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Archive for the ‘funny’ Category

We all have our “Moments of Madness”, decisions which had really bad consequences, irrational choices, sudden realization of immortality and of course the very common “plain old stupidity”.

I, in particular, had more than my “normal “share. In fact, you could consider me in the top 20%.

So here are 5 of my “Moments of Madness”. Don’t try to understand, don’t judge. Just have fun ūüôā

1) Sleep? Naah.. Who Needs it?

In the early years of my career, I was “over” passionate about my work. I was working on preparing a 200 page document of the project. Somehow time became non-existent while working on this.

For the first time in my life, I was awake for 72 hours at a stretch.

For 3 days, I was in the office working without sleep. I didn’t even take a bath.

Wait, it gets better. After working for straight 72 hours,

I went home.

Slept 8 hours.

Came back to work and stayed again for 48 hours.


This should have been impossible. So, no wonder, there were consequences. I fell sick and suffered for an entire month.

Really crazy thing to do. But quite a story to tell any fresh graduates joining my industry ūüôā

2) Disclaimer: This stunt on you-tube should not be attempted.

Broke the hand. But not the smile ūüôā

If only there was such kind of a disclaimer when I was watching a You-tube video about a guy doing a stunt on his motorbike.

This guy was riding through traffic, when he let go of his hands, laid back with his arms behind his head, started making a call on his mobile РON A MOVING  BIKE!

Link for Video

I could not believe my eyes when I saw that stunt on you-tube. Damn! This guy was good. I was wondering, if only I could find the guts to try something like that.

Alas, turned out that I did have the guts and enough craziness to try it.

Been there. Done it. Broke it.

To cut a long story short.

Tried the same stunt on my shiny new 10-day old Enfield thunderbird.

Ran into a friend.

Crashed.

Broke my right hand.

The first attempt went well

Shouldn’t have tried again. 5 seconds before impact!

Hopefully, this post will be reminder to all you kids out there – Don’t watch You-tube!

3) Never Give up. Even when life is slippery.

Impossible is nothing

I and a friend (venkat) went biking in the Himalayas. Venkat rented a pulsar and I took the big blue 350 kg Enfield Thunderbird.

Our destination for the day РKhardung la, a pass 18,000 feet above sea level. The road through that is said to be the highest motor able road in the world.

But right after passing the peak, we ran into trouble – Black Ice on the Road.

Ever try riding a motorcycle on ice? Impossible!

Now try riding a 350 kg “road king” motorcycle.¬†On black ice. Through a snowfall (BTW I was seeing snow for the first time in my life)

Only the foolish attempt the unknown. Only the “Real Mad ones” prevail.

Against all reasoning, we attempted to cross the 100 meter stretch of ice and this was after we saw a truck getting stuck in it.

We not only tried, but we came through safe. I still don’t understand how we did it!

4) Keep your eyes on the road

More than ten years before we did this bike trip, the same two guys (Me & Venkat) had a very interesting scooter episode.

Before I elaborate, please understand that we were young and “boisterous”.

Venkat and I picked up dad’s LML Vespa scooter and went to a movie theater. We got the tickets. We were too early for the movie and had a lot of time to spare.

So we decided to drive around the main road (MG Road) of our home town. I was driving (oh man!)

My sharp eyes saw 3 pretty ladies walking on the road and I was quick to point this out to my friend.

Venkat looked back and was checking out the ladies. Of course, I had to make sure Venkat was actually checking out the girls. So I looked back.

Unfortunately, we were only two and without any proximity warning on the scooter, we saw the rickshaw a little too late.

BHAM!

We were on the road, the scooter bent out of shape. We, uninjured, although I can’t say the same for our pride.

Too late, the girls saw all this – we checking them out, we NOT checking out the rickshaw!

We ended up walking the damaged scooter and the girls giggling at us.

Definitely not a story for my grand children.

5) Biggest decisions are done in the shower

Ever decided to go on a 1000 km round trip on your bike, alone?

Ever decided to do the above in the few minutes while taking a shower?

I did! ūüôā

I had to! Decided while taking a shower, came out, packed a bag and left on 550km non-stop solo bike ride.

Returned back again in 48 hours. The return trip was an all-night road trip. At one time, I had to sleep in an abandoned bus shelter next to the highway.

Scary moment :- Running over a dead carcass (pig?) at 3AM while driving half-asleep!

Definitely something to tell my grand children ūüôā

This blog is in response to the¬†BlogAdda contest ‚ÄėMoments of Madness‚Äô sponsored by¬†Pringoo.

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I don’t listen to music. There are only two instances where I listen to music – If I feel sleepy at work or there are too many distractions around and during a long drive. I hate FM!

If you thing that is weird, wait till you read this

I cannot comprehend words when I listen to songs. The lyrics are mostly gibberish to me.

This applies to songs in any language. I only remember the few words  repeated over and over, the rest of the lyrics go WHOOSH Рover the top.

I have no clue why this is so and I really don’t care. It appears I’m the only one with this¬†anomaly. Maybe I’m one-of-a-kind.

Now coming to “Not listening to music”

I’m very picky when it comes to liking songs. I have to like the song in the first 10 seconds or else it’s out! and add “lack of patience” to search through the millions of songs out there, and I just give up.

I just have a handful of songs that I love which I listen to over and over again.

Another trait of mine – If I hear a song that is catchy in the morning, it keeps playing again and again in my head.

I keep singing this ¬†“Song-Of-The-Day” ¬†throughout my day at random times, sometimes, ¬†not even aware that I’m singing it.

This would be normal if I did sing the right way. Because my brain has filtered out the lyrics of the songs, I just remember the tune and to sing it, I just make up my own words.

These words may sound like the original lyrics, but they are gibberish. Sometimes they are not even words from the dictionary (any language).

Laughing at me or with me

Last week, I was singing this song from Ishqiya and Abhi, who was sitting next to me, started laughing.

I realized that I was singing this song over and over with my own made up words, very much like a child making up his/her own words

Why do I have to sing a song with the exact lyrics? Why can’t I make up or invent my own Lyrics?

Srinivas gets very upset that I change the lyrics, ¬†as if there was a copyright misuse. But who cares man! I enjoy music and I don’t remember the words.

Sing more. Sing your own tune.

I know that most of you are even embarrassed singing in front of another person, while assuming that your voice sucks.

You know what – My voice sucks! I’m sure it sounds even more horrible than yours. But I still sing and that too with my own lyrics.

Singing gives a lot of pleasure to human beings – don’t let the “rules” or the lyrics get in your way.

Finally this post is a shout out to my fellow weirdos, anyone out there have a weird sense of music?

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I finally did it! I drove an Autorickshaw. It was the perfect ride on an imperfect vehicle.

The vehicle’s condition was exactly as I hoped – No lights, gear shift stuck, handle pulling to the right, breaks unreliable and constantly rattling.

How did this happen?

The driver was drunk!

What time did this happen?

1AM in the night.

Weren’t you scared?

Yeah, when the guy was driving.

Are you crazy?

Probably

Was it Fun?

Most definitely.

It was late in the night  and I had to find something to get back to home. An auto is the best bet at that time, and then came bouncing, the rickety rackety Auto.

Fare negotiations took 4 seconds –

I asked,

He said 150/-,

I said 130/-,

He said ‘NO’,

I said ‘OK

With the first few words from him, I realized that he was drunk.

I asked – You look drunk. Can you drive?

He said – Sure

I said – OK!

Did you ever hear a drunk saying that he cannot drive safely? No! At least he can say things that don’t make much sense, he was drunk.

I, on the other hand, of perfectly sound mind, decided to trust the words of a drunk auto driver.

After convincing myself that this is not my last day in this world and with assurances from him, I got in.

An Auto driver’s mind

I asked him why he was driving after drinking. Pat came the reply “Only 1 beer”. ¬†Another reason was body pains, he was really tired driving an auto the whole day in¬†heavy¬†traffic and he drank to ¬†forget his body aches. A likely story.

After a few minutes, I came up with an idea for driving this unstable contraption myself. This was my long-standing wish. I never tried an Autorickshaw. But it also made sense that I be the cause of my death and not a drunk auto driver.

The driver's seat

My request was promptly accepted and I found myself on a hard straw cushion staring down a dark road.

Instructions to handle this vehicle were transferred in 5-6 sentences –

Here’s the¬†clutch.¬†The throttle is in the right hand. Gear shift in the left hand. Oh by the way, that’s the break near your right foot.

and then we were off…

WoW this was one nice piece of Junk. The handle was pulling to the right, I had to put my weight to keep it straight. It was slow and the brakes were weird. But I was driving it.

It was fun, you could put one of these in an amusement park and tourists will have a ball taking it for a spin.

Soon enough, in a few minutes, my right hand started aching. It was hard trying to make the Auto go straight, it was leaning heavily to the right. The gear shift was stuck and I had to use force to change them.

All this, while driving in darkness. The light on this thing was useless.

My drunk friend was surprisingly alert. He was constantly giving me instructions, pointing out heavy trucks in my way, I was too absorbed in driving the Auto to notice any dangers.

I guess he lost his buzz along with any confidence in my driving abilities.

In 30 minutes I reached home. My right hand was aching. I had new respect for this kid, driving this piece of junk the whole day through the smoke-filled streets of Hyderabad. This was a very hard job.

The dude was happy that I could empathize with his situation. I was the only customer to drive his Auto in the last two years. I added an extra tip and made him promise to drive home safely.

That was my one night in an Autorickshaw.


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Being a favorite adult for kids is simple. Just make them laugh all the time. I’m proud to become the “naughty anna” (anna means big brother) for my Uncle’s 4 year old and 7 year old daughters. Now, there are more official requests for my¬†presence¬†at dinner parties and house gatherings.


What’s the big deal about kids?
As long as there are children, humanity is saved. They bring grown men to their knees, trying to bring out a smile. When a baby cries, everything in a 30 meter radius has to stop and all the energies of the universe are directed towards stopping it. Their antics may seem silly enough, but you can’t stop laughing seeing that.


First Things First
If you want to become a hit with kids, immediately flush out your dignity and maturity. Get rid of your personality and then step into their world. A world of extreme imagination, hilarity, simple pleasures, loss of logic and boundless energy.


Gifts?
Think simple! Think Fun! What will make them squeal with delight, make their eyes wide or scare them?
A fish bowl!


Instant Reactions
The 7-year old immediately jumped with fear seeing the gold-fish in a plastic bag, while the 4-year old instantly kissed the plastic bags. They both loved the fish. Undoubtedly the best gift of the birthday party ūüôā
Other small gifts you can try – bubble blower, things which make a sound, teddy bears, things which fly. Anything that is bright, weird or noisy is perfect for kids.


Entertainment
Running and screaming. These are your goals. Just do everything exactly opposite to a normal adult. Try entertainment which costs almost no money, anybody can spend money on fancy gifts.


Don’t take the easy route, think¬†creatively..
1) Get them in a chair and push it around.
2) Startle them by jumping out of dark corners.
3) Lift them up like a sack of potatoes, with no warning and run around.
4) Magic tricks. Doesn’t matter if the tricks are stupid. The word ‘magic’ is enough to get their attention.
5) Take instant pictures with mobile phones and show them.
6) Dance with them and sing along.
7) Tickle them and let them tickle you.
8) Watch cartoons with them.
9) Take them around pets, to show how animals play around. Puppies are perfect for this.
10) Teach them to make funny faces.

This is just a start and it doesn’t end until they become, well..uh, US!
For the last year, my path has increasingly crossed with young children, a sign that I’m getting old. I’ve seen fascinating kids at my apartment, uncle’s place, railway station, overcrowded trains and empty highways. Each encounter is a story that when I think about it, brings a smile.
For now, I’ll leave you with pictures.
ÔĽŅ

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Do you remember when you smiled for all the stupid reasons, as a kid? We were always giggling. The simple things made us smile, running around, pulling each other’s hair, breaking stuff, getting on the nerves of adults.

Of course, we do occasionally laugh at funny movies or other things. But the intensity and the frequency has slowly come down as we grew older. Hmmm!

Sometimes, you get into situations, where you should take complete advantage of making a fool of yourself. It’s Fun!

This situation happened when I was given the “macBook pro” at Thoughtworks. Apple added a tiny camera to the laptop and then spiced it up with “Photo booth” software.

The result – Instant, Clean & Green fun and non-stop giggles.

Everybody got into the act, the young, the old, women, men, clients, employees, security guards, family, friends. Maybe we were seeing our regular faces over the years and got bored.

The face – However pretty it seems to us, we love to distort that familiar features


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The World’s worst job

fingers crossed - hope to never find one

The worst job – A security guard checking for a bomb in a car.

We all see these guys at the big malls and 5-star hotels. Have you ever thought about their jobs or what it takes to be good at it? Lets be in his shoes for a while.

You come to work everyday, get your rolling mirror to check underneath the car or have a black box to scan for explosives. It’s pretty much the same and boring as hell, a tester trying to find a bug, which will never be there. But if he does find it, he’s screwed. Oh man!

How does he know that he’s doing a good job? If he gets lucky, he gets killed. Everyday, before coming to work, he has to pray that it should be another dull day at work.

So the next time you think that “it’s another dull day at work”, think about this poor bloke.

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timesheet-lifecycle

timesheet - Lifecycle

A colleague desperately wanted me to write about time-sheets.  Disclaimer: This is pure fiction (and so is the stuff put in a time-sheet)

Groan! Oh No! WTF, sucks man, crap, this is seriously crap, abey kya hein. These are some of the expressions by Indian software guys, when they must fill in a Time-sheet.

What is a time-sheet?

When management is confused about your work/tasks, you are asked to fill a simple spreadsheet, with your daily tasks and the time spent on them. That in itself is not bad, but then the 8 hour rule kicks in.

8 hour ruleWe , the company expect thee, the puny Software engineer, to create,develop and test value for at least 8 hours in a day. Anything less shall be considered against you. It is humanly impossible to create value in less than 8 hours. So in light of this revelation, understand the purpose of life (of a S/W engineer) and contribute to the human lines of code.

Time-sheet is an excellent opportunity for engineers to creatively come up with value-added-task jargon .

For example:-

Analyzed problem.

Brainstormed with so-so engineer.

Explored different methodologies.

1 hour Knowledge transfer session

Meeting, Meeting, Meeting

Watched results!!?

These adjectives (!?) are picked from the vast databases of S/W resumes.

Sample Time-sheet

Date

Time Spent

Task

Feb 1

3

Analyzed 3 issues

1

Interacted with other engineers about complications

2

1 hour knowledge Transfer session

1

3 Meeting s

1

Brainstormed for ideas

In reality the above looks like…

Date

Time Spent

Task

Feb 1

3

No analysis required, I already know these are 3 issues.

1

Chatted up with colleagues over coffee

2

10 minute overview of module; 50 minute knowledge gossip

1

2 meetings and 1 cancelled

1

Came up with creative & useful looking tasks for time-sheet

The top 5 favorite 1 liners engineers love to use in their time-sheet

1) Meeting or better, company wide meeting

2) Knowledge Transfer session. The more people involved here, the more genuine it looks.

3) Setting up environment.

4) Responded to customer queries (aha the ideal employee, who is brilliant enough to help customers directly)

5) <I could think of only 4>

Buzz words

Analyzed, explored, optimized, re-factored, shared, tested

Saying all this, I know for a fact that engineers love time-sheets when they worked hard & long on a particular work day. Time-sheet is an excellent medium to officially brag about your value-added-services to the team. On such a day the engineer will gleefully enter all the tasks, the number of issues solved, and more. He would proactively inquire with his lead if he did receive the time-sheet. If the lead did read, appreciation is expected.

Engineers love to hear “Hey. Good Job! That was hard work

So that they can say “No Problem. It’s not a big deal” (Oh it is big, it is the biggest deal of this unproductive week)

and then other engineers think “Oho Good Job..eh? Wait till my edited time-sheet becomes public

and yet others can’t decide if they are happy that more work wasn’t given or envious that they can’t decorate their time-sheets in a similar fashion (as seen above)

If engineers dislike filling time-sheets, then they absolutely hate not filling them up when working on a weekend. Unfortunately time-sheets have a design flaw, they are built for 5-Day work week.

Pros

– bring transparency

– improve productivity

– improve creative writing

Cons

– they SUCK!

People once said –¬†The world is flat.

Now they say – The world is transparent. (because of time-sheets)

Coming Soon

Me, Myself and my timesheet by Abhishek Garewal

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