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Sep. 30th, 2008

boy with dog

Goodbye Livejournal, Hello Website!

This is my last post on this live journal.

My LJ has moved. I've finally got out of my prolonged spells of ennui and sloth to buy server space and sync it up with my two year old domain name, to have a brand new website.

The new address where I have moved is http://www.harishenoy.com . All my entries will be posted here henceforth.

I've long since tried to figure out why I had maintained a blog and a live journal, but never found an answer that I could convince myself with.

All my old entries have been imported onto my site, comments and all, in case you want to find them there. I am going to miss LJ for the friends' only posts, the moods and current music fields, as well as the other features that made me like it as much as, if not more than blogger.

For those few limited bunch of people who have linked me (for which you deserve many thanks, in the very least), I'd appreciate it if you were to update your link to reflect my new site.

Onward to Rock you like a 'Hari'cane for awesomeness unleashed!!!

So long, and thanks for all the hits!

Sep. 18th, 2008

boy with dog

Music by Arth





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Sep. 12th, 2008

boy with dog

Ramzan and the Call Center Employee

A few people I know - colleagues, friends, colleagues AND friends are fasting through the month of Ramzan as is expected by their religious credo and have hence experienced a shift in their eating habits by gorging food like crazy if they can during the time between sun-down and sun-rise and not having any grub at other times.

This is one of the gazillions of reasons I am glad I am Hindu, because not being able to eat with the kind of BMR I possess would result in certain death.

However, in a discussion with a friend, we came to the grand conclusion that Ramzan is the time when Muslim call center employees end up having a gala time since they can sleep fitfully during the day when the sun is up (depending on their shift timings) and then wake up later on and chomp on food like nobody's business all through their working day.

This raises one question about how the devout ones adjust their need to pray five times a day with a disrupted circadian cycle. I don't want the answer if I have to hunt too much for it, needless to say it is somebody else's problem.

*

In other not-so-unrelated news, sometime last week, I heard a Muezzin's voice break during the time he was on the microphone, rendering his prayer call.

Voice breaking during high pitch singing is quite embarassing for whoever is in front of the mic and quite funny for the spectators, regardless of circumstance.

Sep. 11th, 2008

boy with dog

Cubicle Neighbours

As cubicle neighbours come, this one is as peculiar as they get.

There is someone who sits in my proximity at the office who has a dialogue from a Gult (Telugu, for those woefully uninitiated) movie as his cell phone ringtone, complete with background music and all. The ring tone begins with some female talking in a flirtatious voice, followed by some randomly absurd piece of synthesizer music followed by a male voice, which I haven't heard most of the time since the said person mercifully picks up the phone by then.

This morning, I've been hearing him speak non-stop Gult for almost two hours, with the only discernible parts of his speech being 'Hi how are you?' (repeated about seventeen times already before I got bored and lost count and had to do my own work) and something about 'cute cute puppies' and something else about 'Korean lovely ladies' thereafter (unless there is some expression in Gult which sounds like that, which I've buffalaxed into English).

I've ever so rarely heard said person speak to anyone in his vicinity, but I guess his is the only loud cell phone ringtone that I could possibly tolerate, simply because of its extreme absurdity.
boy with dog

Adviteeya

Sometimes, when you discover new music in a collection that you've already had, its sort of like unearthing buried treasure. The thrill of stumbling upon a brilliant piece of music and listening to it ad infinitum has very few parallels that I'm aware of.

One such instance of discovering new music and getting mesmerized had taken place around May 2007 when my ex-flatmate Kutty had given me a CD titled Adviteeya by a certain friend of his, named Kuldeep M Pai.

The CD is a unique effort, as Kuldeep, a native of Cochin, not only renders the vocals, but also plays the Kanjira, the Mridangam, the Ghatam, the Veena and the Violin among other instruments. Multi-track recording had rendered it possible for Kuldeep to come out with a CD that contains six pieces, for which he's supplied the complete music as well as the vocals.

I am not trained in classical music per se, with my only first-hand exposure to the same resulting from having been one of the few guys in our class in school to have been selected to attend the music class during SUPW, more as a luck of the draw thing rather than as a conscious choice.

Most of the girls in school opted for music and dance, while guys were also inadvertently bundled in along with them. This provided the girls with a much needed opportunity to make fun of us guys, and was one of the prime causes for most of us indulging in the first of many instances of truant behaviour.

My memories of the music room include that of smelly socks and dilapidated instruments that were placed within showcases safely out of harm's way, with our music teacher using a tambourine to keep time. Somehow the only two mental images I have of people playing tambourines are those of my music teacher in school playing it and seeing a video of 'Stairway to Heaven' when Robert Plant plays it as well.

It would be fun for them to switch spaces, but you'd have to be there, I guess.

In any case, I did not learn any Raagas and only learnt a few Taalas that I've promptly forgotten in the absence of practise. However, I think I can spot good music when I listen to it, and Adviteeya is certainly good music to listen to.

I'd given the CD to my landlord to check out sometime last year, and it was quite recently that I decided to ask him for it again, and my mornings now begin with Mr.Pai's rendition of Mahaganapatim, and I must confess that it sets the mood for the rest of the day. Thank God for the music!

PS - This does not mean I endorse those who sing about Dwarapalakas in open forums. (Inside joke. Once again, you'd have to be there, I guess.)
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Sep. 1st, 2008

boy with dog

Notes about Nothing - Work Anniversaries

Its official now, I've spent more time outside college than I did within it. Not that I attended too many classes and all that, but I guess I've been a Corporate Ho longer than I was an undergrad student. Four years have passed since I graduated from being a dorky engineering graduate to a dorky engineer who had to earn his living.

This officially earmarks the longest voluntary relationship I have ever had in my life. Either party could've broken up at will, but both of us have weathered many storms together and have stuck on, for some reasons best known only to the both of us, while most other reasons for aforesaid situation remain significantly inexplicable.

This NaN is going to focus on the memories I have had of September 1st over the past five years, and for sure, it has been quite interesting in more ways than I could have previously imagined.

*

2004: First day of work. I was unwell, and I had worn a light green full sleeve shirt my sister had got me as a present. She had overestimated my shoulder width, my height and my girth and in the process purchased a shirt that was two sizes too big for me. I wore it nevertheless, because I thought it was important. My cousin, who's house I was at on the first day I was in Bangalore, dropped me to the office and I walked in through the doors into the room where we had our induction at 0859, one minute before proceedings began.

For the first ever time in my life, I fell asleep in something akin to a class, because the person who was giving us the corporate presentation could as well have been spraying valium through an atomizer four inches away from my nostrils. In addition to my acute somnolence, I had also been, as I had mentioned previously, unwell, and the medicine that I'd been prescribed had given me a light tremor in my right hand, and for one of the first ever times in my life, I was scared as hell about whether I'd ever be normal again.

The doctor's reassurance about it being a reaction to some expectorant tablet did nothing to remedy the situation, and it was only after I got better and I was able to write properly did I heave a huge sigh of relief.

I had been to the office a fortnight prior to my joining date, on 18th August to hunt for accommodation that was close to where I had to work. Seeing the amount of dirt, dust, traffic and the accompanying madness and mayhem was too much of a shock for me, given that Mysore was diametrically opposite insofar as the state of affairs on the roads were concerned.

Three days after the entire rigmarole began, I had called my Mum up and told her that I wanted to quit and open a grocery store in Mysore, or teach in my college and I've had constantly recurring thoughts of quitting work ever since, but the idea has been mulled over so much that its now relegated to that part of me that tends to over-romanticize trivial situations and circumstances.

Its been four years, and, as is quite evident, I still haven't quit.

*

2005: I was not doing too well at work, being torn apart between travelling to Mysore on weekends and attempting to work away on the weekdays, while trying to see if I could get a life outside of work, but failing to do so miserably. Whatever remenants of quizzing I had once thrived on in college had now been reduced to nothing, and things didn't seem to be going well.

Music, which was such an important part of my life, had also been relegated to oblivion.

In the last week of August 2005, I contracted bronchopneumonia, and as a consequence spent the first anniversary of my starting life as a working professional in bed with a fever of 104 F, getting more pale and gaunt by the minute, but sleeping like a baby and feeling happy about not having to work during that time.

Not the best of times, but not the worst of times either.

*

2006: Oslo. My second visit there in three months. Awesome place, awesomer experiences overall, and with a trip to Copenhagen under my belt, I was having all the fun I could in the available time. Work was also fun because it was challenging and hectic, and I didn't really bother much about anything else apart from calling family on occasion and telling them how I was having a blast all over the place.

On the morning of September 1st, I saw two mails - one of them said I had my august salary credited to my account, and another one congratulated me for two years of work in my company. I said Meh to both, as I had said to some other formerly important stuff at the very start of the trip and continued to work, without those two mails bothering me much until a few days ago when I took a lazy stroll down memory lane.

In retrospect, that second trip changed my life for the better in more ways than I'd have imagined it would.

*

2007: It was three years of loyal service to le company, and for some strange reason, it was supposed to be a monumental occasion, given the attrition rates in the industry. I had put NED by that time to want to stay and celebrate at the office, so I instead took a few days off and chilled out at home instead, growing my beard, combing my hair, trying to figure out the best way to remove knots and having my respect for women go up tenfold because of how they were able to manage their long hair all their lives without wanting to stick their heads in a lawn-mower and be rid of it all.

Nevertheless, this was quite a tame and incredibly lazy time for me, and this anniversary passed on without much ado either.

*

2008: So far, I've put one post up on my LJ abusing badly behaved kids, been working away as usual, had a good lunch and am about to go watch Rock On with the band. Nothing out of the blue, just another day at work with the usual stuff taking precedence over anniversaries that don't really amount to much.

Even if I end up going home after work and just crashing after watching some arbit stuff on TV, I know that I'll have had fun simlpy because I've reached a stage where I don't give a damn about too many things, and am in a controlled free-fall mode.

*

I still get goosebumps when I recall Jeff Daniels' voice in the last episode of The Wonder Years - growing up does happen in a heartbeat, but sometimes, that ain't such a bad thing either. The important thing is to protect one's balls to make the most of what you can when you can.
boy with dog

Child Free Zones

There are many things that I see and hear that irk me no end, and being the non-confrontational skinny guy that I am, I choose to rant about it by posting it on LJ.

Plus I'd rather not get my "Meh" t-shirt or my "Security" t-shirt torn in any fracas that ensues from a retaliation to my righteous moral indignation.

I've ranted about virtually everything I can survey, including announcements at the airport loud enough to wake the dead, about cell phones and people who stand way too close to you when you are in a que.

This recent TOI article which put Madman on the front page has sought opinions from a bunch of people who've been strongly vocal about being all for child free zones in the country, and are willing to cough up some money to ensure some peace of mind. This particular set of posts makes for interesting reading, if this topic has caught your fancy.

I want to go watch Wall-E in the theatres shortly, but I am scared of going because of the noisy irritating kids, their noisier and more irritating parents, that will kill the movie for me. Sundays, in particular, are a bad time to hang out at a mall, which, by itself is a bad place to hang out in, in the first place.

Also, the presence of pesky badly behaved children on flights is is probably a reason why all international flights serve free alcohol, so that people that want to can drink up and crash. (Funny how using the word crash on a plane makes people cringe. It is one of the best ways of unfriending the person(s) sitting next to you.) In the absence of said free alcohol, twelve hour flights would be agonizingly painful, since the presence of kids guarantees a lack of absolute silence at all times, except during turbulence (which is quite fun to experience in retrospect).

An interesting incident that took place yesterday further fuelled me to write this post. I had been to Big Bazaar to buy chocolates to satiate my urge to gorge on sweets, which has lasted for more than a fortnight now, and alarmingly so. The chocolates counter was closed as a result of which, I picked up the next best thing, Hide and Seek Milano biscuits, and was standing in queue patiently, when some random kid who must've been four or five years old just walked past me, walked back towards me when she spotted the biscuit packet in my hand, and held into it and tugged it.

The shop was closing, and I had been sleeping all day and needed my sugar fix, and there was no way I was going to let a badly behaved kid snatch the pack from me. I did what I thought Wolverine would do in such a situation, I bared my teeth and growled at her in a menacing way, and since I hadn't combed my hair after having woken up and was dressed in my favourite pair of horribly torn jeans, I could've passed off as a junkie who's food shouldn't be messed with.

The growl made the kid run for cover, and she hid behind her Mum and was taking a peek at me occasionally when she thought I wasn't looking. The guy standing behind me in queue, who was standing too close initially saw the incident from up close, and then respectfully stepped back some distance when I went ahead to the check-out counter.

Growling and baring one's teeth works. I'm sure if I had been even remotely badly behaved like said kid, my Dad would've given me a roundhouse kick. Thankfully, such instances were few and far between.

BTW, I vote in favour of child-free zones.

Aug. 27th, 2008

boy with dog

Notes about Nothing - Seattle Diary

Its been five months since I returned from Seattle, but somehow something or the other happens that invariably takes my mind back to my trip there. This is a post about some of those memory refreshing incidents that have happened since I got back.

*

Grey's Anatomy:
My sister follows the serial, although I haven't seen more than ten minutes of it, not counting the constant promos on Star World interspersed with a song by 'The Fray'. Everytime I end up going home, she's called dibs on the remote whenever the damn serial is on air. The rest of the family sulks in other rooms until such time that the serial is finally over.

However, some evening, I was too lazy to go do something else and I ended up watching the first few minutes of the serial, only to see helicopter shots of the Space Needle, the Seattle Center and 3rd Avenue, after which my sister told me that the serial was based in Seattle. It was kinda cool to see an overhead view of the city and visualize myself having walked along those streets for the various arbit activities I'd undertaken.

*

A Guy Thing:
Having seen Julia Stiles in 'The Bourne Supremacy' and 'The Bourne Ultimatum' as well as in '10 things I hate about you' (whose DVD is now selling like hotcakes since it starred Heath Ledger), I thought she was a real cutie, and since I was in the mood for a romantic comedy last evening, I picked up A Guy Thing from my friendly neighbourhood DVD store, only to find out that the entire frigging movie was based in Seattle.

Familiar streets, some shops I've walked past, references to Broadway and more shots of the over-rated Space Needle were enough to bring about feelings of nostalgia. The movie itself is something people can watch when they're feeling brain-dead, and still enjoy it all.

*

The Hungry Tide:
The Hungry Tide, a book by Amitav Ghosh, and the second book by him that I've received as a birthday present after having been given The Glass Palace as a birthday gift a long time ago has one of its major characters based in Seattle. She's a marine biologist who's here on some research work, and during moments of reflection has her thoughts drift towards the city she's grown to call her own.

I've gone through only about a hundred pages of that book, given my currently pathetic reading speeds, but so far its not been a bad read.

*

Gimme S'More:
I'd got enough chocolates from my trip to last me all of five months. I've been on a recent sweet consuming binge which has resulted in me eating ice creams, chocolates, sweets of all kinds and drinking unmeasurable quantities of Tropicana Twister, ensuring that my blood sugar levels have reached all-time highs. It was during one of these instances when I was gorging on a Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar that I was reminded of a S'more.

On my last evening in the city, I had been to a birthday party thrown by some of my 'native' friends (I used to refer to American citizens as natives) and while sitting out in someone's backyard surrounding a fire, sipping slowly on one beer for four hours to as to maintain levels of sobriety necessary to ensure I was at the airport on time the next morning, I was introduced to a S'more, and I can't honestly think of something else I've eaten that's so brilliantly sweet and tasty at the same time. I gave it my own name at that time, I called it a Hershmellow, because I guess I didn't think too much of the Graham cracker that was also part of the S'more.

Never pass upon a S'more if given a chance to consume one. In fact, ask for more.

*

Starbucks, endless solo walks along all the streets, hanging out at the CHAC enough to be a regular there, working decently hard on weekdays and being unerringly slothful during the evenings and weekends, phone calls to India, fond memories of my entire trip and the good times I had have remained, and will be counted as one of the nicest travel experiences I've had.

The times they are a-changin, but the memories remain.

Aug. 26th, 2008

boy with dog

Social Experiments on Techies

Having seen the Dark Knight for the second time with Kodhi at PVR, I was thinking about the concept of social experimenting on techies to see how many of them get off their high horses if they're given enough incentive to do the same.

I am targetting techies because I like making fun of myself.

There, I just absolved myself from all vitriol that I might receive from anyone at all.

**here be Dark Knight spoiler**
Moving on, I was thinking of how the Joker effectively manages to make people think along the lines of killing another bunch in order for their own survival, thereby ensuring that all societal norms and regulations go for a toss.
**end of Dark Knight spoiler**

Now I'm not as evil as the Joker is, and I wouldn't dream of killing people and all that, but it would nevertheless be fun to see how people would react under different situations, and provide the rest of us with some quality entertainment.

For instance, techies use lifts to go from one floor to another, and the lunch time rush is when the lifts experience peak traffic. Junta are usually orderly, except for in some cases when they crowd onto it like people would into a BMTC bus*. Breaking wind at such times would make for some classic candid camera moments.

What if someone were to sponsor lunch to the person who got on to the lift first, before everyone else who was also waiting in line did? Would a techie succumb to the prospect of having free lunch over the need to maintain discipline and decorum? I don't know, you tell me.

Cubicles are closed spaces, and sitting in close proximity with people should provide people with some sense to not wear strong odour perfumes. What if someone were to not have a bath to counter this assault on one's olfactory senses?

What if one were to immerse into a glass of water, any cell phone that rang during a meeting DESPITE having insisted on putting cellphones on silent mode at the start of the meeting?

These are questions whose answers I don't want to find, I just want such situations to be created in the tech environs to shake things up a little.

* Notice I said BMTC bus and not Mumbai local train.

PS - I honestly don't see the need to have put in a spoiler alert, considering even Monkee has seen the movie. That makes him the last person on the planet to do so, and Christopher Nolan has promised to insert an Easter Egg dedication to said person for having seen the movie finally. Watch this space.
boy with dog

Notes about Nothing - 26/08/2008

Yeah, I decided to take a page out of the livejournal owned by purely_narcotic and let my meandering thoughts be compressed such that different ones could fit into the same post. The only difference is that, my posts, pretty much like all episodes in all seasons of Seinfeld are about nothing.

*

Journalistic Forays:
Citizen Matters, I discovered, has its own page for contributing writers and here is mine. The awesome thing is that the 'about me' section can be modified by people that own the page, and unlike in the two social networking sites that I have content on, this 'about me' might actually be read by some people.

As an aside, my piece on the lack of public space for Sunday Jams is on the front page of the newsletter.

*

Two Hit Wonder??:
Just this morning, I saw the video of 'Love is Noise' by The Verve on VH1 as I was cleaning up all the nose hair I had trimmed with a jumbo sized vacuum cleaner, and I could think just one more video of theirs that came to mind that everyone has seen and heard of. However, I could think of one other song of theirs that I have heard on the radio - 'lucky man' and I was wondering why VH1 was airing 'Rockstar' by Nickelback about eight hundred times a day and not putting any other videos. Usher's latest song, that I switch off as soon as I see his face, also features on that list.

*

Peter has no Principle:
Yes. Woe is me. I am within a ten metre radius of an anomaly that has defied the Peter Princple and risen above to seemingly vertiginous heights and I have no clue why!!! Further elaboration (read whining / bitching) on said matter will be done verbally to people who will ask - 'How's life?'.

*

Breakfast at Tifanny's:
I now plan on growing a handlebar mustache and wearing a leather jacket that has a skull and crossbones on it. Additionally, I also plan to cut queues and eyeball everyone in sight. Maybe that will compensate for having received the Rough Guide to Chick Flicks as a birthday present in jest from a certain Simian, although said person will deny the jest bit in no uncertain terms.

To compound my misery further, I rented 'Breakfast at Tifanny's' because I heard Audrey Hepburn was such a babe, and ended up watching it. I think I should not trim my nose hair for all of next year, to compensate. Edit: I must admit, Audrey Hepburn is a real cutie.

*

This pretty much concludes the first of my many "Notes about Nothing", although there's few other regular lengthy posts that I do plan on writing once the mood does happen. Maybe NaN will be a one time only venture as well, only time will tell.

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