Monday, March 16, 2009

Things We Lost in the Fire

The morning after
The smell of fate
Hanging heavy over me
The wisps are all that remain
And through the smoke
I see
The ephemeral space between
Reality as we like to see it
And reality as it looks
Sometimes, just sometimes...

In the dead calm
Lit up by the sunrise
That you and me never
Thought would ever come
We stand there, hand in hand
And find, and stumble on to,
And count, and try to wash
With our tears, with our kisses
The things we lost in the fire

I think there, in the corner
Is a thought you once gave me
One that I played with for a week
And then it must have fallen
Behind the table on which
I keep all my frivolities
Last night, I found it again
After the walls fell

Over there, next to where the bed was
Is the sound of the laughs you
Gifted to me on my birthday
The ones that I accepted without
Even knowing who it was
Who was making those minutes
Pinpricks on my memory, on the day
There came a fire, I never did know

On my desk, you had left
The stories of books you never read
And scraps of mischief that you threw
At me, those that I laughed at the futility of
I couldn't have been more wrong
We shall see, I had said
And I am seeing, but not what I was
Expecting to see. Looking in at you
Through this glass cage, that somehow
Survived the fire

And in that cage is something I may never lose
Try as hard as I might, maybe never, ever
I don't think I ever noticed it before
But it was always there, holding the essence
Of you, of me and of every one of us
Sitting amidst the embers, tarnished but unhurt
Something that the fire couldn't touch
The losses, we shall count in the days
Oh the days that shall stretch out for long
Defying the pulls of time

But there's one thing that
We didn't lose in the fire.
And I will keep it close to me
But don't you worry, dear friend
If I hesitate to come near it today
I'll be back tomorrow...
To take home with me,
The priceless nugget
I found after the fire.

Dedicated, with love and a profound sense of insignificance and humility, to you. Shine on, forever.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Spinning Yarns from the Darkness

come and play
a game of make-believe
with me tonight

what's that?
you can't be here
hey, that's all right...

i'm going to tell
you all the rules
and top it off with
"rules are for fools"

just the right amount
of bravado, of disdain
aided and abetted by the
deliciously faithless refrain

sing along with me
the miserable, the angry
the deluded yearning to be free

rule number one
take everything as it comes
rule number two
is the rule of the ones

one is the number
of answers you will take
one is the number
of people you're not allowed to break

so go on, go on
shoot those dreams, up into the sky
expect nobody to ask, how're you gettin' by
admit no pain, all guilt you must deny
hell, crashing to the ground
is the price of wanting to fly

and when we meet in the morning
we won't need any mirrors
each man to his own, he shall
decide losers and winners

when you've had your fill
of epiphanies and obituaries
come to the clearing in the wood
while the fallen head to the cemeteries

there we'll have a bonfire big and bright
no better place to put those stained
souls and clothes tattered in the fight
hey, you're ready again to head into the night
to turn yesterday's wrongs into some right

does anguish have a memory for names?
does time smother the cinders, or does it fan the flames?
does tomorrow's repentance equal yesterday's shame?
do you forget the grudges, or do you preserve the pain?
do you want to know what made you what you became?
come, let's play the game
hell, yeah...let's get back to the game.

Friday, January 16, 2009

DUI: Disclosing Under the Influence

they ask me where i came from
and i keep a story handy in my pocket
i tell them of the stuff that gets me going
and a wee bit of that which makes me fret

i tell them of people i once knew
and of folks that are keepin' me afloat
then there's the polite and the perfunctory
like where i got the dough to pay for my coat

and there's some about the places i've been
throw in a little about things dusted an' done
the sights that i dream of and the songs that i sing
and how i came to believe that gods there are none

as the evening gets soaked in some fine spirits
it gets harder and easier as we drain the keg
harder to stand, easier to lie,'cause all of ya know
a lie's got no need for a goddamn leg

and from there on does the memory fade
the storyteller in me takes over, the stage is set
i find him telling me stories i'd never believe
kinda hard to believe what you see is what you get

as the dam closes on the stream for the day
and the lights are turned on all around
it's an eerie buzz in my ears and a cold wind in my face
that starts the guessing as suspicions merrily abound

i dig into that pocket of mine
the one that i keep my story in, ya know
what i come up with looks vaguely familiar
but oh um er, what have i done now

there's a story to be told, for sure
and it's mighty useful to have told it before
but the storyteller needs discretion in matters of lore
for the wrong tales told may well cause furore
and so tonight i let them get their foot in the door
darn him - for a month, i'm seeing that barman's face no more!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

There are some men whose path you do not cross

(excerpted from this article in the IHT after Michael Phelps won his first gold in Beijing)

Long before he had the likes of Ryan Lochte and Laszlo Cseh to inspire him, Michael Phelps was motivated by his tormenters. His mother, Debbie, remembered an 11-year-old Phelps emerging in tears from the locker room at Towson University during a swim meet because two boys from another team were making merciless fun of him.

Four years later, in 2000, after Phelps qualified for the United States Olympic team in the 200 butterfly, one of those boys came up to him in the stands at the Indiana University-Purdue University natatorium to congratulate him. As Debbie Phelps remembered recently, the kid said to Phelps, "Remember me? I swim with ..."

Phelps looked him in the eyes and said, "I don't seem to recall who you are." After the boy left, Debbie Phelps said she turned to her son and said, incredulous, "Michael, you really didn't remember him?" He told her: "Yes I did. But I was not going to give him that sense of satisfaction."

Vindication or Vindictiveness?

Hell, give me both.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

साकी ...

साकी कोई ऐसा जाम पिला, कि उसकी याद का बाकी ज़र्रा भी ना रहे..
आज रात कर लूँ मोहब्बत आखिरी दफा, लेकिन सवेरे तक बाकी कोई अरमां भी ना रहे...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My R.E.M. Playlist

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

All About Those Eyes :)

He said:
Oho, really! Well, let me try to summarise what you just told me with a sher. Here goes:

तेरी आंखों की कशिश से एक पल को साँस थम गई,
तूने इशारा भी न किया और कत्ल-ऐ-आम हो गया


I replied:
There's more to it. Try this:

चार लफ्ज़ बोलने का ये अंजाम हो गया
देखिये शायरों की शागिर्दी क्या इल्जाम हो गया

माली से दोस्ती में मैं यूं बदनाम हो गया
काँटों के खीचे खून का भी चर्चा तमाम हो गया

But, I'll admit this...
एक घूँट में ही ग़म-ऐ-ज़िंदगी से आराम हो गया
क्या बताएं जनाब, ऐसा ही कल एक जाम हो गया

Too bad, though...
मेरे सजदे से मोहल्ले में कोहराम हो गया
उनकी इबादत करने की थी आरजू , अफ़सोस...कत्ल-ऐ-आम हो गया


Friday, April 11, 2008


I've got to give it to some people, they really deserve it. The gift, you know, the sheer talent, man , that they have, it just makes comparisons so inanely redundant, you know. Now you might be thinking what's got into this raving good-for-nothing, just blabbering away, makin' no sense at all. Well, yeah, you're right, but that isn't going to make much difference to me, as you know very well by now. But anyway, I've never been one to listen too much to people who have no good words for anybody except other people they want something from, so I'm going to let you keep at it while I get myself warmed up. So, yeah, I was sayin', this is nothing to sneeze at, right? The guy was born with something but he didn't have to put so much into it to become so good at it. It's called knowing a jewel when you see one, and sometimes it's just the most goddamn hard thing to see it in yourself. Now, look at me, I've been there and I've had people totally eatin' out of my hands, you know how that goes, but I never had the kind of concentration or maybe common sense to put into what they call developing one's talents. I've always been pretty naive that way, but it's not a huge bother, I've not done that badly in life. But, sure as death, I know that if I had a half a brain I would be makin' 'em dance to my tunes all over town, you know I'm right. So, yeah, I walk into this room full of people, and in five minutes, you heard that, five minutes, I can tell who's the star of the show, who's the hanger-on and who's the timid wannabe. It's that easy, it's a gift too, but it's just as useful as an eye for useful trash in the dumpster. That's not what you might consider an appropriate example, but trust me, if you were to talk to one of them beachcombers, he would tell you the same thing, right? In any case, I was just telling you about this idea of being able to spot the man with the gift of the gab from a mile away, and I'd be lying if I didn't half envy some of those splendid men making them ladies swoon and giggle and behave like puppets on the cords of his words, flying out into the air around him, stronger and more allurin' than any of those musk perfumes you might've seen the ads about. Absolutely brilliant, I call it, and they know it too, you know, that easy charm, the way they throw their heads back when they laugh, the way they pull that jacket sleeve just a little higher to allow them to look at their expensive watch, yeah, now you notice it, don't you? It ain't no accident at all, trust me, it's a talent, and it's also a lot of practice, man. You never get quite as good at anything without beating yourself up over things once in a while. It's like this problem I have with my jokes, you know. People tell me that they were this close to bashing my head in when I tell my jokes, and I could never understand it. Of course, I get to grin behind their backs because they have no idea, absolutely no idea at all, how many times I've made fools out of 'em and they didn't even know it. As I said, it takes some doing before you can even get the hang of your own practical jokes, but if you're as good as I am, then it's only a matter of time before you have them thinking, and thinking, and thinking, and then saying, "Now what the hell was that all about?"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

To Dear Papa, With Love...

I watched some parts of 'Road to Perdition' again recently, and I couldn't help but be moved by the last scene of the film. To understand how much those lines convey, one has to watch the movie. However, I want to share them nonetheless, also as a tribute to my own father, with whom my relationship has evolved, and is still evolving, over my short (and in some ways, long) lifetime thus far. Here they are:

"I saw then that my father's only fear was that his son would follow the same road. And that was the last time I ever held a gun. People always thought I grew up on a farm. And I guess, in a way, I did. But I lived a lifetime before that, in those six weeks on the road in the winter of 1931. When people ask me if Michael Sullivan was a good man, or if there was just no good in him at all, I always give the same answer. I just tell them... he was my father."

Do go and see the film if you get a chance. I recommend watching it on DVD, but if you can't, then here's the youtube link to the first part. It was acclaimed cinematographer Conrad Hall's last movie, and he received a posthumous Oscar for his work. I assure you that the award doesn't honour the film, it is the other way around, in this case.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Made this to put it up over my desk. Love these lines, and the song too! (Click on the picture for the full-sized version)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Return to Poetry

I stood by the road
And watched them rush by me
As day turned to night, dusk to dawn
The most intriguing, ceaseless art you'll see

She brought me out of my trance
Quizzical look, hand on my shoulder
O Traveller, wither your destination?
You feel not the rain, nor the wind ever colder

Said I to her, you people move so fast...
Tracing curves in space and time with alacrity
Yet, in my world, I'm convinced you don't get as far as I do
For I subscribe to the principle of relative velocity.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Today, I read an article in the NYT by Mark Bittman chronicling his attempts to break away from the so-called electronic addiction that afflicts a huge percentage of the population in this country, and in many other societies around the world. He describes the process as one that required a lot of effort, but one that eventually deserved the hard work because it restored some perspective on how important being connected actually is. I quote him:

"I would no more make a new-agey call to find inner peace than I would encourage a return to the mimeograph. But I do believe that there has to be a way to regularly impose some thoughtfulness, or at least calm, into modern life — or at least my version. Once I moved beyond the fear of being unavailable and what it might cost me, I experienced what, if I wasn’t such a skeptic, I would call a lightness of being. I felt connected to myself rather than my computer. I had time to think, and distance from normal demands. I got to stop."

I've had my own discussions with friends, mostly other graduate students, who have admitted that they sometimes feel rather uncomfortable with their (growing?) dependence on the internet as a means of spending time. We've all agreed that if only we could spend less time online, we could explore other options. Some of us would like to re-establish some good habits that we had in the past, such as reading books, or going biking, or simply trying a little harder to explore the social side of graduate school (it does exist!). Others would like to pick up a new hobby, start a gym regimen or simply spend more time studying.

I've done more than my share of experimenting with different degrees of detachment from the internet at various points of time, and it's a trivial conclusion that the problems arise only when one has extra time at hand, or should we say, unallocated time. Back in the times when I didn't have any regular internet access (nor any need for it), time had to be accounted for. And that needed planning, and reaching out to other people to see if there was anybody else who was struggling to keep the clock ticking at a comfortable pace. It didn't seem to be that big a deal at that time, but the fact that I'm bothering to note that should indicate how far the boat has gone down the river.

The beauty in that system was the vulnerability and need of the agents in it. I was dependent upon entities not under my control to fulfill my needs. On the surface, the internet did away with most of that deficiency by giving me all the information, all the music, all the video and all the tools I would probably need to stay in touch with friends. However, it created the possibility of being left high and dry when the bubble finally burst.

In that light, Bittman's conclusions are almost obvious and his delight and satisfaction quite palpable. However, I don't think that the same inferences are applicable for people like me, in situations like mine. At the outset, I'd say that I agree with him when he says that being cut off allowed him to think and feel one with himself again. If I have a computer screen staring me in the face for most of my waking hours, I can hardly avoid being drawn to it, even if it is on the most acceptable of bases. If I'm thinking about something, and I realise I have a need for some information or some reference at that point to help me proceed with my thinking, I'm going to try and find it on the net immediately. And unless I'm really, really short of time, what with the marvellous cross-linking on Wikipedia, one click will lead to another, and time will be history very soon!

That having been said, I differ with Mark Bittman because I feel it's really counter-productive for me to try and avoid the internet or other forms of connectivity. At this stage of my life and my career, I think that the internet can only help me if I use it with a measure of wariness (I was going to use 'self-control', but that sound like, and is, preaching) with regards to what the benefit versus cost is at a certain point on the usage curve. It's not very different from the concept of marginal profit; after a while, it ceases to be a good idea.

In addition, it's easier to avoid the internet on a weekday, especially with the kind of schedule I have, because no matter how much work I do, I always have more to consider. But that turns the tables on me, because if I want to grab a 15 minute break by taking a walk outside the lab, it's never going to be 15 minutes. And that's both the good thing and the not-so-good thing about real people: You can't always get what you want from them on your terms. It's definitely a gameplan that's too iffy for my liking. So, I conclude that I should have the internet ready when in such a situation, so that I can (hopefully, and note that this now depends to a much greater extent only on me) switch off and switch on as per my requirement.

What about the weekend? Well, on the weekend, the theme is mostly sleeping. And while awake, it's very, very tough to stay away because if I'm at home, then I'm probably in a fairly crabby mood anyway because none of my plans took off the right way (or remained grounded in a worst case), and in that situation I don't want to make my temper worse by trying hard to make something work for me when it's already looking bleak. So, what better way to feel better than to vent my spleen on someone who happens to be online at that time. It's a very effective stress release mechanism (for want of better options, I'll admit), and it works much better on people at a distance than on those in the next room.

So, I think I'll stick with the net for now, try and make the most of it while I can, and then maybe one day, when I really have interesting things to do all the time, I can come back and moralise on the ills of internet addiction :)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Best Last Lines of Any Book I've Ever Read

"I have at least one old man's ill: I suffer from insomnia. Late at night I lie in my bed, listening to the dank and hopeless sound of infirm men and women coughing their courses deeper into old age. Sometimes I hear a call-bell, or the squeak of a shoe in the corridor, or Mrs. Javits's little TV tuned to the late news. I lie here, and if the moon is in my window, I watch it.

I lie here and think about Brutal, and Dean, and sometimes William Wharton saying, That's right, nigger, bad as you'd want. I think of Delacroix saying, Watch this Boss Edgecombe, I teach Mr. Jingles a new trick. I think of Elaine, standing in the door of the sunroom and telling Brad Dolan to leave me alone. Sometimes I doze and see that underpass in the rain, with John Coffey standing beneath it in the shadows. It's never just a trick of the eye, in these little dreams; it's always him for sure, my big boy, just standing there and watching. I he here and wait. I think about Janice, how I lost her, how she ran away red through my fingers in the rain,
and I wait.

We each owe a death, there are no exceptions, I know that, but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile is so long."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Storyteller - part 1

He was definitely one of those people whom you had to try to meet, if you wanted to meet them. He was the type of person I always seem to pick out in any group. You know, the guys who stand in a corner and blend into the surroundings, who have nothing to offer for mass consumption save for the occasional twinkle of the eye and loads of silence. Even if you were to put them in the spotlight, they would somehow manage to make themselves transparent to it. Masters of camouflage, you might call them. And true to my track record, I found him.

The interesting thing about silence is that it is open to so many interpretations. As I love to keep reminding people, nothing makes people as uneasy as a silent entity, and he seemed to fit the idea right down to the T. I sought out his company often, mostly to try and get him to speak on some topic or the other. It proved to be alternately easy and difficult. I would speak for five minutes non-stop, trying to explain myself, for he was always particular about matters of detail. Sometimes, infuriatingly so. And then, like a burst of machine-gun fire, he would put forth his response, occasionally with a very well-disguised look of boredom that proclaimed, "You know it, but I didn't say it!".

However, with time, I got better at my job, and he probably relaxed the rules of probation that he had laid down for me. As with any other person, he had buttons that needed to be punched for the music to emerge. One of our most fun pastimes was plotting mischief, and I rue my lack of foresight, in not having chronicled our plans of wreaking chaos upon our immediate universe and beyond. His penchant to dream up ways of mischief was matched only by his sheer inertia to move his body from one point to another, and so, most plans remained sadly unfulfilled.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Where No One Knows Me

I'm not going to screw this song up by adding my commentary. All I'll say is that I love it :)

Got my suitcase
Got my dog
I'm packing up my life so far

Got my pictures
Got some cash
I'm getting out of here at last

Got my hands on the wheel, got my foot on the pedal
Gonna drive til I drop, til the tires turn to metal
Gonna sleep when I'm dead, gonna laugh like the devil
Gonna find some place where no one knows me

Gonna stop when the last drop of gas turns to vapor
Gonna ride til I can't even seem to remember
Who I was when I left and it don't even matter
Gonna find some place where no one knows me

Feel the sunburn on my skin
I feel the wind whip through my grin

Took the rear-view mirror down
I wrapped it in my wedding gown

Got my hands on the wheel, got my foot on the pedal
Gonna drive til I drop, til the tires turn to metal
Gonna sleep when I'm dead, gonna laugh like the devil
Gonna find some place where no one knows me

Gonna stop when the last drop of gas turns to vapor
Gonna ride til I can't even seem to remember
Who I was when I left and it don't even matter
Gonna find some place where no one knows me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Trivia...The Binary Scorecard ;)

I realise that this doesn't hold much importance, but good for a few laughs nonetheless. This is the first half of the scorecard of the ICC Women's WC qualifiers game between Bermuda and South Africa:
(pay attention to the scores of the batsmen (batswomen? batsperson???!!) and the extras :D)

Bermuda Women innings (50 overs maximum) R M B 4s 6s SR

L Mienzer c Minnie b Loubser 1 60 48 0 0 2.08

W Woodley c Chetty b Smith 0 19 14 0 0 0.00

S Albouy lbw b Smith 0 17 16 0 0 0.00

M Jackson lbw b Benade 1 11 7 0 0 14.28

TL Paynter lbw b Loubser 0 3 8 0 0 0.00

R Richardson st Chetty b Loubser 0 6 1 0 0 0.00

R Smith c Letsoalo b Loubser 1 14 5 0 0 20.00

N Jones b Loubser 0 2 1 0 0 0.00

A Smith b Benade 0 4 2 0 0 0.00

C Furbert not out 0 7 4 0 0 0.00

S Todd b Loubser 0 3 3 0 0 0.00

Extras (b 2, w 7, nb 1) 10

Total (all out; 18 overs; 77 mins) 13 (0.72 runs per over)

As for the result, South Africa duly won the game by 10 4 balls. This is how that went:

South Africa Women innings (target: 14 runs from 50 overs) R M B 4s 6s SR

OV Anderson not out 4 4 4 1 0 100.00

CS Terblanche not out 1 4 1 0 0 100.00

Extras (w 9, nb 1) 10

Total (0 wickets; 0.4 overs; 4 mins) 15 (22.50 runs per over) had this to say about the game:

"The statistics of the match are mindboggling. Eight Bermudans failed to get off the mark, and the three that did only managed a single each. Ten of the runs that helped make up their meagre score were extras - 71%. South Africa's score of 15 for 0 was also made up of ten extras - nine wides and a no-ball. Anderson scored 50% of the runs scored off the bat in the match, and 80% of her side's runs.

Unfortunately for South Africa, but mercifully for the record-books, Bermuda's debacle does not count towards the official statistics because they are ranked outside the world's top ten countries. "I am disappointed that today's stats don't count for nothing," said Loubser (the SA captain), "but I would say it was a team effort to win the opening match of the tournament." "


Follow-up to last post

I think I got why I muddled the picture up with Zimbabwe. Less than a month before the England v NZ tie, India and Zim played out another one in Paarl (famously ending with one ball remaining because the last Indian batsman got run out on a wide ball while needing 2 to win; they got one for the wide) on Jan 27, 1997. That game was tied at 236 apiece, while the one the following month ended at 237. Maybe the closeness of the two scores tricked my poor memory :(

Faulty Memory -> Spot-on Foreshadowing

Caught the second innings of today's one-dayer between New Zealand and England at Napier, with the Black Caps needing 341 to win. As far as I can remember, I've had a sharp memory for inconsequential trivia, and I normally don't mess up a recollection. As I was watching the game, I seemed to recall that Napier had hosted 2 tied games in the past (For those who know what happened in today's game: at this point NZ were 230-odd for 2 and cruising), NZ tying with England and Zimbabwe. Out of curiosity, I dug up the list of tied games on Cricinfo , and found that there had been 22 tied games in history, but only one in Napier (26 Feb 97). Admittedly, I was not too happy about that, but hell, it's not the first thing I've forgotten or remembered wrong anyway :P

As it turned out, Napier DID become only the second venue to appear twice on that list tonight, nearly 11 years to the day after the same two teams had tied! Today's game was also the highest scoring tie in history, and to convey an idea of how rare it is, only 23 out of 2682 one-dayers played have ended with scores level; that is 1 in every 117 games. And even though what I remembered was wrong, it didn't take too long for that to be set right :D

Great game, BTW, and do catch the highlights if you get a chance. Super bowling at the death by Sidebottom, Anderson and Wright negated the amazing innings of How, who made a dominating 139 off 116 balls.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day.....NOT!!

Just dropped in to warn all you guys out there of a potential situation. Read on:

A very shy guy goes into a pub on Valentine's Day night and sees a beautiful woman at the bar. After a long struggle with his shyness, he finally managed to walk over to her and asked her politely, "Um, would you mind if I give you company?" She made a furious face and yelled at the top of her lungs, "How dare you asked me to sleep with you tonight?" Everyone in the pub started staring at the man who was completely embarrassed. After a few minutes, woman walked over to him and apologized - "You see I am a student of psychology and studying how people respond to embarrassing situations. I am sorry but I was just doing my experiment!" The young man suddenly gave a loud yell, "What do you mean $200?"

Have fun!

PS: Maybe $100 would have insulted the female a lot more ;)
Thanks to Chawla for the joke!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Psssst...what's your password?

Have to confess on this, people: I'm addicted to long passwords. Most people I know take a lot of pains to put in a tedious, totally unguessable combination of letters and numbers (and special characters too, if they're especially paranoid), and it's really weird when somebody like that has to give you their password (in an emergency, poor things...) on the phone. It goes something like this:

XYZ: Hey, I need a really, really urgent favour.
Me: Sure.

XYZ: I'm
(a) stuck in a traffic jam
(b) without my web-enabled cell phone
(c) my web-enabled cell phone's battery is out
(d) my IPHONE's battery is out (gotta give those rich people their own category ;) )
(e) at home (!!!!, you might say....but this used to happen a lot back in India, and it still does. When someone goes home, they are incommunicado. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right...)

So, can you please login to my email and tell me if ABC has replied or not.
Me: Yeah, sure. What's the ID and the p-word?

XYZ: The login is xyz_awesome_dude@yahoo (ouch, ouch, OUCH!) and the p-word is...
Me: Wait a sec, man...that ID is just terrific. Has anybody told you that before? (snigger)

XYZ: (playing cool) Chalta hai yaar...Let me give you the password now. It's knph3101$1m.
Me: Huh??

XYZ: Aaaargh...I'll repeat...k-n-p-h, as in Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, 3-1-0-1 , that is the date 31st January, followed by the dollar sign, then the numeral 1 and the letter m, as in mummy.
Me: Hmmmmmmmmmm...!!!

(I fill in the fields with exaggerated care, trying to fathom what in the name of the holy Rajnikanth this password means...)

Me: (giving up on the above mentioned exercise)'s opening, give it a second. By the way, what does this p-word mean?
XYZ: Well, don't bother about it. I know it's weird, but....

Me: (Butting in) No, no, no! I think it's an awesome password. I can never make up something like that. Tell me the thought process, coz you're going to change it anyway.
XYZ: Uhmm...well, it refers to my first date with my 1st ex-girlfriend, while we were still in school. We went to watch that movie in the old rickety theatre, you remember that, right? Yeah, so it was 31st Jan, and I had told her of my dreams to become a millionaire that day, and she was really know how money-minded she was anyway, that sort of stuck...

Me: ...and manifested itself here. That's quite a chain of thought. Incredible. By the way, what happened to that girl?
XYZ: (Desperate effort to change the topic) Hey, what about that email?

Me: Huh? Oh, yes. No, you haven't got any email. Hard luck.
XYZ: (I can sense him eyeing an easy escape) Alright. Sorry for the trouble, man. Thanks a million!

Me: Not so fast! What about the still in touch?
XYZ: Well, yes and no...I mean I scrap her once in a while.

Me: Hmmm. And what's she up to? She have another boyfriend? (Oh I love driving the nails in...)
XYZ: I think so...last I heard, she was seeing that guy in our class who used to drive his Dad's Merc around town.

Me: Oh! That's interesting...but don't feel too bad about it, I guess she just couldn't wait long enough for the million to materialise...hehe
XYZ: Uh...yeah...hehe (laughs limply). OK, then I'll catch you later. Bye!

Anyway, my most preferred tactic is to plonk in entire sentences in place of passwords rather than think too much. Oh, and my last password (since changed) was laalchadimaidankhadi.

Please refrain from being judgmental.
Thanks ;)