Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rang De Basanti

Very rarely do you get to see a movie which makes you think, probes your conscience, makes you ask questions to yourself, inspires you & still manages to entertain you. Rang De Basanti (RDB) does all that & much more.
I've always loved movies that inspire. No wonder the Rocky series is one of my favourite. My favourite Hindi film is also a very inspirational one - Lakshya. And now, to that list I add RDB. I'd come to see the movie with great expectations & the movie lived up to them. The performance of all the actors was great & really convincing. I really loved Kunal Kapoor's character. As I'm no film critic, I'm not going to pass any comments about the screenplay and other such crap. But the movie was well paced & never got boring. The music's good too.
The first half is awesome. Especially the part where Atul Kulkarni narrates the lines of 'Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna'. It really gives you a patriotic feeling. The interweaving of a movie within the movie is very well done, especially at the end. Also the sudden change in the characters after the death of Madhavan is very well depicted. And most of the dialogues are mind-blowing. The story is very emotional. But here the emotions aren't romantic but are patriotic & strongly so. I've never cried in an emotional romantic movie & I'm sure I'll never do. But patriotism somehow always manages to bring a tear to my eye, as it did while RDB. It is that moving.
I somehow didn't like the ending. It was too violent & too much out of the blue. Also it sends a wrong message to the youth. The characters had many choices before them & they obviously chose the wrong one. If RDB had had a proper ending, it'd have been one of the best movies ever & a source of everlasting inspiration to the youth. Unfortunately it ends up being just a good movie & only a small source of inspiration.
But it does make you a think. A lot. You think whether you are actually helping the country grow or not. Whether you have done anything good for the country yet. And whether it is right to grow up here & still curse this very country and then leave it for greener pastures abroad. Madhavan's character makes a good observation - 'Door se commentary dena aasan hai. Bahar se gaaliyaan dena to aur bhi aasan. Koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota, use perfect banana logon ki jimmedari hain.' I'll leave you to ponder over that.
My Verdict: A great movie, surely worth watching. In fact a must-see for every Indian.

The Motorcycle diary

Hopefully this will be the last of my posts on the topic of travelling.
Usually human life is spent in the quest for perfection in whatever one does. The same therefore should apply to travelling. You should try various combinations of timing, means of transport, day of journey etc to find the perfect match. I sort of achieved perfection in my last Nashik-Pune journey, reaching Pune in 4.5 hrs, having a nice sleep & therefore arriving fresh for college. But the next journey was far from perfect.
What do you call a couple of guys on a bike at 5:00 AM leaving for Nashik from Pune? Crazy? Maybe we(me & my brother, Rushikesh) were. But we thought that it would be better than travelling in the hot afternoon sun and hence we set out from Pune at 5:00 AM on Saturday morning. What followed were possibly 2 of the coldest hours I've ever experienced in my life.
It all began pretty well. I wasn't feeling so cold to begin with & we overtook a bus which was also heading towards Nashik. I thought that it was after all a good decision to go on a bike. However , soon everything got freezing cold. I could barely move my fingers, so cold they had become, even though they were tucked inside my jacket. And I wasn't wearing a helmet so I felt the blast of ice-cold air directly on my face. Man, it was bad. And then exactly on cue, the same bus which we had passed, overtook us & while it was going past, I saw a man in the bus, fast asleep, leaning on the window. I'd have given anything in the world to swap places with him at that time.
It was so bloody cold that we finally had a halt at about 6:00 AM. We got off our bike & tried to loosen our muscles. But the cold was too much to bear even when we had stopped so we decided to carry on riding in the darkness of the early morning. We were hoping, nah praying, for an early sunrise. But it never came. And to think of all the early sunrises that occur when I'm in my bed & which force me to wake up.
Soon it lightened & then finally at about 7:15 AM, the sun came up. We decided to literally bask in the sunshine & hence had another halt. I started swinging my arms so as to assist blood circulation. Also my legs needed some stretching, so I started to walk towards a nearby hillock. And while walking I was still swinging my arms high. So that has to be the craziest march I've ever done in my life. If anybody had seen me then, they surely would've thought I had gone nuts. Actually, now even I feel so. But at that time, it seemed the most logical thing to do. So I went on marching to the top of the hillock. It was easy, climbing always is. But when I tried to get down, it was horrible. I still hadn't regained total control of my numb legs & hence slipped more than once while coming down the hillock. Fortunately I didn't fall on my head, otherwise I surely would've replaced Jack in the nursery rhyme. Imagine kids singing 'Aniket & Jill went up the hill ...'
We resumed our journey but soon stopped for breakfast. My legs had already betrayed me so now it was my hands' turn. They were so numb that it took me a great effort just to break the bread into small pieces. That must've been the longest breakfast I've ever had. I just couldn't move my fingers at all. But somehow I managed to finish my breakfast & resumed my journey home.
Now the journey got much better. The sun was up & it was no longer cold. And finally I got a chance to listen to some music. So there I was, listening to Pink Floyd while riding pillion on a bike, without a care in the world. I decided that after all it wasn't such a bad way to travel when suddenly something pinched me in my behind. Some thorny grass had stuck to my pants when I had fallen near the hillock & was giving me a hard time now. It was then that I truly understood the meaning of something being a pain in the ass.
But, like all good things, even all bad things come to an end. After 5.5 hrs of riding through the cold & then the hot morning, we finally reached Nashik. Frankly I've never felt happier on reaching home & I literally jumped off the bike when we reached there. I felt on top of the world, just to have reached home safely. But I shouldn't rejoice much - I'm supposed to return the same way on Monday morning.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Of bikes & confidence

When it rains it pours. This certainly came true for my brother (and indirectly for me) this monday when he bought a bike & a laptop on the same day. But for today, the laptop will have to wait, it's the bike that is the main topic of discussion.
I spent the next few days roaming around with him, going to relatives' places, hotels & other such stuff. I even got a chance to drive his bike. But I have very little experience of driving bikes 'cause I've never had a bike of my own. Therefore I acquitted myself pretty badly while riding his bike. That I could return it to him in one piece & without any scratches was an achievement in itself . But then again, I was driving a bike after a year's gap so I guess it was expected. But this has dealt another blow to my rapidly falling confidence in the matters of driving. That's because it was only last month that I had an accident on my Kinetic, so my inability to drive a bike is even more worrying. Can I really drive at all? Maybe I should switch to cycles - it's environment friendly, good exercise & right now seems to be the only way in which I can get around safely. Gee, how on earth did I get a license in the first place?

Republic day

Normally, or rather for most people, Republic Day is just another holiday. In fact a great holiday because you have absolutely nothing to do nor do have to bear with loudspeakers & stuff. But however, for me, it has always had special importance, say equal to or even more than Independence day. I've never celebrated it since I left school but still I get a special patriotic feeling every Republic Day. But I really felt good on this Republic Day. Here's why:
I've always been a TOI reader (for the uneducated - it's Times of India). In fact I've grown up on TOI though that's nothing much to say because so have millions of others. But somehow on coming to Pune I changed loyalties and started reading the Indian Express(IE). And I felt it was worth it when I read the Republic Day edition of the IE. Usually all you get to read in a newspaper is about accidents, rapes , murders, corruption & how the government does nothing. It gives you an impression that the government isn't doing anything at all. Of course that can't be true. And the Republic Day IE proved this. Instead of highlighting all the failures of the govt. it showed all the good things the govt. was doing - Sea canals, earthquake rehab & lots of other things of which we have no idea because nobody bothers to cover these things. This proves that all the media is interested in is sensationalism, as that's the only thing that sells. So three cheers for IE for coming out of the daily rut of negative news & actually showing the good side of India. It made me feel proud to be an Indian. Keep it up IE!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Nashikroad Bhushan 2006

Yep that's me. To receive this honour I travelled the 200 km distance from Pune to Nashik on Friday night. The function was on the 22nd ie Sunday. There were a total of 14 recipients of the award, each for outstanding work in his own field. My field of excellence was education. Actually the award was given to me not only because I came 2nd in the Merit list but also because of the various activities in which I took part. Actually it was because of these activities that I pipped the guy who came first to the honour.
The certificate which I received stated that I was selected for this honour because of my outstanding contribution to the field of education, the hard work, the efforts & the dedication with which I served this field & that it is expected that I continue the good work I have done for years to come. I do hope they selected the right guy.
One of the recipients along with me was a cop who, literally, uses his head with devastating effects. He is in the Limca book of records for breaking 3000 bricks with his head. When he came to receive the award, he even gave a demonstration of his strength by banging his head against a metal block repeatedly. He surely gave the term headbanging a whole new meaning. I hope I can be so 'Headstrong' in the future. The other recipients included a female cop, 2 doctors and a businessman amongst others.
But that's all over. Now I'm in Pune again after my short but sweet stay in Nashik. So another week of college to look ahead to, after which I'll be heading home once again, why I'll tell later.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Australian Open

The Australian Open happens to be the first grand slam of the year. And I happen to be a hostelite so I have to give it a miss since it is in January. However due to a certain felicitation ceremony which is later today(I'll tell more about it later), I happened to be in Nashik for the weekend. And I don't get Ten Sports here so I decided to see the Australian Open & enjoyed it a lot.
First of all there's Hingis. She's a favourite of mine because when I had just started following Tennis, way back in 1997, she was the only player I knew. Hence the attachment. Another reason was obviously her smart looks. I felt pretty sad when she retired 3 years back, but now when she's staging a comeback, I couldn't afford to miss it. I didn't & wasn't disappointed as she has reached the quarters playing some great tennis along the way. Hell, she might even win it & that has created a great dilemna, whom should I support?
Because after Martina Hingis retired, Daniela Hantuchova became my favourite Tennis player. Even though she wasn't as good as the swiss miss, she was, or rather is, stunningly beautiful & that was good enough to make her my favourite. So I followed her matches for a year or so till 2004.
That's when Maria came. Yes, Maria Sharapova. The whole world stood up & took notice of her when she won Wimbledon that year. But she had already become my favourite a month earlier when she reached the round of 16 at the French Open. And since then she has been not only my favourite tennis player, but also one of my favourite sports players.
Ergo the dilemna. A part of the problem has been solved though, as Maria beat Daniela today, in a match which I've recorded & will see many more times for sure. But Martina's still in so whom should I support? Maybe a final between them would be great. But I don't even know if they're in the same part of the draw. And while I was doing all this, the Indian players were getting thrashed around in Faisalabad by Shahid Afridi. Even they must be wishing to be where I am right now - in front of the TV.

Karma Generation

In keeping with the tone of my previous blog, here's something much more interesting on travelling.My friend Abhishek's cousin, Hrishi who lives in Sydney, has taken a sabbatical from work and is currently touring all the parts of India. He is blogging at Karma Generation & is sure to come up with some great posts & some cool insights into the real India which you & I know nothing about. So I say check it out, I've done so already & it's pretty interesting.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The long journey home

Statutory warning : A very long post. Read it only if you have time. Oh yeah & Cigarette smoking is dangerous to health.

Since this blog has been dubbed as a Hostel blog, let me cover another important part of the Hostel life - the long trips home.
Well actually I'm pretty well off as compared to other Hostelites who have to endure journeys as long as 10 hours or even more to reach home as it takes me only 5-6 hours to reach home from Pune. But unfortunately there is no train service available so I have to go by bus. And that's the unfortunate part.
The first part of the journey begins from the hostel itself. Usually we(hostelites) have a lot of luggage which basically consists of a large amount of clothes to wash. And it is pretty hard to find a rickshaw-wallah who would take us from the hostel to Shivajinagar bus station as he earns very little from such short trips. Therefore we have to walk till the bus stop, which is good in a way as it prepares us for the hardships ahead.
If you're lucky enough, you get a bus straightaway. If not, which is generally the case, you have to stand in queue to get tickets for the bus. After a long argument with the ticket vendor, during which you fight for either a front or a window seat, he finally gives you a seat at the very back. You sportingly accept the challenge and board the bus. And by then, the next bus comes along & all the people in queue behind you get comfortable seats in that one.
But still just sitting in the bus gives you a sense of achievement. You know that now you are almost sure to get home, only He can stop you from reaching your goal(He being the bus driver). You then start planning about what you intend to do once you reach your hometown. You eagerly wait to meet your family & friends & with such happy thoughts you go to sleep.
Falling asleep on a bus journey is an art in itself, & that too such a complex art that it takes years & years of experience to master it. But to hostelites, who are generally deprived of sleep, it comes naturally. However too much sleep isn't good and the government knows this. It ensures that there are enough potholes in the road to wake up even the soundest of sleepers. So you wake up from your dreams, in which you're already watching a movie in your hometown theatre, to the harsh reality. You check your watch, it's more than your an hour since you left. But by looking around you realise that you've only reached the outskirts of the city. And then you try to go back to sleep, cursing the growing metropolis that Pune happens to be.
After a few more hours you wake up & suddenly feel thirsty. That's when you realise that you've forgotten to take a bottle of water along. This is the beginning of Phase II of the journey. In Phase I you remember only your family & friends. In Phase II you remember all the things which you should have taken along but which are still lying in your Hostel room. For me the item on top of this list is my toothbrush, I always manage to forget it. But it sort of varies from person to person. However it happens all time. Believe me it's impossible to undertake a journey in which you haven't forgotten anything. But you know that now it's too late to mend & you resign yourself to the fact that you'll have to do without whatever object you've forgotten.
People usually take their walkman or their mp3 player for the journey. Personally I never take this risk, because if I forget it at my home, I'll have to spend months at the hostel without it. It's much better not to take it along at all. I prefer to take books along, time goes by quickly & it helps you fall asleep too which I believe is the best thing to do on a journey.
But after some time, you grow weary of the songs you're listening to. Your eyes start paining due to reading in a constantly shaking bus. Then finally you take the trouble to look out of the window & enjoy the scenery around you. It makes you feel much better & calmer. Then for the first time you actually experience the feeling that you've undertaken a journey, or rather you start to enjoy the feeling for the first time. You look out into the valleys,hills, forest & lakes around you, wishing that you could spend more time here without any other worries. And then you start humming songs - not always your favourites but sometimes songs which make sense at that moment. My personal journey favourite is Turn the Page by Metallica. I don't think I've ever made a journey without singing it at least once. It's not exactly a song for the road per se but the first few lines seem tailormade for journeys. I quote them here:
On a long & lonesome highway
East of Omaha
Listening to the engines moaning out as one song
As you think about the woman or the girl you knew the night before.

But your thoughts'll soon be wandering
The way they always do
When you're riding 16 hours
With nothing much to do
And you don't feel much like riding
You just wish the trip was through.

Here I am on the road again.

For me this is the most enjoyable part of any journey. You find solitude, peace & above all some time for yourself. You get a chance to think over everything you've done, everything you're doing & everything you're going to do. You take decisions after much thinking, something which isn't always possible. To enjoy a journey one must make full use of this phase ie Phase III or the thinking phase. Once you start doing so, you never get bored even if you're travelling alone. And that's a great feeling in itself.
After Phase III come Phase IV - the waiting phase. By now, you've almost reached your hometown. You now look at not the scenery but at the milestones beside the road which show you that you're reaching home soon. You start looking out for landmarks which assure you that not much distance is left now. You put back everything you've taken out & just wait, wait for the bus to reach it's destination. Then there is a quick reload of Phase I - you again start thinking of your friends & family. And as you keep thinking, the miles grow shorter & shorter.
Then finally the grand hour arrives. After undergoing many trials & tribulations you manage to reach home safe & sound. And seeing the smile on your mother's face on your arrival, you know that it was worth not one but ten journeys to come home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A new blog - General Rubbish

Inspired by my great blog (just kidding), my classmates have decided to start a group blog for the entire F.Y. E &TC batch of this year. So if you want to see what the smartest F.Y.ites in the whole college are doing, just log on to .

The week that was

It's a long time since I last made a post. And the reasons behind this are various so let's go over them one by one:
1. Studies: Yeah, sometimes you do have to study. Though I feel that in our class,I am the one who studies the least, even I spent some time studying last week. However I spent a lot more time trying to study or trying to avoid sleep while trying to study and hence found very little time for the blog. But that's all history now. I've decided that enough is enough. I'll no longer study unless it is absolutely necessary or I feel like doing so. Period.

2. College: Believe or not, college started regularly this week. And because of my crazy schedule I have to be in college from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM on most days. And since I am in E & TC, attendance is very high overall and I don't want to be the guy with the least attendance. However the extended college timings mean that I spend a lot of time at the bc. Every dark cloud DOES have a silver lining after all!!

3. Quizzing: Well finally I make a mention of my favourite hobby. There were actually 2 quizzes this weekend, but I could make it to only one of them. Even there (the IMS Quiz) we failed to qualify. But sitting in the audience I won a t-shirt and the manorama yearbook. And on top of that it was a great quiz with the winners being decided on the final question. So I've decided to at least attend as many quizzes as I can. Winning or rather qualifying for them can be kept for later.

4. Reading: I realise that this is another hobby that I haven't mentioned before. But I do read a lot. As of now I have about 7-8(or maybe more) books in my room which are unrelated to studies. These are mostly books on Chess & Cricket. Currently I'm reading 'On & off the field' by Ed Smith who played a few tests for England a year ago. This book is an autobiography of his and I'm enjoying reading it a lot. Though I surely won't recommend this book to the non-completely cricket crazy public, which happens to include all of my friends, relatives and almost everybody I know & surely all those who read this blog.

5. Skipping skipping and playing chess: Day before yesterday, some seniors came to our hostel block. Last year our college had entered the Limca book of records for the most number of people skipping on one rope & this year the aim is to enter the Guinnes book for which they need at least 221 people. I had spent most of my week just fooling around so I decided to take part. The mere thought of my name entering the Guinnes book made me very enthusiastic. So I went to the BC for the meeting. That went well but after that I stayed on for the chess meeting followed by practice. This practice is going to take place daily which means that I'll have to skip skipping. It feels kind of sad to do that now, but chess ranks higher on my list of priorities. But the worst part is that I can't even play as a part of the Chess team in 'Zest' as I am organising a quiz in that event. Life sucks.

6. Organizing quizzes: This is the only good thing happening this week. It gives me a chance to go online regularly as I have to frame questions for both the 'Zest' quiz as well as 'Chakravyuh'. Along with that I also have to do some other work like booking audis etc which includes visits to certain people who are never there (I'm not taking names on purpose). But this is the only thing, other than Chess, towards which I'm working whole-heartedly. I hope to succeed in this endeavour.

Well now you know what sort of week I had. Besides the above mentioned things, the week also consisted of a cancelled trek (Sinhagad once more) & 2 cancelled movie plans. However it also consisted of a great birthday bash (Prutha's) on Sunday & a lot of time with my elder brother who convinced me that studies are not that important and one should take part in other activities too. And like all good younger brothers I obeyed him - I haven't studied for even a minute since I met him.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Sinhagad trek

This trek had been initially planned for the 6th of December, the day after our first semester exams. But as is understandable for homesick FE hostelites, most of them ran home as soon as they could leaving too few of us behind to go on with the trek. However, by the 8th of this month, almost all the hostelites had returned and somebody again mooted the idea of going on a trek. Since a large group was ready this time around, I decided to shelve plans of watching King Kong and decided to join the trek. Hence I found myself with 11 other eager trekkers ready for the trek at 9:30 AM. Whether it was a good call or a bad one, I can only say once I see King Kong.
We first left for Swargate, the first mistake on a day in which we surprisingly committed very few of them. On reaching there, we were immediately surrounded by a bunch of 6-seater wallahs all asking us to travel with them, assuring us that there were no buses to Sinhagad till noon or even later. However, common sense prevailed and after waiting for a few minutes, a bus came our way and we all jumped on. The mistake, as I had pointed out earlier, was coming to Swargate as the bus route starts from Shanivarwada which is at a walking distance from our hostel.
The bus journey to the base of the mountain (actually more of a hill, but saying mountain gives me a greater sense of achievement) took 50 minutes. The journey was an adventure of it's own due to the bumpy roads on our way and we were more than happy to reach Sinhagad in one piece. We assured ourselves that the worst was over.
On reaching there, we immediately started ascending the mountain. As there were 12 of us, we got divided into smaller groups, with me bringing up the rear. Do not attribute this to any lack of stamina, for I have done too many treks in the past to be troubled by such a short one. It's just that I have always enjoyed going slowly, looking at the beatiful scenery around, for that is the main reason why I go for a trek. Therefore I fail to understand the attitude of people who treat it as a race and try to complete it as soon as possible. Anyways, they have to wait for the tail in the end, so it's better to take your time while walking rather than having to wait.
Honestly speaking, I was rather disappointed by the actual trek. It took us just 1.5 hrs to reach the top and we had walked at an extremely slow pace and taken a large number of breaks as one of us wasn't too well. For someone who has done week-long treks, it isn't much. So even after reaching the top I wasn't really exhausted. We had a great lunch at the top, consisting of Zunka-Bhakar, which was really tasty. Actually, once you're tired and hungry, anything tastes good as it was in this case. We then roamed around at the top, spending a lot of time staring into the valleys in absolute silence. This is actually my favourite part of a trek as the silence gives me time to catch up with myself which is not always possible in the daily rush which is my life. Hence such moments, spent in the company of nature are absolute bliss for me. All existence finally boils down to these special moments of quiet which you never get to experience otherwise. I may be an atheist, but even I get a spiritual feeling in such places. Such is the magic of nature. No wonder so many ancient civilisations worshipped nature. Any trekker would agree with me on this.
But all things have to end. Soon we started our journey down. Actually it was more of an evening walk, taking only 40 minutes. Then we had to wait for a bus, which duly arrived and all of us hopped on and most of us slept on the return journey. This brought to an end a pretty memorable day and a not so interesting post.

The Cast:
Aniket Khasgiwale
Ashish Metkar
Hrushikesh Kulkarni
Rishikesh Baviskar
Apoorv Vaidya
Govind Ingle
Mahesh Hase
Rahul Kedare
Rigved Shenai
Harshal Chavan
Smit Gade
Yogesh Dukhale.

Friday, January 06, 2006

5th January - World SuDoku day


Yesterday me and friends or rather the residents of A-108 & A-110 had nothing to do as there were no lectures in college(the 3:30 PM lecture I referred to in my last blog never happened). Also most of us were just bored and were in no mood to go out. That's when I reached out for the Times SuDoku book lying in the cupboard of room A-110 and the rest as they say is history.
I guess SuDoku fever must be one of the most contagious diseases in the world, because moments after I took the book in my hand, everybody wanted to solve a SuDoku. I, however, had unfinished business with one puzzle which I couldn't solve the day before. Hence it was decided that all of us would try to solve that one. It was easier said than done though, and it took me almost 1.5 hrs to get that one right. Having solved that one, I was eager to solve a few more and so were everybody else. But we took a dinner break before proceeding further.
All of us started solving the SuDokus with renewed zest after dinner. It must have been quite a sight, 6 students sitting in a small room with pencils and paper in their hand, scratching their heads as if they were asked to solve the entire world's problems. It was also misleading for Mr. Vedhas Pandit (SE) who had chosen this day to show one of his friends the room in which he had lived in the last year. He just glanced inside and shoewd his friend the room, but seeing the 6 of us with pencils and paper, he immediately apologized and left, asking us to 'carry on studying'. Yeah right.
The SuDoku fever ran well into the night. Occasionally, one would listen to music to distract his mind but then immediately return to the important task of solving SuDokus with renewed vigour. That all of us were SuDoku fanatics is obvious. However, one of us, Rishikesh Baviskar, was a beginnerand was having a hard time solving the puzzles. Hence his inability was to become the butt of our jokes for the day, or rather night. But to his credit, it must be said that he carried on relentlessly and rather shamelessly despite being unable to make much progress. His bravery will surely be rewarded in the future.
Then suddenly at about 11 PM, we had a brainwave. Since all of us had spent most of the day solving SuDokus, why not make it official. Hence at that time, we started sending out messages (smses)to everybody we could, wishing all of them 'A very happy World SuDoku day'. Imagine the laugh we had when one of my messages got a reply saying 'Same to you'. And thus it became official- 5th of January - World SuDoku day.
However like all good things, even this had to end. The signs of mental strain were becoming more and more visible in the participants. One of them, Hrishikesh Kulkarni, seemed to have lost his mind and roamed around with a towel on his head, presumably to wipe the numbers away from his brain. Then on of the more experienced players - Apoorv Vaidya showed even more severe signs of exhaustion when he failed to solve simple SuDokus. That's when we decided that it was enough and brought an end to the SuDoku day, a day which we'll never forget. I hope that the next 5th of January will be even better.

The Cast:
Aniket Khasgiwale
Hrushikesh Kulkarni
Apoorv Vaidya
Rishikesh Baviskar
Ashish Metkar
Govind Ingale ( special guest appearance - he came 2 floors down to SuDokus with us )
Vedhas Pandit (cameo)

No animals were harmed during thecelebration of this day, except for 6 mosquitos who lost their lives and a human (Rishikesh Baviskar) who escaped with a bruised ego.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The first day of college

Yeah I know the title is somewhat misleading. Well, I'm talking about the first day of college in the 2nd semester which is today. Officially, the first day was the 2nd, but nothing happened on that day as expected. However I had received a tip from a teacher that lectures would begin from today hence I sent messages to everyone asking them to come to college at 8:30 AM for the first lecture. But as it turned out, forget the lecture room, the whole department was closed. And since there was no lecture after that till 3:30 PM all of us returned home cursing ourselves for being so naive. I hope that at least the 3:30 PM lecture is conducted. Otherwise it'll be just another useless trip to the college. Not that I have anything useful to do.

The War of the Words

All India-Pakistan series have always had a huge buildup due to obvious reasons, right from the first ever test series back in the fifties. So to expect this series to be any different is incorrect. However, the buildup to this series has been a lot different to that to the other series. For the first time, we are seeing the implementation of the Australian policy of 'mental disintegration' of the opponents using the press, which was popularised by Steve Waugh and John Buchanan. Remember how the aussies would predict that they would thrash the poms before every ashes. And also how their team strategy regarding the opposition would suddenly turn up in the New Zealand team's room during their tour of New Zealand, reminding them of their shortcomings. But now obviously the phenomenon has spread to the subcontinent as well. Therefore before this tour we heard all Pakistani cricketers picking on Ganguly, pretending to give him advice, picking out batsmen and bowlers from the opposition whom they'd choose to attack and other such things. Even MS Dhoni retaliated by challenging the Pakistani fast bowlers to pitch it in short.
All this does is to create an artificial hype around a series which is already much hyped. It is precisely these sort of comments that incite the crowds, causing security concerns. And even worse is the constant comparisons of this series with a war. I think that we should all calm down and let the cricketers get on with their job of playing cricket without putting any extra pressure on them. After all, it is just a game.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

TV Commercials

Recently I got a chance to see this completely mindblowing BSNL commercial in it's complete avatar. I'm talking about the one which begins with Mai samay hoon... and reaching even greater heights during it's short broadcast time. It shows a complete family making various demands and in the case of the kid even the sound and visual aren't synchronised properly. The reason why I got to see this commercial in full so late was that almost all the successful channels allow only 10 second slots as a result of which most ads have to be edited(so sad). It is only the channels like SAB TV (or Sony SAB) now that show these ads in full and hence give us a great time. Three cheers to them.That ad certainly ranks amongst the Worst I have ever seen. Maybe I should put up a list someday. Oh and I was so engrossed in watching the full-length ads that I forgot what I was watching in the first place. That's also because the 'short' commercial break lasted 20 minutes. Somebody should do something about this.
Here's what my classmate Rohit Pandharkar has to say about an old experience of his. He wants to get this article into the college magazine so please send your comments to me so that I can steal the credit. Just Kidding. His mail ID is Send your comments soon.

And no F.Y. students are allowed to argue with him (except for a certain Mr. Joglekar) since he has a GPA of 8.96 and is 2nd in the college. Do remind him about the missing 0.04 grade points

Here's the article:

Fathoming strangers -Xenophobia
All of us yelled out as we rushed down fergusson's stairs,12th was over!The midnight oil burnt had served its purpose.We hugged each other partly with a smile and partly with grief as we will be walking along different paths thereafter.This was followed by a party at Vaishali, and while leaving...we swore to keep in touch.My dad had dropped me for the exam,so I did n't have my bike with me.I was walking along the FC road looking out for an auto.This is where the actual story began... A Hyundai Accent screeched beside me,the filmed glass over driver's seat sank down the groove.A young face around 25 yr old,wearing Raybans emerged behind it. He peered out of the window and asked in a manner as polite as possible-''My dear friend..How can one get to Saras baug from here?";a puneite will easily reckon how difficult it was for me to explain his way out.FC and saras baug are quite a distance apart.Well...don't know why..but the idea of escorting this young man on his way flashed in my mind...I was looking for an auto and AC Accent will be a much better option to go for! but conscious mind held me back saying...arre I reside at Karve Nagar(Which will form a great triangle with FC and Saras Baug!) come I was going to benefit from this venture?,while I was in this dilemma,this young man requested me-"If you don't mind,will you please get along with me and help me find it...I am a new one here.I will surely drop you wherever you want me to ".This benevolent gesture made me suppress my conscious mind and forced me to grab the 12th was just over and I was dying to get some fun on the run.I replied"Well...yeah I will",he set the door ajar and invited me to step in.I felt rejuvenated as I entered the AC atmosphere inside,it was as good as ice compared to the hot noonshine outside. I greeted myself for a wise decision and cherished over the acumen.As I settled in the seat I gazed at the Wills packet on the dashboard..emptied to its half .That made me realise that he was some kind of 'Bade baap ka beta'.Seeing me staring at cigarettes,he snatched some out of them and offered me one.I was left flabbergasted,but pretended to be benign.."No thanks,I don't smoke","Oh sorry...anyway...I am Vineet..Vineet sinha",and he stretched his right hand towards his left over the steering wheel.My heart started beating faster..I thought in this awkward position car will go berserk,and on top of it,we were on FC road which is jammed enough to have anything more.I shook hand with him in a hurry,in an aspiration that he will get back his hand on steering asap."I am Rohit""You are from fergusson I guess""Yeah,I just completed my board exams and am really feeling sad that I will be leaving FC now,where are you from?""I am from Delhi,I have got some documents to deliver to my uncle here"So far so good, fine,but here's some kahani mein twist.Vineet slowed down the car in front of a hotel and asked me to step down to have lunch with him.Obviously I refused.We are always told not to hang out with strangers.But he insisted so profusely that I failed to deny.Suddenly,my conscious mind popped in and I made desperate efforts to note the Accent's number.To my was MH 13,which is for solapur,he had told he was from delhi!,did he lie?within a moment the ideas of kidnapping and ransoms took over my mind.I thought,how can anything go wrong..I have got a cell,there are people around as well.I have grown up now(this is something every teenager thinks of him but nobody approves of!)The fear factor and dare spirits inside me were fighting.Who can guess what modus operandi kidnappers use these days?they have got brains wrinkled enough to conspire in a pro manner,like the way I was being fooled...if I can say that. Finally I settled my mindgame and decided to face whatever I confront(kudos for the virtual muscles I had! ).He ordered a couple of pizzas and started enquiring about me,where my parents work,where do I live etc.This made me doubt his intentions,weird ideas came to my mind like he must have told the waiter to mix a tranquiliser in my it happens in Hindi movies!My feet trembled,but he seemed to be very normal,continued to tell about his business.Bit later,the pizzas were served and I finished the dish with throbbing heart.Thereafter I became bit more careful and decided to keep my fingers crossed during rest of the journey.I even lied to some of his questions.We were back in the car.I was too quiet and just gestured him for turning right or left.I wanted to get out of it asap.I was trying to pacify myself that no,things wont go wrong.At the same instant Vineet turned left whilst I had told him to turn right,I missed a heartbit,the car upholstery pretended to be my tombstone,and I started visualising the dashboard as my epitaph!"We were supposed to turn left,Vineet,turn the car!",I cried out.But he was composed,did nt even look at me.All of a sudden,I found a basilisk silhoutte in his face.I clasped my hands over my bag,I must have looked like a lamb ready to be cut.He accelerated...I got the idea of what was going on...and gathered all my adrenaline spirits too yell out of the window for help.The word help was about to leave my lips when Vineet screeched brakes.He went out with the FM player kept on.It was playing...''Ye kahaan,aa gaye hum,yunhi saath saath chalte?"....what a farce!!! I longed to murder that mirchi RJ.By now..I thought it will be a great idea to escape..hardly had I opened the door when Vineet returned.I was so scared of him that I immediately closed the door again and looked at him like a child standing in front of teacher after being caught red handed for copying.He did n't bother it at all,instead he handed over me a foot long cadburry and said,"I hope you would like to have one ".Oh...that is what he had stepped out for!,still I cluthed the cadburry in my hand and did n't dare to eat it.After some more time full of distress,at last we reached the destination.It was his uncle's three storeyed bungalow.He urged me to come in and have some coffee.I met his relatives and found everyone very nice.He introduced me to them and told how helpful,co-operative I had been,said"These days,people dont think so positively about strangers,but it was you who helped me".I found it very ironical...had he known my thoughts about him before..he would have dropped his jaw.Before leaving..he even gifted me an 'eyewitness' DVD and also insisted that he will drop me home.I refused,and succeded in denying him this time,he had already taken enough of efforts for me..We exchanged contact numbers and waved each other.I came out of the bungalow,and looked at the cadburry still clutched in my hand.I smirked at it,and started eating it rapaciously,don't know why,but I found it much more sweeter than any chocolate I had ever tasted! Now,when I look back at this incident,I wonder how wrongly we think about people around and how we miserably fail to interpret their behaviour.Concluding I will say,always put everyone in grey area first,don't try to label anyone as black or white unless you are fully sure about the impression!
Rohit FE E&TC

The Homecoming

Well, day before yesterday I returned to my home or rather the college hostel in Pune. Calling it as my home might seem strange but I guess home is where the heart is and my heart is now definitely in Pune. See how I spell it with a capital P everytime? The sad thing about the hostel is that we have no TV so I have no idea about what's happening in the Australia vs. South Africa match or anything else for that matter. Even college hasn't started yet so most of my day is spent in taking short naps due to sheer boredom. Unfortunately these short naps often turn into long ones leading to sleepless nights. But I guess all will be fine once all my roommates return and college begins. My results in the last term weren't that good, I'd predicted that beforehand. I hope that in this term I can be successful at something other than making predictions .

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hello World

Well since a long time I've felt a bit out of sync with the times since I didn't have a blog of my own (also because I can't see TV at the hostel but let's not get into that). Therefore I've decided to start my own blog. Another reason was that a new year is starting and hence I would've had to buy a new diary anyways so blogging seemed to be a cheaper option. Also I was never too regular with my diary writing and often ended up with backlogs of upto a week or sometimeseven more, so blogging seemed to be the obvious way to go.
Since I've started a blog just like that, I initially wanted to name it Just For the Heck of it. But I decided against it and thought that the title should reflect more about my life. That's why the name - College, Cricket and Crap. It sums up my current life pretty well. College because that's where I spend most of my day. Cricket because that's what I think of all the time I'm in college & Crap because that's what usually happens when I do so. And also because in life, with sincere apologies to the millions who've already said this, SHIT HAPPENS.
I hope you like the blog(though I don't give much of a damn even if you don't). Feel free to send in your comments about the blog. You can also mail me at