Monday, March 31, 2008

Small joys

Yesterday night I was finally able to sleep peacefully, without bedbugs disturbing me every single minute and then waking up to find bites all over my body. It was pure bliss! And after this rest, I had a bath with steaming hot water. Ah! Has to be the best possible start to a Sunday morning.
It's only at the hostel that you realise the value of such small things.
And now, for some more free sleep..

Friday, March 28, 2008

The end of an era

Just when I had thought that internet censorship on the hostel server had hit rock bottom with the banning of sites like Cricinfo & , comes an unexpected relief. The era of stupid censorship is over and now I can freely access my orkut account and download videos from YouTube without having to use a gazillion proxy servers. More importantly I can visit the website of the Middlesex Cricket Club myself * and thats a great relief.
Along with the freedom, however, has come a warning. All those downloading or watching porn will be strictly punished. I, for one, welcome this because the new system still (hopefully) manages to keep a track of the amount of porn being downloaded and also helps innocent users like me to use the web without any restraints. And now I shall say something I never thought I'd say, "Long Live the COEP Web Administrator".

*- I wanted to download the Middlesex CC logo from their website. However the site was blocked by the url filter as the url contained the letters 'sex'. Hence I had to ask Gadre to download it and then mail it to me. Other perfectly harmless sites that were effectively blocked were Sensex and the page for sextant. How all this prevented downloading of porn still beats me.

P.S: I would also like to take this chance to thank, and bid farewell to, the following sites which have been good friends in the past but whom I shall not be visiting anymore:
5. KProxy
and most importantly,
6. - the first proxy server I ever used. You showed me the path to enlightenment. I am greatly indebted to thee.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I happened to see Valu in a movie theatre in Nashik. I had heard of the movie but never even thought of watching it (this is my standard response to all marathi movies). But then the director of the movie, Umesh Kulkarni, came as the chief guest (along with a very good looking Sonali Kulkarni) to the Gymkhana Day function in our college and he seemed to be a decent likeable chap and hence I decided to watch the movie.
The movie was decent, very slow at times, but it did have its share of funny moments. The locations were great and so were the characters. The movie has a nice feel to it, even though it never approaches greatness. The story was nice and refreshing and it had a pretty good cast, all of whom gave a good performance, especially Atul Kulkarni who is easily one of the best actors in the country.
But what I learned from the movie was that not all marathi movies are the vulgar slapstick comedy types starring Bharat Jadhav and/or Ashok Saraf (even though 90% of them are) and that I should start watching more marathi movies (this was only the 4th marathi movie that I have seen in a theatre and possibly my 7th or 8th overall). So next on the list is Checkmate...

Jaane bhi do yaaro....

Another movie which I should have seen long long long ago but only managed to see it yesterday. I had been trying to get a copy of the movie from my friend (read Yasho) since ages but he kept on forgetting it all the time. Finally I found a VCD of it in the most unlikely places imaginable - my own home. Turns out Dad is a great fan of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro too. And after watching the movie, I am totally with him on this one.
I wont bother with a review as I am sure all of you have seen the movie. But I was just wondering, what went wrong with Kundan Shah? His next film was 10 years later - Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na- which was another movie I really liked. But then after another 7 year hiatus, all he could come up with were movies like Kya Kehna, Hum to Mohabbat Karega, Dil Hai Tumhaara and the immensely forgettable Ek se badhkar Ek? Surely there's something wrong there.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My take on MindSpark

This is in reply to Aditya's tirade against the MindSpark organisers.

Dear Aditya,
I agree with you about the certificates part. Even we organisers haven't received our certificates yet. And what is really stupid is that people like me who were a part of two events have been told that we get certificates for one event only. So I'd like to take this chance to show the middle finger to all the chief organisers of MindSpark.
But then it is unfair to say that MindSpark shouldn't have taken place. You were lucky in the sense that your dept had a fest of it's own. But what about people like us who had no fests organised by the dept? MindSpark gave us all a chance to organise a grand event and it was something we really wanted to do. Then again, MindSpark, purely as an event was way bigger than Fervor was, despite this being it's inaugural year. The Mech Dept had some sort of monopoly over event organising as Fervor was obviously the biggest of the various fests we had. But MS obviously brought an end to that monopoly which left some of you guys dissatisfied. However, as we know, the end of a monopoly invariably results in something good, and the same applies here. And if you guys can't tolerate the fact that there are people in college who can also do a good or rather a better job of organising events than MESA, then it's too bad. For you I mean.
I would also like to point out that overall, as an event, MS was great. Way better than Fervor ever was. And the fact that it is the college's official joint fest instead of merely being a departmental fest gives it a certain special status. COEP is a big brand, especially in Pune and hence to capitalise on it is very essential. This is the reason why MS got a lot of participation from colleges like IIT-B and various other outstation colleges. These people wouldn't have participated if it was just another departmental event. The other day I was sitting idly in my CAT class (one of the few places where I'm actually quiet most of the time) and I overheard a conversation between a few girls who were discussing engineering college fests. And all of them unanimously agreed that MS was by far the best college fest and that the organisation was great. That shows that MS is a great success and that there is no valid reason for not staging it.
I agree that in some of the minor matters like distribution of certificates etc MS has suffered from a few problems. But then again, this was the first year. Next year's organisers will have a year's experience to help make things better and I'm sure the next MS will be even better. So pointing out small mistakes is all right but it is wrong to question the staging of the whole event which is an undoubted success.

P.S: As to the question of certificates, I loved the manner in which the organisers of Zest handled it. By the time the prize distribution ceremony was over, ALL the certificates - winners, runners up and participants - were ready and so were the cash prizes. And remember, teams in Zest have 15-16 members in their squad and giving out certificates to all of them, before the event is over is quite a big deal. Let's hope MS can take a leaf out of Zest's book and do it better next time.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Few Things I've learnt

1. Aundh is in Pune. It's not miles and miles away as I used to think before. Hence I'll no longer give Gadre concession for turning up late.
2. Chinchwad is still not in Pune. Nor is Bharati Vidyapeeth or PICT.
3. Apocalypse Now is an amazing movie! And 'The End' by The Doors is an amazing song.
4. I never do any work unless it's a real emergency. Actually, everything before 'unless' is also true 90% of the time.
5. Watching movies on my PC sucks. Especially at night.
6. Brown Blazers suck. Especially if you have to compulsorily buy them.
7. College food sucks. Believe me, I've had dinner in college about a dozen times and it's never any good.
8. College quizzes suck. Yet I shall continue to attend all of them. Even in godforsaken places like Rajarshi Shahu College of Engineering.
9. I have nothing to blog about.
10. The word 'suck(s)' has appeared four time in this post. Which is bad. That sucks.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Cheap Thrills

I have found a great way of having some fun without troubling anyone. I had signed up on facebook some time back because my girlfriend insisted that I do so. I was bored of it by the third day, and I'm totally uninterested by now. Hence what I do now is this - I wait for a few days and then log in to facebook. On logging in I see at least 40 new requests pertaining to all kinds of crap. Recently facebook has added an" ignore all" button. So I click on it and watch happily as all those useless requests disappear and I feel like I'm laughing in the face of all those who had sent me those requests. Believe me, it's a great thrill!