Sunday, December 26, 2004

On the waterfront part II

Feels funny to think that I went to the coastline just 12 hours before the tsunami inundated the beach.The sea then was moderately calm and to have predicted a catastrophe of this sort would have labelled one a definite crackpot and a certifiable lunatic.

In other matters,in theIMS simxat gk section, there was a question “According to the 2001 census,the percentage of 0-6 population to total population”.I thought it was time to put my ol’ quzzing guessing skills to test and eliminate the ridiculous choices and hopefully hit on the right choices.Then,I looked at the choices still hopeful and confident of arriving at a reasonable answer.The choices were a)16% b)15.36% c)15.47% d)15.42%

What the hell?

How in the whole wide world do they expect people to know all this?My confidence all but shattered I went to the next question which was

What was the literacy rate according to the Census 2001?

a)54.16% b)75.85% c)65.38% d)68.9%

Hope died eternal in my breast and I went to the other sections.No wonder its called a ‘mock’ xat.

Also saw sawdes.despite SRK crying (like any other SRK movie) every 15.3 minutes and Gayatri Joshi breaking out to talk about ‘sanskaar’/’parampara’/’hamara desh ki dharti’/’senti’ ,I wouldn’t say it was the ‘sawdest’ hindi movie I’ve ever seen.

Lets hope things return to normal in Chennai and the waters recede soon.

Friday, December 24, 2004

On the waterfront

“The waves are alive with the sound of music”.I could hear the orchestra of the waves as they beat upon the beachshore ,a veritable jaltarang as waves of different strengths simulated different octaves and banged on the water, playing a kind of water music not unfamiliar to Handel,as I neared Elliots Beach coastline.Sitting on the waterfront,many thoughts flitted across my mind but mainly I mulled upon the recent CAT results where I came quite close to getting a IIM call.”I couldve been a contender “was what kept going inside my brain.Well, Call ho na ho,I decided,life must go on.

The scene was indescribably beautiful,akin to a picture painted by a can- never-win,there-is-no-hope- pessimist-whos-psychiatrist-does-however-cause-brief-moods-of-optimism-- –a blackish coloured sea,interspersed with small flecks of milky white foam dashing on the sand,a bluish ‘blackground’ and a bright moon often obscured by dark,gloomy clouds.Actually I should say describably beautiful since I’ve described it and perhaps,though my modesty says not to,beautifully described also?Actually,I could wax lyrical about the waning moon but don’t feel in the right mood for it.

So there I was alone near the waters,actually almost alone ,considering almost every other minute there was a bajji/sweet/keychain seller trying to hawk their wares or plagued by beggars who for some reason formed the notion that I was easy prey(though I did nothing to encourage this of course).It seems amazing just when I seemed to really feel the spray on my face,watch the waves beating down and picture myself on a caribbean cruise to the middle of nowhere,there was some irritating guy who brought me outta dreamland(I was asked by 3 different keychain sellers.I mean how come there is such a big demand for these lighted key chains anyway.In case somebody is interested the going rate is Rs.10 for 1).The breeze was very soporific and I nearly dozed off but I was woken up by a soan papdi guy whose radio was playing ‘suhani chandni raaten’.Very apt I thought and decided to make a move back home.

A rather stale CAT joke to end.

Why do I envy a scarab beetle?

Because it’s got 6 kaals.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

waiting for visaot

Today morning(how early?), well at the unearthly hour of 5,we(Nandan & I) went to get our visas from the Singapore Consulate early,very early,in my opinion envisaging a difficult time. When v saw the queue vis-à-vis the visa that had already built(about 10 people but one travel agent was claiming 25 visas) ,my visage said it all but after taking a visa census,I realised we would probably get it.The agents there imparted gyaan on the procedure and,in some cases, had sent people to wait for them.It was dark,there were mosquitoes and I had nothin to do.Then,when I realised that I had 5 hours to kill and it couldn’t get worse,well,what d’u know?It started raining.After the quick downpour,it grew brighter and I whipped out my Kipling(amazing author) and read on till breakfast time.

Deciding to go hotel hunting on GN road(didn’t know that was GNCRd),I saw a school friend who very kindly dropped me off at Murugan’s Idli Shop.Me cud eulogise abt that place all day, its soft meltinthemouth idlis ,its not so sombre sambar,and the ultimate ambrosia –the chutneys.After that,I hitchhiked back courtesy an old man on a chetak,who nosed out my life history(including when I cut my 3rd molar from the right side of my mouth and my jathagam).However,he saved me a long walk and there I was back at the Consulate and found Nandan stoically braving the elements,staring resolutely ahead ,determined not to be Conned So late after waiting so long,giving no quarter to the vicious,queue jumping,murderous looking travel agents that enswarmed him.

We got in and gave the forms after a small delay(more Kipling time for me).Hotfooting it out of there,I realised getting the visa would open new vistas for me and visualising the agony on your faces,the blog stops here.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Trainin a Day

I basically wrote this article for our college magazine ,the names and characters are fictional but all the thoughts are what I have really felt .Train journeys are simbly amazin


“Chaiya ! Chaiya!” Like Shahrukh and Malaika on a train,a teaseller carrying a huge steel container and many mudpots, though much less alluring to look at, seemed to sway to these words as he went about his day’s work.The milky light brown liquid he gave me was served in a teacup that had caused so much storm in the political circles.The mutka added charm to my daily shot of liquid cocaine,and it was a nice experience sipping steaming tea which somehow seemed to blend with the khullar.

However,as Maria von Trapp sung ,”Lets begin at the very beginning “.I was on trip to New Delhi with my good friend Bingo(he was a short guy hence he was nicknamed after the Wodehousian character).The train had merrily chugged its way past Central Station and was furrowing a path through the lush green paddy fields of Tamil Nadu.After stowing my knap sack (actually it was a battered school bag but it sounds more hip to say knap sack) and VIP under the seats,I examined the fellow travellers.They seemed to be a grumpy old Telugu couple whose conversation seemed to rhyme with the trains”Chukkadu Chockadhu Chukkadu Chockadhu” .Then breakfast in aluminium foils arrived amd Bingo and I fell to noisily unwrapping the food.While Bingo got a decent looking meal,mine was a glutinous mass ,with a limp looking vada and idli floating in god knows what.Seeing this ,Bingo quipped”Kya hua tera vada, woh sambar,woh idly,da?”Hope he chokes on his vada,humph.

Breakfast past us ,both of us nodded off.On waking up,I noticed a change in our immediate surroundings,the couple being replaced by a snooty nosed kid and his mother.After an energetic tongue pulling and face making contest between me & SNK (hiding behind his mothers sari),(result-SNK being definitely worsted by me)I cast my view outward,with a hopefully naïve look on my face after having aroused stern looking mum’s suspicions.

Villages with not more than ten houses sped past us.The telegraph poles seemed to be engaged in a long distance relay race with our train and the native cattle that stared disconsolately at our train could have passed of as inmates of Auschwitz or Bergen.The entire landscape was akin to a huge dish of my mother’s red tomato thokku sprinkled with a dash of basil.I pictured myself as a farmer in one of these seemingly absolutely dead villages where the latest news would be the story of how a mongoose killed a cobra one moonless night near Farmer Ganpati’s well six years ago.

I started staring at the station names that stared at me, big and black on a bright yellow board.I find most village names immensely funny, and with names like Bad,Gudur,Warangal(sounds more like a Tolstoy novel than a major junction),they are an unending source of hilarity and provide fodder to the aspiring punster.Imagine being Narasimhavarma Venkatarajulu of Srikrishnachamarajavarupet.When your filling forms before joining school/college you won’t need a better excuse to commit suicide.The funnier the name the more the probability of there being a station alloted to it,distance be damned, seems to have been our British officials line of thinking.

<> Lunch woke me out of my reverie and with memories of the bad breakfast fast dispappearing,I fell to attacking my chappatis with gusto.The sidedish was paneer in all shapes and sizes ,light and soft,and virtually melting in the mouth.After my hunger was satiated,I washed the meal down with a tall glass of lassi.SNK had taken advantage of stern mum’s sleep by trying to perform the herculean feat of cleaning the Indian carriage windows,though without a river unlike Hercules, and testing to see if the dirt was edible.Tired of this process,it was the turn of the seat to face the human vacuum cleaner.Next scene:Stern mum wakes up,spanks SNK,I exit smirking from side to side.

I got down to stretch my legs at Jhansi,the queendom of the khoobladhi mardani jhansiwali rani.The junction could pass of as any other nondescript station in India,a few vagabonds loafing about,hardly any waiting passengers,a fresco of paan stains decorating the walls and a few mangy looking dogs to keep the loafers company.The train let out a loud belch and I got on immediately.Bingo was still sleeping –this time SNK had decided to give him company.The sunset was amazing,a vast canvas painted with broad brush strokes of many colours ,the dark red of the sun blending with the deccan soil,the clouds tinted with almost every shade of red and the overall effect producing a surreal atmosphere(punctuated by the sound of the train – quite pleasant actually and the periodic snores of Bingo-very very unpleasant ).Dinner arrived –nothing much to write about so I’m not going to write about it.We followed it up with a game of cards and then Kumbhakarna Bingo hit the sack again.I continued my gazing out of the window,now everything was jet black with sudden townships indicated by the glaring brightness of sodium lamps and then darkness again.What was going out there,I wondered ,could there be fiery denizens who’s very roar could curdle the blood in my veins,could big bad things boldly roam in this area where no man has trod before?I had sufficiently spooked myself when I was brought down to earth by SNK’s nose dripping onto my foot whiled the stupid kid continued dozing ,blissfully unaware of how much trouble he was causing.I decided that I might as well call it a day and went off to sleep.

The next day morning ,we reached Delhi,the trip being far too short in my opinion.After all,in my opinion,men may come and men may go but train journeys should go on forever.As somebody rephrased Marshall Mcluhan,”The journey is the goal”.Even a journey of thousand words spread across many kilometres has to come to an end so this is it-goodbye.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Ze trial

Cogito ergo rum(With these not so famous first words,I begin my leap into cyberspace)
Not So Famous first words??Of whom??
For all those who don’t know,it means “I drink therefore I think”,the precursor to
‘cogito ergo sum’,also known as 'The Great Spoofable proof'.Descartes came up with this beautiful hypothesis but the Church(dangblarst ‘em!) carefully suppressed it not wanting to corrupt young minds and through my Dan Brown like prowling through the recesses of Latin literature(I would strongly recommend this if you have a couple of hours to spend wading aimlessly through latin literature) , I arrived at this startling fact.

Casual students of latin might well be inclined to think “what does my blog name mean”?”shouldn’t it be blogito ergo sum meaning I blog therefore I am” .?
I wouldn’t want to blame them,poor souls.With their schoolboy swotting of latin ,they wouldn’t be expected to know the present participle verb adjunct clause in latin where ‘ergoach’ forms a compound bridge thus resulting in a reversal of the original meaning

Incidentally,this probably ‘sums’ up my approach to blogging.I like thinking stuff to write but am detest putting finger to keyboard so here goes.Lets see how far I go……..