Who let the DOC out?



Hellos Hellos Hellos all around.

Last night at 12, I had a special 30 second screening of this movie I had been really looking forward to watching. 

Its about this young doctor, who learns about food, love, relationship...and eventually salvation. 

The Story is about Nithin Jayan a.k.a Kochu, who sets out on his journey into the big bad world. He meets "Miss Red Dancing no-hood" and soon realises that life has different plans for him than he had thought out.  He looks for peace, salvation and finally gives up red riding hood to find a shiny red car. 



Interesting story really, since its about a doctor and yet, no white coats around :P :P

Anyways, it is being released on the story's protagonist's birthday i.e 30th May 2009, at hospitals near you. Since the protagonist is a celebrity blogger and my favourite blogger too, I decided to dedicate today's post to him.

So Happy Birthday Kochu!!! ;)

Never mind my stupid attempt at being smart :P :P  I hope I am still up for the life-long free consultation after this :D :D :D

Happpyyyyyy Birthday sweetheart..... Have a wonderful day ahead....and an even more wonderful life ahead delivering the "Osamas and Obamas of the world"....cheers mate!! :)

video

Here, there and Everywhere...!!

Well lots to write about, so lets get started shall we??

As many of you are aware I had the entrance test for Asian College of Journalism this sunday. It consisted of two parts - English and General Knowledge. After the initial preparation, I was tensed about how well I'd do in the English paper. For some reason, I was relatively confident about my General awareness. And lo... over confidence struck again. Keeping in mind the pattern of the MASCOM entrance (which had multiple choice bits), I thought Asian's test would be on the same lines and should be relatively easier. Hell No!! There were no multiple choices, and the questions... well lets see how many of you can answer these without googling.

1. Who is the newly elected President of South Africa?
2. Who is the Prime Minister of Thailand?
3. Who got elected as the President of Zimbabwe on a power sharing basis with Robert Mugabe?

Ehhhh???

What the......?? I didn't know whether I should laugh at cry at myself. Left it all to fate now, so the coming few weeks should seal my future. Further comparing these exams, I had gone to appear for the MASCOM entrance in Chennai as they didnt have a centre in Hyderabad. The ACJ entrance was at THE HINDU office in Hyderabad. The initial reaction of everyone when I spoke to about ACJ being my first choice, was  "Oh Chennai is a horrible city and people are so aloof and unfriendly...Dont go there...Go to Bangalore". Huh?? No one was talking at the THE HINDU office before or after ACJ entrance, while I met some really super cool people at the MASCOM entrance. I liked Chennai better I say. The wait is on for results of these exams, which should be out in a week or two. Lets see how it goes. 


Secondly, what wrong with people? Why should there be a shutdown of entire Punjab because there was a shoot out in Vienna of all places?? I know it was a gurudwara and a major religious leader there was shot dead. What is the point of burning trains, vandalizing shops, looting here?? Is it making any sort of difference? Mom said last night that "There are loads of people to ignite hatred on religious lines, and people listen to them. No one listens to the one who wants to find an end with peaceful means". Right on I say. Lets see what develops further.


Thirdly, I was proudly announcing to every Tina, Dimpy and Mary who'd listen that "We dont have any power cuts in our area...this summer has been reeeeaaaalllly good!!" Haah!!! Ever since that, I seem to have cursed myself. One of these days there was a power cut from evening six to morning 8 owing to rains. And not to mention the frequent power cuts, all day, ranging anywhere from 5 to 50 mins more than 3 times a day. 
The Worst part of it all was, I had decided I'd follow IPL only if the Chargers made it to the Semis. I was looking forward to spend some quality time with Papa and enjoy the Finals match with him, coz when its cricket....and the slam bang cricket at that.... Papa is as excited as a kid who's won a jackpot of video games. I absolutely love those times.  And thanks to 1mm rain, there was no power and we missed over 3 to 16. Papa had gone back to sleep and  I saw the match all by myself. It was fun, but not the same. He woke up and came to watch the closing ceremony I guess.

Ok now I must end things here. Hope everyone is doing great. And yes, if someone can please please please advice me on what to do about the billion lizards in my house, I'd be your blog slave for life... :P  HELP!!!

P.S. I'm still reading Shashi Tharoor...seriously want to chuck it, but then.... :|

Who's keeping the count, I say??


My current fixation with the English language and its ever astonishing vocabulary continues to amaze me. This time, thankfully not due to Mr. Tharoor (I'm getting a grip on myself now after reading Sawan's comment in the previous post :D).

I was reading MANORAMA YEARBOOK (2009 edition) today. One of the pages had this footer titled "A New Word Every 98 minutes". On reading it further, I found out that the English language was set to reach its 1 Millionth word by April 2009 (which just went by). Apparently, a new English word is created every 98 minutes and as at the time of printing the compilation (MANORAMA YEARBOOK) in late 2008, the word count stood at 995,844.

I decided to google and try to get behind this story and enlighten myself a little bit. 

So who exactly is keeping the count?? The answer is: A company called The Global Language Monitor based in Austin, Texas which keeps an eye on the use of languages, English primarily,  and monitors frequent changes to the same. I mean seriously, that's an actual company and that's an actual job!!!

But how can one be so certain that English doesn't already have a million words? After I read Mr. Tharoor, I wondered how many million words in English am I not aware of? And what exactly is the yardstick for constituting a "word"? 

There are several dictionaries available in the market: Oxford, Merriam Websters etc. The Unabridged versions of these put the tally of words anywhere between 450,000 to 650,000. Both of them contain certain disputable terms. For instance: "OK" or "ain't". I remember I had used "ain't" while writing an essay in class 11 English paper and was promptly summoned by my English teacher: "You're writing English, not "Smriti's English"."

A lot of controversy surrounds this claim as many English words are often derived from other languages, and hence there is noise in a few quarters about the genuiness of these words. Some people have also claimed that English might have already passed that figure.

Whatever might be the case, my knowledge of words in English language stands at a few thousand perhaps. Meanwhile, The Global Language Monitor website has installed a countdown anticipating the 1 Millionth Word to be inducted into the English Language on June 10th, 2009 at 10.22 AM.

So much fuss. I'm not complaining. I can't. I found something to blog about.

Oh, if you want to know, the words competiting for that prestigious 1 Millionth Spot are: 
DEFOLLOW
DEFRIEND
NOOB

Apparently, the odds highly favour "NOOB" and it might just become word number 1 Million. I just hope there isn't an Anil Kapoor Clone around shouting out the 1 Millionth word followed by "Millllionaaare". I've had enough of the word "Million" for this lifetime at least.

And IF I had it my way, I'd let the 1 Millionth Word be "Baaaaaaaaah"!!!

Wonderful Words

Apologies that I couldn't really think of a better title... just like a week ago I couldn't think of words to write in the MASCOM entrance.

A week ago I was in Chennai to write the MASCOM entrance test. I had the morning 6.30 flight from Shamshabad Airport, which meant I had to be there by 5.30. Anyone who has been the new and swanky RGIA (Rajiv Gandhi International Airport), would be aware that it takes about an hour or more to reach there...off peak hours. I woke up at 3 and took the 4.30 bus to the airport. After a mad dash for my boarding pass, thanks to some momma magic, I had comfortable Executive Class seats to Chennai. I was sleepy and tired but couldn't sleep due to all the anxiety in anticipation of the exam.

From the airport, I took a cab to Mount Road or Anna Salai as they call it. Reached the exam venue a good hour and a half before the exam. Got talking to a few people there and everyone was as anxious as I was, since no one knew what would the question pattern be like.

We were shifted from Malayalee Manorama office to another place at Stirling Road. The first part of the exam consisted of test of english language and for the first time I realised the set-backs to my writing skills. I never use big words, coz frankly I dont understand them. I didnt realise the importance of the same until I gave that exam.

In the test for English and Vocabulary, I managed to do the grammer part well enough to say that this was the area I would undoubtedly score in. Then there were segments during which I wished I had taken the Thesaurus with me. I did alright on those parts, but it just made me realise how much I had been taking for granted. I still have Asian College of Journalism's entrance in a week's time, and I've been trying to sort out that area of my writing.

The General Awareness part was the easiest one, multiple choice mostly. Once done with the exam, I headed back to the airport, took my boarding pass about 3 hours before the flight's departure time (6.20 pm) and just went around wandering like a lunatic at the Chennai Airport. Thank god for the Higginbothams book store at the airport, I enjoyed picking up a few. I wanted to resist the temptation to buy another book for myself, but when I laid my eyes on INDIA: FROM MIDNIGHT TO THE MILLENNIUM AND BEYOND by Shashi Tharoor, I just couldn't stop myself. I picked it up on a whim and have been hooked on to the same for the past week.

By the way, I think either Shashi Tharoor has a super vocabulary or he sleeps with Thesaurus next to him. 10 pages into the book and I started my page 11 with a post-it pad and Dictionary next to me.

Here are the few new words I picked up, which I doubt if I will ever ever ever use:

ONEIRODYNIA : Intense mental disturbance or distress associated with dreaming.
ESOTERIC : belonging to the select few.
INIQUITOUS : characterized by injustice or wickedness; wicked; sinful.
PHOENICIANS : a native or inhabitant of Phoenicia.
BELABOR : to explain, worry about, or work at (something) repeatedly or more than is necessary
DERACINATED : To displace from one's native or accustomed environment.
PHILISTINISM :  lacking in or hostile to culture.

and I am still on page 82 out of 362!!  Phew!!

It is an interesting read thus far. I'm still preparing for my entrance next week and not feeling too good about it. Lets see how it goes from here. 

Cheers!

Aurangabad Trip --> Back to Blogging

Yeah I know I have been away for almost a month, not visiting any blogs, nor posting any of my own. Been a hectic past few weeks, with a long awaited trip to Aurangabad, pending assignments,  my 23rd birthday and then the entrance exams. Phew!! Not much I say. 

Lets just cover the Aurangabad Trip today. I reached there on the 18th of April, the train fashionably late by over an hour. Sari Bua and Reggie fufaji were at the station to pick me up past midnight. Once I reached their home, I was greeted by the oh-so-adorable and excited Benji. I fear canines....make that "used to"...thanks to Benji now :)

19th to 23rd went mostly in finishing my assignments which I had carried along with me on the trip. We had a few sessions of IPL , Formula One and shopping at various places that Sari Bua took me. I also learnt a new method of making tea (some of you might already be knowing the same, but new to me...so...). :P Also checked out Sari bua's amazing new home (Still under construction....but was blown away by the view...majestic!!)

My friend Snehal arrived from Ahmedabad on 24th and we decided to let him rest a while (16 hour bus journey is no easy feat!!! Especially in this heat!!). We decided we'll start our sight seeing with the nearest spots of interest.

First up -----> Bibi Ka Maqbara 

Sari Bua calls it a "SAD LOOKING TAJ MAHAL". Indeed it does has an uncanny resemblence to the famous monument of Love. It was built by Prince Azam Shah, Aurangzeb's Son, for his mother. I overheard a guide refer to it as a "Poor man's Taj Mahal". Yeah it does seem so. I was telling Snehal that it looks like they squeezed up the Taj on available piece of land... I dont really understand the fuss behind Taj, I've been there 3 times and I could find absolutely nothing there that impressed me. Then again, personal opinion.



As with most other monuments of India that isnt under the "World Heritage" or the "Archaelogical Survey of India" radar (it must be, but probably not so important...), the place was unkempt and neglected. Even so, the minarets were quite impressive (probably coz I havent been to the Taj in over 10 years now and havent been remotely close to a minaret in...god knows how long a time). 
We spent about quarter of an hour at Bibi ka Maqbara and decided to head for our next stop.

-------->Paan Chakki<--------------
When we arrived at this place, we were actually wandering around like silly tourists and trying to figure out what we were looking for. We just asked the auto wallah to drop us off at Paan Chakki and when we reached the place, well...there it was right in front of us. A 17th century structure of Medieval Engineering. Google it if you like, as we ourself didn't spend more than five minutes here.
It was probably the chicken I ate the previous night and I had begun to have some sort of stomach cramps. We initially decided to head back home after Bibi ka Maqbara and Paan Chakki. Having saved ample time after the disappointment that was Paan Chakki, we decided to cover the "Aurangabad Caves". It was supposedly a 6 kms walk away from Paan Chakki, but thanks to my tantrums ("I dont feel like walking so much in this heat"), we took an auto to this destination.


--------->Aurangabad Caves<--------------
This was the best part of the day's trip. We reached just about in time for the caves to close, but we managed to rush up there anyways.  Buddhist sculptures lined up everywhere and it was a mini-ajanta of sorts. Really nice, and the view of the city from up there was pretty amazing.  

We returned home, a little tired, a little hungry and very very very thirsty. Headed out for dinner with Sari bua and Reggie fufa, to this Rajasthani Joint called "Thaat-baat". Not being a foodie, I didnt really enjoy the food....Snehal, Fufa and Bua did. We retired early for the night, as we had the bus to catch next morning to Ajanta Caves.

------>Ajanta Caves<-------
Snehal was royally woken up by Benji at 4 AM or so. Of course I was Benji's next target when he came to the room I was sleeping in and woke me up too. We started pretty early at around 7.30 AM to take the bus from a nearby place. A two hour journey, and I might have bored Snehal by falling asleep, thanks to my nausea. When we finally reached Ajanta, it was hot as hell. Lots of monkeys around and I was dreading the long steps, yet again. 

The caves were pretty awesome. Buddhist sculptures and paintings lined the magnificent caves. Thank goodness for the guide, we had a pretty good time trying to understand the paintings....otherwise I am sure I wouldnt know a damp patch from a painting. We made our way back at around 3 PM and were back in the city at 5.30. We had some rest and got ready again to celebrate Sari bua and Reggie fufa's 28th Wedding anniversary

---------> Sari Bua and Reggie Fufa's anniversary <------------
We went to this restaurant Amarpreet, where apparently you get the best non vegetarian food. I had some tasty cheese dumpling kind of thing, I dont recall the name....but it was pure heaven....yummmm. I also tried "screw driver"...can safely say I aint trying that one again. It was a nice time that the four of us spent. I might sound cliched but I sometimes wonder when I am married for 28 years, will I have the same kind of love that these two share?? I mean its the kind of love one can actually feel by just being in their presence. Same goes for Appu and Kalyan. :)

We went back home, clicked a few pics and retired for the night with Ellora on our agenda for the next day.


------>Ellora Caves<-------
We started around 8 in the morning for Ellora Caves. Weather wasnt too bad and the four of us took Reggie Fufa's grey goose (Lancer). Amazingly smooth vehicle....very very comfortable, I fell in love with it. On our way to Ellora, we saw Daulatabad Fort from a distance. Iwish I could climb up there, but my fitness .... baaah lets not go there :P

Snehal got out of the car to take the pics of the fort. Something about ruins and forts presents an impressive image....all the past glory that withstood the test of time. We proceeded towards the caves and I must say, they were a thousand times better than Ajanta. 
I had a sort of "Buddha Overdose" after Ajanta, and seeing other sculptures was a sight for sore eyes.
The carvings were impressive to say the least. If I could live there, I gladly would.
These are few of the pics that I absolutely loved. Snehal was like a tour guide to me and kept me busy with the "Dashavataras" and other stories. For a software engineer, he sure has his mythology in place :P
-------->Mhaismal<---------
Mhaismal was this beautiful place about 12 kms away from Khuldabad. Its 1067m above sea-level and is a sort of hill station. It was the coolest place in all of Aurangabad (apart from Sari Bua's home of course!! :P). The view was amazing, the wind was amazing....in short, everything about the place was amazing. It was s quiet that you could hear the birds chirping. And you could also hear the wind......awwwssoome. We spent a few mins there and made our way back to have lunch.

After lunch, we started packing our bags. Snehal was leaving on the same day for Ahmedabad. Me and Sari bua had a train to catch at 4 the next morning. So after a much needed rest, packing of bags, wasting time online...it was time to bid Snehal goodbye and thank him for the amazing company he gave me the past three days.

Once he left, I spent some quality time with my darling....Benji. He had finally tired out of chewing my socks and lay at my feet most times, as if knowing that fact that we'll be gone tomorrow. He is sooooo adorable... Just love him immensely. Reggie Fufa commented: "I never imagined I'll be seeing Dolly play with Benji....remember how she was jumping around in fear on the first day and see her now". Yeah well... Thats Benji Magic talking :D
For more pics (All clicked by Mr Patel ;)), go  HERE

All in all, the trip was pretty tiring but a lot of fun too. Sari bua and me came to the Hyderabad. We celebrated my 23rd birthday on 3rd May and she returned on 4th. After that, its been exams and preparations.

I'll be slowly going around all the blogs soon. Just to remind everyone...I am invisible, not dead ;)

Cheers!!

 
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