Friday, June 5, 2015

Random Announcement



Well, I’m married.

The missus has even put it on FaceBook, so no escaping now.

So, the last month saw an overtly expensive event with its scandalous after-parties, needless dances and fireworks, and its share of controversies. But my missus doesn’t like cricket so I should stop talking about the IPL.

My marriage event was grand, and like a dream. Thanks a lot to all the people who were responsible for making it so. I mean it. Really! Wish I could have been more expressive in this regard in real. And thanks to all the people who could be a part of it (including Gunjan who, for some reasons, agreed to participate as the bride). For those who couldn’t attend – next time I am not listening to any excuses, okay?

Those of you who have read my posts here and in other platforms would know that I am a big fan of Ayn Rand, and like using her quotes whenever I can. I’ll end this post with one of her most famous ones:

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another person, nor ask another person to live for mine.”

Only this time, I will disagree with her.


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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Just another day in MNIT..


Any day between July 2004 and May 2008, MNIT Jaipur:
The alarm rings - drat, a lecture at 8!

I get up cursing for having slept so late the previous night; last time, I assure myself. Attempts to wake Vaibhav up are futile. He murmurs something in his sleep and doesn’t budge. I curse him and drag myself to the toilet - it’s all dirty - shit has happened. Curses fly again. Somehow manage to get through the chores.

Wake Vaibhav up again. He shows some sign of life this time. Last time, I am waking him up. There is no water - jugaado from another bathroom. Take quick bath. Rush to mess. Pick up bread and banana and walk to lecture room.

Attendance over and Manish has escaped. Machcha diya saale ne. Sid walks in, late as usual. Surely he won’t be allowed now. He is. But surely he won’t be given attendance. He is. Paro and Ketan not in class, it’s going to be a boring hour. Sound of an unmistakeable shrill laughter wakes you up. It is Divya’s. An hour has passed. Time flies.

Rush to the canteen. Jainy owes me 4 bucks, I have 6 of my own – can afford a cold drink. Gargu comes and orders tea for himself – costs him only 2 Rs. Smart guy. But then he ends up having 5 cups.

Next lecture is only at 12 followed by lunch. Calls for a mass bunk. No consensus. Day-schis madar. This is the last time such a proposal is even being tabled to them.

Sit in canteen. Mech batch arrives. Together they tell the latest hits of Anna. Mech batch leaves.
Shantanu arrives. Alone he tells the hits of the entire Civil Branch. Shantanu leaves.
‘Tronics batch arrives. More hits. Anshat, Sipani and Rohit all have different versions. ‘Tronics batch leaves.

Sit with Poonam, Amaresh, Dixit and Harsh among others. Discussions about our project mentor or CAT classes. Then get down to singing and banging the canteen tables. Cheap songs beget dirty looks. Full Mahual.

It’s noon already. Time flies. Vaibhav, Manish and I exchange looks. No words uttered but the question is clear - to go or not to go? Jainy announces he will attend classes. One for all and all for one - we all go. Day-schi madar. But this is the last time we are listening to him.

Go to lecture room. At least this one’s air conditioned. Darn, AC not working. Prof comes late. Spend time texting the girls. Free SMS was the greatest invention for us, students, second to micro-Xerox. Prof leaves late. No time to go to hostel now for lunch. Canteen, it is.

Abhishek joins in. Talks about IT lecturers and algorithms on. Abhishek listens. Abhishek leaves. Time for the lab. Assignments are not done. The good thing is no one else has done it. We pledge that this is the last time we are leaving our assignments incomplete. Some excuse conjured. Rush to the lab. Wow, as many as three computers have booted successfully today. Choms occupy it. No quarters given, none asked for. Two hours have passed. Time flies. Guest faculties are fun.

Mandatory visit to the canteen. It is 5 pm. Jainy says he wants to leave for home. We drag him to the hostel. Everyone has arrived back. Even Amit has woken up by now. Stories of the day exchanged. Full Mahaul.

Time for Sony Bakery. Arrange bikes. Eat patties or footlong. Eat puchkas. Go to Satkar Juice Centre. Drink pineapple juice. Someone says he is bored of the same routine/diet/place. The last time, we assure ourselves.

It is 8 pm. Jainy says he wants to leave for home. We drag him to the hostel. Some movie to be seen. We are open to the genre. Arjun (name changed) has some new ‘stuff’. Should we go to the nearby hostel and get it or should we watch ‘Forbidden’ again? Renee Rea, I tell you. First major decision we have had to make all day. We pass. We watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S. instead.

It is 11 pm. Time flies. We are hungry. Jainy says he wants to leave for home. We drag him to the Thadi. Patel, Saras, Alloy and the gang are there. Gossips are exchanged. Rumours take birth. OP brings maggi and omelet. People keep pouring in. Someone comes because he has no money and wants a loan, while someone else comes because he is in a mood to treat. Someone has come because he is happy, while another has come because he is sad. Some came because they had passed, while some others came because they had got a back. More gossip exchanged. More rumour borne. OP brings more maggi and omelet. Full Mahaul.

It is 2 am. Time flies. Our assignments are still pending. We look at each other. Where is Vaibhav? On the phone with his gal. A quick call to Shruti is made. Jugaad arranged. This is the last time, we assure ourselves. Jainy finally gets to leave for home. Day-schi madar.

We reach hostel. Discussions about class timing the next day. Abhishek asks that dreaded question, "Ab kya?". That dreaded smile by Vaibhav. Manish gives that dreaded nod. A deck of cards makes its way out. 29, it is. Game on.

It is 4 am. Time flies. We go to sleep cursing because we would have to get up early again; We promise ourselves that this was the last time.

***

Sometimes, it just looks like yesterday. Time flies.

Nagme hain, shikwe hain, kisse hain, baatein hain. Baatein bhool jaati hain; Yaadein yaad aati hain.


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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Confessions of a drugged mind

“God, it’s killing me”.

Yes, I am under a heavy dose of medication recovering from a 104.4 fever (since records are all everyone cares about these days, let me add that this is my personal best recorded on a thermometer). Yes, I am aware of another Sachin failure today. But these are not my words. They were spoken by Federer after the 2009 Australian Open loss to Nadal. Here was a champion who had never been introduced to failure, suddenly finding himself grounded. He spoke the words and then broke down. The defeat - and the ones preceding that – had rankled him.

In sports, there is probably nothing more beautiful than watching a fallen great trying to regroup – trying to prove his relevance to the world again – despite all the risk to his 'legacy'. Federer did it. It will be fair to say he has justified his extended run – he won Wimbledon 2012, won himself an Olympics Silver, shot back at the numero uno spot – and PRESUMABLY (we can never say what goes inside the heads of great men) has conquered his ghosts – for the time being, at least.

Before Sachin got out today, I was sure he would choose this innings to finally come good - like I was sure in umpteen innings in the past. I was ready to bet my life on it - and more importantly even my faith. A failure promptly brought the retirement question out of the closet AGAIN (the question, of course, has its own keys to the closet – comes out at its own free will – sometimes never goes back). Now, please forgive me, but I can never be a neutral when it comes to Sachin. I’ve changed my stance on this matter with such a high frequency that as Andy Zaltzman had put it that it could be possible to broadcast a radio channel using it. So we won’t even take the path.

But other things have been bothering me. I confess to having ‘unliked’ his official Facebook page, being fed up of the corporate logos and offers being thrown at my face in the form of tees worn by Sachin and/or as captions adorning the bottom of the pictures. He has never given a miss to the IPL or the CL. But it probably doesn't matter. Hell, he is in a position to make money, why would he not do it. It never mattered to me that he was blocking a youngster’s place - was anyone worthy?. It never bothered to me that he is risking his legacy - isn't it HIS legacy after all?. But it matters when you have stories such as these to content with.

Ponting today said that he isn’t sure if he will be selected for Perth. It matters to me if Sachin shares the same fear. It matters to me if it has occurred to Sachin even once that his 100th ton MAY HAVE cost India the match and a shot at the Asia Cup. It matters to me if he later realized that the men on the street might 'not have taught him cricket', but are responsible for what he is today. It matters to me if his 'mortality' rankles him. It matters to me if his failures ‘kill' him.

I dread to know the answers. God, it might kill me.


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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reunion 2020

As always, my luggage was the last to arrive in the baggage claim area. After collecting it, I made my way out of the Dabolim airport and got into a waiting taxi. I immediately got into flashback mode as to how after six months of planning, we were finally going to have another reunion. I had been pressing for The Andamans as the venue, but it didn’t manage enough nods. The ill-effects of democracy are everywhere! But then, when it is Goa, the electorate doesn’t complain. The tough part was keeping the wives out of the plan. Some people had actually even wanted their wives to come. In the end, common sense had prevailed.

My reverie was broken as the mobile rang. The name flashing on the screen automatically put a smile on my face. Before I had the chance to say Hello, a voice said in an unmistakable tone, “Kahan hai tu?”. 57 seconds and 6 questions later, I hung up only to realize the smile had only grown. Boy, this was going to be fun! The taxi sped past a ground where half-naked children were playing cricket. After three successive World Cup wins, cricket had surpassed football in terms of popularity in Goa.

I reached the resort and was greeted by a familiar figure at the lobby reading the hotel pamphlet in a bid to increase his knowledge base. We hugged even as he motioned to someone to quicken up with his check-in formalities. I scanned the hall and finally saw him. Age hadn’t slowed him down - it would have been a rather difficult task indeed. He slowly advanced towards us as I asked, to no one in particular, what the nurse must have said when he was born. “Good slower delivery” came the reply. Age definitely hadn’t slowed him down.

Together, the three of us went to the room where everyone else reportedly were; expecting them to greet us with abuses. Instead they were locked in an intense debate and didn’t even bother noticing us. It was evident it was one against the rest. Just when it appeared that the rest had almost driven the final nail in the coffin, something happened - something we have come to dread all these years. He nonchalantly said, “Toh?”. That was check and mate for the others.

Someone finally sensed the presence of new people in the room. Profanities flew and everything was normal again as we hugged each other. I mustered up some courage to enquire about the person who was instrumental in helping organize this event. I was pointed to a small bed in the corner where he was sleeping peacefully.

The evening cruised along; we were doing quite well on the ‘Bhasad’ meter. Two people shifted uneasily as the topic steered to some ‘jugalbandi’ which they had indulged in during one hell of a night, before one of our plays in college. But much to their relief, the door swung open just then, and there stood the last of the persons expected – a mere eight hours after his scheduled arrival. A gentle enquiry on the reason revealed that he had opted to self-drive a car he had hired and had lost his way.

It was time for dinner. For the next 15 minutes, everyone’s eyes were glued to one man as he calmly washed his face, then wiped his hands, then put on his contact lenses and washed his hands. Then he wiped them and put on his socks following which he washed and dried his hands again. Then he put on his shoes and – surprise, surprise – he washed and wiped his hands dry. After he was done with his drill, he smiled at us wondering what we were waiting for.

“Kitne lagenge?” asked someone as we were just leaving. Unperturbed by the reply, he allowed his hands to leave the comforts of his hair as he gestured with his hands in ACP Pradyuman style, and said “Chal”.

The night had just begun.

*****

Post Script: Was reminded of a text forward which Poonam had sent a while back, "Fikr-e-rozgar ne thode faasle badha diye.. Warna sab yaar saath hi the, abhi kal hi toh baat hai"


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Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's in a name?

I had once noticed that "Shaitan" anagrams to "I, Anshat". And to think we had been calling him Prabhuji all along. A couple of days ago, Amol Patil had put up a picture of himself, sitting in the cockpit of a plane. I couldn’t help comment that "Amol Patil" anagrams to "Maal Pilot".

It was then that Gunjan gave me the idea of doing a blog post on anagrams. I just looked at my last few day’s activity at Facebook for inspiration. Found enough matter to do "a naughty junk on" my friends. After all, the expression was an anagrammatic (if ever such a word exists) way of saying, “Thank you, Gunjan”. So here goes:

I found "Rohit Chawla" had put a FB status message questioning the double-standards of the government in exercising control over Grade C & D bureaucrats and over the Internet. I wanted to warn him that speaking against the government could soon become illegal. But then I stopped myself. Maybe he’s destined to fall on the wrong side of the law. I mean, doesn’t his name anagram to "Lowcha -> Tihar"?

Then there was "Shruti Ordia" putting up pics from her New York trip. Before some <insert random Hindu God name here> Sena accuses her of wearing only Westerns and not promoting Indian culture abroad, let me point out that it was in the best interests of everyone. After all, her name anagrams to “A horrid suit”.

Then you see a picture of a chronic fracture victim who had torn a muscle. Again. I think she should stop introducing herself as, “I, Tanushree Podder” and instead use the exact same letters to say, “Hi. Dud on tear spree”.

And then you chance upon an awesome poem by Golchha. You just can’t help wonder how much talent this guy has. How does he manage all these things? “Hm. Kaise Bhai?”, you ask. He just needs to jumble the letters and answer, “I am Abhishek”. Enough said.

A few days ago Saurabh had posted about starting a band. "Ayan Deb" liked the post. The anagram of his name explains why. “A band? Ye”.

You see likes and comments by Jain "Aashish" and you tend to ask to your self, “Why this Kolaveri D?” “Why this extra A?”. But the answer is neatly hidden in his name. Ayn Rand would have shut us up with, “Shh. A is A.

"Manish Agrawal" had once shared his rendezvous with a random girl. Instead of going into the details, let me sum up what happened by using his anagram: "A gal saw him. Ran."

Post script: The title of this post also anagrams to something about this post: "New. Mast hai na?".


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