Monday, January 26, 2009

Somewhere between 42 and infinity, lies the power of my creativity !

The following was my entry for a Poetry writing part of Creative Writing during Saarang, 09 ( It's slisha longish but please have the patience to read it till the end, as I think it's not that bad; the results of Creative writing might not indicate the same !)


The Man who knew infinity,
Didnt know his divinity,
Until he met the astrologer,
Who said he could read his future.

The astrologer said to our Man,
You are gifted by a boon from Pan
Which you received in your previous birth
And is the reason that you bear such a huge girth !

Said our Man to the astrologer,
What is this boon you talk about from a Greek character
That I never encounter in the papers I publish,
Or are you back to your ways of speaking gibberish ?

The astrologer replied,
Ignoring the Man’s snide,
You could be more famous and enjoy thy romance,
I shall not tell forth until you pay my advance

The Man had no option but to cough up the cash
'Coz he loved listening to such flattery and trash,
After all, when one knows about infinity,
You needn’t worry about 42 or its complexity !

The key to success lies in your path,
Thus replied the miniscule psychopath,
The only thing which blocks you,
Is the birth date which mocks you !

How can it mock me,
When that’s what defines what you see
Unless it’s another stale line from your "Period of lunacy",
Hurry up, or I shall take back your fee !

This is the latest discovery my son,
In numerology, since the forecast of World War One,
You needn’t change the spelling of your name,
To end up gaining Sonu Niigaam’s fame !

A simple combination of digits can twist your fate,
Which you could ensure you a night with Ms. Winslet,Kate,
About whom you fantasize while sleeping in bed,
But alas ! your birthdate seems to deem the signal red !

The Man was impatient to know more,
For he now found this interesting to the core,
And for those who found this poem to be a bore,
I will honestly kick thy butt if you read no more !

Oh, divine messenger!
I didn’t know my life was ruled by a number,
Please do anything you can,
As I’m Ms. Winslet’s biggest fan !

The astrologer went into a trance,
Or so it seemed at first glance,
"How do I get the most from this impotent faggot?",
Was actually the aim of his wicked plot !

He suggested that our Man add four
To his existing birthdate,
Which would allow him to implore,
The finer intricacies of fate !

Unknowingly when he did it then,
His destiny changed drastically,
To counter which, the astrologer told to add another seven,
To his birth month to counter this anomaly.

By the end of this exercise,
Which lasted fifteen minutes and seconds thirteen,
The astrologer couldn’t be more precise,
When he said “Now you are as young as a teen !”

The Man was eager to test this update,
And knocked on Winslet’s entry gate,
Only to see her come out with a pink nightcap
And deliver on his face,one tight slap !

A costly lesson it turned out to be,
Which also ended his forecasted ‘romance’
He understood then that "Love by Numbers" wasn't so easy,
And was nothing but purely a matter of chance !

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Motorcycle Diaries ?

What is this life if full of care, If we don’t have time to stand and stare,
For trips like these to Pondy, are oh, so very rare,
With 3 bikes and a scooty, one didn’t know whom to pair,
Until I tried the wheelie, raring others to dare !

We knew not what may befall,
Nor how may the trip stall,
But we knew that we had the gall,
To face anything but the ‘dreaded’ parents’ call !

Woken up at five in the morning,
I wished my cell-phone wouldn’t ring,
For I knew the trip ahead was gonna be tiring,
But who cares, it was very well satisfying !

The above poem, was in short, a description of a memorable trip to Pondicherry ( or should I say, Puducherry ? Never mind, I’m the author, and I have the rights to use what I want  ). But the painful chap that I am, I’ve never left things to be as short as they could be, and following the same rule of thumb, I shall delve deeper into the ‘trip’ that was.

But allow me to put a little bit fart/fact before that..Why ? Coz I am writing this and well, I wanted to put it down.

Shaastra – An ISO certified technical festival, planned and organized over 6 months of hard work, by the students of IIT Madras, valued at upwards of Rs. 1 crore !

Pondy Trip – An idea which struck someone for a vague reason, who thereby put Pressure to initiate things; was “organized” within a span of about 50 hrs, by the students of IIT Madras; Priceless in value ! (Well actually, the total expenditure is not yet summed up :P )

It all started when I received an sms saying “ Are you in for Pondy tomorrow morning ? “, while I was busy trying to get a dribbler in shape using polyurethane, which was rigid-ized using liquid Nitrogen ! From there onwards, the things moving in my head were all about how we would go, when do we start and come back, do we have enough Plan B’s to ensure that we go and come back safely,etc.

The night was spent in scouring for enough bikes so that the trip could actually proceed well but all the while I had this premonition that something was bound to go wrong. Not that I’m a pessimist, but my premonitions have never been wrong so far, be it exam results or Rahul Dravid’s innings..I was given a rude shock when someone told me that we have to start at 5 in the morning ! This was actually terrifying coz it would be freaking cold at that time, and it was just 9 hrs before 5am next day, that I was informed about this. I knew then and there, that my sleep was gonna be ruined. And needless to say, I crashed at 2:00 ( and so did more than half the ‘trippers’, if I could call them ).

My premonition’s first part came true as soon as I woke up.. a ‘confirmed’ bike was not the case now! What do we do : Go to an IIT alumnus’ place who’s willing to rent us his TVS Victor at 8 in the morning ( oh, our plans got derailed is another part of the premonition, but trivial compared to the others). The bike did give me the heeby-jeebies for I was certain that something wrong is gonna happen with this bike, which was proved to be true later in the day.

And so, our trio on two bikes reach the insti, where we realize our other trippers are done with their breakfast, while we were left to start off the trip on a hungry note ! What’s worse, they had even rummaged into our backpacks which we had entrusted in their care ( which I got to know just a few hours before typing this down !) A pity, that I never thought about it, but luckily, there weren’t any embarrassing stuff inside, so no problem..We finally started off at around 9, along the ECR ( East Coast Road, in short), which is a marvellous stretch of highway to ride/drive on. An unexpected stop at an Ostrich farm owned by the uncle of one of our fellow trippers also provided the necessary break in the morning to gear up for the events to follow. A pity for the ostriches, that they weren’t allowed to eat choco-biscuits..Sad life, seriously ! But I wouldn’t mind as I was hungry, and w.r.t. biscuits, the more the merrier.

While starting off, our ‘Bike+Sunscreen-Fundaes-Man’ asks us to use generous amounts of sunscreen lotion, which as per his demonstration seemed like ‘Shampoo-ing’ our arms or any other part of our body visible to the sun. Now, who was to know that our Victor had encountered a tyre burst amidst all the action and off we went to the nearest mechanic shop, a good 1.5 km away from the farm. Here, we split up into two sets of two pairs ; one set, went on driving as though there was no end and ended up soon in the beautiful place that is Mahabs..and the other, as expected, was doomed to find shade near the mechanic shop ! After putting enough tam fundaes, the bike was ready to explore the roads, although with one catch : It had quantum speed-shifts, moving at either 0,40 or 80kmph ! Wow, a motorcyclist’s work was never so easy ! As we went further, we realized that the brakes too were dysfunctional ...My, oh my, were we even gonna make it to Pondy ?

Now, all fixed and done, we start off where we suddenly face the “Who shall ride the motorcycle(s) and scooty problem ? “ coz the person riding the scooty had mixed ‘Emotions’ on whether to continue or not. Here comes my ‘pivotal’ role into the picture...I start the bike,{ after having been a pillion rider for a while now, to help out the ‘pressur(e)-ised’ guy with Tam fundaes in mechanic shops } and put a wheelie for 0.3 seconds and the rest,..well I don’t remember what followed ..I mean my memory auto-erased the boring part of the story and asked me to continue forward. I realized then that one man’s stunt, is another man’s ‘Poison’ ( :-P, I know I’m trying to convert my stupid act into a brave heroic, but then, I’m the author :P ) and I was condemned to driving the Scooty ! Ah, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me, as my pillion rider then pained me enough to let me get off and take the back seat and enjoy the beautiful scenery around, instead of tiring my hands  So somehow, we finally reached Pondy, and what better than doing a bit of peit-pooja, after all we needed a bit of food for thought to grasp the pretty vague and winding directions provided to us by the locals, with their accent being an eclectic mix of Tam coupled with the soft Francais ! Oui, ze languaze waz a beet of a problaim ..Lunch was more or less decent, where the highlight, if I could call it, was a fork-fight for French-fries where the person who actually had it in the end, never did enjoy the last laugh.

Freshened up, and raring to go, we wanted to see the Paradise we had dreamt of, but alas, it turned out to be an island and we missed the last ferry, by a few minutes ! Damn, starting off late was now showing its effects but since we had decided to have fun, there was the Sand beach which enticed us through a winding route. So finally, we were on the beach where TP was the theme of those couple of hours; being it zipping close one of the Event C(h)ores of Shaastra and enjoying the sadistic pleasure of him trying to come out of it like a caterpillar out of its cocoon or be it collecting sea-shells of different kinds or be it making a castle out of the sand ( which was really soft, cant deny admiring it) and attempting to break it down, but only being scared away by the law-suit for attempt to destroy property ( read : being hit by sand-balls, which crumbled halfway through their motion and thereby dirtying your already wet jeans !) or trying to figure out a route to this Paradise, only to be kicked out by the coast-guard when you had wet your pants already ( erm, the last part refers to just 2 members of the group, and I was certainly not one of them, for those who had raised eyebrows !! ) or be it just relaxing yourselves at the beach, with the waves kissing your feet tempting you to go deeper..Once again, time was a limiting factor here, and we had to bid adieu to this wonderful beach, but now, things just don’t move as smoothly as you think, do they ? We lost a key to one of the bikes, but then as they say, when one door closes, another opens ! Luckily, the Victor’s fuel tank key opened up the Yamaha, whose key was lost and we were saved the pains of pushing the bike till the main road ! We echoed together, “Everything happens for the good ! “

And then, began our final sojourn to our home that is insti. And if there’s any word which would describe this drive, it would be ‘COLD’ ! I was lucky driving the Scooty as it wouldn’t be allowed to rev up above 50kmph, thanks to its owner’s instructions, but then again, it was a trade-off for the time taken to come back. In between, I got a call from my mom, and luckily this happened when we had all stopped by a tea-shop, thus giving me time to think and convince her about my ‘safe’ journey..From here started my 100km ride, with just 1 pit-stop in between ( thanks to the cold, which was increasing with the passage of time and my pillion rider, dozing off every second minute ! ) while others, thanks to their bikes’ speeds, were having cold feet much before I did (pun intended :P ), and had to make several more stops. Finally, after making it to insti, and faking an arbit address to the security section, we had reached! The trip was worth it after all, despite the niggles and pains, felt on the return journey. But then, as I would put it “ Pains last for a day; the memories, a lifetime ! “

A few pointers to be noted from the trip ( a habit I picked up after getting pained while going to Big Bazaar and their likes, for what NOT to do and save time, and head back home at the earliest rather than waste time looking out for things which have offers, but are of no fruitful use to the family !) :

1. Spontaneity is the essence of anything related to fun, but it’s always better to plan a bit in advance. It’s ironic, that I never follow this well, but then, I know I’m a hypocrite :)
2. Coconut-water is never sweet all the time..there do exist ones which taste salty, and this is NOT coz of their proximity to the sea ( as explained by one of our trippers, who hails from God’s own land..Ironymax, I know ! )
3. Carry sunscreen ( thanks to our FSAE man for that :P ) and carry a good enough cam, after all “Pictures do speak a thousand words” and you wouldn’t want to have very few memories of such memorable trips, would you ?
4. Don’t lose hope ! I know that “ Jab kismat hai gandu, toh kya karega Pandu ? “ (thanks to Shiny for that quote !), but still Hope does set us free !
5. Do not attempt to start off in top-gear when you haven’t touched a bike for as long as 4 yrs ! You could end up doing a wheelie, and be proud of it, but an afterthought would tell you that you were lucky enough to escape unhurt !
6. Carry a set of trousers and wind-cheaters/full shirts if you feel you might return in the night; if possible, even gloves. This ‘cold’ experience was sure enough an eye opener..
7. Last, but not the least, enjoy the scenic beauty during the trip..Let your beautiful memories not be a blur, especially when the starry sky , the ‘yellow’ moon and its reflection on the rivers passing by are a delight to watch ! ( It also explains the first line of the poem, but the fact that it’s one of my favourite poetic lines could also be a factor for its inclusion :) )

I’ll stop here, I guess, as “Too much gyaan, spoils the blog ! “

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Do a choppy rider rotation ?

The title is an anagram of " A Road Trip to Pondicherry "..and is self referential to how the trip went as far as the riders and the pillion riders were concerned.

Will post soon about the trip as soon as my hands become normal enough to type a post longer than this :) ( a sudden excursion to a place 150 km far does take its toll, I guess !) They are quite normal right now, but I'm lazy :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

The longest call of Someone's Life !

This is dedicated to the poor "salesman" from ABN-Amro Bank, who tried to sell my dad a medical insurance scheme,over phone, via an STD call from Bangalore, which apparently took care of all his family members' thyroid related illnesses, if any were to arise. It's not coz of the pity that I'm typing this down ( I'm known to be merciless, unless I make an exception), but due to a similar painful feeling endured over last summer..

Key :

Salesman from ABN : S
My Dad : M

Salesman's manager : C

S calls up at 1 in the afti on one fine day. My dad aint at home and I pick up only to tell him about it. I ask him to call back after half-hour when he was expected back home, and surprisingly, he follows it up diligently. Once again, to his disappointment, M aint there and I ask him to call up at 2:30pm..which he does again, and to his relief, M is available at home. I know I have a firecracker in hand when I see one, and I felt this was going to be another as here was a salesman, willing to make STD calls to get hold of a client and knowing my father, who knew such stuff due to his professional experience, I thought the man was going to have a tough debut ( as was to be known later in the dialogue that followed, that my dad's no. was the first in his list of assigned work !)...

Here's what transpired :

S : Good afternoon, Mr. M.

M : Good afternoon, yes.

S: Sir, I'm calling from..blah..blah..We're pleased to inform you that you are being offered an excellent insurance scheme called "Thyrocare" from our bank as we value you as our customer..blah,blah ( he goes on without even allowing M to speak a word until he was stopped by..)

M : One sec, one sec..could you repeat the name of the scheme again ?

S : Er..sir, (a sound of flipping through pages :P)..Thyrocare !

M : Ah, ok..and who's offering this scheme ?

S : ABN Amro bank sir..

M : No, No..I meant who's insurance scheme is ABN offering ?

S : Er..It's Reliance Health sir..

M : Well, what all benefits are my family entitled to..if I'm not mistaken, you said my family can enjoy the benefits too as well..

S : No, sir..I never said that Sir..

M : oh no, you did..

S : ( flips through pages again..) Oh yes sir..I'm sorry, even your family can enjoy the benefits..

M : Ah, ok and if I have to blah, blah.. ( he started with one of the many permutations and combinations he could come up with..)

S : Yes sir..yes sir..I guess yes sir..No sir, not that way..( and a series of similar dialogues with just the set of words being interchanged as per his increment in confusion levels due to the level of complexities my father drew him into.. I'm pretty sure he wouldnt have expected such a Chakravyuh in his first prospective-client-call itself..surely must have cursed his boss, and in all likelihood M as well :P )

M : Um, well..your benefits in a quantitative fashion seem ok, but can you elucidate on the actual tests that will take mentioned 57 tests and I'm pretty sure, so many tests can't take place in a day..and I thought there were just 6-7 tests..

S : Sir, these 57 tests are actually sub-units of the major tests..

M : And what are these major tests, may I know ?

S : ( bulbs maajarly)..erm, er..I'll just get my manager on line.. I think he can help you out on this as I'm not too sure Sir...

< and the whole set of conversation above itself was 30 min deep..

M : Ok, please do so...

C : How may I help you, Sir ?

M : I was told of this scheme caled ..blah, blah..I want to knwo about teh exact tests which are conducted ?

C : blahblah, blah..blahblah...( and M's listening to all the gibberish he's telling over the line..btw, I had asked M to continue the convo in loudspeaker that I could have my share of sadistic fun :P )

M : Fine, but you seem to offer just 2-3 tests actually which are of use to me..what about the following ? blahblah..blahblah ( I never knew M knew so much about med stuff ! )

C : ( bulbs for a while ), actually they total upto about 57 sir..

M : agreed, but what about the rest I asked for ?...

C : urm, let me check up about them sir.. ( and conveniently escapes from the scene :P )

M : Ok, please make it faster..

S : Urm sir, so will you take up the insurance then..
M : Well, get back to me with set of tests first, please..

S : Erm, yes sir.. ( prays for his manager to come back with the vital data..)

..C has escaped completely from the scene..and S tries to fake some stuff..

S : Sir, these are the final list of tests on offer..blahblah..

M : Ok, that seems fair enough to me..

S : So will you take up the insurance sir..I've the papers ready right now, and canI have your address please ? ( he was evidently ion a hury to close this deal..already 40 min were up, and he was getting nervous from his tone)

M : Oh come on, how can I say yes so easily..I'll have to consult my family about this..gimme 2 days time, I think we can talk then..

S : but sir, you know the details well right ?

M : why dont you email me the details coz I feel, even my family members should not know the details..and written data would be better than hearsay right ?..plz mail me on..

S : but si, why dont you accept this..I'll mail you soon..

M : Please dont hurry up Mr. I told you erlier, I need time.. I cant make a decision just from 1 call..

S : ( Puts up a very senti speech on how this was his first call, and how much he hoped to clinch this deal..for his mercy, I wont print the's anothe fact that I dont exctly rem the words except the theme of his speech :P )

M : ( starts of on a profit-and-loss part of the scheme in which if his family members dont use one part of his, he would be losing Rs. X k of money, and so on and so forth..)

S : Sir, but this is a very good scheme sir, and for your benefit that we are offering..

M : Look Mr. S, it's related to my health and I cant take a decision so soon..please mail me the details, we shall talk later...

S : But Sir, why cant you just say yes, when you are convinced about it ? ( his tone was getting a bit impatient her, and I'm pretty sure, had M been in front of him, he would have bashed him up with his chair ! )

M : I cant. am sorry..not now, at least..

S : Sir, never has anyone asked me so many questions as well sir.. I thought you were going to say yes ( obviously trying to repair the damage inflicted by his first set of words.:P )

M : As a client, I'm supposed to ask questions and you're supposed to answer them..Please dont think this job of yours is easy..this is a part and parcel of the should allow us our rightful time..

S : ok, sir.I shall call you day-after-tomorrow then..( sounding impatient to cut a call effot gone in vain)

M : and the e-mail ?

S : I shall do that also Sir..

M : thank you for your information, Mr. S..

S cuts the call abruptly.. M gives me the triumphant smile that one would give after a lawyer has won a case ! This whole talk lasted about 50 min !! that too on STD :P

No e-mail was received by M from S nor did S call back after 48hrs..that was the last of least I hope so :)