Friday, October 16, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Anyway, for the uninitiated, take heart, it's not as bad as it seems. There's more to an 'I dunno' than meets the eye; here's a primer to get you started, decoding that annoyingly regular expression. The most important thing to remember when you encounter this regex is that it comes in different flavours. And each of them signifies something new. So without further ado, I present to you Fiddle's Five Flavours of Ignorance for Beginners. Enjoy maadi!
1. The Filler - Sometimes, when yours truly is feeling particularly chatty, she dispenses with the conventional Um-Hmm-Mmm family of fillers, and opts for a higher species. One that has a meaning, but need not mean it. Yes, you, reader with disbelief and exasperation mixed on your face, you've got it right - an 'I dunno'! All the listener has to do is wait a few seconds, while she fumbles with the flashlights, and, hallelujah! Darkness is replaced with light! Ignorance with knowledge!
'So what exactly is all this fuss about the N-deal about, anyway?'
'Oh I dunno... See, the UPA's yapping on about the deal ending our nuclear apartheid, the Left is convinced we're ageeing to dance to Uncle Sam's tune, and the BJP is just sore they couldn't swing it when they were in power. Everyone else is, as usual, singing praises, advocating caution or muttering darkly, depending on how close to the fence they're sitting. '
2. Bother-me-not - Although the author of this post usually tries not to be purposely unhelpful, there are occasions when the effort is simply not worth it. Especially when an answer, the best that she can summon, would anyway be vaguely incomplete, or completely vague, as the case may be. Sample this -
'What exactly is Brats' project there?'
Ideal answer - 'Rate limiting requests to a web caching server named Squid'
Possibly expected answer - 'Some squid thingy'
Probably received answer - 'I dunno'
3. Breath-saver - Quite often, it might happen that I do know a little more than nothing about what I'm asked, but one reply could lead to another question, which might well be asking for a flavour-five (see below) 'I dunno'. So I take the wiser of option of saving time, effort and thinking, and make it simpler for all concerned.
'Why do you go home every other weekend?'
'If my parents had their way, I'd be going every weekend. But seeing how all I do when home is sleep, sleep, and sleep some more, so much that they wonder if I have some disorder, I dunno why they want me to come.'
In other words, 'I dunno.'
4. Sarcaustic - Some questions are plain stupid. You are not supposed to ask them, in the first place. They really deserve a nice, sharp, biting answer, only I don't much feel like having the conversation, to begin with.
'You lost your laptop? I mean, ha ha, how can someone lose their laptop, for crying out loud?'
5. Face Value - Ignorance - true, blue, through and through . I haven't the foggiest idea what you're talking about.
'Hey, what's SMPS? How does it work?'
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I’ve never really consciously fallen in love with a city before. Chennai is home, I was just born in love with it. Delhi is where chitapa lives and which is very hot. Hyderabad, when I visited it, was less about the city and more about first-trip-with-friends-just-enjoy-the-outing. Goa… is not a city. Which leaves us, in our discussion of the cities I remember being to, with Bangalore.
Everything about it – the good, the bad and the ugly (and it’s certainly got a generous share of the latter two) is so characteristic of the city, it’s hard to imagine it without them all. The traffic here does complete justice to all the hype about it - which is exactly what the autorickshaw scene has not done, especially to one used to the notorious Chennai autos. For a city so densely populated by migrants who speak in their native tongue with the locals, all the only-Kannada boards and banners are a bit of an overkill. And for the first time in my life I’ve actually had to buy new moisturizer lotion. Add to that the cost of living, the jerks, the well-founded safety concerns, the unscheduled power cuts .. yep, it has its share of woes, B’lore does.
Whatever. Those minor almost-irritants are entirely tolerable when you step back and survey the experience this city throws at you, every day. The bus travel and walking on the road is all it takes to meet such a panoply of characters. The driver who recalled me and my destination the second time I boarded his bus; the passers-by who became a friend for the ten minutes that we walked a common stretch to a yet-to-become-familiar bus stop; the burkha-clad bus lady who thrust a Jesus is God booklet into my hand just before getting off; the drunken auto guy’s friend who was convinced I was his sister; the guy who flicked my laptop and who could be but mostly isn’t reading unfinished drafts for new posts; the people from Country Vacation who promised me a holiday worth 25k plus goodies if only I attended a short lecture and brought my husband along … and a dozen other people I will never see again, won’t remember after a few months, if not for this post.
Thinking about it, even those dampers can be quite fun if you’re in the mood to appreciate them. Getting up and going to work, already a marathon for late-risers like yours truly, has just become something of an obstacle-race-cum-suspense-thriller, thanks to the traffic and the auto-drivers who refuse to go to a place within a 3km radius during rush hour. Twisted delight perhaps, but who cares. Calculating - even as I hit the snooze button and roll over(after responsibly messaging the regular cab people that I won’t be coming) - which of the half-hour shuttles I’m targeting, and accordingly when to get up; getting ready in half an hour flat; flagging down an auto after half a dozen others haughtily turn away when they hear ‘MG’; willing the traffic lights to turn Available from Busy; predicting the meter reading and fishing out exact change before we reach; running to the MGR Y!parking lot and reading the crucial expression on Security Uncle’s face before turning the fateful corner- to see the cab only just about to leave.. really, could I ask for a more knuckle-biting start to the day? Of course, we all win some and lose some, and there are days when the drama builds up to a major climax only to fizzle out as I see my comrade the Security Uncle shake his head sadly the moment I enter the arena. Nine and twenty minutes of reading all that can be read in DHNS/TOI and a consolation prize of a small nap during the ride to EGL, and I’m ready for whatever the rest of the day has in store for me. It’s an exciting life we lead here, yessir.
Granted, any place will offer its own potpourri of experiences, if only you will open your eyes to it. This being almost the first time I’m consciously seeking and enjoying them, though, I will always look back at these memories with a special fondness. This truly is an amazing city, daily reasserting its unique spirit of fierce coexistence - through the locals who share their city with the ever-increasing floating population; the Brigade Road fashionistas who remain defiant of the saffron brigade’s rising nuisance; the luxury-malls of UB City juxtaposed with the thrift shops on Commercial Street; the Mysore Silks and the Miu Miu bags.. you get the picture.
Bring it on, Bengaluru.