Of all things to come…

Well, its time to say farewell. This is going to be my shortest post so far. 5th sem beckons and Im finally off to campus. I dont want to go but have no other choice.
The post ends here. . I hope it turns out all right. Now I enter what is the more “serious” side of engineering. So long, farewell. Lots to do n study.

Cya for now 😀

Vertically Challenged!

Life is unfair. God does follow the law of averages. What else can possibly explain the reason for Maria Sharapova crossing the six foot-four inch (and she still is rising ) and people like me..who huffed and puffed to the five foot mark??!!

Yes, Im short. Whenever I look at my taller friends(its worse with the boys..coz now they are ALL nearly six footers!) or even aquaintances, I always imagine what it would be like to see the world from that elevation, to be able to look over people’s heads, to buy jeans n wear them without altering, to be able to reach the upper reaches of the cupboard, to be able to jump and easily put the ball in the basket, to be able to reach the ground sitting on a cycle and to pose for photos without hesitation! The world according to me is growing taller. The six foot mark is normal for any boy now( no wonder Amitabh Bachchan’s long-legs-talk has disappeared!) and the five-foot-five is perfectly normal for any girl. What else can possibly explain the six foot long jeans becoming standard today. (half of which is cut off for me to wear) or the non-availability of shoe sizes? It is so irritating to dance and regularly get punched by some high-rise’s elbow or worse to be at the correct level to smell armpits!! (@!#!).

Will the global warming cause mutation of gene causing everyone to grow upto seven feet?? Will the next generation have matrimonial columns filled with “Seven foot three inch, beautiful,fair..blah blah”?Hope I dont get to see all that !! Make way for the new suffering, not mentally challenged or physically challenged…its the VERTICALLY CHALLENGED!

PS: This post was written in frustration after one disastrous shopping trip yday!

The cat is finally out of the bag!

This blog is long. It aims at addressing two issues. Both of which happened on the same day.

The first: Mountain out of a molehill!
Yesterday was the day the seventh and over hyped ” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was released. I completed reading it and I must say Im terribly disappointed. The entire book was preceded with me surfing through numerous forums, websites and of course revisions of the earlier books ( I didnt read the first…too kiddish I thought). All in vain. The seventh book is by far Rowling’s biggest let down..probably after the fifth.The mystery is over. The cat is out of the bag.

This blog is not aimed at revealing the plot or the ending. ( I woudnt want to waste anyone’s huge investment in the book). All I can marvel is at the single most powerful force in this planet today that is gripping the world, that can make mountains of molehills, that can make important issues disappear from people’s minds or create icons in the minds of people – the media.

Weeks before its release the media generated such a frenzy that people who had sworn not to read any more harry potters were forced to take out their old copies and brush up their basics. No, Im not talking about children. It shocked me when my mum asked me herself about the story and expressed desire to be acquainted with all the characters. In fact, my parents were more keen than I was to know if the boy wizard lived or was killed. The answer again is not a part of this blog.

I must admit to one thing. The timing of the books were such that it matched with my own growing up. I grew up with Harry Potter. Yes, maybe a couple of years here and there ( because she brings out books every alternate year). I got a chance to be one of the first to read the plot and know. Never again will the suspense be so great. I got a chance to be a part of the whole “pottermania” and finish the books on the days of their release. (Apart from the first three).It did cause considerable excitement and reading fervour.

My opinion of the book is not very favourable. The epilogue reminded me of Ekta Kapoor’s serials and I actually did not believe Rowling had written it. Its not a child’s book as its pretty gory and its not for adults. Its just the seventh book to tie up the endings.

I really dont know if Rowling will continue to write. (She has laid the groundwork for further books..) But sorry to say ma’am, Im out of the race. Im done with Harry Potter.

The second issue: Madam President

India has elected a new president. A woman president. People call it the victory of Indian Principles. They call it a great step in the improvement of women’s condition. Is it so?
I again beg to differ. This dabbling into women’s issues always brings out the feminist in me. ( which has led to lots of arguments in the TRW classes..!!)

Will Pratibha Patil’s ascent to the top office really help women? The answer is a straight no. Will the saree-clad, Oh-Im-so-Indian image of this president really going to uplift the downright degraded condition of women? Will a woman’s presence in the top office and as the supreme commander of the three forces stop rapes, murders,foetus-killings and give more respect to women? NO. Its just the safest cover the goverment can employ to ensure a puppet sits in the top office as well and there will be no bills sent back owing to usage of own brains. Its the blatant truth. Pratibha Patil was pulled out of relative obscurity and thrust into the media glare just because she would act like a puppet to the goverment’s orders. The Prime Minister is already one. Its sad to see the President also becoming one. Its all deep politics. The feminism is only a way to keep the critics shut out.

Im not against a woman handling the top position, its just that she isnt the one. What India needs is a modern can-think-for-herself, will-do-what-she-likes kind of a woman to lead. After all, arent they the superwomen of this era who juggle both careers and personal lives? Arent they the people who manage both homes and offices, take time out for themselves and at the same time not forget the traditions and values? As far as the emancipation of women is concerned, the solution lies in schools where the mindset of the youngsters is set, in the media (movies, books) in which the youngsters are most interested (someone ask bollywood to stop treating women as sex symbols..clad in absolute nothing most of the time!) or even at home where the child notices the way his/ her mom and other women in the house are treated.After all, women are matching up. They have proved time and again that nothing actually redeems them incapable.

Im not a person who dabbles much into poiltics. But such wrong notions of such a president improving the condition of women is so disheartening. Its again the media. I never knew who she was until maybe she was considered for presidency. Today she is the symbol of modern India. Sheesh!

Picture Paw-fect!

Warning: This would be most enjoyable if read by animal lovers. (esp. dog lovers).

My love for dogs goes back as far as I can remember. We always had a dog. I was born into a family of nature lovers ( dogs, cats, squirrels, birds and even a huge collection of exquisite plants..u name it and we would have it). Our huge garden area permitted my mom and sis to indulge freely into their natural pursuits. I eventually was a part of it all. Not by choice, but I grew to love it.

When I was born, Blackie ( our country dog and my sister’s first love) was already a part of our family. He did not accept me at first, what with the barking and growling but later understood that I was a part of the Chandrasekhar family and not an outsider. He began to love me. he protected me fiercely when I crawled about and did not even allow an ant to come near. All these of course are accounts of what my parents and sis have told me. What I remember is very vague. I remember just a huge black dog who loved to play with me. My next dog was fluffy, a white pomeranian who was a dog I (very surprisingly ) did not adore. Yes, its strange, I did not like fluffy. Maybe its because he chewed up my favorite teddy bear or used to chase me around the house when I didnt want to run, but fluffy was not one of my favorites.

All this is long back. It is about the times when I wasnt even a decade old. But as I grew older, my love for dogs grew immense. So one fine morning, during my summer vacation I pestered and brain washed my mum for a dog. I needed to promise a lot of things. She told me it was a lot of responsibility. She told me it was like having a baby in the house.But she agreed to take the risk with me incharge. I jumped and celebrated all the way to the kennel to pick up my pup. That day, 7th May 1999, is the happiest day of my life!

And so, Whisky entered my life. (dont finch at the name..it wasnt my choice!). My life revolved around him. It does so even today, but circumstances force me to stay away from him most of the time. He was a 600gm, white ball of fur who slept soundly on my palm. That car journey back home was the most peaceful one I was going to have in the years to come.

Then I realized what my mother meant. Pups are not as easy to handle as they seem. Toilet training was the biggest hassle.I used to wake up to find my entire bedroom converted into a mega-toilet . Cleaning my room, early morning walks and feeding him with injection bottles (he was too tiny to drink on his own), or spooning cerelac, making his bed comfortable, protecting him from ticks and lice, ensuring he had his share of play, keeping soft toys and chappals out of the way, keeping him off the carpet and sofas ( which he loved!) or the painful trips to the vet for his shots. Whew! It ate up my entire time. But I simply enjoyed it. As he grew up, which was fun watching, it was even more enjoyable.
Leaving his doggy traits apart, his welcome when I used to get back from school, his mary-had-a-little-lamb act of following me wherever he went, his genuine concern for peace when fights broke out in the house, his curling up on my pillow, his tapping the pen when I wasnt giving him attention and doing homework instead or his football games were such stress busters, I never knew how my school years passed by.

His activities are fun to watch. The way he chases off the birds, or chases small dogs away, the way he befriends cows and squirrels, plays with cats not knowing he is supposed to shoo them off.. it is so brilliant. It also means frequent tummy upsets, galleons of gripe water spooning, weekly vomits, occasional fever and even cold sometimes. Bath times include warm water( double checked for the temperature), medicated shampoos, towelling, hair drying, brushing, powdering and winters are full of tiny dog sweaters, ear muffs, woollen socks and warm blankets. It is so much fun doing it all.
Today, whisky is grown up and total fun to be with. He is the only reason I hate to go back to college or leave home even for a minute. He still follows me everywhere I go. His beautiful eyes make you forget the rest of the world and your tensions. His innocent face is just the thing you’d want to look at after dealing with the corrupt and bad bad world.

Sometimes when Im in the flashback mode, I still wonder how my life was before whisky!! He truly makes my life paw-fect!

The End

Im certain Im one of the many who would be writing about the end of our Practice school this weekend.Yes, its the end of another summer albeit, a very different one. Different people posted to different PS stations, related or unrelated to their choice of subjects, different organizations with different work ethics, different places are indeed a treasure of experience; not only for those working there but also for the people who interact with them. I enjoyed knowing so much about places and people, many of whom I didnt know existed.

This summer has indeed been an exposure. From the skeptical thoughts about engineering practice schools stations in hospitals to the last day when our seminar was over, it has been a journey. Not only professionally but also personally. There were so many people one would interact with. Right from the morning, when one would get up and head groggily to the bathrooms to the nights when the lights would be turned off, it was just new experiences one after the other, both sad and happy, anxious and gleeful, disappointing and thrilling. It was a rollercoaster ride.

Now that my Ps is over and I look back, I feel it was a time I would cherish. Yes, the hostel was new and bad. I had never been in a dormitory before. Sharing a room with 20 others is very different from just having another room mate. One needs to be careful with one’s stuff, keys need to be safely kept, mobiles need to be in hand, cupboards should be always locked and what not. But it taught me the lesson of responsibility. Being a totally hopeless person when it came to handling my clothes, the need to wash it by oneself and the other nitty gritties of it being clean and hygenic sprang to my mind. I can proudly claim, I have improved.
The lifestyles of others, the need to adjust, the solace of sitting all by yourself on the terrace enjoying the breeze,listening to music late in the night, the joy of watching dark rain clouds and the smell of the wet mud(manvasanai..dunno the exact term in english),the gentle sea breeze, the long queues for the bathrooms and ultimately giving up, the luxury of reading all the day lying down, exchanging books and giving comments, spoiling the story by revealing the plot to get thrashed, listening to multiple telugu movie stories,the pleasure of waking up and sleeping whenever one wanted to,the fun of bunk beds and climbing up and down with late night chats, the rigors of washing clothes :(, watching planes take off and land and guessing their destinations, watching the giant clock on the hospital through the night and waking up friends in the morning to recieve angry looks..it was all a complete package.

I had the advantage of not having to travel. (thankfully…because travelling would have been the biggest hassle). It was simply great to get up at 9:45 and just go and sign in the attendence register, then rush back to the hostel and sleep. I worked in the afternoons and mostly from my dorm itself. I met so many people, doctors, engineers,ward boys, nurses etc etc. People I would not have interacted with so closely.Their behaviour, their anxiety, their work culture was all so different.Their worry about a patient or the crucial conversations between doctors in the elevators made our problems look so inconsequential. They deal with life and death. They give new lease of life to people. They bring back smiles on everyone’s face. It is enormous responsibility and they carry it off with elan. A hospital is a different world and I realized it needs maximum love, tolerance and patience. The anxious relatives pacing outside operation theatres or the joy of birth of a baby, the need to console patients and even the happiness of a complete cure, it would all resonate in the hospital. I simply enjoyed being a part of it. The pleasure of having your second year project getting implemented is immense. It was so enthralling to have the senior administration take you so seriously. I was glad it wasnt another computer oriented project I had. My exemplary performances in the college courses ( I am being extremely sarcastic!) had pushed the idea of programming far away from my mind.

Then again, I must count myself lucky to have a PS instructor who was firstly new to this job, secondly, had no inkling of tamil and knew absolutely nothing about his task at hand. We tried our best not to push him around ( I mention “tried”..) and the components of the PS (the funniest being my diary) were a breeze. (OMG I just remembered I have to write my diary till 16th…n I seriously have no clue what to include for today! )

I was again fortunate to have a room so high up in a building. I had the panoramic view of the entire city. From my window, I watched a city wake up, work and sleep. The thundering of buses, the busy roads, the brilliant night lights to the occasional fireworks..it was just beautiful. Im going to miss all that.

But the pains of being away from home were always there. The fact that people could actually work from home or get back there every night did pinch every one of us in the hostel.It wasnt homesickness, it was just a plain desire to meet folks at home. It stung us hard esp. on the days we had minimal work. The countdown to the 17th July had started from 24th of May itself. Probably, I wouldnt have had as much freedom or fun at home. But home is home.

In the end, I must admit, the words of our PS dean echo in my head ” First exposure to work culture”. It was much more than that. It showed me the life outside the sheltered cocoon of a child or a student.A prelude to the big , bad world as they say. It made me realize that I am really fortunate to lead the life the way I am and I decided to enjoy every nanosecond of my years as a student.

I frankly dont know if Im complaining. Despite my troubles and difficulties, I can proudly say that I enjoyed myself. After some of the accounts of other ps stations from my friends, I have no qualms in saying I was darn lucky. Lucky to be where I was, lucky to be how I was and lucky to have had my PS the way it was. Im not arguing about the amount of work I had or the living conditions. Perhaps my other PS mates would percieve otherwise, but it was simply too good for me.

Anyways,I can’t wait to get back home! ( Im missing whisky 😛 )

Firing my imagination!

Imagination is a part and parcel of everyday existence. Ideas, creativity and imagination form a package which would make a person extremely innovative in daily life. Where does one not need imagination? Well, I needed it in the most uncommon place. I needed it to fill my PS diary.

The first announcement about the existence of a PS diary made me laugh out loud. (omg I actually wrote it fully!!..lol). Then my perception of a diary immediately led me and many others to thoughts of it being an official personal diary. It didnt make any sense. But the very next sentence by our professor cleared doubts. Its not a personal diary. Its a PS diary.

After a gruelling first day I sat down sincerely to pen my diary. Honestly, I wrote everything I could remember. I continued my hardwork till the end of the orientation session only to discover the nature of checking on behalf of our instructor. With ten copies of the yellow book piled up in front of him, he merely autographed each page without even glancing at the contents. “Damn! What a waste of time and ink!”, I thought.

The real problem turned out to be after that. With days of no work and just lazing around in our crowded dormitory, filling up the Ps diary became impossible. The pages started appearing a mile long and seemed endless. With only the task of signing everyday in the attendence register being done, it was impossible to fill the 14-15 lines of each page of the diary. Thats when my imagination was required.

So a day before the mid semester evaluation, I opened the book and thought hard. My first lines always remained “We went and signed at 10:00 am today.”Then sentences in different tenses, past and present, active and passive voices with flowery words and articulate english in the maximum possible words which all meant the same were written. “We met the Chief Engineer today. The chief enginner was met by us in the morning today. We met him for a long time like an hour and thirty seven minutes and twenty eight seconds. The room was air conditioned. It smelled of stale air though. Reckon, he should keep the windows open or use a fragrant room freshner each morning. The coffee cups had made brown rings on the otherwise clean table. He should use table mats to prevent that.Curtains look unwashed. What is the housekeeping department doing?” Get the idea??

And so on my diary was written. Same sentences, excessive elaboration, imaginative conversations and some conjured up work, formed my PS diary. I laughed at my penmanship. God! if anyone reads this..they’ll probably think Im imbecile!
But that wasn t a problem at all. No one read it. Including me. I had no heart to read the worst of my literary creations. The instructor? Oh, God bless him. He autographed the pages heartily and gave me decent marks.
I actually began considering writing some more interesting happenings around me, like the recent engagement of a fellow dorm mate or the more curious disappearance of my cat friends. Slowly and steadily, I improved. Wrote about some imaginative work, more interestingly wrote about the activity in the aviary(which was much more than mine) or about the doings of the aquarium fishes if one tapped the glass. (one of them would actually shoot upward vertically).The crowd of cats near the dustbins or even the steady progress of the tulips,the steady decrease in the mangoes on the trees or the number of banana trees springing up rapidly also found space in the diary. I amused myself writing it. The rains and the strong wind took up a few more lines with the ripping apart of curtains and shattering of window panes (I made those up) completing my page.

Then one day a gruff co-instructor( not mine..other PS station’s..dunno why she came.!!) told me to mention the out time also. I laughed inside. No problem.
So my diary ended rather abruptly to my disapproval but made it all the more funnier. I made it a norm not to exceed the limit of a page to keep my imagination in check.
“The sparrow pecked at the wire unsuccessfully before the wind upturned the earthen pot over it spilling the grains and giving it a food shower. We signed out at 4pm.”
Lol.

Scream!!!

Human beings have this tendency to vent out their bottled up anger in the very wrong places, at the wrong time and at the wrong people. This has been happening to us for a very long time. Less marks due to grumpy mood swings of the teacher(happens in board exam corrections loads of times!!), mom or dad yelling at us for some things we never did due to a work tension ,or even us taking out the entire load of frustration on our friends who would watch us with a baffled expression.

My PS hostel has a mess functioning downstairs. Its not a big establishment, but caters to a mass of people who according to me can make do with a bowl of starch (which essentially remains tasteless).The other side dishes, most importantly Sambhar can be of any brown colour, with any assortment of vegetables thrown in or even the curry can be in any state of cooking.It didnt matter. I realized this horrifying fact when the food wouldnt enter my oesophagus, but I saw the others munching away happily.Probably Im too spoilt or my tastebuds work overtime. Worse, are the set of women who cook and take care of the mess.

Though their culinary skills are pretty decent, their serving skills most definitely are not. After the initial taunt I faced from one such lady at the mess counter who served the curd about my usage of spoons and acting too westernized, I thought the worst was over. I had to wait only till dinner time to hear more.

Dosas were being served for dinner. They were in a huge casserole. Accustomed to Atish mess habits and the knowledge that the dosas in the lower end of the casserole would be hotter, the bitsians dug their hands into the dosa container searching for hot dosas. We heard a huge scream from the lady who was supposed to be at the counter and she came running in. We went rigid and looked here and there. ( I thought it was a snake and actually got scared). We soon found out her problem. Us.

She yelled at us digging the lower half of the casserole. Being the only one in the group who understood and spoke tamil, I asked her why it mattered. She said the top dosas would form rolls and no one would eat them. ” Eh?” Form rolls?? Why wont anyone eat rolled up dosas?” were the first questions that sprang to my mind. She continued rambling about us being totally uncivilized(which we are) and having no inkling of how to eat. Anything would fall due to gravity and due to its extreme cohesiveness to the bottom dosas, it would form rolls. Its natural. Its scientific. But it doesnt contaminate it. I wondered. Anyway, my dinner was ruined.

It was of no help.The warden was called for and told as if we upturned the entire container of dosas. I guess my prayers worked and the warden turned out to be a sensible woman. She shooed us from there and later called us to her office where she explained that the woman was having a bad time at home with a drunk and wife-beating husband and enormous responsibilty of being the sole bread winner since her husband had lost his job the previous day.
“Oh!” a case of wrong person getting the hot end eh? I thought and chuckled.

As we came to know in a few days time, there was a massive downsizing of the staff of the cafeteria done a few days earlier, where the lady’s husband had lost his job. The manager had just walked in with a disgruntled face and thrown people off his pay rolls just like that. He had been fired by his boss, a dietician in the hospital just then for no apparent reason.
Probably, another case of wrong person getting fired I thought.

Just see the path traced by the line of fire.All mistimed yellings. It ended on our plates!!!!
Pity, I cant write this in my PS diary.