Ek Kathak Aur Uski Kathayen

Friday, September 17, 2004

Recycle, Replenish, Revive

I was going to post a story titled, "Strangers in the Night", however, a reader mailed in a story which was similar to stangers. The only similarity was that it was rather longish, like strangers... However, due to that huge element of similarity, I decided, there is another time for Strangers... till then, an old re-cycled post (MId June 2004, I guess)from my ex-blog @ blogdrive. Its about the time, I almost lost out on a Suzuki Grand Vitara... actually on how I almost got it, and totally lost out on it.

The Attack of Indecisiveness

When indecisiveness attacks, it comes like a swarm of bees, all attacking you at the same time. When your mind goes numb and you can't figure out anything, you don't know what to do or say, and when you do or rather, by the time you do, you've missed the train, baby!

I almost owned a Suzuki Grand Vitara. “Almost” that is the keyword. I made my decision a second too late!

Here goes the story…

We had the second day of a two-day session on lateral thinking in college today, it being high time, since companies start coming on campus in two days time. So, the person conducting the session, to be referred to as "the guy" from now on, asked another of the many mind-boggling questions. It went something like this, (There's some forced humour in the question, which would appeal only to those totally demented. However, do gimme a party in case you test negative for dementia)

There is this king - a nice benevolent soul. He's got this huge stock of red wine, a good 1000 bottles at that. Now, the problem is, one of the 1000 is poisoned. And Mr. Nice Benevolent King, needs to find out the poisoned bottle as soon as possible. At this time, I'm sure neither of us here would want to be his people (or maybe, some of you out there would be, depending on how you view death) because

< roll the drums in the background >
He needs to test the wine on the people of the state
< /roll the drums in the background >

Of course, remember, we're dealing with Mr. Nice King, so he wants minimum number of people to do the job, off which all or none need necessarily die, depending on the poisoned bottle.

So the nice-ist option seems, we'll get one man, and he'll go on, over and over again for the next 1000 odd days in the worst case scenario, and less in better case. No sire, that ain't possible, because Mr. Party Animal King has this party to throw in 4 days time, and the effect of the sample, will be evident in 4 days time.

So, what does he do?
1000 bottles of wine; one of which is poisoned; and only one chance. That's it.

Now, we're all thinking, and thinking, and I come up with 30.
Pretty neat, says the guy, but we can go still lower.
So, I start thinking again, and again, and finally come up with the number 10!
That's it.
Superb.etc etc etc.

Meet Kathak - the class celebrity for the next 2 minutes.
And the guy's ready to give me anything I ask for.
Just about anything.

Now, that was the worst time for modesty to strike.
I very happily say, "Sir... nothing"
"Nothing !?!" exclaims the guy.
"Yes Sir, nothing"

In retrospect I can now kick myself. More so, when he gave me another minute, while telling this anecdote of the only other person (or was it girl) in the entire city of Pune, who could answer the question and also asked for "nothing"… or something like that. Then, he asked me again, and once again, I very modestly answered in the negative. Damn Modesty!

Coming to the actual behind-the-scenes, it wasn’t modesty. To be honest – cross my heart kind of honesty- at that time I was thinking whether to ask for the Honda CRV or the Suzuki Grand Vitara. Just when I sort of froze upon the Grand Vitara – oops… it was a little too late.

Nothing could be worse than that little delay.
Not even missing the 8:32 local at Andheri. (That of course I say, because I do not stay in the city of B'bay or need to use the locals either. So, bombay-ites, please don't flame me)

Like they say, indecisiveness.... Can take you down with it.


  • At 2:16 AM, September 18, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what the ruberic
    Recycle, Replenish, Revive

    stands for in this post????


  • At 9:29 AM, September 18, 2004, Blogger Kathak - The Story Teller! said…


    Thats because the post has been recycled from my previous blog!


  • At 7:12 PM, September 18, 2004, Blogger Akshay said…

    People say I'm indecisive, but I don't know about that.
    -George Bush

    Thats sums it up really.

    You know certain people use certain signature phrases ,
    certain uniques ones that when you hear you can pinpoint if you have ever heard them before -----"Zilch Zero" is certainly one of those.The usage of which I've only heard once ,in a debate last Saturday..

  • At 7:25 AM, September 19, 2004, Blogger Kathak - The Story Teller! said…

    Ziltch Zero, is quite a common phrase. I doubt if it could qualify as a signature phrase. However, if you insist....... !


  • At 1:47 PM, September 19, 2004, Blogger Akshay said…

    I can be fairly naive and stupid but in the eighteen of so years of existence I never heard the usage of "zero zilch"...
    Yes zero zilch
    and then suddenly twice in a week,it's been a little overwhelming for me..
    I don't even like the alchemist but it bound to be a sign or something..
    Anyways ...
    next you use it you can say
    "Zero Zilch Nada Zip"

  • At 11:26 AM, September 20, 2004, Blogger S m i t h a said…

    been there, done that
    Indecisiveness (nice post, K)
    hearing a word for the first time in all my years and suddenly everywhere i look, it is there!! (say this movie `Dragonfly` yday.... maybe im still in the mood.)

    but the post reminds me of a joke i read somewhere...
    When i was born, God asked me "what do u want? a bigger penis or a good memory?" I dont remember what i chose.

  • At 3:24 PM, September 20, 2004, Blogger Kathak - The Story Teller! said…

    I can be fairly naive and stupid but in the eighteen of so years of existence I never heard the usage of "zero zilch"...
    Yes zero zilch
    Quite interesting, because, I've heard it like a zillion times in my 20 or so years of existence
    :-)But then again, your not hearing it, is not a national tragedy, and we can live with it, w'out talking of how popular the phrase is another zillion times!!

  • At 3:27 PM, September 20, 2004, Blogger Kathak - The Story Teller! said…

    Indecisiveness (nice post, K)Thanks Smitha

    When i was born, God asked me "what do u want? a bigger penis or a good memory?" I dont remember what i choseWhich goes to say a lot about what you chose, so even w'out you remembering, the fact that you don't remember does the job! This statement of mine wants to remind me of something, which I'm not able to remember!


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