Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A compelling novel

In this story running through three generations, covered beautifully in a 692 page work, one keeps on hopping from one facet of human relationship to other; each one so intricate and yet so minutely dealt with, that it keeps you stuck without even a slightest hint of boredom. An impressive novel encompassing everything called 'life'.

A few excerpts :

"Habit and awe are harder to overcome than people realize until they actually try to circumvent the conduct of years."

"And gradually his memory slipped a little, as memories do, even those with so much love attached to them; as if there is an unconscious healing process within the mind which mends up in spite of our desperate determination never to forget."

"And ignorance breeds ignorance; an unawakened body and mind sleep through events which awareness catalogues automatically."

"The land was so beautiful, so pure, so indifferent to the fates of the creatures who presumed to rule it. They might put their hands to it, but in the long run it ruled them. Until they could direct the weather and summon up the rain, it had the upper hand."

"Perhaps no human being is equipped to judge which is worse: inchoate longing with its attendant restlessness and irritability, or specific desire with its willful drive to achieve the desire."

"Every man has sadness in him, and it is no sin to remember a grief."

"We all have contempt for whatever there's too many of. Out here it's sheep, but in the city it's people."

"Love! What's love? Nothing but figment of women's imagination, thaf's all."

"For only those who have slipped and fallen know the vicissitudes of the way."

"Each of us has something within us which won't be denied, even if it makes us scream aloud to die. We are what we are, that's all. Like the old Celtic legend of the bird with the thorn in its breast, singing its heart out and dying. Because it has to, it's driven to. We can know what we do wrong even before we do it, but self-knowledge can't affect or change the outcome, can it? Everyone singing his own little song, convinced it's the most wonderful song the world has ever heard. Don't you see? We create our own thorns, and never stop to count the cost. All we can do is suffer the pain, and tell ourselves it was well worth it."

"No man sees himself in a mirror as he really is, nor any woman."

"Who on earth ever said people most moved don't weep? They don't know anything about it."

"Perhaps that's what Hell is, a long term in earth-bound bondage. Perhaps we suffer our hells in living..."

"It must be the demon of destructiveness in us, the impulse to poke the guts out of a fire. It only hastens the end. But what a beauriful end, isn't it?"

Monday, October 03, 2005

Do you agree?

This is a dialogue from 100 Girls which I was watching today:

"Men have this anti-intimacy force field around them.. that is powered by sarcasm, humor and a version."

Any comments?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Mood Swing

Mid-semesters ended last week. But yet, I have vowed to study hard until the 20th of November, because currently, on the top of my agenda is CAT '05 due on that date. Today, though, I didn't feel much like intriguing myself with those 35 second per question thing and decided to do something different. Old spirit of fine arts came back to my mind but owing to unavailability of my painting equipments, I resorted to doing some pencil work on my room wall itself. This is what I ended up with:

Got a lot of views and comments from those who saw it: about the mood of that character, or about my mood itself when I drew that. Few called it mischievous, few just good. What do you say?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The 'Sportive Instinct'

Something has suddently got over me. In better terms, let me put it as - Sportive Instinct. I get up at 5 in the morning just to try my hands on Lawn Tennis. Tell that to somebody out here who hasn't seen me returning back (just because everybody is asleep at that time!) and he would think - have I gone mad? Getting up before the sun is up atleast by several degrees above the landscape is a sort of offence if practiced in hostels - the only thumb rule which dictates the time to get up at this place is, get up around 15 minutes before the first class, so that you can catch it up atleast within the 'acceptable' limits of +15 minutes.

The evening daily consists of a bit of volleyball. I am not a very good player though, but - every age is the right age to learn! On the top of it, the court is filled up with amateurs like me, not causing too much of troubles. I know I can play fair if I continue this zeal.

Friday, August 12, 2005

First Day First Show - "The Rising"

"Once upon a time dawned on this earth a man with ..."

The saga of Mangal Pandey depicted in the latest film portrays his rebellion against the East India Co. with all the required spirit and literary style. Aamir Khan has done justice with this elusive character who enlightened the torch of India's first freedom struggle.

I found the movie to be conveying much more than just the story of Mangal. It kept on depicting in the background India's medieval society with all its existing dogmas. The untouchable lower caste people, the girls being sold from one hand to another and finally ending up as prostitutes, the sati system ... This complete framework on which the strings of the film are knit hurt you somewhere in the heart. All these things existed in our own country in the middle of 19th century, and we still can't claim that they have been completely wiped out.

Nobody is perfect. And neither was Mangal. He never touched the sweeper in the street because he was from lower caste and his entire transformation into a freedom fighter from a loyal English sepoy was due to cartridges which used skins of pigs and cows and this was against his religious beliefs. But, it's the brighter side we should ponder upon. He was the one-man-army who motivated the entire 34 regiment at Barrackpore to fight against the Britishers. He sets himself apart as an epitome of bravery when he stands all alone infront of the entire Rangoon regiment and once again by shouting 'Halla-Bol' just before he was to be hanged.

Another interesting character in the film is that of Gordan who is shown to be in an internal tug of war between his friendship and his loyalty. The concluding notes in the film where it is said that he was finally fighting against the East India Co. after the death of Mangal is worth noting.

Overall the film is sure to impart a poignant effect on your mind and heart.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Travelogue IV (Day out at Paris)

Its rare I get lucky! But it happened. Getting an entire day out at Paris, all that for free, is not just a small luck, its a gift chhappar phaad ke! After landing at the high-tech Paris airport, when I reached the appropriate terminal to get a boarding pass at the Air France counter for my journey back to Mumbai, I was baffled by the reply of the staff - "All seats in this flight are full and you can't travel today. Wait on that side and I would tell you what is to be done." Still unaware of many rules in hawaai yatras, I ranted at her - "How can you give my seat to somebody else? I have a confirmed ticket!" She politely replied - "Sir, do you know what's going on in Mumbai? People are dying in Mumbai!" I thought for a moment, so what's the big deal? People keep on dying in India due to one thing or the other!...but suppressed my urge to say that out aloud. She continued - "There is water all around and our flights are not getting permission to land. Yesterday's flight was cancelled and those passengers are travelling today." Finally, after spending much time on her sleek computer system, she told me that there is no other option and I would have to travel the next day. They arranged for my stay at a nice hotel together with meals and had a free transport available from airport to Ibis Ville.

I only had my hand baggage with me and there was no option of changing my clothes. After having lunch (this was much better than Czech food, atleast the fruits were intact and not spoiled with the application of a ghatiya fruit salad recipe, and on the top of it, there were those familiar french fries!), I decided to set out to have a city visit. With the experiences of a city travel in Prague, I took a map and set out all alone to discover as much of Paris as possible in that single evening I had. Major tourist destinations were marked on the map itself and I covered around 5 of them.

My first stop was, of course, the Eiffel Tower. The familiar picture of the structure embedded in every child's mind in India, courtesy his GK books, was infront of my eyes. You can't really imagine the actual span of this marvellous design unless you see it. I decided not to go on top (partly because I didn't have time, and partly because there was a heavy rush at that 2 Euro elevator and I didn't have enough energy to waste by using the stairs). Paris was expensive, and I was lucky that I had around 5000 Rs in my hand baggage which I got converted at the airport.

From the tower, I decided to walk to my next destination to have a good sightseeing and to enjoy the beautiful Seine river. The river flows centrally through the city and is flanked by huge structures on both sides. It's not very wide, but the approximate 50 to 60 mts. width is enough for the numerous floating restaurants and small tourist boats offering a paradise to the onlooker's eyes. Paris is different from Prague in almost everything - it's modern and high-tech, Prague was a bit ancient and historical.

After a few more site visits until it was around 10 in the night, I decided to move back to my hotel. A sumptuous dinner (again with French fries, French bread, lots of fruits and above all: the red wine) ended my Paris day-out.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Travelogue III (Phoren life & Prague)

Its not a very good practice to start off with a pessimistic note, but I am more than tempted to write this off - If you are a vegetarian, think ten times before travelling abroad without an alternative food arrangement (like your wife to cook!) I have been pissed off with what all you get here in the name of food: tell that to somebody back in India and he would exclaim - sirf ghaans khaate the kya? For vegetarians, they proudly announce the salad on one side of the buffet which was filled up with strange dishes of pork and beef (for which I needed a friend for identification) or some ugly vegetables cooked with ... I don't know what. Yesterday in lunch, they even had the pasta which actually sucked! I have been hungry since last three days, surviving only on the bread-butter and yoghurt of the breakfast and moving only by the little power provided with that 32 Crown Coca-Cola Burn energy drink.

The conference is going on great - though a bit hectic. Today was the closing ceremony in fact. It has been great chatting with people from around the world - each one strange in his own ways. The day before yesterday I talked with a guy called Bill from Hungary. He had been to India for 6 months all alone and was sharing some experiences. He had arrived at Mumbai on a Diwali night and was astonished at the sight of crackers all around. It was funny in a way, I could imagine him jumping and running all along to get away! There is a girl called Louann from Trinidad with this typical accent we seldom hear on televisions and this lad named Achala from Sri Lanka who finds the Indian accent strange! Writing about everybody is not what I intend to do in this space.

I bunked a complete session yesterday afternoon and roamed around the city with a fellow Indian Ashish Gupta from XIMB (Yup! Bunking is something which characterises a typical Indian, and is inevitable when you are an engineer!) This guy was experienced - he had been to London and Japan before and knew the ground rules of travelling in an unknown city. I think I would never have been able to cover all these beautiful places in Prague, had he not been there for my rescue. With a map in hand and a good knowledge about the city owing to his huge pre-preparations about the place on the internet before coming, he was a nice company all around. We went to almost all places he told was worth visiting - Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Wencelas Square, National Museum etc.

There are a few basics to enjoy a foreign city - have an extreme stamina to walk, a great sense of direction and a lot of common sense! We walked for almost 15 Kms on that very day, and I kept myself moving with frequent Coca-Cola Burns. The city is great - and I have read that it has some historical importance related with the USSR times. Christened the Banaras of the West and the most beautiful city of Europe; we roamed quite until it was 11:30 in the night. Its strange of European summers - the sun comes up around 5 in the morning, but sets only around 11 in the night! The night had actually just started to cover up the Prague skyline when we decided to wrap off to catch the last train to Celakovice.

And ask what I had for dinner - a cheese patties bought outside the TESCO Supermarket. After searching in almost every McDonald's and other restaurants and asking for anything vegetarian, I finally got a patties! Ashish was, though, comfortable with his hot-dogs and burgers (which had pork inside.... Erckle!). I had to buy water (available at a hefty 26 Crowns for half a litre - that's around 50 Rupees!) to quench my thirst just because they don't offer it for free even at restaurants! The coke was cheaper than water, though, available at 15 Crowns for a glass and I had sipped it twice.

On returning back, every other guy in my group was astonished how I bunked a session, and I was astonished why at all do they think its such a big deal anyway! Today evening, there was a scheduled city visit and we utilised it only to do some shopping from the stores we had cautiously set aside in our minds yesterday as providing the best prices - again, a typical Indian!

Today was the closing ceremony and it felt bad to part from everybody else. After all, it was a nice share of time which I had enjoyed with them. Tomorrow, I would be leaving this place to ride on plane which would "Fly me home" (The three words symbolising the Deccan airways which I read on a girl's baggage while looking at her at Paris airport!) Better than here, atleast I would get good food to eat and free water to drink!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Travelogue II (First Impressions)

I think I am not yet finished with my Delhi post. After everything was in place by 22nd, I thought of making a trip to my Mausi's place in Behrod, around 130 Km from Delhi, midway on Delhi-Jaipur highway. So, on 23rd morning, around 6 O' clock, I left to Dhaula Kuan from Noida, and caught a comfortable 2/2. (2/2 buses are a luxury in Jharkhand and Bihar considering the heavy rush and abundance of 3/2 seaters). It was nice to find a scarce headcount, both in that DTC I had boarded and in this Haryana State Transport bus.

After spending around 8 hours in home, both Mausiji and Mausaji came to drop me all the way to Indira Gandhi International airport. There was a traffic jam near Gurgaon and the bus took a different way through the Gurgaon city - I was lucky to get the city view and kept on getting amused by the skyscrapers.

We reached the airport around one and a half hours before the scheduled departure and I was sad to know that visitors were not allowed anywhere inside the security area - I had to go inside all alone and they didn't even get a chance to actually see me off. Unknown of the formalities and wandering inside to get an idea of what all is to be done to fetch a boarding pass, I was wondering how bewildered and dumb must I be looking to others! Its always strange, you can easily identify a 'fresher' in any domain by his activities; not always because he does things incorrectly, but just because he asks for it first and then does that with extra care.

Finally, after much embarrassment, I got a boarding pass, and I decided to make a call back home. By this time, I had started feeling a bit nostalgic and, though, its not the best thing to be done at such times, I made a call atleast to inform everybody that I am ready to depart.

The aircraft finally took off, and I found myself cramped in a small chair with seatbelt tied around and some strange sort of pressure inside my ears. The seats were 2-4-2 in one row and I was in the worst of them, the middle one in the 4 series. Stretching my legs was difficult and sleeping impossible. I remembered all rosy paintings of air-travel which are pasted in your mind throughout your growing-up stages in school life, and wondered how amongst many worthless things taught in school life, such falsified images of comforts-which-money-can-buy are firmly erected inside your mind. I was hungry, but something inside my stomach kept prompting me, fill with anything and I am ready to throw it out! The artificial environment was worse and I was wondering whether I would actually survive for entire 10 hours in that condition. A newly wed Indian girl was sitting besides me and just to feel a bit better, I initiated a conversation.

She was going to US via Paris and was travelling with her father-in-law. For the first time, I tasted some French food and this girl helped me out in identifying the vegetarian items. It was strange, and I couldn't eat anything except some French bread and butter, settling everything in place with some orange juice.

The ordeal finally ended and we landed in Paris. The pilot announced the outside temperature to be 17 degrees. I disembarked at terminal 2A and couldn't find that girl anymore. A bus took the passengers of connecting flights to terminal 2C and in the entire way, I kept getting mused at the mesh of concrete flyovers passing one on top of another like the ones in science fiction movies. I had about 2 hours before my next flight to Prague and I roamed around in the cold terminal clicking a few snaps with my camera. The second flight was a bit comfortable with 3-3 seats in a row and I had got a window seat. The food again was strange and I managed again with good old bread-butter.

Coming out of the Prague airport, I felt for the first time, that I was out in broad daylight at some place which is far away from India. The taxi which took me from the airport to the conference venue in Celakovice was a Volkswagon, and the entire 40 minutes drive, I kept looking outside with that childlike innocence of videsh yatra. Being fascinated by the cruising speeds of 160 Kmph, I was wondering what would happen if a pothole appears in the way! The car accelerated and deccelerated most swiftly than ever imagined, and I was preparing a nice lecture in my mind about the Indian economy vs. the West in my mind which I can give to my friends upon returning back - which was never delivered in full, except a few comparisons now and then.

"Where's everybody?" is what any Indian would immediately ask while looking around at this place. Habituated of a country (somebody told me that the entire Europe lives in India!) with heads all around, it seemed strange. The taxi promptly stopped at every red signal - I don't know for whom, there was nobody around - and re-accelerated to its full pace. A few bikes passed-by from behind, with a 'relative velocity' same as the normal speed of cars in India, and I quickly added a figure of around 60 Kmph with our meter reading of 150 to get a rough idea of the speed with which those guys were cruising!

Its afternoon here, and I am heavily jet-lagged. This hotel is comfortable, and truthfully, the most comfortable place I have ever been to. I have decided to take a nice nap before I check out what's all there in-and-around.

P.S. The toilet is difficult to use, it has only papers!!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Travelogue I (Delhi)

Its seldom that I travel far away from home all alone. I have been to Delhi before many a times, but this time, it was different. Travelling 24 hours in a train alone is a difficult task - and the difficulty increases if people like us start travelling in air-conditioned compartments! We middle-class people constituting the majority of Indian population are much more comfortable in the familiar and 'active' environment of sleeper 3-tier coaches with beggars and vendors visiting frequently.

Anyway, I stepped down at New Delhi Railway station and took an auto-rickshaw straight to Noida. I have been here after almost 3 years, so changes in a metropolis are quite natural. But the pace at which Delhi has changed appears remarkable. With flyovers constructed at almost every crossroad, traffic congestion has been substantially reduced, not to mention the extra beauty added to the city. The pollution scenario has been greatly improved as well - thanks to the CNG changeover. The air here is far better than the streets of Dhanbad.

Its been four days since I am here. I met one of my seniors yesterday who is in Noida itself. He passed out from ISM just 3 months back but it seemed like we were meeting after almost an year. Working hard in his software firm, his incessant schedules gave me a fair idea of how hard life is going to get once I am out of this heavenly abode called ISM.

I have been travelling much in this place since last 3 days ('much' is the only term I can use based on my Dhanbad and Jamshedpur reference frames) to get a visa approval. The DTC buses, all crowded at the peak 9 O' Clock time were the only option and I sincerely wished metros should have existed in South Delhi as well. People here are more friendly than one can expect, everybody including the conductor can strike out nice conversations even while standing in the buses and it didn't feel much bad to me being cramped altogether with my file in hand and my tie around my neck - the ready-for-the-interview posture.

If you lack sufficient walking capabilities, you are going to have a difficult time here. I have a nice habit of long walks and it wasn't much difficult when I got the most common reply of 'paas mein hi hai' to anywhere I asked for, be it a place 4 Km away. The longest one became real tiresome, though, a full circle around the Niti Marg searching for the Czech Embassy during the most hot-and-humid climate imaginable. It felt as if I had travelled across the entire globe (I walked past the embassies of almost anywhere) minus my destination - the Czech Republic. I have always suffered from this peculiar problem in these so-called posh areas - you can never get anything which can be qualified as a public transport, and you have to finally rely only upon your feet. This area didn't even have the ubiquitous water-vendors of Delhi to offer me a quench.

After much difficulty with that guy called Mr. Store (the difficulty was three fold - sitting in that ultracool chamber which felt like a corpse house, probably trying to give a feel of the Czech climate; understanding his entirely different accent; and finally convincing him why this conference was important to me) my visa was approved and its now certain that I would finally set foot on a winged carrier which would take me outside the realm of this country on the 24th.

The difficulties didn't end, though. I had been desperately searching for some woolen garments since yesterday and after much wandering to places like Ansal Plaza and Patel Nagar, I finally resorted to good old Atta of Noida to manage a single piece of a Levis jacket in a single store. A sleek 4.1 Mega pixel Sony cybershot digital camera is the latest substraction from my 'to-have' list, which I also bought from this market.

The stage is finally set, for, tomorrow would be the take-off towards my experience of a lifetime.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

They said so

Following are a few excerpts from The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. Each one of them is highly thought-provoking and brilliantly written. No comments from my side:

"...which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating."

"It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation--as all good things should do."

"...(she) went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task dear friends--a mammoth task."

"Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them."

The third one is much more special and conveys a lot more than those few words.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Meandering through

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अस्थिर अशांत सा इस बियावान में
लहरों सदृश हिचकोले खाता
बेचैन मन,

घृणा, तृष्णा, अंधकार, हाहाकार...
अब तो इस बीहड़ से
भाग उठने की लिप्सा मात्र है।

धरा पर बिताए इन कुछेक वर्षों में ही
लगता है जैसे -
सत्य की पराकाष्ठा समझ आ गई हो...

संस्कृति एवँ परम्परा का झूठा दम्भ,
मखौल बनते मानवता एवँ निष्ठा
सरीखे किताबी शब्द...

एक दूसरे को ही नोच
खाने को आतुर
गिद्ध की तरह डटे लोग।

निरर्थक से किसी लक्ष्य को
प्राप्त करने की होड़ में
कलपता अंतर्मन...

एक पारदर्शी छवि प्राप्त करने की आकांक्षा
परन्तु फिर भी बाकि है।
कभी तो प्राप्त होगी वह
अलौकिक जान पड़ती दूरस्थ आकृति...

कभी तो मिलेगी वह विचित्र अनुभूति...
इसी पागलपन के मध्य
शायद कुछ वर्ष और व्यतीत कर लूँ!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Friends drifting away with time

Ever noticed how at this stage of life one by one our friends have started drifting away from us - transforming into formal acquaintances from close friends? Some reason or the other, we are getting separated from each other. It troubles me, might be because the adolescent kid inside me has not yet been able to give way to adulthood so as to have enough strength to face these harsh realities. I still find myself immature, troubled with slightest difficulties... In about an year, I would be away from the close ones in my alma-mater. Few of them from my school are even getting married! And it descends upon my heart like a melancholy for no obvious reasons.

Will friends stay close with the passage of time? Its difficult to predict, even more difficult to observe yourself. Sometimes I feel I'm getting too much involved in things, or getting too much social, but what's the problem with that? I wonder if there would be a day when everybody would be busy in their professional lives and would lose meaning of our friendship. I just wish that never happens. I read somewhere - Friends don't drift apart universally with time. It's your own decision to shut off your eyes, so that you don't acknowledge them.

P.S. I don't believe in star tracks, but just after finishing this blog, here's what I found in today's Graphiti -

Virgo (August 21 - September 20) This week Virgoans are on an emotional roller-coaster. Cast aside insecure feelings. Draw comfort from family and friends. You may also feel lonely or unloved, but do not slip into a depressive mode. You just need to ask yourself whether this self-pity is justified. Chin up!

Quoting a line from my own previous post - you start believing in everything when you want to.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

My friend gets married!

This wedding I attended was entirely different from all my previous experiences of such an occasion. Earlier, on all such occasions, I had been with my family, going for a maximum of 3 to 4 hours, rhetorically respecting entire family members gathered and returning back to enjoy a good night's sleep after a tiresome day.

This was different in many aspects - first and the foremost, I was well acquainted with both the bride and the groom. The bride happened to be a close friend from my school, and the groom is my senior. Its a nice feeling when you are in a situation like this, being known on both sides! Next, the meeting with seniors from my college in the evening - I re-experienced the same senior-junior relationship tradition of ISM about which each one of us are proud of. I had never seen or met anyone before, but we sat together, chatted and drank like we had known each other for years.

Then the baraat - for the first time I attended one after consuming a little alcohol! We danced a lot just like any other party at our institute, but there was a difference - there was a camera rolling! It was fun, dancing on band party instruments is much more exciting than even a DJ.

It was different, I saw her in that bride's dress and she was looking beautiful with a handsome match standing besides her. I was happy for my friend, she's stepping in a new life. Congratulations Madhu!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The WET Friday

Myself and Chandra hosted a small party on the occasion of our campus selections. Too late, of course, its been 5 days since we have been through, but the sequence of events during the week didn't allow us an early treat.

Alcohol in all its splendour, people with all their emotions, we drank and spoke our hearts out. A blend of everything - happiness and pain, frustration and exasperation, love and longing - all present in many flavours. I had witnessed the failure of a brilliant mind the entire week, I can see the agony of separation with the seniors, I can feel the terrible time when we would separate from our friends in just an year, I can't stop my tears looking at my frustrated friend....

We danced, we drank, we cried, we celebrated, we encouraged, we separated .... and all this from dusk to dawn. A warm cup of tea at Ramdhani on this Saturday morning marked an end to the wet Friday, but the feeling lingers on.... and it pains in the heart.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

And finally a success

The pursuit of success is far more exciting than the success itself.

Today, I landed up with my first job - IBM Global Services.

Friends ask me - you must be feeling in the airs, huh? And I can't explain to them, not at least in words - that I am not feeling in the air, but firm on the ground, firmer than I ever felt. Its an achievement, of course, but it hasn't left me that happy that I would jump around. The pursuit of success - I was enjoying that part. Preparing for the campus selections, going through everything about the company, and finally gearing myself up for those tricky HR questions, it was wonderful! And it was troublesome. Anxiety day and night, mixed with a fear of rejection - I myself did things which appear strange to me; like trying to feel confident even though a part of my mind never was! Analysing yourself, short term and long term goals, strengths and weaknesses.... All those things which are the toughest to think about! Who can think of his own weaknesses? Even if you think of many, babbling those in an interview would lead to nothing but rejection. Analysing myself! One thing which lacks in most of the humans - swaadhyaya as it is put by Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati. The day I learn that, 90% of the troubles would wither away by themselves.

The success itself? A little masti overnight with friends, a little consolation to those talented ones who got rejected, and finally a good night's sleep after days of examination. The end of success celebrations! Who would say I am feeling in the air?

But one strange feeling dawns on me - how a yesterday kid of a small locality is getting transformed into a professional. I imagine myself playing cricket in that nearby ground and attending school classes in that sombre uniform I always disliked - and then here I am - soon to land up in a job like the uncles in the colony do, soon to attend a conference in Europe... and soon to get out of my college as an engineering graduate. Things have changed, and possibly my perspectives as well. There is much more to come in life!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Tera peechha na, main ...

I think he is angry with me because I never quoted the full law, but just babbled out how it affected me in all my previous posts. In the simplest of terms (it can be much more complex at times!), Murphy's law states that - "If something can go wrong, it will go wrong." And this month, it has untied all his strings to show me to the fullest extent how devastating it can be.

Starting off with May 1st. The May Day - the labourer's day. I was doing more than required labour for the semester exams starting from 2nd. When you are in an engineering college, you must learn how to avoid studies the entire semester and then how to complete everything in a single night. Its a difficult task - but engineers come to the rescue for every difficulty in the world. So, lying on my bed with a chotha (college slang for every type of study material except the required textbook) in hand, and with my legs doing slight aerobics in the back when my head was juggling with something called Digital Communications, the right leg struck something kept on the window. My mirror fell on the ground and the head-on collision broke the glass into two pieces. The pieces didn't fell apart but remained in the frame and I decided to use the mirror until I got time to go to the market and buy a new one.

The next morning, May 2nd. The D-Day - the start of semester examinations. At about 3 O'Clock when I was about to go to sleep, I pulled the curtains and the thing fell again. This time, the mirror was broken into pieces and I had no option but to throw it out. I don't believe in superstitions, but you start believing in everything when you want to. Somebody had told me that a broken mirror is a bad sign and had suggested me to throw it out immediately when it was broken the first time. So, to give myself a reassurance (and others an explanation!) when I would be doing bad in the exams, I decided to remember it as a point to be mentioned for the reason of my performance. Then came the exams - I answered so badly that I am flunking in the paper! The first time in my life - I am failing in a subject.

May 3rd. The Asthma Day - no correlation with my sequence of events. The next paper - VLSI design. With half of the sleep required for a normal human being, I went to give the exams. After about one and a half hours, I got a terrible scolding for using unfair means in the examination. That's one terrible thing on part of the profs, they happily segregate even the tiniest of acts performed in an examination hall as unfair means! After a long lecture on honesty and all, I was atleast allowed to answer the paper.

Tomorow I am appearing for Microprocessors based systems. The syllabus is a complete epic in itself. Let's see what's more in store to come during this entire week!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Purani Jeans

We all were sitting in a room with seniors of the outgoing batch. There was a small party arranged for us as Thursday was the last working day for them. This particular song from Sandesa sung by Ali Haider was being played many times and we all were singing together...

Bas yaadein
Yaadein reh jaati hain
Kuchh chhoti


Baatein reh jaati hain

Bas yaadein..

I could feel the emotions in their heart. The pain of being separated from their alma-mater, the farewell to the four precious years of full throttle enjoyment, the agony of being parted from the great frineds with whom they have lived each and every moment of their stay at this place - all could be clearly felt in their voices. We were feeling almost the same. We would immensely miss our great share of times with them; there would be nobody on top of us to throw away all our administrative troubles, to get free of cost pertinent suggestions on academic issues, and above all, these great friends of us.

Everything which has a begining has an end. For them, this is the end of the four years of a rosy world where everything seems perfect and great - to a begining of the realities of the harsh new land outside. For us, this is the end of our share of treasured moments with them, after which we would probably just be friends with a telephonic contact. We would miss the treats, we would miss the alcohol, we would miss them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

To Hell with these bugs..

I thought I would abstain from telling this openly, but its better to puke out what bothers me terribly. I can't withstand the bugs. These tiny ugly creatures literally give me shivers. The world would have been much more beautiful without them. We wouldn't have bothered to shove them away everytime they landed up just anywhere without permission! And count on that the trouble caused to your hands when you have to move them all around behind your neck or your spine in a rapid swift motion before they dare to enter (highly unashamed as they are) inside your shirt. And a few even notorious ones take the liberty to fly and sit peacefully on your hands when you shove them. A few real ugly ones make your fingers smell so badly that you would faint if you didn't wash your hands immediately. They show their presence everywhere, falling in my water jug, anytime I forget to cover it, and sometimes even in my glass of milk left for a few minutes to be cooled off. (And, it costs me Rs. 5/- per glass!) Sometimes, they can be found comfortable on the bed meant for a single human being.

You can't even kill them. I once saw a friend crushing such a creature with a book which sort of squeezed out a jelly-like thing from its pulp-like body and the scene had enough potential to make anyone puke! I am helpless at the pathetic sight of these bungy-jumpers on my book, challenging any human soul trying to concentrate on it. And, the problem is even worse because I use a table lamp. Anyway, I have no other option but to bear these dirty things until my exams are over because this is the small period when my table lamp glows.

P.S. : I can't even close the window to prevent them from entering the room, it's too hot!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

200 seconds drenched in emotions

It lasts for just a few seconds over 3 minutes, but is sure to remain in your mind for another 3 days. The desolation, the longing, the desperation and the agony - all beautifully interwined constitute the following song from Raincoat.

hai kitne baras beete tum ghar naa aaye re ..
hai kitne baras beete tum ghar naa aaye re ..

raah dekhe saawan bhaado, dariyaa pahaad ..
raah dekhe saawan bhaado, dariyaa pahaad ..
o re tere liye raah dekhe sajnaa saara sansaar re ..
dil tarse, phir barse mere baalam ke liye ..
dil tarse, phir barse mere baalam ke liye ..
hai kitne baras beete tum ghar naa aaye re ..

raah dekhe kaale meghaa, nadiyaa kaa paani ..
raah dekhe kaale meghaa, nadiyaa kaa paani ..
o re tere liye raah dekhe balmaa saari zindagaani re ..
dil tarse, phir barse mere baalam ke liye ..
dil tarse, phir barse mere baalam ke liye ..

o re laut aao sajnaa mera dil bulaaye re
o re laut aao sajnaa mera dil bulaaye re
o re laut aao sajnaa mera dil bulaaye re ..

The song is written by Rituparno Ghosh who has directed the film himself. Debojyoti Mishra's music together with Shubha Mudgal's poignant voice accentuate the thwarted love affair. And, if you have watched the film, rethink about the situation in this song! If you haven't seen it, you are missing something great.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Silver lining of the cloud

Definition of my life
starts from distress;
Sadness and agony
and pain and frustration...
Oh! the master,
If at all you're there,
give me that ray of hope!

Life comes a full circle
after these 20 years...
But has something changed?
Except this false happiness of youth...
Oh! the master,
If at all you're there,
give me that ray of hope!

Not even a semblance
of peace or satisfaction;
Not even a virtual
solace in alcohol...
Oh! the master,
If at all you're there,
give me that ray of hope!

The sun never sets
and the river never rests
and the trees never complaint...
Strive for yourself;
Oh! poor creature,
Look at the silver
lining of the cloud!

Awake, arise and
listen to your heart...
Says the master within
my sacred soul;
Oh! poor creature,
Look at the silver
lining of the cloud!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

When its all crap

Blogging is not an easy thing for lousy people like me. I have read a few marvellous blogs by people who have poured in all their thoughts and emotions. But, I can rarely be that creative and all I have to write is pure BC, including those book reviews or some astray things in day-to-day life. Only once after I started writing blogs did I became the most creative I could be and ended up with that poem-sort-of thing about love but that too was triggered due to extreme memories of the past.

But one thing I enjoy a lot - writing comments to what others have written. You might think I am too much of a critic, but one of my good friend says that I am the one who always shows the other side of the coin (and, of course, I love him!) I would thank my father for one great thing, he made me learn typewriting when I was 10. Now, its like I literally play with my keyboard to fill up all my thoughts without losing them in between. Today, I wrote one such comment on one of my friend's blog and he was astonished; the comment was a total of 3074 characters in length, even larger than the original post!

This post is again a crap, but I can justify this - I started this blog presuming it to be a place for my diary entries, and that's just what I am doing! After all, it was too many days since I wrote the last post and its better to stick something in between before going for another dumb looking book review of the work I am about to finish.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

HoLi @ Jamshedpur

Holi! The best festival throughout the year! I like the festival for one very good reason, it gives me an opportunity to remain in contact with the most forgotten ones. Haven't you noticed that there are a few friends whom we meet only once in an year, on Holi? At least, its so in my case. There are quite a few who used to be my good friends in school, but now its only one day that we meet. But, I find it pretty good. Its much better to keep in touch at least once an year rather than loosing contact at all, isn't it?

Another strange attitude of people I happened to discover this time. Why at all can't we learn to let go? Let me explain a bit. We had a family gathering as usual. When one of my uncles arrived (and he happens to be one of those best humorous people I have met) and I tried to rub the red gulaal on his face, he refused saying, "After their death, we don't celebrate holi anymore with colours." (Two of his family members had died an year back) I understand his sentiments, but what is this? I mean how can you afford to live your entire life black-and-white just because somebody close to you is no more alive? Life must go on. My mother died two years back but does that mean I stop enjoying my own life? And in no way does it imply that I didn't love my mother. Their are more than a thousand people dying on this earth everyday and if everybody starts mourning, this earth won't be like what we see it today!

Anyways, Holi does provide you an opportunity to assuage bitter relationships, strengthen old bonds and of course, make new ones. That's the true spirit of this great festival!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

To you with love

I'm not perfect
rather far away from it;
I haven't done anything
till date...
no achievements to boast
no accolades to brag.
But does that mean
I can't love?

I look plain and dry;
with worst sartorial tastes.
I shirk from responsibilities...
I’m a freak.
But does that mean
I can’t love?

I am dumb and inept;
I never became a good guitarist
I never became a good artist
I never became a sportsman
But does that mean
I can’t love?

I'm austere...
I have conscience
and a golden heart
which skips a beat
everytime it remembers you;
My love! tell me,
why shouldn’t I love you?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Small Wonders

Have you ever wondered how sometimes the tiny little things happening in our lives leave us amused and happy? You are sitting at a restaurant thinking about how that girl you didn't knew waved at you the other day and a smile comes up on your face. Suddenly the person sitting opposite asks - "Hey, what happened?" and you are speechless!

Or consider a different situation. Its the very first drizzle in the spring, totally out of season. Sitting in your room, you suddenly want to jump out and get all wet together with enjoying that great scent of earth. But, of course, its seldom you actually do it!

I can cite numerous examples. In one of your old school notebooks which you happen to discover when the house is being cleaned up, you get an old group photograph of the batch. Your heart ripples with the feelings of your childhood; or possibly by looking at that girl you had crush on! Or just remembering those great friends down the memory lane.

A similar such thing happened with me today. I had given all my clothes to the washerman (It always happens in a hostel that the entire closet becomes dirty at once!) and I had no other option than to resort to an old shirt kept safe inside my briefcase for months. When I took that off this evening, I sensed something in its pocket. It was a parking lot ticket.

Looking at the date and the vehicle number, the memories of that day immediately flashed back all at once! It wasn't an ordinary day. It was last year's Durga Puja. My sister's Activa was still new and I had passionately geared it all through the day! That DP, I had visited a lot more of Jamshedpur than any of the previous years, and the same day I had been to Babua Ji stall for the first time! All these memories kept flashing for a better part of an hour, and of course, left me immensely happy!

So the next time when you accidentally discover a cinema ticket in your pocket, or just a peacock feather in one of those old diaries, check out yourself for the veracity of my words!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Midnight again!

I am a strange person. I sometimes find my own acts weird! Sometimes I get involved in things to the extent of obsession and sometimes I just don't care even about the most important ones. But that's not always due to me. The best of the laws in this universe apply to me at the worst of the times. Ever heard of Sod's law, or Parkinson's law or that Pareto's law? All these souls come down on me heavily with all their might!

Leave all this aside! It all came to my mind for absolutely no reason. Midnights! This zero hour of the twenty four hour stretch has started loving me all of a sudden! Be it drinking (don't get shocked, I do drink!) at midnight, or just a pure lukkha visit to the station for that Ram charitra singh ki chai, midnights have started playing the most important part of my life. Be it one of the sensations of life which I discovered late (Read below "Biking at midnight") or today's midnight catastrophe!

Guessed right! Coming to the topic after lot of bhumika! I gave an exam today at midnight! Unbelievable - if these are your words, listen to the complete story! There was a programming contest called Overnite in the college techfest. I am over enthusiastic in things related to programming. And, its to the extent of obsession! But today, Murphy was at its best! I couldn't believe myself - the best programmer in my school; I didn't qualify the prelims! It shook me, shook me like nothing else! The midnight catastrophe! The lesson: never take anything for granted! Even the best ones tumble, and overconfidence is the reason.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Recent movies & comments

Sometimes I watch a few movies which might feel obscene to others. Yup! If you have gone by my profile, you might have seen entries like 'American Beauty', but as far as I think, what's the big deal? I don't recommend nudity, but movies like these are pure fun! And if you think they aren't, then you are of the type who won't even enjoy that great series called FRIENDS. I mean, OK its not at all about plain sex, but its simply far better an entertainer than some other typos. I just finished off with a similar one - 'American Pie'. Its again about friends, virginity and all college entertainment; but of course, not at all nudity. If you can't enjoy works like 'The Girl Next Door' or 'Replikate', then that's not my problem dear!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Five Point Someone

Ahaan! I read it in one go! Normally, it requires lots and lots of patience to complete a 270 page work in one sitting; and when it comes to me, its a definite no-no. I read it uptil 3:30 in the morning just because I couldn't resist myself leaving anything for the next day! (And, pat me on the back, I attended the 8 O' Clock crap class today as well!).

The book truly portrays the insti life, though, I feel that the three chaps got somewhat overscrewed! The lucid writing style of Chetan Bhagat keeps you stuck throughout the narration and of course, when it comes to something as close as yourself, you just can't stop appreciating. What do you think instances like this one suggest - "We are underperformers, but do you realize that its people like us who bring the average down so that even moderate ones can feel they are not far from it!" ? For me, its one thing for sure - positive attitude! Boy, forget your moral science lessons and see the logic in the above statement!

And, I am incomplete if I don't mention the best part. No points for guessing correctly - the beautiful Neha! The tiniest of female characteristics have been explored while Bhagat revolves around this character. Girls think repeating an adjective makes it more effective; girls do this all the time, say something half-funny, and laugh at it themselves; pretty girls have this power to turn Mary, making lambs out of people; hand-painting cushion covers, how can girls waste their time on such useless pursuits; how good it feels when a girl cries becuase she missed you..............
And the worst part - girls are beautiful, let's face it, and life is quite, quite worthless without them! Man, the last one is bittelry true.

The sucking profs, the great hostel and of course the Vodka! There is not a single front which the author has missed. I wish ISM had a nine storey building to offer me a rooftop to have my doses of "Signature"! Anyways, the stars look the same anywhere, isn't it?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Biking at midnight!

Man, that's the most beautiful thing I was still missing! Shame, isn't it that I never drove a bike at midnight? (Hans lo Mumbai waalon!) Yup, I gave it a go today! No, it wasn't mine, I don't possess one like most guys here in Emerald Hostel. It was the new, exciting Pulsar of Pahaad Sir (Hmmm, go by the name literally!) which I happened to get for an "urgent" work. (Come to my room to get the definition of "urgency at midnight"!)

And the ride? Mesmerizing! A long stretch from Saraidhela ICICI ATM to Station was the half-way share I got! The other half : courtesy Mr. PritiNarayan. If you are wondering what the hell I was doing at an ATM outlet at midnight, you are aspiring for that definition I talked about earlier!

And, my friend, if you haven't yet experinced the magical exhilaration of a midnight biking, better give it a go! Acceleration is the word which defines life!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Love Story again!

This time I watched it rather than reading it! Arthur Hiller has recreated the magic of Erich Segal's much acclaimed 'Love Story' in Howard G. Minsky - Arthur Hiller Production's film. Though it was released much earlier, I could manage a copy just a few days back. The book was the best I had read till date, and now, this film. The austerity of the starcast and the apt background music leaves the audience spellbound. Performances of Ali MacGraw as Jenny and Ryan O'Neal as Oliver were just marvellous. The film depicts the novel on celluloid in its full spirit. Watch out for yourself to believe my words.

Friday, February 25, 2005

A walk with my friend

It was around 9:30 pm. I was sitting in my room studying. Mid-sems are only after a week. Chandra came to my room and said - "Chalo." He is not that kind of a guy from which you can expect something like this. He can actually refuse when you tell him something highly 'unspecific' like this! I nodded. We went outside the hostel. I was expecting something from him. Surely he wants to tell me something. Strange of him! It was full-moon. I love strolling in nights illuminated by moon. We just kept walking. To initiate some talking I asked - "Do you wanna go to the musical night?". "No" was the plain reply. Nothing after that.

He took the longer route to the main gate, that's the route normally used by vehicles; another strange thing from his side. He is the one who is the first to deny whenever I suggest walking rather than taking a rickshaw to the gate anytime we go outside the campus. I felt awkward: you can't just walk, together with a friend, in dumb silence. At the crossroad, he turned left. We reached the lower ground. He wanted to sit for sometime on the stairs beside the ground. Another strange behaviour, I mean, nobody does that at quarter to 10 in the night. I nodded anticipating something from him. No reaction again. We sat quitely for sometime. I was appreciating the decorations of all the buildings glittering with different colours for Sunday's Basant - annual alumni meet of ISM. He remarked just once about a couple seen distantly near the Ruby Hostel - "Watch out, the guy has accompanied her to the hostel and they are stealing a final few moments!" I replied back - "Yup! The last fifteen minutes before the girls hostel entry closes at 10." Silence after that. I kept gazing the stars. A few minutes later he called back - "Lets go." I nodded.

We took the normal route back. This meant almost a full circle of the campus. I thought I must ask him straight - "What's the matter buddy? Are you OK?". I kept silent. We reached the hostel gate. This time I couldn't resist - "Did you took me out only for a stroll?" He nodded. I knew he wasn't telling the truth. I tried again - "I would have accompanied you even if you had told that in my room." Nothing again I knew he was hiding something. What? A confession, a decision, a thought, a problem, or something else?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The world for me

Reassuring : When I sit with my friends
Beautiful : When I was in love
Desirous : When I visit my village
Indifferent : When I am drunk
Different : Everyday
Exhaustive : Before exams
Difficult : During exams
Deceitful : Sometimes
Marvellous : Rarely
Exciting : On tours
Peaceful : When I stroll in the moonlight
Exhilarating : When I drench in the rain
Rejuvenating : During festivals
Strange : ALWAYS

Monday, February 21, 2005

A book which speaks

I happened to go through "Out Of My Mind - A flight into the realm of thought and spirit" by Richard Bach. A great book on self-discovery. An inspiration towards hope, joy and wonder in oneself. I had read Bach before in "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and "Illusions - The confessions of a reluctant messiah". Jonathan was a marvellous creation. And then this one. It literally speaks out my feelings: the profuse imaginations of my heart and above all - hope.

A paragraph says : "Everything is exactly as it is for a reason. The crumb is on our table not only as a reminder of this morning's cookie, it is there because we have chosen not to remove it. No exceptions. Everything has a reason, and the tiniest detail is a clue."

A little later, it is said : "The design exists, Richard, the possiblity of just this combination of elements in just these relationships, the design for this machine existed at the very instant that spacetime began. Whoever first draws the plans gets to call it whatever they want to call it. Every world has its own laws and ideas about who owns what, they're mostly different."

In essence, it simply turns out to be that nobody owns anything, its just that this world believes that you own it. And if you have read Illusions, the it mentioned in the last line is nothing but an illusion!

Sunday, February 20, 2005


I have never been a good writer, not even a good orator. Both of these skills require a certain amount of exposure, which I never have been through, possibly because of my own negligence. I used to write diaries for a few years in my school days. It was a great respite from life's troubles, a good place to vent out everything. I intend to do the same with this blog, though, there is a slight difference: it can be read by anybody.

This is one thing I have realised, hiding something doesn't solve the problem and never relieves from pain. Its best if you tell that out aloud and just get out of that mess.

So, finally a place for me is created with these few lines, and, this space would be used for nothing but my diary entries.