Sunday, June 29, 2008

A birth-right with no takers

Foxy was sitting alone, as usual, having lunch, which was unusual! He seemed engrossed in some complex algorithms. Perhaps the project he was working on would conjure up computers from thin air, like in those movies, where an image of a monitor seems to hang in air and people actually touch and work on it! I took my lunch and shamelessly plonked myself on his table. Sitting with Foxy has many advantages. No one approaches you with a "Would you able to do a tech event for me in two hours in Timbuktoo? Oh you are having lunch!! I am so sorry! But will you be able to do it?" kinda conversations! The lunch will go on peacefully with not a word uttered, and people will avoid your table like the plague.

Ramesh: Hey Foxy! How are you man!!
Foxy (absent mindedly): Alive!
Ramesh: Heh heh aren’t we all. Aur batha. What’s happening in your life!
Foxy (staring into the distance): Nothing!
Ramesh: No news is good news yeah?! And the love life!! *wink* *wink*
Foxy (picking up the dessert): I bought a new car!
Ramesh: Chalo you have lunch. I will go and bang my head against the wall over there.
Foxy ( in deep thought): mmm bye!

Ramesh is pretty new you see or he would have avoided our table like the plague.

Foxy and I ate in silence. He, deep in thought and unaware of my presence. Me, shamelessly using him to have a quite lunch…like many others before me, who were not as quick as me today to sit at his table ahead of them. Jealous glances darted my way! There are quite a few people here you see who want to be left in peace during lunch.

Foxy forked the food into his mouth mechanically, his mind far away. He was probably thinking "On dividing both sides of equation (1) by cos2 A, we obtain tan2 A + 1 = 1 / cos2 A = sec2 A. Equation (2) is proved." I was thinking, “if I break this awful chapathi into small pieces and wash it down with water, would my misery be cut short by say, 25 seconds?!" Foxy's eyes glazed over, he had left the physical world and was now living only in the mind. He was probably calculating "On dividing both sides of equation (1) by sin2 A,we obtain 1 + cot2 A = 1/sin2 A = cosec2 A. Equation (3) is proved" While I was wondering “if I coat the entire contents on my plate with pickle, would it make easier to gobble it down hastily?”

Then I made a mistake! A lapse in concentration actually, as it was getting too difficult to concentrate on the uncooked rice, watery dal, and rubbery veggies and over spiced chicken curry!

Me: Foxy! I think you guys are really lucky, that you do not have to go through pregnancy and childbirth!
Foxy: Duh! Huh!
Me: Look at Anita there. Poor thing can hardly walk with that stomach. Jiten on the other hand looks trim as ever. No inkling that his wife is pregnant! This is so unfair!
Foxy (addressing the wall): hmmm but then men miss out on the whole birthing process you know! It is a big loss!
Me: You mean, they actually regret not having to go through the whole messy process!!!
Foxy (addressing the plate): Yes! They too feel robbed you know!
Me: Wow! I never thought of it that way!
Foxy (addressing a piece of cauliflower on his fork): It is unfair actually!
Me: Yep!
Foxy (cleaning up the table around his plate with a tissue): On the men, I mean!
Me: Oh!
Foxy (still cleaning): They say that they feel like they have no say in the matter after the conception!
Me: hmm you mean they feel used?
Foxy (eyes wide open and fixed at me): err no!! I mean NO!!!! For gods sake where do you get such ideas from!!!
Me: :(
Foxy: Sigh...sorry for snapping like that. But your imagination is too much for me. Wish I had some of that. Right now I could really use some. I am at a dead end!
Me: Ah! That explains the forking of food in your mouth mechanically. Usually you ignore it.

Foxy got up and walked off with the plate. I picked up his mobile, car keys, wallet, PDA, Laptop, Pen, Pencils, Zune and some other stuff and followed him. After depositing his plate at the sink he went over to the coffee machine for some coffee. I did the same, intrigued at what he had told me. By the time I reached the vending machine, Foxy had already started walking back to his workstation. Now Foxy is 6 feet 2 inches tall. This means he was at his work station in two and half steps. I reached 15 minutes later, huffing and puffing with the load I was carrying plus the notebook, calculator, scale, a book on “Active Reviews for Intermediate Design” and some other stuff he had left near the vending machine.

Foxy was at his desk, looking around with a puzzled look. His mobile, car keys, wallet, PDA, Laptop, Pen, Pencils, Zune, notebook, calculator, scale a book on “Active Reviews for Intermediate Design” and some other stuff were missing. I put the stuff on his table, sat down next to him, unlocked my laptop and maximized Internet Explorer. It was at Page 234 of Telugu Matrimonial, just the way I had left it before going for lunch. There was a particularly cute girl I wanted to show Foxy.

Me: Look, this girl is cute isn’t she? She is highly qualified and a Brahmin too!!!
Foxy: Interesting.
Me: Really? You like her!!!! *whew* finally we are making some progress!!
Foxy: hmm interesting to see a site that handles credit cards and financial transactions running on .php instead of ASP! I would have nothing to do with this site if I were you!
Me: %#$@# !!!
Foxy: Did you say something?
Me: Do you know Telugu Matrimony gets the maximum number of hits from our office???
Foxy: Huh!
Me: That’s how hard we are all working for you for gods sake!!!! And you are looking at the technical configuration of the site instead of the girls!!!
Foxy: Ooops!
Me: Sigh…anyways, so you were telling me that men miss the whole pregnancy and childbirth process?
Foxy: Yes they do I am told. When their wife is in labor, they too hurt….on the inside *pointing to his stomach*
Me: Does that mean they would, if given a chance go through pregnancy and childbirth!
Foxy: Of course!! I would and I am sure my entire married friends too!!
Me: Wow! Well there is good news for you all then! Pun intended heh heh
Foxy: What is a pun?
Me: Never mind. What I was going to say is that, a doctor in the US has created an artificial womb that can sustain pregnancy in men to full term. This will enable fathers to experience the whole childbirth process!! Isn’t that good news for you all guys!!!!!
Foxy: *gulp*
Me: In fact in the US and increasingly in the Europe, pre marital agreements spell out the number of pregnancies the wife will go through and vice versa!!!
Foxy: *double gulp*
Me: Now Indian men too, can show their wives how much they love them by getting pregnant though the birth will be cesarean of course.
Foxy (going white in the face): Where did you read all this?
Me: The…
Foxy (interrupting): Excuse me, but I have to go now!
Me (completing the sentence): …Onion!

But Foxy was gone, headed towards the Boss’s cabin.Ten minute later, my boss came running. He looked very excited!

Boss: Silverine, what did you do to that thing, err guy???
Me: err nothing!
Boss: Something you said animated it err I mean him!!
Me: What do you mean?
Boss: I have worked with it ahem I mean him, for over 15 years now. I have never seen him happy, or sad or angry. He has never taken a days leave! In fact he will work 24/7/365 if we did not kick him out of office at 6 pm.
Me: So?
Boss: He has just taken half day leave…says he is feeling sick and giddy and needs to lie down!!!
Me: Really! *GRIN*
Boss: This feels so good!! Thank you!
Me: The pleasure, I assure you is all mine! *Evil Smile*

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I am sure you all have heard the recorded promotional jingles and messages that your phone company sends your way via persistent ringing of the phone, (that does not let up till you take the phone and throw it against the wall), at any time of the day irrespective of the fact that it may be a Saturday or Sunday when, after a really long week of work, work and some more work, you are trying to have a well deserved afternoon nap!! Rings a bell huh? Sorry about the pun. That was cruel I know!

I want someone here who knows coding, to write a simple piece of code, that can analyze and monitor all outgoing promotional calls for phone companies. This software, which we will christen as Promo Call Slam Statcounter, will give telephone companies, a comprehensive view of how sucky their promotional jingles and messages are, and how quickly people put down their phone when they hear the familiar "Hey You want to meet Shah Rukh Khan? Call us at Rs 10/- per second and answer some inane questions. Best of luck sucker! *snigger*". (Background music: Kkkkrazy Kkkkiya Re!!)

The same code should be modified for another application! This time, to monitor how quickly people disconnect their phones when they hear the familiar “Hello! Mr Loser? Hi I am from ICICI Bank...." We will christen this code Telecall Slam Statcounter.

The code can be further modified to eradicate yet another pet peeeve of ours. Promotional SMS's that is sent by those infernal four digit numbers!! We will christen this code as Promo SMS Delete Statcounter. This code will analyze and monitor how many subscribers delete the SMS's without reading them and in how many seconds, do people who open it through sheer habit, wipe it off the face of the earth!

The person who delivers the code will get to buy me coffee! See how nice I am no?

Now get cracking all you Codies!! Saturday approacheth! I haven’t had an afternoon nap for 4567 consecutive Saturday and Sundays! *sob*

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A gult edged dilemma

‘Anju’ said my senior Gult colleague as he walked up to my work station. “Let’s go for a walk.”
“Why? Is there no other bakra willing to come with you?” I asked sympathetically.
“No” he admitted dejectedly.
“You poor thing” I exclaimed as I locked my lappie, secretly thanking my stars for the break from the ongoing wrestling match with Excel, in which Excel is currently winning and will perhaps emerge victorious by the end of the day, according to the punters in the office. Brisk betting is going on. The odds are 2000 to 1 against me. Sigh.

I locked the desk drawers and the both of us walked out of the building. My Gult (Telugu) colleague, is one of those MIT types who was kicked out of MIT because they had nothing else to offer him anymore. Hence the intellectual gap between him and me is roughly twice the distance from the Sun to its farthest neighbor. Which is very very very very far even I know.

My colleague like all Gult babies was named to ensure that no computer form in the world will have enough columns to accommodate his name. When he travels abroad, he usually lends his laptop to accommodate the tail end of his name on the various official computers. We lovingly call him Foxy, which is shortened from “"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” a 35-letter phrase that uses all the letters of the English alphabet. His name, according to his parents has all the Telugu alphabets in it you see and hence the logic.

Foxy breathed a heavy sigh and looked at the blue yonder for sometime. He seemed fascinated by a lady who looked like a sack of Watermelons, playing Golf. He tore his eyes away from what would have been considered a classically beautiful figure a few centuries ago and looked at me.

Foxy: You know I like you mallu gals.
Me: Thank you!
Foxy: You guys are so down to Earth and…
Me: And?
Foxy: And….*waves his hand in circles*
Me: Buxom?
Foxy ( horrified): No!!! Noooo! I meant wholesome!
Me: So?
Foxy: Our gals on the other hand have a mind of their own!
Me: errr ok! Is that good or bad?
Foxy: Bad! Very bad I tell you!
Me: My condolences.

I think of one of my closest friend, I mean very close friend, make it bestest buddy…she reads this blog you know and is on very close terms with one bhai who lives across the border. Close terms as in several transactions close. Now this gal will not be too happy to hear this. She is Gult you see and has a mind of her own.

Foxy kept one leg on the low wall like NTR in a Telugu blockbuster and sighed again. The watermelon lady was nowhere to be seen.

Foxy: I am 38 you know and quite set in my ways!
Me: Let me sum up the situation here… you are set in your ways and any prospective bride will have a mind of her own right?
Foxy: Right!
Me: You will die a bachelor, man!

Foxy wandered over to the fountain and sat at its edge like a Telugu superstar in a mythological block buster. I followed him. This was getting fun! The waters gurgled and giggled. A soft breeze caressed our face. Foxy seemed oblivious to all this.

Foxy: *sigh*
Me: Did you say anything!
Foxy: My parents want me to get settled you know!
Me: Quite understandable. You are not getting any younger!
Foxy: Don’t rub it in!
Me: Sorry!
Foxy: And you know the problems with our girls….
Me: Lemme guess…they have a mind of their own right?
Foxy: Exactly!
Me: Why don’t you marry a non gult girl then? *under my breath* "A zombie perhaps?"
Foxy: My parents will never allow that.
Me: You are in a jam, man!
Foxy: Precisely! Which is why I have decided to remain a bachelor.
Me: err... then why all this exercise. I mean calling me out and going through this soul searching?
Foxy: I like talking to you. You listen…and don't talk back. The others are pretty set in their ways you know. They have a mind of their own!
Me: I am glad you are not getting married.
Foxy: Me too!
Me: I am glad for a different reason though.
Foxy: Huh?
Me: Never mind!

Monday, June 09, 2008

When you can't beat them...

Email exchange between me and my Laptop service center.

Dear Mr Support Engineer (SE)
XYZ Laptops
Sub: Laptop battery explodes!!!!

I had purchased a Laptop XYZ 123 iix from ABC Electronics in December 2007. I reported the first complaint in January. Since then the laptop has been attended to three times to no avail. I would like to bring this to your notice for a speedy resolution of the problem.




Dear Ms Silverine,

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Mr Fixit will get in touch with you shortly. Regarding the subject of your email, please hand over the battery to Mr Fixit. We will have it replaced at no cost.


Support Engineer (SE)


Me: Thank you! I was not at home when Mr Fixit dropped in. My brother was however satisfied with the repairs carried out!

SE: You are most welcome. Please do get in touch if you face anymore problems with your Laptop. Do let us know when we can pick up the faulty battery.

Two weeks later:

SE: Dear Miss Silverine. Trust you are in good health and the Laptop is working satisfactorily!

Me: My lappie is not recognizing the DVD/RW drive!!

SE: Mr Fixit will be at your house shortly!

Me: Thank you! I was not at home when Mr Fixit dropped in. My Dad was however satisfied with the repairs carried out!

A month later

SE: We were unable to collect the battery since you were not at home. Please let us know when we can have it collected.

Me: Thank you! I have another problem! The wireless card went out!

SE: Mr Fixit will be at your house asap! We can arrange to have the battery collected from your office or home. Please let us know a convenient time.

Me: Thank you! I was not at home when Mr Fixit dropped in but my maid Devi, was quite satisfied with the repairs carried out!

Three months later

SE: Gentle reminder! Please let us know when and where we can collect the battery!

Me: Sure! I am not in station at the moment but my brother tells me that the AC power adapter has gone out twice.

SE: We will have it attended to immediately ma’am!

Me: I am traveling but my mom was quite satisfied with the repairs carried out! Thank you!

One month later

Se: My mobile number is 98765432100 and landline number is 12345678. Please drop in a mail or call me when you are in town so that my staff can pick up the battery!

Me: Sure!

Another month later:

Me: Dear Mr SE. The laptop is un-installing my printer now and then.

SE: Mr Fixit is on the way!

Me: Thank you! I was not at home but my doggie Brandy was quite satisfied with the repairs carried out! Thank you!

A week later:

SE: Dear Silverine. Hope the Laptop is working satisfactorily now! Could you please hand over the battery, so that we can send it for a review!

Me: Oh that! I am so sorry. It wasn’t the battery that exploded. That was my neighbor, bursting a Diwali cracker! Thank you for your concern. The laptop is working fine now!


When you can’t beat ‘em frustrate ‘em

..old laptop sufferer err…user saying.

Here's what a blogger is going through because she dared to raise her voice against plagiarism!