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Showing posts from 2016

Drumming Up a Following

After several years of putting it off and/or being unable to do so for a variety of reasons, I've finally taken up learning an instrument - or, more specifically, the drums. Guitar seemed a little too common an instrument and keyboard was never really my thing, so drums seemed the best choice. Which is why now I sit pondering my next sentence whilst whacking my drumsticks on my bed rather than thoughtfully scratching my chin.

Most of my friends have learned to play some instrument at some point or the other, and most of them stuck with it for long enough to still remember how to play at least something on it even now. I, however, spent my younger years coding or cooking or... well, something that was quite patently not music, anyway. Oh, my parents spent more than their fair share of money on music classes. I just never really had an interest in them growing up. I have spent countless hours, at ages seven and below, at music classes attempting to learn to play the keyboard or the …

The Time of Computers

Hello, all! I'm back after another nice, long, refreshing hiatus because for the nth time, my parents have put their feet down and insisted I compose a blog post. I MAY HAVE TO DO IT, BUT YOU'LL NEVER MAKE ME DO IT WITH GOOD GRACE, MOM!

I was thinking about my school computer science class (I wasn't really, I just need a way to introduce the topic) and about the kind of programs we have to write. They're not very complex programs, they do pretty simple things like adding up numbers or sorting things. They also aren't very long. A program that I'm asked to write in class will scarcely take me ten minutes to finish, and be around fifteen lines long. The Google home page has more lines of code than that, for crying out loud!

Now, there's nothing wrong with short programs. A lot of the most efficient programs are quite short, and I'm always thrilled to be able to write one line instead of two. However, the problem with writing only 15-line programs is that …

The Pancake Generation

Six years ago I received an email from my mother. The subject of the email was "Growing up w/out a CELL PHONE". The gist of the email was that my generation - Gen Y, the pancake generation, the most awesome generation ever, the culmination of all mankind has achieved so far - has it too easy. It detailed various things that gen X didn't have that we do. I have spent the past several minutes (the things I do for my readers...) digging through my emails to find this piece of literary glory to share with you.

If you are 30, or older, you might think this is hilarious! 
When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious  diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what  with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways. yadda, yadda, yadda 
And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in  hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how …

The Death of a Joke

Here's a tale I find quite amusing: a few years ago, I read a joke about a dog. The dog goes to a store and purchases some goods. The shopkeeper is quite amazed to see this, and he follows the dog to see where it goes. The dog takes the goods and gets on a bus. It goes into the suburbs and walks up to a house. Dropping the bag, the dog starts throwing itself at the door of the house. A man opens the door and starts yelling at the dog. The shopkeeper rushes in and stops the man, asking him why he is yelling at such an intelligent animal. The man responds, "That's the third time this week he's forgotten his keys!" Now, while this may be quite funny in itself, this isn't the whole story. The bit I found really amusing was that a few weeks ago, I received this joke in a text on WhatsApp (that's right, folks, even we teenagers aren't spared the torment of chain WhatsApp messages.). At the end of the joke, one of the many geniuses who mass-produce these mes…

Pokémon GO

It's been ten days since my last post now. Naturally, that means my parents have been pestering me to warm up my typing fingers and put out a new blog post. Firstly, we've crossed 20,000 views on the blog! Yaaaay! A huge thank you to everyone who read and shared the blog. Anyway, on to the blog.

A few weeks ago, a once-famous, now largely forgotten company called Nintendo came out with a game called Pokemon GO. It teamed up with Niantic, a company which made a huge splash a few years ago with an augmented reality game called Ingress. Pokemon, for all you poor, deprived folk who never played on a GameBoy Advanced or DS, is a game where you capture various creatures, train them into terrifying monsters and use them to beat other creatures up until they faint. No, it didn't make me violent! And I'll punch you until you pass out if you say it did!
Since 1996, Nintendo has been picking up the same series and rehashing it over and over, adding new pokemon and new rivals. The m…

The Negotiation of Discipline

A few days ago, we had a presentation at school by our principal and a representative of CollegeBoard in India, Ms. Lisa Jain. CollegeBoard, for those of you who haven't heard of it (until recently, I myself had no idea who they were), is the organization that sets the SAT exams. Ms. Jain was there to elucidate the advantages of the SAT exams and how we ought to prepare for them. The principal was there to tell us about why we chose the AS-level syllabus.

Now, as much as I wish I could tell you that I was listening to both presentations with rapt attention, I can't. There's no way I could sit for an hour while all my classmates are sitting around making comments sotto voce. However, there were a few moments where I was paying attention. During one of those moments, I happened to hear my principal say something about negotiable and non-negotiable rules in terms of discipline.

The reason this caught my attention was because the concept of a negotiable in discipline is not so…

Old School Fun

Ah, school. The smell of chalk dust in the air and of poorly aimed urine streams in the toilet. The reek of sulphur from the chemistry lab and the stench of the stuff someone dissected last year and forgot to clean up from the biology lab. And above all, the general undercurrent of missed opportunities to learn.

For those of you who haven't yet managed to guess, I'm writing about school today. Not the education system, about which I have expressed my... ah... not-so-positive opinions at regular intervals on both my blogs, but about school itself, the temple of learning that it is, and what I like and dislike about it.

For the past two months, I have been on summer vacation, doing absolutely nothing and being pleasantly surprised whenever I remembered that I had (62-x) days left before I had to return my nose to the grindstone of old. However, this week, school landed upon me in a crash of homework, incredibly voluminous textbooks and a fervent desire to put as much distance be…

The Cookifi Intern Experience

Before we get into the actual blog (I never do get straight into the blog, do I?), I'd like to let you guys know that we've crossed 14,000 pageviews. I actually meant to write this when I hit 10,000 pageviews, but what with one thing and another, I never really got around to it. However, 14,000 pageviews it is, and the three of you who gave me like 13,000 of those views and are now completely under my control, spread this blog like wildfire. More views, MORE VIEWS! BWAAAAHAHAHA!

Ahem, sorry. I go a bit mad with power sometimes. Anyway, onto the juicy stuff.

----- Begin sales pitch -----
For the past month and a bit, I've been interning with a company called Cookifi (you can check them out here. Can I have a raise now?). They're a startup where you can go and, in words plagiarized from the website's home page, "spread happiness from your own kitchen." In other words, you go to their website and pick one of the experiences ("experience" is a set me…

Happy Birthday to You

Of late, I've been thinking a lot about birthdays (well, I haven't, actually, but a chap's got to have a topic to write about, hasn't he?). It seems a little strange to me, celebrating the day you came into the world, crying a lot and pooping excessively. And let's face it, the way we celebrate birthdays is a little creepy. I mean, think about this:

'Several people are gathered around an object on fire, chanting a repetitive song. One among them carries a knife. They extinguish the object and plunge the knife into it. The rest of the group stops chanting and spontaneously bursts into applause. '  - Description of a birthday party by some chap on Tumblr

I mean, come on, tell me that doesn't sound like a scene from a cult horror film. But, strange cult rituals aside, I decided to do some research (read: click the first three links on a Google search) about birthdays. So, read on to learn some stuff about birthdays that you may or may not really care about.

Bored Exams

Hello, all! For the first time ever (I wish), I'm returning from a long break (because we all know there weren't any others, right? Right guys?). Alright, it may not be my first ever long break, but it certainly is the first time that I'm fully exploring the cause behind it. My most recent hiatus has been the result  of that terror of all students, the board exams.

The board exams, or public exams, for those of you who have spent the greater portion of your lives under rocks, are a set of examinations set by a group of out-of-touch old men sitting in Delhi. OK, no, they're not out of touch. I'm sure they're all supremely intelligent people and actually quite nice once you get to know them. The trouble is, though, I don't know them, and so as far as I'm concerned, they're a gang of Faceless Fiends who have made my life for the past two months into something which makes Dante's descent into the inferno seem like a slow stroll through the park.

For…

Divine Economics

Hello, all. I know I've been AWOL again and I'm awfully sorry and all that sort of thing. My latest absence may be blamed on the board exams, those destroyers of lives and happiness. It is my considered opinion that the cities of the plains may have yet thrived if it had not been for the introduction of the board exams. While the exams are not yet over - they don't even start until the end of this month - I've been allowed to escape the tomes for the time it takes me to write this post.

Today's topic is, as the title would suggest, divine economics - or rather, the economics of temples. Temples, in my opinion, ought to be considered businesses, at least in the sense that they provide a service in return for a fee. Now, if a temple is treated as a business (something I propose to do for the rest of this post), it would be a very strange business indeed. It breaks several of the most fundamental laws of economics, among them:

1. The Law of Demand. The law of demand st…

Sardarji Jokes

Harvinder Chowdury, a Sikh lawyer, has filed a Public Interest Litigation demanding that the courts ban Sardarji jokes. The courts, much more worryingly, have actually decided to take this seriously. Apparently, they're going to decide if the jokes "offend the Sardar community."

Personally, I think this is a bit much. I mean, are you seriously going to go out and ban Sardarji jokes? Also, Sardarji jokes have been around for ages. How come all of a sudden, people are offended? Why is it a big deal in the first place? I mean, there are tons of communities out there who have jokes made about them. Take, for example, the rednecks. Rednecks don't shoot people for making jokes about them. Rednecks just generally shoot people. But that's neither here nor there.

According to Ms. Chowdury, Sardarji jokes are a violation of the Sikh community's right to equality with other communities. I actually have a theory about equality where jokes are concerned. It is that if you…

1K:) - How It Went Down

Last week, I wrote a blog post about a project which we decided to take up called A Thousand Smiling Faces . Between then and now, the most important thing we've managed to do is contract "A Thousand Smiling Faces" to "1K:)". We also managed to deliver 1085 burgers to kids in orphanages around the city.

We began collecting money around 8 days ago. After several Facebook posts, two blog entries, God alone knows how many emails and hours spent walking from house to house asking people to donate, we managed to raise over ₹1,00,000. The meals themselves cost us ₹86,500 (McDonald's gave us a 20% discount on the grounds that it was charity), which leaves us with approximately ₹10,000 behind the loose brick. I intend to use the ₹10,000 to buy a Jacuzzi do another set of deliveries after the 16th of January, once my exams are finished. 

The project involved over 20 of my friends (and friends' friends) and 15 orphanages. We had at least one person at 14 of the 15 …