Sunday, December 16, 2007

5 things i can't live without

Of all the things they ask in your orkut profile, i think this is the most ridiculous! The obvious answer being oxygen, food, water, etc.. But I've read that so many times that i conclude anybody who has that written as "bo-ring". I'd rather they leave the field empty..
The next obvious thing they write are "mom, dad, siblings, dog(?), friends, girl/boy-friend.." Yeah, sure kiddo, your mom and dad and siblings and well, dog mean a lot to you, and sure you'll be heart-broken if anything were to happen to them, but it's not like you can't live without them, is it? I'm sure you've lived away during your hostel days/school, college trips, etc.. And as for friends, i think it's high time they realise that 40 years from now, it's highly unlikely that they'll still be in touch with their friends.. And as for the boy/girl-friend, well, actually, i won't say anything there and merely give one of my "looks".

So why am i being such a hypocrite, you ask, when i have filled in my tab with 5 things i supposedly can't live without.. Well, I've written "laughter, coffee, something to hug, books, a phone".. My dad, thanks to not-too-pleasant expirences regd. the phone bill for the last 8 years or so will say that the last at any rate is true.. But i don't think so.. If you take away my phone, i'll be miserable, sure, but i think it's highly improbable that i'll be broken-hearted and die.. Ditto coffee and books and "something to hug". But laughter? If there was no laughter, I don't think life will be worth living. I am as good as dead without it. But that's one. And honestly, i can't think of anything else "i can't live without".

They should change it to "5 things without which you'll be miserable". Makes more sense. Else i guess, the answer is the same for everyone: Oxygen, food, water, a working heart and brain.. And of course laughter.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

On Crying

Well, I'd like to dedicate this post to a certain person (and no, it's not who you think it is), but i shall refrain.

I think I was in the 5th standard when I saw Anisha trying not to cry. She had just been told off for some reason or the other, and I remember she standing over her lunch bag, looking up at the ceiling 'furiously blinking back the tears'. I guess it was then that i first got an inkling that maybe it wasn't so cool to cry. Over the years, a general annoyance towards people who cry too easily deepened that idea.

As I grew up, i tried my best not to cry in a hurry. Not in public at any rate. Well, maybe an occasional movie or two, but in general, the tears were reserved for the dead of the night and my teddy bear. Which is why, the fact that I cried a year ago made big news and invited a lot of unpleasant comments.

To be honest, i was ashamed of myself. My friends, of course, hugged me, and consoled me and did the usual 'come on da, don't take such things seriously'. Which was very sweet of them. But I guess what i really needed was the 'oh, it's okay to cry.. proves you're human after all'. You see, after having spent 18 years beleiving that it's wrong to let your feelings be known in public, i had done the unthinkable! I had actually cried. So what i needed was to be told that it's okay to cry.

Another thing which puzzles me is how guys are so eager to accuse girls of using 'tears as a weapon'. Is it because they feel guilty in some way? In that case, they shouldn't. I guess there are girls who do use tears as a weapon. But ultimately, girls(or even guys) cry because they feel helpless. They've reached a point where they don't know what to do. They feel helpless but they have to do something to let out their anger/frustration/sorrow/joy so they cry.

That does explain why one who cries is frowed upon and considered weak. For isn't it weak to feel helpless? Isn't it weak to give up and say 'there is nothing more i can do'? But isn't it also inhumane to never feel so?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kids these days..

My 9 year old cousin has come down for a visit. In passing, she happened to mention that she writes poems. A few of them are pretty amazing. A couple of phrases she uses are ones i'm sure i didn't know when i was her age! Anyway, i've put them up her.. Check it out..


Green is the joy of nature
Green is the whistling of grass
Green is nice bright happiness
Green is the surprise of breaking glass
Green is a cucumber, smooth and soft
Green is fresh apples sitting in the loft
Green is vines swinging to and fro
Green makes me happy like a frolicking doe
Green is the joy of nature

The next is a limerick:


Terrible, terrible red,
A battlefield with bloodshed
I hear a loud rumble
Of a castle going to crumble
So I ran home to my bed

A haiku:


Deep loyal and dark
As beautiful as a lark
Sea with a giant shark

A couplet:


Purple, purple magical and deep
Eggplant that’s good to eat

Purple is the sister of pink
They have a very close link

Purple is the sign of love
As lovely as a white dove

5 W’s

Who? The green grass
What? Whistles quietly
When? In the afternoon
Where? At the meadow
Why? Because of the wind

The next one is my favorite. This is one of her 'deep' poems...


Life goes spinning at a pace
Life goes spinning in your face
Life goes spinning round and round
Until you fly and never touch the ground

Pretend you’re a fledgling learning to fly
Upto a point that’s high
If you miss a flap or two
You’ll fall down and that isn’t cool

Pretend you’re building a bridge
With a tall pointed ridge
If you miss a brick or so
It’ll fall down and you’ll have a row

Life goes spinning at a pace
Life goes spinning in your face
Life goes spinning round and round
Until you fly and never touch the ground

Okay, the next one she wrote in a matter of 10 mins. Pretty good for a 9 year old, no?


The flowers are opening their petals
The sun is rising on a new day
The dew drops are splashing on the grass
I could shout hooray

Hooray, hooray it’s morning
A few flowers are opening last
Hooray, hooray it’s morning
I can see a mast

Lol.. The next one she started it when she was 6 or something.. She completed it just before coming. But phrases like "in a thrice", who uses that??


I like India a lot
Even though it’s hot

I have family there
I know they care

India is very nice
I’ll be there in a trice

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The first

First day, first impression, first friends… They somehow don’t last too long. The only reason I’m even writing this is because Pramod insisted that I do. So here goes..

I’ve been to IIT-M loads of times before. The first, I remember was during my 10th std. I had gone with my Dad to pick up Vineeta. It was two days before a maths exam. As we drove trough, I was looking out for the deers. I thought the campus was very pretty (who doesn’t!!). My Dad pointed out the library hoping that I’ll get inspired by it! I probably just nodded and thought “how boring.. they probably don’t have books without pictures and conversations anyway”.

I’ve been there many times after that too – for Saarang, for numerous entrance exams conducted there, to meet a few professors there, etc.. But going there knowing that you’re gonna live there for the next two years and that everyone around you is your new college mate – that’s quite a different feeling!

We drove up with my mattress, bucket and bags packed into the back. Not a long drive – from Anna University to IIT. I looked into the trees as we drove down the Delhi avenue. (IIT-M was started as a collaboration between India and Germany. So, out of the two roads leading from the main gate to the Gajendra circle (the statue with the fountain and two elephants!) one is named Bonn avenue (the then capital city of Germany) and the other is named Delhi avenue (Delhi is the capital of India!)).

My dad gave me all this information as we drove in. We passed the rather crowded campus, lost our way twice and landed in the registration place 5 mins late. After registering, we went and bought a couple of locks and odomos (which turned out to be a waste since I haven’t seen a single mosquito in my 4 days there!).

Well, I was mainly sad that my holidays were now over! No more waking up at 11 in the morning, no more hogging chocolates, no more jobless golden days!!
And a LOT of apprehension – What if I didn’t make any new friends??!! What if they were all from the same college and knew each other previously and ignored me completely?! What if my MCC friends and my school friends meanwhile got too busy with their own lives and started ignoring me too?? What if my next two years are miserable beyond belief?? What if I’m bottom of my class??

The car pulled up in front of my hostel – Sharavati (the hostels there are names of rivers and the messes are names of mountain ranges!). We paid them the hostel fees and walked up with the luggage to my room.

My room – this deserves a whole para to itself! It’s a single room. Pretty spacious. One bed, one table, one chair, a big cupboard with top luggage shelves et al., a book rack and one of those mirrors which opens up and has compartments inside where you keep toothpastes/cosmetics/medicine/face wash. One tube light, one night lamp and a ceiling fan. Two windows - one through which you can see tidal park and another glazed one opening to the corridor.
But all this is the tame bit! What is spectacular about my room are the decorations on the walls! There are about twenty hand prints in different colours adorning the wall with names scribbled beside it and stupid senseless phrases written all over! It’s crazy!! And well, ugly. The handprints by themselves would’ve looked pretty, but the phrases alongside make them look uncouth! The place is a mess!
“Oh shit!”, “I thought, as I accompanied my dad back to the car, “what am I gonna do? Maybe I can paint it”.

Preoccupied, I hardly noticed my dad pulling out. Not tat it matters… home was a 47A away. Or a phone call to dad or Naren or Divvya away.

I walked back. The floor was empty. Not a good sign. I walked into my room to unpack. I messaged someone – I forgot who. Then I unpacked a bit. I tried cleaning my room and ended up making it twice as messy, and crashed into the bed!! Finally, I heard some noises outside – I found two of my classmates had moved in, borrowed a broom from one and newspaper from the other and continued making the room messier!

Finally, at 8 we went down for dinner. My first taste of IIT mess food – chapatti, rajma kurma, rice, sambar, salad, kelangu, buttermilk and banana! I actually liked it! I guess the IISc C mess had really taught me to appreciate food!!!

I came back and crashed.

That was my first day at IIT Madras.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I saw a hoarding yesterdayfor pantaloons which proclaimed "End of season sale - 70%off". Inviting, definately. But it did lead me to wonder what they meant by "end of season" in Chennai. Chennai has only one season - HOT.

And if you wanna argue that no, there was 'rainy', 'pleasant', i guess, then 'rainy' starts sometime mid-june and ends in the begining of december. So what the hell did they mean by "end of season sale"?!

Mind you, i'm not complaining.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The road

A friend of mine once remarked about MCC: “Call this a college??!! It’s more like a holiday resort.. quiet.. green.. peaceful...” Of course there are more analogies, but we will not dwell on those, for this is not an article on MCC, but on how unfortunate it is that the road in front of the college (the Velachery Main road) is not the same.

Every person who enters college through the main gate in the morning will agree that I am not exaggerating when I compare crossing the road to an obstacle race. A little worse than an obstacle race because apart from jumping over auto headlamps and medians, squeezing between cars, tripping over cycle stands, and praying you don’t go deaf with all the honking going on around you, you also have vehicles creeping towards you from all points on the compass, ultimately leaving you with so little space that the larger of our species are sometimes forced to climb on top on the vehicle itself. Let us also not forget that the regular latecomers will also be busily messaging to find out if the professor has come to class yet, while running through this obstacle course.
As for those who come to college by bike, it’s a wonder that they manage to reach their classes before 8.30!!

The opposite occurs rest of the day. Now, the students are unable to cross the road because the vehicles, though few, are travelling fast. The Chennai municipality, out of concern for the MCCians has installed a speed breaker near the main gate. (I distinctly remember there were two last year!). However, that does not seem to be nearly enough, because though it smoothens the traffic on the MCC side of the road, while crossing the other side, one just closes her eyes, holds her friend’s hand, runs, and hopes for the best.

The situation is more serious than most realise. Apart from a countless accidents - both minor as well as major ones, there have also been many causualities. Two of our non-teaching staff fell prey to it in recent years.

The crossing, you will notice, is strangely aligned. It isn’t a crossroad, though one tends to think so. You just have the Velachery main road and a small side road leading to the station. Diagonally opposite is the main gate of MCC. If the MCC main gate had been directly opposite, or conversely, fifty meters down the road much trouble would’ve been saved. Unfortunately, since it’s just a few meters away, people tend to go on the wrong side of the road to get into college, not wanting to waste petrol going one kilometre down the road before being able to turn back. On the right side (while facing the main gate) is the East Tambaram bus stand, which takes up half the road leaving the other half only for both lanes. Thus, the traffic towards Selaiyur makes another diagonal near Palimar before they get into the proper lane. Also, the PTC buses insist on making MCC main a regular bus stop, which (though convinient for the MCCians who use tat particular mode of transport) does nothing to lessen the chaotic situation present. Of course, there is an occasional policeman sent over to man the traffic, but the situation, if you ask me, is beyond human control.
The solution also, isn’t all that simple. One can’t really move MCC main gate, can we? Nor can the path to the station be shifted without causing discomfort to many. The median can be extended, blocking traffic to the station from the left side of the road, with a U-turn further along and a zebra crossing installed for those who travel by foot, with a couple of speed bumps thrown in for good measure, but, unless I’m much mistaken, that will invite a lot of murmers from the east Tambaram residents who use the Chennai metro. Of course, one can hope that an over head bridge be installed connecting the two sides of the road, but that seems closer to day dreaming…

Of Bikes and Fairies

So once again, my mind wanders as I sit in class. Instead of stopping it, this time I actually ure it to run as far away as possible. A screechy voice shouting “thus we prove this equation” brings me back to reality. I glance at the blackboard and shudder. All I could see are Greek symbols. I sigh and pull a paper close to me. Just as I’m positioned to copy down what is written on the board, the girl next to me whispers “I’m bored.. Write me something. I’ll take down the notes”.
Glad that I can do something else, I begin ‘this piece’..

So the next question: What do I write on? For a long time, I’ve been wanting to write my observation of guys – men, as they prefer being called. Boys – if you ask me. Babies – will be closer to the truth.

Don’t get me wrong - I have nothing against babies. I love them and I cannot imagine a world without them. Even when they’re being whiny, they have a certain charm and are utterly lovable. They need to be pampered, hugged, coaxed and loved and yet be treated as if they are all grown up. It is a challenge and we women love a good challenge, so we take it up with glee!

But you have to give it to them – each man (boy) is different and unique. Of course, who have more men who would be willing to discuss the torque (term understood by them as ‘power’ ;-) ) of the latest harley Davidson rather that explain to me the difference between a nymph and an elf, but that does not mean that the latter type does not exist! Of course, you have the rare (very, very rare) exception where you’ll find a man who can discuss the details of the bike to the last nut, knows what torque means and can explain the difference between different mythical creatures, but such men, I repeat, are rare..

Guys, when you come down to it, aren’t all that hard to understand – not as hard as girls, at any rate. They’re like Ferro Rocher – hard and full of peanuts on the outside (colloquial pun intended), soft and creamy on the inside and a nut right at the centre!

Of course the thickness of the outer shell varies from guy to guy – some have it waffer thin, and others hae it as hard as coconut. But remember, it is always a shell. Based on this, they can broadly be categorised thus:

First are the set of guys who allow anyone at all to break through – any family member or friend. This kind is boring and we shall say no more about them. May they rest in peace.

Second are the ones who allow only members of the same sex to break through. They are usually distrustful of the women around. They will learn one day.

The third are those who disrust anyone new. They trust only their family and their old friends. These are the sensible ones.

The fourth – and my favorite – kind are those who pick and choose . They ones who allows a best friend, maybe – or a girlfriend (both are hand picked). The remarkable thing about this kind are that they’re emotionally very very strong.
There are other differences of course, such as whether they are straight or not, party animal or bookworn (or both), sensitive or hard hearted, stubborn or ..- there’s no ‘or’, actually, top dog or door mat, Robert Ludlum or Charles Dickens, humble or proud (strangely, there is both), atheist or theist (weird observation: more men believe, or are willing to believe in God than women), orthodox or broad minded, etc.. But such differences are there in women as well, so I will not dwell on it, but conclude in the hope that the bell will ring soon..

Hee hee.. Couldn't resist putting this in.

As he hurries to class, Prasad glances at his watch for the 10th time, quietly wondering what excuse he should give his professor – should he blame it on the Aquaguard man, or should he claim to have had a meeting or should he just stick to the plain and simple truth – that he woke up late! As he stands in the doorway of his classroom, with a sheepish grin on his face, his classmates smirk. The person who had come five minutes before him had got blasted and shooed off. The professor won’t do the same thing to the chairman, would she? The professor turns around and sees him standing there. She opens her mouth to say something, but the cries of “chairman sir” daunt her. She gives in with a small nod. Prasad, the Chairman of Madras Christian College walks in amidst cheering!

The above is a daily occurance. While it goes to show how his position influences his activities, Prasad is, essentially, a 3rd year Physics student – right from sneaking into the lab an hour late, having his cell phone confiscated, forging spectrometer readings to having a nickname for every single one of his classmates!

It all started, he says, with his wish to be “involved in college activities”. To satisfy it, in the first year, he joined the college ball badminton team. He practiced everyday from 3 - 6.30. Unfortunately, come the first tournament, he was not-so-politely asked to leave the team. Undaunted, he joined the NCC. There, due to his physical stature, he wasn’t allowed to do “drills”. They trained him intead to climb obstacles(literally) and shoot (again, literally). At his first camp he was the only MCCian to be selected. However, he didn’t get through the second. “All this taught me not to get dejected when you lose what you’re aiming at”, he says. “Oh, and also punctuality” he adds with a wink.

Thus he stood for the post of department representative. Once selected, he wanted to give the Physics dept ‘a voice’. So, he stood for chairman. Contarary to popular belief, one doesn’t have to know the big shots or the “annas” to become chairman, he says. All one has to do is contact the many hundred people who do not even know that an election is happening and convince them to vote – for him.

Now that he has become chairman, he insists that he is “one among the students”. “After two years of enjoying without responsibility, I have begun to enjoy with responsibility”, he muses. He also claims that his professors are understanding and he takes care not to miss a single practical class(even if all he does there is blink at the sodium vapour lamp). Theory class, on the other hand, are a different story…

He also says that he has had to learn to deal with different people during his tenure and one of the issues he is sensitive about is the name of the college getting tarnished due to improper behavior of the students.

“As a chairman I learnt not to simply give promises but to be honest and be fair so that no one can point to you”, he concludes.

An MBA asapirant, Prasad has recently been placed in CTS, but whether he will take up the job or not will depend on his performance in CAT.

In desperation

The link to my blog page was on scroll down thingy of my IE7, and my dad chanced across it. Thankfully I had deleted the incriminated blog only the previous day (Muhahahaha, Dad!) :-P Anyway, he commented on how there was nothing there, so I wondered what to put in.

As a general rule I love writing stuff - recording events of the past. I send e-mails which go on for pages and pages. My style of writing, I have been told, is very conversational. That is perfectly fine by me. After all, I ain't trying for the booker.

Anyway, with regard to my blog page, I wondered what to put it. I wanted to fill it in, so I can format the page (I love formatting - don't ask me why!). So I clicked "new post". The box opened. I looked at the cursor. It blinked at me. Wanting to be polite, I blinked back at it. But the cursor, politer than me, blinked again. This went on for sometime. Finally, I minimized the window and opened my google chat. RG was online.
"Ah", I thought, "RG has a blog, he'll know".
The following conversation ensued:
me: i've started a blog!
RG: Cute
let me read it
me: er..
i haven't written anything yet..
RG: Oh brilliant
me: actually i wrote something.
RG: I'm definitely going to sleep now.
me: then i deleted it.
but answer this..
what does one write in a blog?
RG: Ha ha
Whatever you want.
me: see..
it's gonna be read by everyone no?
RG: Yes.
me: so it can't be personal stuff..
RG: And there'll probably be an archive that'll never die
Depends on whether you want people to know
me: No!
like, it isn't a diary..
RG: You can write stuff like about your trip and shit
It's cool.
Actually depends on you.
me: i usually don't like too many people knowing too many things about me.
ah.. trip
wat trip?
RG: Or like, about IISc.
Or stuff like that
me: but tat'll go for pages and pages
remb the mails i sent?
tat was only half of it!
so it'll be really long..
RG: Ah, that's good
me: which no one will read anyway..
RG: Long stuff is cool
me: so wats the point?
RG: Just split it up to multiple days.
Yeah, that's the point.
me: the point is no one reads?
RG: Exactly
me: ah.
so no one reads your blog?
RG: Ron Weasley dies.

Like that helped! Like I said, I don't want to write personal stuff, cause I wouldn't want anyone to read it, and my day-to-day activities are just too long. Too many things happen, no? So, for starters, I've decided to upload a few articles I wrote.. Most of them were wrtten in class due to desperation. (Desperate to have something to do which'll prevent the prof's dulect tones from reaching you..). A few are copyrite Woodstock.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Ah.. boredom! How we long for those golden days when we have absolutely nothing to do... those summer mornings which are spent with the sandman... the brunches at 1 in the afternoon (can it even be called a 'brunch'?).. the slow afternoons which are spend in front of the TV watching a rented movie.. those long long baths... the many books on the 'pending' list we manage to read.. the siesta.. the evenings online, browsing, chatting, emailing.. the jealous looks from friends who have college/work/school.. the chocolates.. the shopping trips.. the music.. the cleaning of the room which lasts a whole week.. the evening rain.. Sigh..

It's pretty amazing how much a 'bored' person actually gets done!