Author Archive

Neutered in New York

Posted in travel on January 2, 2011 by thetobacconist

Well not really.

But I might as well be.


I enjoy symmetry.

I was in New York in December 2004. I was just beginning at grad school and was clueless of the 6 years of vacillating fortunes that lay ahead. I’ve returned to the city in this penultimate semester at grad school. If one were to bookend a stay in grad school, you could do a lot worse than NYC.┬áMy last visit wasn’t particularly memorable. This one in contrast has been brilliant. And it is because of the two things, that I believe, make New York awesome: food and people.

To say New Yorkers are blessed in their choice for food, is an understatement. In the last 3 days I’ve sampled, Peruvian (ceviche, lomos saltado, roast chicken), Turkish (kofte), Spanish (bbq ribs tapas), Italian (delicious tiramisu), Jewish (sturgeon @ Barney Greengrass), Greek (Sheep’s Milk Dumpling + Spicy Sausage), Japanese (sushi) and good home-cooked Indian food (korma+palak-paneer+parathas). Uncharacteristically, I accomplished most of this whilst walking around Manhattan, as opposed to resorting to cabs and the subway.


I walked.

And not just to the refrigerator and back.

It helps to have friends like N. in NY. His encyclopedic knowledge and enthusiasm about everything Manhattan, which on most other occasions would make you want to strangle him, has made this trip just that much more special. N. loves Manhattan. He has a lovely apartment by Central Park. His extravagance (he is dropping close to $3K on rent) means poor grad student peeps like me can enjoy the city like it is meant to be. He is an excellent companion when wandering aimlessly around the city. I feel given a few more years in the city, he might just become an local institution for all of our Pilani folk to visit.


We watched ‘True Grit’ today.

Nicely made movie. But I felt it didn’t need to be made. The Coen brothers talent could’ve been better used in bringing fresher material to life, rather than recycling westerns from the 60’s. The movie doesn’t add anything substantial to the original.

Also, did you know the girl is just Matt Damon in drag. Damn, isn’t he a good actor!


Scarlett Johansson divorced The Douche (aka Ryan Reynolds), over Christmas.

Just as I was beginning to celebrate the liberation of the twins, life kicked me in the nuts.

Natalie Portman is pregnant, they tell me.

<Older NY Jewish Lady Voice> What are you going to do? </Older NY Jewish Lady Voice>

What’s probably more disappointing is that she’s in a movie with Ashton Kutcher! This is where careers go to die.

How the fuck do you follow this:


Fuck you Hollywood!


BTW, permission granted to nut-kick if I agree to go stag to another club on New Year’s eve. In the scale of dumb ideas, this has to rank up there with taking time to think up a scale for dumb ideas.

So NYE 2011, if you spot me outside a club, refusing to bribe the bouncer to get in, after having bought $140 tickets, for a night of watered-down booze and hour-long waits at coat-check, only to have the guy in front of you try to take on a bouncer 3-times his size and fail miserably, and then realize some sneaky fucks wiggled past you while you were helping keep an angry black dude from ripping a puny desi idiot a new one, just wind up … and aim low.

I had it coming.

And now with Natalie Portman popping another man’s seed, what good are they anyway?


Natalie Portman.



And with this ends my token post for the year.
Have yourselves a wonderful 2011.

Be kind to grad students.

Take it away Penelope:


Goodbye, bald one

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2010 by thetobacconist

Like, duh!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2010 by thetobacconist

Being ‘nice’ to everyone, is evolutionarily, emotionally and every f#cking *ally retarded. From now a strict policy of reciprocation will be followed.

Totally Useless Calculation #1

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2010 by thetobacconist

I noticed some friends are taking up compound surnames when they get married. At the very least, they are giving their kids compound surnames. If this phenomenon were to continue, in a few generations we are bound to have kids with ridiculously long, compounded surnames. And in a moment of absolute joblessness, I decided to do some ‘research’ into the longest surname we can concoct.

Turns out there is no reliable online resource for Indian surnames. There is a collection here ( of 1979 surnames, but it is by no means complete. I randomly checked for a few common surnames (e.g Ahuja, Vazirani, Shastry) and they were absent in this list. There exist other resources on some Wikis. Lets say this were off by a factor of 10 (which is a conservative estimate), we have approximately 20,000 unique surnames in India.

So how many generations before we get to a kid with a 20k surname?

My calculations say 15 generations of compounding.

We can get there in ~500 years!!! We’ll need to keep track of people and their surnames and only approve of marriage if their respective surnames have a trivially small mutual information. What fun!!!

Or we could just toss a coin, and give the kid just one surname.

Just saying.

(P.S: Turns out there is a book with a comprehensive list: . It has ~440 pages. Say 400 of those have names, at 20 names a page we get 8000 surnames. Lop off a couple of generations there!!! We can get to it in 13! ~400 years! Yaaay!)

Day Zero

Posted in Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 by thetobacconist

And so it begins. I am going to give this another try.

What the !!!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 by thetobacconist

Sneaking around my back, changing WordPress themes on me! Why fB, whaaay!

WordPress on the iphone

Posted in Uncategorized on April 2, 2010 by thetobacconist

I’ve been addicted to my iPhone for the last week. It has helped considerably given the ennui of research and the boredom of being confined to ones home due to an infection.

In other news, my ability to punctuate sentences seems to have improved. Babylon5 is a good series. As is Mad Men. I’ve been trying to figure out which character in this series I most resemble. The candidates so far have instilled in me an intense desire for self-improvement.

Also I’ve been stalling signing my new lease, much to the annoyance of my landlord. And taxes are yet to be done.

There. Ok fb, please resume your inane prattling.