Friday, July 6, 2007

Rajass Rot ... the kInG of gOoD tImEs

Who said that Kingfisher was the king of good times? That distinction has always belonged and always will belong to the greater Router himself. I’ve known the dude for a few years now and he’s undoubtedly, the king … nay, the monarch of good times. Actually, I needn’t have bothered getting into this tripe in the first place ‘cause the name kinda suggests it ... well, then again maybe it doesn't ... but, just play along won't you ...

Judging by the pigsty that had replaced the bachelor pad that once stood proudly in that very spot atop H5, one couldn’t have imagined that the party beast himself once roamed those very corridors not long before ‘Blondie’ inherited the room during his second year. There was a time when H5 boasted of the raunchiest, most obnoxiously loud parties known to mankind, that even the most clinically insane, necrophilic and most importantly – stone deaf death metal fans of ‘em all couldn’t help but cower in fear and duck out of sight while Rajas played (blared) his music. These death metal fans have often tried to take evil revenge by playing their own brand of music as loud as their own speakers would permit them to , sometime even simultaneously from their rooms next to Rajas’, during the day time when the party beast had decided to hit the sack after an entire night of partying. But Vodka has the merciful effect of turning a person deaf before sending him off to never-never land and the two metal fans have never succeeded in unleashing their evil upon the party beast, for he would awaken unscathed and with his hearing intact after a good day’s slumber while we had no choice but to slink away into the shadows, defeated.

Ask him where he did his engineering and he’ll always tell you that he did in IIT Roorkee. Buddy, but didn’t they decide to give Roorkee the coveted IIT status after you joined and a good two years later too? So, what you’re trying to tell us is that although you joined Roorkee college of engineering, you passed out of an IIT. Wish I had that kind of luck. I might have joined DCE and passed outta AIIMS !

Hostel 5 has always had two kinds of people. It’s like they had some kind of sorting hat like the one that was used in Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry because, it’s uncanny how the most obnoxious losers and the biggest studs always land up in H5. Rajas unfortunately, despite first impressions, belonged to the former category of people, who always tried too hard. If you thought that Parate was bad, you aint seen this smooth operator … er … operating, or trying to operate as the case usually turned out. Nat Geo camera men would be able to attest to the fact that they haven’t seen Tigers waiting in the tall grass to ambush their prey, like Rajas waited for women at Hel(L) to break up with their boyfriends before falling hopelessly in love with them and proposing to them (without once asking them out first, mind you). It’s as though, now that they had lost the excess body weight (read: boyfriends) that they were lugging around, they had become objects of his mindless desire. He’s been visiting the gym and jogging for years now to sculpt that scrawny torso of his and rumour has it that he might have succeeded in realizing his mission statement in IIM, albeit a tad late to acquire a girl friend. The ‘DVDs’ which he had so painstakingly burnt in H5 during Manfest recently therefore must be purely for inspirational purposes and not so much for recreational purposes ;).

Router was always destined for greatness. He was the greatest pondi secy H5 ever had. From day one in H5, it was unanimous that he alone would be pondy secy and none other. Trust me, this guy was the best there was, the best there is … er well … not exactly … we downloaded more of the good stuff in a single week than he’d gotten in an entire year at Hel(L). He had deteriorated to such absolute nothingness that he actually burnt 10 DVDs of the stuff when he paid the hostel a visit during Manfest ’07. Er … didn’t someone say that he’d conned some hapless woman into becoming his girlfriend?

People have often said that the ‘M’ in the MBA degree that Rajas had ‘worked so hard’ to get for two whole years at Hel(L) stood for 'manfest', such was this guy’s dedication to the committee. He’d spend entire nights (if he wasn’t partying that is) glued to his PC working on some presentation or poster or flyer or pamphlet or the other to ensure that every single minute detail was picture perfect (literally). But his dedication unfortunately ended there. There are professors in IIM L who’ve exclaimed – “Rajas who?” when the dude was mentioned in their presence and these were professors whose subjects Rajas had taken when he was in Hel(L). He used to bunk classes as though bunking was going out of fashion and almost earned himself an I grade. Actually he did manage to get an I. How he managed to wriggle out of that tough spot is a story in itself. Being a denizen of Nocturnia, he used to stay up the entire night and go to bed only in the wee hours of the morning, which of course meant that attending classes wasn't exactly an option anymore :D. One peek into his room and it would be obvious even to the untrained eye from the sight of the naked body of the great one lying in a heap beside another heap of ‘party like’ articles (and the undeniable odour of ‘alcoholic substances’ in the air) that the night before had been one of 'those' nights. We’ve often had to literally shake the great one from slumber land, give him a swig or two of his favourite drink and subsequently dispatch him onwards to class, lest he suffer the wrath of the concerned professor owing to a dismal attendance record. Miraculously, the dude has managed to top some subjects after being woken up just in time for the exam, even when he actually realized which subject it was that he was attending an examination for, only after seeing it printed in bold letters at the top of the question paper.

Coming back to the great one’s room at Hel(L). It wasn’t a hostel room so much as it was a party shack, a luxury studio apartment or a condo. I kid you not people … at one time, he had a full fledged bar (with the works), a sofa, wall hangings, huge blowups on the wall, the loudest speakers possible for a room that tiny and his (and H5’s ) crowning glory – a refrigerator ! The only thing(s) the room lacked was a Jacuzzi and most importantly – women! Yours truly has actually feigned headaches and begged the party beast to lower the volume of the music emanating from his room during one of his famous parties. I’m a musician myself. I listen to death metal but I can also appreciate other forms of music at a rudimentary level and even pretend to enjoy some other genres but strains of ‘It’s the time to disco’ at precisely 4 in the morning, can make even the most sadistic, hardened criminals beg for mercy and promise to be good henceforth, let alone semi-deaf death metal fans such as yours truly!

In his two years in Hel(L), Lord Router has graced the mess workers with an appearance for a total of twenty times and that too while passing through from the gym to the slums. He would have died of starvation for sure if weren’t for fauji dhabha / the canteen. We had to often lie to the mess workers through our teeth that the lazy bum was really ill and down with high and that he would therefore need food to be delivered to his room, lest he died in his sleep. But, the dude wasn’t completely averse to the idea of patronizing the mess. He’s often been spotted in the premises of the mess after 11 pm (so go the rumours). Night mess was often his only source of voluntary nourishment but he rarely could motivate himself to get dressed and out of bed. Most of us on the top floor used to get out of our rooms on our tippy toes, lest Rajas should ‘command’ us to bring him an ‘allu parantha’ or two from the night mess (with the mandatory pickles of course).

Rajas Raut is confidence personified. He’s so confident that he’s actually got himself convinced that he’s a great dancer. Most people who’ve seen him dance on the other hand, would agree with me when I say that Mr. Rajas Raut can’t dance if his life depended on it. He gives 'break dancing' a bad name. Maybe he should try convincing people that he’s an expert in free form dancing. The dude actually walks around snapping his fingers like he’s listening to the latest groovy Hindi hit number to hit the charts, all the time … a little weird if it’s during the first ten minutes you’ve met him.

Rajas Raut likes Bhelpuri with Vodka, Allu Paranthas with Vodka, chocolate with Vodka, Idlis with Vodka … the dude could possible down half a maggot drowning in dog puke if you gave him a glass of vodka with it … I kid you not!

But, I do miss those days. There’s never a dull moment when the dude’s around. Always the one to greet me with a sing song – “murgi o murgi” (a tradition that was carried on by Amol in his own style), Rajas Raut was the life of hostel 5. If it rained, you’d find Rajas bathing - bar of soap in hand, shampoo, scrubber et al, on the road … while befuddled onlookers could only gape in amazement at the spectacle they were witnessing, for it’s not everyday that you see grown men bathing in public (well not in an IIM atleast). His love for frolicking in the rain was so great that he couldn’t help himself one rainy day and got himself soaked to the bone during the first rains in a long time, for which he paid the price dearly by chaffing his inner thighs (or was it a rash) causing him to walk like Charlie Chaplin for a week :D

Miss ya bro … why couldn’t you forget your charger in Bangalore again so that you’d come back to visit? I know that’s the only reason you called me when you came down to Bangalore … to get your stinkin’ charger back … cheapskate !!!!! %#^#$&#

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nut Raj ! Need I say any more ?

Nut RaJ !! How does one begin about this dude? I usually contemplate the decision to write about somebody only after I've known the person for years. I've known this nut job for a couple of months now and it already seems like I've known him for an entire life time. Well, some people really are that way I guess and then again, maybe it’s Einstein’s theory of relativity at play. So here’s a tribute to you buddy and all those little things you do that gets on my nerves :D

It's not even like me and the nut hit it off right from day one but only sometime during my second week at PwC and boy did we hit it off famously! We're not even talking about fellow consultants with nothing to do at office, bonding with one another out of sheer need for company but the fact that this dude is the dude to know if it's your first day in office (or the first day of the second week as it turned out). He's brimming with information which he'll share with you with hardly any coaxing. His heart is untouched and pristine and he'll innocently share with you even his deepest secrets if he senses but the tiniest bit of trust in you and if you're thinking that this could be the dude's undoing someday, I can only say that this makes people like and respect him better and love him more for it is rare to meet a person such as this in the big bad world. (I'm being paid good money to write this :D )

Contrary to the image he exudes, he is conservative to the core and his parents ought to be proud that he's turned out the way he has (can't think of too many other people who would think that way actually :D ). His parents have been trying to get him ‘settled’ in life (I’m sure you know what I'm talking about here) for some time now and Nattu's been really worried in recent times that he's going to be married off to the first proposal that he approves of. So, he's been rejecting proposals left and right, leaving heartbroken women in his wake, but recently we were all taken aback when he wouldn’t let us hear the end of how great his father is and why it’s always good to leave the most important decisions in our lives to our parents. Turns out that they found a babe for him that was quite a looker too. But some things in the world are unfortunately finalized through mutual consent. Wonder why we never heard about her ever again ?. :D. Well I’m really being mean here (so sue me !). I’m going to try and make it up to Nataraj in the next few lines. Few people know that he rushes back to his family business every day even after a long, hard day (giggle) at office, to help out, all the way till closing time. Wonder what he does there though for he's on gtalk till 12 midnight chatting with people :D. Like I said, his parents ought to be proud (yeah right :D) ! … er … that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to … honest !

A recent walk-in that we conducted in office also brought out the fact that he's a crowd control expert in addition to which he also astonished us all with the amount of energy he exuded throughout the day as he helped coordinate most of the operations. It’s like he was able to part the ‘walk-in crowd’ like Moses parted the seas in that famous Biblical tale of Exodus, to lead his people to the Promised Land, by just spreading his arms and commanding the sea to obey him. But now when you think about it, it was probably just lack of deo :D. Rexona, are you reading this ? I think I just found you your next model (or test subject atleast :D )

An expert in multitasking, he breaks all rules of science and of the space-time continuum as we know it, for he disappoints neither boss nor chat buddy. But a close examination of his laptop’s display reveals how this genius is able to accomplish the aforementioned feat. He neatly stacks gtalk chat windows to fit the navigation pane on the MS Axapta screen so as to trick the untrained eye into thinking that he’s actually seriously wracking his brains on the latest bug that’s come his way. An even closer look reveals further that although the gtalk windows mysteriously change in number and content, the MS Axapta screen on the right side of the navigation pane, however hasn’t changed too much over the last few weeks :D. If you’re waiting for ‘MS-duet’ to happen, maybe MS should also consider a joint effort with Google to integrate Gtalk into Axapta. Although this move would ensure that the world would see Axapta for the crappy package it is, I can assure you that it’ll definitely improve Nattu’s productivity by leaps and bounds. And buddy, MS sucks … SAP rulez !!

The Nut’s also one of the most humble people I've come across in my professional career, for he keeps saying that he's too 'dumb' (Like I said, I'm being paid good money to write this). AS a matter of fact he's so dumb that he can't tell a male chimp from a female chimp. Now I'm not going to embarrass the reader by describing how one actually goes about the matter of distinguishing male chimps from the female of the species. Perish the thought! Well most of us can tell the male of any species from the female anyway by looking at ... er ... identifying certain ... um ... distinguishing features :D ... but apparently not our hero. He recently had to be 'persuaded' to remove a certain picture by yours truly from his orkut album which had two chimps dressed up like the 'Men in black' (you know, the movie with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones?) and had a caption under the picture that read ... I quote - "Me and my wife". er ... I'm sure I don't have to delve into the issue anymore than I already have.

This dude’s got to be the biggest Rajnikanth fan I’ve ever seen (in PwC at least :D) and was even supposed to be in Chennai to catch the 'superstar' in action in his latest venture - 'Shivaji'. He's been raving on and on about the movie for the last one month and was supposed to miss office for a few days to be in Chennai on 'D day' to catch the 'first day first show'. Thankfully, it was decided at the last moment by the powers that be to release the movie in Bangalore as well and our hero couldn’t have been happier. I myself missed the movie owing to the fact that I had to be in Calcutta during it’s release but Nattu did more than just watch the movie. He er ... watched it thrice … on the first day … and then twice the next day. By the time I publish this blog entry, the bugger would probably have watched it twenty times!! I kid you not!

Can we really be jealous of an ordinary looking man who's almost sixty years old (and who looks every year of 'em sixty year) but who's still got the moves to woo women young enough to be his daughters? er ... We're still talking about Rajnikanth here :D ... Nataraj, like so many millions of fanatical fans smitten by the Rajni bug all over the world sincerely believes that it's not what a person is inside (and other mushy goo) but gimmicks and stunts he performs that really attract the attention of women. So much so, that he's been really at it for the last couple of months to woo the love of his life. Apart from the fact that Nataraj could in all likelihood now write a research paper on her profile on orkut, he's been trying every trick in the book to get her attention ... er, does he really have to confess to one and all that he's dumb ? :D Some of the many little things he’s done to get her attention –

  • Creation of a picture mosaic with her pictures hidden amidst a thousand others
  • Arbit Gtalk status messages (you haven’t seen arbit Gtalk messages till you’ve seen some of his)
  • Admitting to being a chimpanzee and therefore attracted to other chimps albeit male ones
  • Blasting her via email (why would you do something like that to someone you like? Kindergarten behaviour if you ask me :D)
  • Getting people to write him testimonials on Orkut (muhuhahahahahahahaha … be careful what you wish for, for your wish could come true in a manner you couldn’t have imagined possible)
  • Putting pictures of himself sleeping at his desk, on orkut. I ask you ! In which country is that cool ?!!! ^#$^&$*
  • Transforming his orkut profile into a Kannada one with the hope that she'll fall for him now ... two words for ya buddy ... 'DREAM ON !'

He should have been the star of the latest installment in the 'Die Hard' series because the dude just doesn't know when to give up. He still harbors in some nook of his heart the hope that the love of his life would some day acknowledge his existence (to begin with). Unable to figure out whether she was offline on gtalk or if she'd blocked him, our hero almost had a panic attack one day and the situation got so out of hand that he had to be sedated :D

Rock on dude! You put the 'ly' in 'hard working’:D. Just reach for the stars and you shall have them too :) ... We all know that you've been reaching upwards within the building at least (wink wink) … You make us want to come to office everyday … er … well, me atleast, although I can’t really say the same about Ksheetij or Tiwari :D. Neither has decided to bless us with their presence today :D

Nut Raj ! Consider yourself blessed. For you have been pooped upon by El Pollo Del Infierno :D. I pray that you get whatever you desire in life including the love of the woman YOU love and the company that's been promising to take you in as CEO with an 8 figure salary for the last couple of months !!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Anshuman Mishra … 'hyper' Oriya IITian ‘HAL-brother’

A cupboard full of love … call it what you may, but my dear buddy Anshuman left his legacy behind for all to see and for me to learn from and enjoy in his cupboard when he left Hell. Some people have skeletons in their closets but one had to see it to believe what this dude once had in his closet. Well, if some of you out there are confused as to the pertinence of cupboards and closets in the life of a seemingly simple straightforward guy like anshuman mishra, well, the following words might interest you for all was not what met the eye during his two years at Hell … and about the all important contents of the closet, read on …

From the days of yore when mysterious sounds emanated from within his room that once held an entire crowd of people enthralled and spellbound in the passageway outside, for sheer volume and intensity (and duration) and more so for the audacity of the individuals responsible for the ‘production’ of the sounds in question, that they could be so reckless as to perform the acts that could result in the kind of sounds that we’re talking about, right where one would expect was the last place on earth anyone in their sesnses would want to ‘do’ such things, Anshuman has come a long way indeed but the corridors of hostel 5 still resonate with ghostly moans that serve as a reminder that everything he ever told you about his love life (or the lack of it as he’d try to have you believe) was one big lie.

If one were to ask Anshuman what the closest he’d ever got to a woman was, he’d say with innocent nonchalance – “minus 9 inches”. As you may possibly have guessed from this retort, he doesn’t believe in leaving too much to one’s imagination and he also likes to exaggerate a tad. But his demeanor (read : wandering about the corridors in a perpetual state of undress) could suggest that he was in the possession of something that at least he believed he could be proud of, proud enough might I add, to flaunt howsoever shameless the act was in itself considering that all said and done, this was a men’s hostel.

Did I mention that our dear Anshu was also once the HR of hostel 5? Although it is unanimous that the letter H stands for ‘hostel’, the word R has been the center of controversy for the myriad of things that people have thought that it stood for. Anshuman, for one has done everything in his power to reinforce their beliefs in this regard. Although his general demeanor during a hostel 5 feeding frenzy (bumping frenzy?) would suggest that he did actually enjoy the idea of getting bumped, for he’d pretend to resist but give in anyway after hurling a few choice abuses at the raging mob that held him aloft, he would try everything in his power to evade the ‘foot to ass’ ritual during his own birthday. He once crafted an elaborate ploy which involved strategically leaving campus a few hours before ‘celebrations’ began, on Arjun’s bike and then calling from outside campus about some imaginary accident that he’d met with that miraculously had affected his ability to flex his ankle and consequently his ability to withstand bumps delivered unto his ‘posterior’. But the last time that we’d read ‘Grey’s anatomy’, the ankle and the ‘posterior’ have no connection whatsoever and pain inflicted to any one of these areas is not experienced at the other part. Another story that is closely associated with that evening involved yours truly going completely overboard with a bottle of the ‘Russian spirit’ but that is a completely different story.

His first date is the stuff that comedy movies are made of. Our man and his love interest venture out from their respective hostels at different times to the bus stop and stand at two different corners of the bus stop. He engages some others waiting for the bus in conversation, while she keeps yapping into her cell phone like her life depended on it. When the bus finally arrives, he gets in first and sit in the last row and she sits in the first row after entering last. They both get off at Purania chouraha and then stand around doing absolutely nothing for a few minutes. Then all of a sudden, he hails an auto rickshaw and gets in and she jumps in right after him and then they were gone :D. Of course, the fact that a couple of us from H5 also got off the bus at Purania didn’t help their cause one bit. It was the talk of the town for days to come.

Anshuman was always going to be a good manager because he is a natural ‘delegator’ of work. You should see the guy during the rangoli competition and index. He appears out of nowhere, shouts out orders, accuses two or three people of not doing any work, abuses another couple of hapless facchas, expresses his opinion on how the decoration ought to and ought not to be and disappears just as mysteriously as he appeared. Like I said, he’s a natural and Anshu, you can’t deny any of this buddy, I have it all on tape. He’s always proclaimed that he’s a big rock fan and he’s even gone so far as to putting the fact that ‘he’s a fan of rock music, particularly metal’ in his CV but the fact remains that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. I must admit that he’s been known to play the occasional G ‘n’ R or Judas Priest song in his room but, he’s never been able to name the songs when asked to step out of his room (read: dragged out of his room) and do so. Anshuman Mishra shot to fame during the time when the press was on campus to cover the untimely demise of an alumnus, when he was the voice and the face of IIM L. Minutes after he shot to fame, people were wishing that he would shoot himself in the head ! Who’s ever going to forget the episode of Anshuman Mishra standing on a chair in front of Nescafe imploring the batch to turn up in strength for the media event, in a hurry.

The last thing we ever remember of the dude on campus is the time when he was packing before leaving for good. He left his room for a few minutes with it’s door wide open and ‘unattended’ most importantly. A few of us who were waiting for exactly such an opportunity, rushed into his room and ‘stole’ back all the books that Anshuman had ever ‘borrowed’ from us and made our escape. It’s a miracle that the fact that there were just three piles of books where four had stood just minutes earlier, escaped his attention. I would urge one and all reading this to ask him about a certain room cooler that he carried back home with him :D. Although I thought of including the story associated with the cooler here, my better judgment dictates that I ought to refrain from doing so for the sake of my own well being.

By the time Mr. Mishra was done with his course at hell, he was but a mere shadow of his former self. The pgp19s had christened him ‘hyper’ once upon a time for obvious reasons. Calling him a bundle of energy would have been grossly misrepresenting facts, so much so that pgp20s actually mistook him for a pgp19 when they joined. But a rather unfortunate episode involving a pair of broken spectacles, a few bruised fists and a bruised ego most importantly, ended that phase of Anshuman Mishra’s life and he turned into the serene and composed nut job that we know today.

HAL brother !! Forgive me if I’ve said too much here and inadvertently hurt your sentiments (assuming that you have feelings to begin with). But you know that your deepest darkest secrets are always safe with me … till I keep getting paid good money to keep it that way anyway ;) You’ve always had a kind word for me in my times of peril starting from my rather unfortunate hostel induction to when I was in dire straits with my acads. You’re a go-getter and a hard worker and deserve everything that you’ve achieved this far. During round 2, you were truly an inspiration for me when it came to putting in all nighters and working hard but partying harder. Although this ‘testimonial’ would appear to be laced with sarcasm and slander, this is in reality a testimony to how much I miss you dude and the glorious days that were. My only regret is that it took as long as it did in being composed. But as they say, better late than never and the batches to come must learn about the legend (nut job) that once roamed the corridors of H5. The corridors still resonate with those sounds …

... by the way if anybody’s still wondering what Anshu left me in his closet …he left behind a bottle of Scotch and a pack of condoms (brands are irrelevant here), both of which no longer exist today. Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies ;)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Amol a.k.a Tharkee a.k.a Dhanno a.k.a Blondie

The story of Amol’s rise to fame during the very first month of his stay at Hel(L) is the kind of stuff that you send batch mails about : ) . Not too many people are going to forget the batch mail he sent publicizing an H5 party. Whether it’s the line he ended the email with – “Don’t ‘remember’, it’s Murgi’s birthday also” or the reply to this batch mail that a certain Mr. Pant sent with poor Blondie’s pic attached, to the entire batch, that actually shot him to fame has been debated time and time again in the past but it has been concluded there might have been other reasons too.

To the untrained eye (and ear), not too many things might appear to have changed at room no. 528 since the departure of ‘Router the great’. For an entire year, this room witnessed some of the loudest, most obnoxious eardrum-shattering parties on campus where booze flowed like water all night long. Under layers of clothes, mattresses, more clothes, dirty clothes, dirtier clothes and ‘used’ newspapers, archaeologists have recently discovered fossilized remnants of the glorious days that were. For today, the sty … erm … room is but a mere shadow of it’s former glory. To say that Blondie is lazy would be a gross understatement. Rather than give his clothes to the dhobi, Blondie would prefer sleeping on his dirty clothes right where he dropped them. Speaking of ‘droppings’, one look at the rotten festering contents of his refrigerator could make a believer out of even the most fervent atheist.

For those who are curious about the origins of the nickname – ‘Blondie’, one look at his mop and all would be clear in an instant. His hair has an auburn hue that most Europeans could be proud of. The reason for his choice of colour is unclear but the fact remains that the guy goes through great pains every week to dye his hair brown. It’s a good thing that he decided against the beach blonde look though, for he would have stuck out like a sore thumb in a place like Nasik or even Hel(L) for that matter.

Rituals of ‘follicular colouration’ apart, he even claims to have a number of hobbies such as playing the guitar and football. His skill with the guitar and the ball become apparent as soon as he begins to strum the football and kick his guitar … err … he has also been known to occasionally kick the football and strum the guitar. Jokes apart, he is extremely passionate about learning the guitar. He was passionate about it when he joined Hel(L) and he is still is passionate about the instrument so much so that on entering his room the first thing that meets the eye are his gorgeous black electric guitar and guitar amp in exactly the same position you saw them the week before (other things meet the nose before this but we’ll leave that bit out for now).

Amol is an extremely talented football player and as a consequence, has represented his hostel for two years in a row. However, he’s unable to show the world much of this ‘talent’ as the longest he’s ever lasted on the field without having to be substituted is 10 minutes. It’s all those chemicals that he’s subjected his body to over the years and no, we aint talking about the cigarettes here but chemicals that affect stamina due their abusive overuse on the scalp :D .

When it comes to eating food he makes his own rules. Around a quarter of Amol’s day is spent in eating food. Well this isn’t because he eats a lot. Perish the thought. It’s due to the fact that he eats like a dead sloth bear. There aren’t too many people on this planet who could beat him in a ‘slow eating’ competition. At a mind boggling pace of 2 chappatis per hour he’s sure to floor the competition. People who have had the privilege to eat dinner or lunch with Blondie dearest may be able to appreciate this fact better.

Always the one to greet you with a smile and laugh at everybody’s pjs with that silly wheezy laugh of his, Amol’s a popular dude all over campus. Amol’s a member of villagio diabolico to the core and we surely would never have been the same without the loveable old geezer. Here’s to Amol Dhanvij. We love ya dude !! You rock !

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Srinivasan Yum Vee a.k.a. Cheenu a.k.a. Srini a.k.a the saambhar rocker a.k.a God …

… which makes an interesting start to this testimonial. How many people on this planet can boast of being worshipped in their own life time. Well, our man Srini sure can, although the orkut community constituted by his ‘worshippers’ has seen quite a bit of attrition in recent times. Wonder why …

How on Earth a guy like Srini landed at a hell hole like the top floor of hostel 5 is something straight outta Ripley’s !! For two whole terms, the dude had a CG that was higher than the sum of both his neighbours’ CGs. Slowly but surely, the H5 voodoo kicked in and the result is the long haired freak of nature whose favourite band is ‘Death’ and who spends more time learning the guitar today than he did making out with his text books during the first year.

Srini it seems had taken an oath before he left home that he would learn and even master Hindi during his stay at Hel(L) but the most that anyone’s ever heard emanate from his mouth in the blessed language are the words “Sooth ke pakode, Bose D.K. !!”. Apparently some dude called Bose D.K had really ticked Srini off to earn his ire. Who can forget that incident when Srini actually laughed off an entire torrent of choice abuses in Hindi which were hurled his way saying – “Those are really bad words in Hindi right ??? giggle giggle … “ … sigh … The only two numbers (‘counting numbers’ not songs …duh) he knows are Paanch and Paanch so Unthees and he gets by just fine while ordering from Fauji Dabha or while giving his clothes to the Dhobhi.

By his own admission on his Orkut profile, he’s a heavy smoker and heavy drinker with two girlfriends. But frankly, the dude wont be able to tell a Vodka from a whiskey if a bottle of either fell out of the sky and landed square on his head. A born again death metal fan, none of us could have imagined when we first saw the dude that he’d be playing the guitar someday … and all night long at that !! ;) Sure, Srini’s played with a G string (ahem) all night long but then he played the E, A, D and B strings too :D. During his stay in Hel(L), he had a thing for one woman and one woman alone but she had other things to do further up the corridor, but as Dillu would say, it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

We have to admit though that the guy is committed. Not the orkut kind of ‘committed’ … perish the thought … A certain Mr. Dubey would give dogs up sooner than Srini’s ‘committed’. To avoid any further confusion in this regard, we would henceforth use the word ‘dedicated’. The dude’s one resilient, tenacious and ‘dedicated’ &$#&$*. Whether it’s jogging five rounds around the campus, or understanding the innards of finance or learning the guitar, the dude’ll give nothing less than one hundred and twenty percent.

He claims to have been Calvin (of the Calvin and Hobbes fame) in his childhood but we’ve never seen any of that in the two years that we’ve known him for. In fact, he silently bore the torrential onslaught of metal (from 5pm to 11pm) and Hindi songs (from 2am to 6am) that used to emanate from the rooms of two different neighbours without making so much as a whimper in discontentment.

We all thought that all he could do was dance and mug up entire textbooks when he first arrived on campus but now his pictures are all over the newspapers as a budding guitarist (much to the chagrin of a fellow tam and guitarist in H5, we might add) … Srinivasan Yum Vee … you rock da machi … You complete the trio of the ‘Kewl tams of H5! ‘String it’ da machi !! :D

Sachchu maami …

Sacheeen !!!! This dude completes the trio of the coolest tams on campus (well, on the second floor of H5 atleast ) … although his ‘coolness coefficient’ might have fallen just a tad over the last month and a half owing to the hair cut he took for the placement season. Now it’s upto the ‘Saambhar rocker’ and ‘El pollo del infierno’ to carry the flag. In the long sad history of fraud tams at IIM L, this dude’s definitely got to take the crown. It took long enough for most of us to figure out that he was a tam in the first place and when we finally did, he shocks Srini out of his wits by uttering a string of words (supposedly in tam) that even good ol’ Shanky couldn’t have understood. He also claims to know a dozen other languages, a fact which is yet to be verified.

Sachin’s given up drinking (for the time being atleast) after a recent escapade at an insti party. He’s a really funny person when he’s sober but things get outright hilarious when he’s sloshed. The dude really spills his guts out … erm … we’re not talking about him losing his dinner here (that happens too) but his outrageous globe and his gyan sessions that’ll have you in stitches after he’s a couple of pegs down. Nobody’s going to forget that hilarious session in Saha’s room in a hurry, when Sachin took each and everybody’s case only to forget about the entire episode the next morning.

Cheenu, Cheeru, Ninjamani, Globa … the list goes on. No, these aren’t the Teletubbies that you’ve never heard of but names that Sachin’s given to grownup people. A hardcore’ animation movies freak’, the dude’s got the largest collection of animated movies on campus but then he’s also got the largest collection of videos featuring Hefner’s girls (wink wink).

A hardcore ops person (you could even call him an Ops God), this dude gets into his element whenever during a discussion in class somebody makes so much as a passing reference to something even remotely ops related. After GoodYear refused to give him an ops profile, his Gtalk status message mysteriously changed to ‘Goodyear KMK’. While most other people would have gone in for a more interesting selection of abuses, the most that comes out of Sachin’s mouth even when he’s really really p*ssed off are words like – ghanta or dhakkan (and this is when he’s absolutely seething with rage). He’s H5’s own alarm clock owing to his remarkable ability of being able to wake up at 7 am on the dot even if he’d hit the sack only at 6:30 am.

Although he’s a sworn veggie this dude’s got a weakness for ‘tandoori’ … so much so that, he tried everything in his power to speak to… erm …eat a ‘tandoori’ dish during the summer placements of the junior batch. Speaking about food and eating, many people on campus have noticed that he’s put on quite a bit of weight since he first set foot on campus two years ago, due to which he’s been visiting the gym and jogging around campus regularly to shed those extra pounds … or maybe it’s all an elaborate ploy to realize his dreams of having his ‘tandoori’ and eating it too ;) .

He’ll never refuse to lend anybody his ‘Chitty chitty Boing Zoing’ (CBZ) … but the problem is that the darn thing is in such a state of dilapidation that it gives the term ‘kick start’ a new meaning. It’s quite an ordeal having to start his bike and once you do get the confounded thingamajig going, it’s one long prayer till the destination that it doesn’t die on you on the way because it is next to impossible to get this green two wheeled monster going again. Whoever it was that globed that he didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘impossible’ obviously hadn’t tried starting Sachin’s bike.

An amazing mimic, it’s a treat to see this guy’s imitation of all his friends (and some profs) although we’re all still eagerly waiting for the day when an even bigger impressionist’s going to show him how he himself walks and talks … boy is he in for a nasty surprise :D . One of the most genuine and straight forward people you’ll ever come across, his commitment (read: being dragged against his will) to social causes is also unparalleled but all this pales in comparison to his commitment to ‘24’, the series. We haven’t seen auntijis watch ‘saas bahu’ TV serials with the same fervor. We’ve always wished though that he could exhibit the same interest level while watching movies too because he sleeps like a baby through most of them.

But that’s a good thing because, a certain Mr.Globa McBalaji would never have glimpsed the inside of a classroom at Hel(L) if it Sachin Jayaram didn’t get enough sleep. Although the dude’s never actually listened to metal music in his life, he recently tried to persuade his AOC class to listen to the “metals” genre. Macha … you rock dude! You’ve always belonged with us H5 top ‘floorers’. Sachin Humara Neta Hai …

‘Vasavagiri’ … just another word or a phenomenon ?

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing … especially in the wrong hands !! This couldn’t be more true than the case of Freud’s works in the possession of Vasava. Never have I seen anybody pore so diligently over the contents of a book (three of them actually), but Vasava’s managed to slowly but surely inch his way through three mammoth tomes that bear the name of Freud on their cover. Why on earth anybody would want to do this especially when their line of specialization is not psychology but business administration is not entirely clear but the fact remains that a lot of people including yours truly are extremely worried about the consequence of this on space and time as we know it for Vasava without an understanding of human psychology could mess with your head nicely enough …

Which brings us to ‘Vasavagiri’. This is neither a way of life as professed by Vasava (we call that G*nd*giri) nor a new fangled fad but a word that is representative of the myriad things that Vasava does and uses to facilitate the catharsis of the million and one ideas that are pent up within the confines of the mad jumble that is his head. Vasava like lord Vishnu ‘reincarnates’ as a hobby. The most recent of his Avatars being ‘Ninjasava’ and ‘Ninjamani’ (a creation of Sachin who has this habit of naming people like ‘three-year-olds’ would).
His pet peeve is the fact that certain tams of H5 have waged a war on him and all things Gujju. A sure shot way of ending an argument with Vasava would be to say – “dude, I’m soooo scared. What are you going to do? Burn me alive? :D”. Well, knowing Vasava, saying stuff like that is like playing with … erm … fire … : ).

What he sees in Mithun Chakravarthy or ‘Mithun Da’ as he calls him, we’ll never be able to fathom howsoever long we dwell upon the thought but the fact does remain that he’s probably the actor’s biggest fan on the planet. He’d probably have to change his claimed religious subscription on Orkut because he positively worships Mithun Chakravarthy. He’s been caught having a verbal duel with people arguing that Mithun Chakravarty can kick Superman’s a** with one hand tied behind his back and the other hand conducting the San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra. Oh well, as they say, “One man’s bread ……”… hmmmmmm … sigh… Try to get him to listen to metal and he’ll sneak out of your room when you’re not looking, but if it’s a movie that you want to watch, there’s no better company than Vasava (except for that one movie … think it was called ‘Primer’ or ‘Slimer’ or something like that. There is a child-like innocence about him that there is still an entire world out there that is pristine and unexplored, waiting to be discovered and captured on film (or digitally as in his case).

If somehow Leonardo Da Vinci were reborn and walked amongst men once again, there would be little doubt as to the form he might have taken. The genius who could create a work of art out of a few ‘strategically’ shaped pieces of colour paper and an issue of ‘The Economic Times’ or sand or most recently even snow, Amit Vasava, we bow in deference to thee and thy Vasavagiri. We should consider ourselves blessed (rrright) indeed to have seen creative genius such as is in the possession of Vasava at work.

Seldom in our lives would we see such people who are infatuated with the beauty exuded by even mundane stuff (like a giant coffee cup spilling it’s contents onto Prof. Purvar’s bald shiny pate) that might seem trivial to most others. Vasava is a person who is blessed with the rare ability of being able to see and capture the beauty in a dew drop glistening in the light of a magnificent new day or a fiery all-consuming flame about to scorch the tip of a cigarette. Years later when we’re all old and broken by life, we would all be able to reminisce and cherish the glorious days that were, thanks to Vasava’s careful chronicling of life at IIM L with his trusty camera.

You rock dude! H5 wouldn’t be the same without you! You’re a best friend to man and chicken alike ;) … but you know we’d have to kill you someday for all those damning videos you’ve taken of us right ? :D

Maastaah Clement Whatchumacallit !

… and then there was Clement …

Maastaah !! Maastaah !! This is a question of your Honah !! So I will try my best to do justice to this testimonial to your glory !! Hai !!

From the days of yore when a fellow band member christened him on stage with a name so terrible, so evil, that we may not reveal it here for the mere mention of this diabolical word, nay, the mere thought of uttering this word would bring upon us great misfortune, pain and suffering … mostly upon the person who named him thus, actually. The humble guitah playah whose evil handiwork it was of naming him will refrain from revealing this most evil of names for fear of his own well being and the safety of his loved ones.

Bass guitah playah extraordinaire, this dude recently amazed us all with a near perfect rendition of ‘Orion’ by Metallica, a steep task indeed for mere mortals. But Clemo’s no mere mortal is he? His wizardry is not confined just to the realm of music. Hell hath known no fury like that of Clemo playing NFS. His driving skills would leave you awestruck, but at times – ‘airstruck’ too, the meaning of which would be elucidated to you by his good friend and neighbour, Passi (for a nominal fee of course ... )

A master act on football field, he’s always the first to reach the field even when there’s a 3.4 jam on or when there’s no one else on the field! He’s “committed to music and to football but more committed to football than music” in his own words :D. The ‘commitment’ is there for everybody to see when the game begins. There are times when his opponents just can’t figure out who or what just stole the ball from them and it’s a common sight seeing a whole bunch of people just standing around and staring in admiration at his skills with the ball … ahem : ) … cough … football …

… Or maybe they’re all staring at his beard (erm … say what now?) … Some people have beards … Clemo has a ‘wild streak’. That’s what the dude chooses to call it anyway. Well at least the dude saves tons of money on shaving cream which is a good thing if we suddenly have a world wide shaving cream crisis. When shaving cream prices are soaring, guess who’ll be laughing …

Ever resilient and tenacious, Clemo’s like the tortoise who refused to give up. He wants to make it in the marketing universe and mark my words, he will too, someday. For now, he’s stuck with pondering about simpler things in life like how to play ‘baddy’ with an acute lack of ‘you-know-what’ (subject to the interpretations of the reader) or the sick maniac who told him that term six was ‘chill’ (so that he might be able to leave his mark on a strategically selected portion of that person’s posterior with his boot).

All said and done, Clemo’s one of the most genuine persons you would have ever met (assuming you haven’t met too many genuine people before … I’m lovin’ this :D ). His ultimate aim is to make a difference to society and not be blinded by the lure of the big bucks that might lure him off the ‘path of righteousness’ (although the big bucks in question might actually help his cause … sigh). A deeply religious person, it’s amazing how he can amaze us all with his metal prowess on stage and then conduct a prayer meeting in his room with the same amount of enthusiasm. Not a meal goes by without Clement extending his thanks to the Almighty (even as a certain fat lead guitarist gorges down his entire meal in one gargantuan gulp sitting right next to him), which only goes to show that you don’t have to worship ‘you know who’ to play guitaah like a guitaah God.

We wish you all the best in life Clemo, Mastaah … and hope that you do someday chance upon the person who wronged you so by telling you that the sixth term was a cake walk (although it is :D ). Make us all proud. I’m sure Cli* Burton’s smiling at you from the heavens (sorry I couldn’t help it buddy ! … err… I was talking to Cliff Burton … Clemo, you can go and play Police and Karateka or something :D )

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Potty Amma (PT Ma’am)

Most American sitcoms about kids growing up have scenes from gym class or PT class as we call it in here in good ol’ Hindustan. The physical education teacher is usually portrayed as a big hulking brute waiting to terrorise the living daylights out of hapless school goers. Well, things weren’t too much better for us kids who passed out of National Public School (NPS) Indiranagar either. An entire generation of us folks who studied at NPS Indiranagar had a PT Ma’am, a big hulking female PT instructor and a mallu at that too ! This school enjoyed the distinguished reputation of having teachers who never (well maybe a few of them did) raised a hand against their students but there was this one teacher whose brutal beatings, whistle cord whippings, pinches from hell and face wetting, ear splitting abuses we used to bear silently without ever telling a soul because quite frankly, we were scared shitless (excuse the term) by the lady (I know I was). PT instructors of all shapes and sizes came and went but Mrs J. was was a permanent fixture in school with a number of batches of students growing up having nightmares night after night about the lady right from KG 1 all the way till graduation day. Her size and shape might have changed over the years but that’s an entirely different issue.

There was this dude who joined KG 1 with us and studied with us for many years before we finally realized that he was PT Ma’am’s son. For years he had kept the fact concealed from us and as we got older (and wiser) he used to resort to telling us that she was his aunt. By the 6 th standard however, we all knew that D .J. was indeed Mrs. J’s son. I personally felt really stupid as the facts were right there for us to see. They shared the same last name and they walked to and from school everyday till he was atleast in the 5th standard. It probably would have been obvious to any outsider but the fact was that we so terrified of her that we just couldn’t fathom the fact she too was capable of procreating and raising a family!

If there were to be an opinion poll on one’s scariest moment in school, an encounter with PT Ma’am would definitely feature pretty high on everybody’s list for there are few sights more intimidating than that of a scorned PT Ma’am staring down at you with her nostrils flared and eyes ablaze, waiting to pounce on you and devour you for lunch as punishment for some heinous crime that you had just committed. I for one, could probably sue her for the long term damage that she’s caused to my head after all the raps on the head I’ve taken for talking during assembly or for my premature arthritis that years of kneeling down has caused.

I can vouch for the fact (from personal experience) that the punishments got lighter both in terms of intensity and number as we reached higher classes. I was down to 10 whippings a year by the 8th standard and a paltry 2 in the 10th standard. It’s a pity I didn’t continue in NPS after the 10th because I’m sure that I could have told my grandchildren stories about how I finally spent a year in NPS without being scarred by my PT teacher. Well I can’t complain that she didn’t give us a fair warning before she pounced on us though. Who could ever forget those words she used to utter with that heavy mallu accent of hers – “ Stope (like hope) marrmarring”.

PT class was always a nightmare. We’d all have to line up and then stretch our arms out as she inspected our nails and canvas shoes. Long nails invited a rapping on the knuckles with the whistle cord and dirty shoes or socks would earn us a couple of lashes around the calves. The class itself usually began with all of us running a couple of rounds around the school ground in a line in the order in which we stood during assembly after which, PT Ma’am would split us into groups for either drill practice or to play different sports (it was boot camp and not school I tell you !). She would screech something like – “From left to right, count in threes” after which she’d go – “No. 1 stay wherever you are, No. 2 three steps, No. 3 five steps”. This was the terrifying part, because if you goofed up (like I invariably did) and landed up a step behind or ahead of where you were supposed to be, you could rest assured that there was going to be a torrent of choice abuses hurled in your direction or a couple of smartly delivered whistle cord lashes or a combination of the above depending on how far away from your stipulated destination it was that you had strayed.

We always used to pray that the next PT class would not be a ‘drill practice’ one for those were probably the most painful classes in the history of all painful PT classes. PT Ma’am was a heavy set woman and it was a sight to behold as she would leap up and down like she was possessed, while demonstrating the steps of the latest drill routine. But, what soon followed made every damn US marine drill sergeant seem like Mother Teresa. A tiny mistake like a fly landing on your nose and making you flail your arms about trying to get rid of the fly and PT Ma’am would be on you in a heartbeat to do her bit to make a believer out of you. The most hilarious part was the way the lady counted. She’d go 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 while ascending and while descending, she’d go 8-7-6-5-4-3-1-2. In all these years, I have never been able to figure out why it was 3-1-2 and not 3-2-1 like it was supposed to be.

Hell hath seen no fury like that of a PT Ma’am who’d just sighted some unfortunate, unlucky little kid who’d forgotten to take his fortnightly haircut. I have seen at least a hundred guys in my 12 years at NPS who’ve been paraded around school with a rubber band in their hair as punishment for sporting hair longer than two centimeters. I also distinctly remember how she once demolished a kid during assembly for having bad teeth. I don’t know how or why she noticed the poor little kid’s teeth but I still remember the boy cowering with fear while PT Ma’am lambasted him for a good five minutes right in the middle of assembly for having “the most hoaribble teeth in tha werld”(read with a mallu accent). Then, there was this rule about girls have to wear some ridiculous thingamajig called a bloomer under their skirts and PT Ma’am would actually make them show her their bloomers every once in a while just to make sure that they still wore them. That’s one feather in PT Ma’am’s hat that she was always impartial. She tormented the girls just as much as she did the guys. I still remember some of my female classmates at NPS shudder at the sound of the bell that announced PT class because they would have to play throw ball under the supervision of PT Ma’am. She absolutely detested girls who played the sport badly. Speaking about hats, how could one ever forget the ridiculous hat with the solar fan that she sometimes sported. I remember her wearing it on special occasions for years especially during events like the school annual day.

We would all pray that some teacher would be absent everyday so that we’d have a substitute teacher who’d usually engage the class in some fun activity but the moral of the story here is to be careful what you wish for because PT Ma’am too was given substitution duty at times. The meaning of the words ‘pin drop silence’ couldn’t possibly have been better understood in any way other than by being in attendance of one of the classes for which PT Ma’am was the substitute teacher. People used to be scared witless so much so that they would think twice before even sneezing or coughing during those classes. The safest bet to last with most body parts still intact when the bell rang was to rest your head on the desk and go to sleep for the 40 minutes of the class’s duration.

It would take me years to realize that PT Ma’am did all that she did by design and that she was not a distant relative of Adolf Hitler as we had assumed and that’s also probably the reason why PT Ma’am still has her job after all these years without having been arrested on the charges of brutalizing little kids. She enforced discipline in the way that she knew was most effective – by instilling fear in our tender young hearts so that what she spoke was the law and boy, am I glad that there was someone like that around. She was probably the only reason why the students of NPS refrained from any kind of behaviour or activities (atleast within the premises of the institution) that would bring dishonor to the school. We had all been conditioned like Pavlov’s dog from our childhood to respond to the spine chilling sound of her voice or whistle (or both) ringing out through the darkness whenever even the thought of doing something wrong crossed our minds. Whether or not most people out there would accept it, the fact remains that most people who passed out of NPS are successful today only because of the disciplined way of life that was taught to us in ‘Potty Amma’s’ own effective albeit brutal ways.

The only days that PT Ma’am ever smiled or spared everyone the whip (literally) were on Onam, children’s day and teachers’ day, the other thing about her on these days being that she would be dressed in impeccable traditional Mallu attire. Teacher’s day would be when Ma’am would conduct the assembly herself and show us losers the right way that it ought to be done. Who could ever forget her attempts to get some unlucky bloke with a loud voice whose voice had just begun to crack, to memorise the school assembly commands. “School stand at ease, school attention !!” (again with a thick mallu accent). On Children’s day, she’d actually smile at us herself even if we had long hair or dirty shoes that looked like they were made of mud and not leather.

The school I joined after the 10th had NPS as the center for writing the 'boards'. I hardly expected anybody in school to recognize me after two whole years but PT ma’am did. Not only did she recognize me, but she came over herself after the exams were over and spoke to me at length. She remembered my name, my mom’s name (she’d met her like a decade before that) and all the crap that I had been upto in school. She spoke to me so sweetly that she seemed like a completely different person altogether. The legend was indeed true. She did treat students like human beings and not like some turds after they passed out of school.

I recently got to know that she’s going to be retiring in a short while from now. They ought to make a statue in her honour and put it on a pedestal right on the platform in front of the school building so that the scores of future generations of NPS students would know of the legend that was ‘Potty Amma’. PT Ma’am, you are a legend in your own lifetime. We owe more than we realize to you. PT Ma’am, we’ll remember you forever even if some of us find it hard to admit it. You were and will always be one of my favourite teachers. Ma’am you rock !!