Monday, December 26, 2005

Acid Rain

Prologue:
Of late I have had quite a few scraps in Orkut in what is apparently praise for my sarcasm.
In my time, (I am a quarter of century old, after all) I should have taken it as criticism, but it seems that these people are complimenting me. So this one is for the lovers of my negetivity, a special compilation of my 'feel-bad' thoughts on-myself.

End of Prologue

Its that time of the year when stock-taking of the year that has been is forced on one by the subliminal forces employed by the media who bombard the viewer with programs that deal with every facet of this year-best books, movies, events, people, politics, sport and entertainment.

I call 2005, “the Year that forced me into becoming very career minded”. There were several reasons for this to have happened. The really main ones are- not getting a call for any PGP course with the 04 CAT score, only a PGSEM from IIM B which I converted* but didn’t join, ‘cos I really didn’t want to, and my being put in a team that gave me enough work to keep me consistently busy. [*Great prep for the GD/PI for this time round, God willing.]

There were several new events that were spawned from my foray into the world of the serious sw professional:

  • My blog writing has been very sporadic and sparse. [To the great relief of those who say- Blog writing is for the narcissist loser, who’s egocentrisms are more to be sympathized rather than paid attention to. Read- Desperate cry for attention by pathetic socially-stunted individuals who have filled the internet with more crap than a garbage dump]
  • I actually want – promotion, appreciation and more work. None of which I have actually managed to procure for myself, with the exception of, obviously, the last mentioned. This sudden very bourgeois behavior from me has successful shocked even myself. For I, like most others, felt I was a cross between the bohemian weirdness of Phoebe and the acid tongue of Chandler- in all very anti-establishment and nihilistic.
  • The fact that I was bypassed for promotion and appreciation because I did not let a total A$$#ole walk over me has made me more anti-establishment and nihilistic. In fact, I have promoted myself from weird to sociopathic.
  • I have started spending- in a very big way; despite the fact that my salary in comparison with my friends/classmates of comparable qualification and work-ex, is a mere excuse for a pittance. Yes, Boys and Gals- its official, Rain is a Yuppie buyer of electronic items and casual attire.
  • I read Dilbert’s book on management, companies, employees and bosses and ‘identified’ with it.
  • I firmly am for career over personal life. There are 2 very good reasons for this- one that I do have a career and second reason that I shall not elaborate over.
  • I am on the road to type B malnutrition, largely due to the combined efforts of my office caterer who studied nutrition in McDonalds and Muniyandi Vilas and my wonderful tendency to turn to calorific food for comfort.

Over the past 2 days I have read a whole quarter worth of newspaper and as a consequence depressed myself thoroughly. After all if newspapers were to print select and good articles that inspire hope and happiness- we would not get as much money from giving them to the raddi walla. While I drown myself in cocoa, saccharine and deep fried items, I cannot help but recall the totally skeptical expression that firmly placed itself over the face of the salesman who sold me 2 pairs of jeans of the size that we shall call X. You see, he was of the firm belief that X (which is sufficiently large enough a number, to embarrass a person, by itself) was not the correct size for me and suggested I go for X+2. My father intervened before I could put that smart-mouth in his place by crushing him to death with the bulk of my X+2 sized self.

Oh and if you are wondering why the bullet points and the overwhelming use of ‘I’, it’s a hangover from writing my self appraisal, which I must admit, has not been kind to my self-respect.

Thank god for Blogger, the provider of free therapeutic device called purging oneself of negativity via words that no one will read anyway. See, no harm done-all around!

Hoping I am not this caustic always for fear of accelerating global meltdown,
Rain

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Prodigal Rain

In the city of Chennai (and the rest of Tamilnadu), rains have lashed on for more than a month, intermittently. People are cut off still and everyone is getting infected. (The fact that the waters would have seeped down and not caused problems, if it hadn’t been for the widespread encroachment in to the lake and riverbeds, is something no Politician can look at, considering the elections are in the offing and the slum-dwellers and encroachers will exercise their voting rights vociferously.)

Volcker Report named the Central Minister and the ruling party of India as people who paid money to Saddam and themselves made gazillions in the Oil for Food program, which they have vehemently denied (Yup, If you were to go to that central minister and say “The Report states specially that the Sun rises in the East. How do you respond to that?” He’d not even wait for a nanosecond before his litany of “That is completely untrue and baseless”. Way to go, India, love yer choice in elected representatives.).

The Tamil wing of Taliban called by the names that rhyme with ZMK and Banthers Barty took over moral policing in TN and have apparently revoked the right to the Freedom of Speech. Also everyone is to follow the official line on Pre-marital sex (oops!! I didn’t just type what I think I did, did I?), which is

– “What’s that?” [accompanied by vacant expression and scratching of head in a non-intelligent manner]

and after someone has the birds-bees talk with the person; "Doesnt happen in Tamilnadu. Nope. No way.” [taut body stance of springing on the defilers of the purity of womanhood, matching belligerent facial expression]

{This is the approach is designed by that famous avian political scientist, Prof. Ostrich-Vallavan, who has since gone on to the Sahara desert where he can bury his big head in the vast sands and deliberate on why the world has been plunged into sudden darkness while also wondering ‘why is it so damn hot in here’.}

All through this time, I hibernated with all my views in cold storage.

You see, I had to work on creating a break for myself. Now that I am done with the first and most crucial step (preferring to not speculate on the results, praying hard that they should be good), I have joined the land of the living and the opinionated.

Oh yeah, had my birthday in between too. And on that very day went over to my last year’s post on the plans I had made for the year of my life that has just passed. Guess what? SSDD (Same s#it, different day). Nothing has changed.

On the subject on something that is definitely new- check out Trinity Teal's blog.My sister has made her foray into the world of blogging and she's so enamored of it. She's good.

Others have been doing good too, apparently. Shwetha has experienced the first snowfall of her life and is enjoying it. Brinda is hiking and traveling to the most gorgeous locations in North American like she always planned. Angana, gave a mind blowing dance performance with her troupe in October and seems to have done the “Exam” well too. Vinu got married to Renish on November 10th. Lakshmi’s sister also got married. Niyas is going to be assigned his own team to lead and is just back from Pune, where he was sent to give training to a bunch of associates on a complex technology that is being used by the Pentagon.

On the whole, naaaah, cant sum up this post; has shot off into too many tangents, every once in a while, to find a common theme.

So yeah, here I am, a year older; any wiser? What does future hold in store for me?

Rain

PS: Jeffery Archer, don’t hate me for plagiarizing the title of your book. If its possible, I think I like it more than you do. Would’ve preferred it more if your lead Lady didn’t have to inherit the most powerful post in the world by default and that you’d shown the people of USA to be mature enough to elect a smart woman. Now that would’ve been good fiction. In fact though, people of USA cannot seem to want either a smart candidate or a female one, let alone one who’s both.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Adios until further notice

To all and sundry,

I have to do some things for the LAST time for the next 2 weeks. So I am not going to be posting anything until the stipulated timeframe is over. Since the regulars have stopped coming here anyway, this is a green signal for all those comment spamming advertisers (who promote anything and everything from 'escorts' to horse related gifts in my post comments section)... Go Ahead Spammers, Do what you will.
I have more immediate concerns.

GOD SAVE ME ONLY (u know when and how)
Rain

Monday, October 24, 2005

Evil and Eves

I am no feminist. And I am not sorry.

Power is neither male nor female.
Katharine Graham

Like all others, I believe that men are more prone to hostile acts towards women than the other way around. The explanation as to why this is so, is where the others and me disagree. Most men (including my own father who has lived in the house with 3 women for 22 years, so far) Women are gentle creatures without a violent bone in their bodies.

I know better.

Reading Disclosure was a re-affirmation of my belief that when it comes to the powerful committing atrocities in various degrees on the powerless-gender no bar. Throw away all the X and Y chromosomal theories and the Nature vs. Nuture postulates. Power Corrupts. Period.

Ok, so you can’t find women committing theft, murder, arson and rape as much as men. But that is simply because, by chance or cultivated choice- this happens to be a man’s world. Fact.
Not being the natural oppressor, the ladies do not get to indulge in some pro-active violence just to prove superiority. That is still the male bastion.

If the world really had equal opportunity then we’d have as many villainous women as there are men. And the women will not be just subtly scheming or poisoning stealthily, instead we’ll go out all for physical fights. That is probably a lot more therapeutic in solving intra-personal problems.

Going on to specifics, say the Work Place. There are females with male bosses and vice versa (software industry is the text book example). Read the following extract from Disclosure (a must read for anyone in that example industry)

Dorfman shook his head. "So much of this is unconscious. Rapport is unconscious, Thomas. But the task of building rapport is different, depending on whether you are the same sex as that person, or not. If your mentor is a man, you may act like his son, or brother, or father. Or you may act like that man when he was younger- you may remind him of himself.
"But if you are a woman, everything is different. Now you must be your mentor's daughter, or lover, or wife. Or perhaps sister. In any case, very different."

"I see this often, now that men are starting to work for women. Many times men cannot structure the relationship because they do not know how to act as the subordinate to a woman. Not with comfort. But in other cases, men slip easily into a role with a woman. They are the dutiful son, or the substitute lover or husband. And if they do it well, the women in the organization become angry, because they feel that they cannot compete as son or lover or husband to the boss. So they feel that the man has an advantage."
“Do you understand?" Dorfman said.
"You're saying it happens both ways."
I got newer insights into my work place relationships based on what has been said.
Its all true. Only if the subordinate guys to female superiors can become comfortably friendly yet maintaining the lack of intimacy (which would never challenge the real men in the personal lives of the female bosses), can the relationship be as smooth as silk.
In short, if you can begin to think of a guy you work with as your job-brother /son(in the same vein as the cousin-brother and the rakhi-brother traditional mindset of the Indian woman), you will be a great boss/mentor.

But getting a mentor when you’re a working girl, its quite a tough thing. Especially considering the “don’t stare at any guy if you don’t want him to get a wrong idea” dogma. [I am happy to announce that my friend has also joined the “Miss. Understood” club with me, that too in “conjunction” with a much younger guy J. So my case was not isolated.
The poor stripling fancies himself as her heartthrob while the poor gal just admits he caught her eye a coupla times and that is all. I say- been there, done that. I live to tell the tale.]
A lady can’t get a mentor of the opposite sex unless she can conform to his image of daughter or sister.

I know its not fair, but Life is never fair. So you have 2 choices, you rant and rave about how we're streotyped into being so nepotistic in the workplace despite our best work ethics working overtime in our tired conscience...or we could shut up and try to work around the obvious.

I know I am being a tratitor to my kind by unravelling this mythical mystique associated with the feminine, but hey whatever...bottomline - Never assume that women are angels who put up with the devils that are men. We are all human and each of us have the angel:devil ratio that is half chance and no choice. Women can and will be as good/bad as men in anyway.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Swinglish Only, Yaar

Author's Note:
This post was rejected by some because of its content that hurts the sentiments of the global audience, due to its negetive references to Indian/Brit and American language, however unintentional.

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Remember the time when Wren and Martin was the bible that got you through those middle school English exams? Remember committing the entire list from Barron's GRE to memory, in college?
When the British bequeathed to us a tottering, depleted economy and a penchant for corruption and red tape, they also left behind the legacy of British Educational system, which has English as its axis. Which is why, in spite of having so many of our own languages, Indians communicate largely via English.

"Zimblee", "vaat" are all you need to hear to know that you're south of the vindhyas where children spell earth's natural satellite as "Yem-Woh-Woh-Yenn"; and its easy to conclude you're at the north when "Bheri Bheri Bhaadd" and "Ispeeking" worm their way into your brain. That is us speaking English not is not yet ours.

The case of USA and their language, serves as a good study for us to create our own friendly version.
Americans flaunt their take on the Ol' English with fierce abandon. They prefer 'gas' to 'petrol', 'cop' to 'police' and that is not akin to the difference between 'Po-tae-tow' and 'Poh-tah-tow'. As a test, try typing the word - 'colour' in any word processor (set to English-American) and you cannot go on without receiving a helpful hint that asks you to use 'color' instead. Now you know just how distinct American (as in "Yo Dude, speak American") is from English. No one gasps in horror or raises their haughty eyebrows (or stiff upper lips) at a busy New Yorker saying "Where-dya-wanna-go?" as if uttering a single word instead of a sentence where one would expect some clipped words with pauses in between. That is because the Americans consider their language as their birthright and the disapproval of the teachers of English mean nothing to them.

Looks like we've followed by example but with our indigenous approach.
As Indians, we have this gift for customization. Since time immemorial, people have been coming in from various parts of the world with their distinct culture, language and customs only it have it homogenized in the great Indian Pot-Pourri.
When we can assimilate rigid components with such ease then the flexible and ever growing language like English is not even a worthy challenge...
I am not talking about the inclusion and worldwide usage of Indian words like Jungle, Fakir, Mulligatawny and Pariah. Those words went into the dictionary when there were Gora Sahibs strutting around in our country calling it their own.

Move over archaic English, for there is stiff competition from Hinglish (Hindi + English) spoken throughout the country seamlessly, Tanglish (Tamil + English) which is the local favorite or to simply give a generic term to all these formats- Swinglish (Software Engineer's English).

The HR of the various companies (mostly IT industry based) in their eminent wisdom make sure that any project would contain members of starkly different demographical profiles, who can represent the diversity in our great country. So having grown up speaking Hinglish, Tanglish, Telinglish, Malunglish or any other member of this family, people come into a team and slowly but surely create this version that contains 60% English, 25% Hindi and 15% local language.

At first the team, has a merry time digesting a 'Arre yaar' (Hindi for 'C'mon Man') prefix to any sentence in shudh angrezi or 'Yenna' (What), ‘Romba’ (Very) or 'Ooru' (City/Place) sprinkled generously and unexpectedly in between the other words and phrases in English. In time the differences melt away- the transported learn the local language by way of the regionalized English spoken by others and the locals learn smatterings of the language of the transported people. The result, ladies and gentlemen is the language that you hear in any corridor or cubicle of any Indian software company- SWINGLISH.

Look no further than all your magazines, books and newspapers where certain italicized words are making more frequent appearances among the chaste English, lending their own spice to the meaning - Junta, Desi, Masala, Hazaar...the list goes on.
We don't bat an eyelid when we receive mail messages like:
"Kya Yaar? Romba busyaa? I was thinking ki when you are free, we could go over the reports, together", in spite of the red squiggly lines (from the spell checker) that mark them; which belies our covert approval and ravenous appetite for Swinglish.

Why does it happen? Research shows that while our western cousins are insularly monolingual predominantly, we Indians are by and large at least tri-lingual. We are English educated, are taught our mother tongue and learn Hindi at some point or the other.
While increased use of various languages, more or less in parallel, is shown to be a marker of a sharper brain, it can also lead the speaker, who is not very centered on the linguistics but rather on the content, to very easily switch across the languages. If the audience is also trained in the same languages, then processing the juxtaposed information from the speaker comes naturally but there is definite realization on the part of the speaker and the listener of the mix.

Regardless of how it came to be or why at all it exists, Swinglish is the version built and promoted by the software based junta of India, that has found acceptance in lyrics of pop and film music; the whole length of Indie movies themselves feature dialogues in a familiar mix of Indian languages and English, NRIs all over earth identify it as their own and everyone you know uses it.

So next time anyone says "But…aanaa" (Tanglish for "But...But") or "Dekho, the point is..." ("Look, the point is..." in Hinglish) and when you see hoardings promoting cellular services that state "Talk pannungaa" (which when translated from Tamil would be "do the Talk" or "make the talk"!!) You can feel certain pride in witnessing the boom of this "Made in India" phenomenon.

Having said hajaar serious stuff, here is a kutti joke:
This Englishman brags (in very bad taste) to our desi guy, "We ruled your country for 200 years".
Unfazed, our aadmi replies, "Arre Bhai, toh what? We will ruin your language forever!”

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Analyse This

Just a week ago, one of my newer acquaintances, was trying to re-assure me that I was Scorpio and not the poster child for “Linda Goodman Screwed up!!” rallies. “What distinguishes us our astute analysis of human nature”, she told me, ”try and observe, you have that potential to study, observe and draw very accurate conclusions about people.”

I repeatedly stated that I definitely do not fit the mould drawn up for the Scorpio (human x-ray machine, Linda called us).

If I did possess those tele-whatumaycallit powers, then why would I be Miss. Congeniality/Popularity wherever I go? (Please note the rather heavy undertone of sarcasm and the explicit proclamation of the same). Wouldn’t I coolly be able to manipulate the evil-doers away from my path and not have to rant and rave in my blog?

She dismissed all my points very casually (she’s scorpio too) and maintained her litany of “try it and you’ll see”.

I was inspired to reclaim my latent powers; today, I found a perfect opportunity to flex my heretofore-unexplored analysis muscles. What an excellent bunch to people to analyse – the junta that turned up for mock cats J

Start of Report

We’ll start by breaking down the data into categories and levels.

The first split will be based on gender: - the Girls and the Guys; or the minority and the majority, respectively.

The Girls can be divided as

Behenjis and

Boho Tomboys.

Behenjis’ come in immaculate bhartiya nari wear right down to the ornate embroidered handicraft handbags. They are 90% of the time only in the company of atleast one male escort who’s not a blood relation. There is a great deal of walking around and laughing in muted tones. Behenjis avoid contact will all other sections of people that co-habit the mock cat arena except the chosen ones who (if they are wise) will also maintain the mind set that they both are the only people there.

Boho Tomboys’ are the deliberately unfeminine girls who land in the center in the crinkliest of the unwashed T-shirts and worn out baggies. They belong to Neo’s mindset after he discovers he is the one-namely, they see everything in zeroes and ones. To know the strictest fashion No-nos one only needs to observe their apparel. Some of these sit with the preparatory material and actually work towards goals.

Among Boys, the variety is more due to their sheer large numbers:

You have the basic split-up as :

‘The Munnas’

‘The Bhais’

‘The Munnas who pretend to be Bhais’

‘And the Bhais who pretend to be Munna’s

The Munnas’ are mostly final year college students. Although they are the big brothers in the campus, in the mock cat arena they are the bottom feeders in the food chain. They are fresh faced, well dressed lot, they actually care and prepare. These guys accompany ‘Behenjis’. They come in kurtas or Alligator monochrome upper wear with a matching toned set of trousers. They are the future yuppie tax-payers, the young India. They still write essays on Secularism, Gandhian Ideals and Global Warming.

‘The Bhais’ are the employed lot. They work 6 days a week and want to advertise their need to atleast be able to sleep more on Sundays by coming in a barely sanitary “I haven’t taken a bath yet” look. They wear very strong colors – mostly black and red. Some have “funny” worded T-shirts (why beer is better than women, 10 reasons why Bikes are better than girlfriends – I’d to see these specimens marry their Pulsars and have little pulsar-human children). They are easily identifiable due to their characteristic to roam in packs and not come inside the class unless personally ushered in by the invigilator, also they tend to be on their mobiles quite a lot.

‘The Munnas who pretend to be Bhais’ are the young Alpha males who think they can carry off the tough guy act. They are surrounded by the adoring fan pack (mostly class mates and friends). Can be easily spotted by their desparate attempts to appear more macho – ‘Grateful Dead’ T-shirts, a cultivated unshaven chin, deeply gelled hair, tendency to wear pants in a Hip-Hop fashion (way way below the hip). These people strut with such practice that one starts to hear the strains of “Stayin Alive” in the background. ‘Boho Chicks’ (the term used by them to describe the ‘Boho Tomboys’) are their favorite targets. Their accents reek of faux Americana, the whole range of it – from the mobster NY (generous sprinkling of “F&*^ “everywhere) to Cowboy drawl (talking via nose and clenched teeth).

‘The Bhais who pretend to be Munnas’ are the oldest of the lot. Probably with 2-4 years of Work-ex (and majority of that experience spent dealing firmly with the junta of the other 3 categories), high designation, high pay. They are at the top of the chain, but try to not show it. They come in unglamorous business casuals, sit in the classes as soon as they spot their place and continue in that state of doing nothing until they are handed the question papers. Their mobiles are state of art, their wheels are the swankiest –yet they walk (opposed to strutting) and try to blend. The only reason I can think of their passive act despite the highly aggressive natures is the fear of their subordinates (‘the bhais’) in office catching them in a mock cat center.

Coming to those who actually get through the hallowed IIM screening process:

‘Behenjis’ and ‘the Chicks’ get through in equal number, but their numbers are small enough to begin with.

‘The Munnas’ and ‘the Bhais who pretend to be Munnas’ occupy the top 2 positions among the shoo-in category. ‘The Bhais’ are the largest in the numbers of those who try, but their success percentages are not so good. ‘The Munnas who try to be Bhais’ are the least among those who try, they might get through in a decent number but not to the cream institutions.

End of Report

So by now I was sporting a superior smirk of one who was above the teeming crowd and had clinically studied humanity. Jauntily and with a condescending smile I went in for the actual mock cat. The next thing I remember is standing outside the class 2 hours later-my mind wiped clean. Before I could consider the possibility of Alien Abduction, I was aware that I had in my hand the question paper I had supposedly attempted, with my verifiable doodles in it.

Next time, I will bring prep material and spend time with it like the smart sisters of my Boho fraternity. This analyzing thingy is best suspended till I can afford to spend time in it.

I am just a poor girl, nobody loves me -Bohemian girl rhapsody
(due apologies to the mortal remains of Freddie Mercury that turns in its resting place)
Rain

Friday, September 16, 2005

Office Romances

“The only thing more dull than waste management practices are your office anecdotes”, says my long-suffering sister. I couldn’t agree more; although I have had the privilege of not having to study a fine topic as the disposal of waste, I think I get the general idea behind her statement.

But Office anecdotes are all I have by means of a source of interaction with people.
By me, I mean the entire demography of people who are employed in software industry.
Looks like entire lives are shaped around the office. By lives, include personal/social lives in the list too.

Too busy to go out into the real world to find significant others and future spouses, most of them are content in scouring offices to look for potential mates. Anything from a common interest in JSP to having attended the same Personality Development Class can form a fertile ground for two to end up marrying.

Coffee breaks are ways to meet; pantries are the most romantic places in the campus. Any look at a person of the opposite sex for more than 29 seconds is taken as a “Haven’t I met you some place before…?”
If you are caught with a 30sec long look for more than 2 times, it means you are declaring lifelong love.

Needless to say that is why most people not looking for love incessantly end up staring only at the computer monitor enough to get their retinas detached.

I can find mine coming apart any time now.

In what seems like a very weird coincidence is that this past week, I have made eye contact with the same person in a frequency of about twice a day. In software terms its like I proposed. In the real world it would be something contrastingly innocent like that person walks in and out of the wing a lot and my cubicle is next to the wing’s only door, and I have this instinct of looking up when there is any sound.

When there is a group of people who can have inter-personal relations among themselves, there are bound to be some unwritten yet mandatory rules. Also a caste system. If you fall for someone who’s extremely far better qualified and in a high designation, your chances are very very abysmally low. There are cliques of the snobbish who in general don’t rub shoulders with your ordinary Joe or Jane Btech or BE. If Jane, looked like million bucks, then the rule is relaxed. But Joes are subject to rejections from the Clique women even if he bore a marked resemblance to Brad Pitt.

Romance within the upper caste cliques and the lower caste majority are of course welcome and in fact encouraged by the company management. One company gives a car as a gift when 2 employees sign a lifelong partner ship contract. Another gives one 3k when he/she gets married, thus getting 6K is a great inducer for office romances.
Coming back to my tale, X (the person I supposedly ‘stare’ at) is a Prince among the elite clique. He thinks he is doing his bit for the downtrodden women (like me) by smiling at us and trying to provoke us when he is in a slumming mood. X’s deeply touched by my feelings (unspoken) for him to the extent that he has taken to shaking his head sadly in slow motion whenever we see each other. Also he has taken into dealing with me via middle men or women. He’s trying in his way to gently discourage me in my doomed pursuit of him- Something entirely non-existent.

I am tired of this game playing. I would like to go up to him and say, “Buddy, I don’t find you irresistible in the very least. You are entirely safe with me.” But that would mean that I have to accept that I have given him cause to make him think that I am besotted with him. The very concept is calling upon my up-chuck reflex; I am down with fever and I do not want to part with the apple I consumed this morning.

If I ever do settledown (which everyone assures me will happen sooner to people who cry hoarse against marriage) I would definitely make sure that guy is so far away from software that he should think it had something to do with cuddy teddy bears. No wait, that would make him retarded/stuck in a time warp/clueless, or all three together.

So I’ll just settledown for someone who does something else for a living. But people like me are a minority. There is so much smoldering going on and intense chemistry that one would think they wrongly came between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Some Karan Johar victim would probably say, love can happen anywhere, so why not the office?
Hmmm…think about this. You live with this guy, go to office with him, consume food and beverages with him, work with him, come back with him and the next day it’s the same thing all over again.

There is such a thing as too much time spent together or too much in common with one another. Needless to say (although I will say it) all this is my take on this thing.

There have been great successes and many failures.
No clear statistics to support either result as a norm.

So whoever finds love in the neighbouring cubicles, good for you.
And those that don’t, good for you too.

Hope this post wasn’t too Bridget Jonesy
Rain

PS: some bits of this post are exaggerations and put only to emphasize the appropriate point and any resemblance to anything actual in real life will only make it credible :p

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Krishna

Happy Janmashtami All!! :)

The ultimate God, son, boyfriend, husband, father, teacher, friend, ally, statesman, politician,Warrior and King was born today, in more saintly times.
He taught that the material and the spiritual need not be mutually exclusive.

Learn from the life of Lord Krishna - Be Happy Always and do your job as best as you can!!!








Specially this goes out to Jay (the krishna bhakta version of her many gemini selfs)
Brinda (who has so many connections with the lord that she married Murali)
Vinodhini (the iyengar - hence the krishna connection)
Divya (God Bless you)

Everyone in the universe- May there be peace on earth.

Jai Sri Krishna

Short and sweet,
Rain

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Irritants

These days I am the 'Angry not-so-young Woman'.
There may be a gazillion pithys, maxims and sayings for and against people will issues in keeping their volatile temper; but all of those don't serve one tiny little bit when you want to kill someone.

'If you let someone get to you...then its easy for them to win', said Niyas over cocktail exotica, the supposed blend of soft fruits which in reality, as he and I found, was just a fancy way of saying 'we mash bananas, serve it in a closed cup and make monkeys of you'. That made me very angry. By 'that' I mean the truth of his statement and the people who take my money and make me my own less evolved ancestor.

Ma says yoga would help. Tried to join a class, turns out (as my luck would have it), that the classes have been cancelled for the whole of this week. THis did not make me happy at all. (figures, right?...)

Root of anger is helplessness and/or disappointment. Both are caused by non-fullfillment of expectations- those that one has of himself and those he has from others.
I know causes to my anger and also that there is highly very little (sounded better than saying -nothing) that I can do to make things better.

THe cliched 'time heals all' is the only projection work looking at for now. If that also turns out to be junk like the rest of the sayings...yeah well I couldnt get angrier than I am now.

Pa says 'holidays heal the soul'. He is a very astute man. Lets hope my holiday over the coming long weekend gives me independence from my constant companions - irritation and anger.

Some wiseguys have long ago mentioned something to the effect of 'be angry and you'll screw everything up'- that is 100% true. I have enough testimonials from my life within the last 2 weeks to make a long-running mega serial over that theme.

Also, if someone says 'one day at a time' to me once again, it is to be taken that he/she has just uttered his/her last words. Don't say I didnt warn...

The highly belated disclaimer: If you are a sensitive, good person or a child apt to get scared soon or a pregnant woman or a heart patient who does not like bad vibes, you should not have read the post above.

Turning to the dark side of the force,
Barely holding on till better times arrive,
Rain

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Childhood’s End

As a person who’s constantly in touch with her inner child, I am down with acute nostalgia and an overdose of reality with the removal of the last and most symbolic object of my childhood and teenage years – My blue cycle – Chetak.

She has been sent away to my pre-teen cousin in my native, for a new set of memories and feelings to be forged in. Apparently, I am too old to have my cycle (which I no longer use, but that is not the point).

Chetak belonged to an ancient family of the BSA SLRs, she is the last of her breed. In this age of her flashier, swankier and sleek cousins, she still remains a steady and unbreakable bicycle-an exhibit that in the days of yore, Indians built objects that did not bend, break, wither and die.

Even in the time when I wore pigtails,(back in 487857 BC) there was no other to match her uniqueness and antiquity. So most times I would not even bother to lock her at all. If at all any stranger were to accost her, that person would be more prone to leave a small and personal donation to the impoverished owner of such an excuse for a cycle rather than attempt to take her. That is what I call maximum security and peace of mind, also, the occasional money I found near her got me plenty of eatables. After all I belonged to parents who felt pocket money is something they keep in their pockets and let you peek at, occasionally, if you’ve been a good girl…

Chetak was named after the faithful horse of Rana Pratap, and I belonged to Pratap house when I got her. So you do the math. If it helps, Rana’s horse was so dark, it was thought to be of blue color.
I don’t know if I can compare to the Rajput King, but my cycle lived up to her name in a million ways. Can’t bring me another cycle that transported me across vast distances across water, sand, gravel and despite punctures, air leaks, flat tyres, rust and every other malady that could strike her species.

She had this distinct sound that cleared traffic in front of me and announced to my teachers, taking roll-calls inside and in the 3rd floor of my school premises, that I was pedaling down the turn, half a block away from the entrance.

Her load bearing capacity reached world renown as foreign tourists used to gape at the sight of a pudgy teenager, her bulky bag and even bulkier lunch bag cycling away with a plump child sitting behind with a plump bag and an even more plump lunch basket.

Once a physicist in a tourist group sat down to find out the mysterious forces that actually let Chetak make any forward movement at all, with the given conditions of gravitation and the mass and weight of the objects and people perched on her surfaces of contact. He sidetracked into the equation for the Improbability drive and was suddenly never heard from again…unless you are ready to take words of 3 headed squiggly eyed green guys from Tricylon 3 who say they know him.


So by now it would be established that my cycle was a symbol of my freedom and my spirit of exploration and adventure. She completed me.

Even when my sister was given a gorgeous StreetCat, and I was given an option to trade in Chetak for a newer bicycle, I chose to keep her and that was a very wise thing as I see it now. For one thing my sister’s cycle was stolen in a month and she was never given any replacement as punishment and secondly, because it shows to me that at my teenage, when most people are attracted to pretty things I was loyal to my unglamorous and ugly antique cycle.

My cycle and me have had a lovely run for 11 years and it’s been a blast. I will definitely miss the sight of her as I come into my house everyday, but I will let go.
Her time to move on has come.

Chetak left to Thanjavur today, to go to the not-so-welcoming arms of my cousin, who really does want a ‘Ladybird’ instead (the author starts to itch with an allergic reaction to anything so artificially cute). Maybe Chetak’s company will teach little cous that for the rewarding and memorable relationships – one has to see far beyond the shiny exterior. And I do hope she does not implement her plan to re-christen the cycle as ‘Pinky Sweety’, after the much maligned neighborhood dog.

Au revoir, Chetak and Godspeed.

Blue without you,
Rain

PS: Good Luck and Godspeed Vinoo, your childhood has ended too. Prove your might in the land of Stars and Stripes and don’t let them change your lovely self one-inch.

PS v1.0: Q: What is with most of objects of my affection leaving me?
Ans: Welcome to life, the dummies guide to dealing with loss; and still smiling…

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Wake-up Calls

*************Personal Post Warning******************

“Life’s too short to be afraid
So take a pill to numb the pain
You don’t have to take the blame…”,
advises Robbie Williams; I beg to differ.

Today is a celebration to mark the start of the festival season (Aadi pirappu).
Began quite in the very opposite of spirits…with a nightmare of me trying to squeeze in some last minute studying for an exam for which I have NOT prepared. I was under such intense pressure in the dream that I got up gasping.
The last dream/nightmare I have ever remembered occured when I was 6. Since then I go to sleep and wake up in the morning…Today’s nightmare seemed a harbinger that set the mood for the day.

In my infinite wisdom, I‘ve decided to re-take CAT. The notice for the issue of bulletins for the exam came in today’s paper. (We take a couple of seconds to re-visit my nightmare)

Anyone can decide to do something. The gravity of that decision strikes one only when there is a half-page notice in all leading dailies and one’s supportive father chooses to highlight the amount of preparation that one has done for this exam that one had decided to take up a long time ago- Zilch. Nada. Squat.

Also the previous evening I booked my slot to take up Oracle Certification. You see, I have no challenges in life that suit my intelligence at all.

Inertia, routine, The Matrix, Maya...whatever it is; has me in its vice-like grip.

The 2nd wake-up-call came from Vinoo. She is leaving to pursue Advanced Research in Richmond by the end of this month. Last year-end the pact between me and her was that by July 2005 (which is now) I’d be in IIM and she’d be starting for her studies in the US.

Guess who did not/could not keep her side of the goal?

Also, she is the last of my close friends to go far far away and I will miss her so L
So by this month-end I will be friendless in Chennai, and if anyone says “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” once more, I will scream.

My posish is totally unenviable. I am at the very nadir in my own eyes. Anyone would say- You have nothing to beat yourself about..have a job, health and family. There are so many in the world without anything.

But you know what? I have the right to beat myself up black and blue. I will do it at any point when I feel I’ve not lived up to my expectations from myself. I will sulk and mope- It’s my party and I will cry if I want to…

It sure won’t solve anything, I know.

I have to go back to Pagalguy, to the materials and give a good performance in my Oracle exam – all the while continuing to do my best in office (I love my project-they’ve been so good to me)

I am going to have to do all of these things. There is nothing that anyone can do to help me here. Maybe lend moral support or inspiration, perhaps clear a doubt or two.

Niyas (who’s been mentioned in the blog after a year) will not be taking up CAT this year and is also too busy to play mentor like he did last time (God Bless him). So I am on my own now.

Sometimes I wonder, is there any point? Is it a waste of everyone’s time? Am I even destined for the future I wish for?

Appa has decided to be my jailor for the continuous 4th term in office (Once for Gre and twice for the previous 2 CATs)-whether I have anything to say about it or not.

It’s not a happy time for me. To say the very least.

Time to get pro-active and shake the crap out of the complacent universe I have created around my routine.

Winds of change are blowing my way; I am going to be up for whatever comes. Although I am hoping its something that will make me smile for life ;)
Die-hard Optimist
Rain.

Friday, July 08, 2005

War of the Worlds - out of this world

Take a look at this:


Take a novel so far ahead of its time, that its time has not yet come even in our time, from an author who can only be described as a pop-prophet; You then add 125 billion dollars, the magic of ILM and the one and the only Speilberg (I am not worthy!!) into the mixture... and what do you get?
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS

First things first, this is by no means an exact rendition of H.G.Wells' immortal classic. The movie takes place in our time. The eerie reminders of 9/11 are sprinkled throughout- The white dust that settles on the fleeing people, the crashed airoplanes, the stampedes and the panic...utter desparation in the faces.
No female leads, unless you count Dakota Fanning, who screams like a Banshee or glides by wraith-like and just looks on for all of the movie. The protagonist is NO HERO. In fact, he is more of an anti-hero. Ray (played by Tom Cruise) is an ordinary frightened-out-of-his-wits father, who just wants to take his children to Boston in safetly. He doesn't want to let his son, Robbie's need to pro-actively help to face the alien attack to affect that. Robbie, however, comes out the braver and the more put-together of the men. He asks his father to let go.

The cameo played by Tim Robbins is chilling. Short but leaves a deep impact of both his character as well as that of Ray's. A proof of what reasonable people will do to ensure the basic safety of their child even if for a short while. Killing becomes immaterial.

The world is finally not saved by a country, or by weapons or by the cleverness of men. Very credibly its saved by the inability of the Aliens to live in our world populated by the creatures that "God so thoughtfully put among us".

I would not credit this movie as the master's best-but this far exceeds the best presented by most.

Personal Note: The very next day of my watching the movie, there have been 4 serial blasts in London admist the G8 conference extravaganza taking place in the nearby Scotland. Al-Queda is believed to be behind this, will the war within our world ever end?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Water Baby!

Its been 6 years since I swam. Considering I struggled at that time, I can safely say I am not going to be bringing any medals home.
Suddenly TamilNadu Govt. decided that women should get their time to swim in the public pool (renovated, mind you) and I suddenly found myself there at 9 on sunday
with the sibling and the mother.
My sibling is strong. She has stamina. When I was consuming vast quantities of pool water as I had sunk more than swam, she took it upon herself to rescue me. This happened an unspecified number of times.
We will not talk about me in comparison with her, my psychologist says it stunts my self-esteem; but when she christened me and repeatedly and only called me "Fat Wuss", I did not disagree with her.
But, 'one small "bobbing" for a Wuss, giant laps for Fat Wusskind'...

That aside, I must say- I love the water. IT totally beats land. All rules and laws go beserk there. Its like being in a different planet altogether.
Its exhausting and it takes all extra fat from everywhere.

Thanks TamilNadu Govt. for bringing one really bad swimmer back to the pool-fold so she can atleast start on a path to proper swimming.

On a totally unrelated note, I did not sleep for 3 nights as I used them-wisely, to watch the last 3 seasons of FRIENDS which I missed thanks to TamilNadu Govt. and its very wise decision to implement the conditional access system which was rejected everywhere else in the country.Although I wonder the rejection of CAS by all the other states could not even be construed as a ..ahem..HINT!! There must have been a good reason why, right? right!!!

The FRIENDS episodes and the content kept getting muddled and gross, but our attachement to these non-existant characters prevailed. FRIENDS ended. I had closure.
Pity my closure had to wait nearly more than year after the actual ending of FRIENDS- so here we call upon TAMIL NADU GOVT again; and I say ........I can't say because I have promised my mother that my blog will only contain decent content.

Maybe I'll say this for the first/last time when I say- I love Chandler Bing and Dont any of you dare judge me for that.

That is so totally out of my system now :p

Hope the swimming continues and the FRIENDS episode re-watching never starts,
Fat Wuss a.k.a Rain

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Golden Oldie

Warning: To not be bored the socks off by this post there are a few criteria that the reader must possess:- 1] Knowledge of Hindi and Hindi music, 2] Liking for the golden oldies of Kishore Kumar, 3] A whole lot of patience. Even if you do fulfill these, there is still the a fair chance that this post may not interest you…that is kinda the risk in almost everything, so….[meandering thought is cropped]

After a really really long time, I have come back to my mellow music tolerant phase. You know how some songs should be played only if you are in the mood for it? Ppl who personally know me, know this – Can’t stand slow love songs.
Like all things- there are exceptions to this; In my case it’s the melodies of Kishore Kumar.
I know that he left to a better place by the time I was a kid, I know he hasn’t sung any hit songs of my generation- but what the Heck!! Dead or alive this man has the voice of gold. There may be a zillion others with amazing voices too-but what he brings is that all too real rendition.
If you are listening to “O mere dil kay chaen” in the dimmed lights, the song has the power to lead you to belive that this song is being sung right now by some invisible romantic to his prospective girlfriend and you happen to be in an acoustically lucky place. You can literally visualize the expression, body language and the desperation of invisible guy’s love in just the intonation of Kishore Kumar.
And the icing to the cake is the extremely beautiful lyrics of this song. I know any English translation is probably not going to do any justice to the powerful feelings that the words of this song evoke in you; but I do have to do this in order to show why I feel the overwhelming need to write something about this at 1 in the night.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that this song is a serious proposal, not your usual eve-teasy or lovey-dovey (and full of exaggerations about the girl’s beauty) song. In fact, I can’t even recall the video shot for this song at all, I am explaining this only from the point of view of a person totally impressed by just its sound and thinks that watching the movie clip of this song may repulse her.
Here goes nothing:
In the first stanza, he says: “You see your own shadow and get embarrassed. This is just our first milestone and yet you got frightened at this point itself. What will happen to me? Think about that.” This is pretty straightforward and a valid set of statements to boot. He wants to confirm her interest/commitment.
Somewhere in the next stanza “Jachtha hi nahi aankhon mein koi”No one else seems to find favor in my eyes (but you-that is left unsaid); and “Dil tumko hi chahe to kya keejiye?”- If the heart wants only you then what can be done about that?
IGuy is letting her know his depth of feeling. Also the ‘Maska’ helps; in right doses atleast.
But here are the translated lines that show the guy’s resolve and how he asks her to be his strength: “Ordinarily I can stabilize myself without any help when I fall; But if you were to hold my hand then I can change the world. I have asked for you for the sake of the world [‘s betterment-that is also left unsaid]. So now you make a decision by yourself”.

Proposals are of many kinds; but only the great ones remain in memory. I can still recollect the sardonic, supposedly somber offer of marriage that Rhett gives to Scarlett after the death of her 2nd husband by saying-“Soon you’ll marry someone for little money anyway, so I thought why not me for my money”. I know that is a bad thing to admire being a female myself, but she was a two-bit hustler and there was no point being respectful to her.
Or Darcy’s proposal for Elizabeth Bennet in which he details how he tried to prevent himself from falling for her because he knows her mother and sisters are appalling and she isn’t from the most elite or affluent of families but she got him anyway…
And the man still felt confidant that after this statement Ms. Bennet would jump at the chance of being his wife!!
Ok so these are the “so-bad-that-they-are-good” proposals. But this song is by far the most level-headed and proper proposal that has ever graced Hindi music.

Hey but one standard disclaimer, please don’t get the impression that this song is a sure-fire hit proposal for your actual life; it may be but the FDA has not given approval yet and any trials done are at your own risk. But it sure helps if the girl knows Hindi and you can sing that song like Kishore Kumar. The man had a large number of wives; some of the most beautiful women of their time- that accounts for something right?

Overall, it was great to listen to this song and O Saathi re, Meeth na mila re mann ka, Zindagi Ek safar hai suhana .etc. after so many months of Rock and Pop. It was like a trip in my mind to another time.

Long Live Kishore Kumar in the hearts of his fans,
Rain

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Evil

There is certainity and strength in evil- no scope for apologies or remorse. A pride in its being itself.

If we know something is evil and there is unanimity in its recognition then how come it still exists and we can't boycott it? Muddling still is the fact that one man's good is another man's evil. To add to confusion, there are times and circumstances where evil is necessary for good.

Duality in everything shows that a balance should always exist. We were meant to be evil in parts. We secretly understand and accept our capacity for evil. It doesnt guise itself from our concious thoughts, we pretend that we see it guised as good, so that serves as our excuse for its very existence inside us.

Black is simply an absence of all reflection of light. Something that takes in the light that falls on it and does not emit anything back.

Killing is Evil; unless you're a soldier - then its good that you deprive a total stranger's right to exist to the end of his natural life and get paid for this service rendered.

Lying is Evil; unless you want to shield the people you love from pain.

Stealing is Evil; But a state, a Money lender or King can legitimately rob people of their posessions rightfully.

To hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil- you must either be unborn or dead.

So why the 'Holier than thou' act? If one is frank about his wrongs, does it not make him good for not trying to hide it?
An undeniable part of everyone is not only the capacity to do but also to be evil.
Evil is just so damn attractive cos its boldly whole and not expressed in weak and pathetic fractions like gray area between the black and white or half-truths.

Kahlil Gibran got it spot on when he said-

Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.
For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?
Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts, it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself.
Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.

You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good.

Live and Evil,
Rain

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Star Nots....

Science Fiction is one of the few things that I take seriously. I happened to get serious about this genre only due to the influence of Star Wars. So Star Wars was quite sacred to me.
The first major blow came in terms of 'The Phantom Menace', which, now that I look bad was an indication of now really bad movies can seem quite tolerable in light of others that are even worse. So the kid was cute and so was Natalie Portman...the whole movie had an after-school-special in space kind of appeal. "Don't even get me started on that Jar-Jar!!!", threatens my sister and I am totally with her in this.

Next came "Attack of the clones", which had more dishum-dishum and a very very yummy Hayden Christensen. There was a whole lot of 2 people who shouldnt be together, standing really close in the firelight ; the girl wearing backless numbers around the adolescent would-be-villian guy... and other such *yawn* stuff. If she really did not want for them to be together then why the "Looks" and the "sighs" [deep retching sounds emerge from the author]. Shows like women know what is definitely wrong and still give in [YUCK]

But expectations were huge for 'Revenge of the Sith', despite the other 2 movies- which is saying something.

I was ready to forgive and forget provided I got my money's worth of 'Why-do-strong-jedis-go-bad'. So I went in for as early a show after its release as I could attend without getting fired from my job...only to get the following gyan:

Hayden Christensen knows only 2 facial expressions in terms of the range of his acting abilities.
one is the cute/shy look [which I will be the first to admit is quite good], the other the one he uses for angry/hurt/sad/scared/mad - which does not resemble any of the mentioned moods one small bit; further more, it negates the viewer who was charmed by his expression NO.1. Sis thinks its his 'I-am-totally-stoned' look.

Unfortunately for him, he was not in the movie to play the shy-boy-next-door that you'd give up your grandmother to have; rather he had to play Darth Vader-to be.
Frankly Santa Claus could have made a more convincing Angry-confused-prone to evil Anakin Skywalker than clueless Hayden. In fact my sister thinks that the Kid from episode#1 had mucho potential than this guy!! LOL

WHAT WAS GEORGE LUCAS THINKING?!!

But We figured that even if we were to be disappointed with the story we could still be enthralled by the MIND_BLOWING work of ILM...But Sathyam had other plans [lights fade into a sinister twilight and evil laugh echoes in the sudden hush the surrounds the 2 heroines]

So its bad enough that you have to wait in a chicken coop with zilch ventilation and share the precious air circulation with 200 other humans for a really fun-filled 30 minutes and the topper being a really cheesy RDX cube that was flashed with disco lights [my dark side was truely winning in those circumstances]...things got worse when at the most nail-biting scenes like the Heroes hurling down from space in a craft that is falling apart..and then and then..... there is pitch darkness!!! Apparently the Sathyam Cineplex guys who are so Hep to introduce RDX haven't heard of this little thing they call 'Generator'...HELLO!!!

Since the movie was all about the "Dark" side of the force, we had one more pleasant current cut for 15 minutes this time...we had plenty of time to get to know the neighbours even if their pearly whites are the only part of them you can see.

I am going to manufacture -"Who needs RDX when you can't play the movie without current cut" T-Shirts, or you could take the "I HATE SATHYAM" to show your Hallmark feelings for this non-mercenary centre of movie watching magic.

Coming back to the story itself- There is this tit-bit that Darth Plagus [the unfortunate master of the Arch Villian Darth Sidius a.k.a Senator Palpatine] used to create life from the force in the form of light and we know from the Episode#1 that Anakin was born when his mother was exposed to some strange Radiation... So this Skywalker was born from the power of the Sith Master. This card should have been played strongly-that he is obviously prone to evil cos he sprang from that. Makes this whole 'Good corrupts to Bad' a nice psychological backup.
Shouldn't there have been a pretty damn good reason for a Jedi to become a Sith Lord rather than the most pathetically cliched excuse of 'fear of loss of LOVE' ?!!!

Ok, before people bombard me with 'you-didnt-give-love-the-respect-it-deserves' tell me this. Love will not suffer loss of standards. If Skywalker loved Padme, he'd have listented to that Butt-kicking cutie Yoda [who ROCKS!!!] and 'let go'. Speaking of the pint-sized Green Super Dude- his grammer is most devastingly mind-blowing when he takes on Darth Sidius, who proclaims 'At last the Jedi are no more...' with the apt reply 'Not if anything I can say about it'.

But the most potent line comes when Amidala reports on the action of the Senate in giving Senator Palpatine all the world, gift wrapped ; 'So this is how Democracy dies', she says, 'With thunderous applause'.

Lets take a moment here.
Despite Sathyam making a debacle in the name of RDX and despite the storyline being this insipid; I'd still recommend the movie for YODA and the above quote.

Gives us something to think about...

Nature of evil...another blog post being born,
Rain

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Gold Rush

The swadeshis have something to be proud about.
A day sanctioned by pseudo-religious beliefs and let to commercialism
completely. If today doesn’t beat the pants-off of Valentines, then we can conclude that the world won't end soon.
If you live in India, you'll know what I am talking about...
No, its not cos of my mother's 50th birthday...which quite coincidentally falls on this very day, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY,AMMA" welcome to the GOLDEN years :)
Got a clue? May be even a couple of clues?

Today’s AKSHAYA TRITHIYAM, people. There is a central belief [no doubt, originated from an enterprising jeweler in the past] that buying gold this day is auspicious and is a mark of more of its kind on its way to the buyer [also known as sitting duck or sucker].
Today all the businessmen connected with Gold selling rake up untold riches.
Those that buy, do so out of any of 3 most common reasons:
a]Too much money,
b]Greed,
c]peer-pressure
All of the buyers lose good money on bad investment but seem quite oblivious to that apparent fact and actually enjoy the process!
Their experience is akin to going for a gruesome horror flick where you know it isn’t going to be anything tasteful or intelligent but you'd like your skin to crawl a bit anyway.

Category a] have people who have so much money that can't be accounted to them, that they have to buy something or the other; after all, its not very comfortable sleeping on stacks of currency for more than a fortnight-So why not buy ridiculously overpriced gold stuff on a day dedicated to gold buying? There is always a bonus of showing off to the neighbors.
There is no actual point in discussing these people, except with the central vigilance commission, the Aykar angels (the IRS of India) and last but not the least-The honest members of the Anti-corruption bureau [if those mythical people do exist].

Category b] consists of lazy, superstitious get-rich-quick schemers.
Typically lower middle class people who pool in sweat money and smilingly hand to over to the cunning gold merchants in the vain hope that just because of this [very foolish] act, it will rain gold-only for them and only through their roof/ceiling. You can find these people storing up a certain percentage of their monthly, paltry salary for the exclusive purpose of lottery ticket purchase. I have only this to say to them- The belief that Akshaya Trithiyam will bring riches is very true. But only for Gold Dealers...NOT YOU.
Please invest in bonds and your children's education.

Category c] is populated by the somewhat-rich and upper-middle-class. In short, the club of the well-educated and the worldly. These guys know that there isnt going to be any rains of gold coins; they haven’t got money to burn either...why the hell do they buy gold then??
Simple. They have to live up to the 'status' they have to maintain in their own well-educated heads. You see, their Category #A neighbors have purchased gold in lakhs, so it becomes mandatory for them to commit the same stupidity to the degree of tens of thousands, at least.

Gold is considered auspicious because it used to be the currency of the ancient times. That is no longer the case, so why do we lust for this shiny metal so much that there is very little left to differentiate between monkeys and men?
It’s high time we Indians give up our atavistic attachment to gold; the only other more atavistic tendency might lead swinging from one tree to the other and growing powerful tails.

Not like the rest of the world is any less crazy about Au [yes, I remember my chemistry].
From the scientists of the middle ages, the Alchemists, to our modern Da Vinci Code readers, the creation of Gold [from everything from lead to horse urine], the extraction [remember the phenomenon that has the same name as this post?] and the ultimate acquisition of it [consider the multitude of pristine Indian tribes slaughtered by the Spanish looking for the famed 'El Dorado'- the city of Gold?] has been actively pursued since forever and all the failures have only helped to increase the addiction to Gold, world-wide.

The US govt hoards gold bricks in Fort Knox for the day when all currencies collapse and we revert back to gold as the common denomination. If this dystopian vision of the US economic consultants converts to an actual prophecy for the future; that would be the time when the average Indian would be richer than his counterparts in any other country of
the world. Wondering if I put in the word 'dystopian' too hastily ? Then understand that the previous sentence would also mean that our service minded and non-mercenary jeweller-next-door [guys might exist along side the honest govt officials] will have a big power over the common people. That is never a good thing.

Personally, I see no reason to contribute to the wealth of any gold jeweler store owner for the straight forward reason that no member of theirs ever extended the courtesy to me and made me rich.

So on this day, I can only beseech God to turn his/her attention away from the sinners, the hoarders, the morons and the greedy fools, to concentrate on showering everything good and great on the lady who gave me the gift of life, which is better than all the gold- my very lovely, intelligent, hardworking, selfless and patient mother - VATSALA ...

If ever anyone deserves a personalized rain of gold, its you Ma.
I wish you many many more years of complete happiness.
*lump in my throat and the imminent tears of sentiment, prevent my furthering this post*
your Golden girl,
Rain

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Endorsements

Foreword
This is one of the many articles I have written in the long hiatus when I have had no internet connection at home. Will post the others in decent intervals
End of Foreword
---------------------

Being no superstar in movies or sports or a regular new item in Page 3, Where else can I list out everthing I endorse, than my Blog?
Of course, I aint getting paid a paisa for this. Still, here goes:
# I endorse Deccan Chronicle as full time pass. [Sorry Ramya, Hindu is good too-but a bit too politically partisan for my taste]
# Irfan Pathan- he can model. I dont mean the gelled down hair the black leather pants and the jacket with swarovski crystals that he sported a he walked down the ramp in lakme India Fashion Week show yesterday. I mean his natural mop of curls, a simple white cotton shirt and jeans- he looks good. I am all for Irfan in normal clothes.
# The first book of the Artemis Fowl Trilogy as "Most Likely to give Harry Potter a headache". Sadly, the criminal boy genius is forced to mend his ways in the second and the final books.
# Godfather I and II as study material for those wanting to take up management or have ambitions of power. Learn all about "making an offer that can't be refused" and "never letting anyone outside the family know what you're thinking". Associated learning: to say "I know it was you ,Fredo"*give a loud smooch in the mouth*"You broke my heart" [in the most dramatic way possible][Maybe Mukesh Ambani can use this].
# Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as "Two people most worth saving if the planet is doomed"-They are the best-looking specimens of their gender respectively and if they were to have children together [which I am told could happen, for further reference catch "Mr. and Mrs.Smith"]the future generations will have other specimens to oogle at. [Jude Law could have made the cut, but he "broke my heart" ref previous point]
# Working on an actual high priority project as "Better than reading 50 best books on software development life cycle and team working".
# I endorse the statement:"If you begin to like someone at work as that person knows the stuff and is a willing helper; that person will immediately be sent onsite" as the most relevant version of practical Murphy's Law.
# Sitting at home, listening to your favorite music and having a good read as "an experience nearest to that in Heaven".
# The jevarisi [a.k.a Sabud dana] vadams made by my mother as -"The best fried food item in the universe"
# "Give the devil, his due" as the most amusing quote to mention in a serious meeting.
# Selection of MJ as the "Stupidest American".
# I endorse Jai's views on the news channels like Sun and Jaya [One person's views, is his/her channel's news, the viewer has to take this abuse-written by me]
# Fact that frequent checking/sending/replying to: sms and email lowers IQ. [Aha...this is why I havent checked my office email in 2 weeks]
# Sliced tender cucumbers as "the most satisfying snack".
# Sky diving/Bungee Jumping/Touring Egypt/Going to Amarnath and Kailash-manasarovar as "Somethings to do before I die".
# I endorse the blogs I have placed under 'Blogspotting' as places where you can find frank and non-phony but extremely entertaining stuff.
# I find Intelligence, character and health as the 3 most vital things to look for in man [socially/personally].
# Exercising your right to vote - as the most patriotic act you can do for your country.# Not giving/accepting bribe - as the act that saves your soul.
# Prayer - "Best exercise that prevents gaining unwanted cynicism"Ok. now that I have dispersed losta unwanted gyan out into the cyber-universe...
Ciao,
Rain

Monday, April 18, 2005

Indian PI

The only thing that was more pathetic than my PI was the Indian Cricket Team’s performance against Pakistan on Sunday. Strangely enough, that depressed me to even be in the same league as those guys! We are down with the blues :(
Both the team and me have the same story-latent potential but not yet good enough.
How was I supposed to know that the wise men of IIMB would ask me to solve probability sums (2 in number) and ask me to state Baye’s theorem (for which I floundered like Ganguly fielding without contact lenses)?
They effectively brought out my most embarrassing facets – my DOTE ranking reading like the result of population census, the fact that I am a reluctant Engineer [read she couldn’t get Medicine. She is me] and that I quit Wipro after only 5 months for no satisfactory reason. Needless to say I was akin to a very unsettled Tendulkar, who soon gets out and looks relieved when the heat is off him.
Next they asked me my interests – a clich├ęd yet can’t-go-wrong question, to which I responded laying great emphasis on Blogging (a interview leading bait-courtesy Niyas), which they (predictably) brushed off as useless ranting. I told them they were unaware of the social responsibility exhibited by Bloggers during the Tsunami, but in light of this post, I realize they are right too. I am ranting; St.Lamentine is undergoing treatment to recover from fatigue, sleep deprivation, over work and under nourishment.
But in all fairness, it was not a stress test or mental molestation as I have been advised to expect. It was a perfectly fine thing that I messed up. Very Indian cricket team thing to do-snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Ordinarily I’d say the experience is worth a zillion PI lessons in an institute and consider myself in the right track for the feline test in November, unfortunately my PM, PL and TLs are all aware of this prestigious call and are eagerly awaiting the results.
Perhaps too eagerly; you see there isn’t much comedy in the life of IT people, so resources like me, are very much in demand to supply the much needed laughs, even if unwittingly so.
Jai mentioned some really flattering trait that she generously said that the three of us possessed (me, her and B). I wanted to live up to that image but right now I have cover

Friday, April 08, 2005

When talking is tough…

I am a talker. Never at a loss of words unless in an really awkward state, that is the catch. Interviews will be friendly if the interviewer wants you, if he is trying to eliminate you, I believe it will be somewhat in a negative vein, naa?
People from the training institutes like TIME, IMS and Career Launcher. etc. will for a fee teach you the nuances of making your interview work for you. But I haven’t parted with my parents’ money and given it to them in any previous occasion like say my GRE or CAT exams [Which, let me assure you, are not easy] so I didn’t take their help.
I have given 2 interviews so far, both for jobs (hence irrelevant here), both went too smoothly, thus not giving me any sort of experience in handling the situation with the s*%t hits the fan. So as far as my parents and friends are concerned I shall sail through easily.
All the more because, no one in my school & college would recognize me without a mic in front of my face. You see, I talked a lot there too. In fact, popular opinion is that, that is about all I did in those might institutions of learning.
Haa…we arrive at the problem, I am a public speaker who has the following advantages – No one asks you any questions, No one responds to you by talking back- only ‘Boos’ or clapping, you usually have to talk about only one subject, its not personal.
When I next face an interview I cannot escape the following facts:
· The panel people are infinitely cooler and know better about everything than me.
· They are not easily impressed and have cheerfully made older, extremely brilliant and talented junta cry tears of blood.
· I don’t have the sound volume propagation properties of a microphone to make them listen to me. [Usually volume accomplishes the work that reason cannot]
· There are 2 of them and only one of me. [Just in case, things get down to strength in numbers level]
· They don’t need me. Only I need them.
So you can see how the odds are so heavily in my favor. QED.
*Fervently praying to all the kind aspects of God and reading newspapers and old college books*
Rain

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

F.R.I.E.N.D.S Online

If you think that this has anything to do with any link/URL from where you can freely download FRIENDS episodes, then I think I just was successful in tricking ya into getting some interest in my post. *Things ppl do to get noticed*

I have started to patronise this series in POGO called 'Noah and Saskia' ['You got mail' for aussie/brit preteens and teens] about two 14yr olds who have a internet based 'friendship' across the oceans and hemispheres which as any intelligent viewer would know will get complicated into 'something more deeper' by the season finale. Although the latter deeping part is the stuff that sells cheap, trashy books and movies, I am here to talk about the first part- making friends with some person online.

FACTS:
1]You've never seen the person
Ok so some ppl may argue with two basic points; You can always share photos if it comes to that and Looks are not important in a friendship. Fair Enough. Anything in this world can be twisted out of its inherent goodness. I could send a photo of Bips and say its me to some guy from Poland. As for looks not being important, the first judgement you make of a person, initial impression has to do with the physical aspect only [unless you had your third eye activated after intensive tantric and yogic pratices in the outer reaches of the Himalayas]. So in this scenario, You are taking a shot in the dark while committing to something as sacred as friendship and the implicit trust and dependance that comes with it.

2]You scratch the surface of the lies to find more lies, exaggerations, stretches and some truth
Why do we not present a proper picture of ourselves when we are sure the person can't know the reality? two-fold mainly- one is that if we reveal to them the truth about themselves, we make ourselves vulnerable and instinct screams against it; and the next is the more common factor- we are not happy with what we are and will employ some stretches of half-truths or plainly resort to lies and project ourselves as those we might consider ideal or perfect.
There is always that 3rd possibility, I will explain briefly as the next heading

3]The ol friend(s) could be creeps, pervs and in general anti-social elements
Not something I need to dwell upon, all will know of the horror stories associated with this. All they do is lie. Their intention is to harm. They will be the most perfect ol friends and earn your trust before they utterly ruin a life cheerfully.

4] You are too shy/ have problems making regular friends
So ol friends become the escape route? Nothing can replace a flesh-and-blood tangible friend in real-life. More well-adjusted people swear on this. This factor might lead to a normal, if a little shy, person turning into the creatures discussed in #3.

PROS
Opens up your mind
With the global boundaries disappearing in the cyber world one realises that there are just some people distributed geographically or more accessible ol who share common interests.

Similarity
Its funny how people not connected can have eerily similar tastes and ideas. Or even better when people connect and complement each other's theories and concepts.
They might introduce one to newer topics, rehash old ideas and in general be good friends in that regard. I don't know 90% of the people in my blogroll, but I visit their blogs daily and feel admiration or kinship for their ideas and work. Same goes for people who meet in regulated specialised Forums (I didnt say chat rooms). There is an occasional creep to handle but mostly its ok.

They are available
Starting from tips to cracking CAT to the review of the latest movie, ol friends are just a IM or post away. Your offline friends might not be this easily available for you.

Conclusion is
Dont lie. If you dont want to reveal, say 'I'm not comfortable giving this info out. Sorry'
Stay sharp and aware
Set limits and boundaries and stick to them
Maintain healthy intentions and ensure the same from the other
Continue to nurture and expand your offline friends circle. Nothing can replace them.
Look for intellectual company and not love [that would put you in desparate category unless You are Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan.]
Move away when it gets weird. RUN.

Now you can enjoy the virtual company of some of the great minds, who think the same as you!!
Ciao Friends,
Rain

Monday, March 28, 2005

A whole lot of nothing

I've had nothing to say for a very long time now. Its been nearly 2 weeks. There are many people who could have had normal BP and sanity levels if this had been my usual behavior.
But its not.
Have I been too busy?
Yes. But that has not silenced me ever before, so why now?
Is it that I dont have any contribution to the universe?
*GASP. SHUDDERS*
very true. I dont believe anything I write here will change the world (for the better).
Have I taken up other activites?
If you count 3 days & nights spanning 10 movies, Yes.
Have I lost interest in blogging?
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

I believe that I should write standard stuff, not cater to timetables. So only and if imagination strikes me, creativity flows out and passion stirs up bright ideas; I shall post. Otherwise, I just read others blogs and comment on them.

BTW, its gotten way too hot lately. And its only March.
Brinda, HAPPY RETURNS OF YESTERDAY. *small internet calamity at home.plz dont mind*

Wishing herself in a very cool place,
Rain

Saturday, March 19, 2005

On Automation

I am a child of the popular culture; my essays are supplemented by quotes from songs rather than long dead greek philosophers, I believe in anything that is incredible, I live more at home with machinery than the organic lifestyle that I know is good for me.

Crichton has a great profile: he is a MD, a research biologist, a science fiction writer and movie screen player writer. He brought real-live dinosaurs into our 20th century fantasy-less lives. In 1972, he wrote ‘The Terminal Man’. Maybe in the distant future our descendants might consider his writing to be ‘prophetic’ like we do with H.G.Wells or Jules Verne. And if we want only rosy futures for our children to be, we will hope he is hopelessly wrong.

Animax is a view into the very warped Japanese popular culture, obsessed with the AI, robots and the next step that humanity will take. ‘Ghost in the shell: Stand Alone Complex’ is one example program, who’s protagonist is a disturbing mix of human and machine parts. She is capable of driving on the roads, physically and parallely participating in an online discussion from her mind. She receives instructions as data from her boss and peers, has add-ons that can make her invisible and she enjoys an occasional fine wine. She can’t be called android or humanoid. In fact the tagline of this program is ‘in the future, when the distinction between the digital and the physical is blurred’. It’s a popular show, as are many others of the same genre.

Which brings me to the point I am pondering on;
are we as an entire species being desensitized enough to ignore our alarming dependence on independent machinery?
Are we like the starving people of under-developed countries who sweat out in production of Nike shoes that they will never use?
Are we contributing to the creation of this massive intelligence that will eventually take over?
A move we’ll not notice as we live out our lab rat like life where we get food for all our senses on time and therefore don’t notice ‘reality’.

Automation is the key word in my profession. Like digging deep pits for our measurements, we are being paid and maintained to make the systems that will work with minimum human interference. Like Neumann would have dismissed the almost instantaneous growth that has lead to micro computers as fiction, we are quite at ease watching AI run rampant in our television screens and gaming consoles as we feel they would be functional and a threat to someone else in the future, not now, not us.
What if the future is now?
Is it wise to give autonomy to systems and let them control us at our most intimate level?
Banking and money transfer is completely automated now. And the various systems that operated are all interconnected. If one fine day we don’t have out ATMs working and the bank records are not retrievable, all hell will break loose.
Rich are so proud of their state-of the art security systems that keep the intruders out, to see it from the other way, they are just building fancy jails for themselves, from where they’ll need machine acceptance to come out of.
Medicine and surgery is now completely dependant on monitoring systems and stat charts, without these, our doctors can only give out bandages and hand out morphine; the very stage medicine was at during the American civil war.

What is most disturbing is the automation in people; we lead robotic lives. Our movements, eating, sleeping, thinking and behavior are all regulated. We crave for expensive under wear which is like any other normally priced version, except that it sports the words ‘calvin klein’ in it. Why not use a marker and get your kicks cheaper?
Women world-wide cultivate bulimia in order to look ‘right’ which is synonymous with-emaciation, simultaneously scarring their psyche forever; men pump their body with steroids to get the ‘strong’ look, while they get weaker and more dependant on chemicals.

Any deviance is termed abnormal and is abhorred and mitigated. Our education weeds out freethinkers as ‘problem-children’ and lateral processing as ‘idling away’ and encourages those who have been mind-controlled best by their parents, society and the trends. If all the early men had gone about hunting and gathering and dying in the cold, we wouldn’t have come about, but for that one abnormal guy who wanted to rub two sticks together while the others laughed at him.

Evolution is occurring in present tense, as it has been from the start of life on this planet.
We will change into the beings of the future, but they shouldn’t be part mechanical. Our minds should evolve, enlarge, integrate and our evolution should be spiritual.

I don’t pretend to have the solutions. I just think there are some problems that have not been recognized.

Let ‘Dystopian’ not describe our futures,
Rain.

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Perils Of The Published Poet

Swetha gave it a two thumbs up and even went as far as recommending it to her husband as a way of introducing me and he seemed to take it pretty well too. Raj gave it a one thumb up another thumb down. I admit its not my best, but given the one evening I had (and wiled away) and the 15 minutes of the next day morning I spent on this (hastily summoning all muses),I should say its not bad.so lets not sit around twiddling thumbs,all ye stout hearted lads and lassies, lets get with the poem:

A Journey in a Life…

Like the first colonists in a new world at bay,
We stepped onto the campus one fateful day.

In just a little less than half a decade, we emerged,
as seeds, from the tree, with greatness in us, preserved.

Our journey here was by no means smooth or easy, as it shouldn't, you see,
for each of us is now a skillful sailor, we set out to be.

Life here taught us to be humble and proud,
to learn and teach, alternatively and loud.

To fight best when pushed the hardest, a measure;
Diamonds are the coal that performed under pressure.

Sometimes it was as normal as college life would get,
and sometimes quite the antithesis of standards that were set.

We lived and laughed, till there came a time to go,
Things will move on, that would always be so.

Deep in the distant future, when great many things would end and begin,
some things would always have to remain- our source, our origin.

Plz take time to throw some praise/brickbats my way.
When times comes, you know I'll do the same for you :)
Rain

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I am Poet and I know it…

Sometimes its difficult to choose in life; which is more humiliating- the pathetic attempt at poetry which was generated at the last minute from the moral obligation one feels for her alma mater even though that fine institution does not give the person a convocation, or being questioned by the Manager that leaves him and the rest of the team laughing with quite a lot of unintended amusement at the ‘answers’.
Which brings us to the main point- I am a published poet.
An unwilling one at that, nevertheless, a published one.
My fling with poetry started, funnily enough, with my tendency to come late especially on Mondays when the first period, which would be in full swing when I land, was English.
My Teacher Mrs.Rani Jeyasanker has a sense of humor that can perhaps be described, even if a little understatedly as, ironic. She would usually let me stay outside until her class concluded, not producing any effect on me other than the increase of Vitamin D in my skin and circulation of fresh air in my lungs.
Our little arrangement suited me fine. It let me cool off from the hectic cycling I did to get to school anyway. I guess if anything is too good for you, it will not last long, so it wasn’t very surprising when our keen teacher caught a whiff of the fact that her ‘outstanding’ student was actually enjoying her punishment, which was, in a nutshell the antithesis of the very purpose of punishment.
So she set about making a very devious plan to make me squirm and also made sure it would give her an idea as to why this student(me) had the feeling that she was supposed to report at school at 9 while the others correctly knew that the time was actually 8.40 am.
One fine Monday (if ever there is such a thing), I landed at my class, late, happy, perspiring and oblivious to my impending doom, in the same order. Rani ma’am didn’t look up for my
”Excuse me, Ma’am” bleat, instead she responded while her eyes still kept their vigil over a precious attendance book.
“Yes, Remya (me). Come in.”
The class was stunned. It was one of those ‘tension in the air could’ve been cut with a knife’ sort of circumstances. My eyes as wide as really wide and spherical objects, I came in with faltering steps that betrayed my surprise and took my seat at the backbench (predictably).
Having finished her intensive work with the above-mentioned book, Rani Ma’am walked up to the center of the class from where she usually tries her level best to stop us from saying ‘yaar’ as the suffix of every sentence and other such fruitless pursuits.
Raditating from the unblinking stare from each of the souls that haunted the class, she said, “I want you to bring tomorrow, without fail, a poem on why you always come late”.
My fate as the laughing stock of the class was sealed when she innocuously mentioned ‘without’ and ‘fail’ consecutively. Only suicidal people would dare to challenge those softly spoken words.

The long and short of it was I did write one and Shalini, who was wandering around with her senses alive and looking for kill from her position as editor of the girls school magazine, pounced on it as ‘a certified hoot’ and published it, causing most of my alma mater to always remember me as ‘the-girl-who-wrote-that-latecoming-poem’. Hardly a compliment for a serious poetess, but for me it was Olympic praise.

Today I wrote another poem describing my college life, which I sent not only to my HOD, for who’s eyes alone it was strictly intended, but to the entire ex-class from college (big mistake), hereby ensuring that they will each be having moments of mirth at my expense or will shudder at the very though that they were ever acquainted to me and how best they can bury that ignominy. Maybe both in any order.
I stay… infamous.
Rain
PS: would I ever want it any other way??

Monday, March 07, 2005

Pendulum Strikes

I have a tendency to be affected by books. Some people cry at the movies, I get depressed after reading depressing books. If that alone was not enough, a small failure relating to my standing in office and the sudden disappearance of my wallet contributed to the foul shade of my blues last weekend.
But predominantly it was ‘Focault’s Pendulum’

Three guys go about taking in and processing and spewing out the million-gazillion useless facts on the broad and connected subjects of Templars, Masons, Rosicruxians, Celtic Black Virgins, Illuminati, Assasins, Comte St. Germain, William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, Hitler, you-name-the-crap-and-its-there.
Then one dies of Cancer, one is killed by people who think he knows something but does not and the third narrates everything and waits for the killers to finish him off.
There, I said it in 2 sentences, Eco (the author) decides to drag the reader (me) through sulphur and hell-fire baiting me with the carrot hung from a stick ( a crude pendulum, don’t you think? *drools* ) only to push the person into a sewer that says, everything they postulated was false but the deranged occult maniacs believe it and are trying to kill the protagonists in a pathetic attempt to know more about their ‘secret club’.
Sad, sad, sad story of nothing. It promised me the heaven and earth and dunked my head under a tap of lukewarm water.
So all that came to the forefront from all those pages was not the wonder and mystery of cabbala that turned Madonna into Esther, it was just the very pathetic vein that humans have to know about the happenings of the exclusive ‘cool kids club’ that will not accept them.

So the legends say about this ultimate secret society that exists where only world famous scientists, writers and artists can join. Why wont they accept common folk? Obviously, because they are planning something big, like changing the world. Also they don’t want you to know that we live in the subterranean earth and that there is a level above us and there is one below. They don’t want you to know that Shakespeare was the Virgin Queen’s illegitimate child.
One major doubt, why is it that virgins can only be women. By default, do we have to assume all men are born corrupted?
Just a point I am pondering on…
Rain

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

*frustration alert*

The yearly audit of just how far you have come in life in that all-important first year of your entry into the real world (“Buckle up, Dorothy, cos Kansas is going bye-bye”)
from the selfishly young life on college campus comes when you receive a mail that goes:
Dear student,
We are pleased to invite you for the convocation on so-and-so date at such-and-such time….blah blah blah

It’s a fit tough case for young Lamentine because my set of the cursed 42 souls that spent 4 and change frustrating years at so ungrateful an institution on which we showered our money and work (the million meetings and functions I was MOC for and organized, swept the halls, arranged prizes, designed invitations, ran around for…all meaningless) have not been considered important enough to be given a ceremonial convocation and handing over of our degrees.
Instead, the first ever convocation of our fledgling department that we, with our combined grit and work brought up to the formidable stand it is in today, will start from our Juniors’ batch. Thus we have been overstepped entirely.
As far as anyone is concerned, we don’t exist.
I rant from my blog, perhaps the only impractical hoot from the entire class to feel angry that I am not being made to drop a day’s work to trudge through the impossibly long way to that very end of the universe where college stands and wear the gauchiest, brightest, yellowest, unwashed, sars-infected set of rental robes that ever made its way from the telugu film industry wardrobe; to be forced to listen to some droning eminent personality who is thinking why he got himself into this sitch…
But it still doesn’t change the fact that we were not invited and given our convocation.
We faced all the horrors of being raw in a campus without the protective shadow of seniors or department staff in our very first year. We lived through it and fought all the way to be taken seriously and that process was filled with any cuts, scratches and bruises for us.
Don’t even want a medal for the courageous feats we performed while being trodden by each and every person on campus, they could’ve just treated us normally.
Its one thing to say that we might’ve been too busy make it or that we simply didn’t want to go back there when all our friends are across the Atlantic, because it makes it our choice to not go. There simply was no scope for even a trace of choice here.
I am feeling mad as hell. *in case this subtle point has escaped anyone’s notice*
Rain.

PS: here is something that I wanted to read out on our Farewell Day, but since I was too wet…(another sordid tale) here it is now. Dedicated to the first batch of IT 99-03, a bunch of mixed nuts.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 99...

Wear Sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experienceI will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years youll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you cant grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.You're not as fat as you imagine.

Dont worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you

Sing

Dont be reckless with other peoples hearts, dont put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss

Dont waste your time on jealousy; sometimes youre ahead, sometimes youre behind the race is long, and in the end, its only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch

Dont feel guilty if you dont know what you want to do with your life the most interesting people I know didnt know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds know still dont.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, youll miss them when theyre gone.

Maybe youll marry, maybe you wont, maybe youll have children, maybe you wont, maybe youll divorce at 40, maybe youll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary what ever you do, dont congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either your choices are half chance, so are everybody elses. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can, dont be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, its the greatest instrument youll ever own..

Dance even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you dont follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when theyll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do youll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Dont expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Dont mess too much with your hair, or by the time its 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen...