Demystifying the belt!

It was Saturday noon when I returned from an exhausting game of football in the scorching summer heat; I resembled a guy who had just survived a car wreck. After 4 hours of rest throughout the afternoon, which included a hot shower in between, I felt refreshed and raring to go out somewhere in the evening. I opened my wardrobe and carefully selected the pair of t-shirt and jeans to don for the occasion; once done, I reached out for the hanger inside the cupboard, where my belt usually waits for my hands to take it and drape it around my waist, without looking – and grasped nothing but empty air. My eyes widened in surprise, and realization dawned upon me. My trusty belt, which I had purchased for 100 bucks from a platform shop for my first placement interview(incidentally with Infy), and which was my faithful companion for 2 years, had snapped into two the previous day as it could no longer bear the strain of my girth!

Mayday! Mayday! We are out of belts. We are losing our grip on Prasanna’s waist! my mind screamed. I realized the enormity of the situation – without a belt, my pair of pants would appear like low-waist… no, make that really-low-waist… jeans! As a matter of fact, my waist size is 34 cms, but because of my long legs, only size 36 pants would accommodate them. As a result, the belt is a very essential part of my wardrobe. Without it, I felt like how Foghorn Leghorn would have felt when stripped off his cock suit by the Barnyard Dawg! 😀 .

As a consequence of my discovery, my plans for the day were replaced by a single goal – to find a really good leather belt which could last for atleast 5 years. It seemed a pretty straightforward plan, but there was a catch – I had to go to the shop without a belt! The thought of my jeans pant continually falling down my waist, exposing the name of my underwear brand, sent shivers down my spine. But I had no choice ; 45 minutes of discomfort was rather bearable than going to office with loose pants. I mustered my courage, selected a t-shirt which nearly extended to the top of my knees, and the pair of jeans with the smallest gap between the buckle and my waist. Once done, I set off on the greatest conquest of my life, on which rested the fate of my dignity and self respect.

The ten minute walk to the bus stop passed off without incident, as I kept my hands in my pant pockets all the time, substituting the role of the belt, even though my t-shirt was long enough to conceal my waist. Thankfully I got a seat inside the bus – imagine having to stand in the bus, one hand holding up my jeans and the other clinging on to the overhead bars of the vehicle, being subject to scrutiny from fellow passengers (my giant frame attracts attention anyway). The real trouble started when I had to walk a kilometer to the shop after meeting my friend. I am not going to elaborate on the bumbling journey for the entire stretch, when I had to stop every two minutes to ensure my t-shirt hid my exposed underwear, and hitch the pants up every now and then. Every passing minute seemed to increase my agony, and once the shop came into sight, the relief on my face was palpable!

Once inside, I virtually rushed to the belt section, taking care to ensure my pants did not slide down and trip myself on them. After 15 minutes of rummaging through the selection of leather belts, I managed to find one to my liking, and hurried to the cash counter. After the purchase was done, I couldn’t wait to get out of the store and get my pants hitched up. A large crowd was gathered outside the shop, but I was in dire straits and had to somehow wear the belt. As you know, putting on a belt means lifting the shirt up and slipping it around the waist through the loops, which meant that my underwear tag would definitely be visible if I tried slipping it on in public. So I sat down on a stone ledge in front of the building, throwing a furtive glance to my right and left every second, while slowly sliding the belt through each loop. In the end, I managed to fasten the belt around my waist, and let out a triumphant cry of joy at having accomplished my mission, without any curious glance from the nearby customers (which included 5 hot girls too! :D). My friend was totally amused with my odd predicament, but I was not concerned, as my mind was overcome with delirious relief!

So, my dear reader, there ends my misadventure with the belt. It was a defining moment in my life, one which made me believe that man’s greatest invention was NOT the wheel, but the belt or whatever man used to hold his garments together. In fact, I have come to realize that the world would not have been a good place to be in, without the item/object/thing commonly referred to as ‘the belt’. To reiterate my apparently ridiculous theory of the belt being one of the most crucial man-made products, I am presenting some scenarios where the belt figures in the scheme of things: –

1. No belt, no western movies!

Imagine Clint Eastwood in his trademark cowboy attire, giving a scowl in front of the camera lens, as a gang of baddies on horses train their rifles on him. As per the western logic, Clint would have his hands ready to fish out the guns and blast off every thug. But imagine the viewer’s surprised look, when instead of the hero aiming his pistols at the villains, he lets out a confused outcry “Oh crap! Where’s my goddamned belt? I don’t have my pistols without the belt holsters!”, and before he can flee he’s punctured with bullets and hung up for public view. Hence, the belt is a vital component of western movies.

2. Sports

We all know that the knowledge of a person having a black/brown belt in Karate can instill fear in men with bad intentions and maintain a safe distance from him/her. Hence, the belt can be a status of strength and command respect. Imagine that if instead of belts, we had ribbons for karate – then, do you think that saying “Beware! I have a black ribbon in judo!” will save your ass? However, the absence of a belt has the biggest impact on that ultimate source of entertainment called wrestling. People in US pay truckloads of money just to watch half naked men and busty women in skimpy clothes break their bones and teeth over something as nondescript as a belt! The championship belt has caught the fancy of the youth and inspired them to make a dumb career move towards a scripted, entertaining career in wrestling. In fact, I remember that during the wrestling-crazy days of my young life, I used to take the magnetic belt, which amma uses to support her weak backline, which closely resembled the shape of a championship belt, and play imaginary wrestling matches with Undertaker,Big Show and other mammoth wrestlers, with ‘my championship belt’ on the line 🙂

3. Belt on!

The seat belt needs no introduction. It has saved many a life during accidents (when used, that is!). Now all that is needed is to extend the usefulness of the seat belt to shut up annoying co-passengers in the car!

4. Even machines need belts!

Life has never been made so comfortable with the discovery of the elevator, escalators, heavy machine equipments and other everyday use machinery. These are incomplete without a conveyor belt, which ensures smooth operations of these inventions. If the conveyor belt was not yet discovered, we would still be living in the stone age, our machines resembling those used during the times of the Flintstones!

5. Wanna escape? Use a belt!

Seen those movies where the guy wants to escape from a building, and espies a stretch of wire connecting the building with another one at a lower height in comparison? The guy does the most expected thing – hurriedly take out his belt, loop it over the wire, grasp the ends of the belt tightly, and begins sliding down the sturdy wire towards freedom, the belt being able to withstand the frictional heat generated on the continual contact with the metal! If the guy doesn’t have a belt, it’s just his bad luck! The other alternative is to climb through the sewage like Andy Dufrense did, but you need guts for that!

6. Have belt, get a baby!

You might have come across many articles highlighting the risk of infertility and impotence associated with the radiations emanating from mobile phones kept inside the pant pockets. In such case, the belt can support a mobile pouch to reduce the risk! (Scary,ain’t it?!)

7. The saving grace for clumsy guys!

For the uninitiated, the dhoti/mundu/veshti is a very common mode of attire in Kerala and Tamil Nadu(especially among the Brahmins!). I have been forced by my parents to wear veshti on some religious occasions, but I can never place my faith in a single piece of cloth covering the lower part of my torso. To worsen the situation, my long legs pose the potential risk of tripping on my own mundu and give the people around me a free demonstration of _______ (you fill in the blanks). But the belt comes to my rescue! Every time I need to wear a dhoti, I always wrap my belt around it and hide it with another piece of cloth (commonly wrapped over the dhoti, but insufficient to prevent the dhoti from falling off!) . The extreme importance of the leather apparel was highlighted during my ‘upanayam’ (holy thread ceremony), where I had to wear the veshti for 4 hours at a stretch, and my belt did not let me down at all (also considering that I wore cream colored shorts under the dhoti as a backup security option :D)

8. Even the solar system has a waist!

Crazy as it might seem, it’s true that the solar system cannot survive without the belt. If the asteroid belt did not exist, then Jupiter (which could be analogous to a pot belly), might sag down on Mars, which in turn would shift its weight on Earth and so on, triggering a chain reaction which could make the sun woozy from the excess weight exerted on it by the collective mass of the 5 planets, thereby upsetting the solar system’s balance and sending all planets into crazy unpredictable orbits (like the after effects of a bout of diarrhea). Therefore, the asteroid belt maintains the natural balance of the solar system and ensures the orderly motion of events occurring in the universe!

To sum up, the belt will always figure in my top 5 list of the things I can’t live without. I had attained nirvana during that precious ‘beltless’ one hour, and have realized how seemingly simple things can change the course of my life. If I go on droning about belts, I will soon be writing stuff like “how to belt the cat”, ”the crazy men of Beltimore”, “If it’s Wednesday, it must be Beltgium”,”For whom the belt rolls”  and so on. So, that’s it! Wear a belt, save the planet!

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Life is short

Drinking and driving makes it even shorter 😦

Last night I received news that my friend Vikram, whom I had known since 1994 and who stays in the same street as me, had lost his life yesterday morning at 2 am in Bangalore Chennai, due to drunk driving. I do not know the details of the accident and don’t wish to know, but my friend informed that Vikram and the other guy had instantly died on the spot, and the bodies were unrecognizable apparently. 😦 I am still shuddering at the thought of having to meet his parents this weekend, and hope they have the strength to bear the sudden loss. Update: They had collided with a concrete mixer lorry (courtesy: The Hindu).

This is the second time I have lost a friend to this bane, and I am certain there are so many more related deaths. But why the hell doesn’t anyone learn from others’ mistakes? I can only empathize with the traffic police’s attempts to create awareness of safety on the road, but despite all their best efforts to inculcate some sense into the empty minds of the modern youth, no one learns the lesson yet. The point is, we have no control over our life and can die any time, but why do you want to ditch the world even sooner and change your destiny?

On hearing the news, I was thinking out aloud “Why again?” My college classmate, Pravin, was riding with his friend, both drunk to the core. His friend rode the bike at neck break speed even within electronic city. Even as they came to the U-turn which connects Gate 3 and Gate 4, his friend did not slow down the bike at all. As a consequence, the bike skidded off the road and both the riders were thrown off. The friend was lucky and escaped with a hand fracture, but Pravin was not so fortunate. His head bumped against a rock and his skull was fractured in the process. He also suffered internal injuries in the torso. But what made the whole thing even worse was that he relapsed into a coma, and the doctors were not sure if he would wake up, but suggested keeping him under observation. For three months, his parents stayed in the hospital, not even once stepping out of the hospital grounds. But at the end, his brain activities started decreasing, and the doctors did not have much hope for reviving him. I went to the hospital and remained with his parents for the last 5 days of his life. In the end, his parents understood that he was gone forever, and they consented to switch off the ventilator. It was a very traumatic experience for all of us, considering how much of pain his parents had undergone these 3 months. This memory can never be erased in the years to come.

Yesterday night, my friend Amith, who also lived in the same street, conveyed the sad news to me. I was shell shocked as to how a nice guy like Vikram could suffer such a cruel fate, but in the end, he was no different from Pravin. It was almost a repeat of Pravin’s accident, but only that Vikram was mercifully killed on the spot. Amith did not know the full details, but confirmed that his friend was barely unrecognizable in the wreck. *I can’t believe i have to type this!* My parents might be knowing the full details, since Vikram’s mom is our family friend. I feel totally sorry and helpless for his family, and can only pray for their peace of mind. I had known Vikram for close to 15 years and used to hang out with him in school days, and play cricket on our street every evening. Now, I don’t have a chance to say a hi to him and ask him how life is going on. He is in very good hands now, and I hope he will watch over his parents from there. What makes this incident even worse is that Vikram is the only son of his parents, while Pravin is survived by his younger sister. I now realize how much I love my parents and don’t want to displease them at any cost. 😦

dont drink and drive warning at Bangalore

dont drink and drive warning at Bangalore

Picture courtesy: Rindo (colleague). This picture gives me an eerie feeling, and I can imagine Vikram being like this. 😦

Now comes the big question – WHY DID THEY DO IT? I have known Vikram for long, and in the last 2 years of college I became close to Pravin, and he used to drop me home after classes. In both cases, they were thoroughly dissatisfied with what they had and always fantasised having better things without working for them. Vikram was a bit dyslexic and did not excel in studies, but he had a very good nature and always sought to make friends with everyone, not to mention he was good at cricket. His parents did not approve of his behavior,and I remember they always used to tell me “Give him tips on how to study better”. They did not pay much attention to what he really wanted, and was concerned only with his academic performance. This could have impacted him and made him lose his faith in them, and subsequently he resorted to boozing, the most common way to get over sorrows and what not. In Pravin’s stance, he was literally a casanova, but could never manage to get a girlfriend. To exacerbate the misery, my classmates ruined him and introduced him to the world of addiction, and soon he became a total wreck. Whenever I spoke to him alone, I could sense his lack of concern for his life and his family. His mother always pampered him and yet he never reciprocated her love and pain, and she had to go through hell for this.

I had intended to blog about Pravin’s death in July last year, but did not wish to make things gloomy in InfyBlogs. Now Vikram’s death leaves me no choice but to write about the two friends, whom I lost to the influence of alcohol. The most pitiable thing about these, is that no one still gets the message about how precious our life is, and they resume their bad habits (case in point – my classmates during the kodai trip). I am certain there are many infoscions who drink a lot and sometimes drive on the way home from the bar. If you are one of them, for god’s sake stop acting like a total dumbass and give some respect for your life and your parents. Your parents took pains to make your life comfortable; do you intend to repay them by losing your life, and shattering their hopes, consequently making them feel their lives are worthless?!

I can’t stop people from smoking and drinking, but I intend to make sure they don’t lose their minds. Even if only one person gets the message, it will be a major victory for me. Folks, please do your bit too; make your friends understand the importance of putting their life and others’ lives at risk if they try this. You can’t prevent your friends from getting drunk, but at least ensure that they walk back home, or find a teetotaller friend, who would be willing to drop them home. I swear that if anyone dismisses my sincere request, I am going to kick their butt to high heaven and give them a much needed dosage of common sense. I simply can’t afford to brood about more losses!

So the message is loud and clear: If they say you must not drink and drive, they are clearly telling you to give an iota of respect for your life and not to endanger other people’s lives because of the need to drown yourself in alcohol. I am certain many people will continue to ignore these warnings and contribute to the increasing death rate, but there’s always a glimmer of hope that some people have the sense to imbibe the meaning of this warning.

Life moves on. But learn from others’ mistakes too!

Cross posted from internal blog

Edit: If you can’t quit drinking, atleast ensure you don’t drive when u have drinking plans!

Max payne 3?

When I was introduced to the world of PC gaming, the first game which truly set the tone for a period of gaming addiction was the all time favorite, Max Payne. The game noir of an American cop after the gang who killed his family, coupled with amazing gaming features like bullet time and an excellent story line, had everything that could make you stare at the screen for hours together. I managed to finish the game in a month during school days, which is a mean achievement in itself. Then 2 years later came Max Payne 2 – The fall of Max Payne. But I confess I have never played it :$, because GTA was the new crush at that time, with excellent gameplay and outrageous stunts giving me adrenaline rushes every half an hour. 😀

For those who don’t know what I am talking about, Max Payne is a PC game, which has earned a cult status among hardcore gamers. The PC covers for the 2 editions of the game are shown below:

max_payne_cover2 maxpayne21

And now there’s news of the third edition coming up. I am really looking forward to it. In fact, I was one of the exclusive users in the official max payne site to get a sneak preview of the game trailer and game cover for PC/PS3/X-Box, and I was blown away by the picture. I have decided to put up the cover picture, for the benefit of my fellow bloggers.

prazypayne1

In the latest edition, Mona Sax, who supposedly died in the second edition, will be back as Moaning Saxophone, who always screams in despair whenever Max Pain starts firing his deadliest weapons, the PJ-47 and the PJ-84876. The plot line deals with how Max Pain attacks unsuspecting friends and colleagues with PJs, and must escape unscathed from the rampaging mob, who leave behind a trail of blood on the road due to ruptured ear drums. :p The third game is longer than both editions, owing to the sheer number of victims available in Infocity, the background of every exciting action in the game. I sincerely wish for the grand success of this game, and Rockstar games have announced plans to launch a new game – Hitman code name N03, if Max Pain is a roaring success!

Ok.. That must have been a big shock to you. I will try to reduce your blood pressure and heart beat for now, by asking a simple question.

The Indian cricket team returned to their hotel after a fruitful practice session. To their consternation, the single door leading to the suite, where the whole team was put up, was locked; the players didn’t know who had the keys, and some of the stronger players tried barging against the door, but met with limited success. Sachin, who was the last to arrive, after a brief 5-minute BOOST advertisement with Darsheel Safari(of TZP fame), noticed the commotion in the hall. When he realised what was going on, he said in a calm,confident voice – “Mates. Don’t worry. I know how to open the door.” He walks up to the heavy suite door and stands in front of it, while his team mates watch with bated breath. After 10 seconds, to everyone’s utter disbelief, the door opens on its own!!!!

“How did you do it, Sachin bhai?” asks Sehwag.

What did Sachin say?

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“Simple, Viru! I am the key player of the team,right?” 😀 😀

OK. I am out of here before the stones hit me….. *Runs as fast as his long legs can carry him*

Crossposted from internal blog

The curious case of Benjamin Button – a review (spoiler alert)

The first time I had heard of this movie, it had already been hailed as one of the frontrunners for the best motion picture at the 81st Academy awards. My curiosity piqued, I had a glance at the movie page in IMDB, and a look at the cast was enough to make me eager to watch this flick. I have been a fan of David Fincher (of Fight Club and Se7en fame), and was confident that his latest masterpiece would not disappoint his hardcore fans; not only did he live up to our expectations, but blew us away with a subtle mixture of fantasy and emotions in a 166 minutes long movie.

The movie outlines the life of Benjamin Button, who was born under bizarre circumstances. The revelation of the baby Benjamin’s strange disorder at the start does the trick of keeping the viewers on the edge of their seats, fostering their curiosity to know what would happen in the next scene of the movie. Born with the characteristics of an old man, and dumped by his father at an old age home after his mother had died in childbirth, the first half of the story portrays the wonderful relationship between the charismatic Queenie, the caretaker of the home, and young Benjamin (who appears no different from the old men and women of the house!). Also, we are introduced to Daisy, the granddaughter of one of the inmates of the house, whose presence always makes Benjamin feel younger (pun intended). The rest of the movie portrays Benjamin’s life as he becomes younger on the outside and wiser inside, and how his relationship with Daisy blossoms despite the effects of his reverse growth, and later the difficult decisions Benjamin must make to make himself less of a burden to the people he loves. This is certainly of those few movies which can make you feel a lump in your throat, and shed tears during some poignant moments. The running time of the movie might appear intimidating, but in fact I wished the movie could run longer; such is the effect the movie has on its viewers!

Brad Pitt as Vebjamin button

Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button

Each and every frame of the film has the Fincher trademark stamped on it – be it the use of dull colors to exemplify the gloomy mood of an old age home, where death is a ‘regular visitor’, or the bright colors used when Benjamin works on a boat at sea, to show the refreshing change of life which our protagonist enjoys; or the choice of background score whenever something happens inside the old age home. The screenplay by Eric Roth is astounding and original, and the dialogues are apt for most of the scenes. Brad Pitt essays the role of Benjamin Button to perfection and has proved to be a very versatile actor, ranking alongside the likes of Edward Norton and Johnny Depp. However, the highlights of the movie were the acting of the lead women in the story. Taraji Henson as Benjamin’s foster mother, Queenie, has managed to enact the role with élan, and one can’t ignore her warmth and affection for the baby Benjamin, who would in normal circumstances be branded a monster. It seemed fitting that Benjamin considered Queenie his mother, even after knowing the identity of his real mother. Cate Blanchett gives a wonderful performance as Daisy, oozing the right emotions at the right time, and plays the ideal foil to Brad Pitt. A special mention must be made on behalf of the makeup and costume department; I marveled at the fact that they could make Brad Pitt look any age, be it a teenager or a wizened old man, and yet the audience would be unable to discern if the character was actually him or some other actor.

To conclude, “The curious case of Benjamin Button” is a classical masterpiece and should not be missed out at any cost. It is a clear cut example of how reality and fantasy can be seamlessly blended into a complete, compelling and wonderfully narrated story. I would give it a 9/10!

PJ time – shoe on this!

In the KEC General BB, some guy was asking for suggestions to dry wet shoes the fastest way. One guy came up with a solution – tie the wet shoes and laces to the spinning fan; another suggested that the owner of the shoes spin under the running fan in the opposite direction. Our VMGR even suggested that the guy sit on an oscillating table fan on the floor, under the spinning ceiling fan. Not wanting to be left out, I left a message on the BB

“Stringing shoes to the spinning fan can be ‘shoecide’ for the shoes ;-)”

Needless to stay, my brain was fully alert after this contribution of mine, yearning to churn out some more crap PJs. Being the benevolent soul I am, I willingly let it run wild, and came up with some shoe PJs.

Q: Which cricketer is the cobbler’s role model? A: Greg/Ian Chappal

Q: What is the cobbler’s favourite flowe? A: Shoeflower

Q: What is the shoe’s favourite snack? A: Lace – No one can tie just one

Q: What is the cobbler’s favourite Chinese movie? A: Shoelin Soccer (Vinay Raikar deserves an applause for this wonderful contribution)

Q: What is the shoe’s favourite fruit? A: Cherry (shoe polish! Vinay did it again!)

Q: In Star wars, two main characters were Han Solo and Chewbacca. If it was renamed Shoe Wars, would they be called Han Sole and Shoebacca?

Q: In Mortal Kombat, if Shang Tsung was a shoe, what would he tell his foe after defeating him/her? A: “Your sole is mine!”  [From IMDB – Shang Tsung: Your soul is mine… ]

Q: Why did one shoe play a prank on another shoe? A: Just for kicks!

Q: What is the shoe’s favourite English soap? A: The bold and the boot-iful

Q: Which is the shoe’s favourite actress? A: Elizabeth Shoe (Shue)

Q: Which is the shoe’s favourite football club? A: Shoeventus (Juventus)

Q: What do u call a crazy shoe? A: Footloose

Q: Why was the pair of shoes too lazy to do any work? A:  Because they were loafers.

Q: What kind of shoes make good eavesdroppers? A:  Sneakers

Q: What’s the cobbler’s favourite wrestling move? A: Big boot

Q: What do you call a shoe doing drugs? A: High heels

Q: What do you call a cobbler who drives a F1 car? A: Michael Shoemaker (NOM to all MS fans 🙂 )

Q: What is the shoe’s favorite song? A: “The shoe must go on

Q: Why was the lady shoe embarassed? A: Because the male shoe was giving her shoe bites (Lady Ballal takes the cake for this one!)

Q: What’s the shoe’s favourite hindi movie? A: Shoe-t out at Lokandwala (Ballal again!)

Q: What did one shoe tell to another when they got lost? A: He sang “Shoe me the meaning of being lonely”

Q: What do shoes tell when they want to be alone for some time? A: I need shoelace (solace) [Divya Venkatesh]

Q: What did they call the flood at the shoe factory? A: Shoenami (Ballal)

Q: What do you call a music crazy shoe blogger? A: Shyam Shoeyambu

Q: What was the parliamentary expletive uttered when the sole came out? A: “Oh shoet!” (Rb PJ!)

Q: What do you call a nation of starving shoes? A: Shoemalia (half of this PJ credit goes to Pankaj)

Q: What’s the blogger’s ideal girl? A: Shoepriya! (Rinil’s masterpiece!)

Q: Why should cobblers play for the cricket team? Because they make fine slippers!

Many bloggers contributed their PJs in the internal blog, but I can’t remember them. Anyone who has a PJ in mind can comment here. 😀

A bitter sweet weekend

Yesterday I turned 23, as was evident in my previous post. When in Hyderabad, my mom had informed me that she would make gulab jamuns if I came home on my birthday. Needless to say, my tongue was hanging out at the mention of the delicious red sweet, and I promptly said I would be at home. 😀

Unlike the delayed trip on August 14th, as described in my previous blog, I took a TNSTC bus from Hosur at arrived at Chennai at 3.45 am! Taking an auto from Guindy for an exhorbitant fare, I reached home at around 4.15, and woke up my dad by calling him out from the bedroom window(our home is on GF). My dad was startled, but however he opened the door for me, wishing me a feeble “Happy birthday, Prasan”. I hit the sack immediately.

Mom woke me up at 9 am, greeting me with a hug. I had gulab jamuns and kanji(a kind of bran with milk?) for breakfast. Then switched on my system, and went to my twitter and orkut page, and patiently replied to each and every birthday wish from my friends, far and near, for the next hour. Many friends were chatting with me after a long time, and I was bemused with it. See, people find you are online, but don’t buzz you, unless its your birthday or there’s a bomb blast where you are and they want to know you are safe. ^o) I was asked about my plan for the day, to which I replied it would be a quiet birthday.

In the evening, i met Ice(aishwarya_n01) and Vinay(Vinay_vijayakumar), two of my constant companions back in my days at Shols; the former gave me a Calvin and Hobbes book as a gift, knowing I would love it. (Even the gift wrapper was really nice, with friendship messages adorning it). I treated both of them at Barista’s, and had one and a half hours of chit chat with them. Ice even came home and met my mom and ‘set dosa granny’ 😀

So far so good. Later in the evening, I went to see the ortho to have my troublesome knee inspected. The niggle had been bothering me for quite some time, and my visits to the physio at Infy did little to ease the pain, so I decided to have a specialist look at it. A look at an x-ray of my right knee told the ortho I had a slight ligament tear. 😦 😦 He advised me to take an MRI scan, and not to exert myself. And he said “DON’T PLAY FOOTBALL FOR SOME TIME”. Sigh! Life can be a b*tch at times. It’s ironical that I support a football club whose players spend most of their time on the treatment table. 😐 And to add to the dull evening, my club lost a match to an bottom-table opponent comprehensively. Sheesh!

Sunday was a lazy day for me; I spent hours chatting with mom and dad, and checking orkut and twitter. In the afternoon, I went to visit my cousin, who had delivered a healthy girl baby on 22nd, in the maternity clinic. The 2 day old baby look so cute and tiny, and thick black hair covered her head. Nervously but steadily, I held her in my huge hands, and she opened her eyes to look at me. Awwwwww.  I felt her tiny fingers and her bright pink toes, and tried to make her smile, succeeding to a small extent, before she began crying. Heh,first it’s Aditi and Shruti back in Hyderabad, and now it’s my niece who is making me smile and look at the positive side of life. 😀 My cousin was pleasantly surprised to see me, thinking I was still in Bangalore; however, she was glad I had come to ‘grace’ her yet-to-be-named daughter with my presence. 😉

Later, I went to the Devastanam temple to pray to Lord Venkateswara for a successful career and for my knee injury to heal quickly, so that I could get back into action on the football field asap. 🙂 Tonight, I travel back to Bangalore, and am taking mosquito repellent this time, learning a harsh lesson from yesterday’s travel. 😦 Till then, this blog won’t be updated as long as I am in Bangalore, unless a miracle occurs(read websense doesn’t work) or I use Wesley’s lappy to update. See you later.

Facts about the number 23

1. 23 is one of the most commonly cited prime numbers – a number that can only be divided by itself and one. Twenty three is the lowest prime that consists of consecutive digits. Primes have been described as the “atoms ” of mathematics – the building blocks of the world of numbers. An American businessman has put up a US$1m (£500,000) prize for the first mathematician to find a pattern in primes – a problem known as the Riemann hypothesis.

2. Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species was published in 1859 – 1+8+5+9 = 23. Two divided by three makes 0.666 recurring (allegedly – actually it makes 0.6666666667). The Hiroshima bomb was dropped at 8.15am – 8+15= 23.

3. 23rdians are a group of people who subscribe to the mystical power of 23 and see it in multiple combinations throughout daily life.

4. The Ancient Chinese believed numbers conveyed sexuality – evens for feminine and odds for masculine. They considered prime numbers to be the most masculine, conferring special status on 23 which is made up of two consecutive prime numbers and the only even prime number – two.

5. The terrorist attacks on America on 11 September 2001 have been held up as one of the most portentous examples of the disturbing power of 23. The figures in the date (9+11+2+0+0+1) add up to 23. The independent US commission which investigated the attacks found the date had been chosen randomly by the hijackers and had originally been planned for later in the year.

6. “W” is the 23rd letter of the Latin alphabet. It has two points down and three points up. White supremacists use 23 to represent ” W” as a mark of racial superiority.

7. The Birthday Paradox states that a group of 23 randomly-selected people is the smallest number where there will be a probability higher than 50 per cent that two people will share the same birthday.

8. The Knights Templar, the order of soldier monks who eventually fell foul of the Vatican and have been the subject of conspiracy theories about the Holy Grail, had 23 Grand Masters.

9. The first morse code transmission – “What hath God wrought?” – was from the Bible passage Numbers 23:23. In telegraphers code 23 means ” break the line”.

10. William Shakespeare was born in Stratford Upon Avon on 23 April 1564. He died 52 years later on his birthday, 23 April 1616. Kurt Cobain, the god of grunge, was born in 1967 and died in 1994 – 1+9+6+7= 23, 1+9+9+4 = 23.

11. Each parent contributes 23 chromosomes to the start of human life. The nuclei of cells in human bodies have 46 chromosomes made out of 23 pairs. Egg and sperm cells in humans have 23 chromosomes which fuse and divide to create an embryo.

12. The Bible does not let 23 pass without conferring upon it some significance, at least to students of the Book. Although the Old Testament is unspecific, it is widely held that Adam and Eve had 23 daughters. The 23rd verse of the first chapter of Genesis brings the act of creation to a close while the 23rd chapter of the book of Genesis deals entirely with death, namely that of Abraham’s wife, Sarah. The most famous and most quoted of the Psalms is number 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.”

13. The author William Burroughs was obsessed with 23. While living in Tangiers, he met a Captain Clark who ran a ferry between Spain and Morocco. One day, Clark told Burroughs that he had been doing the route for 23 years without incident. Later that day, the ferry sank, killing the captain. While Burroughs was thinking about the incident, a radio bulletin announced the crash of a Flight 23 on the New York-Miami route. The pilot was another Captain Clark. The events prompted an obsession which saw Burroughs record every occurrence of the number 23 for the rest of his life.

14. The average human physical biorhythm is 23 days.

15. Humans have 23 vertebra running down their main bit.

16. Blood circulates the body on average every 23 seconds.

17. The number has been the subject of not one but two films: the 1998 German movie, 23, and The Number 23, starring Jim Carrey. Each has a main character obsessed with the number.

18. John Forbes Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who was the subject of the film, A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe, was obsessed with 23. It featured prominently in his battle with mental illness. His breakdown began when he claimed that a photograph of Pope John XXIII on the cover of Life magazine was in fact him, the proof being that 23 was his favourite number. Nash published 23 scientific articles.

19. The most detailed account of the assassination of Julius Caesar, written by Nicolaus of Damascus, claims numerous enemies stabbed the Roman emperor 23 times. The wounds ranged from superficial to mortal.

20. Duotriophobia – Fear of the number 23

21. This is post number 184, which is 23 * 8.

22. 23/08 is the 23rd day of August 😛

23. I turn 23 years old on 23/08!

-crossposted from my Internal Blog