Chennai Born Confused Softie

Chennai Ambi's Musings...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Summer of 99 - Concluded

contd...



Phew! I followed her to the class room. I was the cynosure of all eyes in the class that day.....sure... i knew all about major chords, minor chords...tuning the guitar......but was completely ignorant about one simple thing. - I didn't know how to wield the guitar!



My "15 Minutes of fame"....lasted for a good 5 minutes that day...the instructor was fed up and continued with his lessons on the "Major Triad".......



"Listen class!" he started ....."The triad is constructed by stacking up the notes of the scale "every other note". The first note is called the Root. The second note is called the Third because it is three scale steps away from the root. The third note is called the Fifth because it is five scale steps away from the root."



What the heck? Why would one call the second note THIRD.........and the third note FIFTH? I seriously doubted if I could really tame a guitar.......the entire class was busy practicing lessons......I was cursing my luck... I still hadn't paid the fee......I can back out anytime I wish.......will the old man buy the guitar back from me..

Will S.P = C.P?



I was out of the predicament soon.....the class ended!



She came up to me and said "Hey easy.....Relax."



"No bond! ......I just can't ......I'm not that material of which great artistes are made of.....I'm seriously thinking to back out" I repented.



"Hey ....I have a name ...." she said



"Oh....didn't I ever ask for it before....go on ...please..." I said.



She told me her name.



"Nahh......I think I'd better settle for Bond "I was at my derogatory best....



She hit me with her guitar ..."Now listen, I know u had a torrid time today....I'm here to help you"



"Look, thank you ....but if I wanted help, really ...I would have asked for it....."



"So....I'm too late.....u have already left.......u didn't learn a damn thing didn't u.....except to quit!" ...she laughed. "Dumbo! I've seen Top Gun too....did I get Charlie's dialogue right?" she winked.



She taught me the basics of guitar that evening.....fret.....string skipping....harmonics....the tonic......and most importantly - Major Triad. I felt much better. I walked home with a spring in my steps that day.



The Sachin and Agassi posters in my room were slowly giving away to the ones of Eric Clapton, Bryan Adams, John Lennon, and George Harrison..........

I was gradually getting better with every class and found a good friend in - Bond!



We would sit together in the evenings after the classes and would discuss a wide gamut of topics - Objectivism....to the new "Bhoodham" (devil) that comes for the Onida TV Advertisement. She could go on and talk about anything...she had a natural flair for it....she was a voracious reader....introduced me to the world of Ayn Rand...& Objectivism.....said she finished reading The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged when she was 15.....phew! I was confined to the works of Bach, Jeffrey Archer, grisham & Crichton...and thought Illusions was the only good book to hit the earth.



We were different in many ways ...our thoughts......interests...ideologies all were different...I was this happy-go-lucky kinda guy and she was very strong-headed ....all the girls that I had met before were sort of maudlins...she was a cut above the rest and I was terribly attracted towards her...



All good things come to an end! - The Guitar classes came to an end we promised that we would keep in touch with each other ....and.... we did!



The results were out.....she had made it into this college somewhere in the deserts of Rajasthan & she was very excited about it. "Dumbo.....I'm going to BITS, Pilani...I just can't believe it!" ....she kinda shrieked over the phone.



I ended up in an engineering college down south. She was all set to leave....we met in a coffee shop that had newly come up in the city. This would be our last meeting. I had planned to tell whatever I had in my mind .......we met up in the evening......debated over the pronunciation of Mocha.....it was "mo-KK-a" For her ...I vehemently believed it was "mo-CC-ha" ....the waiter intervened.... "mo-KK-a" won hands down!



We didn't do much talking that evening. Both of us were kinda silent.....our conversation was limited to the desert life of pilani.....the gaudy neon lighting in coffee shop and other 'not-so-interesting' things...it was well past 8:30 in the evening when I dropped her at her home....



"Hey Dumbo........u coming to the railway station tomorrow? You have to!" she bid adieu...



I could see lots of ambitious faces in the railway station....she was standing with the six-string in her hand and had already made few friends.... The G.T Express started its long journey.....



"Palat.....Palat....." she turned back this time......waved me Good Bye!



I left the city in a couple of days to pursue my engineering.



My new room was a total mess .I was frantically trying to put things in place.....and then this guy came up running ..."Macchan......edho oru

ponnu line la irrukka......yaara ava ? Sollave illa!" [Dude ...some female is online....u never said about her to me....whoz that?]



It was her...."Hey dumbo.....forgot me or what? Only a single e-mail ......." she was at her best...trying to put up a fight....the usual way she adopts to start the conversation.... "And hey listen.....u know what? Junta here are sac (read: cool).....we don't have the concept of attendance itz so different..."she then spoke about the greenery......the yellow buildings...the clock tower..... Tennis and basket ball courts....sprawling campus........... PR Number and the whole Registration process...



I learnt more about ....Practice School........Make-Up....CDC......test-series ....connaught....ShivG ....thadi ..... in the subsequent calls.



"Don't u have any thing to tell about your college...?" she questioned.......there wasn't actually anything to boast of...."Life really sucks here.......u know what? We don't even have a music club here.....I'm bored to death...." I cribbed.



"Chalo.....i have a test tomorrow i gotta ghot now....bye...." she said.



"Wait!....u gotta go what ?"



"GHOT! Thatz how junta call studying here.....Bye. Bye".



I didn't meet her during my semester holidays....she said that she just can't afford to miss this big cultural fest ....she wrote volumes about Oasis in her subsequent mail.......the various departments....Sponz....Art & Dee...that made Oasis a whooping success....blah blah....



We finally met. She came down to the city for her semester holidays....we freaked out like crazy....quarreled over insignificant things...and then she said that to me....



"...dumbo...u know what .....I'm going psenti with this guy......" she blushed...for the first time!



I knew what 'psenti' was ....i had become accustomed to the bitsian lingo......and didn't know how to react........



"Congratz!" i said after a long time......"Poor guy ...didn't he manage to find any real good looking ones?" my insignificant sentence was ignored........she was staring down at the cup of mocha.......she then narrated how they got psenti.......i was in the middle of nowhere.....didn't know how to react.......and then there were the bouts of giggles.....they were slowly transforming to boisterous laughter....she was laughing like crazy.......



"Hey ...whtz wrong with you now.......u Okie?" I asked.....



"Yeah......." she still couldn't control her laughter..........i was kinda intrigued.....and then she continued



"You know what...do u remember the last time we came in here....i was awfully silent and so were you......i would have made a big mistake that day.....thank god i held my nerve.....back then, i thought you were the one for me" she laughed again.



I was startled by her directness........"I would have been glad if u hadn't said this........you are so damn direct aren't u?" She still was a cut above the rest......this time i hated her for that...........



I should have held my nerve ...i didn't.....i simply blurted out......things were apparent now.........We were silent again......i dropped her back......we just met twice after that evening.......i had to head back to hostel in a week....i was actually glad about it....



I came to know through a common friend that she broke up with this guy in the second year.........The amount of phone calls were gradually decreasing in the subsequent years....Mailing became a mere formality.......and then the inevitable happened -- "We Lost Touch" ....



I eventually completed my engineering.... joined a most respected software company..........work wasn't demanding......i was doing the regular connectivity testing that morning....tracing the IPs ....i knew it was a wild goose Trace :) .... It was then i saw this mail on the Bulletin-Board....."Need pointers to institutes teaching the guitar in Chennai!" .....i stared at my mail client ....for what looked like eternity...



I opened the text editor and typed "March 5th was when i saw her first. There was a complete turn around of things on that particular day.............."



"Will i ever see her again?"



Hail the glorious uncertainties of life........u never know...!



"Oh when I look back now

That summer seemed to last forever

And if I had the choice

Yeah - I'd always wanna be there

Those were the best days of my life!" :-)

:: scribbled by Prashanth at 2/24/2005 05:48:00 PM (2) Comments
| Link this post | |

Summer of 99-Part 1

Disclaimer: this is not my work..

March 5th was when i saw her first. There was a complete turn around of things on that particular day...i had just completed my final exams in the morning and a most yearned summer vacation in coorg was beckoning me....some nerds in the corridor were still brooding over the mistakes they did in answering the questions......true....that was one helluva paper...who the heck cares.....Hey Coorg! here i come.....



It was well past 1 when i reached home........mom didnt ask this question "How did u fare on today's paper ?" for she respects my sentiments and

knows asking such a darn question would bring bad luck on me......i threw my bag down....."Mommy no lunch now.....wake up me up at 3:30......i gotta go sleep now"

I screamed as i climbed up stairs........i heard a big thud on the door......gosh had I overslept? The clock was just showing 2:35.....



It was mom with a worried look on her face......"Trip Cancelled ......dad is having some important work next week and he can't........"

"ENOUGH!" I screamed and slammed the door. I was totally upset.......there was a knock again on the door......it was she again ...."Dad wants you to go and cancel the tickets, said he'll book the tickets next week again"



Maa ...Coffee.....i sank in the sofa and channel surfed languidly ...gnawed few potato wafers .........Murphy's Laws always hold good!



I was up again in a few minutes and was on my way to the railway station...the queue was measuring a mile....."Misfortunes don't come single...they come in battalions" how true! I was now the tail-ender in the queue.....gosh i hated that position......



It was then i saw her....a couple of reservation forms tucked under her arm.....she looked completely lost and yeah .......she was beautiful!

She strode past me in the queue... "Excuse Me.....Can't you see therez a queue out here ? " i blurted out.....my blasphemy was completely ignored

...she handed over the forms to a middle aged man in the queue....must be her dad i guess ...she then turned back and gave me a curious

look........i was gaping at her and managed a wry smile......



The queue inched forward slowly.....i was looking at her constantly now......"Palat....Palat" She didn't! Damn....how does the magic work only for SRK all the time ?



She was done with her stuff and was heading out.........It was my turn in the counter......i managed to get the tickets cancelled....she was still there in the Parking Lot.....few meters ahead of me......the day's effect was still playing on me......i was very anxious and till-date have no idea why i walked the other way when all the while I had my bike next to hers...now won't she think i'm a weirdo if i turn back? Dropping the pen down was the only way out.....when i finally managed to turn back....the old man was well speeding past the gate...



I was informed during dinner that the trip to coorg next week is a no-go....Perfect ending for a Terrific Day!



I had to spend the vacation in the city......i bugged few friends that night over phone...fixed up a cricket match and a movie for the next day.....it

was then i saw the advertisement on the paper....Guitar/Key Board Classes.....Guitar Classes!! The very thought made me sit up and think....why don't i do something useful this time... I instantly turned on my comp and played Summer of '69....couldn't help that wry smile again...this summer for me...Has started on a terrible note.....





The next morning was uneventful. Steaming kaapi...the usual long rigmaroles in the news paper...raucous calls of crows....myriad thoughts....i dialled the number that was listed in the paper and fixed up an appointment with the guitar folks late in the afternoon...and then i thought of her....will i be ever able to see her again...Bach's "The Bridge across forever" was out there..And was inviting me to read...an old friend of mine had gifed it ages back. Tricky book...it always made me feel that i'm lonely out there without a soul-mate....i hadn't touched that book in months.....and i was more resolute not to touch it again.



I saw her again that evening in the Guitar class...Hail the glorious uncertainties of life! Needless to say; I opted to join the batch that she was in...The classes had begun before a week ...i didn't jell into the batch......i was sans guitar ...day 1 was awry...i waited for the class to end...gathered some courage ...went up to her and said



"Hi... Ummm...look i'm really sorry about yesterday....i didnt know you were with your Dad"



"... Uncle!" she corrected me.....and said "Itz okie..no apologies"



So..."What are you doing out here ?"...i knew it was stupid question....but then... i had to start a conversation!



"How does it look like.... ?" she laughed pointing to her guitar ....."Listen! It was nice meeting you....i gotta go...excuse me!" she was off in a flash.



I stood there all alone....cursing myself....and then i remembered ....i forgot to ask her name....."Congratz dude.....Terrific!"



I spent the next day in buying a guitar....it wasn't a busy day for the old man at the music store...for i was the lone customer that day.....I could

see he was trying to begin a conversation with me...i stayed away from him...."Young man....Can i ask u something ? "He began......."Are you gonna gift it for some one ....or you are gonna buy one for yourself?" I knew what he was arriving at....



"Sir, do u mind helping me to select a guitar?" i finally asked....



"Sure...come along" he took me to a section.....picked up a guitar.....



Then he started.....Tuning a guitar to 440........the intricacies in standard tuning....Playing the E string...turning the tuning peg for A String...G String......D, B, E Strings.........and why is it important to always Tune up and not down.....The Major chords....Minor chords.....the power chord and its beauty "a root, the fifth and the octave.." ....The lead techniques......and then he looked up ...........



"Why do u want to learn guitar?" jeez....he still isn't finished....



He continued......... "I feel like I can never get enough of playing guitar, and making and exploring music...You know the feeling I mean....That sense

of timelessness you get when you become fully absorbed, body and soul, in playing guitar. No food you could eat or movie you could see would compare to the feeling you get when you play"...



"So...have u made your choice young man...?" he asked.........



"Yeah ....i think ..I will settle for the one with the Maroon color case".... I actually was glad that he gave me a chance to speak at last.....i was in no mood to take the conversation further.....i quickly paid the bills and hurried away.





I left home very early for the guitar classes that day..... i splooshed big time on the first attempt ...i was more determined not to miss out on the

second....She came at last.......didnt bother turning my side...she went straight into the class....heck......therez still lot of time for the

Classes to begin....what is she gonna do in there?



I followed her..."Hi....could you just tune this for me......?"



"Oh..Hi....sure ..." she took the six-string from me......"Nice Piece......How long did u take select this?"



"Not much actually ....i found the guitar's case appealing.....didnt take much......infact no time selecting this".......she laughed heartily and tried

Tuning the guitar.......



She is doing a mistake....from what the old man at the music store said....guitars are always to be tuned up.....she is exactly doing the

opposite....



"Hey......i thought guitars are always supposed to be tuned up?" She was startled by my suggestion.......i wasn't rude anyways.....



"You seem to know a lot about guitars...don't u?" her eye brows crossed when she said this.......she was looking pretty.......



"Hey....u didnt answer my question.........You seem to know a lot about guitars...don't u?" she said



"Uh....not exactly I'll attribute this piece of wisdom to the old store keeper" I narrated the whole stuff to her.........she laughed again......



"Chalo....i gotta go now....see you later" she walked away...



"But...hey u still haven't said your name.....how am i supposed to call u?" i said



"Bond.......James Bond........." she smiled as she said this.......



"Tough nut to crack.......she stands tall from the rest ...." Not a good news dude....u r increasingly getting attracted to her......!

:: scribbled by Prashanth at 2/24/2005 05:44:00 PM (1) Comments
| Link this post | |

Thursday, February 17, 2005

dave barry's masterpiece

CLASSIC DAVE BARRY

Survival of mankind rides on the successful pickup line

BY DAVE BARRY


This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on Sept. 26, 1999.

So I was at this party, and I wound up at a table where three attractive
single women were complaining about - Surprise! - men. Specifically, they
were complaining about the pickup lines that had been used on them in a bar
a few nights earlier.
One woman said: "This guy comes up to me and says, 'Are you a teacher?'
I mean, is that supposed to be romantic?"
All three women rolled all six of their eyes.
Another one of them said: "This guy says to me, 'I've been looking at
you all night!' So I go, 'Hel-LO, we just GOT here.""
At this point all three women - and I want to stress that these are
intelligent, nice women - were laughing. Not me. I was feeling bad for the
guys.
I realize that there are certain hardships that only females must endure,
such as childbirth, waiting in lines for public-restroom stalls, and a
crippling, psychotic obsession with shoe color. Also, females tend to reach
emotional maturity very quickly, so that by age 7 they are no longer
capable of seeing the humor in loud inadvertent public blasts of
flatulence, whereas males can continue to derive vast enjoyment from this
well into their 80s.
So I grant that it is not easy being a female. But I contend that nature
has given males the heaviest burden of all: the burden of always having to
Make the First Move, and thereby risk getting Shot Down. I don't know WHY
males get stuck with this burden, but it's true throughout the animal
kingdom. If you watch the nature shows on the Discovery Channel, you'll
note that whatever species they are talking about - birds, crabs, spiders,
clams - it is ALWAYS the male who has to take the initiative. It's always
the male bird who does the courting dance, making a total moron of himself,
while the female bird just stands there, looking aloof, thinking about what
she's going to tell her girlfriends. ("And then he hopped around on one
foot! Like I'm supposed to be impressed by THAT!").
Male insects have it the worst. The Discovery Channel announcer is always
saying things like: "After the mating, the female mantis bites off the male
mantis' head, and then she and her girlfriend mantises use it to play a
game that looks a lot like Skee Ball."
Because I live in Florida, my patio is basically a giant singles bar for
lizards. On any given day during mating season, I'll see dozens of male
lizards out there making their most suave lizard move, which consists of
inflating and deflating a red pouch under their chins. They seem to think
that female lizards really go for a guy with a big chin pouch, but I have
never once, in 14 years of close observation, seen a female respond. They
just squat there looking bored, while all around them males are blinking on
and off like defective warning lights.
Every now and then you'll see an offbeat TV news story about some animal,
usually a moose, that has for some reason fallen in love with, and decided
to relentlessly court, something totally inappropriate, such as a lawn
tractor. This animal is ALWAYS a male. On the TV, they show it hanging
around the lawn tractor with a big, sad, moony look, totally smitten, while
the lawn tractor cruelly ignores it.
My point here is that, in matters of the heart, males have the brains of a
walnut. No, wait! That is not my point. My point is that perhaps you women
could cut us males a little bit of slack in the move-making process,
because we are under a lot of stress. I vividly remember when I was in 10th
grade, and I wanted to call a girl named Patty and ask her to a dance, and
before I picked up the phone, I spent maybe 28 hours rehearsing exactly
what I was going to say. So when I actually made the call, I was pretty
smooth.
"Hello, Dance?" I said. "This is Patty. Do you want to go to the Dave with
me?"
Fortunately Patty grasped the basic thrust of my gist and agreed to go to
the dance. This was a good thing, because if she had shot me down, I would
have been so humiliated that I would have never have been able to go back
to school. I would have dropped out of 10th grade and lied about my age and
joined the U.S. armed forces, and as a direct result the Russians would
have won the Cold War.
That is the awesome power that you women have over us men. I hope you
understand this, and the next time a guy walks up and uses some incredibly
lame, boneheaded line on you, I hope that, instead of laughing at him, you
will remember that he is under the intense pressure of wanting to impress
you enough so that you might want to get to know him better and maybe
eventually, perhaps within the next 15 minutes, mate with him, thereby
enabling the survival of the human race, which believe me is the only thing
that we males are truly concerned about.
In conclusion, let me just say to all females everywhere, on behalf of all
males everywhere, that you are very beautiful and your eyes are like two
shining stars, unless you're a female fly, in which case your eyes are more
like 2,038 shining stars. So please give us a chance. And if you're not
interested, could you introduce us to your lawn tractor?

:: scribbled by Prashanth at 2/17/2005 01:28:00 PM (1) Comments
| Link this post | |