Archive for the 'Life' Category

19
Jul
09

Nothing haute couture in this one

Jeez, my last post was more than ten days ago. The last few days have been really hectic for me. Last week, there was this international conference hosted by my college on development communication. Then there was ‘Fresher’s day’ were we seniors ‘welcomed’ the first years to college. A boring affair actually. And to top it all I have been having this really bad cold. What irritates me the most is when I feel like sneezing and am all set to go through with it, the feeling disappears at the last moment. Hate it!

There was nothing international about the conference except maybe one Thai guy I can remember. Rest were all Indians. I guess it did not even qualify as an ‘Asian’ conference. It went on for three days and numerous sessions, of which I attended none. So what was it then that made my week ‘hectic’? Well, there was this fashion show that ‘showcased the different ethnic cultures of India’, to entertain the delegates. What is a fashion show doing at a conference meant for intellectuals? I don’t know, to be honest. There was also a western music show and a few dances as well to go along. Unfortunately or fortunately I was among the many who were ‘picked’ for the fashion show. So there I was, ‘walking the ramp’ for the first time since 9th grade back in school.  Me and my partner, a chick from first year, were designated the state of Haryana. But when the costumes arrived and I put it own, I realized that I was no Haryanvi but Jawaharlal Nehru. Did they lift the kurta-pajama from Nehru’s memorablia? All that was missing was a red rose on the chest. During the practice we never got the pose right. We were supposed to pose in opposite directions but somehow we almost always managed to screw it up. Finally we did manage to get it right, and we told ourselves, ‘first left, then right, then again left’. Apparently someone forgot to remind the same to us before the final show. So just as expected we screwed up the pose. To add insult to injury someone clicked a picture of the pose and put it on facebook, and in it there I was ‘ogling’ at her. Brilliant. To add to the woes, we almost forgot to make the exit from the stage on time. I promise to never again to appear in a fashion show, NEVER!

Fresher’s day is supposed to be a time when the seniors ‘get to know’ the juniors. But this time around, I already knew few of them thanks to the above mentioned tragedy. There was nothing much to talk about the day really. The emcees, with their lame jokes and same lame dance performances from the juniors, there was nothing really in it.Just like every year, the professors made it to a point to spoil the fun by telling not to ‘harass’ the freshers. Apparently one fo the first year GIRLS rides an Apache RTR-160 to college. I was scared. In case you don’t know, I still haven’t got a drivers license. I was expecting at least the food to be something more tolerant.I remember for last year’s freshers day we had got a packet of maa and samosas as refreshments. No such luxuries this time though, for all we got was what a bhajji the size of matchbox and some tea. Or was it coffee. I don’t remember.

ONCE AGAIN, REMIND ME NEVER TO ATTEMPT A RAMP WALK.

Peace.

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08
Jul
09

To hell with Orkut

The past one year has seen my mouse cursor go over “Delete Account” on Orkut more than the number of times I’ve ‘scraped’ someone. Yet every time some invisible force within me prevents my finger from pressing that left button on the mouse while at it. The point is simple – ORKUT IS SHIT. Yeah, I might have not said the same thing back in 2004 when I joined Google’s latest ‘wonder’. Even though I’ve changed a lot since then, Orkut never seemed to have got the ‘Change’ bug. Not even during Obama’s Presidential campaign.

The mantra of Orkut’s compatriot Facebook’s (I wouldn’t dare  say rival because Orkut never has been any competition for FB) success have been Change, Evolution, Revamps. True, FB does have a new group popping up protesting every time they come up with a new interface, but I’ve always liked FB ‘reinventing itself’. Orkut came up with something called ‘themes’, though only in name. Anyone who’d used the themes would know they attract nobody but Indians and Brazilians with the mindsets of 2 year old kids. Seriously, what else should you say when you got ‘themes’ depicting a tiger or a snowman or a friendly ghost. The album section which is ripped of from that of FB is like one of those cheap Bollywood remakes of foreign movies. Unlike in FB there are no notifications and so you end up seeing  a comment on some photo of yours a month after it was posted. There is not one decent application worth even checking out, let alone using it regularly.FB has more than just sending messages across. You have a lot of applications that you can actually get addicted to like I am to Mafia Wars. Commenting on pictures can be more fun than anything you could think of. I’ve seen comments running upto more than 100 for some people’s photos. Yet the only thing you do on Orkut is sit, scrap and wait for the return scrap. And they say THIS is addicting. Jeez. Really?

But what pisses me the most is when you’re searching for someone using their own name and you find nothing. Rather they tell you to type some god knows what characters and some weird quotation or song from some stupid movie in the search box to locate the profile. The problem only doubles up when someone you may know sends you a friend request but as a name they have those weird characters and if that was not enough they have an image of David Beckham or a Hillary Duff as Display Pics. How the hell are you supposed to know who the person is? Why would you wanna put up the picture of someone who doesn’t even look remotely like you. I may be able to understand if girls say their pictures might be misused, but guys? Do they actually think they’re so gorgeous that people ‘misuse’ their pictures on gay-porn sites? It is your own fuckin face and if you don’t think its good enough, then no else is gonna think it is.

I’m not saying Facebook is THE best social networking site out there. You don’t have to join FB because of its brilliance but rather because of Orkut’s stupidity. I’ve a lot of good friends who are not able to relieve themselves of their ‘addiction’ for Orkut and refuse to switch to FB.  This is the invisible force I was talking about preventing me from deleting my account. If I delete my account, then it would mean that I lose my only resort to keep in touch with them online. To define Orkut in one word would be ‘monotonous’.

30
Jun
09

Skitter and me

Skitter will always be remembered. The 5 odd hours I spent with him/her (I choose to call ‘him’) are probably never to be regained.  For 2 odd hours, Skitter was more than just a pet to me, before being gifted away to a friend. She was the one who christened him Skitter. If you’re wondering what kind of species  Skitter was, well he was what you might call a Praying Mantis, all but 3cm long and green in color. And a bug.

I found Skitter majestically seated on the vast hairyness of my friend’s head. I placed my finger next to him and he immediately jumped on to it. He was there, making his way between fingers and both my hands. Mantis religiosa as the scientific world prefers to call his kinsmen, became officially my ‘favorite living organism’ almost instantly. I loved the way he held his two forelegs and ‘prayed’. Enough proof that even animals believe in God; Atheists can go fuck themselves.

300px-Praying_mantis_india

Once in the classroom my friend decided she should take care of Skitter and that’s exactly what she made sure. And so tiny Mr. Skitter jumped from my hands to hers. Even when he was not active he didn’t bother leaving behind his new home. He just sat there, occasionally moving, quite contrary to what he was on my hands. He was still seated on her forearms when we were munching away Dahi Bhel Pooris and Paneer Parathas at a chat shop 5 hours later. Skitter even managed to survive Sarah’s lectures, something even we barely manage to.

My friend walked away towards her home and along with her, Skitter. Few hours later her facebook update pops up, “Skitter is missing”. I felt my heart being shattered into a thousand pieces. Yes, a BUG broke my heart. After all, not everyone is lucky enough to have a Mantis as a pet, even it is for only 2 hours.

Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and Billy Mays. You may add Skitter the Praying Mantis to the list too.

24
Jun
09

Unkept promises

About 3 weeks back I made a promise that I would be updating my blog regularly. But Layla is making the life of the blogger in me rather difficult. A week has passed since college reopened and also its been exactly a week since my last post. See what I mean.

There are times when I wonder on what basis India Today named Layla the no.1 college in the country. They say my college has the best Vis Com dept. in the whole of South India. But just imagine Vis Com without a subject on Copywriting.  I had chosen Copywriting and Photography as my first and backup choices respectively for one of the major subjects. But apparently someone forgot to remind me that this is Layla and anything can change without a warning, for worse. They decided to scrap Copywriting citing lack of faculty. If this wasn’t enough, one of the professors gave the lamest possible excuse – Copywriting doesn’t have any scope. Has the guy lost his senses? Ironically, a new Dept. of Film Studies has  been started as a sister department. When you’re in Layla, it becomes evident to you that Cinema is the only synonym for Media.

But everything is not bad in final year. A couple of posts back, I had mentioned about the professor whom I loved to hate becoming one of my favorites this time around. I seriously thought that this guy had absolutely no future whatsoever as a teacher. But the way he has been taking classes this past week, you’d never feel its the same guy. Guess, four semesters of NOT handling my class helped him. Other subjects like ‘Visual Asthetics’ and ‘Development Communication’ has also so far proven to be interesting.  Also, today first years joined. I’m told that there is a cute mallu chick among them. A daughter of a prominent actor as well as a former child artiste are also among the crowd it seems. Unfortuinately I was not among the group who were asked to ‘show’ the first years around today. Ah, who cares, its not very long until Freshers Day.

That’s all for today. Guess I won’t be able to keep up the promise of regular posts because of college.

Ciao

17
Jun
09

Return to Layla: The Final Chapter

Its hard to believe that two years have already passed since I entered a bittersweet dream called Loyola, or Layla to many. Today happened to be the first day as a final year student here. I still remember my first day here. Like a turkey before Thanksgiving I stepped into this college. Coming from a suburban school, I should admit I was more or less anxious and nervous at the very thought of education in a campus located in the heart of the city. But then things changed, and I had no problem adjusting. I won many friends and also earned some ‘enemies’ (Read teachers). I have had some really interesting subjects like my favorite, ‘Art and Architecture’ and also some absurdly dry ones like ‘Media Research Methods’. Culturals, treats, bunking class, movies, beach, all the cliches you’d normally associate with a  Chennai arts and science college. But love it or hate it, nothing can replace college life.

After almost 2 months of holidays, internship and joblessness I was certainly in zero mood to return to classes. The weather which made me feel like a chicken being roasted in a microwave, didn’t help either.  So there I was on a HOT summer afternoon sitting in the top balcony of the oldest hall in college wondering why the hell I decided to attend this stupid inaugural ‘prayer service’ when we ‘prayed’ only for a minute and the remaining 2 hours was spent whiling away time as the principal and his honchos gave us one ‘inspiring’ speech after another. Why God, Why? Anyway I proceed to meet my friends after a long interval. My nerdy/geeky/dorky friend (no offense) from Physics dept gives me the shock of my life, or is it a surprise? I don’t know. No it was not that he finally got a shave and a proper haircut. I learn that his ultra-orthodox Hindu family has decided to go the Born-again way. Jaws dropped. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. I could sense his predicament, after all my parents too decided to go back to the womb and come out magically some 4 years back. And no, I’m still a Catholic, a practising one at it who mutters an ‘Our Father’ and 3 ‘Hail Marys’ every night. Only I know the trouble warding off the pastors and evangelizers from their church who try their level best to brainwash me. They certainly can give Benny Hinn a run for his money.

A cold chocolate, bottle of water and a maa later (dude its almost 40*c) I find myself in the infamous Department of Visual Communication. I don’t believe in omens but when the first professor you see in the department is someone you always loved to hate, you can’t help it at all. In the classroom we discuss Prabhakaran (with a girl who makes me wonder if all Lankans are dumb), Mafia Wars (with the guy who introduced me to this game which is more serious than heroine or coke), and also Internship. My boss had treated me and office people at Benjarong. So I don’t care; my internship had to be the best, hands down.  Enterrd the professor whom I love to hate, into the class. Boos and jeers as expected arose from the back benches. But as he started speaking I noticed a change. Now, when this dude used to teach Human Communication in first year, I could swear he knew nothing, absolutely nothing when it comes to communicating with people. He wouldn’t care to listen and was the most unpopular lecturer. Of course, others managed to super-cede him as time passed by. As he was speaking today, I noticed that he was patient, knew what to speak and when, had control over his words and hell, he even made a good joke, a far cry from what he was 2 years back. But the guy had some bad news. Apparently only 2 out of the 4 major optionals given out last year are available now. I had chosen copywriting as my 1st option and photography as a backup. Unfortunately both are out. Now I have to decide between visualization and TV Production. The last time I painted, a friend remarked that the painting was ‘leaking’. That’s how bad I’m at painting although I’m better off at sketching. As for TV Production, after seeing many ‘wonderful’ movies made by seniors, I decided long back not to screw up my career by opting for this.

After the break we got another shock. Entered the lady teacher who had just replaced the previous professor as the professor I love to hate. She says she’s not gonna take one subject but two. Double trouble. And one subject among that happens to be the toughest. My hopes of at least passing the subject are dashed. This professor and me have had some history before, and when I said I had earned enemies, she was the one I was referring too. It is no sceret that the whole class hates her. You can’t blame us. She is the kind of person whose face has ‘BITCH’ written all over. I noticed that she’s been trying to act nice to us. Every two seconds she smiles like the bovine from Orbit White. Well, acting goody two shoes is not gonna help her case. A bitch is always a bitch. Luckily she decided to leave us early. In two days, it is election time in Loyola. So the candidates and campaigners were in full action and at least few of my mates were in election mode.  I don’t want to discuss all the silly politics here.

That sums up first day of college’s final chapter

Peace

14
Jun
09

My ‘new’ camera

I finally got myself a digital camera today, though the only thing ‘new’ about is it that its ‘newly’ repaired. Anyways its a 4 year old Olympus Camedia C-5000 Zoom . Dad bought it back in 2004. Phew,5 years for a digital camera is something. Now this is something that I like about Olympus. It lasts long, really long, at least from my experience. The DSLR my dad uses presently is not too bad either.

My ‘new’ camera first started having problems after using being used for maybe 3 years. I used to get some weird memory card error every time I clicked a picture. We did try giving it for repair but the problem became persistent before my dad decided to do away with, well at least for a while. In time t developed lot of other problems too. The shutter wouldn’t open at times, start-up problems, lots. Ultimately at least 5 memory cards were spoiled by the faulty camera. olympus

Then one day I decided that I NEED a proper camera. You cant blame me; I’m a Visual Communication student. A camera to me is like an M-16 to a US Marine. My dad wouldn’t let me get a new camera. He advised me to try repairing the old one and use. I refused, but in time learnt I had to budge. And thus went the camera under the knives of a watchful repair-man. This time dad made sure that the camera went into the right hands. After a short wait, the camera finally was sound and ready.

The camera still does have a small problem though. Whenever try zooming, the shutter-speed increases too. Some snag in the wiring I guess. But the repair-man promised he would look into it and hopefully he will. At least I’m relieved that I finally have a camera in my hand. It’s only 5 meg and low on features but then it was made in 2004. Guess I’ll be using this till I get myself a new DSLR. In less than a week, I’ll be formally and officially in final year of college and that means excursion time. I so desperately need a DSLR for the trip. Hopefully that won’t be long.

10
Jun
09

Every good thing has to come to an end. Adios.

So this is it. Today is the day I’ve been waiting for the past one month. Today is my last day as an intern at Percept IBD. I can’t believe its already a month since I joined this place. I tried at over a dozen agencies for a chance to work and show my ‘skills’. Ogilvy, JWT, Rediffusion, Fresh Lime, Fingerprints, I’ve lost count. I walked from one end of Mount Road to the other looking for Saatchi (Which I later found had closed its Chennai base sometime back) , from JWT on Ethiraj Salai to Grey all the way at Chetpet. From Orchard in Alwarpet to Fresh Lime in T.Nagar and back almost the same distance to my final destination at Percept. Boy, what a journey its been, literally. I now know where half the ad agencies in Chennai are. At least I wouldn’t have to walk aimlessly when I’m looking for a proper job one year from now.

Since I have already written about my daily life at Percept in an earlier post I don’t think I have to elaborate much. I guess I’ll straightaway go the point where I am at my desk writing this post wondering what next to write. My last day started off at midnight. That’s when I contemplated writing this post. Half an hour later I began to put my thoughs about the time at Percept into words. But only for the next couple of minutes till the point I hit my recurring blogger’s block. This post thus became a draft for the next 12 hours. I woke up as usual at 8.30, brushed, shat, dressed up, ate  and was in a bus to the workplace by 10. If I haven’t mentioned my bath, that’s not because I forgot but because I felt being the last day a late-night bath would be better. I took my bath at 2 in the morning just before hitting the bed.

It’s almost lunch time here and I’m hungry as hell. Last day doesn’t mean anything special even for lunch. I’ll have to settle with some ‘Sunfeast Pasta treat’, chicken flavor. The chicken ‘flavor’ is the closest I can get to eat something ‘special’. On second thoughts, why am I in a perception that I turn 58 today and today is my retirement day? Bah. My horoscope for today on Times of India says it’s time for me to change and be independent. I agree to that part after all I’ll be independent from my non-existent office duties. But it also says that I may receive exciting news. Is it a matter of coincidence that my horoscope on Deccan Chronicle says that I may get to meet someone special? Well, its been over 2 years since I last saw the person who is ‘special’ to me. Perhaps the ‘special’ person read the poems on this blog addressed to them. God, I have high expectations. What the hell. I don’t want to spoil my last day by expecting something that’s never gonna happen. Still I hate being a pessimist.

College reopens only on the 17th. So I got exactly a week to do all the things that I wanted to do in a month long holiday. And what would these things be? I have no idea. I do have at least 7 movies waiting to be watched on my comp. But then I’m someone who took 6 full months to watch Casino Royale. Computer games, you may ask. Try telling that to my comp. The ancient machine starts whining the moment a harmless flash app on Facebook like ‘Word Challenge’ is played. Makes me wanna murder my friend who’s got a GPU worth 32 grand. Luckily my P4 has no problem when it comes to Mafia Wars unfortunately complementing my addiction for a browser game. The same friend who’s rich enough to own a 32 grand GPU had refused to play Mafia Wars citing poor ‘graphics’. No I don’t want to murder the guy, I just want to burn down his comp.

One more week of boredom for college. I say ‘Aane De’.

Peace.

No, wait a second. I forgot to thank all those at Percept for being nice to me, despite my apparent retardness.

Peace, again.