Saturday, August 25, 2007

Photography and Shek

I am recently doing a bit of photography. It has been one of the major reasons that keeps me from writing. My secret admirers complain that they do not get to read any more of Shek. Other than not having something significant to share with you, I do not have any motivation to write any more. If you read between the lines, you will find a hint that this post is a little serious.

Photography is like my mistress that is keeping my blood flowing when I am not in my marriage which is my job. Not getting into the relevance of the institution of marriage, I want to move on to comparing photography to a mistress. I started photography in June this year and have been fairly impressed with my liking towards it. I did manage to click some pictures that, for me, was sex on the lens. I always did see things differently but never knew that I would be good at looking at my surroundings like there was a view finder in hand. It does scare me that I am superficially good at this. Scares me because I may not be the best and I want to be the best.

How does one start photography? Take pictures and have other people review them. After this thought is processed in the mysterious brain, some words like Flickr, Blog, competitions are thrown in. I would like to concentrate on Flickr. In a business, a businessman only looks for financial advice from someone who makes more money than he does. That is my fundamental problem with Flickr. It is so infested by a bunch of amateurs that the quality of reviews through comments drop severely. Feedback is a vital part of any progress. Feedback plays a large role in molding the advancement and thinking of art. I want my mind to grow free. Photography is an expression, an art and like life, should be allowed to grow on its own, feeling its own way, finding its own counterpoint of expression. I'd rather have one professional photographer review my work than fifty amateurs. My stubborn mind does do a good job of keeping my thoughts from converting opinions to rules.

A photograph is art and should be treated like a painting is in a gallery. It is something to be stared at, something to be felt. Technically, it is not a moment in time but a small length of time, a video, a piece of moving happening life on paper. All 1/1000 th or more seconds of it. I blog to put pressure on myself to see and think and observe and then push the button. Life through a lens is completely different. Better different. You can focus on a subject and see how the background blurs out creating a completely new canvas unseen by naked eye.

My goal is to grab me an SUV (preferably a Toyota FJ cruiser, because I have a thing for cars and my dreams usually have well defined cars), grab Laya, the camera, the tripod, take a month's vacation and just go. No destination, no route.

My mistress can be visited here: Shek's Aperture and here: Jacksonville Daily Photo

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Desi Boy = 15 Yr Old Caucasian Girl

A freshly graduated Desi boy is the same as a fifteen year old Caucasian girl. India's sub-hundred years of independence and the over two hundred years of dependence is to blame.

I realise that the above two statements are pretty bold and I will lay down my case. I am talking about a recently graduated desi boy in the US of A with a fresh job, trying to soothe terrible wounds of being separated from those other guys that were his friends and family for the entire course of his master's education. In a new city, all people are alien, and he only has one roommate's shoulders to seek comfort rather than the ten plus pairs of shoulders he had in his little university town. He starts his social life in the new city with two commandments...all americans are the same and they have no culture. This implies that there are no American new friends to be made and no culture to explore other than movie and cartoon oriented theme parks. Then he proceeds to get himself a cell phone with unlimited in-network calls to be in-network with his lost buddies.

India is not blamed till this point.

Then calls are made. From everywhere and every time. That is where they push my 'Jack-ass' button. The phone is glued to the ear making that desparate call to his soul-mates from driving to work to eating dinner. "I understand that you need to keep in touch, but damn son, there is a difference between keeping in touch and being an active part of the life of your male friend from 600 miles away!" Americans, with their super-duper-sensitive radar for fruit-cakes call such behaviour 'Gay'. Anyway, one needs to have a riding lawn mower, a truck with either a gun-rack or a fishing-rod-rack in the back to qualify as straight in this free American society.

The worst a desi boy can do to me is talk incessantly on his cell phone about mundane stuff with his BFF while in the car with me driving or while at my dinner table. If that desi boy is an old friend, I will ask him to mind himself, but if he is an acquaintance, I cant even tell him what an asshole he is. "No one gives you the right to make me look like a damn chauffeur and isolate the rest of the occupants of the car because you decided to have your chat at this very moment." I am not talking about making or taking a courtesy call. Desis talk about everything under the sun when someone else is driving. Moreover, they do it so naturally. Did I miss a course at school or a secret all-men-clan meeting in India because that behaviour is highly dis-respecting and ridiculous.

This is where India comes in. I blame the immaturity to the sub-hundred years of independence for this dis-respectful lack of etiquette.

And when he is not on the phone, he is on Orkut scrapping the very friends he spoke to for hours or finding cute girls to drop stupid scraps to.

That is the exact equivalent of a fifteen year old Caucasian girl who, if not texting her friends is on MySpace commenting at their profile. Caucasian parents, please be a little liberal on those H1B laws and increases your chances of finding a daughter in everyone of us.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Carbon Output

I took a survey here: link
My carbon output is 17 tons a year.
I am ashamed of myself.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Latina Hottie

Zelaya is a hispanic name, a last name. Read about its origins here: link. That is the name my Laya came with. I thought it was one of those weird racing dog names and cut the 'Ze' part out. I think other dogs understand her heritage and that is why her butt gets sniffed the most at the dog park. She is a Latina Hottie. The doggie equivalent of Eva Longoria. I love both Laya and Eva though, in very different ways!

Anyway, she is pretty popular at the dog park. All the ruff-and-tuff dogs want to woo her, sniff her butt and run circles around her. They try to hang out together but Laya takes off after a few jogs and they are left behind in a cloud of dust, feeling dejected and humbled. Not many men can hang out with a dominating feminine partner who is genetically more proficient than them. This one time, a great dane was at the park and thought he was it. The ultimate man. The supreme dog at the park. Towering over every other dog, he was running the pack...till he met Laya. The wooing started when he tried to unsuccessfully out-grace her but trotting around her. They ran together for a while till Laya decided to sprint, and sprint she did. The great dane was left standing. Every dog and their owners were left standing as they watched Laya finish a complete circle around the doggie lake with so much grace to shame a peacock and ease to shame a Leapord. It is the effortlessness of her strides that make it so much beautiful to watch.

She is on a liquid diet now that is easy on her stomach but is making her lose her tautness. My Eva is turning into J.Lo.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


The 104 degrees hit my face like a hammer, knocking me out of my jet-lag as I left the office building after work on 19 July, the day I returned from England. I am back and a little changed. Every little trip I take, every person I meet and every post I read is making me change. I sometimes feel like a dis-formed object searching for form. This is something that I infer and not what someone else tells me. No one sees what I see. I speak to no one what I think and feel. Laya is the only close living being that is a witness to my metamorphosis.

After my one week absence from the blog world, I almost feel alien to everybody I knew before the trip. New posts, new comments, new tags floating around make me a little uncomfortable. I feel like getting out of this stinkfist and immersing myself in my own world. I have over 1300 pictures to look at from my six day trip and I think that is what I will do.

All I have to do is take the right trip, meet the right people and read the right post.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Gone Fishing...

I will attempt to enjoy an 'English summer' vacation starting tomorrow till 18 July. My involvement with the blogger world would be spotty but I will guarantee to make up for the lost action when I get back.

I also discovered something today about myself. I get very annoyed and somewhat emotional when I see child abuse on tv. I saw this movie tonight and it put me in a not-so-good mood. I need to stay away from such movies. I guess I take a very aggressive stance against child abuse and abuse of women.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Headache

Eating Chewda right now. I had to buy the damn packets for $2.99 each because someone consistently refused to make and send them to me. Not only that but the someone that I am speaking about had the audacity to send me a link on how to make Chewda!!! I am Bengali. Laziness is my birthright no one should ever attempt to change regional stereotypes! Gone are the days of goodwill and charity. The world is a cold and harsh place now! Where is the love 

I wonder why they allow headaches in today’s society. Of all the things they find a cure for, mankind has not found a cure to persistent headaches. They invent Tylenol go-tabs though, to suppress that headache anytime and anywhere till it is time to buy another packet. I wonder if this is a conspiracy, because it is surely a kick-ass theory. You can not tell me that our parents got vaccinated with small pox vaccines due to which we young’uns didn’t even need to see that needle but the best they have done is sell Tylenol in a jar of 200. You can not tell me that five theories exist (Bouyancy Theory, Bernoulli Effect Theory, Horizontal Vortex Theory, The Coanda Effect and Condensation) on why the shower curtain blows inward during a shower but no one commissioned a successful study on that one super-tylenol that will eradicate headaches. Not only migraines, even simple headaches.

I dedicate the above paragraph to the fact that there was critical bit of analysis regarding a mile long list of excel files and access databases for a customer to be done with a splitting headache. I was however successful in locating the problem and finding the answer. I brought the lingering headache back home to see a letter casually jammed between the door and the frame. At first I thought it was the leasing office complaining about my dogs peeing in the grass. Yes, a few weeks back some Indian dudes (my kind of Indian, not the 'Red Cloud At Sundown' named kind) who play volley ball outside my apartment made a fuss to me (very rudely, I might add) that my dogs peeing on the grass is pollution. These guys can be found standing outside their apartment, talking on their cell phones and flicking their cigarettes casually, spreading second hand smoke and undegradable ashes. Anyway, the letter was about a fine for not paying rent on time which successfully blew off a few more fuses in my cranial matter. The fine being a total of $100, I immediately rushed to the leasing office to sort out the problem. My cheque was not processed because they couldn’t find out what apartment I was in using my name. I am on the freaking lease!

“Your name is not in our system, Sir.” My roommate made it to the piece-of-shit state-of-the-art-system that manages the useless and inadequate complicated and intricate functioning of this organisation. “We will wave off the fine this time, Sir. Please make sure to put the apartment number on the cheque the next time, or I won’t be able to help you again.” A threat! A god damn threat!!! I couldn’t believe it. By this time, more sparks had flown off my butt indicating that the standby fuses in my head have blown off. Quoting Bill Engvall, when I woke up today, I didn't want to be a Jack Ass. They just pressed my Jack Ass button! “I have been paying you rent promptly. Please make sure my name appears in the system. Your system is retarded not accurate. That should not be any of my problem you lazy ass people”. In their defense, the manager did take down notes to talk to tech-support to fix this issue.

I then walked the dogs while successfully losing enough sweat to water a small back yard. That’s when I slipped into my shorts and t shirt and went to bed. Laya took the cue and cuddled in beside me. Eddie managed to find a thrash bag and I woke up to eager groans and licks on what was left of a plastic bottle and some empty cans of Laya’s food in the very middle of the living room.

Now that I am awake after an early evening nap, I have to hunt down this Chewda that I am suddenly craving so much and just have to eat. Sometimes, I feel like a spoiled trophy wife! Therefore, I had to fish out this factory made bag of chewda when I could be eating home made chewda made by someone who knows how to make it and maintains a food-blog to brag about cooking skills.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Save the Cheerleader Carbon, Save the World

Just like a carbon offset, this post offsets the previous post, my fine evening out in Jacksonville. Such close proximity in posting should successfully over-shadow the last post, more so because this one is a little bit more serious than a bit of rain, a bad coffee and cognac. This one, though being written on 08.07.2007 is about my thoughts from the Live Earth Concert held on 07.07.2007

I have been aware of the green house effect as a kid and I feel unsuccessful in doing something about it when I am hopefully all grown up. But we humans have that problem. Being aware is one thing. Acting on it after careful thought is another. Keyword(s): careful thought. Then there are always others who act without thought and solely on misdirection, but we thinkers are not talking about them, are we?

The concert worked. At least on me. It kick-started this dormant chain of thoughts and ideas that have been trying to bubble up for a while. I want to contribute to the effort, so here goes the list. Global warming is evident. The hypocrites argue that it needs more research or that it is non-existent on a cold day (ha ha ha), but they also accept creationism and intelligent design completely disregarding all scientific proofs and hypotheses. So, they can all eat the proverbial dirt.

I gathered the following list from the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC): link
I will go along the list and write my views under the points.

1. Raise your voice.
This is what this post is about and my voice will not stop in the confines of these css codes.

2. Chose an efficient vehicle.
This is a sensitive topic for me and I will come back to it at the end.

3. Drive Smart
I get my engine tuned up professionally. The monthly prompt email from my car (one of those onstar thingies) lets me know what tire pressures are and what they should be. The last one said they were the right amount. The air filter is working great. I will have the dealers check on it in another thousand miles at the next oil change.

4. Drive less
Jacksonville, Fl has a bus system that is not favourable to the everyday commuter unless your places to go revolve around the bus stop. Mine does not. The roads to the grocery store (Publix, Target) are not designed for pedestrians and bikers. It is absolutely ridiculous the route I have to take to go to Publix. Southerners love privacy too much to do effective carpooling. I do try to bundle my errands together to reduce the amount of driving. I need to try harder.

5. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
I live in an apartment complex that is the oldest in this area. They are trying to make as much money as possible on rent before they get leveled and the land is taken over by a developer. I do try to turn the thermostat up during the day so it does not run while I am at work and is not too hot for the puppies. I will however plan my finances around energy efficient appliances when I buy my own house.

6. Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent tubes
I will run down to Walmart Target tomorrow. Update: 8 July, replaced four 100 watt and four 60 watt bulbs with eight 60 watt energy saving bulbs

7. Weatherize your home or apartment
We check filters regularly. Like I mentioned, this is an older apartment complex. I will check with the management this week to see if they can do any further insulation.

8. Chose Renewable Energy
As far as I know, JEA does not have any renewable energy options. Suggestions are welcome.

9. Buy clean energy certificates
I will do that after consolidating all my credit card debt. Yes, Mr Citibank, I do not love you as much as you love me.

10. Join an awareness group
On further research, I will join a group that does the most efficient work towards the prevention of global warming. I will be a member of a group by the end of August 2007.

11. Recycle
I buy recycled toilet paper, kitchen napkins and organic food. I try not to print anything at work or at home unless it is absolutely essential. I switch off monitor screens, unplug chargers when not required and switch off lights when not in use. I have to stop using those styrofoam cups for coffee at work. Also, it will be paper, not plastic when I go grocery shopping next.

Now we come to number 2. Chose an efficient vehicle
Here it goes. The normal roads in Jacksonville are good for cruising along at a comfortable 45 mph at which my car gives me around 33 miles per gallon (mpg) or 14 Kilometers per liter to my metric readers. That is a sort of good mileage. I love driving long distances and thats where I get 26 mpg on highways. Not too bad. It is the crazy driving I do, the accelerations that affect my mileage. On a quick zero to whatever, the mileage drops to 19mpg which is way better than the Suburbans, Expeditions and Hummers that seem to have filled the landscape. I would really want to buy a Toyota Prius (55 mpg or 23 kmpl). Actually a Honda Insight would be ideal but Laya wouldn't fit. The problem is that I love acceleration. It fuels my life and I want it every day. It does have something to do with my age and raging hormones or maybe it is something I will grow out of. Therefore, I am presented with this moral dilemma. I want to do something for the environment but I don't want to give up my car. If not anything, I want a quicker car. Now, the option to buy clean energy certificates sounds relieving.

I do see myself in the future with a hybrid car and a motorcycle to fuel those speed-desires.

All you thinkers are tagged. I will not mention your names here but I will personally drop messages. If you are an activist, consider yourself tagged. The rules are to write down what steps you are taking today and would like to take to reduce global warming.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Glycodin Mocha

Rain poured on my hopes of photographing the Dames Point Bridge today. The light was almost perfect with darkening clouds with spotty sunlight streaming through. I thought a wet suspension bridge lit by the evening sun with a background of dark clouds would be perfect. This time, the clouds decided to move in a little closer and rained stegosauruses and diplodocuses. If it rained enough to slow me down to 35 mph in a 65 mph zone, it must have rained a lot because I am usually the idiot driving at 65(ish!!!) mph in a 65 mph limit under torrential rain when everyone hide in the slower lanes (I call those ‘retard’ lanes).

I did manage to snag some pretty pictures on the way to the quite little coffee shop: link which was closed at 6pm on a Saturday! So, the owner decided to shut down a place (usually) meant for the younger generation who (usually) come out of their Friday induced hangover by noon (if not later) on Saturdays. 6 pm on a Saturday is like mid-morning. Next stop Starbucks, but who put the Moes next to it. I had to get a Quesadilla before quenching my Mocha-on-ice thirst. The special of the day in the mass-produced coffee shop was Raspberry Mocha frappuccino. Ordered that. $4.55. The person behind the counter handed the large cold drink that I accepted with high hopes and esteem. I pushed the dark green straw through the whipped cream and a foot of ice cubes before hitting the actual coffee. It did smell funny. The first sip confirmed my scent-based-hunch. It tasted like Glycodin and didn’t even cure my sore throat or get me high. I just ordered a relatively expensive coffee that tastes like common household cold syrup (that gets you high if an entire bottle is consumed. Mom and Dad, it is all hearsay!).

On the other hand, I was managed to occupy one of those comfy lounge seats in the coffee shop and probably even managed to look ice-cube-cool to the three Indians that walked in a few minutes later. In the next 30 minutes, I walked around in Target with a list in my hand and managed to look like a married (or maybe taken) desi man. Most married men end up with lists in their hands at the grocery store if they are not accompanied by the list-maker. The dudes walking every aisle with no list in their hand and no idea what they want are usually single (my girl-readers, here is your clue for the day).

Safely back home, the Hennessy is calling my name. The seductively tanned liquid requests to be let out so I can refresh myself on this rainy day. On the rocks or neat? Life is full of hard choices!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Dessert - Drink - Entre - Dessert - More Dessert

I have been treating myself today. It all started by finding the all evading chicken breast pieces with bone. Publix always seems to be out of the with-bone variety and the boneless variety is devoid of all taste. That’s where the joy ride started in Publix today. Already fueled by the $5 off coupon, the with-bone chicken breasts were the perfect booster rockets. I also brought some organic minced chicken (kheema) for dinner today. Those breasts were meant for cooking only after extended periods of marinating.

Over at the produce section, I picked up some peaches for the first time, maybe just to show off to myself that I can eat healthy. Then onions, baseball-big, yellow and a promise to produce enough tears to dehydrate Nicole Richie to death. Last nights promise of Mojito pulled me towards the Mint leaves. A few frozen packs of veggie, guava jelly filled puff pastry bites and Publix’s finest Pecan Pie later I was out to claim my $5.

Dinner started promptly at 7:50 pm with munching up some (most) of those guava filled puff pastries. Those are like little drops of heaven. To die for! Then came the Mojito. My bartending diploma (I have a certificate to prove it) betrayed me when Wikipedia suggested the use of Club Soda which I did not buy. Something had to compensate for it and what better than the rum that was already going into the drink! Just hold the bottle up a little longer! The kheema was simply mind blowing, almost as good as how bad the Lamb curry was. More puff pastries after dinner pretty much anchored me to the recliner. The sight of Laya running around playing with Eddie depressed me because she probably converted more fat to muscle running around the dining table four times than I'd ever do running endless miles in the gym for a week. Anyway, the pecan pie has been warmed in the microwave for thirty seconds till the insides just started to simmer and now it sits on my plate, all pretty and fragrant. The puppies are eying the pie, now only if they could fly!

Thursday, July 5, 2007


The Pot by Tool. They are singing a song that is close to my heart right now. I quit writing for a while because I was addicted to it only to replace the object of addiction by photography. Now I can not think of anything significant to write. My thinking mind is changed to an observing mind. Ideas and concepts swirl around in my head but I don’t want to write them. I want to think. The physical ‘do’, the reaction to the action of the mind is achieved through the camera.

But still I write. I actually like this week. Being all by me in the company of two wonderful doggies is very nice. The house is finally in order. The eight chair mammoth dining table finally has some usable space in it. I can finally do more in the kitchen than open the drawer to take out spoons and forks to eat ordered food. The bedroom is spick and span though Laya managed to fish out my space bag, tear it open and explore the down jacket. No, she didn’t get into the layers and I didn’t have to come home to a bedroom snowing in imitation feather.

The Cruzan pineapple flavoured rum helps. It is the perfect drink to cool me down this summer. I did get a free Muddler from the liquor store; a Mojito is on the way.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Apparently a movie on infidelity in a busy metro goes well with lamb curry and rice over dinner. Well, that is the gist of the collection of electrical impulses sent to my brain looking at the array of movies while waiting to pay for the freshly cut lamb.

Anyway, the movie depicted this high level of infidelity in this busy city. People searching lust and love amongst others and blaming it on the city. The moral was probably something like looking at what you have than what you don't. It made sense to me but I couldn't stop thinking about what I dont have. I dont have tender pieces of meat sitting among this curry and rice mix. I dont have a better movie to watch to wash this one off my memory. I dont have anything sweet to eat after this incomplete meal and no, I dont want that jello in the fridge. I also dont have to watch a Hollywood film anymore to see a real sex scene, sound effects and everything because Bollywood (Hindi Cinema Industry based in Bombay) movies, probably starting with Metro managed to do away with copulation euphemisms (more information on those euphemisms here: link)

The mating scenes were executed with the fine expertise of a soft-pornography director. The presence of a delicate cross-over of talent from the Bombay Porno Industry to the Bollywood Film Industry is noticeable. No more do the waves crashing onto the rocks depict the big-O. Most of the ideas conveyed were over-emphasized from my point of view but maybe not for the common man in India. The common man relies on Bollywood for information in ethics, trends and social issues. They are probably one step behind the south-indian film industry where the people make statues of actors and pray to them. We will catch up eventually, now that Himesh Reshammiya is making movies...there is a whole new generation of 'low' that we are yet to see.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Cooking and Commitments

The well marinated and cooked pieces of rubber in my wok tell me a few things. One, cooked lamb when chewy sticks between your teeth so good that you tongue can do twisters all day at the frustrating crack in vain. Two, I have doubts on my expertise in successfully cooking meat. Three, I can’t really write with a show on Porsches playing in high definition ecstasy.

Looking back in time, I have had a fifteen day sabbatical. Not too impressive per sabbatical standards but then I am no Professor at a university. The sabbatical was aimed at self revelation and awakening from the addiction, but I am not sure if I have achieved it. As a matter of fact, I am not sure what I have achieved. I do feel in more control over myself but that is just my biased opinion, that too on myself.

Today, I feel like a twenty eight year old failed cook with lots of ambition and not much hope, a thirty five year old single daddy to Laya considering I have no night life and own a family sedan and a sixteen year old baby sitter to Eddie. And these are just my evening jobs! For the record, I am twenty four years old and am exposed to commitment and relationships and multi-tasking at a very early stage in life. The makings of the perfect husband myth! Did I mention I can cook too?

All these people in the movies complain about boys to be men running away from commitments. I have locked my hopes, dreams and travel plans in some glass jar and thrown it away already. All you people who look at my profile, gaze at my handsome face, the rock-star goatee and a sexy dog and then want a dog for themselves, the grass isn’t that green on this side. Life gets divided into four to five hour slots and they don’t always match with that evening on the beach or that rave party.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I am on blogger-crack. Crack is the street name for cocaine. More information here [link]. I am addicted to blogs. Reading, writing, posting, editing, templates, the whole shebang. I want to break free.

A recorded John From Cincinnati is playing on my TV right now. It is a story about these three generations of surfers: a past legend, a son of the past legend turned dope-head and the future legend who is the son of the dope-head. Till the story actually shows itself, there are beautifully captured scenes of surfers riding the waves. I wonder how it feels to do that. I cant even swim.

Anyway, surfing feels like the perfect thing to do right now. I want to get out of this blog world and do something real. I am not saying that my thoughts and ideas that I pen down are not real. They are very much the flesh and blood me. But they are words and words are only good as the person reading them. I like pictures better. A photograph changes with the light cast on it. Just like truth changes color as its narrator pleases. A photograph, unlike truth and unlike words shows what the photographer wants to show.

I am taking a sabbatical from writing only for a few weeks, maybe a month till I straighten this addiction out. I promise to be more active on my photoblog [link]. I wont miss out on reading blogs and commenting on them though.

Friday, June 15, 2007

This is Shek, Southpark Style

Thanks to Rich Legg, I got my southpark style portrait done. Get yours done here: Link

Sakshi is tagged
Neihal is tagged
TGFI is tagged (no hurries)
Vagabond is tagged
Rowe is tagged
Sven and Trini are tagged

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The New Dawn

The last post was a vent out against astrology and related 'sciences' that pretend to guide our lives and show us the well trodden path. The real fact of life is that there is no well trodden path than the one you just walked on. All other paths will lead you to stumble on the very ditches that your leader stumbled on. It is just another way of amplifying other's mistakes. I'd sleep better if I made my own mistakes. At least I get to keep my spine.

I am at a point in life that I am finding a voice of mine, a view through my maturing mind and a new world through my lens. No longer am I dabbling in odd and end hobbies and for once I am sticking to one. No longer am I listening to music that other people say I should be listening to. No longer am I believing in what I should be believing in. I believe in myself and I believe in hope. That is all I need to take on the world with my bare hands.

I welcome the ever changing me with open arms. I am changing by the day and am not the same person I was a year back. Every day is a new beginning. A new birth. We are what we say and what we do. Our actions speak more about ourselves than we think.

This post is a new kind for me. I suddenly feel free. I bought my first tripod today to go with my new camera and I tested it out. It felt great. I felt like I have a real hobby this time. And I left no stone unturned to nourish this hobby. A high capacity, high speed memory card and a tripod that most will vote useless. For some reason, taking pictures with my camera and tripod made me feel more mature than the day I signed the paperwork for my new car. The new car was a toy, a mature and calcuated decision. This camera is something deeper.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Star Wars

The way I see it, I am supposed to either talk about eight weird things about me or ten facts about me or both. Eighteen? I dont think you want to read all eighteen. Sakshi tagged me here: link. I already have a clear line of what is personal and what is public. So, these will be the most useless personal pieces of information that I can share in public.


1. I am very successful professionally and financially. Actually, the real words were, "will be very successful blah blah blah" but stooping below the lofty belief that people of this day have for horror-scopes, I have to accept the inevitable and change the sentences from future to present tense. All future tense sentences will be in the present tense.

2. I have a definite divorce. Yes, the verdict has been made by horror-scope makers all over the south asian continent. Shek would like to get married to a nice bengali girl but a divorce is inevitable. Hence, Shek requests permission to conduct a live in relationship till the age of 30 after which chances of a divorce are 'minimal'. I am sure the live-in relationship idea has the same fate as of one Richard Gere.

3. I am extremely moody. So, now I am a pregnant woman in her eighth month? Mr. Horror-scope maker, please decide, you want me to be a man or a woman?! And how the hell do I get hold of a zygote?

4. I get angry very easily. Maybe I should start taking those steroids after all because I ain't nearly as angry as they predict me to me. In fact, I am the most non angry person to ever walk this planet. But that will all change! Testosterone Cypionate, here I come.

5. Jupiter is my planet and I should only get married to a girl from jupiter. Hey, I thought men are from mars and women from venus? Damn it! Horror-scopes have completely shattered my faith in other similarly useless pieces of information. I want to be from planet Zargon. Can I get to chose the planet? Please Please Please. I want to marry a fellow Zargonian because the Matrimonial Laws of Zargon clearly state the following:"Law 571, Para 5B: No financial exchanges will be allowed at a divorce settlement. Corollary to Law 571, Para5C: If antiquated prediction methodologies of under-developed civilizations prove that the separating husband may have ancestral origin of Jupiter, then he receives alimony and an Aston Martin."

6. I am destined to have a surgery of the leg by the age of 30. This surgery will allow me to carry more weight, only gracefully. By the age of 35, I will receive an extra brain as a rose day present. This will be attached to my butt to make me more productive while sitting down.

7. By the age of 26 and 2 months my you-know-what-that-cant-be-named-in-public-blogs will start growing at the rate of 1 inch per year with a standard deviation of 1/125th inch per year. By the age of 45, I will be able to open the door with my you-know-what-that-cant-be-named-in-public-blogs across the room without getting up from my seat.

last but not the least,
8. I am Manglik. Hence, if I marry a non-manglik, she will die, i repeat, die, within one year (no deviation). Hence, there is a greater chance of dying getting married to Shek than there is while walking on the streets, smoking a cigarette, flying on Air India flights and eating pani puri outside Dombvili Railway Station.

But number 8 is in contradiction to number 2. How can I have a divorce if my wife is supposed to die? Maybe it has already been predicted by the holy texts that I am destined to marry a fellow Manglik (in the female gender). H.G. Wells, eat dirt. We hindus already have in factuality what you spent all this time writing a fictional book about.


1. I hate yahoo messenger.
2. I dig girls with navel rings and/or lower-back tattoos.
3. I am not a dog lover. I just love Laya and Eddie.
4. I have been extremely lazy for the past few months.
5. I have inadequate financial planning.
6. I am working on my financial planning skills.
7. I love food. Not quantity but quality. I may not be the epitome of gluttony but I am up there on the list.
8. I hate it when people don't reply to emails and voice mails. If I have the decency to take up my time to record a message for you, you must show the decency of calling me back.
9. I don't care who you are but I will kick your butt from Jupiter to Planet Zargon if you insult either of my parents or my brother.
10. I will be your best friend if you let me, I will be an acquaintance or a nobody but I will not be your worst enemy. If I cant be your friend, I will not elevate you with the respect of being my worst enemy.

Just when you thought your reading for the day was over...

Crystal Blur is tagged
Rowena is tagged
Glazed Donut is tagged
iz is tagged
Vivek is tagged

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Kamakaze Driver

27 May 2007
I would not be doing justice to my own first car if I don’t write about it. I already paid tribute to my dad’s 800. You all knew this would follow. Like all distant memories, this one needed a key to open up. Sven borrowed my satellite radio for the week for his trip to Vegas and I was left to the mercy of a few mp3s on my computer. This song, people, gets my heart racing for not how heavy it is but what I would do when this played. This is the key to some of the best times on a Florida freeway. 2007 VH1 Rock Honors plays on my DVR with HD picture and sound ecstasy and I am already in the mood. So, with my kick-ass shure ear buds on, I let this piece pound in my head one more time before writing…turn it up and put your seat-belts on…

1Stp Klosr.mp3

10 June 2007
I have finally decided to finish this post. A few things have changed from when I started. I cant find my Shure earbuds any more. Maybe one of the puppies got it or it is simply lost in the mess I call my bedroom and I cant remember taking it to my bedroom ever.

This is a post more about this remixed song than the drive itself. The song starts of so subtly, almost like the calm before the song. I was stopped before this red light with Arvind in my Eclipse. This song came up building up this huge potential energy that the car seemed to decipher in symphony with me. Every passing moment of the red light was just like an extending string, closing to its elastic stress point, waiting to be released. I clutched the leather clad beefy steering wheel with my left palm while my right hand tightened the leather grip on the stick shift. My left foot engaged the clutch and I ease the car into first gear. My right foot still holds the brake steadily. No inching. No looking around to see who I am up against at the thick white line of the junction.

Then the soft chorus starts off and I know the main part of the song is about to stream in full volume. My eyes see the red disappearing and the green slowly appearing. My left foot lets go the suppressed clutch and the car lurches forward. The tachometer needle responds. My right foot has already let the brake go and is pumping in octane into the six working cylinders. No tyre squeal. The feed into the hot engine is perfect and the feed onto the front axels are perfect. The low profile tires deliver exactly what is asked for. I punched in through the gears before the RPM could drop and before a few seconds are up, I am at the speed limit and others at the lights wonder if there was even a car in front. I ease the car at a comfortable gear and cruise around. That was the journey. This is my destination. No race. No triple digit speeds. Just the joy of leaving every one behind and making my own way.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Shek's Aperture

I like to write. At this very moment, there are two posts that are waiting for the right emotion to come flowing back so I can start writing again. I am no longer restricted by what I can write and what I can not. That distinction is clear.

The two unfinished posts tell me something about me. This hobby of writing has its own motivation like everything else in life. My motivation to write is to effectively put into words what my mind sees. I also get motivated when others read my posts. Not being overly competitive, I do strive for quality and recognition of my writing. Shek’s Crib is like my home. Crib being the urban word for a hang-out joint. It is where I hang-out and my cyber friends hang-out. It is where my intellect hangs out. It is a canvas of what my mind, brain and heart sees.

I am quite satisfied with portraying what my mind sees. It is time to portray what my eyes see. A nice camera is already on its way. It is time to decide what type of photography I want to concentrate on. I read a bunch of photo blogs to give me an idea of what is achievable through photography. Sceneries intimidate me. They are always so beautiful; I feel my lens may not do it justice. When it comes to beautiful sceneries, I always have dumped the camera and sat down on the ground to soak it all in. Some things are best kept in memories.

I also do not want to do crazy alterations to pictures till they completely cease to exist and a chimera of nature and digital adjustments is formed. I want to be able to see what is beautiful that we see every day and not notice. I want to take nice pictures of Eddie and Laya. I want to take pictures of people. Everyone is beautiful and I want to capture that. Not models and stars but everyday heroes. I have a ton of inspirations and the sky is the limit.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Cute As A Button

Eddie seems to have overtaken me on popularity, that too in my own blog. How is a 24 year old bong dude with an ocassional goatee supposed to compete with this!?!?!

This is one of the many pictures taken on his first day at our apartment. James brought the seven week puppy from Macon, Gerogia; a four hour trip that Eddie spent cuddled in James's sweat shirt. Eddie was the size of Laya's head or James's size 11 shoe. Eddie's small size did not deter him from bugging Laya then and he continues now with the same dedication.

Ok, Ok, all you girls, here is another picture:

And another one...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Twenty Questions Blah Blah Blah...

I am not the one to follow on other’s footsteps. I believe in making my own way. This is a first, hence only constructive criticism is allowed.

Almost forgot, Sakshi’s post: link made me do this.

1.Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it?
This is a common answer at every immigration checkpoint. I got a scar on my left wrist when Manish Naik’s steel wrist watch banged on it outside Kulkarni Sir’s maths tuitions in 8th standard. Any more details? It was drizzling that day and I had a cream coloured umbrella.

2. What is on the walls in your room?
One poster of a lazy boat tied to a sandy beach somewhere in Thailand.
One painting of a ship with sails in the high seas.
One calendar with greyhounds in it.
One small poster (7X6) talking about how racing is better than sex.

3. What does your phone look like?
Samsung slider. I’d do anything to stay out of flip phones.

4. What music do you listen to?
Hard Rock, Hindi Classical and everything in between. Sirius plays only the Hard Rock part though.

5. What is your current desktop picture?
My home laptop has this picture and my work computer has the picture of a tiger osx theme.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?
Go back in time and kick the butt from Kashmir to Kanyakumari of that ambitious Hindu suffering from lack of occupation and who thought it would be really cool to co-relate planetary positions with people’s future.

7. Do you believe in gay marriage?
I believe in marriage. Period. The human mind is too weak to not have structure.

8. What time were you born?
Why? Do you want to do my horoscope? I will kick your butt too!

9. Are your parents still together?

Twenty six years and going strong.

10. What are you listening to?
Irritating beeps of my roommate trying to adjust his X-box 360’s time, date and what not. he is playing newly discovered alternate music that comes built in the X-box 306 hard drive.

11. What's something people may not know about you?
I see dead people. I see ghosts.

12. The last person to make you cry?
I, me and myself. Oh yes, I cried, only in my own privacy.

13. What is your favourite perfume/cologne?
Any brand jasmine fragrance on women. I have no affinity towards rose fragrances. I wont want my woman to smell like Roohafza!

14. What kind of hair/eye color do you like on the opposite sex?
Hair – black
Eye – hazel, blue

15. Do you like pain killers?
Nope. I let my body do the fighting unless after oral surgery.

16. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
I don’t know. Never did. Remember that I said...constructive criticism only.

17. Favourite pizza topping?
Grilled chicken on the Crispani (at Panera Bread)

18. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Hajmola. I just stuffed myself with a bucket load of Nameless Onion Thingies and a half rack of ribs at Sticky Fingers.

19. Who was the last person you made mad?
My roommate, when I slowed down in front of him in my car to make him slow down. It was a joke, and it worked, and it made him mad, and he overtook me on his 5.6 Liter V8 Nissan Titan like I was standing still. My readers know that I drive fast but he just had too much torque. Unfair battle I say!

20. Is anyone in love with you?
Yes. Laya and Eddie are. Unconditionally.

Turn it up!!!

I ponder over matters of great concern as I drive back from Costco, the full blast of cold air muffling the hot air gushing form the open car windows. The windows slide up, the left one automatically, the right one with the constant pull of my index finger on the supposedly flimsy GM switch. The warm air in the cabin is reduced to that radiating from the windshield. My brain is working on overdrive over a few short and long term calculations and decisions while the car paces through the oncoming traffic, merging with ease and then exiting off the next ramp. I tap the brakes gently to bring the speed down to acceptable limits that are still higher than the posted limit on the full circle curve of the exit ramp.

The next merge was a quick one. The oncoming ford escort didn't think some one would accelerate that quick at a merge. Before the escort could react, I was well ahead, well merged and tackling the car in front of me. That is when this song came up on the satellite radio, six acoustic strings playing a tune only for hardcore electric guitars to take over. I picked up the satellite radio unit sitting on the center console while my left eye focused on the traffic in front.

This is the type of song that is supposed to be turned up high. I let the four factory speakers and two tweeters take the moment over. My right thumb presses on the [+] volume button on the steering wheel while the noise in my brain is automatically switched off. I was getting no where with my worries. Time for hard rock to take over.

Stay heavy people!!!

Coheed and Cambria - Welcome Home

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Saturday Night Walk

Me, J and P(J's 12 yr old nephew) walk out with Laya and Eddie. Laya on the leash with me, Eddie on the leash with J.
Eddie and Laya pee on the first patch of grass they see.
Watching the pups in ecstacy as they disperse out over-due fluids makes little P want to pee too.
Laya: [peeing in complete satisfaction]
Eddie: [peeing in complete satisfaction]
P: [watching the puppies in complete satisfaction] I want to pee too!
Me: Walk on the grass, P. It works for the pups.
J: [Laughs]

we walk further....

P: [walks away behind a tree]
J: [whispering to me with evil grin] Shek, P really had to go, so I told him to go behind a bush!
Me: You've got to be shitting me! Haven't seen anyone do that in exactly three years!

we walk towards the tree....It is too dark and we see P standing behind the tree with a steady stream in front!

Me: [acting dazed and confused, reaching into my pocket for my cell phone] where is my camera phone!
J: [shouting as if in a shock] what are you doing, boy! What are you doing?!?!?!
Me: [shouting in confusion] How do I start the camera on this thing!
P: [stops half way on his activity and runs from the phone camera's limited range] J told me to. I am not doing anything [in denial]!!!
Me: [laughing my head off] almost got you on camera, P
James: [laughing his ass off]
P: [laughs his ass of on his recent folly]

we walk back home laughing all the way....

Moral: you've got to take life as a joke. If a 12 year old can, you can too.


Sakshi wouldn't comply with my continued requests and I am tired of booing her on her comment space here and here. She says she likes Ozzy but I have my doubts. Here is some serious Ozzy for some serious Ozzy fans. Turn it up!

Black Sabbath tribute Nativity In Black - Primus with Ozzy...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mind Dump, 2 of Many

The pressure oozes out of the sides of the pressure cooker while the dal(lentil) inside gets to a full boil. I could smell the spices in the steam but there should be no steam, not yet and not through the sides. The rubber gasket is in mint condition but the metal joints are not proper. Klap, Klap, Klap the wooden spatula knocked on the lid trying to get that subtle shift in position that seals the condiments inside. The tiny pressure cooker locked with the elliptical-lid-opening style, not the convineant-slide-on-interlock type. A few more knocks and this time the whistle starts ozzing steam almost silently. No sound for a minute, then a sudden loud hiss. Four more to go. After five, the electric cooking range is switched off and trapped steam is allowed to finish the job. I let all the steam out, then open the lid only to see about eighty percent cooked dal. A kokam is dropped in for added flavour, some sugar and more salt to taste. The disloyal lid finds its way to the pressure cooker for the second time.

I made the most impromptu Dal last night. The planned squash preparation was sixty percent done when it dawned on me that a moist vegetable dish alone would not go with rice. So, the pressure cooker came out, little oil, some mustard seeds and jeera. I have to remember to get fennel seeds from the indian store the next time. Longitudinal slices of freshly bought green chillies add instant aroma to the kitchen air when dropped into the hot oil. Then goes the turmeric powder, more dried red chilli powder and a dash of shahi biriyani powder for that added zing. The raw dal goes in with adequate water and I make the most simple dal ever till date.

James and I are trying to work on exercises that involve weights while keeping the heart rate up. He did his research on the 300 workout. It is the work out that the crew of the movie, 300 did to prepare for the movie. We are probably 2.5 on the 300 scale but it is a start. We left the gym at 7:30 pm and I knew from yesterday's experience that today is not the day to deal with the pressure cooker again. Even my cheeks hurt! Thank you Publix for fresh sushi and thank you La Choy for lite soy sauce.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Cutest Bollywood Love Song

Laya is sick today. Sight hounds apparently have very sensitive stomachs. Having spent over $2000 on her diet related illnesses, I watch what she eats so very closely. She has been having diarrhea since last night. Other than cleaning up her bed in her kennel from the smelly liquidy poop, it is especially painful to see her struggle with the number 2.

Lakshya has always been a feel-good movie for me. Mentally stressed out this Tuesday, I decided to watch it for the upteenth time. I think 'Agar Main Kahoon' has got to be the cutest love song to come out of Bollywood yet. I am slightly biased though, Preety Zinta being on the top of my favourite actress list. Moreover, this is probably the only movie that does Hritik Roshan any justice. Speaking of Preeti Zinta, enjoy the song.

Lakshya-Agar Main Kahoon

Monday, May 28, 2007


Conversations with my kid brother are like eating a raspberry meringue, tart and juicy raspberries on top of a dry and sweet egg white base. Sometimes I feel we are trying to have a conversation from either poles of the world and sometimes it is like speaking to a mirror.

Here is us hanging out in sunny Florida.

Tumi Horny!

There have been a recent uproar of hindi movie talk in a few blogs I read here and here. Other than this song (Anusha Dandekar has gorgeous eyes!) I just wanted to watch a movie on Mumbai. Rahul Bose is a good actor, so I picked up the Mumbai Matinee DVD on my last trip to the indian store.


I think they could not have had a more funny scene of a Bengali cop lecturing Debashis Chatterjee about his quests of the forbidden fruit. "Tumi Horny" meaning "You are Horny" in bengali is probably the climax of the entire movie. The absolute peak. It cracks me up all the time. Moreover, Perizad Zorabian is always sweet.

In reference to Shashi's post: link, bengali men do appear goofy in Mumbai Matinee but it is not all true. At least they showed the actual depiction of a 'fireplace scene' euphemism or maybe it is the Waves in ocean 1 euphemism .

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Puppy Pics

As per Neihal's request, here are more pictures of the puppies, especially Eddie.
Posted by Picasa

Bharat Bhushan

Having spent a lazy Sunday morning waking up at 7 am to take the pups out followed by a good breakfast of wheat toast bread, light swiss cheese and two eggs, poached, I decided to take a mid-morning nap. I did wake up at 7 am on a Sunday! Two hours of left-over sleep later, I showered and set out for some lunch and groceries. Lunch was at the $10 buffet in the Indian restaurant. I gobbled on the chicken lollypop, butter naan, rogan gosht and chicken tikka masala while a few noisy indian kids testified Sakshi's recent post. I obviously go there for the gulab jamun and mango moose. Did you know buffets were unlimited :)

I had to return four DVDs to the Indian store that were over due by a week. While I picked up some green chillies, khus syrup to battle the hot florida summer and maggi noodles, I decided to dabble in a few more Hindi movies. I am not a Bollywood movie buff, so I don't keep up with whats coming. Standing dumbfounded in front of the seven foot tall rack of hindi movies, I decided to pick the ones that at least sounded decent enough. Knowing my lack of knowledge of newly released movies, I try not to venture into the new-movie section. Thats usually my kid brother on the phone, "Dadabhai, its an excellent movie(talking about some Karan Johar type glamour-smothered movie), but not your type. Try that one."

Bheja Fry was still virgin in its unopened plastic wrap. The cover had Rajat Kapoor's tearing his hair off and Vinay Pathak with an evil grin on his face. I was sold. It turned out to be the best Sunday afternoon movie. Light, funny and no songs. I go gaga when songs are used in the movie as a background score to compliment the story and not otherwise. I jump with joy like a three year old with a pop-sickle. Vinay Pathak plays the role of Bharat Bhushan who is called every name starting from padma-bhushan to Pradushan in the movie. He plays the role of an Income Tax officer who thinks a Naushaad-level singer is trapped in his body and displays his vocal prowess at every opportunity he gets. He is also irreparably goofy and probably has an acute condition of ADD that is portrayed extremely well.

Ranvir Shorey does a commendable job too, just like he has been in all the movies I see. All said, the hard-core critics will find flaws but this is not a movie to be critiqued. It is something that you watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, laugh while watching it, post your two cents on an obscure little blog, shove the DVD in the box and return it within two to three days.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


It's Alive...It's Alive...
Amit got this kick-ass template done. Deep respect, bro.

I am not a classic rock lover, just more new hard rock...but Amit is.

Pound it!!!

Rob zombie - dragu...

What makes Laya the sweetest dog

All greyhounds race till about 4 years of age. The best racers are taken back by the breeders to preserve the gene pool of a good racer. The others are adopted out. Laya was one such adoption. Greyhounds start racing at the age of 1 where they are constantly taught to chase 'Rusty' the mechanical rabbit. Back in the day, greyhounds were hunting dogs and had what is called prey-drive. The race conductors use the greyhound's prey drive to make them run in the circuit.

Laya raced for only five months, a race a week meaning she had 25 races only before she received the not-so-well-performing rating and was retired. She won only 1 of the 25 races and lacked prey drive. That makes her the sweetest dog ever. She wags her tail and demands to play with all little furry animals like squirrels, cats and three pound yorkies. These are animals that any other greyhound would mistake for ol' rusty and pounce on them. These are also the animals that run like hell when Laya crouches down in her classic play stance, long tail wagging and wet nose sniffing. I would run too, if I were a three pound yorkie facing another dog that was 18 times my weight and 10 times my size.

Here is a video of the race she won. I have been wanting to post this for a while but I needed a little persuasion from Neihal, thats all. Laya is in the Number 1 position (red jacket with white number) She ran 550 yards in 31.73 seconds which translates to an average speed of 35 miles per hour or 56 kilometers per hour.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Easy Friday

The dry-fit t-shirt desperately tried to expel all the sweat as I stepped out with Eddie and Laya for their evening walk. It was work out day today and the puppies were especially eager to see me when I arrived an hour after the regular arrival time. A habit I picked up from James, I refer to all dogs as puppies affectionately. I had earlier noticed the half dozen girl’s jolly shrieks from the pool across the sand volley ball court in front of my apartment. I managed to get a closer look at the jolly-bunch as I walked out with the puppies. They were a half dozen or so 13 to 15 year olds jumping in and out of the pool.

I was not even close enough to the pool when one of the girls shouted:

Miss Brown Bikini: you have a very sexy dog!
Me: Thanks.
I keep walking, the sidewalk by the volley ball court gets me closer to the pool.
Miss Brown bikini: (now noticing little Eddie too) Hey...two dogs!
Me: I hope so (this has been my classic answer to rhetorical questions)
Miss Pink Bikini with Blue Polka Dots: What dog is he (referring to the bigger one)?
Me: She is a greyhound…
Miss Brown Bikini: did you say, a super hound? Giggles.
Miss Pink Bikini with Blue Polka Dots: giggles
Miss Light Blue Bikini: giggles
Mr. Green Board Shorts: (appearing busy on the phone wondering why all his friends are obsessing over some dogs)
it is funny when kids get obsessive over their friends
Me: A G-R-E-Y-H-O-U-N-D, the little one’s a beagle.
Miss Brown Bikini: Does the big one make babies?
Miss Pink Bikini with Blue Polka Dots: (interrupting Miss Brown Bikini) do both the dogs make babies together???
Me: No. But they’d be funny babies if it happened (A 55 lbs long legged all muscular greyhound crossed with a pot-bellied short legged floppy-eared beagle would definitely make a funny dog!)
Miss Brown Bikini: but they’d be cute babies (looking at Eddie who is wagging his tail standing at the pool gate facilitated by his extending leash)
Miss Yellow Bikini (or maybe it was Miss Light Blue Bikini): what are their names?
Me: The little one is Eddie and the bigger one is Laya.
Miss Yellow Bikini: Eddie is a cute name.
Miss Light Blue Bikini: ‘Laya’ as in Princess Leia from the star wars? Are you a fan?
Me: yes, that Leia but I am not a star wars fan.

Miss Brown Bikini pushes Miss Yellow Bikini into the pool. Miss Pink Bikini with Blue Polka Dots runs away from the approaching Miss Light Blue Bikini. Mr. Green Board Shorts is busy typing away on his cell phone. I walk away to the rest of my evening remembering all the reasons why I like Florida!

Friday was exceptionally good. Not because it was a Friday before a long weekend. Monday is chutti for being Memorial Day and Shek has no plans but eat, sleep and hopefully read some. This whole week has been a little hectic on all fronts. Hectic in a challenging positive sort of way. Work has been very challenging but I got all my data sorted out finally on Friday. I only wish I had the 3Ghz Core 2 Duo with a 2 gig ram in my work computer. A 19 inch wide screen wouldn’t be bad either. I have also been stressed out making, bridging and maintaining some personal relations. Every thing is sorted out now, so I decided to treat myself with some good chicken curry.

By 7 pm Friday, 25 May 2007 the 1.51 Lbs boneless breast pieces had been marinated for over 12 hours in rich yoghurt, crushed tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste and the finest Chicken-curry masala the Indian store had to offer. The onions were perfectly fried golden brown in the finest desi ghee available locally and the chicken curry simmered peacefully for a long time till the meat was just perfect. This served with the steaming basmati rice made my week a complete satisfaction. Yes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, especially Shek’s!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wish you were here....

Heard this song on my way to work today. It is funny how a stressful week makes you remember people. I wish you were here....

Incubus - I Wish Y...

I wish Pandey was here.
I wish Maman Didi was here.
I wish Dad was here.
I wish Sven and Trini were here. He's been like a big brother to me.
I wish Twix was here and I wish we were still friends (Damn you Ipanema Girl!)

The world's a roller coaster
And I am not strapped in
Maybe I should hold with care
But my hands are busy in the air saying: I wish you were here

Monday, May 21, 2007

frands and frandseeps

I wish Wikipedia would define ‘Frands’ or ‘Frandseep’ but it doesn’t. So Shek has to do it himself.

There are friends and there are acquaintances but most people confuse between the two. Some like me have a stronger definition for Friendship than most do. Some like me prefer to wait for that special bond before declaring an acquaintance as a friend. Acquaintances, I have many and then there are some that think they are an acquaintance to me but I could really do without them for ever.

Frands I have none. To have frands (sometimes spelled ‘frends’ or ‘phrens’ as in ‘Phrenseep’), I would have to be a 20 something girl on Orkut with one decent picture and a relatively common name. This is what the common Indian guy does in his spare time. He logs on to his orkut account and hits the search button. Then types in his location (usually something like a major city name where they think cute chicks reside) and the age range of the girl; hits enter and browses through. I have been guilty till this stage of activity. Your Shek is not so dudh ka dhula hua! The one time I did it (god-promise only one time); I came out with a friend who is funny, cool and very nice to hang out with.

Once a cute-chick-profile is found, most guys usually start messing up. Without being shameful enough for their name to come up on the ‘recently visited’ section, they leave a retarded ice-breaker in the scrap book for everyone to see. Instead of something smart, un-intrusive, funny and un-insulting, they bluntly say things like:

  1. “I stumbled upon your profile, don’t ask me how.” What M.F.!!!…did you trip and fall?!?!
  2. “Looking at your profile…I think you are an amazing person” You must be an antaryami (all-knowledgable priest) to know what kind of a person someone is by reading what movies she likes and what color her eyes are. Can you look at the share market for me please?
  3. “Hi. I am kool and you are too. Check out my profile”. Let me complete the sentence for you, Mr Kool: “….Check out my profile and you will find a mirror in it that I look at every hour admiring my थोब्डा (face), my hair and my oh-so-gorgeous-smile”…Yes Mr. Narcissus, you are fabulous!!!
  4. “Can we be the frand?”I am confused. Can you ispeak the English?
  5. “Reply Plz”; “Add me to ur frnd lst plz” This is no SMS, boy. Type that extra few letters. And, how desperate can you be?
  6. “I know you must be bored hearing this again and again, but …blah-blah-same-old-BS” This is the sensitive type. He is oh so aware of the abundance of filth in a cute-chick’s scrap page that he had to sugar coat his own so his bull-crap could stand out in the midst of other stinky turds.
  7. “hey, u hvnt replied” Mr. SMS back again, this time he demands an answer. She doesn’t need to know if she has replied or not. She didn’t reply, so she knows.
  8. “hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” This bugger seriously believes the number of ‘i’s in ‘Hi’ is directly proportional to his perceived coolness factor. Dude, ever tried pronouncing it? It only makes you sound like a retarded kid. Invariably, someone will have a few extra ‘i’s among the next 10 scraps.
  9. “hey, are you from so-and-so place? Where exactly in so-and-so place?” This is just like saying, “Hi! I like your pictures and hence am looking forward to stalking you. Moreover, I actually think you are dumb enough to tell me exactly where you live. If that does not satisfy you, I am even dumber to wait for your reply and if you don’t, I will pull a #7 on you.”

Exception to the rule:
There are guys who defy all possibilities of rejection even after sending out silly and foolish scraps and actually end up with girls falling head-over-god-dang-heels over them. They are the pretty guys who have a good game on in their orkut album.

Disclaimer: Shek is not at all threatened by over-eager little boys prowling cute-chick’s profiles. He writes this post out of his sheer respect for women and thinks that every woman deserves better, even in an orkut scrap book. So ladies, the next time you see that funny, cool and handsome blogger in Florida, ask him out so you don’t have to wait for pesky-little-boys to come knocking on your orkut-door.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


It was so easy. I asked my 18 year old brother if he has been reading my blogs and what he thought about the writing style. He easily said that he liked my writing style and it showed that I have been reading for a long time, that I have. My curled eyebrows shot back at all I have read and all I have written. Was I writing with my ghosts?

A slab of the finest Cadbury’s chocolate and some leftover Thai pasta is appointed to my table so I can prepare for the second paragraph. Robert Pirsig defines ghosts in a better way than what I am about to attempt. I am being torn between two worlds: One of rituals, customs and traditions and the other of logic and science. Maybe not torn but my mind ponders a lot. We all live with a lot of ghosts, some good and some bad. These ghosts accumulate through all the countless interactions and incidents that we have experienced since kids. These ghosts make us do crazy things like respect lifeless objects and defy logic. Then again, mathematics and logic are our biggest ghosts.

A day of Ganpati utsav in my colony flashes back. As hordes of people gather around the arati, head bowed in submission and bodies swaying in a trance, kids eye the sweets waiting to be distributed while their moms discipline them. Do the kids need to be disciplined because their lack of attention is an insult to the prayers? They are just being innocent kids. The real answer is that the moms are being persuaded by their ghosts. The ghosts are ruthless dictators that make people of all ages speak and write what they want to say and be written. Families that maintain age old customs, rituals and faiths do just that. They maintain them like a night watchman at a forgotten museum. They do it to preserve the culture. What about evolution then? Shouldn’t culture evolve and change? I can see some people jumping off their seats,”Sacrilege! You can’t change culture! Culture is our identity.” It is their ghost speaking for them while they allow culture to become their very own fantastic bottleneck. The whole galaxy is evolving as we speak except our ghosts. Ghosts don’t evolve. They merely maintain the exact form and shape of what they looked like when they truly existed.

The caste system is the biggest most evident ghost of all। Is it a good ghost or a bad ghost? Both. The caste system died the day when automated flush tanks were invented. Then, a बृह्मण (Brahmin, the highest strata in the Indian caste system) became an instant अछूत (untouchable, the lowest strata in the Indian caste system) while he flushed his toilet. The caste system created groups of people with similar job descriptions and hence similar intellect. Some were good at research and education, some at war and some at creativity. It gave a much needed structure to the society. Carry that forward and most families of the same caste have similar traits, habits and behaviours but not all. People of the upper caste prefer to feed the ghost as they get to say that they are superior while people of the lower caste feed their ghosts so they can get those nifty reservations. I don’t care who you are but if you have ever taken a reward, award, position, promotion or admission based on your caste, high caste or low caste, you are guilty in my court. I won’t hate you but I won’t agree with your actions.

I am living with my own set of ghosts. Some make me respect everyone like they were God; some make me respect the physical paper and coin money and some make me respect all elders no matter what. I am trying to break away from the bad ghosts and keep the good ones. If I respect someone abusive by not retorting back, then I am disrespecting myself and that is wrong. I should not have the right to disrespect anybody, be it me or my abusive ‘someone’. I should rather respect the use of money than its physical form. I should spare my elders the dignity by not dragging them into this 2 cent blog.

My brother lives with my ghost. I met him after over two and a half years. He was visiting me on his way to summer school in California. Spending the week with him made me realize that he still sees me as the brother he knew three years back. He lets my ghost translate and then hears everything I say and sees everything I do as my ghost would three years back. Three years back, I was 21 and just like any other 21 year old, I was stubborn, had my own ideas about the general functioning of the world and was a ruling elder brother. Three years have changed me to a hopefully more socially acceptable stubborn person and a friendly elder brother to my now 18 year old sibling. I still have my own views about the general functioning of the world and that is what these blogs are about. It is just as important for him to fight my ghost as it is for me to fight my own ghost.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Chicken Curry

I wait for the onions to turn brown so I can toss in the thickly marinated chicken in a rich yoghurt marinate into the wok. Some buggers are still pink, most are white or yellow steadily progressing towards the desired brown. My brother fiddles with the computer, working his way up the social cyber ladder while this post starts forming in my head.

kaabhi aalvida naa kehna is at intermission. I am tired of the glamour dresses, the expensive shots, the fancy hair dos, the light story line, pockets of heavy emotions and outsourced dialogues. Yes, I feel the dialogues are outsourced. Only a few hold some water, the rest being lighter than a goose’s feather. After a heavy dinner of chicken curry, rice and roti and a few more hours of the slow movie, I am told that this has been a path breaking film. "The lead actor and actresses have never been flawed characters before!" I say, some famous director finally decided to pick up a real script! A real script is about people and all people are flawed. While the movie ranted about a wrong marriage, actually two wrong marriages, I wondered how many people could actually identify with the script. Not the infidelity part, just the wrong marriage part. EVERYBODY! I have known a few people that are or were in a relationship with their best friends. Some flourished while others ended up with broken hearts. I, for one, sacrificed my beautiful friendship to the failure of love. Failure of Love! It is a nice phrase if you think about it. This phrase is optimistic about failure and the many love songs, poems, novels and short stories are its living testament. We write about things we do not have. That’s why we write about the rain and about God.

I am surprised at the multitude of love making scenes in hindi movies these days. Not shocked, just surprised. Being used to old fashioned clichéd love scenes; this blunt frankness is very new to me. The directors surely want to show more realistic situations but also want to show off the producer’s deep pockets. So, they end up with a chicken curry: yoghurt, masala, garlic paste, tomatoes and chicken pieces all blended into one big medley just hoping to capture your senses. Now, you have scenes of top notch bollywood actors and actresses getting intimate, sweaty bodies glistening in the fireplace heat coupled with scenes of overstated glamorous sudden dance scenes. Moreover, sixteen and seventeen year olds watch this movie and no one burns effigies of Shah Rukh and Rani on the streets. Maybe Richard Gere should have charged the Indian government to make an appearance for his Aids campaign and then charged the general public obscene ticket prices to see him give a few affectionate pecks on Shilpa Shetty’s cheeks. It worked for Shah Rukh and Karan Johar. Must work for Richard Gere! He is Hollywood after all!!!

Enough written. The chicken curry left over needs to see the refrigerator, Laya needs to take a walk and I need to get my comforter from my car. Good Night people.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Rowe's Shrek

This is a tribute from Rowena to me. I hope for you enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Of Jets and Humans...

I now know why people strap jet engines to their cars and try to kill themselves on the salt plains of Utah. I am writing from 10,000 ft. above the sea level on my way to Atlanta.

As the plane waited before the straight stretch of runway for a signal, it felt like dejavu to me. The feelings I get when I stop at the broad white strip watching the red light from my car came flooding back. I almost knew what the pilot was thinking. The pressure of getting up to the triple digit speed before the runway ends is as enjoyable as it is nerve-wrecking. The pilot’s arms rests on the levers just like my right heel rests on the car’s carpet with a light calculated pressure on the brake waiting not for the green to appear but for the red to disappear, waiting to slam ahead.

Both cases though, the scenery watches in horror. The trees and light poles know what is about to happen. They brace themselves for the sudden turbulence. You could almost feel the mounting acceleration while standing still as the jet prepares for its thrust. The pilot gets his signal, surely in a more disciplined fashion than I get mine on the road. The plane lurches forward as I feel my back pressing against my seat. The required speed is reached in seconds. Where I start braking to acceptable speeds, the plane takes off. The adrenalin rush is inevitable even though my body aches momentarily from the increasing pressure and the g-forces.

This is a fantastic way of starting a Monday. I am visiting Atlanta with my boss to manage a start-up of a new implementation of a project. Some process improvements on the general activities of the contract are also on the cards. I will be meeting someone that I met online for dinner tonight. She happened to be in Atlanta on a project too. I am not used to making too many random friends online but she seems to be genuine, outgoing and uncomplicated. Sounds like we will be going for ribs at James's recommended barbecue joint. Mmm Mmm Mm Mm Mm!!!

Looks to me as the starting of one awesome week!! Rock on people.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Shek's Confidential

I tried positing last night and the blog did not publish any text when I hit 'publish'. So, I decided to sleep on it as I did not have the energy to think any more. You see, I had blogged about a challenging experience that had happened to me at work a few months back. I am completely optimistic about it and I harness the experience in a positive way. Even then, it had its kinks, and I did not want to go though the whole ordeal of recreating the post again.

Waking up this morning, I decided to host a confidential blog available to only selected readers. This is my confidential post: Shek's Confidential. I have added a few people to be able to read this post, but I do not have the email id's of a few of my friends. Specifically Neihal, Glazed Donut and Rowe. If you guys email me at shekscribb *at* I would add you to the invitee list.

Anybody else who wants to read this, please email me.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Nice Guys

The world is a cold and harsh place for nice guys. A-holes get the cute chicks and nice guys remain 'good friends'(read: expendable). It is seriously hard to be a genuinely nice person without being branded as unmanly and weird. How many of you have been nice to others only to never be appreciated and taken for granted? I am not saying that you should only be nice so you can be appreciated, but a pat on the back helps. How many of you have tried to honestly tell a girl that you like her without being shooed away?

It has been confirmed by a certain lady friend that cute chicks actually prefer a-holes. With a-holes, no speculation is needed to analyze what kind of a guy he is. He is simply an a-hole and will probably dump one cute chick for another. Now nice guys are an unknown. The dreaded 'x' in the algebra test. Even after a lot of calculations, girls don't know what 'x' is until the results come out. Ladies, I will solve the suspense for you today. 97% of nice guys are actually psychologically challenged immature adolescents who wont grow till they are 70. Then they become teenagers. Women, not all guys are the same. I know that concept sounds real good in your head but it is not true.

What hope do the 3% genuinely nice guys have in life? Are they always supposed to hold the doors open while hordes of people walk by, let other cars in their turning lane at the last minute? They have to protect their good, and to do that, they have to be a little bad. Stop helping around ungrateful people who will never appreciate your concerns. I protect my goodness by being headstrong sometimes (I am very very accommodating otherwise). Nice people, stop taking crap from others, be a little bad, open your mouth and say 'No fcuking way!' when you don't like something. Be more confrontational but be prudent. When in doubt, use this track. Hang tight...