Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Picture perfect

In which the author is photographed badly but there is nothing out of the ordinary about that -- Questioned about latecoming, whereupon he suppresses a snigger -- Peculiar behaviour of reliable programs -- The resolver of faults -- He reads 'Neuromancer' in the office canteen and, later in the evening, in Corner House icecream parlour and is particularly taken by the phrase 'nihilistic technofetishists' -- The cold, the cold

It came to pass that the author experienced a crunching lack of passport-size photographs during an afternoon of otherwise normal proceedings. It also came to pass that the author had not, in his possession, a decent passport-size photograph. Nor did he possess several passport-size photographs, whereby he might compensate for this lack of a single photograph.

Returning to first person, I realized that it was imperative that I get some passport-size photographs quickly. Of myself, of course. With this noble intention in mind, I made for the offices of Messrs G K Vale, in Jayanagar 3rd block. Upon enquiry and a certain amount of piteous imploring, they, with great magnanimity in their hearts, agreed to photograph me and give me small, somewhat rectangular copies of these photographs in exchange for money. Now this seemed a fair deal to me and I was only too happy to agree.

I was directed to a small room beside the cash counter, wherein one was supposed to seat oneself until a photographer, or anyone with a camera, condescended to click images of one, for whatever purposes they deemed necessary. Or maybe even for one's own purposes. I sat there and a man with a digital camera entered. Sit up straight, he ordered. Look at the camera, don't blink, smile, he continued. I obeyed wordlessly. He focused for one tense moment and then clicked.

Wait wait, once more, he said. I sat up straight, peered interestedly at the camera and grinned the most lascivious grin I had ever grinned. He was not amused, however, and went on with his job. He clicked one more photograph and the job was done. I went over to look at what, I was sure, was a fine piece of art.

I had on an expression that suggested I was pleasantly surprised at experiencing an unexpected erection. The smile, the general posture, these suggested I was put into mild discomfiture by the sudden occurrence of an unanticipated rush-of-blood, but was not too fazed by it and was rather enjoying it. The photographs arrive tomorrow and I will, if I think it's a good idea, put it up here. It may be seen that what I have submitted in these pages is true.

"Why you come so late?"
Here, I suppressed a laugh and defended myself.
"For the past two weeks, I've been coming on time."(here too, I suppressed a laugh.). "It's only today that I happened to come late."(I didn't find it funny anymore.).
"Well, don't let it happen again, boss. I heard somebody, somebody, say Arjun comes only at 11..."
(It became funny again.)
"That's not true!" (with all sincerity.)
"OK OK, I know, that's an exaggeration." (No kidding!)
"Yeah, it is."
"Since you promised you wouldn't be late about two weeks back, you have been pretty punctual. Please be here at 9:30 tomorrow."
"I will. Sorry about today."

Upon invoking our application and doing strange things with it, said the militant system tester I have to deal with, it crashed. Send me the symptoms, I said jauntily.
I have already told them to Kumuda, how many times I have to tell, see it will take me three-four hours to reproduce(Author's note:-deftly side-stepped a joke about this, when she said it), I will be blocked for other testcases, I have sent the traces, please check them only.

I did. It was a unique occurrence, I and my colleague decided. Then I took up another one, one that had been held up the previous day. Upon progressing to a certain stage, the change made was judged to be enough. I was left with nothing to do for about three hours. So I took up a third fault report, something I wasn't sure I was to handle. A masochist? Not I, O my friends, not I. I am not he. Anyway, it seemed easy, I did this and that, it was easy and the change worked. I was on a roll.

Then I left.

Lunch today was delayed due to the resolution of certain faults in our program. As I sauntered over to our canteen, I felt 'Neuromancer' in my pocket and felt happy. Cyberpunk is cool. Gibson writes future and writes it mindbogglingly. Mindbogglingly well, too. Yesterday, while I sat reading the same book in the canteen, one of my colleagues saw this, saw which book it was and said, for some reason, "Good." Like a teacher. Much amused, I said thanks.

Today, struck down in the prime of the day by a cold, I yearned for chocolate. Yes, I have psyched myself into believing chocolate can get rid of my cold. It works, on account of I have a strangely submissive mind which believes anything it says to itself. So, in order to consume chocolate matter, I headed over to the most obvious place -- Corner House. What, are you crazy, that is most screwed up, what kind of an idea is that...I know. It just seemed a good idea. In that grand temple of unabashed gourmandising, that fount of corpulence, I sat reading the same book. Until Arvind came there and said, go home, idiot. But it was while reading 'Neuromancer' in Corner House that I came across the phrase/whatever 'nihilistic technofetishists' he(William Gibson) had used to describe the Panther Moderns(a bunch of neo-'terrorists'). I loved it! I informed Karthik, a Gibson freak, about it and he said "Ya ya."

I still have the cold. It is sapping me of strength to do aught but sit still. I want to exclaim, like Colonel Kurtz, "the cold, the cold" and go to sleep.

You can see I haven't been having too many interesting days recently. Unlike her. If bad comes to worse, I will start putting up extracts from a long piece about our trip to Pondicherry some months ago. Like a weekly serial or something. It'll be like Scott Adams' Sunday post; only, it will not be intelligent.


Sandeep said...

You make 12.00 am to 12:30am bearable with this stuff.

Thoroughly enjoyed it gendillman.

Arjun Sharma said...

Thank you, gendillman.

Anyone say 'Muaaaahhhh' to you recently?

tangled said...

Che what friends you have. Half an hour to read it?? But gendillman is adorable :)
A few points:
a. I thought Pickwick for a little while
b. 'Upon invoking our application and doing strange things with it, said the militant system tester I have to deal with, it crashed.' was my favourite line. If I ever hear a person talk like that in real life...
c. You linked a post of mine! :) yay.
d. Can I please-to borrow this book??? Like, please?
e. I'd read your weekly serial, sure.

Harish said...

I bow to thee. Thou art genius. You make the most mundane daily activities look very interesting through your writing. And I am not joking when I say this.
Thank you.

nivedita said...

I like day posts.

P.S: Don't put up your picture here. Nobody wants to see them, I'm sure.

nivedita said...

Please. Forgot to add please in the post script.

Anonymous said...

Most entertaining piece of writing I've chanced upon in quite a while. :)

Arjun Sharma said...

[Tharunya]He is a bit slow, yes.

Not Pickwick. I wanted to start like the chapters in 'Three men in a boat.' I like eet!

People talking like that in real life? He he, that would be the day!

Yeah, I linked. Aww.

You may borrow the book as soon as I finish reading it. It is brilliant, BRILLIANT, I tell you!

[Harish]Aaytu. Welcome.

[Nivedita]OK OK, your wish is granted. Arvind was desperate to see my photo, though. Ha!

[AC]Thanks, man. Full respect for your going zooming on Mysore road at 115.

tangled said...


Anonymous said...

Thengyu thengyu... Night 8'o'clock that too.

Now that I know I can brag, :D
I will say that my fastest has been 125-130 on B'lore-Chennai highway. Neither I nor my friend were able to go beyond that, cos of too much luggage (amounting to over 20 kilos). Oh how the spinal column ached...


Pavan said...

"It works, on account of I have a strangely submissive mind which believes anything it says to itself." Jhakas.. :)

Shalabh said...

Why bother the GK Vale guys when you could have used you "college id pic"

Arvind said...

Oh, yes. Of course. The "college id pic". The "I'm doing things to myself even though I'm held hostage by the Taliban" one. It's so funny.

With your permission, Arjun, I'll link to it. Oh, what the hell. Here it is.


nivedita said...


Arjun Sharma said...

[Arvind]Why, you--Doh!

[Nivedita]Ya ya, laff it up.

[Shalabh]Stupid half-evolved humanoid! You gave him the idea. Wait'll I meet you next.

[Pavan and Arcane Crapper]Who cares about anything now, man? My life is ruined.

[Tharunya]Still want to say 'HUGSES!', now that you've seen the photos?

[World]It's funny, terribly funny, you can't deny that. I think, in recent history, I have contributed the best photographs to humanity. Even if it is against my will.

Anonymous said...

Dude... Get a life. Everyone looks like that at some point of time or the other... Your life is not ruined.

I would request your humble opinion, nay, demand some praise at my record of somewhere between 125 and 130 kmph with an almost broken spinal column. :D

Sandeep said...

hehe... Chanagide...

Sandeep said...

May be that's why I didn't talk to you when you were in school.

Sandeep said...

And yes, I chose to ignore the 'slow' remark. KD's the slow one. Not me.

Malaveeka said...

Am I working too hard or does the beginning hyphenated bit look like an SCC to me?


I am becoming intelligen?

Btw v. nice post, Arjun S. Arjun

@Tharunya: What a life you lead!
exchange madko bohuda, if only for a day?

Malaveeka said...

btw the same sandeep as the picture?


Arjun Sharma said...

[Arcane Crapper]Just a bit of self-deprecating humour, that's all. I know my life is not ruined.

125-130? Bangalore-Madras-a? I've been on that road many, many times. I now yearn to ride a bike there. Not mine, of course, it doesn't go beyond 70.

[Sandeep]Ya ya, KD's slow, of course. A well-documented fact.

In school? You sat in the library stamping the school seal on the back of the books there when most of us other, normal kids went out and played cricket or went home, despite looking the way we did.

In other notable adventures, you also sat and witnessed the hapless decapitation and subsequent devouring of innocent bananas.

I think this is why the teachers kept a discreet distance from you.

[Malaveeka]Thank you very much. You have become very intelligen. Why so much hardwork suddenly? Innu exams aagilva? Identha college nimdu?

What's SCC? Please we are gourment school.

Yes, the same Sandeep. He wanted to know why there are two Es in your name instead of one I.

swaroop said...

You sat in Corner house reading a book?

swaroop said...

[Arvind] I order you, and it's an order I say, remove that link right away.

Anonymous said...

Saar, RX 135-u paravagilla. Aaraam aage noora hathu hogathe.

But it flies. Now that you're working et al, you could invest in the new Pulsar. Or perhaps even a yamaha gladiator or the likes. Good bikes.

Max speed 70 kmph => That you are around 80-90 kilos and are riding a splendour or a boxer. :D

Anonymous said...

Or maybe a Kawasaki Max100R pr maybe even a (GASP!!!) Luna!!

Anonymous said...

You're close AC. It's smack bang between a Luna and a Max 100R. It's Byk.


Sandeep said...

Not nitpicking, but it's a Suzuki Max 100R.

Malaveeka said...

@Arjun: Supreme Court Cases. It's a Law report that reports all cases that have been decided at the Supreme Court.

Intelligence not equal to good speller.


@Sandeep: Sum Sumne.

Malaveeka said...

you have broken the record.

a full post with 30 comments.

kilap kilap!

Arjun Sharma said...

[Swaroop]Yes, I sat in Corner House reading a book.

[Arcane Crapper]I don't weigh 80-90 kilos.
Splendor-u alla, Boxer-u alla. Olle Bajaj Byk-u. About four were manufactured on a trial basis by Bajaj Inc. I bought one of those.


[Malaveeka]Thank you, thank you! I would like to thank my parents, my director, my producer, my editor...