Monday, August 29, 2005

The Baap ka paisa gone further


Much to my suprise.. the response to that attempt at deducting 25 bucks from ppl's mess accounts created more furor than just an aspersion on the notice board!

There was vehement opposition from several section on the process resorted to! Donation is a voluntary process and this is like an imposition!!

Ppl relented.. and now they've put a guy at the mess door, asking everyone to sign their names against the list.. putting down the amount they would like to donate!

I did debate from the side of the collectors saying that the default 25 bucks counted in the complacent don't cares who wouldn't mind giving 25 bucks... but probably won't take hte pain of coming forth and giving it!

anyway.. hopefully they would be able to collect as much!

I signed for 50 bucks!


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Apne ko Cricket khelne ka hai!

I finally made my debut at the 'Teach-Me' programme held by the guys at RSS at IITB.

I could possibly never imagine how difficult it might be to try teaching 'hindi' to a a 12 year old student of 8th class!
As a consolation, I was supposed to go by the text book. What do you teach in language anyway? The questions are more of fact based.. a rather simpler form of our Reading comprehension lessons at CAT classes. I actually laughed at myself.. when I made 'Amit' read the first para, and then turned a few pages to look at the questions. I told him he could answer the first question on the basis of the first para itself!

Then I reminded myself.. the purpose is not just to answer the questions.. but also get the lesson.. and know the personality that 'Maharishi Shahu Maharaj' was. So somehow tried to explain to him the things mentioned in the chapter.. which included the origins of casteism.... the transition from work oriented to birth oriented caste, the sacrosanct distinction etc!

Mind this, all of this in regular day to day hindi!

I knew myself well enough to guess that I won't stick to hindi lessons for too long. I checked his reading skills and pronunciations and tried to chamkaofy that he needs to work on that a lot. Then I got into how he'd introduce himself when he can't even speak four lines clearly.. (Basics of communication skills ) and eventually.. my talk (as i expected it ) drifted to asking him what he wanted do in life! did he feel like studying or he absolutely hated it. Did he think all the elders were nuts to force him to study even when he didn't like it?

An initial shock for me, but in retrospect (after I read -The Week finds Sachin to be the most popular youth icon) it was kinda normal that he wanted to play cricket!

12 years old, 8th class, lives in Phulenagar, has to go everyday to fetch water from Hanuman nagar. And he wants to be a CRICKETER!

I made several attempts at chamkaofying him the importance of securing a source of income first and then thinking about other things.. but i doubt that i made any sense to him.. it was probably a great challenge to get to his level ! I felt stupid at talking about the thousands of aspirants for cricket.. and how only a handful could make it.. how jack and check played a role ( I was honestly feeling guilty while telling this kid.. that industry too in order to be rewarded has to be 'recommended'. ) Where did he expect to get his 'roti' till he made it to the team? Did he know how much the bats and other paraphernalia cost...........................

(Another pang of guilt.. trying to talk a kid out of his dreams)

I failed completely at my self proclaimed capability of putting myself in the other person's shoes and give him the right advice! What can you tell this kid when he says, ' Aaj kal saare cricketer paise ke liye khelte hain, desh ke liye koi nahin khelta.. main desh ke liye khelunga'

Time was probably not enough, and neither was my preparation to handle him.

Lessons time over, play time!

And there I was, dressed in my Provogue cotra trousers and a formal shirt.. jogging in a train with a dozen odd kids and the other RSS guys. One game had me jumping like crazy from one foot to another.. another one made me play a horse!

Picture this!
I have a 10-11 year old.. (at least 40 kgs!) clinging on to my neck.. and with his legs around my waist.. and I'm supposed to run around! I'm the horse amidst a lot of other horses.. and my rider... the Knight is supposed to unmount his counterparts (other kids riding their own 'horses')
The horses and knights that survive till the end win! In other cases... it was the tiny knights that got tired.. but in my case, the horse was close to falling dead! Much to save the honor of my horsey lineage, I stayed on till they called the game off.

After this one, and a few games later.. I was more exhausted physically than I would've been in the whole of past one year!

The watch said I should move! And so said a few bbies and left!

The panting stopped gradually, the heat beat normalized too.. but the mind hadn't stopped wondering yet!

Would I have any new ways to counsel Amit, when I meet him the next time?

What do you tell a twelve year old who wants to be a cricketer?


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Wanna be APJ?? Nah.. he doesn't have a life yaar!

One of my CAT classes.. some lessons in English!

Some fundaes from this teacher of ours..a 30 or so guy.. who seems to be a rather regular smoker and was visibly (intentionally at times ) naughty.. (or i should say kinky)

NO! I wouldn't want to judge him.. as I might be accused of having a prejudice.

One of his friends was a part of the DRDO.. and he started off with telling us about the guys at DRDO! (who incidentally are the leading defence scientists of the country)

APJ... This guy didn't marry.. he doesn't drink.. he doesn't watch movies... all the dinners and parties he went to were full of ppl only like him! No fun!

These people dont' have a life yaar! (This was almost with a gleam in his eyes)

Then he was back to the present, 'So guys, I'm warning you! Write your CAT well.. or you shall have to go to DRDO'

(making it almost seem like it's the cellular jail in the Andamans)

That's a nightmare yaar.. DRDO's way too scary.

I'd rather write the CAT well!


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tere Baap ka Paisa hai kya!

One of these days, after consulting the warden, our endeavoring GSec put up a notice which read something like:

.....A lot of doctors are willing to distribute free medicines in several flood affected regions to prevent the spread of epidemics in these regions........ To make our contribution, we have decided to deduct 25 rupees from the mess bill of each student. If anyone has any objection, he can have his name removed from the list with the Mess manager.


On the same notice, there was a hand written remark.. probably the product of the creativity of our hostel's several masterminds:

'Tere baap ka paisa hai kya'

I questioned myself if I should be amused or feel bad!

Nah.. feeling bad is not appropriate.. I should just laugh it off!


Monday, August 22, 2005

Conservationism? TABOOOO!!

Some ppl around me by now have gotten tired of my persistent attempts at teaching them conservationism!

Another fine morning, in the bathroom.. i was brushing my teeth! right next to me was this great friend of mine.. He was attempting to clean his eyes... in a way which required him to touch the running water one every ten seconds and wipe his eye with the wet finger!

I somehow can't resist the temptation of turning off running taps.. as seeing water being wasted creates unrest in my mind!!

So instinctively, I turned his tap off too!
Almost before i'd give him any conservation fundaes! He almost mockingly shouted : 'Aye, ab tu fatte mat maar'

Somewhat angered, I shouted back, 'Isiliye, tumhaare jaise kutte germany mein jyaada acchhe hain.. ' and some words urging him to leave India..

All this sudden new found nationalism? I can probably not handle it!

But it's putting off to see one of the brightest and great hearted ppl i know behave so unreasonably and refusing to relent either!

Never mind.. much to their chagrin, I still keep turning my neighbor brusher's taps off!

Cheers! (on a glass of water??????)


Friday, August 19, 2005

Sharing this load!

Tiffin time at mess.

I'd gotten to the table with a plate of something that's something like a sabudaane ki khichdi... at least that's what the mess workers have named it for all official purposes.

Its not one of the things I like a lot.. and more so .. with the way it was made.. anybody who even loved it.. would leave the thoughts of eating it ever again.

A friend sitting on the same table as me.. was finding it difficult to eat a third spoon from the plateful that he'd brought of the thing for himself.

The guy next to him had somehow just managed to finish what he'd brought.

Now this friend of mine had an earnest request!

'Oye, aadha tu fenk, aadha main fekta hoon'

and he poured half of his plate's contents (which was almost as much as he'd brought) into the other guy's plate.

Both of them conveniently went on to discard the meal!

I found it difficult to figure out what the reason for this shared wastage was?

An attempt to rid oneself of the guilt of throwing a whole lot of food away or making sure you're not causing any eyebrows being raised??

At over twenty years of age, we can't seem to figure out how hungry we are.
Over a couple of years eating at the mess, we still don't know how good or bad which dish is...

We're THE brightest heads of the nation!

The IITians!

A standing ovation!


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

9 bucks??

Had gone to Thane to get the forms for CAT. Reached at 4:30.. only to see that the bank closes at 4! Couldn't have made a completely pointless trip, so got together with a friend.. to go walking near the lake.

Was indulging in my usual philosophies when a kid came up, his hand outstretched in front.. gesturing to indicate that he was hungry and wanted to eat!

I candidly asked him,
'kya chahiye?' (not an angry tone)
he didn't respond, just gestured!
I asked, 'kuchh khaane ka hai?' He nodded in agreement!
There wasn't anything except a Bhuttawala around! so,
'Bhutta Khayega?'
another polite nod!
'kaisa diya bhaiya??'
the bhuttawala responded-- 4 ka hai, 5 ka hai, 6 ka hai!
The kid ought to make this I asked him.. and he plainly pointed at the 4 rupee thing!
'kya naam hai tera'
first time i hear him speak!-'krishna'
'kal koi khilaane wala nahi milega to kya karega?'
no response
'zindagi bhar bheek hi maangta rahega?'
I suddenly realized, he was too young to probably even understand what he was doing!
Didn't bug him anymore.. he walked away with his bhutta... and me with the wanderings of my mind!

some time later.. another little girl came up.. i thought it unfair to spare this one! so asked her if a bhutta would be okay.. only a nod! I asked the bhuttawala to give her whichever she wanted! and almost instantly..her partner.. another little one.. who had earlier crossed over.. seeing her with me... came over and looked at me quizzically! as if asking what's this happening... why this injustice to me!

and almost naturally.. without me saying anything.. the bhuttawala smiled.. handed a piece each to these two! and they happily walked away! i paid him.. 5 bucks.

the calculative mind was at this moment doing a cost benefit analysis.. 30 bucks spent on a chocolate milkshake.. compared to 9 bucks spent here!

my wanderings and seemingly overt benevolence irritated my friend.. and we made a move.. so i wouldn't end up feeding half of Thane!

On the way back, some thoughts from the thane lakeside lingered on..

those three kids..right from birth.. they'd probably never had an introduction with our favorite uncle.. the concepts of dignity or feeling ashamed in begging... while living on the same planet.. not so far away, we are buried rather deeply in our self inflated egos and glorified self respects seem to be driving us crazy.. including often seeking revenges for so called moral offences!


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Smiling at Life.. at strangers! the Munnabhai way!

Had initiated writing about Munna Bhai MBBS…. Some stupid thing happened.. and the whole page went off! Taking my composition along!

My 'Contemporary Urban India Classes' wondered upon the cause of rising apathy among weber’s ‘city’ dwellers! Exploring reasons was almost like justifying the adage that Ignorance is bliss, because you can’t lose sleep every night over a calamity or an accident or other issues! Be indifferent if you want to survive!

Bliss.. most welcome! But the not so great allied consequence of this so called bliss seems to have crept into city life in the form of crass impersonalism and a crude professionalism, which insists that one should take care of one’s own business and be content with it!

Then there's this aspect of transient relationships that are created for a purpose and are usually inconsequential otherwise.. only sometimes, they do lead to greater bondings!

I took a note, I wrote in my copy, “ Kitne ajeeb Rishtey hain yahaan pe!”

A friend questioned, what would it take to cure this apathy among the city dwellers.. as if it were some malaise and not a bliss! Amazingly, ma’am was supportive of this thought! Suggested us to look at bollywood!
I could only think up Viruddh and Sarkar at that moment.. for their curings of the malaises of society!

But ma’am had a different picture! She talked of Munnabhai MBBS.. and the one and only thing I recalled at that moment.. I recounted it aloud.. Munna's Jaadu ki Jhappi to the hospital sweeper!

Then I wondered.. what it would be like.. to lighten ourselves and some others in course of our daily lives! To bring a smile to a sad face.. to smile at a passing stranger.. to smile at this nerve-cracking monotony of life!

Then some faces blinked before me.... Rajanbhai, Balu, Mahesh, Venkatesh, Laxman…. (you know any of these??) Could I be a Munnabhai Btech in the making.. ? looking at my acads.. that component comes naturally to me (or rather, is missing naturally) About the other part.. there’s still a lot more to it! some more inhibitions to shed!

I've created a community called Munnabhai MBBS on orkut.. for those who loved the movie.. and for those who loved the concept! Of smiling at strangers.. and taking the life around us a little more personally!
maybe some people will think about it!


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

B'day Celebration!!

I was the most lucky ones to have recieved a really special guest for my b'day at midnite!

Though not really wanting to do that.. i had to bail Som out of the charges of kicking a freshie.. coz incidentally.. it was me who was being mistaken for being a freshie!!

thinking about all the kicks i got.. I really wish i was one!

I wonder what's his human obsession wiht sadistic pleasures.. coming out of hte screams of someone in pain.. and further kicking him harder!

I pitied myself.. while my so called savior seemed amused himself!

they almost make it seem like I've committed the biggest sin of my life by being born!