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First snow!

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Being from a place with tropical weather patterns, the first midwest winter has been quite an experience. Only one thing… 6 months and I’m still not comfortable with the Fahrenheit scale, and probably will never be.

Anyway, here’s a couple of pictures from the day of the first proper snowfall here, which was roughly two weeks before Christmas. In about 2 days it snowed 18 inches and if I’m not wrong, it was like the highest in the last 10 yrs or something in St. Cloud.

I took my bike out a few days after this and… ah well, was really fortunate not to take a tumble on the treacherous snow. Beginner’s luck, maybe!There hasn’t been much snowfall since then and the average temperature has been about -10, but next week it’s supposed to be cold and snowy. Tough luck, the school also had to reopen next Tuesday.

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The Journey: part 1

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I used to workout back in college earlier this year, but got off the grind for around 3-4 months this year. And being an endomorph, I’d finally ended up gaining 25 lbs by the end of August. I started working out again and after a bit of experimenting, I think I’ve settled down to a stable 5-day-a week routine for the last couple of weeks. It looks somewhat like this now:

Monday-

Chest: Bench press- normal (12-10-8-6), incline (12-10-8), decline (12-10-8). Dumbbell fly (3×10).

Triceps: Rolling dumbbell extensions (3×10), Skull crushers (12-10-8-6), Kickbacks (3×10), Triceps rope pushdowns (burn set 1×40)

Tuesday-

High Intensity cardio: (Stationary bike) 3 min warmup, 7 min 45/15 relax/sprint ×7, 10 min steady-state, 10 min 60/60 relax/fast ×5, 3 min cooldown.

Wednesday-

Back: Romanian deadlift (12-12-10-10), Bent over rows (3×10), Seated cable rows (12-10-8), One-arm dumbbell rows (12-10-8-6)

Biceps: Dumbbell curls (3×10), Inclined dumbbell curls (3×10, 1×8 max), Pinwheel curls (3×10), concentration curls (burn set 1×40 on each hand)

Thursday-

Legs: Squats (10-8-6), Leg press (12-10-8), Leg curls (12-10-8), Thigh extensions (12-10-8), Seated calf extns (20-15-12)

Shoulders/ Traps: Back shrugs (3×10), Side shrugs (3×10), Arnold press (12-12-10-10), Dumbbell side raise and front raise (alternate 8 reps ×3)

Friday-

Interval cardio: 15 mins core circuit, 10 min ab circuit, Stationary bike: 10 min steady-state, 8 min 60/60 relax/fast ×4, 2 min cooldown.

At first my weight stayed about the same for a bit more than a month, and then from 2nd week of  October till now (about a month and a half) I’ve lost about 8 lbs. Hopefully I’ll reach my target weight by March/April. Because of the grad student lifestyle and the food-habits of an Indian it’s not easy to count calories, but I try to keep an approximate idea always. I’m also trying to keep a couple of partial fast days each week (and a cheat day \m/), and, they do seem to work.

Anyway, I’ll post updates in maybe a fortnight or so. Wish me luck burning till then!

Kindle FTW \m/

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First there were books… loads and loads of books and us bookworms to devour them. Then came Kindle, but still there was darkness. And then God (I mean, Amazon) said “let there be light”, and there it was… the Kindle Paperwhite- Amazon’s LEGEN-wait-for-it-DARY e-book reader with built-in lighting.

Seriously, I’m bowled over. Even in my first flight to US with limited luggage and all that, I carried about 7-8 books with me, but those days are over finally. Maybe I’m so ecstatic because it’s my first e-reader, but I can’t help it. The display is crisp, and yes it does ‘read like paper’ like Amazon advertised. I almost felt like turning a page while reading it on the night I got it! There are some people complaining about dark smudges and the lighting not being even in the bottom of the screen, but I’d say it’s a first-world problem. You can adjust the light, and if it blends with the ambient light the screen looks very even.

The storage seems a tad less at 2GB, but believe me, for e-books they’re quite a lot. And of course you’ve got the cloud with 5GB free storage! There is one more caveat if you might call it… there’s no extra storage option, i.e. SD/microSD slots. Other than that, two-thumbs-up! It’s a bliss 🙂

Comeback!!

Seriously, I never thought I’d make it.

At first simply I was lazy. Then busy. But I did miss writing. Hell, I haven’t written for a long time. So much has happened! Of course I’m not going to drone on and on about that. Told you, I AM lazy.

ANYWAY, let’s start this journey over. Once again.

Pyaar ka Punchnama

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Statutory warning: I’ve never been in a ‘relationship’, whatever that means. So, proceed at your own risk. Girls, don’t argue without logic, you’ll surely get blasted. Guys, opinions are welcome.

 

Good one. Such a movie was badly needed… by the men, for the men, about the men. We are like this only 😛

Guy 1: saale mere paas kya ladkiyon ki gudaam khula hua hai?

Guy 2: by God, hota to kitna achha hota!!

or

(as part of the famous ‘dimaag ki dahi’ dialogue)

Guy 1: … Incident hoga aaj, aur jhagra hoga 2 mahine baadTu unse koi argument nahi jeet sakta. Kyunki hum sense aur logic se kaam lete hai, aur unke paas sense jaisi bekaar cheez ke liye time hi kahan hai! Aur baat karte kart ek baar ungli uthaya, to gaya. Bhaad me jaaye jhagra, bhaad me jaaye sense, isiko lekar ek issue khada kar degi, “HOW DARE YOU POINT A FINGER AT ME??”

Guy 2: Ye ungliwala baat mere saath bhi hua tha!

Guys, watch this, and BEWARE. Of course there is a lot of exaggeration, but then, these things do happen in reality. God forbid may none of us be among such unfortunate ‘Girlfriend ke kutte’ or ‘joru ka gulaam’, but believe me, there are lots of such hopeless bums out there.

Moral of the story: DON’T be a doormat, it sucks. Don’t let them take you for granted. Don’t compromise… make sure you have the respect you deserve as a part of the couple. And if it doesn’t work out, don’t hanker around, because she’s not worth it. Have the courage to walk away… or do you expect us to believe the shit that you won’t get a better girl than her in your whole life?

Bangalore weekends 1: the four towers

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After one-and-half days spent inside train, finally reached Bangalore from Delhi. Took an auto then to reach Anindya da’s place at CV Raman nagar. Discovered I’m the kid among their whole gang. It was first decided that we’ll go watch ‘Hangover – 2’ and ‘Ready’ (yes, the Sallu one) back to back, and then a dinner somewhere outside.

“OK, so it’s 15 to 5, and the first show starts at 5:30. Let’s get ready in 15 mins. It won’t be a problem to reach the plex in time by auto.” Anindya da (from here on, A) said. I dunked a batch of clothes in the washing machine, slipped into a pair of jeans and was ready to run in 5 mins flat. And there was Dipayan da (from now on D), searching for some documents in A’s room to scan, Subho da (S) doing baje bhaat with Munna da (M) in the balcony, and A calling Riddhi da (R) asking him to come to a bar in what sounded like half an hour.

arey, what happened to the movies plan??”

-“Well movies can wait, and at this pace anyway we can’t make it by 5:30. For now we’re going to a beer bar”, A replied.

Fine, welcome to the world of working-youth-weekend-lyad.

… … …

Myself, S, and D reached Jimi’s in Indiranagar by auto at about 15 mins to 6. R was already halfway through his first drought beer and A had just ordered a Cappuccino, and a Chicken Nacho after reaching there ahead of us in his bike. It turned out that I and R knew each other by face because he was in ISI for a couple of years doing his M.Tech. The first tower of beer was ordered, and since A turned teetotaler that night for some unknown reason, we the remaining four had the job of going through it.

Halfway through the first mug a ginger cat came from nowhere and sat beside me. Hardly you see a cat such amorous (?!), ready to be cuddled. It reminded of my Ponchu. It’d be another long 5 Bangalore weeks till I see him again. As for this one, it got some cuddles, gave some purr and then nonchalantly got up and went around the bar. Talk about cats being khamkheyali, but stray cat in a bar??

“Know what, I haven’t had a drop of water since morning”, R told us.

– “Post it in Facebook, and see the likes and comments flowing”.

the discussion was meandering in such arbitrary directions when we ordered our second tower, and I noticed on the plasma tv Federer leading Nadal 3-0 in the first set of French Open final. Just when we started discussing about the match and that shapely girl in white sitting in the sofa in front of the tv and the abundance of Bengalis in this city, the waiter came up and offered us in, guess what, Bengali if we want to come inside, into a room, complete with sofas, beanbags and  a plasma tv. Of course we want to! Overjoyed and full of enthu, a perfectly sober A tripped on the floor somehow, flailing a sandal 2-3 steps behind, while rushing inside to get hold of one of the beanbags. Once inside, though, lyad set in like a dose of Morphine and soon we were making plans to come to this place every once a while.

… … …

I’d been an admirer of Federer since long, and one cannot but marvel at the man’s artistry. Still, he had no answer to the ruthless Rafa. Nearly each game was getting dragged to deuce. Rafa won the first set 7-5 after trailing 1-4. He finally went on to win the match in 4 sets, absolutely decimating his adversary’s swiss elegance in the last set. Meanwhile we finished another pitcher and moved on to our third tower, hounding through a plate of kebabs and two french fries. Some dizziness was setting in, and of course the bladder was getting overworked (2 outings already), when finally Meta da and Gunda da arrived at around 10. Finally a couple of Pork ribs, and something else I don’t remember, were ordered. D convinced the hotel owner at 11 that 6 people can finish a tower in 15 mins, and so the fourth tower was called in.

The benevolent waiter turned out to be from Barasat, and his name was Sudam I guess. We took his cell number and promised to call him later to reserve the room for us. By 11:15 it was closing time of the bar, and we were politely shooed out. Each were given a plastic glass to take away his remaining share of beer. Barring A, all the others were doing bhaat over the now considerable stupor when we saw a patrolling van pass. I was just hoping against hope that  the police didn’t see us when they pulled back, stopped and started shouting. Holding on to dear life we ran inside a side-road, and finished our glasses. Meta da went with gunda da, R went with D to the latter’s flat, and S and me returned in A’s bike.

Thus ends the story of the first weekend in Bangalore. It was really welcome break from the Delhi heat… the weather’s awesomely pleasant. Anyway, it was a start to remember… the story of the four towers.

… … …

… … …

P.S. As A tells in the comment, we do have a correction here. It was actually FIVE towers, not four. It’s a pity I lost count!!

Procrastination

Ah well, where does it come from? The more I think that I’d write here regularly, without failure, the more someone seems to hold me back. I know I write well, but… it’s simply laziness. So, no apologies for not updating here, no nothing!

I’m presently in Bangalore, doing an internship in my summer break. Here though I am, the mind seems to wander about in a lot of places. The last 3-4 months have been quite eventful in my, well, procrastinate life… in fact these have been a few days to remember, definitely. Renewed hopes, new ambitions, new people… I AM enjoying the journey.

Out of home for just over a month now. Been to Delhi for the first 3 weeks… couldn’t go around the city (for what else but procrastination!), but still managed to make trips to Jaipur and Agra! Seems there is really a lot to write, at last. About these places, about Bangalore, about the awesome weekends here, about the world I’ll be going back in 4 weeks. Yes, finally I’ll be writing, again.

Of Cupid and Hoodlums: You and Us

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(for ‘Raman Effect’, the wall mag in the hostel)

OK guys, so what have you been up to in the last year?  Much traffic has flown through the B.T. road (alas, no nearby river to refer) since the last ‘Of Cupid and Hoodlums’, a couple of ‘Ripples’ being held since as well. And none of you dedicated anything to ‘her’? Ah yes, now you’ll tell me that I advised you last time to follow the middle path by being balanced in line maarna, but c’mon, spare a thought for the audience. Play to the galleries at least once in a while, otherwise what will I write about??

Of course it takes only two to tango, but you can’t ignore the fact that without the third person plural number, it’s nothing… only a ‘spark in the dark’ (eh? eh??). So you should shed some light on yourselves, otherwise, suddenly out of nowhere you two will find yourselves being hunted by a horde of overenthusiastic (B/L)hostellers. You might argue for the sake of privacy, but I say you’ll get that anyway by being brave and somewhat clear because we get more interested the more you act coy about it.

Sample this. You go out with her on panchami night along the raaste inside Bonhooghly, later you are heard inside the hostel… no problem. But why deny it flatly when asked later? Why why, aisa why?? That brings me to ‘Cry Cry’ of course… a perfect example of what the crowd is capable of! It’s still beyond my comprehension. Coming back to you two, eventually the cat did come out of the bag during the tour in winter, and now you have to act incognito in the mess and have your ‘us’ time cataloging books in the English library. Of course don’t think that we are complaining… at least the library is opening everyday now! Gone are the days of ‘P.S. I Love You’, and we know that, however much you want to marginalize it.

Outside they’ve got gossip mags, and inside we have our very own ‘Sansani…’. A section of the crowd loves it, and the other section loves to hate it, but can’t ignore it. Thanks to Fb, news (fact or fiction) travels real fast now, like uncannily correlated pieces of information about the penguin couple, or personally taking care to add your ‘special one’ to the group… nothing escapes our notice. So why not come out with it? After all there’s always the possibility of your being ‘committed’ officially getting celebrated by batchmates, complete with cakes and all. Remember, we’re always there for you… like those bhaats during dinner in the mess or umpteen late nights of ecstasy, when we sympathized with your grief-stricken soul unable to make out what more you should do to win her over (it’s a different matter that you left us wondering exactly how much you did till then on that front), provided you with ‘expert’ advices and ideas about SMS-ing, yet had the goodwill to restrain you when you offered to take a (supposedly) fellow aashiq of hers (again, eh???) to go and give her a kiss.

Look, you need to be cool… as cool as the junior cucumber. So what if we compare the dancing styles of you two or have to wait for half an hour in the tour bus? Just take care of your Prem ki Naiyya! So what if we turn up at your door for class notes, in the middle of you teaching Galois theory? Just open the door and give the copy! So what if we hover around with cell-phone cams in hand? Just go and play carom with her! Fear not brother, we won’t be ruining your romance… that is for sure. We might be a tad overenthusiastic, because we’re always searching for that next scoop of gossip, and we LOVE to see you getting pissed off… oh yeah! But one thing’s for sure, hum log dil se achchhe hai. Who knows, by mistake sometimes we might act as loveguru as well, and give your prowess a welcome shot in the arm. After all, ‘United we stand, divided we fall’, Tai na??

I can’t write

I’m really devoid of ideas, that’s why it was a desperate measure to write this… something, at least SOMETHING, for my blog. Ah well, I don’t know what’s happening, but I’m behaving a bit too much tranquil nowadays. See, again my mind went empty… it’s only that freewriting requires writing without stopping is the reason that I’m writing WHATEVER is coming to my mind.

Exam over, have been reading books the whole weekend, battery fully charged, yet… don’t know. Somewhat a lack of motivation which I can’t really come in terms with. Okay okay, maybe it does have a reason and I know it, but i myself am ashamed to accept that. I should’ve dealt with it long long ago, but it’s becoming a baggage… a baggage i DON’T want. There’s a desperate way to relieve it, but that needs a proper initiation, which in itself is the big problem. It’s like… there are two parts in me, one wanting to run away from all this and start afresh, knowing that ‘I’ll do it, my way’, but another part, constantly dragging on, happy to carry the baggage. It’s this one thing in which i’m utterly, hopelessly confused. Maybe it’s natural if you keep some business unfinished… and I hate that.

I know i’ve changed, and the people around me know that, too. Changed in a good way, and though there are effects of this that are not entirely helping me in the current situation, i’m not really unhappy with the change. I think I’ve grown up a bit… and of course i’m not going to tell you how. But yet, somehow, somehow I keep getting the feeling that all this does not matter unless… unless I relieve my baggage. There’s an easy way, to run away from this, but am afraid that’s not going to happen it near future. As i told, it’s pretty hopeless. I know i must find a way, but don’t know how. Someone has to get the ball rolling.

The journal of Ace: #1- The initiation

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Hi, man! I’m Ace, writing in a diary for the first time so you probably don’t know me as well. I’m a student of ***, class 12… you know, serious stuff! Got a lot of friends including you (I hope)! I don’t really know what to write in a diary, so hope you can help me.

Actually I’m pretty psyched about a proposal that I’m thinking of making. I can’t decide whether to go on or not. Pretty stupid, nah? Maybe if I tell you the facts then you can decide. Well, her name is Nisha. She’s the same age as I am, a master at computers, not too beautiful but sexy, great figure… you know the lot! She’s very conservative, kinda so I don’t know how she’s gonna react. I know her from class 10 at Apex. Actually, she sat in front of me in an exam and asked me how to do a sum which I couldn’t. I was pretty much the boss around there and this really impressed me. I asked her to get my marks for the last test, and on that behalf took her phone number (nice, nah? thanx!). Then she and I became kinda friends and used to talk sometimes. In fact, I first befriended her to get at Ajay, who had a crush on her. Asshole, that jerk even went out with her. Then we talked for the first time, at night and got to know each other as well. She told me a lot about herself and me about myself.

We even planned our marriage (just kidding, of course!).. in fact, we pledged ourselves to each other in marriage when I’m 27 and she 26 (she’s 2 days younger than me). We even used to kiss each other good night on the phone, but… you know, this was all in kidding. We were never really serious about each other. But know i felt some kind of thoughts (sic) for her. I always used to say there’s nothign such as love. Well, I don’t know.

The thing that really keeps me back from proposing is that our friendship will break if she refuses. That would really break me into pieces. Is this love? Nah! I wouldn’t fall in love. I’m Ace, THE Ace, you know. The great Ace, but… the in-love Ace ??

 

dilettante says:

nothing special yet. Usual things… the initial dilemma, the male ego all in place. Ok, we’ll see…