Thursday, July 4, 2013

Life is stranger than fiction.

Life is stranger than fiction. And as it moves on, stranger incidents happen which makes one think very hard on life, as a whole. They always leave a mark as it happens and, even though it’s not always good, sometimes the whole strangeness of the incident can bring about a big smile on ones face and actually, make him/her feel glad that it happened. I met her for the first time in front of the Wetherspoon pub. A very pleasant looking lady, with a smiling face. Our introduction was small but striking. We share the same name, ‘Sandeep’.  I wanted to talk to her more, spend time with her and get to know her but time was against it. We walk away in opposite direction, with no hope of seeing each other again. I was reluctant to go off contact with her. So, I found her on Facebook and added her. Days passed and we started to talk and found out that she is coming down to India to do her thesis. The hope of meeting her and spending time, grew big but again, was unsure if I could, because of my work. We continued exchanging mails and updating ourselves about each other, when she said that her visit has been postponed due to some emergencies and would come down only by the end of June. We were both thrilled as we were sure to meet up, as I got a job quite close to where she stays, in Chennai.

July 1st 2013 is considered to one of the most beautiful days of my life. That’s day we could finally continue our 2 minute conversation. We spoke for so long, excited, like two kids. I became happier in life. This is what I wished 6 months back when I first met her outside Wetherspoon. We communicated on an even platform. We have very similar interests and we had the same outlook on life, Liberal, humble and cosmic. All I can say is, this is the start of a beautiful strange friendship, which I hope to treasure for a long time.

It all started with the name 'Sandeep'. One of the few occasions in life where I felt great, about my name.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stoned thoughts

I walk in the darkness, to a much darker side, getting lost in the nothing less that covers the entire universe around me, expecting to find that light at the very end and happiness. The long path wrapped with the deepest darkness, with my deepest frights and sorrows, the most negative power of them all; I never knew that the route to light and happiness and satisfaction was this hard.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Sarcasm deficiency

Life in today's society or life in general is different if you are challenged in one way or the other. ' Differently able'd ' is what they call for those special people who have been challenged physically or mentally. I know it is a great pain to the family and the society of the differently able'd people. But what they deserve is love and......

Enough of this jibber jabber. Now, let me get to the point

I am a differently able'd person. I'm Sarcastically challenged (Yes, just like I'm grammatically challenged) and in today's world it is really difficult to move about if you don't get Sarcasm. 

There has been truckloads of experience with people with very high sarcastic abilities (at-least, that's what they say) and after every sarcastic spat, I'm left with this very thought in my mind.. "How does this work, if the intended person (Sarcassee) doesn't understand the Sarcasm".

Let me make it more clear. I do understand that being Sarcastic on a person while you're in a group works well (if the group members do understand sarcasm), but how about on a 1 on 1 basis? 99% of my encounter with sarcastic people were on '1 on 1' situation and the result? Its them laughing at their own sarcastic statement, just because I haven't understood it. #SARCASMFAIL it is, when you do a sarcasm and the Sarcasee doesn't follow it. Just like how you put forward a joke and the other person doesn't laugh on it. And I used to respond to it by saying #SARCASMFAIL, which in most of the cases, the Sarcasser (One who does the Sarcasm) doesn't allow. But how does it differ? I don't know. And these days, since they don't understand the whole logic of sarcasm, just to make things easier, I just agreeably node to whatever the Sarcasser says (sarcastically or not) so that I can ease the pain of the Sarcasser.

As I write this, I'm quite sure that I might be pulling the nerves of one or two people out there (If they read this) but chill, this is just my point of view. This is how I see it. Maybe you Sarcassers are the winners after all. And maybe this explanation is the only method that I came up with to hide my inability to understand Sarcasm and you Sarcassers.

But just think about it.. the world would have been much easier if you said things right at the face rather than sarcastically putting it in front of all those Sarcassees out there!

                                                Live Long and Prosper Sarcassers! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Jurassic Dream..

Jurassic Park can be rooted as the reason why I started loving Dinosaurs or worse, Paleontology. Even after watching the trilogy for more than 30 times, I still get goosebumps hearing the snarling of the Raptors (Velociraptor mongoliensis), the chirping of the Procompsognathus etc.

I'm a wanderer and recently while I was wandering through the streets of Bangalore, happened to meet my real close friend, Chaitra. We decided to go for a lunch date and walked down the Mahathma Gandhi Road in search of an affordable hotel. We were talking about wildlife and other topics on which we had no clue and landed upon gossiping about our mutual friend, Harsimran 'Dino' Singh. Harsimran is a 6 foot monster from Punjab who has (and still have) a very faint interest in Wildlife and who blabbers shit about Dinosaurs. He is the one who taught me all crappy stuff about Paleontology and can be called as my GURU.  Gossiping about Harsimran made me think about Jurassic Park, we changed our plan and started walking towards a book stall.

I read Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park a few years back, but so badly wanted to own one and I felt that the time was right to go into a shop and grab a copy for myself. Went there, bought it and within a week, finished reading it. I analyzed and found that the movie was nothing, when compared to the book and decided to buy the II part, The Lost World. I came back home (Cochin) and within a month, bought the Lost World too. I decided to take a break before reading Lost World as it might mix up my emotions pertaining to the first book. After a few months, I decided to sit down and start reading the book. The book, as expected is GREAT. I started to stay up late, just to finish off chapters in the book.

That night, after finishing the chapter 'MATING CALL', sleep invaded me rather quickly and I was entangled in its long arms, calm and composed until I heard a snarl. The sound seemed very familiar to me. I started to look around and all of a sudden, I was with the team at Isla Sorna running, being chased by Velociraptors. Dr. Alan Grant was running in front of me and was asking me to drop my pillow (which I was carrying). I dropped my pillow and gained pace. I turned to see the whole characters of the Lost World pacing along with me. A dreamy, yet strong eyes caught my attention. It was Dr. Sarah Harding. The character on which, I think I have a crush on.

I have always wanted to love somebody like Dr. Sarah. Strong, Independent, Wildlife warrior, beautiful blah blah blah.. and for the first time (even though in my dream) I was looking right into her eyes. Those beautiful eyes..Aaaaaaaah..

Oops, Sorry..

Well, I was still running and obviously, the Velociraptors still chasing, snarling loudly. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Just like the books says, a tall man in black outfits) asked us to climb onto the tree. I followed Sarah and started climbing up onto the tree. She gave me a hand and I grabbed onto hers. Aaaaaaaaah... Yeah, What ever. After all those thrilling scenes, the Velociraptors were long gone. We (Dr. Malcolm, Dr. Grant, Dr. Levine,  Dr. Jack Thorne & Me) started to walk slowly towards the 'RV' trailer and that's when Dr. Grant found a funny looking bone. Dr. Grant started to observe it along with Dr. Sarah and that's when I felt the pain on my back. A very fierce pain. I could feel the warm breath of a carnivore brushing onto my back. The razor sharp teeth piercing into my stomach. I fell down and started rolling.

The next thing I remember was me lying on the floor. The ceiling above me. I got up and it was 6 in the morning. It was a dream and the best of its kind. At-least for a while, I was looking at the most beautiful eyes of the Woman whom I love the most (in the book). Aaaaaaaah.. Something to cherish.

Well, to wrap up this boring story,

Its not everyday you find yourself in a Jurassic World. Running for life, while chased by Velociraptors. Looking at the person whom you have a crush on.. right at her eyes. And when you find yourself in those kinda dreams, you just wish it lasts forever :p


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Devil's Nettle

The greatest experience I've ever had was the field expedition into the Western Ghats of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with Deepak, a Ph.D student from Wildlife Institute of India. It all started from Top-Slip in Annamallai Tiger reserve, Pollachi. Deepak and Myself in a Maruthi Gypsy travelling to different sampling spots in the Western Ghats.

Rajapalayam Hound
It was in the month of November. We had finished off all our sampling spots in Karnataka and had decided to start off to Tamil Nadu. We sorted out the Sampling spot and it was at Rajpalyam (Rajapalayam) near Srivilliputhur.

Rajpalayam is a god blessed town, around 30Km away from Srivilliputhur. The place is known for its endemic, and supposedly India's only Hound (Dog), the Rajapalayam hound. We were happy to see a few of them while we went to shop (some vegetables and other stationaries) for our 3-4 days on the field.

Scenery from 650-700m above sealevel
The next day, we packed our bags and started our journey to the sampling spot. We had to drive a few kilometers, to meet the Ranger and a few assistants to help us with our survey.

The weather was dry and the marsh terrain was even. We could see a few Fan throated lizards (Sitana ponticeriana) running around. We had nearly 10-12 Kg stuff on our back (each) and our sampling spot seemed to be nearly 15Km uphill at around 850m above sea level. The environment started to cool down as we gained altitude, the marsh even terrain was left behind and we were welcomed by the uneven evergreen rainforest. It took us around 4 hours to reach the destination.

The place was beautiful. A farm house in the middle of an estate which is surrounded by thick evergreen rainforest. The farm house was small and furnished. They had a wooden bench outside on the veranda and a pole to which a cow was tied, a radio that operates 24*7 and no electricity. The only thing that produced electricity was the generator that ran on kerosene, but worked only an hour a day.

The Farmhouse with the cow tied on the Veranda
We started our field work the next day and we began by exploring the estate and its adjoining forest areas. The estate manager had warned us about a plant called 'Aanai viratti' (That scares the crap out of elephants) and asked us to avoid them completely. Deepak explained to me what it was and why it should be avoided.

Aanai Viratti or Devil's Nettle is a variety of nettle plant, but doesn't have any specific attributes like their other relatives. They look like any other innocent plant. The minute hairs (Which when brushed irritates) appear only when we are really close to it. These plants grow to the size of a small tree and are found in plenty on forest openings where they get plenty of sunlight.

Inside the estate - Devil's Nettle site
We started our walk through the estate and we avoided almost all the visible DNs* (*Devil's Nettle) until we reached this specific area. The forest floor was covered with vegetation and the estate plants were as tall as myself. We made our route through them and started walking towards the sampling spot, shown in our GPS.

After a while, I started to feel a bit of burning sensation on my left leg (around the shin area). I stopped for a while to check what it was. Scratching the part, I continued my walk trying to catchup with Deepak, who was already way ahead of me. The burning sensation started to increase as we walked forward and so did my tendency to scratch the area. I began to stop frequently to scratch , which made me feel uncomfortable.

The night was horrendous. The burning sensation was at its peak and I was trying my level best not to scratch the itch. Fever caught hold of me above everything and my appetite to eat gradually came down. Just to satisfy my hunger, I had a few Chapaties and went to sleep. Sleep evaded me. Nightmares started to invade , every time I closed my eyes. All of a sudden, I feel nauseous. It was cold outside and I ran outside to puke. Feeling better, I returned back to the bed.

The day seemed much promising as my fever subsided. I felt so weak as I nauseated a few times the previous night. Deepak asked me to take rest as he got ready for the field work.I shifted myself from the room to the veranda and found myself comfortable in the bench outside. Making my sweatshirt as my pillow, I decided to take a nap. The Ranger was at home and he took the radio outside so that I don't feel bored. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I say that the radio actually saved my life.
The radio that saved my life

A.R. Rahman is one of those few whom I admire, and listening to his song gives me that blast of energy from the inside. Lucky me, it was the time when the film Enthiran/Robo was released and all that was aired on the FM was about Enthiran.

I love Rajnikanth and that too might have added to, how good I was feeling listening to the radio. The day was awesome as the radio repeatedly played all the songs from the movie Enthiran, plus certain old songs of A.R. Rahman.

I regained my appetite to eat and did have a good lunch that day. By evening, I was feeling so recovered until I felt this tremor inside my tummy. God damn, above all the high fever and the nausea, I'm having diarrhea and that too in type 7* (*According to the Bristol Stool Scale). It is complete exhaustion by the end of the day.

We packed our bags and got ready to get back to civilization the next morning. Deepak did give me a few pills that would control the state of my stool, so that I can easily trek back down with the rest of the guys. 15Km seemed too far and it took us around 5 hours to get back down. All the weight on our back, plus my bad health condition just made it worse and by the time we reached the foothills (Where we had kept our vehicle) I was completely exhausted. My whole body was numb and I asked Deepak to take me to a hospital Asap (Wish I never said it). 45 mins ride to the nearest hospital, 4 bottles of Intravenous drips and a few days of rest was the result.

Its been nearly 4 months now and I still get goosebumps thinking of the situation I had been into. Reading the recent article by Janaki Lenin is the inspiration to write this blog entry. And to conclude, this is my message to the people who do regular treks - "Devil's Nettle is one of those plants you don't wanna mess with. ".


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Smoking Hot 'Sandeep'

There are many instances in life where you recall people talking about themselves or others and framing them under the category of being 'Hot' or 'Sexy' or 'Cute'. This is about a person who has immense understanding about himself and has never even imagined him under the above mentioned frames.

This guy is 5'5" tall and weighs around 55kg (tops). Has the weirdest of interests and is, what can be termed as a perfect 'Midget'. Like said before, he has immense understanding about himself and does know what he is capable and incapable of.

Recently, he comes to know about his smile being framed as 'Cute' from a Vulcan woman.Well, things are pretty different in Vulcan. Things are more logical there and I have no other option than to believe or trust what this Vulcan woman has to say. She just makes me realize how 'cute' I am when ever she has a chance, and to be frank, I'm loving it.

I'm a human and not a humanoid (Vulcans/Vulcanians) and its pretty much obvious that I love to have fun and think out of the box and see myself as a person whom I'm not. Me being 6'2" tall, well built, attractive etc.. Who cares, I can dream what ever I want. Lol (Laugh out Loud). Its awesome fun.

It was 8th February 2011, around 10:00 PM and I am talking to my closest, 'Lava'. It was quite evident from her face that she was paying less importance to what I was speaking and was indulged in doing something else. But, least minded, I kept on talking on how my day was and how it was to visit her home and talk to people etc. All of a sudden, she interrupted me and showed me a sketch (Looks like she was working on it while I was talking to her). I was stunned. It was just a stick figure.
Stick figure of me (Sandeep) done by my soul mate 'Lava'.
This was the height. I've never seen any picture with so much of emotion or life in it. I just loved the picture more than anything else and to be frank, this can be termed as the 'hottest' picture of mine. I posted this in facebook as my display picture and was so damn happy to see a few of my close people commenting on it.

Shafeeq (My Big butted friend) commented " This picture 
shows Sandy at his best and what he lives for! So full of emotion and beautifully done. "

Gokul (My Paranormal friend) commented " Detailed to perfection. The smile reminds me of Muttley. This is so much you. Right from the needle spike hair to pencil thin legs, and your usual 'Shirtless' attire and your iconic smile"

And for lavanya, this just made her day, because she never knew a random sketch (which took nearly 2 minutes to complete) would bring so much of happiness to me.

Sometimes, those little things done by people who are close creates so much of an impact that makes one say " I'm the happiest guy on this planet". Thanks a lot Lavanya Varma for the Stick insect. Oops. For the stick figure.

This picture is the only place where Sandeep frames himself as 'Smoking Hot' :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I love you 'Arsenal'

I live football.

Les Bleus with the '98 World Cup
It was the '98 world cup finals and I still remember the blue and yellow army marching up side by side to the ground. Dad asked me whom I was supporting and I said, Blue. " Blue is a good color dad ". " Okay, I support Yellow", he said. As the match kick-started, I, even though I knew nothing about the beautiful game, started cheering for the men in blues (Les Bleus).
ManUTD, 2002 League Champs
I still remember the game. 3-0 it was for the Les Bleus. That was my first ever football game watched with serious interest and the bald headed tall guy marked a place in my heart. Zinedine Zidane.

As years past by, I began to get familiar with the club football and, the most popular name was Manchester United. I was a great fan of the club and players till I started observing football in a deeper level.  2002 was the year when I started observing the game and started having opinions of my own and It was the last time I ever supported Manchester United. Glad that they did win the league that year.

The Arsenal Crest
2003 was a whole new year for me when I discovered a different kind of football played by a certain team called 'Arsenal'. There was literally nothing to complain about the team, or the way they played football. I still remember the very active 'good looking' coach by the name Arsene Wenger. I thought he owned the club, thus naming it 'Arsenal'. It took me nearly an year to be familiar with the team and their way of playing football. 2004 was the best of all, when they did the Unbeaten run of 49 games plus winning the league. Since then, that was the way of football for me. Since then to me, Arsenal is the way football should be played. Still remember the best team ever, consisting of Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Sylvian Wiltord, David Seaman, Jens Lehmann, Sol Campbell etc. To make things even better, my love towards France just got better knowing Arsene Wenger is from France.

Obviously, supporting a club is being with them through their best as well as worst times and there has been many hard times for me being an Arsenal fan, especially when Arsene Wenger sold Thierry Henry to Barcelona and the transfer of Matheu Flamini, Edu Gasper etc, but still, I believe Arsenal is the team which made me realize the real art of playing football. It has been really hard to see the Gunners without a trophy since 2005 (When they won their last FA CUP) but I still put my faith on Arsenal and Arsene Wenger expecting trophies at-least this season. I certainly do understand the lack of trophies and the frequent controversies revolving around the team and Arsene Wenger. Nevertheless, to me, Arsenal still is the best team in the world and I will be a die hard Arsenal Fan till my last breath

I Love you 'Arsenal'.