Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Biggest Sucker Punch Of Them All

VNITians, you know what I'm talking about. Especially batch of 2009. Upcoming batches, just hope this doesn't happen to you like it did to us. Or even better, don't do anything that might lead to such consequences. If you didn't understand, never mind. I'm a sort of a conspiracy theorist, and my fellow theorists, Dukki and Tanmay proposed something which has stuck to me. Anyways, all that is reserved for a better conversation, one with choicest selections from the ever increasing Nagpur Foul Language Dictionary.
Non VNITians. Apologies for the topicality. Long story short, I received my degree after a friend collected it for me (Thanks, man!) since Nagpur was hit by a huge epidemic of swine flu where around 5 people were diagnosed with it and my college, nay, institute decided to cancel the convocation, and is perhaps the only one in the whole damn country of 1.2 billion people to do so.
Yes, it's true. Go ahead. Laugh all you want. I did too. I still am.
Note: More action, soon to come. Keep watching this space.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The MBA Diaries # 2: SNAPshots

Too much has been going on in my life. I’ve been busy listening to other people grumble on the trains, smelling their hair, getting pushed around and squeezed like a lemon. And when I’m not doing all of the above, I take exams. I can actually make it a hobby of mine. Every alternate Sunday had actually turned out to be Mumbai Darshan, and of course, the voyeuristic sport of people-watching.

Just before my SNAP, I’d chatted with one of my friends who’d said, “Tu Symbi kyun de raha hai? You should aim for the IIMs only.” (This is true. I’m not making it up.) The faith shown in me by my and parents friends spurs me on every day (DONOT mistake this for depression. I’m just plain bored of work, success, future, planning, career and all other associated words. So I went with a determination rarely seen in me to my centre.

Kirti M. Doongursee College, Dadar.

Now Dadar is a region I now know fairly well, thanks to my job at Worli (which I refuse to call it by its true address). Worli is way cooler than ‘Kaliandas Udyog Bhavan, Near Century Bazaar, Prabhadevi’. I’d gladly tell everyone it was Siddhivinayak, but its 10 mins walk from the hallowed temple.

Anyway, I didn’t quite know where Kirti College was and the address only said Veer Savarkar Marg, which stretches all the way to Worli, and probably even further. So I caught a cab at Dadar station (after being nearly killed by oncoming buses and cabs). It was SNAP – so I expected a lot hoi polloi there (how smug, no?). I gave a lift to two other guys who had difficulty finding cabs (Dadar station is pretty close to the college). Kirti college is near the coast, from where you can manage an awesome view of the Bandra-Worli sea link. I only wondered if the same view was available from the classrooms (in case I screwed up my test). My question was just about to be answered.

The college is old. Really old. And the classrooms have windows in the back. Not like most classrooms where air flows across the room. Air flew right through the room here, so if Kareena 'Size Zero' Kapoor was here (*suppresses laughter*), a strong wind could enter from the 'backside' and take her along through the door. And I did what most people do when they go to exam centers. Ask where the washroom (okay toilet!) was. It was at the other end of the huge corridor, and a walkathon later, I entered my classroom. And found these words written on the board.

Newton’s law of attraction: The most rowdy and gunda of all guys always run behind the simplest of girls. The law doesn’t hold true vice versa.

No SNAP 2009. No test date or time. This. I swear it is true.

SNAP is held in the afternoon at 2, which was another cause of concern for me, since I was afraid of falling asleep. At five minutes to 2, the invigilators entered the room lazily, staring grudgingly at everyone for ruining their Sunday. They were probably being paid 50 bucks an hour for invigilation, which isn’t much considering it was a two-hour test. The man (henceforth MI or male invigilator. There was a lady too) was dark with a thick moustache. I guess he was almost disappointed at the misprint of ‘3 hrs test time’ on the question paper. Lost 100 bucks probably. The couple looked like they were going to break into a dance routine of Dhagaala Laagli Kala any moment, to drive away their boredom.

And it didn’t help when the guy behind me asked, “Sir, test center Mumbai likhana hai ya Dadar?” And the invigilator answered with a tone that Raj Thackeray would have been proud of, “Dadar, Mumbai likho.” I decided to use my Marathi weapon here and smugly asked, “Sir, ithe stamp pan maraycha ahe.” But he wasn’t too pleased with me and gave me an ‘I know what I’m doing’ look and told me to wait.

MI was again called for, when a girl kept asking doubts about the codes. Symbi people had also decided to take feedback on the level of the question paper (talk about insecurity) and the girl asked, “Sir, what if I don’t fill it?” And LI (lady invigilator) replied, “Notheeng. Feel it as asked.” The next time the girl raised her hand, I glanced back (I was on the first bench right at the door) at gave her the ‘Where were you when brains were being given out’ look and uttered a loud “mch” sound, after which two others followed suit. She had a superior air about her, and she thought she was the most attractive girl in the class.

Which she was. In Kirti College. Which isn’t saying much.

She had that ‘I ask doubts, I’m inquisitive, you’re all just rattu popats’ look on her face and she made sure that she gave that look to anyone who cared to glance in that direction.

The boy behind me raised his hand and asked again, “Poora address likhana hai ya sirf Dadar, Mumbai?” He would probably complete filling his details by 3:30. I only hoped he didn’t ask if Bombay was to be written, because I was sure that MI would have called the MNS/Shiv Sena on him if he did.

I couldn’t suppress my laughter when MI said, “Sweech off mobile pphhones” and he caught me laughing, though he didn’t do anything. Probably the first time someone reacted to something he said. The test itself was simple, which meant that I wouldn’t do as well as the others. GK was a bitch, and some of the questions were real teasers. English was a complete cakewalk, and LR too was decent. I felt that I didn’t do that well in Quant and that I would be on the borderline for SIBM and SCMHRD.

Miss ‘Room no 205, Kirti College’ had decided to just hang around the entrance and not let anyone pass without saying ‘Excuse me’ until a sardar came up to her and said, “Aap aise chowkidaar jaise kyun khadi hain? Jaane dengi please?” Way to go, paaji. I made my exit just a few students after the sardar and the beauty queen was still recovering from the comment and I deliberately said, “May I go now?” She probably wanted to beat me up or something.

I just left quietly and caught a cab to Dadar station.

Image: Google

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Da Datar and Dukki Diaries # 4 - Coffee and Paarsa

My exams are finally over. I don’t quite have any idea how they went, since I sincerely followed the ritual of going to the centre, observing people, taking the test, and going back home and tossing the question paper away like it was infested with swine flu.

I sometimes have these emotional (Yes, it’s possible with me too!) flashback moments. The memories generally pertain to college, um sorry, institute, no wait, college incidents, random events, films, ads and anything which reminds me of the past, and allows me to wile away my time at office after I’ve read Pearls, SMBC, Dilbert, Whatay, Greatbong, Krishashok, Flyyoufools, and any other online resource that makes me laugh.

What I like at JAM is that it gave me chance to discover Mumbai and it’s college life in a way I’ve never experienced before, since I never ventured out of Thane (except for my weekly doses of full body rubs in the 2nd class compartment, when I went for IIT tuitions). For example, when I’d gone to Mithibai, I expected ‘kem chho, majaa maa’ and ‘dhokla faafra’ type of crowds. Call it my ignorance, but that’s what I thought. Of course, some did belong to the above category too, and common sense and intelligence levels perilously skirted sub zero levels, something which I’m not used to (as I told someone recently *wink*). But what I’ve found is that the comfort level that the two genders share is much more than that at VNIT, where getting a phone call from a girl is met with (some) gleeful comments like ‘Wah beta, lage raho!’ or ‘Kiska phone hai bhai? Humein bhi bataoo’. While I bulldozed my way in to the concert (Media entry, ‘sir’!), I heard a girl talking to a guy saying, “Abey tu ladkiyon se itna darta kyon hai? Jaa bata de usko! Khaa thodi jayegi.

Which is when Dukki and his exploits come up.

Incident 1:

Dukki and Kana are in the canteen. A group of day scholar girls shows up. Kana shifts gear to ‘hero’ mode.

Girl 1 (Swati I think?): Kya Kana, hamesha canteen mein hi rehta hai. Class nahi hoti kya?

Swati, tera class nahi hai? Electronics people are known for being everywhere on campus except for class. I’ve been sleeping in my room for most of my morning lectures. Tanmay was always jealous, “Saale, tere prof attendance kyon nahi lete? Humein hi kyon class jaana padta hai.

Abey tu class kab gaya, Tanmay?

Kana: *Insert long speech here with words virtually unheard by anyone*

Swati: Tera band contest ka kya hua?

Kana: *Insert information about bands whose albums have never been heard by anyone except Octaves members*

Dukki gets his coffee, and might have been staring at Girl 2 (Attention!). Kana notices and decides not to let go of opportunity.

Kana: Girl 2, Prathamesh tereko taap raha hai.

Dukki spills his coffee all over his pants, out of sheer shock.

Incident 2:

Dukki, Kana, Tanmay and Bali have all gotten into the organising committee for the management event at Axis, since there was a certain Kashmiri presence in it. Dukki has completely forgotten that he is the core committee member and isn’t supposed to be in the committee, but where there is Kashmir, there is Dukki.

Most meetings, my sources tell me, were spent in the game of one-upmanship being played by Kana, Tanmay and Dukki. Of course, Kana is known for his loud and brash mannerisms and Tanmay tries to counter any word being spoken. Dukki, with his occasional flashes of brilliances, pitches in.

Meeting is on. The plan is to come up with problem statement.

Kashmiri Presence: Let’s have a weird product and ask for a marketing strategy for it.

Dukki: Yes, yes. What product though?

Kana: See, it has to be something not everyone uses………

Someone: How about a paarsa (power saw)?

Kana: Yes. Brilliant!

Tanmay: Haan. Paarsa will do.

Juniors: Yes, ma’am. Paarsa is great.

Dukki (has absolutely no clue as to what it is): It’s a very good idea. We can certainly work on it. We should set a deadling. Tell you what, Sh****a, let us start……..

Someone else: Yeh ‘paarsa’ kya hai?

Dukki, Kana and Tanmay all look completely puzzled and have no clue.

Someone: Arre, power saw, aari.

Dukki: Oh……. Paawar sow. Hat! Kuch bhi kya product hai.

Pic courtesy: Wikipedia