Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why I dint blog !

You may be wondering why I dont blog,
What i'm writing now is just the prologue.
I hardly have the time these days,
There is far too much on my gaze.

You may wonder if it's work from college,
Most of it was to do with laptop usage.
Half my time went waste on Twitter,
The rest of it went off in blither.

I just kept checking my mail,
And beyond a point, my writing became stale.
Guess I had a writer's block,
And soon the exams came to knock.

Then came along Excelsior and Ripple,
And my time, they did cripple.
After that came the minor,
And I did become a big time whiner.

I took a break and went back home,
All I did there was to roam.
I had to get my sis a gift,
With little time left, I had to be swift.

With my close friend's birthday looming,
Lack of time left me fuming !
I came back to Bhopal in a week,
And chances of blogging looked pretty bleak.

The last days of the semester went past,
And here I am very aghast.
The exams are in a few days,
And now suddenly comes this phase.

I just feel so much like writing,
The idea of a poem seems very exciting.
So here am I writing one,
Before my spirit gets undone.

This is only my first attempt,
But this new idea did tempt.
Hope I got across the point,
And guess it doesn't sound disjoint.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

17 Hotspots of MANIT

1. GS – ‘MANIT Shopping Complex’ proclaims the board on the road leading to the place. But in reality, no such ‘Shopping Complex’ exists. All that is a part of the ‘Shopping Complex’ are 3 shops. One a General Store which gives the place it’s now popular name – GS, a PCO booth which has now expanded to everything other than a PCO though there still exists a phone just to prove it is a PCO and a launderer who calls himself ‘Bright Launderer’ although people who’ve given him their clothes for washing soon discover there’s nothing even mildly bright about him! The place is most active during the evenings when it is bustling with girls, guys and even faculty for the Hot Pattis, Cold Drinks, TnT icecreams, Recharge Vouchers, Sessional Sheets that are available here. Not to forget the shady place it provides for ‘not-so-private’ conversations and meet-ups and waiting spots before dates. :-P.

2. Kaliasarot Dam – Not actually a part of the college but is quite accessible from inside the college itself. Visiting hours, though are pretty restricted due to the awesome lighting facilities available on the approach paths which mean that you can’t see even what lies about a foot ahead of you once the sun sets. A very scenic spot in the rainy season especially with the greenery all around. But if you are looking for an actual dam with water and stuff, you’ll end up fooling yourself cos even Bhopal’s famous lakes are bone dry now. Worth a visit though.

3. Library – The library, according to our college website is supposed to have quite a lot of books. But the problem as you’ll soon find out is that either most of them were bought when the college was started in 1960, or ex-students have robbed most books of a few important pages here and there for ‘examination purposes’ or some books have become food for insects. The library still works manually although there is supposed to be digital search mechanism, it has only made the job tougher. Issuing the book from the library is an awesome experience really. One has to undergo the experience to complete the ‘Total MANIT experience’. Rules, though, are quite strict and you have to pay a pretty huge fine of 10p a day if you return your books late!

4. Ad Block – From the inside, it looks really modern. But it is just a typical government office which maintains bucket loads of files and is really lazy! Working Hours are pretty flexible but end sharply at 3-30 or 4! People start arriving anytime between 10-30 and 11. Getting anything done from the office is quite an art which needs to be mastered. The only plus I can see is the chairs that are present there. They are quite dangerous to sit on cos they topple most of the time. The plus is that the place is the best ‘bird view point’ of the college due to the presence of the Archi Dept nearby.

5. Porch – Photos of the porch in the college website taken at night in the most attractive angles are the ones which fool most freshers before they join the college giving them the impression that they are joining an awesome college with superb facilities. But yeah, one has to agree that the most modern facilities of the college is present there. The toilets with the auto flush :-P.

6. Displays – These are present all around the college spewing out pearls of wisdom like the one which says ‘Ours is the only NIT in the state. Be proud of it.’ Which state has two NITs! GRE level English is a common feature in these. :-P. Misspelt words are common place. The other displays include the very innovative purple coloured cloth ones, to save painting expenditure, which carry the ones from the student organisations.

7. Canteen – SPICE Canteen welcomes you proclaims a board near the porch. And the price list containing more than 30 items on the top of the counter gives you the impression of an awesome canteen (though only 10 odd items are available). Though the food quality is much better than the one in the mess and the food quite cheap on the wallet, the hygiene levels inside can leave people fuming when they see it the first time. It is also the meeting place of the student societies and the college band.

8. SBI + ATM – The SBI Branch in MANIT is filled with the laziest officers you can ever see in any bank. Work happens at snail’s pace. But the bank offers a good resting spot with AC and some good sofas. The ATM is another good bird view point. And you can see the imprint of the MANIT alumni at the ATM at the entrance. ‘Nobody can block MANITians from entering’ said someone and thus broke the lock of the ATM.

9. Susangat – There are directions given all around the campus to this place. But once you reach the place, you’ll find nothing special. Supposed to be haunted but no one knows the origins of the story. Probably it was haunted by drunken people. :P.

10. Temple – Without doubt, it is THE most peaceful place on the whole campus, with people in it. (Else you’d have the 400 odd acres of free space). Small but much sought after especially during exams. The Prasad provided there is quite good as well. Proximity to the girls hostel is also another reason for visits. :P.

11. Sports Complex – It has been under construction since 2002 according to people. And it will remain in construction till 2020 say other people. When constructed, it is supposed to be the most modern sports complex in MP. But I have my doubts if MP will remain so undeveloped even in 2020 or later. It should be outdated by then. Construction moves at worse than snail’s pace here. At times it even doesn’t seem to be under construction. Popular rumours suggest that it may be converted into a dormitory for boys in case of shortage of hostels.

12. Sports Grounds – We have our own Eden Gardens, Wembley, Bird’s nest (No! I seriously meant just the Beijing stadium. Nothing else!). The only outdoor badminton court in the country also exists here. The cricket ground has loads of grass all season, sometimes even knee high and is well tendered to by our grounds men. The hockey ground is grass free. And with all the stones lying around, you’d be wondering how hockey is played there. But isn’t the answer obvious? Hockey isn’t played there! It’s just the name. Nothing else. The track in the athletics ground is more popularly used for practising driving cars and vehicles than running. The cricket ground is more used for surveying purposes by Civil Engineering students than by cricketers of the college leading to plenty of confusions at times when it is referred to as cricket ground. Wondering where the football ground is? It is the same as the hockey ground. Multipurpose you see.

13. Computer Centre – CC as it is more popularly called houses the IT and CSE departments. Though doubts are sometimes there cos it is empty most of the time. Quad core computers and Super computers are the order of the day here. Viruses are common place on every computer. Frequented rarely but is good for playing games though bold notices are displayed everywhere prohibiting gaming during class hours. The most recent building of our college, built in around 10 years ago. (Of course, discounting the ever-under construction Sports Complex)


14. G 3 – More occupied after class hours than during it. The hub of all the student activities of the college. All the student societies conduct their activities here at 4-15 (though the start is of course late cos IST is Indian Stretchable Time). Drishtant hosts its events here at 4-15 every Thursday.

15. FGH – Faculty Guest House or FGH as it is called popularly is the ward for injured people in the college, the place to stay for visiting parents, and TV view point at times for Footie Fanatics to catch EPL action when cricket is on in the Hostel TVs. Of course, the major use of the FGH is for functions of the faculty. Free Dinner for MANITians, unofficially though. :P.

16. Dispensary – State of the Art in every way. Two world class doctors. 24/7 medical treatment. Well. These are our dreams for the dispensary. Ours is a two room one, with a doctor who finds paracetamol his best mate. Fever, Chicken Pox, Fracture, whatever; you get a strip of paracetamol for treatment.

17. SAC – SAC or the Student Activity Centre is the Radhakrishnan Auditorium which is used for conducting all the college functions. Probably the only thing proper about our college. It even has a balcony but doesn’t have a proper projector. MANITians have made their mark there too, breaking apart one of the glass doors. :D.

You may wonder why 17. No idea. Other hotspots include the Energy Centre, Director’s Office :P, MP Step. Our college is short of Hotspots.

Common Habits of MANITians and reasons behind them

This is one of the articles I wrote for the college newsletter this year. :)


1. Waking up Late

i. Late night chat with GF/BF till 4 am. Rather Early Morning Chat.

ii. No water in the toilets to brush the teeth even. Water is highly scarce in Bhopal these days.

iii. Late night party. Reasons are varied from year to year and hostel to hostel.


2. Reaching class very early

i. To catch a seat in the last benches.

ii. Exam day – To write down few answers on the bench.

iii. Nothing edible to eat at breakfast.


3. Sitting in the last bench

i. Free message pack. And a ‘friend’ in another class with the same.

ii. In anticipation of a surprise test.

iii. College time is Novel reading time.


4. Sitting in the first bench

i. Late to class. Last benches already taken up.

ii. The teachers always concentrate on the last benches. Easy to sleep/ copy/ message from the front benches.

iii. I want to be a 9 pointer.


5. Busy in Lunch

i. Trying for 2nd half GT.

ii. Member of one of the student societies of the college.

iii. Submission Deadline. These are pretty flexible though.


6. Window Seat

i. For Air. Half the fans in college don’t work properly.

ii. Airtel Connection – For Network purposes.

iii. Bird Watching. No, not the ones in the air or on the trees. ;-).


7. Carrying more than 3 notebooks to class

i. Loyal Friend who submits friends’ work as well.

ii. Submission in the afternoon and can’t afford to miss classes for attendance purposes.

iii. Way too sincere. These though are a rarity. More common among the fairer sex but can’t be witnessed due to fancy bags and other “eye-catching” stuff than notebooks.


8. Uncombed Hair

i. Woke up too late. No comb.

ii. Roommate with the comb locked up the cupboard before I could wake up.

iii. New Style Dude. Just out of the bed look !

iv. No need to comb. 1st year => Short hair.


9. Walking in the morning or evening

i. Weight reduction. Rare though as the mess usually takes care of this.

ii. Too jobless in the hostel. Mostly of IT or Civil branches

iii. Fresh air.

iv. Has a BF or GF. Or has split with BF or GF.


10. Roaming around here and there looking at the mobile

i. GT informers. Or Broken GT informers.

ii. Searching for network in the mobile. Mobile Signals are unusually poor in our college. No, mobile jammers aren’t used. The walls are enough.

iii. SMS Addicts. Mobile Gamers.


11. Totally Broke

i. Smells Bad. No money for washing clothes or buying a Deodorant.

ii. Long hair, unshaven beard. (This may not be the only reason. Heartbroken people also fall into this category)

iii. Permanently in the mess even when the mess workers aren’t there.


12. In formal wear

i. First years.

ii. Have an interview today.

iii. Director caught me wearing T-shirt and warned me.


13. Long absence from college

i. Too bored of classes.

ii. Off to home-town.

iii. Hostel hygiene levels catch up finally leading to various diseases.


14. People on the SBI Ground

i. Budding cricketers.

ii. ‘Groundsmen’ of the college ground.

iii. Civil Students.


15. Temple visitors

i. Exam tomorrow. Haven’t studied. Have to pass.

ii. It is near the girl’s hostel. Bird Sanctuary.

iii. Spiritual people.


16. Girls in salwars

i. First years.

ii. Too fat to wear jeans.

iii. Traditional type.


17. Guys wearing dark glasses

i. Wannabe Abishek Bachchan.

ii. Prevents others from knowing where they are looking.

iii. Hostel water. Conjunctivitis.


18. Never seen in College

i. Masti fellows.

ii. ‘Preparing’ for IIT.

iii. MSME or Chemical Students.

19. Sitting idle in exams

i. I don’t know anything.

ii. I’ve finished the paper. Feeling odd to go out so soon.

iii. Oh God, when will my friend finish the exam so that he can help me.

iv. Paper out of bit!


20. Always studying or writing assignments

i. Girls.

ii. BI Students.

iii. Hyper sincere students.

iv. First years. (Of course not their assignments)

-----

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tagged

Atlast felt like blogging. :). Finally managed to settle in my new room as well. Room no.6158 it is. Happy with life as it is. CAT classes aren't that hectic for now. So life's going good. Just a minor problem with the light in my room and the absence of a fan as well, else it's quite good. :-P.

Moving on to the tag,

Q: When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I was running late, having got up only by 8 am after dad had called. So was just thinking about reaching class on time as the walk from hostel to college takes 20-25 minutes on an average.

Q: How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?
A: Rs. 3.25. Three one rupee coins and a 25 paise coin. Bankrupt as of now, although my two accounts have quite a bit of cash. :).

Q: What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
A: Floor. It's quite clean. Effect of not using footwear much inside the room during the rain and having two floor mats, one for the entrance and the other for the balcony door. I'm a stickler for cleanliness. Hate living in a dirty or a smelly room.

Q: What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
A: I have only a Nokia 6030 and a Nokia 1600. Not many ringtones I can have. And most of the time anyways, my mobile is on Silent mode. So I hardly find a use for them as well. The default Nokia tone is my favourite as I have that for all my best friends. :)

Q: Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
A: There's only one person on my missed call list. That's my mom. I have this habit of clearing my call list every now and then, along with the call timers. The message count is still on though and reads 34609 on my Chennai mobile. :).

Q: What are you wearing right now?
A: A PSBB T-Shirt which was given to my cousin brother, which was over-sized for him, for the 50th anniversary of the school. White coloured. And a black coloured cotton pant. Lying down on my cosy bed and typing this out on the glaring laptop screen, without a light in the room.

Q: Do you label yourself?
A: What does this mean ?! :-O

Q: Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently own?
A: Power Shoes. Bata slippers. Bata bathroom Slippers. Haven't used the shoes much even thought they cost me a princely Rs.1000 because they remind me of a time when I wore it to a hotel and slipped down the staircase to the basement, from the top to the bottom and hurt my back badly, last year. :(. The Bata slippers, I've had to change every six months because of the awesome roads in the college, filled with gravel. I buy the same model and design every time, cos that's the only one I like.

Q: Bright or Dark Room?
A: Dark Room. The CFL in the room aint working. For what joy, I dont know. :-(. My eyes are paining from this effort. I prefer a bright room any day.

Q: What do you think about the person who took this tag before you?
A: Gayathri. Came to know her through Ajit. Dont know much about her. :-(.

Q: What does your watch look like?
A: Gifted to me by Dad. Who got it from his bank for 25 years of distinguished service. :). Golden dial. Black straps. Titan.

Q: What were you doing at midnight last night?
A: Awake, messaging my friends and talking to one. I hardly sleep by midnight while in the hostel. No point sleeping so early considering there's no water in the morning before 7-30.

Q: What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
A: ':-) ha ha, as if tat'll happen.. Hmm therla, lets see..'

Q: What’s a word that you say a lot?
A: 'Apram' while talking on the phone. I dont talk much on the phone and keep asking the other person to say something. Ask the people who've undergone the torture of being on the phone with me for a long time. :P. 'Maaps', while calling my friends in hostel. 'Hmmm", while messaging. :)

Q: Who told you he/she loved you last?
A: No one so far. :-(.

Q: Last furry thing you touched?
A: My beard. :P. Need a shave but feeling too lazy for it.

Q: Favorite age you have been so far?
A: Tough question. Would be this year, it has been quite satisfying and memorable. :). Or my 11th and 12th, had loads of fun, at the wrong time though. :(.

Q: What was the last thing you said to someone?
A: I've been alone in my room for the last two hours. Guess, it was 'Bye' to my mom, while talking to her on the phone.

Q: The last song you listened to?
A: "Sangeetha Jadhi Mullai" from 'Kadhal Oviyam', music by Ilayaraja. Have been addicted to this song for quite sometime now. Awesome song.

Q: Where did you live in 1987?
A: I wasn't existing.

Q: Are you jealous of anyone?
A: I'm not really jealous of anyone, I guess.

Q: Is anyone jealous of you?
A: Quite a few. :P.

Q: Name three things that you have on you at all times?
A: Clothes :P. My mobile(s). People even go to the extent of calling it an extension of my hand ! And my room key bunch, and a handkerchief.

Q: What’s your favorite town/city?
A: Chennai ! I miss it big time ! :-(. Just booked a ticket to be home on Sept 26th morning, in time for my birthday. :).

Q: When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
A: Looooooooong time since I did that. Guess it must have been the one I wrote to my sister for Raksha Bandhan last year. :).

Q: Can you change the oil on a car?
A: I'm a Civil Engg. Not a mechanical Engg.

Q: Your first love/big crush: What is the last thing you heard about him/her?
A: Think it was Trisha. Last read something about her acting in a Bollywood movie.
.
Q: Does anything hurt on your body right now?
A: My legs, my knee. Have had this knee pain for more than an year now. :(

Q: What is your current desktop picture?
A: A picture of a flower, which I snapped, in a park in Ooty. :). Here it is.

Q: Have you been burnt by love?
A: No. Never.

I tag anyone who hasn't done this one. Had fun doing a tag after a long time. Thanks Gayathri. :).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seven Point Someone - 100* (780 days)


Well. My 100th post this. Started blogging on April 23th, 2007. Never did I think I'd blog so much. Or that so many people would read my blog. Nearly two years and 20000+ hits later, I've reached my 100th post. Quite a journey it has been. Writing about everything in this world. People commenting and following my blog.

Thanks to all the criticism, comments, praises. It's you people who've kept me going this long. Thanks everyone for your support.

As Robert Frost once said,

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

:-).

Pic Courtesy : Stevens Van Lines

What I have been doing this summer.

It's been quite a long holiday despite the fact that I came home a week after the exams got over. Did quite well in the exams. So there was no reason to be breaking my mind about the results either - which meant a peaceful holiday awaited. But then I never thought it would be so event less. :-(.

Time has been quite hard to kill. Came home on the 28th of May. Since then, the few things worth mentioning, that I've done ...

1) Watched 'Newtonin Moondram Vidhi', the SJ Suryah movie in Udhayam with a whole lot of friends. The movie was quite decent except for the crap songs which came out of nowhere every time the story was starting to move. And the stupid mannerisms of SJ Suryah. The heroine was crap (supposed to be ex-Miss India, but she is not even worth mentioning as a participant of Miss India. But then yeah, even Namitha was 4th at Miss India. No wonder !)

2) Went to inplant training at Ashok Leyland, Chennai. Was an awesome experience. Finally learnt something in Civil Engineering after all the wonderful knowledge that was dished out in college. It just took all of 5 mins for one of the engineers there to prove that I was nothing in Civil Engineering. :-). And most of them were mocking/regretting the fact that the syllabus and the subjects have hardly changed since they had passed out. One went to the extent of saying that 'You people have economics, we dint have that. That's the only change in the syllabus.' Learnt how things happen practically and about the modern stuff which is used on site. Of course, college still exists in the 1960s with Dumpy Levels and theodolites when technology has progressed to EDMs, Electronic Levels to Total Stations now. Training brought to light how inadequate my knowledge levels were when it came to design, estimation etc. (Forget the fact that I'm a 9 pointer in both subjects ! I didn't tell them that to avoid further embarrassment).

Roaming around in the training week around Chennai while going to the sites, observing buildings as a Civil Engineer were fun. On one site, the contractor asked us, 'Are you people the lift engineers who were supposed to come !' Went to Citi Centre one day.

3) Elections. Came and went. Voted for the 1st time. Learnt 49-0 is still only on paper in most places.

4) Football. Watched United lift the EPL for the 18th time. And saw the sad loss to Barca in the Champions league final as well.

5) Applied for my Passport. And what a process it is ! Phew. A separate post on that.

6) Got my results. 8.61 this semester. My best in college so far. I've been improving, but then this was supposed to be a real easy semester. Had to study real hard for just two papers out of 6. :). But I'd never have managed this, if not for the motivation and timely inspiration provided by my best friend. If you are reading this, my dear friend, here's a big thanks to you, for all the support and motivation you've given me. I'll never forget you in my life. :)

7) Off to Ooty. Yes. I'm off to Ooty this Saturday. Till next Thursday. Hoping to have a nice time.

8) Started blogging again after a long hiatus ! Which by itself is an achievement. I had to pull myself to write that post, literally ! And this one is no.99 on my blog. :). Quite an achievement for me I guess.

That's all I've done in this vacation, other than message message message. 6550 messages since I came home on May 28th April 28th. (Sorry about the typo which was there when I first posted. Guess the figure is more belivable now) ! Woah ! ( I don't send forwards. So guess this is quite a number. At least for me !).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Curry Bashing ...

reminds me of the 2003 Madhavan starrer, Nala Damayanthi which showcased a few such scenes. Had a chance to watch the movie this vacation. Awesome movie. No idea why it didn't do too well at the Box office.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

18 times and That's a FACHT !

At Anfield 1993-94

At Old Trafford, 2008-09.


May 16th 2009. Liverpool were finally knocked off their perch. A red letter day for every Red- Devil fan.

Pics Courtesy : MK, a friend of mine from Orkut.

Joke .. Sabh aa ..

The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, I thought was restricted to Star TV. But I was mistaken. This is the first time I'm following the Indian Elections seriously, and what a laughter riot I witnessed ! Promises galore. Accusations aplenty. And what not !

People were lamenting about the lack of Bollywood movies in the theatres due to the Multiplex saga and not any worthwhile Kollywood movies releasing due to the elections. But what else do you need when you have a masala movie of the best quality in your hands, right in your homes, replete with punch dialogues and what-not !

'Leaders' get ready with excuses even before the elections are done, lamenting the use of Money, not that money wasn't used, money flowed like water throughout the elections. The Black Money in the Indian market could be seen in full flow. Rs.56000 crore was spent totally for the elections according to few websites ! Woah ! Ask the parties to spend for the development programs, no one does. They come from door to door asking for votes with pages and pamphlets. But once the elections are over, the settle into their cosy air-conditioned homes while the people sweat it out in the sun, without any proper facilities.

The people taking money and voting for parties should think for a moment or two if they are doing the right thing. The 2k or 3k they get would do for a month or at the maximum, two months. But after that ? They'll have to suffer under the 'leader' they voted to the Joke Sabha ! He'll promise to be easily accessible but would become as accessible as the surface of the moon is to a common man or even worser.

Cant the election process be refined? So many of the recently elected MPs have criminal records. We have people who should be in jail, 'debating' the policies of our country. Ages back, people who've been to jail were allowed to contest an election because most of our freedom fighters had been jailed sometime in the course of the freedom struggle. But these corrupt oppurtunists of today aint freedom fighters, are they ? Why do we need such leaders ?

Most of the promises come with a * on the top, just like the ads in newspapers and TV. Rich become richer, poor become poorer is the norm of the country. The politicians with their ever bulging pockets, jump from one alliance to another without any bit of scruples. Last election, they'd have spoken against the same party. This time, they'll praise them to cloud nine and badmouth their previous ally ! Some parties exist just for the sake of power. Like the PMK, till now. They keep jumping to the side which seems like winning and exist in politics with the money bags that are passed beneath the table.

Every promise from one side is bettered by the opposite leader. TVs says one, Laptops says the other. Rice at Rs.2 says one, Rice at Rs. 1 says the other. All this at the cost of the common tax-payer who gets no benefit what-so-ever from this ! And even with all this, the ration shop guy sells half the stock to private shops at a price of his choice and makes some money for his own pockets as well. Half the time, the ration shop says there are no stocks. What happens to all the stock he's supposed to receive according to the need, only he knows.

Power holiday takes an off for the time being. Tamil Nadu suddenly is able to get it's requisite power. How ? Only one person can answer that question, but the whole state knows, he'll just skirt over it. Bus fares are reduced. And the government insists they've not reduced it, only brought it back to the same situation as it was in the ADMK government. I mean, WTF ! Atleast half the populace is educated and can see through this. EC is a blind ally to all this and just asks the government to call back the changes.

I know of people in Velachery who contacted Naresh Gupta and complained that money is being distributed. Apparently he is reported to have said "I cannot do anything" in Tamilnadu. Says Chinmayi in her blog. Woah. So much for ECI being a separate body, away from any political party and stuff. :-(. Sad scenario.

Voting, was a big fracas. The mock poll which is supposed to be conducted before 7 am, was conducted at 7-30 am in the booth where I voted, with a huge queue of people waiting to vote. Suddenly one of the machines in the booth stops working and there is huge chaos. One guy says 49-0 sir. The polling officer asks, What do you mean sir. Nothing like that is there in the voting machine. Instead of all this confusion, why cant they make things easier for them by having a 'None of the above' option in the EVM itself. It's not going to make things too diificult for them, is it? When they can have 43 options like it happened in South Chennai, one more option isn't going to cost them much ! The guy who is supposed to mark with the indelible ink himself doesn't know which finger he is supposed to mark it on. So much for all those photos staring out right in front of him, showing the finger on which it is supposed to be done. And beyond all this, the biggest comedy is that the polling officer is too lazy to search the name in the electoral rolls and wants the 'slip' given by the political parties with the name of the voter and address and stuff for easy reference. Cant they make the rolls a bit more search friendly, listing it address wise or something ? The biggest joke was when the polling officer said he was waiting for the agents of all the 43 candidates to turn up before polling started ! They have a joke of a room with 5 people related with the election process sitting on the tables. In the remaining small part of the room, the polling officer wants to accomodate 43 guys !

But then voting was a unique feeling, where you can determine your so called leader. Well, guess I was with the majority. First time lucky, the guy I voted for won. :-).

Evening of May 13th made it look like the TV channels were so desperate for publishing their Exit Poll results. So much that most of them started dot at the time when the ban was lifted by the EC. And the so called experts started spouting their wisdom all over the place. But in the end, hardly any one got it right. Why waste money on such stupid things when you'd know the actual results in a day or two at the max !

Counting day was as usual, fun, especially in TN. With each party having it's own TV channel, the people were left with a wide variety of election results to follow. With each channel insisting it's party was the one in the lead, the people dint know what to believe. The national channels were no better. NDTV and CNN-IBN's website showed different tallies. Even different leaders at times. It was laughable really. NDTV's website showed, at a point of time that Vijaykant's DMDK had won two seats (Tiruvallur and Salem) when it had won nothing ! And it showed the SP leading in Thiruvannamalai when it has no sort of presence even, in TN ! ADMK was said to have won Kanchipuram when the reverse happened.

Chidambaram was another issue totally. NDTV even showed on it's homepage that he'd lost and stuff. And suddenly there's a recount and the guy's 3000+ vote deficit becomes a 3000+ lead for him ! Wow ! I wonder what went on behind the scenes there. Some evening papers had even published that he'd been defeated and then this ! One first-time candidate gives an interview before the polls saying he'll win by such a margin. He finally managed a win by around half the margin. Probably, half his 'now-rich' supporters ditched him in the end.

Democracy went dead almost everywhere. Money was rampant, and in the end, money and muscle power prevailed, at least here in TN.

I hate the Local alliance of the Congress but prefer it at the centre than LKA and NM with their extremist policies. Who can imagine how the country would be with their Hindutva policies ! Somehow, Manmohan Singh, P.Chidambaram, Montek Singh Ahluwalia seem a much better proposition to me than NDA. Waiting for the day, Rahul Gandhi jumps into Prime-Minister candidate fray.

Till then, all I can do is to watch Laloo crack his one liner jokes while presenting the budget, boasting about having made Railways 'profitable', wholesale corruption and Tatkal coaches etc etc etc.

PS: As with the title, it was just a take on Lok Sabha. Joke Sabh aa .. Meaning Joke, everyone come. (For those who cant understand Hindi). Lok Sabha is more of a joke with highly intellectual discussions involving the policies of the country by people, some of whom haven't even completed schooling. Cant they have some sort of discipline code so that they can prevent chair lifting and hitting each other and stuff ! They are supposed to be our 'leaders' for heaven's sake.

And cant there be some 75% attendance compulsary or such stuff in the parliament too ? :-P. Was just reading an article about dismal attendance and participation rates of MPs.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The face of Corrupt India

Laloo Prasad promised that he'd be removing all the side middle berths on trains, well, quoting him, they'd be phased out, as a new year gift to the people. And this was more than a month back. But then, I discovered that the side middle berths have still not been removed on most trains.

While coming home from college on TN Sampark Kranti, I got into an argument with the TTE who says that they have not received any information on the removal of side middle berths. IRCTC doesn't allow booking of Side Middle Berth tickets. (Who would want to book one in the first place!). Not does the booking office allow because the chart on the train doesn't show any allocation for them. But for the TTE, extra berths mean extra money.

Each TTE is incharge for about 4-5 coaches at the least and for each he collects say close to Rs. 600/-, to get the ticket confirmed, all of which goes to his own pocket. It all works out to around Rs. 20000/- or more per train journey for the TTE. Whoa ! Talk about making quick bucks.

People are happy that they have a place to sleep and the TTE is happy that he has extra bucks in his pocket and no one complains except the passengers in the coach for whom it is a big inconvenience, both in terms of sitting space and luggage space. Previously atleast, the money went to the government, but now it all goes into the pockets of the many corrupt TTEs on the trains. They behave as if they know everything and as if passengers are fools. Poor people book their tickets a month or even more in advance to get a berth of their preference and then on the train, the TTE changes all the allocations according to his whims and fancies and passengers who booked tickets 3 months back get alloted a side middle berth and people who pay the money to the TTE on the coach get alloted a comfortable lower or upper berth. So much for RTI and anti-corruption!

PS: Long time since I ranted about something and felt like ranting. So this post.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

From Indoor to Indore

Well. I just saw that my last post was on Jan 1st. And today is May 3rd which makes it 4 months without blogging. My longest hiatus without blogging since I started off.

4th semester in college passed on well. Not without it's share of fun and tears though. I visited Indore and Pune during the semester. Both very memorable trips, just for the fact that we'd not planned anything at all. Dont know what to blog about. So this post will just be a small synopsis of what all I did during my 4 months of hibernation. :-).

Left to college after Pongal, after bunking the first week of college and the very 'strict' college regulations on attendance meant I couldn't bunk too many classes after that. Not that we had too many classes to attend. Economics was a permanent holiday. And no comments about the other subjects. :-p. And the tremendous workload we have in college meant I hardly had any breathing space to blog at all. :-p. And we were so worked up with college that after two weeks of existance in Bhopal, we ran off at the first oppurtunity we had, Jan 26th. The first 'Official Holiday' of the year. ( Unofficial Holidays = 365 - No. of official Holidays).

Too pissed of with Hostel food, we all wanted a change. One day holiday meant we couldn't go too far. Sanchi, Indore, Bhimbetka, Bhojpur remained our meaningful options. Sanchi with it's awesome restaurant options and transport facilities (In MP, the passengers dont wait for the buses. The buses wait for you at the bus stops, resulting in a delay of a couple of hours for a 45 minute journey.) was not a viable option. And after ruling out the others cos we'd set our sights on Indore, and needed to eliminate other options, we set off. The train was at 10 pm according to IRCTC and by 8-45 pm, all of us had got into the bathrooms to take out baths. then followed a period of madness after which we reached Bhopal Jn finally, to find out that the train would be late by an hour. (Bhopal Jn was the starting point for the train actually and it started an hour and a half late, from there only. Indian Stretchable Time as they say is what Railways run according to)

Getting seats in the train wasn't all that tough. Just that a cellphone was lost in the melee. The train journey was fun. When you are the only people who know the language in the surrounding, it's real fun commenting about every one around and laughing at the fullest volume which decency permits. Incident to remember on the train : A baby peeing into one of the guy's heads. We were all rolling around laughing seriously. One of the guys who was travelling with us started 'enquiring' about Rajinikanth.

Travelling in General was a new experience. General travel in TN isn't the same as general travel in MP. The levels of decency maintained here are so so much higher. There, sitting in the compartment, we were scared that a huge fight would break out when the guys inside locked up the coach from inside when the train reached any station, thus not allowing anyone from outside to enter the coach from outside. The outsiders, not to be dettered, kept banging the door so much and shouted expletives of all kinds. And for the first time I saw footboard travel on a train. The men and women (believe it or not, even women), kept hanging from the door from outside on the train. Beyond a point, the people inside, opened the door in pity.



We did manage to get a snap as well. And at times, in the freezing cold, they hung around for real long distances even. And of course, the usual experience of sharing your seat with another three people. Against the usual capacity of 10, 25 people or more occupy each row of the compartment. And most of them without tickets. If only Laloo manages to convince a ticket collector to get into unreserved coaches, it'd be a Gold mine for the Railways. ( For exceeding the platform ticket duration by half an hour, I was asked to pay a fine of Rs.300. Imagine the amount of fines for ticket less travel.). But just the minor problem of the Ticket Collector not having any space in the compartment. During the journey, I was reminded of this dialogue by Manobala in ATM .. 100 peru travel panna vendiya compartment la 100000 peru travel pannuvaanga. Neengalum poy ukkandhukonga. How apt it was.

Finally we managed to reach Indore alive at 4 in the morning and were fleeced by two auto-drivers who said they'd take us to a hotel and instead gave us a mini tour of the city before we finally managed to understand their intentions and brought an end to it. They took us to all the occupied hotels in the city and finally, we ourselves used our brains and managed to find a cheap and decent looking hotel, where the owner let us in with suspicious looks. ;-).

A half sleep and a bath later, we were off to this hotel called Guru Kripa. My Indori friends said it was a very good hotel but there was nothing impressive about it except the ambience, and the handwash.


The pic is the 'handwash' in question. The hotel didn't have even mineral water or Cold Drinks. Tissue paper had to bought from outside after we asked for it. The food wasn't too good either. Probably the hotel woke up only after we entered it.


We then took this taxi to show us around the City. Not much was there to be seen. We went to this Ganesh Mandir, which was really serene. And Kaanch Mandir, which was totally made of glass, right from the steps to the ceiling.


Lunch was at McD in Treasure Island which is as good as some of our Chennai Malls if not better. It was an awesome experience window shopping there (due to budget constraints). The Scary House at the top, though not very scary.


It was just very dark and once your eyes got used to the darkness, you could actually have a lot of fun scaring the others and shouting around for fun. :-). We had loads of fun mocking at the kinds of dresses on show and the astronomical rates for everything. A simple hair band cost 75 Rs in Pantaloons. And a baby's slipper, Rs. 750. We had this crazy idea of taking a dress to the trial room, all of us wearing it, getting a photograph with us wearing it and then leaving the place. :-p.


We dint have much time left after the long ordeal at Treasure Island. We had only enough time to have dinner and then go to the station to catch the train. Sarafa, it was for dinner. The whole area was full of chat shops. Was a nice experience eating there. :-).

Back to the station we came, and the train rolled in late and by the time we managed to trundle into the coach, every inch of space that could possibly be occupied by humans was already occupied. And we'd to fight to get a couple of inches space on the upper berth where we managed to position ourselves precariously. By the time a couple of hours passed, my back was dead, seriously dead. It was the most wonderful feeling in the world when we finally got off the train early on 27th morning at Bhopal Jn. I could finally bend my back a bit.

Back we came to the hostel and my usually uninviting bed was so so inviting and off I went to sleep, and I'm going to do the same now too. :-).

PS: I'm looking for a new name for my blog. Suggestions are welcome. More posts coming soon. :)

I'm Back

Well. Long time since I logged on to Blogger even. Too many problems came at the same time. First a writers block. Then exams. Then trips here and there. Then a hard-disk crash on my laptop. Then exams again. And now finally, I'm back to Chennai and back to blogging under the comfort of home. :-). Hoping to be regular from now on.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Tamil Music of 2008 :- Top 20 Songs

Long time since I made a post, almost a month I guess. Wanted to do this post for a long time but never felt like typing something this long. :-(. But last day of the year, I forced myself to complete this ! 

Well, Tamil Music of 2008 has been a mixed bag, a step down considering the standards of 2007. Most good films didn't have good music and and films with good music in some cases didn't do too well in the Box-office. Here's my list of 20 favourite songs through the year.


20) Pallanadhu
Album : Kuruvi
Music : Vidyasagar
Singers : Vidyasagar, Rajalakshmi

My personal favourite song of the album. A good Punjabi styled start which keeps going through out the song. Good vocals from Vidyasagar himself add to the song's impact. Rajalakshmi's voice is quite attractive and powerful. Okayish lyrics let down the song at places but it just manages to scrape into the 20 because I didn't want too many songs from the same albums in the list. 

Read my Kuruvi Music Review here

19) En Anbea Naanum 
Album : Sathyam
Music : Harris Jeyaraj
Singers : Sadhana Sargam

Another song that makes its way into the list from the fringes just cause I wanted some variety. Good melodious composition from Harris Jeyaraj, one of the better songs in Sathyam. The crappy movie meant the song hardly got any air-time and ended up being ignored a lot. But among the nonsense that has been dished out in the name of music in the movie, this one does stand out with it's simple tone and attractive chorus. Sadhana's voice is litling and melodious.

18) Cheeky Cheeky
Album : Saroja
Music : Yuvan Shankar Raja
Singers :Matilda, Nirdhiya, Yuvan Shankar Raja

Out and Out Western song from Yuvan Shankar Raja with mainly English Lyrics, targetted at the youth. One of my most played and most favourite songs of the year. Esp the female voice although the picturisation was a bit spoiled by Yuvan showing up here and there. :-p. 

17) Venmegham
Album : Yaaradi Nee Mohini
Music : Yuvan Shankar Raja
Singers : Hariharan

Another Yuvan song from Yaaradi Nee Mohini. The melodious voice of Hariharan, good lyrics made it one of my favourite songs. With a slow pace, and a nice beat, the song was the best of the album. (considering Udit Narayan most of sung the rest, that too slow songs which made his diction very obviously visible)

16) Kathazha Kannaala
Album : Anjathey
Music : Sundar C Babu
Singers : Naveen Madhav

Mysskin has repeated the magic of Vaala meenukkum once again, with Kathazha Kannala, with Sundar C Babu and Naveen Madhav in tow. Tamil folk at it's best. The Vaala Meenukkum feel remains with the picturisation though ( the chrome tinge especially, made me hate the picturisation). For a gaana song, you cant expect lyrics to get better than this as well. Naveen has done himself well with the rendition. One of the most popular songs at the beginning of the year.

15) Nimirndhu Nil
Album : Saroja
Music : Yuvan Shankar Raja
Singers : Shankar Mahadevan

A song full of energy as always with any Shankar Mahadevan song. He simply lives the song. Another song that was a constant in my playlist once I watched the movie. Fast paced, good lyrics, what more do you actually want from a song of this genre when you didn't get many of this kind in the year that were actually listenable. Yuvan acquitted himself well in Saroja with a dash of everything !

14) Kallai Mattum
Album : Dasavatharam
Music : Himmesh Reshammiya
Singers : Hariharan

In an otherwise crappy album, this song is the saving grace mainly because of Hariharan's awesome vocals. With a lifted tune (from Malayalam) which was reworked by Himmesh, to good effect though and powerful lyrics by Vaali, all that was needed was a good voice and Hariharan was just the right choice for the song. 

13) Thozhiya En Kaathaliya
Album : Kathalil Vizhunthen
Music : Vijay Antony
Singers : Harish Raghavendra, Sri

When the music of this movie released about an year back , it was too obscure to be noticed. But the 'Naaka Mukka' craze meant that the other songs also got noticed and this one is a good composition with good lyrics. Harish Raghavendra, after a long hiatus, is back once again and in good fashion. 

12) Anbea En Anbea
Album : Dhaam Dhoom
Music : Harris Jeyaraj
Singers : Harish Raghavendra, V.Prasanna

Harish Raghavendra, after long time, was back to Tamil Music and how ! A typical Harris Jeyaraj melody with good lyrics as mostly in any of his compositons. Harish Raghavendra was rocking with his voice in the song. My favourite song in the album along with Hariharan's Aazhiyile.

11) Siru Paarvaiyale
Album : Bheema
Music : Harris Jeyaraj
Singers : Karthik, Harini

Karthik is once again as good as ever and sounds so effortless. Harini is adequate and gives good company to Karthik. A melodious fast paced number. The attractive Arabic humming is typical Harris Jeyaraj stuff. Harris yet again delivers as he has done through out the year. 

10) Where is the party
Album : Silambattam
Music : Yuvan Shankar Raja
Singers :Mukesh, Priyadarshini

Yuvan Shankar Raja with Simbu is a hot combination after the musical hits of Manmathan and Vallavan. And they are back again with Where is the Party. Mukesh is stupenduous with his drunk but elegant voice which is quite likeable. Priyadarshini is adequate. Lyrics are okayish and targetted mainly at the pub visiting youth audience.

9) Taxi Taxi
Album : Sakkarakatti
Music : A.R.Rahman
Singers : Benny Dayal, Blaaze, Viviane, Javed

When you look at the artists who have sung the song, it's quite obvious that it's going to be westernish. But even though this is from  ARR, this is awesome stuff. The electric start, the start of the Taxi sound, Shaava Shaava stuff is all typical ARRish. Blaaze goes all-out along with Benny Dayal in this song targetted at the youth audience. Man, within an year, Benny Dayal has sure gone places !

8) Mudhal Mazhai
Album : Bheema
Music : Harris Jeyaraj
Singers :Hariharan, Mahathi, Prasanna.V

An awesome melody that is my personal favorite in the album. The humming in the song especially ! Truly amazing work from Harris Jeyaraj who chooses his movies really well unlike AR Rahman and gives his best for them. The huge gap between the audio release and the movie meant the songs got lots of time to grow on the people. The song is fabulous with both singers suiting the song to the T. Especially Mahathi who seems to be getting better and better with each song of hers.

7) Kanden Kanden
Album : Pirivom Santhippom
Music : Vidyasagar
Singers : Karthik, Swetha

The hopeless movie meant the beautiful song went unnoticed, sadly. Vidyasagar wasn't at his best in the year but this was one awesome song to come out from him. If only the movie was half as good. Karthik is at his best along with Swetha (Sujatha's daughter I guess). Wonderful melody from Vidyasagar, a nice turn from the crass Kuthu songs he doled out in plenty throughout the year. 

6) Adada Adada
Album : Santosh Subramaniam
Music : Devi Sri Prasad
Singers : Siddarth

The Tamil version of the super hit Appudo Ippudo from Bommarillu. With a super hit tune in hand, you needn't do much except to get yourself fitting lyrics and the makers got the requisite lyrics. Siddarth's voice is different and sounds good with the tune. Devi Sri Prasad has once again succeeded with his re-used tunes. 

5) Nenjukkul Peidhidum
Album : Vaaranam Aayiram
Music : Harris Jeyaraj
Singers : Hariharan, Devan, V.Prasanna

When the music released, this song wasn't one of my favourites. But after watching the picturisation, this song rose up on my playlist. Highly melodious song with Hariharan at his pleasant best. Beautiful lyrics by Thamarai add gloss to the song. And I can add, no one but Hariharan could have done justice to this song !


4) Kangal Irandal
Album : Subramaniapuram
Music : James Vasanthan
Singers : Belly Raj, Deepa Mariam

From TV presenter to Music Director, James Vasanthan has gone places in no time and this was the song which helped his way. The song caught the eye of the public once the movie got released with the picturisation. With two new voices and a nice tune, this song was soon rocking the air-waves. Belly Raj and Deepa Mariam, with their restrained performances, were awesome !

3) Ava Enna (Anjalai)
Album : Vaaranam Aayiram
Music : Harris Jeyaraj
Singers : Karthik, V.Prasanna
 
Unique choice of voice for a gaana-ish song - Karthik. The lyrics sound very much pathos like. Karthik's soft vocals add a lot of pleasantness to the song. With a very catchy tune, this song is sure to be on the favourites list of many people.The first folkish number in his movies as GM pointed out in one of his interviews. Again a constant on my playlist since the music released. 


2) Naaka Mukka
Album : Kathalil Vizhunthen
Music : Vijay Antony
Singers : Vijay Antony

Well, as the song begins, Vijay Antony says something which vaguely sounds like 'Song of the year'. And it was almost. Every FM station and TV channel was blaring out this typical Tamil Kuthu number. Awesome amount of energy with crass lyrics meant this was the song of the soil and for the front benchers even when it released. But it also managed to capture the attention of the 'so called class audiences' in a way like never before since 'Appadi Podu'. Vijay Antony since then has become the 'Naaka Mukka' man in all his movie promos!


1) Mundhinam Parthene
Album : Vaaranam Aayiram
Music : Harris Jeyaraj
Singers: Naresh Iyer, Prashanthini

The song starts of with Surya proposing to Malini (one of the three love interests in the movie) after which Naresh Iyer's soothing vocals take over. Thamarai's wonderful lyrics add more spice to the song. This song is tailor made for Naresh Iyer. No one else but him could have pulled this off so well. Prashanthini's high pitched voice sounds different. Probably some one else could have done a better job. My personal favourite in the album. The song of the year easily ! I've been hearing this atleast a dozen times since the album released !

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Best Male voice : Karthik, Hariharan

Best Female Voice : Cant think of any one !

Album of the Year : Vaaranam Aayiram

Music Director of the Year : Harris Jeyaraj

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Phew ! Finally managed to complete this !

Happy New Year !

New Year is the time to unfold new horizons, and realise new dreams, to re-discover the strength and the faith within you, to rejoice in the simple pleasures and gear up for new challenges. Here's wishing all the readers of my blog a truly fulfilling 2009. :-)

Happy New Year !
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