January 29, 2003

In my endeavor to stitch, I’m learning a virtue called patience, which God forgot to give me when distributing virtues amongst the July- born.

Music or Work?
Thanks to a portable CD player gift by Indira, I’ve become a music freak. I listen to songs, day in & day out.That includes listening to songs when in the college lab too.The first day I tried this out, I was very apprehensive,yanking off my headphones whenever I saw a teacher. Then I got bolder & started keeping them on . Since we are in the coding phase of our project, nowadays my PP’s & I just have a lot of (de)bugging days.Music serves a double purpose-it helps to keep you sane & drowns out all the jabber.I thought someone would comment on this, but surprises of all surprises, none of the teachers scolded me. I was quite puzzled, mind you, happy but also puzzled, until one of the profs very kindly cleared my doubts. He came to call our class for a lecture & I happened to be listening to music then. He then asked me what I did with those headphones. Before I could answer that, he looked at the CD player in my hand & asked me what it was.I then realized that the teachers didn’t know that the gadget I had was a CD player. He gave me an amused look and asked me if I was listening to music. I couldn’t deny that. I came to know, courtesy his explanation that all the teachers thought I was listening to audio files for my project coz it deals with multimedia streams & I keep working along with listening to music. A very obliging Rohit removed his misconception.(Wait till he comes to college again!) I thought I was doomed but he laughingly asked me to carry on & left. That was very nice of him. Today the lab-in-charge asked me the same Q again. She was shocked on knowing I listened to songs.That was until I offered her the player.She said that since I’d be hearing it regularly now, she’d hear it sometime later.
I thought only teachers had this misconception , but I was wrong. Some SEites were looking at some of our encoders with curiosity,when Ruddhi & I arrived there.They got all frightened thinking they had opened some stuff not intended for them, but calmed down when Rudh & I explained it to them.They even ventured to ask how my wearing headphones was related to the project. I could hardly contain my laughter when I told them I listened to music, & neither could they when they heard it.
I guess most of the teachers must have come to know about it, but no one seems to have any problem. As long as I make a show of working seriously, they give me a free hand. I didn’t know COEP teachers were so broad-minded!

January 27, 2003

Curious Company!
I was waiting at the COEP hostel signal today, when a vehicle “walked up” and stood by me. I say ‘walked up’ coz it was actually an elephant! Not just a normal elephant, but a very curious one! While it waited too, it explored the adjacent bus, sniffing the wheels & the vehicle lights with its trunk and also managed to put its trunk through a window, scaring the wits out of a passenger. Getting bored, it then turned its attention to my Kinetic. It had just started its exploration when the signal turned green. I was wondering what to do, when, very politely, it removed its trunk and let me pass. This elephant has more manners than some people I’ve seen in the past few days!

I had to do today what all needle-haters hate to do-take three injections.I actually had to take them on Saturday, but a delay by the druggist made me reach the hospital, a bit too late. The big, fat, menacing nurse offered to give them, but I took one look at her and ran away (I’ve had the horrible experience of taking an injection from her once; that’s enough to last a lifetime). Finally taking them today, I was warned that the Meningitis vaccine would cause a lot of pain. I still went to college, had a pretty normal day & thought that the doctor scared me for no reason, but he was right. When evening came, I was ready to howl with pain.
Imagine 2 more such doses! Why can’t someone invent a one-time vaccine? I don’t know what would be worse,getting meningitis, or taking its vaccine.

January 26, 2003

I've spent the past few weeks reading the novels of Jane Austen. Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility,Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion. Have to read Mansfield Park yet, but the first reading in school left no allure there. I had read the rest in school too, but read them with equal joy again.The old-world ,quaint romance has a charm of its own.
I got this huge fat single book(quite equal to being called a tome) from a friend(Teju) sometime in early Jan, knowing fully well that there was no chance I could finish it before college began. Its not easy to resist the temptations of a book. I'm sure bibliophiles would agree with me. Since the day never affords time enough, I've had a delightful time, reading the novels at nights on a stretch. Wearing your most comfortable (read old) pajamas, wrapped in a tattered rug or shawl (you can't get snug in a sweater), with hot chocolate & chocolates for company, do you need anything more? Perfect for getting engrossed in the book, to laugh with the heroine, exclaim at the injustice against her, feel sad & confused when she does, wish that the hero would offer her his hand sooner, feel happy when it ends as "they lived happily ever after". This led to me going to sleep at a time when most wake up. It also meant trying to stifle yawns in lectures, not nodding off to sleep in front of the comp. Now I can look forward to some sleep.
Though I liked all the novels, Northanger Abbey is kind of fun reading coz it makes fun of the Gothic fashions in a satirical manner. It also has some 2-3 chapters dedicated to about how a person influenced by horror stories can very easily imagine a normal house to be a mysterious place & a normal person to be a murderer!
I have never developed a taste for a specific kind of book yet. I generally read whatever comes my way, or anything suggested by friends. Only something akin to a strong distaste during the course of the book can make me put it down. So, which book to pick up next?

I take back my words.One of my very first blogs was on how people from school don't seem to recognize me, thanks to my changed appearance. I was proved wrong yesterday.
Priya & I visited Veritas, courtesy the KN'R group( that's Kiran,Nikhil,Rohit).When in the canteen we saw only one other group of ladies, it being a Saturday. One girl from that group gave me a look of recognition & a half-smile. I returned it, hoping it wasn't anybody I'm supposed to know coz I just couldn't place her.She ventured to ask me whether I was an Abhinavite. Getting a yes, she said we definitely were in the same school. Another Q-"Don't you have a sister?" I then came to know that she was my sister's classmate in school. I was rather pleased that someone whom I haven't seen in the past 8 years (Don't get any ideas,it'll soon be only 6 years since I passed out of school,she's 2 years senior to me)managed to recognize me.
Not bad,eh?

Alai Payuthe..Marpadiyum!
That's Alai Payuthe... again. Watched it yesterday for the umpteenth time. I've really lost count the number of times I've seen it, more in parts than the whole at a time. Each time I find something new I never noticed before.I also appreciate the songs more. I'm so glad I pestered Indira for the CD's.
I always had this experience that when you hear songs before seeing their picturisation, you let your imagination run wild, & when you actually see the songs, they kind-of let you down. That didn't happen here.I also feel that a movie stands the test when it makes you want to see it again.Saathiya doesn't make me feel that.Dunno why.
During one such selected scenes viewing, I realized that my Dad was staring at the screen under the pretext of some work. Now he's always disdainful of most Tamil movies.So I decided to show him some of the better scenes, & maybe persuade him to watch the movie.
The sarcasm-filled lecture by Madhavan's Dad & Shalini squabbling with her Mom, at the beginning of the movie generated the comment "Seems to be ok, Who's the director?" The reply-Mani Rathnam was received with a "No Wonder"(He's seen Roja & liked it). His interest now aroused, I showed him Pachhai Nirame ,some more scenes,then Evano Oruvan.Another comment with a start"Is this song in this movie?"(Since I listen to Alai Payuthe songs almost everyday, with passive listening, he's started liking those songs too,especially Evano Oruvan)Some more scenes ,then I get "Seems to be nice movie, should watch it when I have time".He was returning to his work,when I made him see one last scene-the accident. It had the suitable effect. I thought this was surely enough to make him watch it later, so closed the movie & went off. After some time, when I was engrossed in something else,out of the blue came the Q-"So ,what happens in the end?".He then actually sat down & watched the end.
I've managed to turn my Dad into a Rahman+Rathnam fan.He listens to my fav list even more than I do.
Now I can be sure all the songs on my Hard Disk won't lie unused, even if I'm not there.

January 22, 2003

A Sigh of Relief ….
Time to sit down and take a breather. Finally all my apping is over. Just minor threads to be tied up. A really long process which started right after my GRE with mails to lots of friends asking for information. I’m thankful most replied back. Sifting through all the mind-boggling information, narrowing down the choices of Univs (unsuccessfully), download & print forms, run after teachers for recos, sit with a look of despair on your face and all the packets spread about you (not a clue as to what goes in which packet),temporarily lose all your packets just before the day of exams ,I’ve been through all these stages. Now its time to sit back and watch with my fingers crossed.
I also had the opportunity to advise most of my friends circle on the ‘How-to-Apply’ topic. Since I was involved in the A to Z of Indira’s application process, I became wise with experience & loaded with information. Just distributing some of it among friends. Which brings me to the question: Do the supposedly admission institutes really serve any purpose other than taking your money? Why buy something when it is freely available?
Talking this out with a friend, we landed jumping in the opposite direction. Neha showed some of her CA+MBA-in–the-making mind and suggested that we just start our business, me being the advisor, the business end her forte. She even has a list of prospective clients lined up(she has all the contacts;)).Guess if we actually went into business, might even land up making some profit!
So Neha, should we say “Move over others, we’re coming!”

January 21, 2003

A stitch or two.…
Back from my first lesson in tailoring. Learnt to cut & stitch a blouse today. Punjabi suits come next. Finally my trial-&-error work gets some direction. I already have to my credit, 2 Punjabi suits & a skirt. Stitching them was a revelation (with zero knowledge-my way was to take a dress to pieces ,observe it& try to cut a new one in the same way)&, luck, more than skill accounted for their success. So I’m happy there is someone to guide me now. My long desired wish, which I kept putting off for lack of time, is ironically being fulfilled at a time, which can hardly not be called busy. The last of my trilogy of knitting, embroidery, & stitching. Now I can buy new clothes under the pretext of learning to stitch them:) (Poor Dad!)
I’m on my way towards being self-sufficient!

The Name Game
Things have come to such a pass, even my teachers have started calling me “Hari”. Is my beautiful uncommon name, which my parents so meticulously searched for, destined to be of no significance anymore:(

January 19, 2003

THE Chair
This concerns a chair (or single sofa) at home. The reason is that it is the favourite of all visitors. It happens to be the chair nearest to the door. Is it that people on entering our home are so thankful to find a chair so near that they sink into it, or is it coz it is so near the door that they feel it safe to sit there and escape at some point of time very easily? It is the least liked chair in our house, not being in a position of vantage concerning the TV. Neither does it afford an opportunity for visitors to view our painstakingly decorated showcase :( (I really mean painstakingly, because there are always a hundred different opinions on which object should be placed where). All it has to offer is the sight of a window, which frames another building. If only the chair were turned the other way, there would be the pleasure of seeing lush green trees. But that is not to be. Now the bolder ones venture to sit on the adjacent chair, the really friendly ones come as far as to sit on the divan. Sitting on the divan affords the best opportunity to admire the room, but that’s the privilege of very few. I keep suggesting to my dad that there’s no point in having a showcase if there are going to be hardly any admirers for it.
I need my visitors to answer this favoritism towards the chair. My curiosity won’t be satisfied till then.

A Hostess for a Day
Saturday was my day of receiving guests, in a gradually increasing number. One in the afternoon, two at mid-afternoon, two again in the evening. All meant to come on different days, landing up on the same day. All as unlike each other as possible. A chance for me to observe different kinds of people.
If there is one thing I hate, its dressing up for visitors. It is one subject where I vociferously disagree with my Mom. Maybe I am just plain lazy. My Mom realizing my intentions, cleverly managed to send me out in the morning forcing me to wear a good dress, thus ensuring that I make a decent appearance in front of people.I continued with my resolution of wearing lenses on weekends. This did make Indira’s friends comment on me being all dressed up (They have had the benefit of seeing me in most unflattering dresses & specs).
As I was trying out my portable CD player when one visitor arrived, in my haste to remove the headphones, I yanked them in the wrong direction, getting them all entangled in my hair, making a mess of it. That’s not pretty situation for a hostess inviting her visitor in to be:) I was very much gratified when nobody noticed it. I am also happy to finally have audio CD’s. Now I can hear music even on the go. I found a perfect chance for that today. I went for a solitary drive, enjoying Rahman music to my heart’s content.The joy of not having to listen to the noise on the road!I kept the headphones on even while walking for errands,This generated quite a few stares(people must have thought me to be a gizmo girl or some bakwas like that), but who cares!I was not disturbing the world, the world was not disturbing me.I also disposed of the mound of mp3’s written for my friends this week since all of them finally found time to collect their stuff. Initially it was “CD’s CD’s everywhere ,but not even one to hear”(for my CD player).Now it is “CD’s CD’s everywhere, & everything to hear:)”
Half the afternoon spent chatting away to glory, the rest half advising friends(though I can’t seem to figure out why people would want my advice), the evening spent with Indira’s friends. Not having seen them since they graduated, we had lots of stuff to talk about, not in the least about Indira. Some snaps clicked too. A customary visit, to eat hot, steaming idlis(with the insistence that nothing less than Mulaga Podishould accompany them), before they leave for the US. I received a compliment(was it one?) that I speak exactly like Indira-same style, same kind of voice, same non-stop chatter. I didn’t know we were that alike!
I also received the first snaps of Indira, shot with her own camera. There was a very pretty picture of a Christmas tree at her Spanish friend’s place. Those people sure know how to decorate trees with glittering balls, angels & all!
A delightful day to be sure. I tried to be a good hostess, but I don’t know if I succeeded (This seems to pop out from a Jane Austen novel) I only hope I didn’t scare them away & all the visits are repeated so that I can try some more of my being-a-nice-hostess stuff on them!
Note:If my blog seems strange or formal or quaint in parts or whole , it should be excused coz right now I am under the influence of Jane Austen, transported for some 8-9 hours everyday to some eighteen century world.

January 17, 2003

Just Power Cords, if you please
Right now, fuming!!Nowadays people don't just take away a mouse or a keyboard,they take away power cords too! I started some downloads, locked my PC so that no one should mess with it & went to the BC for 10-15 minutes.When I come back, what do I see? Some smart alec seeing that the neighbouring comp was not connected, conveniently took the power cords from my comp.Finished his work & went off too before I came back.If I ever find him, will surely give him a piece of my mind.groan... Now will have to start all the downloads again:(

January 16, 2003

More Snaps!
Added new photos in my virtual photo album last week. Waiting for more.Now only if someone would hand over the tour snaps!

Helmet Please.
This is a please-take-it-seriously blog, more on the merits & less on the demerits of using a helmet as the title very explicitly suggests.
In the past six months I have witnessed many of my friends become accident victims, some serious, some not so serious. Almost all escaped getting badly hurt. I observed that none of these people wore helmets at the time of their accidents. I am sure helmet haters would have lots to say, but isn't it better to be safe than sorry? Typical cynics would say that we had better protect our whole body first, or mutter something like it was our destiny etc etc.. I beg to differ.
Enough proof is this: One of my friends was initially a regular helmet wearer, then let it lapse. As luck would have it(destiny here?), on one such non-helmet day, she met with an accident very near her house, severe enough to cause head injuries. She did lament afterwards for not wearing one. A happier one ,but not less frightening is an incident when another friend was thrown off her bike on JM road, almost crushed between 2 PMT buses. She fell on her head, but escaped coz she was wearing a helmet. I'm sure she's thanked God a hundred times since for the good sense he gave her.
My admission to COEP was not without its share of accidents.All the three times I visited the college,my Dad & I were witness to horrible accidents, reporting atleast one. It led to the situation of my Dad trying to persuade me to join Cummins instead. After long entreaties(no offence to Cumminites,I know there's going to be atleast one reading this), I was allowed to join COEP only on the condition of wearing a helmet everyday.
I am glad I do wear one, it saved me once last year in a freak accident.
Now before this starts to feel like a public service message, consider a sincere plea-What do you stand to lose aside from the pleasure of the wind blowing through your hair?( & I doubt if the city affords that pleasure either with all the traffic & pollution) Please don't let your helmets rust at home.
There ends the serious part. Jyoti too had been involved in an accident when driving a bike last sem & so her brother rightly feels that she should wear a helmet while driving.The problem here is that while we often see drivers & vehicles bereft of helmets, it is rare to see a driver & helmet bereft of a vehicle. This strange situation arises coz she travels for her project to & fro from college on a bike with Angana, whereas travel to & from home is by bus. What use is a helmet on a bus? My impromptu Hera-Pheri solution received brickbats.I dare not venture suggest any more(See Jyotya, I'm so afraid:)Any ideas anyone?

January 15, 2003

The Idiosyncrasies of a Sore Throat
The reason for me not posting any article for the past 3 days has been one of my famous sore throats. I generally land up with it atleast once per semester without fail.
There are the typical symptoms (fever, tiredness, I’ll stop before I start sounding like a doctor), but my distinguishing feature is the change in my voice. I’ll go cough, cough, cough & before you know it my voice has become all deep & husky. When this happened once in school, I startled all my teachers, some of whom even felt that I was doing it on purpose. My class delighted with such an opportunity for a break from boring lectures, did all they could to encourage it, asking me to change my voice even more (Some even offered to get me anything to eat that would make my voice grow worse!). That day, we managed to waste atleast 10 minutes of every lecture.
It happened again in SE, with a lot more severity this time. The result, I could barely speak. The major problem was Barry’s lecture (For don’t-knows he used to be the terror of the Comp dept & took oral roll-call). Nobody else wanted to give my attendance fearing that he’d catch him or her for a proxy (inspite of all my written pleadings). My roll-no came, I managed to raise my hand, nudged Nidhi to call out, but she, having just answered hers before, kept quiet. I then managed to croak out a “yes”. Now, he obviously didn’t recognize the voice, thought it was a proxy, got angry, was on the point of shouting at the class, when I stood up & tried to explain with gestures. He was pacified on seeing me, & asked me what happened. I couldn’t even croak out “sore throat”! I finally got some help there. I’m generally known to be a very talkative person, so those days were excruciating for me. An opportunity was never missed to remind me that I couldn’t speak. I was also the recipient of innumerable home remedies with lots of free advice thrown in. When my throat finally improved a little, it was time to laugh over the strange sound of my voice.
The bonus here is a cold. My voice hardly returns to normal when I catch a cold, making it go all high pitchy. You’d never recognize it either. One week of that, till the voice comes back to normal; I’ve had a range of voices in a span of 2-3 weeks. If I learnt to throw them, what fun! One advantage here is that I can avoid talking to people whom I don’t like, on the phone very easily. I can very well pick up the phone myself during this time & say I’m not at home!
All that is history. This time I already had a sore throat during the hols, & felt quite safe, when I made a new discovery. You don’t need to have a pain in your throat to get a throat infection. It is enough for affected tonsils to make one cheek of yours swell up to a disproportionate size making you look like you’ve got mumps on one side of your face. Looking like an asymmetric alien(no change in voice), I went to the doctor, who managed to make my swelling subside, giving me a presentable face to show the world. (He’s also temporarily turned me into a pill popper, yuck yuck!) My friends were disappointed at not being able to see the alien me. Don’t worry guys, there’s always a next time!

Isn't it strange, when you go shopping for someone else,you find everything that you'd like to buy & when the time comes to shop for yourself, there is nothing which commands your attention?

January 13, 2003

Halfway around the world..echoing the same sentiments..a lazy sunday morning. Though was woken up by my cute 5 year old nephew Keshav, who had his reason for doing so..."I want to play with Indu aunty" :-) This after quite a busy Saturday, having gotten up quite early in the morning to go to the temple, it being "Kudarai Vellum". I actually even got to eat Pongal on that day at my cousin's place. I have quite earnest intentions of learning how to make it myself, but that however will be the fodder for another blog.....food for thought anyone? So then,having gone shopping to a store called Michael's, which is a really good art store and I having my own pretensions to art had a good time buying all kinds of stuff that do not quite constitute the basic necessities of life but nervethless add a bit of cheer to it. Things falling into this category are flowers, cute little wooden boxes (for collecting more and more stuff) etc. And also started understanding American football having watched 2 NFL games on Sunday, not that anything can beat cricket. Back to the lab for the week..and the routine, the gym and LOTR....and the last week of the winter break!

January 12, 2003

A Lazy Day..
Finally a Sunday with nothing to do! Spent it in the laziest possible way. Got up at 11.00 am. It’s a long time since I’ve managed to be at home the whole day. No commitments, no courtesy calls, no project. Just me & my books. Drawn into the world of Jane Austen. Lots of solitude too. Perfect for reflections, but in no mood for that. A perfectly useless afternoon spent in a perfectly useless way. I’m learning how to live!

Really fast!
COEP’s pathetic internet scenario seems to have improved by leaps & bounds. This semester the speed has taken a turn for the better. Now we don’t need to sit for hours waiting for a page to open. The Comp Dept has also realized the need for having a 16-18 hour lab, if not an 24 hour one. We’ve been assigned comps for our projects, given unlimited net access, the labs are kept open as long as we want them to even on Saturdays & Sundays. A far cry from the peon hustling you out at 4.30 coz “Banda karnyachi vel zali”.
Is the fact that COEP’s becoming autonomous introducing these changes?

January 10, 2003

Arz Kiya Hai!
Kapil seems to be in form here.

January 09, 2003

Hi there everybody..for those of you who already are regular visitors to this page..I am joining a little late, but I guess (little) late than never is the motto of the moment :-)
Anyways am stranded here at the college for now till I get a ride home from some kindly soul, having happened to have missed the last bus home......the joys of winter break....
On posting this will resume reading "The Lord of the Rings".. in a kind of reverse order having seen the movies first and now reading the book.
Ciao for now......actually now the tide seems to be turning in my favor...am getting a ride as of this instant..

January 08, 2003

Shopping for Music
Yesterday saw me visit Planet M with Ruddhi & Priya in search of some cassettes.A trip meant to be taken in the evening but forced to in the afternoon, again coz of load-shedding.I think it is trying to be my nemesis! Picked up DCH & Kishore Kumar hits.A search for Minnale proved futile. CD's & cassettes of Kaadhal Virus(the latest offering of Rahman) filled half the Tamil section there.Along with Rajani & Kamal, 'Amma' seemed to be in full force too.Didn't know she had such a big fan following in Pune! Chanced upon a real steal in the form of an audio CD of ‘Rahman live in Dubai’ at a throwaway price. Its another story that I did not buy it ,having spent all my pocket money.It is here that I realized that my very sparse talent in reading & writing Tamil is of no use. The songs in the Rahman CD were mentioned in Tamil & I ,whose reading is restricted to that of the names of pictures & serials on Sun TV, couldn’t read names of more than 3-4 songs. Wish I had paid more attention to the entreaties of my grandmom when I was younger to learn to read & write Tamil. Seeing that nothing was in my favour, I quietly kept the CD back, saying to myself that it couldn’t be worth it. A typical case of sour grapes!

We also had the honour of receiving & bidding farewell to Vajpayee’s entourage .I reached college just before the roads were closed.But Priya ,stuck near Chatushringi, try as she might, could find no open road to college. Finally forced to wait, she reached college 1½ hours late. If she had met Vajpayee then, I’m sure she would have had no hesitations in killing him.
Rudh counted 33 cars in his entourage.Why do our politicians create a big fuss wherever they go? Don’t presidents & PM’s of other countries travel quietly with just a few cars? Do all the people in Delhi stop to let Vajpayee pass by each time? If not, then why Pune?

Karishma ka Karishma?
This is not a name I cooked up, but one that keeps appearing on Star TV as a coming-soon serial.The reason it deserves a so very special mention on this blog is coz it is a rip-off of the already repeated infinite times serial ‘Small Wonder’. Now Small Wonder was telecast umpteen times, then dubbed in Hindi & re-telecast again(they are still going on).It was delightful to watch in English, bearable in Hindi.But a total remake?Are they trying to get rid of viewers?Have we reached the stage where our soaps consist of only saas-bahu stories & sitcoms of remakes?
A strong suspicion though: -The name starts with a K. Another Balaji Telefilms offering ?

January 07, 2003

Team Blog!
Indira(that's my sister) had her 'blog day out' yesterday, when she happened to go through many Indian bloggers' sites.She liked them so much that now she's been enticed into the blog world.Rather than creating her own blog,she's decided to join mine.Henceforth its going to be our blog,quite a refresher for those who're already bored of reading my blog,but just keep visiting it out of habit or for the lack of something better to read.Now if you read something interesting, you'll know who wrote it! That's also going to mean more hits & if her friends are nice enough, more comments:)

January 05, 2003

Project Work?
After both my PP’s & I refused to see the p of project during the precious holidays(Our proj guide was only too happy to comply), we restarted our work last week.But have we managed to do anything? Naaah! Here’s a glance into a typical day of our supposedly-doing-project work:-
All three of us will decide to be in college by 10.30 so as to start early.No one turns up till 11.30(standard COEP time).After meeting the rest of the class, receiving updates on any remote topic of interest, checking mail,by 12.30 we’re ready to sit down for some serious work.We just manage to open the first page we’re supposed to read than a window pops up! It’s a friend who’s chanced to find one of my PP’s online.Now he has to be replied to, and so starts a chat.The other 2 of us will then decide to split up and get some work done.Just then my other PP gets an online message too!After some time the scenario is thus-Both my PP’s sitting just 3 feet away on different comps are chatting away to glory,not just with their friends but with each other too.Only a message which cannot be written, evokes a comment.By this time I’m lost in my thoughts,pondering over something read in the morning, simultaneously visiting blogs & writing new templates for my own(The world can be thankful it has never seen them yet).Oh it is 1.30, time for a lunch break!Time for a heavy meal, which makes you all sleepy, not being able to shake off the siesta habit of the PL’s.Back at 2.30-3.00 we actually read some stuff to find that this is going to need some background studying.So resolving to do it, we split up with promises of meeting the next day again at 10.30.We seem to have become true GOVT college students:)
Where’s the sincerity with which we did our project in the first sem disappeared?To try & get a bit of it back, we decided to meet at Priya’s place, instead of college on Sat.So did we study? That’s what my next blog is about!

Just go for a Trip!
We did decide to meet at Priya's place, but MSEB seemed to have something else in mind for us.We realized at the twelfth hour that all three of us had load-shedding schedules at our places on Sat, which meant that if we really wanted to study,we’d have to shift every three hours. So cancelling our plans ,we decided to go to Sangameshwar along with the rest of our group.I then reached college as fast as I could, hoping nobody would shout at me for turning up late.But as usual, only half the people had turned up.Those present there were surprised,thinking we had come to college to study.We lounged about in college till 2.00 & our plans changed to those of going to Sinhagad.We then realized that we were short of bikes, so had to take a Kinetic and a Spirit.So off we went, Vikrant having the honour of driving the Spirit, all the girls taking turns at the Kinetic.
After a short break at Khadakwasla, we started our climb,where the Kinetic started huffing & puffing ,& the Spirit groaning . When both the vehicles finally reached the top, they were greeted by a round of applause.Everybody was thankful we managed to make it.We then walked up to the tower.Do you think it possible that we would walk normally?Where’s the fun in that?We had walk on the ledge,disturbing all the couples & hawkers on the way;) Vicky & Prashant bought those brightly coloured whistles (which generally only toddlers buy) and almost made us deaf. Singing all sorts of crazy songs, we reached the top, at a time when almost everybody was coming down. After ordering dinner, we decided to visit Wind Point till the food was ready. On the way there was a bull grazing.Angana was quite worried as she was wearing a red sweater, but Priya assured her that the bull was safely tied up. We walked by, the bull just gave us a contented gaze,but Ruddhi was not so fortunate. She decided to walk along a parallel path , & had almost reached us when the bull gave a snort, and without any warning started running toward her.Now Rudh knew it was tied up and kept on walking, but stopped with a start as she realized that the rope was a very long one. She just stood rooted to the ground,the bull running towards her. She had a face-to face encounter ,which could have got closer,when finally the rope went taut.Seeing it could go no further,the bull just turned around & ran the other way! God knows what it was thinking then!
Sitting on the ledge at wind point (DCH style) we enjoyed the view, at peace with the world.When it grew dark, we visited the temple & went back for dinner. We had a savoury meal of Zunka & Bhakri,eating dahi & drinking Tak from Matkas,topping it off with hot Kanda Bhajis. The mountain air does something wonderful to your appetite.I actually ate 2 ½ bhakris, a record for me.During the dinner eaten sitting cross-legged on the ground, around a gas lamp, we realized that the lights on the hill had gone out.Never knew Sinhagad was included in the load-shedding schedule! We all climbed down in the darkness trying to guide each other.Of course some of us took advantage of the pitch black darkness to scare the others who walked down slowly.Couldn’t let such a chance go by,could we?
During the drive back,I wasn’t allowed to drive the Kinetic downhill as it seems I scared the wits out of everybody when driving up.I got back the bike downhill. Again we stopped at Khadakwasla, guzzling soft drinks,looking at NDA all lighted up.Praj took the Kinetic from Khadakwasla, drove pretty well until we almost ran over somebody.There I took back the bike, bid adieu to the rest at the Vitthalwadi bridge and reached home just in time to drop off to sleep.
I happened to be driving or sitting behind on the Kinetic for almost the whole trip.Hark my words, there’s no better way to get your back out of order.I was still better off though,wonder what kind of time Vikrant had with all his SPIRITed driving:)

Congrats Ramanand for winning Mastermind India 2002.Be it as COEPians or PIETians, we’re all proud of you.
Now I can claim to have been a student of a famous person!
So do we see another win in the Champion of Champions trophy three years down the line?

January 02, 2003

101 Years and Still Going Strong!
Last week my cousin’s grandfather celebrated his 101st b’day. Makes you think what a glorious,long innings he’s had. The best part is he’s still active and able.Here’s to hoping he lives for many more years to come and manages to enter the Guiness Book of World Records!

A Smile for a Change!
I thought my tryst with the RTO was over,having got licences for my Sunny, Kinetic & Car in that order, but last Thursday I landed there again. The reason being my Dad had forgotten to renew his licence, turning me into his chauffeur. The introduction of No-tolerance zones led to a quick check, only to realize that Dad had been happily driving with an expired licence for over a year.
We were rudely told at the counter there was no chance we could get it renewed. Not giving up hope we went to the RTO officer, who explained that since this was an out-of-state, ancient licence, there being no records, we couldn’t get it renewed inspite of having previously done so at Pune.He advised a trip to Bangalore.Annoyed that just coz of having been issued a licence from a different state, an Indian should still have problems in India, we kept pestering him to do something ,to which he politely kept giving suggestions, each of which entailed my Dad not driving for atleast a month.I had almost prepared myself for being a chauffeur for another month when luckily the Officer’s eyes chanced on the first page & he saw that a number had been registered for that licence.That meant finally a computerized licence could be issued at Pune.The remaining work was then carried out at lightning speed(without a single bribe or ‘commission’).During the whole process the RTO officer was very polite,helping us at every step.It is good to know that such people do exist in Govt offices.
For the first time , while leaving the RTO, instead of being vexed we had a smile on our faces!

January 01, 2003

Welcome 2003!
Another New Year! Hope this one brings cheer and happiness to everybody!
That's also goodbye to the busiest year of my life!

Be Nice!
Started the new year on the right note. I’ve had the firsthand experience that offering the other cheek when hit on one does pay off. I have a friend who loves to pass snide remarks about me. I tried to tell that person to stop it, but that did not work. I don’t believe in passing back remarks, so tried to see if my being nice in return instead would bring about a change in her. She tried my patience to no end , but I stuck to it, was supportive of her when she needed it, and wonder of wonders, it worked! I’ve actually had conversations without any rude comments in the past 2-3 days. I think being nice rubs off on others!

Passed with Flying Colours-Added Honour
Yipeee! I passed the test of my worst critic, my Dad.It’s the first and last time he visited my blog.
Told me he liked my name mangling blog and that I seem to write ‘pretty well’. Added some connotations of his own. Brought back recollection of a comment by my sister about marrying me off to a guy named Hari. She wanted to have a laugh at the ensuing confusion, when somebody called out ‘Hari’. Again Shevai Kheer was pronounced to be a success. I’m in seventh heaven!
Recent scouring of railway timetables brought another fact to light.I have the honour of the Tirupati-Kolhapur express being named after me!

Alai Payuthe vs Saathiya
Eagerly waited for and finally watched both Alai Payuthe & Saathiya..A comparison was inevitable. I had the opportunity to download the Alai Payuthe songs around 3 months ago.I did not like them on the first hearing, but all of them grew on me. They’ve now become a part of my daily dose of music.Not only has Rahman composed some wonderful music,Vairamuthu’s lyrics are amazing too.Pachai Niramae takes the crown here. Saathiya’s music released soon after made for not very pleasant hearing,all thanks to the Hindi lyrics.’Tis funny, but Hindi lyrics never seem to fit in well with remakes.(Bombay & Roja were exceptions)The song that takes the cake is Udi Udi (Kaadal Sadugudu).Such beautiful lyrics and singing translated into such trash! Makes you want to close your ears!A lone winner here is Chalka Re .It actually sounds better in Hindi. Even though Saathiya has some of the songs substituted, the new ones are actually very listenable.

Now to the movies.Saathiya is an almost frame-by-frame remake of Alai Payuthe.It adds some new dialogues like ‘Barbadi’ & ‘Torture’ which do make you laugh.The order of fights is all mixed up ,songs choreographed in different ways,just picking up the essence of the original ones.But Alai Payuthe rather than Saathiya touches a chord somewhere. Maybe that’s coz it is so normal, uses simple Tamil which even a person like me whose Tamil is half-baked can understand and enjoy. The scene at the beginning when Shalini leaves for her exams reminds me of myself-the comments about not tying up the unruly hair, the complaints about the food, sarcastic conversations between mother & daughter, yet the mother praying for her daughter’s success in exams,it all seems so real! Shalini has this glorious ,thick mop of hair used to maximum effect in the movie.Unfortunately Rani cannot boast of such a thing. Thankfully I don’t relate to anything else in both the movies, preferring to write my comments with a disinterested air.
I watched the Hindi version first,then the Tamil one.My sister did the opposite.But both agreed on one thing-Madhavan wins hands down.His acting is creditable,he fits his role like a glove.Vivek, though doing a good job,seems to have a sort of half-plastered smile on his face, even when angry. Maybe he just looks like that. Shalini and Rani are both sweet and act really well.In both the movies the chemistry is just right. Pachai Niramae and Saathiya(the song) boast of amazing locales, slow motion clips, with lots of twirling of skirts n’ duppatas.I wouldn’t mind shooting for such songs:).Also even though Udi Udi doesn’t sound as mellifluous, it is choreographed in a very different way,which kind of compensates for the bland lyrics.In the Tamil version, the sheets, clothes, skirts and even the heroine’s hair seem to have a mind of their own! Saathiya has a delightful line added at the point when the hero is asked to jump from the train, where instead of a simple no ,he says, “Train rukne do, kud jaunga”. Thankfully the clichéd mapillai character(who turns out to be pretty decent later) with the irritating desperately-wanting-to-be-mom-in-law-of-heroine are absent . But Chori pe Chori seems to pop out of the blue, no such thing with Alai Payuthe. Again, Tabu’s “Sorry Adi” makes you want to laugh and spoils the whole emotional scene,it is handled with élan in Alai Payuthe.
It may hardly be an important observation, but the guy who is the younger brother of the person who comes to see the heroine’s sister, and the sudden talk of whose marriage with the heroine brings the clandestine marriage out in the open (Whew! What a sentence) is the same in both the movies. He talks with varied accents in them though.
I don’t intend to give out the entire story, so curious readers ,go and watch it yourself.Otherwise the next thing you’ll know is that I’ve been sued by so-and-so for writing out the whole story! I personally prefer Alai Payuthe.
Footer-How did Mani Rathnam ever think of initially making this movie without any songs?


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