Ah, hostel food!

“Yuck… brinjal curry.”
“Dude, it’s tomato.”
“Tomato?! Why is the gravy blue?”

Most of you have had this conversation if you have stayed in a hostel. Or heard it from friends who have stayed in hostels. The best years – undergrad life – was flanked by the most atrocious food ever. Everyone has a hostel food story. It’s the only kind of story everyone will believe an outrageous exaggeration too! My hostel had the most exquisite food menu ever – we had biryani on Sundays, saambaar rice on Mondays, puri-chhole on Wednesdays, paneer dishes on Fridays, rawa dosa on Saturdays etc. Every semester started with brand new promise of the chef’s love – but soon after the first week, we could only tell these apart because we knew what was being cooked that day. Such was life. Then one day, a new caterer came. The cook showed promise – he was a beacon of light, a ray of hope, the sun through the clouds, rain on the desert sand, a bowl of soup. He brought together the best of spices, and the freshest of vegetables, the sweetest of aromas… but God only knows what he did with them, because nothing changed for us. We used to lovingly call our hostel food – grub.

Among the things that we found in our food across the years of undergraduate study – small branch in sambaar, spider in daal, unknown insect in rice, stapler pin in dosa, cockroach in baingan bhartaaloo in aloo parantha and a cat. Ok, I am kidding about the last two. Some guy said that there were regular sticks instead of drumsticks in his food – but no one else was sticking to the story of the sticks. It did turn pretty sticky towards the end.

Here’s the latest from The Occasional Doodle – when doodling suddenly makes sense. 🙂

Hostel food[Left click for larger size]

Love. Hope. Agony.

One way crushes are probably the most agonizing of things ever experienced by man (and woman). Literally everything that happens to you that is remotely connected to her/him, it is blown out of proportion in your head heart. The number of hours you have wasted on this pointless imaginary romance – which finally actually got nowhere – you wish you somehow get those lost school years back. OK, college years too. OK may be some of your work years as well.

You know you have a crush on her when...

In this piece continuing my series of The Occasional Doodle, I am effectively writing down something almost every guy goes through at least ONCE. 😀 [Left click for a larger size]

I just noticed that several of my Thoughts in 2D and The Occasional Doodle have a lot to do with relationships. I wonder what to make of that.

How long will newspapers live?

There are things I loved to do when I was back home in India – read the Sunday paper at leisure – before Mom gave me late breakfast. And before Dad woke up and came downstairs. Well, I never read all the political mumbo jumbo, but did read the full page Sunday comics. And the picture puzzles and the jumbles. And when I was youg(er) at heart, I used to read the horoscopes too, hoping that something great will turn out of the tremendously traumatic one way crush I had on this girl. But this was way way back – before I went to college. Ok, not way way back, just way back.  I am not that old.

Enough with the prologue.

Today, I (along with millions of others) read the news online. I pick and click what I want to read. Computers and ever-increasing internet speeds are making everything – EVERYTHING appear online. Is this the end of the newspaper regime? It was thought once upon a time that 24×7 news channels on television are going to make newspapers go obsolete eventually. But in reality, it never even caused as much as a dent. But let us look at the current scenario. Everything on the internetis customized based on the individual – be it news content or even advertising. People look for news and relevant things based on keywords they use. Information is presented to the individual – he/she no longer has to look for it! With an increasingly increasing number of people depending on the internet for their daily dose of knowhow/what/why, isn’t it only a matter of time when newspapers will go obsolete?

I will argue with myself here, and point out that there is a certain pleasure associated with reading a newspaper with breakfast, compared to reading something on an electronic screen. It’s the same argument you can use for whether you want read a book from Kindle‘s electronic screen or by holding it in your hands with bookmarks and all? But that is ME talking. The current generation that is growing up is already accustomed to everything being present online itself. Will they ever experience what we do? May be till our generation (people born in the 80s and before) dies and fizzes out, newspapers are going to exist. Will newspapers end up in the museum after that? Just how long will newspapers live?

On a somewhat related note, here’s one of my favorite videos called “Did you know” (thanks to Kaushal for showing this to me!). It’s Karl Fisch’s famous presentation on the blinding speed of technological progress. This is version #3 of the project – “Shift happens“.  Here’s his blog. Thought inspiring. Turn up your speakers, for the video is great with the background score!

Shift happens

Parts of this post are inspired by a very rich conversation I had had with a distinguished Indian gentleman a few weeks back. We were generally talking about how fast electronics are taking over every activity in our lives. The topic moved to the pointless ‘breaking news’ offered by 24×7 news channels, and then moved to how newspapers might actually go obsolete. Now this gentleman is in his 60s, and I am in my 20s – and I want to believe that newspapers will survive and continue surviving. He, on the other hand, differs in opinion here. Also, he has seen a LOT more life than me, or even the average man his age. I do intend to do a piece on his truly inspiring accomplishments later sometime by interviewing him myself. Till then, he remains anonymous.