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I was introduced to the face paced world of this futuristic theme-park that goes awry, in my early teenage. I remember seeing the movie Jurassic Park in an old single screen theater along with my family. Being quite the avid reader, my brother shoved an old copy of the book – Jurassic Park in my face the next day. Reading it for the first time, I was hooked to every word. Although while reading the more scientific parts of the book, about genetic engineering and cloning I felt like a deer in the headlight, but at that age I was more interested (rather scared) to read about what happened when you let loose a herd of Velociraptors on a group of humans.

Fast forward a couple of years and I find myself holding the same copy while cleaning my cupboard. (People will be surprised how often I do that!). A quick skim through the first couple of pages and I am glued to every word that I read yet again. By now I had had enough schooling to understand what the writer meant when he said that the DNA of gazzilion year old dinosaur was extracted from a mosquito which was preserved in amber tonnes of years before today. What I loved most about the book and ultimately about the author Michael Crichton is that the language he uses is simple yet effective. And when I say simple, I mean his style not the content. One can only imagine the amount of time and knowledge that he must have put into making the perfect sci-fi book, that is, Jurassic Park.

After buying two of his other creations – Next and Congo – off the street, duplicates (Yes! Guilty as charged.) I could see the similarities in his writings. Not to say that each book he writes is a rip-off of the previous one, but the plots tend to revolve around human interaction with genetics and futuristic technologies which end up going horribly wrong.

Getting back to the novel at hand – Jurassic Park. The plot begins with the male protagonist, Dr. Alan Grant and his graduate student Ellie Satler being whisked away to a small island of the coast of Costa Rica, by a billionaire philanthropist (supposed) John Hammond. Both Alan Grant and Ellie Satler think it is a visit to a biological reserve, but they are in for a treat when they find out what the billionaire had achieved. He had recreated dinosaurs from damaged DNA that was found in the prehistoric mosquitoes that sucked dino-blood and had gotten trapped and preserved in tree sap.

Add to the mix a very eccentric (to say the least) mathematician Ian Malcolm. He and his proposal of the chaos theory turn out to be the counter point of view to John Hammond. He proposes that no matter what precautions the theme park employees have taken, and I quote, “life will out”. And that is exactly what ends up happening. One of the crucial mistakes the geneticists make in recreating the lost world is that they use parts of amphibian DNA to the fill in the gaps in the damaged dino-DNA. And the amphibian species they use were know to change sex if they were in a same sex environment. So even after repeated reassurances that they had made all the dinosaurs female to avoid breeding, that is exactly what happens.

A parallel plot,  of corporate espionage by John Hammond’s son Dennis Nedry, puts the whole theme park and ultimately all the characters in grave danger. A page turner to say the least, the book keeps you wanting for more.

If  it was good enough for Steven Spielberg to make a movie out of this story when the book wasn’t even published, I think it is good enough for me too. It is sad to know that a talented author like Michael Crichton had to go at an early age of 66. His writings will forever inspire young minds, and be a cautionary tale to unconsidered biological tinkering.

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Every evening, all my friends and me gather at the clubhouse in our society and chat. Most of the days we will just sit around, have a laugh, discuss how ‘He’ has not met ‘Their’ mother yet, and all that. But for the past couple of days it’s been one thing and one thing only that THEY ALL talk about – CRICKET (and I don’t mean the insect, I mean the game which has 1.2 billion minus one Indians hooked!).

Apparently, the Indian cricket team is having their ass handed to them in a recent match. All they (my friends) have been talking about is this particular match! How this person should have fielded, how the skipper should have batted, whom he should have allowed to bowl and all that. Now when you have no input in a conversation and you don’t understand the first thing about what the others are saying, what choice does it leave you? I started nodding my head and with an occasional “Oh yes!” and an angry “I DON”T BELIEVE THAT!” I would somehow mime into the midst of them cricketing gurus.

Now I am not one of those people who hates almost everything for absolutely no reason. Trust me, I have tried cricket, both watching and playing, and I must be missing something or whatever, but I just don’t know what the hoopla is all about! The game has a guy with a bat, hitting a ball (which FYI is fu*king hard!) which was thrown at him by this other guy who seems to have a fire breathing dragon after him, and then ten other players try to stop the ball from crossing this designated line (Boundary). The objective of the batting team is to gain ‘runs’ and of the of the bowling team is to get the batsmen ‘out’ which is possible only when the ball hits these three ‘stumps’ which are practically three sticks that the batsman guards. Now you might say that I know a hell of a lot of cricket for someone who doesn’t like it, but believe me you, this is the threshold for cricketing know-how in India, and every Indian must know at least this much! The pictures shown below depict a batsman and a bowler.

 

Now with all due respect to all the players and all the die-hard cricket fanatics, I would like to know what is so interesting about this game? We have grown men running across the pitch in what can be best described as large scale demonstration of  Brownian Motion with groin guards and upwards of  3,000 fans cheering them on, and that’s just in the stadium! I feel like the only atheist in a monastery when i say this but, I JUST DON”T GET IT!!  I am not saying I don’t watch cricket at all. The odd match between India and Pakistan, I would love to watch. BUT, that is not out of the love for the game, it is out of love to watch anything of a competitive nature between India and Pakistan.

People who read this post might not understand the gravity of my situation. I am the only one of my kind in India. 1.2 billion Indians are ardent followers of cricket and I am the only one left out. So until I get ‘on the wagon’, it is going to be vacant “OH DAMN(s)!”  and meaningless “How could he drop that catch(s)”

I hope there are other people like me, maybe you’ll don’t understand why people in your country follow the sport they do. I would love to hear!

Maybe you have to be born with it or whatever, but I am and Indian and I don’t follow cricket. So sue me!

Not too long ago, I was introduced, by my brother to the wonderfully not-so-happening office of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton. This particular branch of a paper company played host to a camera crew which captured, ever so wittily the everyday lives of the staff. A quick download of their third season, and I was glued to my laptop watching four maybe five episodes in one go! I finished the entire third season in about a week tops!

The entire series is filmed on a one camera setup, without a live audience or a laugh track. What I love most about this show is that, the dialogues don’t seem rehearsed. Credit of this must be given as much to the actors as to the writers. The cast performs with as much ease as an improv group, and maybe they DO use a lot of improv that the actors put in themselves. And that shows in the final product.
The writers should also be given credit for the fact that they have stayed true to the characters, the plot, and the main unsung (maybe) hero – The Office.

The nonchalance with which Steve Carell portrays Michael Scott’s character, the humility with which Rainn Wilson plays the narcissistic (if I may) Dwight Schrute, the ease with which John Krasinski depicts Jim Halpert and the lovely illustration of Pam Beasley by Jenna Fischer is more than commendable. (I often wonder if the writers had it in their mind that Pam Beasly and Jim would spell PB & J.)

Although I have been watching The Simpsons for as long as I can remember, I was pleasantly surprised to find out, after a quick Google search, that The Office and The Simpsons shared the same producer and writer – Greg Daniels (I bow to thee!)

BUT, although I love this show to death (Yes, I do treat it like a real person), and I would recommend it anyone who is willing to watch, I think it hit its peak in Season 7. Too much of a good thing is bad, and I would apply this to anything in my life. I am sorry to say, Season 8 would be classified as mediocre to say the most.

In an interview, Brian Baumgartner (Kevin Malone) said that the makers are talking about what the characters’ reactions would be once they see themselves on television. This would add a whole new layer to the concept of making the camera itself a character and frankly, I think, instead of streatching Season 8 any further, this is what should be explored. I’ll be looking forward to this aspect of the show eagerly!

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I am never the one to be shy of social interactions, and never would I be the one fussing over meeting new people, but this is my first blog and I have never in my life felt this anxious before. The fact that I’ll be pouring out my heart to absolutely anybody who is willing to read it (and I don’t expect many to) about stuff that even I haven’t yet decided is making me go a little weak in my knees. What if nobody reads my blog? What if they don’t like what I have to say? All of these questions have caused knot in my stomach for far too long.

And so today, after thinking about blogging for almost a month, and trying to get the habit of writing words in the “SMS-language” out of my system, I have posted my first blog with many more to come hopefully.

I am a medical student and as said earlier too, THAT does not make me a nerd at all! Quite the opposite I guess.  I stay in a small town called Pune in India, and as a side note too all you Westerners, India isn’t all snake charmers and curry rivers. I have seen more snake charmers on TV interpretations of India than in real life! (Seriously? I haven’t even seen one!)

This brings me to my favourite pass-time i.e. TV! I love watching TV. Anything and everything it has to offer – reality shows, sitcoms, travel shows, movies – you name it. I am a huge fan of shows like The Simpsons, X Files, The Wonder Years, The Office (US), The Family Guy, South Park and some more.

I can draw well and it comes in handy while drawing a diagram of the various structures found under the cover of the Gluteus Maximus. (:P)

I won’t say I am an avid reader but I like (note – I LOVE watching TV and I LIKE reading) reading P. G. Wodehouse, Michael Crichton, Dan Brown, J. K. Rowling, J. R. R. Tolkein.

I think this much is a sufficient ‘About Me’ and I really can’t think what else I can add. I’ve seen some others and they don’t seem to end. Frankly, I haven’t got that patience so I’ll end it here. THE END.