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