Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Exams and the associated Nautanki


Well....well, I am not giving any exams currently nor do I have any coming up in the near future. Is this exam season? Not for schools definitely, I don't know about non-semester courses. Bi-semester ones-hmmmm, nah not for engineering folks too.

Was just recalling those times when during the last few days - books are handled with great fervor. The time when we dust out our syllabus book that was delivered to us when the semester/year began. Time to browse through the book and figure out what were the electives chosen. New friends are made with the purpose of having combined studies. Days of late night oil burning, mommy dearest bringing a glass of warm milk at the middle of a ghostly night. TVs packed off and disposed off to attic...err I am exaggerating, well at least satellite TV connections cut off and day and night spent hidden among hoards of confusing literature which would seem Greek and Latin.

Image from http://nursingpad.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html

Days when utmost respect is given to the lecturers, so much that they tend to get insecure and wonder whats wrong! Days when one starts inquiring about the directions to the library and when the campus playground and cafeteria is empty with only flies swarming. Days when hours are spent roaming around for notes and waiting at the photocopy shops to get a copy of the ready made notes. Nights when hostels are in full swing studying and a fog of smoke engulfing every one's den due to fags.

Image from www.library.vanderbilt.edu/visions/

There used to be limited copies of some text books in the library. A couple of them that I can recall are Barry B Brey's 8085 microprocessor and Richard Steven's Unix Network Programming. These books used to be off the shelf like hot cakes during exams and internals, that is when we used to study.
I was my librarian's favorite. He would hide one copy of these for me so that I can have them. Excuse me!! I didn't bribe him or do anything unethical!!

Talking about new friends made, those were the times of combined study and projects. Each one wanted to hang on with the brightest in the class or in our cases, with people who managed to got to do projects from few of the top companies in the industry. Most of them would end up with those kinda folks who didn't know what preprocessor directive in C was!! But they did bag a nice project in some nice company because their brothers, uncles or some relatives worked in those companies.

Those are the times when the staff rooms are full with students hovering around lecturers and professors, not for learning things but begging them to adjust their internal marks and to adjust their attendance percentages. Oh my!!! These are the times when you feel "Ah, how easy it would now be if I had tried a bit in the beginning to create an impression and build a nice rapport."

Ahhh, days when each one's face was hidden behind a mask called textbooks, days when the fingers do all the talking when lips murmuring something and eyes shut tight trying to push few things into that poor organ called brain.

Image from http://archive.student.bmj.com/back_issues/0499/graphics/life1.gif

Then the D day...Exam days

Last minute cramming, preparations, drawing 2-stroke and 4 stroke engines in the air, writing programs on the mud, getting confused between C and C++ syntax, unethically preparing chits to cheat on while writing Business and Professional Ethics.

Image from http://zineculturefiles.pbworks.com/f/cramming.JPG

A girl would be busily cramming and putting up an intellectual expression. Go ask her a simple doubt, she will say "Oh! this. Very easy!" Ask her to explain and she will blah blah some nonsense and escape!!

Someone coming by and asking "What book is this?" When you say this is Part 2 of the subject and the person exclaims "Oh!!! Were there part 1 and 2?"


Bell rings and people walk into the exam hall still trying to cram in how much ever possible. Question papers are passed along, curiosity and fear turns into confusion. Which subject is this?? Did I study for the same kinda doubts. Look around and see the same expression on every one's face and be relived that you are not alone!!

A guy sitting beside you nudges to pass on your answer sheet while writing, in the exam hall. Why doesn't he understand revealing the answer sheet while concentrating and writing the answers is far more difficult than copying!!!!

You ignore and he nudges, stare and him and he stares back and nudges again, you look around with fear to see if the supervisor is watching you and pass on your sheet. When you want it back, he ignores you.

Image from http://comps.fotosearch.com/comp/IMZ/IMZ401/boy-cheating-exam_~sps0441.jpg

Look in awe when you see someone bursting with confidence and finishing off promptly and getting out of the hall. Finally, plead with the supervisor to let you write those last 2 words as if it would fetch you gold medal when the time's out.

Come out of the hall and discuss answers and sweat when you figure out you wrote about 2 stroke engine when asked about 4 stroke, or when you wrote algorithm of bubble sort when asked for quick sort, or when you answered for mutex instead of answering for a semaphore and count your probable marks!!

Wonderful moments isn't it? Please share if you have any such exam nautanki moments

Monday, August 24, 2009

My first tag - Guilty or Innocent


This is my first tag ever, passed on to me by SG

Seems to be interesting!!

The rules are thus…
You can only say Guilty or Innocent
You are not allowed to explain anything unless someone messages you and asks!
Copy and paste this into your notes , delete my answers, type in your answers and tag 20 of your friends to answer this.

Asked someone to marry you? Guilty

Ever kissed someone of the same sex? Innocent

Danced on a table in a bar? Innocent

Ever told a lie? Guilty

Had feelings for someone whom you can’t have back? Guilty

Kissed a picture? Guilty

Slept in until 5 PM? Guilty

Fallen asleep at work/school? Guilty

Held a snake? Innocent

Been suspended from school? Innocent

Worked at a fast food restaurant? Innocent

Stolen from a store? Guilty

Been fired from a job? Innocent

Done something you regret? Guilty

Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Guilty

Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Innocent

Kissed in the rain? Guilty

Sat on a roof top? Guilty

Kissed someone you shouldn’t? Guilty

Sang in the shower? Guilty.

Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? Guilty

Shaved your head? Innocent

Had a boxing membership? Innocent.

Made a girlfriend cry? (Guess its girlfriend or boyfriend) Guilty.

Been in a band? Innocent

Shot a gun? Innocent

Donated Blood? Innocent

Eaten alligator meat? Innocent

Eaten cheesecake? Guilty

Still love someone you shouldn’t? Guilty

Have/had a tattoo? Innocent.

Liked someone, but will never tell who? Innocent

Been too honest? Guilty

Ruined a surprise? Innocent

Ate in a restaurant and got really bloated that you couldn’t walk afterwards? Guilty.

Erased someone in your friends list? Guilty

Dressed in a woman’s clothes (if you’re a guy) or man’s clothes (if you’re a girl)? Guilty

Joined a pageant? Innocent

Been told that you’re handsome or beautiful by someone who totally meant what they said? Guilty

Had communication with your ex? Innocent

Got totally drunk on the night before exam? Innocent.

Got totally angry that you cried so hard? Guilty

Wooohhhhooo...I cant believe those answers. It was fun!! I would like to tag just 3 folks :-)


Have fun guys!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jeans on EMI!!

I recently saw an advertisement and it caught me off-guard. I was bewildered for a moment. Most of them who did come across this ad would have felt the same as I did.

Levis and Co which invented Jeans and made it so popular and trendy that everyone wanted to own a pair, has come up with a unique concept to beat the slow sales and keep its cash registers clinking.

They are it seems offering jeans with an EMI option for 3 months with 0% interest. Its a pilot project that's been started first in Bangalore and it will be introduced to other cities as well if this scheme works out. They have a tie-up with ICICI credit cards. Minimum purchase must be of Rs 1500. So if I buy a pair of jeans for Rs 1500, then I have to pay Rs 500 each month for the next 3 months. And the jeans company takes care to pay the bank's service charges for these 3 months, so you need not have to shell out anything extra. Isn't this cool? Its weird too. It does seem to be working out for them. It seems the sales has gone up by 50%. So just keep your eyes and ears open; for you might just end up discovering the same scheme in your city.

Maybe the company is doing it due to downturn. People are not spending on apparels as much as they used to spend earlier. But apparels in India is not value-priced. Or is this scheme available only on nominally priced jeans? What if I want to buy a cool pair of jeans with Swarovski crystals embellished on the rear or real diamonds maybe?

It would have taken everyone by surprise, the retailers, the competitors. It seems to be the first of its kind for apparels. I am not sure if this has been already tired anywhere else in the world. But does it make sense? How about the returns, the transaction charges incurred? Would it work out for the company? Would it work out for the franchisee? We have seen EMI options being offered for cars, consumer durables where their value is high and the product can be recovered if the customer defaults.

But Jeans??
What would the bank do by repossessing Jeans? Wash them again, redo the embroidery, stud in crystals if they are broken or worn out, fix the fly and resell?
I wonder what would they do if someone defaults payments. Would the bank's recovery agents chase that person wearing the jeans and strip him off on the road!!!!

Talk about new ways of selling!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Best happens when you least expect

Its such a beauty when you are so happy that you cant express the joy. Its an invaluable gift when these happiness and joy is a surprise and comes when you least...the very least expect.

I just couldn't count my blessings yesterday. I received them all at once. Such things brings hope and radiance into one's lives and makes one think its not so bad after all!!

Suppose when you think a friend of yours has long forgotten you, doesn't return your calls. You start feeling sad and then if that friend takes pain to travel 100s of kms to be with you just on your birthday!! Unannounced....just calls and says "Happy Birthday. I am outside your office".

Wont you be shocked that first of all you are remembered and not forgotten as you mistook? Wont a chill run down your spine to recall that the friend is such an unforgettable character and yet remembered your birthday!!!! Would it not be unbelievable that instead of a phone call, the friend has really come down to be with you? What more would one ask for?

Yet another adorable friend writes sweetest verses which is more than just praises and once modesty would think twice to accept the words. :-) And then the friend calls up and sings "Happy Birthday"

What should I say about a friend who sent so many messages through out the day and called up many a times and each time sang "Happy birthday "

And all others who remembered me and wished me, blessed me. Friends who work during night, set up alarm so that they can be awake just to wish me. Friends who kept awake, losing their sleep, waited until 12 AM to wish me. Friends who called me from overseas, friends who wished me online and yeah! blogger friends. Also friends who forgot to wish and later apologized :-P

It was my best. Memorable day made by my friends, lucky to have them by my side. I am short of words, I cant express the joy I am experiencing and it will be throughout. I was not able to express how I felt. I am still yet to come out of the bliss, bliss is too mild a word.

None of these friends read my blog except for a couple of them.

Yet, I thank them profusely for making my day. Thanks a lot dearies, you all made my day...I love you all..Straight from my heart

Monday, August 17, 2009

Its ME today

Few of my previous posts have been serious. It was not the way I wanted it to be. I always want to throw in some satire when trying to talk about even serious things. Maybe the workaholic in me made me all the more serious.

This day belongs to me, me and ME. So I am not going to human-bash or throw any sarcasm; anyways very few people are intelligent enough to understand sarcasms. I am not even going to rant about my observations nor am I going to put up some poor ant's photograph.

As I said, this day belongs to me.

I have been evolving, discovering myself all through these years. Does this statement sound like a cliche thrown in by 'out-of-work' bollywood actresses? "Yeah, I was on a sabbatical. It was an deliberate attempt to re-invent myself...blah...blah...blah" Why don't ya all confess that yeah, you gals are not being signed for any movies and you are all out of work?

Oops, this post was supposed to be MY post. So tch...tch.....erase from your minds those previous statements.

My mom always says that I was very different as a kid. I would always love to get dressed up, all decked with jasmine flowers, lot of bangles, shoes and hair bands to match my dress color. I don't remember when I started hating being decked up. I was my simple best during my teenage years. And I slowly transformed myself to being a tomboy. Always in trousers and got my hair chopped away just until recently. A year back, my thoughts changed. I thought I should not resort to chopping anymore. What changed me? A co-worker at my workplace who had knee length flowing hairs, neatly maintained.

If HE can have such long hairs, why cant I? I am a woman!!!

Of late, I have started to like Sarees. My pair of skinny jeans still remain my favourites, but Sarees are attracting me. My mother's never exhaustive collection of cotton Sarees look so suave, uber cool and sophisticated now. Got a couple of them for myself now :-P

That was about my style preferences.

I have successfully avoided getting influenced by profanity, I have stopped whatever little I started - swearing..Applause.

Its been a while since I read a book. I had this penchant for reading since I have known. I used to be scolded for picking up bits of papers strewn on the road and read them. It was Famous 5, Secret 7 and Nancy Drews at school.I take about 2 hours to finish reading newspaper each day. Don't leave a thing. Many of my friends don't understand what is so interesting in reading that I am so passionate about it. Well, I ca fore go my other basic activities like eating and sleeping to pursue my reading. I can read on and on.....So its weird that I haven't picked up a book since few months. The latest I read was 'The Associate' by John Grisham. The book was mediocre and Grishman has lost it. I am still trying to come to terms with that. I don't prefer watching movies that are based on novels. Thus when I have read all of the Jason Bourne series, I don't know how Matt Damon looks on screen as Jason Bourne or if Tom Hanks did fit the role of Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code.

I am fascinated by the world, the people, culture, so if not reading then I am definitely watching Discovery or NGC. I don't get fed up of the shows they air. My personal favorites are the cookery shows that's aired on Travel and Living. Its not that I try these recipes but watching it is a visual treat, that somehow subdues my gastronomical desires....(A tip to reduce weight!!)

Being a hard core vegetarian, its somehow unexplainable how the butchering, all blood and flesh, sauteing of meat appeals to my eyes. Its not disturbing even an iota to watch Kylie Kwong chopping off octopuses limbs to prepare stew, or to watch a live snake being slit and its heart pulled out while its still beating and Anthony Bourdain gulping it and licking its last drop of blood!!!! And Nigella's desserts...Oohh...La...La...

Whoopsidaisies!! The post is getting longer (Picked it up from Hugh Grant, guess from which movie???)

Yeah, of late, work keeps me busy and if not work, its home. Travel and photography and my blog keeps me live and kicking. Oops, how could I miss? What without my loved one and my very few group of great friends!!

Enough Insignia!!!

PS : Pleasantly, incidentally, this is my 100th post. This is my 100 ever after a long long time. Used to get 100 marks in school..hmmm....

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Happy Independence Day to Ya All Ladies and Gentlemen.

Hope each of us did think about our forefathers who struggled for independence, sang a couple of patriotic songs, watched some patriotic stuff on TVs which compete for TRPs, attended flag hoisting ceremony and ate sweets!!!

I was going to my office the day before yesterday. At a traffic signal, a shabbily dressed, hairs ruffled, cute kid aged about 4 came to me. She was carrying a board with the about 20 tricolor brooches pinned to them and a bundle of plastic tricolor flags; coaxing me to buy. She was so young that she was not even able to talk properly. She told the flag just cost 3 Rs in her innocent baby talk. I started a conversation with her. I tried Hindi and then Kannada.

"Don't you go to school?"

"Yes, I do"

"Are you not going to school today?"

"Its a holiday" (It was Thursday and there were no school holidays. I doubt if she ever saw a school)

I searched for some coins in my bag and gave her 4 Rs and bought a flag. She didn't seem to know math good enough to know she has to return me a rupee. The auto rickshaw driver asked her how much was it? Was it not Rs 2? She told it was 3 Rs. He asked for the change. I said it was OK and let her have it. And asked her -

"Do you know what this flag is?"

She was clueless and kept looking at me. The signal was about to clear and I told her to go. The flag is adorning my cubicle at office.

The parents of that girl have sent her to sell the goodies on the heavily crowded road knowing the psychology of people well. They would of course buy from that cute little girl. The girl was tender, her speech not developed well enough for her to sell things!!

We have attained independence. But have we really?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Random ramblings

Does this happen only with me? Have anyone of you experienced this stupid behavior or witnessed it any time? A pizza joint, a burger shop, a food court in a mall when its generally crowded; people walking with food trays in search of an empty table. You and your friend have found a table for two and have begun eating. Your friend has ordered another dish and goes to fetch either that or maybe a glass of water - leaving the chair vacant. Someone just comes by, drags the chair and walks away....................What will you do? I gape in awe, dragging away an occupied chair without even having a courtesy to ask if it can be fetched away. I feel like giving two tight slaps and bringing them back to their common senses. Common sense is so uncommon among people nowadays. A senior executive at my work place did the same in my office cafeteria. After committing this 'humane' act, he was staring at the group from where he flicked the chair repeatedly to see if they noticed. It was awkward.

A new trend has started here since quite sometime. Beggars stand at the traffic signal and literally harass commuters to cough up some money. a rupee or two is accepted with a smirk, a 5 Rs is acceptable. Beggars are choosers!! Yeah, not to leave out the trans genders. They target young men, well dressed hurrying to go on their job, to office. If the men don't part with some money, they grope them which embarrasses these men and thus are forced to part with the money. Few women beggars flaunt their heavy pregnant belly by wearing their skirt much below their navel and a super short shirt. They assume that a pregnant distressed figure would gain sympathy. Few others put up a super cool act of being under some deadly disease - struggling even to walk properly. But when the signals turn green, their struggle vanishes and one can see them run swiftly like a road runner away from the vehicles. Its disgusting to see such scenes on the road. The cops do nothing. Why would they? They beg from these beggars!!

The story is somewhat similar in temples. I went to a temple in Chennai. Its a famous temple. We were at the sanctum sanctorum when a priest distributed holy water. A second priest came with aarthi. Apparently, the second priest jumped the gun in distributing the aarthi thereby getting dhakshina from a couple of people. The other priest got irritated by this and he left what he was doing and came to where we stood to get the dhakshina, by then we had already left it in the aarthi plate. He did not even bother about the devotees present, but picked up a fight with the other priest reminding him that it was his turn this time to take the dhakshina. It was a nasty scene to witness both of them argue. I left the place still trying to digest what I witnessed.

One can find little kids selling bunch of roses on a posh street in Bangalore where the crowd is ready is spend money. The streets are full most times with young crowds. These kids are super MBAs - they know whom to target their sales, one's got to learn business tactics from them. They pursue young couple; coax the guy to buy roses for the lady. The guy would definitely want to impress the lady, and is ready to buy them. Ask the kid for the price of 2 roses and lo!! they quote 50-100 Rs. The guy is in a fix. If he says no, what impression would he create in front of the girl!! So he ends up buying them with a broad smile and a heavy heart. Mission accomplished!

I was loitering in a serene place - a cemetery actually. I had my camera with me as usual, I liked the archway entrance and snapped it.

On the main walkway broad enough to allow vehicles in; is where I was loitering. As I was standing, taking in the serenity and calmness, I saw an ant crawling across the road. An auto rickshaw passed by me, the ant was still crawling to go to the other side. The front wheel of the auto was well away from the ant and I was keenly observing and wishing that the ant is safe. But the rear wheel on the left crushed the ant. It was still for a couple of seconds, later it struggled hard to to get up, to crawl..it struggled for a a few seconds and then gave up :-(

This is the ant :-| :-(

PS : A calf swishing its tail, while walking with its head swaying up and down as its earnest gleaming eyes looks for the way is the most cutest thing I have recently seen.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Yesterday was Friendship Day. Errr....I don't really really know if we need one special day to celebrate the beauty of friendship. But as everyone else, I acknowledge that yeah, yesterday was a day dedicated to celebrating friendship.
Got a couple of SMS from friends who wont remember me next year to send the Happy Friendhsip Day message. Its a fast fast world with people's memory getting shorter and shallower each second.

I have known many yet few people who have been friends, acquaintances, well-wishers. Its surprising to realize that how we cannot share the same level of bond with each one - even though they are all friends. Well, I have never shared my every thoughts, feelings, sorrows and joys with all my friends in the same manner. The comfort level always varied, no bias as such, but it got to do with my idea of whats acceptable to one and what is not.

Most of them we find are fair weather friends who pop up when you are hale and hearty but when you need a shoulder to cry, they vanish! There were have been a couple of instances where in I lost my years of genuine friendship due to ego and misunderstandings. Every person at one point of time gives you pain. But what you choose matters. Do you want to choose the PAIN or the PERSON? At one point, I chose the PAIN, nurtured it to anger and I lost my dear friend. Patching up doesn't work, even though one wants to plainly accept for the heck of it and say "Yo! We got back!" The crack can be mended but the scar always remains. Another occasion, I did the same mistake but was quick enough to mend it. Now my friend and I have buried the hatchet and we share a wonderful relationship. The scar remains with me, maybe I should let go of it.

Many people whom I haven't met, or just met for a few minutes have become great friends with me. Striking a cord is easy when two like minds meet. I have learnt a lot from my friends and they have indirectly influenced me to appreciate beauty of life and nurtured positivity.

There are few other friends whom I don't get to meet often as they are all in the US of A primarily, but we do catch up when our paths cross and then the reminiscences, recalling good old days, pulling each other; playing pranks, sharing a single packet of popcorn, forgetting what one is, forgetting other complications - those moments cant be bought for anything on earth. And an occasional "Hi, How are you"..."Hey, I bought a new car. Here are the pics" ......"Hi dear, whats up with you. How are things" ........."Yeah, life is complicated, I am trying to patch things up"............brings the two souls more closer.