Close Encounters Of the Deer Kind

Posted April 13th, 2002 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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On Friday evening as I was walking towards the bus stop, it struck me that it was already the weekend. Fridays generally being my turn to cook I was trying to recollect the contents of my refrigerator to decide what delicacy I should prepare. It was then I realized that I had no topic to write for my weekend mail. It had been a most boring week. Mark had not acted weirdly (no more than usual that is!) and we did not have any sightseeing trips planned. Absolutely uneventful.

I made aloo matar and cabbage for dinner. Seejo turned up in the evening with a few slices of cake that he had baked. The dinner gang settled down to the serious business o eating and seeing a movie. The weekend selection was “Yeh Raaste hai Pyaar ke”. Everybody praised Seejo’s cooking skills and oohed and aahed over his cake. Seejo was thrilled. Buoyed by the success he decided to make dinner the next day. On Saturday by the time Seejo gathered the required ingredients for his culinary venture it was part noon and hunger pangs were beginning to make themselves known. Atha suggested A tiny restaurant in Scottsville called Lumpkins ( Aparna do you remember that?) .They had good country  food which was cheap, the drive to that place was  beautiful especially now that Spring had begun. And the icing on the cake (for Atha and Seejo) was that the waitresses there were young and pretty.

We had two cars since both the guys decided that there were too tall to squeeze themselves into the backseat of my car. I was driving and Seejo was navigating my car. I have mentioned in my earlier mails that driving with Seejo is no pleasure. Each move I make is scrutinized and dissected and analyzed and it always turns out that I made a wrong decision. But it was a beautiful warm Spring day and the weather was perfect , the scenery was beautiful and the winding turning road made it a great drive.

We reached Lumpkins, filled our tummies with a lot of food and fresh country made bread. I had that wonderful feeling you get when you are so stuffed and you realize all you need is a cosy sofa and a book in your hand. I magnanimously offered Seejo the car keys telling him ” I know you are itching to drive..so here take the keys”. It turned out to be the best decision I have ever made in my life.

For hardly had we left the restaurant and started on the road , there were a couple of deer standing by the wayside. Now that not being a deer infested are there were no warning signs or symbols so we were doing a happy 55mph. However this deer decided that traffic or no traffic I am going to jaywalk and it bounded across the road. Seejo jammed the brakes. The deer managed to reach the other end. Unfortunately there was a couple of other deer behind who decided to follow their adventurous friend. This second deer leaped across the road just as Seejo slammed the breaks. The deer landed on the bonnet of the car, bounced off it and landed on the windshield and then ricocheted off and flew high upto ~ 10feet and then landed somewhere far away on a nearby field where we could not see it! Atha and Subha were lucky enough to enjoy a once in a lifetime sight of a flying deer!

The windshield was smashed into smithereens; there was a shower of glass splinters inside the car. The deer caused a huge dent on my car bonnet, mangled the front of my car, wrecked the front light assembly and broke the coolant and water containers. Fortunately we escaped unhurt. We pulled the car into a nearby field. Someone had called the cops so within minutes an officer arrived on the scene and started completing the formalities. Some other travelers told us that the deer was heaving somewhere and they had called some people to take care of the injured deer. The officer arranged for a tow truck to tow my car.

Standing there waiting for the tow truck  to arrive we had some time to think back over what happened. Suddenly there were a lot of “what if ??” questions.

What if Seejo had hit the brakes a second late. The deer would have probably hit the passenger door instead of the bonnet and would have resulted in either killing me if it had managed to get his hoofs inside ( there was an article  on fatal injuries  caused by deer recently in a local newspaper: it said that most of the injuries were caused because the deer gets his front legs trapped inside the car and so it thrashes the legs about killing the driver/passenger in the process)

If we had escaped that it would have certainly ended in overturning the car. With the momentum of the vehicle and the weight of the deer (~ 130 pounds) . It was a tall deer about the height of my car.

What if I had been driving . Again there were two possibilities .Since my reflexes are not that quick (read absent) we would have quickly turned into past tense. Or if we took the optimistic view, with my speed the deer would have easily managed to cross the road before my car reached that spot.

Anyway we had a lucky escape.

And we didn’t even get the deer. Apparently according to the Virginia law, if we kill a deer we can take it home. We could have had venison for dinner.

However I am not complaining.

We are alive.

Seejo cooked. We are having Shrimp Bisque and Chicken tikka .

And I have enough masala for the weekend mail!

Books:

The Smithsonian Institution: Vidal Gore

Farewell to Arms: Ernest Hemmingway

Websites:

Just browed the WWW to find more about deer accidents

* http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/opinion/steigerwaldqa/s_6312.html

Childhood Comics: Remember Chacha Chowdhary?

* http://www.diamondcomic.com

Another cool site on the WWW. Reveals the endings of several movies. Astonish others by predicting exactly how a movie would end

* http://www.moviepooper.com

Riddle of the Week:

Why did the deer cross the road?

Interpreter of Dreams

Posted April 7th, 2002 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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INTERPRETER OF DREAMS
INTRODUCTION:
Dreams are supposed to mirror your unconscious thoughts and reveal your hidden desires or fears. As I have several dreams each night (related and unrelated) and what is worse I always remember snatches of it., I decided it is time to explore the underlying significance of all these dreams.
MATERIALS :
I have plenty of material to work on. I am not one of those unfortunate people who have the same recurring dream. I like variety, even in my dreams. The only difficult is to pick out which of these to analyze. However there is a common thread running through all these dreams.. I have explosions, riots revolutions, bomb blasts killings and what not! Should I analyze the dream where Osama turned out to be relative (with my HUGE family and the promiscuous tendencies of the namboothiris…I am sure we share some common DNA strands!).
Or the recent one where some unknown person annihilates Turkey (the country not the fowl) and I see this huge hand wiping it off the globe. Try as I might I can’t think of why I dreamt of Turkey!
Some dreams though can be related to my daily conversations. After a overdose of talks with Aparna I once had this beautiful dream that someone rang the doorbell I open it to see Mr. Salman Khan there. And I with this beatific smile take a knife and stab him!!
And there was this interesting dream that a man on the wheelchair ( supposedly a real brainy guy…) lands up at my home saying that MY mother has sent him to talk with me so that they can formalize our rishta!! Pulkit told me that that was cos I was deeply impressed by Patil ( BME prof in my BE college!)
How can I exclude the dream in which Mark and my grandmother were learning Hindi together with all the rest of my maternal family looking on indulgently?
What about the one where I clutch my hair and find the entire thing has come off in my hands…(long acquaintance with a bald prof?? Too much radiation???)
So many cases…..
ANALYSIS:
For analysis I searched the WWW! (where else!!) A search on google elicited the Dream Doctor and Dream Analysis. Their analysis is presented below
Bombs:
Destruction due to bombs can represent the aftermath of emotional attack or abuse, in the present or the past. (See what a troubled life I lead!)
Color :( since most of my dreams are vividly colored…..bright blues and reads and greens predominate)
Green: Fertility, spring, rejuvenation
Blue: Peaceful, spiritual, infinite
Red: Anger, passion (See what a confused life I lead!)
Killing
If you have a dream whereby you kill someone with intent or by accident then you are being warned that heavy, unaccustomed stress could cause you to lose your temper and self control. (see what a stressful life I lead!)
Hair:
To dream you are getting bald foretells your generosity will cause you loss and mental anguish.(see, what an altruistic life I lead!)
RESULTS:
Preliminary results show that my night life is exciting and happening !! Further investigation is required for a conclusion.
CONCLUSION:
1)     Record my dreams ( I can publish them later)
2)     Sleep more ( more sleep more dreams more data)
3)     Bore everybody with them ( after all that’s the only “original” stories I can come up with )
Current Reading:
The Great Gasby : F ScottFitzgerald
The World of Mr.Mulliner P.G Wodehouse
Websites:
http://www.sleeps.com/dictionary/dictionary.html (the dream analyser!)
http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/_generate/INDIA.html   (women writers from India)
http://www.truthorfiction.com/index-humor.htm   (the truth or fiction story about several rumors)
Movies
Kitne Door Kitne Paas : Ugh! Just watched it to drool over Fardeen Khan
Mitr: Saw a dubbed version. It was very odd to see Shobana and not hear her. But I liked the movie for the main reason that it didn’t drag at all
Guess who is coming for dinner: A beautiful movie about relationships starring Sidney Poiter. Stroy about how a white female brings a black manfor dinner and announces she is engaged to him. THe story proceeds from there when she,he,her parents and his parents discuss the issue. Excellent film.
Joke of the Week
Seejo’s mother got transferred yesterday.  Guess where….
Trivandrum ,Kerala….
Couldn’t stop smiling about the coincidence and it was finally my turn to say “C’mon that’s no big deal!!!” Enjoyed that!

INTERPRETER OF DREAMS

INTRODUCTION:

Dreams are supposed to mirror your unconscious thoughts and reveal your hidden desires or fears. As I have several dreams each night (related and unrelated) and what is worse I always remember snatches of it., I decided it is time to explore the underlying significance of all these dreams.

MATERIALS :

I have plenty of material to work on. I am not one of those unfortunate people who have the same recurring dream. I like variety, even in my dreams. The only difficult is to pick out which of these to analyze. However there is a common thread running through all these dreams.. I have explosions, riots revolutions, bomb blasts killings and what not! Should I analyze the dream where Osama turned out to be relative (with my HUGE family and the promiscuous tendencies of the namboothiris…I am sure we share some common DNA strands!).

Or the recent one where some unknown person annihilates Turkey (the country not the fowl) and I see this huge hand wiping it off the globe. Try as I might I can’t think of why I dreamt of Turkey!

Some dreams though can be related to my daily conversations. After a overdose of talks with Aparna I once had this beautiful dream that someone rang the doorbell I open it to see Mr. Salman Khan there. And I with this beatific smile take a knife and stab him!!

And there was this interesting dream that a man on the wheelchair ( supposedly a real brainy guy…) lands up at my home saying that MY mother has sent him to talk with me so that they can formalize our rishta!! Pulkit told me that that was cos I was deeply impressed by Patil ( BME prof in my BE college!)

How can I exclude the dream in which Mark and my grandmother were learning Hindi together with all the rest of my maternal family looking on indulgently?

What about the one where I clutch my hair and find the entire thing has come off in my hands…(long acquaintance with a bald prof?? Too much radiation???)

So many cases…..

ANALYSIS:

For analysis I searched the WWW! (where else!!) A search on google elicited the Dream Doctor and Dream Analysis. Their analysis is presented below

Bombs:

Destruction due to bombs can represent the aftermath of emotional attack or abuse, in the present or the past. (See what a troubled life I lead!)

Color :( since most of my dreams are vividly colored…..bright blues and reads and greens predominate)

Green: Fertility, spring, rejuvenation

Blue: Peaceful, spiritual, infinite

Red: Anger, passion (See what a confused life I lead!)

Killing

If you have a dream whereby you kill someone with intent or by accident then you are being warned that heavy, unaccustomed stress could cause you to lose your temper and self control. (see what a stressful life I lead!)

Hair:

To dream you are getting bald foretells your generosity will cause you loss and mental anguish.(see, what an altruistic life I lead!)

RESULTS:

Preliminary results show that my night life is exciting and happening !! Further investigation is required for a conclusion.

CONCLUSION:

1)     Record my dreams ( I can publish them later)

2)     Sleep more ( more sleep more dreams more data)

3)     Bore everybody with them ( after all that’s the only “original” stories I can come up with )

Current Reading:

The Great Gasby : F ScottFitzgerald

The World of Mr.Mulliner P.G Wodehouse

Websites:

http://www.sleeps.com/dictionary/dictionary.html (the dream analyser!)

http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/_generate/INDIA.html   (women writers from India)

http://www.truthorfiction.com/index-humor.htm   (the truth or fiction story about several rumors)

Movies

Kitne Door Kitne Paas : Ugh! Just watched it to drool over Fardeen Khan

Mitr: Saw a dubbed version. It was very odd to see Shobana and not hear her. But I liked the movie for the main reason that it didn’t drag at all

Guess who is coming for dinner: A beautiful movie about relationships starring Sidney Poiter. Stroy about how a white female brings a black manfor dinner and announces she is engaged to him. THe story proceeds from there when she,he,her parents and his parents discuss the issue. Excellent film.

Joke of the Week

Seejo’s mother got transferred yesterday.  Guess where….

Trivandrum ,Kerala….

Couldn’t stop smiling about the coincidence and it was finally my turn to say “C’mon that’s no big deal!!!” Enjoyed that!

The perfect abstract

Posted April 5th, 2002 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
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I have been trying to write an abstract this week. Try as I might I couldn’t write a “conscise” “comprehensive” and “informative” one. After umpteen attempts I finally managed to write one which (I thought) had all the required information and sent it to Mark for verification, Mark promptly reworded the whole thing and sent back the comment that “write it more clearly, explain all steps and basically rewrite it” . So I sat there and made a list of ALL the steps of my algorithm and wrote it down. This time I very wisely decided that I’ll send Seejo a copy of my abstract for a dose of constructive criticism. A few minutes later I got a call from Seejo.. “Can you explain what exactly you have done in your algorithm . For a second I thought I sent him the old version. Checked that…No, it was the revised version.

Then I proceeded to explain to Seejo exactly what I was doing. It took me 19 minutes. I counted …it was my daytime cell phone minutes. Finally comprehension dawned on Seejo.  He reworked whatever he understood into the abstract and sent it back, so all I had to do was check for grammatical errors, link all the statements up, pepper it with the right technical words and send it to Mark. By this time, it looked pretty much like a classic American operating instructions set ( hold the jar in your left hand, Hold the can opener in your left…..) by the time I finished that but didn’t Mark say put it as much detail as you can…………??!!
I sent it off to  Mark with a flourish. 2 hours and no reply. Went and peeked at his door.

“Mark,  did you get the abstract I sent you” .
“Yes, I am working on it”
On his screen was a document with so many changes that I was tempted to run far away from Mark’s room.
“I think we have to rework this, although I know what you have done, it is not easy to understand”
Whew!! Now what?? Although I was sure he was grossly underestimating the intelligence of the average reader, it seemed a better idea to humor him. After all I needed it in exactly 24 hours.
In the meantime I also sent a copy of this to Pulkit for a “layman’s” point of view (oops!!!).
Pulkit came online shortly and pinged me to tell me “Wow! Deepa amazing paper…well written and I didn’t follow a thing!
It was time to make changes then!! I looked at the revisions Mark had made, added some of my own, and clarified all the doubts he asked and sent it back to him for a cursory check. Unfortunately I think I did a better job than I had bargained for. Came the summons to his office.
“Deepa, I didn’t realize you were doing blah blah blah…”
“But,Mark I told you that was the problem…”
“Yeah but you can’t submit an abstract with this data,why don’t you change your code to get the effects of the background blah blah blah…”
It was 8 pm. I had to modify my code, run it on atleast 4 data sets , rewrite the abstract all by next day morning!
Somehow I managed that……….no more abstract writings for me….
Thank you!!
For those who want to see what the final product looks like, here it is

Cell a Vie

Posted April 2nd, 2002 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
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Seejo came on Friday night and promised to take me somewhere .I wanted to go to West Virginia and Friday night was spent in searching for “west
Virginia Attractions” (at least that was what I typed in at google!)

But come Saturday morning aur kahani mein Twisssht! I must mention here for those unaware that I recently purchased a cell phone. I really never felt that I “needed” one and so the main reason I purchased one was that Seejo told me he will put it on his plan (share a plan) (that he will pay the monthly bill or that anyway his office pays for the phone bill !) Also around that time came an offer which cut the
cost of the phone by half .A 100$ mail in rebate…. So all in all great incentives to buy a cell phone!
Thought over it ….I had to spend only 100$ ..not bad I thought for a cell phone…
Bought the cell phone……
Now here starts the saga….

I was told before sharing a plan we must start off with one individual plan to get the mail in rebate …Ok I thought that’s just one month so 40$ dollars to pay..

I didn’t calculate the activation fee( another 40) and a host of other small fees which added up to a hefty amount…

Next, turned out that I had to activate the phone by a certain date to get the mail in rebate…and I didn’t! The salesman didn’t tell us and we didn’t read the fine print! Decided must call up the phone ppl and fight for this ….Deputised Seejo to do the fighting ( anyway he bought it didn’t he??!!)
Anyways back to that eventful Saturday morning.I get a message on my cell saying your time is almost up!
Me all aghast ,,,,I never spoke that much did I? 1500 minutes in 15 days!!! Not me!

I called the phone to check the remaining minutes …plenty left then what was the problem ……Apparently I had used 400 minutes of roaming talk time which is charged at around 40c a minute ..Which works out to be $160 ..What the @$!@$
So we call up the Sprint ppl and yell at them ..They say go get the phone checked ..Where I ask ……”Richmond” they reply! Good lord now how will I get there on a weekday to get it checked??? Well not their problem!

And for good measure they add another piece of news..If I shift on to another plan that means cancellation of this plan which means a 150$ fine!! Now me have to pay 40$ every month or a 150$ to shut this plan .And yes Seejo’s company says they will pay his phone bills only if we enroll in their plan! Wow!!

And that too a defective phone which charges me roaming rate and does not mention it is roaming…

Thee I was with a phone I expected to pay a flat 100$ and thank you very much…

Called up Seejo ..to yell at him,,,,,( had to yell at somebody!)

Seejo tired of the phone business already…tell me throw it away

And that’s what I did ….

Phone resting at the bottom of the trash-bin now!

RIP

-Deepa

P.S. Didn’t go to West Virginia….Went to Richmond…instead!