Read on... But remember I warned you!!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I was never really a teacher's favourite...

How I used to pass my time during my lectures... Sigh.. Those times...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Things to Do - Contd.

5) Learn Cooking!! :(

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Things to Do!

To get rid of my boredom in Chennai, I had the following things in mind:
1) Buy a Guitar
2) Join a Guitar Class
3) Join a Gym
4) Join a foreign language class

After much dilly-dallying and lazing around, I finally manged to drag myself to a musical instruments store last week. Bought a guitar, much like I would buy any grocery item. Didn't know what specifications and model to look for.

11:30 pm: I proudly take out the guitar from its case, pluck a few strings.

11:45 pm: I am googling frantically for a musical instruments repair store somewhere closeby. The Low E string lies on the floor, cut in two.

I've finally managed to get the guitar restringed today. Sounds good now. Thats item no.1 ticked off the list!

Next mission: Item no. 2

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Why One Must Sleep 8 Hours A Day!

Scene 1:
I suddenly open my eyes... Everything seems out of focus. It takes me a moment to realize where I am. I am in a classroom. I look around me. There are people. Some are staring at me, with a nasty grin on their faces. Some are looking straight ahead. Why? I follow their gaze. I can make out a fuzzy shape in the horizon. A hand. It moves to a table, and picks up something. The next thing I know, that 'something' is flying towards me with supersonic speed. I duck, in the nick of time. 'Something' hits 'Someone' behind me with a resounding thud. A loud scream. A stifled sob. 'Hand' drags me out of the classroom. I manage to catch a few words, "Shame", "Student", "Worthless", "Disgrace". A voice tells me to sit outside for the rest of the class. For some reason, that pleases me. Everything fades.

Scene 2:
Ouch! Somebody's poking me. But I can't see who it is. Everything's dark. Confused. Realization dawns. I open my eyes. This time, I don't have to look into the horizon. Somebody's standing right in front of me. Looks old. Must be a professor. He smiles. I smile. "So?", he asks. My smile fades. "I'm waiting", he says. So am I, waiting for something to strike me. Had he asked a question? "Second time in two classes I've caught you sleeping", he sounds exasperated. Really? Twice? Cool. "I'm striking off your name from this subject", he's lost all patience. Frantically try to recall which subject it is. Bell rings. Torture spared.

Scene 3:
I'm wide awake. I am attending a presentation. I look at my notebook. The pen in my hands moves across the book rapidly, I can make out words and diagrams. So I'm paying attention. Life's good. I lean back in my chair. But what's this? The lights in the room begin to flicker. The sound stops just short of my ears. I look at the pen in my hand. It is no longer there. I want to close my eyes, to clear my mind. I find they're already closed.

Scene 4:
I can hear a ring. I want to open the door. I then realize its a phone. Suddenly, loud, incessant chatter, lots of ringing. My eyes adjust to the bright light. There is a flatscreen in front of me. Hmm. Must be some workplace. Phone is still ringing. I pick up the receiver. "Dude, the client has been waiting for 15 mins. Where the @#$^ are you?". I pick up my diary and run, wondering what day of the week it is.

Scene 5:
Something's irritating me. Feels like a mosquito. I slap my hand. Wake up with a start. I'm on my bed. So I must be sleeping. No, my laptop is on. So I must be chatting. My blogspot is open. I must be updating my blog. Somebody had been telling me to, for a long time. But after 2.5 years?? Crazy. I look at the time. 2:30 AM. Yup, definitely crazy. I have to be in office by 9. Alt+F4. Yes? No? Yes. Drift back to blissful sleep.

Surviving on 4 hours of sleep a day, I often find myself 'dream'walking thoughout the day, landing up in situations not unlike those mentioned above. I think it's time to set my routine straight. As some 'dumb' person once said, "It's always important to sleep atleast 8 hours a day". Maybe she is right!! :P

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Media and Politics - Partners in Crime??

Even as I begin to write this post, I hear the cry that goes round..."Why has Andy abstained from posting anything on his blog for so long?".

"Has something happened to him?" question a kindhearted few.

"Yippee And hurray!!! It seems that his blogging fever has subsided. Spared are we from his useless ramblings", go the majority.

"Ah well who cares! I always used to ignore his blog anyway!" claim an intelligent few.

But to the deep dismay of many and wondrous delight of a select few, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Back! :) (Or in the words of Psmith - "Fellow Comrades, the moment of rejoicing has dawned at last! The cry goes round, 'All is good!!! Andy is well!! And he blogs!!'")

Well Ahem...Now coming to the topic actually...Who does not know about the recent elections in Tamilnadu! It has created enough hype and hoopla to the effect that even the most lackadaisical bumpkin would have been pounded with more information about Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha than his mental faculty can handle. What with promises of land, rice, TVs and computer sets galore, the election turned into merely one of those village trade fairs where you go about bartering your goods in exchange for more pressing necessities.

And what happens when Media is owned by these very politicians? Chaos and Rivalry reigns... Lets take the case of Sun TV, controlled by Mr.Karunanidhi and Jaya TV, controlled by Jayalalitha.

Election Result Day in Tamilnadu: 234 seats contested. Counting has begun early morning. And early indications are that DMK+ might just sneak through. As soon as SUN TV get a whiff of this, they hasten to bring in the most dumb looking so called experts. Try to analyze the possible reasons for Jayalalitha's impending doom. "The public has finally realized what a true leader means", they stoutly claim. And secretly, they gloat over their success, while trying to point out a fallacy in counting in every region that AIADMK+ seem to be leading with a look of utter disdain on their faces. .

Scene at Jaya TV: Commentator stares at the screen confidently...It's early morning. And he has 2 experts besides him. What could go wrong? "Amma shall surely win", says his heart. The program begins, and the results starts trickling in. And they don't seem good. As the realization slowly dawns that AIADMK is doomed, mood in Jaya TV studio turns grim. But these are strong people. Refuse to give up so easily. And embark on a new tactic. Refuse to update the counting figures. Here is what they had to say:

AIADMK+ : Leading in 85 constituencies.

DMK+ : Leading in 35 Constituencies.

Others: Leading in 3 constituencies.

Simple math tells you that 110 odd seats are purely forgotten. Unaccounted for. Where are they? You'll have to switch over to Sun TV for that of course.

On a more serious note, what happens when prime sources of information like media are controlled by the politicians? What happens when all that you see on these channels is what the politicians want you to see? What happens when the process of elections becomes a mere farce, where politicians turn to near bribe for pocketing those important votes?

I am not referring specifically to Tamil Nadu alone. The case is pretty much the same throughout the country. Politics in India needs to undergo a drastic change. Recent surveys show that in India, only 9% of people trust politicians.(Sources- BBC). It seems that there is little that they can do to better our living. In the end, it only seems to be a "Power-play". The people with the most clout win, the people with the most motivation lose. And the media, if controlled by politicians, has a major part to play in all this.

One can only hope that with newly formed parties like Paritrana - started by a group of IIT graduates with a strong social cause, maybe, just maybe, things could take a turn for the better soon. But even the most optimistic would still remain doubtful about such a thing happening in the near future.

And thus I shall sign off with this open-ended question - "Media and Politics - Partners in Crime??" Comments are invited!

Words from the Wise: #5:

BATH THEOREM: When the body is fully and completely immersed in water, the telephone rings.

P.S: Edited for easy reading! :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Just Another Day in my Life....

Boring Sunday Afternoon...One of those rare sundays when I am at home and have nothing to do.So I decided to visit my dear old blogspot and write something about the monotony that I face in life. I must warn that this shall be a pretty long description. Only people as aimless and bored as I am should venture to read further.

I must mention that when I say a Day in my Life, the day begins at 7:30 am and ends at 2-3 am. Pretty Long huh?? Pretty Boring too...

7:30 Am: I am pestered by incessant efforts by Mom to wake me up... I finally open my bleary eyes and try to get the Clock in focus... Only 7:30. Surely I can pamper myself to a few more minutes of sleep! My mom's voice gradually fades away as I doze off again...

7:40 am: Wake up with a sudden start. Crib for sometime about nobody in the house caring to wake me up. Cribbing comes to an abrupt halt as I see my Mom's stern stare. I decide to attend to my daily chores before inviting my Mom's wrath.

7:55 am: After a hurried bath, I quickly dress up and am ready to depart for college. Hey Hold on..I just remembered - I am supposed to carry a bag ain't I? I throw a cursory glance at my bag to see if everything is in order.

I must digress here for some time to go into deeper details about the contents of my bag. Like most fourth year Students, my bag is designed to carry everything and anything apart from books. But the nice boy that I am , I make sure that atleast one book with around 15-20 pages left in it finds its way into my bag. Is the folder containing the all important sources for copying (chaaping) assignments and journals there? Yup there it is!! A dog eared and battered rectangular shaped thingy lying majestically amidst the mess surrounding it. Do I have the newspaper which shall help me while away the time during those torturous hours called Lectures?? A quick search and I find it. I do not bother to disturb or pay attention to the sundry other things that have been lying in my bag since times immemorial. We have a train to catch soon, don't we!

8:00 am: Oh Oh!!! I am going to miss the 8:08 train at this rate. Better hurry. Comb Hair (a poor attempt at it rather), a quick glance to see if I have missed anything, tie shoes and I am ready. "Tata Mom! Tata Dad! (and all those who are present in the house)". And I dash off for the lift. Only to hear those dreadful words of my mother resounding in my ear - "DAE ANAND!!!! COFFEE YAAR KUDIPPA DAA? ". ( You worthless fool! Who is gonna drink the coffee that I so laboriously prepared?). Sigh! I trudge back wearily and gulp down the HOT coffee as quickly as I can.

8:08 am: All hopes of catching the train gone. I drag myself along to the station - faced with the not so exciting prospect of catching the heavily crowded 8:13 train. But face the situation I must. After 15 mins of hustle bustle and jostle and glaring and stamping and "You
#&!%&!" looks at other commuters and a further 10 mins of "autorickshawing", I finally land up in college.

8:40 am - 1 pm: I decide to give the newspaper plan a skip, prop up my resourecful bag on the bench, lay my head on it, and drift off to blissful sleep if others around allow me to do so. Otherwise, the time is spent in non-stop yawning and considerable nodding in supposed understanding of what the lecturers say.

There are also times when we supposedly have Practicals - A nice name for 2 hours where we resume chaaping, an eye always at the door, wary of any teacher that might be passing by. It is interspersed with short bursts of enthusiasm where we all huddle around a non-working instrument, fiddling with the various controls, and adding further non-working instruments to it(in series or parallel, as the mood might warrant) in the hope of obtaining some output. Soon, we come to the realization that the time is better spent producing output on paper and we happily switch back to chaaping.

1 pm: Hurray! Class over! Now for more interesting stuff (called extra curriculars). May I mention that VESIT has the reputation of having the most societies housed in a single building and a VERY active society life. I being part of one of the societies, take considerable pleasure in devoting time to it (and in the process diverting my attention from academics). I manage to loiter around in college for some time before I am forcibly whisked away to the Lab by my ever sincere project group!

After 1-2 hours of more yawning and pointless staring at the mind-boggling and brain-numbing code respectfully called "Our BE Project" on the computer, I am finally relieved of my project responsibilites. But not before making sincere promises to devote time at home for the project.

5:30 pm: After even loitering in the college proves to be a pointless affair, I decide to head back home. The usual kick, stare, stamp, trample, glare, jostle process in the train is repeated. And I arrive home, tired and sleepy.

6:30 pm: Decide to sleep for some time. But unfortunately catch sight of my computer, lying neglected and unused. Why not check my mail quickly first? Just 10 minutes, that's all.

8:00 pm: Still online. Checked mail 5-6 times already. A few windows open on MSN Messenger. One or two games running in the background. And then the dreaded sound of the door bell. Here I must mention that whichever member of family it is at the door, it is sure to spell doom for me. Dad and Mom for reasons obvious (Again sitting at the Comp,Eh? Dishoom Dishoom). And if it were my sis, she would only serve as a catalyst to the entire process.

Hurriedly switch off the computer and open the door with a tired expression on my face. On rare occasions, such a face has been known to earn sympathetic looks from my parents.

9:00 pm: After a rigorous grilling session in which I am supposed to elaborate, much to my chagrin, on the useful things that I did in college that day, it's dinner time. Contrary to popular opinion, I do not eat much at home. After a quick 10 minute dinner, I look up to find my mother's eyes boring into me. And with a sinking heart, I prepare myself for the inevitable Q&A session that was about to commence.

Q: When did you have your Dabba?
A: Usual mom, 10:30am

Q: Did you have your lunch?
A: No mom, not really. (I request my classmates to kindly remove that incredulous look from their faces. I have really not had lunch 70 percent times in college.)

Q: Fool! Dumbo! Is this why we send you to college?
A: (No answer actually..just a downcast face)

Q: When did you come home?
A:(sigh) 6:15 mom

Q: I am not going to prepare anything for you from tomorrow if you anyways plan to eat only this much. (okay this wasn't a question but what the heck! It still demanded a response from my side)
A: My stomach is full mom.

And before further confrontation can take place, I scurry out of the room.

10:00 pm: Back to my computer. Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN Msgr, Yahoo Msgr open. Dad tries to take a peek. What is it that my son does on the computer for so many hours everyday? I ward off the impending question with a few casual remarks about how the day was, and how our BE Project was in dire straits.

12:00 am: You guessed right! Still on the computer. You can add Orkut to the list of windows open however. Suddenly, it strikes me! PROJECT! Wasn't I supposed to devote time to that today? Alas! The woes of an Engineering Student...

3:00 am: After some useless dabbling at the code, some google searches and poring through some reference books, finally give up and decide to sleep. Atleast I have something to show for my efforts tommorrow.

3:30 am: After having cleaned up the mess in my room, I switch off the comp. (Hold on! You're supposed to turn off the speakers before you do so, unless you want to wake up the entire household and have a middle-of-the-night confrontation with mom again). I silently tiptoe across the room, search in the darkness for a pillow and a bedsheet making sure I do not wake up anyone (on lucky days, I can proudly claim to have gotten both without disturbing anybody) , and finally, I am off to sleep!

Just another day in my life....

Words from the Wise: #4:

LAW OF BIOMECHANICS: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Fourth Estate - Scaling dizzying heights of dumbness and mediocrity

The Media, or the Fourth Estate has taken up a new role nowadays : It earnestly and steadfastly tries to humor and entertain us with its so called half hour soaps called NEWS. Bored of watching the sagas of Tulsi and Kkavyanajali? Bored of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge? Need something to humor you and entertain you? Just head straight for the nearest news channel.

With so much competition and the wild frenzy for setting up news channels nowadays, press reporting has taken on an entirely new dimension. I came across a lot of instances recently where the news anchors were trying to capture my attention by uttering archaic hindi proverbs (which I am sure, came out of some Harivanshrai Bacchan book), drawing absurd and out of the world comparisons(Eg: Sachin Tendulkar and Chocolate...But I shall come to that later), inviting never- before-heard-of "Experts" to discuss Cricket, Hockey, Politics and what not and last but not the least, proudly claiming exclusivity for every minute of video that they transmit.

A few humorous instances:

1) AK's Wedding: Reporters from Channel 7 rush to the venue. Desperate to catch a glimpse of AK and wife. Woman Reporter. In the ensuing melee to somehow force entry into the venue, hustle-bustle happens. Woman Reporter angry. Claims unwarranted assault. Turns video towards herself. Cries about being victim of high-handedness by actors. Earnestly begs us to display sympathy towards her. Even grabs hold of 2 innocent passers-by. Narrates them the story. Tries to brainwash them into admitting on Live TV that AK is as inconsiderate and as inhuman a person as you can find. Soap Opera ends with Woman Reporter dishing out subtle abuses and profanities to AK for being busy marrying his wife and not attending to the reporter.

2) Sachin Tendulkar breaks record for Maximum Centuries: Channel 7 takes the cake again. Claims to be the only news channel to know of the historic achievement. Starts interviewing his childhood buddies and class teachers. Dumb looking reporter on TV starts giving a character sketch of Tendulkar. Tries to earn applause from viewer by using unimaginable similes and metaphors. Egs: Sachin Tendulkar is like Chocolate. (Even God would not comprehend what he meant). Went on to utter a few more lines in so called chaste Hindi which closely resembled the long and verbose prose answers that one writes in the exams. At one point, left with nothing to say and at a loss of words, uses his amazing extempore skills. Utters a string of "Ummm"s and "Ah"s for the next minute. Therafter, convinced that he has passed on invaluable information to viewers, signs off. News Anchor confirms the same by thanking him for such a complete coverage of such a historic achievement. At this point, realizing that they yet have to display the 100th run on TV, do so hurriedly. End of Soap Opera.

3) Man in remote village claims to have foreseen his death : News Channels literally salivating at such an exciting tidbit. Expected mad rush to remote village. Remote village grabs limelight. Reporters start the countdown. Can't wait for man to die. Interview kith and kin of About-to-die man. Ask insightful questions: How do you feel? How does he feel? How does everyone feel? A feeble attempt at questioning the authenticity of the man's claim. Having failed at that, back to other interesting questions. Moment finally arrives. All cameras trained on About-To-Die man. Moment passes. Cameras focused on Should-Have-Died man. Moment long gone by, Cameras focused on Why-hasn't-he-died-yet man. Finally, reporters come to conclusion that they must have been taken for a ride. Switch off cameras and bitch about each other for satisfaction. Task Completed. Reporters and Cameramen lug equipment and head back with a morose look back to studios. Issue quietly suppressed. Soap Opera Ends.

One can witness many such exciting incidents on news channels nowadays. With viewership ratings being the key focus, authentic and unbiased reporting of news has gone for a toss. Reporters know neither head nor tail of what they're speaking. But they know one thing: Viewership is important. And to that end, they shall strive tirelessly. As I very often remark... "Sigh" and "Alas!"

Words from the Wise: #3:

Anthony's Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll into the least accessible corner.