Sunday, December 30, 2007
The festive season isn’t what it used to be. Good thing, say the PYTs. Gmph, say I. Muchly disappointed that we can’t order a truck-load – truck-load? Not even a head-load! – of authentic mince pies. Blitzed by hoardings and full-page ads about parties on New Year’s Eve. Confused about where and when The Gang assembles. Aching from misguided efforts towards the corpore sano … oh, OK, can’t blame that on the season, it’s a year-round constant.
WHY must ALL ads for these parties feature LARGE pictures of nekkid (well, almost) women? Are they trying to attract hormone-driven male teens who’ll shell out 3K to see skin? Do women form no part of their target audience? How do these joints think they measure up on the value-for-money angle? Face it, the bug-eyed male they’re aiming at could probably get far more direct satisfaction for the same amount of money. Beats me. A young friend (who is not unknown in the blog rajya) pointed out that the clubs, at least, also hold the promise of PYTs in TLDs (Tiny Little Dresses). I suppose that holds some appeal. Me, I knew I was old and past it on
As for ourselves, we shall aggregate (a) selves, to wit, about 30 people who have been there, done that and don’t want to go there again, thank you (b) booze, with due attention to Smirnoff green apple and (c) food, large amounts, duhleeshus, from Bengal Club. We shall then hie ourselves to the terrace of a friend who combines the tools for a bonfire with the skills for a barbecue, where we shall stuff and irrigate ourselves till sleep overtakes us. Since we shall play our own music and not be at the mercy of some baseball-capped DJ who insists on playing house / HNeemesh, we might even Dance. All in all, a plan.
Pity about the mince pies, though.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
There are a lot of helpful comments on the last post. Thank you very much, kind people. I shall respond to each individual in turn when I feel like a human being again (and not a rat’s breakfast. Don’t ask. If you’re on the platform at Mughalsarai Junction at half two in the morning waiting for
I have not as yet bought a laptop. But I HAVE witnessed a superb spectacle. Now if only we Indians had sense enough to MARKET this …
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
In my-y-y life ...
Dependence. Realised once when the object of dependence is gone, realised again when a poor substitute arrives.
Laptops. My first, back in 2001, was a big clunky tank of a Thinkpad, shaped like a mini-bar and twice as heavy. I lived with that machine for nearly 4 years, carried it to just about every major city in this country and some cities outside. Plugged in what used to be called an air-card, stayed connected (as some of you might vouch) from
The Tank eventually gave way to a sleeker Thinkpad. With a touch pad. There’s life outside the track pointer!? Glory Hallelujah! I was converted within a week. Week? It took a day. So fickle are we, so quick to luxury. I sneered at that little nub that had been my support for years. But T2 and I were not long for each other. In two months, I changed assignments and bid her adieu.
In the next office I was Shown a Laptop. Such a laptop, O citizens of the cyber-world, such surpassing grace! A sleek metal shell with nary a straight line, blinking lights, a low businesslike hum … it might have got a featured role in Star Wars, it might even have made a pass at R2D2. It was a Character. But it was not a functioning laptop. I’d power it up, go into a meeting, come back and clear my mail, have a cup of coffee, finish a few phone calls – then check to see whether it had got around to asking for the password. It was the Ultimate Babu – solid, slow, dim-witted, contrary, unable to adapt (no DVD drive, ONE USB port?) and No Bloody Use.
There was a story behind that machine. Apparently my predecessor in that office had Attended an International Seminar. (Held in
Thus it came to pass that I was saddled with that Thing.
Out of evil cometh good, for the sheer awfulness of it goaded me to look for a new laptop. Which was how I came to find Penelope. Ah, Penelope, love of my life etc. (J. Humbert Prufrock?) Light, good-looking, easy to use and above all good to me, she was a Toshiba M300 Portege. We were together for two years until I switched to my present assignment. When I handed her over I saved her soul on three separate hard drives, but woe is me, I can never have her body again. (This is about as carnal as a middle-aged bureaucrat can get.)
My next was a Sony Vaio. Very posh, all mod con except maybe hot and cold running water and a back scratcher, but it Lacked Soul. I always had a sneaky feeling that it secretly sneered at me because I never played Halo or set up a video conference on it. Face it, a Vaio’s great for graphics and multi-media, it has major snob value, but it makes little sense for a dinosaur like me. When it was stolen last October, my sense of loss was tinged with a faint relief.
So now I’ve raided the office store and dusted off this Thinkpad. It’s bigger and heavier than the Tank (with a screen I could hire out to INOX) and only marginally faster than The Thing, but I’m grateful that I have SOMEthing to keep me company over the morning coffee until I can get a replacement.
Which brings me to what B.W. Wooster might, with his usual twittering brevity, term the res, the nub, the gist, the crux of the matter. What should I buy? The Toshiba M500 Portege would be the obvious choice, but it’s way too expensive. Poor value for money. Sony is out for much the same reason. HP have a couple that come close to my specs, but they’re heavy. The IBM X series are in there, but they don’t customize. Dell have put together an offer, but they’re trying to push a Latitude 430 – it’s light and small, but it has a 1.2 Ghz processor, no built-in optical drive and reviews say it super-heats to about 60 Celsius. I’m too old for Half-burnt Hams, thank you very much.
So where do we go from here? I use the laptop for (loads of) documents, the occasional presentation, photo-dumping, the Net and once in a long while, an in-flight movie. Which means I need a stable system (enough RAM), a fast but not super-fast processor, all the slots and ports possible, mid-range graphics and decent sound in a LIGHT package. Since I have a ginormous flash drive for data back-up, the optical drive can be external (translation – it can go in my checked baggage and not cripple my shoulder). Budget is not really a constraint, but it wouldn’t hurt if it came cheap.
Suggestions, wise people?
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Coming soon ...
So the month is over and I should soon be back to a regulated lifestyle better befitting my geriatric status. The interlude ended appropriately. After seeing off Only Girlfriend, Brother-in-Arms and the Terrible (but Infinitely Adorable) Two at , I went back home for a short snooze before my flight to Delhi. Only to sleep through the alarm and be awakened by a call from Jet Airways asking where I was. My watch said . Take-off time. I’d missed the flight.
They put me on the next flight. At no extra cost. Hear ye, hear ye – be it known by these presentments and avouchments that I totally heart Jet Airways.
On a (slightly) more cerebral tack, one conversation sticks in my memory. Said conversation was under the watchful and rather wary gaze of Dipankar and Prashant, a pair of ace baristas who ply their skills in the Café Coffee Day in the
So, the conversation. Marijuana is outlawed in the
Meantime, what do YOU think?