Life’s like that!

Update [April 25, 2007 10:36 AM]: Prose and Verse updated!

You see a piece of cashew in your cup of curd rice. You eagerly put it in your mouth, expecting to savor the creamy nutty taste and for a split second, enjoy your sorry meal.

One bite.

It’s ginger.

And you can’t spit your food out since you’re sitting with your colleagues in the cafeteria.

Reminds you of this thing called ‘life’. Rarely cashew. Mostly ginger. And a whole of people around judging you by the nanosecond.

On Pippa, Anne and Tumblelogs

What’s with the title? Well, just that I’ve officially given up on thinking up nice titles for my posts. Given. Up.

I’m smitten with Anne of Green Gables. And the last line in the book is from “Pippa’s Song”, by Robert Browning –

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearl’d;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail ‘s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven— All’s right with the world!

Apart from certain issues like the lack of crown jewels in my jewellery box, the absence of, not just a bright red Maserati in my porch, but the porch itself; and sundry other items of a similar nature, all’s right with the world, indeed!

The last bit in today’s broadcast: I have finally invaded the Tumblr space. Check out:

I’m not sure you can leave comments there (small mercies), so come right back here and tell me if I can still put off that trip to my shrink.

P.S: Very apt title for the post, no?

Ariadne’s Thread

I’m a sucker for mythological stories. Be it tales from Mahabharata and Ramayana, be it fables from the Bible or stories of valor and wit from my Grandma – I love ’em all. No surprises then, that a reference to Ariadne and Theseus in a book by Robert Ludlum sent me running to Google to google up (yes, that’s a valid verb these days) the story.

And once you’ve found what you were looking for, what do you do? You tell the world you found it. Even if the world didn’t exactly ask for it.

Google, being Google, gave me more than what I asked for. A search on ‘Ariadne’s Thread’ brings up, not just the mythology associated with it, but also conceptual derivatives of that story that’s used in today’s world, more specifically as an algorithm for problem solving.

The Mythology: Verbatim from here, ‘coz I don’t see why I should put it in my own words when the existing ones are good enough. Also because I’m plain lazy –

In Greek mythology Theseus was the son of the Greek king Aegeus. King Minos of Crete defeated Aegeus and threatened to destroy his country. Only if Aegeus sacrificed seven young Athenian men and women every nine years to the Minotaur would his kingdom be spared.

Theseus felt it was time to put an end to the sacrifice. When the moment came for another 14 people to enter the Labyrinth in which the Minotaur lived, Theseus offered to go as one of the sacrifices. During the journey Theseus met King Minos’s daughter Ariadne, who promptly fell in love with him.

Ariadne was willing to help Theseus find his way out of the Labyrinth. In exchange Theseus promised to marry her and take her back to Athens. Ariadne gave him a ball of thread and told him to secure one end at the entrance to the Labyrinth. He could then unravel the ball as he made his way. By following the thread Theseus would be able to find the way back to the entrance.

Theseus slowly made his way through the Labyrinth, unravelling the ball as he went. He encountered the Minotaur, and after a struggle slew the beast. Together with the others he followed the thread back to the entrance and out of the Labyrinth.

Now, that is the story. But what Ariadne’s Thread signifies in the real world (as opposed to the mythological world, that is) is a means to make sure you don’t get lost. Be it as a mechanism for tracking your transactions (in a software-centric enterprise) or as a generic means of problem solving involving application of logic to all available paths of probable solutions. To quote from a wiki reference

It is the particular method used that is able to follow completely through to trace steps or take point by point a series of found truths in a contingent, ordered search that reaches a desired end position. This process can take the form of a mental record, a physical marking, or even a philosophical debate; it is the process itself that assumes the name.

What I understand from the implementation details provided at the above url, this is another algorithm that’s used right from sudoku solutions to applications in philosophy and ethics. Sounds interesting enough to me, which just means I might spend more time going through the maze of material available on the world wide web – maybe I’ll come out of the maze using Ariadne’s thread! Or maybe I’ll just get lost, lose my mind and never blog again. You’ll know in a day or two, ‘coz from when did losing my mind stop me from blogging?!

(C/D)are to be bored?

(Update @ 12-Apr-2007 4:28 PM) New verse on Prose and Verse

Never approach Google for advice. Especially for advice on how to pass time if you’re really really bored. Why? Because if you do, you’ll end up finding what you’re looking for! That missing piece in your life, that spark, that colorful rainbow, that really amazing feeling close to euphoria when you’ve found your life’s worth! Yes, all that and more.

Little tidbits from what God Google blessed me with on things to do when one is really bored. As always, smarty-pant-responses in italics by moi –

– Try to not think about penguins (Tried. Failed. Miserably.)

– Watch TV, repeat everything said in an Italian accent (Tried. Amazingly successful. Family refuses to talk to me now.)

– Throw a surprise party for yourself. Turn off all the lights, then turn them on and yell “Surprise!” Act shocked. (Didn’t try today. Sounded way too desperate. Maybe tomorrow.)

– Go up to a salesman and ask “May I help you?” (No comments)

– Go to grocery store in a bathrobe, slippers, and a towel around your head. Rubber ducky optional. (Not my kind of thing. But I would like a rubber ducky. A yellow rubber ducky.)

– Make a list of things to do that you’ve already done. (Done! result? I can do a lot of useless in any given period of time.)

– Laugh uncontrollably for about 3 minutes & then suddenly stop and look suspiciously at everyone who looks at you. (Not tried yet since I’m already at a risk of being carted off to a madhouse. Not tried YET.)

– In alphabetical order, list all the words you know (I bet this will definitely keep me occupied for the next 2 decades)

Make orange juice and complain to partner that it doesn’t taste like apple. Proceed to throw the contents on partner’s head acting frustrated. (No. My family doesn’t love me that much anyway, so I might be pushing my luck with this one.)

Dress up like Queen Elizabeth. Ask everyone to call you Her Royal Highness and refuse to speak unless called so. (Yep, you guessed it right. I dont talk to anyone now. Everyone around me seem doubly happy about something. I wonder what.)

– Put up the Christmas tree. Say it’s for Easter. (Done. I have one job less for Christmas this year!) (Kidding, ofcourse. I might say stupid things, but I’m not stupid myself.)

– Complain to God that Jupiter has more moons than we do. (Did that. God said the more I complain the longer He’ll make me live. So I asked him why only the Queen can have crown jewels, why not me. I think I’m gonna live to be 200!)

Caveat: Do not try all these together in the same place at the same time in front of the same set of people. They might not give you an internet connection at the lunatic asylum.

Disclaimer: I’m not responsible for the repurcussions of the above actions. I don’t know you, you don’t know me, so you have no business doing what I say. For external use only. Batteries not included. Shake well before use. For office use only. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This article does not reflect the thoughts or opinions of either myself, my company, my friends or my non-existent cat. Offer valid till stocks last.

My best friend

This post is dedicated to my best buddy.

My best friend (inanimate-object friend!) is most definitely my prized Victorinox Swiss Army knife (picture above). I think it qualifies as the single most useful, most handy tool ever invented by man. I always carry it in my purse and there were numerous times when I have thanked myself for keeping it there!

This knife was a gift from my dad. Well, what sort of dad gives his daughter a knife, eh? See, the thing is..Dad didn’t exactly give it to me. **sly smile** It was there in the cupboard and I just assumed it was for me. But it sounds good to say it’s a gift from dad no? 🙂

I never bothered much about it when I was going to college from home. But its presence was totally required when I moved to Hyderabad to ‘stand on my own feet’ (till then I was standing on my parents’ feet) . Somehow, this little object gave me a lot of courage. There was this time when I had to walk a few hundred feet from the bus stop to my house and there were no street lights – obviously, I freaked out. I then pulled out my trusted knife, took out the knife thingie and kept that in my hand and walked home. If someone, god forbid, had tried to get funny then, well, he wouldn’t have seen the light of day (atleast, that’s what I tell myself – Muawahahaha).

And now I can’t believe I used to do that.

Other uses for my dear knife included –
1. Cutting impossible Ruffles Lays chips’ packets in trains (I think Pepsi foods has a grudge on its customers and expects us to spend effort and tear the packet to eat the 5 tiny chips inside)

2. Screwing the handle back onto my pressure cooker (I do this everyday! Stupid handle won’t stay!)

3. Cutting birthday cakes at my workplace if the official cake-cutter-knife-keeping colleague is not available

4. Opening a bottle of wine – the first time I saw my husband do this, I was so excited. I still dont know why.

5. I used that criss-cross edgy thingie (I’m bad at naming things, I dont wanna think about naming my kid) to cut the lock on my bag (no, I wasn’t ‘stealing’ my own stuff, the key stopped working, hence the cutting). I wasn’t successful, but then, it was useful in the beginning.

6. Opened numerous bottles of Maggi Tomato Ketchup. And spend the next few minutes fishing out the cap from under the refrigerator or the table.

You should see the look on people’s faces when they are searching for a pair of scissors and you say ‘Hey, I got it’ and just pop out your Swiss knife! There are still some tools in it that I haven’t found a use for. Yet. I love it, you know. Its really cute at the same time so ruff ‘n tuff with the different tools in it. This is one thing I’m never gonna let go of. My suggestion – every girl should have one. It’s really handy and a must-have in any purse. Oh, did you know? The latest ones come with a compact flash drive too! Hi-tech eh?!

Whoever said a dog was man’s best friend did not have a Swiss Army Knife!