Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thanks, R

Learn. Grow. Smile. Even in your lowest lows. Someone's always with you. Laugh at yourself. Appreciate being foolish. Wise up. Smile. Cry. Pride. Humility. Hope. The Bright side. Pessimism. Put others before yourself. Feel hurt. Keep at it. Celebrate. Share. Learn. Teach. It's never too late. Explore the new. Yet, never forget the old. Make new friends. Regain lost ones. Win. Lose. Music. Books. Movies. Fear. Anxiety. Success. Failure. Poetry. Lend a hand. Touch. Feel. Reach out. Fall back. Fight. Fall. Get up. Start over.


Frost | Pro | Loose | Tikaaa | Kk 82 | It's beautiful | Pro3 | Pavi | That will also evaporate | Jootay | Pakdo | J-Man | Younix? | P | Lefty | Cya | -273.15 K | Sanchali | indiBlogger | Psynite | Wisecrack | Hot pink & bright orange | r^3 | P=S | PN | 1471 | Z | 9.96 | Cows | Mission: Aloo Paratha | Shoelace | Guitarboy | Tu/Se | IBM | Gatterman | Thund3rstruck | Suru | Jack | D | RapidB | Chikapps | Undocumented functions | Shred masterclass | Breakfast | 99 | Rash | 4th std | Dr. MW | P8 | Warrior

[Ordering is random. In case you don't find yourself, ask. I'll tell you which one you are]

Friday, December 24, 2010

Design Patterns Explained


(3000 B.C.) When people first started wearing clothes, they realised that it was not really comfortable. So they tried various designers until one of them (Armani or Versace. I forgot) came up with the idea of using softer fabrics. He decided to call the stuff soft-wear. But due to copyright issues, he had to change the name to software. (Another theory is that people could not figure out which part of the fabric was soft. So they normally said, "Soft? Where?". But question mark was an illegal character, and DOS accepted only 8-letters. So the name 'software' stuck on).

There was fierce competition in the market as more and more 'designs' came out with every fashion week. Soon people realised that they could take whatever was common from other designers' creations, and 'patterns' began to emerge. It was easy to see that this development was seminal for all future work in the field of Software Design Patterns, as we use it till today.

In an effort to create much needed awareness in this field, I have created a condensed list of common patterns in the software world, complete with how to avoid common mistakes, a look at the class diagram, the type of pattern, and a brief description of each pattern. Expert tips and relevant links for further reading have also been included.


Not to be confused with - Adopter

Class diagram -

Type - AC-to-DC

Description - In those days, the concept of electricity was not taught very well in school. So there were a lot of voltage fluctuations. In a spark of genius, one of the interns came up with the idea of using an adapter to partially stabilize the current. The designer resisted a lot, but finally gave in. This led to electrifying results. And it shocked nearly everyone in the audience. A great pattern for any occasion.

(See also - Angelina Jolie)


Not to be confused with - Fridge

Class diagram -
Type - Suspension

Description - It was one of those times when looming deadlines decided what came into vogue. The designer was already knee-deep in trouble. Having only 4 days to come up with something big, he decided to bridge the gap between modern and contemporary. (At that time, the two were different, duh). As fate would have it, it turned out swimmingly. In fact, he achieved mouth-watering results. A great pattern to have in any designer's toolkit.

(See also - River)


Not to be confused with - Commode

Class diagram -
Type - Hygienic

Description - There was a change in management, and the new boss was unfamiliar with GUI. (In fact, he was quite noob with the command line as well, but still..) In any case, he wanted to obtain a commanding position in the market. So he called his employees and told them to be extra-efficient and also ensured that no one was slacking off. The result -- inch-prefect cuts and immaculate stitches. But as everyone was over-efficient, they displayed the creations 3 days before the actual fashion event. And nobody showed up. So they had to change management again. (Note- this pattern is actually a misnomer. Just telling)

(See also - Control, Alt, Delete)

(Abstract) Factory

Not to be confused with - An actual factory

Class diagram -
Type - Expensive

Description - 'Twas the age of getting artistic with everything. A mini-renaissance was in place, as people began to diversify into those who truly appreciated art, and those who were not fatheads. Obviously, though, the former group took over managerial posts. And tried to explain in vague terms to the designers how the designs should be 'abstractly ephemeral' but not 'amorphously evanescent'. (Whatever that meant). In the mean time, a smart programmer wrote a piece of code that used random numbers to mass-produce weird shapes and print them. The managers were impressed, for apparently, that was exactly what they had in mind. This method has ever since been known as the abstract factory. A must-have if you find yourself being managed by people with an IQ of zero (or less).

(See also - M. F. Hussain)


Not to be confused with - Mosquito-weight

Class diagram -
Type - Insectoid

Description - It was one of those bad days for the fashion industry. A model was walking on the ramp when a fly happened to land on her shoulder. Now mathematically, weight_of_fly >> weight_of_model. (Hope you understand the gravity of the situation) The result? Wardrobe malfunction. Since then, it has been made mandatory to make clothes that can withstand a minimum amount of weight, also known as flyweight. This had the masses protest, but it was a necessary thing to do. A great pattern for the whole family.

(See also - Fly wait)


Not to be confused with - Webserver

Class diagram -

Type - Class II Evil

Description - When you have competitors in the market, it is imperative to keep a watch on every aspect of the industry. Even a small thing unnoticed can cost the company. Especially spies. The famous spy, Chloro-fluoro-carbon Bond, was hired by a fashion label to spy on the market leader. In 3 days' time, he came back with full details on the next batch of designs. Having spent very little on R&D, the company rolled out the same designs with exquisitely crafted fabric. Thus, managing to wipe out all competition. Since then nearly all companies have started planting 'observers' in their rivals' company. A crucial pattern. Don't stay home without it.

(See also - Observant, Obmaid)


Not to be confused with - Frock-C

Class diagram -
Type - Representative

Description - Since most of his time was spent in the studio, it was very difficult for him to maintain attendance in class. So this designer did what any student in his place would do. He asked his friends to 'give proxy'. The perfect blend of smart students and dumb professors ensured that he never had to go to college again. What's more, he could focus solely on fashion design. And produced the best of his work in that period. At present, this is one of those patterns that you just cannot afford to miss out on.

(See also - Prox A, Prox B)


Not to be confused with - Union Territory

Class diagram -
Type - Geographic

Description - When faced with the equivalent of a writers' block, one of the designers decided to travel the country in search of inspiration. He travelled many places, trying to imbibe the characteristic qualities of each region. When he got back, he was in a woozy state of mind. In a press statement, he said that he would do something that was never done before. So he categorized all the places he had visited into various states. And made a design on each one of them. Lucky for him, it clicked. Moral of the story? None at all. Still, you just have to have this pattern.

(See also - City, Country)


Not to be confused with - Temspoon

Class diagram -
Type - Culinary

Description - No matter how hard you try, you just always end up arriving a few minutes late. This was the story of an intern who's only problem was just that. But he tried to make up for it by putting in extra effort in everything he did. On the verge of losing his job, he decided to create something that would be so unbelievably good, that he would get instant promotion. Hard-work and diligence paid off. And he got just what he expected -- the Lead Designer's post. Since then, this has been a timeless classic. A pattern that could come in handy in the most untimely moments.

(See also - Temp-ontime, Regular-late)

(Note - If you didn't get the last line for each pattern's description, try to get hold of a copy of Café Coffee Day's gift brochure)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Electricity

In the very beginning, the Earth was a great ball of fire. It used to be very hot back in the days. So nearly all inhabitants used to go to the beach. Then one day, the Earth got frustrated of the routine and wanted out. Although it used to relax by listening to music or by taking a walk, it just got too passé, and downright annoying.

So it decided to chill out. Literally. The Earth's temperature kept dropping till it approached room temperature. But there were very few rooms in those days, so the concept of room temperature was hazy at best. In effect, the temperatures were actually lower than you'd expect. As the temperature approached 0 ºC, the Earth tried to stop cooling further. But due to inertia (yes, Newton's First Law), the temperature kept dropping much below that. This extra cooling had some adverse effects. For example, it led to a war between USA and the Soviet Union, better known today as the Cold War.

Somewhere in the caves, there lived a wise sage. (All sages in history were wise, apparently). So, anyway, this sage predicted this phenomenon, thousands of years after it actually occurred. And people believed that he was great. Even though his predictions should have logically been before things occurred. But no-one ever noticed. He released his predictions in electronic versions. The most important one being about the climate, pompously called the iSage. (Some people mis-spell this till today). And everyone bought newer versions of it even if they were heavily flawed.

One fine day, people realised that our wise sage (let's call him Steve), was only fooling them. They started to question the very fundamental facts based on which other theories were formed. The most important one being -- why do people keep buying iSage? So in all the commotion, one of the people decided to catch everyone's attention. He did this by striking a gong with a stick, thereby creating a loud sound. Today, we know this incident as the Big Bang.

There have been certain controversies surrounding the Big Bang. So I have created this self-explanatory combo-image to help clear the confusion --

(The Big Bang)

See? Good. Now that I've cleared that up, let's continue. So, anyway, one of the people at the scene had brought a cat. The cat got terrified by the sound and jumped up in fear, knocking down its bowl of milk in the process. The owner of the cat was about to feel bad for it, but at the same moment remembered that there was no point crying over spilt milk. So she didn't.

Seeing this, all the Gods were pleased. Even time stood still for a moment. (Normally, Newtonian laws of motion would apply, and time would slow down before coming to a halt. But there was no inertia at that time. Because Newton wasn't born yet. Jeez. Try to keep up.)

As time continued to remain in standing position, said milk was still suspended in the air. And the shape that it formed kind of looked like it was leading to somewhere. So people started calling it the Milky Way.

By now the other planets also got to hear about what was happening on Earth (courtesy- WikiLeaks), and so they all started coming near it, but there was this spoilt son of a rich dad (let's call him Sun), who told everyone to back-off, and stay a few light-years away. Now, at that time, the SI unit system was still under development, so everyone had a different value of 'light-year' in their scientific calculators (later on, this was rectified by Cosmologically Adjusted Singularities & Interplanetary Obfuscations, CASIO for short).

Tired of the lack of organisation in all their affairs, they decided to form a set of rules. They thought about it for a few months, and soon came up with a system that consisted that consisted of sixteen R's. (Ruthlessness, Rice-cakes, Ramifications, something like that). But instead of calling it 16R's, they decided it would be more punk (Punk music was all the rage in those days) to name it in a foreign language. They chose Hindi for its awesomeness, and finally agreed upon the sollah-R system (yet another mis-spelled term till date).

But some people were against the idea of using a non-standard language to define a set of standards as it kinda defeated the purpose a bit. So a few groups were formed that tried to oppose this. This battle slowly escalated into a full-scale inter-galactic war. People formed three major factions based on their purpose for entering the war. There were those who wanted to live (as opposed to die, so seems logical). Another group were neutral to the war, mainly coz they were wimps. And the third, more aggressive faction, consisted of those who had a hormonal imbalance due to a Large Hadron Collider-esque experiment gone wrong, which caused weird genetic mutations. So they all had some kind of ear-like things sticking out of their bodies. They were nicknamed ear-things.

The war lasted for several eons, but no one truly gained the upper hand, so they all had to remain content with the lower one. Eventually, they realised that this was only causing pointless deaths, and decided to call a truce. But someone decided that the least we can do is pay tribute to these brave warriors. And that is why we have live, neutral and earthing in all our wirings even today.

(PS- I might have missed out some minor details about how dinosaurs evolved from bacteria, and human beings evolved from Pikachu, but I'll save it for another post).

[Update- Although vastly unplanned, that post has been published. Click here to read]

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Was trying to listen to myself speak.
She decided to stop talking.

Was trying to listen to the echoes in the distance.
The silence was deafening.

Was trying to look for the light.
The darkness was blinding.

Was trying to count the stars.
The skies were filled with emptiness.

Was trying to laugh with the rest of the crowd.
The loneliness was killing.

Was trying to run away from it all.
Walked right back into it.

Was trying to dream.
The nightmares kept haunting.

Was trying to look for answers.
The questions were overwhelming.

Was trying to look through the haze.
It was all a blur.

Was trying to bear the summer heat.
It was my life's coldest December.

Was trying to live for the moment.
Got lost in the eternity.

Was trying to run in the fields.
The water was too deep.

Was trying to breathe anew.
Watched myself drown to the bottom.

Was trying to go with the flow.
The stillness of the water was rushing.

Was trying to fly away.
The wings were too heavy.

Was trying to clear the dust.
Slowly became one with it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pun Unintended

There are people who are simply obsessed with puns. Real lame ones, at that. Annoying at times, but we all love a good pun. Write?

So here's some instances of me in conversation with professionals in various fields. I was running short on time so mentioned only a few. In the meantime, feel free to add your own in the comments section. (Optional- vote for your favorite ones)

1) Lead Guitarist

(at a shopping mall)

LG - I can't decide which one to buy.
Me - They're both good. Pick any. *grins*

LG - Er..right. I was thinking I'll decide based on which color suits me better. What do you think?
Me - The black. Makes you look sharp. (Hehe)

LG - Will you stop? Please be serious for a minute.
Me - Oh, a little high-strung today, are we?

LG - Now you're overdoing it.
Me - Oh, don't be so picky.

LG - Ok, that was lame.
Me - I know. Not to blow my trumpet or anything, but I'm normally better.

LG - But equally stupid, nonetheless.
Me - I'd pitch in with a suggestion, but now I've lost the mood.

LG - Maybe people would consider you seriously if you were serious once in a while.
Me - I'll make a note of that. *sniggers*

LG - Dude, stop. NOW.
Me - Fine, no matter what I say, my words fall flat anyways.

LG - You are the most annoying person I've met.
Me - On what bass-is do you say that? I'm actually a very warm and chord-ial person.

LG - Now you're REALLY starting to piss me off.
Me - Now, now. Don't fret.


2) Cricketer

(at a bar)

C - Dude, see that girl in red? Boy, is she hot. I want to ask her out. But I think I'll screw it up.
Me - Oh, so you got bowled over by that maiden, eh? (Sorry for the trite remark. I just had to get it out of my system)

C - Well, so to speak. What do I do?
Me - Dude, you're the playa. Go for it. I'll field for you if something goes wrong.

C - But how do I start? What do I talk about?
Me - I dunno. Pick anything vague. Like comic books. See what super-hero she likes. Steer the conversation from there. Maybe she'll talk about Bat-man. (*sneers*) Then show off your batting skills or something.

C - But what if she doesn't like comics? I need to have a backup.
Me - Mm...maybe you can talk about music. Or crack the joke about how you once got drunk and managed to sing at such a 'high' pitch.

C - *gives the how-dumb-do-you-think-i-am look*
Me - Ok, that was a very silly point to make. But dude, she's got fine legs. Don't miss this opportunity.

C - I know, but I'm not going without preparation.
Me - Maybe you could play some fun games with her. Spin the bottle or something.

(This is when I recall that he happens to be a half-decent cook)

Me - Or tell about how awesome a chef you are. Cook up some story. But don't get too saucy. (For someone like me, this was the equivalent of a burst-fire from an M14. Or a 550D)

C - That's like duh.
Me - (on second thoughts) But there's a catch.

C - What?
Me - It could swing either way. Be a little prudent.

C - Yeah, yeah. I know.
Me - I'm thinking I'll stay here. You know, just in case. Plus, there's no need for a third man anyway.

(By now our friend had 'mustard' enough courage)

C - Yeah, I was thinking the same, too. Let's see how it goes. Wish me luck!
Me - Go for it!

(I watch as he diligently obeys my advice)

C - (To girl) Hi, I'm C. (gives brief intro) Do you like comics?
G - Yes, I do! My favorite super-hero is Flash!

C - Cool! Me too! Wait, I'll show you.

(At this point, the bouncer had to step in and take him away. Oh, the irony)

3) Banker

(by the river)

Me - You know, the concept of life has always interest-ed me.
B - Yeah, sometimes I begin to wonder about its intricacies, too.

Me - If you can truly appreciate the tiny things in life, it's really simple, actually.
B - No. I would disagree with you on that one. Nothing can be simplified without compromising the bigger picture.

Me - Life always hangs in the balance. When we begin to question it, I think we make the picture bigger, and disturb it.
B - Actually, the picture was always big. You just never looked.

(By now, B is visibly annoyed)

Me - At this rate, we'll get nowhere. We are both saying the same stuff in circles.
B - Sit alone and contemplate someday. You'll understand what I mean.

Me - I feel loan-ly at times, too. Reminds me -- remember that girl I was talking about the other day?
B - Which one?

Me - The one who lives in the same compound as me. But there's no chemistry. Can you say why? (Double-damage)
B - You know the answer. It lies in what you just said. Look for it and you'll find it. Did she reply to your message?

Me - Wait, lemme cheque. *winks*
B - (infuriated) Oh, shut up.

Me - Ok. You're not in the mood. How about I tell you a joke?
B - How about you don't?

Me - Ok, how did the gummy bears rob the bank, even though they faced a lot of unexpected problems?
B - I dunno. How?

Me - They stuck to the plan. LOL.
B - Jeez. That was lame. Even by your standards.

Me - Well, atleast I cheered you up a bit. You've gotta give me credit for that.
B - Sure.

Me - OMG. I just realised. We are sitting on the bank of the river. Hahahaha.
B - ARRGH...

4) Programmer

(walking on the streets)

Me - Did you close the windows before leaving?
P - Very funny.

Me - Hey! I was serious. Anyways, I compiled a list of jokes just so that you don't get bored.
P - (sarcastically) How can I resist?

Me - What do you call an Indian who likes puns and works for an e-commerce website?
P - Gee. I dunno. 'Sid'?

Me - No. A pun-job-e!
P - Gosh. How creative.

Me - Wait, it gets better. How does Steve Jobs' cat confess to ripping the sofa?
P - Meow?

Me - No. It says- iPaw'd. Get it? iPod? Pawed.
P - Yeah, I get it. Just wasn't funny enough.

Me - Ok this one is MADE for you. How does a humor-blogger format his posts?
P - That's easy. A WYSIWYG editor.

Me - Nah. Using pun-ctuation marks. Haha.
P - Is this the part where I jump off a cliff?

Me - No no. Wait. Maybe you'll like this one. How did the mouse outwit the cat?
P - Is this some kind of tech-thing? Ok I say he used a Mac.

Me - Wrong. He thought of a plan. He kept thinking, and then it finally clicked. LOL.
P - Ok, pretty innovative...NOT!

Me - Ok why didn't my (kannadiga) friend let me use his numpad?
P - Who in their right mind would let you?

Me - Everyone, that's who. But this guy said -- "Nin talle. It's 'num-pad'. Not 'nim-pad'" Hahahaha.
P - I don't get it.

Me - You don't have to. Most of my other readers will. Ok this is totally your level -- In a courtroom, the defendant's lawyer says- "The murder was done with class". To which the other guy says- "I object, your honour"

P - Lame.
Me - That's not even the best part. The judge then gives the murderer a death penalty, and then says- "Oops". ROFL.

P - That doesn't even make any sense.
Me - Ok wait. This guy is standing in a queue, quite listlessly. The man in front says- "Life is like a stack. Don't push it." LMAO.

P - Ok smarty-pants, tell me this -- If life is really an abstract virtual stack. Shouldn't everything be reduced to boolean?
Me - (*smirks*) True.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Stop answering the questions.
Start questioning the answers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

7 Tips For Success

Several people have been hounding me. And several hounds have been asking me for the secrets to my success. And I have finally decided to give in. To the dogs, that is. These are serious tips that you'll notice me using more often than not (more specifically, on all weekends of prime number leap years, barring 1982).

1) Don't Procrastinate

More on this a little later.

2) Lose Weight

Calculate your BMI using the following formula.

mass (lbs) x 4.88
And multiply the square-root of that number by 42. Then lose 19 kilos.

3) Clothes

Clothes have a major impact on your overall image. Dungarees are a strict no-no. Wear a suspender if you must. Wear bright colours. Especially black. It helps hide paan stains. And bird-shit. Also goes well with the orange shoes and the purple stilettos. And a denim jacket. Green. Accessorise with a choice of hot or shocking pink cellphone. Don a hat. But remember to take it off when travelling at the speed of light. (Link)

4) Pretend like you're Undercover

Speak in an undertone. And use phrases like 'Charlie', 'Watch your 6', whilst mumbling to yourself that your geiger count keeps fluctuating due to the weather. Try pressing some buttons on your watch and act disappointed when there is no response. Then make a call on your phone and describe the girl sitting next to you as if she works for Counter-Intelligence. (Personal note- Do NOT interchange the watch and the girl in the previous paragraph)

5) Show off your vocabulary

Some people think that a good vocabulary is the hallmark of a successful person. Take advantage by using words that have a French origin without knowing what it means. Like "I'd like a quiche, but a mélange would suffice for my protégé." Spice up with trite remarks like - "If you know what I mean" and "Get it? Get it?" and sit back and watch their faces look at you with awe. Then go on to say that au contraire, you hate all these clichés, just so that you can show off that little é with the diacritic again. Oh, you sauve little connoissuer, you.

6) Keep it concise

Do not go on and on and on and on rambling about something that you have no idea about without even bothering to put punctuation marks or to stop and think if you're making sense or simply rambling on and on and on going in circles without having points to corroborate your idea making you look like an utter idiot in the process because nobody likes people who talk a lot...and I mean a LOT. Now memorise the above line so that you can use it for those motivational speeches when you run out of juice just when you realise that you have scurvy --

OK speech: "Brevity is the art of talking less and saying more."
Good speech: "Er.."
Excellent speech: ""

8) Gain new perspective

Not everyone is equally fortunate. Learn to see the world through other people's eyes. But don't forget to return them after you're done with it. And try to walk in their shoes for a day. Sometimes there maybe a mismatch in size. In that case insist that they buy you a new pair.

9) Get a haircut

The other day I landed myself in some trouble when my Chemistry prof. noticed that I had an attendance shortage. It was a career-threatening moment, but it was also one that was safely averted thanks to a neat 'job given to me by my barber. Helpful to get you out of those sticky situations, if you know what I mean.

Prof: "I haven't seen you in class too often. You are very irregular"
Me: "No, sir. I just had a haircut"

See? Always works.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Strolling through the woods, in the cool, pleasant breeze,
She reached for the apples, up on the trees,
She tried assiduously, from the morn' to the nigh',
But her legs were too small; the branches too high.

They were happy, she knew, for she watched them chat,
Alone in the corner, by her books, she sat,
Whenever their eyes met; she'd blush, he'd smile,
And then she'd be lost in her dreams for a while.

She sat on the bench, alone, by the creek,
Day after day, week after week,
Waiting for the day he'd notice she cared,
All the time hopeful, all the time scared.

Maybe he'd never see, maybe he knew,
Problems, she had many; friends, but a few,
In her crazy world she was lost, hoping for a guide,
On his shoulders she'd rest, in him she'd confide.

Like a free bird, in the springtime, once she flew,
What happened to her since, nobody knew,
She was being held back; to many a restraint, she was tied,
When asked what was wrong, "I'm fine", she lied.

She controlled her feelings, and hardly spake,
But spent countless nights in bed, awake,
She wouldn't eat anymore, she'd lost her appetite,
She tried to stay strong, "Dont let go, just fight."

But it was never enough, hard as she tried,
So she locked up her room, and endlessly cried,
Alone, she thought, stroking her hair,
Just maybe (perhaps), life isn't fair.

Walking by the sidewalk, as if under a spell,
Her foot missed a step, and acutely she fell,
She writhed in pain, a leg she broke,
She'd stumbled upon something, 'twas a tree- an oak.

Someone came over, and gave her a hand,
He helped her up, as she managed to stand,
She was about to thank him, and gave him a glance,
And at once, she knew- there's always a second chance.

The Lost Key - Part IV

I rushed to the spot where she lay.

"Lily? LILY?", I asked, shaking her frantically.

But she seemed too frail. Chris came over and helped carry her outside. Once we got into the safety of the car, I tried to wake Lily up again, refusing to believe my eyes.

As I sat beside her, holding her hands, I was lost in her memories. The day we first met. They way she smiled even though she didn't want to. Her laugh. There was something about the way she got angry, too. And the way she cried. But those moments were gone forever. Nothing could bring them back.

And then the millions of things I wished I'd told her when I still had the chance began rushing to my head.

In the meantime, the leader of the team in black tried to help our understanding of the situation. He introduced himself as Mike. He was an undercover agent who worked for Area 51. He went on to explain how Luke had hacked into the database of Project Sandstorm, thus giving him access to highly classified information about the Lost Key, as well as on me. And that was how he was able to trace my every move.

But I had lost interest by now. Nothing seemed to matter anymore --

And then Chris put his hand on my shoulder. The three of us had been through all of life's up's and down's. And he understood me well. Better than me, and almost as well as her.

As I drew myself away, my hands felt something in Lily's pocket. I took it out. It was the package. It was badly crumpled up now. On it, were written just two words, in Lily's handwriting-

For you.

I turned it over to see what was inside. The moment I opened it, I could see that it was a powdery substance. But due to my carelessness, it slipped from my hand, and the entire contents were spilt- upon Lily. I quickly tried to collect some of it back, but it was too late.

For, suddenly, all of it had disappeared magically. And the place where it was became aglow with fluorescence. Something was happening. Chris looked at me and I saw that we were equally clueless about the unnatural phenomenon taking place.

And then, unbelievably, Lily's hand twitched. I rubbed my eyes. I must have been hallucinating. And then it happened again. It was subtle yet noticeable. And slowly, Lily rose. Then she hugged me, and started crying. And for the first time in many years, so did I.

As she wiped a tear off her cheek, she managed a smile-

"So, what did I miss?", she asked jokingly.
"Nothing out of the ordinary", Chris grinned.

And she hugged him too, still sniffing.

"So what was in the package?", I asked.
"Well, it was a gift from my mother. It contains nothing. But has the ability to transform to whatever the bearer really wants, as long as he doesn't want to use it."

Mike and the others came over to witness the miracle, but at the exact same moment, Chris had a flash of insight-

"The riddle -- it's supposed to mean something. Mark as equal each and every sine. Of course! The Trinity Dunes. The angle each dune makes to the normal is equal. Now it seems so obvious."

"Yeah, except, not for 'normal' people like us", Lily said jokingly.
I chuckled too, but quickly tried to grasp the seriousness of the situation.

Apparently, it was not too distant, and our only hope was too head straight towards the place.

"Just a minute", Chris said. And he went back into the caves for some reason. When he came back, he had a flaskful of the red liquid with him. "This ought to come in handy for my experiments", he said.

Upon reaching the place, we realised that it was quite, um, deserted. We did a bit of digging around, and stumbled upon an ancient sundial. It bore Mayan characteristics, but seemed too advanced for its time (pun unintended).

"Do you notice anything special about it?", I asked.
"Nope. It seems pretty ordinary to me", Chris replied.
"Then it must have something to do with sundials in general"

"Thats it! The sundial reaches its peak at noon. And then it starts decreasing -- running out of sands of time. It makes sense now", Lily said.

And it did. So we ripped off the attachment on its 12 o' clock position, and saw a metallic disc underneath.

Having no clue as to how we were supposed to proceed, I looked at Chris, hoping he knew something I didn't. Apparently, he did. He opened his flask, and began gently pouring its contents on it. I watched as it effervesced. But that was it. Nothing happened after that.

"Hmm, that's strange. The Elixir is supposed to dissolve all metals. I guess its missing something", Chris said, perplexed.

Lily and I looked at him in silence. And then --

"What's with the grin?", he asked.

"By any chance, is it supposed to contain porcelain?", I asked.
"Let me check."

And he flipped open his PDA, looking for information on the web.
"By golly, it does! How did you know??", he exclaimed.

I just reached into my pockets. And there it was- the missing piece of the puzzle- the cup. I put a piece of it in the concoction, and watched as it turned from red to vermillion, and then to a beautiful crimson.

I decanted the liquid once again. And this time, the metal quickly vaporised.

"Nature's true form- sublime", Lily smiled.

And the ground beneath us split apart to reveal a staircase. We made our way slowly into its depths. Once we reached the bottom, we saw a chamber. And there it was -- adroitly crafted, ornately studded, and safely hidden among the rubble for centuries --

The Lost Key.

the end

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Lost Key - Part III

As the plane screeched to a halt on the runway, I was still lost in thought. Looking back at all that had happened- The dream. The signs. The shootouts. All the time fighting the adrenaline rush. Excited. And scared. It was beginning to get overwhelming now.

"Sid? SID?", said Lily, waving her hand in front of my eyes in an attempt to grab my attention, "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine", I lied.
She wanted to say something, but chose to have her feelings heard by simply giving me the look through the corner of her eyes.

We were interrupted by Chris, who by now had nearly finished unloading the luggage, calling out to us.

As we entered the city, the first thing I noticed was that it was among the best places I'd ever seen. Every aspect of the city reflected their rich culture in one way or the other. The buildings, the streetlamps, and most importantly- the people. Bustling about on the dusty streets, there were people of all occupations, and personalities. Some looked busy. Others cordial. Some dressed in plain white. Others in vibrant splendor. Some laughing. And some sitting quietly in the corner.

Chris managed to spark off a conversation with one of the men, someone who was hooded in black, and glanced suspiciously towards my general direction once in a while. Chris knew roughly where the place was situated, and was inquiring about how to get there. The man recommended that we travel by car, as the roads were pretty rough for a traveler. It was accompanied with a warning to stay away from the place, as legend foretold of grave dangers for those seeking the treasure. Chris then thanked him for the information, and they shook hands as we parted. The hooded figure hurried off into the crowd.

We began our journey towards the Lost Point. As we reached closer, the skies seemed to get murkier, but maybe it was just me.

Upon reaching the place, we were amazed to see the majestic works of art carved on the ornate doors of the structure. I was astounded. And speechless.

I was still gaping at the architectural wonder, when both Lily and Chris indicated that it was time we entered the caverns. As we made our way through the winding maze, it was apparent that numerous attempts had been made to look for the lost treasure. There were marks on the walls and a few of the structural trinkets looked damaged.

As we got deeper into the cave, it became more difficult to breath. We noticed a few arcane symbols and runic figures on the walls in a few places. It seemed like words written in an ancient language in an attempt to convey a message- a warning, perhaps. And suddenly, we reached a dead end.

"This is it", Chris remarked "The place that all adventurers have come to and failed to find any treasure for centuries"
"Let's hope we have better luck than them", I said, breathing deeply.

We started looking around for anything that could hint us towards what to do next. After what seemed like hours of futile effort, Lily stumbled upon something.

"Look at this", she said, pointing towards something drawn on one of the walls.

Among the many symbols that we came across, this one was different- it was exactly the same as the one on the Key. Suddenly, I felt a surge of excitement flow through me. I hurriedly took out the key, and confirmed that the symbols matched.

But we had no idea how to proceed from there. We tried pressing on the symbol, tapping the wall for a secret brick, and even made the Key and the wall coincide exactly, but to no avail. Just as I was about to give up, Lily made another astonishing discovery. Most of the symbols seemed to be facing towards the east, north or south. This was the only one that faced west.

"Brilliant! But what could that signify?", Chris asked.
"I don't know. Maybe we should see what it's looking at", she replied.

And we tried to look for any aberrant feature on the wall directly opposite to it. There was nothing except a few simple shapes etched on it- squares, circles, and the like. We tried to make something happen with the new set of symbols, but it seemed hopeless.

And then, in a spark of genius, Lily said, "The riddle!"

"What about it?", I asked.
"The first line- it translates to- when you need to cross the line"
"Well, haven't we already?"
"No, you silly. The line! The one on the wall. Cross it out. Do it now!"

And we rummaged for a sharp object, and made a cut across the line, crossing it out. In a few seconds, the adjacent wall caved in, revealing a secret passage.

"Lily, you're a genius!", Chris exclaimed.
She looked at me and we just exchanged a brief smile.

And then we proceeded towards the secret passage.

"Very clever, but I'm afraid this is as far as you'll get", a sharp, cutting voice spoke.

We turned around, and were shocked to see who the voice belonged to- Luke. I wondered how he managed to track us down, but my question was answered immediately, as I saw the man in the hood who gave us directions to the place, standing in the background.

"Now be good kids, and hand over the Key to me", he said, coolly.
"No way!", Lily said, eyes bloodshot with anger.
"How sweet, but unfortunately, I get to decide what you can or cannot do", he said, forcefully grabbing the Key from my hands.

We watched helplessly as he approached the massive gates of the chamber, and began unlocking it with the Key. But he couldn't.

"Is this some kind of a joke?", he raged. "This is not the right Key. Tell me where you are hiding the real one"
"Honestly, this is the Key. The one I saw in the Dream", I said, shaken aback.
"Do you think I'm a fool?"
"Well, you definitely look like one", I wanted to say, but didn't. Instead, I gave him a cold stare.

He ripped something from the wall and flung it in disgust. It bounced off the wall, and landed into what seemed like a pail of reddish potion. It then started bubbling, and within seconds, it had dissolved completely.

"That must be the Elixir of Quathemuc", Chris whispered into my ear, "it can dissolve any metal known to man, and has many other magical properties"

"The boy lies. Lock them up until he decides to tell the truth", Luke hollered.

His henchmen tugged at us forcefully, and began dragging us towards the exit. As they reached the end, we saw a group of people clad in black overalls making their way in. Before anyone could react, they opened fire on the thugs, and we crouched for cover. Luke and his men took out their guns as well, and there was an exchange of bullets.

"Go. We'll cover you", said one of the men.

And we dashed towards the exit. I looked back to see what was going on in the melée. I heard a muffled gunshot. And watched as a body gracefully fell towards the floor in slow-motion.

Lily was dead.

to be continued

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Lost Key - Part II

We found ourselves in a desolate area. It had a contemporary feel, as well as a rustic charm, at the same time. Chris was driving. He was our good friend. Emanating an aura of calmness, he was simply a genius. He knew something was amiss for a while now. And when he got to know that the heat was on, he came to our place right away.

"Nice timing", I said.
He simply smiled.

"Will someone tell me what the hell is going on here??", Lily asked.
"I'm sorry I had to keep you in the dark, dear, but I assure you, that soon, it'll all be clear"

So once we got to his room, I began narrating my story to both of them. Although I could not remember everything clearly, I told as much as I could remember from the dream-

"I was walking in a garden, surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful flowers. A light drizzle was pouring intermittently, the entire experience being truly surreal, as a whole. Just as I began admiring the beauty of nature, the clouds suddenly parted, the garden disappeared, and I found myself in the middle of a desert.

I walked around for what seemed like hours, looking for any form of life, and more importantly, for any signs of water. As the little remaining energy was drained out of me, I collapsed into the sands.

As the light before my eyes slowly began to fade, an old man seemed to materialise out of the dust. I looked up at him, shielding my eyes from the glare of the sun, and then he spoke-

When you are forced to overstep the line,
And you start running out of the sands of time,
Mark as equal each and every sign,
To reveal nature's true form- sublime.

And then he turned into a crow, and soared away into the distance"

Then I summarised what had transpired during the day. Apparently the guy chasing me was a guy named Luke, a renowned hacker and a criminal mastermind. When I finished, Chris asked me to show him the Key. I took it out from my pocket and let him examine it.

"You see this?", he asked, drawing our attention to some sort of mythical creature etched onto the key, "this is the symbol for Xia'n, one of the Gods that the Mayans worshipped- it's a Raven- and that's what you saw in the dream"

"Everything you've told me hints towards the Lost Point. Legend has it that there exists a place deep in the Mayan lands, that is said to contain unforetold treasure. He who seeks to find it, will realise that his efforts shall bear no fruit, unless God himself conspires to hand it over. Xia'n had been banished from the land for trying to oppose the law that had stood the test of time for eons."

"This place is now somewhere in the middle of Phoenix Islands. But the exact location has remained a mystery ever since. Now all we have to do is figure out what the old man's riddle means."

Lily, who was good with puzzles, tried to analyze all that she had heard. After a few silent minutes, she said, beaming-

"Well I may be wrong, but I think I know what it means"
"Go ahead, tell us", I said, hopeful that she had some solid theory.

"Well the first line probably refers to the fact that you were forced into this situation, out of your home. The second line says that you are short on time, which is true because that Luke guy is out to get you. The remaining parts just say that you must consider all the clues, and pay equal attention to all details, to reach the treasure you are looking for!"

"Good theory, I said, but can it really be that simple?", I asked, skeptically.
"Well it's your best bet", Chris interrupted.

After a moment of silence, he saw that we all passively agreed.

"So I guess Phoenix Isles it is. Let's make a start", Chris said.

"Are you serious? You wanna go chasing after some unknown treasure based on some random dream I had?", I asked, still shocked.

"Well, technically, it's not random" he replied, with a smile.

At that point I knew exactly what he meant, and we set off on his chartered plane to Mexico.

to be continued

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Lost Key - Part I

The moment I woke up, I knew something was wrong. I looked around the room for a clue. There were books lying strewn across the floor. The table lamp was still on. My laptop had gone into sleep mode. There were signs of a frantic search for something. But I couldn't remember what it was, and whether or not it was found.

Lily was still asleep. The curtains were half-drawn, and the sun's rays gently kissed her face. I felt like I could look at her all day.
And then there was a shuffle of footsteps. Loud noises came from the hallway outside. Someone seemed to be shouting out orders in a foreign language. And then it hit me. The dream. Something told me to believe my instincts. I had to react quickly. So I woke Lily up, who was oblivious to the situation at hand, and protested-

"What happened? Are you OK? Where are we going?"
But there was no time to explain. I stuffed some of my essentials into my pockets, the others into my backpack, and we rushed towards the fire exit, that led up to the roof.
And at that exact moment, there was a sound of a door breaking. And through the corner of my eye, I could see a handful of people with guns.
"They're getting away!", one of them said.
"Dont let them!", said the other. (Guess who's the smart one. Hint- Neither)
And they opened fire. One of the bullets narrowly grazed past my jeans. But we managed to make it out alive. Atop the roof, there seemed to be nowhere to go. The main road on three sides, and rows of buildings on the other. And then the craziest idea occured to me-

"Jump", I said.
"What? Have you gone insane?"
"Just do it..there's no other choice"
And we both decided to jump to the adjacent roof. She went first. Although was terrified, she managed to make a sketchy landing. I was about to jump next. But then I stopped. The cabin on the roof-top. The door was still ajar. I ran in, opened the cupboard, and searched through the clothes.
And there it was- the Key.
I kept it in my pocket, and made a run for my life. By this time the gunmen caught up with us, and my leap of faith was interrupted by a gunshot- this time it was my hand. I felt a strong numbing pain, but there was no time to lose. So I jumped across. And we both dashed for the exit.
We ran down the stairs, three at a time.
"What the hell is going on here?", Lily asked.
"I'll explain later, honey, trust me", I replied.
She nodded her head, but didn't seem to be satisfied.
Once we reached the ground floor, we saw that there were guards all around. Just when I was about to give up hope-
"In here!", she shouted, pointing towards the ladies' toilet.
Now on any other day, I wouldn't have agreed. But today was definitely not 'any other day'. So I followed her inside. On the way, I saw an empty cup of tea.
I knew I'd seen it somewhere. Either way I knew it was one of the pieces of the puzzle, so I pocketed that as well.
She ran in, and grabbed what seemed to be a small uneven package from under the sink. Then she clambered out the window, and beckoned me to come.
So we both jumped outside, and were about to decide what to do next, when we heard footsteps in the distance- the gunmen were hot on our heels.
Just as all hope seemed to be lost, a black Mustang GT screeched to a halt near us.
"Get in" the driver of the car said.
And we did just as asked, zooming off into the distance, leaving the henchmen in the dust.

to be continued

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ring Out The Old

Worked on the blog the whole day today.

I've received quite a few comments about the theme's murkiness. So changed it.
I know this theme is not me, but its experimental- for a change.

Tried to add the share and like buttons. Had to fix some random XML errors that crept in. But finally I guess I've managed something not too shabby.

And after all that hard work, I realize that blogger now supports share buttons by default. Which apparently I can't use anymore because I manually edited the theme file. Guess I'm stuck with this for a while.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Listening to music.
Earphones plugged in.
Walking on the road.
Cool breeze blowing across my face.

The whole world going in one direction.
And me in the other.

I just love this feeling :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Unforgettable Answers

Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: “Tee hee, Brutus.”

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies,comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Romeo’s last wish was to be laid by Juliet.

Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is In the East and the sun sets in the West.

Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.

Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long.

Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen.” As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted “hurrah.”

Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn when the apples are falling off the trees.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Just woke up from a dream.

Life has a peculiar way of telling things. You never know what’s waiting around the corner. When everything seems to be against you, when all seems lost, the happiest-moment-of-your-life happens. It surprises you right when you least expect it. That’s life.

It is important to realize that the good and the bad go hand in hand. For it is impossible to appreciate that which is good, if you have no clue what its like to manage living with difficulties.

Sometimes we fail to notice the small things in life. The things that we take for granted. But how often do we pause to think of the people who make it possible, and the sacrifices they make for us? Friends, siblings, parents – people who make an impact in nearly all aspects of our lives, slowly turning into an integral part of it, yet remaining largely unnoticed.

Reflecting on this greatly increased my respect for them. And I stopped looking at the bad- the times when they hurt me(but didn’t mean to), and started to look at all that they do for me, without expecting anything in return. And I’ll never understand how they can put others’ happiness before their own.

Just woke up from a dream.

And then it hit me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Do love songs make more sense if you're in love?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Screams and Whispers

Gunshots in the distance,
Blood on my hands.

Walking alone in the moonlight.

Whispers in the dark,
Screams in silence.

Drops of rain on the window,
Lightning storms in the sky.

So many things to do,
Such little time.

Dreaming of bliss,
Waking up from a nightmare.

Helping others smile,
Crying in the corner of the room.

All the time in the world,
Nothing to do at all.

Gunshots in the distance,
Blood on my hands.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Traces of Desire

"Thanks a lot”, she said.

"You’re welcome”, I replied.

And that smile told me something I had never realized before- she knew me much better than I thought she ever would.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

42.3% of all statistics are made up.