Monday, December 7, 2009

First Sem...:)

It is not very difficult to write about my first semester at IIT Madras. In fact, I can do it in one word- AWESOME!!!

The first sem gave a lot of memories to store in that deep vault in my mind, finding a commendable space among many sweet memories in 18 years. The first of those started a day before the sem officially began, when I started playing football in the hostel quadrangle. In an attempt to demonstrate my goal-keeping skills to my seniors, I banged my head on the goal post, ridding myself of a significant portion of skin on my forehead. To make matters even more interesting, i did not realise I had sustained an "injury" until some fifteen minutes later, when I accidently happened to brush my brow. I was quite startled to find a deep red coloured hand returning back from the forehead trip. In the end, I had to have a stitch, and my misadventure proclaimed to my classmates. On the bright side, a significant number of people got to know that I am pretty enthu about football.

The sem progressed into the second month. Freshie schroeter passed, and I got to represent the hostel in the football team. Unfortunately, our team, though talented, could make it only to the quarter finals. One of the incidents in my life which time shall find hard to efface happened during the freshie schroeter. A match against Godav did not produce much of a cheering squad from my hostel Tapti. The result was that all the people around the ground were godav supporters, and not too many voices to shout "Go Tapti". We were playing rather well on that day, which meant that the ball was in the other half for most of the time, and I was rather lonely at the goal post. Sensing this, a huge army of Godav supporters decided to rid me of my boredoom, though not in the way I would have desired. They gathered around my goal post and started shouting against Tapti and me in particular. I had to endure some twenty minutes of fifty people hurling abuses at me, right in my ear. They started in Hindi and English, until a couple of guys from my hostel tricked them into believing that I was from Andhra Pradesh. Then they started in Telugu, until a few people finally discovered I was Mallu (I have no idea how). They were massively overridden by the gult crowd though, so I ended up adding a few words to my now-stagnated Telugu vocabulary.

Shaastra, the tech festival of IIT Madras descended pleasantly upon the insti. It showcased a variety of innovative tech in a variety of fields. It facilitated a good number of lectures for the science and technology buffs by leading figures from the industry as well as the field of research. I was a hospitality volunteer and gained a lot of work experiences during the five days of Shaastra '09. Hospitality was mainly concermned with providing accommodation and help during the events to the participants. I still recall carrying dusty mattresses four and five floors to make rooms habitable for participants from across the country.

The sem progressed into a deluge of quizzes, assignments and presentations. I have never considered academics to be any sort of a stronghold for myself and won't be in the near future. The trend was aptly reflected in all my papers as I crawled past with below average marks. Others whizzed past me with varying degrees of super grades, while I was left with an usual sense of-no, not disappointment-ordinariness, because that is what happens in my everyday life.

In retrospect, all I did for a majority of the first semester was play football, read a few novels and sleep.

I briefly and frequently toyed with the idea of checking out the much touted great leveler called alcohol but I never got to tasting a drop of it for I don't know why. Time flew by, carrying me along, till we came to the end of November and the end semester exams loomed up like a bleak grey mountain. Serious and desperate last minute studying ensued, with nights and days merging into each other in a sleep deprived haze. I wrote exams the way I have done all my life-hoping for the best, though not quite prepared for the worst. In the end I managed three of Bs, a C and a D, resulting in a GPA of 7.47, what I like to call the Boeing GPA.

Back home for the winter hols, and looking forward to seeing insti again. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yet Another Disappointment

Yet another disappointment for this young gooner, who saw yet another gunners side flatter to decieve in a clash with one of the "Big Four". Having lost to United and the newly empowered City, Arsenal needed to hold its own against the mighty Chelsea. But what happened at the Emirates stadium on that Sunday evening was one of the worst performances from Arsenal in a few seasons. Arsenal was clearly overwhelmed by the significance of the match as well as the quality (and quantity) in the blue jerseys. It was quite simply a case of men against boys, a fact that Arsene Wenger denied. Arsenal lost spectacularly 3-0 to the current table toppers, to remain in third. The defeat, coming after a 1-0 lss to unfancied Sunderland, clearly shows that Arsenal is not quite up there with Chelsea and United.

The November Curse struck Arsenal yet again two weeks before the match, depriving the gunners of the serivces of ace striker Robin van Persie. The absence of the Dutchman was clearly felt against the Black Cats and was sure to be felt against the Blues. The man replacing van Persie, Eduardo, carried a lot of expectation on his shoulders and......turned out to be the worst player on the pitch. Eduardo, was fed admirably upfront in the first half, getting the ball just outside the box. Eduardo conveyed to everyone his lack of ideas on the day, shuffling arond,waiting for God knows who fiddling around, till Terry or Carvalho was kind enough to relieve him of the ball. Eduardo seriously needed to move the ball around and get himself moving around the pitch. Once the game progressed and Chelsea started to dominate, Eduardo became just an exhibit at one end of the park.

It was not like one department in the Arsenal team failed to function properly. Clearly Chelsea were the better side and they trampled the Gunners out of existence. Nobody was particularly at fault for any of the Chelsea goals. Les Blues emerged triumphant out of a no-contest to go eight points clear of the gunners.

The usually creative Fabregas was effectively subdued while Arshavin was given no ball or space to make an impact.In fact Arshavin got so frustrated that he resorted to blocking Cech from taking a goal kick late in the match. Bacary Sagna could not pepper the box with crosses as he usually does, and when he did manage to put a few through, there were no forwards to meet them. Nasri had an off-day, and kept losing the ball, as did Fabregas with astonishingly loose passes.

Arsenal were clearly put down and jumped upon with hob nailed boots by a superior Chelsea. The result was as much of a tactical victory for Carlo Ancelotti as the excellent display of football by Chelsea.

Arsenal went on to lose 3-0 to City in the League Cup as well, making it three defeats in a row. When will the Gunners start firing on all cylinders again?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The atmosphere is charged...a mob encircle a round plot of land...a hundred pairs of eyes to witness glory made or lost...a hundred minds willing a few others on...a hundred tongues wagging eloquently in anticipation of more work known as bragging....welcome to football at IIT Madras, where the beautiful game has as much passion involved as you can find elsewhere.

Its not about the players, its not about the score...its just about the crowd. Wins, trophies and points are secondary in the football circuit of the "insti". The game is played for the masses, for those who come to cheer for their hostels. This prioritisation is repaid by the patrons as they "put enthu max", so to speak into each game that has anything to do with their hostels.

Almost all of football in the insti are inter hostel events. The passion and grittiness of inter hostel rivalry lace each contest.As a "veteran" of seven inter hostel matches, [:P] I'm slowly but surely coming to grips with the dynamics of football at IIT Madras. Matches are usually held at hostel quadrangles or at the Sangam ground. The ground would be surrounded by a whole lot of people, the "cheering squad", the inmates of competing hostels. The "cheering squad" don't cheer as much as mentally disintegrate the opposition, hurling out chants designed to crack the toughest of minds. Its on the quadi that I learned the basics of sledging, the art of cheering for your team by abusing the opposition. As cries of "Godav(or any other hostel) ki maa ka..." render the air, even the most dormant of freshies can't help but be enthused by the hostel spirit that charges the atmosphere.

Football is one of the more "refined and pleasant" ways of getting to know your seniors and bonding with them. Each hostel will have one or more "stud" football players, the unanimously acclaimed best of the hostel. Playing three or four times a week, the seniors get to have a good luck at the budding talents in the new batch, and see who all would be fit to don the hostel jersey for a variety of sporting events.

What makes football a joy to play and watch in this intensively competitive academic setting is the passion and love the people have for the game. Quizzes may come and go but nobody misses a game if they can help it. That is the love of the game a peculiar hostel spirit has inculcated in every hostel mob.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why My Choices Make Me Happy

This part of my life..... this part right here? This part is called "being happy". I believe that happiness is a state of mind. We choose whether we want to be happy or not. A person can have all the comforts of life and still be unhappy. Happiness is, in plain economics, managing scarce resources for maximum benefits. What the benefits are is left to the person to decide.

All throughout the eighteen years of my life, I have strived, like everybody else, to keep myself happy. But I have never measured happiness in grades, money or acceptance by others. I have had only one yardstick- to have maximum fun. I have realised that what makes me happy is to be myself, to be an independent thinker and not to strive for anything but to have maximum fun- let everything else take care of everything else.

I make choices that I hope are rational, decisions which I hope will lead me to “greener pastures”, avenues which, I hope, will be great fun to explore. I do not believe that everything happens for the best. I believe that I can do anything to be the best. I know I can count on myself to make choices that will make me happy.

Living a life aimed at having fun can have its drawbacks too. I, in the course of having fun, have neglected stuff that others, correctly or incorrectly, termed as important. I have invited the wrath of a host of people, people who are important to my life, a whole lot of people who come under the category of family, friends and teachers.

At different times, my definitions of happiness are different. Sometimes, it is being curled up with a good book, otherwise a movie, or hanging out with friends. All these acts which give me happiness are acts of my own free will, acts which I have decided to commit, and not those which have been imposed on me. Some activities are fun, disregarding whether they are of my own will. This includes activities like writing an essay (depends on the topic, though), reading a literary work, or even solving math problems.

I would like to end by quoting a character from a popular sitcom. “When I am sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.”

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Deer and Girls

Life in IIT is fun. Super fun in fact. Pseud to use the insti lingo. A major part of the fun is provided by seniors, who, in their quest to have "friendly interactions" and"Personality Development Programmes (PDP)" make life heaven or hell as you may choose to see it.

A few weeks in the insti, and one realises that it is a sort of honour to be "hit on" by seniors. So here is the latest news from that front. A senior, on learning that I am a MA student, and assuming that all MA people speak well, asked me to compare the deer and girls in the campus.

Having a name like Nympho helps. :D Here goes my extempore.

1. I have seen very few girls in the campus and slightly more deer.

2. Deer come out on the roads more in the night, but the girls behave in a diametrically opposite manner.

3. Deer are more near the boys hostel, but the same cannot be said of the girls.

4. Deer abound in leafy, bushy areas, but so far I haven't been able to lure any girl into those regions.

5. Deer can be found all around the campus but the girls are restricted to sharavati and the library.

6. Most deer have horns, but I am yet to meet a horny girl.

7. Deer are more forthcoming and friendly than a majority of the girls.

8. "Misbehaviour" with deer may be injurious to health, but no loss occurs when the same happens with the girls.

9. All deer walk on four limbs, but I am yet to see a girl in campus on all fours.

10. Yea...girls wear clothes.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A report

This was a report I wrote in school last year. lot of my friends, rightly or wrongly said it was rather good.... So, enjoy!!!

The Principal
Loyola School.

The summer camp, which has been scheduled for the standard 12 has finally got an ideal site to be held on. A committee comprising of seven members of standard 12 visited the Rampur village, 15 km north of Trivandrum city. This scenic spot can be reached by bus and takes 30 to 45 minutes from the school.

The committee in charge of picking the site had decided that the spot should be scenic, picturesque, hold possibilities for recreation and above all, have friendly and welcoming natives. Rampur fit all these requirements. It is scenic and pleasing to the eyes. It also holds possibilities for trekking, rock climbing etc, which I am sure will be of utmost interest to my classmates. Even though a resident of the area said that seventeen people were killed last year while involving in these adventures, most of think he is joking. It had been agreed that the village should have connection with a main road leading to a town or city and the village headman informed us that there was an accessible main road leading to a town. The people of the village did not appear to be bothered by our presence and the village headman welcomed us all.

The camp is proposed to be held on a large expanse of undulating land,just outside the village. The whole place is quite beautiful, with three or four streams flowing by the site. There were supposed to be three more, but they had dried up by the time we arrived. There are small doughty hills on the outskirts of the site, which somehow reminds me of a bull terrier, and so promises plenty of good trekking and climbing. I just hope it doesnt turn back and snap at our heels. There are some steep slopes which shall be a challenge to the best of us and some rough rocks which can hurt if you dont do it right. The valleys are beautiful with a wide variety of plants with lot of biological diversity which would have made our E.E teacher shed tears of joy. There are plenty of plants which we havent seen elsewhere. One of the committee is a botany genius and told me the names of all those flora but I have forgotten all of them. The whole scene suggests the simple, wholesome and ideal lifestyle of the villagers.

We outlined our plans to the village headman, seeking his approval. One of his "advisers" was sceptic of our plans but even the headman thinks he is a joke, so we wont bother.

The village headman agreed to show us the main road and this he did by pointing to a brown dusty, crooked path (and I am understating it). We had not seen a single vehicle in this village and our taxi driver had not heard of the place and this put a bit of a dampener on the main road.It is untarred and the altitudes vary sharply with distance and was quite unfit for motor transport. One of us pointed out that the above arguments are reasons enough for it to be declared a main road. His argument was accepted without dissent.There is an old, almost dysfunctional post office along the main road. Nobody has received or sent any form of communication through the post office for well over a decade.It is still alive as it sells paan and allows its customers a lot of credit.

The local people are friendly, warm and receptive. Till now we have not received any concrete proofs of cannibalism in the region. Safety is another over-riding factor that works in our favour. Only a dacoit out of his mind would even think abut looting a place like this.

Finally, the village headman, impressed by our orderly conduct and fine disposition,consented to host us. We drafted an agreement which said as much in three languages, but found the headman illiterate. So we drafted another contract without arousing much suspicion and had the headman put his thumb impression on it. By that agreement, he has given all of the village ,a total area of 54 acres , to the school. You can now start building an indoor stadium there.

The whole village smacks of innocence and has clean fresh air which will make us healthy, hopefully wealthy and most improbably wise. We are looking forward earnestly to the summer camp.

Yours Sincerely,
Basil James.

Friday, May 8, 2009

On Arsenal

And finally its come to an end. The big soap opera at north London closed shop on tuesday, but dont worry, this august its gonna start again!!! Yea, mates its the Arsenal F.C's fortunes which once again brings me to this a Gooner I feel that once in a while I be allowed to ruminate on the state of affairs at the Emirates. After seeing Manchester United shove the gun up our arse, a humiliating defeat I should say, I have been flooded by what needs to change at arsenal- who do people think I am, Wenger's understudy? phbbt!!!!

Anyway,cutting straight to the matter, getting down to the brass tacks, what exactly is wrong?? Arsenal posses an assortment of players, who have been touted as the next big things in football, an array of talented modern players, who hold a barrel of promise.....but that is as far as the good part goes, all the "progress" that we claim to have achieved are dwarfed by the barren trophy cabinet which has had no work to do for four years.....Wenger has put trust in techinically superb players who also happen to be young. But let me tell you , it was not always so. Four or five years back, Arsenal possesed men like Viera and Henry, who were big men who could play. And still Arsenal played beautifull football, good enough to rival the breathtaking stuff Fabregas and co. puts out when on form. And to add to that, the trophy cabinet was not unemployed for four seasons....

Arsenal have played some fantastic, breathtaking football this season. But at the end of the day we are trophy-less for yet another season. If the dark clouds don't change their act and start dishing out a considerably bigger slice of silver linings at an early date, many fans may have to reconsider their alliances and even go in search of greener pastures.

Its imperative that Wenger stops taking the risk of being imprisoned for child labour , and brings in a few experienced legs. After all, Arsenal has proved this season that experience is important by their lack of it.

Arsenal urgently needs a heavy weight midfielder, some one like Viera, who can win the ball in midfield and leave lightweights like Nasri, Fabregas and Arshavin to do what they do best- attack. And if anyone is suggesting that Song be the defensive midfielder that we need, I can only think of heavy drinking as a possible explanation.

And then we come to the part called defence, a part that has not been our best for a couple of seasons. Bacary Sagna has been decent as a right back, one of the few positives for Arsenal this season. The rest haven't risen to the task. Arsenal need a center back who strike fear into the hearts of strikers and make them think twice before performing a fancy stepover. Arsenal need not and should not goback to CG days, but thats no excuse for not tightening up your defence. Gallas has let his temper get the better of him, Djourou needs to go a long way and Silvestre is not what he used to be. The fact that Silvestrre may be slighlty over the hill was demonstrated in the first leg of the champions league semi final, when he forgot on quite a number of occasions the way transfer markets work and played for his old team. He has been in this business for quite a few years and he is not one to shirk duty merely on the fact that his jersey was slightly different in colour from those of his erswhile mates.

Manuel Almunia has in recent times justified himself as an Arsenal goalkeeper, though his feet are yet to grow to the size of Seaman's boots, has been showing improvement. If he keeps on the good work, you never know!!!!

And finally the area thats frustrsted Wenger and fans alike so much that I spotted a few wrinkles on my Byronic face last week!!! Robin van Persie for all his briliance is too inconsistent and a bit injury prone. He needs to put in consistent performances. Adebayor is at best a tap in specialist. Now, if he would confine himself to that role all would have been well, but he insists playing like a playmaker he is not-winning a ball on the wings, trying to create chances, and thus rendering himself useless. The injury monster has marked Eduardo for its own. If he comes back fully fit for next season, maybe Arsenal could have renewed firepower. The less said of Bendtner, the better. He probably will have to go, though I wish he would not because he is tall and gets into such good positions. Its a pity that I can finish better than him. So, one may safely say that Arsenal lacks a talismanic center forward, like the likes of Rooney, Drogba or Torres. Robin van Persie is the only striker in that mould and comparisons with the aforementioned would only give van Persie a fourth place.

Anyway, there is no doubting Arsenal has plenty of talent. Wenger has to prepare to splash a bit of cash else Arsenal wont win anything for the fifth reason n a row. wow!!! cant even imagine it. We got a game against Chelsea this Sunday and then Manu(hope we get our revenge).
Having Arshavin and a much fitter van Persie will help us. Maybe we can put in a last round rally!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bidding Farewell.

Its time to bid farewell, to say good bye to all that we have considered our own, a part and parcel of our lives.It is time to say goodbye to all that we have stood for in the past 13 years. It is not taken away from us permanently, but we have the feeling that we have passed on from owners to spectators. As we watch our juniors enjoy life in Loyola- ignoring the inevitable that they will leave some day (like we did).

As we move on from one phase of life to another, we have an inevitable sense of depression-as memories come back flooding in to your mind, blurring your brain with nostalgia and deja vu, dissolving the pain in salty tears. As we rewind Psmith's quote" The time has come to part. It has served its turn.", we often ask ourselves why we feel sad as we are free to come back to the great institution any time we want to. We shall miss our school, no doubt, but it is the fact that we may never see some of our classmates again that causes this mammoth pain in our hearts. For all our bravado about "everlasting friendship", "bonds which cannot be broken" we know fully well that we may correspond regularly for maybe just a few months more. After that those of us lucky to be in the same college or at the same work place or living in the same locality may see each other once in a while, but the great leveller called Time and indestructible distances may slowly but surely break that divine bond called true friendship.

As one of my friends put it, "Loyola is not a school. It is a feeling. Like hatred, love, jealousy,sympathy.......". This feeling, which has driven us for the past 13 years, shall remain in our hearts, maybe dormant, may be active. I had resolved to myself the previous day, that I would not cry on the farewell day, come what may and whatever feelings I experience. You bet it was hard work. Disregarding a fractured arm, I joined my classmates for a final game of football- a game followed and played passionately by our class. I knew that whatever be the result of that match there would be no celebrations, only solemn salutes to the game that binds our class together.

As I along with 47 others bid farewell to our second home which shaped our life, as we say goodbye to a glorius phase of our lives, as we struggle to say goodbye, desperately try to cling on to what we know has passed, I can only say one thing, quote the Eagles in Hotel California.

"Some danced to remember, Some danced to forget".

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Celebrity Stuff.

Britney Spears. Manchester City Paris Hilton

When you are among the rich and the famous, its hard to be No.1

K.D Jadhav. ---------------------------------------M.C Marykom.
But sometimes, when you are No.1, it is hard to be rich and famous.