Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hostel Block 1

I know this is a pretty ordinary post. In fact, there is actually not much of meaning in this.

There is a strange aura to this place. It is situated virtually out of the campus, almost on the boundary walls. But the amount of history that goes with this place is simply amazing. I happened to come to this place purely by chance.

All of my friends were going for the NBH (new boys' hostel). I was the only one suggesting that we take HB 1 so that we could atleast stay together, as there was no guarantee that we all would get into the NBH with 210 applicants and 169 rooms. And my fears were only to come true. I got shunted to block 1 while all my other friends proceeded to go to the NBH. Me and Chandu were the only ones from my old friends' circle. But little did I know that my life was to change forever.

The place (henceforth to be referred so) welcomed me with open arms. I found new friends, went to many places I didn't even know existed. And of course, my yellow to white to green to all out incident is pretty well known. Enough about me. This one is for the place. Here is a list of things why you should stay in Block 1 atleast once in your life.

1. Location: Absolutely strategic and perfect for any bloody mischief you want to pull off without getting caught.
2. The B-Wing: One of the best people ever to come to VNIT, the B-Wing is a remnant of what used to be a really good place for ragging, music, books, geeks and the party loving people. The B-Wing legacy is a hard act to follow, since they have been pioneers of almost every club in the Insti be it Octaves, QPC or Club Capture. Also, the pungi dance is probably the best entertainment you will ever get in the auditorium of VNIT.
3. Ramesh Bhaiyya's food: The food at HB 1 is the best I have ever had in VNIT. My journey in VNIT has been from 8 to 6 to 2 to 1. I am told that HB 7 has the best food. But for me, 1 still rocks. Plus, being a few final years, we get special treatment. The block practically belongs to us. I shall never forget the shrikhand feasts, the ice creams, and the pizzas.
4. Bastards/Jugaad: It is an unwritten rule that you turn into a bastard once you come to this block. Perhaps there is something in the air, the walls or its just the people. But history has proved and the present is still proving that HB 1 ke saare log haraami hote hai. They also have what is known in India lingo as jugaad (Haraami = the whole K Wing, the guy opposite 57).
5. Organisers Haven: All the organising people end up in this block. Hence there is a steady stream of juniors in the block.
6. Block 6 ground: Although its called Block 6 ground, Block 1 is closer to it now, owing to the change in entrance. You don't have to walk all the way to the football field to play.

This is all I can think of right now.because it is 2:40 in the morning.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chennai Chronicles

After a long string of (K) happenings, (and a recurrence of the same two more times, with respect to a totally different matter), my band got selected for the Saarang band competition at IIT Chennai. We were all really happy to go to the 'big stage' and perform in front of a real crowd. Plus, I had never been to Chennai and was looking forward to going to the only other south Indian city I would have visited. And being a south Indian, it’s a big thing.

Well, being the 'responsible' guy that I am, I was entrusted with the most vital parts of the luggage i.e Kana's iPod and earphones, Tanmay's camera, Saxena's phone (which had to be interchanged with mine because his stopped working on roaming) and the tickets.

The first thing which happens is that we forgot to bring batteries and I had already broken my cam earlier. So we took out Sax's batteries and tested it on Motes cam. And the freaking cam got stuck in between switching it on and off and hence the lens remained pushed out. And we had no batteries to put it off. So Kana and me rush off to the next bogie to charge our batteries and his phone. But there's a line there. So we waited for half an hour and then as I put on the charger, it was too heavy for the switchboard and it fell down and the pin bent a little. Deciding not to push my luck (if there is any such thing in my life), I decided to wait for Chennai station. We went back and while sleeping, I kept the valuables beside me while listening to the iPod.

Morning came and I got up to see all of the other three awake. The deathstick called them and they went off, leaving a very sleepy me alone. Half an hour passed by and there was no trace of them. Chennai station arrived and still no trace. I hurriedly started to gather all our belongings and the awesome threesome finally showed up to help with the luggage. After getting out of the station, we managed to find a taxi who semi-looted us to IIT Madras. After a long walk to the hostel, I finally managed to get into a bathroom and start showering. Then suddenly it struck me.

WE HAD LEFT THE VALUABLES ON THE TRAIN.

I started calculating the total value of the bag, Mastercard style.

1 iPod – Rs. 10,000

1 Sony 6.5 MP camera – Rs. 25,000

1 pair of Sony Ericsson earphones – Rs. 1000

You lost this bag – You are screwed for life.

I spit my venom out on the three fools. And began thinking how to repay Tanmay. Kana gaya bhaad mein. We decided to start a Tanmay Chitale Camera Fund by taking part in every damn event in the fest. We had 3 quizzers amongst us so we sent SP to the police to lodge a complaint.

We went out for a survey of the surroundings and the natural beauties slowly took overJ. After our lunch, we went near the Students’ Activity Centre to register for any event we could possibly have a chance of winning.

Day 1’s events: Dance Solo – No chance in hell.

Street Play – Are you kidding me?

SpEnt Quiz – Sports and Entertainment? Bring it on.

After a very hurried “breakfast at Tiffany’s”, we managed to reach when there were no seats left to sit. So we stood like criminals in a courtroom and answered the elims. Results in the night. So we sat and waited. And we bonded like in DCH. Sax of course was busy with his bonding. We don’t blame him. We are uglier. Paul was also unsuccessful in finding the bag.

We did qualify for the quiz. But we got knocked out of the band competition. Still a little hope to repay at least 10 percent of the total cost. At night, we decided to go out for dinner. We went to a Chettinad restaurant. I didn’t know that Chettinad was mainly non vegetarian. So I ordered something vegetarian. It turned out to be some weird sabzi with bitter beans. I couldn’t endure it any longer and had to order rice and sambhar. I got thoroughly raped with a 180 rupee bill on my part. After parting with the money, we got back to the main gate where Kana decided to buy some t-shirts for his beloved, the lover boy that he is. What he didn’t know that I was about to ruin his plans.

After he spent Rs. 800 on the t-shirts, I suddenly had an urge to drink coffee at the awesomely low priced CCD (I am a self confessed coffee enthusiast. I hail from Karnataka, the coffee state). So we went to the CCD and drank coffee and chatted and gossiped like girls. While observing some more of the sublime surroundings, we slowly started clicking photographs on the only remaining cam we had i.e. Sax’s cam and phone. What I had forgotten (again), was the bag of t-shirts, which we again realized the next morning when Sax reminded us. Running to the CCD again, we again had a negative balance sheet for the trip. To make matters worse, we came fourth in the SpEnt quiz, which was held in the night starting at 2 and ending at 5. And we had ‘wisely’ decided to go in shorts as “Chennai mein thandi nahi hoti hai, hum Nagpur ke sher hai.” We turned out to be mice and the mosquitoes and the freaking mad MBA students sitting behind us irritated the shit out of us with all the “da, macha” accent. We were totally frustrated and depressed.

Finally, the India Quiz came as a ray of sunshine, bringing us some cash. But still, total sheet balance is negative. On the way back, we just decided to try our luck (optimism here) and check out the lost and found again. And there it was! We found our bag with all the valuables (except for the headphones). We had to bribe the policeman hundred bucks to let us go as the train was for 7 pm and it was 7:15 and Kana was still buying the treat he had promised if we found the bag.

I can’t ever in my life, forget the way SP came jumping like a kangaroo shouting that he had found the bag and the wait I had to endure for them to come to the train was the longest ever in my life. I thought that we would get the bag back but miss the train. But all’s well that ends well.

Here are many conclusions to this long story.

1. People in South India are very honest. Period.

2. Chennai is a wonderful city but the rickshawallahs are bastards. It’s also cheaper than Nagpur.

3. IIT Madras rocks. Hostels, grounds, Basera, Tiffany’s, Lime Mint Coolers (We drank more than 20 of them in three days), monkeys.

4. We saw Opeth and Motherjane live at the OAT and Lilette Dubey and her daughter at Tiffany’s eating dosai. We also saw JYG.

5. I HATE the stupid accent they have with the “da, macha, dude”. Please act normal, people.

6. I love south Indian food.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Long Time, No See.

Its been 3 months (according to Blogger) since I wrote something. Life has really slowed down. I rarely go to college and 'studies' is a word that has left my dictionary. I think I've really become indifferent towards my own life and the activities that 'matter' (as parents tell us).

a) First was CAT. A bloody 97 percentile, all thanks to a little misunderstanding in a set. IIM dreams down the drain. And the idiot that I am, I didn't apply anywhere else, thinking that I shall gather some valuable 'job experience' first and then write the exam again. But the economy had other plans for me, na? Then was XAT. Repeat performance of CAT. Yet, it produced not particular reaction/effect in me.

b) Happy with my L&T job, I skipped all the other companies. But as the year passed, news from lands far and beyond brought fear to the heart of some. Not me though. I was confident that I would not get the much feared 'reject letter'.

c) I didn't get a reject letter. I got a deferment letter asking me to look for other options to "forward my career". So much for my confidence. But my reaction was still the same.

Even after several scoldings and desperate phone calls from home, I still remain the same indifferent me. Now that I'm prepared to sit almost jobless at home, I'm being forced to listen to whatever is being said to me ("You had your way in college. Look what it led to. Now you listen to us!").

All the farewells have been done with.Currently, I'm only looking forward to my last ever month in college.