Saturday, September 22, 2007


In our school timetable, we had a period called SUPW that happened around thrice a week. It stood for Some Useful Productive Work, though some genius had more aptly named it Some Useful Periods Wasted. And through generations of students, the acronym had been pronounced as "Soopa" for some strange reason.

Through the lower classes, we were taught "craft", when we stuck sequins on paper, strung beads and did bizarre things with drinking straws. Later, the girls were told to bring cloth and needle and we were taught to embroider. The boys were told they could do what they wanted as long as they were quiet. Couple of years later, we graduated to SUPW labs. The boys had theirs, the girls had theirs.

The boys' lab, which we only got to see from the outside, looked interesting and felt forbidden. The walls had diagrams of devices, circuit diagrams and other things considered masculine. The girls' lab had samples of embroidery done by old students, it had recipes, it had sequins and drinking straw "craft".

Our teacher had already told us what we would be doing: Our regular embroidery work would continue, but the first lab class would involve making tea and coffee, the next week would be cake making, and so on. The boys prepared for their first class, saying they would learn all about circuits and maybe even carpentry. But what they didn't know was that there was a new teacher for the boys. And during the first class she told them, "For the next class, bring some cloth and needles; I will teach you to stitch."

A joyful little victory. Justice had been done at last.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The mop has gone missing

Oh! Spotted it!
They've used it on Shah Rukh Khan's head in the new Pepsi ad.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

12 seconds

If you are a pedestrian in Bangalore, that's all you've got to cross the road -- 12 seconds. No matter how wide the road is, how many lanes it has, whether it is one-way or not. You have 12 seconds.

But with motorists being as disciplined as they are, don't depend on those 12 seconds. Even after the red light goes, there will be the signal jumpers who will take up at least another 4 seconds. Then of course there is the other stream of vehicles waiting for the green signal. And they start even when the countdown has just about touched 5. That leaves you with three seconds to actually do your crossing.

So all you can do is to be ready with running shoes and sprint as soon as one flow stops and the before the other starts. If you are lucky, you will get at least half way through and to cover the remaining distance you will have to negotiate with the motorists, who may take pity at a sweating panting you and pause.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

You asked what the MG Road promenade looks like now. It looks like this:

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Are you on chat?

Look at the way words have changed... Till a few years ago, to say "I have scrapped you" would have been upsetting. But now, you rush to the nearest computer terminal to check orkut. A few years ago, "I got her on chat" would have made an English teacher cringe. Now, you would just say, "Oh, and what did she say?"

Anyway, this chat is an amazing thing, isn't it? You can be logged on all day and yet have no conversation. Or alternately, you can carry on five different conversations simultaneously. And follow multiple trains of thought simultaneously on each conversation and still make sense of it all. Silences are not awkward. Which made a friend say, I'd rather speak to her on chat rather than call her up.

Something like conversation during a train journey. When there is nothing more to say, you look out the window, watch the rails fly by, fill your mind with the rocking sound of the train and wait idly for the next thought to come along.