Minor story this, yes? No.

Not when you realise that this is the first time in a decade (the HT says 12 years) that any Prime Minister has bothered to visit the state. Yep, a whole the-last-time-we-did-this-we-were-bursting-Nbombs decade.

Seriously, how difficult is it for the head of the country to include a visit here? There are only 20-odd states, after all - even at the rate of one state a month, meaning each state gets a visit say every 2.5 years, you would've thought AP would have had at least 4 visits by now.

But noooooo. After all, not like it's really important, right? Not like it's not been a flashpoint since the breakdown of the pre-'62 "bhai-bhai" days. Not like its inhabitants feel a sense of disconnect from the concept of belonging to the country. Not like it's a state that the Centre should have been courting assidously, make it feel more at home, if only to thwart the Chinese. Of course not.

I think the ideal word to be used here is - Appalling.

It just makes me more convinced of my theory of an eventual break-up of the country.


Talk about irony.

What's the point of £19 million, if you could die at any moment - and not be able to do anything about it, and still have to go through the NHS system?

Why me?

or...This is not fair.
or...Bhagwaan ke liye mujhe chhod do*.

I don't do tags.

That really should have gone on my profile description. How strongly I feel about them should be judged by the fact that I'm using the personal pronoun in this post, after a year of quite successfully posting without using that particular word (which feat I'm particularly kicked about).

But, since I didn't put it up, and I don't like retrospective decisions, and since she's been nice to me, given me an award that I declined for some reasons, is going through the trauma of having her garden dug up (which sucks bigtime), and seems to be a little headless-chickened with work right now, I accept Space Bar's tag. Just this once, mind you. The task sayeth:

Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.

Now, considering that I write virtually nothing about my life (because Ay Am Not A Diarist - and of course, just to pique your curiosity**), some of this is not going to be possible. But attempts shall be made to perform given task to its utmost. Some of it is bound to be tangential.

Family: Umm..no go. Unless you accept this post, which references my mother (once...briefly).

Friend: Ahh, much love, and much grief. Posts have been written about losing friends, and lost friends, and living with losing friends. Oh, and you can take these two peans to BM and Flaffy as well (when I eventually finish the one to Scout, it will be linked as well).

Yourself: Whoo-boy. Where to start? Maybe with how one survives this world, or occasionally reacts to it, or how one often is like. And all those bad jokes, and recipes as well. You get the picture.

Your Love:
I believe this post says it all (SB - ha! didn't think I could talk about food without recipes, didja?).

Like: Moments such as these.

There, done.

And since one is such a nice person (no, really), no tags for anybody else***. Class dismissed, go for recess.

* Oh I love that line. I couldn't wait**** for that inevitable moment in a Hindi film when the heroine would spout the line.
** It bugs you, doesn't it? I know. Hee.
Of course, you're welcome to accept the tag if you want. Just let us know if you do.
**** Only to see how badly she was performing it, and rank her efforts to those of others.


"From our vantage point today, it is clear that the key trigger for the Born Abusive, Defamatory, And Stroppily Sexist (B.A.D.A.S.S.) movement - and the subsequent almost total short-term elimination of social niceties - was when the Western world believed it had received unassailable proof that the so-called "political correctness" trend of the late 20th and early 21st century had gone too far.

That 'proof' was, of course, the suit filed by mute adult-film actress Loraine Lengen ('Lollipop Lola') against the director of one of her films, on grounds of discrimination, for calling her a "dumb fuck". "

- Dr. James Willington-Scotts (From Ass-anglers to Ziplickers : A Guide to the Terminology of The Rude Years)


F3 returns!*

For new readers, the Friday Fortnightly Food (F3) post is all about culinary indulgence. It offers one recipe, which should be -
1) Relatively simple to prepare, though not necessarily quick.
2) Experimental and fancy, without being too exotic (or is it the other way round?)
3) Made up of relatively easy-to-find ingredients.
4) Comforting and satisfying.

Some are twists on standard recipes, some are concoctions of a bored and fiddly mind. Measurements aren't always exact, because this ain't gravimetric analysis. Today we do...

Pasta primavera (for 2)

Time Required:
Preparation - 3 minutes
Cooking - 10-12 minutes

Keep ready:
Olive oil
Shallots, 4-5, sliced
Walnuts or pine-nuts, whole
Mushrooms, few, sliced
Green beans, whole
Mixed peppers, cut into strips (equivalent to 2 peppers)
Salt, pepper, oregano
Linguini or spaghetti
Creme fraiche*, 4-5 tbsp
Single cream, 2 tbsp

Boil pasta in lots of water, adding 1tsp salt and some olive oil. Meanwhile, in a pot, heat some olive oil, add the shallots and fry on medium-high heat till golden (about 2 minutes). Add the nuts and let toast for 2 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and beans, stir for a minute, and then add the mixed peppers and seasoning. Stir for another minute, then add the creme fraiche and cream, and let cook for a couple of minutes. At the end, add the cooked pasta, mix well, and add more seasoning as required.

Best served chilled (with a medium-dry white wine).

Why you should try this:
This is a welcome variation from the classic tomato-based pasta dishes. It's perfect in summer, especially if you serve it chilled, and is also much lighter than other pasta dishes. The veggies make it delightfully crunchy, and the shallots in particular give it this ever-so-slightly sweet taste which contrasts well with the creme fraiche. Oh, and it also looks pretty, with the colours of the beans and peppers being brought out beautifully by the white sauce.

Focus on:
1) Cooking the veggies just enough so that they retain some crunch - especially the peppers.
2) Not overdoing the cream - it just masks all the other tastes.
3) Keeping it relatively dry. There's not supposed to be too much left to mop up with bread.

* Variations:
1) Alternatively, one large red onion. If all else fails, one white onion.
2) If not available, try soured cream, or yogurt as a last resort.


Note: One should not post random verse, especially those deemed by oneself to be of a crappy quality. Unless, that is, at least three people demand it. Why? Who knows? You can blame KM,TR, and Pri for this. And no, still no clue what it's about. Pop-pyschologists may feel free to explore.


Little by little,
in free-fall,
folding hands
hold up the ball;
and a big bird sings
in a far-away tone
for its lover's ring
to awaken the phone.

The bubble cries
for the stones are sweet;
there's nothing to ask for,
much less to keep.
And on dark mornings
death comes to meet,
talking softly over tea
as it tries not to weep.

Guide to Blogging - Personalitypes

(Homo bloggerus)
n., Fascinating new member of the species Homo virtualis** (aka, Homo technicus v2.0), vast herds of whom can be spotted roaming freely across the WebWorld. The first specimen was spotted a quarter-century ago, and sightings have since been frequent, largely due to an exponential surge in its population being witnessed in recent times. Since the original spotting, several new variants have been spotted, marking this as one of the most rapidly evolving creatures in recorded history.

Highly voluble and sociable creature, noted for remarkably diverse behavioural variations in individuals. Highly skittish, due to an inherent paranoid streak. Has a strong need to be involved in matters concerning the larger group in general, or other individuals specifically. Known for its considerable survival skills, which has helped it to adapt and flourish in inhospitable terrain and dangerous surroundings.

Natural enemies:
The Troll. Other Bloggers.

Natural Defenses:
A shrill screech, at unnaturally high decibel levels, which has been known to stun others into submission and can be maintained for indefinite periods of time.

Behavioural patterns:
The creature is famed for its proclivity towards camouflage, which is the default option for a large majority of the population. Most infant-bloggers will attempt to disguise themselves through any means available, including pretending to be another infant altogether. This camouflage is seen as necessary for many of those indulging in it, and has been known to save several bloggers (infants and adults) from Trolls.

As the blogger matures, however, a distinct lack of attention is noticed towards maintaining this disguise. Maturing bloggers gradually allow other members of their loose 'family' to view them uncloaked - although some of these creatures retain their need for secrecy till the very end.

Famous varieties:
The Diarist, The Activist, The Specialist, the Seeking-a-Voice, and the Giving-it-a-Go.

* This really should have been the first in the sequence.
** Seriously, isn't it time a new label was considered?


Secrets - 2*

"I have to tell you something."


"It's something I've been hiding from you."

"Uh-huh. Haven't I told you before that I don't want to know?"

"But you can't do that! I have to tell you - it's driving me crazy keeping this is a secret from you!"

"Well, that's your problem isn't it? You should have thought of that before deciding to keep it a secret."

"Fine, fine, I made a mistake. But I can't take it anymore - I have to tell you! Please!"

"Why? Why exactly do I need to know? Just so that you can sleep easier? Just so that you don't have to worry about me finding out on my own, and then giving you hell for doing it with telling me (which, by the way, do expect in full doses)? Just so that you can make a song-and-dance about being totally honest even though you've just kept it secret for who knows how long? So tell me - why do I need to know?"

because I love you? And because I'm sorry?"

"...hmm....Not the best reasons - but fine, out with it."

"Umm...but first you have to understand. I didn't not tell you because I didn't trust you. Or because I didn't think you'd understand. This was just something that happened. Something that I
needed to do. Something...."

"Will you stop bullshitting, and just tell me already?"

"Ok. I...erm...I blog."




...are you very angry? "


"No?! Why?"

"I knew that."


"Yeh - who do you think 'Anon.E.me' is?"


"Yeh. Idiot."

* Part 1 here. End of story. Yes, yes, much work is needed on one's dialogue-skills. Other comments welcome.

Return of the Roving Random News Linker

* Ahh, wonderful news. Women across Indian cities should hold a strike till the corporations do the same for them. Or just burn some effigies and get on international TV. Two a day, at strategic locations across each city.

* Here's just a hint of what more to expect in this web-fuelled all-inclusive techno-crazy world. Someday, people are going to realise that the only thing protecting them is the fact that the idiots who live in the real world aren't - A) Online....yet. B) Those who are, aren't tech-savvy enough to cover their tracks. And that, children, is when all the poo-poo will hit the going-round-round-on-ceiling thingie.

* You can keep your TV ads, and televised debates. This is real innovation in politics, baby.

* Also, isn't this old news for those of us who have little hair left after tearing them out during deadlines?

* If you're having a peaceful day so far, this is not a story you wish to read.

* And to end, one just hopes the little snots don't plagiarise one's work if this scheme asks them for project-submissions. Although one would be very flattered, too.


Guide to Blogging - Personalitypes

The Diarist*
n., Dominant member of sub-species H.bloggerus, found populating vast tracts of the blog-scape, and noted for an unusually high ratio of young females.

Marked for its continuous whine, through which it broadcasts (in excessive and exhaustive detail) descriptions of the territory it occupies, and its activities within the same. Famous for its strutting walk, and tendency to parade its colours regularly. Prone to prolonged bouts of omphaloskepsis.

Behavioural patterns:
The creature tends to be highly social in nature, and on several occasions has been spotted in large gatherings. These groupings are characterized by an initial mass mutual-grooming phase, with much time spent in preening up, and being preened up by. These meetings invariably tend to break up abruptly, as each individual begins to demand greater attention, eventually resulting in minor skirmishes where their (considerably-sharp) claws are brought into play. Following these confrontations, the individuals distance themselves from each other, returning to their yowling - which this time also mentions the fight, how it was all because of the jealousy of petty inferiors, and how they will rise above it all because they're so wonderful, dontchaknow.

It must be noted, however, that the individuals have been seen at similar gatherings soon after previous ones, and are also noticed associating with prior opponents. It is still unclear if this simply demonstrates the social nature of this sub-species, or is a pointer to short-term memory and/or an underlying need for being attended to.

Famous varieties:
The Maternal-Obsessives, the Unrequited Lover, the Corporate Slave, the World-Weary Youth, the New-Age Partygirl, and the Petty No-Lifers.

* Oh, don't get all touchy about it.


Lives On Trains - 3

I watch
as you smile while looking
at him,
as he sneaks glances through the window
at her,
while she tries to pretty up while ignoring
who with the assurance of collective youth, smirk
at us.

It must be another
for everyone is watching
each other,
while the light creeps over the wet world, noticed by


That Friday Food thing?

Not happening*. Not unless one of you owns up and says they tried at least one of the recipes being diligently contemplated, prepared, tweaked, and perfected, just to present here. Yes, one is making demands. So what?

Go on. Anybody?

* Just so you know, today's post was going to be about this lovely tofu-and-chocolate cheesecake.


Blog-addiction - Identification Method No.3

If, when in a group of old friends, you begin to wonder how many have undeclared blogs of their own. Which possibility would have quite a high probability, given the literary inclinations of said group (ahem...they are your friends, after all).

And then you spend the evening trying ingeniously, and deviously, to find out whether they do have a blog - without revealing that you do too (without lying, preferably (they are your friends, after all)) - and more importantly, what the blog address is*.

* Achieving the same, then reading and regularly commenting on their blogs without revealing your identity - well, that's just a bit sad. But nobody said addiction was funny.


Friday fripperies

Say quiet,
say quite,
say quite quiet,
say quite quietly,
say them all quietly.

Write quiet,
write quite,
write quietly,
and then write them quietly.

Say write,
write say.
Say write quietly,
quietly, and quietly
write say quiet.
Say quietly write quiet,
write quietly say quiet.
Say write quietly say write,
Write say quietly write say quiet.

Write right,
say right, rightly.
Say quite right,
write rightly quiet.
Say write right.

...say what?

Obligatory bad joke of the month*

Q: What do you call a crazy flea on the moon?
A: A lunatick

* Soon to be a recurring feature. You may groan now.



Slow mealtime conversations can often lead to very random discussions. Known fact.

And it was hardly surprising when one such event somehow ended up concerning Christmas songs/carols. Specifically, the '12 days' one.

It was wondered whether the recipient in the song would end up getting the gift of each day on every successive day, ie, would you get one partridge on all 12 days, two turtle doves on 11 days, and so on. The wording of the song obviously implies so.

Assuming the above, it was then wondered how many total items of each gift would be received. Quick calculations revealed the following numbers
12 partridges in a pear tree,
22 turtle doves,
30 French hens,
36 calling (colly) birds,
40 gold rings,
42 geese a-laying...
and it was then realised that the numbers follow the exact reverse pattern from day 7 onwards.

This, if plotted using number of gifts on the y-axis and days on the x-axis, reveals to be a plateau-shaped graph (a double-point peak graph).

It was then conjectured as to whether there was a universal equation for calculating the total number of items for each individual gift. After several minutes of paper-napkin-scribbling, such an equation was indeed discovered. Which is -

N = d x ((12-d)+1)
where, d = number of the day the gift is received on**

Said equation applies even if there were more than 12 days (simply replace the '12' with the number of days of choice). Although, the above graph only works for even-numbered day-sets. For odd numbers, it will be a single-point peak graph.

....so now you know. Isn't your life wonderfully enriched? Aren't you just jumping around and going "Yes! Yes! It all makes sense now"? Do you not see the light now? Good, good. That is how it should be. Gifts are very welcome. Do make them expensive ones.

* There's a lovely title there, something to do with food and maths, but does it reveal itself? Like heck it does.
** Keep in mind that the number of the day on which the gift is received, is the same as the multiples by which the gift is given, ie, five rings given each day from the fifth day onwards.


Not maudlin, just contemplative

Another facet of this happenstance.


Life has a way of creating regular patterns. Just like the way we create patterns for ourselves - the way we brush our teeth, the way we hold our mugs, the way we adjust the computer screen. Life takes that to a higher level, and it is we who become the object/action that is subjected to a pattern. And the worst bit is, even though you can recognise the pattern and try to alter it, it just ends up ending the same way it did the last time round. Very Groundhog Day.

For instance, you meet an interesting person, who seems less daft than most people try to make themselves. They have a sense of humour, a warmth, and a certain equanimity that stems from the sense of knowing who they are. You like that spark. You talk. Surreal conversations follow. A friendship blooms. It feels all comfortable and...lasting.

And then you stop receiving communications.
Gradually, but surely.

And then, suddenly, it's two years down the line, and you haven't met, haven't spoken to each other, haven't mailed. And you have no idea why.

Maybe they found out there wasn't as much to you as they believed. Maybe you came across as too intense or too needy. Maybe they just found a new set of more interesting friends, or a soulmate who they felt closer to. Maybe they thought that you thought it meant more than it did, and that you hoped for and expected more than you actually were. Maybe they thought you didn't want it to go on, that you were carrying them. Or maybe, it was just circumstance.


You could learn to live with any of that, painful though that may be.
But it's the not knowing that hurts the most.
And time doesn't wash it away.
And every so often, you wonder if you'll ever learn the answer.

And more than that, you hope that one day you will manage to find a way to break the pattern from reaching the end it always has. Or, at least, be able to pick up the threads from just one of these awry patterns, and set them right.

Till then, you live with the memories. And you hope.
...what else do you have?


It all changed when, in an attempt to divert the conversation from history to literature, he asked if she had read Vanity Fair.

She said she was more of a Cosmo girl.

.....There wasn't to be a second date.


Manual of Life - Rules for Living No.4

Don't know, don't care.

aka, The Four Word Rule. Which, don't you know, is also four words, and which moniker you will probably eventually end up using instead. If only to be clique-y and pseudo.

Helps muchly in dealing with questions to topics you couldn't be arsed about (Do you know who Elizabeth Taylor was last married to?), questions to which the contemplation of an answer is pointless (Would I look good with painted blue eyeballs?), questions which are not worth the air used to enunciate them (Did you know that Britney's released a new song?), and even questions which you clearly want to avoid (When was the last time you had a shower?).

Is most efficient when delivered in a firm, yet slightly put-upon tone, with a faintly disdainful sneer to boost. Go play.

Manual of Life - Little Trick No.35

If living with someone who squeezes toothpaste tubes from the middle, respond by squeezing them from the top-of-where-they-leave-off. Finding the amount of squeezable paste diminishing, they will be forced (eventually) to learn to squeeze from the bottom of said tube*.

If said squeezer is determined to outlast you at this tactic, and you are unfortunate enough to get hold of tube after the last squeezable bit from upper half has been squeezed out - Do Not Falter! Simply use alternative mouth cleansing techniques (like so) till they get fed up enough to squeeze from the bottom.