That’s impossible!

‘That’s impossible! No way that can happen!’ These are the thoughts that run through my head while watching many a movie. One of the windfalls of being an engineer, or even a science student for that matter, is that one begins to observe and analyze things objectively, more often than others. This is especially true during a movie when the brain begins to do parallel processing with the info that the eyes are taking in.

Take for instance the movie Superman. There is this one scene where superman stops a plane full of passengers hurtling towards the earth at an insane velocity with his hand – and the nose of the plane has just a small dent! A half decent engineer would immediately marvel at such an awesome material! True, such movies are made to awaken the child in everyone, it is all to do with fantasy; but then…

And then there is the other type – where the movie is not intended to be a fantasy but looks silly due to the callousness of the director. I had the misfortune of having to watch one such movie recently. The latest offering from that nonsense, empty, hollow director RGV. After having watched the deplorable Gayab some years back, I had promised myself that I wouldn’t watch another RGV flick. (One memorable silly scene in that movie being the one where the hero threatens to do “great harm” to the city if he doesn’t get his girl. The “great harm” turns out to be a series of public exposures of people’s privates…)

Anyway, peer pressure got the better of me and I sat down to watch this one. Some really novel concepts are introduced here – things like souls of people having the ability to lift and touch materialistic things while themselves being able to move through walls. One particular scene where both the wife and the Bhooth mistress fondle the hero is especially crazy. I kept thinking that no director can write such a hollow script and anticipated an ending where things would get tied up partly atleast.

Au contraire, the ending plunged the depths and touched the Nadir. It struck me about 3 minutes before the actual ending and I thought “NO WAY!!!”

I ended up screaming “That’s impossible!” at the end… RGV, hats off to you.

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Bad start

‘Oh why does the phone have to be so loud?’ I thought to myself as I stretched out, grabbed the phone and shut off the alarm. I didn’t realize why I had set the alarm so early (which was 7 AM btw… 😛 ). Some time later, a phone call. It was my mom trying to wake me up for the one class of the day. (OK, laugh at me). Oh why do they have to schedule the one and only class at 7:55 in the morning???

This time, I glanced at the clock which read 7:48. Very difficult making it now – it would require me to get ready at an insane speed and run all the way to class. Not worth it. I crashed right back.

20 minutes later, another phone call. ‘Hey Aneesh, why the hell did you bunk? Surprise test!’ That really got me awake now. For the hundredth time I scolded myself – never keep the alarm within hand’s reach Aneesh, you are bound to do this! It was a difficult course and hence only the “heavyweights” had chosen to take it; and I miss a test… I am done for, I thought.

Desperately trying to salvage something, my brain started doing the math. I figured it out – I would lose 1.25 marks for having missed this one… 1.25!!! Ah! That’s ok! 😛

I shrugged – 1

A chance grouping of people once upon a time in class. A management assignment. A person that I held in good respect was in my group. I thought that it was all serendipitous.

The assignment was to be submitted the next day, and there were just two days to go for the end semester exams. Rebellious thoughts ran through the minds of all the groups – boycott was the only option.

Now I am well versed with the perils of disobeying the group philosophy. But this person was a glib talker. I too had the inclination towards doing the “right” thing. It was decided then – we wouldn’t boycott. There was one thing though. Only one afternoon was left and it was an assignment which required brain storming.

I’ll digress here. It is well known that xy is strictly not allowed into the abode of xx. It is considered taboo and something that is well guarded against. It is tacitly understood that the opposite will not happen and hence there is no rule prohibiting it.

Bearing this in mind, it was surprising when xx suggested the exact same thing in order to meet and finish the assignment. A cavalcade of thoughts ran through my head. Is this right? What is wrong after all? I just need to finish the assignment. Am I doing this for the vicarious thrill of being the cool guy? Let me suggest other alternatives… When it came down to the question of a yes or a no, I couldn’t say anything.

I shrugged.

It was my room. The time was decided. I decided to not take my roomie into confidence (I know, I was daft, Nair). A lame excuse instead. But the purpose was served though. It was a wonderful assignment. It was a very good group activity experience. The person had a lot of ideas. But here I’d like to repeat that it was a management assignment.

Let me cut to the chase. The windfall. News was out soon – our group had decided to do the assignment and the place that we had chosen to do it. I had antagonized a majority of the class. They were seething with rage. All were out to give me a grand GPL. I actually hid in a good Samaritan’s room!

It took some time for the “stabber” title to go. I was also linked (quite obviously!). Looking back, I feel that I didn’t think ahead. I didn’t do anything wrong, but it is better to do wrong and be accepted than to do right and be in soup.

The perils of a shrug…

Klutz

I have always been a klutz. I have always been absent minded.

Right from the early days when I have spilled innumerable glasses of milk and broken innumerable bulbs to the later days when I “graduated” to doing grander stuff.

The time when I brought down a christmas tree when my sleeve got caught in one of its branches…

The time when I unwittingly ordered a cold milkshake and a hot cup of tea at a restaurant within 5 minutes of each other – it didn’t help that both arrived at the same time…

The time when I brought down the projector beaming images of an event live at my techfest by tripping on the wire – not once, but twice…

And the time when I turned off the computer with my subconsciously swinging legs right in the middle of my GRE exam…

I always end up thinking ‘how the hell did I do that?!’

Any other incidents that you remember people?

I have always been a klutz. I have always been absent minded.

Night in the loft

An influx of guests to my house meant that there was a shortage of rooms in which to sleep in.  I had an idea.  Why don’t I sleep in the loft?  I would have the room to myself (which I like…)  and it could be fun!  Ignoring my mother’s disapproving face, I ran upstairs to get it cleaned for the night.

A barrage of memories came flooding back when I entered the room, after many years.  This was the place where I had spent many hours, no, days in my childhood.  The plethora of things that were dumped there was something of a fantasy to me – it quenched my boyish adventurous spirit.  I could do what I wanted there, dirty it as much as I wanted to.  Noone bothered about a room under the roof – it was just a store room to the elders.  I remembered the day when I and my cousins had built our own little “house” out of cardboard boxes, the day when I had made my own little pulley to transport small things from the attic to the floor and the day when I had brought many wooden planks crashing down…  Those were the days!

Anyway, for the present, I started by sweeping the years of dust away.  I was chased upstairs at an early time, not being able to watch TV or use my comp.  Nick Hornby and 11 radio stations gave me company for a couple of hours.  There was a phone call as well – my mom from downstairs asking if everything was fine! 😀

The whole thing was an interesting experience, except for one thing though – lofts can get bloody cold at night!

Hmm…

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Saw this at IISc. today… Life truly is full of ironies…

Wannabe Lincoln

I was woken up at a most unearthly time.  It was 4:39 AM when a tone from my cell phone woke me up with a start and made me aware of the new message.

It was from this nut friend of mine.  The message just said ‘I have decided to grow a beard.’   I had to read it again in the morning to confirm that I was not dreaming.  I asked him about it in the evening and all he said in explanation was – ‘a little girl told me…’

I have no words! None at all!

I “pass”ed the “port” city…

I double checked. The ID card was in my pocket. The documents (which apparently prove my existence…) were in my bag. The ticket was in my wallet. Importantly, a big sturdy umbrella was in the bag. I was ready to go.

I was forced into making an insane journey back to college right in the middle of my hols thanks to my passport – it had finally, finally arrived. I had applied for it 8 months back! The only thing that I was looking forward to in this visit was a chance to get drenched in the torrential downpours that are synonymous with that place at this time of the year.

I settled down for an uncomfortable night in the bus. Sylvan surroundings met my eyes when I opened them in the morning. But this was not the time to admire nature – cos immediately I realized that I was still stuck in the ghats, my bus motionless due to a huge road block. We inched ahead at snail pace. The day started getting hot. Why isn’t it raining?

The culprit was a timber lorry as usual – it had had a breakdown and had strewn the logs all over the road causing the block. I cursed and swore under my breath. Finally we hit the coast. 80 kilometres more. Suddenly, I had a horrible thought – it was a Saturday and also the second Saturday of the month, the day government institutions are closed. I made a frantic call to the post office at S’kal and luckily they reassured me that they were working. I reached S’kal at 1 in the afternoon. A very hot day. I was already zapped of energy. Why isn’t it raining?

I ran to the post office and collected my passport. The purpose of my arduous journey was fulfilled. I had to find some way to kill the next 6 hours when I would catch my bus home. I made my way to the hostels. Ah! there was some music playing, people were here… Nerds I say! I made my way to a friend’s room and just as I was about to collapse beneath the fan, the power went off. Why isn’t it raining?

Jeeves and Psmith gave me company over the next couple of hours, before I decided to head to Mangalore. I needed to buy some stuff, visit the police station (to help my friend get his passport) and eat Ideal ice cream – a nice way to beat the heat… I’ll say it again – Why isn’t it raining?

Mess food in the night brought back unpleasant memories. It was time to catch the bus. I had hardly sat in the bus for 10 minutes when the skies opened up…

XXI

The day had more than its fair share of surprises. The day was one of the few which was all highs and no lows. The day was one where I truly realized the number of people who constantly hold me up, help me and wish me well.

It was the day I turned 21.

The messages started coming from the zeroth hour – my dear cousin being the first. My close friends and fellow birthday-mates came next (I know 3 others…). I was touched when someone promised to be the first one to wish me the next year. It was 2 AM when I slept, not at all having a hint of what was coming up through the day.

A phone call from my parents at 6AM woke me up. And then the surprises began.

My grandpa brought a big parcel and put it before me when I was having breakfast. It was from my parents – lovely gifts. Still it did not make up for them not being there. 😦

Phone calls from relatives and friends followed. By lunch time I was wondering why the 21st was considered so big – it was like any other birthday. Out of nowhere, my uncle, aunt and cousins brought a cake with other presents. The cameras were out – before I knew it, the candles had been lit. Hell! I was still in my casuals. The usual singing, cutting and feeding followed. They were lining me up. The prey was being sized up.

Four hands laden with cake come straight at my face. Before I knew it, I had a most exotic face pack, as my cousin put it. 🙂 It took a lot of soap…

We played an intense game of Risk for the rest of the afternoon. At around 7, my cousin asked me to get ready – we were going out for a light meal. Perhaps my thinking was overshadowed by the general “feel good” factor of the day; I failed to see through this one as well.

I was taken to a wonderful roof-top place which served Mangalorean. My other uncles and aunts joined me there. One of my uncles threw a hint by saying “Aneesh, you are going to be introduced…”

After sometime was spent over the starters, another cake appeared before me! This time I was sharp enough to ensure that it went into the mouth only. 🙂 After the same procedure of blow-sing-cut-feed, a champagne bottle was thrust into my hands… I was quite speechless.

People asked me to go right ahead and open it in style. I made a boo-boo at this point. I fumbled with the cork and dint seem to get it open for a long time, even as the cameras were waiting to capture images to be sent to my parents and to be cherished for years to come.

(My hands fail to cover the embarassment on my face…). Finally, a loud pop shot through the air.

Words cannot describe how I felt when a toast was made to me. It truly, was the champagne moment. More gifts followed – luuuve all of them.

The day came to an end after I had gone through the plethora of orkut scraps. Thank you all – it means a lot.

My uncle, during the toast had said that I was the first one from among all my cousins to turn 21. It made me aware of the future. The baton has been passed. The celebration through the day signified all the support and love that has gone into developing the wings – those that will take me to success.  It is my duty to soar high now…

Patting my back…

An email from the KQA – ‘Open quiz on Sunday, the 20th of May at Daly Memorial Hall, teams of 2.’

Now, an OQ by KQA is one that is generally not missed by anyone who is half serious about quizzing. With me fitting into that category, all that I needed was a teammate. My regular one was busy, so I called up my old one – the one from my PU college days. He dithered about a bit and finally agreed “for old times sake”.

“For old times sake”… Now that got me thinking and delving into my memory.

Both of us had just joined PU college, and the regular quizzer that he was at school, was looking for a good teammate. I wasn’t too much into quizzing at school – just used to commit to memory some mundane trivia. But since there was noone else, I became his teammate.

Being brutally honest, he carried me through the first few quizzes until I developed to some acceptable level. But somehow, we clicked. We started off by winning the quiz conducted by the commerce department, then came the inter college quiz competition victories at our college science fest. There was also the physics quiz and the chemistry quiz in which we did well. The biggest one was when we were placed 4th among 800+ teams in the Hindu Young World Quiz. (One of the prizes for which, amongst a host of other things, was a year’s supply of Maggi noodles! 😉 )

We came off the pace a lot in II PU partly because of bad luck and partly because quizzing itself was put on the back burner and studies took centerstage. We parted ways at the end of the year, with both of us going to different professional colleges. Both of us have evolved a hell lot after that and it was great teaming up again today.

The actual quizzes that we went for today didn’t yield glorious victories, but then again, it was a KQA quiz attended by the best in Bangalore. We did manage to qualify for the final in one of the quizzes, but that was all…

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