Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How long can Short be? Or should it be..vice-versa?

07.55 am
Place: "River"side, The Boat Club, C.O.E.P
Theme: Pauus (Rain)
Work: Write non-crappy stuff (supposed to be written 2 days ago)
Author: A confused girl with a cartload of submissions

The Consequence: Two raggedy pages (with the circuit diagram of a band-reject filter on the back of one of them) in HB pencil, as underneath.

The light shone on in parity,
The drums went on a spree,
The drop atop, 'Where should I drop?
Where would I like to be?'

One trickled in a farmland crack,
Burrowed and hollered through,
Worms, lost seeds, decaying stuff,
No earth to seep into.

One rushed into, the river blue
its icy depths aquiver,
At threshold poised, the air rejoiced,
When life bevied the giver.

One drop, unfortunate, it dropped
on a poor arithmetic journal,
The '8' went '3', the drop broke free,
Messed up a cursed internal.

One landed dang! on top of skin,
It was a little hand,
Bereft, it mused, 'This is my end',
In seconds, I'll bite the sand!

The hurl it knew would come in time
somehow did never come,
What came instead, were fellow drops,
Unknowns and long-lost chums.

They hugged and tugged in wonderment
as the hand cupped 'em together,
And gently laid them on a leaf
Withered to vein and tether.

The vein bloomed to a pulsing lane,
The whites gave way to greens,
Two eyes watched on, the (re)union
Of parched smithereens.

Behold the fall! No time at all!
From pain and dying gory,
Stood life with dancing droplet crowns,
In all its shining glory!

For though it seems (or does not seem)
awful poetry (or prose),
Rain does do magic, spell-binding!
When a bud becomes a rose.

Why do I remember someone saying writing is a work of leisure? :|

Quick Tales - the Results

Congratulations to all the winners! And a good job, organisers.

A cheer for the time taken to comment on almost every story and pointing out where each one worked (or as the case might be, bombed).

And now that I know I use more type-styling than type (which is a shocking achievement in itself), I'm gonna be the next one vying! :D

Monday, November 3, 2008

Quick Tales - the ShortList

* tone of surprise, eyebrows raised *
Why! Hello Blog!
* /tone of surprise, eyebrows raised *

That's more than two months out of the offing.
And this is a blog-saving post. :|

Well, the saying goes,

The prospect of unpaid publicity arouses even the laziest.

Or maybe, I coined it right now. Never mind.

One of my major motivations (probably the only one) to take part in QUiCK TALES, a Flash Fiction writing contest jointly organised by Caferati and LiveJournal, was, the beginning of my engineering mid-semester exams coincided with the fateful last date of the contest; and I just had to do anything, anything other than studies :|
Theme: Journal (in any which way that you can interpret it)
Word limit: Not more than 500 words. 

Mine motive was pure time-pass, but I learnt a few days ago, to shock, and speechlessness, that both the entries that I had submitted somehow found their way into the final 100 shortlisted ones! And one of the prizes, The People's Choice Prize depends on junta ka vote; bole toh, you people need to go and read those stories and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10, and they'll calculate an average score on Doomsday.
The poll is open only to LJ members, so you need to register on LiveJournal to rate. Sign up over here, it's just a 30 seconds ka jhamela, and you can forget all about the account after you've rated the stories 

Here go mine, to hum and blackcurrant rum (:D)

#683 and #738

Just go and read the stuff!
Feedback would be greatly appreciated. (Mail, blog, or journal :D)
Don't worry! You won't be inflicted with more than 5 minutes of my writing. The word limit left no chance for the scrollbar!

And of course, goes without ado, the rest of the shortlisted stories.
Poll closes in a few weeks!
  • Mood: Shock, wearing off 

Monday, September 1, 2008

To know or not to know

He who knows and knows that he knows, is a wise man- seek him.
He who knows and knows not he knows, is asleep- wake him.
He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is a child- teach him.
He who knows not and knows not he knows not- SHUN HIM.

* no need to explicitly mention that he's a fool [all related expletives], a featherbrained nincompoop [supplementary expletives], and he can commit suicide by belly flopping into the river Mula (or for that matter, any water body; Mula gets special mention because the part of Mula behind our college is just more potent as regards inviting death by multiple causes, like drowning, clawed frog injuries, automatic choking, hyacinth-strangling, etc. in order of increasing probability) *

Alright. I know I just can't resist putting random crap completely irrelevant to the point of my post. But most of the times, it's because many essentially-related-to-the-post arguments crop up in my mind just when I'm actually writing. And then it feels unfair to be writing without expounding them; it feels incomplete. So I just have to include them, you understand. No wonder I always end up with unimaginably huge posts almost every time. But atleast, not this time. No.

So, the lines above are part of a Chinese/Arabian proverb. [Multiple sources – multiple answers] Chuck the origin. Just concentrate on line 1. There are times when try as you might, you just don’t find the right words to express yourself, but you are rock-convinced that you’re correct. It feels like the peak of inexpressibility. And then, when you get the words finally, it’s a crash of delight! That was exactly what I experienced when I chanced upon this line. “He who knows and knows that he knows”. Cognizance. Awareness. Of your own capabilities. To be immensely aware of your intelligence. To be knowing that you’re capable of so very much, vis-a-vis the rest of the world around you! It feels wonderful! Heady sometimes. [I know; as I have felt those pleasurable shivers coursing through me so often :) ]
But, very subtle lines separate being aware, being outspoken, being outspoken at the right times, and being explosive. Modesty is a quality; but be too reticent, and you’ll lose a chance one too many. Be audacious enough to gather a fish-market and pounce upon any and every topic to parade your “awareness”, that’s what is colloquially termed “Attitude”. I’d like to term it, more behaviourally- Pining to be the centre of attention. It’s something on the lines of over-estimating yourself; sort of contradictory ain’t it? You get carried away by your own idea of your abilities (people actually start convincing themselves that things they’re unable to do are not worth doing! :| ) and start thinking you are incomparable. In short, you get a superiority complex. The ploy might hold temporarily, but in the end, you’ll be up for the grabs.

Being aware, and being coolly confident about it is what it’s all about. "You know that you know" should make you more humble than proud. That's real 'knowing'! Everyone has their limits. [They must. Imagine, you’re the top in everything in the world! Scary! What would you do now for the rest of your life? Sit and eat peanuts? I’d actually consider suicide :| ] And you must be aware of them too; so that you can better yourself. You have to accept and respect better talent when you meet it. Never under-estimate anyone, and never over-estimate yourself. Make sure that you do fly sky-high, but with a fully functional parachute.
In short (that is, my idea of short :) ), definitely know that you know, but also know what you don’t know; and know precisely how much you know, and let the others know that ‘know’ing in a slightly demure manner. You might be bursting to brag, but that’ll seem more like forcing others to know that you know, which defeats the purpose after all.
More practically, it might just, just, seem like a variant of case 4, whereby people might just follow the advice the mysterious Chinese/Arabians gave.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Did I ever tell you?

My balcony and bedroom windows are magical. They serve as timeless time machines. Whenever I look through them (which is quite a lot always, considering that I’m inevitably jobless for 364 days of the non-leap year and oh no! the 365th day is not my birthday! It’s just a random day on which I feel like working :) ), I don’t see the beautiful lotus-encased temple that peaks right up to it. I don’t see the unique mischiefs the brilliant boys come up with in the garden. Sad, in a sense. It would’ve reminded me of my younger days; those chaos-triggering, window-smashing football and dodge-ball sessions, spectacle-splintering appa rappi with a tennis ball, those bashes, climbing trees, stealing tamarind, playing cards all night long....and I used to be the Queen of Challenge!( For those of you who're unaware (sod you!), it's a card game where people play their cards wrong-side up with a declaration and you can challenge their cards' worth upon your discretion. And the guy who loses all his cards first wins! ) I could stack six cards beneath my topmost one and pass it off as ONE card! And I would do it again and again and again! And no one's got wind of it till now. :D *sigh* I don’t see corduroys, I’m hard put noticing Mercs [yes, the ones which have Benz for a last name] making inexplicable appearances in our humble society; in fact, I once shooed a rare cormorant off our sill, mistaking it to be a common sparrow, and I still had the blessed notion till my bro next-room came bawling his head off that he was just trying to keep the creature still enough to take a pic, when yours truly, in all kindness, frightened it out of its feathers. So much for his bird dropping. Errr, watching. ;)

What I notice, instead, are only memories. An avalanche of them. Each one leads to another, and I have absolutely no idea as to where I might’ve landed within the next 15 minutes! I might be in my fifth grade, whispering frantically into tanny’s ears in english class, for all I know. :D

Fascinating how a window for looking out into the world inevitably turned into a window for looking inside myself. Countless are the times I recollect standing there, contemplating on lost times, on future prospects, on pre-examination blues, on impending assignments and intricate (the-ones-i-know-are-materialisable-only-in-the-wildest-of-my-dreams sort of) plans on how to deal with them; on friends, and friendship, and the rough crew that it tows on deck! With amazing delicacy. Those grills know the clutch of my nails when I'm angry; the continuous string of punches and my own inevitable retaliatory 'ow's when I'm vehement; the washing silence of solemnity when I'm trying to indulge in crude astronomy; the warmth of my tears when I'm totally down; the caress, the tenderness of a kiss when I'm oh-so-happy; the tragedy of supporting my weight when I'm exultant and completely over-excited and out of control. So much so, that I just can't help smiling fondly at the window when I pass by it. It feels more than a framework of metal. More..alive.

Countless are the conversations I’ve had with God, with nothing in between him and myself but the iron bars of my window. Pouring my heart out to that paramount helper and sympathizer, raving and raging, whining, apologizing, promising, wishing earnestly, asking for just-one-more-time opportunities, but ultimately, being immensely grateful that I am NOT an atheist. That I have such a being (whether or not for real, doesn’t matter) with whom I can behave any damn which way I want. It's not as much the existence, as the belief, and the faith, that fuels things.

And rain assists going down memory lane. Gives it concomitance. There’s no smell so sweet and rejuvenating as the one that rises from wet, raw mud! The essence of life when the soft pitter-patter of water soaks the parched earth. The mien of water gradually seeping through the loam, as it drinks it up thirstily, as the dried-up cracks fill up and coalesce; as the plants, fresh and green from the first rains, sway jubilantly, rebelliously. As the earth celebrates. As life begets life.
For some reason, or for no reason at all, it talks of freedom, and happiness, of a sudden spurt of unexpectant generosity; of contentment, emanating within and without, and a thrill of joy, of a whole new reason to live! And most inviting of all, memories. Just like soulful music. If your eyes and ears lead you down memory lane, your smell and touch lead you down more so, but with the realization, the cognizance, that you are fortunate enough to be passing through your memories, to be reliving them, not once, not twice, but as many times as you wish to!

Isn’t the ability God-given?!!

My mum begs to differ. She says that wallowing in the past isn’t worth it. Ruffling up old memories, spending hours of precious time ruminating on them, bursting your head open upon how life would’ve been if I’d done a particular thing in a particular different way, and stuff is goose-stuff. Only losers do it. Those who can’t, and don’t know how to move on, those who are miserably stuck in the quagmire of their past and do not wish to rise out of it. And naturally, she’s always on a lookout to tell me off whenever she catches me anywhere within a metre of the window, with a glazed look in my eyes and an out-of-the-context expression on my face. :l

Actually, I’ve sincerely tried putting myself in two minds about the point in question, in an attempt to do full justice to my mum’s point of view, but I’ve never quite even sustained the argument, let alone overcome my own self! I mean, however demoralizing they might be, what would a human be without his memories?? Every person has moments in life that he cherishes. Moments so purifyingly delightful and fulfilling that he just wants them be. Forever. No one has had sadness and failure at every point of life. Sure, NO ONE. Even the saddest, most depressed person in the world, (if you are close enough, and if you appear interested enough,) would tell you the most lovely moments of his life. Probably with that long-lost, hungry look in his eyes.

And that’s what makes memories worth it.

Wallowing in self-pity and losing confidence due to old remembrances doesn’t do. Deriving courage from them, from the very fact that you are strong enough to pass through the leanest phases of your life unscathed, and moving on, does. After all, memories are, inadvertently, a mark of your existence. Evidence of your very being. Your life. Your history.

They are cunningly double-edged though. Make sure that, if, ever, they blow you off your feet, into the past, it is only and only for strengthening your foothold in the present!

As for me, I still keep on discovering newer faces to reflection! [bad pun, I know!] And if anyone has any qualms, to them: Cogito ergo sum! :P

Oh, and actually, I just cannot keep from grinning broadly (whooping, to be more precise :D ) now that dad’s scrapped his grand plans of amplifying the drawing room by bringing down the wall separating it from the balcony, and full credits go to some fictitious (purely rumour-spread) blessed leakages that it might invoke in the plumbing!

I still have my window, all to myself !!! :) :) :)

P.S.: Forgive me, mum.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Beautifully wrapped up in the one line:

Men may come and men may go, but I go on for ever.

That’s your life for you. My life for me.
Because I am my life. And my life is me.

Errrrrr. That sounds quite lame, and weird, and a desperate attempt at poetry. But I just discovered the quaint analogy the line [from “The Brook” by Alfred Lord Tennyson] has with life and I’m reeling from the idea itself. And I turn extremely philosophical at such times. And at most of such times, I’m in no mood to elaborate. I expect my thoughts to jump out and plant themselves in others’ minds by telepathy. And at such times, if they don’t, then it’s incorrigibly irritating and I’m rock-convinced it’s just their unbelievable lack of insight and my inexpressible gain of logic. Those are the few times when I pity them. And glorify myself. And this is just such a time.

Another lame attempt, to my second year of whatever-I-came-to-do-and-whatever-I-am-doing :

Cheers to my first year,
Gone by in a pee,
Lows and lows (not highs and lows),
Bringing near-death to ME*.

Cheers to my second year
Come forth in glee,
I hope to god it’s lows and lows
But lows that get high on me**.

*ME = my academic life

Saturday, August 9, 2008

* SighGone *

I should've looked around; rather, messed and pottered and monkeyed around with a fine-toothed comb before I talked below.
Now, I'm speechless. :|

Friday, August 8, 2008

* Sigh *

Today's Headline:

Some bits of accidental revelation:

"quotas cannot be filled because there aren't enough suitable candidates..."

'Nearly 50% of reserved seats lying vacant' *432 to be precise*

'..criminal waste of infrastructure'

"...ministry is not interested in de-reserving vacant seats..."

"...ministry wants the premiere engineering schools to dilute merit.... "

"...further bring down cutoffs to admit reserved category students..."

'HRD orders faculty quota with "immediate effect" in IITs'

And before you check the idea out, a point in concern:

The present IIT cut-off is around 180 for a general category student and 104 for a reserved category one. Which gets lowered to its 55% for the preparatory course i.e. to 57. Which'll get further lowered to dispel the empty-seat syndrome.

What's the bet the final cut-off [if it is, indeed, intended to cut off] won't come down to a zero equivalent?

Oh and by the bye, as like everywhere, why not reserve plush velvet-swathed seats for these people in heaven too?

Monday, July 21, 2008 the IITs

Amid the hot and happening headline news about the contentious Indo-US nuke deal which has replaced the food crisis as the latest means of heated arguments amongst roadside beggars over their subah ki cutting(begged, of course) and how home lavatories are a must for politicians to contest the forthcoming elections; I was shocked by the small paragraph that the TOI had devoted 2 days ago to the margins of the front page. I mean, it was a really long time since I had seen the word education on page 1. But as I said, it was just about a 3.5 cm article. They'd tried to compensate for their unknowing lack of discretion, I suppose. :l Anyhow, here goes: As many as eight new IITs would be set up in the country during the current academic session to impart high quality technical education. And of course, no elaborations.

Being a believer myself, I ventured to do a bit of a probity probe, [the Internet, being much more considerate, yielded cause and execution] and to my astonishment, found out that the system had gone in for 7 IIMs in addition!

Understandably, the first emotion I experienced was regret, that I wasn't in a position to attempt JEE a year later. [Not in the least because I would've got into one of the prestigious schools, but because I could've boasted that I lost the rat-race by 360 seats less. Matters, see. :) ] But then, my mind registered amazement. Three of these proposed institutes, apparently, planned to initiate functioning in castaway laboratories and rented premises! The media, and consequently the public have sparked up hot debates on the most obvious point that this proposal gives rise to: the dilution of quality due to quantity. Won’t having more IITs and IIMs simply fritter the premium on quality that these institutes have? Can a mere increase in numbers guarantee a consistency in the quality of education imparted? Rather than unfocussedly increasing the IIT count, why not pump that money to improve infrastructure and faculty in the existing IITs?? And so on and so forth in all possible strings of words, citing hundreds of instances. All worth its salt. A demure interposition though. More than the quality of the education imparted to the students who get into IIT, doesn’t the quality of the students who get into IIT in the first place matter more? As a maiden venture, what was IIT designed to be? An institute, whose main objective is to pick up the crème-de-la-crème of the student herd in the world and aid them in the process of being more so. Mark it! Not any Tom, Dick and Harry. So just as the best students existing rightfully claim that they deserve to be in IIT, doesn’t IIT rightfully deserve to select only the best among the best available?

At this point in time, some people might argue that all humans are born equal and hence reserve equal rights to education in the elite group of schools. That the reason IIT should increase its intake is to provide education par excellence to the maximum possible students. I perfectly agree with the first part of the first statement. Born parity. I assure you, I was born as piercingly naked as Chetan Bhagat. Born equals. Both attended high-school and studied, more or less, the same syllabus.[I’m assuming he did.] But then, why the hell am I graduating from COEP when Bhagat graduated from IIT? : ( I suppose you get the idea. Somewhere down the line, the difference in our academic abilities, and more than that, the difference in our pedantic personalities showed up. We cease to be equals from the moment we’re born. Henceforth, our actions, abilities and choices inevitably decide our level for us. We remain equals only in the sense that we are humans.

Simply for the sake of a means of classification, let us assume that the amount of marks(obtained by a person) is a measure of one’s intelligence, since that is, by far, the only unbiased criterion of candidate-selection. [Of course, there are several notable cases in point of people being far more intelligent than what their marks show, the most remarkable case being mine :) ] Directly, and very simply, implying that a particular level of intelligence gets appreciated, and accepted, and levels below it are not. Simply because they do not deserve to be. Or because there are enough people more deserving than them. I admit, I do not deserve to be in IIT. (I deserve more. :D) There should be enough seats in IIT only for those who are QUALIFIABLE, and not for all who are there. Citing the continual increase of population as a rationale to increase the number of IITs is inexplicably hollow. IITs and IIMs are niche institutes and not shop floors. However, they are not exceptional only because they provide top-notch tutelage but because the pool of talent that they gather is top-notch in itself. They are shaping and honing it, they are manoeuvring it, not creating it. But more IITs will mean more seats to fill. Which will put students having significantly lesser capabilities on par with the ingenious ones. Which will have some very direct negative implications:

1. Where is the competition? Why would anyone study to get 99 per cent if he could get into the institute even for a paltry 80 percent? It hampers the analytical and intellectual growth of the pupil, quite the opposite of what the IIT intends isn’t it? Curbing the need to excel is probably the most cruel treatment a student can be subjected to.

2. Pushing relatively low IQ people into coping alongside the flawlessly brilliant ones is the worst that you could do to them. Smothering mediocre students with stellar education won’t do much; it will only result in grossly inefficient utilization. Of both resources, and manpower. Inferiority complexes galore; is it a surprise that the number of suicide cases registered by the nationwide IITs only increases with each passing year?

3. And with the tight compromisations on coaching faculty, the net outcome 4 years hence would be [provided they manage to survive] engineers who’ll probably earn their bread and butter but who wouldn't outlast two hoots in a competitive environment like, say, the international market. The premises of the IIT would be transformed into commonplace manufacturing facilities churning out an x number of average, unremarkable professionals.

Or in short, we return to the same point in question, but with a substantial variation.
Dilution of quality, not because of absolute quantity, but because of inept, raw, undeserving quantity. And the only way we can pull ourselves out of this mess is by starting right down at the beginning. Right from KG, inculcate within you the will to learn and grow yourself. Keep a guard on your own quality as a student; sterling institutions are bound to follow. Do not whine that a student who got 90 per cent last year got into IIT but you couldn’t get into it this year with the same per cent. That’s because the value of 90 per cent was appreciable enough till last year, but not NOW. “Survival of the fittest” alludes a tad too well to today’s world.

I believe the number of IITs should be increased, or for that matter, any other institute should be upgraded ONLY if there is an increase of intelligent population. The system should focus on elevating the masses to the IITs, and not depreciating the IITs to the masses. More than 40 per cent of the Indian population is still illiterate. Provide them with basic primary education so that they are able to fend for themselves. Enhance and innovate. Dissolve the reservation system that eats into people's acumen and misguides them into quiescence, thereby establishing equality in the real sense. So that the average maturity level increases. So that people become aware of how powerful education and cognizance and intellect are.
So that there might come one day in the world, when “getting into IIT” isn’t such a big deal anymore; not because there are enough seats to accommodate everyone(indeed, that is practically inviable), but because everyone has scored 99+. Because then, you won’t need the stamp of IIT, or for that matter, even Stanford or Oxford or any other institution to project YOUR quality; You yourself are the stamp, and the logo.
And the philatelist, is God.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Of men, and mankind....Part III


At last.
He was going home.

Today had been a surprisingly busy one. National holidays weren’t all idle, he decided. Towing hundreds of children to their schools and back was worth it though. Those primly-clad, smart little kids in their military attire, caps and miniature flags et al were endearing to see. Our little soldiers! He couldn’t suppress a smile. Marching forth in time to the tune of proud, independent India. Exactly like those brave patriots 50 years ago. What fervour! What stature! That innocent aura! No wonder national spirit, patriotism gave a high unattainable even by tequila. :D

He’d even doen his own bit by carving a crude national flag on the bonnet of his cab. And his little ten-year old had his own military uniform! A smile danced on his lips as he relived the boy whooping in delight at the sight of the costume. He’d been pestering him for years together…and he’d taken part in the rally earlier that day and daddy’s thin chest had swelled with pride.
And now, he was cold, and tired to the bone, and all he could think of was the warmth of his tiny shack and the softness of his son’s fingers as he cuddled into his lap. Wonder what Sangeeta would’ve prepared…

A soft whimper broke his reminiscences. He could see movement ahead. Why would anyone be loitering around at this time of night, he wondered. Must be the local rowdies, drunk probably.

When he neared, he actually got convinced for a moment that he was looking at his own wife and kid.
Come off it! He told himself off. Strange I felt that way.
She was just a harmless little lady. Poor soul. Looked lost. He hesitated. His stomach rumbled. Dunno where the woman would ask him to convey her. He didn’t want to land up miles away from home. And anyways, he’d done many times more than what he was required to that day.
But then no choice again, he thought drily. He couldn’t just leave her to her fate at such an unearthly timing.
He hailed her off.

Now, in the flickering cab-light, he studied her more clearly in the rear-view mirror. She’d looked as hesitant to climb in as he was initially of taking her in. Funnily enough, she’d wanted to give him half-return. And more funnily, he’d had a sudden, inexplicable spurt of inspiration to act King Harishchandra and had refused. His friends would get an excellent reason to boo him off. Shooing off the Goddess of Wealth at his doorstep!
Half-return manaa kar diya?!? Abey gadhe dimaag kahaan chhod aaya??

Talkative as he was, he couldn’t help noticing how silent the lady was. And clutching at her kids all the time. She didn’t even look as if she belonged here. Her dark, young face was heavily lined, perhaps with worry, and an immense sadness, as if she carried a heavy burden on her soul.
All the time, he talked.
And she sat and listened.
Or maybe, simply sat.
She even dozed off for a while, he reckoned. He’d just remembered another interesting anecdote and was starting to narrate it, when he hit a dead end. The Highway had closed down. 12.15 am. He swore. Now he would’ve to take the longer route into town.

The woman looked unperturbed when he furnished this information. Yeah! And why wouldn’t she? They’d already settled the fare, hadn’t they? It’s me who has to burn up money for the toll charges, he cursed himself. His jolly mood had long since evaporated and he was turning surlier by the moment. Why the hell didn’t he take this into account beforehand?? Bada imandar banne chala tha. Ab ho gaya naa ghaate ka sauda!
People who lived hand-to-mouth couldn’t afford to be honest. Then why this sudden streak of soft-heartedness for this woman? For the love of God, I don’t even know her! And anyhow, his mind ploughed on, why are you so afraid of asking her for the extra money? You aren’t asking anything apart from what’s rightfully yours, are you? Cabbies these days pull up for nothing less than full-return! So you’re perfectly justified in asking her half the return fare. And as it is, she’d offered it first. You’ve only got to tell her you want it now.

With a start, he realized they’d already reached their destination. He’d broken into a sweat. Just as he was bracing himself, the unexpected happened.
“Kitnaa hua bhaiyya?”
“Meter ke hisaab se toh pachaas rupaye, madam…lekin…”

“Aap sau le leejiye. Thank you aapne hamein itni door chhoda. Lautne ka problem hogaa. Itni raat gaye graahak nahi milega.”
He thought he hadn’t heard clearly. Did she just offer him a 100 bucks? Double the fare?? Was this a trap? A drive, probably, to catch cabbies extorting passengers red-handed?? Was there a hidden camera in her..purse or somewhere?

He scanned her face closely, looking for signs of betrayal, a slight steeliness, or even a shadow of a triumphant smile.
But the eyes that looked into his were frank. And open. And smiling genuinely. Awash with shining relief. And thankfulness. She was grateful to him that he had reached them home safe and sound.

He could see a long-lost faith in humanity surface in her glistening eyes again.
The emotion which posesses the strength that makes us help others, that pulls us up from materialistic temptation and drives us to sacrifice for others. The ultimate proof that we have evolved, from animals. Else, it would've been termed Animality probably.
But Humanity....was priceless. Invaluable! He had been a creep to misunderstand her so.

“Hum 50 hi lenge madam. Thank you ki koi baat nahi. Aaj humne aapko ghar pahunchaaya. Kal agar aap logon ki jagaah mere biwi-bachche hain, toh unhe bhi meri tarah koi ghar pahunchayega naa. Aakhir insaan hi insaan ke kaam nahi aaya, to jeene ka kya matlab?”

And this time, he truly meant it. He faintly remembered it as a dialogue from some Hindi movie, but the full impact of the statement hit him at that instant.

What’s with the entire wealth of the world at your feet, if you couldn’t help a fellow human-being? One of your own kin? Wouldn't that be a failure of the human race itself?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Of men, and mankind....Part II


The pitch dark alleyway loomed in front of her like Satan. Derelict structures bordered the lane; occasional void shrieks and dog howls punctured the pristine silence of the night, sending shivers down her spine. The kid looked ready to rustle up a bigger racket, but the girl was unusually quiet. She felt her mom crumbling, else she’d never lean on her like now. Little as she was, her tummy ached for nourishment, and her body for the soft fluffy bed at home. But she bit her lip, and hung on closer to the trembling arm.

The lady responded almost involuntarily. Unshed tears burned her eyes as the bitterness she held towards the city came crashing down upon her, all over again. The injustice she’d suffered as a newly-wed bride at the hands of the town; the coldness of the society residents when they inducted her into the apartment, the curt, jeering, so-called welcome-to-a-new-home function; the long, lone periods she suffered when her husband went out of town, the piercing back-bitching the fellow moms of her daughters’ friends did, the demeaning way in which the local bhandiwala tried to take advantage of her incompetence in marathi. How the next-door Mrs. Something had turned up with a card and a box of parsnips in the first week of her 8th month into pregnancy.
At least, she bothered to come, bit back her mind.
True, she agreed. No one else did.

Oh! How many times she’d wished she could throw up everything then and there and rush back HOME. To friends, to dad. Even Bombay was better. At least, the people there appreciated the fact that you existed, and existed as a human being not devoid of emotions. They called it the Oxford of the East. Rechristened it as the MHian Capital of Culture and Education. Is this the manner in which "cultured" and “educated” people behaved?? Does development, improvisation, progress, civilization….ah! civilization warrant, or rather, imply THIS??
Ignorance? Or…arrogance??
Were inter-regional marriages such a hard thing to digest for our developing population that they deserved to be shunned so cruelly?

Every time she was demoralized, she built up a stronger self-defence, a refuge from the ruthless world. And every time, the ruthless world came up with more efficiently ruthless ways of strangling her self-dignity. Of crushing her will-power, overthrowing her meekest of hopes.

She had hung up till now, for all her self-worth, for the sake of her loving husband, her family. But could she hang, for life? * pun intended *

Her thoughts abruptly hit shore as her eyes hit the wall beyond. A faint light flickered on as she flung around. She backed away, dragging the girl, even as she took in the situation.
Suddenly, unexpectedly, a voice rang out, crystal clear.

“Itni raat ko yahaan par rukna theek nahi. Kidhar jaana hai madam?”

She smiled, reluctantly. Queer ironies fate has in store. Her mind reeled. Drastically different implications through the same sentence by two different persons.

“10, Station Road. Aap chalenge?”
“Kyon nahi chalenge? Sona rakhaa hai yahaan?!”
“Kitna lenge?”
“Meter jitna dikhaata hai usse ek paisa na jyaada, lekin ek bhi na kam!”
“Half-return nahi?”
“Kanoon ke mutaabik, apun log half-return 12 bajne ke baad lete hain. Abhi paanch minat bache hain. Vaise aapko dena hai madam, to apne ko koi problem nahi hai!” :)

Suspicious though she felt, she climbed in. Off vroomed the cabby, into the pressing dark. The woman, by now, was so painfully alert that, every thud she heard felt over a hundred times magnified, and every bump made her look out for a purposely muffled sound underneath it. The cabbie, though, was at his jolliest best! Blabbing away to glory.
You couldn’t get a more enthusiastic guide to town, she couldn’t help smiling to herself.
His innocent aura emanated exuberance and the tension in the air dissipated away.

“Madam, lambaa rasthaa naapna padegaa. Bole toh aajkal highway 12 baje bandh ho jaata hai.”

She settled in as the driver pulled through the lazy outskirts of the city.
The gentle breeze almost lulled her into a blissful state of semi-consciousness, till....the cabbie, suddenly, ominously, stopped his A.I.R. of blabbing. Her feeling of foreboding bounced back, greater than ever. She looked him all over keenly, but the man seemed oblivious of everything but his driving.

Crazy, eerie thoughts pooled into her mind…of what the man was capable of doing to them, alone as they were. She tried to push the bad thoughts away, but try as she might, they bored deeper and more gorily into her imagination....

Without warning, the vehicle screeched to a halt. The child let out a wail as she was shaken out of her reverie. Fear, cold and piercing, engulfed her veins as she braced herself for any coming onslaught. But, somehow, as she gathered herself, the area seemed very well-lit…and more than a bit familiar..?!?

“Madam, plot 10 aa gaya.”

Of course! The Municipal Hall screening her building! She’d never been so glad to see it! She couldn’t speak for words as relief, warm and glowing, washed her over, inside-out, the second time in two hours. But this time, the reason was genuine. And the relief, curiously satisfying. She looked up into the beaming face of the cabbie. He was looking a bit the worse for wear, and his generous smile was vanishing fast as he tried to mumble something.
The woman took no notice.
She was lost in her own thoughts.

“Kitnaa hua bhaiyya?”
“Meter ke hisaab se toh pachaas rupaye, madam…lekin…”

The lady cut across.
“Aap sau le leejiye. Thank you aapne hamein itni door chhoda. Lautne ka problem hogaa. Itni raat gaye graahak nahi milega.”

Silence, overawed.
But, this time, the driver managed to mumble, audibly. “ ”
Then he took the 100 rupee note and duly returned the change.
And thudded away into the blackhole before she could protest, like some angel of God, it struck her, silently morphing away into oblivion after liberating distressed mortal souls.

The girl clapped her hands enthusiastically. She was really, really hungry, but it didn’t matter for once. She snuggled closer to the warmth, and light.

The trio looked after the careering vehicle, till its silhouette blended into the black, then slowly turned around to home, each in his own world....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Of men, and mankind....Part I


“Amma! Look!”

The little girl came bobbing down the lit podium, two fat trophies clenched in her bantam hands. The top of her tiny head barely visible above the two patches of glistening silver, she came bustling straight into the woman’s arms, dizzy as she was with excitement. The woman felt proud of the little girl, of her miniature bundle of talent, of her own ability of bringing up the child as genuine a fairytale as can be; in the face of profound hurdles. The applause, sweet, jingled in her ears, as she scooped up all three as un-clumsily as she could, already overladen as her arms were, with baby and bags.
And at that fateful moment of reunion, poof! went the lights.

The entire school was plunged into darkness. Peons and staff rushed about the suddenly-sinister premises in apparent confusion. The Annual School Gathering of M.I.T. had almost reached a well-sketched-out conclusion, with the prize-distribution ceremony being the last but one. The HeadMaster, having forsaken his congratulatory end-of-function speech, had zipped away in his Jag minutes ago. No one considered it worth spending a few thousand units of completely-funded power to start up the sole generator of the institution to see its menagerie safely outside. However, with no clue how, the entire campus emptied in ten minutes flat. With the lady and her crew left stranded at the gate. The girl clung to her, her smile of triumph astray, as the baby fought for escape. Hesitantly, the woman approached the watchman fumbling with the lock.

“ Excuse me…suniye bhaiyya…”

“ Memsahib, jaldi ghar jaiye. Itni raat ko yahaan par akele rukna theek nahi.”

And the next second saw him furiously pedaling away on his bicycle.

So much for the advice, she sighed.

Once again, she was left completely alone at an unearthly timing in an alien city at one of the only two places she was familiar with [the other, being home]; with no car. Her husband was away on tour. As he was, most of the times. She didn’t know the local language. And she had two kids, and baggage in tow. But she couldn’t linger there for eternity. She shouldn’t.

She got out of the lane and into the main road. The few souls in sight passed her by as if she were an invisible soul walking the earth.
At least, I know the place I am in.
And, as if hope begets hope, a cabby stole across the baleful road towards her. Relief, warm and fiery, crept over her skin, erupting into goose bumps.

“10, Station Road.”
“Baithiye, memsahib.”

The lady thanked all her lucky stars as she cajoled her kids in. What would she have done, but for the godsent chariot?!

Five minutes into the journey, the hope that was apparently begotten revealed its true self.
The cabbie led his beauty into a desolate bylane.

“Memsahib, full return mangata hai.”
“Kya? Lekin….aapne pehle kahaan bataaya...”

“Ab bataa rahaa hoon na, madam. Kyon baat ko bevajah bigaadne par tuli hui hain! Aapke liye kaunsi badi baat hai!”

Expectant, secretive smile.

“Main half-return doongi….aap hi ke association dwaara banaye gaye rules ke mutaabik. Aap…aap zabardasti nahi kar sakte..."
The next minute witnessed the cabbie pulling up his vehicle to a screech, pulling the helpless woman and her kids out mercilessly, and driving away; with malice in his eyes, and ice in his voice.

“Paregaon se aake akadh dikhaati hai, saali!”

Classic! She’d forgotten. Misery begets itself more than hope does. Much, much more. Fate seemed to take heavenly delight in tossing her around. Picking up her own words and transforming them into double-edged tools. Now she didn’t even have a name for the ground she ventured an uncertain step forth.

The girl clung on tighter, and she felt like clinging back....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

la folie

I just found out that the Anunnaki are any of a group of powerful Babylonian earth spirits or genii; more generally, servitors of the gods.

And queerly, very queerly, the next site I randomly hit upon is The Cyborg Name Decoder!

Which one's more incongruous, do you think? :P

Artificial Networked Unit Responsible for Accurate Destruction and Hazardous Assassination

And yeah! This verse actually takes the cake.

for they fade away ! then you won't be able to run and play!

knock knock! who's there? Anu ! Anu who? Anu come out and play?

Jesus! [c]racks me up everytime! :D

Ahem! Can Mr. Psychiatrist please take note ? :|

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Of graphics, and graphicians....

My heartfelt three-finger salute to one of the most intriguing professors of today.

Student-friendly to the core. One of the rare few "lecturers" who could have done justice to the part of student-representative to specialised perfection. One of the rare few with whom U could discuss Taare Zameen Par and Chak De... as vividly as machine drawing. One of the rare few who could torment us with 112 spine-bending assignment problems, but still manage to create a reluctant place in my mind. Or, at least, in my blog. :D

Mind-bogglingly insightful. As equally immersed in student welfare as in isometric projections. Equally intense opinions about all the other spicy tidbity pandemonium let loose under the sun. Very expressive. Itching for reform. And what makes him stand out among other such barking-but-never-biting kinda dogs is that given an opportunity, he WILL do it.

I perpetually lie awaiting the end of his lectures [regular, and supplementary], not coz I'm childhood enemies with the subject[Indeed, I've always considered Engg. drawing as one of the few subjects which challenges human imagination like nothing else can!], but coz the last half an hour is seven times worth the ordeal! He inevitably lands up devoting the last 30 minutes to the current social focus. Delightfully interesting viewpoints! I always get the gut feeling that he feels very strongly about any injustice done. Be it anyone. There's this innocent feeling of wanting to pour out everything he has in mind, and wish...just wish earnestly that the person in front sees the wonderful sense in it. He just can't help it. The dam can't stand the river anymore! And then he apologises over n over again for trying to provoke us into rebellion!! :>

Quite just when it comes to assessment. Way ahead of his contemporaries! Very comforting aura. Can turn as competitive as surly. Has yellowed newspaper cuttings about extinct issues since 1947. Has trademark statements[like most of the profs. have]. Has a million behavioral characteristics which I despise[his funny English and melodramatic way of going about things being at the fore!]; but nonetheless as ideal as a professor can practically be. Turned a bit senti today. Was our last official graphics lecture. Now DID YOU REALIZE THE COMIC ABSURDITY OF THE STATEMENT ?!!? Have u ever heard of an engg. professor turning emotional after having interacted three months with a batch of six dozen students, half of whose names he's never heard of?? :O Told us: "I wouldn't feel any happier if I got a big fat trophy for academics than I would if I am projected as a good teacher by my students."


Amen. That was quite a menial attempt, at paying a sort-of tribute to our Engg. graphics professor. :)

The man roxxx !!!! :D

After all, u won't meet a prof every ten steps who would implore u NOT to cross the potentially dangerous traffic-ridden Bombay-Poona Highway in front of our college JUST to submit the graphics assignments. :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Random Thoughts, Episode 1

Okaaaay. So this is a random tag I picked up from The Randomiser. :)

And I picked it up for the complicated[U don't say!] reason that I've had sooo many fuller, more abstruse topics to write on this month, but I've just been too lazy to write. So I wanted to do justice to the blessed month of March. Atleast once. And in such a way that it would do justice to meself too.

Maybe I prefer thinking to writing. I say that because it goes something like this. Most of the times. Whenever I have a long, fruitful [ that's VERY important.] brainstorming session with myself, I promise myself I'll blog about it; and then, I move on to THINK about the writing part. In quite a reflexive sort of way. I think about how I have to take the pains of switching on my desktop, opening Word, or Notepad; writing, saving the document at intervals or risk losing everything to an unpredictable power cut, then doing the bloody spell-check [which gives weird substitutes for words like "li'l"...I get ill's, ill, lilt, lily, and lid's. I mean, even the just-born li'l pink one in mama's lap in the nasty disinfectant-smelling cubicle would deduce that "li'l" means "little". Not quite, but I just couldn't resist the funny statement. :D "Li'l" sounds just soo much more little!! Talk about phonetic symbolism. :D :D ], changing fonts, text colours, alignments, connecting to the LAN at the abysmal velocity my broadband has, and though my brainy neurons spew out things which are quite a thousand times worth all the tediousness, I still ultimately end up reckoning I'd rather just sleep over it.

That's what happened with Regatta; and what I now have is just a brilliant post on it. IN MY MIND. "The Spiritual Rendition Of Regatta'08 -by Miss Anuradha Ganesh." That was one of the three spiffing titles lined up.[I don't remember the other two.] That's exactly what happened with the dissection of my post before this post. Although practically speaking, that can be done later too. Granted that I don't keep on putting it off till eternity, of course.

Come to think about it, I have written some of my best posts in my mind; they could never make it to the material world with the same intensity. For by the time I have roused my tousled-up anatomy to do the many things prior to attacking the keyboard, the storm has stopped raging and become more inertial than sticky cream. The few vagaries I’ve haphazarded on these pages are mere GT imitations of what they were.

And can you believe it! I've yet again managed to drift away from the topic as smooth as silk! Random sure enough the thoughts are, random enough the write-up is, but random I had planned on putting it up in The Original Randomiser’s way[Bully for you, jd! ;) ], and random it ends up in MY ishtyle! wH0A!! Strange things lethargy can do to human beings. Maybe, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

But the tagged, I will be. For the sake of my blog, at least. :P

Random Thoughts - Episode 1

1> If YOU are a damn good writer, and MOST of your friends aren't, then U end up writing over-hyped testimonials for them [outta pure habit, more than anything else… just coz…well..U simply can’t seem to go beneath a certain level of writing u see :D]; and in return U get very humble ones, the whole procedure effectively making THEM sound more cooler[screw the double comparative! It still ain’t pun enough! ] than you, when in fact, it is quite the opposite. Believe me! You are in the drag here. :P

No offence meant, people! U know I just can't resist the sarcasm! :D

2> All significant application forms should have only two columns regarding NAME. First name.

And last name. Why do all the offices and institutions in MH rebel against me when I tell them I DON’T have a surname ?? Is it such a horrendous crime not to have one ?? Does Clause 172 of The IPC Bare Act, 1860 state that NOT having a last name pertaining to your hometown means you don’t have a hometown ?? Does that mean I originated out of emptiness ?!?! DARK MATTER ??????? WOW!!! I’m a cosmological miracle! :|

3> Why are people’s cell phones set to the silent mode and left lying around when U need to call them in life-threatening situations ?? I tell you, I’m gonna look up the IDEA helpbook one of these days and see if they have a suing facility for habitual overuse of emergency amenities.

4> Typing out in short-note form is soo much more hassle-free. You don’t need to figure out where the paragraphs are s’posed to start everytime.

5> Rediscovering things for yourself makes you feel so much more matterable. Substantive. Humble. Proud.
I mean..I could give you an example..which might sound quite childish..but it mattered the world to me. Atleast when I discovered it.

One of the most basic axioms of the most logical subject there can be: Mathematics. “Three non-collinear points determine a plane.” I always used to wonder [in 5th std.] what the heck it meant. I dunno if anyone else ever did, or I was the only one naive enough; but none of my friends ever mentioned it then, maybe coz they were just as mortified of being made a laughing stock of as a low-understanding-capacity-wala-blunderer as I was, and the professor was just as interested as a baboon would be in explaining it. Maybe he didn’t know it himself. Hardly matters. No one was game for him.

Drifting back, the point I used to mull upon was “Why the damn, THREE points? ONE point determines a plane too. Two too. ‘n’ number of points determine a plane as well as three. THEN WHY THREE MAN ???? And why NON-collinear??” And I sat and figured my head off for aeons. Everywhere. All the time. In the kitchen till the food graduated to an inevitable state of inedibility and I stomped off cursing the household for not providing me one of the basic needs of living in its most hygienic form. In the bathroom till all the water siphoned off, stimulating mom to shout her head off maniacally at the door, wanting to know if I had hung myself by the shower out of depression. I thought and thought till all I could see was a myriad of multi-coloured planes, revolving in front of my eyes…jeering away at me.. and the nerves in my cerebrum morphed into hordes of sticky points joining each other by crooked lines, resembling the jagged teeth of an Ice-Age giant; threatening to overwhelm my sanity if I didn’t agree straightaway with the three-point-plane. You’d think I was Archimedes caught in the climax of his career, just about to discover the Law of Buoyancy!

And then, one evening, in a similar state of haziness, unexpectedly, the full impact of the golden statement came crashing down upon me!! One point “convokes” a plane. Constitutes a plane. True. Two do too. But then, they might convoke MANY. But three “determine” a plane. A unique one. An entity. Four do too. True. And ‘n’ without doubt. But then again, they MIGHT NOT. THREE is the boss sure enough! The fine line between the only three probable cases. And then, came crashing down another indispensable truth. Language. The most powerful weapon mankind can possibly wield if he cares to. The difference one almighty word can make. Of life and death. Or, more euphemically put, a girl’s sanity mattered in this case. :D And believe me! With the bombardment of two apparently unrelated absurdly-obvious-once-u-realized-it-sort-of facts, on a temporarily-misaligned human system, I felt as euphoric as Archimedes did !!! I even shouted out “Eureka!” !!! Ahem! Unfortunately [or fortunately!], I wasn’t insane enough to do the physical act he did on impulse. I caught myself. Bless his bath sponge. :P

Point is: Rediscovery is just as heavenly as Discovery. After all, what matters is YOU. Life beckons you alone. You discovering it is as good as Archimedes discovering it. Hardly matters that he discovered it before U. In fact, if I had the authority, I would've penalised him on moral grounds for having deprived the rest of the earthlings the singular satisfaction of finding it out on their own. When U find it out for urself, U are subjected to all those lines of thought that he was subjected to; U understand the process of discovery. The complexity, YET the simplicity of the beauty, which is what matters. Which is what matters because, if U accept something just because it has been propagated by eminent thinkers, and has been verified by time-tested methods, its existence in your mind is radioactive; but if U know the reason behind the find, if U have experienced the minute dissection each and every aspect of the concept requires, if U have absorbed the topic illinoically; U will remember it for life. Coz it's YOURS now. It gets ingrained into you. It's just as simple as someone telling you that you'll never forget your alphabet! U gave it ur heart and soul; it gave U enlightenment. I know, I understand he circulated the idea for the timely well-being of mankind, revolutionising the world of physics alright; but still....... People don't realize the magnanimity of the find coz they are delighted enough to let others do the work. Coz they are so busy trying to avoid the trouble that they miss the sun. Coz they are lazy. Just as I am.
If YOU understand the secrets of life on your own, and revel in them, the world is ur game. If u don’t, nothing is.

6> I suck at short-note-writing!! Doesn’t point 5 seem as if it could’ve made an entire effing blogpost ?!!? Darn!

7> Darn again! Why can't I be more discrete ?! :|

8> I listened to Celine Dion crooning “ I am Alive” 7 times consecutively as I thought out on the the 7 odd points I typed above. Without realizing I did. Background music sort of. Was it pure co-incidence? Or was it that I could relate to something in the music, something so obscure that I hadn’t accounted for it before ??

9> Am I going perpetually crazy ?? I never was a Dion fan !!!!

10> I use too many exclamation marks. :|

11> And too many straight faces. (:|)

12> Well, now that I HAVE started, I can’t, and don’t wanna stop writing. And I realize it's just the getting-started-part which is tricky. Then the rhythm sustains itself. You can start with a single word and land up building an entire concept. Like the carbon-cycle. Against the laws of nature to pull out; but pull out I have to.

And P.S. If you think I write long whiny posts, I’d say you are blessed U haven’t seen half of it. I used to be the longest essay-writer in school. :D :D

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Well, this time round, I'm just gonna give my messed-up mind a holiday, and my puffed-up fingers some exercise!

What with mid-sems over[Comments on this particular part of the post shall be considered nothing short of moral intrusion :P], and what with the sports fest and Regatta coming up[in which I play a very negligible role], I've landed up doing so many wild sort of things [of which bathing at half-past in the night(that was unplanned) and pilfering food 13 times in a day(that was planned! :P) are the menial ones, to say the least!] that nothing's gonna be very suspiciously startling for me, at least for some days to come.

So, right, yesterday, scouting around for something to do, I happened, by pure absent-mindedness, to open my overflowing spare cupboard! By mutual consent, none of my folk dares to open it...on apprehension of an imminent threat of an avalanche of junk..which is precisely what happened! I won't go into further details of what I was subjected to[let your imagination run askew :D]; the only interesting thing that happened was I discovered one of my ol'write-ups. One corresponding to my 10th life. 3 months for the board exams to go, and me scribbling away frantically, as if THAT somehow would make the difference I desperately hoped to be made. Going through it made me relive all those times as vividly as if they had happened right yesterday! Made me pine for those irreplaceable schooldays...made me see them in a whole new, I unconsciously got round to introspecting my writing too!

But all that for the next post. Right now, mind goes into dream mode, as I type away one of my monologues with God during one of the most intriguing phases of my life....a bit childish...a bit immature...a bit insecure...a bit dramatic...somewhat inquisitive...somewhat archaic...oh what the heck! The only disclaimer I would like to make before commencing is that the random incidents convoked below have been long since come-to-terms-with and it doesn't in the least matter if this post gets published even in the TOI[I wish! ;) ] coz the ones to whom it'll really matter already know. So I ain't even gonna bother editing it. It's ME laid bare.


12:10 am

"Well, looking through, I guess I've written my last[or is it the first ?] supposed-to-be-diary entry more than 1 month ago. And u bet! The two days couldn't have been any more drastically different! My mood might be worse, but mom's definitely in one of her philosophical-cry-blame-sarcastic-depressed myriad of moods. It started off with me refusing to share half of my pizza[Anti-Pasto] with Vinod, my silly small bro [I mean, you people dined royally at Pancard's, mom, and bought me parcels AND still, U expect me to sacrifice away half of my food to that gluttonous imp!!! :( ]; the usual fight, which turned into nasty battleground fight[with bits of spaghetti flying round the gallery!]; and finally into EAT-or-DIE fight; I won the food but lost my mom! [The li'l devil won her all over again, as he always does!]

Anyways, one of the greatest differences between last entry-day & today is -


And can u believe it GOD! The one with which I hoped to re-start my legendary string of standing-first-in-class times, turned out to be one of the worst! I came out 14th in the prelims, in a class of 60, going down badly in the subject I revere above all. MATH. And u know god, the worst thing of all, and i KNOW it, it is entirely, entirely 1001% my own fault [although I'll never admit it to mom, or dad, or for that matter, to anyone, EXCEPT YOU]. I am the world's biggest duffer, saddest person for letting this happen to me; happen to me when I WAS in charge, in full control of the bull, and I let it bound away while still telling myself I can control it! How pathetically stupid, how blindingly foolish can I turn! I hate myself for this! :(

But god, I am not gonna lose that wonderful touch. Optimism. NEVER! I've lost count of the number of times I've leaned on U for support! Instead, this time again, I'm gonna shamelessly ask you to pull me out of this mess, somehow, leaving me ultimately "spotless"; bringing the entire episode of my miserable preliminaries to such a cathartic conclusion that it leaves a ZERO[not even 'negligible'] bad impression on my score-card and certificates. Plus, somehow, try to achieve this formidable task without letting mom n dad know that I've gone through such procedures. Please. PLEASE, both for my sake, and for theirs. It will break their hearts. But that brings me to an altogether another chapter-My Behaviour towards them. Inexcusable. There's no other word. I know I've been the worst daughter to them the last one month. In the excitement of getting together with some of my dearest friends, I took my parents utterly for granted! They would've gotten accustomed to "getting their hearts broken" I s'pose. I promise god, I'll try my best to make it up to them, be a daughter that they can be proud of! [And maybe, I'll try to take a bit more care of my bro too. MAYBE! :D]

Coming back to academics, one more favour GOD. Apart from my parents, there are 2 other people in my life, and it is tremendously important that they remain ignorant of my miserable predicament! You know who they are [No names here, too risky!]; and one of them has enormous probability of coming to know about it as he's my pracs-partner[not to mention my on-campus partner-in-crime! cheers for the title dude! ;) ], and a damn intuitive guy[rare, those! ], so I don't exactly need to elaborate, do I ?? Please, let my friends support me at this crucial juncture. These 2 people mean soo much to me... I hope the daunting stand of this turning-point phase doesn't end up overwhelming our good-hearted throw plays, thereby engineering a forever-gaping hole in our blossoming friendship. And please, make sure the final boards DON'T GET postponed! The extra intermediate 15 days would be unbearable torture!!

Please. please. pleeease. U seem to have become an alternate anu's wish list haven't you ?!![knock on wood!] But what else CAN I DO ??? I have got so much to say, but my thoughts are lightning! Before I can even begin to compose them, a new string bounces forward. But you are faster than lightning-Grasp them from my mind and PLEASE help me!!!

[Maybe I'll put in that rant i scribbled to you in desperation here!]

In short, I badly need YOU! Be with me! I can do without anyone else, but not without you God! Let the New Year bring joy with it; joy for me, a signal of my uphill trudge! YESSSS! And i assure you, I myself will be 99% instrumental in bringing it about.

Alright, handwriting gradually turning into noodles, so I s'pose I should stop writing...Dunno when I shall be writing again.....hoping the next musing would be during a more cheerful phase of life.

Yours shamelessly,

But Yours nevertheless (GOD) always,


Dissection later.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

DeBuggeD !


Why is it that just after completing an examination, I develop a sudden exaggerated interest towards the corresponding topics?? Is it because of the gone-aboard realization that I could've done loads better HAD I shown that interest some hours before?? How hurting is the "sinking in" of the situation that folk tons less brainy than YOU performed tons better than you just coz they slogged irrelevantly through the whole night afore when u spent it straining the sofa, reading Harry Potter-7 for the 77th time?? When U KNOW u could've done it in less than one-third the same time?!! When we feel cheated and inflicted-upon unfairly by others, outrage and vocal hostility are the easiest reprieves; and they come naturally. But what if the cheater and the cheated are one and the same?? Is the completely empathetic, alien emotion coursing through me right now ignominy? Shame? Or self-pity? A chauvinistic desire to explain away what is inexcusable?? But to whom?? I can rave at mom. I can TRY TO rave at dad. And without doubt, unrestrainedly at my closest friends. But MYSELF ?!!?

For folk who couldn't figure out that muddle: WELL and GOOD. You are lucky u haven't gone through that kinda dilemma in life.
For folk who did: I ain't a hypocrite.


Einstein WASN'T one too.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Run-time Error

For the past one-and-a-crescent hour, I've been idling around the comp, waiting and waiting aaaand waiting for blogworld-shattering thoughts to present themselves to my overtly over-saturated mind, with an occasional I-am-s'posed-to-be-studying-!-what-the-hell-am-I-doing-drooling-over-the-comp floating across it. None turn up. What instead turns up is: Tomorrow comes with a beautiful physics test. 10 marks. Whipping up nuclear delights topped up with semiconducting sauce. Next week comes with a still more stunning midterm exam. And the only purpose these thoughts serve are to fill me with a still more unshakeable determination to drool still more over the comp. My mind jumps from orkut to facebook to google to Aarewah to roof-turbine no-power ventilators to H2GO to "The Butterfly Effect" faster than the pace of mind*lightning combined![for want of a FASTER pace! :D] There's absolutely no logical reason why outta the blue my mind boomeranged from orkut to Ashton Kutcher, and there shouldn't be too, considering tis MY mind.

There's a cold draught coming up. Very queer of the Poona winter to come up in mid-February, and come up so cold! Really queer. Pretty Miss Winter's turning out as sadly unpredictable as me.

Still nothing. I check my mail. Google a bit. Learn that the Aussies thrashed Sri Lanka in the World Cup rerun. So much for Ponting; so little for me. I walk up to the window. Watch a fresh couple walking up to the nearest gate and walk back again. Walk back again. The Backstreet Boys rock and rap away in my ears. Crude disturbance in the transmission. Cruder of me when I realize its mom shouting her lungs away at me to stuff my blog and transfer my electrons from ground to the excited. Mom's B.Sc in physics. I sigh. Continue.

As in continue to unsuccessfully try filling up this kind-of prussian blue polka-dotted space. Check my mail again. Google a bit more. Stand up purposefully. Firmly deciding I wanna do something other than the stupid nincompoopity I am doing right now. Don't even realize for a full minute WHEN I sat back down wondering about for WHAT was the irresistible fetish for purposefulness that set me standing in the first place.

Mom shouts her larynx away.

STILL nothing! Man alive! Why is it that when u sit down to do something, all panned out to the minute, it never comes out the way u wanted it to; and the same thing turns out a zillion times better than expected[rather, unexpectedly, coz u didn't expect it to happen in the first place] when it just happens in tandem?!?! Why is my typing speed so slow? Darn! An inexplicable loss of the ability to express myself when I am desperate enough to kick away (even) THAT ability is one of the worst emotions I have experienced.

Am I turning slave to hyperboles??

As if on cue, Howie deserts me too.

I guess I should give up, as of now.

Before mom shouts her trachea and alveoli and thoracic diaphragm away.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Party of The Stars, Part 2 where was I last time? The self-promise of taking out time to blog almost every day has unwittingly fizzled out into nothingness! Time seems to have taken affinity to the F1, and drains out as quick as the washing machine PVC pipe these days![I got the idea of the weird comparison coz I'm sitting near the blessed machine right now, hearing it rumbling away serenely, at its own pace, with not a care about the world! Fortune doesn’t just favour the brave; it favours the non-living too! NOT FAIR man!]

So..yeah..coming back to...yes! THE star party! First of all, for those who came in late, a star party is a sort of astronomical gathering; where amateur astronomers[in this case, the COEP Astro Club] gather officially[at NIGHT, obviously!]to observe the path and position of heavenly bodies in the lovely star-spangled sky. Typically a dark sky site away from 'light pollution' is chosen as a location. Telescopes and binocs are the basic essentials, among others. So armed with li'l more than this sundry information, I had set out on this celestial [for want of a better word] venture.

Well. Kamshet. Quite a lazy town I would say. We chugged in at around 5'o'clock, only to find the folk shutting down shop for the day! With a bit of difficulty, and loads of dhakka-bukki, we managed to stick ourselves into 2jeeps...& 32 "healthy" people in two jeeps is hardly a joke, I tell you!! I was cramped beside the driver, making it potentially dangerous for the 17 lives[including the driver!] in the vehicle, as I was scandalisingly close to the handgear! Anyhow, the predicament was soon forgotten in the light of...aahhh.. THE VIEW! :D

Milton's inspiration, nothing less! Mine is just a naive attempt to capture the panorama...but let's try.

The rough-hewn path bumped us away. The brimming Panshet dam, the gentle caressing, comforting, cool breeze arising over it, as if taking us in its warm, effervescent embrace; protecting us, telling us 'I AM there'. The rose fields were a sight to behold...bunches of hybrid teas and grandifloras swayed round at intervals, as if waiting to serenade the Gods themselves! The budding corn twinkled innocently in the waning sunlight... And the sun itself! Setting in all its eternal glory! As if the hilltops yonder are basking in the wake of a lustrous crown... A lovely golden ball in the sky; full in the eyes; gently, gradually, but FIRMLY melting away into the horizon; pure in essence, transforming even the ugliest children of God into plain beauty; the greenery assimilating it drop by drop, till I never knew which is hill and which is sun...the goldenness overwhelmed me, shined through me, IT BECAME A PART OF ME. And it is during such times that I dearly wish I had a camera-phone on me...Ohh how I wish I could capture 'life' on print as in words! The greenhouses, the cute li'l homely cottages, the shady foliage, cattle; all the village needed was a bit of snowfall to look a perfect Christmas card in the top view! [too much of graphics! :D]

Anyhow, after an eventful ride of 40 minutes, we reached kshitija's farmhouse. Freshened up. Fell upon the food like TWO starving boar-hounds EACH of us!! My consequent oncoming sleep fled after being chased round the field by a cute (= mortifying) puppy named 'Vaghya'[I am mortally afraid of dogs of all shapes and sizes.] Got decked up in mufflers and jerkins till we couldn't recognize each other! And set out; a tight group of campers, aiming to conquer the heavens!

The fields provided a perfect site for mounting the telescopes. It started off with the seniors giving us the basic info about the sky, its layout, conventional ways of identifying the positions of stars, constellations, satellites, and flashes w.r.t others. I tried to memorise everything simultaneously; ME, with one of the sharpest memories humans can have, but it just went on and on and on! I gave up! Confusions abound. The seniors were practiced experts; but beginners like me were lost.

Anyhow, once we started the actual observation and got the hang, it was sort of easy. We collimated the moon, Mars, Orion [The Hunter], and a hoard of M-objects[short for Messier objects; lovely star clusters, fuzzy patches more like to the naked eye]. We saw almost 21 meteors! And, [I’m a li’l unsure] maybe just one Iridium flare blazed across the velvety sky! We traced all the 12 zodiac constellations. Plus Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Pegasus, Perseus, Sirius, Regulus, Aldebaran, Canis Major[The Great Dog], Canis Minor[The Lesser Dog], Ursa Major[The Great Bear], Ursa Minor[The Li’l Bear], Mensa, Lyra, Pavo, Hydra, Leo, Aries, Draco…Gawd!! Simply amazing the brilliant imagination of the human mind! Stars and shapes! I managed to capture the moon[just as it was setting] and Saturn at my first go! I was thrilled to the core, flushed and dizzy with excitement! Goosebumps erupted on my skin! [Although that maybe coz of the less-than-6deg temperature too! hehe]Stars and ONLY stars danced in front of my eyes! I definitely needed a break! As a matter of fact, every one did!

The cold seeped in as I went down. And it was THEN, while simply lying there, shivering in a flimsy jacket, gazing up at the heavens, cracking silly jokes, gorging on chocolate to keep awake, among some of the most wonderful and knowledgeable people I’ve known in my life; THEN, suddenly, outta the blue, it struck....the submissive vastness, the perpetual infinitum of the universe. Could anything ever try to emulate it? The all-pervading. Omniscient. You could sense its expanse! It absorbs EVERYTHING; takes ALL of us in its stride; the enormity of the responsibility the universe undertakes uncomplainingly overwhelmed me! I felt like a small dot in this gigantic stretch, moaning about my silly day-to-day troubles; all my bitterness towards so many others melted away in that single instant! I felt at peace with the world. With mankind.

The Milky Way stretched across; white on inky-black, like some mischievous li’l angel’s spilt his milk across the heavenly floors![Hope his mom spares him! :D] God is so romantic ain’t he! To have designed the lovely sky! Just the perfect scattering. Uncertainty sure has its own charm! I always used to wonder why folk always say “I wanna go to heaven!”…I mean… Don’t you love to live?!!? That used to be my point of argument. But lying there, I realized that, THAT, if anything, WAS a place I would love to die for!

Well, with much persuasion, it was around 4am when we finally got our asses off the ground. Scorpio was out as Orion had sunk. Scorpius is the only known constellation which has a clearly traceable shape in the sky befitting its name. You can look at it and instantly say THIS is Scorpio! Clearly defined forelegs and the magnificent sting. The mythological creature that was the downfall of the hunting great, Orion. That is signified by the rising of Scorpio during the setting of Orion! Cool na!

The whole night’s work had taken its toll on the telescopes. Dew settled snugly on the lenses, making any further clear viewing highly impacting on the eyes. Trupti called pack-up. My mind was still full of the night as we put away the instruments. The exhaustive but indispensable knowledge of the others simply bowled me over! Made me feel still more of a novice than I really am! But one always begins at the beginning innit?! I hadn’t slept an inkling!! I guess that says it all!

Garam chai and steaming hot kanda pohe[our hosts were Godsent!] back at the farmhouse revived us enough for the bumpy ride back to the station. Cameras clicked, good-byes said. And in true filmy ishtyle, three of us rounded the party off by hanging off the rear of the jeep through the whole of the 18km back to the railway station!! It felt awesome to feel the icy-cold air whipping through my hair [that AGAIN rhymes! i DO have something in common with Milton, after all.]; feel the astounded stares of the sleepy villagers sweeping me over as I hung on to the roof of the jeep; weaving through the early-morning stragglers...and then you know!