Monday, May 30, 2005


For all those intending to go to the US of A (and maybe some other countries too...), this might be "helpful"
The following conversation shows the plight of a south Indian guy (or the plight of the American guy??) in the US...

"Your name?"

"How do you spell it?"

"Slow, slow, T?"
"No, D."
"Is that T as in Tom, or D as in Dennis?"
"No, not Dennis, my name is Dinesh."

"I know that. I am asking you, is that a T as in Tom, or D as in ... as inDetroit?"
"I don't know who Tom is, and I haven't been to Detroit. I just came to the US from Madras."

"OK, OK, I know that. Is that T-I- or D-I- ?"

"D. D-I-. D-I-N-E-S-H."
"Is that your last name or first name?"

"Uh? Dinesh is my name."
"OK. What is your Last name?"
"That is my first and last name. Dinesh."

"Then, is your name Dinesh Dinesh?"
"No. My name is Dinesh."


"I told you, Dinesh. I always had the same name, from birth till now.DINESH. That's my name."

"OK, what is your family name?"
"Family? Family name? My family doesn't have a name."

"What do the neighbors call you?"
"Not you. Your whole family. What do they call your family?"

"Beedida bhat'rr."

"So, that is your family name. Do you understand? How do you spell that?"
"Spell what?"
"B.D. whatever you said, what your neighbors call your family."
"Oh, that ... Beedida bhat'rr.""What do you need that for? It only means 'the brahmin who makes beedis.'"

"What are B-Ds?""Not B-D. Beedi, is like a cigarette, you see, they roll the tobacco in aleaf and tie a threadaround it. 25 in a kattu."
"25 in a what?""Kattu, or katta, whatever. Like a bunch, you see. If there is even one less or one more, myfather could always tell without counting. He then taught me how to do it."

"I am not worried about your 'cutter' or whatever. What-is-your-last-name?"

"I told you, Dinesh."

"OK, OK, I don't want to go over this again. What is common to the names of all the members ofyour family?"

"They are all in Sanskrit. My first sister is Suneetha, the second sister isSumathi ... "

"Not about the language. When you write your name, and your sister writes her name, what do you two have in common?"
"We have the same handwriting. Even my father can't tell our handwritings apart."

"Blast it! What is your father's name?"

"What does G.K. stand for?"
"His name, Gopala Krishna."
"Then what is Nettar?"
"That is our house name."
"House name? Aha, does every one at your house have this name?"

"It is not our name. It is the name of our house. Strictly speaking, itshould be Honnadka. But my father was too lazy to change it. My father was born in Honnadka, but,see, my grandfatherwas born in Nettar."

"What was his name?"
"I told you, G.K.Nettar."
"Your grandfather was also called G.K. whatever?"
"No. That is my father."
"Then what is your grandfather's name?"
"Govinda Bhat. See, my relatives still call me Mangalore Govinda. Because itis a tradition to name the first son after his grandfather.All the brothers of my father have done this. So, we have Honnadka Govinda,Jogibettu Govinda,Kanchodu Govinda, and I am Mangalore Govinda."

"So, then, your name is Mangalore Govinda, not Dinesh."

"No. My name is Dinesh. Mangalore Govinda is how my relatives call me. Thatis not my Name."

"What do they call your sister?"


"What? You said her name is Sooneetha."
"Yes, that is her name, Suneetha, but we call her Ammanni."
"Is that her nick-name?"
"No. she doesn't have a nick name. Only our neighbor's daughter has a nickname. She is called 'padarasa'. She is very active. That's why."

"What about your brother?"
"I have no brothers. But then, you can count all those Govindas as mybrothers too. See, theyare really kind of my brothers."

"OK, what are their names?"
"The oldest one, he is my big brother. He is called GovindaNNa."

"Govind Anna? Then Anna is his last name."

"No, ANNA, not anna. ANNA means big brother."
"What is his NAME?"
"His name is Govinda Bhat."
"Then your last name is But."
"Not but, Bhat, B-H-A-T. But that's not his name, you see."

"If that's not his name, what is it? Why does he have it in his name?"

"Bhat simply means he is a brahmin. He might as well write Rao, like hisfather does, or Sharma,like my father's second brother does."

"How does he write his name in official papers?"

"Nettar Govinda Bhat. That's how he writes it."

"How does his father write it?""Nettar Venkata Subba Rao."

"Aha, I can see now. Your father is G.K.Nettar, his brother is Nettar something Rao... your lastname is then Nettar. Aha, I got it."

"But Nettar is not the last name. It is the house name."

"I don't care. Tell me one last time, what is YOUR last name?"

"But I told you, my last name is the same as my first name, my only name,Dinesh."

"Then, I am going to write Nettar here. I don't care if it is your housename, your grandfather'sname, your dog's name, whatever. It is your last name. How do you spell it?


"N-E-T-T-? Is that T as in Tom or D as in Dennis?"

"My name is Dinesh, not Dennis."

"AARRGGHHHHH. Do we have to go through this again? Here, write it down.."
"That's it. From now on, you are Dinesh Nettar, Dinesh is your first name,and Nettar is your lastname. OK?"

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Vikas's theory for good "bluffing"

Hey all,

First of all, to all those who actually liked my Swiss stories, just wait a little while while I compose the last part...Till then, try to understand this theory. Others, do I have to tell u anything more?
Vikas's (me!) theory for good bluffing states that
"The ability to "bluff" is directly proportional to the amount of alcohol content in the human body".
I will explain the details about this later as we talk about the events leading to the formulation of my theory.
Well, for starters, some of us class ppl were planning a reunion. Ambar suggested we all go to his place as his parents are out of town. So we decided to make it there.

Unfortunately, only 6 of us turned out (actually, that's a decent number considering our history) including Ambar. Myself, Nidhi, Jyo, Dipti and Ashwini. We were discussing various topics like Ambar's Kovai and Mumbai trips, Ashwini's "testing" job, our class trip to Mekedatu where we washed Andy's shirt, Divya's marriage and Dipti's prospective grooms ;).

The reunion went on till 8.30 PM when the girls started to leave home. Me and Nidhi had decided to stay there and so I had taken my DVD player and a few movies alongwith me.
beforethat, me and Nidhi went to buy dinner, came back drenched in the rains while Ambar went to the liquor shop. Looking at Ambar, the shop owner suggested "Raja" whisky ;) , but clever Ambar brought some Royal Challenge and vodka.

We decided to watch Hot shots and Bourne identity from my DVD collection. started watching hot shots while me and Ambar started having hot "Vodka" shots while Nidhi was content with a "Fanta" shot. After finishing off the vodka and dinner, we opened the RC while Ambar brought his pack of cards for a game of Bluff. (Sniff..Sniff..Something's's Muddy!).

The first game went on well for some time with Ambar and myself winning the game and Nidhi left with a load of cards. That's when I though of this theory. Even Ambar thought of it and claimed that drunk men play better!
After a few more rounds of drinking RC, we decided to play one more game. This time again, me and Ambar emerged victorious even better than the first game providing substantial proof for my theory!!

By the end of the game, I was already sloshed and was not in a condition to watch Bourne Identity which had started by then, and so I went to sleep. Ambar and Nidhi soon followed suit. So that brought an end to an awesome reunion night!!

Moral of the story: Always booze before starting a game of bluff

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Poem

I wonder how many of you remember the poem Vijay (c/o UMich, not N.I.) wrote in 8th semester while suffering through a particularly torturous seminar.

It is completely irrelevant as to who was giving the seminar.

Anyways, presenting........


Seminars,lectures,presentations and the ilk
Who the hell r u trying to bilk
Science and tech are not ur forte
U should be tried in a Moslem court

Why doest thou try?
All u do is make me cry!

Pentium 3 and a fundoo laser
Do u even understand an eraser
Why don’t u explain the working of a pen
That is lot closer to ur ken

All I want is a little sleep
But what u do is make me weep
Balloon asks whats the funda
And u answer bla bla bla

So bored am I ,u make me think
When will u finish u stupid fink
Ur seminar is fine except for one thing
In fact ,that is the problem “u know not one damn thing”.

As u make ur thoughts flow
In my brain u have kicked up a row
Oh! Will u not stop I beg u please
In fact,I will pay u just to leave

I see Anthil watching u
Then I realize ur trying to add 2 and 2
Get the answer u may not
Leave us alone u definitely will not
I look at the board and then the fan
The most clever thing on stage is not the man

I sit here writing poetry
Something I wouldn’t read ,even for a fee
As I listen to u o’humanoid
I think id rather tear out my adenoids

Bows and arrows ,swords and spear
It is u that I most fear
Once im out, I promise thee
Catch me here u will not
Trap me again in this rot

All is fair in love and war
But this is pushing things too far
For the bell u make me pine
Ur killing me,u stupid swine

Up above the world so high
O’god let me go ,u make me cry
Slide after slide u make me see
U have the IQ of a tree

Now on the stage is my friend Kow
I stare at him as u take a bow
Kow will talk on power line
All I can think is “when will I dine”
Rumble rumble ,I hear my stomach growl
Beware y’all .i am on the prowl

As I see balloons bald pate
Shut and sealed is my fate
He will listen to whatever u pout
And ask some stupid inane doubt

Kow my friend ,u r too cool
But u must know balloon is a fool
He will talk and talk ,as u sit
Listen to him and u will fall into a bottomless pit.

TRING goes the bell so sweet
Listening to it is such a treat
Getting thro this was quite a feat
Keep going and ur dead meat

To all those who have read this till now
U have the patience of a cow
With all my heart I thank thee
Its 1:30 and I SET THEE FREE.

Written by
Vijay Swaminathan

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Hi there,

Here I am, back again to describe the sequel to my first article 'Why Yash Chopra....'. Those who have read the 1st part will be knowing about the things that happened last time, for those who haven't them, lazy bums...I do not have the patience to do a recap. BTW, the old disclaimer should hold good for this careful.

Well, to begin with, I was given another assignment in Basel and I was to go there for 1.5 months, I celebrated the news by attending Mark Knopfler's show the same day after giving an excuse in office. Unfortunately, my flight tickets and visa did not arrive on time and I had to postpone my trip by 4 days. I was patient enough and the big day came..again. No irritating passengers sitting next to me this time, thank god! (Part 1, remember), no babes either but :(.

Landed in Zurich without problems, took the train to Basel, had a seat when a girl in front of me who looked Indian invited me over to her seat. Turned out that she was a South African. Just chatted with her for some time and then both of us got bored. Anyway, the journey was only 1 hr, so no big deal. After checking in to my apartment, refreshed myself and left for office. Had a good start there, 2 projects were signed off after UAT and it was treat time followed by onsite project party..Had the privilege of attending both onsite and offshore project parties! :) Got a chance to taste the "real" Black Forest icecream, Boy, that was good!! what we get here is crap after tasting that.
Highlight of the party: the large pizza ordered by my colleague and his wife which was meant for 2 according to the menu, but was actually meant for 10, according to its size!! 2 people had to carry it over to them. In the meanwhile, I made a foolish remark that I like olives ( I meant those tiny black olive pieces which we get here) and everybody started putting green olives (full fruit, not a piece) in my plate which tasted yuck!!

Well, more good news was to follow when i came to know we had 4.5 days holidays next week for Easter. So 7 of us decided to go to Lugano Friday morning, a beautiful place bordering Italy. As it was holiday season, we could not stay in proper Lugano, but we got a house in a place called Ponte Cremanaga, which was 5 mins from Italian checkpost. A beautiful house, planned superbly, we could never believe that it could hold 7 beds along with hall, kithen and bathroom from outer appearence! BTW, you can check the photo of the house and the places in the yahoo! link and select Swiss Tour 2.

Lugano is a very beautiful place with Lake Lugano and few mountains which we could hike. Sadly, it was raining Saturday for most of the day, so our entire morning was confined to our house, sipping tea, playing games and having fun. Noon, we set out to the lake and took a walk to a place called Caslano along the lake and then we did a bit of hiking on one of the mountains, but could not do much as it was raining and it was slippery.

Sunday morning, we decided to go to Locarno, another beautiful place close to Lugano. From there, we decided to go to a place called Valle Maggia, which looked really good on the brochures. After getting down at the stop, we looked around for info. But as it was Easter Sunday and everything was closed, we had absolutely no clue as to where to go. Just walked around, found a nice river which was filled with stones and ice cold water..took some snaps and left the place by noon after lunch as we had to come back to basel by night. Overall, not much adventure, but a nice relaxing trip.
Some info: Switzerland does not have its own culture and generally will be similar to the neighbouring country to which the town or city is located. In Basel, everything is German, place is clean, dogs are polite etc...However, in lugano, everything is Italian, not so clean, dogs start barking etc...which reminds us of India.
Fart in Swiss Italian means Travel in English. I was really confused wherever I saw a bus stop in Locarno as I saw the message "Fart Locarno". Somehow I felt the atmosphere as not so good around...;)

Monday was a record day for me. I was in 3 different cities on the same day! Let me explain...In basel, there is an annual exhibition known as Baselworld where people all over the world(mostlyIndia and China) come to exhibit their diamond jewellery and watches. During this time, there is no accomodation available for us, so I had booked a hotel in a city called Olten, around 40 km from basel. (Takes 35 mins avg by train, still much better than travelling from my house to E-city by bus). So Monday morning, I had to checkout form my basel (count =1) apartment and travel to Olten(count++) with all my luggage. Checked in there, had lunch, had no clue as to what to do there and so I decided to go to Bern(count++). Bern is a beautiful city, confined in a U shape and bordered by a canal along the 'U' and a complete covered market. All along the city, there are fountains and monuments. At the end after crossing the canal, there is a small hill with a rose garden from where u can view the entire city...Awesome! so after a nice journey, came back to Olten in preparation for a long week ahead...

The next weekend was spent in Basel, roaming over the city, visited some Art museum, was in office as the weekend passed away without much action.

More to come later...First some feedback on this. till then Adios