Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dream Car Trivia

What is my favorite car?

I often get asked this question. People see that I am a car enthusiast and induce that I should know what exact car I would love to own. What is your dream car, Abhishek? Every time I get asked that, I do not have an answer. So, since I am convinced that my thoughts organize better when I write, let’s write. People deserve an answer. Hell, I deserve an answer. Of all the car magazines I read, I should finally proclaim my true love.

Performing a complex cause and effect analysis, my mind raises the following questions:
Q. Do I dream of a particular car? मेरे सपनो की रानी !!!
A. No, I don’t.
Q. Do I have pictures of a particular car model or even a brand stuck up on a wall?
A. Scaled models in Jacksonville and many many posters in my Thane home.
Q. Am I a fan of a particular team in a particular racing series?
A. I am not a fan of F1. I like WRC and I think Subaru and Peugeot have good cars. Do I want the Subaru Impreza WRX STI? I don’t know.

I dream about the driving experience, not the car. Remember, the journey is more important than the destination! Let’s think about the journey and we shall reach the destination. What is my dream driving experience? That, my friend, is the right question. Do I dream about the perfect driving experience? Hell yeah.

The Dream.

: Mercilessly twisty roads. Downhill. Tall peaks on one side, deep ravines on the other.
Weather: Spring, coolness of the shadows of the mountain interrupted by the sun's warm rays. Early morning weather. Misty.
Soundtrack: Torquey six to eight cylinder engine roaring with high and low revs in symphony with the curvy roads, continuously accompanied by a whine of a supercharger/turbo charger. Maybe an occasional tire squeal to offset the otherwise harmonious exhaust notes.
The Drive: Having set the backdrop of my dream, here is the drive part. A complete driver’s car. As I go through the gears, braking and accelerating, the car provides total feedback from the road. Every crease, bump and pebble is felt. The car accelerates when asked to, turns like on rails and stops on a dime. The car appears to have been built by one person only, not by a bunch of engineers that use statistical numbers and never leave the drawing board from concept to production. It is everything that one person wanted that car to be. If that person were to be a fast car, this is what he would have become. The transmission is manual, short throw, sequential or regular. I would like paddle shifters, only if made by a certain Enzo Ferrari or maybe by Mr. Aston Martin.

The answer is clear. I want a track car for the road. You see, Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements for a road car are different from those of a track car. When you build a track car, you can do away with stickier wheels, airbags and etc. A track car is designed to excel at a race track. It is supposed to take corners at triple digit speeds, brake hard and accelerate fast. These cars are built for racing purposes only and are built around their star race-driver. If someone like me wants to take that car out to the roads, stuff needs to be added to the car to make it barely road legal. Of all that I mentioned above about a track car, the most important is that it is built for one person.


Carol Shelby shoe-horned a big V8 into what was a chick-car then. The AC Cobra. Out came the Shelby Cobra 427 from a humble barn door and shook all track records.I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on the new 2007 Shelby GT 500 but I want to own my dream sometime soon, so let’s keep it real people.

Lotus Seven Replicas:
Lotus Seven was an icon. There couldn’t have been a more basic design to a car. Caterham makes the Caterham Seven today. The iconic fan following of the Lotus Seven led to many independent car manufacturers putting their own spin on the Lotus Seven's engine bay. One of special note is the Tiger Z100 MK1. With two Kawasaki Ninja 900 cc engines in it, this bad boy has two starters, two gear boxes two gear shifters and thankfully one steering wheel. No rear suspension, hard plastic bucket seats keep the driving experience very very real.

The Lotus Exige S
Tipping the scales at a mere 2000 lbs, this is the Ally McBeal of sports cars. It packs a supercharged tiny Toyota engine that would go unnoticed on any other car. This car makes 218 hp and 185 Ft. Lbs of torque. I can only imagine the driving experience of the Exige. The cockpit is very basic. Interior amenities sport a tiny CD player and a gear shifter very close to the steering wheel for quick shifts. What more do I want? $56,000 would be nice.

This is the option where I go El-Cheapo and make my own car. Yes, you heard me. As soon as I own a home with a garage, I am buying a rear wheel drive (RWD) old roadster, maybe a Miata. Something light with an engine compartment sufficient enough to cram in a small V8 with a supercharger. Then, I will have lived the legacy of Carol Shelby and made my own mean machine.
I could also start with a body kit of a Lotus Seven replica and build my way up.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Anil's Birthday

I have cranked up the laptop volume, headphones firmly pressed on my ears. Anna Molly is streaming though. Sitting on the porch of Anil’s second floor apartment, looking at the peach row of apartments sitting behind the stagnant-water-lake and the high tree line behind it, I notice a car-compass sitting on the table in front of me. The compass points exactly north-east to the direction I am looking at; Jacksonville Straight Ahead. A warm breeze flutters in occasionally through the screens on the patio. Kids play in the pool located beside the lake, but the sound of the water fountain drowns their playful screams.

This unfinished document makes me think why I am in Orlando in the first place. I wanted to try to write how much I enjoy the company of Anil, and that I drove ninety minutes right after work on Friday only to be here for his birthday, but that’s not all the reason why I am here. Something about an open word document makes me organize my thoughts more than my heart would want. Maybe this is what keeps me posting. Writing brings out my truest feelings and ideas, my frustrations and excitements. My fingers end up typing only the truth and nothing but the truth. What I can’t share publicly, I don’t write. Something about hiding behind the curtains of CSS, RSS and VB code and remaining incognito does not appeal to me today. I have been writing what I feel and experience in flesh and blood, and hence want my readers to associate my blog to flesh-and-blood me.

So, what am I in Orlando for? Three reasons:

1) Anil is a good friend and I wanted to wish him a happy birthday personally. Especially when I live so close!

2) I would have the opportunity to drive for three hours on the highway, crank up Octane and tear up some asphalt. My blog, Driven, got me pumped up and I wanted to drive long distances again. I love driving but I can’t drive without a destination. I know that the journey is more important than the destination, but it is also the presence of a solid destination that makes the journey worth while.

3) One of our common friend drove down from Gainesville, and he has a kick-ass girlfriend. She is obnoxiously outspoken, has a pretty good sense of humor and real fun to hang out with. To all you eyebrow raisers…I do not have a crush on her.
So here it is. The truth laid out on the table.

Friday was good. We had Udupi dinner at Woodlands, came home to watch a little bit of Finding Neverland, cut the cake, went out for drinks (Moi was the designated driver, so I sipped on Coke while every one had tequila shots). Back home, we drank the most disgustingly toxic burgundy wine ever and played a very brain-taxing game of cards. I happily quit when the bunch of sevens got infected when they were placed for safekeeping by @&!£ too close to his family jewels. It was also 4:30 am and yours truly had been awake for almost twenty three hours. It is Saturday afternoon now and I want to go back to Jacksonville, to Laya. Anil wants me to stay on and hang out more.

I left Orlando at 5:04 pm, reached Jacksonville at 6:37 pm, had din din with James and his daughter.

Here are some pictures of the birthday cake (or what ever is left of it), and of the party animals taking a nap while I was writing this post.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Poor Gere...or is it Poos Us !!!!!

So, Gere is guilty for kissing Shilpa Shetty in public. If that is the case, I would like to see extra police patrols in Bandstand, Bandra. I can guarantee they will get their hands full at Bandstand, especially when the tide is low during the evenings. Or just peep into the unsuspecting cars parked along Bandstand that appear to be involuntarily moving or the ones that appear to be running for over 30 minutes with heavy tinted windows. I wonder what’s going on inside? Maybe the cars are actually robots, like transformers. A strong breeze from the Arabian? There are kids making out in it dumbass!! So, where are the Hindu activists? Oh, I know, I know. They are at home watching Khwahish...and then a cell phone rings. It is an SMS from a fellow activist informing that a white man just kissed their own Bollywood actress. Infuriating! Burn!!!

The rest of the world thinks it is a stupid law to charge Gere for kissing Shetty. It is not like he stuck his tongue in her throat! Well, they don’t know the Indian culture and I don’t blame them. It is a custom to kiss on the cheeks and greet in some countries. Frankly, I give a rat’s butt the world thinks about this. Especially what war-mongering nations think about this. They have their own set of problems going into war with a bunch of countries and not being able to get out of it. Do I think it is a stupid law in India? No, I don’t. I agree with it, but completely dissent the hypocrisy. If kissing Shilpa Shetty was public obscenity, then what about all those kissing scenes Bollywood movies aired in Indian theatres, in freakin public!!! Do they even get a rating? Even if they do, who follows that rating? No one did till 2004 and you can not argue that they suddenly do.

Remember Bandit Queen? What about the adult people in the theaters whistling at the nude scenes. That is public obscenity! Where were the Hindu activist brothers then? Oh, I know, watching re-runs of Dayavan at home.

Do I agree with the court’s decision for either a three month jail or fine or both for Gere's misbehavior? Hell no! They should have made Shilpa Shetty publicly slap Richard Gere for his innocent display of affection. That ought to be enough. She is a confident Indian woman. She could do it. Hmmm!! Isn’t she defending Gere? I just think Gere was a convenient candidate for the activists so they could shake the cobwebs off their spears and flags and burn some effigies on the road.

What about Aids? Wasn’t that the motive behind the whole drama? How many people are going out on the streets shouting against aids? No body. They are busy burning Richard Gere’s effigy on the streets. Is this the India we want to live in? Is this the India we want to leave behind for our kids?


I have been listening to Staind's acoustic version of this song. This is a crazy video. If you gross out easily, close your eyes. Either way this one is just as heavy as all Tool songs. So, crank it up people...this is Sober by Tool

The next one is Staind's version, a live Tool cover. Rocks as usual....hang tight!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Back in the day, when Shek was a simple Abhishek in his motherland, he didn't have the luxury of a big V6 to play around with. He drove his daddy's eight year old Maruti 800 that had seen good and bad days. Shek learned to drive on that baby, so he respected the 800 like a six year old respects his English teacher at school for teaching him to read and write. Suzuki designed the 800 to be a tiny three cylinder grocery getter econo-hatch. Shek saw it as extension of his body that never felt pain. His dad maintained the car, so Shek didn't feel the financial pain either. Convenient. With the curb weight tipping the scales at a mere 1400 Lbs (650 kg), the 800's 37 bhp is an equivalent power of 93 hp on the Aura. Feels kind of low when the Aura makes over 220 hp but the 800 was a stick shift which made driving all the more fun. Plus, the 800 was built to sustain on Indian road conditions. The GM would fall into pieces if subjected to the abuse of the plethora of port-holes and ten thousand unique speed breakers.

Shek has been spoiled in America, first with his 3000cc 200 hp Mitsubishi Eclipse[
see picture>>], stick shift and everything, and then the 3500cc 224 hp Saturn Aura sports sedan. This is a post about how much he still loves and respects his carburated, old-school 800cc 37 hp Maruti 800.

The Production Engineering course at the Mumbai University is one of the nicest courses to get into if it is a good college. They have compulsory workshop training and a compulsory internship that Fr. CRCE almost provided for. What stuck out like a nail was a Finance Costing Accounting and Economics course. It was only one course in the final semester without any background in finance or accounting what-so-ever. Shek and his classmates had the entire time between November 2003 and April 2004 to finish off a good project with their internship and master the fine art of accounting (money laundering). Hence, Shek joined this accounting class in Borivali with his buddies. Three days a week, Shek drove to Godrej from home, slogged nine hours at Plant 17, picked up his friends form the other plants and drove to Borivali. The class would go on for over two hours. The drive back home was the real cherry on the cake. Here is a map of the route: link

This is just a small picture. Click here to view it on Google maps, zoom in and everything!!

Hitting the Western Express highway, speeding in and out of traffic, every pass made shaved that precious second from the drive time, Shek was always on a rush to beat his last drive time. 92.5 FM would keep company for a while till the street lights disappeared, the traffic thinned, the slope got steeper and the hills took over the scenery. Then, no radio reception, just the stretched whine of the 800 cc engine, slamming through the gears at every curve, negotiated with the accuracy of a brain surgeon, every down-shift perfectly calculated while exiting the many curves on Ghodbunder Road. All 37 horses would echo through the valleys when Shek floored the 800 thought the gears to get all the speed on a straight stretch before jamming the brakes and downshifting for that next curve...or that toll booth with three speed breakers...Rs. 10, would be thrown at the attendant, a receipt thrown back, all under three seconds, then...clutch, second...throttle...bump into third...throttle...fourth..throttle. The upshifts were just perfect, made at the right rev, easing the gears to the next in line with the smoothness of a sine curve and the quickness of a lightning bolt.

Shek's left foot on the clutch, the right on the throttle, the left hand on the shifter and the right hand on the steering wheel worked like a watch in synchronized perfection, his body twitched and shifted with the lateral G's being thrown around, his mind and soul stayed connected with the engine, sharp eyes stayed fixed on the road ahead. He was on a mission, a mission to get every bit out of the 800, feel what it feels like to command 37 horses but the bottom line was to have a good time. There would be an occasional Zen or a Santro, both capable in overtaking the 800, none with drivers that had the skill though. Some speed faster on the straight stretches and overtook Shek only to get crushed by him at the curves. Shek knew all the small pothole infested stretches and knew that exact path with the least bumps,

This constant adrenaline rush married with the cool lazy winds of the Ulhas river was a lethal combination. It kept Shek's mind just cool enough to make sane driving decisions while his blood warmed up enough to jump that extra bound. Speed limit...what speed limit! There was no ABS, ESC, Traction Control messing with the driving experience. Just plain old driving where a driver's skill is everything he's got. Shek ruled those hills for that hour. As he backed into the garage under his building, his mind was in Nirvana, his heart was still beating furiously, his breath heavy and gasping for fresh oxygen to feed those tense muscles, the 800's radiator going at full blast in agreement to his pumping arteries, the air above the engine hood refracting light in the heat, the tires cooling down from the recent abuse and the drum brake pads finally resting. You could almost feel the spent energy lingering in the thick air.

Shek abused (read: enjoyed) his 800 and the drive three days a week, for almost four months. What a year! Now, he indulges into finer automobiles that pack too much power. Too much...wait a minute, more power is ever enough. The old 800 sits in his Thane garage till this day and is accompanied by two new cars to the family. When Shek visits India, which one will he drive? His options: A new Wagon R with the new car smell and everything, a relatively new Indigo and a beaten down 800. Damn right the 800!

You can imagine that there were some equally entertaining drives with Shek's 200 hp Mitsubishi, this time with Octane on Sirius, full leather seats with lateral and lumbar supports, leather steering wheel, leather gear shift knob. None of the drives were on roads good enough to provide the experience of Ghodbunder Road. Moreover, Florida has a flat topography. A road trip is on the cards.

Disclaimer : If you think Shek is a reckless young driver, you are wrong. He is a very mature driver, does not harbor any road-rage and is strongly against drinking and driving. He is not to be interpreted as a speed freak. He loves acceleration and the adrenaline rush that comes with it. He lives his life every day eight seconds from every red light that turns green in front of him. He likes speed too, but refuses to test the prowess of his Aura on public roads because he does not want mistakes to affect fellow passengers and other drivers on the road.

Shek's plans for the 800's come back:

1. Remove the 800cc engine. Time for an upgrade, baby.
2. Put a Zen/Gypsy engine into the engine bay. Hey, they can fit a small block V8 in the Miata's engine bay.
3. Try for a rear wheel drive axle, strengthen the chassis to handle rear wheel drive torque. Shek hates torque steer at the front wheels.
4. Add a 5 speed sequential transmission. Got to have sequential!
5. Add a short shifter
6. Turbo the engine, maybe for 6 psi to 10 psi. I don't know how much a 1000 cc Suzuki engine can take before it blows the manifold up.
7. Add cold air intake and free flow headers.
8. 16 inch wheels in the rear, 15's in the front.
9. Momo steering wheel.
10. Disc brakes of course...all four.
11. Upgraded suspension.

This is Shek's dream. He plans to donate it to a needy organization otherwise.

Monday, April 23, 2007

What I've Done

Minutes to Midnight releases 15 May. This is one of the new songs by Linkin Park. The video rocks just like the song does. The worst scene is the bird smothered in oil from the Gulf War.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Shek V/s Abhishek

For some one who is used to names like Jim, Bob and Chuck all his/her life, Abhishek can be quite intimidating. Mukherjee is even more. I am not going to be anal about being called by my full name. I wont make it a big deal if people can not pronounce my last name. Thats alright. This is a blog about whether I let people call me Shek or Abhishek.

I was at the dog park today and met with James, his lady love, Becky and her sister and brother in law and another family friend (very cool people to hang out with). Their names shall remain anonymous for the length of this blog. The plan was a casual evening at the dog park, me with Laya, James with Eddie and Becky's sister with her two dogs. James introduced me as Abhishek.

After the dog park, we re-grouped at Becky's sister's house for beer and dinner. Now, I have a habit of adding important pieces of information to a conversation where I am not the first or second person but am included in the topic. This is perceived as annoying by my friends, as I do this to my friends only...and they term this activity as 'Shek-ing'. Now, they say that they are being 'Sheked' no matter when I speak. What the hell, they are just being friends and pulling my leg. Therefore, as per James, I 'Sheked' him while he was explaining something to Becky. Thats where Becky's brother-in-law probably picked up Shek and then on referred to me as Shek. It was weird a few times but then, it got me thinking. Should I accept this. Should I Americanize my name? It is common to convert a James to Jimmy, Charles to Chuck/Chucky/Charlie/Chester, Richard to Dick, Thomas to Tom and so on. Therefore, should I allow Abhishek to become Shek?

It is actually a little more complicated. Separate arguments can be made based on what circle I am looking at. Professional or Casual. But in my case, those circles mix. I have friends from work that I hang out with other people with. So, it is really what name I am alright with, no matter what circle.

I would like to take the stance that Abhishek is the name that I should be referred by. For one, Shek is too informal. It looks good on a blog, with close friends etc. I think Shek is kinda cool too. Further, Shrek is my favorite cartoon character and it is kinda cool to have my a part of my first name rhyme with that. I could also be 'Shake' as in Master Shake...but I am a fan of Frylock. Plus, 'Shake' is not as cool as 'Shek'.

I also interact with VPs and Directors on a daily level, so Shek would make the whole conversation kinda unprofessional. Abhishek, even if it is hard to pronounce, keeps a certain professional tone in the conversation. Plus, all VPs pronounce my name properly. I guess I will continue with Abhishek. Please feel free to comment on this. I am open.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Brief History of The United States of America

I saw this video in one of the science blogs that I was reading: link
It is in my shared posts, but the video is too good to miss.

Update: 15 mins after publishing the post.
I thought I was done posting this one...till I came across this video.
Hang Tight...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Instant Upma Nights...Muhaji Lovitz

Alright, the instant upma from MTR is not the best kind of upma. An unopened packet sits on my dining table (just been lazy to pick up the 200 gm packet to the kitchen closet, but actually contemplating to shove it in the thrash can) and half a sauce pan of already prepared dry upma sits on the cooking range. I ate about half the contents of the prepared upma, or at least attempted to eat it. With my tongue and upper palette of the mouth doubling as the molars and pre-molars, there was not much that I could do other than buff up my tongue. When I am done with this ordeal, I could probably pull a car with my tongue. The result: it is 11:20 at night and I am still hungry.

Saw Namastey London today. Actually, I rented out 1971, Namastey London and Nishabd so I could write nifty reviews. Nishabd is done, so it was Akshay's day. I must say that I had underestimated the movie. It actually had a few laughs. Other than the absurd dance and song sequences that most movies sport, this one added a new twist to the bandwagon...Indian actors and actresses that can not speak remotely proper Hindi...not even Bombaiya Hindi. Come on guys, Bombaiya is simple...I grew up on it. I know that the characters of Katrina Kaif and Upen Patel were supposed to be British brats and not supposed to know good Hindi, but if you can speak that much hindi, you better get the accent right. I also think that the character of Imran Khan was a तोत्ला . Seriously. It was hilarious. But the sub-title writers probably had the last laugh...or it was me who laughed most at the sub-titles. There were at least five different spellings to every word that had the audacity to appear five times in the movie. They even spelled 'Arjun' as 'Arejun'. Say it in you mind a couple of makes Akshay Kumar, who is supposed to be a punjab-da-munda sound like he was born in Vellore. 'Arejun' is exactly how you would pronounce 'Arjun' with a South-Indian accent.

The American southerners have plagiarized my name though. They have had a hard time to have to say 'Abhishek' but manage it because I do not give them any choice. Only my friends call me Shek. So, my last name has been butchered to Muhaji. They all remember 'Haji' from Jhonny Quest and my boss would lose track after pronouncing 'Mu..' Sven added the two together. Thankfully, they only call me that when they are exceptionally happy with my wit (when my wit is used effectively against them). Sven has been mumbling for a few days that if there is any Caucasian American that looks like me, it is John Lovitz and that I should blog about the similarities. So, here you go Svenie Bunny, I have blogged about John Lovitz, and NO, I do not look like him...HELL NO.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nishabd...the review

Having spent a good evening at my friend's place, rasam, dal, some chawal, and ice-cream and having dabbled into their Sopranos marathon, I was thoroughly mentally spent. I had to leave before I got hooked on. Now, I really wanted to blog about how some people take ten minutes to get to 35 miles per hour from a dead stop at a traffic light, but the anti-biotics inside wanted me to claim the bed. The DVD of Nishabd sat on the drivers seat along with a collection of ready made and semi ready made miscellaneous food items from the indian store. Hey, I just wanted to shake some cobwebs from my head and watch what I thought was a thought-provoking-ahead-of-its-time movie. I do not go for movies based on who produced it and who directed it, I go for face values. If it looks good in the trailers, if the cinematography looks decent, I go for it and I must admit Nishabd looked nice in the trailer.I was watching Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead with Arjun back in UFL on Malkhani's TV, and watching Jimmy 'The Saint' Tosnia in his first ten minutes of glory had Arjun commenting that the movie had no scope and it takes only ten minutes for anyone to figure out how good the movie is. I argued that it may take more than just ten minutes, but he proved me wrong at least for that particular Andy Garcia movie.

Nishabd started off with Amitabh Bachchan preparing to jump off a cliff, and ten minutes later, I knew why. He probably, no, not probably, definitely felt guilty for acting in the piece of shit movie. Ten minutes and the way the scenes progressed, the dialogues, the acting in the part of Amitabh, Revathy and Jia had me scampering for my pain killers so I could feel drowsy and high. I think the only sane acting was of Amitabh's daughter, Ritu (Shraddha Arya).

Nishabd did wrong what all american parents do wrong. That 18 year old Jia needed vunn tiiight slap, not glamor shots while she drenched herself from the garden sprinklers. Then I saw Amitabh running into the house for his camera. I completely understand that the director wanted to portray an adolescent lust in its primal stage, but it ended up becoming one of the phunniest scenes in the movie.

Love happened right here (see picture >>). Till this scene, any sane 23 year old would have seen signs of a mentally unstable girl. Of course, a 23 year old would have handled the movie differently [evil grin] but lets not deviate from the topic. Amitabh plays a 60 year old. If he would have tossed her skinny arse in the back seat of the uncomfortable Maruti Gypsy and kept it there, the movie would have ended in fifteen minutes, which means there would have been no movie, just a vacation in the tea gardens for Mr. Bachchan and cast and crew and Shek here would be wealthier by $1.99

Fifty eight minutes into the movie, Jia proposes to Amitabh. There is still time to plant that vunn tiiight slap square on this off-the-hook eighteen year old...but no, they kiss while Revathy's picture on the wall watches in horror.

My recommendations to the man, Mr. Ram Gopal Varma, is to go to a neumerologist or something, add a 'd', an 'a' or whatever. Mr Ram Gopal Verma, please click here: link for help with future endeavours. Maybe the movie would have had more sense if it was spelled Nishaabd or Nishabdd. Hey, Zubeidaa worked well that way, other than the fact that it was based on a good story. Adlabs owes me $1.99 and I vow to not give it up ever.

vitrien en illumina

I have been subscribing to Derek Hahn's photo blog titled vitrine en illumina. It is about time I wrote about him. I think his is the best photo blog among the ones I subscribe to. Here are a few samples of his work.

Please click on the picture for a larger size.

His work does make me want to take up photography as a full time job but I know for sure that I can not be as creative with what I see as he is. I'll harness my creativity towards CAST, the supply chain management software that I am trying to figure out.

Derek, I do not mean to plagiarize your work but putting it up is the only way I can get people to visit your site. Bloggers are known to have one of the shortest attention spans.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Speaking with an old friend (who knows me inside out better than most people do) made me realize that me blogging is the same as me venting out to her on the phone back in my engineering days. Only then, I would vent out to someone close, and now, I blog publicly to be read by a bunch of people I do not know. Funny? Desperate? I don't know yet.

I was really messed up last night. Not having to see a live soul for over 36 hours had made me delirious, frustrated and irritable. Watched crap repeat itself over and over on TV for over 8 hours, I even dreamed pessimistically. I ended up lashing out at the only friends that have stood by me before, without giving them the benefit of doubt. Was I wrong? Maybe. I should have picked my battles. That is something that I do not do very well, yet. I have become increasingly confrontational than is advisable. Got to pick my battles!!

I wont erase my earlier blog, even though I don't completely agree with how I felt then. As I look back to my previous blogs: Dang-Root-Canal, Fcuked up No. 31, Ignorance is Bliss, Manic Monday, The Ice Pack and lastly WTF, I see that I have given my tooth problems more screen time than they deserve...and turned my somewhat intellectual blog into a bitching zone. Well, it is time to reclaim my cribb back before my prospective lady-friends form the wrong impression about me ;)

हिंदी में पहला post

कोई नया post करने का मन तो नही कर्ता...पर हिंदी में post करने से नही रह

Sunday, April 15, 2007


This is the first time I have had surgery of any kind on me and therefore, my first post-operative days. Any sane adult would know how important post-operative care is...but the only sane adult is my four year old dog. Of course my parents called up to see how I was doing, but they are a little far away to be able to take care of me. Over here in Jacksonville, humanity seems to have gone cold, just like the gale force winds today. The weather seems to have taken a bad turn and has gone windy and cold...and has blown some common sense (usually an uncommon trait among humans) away from my friends.

The pain killer is supposed to make me drowsy, but my mind is not ready to let go yet. So, instead of thinking about 10 things at once, I prefer to write them down to structure my thoughts. Lets see, Sven took a few hours off form work last Friday to be able to take care of me after the surgery. He waited while I was in surgery, listened to my mumbling after the surgery, bought me my medicine and a pack of gatorades, dropped me home. This was more than anything I could ask anyone for. I don't mean to make this a formality, but I thank you Sven.

I had called up a friend to be at my apartment after my surgery for a few hours, who agreed at first, then refused. I don't think that was too much to ask for. If someone you know has three teeth surgerically taken out, and by that I mean that the doctor had to cut through the gum and break two wisdom teeth internally and take the pieces out, then sow the gum back, wouldn't you at least show up at that person's house just to say, "Hi! We thought that maybe, just maybe, you are in some pain and we came over to see how you are." Of course, I got a phone call to ask how I am doing. I am on medication, I am drowsy, my mouth hurts, how do you think I am doing? I said I am doing fine....fine for someone who has stitches on both insides of their lower jaw. What a fcuking joke! Anyway, they being true friends remembered to send me a scrap on Orkut to see how my weekend is going. Wow, I am touched.

Being even luckier than the average Joe, my room mate happens to be one of my best friends and colleague at work too. Eddie is his puppy. Don't get me wrong, I love Eddie, but taking care of him when I am drugged up is a little too much to ask for, isin't it? Here is a little history. He is a marine, discharged. He had his wisdom (all four) taken out at the Marines...with one anesthetic injection at each tooth, and a ball-pin hammer and a chisel. No jokes. So, to him, I have had a fairy-tale extraction and should be normal within 24 hrs of the surgery. I wake up, all drugged up Sunday afternoon, and see both the dogs, his and mine, playing in the living room, making a mess. Now, I am not in the condition to take Laya out for walks, even though she is perfect on the leash, let alone his hard-headed beagle. All I can say is WTF! He did not ask me to take care of his dog, but leaving Eddie out like this is wrong too. I understand that these days were critical for him to kick-off his love life, but damn son, it is a little bit too much to ask. To his defense, he got me ice cream and that is the only hour I ever saw him over the whole weekend. I weep in my heart when I see all this concern!

I don't mean to be a coward and just blog my anger. I will probably confront my 'friends' when I am a little more myself and not drugged up like this. The pain killer is still not working and I can feel this knot in my lower left jaw. WTF!

Laya is the only one that has been a true friend to me. She gets up and sits by my feet while I am up at odd hours of the night typing furiously at the keyboard, venting out to blogspot. She comes over and puts her head on my lap, looks at me with soul-full eyes, re-affirming that she loves me no matter what. I am convinced she understands my pain and is trying to show affection. She is not upset why I am keeping to myself and not petting her enough. I'd chose her over any of my human friends any day.

The real deal is that experiences like these happen to a lot of 'independent' people, and make them more and more impregnable to emotions. I see myself going that route and I want to stop and be dependent on someone. Not because I am weak, but because it is foolish to think that I (or you) can be completely independent. Humans are just not bred that way. It can be said with a high likely hood, that I will not have any expectations the next time I go in for a medical procedure, but is that right? Will I wrongfully insult my true friends by not asking for help and support? Maybe yes. But it is times like these that you know who will stand by you for sure when the shit hits the fan, and who will duck. All I can do is to thank God for throwing some shit my way.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Ice Pack

I did not want to write a post till I completely recovered from the oral surgery, but at 34 past midnight, ice pack in my hand and no sign of sleep, I think I will give it a shot.

Got three teeth extracted Friday. They gave me enough anesthetic to completely put me under. I didn't remember a thing...just like the surgeon promised. He said that the surgery will hurt (all surgeries hurt) but I wont remember it. Isin't that a funny feeling? You wake up all drugged up and try to remember if it hurt and you know it should have but not remember?

My left cheek is swollen and that is where I let the ice pack work on. The pain killers with the anti-biotics make me sleepy, but their effect has worn out. I am just awake with a slightly hurting left cheek. The medicine also probably has made my mind groggy...cant think straight and keep going into writer's block. I have been watching a lot of TV today...some shows that I wouldn't watch this one documentary on global warming. All it did was make me feel bad about my 3.5 L V6 engine that gives anywhere between 20 mpg to 26 mpg depending on the song playing on Sirius. Should have bought the Prius...but what about speed and acceleration...the important things in my life. I am 24 and I don't want to spend the next five to seven years doing 0 to 60 in 11 seconds. Just too many questions swimming around and not many answers. Lets blame it on the medication and go to sleep.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Preview...April 2007

This will be a preview of what to expect from me in the next few weeks. Looks kinda blurry now,
...Hang Tight...
I started off this year with a pledge that I will blog once a day, but quality appeals more than I am taking some time off to do some serious thinking/research before I post my next blog.

I attended a seminar on Ethanol fuels hosted by the Council of Supply Chain Professionals. We (USA) currently produce about 3.5 billion gallons of ethanol a year. They are aiming for 35 billion gallons to reduce their dependency on the Middle East. The seminar was about the rail road infrastructure and its capacity to handle transportation of 35 billion gallons. CSX predicts that it will only account to a mere 4% increase of rail cars from their current utilization. I went on to think at a more root level to eliminate dependency on the Middle East. I also question the efficiency of Ethanol (primarily E85 as used by Brasil) to reduce America's dependency on gasoline. My research is taking me through many papers written for and against E85, and many many more advocating fuel cell and battery operated vehicles (the Prius in USA is mandated to have a gasoline engine along with the battery motor).

I have had to deal with a rude person at work who considerably outranks me. This being my first job in the corporate sector, I would like to learn from this experience and harness it positively (blah blah blah...I also want to bitch about that first grade a-hole [evil grin] ). Having maintained personal relations with the rude individual put plenty of twist in the already ugly matter. I came across a piece on crucial conversations that spoke of an article dealing with such a situation. I will be cool enough to write about the experience in an optimistic manner soon.

It is time to do some personal reading. I am currently on Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I read through 60% of this book while I was an engineering student in India. The book really made me want to ride a motorcycle of my own...and I could not do that (parents wouldn't let me...finances wouldn't allow). I am self-sufficient now and stand to be able to make an impulse purchase if I get too desperate. So, with my credit cards in a safe hiding place that even I am unaware of, I have started reading this book.

I wanted to finish a few chapters of the book today but instead ended up watching this story in Pierre Dulaine. It gets my recommendation.

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Manatee

I read other's blogs on my google reader. This is a temporary fix till I buy a Macbook and use the super friendly Safari to read posts. I would, however, miss a convineant feature of the google reader...sharing posts. I normally go through anywhere between 20 to 30 blogs a day (50 to 70 posts) and some are interesting enough to share. I just click the share icon on the reader and the blog appears on my blogspot here: link. Some blogs, however, deserve more than just the share, so here it goes.

Shelley Batts blogged here about how Florida is planing to downsize manatee laws to promote water sports. Here is an extract:
Thing is, tourists and residents
don't like the laws. They go to Florida to boat, and to boat as fast as they please, where-ever they please. Avid boaters have been extremely vocal opponents to laws restricting boat speed. When I volunteered at Mote Marine Observatory, there was palpable tension during boat races, when they expected that many manatees would be hurt or killed. Manatees are slow-moving creatures who need to surface for air--they don't stand a chance against high-speed boats ripping through their habitats. Do Florida legislators think that because there are *more* manatees they've suddenly become better at getting out of the way??

I say leave the manatees in peace.

Here is the Fair to Midland song, Dance of the Manatee. Why a video in this nature blog? It is a song about Manatees and it is hard rock. Crank it up and stay heavy...

Indians Are The New Mexicans!?!?

I have been browsing though some Desi Pundit blogs and came across this one by Ash. It is a blog by Brijesh. Read the full blog here: link (as of 10 April 2007, the blog keeps getting commented on. Read the comments for the most updated discussion)

Here is an extract:
By US law it is illegal for the employer (desi consultant) to make employee pay for the H1B Visa expenses. But for desi consultants they have their own law. The way the desi consultant works reminds me the agents who work to recruit laborers to Middle East. They are fooling the educated people and the sad part is that educated people fall into this trap due to their greediness for earning dollars.

This is my comment to it:
(Brijesh, )you are right about the problems caused by these consultants to deserving applicants. Desi consultants (head hunters) are not the only ones doing it. There are plenty of consultants that hire other nationality people.

Some of the unfortunate ones that come here to get a masters fund it through loans and such...and when they can not find a job, they go to the consultants. They probably 'train' for a few months then 'sit on the bench' if unlucky or get a project if lucky. It at least helps pay the dues.

I am not in agreement with the immigration laws too. If you and I know about the consultants malpractices, you think the US govt. does not??? They will do what benefits them. Back in the day, they encouraged Mexican immigrants because they wanted interstates to be built and crops to be harvested. Once done, they shut the doors at the border and put a guard on it. Where is the fcuking homogeneity in that? I do not disagree your discontent with the consultants, but this is the ghee-with-tedhi-ungli case.

Does that make us Indians the new Mexicans. If the government (US Govt.) knows about these consultants, which I seriously think they do, are we being brought in for cheap to build their IT highway?

I do not intend to talk about Mexican immigrants in a derogatory way. If you consider me a Hispanic-hating racist, it is purely your biased opinion and I encourage you to keep it to yourself. It is not an entire fact but a part of the fact. This post is not an opinion but an argument and a debate.

Manic Monday

I take a sip of the extra dark hot coffee as I reflect over the mornings events. Manic Mondays don’t happen to me, I usually take the beginning of the work week pretty well. This one, I will remember for a few days at least.

As the coffee burns through me, waking me up with caffeine high, I think about writing this post. Few of my previous blogs have been influenced by the writing style of other bloggers, it is time to find my own. Just like Bishwanath Ghosh’s Shankar in his blog: Confessions of a novelist, I have to awaken my ‘Shankar’ to find his style back.

As I sat awake last night 3 am chatting with Reshma and Chinky, trying to keep my mind off the sudden tooth ache till the pain killers got around to do their job, I was not in desperation or misery, but content that the tooth will be removed in over six hours. The appointment letter for the extraction of a wisdom tooth and its accompanying molar sits on my dresser assuring me that relief is near. My cell phone alarm wakes me up at 6:30 am, I dress up and take Laya out, then proceed to have my breakfast. I had called in on Friday to see if the surgeon needed me to take some medicines or have a particular diet before the appointment, there was no such requirement.

James drops me off at the surgeon’s office. Sven is waiting at work to expect a phone call from the surgeon’s office to pick my heavily sedated butt up. At the office, after filling up the paperwork they take me in for a 360 degree x-ray, which was kinda cool. Definitely better than the shovel they shove in your mouth and take x-rays of one tooth at a time. Then they take me in for consultation. That’s it…consultation. No extraction. Some shit broke loose in the entire communication channel and this session was supposed to be only for a consultation. The doctor, just as nice as most doctors are, asked me about my medical history and other crap like that. It is the administrative assistants that screwed up. I was raging mad for a few moments there, wanted to get on the phone with the clerk at my dentist’s office who fixed me this appointment. The consultation was a good though. The good doctor explained about the entire procedure of extraction with reference to the x-ray. Here is the x-ray. Please click on the picture for a larger version.

Now my close friends, relatives and all people passing though know how my teeth look like.
This is the graphic part of the post. If talking about medical procedures scare you, please don’t read below. If you want to dare yourself or know more about the extraction process, please do. Apparently, Number 31 created an empty space around itself. Due to its position being at the enamel-root part of Number 31, plaque got stuck in the cavity. Plaque is 95% bacteria. This caused Number 31 to decay and weaken, causing it to break off. I guess I wasn’t too ignorant after all. Alright, maybe a little. Anyway, Number 31 needs to go and Number 32 is under the gum line. Also, the roots of number 32 extend sideways, which make it difficult to pull out. It will need some ‘carpentry’ (the doctor’s words, not mine. I would chose something more subtle) to pull it out. The pen markings on number 32 show how it will have to be cut to be extracted.

This is a good picture of Number 31. You can see how it is broken off and only about 70% of it is left. Number 17, the wisdom tooth on the left side of the mouth is doing the same thing. That is something I need to take care of before all hell breaks lose in that side of my jaw too. The wisdom teeth in the upper jaw are coming out pretty well, but may need to be extracted to avoid future problems. The doctor then proceeded to explain all that can go wrong and how to cure those. He drew the nerve line and said if the surgery affects the nerve line, it may take sensation away from my lower lip and tongue for a few months. Wow, I can’t wait enough. The closest date to my ‘actual’ surgery is over two and a half weeks away. Gee. I hope the misdirected administrative assistants can put their act together and get me something sooner. It seems that the surgeon’s admin had promised to do the extraction today, at least that is the impression my dentist’s admin had. I hope they all sort it out soon and get me off these pain killers.

The whole experience has made me pretty numb, emotionally. I am taking medical matters in my hand from now on. I am also buying the books that I mentioned here: link

Update 2007_04_12
The admin to the dentist made me an appointment for Friday (13 Apr 2007)...tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Belly Rubbin...

Eddie gets a good session of belly rubbing (pronounced 'rub-een' if you grew up in Michigan) from me every day. It is almost effortless on his part. Most dogs have to act cute and be a good doggie to get that. When you are as cute as Eddie, belly rubbing comes with the package.

Please click on the picture for a larger version.

I know the big blue harness feels over-the-top for a tiny puppy but it just helps him develop his voice. Most times, you will find Eddie pestering Laya, the super big and muscular retired racing greyhound that you see in the background. Laya is my dog and the fastest couch potato you will ever see. That is the reason you will see her resting and chilling (pronounced 'res-teen' and 'chi-lean' if you grew up in Michigan) in most pictures. In fact, this is she right now, sleeping on the couch 'res-teen' her head on the arm rest. Here is a picture of her right now >>>

So what is the big deal with belly rubs and dogs anyway? Dogs love to clean themselves, and they constantly lick their paws, backs, butt etc. They can not reach their belly, so when you rub it for them, it is ecstasy. Just like when you scratch a cats neck, massage a woman's shoulders etc. Eddie has a nice little rolly-polly belly and it is a pleasure to scratch it. Laya is all toned and slim and muscular. She gets her belly rubs too, not as often as Eddie does. Given enough belly rubs, Eddie will sleep on your lap. Now that is something money cant buy.

Today is the second day Eddie slept on my lap and all because of his belly rubs. I am overwhelmed by the affection and hence this blog. I am also completely irritated by listening to crappy 'Michigan' accent (which you smart readers will have figured out by now).

Things I want to do this year...

I am spending a dry saturday night reading blogs of people that I haven't met. I recently subscribed to a bundle of blogs. Reading them makes me realize that I need to do something important with my life. Give it some meaning. Well, more meaning than it has already. Here is a list of things that I want to do this year or start doing this year:

1. Take Laya to the dog park at least once a week. Let her run free and work on those muscles.
2. Finish that certification in production and inventory management that I had so enthusiastically started more than a year back.
3. Buy and learn to play the electric guitar. Learn at least one song.
4. Finish reading the four novels I bought.
5. Buy a Mac.
6. Learn one foreign language, preferable German. I hadn't thought of this one till now. I think it will be a bit of a challenge. I chose German so I can practice it with Sven and Trini.

Additions as of 10 April 2007
7. Drag my whip at a proper drag strip with an equivalent car. Give it all she's got.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ignorance is Bliss

You know what I am talking about...everyone has some little thing left out in a bucket, deep in their mind, things they need to give attention to, things that are 'little' only in their perception. That little rattle in the car, that weird error message you get when you boot up your computer every day, that W2 sitting on your desk that needs to be filed..and so on.

We all have our quirks and I do not mean to bitch about yours. This is my blog, hence my story. It all started with a little irritation in one tooth, way in the back my mouth, for a month, till a part of it broke off. This I blame on the super hard spicy and roasted channas (chick peas) from the Indian store. My tooth cracked while biting on this dry channa and a little piece broke of. What bad can a little piece do, I though to myself. It was just a little piece. I was wrong. One month goes by and another piece comes off. In summary, I have 70% of my tooth still hanging on to the ligaments and the lower jaw bone and two 15% pieces have independently broken off. Now I am mildly concerned, keyword: 'mildly'. The pieces breaking off cause no pain, so I say, what the'll be fine. It is needless to say that I was wrong again. If I wasn't, this blog would never be written. I would be one happier and relatively wealthier Bong dude.

Apparently, the tooth already had a small cavity on it before I chose to buy spicy little roasted channas for snacks. The channa only helped cause a crack on the already weak tooth. I am speaking about the infamous No. 31. The broken pieces only helped the cavity to spread faster, access juicy nerves quicker and cause indescribable amounts of pain. This coupled with a super strong bone structure, kudos to my strong genetic ancestry of the Mukhopadhyay's, rendered two attempts of pre-root-canal anesthesia useless.

Add to this a wisdom tooth, mis-directed No. 32, I am going in for oral surgery. This is where you start singing a different tune...Anesthesia is bliss. Who cares if it is bliss only till anesthesia stays on you and it is all hell when anesthesia wears away? I'll be in bliss Monday morning. It will freaking suck to be me the rest of Monday and Tuesday.

I am usually not a whiny cry baby when it comes to pain. Blogging is just an easy way to vent out the negativity and frustration. I promise to provide more jolly blogs after the surgery. Rock on!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Reshma Shah

My good friend, and possibly my oldest friend by far...has a website of her own. I hear she is a graphic designer of quite a repute and she has created her portfolio on her website: link

The website itself is slick and her work is vibrant, colorful and classy. Check it out and let me know which work you find the best. I like #5 Hindustan Times the best...though #8 Mooch Chap Bidi is the most funny.