Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Unforeseen obstacles while proposing

Ghonchu walked into his office with a sense of purpose. A passive bystander might come to the conclusion that here goes a focused person with weighty issues on his mind and no time for idle chit-chat. That conclusion wasn't totally erroneous.

He had thought it all out the previous night. His strategy was clear. He was going speak his heart out to "her" today. He didn't know her name. He didn't know who she was. She seemed quite young and sweet. All he knew about her was the minor fact that she ate lunch at 12.30 and the more important fact that they were meant for each other and she would get to know that today.

Ghonchu walked to his cubicle, opened his mail and found seven pending action items from the previous day and three new had come up while he had been asleep. However his mind being on more important things, he ignored those tasks the same way as Nelson turned a blind eye.

He looked at his watch. It said 10:30. He had to wait till 12.30. After what he felt was quite a long time, he looked at his watch again. It said 10:31. As time trickles slowly when you wait for it, Ghonchu felt it would be an eternity before lunch time would come.

When his watch (finally) said 12.30, Ghonchu leapt from his seat like a cat on a hot tin roof. He turned around with the intention of going to the cafeteria. Two steps out of his cubicle, tragedy hit him. His manager, Seriousu spotted him!

"Hey Ghonchu, could you come to my cabin for a couple of minutes!"

"Yes." (#$@%@@%#%&#!@)

After debating over ETAs and what-nots for various tasks assigned to Ghonchu, he managed to cleverly extricate himself from his manager's clutches in just twelve minutes and thirty-seven seconds. There was still time. However, just as Ghonchu was exiting Seriousu's cabin, he asked, "Ghonchu, do you want to go for lunch?"

"Today is Tuesday and all this is happening because I didn't read Hanuman Chalisa. I will only be able to do this task tomorrow", Ghonchu consoled himself with this thought.

"Yes", said Ghonchu to his manager resigning himself to the fact that he won't be able to speak his heart out to "her" today.

On reaching the cafeteria (with his manager), Ghonchu spotted her sitting alone at her usual place. Not wanting to miss out on the opportune moment and forgetting that he hadn't read Hanuman Chalisa, he excused himself from his manager saying he would join him in a few minutes.

Ghonchu walked confidently to her or at least no one seemed to have noticed his legs shaking. Be calm and composed, he told himself. He went and stood in front of her.

"Hi, can I talk to you for a couple of minutes?", he asked in a voice which seemed similar to that of a quivering jellyfish.

"Yes?", she replied with a questioning expression. Her reaction didn't seem enthusiastic or as though she had found her soul-mate. It sounded more like indifference.

Undaunted, Ghonchu continued, "Hi, My name is Ghonchu. I ..."

"Trnng trnng."

Confused and reminded of his past experiences with a phone, Ghonchu looked around.

"Excuse me", she said to Ghonchu and lifted her phone.

"Yes, amma. Is Rahul back from play-school?"

Ghonchu stood stock-still for a moment like a statue, mumbled something unintelligible, walked away cursing himself with his face crimson red.

He rejoined his manager who had watched the scene from afar. "Who was she?", he asked with a roguish glint in his eye.

With all signs of mortification wiped off from his face, Ghonchu nonchalantly replied, "Just an acquaintance."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Of idol worship .. and a gamut of emotions ..

Disclaimer : Written in a tired frame of mind

I read an article once about idol worship. It said ordinary people attach themselves so deeply to their idols that they develop a sense of belonging to their respective idols. If I recall correctly that article was referring more to film stars.

Well, I don't know if that is true in my case. Anyways after watching yesterday's cricket match at the Hyderabad stadium, I went blank, hence this post to vent it all out.
An overwhelming affection, admiration and respect (and all the other such feelings)
- For someone whom I have grown up watching and admiring and idolizing.
- For someone whose stature is not determined by his height.
- For someone who has withstood enough pressure over 20 years equivalent to that felt thousands of feet below sea level.
- For someone who has carried this tired, developing nation's burden of happiness and joy for 20 years.
- For someone who has somehow still escaped unscathed with a clean heart and humble demeanour despite the overwhelming adulation.
- For someone whose pain is felt by millions.
- For someone who, if he tweaks a muscle or cramps up, the entire nation feels that pain.
- For someone who, despite all he has done has to answer questions about his match-winning abilities.
- For someone who scores 175 of 141 balls and gets another ignominious record of scoring the third highest runs in a losing cause (the other two were made batting first).
- For someone who feels the pain of losing more than anyone else.
- For someone, whose batting I have never been able to enjoy. I spend most of time in anxiety praying "please don't get out". It is more soothing to see him at the runner's end.
- For someone who is a GOD worshipped in this country.
- For someone named SACHIN TENDULKAR.

There is a saying, "You get a chance to walk with Gods only once in a lifetime." If its true, I used up my chance yesterday.
I imagine myself telling someone 20 years from now - "Do you know that I watched Sachin hit his 45th century. And what an innings that was !!"

I wish we had won yesterday. Not for myself or for a billion others, who would feel disappointed, make a few comments - appreciative or snide, sleep it off and then get back to their daily routines the next day. But for someone who did so much with a tired body of 36. Still with an enthusiasm of a teenager. In the end, I was left wishing that he had scored nought but not have had to feel that same old pain of watching his team fall at the final hurdle. Not to mention hearing the criticism again of not being a match-winner.

In the end, I have nothing left except a tired mind with a gentle sense of melancholy, wishing we had won .. Just for his sake. In the end, there is nothing left except a pathetic looking wrist band which signifies I walked with the Gods at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal, Hyderabad yesterday.

This is a compilation of some comments made about Him on different occasions.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ghonchu attends a meeting

Ghonchu walked through his office gate with his head held high. He felt important. He was to attend a meeting with his manager and some other people.
As he entered the conference room, he paused to look back into the glass and make sure that his hair looked in shape, tucked his shirt and forced a smile which made it look as though he had toothache. Everyone within the room was present and the meeting had already started.
“You are late”, barked a voice which belonged to his manager. “I am never late. I arrive precisely when I mean to”, Ghonchu nearly thundered, having heard of this quote in Lord of the Rings. However he managed to keep his common sense and mustered a meek “Sorry”.
The meeting proceeded with no one paying any further attention to Ghonchu. Their discussion, none of which Ghonchu understood seemed to be at a climax. They were trying to decide which would be the best way to reduce ETA. Would it be a good idea to compromise on the P0 cases or should they go ahead and not worry about ETA. Since Ghonchu didn’t know what ETA or P0 meant, he lost interest and started day-dreaming.
Suddenly, the room was filled with music, “and we twist, we twist, we twist ...” Everyone looked at Ghonchu. However, Ghonchu was more concerned about his manager’s stare. Ghonchu was reminded of a starving crocodile that had just spotted lunch. He twisted in his seat with a dexterity that Deepika Padukone would have been proud of and switched off his mobile.
The manager however continued to look at Ghonchu and started the following conversation. “Ghonchu, will you do the P1?”
“Ummm, ok.” (“What the hell are they?”)
“Good. ETA?”
“Eh”, replied Ghonchu with a blank expression.
“What do you think the ETA would be?”
“Ummm. I don’t know.” (“What does ETA stand for, please someone help.”)
“Hmm. Also make sure that P0 stays in good health.”
“Ok”, said Ghonchu praying for the continued good health of P0.
“P2 shouldn’t be a problem anyways.”
“Ok.” (“How many damned P’s are there?”)
“If you can’t decide the ETA, I think EOW should be enough. What do you think?”
Silence. (“Which idiot had to call me! I was sitting peacefully.”)
“Ummm. Fine.” (“I had to start saying something other than – ok.”)
“Great, while looking at P1, make sure that the NRPT settings come up if you are outside. However if you are inside there should be no SAs created.”
Another silence. (“What is this new devilry?”)
“Ummm, hmmm.” (“Anymore of this and I will start screaming for help.”)
“That’s it for today.”
“Thanks.” (“Whew!! I refuse to attend any more meetings.”)

ETA : Expected Time of Accomplishment
EOW : End Of Week
P0,P1,P2 : test cases for a product

Friday, September 4, 2009


Well, the AP CM has passed away!
Along with 4 other nondescript people!
Why are they nondescript? Because we don't care about them. All that matters is the CM.

On the little time I spend surfing news channels, I see only condolences to the CM's family etc etc.. No doubt the gesture is appreciable, but nobody apparently remembers the personal secy of the CM or the pilots etc.

I wonder about the others' families. Having lost their loved ones, and then to bear the humiliation of not being given their due importance; forget condolences. Oh no, all that is important is the CM. For him, all kinds of security forces, commandos and others not to mention the helicopters are expendable.

I also wonder about the pilots especially; they would have known that it is not advisable to travel, but they couldn't refuse the top brass, could they? Now they are gone for no fault of theirs and lie quietly in their anonymity.

Reminds me of a scene in 'The Dark Knight' where the Joker convinces Harvey Dent, "When a mayor goes, everyone panics. But when normal people are blown up, it doesn't matter. Because it is all according to plan. Introduce a little anarchy!!"

The world is apparently kind of unfair.....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ghonchu talks on the telephone

Ghonchu entered his office for the first time. He saw a glass door in the distance which seemed closed. There was no gate-keeper and no apparent way to open the door. He walked towards it with trepidation and wondered how would he enter. However, as he went closer the door opened on its own. Unnerved but relieved, marveling the tech-savvy organization, he entered the office.

After entering, and completing some formalities, Ghonchu went to his new cubicle and looked around. 1.5 meters high, it gave him the protection and freedom to do whatever he wanted. However the drawback was that he couldn't see anyone (read girls) passing by.

He sat on his desk and looked around. A number of things were lying on the table - the computer monitor, a telephone, a water bottle etc. Impressed, Ghonchu praised his company for taking good care of the employees. Nobody from the adjacent cubicles was paying any attention to him. He opened his favourite website :

Within 10 seconds of opening orkut the telephone rang - trrrrng trrrrng. Ghonchu jumped one foot on his chair and looked at the telephone as though it was a snake. Ghonchu's train of thought went as follows :- "This is a very techy organization. They know I opened which must be banned. They are calling me and going to scold me or worse even expel me."

Ghonchu quickly closed the website and looked at the phone hoping it would stop on its own. However, the telephone continued to ring, trrrrng trrrrng. With shaking hands, Ghonchu lifted the telephone.

The ringing stopped soon after.

Ghonchu said 'Hello' in a quivering voice.

He heard a 'hello'. After which, there was a silence for 10 seconds. Ghonchu thought they were deciding on what punishment to mete out to him.

After another 10 seconds, Ghonchu mustered enough courage to then say 'Yes?'.

He heard, "That cannot be done. It won't work."

Worried, Ghonchu said, "It worked for me, but I am sorry. I won't do it again. Maybe your site-blocker didn't work properly."

The reply came, "What? No, even that isn't possible."

"But, orkut did open."

"See, if you add this feature, it would mean a lot of change to the code. That would be difficult. The entire thing would have to be rewritten."

Ghonchu blinked in perplexity, slowly as realization hit him, he cautiously got up, saw the person in the next cubicle talking on the phone. He sat down quietly, kept the phone back on the hook and reopened


A couple of interesting things which I observed at my office :-

- Whenever, people around here wish you to look up something - they say 'bing' it. On a couple of occasions, it was actually a conscious effort, something like ' it'.

- Recently, during a presentation, the speaker gave an example of what might go wrong with a program. His words were as follows - "Let's say a program crashes. A program like uh..uh.. google talk may crash" .. and so on. Again, the pause was palpable.

Interesting though :-)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The end of the beginnning

I seem to like this title as I wrote a previous article with the same heading. However, this time it is about a different topic. Well, so-to-say my student life has ended. Can I call it the end of the first phase in my life? Probably yes, 23 years are done and dusted and so is my education with a couple of degrees.

How do I look back at these years? With nostalgia? Relief? Happiness? Sadness? Probably neither! Just a trace of melancholy as I look back upon those happy years as they passed by. Happy because I was always happy as a student. Time to move on?

Unless I suddenly decide to do a PhD which seems unlikely, I am going to stay in the corporate sector for some years to come. People who have been there tell me all sorts of things. Some of them are already fatigued and bored within two years, others are happy with the pay check but there isn't a zip in their tone when they talk, some others crib about the work they get and so on and so forth. Everyone is happy (however you may define happiness) but none of them are enthusiastic about what they are doing. I try and remember the enthusiasm and expectations in their eyes when they went out into the industry a couple of years ago, while I went to IISc. Two years down the line their tone surprises me a bit. Will I suffer from the same fatigue an year down the line?

Another thing which I have heard is that the industry sucks all your innocence out. You need to learn to be diplomatic, to lie, to be able to wheedle favours out of your superiors and all such stuff.You can't be frank and honest or rude if you want to. Well, I never did such things and have more often than not said what I wished to. I still intend to try and retain that. How will it all pan out?

Lots of such questions and the answers are yet to come. Time will hopefully answer these questions.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ghonchu drives a bike

Ghonchu saw an opportunity to impress Sweetu. He had learn to drive a bike from his friend Shanu. Shanu was out of station and had left his bike keys with Ghonchu. Ghonchu, even though not very confident of his driving skills decided to take Sweetu out for a ride. He phoned Sweetu and asked her if she would take a ride on the bike. Being free then, she accepted his offer.

Ghonchu made a rush to the bike which was parked at N-Block to pick Sweetu from girls' hostel. He tried to start the bike. The bike refused to start. After n failed attempts where n ->infinity, the time consumed was five minutes, the spectators watching him trying to start the bike increased from zero to ten; Ghonchu realized that he hadn't put the vehicle in neutral. After doing so, and having to endure the smiles of ten people, he tried to kick start the bike again. The bike sputtered to life and became dead. Ghonchu's phone rang. Sweetu scolded him for keeping her waiting. Ghonchu sputtered through out the conversation after which the line went dead. She would wait five more minutes for him.

Ghonchu cursed the following- Shanu for having chosen a bike with kick-start; his audience of ten people who didn't seem to have anything better to do and himself in case he got late. His audience started whispering amongst themselves. Two of them exchanged money. Ghonchu thought they had a bet as to whether he would be able to start his bike or not.

After n more failed attempts where n → infinity raised to the power infinity, one of the audience, an angel from heaven came to him and asked him to get down. Ghonchu mumbled, 'this bike isn't starting' and got down. The angel from heaven started the bike with one strong kick. Ghonchu thanked the angel while the two of the betting syndicate started arguing whether this was allowed by the betting rules or not. Half of his audience left in disappointment thinking that there was nothing more to do in life except research.

The other half optimistically waited. It wasn't daily they got such a treat. Ghonchu was yet to drive the bike so they waited. Fortune favours the patient. Ghonchu started the bike in first gear. Slowly and steadily the bike picked up speed. Two pedestrians walked past Ghonchu as his bike picked up speed. After swerving one of the pedestrians, and nearly trampling the other, Ghonchu successfully made his way to girls' hostel. His audience had a few more laughs and went on its way to do research. Some of them pitied the person who would sit behind him.

This extremely lucky person – Sweetu had nearly given up hope that Ghonchu would ever come. Suddenly however she saw Ghonchu coming at a distance. The events unfolded as follows (from Sweetu's point of view) – Ghonchu came closer on the bike. He lifted one hand and waved. He lost control of the bike. The angle made by bike and the ground became 60 degrees having originally been 90. The angle then became 0 degree in a split second. Ghonchu and his bike were on the ground at the same point with Ghonchu underneath the bike. His spectacles were lying 10 feet away.

Sweetu lifted the bike off Ghonchu, told him coldly to get up, sat on the bike, started it easily, and drove Ghonchu to the Health Center.

Of IPL and its divisive nature!

As a regular follower of English and European football, I happen to know of its divisive nature and the bitter feelings that it rouses. The fans there go totally berserk on winning or losing and taunting the opponent fans is one of their chief pleasures. This has lead to riots/stampedes and what-nots in the past in Europe. In Spain, in fact the ways of Real Madrid and Barcelona are so different that the fans of two clubs call themselves as two separate cultures and simply can't tolerate the sight of other. Even at the country level, they find it rather difficult to unite themselves and support the others' players playing for the country.

I followed the IPL in new hostel last month. I realized that in block 2 there is a clear cut division – bengali supporters sit on one floor while the others sit in another. This is because some taunts went overboard and nearly led to a fight.

In the IPL final last month, things went out of hand. The telugu group went totally mad and jumped up and down, created a huge bedlam, hit stones on tables to make noise, taunted the other few Bangalore supporters. Forget the rights of other hostelers. The Bangaloreans retaliated when they got an opportunity. Finally, when the Deccan Chargers were clear winners, the Bangalore supporters quietly walked away.

If this is the case in IISc, what is the scenario outside. I wonder if we are going the same way as Europe. In an nation already fractured and fragmented by 101 other conflicts of religion and other issues, I wonder if IPL is the best thing that has happened. It might be the best thing that has happened to Indian cricket but what will its impact be on India in the long run?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Of cynicism, Howard Roark and more cynicism ...

I read the Fountainhead recently. My conclusions -

  • It is a very heavy book and it hurt both my wrists.

  • It is a very heavy book and gave me a headache after reading it.

  • It is a very powerful novel, whether you agree to it or not, it gives you a lot as food for thought.

  • It hurts one's self esteem a lot; I found I have a lot in common with Peter Keating and none with Howard Roark.

  • I feel unworthy of even doing a review of this book; it seems similar to analyzing the 'The Gallant Gallstones', a futile book written by Lois Cook. Ayn Rand subtly or not-so-subtly mocks fun at such frivolous people who try to analyze books and incorporate them in their own lives.

  • I felt as though every thought or question I had for the book, was answered then and there itself.

  • Normally, I am indifferent to philosophical books unless I am in a disturbed state of mind. The fact that this book affected me is a testimony to its power.

Also I read this blog post recently. Enjoyed it a lot; for its tinge of cynicism. All in all, I feel quite cynical right now towards a lot of things.

I attended a meeting recently where I was the youngest. Without going into details, it was about trying to do something. Is it the case, that as you grow older you tend to ramble a lot? That was the conclusion I came to. The people in that meeting were all wonderful, they had vast experiences and were genuine. However, they talked on and on about what they had done, rather than what needed to be done. Some of them told us what they didn't like, what was actually the problem with the system!! ; and bored me to death, apart from irritating me as well. I listened and listened and listened. Also, somewhere it made me feel cynically like one of those people who sit under fans, ACs comfortably and casually discuss what should be done. That is a pity...

This does away with my cynicism. I am not proud of this post.

PS : If I try to be too cynical, after re-reading the post, I found that I did exactly what I mentioned. Narrated my own experiences, rambled on.. and told what I didn't like ... Either cynicism is making me too clever, or I am falling prey to my own criticisms.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ghonchu speaks Kannada

Ghonchu was standing in the queue for tea-board. He was feeling sleepy and wanted to drink a cup of tea. While he was waiting, a couple of girls joined the queue behind him. After overhearing their conversation, Ghonchu figured out that they were talking in Kannada. He decided to try and impress them with his Kannada knowledge.

Ghonchu quickly revised all the Kannada that he knew. He knew the word 'madi' from a sign-board he had seen once - 'scratch madi jeeto gaadi'. He also knew the sentence 'Kannada gothila'. However, he suddenly remembered proudly that he had learnt counting in Kannada from one to nine - ondhu, yeradu, mooru, naalaku, aidhu, aaru, yelu, yentu, umbatu. He decided to show off his Kannada knowledge by asking for yentu (eight) tea-coupons.

When his turn came at the counter, he asked for yentu tea-coupons. The shop-keeper was counting the money given by the previous customer absent-mindedly said 'yeshtu'. Ghonchu stood perplexed. He thought his kannada was flawed and maybe eight was called 'yeshtu' and not 'yentu'. He replied 'yeshtu'. The shop-keeper looked up and again said - 'yeshtu ?'

, Ghonchu nodded promptly now convinced that he had come to the correct conclusion and mentally praised himself for doing so.

'Yeshtu ?', asked the shop-keeper again , now exasperated.

'Yeshtu', replied Ghonchu, also getting impatient and exasperated.

The shop-keeper now held his head in his hands. 'Yeshtu ?', he asked again now looking like a drowning man who clutched at a straw and found that it was broken.

Behind Ghonchu, one of the girls interrupted and asked Ghonchu, 'how many?'

Ghonchu turned and seeking sympathy, he said, ' eight, but this fellow doesn't understand !! '

The girl moved over to the counter and smoothly said, ' Yentu tea-coupons. ' Then she told Ghonchu, "Yeshtu means how many .'

Ghonchu was left clutching his yentu tea coupons open-mouthed with a similar expression to a person who had put more sugar in his coffee thinking there wasn't any, and later on found that all the sugar was at the bottom.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ghonchu and Sweetu

Ghonchu, Peechu, Cuteu, Kemchu and eight others went to the hill station Munnar, for the weekend. For those who are unaware, Munnar is in Kerala and is considered one of the best tourist spots in India.

However, Ghonchu was indifferent about the ten other people on the trip. His attentions were taken up by Sweetu. The problem was that Sweetu and Ghonchu barely knew each other and therefore she paid no attention to Ghonchu. Ghonchu decided he would have to impress her by doing something drastic.

His opportunity came when they arrived at a place where there was a large rock overhanging a lake. Reaching that rock was risky but Ghonchu decided that he would go to the rock and dive into the lake. The group members had split into smaller groups and Sweetu was shopping nearby with two of her friends. Ghonchu was disappointed that Sweetu would not see him diving but his razor-sharp brain – one capable of doing research in IISc, hit upon a solution. He decided he would have his picture taken while he would dive into the water.

He handed the camera to an elderly lady standing nearby and requested her to take his photo while he was in air diving into the water. After teaching the lady how to take a picture, he made his way to the overhanging rock. After numerous scrapes and minor cuts, Ghonchu neared the rock. His last barrier was a four feet jump to the rock. The minor problem was that if he missed the jump he would be injured badly. The thought of Sweetu’s glowing face on seeing his diving photo made him decide to risk the jump. He jumped and successfully reached the rock. His mission was all but accomplished. He waited to catch his breath and imagined Sweetu’s affectionate look after he would show her the photograph. He gave the signal to the lady in the distance to get ready to take the photograph.

Ghonchu dived into the water, swallowed a lot of it and came up gasping for breath. Since the water wasn’t deep, he came out only half-drowned. The elderly lady came over to him and happily handed the camera back to him commenting that the picture had come out nicely.

In the distance, Ghonchu saw Sweetu and her friends and rushed towards them dripping wet all over. Sweetu’s first reaction on seeing Ghonchu was “eeeeeeeeeee”. She failed to recognize him for a second. Ghonchu’s enthusiasm undampened, he told her proudly about he had dived into the water from the rock. Sweetu stared at him as though he was insane and thought why someone would want to do such a thing. However being polite, she took the camera which Ghonchu was pleadingly offering. She pressed the button which showed the last picture taken. Her expression changed. From thinking Ghonchu was insane, her face now showed a totally straight and non-committal expression. Ghonchu thought she was impressed but did not want to show it. With the same straight face she handed the camera back to Ghonchu. Ghonchu looked at the last picture taken.

It showed the rock, the lake and a splash of water at the place where Ghonchu had gone underneath.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ghonchu, his Soul Mate and the Professor

Ghonchu was tired and upset. His assignment to Professor Strictu's course was due (it was 10 minutes to midnight) and his code wasn't working. He had a brainwave. He decided to ask Professor Strictu by mail for an extra day to complete the assignment.

The next day, he entered the lab after lunch. On checking his mailbox, he was relieved to see that the Professor had granted his request albeit reluctantly stating that this should not become the norm ... you should maintain deadlines and other such nonsense.

He sat down to debug his non-working code. He opened the terminal and wrote './run benchmarks'. The terminal said Segmentation Fault. The same had happened the previous night; Ghonchu being the eternal optimist had hoped his code would have corrected itself overnight while he was sleeping.

After half an hour of tinkering with his code and cursing Professor Strictu 36 times during that period, he wrote './run benchmarks' again. The terminal said Segmentation Fault again.

Frustrated and thirsty, Ghonchu decided to drink a glass of cold water. On his way to the water cooler, he saw a beautiful girl. Suddenly, Ghonchu's eyes told him that the girl was speaking to him. Ghonchu's ears told him that the girl was asking him if there was any place on campus to eat something. Ghonchu decided that he would have to drink a cup of hot tea to quench his thirst. He heard himself saying that he was on his way to Tea Board and would love to escort her.

Ghonchu, his code already forgotten, walked jauntily to Tea Board along with his soulmate. He had fallen in love on previous occasions. However, despite having fallen in love 17 times previously, he felt this was the real thing. Some people might say Ghonchu could give Bingo Little a run for his money.

However inevitably, a calamity was waiting to happen. At a distance of around 50 meters, Ghonchu spotted Professor Strictu coming towards him and on the same side of the road. Ghonchu cursed Professor Strictu for the 37th time in forty minutes and thought of his options :-
- Ignore him totally
- Just wish him 'good afternoon' and walk past
- Hide behind his soulmate

Problem with option 1 and 2 was he remembered his code and the Professor's mail about adhering to deadlines. He knew Professor Strictu well and knew that he would derive a sadistic pleasure in stopping Ghonchu and asking him about his assignment. Option 3 wasn't feasible.

However then he suddenly spotted bhOndOO walking towards him on the other side of the road at a distance of 20 meters. With the cunning of a jackal, Ghonchu decided to crossover to the other side, talk to bhOndOO on some pretext, greet the Professor from the other side of the road and then catch up with his soulmate later on. He told his soulmate he had something important to discuss with bhOndOO and asked her to carry on to Tea Board where he would catch her.

Ghonchu executed his plan to perfection and started talking with bhOndOO keeping one eye on the Professor. As the distance between them grew closer, Ghonchu smiled (more like baring his teeth like a wolf) at the Professor. He then realized that the Professor was paying no heed to him. Surreptiously, he followed Professor Strictu's line of sight and realized that he was busy staring at his soulmate.

The Professor passed Ghonchu and bhOndOO without even noticing them and continually looking backwards at the diminishing sight of Ghonchu's soulmate. With evil thoughts, Ghonchu cursed Professor Strictu for the 38th time in forty five minutes and compared him with a poisonous snake.

After the poisonous snake had passed, Ghonchu got rid of bhOndOO quickly (who was unaware of all that passed), and quickly rushed to Tea Board. His eyes searched for his soulmate and finally found her already walking away from the Tea Board with a packet of Kurkure in hand. The distance between them was already 30 meters and increasing.

Dejected, Ghonchu gave up the chase, walked back to the lab and started debugging his code.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Am I getting older !!

I always had the impression or the belief that myself and others of my age are still quite young. So, more often than not, it is a pleasure to indulge in pranks, make silly, nonsensical jokes and what-nots. No need to behave in a mature manner, that maturity and thoughtfulness (assuming of course that I possess it) preferably lies underneath the facade of childish playfulness. However, I recently have had train of thoughts which led me to think otherwise.

A few days ago, I chanced to look upon an old Maths notebook of 11th standard. To digress a bit, 11th and 12th standard were the only times I really studied and evolved as a person. Credit goes to my school but mainly to my coaching institute – Vidya Mandir Classes who gave me an experience worth a lifetime. Those lectures about life; the amount of intense study, sometimes upto 12-14 hours a day which were accomplished without a grudge or a thought- why am I doing this.. those days really left me with a lot of poignant memories. They were inspirational. Period. I never needed to or had the will to work as hard again, neither during my BE, maybe a bit during 1st semester of Masters. So to speak, I always held 11th and 12th standard as the point in my life from where it all began. Those are the days I always held as the start date to calculate anything...

But now looking at that notebook of 11th standard, I happened to glance at the date of a class. It was 9th Dec 2001. 8 years (7.5 to be precise) ago. That suddenly seemed like a long long time. And yet as I glanced through that notebook, I remembered things as though they had happened yesterday.

In another incident this weekend, a 17-year old kid (notice the way I call a 17-year old person a kid) scored a wonderful match-winning goal for Manchester United. I looked at him, and thought, not so long ago I used to dream to do something like that. Not so long ago, I dreamt of hitting a century (even double would do) in a world cup, scoring a goal or two in football, winning a grand slam ... and so on. I am sure everyone goes through such fantasies as a teenager.

At twenty three and a half, questions like 'am i getting older' shouldn't ideally be going through one's mind. But those reminiscences left me with this feeling. Dreams I had, things I thought happened just yesterday actually happened a long time ago; 8-10 years ago. Those years in between passed away without my realizing it.

Maybe all this is like a moving window. Maybe two-three years down the line, I would have forgotten school, and would remember things starting only from my BE and so on.. I certainly hope not. Yet again here I remember a comment in Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix by Dumbledore : “Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”

I certainly hope I never I commit that mistake.

Of course, all these are just random senti thoughts; it could just be the case my food didn't agree with me today, or I got up on the wrong side of the bed; which led me to write such stuff. Tomorrow I will get back to my nonsensical normality.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some of my favourite quotations/words/dialogues

Frodo : I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf : So do all who live to see such times but that is not for us to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

-Excerpt from Lord of the Rings – Fellowship of the Ring.

IF you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you have spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to be broken,
Amd stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools.

(Excerpts from the poem IF – by Rudyard Kipling)

Shahid : Sirf hasi, khel, mazak zindagi nahi hota. Life mein serious bhi hona padta hai.
Kareena : Tum to life mein bahut serious the na. Kya hua. Bahut bade problem mein tum bhi to fas gaye. Aage kya hone vala hai, is par kisi ka control to hai nahi. To aise mein main vohi karti hoon jo mera dil kehta hai. Kal ko main kisiko blame nahi karna chahati. Meri vajah se hoga jo bhi hoga..... Funda jyada hogaya na.

-From the movie Jab We Met

Dumbledore : Do you see, Harry? Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now? I had fallen into the trap I had foreseen, that I had told myself I could avoid, I must avoid.
Harry : I don't -
Dumbledore : I cared about you too much. I cared more about your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act.

-Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

"Well, it is clear to me that he has done a very good job on you," said Scrimgeour, his eyes cold and hard behind his wire-rimmed glasses, "Dumbledore’s man through and through, aren't you, Potter?"
"Yeah, I am," said Harry. "Glad we straightened that out."
And turning his back on the Minister of Magic, he strode back toward the house.

-Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Some people are too tired
to give you a smile.
Give them one of yours,
as none needs a smile so much as he
who has none to give.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ghonchu plays football

One night, Ghonchu had a dream. He was playing a football match (something he hadn't done since ninth standard) in IISc and scored a magnificent goal which earned him a tumultuous applause from girls (importantly) and boys alike. Usually Ghonchu used to forget his dreams by the time he woke up but this time was an exception. He remembered his dream. So, he decided to go and play football in the Gymkhana.

During breakfast at the mess, he announced his intentions to his friends. His audience consisted of Peechu, Cuteu, Buddhu, Kemchu and a cat which had come in by the mess window in search of breakfast. Their reactions were as follows :-
Peechu : 'Don't be a fool, Ghonchu! Do you even know the rules?'
Cuteu : 'You will get hurt.'
Buddhu, Kemchu and the cat were indifferent to Ghonchu's desire to play football. The three were more interested in their breakfasts or the lack of it (as in the cat's case).

Undaunted by the curtness and indifference of his friends, Ghonchu decided to go and buy a football jersey before venturing out to the Gymkhana. After some search and bargaining, Ghonchu bought a football jersey of his favorite player, Steven Gerrard.

In the evening, Ghonchu strutted out to the football ground wearing his brand new red-colored jersey. To his pleasant surprise, he was easily accepted and inducted into one of the teams and asked to play in defense. The first time the ball came close to him was when the opposition forward dribbled past him with total ease and scored. After earning the wrath of his team-mates, Ghonchu resolved to defend better. The next time the same player came along, Ghonchu kicked him on the shin while attempting to touch the ball. This time he earned the wrath of everyone, with his captain lecturing him not to play violently. Harried and perplexed, Ghonchu finally touched the ball on his third attempt which was a pass by a fellow defender. Delighted and relieved, Ghonchu decided to indulge in some fancy footwork. Determined to show his Ronaldo-like skills, he dribbled past one of the opposition. Then he decided to do a step-over. That in essence was where he made his mistake. His friends, though curt and indifferent, had they been watching, would have shaken their heads sadly. Even the cat would have miaowed mournfully had it known Ghonchu was going to try a step-over.

For those pitiable and ignoramus readers who don't know what a step-over is; a step-over is when a player steps over the ball. Quite elementary, isn't it.

Well, no more dilly-dallying, let the unhappy sequence of events be laid down before the reader.
The sequence of events were as follows :-
- Ghonchu tried a step-over.
- Instead of stepping over the ball, he stepped on the ball.
- He lost his balance, and flayed his arms wildly.
- His direction of movement then became downwards.
- He desperately used his left hand to get some leverage while falling down.
- When he finally landed, his left wrist took his entire body weight.
- Ghonchu lay on the ground clutching his left wrist in agony.
- His red jersey was now red-and-brown.
- He got up and left the football ground with all thoughts of scoring a goal discarded.
- Thus ended Ghonchu's brief foray into playing football.
- The next day he went to the Health Center where it was discovered that he had fractured his wrist.
- Now Ghonchu wears a cast.

Ghonchu told his story to his friends hoping for sympathy. His friends' reactions were as follows :-
Peechu said, “I won't say I told you so, but I told you so.”
Cuteu said, “I said you might be injured but even I didn't imagine you would injure your hand while playing football. This must be something unique.”
Buddhu and Kemchu were yet again indifferent, they were busy gobbling their dinner.
The cat (not sure if it was the same one as the previous) miaowed pitifully, which Ghonchu took to be a gesture of sympathy.

Henceforth, Ghonchu decided that it is advisable not to place any trust on dreams.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ghonchu travels by train

Ghonchu had traveled by train many times in the past. Having seen the movie ‘Jab We Met’, he was always hopeful of meeting a ‘Kareena’ to whom he could be a ‘Shahid’. But as luck would have it, he had drawn a total blank in all his previous journeys. On prior occasions the closest he had come to a ‘Kareena’ was the girl in the next compartment who had refused to talk to him since he was in another compartment. Ghonchu resented compartmentalization. Why was it that only people from the same compartment could talk to each other?

However, another opportunity had presented itself. This time he was going from Bangalore to Bombay and back. Being an incurable optimist, he went to Yeswantpur station with a smile on his face humming the tune ‘hum jo chalne lage’. He reached the station fifteen minutes before departure. On entering his coach and after finding his seat, Ghonchu was pleasantly taken aback. There were not one, but three Kareenas’ sitting there and gossiping. No one else was there. Ghonchu kept his luggage and thought to himself, “jab Bhagwan deta hai, to koi kanjoosi nahi karta”.

After sitting opposite to them, he observed some other people passing by and lingering in front of their compartment. Ghonchu glared at them and developed a fierce liking for the compartmentalization concept. After getting rid of the undesirables, he sat back trying to decide which one he liked the most. After some thought, he chose the middle ‘Kareena’. But then suddenly the left ‘Kareena’ smiled and the right ‘Kareena’ laughed in quick succession causing Ghonchu to become dizzy and murmur “left, no right”. Suddenly, he realized the three were looking at him maybe because he had been staring at them for too long. To avert embarrassment, Ghonchu showed great presence of mind and asked, “Are you all going to Bombay?” The middle ‘Kareena’ replied yes causing Ghonchu to switch loyalties again.

However after this ‘breaking-of-ice’ conversation the three of them studiously ignored him. Ghonchu wasn’t perturbed; he felt 24 hours was a long enough time for a person of his capabilities.

The train now started moving. Suddenly, three ‘Shahids’ entered their compartment and sat down pushing Ghonchu to the corner. The six of them chatted freely while Ghonchu looked at them with a sinking heart. Suddenly one ‘Shahid’ (looked more like Amrish Puri to Ghonchu) turned to him and asked, “Hey, we are a group but my seat is two compartments away. Would you mind switching seats with me?” Ghonchu, even though an incurable optimist knew that he was beaten. “Too many ‘Shahids’ spoil the broth”. He accepted defeat and said yes to Amrish Puri. After all, there was still the return journey to come.

PS: During the return journey, his compartment consisted of an elderly couple and three fat men in their forties who kept chewing paan.


Some twenty-three years ago, Ghonchu was born although not known by that name until now. From now on, his reminiscences will be occasionally published on this blog.

"But what of his earlier life details?", you might ask. Well, fortunately the loss to literature is not irretrievable as who knows one day, like all the other great people in this world, Ghonchu may bring out his biography. Until that time, the public will have to be patient and satisfy themselves with his occasional narrations on this blog.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Learning to appreciate what we have

We often crib about a number of things. I don't have this, don't like that, this thing is useless and so on.. Often we don't find the time to appreciate what we really have and what are our true assets. Those are just taken for granted.

We grumble about the quality of food and the hygiene at tea-board. However at the same place, there are children who are working, mistreated, often man-handled and they don't even get two square meals a day. We talk about various problems faced at IISc - quality of mess food etc etc. Yet we realize IISc's value and its ambience is missed only when we leave the place. We fight with loved ones over trivial issues. Only when we lose them, we realize their value and how much we miss them.

I have a strong belief that whenever one feels bad, depressed or upset about something; there is a way to feel better. Just look around with your eyes open, and you would definitely find someone else in a worse situation than yours. Looking at that person you might actually feel ashamed and appreciate that your problems are trivial compared to what the other person might be facing.

It might actually be a good idea to spend a minute daily to reflect upon what all we really have, what all God gave us and be thankful.

Food for thought:

This is a slight digression but is based on a conversation I had with a friend. The recent hullabaloo about lack of hot water in hostels is known to everybody (now the problem has been solved). I was one of the sufferers as well. Still, this is a slightly different view point.

One wonders that do we students really appreciate the amenities they are provided with. Do we really deserve any better!! Do people like us who may not have basic civic sense have a right to complain! There was an incident of someone in the hostel running his nose and throwing it on the washed shirt of a mess worker. Many of us put on music at loud volume in the middle of the night or any time for that matter without giving a care to whether other people might be disturbed. We jump queues, remove newspapers meant for everyone and take them to our rooms, and do all sorts of things that may not be correct. It just requires a little common sense to see that and to know where to draw the line. It is not that everyone belongs to this category, but still I wonder whether we deserve amenities like hot water if we can't be responsible for ourselves. A highly pessimistic view point, but if this is the case in a place like IISc, how can we expect people outside to behave better ...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My previous articles

Since I have written only a meagre number of articles up to now, I can collect them, gloat over them like a child savouring the last bite of an ice cream :-) . The pdfs for all of them are attached. Each of these appeared in a previous Voices issue or bulletin or magazine.

bhOndOO goes to an IPL match (first appeared in another blog)
Choose your attitude
IISc as a subcity
The Unsung Heroes
The end of the beginning

Monday, February 16, 2009

The beginning


This is my first baby-step into the world of blogging. Embarrassed by my fellow Voiceians (Voices : a students group in IISc that I m a member of) and other people who seem to be at home in this world of blogging, I decided, in a (regrettable?) burst of enthusiasm, that I will join this world. No more, will I feel jealous of comments like "I read your latest post" !! It seems every aspiring writer worth his/her salt has a blog with a big following...

Well, in my opinion, there are three kinds of blogs. One - highly humorous and fictional, which garners the largest following. This blog by Rupesh is my favourite. Two - Entirely personal with inner thoughts and ambitions. Three - General thoughts which can be shared by everyone. These are some samples of blogs of type three by other Voiceians. Madhurima, Mukta, Maneesh.

Problem with type one is that I doubt that I have such a sense of humour. Problem with type two is I have rarely expressed my true feelings and so on to anyone, let alone publish them in a blog. So I have to fall back to type three. Of course all this is based on the assumption that my enthusiasm doesn't wane away after a couple of posts as seems to be the case with a lot of blogs. To be frank I almost gave up at the first step itself, finding a URL for my blog :-| , which proved to be rather tedious.

Well now that I have found an URL, let the journey begin :-).