Thursday, 24 December 2009

"I didn't steal it!"

After a spate of serious posts, I have to break off! And what better time than when Christmas is around? Apart from the promise it holds in the form of cakes, goodies, Saint Nicholas and well... mistletoe, Christmas tales have always held me rapt with attention! From Christmas Carol and ol' Ebenezer "Humbug" Scrooge to 'Home Alone', I've found them all rather interesting. Here, I refer to the greatest Christmas villain of all time - The Grinch (who stole Christmas) - Thank you, Dr. Seuss. Thank you, Chuck Jones. Well, I happen to think he wasn't that bad after all!

The boys and girls of the world
Have all heard about the Grinch
Through the lies, which have been told;
Tales of evil which made them cringe.

“He is Green! And he is mean!”
In his town, they cried, aghast
They ran away when he was seen
And they ran really, really fast!

But this li’l boy called Grinch
Had problems, few too many
His heart was small, by thrice an inch
He was green; he looked real funny.

He was shunned, by one and all
The brats hated him real bad
Finally, he ran away one fall
His eyes were moist; he was sad.

Running up the hill, to his lonely dwelling;
(A shack, high up amidst the mist)
With his books, he sat there thinking
For few knew he was a secret Environmentalist.

‘Tis where the terrible lie starts
The tallest stories ever told.
They called him a loner! Unbelievable twats!
They said his heart was small and cold!

Today, I'd have them put behind bars:
(1) For ridiculing physical handicaps
(2) For perpetrating such abominable farce
(3) For introducing into the society- Gaps.

Poor Grinch didn’t like trees being chopped
Nor did he permit animals slain
He cried out loud when plants were topped
To eat only vegetables, he did train.

He was Green, as the World’s never seen
He’d have made Copenhagen* proud
But they said that Green was Mean;
And a Villain, they proclaimed him loud!

Then came the cold; December and fests!
(There were no Room-Heaters back then)
What the brats did next, you never will guess
For these boys were savage, wicked men.

‘Global warming’ was a concept, new
But alas, these kids had learnt of it!
To use it, they proceeded – these few
And with axes – the trees, they hit.

“They’re for Christmas,” they said, at ease.
(Only you and I know what they’d planned)
Robed like Claus, they chopped off trees
Causing in Winter, warmer land!

What’s worse? To celebrate this feat,
The scoundrels demanded gargantuan meals
Featuring dressed-Turkeys, head to feet
And Chicken, Caviar, Crabs and Eels.

Our Green hero, no doubt, alarmed
Set out for Town, down the hill.
He didn’t want his Nature harmed;
He would save them from the kill!

Dressed as Claus, he rode at night;
As his companion, was his dog
He then slid, into their chimneys, light
And climbed out with their Christmas log.

One by one, he did each house
And calmly, meticulously cured the town.
Then – silently, like a mouse
He ran the hill, up from down.

Morning came and obviously, tempers flared
They spoke about “The Grinch who stole Christmas!”
Charging up the hill, they said, “Do you want your life still spared?!”
“Return our trees, then… without a fuss!”

“But… Christmas is about the spirit,” said Green,
“It’s about sharing, caring, joy and all!”
“Oh! Cut the crap! You’re just jealous and mean
You green creature!” retorted all.

“We all know it’s about trees!
It’s about cakes and pastries and wine!
And the turkeys – minus their fleas…
Just return the trees. And we’ll do dandy fine!”

This is when the story hits a rather abrupt end
An enigma – so unfortunate, is it not?
We’ll never ever know what really happened!
Was our Green hero ever caught?!

But let him not be known from here
As a criminal, but a martyr great!
A Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year,
Together, let us all celebrate!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A Tale of Two Cities

Aeroplanes amaze me. Three hours and bang! Everything has changed. The gradual change of climate is simply done away with, the intermittent linking cultures obliterated and landforms simply restructured. All the while, you are sitting unawares wondering why that simple Vegetable sandwich cost so much.

I am home now; and I am glad. I have accomplished the task of enduring a day of wandering through the length of our country, only to find myself astonished yet another time by the immense diversity of our nation. While Gandhi employed the steam engine on his tour around the land to comprehend the sheer magnitude of cultural wealth India possesses, I am sure he would have been far more bewildered had he taken a flight like I did, thus highlighting these stark contrasts. Here is a tale of two cities (I omit the town) which I encounter, three hours off each other; each time I take the ride home.

The massive cash inflow into the DDA’s coffers is only apparent in the speed at which the pillars rise. The Commonwealth Games have given Delhi’s development a mammoth boost which, all going well, must give the Capital infrastructure close the World’s best cities. The weird aspect however remains the fact that the mighty Mughal capital has waited until 2010 to grow into a global city. I have often wondered what Delhi-ites were doing prior to their magic-Metro. With an abysmal bus-service which is known to kill more people than it transports and immensely congested roads inhabited by colossal vehicles, I’m amazed people even worked!

On the other hand, the land of the Tamil people has been rather supportive to its growing population. With an impeccable bus-service and omnipresent autos, albeit charging exorbitant fares to the unwitting Northie, coupled with much less clogged roads as compared to any of the other Big4, it has never been a problem to traverse the lengths of the seaside city. Another fact is that each area of Chennai is more-or-less self contained, something I never saw during my ephemeral life in Delhi. Call it Boon – owing to lesser travel necessity – or Bane – as each man sees so much less of his City, it remains an intrinsic fact.

With mighty pillars, strong and bold, each overpass seems to underline that power which Delhi so much wants to flaunt. Malls rising out of every nook and cranny; retail chains spreading like Virus; and more asphalt, steel and cement, only make apparent the Capital’s urgency to let go of those chains which restrain it. These, however are also those ropes which link Today with the past. Delhi is letting go.

On the other hand, the maritime city, 20oC warmer, is hell-bent on holding on. The outlook is cautious; and though development will not be overlooked, no one seems to be in a hurry to shed the present image. Malls are few; the few stand tall. Anything built overhead is with miniscule pillars, built as excuses for Flyovers. Buildings rise, not as cement monsters but behemoths of steel and glass. Rayban, Ferrari and Gucci are taking their own time trickling down the rungs of society; much unlike 1000 miles away, where Connaught Place boasts of a mini Manhattan - people trying all too hard to don the image of the quintessential New-Yorker. But the cautious outlook down South borders on bourgeois, leaving me reeling in alarm.

While T-Shirts and Jeans have become unisex themes of Delhi, Chennai finds itself yet a melange of tees, shirts, saris, salwars, jeans, trousers and veshtis – maybe not the collegiate dream. While Delhi has jumped into hyperspace drive; still the temple of the Theist, Chennai somehow seems to encompass the past, present and the future, . IT corridors have slashed open the newest avenues of growth and the coast may soon serve as the Auto-hub of India, while Parthasarthy and Kapaleeshwarar shrines and the Santhome church will forever remain the heart of Chennai.

NCR is growing at light-speed, breaking every record it sets; but as a friend aptly pointed out – 75% of Delhi is well-developed, great; but 50% of its people still suffer for bread. I’m uncertain about the below poverty ratios of Chennai, but the far fewer less endowed settlements are evenly spaced out, clearly visible to the naked eye; not latent. However, the steps taken both here, and there, are encouraging. The Delhi Metro has me overawed, but I cannot imagine life without my beloved ‘29C’!

I’m definitely against Karunanidhi in his unintelligent calls for protecting what he calls ‘Tamizh Kalacharam’, but maybe there is something in me that wants to hold on. This is not a sermon, and I do not preach. Neither approach is better than the other, neither easier to accomplish. I shall terminate with Anthony’s great words – “Take thou what course thou wilt.”

Friday, 18 December 2009

Winter Rank

Christmas break is around the corner again. New year parties, albeit beguiling with great promise, as usual, will be missed out on, yet again, by us R-fools who, so desperately, rush back so as to save up on an extra-form and a few hundred bucks! I can almost see those stars and bells hung on every other household's front balcony. 2009 has behaved well and deserves a pat on the back. Holiday FB activity, as you normally expect, is on a high. Blogs are overflowing, again. Then what's different, one may ask. Well, a few things to say the least.

For starters, its been a while since we have managed to retain the lead on the top of the table at the break. My fingers are crossed. More importantly, I'm still stuck here in R, wondering when I'll get back home, reunited with Rasam, Dosais and Appalam. This winter has started off weirdly, to put things lightly. Nevertheless, Winter remains my favourite season of the year, ever since I was introduced to the concept two years ago. Here are five things which never change - things I'll always love about winter.

(1) The Fog: It delays flights, alright. But its one of the things I look forward to. The sheet of white takes me all the way back to my Scooby Doo days. At the stroke of half-beyond-six, bro, I and a handful of munchables used to plonk ourselves in front of the Tele singing for 'Scooby Dooby Doo - Where Are You?' There were times when Shaggy would take out a knife and cut a hole in the fog. The great mist takes me back to those days!

(2) The Girls: While 'Kingfisher's Swimsuit Model of the Year' contest will have you disagree strongly with my opinion, I remain constant. Winter is the best time for Girl-watching. The fairer gender turn all the more fair and the glowing cheeks make the wait worthwhile. Well, some might try chastising me with a reminder about the place we dwell in. Well, all observations are relative and after all, the multiplexes are just a bus-ride away. Yes, Girls definitely make Winter worthwhile.

(3) The Baths: These are privileges which come at a premium, few and far between, but remain one of the glorious aspects of Winter. While the icy air looms ominously as a powerful impediment, the hot steaming water transports you to warmer climes. You splash yourself and lo! - the perfect combination of Yin and Yang; much like fried ice-cream! The best part, however, remains the smoke emanating from the pores of your epidermis - when you resemble a sizzling brownie.

(4) The Coffee: Caffeine is a killer. While most people intoxicated by the roasted beans strongly detest Tea, or vice versa, my preferences aren't that strong. Nevertheless, I've never for once thought that the gentle leaves of the slopes could ever match the zing of the power-packed berries of the coffee shrubs. And come Winter, it's effect becomes all the more profound. I would bear sub-zero just for the coffee!

(5) The Sleep: While it would be sacrilegious and profane to speak (4) and (5) in the same breath, such are the funny ways of Father Frost. The weight of a heavy blanket, a broken alarm clock and a cunningly cold Sunday morning can combine in ways which would put every other pleasure to shame! The sweet arms of Morpheus are never this kind!

Friday, 11 December 2009


Arun's status message on FB (paraphrased): "Our life is like a fraction; The numerator being what we are... And the denominator being what we want to be." Do your arithmetic.

My wing emptied itself out today, leaving Yours Truly as the sole company for dear ole Pink-punk. The cold wind blows through the hollow corridors as I find emptiness within...

While my neighbour pines for company, I must tell you I'm enjoying it. Simple astrology would tell you that it is but an expected trait of a Virgin, not because they are loners but because it gives time to reflect. To ponder. And it was during one of these bouts, in the afternoon, when I began to wonder about that 'Denominator', in my life. A rather disheartening picture crept up, with life tending to null and void. Feeling rather dispirited already, I walked out of S-7's safety into the open second-floor corridor... That was when it hit me. The reason why I was, all of a sudden, thinking about life as a fraction hit me hard. It was the same reason why my corridor is all but empty.

I am, generally, rather content with my routine, my achievements (whatever measly total they amount to) and my goals. But come December, I start feeling that vacuum again. Last year's Chennai and this year's Kanpur leave me estranged. The answer's cold hand slaps me across the face. This happens to be just the tip of a massive iceberg.

When I was in the fifth grade, I was introduced to the world of Classical music. I barely understood it then; I love it now, but without understanding. Then, in Standard Seven, I began to learn the keyboard and the 'Casio' entered my life. For three years it stayed; years when it would sing in harmony with my vocal chords. Incidentally, it was also Class VII when I began 'Tennis'. The coach liked me; 'vice-versa' not being applicable. Soon, I began Volleyball lessons in school. I wasn't nearly the best, but fast improving. I still boast of the one certificate I managed out of it in my résumé! I loved Cricket as a playing sport and I wouldn't be boasting if I said I was the best Batsman and Spinner within a few blocks' vicinity. Then.

It was when I began Volleyball, that I gave up on the tennis coaching. And then weirdly enough, I dropped Volleyball as it bored me! The Casio stopped singing to my fingers' dance almost in sync with my larynx's reluctance to produce melody. It was Standard X. Cricket lived on in my blood. Football grew on me. Then, I reached IITR. They both hit 'Pause'.

You realize the pain of failure when your denominator is so large. When you dream of doing great things, each setback is like a spear through the heart. Worse, however, is the pain of not being able to fail! Just because you gave up too early. I still can sketch brilliantly (can't say the same about painting) but I don't. I can sing. I don't. I could relearn the keyboard. I won't. Tennis exited my life early, though I'd have loved to go on. I almost made NSO with 'Volleyball'. I simply never visited the courts again! Life seems to have sapped me of Cricket. It all seems late now. I have a long way to go in order to become finite once more. All I do is crib. And write.

Friday, 4 December 2009


Often have I wondered what makes one afraid of something. What is it which tells us what is worth being frightened of and what isn't? What makes us fear those heights when we peer down a 20 floor chasm from the top of a building, even when we are completely sure of being in control of ourselves? Why, albeit thoroughly convinced by science and its gospels, one can still not conclusively rule out Spirits... And why on earth would one fear a well grown cockroach?!

While snakes and tigers make reasonably fear-worthy animals, why should one be afraid of a harmless rat or worse, a spider, escapes my cerebral capacity. The range of phobias thus, unsurprisingly enough, encompasses the entire range from the logical poisons (Io-) to the rather obvious (Lilapsophobia for hurricanes and tornadoes) and the enigmatic (Apeiro- for 'Fear of infinity'). That a word should exist for Fear of beautiful women - Caligynephobia - leaves me flabbergasted!

While certain fears are imbibed in children for their own protection (like that for 'heights' and 'fire'), one usually outgrows these. Some, however, stay with you. I have admitted to this in the past and I feel rather unashamed when I say that the things I fear in this world includes the 'Dark' -Yes, so much, that I have dedicated this post to its awesome force. I would, in fact, go as far as to say that that it nearly tops the list of 'Things To Be Afraid Of'.

Sometimes, people look into my room at 3 a.m. in the morning and laugh at the fact that I have slept with my lights on, while ever so gently envying the fact that I can sleep amidst the brightest of lights and the loudest of sounds. Even I wonder, at times, how my laptop doesn't fall off the bed or at least succumb to a mighty blow rendered by my sleepy arm, but that's digressing from the topic.

While my sleeping is an involuntary action and I doze off while commenting on FB or reading an article on Soccernet, I have come to learn that people's general perception of Morpheus is quite different. While many stare for hours at their ceilings or even mull over the events of previous day or worse, plan their future; when I hit the bed, it's more like the bed hitting me. I sleep dreamless sleeps, which makes me feel I'm missing out on a rather important aspect of life. But when I sleep, I sleep. Then again, I hate staring at the ceiling in a perfectly pitch dark room... I know this sounds stupid, but who knows what might happen!

If there's something worse than the dark itself, it is closing your eyes in the dark! You know you cannot see anything with them open anyway, but you don't want them closed! It may be weird, but that's the way it is... It is comforting, however, to hear people admit that they fear Blackness in open places, at least. Go sit in an empty cinema hall when the lights are out and I'll see if you come out fifteen minutes later.

It all comes down to two lines, so beautifully penned by Steve Harris:

When the lights begin to change, I feel a little strange. A little anxious when it's dark...
I have a constant fear that something's always near. I have a phobia that someone's always there. Fear of the Dark!

Well, It's almost morning now. And I'm turning off the lights.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


If this day hadn't already done enough to merit itself a few inches of space on this Course of Human Events, the events of the last hour have made it inevitable. So much so, that I've succumbed to the thought that - if this post isn't made, nothing else is worth writing about! To begin with, this post could, so easily, have been titled 'Remember, remember; The seventeenth November'.

One major reason I didn't post promptly after receiving two wonderful messages was the fact that I didn't want to sound like a narcissistic creep. The other, of course, was because I wouldn't have had the time to draft one as I was drowned in a deluge of SMSs, GTalk IMs and gargantuan EDC and WONA threads (yes, the latter giving the former a run for its money). Now, however, I realize that this moment of indulgence is perhaps something I must be forgiven for... One of the many reasons which bind me to the blogosphere is the fact that 'konfessionsofageenius' is a chronicle of my life, and if this day didn't make it there among the top days, I don't know what would. Some day I'll look back at this post...

A miss, a mistake and Bang! A strange shortlist and a weird Group Discussion preceded what was to be a classy interview- a dream, to be precise. With no technical question asked and the interviewer delving into subjects like Lit and EDC, I thought I had a reasonable shot. Then finally, when he took a copy of the latest 'Watch Out!', I thought I had it... They made me wait, but yes - I got Schlum.

Just when the formalities of home-calling had been finished and the sluice-gates were gradually giving in, Cogni decides to put up the second overdue list of the day. I wonder whether there are two other such adjacent Cogni rooms in the insti now, apart from Pinky et moi. Well, forget the sluices now. The dam had collapsed.

It took a while for everything to sink in as people all over telephoned and messaged. Thank you, all. Some people went into praise mode, some asked for chapos, few asked me details of the interview, while some said 'I was being too modest'. Still others said that they were doing their best to ruin the day for me. Thank you, Dela. And thank you, Lefty, for having that happen. And thank you, Lit, for everything else about it.

That hasn't dented this evening, but a mongrel almost did. Well, I found myself in Ravindra an hour back trying to get my Practical work signed. A Research Scholar who wouldn't let me into his room with my shoes on greeted me. I took the Four-'K' pair off, of course, and earned entry into the room. Soon, he was using me as an office boy to tabulate his bills, even as he took his time signing my file. Needless to say, I was half Gujju when I left his room, albeit with some A's in the bag, only to see a single shoe greeting me at the threshold!

Who would take one shoe?! Half-an-hour of math was thrown out the window as I realized a single shoe in a Rs.4000 pair wasn't worth two grand. Soon, two madmen (one shoe-less) were seen outside the Ravindra canteen searching for an elusive shoe, which I was told, had been taken by a dog. Soon some others including the watchman joined us in the hunt even as I profusely insulted the RS's lineage in every language I knew. The dog was detected, but the shoe was gone.

Another half hour and thoroughly scanned grounds later, it was discovered beside a bathroom somewhere far-far away! Nothing has gone wrong (yet) and I walk with two shoes.

P.S. Happy birthday, Nimba. The 17th of November will be difficult to forget.

P.P.S. Thank you all. Again.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Interview Do's and Interview Don't's

It was sometime during the first week of this month, when I committed the second mistake of the sem, which incidentally also becomes the third mistake concerning my academic life; the first two being this and ITC. In the latter case, of course, I did not apply for the internship. After a lot of heartburn and having lost faith in all humanity, this disgruntled chap decided that never again would he miss an employment opportunity! And hence put himself in collision course with what could have been.

I know I'm not making too much sense yet, but when I tell you that I applied for 'M/s. Infosys' plainly because I wanted to make sure I didn't miss out on any more just because I didn't try (read into this line all you want), things surely become a lot more meaningful. The day after I pressed 'send', I was asked why I would do something outright dumb. Being the smartalec, I so often become, I quipped, "Even though I would NEVER do a coding intern, I don't buy the concept of letting opportunities pass. I'll screw up the pre-interview examination anyway! Don't you worry..."

It's not surprising then that 'today', as you will soon gather, came as a shock. I reach the Placement Office promptly at 6, to be told that there was no exam! 'A shortlist will directly be put up.'

For the benefit of the layman reader, let me lay down the placement ground-rules:

(1) Once you apply for a company, you can, under no circumstance, at no stage, withdraw the application without being debarred from placements henceforth. (A certain CS girl could tell you more.)

(2) Once you are selected for an intern, you cannot apply to any more companies.

(3) If anything can go wrong, it will.

At 6:15, a list of 15 names was displayed on the projector screen. I was among those. Cursing, I asked in vain how I could opt out. And then even more hopefully, I asked as to what an honest, hardworking Chemical Engineer can do in a great company like Infy. Again, gibberish.

NC Nigam saw me enter at 6:45 p.m., without a resume, dressed half like a dork and pretty much overwrought. I was hoping that sighting a bum like me devoid of even the dire necessity - a resume, I'd be booted out. Alas, they said the interview was to be telephonic.

Amidst all this chaos, there was one man who spiced this up even further - my HOD. In a frantic call to the great man, I heard him say the words, "Infosys doesn't give you 'in-plant training'. So, you cannot apply there! Strictly prohibited ! I won't let you do it..."

Those kind words revolutionized all future cerebration as now, not only did I have to give the interview (so as to not be debarred), I also had to flunk it! To cut a long story short, this is how it went:

The voice: Hello.
I: Hi, sir. A very good evening to you.
The voice: Good evening, Mr. Anirudh. Why don't we start off with you telling me something about yourself.
I: (Some bit of my history goes here...)
The voice: Oh good... You have mentioned 'Fluid Dynamics' as an area of interest here. Let's start with that. Suppose I told you to design a Room Heater, how would you do it?
I: I'd ask for the room size, ambient temperature, the requisite temperature... (This is when I realize I'm doing well)
I'm sorry, sir. I don't think I can tell you any more.
The voice: Why? You are doing really well... Go on.
I: I'm afraid that's all I know, sir.
The voice: Well... Don't worry. We'll go on to other topics.
What do you think is a continuous fluid?
I: Sir, the equation of continuity is...
The voice: No. Continuous fluid.
I: I don't know.
The voice (now a slight drag): Hmmm... Simple question now. What's the difference between 'Thermodynamics' and 'Fluid Dynamics'?
I: Why, sir! I always thought them to be very similar. There are subtle differences, but essentially same!
The voice (taken aback): Let's leave your Engineering skills alone now, Mr. Anirudh. Mental ability, now.
I: Sure, sir.
The voice: (Asks some question which required me to calculate the minimum time which four people require to cross a bridge, subject to certain conditions)
I: (After allowing considerable time for calculations, doodling all the while) Nineteen minutes!
The voice: Are you sure this is the answer?
I: No, I am not, sir. These are what my calculations tell me.
The voice: Well, what if I tell you this is incorrect?
I: Then, I'd have to tell you that I'm incapable of coming up with the right answer.
The voice: Don't get disheartened now... I'll give you a hint. (Proceeds to do so) Now?
I: (Taking some time again) Interesting... Informative, though your hint was, sir, I'm afraid it helps me in no way! I don't exactly comprehend its relevance.
The voice: It was great talking to you, Mr. Anirudh.
I: My pleasure, sir. Have a good evening!

That's that! And God is great!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


A lonely drop did fall through space

Carrying all colours the sky held ere

The hues blotted and condensed

And stripped the Earth of its face.

Into a chasm, the oceans drained

As every door swung firmly shut

Mountains succumbed in a blurry haze

And colours vanished, as it rained.

The world lived, but shut me away.

Flavours and scents and music, all

Fled me, as I stared benumbed

As it was neither night nor day.

“Help me! Save me!” I should have called.

Instead I hung in a languid state

Like a puppet, in entangled strings

Better would have felt had I been mauled.

A dreary state of animated death

I didn’t know the difference now

The sun didn’t rise, the moon had set

I was dead of all, but breath.

I stared back at the childhood dream

At the hopes and plans and merry things

The tears and laughter of that Heart

This Heart tearing at the seam.

There is no suffering and no pain.

Only, the million hues were gone

To yield a life in gray and black

I am oblivious to the drops of rain.

And forth I go on that quest

To breathe in life; resuscitate

Those lost emotions in this void;

Until then, I shall not rest.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Beautiful Words

No breakfast would have quite assuaged that tremendous hunger, which I had built up after a the healthy hikes of 25-10, as did those two words. Normally, after that verbalization, feeling rather chagrined, I'd have run for cover and sat myself in a seat where few would recognize me. But today was different; I reveled in that splendour and basked in that greater music of which my words were but a part. It felt good to swear again.

It is only lately that I have realized, people often mistake a genteel countenance and a civilized demeanour for spinelessness. Putting things into proper perspective again, then becomes the paramount task. Abuses have evolved over the years and expletives have garnered greater efficacy. But constant usage of these oaths as nouns, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions and prepositions have blunted the tips of otherwise sharp shafts. It is then only apt then, that my years of fast were broken by a phrase which caused so much turmoil on the listener's face.

Profanity, though part of everyday parlance, gathers great power when used where it must be. The lesser you use it in everyday life, the better you feel after hurling these savage words. Though, swearing requires little practice if any, it is always useful to keep certain points in mind.

1. Language of choice: This may be a crucial decision and a vital factor determining the effect of an abuse. It is important to use the language you are most comfortable in. While I prefer good old English to Hindi and even Tamil, one may choose from a myriad tongues with German and Arabic being favourites.

2. Communication: While swearing, you must never forget that it is, after all, a form of communication. And communication is listener oriented. So if the listener doesn't understand what you are saying, you have failed miserably in your attempt. Another reason why Tamil or, for that matter, German is not suited for Roorkee. Getting the semantics across is probably the most important task.

3. The Time Factor: Often, you procrastinate. And then, it's too late. Or so you think.
Revenge is a dish best served cold. So, the later your response, it's probably better. And besides, you catch the target unawares. So, it is advised that the user delay his response as much as possible for maximum effect. Studies have shown the seven second deferred expletive causing greatest havoc.
So after the guy accused me of breaking the line in the mess, my response was probably greatly amplified as I spoke only after I had ladled enough sabji into my plate.

4. Kinesics: Your face and body must reflect what you say. So it's best the abuser pauses (see above) to gather his emotions and then let them all out in one short burst. For longer abuses, it is proposed that the person take in a deep breath, so as to not run all out in mid sentence. Fingers, elbows, eyebrows, knees etc. all play indispensable roles in a good abuse. Props in the forms of emblems and illustrators may also be used; Eg. Chains, Sticks, Sarias etc.

5. Proxemics: The importance of distance while blaspheming cannot be underestimated. It is essential that the listener gets the entire effect of what you are saying. However, if the target is much larger than the abuser, it is advised to increase the separation by a few more feet. If this 'large' listener is much faster as well, it may be required to rethink your urge to insult.
I fell short on this front the other day, as I was a more than a few feet away from the listener.

6. Reason: While most abuses are preceded by motive, it is not mandatory that this sequence of events is followed. Often, a motive arises after the first abuse is made. This pattern is often great fun.

The above points are not rigid rules but a flexible framework which guide the reader to better and greater heights in this industry. You may choose to practice here... or better 'here'. I hope these were useful tips in what is, after all, a vast subject. Kindly do let me know the usefulness of the same. Any further suggestions on how to subdue the stuck up half-wit are also welcomed.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Rhyme or Reason

A class-time poem: The Shepherd (name being a shameless copy)

On the eastern slopes, as the sun did fade
Stood my dozen sheep and I
They grazed- content, in the hillock's shade
None of them escaped my eye.

They were mine- in their golden fleece
I watched them meander with smiles - benign
My only friends among the trees
When for company, I would pine.

I loved the beasts with all my heart
And will continue to love them still
But oft I wonder - "If we were apart -
Would my sheep be happy still?"

The very thought fills me with dread
Love yearns to be reciprocated, yet -
As they walk happy, and far-away tread
They will, for love, remain ever in debt.

Love - I know, is to give and give
And expect nothing back.

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Thursday, 8 October 2009

Madman's Lull

As the three lines on the top of this page indicate, this blog, or any blog for that matter, as you ought to have realized by now, is but a reflection of the author's life, acts and opinions. A reflection rather distorted by constant recall, mellower or sharper; but a reflection, nevertheless. So this month long lull on the blog-o-sphere directly translates to a long and painful calm in the real world.

Being in one of those ineffectual states where one cannot do anything even if he wanted to, I have watched rather quietly, the reordering of the right-side blogroll. Even as he resurfaced, a certain knotted-mind was keen to observe the compulsive need of a blogger to keep track of everything post-worthy. Well, let me tell you - I was keen too. But try as I might, nothing! For once, I thought there was nothing blog-worthy. These tranquillized states are, luckily, few and far in between, but when they come, they hit you hard.

Pessimistic, I have been before, but seldom have I breached certain boundaries. So I advise the weak-hearted to proceed no more! Because the story of the lull begins with a stark realization, which strangely (and thankfully) has eluded me two-and-a-half years.

I reached R as a rather ambitious kid with (what I thought then) rather pragmatic dreams of achieving great feats during my four years in a college which then boasted of so much history. I had no unrealistic expectations and I was probably one of the most content fucchas in those days, beaming away at the green environs and the dazzling dome. Joining a handful of groups and making sincere endeavors to exit the wonderful realms of Metallurgy, yours truly was on course for greatness. Or so he thought.

Soon the rose-tinted glasses faded into a rather depressing brown and the brisk walk became a sapping drag. One wonders what changed during these three years though it is obvious that such periods of retrospection are but passing phases. All the same, what happened to that romantic who dreamed of being the master of all trades? Where are have those dreams been safely tucked away? Will he ever rediscover that lost zeal?

However content I am with the way I have gone about my responsibilities and initial commitments, something still eludes me. The void. Hence, that lull? I did get the branch change. I have done most things I wanted to do in college. But now, it all suddenly seems futile!

Call it an error of judgement or a madman's rant, but my initial discernment now seems rather irrational, faulted and unsubstantiated. The branch change only lead me to another branch I feel few emotions for. Classes which once held meaning have become hours for E-Book reading and correcting writings on desks. Professors who once carried words, if only so little, have now become mute puppets. And so many activities, I have been part of, so meekly crumble in front of the rudimentary 'How did it help me' question. It reminds me of that one question a certain condescending chap quotes every so often.

This great nothingness however gave me time to think. That - coupled with a week spent in Chennai and three great hours of conversation with a lovely lady aboard the IndiGo flight (which terminated in me asking her name) - may have just given me answers. The disgruntled youth who bounded south returned with rekindled hope. To give it another shot. And it seems to work.

Yesterday was probably the longest day in my R-life and I enjoyed being omnipresent on the campus. Call me weird, but I rather enjoyed being prised away from these computer based indulgences and similar irrelevancies. Work seemed to have become desirable once again. Today, attending just one class but listening to every word the prof taught was a new high. Albeit most words flew over my head, the simple pleasure of knowing that I still can 'listen' was great. I realized that, maybe, it is wrong to see what one gains from each and every action of his! Maybe you should just go on as long as you enjoy the process. And may be it's only fair that we give everything a chance.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

One Score. Next is what?

It's a mere technicality, this three hundred and sixty fifth day, which we most convieniently choose to honour and celebrate an entire year which passed and to resolve to make the future happier, replete with smiles all around. These are empirical observations then, which propose that the sun has reached the exact same point it held when I was born into this world; observations which when repeated one score times throw you on the other side of twenty. Trivial though this day seemed a fortnight earlier, it is one which marks the end of one great score and the beginning of another. And thus, it is with great veneration for life and the future that I begin writing this post.

After spending seven years, a mighty thirty-five percent of my life, under the aegis of Teenage, I am finally booted out of that society by people who now can lay substantial claim of being younger than me. I still believe I left the tutelage of Teenage last year - this same time, as I am supposed to have completed a score now and have been living my twentieth the last 365. Nevertheless, it is only now that my age will be displayed as '20' on the loose paper stuck on to the side off my compartment on a train back home, or on a flight ticket. Sentimental and foolish, though it seems, the weight it carries seems to be profound. I can quite empathize now with the kid on the Twelfth of September, 1999 as he reaped a dual-digit age for the first time.

A Facebook quiz taken yesterday brought back fond memories of childhood, one which still provides me with a feeling of safety by remaining close by, though deep within I do realize I shall never be able to back back to them. Reminiscing about my G.I.Joe collection (which still lies stashed away somewhere in the attic), the Blyton books (I still recall vividly tales of Pixies, Brownies and Thirteen o'Clock), plasticine, my first ambition as a kid to become an engine driver and losing my first milk-tooth brims me with a sense of deprivation before I realize the importance of these memories. The place each of these events hold in my heart is perhaps the same way I'll feel about each of these blog-posts once I reach two-score and more. When we see a memory, we more than just visualize it; we feel it. Each of these small acts, however trivial and trifle they seemed back then, has helped mould me to what I am today. It is with great honour and love that I recall each of those black-and-white sequences.

I remember bro (who is a Sagittarian) saying when he was a kid, "Anna, your birthday comes before mine. So you will become older before me!" He is the same kid now, who wishes 'Happy Twentieth' me at the stroke of twelve... Looks like we all have grown. Change once again proves itself the only constancy in this ever mutating world. Only a fool would want to stay at a point forever. To go on forth with ambition for life and a prayer on our lips and to 'look back at our past with smiles, not tears' (Lord Cautley) is forever the gospel. Happy twentieth to me.

P.S. Thankfully, my non-reading phase is over with the coming of 20. Many books for the future, hopefully.

P.P.S. The weather's condition is wonderful, a clear contrast to that of my back-side.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

La Gare Du Nord

I expected a blast of cold air, or at least a chilly October-ish breeze. Instead, a 95% R.H. welcomed me with open arms to the great state of J&K. It wasn't my first visit to the state (and neither should it be my last) but everytime I reach Jammu, I somehow expect blizzards and Yetis even though I'm sure that the odds of those happening are about the same as a tsunami in Roorkee. Nevertheless, I was decieved once again.

Hemkunt Express was expected to reach the Jammu Tawi train station at quarter to five, a deadline - I'm quite sure it met, because, when I was rudely shaken awake sometime later by someone who looked like he had come to clean the compartment, the train was pretty much stationary, not to mention empty. An expletive for the man and an ejaculation of gratitude directed upwards (for making Jammu the last stop) later, I alighted, groggy and fatigued; drag-bag and all. The stares I obtained from the few people waiting on the platforms told me that I much resembled the Muddlehead from Petushkee. Undeterred and unfazed by my hostile environs, I continued to stumble forth towards the fat man in khakhi who stood by, what looked like, the gate. I must mention here, that the station betrayed no signs of this being the capital (if only Summer) of the crown-state of India.

My cell-phone battery was dead and I needed to contact Dad who I was to meet as soon as he alighted his own train from Delhi. The problem was I didn't register his coach number, the train's timing or even it's name! The lack of a timepiece and my inability to tell the time by looking at the stars and the moon, lead me to approach the previously mentioned fat-man ('FM' henceforth) in khakhi (who plays a wonderful part in this tale).

I: "Uncleji, time kya hua hai?"
FM: "Mere haath pe ghadi dikti hai kya? Time pooch rahe ho!"
I: "To time kahan se pata karoon? Actually, main train keliye wait kar raha hoon."
FM: "Mujhe pata nahin... Idhar-Udhar dekho. Kahin na kahin to mil hi jaayega."

I assumed he was talking about a clock, and not the train, and proceeded to follow his wise instructions. The quest for the elusive clock in the railway station followed and luckily, I wasn't to be disappointed. Within five minutes, I had indeed zeroed in on the location of a clock. But what I saw alarmed me! The clock (I swear) read: 4:61! I didn't bother checking whether it was A.M. or P.M, of course. Hapless and lost and running out of time, I ran back to the only source of information I had.

I: "Sirjee, yeh phone ko charge karna hai. Plug-point kahan milega?"
FM: "Kaunsa SIM Card hai?"
(I didn't think it was his business. Nevertheless)
I: "Airtel Prepaid."
FM: "Idhar dekho." (Suddenly switching languages) "The Airtel SIMs of India do not work here. And our SIMs do not work in their states!"

I was so baffled by his latest vocalization that I collapsed on my suitcase. India? Jammu? Passports?!

However, the next few words just about escaped my mouth.

I: "STD or PCO booth? Where can I find one?"
FM: "Arre, samajhte nahin ho tum! Hamara desh bahut gareeb hai... Idhar aapko booth-vooth nahin milne wala."

I was utterly devastated after the chat and began thinking up ways to beg, borrow or steal my way back to R, which seemed like heaven now!

However as the story goes, I travelled a kilometer outside the station premises to locate an open PCO. I made the call and intercepted Dad's train. The remainder of the journey went quite uneventfully with the climb from Katra proving to be a wonderful experiance once again!

I finish off this post rather hurriedly as I have two exams to write tomorrow. Happy Onam to all. Jai mata di.

#1. This is part of my pre-exam stress relief exercise. And yes, I remain sane.
#2. According to the Hindu calendar, I have completed 20 years on this Earth today.
#3. Chelsea is depicting sheer class! Hope it lasts. It's beautiful football.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

The King Of Chocolates

Dad had just returned from Jubail that month, after having given life in that behemoth prison, fondly called Saudi Arabia, a shot. For Aashrai and me, who were still young and carefree back then, it was dad coming home! We couldn't see the long term effects or the great work paradigm shift; we were perhaps too young to realize the consequences of this decisive step in our lives. On one hand, it was decided that day that the remaining of my schooling would be done in Adyar, in Chennai, in Madduland... On the other hand, dad coming home meant lots and lots of goodies! I remember that that was when I got my Sony Playstation II - which, most inexplicably, is still in perfect working condition, stashed away somewhere safely below my Tele and DVD player in the TV cabinet. The most unforgettable aspect of dad's homecoming, however, were the chocolates... Ferrero Rochers and Toblerones in tonnes, Snickers, Bountys and Mars in scores, Hersheys in its various forms and a gazillion more- in a rainbow of chocolate hues soon littered our shelves. They would serve well to satiate our sweet tooth during the next few months.

Amidst this great pile of swell chocolates, there was The One. It is most strange that I must forget the brand of this chocolat de la chocolats (maybe bro remembers; I must ask him) but we both knew that it was The One. The one chocolate to rule them all. The master Yoda of the Jedi order, the Bruce Wayne of the Batman series, the Tolkien of 20th century writers. So, bro and I forged a gentleboys' pact that we would both share the dark chocolate delight in equal proportions and, as average human psychology would dictate, we decided to the best for the last.

Days passed and then weeks. Weeks cohered to form months, and every day we had a chocolate bellyful, always staring longingly at the shahanshah, albeit never yeilding to the dark temptation. Soon, we were almost out of all other chocolates and our stomachs sensed the coming of the legend, and made way. D-Day came with astonishing rapidity and the first rays of the sun woke up bro, and he in turn, very faithfully, woke me up... And then we ran. We ran to the kitchen cupboard and opened it greedily thrusting our arms into the open shelf, groping and yanking at whatever was in our path. Unfortunately, we could find nothing but dried fruits, nuts and worthless Good-Day packets! Where had the awesome one gone??

After a few anxious and fretful moments of franctic search, we gave up. The good part is neither of us suspected the other of having taken it - the pact had been sealed. So going up to mom and granny, we enquired as to the whereabouts of the quintessential gift from the land of the arabs. Mom was quiet, but then granny coughed up the tale. The previous day, the tiny tot of a kid which lived next door had come over and had sat itself on the sofa. Apparently, it acted famished and had asked grandma for some food... Soon, it asked for chocolates. Morbid as this tale sounds, it did happen. Grandma searched and found only one chocolate remaining. Unwittingly, granny handed it over to the twit which subsequently scampered off to prey on its next innocuous target.

We have all heard of cliched quotes like 'Opportunities knock only once'. But never once did I give such sayings a second thought. Until that fateful day. Procrastination is sin, deferral - a blunder. Planning is but a futile exercise. The punishment for all these - the glowing hope vanishes, leaving you empty and desolate while you wonder, in retrospect, why you pondered so much when it ought to have been a spot-decision - spontaneous. Then again, on retrospect, everything seems so simple and all your mistakes seem glaring. But was it so obvious in the first place? Why didn't we eat that chocolate the day we saw it? Why did we believe that by postponement, we could make the event even more special? Why?

The answer, now, seems so simple; and yet so elegantly, it flatters to decieve time and again! Why we postponed making a meal of that chocolate is the same reason you defer making a phonecall to someone important. It is the same nagging feeling which frightens you everytime something important is going to happen. The longer you postpone eating that chocolate or making that phonecall, the longer it continues to remain a dream... and not something you goofed up badly. You long to make that moment special and perfect, when nothing can go wrong. You wait for that moment when everything is as perfect as they will ever be. Most regrettably, such a moment will never come, as 'perfection' as a concept is flawed. That perfect moment doesn't exist, and things will never get brighter than now. Shilly-shally does nothing good. It only means giving up before you even started. A walkover. A paradise is lost, never to be regained.

The most upsetting part is that time, being the healer he is, lets you forget these wounds and lessons and forgive your past actions. Soon you accept these losses as a part of life and fall back on the 'It was never meant to be' quip. However foolish it may sound, this is how the human psyche works. That day, that kid next door was trying to teach me a lesson. But have I learnt it?

Monday, 10 August 2009

It All Began Here...

Another week has passed, although with a better conclusion this time - as the recruitments, being as interesting as they always are, didn't fail to satisfy. Half a score girls walk through the same tunnel we traversed two summers ago. The repeated sensations of dejavu were only justified then, even though it was my first time as an interviewer inside KB. Having missed out on the major chunk of the recruitment procedure last time around, I can unequivocally state that this is the first time I formally sat at the other end of a Watch Out interview.

7th August 2009: What one looks for in an interview cannot clearly be put into words. An abstract quantity albeit intangible, can be felt, though not explained. That being stated, its funny then to see a pattern in the way people retort. You place the same question to a number of persons separated spatially or by time, you will inevitably elicit the same responses! One such question turned the hour glass back two complete circles to my very own final interview in the RJB TV room.

Mid August 2007: I entered the room amidst a grim atmosphere, trying hard not to flash all thirty-two. I didn't want to portray myself as a very serious person also. All the same, I can openly admit today that calling the ambience a little unnerving would be a gross understatement. Some fifteen pairs of eyes stared at me intently as I composed myself. I identified but a few then, mainly from the intro-talk, among the many people I would come to know in the years to come. I remember vividly Lefty with a diary in hand (I'm pretty sure) and Khandu, who sported the kind of a look I would have called 'dashing' back then. Banga looked as innocent as he would ever. SriPri, Middah, Sarthak, GoGo, Bonda, Young-Sahith - everyone was there.

I believe it was Khandu who remarked about the disapparition of my spectacles. The questions which followed where not exactly what I'd have called banal; nevertheless I would be lying if I said that they were unexpected altogether! But then came a final question, after which I was asked to leave the room... It was a question which took me back three years, to the days when the mind cared not about anything significant and a time when thoughts meandered so randomly.

Sometime in 2004-05: Standard 9: The day was bright; the guys in their usual boisterous mood and the girls huddled away in their private discussions filled with frequent giggles. The spatial confines of a room which restricted their activities would never be able to incarcerate the human mind. As things stood, on many desks were already carved ambigrams of our names - such was the creativity and joblessness of those days of yore.

It was a free period, and afraid of letting any time go waste devoid of creativity, our minds drifted onto poesy. That was the day, in that very classroom, a friend - my namesake and I sat down to pen a poem; definitely not my first and perhaps not my best, but one which would inspire me to write more. Many more.

The brightness dissolved into the shadows... and there I was, again in KB, asking the same question I had been asked in in 2007. The answer - one which ought to have been my first blog post. One which I had started typing out way back in December 2007, only to give up time and again in favour of a more pressing topic. However, this interview interrogative, one of the less expected ones, finally brings forth the long overdue and heretofore unrecognized. "What is the most creative thing you have penned?"

At that time only one rhyme brimmed my head.

He will come to every being,
Yet he instils fear
With eyes glazed, unseeing;
An expression calm and clear.

He will come when the time is right
Like the grey clouds bringing rain;
Like the darkness swallowing light
The essence of being, he will drain.

When he’s here, we’ll know for sure
By his chilly, rattling breath;
He is Fear, yet so pure
He is here, here is Death…

The interview was then declared complete.

Friday, 7 August 2009

But It Rained

The chapo was over. Suppressing a mighty burp at its very nascence, after having devoured two Paneer-Pyaaz Paranthas, a Pav-Bhaaji, one and two-seventh portions of fried-Maggi and an aloo poha (the last of which, I detected was spoilt after having shovelled in a few spoonfuls), I struggled to rise from my seat which I am quite sure would have buckled under my weight had I eaten another morsel. The human brain recommends that you eat until you are full and then exist in equilibrium with atmospheric pressure - but this process is apparently deleted from the register when some one else is paying for your meals! Nevertheless, with great effort, not only did I manage to stand up, I negotiated a few steps towards the Ganga Canteen exit. To Cautley and beyond... Or so I had so naively thought.

The Met Department predicted, in today's newspaper, (which, thankfully, I have been allowed to read again by the newspaperwala) that the SE-monsoon trough has moved further up north. As an average human being, evincing as much faith in Met as I would express in the IITR Admin, I only thought it convention that a long dry spell should follow. And there. Met tricks you again! This one time they get it right and the everlasting dilemma of 'Can we always consider Met wrong?' continues...

It was 1 a.m. With my tangible presence getting soaked in moon-sized droplets and my mind still pondering about how I must run the Ganga-Cautley gauntlet, my temporal lobe picked up a nutter's quip, "How about football?" Bizarre sounding at first, it gained universal acceptance soon and then against my better sense of judgement, I jumped on the bandwagon too! And into some puddles, in jeans, slippers and all. What followed was an 'awesome' session of dragging the ball through pools, slush tackling (which apparently has it advantages) and observation of wet-ball aerodynamics. An irate Resident Warden and a feckless watchman looked on in awe. And veneration.

The game ended at one all (possibly), with no one keen about keeping scores, when most people had each completed the mandatory ten somersaults in the muck. Chemical's obsession with photo-shoots followed (which might even be uploaded by now) when the cloud-cover relented. I began my arduous, risky trip back home dodging tadpoles here and searching for bricks there. I also realized the importance of being on the look-out for live wires during rainy days such as these. My clothes are ruined, but it was fun all the same. It would have been just another day with a chapo and some footy. But it rained.

P.S. Frogs are cuter and nicer creatures than one imagines them to be. They actually oblige by leaping out of your way before every one of your steps.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Three Point Oh!

A new year. A new dawn. More insolent, supercilious juniors (not that I have any reason to complain). A road leading away from the half way mark... The same old routine, punctuated with few new additions to the my repertoire - like football every evening and arbit walks (which I never previously had considered worthwhile) through the lesser explored realms of the insti. I also rediscovered my penchant for arbit chats, my GTalk status indicating as much a few days back, courtesy GTalk itself and an eighteen year old by the name: Leif K-Brooks. The new year also saw the insti screwing with me once more, as I ended up exiting sophomore with lesser credits earned than any of my contemporaries who hadn't earned themselves a back. I also wasn't given an elective and chosing 'Creative Writing' has been one of the better decisions of my life - if it weren't for which, I'd never have learnt about the 'Dutch' and his 'last Dutchess'. Vocab building is part of this course, I'm given to learn, and I've added at least two more oxymorons to my vocab already, thanks to Jetty - "Useful-Omegle-ing" and "Thomso-work".

I have been one of those few who have been fortunate enough to retain their original names as part of their identity. 'Anirudh', 'Ani-Arun' and 'Ani' were the only names I cared to respond to. However, a short life at IITR has redined nicknaming as I find myself responding to words of varied origins - from the absurd 'Kondy' to the inane 'Andrews' and then the insane 'Kondrews', I have been supplied a plethora of appellations to cope with! Often the name transcends the language boundaries too - I also respond to the call 'Ani-puli'... Why, the burgeoning of names never ceases to amaze me. When people stopped being able to come up with better names, out of fear for having to resolve to banal, hackneyed phrases and words, they simply update the version! Apparently, the 'Kondy' saga has seen a 1.0, a 2.0 and now, most disturbingly, a 3.0 version! Yes. Now people simply say, "Three point oh!"

I cannot elucidate to you the differences between the Kondy prototype and its newest version, as I believe, along with many others, that there has been no modification. However with the higher intellectuals being either vela, bonkers or both, insisting on them being meaningful (read: declaring the same by fiat), I fear these names are here to stay! To the delight of the aforementioned brainboxes (and to my dismay), now any crazy act conceptualized by their fertile and versatile grey cells can be attributed to me by stating, as if obvious, "It's 3.0 da. He can do anything!"

Well, one week into this insti and 3.0 have already been in love (which, I'm told, lasted for a day or two), I have stood for Bhawan-Secy (God alone knows what is happening to that) and today, I've been informed that Kondy 3.0 is the greatest Ghissu ever! God save this world. God save Kondy 3.0 (at least).

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Life, The Universe and Everything Else...

Yesternight's four hour deliberation in the presence of three highly intellectual individuals, myself included, one Jetty and an unwitting hacked haddu, I confess, has brought me another step closer to the answer to Life, the Universe and everything else. An innocuous I entered the fateful night by knocking on the door of an ostensibly harmless room where was going on, a discussion about (the renewed craze) Harry Potter. Although I'm not a great JKR fan, as I've often uttered myself, when HP3 - The Prisoner of Azkaban made its grand entry into the conversation, I was a prisoner of their (soon to be our) discussion. HP3 ranks high up there among my favourites along with the Half Blood Prince; the latter, I adore because of the wonderful depiction of my favorite character in the series and the former because of the accurate and magniloquent representation of Time - Travel and it's uses.

I recently read a status message on Facebook - "Sometimes we so wish we could go back in time and do things all over again. But the truth is harsh. We can't do it over and again. We won't." and I realized how wrongly we view things. Yesterday brought out the scientists in us and the discussion raged on, leading us from Time-Space to Quantum Reconstruction for teleportation and the practicalities of creating 'life'; the entire fiasco gravely misinterpreted by the haddu as cacophony. The theories lead us from infinite parallel time-dimensions - each time'line' comprising of the entire history and future of time within it - to parallel universe theories as depicted beautifully and confoundingly in 'The Butterfly Effect'.

All roads lead us to the contradiction of the aforementioned status. Even if we could travel through time by some 'magical' contraption, we could never change what we have already witnessed because of the basic definition of the word 'witnessed'. So, whatever has happened remains that way. If I do manage to change something, then I already have seen it in my past! In which case I probably already know, in my past, that I am going to change something. And that I who changed stuff already knew in his past... and so on and so forth. So where was the beginning of the universe? Was there ever really a t=0?? And if all these arguments are true, IS EVERYTHING WRITTEN?

P.S. The initial question was fundamental. Rudimentary.
Assuming Harry, Ron and Hermione were all present at the hospital ward at say, 7 p.m. and the two H's leave for the 'timely' adventure and go back to 5 p.m., then Harry and Hermione would have to relive the period between 5 and 7. What is Ron doing during these two hours?
At first it seems all too naïve, but soon it so excruciatingly flatters to decieve.

P.P.S. Sorry for bugging that grey with my first scientific konfession.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The Inebriated End...

My mind was spiralling away... Thoughts skidded through at breakneck pace. My life, and more importantly the past two months, flashed in monochrome. I felt like I had been hit by a Humvee or worse, a hangover which had turned uglier than usual. The things I have done and the things I should have... The colours ebbed away and I felt my life wrung out; drained of hue... Everything was turning black and white. The last stoke of green and droplet of red were moving away, just out of my reach... I forced my eyes open, conceding to the end - what had been two lovely months was just inspiring its last great gasp.

The black was replaced by a blob of brown and some pastel shades of green and yellow. A cuboidal white entered the periphery of my vision. I squeezed my eyes until they watered and resigned to my new, yet familiar, life. As I looked past the globular rubber brown, the strange smelling pastes of yellow - I saw my own face. Strange property of light - this reflection. You see yourself; yet it isn't you. I saw myself shades sadder; mournful - a face feeling relegation. Or was it true?

It was then that I realized that I had been staring at the rotis and urghh... dal on the quintessential stainless steel. I observed the vanilla melt. The reflection was actually my face. I was back here - it was no nightmare. I have oft longed to return to Roorkee but today - the great demise - wasn't one of those days. It was a day I also realized that one half of my engineering life was over and the secong innings had begun! It was the day I finally decided that it was time to witness in awe the great wonders of true - Solani.

The putrid odours soon were in the past. The bizarre nighmares were forgotten. It is a new life, yet old, and I am back... It wasn't long before I recognized my love for this insti yet again. And how lucky the insti is to have people such as us! I love this place once more. It's good to be back.

Vive L'IIT.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

A Rain, A pig and A Lot of Wet People

The ‘Retreating Monsoon’ is a phrase few people inhabiting the northern plains might come across, much less comprehend. And for a southerner from these parts, it would be nothing less than ‘bizarre’ if he encounters pellets fall earthwards during the month of July. Nevertheless, he will welcome it.

Well, this monsoon has taken up many a strange way as compared to its fathers and ancestors. Arriving earlier than usual, it gave the farmers and Met department great hope… Ever since, it has dilly-dallied causing heat waves in the northern half and supplying water to the Coromandel. It was only when the Met Dept said that there will not be rains in Delhi until the fall of June, did the rains respond a week before the ‘due date’ ergo not altering the ‘Met is always wrong’ paradigm.

Insofar as I have ascertained, employing the limited resources and zeal at my disposal, tedium sets in during the wee hours of the evening, at the demise of the afternoon hours. Hence, it was with the noble intentions of allaying boredom that I headed off for the beach at 1700 hours IST – my usual time. Many had failed to arrive that day citing various strange and untellable reasons. I was nevertheless joined by a fellow beach-faithful going by the name of Pramod (hereafter ‘P’ for ease) and another school junior.

Even as I plonked myself on the marble parapet, I stared up heavenwards carefully noting the garrison of grey vertically overhead. “Dude, it’s going to rain,” said P. The other lad seconded him.

“No man,” I reassured. “Don’t you remember tenth geography? Sea breeze, da!”

They nodded conceding to such infallible logic. The clouds would blow deep into land and leave the sands unscathed, bone-dry… I smiled to myself – the wonders of nature and their simple scientific explanations – high pressure to low pressure, presto!

Plop. One of the largest globules I have encountered in my 19 years of existence fell on my wrist. Even the soundest hypotheses have fallen and mine, apparently, didn’t even make the ‘sound’ cut. Anyway, I stood corrected as we ran for cover in a vast stretch of plain shelter-less sand. The nearby Barista had already been taken by people who had anticipated the rain, much unlike the Meteorology Dept. We ran further towards the only fathomable shelter – a food-court ‘Planet Yumm’. Alas, many others had a similar idea and the poor waiters inside were having a tough time finding standing place for themselves!

In a great stroke of luck, under the illumination of a stroke of lightning, I discovered a shed towards the rear of the building. Rushing forth, we were the first to avail sanctuary under the 4 square metres of asbestos. I recall distinctly, saying, “Hey, this looks like a cattle-shed!” Yes, soon enough people aped our feat and sought shelter under the very same 2 by 2. What was worse, they now used me as a barrier between themselves and the splashes off the tarmac! Soon enough, it did resemble a chaotic shed of livestock.

We realized the urgent need to evict the excessive population. It was perforce then, that we set our plan rolling…

For starters, I sneezed loudly enough to wake up the nearby dead at the crematorium. Then the other two were quick to turn away and hold their breath before P yelled, “ENNA DA? (What da?) Don’t sneeze! You’ve got SWINE FLU… There are people around!!”

Oh yes, it eased the crowd out a bit while others threw us dirty looks and whispered among themselves… The ones with an IQs above fifty over hundred stayed on, I guess. However, the rain had concluded its first bout and what lingered on was nothing save puddles, wet sand and the petrichor… Do I love rains or what!

Friday, 26 June 2009

A Greater Force

I had chats with my predecessor, a man who claims awesomeness, a certain ex-9.583333 as well as the Moustached Marvel regarding this. Well, I put forth my views again, this time through verse.

The woods were green, tulips red

Cobbled stones covered the way

Yellow scattered ray by ray

The silhouette stared up ahead

Half thinking, half with dread.

Since a fork lay to the fore

One path preferred, another not

How to choose, why, when, what?

Gold at the end of one, said lore

The other brought scourges, nothing more.

Start similar seeming, so diverse they close

Two doors shown, the lone man’s choice

Would he cry? Or would he rejoice?

Once a road taken; the verdict froze

No comebacks, no changing course.

The incessant probe of questions beat

Which to choose? And which to leave?

The answer was there – a wondrous weave

For dwelt he in a painting, ein lied

Being but a pawn in the artist’s feat.

An expression – vexed, on his face

This was the game the painter played

As questions drummed, his dilemma stayed

His form was white, on dark canvas base

The painter’s art – to him was maze.

He couldn’t view, of the road, its end.

Yet answers simple, were painted ‘fore him

By Pastel and Oil – rich here, thither dim

Illustrating a way to follow, to tend.

And yet silent of the trail’s end.

Little he knew that the maestro, his lord

Held his life by reins in art

In series of prints, hung little apart.

His story was written, he could but nod

He solemnly wished his tale not flawed.

But within, he discerned, he knew

Whatever road he should soon take

Whichever choice he would soon make

Had already been made as the artist drew

Leading him from painting one to two.

A future he could ne’er foresee

Was but part of a greater plan

Deeply entwined with many a man.

What was, what is and what could be

Was told by strokes; the brush’s decree.

Helpless he was as his painting hung

The next one nigh; with solutions to doubt

The next episode of his tale vividly painted out

The adjacent canvas was the ladder’s next rung

The ladder was life; his story they sung.

He took joy in a fact so mere –

That whatever be his final pick

The clock of life would continue to tick

So as to take him there from here.

Everything had been written ere.

He realized the force too great

One could nought but comply with

Nothing was difficult, life was lithe

Each sketch was Life at different date

The silhouette I and the master – Fate.