Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Enigmatic ...


Squeezed some time out of the crazy schedule I am having over the last few weeks to create this game for Quo Vadis ...Named it Enigma... was too lazy to think of anything else !!
Hope the game hasnt become too easy ... could devote just about 1-2 hours over 10 days to make the game. Initial response since I launched it in the evening has been pretty good ... am simultaneously moderating the other blog I created for the game . The rules and how to play are all mentioned there ...
The pic on the left is my first level. The source code states ' I expect some courtesy out here Pardner' ... in the text box below you have to write 'thank you' in order to get to the next level :P ... ya ..I know it's kinda corny !!

Most of the questions in the game revolve around things I have been passionate about in some time of my life or even now ... was an interesting trip down memory lane as I was creating the questions and thinking of what to write in the source code !!

Quo Vadis is just round the corner ... am trying to manage too many things at one go ... have to start delegating things soon !! I knew it would be a tough thing to pull off when I stood for the IMF elections, but now I know how much you have to work your butt off if an entire event is your responsiblity !! It's been a great experience ...that much I can say. I don't mind working hard ... after all Quo Vadis is my baby :) ...and so far I think I have done a much better job with Quo Vadis than what any Cul Sec has managed in the previous years !!

I just hope my work interests me this much (when I have to start working that is) ... I know I will gladly put in everything I have got to do well then! Amen to that !! :)

Friday, August 04, 2006

the times they are a changin'


" Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin' "

"There is a battle outside and it is ragin' " ....For the first time in my life I am seeing for myself that terrorism isn't just something that happens to people in other areas of the world or the country for that matter.
Delhi is on a super duper high alert against terrorist attacks right now , and for once it does not seem like a routine exercise carried on every year.
I am apprehensive of going out to watch a movie or go to a mall or a restaurant or anywhere for that matter! Nearly everyone around me feels the same way. Why take a risk till matters cool down a bit ?? But the question is will matters cool down really ??
It really sucks that the terrorists are winning the battle after all ... instilling fear in the minds of ordinary citizens so that they don't feel safe to conduct day to day activities is perhaps more crippling than an actual attack.

Strange times we live in ...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

depressed ??

lifes good at the moment , but i still wish i was in the army.... destiny is a funny thing- It snatches away the only thing you were ever passionate about and leaves a shell behind , hollow and empty with only the haunting echoes to reverbate in your ears over and over again.

Friday, May 05, 2006

the divide...

The CCFC grounds make a great sight when I get up in the morning and look outside my window.Perhaps one of the very few places in Kolkata that won't fall prey to a contractor's
greed and the lush greens be replaced by the apartment blocks of a cement jungle. I noticed two kids playing tennis on the court early in the morning.Nothing unusual about that, except the fact that they were barefeet and dressed in clothes that have obviously been handed down to their elder siblings several years ago. I guessed they were the children of the CCFC maalis and waiters, who lived in the shack by the side of the grounds.The kids often act as ball boys when the members came to play later on in the day.Sometimes they give practise shots to the
members children,no bigger than them, but blessed with all the privileges that life has to offer.
I find it somewhat disconcerting seeing the great divide across the nets...the branded
milkywhite sneakers of the member's child contrasting with the red clay, and the kid on the
other side playing beautifully without shoes,a victim to a fate he has no control on.
I feel a little guilty thinking that I too learnt to play tennis at a club where a barefooted child acted as a ballboy. Had given no thought about it till today... anyways, better late than never.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Of vada pavs and beef steak ...

I am suddenly struck by the urge to have a vada pav... it's ironical because back in Pune I used to particularly detest this food item at one point of time.A hot vada pav was still o.k, but the ones I used to consume as breakfast at times while rushing to college were cold,oily, and a sure way of ensuring acidity throughout the day.Having South Indian (read dosa,idli,upama)at Savera wasnt too appealing early in the morning...and I was too miserly to pay 10 bucks for two slices of butter toast!The blasted vada pav provided respite on the days when I felt like having breakfast(most days I used to skip) and especially when I was too late for class to stop at a decent joint and have a bite.Life as a hostelite teaches you weird things. Like having soggy semi-cooked Maggi prepared from tap water that has been boiled with the help of an immersion rod.We used to fill an entire bucket for the sake of one Maggi. Like lighting your cigarette from the exposed coils of a heater. Like having Brun with tomato pickle.My roomie(who was with me in Pune) still claims the Brun we used to have was stale bread baked a few days before, which made the crust so bloody tough.Don't know about that, but it was a very interesting buy at Re 1.50 per loaf. When we went to eat at the taapris(nearly all serving Chinese,or so they claimed) side dishes were rarely ordered,unless someone was treating ;) Having noodles with sauce was much more economical, especially when it's the end of the month and you have spent the money allocated for the month by living extravagantly in the first two weeks.We used to go crazy about Kebabs at Bismillah and the Steak burger at Burger King...beef rules boss!!And they were so affordable we could eat to our hearts contents. Late night haunts to the Anda Bhurji waala at the station kept us alive during the exams. Lucky's was another favourite place to go at 3 in the morning for bread pudding or chicken biriyani,whatever you might be craving for at the moment. Was a bit sad to hear that Luck's had been demolished sometime back to make way for some commercial complex.Posh restaurants were for the times when parents came visiting. Other times we lived the way we knew...as hostelites...and we loved every moment of it!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The rat pack..

Met this friend from school recently. He is pursuing his MBA from a little known school in Kolkata, and will be joining a company soon.Someone asked him abt his CTC , and I instantly compared it to the minimum I can expect after graduating from IIFT.Seems I will be earning nearly double what he will be getting, and the fact somehow made me feel secure. Well...it seems I am a rat after all ... for all that rambling about MBA,money,patterns and what not, I too seem to be an active participant in the so called rat race. After a bit of soul searching I realised that however reluctant(or inept) I may be towards studies, before the final interview I will be slogging it out with the rest of the batch revising things,mugging up facts about the company,preparing typical HR-based questions...what job I will eventually get is not known at the moment, but I'll try at least so that I get the best job I can! Period!So does this mean I start thinking that if i don't get the best job my life is ruined ? ...do I worry about the fact that someone else might be getting a job which pays more than what I will get ?... certainly not. It just means that I will go prepared for the interviews, then leave it to destiny :) You can't mess around with lady luck too much ...that's what it means.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

NostOLYgia

I think I first heard of Oly when I was in school ... A batchmate who discovered the pleasures of alcohol while still at school reportedly met our English teacher Mr. Crouch at Oly and wished him'good evening sir!' while ordering his rum !!
It was during my holidays to Cal that I first went to Oly...and it has been a memorable experience ever since!The occassions were few and far between, and it usually meant meeting up with old friends, telling the same stories about school and college over and over again, yet laughing our guts out each time the stories were mentioned, getting updates about each other and gossip on the more interesting specimens of the batch,while tucking into beaf steak and beer.
The dingy atmosphere,the bare,rickety sofas,the prehistoric waiters who seem to get drunk themselves with each passing hour,the middle aged men discussing Tagore or Kurosawa or communism in raised voices after a few pegs,the faded walls badly in need of a coat of paint,the huge floor fans covered with cob-webs ...everything just adds to the charm of Oly. More than the very affordable alcohol, I guess its the good times you have with friends at Oly that makes it so memorable for most people who have visited Oly.And it's these moments that make you so nostalgic when you think about Oly sitting in a different state(no puns intended)or country,and wish you were back there for some more time !!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Patterns...

Most people doing an MBA (in my opinion) don't realise that in return for the obscene salary a company will give you , you will have to work that much harder to justify your stay on the pay-roll!And where do you get to spend the money(that remains the sole goal of most MBA students) after working for close to 14 -16 hrs a day and returning back home at late hours, too tired to do anything but have dinner and go to sleep! I have no right to preach. I am doing my MBA and after getting a job I will be in a corporate straitjacket very soon , but atleast I hope that some sanity remains in me not to chase money for the sake of chasing it! I once asked this friend why she got so perturbed about marks and studies and the usual mundane things of MBA life.After staring at me for several minutes she spluttered 'but i have to get a good job'. I
reminded her that there was no co-relation between marks and a job, most interviews are HR based, and if you have the qualities the company is looking for and some knowledge of whats being taught , you will clinch the job. Then i told her that a good job is assured once you pass out from a place like IIFT, so what's the point of slogging like crazy to get great marks and getting into a frenzy about who has scored more than you in what subject? Does it really matter whether you get a job that pays 10.6 lakhs or you get a job that pays 8.7 lakhs?It's the beginning of your career boss ...if you are good enough you will rise and earn loads of money,no matter what job you get! what is the definition of a 'good job'by the way ..simply one that pays a lot , or one that offers a profile which suits you ,or is it doing something that you really enjoy?

All this just reminds me of the song Patterns by Simon & Garfunkel. It goes :-

The night sets softlyWith the hush of falling leaves,
Casting shivering shadowsOn the houses through the trees,
And the light from a street lampPaints a pattern on my wall,
Like the pieces of a puzzleOr a child's uneven scrawl.

Up a narrow flight of stairs In a narrow little room,
As I lie upon my bed In the early evening gloom.
Impaled on my wall My eyes can dimly see
The pattern of my life And the puzzle that is me.


From the moment of my birth To the instant of my death,
There are patterns I must follow Just as I must breathe each breath.
Like a rat in a maze The path before me lies,
And the pattern never alters Until the rat dies.

And the pattern still remainsOn the wall where darkness fell,
And it's fitting that it should,For in darkness I must dwell.
Like the color of my skin,Or the day that I grow old,
My life is made of patternsThat can scarcely be controlled.


Anyways ... to each his own...I hardly study at all ,except a day before the exams(my grades do more than justice to this statement),am putting my luck on my belief that I will get a job which will pay something around the average salary my batch will get, maybe this tendency to gamble will put me in trouble, but who cares?..I belive I have the potential and I try my best to be as good a manager as possible.I had promised myself I won't turn into a rat inspite of being
in the rat race, and I will see to it that I don't turn into what many people say a MBA really means- 'Masters of Bull-shit and Arrogance' !!

And so it begins...

I miss writing I guess ... it's not that I am so busy that I can't write, it's not that I claim I write really well and it's not that I have written a lot , but the stuff I used to write gave me satisfaction, to say the least. I have lost some of my favourite stories thanks to a computer virus which mercilessly destroyed the hard drive.I was away in IMA then chasing a dream which turned so sour when this happened.Had I been home I would have saved my stuff before some
idiot of a computer mechanic formatted the C drive! It was in school that I discovered that writing short stories was much more fun than doing mathematics.While my marks went lower and lower , the pages of my exercise book filled up with doodlings,cartoons,nonsense verse and stories.In college I discovered Simon & Garfunkel, and writing down their lyrics in every class was obviously more fun than listening to a gargoyle telling something about the cilia lining the oral sac of a Paramecium!During the IMA days I really had no time to be creative.The only consolation was remembering Catch-22 and thinking yourself to be an Yossarian of sorts.There was this incident when we were standing in attention during a fall in and the Battalion Under officer, a Surd, walked by us whistling Colonel Bogies March.Immediately the line popped in my head 'Killer Khalsa whistled Col. Boogies march as we stood in attention'.The situation was quite surreal, but then, so was the entire IMA experience.I still doodle,I still draw cartoons in class , I have taken up composing inane songs after getting drunk and singing them in public. I hardly write anymore.The ideas coming to my head just die a lonely death or are filed away in a secret corner of my mind for future action. I just hope I can write again someday. Maybe I will...maybe this blogging thingie is a start...maybe this will take away the dreaded block which comes whener I try to write nowadays ...maybe..

Thursday, April 20, 2006

oh calcutta !


Everytime I get out of the HSBC office I just get the feeling that I have been transported back in time. This place(BBD Bag) is predominantly an office area, and most,if not all, of the buildings date back to atleast 100 years or more.The dates of establishment are inscribed in roman numerals MCMIX, MCMXII, etc. Most of these buildings bear a notice 'heritage building' The British colonial architecture is predominantly seen all around here , and it gives you a weird feeling to think that these buildings once played host to the British Bureaucrats and the Indian babus barely a hundred years ago!...these buildings have witnessed the freedom struggle right in front of them.

A stones throw away is the GPO,built in 1864 ,another architectural treat for the eyes. In the days of yore, the old fort of the British stood where the G.P.O. stands today. On the eastern staircase of the G.P.O., an inscription is visible even to this day. The lines in the adjacent steps and pavement, mark the position and extent of part of the South East bastion of old Fort William which is 95 feet from this wallIts high domed roof and tall Ionic-Corinthian pillars give the building an imposing appearance marking the boundaries of the former Fort William, destroyed during Shiraj-ud-Daulah's attack on the British Settlement in 1756. It is also alleged to be the site of the notorious Black Hole of Calcutta.
Nearby is Writers Building(the Secretariat) probably the only government building that was named by the British after the clerks who used to work for them(hence 'writer's building') The present building was built around 1780...whew ...thats a long, long time ago !!

Enough history lessons for now