Things To Do Before I Die

No, this isn’t just any other bucket list. This one’s unique.

There are quite a few bucket lists floating around in the blogosphere (By the way, is the word ‘blogosphere’ extinct?). I’ve seen and read them all, and most of them follow a predictable formula – go traveling somewhere, see some sights, taste some foods, etc. That’s all fine and dandy, and I wish them all the best in their endeavors. I have a few of those things to do as well, but I don’t think they would qualify for my bucket list. For example, I’d love to see a sunset over the Grand Canyon someday and I would give a hand and a foot to see the insides of a Pyramid. But these are things that I can and will do over the next few years. What I would ideally put in my bucket list are unconventional things that one would not normally find in conventional bucket lists.

Here’s my list.

  1. I want to see the DNA molecule. Not the vague, hazy white mass that appears at the bottom of a test tube after centrifugation, no. I want to see the molecule in all its double helical glory. I don’t think anyone has. Ever.
  2. I want someone to come up with a concrete explanation for the nature of light. I think Newton was confused enough to propose two theories that fit his math better. If light is a wave, then one equation works and if light is made up of particles, then the other equation fails. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that both these schools of thought were born out of necessity than reality. I want to see a solid unifying explanation before I die.
  3. I want to travel around the world in 80 days without flying. If Jules Verne can do it (or his character, at least), then so should I. Yeah, I know, this isn’t exactly a wow-event, but it’d be cooler than seeing the Eiffel Tower. And without flights, it’d be double the fun!
  4. I want to be able to sit on my porch with my dog on a Monday morning, put my feet up, open a can of cold beer, and shoot trespassers with birdshot. Redneck for a day. Nice concept!
  5. So far, in all my 27 years, there has only one book that has made me go, “Oh wow!” at the end – Italo Calvino’s “If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler”. I want to read three more such books before I die.
  6. There are seven people I know whose lives I want to ruin. I think I should be able to do that without too much trouble. Don’t worry, I’m not a scheming psychopath. I just think that these seven people deserve a lot worse for all the lives they have ruined.

One fine day, I’m going to buy a house in Gokarna and settle down there. What would make life more interesting at that point of time is owning a nice big tavern on the ground floor.

One day at a time.

PS: I used the full screen distraction free feature of worpress to write this. A neat idea, Jane. Thanks!

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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 Big Crunch!

end of the world2008 hasn’t been a very good year for me so far. In fact, it hasn’t been a good year for most of the people I’ve known – failed marriages, failed love lives, too many bad days at work and school, diets not working, falling down, accidents, losing clients, losing major contracts, losing jobs, cost-cuttings, fights at home, and so on… The list is endless. Most of the people I know can’t really explain what’s happening. Last year, it had been so good for these people, me included, and all of a sudden, fortunes change drastically. A close friend of mine lost close to fifty thousand rupees on the stock markets and another good friend of mine had a life-threatening accident. I almost had my brush with death when the plane I was traveling in, on my way to India from New York, experienced so much turbulence that the pilot announced that they had to make an emergency landing somewhere – freaked me out at that time, but the turbulence passed and I reached safely.
But on the whole, it hasn’t been a really good year.

Friends of mine have flunked their exams and whose who were waiting for job offers and marriage proposals were disappointed. Another friend of mine called Divya was so happy that she had finally found a guy to get married and she called me up, all hyper-excited! A week later, she told me the marriage was off as the guy decided to study further and rejected her. I was more heartbroken, not only for her, but it proved my theory of 2008 being a very very bad year for most people.

Now, I know why it is a bad year. I did some calculations and called up a few people who take this astrology thing seriously, and I have a passably corny theory, wrapped in some flimsy auspices of scientific fact. Here it is:

The Big Bang Theory states that once the universe stops expanding, it’ll start collapsing into itself. This phenomenon is termed the Big Crunch. Sometime in December last year,  the Universe reached its limit of expansion, and just like an expanding balloon, it paused for an instant, stretched out to its tensile limit, and hung in an instant of timelessness. Everything stopped in that instant, including time. I don’t know if any of you have noticed that time seemed to be behaving strangely around November-December of 2007, but for me at least, it was so unnerving. I used to think that time seemed to be going slower than usual. Maybe it was because I had my exams at that time, but I don’t know. The clock never seemed to move ahead!

Now, in 2008, the Universe has begun the Crunch. Everything is moving in reverse – bad things are replacing good things everywhere in the world. Crime rate is up 11% in India alone! We are stuck in this lawless, reverse universe for a couple of billion years minimum.

I think we’d better start praying…

Disclaimer: The above theory has absolutely no scientific or astrological basis. It’s pure and utter nonsense, a brainchild of a bored and zombified mind. 😀