Friday, June 27, 2014

Attending Dr Abdul Kalam's Speech

I got up in the middle of the night and could not sleeep. For some reason I picked up my diary and started reading it. I found this entry and felt like sharing it. It is presented in toto.

JUNE 21, 2012

One evening I was just fiddling with Facebook. I got a call from an acquaintance. [He was Mr Ravish a physics professor in CMRIT, Bangalore. I used to discuss physics with him when he visited Tumkur] He asked me whether I wanted to listen to Dr. Abdul Kalam 's speech live. I said yes. Out of random altruistic motives I inquired if I could get another pass. I called up Sandeep and requested him to accompany me.

My fickle mindedness prompted me to quit the unwanted program from my itinerary. But still, I thought of giving it a try. 

Next day , I was slightly excited. I had no troubles in leaving my intern ( at the office of CETD Chief Engineer of Thermal Designs , KPCL ) a bit early. Sandeep kept me guessing about his location and willingness to attend the program. Wait ! I forgot to mention that the occasion was the convocation of a batch of students there. Around 700-800 students of their previous batch were receiving their degree.

I took the 503E bus to ITPL park area and had my lunch while travelling itself. The fare was more than that of B'lore Tumkur journey on a KSRTC bus. Damn BMTC's Volvos.  I saw lots of stuff outside. The customary window seat ! Haha. We passed the Army Public School,. NAL, HAL and a good number of malls.The journey took about two hours. I reached the place half an hour early i.e 2.30

Mr.Ravish had told me that  the gates would be closed by 3 PM sharp due to security reasons. So I pushed Sandeep to  reach the place as soon as possible. But still he managed to reach the venue at 3:15. Hmm ! We live in India.  The former President, Bharat Ratna , A.P.J.Abdul Kalam also didn't reach the place on time. 

An hour before that, I went and took a seat in the invitees area. Apparently it was for "special" invitees. [Ah ! the coded language]. There were a good number of north Indian "babes" managing the show at the venue. They were supposed to "escort" the guests of the evening.

Sandeep led me to an uncomfortable place ( right next to the loudspeaker). He made the customary philosophical statement about the excessive number of students opting for engineering and termed such colleges as factories. Like an icing on the cake , he added that he wanted to do something else in his life. ( Me : Bitch please !!) But I agreed silently that I too had such a thought in mind but had opted for this god damned course out of certain compulsions and external factors. However I have opportunity to correct myself at any point of time.

Then we had the American accented lady on the stage who introduced the people on stage in an unpleasant tone. She was on a high I guess. I would call it pompous and jingoistic tone. The principal looked like a gangster who accidentally got a PhD. 

CMRIT was a pucca gult organisation and family business. I felt like laughing my ass off when they were talking about getting a deemed university status. The only speech worth remembering was that of Dr.Kalam's.

He began by some of philosophically loaded poems that lacked poetic beauty or literary creativity. They were just oaths cut into some verses and renamed as a poem. He must give up that bad stuff as soon as possible.

He spoke about PURAs (Providing Urban Facilities in Rural Areas), one of his brain child projects. He was at his best when he spoke about science and engineering. He spoke about system integration and system design and the project he did in college. He reasoned as to how good research and good teaching could complement each other. Finally he concluded about how every individual needed to distinguish oneself through achievements and contribute to India.We ran off from that place as soon as the speech concluded.

I boasted about my experience with my family and relatives. But did not share the same with friends. However I rate this experience as one of the top 10 events in my life.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Red Signal
Her face is kinda pretty
Not sure if she is witty
Probably her keypad is qwerty
I'll make sure I'm not flirty

Lousy Afternoon
Ripples dying on a calm lake
In my dreams I touched a snow flake
It's hot in Chennai gimme a milkshake
It's a training session, please stay awake

A green patch in a barren land
A magic wand in a child's hand
Concert in a temple by a rock band
Rhymes typed by a bored hand

Breakfast Mantra
Oh ! Soft and round Vade
You can make or break my day
You take brief dips in the Sambar
I feel like eating you aur ek bar

Without colourful dreams, I refuse to sleep
Even if I drown in this madness, let it be deep
Spare me from treasures without battles
I doubt if I could rejoice in a love without foibles

That journey you don't remember
For you were in deep slumber
Not aware as to how I woke up in the end
Neither can I fathom how the hour hand managed  to bend

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Box of Chocolates

When I was a kid I used to be excited about my birthday. It was a nice feeling to wear new clothes and carry a box full of chocolates to give it to my classmates.

All of us used to bring a limited number of chocolates to class. It was equal to the number of students in the class and approximately fifty chocolates for teachers and support staff. Very often some five chocolates would be left after distributing them to everybody. I used to silently give an extra chocolate to my best buddies. It felt good to receive an extra one from them on their special day as well. It was a deal :D

During evenings I used to go to my friends’ house in the neighborhood and give chocolates to them and their siblings. This was a regular thing in my area. This practice has almost become extinct these days.

There was another memorable event connected to this. One of my teachers lived in the next lane. I still remember how I refused to go her place because she had scolded me in some class. Finally I had to obey mom's orders and go to her home to give chocolates.

I don’t remember what dishes mom made during my birthdays. But there used to be either Payasam or Jamoon (for sure ) at home. Those were the sweet days of innocence. The childish attention seeking tendency withered and came to a nil as time passed.

I saw the tradition of GPL or gaand pe laath ( birthday bumps ) for the first time in college ( at NITK ). It appeared to be  scary in the beginning. Soon I realised that is was fun to kick their ass. It was also heartening to see people buy cakes and celebrate everybody’s birthday at 12 in the morning. I escaped my quota of GPL as my birthday was during vacations.

At college I used to relate birthdays to the Pink Floyd song “Time”. Time was flying away like an arrow and I was floating like an aimless plastic cover on the roadside. Those lyrics had a profound impact on me. Birthdays became a measure of what I had achieved in the year that had passed. This birthday I got my ID card at my new workplace and a Parker pen . Of course it was the result of past year's travails. This sounds like a good start. Hopefully I’ll be in a better place next year.

Whenever I think about that box of chocolates, I am always reminded of Tom Hank’s dialogue in Forrest Gump

My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."