Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Comments policy

Ok, maybe a tad too presumptuous considering not too many people read this blog, but just so we are absolutely clear, a comment from the previous blog and my reply to it:

Anonymous said...
In any case searching for girls is not so easy that you can post a snap and get a girl

9:27 AM

Tugga said...
@ my anonymous pal: Funny you should say that, considering your sister saw my snaps and was just begging me to f**k her brains out!

Ok, with the not-so-nice rejoinder out of the way, let me make a few things clear:

a) If you know me, you know I am sporting and don't shy away from laughing at myself. In fact, most of my humor is self-deprecating. But then you would also know that I detest people kidding with me or fucking around with me from behind the veil of anonymity. If you want to say something have the balls to use your name. My largely libertarian principles support freedom of speech for everyone and I will not delete any comments on my blog as a matter of principle, as long as I know who is making them. I respect anyone's freedom as long as they respect mine to an equal extent. My commenters know the identity of the blogger, and have free reign to comment on my blog; I don't think it is terribly unfair if I expect that I know their identity as well.

b) If this was just an honest mistake and you just forgot to include your name, I am extremely sorry for the rude reply.

c) If you don't know me,don't pretend you do. You WILL be deleted.

7:21 PM

Just so we are clear.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A weekend in Burlington

So, like I spent only my second whole weekend in Burlington in the two months I've been interning here. Had to make up a day of lost work at office, so did that on Saturday. Came home and read a bit of Shantaram, followed by Dave's thesis. Yashas came from Boston in the evening and we went to the waterfront on Lake Champlain. There was some reandom festival going on in oneof the parks on the waterfront. They had some pretty sucky live music barring the bass guitarist, who was quite fabulous. Yeah anyway so had a couple of beers there, grabbed a few brochures for info on things to do around Burlington and headed to Sweetwaters on Church Street. I was all excited that I'd get to have the Steak au poivre(pepper steak, if you will) that I'd loved so much on my last visit there. Unfortunately I was told that it had been discontinued and so had to settle for the Teriyaki steak, which was quite good too. That with a couple of Chivas made for a pretty nice meal. For dessert, we went to this litte street stall that did thin pancakes that could be filled with stuff.. think masala dosas, with thin crepes and generally any type of filling. So I had bananas and strawberries with whipped cream and hot peppers as my filling. ( although I must say, my choice of hot peppers to go with the rest seemed to freak out the really cute girl who made the pancakes. Oh yeah, damn she was cute!) So that was Saturday for you.

Sunday was when we had the real fun though. Took a 2 hour round trip on a ferry on Lake Champlain going from Vermont to New York State and back. It really was quite beautiful, especially when we could see Green Mountains of Vermont to our left and the Adirondacks of NY to our right. Snaps follow. When we returned, as a continuation of the whole getting-over-fear-of-heights thingy, I went to this cool place called Petracliffs, where you could do indoor rock climbing. The good news: I really seem to be over my fear of heights. And the bad news, well is that I found a new phobia I need to get over; the phobia, y'know, OF WORKING OUT MY LAZY ASS REGULARLY. Unfit, sodding bastard! Anyways a couple of snaps of that too.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Martha's Vineyard

On Sunday, Dave, Yashas and I went to this little island in the Atlantic, just off mainland Massachussets. We had to drive from Boston to this place called Wood's Hole followed by an hour's ferry ride to the island.The trip in addition to being memorable for the extremely good crabcakes and clam chowder and the usual "khurak" of alcohol I had on the island, was particularly noteworthy for a couple of things
a) I overcame my fear of using cameras: Photos follow
b) I overcame, to a large extent, my fear of heights: Had a whale of a time parasailing, God it was awesome!

Paint me those pretty little vignettes:Ferry ride

And then more..still on the ferry ride

Where seagulls dare...

Those magnificent flying machines

Yet another Steven, er, seagull

Me on the ferry

Weird "Prohibition", they freakin' do serve alcohol!!

Me on the motorboat to go parasailing, love the Atlantic water

The eagle has flown...

Up above the world so high...

The eagle has landed

Boston Cow Parade

Yeah, they have this weird thing in Boston. Some 200 wooden cows, painted with some art and shit, all over the city. Here's me with some of them.

Cow Parade, Boston

Milking it for what it's worth

Thanks for the milk, babe

Awesome mercury rectifier

Taken at the high speed photography section of the MIT museum, this awesome mercury rectifier also had its picture in the GE SCR manual.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bostonian Tharki

I was on the T with Yashas up in Boston today. Went to do a bit of touristy stuff over at the MIT museum, Harvard Square and then finally to the Quincy market and Boston Commons in downtown Boston. There was this little interesting story at the MIT museum, in the hologram section. This dude actually tried to click a picture of a hologram on his digital camera, and in the process, made it amply clear that he wasn't an MIT student :-) ( The MIT museum was awesome by the way; there was like this really cool section on the history of high speed photography. Completely orgasmic!! Harold Edgerton, the guy who pioneered this, actually went to MIT because he was interested in seeing the effects of lightning on synchronous motors. That he was able to link this with the great work he eventually did should stand as inspiration for all us wannabe researchers out there. Another reason I mention him is the pride I feel on account of his being an electric power engineer. More on him in a later post) Anyway this post is not about that; it's not about the MIT museum. It's about a tharki uncle on the 'T'.

Let's start at the beginning. For the unitiated, the 'T' is just what they call the MBTA (Massachussets Bay Transportation Authority) subway in Boston. So we are waiting for our train at the T station and on the platform opposite us is what a lot of guys would describe as an extremely do-able chick, the kind which inspires the I'd-do-her-in-a-heartbeat reactions. She's wearing like these next to nothing clothes, so I give her this usual, cursory, appraising glance and then look away, you know, 'cause it isn't polite to stare at women. Just then we notice, there's a desi uncle on the same platform. And he's looking at her. Also in a I'd-nail-her-in-a-heartbeat, sort of a way. Only he doesn't look away. He keeps staring; and his face is this inscrutable mask, so I can't tell if he's scowling or just horny like hell. Well, then Yashas and I happen to get into the same compartment as the chick and guess who, yes, Uncle Tharki. So we are sitting on the seat opposite her, and our libidinous friend is sitting a couple of seats away from her. Yashas and I are discussing some EE stuff and suddenly we notice Uncle Tharki looking the chick over; multiplexing his concentration powers on her long legs and not insignificant assets. Yashas still insists that he is scowling and that he merely disapproves of her dressing in that fashion. Me, no way. I am thoroughly convinced that he was doing a lot of thinking, getting his other head into overdrive. Who the heck keeps staring at someone in disapproval? I mean, yeah, you give one disapproving, condescending glare and look away. What's with the repeated leering? It was effing hilarious, looking at this pathetic guy, at least 45-50 years old, casting lustful glances at this chick, who couldn't have been any more than 20-21. The poor girl even used her compact once to make sure she looked alright. Little was she aware that to our Bostonian tharki, her face was her least interesting feature.

I apologize Mr Cab Driver

Given my rant last week, I suppose it's only fair that I issue a public apology, for what it's worth, to the cab driver in question. He drove me to office again on Friday morning. LIke I said in the comments section of my previous post on this topic, I couldn't be sure if his behavior was racist or he was simply xenophobic. I was curious to find out and hence drew him into a converrsation. And after this, I knew. The guy's neither racist nor xenophobic. He's just plain bitter. He's 60 years old and has lived in Burlington all his life. He doesn't like thaat cash is being increasingly replaced by plastic, that there are roundabouts in Vermont now, and there are many more traffic lights than there used to be. In other words, what he really fears is change. I looked it up: it's called metathesiophobia. Yeah that's what the guy suffers from. He was not racist at all, and just gives a lot more bottom to my practice of not accusing anyone of something as bad as racism without being absolutely sure. I erred this once, for which, I again apologize.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

To live for, to die for

Time for some more mental masturbation. This is probably one of the most unorganized posts I've written in a long time, and is purely a log of some of my random thoughts. I apologize for any incoherent and obvious thoughts, platitudes and banalities you might encounter in the post.

I am talking to one of the guys and he seems a little peeved with what he termed an Israeli overreaction. I tell him I don't know about that and that I knew a significant portion of people back home wondering why India couldn't be more like Israel. He then wonders aloud about what will happen to the world next. A tad too facetiously, I remark that nothing much except we'd all kill each other. He wonders who will win. I reiterate, we will ALL kill each other, we will all die. I then make a comment that he seems to agree to; even if we had no religion, no oil, we would still find something to live for and something to die for, something to kill for.

What is it that we would live for, die for and kill for, if, say, religion as we know it did not exist? If there was no oil to fight over? If wealth was evenly distributed?

The answer lies in the fact that some of the worst genocides in the history of mankind have been initiated by or have occured in the guise of organized religion. But what is organized religion at the germinal level? It is just an idea. And as long as we have ideas, we will continue to have something to live for, to die for, to kill for. And as I recently commented on Gandhi on Anshul's blog, the greater or nobler an idea seems, the more fascist it makes its progenitor, a fact history attests to. It brings about varying degrees of intolerance to other ideas or methods towards the same greater goal. Then what happens when the world is filled with this vast melange of ideas and ideals? Is it equivalent to a philosophical and idealogical "anarchy" (probably not the right term to use, because I definitely do not mean a lack of Government, but am struggling to find the best fit)? Maybe. But is that bad? Maybe not, because, unlike in fascism triggered by organized religion this vast melange of ideas ensures that no ONE fascist voice is strong enough to drown out the others. So one of two things happen:

a) The world gets by a with a huge volume of diverse ideas, necessitating tolerance as a key feature of society.

b) The more likely one, judging from historical evidence, unfortunately, is that "lack of religion" will reveal itself to be an unstable state, one that cannot survive for long. So we end up with like-minded people with similar ideas gravitating towards each other, giving strength to fascism and repeating the whole cycle of death and destruction again.

So, at the base level, IMHO, the human race will show time and again that it is only ideas that are worth living for, worth dying for and worth killing for.

As V remarked,"There. Did you think to kill me? There's no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There's only an idea; and ideas are bullet-proof."