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?