Thursday, December 11, 2008

By(e) Gone Era

Create yet conceal,
Delay, yet deliver
With great effort comes
first cry, then smile,
Oh this is going to be heaven!
Alright, all set.

Crippled, yet created,
quickened and dissolved
With guilt,
uncreated.
Ohhhh this is hell.

Life outside the basket,
just aint worth the let.
Apologies sweetie,
bidding a bye.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Melange of heaven and hell


Roll a roll,
lift your soul.
Light up the bitch,
watch her burn, hear her scream.
Its your turn, have your dream.

Ride on, she screws you,
with pain, but pleasure.
No fiction, the bitch is here
No friction, the walk on thin air.

She undresses,
drags by drags.
Shoots you up, no less
your thoughts in a mess.
Remember the forgotten,
forget the begotten.

A dive, headfirst,
into an endless tunnel.
Waiting for mercy,
from His gavel.

Ask for heaven, ask for hell.
For all you yell,
you sink in a melange,
of heaven and hell

Roll a roll,
lift your soul.



Dedicated to "Grass" and all the fellow "Grasshoppers" ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008

An "Excel"lent Diwali

A snapshot of an MS Excel Database on Nov 8th 11 pm

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jones Smith -Sysopman -#21345
Adam Fletcher -Sysopemp -#16764
William Ben -CorpVPman -#11256
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


5 mins later...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
)($%^*&# #$^^$%^$%^^ !@@$@#$#@4
&^!@()^&&& %$&(()!!@@@@@@@@@ $%^^&^&^&^&
%&(())$#@@!! #$^^&^^%^^^% ^^^%^^&%^^&
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What was the Database for?

It contained access rights of a client company for all employees, ranging from a clerk to the Vice President.

What happens if the Database is messed up like this?

All incoming business transactions get disapproved since approval flow is stopped.

Does that mean the company loses money?

Exactly, a few thousand dollars for every 5 hours of approval flow stoppage.

Oops! Who made this blunder?

The Database Admin of course!

Who was he?

Yours truly.

At 12 pm, when the entire city of Chennai was celebrating the death of Narkasura, a new avatar of Narakasura in the form of my client manager from Ohio was firing my
u-kno-wha.

As all client managers, this one was a bimbo too. All he knew was to login and approve. He did not know the technical aspects of the system. Well neither did I.

Till 3 am, I was trying to comprehend where the DB backup could have been stored. If I find it, I can "roll back" the DB. At 4 am, I realized the manager was pinging me and I had dozed off at my desk. He had sent an email asking me to come again during the day and restore the system. Went home, slept and returned at 11 am to find the DB restored by an Indian in Ohio office. With a few $$$$$ gone down the drain, I was mothered by my Project Lead here. All this happened in Bye-Bye.

Today, my heart goes out to everyone who is working and not enjoying Diwali. The ones I pity the most are the BPO employees. I have worked on a BPO job in Bye-Bye and also in a BPO company before that. 3 of my friends who are working in BPOs share their experiences.

a) Whenever I pinged this guy to say hi, I get this in return:

Hello and Good morning Sir. Thank you for calling Citibank Customer Service. My name is Lenin. How may I help you? :)

b) Muraleedhar Sadhasivam baptized himself as Mark Stephens and carries a non Indian, non American accent when he speaks non English.

c) Jacob's regular customer is a Filipino called Han Phuck (Pronounced Han Fuck). Since it's a rule to address customers with their second names only, Jacob always says "Hello Mr. Fuck how can I help you?"

Working for a BPO is a whole new way of life with untimely shifts, midnight cab drops, a whole account line marofying the only chick on the floor, suttas and tea every half hour. I'm glad I experienced it even though it was for a very short period.

Readers who are working or have worked for BPOs can share their experiences :) Wishing you all a happy and a prosperous Diwali.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quitting 88mm for one last time



I didn't quit when my friends or cousins pleaded. Dismissed the occasional cough and ignored the frequent scoff. In fact, even the only person for whom I might have quit smoking, couldn't get me to quit the habit. I'd rather smoke away my worries than worry about my smoking. And then it happened.

Jeevodaya, a place that does hospice for cancer patients was an hour away. Accompanying around 10 colleagues, 3 of whom smoke, I had no idea what I was going to witness. On my way, I felt I wanted to smoke as many cigarettes as possible, for the fear that I may quit after this visit and that it will be the last I'll see of one of my best buddies-the ciggy.

The folks at Jeevodaya told me that cancer patients with Severity 1 and 2 usually get "treatment" in hospitals and those who fall under Severity 3 or 4 do not get treatment as there is none. Jeevodaya gives "hospice" to these people; people who were told that they have, hardly a month to live.

Hospice involves dressing the wounds. Cancer cells replicate and multiply in crazy numbers and dig up the skin and flesh out of a person. Hence, the sisters there, clean these wounds and alleviate the pain to an extent. Hospice basically is about care and prayer. Social service blokes come and talk to them, organize games and entertain them. Money is all secondary here. The reasons are obvious.

It's a delicate situation to be in, trust me. I'm sorry to say, you can literally see death written all over their faces, but your job is to make them smile and forget the misery they're undergoing. Cancer patients here were either addicted to smoking or "Gutkha". Women from villages who have a lot of "Paan", not knowing that it's dangerous also end up here.

Smokerman(not taking names here), a 30 year old guy was lying in bed, waiting for youngsters like me. He wanted to pass on a good message and a horrible warning before he breathed his last. They told me he had 2 weeks to live. But he looked fine, just a small piece of bandage on his neck. Throat cancer due to smoking, I was told. Hearing this, an organ in my body found a lump in itself, my throat.

A week later, he had metres of bandage around his neck, to cover the hollow part. Yes, the cancer cells required merely 7 days to dig out his entire flesh around the throat area. His vocal chord had been bitten off my the termite like cancer cells. He could not talk. With immense pain, he shook his hands and signaled "No Smoking boys, dont do it".

If you thought this was a difficult sight to watch, I must tell you it comes second. His mom who was hale and healthy, wept buckets sitting next to his bed, screaming that she is watching her son die every second.

A week later, Smokerman's bed was occupied by another lady. He was gone. Gone for good, but not before experiencing a tortuous 3 weeks. Every time he coughed, it must have been like a knife stabbing his throat. It was worse, every time he watched his mom watch him.

As much as I hate my sentimental posts, I feel obliged to pass on a good message :)

Remember, there is no cure for cancer. But cancer cures something...smoking.


Just keeping up the promise I made at the end of this post.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Indian Stunt Gurus

I'm sparing Bollywood for now, since I am not in touch with the industry. We will now have a countdown on the best stunts ever. Stunts that will put the Hollywood blokes to shame.

Position:5

SUPERHERO NAME: VIJAYKANTH 1.0

POWERS:

a) Can bravely adorn headphones that resemble a device which takes in electric shocks.

b) Can generate 100 Mega Watts of power by biting his teeth and staring at a person.

c) All in all, he can speak dialogues even when electricity is passing through him




POSITION:4

SUPERHERO NAME: BALAYYA 1.0

POWERS:

a) Biker dude who can drive an Indian bike faster than a train.

b) Specializes in jumping from one compartment to another over the train

c) Can crawl beneath the compartments too, without the bike of course.




POSITION: 3

SUPERHERO NAME: T RAJENDRAN

POWERS: Sadly, all powers have been stripped off our hero and his voice which was once, used to scare the daylights out of people has been reduced to a meek sounding one.




POSITION: 2

SUPERHERO NAME: VIJAYKANTH 2.0

POWERS:

a) Can catch any flying object with utmost ease

b) He can face any bullet aimed at him thanks to the mangal-aarthi plates hidden beneath his clothing

c) You may ask what happens if the bullet is aimed at his face. If you have that doubt, I suggest you read the first point again :)




POSITION: 1

SUPERHERO NAME: BALAYYA 2.0

POWERS:

a) His updated version 2.o, has not forgotten about his skills on a train

b) Knows magical mantras and recites them to implement his stunts

c) Can move a train with the mantras and the secret way to implement it. (Pat on the thigh and the direction of the train to be shown with his finger)




There are plenty more, but the superheroes are going to be the same. The new kid on the block seems to be Sam Anderson but he is yet to start showing stunts. Until then, keep watching out for these 3 :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Adver(se)tising in India




Considering the fact that this vehicle roams in India, the advertiser is a smart ass. Sex is a word that sells anywhere in the world. More so, in India thanks to the fact that it's not publicly or openly discussed. (The population would not support the previous statement though, because we multiply like rabbits)

Without digressing further into sex, population or theme parks (do you see a connection here? Blame the picture!), let me first appreciate a few brands which I totally respect for the Ads they display.

1)Amul for their banner Ads which are cult material.

2)Fevicol has managed to capture humor without making much sense.

3)Surf Excel(the Ad with two kids)

4)Apache RTR with the Newton laws and Pulsar, the bike which checks out women and proves it's definitely male.

5)Minto fresh with the guy sneaking into the classroom. Happy dent with its pathetic experiment on a cow came back well with the "Kingdom Ad" where people smiling, light up an entire city.

6)Hutch Ads were an amazing lot and the pug was an instant celebrity.

But the Indian Advertising industry still has a looooong way to go!




1)A third grade movie in India with no script or story can fill the first show housefull by merely displaying Mallika Sharawat on the posters.

2)All detergent Ads are shot with 2 women in white sarees holding two buckets. One with dirty water, the other one, sparkling clean.

However, everyone liked the old ad "Washing powder Nirma" with the little girl going round and round :)



Listen to it here.

3)Amitabh Bachchan can use products ranging from Reid and Taylor to Navratan Thel oil. He can turn into a spirit to eat chocolates and can also sell Hajmola candies.
And oh, he is part of the detergent clan too.




4)While condom Ads should be stressing on their quality or on preventing the production of kids, they often show an old man or a servant maid getting mushy looking at the used ones.

5)Pepsi, Coke and Sprite would go to the extent of selling their companies to project their Ads superior to the others! There is no one in the Indian Cricket team or the Bollywood junta who don't belong to a Cola brand.

6)Ever wondered why Liril women bathed only in fountains or other public places?

7)Ever wondered if anyone became a shade brighter using Fair and Lovely cream? People fall prey to the "before" and "after" images! Common sense should help you realize they caught a very fair girl for the Ad and made her dark for the "before" image.

8)All perfume Ads end with a girl finally falling for the guy. If that is all it takes, my roommate would've bought the entire perfume factory in town by now.

9)The worst farce on TV is the Oil Ad. All Cooking Oils say "No cholesterol". The fact, doctors say, is that no oil contains cholesterol and do not treat any brand as special in that regard!

10)The worst Ad I have ever seen in my lifetime:

Picture an Indian "First Night Scenario"

So, the bride is sitting in the room waiting for her husband. But wait, she is weeping badly.

A bunch of worried people ask her what's wrong?

She says: "No one got my husband Poombukaar chaddies" (Don't brand me a liar, I know it's difficult to believe)

The blokes get the groom "Poombukar innerwear" and the bride is shown all smiling and the lights go off.(I'm still ashamed to be living for I know I should've shot myself looking at the Ad)

Well,my memory ain't helping me enough in recollecting many TV ads so I leave it to the readers to comment and add their list of sad TV commercials!

I'm sure you at least remember the famous people like the Vicco Vajradanthi blokes who, by now, would have had their 5th anniversary or the Sundrop Oil Kid who jumped into Pooris and Chapathis!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Yamaha R15 full fairing, cool driving.

Thanks!

Solace on a bad day came in the form of a bike, last night. And boy wasn't it awesome! Thanks to my friend Dan, who gave the bike at 1 am even when I was a little high on Absinthe ;)

I'm not a Bike guru or anything but I simply love driving bikes and I can tell you that the all new Yamaha R15 (of the R series) is a boon for the Indian Biker.

As always, honesty first. Pick up just ain't R15's forte and the first 3 gears wouldn't give you any better feeling than an Apache or a Pulsar. In fact, the RTR technology in Apache can give you a better push on first gear.

"If you have charm, it doesn't matter if you don't have anything else.
If you don't have charm, anything else you have does not count"






This is all I can think of when it comes to the Yamaha R15. It has got the looks and charm that will tempt any guy who can afford it. I don't think the pick up would be a major parameter considering the looks(and the top speed of course).

But the best part of R15 is simply the riding comfort. With full fairing (I guess this is the first Indian bike with full fairing), you'll feel like ripping on the roads. The engine wouldn't mind it since it's a liquid cooled one and it can take the load much better than other engines. Hats off to Yamaha for introducing the first Indian made liquid cooled Engine.

The speed is also unprecedented by Indian standards. I hit 75 on the 4th gear and it was smooth. 5th on 90 and I was done. But when I take it on the highway, I'm expecting to hit the 140 mark with the 6th Gear as Biking gurus have certified.

Above all, is the maneuverability. Do not let the thin tyres scare you! The bike is friggin' solid on turns and overtaking fast cars on 4th gear would be a cake walk on average traffic. Don't you worry about split second braking. Disc brakes on both front and rear work like a charm.

Gurus claim the bike is very reliable and the performance will bowl you over. For blokes who're expecting mileage out of this bike, I would suggest you go for the "much appreciated" byk. Well byk did give 90 Kms/Litre but most bikers later realized that the 90 was split into 50 while driving and the remaining 40 on pushing the bike when it breaks down ;)

Sorry for digressing, but I was in splits when I saw some mileage freaks in Chennai pushing the "byk" on roads till the nearest mechanic! Talk about greed!

Bottomline : R15 is a supercool performer and is here to stay. But also note that the number of R15's sold would exactly equal the number of rich kids in India :p

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Am I phobiaphilic?

Well phobiaphilic ain't the best oxymoron but it sure makes me a complete moron simply because I usually freak the crap out of people when I tell them about my Phobias.

As always facts first: I am allergic to/scared of 4(main)things:

1)Beetroot (ask my mum who tried[in vain] hiding it into pakoras and giving me)

2)Thermocol (ask my inconsiderate colleagues who have a ball of a time seeing me go mad when they scratch it...aawwww the thought of it gets me hysterical)

3)Pregnant women (not allergic, but as a kid, I was a little scared when I saw them. This fear seems to have faded away though. Perhaps it will vanish completely by the time I really cannot afford to have that fear :p. Talk about God and his plans! )


4)Weddings.(A not so inexplicable allergy)

Based on historic data, I can, with confidence, tell you that even my best efforts at making people understand the first 3 phobias would be futile. Hence, I am jumping to the last one right away.

Attending a wedding is the last thing I'd do on mother Earth and I had taken an oath long ago, that the only wedding I'll attend next is my own. However, God always has his own plans and he has never allowed things to happen in my will. I have been attending a few of them, thanks to parental pressure.

Reasons why I hate weddings and also discourage people not to attend them:

1) You will not know 99.97836521% of the people who attend the wedding. Sometimes, you may not even know the bride and groom and the only reason you are required to attend it is either because,

a) You and the bride would've played hide and seek in the same colony 15 years ago,

b) your mom and the groom's mom would've met each other in a neighboring supermarket a few weeks back.

or

b) the groom is your very very close relative. By south Indian standards, a close relative can include someone who is your grandfather's cousin brother's son's sister-in-law's husband's sister's second-cousin(phew)

2) You'll encounter two different kinds of people.


a) GROUP 1: (Consisting of people who have seen you recently, say 1 year back)


Regardless of how grossly fat you've become, they will ask you that one typical question: "ayyo! aen romba elachhi poitte?" ("why have you lost so much weight?").

One stare at my mum and she is quick to say "They're just concerned". Yeah right. Somehow, I only see the sarcasm in the statements and concern seems invisible however I look at it.

b) GROUP 2: (Consisting of people who only remember seeing you in chaddies)

"adaengaapppaa evlo perusaa valandhuttaaan..chinna vayasule paathadhu" ("wow how much he has grown..saw him when he was a child..he was soooo small then").

Do they expect a child, not to ever grow so that, how they see me now matches that of what they remember to have seen me? Ridiculous statement I say.

3) Your spinal cord gets the maximum burden during weddings. Old people from the 18 hundreds(1800s) who stood the test of time attending marriages right from your great grand father's to your cousin's weddings fill up the first few seats of the wedding. And why are they there? To bless people with wealth, health and prosperity.

I would have no choice in such situations but to fall flat 180 degrees on the floor and wait for them to finish scattering the yellow rice grains on my head.

Simultaneously they recite a host of cliched "blessings" like "live for 100 years" (used to Wonder if 100 was some sort of blessing-allowance limit and after that you should rather, kick the bucket). Only after that are you allowed to get up.

The cliched blessings would sometimes be way too templated that it ain't the right blessing for you! Stuff like:

"nalla perya perya padipellam padichi peryaa doctoraa varanum" (may you study "big big studies" and become a "big doctor") Poor old people, they wouldn't realize that we have already passed out as engineers and that, his blessings are going waste!

or

"nallaa sekka seve nu oru ponnu unakku amayanum" (may you get a fair girl to marry). What if you already had a girlfriend who was dark?" and what is the funda behind blessing someone with only a fair girl? Are all dark girls doomed to be kept out of old blokes' blessings? We must all vehemently protest against this racial blessing :)

4) The most dreaded part in any wedding is the Advance Booking System. No, I'm not talking about trains here. Talking about wedlock!

Jobless aunties with daughters are always on the lookout for prospective son-in-laws. It may seem too early for both the girl and the guy but should the right parameters match, they are quick to grab the opportunity a deal and get their daughters introduced to you.

But before all that is the secret interview. They first ask you if you are an Engineer. Most guys pass this criteria and they move on to the second round. Next is the company you work for. Like the sign which reads "All major credit cards accepted", the aunties have an implicit agreed-upon database of software companies that are recognized and accepted for wedlock. I would proudly say that Bye-Bye was one of them :)

After ensuring that you are a qualified candidate, the aunties reveal their true colors. They bring along the equally embarrassed daughter (always noticed the degree of embarrassment on the girl's face when they were being introduced to my cousins) and start off by saying something like "She is my daughter.Very intelligent girl. She also works for this great company. Earning good salary. She is a very bold and confident girl etc etc)

I always had my sympathies for the girl for all you know, she wouldn't have,in the wildest of dreams, realized till then that her parents had plans for her wedding.

5) Gifting is mandatory in any wedding and it has to happen on the stage only. Being photographed is acceptable as it requires only a second from your side. But standing next to the couple, doing nothing but forcing a smile for 100 darned seconds is a crazy idea.

In this case, I had my sympathies for the couple. Meeting an entire jing-bang of blokes and posing with them is clearly catastrophic considering the amount of people and the amount of jewelery they adorn . Not to forget the one ton garland each of them wear which almost covers their entire body.

6) Leaving the wedding hall without having food is completely unethical for reasons beyond the scope of my understanding.

Anyways,have you ever thought of killing the asshole who flashes bright yellow light on your face when you were eating in the dining hall? Why the fuck would anyone wanna videotape and record you when you're having food? Well, I still don't get the funda. Anyways, such videos are a breach of privacy and must be banned from being published!


As far as weddings are concerned, I'd recommend you to attend it only if you have a bunch of friends to go with. The best wedding I had ever attended was that of my sister's. Had around 40 of my friends coming and we managed to transform the wedding hall into our VIT hostel with all the galatta.

Of course I wouldn't deny the fact that it was the best wedding simply because my sister was getting married and not cuz my friends had come :p. I hope the last statement calms my sister down when she reads this post. There there, I can already see you smiling, Manju :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The weekend that wasnt





I bunked work on Thursday and Friday so I can spend 4 days in Bengalooru - The Silicon Valley of India and half my native place too.

A saying goes: "If u throw a stone in Bangalore, it either falls on a dog or a software engineer".

Yeah, there is no paucity when it comes to dogs or software engineers in Bangalore. In fact there are banners across the city that read "C, C++ and Kannada are the most widely spoken languages in this city!"

As for dogs, there are many incidents where they attacked and injured/killed humans at odd hours. So, I'm not getting into it.

Though my main purpose of visit was my cousin's wedding, I had a few friends and a special person to meet too. So, I got to roam around the city. As for the wedding, it was a different episode altogether.

A few, if not all, aspects of the city I observed:

a)Two legs can get you faster to a destination than a 150 cc Pulsar, thanks to the traffic.

I guess the fact that they have traffic signals and traffic cops on top of fly-overs would substantiate my claim.

We could soon expect tea shops that sell Omelettes and Ciggies on fly-overs ;)

b)The weather is something you will not leave the city for. Splendid weather I must say. For bikers, the weather is just awesome but the traffic again, is discouraging. A ride after 10:30 pm would give a heavenly lift to your spirits.

c)The Auto guys are no different from their Chennai or Hyderabad counterparts devising ingenious new ways to rob people off their dough.

d)Blokes here are crazy about clothes and accessories. It's hard to find people who are boringly dressed. Freaky costumes, ear rings on all places except the ear and perfumes are some things you cant help but notice.

e)You can pass 5 hours of your time doing nothing on Brigade road , yet not feel bored.

f)Software Engineers claim they don't have much of a social life though. I met my Bye-Bye friends who work in Whitefield. Whitefield is Bangalore's Sainikpuri(Hyderabad) or Nolambur(Chennai) as far as the distance is concerned but extremely hi-tech. Half of their day is wasted on travel, remaining half at the Bye-Bye office which needs no further description.

g)For blokes who do have a social life, coffee shops and pubs are ubiquitous. I'm sure Bangalore has more Coffee Day outlets and pubs than any other city in Asia.

h)Coming back to the traffic. As if waiting in the traffic was not enough, people get tortured by eunuch's who pester them for money. The 120 second wait at Dairy Circle signal seemed a lifetime for me as 2 eunuchs tried to open my helmet visor and also block me from moving an inch further. One glance at the green signal and I felt like a prisoner being released after 20 years in jail.

i)Last but not the least, the city sees strikes almost every week. Roads get blocked with people shouting slogans and at times displaying violence too.

Just last week, there was a protest against Rajinikanth for his statements on the Hogenakkal dam. Today, when I'm just leaving Bangalore, I witnessed people throwing stones and bricks on any vehicle that carried the godforsaken letters "TN" on their number plates.

All said, Bangalore is one of the most happening cities in India with malls sprouting up like mushrooms and huge buildings all over the city. An entry criteria for any company to be an MNC could be a branch in Bangalore, no doubt. So pack your bags, come here and get Bangalored. Oops! please do not ban my blog, I meant Bengaloored. Cheers :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Randy Pausch on Google's homepage

Today, I noticed an extra link on Google's homepage! It was a link to a speech, referred to as the "Last Lecture" given by Randy Pausch, a professor at Carneggie Mellon University. It was added, owing to his recent death. Randy Pausch was 47 and he died of cancer.





Check out the video. It is indeed, very inspiring.





Hats off to Google for giving the late, Randy Pausch a piece of probably, the most precious "web real estate", Google's homepage!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Crossword Clue#1

I love crosswords. I like creating clues more than solving them because I suck at solving these days. So here is my first set of clues. I will post the answer as a comment with the annotation. Till then, intelligent blokes can guess the answers.

1) Mixed respect for ghost (7)

2) 100 pets again, to become a ghost (7)

Common sense should tell you that the answer for both clues is the same :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quitting 88mm a 100 times

"Its easy to quit smoking. I've done it a 100 times"

Not only Mark Twain, a million other smokers would say the same thing Im sure. I was a quite a smoker in my college days and I decided that one day when I'm able to quit the habit completely, I will boldly blog about it. Well here I am.(With some help from famous smokers who managed to give amazing quotes)

"It would be a service to mankind if the pills were available in slot machines and the cigarettes were placed on prescription"

I'd have vouched for this anytime during my smoking days. A dozen on any normal day with an extra 5 on exam days. Or another dozen extra if the day involved alcohol.

"Alcohol and cigarettes are like the two hands that clap. You need both to give the effect"

Wondering if this quote sucks?! Well yeah I wrote it thats why.

In fact during exam days, there used to be so much demand for fags(=cigs and not gays).
It used to be the indispenable entity for us to stay awake and study the whole night. When fags got over, the alternate solution were beedis. You get 10 beedis for the price of 1 cigarette.

And when everything got over, the one guy who had cigarettes would get worshipped like God. Suddenly out of the blue, he would become everybody's best friend in hostel. Of course we had rules.

1) Once a smoker has helped you, you're forever indebted to him. Gratitude can be shown but is allowed only in the form of fags. He has the right to come knocking on your doors anyday at any hour.

2)We all comply to 4 D and S. It means you take 4 drags and spin the fag to the next guy in the circle. When any of the greedy morons takes an extra drag(puff), he is penalized in the next round.

3)Lenin rule:It states that a smart smoker is one who smokes 15 cigarettes in a day having bought only 4.

(Origin: We had this smartass called Lenin(50p) who bought 4 cigarettes a day. He uses the first one early in the morning and the remaining 3, late night. All the remaining fags, he smoked by acquired friendships, giving company to the owner of the fag. So when the hostel is devoid of fags, Lenin used the buffer 3 in the most clandestine fashion.)

4)Nobody gets to "go dutch" with cigarettes. One guy buys and all smoke. Anybody who buys one fag and asks the remaining to buy their own gets disowned by the community :)

5)Quitting is prohibited. Talk about peer pressure. Emotional blackmail would make you do the rebound. Common pathetic dialogs include

5)a)Machaan, we all started smoking together and how can you do this to me?

5)b)No use quitting in college life.Finish college and we'll all quit. Lol this is what they said during my training days too. And then I joined work where fags are considered the best stress busters)

5)c)Ok fine I know you quit, you dont have to smoke. Just come with us and give company. (No smoker will ever prefer passive smoking! And it starts all over again)

Next ones are the best. All engineering students will suddenly get MBBS gyaan.

5)d)We all have already started smoking na? Even when we quit now, it makes no sense because all our nerve endings are gone already.

5)e) Cancer is always hereditary machaaan so dont worry we all will never get cancer. This would be the hope giving statement for any engineer ;)

And smoking is not all you do with a ciggy. Other stunts you could do:

1)Lighting up diwali crackers with the fag in your mouth.

2)Smoke rings. I reached up to 10 rings. There were blokes who did 200.

3)Empty the nicotine inside and fill it up with better stuff. For this you need only fag and you're done for the next 2 days.

4)Use the ash to mix it with the birthday bath to completely ruin the supposedly "happy" guy who has had his birthday.

A smoker would go to any extent to get his cigarette when he needs it. Some situations where I (now) feel embarrassed about:

1)I waited till 9 pm to get my TCS results. Losing patience I went out to smoke and they announced my name on the first 5 at 9:05 pm. Whole audience was clapping for the loser smoking outside campus.

2)In Singapore, fags were bloody costly. So I smoked one for sometime, extinguished it halfway and used the next half for a "rainy day".

3)Me and my friend missed a train by a whisker because we went to buy fags for the journey.

4)Journeys always involved 3 or 4 of us smoking inside the loos. A fifth guy(non-smoker) always kept guard and warned us if the TTE came!

There are many others, like my friend managing to smuggle a ciggy in Thirumala where smoking is banned, but I prefer not to degrade myself or my friends anymore.

All said and done, smoking cigarettes is the most dangerous thing for anyone. I have quit smoking after a few incidents that touched me deeply. I realized it aint fun anymore. I'm definitely gonna blog about it here. (The word "here" would get converted into a link soon.Keep checking).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rocking the cradle - then pinching the baby!

Bye-bye (name tweaked: a software company I worked for before, I joined Google) has a brilliant world class training facility in Trivandrum, Kerala. When a bunch of 500 students got recruited in VIT into Bye-bye, they had no idea the training was going to be so much fun. I was part of that 500 and August 1st 2007 was my first day at training.

Bye-bye freaked us all out on the first day of training. Here are some of the Bye-bye rules:

1) 9 am sharp and everyone needs to be in class on time. Else your rebuked upon badly. Yeah you have school, then bindaas college life and again back to school with Bye-bye.

2) You need to look extremely professional. That includes:

a) Wearing formals top to bottom.
b)Wearing your top most button was compulsory
c)Tie which must cover that button mentioned above.
d)You need to wear socks that match on both legs.

Im not kidding but they have periodic checks and guys are asked to lift their pants up so they can confirm you are wearing the right pair of socks.

So we are divided into batches and if one guy fails the "professionalism" check, negative points are awarded for that batch.

Once, such a check was done and the whole audience consisting of students from many batches were in splits!! Suddenly a guy from my batch walked in late and the "quality checkers" asked him which batch he was from and we were all signalling him to tell the wrong batch. This costs us a few points too LOL.

The final results are announced end of the week and the paper is posted on the notice boards!! People throng the notice board and have a laugh taking the case of people who committed crimes on different categories like

"Dint wear tie properly"

"Sleeves folded"

"Wrong socks"

"Using ipod in class"

and many more!!

3)Attendance on all days is compulsory. Unless your friggin sick they dont entertain leaves. All the 50 days are to be attended.

4)ID cards!! Having one is just not enough. You have to swipe it every time you enter or leave the building. Even if you find the door open you have to swipe it too. Else you become a tailgater.


Inspite of all this, the training was so much fun. It was our second college with weekend trips to places around God's own country and it was the first time we had a Co-Ed dormitory ;)
I guess Bye-bye doesnt recruit a lot of babes so it aint a great celebration really.

Somehow, girls and guys always had something to study in the hostel since that was the only excuse they can use to "talk" to each other till 12 am or more than that. Im sure that in the other guys- only hostels, people slept off by 10 pm ;)

Rumour has it that many people find their life partners @ training. Well I sure know one couple for sure who would chuckle reading this post!!


Few things I remember from the training days:

B6 (6 in malayalam is pronounced "aaru" so B plus "aaru" gives us baaru which means BAR)

B6 is a blessed place for corporates as we had a discount for Bye-bye employees. After a tough day at work, we all used to gather there, drink and then head to the Executive Hostel.

Coffee Beans

This restaurant is on top of the same hill which houses our training centre. The view is simply awesome. Coffee and sutta during lunch breaks was the best timepass.

Fire!!!

All training batches have a 30 minute session on how to react in case a fire opens up in any of the Bye-Bye facilities. They talked about how our business must continue and we must pick up critical hardware before vacating.

So one day, a Mr.Colonel, the chief security gave a talk and he said 2 minutes is the time before which all humans and equipment should be out of the building.

Some days later when our classes were going on the alarm went on buzzing. The building we were in was a 3 storyed one. We all came out and started wondering if fire really broke out.

Suddenly 3 people from the ground floor, carrying a huuuuuuuge water pipe started spraying water on all the 3 floors. Amused by this incident, a few of them got wet in that water and others assumed that it was a real fire and ran out of the building, dodging the spray. As for me, I wasnt sure whether it was a real fire or another fire drill. SO it took around 2 1/2 minutes to vacate.

Icing on the cake though, was when Colonel was watching people hurry out of the building and a few dumasses were showing their ID cards on the system before vacating.

Colonel had a session after this and took the case of these people asking if their attendance was more important than their lives. LOL.

Training finally turned out to be great fun and we later realized that was Bye-bye's way of welcoming people just before they get screwed at work place.

Apparently the company asks for options as to where you wanna work and assigns places just where you dont wanna work. Bongs ended up in Chennai and Tams ended up in Mumbai. Thats good in a way but why ask for options at all?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So fun stopped literally the day training got over. Then, it was anything but fun.

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1)3 days are given for people to settle in their new locations.

2)Most of us realize we're on bench! Which means you can sit at home and salary will come knocking at our doorsteps. They call it resource pooling though.

3)My friend in Delhi was in Bye-bye s payroll even after he left the company and joined a BPO in Chennai! Thats how well they know their employees

4)Projects are forced upon people. People who did mechanical engineering get to design websites and computer science blokes work on excel sheets adding two rows and three columns. Argh! Ask me about it!!

5)In the end, you feel like going back to training :)

Read more here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mujjjae indhee nayee maloom

Yeah I'm one of those hopeless tam guys who cant speak hindi for nuts. Many of my colleagues still wonder how people in India wouldnt know Hindi. Well I only request them to travel down south. I'm sure there are many in Tamil Nadu who think Tamil is their national language :p.

Honesty first. Yes, Hindi was not encouraged and made compulsory in schools across Tamil Nadu and many failed to make it a point to learn when they could. I guess I've passed that age now and I find myself lingo challenged in the city of Hyderabad.

So every time someone talks to me in Hindi, I shoot the one statement I can speak fluently and deliver it neat:

"Mujhe hindi nahin maalum angraezee mein baat karo"

The real problem is when I talk to auto guys, barbers, shopkeepers. So in these situations, a passerby would think that either me or the shopkeeper is deaf and dumb. I try to interact with all sorts of hand signals.

1) Thumbs up and rocking up and down signifies "how much for the auto ride?"

2)Using two fingers in the shape of scissors and then keeping the thumb and two fingers parallel to it signifies "short haircut" to the barber. No wonder my hairstyle sucks ever since I left Chennai :(

People who go to hindi movies along with me have a tough time concentrating on the movie cuz I keep bugging them for the translation. In Chennai I used to watch thamizh and english movies only. Always felt that a North Indian girlfriend would ve been good to help my cause but i realized she would've dumped me the first time I took her to the movies.

Thamizh movies have always portrayed tams as hindi challenged blokes. The most famous one was an old Bhagyaraj movie where the hero tries to learn Hindi from an old man just to gain entry into his house and hit on his beautiful grand-daughter.

The old man says "Ek gaon main ek kisaan raha tha thaaa"

Hero says"Ek Gaon main ek kisaan ragu thatha"

Old man stresses "Raha tha thaaaaaaaa"

Hero: " Raggu thathaaaaaaa"

Another famous scene is a comedian fooling a girl saying he knows hindi and takes her into the fields, hoping for some romance. The girl asks him "how to say 'come here' in Hindi?"

Comedian: "idhar aaoooooooooo"

The impressed girl then asks him "how do you say 'go there' in Hindi"?
(pointing her finger to a tree )

Comedian thinks for a while, walks a few metres away from the girl, reaches the tree, turns back and says "idhar aaoooooooo"!!!

Personally, I regret not knowing Hindi and Im making a genuine effort to learn the language. Im the blacksheep of my family. Everybody speaks hindi well though my sister proved to us all that after she hit the USA she lost touch on hindi.

My cousin married a Gujju and during the wedding at Surat, a Gujarathi lady was searching for the bride and my cousin. Apparently that woman knew only Gujarathi and little hindi. She mentioned to my sister "kahan something dulha aur dulhan...woh dhono thoda something baat karne chahiye"

My sister came running and asked if these Gujjus had awesome customs during weddings. She thought that "dulha" has to take bath with "dulhan" then, and they were missing. LOL.
We were in splits then and I had some consolation that I wasnt the only one in the family ;)

Someday in my life, Im sure I will learn hindi. I havent given up as yet. But till then I'll have to manage with this hand signs "talent" and survive in Hyderabad. When I hit Chennai I dont have to worry. In fact even if it is Hindi I know way too much compared to the common junta. And after all, "अन्धों में काना राजा " ;)

(Translation for all you hindi challenged blokes(LOL): Among a set of blind people, the one-eyed guy is the king)

Monday, June 2, 2008

G for Goa.G for Gunny.G for Ghost

Disclaimer: Im really bad at explaining horror stuff and getting people scared but I'm blogging anyway simply because of 1 reason: This happened for real. And it is easy to explain what happened in reality.

[Weak hearts-you can stop reading NOW].

I had been to Goa on December 2006, just a week before I had to leave for Singapore to do my project. Goa in two words: beach and alcohol. Nothing else mattered to me.

An occasional boozer converts into a drunkard when he hits Goa. So what I converted into probably cannot be categorized.

My friends and I used to wake up, reach out for a bottle of Royal Challenge or Blue Riband. Once the bottle is downed we got up from the bed and brushed our teeth!!!

So one day, we finished all our adventures by 12 30 am. By then we had been TOTALLY sloshed. A few Kingfishers on the beach throughout the morning, fish and Imperial Blue in the afternoon. Then hit the beach again with some Lime Juice in hand. Evening, we took our vehicles(I hate cars so I rented out a bike and the remaining blokes rented a car) and roamed one half of Goa.

There we played all watersports, had another round of alcohol(whats the difference you may ask? Well this time I had it with hookah ;)

Finally had a great dinner and we were all sloshed(except the guy who can drive the car). We started at 12 30 am and had to travel a looooong distance to reach our hotel(Calangute). The car chaps obviously sped ahead and it was only me and Kumar on the bike travelling at 90 to 100 Kmph on the highway.

This was how the roads looked like when we were riding:







I realized Kumar was dozing off and just to keep him occupied, I showed him how the highway would look like if i switched off my headlights.

This was how it looked like:


You can try lime, you can try puking or any other way to reduce the effect of alcohol, but trust me this one works like a charm. All the booze we had suddenly seemed to have disappeared. This one scared the daylights(damn where were they?) out of us. We just wanted to reach our guest house as soon as possible(and then probably try to start all over and get high again ;).

Hoping that my headlights wouldnt goof up, I sped again with high-beam on ! Kumar had nearly dozed off and he woke up with a thud thanks to my CBZ which started wobbling now. I immediately stopped and decelerated while the bike swerved automatically towards the edge of the road and I killed the engine immediately.

Please see the picture above again! Do you see 2 people there?!! Exactly, that exactly how it was when the headlights went off again! I could not really find Kumar. After a few seconds I vaguely saw that I have another person on that dreadful road beside me. Apparently, the back tyre had got punctured.

Kumar and I freaked out completely and were wondering what to do. We were talking to each other and I heard a voice.It did not sound like Kumar.

[Right now when Im just blogging about it Im seeing one zillion goosebumps on my hands and Im not kidding]

Kumar heard it too and he knew it wasnt me. He caught the bike and clung on to it. Before I tried to do the same thing, I heard the voice calling me.

"aaeeeeee inge vaaaa"

Translates to : aeeee come here.

Common sense told me I could be dreaming cuz I was in Goa and there was no way someone was talking to me in Tamizh. (Well yeah common sense aint so common. aaaaaah forget that now)

I was fucking scared and felt a chill go down my spine. By now, Kumar was shouting(he still was a bit high, poor thing). He yelled in thamizh "Who is it, where are you, who is it, where are you".

This freaked me out all the more. Imagine drowning with someone who doesnt know how to swim. Aint that totally hopeless? Thats exactly how I felt when I realized Kumar was more scared than me.

"Inge vaa..seekram vaaa onnum panna maattaen"

Translation: " Come here fast, I wont do anything"

The voice was more commanding and coarse and I wished I never came to Goa or atleast not taken a bike ride.

I lost hope on Kumar, left him where he was most comfortable-the bike and I turned back towards the direction from where the voice came.

I gathered some courage and inched towards the road. I saw nothing but I heard the voice again.
Right then, I was sure as dead it wasnt anthing physical but a bloody ghost because I saw nothing but heard voices.

"Naa setthu 10 varsham aachu , onnum panna mattaen inge vaaaaa"

Translation:" Im dead for the last 10 years, I wouldnt harm you"

WTF??? you expect someone to believe your harmless when you claim your dead already?

I wanted to turn back and run to the bike but was scared to do that also for reasons I still dont know.

I was slowly walking backwards and eyeing the highway like an eagle. I noticed there was nothing but a ...er..there was a gunny sack. Just a plain brown gunny sack.

Few seconds later the voice started again

"Oaadadhe inge vaa onnum panna mattaen"

Translation: " Dont run come here, I wont do anything"

I stopped right there and focussed. The voice came from the gunny bag lying on the road. Yes a fucking gunny bag! I did some imaginary geometry with my hands and all i could figure out was that only a dog could fit inside that gunny bag. I dont know how to explain that feeling, but you know, you are goddamned curious even when you know you could die of fear.

Going further towards the bag, the voice was louder and louder. It went like "come here fast", " I wont kill you cuz im dead already" "fast fast" and whats worse, it said "help me help me" when i reached the sack.

All those horror movie scenes I watched from childhood went reeling in front of my head. Curiousity however got the better of me and I bent down to look at the gunny bag.(Kumar was now curious too.Well why wouldnt he be? After all it was me who was nearer to the ghost)

I did not speak anything. Was waiting for something to happen. A sudden movement inside the gunny sack made me jerk and of course scream. I was about to run backwards as I saw a human figure coming out of the bag. I got even more scared and wished it was rather a ghost.

Having run a couple of metres backwards, I noticed the man was completely out of the gunny sack and I scanned him. He had no legs at all and his body stopped right at his tummy.

Phew! Me and Kumar were assured that we were gonna live! First question I shot was:

Me(in thamizh):Who are you?
Sackwaala: My name is srinivas
Me: Why the hell did you say you were dead? it freaked us out.
Srinivas: Because I have no legs and I had an accident before 10 years. After that I was always dead.

Really felt bad for that man. We pulled him towards the edge of the road and asked him not to sleep on the highway. Wondered if my friends who went by car ever noticed the gunny bag.

We parked the bike in a nearby place and Srinivas said he would take care of it. Friends came rushing in the car and 7 of us adjusted in the zen and got back to the hotel.

Next day morning, we all got back to the place and saw Srinivas inside the same sack. Gave the bike for repair and got Srinivas a tea.

He explained that he was a thamizh guy who came to Goa 2 decades back and worked as a tourist guide.10 years earlier a lorry had run over him and he had no money left to go back home or get himself operated. He knew Goa in and out and he loved travelling. He had been to many tourist places across India and that was why he considered himself completely dead as he couldnt move. He required help even for moving a few metres ahead.

His entire life was inside that gunny sack. Eating, sleeping, talking, loo and everything within that tiny house.

Now as Im ending the story, the goosebumps are all gone. Just a tiny droplet of tear peeping from my eye. I never thought I would actually feel sorry for any man who scared the shit out of me like that.

Next time any of you guys are hitting Goa, make sure you watch out for a gunny bag on the highway. And dont get scared! Just say "Hai Srinivas we know you"....

Friday, May 23, 2008

10 commandments thou shall not fear



The famous VIT Hostel [Where we all made our bones!!!]



You ask any VITian "What is the best part of your VIT life". 9 out of 10 blokes would tell you "Hostel". Lets discount the remaining 1 guy who probably had a pestering gf to cater to, in the library or canteen 24X7.

VIT Vellore boasts of having some of Asia's biggest hostels. And boy dont they have rules!!! One year after passing out of college, Im now reading the hostel rules for the first time. I must admit they scare the shit out of people.
(You may find the complete set of 22 rules here. I like only 10 of those). These rules take me back to my hostel life. Time of my life, undoubtedly.

1) Strict silence should be observed between 9:30 pm & 6:00 am.

The exact timeframe where Vellore generates more decibels than ever. Whenever the power goes off, you'd find the entire hostel(around 6000 people?!) screaming like terrorists.

Hostel wardens and supervisors get verbally mothered during this time. Whats worse? dust bins, tube lights and empty perfume bottles are thrown out from the corridor hoping to be landed on one of the security person's head.

Exactly after a hostel-second(Well I think its one of the smallest measurement of time known to man: defined as the time difference between when the power is restored and when the hostel shuts up-completely) you'd find a few culprits tip-toeing into their rooms and declaring with an element of pride what damage they did to the hostel.


2)
Perfect silence is to be maintained in the hostel premises including rooms, bathrooms, dining halls, corridors, common areas etc., Every student of the hostel should have the civic responsibility that he or she should not be a cause of nuisance, annoyance or disturbance to others.

LOL I dont get it. Whats the difference between rule 1 and 2? Having said enough about rule 1, let me just add something that came to my mind. Hostel bathrooms had the top open and cigarettes would get transferred from one bathroom to another with the last person in line always wailing that he got only the butt.

3)
All hostellers have to be present in their respective rooms and keep open the rooms between 9:30 pm &10:30 pm every day (except Saturday for Men's Hostel) to enable the Wardens / Block Supervisors to take the attendance.

The Wardens/Supervisors were always from the army and apparently smelt a rat from any distance. I still remember a few people sniffing empty glasses from our rooms hoping to find dope and brand us a "TIGER"(dont know the lingo but when we got caught for playing cards(ya man just cards), they called us all tigers)

4)
The hostellers are not to enter into any unnecessary conversation, discussions, quarrel or altercation with the hostel staff. If anyone has any complaint against any employee of the hostel, a written complaint against the person is to be lodged with the Warden. Use of abusive, vulgar and unparliamentarily language against the hostel/mess staff is strictly forbidden.

Bottomline:Do not mess with VIT security. Some of them are from the army too. Imagine messing with an Indian ex jawaan man. If they ask you for the id card show it, else your a NON VITian and they ll probably shoot you.

Shooting. The word reminds me of an incident. Some people were ordered to shoot street dogs in VIT hostel because they were multiplying in numbers.(They call it the green campus and thats how red it gets at times)

5)
The hostellers are not to waste food, electricity & water. Wastage of food is a national loss. If anyone is found indulging in such wastage, he/she will be asked to vacate the hostel, since wastage causes unnecessary and unavoidable expenditure to others.

Forget wasting, I dint know many who ate the mess food.

5)a) Parottas were thick enough to derail a train if kept on the track
5)b) Idlis would mysteriously seem to be created a month ago
5)c) Dosas would however, qualify as idlis so there goes a consolation
5)d) Custard! They used to give a delicious custard(not sarcastic). But they gave 1 (yeah just 1) small cup.

The custard deficiency would bring the Oliver Twists in all of us and I still recollect blokes fighting for more. Other calm and composed people, however managed to get more than one by signing in the register(where you'd be charged extra) with names like Shah Rukh Khan or with a name of a guy they hated.(the latter would be charged end of the year!)

Hey but if you wanted good food there is always this International Mess(costly) where they have great food.

And of course the Dhabha, outside campus which serves 90% of VIT population kneads and mints "dough" like crazy.

6)
Smoking is prohibited in the hostel buildings. Gambling in any form such as playing cards (even without money at stake), consumption of alcohol, use of drugs and narcotics and even., possession of such things are prohibited. Anyone found indulging in the use of such things will not only be asked to vacate the hostel but also be rusticated from the University.

The number of ciggy packets an average servant swept in VIT would be a staggering number. There are 8 shops encircling our college. I aint exaggerating but Shankar shop is the most addictive hang-out place. I still have his mobile number with me. He used to call us all if his income dropped for a day.

Alcohol bottles can be smuggled inside the hostel rooms if you have huge pockets. The security guard always wondered why we took only the chips and pepsi botlles in hand. Hidden beneath were litres of ecstacy.

7)Celebrating birthday parties inside the hostel is strictly prohibited.
(Its colored because in our college website, it was made bold.Wonder why...)

We all had the best birthdays in college whether it was ours or some guy's who you dint even know but ended up kicking him because the ritual took place on your hostel floor.

Jacob, a friend who was completely discolored on his birthday with a lot of ingredients (you dont wanna know) was taking a strenuous bath trying to get rid of the shit and 4 of us were simultaneously pouring SURF on his head from the open top.

"MK" the warden then, was patiently watching us from behind(first look and he must've thought we were all gay).

Such incidents made the Principal stress his point across. He went about saying "heyyyyyy no birththu day bummm allowed inside the hostel". The same guy got belted with firecrackers on Diwali when he dared to enter the hostel premises(ask me for the youtube link, I will authenticate your identity and then give it!)

8)
Ragging in any form is strictly prohibited

Yeah they do take ragging seriously. But no campus life is complete without ragging and it takes place at an acceptable level at VIT.In fact if a senior asks for a juniors name and a sick prof gets to see it, he might probably escalate the issue. The usual college rags like the senior salute, dance, assignment writing are common.

But whats unique to VIT is that some of the seniors send the juniors as brand ambassadors to hunt down chicks in their batch and campaign for them. The juniors promptly leak out phone numbers and other value added services to the seniors.

9)
Absentees / Latecomers (without prior permission from the Warden) will be suitably fined.

I dont know how a fine would be suitable. Anyways, the library was very useful for this reason. The in-time for hostel is 9pm. Our intelligent men used to enter the library at 8 55 get a slip and sneak out for a movie or for a drink. They sneak in to the library again at 11 30 or so and get the slip signed. Armed with the slip in hand, they entered safely into the hostel with some books in hand which would get returned the immediate next day as its purpose was already served.

10)
Violation of any of these rules would result in punitive action and serious violations would be referred to the "Students Disciplinary Committee". The decision of the Dean would however be final.

I dint know there was ever a committee like that. But I did get a decision which went against me. Dont ask me how many points (mentioned above) I violated but one fine day in campus, when I was looking at the notice board (where a whole bunch of students flocked), I took a peep inside. It read:

The following students have been expelled , with immediate effect, from the hostel for serious violations.

1)Anirudh
2)Maruthi
3)Raghav
4)Vignesh (yours truly)
5)Vivek

(All blokes mentioned above are my chuddy buddies. Sad they dont've blogs...yet)

The incident has been updated here

The best part is that this notice gets spammed across all possible locations: the guys hostel, gals hostel and all department boards. Like we murdered someone and are absconding.

Whatever it is, we got instant recognition and joined the club with many others who violated different terms and served different sentences. Ours though, was only for 3 months and we were proved innocent(hehehehe).

We got back to the the hostel and were assigned the most blessed and wonderful "B block"(apparently they put a lot of like minded criminals in the same block so you can imagine). It also had a warden who'd sit beside us for drinking and smoking. He was an ex VITian and he was working there as a prof!

If I forgot to mention anything(Im sure there are loads), please comment and let me know.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

4 gears 3 wheels 2 people 1 God 0 compromise



Right now I live in Hyderabad and once when I travelled by bus back home, I woke up, thanks to the bus driver who was honking like crazy.I was wondering where the bus was then.

The answer came in the form of an auto driver. He was the reason my bus was honking and he swerved the auto to his right, stopped the huge volvo bus and screamed "aiiiiiiiiiiii otha ootaande sollnu vantyaaa?" (Tamil Slang/Swear but it exactly translates to : !@#$$%, have you told home your going out?). My driver mumbled something in telugu and "requested" him to move his small auto out of the way.

The holy sweet words of the auto driver early in the morning joshed me up. Why? Cuz I knew I had reached Chennai!!!

Its unfair to blog about Chennai autokaarans(auto drivers) when the guru krishashok has done it himself. But having lived in Chennai for 22 years, Im passionate about Chennai and and its a sin to ignore the Gods on 3 wheels

Try as you might, you wouldnt find a good auto driver(oxymoron) ever, in Chennai. If you want to take an auto, be prepared to make an ass out of yourself. Dont try to act smart and remember, they are the Gods.

My futile attempt at bargaining with an auto guy:

Me: Bosssu moggappair polama (conciously tryin 2 sound way too local so he doesnt charge me 1/25th of my salary)
Translation
: Could we go to moggappair?

God: Moggappair aa?...Romba dhooram aache (Ok this is how it all starts. he tries to give me geography gyan here)
Translation: Thats too far right?

Me: (ahem) seri evlo sollunge ? meter oadumaa?
Translation: Alright how much? Is your auto-meter working?

God: Meter laam velaikkaagadhu pa...onnyum ille oru 200 rupees kuduppa straightaa ootukku poidlaam (There it is, God sez he requires 200 bucks to take me home)

Me:Poitttu varathukku ille naa verum one way dhaan
Translation: Im asking for one way only and not for return too!
(This is my usual dialogue. I know it sucks but then some Gods may entertain a good joke thats why I keep trying :( )

(The God gets a little offended now)

God: enna nakkala? porathukku mattum dhaan. seri seri 190 kudu polaam.
Tanslation: Kidding me? alright gimme 190

Me: Lastaa solraen 130 varennge naa vaange illena venaam.

(On hearing 130 bucks, the God laughs now.And he gives you that look which makes you feel your begging for alms)

God: aen yaa distance ennannu theryaadhaa unakku? (mumbles a swear word but saves it for future use)petrol enna velai le pogudhu theryuma?(from geography to economy) evlo litre aagum theryumaaa?(general knowledge now) vandhuttaan . 170 lastttu varenna vaa.

(Translation here doesnt matter.Bottomline:God has given his verdict-170 ! take it or leave it. And he is ready with his hands on the starting rod-A signal that says this is your last chance)

Me:anna ungulku venaam enakku venaam 140 na correct rateuuu
(Yeah what to do? I cannot stomach giving him 170. I dont even spend that much for my two wheeler fuel for a week or so)

(By now God has decided he has to show me who He is)

God: U#$$#%le(censorship required here) 170 kudukka vakku ille nee ellam edhukku da auto le vare? Bus le po daa.
Translation: He declares that Im only worthy of travelling by bus and asks me to basically fuck off.

And me , I exchanged similar pleasantries with him for a while but since I know they have this whole union thingy and I could get bashed up I spoke no more!

The only time in my life where I think I won the bargain was when I went home recently.
An auto guy asked me for 80 bucks, I boarded and then he asked me for 100 after i reached home. I obviously refused.We argued for sometime and this God gets pissed off earlier than I expected. Guess what this God did? He said I can keep it and went off. (yeah yeah he gave me all the swear words, some gyaan and cursed my generations-to-come before leaving)

22 years man, 22 years! Even after living here for this long I can never ever get the better out of an autokaaran deal.

But wait! One thing I must mention about the Chennai autokaaran God is that the Lord will show mercy on you in 3 situations:

a)you are a lady AND you are pregnant(many a time, a free ride)

b)you met with some minor accident on road AND your bleeding(he definitely wont wait outside the hospital for the dough)

c)your bike stopped and you need it to be towed for cheap(Our Gods have a unique skill of pushing your bikes with their legs while riding their autos-this will of course cost you but they re considerate and wont charge you much)

Anyways like them or hate them, you can never ignore them. They are rude, abusive, haughty and most importantly indispensable. Thats why they are the Gods. Hail 'em :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Making 40 bucks profit with long hair(true incident)

Alright guys dont freak out. Im starting my story right away. During my days in VIT, I used to shuttle from Vellore to Chennai and back quite frequently. I bunked all fridays (for reasons that only my friends know) so I spent every friday saturday and sunday in Chennai and caught the monday morning trains(6 am) back to VIT.

On one such day in the railway station....(I had short hair and looked like a nerd then)
A fragile old man, dressed up like a gentleman came up to me and spoke in english, english that would remind you of someone who probably works in a voice-based BPO.

He said, "young man, I have a favour to ask"

Me:Yes Sir

Gentleman:Whats your name?

Me:Vignesh

Gentleman:Wowwww what a co-incidence! My name is Vignesh too....Anyway Vignesh ...I know its shameful to ask anybody for this but I dont have a choice. Ticket cost to Vellore is 54 rupees and I have only 44 thanks to my wife who forgot to keep my wallet in my bag. I have relatives
in Vellore who'd come to the station and I will return it to you promptly. If you dont mind can you spare me 10 rupees?

Me:Sure. (I gave 10 bucks to him)

Gentleman:God bless you. What you studying?

Me:VIT computer science

Gentleman:Cool. What languages you working on? C++, Java?

(I felt proud having helped a man who knew way beyond what he should.Well my dad wouldnt even know what a programming language is ! {sorry dad I need to blog here thats why ;) }

We spoke for sometime and I boarded the train along with friends who took my case really bad saying I got fooled by some conman. I defended and told them "wait till you get down in VIT, I will introduce that man to you guys"

Well he never came and I got late for my classes, so I fled fighting with my friends saying he could not have spotted me in the crowd.

1 1/2 years later(when my hair hadnt met a pair of scissors for nearly a year)....

I was waiting in the railway station looking at the computer screens. One gentleman comes up to me and ....I was like whoaa this guy is here to say sorry and return my 10 rupees. Before I could smile at him he opened up ...

Gentleman: Where is the punjab national bank ATM?
Me: (wtf?!!!) Hmm Im not sure sir. (My smile vanished and I preferred to wait)

(May/May-not be a)Gentleman:Ok no problem.Whats your name?

Me:(the smart ass in me openin up) Shankar

The Asshole!!: wowww what a co-incidence! My name is shankar too(I was almost gonna beat the bastard up but I was like lets wait and see how it all goes)...I have a favor to ask. Punjab national bank ATM is not available here and I am a diabetes patient. I need to catch the Coimbatore train immediately. I fell a little short of cash. Can you spare me 50 rupees?(haaa! talk about price inflation!)

Me:(thought for quite a while and...) yes but how would I get back the money?

The Asshole:Please give me your house address I will send a money order for you.

Me:(anger burning inside but told myself "wait I need my money back") Oh sure but I have only a 100 rupee note so could you please give me 50 rupees because I would require atleast 50 to get to my hostel.

The Dumb Asshole took 50 bucks and promptly gave it to me. I started to walk. He followed me and asked "Excuse me you forgot to give me 50 rupees". I told him I knew him and he better make a move or I ll call the police(Okay guys I dint call the police cuz I had my dreaded data structures exam and I had 5 mins to catch the train).

The unpredictable Asshole then caught my collar and said"Im a decent man and dont fool an old man". I dont know what he read from my facial reaction...but he fled the scene immediately and disappeared in a jiffy.

Recollecting that incident today, Im wondering how such a smart conman would not keep track of the people he fools. Anyways too unlucky for him I had abnormally long hair that could ve fooled even my cousins.

Tomorrow if i get to meet him, he probably woulnt recognize me as I weigh twice as much as I did then!