Monday, July 24, 2006

Mujhe pyaar huaa allah miya...

I just saw 'Swades'...and I fell in love with the only saving grace of the movie..Gayathri Joshi. In the eternal words of Thalai, "Kaadhalin 1000 watts bulbe ethinaale en nenjil"! Apart from the usual melodrama, the constant rant about how everyone should ask what they have done for the country, the silly turn-around-and-gaze-with-sleepy-eyes looks of SRK, the cheesier-than-the-world's-largest-mousetrap dialogues about sanskar, parampara and the rest of the works we have been listening to in all the Jai Hind movies(PS: The award still goes to Arvind Swamy for that extinguish-the-flag scene with the crescendo of ARR running in the background in 'Roja'. God! I was so embarassed I was about to tear the skin off my body), there wasn't anything else to the movie other than that PERFECT figure of Gayathri (my doll).

This brings me to the main ranting of mine. How long are we going to cling on to the same old horse-shit that MK Gandhi & JN talked about. Its fine for 10 year old kids who have but the slightest idea about their identities. But please why us grown-ups. Why?! Call me crazy but I am a lllittle more aware of the situation in India than a 10 year old. I say India is fucking filled to the brim with corrupt politicians and officials, poverty and illiteracy and what do the optimists have to tell me.."we have parampara and sanskaar"..."We are the oldest civilization in the world". Just one thing people, you have been sitting on that for a lllong time. Its time to get up, scrap the shit you give yourselves off your ass and move forward! Ah and before I forget, all those things we rant about are strengths only if we can use them. If not, its as good as a bumpy ride through the roads of Nanganallur-a pain in the arse!

But then ranting about such weighty matters do not become I shall laze around, think about Gayathri babe and say to one and all," Peace to you matey!".

Friday, July 07, 2006

You can never be too safe with these jewels...

One of the most profound articles written in recent times...I saw this on MSN. I think it was this that Gollum referred to as," My preciouss"!

In Praise of Boxer Briefs

An underpants manifesto.

It's come to my attention that there are some men out there—even a few friends of mine—who've not yet switched to boxer briefs. These are otherwise intelligent fellows who, either through ignorance or recalcitrance, begin each day by pulling on (shudder) traditional boxers or (double-shudder) briefs. I feel great pity for these men. Because the irrefutable truth is that boxer briefs—a knit, mid-thigh-length compromise between boxer and brief—are the ultimate male netherwear. The sooner you accept this, the happier your crotch will be.

It's not too late to change. We humans have a terrific capacity for adapting to new underpants. I know, because I've switched styles twice now. Consider my first (though ultimately misguided) underwear revelation:

The time was the mid-1980s, and I was an impressionable tween. I'd worn briefs all my life—those classic, white-cotton Y-fronts—without giving the issue much thought. And then one evening I saw an episode of Moonlighting in which Bruce Willis (as detective David Addison) was somehow de-pantsed (an event which occurred with some frequency on the show, as I recall). He was shown wearing a pair of generously cut, broadcloth boxer shorts, emblazoned with large red hearts.

The billowy boxers were meant to look anachronistic and silly. But this joke was lost on me. Compared to my briefs—which revealed my pale and scrawny pre-teen upper thighs—those modest, roomy boxers looked positively dignified. And cutting-edge, too: My father didn't wear them, thus by definition they were modern and stylish. (I didn't realize at the time that baby-boomer men had switched to briefs in large part to tack away from their own boxers-wearing fathers.)

Soon after, I made the leap. And by the end of high school, in the early 1990s, every teenager I knew was wearing woven cotton boxers. (Often carefully showcased—allowed to peek out below the hem of a pair of shorts.) It's still not clear what sparked this large-scale boxer rebellion. Surely not every young man of my generation was so profoundly affected by Moonlighting. (Though underwear fashions do seem particularly pegged to pop culture. There's that old saw about Clark Gable killing undershirt sales in 1934, when he unbuttoned his shirt in It Happened One Night to reveal a bare chest. Likewise, it was Monica Lewinsky's thong flash that seemed to really galvanize women's rejection of the granny-panty. Theory: Since underwear is concealed in day-to-day life, and we can't see what our neighbors and co-workers are wearing, we have only pop culture to give us our cues.) Nonetheless, boxers remained the near-universal choice of my generation throughout college and into the years beyond.

I now realize, of course, that those were wasted years, groin-comfort-wise. All that time, a better option had awaited. Although by 1993 those iconic Mark Wahlberg print ads for Calvin Klein boxer briefs were in heavy rotation, the famous query put to Bill Clinton in 1994 ("boxers or briefs?") didn't even acknowledge a third possibility. I was aware that the boxer brief existed, yet my naive understanding held that it was a choice open only to the European or the gay.

It wasn't until a forward-thinking friend clued me in ("It's the best of both worlds," he enthused) that I was made aware of the cut's functional superiority. Soon enough, I switched again—this time for good. After just a few days, I could see the boxer brief's profound advantages:

Support. The obvious, yet oft-unspoken flaw with traditional boxers is their lack of cuppage. They are useless for athletic events, and can even be a hindrance. (An acquaintance refers to the "tunnel" created by wearing boxers under soccer shorts. Via this tunnel, one's testicles can gain sudden and direct access to the world outside.) Boxer briefs hold your goods in place and out of sight.

Stability. Traditional boxers never sit still. They are forever riding up above the waistband of your pants, or slipping down below it. That loose fabric tends to twist, and bunch, and wedgify. Constant realignments are required. (This is especially true with the "bubble-butt" cut of boxer, which uses a spinnaker-like central back panel. The idea is to avoid having any seams line up with the butt-crack, but all that extra cloth just crawls up in there anyway, to disastrous effect.)

Containment. That simple slit of a fly on traditional boxers encourages a phenomenon I will term "flop-out." Some boxer shorts seek to rectify this with a button enclosure, but a button is the last thing you care to deal with when you urgently need to urinate. Boxer briefs use the much more effective and user-friendly Y-front.

Aesthetics. My unscientific polling suggests that ladies dig 'em. While it has all the comfort, support, and fit of a knit brief, the boxer brief's full-cut thigh lends it the modesty of a traditional boxer. And that thigh is functional, too—its snug, ribbed cuff serves to hold the garment in place. This prevents the boxer brief from riding up or (worse) burrowing into one's posterior cleavage. (The Calvin Klein boxer brief is particularly well-tailored, and is my personal choice. I own one pair of boxer briefs from 2(x)ist, bought at the little store in my gym when I forgot to bring a change of underwear, but I find they take an overly presentational approach to the genitalia. Sort of a push-up effect.)

I'm confident there's really nothing the boxer brief can't do better. But just to make sure, I recently revisited the other underwear alternatives, to see if I was missing something.

Step 1 in my research was to buy a pair of Brooks Brothers briefs in a lovely, mercerized white cotton for $14.99. When I first slipped them on, I found them incredibly comfortable. And even a bit stylish, with that racy curve tracing the cup of the buttock. But all the old problems pertained. I felt naked, and also like a 7-year-old. I could tell that the bright white cotton would quickly dull to beige. Worst of all, the briefs crept way up over the course of a long day. Verdict: Too tighty, and too soon not-whitey.

Next, I picked up a pair of plaid boxers from Burberry's for $45. I felt as dapper as anyone can feel when dressed only in underwear. But the boxers simply wouldn't remain in place under my pants, always migrating 30 degrees around my waist in one direction or the other. The leg-openings would ride up and accordion, leaving weird marks on my thighs. And while Burberry's model prevented "flop-out" with a button enclosure, I found myself leaving the button undone. Who wants the bother? Verdict: Classic preppie choice—looks sharp, underachieves.

I've also tried trunks. There seems to be some disagreement as to what this term means, but my understanding is that trunks have an abbreviated thigh-length and no fly opening at all. I bought two pairs that qualify while traveling in the Netherlands last year. (I'd run out of clean underwear. The vast majority of men's underwear purchases, I suspect, are born of desperate and immediate need.) Trunks have many of the same benefits as boxer briefs, but I can't understand the lack of a fly opening. Standing at a urinal, you're forced to reach through the fly of your trousers and pry the trunks' elastic waistband down with your thumb. Should you lose your purchase on the waistband, it will snap back violently—with messy and painful results.

Some men endorse going commando. I find it thoroughly unhygienic. Also rife with potential for injury. No dice.

I couldn't bring myself to try on a thong. I realize this is a viable choice for some men these days (perhaps even some straight men), but it's just not for me. I have no need to prevent panty lines. And, more fundamentally: Half of what I'm looking for from underwear is wedgie avoidance. What is the thong if not a permanent wedgie? No doubt, future generations of men will adopt the thong as a comfortable, minimalist alternative and will urge me to ditch my fusty old boxer briefs.

Until then, I beseech you: Make the boxer-briefs switch. You, and your groin, will not be sorry.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Someone actually told me that my singing "was not bad" and that I could "pull the tune off". For someone whose larynx has been acknowledged in his friends' circle to be the house of the aural plague that Mr. 666 created in his moment of artistic perfection and unleashed on the world as the ultimate weapon against all that was good and God's own, this is rather comforting.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Laments and Musings

As the Cumuli and the Cumulonimbi shrouding the sun finally decide that Newton was right after all, and then in one "Aah what the hell!" dash come swooping down on the more rational forms of matter which have either had a more resigned attitude towards Sir Isaac all along or are still miffed with the darned apple for having fallen in the first place (basically, it was raining), of course, none of which I can see from the wall-locked cubicle of mine, I realize that the season of lament has begun. Having done my share of the work from the first phase of my project and my wits' end on the rather pesky problem that creeped up from nowhere in the next phase,I realize that there is nothing more to be done here anytime soon and get started with another one of my meandering streams of thought. I am no more philosophical than the next bloke but its when these things happen to you that you get a deep understanding of what Bertie was talking about everytime one of his chums who was off his onions would come and ask him to propose to a rather loony specimen of the gentler sex on his behalf or everytime he is sitting in his bath and splashing around his scrub when the air of joie de vivre turns foul, a sense foreboding shows itself somehere below the belly, soon is all over him and all too suddenly he gets a telegram from his Aunt Agatha saying," I will be in London today and will be lunching with you". Its as if Fate decides that its at the peachest of times that she would have a go at you in the neck! But I digress..

The point is this. I am a month away from completing my internship. I have made decent money, brought myself a laptop and on the whole life was going okay. As I was telling my friend the other day, it was the time when "all's well with the world, everyone is in good shape, the yin and the yang are in homeostasis, Ahura and the Daevas are at peace and its one of those cheery days when one would like to have egg and bacon made from pigs that died contended with their life of charity...but then, life here had ceased to have flow of any kind, a kind of stupor if I might say so..which in a way is a good thing". So come August 1, its back to grad-school and the life of worries, constant penury, budweiser weekends and research. But at least, there is a sense of moving forward with life. At any rate, I don't think I will have to worry about weighty issues like trying to write code to distinguish bi-modal projection profiles from mono-modals and will finally be able to close my eyes without having ridges, whorls, deltas, minutiae and frequency modulated Gabor envelopes hovering before them. in grad-school, its going to be pseudo-inverses and Bx, By and Bz's in rotational frames of reference! But truth be told, it really ain't as bad as that. In fact, I wouldn't mind too much if the Bz's danced with PIs to a few Waltzes :-).

Right now, its back to work...peace to everyone.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I had the most psychadelic dream today. I don't quite remember what the dream was about but I distinctly remember telling myself that I was dreaming and that the only thing I needed to do to take charge of things was to open my eyes and wake up. I tried and I tried but my eyes just wouldn't open. Freaky...