Dear Know-it-all – Telangana concerns and trekking in the Himalayas

Most of you ignored the plea I made in the previous edition to stop sending me your questions. But since all of you obviously need my help really badly, I have relented to answer some more in this edition.

Our first question comes from a student who’s very worried about the recent decision of the government to doodle on the political map of the country:

Dear Know-it-all,

I’ve been having sleepless nights ever since I’ve heard about the Telangana split. How will I ever be able to memorize the names of all the states for my exams?

– A concerned student

Dear concerned student,

I’m amazed by the frivolity of your question and refuse to dignify it with a response. You are obviously not aware of the gravity of the issue that the government is trying to address here. With the recent exit of the Pune and Kochi teams, the next edition of the IPL will only last about half a year at best. The government has done the only responsible thing it could have by investing in the future of the IPL by implementing a policy of carving out new states every few months. Please think things through before sending such ignorant questions in the future.

Sometimes one just has to be firm. Oh well. The next question comes from a software engineer who has good taste in idols but is obviously deranged:

Dear Know-it-all,

I’m bored of my monotonous life and would like to live dangerously for a while like my idol Steven Segal. I’m planning to try and climb Mt. Everest next month. I’ve never actually climbed any mountains before though. In fact, I’ve never even climbed a tree. But I’m sure that it’ll be much more exciting than spending the entire day on Facebook and WhatsApp. What do you think?

– Bored software engineer with too much money

Dear bored software engineer with too much money,

I would strongly advise against doing something so impulsive and dangerous. Getting off Facebook for such a long time is something that should only be attempted by trained professionals and under appropriate supervision.

That’s it for this edition of Dear know-it-all. Remember, if you have a question, you can always Google the answer without bothering me with it.

What’s on your mind?

Everyone knows that their status does not matter online. They’re wrong. Your status has never been more important. No, I don’t mean your ‘social status’ – no one cares about that stuff. It’s your ‘social networking status’ that can make or break you in this big, bad online world.

Every morning a Facebook user gets up, he’s faced with the inescapable question – ‘what’s on your mind?’ Research suggests that the average social networking user updates his status 384 times a day (our research is carried out by my random number generator, I call him Randy, so I generally give it a margin of error of 0.5 to 1%). If you don’t want to be a social pariah, you should be doing the same. But make no mistake, just any old status message will not do – it has to be original too. I know of a person who just couldn’t think of any new witty status updates and in a moment of desperation, recycled an older status message of his. Suffice to say, he lost his job, his wife took the kids and left him, and all his online friends banned him. He was last seen looking for new friends in the real world – it was all very sad.

So, how are some people able to come up with one interesting status after the other, while some can’t go beyond ‘just took so-and-so quiz’ messages? Is it because they lead more interesting lives you ask? Nope! It’s because they’ve read my latest book – ‘How to Update your Status and Win Friends’. Unfortunately, my publisher went bankrupt so you can’t really find that literary gem anywhere. Don’t worry though, I’ve decided to summarize the book and share the essential teachings with you right here, for free:

1. Choose the right words: Don’t say ‘I like oranges.’ Say ‘Anyone who doesn’t like oranges is an idiot!’ instead.
2. Massage the truth a little: Don’t say ‘Scratched myself in front of the telly all day.’ Say ‘Training to climb Mt. Everest.’ instead.
3. Sensationalize: Don’t say ‘Dropped my pencil.’ Say ‘I may never be able to write again!’ instead.
4. Cheat: Pick something from here.

Those are all the tips I had – it was a very thin book. Use them wisely.

Social networking – foodie style

With the arrival of the vacation season, we have the added burden of doing something useful with our time.
Some people watch TV, some read, some write to their politicians, and after they get bored of that, all of them eat. Yes, vacations involve a lot of eating. But, the main problem with eating is that it requires – say it aloud now – cooking.

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

1. You wake up with that taste in your head – the taste of that sumtuous gourmet meal you had at that lovely restaurant.

2. That coupled with the morning dizziness, inspires you to try and recreate that succulent treat at home.

3. You log onto the Internet, download the recipes and get to work.

4. After a few hours of ‘what the heck is sasperella-ing’, and ‘who likes truffles anyway-ing’ and  innovatively substituting the exotic indredients with the Indian alternatives, your meal is ready.

5. The meal tastes ‘a wee bit different’ from what you had envisioned .

6. You cry yourself to sleep consoling yourself with things like ‘youcan’t get those ingredients in India’ to – ‘ it would cost less to order it from a restaurant anyway’.

How many times has that happened to you?

Now call me naive, but there must be some people out there who can create that gourmet stuff at home using
ingredients and equipment that can easily be found in all Indian households/markets. It’s time for these people to step up and share their delightful recipes with us fellow gluttons. We’ll all try to whip them up and put up our creations
online for others to cherish and salivate over.
Which brings me to my brilliant idea – I call it the Open Source Recipe Project. Yessiree, you read it right
the first time – the OSRP. We’ll allow people to put up lists of dishes that they would really like to learn to create on
their own at home. People who have the requisite know-how can then contribute the recipes along with pictures
of their works. Of course, only recipes that have been tried and tested by the contributor would be accepted to ensure that they can indeed be made by mere mortals.

And lo/voila/presto, we’ll have a happy web 2.0-esque community in our hands. Lets see now, ‘Open Source’ – check, ‘Contribute’ – check, ‘Web 2.0’ – check. That just goes to show that there’s nothing you can’t achieve when you put the latest buzzwords together. So, when and where do we begin the social networking – foodie style?