November 10, 2008

Dis connection

75 days of great holidays. Its a shame to admit I have seen just two movies with my friends. The film industry was unable to catch in on the home-coming, having-hols and I'm-enjoying-at-home teens; bad luck to them and to us because we ended up watching the worst ones of our lives.

So on a fine Sunday morning we planned to go to Kismat Konnection, a Hindi film (mis)directed by Ass Mizer.  Putting behind the blockbusters the director delivered in the yesteryears we headed to catch a bus and tore through the city in the super-fast Metro Express reaching just in time. 

Wrong fact 
# 1: One way of deciding how good a film is to look at how good-looking the viewers are
# 2: Tickets being sold out is indicates a blockbuster movie

Right through the movie we were treated to:

  • Shitty jokes
  • Poor storyline and direction
  • Worst songs and screenplay
Halfway through we understood that people are still sitting through only for the bucks they shelled. It was such a great relief to be out in the streets from the maddening movie. 
Never happened like this since Sawariya.


Note: Two summers later the author had a chance to revisit those memories with I hate Love Stories

October 16, 2008

Class Xth

Changing days of life

Lots of people told me things about adolescence: something has to happen, something odd. I didn't give it a damn until something of the sort happened to me.

First thing my voice cracked or rather croaked every time I spoke. People found it so hard to adjust. Even the best of friends. So, that put me off. The teachers used to make it worse by saying, "We know how grown-up you are" even if I slightly raised voice in the class.

I was starting to lose respect for every teacher around, I got angry at the slightest of remarks. Regretted it as well because I wasn't like that before and I didn't like the change. The only classes I could really focus and like were Maths and English.

It was getting very difficult to understand what was being taught in the tuition classes. I felt like a complete moron there in front of the others. It was my first brush with peer pressure and I succumbed badly to it. 

12 years at the same school with the last one blemishing. Hence leaving school wasn't painful. Actually, it excited me about the next phase instead of longing for the one gone by.

Transition.

September 17, 2008

Breakdown

With a Parker pen in hand for thought,
Through the sweet scent of the land, an answer I sought...

It drives you crazy, as you discover life
If its learning, then why the strife?




True, time does find us loving ones
But as they say, every rose has its thorns...

The truth, from the ramblings of a shackled mind,
Tells you how much the world can be blind.




Twas' great to know I started to put my brain to use,
I stopped working then, that's troubling news...

Cool yet stressed, sleepy yet awake,
Putting things one after another at stake.




I'm not organized, I wondered why?
At the bottom of my heart I want to cry...

What I want, could it ever be what I deserve?
There's a lot of tension building, testing my nerve.




A little peace, a little play, a little care
Promise to pay more than the fare...

It rained today, the last beautiful thing
Told me to step ahead, requires careful thinking





Since I think positive, I will tell this to myself
If you haven't crashed yet, you are not going fast enough...

September 14, 2008

In loving memory...

In the 1980's nearly fifty students thronged a particular house in order to write a serious entrance test. Only seven out of the fifty would be selected; only seven, no matter how many recommendations would come for a particular candidate or how much ever influence was showered upon Sir. All seven of them made it into the IIT's and this trend continued for fifteen years.
Nothing short of excellence. That was Bhat Sir. The passion he had for mathematics extended well beyond conventional barriers; beyond what other professors could only talk but never believe. For, he taught with such rigour, with such ease, that it was simply impossible to overlook his efforts to make the students understand the concepts. At the same time he was also curious to hear any point the students have to make. His logic was crisp. A practical and direct approach that could tackle any kind of problem and indeed build newer applications. There were loads of time in the classroom you could hear the students marvel at sir's ideas, by taking sharp breaths or making sudden gasps. Simple yet powerful he would say.

His library

Books. Books. And even more books. From the first edition to the latest edition; books from over an entire century, he would never miss the chance to search for a newer book and work out every problem from it. We had an opportunity once to see his library. On first sight it looked like a small room lined with a row of books. A closer look: In fact, it was a room lined with three to four rows of books, piled neatly from top to bottom and there were even written notes. They looked golden in the light of the bulb with his neat and precise writing.

Some of his favourites

The batches really close sir were the ones whom he had coached for IIT entrance examination, there would be altogether around two hundred students. There were many a students who have achieved great things and continue to do so. He told us that what took them ahead was commitment towards the subject and to the task at hand.


He had once advised us from his own experience:
When you want to leave a bad habit, you cannot get rid of it gradually over a period of time. You need to realize why it is bad and then leave it once and for all.

Unforgettable moments

Sir was very fluent with jokes and he believed that learning cannot take place without some breaks in between since that would refresh the mind and relax it. There were many a days when we used to recollect the jokes and roll on the ground with laughter, many a times we would want to have recorded what sir said, it was never to be.


Sir might never know how difficult it was to fight back tears on hearing he was no more, but the respect and concern we have for him in our hearts will never die. He would definitely be happy knowing that there are students out there he had taught, who have understood and appreciated mathematics....

September 13, 2008

Mr. Dhobi

Functions of a dhobi ( the laundry boy ) :
i) to wash the clothes and remove the stains, if any;
ii) to iron them properly;
iii) to return them promptly to the owner and
iv) to record the entries in a register.
All of them do it here, in every hostel with a small hitch. Here are a few advertisements that may go on air in a few months from now.

1) Are your clothes blue, black or red? Do you want them clean and achieve dazzling whiteness in just two months? Presenting to you, the VK dhobi.... tantatttouw



He's gonna wring them, swing them and lash them on the ground until there is no sign of colour. And what's more, he's going to use paan-flavoured surf excel for rinsing. Aahh! the aroma of chewed-spat-away paan, pleasing your senses and driving away people for nearly ten yards around you.
"Dhobi ne paan kaya { Dhobi had betel leaves
And drove away passers-by}
aur sab ko bagaya."

2) Do you need steam-iron like ironing @ primitive iron boxes? Well' seriously; this is the only thing he does really well. Ironing! Crisp and without any wrinkles. Even underwear; but still you are supposed to avail the free paan flavour. ( Offer till semester lasts ) .

3) Have you ever played treasure hunt? Do you want to spend the first month of the year searching in other people's wardrobes? No? Well then you better try calling: 1-800-81-00-00.
Oh YA! We're gonna find your clothes in less than half-hour @ $1.75/min. Special reduction for paanwaala-dhobi @ $1.50/min. ( Paan tho vaise bhi milega saab, dhobi hai na : " dhobi is going to give anyways " ).

4) Have you ever paid for the same month over and over again? Do you have trouble remebering how many clothes you have permitted the dhobi to spoil for you? We bring you




Its sure to last you eight semesters and maybe even eighty, if you write like this!!!



@ $3.50 a month it gives you immense pleasure when the dhobi innocently asks, " Bhaiya, aaj kapdey de raho kya?"
=> { Are you giving any clothes today, brother? }



September 10, 2008

The back Wingsters

We the wing

All of us had met at least one or more of the others at some point of time in 1st year but we never knew how we were going to tolerate being in the same wing. Knowing each other was a process that would have taken many years but being in the same wing it did not take us much time to find out about everyone and also a lot about ourself. Just a small introduction lest I'll be murdered ( I got to know that none of them support the Right to Write :P )

173- Lazy kc
174- Laddu the footballer
175- Muhaha... you-know-who
176- Psychological psycho
177- Smug woods
178- Mod, thinks he's God
179- Cleaning always
180- Ghotting, do not disturb
181- Spotted only in the morning
182- Wing topper
183- Fun-do Hari
184- #define MENACE

Well, we don't know if we will be in the same wing always but the memories will stand untarnished :)

September 9, 2008

hostel v/s home

June, 12th: 
I just finished my first year at BITS-Pilani. I have been home three times in between and now at the end of it. Its a little strange.Every time I come home I get the feeling that I have never left the place and every time I get back I feel the same about hostel. It leaves me bemused at times. Nobody wants to share the same feeling , not even my elder brother. I guess the coming years should hold an answer for this.Or is this a question of maturity?
September, 10th: Complete nonchalance. The beauty of sunrise through the window. I'm not complaining anymore.  



what does it mean

Well, I seem to understand why Ruskin Bond always wrote on the nostalagic issues basically because I've had things happen around me like that.
Train journeys are almost always fun, the longer journeys even more fascinating... one complete day or something like that. There are unforgettable experiences and they make us crave for more; not the episodes of Mr. ABC losing his slippers while sleeping or the coolie running away with his luggage.

1) It was December, 1996. On the train from Bengalooru to Hyderabad, my brother and I found two boys to play with: Nishtal and Zorawar. We played every possible game 7-year old's could think of, we even went on to tease each other, etc. Soon we said good night and our brief meeting came to an end in the morning aroun 5.00, I didn't remember a single thing of what had happened the night before and a wide yawn would've told you that I didn't even care.

2) 2001 ( sixth class summer hols ), there was this small boy on the Machlipatnam express ( was going to Kothagudem ) who was running around the compartment with alacrity, saying hello to every passenger aboard. It was a very funny sight. Well when it was my turn it went farther than hello's. We played the choicest of games, I ran around with him too, we shouted at the people on the roads ( something that got me into trouble a few years later ). Journey ended and he was destined to come into my memory only when I had started this blog, sorry buddy... but I do hope you would come across this...

3) TWIST:
Class seven: There was this giant of a boy called Zorawar Purohit who had flawless english ( and eyesight ), who was not from Hyderabad: something of a stranger to the rest of the class which knew that he would be gone by the end of the year. Friends soon. In the sixth month running I missed a beat when I suddenly realized that his name was actually Zorawar, the young kiddo on the train. Not wanting to wet myself with excitement, I asked him casually if he knew Nishtal. It turns out that Nishtal was actually a friend of his, not his brother as i thought. Then of course he asked me how I knew Nishtal, and the whole story came out. And guess what?? He remembers that night as much as I did. Yet again, indifferently, I let go without knowing wether I would ever see him again. Sorry mate.

4) Something the powerpuff girls wouldn't approve of:
October, 2007, AP Express. Headed to college with friends. We just got lucky that day when six of us who had booked the ticket together got upgraded to 2nd class AC. B2, i think. A small girl and her even smaller brother were on the side birth diagonally opposite, she was so mischievous.
Whenever she would wash her hands she would sprinkle the water on us. She threw banana skins at us. She tore the UNO cards we started playing with just because we weren't paying any attention. It was very difficult to take it easy and we couldn't get angry either. So atthis situation her mother, who had taken us into confidence, assures that she would be definitely awake by dinner time hands over her pretty daughter to us. Second thoughts of course, but we had no other work.
I don't know what had happened but she became very quiet and started behaving like a teddy bear saying all the cutie pie stuff; she wasn't a headache after all. We talked for sometime and before her mother woke up she had done some modern art and signed that paper with my name: something she found extremely uncomfortable as she had learnt only till G. Suffice to say that I have her name and the paper as a souvenir and have the strong belief that she will remember me.


So, the next time you are on a train: let it be a day or an hour, Do tell us your story...

That day :: 08 / 09 / 2007

अरे नीकाल देना यारक्या फर्क पड़ेगा ?"
" Nahi bey, it will look awkward, already I'm like a hefty pig,.. lite."
अबे सेनिओर्स ने भी बताया था ना | इस बार चोडेन्गे नहीं | सोच ले |"
" Okay, but at least you don't laugh..."

That was the discussion I had with a friend of mine before removing my moustache. The days that followed were both a combination of dread, fear and a sudden change altogether. If it happened an year prior to that, I could've been found all curled up in my room crying, perhaps, but not this time. That's because when I looked up into the mirror and reflected on what I saw, it took me a lot of time to really understand how I looked. I could'nt remember anything of how I looked before that. People in my wing were laughing their heads off but I kept mine. It was a  great feeling actually ;)  , to look something new... twas exactly a year ago ( or... was it yesterday?...)
"Dude a projection is missing from your sideview..." : these were the taunts from my college friends. It was odd initially but I forced myself on everyone that way. Guess, they got used to it.
Well it was a try and it kind of worked, because I've been consistent after that, experimenting with different creams, foams and aftershaves, blades and.... OK OK, I'll shut the crap up...



Oh, by the way, 
did I tell you the time I 
grew my beard like that of a goat and friends....



heehee

Just like that


It was 10.00 pm, the rain was lashing at the ground: it was so peaceful sitting there and just listening to the rain... more like a break from conventional life. The pleasure of having an elaichi tea at this hour was more than welcome. So we head for the canteen, the borrowed money waiting to be spent, the empty feeling to be driven away and the night to last a little longer than usual.

The Discussion

At the brink of the first chapter to be studied for test:
a whole world of guilt swallowed by the tiny hope: we can do it, still... can we do it???

Really, is it impossible to score at the exam if you start off one day before or even an hour before. Isn't it an indirect insult to our memory / brain power if we are not able to grasp the one hour of subject in the class when we can recall every single shit Dr. House has to say? Damn!
Thus Assclown ( lets call him that for now ) reeled off. Basically he had absolutely no idea of what or why he was saying, but I, I think I do ( no, you'll have to wait longer for this ... really long ...)

He continued....
The feeling that there's so much to do, so little time
1) So many series to be completed, but wait there are tests ...
2) So many juniors waiting to be fucked, but they got these tests too ..
I don't know how the seniors felt about us when we laid our steps here but the juniors are getting on my nerves, dam ready to explode.. " sir, but we have bio tute tommorow, we have a chem tute tommorrow."... assholes, really!!
( Finished sipping at the tea )
What I Felt: The second year has truly been an eyeopener in many ways and it promises so much more. One of the things, perhaps the most important of all for any human, it has started a renewed way of thinking. When you know it, its like, like...
Junoon

Conclusion? { for the sake of those who survived this far };

As we set down our double teas and chewed on the chocolates,
as we moved through the canteen chock-a-block with students,
as the rain fell softly on our unshaven faces,
as the moonlight carried us back to the hostel,
as the fresh air gave us new hope ( so did the tea ),
it was as if a voice-over from the films rent the air
" NEVER Give Up"


And finally...

A girl, no taller than the net of a Tennis court playing Tennis!

The exact size of a LPG cylinder, with arms and legs protruding and two pigtails on the top. She used to come to the Tennis court with the air of the top seed at the US Open, used to go for a single round around the ground. During this time, you could have easily mistaken her for a football rolling around. So, after her 'tiring' tennis practice Miss Potato goes to play in the adjoining park.
And then her experiments.

Firstly, with the swing: When she sat like a watermelon on it, her legs were well above the ground, so she comes to the edge a little bit and scraps the ground with her tiny toes... lo! she's gaining momentum ( I mean if you used a microscope you would have noticed some movement ).
She stoops a little further and finally manages to kick off. She would show the thrill on reaching the zenith saying " ammoi , ammoi ".

Secondly the slide, ( trying to climb from the other end ), more like a boulder being pushed up, hoohoo , Santa's stomach would have burst with laughter. Like a ball of snow she would slide down, finally managing to climb up.

Then with the tennis balls, she would try to estimate how high she can throw the balls up... I think the maximum she would reach was six feet but her hands would still be groping in the air for failing to give her best.


I could'nt get any photo of her, damn! Yet I hope she would get a fair idea of how she was ( hee hee )...

Gruelling Chemistry Practicals

Before the start...

Group member 1: " They say its pretty tough. We should've prepared for this and come."

Group member 2: " Kukka cool mama antha scene ledu. "

Me: " He said the same thing last time. Lite. "

But it wasn't 'lite'. And we understood that sir was'nt going to spare us today when he said that we've got to do the experiment individually. We started reading the procedure as we had not read anything.
Sir( mockingly ) : " Not read, eh? Thought you'll read here. Very good, one mark cut." Well, presuming that the world was still rosy outside we started off.

Basically, the experiment was about getting acetanalide from the reaction of aniline and acetic anhydride. Then weigh the amount, take four grams out of it, recrystallize in order to obtain a pure sample.

First, we had trouble with measuring out the exact amounts of aniline ( smelly ). Then we managed to get some rashes on the wrist thanks to some of the glacial acetic acid that we dropped on ourselves while measuring it out.
When the reaction started sharp vapors issued from the flask, giving the feeling of knives being groped in the nose. It was so strong that tears came out naturally from our eyes, sir came and merely glanced at the sample and said that we left out some moisture in the flask and asked us to do it again. Some more aroma, some more tears. Then we got down to refluxing it. Some time to relax we thought. 30 minutes was the prescribed time. But, sir had other plans...

The night before we sat down uptil 3.00 in order to finish the record, the readings and the graphs. ( We knew we shouldn't have left it for the last minute. At the same time we knew that we'll be postponing it to the last minute anyways ). We did the graphs correctly enough.
He wasn't satisfied though, said it should have curved a little more, the scale was too short and the writing not neat enough. All three of us were immediately seized by a mad desire to take his head and dip it in the reaction flask.

Group member 1: "Does he expect us to write like school kids? ( Whispers ) Sir aap kounsey iskool se ho ?"

Done with the correction, he asked us to come the next day with the readings again as he was not able to look at our dirty work on such a pleasant day. If there was a test tube in my hands it would surely have cracked. " I'll take your viva at the same time... "


Back to the experiment.
We got the shit.. oops, the acetanalide, we filtered it, put it in the oven, weighed it, took 4gms; went to purify it by heating it in a conical flask on a flame and again filtered it, put it in the oven, finally weighed it. We got some 1.973 gms ( Sir : " You should get it below 2 gms" ). Two hours were up. Happily, with ash-burnt faces, we announced the result.

Sir: " Do it again. It should come close to 1.6"

Group Member 2: " Nee yebba. Savv bey nen cheyyatledd."

Somehow, we managed it again and got 1.710.

Sir : " Mmmmm. Not good enough."
Lab assistant :" Doosra class aa raha hain sir. Inko bhejna hi padega. "

Sir:" Offo. You boys are always late, next time along with the other experiment complete this..."

August 24, 2008

S.T.A.R.S.

Not literally popular but definitely the notorious ones in class. Comprises:


  • Sushant: Filled with artistic talent and loves the word 'gang'. Looks like Dicaprio from any angle, at any time.
  • Tarun: Fun-loving and great company.
  • Akshay: ready to have a one-on-one any time. Has cooled down significantly since school.
  • Rishi: the ass clown is difficult to control but cannot do without.
  • Shyam: Dote the rest. The only times I ever spoke in school was in their company.

Level I:  togetherness
The variations helped us slide in smoothly and we grouped ourselves as "STARS"
We moved together everywhere, occupied a corner of the classroom and played a lot (pranks and games) for five years. 


Level II: individuality
The next level of friendship has been a little strange: more formal, words carefully chosen and insecure about each other. But in these years, we are still in the same spirits when we meet up; we have fights on the same issues and we laugh about the same old things. 


Level III: being there for each other
As we mature into adults, a new cause calls upon us. Of being protective and caring about loved ones; of sharing and being together. And also perhaps of getting introduced to the new set of friends each of us now has.


Together always.

August 15, 2008

Independently....

Time: 04.20 am, Date: 15th August

So what does it mean when a hosteler wakes up at 1.30 in the morning just because he's not able to gather sleep? He controls his knotty mind and tries to sleep it off but its impossible getting sleep thanks to the beats played in the hostel. Around 3.00 he decides to read his old diary entries ( although highly irregular ).

First year seems long ago but the memories are so fresh. I could imagine myself walking down the corridors, like a century ago; having a go with the aftershave; an elaichi tea at 2.00 in the morning. Parallely, childhood images crop up: this time a small boy in checked navy blue uniform and dark blue flaps staring back from an LKG photograph.

There has been a certain amount of change from 1st year: maybe this time, school's really out. Full of energy, yeah! but the thoughts bother me. Dawned to me that the usually-called 'childish thoughts' matter a lot. They are closer to the heart and the lowest level of abstraction. The system may crash but these are the thoughts that are more 'we' than we ourselves. Yeah that confuses... Shit man! its been hard.

Suffice to say that the mind is clearer when you put the thoughts down: takes time but we always tend to overestimate the problem. If we are honest, things become simpler no matter how insecure it may make us feel.

Suffice to say that there are no fixed ways of thinking: Maria Agnesi was working on a problem late into the night; then she woke up mid way through sleep and wrote down something before dozing off again. She woke up the next day wondering how she arrived at the solution :
" sustained thoughts will always stand out " .
[ For those interested, the following was the curve she scribbled

y=8a3/(x2 + 4a2 )
It came to be called " The Witch of Agnesi " ].

Suffice it to say that the bed creaks from the adjacent rooms, the music flowing down the stairs and ( maybe ) lights in a faraway place assure that I'm not the only one with these things in mind.
Time: 5.00 am.

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