Crazy about….nothing in particular!

Do u belong to this particular species of people who can just about take/ eat / bear/ like anything?? Well if your answer is yes, then we belong to the same category. I am surrounded by people who are so particular about their likes and dislikes. They cant eat this, dont like that colour, that style, dont like this smell, that dish etc etc. Not me. For me everything is just okay and good unless its really really bad.

Well of course, I do have some likes and dislikes. For example, I am a strict eggetarian. I do not eat fish/meat/beef/pork etc etc. I also love dogs. But apart from being in such wide categories of people liking this and that, I do not have any particular tastes. I can eat any vegetable, any dish (even horribly cooked…thanks to college mess for that!), drink any juice, watch any movie (action, horror, drama, comedy), read ANY book, bear any climate ( though I love rains…I also like winters and summers also to an extent). See what I mean, I belong to no particular category.

There are people, I know who are damn particular. They like their sandwich like this, a particular palette of colours to wear, a select range of fruits and know exactly what they want when they enter a restaurant or a store. They give precise orders for dinner, go to a hundred shops before picking anything they like and are willing to go to the ends of the earth to find that ONE thing they really really want. On introspection, I discovered I am not like that at all. Its not like I don’t like anything, in fact I like almost everything. I love experimenting with tastes, outfits, music, books and am pretty satisfied with the results everytime. It is funny and entertaining to observe people reject most dishes, a hundred clothes/ shoes before they pick one and know what they exactly want. Of course, I know what I want from the bigger picture of life, like what I want to do with my life and what I want to study, but sometimes, when it comes to tiny things like these, I’m simply good with anything.

So be prepared for my answer if you ask me what Iwant to eat…I’ll just say, “ANYTHING”. 😀

The most amazing birthday celebrations and send off!

I turned 21 on december 12th this year. Wow! Twenty ONE! Can’t believe I am finally here. It used to feel so bigg and twenties was like a far off thing. Not anymore. And the birthday was equally many ways. Many many ways.
My day began in Vaishnavi’s room at 12 am when Nisha brought the cake and Bk, Vaish, MS and Nisha sang for me. The cake was Dutch chocolate and was exceptionally thankfully no smearing on the face or wastage of it happened. We ate the cake (mostly I ate) and happily chatted about nothing at all. The next day was my last exam..ours rather (Vaish’s and mine) in BITS. Our books were open and so was DC. We were all peeping into the latest episode of ‘Gary Unmarried’ on Bk’s comp. I slept in Vaish’s room only.
Morning was not-so-happy, starting with a fight with my sister and later with my mom. I guess a day should not be too perfect also and a birthday should always have a mixture of every emotion possible. I sat all grumpy in the morning in the library, trying to make sense for the final time out of books and notes spread out in front of me. Lunch was magggi with chocolate milk, followed by some walking and sorry calls from home.

By evening, my mood was perfectly okay and I recieved perhaps the best birthday gift of all. A huge parcel from Bloke with some of my dearest things in it. A card and a beautiful bracelet from Prachi was also there. It was all splendid. My dinner was from Preethi’s. A first in my BITSian life! (Preethi’s is a ramshackle dhaba located somewhere nearby, which makes its moolah out of the large number of BITSians unhappy with mess food. They take orders over the phone and deliver it at 10pm near the gate! You have to see the queue to believe it!)

Though exams occupied me till 5 pm the next day, Bloke and I went out to Coconut Creek afterwards, where we talked about a lot of things. A lot was needed to be spoken about and after all the fighting, we finally made peace. It was fun and the awesome night ended with a nice walk along the beach.

The next morning went in packing and shoving. It is difficult to pack and move your establishment of over 3.5 years. Things just crop up out of nowhere. You suddenly have so many things left, lots of others you throw and you promise yourself (unsuccessfully) never to accumulate so much stuff or rather indulge in impluse buying. First year library cards surfaces, lost earrings were found, crushed old clothes emerged and I huffed and puffed my way through all the final bits of packing left. Vaish and I signed out of BITS finally. As I put my name down on that long yellow list of ps students, I felt a mix of ecstasy and sadness. The journey had finally ended!
We hired a Tata Sumo to take us to a room in Vasco which we hired and stuffed our luggage in it. The 8 of us, Vaish, BK, Vidya, Gowcow, Anil, Nikhil, Bloke and I left for Nine bar…to have the time of our lives!

Nine Bar is a hippie haven. With neon lights and hordes of drunk hippies and loud trance music playing in the middle of an open space, this place takes some alcohol to get used to. The waves were crashing in the background and the DJ churned out track after track of Psycadelic music and everyone was swaying to the beats, high on music and perhaps on lots of other things as well. I personally did not like the place much. Maybe because I wasnt drunk or smoking, and secondly I found the music too loud and repetitive. I danced for a while with the others and left the place to stand in the parking lot where it was much more soothing and relaxing. Bloke and I kept chatting about a lot of things and we watched weird people wearing funny clothes and accessories, pulling out bikes and heading towards other clubs. I waited for the others to come out.

Our next stop was Titos, a super famous nightclub located in Anjuna. There was heavy policing and we had to walk a while to reach the club. Slowly and steadily, our group made it through. I walked a while along the brightly lit streets of Anjuna full of foreigners all dressed for a good party. There are numerous shacks there and we ate french toast and sat in CCD for a bit. Around 11 we made our way to another nightclub, Ivy which was emptier and looked way more snazzy. We got free entry and sat on the leather couches and others sat near the bar. We ate Pizza at Dominoes around 12 and kept hovering near the club. We had awesome fun. It was just the 8 of us there which made it seem like a private party. We danced like crazy totally enjoying ourselves till around 4 am! Then we made our way back to Vasco.

After a breakfast of hot chocolate and aloo paranthas,( and some seriously useless coffee), we bid goodbyes to each other as we all departed for home. It was a heady mix of feelings, sad to leave each other, happy to move on, a feeling of deep bonding and the uncertainity of reunion. But it was the best night and best party each of us ever had!
What a fitting good-bye!!

As the curtains fall…

This is a post typical of this time of the year. But hang on, there will be no looking forward to the next semester in this campus. My home away from home for the last three and a half years is no longer mine. My days in this campus are over.

As I sift through heaps of luggage and things brought semester after semester from home and pack it into cartons, I realize how much luggage I have accumulated. But then, it has been three and a half years here! And it seems like a very very long time on paper. But it never felt like it, the days just zipped past!

Unlike most others, I came here from Pilani campus. Pilani matched the image of a college in my head. Huge, lots of people, old buildings, creaky fans, extensive library, ragging, seniors blah blah. But this place was different. Apart from the look of a swanky resort, it lacked many of the features of a college and worse, the first semester had mini-tests also. Goodness! I remember how I hated this place. It only reminded me of my coaching institute and I wondered if my college life was ever going to be fun here!

Come second semester and things changed. I got my laptop and LAN entered our lives with the simple ip scanner. Bunking began on a large scale with the removal of mini-tests and it was only then that my life here opened up. Eateries emerged, labs got built and new faculty was recruited. It was almost like following the growth of a new-born baby…and four years down the line, it has developed..and how!

Second year onwards college life in Goa was fun. Shacks, beach trips, late-night movies, maggi in hostels, chatting with friends, bunking classes, last minute studies etc all of it began. The most important thing DC (Direct Connect) was also introduced in the LAN. After that, things were no longer the same. Gaming,movies, tv shows and other staple forms of entertainment began to flourish. From being a person who seldom swore at others, I learnt almost everything perceptible in the domain of colorful language. From catching one or two shows of english sitcoms on Star World or Zee Cafe, entire shows were seen and followed. It was freedom of sorts, freedom that perhaps one could never get anywhere else.

Today as I write this post about my last week on campus , I realize that the goodbyes I would be saying in the next few days would be the real goodbyes. Everyone would go their own way, following their career paths and be in different practice stations in different places. The next time we would meet, it would all be different, jobs, careers, marriage, spouse and even children might enter the picture. It is scary to think that no longer will I knock their rooms and see them in shorts, with a movie paused on their comps and rooms scattered.

As the curtains fall, I am filled with a lot of joy and a considerable amount of sadness. I am looking forward to the next phase of my life and meeting new people and growing further. But I will cherish forever the memories both good and bad that I had here, the teachers who taught me and other who influenced my stay here, the college cafeteria where I ate my everyday breakfast or the familiar naughty smile of Agnelo in Monginis. I’ll miss wishing the teachers who hardly taught me and I’ll miss looking at the faces of hundreds of my college mates as I walked through these corridors.

ADIOS BITS-PILANI,GOA CAMPUS. (Tasty farewells though, I guess they looked to make up for the mess food! 😀 )

Note on Goa:I’ve spent so much time in a tourist destination and I must hasten to add, it is slight over hyped. Probably for the tourist in a shoe-string budget, or people like us with no reservations in the opulent hotels and resorts here, Goa is a lazy place. Shopkeepers hardly show any interest in you unless u don sunglasses or have blond hair and blue eyes.Shopping is negligible and the famed flea market is also over-priced considering the cheap things they sell. The beaches are good and clean and the Goan shacks serve excellent stuff for the non-vegetarians esp sea food. Of course, this is the place of bars and pubs and I guess getting beer here is easier than a bottle of mineral water. Splendid watering hole. The pollution is very less so probably biking is awesome fun. Some sights are pretty and it is mostly the wild ones which are prettier than the standard ones shown. All the liquor tax you save, goes in the road-tax here. Its useless here without your own conveyance. All in all, good for a holiday in case you haven’t seen a beach all your life, are a non-vegetarian and are a heavy drinker. Otherwise, give Goa a miss!

The Death of Television

Recently, I was forced to watch TV. Yes forced. Trying to kill time till the next morning where truckloads of work would fall upon my head. No computer, no internet. Just me and the television. The result : I could not watch even for half an hour.

What has gone wrong with the Indian Television?? The flurry of reality shows which seems more like an orchestrated drama with the common public playing some of its characters and expoiting human emotions, or worse the saas-bahu sagas with endless storylines and so many generation jumps. The other channel shows another reality TV “Big brother”, another shows some talent hunt, the next shows some other. I had to make do with a Discovery Travellers episode I had already seen earlier.

I used to be a big television addict. There were days when Cartoon Network was the one channel that our TV was constantly tuned to. The Centurions, Swat Cats, Dexter ( can anyone forget Omlette episode?), the Real adventures of Johnny Quest, Tintin, Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, Captain Planet,Dumb and dumber, Two Stupid dogs to name a few which were so absorbing and extremely entertaining. Now those are replaced by a string of extremely different and not at all visually charming cartoon shows. The kids are in for Japanese animes and some other weird shows which do not amuse anyone, let alone the children.The other shows too were motivating and interesting watch, making one almost addicted.

Swabhimaan, Hasratein, Saaya, Oshin (a Japanese programme aired on doordarshan which was something i guess everyone was addicted to), Alpviram, Dekh bhai dekh, Ramayan, Udaan, Ghar-Jamai are some of the old serials I remember watching religiously. They were family stuff, extremely enjoyable and time killing. I remember the times when the roads were deserted between nine and ten in the morning on sundays when the nation watched Ramayan together. ( Not to mention the stars became Members of Parliament,which is a different story). What do we have now apart from the K-shows? Numerous dance competitions featuring soap-stars and famous judges vying for bollywood comebacks with painted faces and costumes, not to mention talk-shows which do nothing more than promote a movie at the time of its release, or Rakhi Sawant baring all and asking rude, on-the-face questions to B-grade actors who most willingly blabber shit expecting to rake in the moolah out of the controversies they create . What is Indian television made up of ? Such shallow stuff??

We do not even copy western television well. ‘Are you smarter than a fifth grader’ was aired amidst huge hype and the outcome was equally horrifying with the participants visibly embarassed and a couple of them even losing their jobs for not being able to answer those questions. Perhaps KBC ran the best and no other game-show ever took off like that. Even KBC part 2 failed for that matter. Where are the television series of the caliber of Friends, Boston Legal, House MD, Prison break , 30 Rock ? Why do producers pump in money for such wasteful shows in India which constantly come under the scanner and do nothing except get the rumour mills going and get some conversation in the kitty parties started. Where are the shows which send a message, which genuinely entertain ?

Yes, one might argue that the foreign shows have better budgets and famous actors. But I ask, are we short of money ? The epics produced today on television also resemble nothing but botched up movie stories case in point the newly aired Chatrapati Shivaji which resembles nothing but a movie or the flimsy, filmy take on Mahabharat where Draupadi wore noodle strap blouses and heavy mascara. Every other serial that promises something different ends up being a romantic tale of the lead couple ( case in point : Sanjivani or Kusum) along with jealous ex-lovers and a totally aghast family. Tell me, is this all our small screen today is ?

I turn to MTV and Channel V hoping to atleast catch some bollywood numbers but instead see a series of reality shows there as well. More obscene and perhaps ‘bold’ to suit the Indian youth, these shows are strictly no-family affairs. I dont think any teenager or young adult has manage to catch a show of Spiltsvilla with family around.

The travellers episode ended and I turned the channel to HBO where thankfully ‘Philadelphia’ was being aired. Too bad, I thought, Indian television has lost its once loyal viewer.