We all have our own visions of Heaven.
Clouds, eternal fires, apsaras, Indra’s throne, 1000 watt bulbs and so on.
But what if Heaven(or hell for that matter) turns out to be as mundane as our existing lives?
You wake up and out of blinding light a government office emerges.
You walk up broken stairs, through paan-stained corridors.
You are then made to sit on a bench and wait for your turn.
A few decades later(after much pleading before God’s peons), your file reaches Chitragupta’s minion’s desk.
A dot-matrix printer is printing your balance-sheet.
You sit there for another decade or so, waiting for that printer to shut up.
Finally Chitragupta’s assistant has a look at your profile and decides to relocate you to Hell.
You reject your appraisal and demand to see his manager.
You are asked to raise a request.
Chitragupta agrees to meet you and asks you to prepare a 5 slides presentation to explain why do you deserve a better position. In OpenOffice.
During your one-on-one with Chitragupta, he asks you to tell him something ‘About yourself’.
You blabber something while Chitragupta is playing Solitaire on his PC.
A few years pass by and you stop talking.
Chitragupta asks you if you have ever liked your own post on Facebook.
You answer in negative.
Chitragupta approves. He decides to send you onsite.
You can hear a woman screaming in a distance.
You wake up.
In Kulwanti hospital.
Scary, isn’t it?0
Dear Google Reader,
What went wrong?
Why did you have to go all Jocelyn Wildenstein on me?
Our relationship of a few years was going just fine, until yesterday, when I logged in to you and it felt like waking up next to Micheal Jackson. I can totally understand the pressures of having Google Wave, Buzz and Orkut as your siblings but this move was totally uncalled for.
I still remember those golden moments that we spent together. You were my window to the blogging world. More so because WordPress and Blogger blogs are blocked at my workplace thanks to evil Websense. But you – my erstwhile dearest – you smuggled these posts into my Internet Explorer with Al-Qaida-ish dexterity. You also didn’t have any qualms in working with my pre-independence Internet Explorer. You were nice like that.
Thanks to you, I could see the updates from This Isn’t Happiness and Batmania in the coziness of my cubicle. Or read those Rage Tumblrs and laugh my corporate ass off. You tested my window minimizing skills when you’d suddenly throw something like this at me. You helped me crib about the growing number of unread items(thanks partly to Dear all, blank all) and kept reminding me that there is more awesomeness in the world than can be absorbed by my lousy neurons. You allowed me to hangout with awesome people like Manuscrypts, Roshnimo, Surekhapillai, A_traveller, ShockMonger and many, many more. Read what they shared, share what they read. You never judged me for following my own blog. You understood. You always did.
That was all until yesterday. Yesterday, when you botoxed yourself with a lot of whitespace and big buttons. Yesterday, when you refused to work with my Internet Explorer and started nagging me to upgrade. Yesterday, when you removed all my friends, removed all my ‘likes’ and took away any opportunity to share any post with my friends.
You know how it felt? Trapped in that cubicle with a dysfunctional you, all of a sudden. That sense of loneliness. Like someone had kidnapped all my friends and taken them to a lonely island(read: Google Plus). Like someone is shoving good blog posts into my hands and not letting me share them properly. Not letting me scream in the favor of a wonderfully written blog post or diss a sad news report in the comments. You’ve destroyed the nice little universe that you helped me build, without any warning whatsoever.
It is a pain not being able to read the latest post of Daddy_san, Neo or Chuck. Not being able to share Greatbong’s posts or Shenoyn and Jammy’s shenanigans. To miss those little gems that Maininmalaysia writes. To read Gunmaster_g9’s latest updates and feel that you connect with someone’s way of writing. There are hundreds of blogs that I’ll miss. KrishAshok, Krtgrapher, TheComicProject, Masala Chica, Punvati – each one of which leaves a unique, pleasant taste. I will of course catch their updates on Twitter. But I will no longer be able to read them at work – the place where I need them the most. No longer can I go back in time and read one of ShockMonger’s poems or Veni, Vidi, Vetti’s posts or Dr. Gonzo’s musings, and feel instantly better during painful nightshifts. You have robbed me of something very precious. Something for which I had developed a strange fondness in recent months. Something that made work bearable(like that 12 Rs. Masala chai, which also closed down yesterday).
Dear Google Reader, our relationship is over.
Thanks for letting me download all my links and shared items. That was nice of you. My emotions are undownloadable and I am not compatible with Google Plus.
It was great while it lasted.
Lots of love,
(P.S.: This letter will be shared on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere(maybe even Google Plus) but not on Google Reader. And that, my dear, is why the cookie crumbles.)
– No disrespect intended to Micheal Jackson. May his soul rest in peace.
– Suggestions that I should stop cribbing and upgrade my browser at work will receive the ‘Like-I-didn’t-know-that-already’ template.
– Some tips for current Google Reader users:
1) You can download your:
List of people that you follow
List of people that follow you
Items you have starred
Items you have liked
Items you have shared
Items shared by people you follow
Notes you have created
Items with comments
Go to Google Reader Settings>Import/Export to download all these to JSON/OPML files.
2) You can add more sites in the Sharing options. Go to Settings>Send To. You can add options to send the post to Twitter/Facebook among other sites.
5) I have not found a substitute for Google Reader yet(and I doubt I’ll found a good one too). But here is a website worth looking at – www.goodnoows.com
When I was kid, I wanted to be Sunny Deol when I grew up. That was till Ajay Devgan came around and Mom started telling me that if he can become a hero, I can too. I even went all Karate Kid after watching Jigar, trying to hit boiled eggs after tossing them into air or punching into warm sand while screaming ‘HYYEEAAAH’. Dad put an end to all those dreams when I started blaming him for not being an Action Director. I ended up being an Industrial engineer, a software tester and a blogger, but we digress.
It was Sunny Paaji’s birthday yesterday and like all other celebrity birthdays, it was celebrated on Twitter with much aplomb. I personally think that Sunny Deol is one of the best things to have happened to the Indian Film Industry. In fact, I think as Amitabh Bacchan transitioned into being an angry-middle-aged-man, Sunny Deol filled in the much needed void in the Indian Film Industry. Amitabh used to be angry for a reason – parents killed, father abandoned mother, lost his entire family or the frustration of being a dockworker despite having underworld potential(and an unwanted tattoo). Sunny Deol’s is angry by design.
Different actors behave differently when they portray anger on-screen. Amitabh Bacchan had this clenched-teeth-flinging-arms approach to being angry. Hrithik Roshan has this lips-trembling-cheeks-swaying(sounds wrong I know) vibe to action sequences. Dharamendra, when he was angry, pointed his finger at his opponents, questioned their maternal behaviors and threatened to drink animal blood. Aamir Khan in his angry avatar has his eyes all flared up and ready to give his 101%(sometimes 102%).
Sunny Deol screams when he is angry.
Sunny Deol screams.
It is not a Nana Patekar style extempore screaming.
It isn’t a Govinda style war-cry.
It is screaming in its purest form. From the bottom of his epiglottis.
(In a screaming championship, he takes on 7 angry people. There are no flying fists here, nor any dhishum-dhishum. It is just Sunny Paaji, out-screaming everyone else in a 2KM radius. )
This superpower of his is efficiently portrayed in the ‘Taareq pe taareq, Taareeq pe taaareq’ dialogue(one of the earliest examples of recursion). Sunny Deol screaming in a court room with a helpless judge and a stunned audience. Sunny Deol’s opinion is always sound.
And when he is not screaming, he is busy kicking ass. Silently.
Sunny Deol is action tetra-packed. 90% of his movies will scare you to death by their names – Dacait, Inteqaam, Paap ki Duniya, Ghayal, Ghatak, Main Tera Dushman, Jaani Dushman, Aag ka Gola, Narsimha, Dushmani – a violent love story etc. The list never ends. It is only because of him that all the Rais in India stopped naming their kids Balwant. Manmohan Singh’s silence is God’s way of averaging the nation’s noise levels caused by the awesomeness of Sunny bhai’s movies playing on Zee Cinema. With Dharmendra as his father and Bobby Deol as his brother(two extremes when it comes to talent) and Hema Malini as his mom and Esha Deol as his sister(again two extremes when it comes to talent), Sunny bhai has created a separate identity for himself in this industry and is single handedly(pun unintended) responsible for promoting the item-girl part of Mamta Kulkarni’s career.
(More Chest Hair = Extreme Awesomeness)
Apart from having the strongest vocal cords in the country and the heaviest hand in the universe(2.5 Kgs), Sunny also has the best pair of legs in the country. Hardly surprising as he comes from Sylvester Stallone’s gym and aerobics class. To see Sunny dancing is one of the sweetest things in the world. It is passive aggression in its most poetic form.
This Sunny song was one of my favorite songs of the 90s(partly because the movie had Raveen Tandon).
When he is not dancing, Sunny bhai is saving the country, one hand-pump at a time. Hand-pump ho ya Rocket Launcher, it is the dhai-kilo-ka-haath that matters.
Pwning Shah Rukh Khan and getting Juhi Chawla, marrying an icchadhari naagin, throwing bullies in air or committing suicide with Sohni, Sunny Paaji has done it all.
Here is wishing Sunny Deol a very happy birthday and a truckload of success when Ghayal Returns in 2012.
Notes: While fishing for pictures for this post, I learned that if you google for ‘Angry Rajesh Khanna’, all you get are smiling pictures of Rajesh Khanna. Google #fail.1
And ofcourse, the inspiration.0