Monday, May 16, 2011

Types of people you might bump on during an exam

Most of you, who've read my previous posts have said that some of them, if not all have had a certain biographical touch to it. Yes! It would be hypocritical if I deny it. Most people write from their own experiences. I'm no different. So I thought, lets leave no scope for guess work this time. Yes, the next few lines that you'll go through(in case you do), have been straight drag-and-drop from the ROM chip of my brain. Lets see who all you can identify. As always, I'll take no name! omerta.

A year has 365 days. For us, engineers, if we count out the two month strong summer vacations, 54 weekends, gazetted, non-gazetted, self-gazetted(read mass-bunk) holidays, we're left with approximately 180 working days an year. Now, on an average, we, at the great university(again, no names, omerta) that we study in, have six subjects each semester which adds up to 12 per year. For each subject, there are two papers per semester. This adds up to 24 papers. Add to it, the eight practically impractical Practicals that we have. So, in toto, there are 32 exams per year. So, effectively that's an exam every sixth day.
To cut the long story short, its easier to understand someone by noticing the way he behaves during an exam, because that is what he does more, as compared to any other thing at college. I've been there, done that. Here are my findings...

i)The tension girl: I suppose Wren and Martin would forgive me for using tension as an adjective rather than as an abstract noun, but I can't really help it. There's no other better way to describe her. She has extremely sensitive ears, and can overhear many a study-related conversation,in parallel, from a good distance. The moment her brain parses a string that doesn't find a match in her records, she becomes restless. She scans the index and the glossary of all the books that she has of this subject. If a match is found, then its well and good, but if it doesn't, the chirping about the new string can be heard from a bird's nest located some hundred feet away.

ii)The tension boy: The tension what??

iii)The hypocrite: He cites ill health, a power failure, a lightning strike or a crow bite as the reason for him apparently being unable to study for the paper last night, or any other day prior to the exam. He keeps his cards close to his chest while the tension girl is spreading doubts in the minds of others, and secretly repeats the answer to the question being discussed, albeit only to himself.

iv) The cool dude: Most boys would like to call themselves so, but only an elite few make the cut. The day before the exam, the cool dude gets up at 11am, after snoozing around with his alarm for four hours, hangs out with his friends till the evening, watches a movie till dinner and finally decides to inquire about the syllabus and in some cases, the subject, for the next days paper. He calls up the hypocrite who's finished his seventeenth revision by then, and is assured that the guy at the other end hasn't started off with the syllabus as well. With a sense of belonging, and relief, he opens to book, only to encounter some raw material for a Crocin. Has it, and then goes to bed.

v) The practical-kind-of-guy: Exams and he don't see eye to eye. He criticises the system, mocks the subject, ridicules the question-setters and lampoons his compatriots. He allegedly runs after knowledge, and not marks, seeks practical exposure, desires real-world epitomes and pretends to read between the lines. Ironically, even the practical exams don't seem to get the best out of him.

vi) The know-it-all-girls: Yes. These are girls, and are plural. By the time the exams starts, they know the number of paragraphs, lines, words, punctuations, letters and even the syllables in the answer to each question which has the as remote a possibility of appearing in the question paper as you have of reading this line. They attract a lot of attention prior to the exam, much to the amusement of the cool dude and disgust of the practical-kind-of-guy.

vii) The 'chit'ter-cocks: These are the people because of whom microscopes are still not extinct. They tear of pages from their vacant class registers, and scribble anything and everything that they feel might appear in the exam in the minutest of manuscripts that mankind has ever seen. Then they find novel places in their wardrobe to store these; up their sleeves, up their socks, the front pocket, the side pocket, the inner pocket and the under pocket. They have a master chit as cache memory which contains a table making a many-to-one mapping between the set of chits to the location where they are stored in the wardrobe.

viii)The benchmarkers: These are the environment conscious chitter cocks who prefer to scribble on their desks rather than wasting paper.

ix) The tatoo-ed girl: She's more enlightened than the benchmarkers and knows that the benches, too are made up of wood, like paper. Hence, she prefers to do her graffiti on her palms and under her sleeves than on those obscure inanimate objects.

x)The underdog: He goes to the examination thinking that because he hasn't studied much, all the marks he gets would be a bonus. But as is the case in these times of recession, bonuses are few...and far between.

xi) The irony: He comes out of the examination hall saying that the paper was too hot to handle and it would be an irony if he manages to secure passing marks. The real irony is that he passes, that too with flying colours.

xii) The observant: Staring baldly at and trying to comprehend the question papers isn't his cup of tea. He passes his time by gazing at the young invigilator, gawking at the girl sitting in the adjacent row or even staring at the four walls of the exam hall.

xiii) The filler: The unusual species who fill six pages of the answer sheet when they know the answer, and ten pages, when they don't.

xiv)The cadgers: The beggars who've interpreted the adage "time is money" literally.

xv) The toppers: ***java.lang.NullPointerException;lack of domain knowledge***

The weekly quote-shoot [chapter 4]

Welcome to the fourth instalment of the weekly doze that features celebs who suffer from foot in mouth disease. As usual, I'll repeat the golden words said by the who's who and who's not who said during the past week, and will try to interpret what they actually meant to say.
Last week's newspapers were completely submerged by news from the assembly elections that took place in quite-a-few(someone please tell me the exact number) states. West Bengal saw the left see red after a record-breaking 34 years in power, while in Tamil Nadu, voters did what they were expected to do, vote out the incumbents for the sixth time in a row. Kerala turned out to be a cliffhanger, while Assam was a cakewalk for Gogoi. Plenty of things were done, plenty was said... if you missed it then, here are the highlights.

1)Mamata Bannerjee, CM elect, West Bengal, on NDTV
What she said: "I'll continue to live a normal life. I'm a common man"
What she didn't: "Living normally is just fine but I think I went a bit overboard by calling myself a man".

2)J Jayalalitha, CM, Tamil Nadu
What she said: "My cabinet would be very short and slim".
What she didn't: "Unlike me".

3)Rahul Gandhi, on the Greater Noida farmer's agitation
What he said: "After seeing the condition of these farmers, I feel ashamed of calling myself an Indian".
What he didn't: And the remaining qualms were cleared upon seeing Mayawati's face in person".

4)Jagan Reddy, son of late Andhra CM, YSR Reddy
What he said: "My victory in the bi-elections is a slap on the face of the Congress".
What he didn't: "Yes! One gone, 347 more seats to go till I become the CM".

5)Manmohan Singh, on the issue of India doing a US like operation on Pakistan
What he said: "We're not like the US. We will not do anything like this".
What he didn't: "By the time I seek permission from Sonia Ji and Rahul Ji, our Osama would have happily slipped out of the security radar"

6) Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF chief, on being accused of raping a maid at a hotel
What he said: "I have full faith in the judiciary. I will come out clean"
What he didn't: "Who's this Shiney Ahuja guy? He's been sending me commiseration messages ever since the news broke out".

7) Duncan Fletcher, coach, Indian Cricket team
What he said: "I'll refrain from following a dictatorial approach with the guys".
What he didn't: "The Indian media loves alliterations...Guru Greg, Guru Gary etc. But Dictator Duncan wouldn't be too great, eh?"

8)Shane Warne, captain, Rajasthan Royals,after the Rajasthan-Kochi game
What he said: "I want to apologize to the fans for playing so dismally in the game".
What he didn't: "I want to apologise to myself and to Watto for being stupid enough to play with these scumbags for four seasons in a row".

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The weekly quote-shoot [chapter 3]

Before I proceed, I mean start, I've to clarify a few things.
Firstly, I know its a Thursday, and this weekly bugle sounds every Friday, but you know its half past eight now, so there's every possibility that by the time I publish this post, the repeat telecast of Mukti Bandhan on Colors would've had its last dialogue delivered(those whose mothers are big fans of soap operas would know when this one finishes).
Secondly, I received a lot of feedback which had to do with the use of cricketing phrases and adages in my writing style. Buddies, I can't help it. This is one virtue(?) which you inherit(for free), born in an age which coincides with Shri Vishnu's kalyug's incarnation, Sachinavatar's , reign on earth.
Thirdly, and most importantly, my newspaperwallah failed to render a copy of TOI to me. Instead, he gave me HT. Now, I'm not too well versed with this particular paper, so pardon me if you discover that I missed out on lot of remarkable quotations which were published in TOI.
My last experience with HT was in eighth standard when I was caught stealing glimpses of Janet Jackson's peek-a-boo act with Justin Timberlake published in HT City, in my class. The consequent sequence of events made me feel like digging a hole and hiding in it.
I hope my second homecoming with HT isn't as bad as it was last time around.  So here I go

i)Arnab Goswami, editor, Times Now
What he said: "In the wake of the killing of Osama Bin Laden just 60 kilometres from Islamabad, the US must immediately stop all aid to Pakistan"
What he didn't say: "In the wake of the killing of Osama Bin Laden just 60 kilometres from Islamabad, people are actually tuning in to Times Now to listen to me for the first time.

ii)Gen. V K Singh, chief of Army Staff
What he said: "I would like to say...that if such a chance(nod for surgical strikes in Pakistan) comes, then all the three arms(of the military) are competent to do this".
What he didn't say:" Well of course! We're battle ready. In case the need arises, the Air Force will fly in the Seal Team from their Virginia base all the way to Mumbai. But you know how Mumbai is during these rains, so the navy would carry them from Marine Drive to Ghatkopar in a submarine and then the army would buy them tickets for the Rajasthan bound Thar Express from where those guys would carry it forward"!

iii) Deepak Mishra, special commissioner, Delhi Police, on the proposal to make PCR vans get a new look, colour
What he said: "The idea is to make PCR vans more visible and for that we're taking several steps. There's no point if a PCR van is parked by the road but the person in need is not able to recognize it"
What he didn't say: "Over the years, regular Traffic offenders spot the Traffic Police vehicles from far off, and then slow down. I hope than the converse of the above logic applies to them, so that our traffic policing business doesn't take a hit.

iv) E Sreedharan, chief, Delhi Metro
What he said: "In phase III of the Delhi Metro, the Airport Express line would be extended to Gurgaon so that Gurgaon Residents can also avail the facility of travelling to the airports faster than ever."
What he didn't say:"In phase III of the Delhi Metro, the Airport Express line would be extended to Gurgaon so that the Airport Express line can serve the Gurgaon residents too and can hence reach its newly recalculated target of 71 passengers per day."

v)Digvijay Singh, senior Congress leader
What he said: "Osama jee should have received his last rites as per Islamic traditions and rituals"
What he didn't say: "I'll miss you...boss...I'll miss you very much."

vi)Timothy Roemer, US envoy to India
What he said: "Pakistan must do more to fight terror"
What he didn't say: "This whole Osama fiasco makes one thing absolutely certain... forget about ordinary people and politicians, even terrorists are not safe in Pakistan."

vii)Daniel Craig, Actor (on him being a narrator for a show on History Channel)
What he said: "I have been incredibly fortunate to have been given a chance to play a small part in the process(narration)."
What he didn't say: "I told you! Ugly people can act. And now they can narrate too."

viii)Saurav Ganguly, on being selected to play for Pune Warriors
What he said: "They(the Pune franchisee) approached me, and I said yes"
What he didn't say: "Considering the position I was in, I didn't have too many choices. Considering the position they were in, they didn't have too many choices either.

ix) Virender Sehwag, skipper, Delhi Daredevils
What he said: "The lack of interaction between the foreign and local players hasn't been the reason for us under-performing this season."
What he didn't say: "I don't see too many reasons for us being so bad other than just batting, bowling and fielding poorly."

P.S: How's the new template?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Just Bin Laden: An Obituary

With profound grief, we wish to inform you that Usāmah bin Muḥammad bin ʿAwaḍ bin Lādin, aka Osama Bin Laden, hit the bucket this dawn. He is survived by his four wives, seventeen mistresses and twelve legal and twenty-four illegal sons of a gun.
As a leader, he was respected by one and all. We all trusted him with out faith, our lives and our wives. He was our single biggest source of inspiration, others being Justin Bieber's voice and Venkatesh Prasad's bat. He had a terrific track record as a sharp shooter. Had he represented saudi arabia in the olympics, he would have surely won the trap,double trap and 10m air rifle events, all with a Kalashnikov, in the process, shooting down those as well who dared to compete against him. His stamina was world class. He could run many a mile no sooner someone told him that a Predator Drone was approaching.
He was a big movie buff. He had seen Sholay 911 times. Everytime he watched it, he would tell us that he would've done better than that guy Gabbar Singh. He used to ridicule the SLR guns that Gabbar had. Kalashnikov was his unanimous choice. He would also take offence to the way Gabbar handled the Thakur issue. He used to say that had he been in his place, he would've decapitated Thakur instead of the much meeker alternative of chopping off his arms. "Gabbar has no balls", he used to say.
His perseverance and celibacy were awe inspiring. He never touched women on second Saturdays and on blue moons of each month. He had tremendous respect for women. He believed that a woman's place was not in his feet...but in his bed. He left his biological trails right from Sudan in the west to Pakistan in the east. Women were so shy of him that they would run home and bolt the doors from inside the moment the word spread that he was around. Even he was so shy of them that he would slip in through the windows of their homes to avoid the embarrassment of going through the door.
He was a big Harry Potter fan. He used to roam around with snakes around his neck, often muttering something which he used to call Parseltongue. It is rumoured that when he died this morning, he had a dead Boa Constrictor in his left hand and a copy of "Quidditch through the ages" in his right hand.
We all feel very lonely without him. The world seems to have lost its colour. Even my wife has gone mad. She's crazily distributing sweets to all other women of the society, who too are behaving in the similar bizarre way. No word can condole or provide commiseration to our inconsolable souls which have just lost its soulmate.

In remembrance,
Asif Ali Zardari,
pro-tem chief, al-qaeda
part time president, Islamic Republic of Pakistan