Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.

There's a coup going on in this blog. A regime change is highly probable.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The connoisseur of Bullsh*t: A Monologue

Now that's a hyper-bull-e!
Yeah, c’mon! Smear me with that crap of yours( not to be taken literally,of course) , get into my head, fiddle with my mind and elicit a positive response. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Especially since it’s been conveniently presumed that people of my ilk are fleeceable…

I hate to break this to you but there are certain things which are simply too much to put up with.
Prompt condemnations: every time a bomb goes off or terrorists strike somewhere in India, the Indian Government with clearly a knee-jerk reaction blurts out “India strongly condemns this attack and the perpetrator will be brought to justice. Such attacks will not deter us from blah blah blah…..” Having said that, the government can go into slumber only to be woken up by the next attack.
All things"Indigenous": “Indigenously” developed tank (Arjun MBT), missiles (Nag, Akash), aircraft (LCA Tejas), assault rifle (INSAS rifles) etc. etc. Seriously guys, if its indigenous you wanna go, then do it with some conviction. Half hearted efforts or ripping off soviet tech ain’t gonna help you bring out truly dependable products. As it is, lack of funds and ample Red-Tape ensures that the projects get delayed by at least a decade (in some cases its decades we are looking at). Then to bring out substandard/crude junks which are forced onto the soldiers putting their lives in the harm's way over unreliable hardware just to prove that the indigenous research was worthwhile and marketable is “tumach”.
Ah, the Breaking News: Some of the Indian News Networks keep breaking news 24x7. Question arises, how come our knowledgeable journos forget to prioritize news i.e. to figure out which news is worth breaking. Just take a look at aaj tak, zee news, India tv frivously dishing out breaking news; India TV appears to be in a league of its own...out-of-this-world crap!!!  I rest my case.
Arreey!! TV Swayamvars! First Rakhi, now Rahul…I suspect the media think tanks must have gone into a comatose. Isn’t there anything else you can give us than two pestering celebs going gaga over their marriage? Cut me some slack! Please!
Ahem, The Thackerays & Muthalik... Statutory Warning: any further elaboration can lead to protests, effigy burning, brick bating and even the possibility of an assault.
Of course, you are “Waiting for a good script”: Quoted over and over by the “next big thing” turned duds (read out of work actors/actresses). Actually quite a suave way of saying “haven’t got a script to read in the first place”.
Reservation: You know what I’m talking about. What Dr Ambedkar had gestated as a short-term (10-yr)measure (i.e. reservation) for the benefit of the suppressed, has been used as a short-term personal benefit trump card by our myopic political leaders, who are blind beyond the next election. So those in favor of further reservations, please carry on! Cuz if it keeps going as it is, soon even the general category guys will become a minority and hence be eligible for the reservation goodies.
MPG : Maniac PenGupta...and that's personal.
I must stop now…its stinking like unattended public convenience…compiling BS (DS) can be so nasty…I’m gonna throw up anytime now…
{I didn’t intend to take up subjects of such spectrum…let’s say that the current state of affairs provoked me}.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Canteen Chronicles- II

9:30 am> for the past 14 minutes my visual and auditory senses were drowned in the tumultuousness of the canteen. There’s something in the ambience that makes even the introvert explore his/her loquacious facet.

As of then the canteen could be demarcated into 4 distinct zones with the first zone, the first two tables on the right where the sophomores were seated; the second zone would be the middle rows on the left where the third year guys were sitting in a sprawling, easy posture and were adding to the decibels in the canteen unlike their immediate juniors who were a li’l mindful of their surrounding. As for the third, it had a lulu with two of her worshippers who were incessantly fawning over her. The whole scenario looked so obnoxious that I retired from observing others. This brought me back to the zone where I sat alone without any batchmate around to give me company. The fact that the freshers were still barred from availing the convenience of this canteen was conspicuous by their absence; though ragging is a thing of the past, the interaction with the 1st year was rare.

9:35 am> and God smiled at me…a face that looked familiar…in fact the very “MBA girl” who was driving me daft after that out-of-the-window encounter (must have mentioned that in an earlier post). A sudden surge of hormones almost had me walk up to her when I spotted a beefy guy by her side and quite predictably, I chickened out…she came to the counter, bought a drink and left without even so much as a glance at my corner. It later occurred to me that the noise in the canteen had dipped while she was around with the guys gawking at her and the gal in 3rd zone had a tough time keeping her devotees devoted to her. It was a guy-thing after all to get a high in the presence of such stunner, I concluded.

9:40 am> was seriously considering hitting the gym…if it takes brawn to win over that girl, so be it.

9: 45 am> a group of third year departmental juniors came over to my table demanding a treat for the job I had secured in the recent placements. I meekly agreed requesting them to keep the treat low-keyed.

9:50 am> “Low key???” six juniors…180 bucks…30 bucks each…not much you would say…but that was a massive blow to my wallet which was plundered a week ago…to put it into perspective here’s the figure…5000 bucks (After that even a munch looks usurious).

10:00 am> left the canteen with just twenty bucks to get my sorry ass home…the disappointment now looked well-rounded;

Academic (no class), 4th dimensional* (the time wasted), emotional (that MBA chick) & financial (I had to skip my coke for the next three days till I found some generous souls to treat me to it).

*The fourth dimension in space was interpreted as time, but this is no longer done in modern physics.

The Canteen Chronicles- I

8:45 am > hopped into a shuttle cab hoping to make it to college in time for the 2nd period. I was cautioned by the professor concerned (a freak called JM in this case) for poor attendance in his lectures.

9:05 am> left the cab and began scurrying to the main building.

9:07 am> ETA: 1minute, location: near college canteen; got an sms…It read ,“Aaj JM er class hobe na, 3rd period ND”. [Prof/Punk JM wont be taking his class today and the next period was a non-departmental subject where in the significance of attendance is ludicrous]

The jarring tone of my alarm clock disrupted my sleep and I got up, reluctantly, trying to remember why I had set the alarm to go off at 7:00am. “It’s a Tuesday…and Tuesday’s have …holysh*t! JM’s class!!” I zipped off to the bathroom. As my luck would have it, Mom overslept so the situation boiled down to the “red pill blue pill choice” (as in matrix). Blue pill: I get my breakfast but forget JM’s class and Red pill: I skip my bread but get to his class in time…Found myself in Neo’s shoes as I chose the red pill…Buses are really scarce on the route I take for college…usually the mini bus is the preference as you get a seat (but the trade off is that it takes longer to reach the exide crossing) but when in a time crunch CSTC bus is the one I choose (though passengers are stuffed into those buses like anything)…so sacrificing my comfort for speed, I took CSTC bus no.5…to further nip off travel time, a shuttle cab (from exide to college) seemed essential. (Finding a shuttle cab ain’t easy… had to entice a driver into driving to college)

9:10 am> still standing there, I didn’t move an inch… contemplating my next move

9:12 am> found myself seated at the cornermost table. “Life sucks and how!” didn’t feel like going back home right away so I ordered a coke and chicken samosa (which is just a misnomer because the chicken’s a blink n miss)

9:16 am> still nibbling at the samosa and sipping coke; I felt like a jack-ass...had to kill time somehow…willy nilly I began observing my surrounding …

                                           < to be concluded >

Friday, February 12, 2010

Quick 10: A verbal duel which never took place...

They say “Silence is golden especially when it’s the professor who’s shooting the question”…

The following Q&A takes place between a motor mouth Prof and a student who is in the Prof's crosshair and is being peppered by rhetoric questions. As per the norm, he remains mute but chooses to answer the questions within himself…

1)Prof: “For the pain I take in lecturing you on such complex subject, I think I deserve a pin-drop silence. Can I have it?”
S: Then you should keep mum too…in order to have a pin drop silence in the class. Btw the use of 4 "I"s in your rant explains the egotist in you.

2) Prof: “Isn’t this (topic) engaging enough to cajole you into using your ears rather than mouth?”
S: Is that a trick question? cuz, on using my ears to effect, the topic goes in through one and goes out of the other...BTW, did you mention Kajol?? She's my fave!

3) Prof: “Let me tell you that these things are important from exam point of view. Don’t you care?”
S: Certainly Sir!! I hereby earmark these notes to be placed in the loo on the D-day

4) Prof: “Your indifference to studies displays your lax attitude towards society. Do you plead guilty?”
S: Me, Lax??? Sez who? Timely addas, hangouts, get togethers, booze parties etc. are indicative of our indulgence and concern for society. We have single handedly kept weed/liquor industry alive & kicking. We stay up till wee hours to cope up with our hectic schedule.

5) Prof: “Any idea about how much the government is spending on your education?”
S: I googled it once, got the figures but the math for the spending per student got a bit complicated. But I do know about the 2 crores that were siphoned off. Must admit that it was a masterpiece on your………

6)Prof:  “You are answerable to the public whose hard earned money you are blowing. How do you feel about that?”
S:  Aren't you answerable too?? Are you being paid to rip-off that textbook onto the board?? the way I see it, I should feel no different from what you do.

7) Prof: “How dare you think that your don’t –give- a- damn care-freeness would be patronized by me?”
S: Let’s say after a rational, judicious and logical consideration! Take a chill pill dude!

8) Prof: “You’ll sweat trying to mug up these notes which are being taught to you so lucidly, so how about paying some attention here?”
 S: I tried to pay “attention” but it says “we accept only cash/card”

9) Prof: “What kind of engineer do you aspire to become with such inferior technical aptitude?”
 S: Are you kiddin’ me? Engineers? Hah….skilled labor should have been more appropriate.

10)Prof: “ I’ll make sure that my assessment of your poor conduct in class reaches your parents. How do you think they’ll react?”
 S: Depends on who’s more adept at bluffing…

                                 *                 *                  *

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A fleeting respite from ennui...

“The absence of stress is synonymous with the presence of boredom”…and Boy! Am I bored! After spending the latter half of 2009 under bone crushing stress, I feel there’s a lull around me…that’s so hideous of life…gotta be wary about the future.As always, the sticky situations must be waiting just round the corner, ganged up, ready to pounce…
                                **              **               **
So here I was, trying desperately to concentrate on jotting down whatever the Professor was spewing, when an occasional glance out of the window got me transfixed upon a human form gracefully walking with confident measured steps and at a pace which suggested she’s (Oh yes! a PYT) a woman of the world and had things under her fingertips; that coupled with her poise + body language made the view quite engaging to be precise. Her hair tied up neatly, apparently no make-up, that casual tee n jeans combo and from my position I could give a ball park figure of her vital stats. Her topography was commendable by any standards. So, even as these thoughts bubbled inside me she continued the walk in slow-mo or so it appeared and was soon going to be out of visual range. This realization sank my heart a li’l ... dejected I turned around to find my professor staring at me. “If you have any urge of going outside, you may go ahead <after a brief pause> but forget your attendance…” Needless to say, I felt like darting out leaving behind a “Thank You so much, Sucker!” but courage failed me yet again. Attendance is what justifies me braving those stupid classes + it never pays to irk a professor in an autonomous government college, quite similar to challenging a lion in its own den.
Thus, I let this “la belle femme” slip by…The silver lining in all this: managed to chuck out 2 of those 45 minutes of sheer, unadulterated boredom.

*P.S.: Eventually found out that she’s an MBA student and has a full-time muse + a wannabe boyfriend to her credit. Looks like I’m not the only one with an eye for aesthetics :(

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The First Gate

Every morning I get off the bus with my eyes on the first gate entrance to our university wondering, "What is it that takes me past those iron gates into a dominion where my spirit involuntarily gets itself chained for the better half of the day?"…can’t help murmuring, “What a waste!!” I feel rapidly sucked into the daily monotony of academics.
Yeah, you may call this a hackneyed lamenting but that’show it is. Did you say why not bunk? Well, haven’t got the balls to skip classes at will…call it the fear of authorities if you want to but I have seen so many fallen dudes who were kicked out of the session for want of attendance and their pleas for pardon got lost in the red tape of our alma mater. For PESU Zhibpur, its infrastructure/academics is the best and its bureaucracy the worst.

On a not-so-introspective day, I approach the gate with the resolve of taking "adversities" in stride, of being at the helm of things, of milking the most out of the 9 hours spent in the cam...“Crap!!” a dollop of bird-poop lands on my body…after that the rest of the day passes smoothly swearing/cussing at one and all. Have you ever wondered why bird poop is white?? not that I've a problem with it…just curious…gotta check it out on Google

Come to think of it, for BEings "First Gate" is not just an entrance. To define it loosely, lets say it's a student's utopia but that's so long as you are beyond university premises. It ain't just a cast iron gate, even the adjoining entities fall under the same header. Half a dozen dhabas, UBI (Usually Broke and Impaired) and ICICI ATM, Sanjay Da’s grocery, cyber cafes, medicos, saloons etc. burst into life after class-hours, teeming with professors, staff and students. You will find that time flies in these places as you are pulled into impromptu conversations, chatting with the locals, “bird-watching”…that’s the only time when I find my day worthwhile.

With a slight personification, this gate has witnessed hunger strikes, students beating each other to pulp, media briefing, campaign, sim card vendors, banners, water logging, visiting President & dignitaries and so much more...it is integral to the history of this Institution, an "old stager"... yet, from what I perceive, it’s nothing but an iron contraption through which I find myself entering everyday with a heavy heart and my heart skipping a beat (out of exhilaration, of course) while exiting.

Hmmn…Mr. First Gate …there you are, lookin so impeccant with that angelic white paint and a tree flanked walk beyond, so knavishly cloaking those hideous buildings wherein life’s such a drag…