The one thing so insanely awesome of living in India is exposure to SO many cultures other than ur own (Its another matter that my exposure to my own culture is somewhat limited… But I’ll get to that point a little later). What better way to experience culture than to attend a family gathering that tops all others – a wedding 🙂
I was lucky enough to know not one but two amazing ppl getting married on the same day. And, coincidentally, to each other.
Here’s my recount of what the wedding was all about. For simplicity and anonymity I’ll omit names and use nicknames or cliches.
Day -n: “Stop Right There”
The ceremony is day -n because it ends before all the official ceremonies of the wedding begins. Its a ceremony called a Roka (its Hindi equivalent translates to “Stop Right There“) which is the equivalent of an unofficial engagement announcement making it clear to the community that both the bride and groom are unofficially off-limits. Secretly, I think it gives the groom a chance to re-think his decision – but in this particular case the groom was so frigging cute that he wouldn’t back out even if you handed him the keys to a Maserati minutes before the wedding vows.
Attendees: Closest friends and family.
Magic Moments: The poses for the pics that found their way to FB(since Facebook wants even its ticker to read FB I think its fair to say they would mind the acronym cropping up on the blogosphere).
Day -2: “Now and Forever”
The ceremony that takes place a mere 2 days before the wedding, the Mehendi, is when bride gets a “good luck charm” in herbal ink. It is when the bride announces to the world that the groom’s name is etched on her palm for “now and forever”. Its also when almost all the ladies at the function also join in and drive the Mehendi fellow crazy – but I wasn’t there so I can’t comment on whether he was driven mad or how mad he got.
Elderly relatives lead the way to a cultural reunion by singing songs of the yesteryears. For the feel and the rustic feel, an old dholak is brought out – a horizontal percussion instrument that’s beat on both ends to generate a booming bass sound from one broad end and a treble beat from the other narrower end (definitely an instrument that can add a noisy twist to an otherwise silent function. Note to self: get dholak if parents disallow drums). The ladies of the house devise a simple method to add a cymbal layer to the beat – and bring out a trusted spoon to accompany the dholak. (A certain guest at the wedding mentioned that it was her ‘core competency’ to play the spoon – so I do imagine that its a tradition that occurs quite frequently at weddings; but I haven’t seen her in action – so I can’t comment on her skill or lack thereof.)
And soon everyone at the function gets their hair down to celebrate. Kids and old ladies alike, the dance floor is thronged by joyous friends and relatives who celebrate the bride’s happiness. The DJ (yes, nowadays DJs rock at these small family functions too) sets the dance feel with recent songs. And, more often that not, the bride hits the dance floor herself.
Attendees: Close friends and family, Dholak and occasionally the groom.
Magic Moments (and what I missed): the “ooh la laa” performance by the bride and the groom. (The performance was reprised at the wedding dinner, but a little birdie told me that it lacked the oomph that the dance at the Mehendi had)
Day -1: “I got you… Almost”
The engagement ceremony – consisting of a ring ceremony and some other rituals – when the groom realised that he was gonna be bankrupted 😉
I arrived at the star-decked venue along with my friends, fresh from a ride from the airport. Shortly thereafter the groom arrived and his rituals were wrapped up quite quickly while we got chatty with other ppl in the crowd – the fellow brides-party-ppl (there just isn’t a translation of ladki-walle is thr…?!), our rival groom’s-party-ppl (aka ladke-walle) and some fence sitters (eyeing the bounty at the wedding no doubt). A while later the bride traipsed into the room, followed by the watchful eyes of the camera crew. She looked exquisite and nervous at the same time – quite a state considering that I’ve barely ever seen her in either state.
Very soon the ring ceremony commenced – rings were exchanged, photos were clicked and bride and groom heaved a sigh of relief (Not so sure about the groom though…). The Hawk-eyed photographer continued a brief photo session with the just-engageds. The guests watched as he advised the bride to tilt her head at a demure angle of 3 degrees and then adjust the pitch of her head by another few degrees (he dint use mathematical measures – instead he enacted the head movements himself). He then moved on to “arranging” the groom and bride into HILARIOUS positions – what’s more this will figure in their wedding memoirs to be embarrassed for a lifetime :). He then left the bride and groom alone for a while (and they continued to converse in peace for a while – we, on the other hand, were busy imagining an alter-conversation. We enacted a conversation where they were fighting over who got late and why – and its almost like their facial expressions were in sync with our story. As it turns out, it was an entirely different topic altogether… but my imagination aint never gonna rest now…).
Soon after we hit the dance floor (simply bcuz we were bored of dancing where we were seated) and were joined by most of the crowd. A little kid’s rendition of “Chammak Challo” has the lyrics seared in my memory; and another’s rendition of “Dhunki” made me google the song to download.
The evening ended stylishly with guests grooving to other songs, the bride and the groom hitting the dance floor. All in all – an evening well worth the late night.
Attendees: Friends, Family, Hawk-eyed photographer
Magic Moments: The bride’s and groom’s younger siblings re-enaction of the love story complete with a bollywood song and dance routine.
This is Part 1 of the Wedding Chronicles. I promise myself to post Part 2 before the end of the fortnight.
I also reckon I should reschristen my weekly postings to bi-monthly to make them seem more accurate.
This is long overdue… but I realised that there is no better time to blog about this than now… when boredom is beginning to catch up with me, and when the memories are still so fresh, they almost hurt.
On the 15th of March, 6 ppl took off from IMT Gzb for a trip – a trip that they had little clue would be filled with so much adventure and fun that they swore it would stay with them for the rest of their lives; a trip that meant the last time all of them would be together and care-free; a trip that would span some places that they would visit for the first time, and some that they would come back to much later in their lives; a trip that gave them 2 memorycards full of memories and many that the camera would never capture. Here is what that trip was all about.
The journey frm IMT to Anand Vihar, and thereon to NDLS was very uneventful, so I’ll skip that. NDLS station welcomed us, with all the stench and dirt it had to offer. We found our way to the platform, a weary bunch of travellers – some sleep deprived, some intoxicated, and some just pure tired. We waited till the Sher-E-Punjab (Lion of Punjab) rolled onto the platform, and unlike other animals of the wild, this one was late. But, tired as we were, we waited, boarded it and spent the next 7 hours in various states of half-sleep. Reaching Amritsar, we were greeted by a car and a helpful soul to take us around the city. Reaching the guest house, we needed just a while before we were ready to rock Amritsar.
Stop 1 – Wagah Border. This place has a lot of history, being one of the only places on the India-Pak border that ppl tend to frequent a lot. And the BSF has done a splendid task of marketing it. (The Pak BSF is either busy with other issues, or just doesn’t plain care, cuz we dint see too much enthusiasm on their side of the border, more on that later.) We saw at least a 100, 000 ppl queuing up to see the beating retreat in the evening – a crowd that would ordinarily have been lazing around elsewhere found a spot to display patriotism. The BSF had very splendidly put together a fun show will the beating retreat had been planned – a run to the border with the National Flag in ur hands, a song-n-dance with some patriotic songs. We witnessed what seemed like 50 year old ladies make a dash to the border, the Tiranga (our national flag) flying in their hands – a true show of patriotism. The song-n-dance was purely entertainment, with the crowd dancing to some remixed patriotic songs from Bollywood. Not so long after, the Jawans lined up for what we thought was the ceremony, and our well-trained host read out the rules to us. That we use onli pre-specified slogans during the ceremony (me thinks it is so as not to offend the opposite side, considering that they were such a tiny number). And then, he enthused the crowd with loud cries of “Vande Mataram”, “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Hindustan Zindabad”. (Just a tiny thing I noticed here… whenever our host would yell out “Hindustan”, his Pakistani counterpart would yell out “Pakistan”… as if in an attempt to “steal” our “Zindabad” 😉 But we would go on yelling nehow… they were so little in number, we kinda felt they needed our help on this one…). What followed was an extravagant ceremony of rolling down the flags for the day. It was orchestrated by no more than 8 Jawans, each one with a clear responsibility of what to do, whom to salute, how long to march, how high to kick (almost above their heads!) and so on. The ceremony was interspersed with breath-taking yells from both sides of the border, and tremendous enthusiasm from the crowd. At the end of the ceremony, both the countries’ flags were taken down…as if to say, “we’re the same now, stuck in the middle of nowhere”. What we had witnessed, was a display of patriotism, a display of honour.
We returned, heightened with the feeling of patriotism in our veins, to visit the Golden Temple of Amritsar. This is the most religious place for the followers of Sikhism, it being the resting spot of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book. If u thought some of the churches in the world offered a peaceful spot, u must definitely make a visit to this temple, which oozes an atmosphere of pureness and tranquility. The gateway to the temple is flanked by 2 flagstaffs, which are the holy Nishaan Sahib. What follows is a long walk across the holy lake into the temple of Gold. This temple is flanked on 4 sides, by 4 gigantic gates – each signifying that ppl of ne faith, and ne religion can walk in to find refuge in this temple. The Golden Gurudwara houses the eternal Sikh Guru Granth Sahib, which is on display on the ground floor of the temple. Walk right on to the 1st floor, to get a beautiful view of the holy book, as well as a breath-taking view of the entire temple complex. The roof of the temple is on open display to everyone, as is the gold that adorns this very rich temple. We heard that there is a waiting period to make an offering in this temple, that extends to almost a year… makes u think that ur faith in this temple has to be really strong. After our customary photo session, we settled to get some peace from the place that has been the refuge for ppl of many faiths.
We left the temple, feeling peaceful, and vowing to return in the morning, when the sun would give the entire complex a different look altogether. We left for the famous Kesar Da Dhaba, in the hopes of a sumptuous Punjabi meal. The Dhaba, having been around for almost a 100 years, knows the taste that its patrons prefers, and has set itself menus that cater to it; u can order a-la-carte as well, but the menus are so well-made most ppl dont even bother. Our regular Paranthas, Dal and Sabzi were served to us, with oodles of butter. As I looked in confusion at the sheer amount of calories I was about to consume, I looked around and found that ppl had no qualms whatsoever in consuming food that had not onli been cooked in dollops of butter, but also serve with them! (One patron returned his Roti because there wasn’t enough butter on it!!). After a rather high-calorie meal followed by sweetmeat off the road, we returned to our guest-house.
The night at the guest house was rather uneventful – unless u consider Vini’s attempt at teaching us Malayalam (Meri-ki-Teri = Candle) or Hemali’s claims that “I’m also unwell”. All in all, we went to a bed a tired set of travellers, waiting to take on the next day.
Our next morning started later than expected, but began nonetheless. We decided to make a visit to the Golden Temple in the morning, and have breakfast at the Langarh, a community hall that served food 24 hours a day.
Our next visit to the temple was vastly different from the previous one. It was almost as if the sun brought out the true nature of the Temple, and it dazzled us!! The true glow of the marble and the gold lent the temple a rather important aura, and the kirtans in the background and the soft chants by the fellow worshippers made us realise that the essence of this holy spot was rooted in all that visited it. We skipped on a visit to the temple, owing to the large mass of ppl thronging to get their turn into the temple, and went on instead to the Langarh, for a holy breakfast. After a filling and rather spicy breakfast, we walked back through the temple premises for one last look at this divine creation by man.
We left the city of Amritsar, enlightened by a divine presence in the temple, and hoping to be able to visit it sometime in the future again. As a token of our remembrance of the city, we bought ourselves a Kada from the temple premises, a silver bangle of religious importance. We then took off for Pragpur, a small town, home to India’s first heritage village, or so the website of the Judge’s Court claimed. The route was hilly, and full of ups, downs, curves, and a very nauseous carload of ppl. En route, we made a stop at a temple of the Devi Chintpurni, and continued our hilly journey to the small town of Pragpur.
It took us not more than a few minutes after reaching Pragpur to realise that something on that website was very very wrong – this place did not present itself with any of the regular tourist attractions, and seemed quite a drab place in itself. Nonetheless, we readied ourselves for a visit to the Judges Court, and were treated with the true reflection of Pragpur.
The Judges Court is a small resort-like offering in the middle of nowhere, catered to the tastes of those who do not prefer the noise and crowd of the regular tourist locations. The renovated residence of a retired Judge, it now serves as a beautiful location to for a heritage village. The complex of the residence itself is very large, housing the residence, the heritage village as well as large, splendid lawns to relax in. Having literally gatecrashed the venue, we decided it was onli decent to stay for dinner, and set out to explore the Victorian styled building. Spanning two floors, the building houses the visitors, and is decorated in a most exquisite style. Each room is set in a unique decor, each one more alluring than the previous. As we walked around the house clicking pics, and posing, we realised the grandeur that this villa exhibited was no less than that of a palace, as was made evident by the many chandeliers adorning the place.
As we settled into our spot in the lawns, we were immediately made to feel at home by the hosts, and the tiny bonfire that was now placed beside our stall. The entire setting was perfect, and I pulled out my Hobner, and gave the atmosphere something to sing about. A few songs later, we were all ready for a meal, and made our way to the buffet. A wholesome meal later, we sat back to enjoy the ambience this place offered. We left from the Judges Court, almost 3 hours after we set out for a “walk”, having enjoyed a lovely evening with some very friendly hosts.
As it turns out, Pragpur had nothing else to offer us other than the Judges Court, so we took off the next morning to explore McLeodganj again. En-route we stopped at the Kangra Fort, and found ourselves captivated by not the sights within the fort, but also the Himalayas that loomed on us in the distance. A small field on the way caught our attention, and our driver captured a candid moment in the fields of Himachal Pradesh.
We’re having some fun “Channe ke khet mein” 😉
As the familiar sights of the McLeodganj market greeted us, we took a minute off to stare at the Himalayas that looked so close, we could almost jump right onto them.
Main street McLeodganj beckoned to us and we returned to Oogos for some delicious breakfast. A while later, we set off for the Shiva temple nearby, and thereon took a small trek to the much talked-about Shiva Cafe, to chill. The 20-min trek to the Cafe took our gang almost 30 mins, owing to our tendency to stop for photos and hence, run out of break too often. Having reached the Cafe, we settled down in the dingy and dirty interiors, and decided to stay for lunch. Meanwhile, we wandered around the area and discovered that it was very close to the mouth of a mini waterfall, so we made a tiny trip to a cooling location before traipsing back into the shack for lunch. Midway through our meal, we were joined by some other batchmates of ours, who had different plans for making the trip more fun. A late lunch later, we headed back to the Main Street, in an attempt to catch the sunset from a good point.
We then visited the quiet and scenic Church of St. John in the Woods. We spent the rest of the evening exploring places that offered the local Tibetan cuisine and replaced the delicious Italian cuisine frm the morning’s breakfast with rather drab Tibetan food (Thentuk and Thumcha, if I remember ryt) at a rather overrated eatery. A quick visit to the coffee shop where another batchmate was still celebrating his birthday, and we headed back to our hotel – the same place we’d stayed in the last time as well.
Next morning started early with a visit to the Dalai Lama temple. Turns out, we just missed the Lama, cuz he’d left for Delhi just that day. Nonetheless, we visited the temple, and spun some wheels, and then took to the streets to wrap up some very-well deserved shopping. Two of us took off on a smaller trek to another small place in the town, from where we might be able to get some good views of the Himalayas. The entire trek was strewn with beautiful cedar trees on both sides, forming a seemingly scenic wallpaper that I will never get out of my mind. Thereafter, we spent some time in the Market, shopping for some souvenirs of the place that we loved so much that we visited it twice!
The route to Jalandhar was long, and our driver wagered it would not be more than 2.5 hours. So, with quite a margin, we left for the magnificent rock-cut temples. What we dint realise was that our little detour had eaten into quite a bit of our buffer time, and the winding hilly roads had eaten into some more (I think Hemali’s little love story was somewhere on this route). Reaching the small town of Hoshiarpur, we realised that we were cutting it a little too close for comfort. What followed from thereon until we reached Jalandhar Jn. can onli be described as a comic caper in hindsight. I still remember us asking Sugandha’s dad if he could hold the Shatabdi for us at Jalandhar, our anxiety as we realised we were almost surely not going to make the train, the atmosphere of tension that prevailed in the car, and the “Jab We Met” style dash that we made for the train. Reaching the platform, finding out that we JUST made it, and seeing that train roll into the platform was a feeling that none of us will ever forget, and the cries of joy that resounded on the platform also made our relief clear to the other passengers.
Back in the Shatabdi, we were a bunch of weary travellers, having travelled quite a bit in the last 4 days. The Indian Railways did a splendid job of keeping us busy throughout the journey, and ensured that we never spent more than an hour without being fed or watered. As we got off at Delhi, we were well-fed, and needed onli a bed to complete this perfect journey.
This trip was the last one that we took before we graduated and went our own ways. Nonetheless, I feel confident in saying that we will make another trip sometime soon, and add to the many memories that we’ve already gathered.
Here’s to more trips and GREAT friends. 🙂
P.S. Remember to click on the little icon for music… took me a while to pick out some decent sounding tracks.. 😉
No… it’s not a typo; it’s exactly how the organisers wrote out the name of the event this year. The Capital C was lost in a circle that encompassed the rest of the word, so for some unfortunate reason the digital world was filled with the resounding question, “Yeh hakravyuh kya hai..?” (What’s this hakravyuh?).
Chakravyuh ’10 was one that I personally will cherish for many years to come. Firstly, ’cause it’s the last time I will compete in a sports event playing with a full-strength team. Well sure, we’ll kick some ass at SP Jain again… but playing as a part of Team Kshatriyas was one that I loved last year and enjoyed this year as well.
Secondly, ’cause we won it twice in a row. I’m quite sure it’s happened before, and that it probably may happen again as well; but it’s damn right awesome to do it myself. Team Kshatriyas this year had a contingent of juniors as well, and I’m hoping that they can feel the same awesomeness that I felt this year.
Chakravyuh ’10 taught me some valuable lessons too.
1. NEVER underestimate they opponent. Even if it is a 5 feet something-er waving a second-hand tennis racquet at u in the face. (This is no reference to ne person in particular… it’s just a point I’m driving home)
2. This is the golden rule of the sporting world. You are only as good as ur LAST game… ur entire career can be broken in one match where u made one silly error, and u’ll end up as the loser. No matter if u were the champions last year – THIS year depends on nothing, but this year.
3. Keep ur team close. U never understand the value of a whole team until the moment that u cannot stand up at the court, but some teammate steps in to take in place – unprepared, yet completely willing. This actually happened to me, and a big thanks to the whole team for carrying that one off brilliantly (Bravo Sonica, Divya, Monica and Ankira)
4. An ocean is made up of little drops – don’t lose out on the little drops in the sight of the big ocean. It might not always be possible to win EVERYTHING all the time – but at least settle for winning a little of everything… u never know how the little drops add up to that ocean.
5. Age is not a true factor of how sporting u r. Our Alumni team beat the shit out of us at some sports, and made us realise that all that really counts is spirit. (Remember Bryan Adams – 18 till I Die)
Special mention of Team Titans – a team that I respect for their spirit, and their ability. They got really close to winning the tournament, and the onli thing that kept them off was an unlucky draw of lots.
Another thing that I hope I can drive home here… is our OUTSTANDING sporting culture. Anshul Sir from the Alumnus team made us realise the fact that we have a brilliant sporting culture here… and all we need to do to defend the title each year is bring that spirit together across the college. I know that all said and done, this time next year, there will be members from 2-3 IMT teams writing about how they could have done so much better if they were in one awesome team… but I really hope that ppl can realise that we’re stronger as a bunch of twigs than twigs alone. In an unfortunate series of events this year, many great sportspersons were split over many teams (reference a Mr. Bangdu, and a Mr. Bebo) – a fact that I personally regretted, since I would have loved to see one official IMT team kick some serious ass in all events. I am aware that this Kshatriya – Maharathi – Titan warfare may wage next year as well, but this is an appeal to all our juniors – realise the fact that one OFFICIAL IMT Team can beat ANY team in ANY sport – just gather the guts to put that team together even if you aren’t a part of it. The sports field is not one where u bring ur egos in – it’s one where u bring ur abilities in.
After this seemingly direct sermon, it strikes me that there is another thing that I will remember Chakravyuh ’10 for. It drives home this rash reality that college life is ending once again, and that the big bad world (not all that bad…) will be out to get me once again – when the rest of my team wont be around to save my ass, and when I wont be the “Aiyer” that everyone knows… where I will be just another person that ppl will care so little about. It makes me realise that this wonderland is about to dissolve, and that I, Alice, will have to emerge from the rabbit-hole that I so lovingly dove into.
Thank you IMT, for this awesome event. Thank you SportsComm, for making it so awesome. And thank u Kshatriyas – for making it so memorable for me.
And on this note, I end this post with Bryan Adams’ resounding words.
Man we were killin’ time
We were young and restless
We needed to unwind
I guess nothin’ can last forever, no
And now the times are changin’
Look at everything that’s come and gone
Somethimes when I play that old six-string
I think about ya wonder what went wrong
It’s a simple blog… with one post per person in the Finance Batch (excuse me for this, but I had to experiment on SOME batch to know if the idea was feasible and acceptable, and I saw perfect Bakras in these batchmates 🙂 ). All you have to do is scroll down to the person that u want to comment on (say me) and click on my post. That’s simple. Then post whatever u want about me in the comments section… it cud be a nickname u refer to me as, a characteristic of mine, a particular comment/phrase that I’m caught saying all the time, some incident tht u recall which was particularly memorable (for whatever reason 😉 ) etc.
I’m hoping that people get started on this soon… it’s a pilot event, so I have to say we are waiting for some response to take a call on how to take this initiative forward. Again, my blog isn’t very highly read, so I’m hoping all u Facebook users can spread the word around and get some of ur batchmates to take a shot at this. I understand that it’s onli the Fin batch, so all of u might not even KNOW all of us, but it would be nice if u could at least comment on a few ppl tht u wud know(Hint: Me 😀 ).
Just a tiny request. Refrain from anonymous requests… not tht they are illegal… they just kill the fun that we would get from attaching the comment with a name and a face. A special thanks to Karan Aggarwal for getting this blog up and running so soon…Thanks Bro!
Let’s hope to see some activity here. I have some more ideas on taking this Slambook offline as well, and I’m working on implementing that depending on what kinda feedback I’m getting from here. If u have ne ideas and/or other slambook suggestions, pls feel free to comment on my blog or FB or drop in an email or a ping and I’ll get back to u soon.
I noticed that our institute doesn’t have a formal slam book, or batch book, or any memoir that we take back that reminds us of the whole batch. I realise that this may be on account of the fact that a batch of 420, and a page for each person means a book thicker than some of my course books.
It also spurred in me the idea to start this slam book ONLINE. Not that it’s too easy to manage, considering that my blog gives only ME editing rights, and that means a lot of people sending in images and/or captions and/or write-ups.
So I thought of a way to overcome this problem.
I would be happy to START the slam book, with some posts about some batchmates whose photos I already have. It’ll be a thread per person, where ppl can write utter rubbish, great praises or trivia… complete freedom to bare the person (keeping in mind a level of decency).
Alternatively, we could carry out a discussion wherein each person COMPLETES a slambook entry of ONE other person on campus, and we can then post it on some kind of a common forum, be it Facebook, or some other blog, or even Google Doc it, and then print it later on. The person would be responsible for contacting other ppl, getting their expert comments etc etc.
As an initiative, this isn’t too time consuming… but it’s definitely something that we would like to carry with us as we pass out of here. It isn’t a reaction to the emotional pressures that we ought to feel coming into the 6th trimester either… it’s just a way of saying… “We’re the Batch of 2010!” – a way of saying it in our own style.
A whole semester is almost thru and yet again, we’re in the same shape as we were before the exams – lost, confused, and agitated. Lost, with no syllabus. Confused, with no one to tell us what NOT to study. And agitated, that the above two can happen to us AGAIN!!
One Trim down, I’m a lot happier with my subjects than I expected. SAPM stands out as a topic that I learnt enough from. SCF remains as one that reinforced a lot of what I knew. IBFS, I dont get. MR, I really dont care. And DM, I do care, but haven’t learnt nething new in. Overall, a decent pick.
This trimester also brings with it a finality of sorts. One that my future will almost be sealed soon; that this is my last chance to give fate a fight. And, by the looks of it, fate’s cheaing already. With a messed up time table, negative marking, crappy syllabi, and barely ne time to spare, the exams are almost around the corner, and I’m wondering HOW to finish all of it.
‘Nuf said. I’m gonna get back to some studies to fight. And get some coffee to fight off the sleep that’s catching up with me.
I ran outta time in the last 2 weeks to actually document stuff on a daily basis and had to make do with irregular posts. Here’s a snippet…
May 18th 4:30 a.m.
I have to admit that this is a relatively ungodly hour to be up, let alone recording the findings of my day in a diary. But, what the hell, I got the time and I got the drive… so I’m just gonna live the last 2 days over.
Saturday was a relatively slow day. Not too much happened in terms of truly quantifiable work, but I had a great day nonetheless, so I’m not gonna bother getting into specifics (as far as fiction goes, there’s only SO MUCH that I can invent for every weekend…). I had some friends over from the city (read Pune; Mumbai is the “Big City”…J)
Sunday was a more lazed back version of Saturday, only I got to stay home for the whole hot day. I slept pretty early Saturday night, but I still managed to laze around till almost noon today, and have spent most of the time ever since in mundane tasks like washing and tidying up. I enjoyed a light dinner at our neighbourhood McDonalds, and spent the time ever since on the laptop, watching some random stuff and hearing some music that I haven’t revisited in a very long time. A little later I decided to get my guitar out, and strummed a few songs that I’ve been meaning to try out for a long time. My verdict is that ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ is a very easy to play song, while ‘Wonderwall’ is a little more tricky on the chords; however my Hindi favourites ‘Aadat’ and ‘Pal’ are great to play on the strings.
I also had the chance to view what I now think is a mini-series named ‘The Summit’. It’s based on a fictional G8 summit with a fictional point of contention and a lot of fiction in the plot… but it’s impossible to miss the subtle hints that the directors send out in the series. I’ve only been able to view parts 1 and 2, and I’m not sure if there’s more to this series to watch or if it ends on an open note (Personally, I’d rather imagine how it ends rather than have them chalk it out for me…).
I’m beginning work on the Appendix on books that I’ve kept promising myself, since it’ll probably keep me entertained while I’m on a rather steep schedule these next 2 weeks to put together a report for my project, as well as wrap up my presentation.
19th May 5:30 p.m.
It’s been a relaxed day for me… I dint have any deadline to meet today, and no pending meetings. I also got to meet someone who was able to give me some inputs that I could actually use for the project. At the same time, I dint really feel the burden of having no concrete work to do for the day. A good day J
The day started as usual, with everyone busy in meetings. It got a little better when I was able to contact (contact, not meet) some other people that I knew I needed to talk to if I needed a full understanding of the processes. I somehow got a few people to agree to talk to me (one tomorrow, and another on the site) and resigned to spending the rest of the day doing some work on the report. Post lunch, I got the chance to have a meaningful discussion with another executive who came to my assistance and gave me some good inputs. He also gave me some other resources to tap into, and I’ve been spending time ever since on that. I hope to take some work back home today (in a long time I haven’t really done that) and get some reading done before tomorrow.
I also plan to make a site visit within this week, which means that, for the first time in almost 2 months, I will be out in the sweltering heat that Pune is so infamous for. Hopefully, it’ll be a visit that I can leverage during the presentation and in the report as well (hopefully is really resting on a plate of hope now…). Till I have more to report, I’m gonna get back to some quick work before I head out for the day.
21st May 5:30 p.m.
I haven’t able to transcript anything yesterday, so most people I know would assume that I was actually DOING something; I won’t bother to take any efforts to get rid of those assumptions. And the time that I’m typing this out would suggest that I’ve been pretty busy today as well; at least I can honestly say that they haven’t been entirely wrong today.
I came into office around 9:15, hoping to be able to get in touch with the big boss before he left for the site, and was lucky enough to do so; but he really couldn’t help me at that time in the day, so I had to make do with just BEING able to get a glimpse of him. I took off on a plant visit today, to be able to meet some of the people that I hadn’t been able to meet in office.
The ride to the site was, needless to say, hot. It’s actually been pretty hot for the last few days, especially with it raining in the evenings and all. Some weather buffs in the office call this phase a “mini-monsoon” – with it being unbearably hot in the day and raining every evening, with the spells of rains increasing gradually and finally giving way to the monsoons. Either way, it remains amazingly pleasant in the evenings and since I’m in the office for most of the day, the blazing heat during the day doesn’t really bother me that much. More on the weather later.
So, the site. The expanse itself was so huge that it was pretty unnerving; and I dint even get around to seeing the whole site. The coolest part of the site was those “porta cabins” – they’re these awesome temp structures used at most sites and it’s so COOL (too bad I couldn’t click a pic of me in a hard hat with a pose next to one of those cabins). Those cabins are so awesome… fitted with ACs n net connectivity and all… and so amazing to be caught in one of those when it’s raining, which, like I said, it has been for the last 2 days at least.
So, the site. (GOD, I’m getting sidetracked so easily). I took a quick trip of 2 of the shop floors, and I must admit that the size of the machines was AWESOMELY huge. (I can’t say more about it at the risk of getting sued. I can’t even tell you WHERE it is, though you can try googling it n hope for some results.) I also got to speak to some pretty interesting and passionate people.
And THAT was the most striking feature on that site – people referred to a shop as “my shop”, or a machine as “our machine” or described a process as if they were talking about their kid getting ready for school. The sheer passion that I saw on the site was enough to convince me that these guys really enjoy what they are doing, even if it is sitting in one of those COOL cabins and planning some mundane production process.
That’s something I hope to someday have… at the job I’m doing. Till then, I’m gonna have to make do with journals that transcribe my day.
May 28th Sometime in the evening
I really have been busy this whole week, which explains for the lack of any entries. I’ve spent most of today tidying up my presentation, so that I can run it thru some of the people tomorrow.
The last week has been spent in “me” understanding that the report really does need to go out, and that it needs to go out by the 3rd, with signoffs and all. So I really had to get down to writing whatever I needed to in the report and at full speed too.
June 1st: 12:30 p.m.
A new month, a new week and a new sense of freedom fill me. It’s T-5 for me J
I’d been able to run the presentation thru my mentor sometime thru the last week and ended up wrapping my report up late last night. I worked a lot on it I have to admit… I carefully wrote down every little detail I remembered, and I had to personally type the whole report out – no copy pasting… L
The last 2 days have been spent literally doing just that – revising the presentation based on my mentor’s inputs and trying to finish the report. I had to write almost 3 chapters at the start of Saturday, and I did some quite progress over Saturday. I only had one last chapter to do last night, which I wrapped up around 2 a.m. or so. I spent the next hour or so ensuring that the appendices are in place and that the report in itself has some formatting done.
I suspect that I’ll spend most of the next 2 days trying to do the same things – review, revise, format and proof. I’ll just need to make sure that my report and pres are as close to perfection as I can make ‘em… but other than that I think I’ll have the next 2 days to myself. Maybe I can catch up on them movies that I never got around to watching… 😉
June 2nd: 11:00 a.m.
A fairly boring start to the day. I have nothing to do today… literally, I only have to wait for my mentor’s mail regarding the report, and I have nothing else to look fwd to today…
I spent the large past of last nite… sleeping. J I woke really late this morning and I dint even feel remotely guilty about it. Now THAT’S a start. J
I’ve spent all the time from the morning until now at the computer sending and receiving absolutely useless emails, memorising the 50 states of America with their state capitals, and, of course, staring at that frightfully curved computer screen.
I intend to be able to converse with my mentor about my report sometime later today, so that tomorrow I need get only the requisite sign offs and be able to leave.
I actually was able to leave in the first half itself… but I had to drop off one of em placecomm forms for my mentor to fill in; but then I was on my way back to Mumbai, if onli for a day. I spsent most of the day getting geared up for the next 3 days at Nasik, printing out my report, and all tht kinda stuff. I quickly rearranged my packing, and I was ready to leave Mumbai yet again.
This week is gonna be a little fast paced, cuz I’ve onli just realised that my a** is on fire. So a lot of stuff in this week is gonna involve hunting ppl down and catching ppl in the middle of hallways (both of which I ensure u actually happened as well…)
May 11th: 4:00 p.m.
It’s been a disastrous day for me. Period.
[It’s surprising… even as u grow up u end up detesting results – grades in school, grades in B-school, performance appraisal results… and looks like they just DONT get the point do they…?]
I heard that the results for our term were out, but I dismissed them as rumours and went on. However, it turns out that they really ARE out, and my grades, as u can guess now, were not that gr8. In fact, they were what I would describe as downright awful. And I cant seem to digest that fact yet.
As also, while I had planned 3 interviews or so for the day, I onli got one done, and I suspect it’s not even that important in the larger scheme of things. Nonetheless, I’ve done some work today, so I’m at least a little content that something went ok with the day
[It’s such a pity that I have to console myself with “some work done”…]
May 12th: 6:00 p.m.
Today has been, literally, a rocking day. [I dint really realise till later that evening that rock WAS a good part of that day. Heard some really good music that nite…]
I’ve been able to speak to a lot of ppl that I needed to speak with, and get some good inputs from them. I also met a certain executive who, at first, had completely changed the entire outlook I had to my project, but I did some careful reading and included his recommendations as a phase in the implementation of my project (can’t bother boring u all ne more with work talk, so I’ll stop right there).
The point is, I’ve had a good day. A great day by my usual standards. A day when I’ve actually been able to get some work done, some inputs in, feel a little worthwhile. I also finished the second book in the Twilight series, and I have to admit that Stephenie Meyer has a certain charm about her way. She makes the entire story appear to be so real, so relatable; even though it is strictly fantasy, she makes it seem like good, readable fiction. And, more importantly, I cant WAIT to find out what happens to Bella.
[And netime now I’ll be promising an appendix on the books…]
I intend to head back home today, happy and content, and probably go on a walk. Maybe I’ll shop for some necessities as well. And I’ll definitely watch some entertaining movie and chill out. And yes, I have some work to do on the presentation that I MUST attend to, and also start some work on the report that needs to be looked into really soon. Maybe I’ll have a good time today after all… 🙂
[Wishful thinking I tell u… it’ll never get the better of me…]
May 14th: 3:00 p.m.
It’s been a strange day today. I arrived early to office in an attempt to maybe catch some ppl around that I may be able to talk to… and it seems all of them had beaten me to it. Looks like 2 bad days in a row is happening to me…again…
[of course, by now I’ve gotten the hang of it… but it looks like I really want to drive a point home here…]
Let’s start with an overview of yesterday. I did NOTHING. All day!!! I intended to meet one executive sometime in the evening, but he seemed to have forgotten it, and hence I dint end up meeting him at all. The rest of the day I had spent running up and down the stairs in an attempt to be able to meet someone… and it turned up pretty useless. The useless exercise finally ended at 6, when I went home to get some exercise. Sadly, I was so tired from the boring and useless day that I was not even in a mood to walk too much… I turned around after walking barely 20 mins in one direction, did some quick shopping and headed back home. After getting home, though, the anomaly started. I wasn’t ABLE to sleep, even tho I felt I NEEDED to sleep… so I was kept up almost all night, with desperate attempts from friends to attempt to get me to sleep. I eventually crashed sometime really early in the morning, and so I decided to check in early today… probably even have breakfast at the canteen.
[The fruitful part of that day as I remember it was a hypermart named Magnet, from where I got me some dearly needed Coffee Powder and some snacks. The rest of the walk wasnt even that much fun…]
As luck would have it, I arrived to the canteen just a tad bit late for breakfast, and consoled myself with good tea instead. I returned back to the desk and quickly tried rushing around to check in with my “bakraas” (that’s what I’m gonna refer to them as now, since that’s the kinda reaction I inadvertently end up getting from them). To add to my woes of the day which had begun so bad, NOONE I needed to talk to was available in the morning!! (Luckily, I caught one of them early on and made him commit to meeting me tomorrow, so I’m gonna hold him to his promise tomorrow). Also, I’m not sure if this extended sabbatical is doing me any good at all, since I think I’m gonna fall back on my schedule sometime soon…
Nehow. My faculty mentor just left after finishing his assessment of what he feels I’m doing here… and I dint get the impression that he was very unhappy about it. Nonetheless, it means a turning point in the project… it means working a little faster to wrap things up and factor in feedbacks cuz the end of term review isn’t all that far now. *Sigh
I’ve finished the third of the Twilight series, and I’m promising myself an Appendix on the books sometime really soon. I’m really coming to enjoy then series, and look forward to the next movie as well (and CUTE Edward Cullen is onli an added factor…:)) [aah.. THERE’s the promise of the appendix. Mebe I actually WILL write one…]
Till any further updates from this side of Hell, I’ll sign off… [and by that I mean this side of the world that boils all day with barely ne relief at all…]
No dates required on this one. Cuz it was a consistent state. Nothing done. Onli slept. And dreamt. And wished for a better next week.
This is a post in itself on the various TV series that I’ve been keeping myself entertained with. At times, I’ve been forced to make do with old episodes, but I guess it’s the best I can do for now.
The onli true reason that I think I got hooked onto this show was because I had nothing else to do, and no other series to watch.
Season 1 was fairly interesting, with a large number of characters and enough scenarios to engulf them. Particularly cute characters include Boone, Sawyer and, of course, Jack (when he’s dressed in the Tux that is…). Other interesting characters include Charlie the rock star, Locke the wanderer, Sayid the interrogator, Kate the fugitive (a cute one at that…), Hurley the lottery winner, Jin and Su, the estranged Korean couple and Claire, the single mother-to-be. Not an exhaustive list I admit, but it covers the most important characters that you’d probably need to know. Season 1 was more about the characters really, and about finding out who they really are. It gives us a sense that the island where these characters crash is magical in some way – making sick people better, and unseen to the rest of the world.
The real series begins somewhere around Season 2, where some newer characters are revealed, and some plots fall into place. Season 3 carries on in the same vein, and somewhere around the end of Season 3 we are made to believe that the characters are indeed rescued off the unplottable island. Season 4 drags on a bit… with some more ulterior motives of the characters coming to the fore, and leaving us wondering if these people are indeed who they claim they are; although by now our characters have spent enough time on the island to spill themselves out to someone on the island.
Personally, I think Season 4 is a bit of a drag. Okay, it’s necessary to follow their time off the island and all, but the manner in which it’s done is what really bores me. Nonetheless, I’m watching it a lot slower now, not more than an episode or so a day.
Recommendation: A decent watch, especially if u r particularly bored during the nights.
Why I dint get around to watching more of this series I cannot comprehend.
Heroes is all about a set of people who, due to some genetic mutation, have some superpowers; it’s about how they use those superpowers to, wait for it…., save the world.
My favourite character is Sylar – a mutant who’s a killer at heart, but a smart one at that. He used to be a watch repairman, but grew on to become the most feared character in the series – a pawn that every major player in the game wants to lay his hands on. I also like Claire, more for her rigid stubbornness that her life has a reason. Cutest of the bunch, though, is Hiro Nakamura – a Japanese with a cute power and a very great idea that he is meant to save the world, EVERYTIME.
Season 1 was the most interesting Season and, as many reviews I have read online say, also the best in terms of viewership. We understand all about our mutants here, and a story slowly falls into place. Season 2, cut short by the writer’s break, brings a twist in the tale and lays the ground for a great start to Season 3. I’m still midway through the Season and I have reason to believe that it’s onli getting better.
Personally, I’d wish that I had more episodes of Heroes than I currently do, so that I could watch it more often.
Recommendation: A very good watch. Get your hands on as much of it as u can – it’s purely ADDICTIVE and completely easy to get hooked on to.
The Big Bang Theory
Now THIS is a TV Series that I wish were broadcast on Indian Television more so that I wouldn’t have to depend on downloads to watch it more often. And besides, the kind of viewership that it would garner would make it feasible and profitable. (Silent hint to Star World / Zee Cafe / AXN).
This series introduces us to the classic Beauty and the Geek scenario; with the beauty really dumb and the geek a real nerd. Meet Penny, the cute waitress at the Cheese Cake Factory, and her secret admirer Leonard a physicist at CalTech. More importantly, meet Sheldon, Lennard’s roomie, a child genius and physicist at CalTech; a true supporter of sarcasm. The series is made absolutely hilarious when seemingly normal events are turned outta proportion by our geniuses and their friends, Walowitz, a Jewish pervert and Kutrapali, an Indian with a particular problem with females.
The highlight of the series, without a doubt, is Sheldon Cooper, portrayed amazingly by Jim Parsons. He is the epitome of a genius – awkward in social situations, quirky, and generally frank to the point of hilarity. He sometimes ends up being the source for conflict, and sometimes u can’t help but laugh at the simplicity (for HIM) at which at he interprets a situation. He’s also very egoistic, as u would expect from a guy with an IQ of 187, which results in some really clear conflicts, like when he criticizes the work of all his friends when Dennis Kim, another child prodigy, overthrows his work; or when he can’t think of a way of having soup and Penny suggests,” U cud have soup delivered…?”. What really makes the show’s humour come out are the interactions between Sheldon and the rest of the group; especially since he’s so quirky and full of weird comments, the other characters, especially Penny, take time to understand the point.
Personally, it’s a really really hilarious show. Can’t wait for it to be on television at a better time. Till then, I’m keeping myself indulged with the 2 seasons that I currently have and waiting for more episodes.
Recommendation: An absolute MUST WATCH. I think it’s easily available online, so if ne1 really is interested, it’s time to get hooked onto this show.
How I Met Your Mother
Another Hilarious series that I wish were on TV at a more convenient time. It currently aires at an inconvenient time on Star World I think…
The show revolves around the main character Ted, and how he explains to his kids how he met their mother (it’s been 4 seasons and we STILL don’t know who the mother is, only that is isn’t Robin). It’s almost a FRIENDS like atmosphere, with his friends Marshall and Lily (who are married), Barney Stinson (we STILL don’t know what he does for a living), and Robin Scherbatsky (I hope I got the spelling right…). Ted is almost comical on his own, with his own quirky behaviours and all, and scenarios are created when the bunch of em roam the city of New York. He harbours a long time crush for Robin, and eventually they do go out for a while, only to end it on the day their best friends get married. Barney, as we discover, also has a secret crush on Robin, though he’s never been able to tell her yet. Lily, is a hilarious pre-school teacher, with her own cute quotes for life from school. Marshall, is a lawyer wanting to be an environmentalist and working with a well paying firm till he can afford to do that. Barney also is a creator of many theories and statutes, like the Bro Code, or the Crazy Eyes Theory, or the Lemon Theory. The show basically attempts to capture average New York lifestyles, with some not-so-average characters.
Personally, I like the show for its fresh feel and great execution by the cast. Most of us remember Lily from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and she’s done a good job on this show as well. All the other characters are relatively new, barring Barney that we’ve seen somewhere else (drop in a comment if u can’t remember where from…).
Recommendation: A MUST WATCH. It’ll be fun to make it a more regular TV series that people can grow to love. It’ll never rival FRIENDS, but I think it’s in that league for sure.
Some other decent options to watch include 3rd Rock from the Sun (I don’t think it’s telecast on TV nemore), which is about an alien family on Earth set in the 1980’s, but telecast somewhere around the late 90’s. I like the idea of Aliens on Earth, and I must admit that this show makes the interactions between aliens and humans seem even more hilarious than already possible.
Another decent option, as recommended by a few friends, is Wonder Years. It charts the course of Kevin Arnold over his lifetime – how he grows up, how his life moves and how his priorities in life change. It isn’t telecast on TV very often and I think DVDs for it are also missing in India.
Some people have suggested Entourage as well. I personally don’t understand the concept of tracking a movie star’s rise to fame and the lives of his friends as well. Just a concept I’m not too happy about…
I’ve been trying hard to get recent episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Scrubs. They’re both series based on the medical world that I really love. As also House M.D. which is a sarcastic and medical adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. I’m also trying to lay my hands on episodes from Smallville, which I absolutely loved at the time that I used to be able to watch it. Maybe these shows will become possible when I’m back on campus and I have easier access to the internet.
Post back with ne more TV series that I may be able to watch and some comments on these as well.