Monday, June 27, 2005

The amazing view!


Giving in to public demand, here's a random view from my hostel room balcony at IIM K.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

What's keeping me busy these days?

Catching up with classic cinema that I had missed out on - Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction etc. QT festival is on!

Watched Anniyan too and wished for a moment that I was watching Manachitrathazhu instead. Was surprised that the tickets were sold out for a Tamil movie in Calicut. Must be the effect of the hype and the Amsterdam song.

Preparations for final placements. If you thought I am working for the GD and Interview, HA HA HA! What I meant was shopping for the D-day kapde, photo shoots and taking close to 2 hours to write 100 words about myself. Phew!

Juniors! So many new faces on the campus! Our batch strength has increased close to 180. With my weak RAM, getting to know who's who is gonna be a major challenge.

Getting used to the amazing view outside. Believe it or not, the first day I moved into the new room, I had to stop myself from staring at it. No wonder I took 2 complete days to move in to the new room.

And of course, everything good comes at a price. I haven't finished saying hello to all the insects who have invaded my room.

Views of huge and complete double rainbows are no longer a rarity in the campus. It has to be seen to be believed.

And oh yeah, classes have started. A cold beginning to 4th term. Feeling uneasy cause right now the workload is zilch. Waiting for the axe to strike any moment.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Namma MTR? Thanks, but no thanks!

It was on a very pleasant Saturday afternoon that the 16 of us met at the Mavalli Tiffin Rooms or more popularly known as the MTR restaurant in Bangalore to celebrate a wedding anniversary. Those who belong to Bangalore or those who have lunched at MTR would definitely sympathise with us. It’s not a joke getting a place to sit in this historic restaurant. If those old photographs featuring eminent Indian historic leaders lunching at MTR food did not impress you much, then the bunch of people waiting in those dingy waiting rooms and pushing and pulling each other to make sure that they get a seat during the prime time definitely would. I was impressed the first time I lunched there a year back. But the second experience is the more memorable of the two. For a very special reason.

Despite having a reservation we had to wait close to 50 minutes before we managed to get seated. We were the happiest lot in that place, cracking fatso jokes and exchanging old family anecdotes and tapping now and then on the silver cutlery set in the table, waiting for the feast to begin. We waited close to 20 minutes for the lunch to start. The main pastime in between all this waiting time was watching the joys of accomplishment in the faces of the people who were 'allowed' to enter the lunch area by the MTR staff. I suspect Magellan, Norgay, Hillary, Amstrong and Aldrin would have sported humbler expressions when they accomplished their feats. I am not exaggerating. If you’ve ever been to MTR at around 1:00PM for lunch, you would nod your head in recognition.

But, getting a place to seat is just the beginning. The MTR experience does not end here. The most important part, the food is THE experience! At Rs.75 for an all-you-can-eat-multi course-lunch, I would say that they do put together a good spread. And yeah, most of the items would be replenished in your plate as long as you would want them to. But then, maybe only people like Thrissur Theetta Rappai would dare to ask for a second round here. Normal mortals would find it gruesome even to finish the first helpings of the entire course. I am not exaggerating here, it IS heavy!

The entire meal consists of a glass of fruit juice playing the role of an appetiser really well, kosambri or dal salad, a good measure of a gooey masala rice called Bisibele bath, huge pooris and masala to go with it, milk sweets, vadas, Chandrahara - which is a full ghee gooey mixture which looks like baby poop but is very tasty........ the list goes on. I don’t recall the entire list of that multi-course meal, but you can consider the above as comprehensive highlights :) And as if these aren’t enough, sweets are served at periodic intervals so that even if you feel like biting into a peta in the midst of enjoying your Bisibelebath, voila, there it is!

If you are thinking, what’s the big deal, then consider that all these items are served before the 'real' meal starts. Now that would be a typical south Indian meal – Rice, sambar and curd and then the climax with a payasam. It’s not over yet. You gotta squeeze in some space for the fruit salad with ice cream and the grand finale - the paan too.

Now, I am a person who, according to my mother has a very small intestine which is actually not small but shrunken it seems! Plainly put, I am person who would be happy with small helpings for a meal. So, for me, going to a place like MTR is actually a little repulsive. But I know people who are out and out MTR fans and who swear by their food and their quality measures. It seems that MTR is ISO 9002 and HACCP certified and they have some very sophisticated equipment to prepare food and to wash utensils.

But then, one lunch at MTR and there were 16 diarrheic bowels the next day in my family. All of us who went there to celebrate the wedding anniversary! Well, there may have been more too. It’s been a week now and some of us are still visiting the glamourooms quite frequently. But, thank god, since I have a ‘shrunken intestine’, I came out with little damage.

Moral of the story – Ariyaatha kutti, ilakumbol ariyum :)

PS: Btw, one warning to all those who plan to travel between Kerala and Bangalore by Kallada Volvo buses in the near future. Be careful while taking those brown night time wraps. My brother was awfully sick in the bus and his wrap was used to wrap ‘something‘ that night. Though we offered that we would clean up the barfy wrap and return it to them, they decided against it.

So beware!

Friday, June 17, 2005

MS says

Mallika Sherawat in an interview-

"I love all my fans. I love them so much. They are everything to me. Without them I would have been a nobody. For me, even their joote are like phool."

:)

Should we read in between the words here?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Amélie

A French movie set in Paris and released in 2001. I chanced upon this during my usual channel surfing and had to fight really hard for it with my nursery-going cousins to watch this over Cartoon Network and Pogo. It was worth it too. I could get only the second half of the movie, but that itself got me hooked.


Charming Audrey Tautou in Miramax Zoe's Amelie - 2001

The movie is very charming in the way it has been directed. Something like a cross between a documentary and a suspense sitcom. Writer director Jean Pierre Jeunet has beyond any doubt put a lot of effort into the making of this lovely movie.

*** Warning - Spoiler ahead ***
This movie is about a very sweet but a too introverted and a very observant young lady called Amélie who plays God to make some amazing co-incidences happen in other people's lives to make their lives better. For instance, bringing together a couple who were too scared to communicate their feelings for each other and binding together a pair of painters. But she chooses to execute all these behind a veil of mystery and anonymity and fails to do the same in her own life.

Her introvert nature is depicted so well in the sequences where she talks boldly to Nino (who she has the hots for) over phone and writes small messages but chickens out whenever she meets him face to face. But then things change and finally they get together and it's a happy ending.
*** End of spoiler ***

It also helps that the movie is full of Paris landscapes and that Amélie and her sweetheart Nino are pleasant to the eye and that there are a lot of mystery sequences in the movie that you get sucked into slowly that before you know you are 100% into it. Not to mention some of those nicely thought out comedy sequences.

But the only spoiler for me in this entire experience was the subtitles. They distract you so much and sometimes make you miss those just-a-second-but-worth-a-million scenes. Maybe I should watch this movie once more.

Friday, June 10, 2005

GWBE's got a gun!

I am not very comfortable travelling on airplanes. Maybe cause I haven’t travelled enough in that medium to get used to it. After each flight I get out with a bad headache and an upset tummy :(

But this post has nothing to do with that. It’s about something that happened just before my onward journey to Delhi two months back.

I was waiting for the security check to get over and to go sit in the waiting lounge to finish my book. But then lots of lines of thought were running through my mind. Or maybe I should say sounds and images

- Isn’t it ironic by Alanis Morissette

- The Mad about you episode where Helen Hunt decides that she and her husband should not travel in the same flight. Her logic? That way the chances of their kid becoming an orphan would be significantly less if something disastrous happens to their flight!

- The recent Discovery channel episode where they show how this pilot was thrown out of the plane and mangled to pieces – yet managed to survive – all because of one ill-fitting bolt in the window!

I consoled myself that the odds of something like that happening to the plane I would be travelling was really so less that I needn’t bother about it too much.

That was when I was awakened from my thought-world by a military type security guard.

Huh? What’s wrong?

Miss, please come this way. I need to check your bag.

That’s only a laptop inside. And yeah some candybars for the journey.

Not that one. That has passed. The other..hmm….very colourful bag.

Oh that one. What’s the problem? I haven’t got anything in it. Just a pair of clothes and some emergency stuff.

Can I have a look at them?

Hmmm Sure.

I opened the mouth of the sling back and pushed it towards him so that he can take a good look. But he doesn't touch it.

Please empty the bag.

What? You want me to take everything out? DUH me!

He nods.

Boy, at this point I have to say how stone faced this guy was. I tried being very cheerful and even flashed one of my special smiles at him that has been a sure shot assured-smile-in-return until now. But nope! He was still holding on to that stone-face. He must have been from the army or something. Or maybe from the Golden Beach in Chennai where they have this yuckily dressed up guy standing in a podium challenging people to make him smile! Oh yeah, that experience was also a fiasco for me!

I stopped smiling. I would rather sit in the waiting room and finish those last 5 pages of the book than empty my bag for this utterly unfriendly guy!

I had heard people describe their horrific experiences of losing their baggage during their air travels. And how difficult it was to spot them once you miss them and how utterly unhelpful the airlines are to help you find them. So I thought I’ll be smart and learn from other people’s experiences (for a change) and decided to pack all my emergency stuff in my 'colourful bag'.

For some people, emergency stuff would be just a pair of clothes and some docs, but for me it meant almost everything except the weighing scale!

I took out the first item and placed it in front of him...…a small bag of cosmetic items.

He nods and looks into the bag as if I have a bomb hidden inside somewhere.

Next come a pair of clothes.

And then out comes a pair of brightly coloured inner wear.
I should have packed them properly. I blush. Third one this year. Still no reaction from him.

Hey, there’s nothing else in here. It’s just some books and some papers.

He is not amused!

I suspect you are carrying a gun. Please empty your bag and no more talks please!

Gosh! A gun?

Do I have MPD and am I a serial killer by night? Wow!!!

Or

Did someone plant it there filmi style to take revenge on me?

Or

Was it planted by some terrorist who wanted to smuggle the gun into the plane?

OMG! That’s the only possibility.

I quickly empty the bag. After taking out a couple of books, my visiting card box, wallet, some more candy bars, couple of hair brushes, my miniature water bottle, an umbrella, my formal shoes, my mobile charger, my deo and my camera I look at him with a big question mark in my face that would have conveyed something like

See I told you, I am a nice little girl. I don’t carry guns in my bag.

He got really impatient and put his hand inside my bag and triumphantly brought out…

My hair dryer!

Aha!

I looked at him.

Thank you Ma'am. Sorry for the trouble.

And....

A smile!


No problem.

No problem at all dahling :P

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Feeling safe in the confines of my home after a stint at the rape capital. But then news about rape is something that stares at your face everyday, whether you like it or not. Take a look at this!

It’s full of horrific stories of young women in the shanty towns of Darfur. There rape seems to be not an act of random criminality, but a planned systematic campaign to petrify the civilians and make them flee the place.

An extract from the article that has become a mind worm for the past two days -

I'm still chilled by the matter-of-fact explanation I received as to why it is women who collect firewood, even though they're the ones who are raped. The reason is an indication of how utterly we are failing the people of Darfur, two years into the first genocide of the 21st century.

"It's simple," one woman here explained. "When the men go out, they're killed. The women are only raped."


First it was the news about Economic Hit Men who executed a meticulously planned programme to takeover poor and vulnerable countries and now this – using rape to shoo people away from a place!

Can it get worse than this for women? :(

Monday, June 06, 2005

So long and thanks for all the Internet!

What do you call the technical staff who doesn’t know what a network bridge is and try to fix the network problems by simply deleting all the components that they don’t know about?
Whatever it is, you are not gonna lay your hands on my lappie anymore mister.

Why do some women have such squeaky voices? And they don’t even have to shout to irritate people who are sitting quietly and are trying to read a book. Voice modulation doesn’t seem to be the in thing anymore.

After a 15 year break, I once again carry a Winnie the Pooh tiffin box. But this time to office. :)

Had cool watermelon juice along with lunch today. But the Chinese seem to have some other designs on watermelon. So artsy-craftsy and beautiful this is.

It's so difficult to think about 'business strategy' when there is an HR sitting right next to you and her only EGOs(Employee Goals and Objectives) seem to be to interview candidates and fire recruitment consultants who send candidates who pronounce monotonous as monotonius!! All that is fine. My only problem is that all of this is done on the phone. And she too has a squeaky voice! :(

Add to this the agony of having a printer for a neighbour that keeps spitting out paper all day and yeah, it doesn’t believe in keeping it fast and quiet :(

RadioMirchi is 80% blah blah and 20% songs and 5% good songs. How does someone get some quiet around here to read a book?

Bad boy internet. Doesn’t let me get any work done.
But then, 90% of my work gets done because of YaGoohoogle!

Felt like a fish out of water when I came to office today and found that some idiot had blocked access to Gmail. The panic lasted for half an hour till I could find a workaround to access the darling.
Gosh I am addicted to gmail! Never felt this way before about anything virtual! This IS scary. I am one of those people who your read about in forwards who check their mail in the middle of the night when they get up to relieve themselves!!! :O

Wish there was a CP and Pallika bazaar in Bangalore. Spend a wonderful one day roaming around CP. Shopping makes your forget the heat :)

Or was it the Fruit beer?

Learnt a lot of hijda secrets over the weekend, thanks to the play Janeman put up by students of National School of Drama. Superb work.

Last day in office is always so full of action. And I love writing Goodbye mails. :)

It feels like am in a chrysalis phase, waiting in my cocoon for my life to take off. Why do I have this feeling that something really really wonderful is on its way for me?
Whatever it is, please come soon. I don't have much patience, I am an engineer you see :D

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Heaven's shower

Has the monsoon started in Kerala?

Every year, the meteorological department tries its best to come out with its prediction on when the monsoon will hit Malluland shores. You should read some of their reports, so much of analysis and data mining seems to go into it. This year they say the D-day is gonna be June 7th. But more often than not, they are wrong.

But one thing remains the same. It will definitely start raining on the day the schools reopen after the summer vacations. That too right in the morning. 9:30 sharp!
In a way it’s good. The kids get to show off their new umbrellas. Or their new rain coats. And dirty their crisp white shirts. And have paper ship cruise competitions during the recess.

Ah! The joys of walking around and splashing water with not a care in the world.

Waiting for the day when I get to return and get a whiff of petrichor! Sigh!