Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dis honesty is the best policy ?

Being honest, sometimes, is a most difficult thing, also foolish. Err, make that most of the times. Last year when one of my hostel friends asked me how he looked, I should have realised that even Salman-like for an answer wouldn’t do. As I soon found out, he didn’t consider Salman any good in comparison to how he evaluated himself. Not that I told him that he looked Salman-like, what I told him was that he resembled closely the chhole-kulche wallah who fled and married our maid’s daughter. That was the end of our friendship. No sooner had that happened than I read the following in The Fall:

"Above all, don't believe your friends when they ask you to be sincere with them. They merely hope you will encourage them in the good opinion they have of themselves by providing them with the additional assurance they will find in your promise of sincerity. How could sincerity be a condition of friendship? A liking for truth at any cost is a passion that spares nothing and that nothing resists. It's a vice, at times a comfort, or a selfishness. Therefore, if you are in that situation, don't hesitate: promise to tell the truth and then lie as best you can. You will satisfy their hidden desire and doubly prove your affection."

So I cultivated, rather painstakingly, the pretentiousness so essential to comply with the above. But at times the original does rise from slumber, and puts me in really awkward situations. Honestly, if someone tells you he's always honest you can be sure he's the biggest liar, and this the biggest lie; and if that's not the case then you can be sure he's hated by all. Really, never tell a duffer he's duffer, never tell a fat man he's fat, and never ever ever do that for a fat woman! Because, you know, a calm fat woman is way better than an angry one. One fine morning, I told one of my 'well-fed' classmates that the floor vibrated when she ran on it, so she had better walk slowly to the room even if she's running late for the class, because, I added, durghatna se der bhali. It was meant for levity, but sensing that's not the effect it had had on her I cleverly diverged to something else. That afternoon our Maths answersheets were distributed, and she had failed. I wanted to make up for the morning by expressing sympathies. I began,"It's a little shocking, isn't it, after all You.." when she cut me short, " Shocking? It's outrageous. I ? I ? I am fat ?"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Idler Express

Surviving long vacations is truly an art. Here at home, I have so much of idle time at my dispense that I am hard pressed for ideas on how to pass it. True, I count myself among expert idlers, something I recollect I have proclaimed on this blog on an earlier occasion also. Idling is good fun only in the company of fellow idlers; and my stay at hostel ensures I never fall short of such company. Now, however, with these vacations dragging at snail's pace, I find myself doing the most eccentric things I never thought I'd do. I wash my face a little more frequently now, hoping every time the washing away of the soap layer will uncover a hitherto hidden Tom Cruise; or keep fiddling with my mobile's camera without rhyme or reason just like Tendulkar's always fiddling with his abdominal guard, though I have a faint suspicion that one isn't without rhyme or reason. But here is what takes most of my time, or, to put it aptly, helps me pass most of my time - exemplifying foolish meticulousness, I follow every ant I can find trying to imprison it under a transparent pen-cap, and wait in vain to observe how it behaves on beginning to choke. Only that I always get bored before the ant gets choked and pull the cap away myself. The point, but, is that I don't get bored of trying this experiment on some other ant then; I don't know what tells me the next ant is going to be the perfect apparatus for my experiment. Lately, I have progressed to Stage Two - it's harder but I get two ants under the same cap. I just hope they turn out to be of opposite genders, I want my experiments to reap tangible results. So far, well, this too has been an exercise in futility.

Also, I've found a new interest idling around on the internet, that of cyber-pedantry. And like other pedant friends, I am also willing sportingly to be a prey of this pedantry, as much as I like being the poacher. So I request readers, if there are any, to please bring the linguistic errors, and there'll be many, you find on this page to my notice and get a thank-you in return.

Yesterday was a very special day. I met an old friend, Sumit, after a long long gap. But obviously, what made it special was that it was the first time in my life that I drank a tiny cup of coffee obnoxiously priced at ninety Rupees, and for a moment it did feel like - 'now that's some achievement'. Sumit, meanwhile, was busy taking pictures there, pretty depressed that no permutation of views from our table could accommodate him having a sip, and the Barista trademark in the background, simultaneously. He's got a thing for taking snaps in places he's usually not supposed to be found. Also, I was quite tempted to try their exclusive one which was priced at around double this amount to take the sense of achievement to unparalleled heights, but my wallet ensured that I avoided such misadventures for the time being. Post placements, hopefully.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Birthday Blog

At this time of the year, three years ago, I had started writing on this blog. I realise I never noticed when it turned one and two, and that I noticed it at this time of its having completed three years is also entirely a matter of incidence. But however much I may be forgetful in observing its anniversaries, I unabashedly claim that I value it as much as any of my prized possessions, and that I love my conversations with this blog more than I'd probably love conversing with the most beautiful women on earth.


One colleague of mine tells me one needs to just dump the 'be yourself' principle if one is to have any chance of achieving success or popularity. I resent this not, not on his face at least, for he is absolutely entitled to having his own opinions. But I ask myself, supposing his opinion has a dash of truth in it, if being lesser-known or only-mildly-successful is a price too big to pay for the freedom that we enjoy on being ourselves. But then, he might retort with an argument questioning the value we should place on freedom vis-à-vis popularity, and then again we shall be on two different sides; so I think I did the right thing by passing it off apathetically in the first place.


In the aimcat, I did pretty well. Darn it! I wanted to do outstandingly well. If there were no internet, I'd have known the scores only of my friends and acquaintances and I think I would've been terribly happy with myself on having exceeded everyone; but alas, there is internet and it has a knack of keeping you down when you most want to jump.


The training is going good, and the experience is worth it. A light work load, still ample learning, but the cake is that it has served to evoke that long forgotten childlike curiosity about learning new things. Pumps, and boilers, and fire-fighting - after studying about them superficially from the textbooks, understanding their working live is gratifyingly complementary. Strange, but it has actually changed my perception about things I deemed utterly boring.


I sometimes think how Mummy-Papa don't seem to take any note of how I have drastically cut down on hanging out and all. I think all that this has served is upping the benchmarks. Now if I get back to old ways, probably that will instantly be taken note of. Oddly enough, I don't quite miss old-ways all that much. H'm, sometimes I do.

Monday, June 2, 2008

For once

It's the first time I am into anything remotely professional - The industrial training. I am doing it from NTPC, they've got an unimaginably huge campus with numerous workshops and factories - from coal generation, to coal-water plants to .. Ok not very fancy stuff, I concede. But I like it nonetheless.

There at the coaching institute, a new batch has been merged with ours. Some new intimidating creatures have crept in, much to my discomfort as I had comfortably fallen half asleep in the previous batch and had started taking my uno position for granted. Now some of these overambitious guys who have just come really unsettle me and it's hard to maintain calm and complacence simultaneously.

To add to that, the mockcats have arrived. I'd love to regain lost ground with this one, and for a change I am not the timid who says - "I am keeping my fingers crossed". I am well aware I have to outperform people. And that's what (*) I am going to do. Lot of work to do right now, but obviously, will be done.

When I reached this point "(*)" of the post I thought for ten minutes whether I should be writing the five words following it. The way I have been, I was overtly cautious if writing that wouldn't be being overtly brash. But I am glad I went ahead and wrote them. For being overtly brash is any day better than being overtly cautious. There's no energy associated with over-cautiousness I believe. While I, am going to need some.

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” ––Muhammad Ali