Sunday, June 15, 2014

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right..

Just a list of some funny people one encounters during a master’s stint in US. May look exaggerated, I really wish that were true (the exaggeration part).

1. the Bodyguard: this guy accompanies some girl/ girls like the dog in the hutch ad. Guy thinks girl likes his company; girl thinks it’s not safe to go the lab alone in the wee hours.
To the guy: seriously, ‘your’ company?
To the girl: Did you know that this macho went a dozen blocks around because a puppy was coming that way?

2. the SUP guy10: the sole purpose of their existence is to render the most hackneyed word in the planet even more trite.
P.S. Careful when you say that to Tamil guy

3. the ‘f-word’ guy10: Am not really sure what they think , maybe “right, if I  fit it 3 times in each sentence, I am cool! I’m not against the use of the word that can convey a million (or more) emotions, but using it for the sake of using is, well, pathetic.

4. the ‘If a hippopotamus could laugh, it would sound like me’ guy: some words are used at such ordinary instances that they don’t convey the real meaning they are actually intended to. Like the word ‘terror’ - that laughter that makes the strongest of hearts freeze (God help you if you were peeing then),sends a shiver down your spine and gives you nightmares forever. Humans drink, these creatures slurp. Humans chew, they churn (whats that, gravel?) Might also be accompanied by burping and various other cacophonies (yeah, you got it). No offence, hippos.

5. the ‘Chillout/Yoyo’ guy: 
"I need to , I repeat , I NEED  to go out every weekend and chill out with people I barely know, I need to look and sound extremely ‘cool’ in spite of that glossy costume(pukes) that I need to wear. I am not afraid. It’s NOT a waste of money, it’s a social investment. Look at the brighter side, I can post cool  statuses7, pics  in FB and friends back home will actually be jealous of me (nervous laughter).”

6. the ‘Birthday party’ guy : goes to (almost) every other b’day party in town(or village ,if you live/exist  at College Station).

Guy1: Yeah bro, you got it finally, he’s my labmate’s friend’s girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.
7. the (sad) FB Posters: these guys post every single activity they are upto on fb, twitter ,etc.
‘I peed today first thing in the morn and aimed it perfectly! Yippee!!!!!!’
P.S: yippee? Did some kindergarten kid hack into your profile? And people, I swear, just one exclamation mark (!) conveys  an exclamation (and not an assertion). Nooooooooo, ohhhhhh. seriously, stop repeating the darn characters.

8. the “ Food pics uploader”: ‘I cooked this junk with my own bare hands, I feel the compelling need to post it ’ is what they seem to suggest. Usually accompanied with pics of people eating with a look of approval (why is he bleeding? hey is that a broken tooth he is hiding in his left hand?), along with captions like ‘yummy’ , weekend special, first attempt ,etc.
ABCmoron** likes this (in return for liking his pics the next time that moron cooks).
I am lost for words, let’s move on.

9. the ‘I have a girlfriend’ guy:
Guy 1: boy that was long… couple of hours eh
Guy 216: (blank stare, continues watching soccer)
Guy 1: you know, right? I got something going on with a girl back home.
Guy 2: that was an awesome pass, should’ve nailed it though. I’m sorry, you were saying?

10. the ‘Accent’ guy : tries to talk ‘like the Americans’. It’s pardonable with mild torture if you try that with other fellow Indians ( most likely they return the favor) or Americans ( they’ll laugh their heads off the moment you leave) ,but to the Chinese? Do you have a conscience? Thou shall burn in hell fire.
P.S. these are the guys who say ‘maacha’(with an accent). Can’t you mouth machan or machi? How do you guys sleep at night?

11.the ‘Fakers13 : extremely funny people who put on  gym wear and go eat at the gym cafeteria, put on a suit just to take some snaps , wear coolers at night, try to ask (self-humiliating)questions, for its own sake,
“Can you please explain the last slide, Dr.Mokkaman?”
Dr.Mokkaman: It reads ‘Thanks for your attention’

12. the ‘Free dinner’ guy: he’s there whenever and wherever dinner is free .

13. the ‘American’ : talks and behaves like he’s been living in the US of A all his life. Posts statuses that (imply) he is not into regional movies/music anymore. Talks/posts only football (American, obviously).

14. the ‘desperate flirt’ :
Guy: hey ‘showoff420’, you know what? I got an intern for the summer. I also got a driver’s license yesterday. Gimme a high-five.
Random girl: Do I even know you?
Guy: you will, in a few weeks’ time (tries to give ‘romantic look’)
Random girl (over phone): hey XYZshameless1, can you come over to the Indian store, some rooster faced guy is irritating me here.

15 the ‘Sitcom psycho’: follows half a dozen (or more) sitcoms at once (yes, that is possible)
Might hiss random stuff to themselves while watching.  Voldermort would be proud.

16 the ‘I don’t give a damn’ guy: Doesn’t react to anything at all.
Guy 1: hey, you know what? despo999 is taking a hot chick to dinner tonight.
Guy 2: oh ok.
Guy 1: and smartass123 got a job, $70k per annum. Lucky bugger. Can you believe it?
Guy 2: good for him.
Guy 1: are you sick?
Guy 2: (no, you are) no
Guy 1: (screaming) Why are you like this man? Get involved, talk, socialize ,go out, scream, have fun.
Guy 2: oh ok.

17: ‘the man, the movies. the music’: Alpha male, or so he thinks. Rants on and on about movies and music. Posts statuses/updates,videos and expert comments about movies, albums, musicians.(pls pls ‘like’ it)
Guy 1:Have you listened to a band called ‘loudcrap’. No? 25 years of your life is kinda screwed up man.
Guy 2: (pushing guy1 into an 8 foot deep pool): did you learn swimming. No? Your entire life forward is kinda screwed up man.

18:The ‘technical connoiseur’: thinks he knows/can grasp everything under the sun. tortures people by ‘explaining’ tech details about simple stuff, won’t let you go till he’s done( or brain-dead, whichever happens first).Might try to demean people for being na├»ve. You know it’s time to get the hell out(‘got a call from home’ will work) when he starts with ‘did you know that’
Guy A: hey can you help me move this desk, man?
Guy B: have you made sure that the center of gravity is as close to the base as possible? ok, first incline it at 27.5° and then apply just enough force ……..

Guy A: On second thought, who uses a desk for writing? Let’s just leave it here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Short story- Science fiction


The phone rang. He knew this call could make or break the funding for his dream project. "Prof. Epsilon here. Yes, I’m glad you had time to call . Oh, you have just 2 minutes. No problem. Dumb down? No problem. To summarize, this is a path breaking project where we integrate genetics, neuroscience, psychoanalysis, math, programming, etc to predict a person’s actions by simulating a desired chain of events. Or inversely, find out how probable a person is to take a particular course of action when exposed to a certain situation."

"How, you ask? Well, what we do is create a virtual clone. No, no, not a physical one, one that exists in a computer's memory. Let's just say 'that thing' thinks and acts like the person who has provided samples. Yes, we do a lot of tests on the person- physical and mental , how they react to scenarios, whole lot of things really.So we integrate the physical and mental part to create to a clone that is closest to the subject in thought and action. Then we ask it  series of questions to get to know what the subject would behave like in the required scenario. What's that - you're asking how to talk to this clone thing if it does not exist?"The prof distanced himself from the phone and mouthed 'moron'. 

He got back again and continued. "See, by talking, I mean through code. We input the scenario to be analyzed using code and prompt the virtual clone to respond. We simulate the whole scene, only virtually. How do I know if that is right, you ask? Oh, of course we use iteration and there is our friend, probability. We are working to be at a 95% confidence level.Alter altering the scenarios a bit, simulate again for 'n' iterations. We then change the state of mind before the event, through various shades of gray. Do the iterations again. By the end of the session, we can plot the most probable course of action with x % of confidence."

"What's the use, you ask? Well, this can be used in a variety of cases, like in courtrooms to simulate the probability of person committing a crime, in interrogations; you can even potentially use it during elections to choose the best candidate. Yeah, forget politics. We are still in a developing phase and we are still looking at various avenues. We have a team of brilliant PhD students working on this. Yes, preliminary tests are done and the results are very encouraging. No, we’ve not done beta testing yet. Waiting for clearance. I agree, it’s a long process, but look at the potential results. I know, but I don’t see how that can stop us from".. click. 

Chapter V: Flight

Me:Last week, my faucet started leaking. I took some tools and fixed it. It worked better than cribbing about the plumber that did not show up or writing a blog about the misery.
Me:I explained the best i could in the email I'd sent

 2 months before..
Chapter I: I think I just died 

Me:Always wanted to know if you didn’t exist or didn’t care. Now I know which
God: (silent)

Me: Was it intended this way? Or did it get wired wrong, maybe
God:You remember taking the GRE test?
Me:What are you even talking abo…?

God:What happens when you answer a question right?
Me:The next question gets tougher.
God:Why that extra effort to make things harder for yourself?
Me:Duh, you write for the scores after the test and not for having a nice time during it.
God:Precisely. You are challenged to stretch your limits. And there comes a point where you can stretch no more. Finally you’re graded on how tough the questions got.
Me:Boring stuff mate. Do you happen to have a point?
God:I’m saying each person’s situation is different and they are all graded differently. It makes no sense to compare. You crib about results when you haven’t gotten any.
Me:Okay, now what is the point of a getting this frigging score after I am done? Are you going to gift me this golden opportunity to sit here in heaven and sing your praises for eternity? Not interested mate. I want people to reap what they sow, on earth, when it really matters.
God:Again, you are complaining about the hard time during the test. The end is really the beginning.
Me:An afterlife, eh? Are you telling me you’re gonna fry the wicked and leave the rest alone? So, that’s the reward for going through hell: to avoid hell. Why do you do these anyways? Eventually you just make everyone suffer.
God:I gave y’all a gift. And you ruined them it. You used it against each other. You made your lives miserable, not me.
Me:Hey talk like a God! Whatever were you doing when everything went wrong? When you can create, I’m sure you can control. You really just want to experiment, don’t you? Just to get a chance to sit up there and judge who was right and who was wrong. Gives you that awesome feeling of authority on judgment day, eh? Now how good are you? Aren’t you the biggest sadist of them all? Don’t you deserve hell too? 

Chapter II: Karma

God:Have you heard of karma
Me:there you go
if ‘logic==true’
then ‘explain’
else ‘karma’;
God:You won’t understand.
Me:Oh, try me. I really wanna know the darn logic behind carrying over these sins to the next life. Now don’t bring in the ‘soul’ concept. It doesn’t help. Not when I don’t even know who the hell I was in my last birth. You mentioned GRE, didn’t you? It’s like basing my question on how the earlier question was answered by someone else.

God:Okay, I’ll attempt a very rudimentary explanation. We both seem to agree is bad to hurt someone.
Me:At least I do
God:How bad is hurting oneself? How bad is it when the one you know the only one getting affected is you and you alone?
Me:I guess that’s personal discretion.
God:Ok. That is what is happening here. I hurt a part of myself and I am fine with it.
Me:Oh cool, now you’re saying I am you?
God: No, I am saying you’re part of me.
Me: Nope, won’t work. As long as I’m the one facing the music, it doesn’t matter if you say the sins are carried forward from earlier lives. Or if you say, you’re part of me; you get screwed while I have fun. Is that how you convince yourself too? Now please give me a good damned reasonable explanation.
God:(shrugs) This is all I know.
Me:Seriously,you're really God? I mean..
The Professor stormed into the room.

Chapter III: The Project

Prof:What are you two up to?
I was there, but I wasn’t.I still had horripilation and was incapacitated of conversation. My labmate took over.

L’mate:We.. he, well.. he altered some code.. we simulated his death, but pushed the virtual clone termination script farther down..I was chatting with his virtual dead clone basically.. just to see what he has to say after dying…
And my labmate was playing God, just for grins, I thought.
Prof: Does this look like a joke to you? Look, the mapping and samples from you two are only for serious and secret beta testing before we get to do tests on subjects. And nothing without my Goddamn approval. 
I laughed when he said ‘goddamn’. He glared.

Prof:Did you make changes to the abstract?
L’mate: Yes Dr. Epsy. Here’s a copy.
Prof:Did I not tell you italicize this? And this part should in font size 12. What is wrong with y’all?  Guys, this is a big project. As such, we’ll run into a whole lot of trouble before it’s launched.I want my dream project launched before my tenure is over. Is that understood? This is not the time to be playing with code. 
His cell phone buzzed.

Epsilon here. Yes, I’m glad you had time. Oh, you have just 2 minutes. No problem. Dumb down? No problem...... (refer above if you want to read that crap again!) ....I agree, it’s a long process, but look at the potential results. I know, but I don’t that that can stop us from.. click. 

Snowflakes are unique too; nobody makes a fuss about that! He muttered as he walked away. 

Chapter IV: Pep talk

Me:(laughing hard) GRE? really? That was pathetic, I mean, you were playing God mate.
L’mate:I did come up with alternate hypotheses.
Me:(shaking head) You disappoint me. For some reason I thought you had some grey stuff.
L’mate:Ha! at least I have a stable head. You’ll head to Psychoville in 5 years tops.
Me:Nah, one more under Epsy and I will be a perm resident there.
L’mate:Man, you didn’t even care if you are in heaven or hell. Didn’t ask what was happen to you. You just started a tiff with the Dude. Are you ‘that’ messed up in the head?
Me:Oh God, what I have I become (fake terror)
L’mate:bald, maybe? Now, look mate, this is a bit awkward. But I know you ain’t happy. I mean, you laugh, joke, act cool and stuff. But you have a calling; I don’t know whatever that is. But, you have you have to make a choice, you cannot live like this, either go after what you really want or be happy with what you do. Do not try to drag the two mutually exclusive circles closer and try live in the intersection. It’s bound to snap.
Me:You’re right. That was awkward!
L’mate:Why did I even bother

2 months later..

Chapter V: Flight (?) (continued):

Prof(chuckling):Enough with this 'You have a calling' story. What more do you want? You have everything! You are part of a big project, earn decent and after a couple of years, when you graduate you will earn the big bucks. You are good at coding and you can’t write those unless you are involved. It’s does not look like you are distracted. All I say is don’t take a hasty decision. This kind of turning back and starting again works only in movies and novels. You will not get back the same life if you realize if this ‘new start’ does not work and decide to come back.  From your own faucet reference, you don’t know plumbing and could’ve easily made that leak into a flood.
Me: I will need to time to make up my mind, professor.
Prof: Good. Use the brain to think, not the damned heart. What you do best should be your profession, what you love to do should be a hobby. See, I have jotted down a list of questions, just answer them truthfully and you’ll be clear.

I walked out, more confused than ever, paper clutched in my hand.
                                                                                                      to be concluded...