Story of a lost journalist

December 11, 2008

Secret to making good speeches

Filed under: Daily Rot,humor — Cris @ 00:28
Tags: , ,

I found the secret formula of making a good speech. You need to be born with an amazing sense of humour. And if possible, you should grow a beard. Beards have something to do with dealing with masses – Santa has one. And today I heard Richard Stallman talk, and Eben Moglen talk. They have beards too. I made another connection here. Cause wherever I see free software, I see big beards. If Santa has a computer, which latest movies say he uses to deliver gifts, he probably uses free software too. Or else he has got to explain the white beard.

The beard also explains why there are fewer women in free software. And people think its housework! Hah house or no house, get a beard and you are an FS expert.

Now coming back to speeches. Having lived a few years as a human being, I have found out one thing – humans hate listening. So speech-makers had a tough job ahead. Here was a bunch of people all ready with their nap-beds waiting for their lullabies and you had to keep them awake. You had to make them listen and you had to make sure they could think about what you say.

An average human, according to my analysis pays full attention to the first 6 words. And if you don’t grab his interest with these 6 words, you have lost him. He would turn his head to look at the pretty girl in front of him. And then he would turn his head to look at the unpretty chair at the back. After this, he would look up and count the threads in cobwebs. He would do everything except listen.

But bring in humour and bang he is back. Once he knows you are one of those unpredictable fellows who’ll crack a joke any minute, he will listen. He would not want to step away for a second and miss a funny piece.

And then of course there comes your tone and how you say things. But experts have already covered that. I will just say – talk soft, slow, with a lot of pause and of course – you have to talk not read, not recite. Its got to be a conversation or at least a narration.

The method I use is the opposite of all that I said now – I read or sound like I read, and I speak at 10 dB ensuring anything beyond 10 cms cant hear me breathe. That works fine for what I am looking for – namely no future invitations for speech-making.

November 6, 2008

Meeting Madhupal

Filed under: humor,People — Cris @ 21:50
Tags: , ,

Has been a happening day. I have been part of a team to interview Madhupal (the same person who took Thalappavu). I had already managed to form quite an impression in the calls I made to fix the interview. After he confirmed his availability, I typed to my teammates a grand SMS about the success and brilliantly send it to Madhupal. Another time I had to make a call to him to let him know that there was going to be no payment. This is how the conversation went.

(I shall be hence known as BM – read Brilliant Me)

BM: Err Sir, this is a class assignment and we are students
M: Ok
BM: So err, payment … (brilliantly planned pause hoping he would fill the rest)
M: Payment??? (extra question marks – cue that brilliantly planned scheme failed. Unexpected scenario results in speechlessness)
M: ?
BM: Payment… payment illa (Payment – there will be none)

There was a final call today to ask his address. He said “Number A-five-zero”. And BM replied “Ok got it. Number A-Anwar”.
I wonder if I was born so brilliant or brilliance grew with age.

The interview was brilliant (cause someone else did the questioning). And Madhupal’s instant answers and strong opinions were proof of his individuality and character. The man earned buckets of respect (I know I know but hey that sounds nice – buckets and respect – both has a t in it) in that half an hour.

Well that’s that and another day gone by. In case you didn’t notice, the keyword here in this entry is – brilliant.

November 1, 2008

To dentist we (dont want to) go

Two conversations. Err dentists or docs, please skip this. No defamation charges shall be accepted.

Scene 1: Jim and Me in living room, today

Me: Jim, I am going to die

Jim: Oh?

Me: Yes. Next week.

Jim: Oh?

Me: I am against suicide

Jim: Oh?

Me: So I am appointing someone to kill me

Jim: I cant

Me: Eh?

Jim: I’d love to help you Cris you know I always do. But I don’t like the smell of blood

Me: Thank you Jim but you don’t have to take the trouble

Jim: Oh is there a back up killer?

Me: There is only one. My dentist

Jim: Oh he is not going to kill you. He will just drive some screws into your jaws

Me: Thanks a lot Jim! That helps!

Jim: Oh don’t be a baby Cris, its no big deal!

Me: But it is! What if he was bored and thinks a root canal will be a fun thing to do?

Jim: Err Cris

Me: It is possible you know. Half the time dentists do things out of sheer boredom.

Jim: I don’t think root canal is a fun thing for dentists either. Monopoly maybe.

Me: You are missing the point. We are talking about me, remember! Solve my problem first.

Jim: You could choose not to go.

Me: I cant. The pain is killing me.

Jim: You could distract yourself. Read Calvin

Me: How? Stick it to the roof?

Jim: Oh I didn’t think of that. Oh yeah mp3 player

Me: Jim! Well that is an idea. But he might confuse it for his stethoscope and throw water at it.

Jim: Dentists throw water at stethoscopes?

Me: All the time. They throw water everywhere, into your mouth, onto their knives and even the nurses.

Jim: Why nurses?

Me: Identification I guess. To know them from patients.

Jim: Oh. Maybe they like gardening.

Me: So coming back to my problem

Jim: Oh forget it Cris, lets just eat for now

Me: Hmm easy for you to say you cavity-less creature!

Jim: One day Cris one day I will get it too.

Me: Don’t worry, I will take you to a doc. Unless you like to stay alive a little longer?


Scene 2: Monday morning, coming Monday morning

Me: I have got 2 cavities

Doc: 2 of ‘em?

Me: Yes can you tell me if I will need root canalling?

Doc: Hmm you just might

Me: Oh I don’t want to die so young

Doc: Root canalling does not imply suicide as is the general conviction

Me: No I know

Doc: Good

Me: Its willful murder

Doc: I beg your pardon?

Me: I am letting you kill me.

October 26, 2008

Hahaha anyone? :-(

Filed under: Daily Rot,humor — Cris @ 02:08
Tags: , ,

I am losing my humour bone. I remember adding the humor tag to posts so often some time back. I used to be not able to stay serious for too long. But now its showing signs of withdrawal. Even in my talks. Well not entirely.

One set of people are not happy with my responses and find my involuntarily uncalculated responses too rude. For instance, if someone says hey that’s a good song and I like it I say ah very rarely you do show signs of homosapienism. Totally unintended to be hurting but there I am assuming too much. Cause something I consider silly may not be thought so by someone else. I learnt it when someone said something to me, apparently as a joke and I was offended. And he pointed out that this was something I always did to everyone – stress “on a pretty large scale”.

I don’t know an easy solution to this. Best one would be to know when and to whom you are cracking a joke at. Some people laugh with you and it’s a success, some people feel laughed at and you are a loser (and in potential danger). The when-part is equally important. Because there have been instances when the same friend who laughed for the same jokes proved quite annoyed on another instance – and wasted no effort in telling it lightly – so when you make an acquaintance its always good to think first – will she or will she not laugh at all times, has she shown a history of yelling/scratching at the initiator of bad jokes, will she in dire circumstances cling to physical attack? You get the picture, safety is most important.

But that’s one side of the story. On the other side there are people, who assuming my humor side is still strong and kicking make calls, throw something at me waiting to crack a smart one and shake them up in endless mirth. Unfortunately in an attempt to retain my funny-girl reputation I either say something entirely too clichéd or nothing at all – like I was too dumb to get it. Worst of all is my ejection of 2-worded attempts at laugh – a heh, a heh more and a ha.

Friend: joke-bait

Me (thinking): eh eh

Friend (not giving up): you see it is j-o-k-e b-a-i-t

Me (suddenly enlightened): oh yeah

Friend: So so (alas, that line of expectation)

Me: Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Friend: Eh?

Me: heh

Friend: Eh?

Me: Heh

Friend: Oh (realization finally setting in… shes lost it)

Me: Haha?

Friend: Hmm

So that’s the sad story. I have taken the somber path against my wishes. I am going to drown in Wodehouse or Woody Allen or Linwood Barclay for days now. And I will try Seinfield and Garfield and Helen Fielding – or I will just change my name to Wood Field – that’s obviously got to give out some good result.

October 20, 2008

I don’t like Gulmali!

Filed under: Daily Rot — Cris @ 23:57
Tags: , , ,

I am going to post about someone called Gulmali today. Obviously its not the real name. It’s a she and someone I know. Why I want to write about Gulmali is because I don’t like her company, some things about her irk me. Here are a few instances

 Instance 1

“Be there at 5 tomorrow will you?” orders Gulmali

“Alright” says I

“Be sure. Otherwise I will have to stand alone and wait”

“Ok I will be there”, says I

Sad that I cant be late like I usually am (sad cause an organized life always came hard for me), I drag myself to the said place 1 minute before 5. Gulmali is not there. She arrives 15 minutes later happily, cheerfully.

“You are late”, I say

“I know”, says Gulmali happily, cheerfully.

No explanation, no apologies, no nothing! She just goes on with whatever business we went there for!

Me: Irked!


Instance 2 – which is an oft repeated one

I am talking to someone, say hmm, Shweesha (imaginary name again)

Gulmali comes and shakes my hand “Come come its time to go”

I try to wave to point out something she obviously missed – I was talking to someone.

This goes unnoticed and now Gulmali starts pulling my hand hard enough for me to be pushed along. It might be noted here that Gulmali was 2.5 times heavier than me. So that didn’t exactly leave me in a position to strip her hold on me, or for that matter like I really wanted, to push her down, jump over her and laugh ‘buhahaha’.

Me: Irked again!


Instance 3

Gulmali talks, Gulmali talks more, Gulmali talks non-stopped.

My turn comes when Gulmali stops to breathe. I say “Oh yea there happened this thing the other day”

Gulmali looks away, yawns, and looks indifferent till I get the message and stop in less than 60 seconds. So my tales are usually scripted this way

“There happened this thing the other day. (Sees Gulmali’s bored expression). And I forgot what it was”

Gulmali never knows that I even opened my mouth. She carries on with her tale, a little annoyed by the interruption, all loud and enthusiastic. And the whole earth shakes with her when she emits one of her bulldozer chuckles.

Me: Irked multi million times more!


I do not like bossy people! I don’t like dominating people! I don’t like people who only talk and wont listen. I don’t like people who don’t give a darn about your time or space! I don’t like Gulmali!

September 15, 2008

Onam walk around the city

Filed under: Daily Rot,Personal — Cris @ 21:35
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today, I finally got around to doing what I planned for a few days now – walk around the city and see the Onam celebrations. Both times I went out last week were during day time so I missed the illuminations. Well past evening, it was all there today. I promised a sick friend I will make a report, so doing it though it was pretty much a usual walk around the city.

The lights were gorgeous, extending all the way from Vellayambalam towards PMG (I am beginning to learn the names this way!). I stopped at a groundnut vendor and got a mixture of green peas and vegetables, something like chaat. Taking occasional spoonfuls, I continued my walk. Then there was a vendor selling soap bubbles. I checked – Ok the world around did not know me, I decided it was harmless to blow a few bubbles in the dark. Who said only kids did that? Unfortunately my bubble blowing skills were minimal and 7 out of 10 times I blew hard nothing came out. Hmph, passerbys instead of watching lights and celebrations decided to watch the lady in inaction!

Anyway my walk proceeded and I tried to squeeze into Kanakakunnu amidst the thick crowd. Boy what a crowd! I had no idea so many people lived in Trivandrum!
Kanakakunnu, besides people had giant wheels (I mentioned in my previous post), other rides and a number of stalls. In addition, the star attraction was a gang of 3 elephants right in front standing still for hours. Poor guys. They must be so bored. Luckily, some people decided to bring some drums (chenda) and play for them.

Going out of Kanakakunnu I spotted a small boy throwing some toy up in the sky, it had a small little LED which made it glow. I was of course enthralled and watched the boy in action. Too bad I forgot my autograph book. I took the next turn and my first throw went 3 inches high – (which was bad, considering his went 60). After pretending oblivious to the whole crowd seeing that, I went for my second marvelous throw which came down and hit a car. But it went high. So Tada, I was a star too now!

On my return trip I was wholly engrossed in bubble blowing so was surprised when a couple of acquaintances showed up in between the bubbles. Gulp, I was spotted. Oh well now that they knew it was just as well I blogged about it.
I walked back home, happy having down all the stuff I have always wanted to do and couldn’t because someone with me would always stop me. Today I was my own woman. Yippeee.

And if you looked up, nature had brought out its own illumination in the form of a bright and full moon. The ones here were loud, but the one above was quiet and pretty. It was a beautiful night.

September 9, 2008

Archimedes, Newton and Me

Filed under: Daily Rot — Cris @ 13:02
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A teacher of mine advises to start love affair with words. Problem is withering memory of old age refuses to remember so many. Hmm hard work in need. Also scored absolutely pathetic for a current affairs test. Immediate reaction was an urge to bury head in a deep pit of mud and stay that way for the rest of life. However, urge stayed urge and head is still floating about. All light-weighted things do, they tell me. Or at least that’s what someone called Archimedes says, he found that in a bath tub.

I walk out, I get apples thrown at my head (affectionately of course), I take baths and err I have occasionally spotted bath tubs around. Why do these things never hit me? Why couldn’t it be me who discover floatation and gravity? Brilliant brain said: it was already done. And if possibility of multiple births exists, I must have been Archimedes once, born again to be Newton next, and finally born to be, err, me. Going by historical taste for discoveries, any day, any minute now, the world can expect something more. Expecting outside-Physics this time. Hmm should reserve meself a page in Wiki. This is going to be my url :

September 5, 2008

The art of meeting

Filed under: humor — Cris @ 23:11
Tags: , ,

It’s getting better. Earlier I mentioned about turning to a talker, today I became a meeter (Stupid MS Word keeps changing that to meter!) as well. Another online friend again. It was absolutely, totally and completely gulp-free. Friend says it’s my charm, I say it’s my charm, waiter says its my charm, so does biller, so does… oh well you get the picture. I was charming. Only bit of out-of-the-ordinary was actually in the recognition process. You see friend was seeing me and I was seeing friend for the first time – it involved a lot of seeing and anything involving a lot of anything was not an easy thing.

Me being the late comer went inside the eat-out, came and stood near chomping person showing high potential of being friend. Did the raise-brow test – test works as follows: if friend was friend, the raised brow would be given special attention which goes ah-oh-uh-you, if friend was stranger it would be treated with another raised brow which goes I-can-do-it-with-both-eyes-open-so-scram. This was the normal communication norm, one that was always lying around and I had just discovered. These sudden enlightenments always happen at dire circumstances. Wasted entirely on potential-friend who preferred chicken nuggets to eyebrow tester.

Storming female, err me, went outside and made chomper leave all chomping alone and pick me up. And there, I entered gracefully for a second time. Unfortunately grace was lost on the audience who were all like my friend, champion chompers. There were a few who recognized the weirdo who did her evening walks in an eat-out.

Keeping all embarrassments aside, or maybe cause I was finished with my share for the day, chose to attack both Chompy here and his food. However Chompy was chomping which meant business was left to, gulp, me. Hmph I decided Chompy deserved no sympathy, he did everything that called for a major Cris attack – an outflow about coffees, why coffees were not teas and why teas were for devils while coffees for angels. Chompy was a wise fellar and he realized there was a lot of coffee talked about here. He didn’t like that. The man stood for nuggets.
“Chicken nuggets”
“What are chicken nuggets?”
“Nuggets should be nuggets”
This was something I wholeheartedly agreed to. I always like it when nuggets are nuggets, I pointed out.
Glad of some harmony here, he proceeded to the other topic.
“Cutlets should be cutlets”. I volunteered.
Gleam in eyes, glow in face, my friend saw that he had just met a kindred soul. Deeply impressed by this enlightenment, he nodded
“Yes nuggets should be nuggets and cutlets should be cutlets. One should not be the other… but you knew that!”

Ah, was all too familiar with that look. Outright admiration. So impressed was he that Chompy actually left the last nugget’s last half’s last seventeenth piece entirely at my disposal. The boy was generous, I acknowledged by raising hands. Was afraid he would next fall straight down to my knees and ask for blessings. Not that I wasn’t generous with them, but maybe another time.

(The above story is based on a real life incident but the author may have taken the privilege of doing a wee bit of exaggeration here and there – this line shows its presence here in case Chompy reads this and makes plans to cook Cris nuggets next time)

August 29, 2008

Resigning as a daily blogger.

Filed under: Just talking,Personal — Cris @ 20:30
Tags: , , ,

I have sad news to make. I am resigning. As a daily blogger. All attempts to write daily have been failing. Cause 1, I run out of ideas, 2, I had a weird realization that writing when you don’t have ideas could be bad, and 3, I cant keep track of time – I forget that daily is daily and not 3 days later.

There is a fourth very important reason. I started to churn out absolute rot. Look for instance what I thought I will paste here one day –

“Some people think writing is an easy job. That all you need to do is to open a Word document and stare at it and words would fall down from the sky, well, or the roof. And when that does not happen they look up at the roof and decide its having a bad day. Not your fault, cause you did your job. You were the Good Samaritan who took the trouble of staring into a blank page. What could you do if creativity didn’t find its way from all the way above to come and hit your head?

Some people became some more people today. I joined them.”

Seeing that was what made me reach for my retirement papers. Yes yes, there is probably an age limit for daily bloggers. Those old bloggers who write daily, am sure are working illegally. Moreover I started showing womanly qualities – the biggest being I detest being called a woman, I prefer girl. I know at 25, a girl is not a girl but a girl is a [gulp] woman. Britney spears when she sang she was not a girl or a woman was not 25, she was 18. And when a woman starts being a woman, you have to quit. Cause your daily entries will have an inclination to be hmm, womanly.

But not to worry, it is just a phase. Cause women, I have noticed, exist. This wouldn’t have been possible if every time they heard someone call them women they went to jump into the sea and say goodbye cruel world. They get over the phase and continue to live, probably with heavily broken hearts. I mean they completely take it to their head the rest of the world is going to look at their face and say “She’s a woman”. Although nobody knows why that needs pointing out, there you have it – the world will always tell you things you don’t need telling. If it weren’t for them, I’d have grown up into a 100 year old girl in a matter of years. Hmph.

So, children, readers, audience, adieu.
Disclaimer: this is only official, and like every official deal, it has every intention of being unofficial and I’ll join them illegal old writers.

August 26, 2008

Short blog posts winning over long! Hmph!

Filed under: Theory — Cris @ 21:30

I have found out something. People like to read short stuff more than long stuff. Analysis formed on the basis of studying a typical human’s behavioral patterns on reaching blogs. Typical human was me.

Come a short entry and my eyes welcome them with a smile. My eyes also read them with a smile. Unless the short entry decides it had seen enough smiles for a day and it was time to turn ugly. “I will teach that smiling idiot a lesson. I will be a completely nonsensical post. All words, jumble up and all sense, turn away and run, that’s an order!”

I learn my lesson and move with my eyes to other longer blogs. But eyes are in the habit of wrinkling and mouth in the habit of yawning on seeing lengthy posts. With a bored expression I start and after line 1, if unlike the shorter entries that has a thing against smiling readers it doesn’t turn ugly, I transmogrify into a happy reader. My downturned lips curl up, my eyeballs bulge out, my cheek bones dance.

Prejudice. Unjustified prejudice against length. Discrimination. I call it unfair. For though, I showed signs of depreciating longer entries, I am in the habit of churning them out. Study made on attracting readers to longer entries suggests making beginnings as juicy, err interesting as possible. Trap them. Put them in a situation where they can’t rest without knowing what happened to the remaining paragraphs – did they stay as paragraphs, did they look cheery or sad, did they jump around and sing. Make them ask all these questions. Michael Corleone if he was here would have smiled to say “Give them a post they cant refuse”.

Studies were good. But to study effect of first paragraphs, the typical human I chose may not be sufficient. So I invite volunteers to offer themselves as test materials. There wont be any tying up or gluing up to chairs as some competitor analyzers make their workers, err readers, do. There wont be nasty long blogs thrown at. All you have to do is sit idly, enjoy yourselves reading what you have always loved to read – my blog.

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