Why I Deserve The Nobel Prize

With a little less than three hours to go for the Nobel Prize 2010 Announcement Ceremony in Sweden, I have decided to enter the race in all the available categories. This post is meant to be read by the arbiters of the Swedish Royal Academy and I do hope that they don’t make the mistake of overlooking me and my remarkable achievements in this regard. I deserve the Nobel Prize for the following compelling reasons. I am an honest man and none of what I write below is falsified.

Nobel Prize in Physics:

I was the first man in the world to explore the physical properties and inconsistencies of photographic film, paving the way for stronger and more secure forms of image storage. This happened when I was ten years old and I took a brick and promptly broke open a 32-exposure Kodak film, the one that rolls into itself. You know what I’m talking about. I took the spoils over to the National Security Agency in the US of A and explained why they needed to invent digital cameras. They took my advice and the history (future?) of photography changed forever. I hereby nominate myself for the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery, invention and exploitation of digital cameras.

Nobel Prize in Medicine:

I was the first, and perhaps the only man in history to record a ten-second footage of what happens to the facial muscles when excessively stimulated by rock music. The video is available here. This discovery paved the way for the recent improvements in plastic surgery and permanent disfigurement clauses in the constitutions of the almost every country in the world. The very fact that you can walk up to a plastic surgeon and tell him/her that you want to look as handsome and stimulated as I do is a testament to my great discovery. I hereby nominate myself for the 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine for great advances in plastic surgery.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry:

I was the first man in the world to ascertain the true nature of the drug whose comemrcial name is Aspirin. Acetly Salycylic Acid (ASA), as it’s chemically known, was a CIA invention aimed at monitoring the world’s population. Each and every molecule of ASA contains roughly 13 carbon atoms. What the CIA did was replace one of these Carbon atoms with a molecular camera. Anyone who swallowed a pill of Aspirin literally swallowed a tiny camera and gave the CIA complete access to their body’s interior. I discovered this great conspiracy when I accidentally hacked into the CIA’s database when I was five years old by solving a puzzle in a kids’ magazine. (This true life story of mine was then adapted into a movie called Mercury Rising and I made a lot of money out of it.) I brought the whole ASA conspiracy to the attention of the Interpol and they decided to stop the manufacture of Aspirin completely, thus safegaurding the privacy of the world’s population. I hereby, humbly, nominate myself for the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for revolutionizing the pharmaceutical industry with my own non-traditional ‘drug discovery’.

Nobel Prize in Literature:

MirrorCracked. I won’t say any more. I’m sure you agree.

Nobel Peace Prize:

Well, though I don’t exactly qualify for this award, I would like to bring to the attention of the Royal Swedish Academy that if I’m not given this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, I will sell the other four Nobel Prizes and buy cigarettes and distribute it to freshly-graduated smokers. Read as: 18 year olds. In order to avoid this, I think you should just call it a clean sweep and give me this prize anyway.

I will be available for comments and interviews.

Update: October 8, 2010, 00:01 AM: This article made the wordpress homepage.

The Funny Guy! :)

I have recently been awarded the dubious distinction of being Mr. Funny Guy by my friends. I should be honored, and to an extent, I am. How this title came about and why I am not really satisfied with it will be apparent after you read this whole post. 🙂

It was a dark and gloomy Wednesday evening, around six, when I decided to wrap things up in the office and go all the way to Yelahanka, where my brother was waiting in the police station after his bike had been towed away. I had to go there and pay the fine of 600 bucks to bail the bike out. When I left, the rain had just about abated and I made quick time in traveling the 30-odd miles to Yelahanka. We both got drenched on the way back, but that seems to be a minor point of little or no interest to the readers, who’re probably well accustomed to my bouts of bad luck. I met a few friends for dinner that night and decided to liven up the night with a joke.

“Okay, people! I am going to tell you a joke!” I announced. Everyone fell silent and listened intently, being aware of my reputation for spinning a lovely yarn. I was actually trying to impress my friend’s cute cousin who’d joined us. She was sitting next to me and seemed to be hanging on my every word. I desperately wanted to impress her and make her smile. So, I dug into my vast database of corny jokes and pulled out the best one!:D

“There was this scientist,” I began, “and he had just invented a biologically-engineered refrigerator. The fridge was so cool (no puns intended!) that it could order groceries online and make instant breakfast. It ran on some pretty cool DNA-computing circuits and was state-of-the-art! It was more intelligent than the most intelligent computers of the day. So, this scientist was selected for the Nobel Prize that year.”

I looked at the cute girl, paused for effect, and smiled. Everyone on the table was gripped. “The Nobel Committee waned him to fly over to Stockholm and demonstrate his bio-engineered refrigerator. So, this scientist rented a single engine Cessna plane and started his journey. Halfway through the flight, the single engine died and the plane began to crash. The pilot screamed, “Hey scientist! We are too heavy and the plane can’t handle it! You have to throw your fridge out!”

“No way!” screamed the scientist. “I have given my whole life for this invention!”

“Look, fella! If we don’t throw it overboard, we’re all going to die. It’s too heavy. You have your research data with you anyway. It’s just a question of assembling it again. Please understand!”

“So, this scientist, after careful deliberation, opened the door with a heavy heart and threw the fridge out.”

I stopped talking and took a sip of water and leaned back with a smile. Everyone on the table were leaning forward, intently waiting. “Then what happened?” asked the cute girl next to me.

“Nothing,” I said. “That’s the end of the story. ”

When they all realized that I had conned them, it was too late. The expression on their faces was a million dollar one. I started laughing out so loud that I drowned their angry retorts and groans and the hotel manager came up, glared at me and said, “Sir, please don’t laugh so loud. You’re disturbing the other guests!”

I continued laughing in a whisper and the other people around the table were ready to drown me in my tomato soup. “Okay guys, I am sorry,” I said. “I’ll make it up to you. I’ll tell you a better joke this time and I swear on the graves of all the men, women and children who died building this hotel that you will not be disappointed.”

My reputation as a funny guy preceded me and they all agreed to give me one more chance. “Last chance,” said the cute girl next to me. “I’ll slap you if you do this again.”

I wanted to tell her that I would do anything to get her to slap me because that would mean she would have to touch me. Oh, she was so cute!! 😀

“Okay, get ready,” I announced and cleared my throat. “There’s this beautiful lake in the middle of nowhere and in the center of the lake is a small islet on which the most beautiful flower is growing. The lake is infested with crocodiles and sharks and piranhas and just about any man-eating critter nature has created. On the banks of the lake, a man and a woman are sitting, cuddled up. They are very much in love with each other. The woman asks the man to swim across and get that flower for her. He protests and says that he’s going to killed trying to cross the lake. “Is this how much you love me?” asks the girl, very depressed. So, the man takes offense and says, “If you want me to prove my love to you, then I will cheat death and get you the flower.” He strips down and starts swimming. He battles all the critters that come in his way and finally reaches the middle of the lake, plucks the flower and swims back, again battling nature’s fury. He reaches the shore and climbs out holding the flower. And then, right in front of the woman’s eyes, he dies!”

I paused for effect. “Why did he die?” I asked, looking around at everyone.

They were all listening to my story so intently that one of them immediately said, “The flower was poisonous”

“No,” I said.

“Something attacked him!”

“No”

“He had a heart attack?”

“No”

The cute girl then said, “Tell me, tell me! Please!”

I couldn’t ignore her cries. Oh, and her voice was so sweet. So, I told them the answer – “The fridge fell on him!”

For two minutes there was complete silence and I inched closer to the cute girl and turned my head at an angle so that she could get a good whack at my cheek. But to my surprise, she burst out laughing and so did the others. They liked the stupid joke! I was so annoyed!

So, that’s how I got the title and that’s why I am not too excited about it! She didn’t slap me! Now, I don’t know when I am going to see her next. Damn! 😦

Second Chances

“Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.”

– Elie Wiesel,
American Author,
Nobel Peace Prize 1986

One of the greatest attributes of life is its ability to deny us what we really want and give us what we really need. His life has been a constant game of badly-played chess, with every move as unplanned and sometimes, as stupid as it can get. Talking about friends and how they helped him reconstruct a broken foundation takes him back three years – a time when he almost convinced himself that he was a burden to everyone around him and decided that there wasn’t anything else that he could offer to the world. His time here was up, and he had to make a quick exit – to end his life and escape to that blissful afterworld where there’re no more complaints, no more angry glances, no more walking into a room filled with people who stop in mid-sentence and look at him as though he’s an unwanted piece of garbage, no more hints and subtle suggestions about him being a loser – and he chose the tried and tested path of a blade to the wrist in a bathroom alone at night.

It was in his second year of undergrad that he found out he was really a loser. The faculty treated him with disdain as if they were teaching him only because they were forced to, and his classmates never even acknowledged his presence, let alone talk to him. What was the point to all this, he thought. Why am I here? I don’t belong here because I am not wanted.

The situation at home wasn’t any different as his parents never really had the time to sit with him and talk about anything. There was a big pile of unopened progress reports on the refrigerator, and every day he looked at them in the hope that at least one of them would be opened. His grades were good but not great, and he just wanted his parents to know about the time he got a 25 on 25 in math or the time when he cleared the physics term paper. He wasn’t asking for a pat on the back and he wasn’t asking for a present in return. All he wanted was for them to smile at him occasionally, or at least look at him. He returned every day to an empty house and an emptier home. His time was up.

The person who helped him get through his hurdles – Aziz – died on May 4th, 2006 in Bangalore, India, after being diagnosed with a malignant type of blood cancer. He held his hand in the hospital on the third and told him that he’s going to live in San Jose, California, and that he owed his life to Aziz, because if it weren’t for him, there would have been no second chances.

This post is in memory of Aziz Muhammed, who celebrates his 2-year death anniversary today – a fact I was reminded of by an email from San Jose this morning, an email that gave me the permission to write these words and make his story known to the world. I had had only one cup of tea with Aziz, three years ago, and at that time, Chuckie, who was with me, said, “Life has so many things to show us and teach us and it will, only if we give it a chance to do so.”  Aziz smiled and made me smell the hot steam rising from the cup of tea. I dismissed him as a junkie at that time.

Now, I always smell my tea before drinking it.