phew! (arbit random thoughts… )

feeling so good now…. had a couple of assignments to submit today… the last two of my first year in IIMB… yuddhakaale shastraabhyaasa (start practising your weapons during the time of war). i started on these assignments a couple of days back…

ah! the last two days… of SPSS and writing and googling and Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V and iomanip.h … of dealing with different kinds of people… freeriders… fighters… slavedrivers… a sehwag who slams a century and gets out on the last ball of the 15th over, saying “i’ve finished my part… now i’m out of it”…

and i must dig it out… play out the 50… shield strike from the freeriders… take all the singles while batting with the fighters… and attempt to get the slavedriver run out… whatever the others do, i must stay right until the end… till the target is reached… and now that it’s been reached…

the assignments are behind me… feels so good… to be able to sit down on the armchair with my feet up and reading the times of india… to realize that i don’t have any assignments to do for another three months (i mean academic assignments only)… but the nightouts are still there… exams from next week… i’m yet to start mugging for them…

but who the hell cares… lemme enjoy the moment while it lasts… and watch that replay yet again…

arbit….

why is it that i always end up pissing people off? why is it that people can’t take my intended jokes in a lighter vein?

some people get pissed off because i’m too nice to them… others get pissed off when i’m too rude to them.. . at a great dilemma. and i’m supposed to want to be an i-banker! dunno what to do…

some people say i’m too modest… others say i’m too arrogant… some say i lack confidence in myself… others say i’m overconfident… some keep flattering me and raising me to the sky… others treat me like a piece of shit…

life is a bundle of contradictions…

writer’s block…

I used to hate writing. Maybe it was because my handwriting was bad. Maybe it was because I was bad at English – it used to always end up pulling down my averages by a ong way. Maybe because I somehow got this feeling that writing is for girls. I did enter the odd creative writing competition just because my friends were entering, and write some juvenile rhymes. A couple of those rhymes were rewarded also. However, they didn’t spur me to write more.

Cut to Jan 2003. Saarang. Happened to have a long chat with a distant cousin whom I met after a gap of nearly six years. She is a big time writer (unfortunately doesn’t maintain an online journal). Writes all kind of serious stories and poetry (maybe because her sense of humor is lousy). Has published her stuff in the Newsletter of the Association of Descendants of my grandfather’s grandfather (phew!). She was fully engrossed in cracking the Saarang Creative Writing contest. Me happened to put in my two naya paise which she said she found inspirational. And she popped the question.

“SK, why don’t you write? I think it’s simply because you’re too lazy. I’m sure you can write really well if you can put in the effort.” I decided to give it a shot.

I enrolled myself as a correspondent for “the fourth estate”, the then students’ magazine of IITM. Was asked to cover some student elections. Article turned out to be highly scandalous. Me was branded as the “biggest yellow journalist in IITM”. Volunteered to do the newsletter at the following Saarang. Got the job. Continued writing for ‘the fourth estate’. One of my articles succeeded in splitting the editorial board. Me joined the breakaway faction and wrote for the “total perspective vortex” (at last count both these journals had shut down). And came to IIMB.

The great Kodhus (of the shorts fame)started “Twisted Shout” here. Its first article happened to be on me. Me decided to join the journal. Was made “head of political bureau”. Struggled initially. Kodhus wrote a story in four parts. My first contribution was to write the fifth part. Wasn’t so successful. Was asked to report on some internal literary events. Me started a tirade against the organizers. Even caused the cul-sec to make a drama of resignation. Of course, before putting in his papers, he had made sure they’d be rejected. Thanks to me, Twisted Shout lost all its contracts.

We continued to write. And I opened this journal. Other clubs gave us a few contracts which were duly completed. We got “footage of the year” award. I wrote my first independent article. After this came the “valentine’s day special”, a story in two parts written by Kodhus and myself. No other Twisted Shout publication had generated so much public adulation. I followed it up with two other stories in quick succession. Again ‘bestsellers’. And we continued to get the contracts.

Hit the pinnacle yesterday when I got the first contract by myself (all earlier contracts were due to Kodhus and swaadisht). Was asked to draft a press release. As I finished doing this, there was a special sense of accomplishment. I had come the whole hog. From someone who hated to write and thot he was lousy in English to someone who was the first person in campus to be approached when something had to be written…

of intros and gults…

Had been to a cousin’s wedding today… after a long time I was witnessing the wedding function… met many long-lost relatives, and a few others whom i didn’t recognised came adn talked to me as if they’d known me for ages…

My father’s native village is close to the border with Gultland (AP for the uninformed) and hence many of our relatives are from across the border. Gults’ fondness for foreign shores is well known. There is this story that a gult working in Burkina Faso earning one-tenth as much as one in Hyd gets ten times the dowry. (unconfirmed reports say that a Reddy IITian living in the US is ‘worth’ INR 10 million.)

Given this fascination for vilayat among gults and pseudo-gults and half-gults and one-millionth gults, the way I was introduced around at the wedding was damn interesting… especially by certain uncles who hail from places closer to the gultland border than my dad does…

“Meet Karthik. Son of Shashidhar. He is going to London next month”. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing in life. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done in life. Father’s name is just for some reference or ‘handle’. All that matters to these people is that I’m going abroad. And the typical response to this from the person I was introduced to ranged from “my neighbor’s cousin’s uncle’s son works abroad. he’s doing this…” (goes on for around 5 minutes) to “… .. .. .. ” (i forgot what i wanted to put here, sorry )…

I’m going abroad…. hence I’m great…

chilling out…

My idea of a perfect chill-out is to sit under the starry sky, strong wind in the air, a few good friends around me and a coffee dispenser nearby. And talk. Talk as if time didn’t exist. Talk as if there were no tomorrow. Talk about any arbitrary topic under the sun, under the moon I mean. No phones around. No watches in sight. Talk for hours on end…

Unfortunately, given the tight schedules here at IIMB and that people are always ‘running’ for something, such a thing hasn’t materialized for the past few months. Oh, how I miss pat! I mean Sri Gurunath Patisserie at IITM. The breeding ground for many a conversation. The location for many a philosophical discovery. The venue which bred many a great idea…

Open air… some broken plastic chairs thrown around metal tables fixed to the ground… so open… yet so private… when people see a group around a table, they generally choose to just put a ‘hi’ and go away… coffee (from the nestle dispenser) isn’t too great… but strong enough to stimulate conversation… and to draw people to the spot… except for the humidity, there couldn’t be a better place in the world to chill…

Why can’t I take it wherever I may roam?