Ohhh GAWD!

Embarrasment. The feeling of ‘Wish-I-could-vapourize-right-now’. How many times have we felt like just vanishing into thin air when we have possibly attracted the attention of others for something we didnt want to??

That awful feeling when your shoes go squeak-squeak in a pin-drop silent library causing others to look up in anger or frustration, or worse when at the station your bag’s zip gives way(when you are rushing to catch a train). How many times have I been through the situation of happily cursing someone, totally unaware that the person is right behind me ? The lovely experience of tripping on the stairs of the stage when you are about to recieve a prize and the whole audience roars with laughter, or worse when you slip and fall into a nice squishy puddle of mud when you are in your white uniform for the Sports Day drill. Life it seems is full of such embarrasing experiences. The uh-oh situation of wishing someone on his/her birthday earlier than usual or when you actually tell someone ” It took me so long to finally remember your birthday is on 9th and not 11th” only to be corrected that “It is on 11th”.
Embarassment it seems has no end for me. The situation of walking into the mess in casuals ( shorts and T-shirt) only to be welcomed by a fully dressed up crowd looking at you or the very awkward moment of being seen when you dont want to by the maximum number of people, is something I encounter most frequently. Or be the case when you are busily drawing funny pictures or deciphering obscene scribblings on the benches when the teacher is right behind you and smiling. Ever woken up in class only to find 40 odd faces staring at you?? Ah! join the club.

Be it watching the “wrong” movie with parents or worse when a music channel airs an obscene video before one can actually switch channels, embarassment follows you everywhere. Not to forget my extra special typos which give a totally different meaning to what Im saying or pasting the wrong message in the wrong window.

But I guess, there is no fun without embarassment. It sure makes good entertainment.
Embarrasing oneself is an art. ( And Im rather good at it! 😉 )

A Belletristic Journey

This week saw one of the most memorable evenings I had in recent times. It was a fiction quiz i.e a quiz to test your knowledge about books. The first look at the notice had me signed up for the quiz. I went for the quiz totally blank (mostly thats the case these days…). The prelims had questions ranging from Shakesphere to the most-loved tinkle. As I sat there listening to the various questions posed to the finalists, my mind took a nostalgic journey..the journey of my relationship with books.

My first book I remember was Cindrella. It was those beautifully illustrated Walt Disney books.The story did not take more than 20 minutes to complete. But I used to stare at the print. (The sketching of the pictures took away the rest of the time) I loved the look of words on paper. The way the ‘F’ was beautifully written in Fairy Godmother, or the lovely glass shoe and not to forget the ballroom scenes. I loved it all. I wanted more. The next few months saw me engrossed in other Walt Disney tales like Snow White ( Oh! I used to hate her step mother so much…and even suspect the apples kept in the fridge) or Sleeping Beauty. Raphunzel, Peter Pan, Little Mermaid ( I love Sebastian the crab…I kept pestering my mum for a pet crab which could talk hehe.),Lion King, Jungle Book,Puss in boots, Rip van winkle followed soon after. Before I knew it, I was in love with books.

The train journeys saw me always engrossed in Tinkle. Naseeruddin Hodja, Suppandi, Ramu and Shamu, Shikari Shambu and Tantri the Mantri are some my all time favourites. Then came the age of Amar Chitra Katha. They were my friends for all of primary school. Mythology was my passion right from when I was much younger (Thanks to my grandfather’s summer recitals of Ramayana…it used to go on for days and weeks…and at one stage I could narrate the whole thing sub plots included). I was disappointed when everyone refused to narrate the Mahabahrata (its not good to be told or something like that..I eventually got the entire 12 volumes and read it..but it was much later) But there was a treasure in Amar Chitra Katha. I probably have the entire collection of Indian folktales. Akbar and Birbal, Vikram and Betaal, Panchatantra, Aesop’s fables completed the collection.

One train journey from Chennai to Jabalpur after my summer vacations changed it all. I met a girl on the berth next to mine who was reading Enid Blyton. Having exhausted my tinkle in less than one quarter of the journey, I politely asked her if she could lend me her book. “Five go to Kirrin Island again”. It was class 6. A beginning of a new era in my life.
I loved Enid Blyton. (Though the description of food in her books always made me hungry..), I managed to complete the Famous Five series. ( I had made up my mind about naming my dog timmy!). The Secret Seven, The adventurous Five and Biggles followed soon after.My dad’s birthday present of Swami and Friends a year later brought RK Narayan into my life. Grandmother’s tales, Malgudi Days, Mr.Sampath, The tiger of Malgudi and the finale was the Guide. The book club in my school did wonders to me. Although “MAD” magazine remained a favourite among all its members, it brought the English writing into my life. What began with Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, continued all the way upto Jeffery Archer and Sidney Sheldons. At home, I was always encouraged to read classics. Pride and Prejduice, Frankeinstein, Tale of two cities, Oliver Twist, Huckleberry fin, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Invisible Man, The time Machine were staple diets. But I loved science fiction.Jules Verne remained my hot favorite with A journey to the centre of the earth, 20,000 leagues under the sea etc etc.

The foreign comics were hard to get. The Week magazine carried a page of Tintin which I diligently read. But often missing an issue would make the storyline go haywire. They werent stocked in our library also. The Blue lotus was the only one I remember to have completed. The Asterix was a cartoon in The Hindu Magazine and The Phantom was something I inherited from a much older boy in our colony.

The english textbooks were always the source of pleasure. The poems were so much fun. They used to make me happy and sad. Laugh and cry. Be it the fun of framing whacko endings of “The Lady or the Tiger” or the very famous “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. English classes in school were fun.

So, ( Im sorry if this post has contained nothing but titles of books) it has been a long journey. From the days of cindrella to RK Narayan, from Jeffrey Archer to James Frey, from HG Wells to Fredrick Forsythe or from simple Tinkle to Calvin and Hobbes and Tintin (thanks to DC now I have the entire collection!), it has been an awesome ride for me. Books are my greatest passion. Somehow the e-books dont carry the charm. The charm of black ink on white paper is enticing.(The added pleasure of reading them lying down is irreplacable) The literature section in our library remains the biggest lure for me even during exams.

Its sad now that I have stopped reading. The quiz was more than a reminder of my rusty memory. I guess I have to complete this gruelling task of getting a decent education before I plunge myself again into the world of books.

PS: I think you all would have realized where a majority of my salary would be spent. HEHE.But thats a long way off…


Common cold. Extremely common and in fact a way of life for me. I nowadays cant imagine spending half the year without catching a cold. The worst part is…there aint any cure!

Ok..so what is it about me that the cold viruses seem to love? Any dip in temperatures, sudden weather change or even the transition from the non-ac labs to the ac classrooms is bait enough for the common cold to come rushing to me. When everyone just catches mild coughs and prolly slight colds, i dont. I get the full versions, complete with the three day sequence of throat ache-cold+fever+headache(worst day) -cough. But the irony is it doesnt last just for three days. My worst bout has lasted upto 4 months! GAWD! Why dont they have medicine for it!
The cold medicines in the market frankly do no good. Its like shooing it away for a while, n then it comes back with greater impact. They say “If u take medicines it takes a week to cure and without, seven days! ” Very true. My resistances for common cold are perhaps the weakest in human history. Can u believe? A simple lemonade or guava gives me a cold!

My case is so famous among the medical fraternity of my dad’s organization, the doctors have debated over various medications which I could take to boost my immunity. The one they zeroed upon, gave me a horrible cold the very next day!!!! Lol. So precaution is the only key is what they told. Its the only thing repeated to me wherever I went. But alas! I think im not upto the mark in that respect.

Be it Chennai, Goa or Dehradun my stay anywhere is marked with a 15 day bout of cold. The cold is also so fabulous in its timing that it comes exactly a day before a debate, or any oratorical contest. Or rather the very Murphy-like situation of being having to talk the most when u cant get the voice out of your throat strikes me too often. In fact, cold is also the main reason for my failure in the field of music. For days, my cold used to prevent me from singing, (not that I sang well…but it sounded positively like braying when i had one!) and the need to wipe my nose or the frequent sneezing (for which u needed to close your eyes) made me lose track of the note i was playing.Lol.
Another thing I always wondered was why is it called cold? It doesnt make you cold in anyway. In fact the breath becomes so hot, you feel u swallowed a coal fire. Fever makes the body behave like a hot plate and nothing about it is cold (or remotely cool). According to me, it should be called hot. (Well, now I think of it, the usage of Hot instead of cold in sentences would be simply hilarious!)
I know most of the people reading this post would be wondering why they ever chose to read this in the first place.Kinda depressing as well…reading abt the misdoings of a tiny miscroscopic virus and its macroscpic effects. Well well, lucky are those who dont catch a cold easily!

So much for the cold. I mean it visits me ever so frequently, I wanted to dedicate one post to this dear virus friend of mine. Im sure I’ll write about better things in the future.

PS: Why is it that I lose my hankies on a daily basis? Again..Mr.Murphy hats off to you!

SKeptical to the core..!

SK, Kichu or ShrieKy..call him what you want, but he is unavoidable. Cynical, depressing and absolutely negative, his main aim seems to be to discourage a student in every way possible. Worse, if he/she is a Chemical Engineer in the making.

Destined to be a Chemical Engineer, my encounter with this dementor-ish personality happened right in the first semester. Thermodynamics. That was what he taught. ( I think its the only thing he knows too…because now two years later, he is still teaching the same thing!) Tall, handsome (not very..but still a shade better) and extremely smart, one is definitely taken over by his presence, but it lasts only till he begins to speak. The rest of the time, one feels like the happiness is being drained out of him/her like someone unplugged a drain valve. Life seems to be very tough, an extremely uphill task and the few innocent pleasures like indulging in an ice-cream seem to become an extreme financial liability on our parents. We do need ice-creams to recover from his class. ( Or just like Lupin explained…even a chocolate might do!)

Today as I sat through yet another of his droning about thermodyamics and beating about the bush, my mind wandered. ( I have perfected the art of looking extremely interested in class and not hearing a single word of what he is saying). I thought about the reason his being so cynical. Well, what he said was not wrong. We needed to mould our futures now. But again, when his talk goes something like ” You all are landing up in a local glass factory..earning a meagre 2000 bucks a month” , one cant resist the temptation to punch him right in the face. Okay, he was warning. Warning about how life might become if we take it too lightly. But he forgot, he was the one who could also inspire. He was the one who could lead the way. (Wait a minute, I dont want to hear about his English exploits anymore or even the functioning of boilers in London..). But no, he chose to scare. He chose to think about funerals when he smelt the flowers. After all, its our choice, I thought.

Yes, this blog might seem philosophical (or maybe the wanderings of a young adult), but life is all about making choices aint it? ( Even Dumbledore said so!) Life throws the same amount of happiness, sorrow, struggle or even uncertainities in everyone’s way. Its what we choose to think about all the time. Its about keeping ourselves happy. Its about encouraging. About telling people (esp. students) that they can make it happen. They can achieve everything and anything in life. I began to notice the path and pattern of all my professors (believe me, its better than the stuff they are teaching.) Some are positive, some are negative. One develops the same vibes about the subject as well. The attitude matters. In fact, I think its the only thing which counts.
I have always tried my best to remain cheerful. I dont know why though..but I think its a good thing. Criticism ( apart from those of my friends) just bounces off me. But I have made up my mind. Im never going to the depths of negativity. Its scary. Almost like a black hole. Everyclass of his makes me feel depressed. Whew! perhaps this blog is written in its hangover only!

All I can say is, I have met the depression personified …and believe me you dont want to meet him. 🙂
PS: Im glad im not meeting him until monday!

Just the Beginning…

Yes, its that time of the year again. New classes, new subjects and a brand new semester. Beginning of the semester is a roller coaster ride in itself. From the lingering homesickness, to the delight of meeting up friends, from the tedious process of settling rooms and cupboards, to the pleasure of free time to catch up on stuff that happened suring vacations, its all too much fun. Yes, the fifth semester has indeed begun. One can make that out by the repetitive reminding of all teachers. ” You are in THIRD year now”. ‘ So what man! We can go from second to third only nah!’

Ah subjects. First of all, im not able to differentiate one subject from the other. I guess the profs also know that. They shoot googly’s like tell me the difference between heat transfer and thermodynamics. With a totally empty brain (all contents drained out in the hols), it just refuses to think. Instead I gaze at the dark clouds outside (oooh) only to be woken up by the whirring of the projector and thuds of pens n notebooks.

The weather. Wow..its raining. Its raining incessantly ever since I returned back to campus. The room seems all damp. Nothing seems to dry. Venturing out without an umbrella seems catastrophic. (I have been drenched to the bone four times already and that too inside the walkways!!!) Its beautiful. Dark clouds, thunder and no sunlight. Its my favourite kind of season. Oh man! I love monsoons.

Hmm its time for breakfast now. (If I dont get to stand in excessively long queues .. a result of new admissions to our campus..) I need to start concentrating a bit on what the teacher has to say and probably read at least the introduction of my textbooks. (Not to maintain a glazed appearance next time and be touted a fool!) But the very thought seems so boring.Hell! I might just watch a movie!!!