Saturday, March 5, 2011

You are a STUD in AIT if ...

Recently I chanced upon to visit my Engg. college AIT, after a long time.
It brought back all those warm memories that I have always cherished close to my heart. All that free time, the vagrancy,the rawness, the vellapanti, the Bakar sessions, the lafandargiri, the Lingos . Yes the lingos there were just to many arbit, bond, term down, back, hyper, senti, cool dude, psyco etc etc. Many of these may seem to be simple English words but their connotations and derivative usages were entirely different. The most used and perhaps the most popular of these lingos was the word STUD.
You may wonder, in what context was this word used, is it used to for :

1. A group of animals, especially horses, kept for breeding.( Well we surely behaved like animals in those days, but naah(neigh) not this)

2. a large-headed nail or other projection protruding from a surface, usually as decoration. (Not even close)

3. a man who is virile and sexually active ( Not entirely , but this is the closest)

So the term STUD was basically used to describe someone who had done something out of ordinary(in the eyes of a few obscure fellows), who was a dude to the highest kind, a cousin of 007, or Patrick Henry reincarnated.

To elucidate more on the message I am trying to convey , let me hereby present you with a few examples to make things a little bit clearer.

So, you were considered a STUD in AIT if,

1. You had a girlfriend. (Plain and simple, no questions asked)

2. You could imbibe huge quantities of liquor and still walk back to college from the nearby bar on your own feet. (Commendable)

3. You left all your semester exams , just because you weren’t in a mood.

4. You clear the all the previous semester exams that you had left , along with your present semester exams. (Brilliant)

5. You stay awake all night and sleep the entire day.

6. You have attendance lower than 30 %.

7. You can smoke a pack of cigarette a day and not even cough once.

8. Last night you walked 10Km to come back to college and didn’t use the bus. (Overnight fame)

9. You have not slept for 2 days.

10. You played 8 hours of continuous nonstop Age of Empires-2.

11. You watched 7 movies in a single day.

12. A girl asked you for an assignment and you asked her to go to hell.

13. A girl said ‘Hi’ to you and you didn’t reply.

14. A girl asked you for a lift on you bike and you refused.

15. A girl asked you for a lift on you bike and you agreed.( Confusing!, I know)

16. In your drunken state you go to the gate of girls hostel and yell “ I love you XXX” in the middle of night. (And actually expecting to woo her with this)

17. You stole a book from the library without being caught.

18. You have not taken a shower in a month.

19. You were so high on “Cannabis’ that you slept on Monday and got up on Wednesday.

20. And the best one, if the word STUD is not enough to glorify you or your achievement then you are knighted STUDD, a STUD with a double ‘D’. (ROTFLMAO)

Wow, these were just a few of many that I could recollect in one go.
It may make you wonder, were we crazy back then. Yes we surely were. Did we like this craziness ? Hell yeah, we loved it, it was perhaps the best time at least I ever had. The carefree life that we enjoyed is unparalleled to any big shot job that we might ended up with!

A Train Ride

It was on the festive day of Diwali, that I embarked on a 40hr train ride to my hometown.
Travelling on Diwali ?, you ask…traveling during the “festival of lights”, travelling when everyone is with their family or loved ones and celebrating…YES, YES , YES for the 100’th time yes. I had booked my ticket for this day well in advance, it was an honest mistake, I had no clue (No wonder I got the tickets so easily), it could happen to anyone, you don’t need to hound be for eternity on this….I have been laughed upon enough by everyone….Period...
Anyways moving on…..yes… so as I was saying ‘I was on this train” and I was looking ahead to this boring, uninteresting, long, drab journey. The only thing keeping me going was the fun and frolics awaiting me at the other end of the country where I was attending the marriage of one of my cousin’s.
So I boarded the famed “Jhelum Express” or as some people say “Zalim Express” (owing to long travel time) and occupied my seat (Side Lower). I always gave this seat as my preference while booking a ticket as I hoped against hope that someday a beauty will sit next to mw and I will have my fair chance to woo her without the interference of my fellow compartment-mates.
This time too I was hoping that by some miracle a hottie would come and occupy the seat next to mine or at least the one of the 6 adjacent ones. But I knew better than this, in my entire log of train journey’s, which are quite a number, there has hardly been an occasion when the fate has been generous to me and has provided me with the companionship of a gorgeous chick with ample pulchritude.
As excepted, soon a nonchalant fellow came and claimed the seat next to me and the adjacent 6 ones were occupied my a family of Kashmiri pundits( You can say Indian Jews…no offence meant). So there went all my plans down the drain or in this case down the train.

I had a quiet and early dinner and then retired to the upper berth. During dinner the elderly patriarch of the family sitting besides did try to initiate conversation with me, but the apparent lack of interest shown on my part soon dissuaded him. After all who was interested in listening to the woes of an old man.(My mistake, you will find out why). I also thanked the railways in my mind for providing curtains in the AC 3 tier which are usually exclusively in AC 2 tier as this would help in minimizing the interaction with the adjoining bunch of people.(Soon I was going to curse the railways).

Around 10.30 pm, I was awakened from my light somber by voice of a girl, coming from the adjoining seat.
I sat up and looked, but the confounded old man had drawn the curtains. Damn you railways!
So it was left to my imagination to give a face to that gentle voice which had made my heart miss a beat or two.
As time went by, my curiosity and interest in the fairer sex grew, and I began eavesdropping on the conversation the chick was having with the oldie....although they were speaking loud enough for me to hear so you see I can’t be blamed entirely.

The next one hour was spent listening to their conversation and making some derivations out of them:

1. She was talkative (Score)
2. She was from my home town. (Big Score, mommy would be happy)
3. She was in her early twenties (Schweet  )
4. She was pursuing her MBA (well educated…nice)
5. She was traditional, cultured and polite (Me likey  )

So in short she was perfect, I couldn’t understand why the hell was I so excited but my mind had already started to imagine the future of us TOGETHER. My heart was pumping blood as if I had run a 4 minute mile. For heavens sake I hadn’t even looked at her face.

The pessimist in me stated that there was a high probability that the face behind the sweet voice would not be of “Helen if Troy’ but that of the hideous Medusa, if not more.....After all me and lady luck were not in good terms, especially when it came to chicks.

My thoughts were interrupted when the dame got up from her seat and walked towards the loo. Aa’s my chance I thought….I quickly got up from my seat jumped down and positioned myself along the entrance of the bogie. So that when she comes out form the loo, to her I may only appear as sleepless guy standing by the door getting some fresh air.

Wow! What a planning, if only I had devised such devious plans for my career….well that’s another story.

So there I was ready to put my first gaze on what could be my better half..(Boy what a despo).

And then it happened she came out, our eyes met for infinitesimal duration and she walked past me towards her seat.
Is that it?…Well whom am I kidding…what was I supposed to say “How you doing? “..naah…that only works in sitcoms.

But the point is I was finally able to put a face to the voice a face which was much prettier then my dull imagination. The gentility, the tranquility, the calmness was oozing from her face… (Man I was smitten’d in the very first sight).

My desire to have a conversation with this walking piece of art was uncontrollable now, but by the time I came back to my seat she had retired to her berth and the only face in my view was that of the old man poking his head out of the curtain.

He asked me if I too was having trouble sleeping. My first thought was to say yes and go back to bed, but devil in me immediately devised a plan. If I became “pally” with this oldie it would be much easier for me to break the ice with the chick, he might introduce me to her and if I managed to impress him (somehow) might even throw couple of good things about me. So here I was, all set to have this oldie as my “wing man”. Labor of love, I tell you.

So there I was sitting and yapping with senior citizen at midnight, listening about his entire clan and what they do. Listening to his story of how he rose from rags to riches. Two hours later finally the oldie decided to call it a night (thank heavens for that). I had tried my best to come across as a good boy the sort that old people like, very respectful of elders and all that shit. I had acted my part in all sincerity and now I was just waiting for the sun to rise and see the seed that I had planted grow into tree and bear fruits.
Thus engulfed in my blissful thoughts, sleep finally engulfed me. The next morning when I got up I was feeling unusually fresh…need I say why. The curtains were still drawn, it seemed there was no end to my ordeal. But I was hopeful, soon as the sun rose high , the curtains between us will part to reveal a gleaming face full of joy and I will get a fair chance to woo my dame.
But as the time went by, there seemed no end to agony and wait. The condition hadn’t changed from last night. I could just hear the chick yapping with oldie’s wife and other members of his family. What was this …we are in a public mode of transport….there should be no room for this private conversation… should be banned. I was literally going bonkers, waiting like a fool there. Waiting for a chance…just one chance. What was my “wing man” doing, what was the point of all those hours wasted last night, if this was going to be the outcome. I was being tormented by my thoughts and was getting restless and impatient.
And then it happened, out of no where it hit me, without a warning it came, like a sniper’s bullet the skull Bamm!!
On being asked by the wife of my supposed “wing man”, what was the purpose of her visit, her reply was “Oh, for my engagement”.
What? I repeat what? Did I hear that correctly, EN fucking GAGEMENT? What the hell was she saying? My mind wanted me to believe that this was some ploy by the crew of “candid camera”. Perhaps I had heard it all wrong. Maybe she had actually said “Oh, for my BROTHER’s engagement”. But as the conversation continued my fears came out to be true and there I was left in a state of limbo.
So this was it, here ended my small love story before it actually got a chance to start. Life’s tough.
The rest of the journey progressed as uneventfully as it could, or so it seemed to me.
I saw her couple of times more
She didn’t look that pretty anymore.

Friday, October 29, 2010


There was a time not so long ago when there was peace and tranquility everywhere, when sparrows chirped on your window sill to greet you good morning, when eating out was reserved for an occasion, when mail meant a letter and when the now ubiquitous word “GAY” had a completely different connotation.
It used to be normal for a guy to state “I am in a very GAY mood today”, without any one twitching an eyelid over this remark of his. This was a time when “GAY” literally meant “to be a good state of mind/mood, to be in bright spirits”.
But today its meaning has not only changed drastically, but this seemingly innocent 3 letter word has become one of the most powerful words in English language. It can make or break a government, a marriage, a friendship or perhaps start a war.
I accept that usage of many words has changed over the decades. Like Awful, at one time meant ‘full of awe’ i.e. something wonderful, delightful, and amazing. However, over time it has evolved to mean exactly the opposite. But the evolution of this particular 3 letter word (that is under scrutiny here) into this time-bomb really fascinates me.
Today, any sentence that has the word “GAY” in it gets heads rolling; it can set people in motion, you can both get a smile or a frown from the person sitting next to you.
Today a mother’s worst nightmare is not if her son would turn out to be a jobless wretch but rather this:
Son: “Mommy, I want you to meet Ted.”
Mom: “Hi, Ted. How are you?”
Ted: I am very well, thank you.
Son: “Mommy, Ted is my boyfriend and I want to marry him”.
Mom: (Wails like a banshee and faints.)
The above narrative may seem rather dramatic, but it is in no way very far from reality.
Homosexuality has donned new clothes in today’s world; it is no longer something that you need to hide. So much so that it has almost become a fad to pronounce oneself a homosexual or GAY. It is a fashion statement now, a quick way to get media attention and to attract spotlight. For a celebrity whose movies are not doing well due to his/her own fading talent the easiest way to garner people’s interest is to simply say “Hey Folks, I am Gay. The rapid increase in the “Gay Confessions” in the glamour world does supplement my argument. I mean do you suddenly get up one day and realize you are gay or what. Celebs in their 40’s declare that they are gay, so tell me what the hell were you doing all this years? They come up with stupid statements like “I always felt I was a woman trapped in a man’s body”. What an utter bull shit!
Ricky martin, Rob Hartford, Megan Fox, Dan Cho, Neil Patrick Harris (et tu brute!)
The list is endless….
Not only humans, the trend to label fictional or comic characters as gay is increasing catching. Only a few weeks back I read a newspaper column in which some bloody Gaylord had proclaimed that “Tin Tin” a very famous comic character was actually gay. Wow, did Tin Tin actually whisper this into your ear.... fagot, while he lay dying on his bed or did you stumble upon some of his secret correspondences or perhaps a secret diary. With 200 million copies sold in 50 languages, is this the character has been reduced to…., wow!
I have copied the few lines from this crazy Gaylord’s interview in Times magazine:
(In an article published in The Times Wednesday, Parris said he comes to the conclusion from an examination of Tintin's life.
Tintin, who was born January 10, 1929, on the pages of a children's supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle, has an unknown background and origin, says Parris, adding: "This is common among young gay men, some of whom find it hard to believe that they really are their parents' child".
Tintin's journalism also raises Parris's suspicion: "Tintin's only recorded remark to his editor (on departing for Moscow) is 'I'll send you some postcards and vodka and caviar.' For a cub reporter on his first assignment, a curious remark."
In fact, Parris suspects Tintin may well have been a spy - "secret intelligence has always attracted gay men. I myself applied for and was offered a post in MI6."
He finds Tintin's world full of men. Of the complete list of 350 characters in Tintin books, Parris counts only eight women, and he doesn't find them attractive.
The best known of them, chain-smoking opera singer Bianca Castafiore, is a "diva fag-hag," while Peggy, the wife of a Latin American dictator, is a "curler-wearing virago".
"The butch, bitchy, bullying, cigar-smoking, hard-drinking, flame-haired wife of General Alcazar may well have been lesbian," Parris proclaims.)”

With such concrete evidence I must say, he is right. His level of detailed research would put Mossad to shame.
R.I.P Tintin, your name has been reduced to filth, thanks to a homo.

I guess the next in line would be Astreix and Obelix or HULK or perhaps Flash Gordon.
Then of course we have J.K Rowling stating that Dumbledore is gay. Really, was he? Isn’t it that he will be whatever you make him to be, you can make him a man, woman, gay, hermaphrodite or even an alien. It is all up to you, as you have composed the story. So when you say with a very serious face in a press conference that, “Dumbledore, is actually gay”. You are not only lying to yourself but mocking the whole sane world. This was nothing but a cheap trick on your part to increase the sales of your books (by creating a sensation) which had already sold a million copies. Greed is my guess.

On the other hand, the usage of the word gay has widened a lot. Now it is often used to define a person, an activity, an event or almost anything for that matter. Like the word FUCK, it also has multiple meanings depending upon the usage. I will expatiate with the following examples:

1. What a gay shirt are you wearing! ( If the shirt is very bright/colorful)
2. What a gay movie that was. (If the movie is pansy or lovey dovey)
3. That’s such a gay haircut. (Any jazzy stuff)
4. What a gay song are you listening too. ( Typical if you hear boy bands like backstreet boys)
5. You are gay. ( for any act of cowardice , for not being super cool, for not been a hardcore or Guido)

Today everything can be gay, an animal, a individual, a pen, piece of clothing, eating habits, jokes, dreams…..the list is never ending. The usage is so wide and diverse and the meaning conveyed is not always the true meaning. For a college going kid, nothing is worse than a girl calling him a Gaylord for his actions. As it is rarely used to define the sexual inclination of an individual, only the media uses it for that.
So this is the journey of a word from heaven to hell.

WTF………….I mean seriously WTF……………………….

Shakespeare…where art thou?

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Series of Unfortunate Events!!

Many a times we have come across a movie or a book which entails about the misfortune of a traveler, about how lady luck showed her back to him, about how everything possible went wrong for him. Well, recently I did realize that such incidents are not merely figment of imagination on the part of the author or the director as the case might be.
I hereby narrate one such incident to which I was a party ……at the receiving end of course.
It all started when I decided to heed to my mother’s emotional telephone call. In which she had implored and beseeched me to come and see her. I decided to travel on a bus boarding from Bombay (where I was residing at the moment owing to work) for Ahemedabad (Where my father is currently posted).
I booked my tickets from a place in the outskirts of the city, which was also the place from where I was supposed to board the bus. I had spent a decent amount to book ticket in a sleeper bus so that I could sleep comfortably through the night while on journey (at least that’s what I thought…what a fool I was).
After booking the ticket for a bus that was supposed to depart at 9.30pm I thought of putting the2 hrs that I had in hand to good use and imbibed a good quantity of “Firewater” along with a friend of mine whom I had called over to give me company.
I reached the boarding point at 9.15 pm where I was greeted with the lamentable news that, ‘the Bus had been delayed due to some unforeseen acts of nature and would be reaching shortly’. This shortly how so ever turned out to be very long and finally an alternate bus reached there around 10.45pm. How I killed the time during that period in my inebriated and irritated state is story of sheer willpower, determination and valor.
I was intending to hit the bunk as soon as the bus arrived, but my miseries were far from over. As the bus which had reached at that spot, was just an alternate transport which was supposed to take me to another spot from where I was supposed to board another bus which would then take me to my final destination. (Phew…so much for the comfort I was seeking!)
With my wayward steps and sleepy eyes I boarded the “alternate transport” which dropped me to the next stop at 11.45pm. With the clock striking midnight and my patience and willpower giving way I boarded the new bus in a hope that I would be finally able to lie down and sleep. But sadly fate again had something else in store for me. There was a surprise waiting for me in the bus, the bus wasn’t a “Sleeper Coach” but a “Chair Car.”
So much for lying down and relaxing! The idea of sleeping for the night flew out of the window after this discovery of mine. Sleeping in a sitting position was an impossibility for me. All I could do to vent out my anger was to call up the guy who booked my ticket (and fooled me for paying extra) and abuse him to my heart’s delight before he cut the phone.
I took this predicament on my part as god’s ill will and embarked on my journey thinking after all how difficult would it be to sit in the bus for 12 straight hours. Right! Post midnight the journey started and after about half an hour of bumpy ride in the city we hit the highway. I thought finally now, I would be able to relax in the quiet surroundings around me. But the loud music that the driver put on rebuffed my thoughts. After rebuking him for his in considerate act I resumed my seat, closed my eyes and rested engulfing my mind in pleasant thoughts.
The next 3 hours were spent twisting and turning on the seat in desperate hopes of catching my “40 winks”. But my success in that was very partial and 10 min was the longest I slept at a stretch. Around 3.30am I was awakened (again) from my light sleep, this time owing to the smoke that had enveloped the entrails (passenger section) of the bus. I quickly surveyed the scene around me with my sleepy and confused eyes and finding that most of the bus was already empty I rushed outside gripping my laptop and travel bag. The thought of being burned alive had sent this adrenaline rush in me, which had made me both sober and active.
Outside the scene was chaotic with most of the passenger’s hollering at the driver and his helper. I came to know from them that the engine of the bus had caught fire and was emitting smoke like a chimney. I was hopeful that whatever the problem was, it would be rectified soon and then I could resume my journey and perhaps sleep. It was communicated to me that this was it and the bus would not be budging another inch for some hours at least.
So here I was stranded in no man’s land at 4 in the morning with no locomotion at my disposal and my destination still 7 hrs away. I saw some intelligent folks flagging down a passing jeep and with an idea of hitching a ride I joined these folks. But this hitch was not free and I had to fork out a decent amount for it. The best part, the jeep would not take me to Ahmedabad but to a place that was 3 hrs from Ahmedabad. Also since the “intelligent folks” had sat in the middle and front seat I was left to sit on the back seat in a position that would have made it impossible for me to catch any sleep.
With no respite at sight and with no other option at hand I thought of making the best of this situation. So the jeep started off with the next four hours being spend bouncing on the seat owing to the great roads of the state and also to the shock absorbers of the jeep. My situation there was that of a potato on an empty cart, just bouncing hither and thither.
So the journey progressed, I was tired, irritated, sleepy, distraught, dejected etc etc. My neck hurt due to my awkward sitting arrangement and due to my failed attempt to catch some well deserved sleep because of laying my head on all accessible spots. To add on to it, the driver of the jeep was drunk and being a great fan of bollywood music he arrogantly refused to lower the blow of the radio. It was his day and not mine.
This leg of my journey ended around 7.30 in the morning. To my dismay instead of dropping me on a bus/train terminus the bugger dropped me in the middle of a highway and bid adieu to me. I caught an auto for the railway station from there. I was hoping to catch some local train to Ahmedabad and reach my destination without any more (mis)adventures.
On inquiring at the railway station ticket counter I was told that the next train for Ahmedabad would be leaving in 4 hours. So I could either wait or look for some alternate source of transport. Luckily (final lady luck took pity on me) the bus station was just outside the train station and after a few inquiries I was able to locate the ticket counter from where I was to take the ticket for the Bus. So the next 30min were spent standing in the line under the Sun. Finally the ticket in my hand I boarded the bus. The next 3 hours were spent in the overcrowded bus with the hot summer air burning my cheeks. All thoughts of sleep had left my mind and I had finally accepted that my quota for sleep will remain unfilled.
On reaching Ahmedabad, I was dropped by the bus in the remote outskirts of the town. I had to change 2 auto rickshaws to finally reach my home and “By Jove” that was one of the happiest home coming for me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Salesman & the KID

Sales….a dreaded field of work for some and a field of great opportunities filled with action and fast pace for some.
Today “door-to-door” salesmen have become a thing of the past, but there was a time when these guys were omnipresent in India with their “Vacuum Cleaners”, “Soda Maker’s”, “Encyclopedia’s” or “ Comics(Tintin/Astreix and not Nagraj or Dhruv(sadly)).

As a child I was always fascinated by them (the salesmen) and I would always gleefully invite them in the house whenever they came knocking…….. as if they were “Santa Claus” and were getting me gifts. This of course much to the discomfort of my folks who had given me strict instructions to bang the door when I saw one irrespective of what he was selling.
But I could never understand what harm lay in just watching a demo of the product that they were selling or gazing/turning pages of the comics they brought…… after all that didn’t cost anything did it.

My fascination with them just simply didn’t lie in the wares (read comics) they sold but also because I liked the whole concept of their work, it appeared adventurous to my young mind, the whole thought of roaming wherever you wanted and meeting new people appealed to me very much(now I think what a fool I was).
May be it was because of having someone new in the house appealed to me or maybe it was close to the story “Kabuliwala” that I had read in my syllabus or maybe I was just bored and wanted something, someone to kill time with.
I guess I was too young to understand the intricacies involved in the job and only viewed the aspects involved….. through my young eyes.

My mother always liked the ones who came with a “vacuum cleaner” and they were treated with a little more respect in the house. This was for a simple reason she used to take this opportunity to make them remove the dust/dirt from the corners/places that were unreachable to normal humans. This was done very slyly, while she pretended that she was merely checking the handiness of the product and was genuinely looking forward to buy it. But buy…alas…. she never did.

Now I narrate the incidents one fine summer afternoon (it’s always the summer, how typical) many ages ago (around 15 years roughly…. am not an octogenarian).
It was vacation time and I was spending much of my valuable time at home doing practically nothing, just enjoying my time in my dream world. To those to whom this might look surprising let me clarify there was a time when the magic of Home PC had not invaded India yet, and children preferred playing outdoor sports than WOW (world of War craft) and they let their imagination run wild.

The door bell rang and broke my trance. I got up to answer the door, expecting to find a god send friend to my rescue, to deliver me from boredom. It turned out to be a salesman, I grunted with disappointment and was about to close the door after saying the well rehearsed “No, thank you” that I saw what he held in his hands. He held “Flight 714” amongst other comics of Tintin. What’s so special about it, well…for one it was the only comic in Tintin series that I had not read. This would complete it. This surely was something for which I could bear my mother’s scolding, as the thrill to go through those colorful pages was worth it. My heart was pumping like an engine; excitement was too small a word to describe my state.

So with great hope and exhilaration I invited him into the hall and asked him to take the seat.

He started of by asking if there was an adult in the house, as if my 10 years on this planet did not account for anything.
“Yes, there was but why do you need him/her after all”, I wondered. I am the target customer for your product, show the comics to me, and let me appreciate them”. But all good things come with a price and so did this. A price which was monetary in nature and out of my purview. My likings didn’t matter; it was my mother who could purchase them.

I wondered if I had enough in my “piggy bank’ to use the alternate channel to close the sale, but then I remembered how I had squandered off my savings, on a stupid treat given to my stupid friends, for scoring full marks in a stupidclass test”. I cursed my intelligence. Stupid me …attempting all the questions. But, the damage was already done.

So with a heavy heart and with a certain surety of the outcome I went to my mother’s room where she was enjoying her siesta.
My mother never liked to be disturbed in her slumber, and to be disturbed for such a trivial issue…what I was thinking. I knew the battle was already lost before the first bullet was fired. But being a great believer in luck and destiny I still ventured forward.



She brushed me off.

Her reply to my humble request was no different from my expectation. My feeble attempts to use my innocent (cute) facial expressions to my advantage did not pay any dividends whatsoever.

As I was returning to the hall with my quashed sprits I noticed some loose cash lying on the dressing table. Should I ….my need was questioning my morality. The adrenaline was making a rush; the veins on my temple were bulging…..should I…?

I thought and thought again.


Somehow I could not get myself to do the unthinkable, the inconceivable….. I could not steal, not from my own home.
It was not honesty or similar virtues taught by my mother which made me take this decision , but my sanity which made me think about the spanking I would get in case my heist was discovered.

I went back to Mr. Salesman with a heavy heart, but instead of breaking him the real news I sang a different tune altogether. I convinced him of having procured the money from my mother and it was at my disposal. I stated that before signing off I wanted to confirm the quality of stuff I was procuring. Which actually meant, I wanted to read and go through the comic superfast before him being any wiser about my intentions and of my broke state. (I swear the plan appeared quite ingenious at that time).
The next 15 minutes were spend gazing and polishing off the comic at lightening fast speed, with two opposite thought processes running in both of our minds. While he thought he would make the sale, I knew the reality and was thinking on completing the comic ASAP.

But soon he got weary of the whole scenario and began to suspect my real intentions. He asked if I wanted to purchase any one of the books or not and if I did I better pay up now as he had to go to other places too.
I looked up at him with my pleading eyes which if he could have read would have said “Please let me at least finish the story that I am reading”. Well reading eyes or your expression is more philosophical and reality is way different. So I replied to his query with my articulate reply “The books aren’t interesting enough”.

“Not interesting enough”, wow what was I saying.

A lie, a blatant lie, but did I have any other option.

The salesman got up, with a frustrated look and a frown on his face. He must have surely cursed me under his breath for wasting so much of his time.
As I closed the door on him, my mind was perplexed, “how would the story have ended?, “ What was Capt. Haddock’s next plan?” . I was desperate, I wanted to read the book, I wanted to, I wanted to.

Alas, these tantrums were only in my feeble mind.

I had to get that book, at that moment it appeared as if my life depended on it.

I ran to the terrace to have a last look, I saw the guy walking towards the main road, with his bag dangling on one side. The bag which had my treasure (my precious: LOTR), a treasure whose value only I knew.
I made my mind; I wanted the comic and was ready to pay any price for it, which need not have been monetary.

I ran first towards my mother’s room and then outside the house.

In a split second my innocence was lost.
I was transformed from a KID to man.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Confessions of an engineer!!

It is said in India that “if u pick up a stone from a street and throw it in any random direction, it will fall on an engineer.”
What does this sarcastic statement signify? Well for one, it throws light on the abundance, the plentitude, the multitude, the profusion or shall I say epidemic of students with an engineering degree in India.
So let me don "surgical gloves" and do some forensic analysis to find the cause of this disease that has infected the youths of India today. As to what credentials I have, to make such an atrocious statement.....well, I am just another engineer (By default) this horde.
I have nothing against engineering per fact I consider it to be one of the best professional courses that the mankind has to offer. All throughout the history it has been engineers who have brought about inventions in technology/science for the betterment of mankind.
Bridges, dams, airplanes, tanks, computers, internet etc etc etc....all because of engineers. You look at any gadget that complements your day to day life and you will have an engineer’s mind behind it.
So as I have stated, I have nothing against the breed or the field. But we are here to analyze the cause of an epidemic specific to India.
The problem is more complex than it appears and actually questions the culture, mentality, outlook, mindset, and way of thinking of us Indians.
Let me take you through the Engineering timeline in India:
1. The 50's- 60's : After independence the government took upon it to see that youths of India had equal opportunities is f mot more as compared with their peers in the west in terms of education. The government set up national institutes, which had high standards and some regional institutes with fair standards. To be an engineer was not for every one and only the bright, hard working guys (also girls) with an aptitude for the field were able to get the admission and pursue the course. After graduating most took jobs in state run companies, few in the private firms (mostly mechanical/civil/chemical etc) and even fewer and I mean fewer ventured west.

2. The 70's - 80's: Considering the ever growing population of the country and a hunger for higher education by the youths, more Institutes were set up y the government but that wasn’t all. So few private players and a few trusts’ came forward with new Institutes. So India started to churn out more and more Engineers now. But, the job opportunities for the really talented and bright ones was something that the government and the economy at that time could not offer. So we saw a phenomenon that we refer today as "Brain Drain".

Result” best of the best went to the west.

But still there were a considerable number of people who worked in India in both public and private sector. Engineering had certainly become one of the choicest of professional course in India; it was easier to be an engineer now in India than ever before. This period also saw the emergence of a new field of engineering “Computers".

3. The 90's: This decade brought with itself globalization, liberalization, privatization or simply LPG as the MBA's say. India witnessed growth as never before, there was a boom. The Bull was riding; License Raj came to an end. More and more MNC;'s were setting up offices in India and they wanted domestic talent. Even Indian companies were expanding, there was a great demand for talented engineers and there was gap in the output of production factories of engineers and the requirement. Many private players saw this as a great opportunity and stared to set up private colleges across the country in large scale. Admission into many of these did not require much of talent but more of money on your Dad's part. Donations for admission became common and colleges started to be filled up with students who were there for the heck of it and had no clue what they were doing. There was no dearth of job opportunities if you were in a decently reputed college. Companies wanted more.
By the end of this decade a new phenomenon had gripped the country "Off shoring". While India was booming the West had a slowdown with minimal growth, the companies were looking to reduce costs of operation and then they saw heaven in India. A country with numerous (literally) graduates more that any where else, a country with more engineers than entire Europe. So what if all of them were not actually at par with the engineers of the west (thanks to the low grade of education in many institutes and the large intake of students), as it is the work they were doing was second grade and what more they were doing it cheap (thanks again to the dollar -rupee difference).
The MNC's were ecstatic they could foresee how they would be saving Billions, India was happy, engineers were happy, they had so many jobs…. as never before . It was very easy to find a job and what more the MNC's paid you well too, no point grilling your arse for the public sector. Hey they have a 5 day work week...Yippee....

4. The new millennium: With the new millennium came the IT revolution in India, there were SEZ /STP's for IT companies set up by the government. There were many tax benefits and other soaps given to them and what more it was cheap to set up and IT company as compared to some other sector companies. This and many other factors contributed in mushrooming of IT/ITES companies in India. You could find one in every nook and corner. In a way it was good for Indian entrepreneur as more and more guys stared opening their own firms and it also resulted in "reverse brain drain"...Indians settled in west coming back to set up companies in India.

All this did wonders to Indian economy and the GDP for that matter. But these huge technology factories did not take steel/iron/coal as raw material but thrived on Humans (read engineers) . Companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, IBM, Accenture and many other big players each employed over 100,000 people (again read engineers). With such high demands even a country like India had a problem churning out enough "computer engineer", despite having production line that would have impressed Henry Ford.
With such grave situation, just to open new colleges by private players was not enough, so a new branch "IT" was introduced by some smart ass which was no different that "Computer branch" except the name of course.
So with the same infrastructure Institutes added a new stream and started churning out more students that could be employed with these companies. Institutes were delighted, never before they had seen such record placements. There were cases when entire batch getting placed in a single day by the same company.
Everyone was happy.
But the hunger of IT companies did not subside, they wanted more and they wanted it fast.
So the companies changed their tactics, why go for “computer engineers", let us simply go for "engineers" only as it is, all the students that the companies recruited were hardly employable and companies needed to train them on technologies in house. So what if we recruit, mechanical, civil, electronic or chemical engg....all we have to do is train them a little more. So a compromise was made and also the eligibility criteria’s were lowered.
But like any “Evil Corporate”, the hunger of IT was insatiable, and they decided to pray on another category of students “BSc & MSc in Science/Computers (BCA)” and similar graduates. The advantage being pay less to these guys compared to engineers and these guys did not switch companies that often. Win, Win & Win again. IT was on a roll. A new generation was born “Cyber Slaves”, and their discipline/dedication would have put the parades of soviet era to shame.

I would like to clarify that by no means I have anything against IT companies, for one even I work in one of these “Evil Corps”. I am just elucidating about certain facts ……. what can I say…ahem… “Rather dramatic way”.
Having laid down the facts let me also do a quick outlook of Indian Middleclass/Service Class as to what resulted in this phenomenon.

Note: I do not pride myself as being a great sociologist nor am I a authority on Indian culture/society. What I write is derived from my own experiences and of my fellow beings. I do not know how things have changed to day in Indian Education and my reference are to the times when I was a student, which if not prehistoric is merely 5-10 year old.So here it goes.
In India it is natural for any remotely bright student to pick science stream over commerce/arts post 10’th grade.
If a person scoring above 80 % in 10’th grade told his parents, “Dad/Mom, I want to take arts. I want to pursue a career in History”. That poor chap was either taken to a psychiatrist for mental examination or primitive/rudimentary ways to rebuking were used to get his mind on track. Such thought were enough to qualify yourself to the asylum. Such was a state that the students pursuing fine arts were looked down as being a “Dunce”.
The Indian Hierarchy was set:
1. Science
2. Commerce
3. Arts
It was naturally considered by anyone that a person taking up Arts in 11-12’th grade was a loser in life. It was an unsaid fact.
Now why this was the mentality also has a reason, which was simple enough. Only science graduates landed up decent paying jobs in varying sector.
For Arts student it was considered that they will end up being a teacher or Professor (for brighter ones amongst them).
Then in Science category the only feasible options were “Engineer” and “Doctor”. Of course it was not easy being a doctor as it required “money (for donations”), “available seats were less”, the course was lengthy and in short it was tougher course to pursue than engineering.
So for all “Intelligent (supposedly) “students engineering was the “name of the game” that would fetch them good jobs and great riches (to some it got).
In Indian society it is seldom what the child wants and more often we end up pursuing career that our parents want for us, simply because they do not know better, which again is fair, as earlier there were really not many job opportunities for normal graduates.
The better the engineering college (IIT Dream) the better it was for the student as the better (high paying) job he will get.
So people actually took a drop after school to get into one of the top notch colleges, even at the cost of wasting years and making repetitive attempts. The whole aura of getting into IIT’s and other top notch colleges is so much that students sacrifice their sleep, there joys, there happiness to get into them and at times regret that once they are in there.
I never actually wanted to be an engineer; it’s just that I knew no better. Like any adolescent I had no clue as to what to do with my life, so I took the advice from my parents, friends, and elders and took the plunge. I did have interests in literature, history, archaeology, travel but I had no clue what I could do with them, how I could use them to make money nor did anyone I knew.
We as a society govern our actions on what others would say and on what the others do and seldom actually use our own intellect to think what we actually want and pursue it.
But I do think that the times are changing, at least of what I have seen of generation “Z”, people have started pursuing jobs in fields and sectors that they really are interested in and even parents are supporting them. Today there are more diverse opportunities than before and this change is for good.
As for engineering, well the whole image (respect) of an engineer is in doldrums today, as any tom, dick and harry can be one. The engineers of today by the time they graduate do not even remember the names of all the subjects they have studied in the duration of the course let alone the knowledge they acquired from it.
If you think this is bad, you do not have any clue of the plight of an Indian MBA…….

Monday, May 3, 2010

26-11 Trial: A Mockery of a Nation

Today is being hailed by many as a great day in Indian Judiciary, why…??...because today two murders walk home free…because today the “Honorable” Mumbai high Court judge acquitted two co-accused in this bloody carnage that we call 26-11........due to lack of concrete evidence against them mind you concrete evidence.

For those of you, who did not assimilate the gravity of my statement, let me put it across to you in plain English. Today our esteemed high court judge (who by the way is supposed to be a well read and learned man) let go of two god forsaken, bastards/ Terrorists/ ass****….whom the whole world knew were a part of this bloody conspiracy….. he allowed them to walk home free,… just because their wasn’t enough evidence.

Is this something to triumph upon or is this something utterly shameful for the nation. I believe it is the latter, because I am neither bloody pseudo- secularist nor a bloody hippie to take pride in this abomination of a ruling. I know the “law is Blind”, but that is why we appoint a judge with credentials on such a seat and pay him good money, so that at some point of time he may use his own judgment and brains.

I mean seriously WTF……… Mr. Judge what the hell are you trying to prove……. that “you are King Solomon”, with a great power of judgment…of differentiating right from wrong…. or you are a bloody show off who wants to show off in the page 3 parties, who wants to remembered as the judge who did not bow down against the public pressure, under public emotion and gave a just decision. Who wants to boast to his buddies that, how you showed your middle finger to the families of the victims.

You surely would be remembered in history, as the judge who pissed on the faces of the families of the victims, who pissed on the hope of an entire nation. If letting these bastard terrorists live and undergo trail while wasting the tax payers’ money wasn’t enough, you actually proved to the whole world once again how big “Pansies” we Indians are.

Wow, you truly did a great thing. I mean you could have used your common sense, how difficult is that. How difficult was it for you to say that “you found those men guilty” evidence or no evidence, come on man your judgment was final thing you could have easily done it, but you had to do this bull shit of throwing in you law antics.
I am sure if there was little less evidence against “Kasab”, you would have let him also go scot free and kill more innocents.

How can you have a sound sleep at night after being such a big ass****.

Dude, I mean what is your problem?

I know it is not easy being a judge, it’s a position that comes with a lot of responsibilities. I know I am not aware of the case details nor have I seen the evidence brought in the case. But what I do know is I am one of those Indians who were angered by this atrocious act of these terrorists, their sympathizers and Pakistan.

I am one of those Indians who has for years witnessed our governments handle this whole issue without guts. Why that only spine less fellows are the decision makers is beyond my understanding. We were always a nation of cowards and Hippocrates.
Let me also clarify, that I have nothing personally against you. But against the whole set of people like you whom we have in plenty in this country. These set of people always think it to be cool, if you go against the common sense and common majority in any issue what so ever.

I do want to question a lot of you bloody hippie’s whom I saw giving interviews to various channels with smiles on their faces, stating how this was a triumph for the Indian judiciary. Was it?

Are you sick or what. I mean I am sure you would not have been smiling if your son or daughter would have been killed in that attack. In that case you would be asking for blood like the others are presently. At least look at the tears of those family members who lost their loved one’s and polish of the bloody grin from your face.

I am sure you Mr. Showman would have been the one of the first to light a candle after the attacks, tell you what we don’t need no candle’s we need people who have balls and don’t mind calling a spade a spade. We want people who can deliver in terms of things that actually mean something and are not some bloody show off’s

How big a coward are you all?

I can agree that there could be a lack of evidence, but I am sure any sane person could have said that those bloody guys were terrorists just by the looks of it…. leave alone the evidence.

Call me biased if you want at least I have the balls to acknowledge the truth, at least I don’t shy away from speaking my mind for the fear of not being politically correct.

Mr. Judge, I ask you again, what the hell were you trying to prove.
By going against the public opinion you have not done something great , you have only proved how big a coward and a hippie you are.

Why do some people have to be politically correct, why cant we trust the judgment of their minds sometimes rather than some stupid documents/proofs, at least in the issues of such great magnitudes.

Had this been a one odd incident I would not have reacted like this….but this is always the case, in India….whether you build a dam, build a steel plant, kill a terrorist or something else in national interest to which the majority of public agrees. There is always group of human rights activists or some other bull shit activist or some goddamn hippies who have a problem. What do you want, do you want the country to go to dark ages, it is these people who always go against the public sentiment who try to portray as if they know more than everyone in the world, who consider themselves polished and other countrymen as ignorant fools.
Sometimes there is no mid way it’s either this way or that way…. have balls to state things for what they actually are.

Once again we have made Pakistan bask in our shame, it is actually their triumph and not others. How difficult is for the some people and organizations (Times of India, with their “Aman in Aasha” bull shit) to realize that Pakistan is our enemy, there is no two ways to it. It has been promoting terrorism in India for ages and we have not even once retaliated. What the hell are we waiting for. Not even one government has ever had the guts to reply in a befitting manner. Its like a college student is being bullied by a third grader and we are letting it happen.

Great is our nation.

I am so repulsed by the whole thing that can’t write more.

My final words to the judge %$@&$*@&@@%@I@*)*)**)!&(@(^(@.