Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Oh Oh's

Every year since the inception of this blog I write a year end post about what happened in the past year and what I expect from the coming year. This year too I was about to write about one, that's when I noticed that with this year a decade would end. A decade which is being referred to as Oh Oh's ( yeah the pervert in me did laugh at that :P). Looking back the decade did change me. A lot happened in my life from the raging hormones of teens to the maturity of being an officer in a company. From the challenges of a school child to the four fun filled years of college to the discipline of a job. This decade did transform me from a boy to a man. It had dreams some of which were fulfilled and some remained to be thought about thinking what could have happened. It had me becoming a Mechanical Engineer while attending one of the finest schools in the country. It had 2 crushes and one well... It had defeat, dejection, sadness, hurt and it had glory, redemption, truimph, Joy, Happiness and victory!( more of the latter :P) SO here is a look back at what the Oh Oh's have been like for me ( It may be long, but well my blog, my life, my keyboard :P)

It started with the Y2K scare. The 3 words which had everybody thinking what would happen to all the data, will we go back to the stone age. I still remember how at the turn of the millennium I had gone with my DAD to the BANK at night to see if everything changed over perfectly. The millennium and the decade had started with a pitch dark fog in one the coldest nights I had ever seen. There was zero visibility and I do remember we were once trailing a cow for about 30 minutes thinking it was a car!

Ludhiana! Ah! that paradise. KVM the school where I learned what friendship is. The place where I started with my teenage and also with all the teenage " issues" . Made some awesome friends, had great food ( yeah If you are a foodie do go to LDH) and learnt what aristocracy actually means. The year 2000 the year of Gujarat earth quake, the year of groups with the girls with whom a year back we were having those Boy - Girl fights. It was Nice, life was good, everything was great and then one day Dad came and declared " Nimit, Pack your Bags we are moving to Bangalore ( it was called that then)!) That was the last time I felt remorse about leaving the place. After it, it became routine... move to new place, meet new people, laugh with them, work with them and then repeat the cycle.

Bangalore the year 2001, the cosmopolitan city, the city with the IT crowd. When I first reached the place, I liked it a lot. But well the honeymoon lasted for a short time. after a month I was sick of 5 PM rains, the near non existence of sun and children with tokris rather than normal tiffins. 2001 the year WTC was attacked on my parents anniversary was also the year where I learned a lot of things the hard way. How to adjust with different people, why not to lie ever, Why it is important to follow the rules. I left the city on a sour note. For the first time in my life I had doubts about myself. About what I could or could not do. The only thing which I enjoyed in Bangalore was TENNIS. Yes I am still a lousy player, but whatever little I know, I know because of those 6- 7 AM lessons.

MUMBAI - year 2002- STD 10th. People don't change schools in 10th std. I did. I came to MUMBAI, the city I had visited just once before. The city about which I had only heard or seen in pictures.The city I fell in love with. The best city in the whole wide world. Aamchi Mumbai. That year was one of the best year of my life. Met an amazing bunch of people. Who taught me how to live life. How to party, how to abuse, what to look for in girls :P, how to be loyal, how to face challenges, how to stand up to them. Those parties after every unit test, the birthday which was a surprise to me, those rugby matches... it was all fun. And then in mid January, I was diagnosed with acute form of chicken pox. A month to board exams ( yeah the over Hyped tamasha) and everybody wrote me off. The exams went well ... I was one of the toppers , but that's not what matters. What I do remember is all my friends turning on the day of farewell at my house. Getting me ready ( I had recovered but decided not to go for obvious reasons) and that one line which I would never forget " Tere Bina Party nahi hogi " . It was the year I redeemed myself from the sins of Bangalore. Today I am not even in contact with a single one of those amazing people. But guys if you ever read this - I owe you a lot!

2003- 2005 The years of JEE preperation. The most stressful years of my life. The years where I learned how manage forces, moments, vectors and emotions. The years of stupid geeky jokes. The years of Mini tests. The years of those phone calls where you used to break your head over HC verma. The years when we determined at which rate a chemical reaction would proceed over sharing a McDonald's burger. In those 2 years I learned to survive with pressure. Made some friends who I know would be there always. And then in the Mid of 2005 came the battle for which we had been preparing for 2 years. I missed JEE. Cleared every other exam which I took. and soon would be away for 4 thrilling years of my life. But one thing I still remember distinctly. The Day I took the exam for National Defence Academy. In the evening while playing squash, I twisted my foot and broke all the ligaments. I knew it then that my dream of being
Flt Lt. Nimit Mehra , the name I loved and wrote for 17 years of my life was finished. I was All India Rank 7 and it was of no use. You always don't get what you desire.

But what you do get is sometimes Great. Like the case with me. This was the time, I left home for my new home- BITS Pilani,Goa. The 4 years of my life, which changed me. The place where I learned my first lessons in management. The place where I met more diverse and interesting people than the preceding 17 years of my life. The place which added a dimension to me. In all of this the place which also made me a Mechanical Engineer. There have been so many experiences that I wont be able to justice to them all. But the debates which went till 4 in the morning, the dances of the rejected dancers club in DJ nights, the assignments which were done at the last moment, the strategies which were made before the elections, the posts which were acquired, The clubs which were opened,Waves 2007 and the most memorable of all Quark 2008, the marketing team, Feeding the Fish. There were also loses, defeats, dejections and that 1 incident on the beach which changed me forever. I made my peace with it last year but somewhere it still haunts ....... The 4 years passed quickly and soon it was 2009

2009 - The year of the worst recession to hit world. The same year we were to graduate and sit for campus placements. Those 4 months when a single interview call was a big thing in the whole Batch. When everywhere you looked helpless not knowing about the future for no fault of theirs. The semester when I started running to take care of the pressure. And then came the one moment. The one chance before I had to graduate and I made it. There were much better people than me, who probably deserved it more. Probably I was lucky, probably it was my day... but I was one of the lucky few to graduate from the institute which gave me so much with a job.

And so the innings started in Hyderabad. The place where I started my first job. The place where I knew what working in an office means. The place where I applied whatever I learned in 4 years. The place where I came to know how organizations work. how you command men, how you respect men, how you follow and execute orders and I am still learning.

The decade was great! I did change a lot, learned a lot, redeemed my self many times and tried to fight every battle which came my way having fun all along the way.

Before the decade ended I also confessed what I should have a long time ago and yes it felt nice! It felt great!

SO As the title of this blog says I did everything which I could in oh oh's - I rocked ( pun not intended)

Hope 10's turn out to be even greater and this time I do achieve all my dreams.

IF you have reached till here, Thank you! Happy New year and God Bless!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It has been an year


It has been an year since my city was raped in front of my eyes while its protectors the swiny politicians and babus kept bickering among themselves about whom to blame. It has been an year since I watched helplessly while somebody destroyed, mauled and played havoc with my childhood memories. It has been an year since we lost our bravest officers for want of better equipment.It has been an year since the media houses feeded on the grief of relatives like blood thirsty vultures waiting get their next sound bite. It has been an year since a bunch of gunmen from an alien country played the dance of death on the very streets where I had spent some of the best moments of my teenage. It has been an year since our necessity and compulsion ws termed our ' resilience' , since we were told that Mumbai will rise, since we were told about the cliched line " The spirit of Mumbai". I was afraid. I am afraid.

What has changed in the past year? The lone terrorist who was caught is still lying in the jail awaiting sentence. Our Prime Minister is having a state banquet in a foreign country. The " masterminds" of the carnage are enjoying state hospitality in the foreign country. The Jacket of one of the bravest officers is lost while his Wife cries for justice. The current police chief takes pride in telling us that his force fought with " every available weapon" and his head doesnot stoop down in telling that, that everything included a chair thrown at an AK-47 wielding terrorist. The Home minister who made the statement " Bade Bade shehron mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hai " ( such small things happen in Big cities ) is back at his position. The then chief minister who treated an attack site as family picnic is back as a cabinet minister. We have exchanged innumerable dossiers back and forth with Pakistan while no concrete action has been taken.

But apart from these a lot has changed. The lives of those 173 people who were killed that day ended forever. The thousands of lives connected to them changed forever. The rage which was there after the attack subsided. As expected Mumbai learned to mind its own business. As expected Mumbai learned to live its own life knowing very well that very few care.


It has been an year since the night I knew what it felt like to be murdered.

"Do not go gentle into that night
Rage rage against the dying light"
- Dylan Thomas


PS: I was not sure whether I should write this post or not. But well it was something I had to write. Mumbai deserved better. It still does.


image courtesy: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1024/632530852_56ffb00935.jpg

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Childrens Day!


Ok the main motivation for this post is that Sagarika Ghose replied to one of my tweets. But apart from the ego boosting reason for this post, there is a bigger issue staring at us. According to a UNICEF report 46% of the children in our country below the age of 6 months are malnourished. We aim to be a superpower, there are constant reports in the media about the rise of new India, the power of the new redefined Indian. Not debating all of it, but can we achieve total development without making sure that the benefits of the 9% GDP growth for which we are aiming percolate down to the weakest and poorest sections of our society.

We don't have any concrete form of food security in our country. The ration cards are misused, there is mass hoarding and the corruption at different levels. Rajiv Gandhi Once remarked that for every 1 rupee spent only 10 paisa reaches to the those for whom it is spent. We have schemes like Public distribution system, Mid day meals etc but they are either in name sake or if implemented they leave a lot to be desired. What lacks is the nutrition we provide to our children. The sanitation is at prehistoric levels in the interior parts of the country and the drinking water in most parts of the country is not fit for drinking.

Coming to the issue of education in our country. 71% males and 46% are literate ( there is a clear different in opportunities for different sexes, will come to it later). Even 99% literacy, once a pride of Kerela is no longer there. Our government is more interested in opening new IIT's and IIM's or increasing the quota for reserved candidates but nothing about primary education. It is even failing badly in his endeavors for higher education. We don't have adequate infrastructure or quality education in our primary schools. According to a world bank report 25% of school teachers in India skip work. Only 50% who are present actually work. Due to lack of a proper infrastructure most children don't continue their education and thus it indirectly feeds into the child labor problem.

Finally the issue about different opportunities given to the 2 sexes in our country. I am not sure what percent of the 46% of malnourished children are females but I am very sure that majority of them will be girls. Traditionally in Indian homes a girl is always told that she is equal to everybody but in face of constraints they are most of the times treated as second grade to their male counterparts. There is widespread infanticide in India. There are 93 girls for every 100 males in India. Even thought things like ultra sound are banned, dingy clinics in interior parts of the country are still conducting tests and committing these ghastly murders. In places like Punjab and Haryana there are hardly any brides for eligible bachelors. The girl child is India is less nourished, less educated and provided less opportunity than her male counterparts. Even those who make to schools of excellence have to compete in a highly male dominated chauvinistic environment. I have never said it, but I have always admired the girls in the Engineering colleges for the way they conduct themselves in such chauvinistic environments ( requires a separate post.)

So today we celebrate Childrens day. the same way we have celebrated for many years and the same way we would celebrate it for many years to come. But now is the time to move from functions and long speeches to actually take care of that child who tomorrow would be the future of this country. No child should be denied an opportunity. Who knows you might not be feeding the next Abdul Kalam, killing the next Kiran Bedi, not educating the next Indira Nooyi. As the tag line from a famous movie:

Every child is special.




Friday, November 6, 2009

Thoughts of a worked up mind

Its been been an insanely long time since I posted anything here. This post is part a guilt ridden for not writing for so long, part longing to connect back, part trying to deceive the unexplainable feeling I am having right now and part trying to escape from the daily motions of my life.

When you start with the job your world changes. Suddenly everybody is your colleague. There are no pats on the backs after some nonsense joke ( there are no nonsense jokes). There are no loose talks, no late night chats, no sitting around the mess table not caring about the time and putting all your energies trying to pull the leg of one poor soul. There is no Dc and definitely no main chat. There are no the days when you ask a person waking up and moving towards the bathroom " kitno dino se nahaya nahi " ( How many days has it been since you last had a bath!). There is no thinking about bunking a boring lecture. There is no planning about those last days of the month when suddenly cash seems to dry up. No infinite loans to give and no people to pester about treats.

These days life moves like a flash. Working like a robot from 5 in the morning to 12 in the night. Everything has a schedule and you stick to it. You think before you speak evaluating the possible outcome of the words that leave your mouth and how they might be perceived. You try to please your bosses and not feel awkward when a man thrice your age calls you sahab. You complete the assignments given to you in time. Try to remain busy. You wake up and look prim and proper before proceeding for office. You eat your meals thinking and discussing how a particular force or moment might apply to the member you are designing ( To be fair the lunches are still fun with those 15 minutes afterward where everybody sits and discusses his/ her "job experience" ) You suddenly have so much money that you don't know what to do with it, suddenly that constrained account with debts to paid and 200 rupees accounts to be settled look good.

Yesterday while Sachin ( God) was scripting another masterpiece in what would turn out to be a match of so near yet so far, I was in the common room. It felt like to be back some 6 months back. The shouts, the jeers, the adrenaline , the euphoria at every six and the collective sigh at every wicket .... It felt nice. I felt like 2005A4360G back in BH4 cheering at the top of my voice. Instead I was now a different number, at a different place and at a different designation.

I probably have never worked so hard in my life ever. I probably have never felt so contend in my life. I probably have never run faster or lifted more weights, I probably have never been in better shape. I probably have never read so much in my life. Probably for the first time I have felt what it is like to have a goal and try to achieve it. What it is like to make a comeback.

I miss the things which I have written above, but I would trade them any day for what I am feeling now.




ps: I will make that comeback goddammit.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Diwali


There is kheer on the table and chocolates around me. The moonless night is bright with more lights than you can imagine. There is mom's home cooked food and there are treats in the Marriott. There are drives to marine drive and there is my cozy bed. I am home, I am in Mumbai. My favorite city in the whole world. It feels good to be back. It feels great to be home. It feels awesome to wake up at 11 in the morning without having the tension of rushing to office. But what feels the greatest of all is to be back amongst the family.
So there are friends whom you havent seen in months to come and visit you, there are more sweets than you can imagine to eat, there are kids downstairs bursting crackers, there are people in traditional attire and there I am smiling - Its Diwali!!!

Happy Diwali to All! May this Diwali fill your lives with Lights and may you have a fruitful and prosperous year ahead!!!






Thursday, October 15, 2009

The change

So here am I at Hyderabad airport. My flight is after 3 hours. I don't know what made me come to the airport so early. But well the airport is awesome.
This is the first time I am flying after I started spending my " khoon pasine ki kamiye" . It feels nice. A lot has changed in the past 2 months and well a lot is the same.

Things which have changed:
1. I am now officially referred to as Oil Rigs technology Engineer. ( Yeah sounds awesome doesn't it?)
2. For starters I have started earning.
3. Getting up at the 5 in the morning so that you can swipe inside the plant at 6:45.
4. People refer to me as Sir. ( The first time that happened I actually looked around me and then realized the girl was referring to me. It is embarrassing!!! all I could do to make up was give a smile)
5. Started drinking Tea ( hate it but it is the only beverage available here.)
6. Started reading about what I should have read in last 4 years. ( yeah I have read about more technical stuff than I had ever imagined.Itna college mein pada hota to aaj kahin aur hota)
7. I party every saturday night ( and by that i don't mean our "parties" in anathashram ( Goa people would understand.) They are proper parties thanks to chillu, Mia, prasun, deepak and (saurabh)^2)
8. I have my own fridge \m/.
9. For the first time I am living totally independently with no restriction whatsoever ( no 11:30 rule, no relatives to answer to :P)
10. I wear a grey coloured company dress.
11. I wear a helmet and like ( actually love) going to the shop floor and well see the things in action.

Things which have not changed
So well there are a lots of things which have not changed in past 2 months.
1. My mom still thinks I am incapable of doing absolutely anything. ( yes she asks me every time whether I had my food or well how do I wash the clothes or ......)
2. Dad still gets me chocolates whenever he comes visiting ( and yeah I still love choclates :P)
3. My fridge as always ( here always refers to home ) will always be full of - Ice cream, chocolates, pepsi and orange juice :P. ( i actually finished a 500 ml carton of baskin robins strwberry before coming here so that it shouldn't go waste :P)
4. I still take time to get used to having so many girls around me. Seriously for first few minutes at the airport my head was just moving in all directions thinking so many girls at one place ( BITS then job ......its like progressive drying up of my prospect of finding a girl.... BHAGWAN MERI KYUN MAAR RAHE HO !!!)
5. I still go to sleep in a mess and then get up at 2 am feeling guilty and then go about cleaning the room before i go back to sleep again.
6. I still end up getting atrocious haricuts.
7. I still have my wierd sleeping patterns.
8. I still end up using Dad'd credit card whenever I find myself having to pay a bill and suddenly short of cash.
9. I still put chocolate sauce in my cereal otherwise I don't like it.
10. 75% of my luggage still consists of dirty laundry.

So thats it. There are a lot more points but the battery is low. And well the airport + people here are awesome. Let me give my eyes some exercise.

Till Then
Adios!



Sunday, September 6, 2009

History


What happens to a society when it starts imagining its history? What happens to a civilization when it has a blatant disregard for horrors perpetrated by it in the past? What happens when we prop up villians and imagine card board heroes? How long can we live in this decadent state where we blatantly refuse to come to terms with what actually happened in the past?

I am referring to the recent controversy about the biography of a leader of freedom struggle ( yes I would refer to him as that in spite of everything, he played an important part in the freedom struggle.) by a eminent politician of a right wing party in India. The uproar was expected. Even a bit of controversy. But what I didnot expect was the jingoism and the insolent disregard shown to the man who served his party for 30 years.

Personally I feel history is victor's story. No king was as benevolent and as peace loving as shown by history and no villain was pure evil. It was just how one side perceived the other and finally the story was narrated by those who survived. Over a period of time rumors become legends and legends become truths. Coming to the topic at hand. I refuse to believe that the person whose biography was written was a pure evil. Neither do I believe that the leaders on this part of the border did not commit any mistakes or were always on the right side of their conscious.

We have this habit of forgetting about all the mistakes a person committed after his death or well in this case all the supposidely right steps he took. But it has been 60 years. Not going into eulogizing the person I want to know what really happened. My family has been a victim of partition. One fine day because of power struggle of a few individuals my forefathers were left penniless sent to an alien land, made refugees in their own country. My grand parents perhaps would never forgive the man. They may also never even agree to hear anything less than pure evil about him. But I do not carry the baggage of history with me. Perhaps I do not understand the pain they went through. Probably never will.

But I think all that is good in some way. I want to know what circumstances led to the fateful event. I want to know who all were responsible. An account stripped of any eulogizing, any jingoism, any reverence to anybody of any kind. I want bare facts. I want to know the real history. Not Somebody's story.

Perhaps If someday we have that account, which I believe the passage of time would give us, if we are mature enough not to get caught in petty politics. One day both our countries may stop baying for each others blood and may finally realize the dream of peaceful coexistence.

Picture courtesy: http://blog.taragana.com/n/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/india-pak-flaggif.jpeg

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Things People DO!

Well long time since I posted anything here. I have signed a document in my company which bars me from writing anything about it, about the country, about my opinion on certian issues ( this one is still not clear ) so well pretty much about everything. So while I was thinking what to write ( you see I love my blog and also tormenting you with all the blabber ), I saw at the vast expanse of people around me ( We have the second largest population in the world, the one thing we are not short of is well men ( and women ... Damn you feminists ) ).

Have you ever noticed, wherever you are you can always categories people on the nature of their behavior. There are well the perfectionists, the confused souls, the " cool dudes ", the losers, The not so sure class and well the list is unending.

So it got me thinking people in a particular category always display same kind of behavior like in a class:

The front Benchers: The no nonsense group. Normally the shirt tucked in kind. Who try to imbibe each and every of the teacher's words. Look upto him as if the next moment he is going to give them the formula of becoming a " chick magnet". To the people on the later benches, the " cool dudes" these are the "losers" but well after the class graduates the equation changes rapidly and the tables turn. Anyhow these people are teachers pets and well 70% of the time teacher only teaches them.

The apparent front Benchers: This group normally consists of individuals who want to study but also have a life!. They normally use the front benchers as cover for hiding their marvel comics, mobile phones, Novels and well anything and everything. Sometimes when they are bored just for kicks they also ask a question to waste time. Most of the time of this group is spent by either pulling someone's leg from their own group or dividing their attention between the procrastination device, the teacher and looking at the people from other sex.

The middle Benches: The people are the most confused of the lot. They don't really know whether they want to study or just procrastinate. In this confusion most of the time is spent making weird theories. Giving stupid ratings to anything and everything under the sun. Doodling on the desk, playing games like book cricket. The the activity mostly pursued by them is well - sleep. Most of the time they would be found in the dreamland conquering new kingdoms and exploring new vistas. The are never in teachers line of sight. Not too front so that teacher teaches them, neither too back so that teacher keeps a cautious eye on them. They are sometimes the unsuspecting target of an enthusiastic teacher who asks them a question. The answer to which is delight to the whole class.

The apparent back benchers: These are the " cool dudes" of the class ( mark the euphemism in the tone ). They would try to act differently. Look at others with condensation especially the front benchers. Passing snide comments is their birth right. They are keen on making plans to get to know that new girl in the class. During school this place was the abode of the bullies- the same one's who stole your lunch boxes and deflated your cycle tires. Their desks have some of the best comments which you can imagine. Some so naughty that they may make you go red. The teacher is always - Budha, sadoo, ganja, khadoos to them and their notebooks would have more games played than the formula's taught.

The Back Benchers : These poor souls are at the back because most of the time they are late to the class ( nearly always) for no fault of their own ( again nearly always). The most common thing about this group is their dress. Sometime they would have two different coloured socks, the shirt being out,a sandwitch which is still being muched in their mouth, the bag half open threatening to spill its contents. They would be scavenging for that one extra pen or a spare sheet of paper. The moment they enter the class they would give the teacher the look of a deer caught in front of headlights. These people at first really do try to come early but well the alarm, the cycle, that person who occupies the bathroom for 1 hour before them always betrays them. At first they feel bad about coming late. Later it becomes a ritual.


So well apart from class. There is another area where you can easily categorize people. That one place the Men's washroom ( No No not that, stop your thoughts you perverts). As opposed to women, talking in men's washroom is an absolute taboo. And so well you don't even acknowledge the person standing next to you. Well every person has a different way of handling his own pee schedule. Here are some instances:
The Racers , people in fast life, people who have to meet the deadline : For them everything is an F1 race. They barge in, go the nearest cubicle, have a race against time to empty their load as fast as they can. Go to the basin wash their hands and then check the time. For them pee break is nothing but a pit stop. The come in have their stratergy decided and leave as soon as they came.

The confused souls: These are the people who don't really know how and why they ended in the washroom. They are baffled when they enter, look around and then go to the basin still not sure why they are here. Look at themselves in the mirror. Then remember why they are here and finally do the job and well go out the same way -> basin -> mirror -> looking around. They even conduct their job in a confused way.

The perfectionists : These are the category of people who have to have perfection at everything they do. Aiming at the correct spot. Aiming and striving to hit the target. Even at the basin their activities are coordinated as if guided by an algorithm. Going to basin opening the tap to have just the correct pressure ... taking right amount of soap and closing the tap well in tap to conserve resources.

The Benched crowd : These are the people who have time on their side. Washroom is like the second home to them. Every time you go, you would see them. They do everything leisurely - From start to the end.

The Why me crowd: This is a set of people who always have something going wrong their lives. When they enter their face is an object of pity. They look around desperately for a place to relieve themselves. Walking awkwardly as if everything that can go wrong is about to go wrong. These people can be a subject of case study for people studying what happens to people when they achieve something they desire. The change in reaction of their face pre and post job has marked difference. What was an object of pity a few moments back keeps giving to the contagious smile of a winner saying - " yes I have done it "

Well there are many more categories of people but these are the most common. There are also many more places where people show their inner characteristics. But this post has gone too long. So I won't torment you any further. Till then let me find more topics I can blog about and well observe more behaviors :P.

image coutesy:
1. http://images.inmagine.com/img/imagezoo/iz130/iz130003.jpg
2. Calvin and Hobbes.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nimit Hyderabadi!



God has always wanted me to move, explore the world, conquer new civilizations, meet new people, learn a new language and of course for a foodie like me eat great food. So well after seeing Bhavnagar, Delhi, Ludhiana, Bangalore, Mumbai and Goa, the next stop in this journey is Hyderabad.

Well the ancient city of the Nizams, famous for its biryani, pearls, Golconda fort and in BITS well for not so illustrious reasons :P. Now before you start yawning and think I would be just copy pasting from wikipedia from rest of my post, let me tell you I would not ( though that thought did cross my mind for reviving my blog.) I would try to write about my experiences in the city.

So well roughly 3 weeks here. Have eaten Biryani's, bumped into bitsians while crossing roads, have had awesome chicken and homemade food made by a close friend, been to Hussain sagar lake, have caught the last train back to BHEL, been swindled by an autovalla, have had a sleep over at friends place, eaten so much at a buffet that didnot talk for the next 2 hours for the fear that I might puke, found the Bitsian presumption of hyderabadi "assets" totally wrong, became a "Sarkari Naukar", have had numerous orientation sessions, have watched 2 movies since coming here and the list continues.

Each of these experiences requires a separate blog post and it would be unfair to them to put all of them in one. So well in the coming days, would write about one incident at a time. Till then a lot has changed. A new chapter and new beginning in life in a new city. The city of the Nizam's ..... I think I will like it :P

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mera Bharat Baiman


The most melancholy thing about human nature, is,
that a man may guide others into the path of salvation,
without walking in it himself;
that he may be a pilot, and yet a castaway.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

What is it about us that makes us always seem so morally right? It seems as if this ubiquitous feeling of self righteousness is ingrained in the the DNA of every Indian. We always want to show the world the ideal way. Thinking of ourselves as the most pious saints preaching the ideals of integrity, faith and democracy to the world. But in reality do we really believe in all these judgments?

Most of the time we come across as self righteous bigots who only want to speak without actually following what we are saying. Take the case of democracy. We call our self the biggest democracy in the world. But traditionally we have always been close the autocratic regimes. The Communist Russia and the socialist block till the 80's to name a few. We have traditionally always preferred military dictator in Pakistan than a democratic government ( here I do agree this is a plain generalization with many reasons for this feeling of mistrust). Or not supporting the struggle for democracy in Burma. We have always been mum and in a lot of way encouraged the Junta government there instead of supporting Aung San Suu Kyi ( An activist who incidentally studied in our very own Lady Shri Ram College ) . We have apparently never made any noises about the dictators in Africa or the recent political unrest in Iran.

Moving away from democracy, there is finally an issue which has united the fore bearers of our culture finally. The infamous section 377 of the IPC. To me personally whatever a person does in the confines of his or her own bedroom is his/her own prerogative until and unless he/she forces somebody against their will. But not so with the octogenarians guarding the "piousness and the purity" of the Indian culture. Never before can I remember this sought of consensus being their in the powerful elite of the country. While prevention of crime against women and children,subjugation of women to the point where are no more than articles in the house by the misinterpretation of their religion does not illicit any reaction from them, this does. They claim it would corrupt the society and spread HIV like an endemic , I fail to understand how?Everyday there is a story of rape, dowry death and polygamy. Incidentally everybody seems mum on it. Somehow letting the perpetrators of these crimes go scott free does not corrupt the society.

We have had terrorist attacks which have killed hundreds. Shattered the belief in our secutiry setup and ruling elite. Yet till now not a single person has ever been convicted of his crimes. There are people who have been given death sentence by the highest court in the country and no step has been taken. Yet recently the government indeed took a step regarding national security of the country. It banned the erotic voyuer site Savita Bhabi. The sites moral issues aside. I fail to understand how it affected the national security of the country. Even considering for the sake of argument it does? Why was it the only one such site of its kind banned. Is it not like the dictatorships in banana republics which impose their own ideology on people?


It is indeed sad that the so called upholders of moral principles are at times ( as we have seen from the innumerable sting operations ) the worse offenders of their own code. This self righteousness kept us alienated from the world of most part of our free existence. If we don't take steps to accept the follies now..... It make go on for an equally long time.



PS: Having written so much negative about us on top, I have to add that this is one of the few countries in the world which allows this sort of criticism and still gives me full rights. And this is the reason why I love this country.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Paths of Glory


I just finished reading Paths of Glory by Lord Jeffery Archer.Nice book. But, this post is not a review of the book. It about the dreams which many of us have had and which probably have been lost in the sands of time. The book's main punch line is:

" Some people have dreams that are so outrageous that if they were to achieve them, their place in the history would be guaranteed. Francis Drake, Robert Scott, Percy Fawcett, Charles Lindbergh, Amy Johnson, Endmund Hillary and Neil Armstrong are among such individuals. "


After reading the book I thought about the "outrageous dreams" which I had. Since nursery I wanted to be everything -fighter pilot, astronaut, F1 driver, mountaineer, cricketer even for a brief period of time flirted with a idea of being a Cow boy!. Later once even Hugh Hefner's vocation did interest me a lot. But somehow somewhere those dreams started appearing distant, dreams which one sees in his sleep. And then while I was busy minding my equations of motion and balancing two sides of a chemical reaction, they faded in the oblivion.

Sometime last semester I was having a chat with Bala and he said " Do you realise, there are things out there that we can never do now?" I mean thinking about it, I and most of the people reading this blog would never ever perhaps go on the moon, break the sound barier, fly a supersonic aircraft or even ride in the Wild West ( hail hollywood!).

Think about it 10 years ago if somebody asked us a question " What do you want to do in life?", the answer would have been a proper proffession and mostly something like : Scientist , Miss India , Pilot..... . Ask somebody around you that question now and mostly you will hear something like: " I want to the research analyst in the commodities department analysing Crude ". I mean at 10 years how many of us thought that the greatest point in a day in our professional life would be to accurately find when a steel boiler would fail.

Have we forgotten what it was to dream? Or have we made peace the mediocrity? Perhaps we have taken the easy secure way out.Perhaps .......

So there might be dreams which may have remained unfulfilled, there might be vocations which we can never do now. But today before going to sleep think about those dreams, which as a child you once carried in those twinkling eyes. Perhaps you may relive the adrenaline rush you once had just thinking about them.


PS: As for me Hugh Hefner is still out there :P

picture courtesy: http://g.astrology.com/course/dreams/dreams_default.jpg

Thursday, April 30, 2009

When Lite was taken

Well recently the "phrase" in the college is " Lite can be taken". Which is mostly used by 10 pointers to act cool and say " I don't study" ahh " Lite macha " ( I know after reading the above lines how many of you want to beat me up). But well this post is not a 10 pointer bashing post. This post is a story. Its a story of a team , of a group which took lite. A story which spans 3 years and has a confused soul, a desperate entity and yours truly.

Year 2007, Semester 4, Measurement techniques II
So, for the first time Mechanical Engineering came together as a group. The lab was called MTII and I was assigned confused soul (prasun) as my lab partner. The moment I saw him, I thought .... chalo acha hai, sincere boy, will do all the work. Here let me elaborate, when we started we were very sincere. So sincere that the first experiment which was the meaurement of current through a resistor was finished in 2.5 hours. The rest of the groups finished it in 30 minutes. That's when we decided work smart, not hard.

Well I always had an inherent fear of heavy electrical machinery and confused soul with all his topsy turvy funda always used to create fireworks in the lab. One the teacher himself got startled.Soon however that was finished and we moved the electronics lab. Nothing much here except the desperate entity (adi) was more interested in getting help from lab assistant ( so much so that he used to tamper with cro) than doing the experiment.

Then came the most important lab- Civil. Here the funda of reports started. It so used to happen that we somehow invariably always used to get values wrong. So once me and confused soul made a report taking values from some other group. The desperate entity made report from correct values. When the final check was being conducted the teacher himself was confused ( yoyo prasun) how can same group have 2 different values? Will never forget the expression on his face and then on prasun's face.

Year 2008,semester 5 Transport Phenomena II

So somehow we scraped through MT II. Then came TPII. The normal scene in the lab in TPII. Confused soul, standing with the manual looking dumbfounded, staring at the machine on which we have to perform the experiment. Adi chatting away to glory with other groups telling about his MR. Zephyr feats ( well mostly other groups pulling his leg). And me trying to change some knobs hoping that the machine performs the experiment itself. Obviously the values always used to be wrong( Once we had the efficiency of the machine greater than 1). So me and Adi got proefficient at a new art - Random number generation. We used to generate numbers such as 38.62, 54.98, 23.76 and carry out calculation. The graphs were another matter though. Were taken care of by some other values ( galat values pe sahi graph kaise aayega!).

Ohh btw all through this exercise the confused soul would be " Abe phirse experiment karte hain", " Humari phad dega", " Itni efficiency kabhi dekhi hai ", " Yeh graph kaise aa gaya" , " I am confused , samjha mujhe ".

Year 2008, Semester 5, Production Techniques

Well this was mostly an uneventful lab as most of the times we were to not touch the machines. However some incidents did take place.
Once we had to create the mould for casting. For doing this most of the groups normally, sit in 30 degree + heat next to a furnance, dig a lot of mud, then patiently squat and crush it to fine pieces keeping in mind that proper amount of moisture is in the mud and then patiently make the mould. NOT US.

We waited till proefficient people ( have to mention KAKA here) crush their mud into fine pieces. Then we sent the desperate soul to one member of the group. While he would engage the person in his desperate talk about career. Me and confused soul would go and replace the fine mud with ..... well whatever we had. No matter our mould was made first \m/.

Year 2008, Semester 6, Prime movers and fluid Mechanics

This was another time we all were stuck together. Trouble finds trouble, we all had the knack of finding ourselves. So here we were. The expression were the same here, me fiddling with the machine, confused soul looking at the machines as if Angelina jolie lying in all her glory and desperate soul chatting about .... well angelina jolie with everybody else.

The Viva's were memorable though. The first question used to poised to confused soul. I state this and I mean it, I always, I mean always knew the answer to that question. But poor me or well poor prasun, he always got confused, got the teacher confused and well me confused with his answer. So much so that the follow up question asked to me was never really understood by anybody else. By that time, when even I couldnot answer the question, the teacher used to think..... "Poor Dumb Kids" and the next question to Adi always used to be easy. Though I may add there were times when his answers were the most innovative.

Ohh yeah once Adi got so agitated at a proff that he walked out of the lab shouting( yes you read me correctly) " I don't care I am not given marks in one subject. It won't affect my grade." Me and Prasun just stood there watching him trying to cover our asses.

Year 2009,Semester 8, Production planning and Control

Well so the desperate entity left us for ever ( Mara nahi yaar, PS gaya). This time I was the only one stuck with the confused soul. So the classes end and we had to submit a case study.

24 hours before the case:
Me telling everybody else in the group " Yaar kal case karna hai "
Everybody : Lite

18 hours before the case :
BITSAA Farewell, The group is having a pic which would be titled : PPC case study group
Mind you till this time none of us know what the case is, but pic lena to banta hai after all.

16 hours before the case:
We settle in shivam's room to discuss the case. He leaves saying " thoda lite hoke aata hu". When he comes back he is tight. We have read the case and decide " Yaar iske liye to chapter padna padega, lets meet after 2 hours."

The meeting never took place. That day Yusuf pathan hit sixes in super over to make Rajasthan Royals win the match. While that was going on Confused soul was in his room editing and sharing farewell pics, I was having my beauty sleep, shivam and Akshay were taking lite.

2 hours before the case:
Me, shivam and confused soul in the library cracking our brains over what to do? So we divided the case into 5 segments with prasun opening me continuing, Akshay from me and finally shivram and shivam answering the asked questions. We tried to prepare our parts and hope we are saved. For once even prasun wasn't saying " Humari phat jayegi " ( I think he had made peace with that fact.

1 hour before the case:
We are still discussing how to answer the questions, there were 3 options and in last 15 minutes we had actually said this one is the best option about all 3. Till this time 2 members of our group have not come.

45 minutes before the presentation:

Shivram comes, looks at the case, goes out without saying anything.

20 minutes before the case:
He comes back declaring " Ok what do I have to do "

15 minutes before the case:

Akshay comes in " Mujhe kya karna hai".

Somehow we drudge towards the classroom.
and here is the scene. Another group has come with OHP slides prepared.

So the other group finished. They couldnot handle the questions well but an impressive presentation.

Our turn:
Prasun starts goes on for 10 minutes so much so that teacher says " I feel you have explained the case thoroughly, can we have the next person."
My turn:
I come in explain the problems fully and am back at my seat. The people around me ask " Ho gaya"
Akshay:
Does something comes back

Now when Shivram is finishing he is posed with a question. Before even he can answer ( which we knew wouldnt have been possible). Akshay stands up saying.... let me take it. I felt " Ho gaya ab" He says something. Then I come in I blabber for 10 minutes. Then best of all confused soul starts. So much so that the whole class is confused that they cannot remember what the question was.

Shivam finishes and the questions start again. This time we come as a group. Me blabbering for 10 minutes. Akshay adding his own fundas. Shivram giving benevolent smile , Prasun coming towards the end to confuse the questioner and making him forget the question and finally shivam ending every answer with. The book quotes "......", "this is what the book writes."

We finish, happy that we saved the fort.

Yesterday the marks came up and guess what - Our group scored the highest \m/.

And so ended the lite regime. We didnot know what the case was till 2hours before the case. Didnot have ohp slides. 2 group members didnot know what to say and we blabbered, confused and scared everybody to get the max \m/.

This is how we ended the Lite regime.

PS: The post still requires many other instances. Will be added later when others remember.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Das Ende



So here we are, at the end. The last few days of my Bitsian life. There are farewells all around. You name an organisation and there is a farewell for them. Hell yesterday even the dota players in the campus had something.

I had always envisioned myself that I would be senti, would feel sad and leave this place with a heavy heart. But frankly speaking I am not feeling anything. Absolutely Zilch. Its all like a big blur to me. Going to the farewells mechanically, putting on fake smiles, hooting at the graduation speeches and clicking lots of pictures. Frankly speaking the only remaining motivation for going to the farewells is the food ( The ice cream with hershey's choclate sauce was amazing , thank you BITSAA) and clicking pictures to upload them on various places on the net.

I guess this sem was never the same. Unlike all the other semesters I had in BITS. Nearly half of the people I knew were not on campus. With so less courses, there was hardly the element of pressure ( even when it was there previously I hardly took it :D). Even the euphoria of reuniting with DC died down after a month I suppose ( though I am sure it would be the thing I would miss the most after graduating). There were no activities to keep me busy. What was there were the awesome trips which I took. But that too finished about a month ago. I guess I had, had my farewell already. This was just another reunion for me.

So right now, sitting at the crossroads, hedging my bets.
Eating farewell dinners and writing crap on the net.
Clicking Pictures and saying goodbyes, till BITS lets.!

So before I am elligible for this:

Let me :

PS: I know the poem was bad, but what the hell, my blog my poem.

Image courtesy:1. http://www.bristolsca.org.uk
2. http://www.theonion.com
3.http://www.theauthenticperishers.co.uk

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Redemption

All of us have fears we are afraid to face. The ghosts in the closet about whom you don't want to talk, don't want anybody to know. You try to hide from it, run away from it.... but it haunts you. Like a shadow follows you everywhere, your worst nightmare. You can't do anything, either you run away from it for ever or face it.

Today I visited Agonda beach. For two years the events of October 2, 2006 haunted me. I lost 3 people I knew in front of my eyes and could do nothing about it.I would never forgive myself for that ever in my life. I still remember my last meetings with the 3 of them. The sight of Punit waving his arms. The confusion that ensued, the frantic attempts, the helplessness and finally the decision to return.A part of me died that day , another part was born. The days that followed were probably the worst I had been through in life. One had to appear strong, keep people who were there with you strong, give them a shoulder, not let the people around you feel too broken but inside it was 100 degrees. The feeling that you didnot do anything. The helplessness, the guilt and the nightmares.

Today on the way I got flashes of that day. A part of me wanted to go back while another part of me wanted to face it. I tried to make small talk with my friends but it did not help. As the place got closer the day kept on becoming more clear. And then we arrived there. While walking towards the beach a kind of reel was playing in front of my eyes of that day. Then I saw the beach. Today it was calm, the sun was setting, children were playing on its sand. I looked around and it had changed, there were shacks around enough people around. I sat down and just looked at the setting sun, thinking about everything. Looking around I could still visualise that day but somehow being there was different. I don't know how but it was different. And finally I did something which I never thought I would do. I stood up, took of my sandals and walked towards the sea and let my feet get wet in it.

While leaving I looked back once again. The sun was setting, the day was ending and I thought the nightmares may continue, the guilt may remain always but today I have faced the one of the biggest fears of my life and probably with that setting sun much more may have ended than the day. I thought I had redeemed myself.

Before I end this deeply emotional posts of mine I think some thankyou's should be in order. I would always be indebted to Vishrut, angad, vishal,boxer, Mohammed,Puneet and Purnoor for being with me throughout the next 3 days. To Rao for talking to me and keeping me together as soon as a got back. To Gurveen for making me talk about the incident. To Sethi, Gaurav, Abhinav and Rajat for driving me there today. And finally to the people who were with me on the fateful day for keeping each other strong.

And finally to Punit, Praveen and Hari  ..... I am sorry.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Womens Day

Yesterday was Women's Day. Every Lady in my building went out for an "Women's outing". while watching Tv and various campaigns promoting Women on it, I saw my domestic help and I wondered what does this day mean to her. It is same as any other day for her. Come early, do the domestic work for various houses she takes care of, go home, tend to her wifely and motherly duties and repeat the process again each and every day.

And then it struck me. What is to this day other than a big corporate gimmick to make you shell out more money? Think about our neighbouring country Pakistan. Half of it under the fundamentalists who have bombed more than 100 girls schools. Restricted their movement, imposed sharia law which demeans them to the status worse than that of animals

Or think about the case of hundreds of women in Africa suffering from Aids. Living with no medicine, no way of tending to their kids or saving them from the gruesome disease. Hundreds of women in Darfur have become victims of the raging civil war. Rape a weapon being used constantly in the civil war to humiliate the enemy.

Closer home pick up today's newspaper and you will read the story of two dalit women hacked to death for marrying in the upper cast. Everyday hundreds of women are subjected to domestic violence. Our cities are one of the most unsafe in the world for women. The Lonely Planet guide on India itself asks foreign women not to heed to Indian men or wear "revealing" clothes for they may get into trouble. thousands of women in our country don't have a voice to raise their concerns. No adequate health care, education, violence in every sphere of life. Does this day mean anything to them?

I think Not. But what the hell to all women reading this post ... HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Decisions


Well Waves started yesterday. 4th and the last waves of my Bitsian life. I don't know whether its seeing the same thing again and again or something else but his time I didnot have any feelings for it. So today I am back home. Anyways yesterday night while sitting in the lawn during the sea rock performance I started thinking about my life and decisions. Well it becomes easier to be philosophical when you are alone, good music is being played at ultra high speakers, you sitting in a lawn which for once is not stinking and the moon is looking beautiful.
There are times in everybody'sife when one hs to make decision. As Kerry Russel Famously put it
"Sometimes it is the smallest decisions that can change your life forever "

Sitting there in the lawn I thought about :

1. Whether leaving NIT and coming to BITS was the right decision?
2. Whether leaving ECE was such a good choice?
3. Was not taking Stephens good choice?
4. Would I have been good at arts ?
5. Should I have gone for NDA?
6. Was putting so much energy into Quark even worth it?
7. Was taking PS in sem 1 a decent choice?
8. Why did i extend going home by 2 days?
9. Why do I decide against letting people get closer?
11. Why am I eating center fresh after dairy milk ? ( Common it is a decision)
12. Why am I sitting here?

Well I don't know the answers to the above questions? The only thing I know that I made my own decisions and therefore am still in control of my life. Depending on how things turn out will answer my questions. Till then I would take refuge in the words of Thorton Wilder

" The more decisions you are forced to make alone, the more are you aware of your freedom to choose "


PS: For those of you who are wondering where the memoirs posts went, I shifted them to my wordpress blog.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Pinkness of it all!

Pink! That's the colour colour everyone is embracing these days. You can see everyone talking about it from the out of work investment banker at Nariman point to hello ji blonde in sector 17 Chandigargh to Dud from Cannaught place Delhi to the techie from Brigade Road Bangalore. It is cool to take off a pink colour underwear and post it to the oppressor of the free world, the progressive thinking and forward thinking, pub going loose women ( the last one is a facebook group, i kinda like the name ( now my chances look nice !) ). Mr. Muthalik and his goons of Sri Ram Sena ( Heck why do the goons always try to malign the name of God) would probably not need to buy an underwear for next 3-4 generations. I mean thinking about it they will have use and throw underwear, no need to wash ( some of my neighbour's ultimate fantasy).

But on a serious note what has this sending of chaddi's achieved? It is gandhigiri at its best, but I do have my doubts about gandhi ji approving sending of videshi jockeys and victoria secrets ..... swadeshi langots would have a better option.But apart from giving underwear and lingerie manufacturers unusual profits in recession and Mr. Muthalik unlimited supply of chaddi's what has it done? Well for one  it has made Mr. Muthalik a person who till yesterday was able get only 4 journalists ( most of them out of work ) to his press conference is now giving speeches on prime time national television. It has worked the same way as he wanted it to work.  Beat up  upper middle class women while they are at the pub. The elite sensationalising Indian media would pick up the story ( well they dont care about torture and exploitation of hundred's of downtrodden women .... they just don't make good stories). Instead of focusing on the issue at hand and damning the accused to the police, they would run SMS campaign's titled " Kya humari Sanskriti ko valentine's Day Banana shobha deta hai ? haan ke liye 1 na ke liye 2 ". They would get the villain to give his inflamatory speeches and make a celebrity out of him. A few well meaning individuals would try to go against his tyrannical acts and start some sort of a movement. The youth will catch on and in a few days time it would become cool thing to do same way as probably a decade back celebrating valentine's day did.

I am not against the movement, but frankly speaking I don't see the point in it. The next I see is Mr. Muthalik and his Ram Sena using the Hindu sanskriti concept and winning seats in elections ( remember they are in Karnatka and playing the Hindu card would buy them votes...... Communal violence anyone?). He would go on national television and claim that the wayward youth of today have no morals  and are taking off their underwear and sending them to an unknown individual.  The still conservative Indian masses would listen to him and voila! he has a vote bank. In a few years he would realise the next big step is youth. This time he would forget his grudges against the pubs or drinks or partying or valentines day. The target would be somebody else. MNS did the same. Two years before their formation they tore up archies gallery on V day and now they say V day is a youth festival.

On top of it how does sending an underwear signify anything to do with V day ( not that silly V day children's joke again. ) These goons or political entrepreneurs trying to create their vote Banks should be handed over to police, not made celebrities of and certainly not being sent underwear's ( which last long long really long) For now i see Muthalik as have taken full advantage of his moment, The pink chaddi guys going back to their lives.... you reading this mundane blog and me giving my point of view after 3 months. the only person who benifitted from this is Mr. Muthalik think about it national television, a new political party, a ready vote bank and unlimited supply of underwear ( even if his party doesnot perform his lingerie shop definitely would from left over chaddi's) and to me the pink chaddi campaign is :
picture coutesy : photobucket.com