Friday, May 27, 2005

**Hari gets placed** and **No response yet for the group blog :( **

Hari is placed with Kanbay. Am vey happy for him. Can talk to him 'normally' now!! Treated us in Pizza Hut yesterday. Had a nice time. Almost all of us in our group are placed except for one, who I'm sure will get placed soon.

As for Hari(now that his name has been revealed!),he gave 3 interviews for IBM,Cognizant and WIPRO and I can(not!) imagine the hell he's been through over the last week. He reached till the HR interview(which follows the technical interview) stage in all the 3 companies. And and it couldn't be more ironical that his name was Hari Ram Prasad( We call him HRP). Ironical?here's why...

If one is through with the technical interview, he's(no she..we hardly have any here)! given a HR form to fill which usually is more of a personal profile kinda thing.(strengths, weaknesses,expectations from the company,short term and long term plans..etcetera ..etcetera). We engineers have this uncanny knack of finding humour in toughest of the situations and Hari,with a smile just before filling his Kanbay HR form said-" These people must have come to know that my name is 'HR'P..that's why they all want me to fill their 'HR' forms'.But one could miss the gleam in his eyes and the wry humour in his voice. He din't jump up and shout in joy after his name was announced. And God alone knows what sinister designs he himself had!!, Hari's name was the last name to be announced and our TPO paused for about 10 seconds before calling out Hari's name. It was us ,surrounding him who jumped,shouted,hugged and shook each other's hands on Hari being placed.And we had all the reasons on this earth to celebrate.

Signing off with the last line of 'The Kids Aren't Right'-

The cruelest dream,reality(How true!)

If anybody has read David Davidar,William Dalrymple,Anita Desai plz share your thoughts on the same.Better still, suggest some books/movies for this summer.(Can't we do such 'useless' things over the group blog??)

**No response yet for the group blog :(..people sleeping?? **

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Of a 'cosmetic surgery' and ***THE GROUP BLOG***

Have nothing much to do these days and with no net in the itching to run back home.

.My blog has undergone a minor cosmetic surgery.An 'implant' actually,if you happen to look at its left,you'll notice an enlargement.(The computer engineer I am, my 'pointless' mind wandered onto the 'silicon territory'!!!).Have added the cbox(too late to hop onto the bandwagon, is it??Almost every blogger worth his/her salt has one.So why not me??So much salt am I worth!!).Make use of it..Adi did the honours of inaugurating it...


At the risk of repetition,am repeating!! what I had thought of about the group blog.

1.Narrow down(or expand)the areas which the group blog would encompass.

2.Suggest a name for the same.

3.Might sound too far-fetched, but thinking of modeling it on the lines of


4.Also check out-AMIT VARMA

5.And people please do respond fast, guess ditering won't help.

And am expecting some happy news soon,will wait till I hear it myself and then share it.(whatever that means,even i dunno!!).Don't want to celebrate too early,that's what I meant.

********What am I currently reading*********
Into 30 odd pages of Raj Kamal Jha's 'If you are afraid of heights'.Almost picked up 'To kill a mocking bird' when I just happened to glance at this one and what more could draw me to this book than the fact that Mr.Jha is an Engg.grad(IIT-K mech) and journalist and an author. I can think of atleast one 'el(l)igible' author who would be inspired!!.What say, madam???

Will try and post the review..till then HERE'S more on the book.

S*it,my post on Gujju wedding gate-crashes is still to be written.(And I say I have nothing much to do here!!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Much ado about ...placements???

Since the semester has come to an end,we don't have internet in the hostels anymore.Am rt now posting from our beloved C center.The next one month might see me posting from the cybercafe nearest to my home or 'wherever I may roam'!!

Jokes apart,here's a serious post.Read on...

Much ado about.... placements...
The outright outspoken person I am, I thought why not be a little outwritten.(that's one thing about us neonate 'writers'!, if you can't find an appropriate word to describe something,you either coin one yourself or use 'quotes'!!,how clever!)

In my previous post I mentioned as to how people change(their behaviour,their attitude,'the sudden increase in their fundooness' al). I have seen people change after reading books. Have people here who say their live have changed after reading Ayn Rand,Paulo Coelho.My way of looking at things did change after watching "The Shawshank Redemption" .Can't explain why, but that somehow got the best out of me in my fifth semester where I actually ended up being among the top ten?? of my class.For the 'hopeless' person that people think I am,that's something of more than a personal achievement for me.People do change after meeting new people or visiting new places.

During the placement frenzy at our college, the budding psychologist in me observed how people change during this whole 'horrible' phase.Either ways it is the end of the road for many.Here's how:

* You get a job, it's the culmination of all the 'hardwork' you did throughout one's life(dammit,it's only 20 odd years..still a long way to go..) and there's else left to achieve.

*You don't get a job, peer pressure gets on to you and you start losing confidence in yourself and I believe that's the worst thing that can happen to a person.People who are placed suddenly find a spring in their feet and start professing people on how to face interviews and how one has to be bold and confident. What irks me and irritates me at the same time is that more 'capable
and able' people long for such advice from people who are already placed.Encouragement on its part is ok, but somehow being placed doesn't suddenly make one a 'new' person so that you start needlessly professing people around.Whatever it is, somehow din't like this aspect and so am venting
it all out here.And a collective 'BALLS' to all those show-offs.

It is really sad to see 'real good' people (I know that cannot be defined, but the psychologist(screw him!) in me is a decent enough judge) wilting under this horrible pressure called 'peer pressure'. It's not the parental pressure, but it is peer pressure that is worst of all.One of my real good friends is yet to placed.He has faced three interviews and I guess the fact that he's not been able to make it as yet has shaken his confidence so much that he even spoke once of not taking up a job at all.Even I am in a predicament,talking to him and cheering him up is ok..but then when he gives that wry smile and says..."yeah yeah ..agle(company) mein ho jaayega"...I'm totally lost for words and have serious doubts on the whole process,atleast in his case man,c'mon he's more deserving than most people around.Just because the A/C in the room was not working or that interviewer was not served the cold-drink just before he came in or that the interviewer got a call from his office that supremely pissed him off, my friend doesn't have to go through this trauma.

Thankfully(ah,how wishful),I have a job.While most people around me are gloating about it...(basking in the glory to put it more appropriately for them), I'm left with no sense of achievement(Am I too numb?) .I don't know what's going to become of this idiot in future,but my aims,ambitions or dreams don't include working my ass off in a software company 9-5 in front of the comp(yeah yeah..they did show us dreams of 5 day week,informal work culture,shift of streams and the pay of course..but I guess the reality is much harsher).One of my secret dreams though is to make a movie,a hinglish one probably...may be by the time I'm 35-40. Here's a person who's actually on the verge of realising such a dream.
DO VISIT .Now that would probably give me more 'kick' than anything else.

So, sorry for throwing water on all the excitement about placements.It's plain LUCK and nothing else.This is me not being at my 'outwritten' best, otherwise would have vented out many 'inside stuff'.Atleast Ellie and Anubhav would come to know of it once they come here and for the rest after all this our Placement Officer(one helluva enthu person,will put any of us youngsters to shame) would proudly say that this year saw almost 100% placements(which is almost sure) and still,everybody will not live happily ever after.!

Chances thrown,nothing's free
Longing for what,used to be.
Still it's hard
Hard to see
Fragile lives,shattered dreams.

- The Kids Aren't Right.

P.S. I had one of the most uneventful interviews,the only high point being him asking about my TV appearance on BBC WORLD!! at University Challenge.WTF,he didn't go deeper about my quizzing.

Anyways, that's not something that I'd wish to enthral my grand-children with.I'd rather enthral them like the rest of you with the tale of us gate-crashing at MEGA Gujju weddings and how we had the best food of our lives there.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Was busy and a bit lazy too throughout the last 7-8 days to post.Have placements going on in our college.I got placed in CTS(Cognizant Technology Solutions)!!!.Visit for details!!Here are the things that I've promised myself that I'd do over the next few days.

1.Create a new blog about the placements at our college.Have lots to share about it.The highs,the lows,the reactions of people and how people change not by travelling places,not by meeting new people,not by reading books,but by getting a job!!!.Details of my tryst with placements too will be there.

2.Upload all photos on placements clicked by Pandit with his digicam.

3.Create a group blog about interesting people we come across,places we visit,books we read,movie reviews...any takers????

Finally,here's something which I wrote amidst our 'hectic' placement schedule.Why did I write the following piece will be made public on June 1st or 2nd.This is not even half as funny,sarcastic,hilarious,humorous I wanted it to be.But since it was written for a 'purpose',I had to toe more of a 'formal' line.Been observing people very closely of late and even this thought of doing a PG in psychology crossed my mind and Bharath almost beat me to death when I told it to him just before my interview for CTS!!!

Looking forward to reactions from you all on this,esp. Gujjus!!
Gujjus (in) and engineering...

Where on earth would you find a teacher in a computer engineering class asking students to "work out in the hostel and come"??......if you want an exact geographic location, it is the state of Gujarat in Western India. The teacher might not intended to mean "work out" as in picking up the dumbbells and sweating it out in the hostel, but the impression that it leaves on people is certainly not that one would be very happy about. Perhaps, what is more perplexing is that such a glaring mistake (though very much unintended) went unnoticed by most students also and a person like me, who instead of 'listening' to what the teacher was 'teaching' took notice of it and for a moment felt bad about the kind of 'education' I was receiving.

This probably sums up the higher education scene in Gujarat to me, with the little time I've had to observe it. The scenario is such that everyone thinks everything is rosy as long as at the end of the people get what they want.Students,marks and probably a degree so that they can venture into some business their family might be into and teachers, the fact that students are 'happy' also makes them 'happy'. I might be sounding very cynical and sarcastic, but when I see people here clamouring to improve their 'vocab(e)' or their 'English' or their 'communication skills' in a matter of days so that they can clear their Gds and PIs so as to land jobs, it does bother me to tell that them it takes more than a few mugging up of Barron's GRE wordlist or reading some 'motivational' books to have a good vocabulary and communication skills and also that they are skills needed to clear a job interview, but that they are 'life skills' and would keep a person in good stead through out his/her life.

Isn't it paradoxical that Gujaratis known for their entrepreneurial zeal and undying spirit to do better in life pay little heed to finer but very important things like good English, vocabulary buliding,inter-personal skills e.t.c. To me it is from the school stage where the rot stems from. From the little I've gathered from the local news and my 'localite' friends, people are very happy with getting good marks at school level and do bachelors in commerce or arts and set out to do business. Those wanting to pursue science-oriented courses like engineering or medicine have it easy. Seats in such colleges are allotted on the basis of 12th marks, which everybody knows aren't all that hard to score after spending so much money and time in the innumerable tuition classes that have mushroomed all over. No wonder then that introduction of entrance exams like AIEEE for admission to engineering colleges led to a lot of hue and cry and the 'worried' parents had to knock at the door of the courts to provide 'relief' to their children. Contrast this to the situation in states like Maharashtra and Karnataka where there was hardly any such and hue and cry and the parents and more importantly the students had no qualms in adapting to the new system. If such uncomfortable noises are heard about introduction of exams of the standard of AIEEE, which by all means is an exam lot easier than the JEE for entrance into the IITs, then wouldn't it be too wishful of us to expect sizeable number of students from Gujarat to get into the IITs.Again cynical as it may sound, but one must surely ask this question-'How long will people run away from competition?'.

Let me add a bit of my own experiences to this. We have a Gujarati friend of ours who attends tuition classes (tuition classes in engineering?? you might ask...let's leave that for a moment).It happens sometimes (well, many times!) that I have not completed my programs and have to copy from him. And again it happens all the time! That I happen to explain the program better to the teacher and he, the person who wrote the program is left wondering how on earth I could do that just by looking at the program once. Mean as it may sound, I end up getting more marks than him. I’m sure the law of averages would catch up with me and I'd have to repent not being regular, the point I wanted to highlight is that with whatever resources I had at my disposal, I could together with my ability to convince managed to get out of that tricky situation and my friend still wonder how could I manage that!!!

Talking of ability to convince people, it reminds me of one of my seniors working with McKinsey & Co. When asked what does he look for people when he recruits them, he said tersely-"If that girl or guy is convincing enough to sell me the sun for 100 rupees, I’d hire him without any hesitation”. Not that he didn’t value the academic qualifications of a person, but we all know what he was hinting at.

Ending this 'controversial' topic on a 'controversial' note, I’d want to share another incident where the teacher again made a hilarious blooper (unintended of course!).We had to make presentation on an allotted topic with slides and at the same time submit the printout of the material in a file to the teacher.The teacher happened to find out that the content in the slides and the file were not matching. She stopped the person midway and said-"What is this? The material in the slide and the printout are so different. I don't want people to make such ‘controversial’ presentations from now on”. Controversial--what the h*&l??It wasn't a presentation on the Godhra riots or the Best Bakery case. How can a presentation on 'Different types of Cathode Ray Tube monitors’ be controversial.

Then it dawned on to me that she meant 'contradictory'.!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Am Back....quirkymurmur resumes...

Today,I am happy on two counts.

One, my exams got over and I don't have the fear of failing in any of the subjects.(Though I haven't failed in any subject till now,that feeling that you might fail in a subject is HORRIBLE.This feeling ruined three of my semester vacations..more on that in the next blog...).

Two,I had promised myself that I would not blog till my exams get over and I'm proud to say that I have kept that promise.Though I did sneak in once and inserted the hitmeter.I did though go through lots of other blogs,about which I'd be sharing details in a short while,I did not post anything on my blog.How's that for a promise of not 'blogging'!!!

Now that my exams are over and am feeling good..and suddenly I find myself in final year!!I thought of going back and take a look at how three years of engineering have passed through the six semester exams I have given till now.Believe me,each of them(not the whole exam,but each subject exam) has a story associated with it.Promise that it'll be an interesting read.

P.S. The hit meter count reads 197..well it's been something like 20 days since i inserted it and there have hardy been any comments and did 197 people actually read my blog???Or is it a case similar to Sonia Gandhi's??People turn up in hordes and hordes to her election rallies, but their numbers don't get converted to votes!!!Can somebody please explain that to me??:)..