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The Big Fat Tamizh wedding: Part I

with 18 comments

The day had all the markings of yet-another-bloody-saturday and would have probably passed for one had my mother not decided to surprise the world by gracing a wedding, an event as common as that of Ajit Agarkar not getting out for a duck. Against Australia. South Indian weddings are like Star Wars movies, unless you’ve already attended a few or read the opening crawl you won’t understand what’s going on, not that anybody cares. (*Background music for opening crawl*) The quintessential tam-brahm wedding has a few key features – nosy aunties adorned in bling weighing a few hundred tons, their equally annoying worse halves discussing issues of national importance such as the Re.1 price hike in Saravana Bhawan’s coffee rate, nosy aunties in silk, NRIs cribbing about Chennai’s excessive heat, haute girls of marriagable age making fashion statements that would have given Nirupa Roy and Paravai Muniyamma a run for their money, and did I mention nosy aunties? (*end music*) My dear mother, in what can only be termed as a momentary collapse of the entire cognitive machinery, as is so common with these aged people, arrived at the wedding hall a good hour and a half before dinner. The “Venakatachalam weds Jothilakshmi” banners had long given way to the more modern “Adithya weds Shweta”. Even before my mom could actually draw a chair, she was greeted by a high-pitched squeal that would have put Bianca Castafiore out of business. “Welcome! That red saree looks simply equiste. Surely you must have bought it in RandomSareeShop1768“.

We digress here to discuss the optimal wedding attending algorithm, an essential part of any operations research or optimization techniques course. Recent research has shown that for an ideal wedding experience, one must enter the hall precisely 12 minutes and 42 seconds before dinner is served. Attending a wedding well before dinner is not very different from reading a Chetan Bhagat novel, in the sense that both are utterly pointless. First, the entry must be furtive in order to avoid a plethora of awkward social situations (ASS for a good reason), ranging from the sixth grader and his mom who want to know how to get into IIT, to patronizing uncles eager to give out free advice and the dude from thatLocalEngineeringCollege you once hung out with, who refuses to let go. The remaining 12 mins can be summarized by the following steps:

1) Try cutting the queue with your best ‘I need to pee urgently look’. The good thing about hitting the queue close to dinner time is that the bridal couple would be so exhausted after meeting a million people that the average time per guest would have reduced exponentially.

2)The Gift, the most important part of the wedding. As much as the invitation may croon, “We only want your blessings”, nobody really gives two hoots to your blessing. Yes, now get over that! The gift cannot be a random item you picked in the flea market on the way; the price of the gift must be chosen according to the following equation.

Price_{gift} = \frac{\lambda(Income_{groom}) + (1 - \lambda)(Income_{bride})}{100*closeness}
where,
\lambda is a factor depending on the MCP (Male chauvinist pig) coefficient of the family
closeness or degree_of_closeness is a number ranging from 1-10, one being the closest and 10, the farthest.

3)Give your fakest possible smile for the photograph. Putting your hands on the groom is allowed but frowned upon as most guests haven’t had a bath in ages, hands on the bride is a definite no-no. It is also important that you pull your chest up to hide that paunch. You don’t want little kids looking at the wedding pictures to comment on fat-uncle?

4) Run towards the dining hall at relativistic speeds trampling a couple of five year olds on the way to set an example for those dare to block your path. The same method however, does not apply to over-sized aunties. These fascinating women on the other hand, can be removed with the following 9 magical words “They are giving pineapple juice on the other side”.

Thanking Lord Ganesha and pineapple juice respectively for their parts in removing obstacles from your way, you go ahead and complete the ritual – eat to your hearts content and exit, stage right once again hoping to avoid those ASS’es on the way. Of course, my dear mother not having taken my wisdom all that seriously arrived at the wedding hall, sister in tow, well before dinner, blissfully unaware of the horrors to follow.

The middle aged ladies infesting weddings are primarily of two types – those who give you education funda, and those who sprinkle marriage funda; all for free mind you! Contrary to popular perception, the former, possessing the educational aura of an opposum, is no better than the latter. Stuck with I-know-everything aunty (IKEA for convenience), my mom probably understood how I felt in class everyday, an hour seemed like an eternity. After her dissertation on red sarees and every other shop in town, IKEA decided to move on to more irritating ventures.

“Shravan, your son, feels like a hundred years since I last saw him. Oh, he was so little then”. Liar, Liar. I clearly remember seeing this feminine menace a couple of years back and believe me, I haven’t grown a nanometre since. “What is he doing now?”

“Shreyas”, mom said. “He is in IIT Roorkee now”.

In what can only be termed as a curious case of reverse evolution, nature, for reasons beyond the scope of this post, saw it fit to bestow IKEA and her ilk with predatory hearing skills placing them on par with hawks, bloodhounds and owls. The mere mention of the magic word (IIT and not Shreyas!) was enough to bring the rest of IKEA’s clan to the spot. On hearing IIT, IKEA’s own eyes lit up. Now, there are some keywords that are bound to arouse any respectable tamizh woman from a respectable family. IIT, Siligon valley, YemYes, Sun DeeVee, 24-Carat and Palag Pannneeer reci-bee are of a few of them. Much to my chagrin, Rajnikanth, Chewbecca and 42 are not. Neither are IAS, B.Sc Sociology and gold-plated jewellery.

“Oh IIT! Our kids grow up so fast, don’t they?”, interjected another lady looking straight out of a saas-bahu serial, clearly having rehearsed this particular line around 6.023 x 10^23 times. My mom turned her glance towards the two unmarried, 25+ tanker lorries who happened to Avagadro aunty’s daughters. “Yes, they grow. A lot”, she concluded, the sarcasm missing the fine woman by a distance approximately equal to the radius of the earth (at the equators, not poles).

Not very pleased at having her flow broken, IKEA burst out with the noble intention of imparting geography to the simpletons surrounding her, “Roorkee, isnt that the place in orissa with the steel plant”?

It may be hard to believe but scientists predict that one day the sun will simply run out of energy, a day might come when Rajnikanth gets tried of bashing up baddies and a day when Master Yoda actually decides to attend grammar class. I am sure even on that day, IKEA would not shut up. “No, it’s near Haridwar”, mother corrected.

Bad move mom, bad move.

(To be continued…)

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Written by Chronoz

September 19, 2010 at 11:38 am

To be or not to be!

with 4 comments

It was that time of the year again, when only human minds are more cluttered than study tables, when “ghissu” becomes a compliment than a “gaali”, when spotting a soul on the corridors is more difficult than spotting a member of the female species, when people fight for the local ghissu’s tut copy, when serious looks greet you in the mess rather than the customary smiles, when bakar consists of only Electrodynamics and multiple integrals, and ofcourse, the time of the year when IITR faces power cuts. Welcome to the yet another dreaded TS (Test-Series) in the life of an IIT’ian. It was during this time of the year, that yours truly fed up with the terrible math portions and having reached his saturation decided to use his FREE message scheme to bug the local “Illusioned Mathematician”. and what ensued follows.

Note: MA-102, being such a terrible course, does not really have any proper text book that students follow. And hence all sorts of books from Berman to Iyengar to Kreyzig are being used. The book under discussion is one of its kind. It is most definitely not a book to learn mathematics, yet it seems to have a cult status which defies any logic, maybe because of the fact that it has a decent problem collection. Yours truly decided to investigate it one fine night to find out what it was really made of. For the sake of clarity, we shall be referring to it as a book by a Random Indian Author (RIA). Read on!

ME: Man, RIA is terribly bugging. It has questions which are conceptually simple, but integrating them is a pain in the neck. God save our souls.

The Illusioned Mathematician (TIM): I dont see such books unless someone comes with a doubt in those books. I maintain my standard irrespective of what standard the course coordinator sets.

ME: My dear chap, A rose grows in a ditch. Similarly these Indian authors have taken great pains to search various foregin books and rip-off only the best of sums. As an indian, i feel that i should atleast honour the service done by our fellow countrymen. After all searching n^n foreign books to extract only the best of questions, is not really an easy task!

TIM: Oh, i just despise these books.. there are some superb indian author books no doubt but not RIA. Math first, and then comes india.
Opinions differ. 😛

ME: How sad.. Ask not what the country has done to you but what you have done for the country. I feel that RIA has the same probs as any other socalled top class foreign/indian book… so for mathematical laymen like yours truly, its all the same.

TIM: Really depends on your purpose. you wanna forget integration after Ma102, so RIA rocks… i wanna die the moment, i forget my first bit of maths so bermans my book. Close this topic. wont get us anywhere.

ME: When did i ever mention that RIA rocks??

No reply! 😀

Hmmm…In my humble opinion, its all in the mind. And what you do defines what/who you are. Its most definitely not how you do it. Yeah, I was playing for the gallery (quite obviously), but was I the only one?

P.S: Airtel is such a smart-ass, they’ve upped the SMS rates just for today.

P.P.S: No V-Day wishes from me. Check this out, for more details.

P.P.S: Some lame reply did come after an hour, but I fail to remember it.

Written by Chronoz

February 14, 2009 at 11:03 am

Cut The Flirting!

with 16 comments

No, this is not a retort against the flirts who inhabit the city but if you are living in the al-Jof region in Saudi Arabia and your prime hobby is flirting, this is definitely for you. The governor of the above mentioned region has ordered authorities to punish people who flirt in public by errrr…. cutting their hair.

Prince Fahd bin Badr, governor of the northern al-Jof region, ordered police to carry out the punishment after seeing a group of men with long hair pestering female students as they left school in the northern al-Qurayat province, Al-Hayat newspaper said.

Saudi Arabia has quite a strict lifestyle and men and women are not allowed to mix freely in the public but I do find this a bit comical. Mr.Governor, I appreciate your decision to help girls by trying to abolish flirting but hey, there are flirts without hair as well. I wonder what the punishment to these kind of people would be. Let them grow hair? Or Tonsure their head?

Maybe the wagging tongues need to cut instead of the hair. This might frighten the over-enthusiastic boys.

Source: AP

Written by Chronoz

May 1, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Posted in General News, Humor

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