Archive for February, 2006


so, on an impulse i went to have a couple of beers today.
sitting oppositte to us was a fat guy, who had drowned a couple of quaters of whiskey in fron of us….
so as we are paying up and leaving, that guy totally drunk and out of control, calls us back. One of my friends had left a little bit of beer in his mug. So, he tells him to drink it up, because we have payed for it.

But, as he lifts the mug, he yells “wait wait”. my friend stops and asks him what?
he tells “cheers to kiya hi nahi” ( we did not say cheers at all)
so after cheers, he starts to tell the story of cheers.
Q>Why do people say cheers before they drink?
A>(as given by that drunk fellow)when we drink, we taste it, so that is the job for our tounge, our hands bring the drink to our mouth, that is the job of our hand, we see what we drink, we mix our drinks and see what we eat, that is job our eyes, we throw out our waste through our ass and…., that is its job. Poor ears are jobless. So that they feel good, we tell cheers, the job of our ears is to listen to this cheers and feel good. When everypart of the body enjoys, should we not give something for the ears to enjoy also!!!

My encounter with drunken jokes dates long back. One of them is a very sidey and pervert song, which a group of students were singing in a bar in bangalore.

One more time, on a trip to tirupati, in the train, me and a couple of my friends were discussing life, girl friends (or the lack of one), and other things, especially the lack of the better half in our lives, as one drunken fellow (he just downed a couple of quaters in front of us) exclailms
“FIRST DUTY, THEN BUTY”…..finish your studies, get a job, get settled and then start thinking about love.

Then that fellow started chatting, and when my friend asked him, why do you drink so much. Even if you want to, try to drink beer, which is better (not that it is not bad, better than other drinks)…he asked us, have you seen ‘Sami’ (a tamil flick), and went on to say that the hero in that picture, eats idli with beer (instead of sambhar and chutney) and brushes his teeth with beer. That is what beer is for him. A substitute to water!!!!

I am not against drinking, but yes, i have kept myself in total control and expect others to do so as-well.
I do not know about others, but I am sure that my close knit group of friends from RVCE, is so close because of the numerous (o.k, not so much, about 5-6) daroo parties we have had as a group. All of us used to get high, and talk so much about ourselves, about our dreams, problems, insecurities etc etc (things whiich in our sober lives are closely gaurded secrets), that we got to know each one of us really well. Plus, the next day, after the hangover and stuff, all of us got to be ourselves, closely gaurding the same very secrets, but happy inside that the other guy knows it. We never broached the topic when we were not drunk, but still the closness was shared.

I will never forget our last daroo party, at the pub B-11 in bangalore. What a night it was. Truly memorable…..

anyways, Oscar fever has gripped me.
Watched Brokeback mountain in the afternooon, and now it is time for Capote.
will watch crash and munich tomorrow. Have not found good night and good luck on the lan….guess that will have to wait…

so long then


The kite runner : my review

…”Would I ever lie to you Amir agha?”
Suddenly I decided to toy with him a little. “I don’t know. Would you?”
“I would sooner eat dirt,” he said with a look of indignation.
“Really? You’d do that?”
He threw me a puzzled look. “Do what?”
“Eat dirt if I told you to,” I said. I knew I was being cruel; like when I’d taunt him if he didn’t know some big word. But there was something fascinating–albeit in a sick way –about teasing Hassan…
…”If you asked, I would,” he finally said, looking right at me. I dropped my eyes. to this day, I find it hard to gaze directly at people like Hassan, people who mean every word they say.
“But I wonder”, he added. “Would you ever ask me to do such a thing, Amir agha?”…..
….I wished I hadn’t started this conversation. I forced a smile. “Don’t be stupid, Hassan. You know I wouldn’t.”
Hassan returned the smile. Except his didn’t look forced. “I know,” he said. And thats the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too…..

This conversation probably sums up the whole book.
Hassan, is the ever loyal, innocent servant/friend of Amir. He is one person, Amir can trust his life on.
Amir, on the other hand is a dreamer. A boy not cut out for the dog-kill-dog world. A coward.
Amir, is witness to a horrible truth and he has two choices. The easy way out, that of avoiding the truth, deleting the object that reminded him of his cowardice from his life, or of accepting the truth and losing his whole way of life, falling in the eyes of his Baba. Amir takes the easy way out, but as the author says

…That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out…..

Amir gets a chance to redeem himself after 25 years….

The book is written at a quick pace, in a free flowing style and offers a great view of the Afgan lifestyle, Afgan culture (and Afgan cuisine!!)

Roughly the book can be cut into two halves. The first half describing Amirs childhood, is defnitely the better half.
The events of the childhood, the events that lead to the day that turns Amirs life upside down, the childish mischieves, the insecurities of Amir, the loyalty of Hassan, has been potrayed brilliantly and with honesty. You will shed silent tear drop ass you read the events that unfold after the kite competition.

Comparitively, the second phase of the book, Amirs redemption, lags in narration, the plot is not believable and the narration is repetitive and contrived. The author could well have finished the stoty earlier and the final 60-70 pages are a bore.

However, the books gives a good description of Afganisthan in the 60s-70s andd of the Taliban regime. Many small poignanat moments make the book a good read,

Finally, the author, Khaled Hosseini, writing his first novel, has used his words cleverly and imaginatively, coming up with some great lines, worth remembering and quoting, like
“Afganisthan today has a lot of children, but no childhood.” and “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything”.

All in all, it is not a book that will make you sit up and think, neither one that will make you cry nor laugh out loud, but, surely its a book whose taste will linger on, long after you have finished the book.

My rating: 7/10

PS: This is the first time, I’ve actually tried my hand at a book review. Please do comment on how goos/bad it was? Was it lengthy? Did I write a little too much about the story? Was I too critical or was I too linient?


sound logic?

A few days back, I was chatting with a friend of mine, all set to sail to Australia for higher studies.

Knowing that fellow, for quite some time, I knew studies and more so Higher studies, was not his cup of tea. All through his undergraduate days, he would keep repeating the same thing : “when will this bloody studies get over; when will i get a job and earn money”….

so, it was quite a surprise for me, when he said that he was going for a masters. So, i asked him the inevtable question: You-studies-australia, I don’t see any connection….

His reply surprised me more:

-“You see, studies is just a pretence, I am going to australia to settle there”

I asked “why?”….

-“You see, it is the bloody competition in india that i want to run away from. The Population here is just ballooning. I had a tough time getting into an engineering college, because of this competition. My kids will have a tougher time getting into LKG. Probably, i as father will be intervied again (and you know how i suck at interviews)andprobably, my grand children will have to compete with other un-born kids, just to be born. The population would be so high by that time that govt will have to make restrictions for birth.” (I would certainly have more reservations about reservations then)

I had no more questions on his choice after that. We chatted generally for a little while and signed off!!!

Sound logic or strange logic or a fools choice or an intelligent choice?
What do you say????


at last;………. a cricket post

i was pretty surprised myself that being such a BIG cricket freak, I have only 1 decent post on cricket.
So here is one more, inspired by the ratings given my times of india for cricketers in a series. Only difference, my gradings will be IIT-ishtyle….
1. Rahul Dravid : AA: for steady batting in the tests, important knocks in the one days, and above all for great strategy and leading from the front and leading with example…
2. Sachin Tendulkar:AB:do not think he failed in tests, was pretty unlucky with all three dismissals, but was an important contributor in the ODIs, for silencing the critics with three majestic innings, and for picking up the dangerous inzy twice…
3. Virender Sehwag:BB:great innings up front in the first test, but then nothing to write home about. also, the injury put him off….
4. Yuvraj Singh:AA: star of the series..apart from one little blemish in failslabad, was perfect in the tour. His consistency has lent more teeth into the indian attack, and is causing premature greying of the hair for Ganguly…. (btw, ganguly must be grinning now that yuvi is mostly out of the first test against the poms!!)….
5. Irfan Pathan:AB:for an amazing hat-trick, for controlled bowling in the ODIs and for an important innings in faislabad. But, i felt was a little disappointing in bowlig, esp lack of pace and penetration in the tests….
6. Mahendra Singh Dhoni:AA:for incredible power hitting and sensible batting. Finally, I think India has her answer to gilchrist. showed the temeprement and maturity to bat in tests also. the biggest plus point is that he is so damn cool, and loves the pressure cooker situation
7. Ajit Agarkar and 8. Zaheer Khan:CCnot just good enough…seems to have lost their bite…
9. Shreeshanth:BB:looks to be a good bowler. is aggresive, has control over the ball and likes to bowl fast….
10.Harbhajan and 11.Kumble:CD: yup, i agree the pitches did not suit them, but they are not among the worlds best spinners for bowling on square turners. i just feel, it is time kumnle retires from playing test matches abroad. he takes wickets but gives away too much runs. hardly found a good testing line and length in the test series…
12. V.V.S.Laxman:BC:again played a good knock in faislabad….
13. R.P.Singh:AB:a good find for india. looks good. bowled his heart out on the flat faislabad track and looked like he would pick wickets in the ODIs, a man for the future….
14. S.C.Ganguly:BB:looked solid in karachi…had to pay for the only two mistakes committed in the tests…somehow i feel deserves another chance
15. Kaif and 16. Raina: AU:not much of their services in batting needed, but made thier presence felt in the field.

well, now a look at some of the pakis
1. Inzamam:BC:for a man who was supposedly in the best form of his life, did not play quite well, esp in the ODIs. plus, negative points for horrible strategy and ignorance of the rules…
2. Mohd. Yousuf:BB: looks like the new name and the beard is not suiting him. even though got a couple of centuries and all, never looked like the dangerous and the majestic youhana of the past. missed his flowing drives and lofte flicks in the series….(come on! those are beautiful shots)
3. Younis Khan:AA: well, i am a fan of this fella. can’t just put a wrong foot against india, i guess. but, i think he is a natural leader and pakis would be better off asking inzy to only concentrate on his batting. plus, looks a great prospect for close-up ad. always smiling and chirpy. i just love his attitude.
4. Shahid Afridi:AA: Oh my GOD! this guy has become a mature player. great power hitter, but was kind of good to see such a guy bat with some thought. made good viewing: afridi leaving the ball and blocking some.
5. Shohaib Akhthar:BB: Did not look menancing except for a couple of hours in faislabad. behave ungentelemanly the next day. but, still his name gives others the shivers
6. Kamran Akmal:AB: a man for the future. great century in karachi….opening is not the spot for him i feel…..
7. Mohd Asif:AB: find of the series for the pakis. looked out of sorts in the final 2 ODIs…
8. A. Razzaq:BB:just because he has perfected the way to get sachin out!!!

Finally, a big AA to all the umpires,
AAs to micheal holding, imran khan, nasir hussain, dean jones and manjeraker for great commentry and analysis. AB to Arun Lal, L.Shivaramakrishnan and Waqar younis for immense improvement in commentry,
and personal prejudice here, a BBfor Ramiz raja for the most one dimensional commentry ever. speaks only about the pakis, and in such a way that the he makes the opposition look like a bunch of school kids….

Phew, that was one long post.
here is the guide to the grades
AA:10, AB:9, BB: 8, BC:7, CC:6, CD:5, DD:4


room clean

my room is never clean, except during exam times. Just before the exams, I have this urge to clean my room. In my mind, I have a unique place assigned to each and every item that I own in my room. But, almost all the time, none of these items are there where they are supposed to be, and for this, i have my own version of Murphys law: “If I want some item badly, I will never get it. It will show up sometime when I absolutely do not need it, or when I have forgotten that I need that item!”.

But, come exam time, I like my room, as clean as a clean room in a fabrication company :-D. I just cannot start studying, if there are clothes lying on my chair or the bed, my locker is a mess, and my table has books/notes/note-books/photocopies/loose papers on just about all the courses I have taken in the semester. Just so that, I study and pass the exams, I have to start a clean-up drive everytime, just 2 days before the exam.

I am posting a few pics of my room before the cleaning drive!

On saturday, when I finally started cleaning my room, I called the “room-clean guys to work on my room. When that guy entered the room, his first comment (translated into english by me) was “How do you even manage to spend a minute in this room!”. I was pretty angry at him. Agreed, my room was a mess, but who was he to comment, and that too comment so sarcastically. So with a superior air, I told him (again translated to english):“Quietly do your job”. Well, he found a couple of spiders in my room!
After the room clean guy went, I got to my job. Stacked up the clothes in the laundry bag, cleaned the mess on my table, put new pillow covers and bed-spreads, and finally, this is how my room looked:


an interview and a reunion

rarely, do i get up at 730 in the morning, shave, have a bath, have my breakfast and go to class. Well, yesterday was a pretty important day, because i has an interview.

The interview was for a scholarship. and, for the first time, I actually felt some tension in the morning. This was perhaps the first time, where I actually wanted to succeed.

My first interview was for a job in CTS. I was not much intersted because I wanted to study. So, I walked in all confident into the room, without a worry of wrong answer/ false impression. It was pretty fun. The interviewer was a great fan of Ayn Rand, and I had just finished the fountainhead. So for 45 minutes, we discussed philosophy, capitalism, socialism etc etc. No one believed that my interview for CTS was more of a discussion.

The second interview was for admission into IIT-B. Here, again I had already got an admit to RPI in USA and was not worried. I answered confidentally and also told a lot of ‘I-DON’T-KNOW’ answers.

But, yesterday, for the first time, I felt the jitters and tension a bit.

The actual interview was however exactly 101 seconds. I was never given a chance to clarify my position, and my previous exploits as a leader in RVCE (my undergrad coll) was not considered. (the interview was supposed to identify potential leaders and the panel wanted only leadership/volunteer work in iit, which i had none). NO wonder that i did not get the scholarship. Also, my first ‘real’ interview experience was nothnig special. I was not given a chance to express my views at all.

But, after the interview, came the best 5-6 hours that I have spent in B’bay.
My oldest and best friend had come on a business trip to B’bay and I was meeting him.
I went to panvel to meet him.

There are some people who know you better than you yourself. Shriram and me probably share a similar relationship. We have been friend from class 1 onwards. I still remember the first day, I spoke to him. He was sitting in a corner, wearing his fathers goggles (trying to look cool, which he is still trying), and I go over and ask him : Nee tamilaa (are u a tamilian).

Time and distance has not affected our friendship. Everytime we meet, it seems like we are meeting just after a day.
So, yesterday, it was the customary updates on our lives, customary bitching abt our present situation vis-a-vis the past, but the happiness of talking to him was just too great.

This guy, is also a great example of my theory of destiny in life. Poor fellow, he did not study hard enough in 12th (i could not inspire him enough), and got into a not so good (infact pathetic) engg coll. No campus jobs. So, last june-jul, three of us were trying desperately to find him a good software job, he got this offer from a marine engg company. Initially, most of us were quite apprehensive about the job, and more so abt the hefty fees they were asking for the training. He took it all the same, and yesterday, when i saw him with his other ‘marine engg’ freinds, i knew that destiny had given the perfect job to him.


yet another review

well, the title sort of says it all….i am going to bore you guys with yet another review of Rang de basanti.

FINALLY! i got to watch the movie. Too much has been written about the last half hour or so of the movie, but here are my impressions:

1. Yes, if there is a way, our scandalous politicians MUST be killed. These people are so used to manipulating the system, that I do not even remember even one time that a politician implicated in a crime/scandal has been punished. Just take a look at all the people in bofors scam or laloo, who is the railway minister, or jayalalitha. Take more recently, Natwar singh, the only thing he did was resign. now, the whole iraq scheme is put under the covers, the media has forgot it, the gorvernment is happy that the media has forgotten it. This simply has to stop. Our politicians have to be made accountable to someone which is the aam janta of the country.

2. The second thing about the movie that impressed me was it actually potrayed the youth perfectly. Unlike other such college movies like KKHH or some of the mushy college stories, there was some truth in the way people in the movie were having fun (we sure had the same experience of fun in college, beer, and eating live we have never eaten in punjabi restaurants….)…but apart from this, I sincerely believe that in each of ours life, there comes a moment that changes our life. I mean, we change so completely that we cannot recognize ourselves from yesterday. This maturity is due to some event which changes our prespectives of life. This was wonderfully depicted in the movie, when the protagonists believe that they have to do something to change the place they live in while arguing a while ago that is desh ka kuch nahin hoga.

3. This film also touches upon an important ascpect. COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY of we, as the youth of the country in the day to day affairs of the country. Most of us, always crib that this is not good, that is below world standards, but none of us do anything about it. Most of us complain about corruption, but when our time comes to go to the passport office, or if we are caught speeding, without license etc, we ourselves pay up to the police to get our work done. One more point is, how many young politicians are there, how many of us, decide that we take things in our hand, instead of blaming the policy makers, we make the policy. This film touches this responsibility towards our country that we owe.

4. The music. A.R.Rahman is just GOD. Not only the songs, but the background score in each and every scene of the movie just so well gelled with the scenes. I tapped my foot all through the movie….just brilliant music by the GOD himself.

5. The photography and screenplay. The film depicted two phases so very well. There were chances that the director could have lost the plot and stayed in the history phase a little longer and make it a little boring, but the past and present were weaved in so beautifully that we were at both the ages at the same time. The photography, and everything related to it was awesome. There was no song that seemed out of place and neither did it slow down the pace of the movie.

6. The casting. Everybody did an awesome job. The director actually did well by not being cliche and making aamir the hero and the others the side-kick. Soha ali khan is a natural actor. For me, however, the pick in the movie was siddarth. He oozed style in each and every scene, and made his presence felt even though he was the quietest member of the group.

All in all, one heck of a movie.

Now, if anyone asks me, hey Kaushik, why PhD man, why dont you go for a job after masters, i have my answer:

“Inside the campus, I make life dance, outside the campus gates, life will make me dance….
and i make people dance…..(i am a horrible dancer anyways!!)”….thnx to amir khan

so if anyone had the time and patience to read this far, please click on the comments section below 🙂


a new begining

IITs are trying to shed their image of best undergraduate institutions in the world, and trying to chart a path of being a top notch research oriented institute. This should have come a long time back, given the facility that is there, the amount of funds the govt and alumni pump in to IITs and the faculty that they have. Well, now they are trying to get their UGs to stay back and complete masters here. In a way, I am really feeling good, that at last IITs are giving their masters students the importance the deserve.

In any good research institute, it is the post grads, doctorate studnet community that conduct most of the research and hence, are at the heart of the reputation of the institute. If you take up any top US institute, getting a PhD from there is the hardest, followed by MS and BS. In IITs, it is just oppositte. B.Tech is harderst, M.TEch is hard ( around 50,000 write GATE) and there are ways to get into PhD without any competition. Personally, I do not see the IITs go very far in their endeavour to make themselves a research driven institute if they do not set this imbalance right.

They have taken the first step. They are trying to encourage their own undergraduate students to take up research.
But this surely is not the key. IITs should try and tap the potential top notch researcher for their PhD program from the whole pool of indians who have missed the bus in the JEE. UGs from IIT will go to the US, because the top US univs just think that ONLY these 3000 studnets are most brilliant in india.

I attended a talk today on research in IIT, and even there I felt this same thing with the powers that think in IIT. The mind set is that the quality of students from JEE is the best. Partly, they are right, because from personal experience, the GATE qualified students are not as smart as the JEE qualified ones.
But again, I feel that the IITs should consider selling themselves, both in the academic world and the corporate world, that their master and PhD degrees are as equally valuable as the IIT B.Tech degree.
It is high time IITs wake up from the fact that the 3000 odd studnets seieved out by the JEE are the best and realize that there are a lot more studnets with far better potentials outside those who are lucky enough to be getting their UG degrees from IIT.


Today I saw somebody
Who looked just like you
She walked like you do
I thought it was you
As she turned the corner
I called out your name
I felt so ashamed
When it wasn’t you
Wasn’t you

You are everything
And everything is you
Oh, you are everything
And everything is you

How can I forget
When each face that I see
Brings back memories
Of being with you
How can I go on
Living life as I do
Comparing each girl to you
Knowing she just won’t do
She’s not you

‘Cause you are everything
And everything is you
Oh, you are everything
And everything is you
You are everything
And everything is you

~the stylistics


super sunday: pristine beauty (post 2 of 2)

Explorers planning:Just by Cecile point, was Charlotte lake, where we had our lunch of pav bhaji and charted out our way to somehow reach louise point.
The mystery of the lake: But explorers do not always take the path they charted. The mystery of the lake had to be solved. We found the artificial catchment to store the water which gets pumped into the lake continously (which must have also killed a beautiful brook).. But the mystery made us lose our path. We could see Louise point in the distance, but no path, and decided that we will walk along the cliff.

The Final destination: The woods to Louise path were neverending. Somewhat dejected (of neverending walking), but hopeful that the woods would end someplace and we could see sunlight again, we walked on. Conversation was at its best during this time. We talked sports, politics, future, past, T.V., movies, songs etc etc. The final straw was when we started singing hindi songs in english:-
You came closer-you smiled-you don’t know what dreams you showed-now my heart does not sleep nor stays awake-what to do..-something something happening

Finally, the woods ended and what a view it was!…..Louisie point

Jangia and Vada Pav: Our legs could take no more. Louise point to main gate was on horses!…..had a wonderful talk with the people who control the horses. It was here that we learnt that each of the horses have a special name that gives them the cue to start walking faster. My horse responded to “Vada Pav” while murli’s horse’s secret word was “Jangia“.

Thats all folks!!The journey back is best left undescribed. Back in IIT, murli and I gulped down a litre of beer each, felt light and floated to sleep. Haddi went to the computer room and started working on his seminar and assignments!!