THE BUDDY SHOW - Episode 1

UB City and Vijay Mallya's HQ


UB headquarters in Bangalore. A very impressive building.


Force India hotbod on wheels. A model of the F1 in the reception at UB headquarters.


The Kingfisher calendar occupies one wall of the lobby of the headquarters. This calendar is the work of ace photographer Atul KAsbekar. Follow him on Twitter @atulkasbekar


This is UB City, the posh mall just across the UB headquarters. Vijay Mallya does things in style! Follow him on Twitter @TheVijayMallya

The best advice ever?

Mind It!

I clicked this at the Krishnagiri dam. Killer, you'd agree!

Twitter - How I Made 20 'Followers' in a Day Without 'Following' Anyone

You gotta love Twitter. Helps you connect in a whole different way. I've even won a contest on Twitter. Actually it was a mug from ChannelV.

Though I've been on Twitter only a while now, I guess I'm getting the hang of things. Disillusion me if I'm merely on a trip here.

So here goes. This is how I made 20 followers in a single day, without following anyone. If you do the math - even at an average of, say, 10 followers a day - these numbers are pretty good. (But you stand the risk of loosing some followers you already have if you tweet way too much or your tweets are all 'blah'.)

1. Make your tweets shorter than the stipulated 140 characters.

2. Make your tweets interesting, educating, laugh-worthy, anything but about personal things like you are picking your nose or considering going out for dinner. No one is interested, believe me, unless you are President Obama.

3. Hash tag keywords in your tweets. For instance, if you are tweeting about Google, hash tag Google as '#Google'. Hash tags help you come up in searches on Twitter.

4. Tweet on any of the 'Trending Topics' you find on the right navigation bar of your Twitter page.

5. Retweet interesting tweets of others.

6. Retweet your own tweets (only the most interesting ones) at 24 hour intervals, for a maximum of three times. Guy Kawasaki says even four times is fine.

I guess that's it. Worked for me. I don't see why it shouldn't for you. But if anyone disagrees, please feel free to bombard me. Otherwise follow me on Twitter.

How to post audio on to Blogger

When I wanted to post an audio bit on to Blogger, I was going around in circles. A whole day of search later I found the following website that can help you do it.

www.edublogs.tv/index.php

You need to register on this site. Go to 'Audio' and upload your audio file there. A code will be generated, which all you need to do is copy and paste on to Blogger in 'Edit Html' mode. That's it! (Hey, this code is somewhere down on the right hand panel, you need to scroll down a bit.)

NOTE: Remember that the above website only allows MP3 uploads. So what if you want to convert any other extension to MP3 and do it quick? Go to http://makeownringtone.com/. This is a free service that allows you to edit your audio bit and even enhance it. And then you can save it as any extension you want. Brilliant, really.

Taj Mahal


Like I need to be reminded that the Taj Mahal is really, really a wonder, see? So I must thank this nice man who thought up this whole New Seven Wonders thing.

Where's the Taj anyways? Is this the Trump Taj? No. No. No. I remember now, this must be the one in Agra. The one that's all marble and moonshine.

Didn't this cool chap called Shah Jahan build it like for his girl, no his wife? That must have cost him a packet to build this frikin' massive marble palace. And for someone dead? Way too cool man. I mean, I wouldn't do that if I were this Shah chappie myself. The logistics would kill me. I don't think that big see? I'm this little man who thinks everyday little things.

I'll like maybe mourn. No, I guess I'd really mourn. Feel sorry and all that. I guess it comes with all this death and stuff. But then I'd just go on. I wouldn't bother with building her a Taj! Not if it's going to take me twenty-two whole years to finish it using about twenty thousand people! Jeez! And if the material, all the marble and stuff, has to be brought in from all over India and central Asia on a fleet of thousand elephants. Scary shit man! No joke.

This Shah chappie sure is made of stern stuff. And so's the Taj Mahal. It will always be a wonder to me even if it's off some random list.

Photo courtesy the Keeton Reference Collection.

Blundering Bush Calls Pope ‘Sir’!


Only Bush can manage to call the Pope ‘Sir’ and then go on to describe him as “very smart”. So, ok, The Bush didn’t tell the pontiff that he’s a darn nice man or whack his back but he came close, don’t you think? This man… this president has been blundering for long now. And the world’s been rolling in the isles. Sample this:

"Suiciders are willing to kill innocent life in order to send the projection that this is an impossible mission." --George W. Busy, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2007.

What in the good Lord’s name are suiciders? Never mind. Here’s another:

"I like my buddies from west Texas. I liked them when I was young, I liked them then I was middle-age, I liked them before I was president, and I like them during president, and I like them after president." --George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 1, 2006

He has buddies? Who in his right mind would want such a blundering buddy, except for comic relief? But ten, I guess America does need comic relief about now. Or why else would a seemingly sound nation want a buffoon in the highest political office there is?

Picture courtesy: about.com

This Is America!

And to think that they are the one's who pilot world affairs. How much more insular can you get? For all you know you'll learn in America that Guyana is a tropical disease. Thank you for the forward Aruna. Illuminating, really.

Parkour: That's Agility

You saw it last in Casino Royale. Parkour or the Art of Displacement is a physical art of French origin, the aim of which is to move from point A to point B as efficiently and quickly as possible using nothing but your legs.

According to the founder of this activity, David Belle, the spirit of parkour is guided in part by the notions of 'escape' and 'reach', that is, the idea of using physical agility and quick thinking to get out of difficult situations, and to be able to go anywhere that one desires. Quite useful, if you'd ask me. Now, why would I like to call this the slithery sport? Never mind.

Go here to learn more and watch videos.

You wouldn’t do this!

Have you ever had someone jump on you unawares with a sales trick?

Someone just did that to me. I’d no more than come out my gate when this man I presumed was a tenant in the crowded neighborhood I live in, bumped into me and mumbled something that was supposed to be a sales pitch, though I didn’t catch it in the beginning.

It was when he rudely thrust a packet of sweetmeats at me, an action that pushed me involuntarily to the other side of the narrow lane, that I understood the setting.

Ah! Now here’s What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School.

Why would someone trying to earn a living by selling his wares, especially those bits and ends that you don’t really need, want to intimidate a prospect? Those sweetmeats looked appetizing, the sales pitch wasn’t.

When I conveyed the same to the poor salesman with a dismissive “No” and crossed the road, the man actually served a curse my way too.

Charming!

A Pangram. Hic! Hic!


That there is a pangram - a sentence which uses every letter of the alphabet. All twenty six of them. Go on! Count them right now. And then if you want to know more go here. Wait... you can also download the picture above to your desktop.

Jack Sparrow's Back!


Look what I saw from across the Marina this morning. My jaw almost dropped. Jack Sparrow... forgive me. It was only a few days before that I was wondering if the Captain would be back. And then I see this!

This ship here is supposed to be the world's largest sailing wooden replica - the Swedish vessel Gotheborg. And she's sailed into Chennai as part of a 10-day Sweden Comes to Chennai programme. The Gotheborg is a full-scale replica of the 18th century wooden vessel of the same name.

Was the Captain Swedish? Would his ghost be on board this relic-replica?

Will Shipla Shetty Win Big Brother?

Possible. Because it's now a matter of the politically correct. Smacks of hypocrisy, but there you are, that's the way of the world. Ugh... I must admit, I'm no political commentator or for that matter an analyst. But really, do you need to be one to know which direction the wind is blowing in?

Nevertheless the shame of the whole disgusting Big Brother episode will stay a long time. Imagine racism is televised entertainment in a country known for it's tolerance towards all people! Apparently that was only a thin veneer that was waiting to be breeched. And look how ugly the psyche of that country really is.

"I have been in England for 25 years but now, suddenly, I see what is in the minds of ordinary English people." That's Joshua, a Bangladeshi waiter at the Vojan restaurant, Ongar, the despicable woman's hometown. But here’s what gets my goat. This… this quote below.

"Maybe I'm just really stupid and nasty at heart - but I really don't think I am." And that's from a confession by the Goody woman that appeared in the papers today. Just what in heaven’s name does it mean?

"Maybe I am....... but I really don't think I am." Hypocrite that the woman is, she's even more shameless that you’d imagine. She cries, she weeps copious tears and the yellow papers splash it all over their pages. Over five pages of the News of the World had close-up pictures of Ms Goody's tear-stained face. Why? I don’t understand that a bit.

It’s so apparent that it’s just a wash. Wasn't it just the other day that the Goody Bee said she wasn't repentant, that she had no regrets? Here, I'll quote it for you. "Shilpa was a victim of my bullying... I've always said that I don't have regrets, but I do now. I'm genuinely worried about how my life will be."

Oh! She's genuinely worried... of how her life will be. So she leverages later "Maybe I'm just really stupid and nasty at heart - but I really don't think I am." How much more revolting can an individual be?

But now we all know what the common English are really like. And to tell the world a different tale, they’ll make sure that Shilpa Shetty wins Big Brother. Typical!

Pongal


Ever wondered what we do for the Pongal festival that falls in January every year? Here's something my friend Vinita shot at her church, with her mobile phone. Pongal is a harvest festival in Tamil Nadu, India. So you get yourself a mud pot that's usually painted on the outside with ethnic designs. You place it on a wood stove and put in rice to boil. That's how you make Pongal, which also happens to be a rice dish that's popular here for breakfast. Once done, you mix it with sambar and coconut chutney that's gives as sides or dips, if you will.

Interesting, isn’t it? Pongal is a festival as well as a popular breakfast dish.

Celebrity Pubes On Sale!


This is way, way brainy. Way, way out of this world. Didn't you just laugh when you read the title? But it's true. Celebrity pubic hair is on sale! It might just jar you that this whole exercise is to finance charity. Here, let's hear it right from the horse's mouth:

How does it work?
It's quite simple, really. As a result of a very successful direct campaign, celebrities from all over the world send us their pubes daily. We mount them, and offer them to you. All pubes are autographed by their donor. Needless to say, every piece is a unique work of art, A priceless collectible beyond anything ever seen or heard of before.

Why do we do it?
All profits go into selected charity organisations and become an important part of making the world a better place. In short: We turn Hair into Care. It sounds dumb, but it is smart.
Bang on! Anyone who's run a charity knows just how difficult it is to mobilise funds. I do. I run one myself with friends. We call it AASAI. And funds have been our biggest hurdle. Then along comes someone with this absolutely novel idea. I salute these people and wish them the very best.

Go to PUBESAID.COM here.

Stingy Vocabulary

The whole affair was a façade, a smokescreen to prolong his stay in office and lessen the accruing damage.

But Nixon was only getting deeper into the dirt he’d gotten himself into and by God, did it smell to the high heavens!


Florentyna followed the charade closely thinking: “What a sham!

There was a knock on the door.

I book marked the page I was reading, before tossing it on bed, thinking to myself: “What a sham…” as I opened the door.

You have sham?” asked pasty face next door, looking a little embarrassed.

Oh crap! What did I get myself into while I was reading a book, I wondered as pasty faced repeated
You have sham…”

And then I thought I heard an emphasis on the ‘P’. As in s-h-a-m-p.

Pasty face had come to borrow my shampoo again. And he’d always called it ‘shamp’ never shampoo.

Very economic with vocabulary too, not just with buying himself a bottle of ‘shamp’.

Doing It At Office


I wonder if you do this.

Ugh… how do I put it, delicately? Ok, take my head. I’ll put it straight to you. Do you… ugh… arrange it so that you discard only while you are at office? You know…the poop thing? Or do you know someone who does?

While you’re still smiling or killing the disgust, I’d like to remind you that it’s rather a nice diversion. Don’t you think? I bet it’s better than bitching, nail biting, lolling about the coffee machine, bumming cigarettes or hanging over someone’s cubicle like full-grown moss, trying to read their email or peek into their lunch boxes.

Granted that unlike the coffee thing, you can’t do it often. Oh no. It would then turn out to be… I don’t know what. It wouldn’t be politically correct to have unplugged bowels, though a hiatus or two from work (a poop break or two) without the bitching, nail biting and assorted pastimes I’ve mentioned above, would do us all a world of good.

Now that I’ve advocated it, I’m beginning to shudder thinking about the logistics. No wait, I’m beginning to quake. Omigawd, this would call for an all-new legislation. (You’ll forgive me while I make my hasty retreat won’t you? I never imagined…)

Santa or Santaanam?

Click on the image to enlarge. This cartoon strip appeared in some New York newspaper. Thank you Vinitha for the forward.

Name's Ram. Sri Ram...


Huh! Sriram's going to lynch me for the title that’s so obvious. I could have done better. But look at him! So much like Daniel Craig the new 007 in Casino Royale, menace and all. The aquiline nose and French beard only underscore the dark mood here. He'd make a wonderful villain don't you think? Ugh... Sriram, perhaps you should forward this photograph of yours to some of the movie guys in Chennai, Mumbai and even Kerala. Because you never know.

PS: If anyone’s got similar interesting pictures you can mail them to me, to be published here.

Welcoming 2007

This is late again. Did I mention in my last post about how I'm always late off the starters block? I did huh? So you get the drift. But here's a question for you:

Ever spent New Years' Eve busy with celebrations in a small town?


I have. I'm a small town chappie myself, but I've never enjoyed New Years' Eve in my hometown. But this time I did in an equally quaint small town that was a buzz with festivity. I spent the New Year at Dharmapuri, where most of my friends here in Chennai hail from. And boy! Did I have a blast from the word go!



That picture up there is the welcome we got just as we entered our den. As each of us came in there was this little girl writing out our names in welcome, in a most mature cursive hand. And this little girl is only in the third standard.


Then there was a rangoli or kolam that was painstakingly drawn out with chock pieces.

And later on, at the stroke of the midnight hour, the whole street was treated to firecrackers that went bursting for a good fifteen minutes, lighting up every house in turn. I couldn't get all of that on my camera though. Guess I was too caught up with all the cordite, smoke and merrymaking. It was rather cold here too. Just the right weather for the celebrations. The picture right on top is of the day after…

Happy New Year everyone.

Pirate Jack Sparrow! Will You Be Back?


Ugh! That was absolutely insolent of me. Captain. CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow it is. And I'll never get that wrong again. I'm this late bloomer, if that's the word. I get everything backwards. I miss out on a lot of things and then before regret buries me alive, I indulge to save my soul. What was that saying again... better late than never. Touché!

I love Captain Jack Sparrow.

Don't you too? That was a legend waiting to happen. Pirates have always amused me. But the spectacle on celluloid was something beyond my wildest dreams. I'd like to kill myself for not having watched the Captain on the big screen. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a masterpiece. I haven't enjoyed a movie so much in a long time. (Excuse me while I flagellate myself for not seeing it on the big screen).

I didn't like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest as much though. But it's fascinating never the less. The characters are so real. And the Captain... oh well, he didn't shine as much as he did in the first story. If you haven't seen the movie yet, rush to get yourself a DVD, even a pirated one like I did for Dead Man's Chest! Ha! These pirates are a contagious breed. Imagine! I got myself a pirated DVD to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Haaaaa! Excuse me, that was a joke I told myself.

But there’s something that bothers me: When Captain Jack falls off the cliff still tied to the bamboo pole after escaping from the cannibals, he is clearly falling towards water. But when he hits the ground he is in a jungle! And then when Elizabeth tries to head for the gun in order to shoot the gunpowder and rum barrels, she tries to climb stairs (right before Captain Jack takes up the gun). Suddenly, the ship is hit so hard that Elizabeth falls down. The gun, however, does not move at all.

Did I miss something? Never mind. Everything's forgiven when it's a mind-blowing experience.

[Psst! I hear Rocky Balboa is great too.]

Where Have All The Santa’s Gone?


Remember a time when the arrival of Santa to the accompaniment of drumbeats and lilting tunes on ancient harmonicas used to be one of the highpoints of Christmas? Those were the times when Santa’s were Santa’s, right out of the picture books. Roly-poly elder citizens who interacted with family members, especially the children, giving away candies and balloons…

But not anymore.

Cut to the present times. A bunch of kids of various somatotypes whom you’ve never seen in your neighborhood materialize at your doorstep around Christmas week and belt out numbers you wouldn’t associate with the celebration of the birth of Christ, by a long shot. (There have been incidents were the far away beating of the telltale drums would prompt a whole neighborhood to retire early for the day!)

Santa would be this skinny apparition in ill-fitting garb, doing a jig more like a balancing act at a circus, jumping from foot to foot. For variety he’d perhaps do a shuffle to the beating of tin drums (thank the Lord they still exist). Reminds me of an incident someone told me not so long ago.

The carol was at this house doing its usual, tired jig, belting out songs to the tune of the latest blockbuster. With the last one done, it was time for Santa to distribute candies to the two little bored boys who were clearly waiting for the carol to go away. But good Lord! Where was Santa? Ugh… you couldn’t possibly go away without Santa doing the finishing up act.


Suddenly the carol was two singers less and then another as the rest tried to sing another song for the family. Apparently they’d gone out in search of Santa. And they promptly found him perched on a milestone, the bottom half of his Santa garb urgently tucked-in at the hip, lungi style, smoking a beedi, blissfully ignorant that he’d just held up a carol.

Signs You Drink Too Much Coffee

- You answer the door before people knock.
- You ski uphill.
- You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse.
- You're the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you don't even work there.
- You can type sixty words per minute ... with your feet.
- You can jump-start your car without cables.
- You don't sweat, you percolate.
- You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
- You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it's not plugged in.
- People get dizzy just watching you.
- Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil.
- You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.
- You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore.
- You help your dog chase its tail!
- Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale.

For the rest of them go here. The ones above are those I like best.

Wallpaper


Click to enlarge and download. There's another one a little way down this page, if you'd like.

Inspiration courtesy: gapingvoid