Sunday, January 28, 2007


Its the fourth Techfest at my college that i am a witness to. The one thing that i like about Techfest is that its held during the semester. Unlike Mood I, which is held during the winter break. As a result, i have attended all the four techfests since i landed at iit. But, till date, i have not attended a single MoodI in its entirety. I had the (mis)fortune of attending only 2 Mood I's and on both occasions, it was only on the last two days. Hmm, now let me get back to Techfest. This is the tenth Techfest and by having attended 4 of them, i can definitely claim to have been a part of 'it'.
In my fresher year, when i was just too innocent and naive, i worked as an organiser. Being an organiser means that you get exploited (:D) in every way possible (except perhaps sexually) . The best part is that you realise this only once the fest gets over. And then you are too embarrased to even admit it and dub it as a part of a learning process. Running around for small errands, gatekeeping, bringing food and bisleri bottles, pretending as if you are very busy, trying to strike up a conversation with the girls from outside iit - all form an integral part of an orgy (even the term sounds so demeaning) job.
Once you are in the second year comes the job which is just above an orgy in the job hierarchy at techfest. This time you end up with a an identity card dangling around your neck that loudly proclaims coordinator techfest. Not at all the kind of job that dreams are made of. How different is it from being an 'orgy'? Strikingly different. The orgies (pun intended) are always huddled together while gatekeeping. On the other hand, a coordi stands alone dressed more formally and doing what? Gatekeeping! All the while hoping that the people from outside iit do notice that you are a coordinator and not an organiser. And on top of that, you also expect (how on earth ?? ) the outsiders to understand that a coordi comes above an orgie in the techfest hierarchy. For the insiders- you dont mind for they dont matter. But the coordi job also comes with the kind of 'political ambitions' that an orgi job does not. If you are 'poltu' enough and smart enough to interest the people above you, then you stand a chance - the coveted opportunity of becoming a manager techfest in your third year. More importantly, you should be working with loads of zeal and enthusiasm when 'people who matter' are in the near vicinity. Does this sound like grapes are sour ? Sure does:(
Haan so now onto 'managerial fundaes'. A manager defintely is a very important person. Not because he is so vital to the success of Techfest. That ofcourse is stating the obvious. Important because it gives him such a strong resume point to brag about during job interviews. "I was the MANAGER of such and such Techfest". But since my story ends at being a coordi, so i wont comment- attribute to it to lack of knowledge and partially to 'sour grapes syndrome' :(
Now onto the current Techfest. I am having a dream run over here. Managed to win two techfest tees [definitely the best techfest tees that i have seen to date :) ], one fundoo mousepad and 2 cans of free red bulls. So far so good. I can only hope that today is even better. In lieu of all these goodies, i must admit Techfest roxxx....

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Prelude : This post has been inspired by some of my close buddies who have, oft late, been bitten by the fitness bug. Partly, this post also stems from my own lack of interest (read that as inability) to join the fray. This is attributable to a host of reasons - sloth, sloth and even greater sloth. All incidents mentioned in this post are real and any resemblance to any event/person living are purely deliberate and not at all coincidental.The semester has just commenced. There is still more than a month to go before there is even a whiff of any exam. This translates into the students being infinitely 'lukkha' with not much (actually nothing) to do. Necessity is the mother of all inventions. And one of the most healthy and rewarding ways to utilise this unexpected abundance of time is to hit the roads. Not the way "hitting the road" is supposed to be, but the supposedly 'unpeppy' way - on foot- the Gandhigiri style. Most insti inmates prefer to hit the road anonymously - generally hitting the roads late in the evenings when its quite dark and the chances of your recognising another fella are really low until and unless you are hell bent upon doing otherwise. That is when you are straining/rubbing your eyes and posing this query to yourself "Woopsie !! Is it really (s)he who is galloping? GAWD!! i should get closer." But pretty soon you realise that (s)he is a tad too fast for you to do the catching yourself. You then console yourself with the thought,"(s)he sure did look like a raging bull. I wud rather be myself and not make an ass of myself .... gees" ! when deep in your heart even you want to play the raging bull :(. The cricket field has to be seen to be believed. There ongoings don't even come close to that gentelman's game. Some people are stretched out on the coveted 22 yards patch of land which is supposed to be a "pitch". The runners/joggers meanwhile are slogging furiously circumferencing the field taking care not to make an eye contact with anyone in the near vicinity. And i dont know why. Not to be left out are the people who have been inspired by the numerous art of living courses which are mushrooming faster than the coaching courses meant for getting through to the engineering and medical colleges. Alas what i terribly miss is having a Munnabhai inspired "laughter club" inside iit. That would have been beneficial in two ways - for those who joined and for those who refrained and still would end up having the last laugh. But my heart goes out to them who cycle incessantly from their respective hostels to the main gate and back; all the while timing out their journeys. Coming from a cycling veteran, who only recently gave his beloved bicycle a teary farewell, believe me this is the most gruelling and enegy sapping drill. But the sense of achievement and pride is something that has to be felt to be believed. However its the alpha males who are a sight to reckon with; who are far far above such petty running, jogging and aerobic routines. Gym is where the art is. These body brandishing insti inmates are the craziest of the fitness freaks; most of who consider themselves enlightened enough to show the divine light to the poorer souls. If you are unfortunate enough, the enlightment might go on for ages till the time you are rescued by some other unsuspecting innocent soul. Now its his turn to see the divine light.
By now, you must have realised that this post gives vent to my frustration on not being a member of this league of extraordinary ladies and gentlemen. So i am ending this post on a hopeful note .....

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

No full stops in India

Have you ever travelled in a 2nd class compartment of a train or what is called the GENERAL compartment these days? Or better still, have you ever travelled in a passenger train? If you haven't, then you might fnd this funny. If you have, then you might not. I had the unenviable previlege of travelling in a passenger train this winter. The kind of stuff that no fairy tale is made of. One of the most harrowing experiences of a lifetime. I was accompanying my dad on his Nepal visit. The first and the much longer part of the journey was mighty peaceful and pleasant. We got down at Gorakhpur. Then started the second leg of our tour which was travelling from Gorakhpur to Sunauli which lies on the Indo Nepal border (a border for namesake). The official railway time table said that it should take us three hours. The train was to depart from the last platform of the Gorakhpur junction. And what a platform did it turn out to be! There was not a single vendor to be found. The entire platform was littered with garbage, rubbish, rags and yes.. human faeces !! The Almighty was kind enough and the train , believe it or not, was on time. As the train chugged in, the sea of humanity dotting the platform, came into motion. We were prudent enough to have a coolie with us who managed to get us a couple of seats, though not at the same place. The train left after what was close to an hour and the thought of getting over with the ordeal in a time span of three hours soon evaporated into thin air. I was sharing my four seater with six other good fellas and i was literally hanging on the edge of the seat. Facing me were three Nepali dudes- in the good, the bad and the ugly ishtyle who kept cracking some incomprehensible Nepali jokes and laughed at the expense of the other cubicle mates. Nobody was bothered though. Within moments, the interior of the train was fetid with sweats and farts. "Love in time of cholera" no longer was worth a read as i quickly pushed it within the bag. All the time, i tried to breathe as less possible specially curtailing the inhalation process. The conversation between the people occupying the same cubicle as me ( there were no less than twenty five) varied from the mundane to the worldly wise. The marriage season, the upcoming elections, kabul express, katrina kaif entering the ajmer dargah in a skirt to india's debacle at south africa- everything came under the scanner of the learned and the not-so-learned. Much of the train had soon become a garbage dump. The floor was littered with "chiniya badam", "bhelpuri", betel stains n some unidentifiables. And GAWD !! there were two goats as well that had been tied near the wash basin rendering it useless. Then i committed the cardinal sin of deciding to use the train toilet to relieve myself. The toilet had masses of shit, overflowing and spread liberally all around. For the next few hours that image and that stench stayed with me: when i ate and when i drank. Meanwhile the train strolled at its leisurely pace stopping at every possible place where there was even a sign of the Indian Railways - and that included some strategically positioned trees as well. All this while the person sitting beside me, who was obviously drunk, kept using me as a leaning support. The lil ones accompanying their kith and kin also find their predicament unbearable and soon they were puking all around. I almost felt like passing out. Finally after five hours of a gruelling journey ( my watch said it was five hours but mentally must have been much much more) the train stopped at the decrepit railway station. Alighting from the train consumed some ten more minutes and i looked skywards. God had the last laugh and it started to drizzle giving UP's cold an even greater bite..