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Battling the Cyber Crisis…

For the past few weeks my inbox has become a cyber junkyard where all the spammers in this world discard their digital waste. Or, may be, all of a sudden the netizens have experienced a very strong attraction towards me given the reference to my slender waist, which, mind you, is not that slender, in one of my previous posts. Anyway, whatever it is that is causing them to follow me wherever I go, just like the Vodafone puppy does and as flattering as it might seem, I wish they will stop being my ardent fans as soon as possible. I am deeply grateful to them for having conferred upon me this celebrity status but these guys should understand that even celebrities need some alone time.

Whenever I visit a website to make an online purchase I always forget to uncheck that little square box which says “Do you wish to receive updates”. My order might take a fortnight to be delivered to my address but it does not take more than a few nanoseconds for their so-called “updates” reach my mailbox. They do offer the me luxury of clicking on the “Unsubscribe” tab but my experiences have convinced me that they generally don’t work. In a few cases I don’t even visit their site to make an online transaction but these lurkers, who might give a few detectives from the Scotland Yard a run for their money, are able to hunt me down. And what comes as a greater surprise to me is that they are able to make my inbox their permanent abode. The spam folder sits silently in one corner waiting for new visitors to arrive.

I have received e-mails that have left me in splits of laughter.

Digilog Systems promise that they will protect my vehicle from theft. Ironical, since I don’t even possess a vehicle which might get stolen.

HDFC Bank thinks that I am one of their bona fide customers who deserves to be pre-approved for a platinum credit card. My current debit card is enough to vandalise my plans to save a few bucks for a secure future. Now these people want a credit card, and a platinum one at that, to give it company!

Naukri.com has never failed to give me my weekly job alerts in spite of the fact that I have never requested its assistance. Has it sensed that my current employers are going to kick me out?

Oureducation.in has decided to give me an honorary MBA degree. Well, after Amitabh Bachchan and M.S. Dhoni who have received such honours it will definitely be Chhavi Kapoor who’ll be remembered for her glorious contribution to the field which I have yet to figure out.

And I can’t even count the number of times I have been selected for a million dollar prize but a rough estimate tells me that the money should be enough to fill a swimming pool sized room in which Uncle Scrooge used to dive.

Anyway, my important e-mails often find themselves buried under a pile of these menacing spam mails and locating them is as herculean a task as finding a needle in a haystack. So, in order to sort things out a little bit and also because I was inspired by a few bloggers who have email IDs dedicated to their blogs, I decided to create one for myself. I went to the “Settings” panel and changed the “Administrator e-mail address”. No sooner did I make the change than my WordPress account went absolutely berserk. Half my updates went to my previous mail address, some of them to my new one and the remaining got lost in the labyrinths of the blogosphere, facing threats from nasty viruses and beastly malwares. Sadly, my question “How to divert post alerts to new e-mail address in WordPress?” met with a plethora a technical jargon on Google.com which did not help me at all. I visited the WordPress forums and tried to seek some help. I made a few more changes in my settings but in the end I was forced to unsubscribe from a few blogs and then re-subscribe to them. (Thankfully, I follow most of the sites through my reader.) Many of you might have received an e-mail saying

“Howdy, Chhavi has just subscribed to your blog. This means they will be notified every time you publish a post. Congratulations”

and wondered “ Wasn’t this pest of a blogger already following me?” Now you have the answer. Please don’t think of me as a psychopathic cyber stalker who follows, re-follows and re-re-follows peoples’ blogs. I can assure you I am quite sane.

I am receiving all the updates now and I hope that things are working fine. However, I am still not certain if my new posts are spamming my beloved readers’ inbox or not 😉 I hope that they are. So, if this post reaches you in good health do let me know.   🙂

The Race…

Johnny was keenly observing his two friends Timothy Thin and Sally Stout as both of them decided to engage in friendly race once again. Well, this had been going on for a quite a while and for some strange reason, which Johnny was not able to understand, it was mostly Timothy who crossed the finish line first. This left everyone in his circle perplexed. Was Sally cursed? Was there a giant, ghoulish imp perched on his shoulders that always held him back? Or was Sally, the tiny fat creature that he was, too lazy to run and win the race. This had always been a topic of discussion in Johnny’s weekly meetings with his friends and they had not been able to come up with a reasonable and satisfactory explanation.

Johnny, inspite of Sally’s repeated failure, had a soft corner for him and wanted him to win. He sat with his eyes fixed at both of them, praying that this time Sally would not let him down. He cheered with all his might, clapped his hand as hard as he could but in vain. Sally refused to budge. He was rooted to his place like a giant, ancient rock. Meanwhile, Timothy kept walking at a fast and consistent pace, making his way towards the finish line. Johnny knew that Sally was actually moving. But his movements were glacial, almost imperceptible. Johnny threw his hands up in frustration. His fat friend was about to lose one more race and he did not have the heart to see that happen.

After a while, the race almost came to an end. Timothy kept walking. He was barely five steps away from victory and his heart began to pound. He beamed from ear to ear. “I have done it! Again! Mummy will be so proud of me!” With these thoughts in his mind, Timothy took the last five steps and touched “12”. Lazy Sally, who was still stuck at “10”, hung his head in shame.

The little blue bird sprang out of the wall clock and announced that it was ten pm. Johnny pulled the blanket over his head and went to sleep. It was time for him to visit his dreamland and play with goblins and elves.

Grown Up…

I was standing outside the Millennium Mall* waiting for my friend to arrive. The sun rays were piercing my skin and I was beginning to get impatient. As I was scanning the entire place hoping that she would spring out from some corner, my eyes well on an old couple. Judging by their white hair I guessed they must have been in their sixties. The lady had a youthful smile on her face. There were fine lines around her eyes but they still had a childlike twinkle. The gentleman looked absolutely adorable in his shirt and checked pants that were held in place with the help of leather galluses.

The couple stepped onto the pavement and prepared to cross the road. As the gentleman put his right foot forward the lady grabbed his hand and snapped ” Be careful! You must look both ways before crossing the road”. He freed his hand and replied angrily ” Stop being so fussy. I am a grown up. I am no longer a child.” He crossed his arms and stared at his wife. His face bore the look of a child who had just been denied a chocolate bar.

A warm smile spread across my face. For a moment I forgot about my friend and the scorching sun.

* Name Changed

[ Based on an incident narrated by one of my friends]

Super Mouse…

For the past few days Super Moon has been the buzz word in town. All and sundry shared their thoughts on this rare astrological phenomenon with each other, discussing whether or not they would be able to witness that majestic scene once again. People climbed onto their rooftops with their Nikon DSLR and telescopic lens to capture the breathtaking view. And in the midst of all this excitement I made a new discovery for which I might just receive a prize in the near future 😉  .

A few weeks back the AC in our office broke down and everyone opened the windows thus inviting the members of the rodent family to come and settle down in our office. Ever since then these vermin have made our office their permanent abode and have established a unique man rodent co-existence paradigm which is rarely found in a corporate environment.

These mice are unique in many ways. For starters, they are getting accustomed to living in air-conditioned rooms which distinguishes them from other plebeian mice, ones that thrive in gutters in sewers. The Super Mice nibble on LAN cables, telephone wires, pendrives, CPU cabinets, hard disks, laptop chargers and CD cases. Their diet has convinced me that these super mice will eventually evolve into a technologically advanced species that is capable of data storage, wireless communication and super fast computation. A time will come when the optical mouse will be replaced by the super mouse. We will no longer left-click or right-click but will pinch  the tail of the super mouse.

So, Dell, HP, HCL, Logitech and all the other companies that manufacture computer mouse, beware. My super mouse is here to give you all a run for your money. 🙂

Spoons, Pens and What Not…

I sit in my balcony, with a Nicholas Sparks in my hand. A steaming hot cup of coffee is placed on the  side table. Gentle breeze caresses my face; the jasmine tree in the neighbour’s compound sends out a sweet fragrance which treats my senses. The protagonist of the novel takes his lover in his arms and wipes away the tears from her cheeks. He is about to plant a kiss on her lips and my heart goes awww.  Just then, at that precise moment, some irritating soul rings the doorbell. I curse him  for having done so, grab a spoon which is lying on the side table, place it between the pages and rush to open the door.

Spoon? Yes. A spoon.That serves as my bookmark. I can be quite innovative when it comes to remembering the page at which I have left a particular novel. I know for a fact that I cannot rely on my memory as it is lesser than useless when it comes to remembering anything. I have difficulty remembering the names of all my relatives, people whom I have known for ages. As far as using a conventional book mark is concerned, I am too careless to keep it safely and too lazy to buy or make a new one when the previous one gets lost. I can’t remember the last time a used a traditional bookmark with “Books are your Best Friends” or “Scorpions are determined, passionate and obstinate” printed across it. I was probably in the 6th standard when I used it. So, now I use my improvised bookmarks (basically things that are placed at an arm’s length). Cheap, easy to use and readily available. 🙂

What else do I use? Here’s the list.

Pens: One can always find a pen lying around. I think it one of the most obvious things one can use.

Bus Tickets: Well, I take a bus to work everyday. I almost always have a bus ticket in my jeans pockets. All I need to do is dig my hands inside.

Money: I often place a 10 or 20 rupee note between the pages. The next time I open my book these hidden treasures give me a pleasant surprise.  🙂

Room Keys: An  inconvenient choice I must say. I often spend hours looking for my keys afterwards.

Earrings: It might be hard for many of you to assimilate this news, but I did use one of my earrings on one occasion. I was wearing only one earring for the remaining part of the day  Trendy, isn’t it?

Pendrives: My very own digital bookmarks. 🙂

Boarding Passes: “Recycle paper, reuse your boarding passes”.

Kajal Pencils/Combs/Lipsticks/Goggles/Bracelets: Who says that these are nothing but fashion accessories?

Chocolate Bars: Now you know the secret to my ever-increasing weight. 🙂

Spectacles: The mark of a true bibliophile. “If I can’t look at my books I won’t look at anything else” 🙂

These were some of my rather unusual bookmarks. Do tell me about the peculiar things you use. 🙂