Sunday, November 26, 2006



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life

Act1,Scene1: It was my freshie year. Having been allotted hostel13 meant travelling up and down the slopy roads leading to the academic area. Something that would be a real arduous task. For the unitiated, the academic area is more than 1 kilometer away from my hostel and you have to surmount two himalyan slopes on your way. What i badly needed was a bicycle. Severe cash crunch, as always, ensured that my bicycle could only be a "bicycle"! Not the sleek and sexy ones which most others seemed to possess. So a not-so-soothing-to-the-eyes blue coloured framework, just two brakes, just the normal handle without any add-ons, the normal bell capable of producing the most repulsive and an ear drum piercing sound and ofcourse, no signs of gears-all in all the kind of cycle that the filthy rich kids of today would dismiss as prehistorical. Despite this it cost me a fortune-1700 bucks!
Act1,Scene2:Now its my fourth year. "Well wishers" bombard me with queries with a clockwork regularity. Queries of the type, "You don't even realise its kiddish?". "How long will she carry your load re?". "Will you exploit her even in your 5th year or will you even cycle to your office?". And these queries crop up only when my "well wishers" are in groups. The boisterous laughter that emanates thereafter can unnerve or irritate the lesser mortals but i still manage (or pretend to manage) to maintain my composure. So i would like to use this medium to express my gratitude to all "well wishers" who have ensured that my love for my cycle does not mellow down with age. For someone for whom a trip to the main gate has become a religious ritual, life sans a cycle would have been hellish. My old faithful- she has withstood the vagaries of faith and weather ungrudgingly. She bore the brunt of Bombay's monsoons for an entire month when i parked her in the open unattended while i cheerfully proceeded on a vacation back home. There are loads of people who owe a big thanks to her for having saved them on innumerable occasions - be it missing a lab, lecture or a date:d . She has been subjected to double and triple ridings as well regardless of her highly fragile and docile framework. And despite all these favours, the ungrateful fellas have tormented her and her owner with the crudest of jokes. The biggest advantage of having a cheap bicycle is that noone really bothers even giving her a look while the costlier ones keep getting moused.There have been gazillion occasions when she has suffered a chain break, puncture, break fail and god-knows what !! But every time she has recuperated back to "fighting fit". Alas!! now these events have become just too frequent- signs of old age catching up with her. Every second day some part gives away and getting a repair costs me a fortune. But the strong bondage ensures that i do cough up some precious bucks- something that i don't do for nothing! Now for all my "well wishers"- here's some good news! The truth has dawned upon me albeit late. The imminent has arrived. She definitely deserves a rest. Before i say RIP , i must tell you its AVON SLR 707. Go have a look ...

ps: The preference of "she" over "it" and "he" has a reason. Not to be disclosed :p
pps: She is too camera shy for any pictures. Everybody loves my baby :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Salaam Bombay !

Ever since i was done with my schooling and all, i have lived the life of a nomad. I have been lucky enough to have lived in some of the beshtesht cities one can think of. A huge chunk of that stay has been in the himalyan kingdom of Nepal. Then i have lived in places like Patna,Mumbai,Delhi and Nainital . Having lived the biggest part of my post-schooldays life in Mumbai, i consider myself qualified enough to voice my opinions about the city. I , for reasons inexplicable, do not like the sound of the word Mumbai. So i would be better off using Bombay. Before i go about rattling my version of " reasons why i love Bombay", i must say that these views are totally personal to the me and any offences are purely coincidental.
First and foremost, i like Bombay for being Bombay. The kind of Bombay that one grows up with watching doordarshan's serials and movies. The kind of Bombay that is the real exotic orient. The kind of Bombay that greets you the moment you get down from your train onto the platform. Everyone seems so lively and active - the entire city oozes life from every pore. For someone who is awe inspired at the very sight of a beach, Bombay keeps me mesmerised. Having looked at some of the best beaches/shores like Murud, Colaba, Bandra etc (and still miles to go before i sleep),it has only left me longing for more. And how can someone waxing eloquent about Bombay forget to mention Bombay's awesome snacks. Stepping out of my college's main gate, the first thing that attracts me are the street vendors selling all possible permutations and combinations of "puris" - be it bhel, batata or sev. A start without a stop. The amazingly crisp chikkis and the vada paos - the list is simply endless. Even the Bombay local trains are inviting. Despite the sometimes unnerving crowd that zeroes on you from all sides, travelling by the Bombay locals is another experience that i look forward to. Looking out of the window, you can see the exact Bombay that has been depicted mesmerisingly through media, literature, news etc. And i swear, i have never been pick pocketed!! ( during my much shorter stay in Delhi, i had been pickpocketed twice). I also love Bombay for being one of the richest cities one can think of. The shopping malls and the multiplexes are always teeming with the Bombay millions- something that would have been a luxury in some other place. Bombay, as far as my perception goes is also much more safer than a host of other Indian cities. Personal experience says that you can hit the roads even in the thick of the night and still return home safe and sound. For a city which is as important as Bombay, i must say that the people here are totally devoid of any ostentatious displays- something that is quite evident in some other cities that are far less important than Bombay. And i must add - the Bombay populace is mighty helpful and forthcoming.There are still myriad other reasons why Bombay rocks but then i am quite sure i have bored you people enough. There would be more people living in the city of Bombay than in the Australian continent ten years from now and i am proud to be one of them.

Monday, October 16, 2006


What happens when a much touted and promising bollywood director starts gloating to the extent of becoming vainglorious? What happens when a bunch of jokers are put together into the main cast of what is supposedly a serious bollywood venture? What happens when people try to work out a sequel to a movie that was made almost a decade back with the only motive being to cash in on the original version? And the one and the only answer to all these questions is SHIVA. I am quite sure that a director of Ram Gopal Verma's calliber must have had certain novel designs in his mind when he conceived of a sequel to his original Shiva. But whatever the intentions might have been, the film is ludicrous and that is saying the least. A laugh riot ( though its not intended to be one) from the beginning to the very end. An out-of-this-world- honest sub inspector blessed with extraterrestrial physical prowess is the pivot around whom the entire laugh riot revolves. The guy tries his best at looking i-mean-business type damn serious but i am really sure that he must have dropped laughing onto the ground after each take. Nisha Kothari is there again doing what she is best at - providing the unnecessary spice girl element. Alas! she even fails in that attempt what with our RGV getting her to don glasses playing a journo who seems to have just come out of some mental asylum. But the cherry on the cake is provided by the villainous character named Baapu. He doesn't even need any special efforts to make you laugh ( again i must warn you that this is supposed to be a goddamn serious movie and the shades/abundance of laughter are totally interpretation dependent). One look at his rusticity and you are certain to be amused throughout the movie. RGV has grossly overdone things in his attempt to paint a gory picture of the underworld. Like in one scene where the mafioso kills a man in broad daylight by driving a nail through his head using a hammer(Guffaws!!). Guess this doesn't even happen in Colombia, leave aside India. Then without any forewarning or a need, there is the typical bollywood ishtyle dancing around the trees with the actress in her itsy bitsy best. And the dialogue delivery is simply GODgiri. Voice modulation is something i believe that the entire crew wasn't aware of. So anything that Baapu or Sandhya (Nisha) speak, hits the ear like fingernails scraping on a blackboard. The sync (or the lack of it) leaves so much to be desired. It creates so much confusion you aren't sure if you must sympathise with the hero or join Baapu in his merry making or infact, the vice versa. Right from the beginning the hero keeps winning on all the fronts and that too hands down. So i kept guessing that the next scene would give a blow to the character's aspirations. Strangely enough, that "next scene" never materialised. Result is that it turned out to be a total feel good/feel best movie. For me, this has to be the funniest i have seen this year from the bollywood stable. I don't think i need to watch Lagey raho.. after this divine experience. Btw, my tummy still hurts from the experience. Will need a good night's sleep to overcome the mental trauma and just praying that i don't get a hangover.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

If i am not a weirdo, what the hell am i doin here ?

Life on the blogosphere becomes a hell when you have been tagged. The person who tags you proudly announces - "I have done it" . His role over, everytime you come across him you are reminded of the bitter truth. The ungrateful job you have landed with - living upto his tag. When you feel like blogging, you cannot! You have been tagged. So i have decided to put an end to this tagging business for good. So here i am.
Well, i have been asked to point out the 5 "most" weird things about me! How on earth do i know that ?? What might seem perfectly normal to me might be more than perfectly abnormal to you. "Weirdity" lies in the eyes of the beholder. I talked to a host of people which included my siblings, friends,romans n countrymen. But to my utter disappointment, i have been told that i am a perfectly normal dweeb . I did take offence to actually being labelled a dweeb by someone but then thats another story. Someone who is simply so "unweird" that it almost borders on boredom. Someone who is interesting only as long as you are not in intimate contact with him. Then i start becoming predictable, then a little boring, then more boring and then even drab. So after more than a week of analysis and inspired thinking, i have come upon the conclusion that, indeed, i am NOT AT ALL WEIRD !! The verdict has been delivered. No overrulings on my blog. Sincere apologies DADA - I tried like anything but failed to deliver. Anyways, thanks but no thanks! So long and thanks for all the fishes :)
PS: And people please do not bother tagging me again. I am well and truly done with this tagging business forever. And for good !

Friday, September 29, 2006

Touch me, I'm sick !

A couple of cones more than what my system can handle, a couple of more than necessary treats for me, a couple of more than than the usual night outs, a couple of more than necessary assignments for my sparrow brain and a couple of days of getting wet in the usual Mumbaiyya weather.This deadly combination of factors, all going against me at the same time, is what lands me at the unwelcoming IIT Hospital (btw, which hospital is welcoming?) for possibly the gazzilionth instant. My love and hate relationship with the IIT hospi has been going on for what now seems ages and the saga simply refuses to die down. So there i was ! Perched on the typically-hospital-white-bench patiently waiting for my turn outside the doc's chamber. Not every soul looked ill. Most were like me - invisibly ill. Didn't shave for quite some days which actually made me look forlorn and not quite fit. My chance came after around 20 minutes of peaceful wait. I entered and sat facing the doctor. I always manage to find the same doctor whenever i land up at the IIT hospital despite there being around six doctors there. So even before she could shoot her first question; boom! there goes my answer
Me - 55 Kgs (Had checked my wait at the delhi railway station before embarking on my journey from Delhi to Mumbai. It showed 54 Kgs. So i calculated that the mess food must have done wonders and i must have gained a kg - nothing more and nothing less)
Doc - And thats your weight?
Me- Smilingly nod my head ( what else on this earth could that be ?)
Doc - Have you been smoking excessively over the last few days ?
Me - No! Infact , i just forgot, i don't smoke at all!
Doc - Is this the result of an affair gone all wrong ?
Me - No doc! Not at all.
Doc - Then give me an acceptable reason for your almost underweight status.( A cunning questioning smile lightening up her visage)
Me(mumbling under my breath) - Is it not something that you should figure out?
Doc - What?
Me - Nothing (followed by a wry smile that came with the involuntary twitching of my facial muscles)
She then gives up the pretence of being genuinely interested in her patient's health and gets on with her usual business. Gets me to open my mouth as big as it gets, then doesn't even bother looking inside. Uses the stetho as any other doctor does. Checks my pulse. Advices against eating too much oily food.
Doc- Then i guess this is just the common cold + fever that afflicts people with the changes in weather. Mumbai's not been treating you well then.
Doc- You want to go for a blood test.
Me - No! Thank you!
Me - Another wry smile managed albeit with lesser difficulty.
Doc - I have prescribed you a few medicines. Take them as per the routine. Come back in two days . Should be hale and hearty by then. "But then something must be ".... just trails off leaving me imagining the worst.
Me - Thanks a lot mam!
Prescription in hand,I drag myself to the dispensary. The service here is quick. I get a few tablets of Uni Cold tablets, scary yellow amoxycillin capsules and the most stinking and nauseating cough syrup that comes without a name - in a not properly disposed off chhota bisleri bottle. And then, there is my mom's never-worked-recipe of B Complex capsules which are supposedly energising and invigorating. The same combination of medicines that have been prescribed to me with clockwork regularity during my "now what has become ritualistic" visits to the IIT hospi ( how much we love that term!!). The same combination (with possibly an altered permutation) is omnipotent or apparently is. Be it body ache, toothache, tummy tantrums, cough, cold, malaria or anything - the IIT hospi has the proven and tested one single formula. And for some extraterrestrial reasons - it has always worked ! And i wager a bet that it will work again. For those more curious about my mecca .. have look!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

we BANK upon YOU !

I am very sure a lot of you , infact all of you, must have undergone the kind of trauma and torture which i am about to narrate right now. The kind of story that you must have heard one too many so that it sounds obsolete and all. Yet all this simply cannot dissuade me from pouring out my feelings on my blog. Afterall, its my blog :p

So the scene is IIT Powai SBI branch. One of my lectures got over early and there were around 20 minutes to go before the next one started. With too many people bullying and coaxing me as a daily ritual to return the money i owed to them, i decided to pay a visit to the bank. "Just get over with this life of penury and insult" being the driving force behind my taking this arduous journey on my ageing, creaking and squeaking bike (synonym for a bicycle) now on the verge of calling it quits. The guard at the entrance didn't even bother giving me a sidelong glance as he was quite busy ogling at the others "more interesting". Saying what i saw inside was discouraging, would be a moderation. It seems this is one elusive Mumbai bank where half the populace banks. There was utter chaos with the sea of humanity inside really unnerving. Perfect scene of unity amidst diversity. People owing allegiance to all religions, dialects, shapes, sizes, geometries, generations, genders were there. Nobody seemed interested in anybody. There were mothers with children and children with mothers. I also joined one of the serpentine queues that was on the verge of spilling out of the entrance. The guy infront of me was making really amazing faces at God-knows-who. Work was going on at a tardy pace. In the defence of SBI, it should be mentioned that this branch is entirely (wo)manned by an all ladies brigade - almost that is ! So the slow(another moderation) banking is understandable with the argumentative indian woman at her best. So there were the prolonged tea breaks where the ladies, still at their counters, chatted about how their kids were faring/screwing up. Why were they planning a move to uptown Colaba and why the banks should try cutting down the number of working hours. Munnabhai, Bala Thackeray's disappearance from the news and believe it or not, Pope Benedict - they all formed part of the not-so-mundane conversations that kept hitting your ears hard - really HARD ! I swear i haven't made up any of these divine conversations. Ofcourse, in between there were some traces of ill humored banking as well. It was almost an hour before i finally managed to reach within a stone's throw of the lady at the counter. Alas ! i didn't have a stone. At this moment Lady Luck (or what i thought she was) smiled upon me. The entire queue in front of me, for reasons inexplicable, performed a vanishing act. I was going to experience the once in a lifetime moment of being-there-done-that. Rejuvenated and seeing all my dreams materialising, I galloped and reached for the counter. The lady was busy knitting a sweater - a sweater for Mumbai's sweaty weather. One look from her made me jittery and nervous. "God!! what have i done ??" I wasn't expecting a scorching or lascivious look from her. But then neither was i prepared for the disgustingly disdainful glance i got from her. Too embarrased, i ventured to ask the peon (of the male variety) and was rudley told " Connection failure! Bhagwaan jaane kab wapis ayega! Kal aao".
Been there and not done that. A class missed and an explanation that would not go down well with the money lenders. I am back to my room hoping against hope that tomorrow is better.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Post examination blues :(

What man proposes God disposes ! There is so much indigestible and stinking truth in this lets-call-it-hypothesis. And somehow HE has ensured that every man learns this lesson the hardest way possible. Murphy was in this sense a genius. He elevated himself to God's plane of thinking and came up with the now too much used/heard/written Murphy's Law. "If something has to go wrong it certainly will!". The sardonic law which choses the most unexpected moments to establish its identity. I guess the almost morose tone which this posting of mine has taken right from the beginning, must have provided you ample hints about the shape this post of mine is going to take. Another heart beating, gut wrenching, self pitying, full of shades of mediocrity posting in the offer? Unfortunately, you are bang on target.
But then its not my fault. Somehow things don't seem to be willing to go along as per my wish - not atleast this semester. How else can you explain the vicissitudes of Mumbai's weather? As long as the midsemester exams were on, the weather Gods were smiling on Mumbai showering all their love and affection in bountiful. Clear skies with the sun shining in all its possible pristine glory. Shining and yet not hot - just the optimal warmth a normal person desires and the kind of warmth that an examinee doesn't give a damn about. Do exams and weather have any correlation ? Its perfectly allright till about 4pm in the evening on Friday. Then clouds - dark and threatening, start looming over the horizon. By the time its 4:30 and midsems have somehow crawled away, it starts to drizzle. Wow !! we are all so delighted. The weather is going to be perfect for another post inconsequential-midsems outing. Ideas come thick and fast. Lets go trekking (am dead set against this and somehow manage to get it khatched). Munnabhai ?? This finds the maximum takers. Treat (the scary kinds where nobody treats anybody) at all the possible nooks and corners of Mumbai are discussed.I propose Juhu beach. The idea generates scorns and contorted faces. Enough hints to convey that nobody is really interested. Meanwhile it has already started raining cats and dogs. The dark clouds have become darker (for the want of a better word) and then the darkest one can imagine. All ideas get trashed. Now even getting back to the totally unwelcoming confines of our rooms becomes a tough ask. For me its going to be a Herculean task as my hostel is in the remotest corner of the institute ( No! hostels aren't allotted on the basis of merit and all. Pure luck or the lack of it dictates allottment). The others quickly slip away leaving me to fend for myself. I cycle as fast as a Lance Armstrong inspired amateur can. Rain Gods decide to have a laugh at my expense. Totally drenched, i am back to my room. Cribbing and complaining to almost anybody in sight. My comp meanwhile choses this as the opportune moment to play the truant. Even the last hope evaporates - i hit the bed all soaked and wet. It rains the whole night I wake up early to another wet saturday morning. The weather Gods do not relent the whole day. So even a saturday is washed off .. condemned to life inside the room with a devilish comp for company. And the omens are not really good. Guess i am in for another sunday, bloody sunday.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Examination blues

I had decided against posting on my blog for this week atleast. With exams going on i didn't want to end up getting bugged by pangs of moral conscience. The kind that probes much deeper into a form of guilt that is much more difficult to understand- existential guilt. But even new habits don't die that easy. Unable to resist the creative juices that start flowing whenever i am in the midst of an examination season - i am back to blogging. Haven't given much thought to any corny topic over the weekend, so i am changing track and talking about exams - my tribute to the dreaded "muggai" period that last aeons in a student's life. Here are three real life believers on the ideology of we-mug-only during-exams. Result is that such people end up getting together and brainstorming over a cup of divinely tasteless and watery coffee. Putting up an unusual night out. A night out with a difference - they are delving into their courses. The pathetic state of "study room" and the more pathetic and disshevelled state of the room owners will give you enough indication of how much midnight oil has been burnt.
Why even half an hour, where yours truly is trying to work out a solution to overcome the ordeal of having to sit through the excruciating two hours period inside the examination hall, becomes so demanding. Ideas like bunking the exams and squeezing out a medical certi from the hospital gets summarily rejected. Fishing out previous years question papers is too taxing a job . Cheating doesn't get discussed because the biggest problem that would surface is "who helps who?".The other two disinterested fellas meanwhile look skywards/ceilingwards seeking the never materialising divine intervention. An hour or so is what it takes for the realisation to dawn upon the now enlightened men - the realisation that the course content is a goliath in front of the three davids. Now putting any semblance of an effort would be in vain. The three then sit together taking a solemn vow -"Enough of fooling around with acads and screwing up our lives. We shall get organised from the next time onwards". Feeling totally drained out, its time for canteen. The three make a royal exit from the temporarily created study room - We shall overcome, we shall overcome - some day! That someday .....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Those were the days ...

Continuing with my "deprivation series", here is another posting of mine that dwells upon deprivation. Again, its the kind of posting which will make sense only to those who have lived a similar "deprived" childhood. According to the official statistics, more than 85% of India's population has experienced such a childhood of "want and deprivation". Since i am too bugged myself ( examination blues making me all jittery and nervous) to play any guessing game over here, i kill the suspense. I am talking about the kind of childhood spent in homes where satellite television made a real late foray. By late i mean not until 2000 AD. So you can easily arrive at the number of years (approximate that is ) of my life which have been spent living in what can be well and truly called "television's stone age". This in turn means that i had my more than fair share of "Krishi Darshan" looking at the clock waiting for the next program in the pipeline - mostly it used to be the still-going-strong Chitrahaar. Doordarshan inculcates in you loads of patience. Krishi Darshan was only one of those several mediums used by Doordarshan to this end. The inevitable and excruciatingly agonising brakes in the form of compulsory transmission of proceedings of the parliaments that used to come in between the live telecast of cricket matches tested your patience to the limits. Almost everyone (just tell me one person who actually bothered watching these parliamentary proceedings in all its gory details ? ) prayed that somehow one of the parliamentarians would go crazy creating a ruckus leading to an early closure of parliament's session. Quite often, our prayers were answered. Then more often than not, Doordarshan ran short of soaps and ended up with a retelecast (or reretelcast or even rereretelecast) of the same soap ( deliberately keeping it short of "opera"). Then there was this higly irritable World Of Sports where all you ended up watching was a kabaddi/kho kho match between two unheard colleges of some unheard university based in some unheard corner of Haryana. When you really ran into luck, you would be treated to the live telecast of a durand cup match between Mohun Bagan andMohameddan Sporting Club.
After enough of venting out my spleen on Dordarshan, i must also heap deserving praises and shower accolades on DD for the unforgivables that it has delivered with not quite clockwork regularity. Who can forget Ramayana or Mahabharata when the roads became deserted - a performance that captivated the imaginations of old and young alike. "Byomkesh Bakshi" was no less than Sherlock Holmes and then there were those a-bit-corny-but-still-entertaining Tehkikaat and the still going strong Shaktimaan. Added to it were the absolutely amazing and awesome tele adaptations of the equally wonderful short stories written by the likes of Anton Chekhov ( how can one who has grown up on DD forget Chekhov ki Duniya ?? ) and O Henry. And DD deserves a big big thanks for never letting the K factor dictate terms in this world of crass commercialisation. All said and done, i must point out that i have moved away from those days of yore and now subsist on the dose of programs dished out by my new dish connection. But DD has its own place of pride in my schedule; that is when i get to switch on the idiot box.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Not quite " Ok Computer "

Only those who have experienced the sort of deprived life that i am experiencing right now can correlate with this posting of mine . So go ahead and feel the mental agony and the harassment that i am going through since the day my "dabba" ( for the uninitiated "dabba" is the desi version for a computer) decided to play the rogue.
The script could not have been more wrong. You pass the entire gruelling, sucking, blood sapping monstrous week without a single holiday. Surviving the tough shedule in the hope that every cloud has a silver lining. The silver lining of a much awaited weekend when you can totally cut yourself off from the rigours of college life, cocoon yourself within the safe and cosy confines of your room and while away the weekend on your computer. The servers ensure that you keep getting the required dose of movies that are opium to a life inside the college campus. Living and loving on radiohead ( the title of the posting gives you enough hint how much i love radiohead) and phish. Ofcourse then there are the scraps on orkut that need to be checked urgently and replied to. And being offline on yahoo messenger is now ( ever since i got a "dabba" inside my room) a concept totally alien to me. Now, without beating around the bush for long i must confess that my "dabba" went bust this friday as soon as i returned to my room after discharging all my compulsory lab duties to the great dissatisfaction of my instructor.
It was working fine as all sane "dabbas" do but then all of a sudden there was a brief flicker and then it blacked out totally. I tried all the tricks in the book to breathe life back inot the system but to no avail. I tried switch swapping ( this is no technical jargon - i just tried to change the plugs into which went the wires), fiddled with the wires, dusted the fans and even cleaned the whole system in the hope that during the process it would just switch on; exactly as it had switched off.Feeling down and out, then came the time for some expert help. Lots of pleadings and requests later, a few men in the know of things landed up in my room for a brainstorming session. The technicalities simply bounced over my head but in a nutshell i knew it would cost me a bomb to get it back on all fours. Stuck up in a state of penury, i decided to accept my fate and condemn myself to a life sans my "dabba". I even tried to falsely console myself. Considering it to be a blessing in diguise, i thought this would give me a chance to dwell upon other important aspects of life which i had till now royally ignored. But then who was i trying to fool ? Could not dare to stand the separation from the "dabba" for a few hours. Looking for greener pastures, i started pestering my wingies for letting me use their systems for a while. Alas! when your comp goes bust people start doubting your sanity as far as handling of the sysem is considered. I was turned away by all and sundry on some pretext or the other. Now after so much of soul searching and pleadings, i finally got Jitu to part with his "dabba" ( he is damn possesive about it) and here i am sharing my mental agony with my so- innocent and some not-so-innocent readers. With Jitu breathing down my neck, i must conclude this blog of mine right now. I know some of you will be laughing and almost rolling on the floor with glee and delight when you come to know of my present state of distraught and agony. Still every dog has his day :( For the more concerned others, please feel free to pour in your suggestions to get my jobless "dabba" back to work

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Uncomfortably numb

I guess a lot must have been said and discussed on the blogosphere regarding Shakira's latest release "Hips don't lie". My opinion in this posting stems not from any critical appreciation of the song/video where she shakes her hips like nothing that i have seen or heard before.
Within two hours of my landing inside my hostel after the end of vacations, i realised that we were in the inextricable grip of what can be truly called a "SHAKIRA MANIA". Whichever room i dared to enter, i was reminded of the hitherto unknown fact that the hips don't lie. To bring me face to face with reality there were life size posters of the diva taking a peek at you from inside some of the rooms. The latest kid on the block was here - possibly the best thing to have happened to the world of pop music scene inside the campus since Las Ketchup took the campus by storm. Three months away from the campus and things had changed drastically. Shakira, who just three months back existed only for name's sake, has suddenly assumed an iconic status. And the tide simply refuses to ebb. Nothing before had so captured the imagination of so many inmates before. To an extent only Linkin Park's "In the end" can finish a close second but then it was not "quite so big!" . I don't have too many complaints with the particular video which i believe would have been a chart topper even without the lyrics - afterall its the "out of this world" shaking of the hips that keeps the fan mesmerised and hypnotised. Even if i had, how could it have been an issue of concern for anyone who matters ? Just sample this information that i managed with a bit of googling But it gets on my nerves when it takes on the role of the morning rooster with the hippy song pounding against my ear drums, making forays into my room through the window, through the door and even penetrating the walls. My pleas have fallen on deaf ears and its high time, i start accepting the song as a way of life. But if hips don't lie, then neither do my lips :(

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Vande Mataram

At the stroke of dawn when the whole hostel sleeps i was still awake to life and freedom. A new kind of freedom that comes once in a blue moon when you get an off on a weekday. But having watched That 70's show for close to three hours, my eyes had become sore and were giving away. Considering the time as opportune to give my wearied eyes a much deserved rest, i decided to hit the bunker. Alas ! This period of bliss and independence was very short lived. I was jolted out of my bed by the terrorizing banging my door was being subjected to. Cursing under my breath, i opened my door only to find my wingies all decked up for the flag hoisting ceremony @hostel. I was dragged on all fours to witness the unfurling of the tricolor. Bleary eyed i stood through the entire process and here is my pictorial take on the independence day at my hostel.
Unfurling of the flag by my hostel warden. The more enthusiastic ones gave it a standing ovation and the lesser mortals like me were content with the standing part of it. But when it came to singing the national anthem i joined in the chorus. It gave me a great kick as i imagined myself to be a part of the imaginary Indian footer ( iit lingo for football) team singing the national anthem just before the kickoff of the world cup final :D

Then came the best part of the entire show. Distribution of sweets. The melee and jostling that ensued could have scared off any faint hearted fella but then the kind of sweettooth that i have, ensured that i stayed put. I emerged battle hardened and bruised from the war but literally savoring the sweets of my victory.

PS:: Now if you think that this reads more our out of the essay books of schhol students, then my most sincere apologies !

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Oh deer ! Oh deer !

"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others".
This Orwellian quote strikes you the moment you go animal hunting inside the Delhi zoo. Here the "more equal" animal being the deer. The first thing that hits you on the face when you go inside the delhi zoo animal surfing is that the deers heavily outnumber all the other inmates of the zoo put together including the humans. They come in all possible shapes and sizes, hues and colours, languages and ethnicity and numerous apparels. However, if you are an "abnormal/paranormal" visitor to the delhi zoo highly motivated to carry out a detailed study of deers and their habitats, you are knocking ate right door. Jokes apart, how many of the enthused visitors (including yours truly) go to a zoological park to ogle at the galloping deers ?? For someone like me, the deers simply don't exist once i am inside the zoo. C'mmon i haven't parted with some precious bucks to see it all go waste on deers! To add salt to the wounds these come with all possible names one can think off -- makes you wonder if the world of animals allows for all kinds of hybrids. Other than the obsolete varities like the sambhar, cheetal, black buck ( of salman khan fame) , there are also those that come with the most imaginative names like the hog deer, the dog faced deer, or even the monkey faced deer ( its damn difficult deciding the reasons behind their weird nomenclature cos they all look the very same). And when the sweltering delhi heat has drained off all your energy , you finally reach where you always desired to be. The placard proudly announces that the cages house inmates like the white tiger, the one horned rhinoceros or the african lion. But then to your dismay the very same placard also informs that these are generally the nocturnal species who venture out only during the nights when the zoo has been closed down. Smart animals !! You are really running into luck if you manage to get a passing glance but then that is the end to the gory tale of deer sighting. Down and out, you return cursing the authorities and wishing that the zoo be rechristened as a national sanctuary for the deers. Thats why i always wondered why the deers never figured on the list of animals nearing the "extinction point". I know this is sadist thinking but then this is what a trip to delhi zoo can do to you :(( . And the pic say it all ;)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Storm in a cup

If Mumbai is the city that never sleeps, then Delhi is the city that sleeps a tad too early. I came to this well drawn conclusion after my two months stay there during my summer internship. The shops generally down their shutters around 9 and so one must learn to move early even if it means braving the sweltering june heat. Well, lemme leave this open for arguments.
To go ahead with my story, we (my gang) were plainly lucky to have gelled together so quickly. We were people hailing from totally different backgrounds - from all the different corners of the country, different eating, sleeping schedules - the only common thread that bound us together was we were all supposed to be "future engineers" undergoing internship at the same place. So one night, out of sheer boredom and sleep deprivation we decided to try out delhi for a cup of hot tea. The clock had just struck thirteen and the dozen of us were treading the deserted road of the capital -- pusa road to be exact. Giving us company was the Door's "Queen of the highway" and stray canines who were totally taken aback by this uncalled intrusion of their privacy by the human species. Amidst all this, we wandered on aimlessly hoping against hope to land up at some dhabba which still had its lights flickering. Having walked on, attracting curious looks from the once in a blue moon passing by vehicle, we went on, for how long i don't know. Then we found ourselves standing in front of a police checkpost all of a sudden and totally unprepared for any eventuality that such a situation might bring up. "Are you people drunk?" .. was the first query the constable at the post shot at us. Who was drunk wasn't easy to tell .. we sure weren't !! And lacked the courage to point it out to the other party.Then another one, only in his bare essentials came out from within to add his unwarranted comment "Masti karne nikle hai sab"....followed by a profanity. We were petrified they won't buy our "looking for a cup of tea" story but then still decided to give it a try. Hoping against hope worked in our favour for a change and they sympathised with us. And to what remains to this day one of the biggest surprises of my life, they actually prepared tea, though not enough, for us and our mission impossible had been accomplished. We were then let off with a warning not to repeat what the constable termed our "daredevilery" in future. Chastened and satiated, we returned to our not so cosy bedrooms and immediately dozed off. Delhi Police -- We want you safe !!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Baptism of the blog

Before my blog formally goes on air, a few words of apology would be in place. I would like to apologise to the imaginary die hard ardent followers of my previous blog that i had put up on So taking a leaf out of Julius Caesar here I go. "Friends, romans and countrymen !! Lend me your ears!..... I come here to bury my old blog and not to revive it". Formalities over, lemme concentrate on my current blog. There are a few questions that need answering over here. Why the blog title ?? A lot of careful forethought, planning, microlevel dissection and brainstorming sessions had been spent in coming up with this blog title. If you don't believe it then you have got it right! It was purely a product of my impatience and my inability to think creatively. Having tried so many options like "rideronthestorm", "thegreatbeyond", "walkoflife", "stairwaytoheaven" and yes something called "theunknownsoldier", i was feeling totally down and out. At this point of time, as is not often, my creative juices started to flow and i came up with the beautiful (yes it is ! ) title of "flightsoffantasy". Only to be rudely denied with the message "Sorry! already in use". But i was hell bent on getting this title work for me. So off went l,g and h from "flights" and what remained was "fits" and so there you are reading what you are. As for the display name (changeling), i know its a tad ( or too much depending on your perception) shady but i came across this word yesterday itself and so felt it deserved a place of pride.