Wednesday, October 31, 2007

And those engg days..

I was going through some old mails, when I got reminded of this stupidly wonderful dialogue, reminding me of the ridiculous answers we used to give during our Engineering Viva.

External (to student) : Why does a capacitor block DC but allow AC To pass through ?
Student: See, a capacitor is like this ---| |--- , OK. DC comes straight, like this ----------, and the capacitor stops it. But AC, goes UP, DOWN, UP DOWN and jumps right over the capacitor!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

'B' for sBf...

I shall talk about some other masterpieces too. But the next one should not be from DCE days, because then there might be overlap in thoughts and upbringings with B.

This post, I'll dedicate to B, a friend of mine who's been a revelation, when it comes to being carefree.

This is from those days when I was a huge internet freak (I've changed, huh! Not a freak anymore). It was a norm to meet up new people online every now and then, and somehow went on to meet D online. D was doing her MBA those days, and B was one of her close friends. Obviously, online chats led to mails, which later led to phone calls - not only with D, but with B, and other friends too. (No, I am not going to provide details on who B or D or for that matter, others are...remember, this is just an 'instance' post)

Now, after MBA, B also shifted to Delhi with all her friends, and joined a financial firm (You ought to know how much I respect all those who work in financial firms; I was very close to being a big zero when talking about finance, and hence all this respect for all those who have that finesse). Impish that she has been, she was always the heart of the discussion when around. She could lend you an ear when needed, and would eat away your ears when not needed, being the chatterbox she was.

She would always be jaunty, and would never bother about anything. Girls are known to fight for all the unknown reasons, but for B, it was an alien territory. She hardly even realized that something is wrong around, and this is something which I put my hats off to. When everyone in the group would be down and out, and not knowing what needs to be done, she would just stand up, rolling her wrists up and down, and would crack a joke which would burst laughter out of everyone.

I remember one instance when I was on the receiving end - something had happened (can't recollect, owing to my short term memory loss!) and we started having a fight - and although the strong man I boast myself to be, I was beaten to pieces. This is not my claim to fame, and has not been publicly accepted, before now.

How many people here know the meaning of SBF? Ask B, and she's the one who would - that's because it is a secret.

B's jovial nature can sweep you over, and her objectivity can take you for a toss. "20 minutes, McD" talks have been on the call all the time. And the motto of Live Life King Size leads all the way through!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Random Numbered "B"

I've been thinking (not quite, literally) and because of that, I thought I'll post the instances with some near and dear ones, in a different manner.

To start with, I could not decide whom to start with. I had three people in my mind, who I would want to write about in my first such post, and I decided to use my MBA skills in shortlisting the final one out of three. And can you think how I did shortlist?

Hold you breath - I used - Random Numbers (courtesy G, from IIMK). All those hours we spent fishing out random numbers in our excel sheets found a use today - hail G, our prof who made all of us spend an hour just generating those precious random numbers on our excel sheets.

So now, I put the names of three of my friends in three cells, and coded =rand() in front of all three. Then I decided to hit F9 five times, and the cell with the highest random number would win - and voila - it's B for today.

The best descriptive sentence for B would be, as I quote from one of his cherished precious emails to a common thread of us friends -
> sorry r****
> B***** BACK
> OF B****)
> G**** R**** B**** G*****
> B*****

And believe me, B is the "Aankhon ka Taara" of our group! After our college days (I mean engineering here), we all moved to various parts of the country, in pursuit of what came next. And B was our "karta-dharta" whenever we used to go back to Delhi for our holidays. Not once did I go to Delhi during the next 3 years (after engineering) when I did not go to his place - his place was always a reminder of DCE for all of us. And all those innumerable times have found a sweet place in the corridor of memory.

I must tell you that if not for my dear friend B, Delhi today would not be traveling in the much acclaimed "Metro" in the manner it is. Ever seen Superheroes like Spiderman and Superman lifting the rails of a railway line, and shifting it by some distance? Those are anyhow, just fictional characters. A real life hero is one who is larger than life, and can get things done even when not being there. One night, when whole of Delhi was having a sound sleep, B could
move the course of Metro by full four inches! People staying in Dwarka, thank B - if not for him, the Metro would still be reaching Janak Puri only!

Come driving, and you'll know that B was born with a silver spoon - how many people do you know whose cars get stolen right from their homes, hold on, not once, not twice, but thrice - and still manages to find the way back!

Such is our sweet chocolate boy that once when he was coming out of his home, he found a complete stranger pushing (read driving) his car away from the front of B's home, and when asked, that stranger mentions that he was taking it away for repairs - and that too without our innocent B's knowledge.

Even the die hard followers of atheism dread coming with B on a drive, and they too swear by God. I myself have gained all my God-fearing points in his car.

I was looking for another mail (I guess it was the first mail he had sent to a friend of mine S), where he had mentioned something about vegetables. I will try and extract that mail from somewhere, and I dare anyone and everyone who is or is not a voracious reader of this blog, to come and decipher it - I will bet my this month's salary on this dare! Wait on, for that mail to come. Till then, hang on!

Friday, October 26, 2007


You probably hear the word "nirvana" pretty often - people might say they've achieved nirvana when they're really happy, for example, or they might talk about going to nirvana as an eternal reward after death. Then, of course, there's the famous rock band Nirvana, who adopted the term with a certain amount of irony.

Nirvana, the so-called Other Shore is everywhere and nowhere. It is not a place. Nirvana is more a state of mind: one of total awareness; or is it no awareness? deathless peace; joy, ease and fulfillment; and perfect freedom. Nirvana is by definition the highest form of everlasting happiness, desirelessness, fulfillment and peace. It is experienced by the heart-mind liberated from the fetters of ignorance, dualism and delusion, and freed from conflicting emotions including attachment and desire.

Have you listened to "Come As You Are", again Nirvana? A song full of contradictions on how we act versus how we think society thinks we should act. Just yesterday, I was having these obscure discussions with P regarding the same, when we eventually ended up debating on the "Paragon of virtues" (It started as an impish discussion, and eventually ended up on a different plain). A few sub bullets are still on the cards!

And any ideas on how to achieve Nirvana - I'll give you one.
Go a few beers down, with a few fags, and "The Man Who Sold the World" on the track... Cogito ergo sum!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Creeper - The Play

"What will happen to our email address after we die" - this is the only takeaway, a notional thought, that I could come out with, from Creeper (directed by Ram Ganesh Kamatham), the play staged at Rangashankara yesterday.

The play starts in an involving mode, gripping the audience for first 15 minutes with the occasional shrug from here & there - the start was comic in ways more than one, and one could ponder whether getting along the same lines would have made Creeper more entertaining than thought provoking. I call it thought provoking, not because I had to ponder over any social or mental issues, but more because it made me rattle my brains on whether I was the only one who's not getting the real drift of the storyline.

The male protagonist (forgot his name; he was some bong) walks away with the laurels in the play. The female one (don't remember her name either; I thought she was a punjabi, and she looked somewhat out of sorts - though at first sight, she looked like a batchmate from my MBA days - but then I knew she wasn't the same, anyhow) did her part well, but because she had to follow a monotone imbibed in her role, the script did not do justice to her, as she could not get opportunity to showcase various facets of her craft on stage.

More & more people of our generation (and by our generation, I would mean those who have more online presence than offline; those who take time out to check their orkut/facebook/hi5 profiles multiple times a day, though they might consider talking to their folks back home everyday unnecessary; for whom wikipedia (and not I Ching) is the sum of all wisdom, and iphone is the coolest thing to happen since stone age) are thinking along the lines different from the conventional ones. With every passing day, and every conversation with acquaintances, my belief in working for thyself (or in other words, working in a startup, or something of your own) reinforces. With all the investment bankers, all the consultants and all the onsite software engineers reaping in big moolah, some thoughts do arise questioning whether the thrill of working in a small boutique firm can compensate for the big moolah going either way, but then when you see all these big ticket guys insecure and worried about what they really wish to do, it brings back the confidence.

This play also had shades of whether you're leaning towards what you might wish to do, or what the mysterious universe has unfolded for you in form of public opinion. People are mad, but in an ordinary way.

Net net, one should spend some time watching this play instead of spending yet another hour checking orkut scraps, more for the reason that it would help you exercise your brains and will make you think for a change, about something you can't find on wiki or google. For first timers, the acting's appreciable.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Kite Runner..

"There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but no childhood."

This led me to think whether I should be reading anything at all on Afghanistan or not - and the opportune time came in the form of fictional "The Kite Runner", a book a friend of mine suggested as a must read. I am not a big fan of Afghan writers, nor have I read anything on Afghans (most of the info I have on Afghans comes solely from "Kabul Express"). But having finished the book now, I must say it is a gem.

The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a well-to-do boy from the Kabul, who is haunted by the guilt of betraying his childhood friend Hassan, the son of his father's Hazara servant. (The Hazara are an ethnic group who are predominantly Shia Muslims and speak the Hazaragi dialect of the Persian language) The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the Taliban regime.

But political events are only a part of this story. A more personal plot, arising from Amir's close friendship with Hassan, the son of his father's servant, turns out to be the thread that ties the book together. The fragility of this relationship, symbolized by the kites the boys fly together, is tested as they watch their old way of life disappear.

Some of the plot's turns and twists may be somewhat implausible, but Hosseini has created characters that seem so real that one almost forgets that The Kite Runner is a novel and not a memoir. At a time when Afghanistan has been thrust into the forefront of America's collective consciousness ("people sipping lattes at Starbucks were talking about the battle for Kunduz"), Hosseini offers an honest, sometimes tragic, sometimes funny, but always heartfelt view of a fascinating land. Perhaps the only true flaw in this extraordinary novel is that it ends all too soon.

The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghanistani American author. Published in 2003, it is the first novel published in English by an author from Afghanistan. The novel was the third best seller for 2005 in the United States (leaving behind works to the likes of Da Vinci Code, The World is Flat, 1776, Angels & Demons, etc.). It was also voted 2006's reading group book of the year.