Thursday, December 30, 2004

I've been sitting quite vetti at home for the past couple of days. I spent day 1 watching XXX (the Vin Diesel one in case you think otherwise). It was admittedly one of the most cliched, mind numbing action movies I had ever seen.Its all attitude and no stuff. There were times when the dialogue was so corny, I thought the movie was some sort of spoof. You sort of expect the film to build towards something better but it disappoints you right till the end.Vin Diesel looks like a beefed up Adam Sandler. I kept expecting him to trip and fall.

I havent done much on day 2 and it makes me wonder if I'm wasting away my youth.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

That so called mild tremor I was talking about was worse than I thought!
Well, I've had my share of excitement in the morning thanks to the mild tremor
which gently shook Chennai.I was lying in bed awake but too lazy to get up
when I felt someone try to tug the mattress from beneath me. I sat up and
looked around but my cousin Prashant was fast asleep.I then looked at the half
empty water bottle next to me and I saw the water in it sloshing about though
no one was touching it. Puzzled I got up and came to the hall. I asked my uncle
if he'd felt anything too. I then saw that all the bottles on the table had the water
shaking a bit. Quake, I decided. So I woke Prashant up and tried to bundle my
grandmothers and get them downstairs. Grandmother 1 was ready to come
down while grandmother 2 was too involved with her morning religious dose
from the TV to bother. " Its fine now! " she insisted. " All ok, we dont need to
move!". Prashant and I had to almost forcefully drag her out of the house.

" I have to go to the bathroom!" she announced and locked herself in much to
my irritation. I was getting pretty worried and as my cousin waited next to the
door,I got all our slippers out, took my wallet, cell phone and the cordless. My
grandmother finally emerged and we dragged the entire lot down insisting that
the lift shouldnt be used.

A few puzzled people were standing outside unsure of what had happened. Not
many people came down because they were fast asleep on a sunday morning I
guess. We stood on the road for a while not sure of what to do. Grandmother 2
was quite annoyed that she was missing out on her daily dose of spiritual
enlightenment and kept insisting that we go back up. Here I was, her noble
grandson who'd probably saved her from a wall crashing down on her head and
she was more interested in some pot bellied priest dispensing holy tit bits.

The initial excitement soon wore off and people began returning home. I waited
a little longer to see if my building would come crashing down but sadly it
did'nt.So much for a grateful grandmother I guess. We came back home, made
a few calls and checked if everyone was ok. I called up my mom who'd left for
Bangalore yesterday and asked if she'd felt anything there. Nope, only Chennai
seems to have been affected.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I've finally got my joining date from company C : Jan 7'th. A nice way to start the new year :-).

I'm bunking work at P today. I'm just wasting my time as well as my project manager's. My PM is a pretty nice guy, it makes me feel guilty that I'm going to have to lie my ass off to get out of P. I cant help it though, the bond I had to sign claims I have to pay Rs.1 lakh if I quit before 2 years. So I have to lie and squirm to avoid payment.

Wish me luck...

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Well, 6 did become 12 and 12 equals 1 so everybody's happy :P

I decided a couple of days back that I have to go swimming on sunday. I used to love swimming as a kid but I never got around to visiting the pool often. The last time I went swimming was about 3 years back at the IIT pool.

So on friday I realise I dont have have a pair of trunks. I walked into a shop and asked for them. The chap looked at me and displayed some pretty bright looking stuff. Various shades of neon were displayed. I took my time and finally picked a turquoise blue shade. " This is the large size, could you give me the medium size please?" I asked. He looked me up and down and said " No sir, this will be perfect ". I was slightly insulted, I didnt have a big waist did I? I ended up buying the large size anyway. I came home and tried it on and it was so bloody tight :-( . My once 30 inch waist is now 32...have to get it down.

This morning, I wake up early have some coffee and bannanas for breakfast, squeeze into my trunks and get onto my cycle ( incidentally, I was wearing a Tshirt and jeans in case you think I would cycle around Chennai clad in nothing but neon trunks). I get past the IIT gate and the watchman stops me and tells me the pool is no longer open to visitors :-(. All my efforts were a complete waste....

Are there any pools in and around Adyar? If you have any info, do let me know.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I envy those guys with smooth silky hair. Those whose hair bounce and shine with health all the time. Those whose hair through which you can pass your fingers smoothly and not encounter any road blocks.Well, I am NOT one of those guys.

My hair defies any attempts to model it. It remains flat when I try to make it stand up and stands to attention when I try to flatten it. Its thick and dry and believes in inertia. To pass a comb through it in the morning is pure torture. Every strand firmly refuses to bend itself into shape. My hairs interlock and cause immense pain when I pass a comb across my head.

As a child, my father taught me to comb it from right to left, like he did. Now for the past year or so,I have reversed directions. Now different parts have to be combed in different ways. The front can be coaxed into bending right while the back of my head just bristles at the touch of a comb. It stands erect and refuses to accept any change in direction. So I comb the back like I used to as a kid. The middle of my head wont bend either way so I just comb it towards the front and hope it will stay down (it rarely does). The all important 'vagidu' or line of parting is not a straight line but a meandering curve.Hair on either side of it always want to move to the other side.

I have discovered that applying water on the head is an admirable way of decreasing hair ressistance.My hair can then be shaped perfectly.This phenomenon though is temporary and as my hair becomes dry in an hour, my head resembles a battleground.

Oil by itself is not a shaping agent as I have found. You head can drip Parachute or Himalaya or Dabar Amla but in no way is the hair going to be subdued.

So what I usually do is wet my hair, add oil and then comb it. The theory is that the water can be used to shape the hair and the oil causes the hair to stick to its position.

Yesterday I purchased some Brylcream Extra Strong Hair gel and applied it vigorously this morning.The bottle claimed I could style my hair in any way I wanted it, be it a funky spiked look or a a casual tousled look. I chose the conventional parting of hair and what do you know, it works! My hair now feels like its been stuck into position with fevicol. Its quite plastic in places and I'm afraid that if I bend a single strand, it will snap like a twig.

I think the entire problem is because different parts of my head are accustomed to different inclinations. I was wondering if I could perhaps ask the barber to just cut straight instead of choosing a parting, my hair problem will be solved. Isint that what they do when they spike your hair? Should I spike my hair? Do let me know.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I walked home from office yesterday (ie) from Spencer Plaza to Adyar Grand sweets. Took me about an hour and a half. Why did I do it? Well you see I usually take an auto home from work every evening and it costs me Between 50 to 60 Rs ( I cant even get into the bus, its that crowded). Now thats about 300 a week and 1200 a month! So I thought I would walk a little further and perhaps get an auto at a cheaper rate. I walked and I walked and I walked and I thought to myself " perhaps I can walk the entire distance" and I did. Its not that tiring if you do it in the evening. I certainly wouldnt attempt it while going to office.

Perhaps I shall try it again today...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Well a weekend quite different from my usual weekends. I'm afraid I cant give you too many details. All I will say is that I went on a trip ;-). A very magical two days indeed.

Now that I'm back in Chennai, I ask myself "Did the weekend really happen? How did it get over so fast?" Everything seems so unreal.

Work at P continues to be what it was. I was tempted to tell my project manager that I'd quit by mid jan max but he was on leave.

I have a strong feeling my brain is wasting away. I honestly think the last time I used my head was for the CTS test.

Have to get ready for work now....goodbye until then. May the Pillayar of the Rockfort temple bless you :-).

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Once again I am guilty of not tending to my blog. There have been quite a few things going on in my life but I just havent had the urge to chronicle them.Call it lethargy on my part. For those of you who are eager to know whats going on, here's a brief summary :

1) Company C said I would be called in Jan. When in Jan? That they didnt specify.

2) I told my Project Manager that I'd be leaving soon. So for now he's put me in a new project. There's no work for now. I'm jobless all day.

3) My cousin Prashant quit his job at the Taj Coromandel, Chennai. The job didnt suit him because he had a screaming banshee for a boss.

On a more positive note, I submitted my dentures article to for the India Smiles Global Writers contest. Its an old one. In case you havent read it, do check it out at :

Do let me know what you think of it.

Also, you can read what the others have submitted at :

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

My friend Aparna is currently pursuing her MBA in a prestigious institution in Trichy. That basically sucks because BSNL's cellphone network coverage is terrible and I hardly get to have a decent conversation with her.

I pick up the phone and I dial her number. These are the responses I usually get.

1) beep beep beep beep beep beep beep (pause) different kind of beep beep beep
2) Dead silence

3) Loud engaged tone the milli second after I've dialed the number

4) ALL THE LINES IN THIS ROUTE ARE BUSY( and that lady's voice is just so damn rude!)

5) The subscriber you are calling is out of coverage area, please try after sometime.( If you wait patiently, the same message will be repeated in Tamil)

6) The subscriber you are calling has switched off. Please try after some time.

There are those rare days when I do manage to get through to her.....though trust BSNL to screw my happiness.

Myself : " Hey! I managed to get through! What are you upto? "

Aparna: " What? Cant hear.Hello?"

Myself :" Hey! I managed to get through! What are you upto? "

Aparna :" Hello? "

Myself :" Can you hear me?"

Aparna :" Now I hear you! What were you saying before? "

Myself : " I said I managed to get through! What are you upto? " "

Aparna : " Hello? "

Myself :" Grr. Hello??"

Aparna " Hellooo"

Myself : " Hullo Hullo"

Aparna : " Hallo Hallo Hallo"

Myself : " Can you hear me or not! "

Aparna : " Now I do! Tell me!"

Myself : " Well, bugging day at the office, nothing went well, need someone to crib to and extract sympathy from :-( "

Aparna : "Hallo?"

and she accuses me of losing my temper...

Monday, November 22, 2004

One of the solutions I received for the sock problem was "To change my socks everyday". I'm quite insulted to think that my readers wont credit me with the intelligence to do that without suggestion.Ofcourse I change em everyday! and when I run out of socks, I steal my cousin Prashant's thats never really been a problem...

Nowadays I usually spray deo on my feet and socks before I leave for work...also I'm considering washing my feet in office every couple of hours....

Friday, November 19, 2004

Nothing smells more hideous at the end of the day than my feet. I get back home from work, remove my shoes and peel of my socks...lo and behold! USA has another reason for passing sanctions against us...the potent power of my smelly feet.

The moment I enter the house, I run to the bathroom and wash my feet with dettol soap...but its of practically no use, the smell just lingers around the house. I wake up in the morning to the smell of yesterdays smelly feet.

I dont remember facing this problem in college..does it have something to do with the air conditioning in the office? Solutions are welcome.

I havent blogged in a while..guess I've just been too lazy too :P.

I attended another bloggers meet at Besant Nagar beach on Sunday, Nov 14'th. About 11 of us turned up...all male, so fellow blogger Karthik Kannan was highly dissapointed. I enjoyed this bloggers meet a lot more than the previous one. It was a lot more casual.

There's a lot of stuff I havent written about. I blew my first and second salaries on rimless glasses and a very exclusive gym membership respectively. My bank balance is looking distinctly starved now, cant wait for this months sal.

C wont call me until December, so I'm stuck in P till then.Oh well, another month of ctrl C, ctrl V...

One more thing...who are you KS?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I recieved some pretty flattering comments for my previous post :-). Thank you guys, but I'm warning you, my ego is close to reaching critical mass. Any more compliments and it just might explode!

At the moment I'm still waiting for my call letter, I just hope it comes by this week. I dont know what to do with myself in my current job....time just drags.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Today marks the completion of an entire year of blogging...and I must say I've had a lot to write about : I met someone special, I prepared haphazardly for the CAT, I completed my engineering degree, I searched desperately for a job, my father passed away, I received two good job offers....well quite a lot to blog about indeed.

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure what the purpose of my blog was. Initially I just wanted to write something funny everyday so that people could tell me how witty I was :P. However as I began to blog more and more often, things changed. I felt the urge to chronicle every single thing that happened in my life. Perhaps being a blogger, the assimilation of experiences whether mundane or important obliged me to write about them. Blogging is a conceivably a way to put my thoughts down on paper and then ask myself " Is this how I feel about this experience?" or "do these words really echo my thoughts?". Very often I have this nagging feeling that I've written down something totally irrelavant to how I feel.

Then once again there is the question of " How much of myself do I wish to reveal to the world?". A lot of what I've written is in fact extremely personal...but yet I know that I have not met a large percentage of the people who read my blog. It does feel odd at times when a total stranger comes and tells me he's quite familiar with all the intimate details of my life. Sometimes its gratifying, sometimes I actually resent it.

There are times I blog because I saw something really hilarious and I want to share the joke with everyone. Sometimes I blog for the purely selfish reason that I think I write well and I want everyone to tell me so :P.Sometimes I find that I can deal with emotional issues better when I write about them. Perhaps this blog will serve a diary and remind me 50 years from now what it felt like to be 20 years old.

I think the real reason I blog is because I think it helps me learn more about myself. Writing down every thought, every feeling, every experience tells me how I think, how I react to situations both good and bad. It certainly is an educational experience, I do recommend it :-).

So exactly one year back I wrote the " Personal Computer Systems " exam...little did I know that life would change so much in 12 months....

Sunday, October 24, 2004

All my relatives have finally left. Weekends are just so weird without my dad . I'm getting a little scared for my mother now. What will she do for the rest of he life? Will things ever come back to normal?

Friday, October 22, 2004

Blessed 3 day weekend, now I get to recover from all the hectic work which I'm not doing at the office. Much to the delight of all my readers, I have decided to update my blog.

Last week, my family was invited to dinner at my cousins place. My cousin is a model, and a fairly well known one. That makes her radically different from the engineers, managers and scientists who populate my family(God forbid, I'm an electrical engineer by qualification and a software engineer by profession...what went wrong?? I was supposed to become a truck driver and run over people with smaller vehicles...).

Thus while the rest of the young women in the family are either quietly studying or married, my cousin walks the ramp, her pictures are splashed across magazines and giant billboards across the city show her looking meditatively into the distance while wearing lots of jewellery.

Now comes the uncomfortable part.Magazines these days wont take your picture if you are swathed in cloth. Her profession requires her to show some skin in order to promote herself. Hence magazines often carry pictures of her in compromising attire. This tends to rub against the finer sensibilities of the senior members of the family.

Her pictures are decried by the senior citizens, her lifestyle criticized behind her back when they meet at family gatherings. "Cant believe she's doing this!" or " What is the youth coming to! " or " Kali Yuga started the moment women began revealing themselves in public! " are statements vehemently and often made.

My cousin however seems oblivious to the criticism generously heaped upon her choice of profession. She leads her life the way she wants to and makes a lot of money in the process. She makes no attempt to keep a low profile when aged relatives visit. She wears and does she wants. Not for her the salwar kameez and the docile manner, she is the master of her choices.

Thus Prashant and I found ourselves in a precarious position when we visited. She was wearing something which complimented her very fine figure and we found it rather difficult to take our eyes off her. With our mothers and grandmothers watching our every move, we had to tread a fine line. How to take in as much of her as we could while appearing entirely disinterested? It took a lot of effort on our parts to look at her and not let our eyes widen , jaws drop, drool onto the carpet and pretend this was just an ordinary family get together.

As time progressed I realised that the two of us were not behaving normally. Usually we would slouch, talk as loudly as we could, laugh noisily, mix hindi, english and tamil slang to suit our conversation and basically behave as boors. In front of my cousin, we sat with our backs straight, spoke the queens english and tried to appear as refined as possible. Nonchalant charm was frequently attempted. Each word was articulated and pronounced perfectly. What made us behave so peculiarly? Why couldnt we just be ourselves?

My cousin then casually dropped a magazine into my lap and said " Dinesh, here are the pics from my latest photo shoot. What do you think of them?". In front of me were pictures of cousin scantily clad in diaphanous material and on either side sat a mother and a grandmother. Difficult indeed. I smiled guiltily at my mother and tried to casually flip through the pages, repressing the urge to tear the pages and stuff them into my pocket for later perusal. My mother and grandmother stared stonily at the pictures and then glared at me. What could I do?

Inspite of the flak that she draws from the more conservative memebers of the family, there's no denying that everyone is fascinated by the life she leads. Her life has that glamour element which is missing from our own lives. Nobody wants to take a picture of me in my underwear, I'm only a software engineer. TV channels dont want to know what I think of the most happening places in the city. Magazines dont want me to give relationship advice and I am certainly not consulted on the latest fashion accessories.

Thus we pretend to dislike her lifestyle but secretly wish we could have a little bit of glamour in our own lives. When we are with her, we pretend to be fully acquainted with aspects out of our reach. Discos, pubs, movie stars..oh been there, done that..nothing special there.

Then we come back home and say " That girl is going the wrong way! " but I dont think we mean it. Perhaps we say it out of compulsion, fearing that the other person might think we actually approve of my cousin.

I wonder how things will be 10 years from now when perhaps my cousin would be a little too old to model. What then? Will the galmour and the attention go away? or will she continue to be the darling of the local press? How will our impression of her change then? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I'm feeling slightly directionless at the moment. I dont know when C will give me the joining date and there's no real work for me as yet at P. I seem to have a lot of free time on my hands. I really dont know what to do with myself.

The bodybuilder said that he'd written a poem on me and how the 4 of us had bonded so well in the last 2 weeks. However he'd forgotten to bring it and he didnt remember the lines.Nevertheless, he assured me it was a fantastic poem. I believed him.

My project mates are pretty eccentric but they are really nice guys at heart. I'm going to miss them.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

My apologies for this much delayed update. I have discovered working for a living is bloody tiring, even if it only means staring at a computer for 10 hours at a stretch. When I get back home,I only want to crash into bed.

I suppose I havent gotten used to the idea of working for long hours, I keep wanting to go home when I'm at work :P.

My project members are just as wierd as the ones I had when I was in college. One is a perennial optimist, its actually quite annoying . The whole positive outlook seems quite put on at times.

The other is a professional bodybuilder, he's bloody huge!At 104 kilos he's one massive hulk! He's pretty good natured though and we have plenty of fun pulling his leg.(perhaps I should say quadriceps)

The 3'rd is best described as a hysterical chicken when upset. I cant think of a more fitting term (term given by the bodybuilder).

Inspite of each ones eccentricities (God knows what they think of me), we have a LOT of fun.We do a teeny weeny bit of learning and a lot of squabbling :P.

Now comes the surprise, I got into C!!!!!! I attended the interview on the 5'th. I had to take leave from work. I said something about a function at home (paid leave, so technically P paid me to go to C).

The C building was well...perhaps the most modern and intimidating construction I have ever come across in my life. It was HUGE! I felt so insignificant there. Just the lobby was like a football field. This coupled with superb interior designing and fabulous lighting..well who
wouldnt want to show everyone where he worked?

My interview was good, I knew I'd get through. I suppose that extra bit of confidence I was able to project was because I already had a job in hand. I knew I'd made a good impression on the interviewer 5 minutes into the interview. It was a pretty long interview, slightly more than an hour. I came out quite pleased with myself. I got the confirmation email on friday.

I'm happy because everything went according to reason. I did the interview well and got the job. Not so for my previous interviews. For Barry, I did it pretty well but didnt get through. For P I thought I had done horribly but they gave me the job! I didnt even feel I deserved the job in P. If I was the interviewer, I wouldnt have hired myself.

So I'm pretty pleased with myself now, just wish my father was here. He would have been bloody happy.

Now comes the tricky part, leaving P. The damn bond is going to cause some problems! Have to tread carefully.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Here's a rather funny forward that's been going around for a while. Read it, it makes sense

US foreign policy for dummies . . .Q: Daddy, why did we have to attack Iraq?A: Because they had weapons of mass destruction, honey.Q: But the inspectors didn't find any weapons of mass destruction. A:That's because the Iraqis were hiding them.Q: And that's why we invaded Iraq?A: Yep. Invasions always work better than inspections.Q: But after we invaded them, we STILL didn't find any weapons of massdestruction, did we?A: That's because the weapons are so well hidden. Don't worry, we'llfind something, probably right before the 2004 election.Q: Why did Iraq want all those weapons of mass destruction?A: To use them in a war, silly.Q: I'm confused. If they had all those weapons that they planned to usein a war, then why didn't they use any of those weapons when we went towar with them?A: Well, obviously they didn't want anyone to know they had thoseweapons, so they chose to die by the thousands rather than defendthemselves and let others know.Q: That doesn't make sense Daddy. Why would they choose to die if theyhad all those big weapons to fight us back with?A: It's a different culture. It's not supposed to make sense.Q: I don't know about you, but I don't think they had any of thoseweapons our government said they did.A: Well, you know, it doesn't matter whether or not they had thoseweapons. We had another good reason to invade them anyway.Q: And what was that?A: Even if Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Husseinwas a cruel dictator, which is another good reason to invade anothercountry.Q: Why? What does a cruel dictator do that makes it OK to invade hiscountry?A: Well, for one thing, he tortured his own people.Q: Kind of like what they do in China?A: Don't go comparing China to Iraq. China is a good economiccompetitor, where millions of people work for slave wages in sweatshopsto make U.S. corporations richer.Q: So if a country lets its people be exploited for American corporategain, it's a good country, .even if that country tortures people?A: Right.Q: Why were people in Iraq being tortured?A: For political crimes, mostly, like criticizing the government. Peoplewho criticized the government in Iraq were sent to prison and tortured.Q: Isn't that exactly what happens in China?A: I told you, China is different.Q: What's the difference between China and Iraq?A: Well, for one thing, Iraq was ruled by the Ba'ath party, while Chinais Communist.Q: Didn't you once tell me Communists were bad?A: No, just Cuban Communists are bad.Q: How are the Cuban Communists bad?A: Well, for one thing, people who criticize the government in Cuba aresent to prison and tortured.Q: Like in Iraq?A: Exactly.Q: And like in China, too?A: I told you, China's a good economic competitor. Cuba, on the otherhand, is not.Q: How come Cuba isn't a good economic competitor?A: Well, you see, back in the early 1960s, our government passed somelaws that made it illegal for Americans to trade or do any business withCuba until they stopped being Communists and started being capitalistslike us.Q: But if we got rid of those laws, opened up trade with Cuba, andstarted doing business with them, wouldn't that help the Cubans becomecapitalists?A: Don't be a smart-ass.Q: I didn't think I was being one.A: Well, anyway, they also don't have freedom of religion in Cuba. Q:Kind of like China and the @!#$ movement?A: I told you, stop saying bad things about China. Anyway, SaddamHussein came to power through a military coup, so he's not really alegitimate leader anyway.Q: What's a military coup?A: That's when a military general takes over the government of a countryby force, instead of holding free elections like we do in the UnitedStates.Q: Didn't the ruler of Pakistan come to power by a military coup?A: You mean General Pervez Musharraf? Uh, yeah, he did, but Pakistan isour friend.Q: Why is Pakistan our friend if their leader is illegitimate?A: I never said Pervez Musharraf was illegitimate.Q: Didn't you just say a military general who comes to power by forciblyoverthrowing the legitimate government of a nation is an illegitimateleader?A: Only Saddam Hussein. Pervez Musharraf is our friend, because hehelped us invade Afghanistan.Q: Why did we invade Afghanistan?A: Because of what they did to us on September 11th.Q: What did Afghanistan do to us on September 11th?A: Well, on September 11th, nineteen men, fifteen of them SaudiArabians, hijacked four airplanes and flew three of them into buildings,killing over 3,000 Americans.Q: So how did Afghanistan figure into all that?A: Afghanistan was where those bad men trained, under the oppressiverule of the Taliban.Q: Aren't the Taliban those bad radical Islamics who chopped offpeople's heads and hands?A: Yes, that's exactly who they were. Not only did they chop offpeople's heads and hands, but they oppressed women, too.Q: Didn't the Bush administration give the Taliban 43 million dollarsback in May of 2001?A: Yes, but that money was a reward because they did such a good jobfighting drugs.Q: Fighting drugs?A: Yes, the Taliban were very helpful in stopping people from growingopium poppies.Q: How did they do such a good job?A: Simple. If people were caught growing opium poppies, the Talibanwould have their hands and heads cut off.Q: So, when the Taliban cut off people's heads and hands for growingflowers, that was OK, but not if they cut people's heads and hands offfor other reasons?A: Yes. It's OK with us if radical Islamic fundamentalists cut offpeople's hands for growing flowers, but it's cruel if they cut offpeople's hands for stealing bread.Q: Don't they also cut off people's hands and heads in Saudi Arabia? A:That's different. Afghanistan was ruled by a tyrannical patriarchy thatoppressed women and forced them to wear burqas whenever they were inpublic, with death by stoning as the penalty for women who did not,comply.Q: Don't Saudi women have to wear burqas in public, too?A: No, Saudi women merely wear a traditional Islamic body covering. Q:What's the difference?A: The traditional Islamic covering worn by Saudi women is a modest yetfashionable garment that covers all of a woman's body except for hereyes and fingers. The burqa, on the other hand, is an evil tool ofpatriarchal oppression that covers all of a woman's body except for hereyes and fingers.Q: It sounds like the same thing with a different name.A: Now, don't go comparing Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis areour friends.Q: But I thought you said 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11th werefrom Saudi Arabia.A: Yes, but they trained in Afghanistan.Q: Who trained them?A: A very bad man named Osama bin Laden.Q: Was he from Afghanistan?A: Uh, no, he was from Saudi Arabia too. But he was a bad man, a verybad man.Q: I seem to recall he was our friend once.A: Only when we helped him and the mujahadeen repel the Soviet invasionof Afghanistan back in the 1980s.Q: Who are the Soviets? Was that the Evil Communist Empire Ronald Reagantalked about?A: There are no more Soviets. The Soviet Union broke up in 1990 orthereabouts, and now they have elections and capitalism like us. We callthem Russians now.Q: So the Soviets, I mean, the Russians, are now our friends?A: Well, not really. You see, they were our friends for many years afterthey stopped being Soviets, but then they decided not to support ourinvasion of Iraq, so we're mad at them now.We're also mad at the French and the Germans because they didn't help usinvade Iraq either.Q: So the French and Germans are evil, too?A: Not exactly evil, but just bad enough that we had to rename Frenchfries and French toast to Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast.Q: Do we always rename foods whenever another country doesn't do what wewant them to do?A: No, we just do that to our friends. Our enemies, we invade.Q: But wasn't Iraq one of our friends back in the 1980s?A: Well, yeah. For a while.Q: Was Saddam Hussein ruler of Iraq back then?A: Yes, but at the time he was fighting against Iran, which made him ourfriend, temporarily.Q: Why did that make him our friend?A: Because at that time, Iran was our enemy.Q: Isn't that when he gassed the Kurds?A: Yeah, but since he was fighting against Iran at the time, we lookedthe other way, to show him we were his friend.Q: So anyone who fights against one of our enemies automatically becomesour friend?A: Most of the time, yes.Q: And anyone who fights against one of our friends is automatically anenemy?A: Sometimes that's true, too. However, if American corporations canprofit by selling weapons to both sides at the same time, all thebetter.Q: Why?A: Because war is good for the economy, which means war is good forAmerica. Also, since God is on America's side, anyone who opposes war isa godless run-American Communist. Do you understand now why we attackedIraq?Q: I think so. We attacked them because God wanted us to, right?A: Yes.Q: But how did we know God wanted us to attack Iraq?A: Well, you see, God personally speaks to George W.Bush and tells himwhat to do.Q: So basically, what you're saying is that we attacked Iraq becauseGeorge W. Bush hears voices in his head?A. Yes! You finally understand how the world works. Now close your eyes,make yourself comfortable, and go to sleep. Good night.Good night, Daddy.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

I no longer have a graceful figure :-( . Heads shall not turn, oomphs and aaahs have died away, I'm longer a babe magnet basically I have a tummy.

I havent been to the gym in 2 months for reasons known to all.

I tried some cardio yesterday morning. Lots of cycling, lots of running. All gone to pot because I stuffed myself at dinner when a friend leaving for the UK decided to treat us.

Well, back to the gym tommorow. Have to go from 1 sack to 6 pack :P

Friday, September 17, 2004

Hey guys, when you leave comments, please leave a name, an email id or a link to your site/blog. It would help me get back to you. If it stays as Anonymous, I have no idea who you are.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Went back to work after 2 weeks leave, such a huge relief. I havent missed much in these two weeks, the real work starts on the 20th I guess, when I'm put into my

I'm going to be working on Siebel which I'm told has an excellent market. So basically having worked with Siebel will really help my career as Siebel professionals
will be in great demand.( C or P? I'm stuck again)

Not done anything productive at work as yet. In fact all we've done till now is celebrate birthdays with great pomp and style :P. The HR people take pains to assure
us that all fun ceases the moment you are put into the project, so have fun when you can :-D.

My mother, sis and a large number of my relatives visited Pondicherry University yesterday to institute an award for physics students in my fathers name. They also
went around the campus and spent some time in my dad's office.

I feel really really bad that I never got to know that side of my father's life. I never really knew what his working life was like. Who his colleagues were, what kind of a
teacher he was, the life he lead there.....I dont have a clue. 17 years he stayed in Pondicherry coming home only on weekends. I just got so used to it. I never really
got to know my father. I was really looking forward to the time when I would start working, become independent and self reliant. Thats the time when I thought that
he and I would get along a lot better. My dad and I would keep arguing over career decisions. He believed strongly in Physics and Engineering, no other career
option met his approval. I never really thought I was good at both so there were a lot of disagreements. I seriously thought me getting a job would end all those mini
fights. Now look at whats happened. I have a job but my father never got to know.

My father taught quantum mechanics in Pondicherry, a subject no one else could. He would sometimes try to explain it to me but I never really got the hang of it. He
would sit in his room and if I happened to be passing by, he'd call me, ask me to sit down and start talking about physics. Most of the time I would never be able to
follow what he was saying and I'd get bored quickly. Pretty soon, I began avoiding going into the room because I was afraid he would lecture me ( On physics or
education. We never really talked about anything else ). Actually I developed a mild fear when I was a kid :P. When I was about 4 or 5 years old, my father and I
were alone at home one afternoon. In an attempt to build me intellect, my father tried to teach me 2 digit multiplication. No matter how hard I tried, I never did get the
idea behind that zero we put while multiplying by the ten's digit. My father made me work out problem after problem but I never got it. Ever since then I began to fear
being left alone with him :P. I spent my entire life avoiding him whenever possible because he would ask me uncomfortable questions about what I wished to do with
my life. I really thought that stupid behaviour of mine would cease once I got a job :-(
I suppose I should start looking forward now. I'm glad that I'm going to be able to support myself but I really miss the security of having my father around.

Life changes far too suddenly for comfort.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

For the past 16 years, certain aspects of my life had remained constant. My mother worked as a teacher in my school and my dad was a physics professor in Pondicherry University. He'd come home on friday nights between 8:30 and 9:00 PM , spend the weekend with us and then leave on monday morning. So for all these years, I've been used to seeing my dad only on the weekends. In fact, when he did spend his vacations at home, it felt wierd to me because I was so used to seeing him only for short periods of time.

Its hard to believe my father wont be ringing the doorbell on friday nights with his traditional "Ta da tut tut, tut tut!" knock. Its not sunk into any of us yet. We keep thinking he's in Pondicherry and that he'll be back this weekend. I keep telling myself it wont happen anymore but its not sinking in at all.

Right now the house is full of relatives, so there are always people to talk to and things arent that bad. But what happens when everyone leaves? They all have their own busy lives to attend to. The house will fall silent soon and how will my mother and grandmother cope? I have my own work to attend to, my sister has her Phd to attend to. My mom will go back to school but how will she spend her weekends and vacations? I dont have any answers and its scary. How will my grandmother cope?She's a strong lady though and she lost her husband around the same time my mother lost my father. Maybe she can help my mom but what will she do alone all day?

I keep myself calm during the day knowing I cant afford to get upset in front of my mom, but my mind wont keep quiet at night. I dont really understand death.

I know that eventually my mother and my grandmother will learn to cope. Life will go back to normal....but its an uneasy few months ahead.

My cousin Prashant who works in the Taj is having a real tough time with his job.His working hours are crazy and he's afraid he's going to be fired. In fact his almost sure he's going to be asked to leave tommorow. I didnt know what to tell him. I just listened and tried to offer a few suggestions but it looks bleak. God its a bad time!

Just cant wait to go back to work and get away from it all.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

My father passed away on the 2'nd at 9:30 PM. We were all with him when it happened. I hope he is at peace.

Its the end of a very brutal 42 days. Atleast its over now.

Life is going to change dramatically after this. Suddenly I have a lot of responsibility. Its the start of a very new, very different life. I suppose this is the time I become an adult.

I would like to thank all my readers for their support. Thank you guys for all the support rendered.

I dont know what else to say.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Things are looking very bleak. Even the neuros who were so positive till now have said there's no hope. My father has suffered enough. Let him go in peace.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Well, I ended up not writing the T test. Today was Avanni Avattam and I had to go to the temple to change my poonal. It was 8:15 by the time I got back home. My friends went to Anna University at 6 in the morning and even then managed to get a slot only at 1 PM. I mulled over it and decided not to go in the end. Just didnt feel like standing in the queue for 2 hours in the hot sun. I heard the queue extended for over a kilometer from Anna University.

Still getting conflicting thoughts regarding C and P. It would only worsen if I got through T too. Things wouldnt be complicated but for the bond that P has.

Before I got a job, I thought it would be heavenly to have a dozen job offers to pick and choose from. Its not that easy once you sign the damn bond. Until you sign the bond, the company seems perfect.Once you do sign the bond, you feel trapped and every other company seems more promising :P.

So here are my 2 most conflicting thoughts:

Thought 1 : " C pays more! Everyone knows C! Everyone says great things about the company! Damn that I have a bond with P!"

Thought 2 : " Your original plan was to work for 2 years, get the experience and go for an MBA. So why bother which company? Everyone knows P too..."

I keep oscillating between these thoughts. Everyday I'm convinced 1 thought is better than the other...and then I change my mind again.

K, right now Thought 2 seems more convincing....esp because I dont want to study for the interview again....

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Well, my first week at work is over. I havent actually been WORKING as such, we just have classroom training. I'm learning, or rather trying to figure out what Pro*C is :P.
To tell you the truth, I'm glad the weekend is here. For the last 5 days, I've been sitting in the same air conditioned hall for about 8 hours a day...and the monotony is setting in.(Well atleast I'm being paid for it).

My brother in law said that if I got into C, I ought to take it. I guess C is doing really well now, also they pay quite a bit more. I've been told the work atmosphere is pretty good.

T is having its walk in tommorow, guess I'll go for it. They dont pay that much initially but hey, its India's number 1 software company(I think P comes 8). I think their test is kinda tough, guess I'll simply go give it a shot. Its a walk in at Anna University, I think the place will be jam packed tommorow.

My main concern is that P has a 2 year bond...which I have to sign by monday. So what happens if I get into C or T? Do I just stop going to work?

I'm a little reluctant to report on my dad's health because it keeps fluctuating. For the moment though, the news is good. He's breathing on his own without the ventilator (We were scared he would become ventilator dependant). He also opened his eyes just a little and closed them again.

So life goes on. I think the hospital is going to occupy a large part of our time for the next few months to come. Just have to be patient.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Day 1 of work. Didnt do much really. We filled out form after form after form. I think we filled forms for 3 hours straight. There are about 25 of us and I got to know most of them.
I kinda liked my first day in P, the HR people made us feel very comfortable. The food in the canteen was pretty good too. Actually I didnt know if it was good or not, I was starving by the time we broke for lunch so I piled everything that was available on my plate and bulldozed my way through it , not caring for the taste. You could have put a live chicken on plate and I would have eaten it without batting an eyelid.

The offices are pretty good. On the downside, once you get inside you lose track of time. Rain or shine, hot or cold, you have absolutely no idea whats going on outside.

We asked the HR people what we were going to do over the next few weeks. The lady smiled and said " Relax, we arent going to ask you write code from today. Just use the time now to settle down, know the company and bond with your team mates."

So all I did today was bond with my team mates. There are about 5 of us who have got calls from C, so we were wondering what to do. I felt so bad when I was filling out all those forms, especially the one for my HDFC bank account. Was I going to leave the company after I got an id card, an access card, a bank account, my own PC, an email address with the company, my own coffee mug......?

The thing is, I have to sign a service agreement with P by the 30'th and C isint going to tell me when my interview is until the 30' kinda looks like I might stay with P.

K, now excuse me, I have to go to my OFFICE.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Starting monday, I'm going to be entering into a whole new world. I'm going to be able to use sentences like " I'm going to the OFFICE " :P. I feel a strange rush of pride when some of my relatives come over and ask " So when are you joining duty?". Its an amazing and rather unfamiliar feeling, when people who always didnt bother to look twice at you on account of your age come up and ask you how much your salary is or where your office is located :P. Suddenly, I feel very grown up.

The funny thing is, I've never really given any thought to actually WORKING. SO far my idea of work is that it is a system which pays you gobs of money to sit in an air conditioned room and wear a tie.

I get so caught up in the whole thing that at times I forget the difficulties my family is facing. I forget that my father is critically ill and that its been an entire month since we admitted him. For a few moments I become oblivious to the anguish my mother is going through...and then it hits me, I become sober again.

Fate is a funny thing. For the 3 months since I left college, I worried day and night that I'd never get a job and that I'd be a good for nothing who ate and slept at home all day. Now suddenly I have a job, but my father dosent even know about it.

I'm getting through the whole thing knowing that what ever should happen, will happen. I know that I should be prepared for the consequences, whatever they may be. However, I just cant bear to watch my mother cry. I know that I cannot even come close to experiencing what she's going through...I'm helpless.

Not knowing when he will become ok, whether he will become ok, when he will wake up, how long the whole thing will take, how much money it will cost us in the end...thats what we all despair about. The uncertainity is killing us.

Its tough when one day my dads health improves and we all cheer up and the next day, it slumps again. We feel cheated....and actually guilty that we afforded to let ourselves laugh.
Well, I spent 3 months worrying that I'd spend eternity without a job, but that didnt happen. So I guess its the same with my dad. Just have to be patient.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

There was the problem of too little and now there's the problem of too much! I have a job in P and I've been called for interviews at C and I-I!

I'm in a dilema, C is putting up the interview schedule on the day I join P.C pays more and is probably has a more casual atmosphere than P...but I cant bunk work to attend the interview....I'm confused :-(

Monday, August 16, 2004

Fairly busy day. Had to go to college to pick up a couple of reference letters are required by P. I tried to get my no due and transfer certificates but it became too late. Took an auto and went to P. One very grim security guard told me I was late, which struck me as odd because I distinctly remember the lady saying " Come by sometime on Monday and pick up your call letter. " He then grumpily directed me to the 2'nd floor. I came upon a door and no matter how determinedly I pushed or pulled, the door stubbornly refused to budge. One sympathetic chap there asked me to flash the visitors card before the detector. The door smoothly opened.

The office was pretty impressive, all high tech...I dont think I'm supposed to work here though. This was the one in Sp Plaza. Mine is in S towers, a rather drab old building right next to it.

Then I met Miss Mohanapriya who gave me my call letter and gave some details regarding my job, most of which I didnt understand. She kept using short forms like
ERP and I kept going blank until she noticed my rather vacant expression. She said everything would be explained during the induction program. I join 1 week from
now, on the 23'rd of this month. I thanked her, pulled the door again a few more times, remembered the visitors card and exited sheepishly. Came down and met the
grumpy security guard again. It looks like he's already decided I'm one of those late comer types. I tried chatting with him, signed in the wrong register and meekly
watched him glare at me. I dont think he rates my intelligence highly.

Then had to go to IMS to get my money back. You see, on friday I went to IMS and paid up Rs.10,000 to join their CAT cruncher course. I'd done that as a back up option, in case I didnt get a job. As luck would have it, I got my job 1 day after I joined the course.
So I went up to the lady there and quietly told her I needed my money back. She refused saying that it was against the rules. So I told her about my dad's condition
and how expensive it was to keep him in hospital. She mechanically replied " I understand your position but IMS cannot refund your money". I hate it when people say things like that without for a moment considering the difficulty the other person is facing. I didnt want her saying she understood my position. If she did, I would have got my money back that minute. So I just quietly said I wasnt leaving until I got my money back. She grumbled for a while and then took me to the manager. I sat down and told him the whole story. Chap listened to it grimly and asked me to write a letter and also attach proof of my fathers condition. Then I would have to
wait 45 days for the money to return. I agreed and left. I dont think I will join IMS ever again. I found them too cold and impersonal.

So its 1 week to employment....cant wait.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

For several nights now, I have been going to bed in the lobby of Malar hospital. This is because the nurses in the IMCU will decide at 2 in the morning that my dad needs some esoteric medicine which must be administered immediately. The ICU is on the 5'th floor and the pharmacy is in the lobby. Thus someone always has to be there to run up 5 floors (the lift takes ages..not worth waiting for), collect the prescription, run down to the pharmacy (the medicines are always hideously expensive) and then run up again and deliver them.

Whats really annoying is that there are no employees to attend to the phone at night. Thus when it rings, it rings and rings and rings until someone wakes up and answers it (ie, me). Initially I thought I was being responsible. I'd always lift the phone, listen to the nurse and then yell out " Mr. So and so's attender, please go the IMCU". Big mistake. Now whenever the phone rings, all the other patients relatives just sit around casually and wait for me to pick up the phone. Some of them will come up to be and say gruffly " I'm going to sleep now,wake me if a call comes". So much for shared responsibility.

There is no actual place to sleep. You have to push aside the chairs and reserve a spot on the floor before someone else latches on to it. The spot under the fan is a prime location and the competition for it is intense (On the downside, everone has to step over you if they want to leave the lobby).

Then there are the cockroaches. Yesterday someone complained so they sprayed pesticide all over the place. Thus I spent the night in the lobby which

1) Smelt terrible

2) Had a larger number of cockroaches than usual.

All of us in the family now have that famous Malar hospital smell which clings on to us all the time. Our clothes reek of it. People wrinkle their noses the moment we
come near them.....I think we smell antiseptic.

I have to go collect my call letter from P on Monday...once I start working I dont think I can spend anytime at the a way I'm actually glad, I just want to get away from it all...but then I feel bad that I'm not going to be around all the time to help out.

P has some pretty formal dress codes I think. Only formal wear...worst of all, you gotta wear a tie. I dont like ties. I think they make you look quite silly. When I
went for my interview I noticed that most of the employees had some pretty rotten ties on. I think the average indian male thinks that no matter how bad you look or
no matter how unsuitable the colour combination of your clothes are, you will still be able to seduce Carmen Electra if you wear a tie. ( even if your shirt is blue and the tie has pink flowers on it)

I might go out today to update my collection of formal wear. I have one decent tie..I might have to look at my dads collection too.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I got my call from P..... I've got a job in a good company.....but its not sunk in yet....for some reason I'm still nervous about my C test.....

My dads condition remains the same, stable but unconcious. I've got my first bit of good news from Polaris and now I'm waiting for the second bit from the doctors.

Friday, August 06, 2004

I've already become sick of telling people how my dad is. Sick because I'm
forced to mechanically repeat the same answer over and over again day in and
day out without a single change. People keep dropping in to ask. I am repeatedly
waylaid on the road and the phone just hasnt stopped ringing.

There's this new watchman we have, a tall thin old man who wants 2 hour
updates on my fathers health status. Initially I was touched by his concern but
now I find it plain irritating. Irritating because each time I give the answer he
smacks himself on the forehead, looks at me sorrowfully and moans out loud in
tamizh " Only God can save him, only God can save him! ". So much for sunny
optimism, I felt like kicking the old bugger today.

Dont get me wrong, I fully appreciate the concern everyone has, its the emotional
support that we get that keeps us going without losing our hopes BUT its just so
damn annoying when people react like all hope is lost. Then there are some
people who ask such stupendously stupid questions, I almost lose my temper.

Neighbour : " So hows your father now? "

Myself : " He still hasnt become concious aunty..."

Neighbour : " Oh ok. So is he eating by himself now? "

Myself: " he still isint concious...."

Neighbour (casually): " So he's in a coma huh? "

Myself : " NO! Not a coma! He's just not awake yet."

Neighbour: " So how does he eat then? "

Honestly, why are they so worried about how my dad eats? Arent we facing
bigger problems?

In other news, I finally got my hall ticket for the CTS exam. Its on the 14th. Wish
me luck. The way my dads health keeps swinging from stable to hopeless and
back to stable again, I dont know if I'll have the mental peace to study.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A leeetle bit more hopeful today. The reason behind yesterdays negative entry was simply that the doctor had been a lil negative. There was a lot of crying at home so the general atmosphere brought me down. Luckily last evening the neuro who operated on my dad said he saw some improvement. My dad is not progressing at the rate he wants him to but nevertheless, there is some minor improvement. So there's some hope we can cling on to and thats a relief by itself. ( Also my uncle is carefully monitoring my dads horoscope and claims everything will be fine by the 19th. I dont really believe in horoscopes but hey, its reassuring to hear. Another aunt of mine is going to all the important temples and doing every puja possible.)

Its a good thing that a lot of my relatives have come down to help. The emotional support is tremendous. Everyone wants to pitch in to help be it some distant relative or the watchman or the flower lady(and before I forget, the people who read my blog). Thats whats so great now. Its such a nice surprise to know that everyone cares.

In other news, I bought the CAT application form and just finished filling it out. I'll go through it again carefully later. I'm doing it on my own for the first time, I usually left all that to my dad. He filled out most of my application forms last time.I never had the patience to read instructions and verify everything while my dad was a stickler for details when it came to such matters. So now I have to be very very careful.

I might have to go to Banglore some time next week to write the aptitude test for Hexaware. Lets see how things settle down.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

My father had a surgery yesterday to relieve the pressure caused by excessive cerebro spinal fluid. The doctors are apprehensive because he still hasnt woken up. Brain damage might already have occured. They've asked us to pray.

Friday, July 30, 2004

My dads sodium level came upto 124. Normally he should have become a lot more cogent. He was pretty dull though. He's also had a fever off and on (this was the original complaint when we first went to see the doctor). So some cerebro spinal fluid was taken for testing. The test results say its Tubercular Meningitis. All the antibiotics he's taken have prevented it from worsening and from tommorow he will be started on antibiotics for treating it specifically.

So now we have to wait for the TM to settle and also wait for the kidney to heal. Its pretty complicated. A bad combination of High BP, Diabetes and Infection. My father always has had high BP but he refused to go to a doctor for over 30 years, simply because they scared him. The diabetes is probably a side effect of  high BP and the infection is due to weakening of the immune system, once again due to high BP and diabetes.

All this could have been avoided if he'd just had his pressure under control, thats whats so frustrating.

I know he'll get better and that we just have to wait it out. Its really hard on the family. My mom is made of pretty strong stuff and she can cope. Its my sister who gets really upset and starts crying. Me? I'm sort of emotionally detached. I know its just a matter of time. I know the end result is going to be good and I'm prepared to wait. My schedule has gone haywire though. I havent attended my NIIT class in 2 weeks. I dont about the outcome of the Polaris interview, some of my friends have started getting calls. I might also join a course to prepare for CAT 2004. Too many things competing for my attention now.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Sodium - I think I've said that word more than a thousand times this week.

Here's what happened. I came back home from my Polaris interview on the 20'th. At around 7:30 PM when my dad was eating his dinner, he started behaving in an extremely odd fashion. He seemed to have no control over his spoon and he was spilling his food all over himself without even being aware of it. His responses to our questions were slow and sluggish. We decided to take him to the hospital immediately. Everything was delayed a bit because my dad refused to come to the hospital. We cried, pleaded, threatened and cajoled but he just sat in his chair and refused.Finally we had no choice, we carried him with the chair into the car.

He spent 2 days in the normal ward and was then transferred to the ICU because his sodium levels had fallen to 116. Its around 135 for a normal person. The ordinary saline given wasnt being absorbed by his body so a special 3% hypertonic saline solution had to be given via the jugular vein. The insertion of the drip in the jugular vein has to be done very very carefully. So my dad spent 4 days in the ICU until his sodium level came upto 127. On monday, he as shifted to a room opposite the ICU.

His sodium level dropped again to 120, but the doctor said he didnt want to give drips anymore and said we had to bring it up only with a special diet. So far his sodium levels have gone up by 1 point a day. The real complication is that his kidney has been affected by his high BP and diabetes, hence it is not able to absorb the sodium.Instead it is sending it out through the urine. Now due to low sodim levels he's pretty groggy. His facial muscles on one side have become weak and he slurs whenever he talks.

Handling my father has been really tough in these 8 days. When he was in the general ward, he'd keep pulling the IV out of his arm. One morning when my mother and I fell asleep from sheer exhaustion, he got off the bed on his own, took two steps and fell right on top of me. I woke up just to see my dad falling and caught him, badly spraining my left shoulder in the process.

After he spent 2 days in the ICU, he pulled the IV right out of the jugular vein, something really really dangerous. They had to tie him up to prevent him from injuring himself further, something which really insulted my father.

He's like a big baby now. Every move of his needs watching. He's developed a fever and whenever he feels hot he pulls all his clothes off. Everyday we wonder what his sodium level is. We've also learnt the hard way that we cannot expect him to improve from one day to the next. One day he's quite sharp mentally and the next day its difficult to wake him. For the last week we've had our hopes repeatedly raised and dashed to the ground. We just have to be patient and wait for the kidney to heal itself.

When he talks, its so crazy at times, we dont know whether to laugh or to cry. As he kept trying to take his clothes off when he felt hot, my sister held his hand and said " How can you be naked when I'm the room. You think its right for me to see you this way? ". To which he said " Of course, you are my daughter after all".

My sister seems to be at the recieving end for all his answers. A couple of days back we made him sit in the chair and talk to us. We asked him to give our birth dates. He got everybody's right but my sister's wrong. When asked if we should buy my sister some nice jewellery, he said " Let her get pregnant and then we'll get her jewellery". Needless to say, my sister wasnt the least bit pleased.

His higher faculties do seem to be in good shape though. He remembers everything about the university and his job. He remembers what he last taught my cousin last in physics. Its just his day to day behaviour that is upsetting.

In a way its a good thing I dont have a job now because I'm there to look after him. We dont know how long it will take and by the looks of it, its going to be a looong time. Guess I just have to be patient.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

My interview...well I wont say I stared blankly at the interviewer, nor will I say I
knew the answer to everything. Trouble was that it was a purely technical
interview, no frills at all, nothing I could answer breezily and show him how
confident I was. No questions like " Tell me about yourself, family, goals..blah
blah" or " Why should we hire you? ". No sir, all questions dealt with C and C++.
Not even the fundemental concepts but more fuzzy ones like pointers and linked
lists. I could answer his questions for each concept initially but as he went deeper
into the topic, I found myself floundering until he went on to the next topic. If I
didnt know it, I said so .

My friends who attended the interview last week said the whole thing had been
quite an informal affair, not very techie. Mine was totally the opposite.

Then the interviewer carefully scanned my marksheet and said " You seem to be
answering well but how you come you dont have such great marks in C? ". Tough one to answer eh? So I said I didnt believe that my marks really reflected
my abilities. He nodded his head and said " Maybe so, but you cant use it as an
excuse." I grinned and said I totally agreed with him but insisted I was telling the
truth when it came to that particular paper. I didnt know what else to say.

So I'm not really sure how I've done. I knew something but nothing hardcore. I
was a lil dissapointed however my friends cheered me up saying that I was after
all an electrical engineering student and that Polaris wouldnt expect me to know C
and C++ inside out. I dont know if I can take comfort in that...

Its not in my hands anymore, if I get it, then well and good. If not, there's always
the CAT.
Well, I'm off to my interview...I'm not as nervous as I usually am...but I am still a teeny weeny bit nervous :P. I just hope it goes well.

I usually settle down well at the actual interview...its just until the interview that I'm all jittery. My mind comes up wth a dozen questions I dont have the answer to and then I panic for a while.
Anyway, come what may, even if I dont know a thing, I'm going to be positive and confident. I think that should help. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 16, 2004

There's some  good news and there's some bad news.
The good news is that I've been shortlisted for the second round of interview by Polaris. My interview is on Tuesday at 11:00 AM. Its supposed to be technical. Wish me luck. These guys do move slow... I attended the first interview sometime in May.
The bad news...well we just found out that my dad has both high blood pressure as well as diabates. We've been in and out of hospitals and clinics for the past week, taking blood samples, urine samples, having tests done and having tests confirmed....well now we know whats bothering him.
My mom has taken some severe measures when it comes to food. No oil, no ghee, no sugar, microscopic amounts of salt...well its been very hard on my dad. He sulks at the dinner table and hardly eats anything.
Hmmm, I also learned to make rice...I make some pretty decent rice I think...I'm learning more everyday...

Thursday, July 08, 2004

I've quit fretting about my job status. It will come when it has to come. Might as well do things that are within my control like preparing for the CAT. I have a feeling I'll clear the aptitude test for CTS. The interview is supposed to be tough, so I've started brushing up my engineering.

Among other things, My cousin Prashant works at the Taj Coromandel. Poor chap leaves the house at 6:00 AM and returns at 10:00 PM. Anyway, he usually has an interesting story to tell every night. Right now the Indian cricket team is staying at the Taj, so Prashant gets to see them pretty often. (He's cleaned Dravid's room and folded Yuvraj's underwear..."Theyre all Reebok" he tells me.)

Anyway, Zaheer Khan comes to the front desk. The place is filled with kids and their parents who are screaming for his autograph. Zaheer Khan has forgotten his room number, so he asks the receptionist for it. The receptionist gets real nervous and goes into some kind of trance.

Zaheer Khan : " I've forgotten my room number, can you tell me what it is? "

Receptionist (dazedly): " One moment sir. What is your name sir? "

Sepulchral silence.

Zaheer Khan (looking her up and down): "Uhm, Zaheer Khan..."

Nothing else for now. I've started studying with my friend Archie for the CAT. Helps to have a partner esp when all you want to do is sleep in the afternoon. This way I'm more productive when I'm least productive and I dont feel guilty about wasting my time at the end of the day.

Monday, July 05, 2004

K,you know what? I'm getting sick of the Penis Enlargement ads that cram my inbox. Everyday I have to patiently clean out a dozen emails that claim that if I buy their
product, I will be able to satisfy a blue whale. Pills, powders, rubber thingies, secret Arabian techniques.....apparently there's this technique called the "Arabian Jelq"
or something which is taught by Arabian fathers to their Arabian sons so that they may use their thingies more effectively to produce more Arabian sons and thus pass
on the ancient jelq tradition. Now why do I want to know all this? After all, size does not matter when

a)you never have got any
b)you arent getting any
c)you are not likely to get any for a while...

Some of these emails have very detailed diagrams too....not something you want to see when

1) you are straight
2) you are frantically going through your email in search of a letter from a prospective employer.

Ofcourse there is the case of one of these penis enlargement companies is looking for a fresh BE graduate in the field of electrical engineering for a challenging and
exciting career in penis enlargement all for a "huge" salary...Now that I might consider....

Sunday, July 04, 2004

What can I say? I miss her so bad.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Got this off an email forward:

Question: What is the height of globalization?

Answer: Princess Diana's death
Question: How come?

Answer: An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French
tunnel, driving a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who
was high on Scottish whiskey, followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on
Japanese motorcycles, treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian
medicines! And this is sent to you by an Indian, using Bill Gates'
technology which he stole from the Japanese. And you are probably reading
this on one of the IBM clones that use Philippine-made chips, and Korean
made monitors, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant,
transported by lorries driven by Malaysians, hijacked by Indonesians and
finally sold to you by a Chinese!

That's Globalization

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Whew! So I'm finally an engineer :-). Results came out today, I got 83% :-D.
Highest I ever scored in my engineering (come to think of it, all my life:P). Now all I need is a job :P

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I dont think I've come online so often before. Sure there was the time when I just got my internet connection and I realised there was a whole world of porn waiting to be explored. Porn got boring after a few years, after all, there's only so much 2 people can do (and 3 people and 4 people and...n people...and sometimes not even people....I wont go into the details).

Since I am kinda jobless,I log on every 2 hours to see if some company out there has decided to hire me and pay me a fat salary. So far, no company has..but I've got my hopes up.

What I dislike right now is not having a schedule or a purpose for the day. You know that somethings wrong when the weekend is no different from the weekday.

I keep telling myself that I should sit down and study for the CAT again..but finding motivation is hard, esp because I'm also hoping to get a job. I've got confused goals now. I thought I had it all figured out when I told myself " I'll prepare for the CAT and if I get a job then well and good ". Trouble is,I didnt bother to account for all the heartbreaks, the tension, the jealousy that an intensive job search brings along. Its very distracting. Besides the thought of going through all that preparation again for the CAT isint attractive.

I guess I have no choice though.I really have to's wishing I'll stick with it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Well, nothing worth mentioning has happened in the last couple of days. I might get a call from ICICI Infotech..but dont wanna go into the details of it. The last time I got too excited about a job, I paid for it.

Watched Anger Management...not too great a movie. Not really funny..

Hmm, CTS keeps postponing the date of its aptitude test. Now I have to check my status again on July 13th. They've been postponing it since May 12th!

Among other things...I just wish July 4th would never arrive. I hope we get caught in some kinda time warp and that its now December 18th 2003 :-(

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Here's a nice article I got off Rediff:

The truth about IT cats & dogs

June 24, 2004

There are two kinds of engineering students in India -- the cats whom all companies run after, and the underdogs, who are running after the companies. The cats usually bag the cool jobs which pay you well, send you abroad and keep you far far away from sweaty industrial shopfloors. 55,000 such cats found employment with the likes of Infosys, Wipro, TCS and other such companies in 2003-2004, by Nasscom estimates. But considering that India produces over 300,000 engineers annually, it's a dog's life for many fresh graduates out there.

So, what is it that separates the IT cats from the dogs? It's a question that needs to be asked, as yet another admissions season is upon us. The mad rush for engineering seats continues fuelled by this simple logic: Engineering has more value in the job market than an 'ordinary' BSc. And the jobs that are fuelling this perception are the lucrative software careers. Few would be happy building roads and bridges or working in factories -- as previous generations of engineers did.

Let's face it -- an engineering degree is a means to an end, not an end in itself. But it can turn into a dead end if you don't keep the following facts in mind:

* It's not what you study, but where you study that counts: Always, always choose college over branch. The reputation of a college is what determines campus placement prospects. This might mean doing civil engineering at VJTI although you have little interest in the subject. Live with it. At the end of 4 years, a bunch of software companies will visit the campus. If you pass their aptitude test and interviews, you're in.

It sounds illogical but companies look at it this way. "We believe in the generic concept of learnability," says Hema Ravichander, Senior VP (HR) at Infosys. "This, we define as the ability of the individual to derive generic knowledge from specific experiences and apply the same to future contexts." So when the company visits a campus engineers from any stream are welcome to apply for the aptitude test. All recruits are subsequently put through 14 1/2 weeks of intense training.

The scene at Wipro is similar. "At one time, we insisted on BE Electronics/Computer Science," says Ranjan Acharya, corporate VP, HRD, Wipro. "Now we look at basic analytical ability, understanding and grasping power." Wipro has a 45-day training program for computer engineers, and a longer one of 70-days for those from other streams.

Here's the catch, though. Infosys visits 60 to 70 engineering colleges for campus placements annually. IITs, NITs and a few top colleges in every state make up that list. "Historical relationship, performance of hires from a particular campus, ratio of offers made:joined are the main factors which determine which colleges we visit for placement year after year," says Ms Ravichander. Wipro visits 120 colleges, but its intake is less than Infy. TCS is the other large recruiter which visits about 130 colleges.

A relatively new recruiter -- Cognizant Technologies -- has also started hiring aggressively from premier engineering campuses. The company planned to pick up 60% of its targetted 4,000 new recruits for 2004 through campus placements.

* Performance does matter: The top software companies are pretty sticky when it comes to grades. It's not enough to just get into a great college, you must perform once you get there. Consistency is a very important -- companies will look at your grades right from class X onwards and expect to see a first class through all years of engineering. ATKTs (Allowed To Keep Term despite failing a subject) or dropped years are a strict no no.

This is a tall order, especially in some universities like Mumbai known for its vagaries, which often affect even the brightest students. As a popular shayari on Mumbai engineering campuses goes: Woh baap hi kya jiski beti nahin... Woh engineer hi kya jiski ATKT nahin.

Jokes apart, performance is key even if you get into a college which doesn't have attractive campus placements. A 60% throughout your engineering career ensures you still have a shot at your dream job. You can apply when these companies conduct aptitude tests off-campus.

The story goes like this. Companies have to make offers through the campus placement route, 12 to 15 months before the actual joining date. A lot can happen during this period -- often requirements drastically change. So a certain % of freshers are taken in at a later date, through off campus hiring. Infosys for example will visit various cities and test up to 10,000 applicants in a single day. Graduates from any engineering college can apply, as long as they have a first class throughout.

Aptitude tests normally cover arithmetic and analytical skills, GDs (group discussions) gauge communication skills and in the interview applicants are usually quizzed on basics from their core subjects. Any project work you may have done, as well as extra technical knowledge, eg having leant a popular programming language could help tip the scales in your favour.

Since many engineers are eventually put on the project management track, qualities such as leadership skills, teamwork and all round personality also matter.

* The year you graduate matters: An engineering course takes 4 years to complete. A lot can happen in the IT world in that time.

Some factors are simply not in your control. The graduating class of 2002 had a tough time finding jobs. 2003 was better, and the current year -- 2004 -- has seen a boom in demand for freshers. Infosys alone recruited 10,000 employees, a majority of them straight from engineering campuses. At Bangalore's RV College of Engineering 43% of the 460 students seeking placement were recruited by just 4 software companies -- Infy, TCS, Syntel and Cognizant.

This upward trend is expected to continue. But if you are entering an engineering college today, it's hard to tell exactly what the job scene will look like in 2008. Especially since the ups and downs in the US economy directly affect the fortunes of Indian software companies.

In boom years, students have more choices and better prospects. For example, at IIT Chennai last year, a strange thing happened. Less than half of the 450 eligible students took the TCS aptitude test. And there wasn't a single computer science student in that lot. Why? The salaries offered by Indian software companies (in the Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 4 lakh per annum range) weren't attractive enough compared to other recruiters like McKinsey (Rs 7 lakhs pa), Intel and HLL (both offered Rs 4.6 lakhs pa).

In a tough year such as 2002 there was a major hue and cry when Infosys hinted it was reconsidering some of the offers made on the IIT campus several months earlier. The offers were later honoured. Companies realise that some years are hard on freshers. For example, in February 2004 TCS continued to invite entry level applications from engineers who had graduated in 2002 and 2003, as long as they had not been interviewed by the company within the last 6 months.

* You're no 22, try harder: It's true that graduating from a lesser known engineering school may mean you leave campus without a job. But it's not the end of the world. It simply means you have to conduct your own jobhunt. Respond to ads in newspapers, upload your resume on job sites and start doing the rounds of companies. Staying in touch with friends and seniors who've already got jobs is a great way to get to know about openings and entrance tests. Some companies actually prefer to recruit through employee referrals.

The good news is, a sustained effort of 3 to 6 months usually gets you a job. The important thing is to stay optimistic! As an underdog, you may end up joining an underdog company, ie a smaller outfit. But with the right experience and skills picked up along the way you can always hop, skip and jump your way to the software company of your dreams.

* Engineers@call centres: Last but not the least -- the call centre option. BPO outfits such as Wipro Spectramind actively recruit engineers, paying them higher salaries than regular graduates. And they have no dearth of applicants. But most engineers see call centre jobs -- even if they're in technical support -- only as a short term option.

If things don't work out on the software front, there's always the option of going in for higher studies. Which for most, boils down to an MBA. But remember, there are two kinds of MBA students in India -- the cats whom all companies run after, and the underdogs, who are running after the companies... But that, is another story waiting to be old.

Rashmi Bansal is an IIM Ahmedabad graduate and founder-editor of the popular youth magazine JAM

She can be reached at

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Watched "Brother Bear" with a friend today. Good movie, quite touching. Its a nice family sort of movie, go watch it if you can.

Couple of things I should mention:

1)Nice to meet you Taruni. After 8 months of knowing you, it was nice to finally meet you :D

2)Congrats Shobha for getting a job with Barry Weh Mlller, you owe me a treat (and dont tell me you cant get cash because your dad put it in the bank)

3) Thank you 9444------ for a most exciting june 19th ;-)

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Dropped off my resume at the L&T office on Mount Road yesterday.Also modified my resume because it was too big and didnt look professional.Kinda happy with the new one.

I also registered with a few job sites like and
I've heard that they send tons of email, so I created a new email id: . Please dont mail me there, its meant only for prospective employers :P

My parents went to Coimbatore for the weekend, so my cousin Prashant and I lived a very bachelors life for 2 days. We ate outside, didnt bother about personal hygiene, didnt bother to boil water, so there was no drinking water available until I went and bought some :P. Prashant got a dozen cd's to watch. I watched only one though(spiderman), I'm not too into movies.

I've bought myself a Terry Pratchet book, reading it now.

Friday, June 18, 2004

I love the number 6. I just hope it becomes 12 and multiples of 12 thereafter. If you dont understand this, dont bother.I know someone else out there does :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2004

He He, the moment Gmail came out with its 1 GB account, Yahoo made itself a 100 MB account and now rediff is offering 1 GB too! What will I do with all that memory space?

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I'm beginning to enjoy the benifits of unemployment. To do nothing all day seems like sheer bliss to me. However, 2 conditions have to be satisfied before I start basking in the luxury of idleness :

1) My dad has to go to work in Pondicherry
2) My mom has to go to work in school.

See, once the two people who worry the most about my future are out of the way, I automatically start relaxing a bit. This is not to say I dont worry about my future.In fact all I do these days is worry about my future.Its just that after a while worrying about your future starts getting on your nerves and you cant do anything without feeling like a burden to your parents.

Tamizh slang has the perfect word to describe my current status-" Dhanda Soru". For my very english friends, literally translated it means "Waste Food" (ie) an idle person who eats the food his parents provide and does nothing all day to deserve the food. My only consolation at the moment is most of my classmates are in the same boat:P.

Getting a job would be a major ego booster for me now. It would mean financial freedom, perhaps a vehicle of my own, a cellphone and most important of all, it would send a strong signal to my parents that I have grown up and can look after myself.

IGATE had another exam in Eashwari engineering college. I didnt go because I had attended the test in DG Vaishnav college a couple of weeks earlier and they had asked for Rs.29000 as training fees. So when I heard they were having another exam, I didnt bother to go. Now I get the awful news that no mention of the training fees was made yesterday :-(. A few of my classmates have got through the initial rounds...damn! Why didnt I write the exam! Its a missed opportunity and I feel terrible about it.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Here's what I plan to do with my life for the next 5 months ( sorry AJ, I had to flick your code idea :P )

void main( )
while (unemployed)
if (status= = employed)
cout<<" HALLELUJAH!!!";


studyforCAT( );

goforcomputercourse( );

readthedamnnewspaperfindoutwhoprimeministeris( );

gym( );


A depressing birthday, but a happy ending nevertheless. And hey! my blog is a 100 posts old!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I share my birthday with Donald Duck, didnt know that :p
So today I'm 21. Was woken up at the ghastly hour of 5 AM because my mother wanted to watch Sanskar TV, one of those religious channels. The bhajans sung slowly penentrated into my subconcious and proceeded to extract me from my sleep in slow painful steps. Its very uncomfortable to woken up that way. First you are fast asleep, then you slowly become aware that there's something is bothering you, though you are too befuddled to know what it is. Images from the TV brighten,darken, flicker and pulsate through your closed eyelids. Then the monotonous bhajan slowly pounds against your eardrums and makes you want to scream, pull your hair out and throw the TV out of the window. At this point my mother wished me a happy birthday and asked me to go sleep in the hall. Too drowsy to comply, I lay still. Then the bearded chap on Sanskar TV began giving a lecture on how to sleep well. The hypocrite! I picked up my pillow and bedsheet and went to the hall. Hardly had I closed my eyes when I started recieving phone calls wishing me. Sigh.
I'm reading Kalki's "Ponniyan Selvan". I've realised that all the books I've read are by european or american authors. Other than RK Narayan, I havent read any indian or more important, tamil ( tamizh! apar) authors. I'm not reading the original tamizh version though, its an english translation.

So far, the book has all the elements of a spy and war novel. Quite intriguing to say the least. It does take some times to get familiar with the names though, they are really hard to pronounce. My eyes just glaze over when I read sentences like

"There was a pallipadai of this kind near the village of Thirupurambayam, half a kadham to the northwest of Kudandhai, on the northern banks of the Manni."...quite a mouthful huh? ;-)

Went to collect some photographs from Guhan studio yesterday. I've been getting my photos developed there for as long as I can remember. The studio is run by two grim looking sisters with lots of make up. They never bat an eyelid and I've never seen them smile.Theyre presence is there is purely functional. You pay the money and they will give you the photos and if you are lucky, they will glare at you.

For the first time EVER! they smiled at me. Guess why? Because I refused to take a plastic cover.I've been refusing plastic for a few years now because I'll be crucified at home if I bring plastic in. My mom feels very strongly about the whole non-biodegradable issue.

Anyway, they complimented me and said I was the only MAN theyd seen who had refused a plastic cover.( Hmm, or maybe they were just turned on by the sight of me in shorts...quite a possibility...).

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Its a new day, a new start. Forget about barry, stay positive.
Being a cynic, I always assume the worst is going to happen. A negative quality perhaps, but I'm a cynic because I know the higher my hopes rise, the harder I must fall when the truth revealts itself. Until yesterday my friend Poorni rendered glowing descriptions of how well I'd performed in the interview. She made me feel really good about myself. I was on a high all day...until I realised I still hadnt got an official phone call. So then I worried myself thin during the afternoon and evening. I called Poorni in the evening but she wasnt home yet. She finally called back and said " I'm sorry, you've been put on hold for the moment. Maybe you'll know in a week..." She then apologised for getting my hopes up and said I shouldnt worry. Sweet perhaps but my heart was already broken. The cynic in me taunts saying
" See, you were an ass to think you'd get through. You shouldnt have started dreaming about buying yourself a phone and a vehicle. You shouldnt have dreamed of a nice fat pay cheque! Look at whats happened now...".

I'm depressed because I've fallen once again to the mediocrity of unemployment. It felt good to think of myself as employed and earning a salary. Now that I've been rudely brought back to earth, I just want to cry.
No call from barry as yet. I'm getting scared. I called them up and the lady politely said she'd let me know if I'd gotten through to the next round. I'm slowly losing hope...sigh and I spent the entire morning dreaming of ways to spend my salary...

Monday, June 07, 2004

Blog meet photos at

Check em out.
I've got unofficial news that I've got through the Barry interview. This my friend Poorni who works over there tells me. I havent got an official call though. My friend Shobha however has got an official call. There's a final round of interview with the General Manager of the company left. Keeping my fingers crossed....

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Went for a Madras Bloggers meet yesterday at the Amethyst. About 20 of us turned up, an eclectic mix of PSBBians and IITians ( Also one bi-sexual mallu, one girl who did not like PSBBians or IITians, one man clad in revealing shorts ;-), one man with a cellphone shaped like a video game and one veritable old man who claimed he had come to increace the average age of the crowd.). The first half was kinda akward. People who knew each other laughed and joked among themselves while newbies like me sat with a frozen smile on our faces, not sure what to do. I spent a lot of time just turning my head from side to side trying to get a feel of the crowd. Eventually the entire crowd did warm up and the conversations and jokes that followed were side-splittingly hilarious.

Among other funny incidents, a fashionably clad, fairly pretentious young girl of about 15 called out loudly to her friends " Yo guys! Lets meet up at Bikes and Barrels!". She turned around and saw 20 of us staring right back at her. Also one chap among us who wasnt feeling too well saying " I dont feel so great, dont want anything cold, I'll have a warm iced tea please.".

On the whole, an enjoyable evening with a fairly intelligent crowd. True the mosquitoes made things a bit difficult (esp for shorts), but I did enjoy myself. Made a few friends and most important of all, selfishly promoted my own blog. So a satisfying evening, to say the least.

And guys, if you are reading this, do check out :

Suggestions, criticism welcome.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Barry interview...I'm not sure how it went. There were two interviews, a technical interview and a HR interview. The technical interview went kinda well. I was asked to explain how sea water could be used to generated electricity, so I drew a tidal plant. Then the interviewer said that if he had a small toy car on a black surface and there was a white line running on it, how would I get the car to run only on the white line? This I could answer too. Then came the surprise question. He gave me a big smile and asked " Why are man-hole lids circular in shape?". I thought hard, tried to relate it to area occupied but I said I didnt know it in the end. Other questions were mostly on my project. The interview went on for about 30 minutes. I was offered coffee but I politely refused( I didnt want them to see the cup rattling in my hand from nervousness). 2 minutes into the interview, the interviewer knocks his own cup of coffee over and coffee runs all over the table, drenches my resume and my appraisal form. A stream of coffee rushes towards me, comes right upto the edge of the table and then mercifully stops. The interviewer apologised so profusely, I felt embarassed.

After this, I went down to the reception and ran into my friend Poorni who works over there. I asked her the man-hole lid question. She thought for a while, laughed and said " Man-hole lids are circular because Man-hole's are circular!!!" DUH!!! I went for a technical interivew, not a Poor-Joke interview! I was annoyed!

What I'm really scared of is the HR interview. The lady interviewing me was very friendly and made me feel nice and comfortable. I think she did this to loosen my tongue. She asked me what my hobbies were and I told her about my writing, showed her a Colleger issue. She read the sports article and laughed. The interview went on for close to 35 minutes and mostly only my writing was discussed. When it was over and I rose to leave, she asked " Why not a career in journalism, why software?". So I said I enjoyed writing as a hobby and I would never enjoy it if I had to do it full time. She seemed to accept my explanation and I left. What I'm really scared of is that I might have given the impression that I was not suited for the position. I shouldnt have blabbed about how much I enjoyed writing, should have said I loved to program(white lie, but hey I need a job). She said she'd let me know by monday. Keeping my fingers crossed...

Friday, June 04, 2004

Barry interview is tommorow and its occupied all my thoughts today. I thought about it even in the gym. One chap kept asking for help and I was absent mindedly assisting him, my mind being completely occupied with the forthcoming interview. After a while, he came up to me and said " Hi, I'm Ashok and I work for CTS" to which I replied " Hi, I'm Dinesh, I have an interview tommorow." Duh!!! What kind of answer was that?? I felt like kicking myself. The chap gave me a strange look and went away. He didnt ask for help after that.

I have to go through C++ concepts, brush up my HTML(why ever did I mention it in my resume? :-( ), revise my project and give convincing answers as to why I want to join that company. So need to do some homework now.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

In a way, I guess its my fault. Directly or indirectly, I have been responsible for one of the most action packed, high emotion, high drama days of my sisters life.The thing was you see, my sister had put on a lot of weight. Before her wedding, she'd been pretty skinny but afterwards, she put on a lot of weight. Dutiful brother that I was, I ensured that I made negative remarks regarding her weight whenever I saw her. After which I had the satisfaction of watching my sister squirm, wail,complain to my mom and then run to the mirror to check her physique from all angles.

She joined aerobics classes. The classes went on till everyone else in the class dropped out. Who'd want to jump and dance at 5:30 in the morning anyway? So then my sister took up swimming. A couple of days back, my sister found herself practically alone at the pool. Her only company was a 10 year old boy who insisted that she dive from the springboard a few times to entertain him. My sister dutifully agreed and jumped a few times for him. The bonding completed, she returned home,had a bath and discovered that her "Thali" was missing. For those of you who dont know what a Thali is, its a thread with some ornaments which is tied around the bride's neck by the groom during the marriage. Its the most important part of the marriage ceremony and its the final proof that the woman is married. Its supposed to remain around the neck for her entire lifetime. So naturally when she found she was Thaliless, my sis panicked. She dragged my Brother-in-law to the swimming pool so that she could find it again. Trouble was, she'd forgotten her swimsuit this time. So she ran to her friends room and borrowed her swimsuit. It never occured to my sis that the swim suit was too small for her. So pushed, pulled and squirmed into the suit and dived into the pool. First dive, no sign of Thali. Second dive, no sign of Thali. Third dive, her contact lenses drifted away.

You must understand that without her contact lenses, my sister cant even distinguish between night and day.(Luckily, I did not inherit this from my dad). So my sister struggled out of the pool, got onto the land, went to the changing room and found that the swimsuit had ripped.

She tearfully asked the trainer there too look for the Thali. He dived once and came up, triumphantly holding the Thali in his hand.

So in a way, I guess I'm responsible for the mishap. Trouble is, I find the whole incident uproariously funny :P.

Here's some stuff my cousin Prashant picked up at the Taj Hotel. I find it kinda funny.

Service Facts
Why do customers leave ?
1% -- Die
3% -- move
5% -- buy information from friends.
9% -- Lower price from competition.
14% -- Quality
68% -- Indifference towards customers.

5 Determinants of Service.
Reliability 32%
Responsiveness 22%
Assurance 19%
Empathy 16%
Tangibles 11%

Types of Language and their impact.
Verbal 7%
Vocal 38%
Visual 55%

Private and public Zones
Intimate Zone 0 to 1.5 ft Emotional relation
Personal Zone 1.5 to 4 ft Social oficial relation
Social Zone 4 to 12 ft Stranger postman etc
Public Zone 12 ft+ Large Groups

What irritates the guest the most ?
Not yet
I have been busy
Its company policy
I dont know
You will have to
That’s not my department
We dont do that here
It was’nt me
I did’nt tell u that
Have a pleasant night