Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Espelling kaantest

I don’t know if any of you caught the preliminary round of Scripps spelling bee 2009 today but it was totally bizarre.

Here are some excerpts from the proceedings:

Moderator: Tea-is-spoon
Nerd 1: Teaspoon?
Moderator: Tea-is-spoon
Nerd 1: Can I have the definition please?
Moderator: You need the definison to ispell tea-is-spoon? You are kidding me.
Nerd 1: Tea-is-spoon…T-E-A-I
Moderator: I in tea-is-spoon…kaha kaha se chale aate hai. Nekayst.
Nerd 2 awaits the word.
Moderator: Meliority
Nerd 2: Are there any alternate pronunciations?
Moderator: Yes, the Chinese pronunciation is meriolity.
Nerd 2: Okay umm, M-E-R…no wait L
Moderator: Nekayst. Your word is Jaa-lay-pee-no
Nerd 3: Do you mean Ha-le-pi-no?
Moderator: No, there is a J in the beginning. Oh I see what you did there…very smarut.
Nerd 3: J-A-L-A-P-E-N-O
Moderator: Okay, okay, nekayst. Your word is Tuh-choch-kee
Nerd 4: May I have the language of origin.
Moderator: All the words are in English. Kya kya sawaal puchte hai.
Nerd 4: Can you use it in a sentence please?
Moderator: Yes, you need to espell tuh-choch-kee correctly in order to compete in the nekayst round.
Nerd 4: Tchotchke…T-C-H-O-T-C-H-K-E
Moderator: Bhai wah! Nekayst. Your word is cunnilingus.
Nerd 5: May I have the definition please.
Moderator: Hey bhagvan! You will have to ask your mummy and daddy what it means.
Nerd 5: Can I ask them now?
Moderator: You have 30 seconds to spell.
Nerd 5: Uh, this was not in the study list.
Moderator: Nekayst.
Don't miss the finals on 28 May 2009 on ABC at 8P/7C

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chapter 10: Divine secrets of the Yayati sisterhood

Vyasa (V): Here we are
Ganpati (G): Indeed, here we are!
V: But the question is where were we?
G blows…eh about…almost…2 years worth of dust from the last papyrus he had scribbled.
V almost falls out of his seat.
V: 2 years! Well then it is about time.

V and G get off the seats and break into a song.
Ta-tut ta-tut tut-ta!
It was 4 years ago
Was it really?
That we gave this story a go

V: I think I snapped a tendon, we should stick to writing
G (disappointed): Oh alright.
V: Where were we story-wise?
G: Let’s see…we were writing about some dude called Shankaracharya…no wait…Sukracharya. He is an evil scientist who is funded by Asuras and can bring people back from dead.
V: Wait a minute. I do not cater to evil scientists stereotypes. Sukracharya is a good guy.
G: Then why is he consorting with the Asuras?
V: Do you know how hard it is to get funding? On average 97% of the grants are rejected.
G: Alright simmer down. So there is Dr. S and he is a single father. What’s the story with the mom?
V: I haven’t made up that part yet…no questions, just a brief summary please.
G: Okay…the daughter Devyani has an affair with a student named Kacha, not knowing that Kacha is actually a spy. You know you could call this chapter ‘the spy who shagged me!’.
V stares sternly as G chuckles.
V: Take your time, we have all day.
G: Fine! The spy plots and successfully steals Dr. S’s Sanjiviniology research and then ditches Devyani. Bru-tal! Then Devyani steals the princess’s clothes and the princess in turn pushes Devyani in a dry well. Tough day for Devyani. Then a prince conveniently and believably happens to be wandering around in the forest.
V -> searing stares.
G: And the prince is gallivanting in the woods all by himself, probably looking for damsels in distress, I mean who knows what he was looking for and it doesn’t matter so long as the plot moves forward.
V taps his foot.
G: Then the prince…what is his name anyway?
V: Umm…Yayati
G: Okay, Yayati then finds Devyani and rescues her and then Devyani proposes and gets rejected by the prince because of her fat ass and Devyani is stranded in the forest.

V (rubbing his hands with excitement): Alright, here we go.

Devyani sat in the forest feeling dejected and alone. Soon the forest was enveloped in darkness and sinister howls echoed in the forest. Devyani cowered under a tree and started praying for somebody to rescue her.

Sukracharya squints at his wrist dial under the candle light.
Sukracharya (S): Where is this girl? I can’t figure out what time it is on this dial.

Vyasa (V): Talking about wrist dials, I’m thinking of buying one with an abacus in it.
Ganapati (G): You people with your gadgets. When you are hungry it is time to eat, when you are sleepy it is time to sleep. I don’t need a dial to tell me what time it is.
V: Ganya, you are strange sometimes.

Worried about the daughter, he asks a student to go looking for her in the forest. Partly because as a tenured professor he could get away with it but mostly because he was afraid of the dark. The student searches for Devyani for hours and finally finds her and takes her home.
Student: “Can I graduate now?”
S: “That is up to the committee to decide. Remember there is no substitute for hard work.”
Disgruntled student walks away.

S: And as for you missy, do you know what time it is?
Taps the wrist dial.
S: I am sick of this behavior. Out partying at ungodly hours, the pigeon practically fainted last week from delivering your incessant pigeon mail and then there is all this expensive junk you keep buying…like this wrist dial which doesn’t even work.
Devyani (D): It works only during the day dad!

G: I always wonder why those things can’t work at night? I mean clearly we have the moon at night, so what’s the problem?
V: I don’t know. So where were we…

D: It works only during the day dad! Stop yelling at me. I wasn’t out partying, I was almost murdered.
S: Murdered? Don’t be dramatic. Why would anyone murder my daughter when I can bring you right back to life? That would be the most pointless thing to do.
D bursts into tears.
D: Nobody likes me. Everybody makes fun of me. I am never getting married.
S: Okay okay. Tell me what happened.
D: It’s Sarmishta…she thinks she is so hip. The only reason she has friends is because her dad would behead anyone who is mean to her. Anyway, I was minding my own business and I don’t know what got into her. She is probably jealous of me or something she just pushed me into a pit.
S: May be it was a mistake. May be she didn’t mean to push you.
D: She also said that your last publication had the lousiest data she has ever seen and something about error bars…that you haven’t heard about them…
Sukracharya’s face turned the deepest color of crimson.

S: I will have a chat with her Dad first thing in the morning.
He simmered through the night and made his way to the palace at the crack of dawn.

At the palace.
King Vrishaparva (KV): Sukracharya? What a pleasant surprise! Usually I don’t wake up before you can start telling time but the wife is on my case. So I do a little cardio in the morning to get the old motor running. In fact I am looking for a running partner, you interested?
S gives angry stares.
KV: Sooooo, what’s up? What brings you here?
S: I will get right to the point. I am not treated with respect and I am tired of this attitude. There are lots of other kingdoms that I can offer my services to and would be appreciated for. In fact, I am thinking of leaving you and your kingdom for good.
KV: What did the Asuras do now?
S: It wasn’t the Asuras this time. It was your daughter.
KV: My daughter? What could she possibly do or say that would make you leave?
S: I am not going to repeat the hideousness that she uttered but I want to make it clear that I will not stand for it.
KV: Okay, I will talk with her.
S: I am afraid that is not enough.
KV: Look, I would hate for things to end this way. You and I both know that my kingdom will crumble without your Frankenstein stuff. I apologize on her behalf.
S: I have put up with a lot humiliation with the Asuras harassing my students and murdering them and feeding their body parts to my pets. But this time it has gone too far. There is nothing you can say or do to stop me.
KV: I will double your salary and fund you for a year.
S: I said that I will not…really? Double!
KV: Yes.
S: I do need some more grant money and my last application was rejected. Alright you have a deal.
KV: Great chatting with you. Gotta run.

Sukracharya gleefully returns home only to find a miffed Devyani.

D: So?
S: It has all been taken care of.
D: What do you mean? Do I get an apology from Sarmistha?
S: Er…yes. She is going to mail it to you.
D (whines): Daaaad! I was humiliated. You didn’t just let them get away with it?
S: Of course not, they are going to pay for it.
D: Pay, you got a settlement? How much? Can I shop at Gocci now?
S: Sorry hon, you already spent your allowance and I need the extra money for my research.
D: This is not fair. I demand an apology from Sarmistha…no wait, I want her to be my maid for…forever.
S: Devyani, she is the King’s daughter.
Devyani makes puppy face.
S: Dammit Devyani! Okay fine, but if they don’t agree you will have to quit moping around and no more trips to the forest after dark.

G: Are all the women in your story unreasonable, emotional drags that serve the only utilitarian purpose of propagating the progeny?
V: Well they are women. What are you getting at?
G sighs.
V: I am getting hungry. Should we go grab a bite?
G: Might as well finish this chapter.
V: Oh that would take far too long. Sarmista becomes Devyani’s maid, I still haven’t figured out a way to make that sound plausible. Then Devyani finally hooks up with Yayati, the guy who rescued her from the well in the forest which by the way is an inter-caste marriage. Pretty forward of me know? Hooking up a Kshatriya with a Brahmin girl.
G: Scandalous.
V: And then of course, Sarmista also gets jiggy with Yayati…the whole catfight angle to the story.
G: Yeah let’s go grab a bite. I have a coupon for Kabooters
V: You go there?
G: Yeah, I go there for the food. They have really good wings.
V: Riiigght!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Suralichya vadyafucking waste of time

There are hundreds of food blogs online, touting saliva inducing photos of their great successes in the kitchen. That my friends is the Disney version of what could happen in your kitchen. Sure it could happen to you, a perfectly baked something or the other, but that is one side of the story. What about the other side? The dark side where rotis are amoeboid and flames erupt to singe your eyebrows and concoctions turn into inedible goo. Where are those stories? Yes, I am talking about all those FUBAR experiments in the kitchen. Surely these stories need a voice. Not because we can learn from those mistakes but because these stories could be infinitely more entertaining to read. Since I have found immense pleasure in others’ misery I thought I should give some back to the community. So here it is…my first attempt at making suralichya vadya.

Once upon a time I was browsing some food blogs. I came across some extremely delicious looking suralichya vadya photos. Hubba hubba hubba. So I took a look at the recipe and it looked fairly straight forward. Make batter, cook over low flame until thickens, plate out, cool and roll. The batter cooking did not have any specific instructions. The most they would say was, cook until it is cooked. This is going to be a good lesson on why recipes with specific instructions are a great idea, you can tell.

Anyway, I looked at the recipe and convinced myself that I could handle it…easy peazy. So here I was, 10 minutes into cooking the batter on low flame with constant stirring. That is co-incidentally the amount of time it takes for me to lose patience. The flame went up 2 notches. Bad idea. Very quickly, the batter started turning into a viscous and lumpy blob. Seeing this I panicked and hastily plated out the batter before it could turn into one giant lump. Of course the batter was not yet completely cooked. I valiantly microwaved the plated batter in an attempt to cook the plated stuff but the batter could care less. So this is what I ended up with…perforated raw suralichya vadya and lumps of half cooked batter.

At this point I was left with a crap load of dirty dishes, a tummy roaring with hunger and one twitching eye. Most people would quit at this point, order a pizza and call it a day. Not me. No no no no no. I was sure not going to dump this disaster. So I steamed my perforated suralichya namesake vadya for 10 mins like idlis and then doused them in a seasoning of oil, mustard seeds and hing and ate them. And then I farted happily every after.

Moral of the story:
1) An empty stomach and a lumpy batter do not make for a great day.
2) Suralichya vadya = crap load of dirty dishes. Think about it.
3) It is immoral to make suralichya vadya

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sita sings the blues

This may be old news for most of you folks but this stuff is worth pimping. So I will go ahead anyway. Unlike me and my MB retake, Nina Paley single handedly stuck with her vision of Ramanyan and brought it to fruition as “Sita sings the blues”. She has made her movie available for viewing in its entirety for free. You can read more about Nina Paley or watch Sita sings the blues go to

Annette Hanshaw’s songs are simply brilliant and a perfect fit for the movie. Although when I think about the amount of moolah Paley had to part with to deal with the copyright restrictions for those songs, I'm only guessing here, but I have a feeling that it must have surely broken Paley’s metaphorical balls.

The whole movie was a visual delight. Loved it. My favorite part was the conversational narration of Ramayan…that shit was hilarious.

That’s all.