White Noise

Friday, March 30, 2007


Again.. Why?.. How long?.. Do I matter?.. Do I need to?.. What am I?..
Purpose?.. Madness.. Insanity.. Anger.. Pain.. The Great Jigsaw Puzzle.. Where does every piece fit?.. Does every piece fit?.. Realization.. Forced.. Forceful.. Seeing it all.. Myself.. Plain.. Clear.. Naked.. Truth.. Bitter.. Harsh.. Hits hard.. Beliefs.. Passions.. Dreams.. Big.. Small.. Tens.. Hundreds.. Thousands.. Beginnings of understanding.. Acceptance.. Will.. Control.. Character.. Salvation lies within.. Epiphany..

Friday, August 18, 2006

CURTAINS - My First Attempt At Dethroning Pablo Neruda :-)

. Here's something I wrote a few weeks ago...
A month, the world watched this game
So absurdly simple in name
Just a nine inch ball, to tame
Creating magic all the same
Heroes from yonder, they all came
Coveting glory and enduring fame

The group contests, none remembers
Too many teams merely made up the numbers
Flashed their brilliance, those capable Africans
Gave their hearts out, those intrepid Asians
But flashes never won matches
And onward marched the regular batches

Each game became too close to call
But then, someone always has to fall
Now the script began to turn awry
The favourites were made to look sorry
As Zidane started connecting his passes
Bookies were ruing over their losses

When Rooney shoved and Beckham cried
England had very well died
They displayed none of their valiance
Not once justifying their bank balance
As for the WAGs
'Twas time to pack their bags

While the Latino samba lacked it's beat
The host came third, no mean feat
And the Portugese stood up to fight
All crashing out when the going got tight
Finally, the French clashed with the Italians
Each dazzled us with their brilliance

Deservedly lifted the trophy, did Cannavaro
The Azzuris rarely left a gap, however narrow
For Les Bleus, the tidings looked rosy
Before things turned a little messy
Some untypable muttered by Matterazzi
Made ZiZou go a wee bit crazy

That made the referee get busy
And Champs d' Elysees went all hushy
It indeed was a great shame
But the great man has only himself to blame
Forgive himself, he would never
For he could've been the greatest ever!
. An appreciative word or two would mean the world to me.. A derisive critique would mean even more..

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Football, England and a BET

So, the greatest show in the world has started, huh....
'Whom do you support?', demands my brother.
I think for sometime and say 'hmm.. England'.
My bro looks at me like I have just been out of a mad house and bursts out laughing.
'England... Why?', he demands again.
I reply, somewhat sheepishly, 'I know the max no. of players only in England'. (not a good reason, yeah.. but, that's the way it is)
'How many?'
'7' (it suddenly popped to my head as being a jolly good decent no.)
'Ok, name the 7. I bet u can't'
I could have put an end to this inquisition by using my self-given authority as the elder bro. But, my ego was under stake here...
'Ok kiddo.. Bet, it is' (Wouldn't I know atleast 7 guys.. pah..)
So, I proceeded with alacrity...
I start off confidently, 'Beckham, Owen, Rooney, Gerrard'.
'ummm... Rooney, Gerrard... and then...'
'Then...?', my bro gives me a highbrow look.
'Well... Wait... I need time man... Yeah.. The young fella who was in the papers today... his uncle was a Windies cricketer.. Yes, Walcott.. Theo Walcott'
'2 more...'
I begin thinking furiously now...
Still thinking....
Suddenly, I remember a guy whom I have seen while passing the TV hall some night in the college hostel when Balaji n gang were watching some EPL match.
'That black guy.. Cole.. Joe Cole'
'Hey, Joe Cole is not a black.. that's Ashley Cole'
Now, he shouldn't have said that, should he?
'Whatever lil fella.. Do not be blinded by racial prejudice.. the 7th guy is of course Ashley Cole. Was just gonna mention him when u interfered.. Now, take out the bucks.. '

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

An Usual Trip To MADURAI

Hi all.. No blogging for quite some time now.. So, I thought of writing something about my hometown, Madurai.. Got to know more about a particular festival here yesterday and had a few misconceptions cleared.

Well, it all started with Gopal calling me sometime yesterday morning saying he was in Nagamalai (my area, a suburb some 10km outside the main city) in his uncle's home. So naturally, I invited him to my house and together we left for Gansa's (the inimitable Games Bond, Arun Ganesh) place in the evening.

Gopal, as you all know is a very down to earth and amicable fella. You can have a conversation with him on any topic. Therefore, we discussed college, friends, the election results, the aftermath of the enquiry, orkut, his 'FAMILY', etc.. And guys, coming to the election (or the election results to be more accurate), did you see the lead positions of the two alliances in the various channels? For the first 3 hours, each channel showed a different scenario (with Podhigai n NDTV having the max correllation). Sun and Jaya were showing the two extremes, as expected. But, I just can't fathom how the hell a TV channel can be allowed to play around with FACTS. Let it show an one-sided view of things. That can be dismissed as propaganda, but this is just taking things too far. With the mushrooming of so many 24x7 news channel, it's high time some ombudsman was set up to ensure some sort of accountability. But, of course, I'd bet such an authority already exists but is dysfunctional, as is invariably the case.

Hmmm.. Seems I have deviated from the main theme.. Madurai. Where was I? In the bus on the way to Periyar Bus Stand, right? Well, it dint turn out to be so. We were dropped some 2km from the Bus Stand and had to take a roundabout walk from the Western entry of the Railway Station to the Periyar Bus Stand. The corporation has been repairing a bridge crossing over the rail track for more than a year now (I still wonder why they started to repair it in the first place.. It was as sturdy as any bridge could be for as long as I can remember) There is also some talk that the Gubraithian work might get disrupted since the opposition has won more seats here than the winning combine.

During the journey, I was showing Gopal the various sights in Madurai, particularly the theatres. A digression is needed here to illuminate the reader about the cinema culture of the city. Madurai is basically distinguished from other places in TN by two things, posters and cinema theatres. You can find posters plastered all over the public and private spaces, including buses announcing and inviting all to stuff like nose-piercing ceremony of a 4 year old in some well-to-do family.. Theatres, of course, you only need to stroll in any direction in a blind fashion and you will be in front of one within 5 min. But sadly, it is not quite the same these days. Many have been forced to close down due to dwindling audiences. Personally, I'm incensed by the absence of a single good theatre showing English movies. Maappillai Vinayagar and its twin Manickam Vinayagar were solely showing Hollywood movies till around the time I left for college. Nowadays, all they show are Hindi or dubbed Western movies which no self-respecting person will ever see. Also there is this theatre called Ramvictoria which shows only two kinds of movies: X-rated and those starring VijayKanth. It is surrounded by drainage on all sides and you can be assured of mosquitoes forming a beehive over your head if you go there in the evenings. There is also this theatre called ...thingummy.. which is in fact Asia's largest in terms of seating capacity. It is however closed for more than 10 years now, I think. Of course, there are quite a few good (read, having balcony) and decent (read, no spit in the seats) theatres like Madhi and those in posh areas like Anna Nagar (every town has an Anna Nagar in TN, as every major city has an MG Road in India.) All said, I still prefer watching movies here simply because I can watch 3 movies (in the topmost seat, mind you) for the same cost which I'd shell out for a single one in Chennai. Also, there isn't this mad booking of tickets beforehand business.

Back to the sojourn.. We caught another town bus from Periyar to reach Gansa's house located in the Tallakulam BSNL staff quarters (his mom works there). Now, we came to know that the bus we had gotten into wont be stopping at the necessary place and we had to alight in Goripalayam itself. Anyway, Gopal dint seem to mind the walk much and I was able to show him more landmarks like the Government Rajaji Hospital, the associated Madurai Medical College and American College (where lots of Kollywood stars are supposed to have studied.) This area also houses the Collector's Office (an imperial monument.. The Brits did know how to build imposing structures), the Gandhi Museum and the best maintained Corporation swimming pool you will ever find.

So, we finally managed to reach Gansa's place by the time the Sun's rays began faltering. As a rule, all quarters look the same, and promptly, we entered a wrong one before being set on the right path. We had the usual chat about the just concluded FA Cup final (Gerrard is great!!) and the upcoming Champions League final in Paris. We also met Gansa's younger bro who has a remarkable likeness to his elder kin not only in appearance, but also in his sleeping habits. Gansa, of course seldom gets up before 11 in the hostel (yes, during college days) and follows the same slothful routine in his home too. He and his bro alternately occupy the bed now, it seems.

Gansa said there was a new place called the Eco Park (I thought it was echo park till I got there) nearby and we three set off. The streets wore a festive look with people thronging both sides of the road to catch a glimpse of Lord Azhagar as he makes his way through every nook and cranny of the city. It was the day after he entered river Vaigai. I think an explanation is in order to enlighten the reader of the legend underlying the local festival... Goddess Meenakshi is the younger sister of Lord Azhagar. She is to marry Lord Sundareswarar (called the Meenakshi thiru kalyanam.) Her bro (who is much devoted to her) is very eager to attend the ceremony and give his blessings. But, due to lack of proper communication equipments those days, he lands up 2 days after the marriage. This, he gets to know from some dhobiwallah only when he is in the process of crossing the Vaigai (Azhagar aathula irangurathu) to reach the other side of the town (where the Meenakshi Amman temple is located). He loses his temper and returns back to his base (Azhagar Kovil, some 20km away). While he returns, he takes the most circuitous path one can imagine so that every denizen can see his anger (Azhagar Oorvalam). This story I learned from Gansa yesterday. Previously, I had a garbled version which ran as follows: Meenakshi and Sundareswarar start loving each other, bro Azhagar is against the match, forbids M from marrying S. But, sis doesn't listen and does marry S. A gets angry and as a protest, drowns in the Vaigai. Thankfully, no one has asked me about the festival so far or I'd have been the butt of many a joke.

Coming back to the Eco park which we had now reached, I was genuinely surprised by it. It is probably the only place in the city with well maintained lawns. There were some real size tree-like structures made up of LEDs (some charlatan had cheated Gansa a few years ago into believing that it was made of optical fibres!!). But now that we have 4 years of engineering education behind us, we can see through such jokes. There was even a musical fountain (and boating) on the lines of Brindavan Gardens at one extreme end, which we initially mistook for a snake pond due to the noise the junta was making. Anyway, the setting was certainly far from what one would call romantic. All the same, Gopal suddenly called up Arthi who is currently somewhere near Tanjore in her home, asked her if Lakshmi was with her and straightaway received a bulb. Confused why he did this, right? I'm not any wiser either. For the reminder of our stay in the park, there was a continuous influx and outflow of messages to and from Gopal's cell.

So then, we were back to Gansa's home and soon Bala (Balachander or 'Othakada nattamai', CEG mechanical and my first sem batchmate and good friend) came along. We had a wonderful dinner. We found that the buses to Periyar had been blocked due to the passage of A as I mentioned earlier. So, those two guys dropped us in Kaalavasal taking a route through the congested market and the Jail road. The streetwise nature of Bala came in handy to avoid the policemen and their 'take diversion's. In Kaalavasal, we took a wrong bus (my fault totally, Gopal doesn't know anything about Madurai buses) and had to walk back some 2 stops distance. But, I took this opportunity to further Koval's already much enhanced Madurai know-how. I showed him 2 of the 3 prominent industrial houses located here, Fenner and TVS, the other being Madura Coats. It was getting pretty late by then and not a single vehicle was coming our requisite direction though tens of them went in the opposite way (Murphy's law always holds good at these times!!). Finally, we did get one and made our separate ways home.

Overall, a nothing out of the ordinary but nonetheless, pleasant trip to the city.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Perils Of Being An 8th Sem CLASS REP

If you think that the 8th semester is the easiest one to be a class rep, you are way off the mark. In fact, I took up the position thinking that there wouldn't be much work for the class rep in the final semester, what with just 4 subjects and no labs. But, now looking back over the past 4 months, I have been forced to concede that I was totally wrong.

Perhaps it might not have been so if the semester were not as meaningless as it ultimately was. There always has to be a purpose for doing things. Of course, one person's purpose for doing something might vary from appearing comical to downright idiotic to others. But, the fact remains that there has to be some aim in sight. In this case (8th sem), there were none to anyone.

Placements were over. MS applications were all completed. And a few were busy with MBA admission interviews. And so, no one gave a damn about the grades they would get ('no one' here refers to the vast majority of 115 out of the 130, for the rest 15 there is no world beyond the assessment scheduled next week).

Anyway, the point I am driving at is that the junta saw no reason to come to college (I saw Somesh probably twice the whole sem) and even if they did, they were happy sitting in the hostel and watching a movie or cricket or having a gabfest. This is where the plight of the class rep comes in. He is held responsible to maintain a decent strength (50 percent) in the class. And to add to his chagrin, he is expected to personally attend all classes.

And it does not help at all when people turn up from very long distances (20 min bike trips, that is) and find that the scheduled classes (sat com, invariably) have been cancelled. Also, perhaps, I dint quite have it in me to inspire these guys to come and attend classes, when I myself dint believe in the cause.

But, the work was simplified to some extent by 2 of the teachers. The Ethics classes, supposed to ingrain in us many vital moral aspects before we embark on our professional career, saw the most unethical of behaviors. But, it seems the teacher himself was only minimally aware of the happenings (while all the time, we thought he simply dint care). I got this notion when Jagadeesh related this event which happened when he and Bhuvanesh had gone to the Ethics master's office to take care of the attendance of the class. While finding that many people were lacking the minimum attendance, he seems to have said to Jaga that 'Are you people aware that some persons are in fact giving additional attendance? I noticed in one class that only 46 persons attended but 50 names had been entered' (thankfully, it had somehow entered his mind to check the count on some best possible day). This, to a guy who had just put proxy for 3 persons in that very same day's morning class.

But, even more colorful was the Environmental teacher. He never took a single lecture and exactly came to our batch for 18 classes (not days). His attendance-keeping was extraordinary. Sham dint attend a single class during the first assessment period (not that he came to any then after) and it was promptly mentioned in the assessment score card that he was present for 12 classes out of 15. There you have it!

TSN was ok to some extent. The guys who took it up were all pretty decent blokes. But, it too had its moments. For starters, ma'm stopped reading Vivekanandan's name after a few classes finding that he never turned up (Vision work, he'd say. But, we know better!!). And of course, I can't forget the day we went to her to get an assessment postponed by 2 days citing a 2 hour power failure in the hostel due to which we had no time to cram in the 200 odd slides (of course, we said that we had been learning continuously for 2 days to no avail).

But, sat com must take the cake. From a thousand cancelled classes to 2 1/2 hour marathon weekend sessions to the HOD's tangential references (mokkai might be more accurate) to MCQs to a semester paper which turned out to be an assortment of two assessments, I don't think I have enjoyed any subject more for the sheer entertainment value it offered.

Being a rep however has its merits. You now had a license to talk to people you have always wanted to but couldn't for lack of apparent reason. Your firefighting abilities improve tremendously and your sense of self-worth multiplies ten-fold when people approach you with their problems. Much more importantly, you get invited to all treats!

The cell phone is the most wonderful invention for a class rep, particularly now that his job is 95% that of a communicator. It does have its downsides though. I remember once playing Bridge all through the night, getting in the bed at 5.30, the power going out just then and somehow falling asleep by 6.30. By 7.15, a battery of calls and messages started pouring in, each demanding to know what, when and where the classes for the day were, format of PPT for the project review, regarding postponing the review, status of the proposed tour and worst of all, ‘Good Morning’ messages. During such times, you have a good mind to throw it right out of the window.

(to be contd. when the author is back in the mood)