Monday Monster!

I knew this!
Somewhere deep down I knew I would be sitting at my desk on monday and typing away something !! We got up frigging early today to catch the morning show of Ice Age 2 at PVR, but even before 10 in the morning all shows of the movie were booked! How extraordinarily ridiculous!
Total frustration saw us walking all the back to office, turning on our systems and getting down to some work-blogging-chatting-associated activities.
I wish there never were any holidays!
Monday Monster has its own ingenious ways of driving us to office even in the most improbable of circumstances. When some guy in some advertisement said, "I always wanted to quit on a monday morning.", I didn't give it much thought. Now I know.

Freaky Friday

Prakash went to Chennai. Randeep went to Pondicherry. Varun went to Goa. Srinivas went to Hyderabad. I stayed back. Another weekend looming large with no specific job at hand and a wild urge to run home, but 2000 kilometers is something you can't run whenever your mind urges you to do so. Going to Goa was an option but on a trip like that, the company matters a lot and the gang going to Goa was just not my kind. Again, it will be very difficult to describe what is my kind!
But there are some people we just know we can't go around with, don't we?
Life in Bangalore seems to be just rolling down hill. Initially there was anitcipation, followed by excitment and finally a well deserved comfort in the office and back in the room. However, once the malls, movie and play theatres were visited, there was nothing left in Bangalore. Nothing great or really attractive, only a number of false weekend promises of relaxation and the feel good "big city" factor.
I shall go back to the room and spend ages staring into the TV till I fall asleep. I Noticed one brilliant thing about Star movies yesterday, was watching The day after tomorrow which started at 1:30 in the morning and there wasn't a single commercial break! Long since I had seem a movie without a break.

Water water every where.. not a drop to drink

Yeah, the water tank supplying water to the the Aquaguard was empty. At 11 in the night we were left without a drop of drinking water. The shops were closed and we couldn't buy mineral water. We walked all the way to the landlord's den, but as expected it was locked. Frustrated and thirsty tenants, we came up with a lot of vengeful idea like stealing the water jar from another room or getting bottles and filling them up from the jars present in the rooms of other tenants. Ideas ran wild, and unfotunately I was the one to suggest the dumbest of them all - "Lets put a couple of buckets of water in the empty Syntax tank, if the water level rises a little maybe there'll be just enough flow into the aquaguard and we could filter enough water for the night. But all of my room mates gave nice little smirks and walked off.
Finally it was decided that the best course of action would be to borrow a couple of bottles of water from considerate neighbours and wait for the municipal water supply to fill the tank.
Such is the life of a poor unemployed intern.
"Boond Boond paani ke liye taras jaate hain!"

Childhood... once more

On my way to the office the other day, I walked past a park and saw a number of kids playing cricket. The first thought that struck me was, " What day is it? How come there's a holiday today? and if its a holiday why am I going to..."
It was then that the facts struck me. I go to an office and not to attend classes anymore... the kids playing around means nothing other than the fact thats its summer vacation, the days of a long vacation are overfor me though... we need to go to office and meet deadlines and no more of happy afternoons flavoured with home made cookies and notebooks filled with holiday homework.
Its time to move into reality. Gone are the days of running around and begging the powers that be, to accelerate my growth so that I could go to office like dad and have enough money to buy myself a large candy bar every day. I want to play cricket once more and live without having to worry about what I would have for dinner tonight, but then, that time has passed and its time for the much coveted "wild bachelor life".

Who is backward ?

Who is backward?
The guy who doesn't have enough money to eat, who is not educated enough to read the price printed on the package of rice he has to buy, who cannot afford to send his kids to school, who finds it difficult to procure enough medicine to save his dying relative ?
Or the guy who eats 4 to 6 times a day, maintains a decent living with his family and kids, has a number of pets and is a member of some of the local clubs and societies?
If we have to take care of the backward people of the nation , its imperative that we have a clear method judge who's backward and who's well placed in the society. What if a brahmin doesn't have enough money to eat a square meal a day and a dalit maintains a cowshed of over a hundred cows ? Who is in need of reservation? Even a dumb blonde can answer that.
But I guess our government has lost the ability to reason and to think of such anomalies with the most qualified prime minister in the whole wide world at the head, ashames me further.
For how long will we keep turning a blind eye to the actual needs of the nation in favour of uplifting the mythological backward classes. Gandhi worked for untouchables when there were untouchable. Who are we trying to help with our reservation policies now? People who've already built a fortune by being allowed to surge past the hard working and more deserving 'general category' just because they were born into a family who happen to have been declared backward by some survey conducted in the early independence era?
But who care... with the best Universities in the world looking forward to training the best Indian minds trying desparately to escape the skewed government policies, and recieving encouraging response from us, its already too late.

Then there were none...

Its all about countdowns... I had contracted this dangerous disease of starting countdowns from my mom. Intially, she used to start countdowns for me during the end term examinations to motivate me to study. The countdowns were meant to make me feel there weren't too many days left and I hardly had to study for another week before the long vacation beautifully punctuated with trips, swimming classes and a customary get together at our country home. She always managed to make me feels nice about the number of day being ticked/scratched/erased off the list. But one thing she did best was deciding the time to start the countdown, so that at no point of time did I feel that there are far too many days left before it gets over!!!
I never manage to get the timing right. The first time I left home for college, I started the countdown the day I reached campus, it definitely doesn't make a fresher happy to think there are a hundred and thirty six days to go before he had a chance to get back home ! Even during exams I started my countdowns far too early and ended up frustrating myself before the last day was struck off the list.
When it came to leaving campus for good, I shouldn't have started a countdown in the first place, it was horrible to even think that I would never step back into that place as a student, ever.
the occasion and timing of a countdown still eludes me :(

End of The mania

The countdown has truely begun. There are less than two months before I am home, after a long time. The internship ends in another fifty odd days and then there will be a really long holiday !!
The insomnia gave way to peaceful sleep even while Pakistan kept inching towards a comfortable win in the Abu Dhabi match. Channels were changed to have a look at the Champion's League semi final between Barcelona and AC Milan. But that match also turned out pretty boring during the first few minutes I managed to stay up.
Shantaram seems like a nice book for the first hundred odd pages I have managed to read, the most exciting thing about the book is that, for the first time I get to see our culture, dressing, food habits ..almost everything, from the point of view of someone who is not Indian and for whom everything is a different experience!
Especially the description of a Salwar Kameez and that of a Pan vendor, the way we fight to reserve a seat in a local train. The village folks, the livestock that travel in the local trains with as much comfort as we allow ourselves... I have never been to Bombay (never quite got used to the 'Mumbai' word) but the description of the slums, roadside shops, shady bars and the underworld definitely accentuates the impression already created by movies like Satya, Company, D and Sarkar. Hope the book doesn't disappoint me in the end.


Its confirmed now. I have insomnia. For two nights now, I am able to sleep only after the first rays of light cross the sky. Sunday night I fell asleep only after five in the morning and last night it was well past four before I could become acceptably unconcious of the surroundings.
Its the end of the era where sleep used to be an accepted phenomenon. Perhaps the brain is just not tired enough or maybe its the body.
The laziness of sitting in front of a comp seems to be taking its toll! Nothing seems to make me fall hundred pages of shantaram, an old bengali movie watched in bits and peices while checking out the cable network channel in the perverse hope for some forbidden visuals (last enjoyed on someone's computer on campus).
The dogs sleep off and everything is totally quiet by three and that last one hour till four is like death. Not a sound and lying there in the silence broken by the mechanical twirling of the fan and the muffled thud of the deoderant bottle dropping off the table onto the matress, hit by the curtains flung around by sudden gusts of wind every now and then.
Then sleep decends like a welcome retreat from the real world into the unconciousness. I am safe finally, tugged away into my world of pure dreamless sleep far far away from the pain of the real world.
It hurts a lot when your only hours of unconciousness which you treasure so much are taken away from you.

Bong, at Heart...

Yes, at the end of the day I am so much a Bong. To be able to sit cross legged on the floor and dig into a plate of hot rice and curry after almost a hundred days of ' chapati and paneer', was heavenly! Thanks to my cousin who made a fabulous start to the new year weekend for me.
Then the saturday evening, when we ( a friend of mine, whose idea it was in the first place and I) trudged through the muddy crossings of the Bangalore roads to make our way to Bangaliana, a well known Bong restaurant in Kormangala to have our first taste of Luchi (huge puris made of white flour) and Mangsho ( Mutton cooked in the typical Bong style) since the day I left home in January. However, I really couldn't help noticing the bong obsession with English, while we were gulping down our luchis at a breakneck pace, two gaudily dressed women walked in and announced in heavily accented Benglish, "Its too stuffy here!I cannot eat like this!"
One great dinner it was, otherwise !
Humming half forgotten bong songs ( much to the annoyance of the autorickshaw driver, we could figure out) in the autorickshaw all the way back made up for all the lost bongness thanks to a life totally deprived of the bong culture for the past four months in the great garden city!

Bangalore: Uneasiness to Anger

4:30 p.m.,Wednesday,12th April,2006: "Dr. Rajkumar has expired, crowds have gone berserk, please go home and be careful on the roads"- Multicast from someone in the office

Did he die a natural death? YES
How old was he ? 77
What did he die of ? Cardac arrest
In that case why the riots? NO ANSWER
We'll just walk home from here. lets hang around for some time, we'll go after the things settle down a bit.

5:50 p.m.: "Guys, we have instructions from BITS to send all PS students home. Take a leave tomorrow also, if need be. Leave office right now and make sure you don't pass any comments on the way. just reach home safely" - Mr. Atul Gupta, our Guide

Ok Guys! this is big. lets go.

We stopped at a half opened stall on the way back to eat something, and even before we had finished our meagre plate of idly some fan(atic)s came and asked the owner to shut down! he pleaded with them to let the last of his customers leave.

9:30 p.m."the office will be closed tomorrow. if you haven't had dinner tonight, you can go to office, there will be dinner over there"- Sunil called up

Lets get back to office! Anyways, the bread is inedible!

11:30p.m. " Sir, there's curfew outside, please go safely" - Security guard at the office

Wow, only this was left!

April 13th:

Its was a holiday alright, but nothing to eat, not a shop open. Thankfully, I had some friends living close by and I just went off to their place. It was a horrible day as far as promoting the picture of a peaceful, tech-savvy Bangalore was concerned. People breaking house, cars,bikes,buses, setting buses on fire, killing constables! ( All you had to do to save your property was just place a picture, a xerox copy would do, of the late Film star on it!)
No doubt, there are two Bangalores, one of the local youth seething with anger and vengeful hatred towards the "North Indians" who've made their Bangalore what it is today. The other of the computers, fab malls, multiplexes and pubs. I guess we have been foolish to have expected the local unemployed and uneducated youth to give up their own right to the city of Bangalore (Is it Bengaluru yet?) to some MNC's who want to set up centers of extra ordinary profit in and around the city.
Or am I just being too presumptuous and sarcastic?

Home, sweet Home!

Never felt this home sick since the first week of my first year. But I still don't know if this is the typical 'April homesickness' thats common to every BITSian or I really really want to go home. Just that life has become totally insignificant in every respect. There is no single element of change in life. I know what I have to have for breakfast, I know what code I have to rattle off the keyboard, I know what lunch I'll get and exactly how many hours I have to wait to have a go at the TT table! Dinner, fixed, TV, boring and sleep ,vanishing gradually. Looks like I am becoming an Insomaniac completely!
The reservation thingie is causing quite an uproar among the (prospective) student community and as I happen to be of the same community, I have to shout my lungs out! Its frigging ridiculous, Minister !! who do you think we are? A nation full of morons who will sit quietly and lap up the spoilt milk you lay before us in form of an outrageous bill to reserve half the seats in the best colleges in the country for certain classes!
The number of people going abroad to study and ending up working abroad is increasing with every passing year and if our dear worthy ministers don't understand this, all the people who can afford to go abroad will definitely go and the general category people who are unfortunate enough to have had a little feeling for their country will soon vanish off the face of the country dogged by the fear of failure to secure a seat in the premier institutions of the country in the face of the great reservation policies of the vote hungry government.
I am ashamed to be a citizen of this nation governed by people with such narrow political objectives. Its ridiculous and every person who is capable should contribute to the protests in every possible way.

Chicken and Play.

I Had a pretty fulfilling weekend. It had been a long time since I saw a play, till this saturday when I finally decided to go for this play called Harvey written by Mary Chase. Two reasons why I went for the play, one: the usual one, boredom; two: The play had been performed by the English Drama CLub in BITS before we had joined and I wanted to check out the standard of plays our audi had seen.
However, the Audi ( JSS Auditorium) was much smaller than expectations and the sound system was also pretty rusty) , but the stage set-up and performances made up for anything that was missing. Extraordinary performances, each one, the actors were very much in character even during the curtain call! However, the articulation of dialogues in the first scene were slightly muffled and unclear, could very well have been a sounds screw up though. Overall, a really nice way to spend a Saturday evening.
Sunday was spent in bed, more than 13 hours of pure, dreamless sleep! We decided to break the 'No Chicken' phase with a Maharaja Mac burger at Forum. I have a very relevant complaint against the Maharaja Mac, the amount of wrapping involved is just too much!! by the time you you are done with the paperwork ( which comes in form of tissue and card paper trying desperately to keep the burger in shape) you have your fingers covered with mayonaisse! However, if you can succesfully ignore the oh so ill mannered stares of all the junk food experts and the table mannered smarties, the burger is delicious, especially if you are having chicken after a haitus of almost a month!

Classic : Nothing beats this !

It was the beginning of second year, I was sitting in Goyal's room trying to get some pressing work done. At that point of life, I was one of those ardent , 'ROck Suck!' Bong Soft Music Lovers! He started off with November Rain and I pleaded with him to stop the torture. All I got in return was , "This is Heaven, just look at this man and his guitar and try to listen, not just hear and for the last time, ROCK DOESN'T SUCK! " Obedient junior that I was, I settled down in front of the comp and thus was initiated into the religion of Rock.
The Most appealing Images were however of "this man and his guitar". Some of those images will always form my very conception of Rock Music. The long haired, cigarette smoking arrogance of the master. Slash playing the incredile solo in front of the church definitely forms one of my most favourite parts of the song, the best however came when he walked on top of the Piano for the heart rending solo ... nothing beats that !
We have spent so many evenings watching that video and mumbling , "god level!", or " no one beats him" ..or similiar phrases. Slash will definitely form a great part of my college life.
Here's to the greatest lead guitarist of all time!

Simon and Garfunkel

I hadn't heard their name till third year, and I hadn't heard more than one song of theirs till Final semester, but thanks to Srinivas, there are some of their best songs on my playlist now and they are good, to say the least!
There aren't many slow songs in English that I really like, but somehow, all their songs seem to have something very different about them. Be it the quite contentment of leaves that are green or the soft, lively tone of the sound of silence or the compassion of Mrs. Robinson, they always seem to touch some hidden chord in the brain too crammed with the tunes of an electric guitar or the drums. Their tunes are different, yet there's something that binds them all together to form an extraordinary collection of soul stirring lyrics and tunes.

Another thing about them is that I find their tunes pretty similiar to another bengali band I liked a lot, Mohiner Ghoraguli. Somewhere they match a lot when it comes to the thoughts they portray.
However the song I liked best was the first I heard, thanks to Ramya, called I am a Rock.
Check it out,

A winter’s day
In a deep and dark december;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

Don’t talk of love,
But I’ve heard the words before;
It’s sleeping in my memory.
I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

Favours and misfortunes

Have you ever done something as a favour to yourself? Sounds weird, doesn't it? Isn't everything we do a favour to ourself?
Yeah..lots of questions, but seriously, giving up or disassociating yourself with some things can really become favours to the self if they become painful and difficult to give up, at the same time. Thats when you have to make and extra effort to break lose, let it go and move on. Thats when you do a favour to yourself by deciding that there are other things in life.
However, the scar remains and definitely comes back to haunt you, it becomes difficult to figure out whether its a lesson you learnt or a fear that will never leave you. Whether it helps you to avoid similiar mistakes or not take chances at all, is something only time can tell.
Again, time or distance don't seem to be the best healers. You just have to be strong enough to cure yourself rather than wait for time or distance to do the needful.

The favour is done and its time to find the strength.

Sweet Reminder

Its Randeep's birthday today. Just like 'nice' roommates would behave, we went around looking for a proper cake for him, but there were none. Partly it was our fault, 9:45 in the night is a little too late to go looking for a cake and partly it was the guy in sweet chariot who had only closed half his shutter when we reached his shop and very smugly he told us, "We are closed". The delicious chocolate cake with dark syrupy chocolate and cherries was lying there right in front of us, but it was too late. Finally we had to settle for some chocolate pastries
But 12 o'clock was fun! just like the great old BITSian days we wrapped up all our phone calls and pulled him out of bed and started the bumps session cerimoniously, but there was a techincal problem, with only three people, two of whom were always required to hold the birthday boy, only one person could hit at a time !
But we couldn't let any such problem spoil the fun, could we? :P
Sapre, being the darling that he is (to randeep) abstained from the 'dreadful' activity of kicking a fellow human being, leaving only varun and me to do the honours. Kicking had become too difficult for us, therefore only 'rapid fire' ( the term for slapping one's @$$ with his own slippers to cause the maximum amount of pain ) was executed with practiced efficiency. After that the usual hugs and 'happy birthday, da ' followed and we polished off the little pastries in 10 seconds flat. The only thing missing was the 'ANC treat' but in this weird city of Bangalore, its not possible to find any shop open after twelve.
Whatever be the case, in the end it was a really sweet reminder of all the great birthdays in celebrated in BITS !

Random thoughts

These are some of the things we (Sapre ,Varun and I) talked about, this weekend. They seem to form such a clear picture of whats going on in our clearly they portray our boredom and disgust for the city of computers...
1. "12 weeks gone ; 11 more to go"
2. "Too long be , I have never been away from home for this long!"
3. "Job life bhi aisa hi hone wala hay saale!"
4. "Kal, main SHUUUUR gym jayoonga"
5. "Kuchh kam bhi to nahi hay"
6. "MacD's mein Khaatein hay aaj, yahee dinner khaa khaa kar pak gaya hoon"
7. "Going that far is a pain!"
8. "So jaao saalon!"
9."Utth! Aalsi ! jab dekho sota rehta hay!"
And another weekend suddenly goes by, another week starts off in utter hurry to get struck off the count-down list in a corner of my little notebook. Home beckons, we are not homesick, just totally bored with our lives.
Monday morning follows the familiar pattern of shaving, bathing, crunches and breakfast (Shifted from bun to a slightly better breakfast of juice and cake on the insistance of a friend who thought I was running the risk of getting stomach ulsers due to insufficient breakfast, the weird thing people think about in life!)
And I settle smoothly into this couch cum chair and start rattling off lines of code on the very familiar key board... another 10 weeks to go after this one!