2007/08/10

Keeping The Record Straight

Drinking glasses in CR are cylindrical.
I asked Akhil to pass me one as I settled down for lunch. A spot of silence prompted me to contribute to the din of the mess.
'Why', I philosophized, 'are these called glasses? They are made of steel...'
'OK, tumbler', said somebody [I don't remember who].
'Again, why are they called tumblers? They don't keep tumbling always!'
'Then what will you call them?'
I eyed the thing for an instant.
'From its shape, I'd call it a metal beaker.'
A quiet agreement went around the table and I bent down to dig the meal.
The thunder changed hands. Vikas, in his spookily polite manner said: 'Why is it called a beaker?'

* * * * *
[Fishy asked me to give a detailed description of this episode. Let me do just that.]

I dismount at the Gurunath parking lot, kick out the side-stand, slip the key into my pocket and walk towards the coffee vendor.

As arranged, Fishy awaits me, and we purchase the ersatz coffee IITM has got accustomed to.
We find no chair unbottomed.
I suggest the Himalaya lawn.
He prefers to walk.
Which way?
He asks me to pick between left and right.
I vote for the latter.
We beat the path a bit.
Before you could say 'Flippitty Chip', we sit at the Narmada bus stop.
We chat on this, we chat on that, we chat on this and that.
We empty the cups and bin them.
The all-important topic of British sitcoms comes up as we walk back.
He contends that I would get addicted to Coupling.
I try to draw him to Blackadder through quoting.

"Your brain, Baldrick, is like the four headed, man-eating haddock fish beast of Aberdeen."
"In what way, sir? "
"It doesn't exist."

"You're the worst cook in the entire world. There are amoeba on Saturn who can boil a better egg than you."

"Now why in heaven's name are you dressed up like that, Baldrick?"
"There's a long answer, and a short answer, my lord."
"Tell us the short one first."
"Whim."
"And the long answer is -- ?"
"It was a whim."

He in turn sells me Coupling and quotes its punchlines.
They are unprintable.
We cross the Alumni Association and reach the mouth of the road that leads to Sangam and Alakananda.
We promise to watch each other's favourite sitcom.
We trade goodnights.
We part.

I amble toward Saraswathi, all set for the hit-bed-get-shuteye routine.
Sangam comes in view.
My mobile buzzes.
SMS from Fishy.
'Come back'
I go back, full of curiosity.
I see him at the T junction.
'What is it?' I cry.
He runs a finger or two through his hair.
'Didn't you come by your cycle?'

* * * * *
Half the Physics Dept was watching Dhoom in the bus returning from SHAR [Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota]. In the climax, John Abraham, the fastest biker in the movie, dodges the good guys, hops on to his Suzuki and zips. He tears a straight line at top speed -- but by a logic unique only to the ollywoods, Uday Chopra and the Small B, from whom Abraham made his escape only now, stand yards in front of him.
I raised the point.
Immediately Fishy responded:
'They went around the world and came back on the other side!'


* * * * *

We start out on Monday energetically. But when we reach Friday evening, we get weakened.

11 Obiter dicta:

Anonymous Durga couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

Standard Nirmal's stuff! :) I remember reading some of those Blackadder dialogues in the form of sms' you sent me.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous fish couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

hahaha, vikas pj is stud... me rolling on floor... too good...
anyway fishy is good too.... ;)

9:06 PM  
Blogger unni krishnan couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

Would it be a cliche if i exclaimed "LOL"....
all this loling and i wonder if I shall wholly do away with laughing and after a few years, nod at every joke, murmuring "LOL...LOL..LOL"

And talking of Coupling and Blackadder, since I havent been able to get my hands on the latter series, I must swim with Mr. Fishy on this one...Coupling is promiscuously hilarious. Though, Blackadder's wit, from your reports of it, is witty. But, I am paranoid, as the epigram might better elucidate,
'The fame preceeding the name, is like an explosive fart without the smell.'

12:51 PM  
Blogger Srinand couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

@ Unni
'The fame preceeding the name, is like an explosive fart without the smell.'
Me rolling on the floor

10:39 PM  
Anonymous pratyu couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

i've heard some of them earlier. The dhoom joke was tooooo much! LOL!!

11:52 AM  
Anonymous N couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

Unni,
Let me quote an acquaintance: 'Ghastly portents for incorrigible individuals!'
Pratyu,
From where did you hear them? This is the first time I'm narrating these experiences. And o yeah, the Dhoom thingy was a scream. The bus erupted with laughter when he said that!

1:28 PM  
Anonymous pratyu couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

i've heard the weakened and the whim jokes earlier. i can't recall the sources.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous N couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

OK... The weakened thing was my version of the several jokes based on that homophone-pair.
The whim one you must have heard from Poornima, who in turn heard it from me in Vedanthangal and laughed so vociferously that the birds packed their bags and emigrated asap.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Saumya couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

'Why is it called a beaker?'
Why indeed. Saussure the linguist's reputation and most of Structuralism and Post-Strucuralism rests on this.

Blackadder is one of the few things that make me miss TV. Dhoom-esque action flicks are another. Would not carry out an autopsy on them even if my life depended on it.

11:30 PM  
Blogger Aditya couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

There's actually a reason why its called a tumbler. In those greener days, they used to manufacture them by taking a curved sheet of metal and then rolling it, which gave a cone. They didn't have punch dies to make a flat base. (Viva La ManTech!) Hence the name.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Nirmal couldn't resist being opinionated thus:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:36 PM  

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