Saturday, April 22, 2017

Synopsis: Walt, the Chemist

A chemist named Walt has the skills to transform ordinary items into precious material but he's sick and needs medicine. He meets a boy who seeks treasure.

Walt and the boy travel through the desert and settlements and have thrilling adventures. To become rich, the boy needs to lead this cowboy lifestyle but he also wants the comfort of a woman regardless of the constraints his career choice imposes upon him.

Towards the end, Walt dies because he didn't get enough medicine, and the boy is given a consolatory happy ending. It is up to the reader to infer that the boy could have become rich beyond his wildest dreams if he had just learnt Walt's skills instead of mucking about.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Synopsis: The Farts In Our Stall

Three teenage kids running the games corner at a fete, seated closer to the bean snacks hut than permitted, get exposed to vicious bouts of flatulence. It's so bad that it literally gives them cancer. The book inadvertently also teaches the correct usage of the word 'literally', synonyms for 'fart', and some other medical words useful for taking extended periods of sick leaves.

The rest of the book tries to highlight the disconnect from reality and society that cancer patients face. Teenagers unlikely to survive till the next World Cup are reading books and going to Amsterdam just to meet an author, abusive drunkards are suddenly recovering, and guardians are okay with their children jetting off to meet weirdos who have withdrawn from the rest of the world but are okay with talking to their children only if they show up in person.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mekedatu, Karnataka, India

Mekedatu is a half a day trip from Bangalore. The story goes that at that point, a goat ( meke ) jumped ( datu ) across the Kaveri river to escape a chasing tiger. A herdsman who happened to spot the incident suggested the name, probably to his herdsmen chums. Whatever floats your goat, his herdsmen chums said to him having more important matters of their own to deal with.

According to legend, these are goat hooves because the
goat that jumped across the river was actually Lord Shiva.
A simpler, more believable, explanation could be Punjabi aunties.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

My Problem With #notallmen

Like that one racist uncle in every family who thinks all Muslims are terrorists, everybody has that one feminazi friend whose post-sexual-assault-news posts sound like they blame all straight men for any sexual violence. In a country like India, where the genders don't really intermingle because, depending on whom you hear it from, either men are dicks or women have a princess complex, it only exacerbates an existing problem. Some straight men, who felt unfairly vilified, decided to respond with #notallmen. A #yesallwomen also arose after that to inform all men that all women face sexual harassment. Some day these will be the names of a female superhero movie trilogy. Or tags on orgy videos.

Ryan must have been really pleased when he came up with this. I can imagine
the smug smile on his face as he entered that emphatic line break between
the 'does' and the 'it' at the end, hit the post button, sat back, and waited for
he likes to pour in by the bucketful as he stroked the white cat in his lap.
( image source: Ryan Henly )

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Risihikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Rishikesh is a wild party city in the state of Uttarakhand in India.

Anarchy in the UK ( Uttarakhand ).

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Fantasy Football - 8: Easy Stretches of Fixtures

Compared to identfying teams that are performing well, it's a pain to identify stretches of appealing fixtures. The coloured indicators for match difficulty that FPL tacked on in 2016-17 don't seem to update with performances.

The charts below use only the EPL data to try and highlight four aspects that one would typically look at when trying to decide transfers. The thresholds, etc. aren't some sort of recommendation. Feel free to change them if some other number makes more sense.

Code and ( usually ) updated charts available here:

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Alappuzha, Kerala, India

The Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held in a town* district called Alappuzha ( the -uzha to rhyme with barracuda ) in Kerala, is an early example of things being named after deceased members of the Nehru clan. It conveniently happens on the second Saturday of every August so you can stretch it to Independence Day and get a nice long weekend trip out of it. Although, if you are indeed able to make a long weekend out of Independence Day you are better off going somewhere else. It's an event with history and an integral part of their culture, the locals love it, the author has lived most of his life in landlocked cities, and despite all these things in its favour it didn't impress.