Sunday, December 28, 2008

Finally!! Certified a B.Tech...

Quite a few people have been asking me about this status msg of mine on gtalk for the past few days...Wondering what the topic is about?? and whats with the strange timing?? Then obviously you are not from my college..No doubt, i loved college, and it was a great place and i had loads of fun.. But here's the education we got there..No, not abt the academics(which are anyway scarce in an engineering college), i'm talking abt the real-world training we got there about how sarkari procedures work..or do they?? Here's an example, that would be like a drop in the ocean of incidents...But i suppose they'll give you the message...

To all sarkari officers, at least in our college , certain conditions apply.. They would be
Sarkari officer Condition1-> If person not at seat, ask all the ppl from the administration you can find to find that person. He may be sleeping at home, sipping tea in the garden, basking in the sun clearing out ear-wax, or just plain invisible.
Sarkari officer Condition 2-> Everywhere, where a correct person is located, a queue shall be formed..Once a queue is formed, you cannot get to the head of the queue to find out what it is for. You just stand based on what ppl in front of you say. And like all other places, the information may slightly change every time it is passed from one person to the next..So in a line usually of more than 50 ppl, you have no way to confirm what the line is for..
Sarkari officer Condition 3-> The fact that the officer was sitting in one office on one day, in no way suggests that he'll be sitting there on next, (assuming he's sitting somewhere)..He could've changed because of some rearrangement of tables, or rearrangement of offices, maybe shifted places cos of the cooler/sunlight, or maybe even shifted cos the vaastu/feng shui in that room was not positive..
Sarkari Officer Condition 4->Any time can be declared as tea time/lunch time regardless of any prior events or their timings.
Cardinal Rule of All Sarkari Officers-> You can never argue with them and never question any statement they have made even by crosschecking them with previous statements by the same person. If you do, your work shall NEVER, EEEEVER get done until that officer retires or changes post..You just persistently have to persuade them. If u seem like u dont absolutely need them, they wont even bother remembering your face..


Dateline-> Once every 6 months in college(2004-2008). once in jan and once in jun.
Place->College(NIT, Jaipur)
Event->Registration

Before every semester, we had to get ourselves registered for that particular semester, specifying which courses we would be taking. A fairly standard procedure in most places. You could have a counter to fill up the fees with the particulars where a person who has a list of everyone's arrears sits, a form to write the course names and get over with it. To increase efficiency,,just increase the number of counters, and its done..Rocket science, is it? Apparently,,yes...
This seemingly simple and mundane procedure was divided into several steps carefully chosen to make sure we take a few rounds of our HUGE campus to ensure exercise for all the students. You know, after coming from home they all gain weight, so this procedure is a step in the direction of fitness. Basically the procedure is divided into a few steps..To all these steps,
Step1-> Go get the basic forms. One for academics(course selection, etc..), one for hostel allotment, and one for fees..All may or may not be at the same place, even if they are supposed to be at the same place, they are usually short of supply of one form or the other. Waiting for college to provide more?? BAAAD idea.. Walking half a km to outside college and getting a xerox of the forms from outside is the only surefire way to get them..
Step2-> Go find out how much of a mess bill you have. For this, a big line waiting(initially at the dean office) for the one and only all powerful fat sarkari guy in his office who has the records of the mess bills. This fat sarkari guy could be a person from the dean office, or from the hostel office(abt 1 km away from the dean office). If the guy is not there in his office, you even get to solve a mystery of where he is, refer to the conditions stated above for this purpose..If u finally do find him, maaaaaybe he can be asked to grace the students by providing the info...But then,,there's no fun in that, you've just started the day,, so now the next step would be to find out if this fat sarkari guy can give the information or not..If he's not, then he'll just spout out some other name and point in some random direction saying that person will give the details..And then 'mystery' repeats itself...If by any chance u do find the right guy, soon, in around 5 min, the word spreads like wildfire, and a looooooooooooong queue forms outside his office..
Step3-> After getting the required information about the mess bill, this person has to make a bill for how much money you have to deposit in the mess account. If you have no dues(which somehow, NEVER happened), then you're lucky and you just need to get a signature from him over a few forms about it.. If there are mess dues, then pay them in the bank and come back and stand in the looooooong queue to the fat sarkari guy, to get him to sign the forms..
Step 3-a-> This is for those who have to pay the mess bills, which inevitably includes everyone..Go to the chom bank!(The Bank of Rajasthan)..keeping fitness in mind, this is another half km away from dean office..Fight to get the forms for deposit, if ur reeeeeeally unlucky, then they wont have them, and then go ask 20 ppl in the bank who are not listening to you where you'll get more, you may actually get em a few hr s later..If u do get the form, then get to the back of the line thats pouring out of the tiny bank gate..Try to find someone you know to cut the line and get to stand where they are..About an hour later most probably you will reach the counter and pay the mess bill. This assuming the counter does not close for lunch or the guy disappearing for some unknown reason..After completing this sucessfully, go to step3 again.
Step 4-> Run to your department, (walking distance anywhere between 100mtr to 1/2 km.) Find the list of your courses and so called 'electives' which can almost never be elected for. Write the course codes, course names etc etc and then run around to find the course coordinator, who's usually some faculty. If they happen to be in office, get in and get the course form signed. Assuming the faculty is not in mood of having fun with you, they'll do it immediately. Now one strange thing here is, on this form, your father, mother, your name has to be written EVEN IN HINDI !! This would be the easiest step of them all.
Step5->Get the form to fill the fees. This is really tiny form, basically a bank slip of 3 inches by 10 inches. Your details and the fees details have to be written on this with a sign and amount in words etc etc..There's another fitness measure here..This is to ensure that once you have returned from home, you get the habit of writing back, since you haven't done any in the hols..Sooooooo, this form has to be filled out upto 6 times!!!!! repeating the exact same info over and over again on each one...
Step6->Hopefully all the other formalities are done properly, and you have to get into the final lines to go pay the fees.. If u dont have a DD, a process in the bank similar to paying mess bills again. Only this time, the wait is almost half a day...So in this monstrous line which extends abt 100 mts with abt a person fitting in every couple of inches almost stuck together by the pressure..This lie may be split into 2-3 lines of similar types for parallel processing if more than 1 set of officers feels like working at a time..At the end of the line are a few ppl, each of whom collects one of the numerous forms you have, may put a stamp on one of them, or maybe sign on some form..Basically here is the place where u keep doing what the person in front of you has done no questions asked..
If u dont have the DD of the correct name or some other small problem, or maybe at the end of the final line if someone says some X's signature is missing from some corner of some form, you're in luck, u get to repeat any/all of the procedure again!!!!

At the end of this adventure, you are finally (hopefully properly) registered for the semester!! YAY!

This was the procedure in the first year..Over the years, this procedure was tweaked in many ways. Pretty much every time the locations of each of the offices/queues was changed. Sometimes this was done during the day, just for kicks, to add to the chaos!! Some times the number of leaflets to be filled was changed from 4-5-6-7 etc etc..The only proper change in the whole system, was brought abt by the students, thanks to a group headed by one of the most fundoo guys of our batch, who we used to fondly call kix. For our department, he made the course selection automated..This saved us loads of time and the whole step 4, cutting about an hr from the total registration time.. Apart from this, well,,no change was for the positive.. And strangely, despite introducing a system of automatically deducting the money for the mess from the bank account, at the start of every sem, mysteriously, there were always mess dues of the last sem to be paid!!!

After all this, started the running around to get hostel rooms...Another seemingly simple task............


Lots of incidents like that all through the years..
Getting out of college was no easier, with a slightly longer procedure stretching out over 3-4 days with even more intense mystery solving to find people!!

Finally, after it was all done, there was a sigh of relief from everyone that we wont have to do all this ever again...But then came the convocation date.. Strategically picked out to be the day before CAT, which they selected for many purposes(i wont go there now..)..So lots of people (including me) decided not to go, and get their degrees just mailed to them.. But no, this cant be that simple..Even for this there was a procedure, which was graciously done for me by jobin, a batchmate of mine who's in archi, which is a 5 yr course..
Even after all this, for more than a month after my convocation, i didnt get my degree...I started having nightmares about how i might have to run around the college administration to get the sole proof that i got a degree from there...But at the end,,and to my surprise,,last week, i finally got my degree at home..It presently lies put up for display in the drawing room within the safety of my home...

So now,,Finally,,,i can say it with pride and joy,,
I'm Certified a B.Tech!!!!!!!!
(i've definitely earned it)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Characters->
Kix-> Originally KillerX from The clan The Ghosts(TG), now a fellow member of the prestiged gAp. A guy with passion for what he does, and a trendsetter in college, he will be one wherever he goes. He's one of the most fundoo guys i've ever met. Mark my words, this guy will do great things.

Jobin-> This mallu's been with me since the first yr in college. Has some slightly strange tastes for a guy, but a great guy all the same, and one of the best artists i know. Another guy with passion for what he does..Also famous as thunder thighs and the mallu porn star. He even has a dance in his name, the jobba-bobba dance, and his very own creation, the kattar-kattar dance.(it is said that even some hi-tech dvd writers work on the theory behind dance!!)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Adventures of .....Goa!!

With christmas around the corner, i thought i might as well right a post about the best place in India to be for Christmas,,,,yes,,,it is obviously,,Goa...Now everyone will talk lengths about how nice the place is, and the awesome beaches, and the natural beauty ( and of other types too... :D)..The ultra-bindaas atmosphere, adventure sports and cheap daaru make it one of the best places in India for a holiday. Christmas time makes it better, cos Goa celebrates Christmas on quite a large scale. And if not anything else, the place acts as an escape from the chills of North Indian Winters...

As you would've made out,,even i love the place.. But everyone knows how awesome a place for a Vacation Goa is and all. So i wont go there. This post about the adventures we had, when i went to Goa as a kid..Here's the story...

Dateline--> December 95 (Christmas/New Year time)
Place--> Goa

We made a family trip(Mom, sis and me) to Goa from Delhi. We had relatives there, so we planned to spend the week or so at their place. We were very excited, cos we ended up in Goa for christmas, and we would get to see some full scale christmas celebrations. Not the way they were in Delhi where in some place there would be a lone santa standing in the middle of some store. This time, there would be proper celebrations!!

The vacation was going like any other goa trip that you would expect, (keep in mind, we were kids, so no big adventure sports or daru). But still,,being Goa,, it was loads of fun. Christmas in Goa is an event i still remember! The vacation was coming to an end. We were to leave from Goa on 2nd January, by the train which left at around 6 in the evening. At this point, my mom got a great idea. She had a old friend of hers in Karwar. Karwar is place in Karnataka near the Karnataka-Goa border. After some quick verification, we found out that the place is about 3-4 hrs by bus. So the plan was made, and we decided that we'll all go visit this old friend. It would be easy, take abus from Goa at 6, reach karwar by 9 or 10, spend 2-3 hrs, and take the bus back, to reach back to the Goa station easily by 4-4:30 leaving an hr in hand as buffer. It was the perfect plan for optimum utilisation of time!! If only the world was so perfect......

Come Jan 2nd, we were all packed and ready before time, and caught the 6:30AM bus. Off we went across the western ghats, enjoying the great view along the way. The bus was nice, the journey was good, wether was pleasant, in short, everything was perfect. We reached Karwar a bit late, around 10:30. No problem, we would spend a bit less time there,,we thought. But to our surprise, my mom's friend, was waiting at the bus stand! After we got off, she found out what our plan for the day was, and when we were to return. When she got to know of our train from 'Londa'(place in goa, where our train was departing from), she got all worried, and said we might not make it back to the train in time!!!!

A rough knowledge of Goan geography is required here to understand the scenario here. Goa lies between the western ghats and the sea, and has a bunch of islands formed by many rivers flowing there, like Zuari and Mandovi. Because of the geography, the reach of railways is very limited, and even the capital(Panjim) has no railway station. Even the capital, Panjim, the capital, is an island. The place where we started, Panjim(West Goa), was not anywhere near where we had to board the train. Londa(Railway station) is at the East end of Goa. Refer to the Map.

Coming back, when we set out, we thought, that the station must be close to panaji somewhere, so we calculated the same amount of time to return. Little did we know that they'll be at different ends of the state!! And whats more, if u noticed in the map, unlike the Panjim-Karwar stretch, which is a National Highway, there is no direct road from Karwar to Londa!! This valuable knowledge,,like in most cases with me, we learnt the hard way!!

Puzzled at the whole scenario, we asked a few people around to confirm, all of them looked at us like mad ppl when we said we needed to be at Londa by the evening!! Then we asked around for the next bus to Londa,,THERE WAS NONE!!! We didnt even leave the Bus stand, we bade goodbye to mom's friend and hurriedly got on to the next bus which was going in the general direction of Londa.

After the bus ride in the rickety bus, we got off at this small town.It was already 3PM. This place didn't seem to have a decent bus stand, atleast, there werent more than 2-3 buses standing there, none of them in a hurry to move..With 3 hrs left for the train, we weren't gonna sit around waiting anywhere..We set out to look for other means of transport.

Some distance away, we came across someone shouting out that they're going to Londa. Slightly relieved, we went along with him. He took us some distnace, and pointed out to a bus. As we were getting in, he said, that that wasnt it,,it was the vehicle beside. But at first sight we saw none! When we went around the bus, we realised this royal means of transport was an old Tempo!!! The kinds they used to show in movies, IN THE 70's!!!

So we got in, only to see that the tempo was almost full, and only the front seat was empty. There was a lot of stinking fish in the last seat, and a few people sitting in the middle one. " Beggars can't be choosers", as the saying goes, and so we decided to go anyways! Soon after, i was sitting on an elevated block between the driver and the front seat. Soon after, i realised, that it was just above the radiator, with only a one of something layer seperating me from it!!!

We were moving at a decent rate, so for a while i was to adjust with my ass burning..The journey home was at stake. At a time like this, we passed through the "Dandeli wildlife sancutary". I dont really understand how, but we were getting all enthu seeing monkeys and deer on the sides of the road!!! We started looking and pointing out other animals we saw...We forgot all about the train and fact that we were in a rickety old Tempo, with stinking fish in the back!!

The tempo reached its destination, everyone got off. We got off too, only to realise that we still weren't at the station! And it was already 4:30. We found out soon enough that the station was 4-5 Km away, on top of the next hill. With no auto's around, this was another problem. We somehow managed to find a jeep guy willing to go in that direction and got on.

Finally, at around 5:15, we reached!!! We made it in time!! We even had time to go have something to eat at the station. It was only now that we realised we hadn't eaten all day!! We got on the train and returned to Delhi remembering all the madness,,all on a single day!

All in all,,one of the wildest and most unplanned trips ever! Maybe ignorance IS bliss, and because we were kids we enjoyed it.. Had we been a bunch of adults, being stuck in that situation, i'm sure there would be tempers flaring all around, not helping the situation at all!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Singing...

There's a load of singing shows in every language flooding the channels on TV. There are few or none actual singing shows left.Now all of them have changed to "reality shows"..I wont even go into what happens in these 'reality shows', but as for the actual singing shows,,even they are overloaded with terms like 'sur', 'taal', 'laya' and less classically 'antra', 'mukhda' etc etc etc.... Which brings me to the point, Why do people sing? In all the heavy bass and unimaginably complex and loud instruments, in the attempt to make every song sound like a dancing track with scantily clad(ok,,i'll admit,,often HOT) females, the soul of singing seems lost. But all is not lost, for there is one refuge of singing that can never be lost.. It iiiiiiis ,,
,,
,the BATHROOM!!!!

Every house, or atleast every apartments has atleast one distinguished soul from who the singer erupts in the bathroom. There must be something strangely liberating in the bathroom , that everyone just forgets about the rest of the world and starts singing. I think that it is because in a closed surrounding, they dont have to look at anyone's disapproving face when they start singing(If what they are screaming resembles a song)..There's no embarrassment factor there..All said and done,,Bathroom singing,Its just one of those mysteries of life that are better left as mysteries...So lets get to some famous singer stories...

Loo Singer
Timeline-->Early 90's(Summer Holidays)
Place-->Cousins house, Delhi
The day dawns, as little kids we were expected to get up in the morning, perform the daily ablutions early and get to breakfast. Now usually all that would take was getting rid of a bit of laziness, looking forward to all the fun that we would have in the day. But there was one problem. My cousin,,abt 4-5 at that time, had a habit. He used to sing when he was on the pot, lighten-ing his load. (samajh mein nehi aaya?? Wo HAGGA maar raha tha...). Even this wasnt much a thing to talk about. But what made it spectacular was the fact that this fellow didnt always have a perfect digestive system. He used to sit in there for a loooooooooong time everyday, sometimes even for half an hour!! So, every time he was in, there was some adult used to be waiting for him outside, just in case there was a problem. So daily in the morning, it was an event at home! Over time, people stopped waiting outside, and went about with their work as long as they could hear him singing. It became a signal!!! Soon, on the days when he didnt sing, people lined up outside the bathroom interrupting him time and again asking if everything was alright!! For adults to wait around everyday was not easy , so the big(ger) kids, my sis and i, used to patrol outside the bathroom, laughing away to glory at the weirdness of the whole idea,,and at the singing!! This was a major source of entertainment for all of us about which we used to laugh around for quite some time,, which usually used to get us late for breakfast.and sometimes even scolded for it..But who cared,,,it was the holidays,,and we were jobless, fun loving little kids!!

Duet singers
Timeline--> 2003-2004 (11th, 12th class)
Place-> Dattasai Apts, Hyderabad
Our house was very well ventilated, and we loved the light and wind, so all the windows were permanently open. A new family recently moved in to the house beside ours. With this family came along another bathroom singer. And as it happened, there was a window in our drawing room which was pretty close to the bathroom of the house beside. This person was one of the types who didnt really think much of the concept of decibels, so yes, in short,,every day our house used to be filled with the singing at some point in the day or the other..A bit irritating initially,,but got used to it, and used to laugh abt it every once in a while with friends.
Hols came by, leaving ppl in school , jobless as ever. So there was more time to sing in the bathroom! And normal singing became too boring. So what happens next,, a new dimension is added to it. How,,you ask?? Simple, one line of the song sung from inside, and the next filled up by her mom who were outside the bathroom! I almost fell off my chair the first time i heard this "family performance!"..I couldn't believe it, "These ppl have LOST IT", i thought..This duet was a performance of "It's the time to disco" from the movie kal ho na ho..And this became a regular affair, so much so, that i still think of bathroom singers every time i hear the song!!
As it turned out, later i became quite good friends with this female, and went on to realise that she was this great singer and all winning in almost every contest she sang in. Though most of the time when she ran bathroom concerts, i used to find it irritating cos of the volume, and the singing wasnt great either, but it used to be nice to hear such enthu singing!!

This behaviour is shown a lot lot more in hostel, where cross bathroom singing is a norm rather than an exception (sometimes even joined in by people walking by)!! And the shamelessness in college reaches levels where people dont care about who's listening or how bad they sound, they get together and sing all kinds of songs as loud as they can, regardless of where they are!!..Its basically the essence of bathroom singing without a bathroom! But that the whole point!!, The reason most people sing is because of they want to!! Not cos it sounds nice, not cos somebody asked them to, it just cos they feel great while singing!! The only thing stopping them is stupid things like shame or embarrassment!!

When we were kids, some of the most fun times i remember when my sis and i were on the sunny with my mom(yes that powerless little thing) and singing along like mad ppl on the road..This extended to the car where (thankfully) we didnt have a radio. The omnipresence of MP3 players and electronics in general has killed such small pleasures of life, which ppl these days shall never experience..

This video is a disney cartoon adaptation of a song called "I Love to Singa" from a movie called "the singing Kid" made way back in 1936..If you dont feel like singing after watching this ,you need psychological help!!
(If you're short on time, just watch the last 1-2 min of it!)

video
"I love to sing-a
About the moon-a and the June-a and the spring-a,
I love to sing-a,
About a sky of blue-a, or a tea for two-a,
Anything-a with a swing-a to an "I love you-a,"
I love to, I love to sing!
"
If you're interested in the original,,it is here

A special mention here abt two (not-so-)famous singers in college. One being our very own sean paul, Makhija, who's unfulfilled dream in college was to sing 'get busy' by sean paul on stage. Cos of all of us, he was spared the extra shoes he would get flying at him on stage...Secondly, Gujjin. This guy is pretty much the worst singer ever heard. But that didnt stop him from learning a few bryan adams and nirvana songs and singing them aloud every once in a while. Hail the spirit of the guy for singing despite everyone making threats at his life when he starts!!

Needless to say, i love to singa every once in a while, and when im in a really good mood with a great song stuck in my head, i even hop and step and jump along!! Lots of my friends have heard me singing this song very often, and im sure most of them make faces whenever i start singing..(cos singing is usually where i start when i start acting totally mad...)..Many ppl say i sing bearably(or better), many more say i should stop singing...But i dont really care,,,cos i love to sing-a!!

Characters-->
Gujjin->Being a unique mixture of baniya-gujju that he is, he started showing these traits from the first day, taking a treat(for no reason) from the first person he knew in college....ME!!! Once he came,,he never left, and spent a major part of time in college in my room, to the extent ppl thought of him as one of my roommates!! On the good side, one of the determined ppl i know, who surprisingly was pretty smart too!! He's even a fellow gAp member!!

Makhija->Despite hailing from the land of bhujia itself (Bikaner), he doesnt show any traits of being a chom!! He's a 4 yr old in the shell of a 6-footer, completely lacking the the place in the brain where common sense is kept..But thats what makes him FUN!! Bubbling with enthu, and ever ready to do anything new, despite some of his ideas being plain BAD..(read sean paul part above for example..)

I should leave the post here,,,but i couldn't leave without a note for all those people who get sticks and stones for singing...I would say,,sing when you're winning,or even if ur just happy!,,and if any of your friends plead with you to stop,, you could sing out these lines..
"What would you think if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key...."
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends...
'
-From the beatles song ,"With a little help from my friends"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sleep(Less-ness)

I've never really considered sleep very important..To me, its just something i do when i have nothing better to do,,like in a boring class or bus/train..I only sleep when i'm very tired or i know that i might get tired the next day if i dont sleep..I dont really understand what joy people derive from sleeping their lives away..I think its just another bodily function, like going to toilet..(Now i know a few people who derive great pleasure from going to toilet, to the point of appointing presidents and a secretary for the (apparently)prestigious "hagga" and "tagga" clubs,,but lets not go there now)..So i think its just something thats gotto be done once in a while...

From the last 3-4 days, i've been spending most of the day and night in office trying to finish some work which has to go the client in a couple of days now. My has been something like this...
Wake up (around 10),get ready,office, lunch, office, dinner, office office office office ..(till abt 5-6AM) then get back and sleep. and repeat the next day since the last 3-4 days...As you can see, I'm manging a royal 3-4 hrs of sleep a day (taking out the cases when i got phone calls from home during this time on a couple of the mornings,which cut some more sleep)...Its 3AM,,and I think i need sleeeeep....But then, i wasn't always this smart so as to realise the fact..Like always,,there's a story to it...

Place -> Hyderabad
Timeline->Feb-March 2003 (Inter 1st year)
If your confused as to what inter 1st yr is,,its basically 11th class(state board) in with board exams.. I was in an IIT coaching center cum college in 11th and 12th which never really bothered much about college subjects and classes. We had a few classes which ended in november or december. This was the time just before the board exams, the preparatory hols of about 10 days. Though the stuff in coaching covered most of the topics , we had to start doing things in the way the texts books told, and not by fundoo coaching methods to get marks..

I was supposed to be damn good at Maths, but In my 10th, i got a measly 84 in maths,,much below what i expected..(But it was fate at work, which caused my total to be an awesome number..420!!)
..So keeping that in mind i wanted to get full this time and thought i'll finish the whole textbook in abt 5-6 days..For this purpose i decided to sleep as little as required.. There were a few things i used to do so as not to sleep..In ascending order of efficacy..
1. Solve problems!! There's an awesome high i get if i solve a difficult problem..Stuff like calculus and trigonometry are like puzzles if you enjoy it..
2.Loud music while studying..Linkin park or Metallica..perfect to keep you awake and drive away all your sleep..
3.Watch parts of gladiator...again!!
4.Coffee..Not the way normal ppl drink it..That takes too much time to make,,The time lost would defeat the purpose of sleeping less..So have a Coffee shot!! dont know what a coffee shot is?? Simple recipe..2-3 spoons of coffee, 2-3 spoons of sugar, abt half a glass of water. Mix and drink as it is!! It takes abt 15 seconds to make,,and i swear,,it gives a much better kick than coffee..The trade-off obviously being that it tastes HORRIBLE..But taste is too small a price for the greater goal...
4.Play UNREAL TOURNAMENT !! The only thing that'll definitely give u bigger kick than a fast death match of this would be a defribliator..(game also called 'vladivostok' by certain great people..god knows why..)

I believe the human body is a work of art and can take much more than what normal people think its limitations are. So if the idea appeals to me enough,, i stretch my limits as far as i can, which is usually much much more than thought normal.. That time,,I've was never really willing to accept the fact that little things like sleep can bog you down..I feel its more a fight of will than your body actually not being able to do things..

All set and planned to finish the maths textbooks..I began the solving..
Day1->Strategically taking short breaks in middle to keep efficiency highest, one day went off fast.
Night1->The night passed easily with the high of seeing sooooo many problems being solved..Not a sleepy wink or a yawn.
Day2->Continuing without a sign of slowing down.
Night2->Completed looooooads of syllabus..On a major high cos of speed. But then sleep made an attempt to claim what it though was rightfully its own..the night! With the high of solving not enough to keep me awake,,,Music played the substitute to ensure it not sleeping..Job well done..
Day3->Effects of weariness start showing. ..Thinking was slowing down..An irritation started to develop..But it wasnt the sort that made me want to sleep,,it was just irritation..By the evening, the effects of Music and Gladiator seemed to be fading..Maybe i need sleep,,But, i was so close, and the thought of me finishing in half the time kept me going..
Night3->Brain working sloooooooooowly...Coffee shots seemed useless too..Unreal tournament was played with that much more frequency to stay awake..With only a couple of chapters left at the end,,Sleep reared its ugly,(and heavy) head..By this time,,for me,,it was more of an ego fight than anything else,,i refused to give up despite knowing that sleeping was the right thing to do...
Day4->The day dawned..I could barely read now..The sun rose, my head seemed to be floating. I could barely even walk straight, but with a pen in my hand i tried to continue..I was getting delirious...But surprisingly,,i didn't feel sleepy..Its just that my brain had shut off..Even the most basic activities of talking seemed hampered..My mom came around and asked me something, it took me a couple of seconds to figure out what she was saying...i just replied with a "huh???"..She asked me again,,this time i understood,,but i couldnt think of an answer, and by the time i decided on what to say, i forgot the question again!! So,,i finally gave up and though i should to go try sleeping...I mumbled some gibberish and went and fell on the bed...But i couldn't sleep for a while,,it was like,,the eyes wouldn't remain shut..As if they were used to staying open..Finally,,after what seemed like an eternity,,i dropped off to sleep...
Slept through that day,,and got up at around 3Am at night..still a bit shaky,,but almost normal...

So came to end,,another bout of madness from my side..3 nights without sleep..I now know that sleep deprivation is used as a torture mechanism..But then,,like many other things,,i learnt this the hard way!! After this,,i did have lots of night outs,,for exams,,for movies,anime and Dota and sometimes just for the heck of troubling people around,,but i never stretched it past 2 days in a row...

If you've been reading carefully,,you would've wondered,,that when i'm short sleep,,why'd i spend an hour writing this blog?? I figured that another hour of staying awake after so many wouldn't really matter..And If you haven't realised by now,,,i'm a little bit weak with the obscure idea of common sense,,which would tell me to stop this and sleep!! And its a sunday tomorrow,,so im not gonna waste it sleeeeeeeeeping...I have plans to go out and meet friends and watch movies and have fun!!!sleep can wait....
:D

But an interesting thing is that the day i got placed in the company that i am,,was also after a night out!! Seems like the capability was something they were looking for!! So maybe its all for good!! And if you find any glaring mistakes or typo's,,keep in mind,,that i've only slept for abt 15 hrs in the last 4 days!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Agra

I usually have something to about most of the cities i've visited or stayed in for a certain period of time. (Sometimes even about cities i haven't visited, but thats a different story)
I've just returned from Agra, with a fresh set of experiences from the city..So this is one in the line of those continuing rants!
Indian or not,,,every person who can call himself educated has heard of the Taj Mahal, and consequently most will know the name Agra. Here are some of the specialties of Agra.

The Taj Mahal
One of the most beautiful building in the world, A sign of undying love and all..I'll leave the description to the professionals and the poets..I'm sure you've heard a lot about this glorified tomb which got everyone in the world to notice Agra. I'll tell you some which you might not have heard..
Legend has it that shahjahan got the thumbs cut off all the builders so that they never build something as great or exquisite as this again.
Rumour has it that The Taj mahal was actually a shiva temple! The rumour has been circulating via email since a long long time..If you didnt receive this fwd yet and are actually interested, contact me, i'll send it to you.

Petha
Another Agra speciality, one which has gotten Agra even more famous amongst Indians. This is a unique sweet that almost has a texture like jelly. If you've not tried it,,,you are missing something!

Guns
Being 'bhayyan' land that it is, weapons are quite common here. Lots of people end up carrying country made weapons. Someone i know once told me, that in a weddings in their family in UP, pretty much every guy 15 and above has some or the other type of gun in their hand!! And they go around wildly firing them into the sky during the celebrations. Considering that its UP, i didnt think his claims were too far fetched!

Sirens
Another trait of bhayyan land. Any car can be equipped with a siren! If it is bolero/sumo/qualis etc belonging to UP, then it comes factory fitted with them special for UP. Some people go that extra step and even fit one of those red flashing bulbs on the car. Basically,,,whether you have registered or not, you have to get a siren, and every time u want to go fast or zip through traffic, you turn it on. Because there are soooo many sirens blaring all around, not many people care, but then, it gets you more noticed than a horn, right! And more so, if you have a siren on the car, the cop won't stop you even if u run over 25 people.. So its all good!!

Traffic
There's something interesting and sometimes even unique about the roads/traffic in every place. But this place is just awesome. This wasnt in Agra, but close to it on the way on NH2.
There was a bridge. On one side it got damaged. Normal people would repair the bridge and continue with life. Lazy people would close that side of the bridge and only use the other side for both ways of traffic. Now the people here are special. So what they do, they put a bloody red light in the middle of the bridge!! So we have 18-wheeler trucks coming in and waiting on the upslope! The driver says, THIS red light is not for stopping, but it means that we have to slow down while we shift to the other side of the bridge! A new definition, but we're no one to question it. Now as if this nonsense wasn't enough, the day we went, there was a baraat coming in on the wrong side!! They were walking/dancing in the lane that was so generously gifted to us on the other side of the road! A baraat going on a bridge/flyover is unheard of anyways, but one on the NH in a place like that!! The only thing we could say is,,this can happen only in UP!!

Siddha
This is the most enjoyable thing about Agra. Let me explain. I had to get to some place in Agra.
The conversation with every person i asked for directions was something like
Me-->"bhai saahab, ye kheria mod kis taraf padega?"
person telling way-->"Aap aise jao"(showing some gestures similar to the above shown gestures or sometimes no gesture at all)
Me-->"phir"
person--> " bas, wahaa se aap siddha nikal jao", (followed by a similar gesture)
Me-->"phir wahaa se seedha kitni dur??"
person-->"bas ji seedha nikal jao, yehi koi X kms hai". (X ranging from 0.5 to 10!!)
When the first couple of ppl told me this i thought that Agra is a small place so the road must actually be going that way. But the destination was nowhere in sight! Finally, after asking about 15 ppl and 1 hr of travel i reached. Each person gave me directions in the exact same way!!! Not one of them every used the words "left","right","daaya" or "baaya". (For all you ppl who are weak in hindi. "daaya"-right turn. "baaya"-left turn, and "siddha"-> go straight, the way it is said in agra.)

The people in Agra have solved all problems of travel !! Noone needs any GPS or SatNav or even a map. Everything is "siddha".. Wherever you want to go, its just one twisted hand and straight all the way!! "All roads lead to Rome",it was once said. Agra is much greater, cos even in Agra, all roads lead siddha to wherever you want to go!!

Some of the ppl in my office recollect with great fervour, the time when they were in Agra, and reached a dead end and asked for directions. The guy says, "aap bas seeddha nikal jao" pointing his hand towards the dead end gradually making the hand take a U-Turn and then some other turn. But who cared,,it was all siddha!!!

It is said that most females are bad at directions and at maps.(Some of them i know are pretty good at them though). Apparently most guys don't stop to ask for directions.(Another generalization which i don't totally agree with). But Maybe this idea of simplified travel is another tribute in honour of "shah jahan's eternal monument of love", the tribute of the people of Agra to lovers, by stopping fights between the guys who dont ask for directions and the females who can't follow them!! Everything is just siddha!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Death By chocolate..concluded


(I'll be continuing from where i left off in the last post,, so if you have'nt read that,,read it first before reading this one...otherwise u wont understand anything)

Dateline->5th sem, college
Venue-> Bake Hut, Jaipur

Will get back to the story...But first a tribute to the great place..
Bake Hut--> Its a bakery in mall conveniently placed right outside our college!! This is THE place to get pastries/cakes in Jaipur. Very thoughtfully, the whole bakery is seperated from the outside crowd only big a completely see through glass. So basically everyone can look in and (inevitably) have their mouth watering as they walk by...At this outward facing glass, is also a table where ppl sit and eat, confirming to those out side the delectable offerings were not only for show...

So, on that fateful evening,,
Pandu and I entered bake hut, to be enthusiastically(almost evil) welcomed by nano who had made all the prior arrangements. We were asked to sit while the "cakes" where being brought forth..The cake was actually 8 pieces of DBC neatly arranged in a circle..(For DBC description read prev post..again!)..Now what was brought out was not one,,but two cakes!!! One per person!!I was thinking it would be one between the two of us..Now that would be, a peice of cake!! But 16 peices of DBC!! Thats like more than aaaaall the females in our college would eat,,combined!!
(a national level engg college,so you can understand the scarcity)

Though the pressure of upholding our reputation was bearing upon us, the sight of soooooo much GR8 fooooood brought out a faint smile on our faces, and so we began! Spoon after spoon was dissapearing in our mouths. Meanwhile, everyone walking by slowed down to watch. I could almost feel all of them cursing our selfishness under their breath.A few others walking by thinking how MAD we were.. A few ppl even stopped to click pics with their mobiles. Shameless as we were, we didnt really mind them looking,,and maybe it even motivated us to eat more! A couple of little kids even stopped and refused to move for a while, watching us with dreeeeeamy eyes,,probably thinking,,that we were in heaven,,only to be pulled away by their moms soon who seemed like she was muttering even more abuse to us..

Amidst all this, we were running through peices...one, two,,three,,three,,three,,three,,three and a half....err..four..Then it was tooooo much chocolate!!! I went and had a glass of water just to clear the taste..Pandu followed suit.. Refreshed, we started off again..By this time,,around 5-6 friends of ours came along and were watching us..After this we were supposed to go for a treat..By the time i reached 5 i had another 2-3 glasses of water..Stupid chocolate taste,,doesnt leave ur mouth easily..Then someone had a coke,,i thought,,maybe the gas would help,,and kept sipping after every bite..By the time i finished 6, the 500 ml bottle was over..Meanwhile pandu continued with only a couple of glasses of water, albeit at a reduced pace..

Of the friends there, cheering and irking us to continue on were kanta, gujjin and nano,,booing and jeering were kedappan, murmur, kix and makhija(yes,,all these are names of the ppl),,though everyone ultra-excited by the prospect of the madness!! The cheering was for obvious reasons,the booing was because,,if we left anything,,they would get it..Like hyenas waiting for lions to have their fill and leave,,poking the lions every once in a while..

With Mcdonalds right above us,,there was never a time in my life when i wanted a McD burger more(actually,,it must be the only time i Wanted a Mcd burger),,or maybe even a packet full of mirchi!!But eating other stuff in middle was against the rules.. By this time,,every spoon was becoming painful..I was feeling like puking cos it was tooooooo much bloody chocolate!! I somehow trudged through another half peice over the next 5 min and couple of glasses of water more..And at 6 and a half peices,,i felt,,a bite more and i would throw up..(That would help me finish,,but i didnt want to win that way..)..And so,,for the first time in college history,,,i said,,"I cant eat anymore!!"..Within about 2 seconds,,there were a few lunges and the rest of the cake disappeared...The only traces left were bits of chocolate around the mouths of the ppl around..

Pandu was continuing steadily,,though he was behind me,,he showed (not many) signs of slowing down..My respect for the person increased many-fold in this time..He continued with the same pace and a smile on his face. I was cheering him on..I thought he'll finish it for sure..But then,abt 10 min later,he just finished the 7th pastry,,and even he fell..His remaining pastry too had the same fate as mine..Disappeared in a flash...

Our heads hung in shame, we forked out the cash. The bake hut owner was more than pleased, for getting soooo much publicity and sale! He had a smile on his face since we walked in,,maybe even he was interested in the outcome!!

Immediately after this, we went on a treat with real food(courtesy kix and gujjin)! and needless to say,,pandu and i were the first to start and last to finish even there...So we figured, it was out chocolate limit that was at the test,,not the food limit..Then pandu told me,,he stopped eating earlier,cos we had another treat waiting..True or false,,nobody knows yet...But i think he's capable of it..

The aftermath-->
Now that i look back,,maybe the name "death by chocolate" signifies something..The death of the appetite for it..I used to loooooooove sweets and chocolate and all..After that day, i think twice when offered.. Sweets dont seem half as enticing as they used to..I am usually satisfied by a piece or two..And the same with chocolate,,i've never eaten chocolate ice-cream since..And i keep my distance from pure chocolate the likes of dairy milk..Its been 2 yrs,,and still i eat them only in small quantities... never know,,maybe that one day ensured a life long freedom from diabetes for me...Maybe i've found the cure to it,,sort of like a vaccination!!
:D

The challenge was attempted by another strange soul called soumi, who said he knew no limits of eating chocolate..Sadly,,even he failed..Though he went on to accomplish much rarer (and maaaaaaaybe even greater) feats in life,,which few people can replicate...

Characters-->
Pandu- volumes can be written about him..The rare goan in an engineering college, with lots of eccentricites and lots of specialities. He enjoys the honour of being the most teased person in college by me..

Nano-(college) Yes,,his name stems from his size..One of the thinnest characters u'll ever see..The epitome of weight loss even!! I would say he's on of the characters who resembles me in most ways possible! Most of our interests are the same..

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Death by Chocolate...part 1

Dateline:-around Septemer 06..(5th sem,college)
Place:- Jaipur

I love food! The more i get, the better!! The reputation for my enormous appetite had spread far and wide. There were few who could match my eating prowess. "I can't eat anymore",,Never had i uttered these blasphemous words.Wherever we went, i was one of the elite class of people who were the 'dustbins' in college. We were the people who could always finish the food that was there. Make no mistake, it was a great honour and people looked upon us in awe, for it was because of noble souls like us, that food NEVER got wasted, and everyone went home with a clear conscience. The general attitude whenever we went out was, "order as much as you want, adi is here, nothing will go waste!"..

One of the few people who had a seemingly endless void in them like me was 'pandu'..Yes, one of my best friends in college who has many many other distinctions, the most famous being "Pandit ho ke meat khaata hai!!"..He was another dustbin, and the two of us, together made sure no mountain of food was too high for us!

Death By chocolate-(DBC, as its popularly known)
One of the most mouth watering delicacies every made. Though it as many forms, Its usually a big pastry smothered with chococlate. If you dont know what it is, i'll give you and idea. Take a big dairy milk bar. melt it on to a chocolate pastry and then add more chocolate sauce on top and then add chocolate+sugar to taste. That would give you an average piece of something resembling a pastry and aptly named-'Death by chocolate'.

There was this awesome bakery near college called Bake hut. The best pastries/cakes i've ever eaten. Needless to say, they had the most amazing death by chocolate too! 2-3 females sharing one piece of it was a normal sight. We used to have one per person on days when we felt rich! It wasnt meant to be filling but it was gooooooooooooooooooooood....

It is basic human nature to try to do something that unique, tread ground never tread on before..So nano(another friend, more on him later) got this wild idea, he keeps getting these with alarming frequency. So he says with a glint in his eye, " I have a challenge for you", "you and pandu have to eat one cake of DBC"."Challenge",the one word i can't resist! I asked him what i would get if i did. He says " If you finish it, i'll pay the bill, otherwise you have to". Simple, i thought. Someone is willing to pay for my eating!! A challenge where i get all i can eat!! What could be better than that!! On the same lines, pandu agreed too!

A few days later nano calls me up one morning asking me if its fine for the evening. my reaction "For food,,always!!". So the stage was set. Two un-vanquish-able dustbins Vs LOTS and LOTS of chocolate! yes,,it would be a piece of cake..

To be concluded in the next action packed post.....Keep checking!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

5th of november

"Remember, remember, The 5th of November,
the gunpowder treason and plot.
I see of no reason, why the gunpowder treason,
should ever be forgot."

For those who haven't heard this rhyme, go watch 'V for Vendetta'!!Its a damn cool movie!
Though the rhyme is not originally from the movie, you'll love it once you watch the movie!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rocket science..

Everyone loves to fly..Everyone loves the way of rockets fly..Its an event in itself..Though,,i'm not gonna write abt chandrayan-1 or something like that..People are going all ga-ga over the mission and are raving about the rocket science used in it and all.. But I am not rocket scientist in the true meaning,,so i'd rather talk about the other, more contemporary type of rocket science most Indians know abt!

Yes, i'm talking abt the 'rockets'(firecrackers) that pretty much every Indian is aware of..You'll get them in flashy boxes usually with a pic of some actress/sportsman with some fancy/deadly name and sky filled with explosions or colors above their heads...Make no mistake,,the pictures are in no way related what the rocket actually is..I dont even know how many types they are called now,,but i like to keep it simple and i classify them as - rocket bomb, the light-walla rocket, the siren rocket and the (lesser known,but super cool) parachute bomb!

Snippet from history-->
Rockets were not always used for diwali..They used to be used in India during street-fights/gang fights!! The rockets used to be made in a way so as to fly horizontally above the ground and go and explode at a certain distance!!
Source:- My grandfather!! He's seen these fights first hand and His elder brother apparently was an expert at making these rockets!!

Despite how wild this claim may sound,,there is a funda behind the motion of these rockets..This info comes straight from my grandfather, after the above stated point, there's no way u can dispute it!
Funda-> Place the rocket horizontally on your finger, in such a way that the head (the explosive part) lies on one side and the stick on the other side of the finger. Sort of like a scale. If it balances, then the rocket is supposed to go straight ! simple!

But coming to the actual fun of diwali rockets..They tend to be very temperamental..You never really know what they'll do..Usually, a whole box of rockets behaves in a similar way..Its more fun to talk of rockets based on the way they fly (or not)..I suppose i could divide them into a few types,,like->
1. The zoomers-> Go straight up, very fast and do whatever they are supposed to (siren,light,bomb etc..).Safe, not very interesting or eventful,,unless fired in a direction other than up!
2.The fizzers-> They dont rise, they'll just fizz out all of their stuff in the bottle,,not moving an inch..Its more like opening a cold drink bottle than firing a rocket..
3.The Turners-> they come out at hyper speed, and with the same speed turn towards some side and zoom away until they hit something (or someone)..Run and hide when u get a batch of these..Will scare the living daylights out of unsuspecting junta around..
4.The twisters->They'll go up a little,,and start going round and round in really tiny circles..And most of them keep ascending while doing this!! They are the most puzzling of the lot,,and also the most fun to watch!!
5.The U-turns-> They use power to go up, they use power to come down..And they land less than 20 feet away still spewing out sparks..All in a nice little shape of an upside-down U..
6.The thinkers-> These are the most interesting of the lot,,they'll slowly rise a couple of feet high,,maybe even float in air for a couple more seconds,,and at once choose one of the above behaviours, gain a high speed and zoom away!!
7. The fat-asses-> Nothing can get these guys to move out of the bottle..No amount of fire will propel them upwards, their asses will be firmly planted in the bottle..An even worse case of this is when they dont even send out any fire,,they just explode knowing that its no use trying!!
8.Tussssssssss->This is one category that applies to almost every cracker..They're stubborn and wont fire up even if u light them..They'll just eat up the wick and sit there doing nothing..They are the most dissapointing..

The maddest rockets ever!!
place-> hyderabad - Duttasai apts
dateline->1998-99(diwali)..
Karthik's and his brother left some crackers over from the earlier diwali..This contained a few boxes of rockets too..As they are the most fun to watch, with great anticipation the rockets were brought forth..Now, noone reailsed that they had gone soggy in the time and noone dried them in the sun..The rockets,,as they seemed weren't too happy abt it..They were at their moody best..Every rocket was more innovative than the last..They each tried to outdo the madness spread by the earlier rocket..After every rocket,,ppl used to run and hide,,cos noone was safe from the ire of the rockets.Some went along the ground, some into the postbox, some into karthik's house (which was right above),some just went tuss or died, the best and most faithful ones performed a hyper-speed U turn and landed in the 'kanjoos marwadi's' house(The house beside our apartments where they never used to return the ball if it fell in..They must've been the most hated characters in the colony, thus the name..), much to the pleasure of everyone there, who even applauded the rockets for expressing our dissent..Eventually,,every rocket became an adventure with the anticipation reaching phenomenal levels and the reflexes of every person their being tested as they performed daredevil acts escaping the rogue rockets!! Never was, or never will be a box rockets as much mad and as fun as that !!

Come to think of it, is it even right to call it rocket 'science'..Cos even after so many launches and billions of dollars and years of calculation, if even NASA can't properly launch rockets,,Then maybe it is more of a probability function or a game of luck than an actual science..

Characters-->
Karthik-> One of my oldest friends..Was the first person i met in my apartments..When i was in school,,I think i spent more time in his house than mine!!The only person who ALL of my friends in hyd know regardless of how i know them.. He loves the phrase "lite le " and shows the same attitude in pretty much everthing he does! Though I wont go into the nicknames here for his sake...
:D

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I come from...........

Generally, when you talk to someone the first time and if the conversation is more than just a hi or hello, There are certain things that inevitably come into the topic conversation. The ones i'm referring to here are about the place..It could be about the place where we are or the place where they come from..Now, decorum of the conversation (or an uncomfortable pause, waiting for an reciprocation from my side in that topic) states that i tell them where i come from...Or, if the person is more direct, they'll just ask you where you are from ..Though i have to agree that for most, the answer would be fairly simple..They would just say one place..In my case,,That, is usually not such a simple affair...

The question that is framed wrong actually...What do you mean by "where are you from?" or "what is your native place". I don't think they realise what you are asking..According to the dictionary
Native or native land-->
1. Originating, growing, or produced in a certain place or region.
2. Of, belonging to, or characteristic of such inhabitants.
3.Archaic Closely related, as by birth or race.
This question has too many answers...
Place of originating ->In humans, i presume that would be birth.
Place of growing->Does it mean childhood?If so, what are the limits of childhood? Does it mean where you went to school? Where you went to junior college(intermediate/11th and 12th) or college? Because i think we keep growing atleast until we are in college. What if, these were all in different places, worse still, if half of schooling done in one place and half in another...and so on...
Closely related by birth to certain inhabitants-> So even if i wasn't born in a particular place and never even went there,, by virtue of my forefathers i become native to that place?
As you can see, It is a very vague question. I personally feel, "Home(town) is where the heart is"..

Coming to all the above questions..
Place of originating-->I was born in delhi.. Legend has it, that my excitement to come into this world was so great that i was out by the time my parents reached the hospital gate! But more on that later....
Place of growing--> Delhi, till 5th class, with an years stay outside India in middle...Then rest of schooling in Hyderabad..Keeping matters simple, i did EVEN my intermediate in Hyderabad..Then the college in Jaipur..
Closely Related by birth--> Another difficult question to answer..As the norm usually states in the Indian society, I am a part of my father's family..So that way, i would say i'm from a small town in Telangana (Andhra Pradesh) called Mahabubnagar..But i never went there till i was 6..I've always been around my mother's side of the family.. My mother facing the same (family history) dilemma with her parents who were from different places in Coastal Andhra..I never asked further,,but maybe the cycle continues..

So,,Coming back to the initial question,,Its not an easy to answer..But, to save the people who are asking some confusion, I say that i'm from hyderabad(That is where my heart is.)..And if (god forbid) they ask for further details about it the long story begins..Now another problem comes if they ask me when/how i'm going home..Because if the answer was simple there wouldn't be any fun..So, to top off all the confusion, my family lives in bangalore now...

I don't remember even one interview in which i reached the HR round and they didnt ask me where i was from..And so followed the long story..Now if even that wasn't enough, i did my internships in college in Goa(YES,,supposed to be work,,in goa!!) and in Bombay (Sorry,,Mumbai, for i may get beaten up for this by some political parties..)..In each of these places i lived for a couple of months..And, my second favourite city after Hyderabad would be Bombay..The place just WORKS!!! Everything moves like clockwork! and the people are helpful, and the place is safe! Not to mention, that i like the sound of marathi...

Well, now i work in gurgaon, which is pretty much Delhi..So life has come sort of full circle! And you might be thinking that this is nothing compared to military people's kids..This whole process is much simpler for military people, they just say, "i'm from a military background" and noone asks anymore questions!!

To sum it all up, i couldn't put it better than what an interviewer said at the end of the long explanation about "where i come from?", He said,with a smile,,that i am,, A TRUE INDIAN!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lenses

Continuing the vision stories from the last post..For those of you out there who used to identify me by my glasses,,I'm sorry to say, you won't recognise me anymore!!! Sorry to disappoint you guys, but i switched to contact lenses..As with pretty much everything around me, there's a story behind this too..

TimeLine-->August 2008
Place-->Gurgaon
After i started working, within about a month, it seemed like my power was increasing again, after 3 years of remaining constant! !(By now i didn't need either star sports or the boring game of cricket to figure this out...Any channel on TV would do! :D)..The primary suspects being that i'm staring too much at the computer and not blinking enough and not taking breaks and blah blah blah...The normal reasons everyone gives in a similar scenario..So, i made a conscious effort to take breaks, and look at things far away, blink more etc etc..But still it didn't help...Then came the advice from my sis to change to lenses, on the pretext that the power doesn't increase if i wear them..Being a guy,, i dream of a time with more power for EVERYTHING, the power of my eyes is the one thing i DONT want to increase!!So, i decided to make the big switch...Soon I'd started taking of my glasses from time to time and looking in the mirror,,thinking how different i look!!(And NO,,,that wasnt cos i couldnt see well without my glasses!!!)

I just got my first (spendable) salary..Orders from higher athaurity said "first give to god,,then spend on everyone else". (Such Orders from higher athorities are non debatable, non questionable issues,,failing which ......NO,,,dont think about it...there is not question of failure.....)..So, the immediate saturday i got up early, took bath and went to a temple and made a sizeable contribution to the hundi..
Then, i proceeded to the next noble task..To get myself my new contacts!!!

Walking into the store, trying to look like a cool,fashionable contact lens user,spewing out the best english i could,,i said to the optician.."I want to get contacts. First, i'd like to get my eyes checked"..With the similar amount of style he goes and does a long range, 'shahi thuuk' of the guthka/pan he was chewing and says "wahaa pe baitho"...So i sat there feeling like a big goof thinking how times have changed..

Eye-checkup for change in power turned negative results..My power hadn't changed!!
Apparently my spects were too old and scratched,,and THATS why i couldn't see too well !! But once the descision was made, i decided to go ahead..To get lenses as precaution..

The next step was to learn how to wear them..I thought,,"How difficult can it be??,,my sis wears em in less than a minute everyday". So the optician told me the procedure..Pretty simple..What followed, was a series of attempts to put them in..(in approx order and numbering)
attempt 1-->Then he(optician) said he'll do the honours, and takes the lens, holds my eye open and starts poking his bloody finger in my eye!!!! My eyelid was stronger than his finger and instantly shut! Noone's going to poke my eye while i look at it..Its like watching a knife coming into your stomach and you just sitting there letting it happen...NO WAY!!!

attempt 2-->After some persuasion, i decided to hold my eyelid open and set my mind on not closing the eyelid..Then came the finger...closer..closer... now at the distance of the Tome cruise MI knife scene..but my eye knew that i'm no secret agent!!! eyelid SHUT!! lens fell on my cheek..

attempt 6 -->Lens touch eye for the first time!!! Smile of joy erupted ! in abt 3 nanoseconds it the solution on the lens burned my eye..eye close again, out goes the lens..

attempt 7-10-->Eye touching...Eye burning..Eye closing...water problem solving..Optician getting irritated..
attempt 10-15-->My finger poking lens in my eye...Eye thinking,,"homemade knife or outsiders,,doesnt matter!!".. Eye shut..lens fall...

attempt 15-20-->optician poking finger..assistant jacking my eye open..DAMN! My eye lid is even stronger than the assistant!!!

and so on...

After some zillion attempts (by the optician and me) and abt 1 hr,,and about me being about 2 litres of tears lighter from one eye...It goes in !! After that eye watering for about 5 min more.. i could finally see ! oh,,such clarity!! i could barely feel anything in my eyes!! The jubilation at seeing my face from 20 feet away in a mirror,,without glasses!!in one word.. AWESOME!!
The optician was happy at the result of his hard work and was packing all the stuff..Then i reminded him..He put it in ONLY ONE EYE!!!

At max possible speed and brutality, with all the force the assistant could muster,,they put in the other lens in only 10 min !! They gave me numerous looks of disgust and said that girls get it done faster!!!
I'm sorry,,but girls are used to putting and poking weird things around their face and eyes..Its called MAKE-UP!!
So i walked out, with eyes still burning but a clear view of the world..Waiting to hear people comments on the change!!

Over the next few days, me putting and taking off lenses became sort of a spectacle for my friends..And some took great pleasure in seeing me teary eyed..It arose from the fact that i had irritated them forever and they couldnt do anything,,but now they could see me cry!!

Since, i have become pretty good at wearing em..It doesnt burn while i'm wearing em and 'no more tears' while wearing or taking em off..Some stunts were done some stunts here too!...i have worn them in a moving car and ,,
and...
...
in an INTERVIEW!!!! Yes,,in a running interview(btw,,I was one of the ppl taking the interview!),,,while i was sitting there,,i rubbed my eye and out came the lens in my hand!!!! before anyone noticed,,i put it back in and continued as if nothing happened!!!


Note-->People!!!Stop asking if a person wearing spects has sight..Obviously they do!! Ask them if they need the spects to see better or for headaches,,presuming thats what you want to ask..(though i never really understood what difference it makes why the person is wearing em!)

Tales of spects..

To most people, my spects have been my identity as far back as they can remember me. I'm sorry to break it to you, it wasn't always so. Right up till 7th class, i had 20/20 vision..
When we used to play cricket in the apartments, and the ball used to land in the under construction apartments beside ours frequently. I used to take great pride in the fact that my "Eagle Eyes" used to be able to spot the ball in night or day, at any distance, in any tiny hidden place. The irony is that soon after i called myself that, while watching cricket on TV and i wasnt able to clearly read the 'Star Sports' sign. Maybe it was the world's way of telling me the eagles weren't ready to give away the title of their famed eyes so easily!! Well, i then had to swallow my words when i realised that my vision wasnt perfect, I had to get spects, and soon people might start reffering to me with names the likes of "chashmish" and "soda-buddi","four eyes" etc etc..But all the same, i was excited at the prospect of seeing everyone's surprised faces when i went back to school after the holidays!

My first pair of glasses, were inherited from my sis. She got a new pair, and i got her old brown rectangular spects. Though, at that time, I was looking forward to going to school with them too much to mind it! The first few weeks of 8th class, everyone used to comment only on my glasses and most conversations revolved around how i 'realised' that i needed them! The old frame soon gave way cos i used to play around with my new 'toy' too much..
Then came the "Gandhi spectacles". Yes, i chose them! No, i didnt think they were so big that my face was barely visible behind them! The 'actual' reason i bought them was that i wanted a silver frame, but my mom flatly refused to spend much on the glasses, so i got the cheapest silver frame there!! The general reaction of everyone around was on the lines of "What is that?? Gandhi spects or what? Who chose them?" and i had to come up with some or the other lame excuse to cover up for the whimsical choice!!

The first thing i did when i was about to enter junior college, was to get the spects changed.(the fact that my power was increasing and i had to change the glass every year helped!)..So i proudly entered my coaching cum college with my new glasses, and well,dozed off in the first class and got picked up for it too! Talk about publicity for me in my new avatar!!!!
(Though i got famous for sleeping, not my spects..But a little Fame is never bad!! And more sleeping in class episodes later..)

Somewhere in the start of 11th, i met one of my school friends(Sharan). He saw me and just passed by without stopping. When i called out, he looks back and says "bharre??its you or what?? i didnt recognise u be!"..
"MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!", i thought and smiled to myself, knowing that i left behind the tag of the "gandhi spects"!

Well,,the new spects lasted me through intermediate, in college through the tough times of ragging, and lot more times while playing, with footballs whacked straight at my face close range quite a few times(me being the goalkeeper)..

Though halfway through college(2nd year),,i shifted to a more dignified half-framed spects, which i'm still wearing till today!
Though, these glasses are not without their own story, and give me the look of "you displease me and i will smite u in a flash!!" in all passport size photos..Some cant believe that a person like me who's smiling most of the time can actually get angry,,and after seeing that pic,,noone wants to even try getting on my nerves!!
:D


The passport pic...

To be continued,, with more vision aids....

Characters-->
Sharan-->
"abe joker" being his favourite dialogue..In one word, Sharan can be summarized as mad!!
There will be specific blog posts describing his madness..with us being parts of it quite a few times...so no more here...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

10 Movie Marathon!!

As everyone knows,, I'M A MOVIE BUFF..and i love being one..
I can watch pretty much any movie, over and over again..If there is any resistance to watch it, it would be one of the following reasons...
1. Cash --> yes, i would watch pretty much any movie,, but i won't spend money on it.. A waste of time is fine,,but a waste of money AND time, is a total nonsense!!
2. Much more interesting things to do..Eg-> playing either comp games or sports, BUGGING people, watching other stuff(anime, series etc), watching a good movie,,(even its for the 100th time)...
3.The sky falling on our heads..though in such a scenario,,i could still watch the movie till the sky fell on my head...I mean,,if you're gonna die anyways,,why worry? you might as well die doing something you love!
And NO!
the fact that the movie is plain BAD only sends it down the priority of things to do..it never has taken it out of things to do!! I can safely say that after sitting through unquestionably the worst movie ever
Mr. ya Miss..(for more on this and the worst movies of all time,,refer to trivia below..)
The only exception to this rule is sadistic movies...i may watch them eventually,,but as it stands i cant stand the idea of showing brutality just for the bloody heck of showing fountains of blood and people relishing fondling bloody entrails of others living beings,,(whats left of em or what used to resemble one before the sadist started)...This is the reason i've never got down to watching movies like 'Saw' or 'Hostel' and their sequels..Though i liked the idea behind Saw, the sadism put me off..
(Give me a nonsense, stupidly funny movie without any logic any day,.Hail Adam Sandler!!!)
Coming back to the point...

The 10 Movie Marathon
Timeline-->11th and 12th October 2008 (Weekend)
Place-->Gurgaon
What started out as an overly lazy saturday, with me getting up at around 11 and not brushing till 2, the day where i had many plans ,,among many,,one was going to my cousins at Faridabad ( which is in NCR itself, which is usually a pretty adventerous one way trip of 2-3 hrs in numerous modes of transport of all kinds).A pre-condtition to this was me gettin a haircut for obvious reasons...So i finally kicked myself out of the lazyness,,cos i was damn hungry,,and proceeded to the other guest house for lunch...As luck would have it, lunch was served only in office that day..So came to office,,in shorts and a shirt,,,barely presentable....But what the heck,,its an informal place,,so i didnt care...

Once in office,,after lunch,,the lure of the unseen movies wanting to be seen and unchecked mail was too much to handle..As usual,,not many mails..Not to be outdone,,i sat down to start what shall go down in history as another nonsensical achievement i'll proudly wear on my sleeve...

At the back of my head since a few days,, was the movie,'A Wednesday', which lots of ppl recommended, some who i never thought will be up to date with movies had also told me to watch it..This movie had to be watched...Little things like hygiene, haircut etc could wait for later..From start to end, it was a fast no-nonsense movie...Got me into a nice movie mood watching..

And by then,, it was 5:30..Was thinking whether to go to the barber or not...Now came the part where i had to get a haircut...What better time to remember your grandmother's words..
"You shouldn't get your hair cut on saturdays or tuesdays"..
Also the other rule--
"You should not cut your hair or shave at night"..
Now i had facing me not one,,but two rules laid down by a higher athaurity!!

No (Conveniently timed)good boy like me could oppose that much order! So down the drain went the plan to get a hair cut..
Off i headed to Maurya's house to salvage the day on my new not-so-mean machine..its a bike alright, which runs on the power of the likes of Hercules himself,,and whats more its got front and back shockers and 18 gears too!! beat that u filthy smoke spewing, earth wrecking, fossil fuel guzzling 'auto'mobiles!!!
:D
For the people who don't know who maurya is,,(obviously you are not from my college),,a further intro shall be given below..

Though i didnt go to his house to watch movies,, there lay the movie “Speed racer”,,just begging to be watched..So out went other plans,,the moods was set in an instant..”Go Speed Racer” was all i could say!!The movie wasn't as nice as i wanted it to be,,but it was speed racer,,it cannot not be nice!!!
Then,in such a nice mood, after watching 2 good movies, there i lay amongst a glorious collection of unseen movies...And thus arose the unstoppable juggernaut within me, from the ashes that were left behind way back in college...I had to watch more movies,,,MORE!! And so,, i came upon,,the next movie that i graced by watching....It had a name no man had ever heard of,, it was christened,,”The Onion Movie”!!!
One nonsense spoof that was!!
A brief intermission was made to perform one of the most important tasks given to man, “Eating”!!
Living up to my reputation even there,,i finished everything left (which could easily have fed a person or 2 more..) ..

The last show of the night then began...after complete nonsense,,so absolute no-nonsense gang movie about the Russian syndicate in London,,called “Eastern promises”..As it is known,,the day ends early in the east,,and so as a sign of respect,,i too slept !

Then next day echoed the same mood..no eating,,no brushing...it was just Movie after movie after movie...”Rendition”(serious), “Wanted”(could give rajnikanth a complex),”YPF”(young people fucking!!!),”what happens in Vegas, stays in vegas”(general timepass)..Came home unsuspectingly,,to see “Mumbai meri jaan”, had just started...Oh well,,,after 8 movies,,it doesnt really matter if i watch one more...so i sat there watching..The same sentiment continued when “Enemy of the State” started at 10:30..

And the best part was,,,that only 'Enemy of the state' was a movie i had watched before...the rest were all new...(I mean,,i could watch 'gladiator' 10 times in a row any time..but then,,lets not bring the awesomest movies of all times to into the picture...They'll just belittle these movies more..)

Thus ended the legendary 10 movie marathon!!
and another one of those days that i'll remember and talk about for a long time to come!

Characters i referred to-->
Maurya--> This gentle giant, is another famous character from college..The only person in college who managed to have an account with the canteen guy..Sometimes irritating, always asking for money, not doing much work, but then,,good at heart..
He's never refused me any help,,EVER! Another claim to fame was that his weight is only 3,,less than hundred..
:D

Short review of the movies if u ever decide to watch em-->
1.A wednesday--> Must watch. One of the best actors in India, Nazeerudin Shah, in a great movie and great role. About what a normal citizen is capable of in this bomb-laden country...
2.Speed Racer-->Go speed racer,,Gooooooooooooo!!
Cartoon feel,,interestingly made,,though quite disorienting..If you're not a fan,,,(if u were a kid who watched cartoons in the 1990's,and still not a fan,why are u still alive??),,then u most probably wont like it..
3.The onion movie--> Spoof ,,spoof spoof spoof spoof...The central theme being the news industry in US, not the it matters in a spoof...Watch ½ hr,,then chuck out of window..
4.Eastern Promises--> nice movie..Great performance by Viggo Mortenson(Aragon in lord of the rings). All about how russian gangs families operate in London.
5.Rendition-->About a how muslim american is jailed and tortured just beacause there was a bomb blast in egypt in which an american was killed and he was a suspect. The law is Sort of like the PoTA was in India.
6.Wanted-->watch if you're an anjelina jolie fan..Else its only if u want to see stunts that even rajnikanth would not think of..Though i must add,,,they are done in awesome style..AVOID IF POSSIBLE..
7.YPF-->Young ppl fucking...As the name suggests, its an american pie type movie, all about the “stages” of sex...General timepass..
8.What happens in Vegas, stays in vegas--> Not exactly a traditional love story..A no brainer,,very light movie..can watch for fun even a few scenes here and there..
9.Mumbai meri jaan--> nicely made movie about bomb blasts in bombay..The people perspective.
10.Enemy of the state--> Think you control your life,,that you have privacy?? Think again!! Will Smith Movie..nothing else to say...

Movie Trivia-->
Mr. ya Miss- A Factory product..Probably their worst ever..Dont even know why it was called a factory product..RGV didnt even direct it..Written,directed,screenplay etc etc etc..all had one name..Antara Mali..By the end of the titles,,we were scared..Not to mention the fact that first day 6'o'clock show there were 7 ppl in the theatre..5 of us friends and a couple in the corner!!

Worst movie of all time according to me!!
View at your own risk....



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So it begins.....

My Funda in life is to try everything once(atleast)...And if i like it, or its mad enough, i'll do it many more times..Looking back, i feel most of the things i remember are all stories worth telling, worth talking and laughing about,,and that are usually surprising or even to raise an eye of disbelief among listeners...So, here is an attempt to chronicle some of 'Those great incidents, on those great days'!!

Talking , doing mad things,cracking stupid jokes,having weird/stupid accomplishments,telling stories etc etc are some things people see me doing more often than not...So many many people have been telling me to start writing a blog, to keep track of all the weird achievements and mad things that keep happening around me..And so that they can read about them in detail..After one of the most intelligent friends of mine told me to,,and even suggested a name,,I finally decided to give it a shot..

I know the Title of the blog makes me sound like a grandfather,,but i like talking in retrospect,,and thus the name..The idea is to write lots of stories here..Any story has a central theme, or sometimes many!
In the same way, each story here is an actual incident, when i was in them or the way i saw them or was told by sometimes reliable, sometimes unreliable sources..
Though showered with liberal doses of sarcasm and exaggeration and fantastical ideas, no matter how far-fetched, weird or made-up they might seem, i assure you, the general idea is completely true..

And unlike what you might be thinking by this point,, this blog is not for 'adi the great' to blow his horn so that it can be heard from all the way from the moon...(Although with such a great personality,it can't be helped if it does happen...)..I don't mind making fun of myself..And though i won't be using too many common names here(nicknames are much more FUN),,those of you who are scared that some old stories will be kicked up again to make fun of you,,RUN AND HIDE FOR COVER...

This is actually for all my friends..telling/recollecting some of the great,and usually funny stories or happenings in life..As all of you are now scattered around the globe, i cant keep calling you guys and talking nonsense for hours together,, and telling you all kinds of stories.. Also, writing separate mails to AAAAAAAAAAALLL the people is sort of a pain..I don't really mind it, but its really sad when there's no reply to them..So this is the alternative..

The timeline of the stories is random..I might jump from the now to the time i was 4 back to college and then to school and back...so pick any story and read whenever you feel like...and comments or additions, more details are more than welcome!! If you remember any interesting event,,then drop in a mail...i'll write about it when i feel the time and the mood are right !!

IF THIS ATTEMPT TURNS OUT HALF AS GOOD AS I THINK IT WILL BE,,,THIS SHOULD BE LOADS OF FUN!!