Thursday, February 5, 2009

Too much for today!

Usually, I don't blog from the office(I have in the past, but that was unusual). Without saying much, I'd just like to state that I am finally finding some footing with the work assigned to me, and I guess I can start being productive(in contrast to sleeping in weird and innovative positions, that to an onlooker would look like someone thinking deeply)

Today I involved and didn't feel drowsy even during the customary half hour drowse-period at 2. So in recognition of my efforts, I have decided to give myself a gift, that of some time off. Its now 5.30 and as you might have guessed, I am spending this off-time blogging.

So much for that. During the last few days, curious things have happenned to me, and a curious me has happenned to a few things. Let me do it ascendingly(that again is a matter of opinion, but this is my blog so buzz off with your comments)

I broke my third law in Singapore yesterday. For most of my readers, this may seem hardly something to think about, least of all to declare proudly to the world. But you see in Singapore the system is different, and the natives will not cross an empty alley, if there's a red light, even if the farthest vehicle they can see is their own. My first law I broke, when I travelled without a ticket(mind you the fine for this is about 50 dollars, and yes surprise checks do happen, surprisingly) Nothing much to elaborate, it was an eventless affair.

Next I stole something. Now here the fine is in the number of bones cracked, and eyes bruised, which from what I have heard, are always by some weird coincidence in multiples of three. I will not disclose details other than that this happenned in Little India, because frankly I am scared. The item that I stole, I still don't wear, out of fear, which basically makes the theft pointless. Nonetheless, I am proud. I do intend to return it though(??)... Naah, just joking. The third one, the one that occurred yesterday, was another ticketless travel. Now this is about the time you start getting bored, but then you remember that I said ki the events would be in ascending order, your curiosity is aroused, you feel a tickly sensation, you have something to do but you want to go on reading. So... read on.

The second, happenned over a couple of days. You see I am someone who can't lead a monotonous life, and the moment it looks that things are getting a little too predictable, I do something weird, even at the cost of risking my own dignity, which was what happenned in this case.

I made a wikipedia entry of myself and said so in facebook.

Now before you go on to wikipedia, in an attempt to anonymously crap all over my entry with impunity, let me save your employer or the institute(depending on whether you are in PS or at BITS) some bandwidth. The entry has now been deleted. Let me tell you vistaar mein ki what happenned.

As I said I made my entry, but I didn't lie. I mean, I didn't make myself to be some great weirdo, olympic gold winner, cape wearing, wardrobe malfunctioned crusader. For me it was more of the act of doing it rather than the content. I didn't check the entry all day, I did get a few messages that it was a nice weird thing to do...blah blah blah.

But in the evening I get a message saying that I had been pwned, so I search for the entry, and it had been edited beyond recognition. Of course, most of you can guess that the edit had several references to my historical, geographical and physical aspects. Some were true most were invented. The page underwent some 3-4 edits I think. Now just for fun, I made a nice big reply(it has to be nice, coz I made it, and you can't be judgemental because you can't see it, so buzz off again... if you haven't done that already). While in bed, I was getting weird ideas, of what may happen, what I'd do, how I'd set an example to people who vandalise wikipedia, all that sort of stuff(don't laugh you idiots, we all do these things, whenever the slightest opportunity to frrl important emerges, I am only just admitting it, and what are you waiting for, don't you know how to buzz off)

Next morning I wake up and find my entry deleted by some important fellow at wikipedia. In an attempt to gain whatever else I could, I declared this too on facebook. hehe.

The whole episode was entertaining, but I just want to thell the editors, that if you wanted some more fun, I would have given it to you. But by using language, that would ensure deletion, I don't know what you hoped to achieve. I mean, if you had written something funny, I would have surely replied sportingly, but all you have done is made a fool of yourself. I an not angry, scared or anything, just confused.

I really want to tell you about the final item, but its time to leave. So I guess later. But I will do the right thing and release you from my spell. Go and have a good sleep. Bye.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A long time ago in Singapore

It would have been quite a long time since any of you net-savvy, jeans-clad, career-oriented, city folk(am not being critical here, I too belong to this category :P), would have heard a tale beginning with the words, "A long time ago...".

Most of the tales we tell each other are gossip, loose statements broken-telephoned into sensational stories or just stupid things we tell each other about others(the third person category) to keep our low self esteemed selves content, because this third person has bettered us, angered us, ignored us or just shown us who we are. And the cycle continues.

This is about the time, I begin lose the point of the post, and fade into an altogether new topic, which is sometimes not just totally irrelevant to what I wanted to write about, but contradictory. Just like one of those tale-tellers I was talking about in the above paragraph. But not today, today I am focused.

So here goes, ahem...(clears throat)

A long time ago. Mind you, not too long ago. About the time that computers were still considered to be a neat thing, spitting was still legal in Singapore and homosexuality was still thought to be non-existent. Around this time, in an undeveloped suburb tucked away in the centre of Singapore, now known as Little India, there lived a street hawker by the name of Hussain. But this is not his story. This is the story of one of Hussain's 7 children's (this is gramatically correct mind you GRE folk, chaar hazaar words ratne se angrezi nahin aa jati) uncle's, wife's, daughter's, brother. Now this fellow was a very cunning and shrewd and cunning, but neither his shrewdness nor his cunningness, made him extraordinary, so there's no point in telling his story.

This ordinarily shrewd, with normal cunningness, had a friend called Mustafa, and-you guessed it right-this is his story. This guy, not so coincidentally, was also a street hawker. There were a lot of them here and there. And like, many street hawkers, or rather I should say any professional, even today, anywhere in the world, he was not satisfied with his professional life.
But such was his level of dissatisfaction, that he was determined to change his life for the better.(I guess the 'for the better' part was unnecessary, but lite)

Like a lot of such rags-to-riches stories, Mustafa's life is shrouded in mystery. He is known to have used all means possible to rewrite his destiny. He made friends, he made foes, but what is most important is that he made a fortune, and that's what makes him different. 

I can relate to you one of his crooked means to earn dosh. During the time, when globalization was just another word in the dictionary, and only time it came up in discussions, was when discussing whether it has an 's' or a 'z', prices of commodities varied immensely from country to country. This was particularly true of gold, which was one item of choice for our hawker with an attitude.

He would invite friends from India(that's another story... one I don't know of, but can probably cook up), pay for their stay and other expenses, and send them back home, covered with gold. The point of this was that there cannot be any excise duty for worn items, but only for items carried. So these guys would come to Singapore, having seen gold only through jewellers' window panes, and on returning home would be covered from head to toe in the yellow metal. 

Needless to say, if someone could go to so much risk and effort to do this, the profits would have been equally high, by the direct proportional law between risk and profitability. 

Using this and many more tricks, our Alladin(am referring to Mustafa, in case you've missed the point) built an empire, using bricks and cement(I dislike the term, using his own bare hands, so here's my rebellion). The fellow now owns a hunungous shopping complex in Little India, and sells everything. I am going to refrain from saying, from this to that, and am simply going to say, everything and that should suffice. 

This shopping complex, like our hero, Mustafa, is again unlike any other. Other than the availability of all and sundry items there, their supply chain is just fascinating. As amazing as it may sound, they have no godown. Items come and items sell. They sell watches in kilograms, digicams are given off as free gifts... I guess you get the message. 

As of now, Mustafa is probably sitting in his pedestal, red-bearded, sporting a white topi and kurta pajama, overlooking his colossal empire which almost runs Little India. His gold selling days are probably over, but I'm sure that after so many years, he'd have his own set of tricks up his sleeve. 

About Me

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I am Arjun P. Kamath, and I am a nice guy to know.