...................is the only sentence I can say and understand in Bengali.
I find the Bengali language very soothing to the ears. They use a lot of soft sounds and to hear two Bongs bongs speak is like hearing a melodious song.
Why am I yapping about Bengalis suddenly? Special thanks to SG and SR, who I have been spending a lot of time with these days. We have been doing assignments together and studying together. But that’s not all. Malini and I have become experts in flicking the chappals of the poor chaps from right under their nose, even during class sessions. :)
Sorry guys, but it is too much fun!
SR and SG are just 2 of the huge 22 junta of Bongs in our batch……the famous PGP08 as we are called! 22 is a huge number in a batch of size 134! So I guess I should know a little bit of Bengalis and their language. I tried digging deeper into my Bengali friends and here’s what I found out!
They love fish! (who doesn’t know this!)
I am sure my dear Bong friends would feel at home in Kerala.
According to my friend KK, bengali women are very promiscuous. And according to SG, they have the highest libido among other Indian women! Well do we have a fish connection here!? :P
(My dear female bengali friends, please note that I am just an interpreter, putting up facts I gathered from the sources mentioned above. I’d be glad to provide you with their contacts in case you want to get in touch (read ‘even’) with them! )
They are a finicky lot when it comes to food! Hmm….but who doesn’t when you stay in a hostel? People who would agree that the mess food is actually good ( well I think so. Guys, I wasn’t spoiled at home! And unlike some people I eat to live!) is a very rare community. So can't blame the Bongs there for that!
Cleanliness! I don’t want to comment about it cause though their city is the dirtiest city in India, their hostel rooms are pretty clean! But lets wait and see…..this is just the beginning.
An interesting point to note here is that, my friend says that Calcutta is dirty not because of the Bongs who reside there, but solely because of the Biharis who have invaded their city and made it their residential city cum garbage dumping ground.
(My dear bihari friends, in case you want to get in touch with my friend who was brave enough to make this comment, do drop me a line! It’d be a pleasure! Heh heh!)
Straight from the horse’s mouth: They think they are the greatest people on earth.
What do I think? I personally find them cute except when they start blabbering about culture and agriculture and don’t stop even when I give them the don’t-bore-me-to-death-dude looks.
Who is a talkative Bengali? Bulbul Chatterjee :)
A mad Bengali? In Sen
Arent they a riot? :P
Lets have something good thing about them. Most of them sing well.....I just heard a sample right here (impromptu when I was least expecting it) and it was pretty nice! Great voice modulation SG!
For a moment I really thought that Bongs were the greatest people on earth! :D
A recent discovery: They have an amazing kurti collection. They are always seen in the campus in one of those! And SR you looked really cute and innocent in that white one with the pink teddy bears! Cho chweeeet!
Would you dare to wear it to class one day?
Bongs say they are empathetic and warm to others.
Yup, pretty nice chaps. But SR don’t you think you get a little too hot under the collar when someone tells something bad about Bongs! Hope you are sitting in the A/C while reading this! :)
(yeah I am really bad at it!)
Bongs say they are very romantic. No….not the lovey dovey kinds…but as in belonging to the Romantic school of thought! (or would that be a little too much?!)
Of course they all write (or try to write) poetry!
ALL bongs smoke. (Did Rabindranath Tagore smoke?) And they proudly connect this to their intellectual abilities!
Well SR, I didn’t exactly understand this connection unlike the fish one.
An interesting Bong fact: Bengalis, when in Bengal, talk in English/Hindi and when outside Bengal talk in Bengali.
What is so much difficult about saying a ‘V’ sound?
For a Bong, Devi is Debi, When is Ben, Wood is ood! And SR says they have a flexible tongue!
What is a Bengali marriage? Bedding
When does a Bengali sound like a dog? When he says wow. (Bow)
How can I not talk about the strange or rather beautiful or imaginative pronunciations they have for their names! English language fails to capture the poetic sounds of their names!
I was introduced to this aspect by my friend and colleague in Wipro Anindaji. Its not pronounced as a-nin-da but as O-nin-do!
And my friend Sandipan’s name is pronounced as ‘Show-n-de-pon’. Doesn’t it sound like “Show me the p***” :P
If it pronounced in such a different way, the why dont they try to write it in the same way!? Trying to confuse the rest of the world huh?
How can I forget all those rings and amulets they lovewearing!
Once in Wipro, during an informal session, an impromtu prize was announced for the gal/guy among the audience who is wearing the most number of rings! And guess who got the booty? Yup….a Bong with rings in all the 10 fingers!
But then, I like the moonstone ring they all seem to have. It has a very ‘artistic’ look to it!
Trivia: Bengali is the highest spoken Indian language in the world.
SR/SG, care to teach me a few words? I promise I'll try to pronounce it properly!
When I think of Bengal…I first think of Tagore (don’t we all!?)…….and then one of my fav poems which gives me a lot of patriotic josh everytime I read it right from my 5th std.
Here is it. The sentences in bold are my fav lines in the poem. Beautiful piece of work!
Rabidranath Tagore : Mind Without Fear
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
PS: SR and SG, Thank you for giving me so much ‘gyan’ about the bongs! And do keep up the sportive spirit! We have two years more of Marginal Utility and Indifference Curve analysis to be done!
Friday, July 30, 2004
...................is the only sentence I can say and understand in Bengali.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
We have a subject called Managerial Communication. The aim of this course is to equip the budding managers with good presentation skills, good listening skills and the like.
Though I like to attend such classes which really help in the real world, this particular course is not very much upto my liking. Maybe becasue I have a benchmark to measure this against. And I did measure it on the first day itself. The competitor was Gerald G Netto, the prof who had taught the same subject during the preparatory class. The vibrancy and enthusiasm is missing in the present lectures. Also, Gerry used to give emphasis on good pronunciation which I am very much interested in. But the present prof does not even mention about the pronunciation. I guess it doesnt matter 'how' the managers say something as long as they say the right things!
Given a choice I would have chosen to opt out of the course as I dont feel like I am gaining anything from this. Though the sunday sessions (where we are gonna be recorded on video while giving a presentation) with individual feedback is gonna be something to look forward to. But then there goes my sundays too!!!
We had an interesting Roleplay in our last MC session. The objective of the roleplay was to show that when soem information passes thorugh a chain of people, when we reach the end of the chain the information is distorted, sometimes completely transformed into the opposite! I guess simply put, this was the formal version of Chinese whispers which everyone must have played during their childhood.
During the Roleplay, 5 volunteers were asked to narrate the story from memory to the next person. Being part of the audiance, I could actually see the way it was gettig distorted. And my dear friend Reddy even went to the extent of adding some masala to it!!!
We had the same exercise done during my induction in Wipro. This was coordinated by a very senior person called B P Rao.(Sigh! I had so much fun on that day!) A very very lively person! There the story was about a monkey called Ram who plucks fruits from trees everyday and gives it to his wife and chidren. Due to deforestation since there were fewer and fewer number of trees after a few days, Ram and family could not depend on the trees for their petpuja. So they went to the nearby villages and stole food.
Once this story passed through 5 people, finally the Monkey was converted to a Man and the whole story changed! Someone even said that Ram's wife was angry and almost beat him up! That was hilarious!
The whole point is, this is how rumours start and develop into scandals. They start as a molehills and end up as mountains.
People hear a tidbit of information about somebody they may know or not, and they take that info and build a story around it in their heads. Then they tell their friends this info, and their friends add even more false info to the story and spread that around, until the whole school is talking about how Julie is pregnant with Lucky's kid, when what really happened is Julie only babysat Lucky's cousin's kid!
It may have actually happened like this
Dummy1 to Dummy2: 'Hey did you know that Julie babysat Lucky's cousins kid and she told me that she found the baby real cute'
Dummy2 to Dummy3: 'Hey, Julie babysat Lucky's cousins kid and she finds Lucky real cute!'
Dummy3 to Dummy4: 'Hey did you hear it? Julie has the hots of Lucky these days, and they babysit Lucky's cousins kid together'
Dummy4 to Dummy5: 'Julie and Lucky are going around and Lucky's cousin knows that they had a kid!'
Dummy5 to Dummy6: 'Julie and Lucky just had a kid! And they were just going around! Imagine she is still in school!'
So people, take care when you hear something sizzling from the local BBC! Things may be far far different.
Gossip is nature's telephone.
- Sholom Aleichem
Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.
- Henry Fielding
I've always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.
- Ronald Reagan
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
I can't believe I typed this entire thing again! Proved once again that I am nuts!
Though I've been in Kerala during the initial 17 years of my life, I've been cocooned in the cultural capital of Kerala during most of the time. I was a very very lazy girl during those days, happy to roam inside the little Thrissur.
But Calicut has a special place in my heart, as it is the first city I stayed on my own away from home. Thanks to REC Calicut (now known as NITC). Those 4 years made Calicut a second home for me. I feel very much at home in this city. When I walk around in this city, I feel as if I belong here.....or as if the city is a part of me.
(Do you know that Calicut is called so because of its connection with Calico, which was a speciality of the place once!)
Though the LH (ladies hostel) in REC had an iron rule of 'back in the prison before 7pm', I managed to roam around in the city as much as I could. The weekly ritual of 'going to the city' was a much awaited event. The excitement of going to some place outside the campus (other than the Lovely Foods and the 45 minutes rollercoaster ride in one of those typical local private buses (to be experienced to be believed) made the event even more exciting.
A typical journey to the city would be by a group of 4-5 girls (boys...who needs them :) well...just kidding. In reality there was this unhealthy divide between guys and gals in our class. I always wondered why one of the negative traits of Kerala culture, due to which mallu boys and girls dont mix freely, has to be followed so religiously in a national institute like REC! Well, studying in a co-ed institute for the first time, I had my own apprehensions too. But then there were exceptions to this rule too....for instance, how can I forget my dear friend who went ahead and got married to a lady prof who tried her best to teach us Computer science!)
So what do a bunch of very excited teenage girls do in a city like calicut?
Shopping............of course!A shopping spree at SM street or any of the newly opened brand outlets or Gulf bazaar.......a lunch at Calicut Towers or at the **** Malabar Palace ( in our dreams :) ) or at Paragon .............a walk around the Mananchira square..........an ice cream from Baskin & Robbins near the beach......check out new CDs/Cassettes at nearby Sound Garden.......and then a movie at Crown or Coronation.........OOps! it's already 6!
We had to rush to the bus stand before the movies could end, because of the stupid iron rule at the hostel! Maybe I should sue the warden for my not knowing/remembering the endings of all those movies!
Coming back to Calicut after 3 years...........after the Bangalore experience......was an experience in itself. Kerala rules. It felt good to be back at home base far far different from those over-polluted over-populated mad mad cities. But then, all was not well. I seem to have forgotten most of the street names/ places name in calicut! Short term amnesia! I was so ashamed that I had spent 4 years in this same place and today when someone asks me some direction or a landmark I give them the same look I gave to Prof. Panda in Marketing class today when he asked me some blah blah blah about Consumer Behaviour on Chocolate! (Damn! lost my CP(class participation) points!).
So, when I went to the city last weekend along with some of my friends, it was more like a flash back! Had some interesting experiences during that outing.
Some thoughts that crossed my mind while walking around in the SM street
- Walking around in a jeans in Calicut is the dumbest thing a girl can ever do.
Walking around in Calicut is the dumbest thing a girl can do. The male population seems to be as frustu as it was before! How could I have forgotten this! Or was I expecting a miracle? The strong Muslim culture in the city plays a big role in this. I lost count of the number of sleazy comments that I could actually understand! Forget about the ones I didn't hear properly and some others which I couldn't even understand! But then the courage of most of these people end with that. A good stare with my 'big eyes' was enough to make most of them shy away.
- Wipro Lingerie! Who wants one!? Does it come under Wipro Techonologies or Wipro Infotech? Must be under Wipro healthcare! I always wondered what they were upto. The whole of SM street footpath was lined with this stuff in some you-wont-believe-it-if-i-tell-you colours! Mr. Vivek Paul are you listening? Premji uncle, now your secrets are out. Now I know how you declared that 78% growth in profit in the last quarter! Ha!
- The Queens still rule the city. I had seen my share of them at the famous Mananchira square, at the beach and at the Planetarium during my REC days. Things are just the same. After all Calicut is famous for Gays, Halwa and Chicken biriyani in that order.
- Talking about Chicken Biriyani.......just heard from a friend of mine that he travelled around 4 hours to calicut just to feast on this famous 'Chicken Biriyani'!!!!! He dint forget to take enough stock with him to stash in his refrigerator! There are people who live to eat! :)
- The city is still dead on sundays
- The veg food in most of the restaurants in the city is still pitiable. It has to be so according to the demand-supply rule in a city like Calicut where 99% of the population start their day with a good piece of meat (doesnt matter what!).
- The beach is still filthy and is infested with sleazy guys.
- People don't understand much of Hindi/ English, as my friends painfully found out. (100% literacy! But whats the use if you cant communicate to a fellow country man!)
- I should go see the Dolphin's point once before leaving this place. It seems at this place one can see Dolphins frolicking around in the beach! What a sight it would be........Dolphins....sea....and early morning. I am sure to go mad with joy!
- I should go check out Tusharagiri and those Tree houses! Now wouldn't that be fun!
- Bekal Fort here I come! (Uyireee............Uyireee..........)Northies please read (Tu hi ree.....Tu hi re.......)Yup! that song was picturised in Bekal fort!
- Should try out the hot hot Idiyappam at this Muslim restaurant(forgot the name again!) near the Rly station. This used to be my fav food in Calicut!
- Should visit Eloor library once. The place which was a haven for RECians, which used to supply us with the latest paperbacks and of course the Asterixs, the Gardfields, the Archies.........and ofcourse a big hole in our (read dad's) wallet.
- Should go visit REC one of these days!
This is what I feel like right now!
Typed down a looong post and was feeling good about it and suddently Kaput! the page goes blank!
Murphy! leave me alone :(
It would take more than perseverance to type down all that stuff down again once more!
Why me! :((
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Who is a best friend?
For me it is...........
Someone with whom you learnt A, B, C.........
Someone who you think is God's greatest gift to you......
Someone with whom you learnt about 'the birds and the bees'............
Someone who has seen you in your cute-short-skirt in KG, pinafore in LP, Long skirts in UP, Salwars in +2, Jeans during Btech and then in sari.......someone who has been there throughout your life........
Someone with whom you can walk around the whole of TCR round (during schooldays with those small feet) and never get tired.....
Someone with whom you enjoy ogling at guys!......
Someone for whom what mattered was a Masala Dosa in Pathans and not a Buffet in Taj.
Someone, who taught you the peace you can attain in a church (so different from the hustle and bustle inside a temple!).........
Someone who teaches you how to wear a sari and get oodles of compliments from everyone.....
Someone, who is the first person you wanna meet, when you are in town.....
someone who knows just what to do when you cry.....
Someone who knows about all your crushes and heartthrobs and keeps count too..........
Someone who knows all your secrets.....and keeps them too.....
Someone for whom you hated leaving school, cause that meant not sitting next to each other daily....
Someone, you wished, she were a boy, so that you could have married her.........
Someone, who is a professional counsellor, but I have her services for free any time I need....
Someone, if I hear her voice right now, would give me goosepimples...........
Someone, for whom I cried during her wedding (more than she did!).......
Someone who knows me inside out and has stood by me when it was tough for her too.......
Someone who is there in your life by choice (and not because God chose them for you) and you are thankful for it.
Someone who will remain the same to you, even if you dont meet them ever again in your life......
Someone who is blessed by God and is gonna be a mother soon.
I love you Mary. Missing you too much today.
Friday, July 23, 2004
I have one last Gmail invite left. Since lots of people have been asking me to give them the honour of joining the 'prestigious' group, I have been pushed into a tight corner.
Coming from a company that values Integrity, honesty and hmm.....(forgot the rest already!) I decided to be fair for once.
So my dear friends, if you want to be THE one, put on your thinking caps without delay, tell me why I should invite you and not someone else! The most creative one will be chosen.
No word limit, no PJ limit..........take your creative potion and type away!
PS: Maskafying may work! :)
PPS: Obviously, the final decision is solely upto my discretion.
PPPS: This is open till I find an entry interesting enough.
About Gmail for the uninitiated : It is a new webmased email from Google. Unlike other mail services, it uses ActiveX and is very different from the ones that are in existence.
Some prominent features are
+ It is Quite fast! But then, since it is in Beta testing phase, there are some downtimes and some times when it is slow. But at all the other times it just whizzes like Hogwarts Express! :)
+ Offers 1 GB storage
+ Has a powerful Search facility obviously powered by Google
+ Managing contacts is much easier than other mail clients.
Autocomplete facility while trying addresses ( a really good feature to have, Outlook users will love this)
Can import contacts from a CSV file or another webmail provider (aint it neat!)
+ The reply/Forward facility is in the same page as the View mail page. So you dont have to wait until a new page opens to reply.
+ When Gmail displays an email, it automatically shows all the replies to that email as well, so users can view a message in the context of a conversation.
+ It has a built in labeling system, a spam reporter and a system for filtering your mail as it comes into your inbox
+ If you are a person who never bothers to log off from your mail, then you would like gmail. It refreshes itself periodically and you dont have to click on Refresh/Check Mail to check whether you have mail.
+ And last but not the least, since this is still in the infancy stage, it is very easy to get the desired uername. You dont have to go and take utterly stupid ids like p_r_i_y_a_t_s or the ones like priya1780 or the ones like i_wish_i_had_a_better_id. You can actually get an id that contains ONLY your name.
- No POP access
- Text ads are displayed that are based on the contents of the mail you are reading. Some people may find this as an intrusion into their mailbox! But Google assures that it is completely automated and that the data is not provided to anyone else.
- Works only in IE5.5 and above. Most of the Cybercafes/colleges contain only IE5. This may be a downer for some people. This can be really frustrating at times.
- Does not support Opera!!!!! (This is one thing I would want changed ASAP. My whole e-life is on Opera)
- Is available only to a distinguished few :)
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Is the whole purpose of my life just to prove your law right?
I know I am not alone in this group........I know lots of people whose life, if written down, would be an excellent compilation of 'All time favourite Murphy's Laws'. But I didn't know I am one of the chosen one too! It's ok if.....
- The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
- Everything takes longer than I think.
- All the good ones are taken. (yeah!)
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- A failure will not appear till a unit has passed final inspection. (Aha!)
- Any instrument when dropped will roll into the least accessible corner. (I discovered this while playing TT)
- Success occurs when noone is looking, failure occurs when the client is watching. (Don't we all know that!)
- A library book will always be checked out when you want to get it.
- No matter who gets elected, the Government always gets in!
- Your current boss is the worst you've ever had until the next one. (you bet, but Vineet was an exception on this. )
- The television show that you watched once and loved will be discontinued :(
- If you watch a TV show only twice during the season, the second time will be a repeat of the first.
- If someone giving directions says at any time, "You cant miss it!", be assured that you will.
- The referee will always be looking the other way when you score.
- After a flawless demonstration, you will trip on your way back to your seat.
- The early bird suffers from insomnia.
- Your nose always itches when your hands are tied.
- You cannot stop the ongoing love affair between the sambar and a pure white salwar.
But why oh why does a brand new Toshiba laptop have to develop a problem in its TFT?! and that too mine!
I come to my room all excited to see how many comments are there in my blog and to see how many spams do I have and what do I get? Just a wheatish halo in an otherwise dark cold screen on my brand new laptop screen! I tried all the tips and tricks I knew, but the TFT just wouldnt listen. I have a laptop that works, that plays music, that does whatever I say, but just wouldnt show me anything (on the screen)!
"Hey are the curtains down or is someone changing in there? "
"Is it the laptop or is it just me?! "
(Like in one Friends episode the power goes off and poor Joey thinks that he went blind!)
Broken hearted I went for the last resort........the user manual! but again Murphy rules! My user manual is in Arabic....and just like any other Arabic book, it starts from the last page! Just my lucky day.
(Reminds me of a joke told by Sukumama, one of my fav uncles in my family. He told me this when I was around 10 years old. It goes like this......... .............
A very famous advertising company in India has to design an ad foran Arabic Hair Oil company. The Oil company has reached a plateau in terms of their and they are counting on this ad to give them the well needed push. The advertising company starts off......does market research on some people who have been to 'gelf'.......employs brilliant strategic thinkers to come up with a campaign idea.......employs some very successful creative artists to design the ad. Finally the ad is ready and is to be released all over 'gelf' on a very important day. They order hoardings all over the place.....Full page ads on all newspapers...... ...centerfolds and cover ads on all magazines....the works. The Arabic firm director patiently waits for the newspaper on the D-Day. And turns a distinct red (read ANGRY) when he sees the ad in the paper.
The advertising company believed in getting the idea across through pictures ratherthan words. There were just three small pictures arranged left to right
1. A fully tonsured head.
2. The person with the 'takla' head holding a bottle of the Hair Oil.
3. The same person with a mane that would put Rapunzel to shame.
The advertising agency closed down the same day as the Hair Oil company.)
Back to my sob story........Gosh! how can this happen to me! Me the perfectionist, who takes care of everything.....
.....the person who can almost pass on for another Monica (of Friends fame)
....the person who underlines the important parts of the text ONLY with green pens
......the person who has even tagged the big green book full of boring Case studies with the all the chapter titles because the stupid book didnt have page numbers (and has become the laughing stock of the class!)
.....the person who cleans her comb every week with a special soapy solution at the right temperature
.....the person who just can't stand it when she sees a desktop cluttered with a thousand items, however important they may be
.....the person who sets a calendar event to be reminded for all the birthdays she doesn't want to miss and another event to remind herself to get the Kinetic serviced!
.....the person who treats her laptop just like a part of herself! How can this happento her! sob sob!
I hope there is no Murphy's law that says that 'If one is stupid enough to sit and write a blog at 4am and have a 20 page Case analysis to be done for the day, the Case will never get done!'
Geeeeez.............I better hit the books!
Let me try to prove this Murphy fellow wrong for once.
(I did :D)
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
……………is none other than the library. And these days I almost live in the library. Don’t get me wrong. Am not a plain Jane who reads only the textbooks and does the exercises 5 times...and that too before it is taught by the Prof. Most of the time I am in the library, I'll be either contemplating on something as silly as 'the cute guy sitting on the next table' or as serious as 'What am I doing here in IIMK!?'. Or else I'll be reading one of the endless magazines I have access to now! All the magazines you can dream of......you name it....I have it at my disposal here :) I just have to read them rather than feeling all smug about it. In between all this I find a little bit of time to go through the textbooks too.
Was hooked to National Geographic, the day I saw it with a dear friend of mine in NITC. But those days I couldn’t afford it. Though our college had a subscription, most of the time the issues wouldn’t be the latest ones or they would simply be missing! Thank you Devi, for being so nice to me and letting me borrow it every month.
The first thing I did when I got myself a Credit card after joining the IT bandwagon, is to become a NatGeo member. The pride I felt when I held my first copy of NG.....it would put a newly turned father to shame! And from then on I took care of every issue with utmost care. (I am very finicky when it comes to handling books...especially when I loan it to other people. I simply hate people who dog-ear the pages or who don’t return my prized-possessions on time).
Then comes AutoCar magazine. Though I was never into automobiles, a friend of mine was totally into them. And slowly it rubbed off on me. Though it was a long time back, even today when I see an Auto magazine, I just can’t stop myself leafing through it. Old habits die hard I guess.
Then there's the Scientific American. I stumbled onto their site purely by chance while googling for something. That day (lucky day for them) they had featured an article on Parallel Universes from a scientific perspective. One of my fav topics (all my close friends would have heard me babbling about parallel universes at least once). I took a printout of that immediately, thanks to Azim Premji. (Free printouts of anything and everything is one of the luxuries I am missing terribly now.) I was so hooked onto the article, I read it 3 times in one sitting. The article was a bit difficult to understand the first time, but it became as clear as daylight when I read it the second time. When I finished reading it, I was so confident that parallel universes exist, I would have had a heated debate with anyone who dared to refute it on that day. I still treasure that article. From that day onwards, I am a regular at the SciAm site. But its only last week, that I got a chance to hold a SciAm in my arms!!!! And ah.......did it feel good!
Some interesting articles in the SciAm site today
Baby Talk Beginnings
Infant pacification may have led to the origins of language.
The article talks about how motherese, the distinctive speech that human adults across the globe instinctively use when addressing babies holds a key to the emergence of language.
Why do men have nipples?
Like all "why" queries, the question of why men have nipples can be addressed on many levels. My four-year-old daughter, always suspicious of a trick when asked such obvious questions, answered: "because they grow them." In search of the trick answer, she quickly added that "chests would also look pretty funny with just hair."
Science for Cops.
A behind-the-scenes look at a high-tech police
Here's the article on Parallel Universes
I guess this has become a paid article now. This is how the article starts off....
"Is there a copy of you reading this article? A person who is not you but who lives on a planet called Earth, with misty mountains, fertile fields and sprawling cities, in a solar system with eight other planets? The life of this person has been identical to yours in every respect. But perhaps he or she now decides to put down this article without finishing it, while you read on."
I could go on and on about these little pleasures I get in our library..............
Today while walking by from the magazine section in the library I saw these words in a small poster on one of the walls
"If you want to find yourself,
First lose yourself"
Let me sleep on that tonight.
Monday, July 19, 2004
It takes a lot more than a good prof to keep me awake in class these days. Well, Dr.Panda, our Marketing prof wins hands down on that.
Was nodding off in the class as usual when these words fell in my ears
"Hey shaunak, imagine you are walking down MG Road with your pet dog Miya at 10:30 in the morning. Suddenly your natural instincts unleash and you feel like having sex. What will you do?"
(Shaunak (name changed) is one of my fellow classmates)
I woke up with a start. Am I attending a wrong class? While Shaunak was turning beetroot, the prof kept on pressing.........
"It's highly improbable that you will be able to have sex in that situation. Suppose your pet dog Miya feels the same urge. Will it be able to?"
Well that guy had a point there. A really interesting point.
"Of course it can. There you have the difference between men and animals. Though both of them have the same needs, the man could not satisfy his needs due to restrictions imposed by the society."
"So my dear friends....Now do you understand the difference between need and a want?"
"Let me put it this way, a want is a need that is accepted by the society and can be quenched."
I was wide awake. My eyes were popping out the way it does when I listen to my bestfriends' gossipping. It's been a long time since someone made me sit up and take notice like this! That too from my abominable sleep!
Well...thats out Marketing prof. He is infamous for his special way of teaching. Not only his examples are on the freaky side, but he also uses someone from the class as a bakra to star in these examples. And he doesn't spare girls either.
We just had two leactures and he's already used me twice in his stories :)
Well........I don't mind being made the fool as long as there is something meaningful coming up at the end.
We have one more leacture today....let's see what happens!
We have started working on Balance sheets in Accounting. It was a subject I had a solid mental block against......thanks to my cousins and mom....who had made it sound worse than Fourier Transformations and Compiler Construction!
But its actually as simple as ABC! Maybe because I was scared of failing in the subject or maybe because we have a fantastic prof for the subject who is so lively that it actually spreads to the students too!
Today I balanced the accounts for Brad Pitt Corp and JLo Inc. And it balanced :)
God, please make sure that it stays that way.
Just got back for one of the usual parties that we have on campus.....in our mess hall to be more exact. Its a nice way to unwind after a hectic week. Dance with no care in the world and dont stop till every muscle in the body starts aching.
That pain has got a special pleasure to it. No...am not a masochist. I don't find the pain of an Injection all that enjoyable! But certain pains are really enjoyable....another one of them is the shooting pain you get when your leg falls asleep and slowly starts to wake up!
Long live dance parties! Long live friendship!
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Decided to go with the second option.
Ahem! Back to reality.
But that day God disposed, “Ye shalt do something else for a change. I am bored watching reruns daily”.
And I said, “Amen”.
Caught sleeping in class and now titled the sleepy head of Class of 2006!
Nobody tell this to my mom and dad! :|
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Not a very good day.
Started off on a bad note. Got up late and saw that I had barely enough time to get ready for the class at 8. I don't like it when I have to hurry things up. For me, things have to go in a systematic way. I am the kind of person who makes a to-do list for each and every thing and one who starts packing one week before the vacation.
Went for the class and found to my dismay that all the good seats were already taken. Had to be content with the corner seat. Since it was my favourite subject, Quant, I was looking forward to it, though I had an idea that the prof was someone who ought to be given a miss if possible. But some things are not in our control. I don't know whether it was a lullaby he sang, but the minute he opened his mouth, my eyes closed. I didn't want to sleep. I didn't leave my job where I had much more fun just to sit in a class and sleep. I tried telling my eyes to open. They wouldn't listen to me! Tried shaking my head so that the sudden disturbance would wake up my eyes. It worked........but only for 5 seconds. My eyes were shut again. It was like the mind and body were wide awake, but the eyes were on strike!
Somehow managed not to get caught. Now what do I do about this tomorrow? Am thinking of taking coffee Garfield-style just before class. Or maybe a nice long walk in the winding roads would wake me up. Waiting for tomorrow :)
The pedagogy out here is one thing I need to talk about. It's like nothing I have seen before. Almost all the profs made it clear to us that for them, the students are customers who need to be satisfied. That entire thought sums it up. I could feel the difference in their way of teaching. They are genuinely interested and most of the students are interested too. The QA session that follows after/during each lecture is a testimony for that.
There was a lecture taken by a reputed prof which was scheduled for 3 hours straight. When I saw the schedule I wasn't very sure whether I would be able to endure it. If I am right, I had read somewhere that the maximum time human mind can concentrate on a topic without wandering off is 45 minutes. If that is true, a lecture of 3 hours was doomed to be another sleeping session. But I was amazed when the lecture got over. It was so interesting that I didn't feel the time passing by. Nor did I sleep! Kudos to Dr. Saji Gopinath.
More on my bad day. There are some of those days when almost everything goes wrong even if you try your best to cajole lady luck. It was one of those days for me. Forgetting to switch off the iron, sleeping in class, horrible breakfast, people misunderstanding me, getting stuck with my foot in the mouth and ending up saying 'Uh, oh', finding out the though getting the education loan was easy paying it off wasn't, people misunderstading me again, overeating during dinner and getting my tummy upset.
Will sleep today with these lines in my mind
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Yes it does! And by that I mean chivalry in the purest sense, no pretense.....nothing desired in return. Sounds impossible in the present world right? I was surprised too....but since it happened to me I have to say "Yes, there's still hope for menfolk".
It was the inagural day of PGP08 at IIMK. Sat through 4 hours of speech. Pretty interesting ones. I liked the the way the chairman reassured us that all the alphabets (read A...B...C...L....I...K) are the almost the same and we have nothing to worry about (.....if things go well!).
After the monologue sessions I went to collect the textbooks for the first term. They made me put my siggy in a piece of paper and gave me 5 books. Good sized ones. Pretty goodsized ones. Though the hostel is quite near to the office, the walk with the books balanced in my petite hands was a bit ...no VERY MUCH....uncomfortable. I am not one who hollers for equality among men and women...at least not in such cases. I have to admit it, it was tough carrying it around. I was about to give up and put those expensive my-companions-for-the-next-3-months down when I saw a couple of my classmates coming down the way. Being a do-it-all kind of a person it didn't cross my mind that maybe I could ask them for help. The idea was alien to me. Gave me quite a shock when the chaps walked up to me and my friends and offered to help us carry the books to our rooms. I didn't believe it. I thought they were just teasing us. But they weren't. And they carried our books religiously to our hostel.
KK, LK and HSR, if you are reading this.........thanks guys and don't lose the spirit.
This was something that would never happen in a traditional Kerala college/school. Do you think any mallu guys would have done the same? No way! I don't know why....but I know the anwser is easy...No, they wouldnt.
I was happy to know that chivalry still exists. Long live Sir Walter Raleigh.
Highlight of the day. Take a look at our campus. IIMK.
Beware you may feel J just like my dear Niks says :)
Am working on my English these days. More on pronunciation and usage of Idioms and Verbal phrases. I am doing it more out of interest rather than as an assignment. I guess if the teacher is able to cultivate this interest in the mind of a student even any boring subject can be conquered easily.
I read the paper aloud like a newsreader would with an international nuetral accent in front of my friends. Good entertainment for them. Tried to apply the pronunciation rules while reading - the ic rule, the ion rule and the ity rule. Learnt the importance of stressing a word. Certain words like 'Project' and 'Present' have different meanings depending on which syllable you stress. Something interesting that I came across is the pronunciation for the common word 'Queries'. Indian pronounce it as .....well....queries :) like we all do. But the real pronunciation of the word is like ....'queeries'. Would you believe this? And do you think even if you use the correct pronunciation of that word people would understand you here? Wouldn't that undermine the entire purpose of language as a tool for communication?!!!!!
Another interesting nugget that I came across is the result of a survey done by some blah blah blah in the West. Can you guess the importance of 1) Content 2)Voice and 3)Body language while talking to someone?
When the prof asked us this the majority in the class went for Voice, Content, BL in that order. Me too more or less agreed with that, though I felt that BL has a greater role.
The results are as follows....
The most important aspect is the Body language which accounts for a whopping 56% of the recipients attention.
Next comes the Voice(modultaion,control etc) of the speaker which is 37%.
Last and the least comes Content which is only 7%
Well so it's not enough that I read the paper aloud....I need to learn to move my arms and head accordingly too. This is really getting to be more than I had bargained for! :|
Some books on these subjects I need to take a look at
Business Communication Strategies by Dr.Monipally
Vocabulary in practice
50 one minute tips for better communication
Better Business writing
Business vocabulary in use
English pronunciation in use
English Phrasal verbs in use
My library card would smoke once I get my hands on it :)
Monday, July 12, 2004
It seems saying ‘I can, I must, I will’ everyday just after one gets up has a great impact on the person’s overall outlook to life and what he finally achieves. I was happy I finally knew the secret to success in life. Just 6 words and I’ll have everything I wished for in life :) Not a bad bargain. I resolved to make this a habit and see the results. But the biggest problem is when I get up everyday usually my first words are “Oh shucks!!! It's already time to get up” or “Did I really sleep or was it just a wink with both my eyes?!” Till date I have never been able to say the mantra right after getting up!!! Well, it's true that there’s no substitute for hard work and that there are no shortcuts in life.
All class and no play was making me a dull girl. It was time for some action. But when and where were the questions. After a little discussion with the gang we decided to go to the Kappad beach, which was hardly 25 kms from the campus. Though I have been there once before, could not enjoy it properly as it was raining. This time I was all set for action.
Waterproof bag? …………check!
Mood for fun?........................CHECK!!!!
We were all set. The journey to the beach was not very eventful. Maybe because we had stayed up late the last night doing almost nothing and were very tired. (That’s one thing that amazes me….I stay up till 3-4am every night, but I manage to do almost nothing and am back to square one the next day! )
Kappad beach has a historic significance; it is the beach where Vasco Da Gama’s ship anchored in the shores of India decades back. Was the beach more beautiful then? I was amazed by the beach at the moment we reached there..…….the energy and size of the waves….it almost knocked off one of my friends who is ……….ahem….quite well built. And for a change, this beach in India is clean! Yes CLEAN! I could dig down into the sand and make a sand castle and not worry about getting my hands dirty with something that does not rightly belong there. Most other beaches in India are not this well-kept. Pondichery is an exception though……but only during the tourist season.
Since I haven’t been to many beaches during my 24 years on this planet going to a beach is quite an exciting event for me. Something like seeing a camel (outside a zoo!) in South India or for any North Indian, seeing an elephant while it's doing its Gajagamini style sexy walk!!! So you can imagine my excitement.
Once at the beach, we played in the water for awhile…….. let the waves caress our feet…..let the tiny crabs nibble on our toes……….and let the big waves give us a good shower so that there was not a single part of our body which did not have sand on it. Well…what’s the point going to the beach if you don’t have sand on your body!! It would be like a sunrise behind the clouds!
Tired after all this…we sat on the rocks which was covered with molluscs and the molluscs were instantly inspected by my dear zoology-graduated friend. He turned a murderer in this process too….but then I don’t know how many I may have killed by sitting on the rocks :(
Sat there and had the amazing experience all over again. First the confusion in the mind……then the questions that come up…..then the blankness………….and then the peace. I went through it all while my friends were busy trying to break whatever trance I was in. Going to the beach has a real therapeutic effect on me. I completely transform when I am there…maybe it’s the vastness of the ocean that humbles me…..maybe it’s the proximity of mother nature where we all belong and finally will go back to …….or maybe its just all in my mind. I can have the same experience sitting inside a room. But am not yogi enough to do that…..and I’ll stick to the beach :)
Here's one great pic of the beach.
Click here to see more Kappad beach photos.
Today is a special day for me. Some people may not think that its very special. But to me it is. My darling brother called me up today on his own for the first time. He was angry that though I had a gmail account, he doesn’t have one yet. Well I didn't want blood relations to break over a mail account :) So I gave in and gifted him one. But then it was nice talking to you. H, if you are reading this, do call me again.
When I landed at K, I never imagined that something as trivial as a LAN cable would upset me for days to come. I dint think of carrying one in my luggage. But then if there was a scarcity for something at K, it was LAN cables. If you see a group of people discussing something I’d bet for whatever I have in my pocket right now that ‘miseries of not having a LAN cable yet’ would be one of the topics. It's true…it was very frustrating to have a laptop/a desktop and a connection socket right in the hostel room but no cable to connect the two. And on top of that, LAN cables were being sold in black!!!! At double and triple their original prices! Used to the luxury of 24/7 internet and mail on fingertips this was an experience indeed! The day that I got the cable and got connected was such a peaceful and busy day.
As part of our Communications class we were supposed to submit a one page write up about any topic under the sun. What do I write about? I was never really good at writing structured stuff. Yeah I can write equations and C programs……but one page to be written on something? What do I write about? Life at K? A tearful ode to Bangalore? The passion of indecisiveness? My most embarrassing day? My wish list? :P ??????????????
Thought about it for one whole night and finally settled on Kappad beach. The experience I had there was still fresh in my mind and it would be an easy topic too to fill up a page. I started writing and it didn't stop at a page. Finally I had to force myself to stop at the end of 2 pages. I know 2 pages is not much but once I started typing, I was enjoying it and before I knew it, it was over. Since I had written it down without preparing any skeleton I was not very sure about the structure of the piece.
Since I didn't have a LAN cable that day and the guy who oversees the taking of printouts in the CC is not available at 7 in the morning and I had to take this to my class by 8, I sat down to write it down by hand. Voila! It was tough cajoling my fingers to write each word on paper. When was the last I wrote down something more than my siggy on a paper?!!! Memory fails me. Took me half an hour to write down just 2 pages. This way I am gonna have a great time during exams :)
I submitted the assignment and forgot all about it for that day. Next day prof announces in the class that mine was one among 2 papers that he liked! Hallelujah! Mine? Really? How can this happen? Well maybe I really don’t have to worry about the placements? Be a freelance writer……write whenever I wish to and laze around for the rest of the day. Very tempting. It became even more tempting after what the prof told me during the one to one session we had on the assignments. Though there were some minor sentence framing problems, he said that my style of writing resembled that of ......ahem................Arundhati Roy's!!!
“Sir, can you repeat that again please? I don’t think I heard you right.”
Came back to my room all whoozy in the head and read my assignment again. Is this some crazy camera game or something? Na…..can't be. He’s a reputed prof. Well thanks to all this now I am called Miss Roy by my dear friends here and now I don’t have to hit the streets even if I don’t get lucky in the placements.
But tell me something……………… will you buy my book if I write one? :|
Saturday, July 10, 2004
Day 1 - 2nd July, 2004
Landed at the 'Divide positioned' IIM, in God's own country on 2nd July with nothing less than 3 bags (King size), 2 cartons and my newly acquired Toshiba. My mind was a potpourri of thoughts......."Leaving behind the 3 sweet little kittens at home was tough........Going to college after a short stint in the IT industry.....Am I headed in the right direction?.........Will I able to get along with the people I meet there?.......Will I be able to scrape through the tests like I managed to do in REC?......Does the new hairstyle suit me.......Did I forget to pack something?!" Typical jumbled thoughts! Ha ha! As if my thoughts are organised otherwise!
The drive to the college was the highpoint of the day. It had been a long time since I had seen the greenery of Kerala. Used to seeing steel and glass buildings in Bangalore this was a welcome change and I took in every little detail and was lost in my own little world. I was thinking what could be better than this?
My question was answered when I reached the campus. For the uninitiated, the campus is set on top of a hill just 14 kms away from the city. And the hill is covered with trees........my mouth stayed hung open when we went through the long winding road that leads to the campus. The view was even more breathtaking when I reached the top!!!! Do you know that from the campus all that we can see are hills covered with coconut trees and mist covered mountains......not a single building in sight!!!!! What a sight for city-sore eyes!!!!
Imaging getting up seeing the daybreak right from your bed! I wish I could see that! But unfortunately all the best-view rooms were already occupied by the seniors and I'll have to wait for one year to get to that elite class :) Now all I get to see from C17's window is the lone dog chasing the birds and the security guards walking around. But am not complaining! I have a great view from the washroom when I go to brush my teeth :) And hey on second thoughts 17 is my lucky number! The eight series!!!!! Wow! Life’s gonna rock at K :)
Will upload some photos as soon as I get my hands on some.
Met my batchmates here who I am gonna be seeing 24/7 for the next two years!!! Nice and friendly people! And the seniors! Very helpful!!! The whole experience was so different from how it was during my first day in REC, I found it all a little hard to take in. Can things be so perfect? Yes they can at times and if you really want them to be!!!
But then sometimes things do go wrong :) I won’t call it ragging. I won't call it Non-ragging also. Whatever it was it was something very awkward, at least for me!!!! The 40 of us who had landed at K for the so called remedial course were made to stand in the amphitheatre as if there's gonna be a firing squad and it started off. You could say I was disappointed the way it progressed. There was no ragging (going by the unwritten definitions of ragging). But it was definitely something that could have been avoided. Even today I don’t know what to call it!!!
Damn! That spoiled my perfect day! But technically it didn't as it happened after midnight....at 12:30 to be precise :)
Day 2 at IIMK - 3 July 2004
My day started off perfectly with Cornflakes for breakfast at 8:00. My fav breakfast which I had forgotten to have for 2 years. I know it sounds silly.....but I really forgot about it. Had got to the bad habit of skipping breakfast. What I like about Cornflakes is that smell rather than the taste! Amazing! Just like 'Petrichor'! Ah! these are the true pleasures in life!
I was here at K one week before the course started since I was scheduled to attend special courses in Quant and Communication! Strange! Those were two things I thought I was good at! Maths had been my favourite subject in school......I was so much into it that the first thing I did when I got back home from school was to do my maths homework! It gave me some sort of a mental satisfaction and a high. The challenge of solving a question or a puzzle is just not there when you learn about the insides of human beings or about what happened in Cuba 100 years before! More on this later!
Getting back to the topic, I was seated in one of the classrooms at K, waiting for the 'remedial course' to be inaugurated. The chairman gave a very nice speech and the classes started off. It’s been 3 years since I have been in that state of mind and sitting there with no worries in mind other than 'when is the next break' was a great feeling :)
The quant class was taken by a prof who ran around the class so much that he was sweating profusely even though there were 6 fans fanning away incessantly! :) And boy! That was one of the scariest hours of my life! Not because I was seated in a maths class...not because I couldn’t understand.....but because the class was so boring that I was trying my best to keep my droopy eyes open. And whatever-we-had-last-night helped a lot too!!! I felt that I was feeling sleepy because I have lost the 'student-mode' after the 3 years of being in the industry doing donkey work!!!! Oh no! Have I lost it all? Will I flunk in Maths and will I be thrown out? Gosh!!! Maybe I should have stuck with my donkey work! At least I didn't feel so insecure there and of course there were no exams!!! Didn't listen to anything the sweaty prof was mumbling! Left it there to be contemplated later!!!..... like cud to be chewed on later.......and after that I haven’t been able to find that thought in my mind. Looks like it's been stolen....or did it run away on its own?
The next session was the Communication Skills session taken by a Desi working in Denmark. One of the most intersting classes I have attended. Not because of the content...but by the style of teaching. I was floored in the first class itself. English language is just amazing........and I am on my journey towards perfecting my not-so-perfect skills on the same. Being a mallu, I do have the distinct 'manglish' accent when I say certain words....mind you.....just for some words!!! I am constantly teased by my buddies on that and one resolution I had made in the past 2 years is to do away with this and also to learn to be fluent in conversational Hindi.
Coming back to the communications class, during most of the class the prof was talking about the difference between the cultures in Denmark and in India. It seems in Denmark, students don’t wish the teachers......sit with their legs on the tables.....decide whether the prof should be fired or not........walk off when the time's up for the class! Can’t think of such things in India!
I guess the difference is in the type of the society. According to the prof, Denmark is more socialistic. Seems there a professor and a janitor in school are paid the same salary cause they are both doing a service and it's equally important to them and to the society! What's this? Vellarikkapattanam or something? But then I liked the idea behind it. Equality to such an extend! I guess in such a system, people would study something only when they are really interested. Why to waste time studying something if you would get the same salary at the end of the day if you sweep the floor or say be a cook or a rocket scientist?
I am digressing....back to the commn class. Some of the interesting things that were brought up in the class were the importance of correct pronunciation and tuning of sentences. How to express emotions even with a simple sentence by modulating your voice properly. An art in itself! I know of a person who talks good English, but with absolutely no tune. That person is certainly getting the idea across...but it could be done in a better way. The prof showed us how to use tunes so that, even by saying a very polite sentence in a certain tune, you can slap a person! Came back to the hostel and tried tuning some sentences...a good start!
Hey! This was a Saturday. And what are Saturday nights for other than partying? :)
Yup! Had a good bash in our mess which transformed into a dance floor for the night. Danced the night away. It was fun.
But it was definitely not fun getting up at 6 the next day to attend classes. Yup! We had classes on Sunday!