Thursday, December 29, 2011

The South Zone Experience

I knew I was committing to something which ran strictly against my beliefs, when I gave a nod to Baby sir. The prospect of spending an entire week with a group of relatively unknowns did not tempt me.  Add to that the disappointment of missing out on arts.
Honestly speaking the journey didn’t start off in the best possible manner either. Was terribly early for the train owing to some mis-communication.  And when I realized I was going to spend the next 24 x 7 with people whom I had seemingly no similarities with, I was completely overwhelmed by an urge to get down at the next railway station and just leave. But I’m glad I didn’t, cause the train ride to Chennai turned out to be very interesting to say the least. Infact it was a teaser to what the south zone would finally do to me – break the conventions. The journey alongside Kerala’s unique ‘Bharatapuzha’ was not spent looking for Pulitzers. Instead we talked loud, shook the entire compartment with our ‘naadan paatu’ and gave the fellow travelers one hell of a time.

We did not really have to reach Satyabama to get the initial impressions. Apparently the only place in the college where a boy and girl can be seen together is the college bus. Just on the emblem outside though. Inside there is a strong iron rod separating the two sections. I wonder if they put curtains in there as well!
Satyabama is a weird college to say the very least. They don’t allow mobile phones, have separate ‘everything’ [ from food courts to hand wash] for boys and girls, sizzling fountains[ quite ironical really, cause they also have bathrooms without water]. Add to that some dumb management, which spells ‘block’ as ‘black’ [ I suppose the blame goes to the pronunciation ], which requires the permission of the HOD to take a printout, and who considers trousers to be ‘against their culture’. Unlike the contemporary engineering colleges which have cameras installed to watch what the students are upto, the folks at Satyabama believes in a more ‘supreme’ power- MGR.  There are portraits of the great actor  everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE! Its almost like “ Beware rascala: MGR is watching you.”
The real problem with Satyabama was not their strictness though. Every college has their set of rules. Infact they were willing to do anything under the sun, provided they were allowed to do it in their own way. Where else on Earth would you be provided with a bed and attached bathroom for a fest of this magnitude? What they failed to realize was the whole essence of the fest. These were some of the brightest talents in the country competing.  An assemblage of South India’s best not outcasts.  A platform to meet and share. If only they would’ve realized this and sought advice from anyone who’s been an integral part of these fests. Killed the infinitely many restrictions they had employed. Brought unbiased judges and quizmasters who knew what they were doing!
Conducting classical music inside a hall that’s 16 degrees away from freezing point was not wise.  Hosting the folk/tribal music and the quiz competition simultaneously in venues that shares a wall wasn’t brainstorming either. Too many silly glitches that could’ve been avoided.
But the story of 27th south zone has nothing to do with these insignificant flaws. Or the infinite dogs and buses that haunts the college. It’s a story of love, how strangers became a family.  Of discovery. A tale about team spirit. The joy of winning. And most importantly the spirit of losing. The attitude some of my friends showed when they were clearly hard done by. Priceless lessons for life. You don’t become a genius sitting under an apple tree. The amount of practise everyone puts in is something one should witness first hand. Add to the dedication their passion. Infact my team mate and I would sit there in that corner of block 7, watch the mime practice in complete awe and then feel guilty about not doing anything ourselves.
Another highlight of the whole journey would be that night when our team decided to serve food for the sub-staff in the college. Satyabama is a mini-nazi camp. From drivers to cleaners, there must be more than 1500 under-paid staff inside the college. And to them, being served was an out of the world experience. Many had tears in the eye when we talked to them. Sometimes it’s good to know that, in the big scheme of things, we are all just human beings.
When I broke freethat murky evening at Mcleod Ganj from the rest of the gang, I thought being alone and having the world to yourself was the ultimate experience. Today, I sit in front of my laptop a changed man because now I realize that happiness is only real when shared. Those walks in search of tea and the happiness when one gets a bonus 'vada'. The backstage before the skit. That makeshift procession. Those ‘evaluation’ sessions in the night where the 'seniors' kept reminding us about the 'south zone' spirit. Crawling through Sholinganallur in search of 'Rasamalai' and the reactions after seeing the bill. All rich memories of togetherness.  The week has transformed me.  Moreover  I got to  know that ‘Hubli’ sells incredible shorts, why madras filter coffee is the world’s best,  ‘Kollegala’ dance is groovier than samba and the answer to the autograph book question “ the best moments in your life so far.”
Iconic journey if ever there was one.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


To sound poetic when the topic you are writing on in is the ‘ Indian railways’, is tough. Especially when the not-so-fond memories of the last time you had to use the ‘loo’ comes rushing into the mind. Or the distinct nauseating odour of Lord knows what that haunts the entire train. We do have the dirtiest trains in the world. But there is something about these trains, a feeling that lacks a proper adjective, that makes you excited each time you make a journey.  Something very uniquely ‘Indian’.
My earliest memory would be that of the ‘passenger’ (shuttle) train ride with my grandparents to the Thrissur district.  A ride that had more to do with the rail moving ‘backwards’ than us moving front.  And I used to sit in the corner of a seat  or sometimes even in the space between the legs of some kind strangers, imagining a ‘flat world’ and the roaring train coming to end at some mysterious place.

Life moved on. Aristotle's deduction , the concept of ‘relative motion’ et al. were stuffed into our systems.  But train rides only got better. The Thiruvananthapuram journeys  to conquer a certain ‘I.T’ quiz with fellow comrades.  And then a series of college fests and the ‘iconic journey’ .
The key to enjoying  the train ride is to be the silent observer and not the participant. Engage yourself in a conversation and you’ll soon find yourself having to listen to some random person’s take on the nuclear bill or the lunar hoax(this is personal experience talking).  Shy away into a corner, perhaps with a book or an ear phone as a precautionary measure, and watch the world through the five iron grills that usually makes up the ‘window’.
I’ve read poems and stories about trains before. About ‘giant centipedes’ crawling through different terrains. Ripping the forests, bringing light to the long dark tunnels and so on. But that to me is just a part of the story.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A train ride is worth a thousand Pulitzers, if only could frame every second.  The story of that rubber plantation worker tapping the tree who stared at you. The kid missing his milk teeth who waved at you. The station master with his green flag in a remote village. The man whose job is to ensure that ‘those’ long dark tunnels are safe .  The odd man eying the transgender seductively. The hopeful fisherman. Women queuing up to get their buckets filled with water. Storks making life easier for a buffalo. Hundreds singing like possessed beings to the Lord almighty. The ‘ayyappa’ devotee  drying his clothes on the ceiling fan. The gypsy man carrying his wife of his shoulders as they cross the railway line. The people moving in synchronization with the train's sound. The stories are endless..
And the train? It moves on. Leaving all that as just mere memories. At some point its just an inanimate object that symbolizes a human life so beautifully. The dirty, old engine just keeps on running. Never wanting to stop or look back.  What does India strive for ? Communal harmony? What is India? Unity in diversity? And suddenly that image of a train tearing through societies comes into your mind. Muslims or Christians. Biharis or Malayalis.
To call our trains a mere mode of transport would be a serious failure in understanding what it really is. This is life. Brutal, honest and impartial as it can ever be.  And it is also life to many. From people  who survive by selling plastic bottles that travelers throw away to authors who sell their own books. 

“Pazham pori, uzhunnu vada …”. I looked at my hands, smiled to myself and asked for two. EACH.
                                                                          ---- Venad Express. 13/12/11  (signed with an oily hand)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Paranormal Diaries 2

That night I had dreams. Long, dark, disturbing ones....
Natalie Portman was performing a ballet to what sounded like a strange Samba music played on bass guitars. The tempo kept increasing dramatically and the dance became wilder as it tried in vain to convey some message to me. Gradually the song started sounding more like an intense Tango. And then her eyes turned red., a deep red that looked like oxygen starving blood, as she started mimicking the motions of a snake. Fascinatingly she kept her eyes fixed on mine...
I was back home. Something started moving beneath the couch. Rat snakes. But it seemed to be scared of something else. Suddenly there were snakes everywhere. I tried shouting at the mysterious person inside my house to escape but he just stood there. And then a colossal of a snake came out of my bedroom and started chasing me. It was night and nobody seemed to hear my loud cries for help as I ran with the scampering rat snakes. Oddly though, I could see the snake chasing me as I ran. It was as if I was running backwards in full speed.
"Turn your head Nevin..Look where you are running to...Give in. We love you...." , a voice kept repeating, as the snake reached striking distance.
I woke up. The phone was been ringing. It showed 'Revathy calling..'. That was strange. I hadn't talked to her since my 6th grade. What an odd time to call. But it also felt good in a way. I used to be in love with her voice. And right now I could use with someone being sweet to me. What a peculiar dream.
Revathy kept saying something but I couldn't comprehend. She was speaking in English, at a reasonable pace but however I tried, I couldn't make out what she was saying. I kept asking her to repeat but she went on as if she couldn't hear me. Lord what was happening to me? And then the words started becoming clearer.

My hours are slumberless,
Dearest the shadows
I live with are numberless
Little white flowers will
never awaken you
Not where the black coach
of sorrow has taken you
Angels have no thought of
ever returning you
Would they be angry
if I thought of joining you....

Revathy! Why on Earth are you singing 'Gloomy Sunday'? , I asked.
Silence. Nobody replied. Revathy? The silence seemed very different. Not the sense of emptiness or calmness. It was as if somebody was playing a recorded tape of 'silence' on the other side of the phone.
And suddenly , a voice broke the harmony.
Nevin, this is Peter Roebuck. The world is coming to an end.

The next day Peter Roebuck committed suicide. Revathy called.                                 [ to be contd.... ]

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Yet Another Mullaperiyar Story

It occurred to me one cold night [ the 'fine morning' part was starting to sound boring ] that having a 'swimming utilities' shop would mean quick money. Tectonic plates were moving in Idukki and there was panic everywhere I looked. People, who in their entire lives hadn't put more than Rs 50/- worth petrol inside their bike's fuel tank were now filling it upto the brim. Suddenly there was money to be spent. I even called up my friend who works in the insurance sector and inquired if it would be possible to rename any of their existing accidental policies as "mullaperiyar policy". Would sell like hot egg bajjis at Payyappilly's that!
And that was it. I had finally devised a plan to piss my friend ('a save Mullaperiyar through FB warrior') off. Surprisingly though, she liked the idea. According to her research, there would be 20 feet of water at Edappally if the unfortunate event happens. And that strangely implied goggles + insurance. Infact she urged me to find out more about it and inform her so that she could pass it on to her fellow FB warriors.
Depressed by the fact that I couldn't antagonize my friend I decided to switch on the TV for entertainment. Fascinatingly after 5 minutes of persistent channel swapping, I found myself comparing the Mullaperiyar saga with the previous cricket world cup. Such was the intensity. Special programs about the 999 pact. Interviews with Sohan Roy who got terribly lucky with the timing of his movie's release. Predictions by scientists and seismologists. And the media coming up with their own conclusions, which at times were completely contradictory to what their expert panel had found.
There is no disagreeing the fact that Mullaperiyar requires serious attention. Millions of lives at stake, both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The dam might not break tomorrow but it will someday. So it is a good thing to milk the sudden outrage and get a dam built, than sit quiet and die someday. As most Keralites know, the Mullaperiyar has a been time bomb for quite a while now. So the protests are more than justified.
What irritates me is the exploitation of the issue by certain organizations and individuals for their own benefits. Not many have been outrageous enough to suggest goggles and insurances but everyone seems keen on making the most out of the 'fear factor' that has completely devoured the people of Kerala. Politicians and media going to intolerable levels is not a new thing. That is how it has been since time immemorial.

Though I never voluntarily joined any Mullaperiyar group, I am a member of atleast 6 different groups in Facebook with the very same objective in mind. Like everybody else in Kerala, I wanted to know more so I decided to stay and for the first time paid attention to every single post  that popped up. Initially it was intriguing. Nobody knew what would happen but everyone realized the need to be insurgent and loud. Then it became a necessity. Everyone you cared about were in it. So you had to be in too. And then it became spam. Not because I suddenly started believing in Jayalalithaa's obtuse attitude or Idukki dam's new found strength. When I look inside these 'groups' what I see is 'chaos'. I've read at least 3 completely different versions of 'what to do' when the dam breaks. Seen immensely disturbing photos and videos of submerged  buildings and people dying in the Tsunami attack morphed into its 'Kerala' equivalent by talented artists. I understand their sentiments. Nobody wants another catastrophe. But December 26, 2004 is a scar we are still fighting hard to remove. Please don't alter these pictures or UNICEF's poster against water pollution, put your name or your facebook page's link on it and post in the Mullaperiyar forum. Its distressing and unfair. This act of  exploiting the public sentiment is unethical, outrageous and at times disgusting.

To idolize Bono is not a wrong thing. Most singers do at some point or the other. But the totally unrelated ' Oru Meeshakaryam' by one of Kochi's most promising band is yet another classic example of people trying to make the most out of the situation. Initially they brought out the song as a protest against the poor quality of Kerala roads. It didn't really click. So they are back again with the same old song. I suppose Elton John pulled it off with Monroe and Lady Diana. No reason they can't.

And then colleges and their 'eco' clubs come up with painting competitions. I do understand the apprehension and I appreciate the fact that  people are doing something about it. But why put the name of the college in it?  Stop making the most out of the issue for heaven sake!
If at all the dam breaks Tamil Nadu is going to suffer as well. Today we are playing the game precisely the way they want us to. In the rush, we would sign a dumb treaty for the next 400 years and then what? What if Kerala becomes dry next year and suddenly there is a need for the Mullaperiayar water?
I usually like to leave the readers confused but at the moment even I am confused. And the same goes for the entire Kerala. Nobody is sure. Nobody knows. At this point of time, its important that we forget our differences, preferences and stick together under one name- Kerala. What we require is ONE loud voice. Not umpteen small ones funded by corporates and organizations. And there are things we students can do that does not require spamming. Why not start a database and collect the name and addresses of the all the families volunteering to lend their multi-storied homes. Why not think of new ways to communicate like the Ham radio?  But then I seriously hope none of this is required.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paranormal diaries 1

No I don't believe in ghosts. Which probably explains why I ended up at the Edappally church's cemetery at 1 in the night. I wanted a sensational story for my blog and the greenish lights they had at the place would do brilliantly on a frame. Or so I had thought. Nothing happened. Ghosts did not rise up from the dead and dance to Iron Maiden. Nor did my ancestors pop up and advise me on what I should do [ now that would've been scary]. Yet I managed to sit there for two hours. Tried everything I could think off with the camera. And finally came back home depressed.
The next night I did think about the cemetery though, as I struggled hard to find sleep, which was odd considering the minimal sleep I had had. And when I turned to the other side I saw a strange figure in my brother's bed. I jumped, almost broke the headboard and hit the sharp edges of a rusted door knob as I struggled to turn on the lights. Clothes! A pile of them. Laziness had convinced me earlier to leave them on the other bed instead of folding and now I was paying the price. The wound was deep too. In the shape of a lightning. "Well done Harry Potter :-/ ", I thought, as I made my way to the toilet to get the after-shave. This had never happened to me before ...
That was when I noticed my reflection. I did look as if I had seen a ghost- pale and panic stricken. The image terrified me. Was I really that scared? Of what? I could still go the cemetery if I wanted to do. Wait. Did I really go there? Was I dreaming? Why is the world so still and silent?
As if to answer my question the German Shepard next door started whining. My thoughts flew to an incident that I've always tried to forget.
Early sixth grade. The police inspector next door had brought home a new dog. Every night he would whine and howl, probably upset about his new home. And mom used to get terribly upset about it. My brother and I tried reasoning with her but she kept saying something was wrong. There is a belief. Dogs howl when they hear souls cry. A soul knows about 'death' or any 'physical damage' much before the actual incident. And it cries. Probably in a frequency that we men can't detect but dogs can, my father had reasoned. which resulted in a roar of laughter and a change of topic that night. The very next day our neighbour who had been doing his engineering final year was killed in a tragic road accident. Nobody talked about that night ever again. And the dog never whined...
By now I was completely disturbed. I was not sure whether I had closed the balcony door and thought I'd go check. I didn't turn on the lights though. I somehow didn't want to. As I ascended the stairs an odour hit my nose. Long forgotten yet very refreshing. Infact quite a 'nostalgic' smell. One I used to love a long time back. One I had fond memories of. Two more steps and it finally clicked. Mom's old 'Jasmin Eua de Parfum'.  But from where in the world was it coming to me now?  I hadn't seen a bottle since..hmmm I don't know, sixth grade? I looked at the open door, brilliantly lit by the tube light in the street and found myself a little scared again. The November wind was consistently disturbing the curtain beside the open door  and it reminded me of another fear I had locked away in my brains for quite a long while. When I was young I used to imagine every night that an invisible force would be waiting for me behind the balcony door.
Somehow I found myself drunk in anxiety as I approached the door. Nothing dramatic happened though. The neighborhood stood still as I waited for the imperceptible force to grab me. The scene was very odd. It reminded me of the umpteen instances when you walk into a non welcoming group and get the silent 'stare' from everyone. It seemed as if the world was urging me to close the damn door so that they can get back their normal selves.

That night I had dreams.....                                                                                         [To be contd..]

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Female paradox

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created themGenesis 1:27 [ No wonder people struggle to understand God. How can they if the 'female' kind is an image of Himself ]

Just as there are finger prints, there are women in this world. Unique and incredibly complex.  A casual trip to Veegaland [ a.k.a Wonder La ] is what has inspired me to write this note. An year ago I was in love.  Yes ,Yes. submerged in the sea of love. And I still remember pushing my 2 month old punto to the very same amusement park and the subsequent romantic evening, as if it happened yesterday.  For an average Indian desperate male, even the role of a driver can be a very stimulating experience.
Here I am now, sitting 'single' in the balcony of my house, struggling through Dr.John Gray's "  Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. "  [ Trust me.  One must be VERY disturbed to read that sort of crap ]
Men may prove that E= Mc^2 is wrong. Might travel backwards to see the big bang. Create a restaurant at the end of the universe.  But when it comes to women, men will always remain clueless. 
Do NOT 'assume' a girl to be like your guy friend. It never works. A sentence, a phrase, a word, for that matter even the colour of your T-shirt can be interpreted in infinitely different ways by her. 
For example : SMS Scenario # 1

Girl : Hey whaddup? [ Apparently there is no such thing as grammar and spelling when girls text. Don't try replying in the same manner though. ]
Guy : *writing an assignment * What else is UP on a hot sunday afternoon :-/
No reply
No reply
Guy : Err alive ?
No reply
Guy: Hei!

Guy goes to the 'sent items' . Retrospection beings.
Guy: *to himself*  Damn. Shouldn't have used the bloody emoticon.  Oh shoot. was 'UP' in caps. She must've assumed I was terribly corny. The sentence does look terrible and not cute. Lord!

Next day morning 

Girl: Never EVER talk to me like that. 
Guy: Hei I'm sorry, I did not mean to be corny.
Girl: What corny you moron! When someone asks you something ALWAYS reply positively like " Hei I am doing good," and then ask " how are you? " , understand? I was feeling terribly low yesterday. And you? Always cruel !!!

Unpredictability runs in their blood. Tell a girl ' I love you 'and you are being mushy and boring; don't and a message will come someday, saying " if only you had said how much you loved me BACK THEN." With women, even expecting the unexpected won't work.
Pamper them- you are being possessive; give them the space and freedom- you don't have enough time for them. Be stubborn and frank - you are the chauvinist;  adjust - you have no backbone.

Which reminds me of a story my granny once told me. After death one goes to this purgatory [ or hades or Limbo or whatever it is called ]. Below is Hell, Heaven above.  There would be a rope connecting you to heaven. Thickness of rope directly proportional to your good deeds. Initial thickness is equal to the width of your hair[ so shampoo your hair regularly].  If the rope breaks while you are climbing , you fall down into hell [ and hence working out wouldn't be a bad idea].
Lets assume that heaven in the story means a happy,satisfied girl. Chances of you 'reaching' there are as slim as that rope. So only make an attempt when you are sure that your hair is strong and that 'heaven' is worth the trouble. Hell as we all know is quite simply hell.
There are examples wherever you look. Take Sorjini Naidu's " Queen's rival ", the story of the unsatisfied queen Gulnaar.  Her husband does everything possible but she still says "O King, my heart is unsatisfied." Until one fine morning her kid snatches the mirror from her. Talk about making the King, a complete ass! Women are complicated.
Think Cleopatra of Egypt, Helen of Troy[Sparta]. All mean self-centered women who made men go crazy. But somehow my mind keeps jumping to that utterly insignificant scene in Nicolas Cage's ' It could happen to you' when Muriel's Indian architect says " Women! You can't live with them. OR without them! " And that will always be the case. Perplexing She might well be, but Men will always be fascinated.

A woman can say more in a sigh than a man can say in a sermon.  ~Arnold Haultain

PS: This is a very personal blog .Attempts at "being funny", as i like to call them.  Do NOT take the contents seriously. In fact I do think guys are worse. [ which should be quite evident from the post :P ]

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The grammar rule

It all happened when, one fine morning [ anything after 12 a.m is morning right? ] I decided to write an article. Nothing bizarre about that. And I wrote. The dumb, emotional stuff I usually write. What I like to call ' personal '.  The next day morning I sent the article to a couple of friends. They all gave me the 'thumbs up', so I published . Strangely though, I actually bothered reading the article again and that was when this strange new phobia of mine started. Grammar.
Right now, I'm sitting here in front of my monitor reading the last paragraph and thinking " oh wait.  Should it be " what I've always liked to call " or " what I liked to call " or anything else?" [ was I even allowed to put double quotes inside double quotes? Too much of 'Inception' I guess :-/. Wait a minute. 'was' I or 'am' I ? ]
That is what confidence can do to you. Mine has been shattered . Regular readers of the blog were mailing me about the 'weird grammar' and I somehow couldn't reply. Because I didn't know what was happening. I still don't [ Btw, I know that you aren't allowed to start a sentence with 'because'. That was just me at my dramatic best (or worst). ]  There is this incredible urge inside me to hit the back space , forget about the article and go to Facebook instead.
Initially I tried seeking relief by telling myself ' it was just an off day.' But people started talking about it more and more. Some even went on to label the article as somebody else'. [ I have no clue as to what their intentions might have been  but it certainly was reassuring from my side. They at least believed I could do better ]
Sadly though, I've always performed better when theres lesser expectations surrounding me. Which is why I took to writing in the first place. I realized I was poor in math a long time back. But when you are the son of a mathematics post-grad and a father who has always wanted his son to be the best engineer the world has ever produced, people somehow expect mathematics to be in your genes. In fact even I did at times. Some three and a half years back, I tried telling my people that I wanted to become a writer.  Initially it was 'dining table  laugh it off ' material, but when I actually bothered to apply for a course in a reputed arts college things got a little serious. Finally they made me this offer " Study engineering for four years. And do whatever you want after that ." I could've easily forced the move my heart desired unlike what the majority of my friends think.  However, a portion of the brain kept insisting that I take up engineering. Simply because it was the easier option. And I can always write. Mom gets complimentary diaries all the time. Do I regret the decision? How am I to say that? But I've always relished having lesser burden around. And nobody thought I could write.
Which is why I am over whelmed by this sudden heap of 'grammar' mails thrown at me. Since when did people start 'expecting' things from me? I write in my silly blog and keep to myself don't I?[ At least most of the times :P ] Whatever grammar I have, came naturally to me. Maybe from that "genius" creature thing Liz Gilbert talked about. I don't give a damn about past,present,perfect,future combinations. Neither do I know anything about it. Outrageous as it may seem, I use the Wren & Martin as my mouse pad these days.
Now that I've started putting an effort into getting my grammar correct, writing is a struggle. I am forced to press the back space more than what I like doing [ Just for the sake of it, I sometimes use the delete button these days :-/ ] Another problem you face as a writer is the fact that you already know what you are going to write. Once I updated my facebook status as  " the thin love between love and hate." I swear I looked at it atleast 20 times and found nothing wrong. Until a friend pointed out that it ought to be " the thin line between.." Your mind somehow reads 'what you intended' and not exactly what you wrote.

I don't know what is happening to me but I am no longer the 'free bird' Lynyrd Skynyrd sang about [ I do believe I am all that at times :D ]. I am hoping Mr. Grammar comes back to me as soon as possible. Right now , its all sweat and toil.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

News OF The World? Or FOR the World?

Lets get it straight. We all love reading really good juicy stories. Be it Sarkozy , Berlusconi or Shane Warne. Even princess Diana.  So why was it that when a certain Hugh Grant came out with his 'bugging the bugger' one felt incredibly moved? That when he expressed his concerns all nodded in agreement?
I suppose the immediate answer would be " he is Hugh Grant after all. Mr Notting Hill! He can't be wrong." But when Roy Greenslade's column hit 'The Guardian' questioning the professionalism of Britian's loved one, concluding that " nothing sells like celebrity " we were yet again moved. Especially since it came from 'The Guardian' which played a huge role in bringing the story of Rupert Murdoch and 'NOW' into limelight.
How do we draw a line between constructive journalist investigation and privacy intrusion? Can media abide by the law and bring out these news?

As Indians we have always kept the lives of our celebrities as discreet as possible. From former prime ministers to cricket team captains things haven't been exactly 'saintly'. But when the 'Open' magazine exposed  transcripts of conversations between two iconic journalists and Niira Radia, an age old belief was shattered. Indian media is not as clean as it seems. As if to underline this very fact , Rajdeep Sardesai was spotted admitting " Murdochs were more than inspirational to many of us in India" just after the 'Hacking Story' hit the world by storm.
So how good and reliable is our media?
Deep water horizon (BP) oil spill. Common wealth scam. 2G. Cash for Vote. What all these show is how influential media is in our day to day lives. When Tony Hayward , then CEO of BP, dismissed the spill as "tiny compared to the size of the ocean" it was the media which pressurized and ultimately forced even the likes of President Obama to proclaim "He wouldn't be working for me after any of those statements." The Media is more often right unless its focus is on page 3 material where mistakes are seen as a necessity. And to get to the news they might require ‘journalistic process’ as Barkha Dutt would call it. As much as I would have liked to question the methodology and ethics involved I somehow saw the point she was trying to convey. Getting dirty news just ain't easy. Sometimes we had to play dirty too.
That was until the Murdochs came into the picture. Creating news was quite different from covering it. The world was suddenly apprehensive. How safe are we? ' Thank Heavens I'm not a celebrity,' I thought as I lay in my bed one night wooing the Sleep.
The next day morning the first thing I read was a completely misconstrued version of an event that had happened at my college hostel. A bunch of my batchmates, who ironically was at the police station helping a friend who had had a motor accident at the time, were accused of having tried to kill the hostel warden along with other serious charges. The story went on to describe the warden as an honourable man when the truth was at the opposite pole. I've waited  for more than a month now expecting Manorama to come with an apology but nothing remotely close has come up.
Infact that was followed by articles claiming CUSAT to be unsafe. Then they came up with an outrageous column claiming MG university syllabus to be better than Cochin University, especially for placements. And then a farcical and incredibly biased piece on how everyone at a certain self-financing college were getting placed in companies. Troubled by what was going around I did make some inquires only to be told " Manorama has been doing this to us since the college's inception."
When communist leader and Member of Parliament Mr. P.Rajeev claimed, at a CITU conference, Manorama to be "writing for Oommen Chandy" , I was surprised by how almost everyone shared the same views as I did. Even more surprisingly though, nobody actually cared. I do not want to politicize the whole issue. What Manorama does Deshabimani and Kairali TV does better. What bothers me is how media has managed to loose all its credibility. Chances are that if I were to send a text to a news channel claiming to have seen Osama it will get published as headlines before actual research is done on the matter.
Is news these days simply a subset of sensationalism? The truth is news has always been so. If it didn't matter to us it wouldn't exactly be news. But the difference between a 30 minutes news twenty years ago in the DD channel to the non stop 24x7 news is what has led to the degrading standards. The difference being NOTHING. The media has to somehow ensure that the audience is engaged and this has led to more and more sensationalism  ultimately leading to 'News Of The World' being produced rather than being reported.
Media holds a great deal of power and therefore it should neither be a tool for a powerful organization to pull its string NOR should it be the independent dictator that plays with lives in search of extravagance.
Be it what may, as long as its people like Arnab Goswami, whose sole purpose on Earth is to interrupt people before they make their point, running the show, the future does not look good.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The World @ BIT rate

The article contains some explicit language. Do not read if you have heart problems!

I'm back at what I do best! Curse the world and the people in it. The latest of which is something that has been bothering me for quite a while now. "Since when did men start bitching about other people's lives?" The first thing I did was ask a girl. Always ask the experts they say. Apparently men have been bitching about other men since eternity. Its just that they've always been doing it with the opposite sex unlike the girl lot which reminded me of something that I read in Manu Joseph's "Serious Men". "A man can never be friends with another man." I found that a little difficult to digest back then but right now I am beginning to wonder if there is some truth in that. The fact of the matter is Men will do practically anything to sleep with the 'girlS' he desires. And we being men its always plural . But that is life. The Nature's way as you may call it.
Lets admit it, we've all been foolish. Like listen to Enrique or go in search of blue bangles in the streets of Manali. Even 'like'd different pages in Facebook just because the profile we stalk had 'like'd it. But what we don't do or rather what I thought we don't do is go tell Ms 'Sleep-worthy' everything that was discussed during last nights hangout on the terrace. When I say " Dude check her out, she is 34" , I don't expect you to go to Ms.17x2 and tell her about my awesome observational skills. Especially after the " 34? she is 32 man!" reply that you gave. That my friend is not what we guys do. What we do is talk non-sense, hang out, get drunk and then keep quiet on the 'throwing-up' part. I know how the leg shivers while in a private conversation with the woman your heart desires. And its just normal that you blurt out something you didn't want to. But to give a completely distorted version just to make someone look like an arse, that isn't really cool.
That was when I heard about the manager in a certain CAT coaching center, strangely named after one among the 7 dwarves of Snow White and how he broke a very good relationship. Whats even more strange is how women tends to believe these men. But then that is different. They are the female kind afterall.
Yes you might win the girl over. But in the long run the girl's going to realize how utterly boring you are. Plus there lies the fact that another person just like you might exist. And when you fall, it going to be deep and slow my friend. Remember the movie 300?
Do you know why a pretty girl keeps repeating " Oh how I wish I had a gay best friend " every now and then? No, its not their lust for threesome. ( or atleast in most cases ). Its because they like men who would bring them closer to the 'guy's world'. A world they can never be a part of. The Dumbass, fun crazy, fuck-the world freedom. You my bitching boy is an Elton John. The one they all love and believe. But will never bother sleeping with. Try mentioning what your heart wants and be sure to get the " Oh XYZ! Not YOU of all people. You are my best bud. blah blah blah..." which is why you are a gay-equivalent. And after that you will be the biggest sinner according to the lady. So WHY bother bitching in the first place?
We are the male-kind. The luckiest lot in the universe. Its perfectly fine if you find a girl attractive and that you don't want to keep anything from her. But make sure you tell her the TRUTH. Do not be scared in losing out. When you bitch about another guy, you are just expressing your apprehension about the lad. And the girl knows this. So tell her everything necessary, hide the guy world details and keep her excited. If a girl is listening to you even after all the bitching it only shows she is interested.So do it the right way!
Btw I do believe number of simultaneous GFs >2 is real uncool.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Being Human Being

At the age of ten, when the world around her went to schools, Ammini took to housework , moving from one house to another, running that burly coconut broomstick across different yards and washing clothes of many who live no more. I once asked her why she did that to which she casually replied " Back then 10 year olds were 'grown-up' enough. And this was what we were destined to do. My mom did this. My sister does this. Its our trade." Remarkably, 43 years since that day when she walked into a house wearing the tiny blouse and the customary 'lungi', she still goes strong surviving on that black coffee she consumes every morning before going to the late Gopalan Nair's house.

Ammini aunty, as i call her, has been a part of my life ever since I moved to Edappally in my first grade, watching me grow into the person I am today. Famous for her ability at collecting every single news surrounding the region, she holds a very high position in every rich housewives' heart.
What bothers me now is that after some 15 years of coming to our house she cried today. She was talking to my mom and weeping at the same time. And this plucked my heart out because behind all that 'Narada' act, she has always portrayed a mettle of iron.
Being married to a drunkard is difficult. Having a married son who still keeps demanding money every month, even more so. Add to that the woes of sharing the about-to-fall-apart house with a 40+ spinster and a mother who is bed ridden. People kill themselves for lot lesser. Yet she has always faced the challenges head on with that tenacious attitude.
A month ago her son Vinoo had come asking for money again. To buy a golden bangle for a friend's daughter's first birthday. Ammini aunty couldn't see the sense in buying a bangle for a distant friend and refused to lend any money. Not that she had any to spare. Vinoo bought the bangle though. And refused to show his mom.
Why an ostensibly small reason broke a person who has faced far worse apart, throws light on the fact that we are all ultimately humans. We have a heart. We all have similar stories encompassing our lives. Chronicles that might seem trivial in this big world. But what these seemingly ordinary lives sometimes portray is what makes human beings astonishingly unique. A 'will' to survive and an ability to love and forgive. Ammini will move on. Vinoo will come again next month and demand money. And she will work hard to ensure that the lives depending on her also moves forward.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

UNPLUGGED: insignificance of another life

UNPLUGGED: insignificance of another life: "This article is in no way aimed at a certain religion or caste. Religion as we all know is vast topic and its impact on our lives even bigge..."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

food,travel and living: The Enigma drive

food,travel and living: The Enigma drive: "When my friend said he had discovered a small shingle near Paravaoor[Kochi,Kerala] which was better than both Cherai and Munambam, it was h..."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Its 3 HOURS again :-/

11-07-11: NOS lab

The thing with these big production houses is that they make really wonderful movies, cash in big time and then create a below par sequel(s) ( or prequel(s) as seems the trend these days ) and ruin everything good about the initial product. But the fact that they keep doing it, mixed with the age old truth that faculty at cusat sucks must be why I'm looking at the screen and thinking " oh God! Its 3 HOURS again!"
One can easily fall into believing that the transition from windows 2000 to Ubuntu, and the change in teacher in charge [ form VK boss to Kutti Srank ] would bring a drastic to change how '3 hours' is handled. And to a certain extend it has. Its now less 'Kandhahar' and more Daniel Pearl. More staring at a screen and less looking down at the floor. Terrorism still prevails though.
The weird thing about 'cusat labs' is that you are ALWAYS expected be on time and in full uniform regardless of the fact your teachers seem to be living in a different time zone. India is very huge after all! But if you are late one day [ which is like real late cause the teachers are late and so if u are late you must be really really late .. err you get the point ] be prepared to face the 'wrath of the Gods'.
I wear a bluish-grey jeans to lab one day and Thallachi goes all savage on me. That, when everybody else in the lab is wearing a black jeans :-/ . I suppose that is the 'sin' I did. Her relentless shouting, got really vile at times. So I made up the corniest of excuses, " err Ma'am, the pant wasn't dry ! ", and turned around to see fresh morning sun light pierce through the curtain unsettling every bit of dust that seemed to be around. GULP!
And guess what Thallachi replies? "Yeah. I know what that feels like. Even my kids face the same problem. Your mom must be working. Its a problem with the institution and the society and..[ i think she mentioned vice chancellor once] .Do one thing , write an apology letter and attend the lab!"
So I tear a piece of paper and scribble :
" Respected Ma'am;
I'm sincerely sorry for the 'wet pants'. I promise not to wash clothes again during the weekdays. I'll ensure that i don't commit such mistakes again in the lab. I hope you treat me with all the compassion and kindness of a mother and accept this apology.

Yours faithfully, NT.
Thats cusat for you. Certain 3 hours in your life here can be completely worthless.And quite extraneous!
Squeak + screech. Great. That must be ma'am. " NEVIN!.."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Priority and moving on!

I guess it would've been evident by now that i am incapable of writing an article from a neutral perspective. I write purely on what I've learned from my own silly life and from the others that surround me. Please don't take the examples seriously its purely been put in there to explain my case a little more.

When Philomina ma'am said that we wouldn't remember and love her the way we do now after some 10-12 years little did we realize that in those words lay one of life's biggest,darkest secrets. Of priority and moving on.

Why she said that to a bunch of 1st graders is a completely different thing though. Either she was terribly disappointed with what was happening with her former students or she just wanted to instill the very essence of life (be it very early). Life moved on. Second standard and Philomina ma'am was still more important than the principal. New teachers came in. Maths became 'complex'. Science divided itself into chemistry,physics and biology. Soon 'Gulmohar' became an extinct species. And gradually Philomina ma'am became 'just another teacher' at school. Don't get me wrong though. There is still huge respect for the teacher. Infact I distinctly remember the first lesson she taught me[ and that takes some remembering], "Mr amd Mrs Sharma". It is just that more important teachers have walked into my life after that.

To forget is not a crime. But to 'deliberately' do so, at times, can hurt. I know putting 'deliberately' and 'forget' together does seem like trying to mix oil and water. But its different from 'avoid' though. You can avoid talking to that stranger you added someday on facebook. You can 'avoid' meeting up with your best friend after a fight. Its part of life. To 'Deliberately forget' is when your old schoolmate texts you a 'howdy' and you don't reply. Not because you have any genuine reason for not wanting to. You simply don't . Slowly the relationship dies. And life moves on they say. The surprising thing is that, its the very you, who would wait for an eternity to get that one reply from the newly met lady friend, that does this.

"I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member." Some quotes never seem to die!

Priority changes. If it didn't, it wouldn't be priority. Likes and dislikes keeps varying with time, the environment, the people around and the popular culture. Its what defines the present day life. You always keep your laptop away before a football match . Everyone of us has formulated a priority chart to be followed. And our mind is well capable of putting any task into the list at any time. Priority is so much intertwined with human lives that programmers have even developed priority based data structures to accommodate the human desires.And at some point they govern one's likes and dislikes. Last day I happened to read a couple of 'love letters' [ if you can call them so :)] I had written to my ex-girlfriend. The language used in it was, to put it in a mild way, pathetic. I was addressing the girl like I wud a guy, I was using 'Chwweet' instead of 'sweet'. And I was even listening to Westlife! One could probably attribute the 'addressing' part to the trend in the cinemas those days, starting from a very hit movie 'Niram', the 'Chweet' part to the 'sound cute' ideology and so on. The fact of the matter is I can't stand any of these today and considering the fact that its been just some 5 years, this is a huge transition. And then I found my old Slam Book [ the autograph book with questions in it]. For someone in a premiere engineering college to have written his aim in life as " to go to the moon and make love " is not only incredibly funny but also showcases the true changes that comes to a man with age [ Though he still is determined to get one part of his aim right! err must be the going to the moon thing :D ].

A lot of change infact comes with time. The fact that there was a 'boot cut' era some 4 years ago is a striking example to the cause. But when it comes to dying relationships its always people that plays a role. I know you , you know me and we are the only people left in the world. I don't think i'd be 'moving on' then. Its when one new meets new people that life changes. For instance I used to think Westlife and Savage Garden were cool. And everyone around me agreed. Then I met new people. And one day, a former school captain asked me to hear Pink Floyd. What started out as an act to impress him, soon turn to be an obsession.And thats how life is. Infact I even googled 'top ten beatles songs' just to make sure that my 'cool' status is preserved.

We are all steadily changing and sometimes its difficult to keep track with the past. You might not find time to text your old schoolmate everyday. We would think a facebook or an orkut[which in itself is the best example for people and their moving on to better things] would be the solution to this problem. But the truth is, we very seldom use this medium to get to our 'old pals'. We log in, we see the people we like, we talk. We make separate groups and be 'invisible' to all other 'unwanted friends'.

At no point have I ever believed 'Moving on' is a bad thing. I was so much in love with a girl but she moved on for a man whom she thinks is better. Now I can either sit and sulk about it or choose to carry on. What do a 20 year old know of the world anyway? Its a big fat world and there are a lot of people to be met. Its all about striking the right balance between the two.To find the right pace to be moving on. And the key to it is to prioritize right! 'Right prioritizing'' can be different things for different people. A scientist and a bartender can have different YET right priorities. Ultimately life should always be a constant march forward. It might be tough. It might even lead to some broken hearts. But its what the world is today!

As is the case with most of these articles, I really don't want to draw a conclusion. Like you, I'm still learning about the world and the people that live in it. I only hope to remind you a little of the bygone years and perhaps regain some of that lost love!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In the quest for funniness

Everything about the article is untrue! Even the names. So you wud be pretty dumb to believe this actually happened.

I woke up this morning and in a breath taking [err i mean that long breath u take after u waking up] morning soliloquy i finally concluded " It is high time that I became funny!". So I got up from bed , went to mom and said [NO! I didn't say the barber shop joke this time around x-( ]" Amma, you knowJithin Pallath. We were travelling from Dharam.." . Amma[interrupts] : " Vachakamdi nirthi poyi pallu thekkada". OH! Allright :(

OK! SO that didn't go all that well [ angel in the mind : "ellathinum adhinde samayam undu dasa"]. The brush,the close up tooth paste,the mirror, the reflection. Rewind! The brush, the RED close up tooth paste [ devil in the mind : Now that looks like mixed fruit jam]. I quickly make my way to the kitchen and checked for any signs of Kappa[tapioca]. NONE. which meant today was yet another "sunday 'bread'y sunday". The mirror. The reflection [ and NO, the reflection didn't wink at me]

Attempt 2: A slice of bread + close up + another slice of bread.

Ideology: [ If I can't be a story teller might as well be a prankster]

Bro walks in with the newspaper, [evil laugh inside of me] looks at the table, " amma! i've been eating this non sense for the past 2 years! i don't want this !". Amma : " ok! don't eat if u don't want. Its Nevin's! ". Err Uh oh!

For everyone who knows their malayalam movies think srinivasan[in disguise], sukumari and "poocha nakkiya choru". Everyone else, it went pretty bad!

You would think the 2 flops would've discouraged me. It kinda did but i was pretty adamant that i would make someone laugh so I moved on.

The orange volvo bus .

On my way to IMS I meet an old friend from TocH [ hmm must be very old! I dont even remember his name :P ]. A lot of casual talk and then the best question I could've wished for " when does college re-open?"

*pause* Now I'm so used to ppl asking me this question.It seems nobody likes it when i am jobless. So with years of practice i've finally devised the perfect funny answer for that question. *play*

"oh who cares! i'll go to the college once i start seeing ppl in uniforms walking around." Bloody brilliant right? And what do I get in return? A smirk and a reply " yeah! u lot do have shitty uniforms"!

3 and things were suddenly looking very very dull.

Maths class , break and then verbals.

A little into the class and Hannah asks " Have you all logged into ur myIMS page yet? ". Blank stares! " So when do you plan to do that? on the day of ur exam"? AH! There it was. An opportunity to try out another joke. I reply " Err no. On the previous day of CAT exam". LOL ?? Smile atleast? Instead everyone in the class turns around and just keeps on looking at me! " What? I was just trying to be funny :( "

4 and I take a break.This is just not my day. Avanish,CT and I walk to hot breads, order all sorta junk and i get so busy talking that i accidentally pour ketchup over my chocolate danish and takes a bite.[now this, on any normal circumstances would result in laughter]. Instead both of them look at me with complete dismay,shakes their head and carries on! Damn, they should be laughing their ass off. [And oh btw, the ketchup +chocolate combination wasn't all that bad].

Blame everything on facebook. Thanks to them everyone's a WALL these days.

I begin to wonder whats happened to everyone. Malayalis. They hardly ever showcase their emotion. Consider Mammooty and SRK for instance. While the former's eyes just 'reddens' in the final speech in ' Kadhaparayumbol " , SRK weeps like a 3 year old in "billu". Ah yes relief. The non laughing thing must be in our genes!

Co-operative medical college.

Walking through the long tunnel/slopes[or whtever u call them]. A group of young men comes from the opposite direction and one nutter cracks " thala helicopteril muttandu nokiko" and the rest all breaks into loud monstrous,boisterous laughter. HA HA! very funny guys. And didn't you all act in that Vinayan movie? some mystery island !

Damn. 4 good shots at being funny and nothing worked. And when i walk quietly, i get guffawed at! Whats the world coming to? So i scribble the events of the day as a facebook note.

But now when i read -" Ayye. What the hell's happening to my humour sense :( "

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Insignificance of LIFE

Paramu , who spent his entire life milking cows passed away yesterday at an age well above 70. I personally know him as the man who used to come to my mother's place every single morning to collect the 'kadi vellam'. 365 days for some 40 years he did that. And he did it yesterday as well. But unlike the other days, he stopped near the gate , took two long breaths, told my cousin " pandathe polum onnum alla ippo" and then walked to his home some 300 yards away. He passed away some two hours after that. I must admit I wasn't shocked. People die. Thats the nature's law. But somewhere in the corner of my mind came the realization that I had lost a character from the 'book of life'. But then who was he in this big fat world? And thats when i started wondering bout

The Insignificance of Life

You wake up every Monday morning. Work your socks off for a week. You save the money. And then you DIE!Its scary isn't it ? You live some 50 years and then in one moment you are gone!All that you've spent your entire lifetime on, POINTLESS! I've always believed people worry about death due to two reasons :

1. They are afraid of what is beyond. Anxiety. OR/AND

2. The case of non existence. What will be the world without you for your significant ones? What have you done in your life?

Which leads us to the question what is significance? Or rather what was the purpose of your life? And why is 'significance' so important? The answer to these questions are way beyond the scope of the imagination of a 21 year old but sometimes I do wonder " what will ever be 'known' as ?" . In the materialistic world sadly,'Significance', has a lot to do with the achievements in one's life. Where you an incredibly good singer? A creative dancer? An outstanding athlete? But finally does it all matter? YES, to a certain degree. But to classify significance of a life via his/her achievements seem a little unfair. You could've been nothing to the world to some 2 billions people. But there might have been a kid and a lady who depended on you. A handful of people who genuinely cared for you. 'Significance' hence is purely a comparative term. In fact 'death' is often a measure of how important your life was to the world. The whole world mourns at the loss of someone significant. The same does not hold for Paramu . The truth is, most of us lead a very insignificant life on this planet. A life that makes no difference to the world. And there are few things one can do about it. Talent is most cases are in born . You can't be a great musician over night. Nor can you get the hand eye co-ordination required to flick a fast bowler for a six. The Verve did get it spot on when they tagged life as a 'bittersweet symphony'.A wave of ups and downs. And one that can terminate any moment. I just read in the newspaper as to how this girl had been talking via a cell phone in the balcony and fell down . She sometimes would've had the potential to script the world. But its all over before she could do anything about it. On the contrary, I still remember the night, after Dhwani 2010, when i literally slept off sitting on the stairs of the bogey, on my way back from tvm in the train . Had my pal been a second late in waking me up who knows what might have been.

Life , as Forrest Gump's mom used to put it, is like a box of chocolates. You never know what flavour you are gonna get. And the surprising thing about these chocolates are it melts like ice cream. SO you've got to enjoy it before it melts.Coming back to Paramu's case there isn't much he could've done in his life. He could have quit his passion for 'bidi's. His parents probably were peasants themselves. He continued what they had started. A typical life. His children did go to schools but eventually they quit owing to lack of money/interest. His son drives an auto and two daughters are house wives. What if one rich person in the neighbourhood had taken a small interest in Paramu? Offered him small amounts of money. Instilled in him the need for education. Given the belief that 'richness' in nothing beyond him. Showed no caste/religion distinction. ALL small things. And it might not have made a difference in Paramu's life. But it would've, if only slightly, bettered the lives of his children and the chain gets replenished slowly and who knows, in 3 generations time the conditions of that family would've been drastically different. Its like an avalanche. A small stone is good enough to start sequence. Only this time its for the good.

One often always tends to forget these small deeds. Look at the big picture they say! But for a picture to be perfect the pixels should be! And more the pixels the better. The truth is we've got such a short life and a lot depends on Fate. We might not become an Ambani or a John lennon . And to the world you might be an insignificant being. but one smile earned, one meal served can all be lead to 'many lives made better'. I wonder if thats what these scientists call ' Butterfly effect'. I never was good with science anyway. All i know is its Vishu and theres no better time to start off! Do something good perhaps. something 'seemingly' insignificant...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Last saturday and now!

Failure is NOT neccessarily the inablity to act. It is when you CAN, and still you DON'T!
Last Saturday at church I happened to see this small girl, all alone, shabby and desperatley needing a bath. Quite possibly the kid of a nomad. She was looking at this rich lady with pearl necklace and no lack of 'talcum'with keen eyes. Strangely the eyes were not on the 'expensive' elements of the lady but on the 5 candles she had in her hand.
I had candles with me. And I so badly wanted to give it to her. But I didn't. Some might argue it was because she was poor and belonged to the lower strata of the society. I disagree. I would've done the very same had she been Wordsworth's Lucy.
Infact theres always this dilemma one has to go through. My badly wanting to give her and my NOT giving her! She was a kid afterall. Innocent and pure. SO why didn't I just walk to her, smile and hand over the candles. I for sure know that the ONE up there would've been more pleased that way .I can only come up with one answer. Society! And the sad aspects of being a member of it.
The truth is I would've given the candles had no one been there around us.I somehow couldn't get myself to do that with everyone around. The lady knew perfectly that she was being watched. She could've easily done what I so wanted to do. But she didn't.And the sad truth is she probably would've done it had she been 'a pretty, little, fair girl in her polka dotted robe. If I had gone over with the candles I would've definitely offended the lady and the crowd around her.Who the hell was I to go over to this poor girl and give her what she so badly wanted, amidst all the grown ups.
Come to think of it, this has happened before. Many times have I sworn to myself that i will help the poor somehow. Yes i have occassioanly helped out the tramp with some money but to be frank thats merely 'good riddance' than genuine care. Last day, at the photostat shop this lady amidst all her hectic work did the spiral binding for my sake. Before I could go thank her, she had left for another work. and i thought " well its her job anyway" and walked off.
And then slowly it all started making sense. Hate the society. Loathe. Despise! But understand one thing. WE make it! Going back to the situation, the lady with the pearls could've possibly went through the same dilemma as i did. Not just the lady, perhaps the whole crowd. One brave step could've changed the day for the kid. One smile. One pat. Small things do matter. And sometimes more than the huge things.
Thats where you have to salute extra-ordinary people like Mother Teresa , Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther king. They might not have made an LHC! But they did ordinary things that revolutionized human lives! Mother saw God in the streets of Calcutta ! Gandhiji believed in ahimsa. Martin Luther King had a dream! And most importantly they all DID something about it. When Tolstoy said that the blood of swine is always there in man, he never implied that it should come out. A bunch of young boys and girls got together with a good intention once and today they are Making A difference to the lives of many a children. I really don't wanna write a conclusion. Let it remain the way it is. One year from now I [ and hopefully everyone who reads this] WILL read this again and think to myself[himself/herself] " ok! atleast i did make an effort!" ..

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

3 hours

Dear mom,
Here's proof that your son can remain silent.

Restlessness, manifestly, started in my days in the womb and has been an integral part of me ever since. It is this very fact that has inspired me into writing an article that aims at letting the world know what it takes to be a computer science engineer at CUSAT.


A lot can happen in three hours. After all thats 180 minutes and that can still be divided into seconds. And the heart beats nearly that many times in the same period. But the point i'm trying to make is - a lot need to happen in 3 hours. In-fact there are certain 3 hours in your life, when you do absolutely nothing. Apparently they call it ' lab hours ' in CUSAT.
You walk in, scrap your name in the huge old register, switch on the antique PC and open windows ME[ I wonder if they know that the millennium changed a decade ago?] and the teacher goes KABOOOM!
1st year[mechanical lab] : " You there! [me sir?] Take that blunt piece of metal, make it a smooth square and then weld it."
1st year[electrical lab]:" Wheres ur screw driver? [screw u btich, i hope u aren't gonna kick me out for not bringing it]. OUT! "
sem3[EDC lab] : walks into the lab for my first internals. " construct an RC coupled amplifier! " [ err amplifier, aint that the thing u find in loud speakers?]. ZERO :(
sem4[DSA lab]: " construct a linked list" [ jee i don't even remember the question :D]
sem5[Computer graphics lab] : VK- " Make a game better than road rash in openGl" [ in a lab hour? if we knew that, we'd probably be the CEO of some hotshot firm, not studying here at SOE]

I wonder why they call it 'lab hours'? It certainly does feel like 'lab days'. One thing is for sure. They train u well at CUSAT. From angry boss' to airplane hijackers, we know how to handle ! 3 hours of VK doing nothing but staring at the floor. That too for a complete semester. What next? NSG training? NO. System programming LAB. The usual + viva[ interrogation ]. Infact we guys had a good laugh watching THE Al Pacino and Colin Farrell in 'The recruit' .And they say CIA is tough.

And sir comes to check my book. damn!

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