Archive for November, 2008

The star cluster below is a very famous one in mythology. There are different myths about how the came to be in various folklore.

Popular legend has it that they were the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione.Orion met the mother and her 7 daughters in a forest and chased them everywhere. Zeus stepped him by transforming them into doves and setting them among the stars. It is said that one of the stars is not visible to the naked eye. According to one of the legends, distressed at the destruction of Troy, one of the sisters, Electra, veiled her face, abandoned her sisters and is supposedly only visible as a comet.

Irony: This cluster is called Kartikeya (literally, Son of the Kritikas) in Hindu folklore. The six stars represent the six mothers of Lord Kartikeya, who developed one face for each one of them.


In 1953, 5 companies in Japan came together to form one big company called Fuji Heavy Industries. The company found the star cluster depicted above to be representative of their merging and put the star cluster in their logo as is. The cluster is the shown below.

The company has also used the Japanese name for the star cluster for its automobile manufacturing division, and uses the same logo.

Look familiar? What is it (i.e. the name of the car division line which has the same logo?)thanks 3ps

P.S. – Yes / No would not qualify as an answer, wisecracks

Difficulty – Tough (if you are in India / not a car freak)

Googling – Um, if you have to

Comments – Moderated

Special Thanks – Harshad – who pointed out that the constellation being referenced was actually a star cluster – the constellation is Taurus.

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A Wednesday

Leaflet soon to be issued on all Major Airlines across the world.

Welcome to India. India, a culturally diverse country where all major religions live together peacefully and harmlessly, while killing innocent people for leisure. A country rich in heritage, whose monuments are desicrated by gentlemen who want to make a statement they haven’t decided on yet. A country where the import and export of RDX is at par with the best in the world. A country with the largest population in the world, who do not believe in population control by using a condom. When the population blows out of proportion, it actually does!

Traveling to India? Follow these tips to ensure that you have a wonderful time in the sub-continent.

– Passport – You’ll need it to prove that you are an Indian and therefore not worth taking as a hostage. If you’re an American / Britisher it would make good sense to invest money in getting a fake passport as soon as you land in any city in India. A spray on tan wouldn’t be a bad idea.

– Armor Resistant Inner Garments – Very much like winter innerwear. In the case of the latter, you’d be using it to keep the cold out. In the case of the former, you’d be using it to keep your life in.

– Podcast of “Teach yourself Jujitsu in 15 minutes

– High resolution camera phone with unlimited video recording capability. You never know how much you can make by selling terrorist videos to news channels.

– If you think you have pretty / handsome features, you should carry a knife. Kindly understand that this is not as a reactionary measure, but as precautionary step. In the event of emergency, please open your bag, take out your knife, point the blade towards your face and cut diagonally across. This should ensure that no terrorist gentlemen will think you are pretty important, because

a. Your face would become unrecognizable with all the blood, and (more importantly)

b. You’re would have successfully demonstrated that you are crazier than the terrorist gentlemen

– A nice book. These hostage situations can sometimes go on forever. What better time to catch up on some nice reading?

– Wear a T-shirt with a small bulls-eye painted over it. This would make it easier for the terrorist gentlemen to dispatch you without an inconvenient delay.

– Ensure that your pocket/purse always has a few small tomato ketchup sachets. Using one of these, if you are not fortunate enough to be shot at, could bag you an interview with any of the news channels.

– Start referring to your friends and relatives as 121,24,43,etc. Because that is what the news channels call them anyway.

– Ensure that your will and insurance are ready everytime you leave your house. It might be useful to check if the beneficiaries of both are not already dead in the latest attacks.

Enjoy your stay! Thank you flying with us, and if you do manage to make it out back alive, we look forward to serving you again.

If you haven’t got it yet, this post is dripping in sarcasm. On 26th Nov, terrorits took charge of Mumbai hotels and opened fire on innocent civilians at Railway stations. My boss in Mumbai told me, “Yeh tho hotha rehtha hai Mumbai mein. Ab hum kya kar sakthe hain?” The terrorists have ensured that they have made a complete mockery of the fabric of society. They have demonstrated that the human life is no more sacred than a misguided ideal floating around in their head. To the hour, a hundred innocent people have laid down their lives for .. what? their country? their family? someone’s idealogy? Truth be told, their lives and the dreams have suddenly stopped for – nothing.

My dear sister told me that someone she knew who was working at the restaurant of the Trident, Mumbai was shot dead by the terrorists as they entered the building.

Two years ago, we were hoping that my sister should be posted as the restaurant manager of the Trident in Mumbai.

Posted by #24.

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Name Game

This post is for you. You the reader of my blog and the reason its there. You’re gonna love whats ahead.

This post is dedicated to all friend and family who have stopped by my post. Consider this is my special way of saying thanks.

Important Tip: Select the white area below headings to reveal the unanagrammed version. If that’s too tough, press – Cntrl + A right now!

Upbeat brandy chum

A.B. Chandu met Ruby P.

(sorta like when Harry met Sally) I wish I could get an S in there after chum

Able pals u think!

The Bankupallis

both of them!

I use rants

Sister Anu

how perfect is that?

A skirt among ya!

Sagarika Monty

would be a good one for her office – the other anagrams were unprintable!

“Naya padna ree!”

Deepa Narayan

she IS learning something new!

Oman breath him

Mohan Athimber

My Athimber who is in Oman right now!

I am a harm

Hari Mama

As my cousins would prefer to call my dad : )

Bummer, I’m an Amma, Sire!

Mrs. Meera, Main Mumbai

She just became a mom : ) and her house is in South Mumbai which, for the sake of this anagram has become the main part of Mumbai : )

Guardian Poet .. FBI!

Febo / Aditi, Nagpur

Anagrams never lie, so I guess she’s got a career path that even she doesn’t know yet

Lo! Snaking Devil

Venkilla’s Doing

Nuff Said!

She writes help files

Fish! Well, she’s Preeti

Self explanatory in every sense of every word : )

Anagram Winner!

Acha baba! Skinny Homer?

Abhishek Narayan, B.Com

The dude, my cousin is a B.Com. stays in Mumbai, is real Skinny and can do a fantastic Homer impression!

Special thanks to Anu Garg who is the owner of this site. While all the anagrams above are my own, the site helped point me in the right direction.

Also thanks to 3p, who came up with some stunning ones herself, which I am sure we can put to devastating use <wicked grin>

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Riddle Me This #3

This word comes from the Latin words for bench and to break.

In Mediveal Italy, moneylenders conducted business while sitting on benches in the marketplace. If they lost their money, their benches were broken, figuratively speaking.

What’s the good word?


Status: Relevant

Websearch: Banned

Comments: Moderated (to give everyone a fair chance)

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Riddle Me This #2

His name in Arabic means “blessed by God”, in Japanese it means “a small shore” and he won the Grammy for the CD version of his book “Dreams from My Father” in 2006.

Who’s the dude?

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Riddle Me This #1

According to the short story, this is defined as a precise figure defining the comfort/humanity/fellow feeling required between any pair of people for love to survive. If this is zero, then love is dead.

What is it?

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Words of Great Wisdom

“The S and the D keys are next to each other on the keyboard.”


Gary: bangalore sux

i hate traffic here

me: you have to drive a lot kya?

Gary: haan yaar

aaj kal kabhi kabhi cab hi mangwaa leta hoon

me: how many kilometers from your office to home?

Gary: 5 kms

me: how much time?

Gary: 40 mins

me: dude

are you kissing me?



Gary: what the hell
im straightttttttttttttttttttttttttt

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Meet Joe BadLuck

Ever felt like as if everything was going wrong for you? Like you didn’t know when you had to do something important? Like you didn’t want to make the right decision at the wrong time? When things were simply not going your way?

Once upon a time, long long ago, Indira (God Elect) was taking a peaceful stroll on his elephant. He had set the beast on cruise mode and was enjoying his ride, when all of a sudden he was stopped by a sage called Durvasa. Indira assured him that his ride was not speeding. Durvasa, though had stopped Indira to hand him a garland. Indira did not fancy the flowers so much so he gave it to his elephant. His elephant did not take a fancy to the flowers and gave it to the ground. Durvasa, who was a witness to this, did not take fancy any of what he saw, gave Indira a curse. He robbed him and his entire clan (Devas) of their Mojo.

Indira and the Devas were aghast at what had happened. Without their Mojo, they could never take on the dark side, i.e. the Asuras (Bad guys. Please note – no reference to skin color made). They went to Vishnu (God CXO) to ask Him for His advice. Vishnu heard everything and decided that the Ocean of Mojo needed to be churned so that the Mojo (nectar) would come out and Devas could get their powers back. But the Devas were aghast! They would have to share the Mojo with the Asuras?! To which Vishnu smiled one of his trade-mark smiles, which Rajinikanth would copy aeons later, and said – “I yam there ya!”

The Devas sought the help of the Asuras and with a mountain for a dasher and snake for a rope, the Asuras to one side and the Devas to the other, they proceeded to churn the Ocean of Mojo. A lot of good things and bad things came out. But finally, Dhanvanthari made an appearance on the scene and with him he carried the fabled Mooooojooooo. The Asuras and the Devas made a dash for it, but the Asuras being Asuras (no beauty, ergo lots of brains) managed to steal the Mojo and take it to their camp.

The now completely aggrieved Devas, went back to Vishnu and informed Him that the Mojo had crossed over to the Dark Side. Vishnu again smiled and said “Ippudi Choodu” (which curiously enough would again be copied by Rajinikanth in 2007). So saying He transformed Himself into a Herself. (S)he had taken on the form of Mohini, an enchantress whose beauty was like none other ever seen before. Mohini walked into the Asura camp and needless to say, the Asuras forgot all about the Mojo. While the Asuras drooled all over the place, Mohini swept up the Mojo and started back towards the Deva camp.

Now it is here where most stories would end, that our hero’s tragic story begins. While Mohini went back, a smart Asura called Rahu followed stealthily behind. He donned the disguise of a Deva and waited in line with the other Devas while Mohini distributed the Mojo among all the Devas. At the precise second that it was Rahu’s turn, he sipped some of the Mojo. Surya (Sun) and Chandra (Moon) being the enlightened ones smelt a snake and snitched on Rahu to Mohini. Mohini urf Vishnu immediately made like an Angel of Charlie and dispatched a disc which cut off Rahu’s head from his body. The body fell down to the ground, but lo and behold! The head floated up! The Mojo had coursed through his throat, but before it could make its way to his body, his head was severed off. While this meant that his body was dead, his head on the other hand had become immortal. Filled with wrath, he (the head part of he, at least) decided to take revenge on his snitchers-in-chief, the sun and the moon, by swallowing them up. Unfortunately, every time he did so, they would escape from the open end at back of his throat. This is what English called many years later, an eclipse.

And that is the sad story of Rahu.

And now, much to your suprise I am sure, the point of this post was not to discuss about the sad story of Rahu. I shall wait for a moment for your eyeballs to settle down.


There is a Rahu kalam (period) everyday. This is a 90 minute period in every day when no important work should be started and no important decision should be made.Technically, these are periods of the day when the sun’s orbit intersects with the moon’s orbit.  These periods is usually given in an Panchangam (almanac) which indicates the Rahu kalam for any given day. You can see it here :- http://www.panchangam.com/. Just enter the date and you can see the Rahu kalam on the next page.

However, I have not been able to find any good sites on how the Rahu kalam can be calculated for countries other than India. Most Panchangams give the Rahu kalam only for India, which does not make sense in America, for example. So I decided to find out how the Rahu kalam is actually calculated. It is a simple procedure actually. And yes, this is the point of the post.

For Other Countries:-

Step 1 :- Go to this website. Choose your country and the date on which you want to check the Rahu kalam. Note the length of the day (sunrise to sunset). This is A

Step 2 :- Divide the day into 8 equal periods. B = ( A / 8 ).

Step 3 :- For all Mondays, the Rahu kalam is the 2nd portion. For all the other days, it is Mo-Tu-We-Th-Fr-Sa-Su = 2-7-5-6-4-3-8. Each period will be B mins for that day.

For example,

On Friday, Nov 21st, 2008 in Sharjah,U.A.E.,

Step 1:- Sunrise is at 6:40 a.m. and sunset is at 5:28 p.m. This makes the day 10h,48m,27s i.e. A = (10×60)+(48)+(0.5) = 648.5 minutes

Step 2:- B = 648.5/8 = 81.06 minutes.

Step 3:- On Friday the the Rahu kalam starts at the 4th Bth period after sunrise

i.e. Start – 6:40 a.m. + (81.06×3) = 6:40 + 243.18m = 6:40 + 4h 3m = 10:43 a.m.

End – 10:43 a.m. + 81.06m = 10:43 + 1h 21m = 12:04 p.m.

For India:-

Kiru used to tell me a very nice way to remember the Rahu kalam period when I was in India.

All you need to remember is that

a) “Mother Saw Father Wearing The Turban Suddenly”

b) Any Rahu kalam can start only at 7:30 a.m.

In India, this means the Rahu kalam on all Mondays is from 7:30- 9:00 a.m. On all Saturdays, it is from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. On Fridays, it is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and so on and so forth.

Suggested Reading:-

Rahu – Wiki, Mohini – Wiki, Samudra Manthan – Wiki, Mahabharatha, Ramayana, depiction at Angkor Wat

Ed Note:- I later found a site where you can accurately check the Rahu kalam and a whole lot of other kalams for any city in the world. Check this site :- http://www.mypanchang.com/panchang2008.html

Krish Ashok pulls one back for the Asura’s in his post. Now that you are privy to the story, you can appreciate his great sense of humor.

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Fatima, the Wedding Planner

Fatima is UAE’s first woman marriage registrar

After successfully managing to spook a Ms. Hima and her grandmother at her wedding in Trichur earlier this year, Fatima has now taken it up a notch.

Fatima became the first female marriage registrar in the UAE according to a statement from a government official, Ugotobiki Deengmi, who had a hard time keeping a straight face. In an interview, Fatima mentioned to a CRC reporter – “I plan to ensure that all marriages from now on have a major suprise in each wedding. I feel that weddings have become very mechanical with people going through the motions. There isn’t enough of a shock factor to prepare the newly-weds for the years, days and even seconds of marital life. I plan to institue an award which will ensure that the people who manage to give newly weds a very shocked expression on their face will be given free access to Orkut for a single day.”

On being asked whether she had been told that she resembled someone else, who was not a lady, she remarked, “Never have I been told anything so atrocious”. This reporter also noted that the tea served a few minutes after asking this question had a particularly different taste to it. On a completely different note, this reporter was bed-ridden for a week after the interview.

Fatima, we wish you all the best in ensuring that the people in the UAE have weddings that they can never forget!


This article is a spoof. You can view the original page here. Congratulations to the real Fatima Saeed Obaid Al Awani

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Have you ever heard of a Garden-path sentence?

Consider this one (from Wikipedia)

“The horse raced past the barn fell.”

Lovely, isn’t it? Did you notice that when you reached the end of the sentence, you went back to the beginning to read it again. Ergo, Garden Path sentence! The English aren’t as good as the French who have words to describe almost anything. But they sure can come up with pretty colorful alternatives.

In case you are still in the woods/garden, the sentence is a perfectly valid statement. It means that the horse (which was) raced past the barn, fell.

Here’s another one. I’m sure you won’t get it on the first go.

“The old man the boat.”

Recently, I came across a, what I like to call,  garden-path headline from The Hindu

The festival with a unique identity

From November 14 to 23 Chennai set to get an eclectic choice of music. November Fest – Let the Music Begin

Nothing funny about the heading. That’s until you see the attendees of the launch conference. You would have expected some big names of music to be there to entice the audience into an “eclectic choice of music”. Well, they were big names alright, but not the kind you would imagine. 🙂

Promoting music: (From l to r) Kulbhushan Seth of Casio, V.H. Harris of LG Electronics, Victor Niranjan of AVT, V. Kalidas, vice-president (advertising), The Hindu, K.K. Raman of DLF, G.P. Chadha of Maruti Suzuki, and Ramakanth of Nippon Paints at a press meet in Hotel Taj Connermara, Chennai, on Tuesday to announce the launch of The Hindu Friday Review November Fest 2008.

DLF? Nippon Paints? Music??? That’s when I went back to read the heading again.

I have had to sit on some dias when our company sponspored an event, but never as the main and sole participant of the event. And you would think that these guys would know that their involvement with the event was limited to images of paper Gandhijis. Couldn’t be farther from the truth. Each of these guys came and gave a punch dialogue to justify their companies synonymity with the event. If I didn’t know better, I thought I was reading it from a joke book. Here are some of the lines, and I swear, I am quoting verbatim!

“They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but we believe that the way to the heart of a Chennaiite is through music,” said K. K. Raman, DLF Limited

G. P. Chadha of Maruti Suzuki India Limited, compared the experience of driving a Maruti car to the soothing effect of music. “This is proved by our number one rating in customer satisfaction for the last nine years.”

On the other hand, Ramakanth V. Akula, of Nippon paint, drew parallels between music and the business of painting homes. “Colour and music have a lot in common – they raise the spirit and evoke emotion,” he said.

“We will bring our unique blend of coffee and chicory for that special filter coffee experience to this year’s Fest as we did for the others,” said Victor Niranjan, AVT Coffee.

I guess anyone could say anything about anything these days. Imagine if Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Ahmadinejad, Sourav Ganguly, Raj Thackeray and Karan Johar were also present at the meeting. To the question, “So what does your being here have to do with the event?”, their responses would be:-

Barack Obama said “You can change change and change it again, but change ultimately changes what you change so that we can change and that why need fests like this to tell the people “Yes, we can!”

Sarah Palin commented “Well, you know, we’ve always been hearing those Russians playing music across the border. So I, you know, know music”. It must also be reported that she looked quite stunning in her 2 lakh diamond studded dress which she chose to wear for the event.

Ahmadinejad chose to say “Music doesn’t screw your life. Sanctions on the other hand do. If America listens to this festival, they may get some oil from the singer’s head. If they don’t listen to me, then…”

Raj Thackeray beat up the reporter and jailed her without bail for asking him the question in English.

Karan Johar remarked “I was just passing bi and I thought I would stop bi here. Usually, the events I go to are such a drag! Everyone here who’s at the festival look so happy and gay. Not much is straight here .. even the posters are slanting a little. The music has inspired me to come out of my closet and declare it once and for all .. I need a fag!”

But the day was stolen by Captain who made surprised everyone with his singing talent. On being asked later about his decision to sing he delivered another thundering punch dialogue –

Naan kuthina vayaru lenda rathum, kadicha kai lenda rathum aana padina kadhu lenda ratham varum da” – If I punch you stomach will bleed, if I bite your hand will bleed but if I sing your ears will bleed.

As captain said this, the reporter noticed that he kept pushing into his eye. “For effect”, he said.

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