad for ruining our brotherhood with his pompous contrasts

He was so proud of me for being a success in everything I did
I guess, he lived his life through the ambitions I fulfilled

"My son lives in America" - he used to proudly say
Made me feel like I went to Mars just by moving to USA

It was his dream to explore the world and see things far far away
Never really happened, but boy did he try?

Almost married a Finnish lady he met on penpals
Quite a ladies man I remember my mom kicking a fuss

I wish I had his charm or whatever it was that attracted ladies
Unfortunately, I only inherited his curly hair and nothing else

He did not have the best sense of humour
But Man, did he did like to laugh!

I still remember painting pictures just to impress him and win a reward
He'd appreciate it even if it was the same green parrot every time I doodled.

I feared his Big Leather belt every time I fought with someone
But when I was in trouble, he was my own private 911

He was always too honest and never lied
He helped people in need when he was full and satisfied

He hated my guts when I disobeyed him and did things my way
He drove me nuts with his save up and donate policy

He was never too greedy except when it comes to food
"Food was his first love" my mom repeatedly complained

Never heard him complain much, he was always a happy camper
"God, just give me enough" - that was his only prayer

He loved me even when I hated him
I could never completely understand him

He listened when I talked about all sorts of things
He wanted to talk to me but I was too busy with my friends

He had a cynical laugh that would piss off mom
But that was his revenge for cooking the crap that she fed him

He was paralyzed for thirteen long years and never could run again
But even then, I dont think he ever felt sorry for his condition

His name was Daiva Prasad translates to God's Gift
He lived a peaceful life, departed happy and content

I owe my every breath to him and He is the reason I am here
He gave me life, He's my Father!

Dear Dad, wherever you are, near or far
You will always be remembered for the man you were.

Rest in Peace!
Love you Dad!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Being John- Early Morning

Since you know why my name is John (i.e. after reading the world's longest article on the shortest name here), I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to the real me and show you what it means to be John.

Let us start with the daily routine, what does John do from the moment he wakes till the moment he goes bed, Shall we?

Daily Routine : Wake up (6:30AM to 8:00AM)

Contrary to popular belief, My waking up is not an event, it's a process similar to a Satellite Launch. It has T-3 stages and each stage is separated from the other by an alarm. I have three alarms on my iPhone at 6:30, at 7:30 and at 8:00 on weekdays.

You might ask me why three alarms? Well, they are not just redundant alarms but each alarm has a purpose as you will learn. When the 6:30 alarm rings and starts the Stage 1, it does a deserving job of destroying my idiotic dreams and reminds me that it is a weekday (i.e. I actually have to drag my ass to work). As soon as it rings, I struggle to find my phone and turn in off and in that struggle I transfer myself into a lucid dreamy state. Translation : I pause the dream for a sec to turn off the alarm and resume it where I left off but this time I control them - if there is something I do not like about them, I start to change it now. For e.g. If there is Brunette, I change her to Blonde. You get the idea right? ;) I am such a control freak that I try to control even my dreams. If it was up to me, I'd like to control my Manager Lori's dreams too.

Why Lori?
Ans: Two Reasons
1. She's my boss and Thou shalt suck up to Thy Boss (First commandment of every employee).
2. She asked me to blog about her the other day so here's a blog about you Lori. Happy now? Where's my BIG BONUS? I need it RIGHT NOW! (BTW, she reads my blog so this is totally gonna work or I'll be out of work - only time can tell!)

This joy ride goes on while I prepare myself for the next stage of this journey when the alarm at 7:30 AM. And when the 7:30 one rings, I struggle to end my dream and hit the Cancel button. At this point I am almost 40% awake.

Quick question : What does a Geek do as soon as he wakes up?
Answer : He checks his mail and Facebook (i.e. if he has a virtual social life)

Since I am a Super Geek, I check my mail even before I am awake enough to realize that I have drooled so much that my pillow is soaking wet. (I am only kidding, am I?)

Anyways, I pull up the mail client on my iPhone 4. I specifically mentioned iPhone 4 coz I am so damn proud of purchasing this piece of shit after standing in a really long queue for 8 long hours on a work day. People keep telling me to return it if I hate it so much but I fail to understand why. Sure, I hate it. Sure, it drops calls, Sure, it crashes apps. Sure, it has connectivity problems. But its from APPLE and I love APPLE. This one reason beats all those arguments - doesn't it?

Thanks to Nagesh Puli for sharing this video that explains perfectly how I feel about iPhone. FYI, If you haven't figured it out - I am the retard in the video. :)

Ok getting back to the story, I check my mail with eyes half shut ( when I say mail, I mean all my 6 mail accounts and all the folders in each of them including SPAM/JUNK/BULK).

There's an alias (i.e. a backup account) for each mail provider as you can see. If you are wondering why this madness, let me put your mind at rest. I am the type of guy who buys two tickets even when I am travelling alone coz I am afraid I will lose one. Imagine what a mess I would be if I was on a roundtrip coz it will be four tickets even when I am the only traveller. :)

Anyways, if there is an important email, I read it again after reading everything else. If something requires my input - then I reply but only after saving it a million times while I draft it. To give you an idea on the kind of serious mail I receive, let me name a few of my frequent email associates, the list includes big names in every industry - Macys, Amazon, ebay, GAP, Levis, Dockers, Java Ranch, Citibank and Bank of America with all the offers in the world. I am a proud recipient of all the spam that they ever sent out. (Yes, I do know that they provide a 'Unsubscribe' link in each of those emails but who has the time to click it right? Besides, if I stop this spam - I might have to wait for days to get real emails from real people. I dont know if I have that kind of patience and I might give in and start spamming all my 1000+ gmail contacts asking for emails)

Here's are some emails that I receive almost every day:
Exhibit #1:

I would have totally missed out on Champion Underwear if it wasn't for this spam from Macys. Thank God!

Exhibit #2:

Did you read that? 10% off on Kids and Baby styles - Oh My God! I gotta rush to the store RIGHT NOW! Wait, I don't have any kids! (Maybe I did in that dream a minute ago but that does not count, does it?)

Exhibit #3:

The funny part about the above email from Citibank is that I keep getting these emails asking to sign up for an account that I already hold with them for the past 2 years. Failing to understand the logic behind it, I think I have signed up for all their different types of accounts NRO/NRE/Savings/Current etc but nothing seems to stop these welcome emails. :)

Once I am done with knowing what kind of offers we have in Macys, GAP and Dockers - it's time to move on to know what my friends are up to. So, I log in to facebook - and here are some intriguing updates that I get from my network.

You can see how useful it is to know what my friend Prasad Kolapalli thinks of his profile picture or about the opposite sex. I have a million more similar updates to skim through before I can see any real news on my Facebook network. Even that amount of spam cannot stop me from doing this daily. I do this every day from 7:30 AM to 8:00AM until the alarm rings again.

This is the Final Alarm and I must getup now. I have to get ready for work. As you can see, my waking up process is similar to a Satellite Launch - it has T-3 stages and each stage plays a significant role and is required for the next stage to be successful.

to be continued.....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Movies, Books, Me and the Original Sin

Blogger's Golden Rule : "All posts need not be funny and all funny things need not be blogged".

Disclaimer : I know you are here to have some fun and get a few occasional laughs. But I'm afraid I am serious at times and this is one of those rare occasions.

Movies and People

A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a story conveyed with moving images.

Movie is not just an art of story telling. There's more to movies than just song and dance. It gives people ideas, emotions, entertainment and inspiration. Most importantly, it sets you free. Free from those work tensions, free from your wife/husband, free from the parents, free from the problems of life, free from anything that is bothering you. For those 2 or 3 hours that you are there -you are transported to a whole new world where anything is possible - you can fly, you can walk in space, you can be the top secret agent licensed to kill, you can be Prince Charming or you can be Cinderella.

Now matter who you are in real life, for the length of that movie - you are unstoppable. You cry, you laugh, you think, you dream, you sing, you dance, you fight and you love. You experience so much in such a short time. It's amazing what you can feel by just sitting in a theatre and letting your senses go wild.

Movies Vs Books

Now, this is an interesting discussion. To judge the contest between Movies and Books - we need to first understand how they communicate with us. As crazy as this sounds - it is true they do communicate. After all they are both nothing but a medium of communication.

How does this communication happen?
Books communicate through language (i.e. text) while Movies communicate through audio-visuals ( i.e.motion picture). You experience this communication in your own way.

What constitutes this Experience?
If you take a sentence of any language - it generally has three parts i.e. Subject, Object and Verb/Action. Similarly, if you take an experience - it can probably be broken down into three similar parts stimulus (Subject), Senses (Object) and Perception/Imagination (Action). I'm not throwing fancy terms here but just trying to understand (along with you) what really happens when we read a book or watch a movie.

To understand the experience, we need to understand the constituents first :

Stimulus is a detectable change in the internal or external environment.

Senses are the physiological capacities within organisms that provide inputs for perception.

Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information.

Imagination is the ability of forming mental images, sensations and concepts, in a moment when they are not perceived through sight, hearing or other senses.

To summarize you experience a book/movie based on the stimulus that it provides to your senses which causes you to perceive/imagine something.

For me, Books are one dimensional in the sense that there is only text while movies on the other hand are multi-dimensional with audio, video etc. And the new age 3D movies make the experience almost a complete feast of senses. Movies work with more senses than just plain text in the books. For e.g. If you see a child walking - you not only see the child but the environment surrounding the child, the way that the child is walking, whether the child is happy/sad, the time of the day and the bells ringing in the background etc. There's a lot of detail that is captured in the movie that is not possible to capture in text.

But if you take your imagination into account. Books guide your imagination and do not block it. For e.g. If I write the following sentence -
"The child is walking alone on a bridge"
For you - the bridge could be a wooden bridge on a river, for someone else it could be Golden Gate bridge, for someone else it could be a very small rope bridge across a stream.
The child could be Black or White or Chinese or Indian depending on who's reading it.
The child could be male or female
The child might be happy or sad or limping or jumping while walking.

So, the same book might create a whole different perspective for each reader. They do not share the same visuals or sounds that their mind creates based on their individual preferences.

Movies block Imagination with the visuals and audio. You are surrounded with sound and bombarded with visuals. For e.g. If you see a child walking alone on a bridge - You only see that bridge and that child and walking with that expression and you will only hear that background score. There is not much room for imagination. The choices are already made by the film maker. You just witness the creation.

Movies are more stimuli and hence the experience is more perceived than imagined. Books have fewer stimuli and hence more imagined than perceived. Now, it's an individual preference which one is better.

As a lazy bugger, I prefer movies to books anytime because
1. Movies are over in 2-3 hours and you can get back to your life knowing that the story ended unlike books which I never seem to be able to finish even after years and I am still curious to know what happens in that novel I started reading when I was 18.
2. Movies do not require a dictionary for you to understand what the heck is going on as you can clearly see when two people are fighting as opposed to reading any of the following words that can describe a fight - "battle, combat, duel, struggle, tilt, war, wrestle, fight altercation, bicker, clash, contention, controversy, debate, difficulty, disagreement, dispute, polemic, quarrel, run-in, spat, squabble, tiff, word, wrangle, contend, dispute, quarrel, quibble, spat, squabble, tiff, wrangle, bellicosity, belligerence, belligerency, combativeness, contentiousness, pugnaciousness, pugnacity, truculence, truculency, fistfight, fisticuffs, scrap, scuffle, tussle" and a million others.
3. You can watch movies with your friends. Well, you can argue that you can read books with friends at book clubs or whatever but who does that really? Have you ever read a book cover-to-cover with any of your friends? If you did, may god help you and your friend.
4. If it was such a good book, then it must have been made into a movie by now right? And I can get that great story in just 2-3 hours as opposed days/years. Speaking of which, I cannot wait for this movie Atlast Shrugged as my Russian friend handed me the printed version of it that has 1170 pages and the first thought that came to me was - maybe there is a movie already? let me imdb it. (Trivia: How many dates end with her handing you a HUGE book on capitalistic ideology? You must be thinking none but think again - I am still here! )

Movies and India

Indian Cinema is one of the largest centres of film production in the world. Movies are the ONLY form of entertainment in India after Cricket (or is it before Cricket?). It not just a livelihood for a few but it decides how, many people lead their lives. Let me tell you an example of how much Indians love movies. While shooting the movie Gandhi (1982), 300,000 extras appeared in the funeral sequence. About 200,000 were volunteers and 94,560 were paid a small fee (under contract). The sequence was filmed on 31st Jan 1981, the 33rd anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's funeral. 11 crews shot over 20,000 feet of film, which was pared down to 125 seconds in the final release. We loved Gandhi and we love movies, so when they were making a film about Gandhi - everyone in that locality showed up.

As a Kid growing up in India, you either play cricket or watch movies for entertainment. There is not much to do otherwise. If Sharukh Khan (Brad Pitt of Indian movies) or Sachin Tendulkar (the best cricketer ever) ran for government, I am pretty sure, they will win unanimously. There is no national religion of India but if there has to be one then it would be Movies and Cricket combined. Ok, if you are wondering if there is a point to all this... there is.

Movies, Me and Christianity

John till age 15, sucked pretty bad at cricket as all my friends were dicks and they would never let me play. They would just let me play coz they needed someone to field the ball ( but now, I rock at it ofcourse - not that I have better friends now { I still am friends with the same bunch of idiots, some people never learn} but I just got better by practicing). So the only other thing left to do was to watch movies. However, my family is pretty Christian, actually as christian as it gets ( Note. Indian Christianity is completely different from Western Christianity, just so you know). As Indian Christians, we are banned from watching Movies - Movies are bad, movies teach you nonsense, Movies are the devil and whatnot. Needless to say, my parents did not take me to any movies whatsoever. That's not true actually - my Dad took us to a couple of movies in my lifetime - If I remember it correctly, he took us to watch the following movies: (He was a huge hollywood fan too)

1. Jaws
2. The Spy who Loved Me
3. Thuderball (I think we saw it, but I am not sure)
4. Jurassic Park
5. Batman and Robin

So, correcting my earlier statement - According to Indian Christianity - It's ok to watch movies under parent supervision and on television but not with your friends -OMG, that is such a sin! You could go straight to hell for that - ( I never get this statement - "straight to hell" - like there is a stop in between where you party and then go to hell - what's with that? really? )

Movies and Me - The Original Sin

This is the sin that lured me the most as a kid and there were plenty of sins to choose from like not showering after school, eating without washing hands etc. I call it the original sin as this caused the fall of me - i.e. fall into the dark side (movies). Also this was the most perfectly planned sin of my childhood although it ended up being a disaster. I had to wait till I was 12 to have the balls to lie to my parents and go watch a movie. It was not that kind of movie (you pervert -we were kids) but a bilingual blockbuster hit in Telugu and Tamil called Prema Desam. I came up with a master plan to commit my first real sin. Here's the plan :

1. Get my brother involved coz then the punishment would be less if we get caught. Somehow, parents think the elder is to blame even when I do all the shit. Also, I love my brother. He was my hero. ( He was also my Wikipedia. JetLi can walk on water, Jackie Chan can climb Mount Everest - guess why? coz my brother said so. And I completely believed him. There's no other answer to any question after my brother enlightens me with an answer. PERIOD!)
2. Steal money from dad's secret locker - I never stole anything from others but just from my own house. The way I looked at it is, it's the family's money and I am family so its my money - isn't it? ( Once I took the last 100 rupee note in the locker and my mom asked me if I found any money lying around coz we really need it and that made me realize what I did and then I never stole again. She could have beaten the shit out of me and took it but she did not and hence the change in me.)
3. Come up with a story for being late from school - that was easy - Tutoring! In my school time, I've had more tutorials than actual classes in school but my grades DID NOT get any better though. (FYI, I was in the top 3 always so it was not such a big deal)
4. Catch a train back home from the movie theatre as we live right behind a railway station and the movie theatre is just a minute away from the next train station - Who buys a ticket for a train really? It's government property - In democracy, government is a servant of people and I am one of the people so the train is actually ours i.e. mine to ride for free whenever I want and to wherever I want.

It was a difficult job to get my brother into the whole grand scheme of things. He is not that big fan of Telugu movies - he likes action flicks and hollywood stuff. Convincing him to watch a Telugu romantic movie was the hardest part. After that was accomplished, everything else fell into place. We lied and we went to the movie - had so much fun eating a Re.1 popcorn packet - it actually lasted for a whole 2 seconds and the samosas we bought were gone before we started eating it. My brother still thinks I ate it all - and he's right. I am such a pig sometimes. Well, if you had one of those - you will be too.

The movie was really good, it was about friendship and love triangle basically Pearl Harbour without the war and without someone disappearing for a while and without all the cool graphics and without the love scenes. It was a classic. Like all movies, even this movie although a classic came to an end and then reality sank in. We had to go home.

We were singing the songs from the movie while walking back to the train station little did we know that this night was not over yet. As always, my fate interrupted and the train was delayed by an hour and half. Now, we were going to be in deep shit. Our parents were surely waiting for us to get back home and we were in soo much trouble. FYI, when Indian parents are mad - the kids have scars. Not that they are necessarily evil but those scars are reminders for us kids of the bad things that we have done. I am now such a good person coz my parents used to beat the shit out of me when I tried to even think of doing anything evil. Even today, I think of my mom before doing something crazy. Don't worry it's a good thing. Trust me!

Anyways, getting back to the story - we reached home at 11:30 in the night. We were stupid enough to think that we could just sneak in and wake up next morning as if nothing happened. But as soon as we snuck in, all the lights in the house came on. My mom was standing right in front of us. I still remember her face very vividly. She had this expression that I have never seen before and I normally manage to squeeze out a lot of expressions out of her. I knew I was in shit deep up to my neck - heck even my brother's neck (he was taller than me at the time but now I have out grown him ) for that matter.

I was ready to get crucified and say my last prayers when I saw my Mom bring out my Dad's BIG leather belt. That was the ultimate weapon. Anyone who sees that belt must have done something really, really bad. I was pretty sure I deserved it and that my funeral will have my own meat curry. I once saw my Dad hit someone with that belt, I do not remember who but I remember that he cried for days. So, THE BELT was gonna be used on us anytime now and there was no escape. My Mom was standing at the only exit to that room and she had a weird look. I knew it was the judgement night and my first sin ever awakened the evil in my Mom. I closed my eyes and prayed that it ends with the least amount of pain and scars.

One minute passed and nothing happened. Two minutes passed and nothing happened. I opened my eyes looking to to see God or the Devil as I was pretty sure I was dead and was actually happy that I did not suffer at all. But to my surprise, it was my Mom. She was handing us the belt and she said "Go on, take it and hit me!" I could not believe my eyes and ears. How was this possible? I mean HOW? A minute ago, I was pretty sure she was gonna kill me and now this? What is going on? This must be a trap. What do I do?

Amidst all this confusion, she spoke again. She said "It was my fault to raise you like this. It was wrong of me to trust you and give you the freedom. How stupid was I to think that my sons would never lie to me? blabalababla ..... more blalablalba ..... even more blabalalbbla...

My ears shut down at that point and I was brain dead already. If you think I am a dramatic, you should meet my mom. If I am a soap then she's the opera. And a grand one that lasts forever. Needless to say, there were dialogues, punchlines, tears and a lot of promises that we made. Fortunately, there were no scars from that night. No physical scars at least.

Movies and Me - The Original Sin (Aftermath)

From that day on, I wish I can say I never lied to my mom but who am I kidding? I did lie even after that, I did go to movies even after that, I did sneak in even after that but I just made sure my mom would not catch me again. May be she knew but she did not bother. Well, that was my first sin folks. My first movie without permission. And since then I have become a huge movie buff and even now I watch a lot of meaningless crap and continue to enjoy it.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Indian Idol 5 - Best Performances

Shreeram Chandra - Khwaja Mere Khwaja

Shreem Chandra - Breathless with Shankar Mahadevan

Swaroop Khan - Jau kahan

Rakesh Maini - Tumne Mujhe Dekha

Bhoomi Trivedi - Meter Down

Swaroop and Sattar - Bhawra aaya rey

If you want the mp3s some of the best performances, please find the link below. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My name is John - yes it really is!

You guys have been so patient reading all my idiotic stories and hence I've decided to give you an executive pass to have an exclusive "behind the scenes" look into my life. What makes John, John? What drives me to do such stupid stuff? and Why am I so irritatingly interesting? (wait, I am? you just agree with everything, don't you? you loser!) FUN FUN FUN. (It's ALT+F4 in case you forgot).

Well, for those who are still here - I'm gonna have to start somewhere so I will start with my name. You are thinking, how long can a story about a simple name be right? With me, every story is long - you should have known by now. If not, you are either really slow or you've never read my blog (new user? yay!).

My name is John - yes that is my real name and not something I gave myself after I got off the boat. I am for real John and that is what my parents named me. It is my birth name. It is my only name. I donot go by any other name coz I donot need it. I have a perfectly good firstname, middlename and a lastname why would I need another name? Isnt it annoying to read all this fuss about my name? Now, imagine telling it to everyone you meet for your entire life coz when I introduce myself everyone says "Really? what is your Indian Name?" or "What's your name in Indian?" and I am like "Dude, I do not have an Indian name. And, there is no language called Indian. Get it?".

My name has been my biggest problem for my whole entire life. Even as a grown adult I still deal with these idiotic questions on a daily basis. You can imagine how much fun it must have been as a kid in INDIA where you can count the number of Johns on fingers even though there are 1.18 billion people (and counting) there. Back home, everyone around me had a indian sounding name like shyam, venu, viseshu, pavan or sarada but that was a luxury I could never have. My parents loved me soo much and made me uniquely precious with an alien sounding name (for India that is) - JOHN. Interesting thing about this is when you call the name "John" in India - people immediately turn heads to see who this kid is (I'm not kidding, they really do). As if that wasn't enough, my parents gave me the middle name Jimmy (can u feel the love?) - now, you HAVE to see what John Jimmy looks like amidst prasads, mohans and what not. And I was quite popular in school and college - may be partly coz of the unique name. I turned more heads with my name than with my looks. No, I dont blame them.

My full name is a bit interesting for the lack of a better term. I was pretty sure my parents hated me but one day not so long ago I asked my dad (thankfully I did ask just before he passed away) why the heck did he give me this name and why he hated me so much and he asked in return "you dont like it?" and I am like after 25 years you will like anything, ANYTHING really. You can name me a freaking BATTERY or something and I would learn to live with it and love it. Just for the record, I do like my name very much now. I really do coz I realize that it could have been much worse (relatively speaking) i.e. something like SukDeep or something.

Did I mention that all my siblings have perfectly Indian sounding names - my brother is Anand Prasad, sisters - Swaroopa Rani and Prasanna Rani. Yes, it's true. I think that is what makes me so angry. My parents decided to experiment with me. Lucky me yay! They had my elder sis Swaroopa first, then my brother Anand and decided to go crazy with me and then got their senses back with my little sis Prasanna. Had my little sis had an American name like Lucy, Jenny or whatever - I would have been less pissed off I guess. (Consistency people - is it to much to ask for?) But they cherry picked me to mess with. And that's why I thought my parents hated me. When I tell people in India my name, they get curious and ask what my siblings names are as if we're a freak family or something like - "you have this disease, lets see what your siblings have" sort of thing... and when I tell them my sibling's names- they always go like, "What's wrong with you then?" and I just smile. I dont know why honestly.

Anyways, here's the big moment of truth - It turns out, my dad watched a Bollywood film "Disco Dancer" which was released around the same time I was born and he liked it so much that he decided to name me Jimmy as the lead character's name was Jimmy. But my grandfather had other plans for me. My grandpa wanted to name me something from Bible and that too John to be specific. You see, everyone had a say what to name me - except ME of course. Well Einstein, I see your point - I was a toddler right? But they could have atleast asked me to point at names written on paper or let me choose from a raffle right? I'm pretty sure, they did no such thing given how stubborn my dad and granddad were. Finally after a lot of going back and forth - they ended up naming me both John & Jimmy and I am still paying the price.

Kids in school used to tease me as Jimmy is a common name for a dog back in India. Interestingly or Unfortunately, all the dog names in India are American/English be it Jimmy, Tommy, Jacky, and what not. And to add to that I was not that easy on looks. I was never the cutest kid in the class. Whenever they call my name, as expected people turn to look and they have this disappointed look in their faces - like "This is John Jimmy?". I did not understand what they were expecting, were they expecting Brad Pitt or something? I took me awhile but I got used to the turning heads and disappointed looks. It did not bother me for long. I am too positive to be bothered by such trivial stuff - except when the girl's hot. But I always wanted to say this to all those people - "Look, I am sorry I am not Brad Pitt and quite honestly I dont understand why I have to be Brad Pitt - I am John Jimmy, DEAL WITH IT! If you think you can be a better 'John Jimmy' - then please be my guest!"

Life is not that easy when you name your kid without considering the environment he grows up in. I think, there needs to be atleast a bunch of laws on what to name a kid.

Louis CK nails it in this video :

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


We had a test release the other day and I sent out an email informing the team to test the new build. Here are the people involved.

1. Lori M - my manager
2. Yong L - my colleague
3. Kimberly B - my crazy colleague
4. Christi B - Kim's manager
5. John D - Me ofcourse!

The Emails

From: John Dondapati
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 11:12 AM

We’ve just deployed the new build onto the development server. Please test!

From: Yong L
Sent: Fri 5/21/2010 11:27 AM

I’ll be on vacation from 6/18 to 7/10. Let’s do as much as we can before that time frame.
Happy clicking… :-)

From:Kimberly B
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 11:34 AM

Who approved that vacation??? I want one those!!!!! hehe

From: John Dondapati
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 11:49 AM

Well Kim, are you gonna go home to China? I don’t think so!
Besides, you work from home remember? Heheh!

And that’s why you don’t get a vacation. So, there - I took care of it for you Lori!

From: Lori M
Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 12:00:50 -0400

Thanks John!!
Sometimes Kim gets a bit big for her britches eh??? Hahah!!
Lori M, Project Manager

The Autocomplete

You have to understand how human mind works in order to understand why this harmless email chain has caused a chaos. I normally have "Autocomplete" ON in my mind. I do not read anything completely and just try to complete it with something I already know. That's how everyone thinks/reads normally so I am normal -thank you! And when I read the above email, I missed the 'r' in the word 'britches' which is an honest mistake right?

Hence the original sentence :
"Kim gets a bit big for her britches"

"Kim gets a bit big for her bitches"

And once my mind is set on something, it will only see what it wants to see, so no matter how many times I read the email, I read bitches instead of britches. I clearly did not understand what my manager meant. And when I do not understand something, my creative side of the brain kicks in and I try to assume and create. In the process, I tried to dissect the sentence and understand it.

The Grammatical Analysis

The original sentence :
"Kim gets a bit big for her britches"

The new sentence after Autocomplete :
"Kim gets a bit big for her bitches"

Breakdown :

Subject : Kim
Objects : Bitches
Verb : gets a bit big

Reconstruction :

Who is Kim?
Ans : I know Kim. Kim is my colleague/friend.

What happened to my friend Kim?
Ans: She's got a bit Big.

Big for what?
Ans: Big for her bitches.

Who are her bitches?
Ans: There are five people in the email - Kim, Lori, Christi, Yong and Me. Since lori sent the email it cannot be her. Since she is talking about Kim, it cannot be kim. Christi is Kim's Boss so she cannot be Kim's bitch, it has to be the other way around -i.e. Kim has to be Christi's bitch if at all there needs to be some kind of bitch-hood between them. So, the only two other people left on the email are Yong and me. So, Yong and I have to be Kim's bitches. (But why? )

Reconstructing the sentence : : Yong and I are Kim's bitches? What the fuck?

The Chaos

With the new developments in mind, I walked up to my good friend/colleague Ms.Calendra P and complained with a sad little puppy face "I think my manager just called me a Bitch!" which completely takes her by surprise and she's like "I'm sorry, what did you just say?" so I repeat again "I think my manager just called me Kim's Bitch along with Yong".

Calendra says "No, I am pretty sure - Lori would not call you that - what happened?" and I said "I am pretty sure she did, look at the email yourself" offering her the email to look at. She reads it and blasts out laughing and tells me that she actually used the word Britches and not bitches which means pants/trousers.

But it still didnt make sense and in my mind I am still going crazy. Kim's too big for her trousers? What does that mean? Why would Kim be too big for her trousers? She has another thing coming? (are these two expressions related?) Is the joke on Kim? So, yong are I are safe but why is my manager calling my friend Kim a transvestite? May be Lori meant Bitches and misspelt it? Who made Calendra a Linguistic expert? What does she know?

Calendra goes on to explain that it's a southern expression to say that someone's Conceited (excessively proud of oneself), a.k.a self-important and saved me from doing yet another analysis/breakdown and reconstruction although I was mid-way by that time.

That seemed to make sense and I was satisfied with the reasonable explanation that Calendra offered me. So, I called Kim and explained her the confusion and that the Joke's on her (haha). So, Kim in-turn conferences in Lori as she thinks this is hilarious for some reason and we all have some good laughs for a solid 15 mintues. Although, Kim wanted to conference in Christi who is totally intimidating even for a grown man like me. I'm really scared of her and if I must explain how much then it's something like this - I can walk up to the devil and and look it in the eye and say "Fuck you!" but I would not walk up to Christi and say "You look good!". She's that intimidating. Thank god she didn't call her in.

At the end, it was all good. I am no one's bitch and I still have my job. yay! :)

Moral of the Story

Be careful when u read important emails from important people but not too careful that u overanalyse the situation. And use a language that is more common when you have immigrants like me working for you and for whom English is a third language although the medium of instruction is English in our schools. We think in our mother tongue first and then translate it and there's a lot that gets lost in the translation.

Meet the Neighbours

This is me in the pic - you can tell how nice I am from the look - cant you?

And this is Jane - my neighbour and resident evil. I am sure all her friends would agree!

And here's the story of how we met!

All the readers of my blog ( that is a pretty big number - two to be precise i.e. including me) read it religiously and are up to date with my life. So if you are reading this, chances are you are the other and you must be already familiar with my Blood Rice Cooker Triology, if not read the part 1, part 2 and part 3 to understand my perspective on the random events that happened on one night when I met my neighbour. (please, read it -for the love of god. please! )

Interestingly, it turns out that I am not the only one who's writing about that night. My neighbour (the evil in the image here) also thought it was the greatest moment of her life too and decided to write a story to share with the world. Although she was very unwilling to share it with me coz she thought there might be something in there that can offend me (as unlikely as it sounds - sure, I get offended too sometimes). Little does she know that there are so many few things in this world that can upset me. That's a whole different conversation and we are not discussing my self respect or the lack of it here.

I had to rush and finish the last installment of the Bloody Rice Cooker triology just to get her to send me her story. That was the deal we made as the good old "persistent nagging" did not do the trick this time. FYI, She's pretty good at ignoring stuff and that's an useful skill.

I think my version is much more colourful and dramatic while her's is a bit dry with formal language and reporterisque (did I just invent a word? yay! ) narrative. To be fair, she wrote it on the same night and for a limited audience who had a life unlike me who has to entertain the world (i.e. you my friend - you can stop looking over your shoulder now! ). So, you can imagine she lacked the creative juices and the will to entertain.

Without any further blablabla, I present you "Meet the Neighbors" (thats the title - but that does not mean I am the focker. Also, she's american and hence "Neighbor" and not "Neighbour" - I can see you are paying attention to detail.). Here's her perspective on things.

Disclaimer : No, I did not edit anything. This is totally her version. Yes, this is what she sent me!

Meet the Neighbors

i came back from the park and was walking into my apartment complex
as some random guy from the first floor suggested me to lock both
lower and upper locks (since we had a string of burlglaries in the
complex). he said that when he locked himself out of the apartment
using the lower lock the maintenance guy only took a second to open
i said, "i see" as i continued up the stairs...

main part:
on the second floor i passed by a sad sad indian guy with bare feet
dejectedly sitting next to an apartment door. his head was bowed low,
his eyes bloodshot as he looked up at me with an expression of utter

i got home and jumped on the bed with a sigh, stretching next to my
computer when i heard a knock on the door. the sad indian guy was
standing outside. i opened the door, wondering what kind hopeless
situation he may be in, looking pretty disheveled and sweaty in his
button down blue shirt, khaki shorts and no shoes...

sorrowfully he related to me how he locked himself out of his
apartment when he bended to pick up a package delivered to him... he
did not even have his shoes on. he's been sitting outside and
wondering the streets for the past 2.5 hours, while waiting on his
roommate who went for swimming lessons. and could i, please, give
this dying man a glass of water and my cell phone so that he can call
him and ask whether he is ever planning to be back. of course i gave
him water, tea, cookies, frozen yogurt, phone and use of my computer
so that he could look up his roommate's phone number (damn smart
phones we never remember anyone's numbers anymore). i also offered
the comfort of my home, my company and gossip girl on tv until such
time as his roommate would show up. for that he told me his sad story
of waiting, when an old lady ran from him because he had no shoes (he
explained to her that indians don't wear shoes) and a boy on a golf
course wanted him for a target practice "daddy, can i hit the homeless

in 30 or so minutes he left to check whether his renegade roommate has
shown up and promptly came back as i was sticking corn into the
boiling water. in another five minutes came a knock on the door.
another indian guy, with shoes on entered my apartment. it was the
long lost roommate. "i locked myself out", he pronounced and went on
to explain how he opened the door, put his swimming gear in, and went
outside to pick up a package sitting by the door as it swung closed
and locked him out... with his shoes still on. as i slowly slid down
the wall laughing, the barefoot indian programmer lamented that nobody
will ever believe the story. the second indian programmer said "speak
for yourself, i won't tell anyone" and i added "no worries, i will".
we sat around for a while chatting and eating cookies until the
maintenance guy came and finally let the guys back into the
apartment... my barefoot visitor looked down at the package and
sighed: "i read the instructions to this damn rice cooker in spanish,
and i don't even speak spanish!".

in 5 minutes there was another knock on the door, they wanted my phone

continuation follows?

In my defense, She's offered me the phone number - I just cashed it. But I'd have totally asked for it if she hadn't offered it but that didnt happen - did it?

That's that. What do you think? Vote and let me know which one you like. And as my reader I'd expect you to vote for me. I hate to block out my only reader so dont make me do it.

Show some Loyalty soldier - get down and give me 10 RIGHT NOW.
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