Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Food for thought II

"You are generally sadder by what you couldn't do, than happier by what you could. That's the cause of most of the troubles in life."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Reality: The illusion caused by lack of alcohol

How did I suddenly become so boring! It's a terrible feeling - finding haze all around. You are neither happy, nor sad. Neither good, nor bad. You are doing something and you don't know why. You say you don't like doing this, and you can't think of anything else which you'd like doing perpetually. You say this place is bad, and you can't think of any other place which was always good. You thought you need to talk to people, and you feel worse.

A type of madness is induced by alcohol. Another type is probably induced by the lack of it, or by something which I can't understand. And the former one is better.

Friday, November 23, 2007

पिछली मुलाकात

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सामने बैठी तुम तो लगा मानो
संसार इतने में ही सिमट सा गया हो
इस बार भी "पहली" मुलाकात के लिए
हर बार की तरह समय थम सा गया हो

पलकें उठीं तो लगा जैसे
संसार में अब भी काफ़ी कुछ अच्छा सा है
पलकें झुकीं तो एहसास हुआ
मेरा प्यार सचमुच सच्चा सा है

मुस्कुराई तुम तो संतोष हुआ
नाममात्र ही सही, थोड़ा प्यार तो तुम्हें भी है
शरमाते चेहरे की लालिमा से आभास हुआ
तुम्हारे हृदय के एक छोटे कोने पर अधिकार मुझे भी है

मेज़ पर अंजाने में ही तुम्हारा हाथ छुआ तो लगा
थोड़ा ही सही, मेरे जीवन को आज भी अवलंबित करती हो
खत्म न हो रही बातों से लगा तुम मुझमें
आज भी उत्साह के कुछ शब्द अंकित करती हो

वापस जाने का वक़्त हुआ तो लगा जैसे
उन कुछ क्षणों में कैद मेरा संसार हुआ
थोड़ी देर रुक जाने को जब कहा तुमने
तो मानो हृदय पर ही प्रहार हुआ

किस गति से निकले थे वो कुछेक क्षण
अभी तो तुम्हें बस देख भर पाया था
हमारी पिछली उस मुलाकात की यादों का
सिलसिला आज फिर ख्वाबों में आया था

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Food for thought

"Some emotions don't make a lot of noise. It's hard to hear pride. Caring is real faint - like a heartbeat. And pure love - why some days it is so quiet, you don't even know it's there."

- Erma Bombeck

Friday, November 16, 2007

CAT Tips: What to do the day before and on the D-Day

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”

- Elbert Hubbard; The Note Book, 1927

The penultimate

Relax! Your part of the job is already done! If you happen to be an engineer too (which I presume with a 90% level of confidence), recall the days when you used to laugh looking at people messing their heads with “Irodov” and “Krishna’s IIT Physics” on the day of the JEE! If you weigh intelligence and perseverance in terms of importance towards cracking CAT, trust me, this cat is way too sexy to be tamed just by slogging hard for it – I would rank intelligence higher when it comes to getting her! If you count in attitude and thinking-on-the-toes as components of intelligence, you are made for an IIM. Tomorrow is your day to prove that you are great not because you are amongst the crowd of those two hundred thousand guys writing the exam each one of which has the brains to solve those easy Quants and DI problems, but you are great because you are more intelligent in terms of choosing the right ones out of the twenty five questions and calm enough to crack them within fifty minutes. Adding to it, you should be intelligent enough to understand that you don’t need to slog tonight to prove yourself tomorrow!

If you want a personal experience, I had enjoyed a mug of beer in Bangalore’s “Just Another Pub” at Koramangala the day before CAT, chilling out with a bunch of college friends (and I got a “blacki”!!) The point out here is not about alcohol (remain strictly within 50ml!); just relax in the best way which suits you. Stay calm, have a dinner with you girlfriend (if you aren’t as lucky as me who doesn’t have any such filthy burdens), and remain confident that you are made for the big day. It’s meant to be a laid back Saturday, let the essence remain – you’re doomed to be back again to the rhetoric of office or classes from Monday!

The ultimate

Ever actually seen how “mornings” are like on Sundays? The exam is at ten, make sure you wake up in time keeping in mind your transit time to the examination centre. You haven’t taken a bath for past 4 days, do it today (yes, do it even though it’s a “sun” day; it’s the second best thing in the world to refresh with a cold water shower on a November morning!) Feel like revising formulae or something? Personal opinion – it’s of no use. It’s only the easy formulae – which you already have used a lakh times – combined with your sheer presence of mind that is required to sail through CAT problems. Get to the examination centre by 09:45, check out all girls allotted the same centre if you are writing CAT in a real town and, finally, take your seat at 10:00.

The 10:00 to 10:30 period when you’ve to wait in the examination hall for the question paper is the worst torture you might have ever faced in life. Here’s how to make best use of the time. Get your brain working before the exam starts. After you are done with the form filling stuff, this is the time to revise your formulae. Your brain is already at peace with the relaxation you offered it yesterday, let it start afresh. Mentally start recalling simple geometry and mensuration’s areas, volumes, equations and stuff. If you remember some problem you had ingeniously solved (ever), think about the solution again, you’ll bolster your confidence. Start building your focus fifteen minutes before you’ve got the papers. Once you get them, it’s the regular easy trick. Pick up the most comfortable areas (personal favorite – geometry in Quants); steer through rough uncomfortable terrains the last. Constantly look for easy problems, spot them right and you are through the cut-off. Get ready to enjoy the Sunday evening once again!

All the best!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hemant Kumar and Gulzaar

Just happened to browse through some old music collection. Was left mesmerized with Hemant Kumar's voice to Gulzar's creativity in this song from the 1969 film Khamoshi -

होठ पे लिए हुए, दिल की बात हम,
जागते रहेंगे और, कितनी रात हम
मुख़्तसर सी बात है, तुमसे प्यार है
तुम्हारा इंतज़ार है...
तुम पुकार लो!

दिल बहल तो जाएगा, इस ख़याल से,
हाल मिल गया तुम्हारा, अपने हाल से
रात ये क़रार की, बेक़रार है
तुम्हारा इंतज़ार है...
तुम पुकार लो!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The 'Angrezi' Culture!

For the 'swadesi' me, it has been rather difficult from the very beginning to assimilate the 'angrezi' culture of B-Schools. A die-hard supporter of desi-bhashaa-swadesi-vyavahaar; there are thousands of irritating things out here which have constantly harassed my mental peace.

One of them is that most ubiquitous of the several phrases used by those 'Yo-dudes' (for the 'uneducated': if you are having difficulty picturing them, just imagine a bunch of gays chatting in shorts and 'I'm Pagal' Tees and 3-inch heeled sandals called 'kittos') - "rock".

Rock is everywhere. The 'about me' section of someone's orkut profile would say 'I rock!' The dinner suddenly becomes eatable one day and the 'Mess Committee rocks!' They haven't seen a sea-beach in their entire lifetime, and the first exclamation would be 'The place rocks!' The most 'jhamtee' guy in the class solves the problems for the next day's submissions and everybody copies it, 'He rocks!' The only good teacher of the last term becomes 'That prof rocked!' Why do you always have to "rock"? Why can't you 'jazz' or 'hip-hop' or 'heavy metal' or 'country blue'? Or rather, can't you simply 'aalaap'? He 'aalaaps', he 'thumrees', he 'qawwalis'… might even go like he 'bhajan-kirtans'!!

Now don't argue with me for the word meaning of 'rock'. The dictionary is clear about it. Current usage isn't what the word is meant to be. I'd selectively quote a few of the dictionary meanings-

rock: \ˈräk\


1. a large mass of stone forming a hill, cliff, promontory, or the like.
… … …
2. offensive term: an offensive term for the testicles ( slang )
… … …

–transitive verb
1. to move back and forth in or as if in a cradle
… … …

–intransitive verb
3. to sing, dance to, or play rock music
… … …

1. between a rock and a hard place, between undesirable alternatives.
2. get one's rocks off, Slang: Vulgar. to have an orgasm.
3. on the rocks,
a. Informal. in or into a state of disaster or ruin: Their marriage is on the rocks.
b. Informal. without funds; destitute; bankrupt.
c. (of a beverage, esp. liquor or a cocktail) with, or containing, ice cubes: Scotch on the rocks; a vodka martini on the rocks.

–Related forms
rockless, adjective
rocklike, adjective

So, whenever I hear someone saying 'he rocks', I usually tend to think about the second meaning of the word as a noun, mentioned in my list - poor guy, whatever might've happened to his 'rocks'! To sum this post up, all I want to convey is, can't we use the word in its more interesting forms, rather than the gay-usage? Look at the second and the third idioms in the above list. There are pretty 'rocking' usages of the word, can't people just 'get their rocks off' once and for all and stop this particularly irritating usage of making anybody rock?

Sunday, October 07, 2007


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कल स्वप्न में तुम्हें देखा था
पानी पर फिसलते शिकारे में तुम्हारी मादकता का एहसास था
झील की सतह सहलाते तुम्हारे बालों से भँवर सा आभास था
तुम्हारे चेहरे पर तितली की टिप्पियों सा मधुर हास था
तुम्हारी आँखों की गहराईयों में परावर्तित सारा आकाश था

कल स्वप्न में तुम्हें देखा था
पानी में भिगोई तुम्हारी उँगलियों में भीनी सी छुअन थी
किनारे की डालियों में तुम्हारे चेहरे को छू जाने की तड़पन थी
तुम्हारी हथेली पर आने को कमल की पत्ती पर की ओस व्याकुल थी
बादलों के बीच से तुम्हारी झलक पाने को सूरज की किरण आकुल थी

कल स्वप्न में तुम्हें देखा था
तुम्हें स्पर्श करती उस पार से आती बयार मेरी ईर्ष्या बढ़ाती थी
पानी से छलकी दो बूँदें तुम्हारे होठों पर बैठ मुझे चिढ़ाती थीं
तुम्हारी उँगलियों से खेलती धार मेरी निर्बलता का एहसास दिलाती थी
तुम्हारे बालों से उलझती कुछ शैवालें मेरा परिहास उड़ाती थीं

कल स्वप्न में तुम्हें देखा था
हृदय के दूरस्थ कोने में छुपे उद्गारों को हवा देता स्वप्न
एकांत जीवन की निरर्थकता जताकर मुझे झकझोरता स्वप्न
खुली आँखों में तुम्हारी मृगतृष्णा समान मँडराता स्वप्न
असत्य, व्यर्थ, मूर्खतापूर्ण, क्रूर "प्यारा" सा स्वप्न...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Placements, IIMs et al

If you "analyse it objectively", you can conclude that there are only two things in the life of any run-of-the-mill IIM grad - "summers" and "finals". Both these are celebrated as festivals and are the sole reaps targeting which we spend sleepless nights in studying.

IIMs are less of academic institutions, they are "glorified placement agencies" in essence, and you hardly come to learn, you come to get placed! Given this level of importance to the process, we have two official placement seasons, "summer placements" for first year students and "final placements" for second year students. Both the gala ceremonies have an equal importance with same number of companies fighting to recruit candidates. Within two weeks after admission process completes in an IIM, the preparations for the "festivals" start off. CV building, targeting big-shot companies and booming sectors and finally, "returns". Placement rules are more sacred than all religious practices of the world put together, and deviations, which might have been tolerable by God, are not tolerated here.

My suicide attempts of trying internships on my own failed with the expiry of the Placement Committee's "guilt free pass" (the pass reads as - you are granted a limited period boon to try and do any off-campus kill-yourself thing without the Gods being infuriated). I'd managed positive responses from a rare few, and most of the HRs had "ditched" me, "dumped" me, and that too with the worst possible break-up line - "Hope you can find yourself a good company that will give you a useful exposure". As if, someone is really waiting for me to expose oneself!

As the "festivals" back at K would take off, I'd join the "single and looking" band for that one fool who'd hire me for two months hoping I might turn useful. ;)

Monday, August 20, 2007

A slice of life

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
- Aristotle

Last Saturday, enjoyed a well deserved outing to a local Panchayat called Mavoor. The trip was meant to be a field visit for an academic project, though, it ended up more as a picnic.

The countryside in Kerala has been discriminately blessed by nature. For a philosophical mind, a drive on its narrow roads can be alluring at the least - it inspires many moods at once. The breath-taking vistas abundantly strewn across the land's vast fabric are catalysts for poets and heaven for photographers.

Trees flanking the roads provide a natural respite from the sun

The roads are narrow but well laid for most of the stretches, including many National Highways. The abundant greenery and the calm blanket of peace spread across the entire landscape can provide a good food for thought for creative minds.

The Stretch to Mavoor

Water is the most abundant of all elements in the "God's own country". Monsoons bless the earth in Kerala for as much as 4 to 5 months in the calendar year and large stretches can be found covered with water during June to September.

A snapshot from our bikes

Many rivulets emerge only during the rains

Coconut is one of the primary floras of the area and those classic picturesque scenaries of tall pine like trees can be spotted almost everywhere. Drying coconut is one of the primary occupations of local people and inhabitations are located across most of the rivulets besides which such trees are found in abundance.

Most parts of Mavoor are on the banks of "Chaliyar". Heavy coconut vegetation can be noted in the background

A local coconut drying unit

In terms of education, which was one of the major thrust areas in our study, I found the state to be pretty well "advanced". Even the small village had a decent higher secondary school complete with all basic necessities. A healthy male-female ratio, low drop-out rates and a sufficient number of teachers, all constitute a substantial arrangement.

The Higher Secondary School building at Mavoor

Imagining a school this large in a small village is tough for people coming from most parts of northern India

The trip as a whole was the best enjoyment I've had since coming to this place. An exhilarating journey, a wonderful respite from the mundane work and a first-hand experience of the God's own expanse, all contributed to the hearty smile on everyone's face!

A part of our group

They ended it all with the customary sutta!

P.S. All pictures courtesy Kajal, the "unofficial" trip photographer! :D