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.