Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Royale treat!!

Taking into consideration that I'm a movie buff, it was shocking to note that I hadn't ever seen a Bond movie in a movie theatre to date. In fact the only Bond movie I had ever seen was "Tomorrow Never Dies" on a friends laptop. Unfortunately laptops haven't evolved enough yet to give the same effect as movie theatres. Something which I noted when I finally went to see Casino Royale.
There was a lot of talk about Daniel Craig not being worthy of holding a candle to the previous Bonds like Sean Connery, Roger Moore or even Brosnan for that matter. Fortunately all such fears were unfounded - I loved Daniel Craig as Bond. He is ruthless, which I feel is the basic quality you seek in a 00 killer. Compared to him, Pierce Brosnan looks like more of an accountant. Also the new Bond is much more human than superhuman & that is what will endear him to his fans.
And coming to the movie - its awesome to say the least. It has more of pure action rather than the gadget wizardry that was the highlight of the previous Bond movies. It starts off with an amazing chase scene which proves that chase scenes needn't always have fast cars or bikes. The pace of the movie is really good too, never do you get bored by the proceedings. And most of all - it actually has a story! And a good one at that. So this was one movie I really enjoyed - despite the handicap of watching it in Hindi & also despite the fact that I was watching the movie right in the middle of the exams. So my advice, go ahead and watch it - it's Royale!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Go on Kev, we are with you!

The Britney-Kevin divorce saga promises to be the most public private affair of our times. And there is no doubting on which side my loyalties lie...
The video of Kevin getting a text message from his wife makes for really interesting viewing. And then again there were reports that Britney actually called Kevin "a nobody". I mean, how much more insulting can you get? After all Kevin is a dancer & singer par excellence. He has performed as backup dancer for Pink, Christina Milian & the band LFO. So its not as if Britney picked him up from obscurity and decided to marry him, thus breaking the hearts of millions all over the world. And after marriage Kevin has been busy. Though he hasn't done any backup dancing since ( a sensible decision on Britney's part considering that he fell in love with the last singer he danced for) he was nominated at the 2006 Teen Choice awards (Teen Choice Award for Male Red Carpet Fashion Icon). He then launched his debut album - Playing with Fire - released by Federline records which, shockingly, sold only 6500 copies in its first week, followed by 1200 in its second. But then, not everyone starts off with a hit. His NYC concert attracted a huge crowd of about 300 (possibly including some obsessed Britney fans with loaded handguns. Unfortunately no shootout took place..)So Kevin is a celebrity in his own right after all.
And he is perfectly right to threaten oops... warn Britney that he may release some of his Sex tapes with Britney. Considering that Britney actually ruined his whole life, thats the least he can do. And since then he has also filed for custody of their children. This was made in a statement in which he says that he is a responsible father and is not doing it for money or fame. We believe you Kevin, we really do. So go on Kevin, sue her. We're all with you!!

P.S: Q:What's Kevin's new nickname?
A Fed-Ex

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Top 10 sledges

Well everyone who has played a decent bit of cricket knows that cricket is not much fun without at least some sledging. In fact it does tend to make the game interesting especially at times when not much is happening. A real good sledge can serve many purposes - demoralising the opposition, provoking them or sometimes just provide some real good entertainment.
So here are some sledges that I found on the net. They're taken from Simon Briggs' new book - Stiff upper lips and baggy green caps which I'm pretty sure hasn't released in India yet. So till you get to read the book, read these sledges. Nice warmup for the ashes I'd say.

Warning: Colourful languages. Regular KSBKBT viewers may not appreciate the genre of humour on show.

Top 10 sledges:

1 Mark Waugh to Jimmy Ormond on his Test debut, 2001: “Mate, what are you doing out here? There's no way you're good enough to play for England.”
Ormond: “Maybe not, but at least I'm the best player in my own family.”

2 Merv Hughes to Graeme Hick et al: “Mate, if you just turn the bat over you'll find the instructions on the other side.”

3 Hughes again: “Does your husband play cricket as well?”

4 Mike Atherton, on Merv Hughes: “I couldn't work out what he was saying, except that every sledge ended with ‘arsewipe’.”

5 Dennis Lillee to Mike Gatting, 1994: “Hell, Gatt, move out of the way. I can't see the stumps.”

6 Derek Randall to Lillee, after taking a glancing blow to the head: “No good hitting me there, mate, nothing to damage.”

7 Ian Healy, placing a fielder yards away at cover when Nasser Hussain was batting: “Let's have you right under Nasser's nose.”

8 Tony Greig, England’s South African-born captain, to the young David Hookes, 1977: “When are your balls going to drop, Sonny?”
Hookes: “I don't know, but at least I'm playing cricket for my own country.” Hookes hit Greig for five consecutive fours.

9 Rod Marsh, late Seventies: “How's your wife and my kids?”
Ian Botham: “The wife's fine – the kids are retarded.”

10 Bill Woodfull, Australia’s captain in the Bodyline series of 1932-33, responding to Douglas Jardine's complaint that a slip fielder had sworn at him: “All right, which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?”

Friday, November 17, 2006

Life through a lens

I know I haven't written anything here since a very long time but since you must be used to my apologies for such delays, I wont bother with putting up another one.
But I must say that one of the reasons why I haven't been posting regularly in the last few weeks is the fact that I was having a series of bad headaches everytime I used the computer for long. And me being me, I never bothered going to the doctor, thinking that the pain would go away soon. However in due course of time the pain became more and more unbearable. In fact at times it got so worse at times that my roomie - the ever loveable Rishikesh Baviskar - immediately gave his prognosis - Brain tumour. This shows the adverse effect that Bollywood movies have on our innocent minds...
Then I had a break for Diwali in which me & my tumour travelled together to Nashik. There we met an opto-whatevero-logist who gave an entirely different prognosis. He said that my tumour was not a tumour at all (much to my tumour's discomfort) and that the only thing that was ailing me was my poor eyesight. Well that shouldnt come as a surprise considering that all of my recent addictions - watching movies, orkutting & reading - were not exactly eye-friendly. It so happened that my eyes finally got tired of the constant crap that I made them see & as a sign of protest started bending in places. That (according to my doctor) meant that even though I had 6/6 vision in both vision (something that my dartboard would confirm), my eyes were suffering from a lot of strain . And then he gave the worst news I'd ever had in my life (since my T2 results) - that I had to wear SPECS, day in day out. I almost fainted.
And well since then, my life has been confined to whatever I see through a pair of spectacles which are a constant pain in the nose. And adjusting to this greatly reduced field of vision took a lot of time. But thankfully thats over, I'm finally getting used to my specs. However I still wake up occasionally thinking that the whole spectacles incident was all a great nightmare. How I wish that were true! But what I had feared most was the backlash that I might expect from the spectacled people whom I had constantly abused throughout my life. Thankfully nothing untoward has happened so far & my entry into the spectacled community has been welcomed gladly albeit unspectacularly.
But I guess having specs does have its advantages. It might get rid of my consistently low grades in practicals. And it makes people take me a bit more seriously than they used to. But these two are the only pros that I can think of, and even they're not much.
Hence a last bit of advice to all those who dont have specs - GO EAT CARROTS!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


As of now, I'm trapped outside my room without my key. One of my room-mates has told me not to worry, he'll be back in 2-3 hours, whereas of the other two, well let's not talk about them. So this leaves me stranded outside my room, all sweaty from a game of basketball and also without my cell and my wallet. So if anyone has, mistakenly, stolen the key of my room or has a duplicate of it, PLEASE give it to me. I shall be very grateful.....

This must count as the one of the most dumb excuses to come online. But what the heck, I'm not even paying for this (I don't have my wallet remember? All I have is 2 bucks that I stole from Apoorv). So might as well shut up and keep surfing before they kick me out of here.

Sigh, just another regular day at the hostel...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tasting defeat..

Let's face it. All of us lie. Every single day we lie to our friends, family, colleagues et al. We lie about everything. Hey Dont worry, it's not the Lage Raho Munnabhai effect and nor am I trying to preach Gandhi-ism to you. I just want to tell you how I, for one moment, rose above the rest of mankind by not lying. Read on...
I guess the people we lie to the most are beggars. I mean if a beggar approaches you and asks for a rupee, how many of you actually say, " Sorry Dude, I have money but I'd rather have a Coke instead"? Nobody, right? All you say is, "Chal kucch nahi hai aage jaa". But day before yesterday I was on the Z-bridge (no forther inquiries involving questions like Who? and Why? shall be entertained) at night when a small kid walked up to me and begged me for some money. I reached out for my wallet and realised that it wasn't there. I mean I had my cell and my keys but my wallet was not there. Then I realised that I was, for one moment, just like the little boy - no money in my pockets and no one around who's ready to give me even a single buck. So for the first, and hopefully the last time, I looked the little beggar boy in the eyes and said in an honest voice, "Dude, I REALLY dont have anything. I'm not lying, I dont have a single buck. Believe me". And that he did, 'cause he walked away without a word. Too stunned to say anything.
But I was wrong, I wasn't like that boy. For ten minutes later, he walked past me again and this time he was happily munching on some chaat that he had in his hand. And not just that, the moment he saw me, he pointed at the chaat, laughed at me and left. And I spent the next half an hour trying to find a chaat-wallah who would give me something to eat. But I found no-one. I was beaten by a beggar kid. I feel like s**t.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The week after

July 16, Sunday:
I like to call Pune or rather COEP 'Neverland'. Thats basically because I never thought that I'd land here. And also because after every vacation I feel like never coming back to this land. But unfortunately today marks my return to Neverland and also to the closest experience of jail that I've ever had - the hostel. And to make things worse, there were about 16 of us crammed into one room where usually 3 live. How we actually managed to sleep is a great example of Human Resource Management. Maybe this'll help me while I'm doing my MBA.

July 17, Monday:
Now the real stuff begins as they say. Today happens to be my first day of college. No more studying useless subjects like Graphics, Civil et al. From now on I shall study subjects like DESC, NAS, EDLC, PS & CSTL, the long forms of which still elude me. The college or rather the dept manages to shock us and there is a lecture conducted, before we get another shock - we're gonna have pracs from tomorrow. Surely they wouldn't....

July 18, Tuesday:
But they did, I just had my first practical of the year and surprisingly I actually learned something today. Did you know that on the CRO....naah, forget it. No electronics stuff here. There's enough of it in college already.
And life just got better. I started playing football again. Finally I'm doing something I like..

July 19, Wednesday:
I moved into my new room. I-104 is the address for those unfortunate souls who might have to visit it. The room happens to be right next to the toilet. Awesome. And when I enter, there's so much shit left by the previous inhabitants, that I feel as if I'm IN the toilet and not next to it. It takes us the better part of three hours to clean the room so as to make it hospitable. But it does feel better to have some place that you can call your own.

July 20, Thursday:
Nothing special. The day consists of going to college & playing football. By now I'm sick of the hostel food. And it's only been 5 days since I've come here. What will I do during the rest of the year?
And now I realise that I seem to have become a loner and am avoiding most of my friends. Or is it the other way round?

July 21, Friday:
Today. The plan for the day was great - fill the fees and get admission as soon as possible so that I can bunk college later when all others are taking their admission. It totally backfires - thanks to a late 9:30 AM start to the day. I go to college at 10:30 and am stuck there till 3 PM. I thought that once you pass your FE exam, you enter SE. But now I know better. You ain't in SE, till you've taken admission. And taking admission is by far the most boring thing to do. Needless to say, I doze off in the auditorium. And while everybody around me gets their job done quickly, I seem to be stuck. And by the time I leave, all others have completed their admission process hours before and have gone home. I guess I must be the only person who didn't break into a queue and followed all the procedures to the letter. No doubt I came out last. So much for honesty.

Fun, Frolic, Friends, Football, Freedom..........Finished!!

I sit here in Pune, writing this post. It's been almost a week since I'm here and I'm still suffering from the holiday hangover. Lets recap what happened over the course of the last 2 months:
To begin with, I slept a lot. And mostly during the day, I was awake till almost 3 AM every single day of the vacations. Then I'd sleep through the morning. Ah! Those were the days!
I played lots of football. Every single evening, I'd be out playing with my friends. It was great fun!! And so was the football world cup.
I read 'The Godfather' which happens to be an awesome book. I liked Michael Corleone so much that while reading the book (mostly in the loo) I'd be saying his dialogues out aloud. That was fun too.
I hung out with my close friends and did all sorts of crazy stuff.
I spent hours online chatting.
I saw a bus being burned by a crazy mob of rioteers.
I slept more.
I spent hours watching TV. I was watching Discovery channel at 3 AM!! I also realised that TV only gets interesting after 11 PM
I listened to Pink Floyd for hours everyday. It's too good!!
I saw all the movies that were released, even if they were crap.
I ate like a hog and put on almost 6 kgs, which I hope to lose sometime in the next millennium.
I was bitten by the Orkut bug and suddenly wanted to increase my friends. As a result, I now have 250+ friends on orkut, a leap of about 150 in the last months or so.
And lots of unmentionable stuff...
But now I sit here, and I'm staring at this list. And I realise that for the next one year, I'll be able to do nothing of this sort.
Life sucks!

Monday, July 10, 2006

It's all over

The World Cup was one event I was looking forward to with great anticipation right from the time my vacations began. I had watched the previous World Cup too but Germany 2006 was way more enjoyable than KJ 2002. Firstly, there were fewer upsets which meant that the top teams were competing in the knockout phase unlike last time around when lower-ranked teams like Korea & Turkey were playing in the semis. Also was the fact that the coverage was much better than last time. I've been watching sports for almost a decade now and I feel that the coverage provided by ESPN-Star Sports is by far the best, be it any sport. They bring to sports broadcasting a perfect mixture of fun and serious analysis and hence please both the purist and the new follower. Bravo ESS keep it up!!
There were obviously other reasons why I liked this WC more than the previous ones. Firstly, all of the matches were played at night(IST) and this gave me a great opportunity to see all the action live, something which I was unable to do last time around when the matches were played in the evening. And of course this gave me a chance to actually improve my footballing skills by playing football every evening. Lets hope my football playing doesnt become a one-off, WC only activity. Because that would be a real pity.
Then again this time around my favourite teams played pretty well, though they didn't go that far in the WC. Spain & Holland both showed that they are very good teams and went out early only due to a tough draw. I also found a new team to support - Germany. Their attacking style of football made me a big fan. I just loved their striking pair of Klose & Podolski and also the new players like Lahm & Schweinsteiger. Klinsmann turned out to be a great coach and I have a feeling that in the years to come, this team might be the best in the world. Ditto with Argentina & Holland, both of whom had extremely young squads. And finally one of my old favourites - the Azzuri - managed to win the title, so I'm in a great mood now. And my favourite - Andrea Pirlo - also had a great WC which was the icing on the cake for me.
I guess I loved the WC so much because I finally got to see some top-quality football, which I was deprived of during the last year. And also because I had a blast throughout the WC as in coincided with my vacations. Heck, I even missed Wimbledon just to see the WC. I must have seen about 50 or more matches during this World cup, out of the 64 played. And thats a lot of TV watching. But the fun that I had during that is simply unmatchable.
But it's all over now. Time to move on. Feels sad that it's over, and even sadder to know that one of my all-time favourite footballers - Zizou - will never play again. But the show must go on. However irrespective of what happens later, I shall always remember the WC 2006 as one of the happiest months of my life. Cheers!!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The crowning glory

Zinedine Zidane is considered by many, including myself, to be the greatest footballer of his generation & arguably the best French player of all time. He has won all there is to win - the World Cup, the European championships & the Champions league. He has been both World and European world footballer of the year. But today, two days before what might be his greatest footballing moment ever and surely his last international, comes his moment of crowning glory. For today, in honour of his great contribution towards French and indeed World football, I change MY nickname from 'Khazu' to 'Zizou', at least till the World Cup final. I'm sure that he'll be touched by this enormous gesture of goodwill. A copy of this declaration has already been sent to the heads of state of all the countries in the world so that they can make the necessary changes in their contact lists. I request you to please do the same. And for one last time, Go Zizou!!

Am I going insane?

During the last three days, I haven't played football. I have actually woken up before 8 AM. I have been regular in all my daily activities. I actually spent two hours chatting with my college friends. I haven't met my school friends. I havent played Basketball. I haven't gone for swimming or even for cycling. I have actually helped others a lot. I have driven safely at extremely slow speeds (by my standards). I have gone to bed early (again by my standards). I have exercised every morning. I have done all that was asked of me. I haven't done anything which I might have to hide from my parents. I haven't spent hours doing nothing on the net. And worst of all, I actually missed the semi-final between France & Portugal because I fell asleep!!! In fact I have behaved like an ideal boy, almost. So that has once again raised the world's most popular question - Am I going insane??

Monday, June 26, 2006

Me, Michael Owen & Phir Hera Pheri : Memoirs of a painful day

What's the similarity between me & Michael Owen? Well, simple enough - both of us were unable to play football yesterday because of injuries obtained on the playing field. I have an injured foot, my right one to make it worse, while Owen's knee is injured since he plays at a somewhat higher level than I do. But now I can totally empathise with Owen. It does feel bad being unable to play football. Especially during the world cup. It is real tough on him. And he is going to be out for quite a while. However my fans needn't worry, I'll be back playing football very soon. But even I had quite a painful day yesterday, after all Owen didnt have to sit through a three hour torture called Phir Hera Pheri. The movie totally insults the original. It does have it's share of funny jokes, especially one liners, but a lack of pace, originality and some horrible music makes the movie a must-no-see.
It begins quite well, with the three heroes living a rich life. Some of the scenes in this part are quite funny. All is quite well till the interval, but after that all hell is let loose. Things get complicated to point of sheer boredom. All sorts of crazy people - 10 feet tall Nigerians, gangsters with speaking disorders and corrupt cops - get in on the act to triple the confusion. And then suddenly you also have to put up with a Himesh song whose music is as original as, well, the previous Himesh song in the movie. Then even a Gorilla gets in on the act. He keeps on chasing Johnny Lever around and after a while you can't make out who's who. The Gorilla is by far the most human of all the characters.
The climax of the movie takes place in a circus and it is one of the worst endings I've ever seen. It just goes on and on and on. People keep running after each other while you feel like running away from the theatre. Which you probably should have done, since the climax is followed by another painful track. Sitting through the movie was by far the most challenging thing I've done in the vacations. If you want to test your patience then go ahead, otherwise you can surely give it a miss.

PS: I heard that the movie was selected for the prestigious Oscar library. Expect a bombing of the library anytime soon.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A few realisations

It's been a month since my holidays began. And during the course of that month, I've realised a few things which I never knew before. These are not meant to be generalisations, they just happen to be true in my case. You may or may not agree, it doesn't matter. So here's the list:
1. Holidays are infinitely more fun than college days:
In fact, these two are incomparable. I get a great kick by just getting up every day and realising that I've got absolutely no need to study, nothing to attend & nothing that can't can't be done tomorrow. Realising this, I go back to sleep.
2. Nothing beats the joy of playing outdoor sports:
I didn't get much of a chance to play while I was in Pune. So I'm making up for it by playing a lot now. Cricket, Football, Basketball - you name it & I've played it. My schedule consists of swimming in the morning, playing cricket in the afternoon & football in the evening. And I've never felt better.
3. Playing football is a lot more fun than cricket:
This might sound strange coming from a cricket nut like me. It might be due to the Football Fever spread by the World Cup. But it is true. Especially when it's raining cats & dogs which gives you a chance to slide around in the mud - which was what I was doing yesterday. The ground was so slippery that it felt like we were on skates. And the soft mud allowed me to celebrate my winning goal with a full blooded slide, er, dive on the ground with my back towards the sky. By the time we were done playing, all of us were totally covered with mud. I couldnt make out the colour of my shirt. Even my face was smeared with mud so that I was almost unrecognisable. The sole of my shoes had so much mud sticking to it that they weighed almost twice their regular weight. And I had the taste of mud in my mouth for the entire while. After we were done playing, the ground was severely trampled upon. Even a herd of cattle couldn't have done such a thorough job. We had so much mud on us that amongst us, we might have unearthed a ton of mud. It was the dirtiest I've ever been in my life. It was also one of my most memorable moments on the sporting field.
No wonder so many countries play football. Football rules!!
4. I can't read more than 3 books simultaneously:
I've got 9 books right now, brought from various libraries, that I've to read during the holidays. But I just can't manage to read more than 3 at a time. That means that the others might have to wait. Maybe I'll read them in the next vacations. But I have to read them now, since I've started almost all of them & enjoyed the starting part.
5. The hardest part of watching movies on Television is staying awake through the advertisements.
6. I can watch football for hours at end. And all this while I thought it was only cricket.
7. You may make new friends wherever you go, but the sort of fun you have with your old schoolmates cannot be matched. This leads to the next point:
8. The schooldays are by far the best days of our lives:
That's because all that I've stated above is stuff which I used to do during my school days. I've only rediscovered these great joys now. In fact, I missed my school so much that I even went there and took a dozen or so pictures of the empty school building. Sigh, those were the days...

The payback

All of you must be having a friend(?) who is a real bore. Who keeps on talking, interminably, about subjects of which you have the least knowledge and no interest. Who keeps on telling you how great he is just because he did something that you never felt like doing. Who feels that whatever he says is right. Who comes for all treats but never gives one himself. Who annoys you totally. Whom you never want to be with, but have to be friendly with just for posterity. Well I dont know whether you have such a friend or not, but I do have such a friend. Let's call him X. This is the story of how we got one over him for a change.
X is an unbelievable bore. I've been with him since school & I don't remember a single moment when I've actually enjoyed his company. X never lends stuff to anybody but borrows from everybody. He helps no-one but expects everyone to help him. X has by far the worst taste in all aspects - music, clothes, bikes etc. Nobody likes X, nobody ever will. Not that he minds. He likes to be the jerk he is. I hope you get the idea.
Visiting X's house was always a daunting task. You never got anything more than a glass of water there. And his parents asked more questions than a CBI officer. A visit to his house was like a mission in Delta Force: you enter, you complete your objectives (borrowing notes, books etc), try to dodge the endless enemy bullets(questions asked by his parents) and then head for the extraction point - the door. In fact the door of his house is possibly one of my favourite places - nothing gives me more joy than coming out of it sane & alive.
But X makes it a point to visit your house, needlessly. You try to keep him out ("sorry dude, I was just leaving, you should have come earlier" etc) but somehow he always manages to come in. And once that happens, only God can save you. If you are watching TV, he changes the channel & tells you about this awesome documentary that he saw on National Geographic. If you are playing on your comp, he starts playing instead, finds that he cant play & hence says "this game is dumb" and forces you to load some other game. And you have to listen to all his orders because your parents think that he is the most well-behaved of your friends & they know that he is also someone who studies a lot. In short, he is a guy whom even Mahatma Gandhi would have felt like punching in the face.
But why am I dwelling on the painful past? Now I shall describe to you the hour of my victory. It's pretty much true, except for a few changes. Here it is:
I was , as usual, roaming around with two friends of mine - Kalpak & Avinash. Suddenly me & Kalpak both felt like peeing. And we didnt want to return home so soon. Both of us were at our wits end. But then I had a brainwave - I realised that X's house was close. I suggested that we should go there and take a leak. Both of them were, obviously, horrified by the idea (Kalpak: I'd rather die). But then I explained my hidden motive - the guy comes to our houses, does whatever he wants and walks away, while we never trouble him in his house. So the plan was to go to his house, take a leak and come out as soon as possible. We were going to take on the lion in his own den. We were aware of the risk involved. All three of us knew that we might not make it out of there alive. So we hugged each other, wished each other luck & thanked each other for always being there (thats what happens when you watch too many war movies). And then I rang the doorbell, knowing that nothing shall ever be the same again.
Here's the conversation that ensued :
X: Hi Aniket, when did you come to Nashik?
Me: Yesterday (it had already been a week since I was in Nashik)
Kalpak: Me too.
X: Thats great. How were your exams?
Kalpak: Forget it.
X: Why? (smiling)Very hard?
Kalpak: Just forget it.
Me: How are yours coming along? (why did I ever ask that?????)
X: Maths was easy, I attempted questions worth 90 but I'm not too sure of a few of the answers. A friend of mine said that the question on Differential Equations might have an error but another guy said that it was right and had to be solved by ....
Kalpak(interrupting): Yeah, yeah, got it. Whats your next paper, Applied Science?
X: Yeah. Actually I have completed reading 4 units - 2 of both Physics and Chemistry. I still have to revise them but I find it hard to...
Me(obviously interrupting): App Sci's always easy. Only a fool would find it hard. (This was the coup de grace. He never dared to speak a word about App Sci after that)
(At this point Avinash kicks Kalpak in the back to remind him of our mission objectives.)
X: Why dont we go down to the parking lot & chat?
Me: (Sensing that it's now or never) Hey X, I want to use your toilet.
X: What????
Me: Yeah. Need to take a leak. Do you mind?
X: Er, no. Go straight and take a left.
Kalpak: Me too.
X: What????
Kalpak: Yeah man. Have to. Otherwise....(What a threat!!)
X: Okay, just wait till Aniket comes out. Avinash, do you have to take a leak as well?
Avinash: Come on. Do you think we came here just for peeing?
X: (realising that this was true) Not at all. Just kidding.
(After that I used his toilet and came out,but the task was still only half done, we still had to face his parents)
X's mom: Hello Aniket, a long time since you last came here.
Me: ("Yeah, that explains why I'm so happy") Well, I've been busy.
X's mom: How were your exams?
Me: Fine.
X's mom: Do you find it possible to study at the hostel?
Me: ("No, I passed my first year just by fluke") Well, yeah.
X's mom: Aamcha X tar ghari ekdum changla abhyas karto.
Me: (too dumbstruck to reply)
(Kalpak comes back from the loo and seeing my predicament, heads for the door directly)
Me(taking the cue): Well aunty, I'd better leave.
X's mom: But you just got here.
Kalpak: Never mind aunty. We'll return later. (Yeah right)
(We then go down to the parking lot. I never thought that he had a hidden objective there.)
X(pointing towards a brand new black Activa): This is my new Activa.
(Here I realise that it's the same vehicle which I had barged into while parking my Kinetic)
X(waiting for a response, but on getting none): It's a great vehicle.
Me: Yeah, yeah. It's real smooth.
Kalpak: And powerful.
X: It's also VERY economical.
Me: hmmmm.
Kalpak(sensing a need to change the topic): You're damn lucky to be living at home while doing your engg studies.
X: Yeah. Nashik's a good place. How's Pune?
Me: Big.
X: I heard your syllabus is a bit different from ours.
Kalpak: It's not.
X: And your marking system?
Me: It's complicated.
Kalpak: Yeah too complicated. Can't explain now.
X: For how many more days are you here?
Me: Let's see.
Kalpak: Not too many.
Avinash: What's the time?
X: Nine.
Me: Oh no!! I had to be home by eight.
Kalpak: Me too.
Me: Gotta go man.
Avinash: I guess I'll leave too.
X: Why?
Avinash: I've to drop Aniket off at his house.
Me: Well, see you later. Bye!
(And by the time X realises that all three of us have our own vehicles, we're out of there alive, unscathed & without losing our minds)
Mission Accomplished.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Why all the fuss about gaming?

Believe it or not, yesterday was the first time I ever played LAN games in a game parlour. The gaming bug, which has deeply infected Puneites, was comparitively unknown in Nashik. Hence I never got a chance to try gaming during my stay in Nashik. I had lots of chances to make up for that during my stay at the hostel in Pune as most of my friends were total gaming addicts. However it never appealed much to me. But finally when my friends went to a game parlour & insisted that I join them just to see how the experience is, I just couldn't say no. The parlour we went to was a pretty cool place. All the computers had LCD screens, the ambience was nice & the chairs were really comfortable. And it had almost all the games, from FIFA 06 to NFS Most Wanted to GTA San Andreas. We played a few games of NFS MW to begin with & I thought 'Hey it's not that bad after all'. But then suddenly my friends decided that they'd had enough of NFS & loaded the one game that has captured the imagination of all gamers worldwide - Counter Strike. And all hell was let loose. There were 4 of us, that made two teams of two. Before the game started, we were good friends, but once it started we were sworn enemies. Battle cries filled the room. "Come on, what are you doing?", "Give me cover", "Dont drop the bomb", "Look behind you", "Shit, he got me" & many more unprintable ones. I've never seen my friends so totally engrossed in anything as they were in playing CS. Nothing could take their attention away from the game. They played with such intensity as if their lives depended upon the dumb game. I just hope that terrorists worldwide do not take their jobs as seriously as the terrorists in CS. I played with them for about an hour or so. And then I had had enough. I just quit the game and told my friends that we should leave. But it's amazing how CS not only grips the mind but also the ears - they just couldn't hear me !! So I decided to play FIFA 05 on my comp. And that too against the comp, as there was nobody on LAN whom I could play against. So that's what I ended up doing in a LAN games parlour - playing a two player game against the CPU. Imagine paying 20 bucks an hour for that. Soon the torture came to an end, not because of a lack of interest but because of a lack of cash. My friends couldn't believe that 3 hours were already over, they even checked their watches twice to be sure. And then they gave me an _expression that said, "Three hours, so soon? I never felt the time fly by". And all I could say was, "It was about bloody time you came out". And so we left the game parlour after three hours of extreme boredom for me & total fun for the others. And despite all this I could still not understand, why all this fuss about gaming?? What do you get out of it? The answer, it seems, shall always elude me. But all I can say that if anybody catches me playing CS in a game parlour again - they can shoot me. It will relieve me of the burden of playing the dumb game.

A lotus in the slush.

I've been reading 'The Fountainhead' for the last week or so & while doing so, what struck me the most was the impeccable integrity of the protagonist - Howard Roark. He is, to use Ayn Rand's own words, the noble soul par excellence, the man as man should be. In today's world such a person doesn't seem to exist. But as I was reading the book, my thoughts moved in the direction of the one person whom I've met & who comes closes to the description of Howard Roark. He's an old schoolmate of mine & we were pretty good friends for almost a year. His name is Shreyas Ware.
I was a student of St. Xaviers High School, Nashik till Std. VIII. Xaviers was a boy's school & I had a lot of innocent fun there. When I left Xaviers & joined Rangubai Junnare High School in Std. IX, I was still an innocent soul. I know that seems to be almost impossible, knowing how I am today but it is true. I was the sort of boy who'd never waste time anywhere outside home, who'd do everything that his teachers asked of him & never ask for reasons. But somehow all that changed when I shifted to Rangubai. Whereas most of the students in Xaviers were dignified & well-mannered it was the opposite in Rangubai. The majority there was rowdy, to say the least. Not that they weren't good but there was still the difference - in the way they behaved, the sort of language they used & the things they did. I was conscious of this difference from the very beginning but soon, unconsciously, I became one of them. I started using the same sort of vile language & behaving in the same rowdy way. And all this happened within the first six months of my joining the school. I thought that all this was natural, almost inevitable. But I was wrong. Because there was one person there who had been in the school for years but still was a pure, untouched soul. He was Shreyas.
Shreyas was the ideal student in school. He wasn't the class topper but he was studious nonetheless. He took his studies seriously & worked diligently at whatever task given to him. He was the guy who did his homework everyday, who completed all his assignments in time & did everything that people asked of him. But he was never proud of this, in fact vanity & boastfulness were unknown to him. He was also extremely helpful, as long as he felt what he was doing was right. We did a lot of crazy things in school but he never joined us then. But whenever we actually did something good, he became one of us. He had no enemies, in fact that during his entire school life nobody was ever even angry at him. He joined us whenever we played cricket during the weekends but not when we would sneak off to watch movies secretly. Whenever he felt we were doing something wrong, he would just frown. He never asked us not to do it but his disapproval was obvious. How I wished I had listened to him a bit more. Even the teachers liked him but he was never their pet, because he would never try to impress them with his knowledge. He would sit quietly during the lectures, listening intently to whatever the teacher taught, while we were busy passing comments. And what I respected in him the most was the fact that he never lost his cool & never ever used foul language. And in a school where everybody used at least 50-60 swear words everyday, that's saying a lot.
He was also a good chess player. In fact it was this hobby that brought us together. We would sit for hours together after school, playing chess. And the reason why he became such a good player was that he was always willing to learn. While the rest of us never listened much to each other due to our inflated egos, he listened to whatever anyone said & tried to learn as much as he could. This was the sole reason why his game went on improving while we were stuck at a mediocre level. In fact, in Std. XI he almost qualified for the district team. He came sixth after losing the 5th place playoff & the top 5 got selected. I don't know what happened to him the next year, but I'm pretty sure he must have qualified. He also had a very strong will. He had scored 83% in SSC but still took up commerce because he felt his interest lied there. Everybody he knew was against this - his teachers, friends, family, neighbours, everybody. But he stuck to his decision & took up commerce.
Shreyas got happiness from the small things in life. While we spent most most of our time lamenting on how unhappy our lives here, he obtained joy from small things like studies, playing chess, doing his chores, obeying whatever teachers told him & much more. In fact, for him every single day was for him a moment to be enjoyed. You may have all the big things in life, but to be really happy you need enjoy the small things. And Shreyas was a perfect example of that.
I don't know much of what happened to Shreyas later. I don't know whether he is till the same or not. Colleges have a tendency of destroying the innocence & integrity present in the souls of the students. A student like Shreyas in the BYK College of Commerce seems almost unimaginable. But then even in Rangubai, a student like him was unimaginable. And I'm pretty sure he's still the same. While all of us dived into the murky waters of Rangubai Junnare High School & became a part of the dirt, he rose from the same waters & became a lotus in the slush. A lotus in the slush.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Horror & Himesh

Finally, a few villagers from Bhalej, a small village in Anand district, have managed to do something which I have yearned for a long time - ban a Himesh song. These villagers have banned Himesh Reshammiya's "Jhalak Dikhlaja" from the movie Aksar, saying those who listen to it or sing it get possessed by the evil. It is believed that the evil follows you because the lyrics of the song have the words 'Aaja aaja' that invite the ghost. Till date five to six people have been infected by the "evil" in the song. Hence the ban on playing or even singing the song. Now why the hell didn't the evil strike Pune or Nashik instead?

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Looking back

Looking back over my previous entries, I realise that I've made only two posts in the month of May. Two is certainly a very small number considering the fact that this month might well prove to be of significance in the future & also considering the fact that I enjoyed it a lot. So, taking the risk of providing an outdated account, I narrate here some of the more enjoyable moments of a very interesting month:

May 3- May 13:
These 11 days were the most important of the entire semester as they were the dates of our exams. Somehow, after Std. XII, I'd never felt happy during the exams. Never felt like struggling a bit more, going the extra mile or waking the extra hour for the sake of scoring the extra mark. It was almost as if I'd lost interest in studies (and perhaps a few other things too). And the monotonous subjects ( Civil, App Sci-I, BT etc) didn't help much in improving the situation. I guess I just wasn't yet accustomed to living at the hostel. No wonder I performed disastrously in last semester's end sem exam. And then came the vacations which proved to be even more disastrous as I had an accident and had to spend almost a fortnight in bed, doing nothing all day. All this almost took the fun out of life.
The second semester came as a breath of fresh air. Beginning with a gala time at Mood I, the various activities & events during the sem ensured that I was always doing something. It kept me ticking & suddenly, for the first time, I felt at home in the college. Since then, each day in college was an event in itself, a moment to be savoured & to be enjoyed to the full. The dull inactivity of the previous sem was completely forgotten, like a bad dream that never took place. I had made very few friends in the first sem, in the second it seemed as if I made a new one every day. I had managed to regain control of my life & started to enjoy it once again. Soon the idle evenings spent at the hostel transformed to an endless saga of parties, movies, entertainment & loads of fun. I had enough reasons to be satisfied with my life again.
But somehow all this never transformed into success in the exams. If you think that the activities would've had an adverse affect on my studies, you're wrong. In fact the activities kept me in a happy state which generally results in a good performance in the exams. But that never happened. T1 came and went & my performance was ordinary. Then came the T2 when I decided to experiment by radically changing my entire time-table. I'd study throughout the night & sleep through the day. This meant that even though I appeared for each paper well prepared, I was in no mental state to write a good paper. And that was reflected by my pathetic T2 score. Life was a bed of roses with just one thorn in my flesh - my inablitity to do well in the exams.
Hence doing well in the end semester exams this time around was not just recommended, it was vital. Fortunately this realisation dawned upon me pretty soon & I prepared thoroughly for the exam. And finally it resulted in a performance which may not make many heads turn but was satisfying nonetheless. I did nothing spectacular but nor did I commit dumb mistakes. I didn't exactly reach heaven, but I surely avoided hell. And sometimes that's all you need. My faith in my own abilities was once again renewed, thanks to a friend who never doubted my ability. My interest in studies was refuelled, the fire within was re-ignited. It may not be a raging inferno but it was much more than a spark. Much more.
So at the end of my first year of engineering I can't say that I've achieved something spectacular in academics. But I managed to experience both the highs & the lows without losing my sense of perspective & my faith in myself. Now I know that I can make it through any difficulties that might arise, that no problem is unsolvable, no hurdle unsurpassable & no aim unattainable. And that none of these can have a permanent effect on me.

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

- from "If" by Rudyard Kipling, my favourite poem

Reading Shantaram

Writing 'Shantaram' was probably the greatest experience of Gregory David Roberts' life. Well, reading the 934 page long story was quite an experience for me. I started reading it sometime in April & finally managed to finish it in the last week of May. I kept reading it through my submissions, my Preparatory Leave & also throughout my exams. It was especially hard to read it during the exams. Whenever I'd pick up the book, my conscience would scream at me and ask me to put it down & read a textbook instead. But I read it nonetheless, maybe because I realised that I was learning much more from that book than from any textbook. And another reason why it took so much time was that the book was so thought-provoking that very often, after reading a few pages, I'd lay on my back & spend a lot of time thinking about what I had just read, trying to understand it completely. It had ceased to be just a book for me, it was a friend, a guide, a philosopher & a teacher - all rolled into 934 pages of text. Hence when I finally completed reading the book, I felt as if I had finally managed to reach the end of a long struggle. It felt like the end of a journey, the completion of a process, an achievement to be cherished. No other book I've ever read has had such a huge impact on me. And maybe no other book will ever have such an impact. The depth of this impact will only be seen in the future. You may wonder how possibly a book written by an Australian criminal, drug addict, alcoholic & chain smoker can inspire me so much. That can only be understood by reading the book. It may not have the same effect on you, but it's effect on me has surely been profound. And for that I'll always be indebted to Gregory David Roberts.

The Nagpur trip:

I left for Nagpur on the 26th of May along with most of my relatives, excluding my immediate family. We were going there for a family get-together. And if you felt that that would mean meeting a lot of distant relatives who hadn't seen you since you were a kid in diapers, you're wrong. Such get-togethers are an annual event in our family & having missed the last one, I was keen to be there for this one. And it proved to be the right decision after all.
The get-together lived up to it's name. I got together once again with my cousins & uncles whom I hadn't met for almost a year. We all had lots of fun together. We ate, played, travelled, partied, fought, danced, argued, discussed & slept together like one huge family. We shared our sorrows, our pains, our fears & all of our feelings with each other & came off much the better for it. It seemed to me that I knew about my family before the get-together, while after it I knew them. And all this while we had the maximum possible fun. Such fun that I had never experienced before. I found new friends in my aunts, uncles & especially my cousins. So strong were the bonds created that when we had to part after 5 days of togetherness, all of us had a tear in our eyes. We had all had the time of our lives & all of us sincerely looked forward to meeting again.
You may have noticed that I haven't written a word about Nagpur yet. Well, it's a good city with splendid roads. It's just that during those 5 days, the location never mattered. All that mattered was who I was with. And I was with MY family. Thats reason enough to be happy.

PS: The trip also happened to consist of a very funny Coffee-shop incident, probably the funniest thing to have happened to me in a long, long time. The details of this I shall publish later.

Home.....Home again:

Well my vacations had begun unofficially on the 10th & officially on the 19th of May but I hadn't been to Nashik since then. I'd enjoyed myself in Pune & had a blast in Nagpur. But there's no place such as home & hence I was constantly looking forward to coming home again. And that finally happened on the 2nd of June. Now I feel relieved to be home finally. No need to eat the hostel food again, no need to share your life with a hundred other people, no need for all the small talk, no need to make compromises. Being home gives me a chance to talk more with less people, rather than less with more. It's the only place where I can be myself & feel nothing about it. Where I can do nothing for days & still not feel guilty. Or do everything and still look forward to doing more. Where I can relax in the truest sense of the word. Where I can rediscover my old self again. Where I can sit back & relive my past life as if nothing had happened, as if I had never left this place, as if nothing had changed. And I can compare this life with my present life, which would be both the past & future, and see for myself what is better. Such liberal intertwining of all three tenses is impossible elsewhere. And also, I get to see a marvellous sunset every day. That's the icing on the cake.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Barca gun down the Gunners

After having missed last year's Champions League final (though in retrospect, it's good I missed it since I'm an AC fan) there was no way in which I was going to miss this year's final. Even though none of the teams playing were amongst my favourites, I was praying for a Barca victory. And I was vindicated. Here's the match in brief:

The Shock before the kickoff:
This was more of a shock for the TV viewers in India. I know that ESPN has taken it's Indianisation process very seriously, but for god's sake, why the hell do you need Hindi commentary for the Champions League final? It's not as if there's any Indian playing. But still all of us had to suffer the terrible Hindi commentary throughout the match. And to just annoy you a bit more, they don't turn off the english commentary entirely, they just attenuate it. Hence there's always a hum going on in the background. Many a times I tried to catch it but was largely unsuccessful. And here are some golden nuggets from the Hindi commentary:
1. Aajka yeh antim SANGRAM Arsenal aur Barcelona ke beech: The guy used this phrase so many times that it reminded me of the freedom struggle. Can't you just say 'Champions League final' instead? Nobody's gonna sue you.
2. Arsenal ke subsitute goalkeeper hai Manuel ALUMINA: I guess the guy must be a metallurgy student or something. It's ALMUNIA for God's sake!!! He kept pronouncing it incorrectly during the first half. Thankfully somebody told him about it in the half time interval & hence the correct pronounciation in the second half.
3. Aur ab ball hai Oliver Giuly ke paas: Duh, I thought Giuly's first name was Ludovic. And I'm not even mentioning his constant reference to Giuly as the 'Prince of Monaco'. Hmmm, a sequel to 'Prince of Persia' maybe?
4. Is match ke vijeta to milega UEFA Super Cup me Seville ke khilaf khelne ka mauka: Oh & I thought winning the Champions League was the ultimate aim. Well, then why the hell are all the best players playing? I mean it's not like it's the Super Cup or something.
There was another shock for me before the kickoff. I was expecting to see Lionel Messi playing but suddenly found him missing from the squad. And the commentator refused to shed any light on it. But I guess he must be injured or something. Too sad.

The early chances:
For the first few minutes of the match, I was only half awake. And so it seemed was the Barca defence. And both of us were rudely awakened by two early attempts on goal by Thierry Henry within the first three minutes. They were pretty good chances too, the first one from close in & the other from long range. But Victor Valdes, the Barca keeper, prevented both. A good start for the Gunners.

The no-goal & the sending off:
Samuel Eto'o received a brilliant through pass & just before he could shoot from the edge of the penaly box, Jens Lehmann brought him down. The ball rolled to Ludovic Giuly who slotted it in coolly. Barca fans started celebrating but the referee had already blown the whistle - the goal was disallowed & instead Lehmann was sent off for his horrible tackle and Barca got a free kick. Almunia came on to replace Pires & Ronaldinho took the free-kick There was nothing special about the free-kick though - it was well wide of the goal. The only slightly amusing thing was Ashley Cole's sideways dive to stop the ball from going in. Well worth a second look.

Eboue's dive & the goal:
Emmanuel Eboue, the young Ivory Coast defender, does know a bit or two about acting. He was dribbling outside Barca's penalty box when he suddenly lost control of the ball. So what does he do? He stretches his arm out to make contact with Carlos Puyol's shoulder & immediately falls to the ground. And he does all this in one fluid motion so that the Linesman is totally fooled. Result: A free kick for Arsenal. Henry whips in a cross & Campbell heads it in, totally unmarked. Where was the Barca defence?

Halftime score : Arsenal 1 - Barcelona 0

The second half:
It was pretty predictable. Arsenal went back to what they did best - defending & waiting for a chance to counterattack while Barca went on total attack mode. The stage was set - Arsenal's defence v/s Barca's attack. Barca got a few good shots on goal but Almunia ensured that none got in. He did a good job for a second choice goalkeeper. But it has to be said that Barca's attack lacked that sting which usually characterises them. And both Ronaldinho & especially Deco seemed a bit off-colour

The turning point:
This according to me was Henrik Larsson's introduction. In big finals, experience counts big time & Larsson had a huge impact on Barca's attack. Suddenly Barca seemed like scoring a goal every minute.

The equaliser:
A long ball played into the box, a slight deflection provided by Larsson & a cool finish by Eto'o who had timed his run to perfection. Larsson's touch was so slight that at first I mistook it for a dummy. It was only in the reverse angle that the touch - and it's significance showed. So after 76 minutes it's 1-1. Match on.

The winner:
Barca kept on attacking after the equaliser & in the 81st minute, Larsson once again provided a perfect pass, this time for defender Belletti who converted it. This one though, should have been saved. It went from between the feet of Almunia. I guess second-choices are after all second-choices.

The end:
You'd expect Arsenal to make a final struggle to win towards the end. But such was Barca's dominance that Arsenal had no chance of equalising. In fact Barca had a few chances more but couldn't covert. And then came the referee's whistle & it was all over.
Barca had won the Champions League after a gap of 14 years & their fans went crazy with joy. In fact so did their manager Frank Rijkaard who became the 5th player to win the Champions League as both player & manager. Arsenal could only look on in despair as Barca added the Champions League trophy to their La Liga title. I guess on current form, they are the best team in the world. AC Milan, Juve & Chelsea are close behind but Barca's consistency & attacking style of play puts them ahead. As for Arsenal, Man U & Liverpool - only in your dreams. Which is where I'm going to now.

The Catcher in the Rye

Three questions asked during quizzes on this book, including one at Mood I in the tie-breaker which sent us out, was what it took for me to finally read it. Usually during my whirlwind trips to Nashik I ensure that I have a good book to read. And when I found 'TCITR'(as I would now call it) in the library & when I saw that it was only about 190 pages, I brought it home immediately. And it turned out to be a good decision after all.
At first I was worried that it might be of the serious literature kind - full of heavy stuff that bores you to death. But the first few lines really caught my attention & I decided to give it a try. TCITR is essentially the story of a young 17 year old who gets kicked out of school for the third time & this time decides to do something else in life rather than join another school. At first, the American english & the different (I'd say brilliant) narative style can get a bit difficult to digest. But as you move on you get used to it. The portrayal of the various characters is pretty good & so is the detail of Holden, the main protagonist's thoughts & ideas about the world. But whats best about the book is that it is totally unexpected. Almost the entire book is out of the blue - you really can't predict what will happen next. That's what makes it stand out from other books.
Also, the book has a very good & touching ending. You could say that over the entire course of the book nothing much happens. Well that's true but I believe the events in the books somehow set the stage for further events in the main protagonist's life. In a way, the book mirrors our own lives, how we strive to & often fail in realising what we really should do in our life. All we need is a slight push in the right direction, once we get that, the rest is easy.
All in all, the book makes for great reading. It has been said that ' Some books are to be tasted, others just taken in while some are to be digested thoroughly'. TCITR surely belongs to the last category.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The tide is turning

Actually I should have posted this right after the Electronics paper itself, but decided not to take the risk. But now I really feel that the tide is turning.
Since joining COEP, my exams have been just one bad news after another. Never did I feel good after any of the 15-20 odd papers that I've already written. But suddenly in the so called one-week long PL that we had in the last week of April, I began to feel upbeat about my chances in the exams this time around. Though I yet again managed to start off badly with a below-average Maths paper, it all changed after the Electronics exam.
For those who might not know, I had Electronics as my vocational subject in Std. XI & XII. I never ever studied it properly enough during that period, though my marks portray a different picture. But somewhere down the line in those 2 years, I started developing an interest in the subject. And that interest suddenly boomed in the 2nd sem, when we had electronics as a theory subject. I was thrilled on seeing that there was nothing new to learn, just a revision of what I hadn't learned in the last 2 years. But this time around I took the subject seriously and managed to score a decent 19/20 in the T1. However disaster struck in the T2 with me scoring an unexcusable 13/20 which meant that my chances of getting an EX were almost extinct.
But then all of a sudden, before this sem's exam, I had a gut feeling that my bad run was about to end. And it did come to an end with the Electronics paper. I needed to score an unheard of 59/60 to get an EX. Believe me, in most papers I don't even attempt questions worth that much. But this gave me a new challenge & after a very long time, I started studying very seriously with a single aim in mind - the EX. This meant that I had to go for almost 30 hours without sleep & without decent food, as the mess decided to make an extremely foul dinner that night. But throughout that time, almost all of which I spent studying, I experienced a feeling that was usual earlier on but had become rare in the last year or so. I actually started ENJOYING the subject. So all I wanted to do was to keep studying electronics all day, and night, and that's what I did.
However this story doesn't have a happy ending. It's almost sure that I'll not score 59 in that exam, though it's pretty much sure that I'll get a score above 52-53. But the satisfaction that I got from that exam gave me a huge boost & gave rise to this new feeling - a feeling in which I approach each exam confidently, knowing that I won't screw up. And believe me, it's an awesome feeling. That was the same feeling that I had before today's Applied Mechanics exam. It wasn't as if I was totally prepared for the exam, there are still many aspects of App Mech, the finer points of which elude me, but thankfully I won't have to study the subject again. I was so confident going into today's exam that I was actually reading 'Shantaram' for a long time yesterday - thus inviting some very harsh comments from my friends who thought I'd lost my head. But I read on & approached today's exam quietly but confidently. And though there were no fireworks in today's paper, I managed to achieve my target for today's exam. And with just 2 papers left - Applied Science & Graphics, I have a feeling that this might just be my day, or rather my exam.
There is now a new smell in the air. It's not tension, it's not anxiety & it's not the fear of failure. This is the smell of blood. The blood of the prey. For too long now have the exams hunted me, now it's time for me to be the hunter and hunt for my prey - the exams. Now, the goddess of hunting shall become the hunted & I shall feast on it's flesh.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

(Sub)Mission Impossible II

It's all over. I have finally completed my submissions for the second semester. It took a long time & a great deal of efforts, some of them on my part, but finally it's done. All the midnight mugs of coffee haven't gone waste after all. I feel as if I'm on top of the world.
Unfortunately, the celebrations of this great feat come with a disclaimer - only the sub-missions are over. The main mission ie the end semester exams still await me. But for now I bask in the glory of a job well done. And once again I steal a quote from the great Roman Emperor Julius Caesar :
Veni Vedi Vici
( I came, I saw , I conquered)

An obituary: The king is dead..... long live the king

The Dhote 'ketchbook
August 2005 - 26 April 2006
Life, for us privileged students of Prof. N.D. Dhote, usually revolves around a few sheets of A3 sized paper bounded together, normally called as a " 'ketchbook". In fact, it almost seems that these pieces of shit oops ,sorry sheet, rule over our lives. It's like a noose dangling around your neck, waiting to strangle you. They are at the same time our most hated & our most precious possessions. Hated because they are a constant reminder that a lot of drawing is still to be done. And precious because if you happen to lose them, it means drawing all those boring problems all over again.
Thus, the 'ketchbook was a powerful ruler, feared by it's subjects & it's enemies alike. But with the graphics submission done, the reign has ended & we are all free men now. The reign of terror may have been short but after going through it, we all have emerged stronger than before. Our survival through this torturous reign has given our confidence a great boost. We all now know that whatever calamity may arise, it can be survived by a combination of determination, hard work, will, team spirit(in my case) & glass tracing(not in my case). Now we all look ahead to a free life before us. But before that, a minute's silence in memory of the deceased. The king is dead, long live the king.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sorry for the delay

A very big sorry to all you loyal readers who happen to read my blog. Fact is that the hostel server is down & rumour has it that it won't be up till the end of the exams. Hence after waiting for a long time, I finally accessed the net from outside the hostel.
Also, I'm sort of busy right now as I have a few activities on hand that are quite time-consuming. And there are submissions to be dealt with too.
Not that I was totally inactive. I did a lot of things worth writing here during the last fortnight. But that I guess will have to wait.
So once again, I take off on another break from blogging. Toh milenge break ke baad. Hopefully that would be soon.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Finally the Xearch is over

I've been in Pune for almost half a year & have been quizzing a lot during this time. However, the level of quizzing in Pune being pretty high, I fail to even qualify for most of the quizzes, especially the important quizzes for which everyone turns up. Hence the only way for me to win a quiz was by participating in non-descript college quizzes & hoping for a lucky break. That finally happened yesterday (Saturday).
I had won a pretty decent quiz recently, the AFMC Sports quiz, but that after all was a sports quiz. So officially, my General Quizzing victories column still had a big zero in it. But yesterday I finally managed to open my account by winning the Quiz conducted by the Civil Dept. of COEP as a part of their event 'Xearch - 06'. I agree that there were no regular quizzers competing against us except for Siddharth Dani, that it was an extremely short quiz (it lasted just 4 rounds) & that we only gave 3 correct answers during the entire duration of the quiz. But a win is a win & even though this was by no means the greatest achievement of my quizzing career, I had achieved my target - of winning the first prize of Rs. 500. I know it's not much but it's pretty good if you only have to sit for an hour & answer just three questions. As it is I had nothing else to do & my recent spell of partying & eating out meant that I desperately needed something to balance the widening gap between my income & expenditure. Hence it was a pretty good way to spend the afternoon, even though it would have been much more fun if I could have attended the BCQC meeting as well, which I had to leave halfway in order to participate in the Quiz. But I guess you win some & you lose some. And today I won & nobody can take that away from me .

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Andre Nel's attempt at sledging

In cricket, all fast bowlers try to intimidate the batsmen in some way or the other. They may do it the McGrath style (use a lot of f-words) or the Walsh style(just stare hard & remind the batsman that he's lucky to still be in the middle). Personally I prefer the 2nd type marginally more than the first. And the latest addition to the 2nd type has to be Andre Nel. Though unfortunately it didn't work out against Gilchrist, as pointed out by Alec Stewart :

"Andre Nel ... idiot. Actions speak louder than words. He's chirped him [Gilchrist] and then gone for 22 in an over. If I was Nel I'd be embarrassed ... look in the mirror and ask yourself a few questions. Have I made an idiot of myself. Have I let down my country? Yes."
Alec Stewart after Nel's histrionics when he attempted to maintain his hard-man image with Adam Gilchrist at Durban

The event was really hilarious & Nel actually was made to look like an idiot. But he still managed to smile despite all this. The game really needs such characters.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Sinhagad Trip - II

This is no sequel to the previous one - the cast this time around is totally different except for 3 guys. And also I'd say, it was much more fun.
The Sinhagad trip undertaken by us, the FY students of E&TC has a long history. It was originally planned for the 2nd sunday of January and since then has benn though of & scrapped many a times. The latest occasion was when we were sitting in CCD on Friday the 24th, the last day of T2. But this time, things worked out & the trip became a reality.
Well I may not be the E & TC class topper & nor am I the CR, but I do hold a place of importance in the class. I'm in charge of organising any trip/event/party/any fun thing that our class guys plan to do. In fact if we had an entertainment committee, I'd surely be it's head. Hey that's an interesting idea. Hmmmmmm...........
Anyways, back to the trip. So on Friday we decided to go for the trip on Sunday and almost everybody agreed which is a huge achievement in itself. The next day was sort of a rest day but Saturday night was extremely hectic. Throughout the night me, Amit & Baviskar were sending invitations, reminders & requests to all E & TC students to come for the trip. So what was initially supposed to be a small trip, soon turned into a class picnic with no less than 20 students coming.
We decided to assemble near the boy's hostel at 6:30 AM on sunday morning. And with almost everybody coming on time, we were on our way to Sinhagad by 7:10. By Indian standards, that's very early. We reached there safely enough, despite the extremely bumpy road & with only a small hitch. That was when a few of us (not me) took the wrong route & ended up climbing Sinhagad by road. But they soon realised their folly & joined us at the foothill of the fort.
We started ascending at about 8:10 & kept a good speed in the beginning. But soon the harsh sun took it's toll & one of us (name not given to protect privacy............... okay fine it was Prajakta) started running into all sorts of problems including headaches & dizziness. But we all rallied around her and literally dragged her to the top thus ensuring that she at least completed her first & almost surely last Sinhagad trip.
We reached the top at about 10:10 AM, two hours after we had left. Then began the spree of photo-clicking which ensued for the rest of the day. All of us climbed the arched door that marks the entrance to the fort. That was the easy part, but the most hilarious part was when Shraddha & Sneha struggled & at times almost gave up while climbing down the arch. Boy, did I have a great laugh. The sight of Shraddha, just 2 metres above the ground & yet totally scared while trying to come down was one to remember.
I had already been to Sinhagad once earlier & hence wasn't much interested in sight-seeing. Hence I decided to take a short detour & climbed up to one of the points where cannons were placed & which was totally isolated from the rest of the fort. There I had an awesome time, enjoying nature & feeling it's power to give us peace & tranquility. We sat there for quite a while, chatting & just looking out into the various hills that encompassed the horizon. It was a beautiful place & I really enjoyed every minute I spent there.
But then we had to leave as we had been away from the main group for too long. We joined them soon enough & after spending some more quieter moments at the other end of the fort, we left for lunch. Lunch was pretty good, the 'taak' was awesome & we all had a heavy meal, as a consequence of which none of us was in any mood to roam around & all of usa wanted to return. In fact, most of us (not me yet again) were so tired that they decided to go down by Taxi while six of us - Me, Rohit, Chaitanya, Sneha , Apoorv & Prutha descended down the hill by the same way we came. That took us about 50 minutes, all of which were enjoyable as the sun was hidden by the clouds for most of the time.
After coming back to base, we all left for our next destination - Khadakwasla. This was totally unplanned & as it often happens, it's these unplanned things that give us most of the fun. There we had a total blast in the clear-blue water of the dam, splashing around in the water, trying to hold one's breath & giving bumps to a certain few (unfortunately, that included me) . We spent about an hour and a half there which was for me, the most enjoyable part of the trip.
We then left for home, soaking wet, but happy nevertheless. We reached home safely too, except for the occasional hiccup when 2 of us were fined by the Traffic policemen. But that notwithstanding, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day & one which I would remember for the rest of my life.

The Cast:
Aniket Khasgiwale : (organizer-cum-main target of all the teasing)
Rishikesh Baviskar (the constantly side-schanging sidekick)
Apoorv Vaidya (the financial manager - trust a Kokanastha Brahmin to do this)
Amit Jawade (yeah, he got up early, what a miracle)
Neelesh Balani (dancemaster)
Aditya Patil (the guy who scouted the horizon for a glimpse of SIT)
Kartikeya Lande (the one who managed to fool a traffic policeman once, but was unlucky the next time)
Sagar Gawli (the one who never took his cap off)
Pradeep Patil (photographer-cum-lord of the ring)
Chinmay Kulkarni (we managed to get him into the water finally)
Rohit Pandharkar (the fast guy - fast rider, fast climber & really fast descender. Also the one who was constantly worried about his elevation above sea level as he was trying to calculate the change in potential energy that he would undergo during the trip. The formula he is trying to use is:
delta E = ( (h2-h1) x g x m) - energy spent in neck vibrations )
Expect an answer anytime now.
Chaitanya Salunkhe (the one who started climbing down with Rohit but soon gave up seeing Rohit's speed)
Akshay Khole ( The guy who ate up all the 'dahi'. A very silent guy who managed to evade detection while on his eating spree)
Mayur Sadavarte (The guy who managed to come in time, despite having to pedal all the way from Bibwewadi. Watch out Lance Armstrong, you've got competition )
Milind Deulkar (the one who went up on his bike & came down the same way. Dude I agree it's an awesome bike but can't you leave it alone at least on a trek)
Vaddi Vishwa Shanti (no comments)
Sneha Das (the first girl to climb up & the last one to come down. Hey Rohit, I think she might have the highest value of instantaneous change in potential energy as she spent maximum time on the hill. If I write anything more, I'm dead, so that's it)
Prajakta Pardeshi (the girl who had all sorts of problems but actually had 2 sinhagad trips - her first & her last)
Prutha Shende ( the one who helped Prajakta on her way up & ensured that she never came down the same way)
Shraddha Pandhe ( the one who was really frightened while climbing down just 2 metres. Thank God she didn't attempt descending on foot)

Post-Script : Even though the day was thoroughly enjoyable, in writing it doesn't seem so interesting. I've still got a long way to go in improving my writing skills & I'll try to add more colour to my descriptions in the near future. Hence this post isn't for an outsider who wants to know what we did, but just for the 20 of us who went for the trip & for whom it'll be a refreshing memory.

P.P.S : I request everybody who went for the trip to PLEASE post their comments on the blog. It gives me an idea of how many people actually read whatever I write, as I've taken a lot of effort & time in putting up this post. And this is applicable to everything I write on my blog. So make sure you comment on everything you read. I promise to respond to the comments as well as I can.

P.P.P.S : The quote of the day: "If we had so much fun after a mid-sem exam, imagine what we'd do after the end-semester exam"
- Chinmay Kulkarni

The party after

By now, everybody knows about the disaster called T2 (refer previous post) which struck me recently. Lesser mortals would have yielded to it & would have sulked & pondered over it for a long time. But me, I'm different. I decided to get over it by having one big blast. Read on...
24th March 2006, Friday:
The Graphics paper in T2 was by far the worst paper of my life. The same was true for many others too but for guys like me whose linework is as dirty as a PMC dustbin, it was totally woeful. In fact I'm running out of bad words to describe my latest (non)performance & since I don't have a Thesaurus with me right now, I'm forced to switch the topic.
As I was saying, I had a blast after the T2. After the exam was over, I returned to the Hostel with my friends. All of them were pretty glum & in order to get over this sad mood, we played some music. And then my friend Raghav just started dancing. That immediately changed everything & soon four of us joined him and converted the room into a dance floor & danced to music played at full volume, paying no heed to the Mech. students studying next door. We danced for quite a while before finally running out of songs. But after the dance came the movie. We all left for E-Square to watch 'Being Cyrus'. This was the only the 2nd time I was watching a movie on the day of it's release. That it was also the day of the worst exam in my life didn't bother me much & I thoroughly enjoyed the movie which I would thoroughly recommend to all those who like dark, witty & distorted movies.
After the movie, it was destination CCD. There everybody drowned their sorrow in mugs of ice-cold coffee & had quite a good time. It was also the venue for an impromptu mobile phone vibration mode competition, which after a closely fought tussle was won by Chinmay Kulkarni. I, due to my awesome cell, was unable to participate. But that was the highlight of the day.
But it had to end sometime. And it ended soon after that with all of us going home late in the evening. But before we left we made or rather re-made a plan which was long overdue - the trip to Sinhagad. More details in the next post.

Damn the T2

Q: What is the main similarity between me & Sachin Tendulkar?
A: Both are woefully out of form.
When I joined COEP & came to know about the T1, T2 & end-semester system, I was pretty pleased. That's because while joining an Engg. college, in the beginning all you hope for is to get an 'all-clear' tag from the first year itself. But further events showed that I was way, way off target.
The T1, T2 system totally sucks. In the first semester we had a combined test in mid-semester which was pretty good as we all did well in it. So this semester was my first experience of T1 & T2 as two separate exams and mind you, it was horrible.
Initially I felt that my T1 went badly, but now after my T2 I know that T1 was much better than the disaster called T2. Much, much better. I didn't feel too bad after the T1 as I was lucky enough to score well in a few subjects. But T2 really knocked me out flat. And the worst part is that I had studied a lot for this test & hence my dismal performance is inexcusable. The only plausible reason I can give for my bad performance is that I had a 'mental block' during the paper, which is totally 'mental'. Hence the search for a better excuse & some better marks still continues. I hope it ends soon.
At least before Sachin's slump.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The greatest one-day match ever

Much has already been said & enough written about Sunday's cricket match between Australia & South Africa. It's still not enough. I've seen many matches, especially one-dayers, but this one was something unbelievable. For a team to score 434 runs in just 300 balls is remarkable in itself, & that too against a strong bowling attack like the South African. So for the other team to successfully chase it is something out of this world.
Till now my favourite one-day match was the 1999 World Cup semi-final between the same two teams. It was a similar thriller, though a much low-scoring one. But now it has to be this match, even though I'm an Australian supporter. So much entertainment in one single match - truly unbelievable.
For two days my biggest regret was my having missed the match. I only got a chance to see the post match celebrations & that made it even worse. But today by sheer luck I walked into the mess to see the TV on & everybody tuned in to the replay of the match. Nothing, not even the T2 around the corner could have prevented me from watching it then. After all, we have exams every other month but such matches are truly rare. To sum it up in one sentence, stated by Tony Greig, it was 'The best one-day match ever'.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Guess who's back? .........Back again?

Sorry for the insane delay in updating my blog, but I can say that I have been pretty busy of late. The reason is the college gathering which was held in the first week of this month. Needless to say, I had a complete blast. Here are the daily posts which I should have made then:

March 6 : The skipping party

Yes, the partying isn't done yet. Today evening was the skipping party, to commemorate our great World Record breaking feat. The party was at hotel Sanskruti on the Solapur highway. The hotel provided us with unlimited snacks & soft drinks. No wonder I had fun. I also got a chance to play Kabaddi on the green lawns of the hotel. That I escaped unhurt & unscathed from the game is a great achievement.
After all the playing came the dancing. However, today I was content with watching others dance. I'd had enough of it already. Then there was the felicitation function followed by dinner which was really good. After dinner, all of us had a get-together which we really enjoyed. That lasted till 11:30 PM afetr which we had to leave. But the fun wasn't over yet. We had a great time on the return journey on the bus, singing & shouting all the way back. A great day.

March 5 : The 78th annual Regatta

Today is the day most of the college has been waiting for. The Regatta is one of the most popular college events & notwithstanding last year's tragedy, many turned up for the show. I had to go really early to catch a seat in a good position. The show was awesome. The Kayak Ballet was awesome & so were the Telematches which consisted of a huge fireworks show. However, being a staunch 'Say no to fireworks' activist, I felt bad on seeing the number of fireworks they were cracking & even worse when I realised that they must've been doing this everyday in practice. I can still feel the polluted air in my lungs.
After the Telematches came the Mashal Dance. And even though I had seen the guys in practice, I was thrilled by the actual performance. Everything was almost perfect, not a single error. Hats off to you guys. Somehow the Mashal Dance guys are always under-rated, don't know why. Maybe because every FE ite wants to be a part of the Punt Formation. But after today's show even I felt like participating in the Mashal Dance. But that feeling soon ended when I came to know that they had practised for as much as 18 hours daily during the last week. NO WAY am I doing that.
And then finally we come to the PF. As I'd said earlier, these guys were great in practice. So the finale came as a bit of an anti-climax to me. I had seen these guys perform much better in practice & felt let-down by the actual show. However the show they put on was still a great one & everybody who was watching it for the first time love it. The PF brought an end to the Reagatta & in fact the whole Gathering.
All in all, the gathering was a great experience, a once-in-a-lifetime (actually 4 times in a lifetime) event. I had a lot of fun. I just can't wait for next year's gathering.

March 4 : Gymkhana day

The day began with 'COEP Shree' - a bodybuilding competition. Needless to say, I won hands down. All those who actually thought the previous sentence was true need to consult their nearest psychiatrist.
After that there was the 'Mr & Miss COEP' contest. Also in today's itinerary was the Awards distribution function & the play 'Conditions Apply'. As I was absent for all this, let's move on to tomorrow.

March 3 : Variety Entertainment II

The day began yet again with cricket. However I couldn't do much batting today & had to be content with fielding practice. But still, a good start to the day.
After that I went to the college to see the variety entertainment programme. It was the same programme as yesterday, but today the audience consisted of SE & BE ites. They were literally swinging with the songs & dancing with the dances. This inspired the performers to put up an even better show. I really enjoyed it once again, despite the repetition. Of course I wasn't meant to be there, being an FE ite, but I've never paid much attention to rules & the fact that even the college doesn't helps.
Then came a 3-act play performed by the college students. The play was 'Moruchi Mavshi' & the title role was brilliantly enacted. The play was very good, totally hilarious & never boring. It was a totally enjoyable experience. I was all the more pleased for one of my friends, Raghav, played a major role & he pulled it off pretty well. Great job dude!
After that it was supposed to be Karaoke night. I was somehow convinced by my friends to sing & I duly enrolled to sing 'In the End' by Linkin Park. I know this comes as a shock to all those who have endured or rather suffered my singing. How I managed to be convinced is still a mystery. However, I must clarify that, contrary to popular belief, no terrorist group had asked me to sing in public. No terrorist group would attempt such a devastating
feat. However the public got bored of the Karaoke night & brought it to an end before my turn came, thus averting a disaster. Instead of Karaoke, we now had the public dancing once again to popular dance tracks. Which obviously means that I was dancing too. However it soon came to an end, so I got to dance for only 2 hours.
This was once again followed by dinner. Of course I wasn't supposed to have dinner tonight as it was the turn of the SE & BE students, but I slipped in nonetheless. Tonight's dinner was made a bit more interesting by the Rabri drinking competition we had. I performed miserably, drinking only 5 cups of Rabri while the winner drank 13. I'd never been so thoroughly beaten in any eating or drinking competition & I promise to put up a better fight next time.
Yet again I was in no mood to go to the hostel & found myself at the BC again. The PF guys were still practising & I stayed on to watch them. I had a great time, gazing into the night sky, looking at the stars, the planes & also the PF practice. The PF guys put on a really good show tonight. And so did the Mashal Dance guys. All this meant that I was at the BC till about three AM. After this, the PF practice ended & I returned to the hostel.

March 2 : Variety entertainment

The day began with a different kind of entertainment. For a cricket buff, I play very little of the game. In fact I hadn't played cricket since the last summer vacations & that seems like an age ago. Hence I was more than thrilled when I got a chance to play cricket early in the morning. I got a chance once again to experience the thrill of batting. Batting gives me a pleasure unmatched by anything else. Once I pick up the bat, it's as if I'm isolated from the outer world. The only thing that matters is the ball that I'm facing. It gives me such satisfaction & peace that nothing else even comes close, not even listening to Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd. The joy of batting is second to none. And if you're batting well, well it's icing on the cake.
Yeah I know what you're feeling - 'Who the hell does he think he is, writing about batting as if he is a great player? Enough of this bullshit, get on with your day.' So in your interest, my dear reader, I move over to the next thing I did today.
As I've said earlier, today was the day of variety entertainment in the college. The show began at 1000 hrs, commendable considering that it was only half-an-hour late. It consisted of various songs & dances woven around a common theme - life in COEP. It was extremely hilarious & the dances were good. The only problem seemed to be the crowd which consisted of FE ites & TE ites & which seemed largely uninterested. Nevertheless it was a great show.
Then came the evening & possibly the best part of the day - the DJ nite. Once again we grooved to the beats of the latest numbers for almost three hours. And despite it being a cool night, I was yet again drenched with sweat. I had danced non-stop for the entire duration so this was expected. What was unexpected was the fact that towards the end I was dancing almost hysterically, like a man who's having a fit. I have since been asked many a times why I was dancing like a madman. I still haven't found an answer.
After the dance came dinner. No, not in another hotel but this time in the college itself. During the gathering, the college even serves dinner for a night. And the food was pretty good too. Hey, I eat in a hostel mess everyday, so such food is bound to taste good. After dinner, I was still in the party mood, so intead of returning to the hostel I went to the BC. There I saw the Punt Formation guys practising their show. Have to say, they did a good job. But after the day's exertions I was soon tired & returned to the hostel for a good night's sleep.

March 1 : Traditional Day

I had never ever worn a traditional outfit in my life. NEVER. Not even for family functions. And I never attended traditional days in junior college. Hence today, for the first time ever, I'm wearing a traditional outfit, thanks to Rohit, from whom I borrowed it. And I must confess, the only reason why I never wore traditional clothes - they are too uncomfortable- proved to be false.
I am one of the lucky guys at the hostel who managed to get hold of a traditional outfit. The others, notably my classmate Rishikesh Baviskar, had to stay back at the hostel wearing a disappointed look. Hence I was pretty happy when I slipped on my Kurta when I realised that it had no buttons. This led to panic - I was soon running all over the hostel searching for spare buttons, but they were nowhere to be found. Then I asked one of my friends whether he had a safety pin. The confused look on his face said it all - a safety pin???? How the hell would I have a safety pin? But I was determined to attend college and continued my search for the elusive pin or button or rather anything which would help me out. Then came divine intervention. Another one of my friends emptied his pockets and out popped a safety pin. Despite consequent investigation the origins of the pin are still obscure. But it WAS a pin & it was there for the taking & I grabbed it with both hands. Soon I was on my way to college.
The atmosphere at the Boat Club was amazing. I had never seen so many people there. Some students had taken the idea of traditional day a bit too seriously & hence there was a bullock cart outside the BC, loaded with students in traditional outfits playing Dholaks. And along with the traditional music there was also another kind of music - a DJ was playing at the BC. This was the first time I'd seen a DJ perform in any college, but then COEP is a great college after all so one should expect the unexpected. And the DJ gig soon became a regular feature - he surfaced at the the BC 4 times that week.
And now comes another first. I had never danced in public. NEVER. But the music was inviting & the fact that everybody else was dancing was even more so. Soon I joined the bandwagon & started swinging to the music. Hell it was fun. And the fun soon grew, when Rishikesh & other friends of mine came to the party. They had totally failed to obtain a traditional outfit - even the guy who rents sherwanis at the hostel(yes there is such a guy, great business sense I must say) had run out of them. But then somehow they got hold of the white caps worn by Muslims & came to the BC wearing those. The fact that they wore T-shirts & Jeans & also that none of them was Muslim was inconsequential. They joined me & we all had a blast, dancing like we'd never danced before.
Those who know me know that I never drink soft drinks, except on rare occasions. Well, today was one such occasion. After dancing for almost an hour and a half, I was drenched with sweat from top to bottom. In such a condition a soft drink is hard to resist & I gave in to the temptation.
Soon it all ended. The DJ packed up & left. I left too, & along with my E & TC classmates went out to eat after which I returned to the hostel. The eating out has to be a peculiarity of our group. If all of us happen to be free, we always end up going out to eat. This means that we have eaten at almost all the restaurants on JM & FC roads. This coupled with the fact that I'm a hostelite means that I have a lot of meals in hotels. If this continues, at the end of 4 years, you can expect a book from me titled 'Restaurants in Pune'. Till then, make do with this blog.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Firstly, my sincere apologies for being so late in posting this. But I was a bit busy in organising a sports quiz so I apologize.
And now to begin. I have already stated before that during practice we had already broken the skipping world record. However for it to be ratified by Guinness, it has to take place before at least 2 judges & 1 legal representative. That's why we had assembled on Sunday the 26th of Feb at seven-thirty in the morning - to show the world that we have what it takes to break the world record. It was the final step in the completion of 'Mission Magical Manouevre'.
The record attempts began at about 8:30 AM. The first few attempts were unsuccessful but we never lost hope. We then had a small break after which we again started with our attempts. And finally on our 10th attempt we managed to skip 14 times - thus creating a new world record. The existing World record was 12 jumps by 220 people & we broke it by jumping 14 times & that too with a total of 292 students. Now that's one hell of an achievement.
And then we all went nuts, giving high fives, congratulating everyone, giving hugs & hoisting the organisers, Sagar, Nachiket & PC one by one on our shoulders. It was a great moment, all our hard work had paid off & everybody had a blast. Soon we were dancing, singing & getting group photos clicked. It is simply unforgettable.
Many people disagree with the name of the event - 'Mission Magical Manouevre'. But I think it fits the bill perfectly. Because it may not be magic like getting a bunny out of a hat but 292 people coming together, jumping together, succeeding together & celebrating together IS Magic.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Chakravyuh 2006

As I have stated earlier, I was a part of the organizing committee for 'Chakravyuh - 06' the premier quizzing event of our college. Since there were not too many guys to help out, I had a lot of work to do in organizing the quiz. That took up a lot of time during the last few days. But the way things shaped up today, I believe it was worth it all.
The day began with 'Abhimanyu' the Intra-college quiz. I had a pretty good general round in which I scored 7 points, which made me the joint leader with Kapeesh. Then came the speciality round in which Gaurav Singh scored a stunning 15 points. His brilliance left me with a tough task to achieve in my speciality topic - Test Match captains of India. I scored 10 points which was pretty decent I guess. But the prize was won by Gaurav & he deserved the great trophy which was awarded to him. As for me, there's always a next time.
Then began the actual quiz which had a long elims paper, during which we indulged in our favourite quizzing pastime - pulling Gaurav Singh's leg, though we went about it in a very decent way this time around. After that came a media quiz by Kapeesh, which was good. Then began the Chakravyuh finals, starting with the 'Chakravyuh' round, a great innovation thought up Abhishek who really made easy an extremely complex round. Then began the IR round, during which I started feeling unwell & hence left early. So though I didn't see the end, it was a great day of quizzing. Can't wait for the next edition.