Naagin Dance – Life cycle of a pop culture

It started with this song. In fact it started ages ago, starting with the pungi or been. Used for religious purposes, somewhere down the line it got associated with the snake dance. It was adopted by the saperas who encourage the idea that it is the sound of the been which keeps the snake hypnotised. Then the snake dance made its place in the public consciousness from this song, performed by Sridevi.

There is even a heavy metal version by Deciblel. Watch the cover here:

And the dance became so popular that it became de riguer for guys to perform it in baraats, to do it. Even who had not seen the Sridevi’s naagin dance came to know about it. So I was pretty amazed to see it as a main feature in brand new bollywood song.

the Choco Nutty

This post was written by me in 2012 when I came to Ahmedabad. For some reason I had not published it. In know, I know it is really bad housekeeping on my end for this post to be posted almost 5 years later. But fortunately I currently am in Ahmedabad, so all of it is true.
I recently moved to Ahmedabad. The reasons for that are many and multilayered. In short I had visited for a workshop and I liked the place.

After initially crashing in with a childhood chuddy buddy, Prem, who got married right about 12 hours ago, and after having looked at a score of apartments, I finally did rent a place. I had wanted a 1BHK, with many balconies, good ventilation, natural lighting and on and on..but had to settle for a 2BHK just because it had a nice huge balcony. This place is in Puja Apartments, Ambawadi. 30 year old house build by the housing board, the design is very like Bhilai steel quarters. I moved into this place a month ago. So you could say that I have lived in Ahmedabad for 2 whole months. And during that period I have taken long walks, longer bicycle rides and observed the whole moon cycle for the first time in my life. We sleep on the roof. Almost 5 families in my apartment block. But this is not about the building. This is more macro. There are lots of very big differences between Ahmedabad and other cities I have been. I will write more about the other points later, starting with the electric one. The power went off just once in the last 2 months. And not just where I was staying. During all my walking around the city, even in the old part of the city, I noticed it just once.

Which leads us to the other observation which lead to a certainty that people are using this fact (the reliable power) to their advantage. Forget about electricity for a while, how many of you like ice creams? I was taking my evening walk, when I went past a Havmor ice cream parlor. My side glance caught 4 unsheathed nut covered chocolate cones pointed at me. Yes they were without purdah, the silver/gold foily which covers such prepacked ice creams on the top was missing. Oh boy, I sound like a B grade Jehadi smut writer. Whatever, there they were. I had to stop and get it. “Sein-thh”, said bhai, which means 60 in gujrati. It was fairly simple but very different just because of its simplicity. Look at this image and you can almost taste it. A simple blob of vanilla ice cream covered by a layer of frozen chocolate smothered in nuts.

While cornetto and their ilk are shown uncovered in posters, they are invariable covered up in foil packaging. Why so? Hygiene? Yeah most likely. Since these are speciality products created with special machines in factories, and they have to go through a logistics system hand to hand to reach the customer.

So what about this Havmor Choco Nutty? Now this is a long shot by analytical standards, but I am in my intuitive mode right now and let me indulge. Havmor is a local ahmedabad based ice cream brand, I my guess is they produce it near enough. And the supply chain would also be very small.

Bing Advertisement strategy

I was looking for desktop configurations in google. Landed on a page. It showed me a Bing ad, with the same search words I had used in Google.

So the flash file of the ad picks up the search query (from where?) and uses it inside the flash file. And yeah it is animated and shows each letter being typed in. Very innovative, one search engine using a search query typed into another search engine

DIY in India

I like to do my stuff, on my own. Stuff like cleaning the house, washing my clothes, trying to repair my own gadgets, and so on. And I like to learn about how to do one’s own stuff, which means a lot of browsing through instructables, makezine, and off course youtube. I will give you a few case studies and tell you the practicalities involved.

Some time back I saw a video to cut beer bottles to make glass bottles. The idea seemed superb. An empty beer bottle destined for the garbage bin gets another life after it is cut. While we can sell it to a kabaadi vala for 2 rupees a bottle. But as a glass it would at least be worth Rs.15. More importantly doing something with your own hands and seeing the result come out, gives a satisfaction next to none. The first method I tried was the tying a string around the bottle soaked in a flammable liquid. The idea is to locally heat the bottle where you want to cut it. The challenge here was heating it only on a very narrow area, as close to a line as possible. And which is next to impossible. So the results were all haphazard cuts. Anyway, then I found another way which required a glass cutter. You think finding a glass cutter in hyderabad would be easy job? Indeed it would be for people who have business in glass. Not amateurs who want glass cutters for cutting glass bottles. After trying 5 hardware stores, I gave up. Found a cheap glass cutter on ebay and ordered it. That method did not work very well too. It required a propane blow torch, which I tried to substitute with a candle. Again the crack was much better than the string method, but still unusable.
Later found I found yet another method using jubilee clips. Here comes the next problem in hardware sourcing. Most of these niche hardware have local names. I asked around and nobody understood what a jubilee clip was. I explained describing what it was and how it was used. 4 of them said they did not have them. The fifth one too said he did not have them, but on looking around I saw it hanging in a bunch, on his shelf. Anyway, I got the jubilee clip, and using it I could make a deeper score on the bottle. And this time the cut is almost perfect.