Thursday, February 24, 2005


Hi Guys,
This is something I wrote long back and my classmates/collegmates mistook me for the Hero er... not hero...uhhh...the main character. So read on and PLEASE comment!!!!


"Colour! Colour! What colour do you choose?".I could hear the kids screamtheir lungs out even though I lived 4 floors away from them. The kidsin my building are at their noisily best when they play this game. The objective of the game is that the catcher yells out a color and therest clutch to things that matches the colour yelled out by thecatcher. If you fail to get hold of anything of that colour, you willbe the next catcher. Well folks this simple little game caused me oneof the most unpleasant experiences of my life. So here is what happened on that fateful day.It was just like any other normal weekend. I woke up late in themorning and went out to the balcony to read the newspaper. I saw theSTAR BUZZ column by Rosie Marie, she warned me of an impending embarrassment. I didn't take it very seriously because the previous week she predicted that a gorgeous girl would fall in love with me. I naturally got carried away but nothing of such sort happened, instead I fell ill that week and I had a grumpy 65-year-oldretired male army doctor to treat me. So I didn't have the chance ofmeeting a girl let alone her being gorgeous. The normal weekend took a wicked twist when I decided to go out to grab something to eat fromthe nearby supermarket.On my way to the car park I saw a stunningly beautiful girl., She introduced herself as Sherin and told me that she was new to thebuilding and was going to occupy the flat opposite to mine. I was overjoyed and thought that there was perhaps some truth about these astro predictions. It just takes a some time for these predictions to come true.So what, if it didn't happen the previous week. I want results and wouldn't mind they weren't quick. I tried to put a very sincere look on my face and told her that she could count on me for any help that would be required. She thanked me and went towards her car and I was walking towards mine.Suddenly there was a big commotion, the attention of all the kids was riveted on me. They started running towards me,they were charging down the car park like a raging bull. They were perilously close and Iwasn't sure whether to stand there or run. Through the corner of eye Isaw Sherin still in the car park. I can't let her see a bunch of kids scaring me away, so I stood there like Russel Crowe in the amphitheater a.k.a Gladiator, not sure what to expect. All the kids yelled BLACK!! and caught hold of my hand. There was one lone kid standing on the other end of the car park yelling NOT FAIR! NOT FAIR!I was totally confused and couldn't quite understand the sequence of events that unfolded in the past few minutes. I heard some one laughing and turned around. It was Sherin she was moving towards the boy standing alone. She consoled him saying that there is no harm in being the catcher again and reminded him that it was just a game. Iwas just thinking of how sweet she was with children and that's when it hit me like lightning, a game.....oh no! it all made sense to me. These little insensitive brats categorized me as a black object because of my dark complexion.Sherin was walking towards me and I tried my best to conceal the embarrassed look on my face. It was a game and since Sherin was new to the building she wouldn't know what it was all about and why the children came running towards me shouting black. So in effect there was no damage done. She then said, "Manu is a very sensitive boy andhe gets disappointed very easily." I gave her a blank look. She then quickly added "Oh, how foolish of me, Manu is my son, the boy.....uhh...who is the catcher."She pointed to the direction of the kids. I slowly recuperated from the second blow that she dealt me.
The gorgeous girl who was supposed to fall in love with me turns out to be a married woman who has a 7-year-old son. I gave her another blank stare and quickly opened the door of my car. She giggled and then said "These Kids!!! (deadly! if you picture the radiant smile that accompanied these words) There is a black Mercedes standing just right next to them and they run to you instead." That was the final blow. I lost my appetite. I was humiliated by a bunch of kids, the lady who was supposed to love me, tells me about her sensitive son and then reminds me that I beat a gleaming black Mercedes for the "Blackest Thing In the Building Award". Since that fateful day I have realized that astrology predictions work only on alternate weeks. I sat inside the car and bid good bye to Sherin and went for a long drive.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005 I come!

Long long ago, I took a course called Digital Enterprise which was offered by the college of management. The prof demonstrated the use of stat counters to effectivel analyze your webstats in order to improve your E-Business. So the entrepreneur that I am, I have decided to use a free counter offered by . It looks really cool....I have so far received 55 unique hits, not much but I am going to do a massive marketing campaign to push my numbers up. My detractors have dampened my spirits by saying that 55 may not be right as some people can access my blog from different computers. Why am I doing all this? good question....a friend pointed out that someone from penguin was blog hopping and was so impressed by a blog that he/she gave the author a contract. So if harper collins/penguin/maybe even NCERT(if I plan to write that text book for second graders on this blog) visit my blog and look at how popular my blog is they would offer me a contract too. NCERT people blog hopping...yeah very slim chances.Hey Chith...I can see that smirk on your face....wipe it off. Yeah, I know vain hopes....but no harm in dreaming.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Five Musketeers

When you are a poor grad student you tend to remember all the different transactions that takes place on the home front. The electricity bill, phone bill, rent, cable...groceries the list is endless. Ever since I landed here I have become an expert qith the 45, 44 and 43 tables...(tables: math remember 2*1=2,2*2=4). I have become very careful with money.....and my dad was overjoyed to hear this (yeah after 24,000 dollars down the drain, he ought to). But there is this one particular transaction that I can never forget. It was last summer, the Indian student Association oraganized a picnic to a lake nearby. One guy...lets call him X didnt have any money on him. We learnt that boating would cost 5 dollars per person. So X borrowed 5 dollars from me. As X was a respectable PhD student(a Dr. in front of your name you automatically command respect from slimy earthlings like me) and a very good friend of mine. I didn't mind giving him the money because you can't get nicer guys than him.
I wasn't in the mood for 5 dollars and you do your own rowing gimme a break. So I went home. The next morning I met X at the bus stop....we were discussing about the picnic and about the desi chicks coming for the fall sem. He even let me in on the ingenious idea of how committee memebers encouraged girls to send a snap of themselves in the pretext of making identification easier in the pickup process(to all prospective women graduate students and boyfriendsof prospective women graduate students...beware....ISA is not all honey and sugar, there are some smart devils too). We boarded the bus and thats when I realized that I didnt bring my wallet. Shit...I had to work till 5pm what am I gonna do for lunch. Thats when I looked at X with a relief. X will bail me out...who in the world told that lending money spoils a friendship. I have to be a little careful here X is a good friend of mine so I can't just point blank ask him " Hey man give me my 5 bucks". So I tried to drop subtle hints. You gotta do certain things with class. So we sat next to each other on the bus and I started off my hinting mission.
Me: "So X, that was lovely picnic you guys organized"
X:"50 ppl turned up...last year it was just 20"
Me thinking....hmm so many jobless people in town
Me:"Wow, thats great!"
X nodding his head in acknowledgement
Me:"So, X how was the boating"
X:"It was really cool! reminded me of my final year trip to Kodai"
Me thinking....X dude 'boating' 'picinic' doesnt it make any sense....maybe it was a little too subtle...poor guys is a researcher we need to make things more obvious....patience!!
Me:"Oh so you went boating in Kodai"
X:"No, I didn't, my girlfriend was a little afraid so I had to stay know moral support...but all the other guys had real kinduv made up for all the lost fun yesterday"

Me:"But charging 5 dollars was outrageous...dont you think wasn't even a motor boat"
Me thinking....this was very obvious...... one five dollar bill will do...even five one dollar bills will do...I will take them in quarters dimes or nickels....just give it to me....
X:" No...not Lake xyz they charge 7 this is a little cheaper...any ways there is no fun in a motor boat....rowing, the physical excercise thats what is needed man"
Me thinking.....thats it man...I shamelessly went to the next level I mentioned '5' 'ticket' 'boating' you still dont remember
I was quiet for sometime and pretended to read the paperback that I had in hand.
X: "Hey what book is that?"
Me: "The three musketeers..."
X:" I saw the movie, it sucked...charlie sheen was in it, total crap"
Me thinking...hey wait a minute I have an idea
Me:"X you know, researchers found out that the original draft of the book have FIVE..F I V E musketeers and not three as originally seems the book was very long and the editor chopped 2 characters to make it shorter"
Me thinking...Dude come on Alexander Dumas will walk out of his grave and kill me if I continue any more....gimme my money!!!
X: "Strange man...these guys do all kinds of research.....Ok man gottago this is my stop I gotta get down and do some serious research...or else my prof will whoop my ass"
I had a very disappointed look on my face
Me:"I will get off work at FIVE pm...cya then" Yeah I didnt have lunch that day...... I have stopped trying the 'classy' bit....and decided to be as ruthless as my community(chettiars.......baniya in Hindi).
gee FIVE minutes to 10

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Chew on this

"Saving is the best thing, especially if your parents have done it for you"-Anonymous

Sounds familiar!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2005 GooD OnE!

A little kid asks his father, "Daddy, is God a man or a woman?"
"Both son. God is both."
After awhile the kid comes again and asks, "Daddy, is God black or white?"
"Both son, both."
"Daddy, does God love children?"
"Yes son, he loves all children."
The child comes running back a few minutes later and says, "Daddy, I know who God is"
The dad gets perplexed, " And who would that be Son?"
The kid beamed and replied "Michael Jackson!!"


Saturday, February 12, 2005

Statutory Warning: A very long piece

I am working on a project with an Amru girl. She works for IBM and is a part time M.S student. While she was dropping me home, we had a conversation about alcohol. She was shocked to hear that I have never ever tasted alcohol in my life...(actually I lied...I had a glass of champagne....but I completely forgot about it.....). She then told me that she used to booze and party a lot like any other normal undergrad a coupluv years back. But, she got scared after graduating because she didn't know what to do next. She was working part time at restaurants and hotels and finally at some point she decided to pursue a masters and she kinduv stopped drinking.During her second semester she was offered a job by IBM. So working and studying keeps her very busy and if at all she has the time it is just for the occasional beer. She then told me of the days when she worked at a hotel where she had all the time in the world to do all kinds of stuff. It seems there were a lot of guys who used to smoke POT, so she desperately tried to like smoking POT :) in order to hang out with these "cool" guys. So no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't make herself to smoke POT. She quit her job after a couple of months and she considers that to be a turning point in her life. Because if she just continued working in that hotel she would have never thought of doing her Masters.Now, people this is what she had to say, and I do know of scores of intelligent people who drink, smoke and also know what their priorities in life are.
But, one thing that I had to agree with her is the fact that 'you force yourself to do things that you feel uncomfortable with just so that other people think highly of you or rather dont think lowly of you'. Do psychologists call this the acceptance syndrome....I guess another word for it is peer pressure. Why do people always feel the need to be accepted by the society. We have always given names to people who do not conform to what we perceive as the 'so called' normal way of living....nomads,gypsies,hippies...tribals. If they like to live in a hut with no electricity killing animals for food....let them do it. Do you really have to bring in the missionaries to educate them about God ( a concept which people debate about in the civilized world) and make them civil. Isn't that called intrusion of privacy. How would we feel if the tribals came into the city and tried to make us live their life.Thank God, we are a majority, I just cannot picture my self wearing a designer leaf skirt with a bow hungrily waiting for my meal of human kebab. And, I am sure they would feel out of place too. Just like the animals in circuses and zoos. I Saw a movie called employee of the month.....where the protaganist a highschool dropout who successfuly cons himself into a job as an investment banker with a big bank...he says something to this effect(forgot the exact dialogue) "I just saw this man on the street, with a good suit an amazing car.....I bet he would have had a great house and a beautiful wife.....then I just thought for a minute.......what would it take to become like him......thats when I decided to build a fake resume and apply for this job....I tried to become someone that I was not.....I have everything....just like that man on the street....but its not me....I am not happy". I thought that to be the only sensible thing in an otherwise crappy movie.
I guess you can term someone a failure only if he himself regrets about what he is doing for a living . If the guy enjoys his job as a mechanic then he has really made it big in life.I guess I borrowed this from thalai(read Rajini). I am not entirely happy with what I am doing now.....lessee if I can change that.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


I just found out a relative of mine had breast cancer. It seems he was having a growth in his breast region for the past few years. He thought it was harmless and moreover breast cancer in men was a very rare occurence. But, tests revealed it to be cancerous. He is going to undergo chemotherapy and I hope every thing works out well. Lately there has been a spate of illness occuring to my near and dear ones. I just pray to God that he keeps everyone healthy and makes sure that we eat three times a day.
But, for some odd reason...this news did not affect me very much. Was it because he was just a relative and not immediate family. Have I become so selfish and cruel?Sometimes I hate myself for being insensitive. I remember people crying at a fueneral, there was this other incident where a cousin of mine got seriously injured in an accident....very painful....but I just didn't feel anything. I was sad but I don't think that I felt the pain as the others did. Why am I like this....why can't I just cry?

Friday, February 04, 2005

joke da machhan

Back in college....when people cracked "yucky" jokes....they would get an immediate rejoinder "Joke da machhan" followed by mocking laughter...and the poor guy who cracked the joke just felt like getting out of that place.
So...after taking you through all that crap....I wanted to share a really a good joke which my ASIC Design prof cracked in class. He is a really cool guy, he knows how boring a 1hr 15 minute class can be so halfway through the class he tries to lighten up everyone by cracking a joke. The joke in the first class was quite unbearable, I preferred looking at the monstrous chips he had to show in class rather than listening to that joke. But unexpectedly last week the joke he cracked was truly funny.

My prof was a Captain with the Australian Army way back in 1991. So this is an Army joke....

" There is this regiment which have set up camp near the enemy lines. They had a really brave captain as the commanding officer. One fine day, a sergeant comes to the Captain hurriedly and shouts out..."Captain, Captain....a unit comprising of 100 enemy soldiers and a tank are approaching our camp sir"
The captain was calm and unruffled and he told the sergeant...." Sergeant, prepare our men and get my red coat." And the captain and his men defeat the enemy
A week went by and the sergeant walked in again and told the captain......."Captain, Captain....a unit comprising of a 500 enemy soldiers with assault rifles, machine guns and grenades along with 3 tanks are approaching our camp sir"
The captains reply was the same " Sergeant, prepare our men and get my red coat."
The cap and his men win again
At this point the sergeant was curious to know why the captain wanted to wear the red coat before every fight and so he asks the captain.....The captain replied "Sarge, the reason why I wear the red coat is that even if get shot, I don't want our men to notice it. i dont want my men tp get demoralized, I want them to fight with passion and vigor"
The sergeant was moved and saluted the captain and retired to bed.
The next day the sergent calmly walked to the captain " Sir the enemy this time around has sent out 3 platoons of soldier, 2 battalions of tanks, 10 attack helicopters....Shall I go and get your red coat sir?"
The captains answer was "GET ME MY BROWN PANTS!!!!"

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Pearls of Wisdom

This is something that my friend Sriramakrishnan Srinivasan...(well if you call that a long name, here is how my roomies name goes Allampalayam Jayaraman Kannan)...Ok coming to the point, Sriram wrote something that touched a chord with many of my friends.

Hi Guys,
I was just reflecting the other day about times at VIT and life in general and I must say I came up with some very self probing and revealing insights.How many of us remember the times we were at VIT when gangs of people would get together and there would be general talks on how we fromVIT would not stand a chance in the big bad world! I must say we have not done badly for ourselves and there's no reason to not be optimistic. Just take a look at the profiles of the people on this group ! Now many of us still dont have jobs and are still to earn a penny but IMHO thats not an indication of success. Often times the pursuit of a dream and happiness is more fulfilling than the destination which will always be a step distant but I belive we areall getting there in out own little ways.There is however only one thing that bothers me. I call it the "Comfort Zone Syndrome ". I do belive that many of my friends from VIT are short charging themselves ( as I have done in the past ) bynot taking calculated risks. Often a risk must be taken head on. But the Indian and general mentality is to always have a "concrete" backup plan. However, more often than not, this concrete back up planbecomes the comfort zone and the original plan is forgotten.How many of us (either on this forum or friends we can think of)promised ourlseves that we would "eventually" do that thing of ourdreams - and that the job/ temporary occupation/ course was just astop gap/ back up plan?Perhaps I am being unrealistic.But its just that I always belivedthat there were many in VIT who had real potential with theintelligence. And I have tried always to push them on the path theydread - the path of risk. No journey is without risk.What I would request of members of this forum therefore - if youremember a friend from VIT (or indeed from anywhere) who one daytold you his dream (perhaps under the influence of alcohol in RiverView :) and if he has forgotten about it - then plese do this - fireup a browser and write him a mail. This could change someone's life.Its nice to see some people on this forum whom I have not met in awhile. Isnt it surprising that its almost 2 years since we left college!To round off - my only fear for those who have not taken the bigplunges yet - will we have the courage to tread the path of fear?Because in time many will have a wife and children ;) Risk takingwill definitely not come naturally then if it has not already.

Regards Sriram

Well he mentions about people not having jobs...thats because half of the guys are working on their way to a Phd or a M.S. but I guess the general feeling right now is whether we really want that Phd...I mean you are too sure of something 10 minutes back and you already start doubting yourself now. I guess thats how life is
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