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How many times have you guys wished for an exciting train experience. A beautiful girl travelling all alone in the same coupe as yours and you picking up a conversation with the sole intention of flirting. Well, I never had even one such experience in my 23 years of train travel. However, I had one of a kind experience on a flight back from Portland to Houston that I am never going to forget in a while. There was everything I ever wanted in a typical train journey, but…

There was a beautiful girl, but as a pilot of the Boeing 737 that I travelled in. There was someone who sat right next to me trying to flirt with me, alas, it was a guy. There was a George Carlin look-alike on my other side, but his entertainment quotient was limited to male chauvinism. Eg: bashing female driving skills (Well, I wouldn’t disagree with this example “alone” 😀 )

The real fun started when the flight was about to land. We heard an announcement from the pilot informing us that the weather was pleasant and we are in for a smooth landing. I put on my ipod and closed my eyes. I could feel the flight dipping in altitude with the change in air pressure pricking my ears. Suddenly there was a rattle inside the cabin and the plane shook vigorously. I opened my eyes and looked out through the window. We were again gaining altitude. I looked at Mr. George Carlin look-alike and his face had turned pale pink. I looked at the Gu(a)y 1.. he was holding the seat rail tightly with one arm, Gu(a)y 2’s hand in his other arm and was clenching his teeth with fear written large all over his face. Gu(a)y 2 was relatively calm and was trying to console Gu(a)y 1. Probably that makes it easier to figure out who is the chick and who is the duck! ;).
Apparently, the pilot had missed a simple-clear-weather landing on a big-farm houston airstrip and was going back for another attempt. Oh well, I don’t mind being the Guinea pig for a hot pilot.

Attempt 2, the flight lands with a big jerk and I heard a simultaneous sigh of relief from everyone on-board. Mr. George Carlin look-alike turns towards me and quips “women drivers ha!! what did I tell ya..”.. Well Mr. George Carlin look-alike, she is a woman “pilot” and not a “driver”, but I got to agree with you though. :D. Girls, don’t ever argue on this. You girls just don’t have that part of the brain that guides you with an engine-fitted mechanical system.

I turned to the other side and Gu(a)ys 1 & 2 were literally “making out”!!
Thank god I am in Texas! 😀

So much for a flight from the west to the east coast!! 🙂

Disclaimers: (1) I am not a male chauvinist!  (2) For the gay rights activists – “Not that there is anything wrong with that”

PS: Our MGD has finally jumped out of grad school that kept him from updating his blogs for the past one year or so. Expect regular updates!!

Let your brain rust!!!

It has been a while.. Yeah I know.. Alas, our poor mgd was bombarded with deadlines and postponed deadlines until deadlinethis evening, driving every little gray cell consisting of neuronal cell bodies, neuropil (dendrites and both unmyelinated axons and myelinated axons), glial cells (astroglia and oligodendrocytes) and capillaries, freakin insane!!!… (I know… I already told in the previous posts that our mgd is getting americanized.. He read somewhere that “freakin..”, “holy *&%& ” etc has to be in his vocabulary..)

You want a feel of what went on?? Our poor mgd had to submit a paper to a technical conference. And… (See comics….)

infinity to the power of infinityTry replacing the girl with our mgd.. this is what happened.. 😦

However, the whole exercise of writing a paper dint go waste. Our mgd was able to come up with ingenious ways to waste time even when one has extremely large amounts of “work over the head” (read “thalaiku mela velai”).

Of course grad students don’t need extra advise on this.. But, what the heck… I ll contribute whatever I can to spoil the sincere, hard working, determined, dexterous, diligent, industrious, assiduous lot.. 🙂

“In a strictly fixed particular order” (you ll know why i said this if you watch britain’s got talent 😉 ), here are the top 10 ways to waste time

10) At no.10 stands movies. I know this is conventional. But I would like to put down a couple of links that might get a bit addictive that it may even interfere at mid-day work. For the tamil movie lovers, try hqpadam.blogspot.com or tamilfms.com … For english movie lovers, didimac.com or united300.blogspot.com

9) TV series . Noooo… Clean your thoughts.. I am not talking about our indian mega serials. There are american equivalents that are funnier and give you an air of “coolness” about you when others hear you talk about them.. ;).. Try Two and a Half Men.. you ll know why my language has been getting spoilt.. yidio.com is the place..

8 ) Play pool on orkut and poker in facebook… there is no better way to rust your mind. But don’t be bothered too much. You are relaxing yourself by involving in some sports. Or so you must say to your friends and family. 🙂

7) Some people may rate this one higher up the order. Anyhow, keep gtalk open always.. you atleast have to be in invisible mode. If you are not on gtalk 24×7, something is seriously wrong with you. Try going for a mental health checkup.

6) Making its presence felt again at no. 6 is facebook. Take the meaningless, insignificant, trivial, unimportant, absurd, asinine, balmy, brainless, crazy, daffy, daft, dotty, fatuous, foolish, insane, jerky, kooky, loony (also looney), aimless, haphazard, purposeless facebook quizzes

5) Now to some online gambling.. Ever heard of swoopo.com?? It is time you tried it..

4) Now this is a personal favourite.. Most of you may not agree… Anyways, I strongly recommend every grad student to have some toy in their office desks.. you never know when the kid inside you will want to play some games.. 😉 Ninjas

See my collection …  Ninja power!!!!

3) Now to another personal favourite… Interested in reading cine news and gossips?? behindwoods.com & indiaglitz.com.. reading world news and india news isn’t that important is it???

2) At no.2 is a personal favourite to our AGD (aasirvadham grad student…).. pls refer to the comments section of the previous post for details about our agd… Ogle at Asian girls who have a desk in your same room, probably right next to you. At this point of time I would like to clarify that our poor mgd does no such things and is a perfect gentleman who doesn’t  even lift his head or wink an eyelid towards any girl that passes his way!! 😀

1) Now rake up your imagination people.. tell me more.. What do you think will fill up this no. 1 spot? Don’t come up with sleeping and TV watching… lets be more innovative… The best idea will get a prize..

Disclaimer:- This is for people who talk about copyright issues. The comics used in this post and all the posts in this blog are sole proprietary matter of phdcomics.com and the author of this blog doesn’t claim any ownership or creative rights to them. (Phew!! hope i got that right.. )

Cooking is an art. Men, in general are better cooks than women. Women are good too. I am talking in relative terms. I don’t want to lose my female readership.

You know why men are better at cooking? Cos we learn it the hard way!! We always do. With our grad students, there is no dearth for new experiments and lots of fun. 🙂

Disclaimer:- All characters,events, incidents etc., quoted in this post are purely non-fictional. Any resemblance to a particular set of grad students you might know is solely intended and is not a work of fiction from the author. So take your guesses.

A bunch of grad students (4 to be precise) went on a cooking endeavor a couple of years ago. Those were the times, when cooking was an exciting task for those grad students. Yeah, they had landed in the United States of America just a week before. Ask them what cooking is all about now. “Whatever!!!! It just needs to be edible and should get done in less than 30 minutes.” – one possible answer. “Food?? we have got ramen, maggi, tortilla and instant side dishes” – another possibility. “Oh, why bother about food, when you have a whole bunch of restaurants and a good form of financial aid to support yourself” – one of the rarest possibilities in the electrical engineering department. 😉

Anyways, let us not digress from our main story. Cooking it was – the agenda of that evening. The menu was fixed to be sambar with okra fry. (Okra = Ladies Finger). Why is it called ladies finger in india? I just can’t make out the reason behind that. Any ideas? Enlighten me!!

One of our grad students never knew that cooking okra was that big a deal until that day. Sambar as such was easy to cook. But frozen okra could be really tricky at times. But our poor innocent bunch were unaware of these details. Our “big grad student” (bgd) and “please da grad student” (pgd) who has been named so for the sole reason that he uses “Please da” for every practical reason except pleading , set about defrosting the okra in the microwave oven. Our menial grad student (mgd) and “solu grad student” (sgd) who shot to stardom with  the previous post, cut some onions and started frying them in oil. “sgd” had heard somewhere that, onions and tomatoes can be used as a base for cooking anything. Alright!!! No arguments on that.. After the onions were fried, the defrosted okras were added to the pan along with some chilli powder, salt and then started the long process of frying.

Midway through, one of them suggested that, they should taste the okra to make sure that the spices were in the right proportion and also to make sure that they were fully cooked. Our “bgd” took up the responsibility. One piece into his mouth and he spat it out right away. The okras weren’t fully cooked. Our “pgd” came up with a thought. He had heard from various reliable sources that, most vegetables take lot of time to cook and if they don’t get fully cooked, water must be added. The other three thought, this “pgd” really knew his bearings in cooking and followed  him. Thus, they added water. Not just one or two cups. Enough water to drown all the okras and make their cadavers float.  And closed the pan with a lid. The rest is history!!! 😛

After 5 minutes, the pan was opened. The gd’s were expecting to get something like this. 535570229_2a5be9c0fd

But the okras had other plans. Probably they were angry with the gds for cooking them wrong. Probably they were angry that they were bathed in water. Probably they were disgusted at being thought about as any normal vegetable. Probably they wanted to show off that they were one of a kind. Probably they wanted to punish the gds for thinking that okras were easy to cook.

What remained there in that pan was beyond description. Something that strongly repelled the word “edible”. However, our poor “mgd” who was having hunger pangs, summoned the courage to take that lumpy mass and put it on his plate. He even tried to put it in his mouth. What happened after that is left to the reader’s imagination. ;). It took the gds more than a week to get the utensils clean. On the brighter side, the gds learned how to make cheap glue.

PS:- Things to remember 1) Never add water to okra. 2)Never trust a fellow gd’s cooking advise, especially if he landed in the USofA on the same day as you. 3) You always learn it the hard way!!!

The Killer Blow!!

Disclaimer:- All characters,events, incidents etc., quoted in this post are purely non-fictional. Any resemblance to a particular grad student you might know is solely intended and is not a work of fiction from the author. So take your guess.

A voice chat between a grad student (who has recently come to the US ) and his parents.

Mom:- Kanna, how are you? (for the tamil disabled, kanna = dear)

grad student(gd) :- am fine mom

Mom:- are you eating properly? are you sleeping soon?

grad student:- yes mom

[remember.. there are two types of grad students… 1) Those who answer in as few words as possible to everyone.. 2)Those who answer to their parents in a couple of words.. But, when it comes to their GFs, the answers are sometimes muffled(you know why ;)) and sometimes just a single word like “sollu” (tell me) which keeps getting repeated a million times like the broken record in a very old gramaphone ;).. one must appreciate their patience and perseverance in long distance relationships…. Our hero in this incident falls in neither category.. He was simply pissed off on that particular day.. for no reason obviously..]

Mom:- do you take bath regularly? do you wash your clothes regularly?

gd:- yes mom

Mom:- do take bath daily..I guess it is summer there and you must be sweating a lot.. take care of your personal hygiene..

gd:- yes mom..

gd wondering if his mom reads phdcomics… phd061209s

Incidentally, she has heard a lot of stories from her other friends that, personal hygiene of certain human beings dips to record lows once they attain the title of “grad student”.

also notice that his dad has been keeping quiet all this while.

Mom:- You took only two bars of soap.. did you buy soap?? use the soft ones.. I heard that many soaps are too strong and might affect your skin.

<gd wondering:- woww.. i never knew that.. mom is doing too much research.. probably i should try delegating some work to her>

gd:- ok mom.. Shall do so.

Mom:- Try to buy hamam soap. That is the best and easy going on your skin.

gd:- mumbling to himself… mom, hamam soaps are sold for human beings only in india.. they are probably used to bathe buffaloes in this country.. <oh yeah!! our gd hated hamam soaps for the sole reason that his parents dint let him use any other soapfor his own good of course.. but when have we understood that..>

<now our gd decides that he must let his parents know that he has become Americanized already and he doesn’t use bar soaps!>

gd:- Mom, I don’t use bar soaps any more.. I use shower gel with a scrubbing puff Arizona-Sun-Bath-And-Shower-Puffs-75

<I know the color shown in this picture is Gay to the max… But noooo, our hero is 200% heterosexual.. This was the only picture that I could get..>

An innocent mom that she was, did not know what a scrubbing puff was.. She knows bar soaps used on homo sapiens, bar soaps used on utensils & even the bar soaps used on clothes.. But what in the world was a shower gel and a scrubbing puff

So she blurted out innocently…

Mom:- What is a scrubbing puff??

Our gd being an impatient bloke, lost his cool over a meaningless conversation and shouted..

gd:- I can’t keep explaining everything.. Dad has been quiet so long.. Why don’t you ask him to explain what it is..

Now came the killer punch

Dad:- adhu onnum illa.. namma oorla indha eruma maada laam kulipatuvanga theriyuma.. thengai naaru vechu.. adhuve nylon la senju vitha, indha pasanga style a scrubbing puff nu soluvanga.. (thats nothing.. you must have seen the coconut shell covering used to bathe buffaloes in our country right?? if a similar thing is made in nylon, these guys call it a scrubbing puff).. It is used to bathe fully grown “buffaloes”.. The only difference is, a buffalo has to be scrubbed but our son has the ability to scrub himself, “luckily”.. waterbuffbymauricekoop

Now you know why our hero’s dad was quiet so long!!

Aah!! The killer blow!! 😀

Our poor grad student knew better than to lose his patience when talking with his parents.. 😉

Whats with the concept of bigger being better in the “United States of America”?? ……. Now don’t get me wrong. No double entendres intended. I am talking about cars and trucks. And I know there are coupes and convertibles, but the majority of the population seems to be preferring pick-up trucks and SUVs, atleast in the place I am studying!! College Station, Texas. I agree, this is “Aggieland”. There are lots of farmers and farm related activites  going on in abundance which justifies the need for trucks. But, even for pizza delivery??

Papa Johns

Guess all his tip money goes for gas. Even that is not going to be sufficient. There was this tagline in an ad for the Hummer… “Like nothing else..“… Yeah right!!! I totally agree… No other vehicle gives 14mpg in the city. That is 3.64 miles/litre of gasoline. ;).. And why does an average american bother about that. Gas is selling at $2.7/gallon. “Voila.. Get me a bigger gas guzzler!!”. Till you are hit hard with a rock and given the reality check. Now you know why GM went bankrupt. The icing on the cake is this “A snake swallowing an elephant”. Ha ha!! American brand being rejected by China. How many times have we made fun of chinese products?? Heights of irony. I bet this is going to get better.

We should see how the americans react if the gas prices are taken to $10/gallon. The SUVs and pickup trucks will be wiped off the american soil. No longer will we see puny girls driving a hummer as a status symbol. Maruthi 800s & Tata Indicas  if imported, will sell like hot cakes. And the delivery vehicles will be simpler than this

Dominoes

When I had gone to take my license test in the brazos county DPS, I saw a young american girl who had to come to take the test in a hummer. Imagine trying to do parallel parking with that gargantuan machine. College Station, especially has a reputation of making people come back atleast 10 times before they bless you with the driving license. Trust me, it is easier to get the blessings of Lord Venky in Tirupathi. And there came this girl with a hummer. The obvious happened, she was rejected outrightly even before she tried to get that machine closer to 20degress with respect to the wall. Now tell me.. bigger is better??? Really??? God Save America!!

Pakistan rejoices  T20 World Cup Victory

By Ghumaltic press(GP) – (reporting “alive” from …..)

Amidst much fanfare, the people of Pakistan celebrated the victory of their national cricket team in the T20 world cup. Ever since India cut off all trade relations, Pakistan have had a shortage of firecrackers. However, the welfare groups of Pakistan did not let down the people and celebrated the win by bursting pipe bombs and cluster bombs. The money for building these bombs came from the donations collected from top government officials, sources said. The United States, not to be left out of the celebrations, decided to count themselves by dropping a couple of missiles, hours before the Pakistan captain Younis Khan making a press statement that their country is safe as heaven.

This statement has been strongly endorsed by the Sri Lankan cricket board. An anonymous official from the Lankan cricket board told the GP that the Pakistan cricket board clarified about the so called attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team. It turns out that it wasn’t an attack after all. It seems like some of the welfare associations were planning an early celebration for the Pakistan team’s victory in the series and the Lankan team bus happened to pass by in the midst of those celebrations. The Pakistan cricket board is expected to give a public statement regarding the same very soon.

Ministers from the Pakistan government sent their congratulatory note to the Pakistan cricket team. The Prime Minister Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani while congratulating the team, said that this victory provides the much needed solace to the country that has been riddled with “welfare group” celebrations. However, the ISI begged to differ from the Prime Minister’s opinion. In their first ever public statement regarding “welfare group” celebrations, the ISI stated that, the “solace” said by Mr.Gilani is actually coming in the form of aid for fighting (a.k.a aiding) terror and the world cup victory is a danger to that “solace”.  The ISI official also said that their agency is putting pressure on the President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari to issue a statement negating the one made by the Prime Minister in order to make sure that the terror fighting funds still flow consistently. When questioned, the ISI official stated that, this is not new for the Pakistan governmnent as the world has already seen a sample of these intra-governmental antithetical statements during the Mumbai terror attacks and the subsequent capture of the lone terrorist.

Adding further excitement to the world cup victory came the allegations that the Lanky fast bowler Umar Gul tampered the ball. The leading wicket taker in his defence, said that he just rubbed the ball with a soft drink bottle cap in order to remove the grass coloration on the ball and it shouldn’t be called tampering. As the world knows, it is an age old practice of the Pakistan cricket team to remove grass coloration from the ball in that manner. It is expected that the ball tampering charges would be dropped once the heat dies down.

The Ghumaltic Press team congratulates the Pakistan team on the victory.

PS:- This post might have give an idea of what this blog is going to be all about. Parodies of current affairs, spoofs from movies, comics depicting grad life, rants on grad life and all other things that might put atleast a faint smile on the reader’s face!!

“Lets put a smile on that face” 🙂