Monday, April 27, 2009

Mind Googling achievements!

Where have all the book critics gone? Do we have any famous names in book reviews today? It was not so long ago that the world abounded in book reviews and critics showed the way to new literature. They were a fearless independent and entertaining bunch of people to whom I owe a lot for the mind boggling marks I got for my book review assignments. Copying and pasting is so much easier than writing your own review no? Besides the latter would involve reading the book brrrr

I come from the stables of a college with an English Department that considered Book Reviews to be the be all and end all of English education. Not submitting a book review was considered a sin graver then the Seven Deadly Sins and many an English Professor were convinced that such an act should be made the 8th Deadly sin by the Vatican. Thank god no Professor from my college ever became the President of India or the consequences would be catastrophic!

Minister: Madam President, here is the clemency petition of the terrorist who bombed the parliament.
Prof: hmmm the death sentence does seem harsh!
Minister: But Madam President he attacked the very seat of democracy!
Prof: True! But he did not kill anyone…
Minister: Madam President he defiled the shrine of our constitution!!
Prof: I don’t think…
Minister: Besides Madam President, he was notorious for not submitting his book reviews during English classes!
Prof (screeching): What!!!! Kill! Shoot him! Bomb him! Hang him! Maim him! Wait I will kill the $%#^&@ myself !!!!

Presidential guards rush to restrain the President!

If not submitting a book review was the 8th Deadly Sin then not submitting a Film Review after a Film Appreciation class was the 9th Deadly Sin of the college. While we hoped that we were shown movies like Lady Chatterley’s Lover, what we got was horrible art films that could render one’s brain geriatric in one film sitting.

Hero: But naught the air transfixed thine soul to me.
Heroine: Alas!

The professor who would be sleeping in her front seat would wake up when the snores got louder or someone whispered too loud. Her “ahem” would ring in class like a toy pistol in a war and she would be forced to bang the table to get our attention. As a punishment she would rewind the movie (groan) and we had to watch the horror show again.

Hero: It is but a folly to think that I entertained the very thought of humaneness!
Heroine: Perhaps the black clouds signify something…I can feel an imminent catastrophe in my bosom!
Class: *giggle*
Prof: What is so funny about a catastrophe of the bosom?
Class: ROTFL!!!

After the class settled the Professor would give us an inscrutable look and we cringed at the thought of the next Film Appreciation Class. This lady was formidable. Her collection of absolutely unfathomable movies could zap the brains of Einstein and render him stupid in seconds. One day she bought a movie on the angst of an Art Filmmaker (AF)!

AF (screaming): Ambiguity!!!! Ambiguity!!!! It will be my death! AARRGHH! AARRGHH!
Friend: Your obsession with the artificial construction of reality will be your doom!
AF (screaming): NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friend: Your inner psychological state should be portrayed with more subjective realism and it should be within the bounds of the narrative.
AFM: AARRGHH!!!!!!!!!! *Smashes furniture, vomits and then passes out*
Class: Duh!
Prof: Please submit a review by tomorrow morning.
Class: *gulp*

We were often subject to movies on social issues to “develop” our social consciousness and sensitiveness”

French Revolutionary: This is a prescient moment… it will forever influence the course modern societies in transition would follow!
Lady: The era of revolutions is nigh! This is a decisive event of our lives!
Girl 1: Why isn’t he kissing her?
Girl 2: I think he is a revolutionary.
Girl 3: LOL!!
Girl 4: he he that was funny!
Girl 2: What’s so funny!
Rest of the class: ROFL!!
Prof: For god’s sake what’s so funny about the French Revolution!!!!!

Thank god Film Appreciation Classes were few and we managed to put together a film project after carefully Goolging err I mean after carefully considering the message of the film, the director’s purpose or intention and the theme of the film and comparing other films from the same director/genre. :|

Now if you are wondering why I am looking for book critics …well…we have a book review contest in our Newsletter you see and old habits die hard. :(

Monday, April 20, 2009

Voter ID Complex

The last to last State elections was the first time I had voted. I had my brand new Voters ID card that said that I, Miss Anfadi Phitik was a legitimate voter. I was so proud! My Dad had got his Voter ID card too after sitting in front of the camera at the Election Office and saying his name aloud for 5678 times for four consecutive years. Finally they got the camera working and now he too has a card that says that Mr Phitik is a registered Indian voter.

So I, along with my mom Mrs Lolma Photik ( Leelamma Philip) and my neighbors Mrs Sraksmi ( Mrs. Srilakshmi) and Mrs. Suchla Ree ( Sujatha Rao) went to vote at this government school near my house. The queue outside the polling booth was short. However the queue outside the office that had the Voters List was serpentine. Mr. Harass Joker ( Harish Jadhav) a friend of my dad was pretty agitated. He claimed that his name and that of his wife’s Mrs Soti Jujhave ( Sita Jadhav) were not in the electoral Rolls. His children Atal ( Anil) and Hosita (Hrishita) were also excluded from the list.

I spotted the uncle from the lane behind our house coming towards us. He was fuming. He claimed that the Election Office was trying to hitch a certain Hathi Kumti around his neck. He was already married to Mrs. Hita Kumari. He was so upset that he went home without voting. Mrs. Hathi Kumti err I mean Mrs. Hita Kumari did vote like a good citizen when the officer on duty told her that she need not worry about the name Hathi Kumti and vote under her Serial Number. So did the rest of us.

Elsewhere another drama was happening. Mrs. Lilly Kuriakose was seen chasing her husband around the school demanding to know who Lly Kurkure was. According to the Voter List he was married to a Mrs. Lly Kurkure. The couple was advised to go for counseling by a sympathetic Polling Officer. He even gave them the name of a Marriage Counselor. Apparently Mr Jain Daze (John D’Souza) is a very successful marriage counselor. Last heard Mr. and Mrs. Kuriakose are yet to find Mr. Jain Daze and Mrs. Lily has filed for divorce as this year the voters list says that Mr. Kuriakose is married to a Mrs. Polly Lurkose.

My maid Lakshmi is pragmatic. She says that in the last elections she voted as 'Lakmi', this year she will vote as 'Lookme' and hopefully by the next elections her name would have transformed to a decent 'Leksmi'. She is optimistic. I am not.

p.s. Please vote even if the sight of your name in the voters list makes you flinch.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Six feet under and pushing up Excels,Words and Power Points!

Battling with work, work and more work folks. So posts are going to be delayed. If you don’t like it you can offer to keep my Boss tied up for a couple of weeks. He is a nice guy actually. A little absent minded but his minions like him a lot. But he has his quirks. He thinks that everyone should be like him. I mean he likes to work. We don’t. And he thinks people should be like him. It is not professional to be thrusting your colleagues with your likes and dislikes don’t you think so? We don’t tell him to take it easy or not work hard do we? That’s professionalism for you. My Boss has the most professional team in the whole wide world. If there was an award for professionalism, we would win hands down.

I think the man needs therapy. I wish there was a rehab where we could send Bosses to get help.

Therapist: And Mr. Boss why are you so obsessed with work!
Boss: Because I am the Boss duh!
Therapist: Let’s try this again. Why do you think everyone should be like you?
Boss: Because I am the Boss and I say so duh!
Therapist: Of course you do! But don’t you think that your subordinates have their likes and dislikes too?
Boss: So what!
Therapist: You are not helping dear.
Boss: You are fired!!

Of course the therapy center will have burly guards who will not let him leave without completing the therapy.

Therapist: And how are you feeling today Mr. Boss!
Boss: I feel like wringing your neck.
Therapist (soothingly): Of course you do. But natural to feel that way. You have been in therapy only two days. By next week you will learn to curb your hostility!

Perhaps they will drug him a bit as part of his therapy...

Therapist: Open your mouth and eat up this pill.
Boss: What is it?
Therapist: Chill pill!
Boss: Why don’t you take it!
Therapist (evenly): I just took one…before I came in here.
Boss: In that case lady, I will take two.
Therapist: You are deliberately being ambiguous aren’t you?
Boss: I haven’t even started yet! Heh heh!

Maybe they will teach him to take things easy...

Therapist: Today we will learn to take it easy and enjoy life.
Boss: And pigs will fly! *snigger*
Therapist: According to the report submitted by your team, they are pretty sure of the same too.
Boss: That pigs will fly?
Therapist: That pigs will fly but you will never learn to take it easy.
Boss: Bummer!

Maybe he will drive try reverse Psychology on the Therapist...

Boss: Do you know that you will have considerable success with me if you are a little bit more professional?
Therapist: How so?
Boss: To begin with, how about we start therapy at 5:30 am!
Therapist: hmmm
Boss: We can have a working Breakfast at 8:30 am and then a working Lunch around 12:30 and then continue our session by 12:45 till 8:30 pm. That way we pack in a good twelve hours of session in a day!
Therapist: Nice try!
Boss (gleefully): But I almost had you there…didn’t I?
Therapist: I have to admit you did!
Boss: I AM GOOD!!!

Perhaps he will get cured...

Therapist: Today we will learn that there is more to life than work.
Boss: You are right! I have been thinking these last few days that I have been making a big deal of this thing called work.
Therapist (pleased): Now that’s a positive sign if I say so myself.
Boss: Work should be secondary in life.
Therapist: Absolutely!
Boss: Never realized how much I have missed out on life due to my obsession with work.
Therapist (beaming): I am so glad! Why Mr Boss, I think you are ready to be discharged!
Boss: muahahAHAHAHA! Err I mean thank you. I feel like a new man. As soon as I am out of here I will wring that Silverine's neck…I mean I am re-prioritizing my life. Thank you so much for all you have done.

Goodbye cruel world! Have a nice week!

Monday, April 06, 2009

The best laid plans of adolescent women

This post by Thomas brought back a lot of good memories from not so long ago. Diffused in the warm glow of those memories is an ugly incident that left a gang of girls very red faced and contrite for a very very long time. The incident was also our first lesson in ‘man behavior’!

In our pre university year we had only a few students from each stream taking Sanskrit as a language. Most of us had opted for Hindi or Kannada. This did not necessitate a full time Sanskrit teacher and the college authorities decided to bring in a teacher on contract as a temporary arrangement. Since there were no Sanskrit professors or vidwaans in the college, Sister Principal took it on her to interview and appoint someone she thought was fit for the job. The teacher turned out to be a young Brahmin boy named B, no more then 21 years old I think, who had recently passed out as a Sanskrit graduate. He was rather fair and boyish looking and wore traditional clothes that poojary’s usually wear i.e dhoti and a kurta. He had his head shaved except for a bit of hair at the back of the head that was tied up into a pony tail. The Nuns held him in high regard as he looked like a religious person like them. He would look puzzled when the Nuns greeted him with reverence and respect. He was clearly not used to such treatment.

He was also not used to girls and blushed if someone looked his way for more than a nano second. Apparently he taught the class with his eyes averted. It was evident by his timid demeanor that he was intimidated by the female of the species. And that emboldened us too to do what we did…something we had never attempted before on a faculty member.

After observing him for sometime and reassuring ourselves that he was a docile guy we decided to pull his leg. Now we were clever girls…or so we thought. So we got a friend studying in Bishop Cottons to write a love note for B in Kannada. The note purportedly written by one of his students “Manjula”, declared undying love for him and asked him to meet her at the Majestic Bus Stand at a particular platform. We had ensured that this platform did not serve the busy city routes but far flung areas like Yelahanka.

It was an exam day and classes got over by 11 am. By 11:15 am all six of us gathered at the platform. Two of us i.e me and the “Manjula” were to wait for B while the other four stood at the diagonally opposite platform pretending to be waiting for a bus. At the dot of the time specified, B walked into the platform. He looked around nervously and then glanced at us timidly. We ignored him. He placed himself next to a large round pillar looking very unsure and ill at ease. Suddenly “Manjula” turned and gave him an once-over. An inscrutable smile played on her face. B jumped like a startled chicken and disappeared behind the pillar. After some time he peeped out surreptitiously but “Manjula” was waiting for him. She gave him a flirty smile. He retracted his head in a hurry and was gone for some time. We were cock-a-hoop. This was going to be damn easy we thought. Our plan to torment him and walk away was going just fine.

After what seemed an eternity he peeped again, but this time he had a flirty smile on his face too. We were completely taken aback. We were not expecting this. He was peeping again, this time the smile was broader and more bolder. We gulped and looked away quickly. We did not want to encourage him any further. But the game was out of our hands. Now it was his turn to play the cat and mouse game with us. He started peeping from the pillar more often and when we looked in his direction he would be highly tickled at the attention and disappear again behind the pillar like a Hindi film hero. Each time he reappeared his smile grew more and more lascivious. It was our turn to sweat.

By now B was totally caught up in the game and decided to do get adventurous. He began darting from pillar to pillar when we were not looking and then suddenly peeping out from unexpected places taking us by surprise. We were in a tizzy. We did not know which pillar he was behind and both of us were looking frantically around trying to spot him so that we could avert our face when he peeped. The four girls who were standing by were watching us shell shocked. They also did not know what to do. We were barely 18 then and man crisis control was not our forte.

The look on B’s face was obvious. He was excited and not quite in control of himself. He was clearly not used to girly attention and even the minuscule attention he got from us had driven him crazy. We were very scared now. We were also far away from the busy platforms so there was no hope of spotting a senior to bail us out.

While “Manjula” and I were hyperventilating, B kept darting around pillars and peeping aggressively. He was like a man possessed and just when we were about to burst into tears, salvation in the form an elderly lady arrived from nowhere. Elderly lady, lets call her Lakshmi had come to the adjacent platform just a few minutes ago and saw a crazy mad man stalking two “innocent” college girls. Lakshmi was used to this. She had girls of her own. And she decided that she wasn’t taking this lying down. She strode into our platform purposefully and stood in front of the pillar behind which our hero was hiding. Then she did the unthinkable. She reached for her handbag and pulled out a Femina. “Oh great” we thought. “She is going to read a magazine and that’s supposed to scare him out of his wits”. However instead reading the magazine she rolled it into a tight roll and just when B peeped out from behind the pillar thwacked him really hard on his ears. B looked like someone had thrown a bucket of very cold water on his face.

Shell shocked he stumbled backwards and walked quickly away from the scene. Aunty rained more blows on his retreating back and finally threw the magazine at him for good measure. We stood there stupidly till Aunty returned from the war path and guided us out of the bus station. She tut tutted about perverts and how they preyed on “innocent” girls. “Manjula” and me looked at each other. We did not know whether to feel sorry for ourselves or ashamed. We were the victims and the perpetrators.

We expressed our gratitude to the lady and rushed back to college, relieved that we had not got into trouble. The other girls were waiting for us at the Canteen their faces white. We ordered some juice mechanically and sipped at it contemplatively avoiding each others eyes. There was absolute silence at the table. The canteen staff looked at us quizzically. We were by far the noisiest group in the college. Perhaps we had been expelled they thought hopefully. A pall of guilt, shame and absolute humiliation hung over the table like a cloud. We did not know what to say. We could not crib about the guy as we were the perpetrators of the crime. We could not laugh off the incident as it did not seem funny at all. It was a silent bunch of girls who departed to their respective homes that day.

Next day when we told the class about the incident it created an uproar and catapulted us into the Hall of Fame for Prize Fools. The college was divided in its opinion though. A section of the student body thought that we should be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Stupidest Pranks. Though the college was divided in its opinion about the incident everybody agreed that it was bloody hilarious. People had a good laugh at our expense and still do. However for some inexplicable reason “we” are still unable to laugh at the incident. :p

p.s. B left the college soon after when the college found a more experienced Sanskrit teacher. :)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Double whammy!

28th March, 8:30 p.m to 9:30 p.m was WWF Earth Hour. Hope you all switched off the lights at 8:30 p.m like the millions of people around the world.

I was not able to... :(

We have power cut from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 pm you see. *sob*

Damn you K.E.B!!! X(

Have a nice weekend folks.