Time

So things are finally heating up this term. Second continuous all nighter (nothing new about that as anyone who even remotely knows me would know) but for academic reasons! Freud yesterday, and the Aitreya Brahmana tonight! Chraiaveti Chraiaveti indeed!

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to nought
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desparation is the English way
The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I’d something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells

Time (Pink Floyd)

Thanks to Pelam Pal for this. I get the feeling that perhaps it was buried in the recesses of my mind somewhere. Enchantingly empathetic though

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Where is everyone!

So the Jamboree that is the Summer Internship Process is done and dusted with. How little things change in an year! I remember reading a blog post a year ago by a super-senior which describes the process (I remember sharing this with someone *wistful look*), another one by a senior after our process. And then it was almost a repeat this year. Yes I know, record time and all that jazz but essentially more of the same. Despite actually wanting to and probably spending less time over there, one ended up feeling much more involved than I was last March with our seniors. Or so I think. I think you really care, that’s the cool thing about XL. Some people saunter out on the first day while some people keep adjusting their ties for 3 days. Yes, as VKG says..R is for Random process hai be and T is for Tera nahi hoga toh kiska hoga! But how do you not judge yourself through this entire circus for lack of a better word? Peer pressure cracks up the best of people.

It felt good to have a bird’s eye view of the process. You see the entire spectrum of emotions and you see yourself there, that faceless soul in a suit. You pretend not to care, you tell yourself it’s all random. Perhaps you even manage to convince yourself for some time that despite the randomness (an excuse?), the heartbreak and the heartache that generally ensues…you want to be there again. That you have some unfinished business with this process. Remember though, they say fools venture where angels fear to tread!

Life goes on though and time, tide & Ram wait for no one. Before the euphoria dies down, you can trust the Man with the Red Ink to bring crashing back to reality. So an assignment sees half the junior batch suddenly battling cr’s & dr’s. You run across a wandering soul in the library. Is tax charged after deducting x or before deducting y? I remember (know to be honest is the right word!) not a thing of that.  The futility of it all is quite striking all of a sudden.

On the last day of the process, did something I hadn’t done before in XL. Co-co’ing. Boy is it tough work or what! And awkward as well, when it’s the same company you interned with. The other side of the table is a tough place to be. Some surprises, but then who am I to judge?  Made a old friend a much better friend perhaps to the envy of many people from Services. Men will be men as Imperial Blue keeps reminding us :). It was an interesting end to the process though. Was standing in the well area with The Bumma when all of sudden one of the Gods in suits rushed in. Followed by another. Perhaps is a loud whisper. Shaayad shrieks another softly. Hold on, wait for confirmation. There is a group hug. A huddle. Finally is the cry. People troop in to watch these Gods in Suits jump with joy. Clapping. A god grabs the microphone. Don’t clap…they’re still on campus. Trust sanity to prevail even in euphoria. Later one of the hero’s of the evening revels us with his exploits. A mixture of admiration and disgust. One day you might be on the other side of the table. And you might be getting pwned as the kids call it these days. They say, everyone who’s come here is pretty much equal. It’s just about being the first among equals. Days like this shatter your belief in such talk. The level of condescension is shocking.  Yeh race toh ghodon ki aur gadhon ki hai as Sly once said. Couldn’t be truer. A slow horse or a fast mule? Who’d you like to be?

There was the usual Wet Night post the SIP. Not half as active and enthusiastic a participation as the last time around though. Perhaps to be blamed on the Man with Red Ink? The cake cutting was also a much more somber affair. The second all night session in a row, in the missing Flirty’s room and then to the JLT. So what happened? Some surprise regional jingoism ignited in the middle of the night. And MyMan barking his friendly advice 🙂 . I suddenly missed everyone who wasn’t there very badly that night. All the folks on exchange, all of those who’d gone home and everyone else who chose to ruminate in their rooms. But was fun nonetheless, thanks to all those who were there till the wee hours. A different wet night with interesting memories.

After 15 months in the town of Jampot, finally went to Maharashtra Mandal for breakfast. This must have been after going to MadSam (Madrasi Sammelan for the uninitiated) at least 20 times. 1800 kilometers away from home and the takeaway is marathi maansaala dhanda karta yetach nahi ! Promise of something different will take me there again, but not a place I will drag too many people along with me for sure.

Another night out the very next night! This is becoming a habit! In preparation for Ram ke Beti ki Shaadi, the first Sapphire night out. Which ended with another breakfast as MadSam. You form a routine even in such randomness…Good Grief as Charlie Brown would say!

It was Diwali today. Dhanteras. Such a ‘meh’ Diwali. Remembered the advice from the staircase at the end of last term. And speaking to someone about this in the evening did help feel better. Formulated a plan with the Ballistic One today, we looked up photographs from the first term, from the village exposure trips. How many relationships have changed ever since! Conspiring with the Ballistic One, also something I haven’t done for a while. Was fun though…big things planned at least up ahead!

Spoke to God or T-Man, the one from engineering yesterday. His life has gone upside down in the last 6 months. I haven’t seen him since April, perhaps won’t see him till next April. But felt connected  after a long time with him. I call my friends so rarely! Yes, we all have busy schedules…but is there anything, anything at all which is more important? Will be systematic about this as well from now….as always you can learn something from God even from halfway across the country 🙂

What a long and unstructured post this is going to be. It’s been start-stop, start-stop…up-down with para’s inserted all over the place. There are hyperlinks to be added as well, but that will be later now. We head for the Holy Grail of cricket in India..Eden Garden’s in an hour. I came up with the idea on a lark, talked to some folks about it and we’re actually headed there now. I’m not as excited as I’d have liked to be, is it cynicism again? Or maybe I’ve seen enough cricket matches and this one doesn’t mean anything. I almost feel as if it’s something to be ticked off the bucket list. But I’m sure, come 1430 hours…the adrenaline will arise. Till next time, adios!

PS: Clarification on the title of the post. When I started off, I wanted to write about the relative emptiness in the corridors. The keyboard took me elsewhere. But will stick to the title because it was something that struck me big time today…

Calcutta and some important people die

So Steve Jobs is dead. Going by the furore on the world wide web, you’d think some Indian icon died. I think he was a marketing genius more than someone who revolutionized the technology industry, with the iPod he created an entirely new market for a music player/walkman, a product that had essentially been around for a couple of decades. And despite it’s ups and downs, the Mac is still not the market leader. He made Apple products cool, cutting edge, different and therefore aspirational. Probably played a huge role in the introduction of minimalist design. But there’ve probably been better technological breakthroughs which haven’t taken off. Steve Jobs’ marketing savvy was what won the day for him I guess. But then what do I know? I’ve never bought a single Apple product in my entire life. Still not thoroughly comfortable with an iPod. And as The Count said yesterday at Dadu’s, still belong to that category which looks at Mac users with a certain element of awe…the way they slide those fingers on the touchpad is something else I tell you….

Edit: Since I first started writing this some days ago Jagjit Singh and Dennis Ritchie have also left us. Jagjit Singh will always remind me of 2001, when we had only a few songs on the new desktop and actually copying songs from someone was a big deal. Our computer engineer Mr. Telkar had passed on some 10 odd songs of Jagjit Singh which dad would play over and over again. And of course that is an age where you simply do not like to like anything your parents do (wannabe anti-establishment type I was, not like my brother who’s properly anti-establishment!). But over a period of time I grew into not minding him (Jaggu I believe I called him condescendingly after our school PE teacher) so much. I haven’t listened to anything Jagjit Singh since, in fact nothing on my cell phone either…but a vital part of early teenage for sure!

Oh Calcutta! A rushed trip (defined as one which after yes-ing and no-ing for a day, finally confirmed an hour and a half before the train left), but nice to have one trip finally since coming over to Jampot. My stereotypical intutions about our eastern brethren only get stronger by the day! I’d gone expecting something very similar to Ganpati in Mumbai, ended up being quite surprised. No one prays at these huge pandals, people just deck up in their finest, move from one place to the other and click tons of photographs. Obviously security issues are not so big here. Or as The Great N said, not allowing photographs is probably an issue of vanity as well (if you wanna see it, come here and see it). But the amount of effort put into putting up these pandals is immense, must be months and months of work….beats most of the Ganpati aaras hands down.

A couple of days prior went ‘pandal hopping’ (quite a ubiquitous term in this part of the world) in sleepy little Jamshedpur. For a change the town was alive after 11 PM in the night. Giant Wheel after god knows how many years. It’s scarier than you’d think it is though! Good fun though

And as someone’s status message said, It’s that time of the year again! The campus is all decked and lighted up,  suits and boots all around, shortlists and CV’s everywhere. Perhaps a longer post on this sometime soon.  One thing keeps bugging me while speaking to people though: ‘I have grown up so much in 1 year!’ Question is, do I really believe that?

Ramblacious

It’s a Sunday morning. I woke up at 6 am today. 6 am! I must have done that less than 30 times in my entire XL life! It felt good actually. 12 hours ago, last evening I’d also woken up at 6 O’ clock. I was so disoriented when I woke up and looked at my watch, that I didn’t know whether it was 6 in the morning or evening. Then I looked at my window. My window is weird. Half of it faces a wall, the other half looks out onto the path to the hostel. And they’ve given me just half a curtain. So the part overlooking the way to the hostel is curtained when I sleep. That leaves the part facing the wall open. Difficult to make out whether it’s daylight or night. Difficult, but not impossible. Alas, I digress. I looked out of my window and saw some darkness. Surely it must be 6 in the evening then. Had it been Mumbai, it would have been ulta…6 in the morning would mean darkness. But yahaan toh it becomes bright at 5 AM wonly….

What a pointless ramble that was…

Anyways, that has me up at 6 am on a Sunday morning. I do this and that for a while, take a bath. Take a bath before the 9 AM class! This toh I’ve surely done less than 20 times I’d guesstimate. But then I’m not a good consultant. Anyways. Managerial Counselling. MyMan and the Bhaiyya were….well drunk. I wanted to use a better term for that, so I actually Googled it up. Did you know there are around a 100 ways to say that!  Had never heard of quite a few of them. Schnockered  seems nice. Nice class, entertained myself by looking at MyMan and his triad.  Another one at 2 30 this afternoon.

What made me come over here this morning? I guess it was reading MyMan’s blog. The guy’s a genius. Whattay forcefitting. A #win to his candidness…enviable.

I just saw my last post. Lots of smiley’s. Is that girly? I don’t know…I kinda like smiley’s. Especially this one ‘:-/’ But WordPress does not convert it into an emoticon which is sad…

Sleep has been fitful ever since the one  day sojourn to Kolkata. Woke up with half a nightmare…..okay, not a nightmare but a bad dream this morning. Then in that glorious state of transcendence between consciousness and sleep, I heard some song from DDLJ (I think!) playing at top volume from #107. Meh. That woke me up. I can’t even recall the dream now…just that it involved a discussion with someone on the pointlessness of life, on how can you decide whether your life has been successful or a failure.

It’s all about equity I guess. Life is a race of horses and mules. You may be a horse or you may be a mule, but then you want to be that white horse with the handsome mane, cantering ahead of everyone. To comfort yourself, you look back and see some mules, stumbling along, doing the best they can as happy as you like. What’s the right way to go? Where should you look? Is it okay to take the easy way out? What is the right answer? I know, I know…there is no right answer. But being in XL has given me a lot of perspective about this. Now to translate that perspective into evaluative feedback…

I remember what someone told me about a month ago: ‘Being happy is in your own hands’. Best. Advice. Ever.

I sense I am rambling into nothingness. Tons to do but this is the time when you want to do nothing. Pelampal’s suggestion suddenly makes sense. I want to make a bucket list. For this year or for life though?

An eventful week indeed….

Much time has passed since I last wrote here….an entire week infact. I was tempted on more than one night to post but something or the other kept popping up which left the poor blog on the backurner. Anyways, since last week we have had ton’s of good news here on the First Floor. First up was the Bhaiyya’s birthday party, remember last year he’d hidden his birthday from everyone! But this time someone very special to him was very kind to ensure that we did not forget. We had a proper old school birthday complete with a beer-dunk, eggs and a Digene-dunk as well (yes, you read right :P) plus sparkler candles and cake that ended up being eaten for a change. What followed post that is what generally follows on such nights. ‘Nuff said 🙂

And if that wasn’t enough Sooperman confirmed his stay in Basel for the next year the coming afternoon. As the Cheap Placecommer put it, someone just totally fucked the system upside down. This is going to be XL lore now….the biggest and the baddest job goes to the guy who has his priorities really sorted out, for anyone who needs an example of ‘your grades are not the most important thing in the world’, you couldn’t have a better example. Someone whom everyone all around agrees totally deserves it and has the respect of everyone, difficult to find someone like that in the fragmented and competitive environment that a B-school is.

The big boys from Basel were also on campus for the week which saw 11 people going through the complete rigmarole. Some heartbreak, some joy, some surprises and some of the expected. If this is a trailer for the SIP, there is one hell of  a roller coaster ride up ahead for everyone… It’s surprising what an enormous difference a year can make in perspective, in attitude and dare I say, even in maturity? Just being on the other side of the table seems to change the way you think. Or perhaps once you see your own friends and classmates breaking down come February, all such illusions will disappear with a *poof* 😮

More good news was to follow later in the week. The Great One, the Chimney and the Bhaiyya all got the single smiley amongst others. Again heartbreak for those who miss out, especially when you’re in the minority but as they say nil fit sine causa (yes, I Googled that). The first WN of the term was right next door this time and not in Enright as always. Eventually everyone ended up doing what they usually do 🙂 Unfortunately, the Blue Gems had a workshop to run next morning which was rushed to on 4 hours of sleep with the secy knocked out cold and which ran into the wee hours of the next morning. And even after that the Bakar continued where it always does, Room #101 until once again, it was daylight outside!

Lots more to describe, but the Spammer Prof has just come out with his grade sheets. And a long day ahead with tons of phonecalls to make. Fingers crossed for an exciting week ahead….

Lastly for the day, thank you YouTube for suddenly playing the official song of the hostel last term….for reasons known to everyone! Would be great fun to reminiscence over some years from now 🙂

http://bit.ly/ptTyiu