29 September 2009

MT.V, Films and Blues

Disclaimer: Follows the trend baby!

Blues: Oktoberfest is a feeling, it is a celebration of mind. Someone from Kerala would understand the importance of such festivals. Such crowds are so inevitable part of the culture and I love it. Oktoberfest 002

The first noticeable item from this year’s visits is that I was checked by the security. Of course, an Indian/Pakistani looking guy with non-groomed hair and a week’s beard has to be checked.

Oktoberfest has proven to me how good a sharp shooter I am. In the shooting stalls, I manage to hit 10+ of the targets in 12 tries. Of course a cowboy has to do it well, Right?

Had I been a caveman, I’d have managed to get enough food for my family alias “harem” ;).

Of course, there are small prizes* for sharp shooters. All the pictures show the fruits of my shooting skills. oktoberfest 007Some fruits are with friends who accompanied me.

snake, oktoberfest 003

A funny incident happened this year while waiting in the crowd at the entrance of the tent. I and D were waiting and a guy from Sweden was there too. He started chatting (flirting) with D.

Initially, I was not paying much attention to them since a lovely girl had taken me for a wall to lean back on. She being pretty pretty and since her neck smelt lovely, I didn’t want to push her away. Why spoil something we both enjoyed? ;)oktoberfest 005

So, this guy was chatting up D and I eavesdropped. The conversation had gone to 19th century European history and Nordic religions to a level that D just wanted to escape from there. As I chose to enjoy the girl’s leaning on me and D’s frustration, we waited for a couple of minutes before going off to a table.

Perhaps that was the moment he was looking for – he kissed D goodbye. Started with cheek-on-cheek, then slowly worked his way very close to lip-to-lip. D ran for her life and I laughed heartily. Saddism? ;)Oktoberfest 014

The Swedish guy was well educated – that was D’s only relief!

You know? D is my eldest friend and youngest one is C. D’s age is more than twice of C’s. Nice!

If I start to write, then there are so much to write about Oktoberfest. Owing to the fear of taking too much space and time, I get to the next topic: films.

Indian film industry (Hindi) seems to be making amazing films. It is a shame to Malayalam film industry that they have forgotten to make any good films. Is there any film nowadays which could be kept next to “Black”, “A Wednesday”, “Kaanchivaram” or “Satya”? Damn good films boy! Damn good!

The final section of the entry could be intensive. ;) MTV : M T Vasudevan Nair.

image053The intensity of tender feelings and the tenderness of intense feelings – who captures it in very few words better than MT. Vasudevannair? Off late, I am (re)-reading his books and oh boy…, it is pain, nostalgia, warmth, pleasure, sadness, melancholy and everything put together in a few words.

He describes situations which make us unable to know what to feel or we lose our ability to know what we are feeling. It is worth learning Malayalam just to read some of the literature.

If I happen to have two daughters, the second one might very well get the name Vinodhini. Or perhaps this could be the second name of the first one.

Signing off, Sands.

*: One would need a fortune to get the largest bear as Randy Pausch says in the last lecture. It is more money based, rather than skill.

25 September 2009

BMW F 800 R


Disclaimer: Long post, baby!

Engine: 800 CC, 87 PS, 65 kW.

No no, I don’t own this. I just happen to do my bike riding lessons on this one.

I have had a fair share of bike riding back in India. Of course, I was not much of a dare devil (I still live to write this), but I have done enough crazy things. Still, all the bikes I’ve tried are the Normal 100CC, Victor, Splendour and CBZ.

This one cuts them all. Amazing power! Almost double the power of the car I used to drive back home, double the power of RedGirl’s car here. It is just waiting for the slightest movement of the accelerator, to FLY - F.L.Y! SEXY is the only word to use.

I was a little concerned about doing a motorbike license lesson with a steel-rod-reinforced leg. From one point of view, my fears were right. From another point of view, they were pointless. I shall give you a glimpse of how it works here – as opposed to how it works back home.

First, my teacher was just testing how well I do by default. Apparently, I seem to have impressed him. Before taking me to the *EXERCISES*, all he wanted was getting used to the new clutch. (Proud me)

Exercise 1: Ride the bike between traffic cones kept in a line, 3-4 metres apart. Through the left side of one, then the right side of the next… and so on. The bike zigzagshould go like a wave.. zig-zag motion. @30kmph. In fact, it was mostly a cake walk.

Exercise 2: Now the cones are 1.5 – 2 metres apart. @walking-speed. Crazy man, crazy! The monster wouldn’t let me control. But well, managed within 3-4 tries.

Exercise 3: The first exercise, @50kmph. Wow! The bike should swing between each of the cones, and it should be made possible with the movement/oscillation of my torso. Lovely, isn’t it? But trust me, it wasn’t as bad as I thought… :)drill4

Exercise 4:  It is as in the picture. I come from the left bottom corner and then ride as the green curve… without touching the cones. Now, that is to be done at 50kmph. The width of the strip is about 1m and the left side cone is about 1m away from the strip.

The drill is to make sure that if some a**hole opens the car door when I am on the roads, I should be able to twist and turn and save my life. It wasn’t that easy in the first two times. Then it fell into place. :)

Exercise 5: The same as the above exercise, but now the cones all come CLOSER. And I should come with 50kmph and put a sudden break before manoeuvring the bike. Cool, isn’t it?

Exercise 6: I loved this simplest one. Come with 50kmph, apply a SUDDEN brake. My instructor told me that, the bike has all the security systems installed, so don’t worry. Apply BOTH the brakes.

(I don’t know whether he forgot that he told me a few minutes earlier that if I brake too much with the front brake, I’ll see my body some 10 metres away from the bike. I’ve known that all along though :))

Anyway, I did it and two times the back of the bike came up in the air. Cool.. I’d always wanted to do that.. never did on a motorbike. With normal bicycle, yes, I’ve done all this circus.

On a whole, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. But the classes tell me how risky it could be on the roads and are preparing me for that. I wish we had such system in India – a rigorous training session.

Looking forward to what more to come in the next classes. Now, don’t think that my instructor has nothing to do. He is keeping on scolding for even the slightest little mistake I make – even the speed at which I apply the clutch. (I am surprised that he observes all of it). I might have to unlearn some of the stuff I taught myself about a decade ago.

Ok guys, it was a long post. I don’t know whether you read till here. Life’s good. Things are getting a rhythm. delicious-indian-foodReading quite a bit, watching films, documentaries. And above all, EATING great food. I lost about 4-5 kg during the first 6 of the last 8 weeks (stress, you see?). Now I have a regiment of great Indian food (self cooked) to bring my weight back to 70. 

And my work? Good you asked. It is going nice. It is going pretty great, NEAT. :)

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Reading in 2.5, Programming in 3, speaking in 4 and films in 5 – different languages.  Who said I am not a linguist? ;) :P

PPS: You need to tell that this was a good post. :)

21 September 2009

Two, Three, Similes and Words

Two's a company, three's a crowd.. so goes the idiom.

Saturday, I had best of both worlds. Started with watching a Tamil film in Munich with many friends around; then with two friends to the Oktoberfest - wonderful time.

It is hard to find people who don't bore you within an hour. Not many have new things to talk about for hours. Not many people are good at beating me when it comes to blabbering. ;)

After the fest, I and this friend (no-boring, talks more than I do) went to THE vegetarian restaurant, after 3 hours of non-stop walking, covering atleast a dozen kilometers and atleast a dozen different topics. Some people are just very nice. Hmm... well, we call them kindred spirits?

On a different note: Malayalam literature, and mallu conversations are filled with similes and metaphors - funny/serious/thought-provoking/pathetic/good/bad/weird, all types of them. Here are two for you, and I let you choose the adjectives for them ;)

  • Advising someone in love is like filling a punctured tyre. (or blowing a balloon with a hole)
  • Like the warmth stays on the chair after the person has gone, her memories stayed in his mind for ages after she left. (kitschy?/serious?)

Finally, something about a wordplay. Last week, I was trying to assign two adjectives to every person (girl) I know. And I came up with the following.

Bright and Strong; Cute and Sweet; Smart and Witty; Sweet and Caring; Intelligent and Understanding; Independent and Able; Gorgeous and Homely; Complex and Weird; Stupid and Arrogant.

After believing that I did a good job, I asked someone for two adjectives about me. The first one she said was "difficult". :p

I thought, I better stop asking than hear "arrogant", "pushy", etc. as the second one. :P

Signing off, Sands.

18 September 2009

Arm Chair Journalism? (Indian news)

If one looks at the Twitter page of Mr. Tharoor, it would be very clear how difficult is news-reporting in this age – IBN Report. Simple copy-paste of tweets and using some words to cement them together?

Is this what you call arm-chair-journalism? or Cafe-square-journalism – sitting in an internet cafe, sipping a coffee and reporting? (on second thought, I feel a cigarette would be better instead of coffee in a journalist’s picture)

Oh, no! I am not against any of these. Just wondering whether the cost is clear   enough for a lazy fellow like me to start news-reporting. (I had seen all the tweets last night… well before the report. My bad, I didn’t send an article to IBN).

Signing off, Sands.

PS: “ST tweets sorry” would have been better than “ST says sorry”. :)

14 September 2009

Books, 250, Abbey Road (studios).

To start with, a few words about : (a) The Reluctant Fundamentalist, (b) Juliet, Naked.

reluctantI wouldn’t go into the details of authors or other trivia. I don’t even consider myself as a great reviewer. To do justice to the first book, I’d say that I very much liked the style of narration. I really appreciated the ideological transition of a man, which is well captured. 

At least it changed my prejudices against the books about Muslim world (of course it matched some of my prejudices about the content. But it was by no means boring). Would I recommend it? YES!

The other book, by Nick Hornby, was good. But it didn’t meet my expectations (who the hell am I to set expectations?). It was less witty than High Fidelity (the author’s first book), but with some repeating elements from it.  Of course there were moments when I simply laughed out loud and moments when I fell silent (thinking).

If I don’t consider the less witty part, it was fine. Would I recommend? Maybe.

c250 Now, do you know that this is the 250-th post in this blog? Long ago, when I started, I wouldn’t have imagined anything like this (am I a man without a vision? ;) Someone even said that I am short-sighted :p).

There are still a couple of people regularly reading – even when I have stopped visiting many blogs. Lovely! :) Thanks guys.

beatles_abbey-road Topic Change: A few weeks/months ago I wrote about my new addiction (Beatles). I recently watched a documentary about them – BBC is doing a lot of stuff about Beatles (off late) – just superb! And I am more into Beatles now. :p

I had wanted to write a lot about Beatles and some of my favourites (Yesterday, Love me do, Yellow Submarine, Something in the way she, You say yes, and so on and on). But ran out of time and sizelimit of a post.

Well, talking about High Fidelity and music tracks is something of a coincidence. You’d understand it if you have read the book. May be it is a call to make lists like : my “Top 5 posts”, “Top 5 music tracks”, and so on. ;)

I can even start a top-five-tag in blogger. Can I not?

Signing off,


11 September 2009

Juliet, Naked : Nick Hornby

Today, I intend to break my word and also to trick you. But before that, I shall offer you something for a bit of celebration. You may have either some chocolate cake : the German way, Or some Payasam/Kheer: the Indian way or BOTH: be international! :) [Once there was an inside joke about chocolate cake(s)]

Chocolate_Cake Payasam

Breaking my word: because this post is no book-review as promised. Something else came up.

I passed the German drivers’ license test. The examiner even said that the second half of the 45 minute test was really good. I think, I have all the reasons to gloat, because I managed this with just 8 driving lessons. It is heard to be a not so easy thing to get. And DAMN expensive too. I am practically on top of the world.

You know what? It is a very painful thing to be (almost) on top of the world and missing her (more because of the happy moment). The mended heart feels crushed, and it hurts deep inside even when I should be euphoric. Had the story been different, I’d simply have rented a car and driven to her the very next moment I get the license in hand.

Well, I’ll get over it, sometime. :)

I wanted to write about some paradigm shifts in thought; my arguments against philosophy in general; and also my new take on stupidity. Later..!


Apparently, today I wouldn’t be in a mood to work (too excited). Will catch up with some sleep; Learn some songs to be performed tomorrow on stage (for the Kerala community Onam celebration).

And will read “Juliet, Naked” – the latest novel by Nick Hornby. Bought it yesterday mostly ‘just like that’. I finished about 60 pages last night itself.

Well, that was the tricking part. Who wouldn’t want to read a post with “Naked” in the title! ;)

Signing off, Sands.

7 September 2009

Another quickie (kutti quickie)

Small pleasures in life are very enjoyable. Some happen in train –  like

  • Little kids smiling at me (especially when I play hide and seek with them)
  • Or a granny who acknowledges my gesture when I make more room for her to her comfort and finally she smiles and waves while getting out of the train…
  • Or even the sweet girl from the other side of the aisle who smiles when she catches me ogling! :p
  • It is also great how I still manage to confuse drivers at Zebra crossings. All wait and look at each other before I realise, I shall go first! :D

Life is beautiful, amazing, wonderful. Gained years’ experience, but feels much younger during the past few weeks! :)

Signing off, Sands.

Notices: Next post is mostly a book(s) review post; Finally I am writing again in my almost-abandoned-German-blog.

PS: I am being too frequent lately. Depression made me more creative. maybe? :)

6 September 2009

Tongue of Slip; and first vegetarian fight! :)

I am in a good mood. The past week had been good in terms of things happened around me. Even inside me, the broken heart is mostly nursed back to a decent state, if not the bestestest shape.

To start with: I passed the German proficiency test – with good grades. I cannot say with flying colours. But for the less than 20 hours of effort I’d put in, it is damn good. My friend who prepared for two months was jealous because I scored better! ;)IMG_4620

I had some catching up with friends to do, and I did exactly that. Celebrated Onam with some of them; Went/Partied with some other; Made a trip with some other to Austria. 

To the real thing: On Thursday, I had my first argument/explanation about vegetarianism. I hadn’t wanted to argue, but I did it just fine.

Yesterday, D asked me to explain my philosophy to her. She’s considering to become a vegetarian. She wants to know whether I have any compelling reason to offer. I might get my first ‘victim’ soon! ;)

Slip of tongue? Well, I’d call it a mistake. (The real slip of tongue is too much to write here :P )

065It so happened that, yesterday, I was in a pub with 4 ladies.

For me, the waitress there looked as though she was from Philippines. I even mentioned this to one of the birds with me.

The conversation was going just fine. But when the waitress came, I asked her where she came from.

“Singapore” - I was happy that my guess was not too bad/far-from-reality. 

But one of the birds around me screamed - “He’s sitting with 4 mädels and he asks where the waitress is from”. A smart fellow would have kept the question for later! ;) :P

I was NOT hitting on her. I was just wanting to know whether my ‘origin-locating-skills’ were in tact. (well, the waitress was a REAL hot one though ;) )

Signing off, Sands.

PS: mädels  means girls (local language).

2 September 2009

Five, Five, Five and Five.

It’s now five years since I came to Germany. When I turn back and look, there are so many great things happened in life. I should rather take a backwards journey – days/weeks/months and years..

AbstractCurvesThe past 5 days! Unbelievable! I went through a hard break up. A sweet, amazing, wonderful she and I were together. And it culminated in a hard break up. :(

Of course it hurts. But if I am to borrow words from someone, “I am getting on with my life”. :)

I cherish all those wonderful great moments, I think and smile(?) at the shattered dreams. At least, I know that I tried - to get it working fine. That’s what I wrote it all backfired (in my last post). Or may be my attempts weren’t good enough. As Gita says - “Just do your duty. The right thing will follow”.

The past 5 weeks were perhaps worse. Living with a volcano inside you is kind of uncomfortable! ;) But now since the eruption is over, things can settle… all I need is a little bit of time to cool off. (Remember: non-existent spoon)

But the past 5 months were great. Amazing… travelled a lot in Germany. Did nice great things. Day-dreamed a lot, and lived some of them too. :)

That brings me to the 5 years. If I am to sum up all I’ve gained, then it is : Friends and Experiences.

Quite some great friends – all from here - Indian, German and Polish friends. Funnily though, my apartment-mate, from Iran is getting close enough with me. We are at different poles with some touchy subjects, but despite of the differences, we communicate/converse a lot openly.

He is one of those special fellows who can easily kick my ass and give me a gem of experienced-advice. Someone like the good old Guru/Sanjay@IIT. I like such people, they teach you a lot in two words. :)

Gained loads of experiences. To start with – had relationships, travelled to many places, met great people, teaching/conferences/mentoring/etc; Grew up into a better person - I should say. I would surely say ‘better’ – because I have been learning things. :) [and I know what an a**hole I was long time ago ;)].

I know, still a long way to go. But happy to have started and been through it for five years successfully.

Last but not the least – made money! (But I don’t have any savings yet! High time to start).

Signing off, Sands.

PS: This post is dedicated to all those wonderful people who make life lively. :)