Category Archives: Bad day Ramble

Banker’s Banter-III

*Curious case of the IT Commissioner(Retd MIND ITTT) and a pair of shoes

“Koche, give me an interest certificate for my HTL”, a man in his 60s appeared out of nowhere and commanded while I was peering into the computer screen and waited for a certain page to load.

I looked up amused, pretended to be polite, painted the smile on my face and took his application.  As the number 6XXXXXXXXX.. stared at me on the face, I let out a gasp, did a momentary analysis of the specimen and blurted out,” Sir, are you sure this is the account number?”

Old man lost his patience now. “What are you saying? That I don’t know the account number of my own housing loan. Kids these days, know nothing. I’m  Mr.XYZ, retired Income Tax Commissioner, Mind IT!. Blah blah….

The blood boiled while I was shivering in the blast freeze air conditioning enabled branch. ” Sir, but this cannot be ours” , I took step two of trying to convince an arrogant retired sarkaari naukar.

“I have the passbook with me”, Commissioner roared and pulled out a book from his bundle of pass books.

Triumph! The moment I had been waiting for. I grabbed the Passbook like a prized trophy and pointed to the Bright Blue letters. ‘STATE BANK OF TRAVANCORE’ it says.. I said…

Commissioner uncle was transported back to reality. He apologized and gave the correct one. I thought my penance for the day was done, when he barged in again furious. The footwear he’d left outside was stolen. I fail to understand the system of leaving the footwear outside the bank. A peculiar practice I’ve observed only in this part.

A few more outbursts on the footwear that cost 1500 bucks. By now I knew the brand, make, color and where the leather was imported from. Commissioner left totally disgruntled and I had to attend a call.

The next thing I see on my table is a bill for a pair of shoes and an account number  with a note ‘please refund’… FML

* Why I decided walking is healthy

People who’ve lived with me know how lazy I am in matters like fitness, health etc. One fine evening here, changed my life forever. I don’t hire an auto until its a do or die or get molested/killed by a drunkard in Changanacherry situation. The story goes like this…

It was getting dark, snakes of Changanacherry were out ( Mallu joke), the aroma of chicken fry from thattukadas were wafting in the air and I had to get back so that I won’t miss an opportunity to crib about the hostel grub. I hired an auto and  the driver left me at the hostel gate.

I was pulling out the notes from my purse when the driver says, ” You need braces?”

“I need what?”, I was taken aback.

” You need braces. I  gather you’re of the marriageable age and you need to look after your appearance. I’m a small broker. I can find guys.. I ‘ve a list of bankers with me..blah blah blah…”

“No, thank you”, I  tried to wriggle out of another ‘situation’ 😛

* Appearances can be deceptive

One of the first lessons imparted to us was on the ‘importance of eye contact’ and paying attention to a customer’s needs.

A man in his late 40s, clad in a ‘kasavu mundu’ and branded shirt stood outside my cubicle and seemed to be a bit lost. He looked like the typical NRI on vacation, who is confused at the state of affairs in a desi bank. I have a whole series to write about such characters.  But, I digress here.

I looked at him and asked, ” Yes sir?”

” Oru chaaya kudikkan paisa thaa koche” ( Give me money to drink tea, Rather a pretty lame excuse to polish off another bottle). So much for customer service 😐


Of rolls, irani chai, zucchini and avoli

What happens when 1/4th of a class, gets so frustrated with 3/4th of a Masters degree and decide to go in search of gastronomical bliss  during a 3 hour gap between classes? We all suffer from ‘stress-induced- eating-disorder’ ( nah, that’s just another excuse to eat out). Non-stop, back to back sessions on fiscal reforms, customs union and the hip and happening econometrics class we were left brain dead, until the idea of eating out rejuvenated our dampened spirits.

Following the gang, we found ourselves  in the counter of a nearby joint famous for its kebabs and rolls. After getting our coupons, we proceeded to the delivery counter and my appetite vanished into thin air. They had an open kitchen of sorts and the sight was nauseating. Guilt conscience and not wanting to waste the money, I stuffed the roll into my mouth and experienced what exactly the idiom ‘leave a bad taste in the mouth’ implies in real life.

Disappointed, we proceeded to another place to compensate for this loss and I found myself entering a market place. Soon, I started getting lessons on different kinds of vegetables. I was reminded of kindergarten days, when we learnt our names of vegetables ( and developed a repulsion to them too). The difference was, in kindergarten, they were much easy- tomato, potato, cucumber… the teaching was done purely for educative purposes. Here, the names were kinda jaw breakers… Zucchini, broccoli, cilantro.. the teaching was done purely for show off purposes ;). I nodded, maintained a neutral expression and tagged along coz  there are worse experiences of embarrassment. Like, when 2 of them started obsessing over a mannequin’s body in a store.

Anyhoo, my bored expression turned into a squeal of excitement when I found a fish stall. And what more, against each english name, the malayalam name of the fish was written too :). Chempoli, aavoli, kozhuva, mathi, chala, ayala, sheelavu, koora…ayikoora… the gang dragged me off the market place when I started educating them on Malayalam names of fish.Trust, me I had my moment of sweet revenge. Malayali fish names are much more fancy than zucchini whatever 😛

The proud mallu moments were not to end there… true to some wise old man’s saying, in that corner of the locality we located a Malayali tea-stall. The only eatery we could find to ‘compensate’. I was reading through a scrap of Manorama used to serve samosas, while the friends ordered ‘irani chai’. For a small town girl like me, where world started and ended in the stretch between Tvm and B’lore, this was a subject of fascination.  A few minutes later, lemon tea with a pudina leaf was served. In the desperation to drink something hot in this killing weather ( my classes begin at an ungodly hour of 8 a.m), I had gulped down half of the tea shutting out my sensory perceptions except to that of temperature.. when the knowledgeable ones asked…”isn’t this supposed to be made of milk” . Coming to their rescue and assuming an air of self-importance, I translated it to the chai kadayile chettan. Apparently we had to make a special order if we wanted the chai to be made of milk. I translated it back and the disgusted faces glared at me.

By now, all of us realized that any further attempt to make up for the first mistake (that is the rolls), would only result in further disaster and thus, we were on our way back to college.

Well, my moments of distress didn’t end there. On the way back, I saw the HOD in an auto, going in the opposite direction. I gave a gleeful smile when she understood my thoughts and gestured from the auto,” I will be back, don’t go away”. I had 2 hours of HRM to endure.

Some days are just  meant to be this way. * sigh *

PS: Don’t ask me why I wrote this, non-sense rambling can be therapeutic at times

PPS: The current vamp in my real life saga thinks anything is a ‘standard publication’ if you can’t comprehend it in one go. My week and upcoming weekend is ruined :(.


Rant

I need to do this or else I’ll end up hurling abuses at people in my growth and development paper tomorrow. Questions on critically examine ‘x’ s theory ( note: x=43 in this case..43 theories.. KILL ME) will be answered as Ricardo was out of his mind or Tobin himself had no clue what he was talking about. Anyways, there are only three kinds of people in this planet earth who bring out the worst in me.

1) Auto drivers

2) College and a few people associated with it

3)  Right now every person who formulated a growth theory to make my life miserable. Rather the University people who included all this in our syllabus which is pointless.

All I can think of critically examining is ‘its useless, meaningless, pointless, worthless’. With due respect to all the economists, I have to confess, seriously I don’t understand why their research got so much recognition ( in our syllabus) when it holds no value in the current world. As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog, I’m sure these growth economists were venting their personal egos rather than doing original research. That reminds me that I don’t understand their fascination with the word ‘vulgar’. While criticizing each other, every other person’s theory happens to be a ‘vulgar’ theory according to them. Speaking of the interesting usage of words by Economists this one takes the cake. Ms.Joan Robinson and her ‘ Bastard golden age’. I’m in love with this lady. Of the very few lady economists I know, she is one with lot of guts. Her writings and open criticisms makes me go :O

Now, I wouldn’t have hated these growth theorists if not for my Lect. This person stays 10 miles away from anything that has got mathematical equations in it and thus, a major portion of our syllabus was left for self-study coz we aren’t supposed to be spoon-fed at PG level. What a dumb excuse. For people like me who survive only on class lectures and hate to read anything that has to do with the course subject, this is torture.

The other day I just realized how ‘hypocritical’ people in my college are. My college happened to be my centre for this particular exam I was writing and I was shocked to see the happenings there. Since, I remain invisible in that place especially with my obsessive bunking disorder, these people didn’t recognize me (luckily). The dedication and sincerity with which they were ushering people, showing directions… the wholehearted service left me in tears. One person was kind enough to show me the very classroom where I shuttle up and down everyday I college. Sigh

The tears turned into exasperation  when I had to travel for 2 hours and wait for the’ HALL TICKET’, right on the day before the exam ( today). And, they treat us like some third rate citizens.  Not that I’d have spent those hours in ‘productive activities’ but I could’ve spent that time to finish a few more pages of ‘Godfather’. It keeps me sane.

The worst part of it all was the decision to hire an auto to get back. The bloody jerk had a dysfunctional meter and had the nerve to ask me for extra bucks. I just paid the exact amount and scooted from the place after screaming at him. He almost knocked down a girl in a scooty and fled from the place. Contrary to my ‘why chumma get into trouble attitude’ today my temper was so high that I shouted at him for that too. I’m glad I did that. My troubles with auto drivers here never seem to end.

Anyhow, some days are just meant to be like this and I post stuff that makes people think I’m a misanthrope. Can’t complain, can I?

So where did I begin. Ya.. growth and development. Time to cram useless stuff and answer questions like ‘what was Smt.Joan Robinson’s contribution to theory of capital accumulation’. Smt.Joan Robinson? Seriously? reinforces my belief that our university murders Economics and Economists.


A Memento hunt and all that jazz

College reopened a month ago, and to break free from the monotony of seeing the same faces every single day, we had to wait for at least a week for the juniors to arrive. Tired of being the uncles and aunties in college (being the senior most), the freshers promised to bring with them an aura of freshness and youthfulness. That the kids needed to grow up and carried tons of attitude was something we didn’t expect.

Day 1 for the freshers was surely an interesting experience for the old monks in college like me. I shall not delve into details of how two people who would never see each other eye-to-eye were seen bumping their chests, shaking hands, hugging and patting their backs… public display of universal brotherhood I say! That, this brotherhood was displayed every time they passed in front of the ‘ex-Carmelite’ sisterhood cracked me up.

The greatest opportunity for a senior-junior bonding is to organize a freshers party (now that any form of interaction is labeled ragging). However, the sad economists that we are, we finally decided to hold one after all the other forms of impressing juniors failed and few seniors pressurized us when the juniors literally begged for it. It was a small affair, given the shortage of funds and the deadly R word hitting us real hard. We struck a deal for the food and beverages after a mallu-mallu bonding with the owner of a bakery and pestering him until he said yes to everything we said.

Next came up the issue of mementos for the juniors. 22 of them and only 15 of us to fund the entire party!!! Our deep-dark motives of delaying the freshers’ party also included high hopes that at least a few of them will quit and join better avenues. (The results for JNU, GIPE, MSE, DSE etc were yet to come). Therefore, we had to give them a little something, so that they would remember their beloved seniors. It was unanimously decided that we would give them small mugs, with their names and a welcome message on them. Yours truly, who is suffering from obsessive bunking disorder was ignorant to finer aspects like this, when the party was still in its planning stage.

It was on the day before the party that we decided to go memento hunting. The cheapest ceramic mugs were available somewhere near Hosur road where there were ceramic sellers on the roadside. After haggling with at least a dozen auto-wallahs we reached the place. One look at the place and everyone started “Who suggested this place?”. Since, yours truly rarely goes to that part of the city and never once opened her mouth regarding the availability of mugs there, the blame game never bounced off whenever people threw the ‘you are responsible for this’ look.

Now, it was time for me to spring into action. Four years ago, I had been to this ceramic/crockery shop in Ibrahim Street where mugs were available cheap. That is when someone remembered a roadside ceramic seller near Commercial Street. Thus, we headed to Commercial Street with hopes of finding something. As bad luck would have it, the ceramic sellers on roadside do not open on Fridays apparently. Dang… Now, we had to walk all the way to Ibrahim Street via main Commercial Street. Bad idea on a Friday. Especially, if you are really short of personal cash in hand and loads of money contributed by the entire class for the mementos. “Do not lead us to temptation, deliver us from evil” I guess, we repeated this numerous times when we saw the “50% off and end of season sale” boards all over the place.

On the way we were contemplating on alternative gifts if not the mugs. Preliminary enquiries showed that the given the budget constraint, the quantity of mugs available wouldn’t meet the demand. There was everything but ceramic/crockery shops. Tired by now, we began shooting our alternate choices depending on which shop we came across each time. A clock for their class, I suggested. But we’ve never had to throw out an over-enthusiastic lecturer coz he/she exceeded the given one hour and took away our ten minutes of freedom after each lecture. (The one who did, does not come anymore). So that idea would be a waste. Next we saw stress-balls. This was something essential for each one of them. Why? Imagine a classroom where you are yawning over the futility of the nth model suggested by some Economist and dissed by another 20 of them. The lecturer is trying to establish a relationship by drawing a graph. The variable on the y-axis does not correlate to what the lecturer is saying. You ask a doubt, what does that variable represent? The lecturer erases it saying, “I simply wrote it.” So we have a production function graph, with nothing on the Y-axis and the person who gave that theory would have turned in his grave. Mr. Kapil Sibal, are you hearing me? 100-day reform you say? The damage is already done. It would take ages to pull the system out of it. Sometimes, I wish our education ministers hadn’t taken their jobs so seriously by introducing n number of reforms and messing up the entire system. Ok I’m digressing… A dartboard would be a perfect substitute for a stress-ball.

Anyways, we reached the ceramic shop I had suggested and in four years, the prices have skyrocketed. What I saw then worth 10 bucks, now cost 25 bucks. We literally had to ask, “Bhaiya what is the cheapest stuff you can give us here, worth maximum 10 bucks.” The shopkeeper’s face showed a mixture of emotions. It started with a shock, then that of sympathy and finally ‘Just get out of here, will you’ look. We scooted from the place and entered the ceramic shop just opposite to this one. Now, these people seriously need a lesson on ‘arrangement of products’. My friends were close to disowning me when I banged against a couple of mugs and they fell down. Thank my lucky stars, that the mugs turned out to be made of plastic. Here, all white mugs, which were available close to our budget range were either damaged or out of stock. Yes, we believe them! Half an hour of fishing, digging, searching and scanning through the mugs yielded no productive results except the discovery that the variety they call ‘bone-china’ has several duplicates and consumers are royally cheated.

By now, we were seriously pissed off and started cursing the moment, we decided to volunteer for mementos. My other two companions had left their bags in college. We were hopeful of finishing the errand during the lunch break and now the time was almost 3 p.m. Starved, we headed back to college in an auto. This auto-ride was a lifetime experience. The auto didn’t have a sidebar and once again I got lucky, seated in the middle. Vroom, he set off, gripping the handle, flexing his body at all turns and the auto in the process. My friend said , “ Bhaiya, ahistha chalayie, aap James Bond ke thara mat jayie” He gave a wide grin, showing all of his yellow teeth and started his non-stop chatter. When it came to negotiating the umpteen crosses and mains on the way, he would swivel the vehicle in a James Bond mode and the two ladies on my left and right , held onto their lives. That he was a very considerate driver was evident when one of them pointed left and he said,” Madamji, haath aisa mat daaliye, koi gaadi takraeyga.” Half the time, his head would be turned towards us giving us gyan like this. “Bhaiyaaa” I screamed when he lost sense of all direction and entered the wrong side of the road almost knocking down a girl on a two-wheeler. I’ve never heard a girl swear like this all my life. We once again requested him to get-rid of the James Bond ka bhoot and drop us back to college safely. Trust, me that roller coaster of a ride in an auto cannot be described in words. I recited all the prayers I knew for our safety. Finally, we reached college and the two self-important virus afflicted people were leaving. “oye, take this auto,” I told them. The next day the two of them refused to acknowledge that they knew me or that I was their classmate.

The next stop for memento hunt was the Brigade-M.G stretch. The idea- buy those posters they sell on the roadside. Even that turned out to be an expensive affair for us impoverished economists. At some point of time, I blurted out, “What if we buy curtains for their class.” My partners in misery, now literally asked me to SHUT UP and stop giving suggestions. Just that they didn’t scream at me. On the way some godsend person told us Shivaji Nagar would be the ideal place for our memento hunt.

So Shivaji nagar it was. After walking round in circles for sometime we discovered, what could be called the crockery haven of Bangalore. There were only crockery and ceramic shops to be seen in that area. But, again we had to be the shameless customer and beg for the cheapest item in each shop. Getting plain white mugs was out of question now. Weary and tired we were ready to settle down on any mug. We discovered that the price margin decreased in each successive shop and went on searching where the prices would match our budget. Leading the way, yours truly walked into the shop where there only white mugs and plates on display. Our hopes rekindled, yours truly was super-excited on this discovery. I literally went Yippee… realization struck few seconds later, embarrassment struck a few more moments later. It was a caterer’s shop and he had hung his supply of cups and plates for drying. That was the memento moment of the day!

Exhausted by now, we entered what seemed to be our last hope. We saw a decent collection of mugs and after bargaining, the shopkeeper relented to bring down the price to Rs.15 per piece. Just when I thanked heavens for that, the cunning shopkeeper backtracked saying he doesn’t have enough stock. The ones for which he had enough stock were expensive ones. We begged him to search for more and we ourselves unearthed a few more pieces from the deep dark corners of his shop yet we were short of six more mugs. By now the shopkeeper was frustrated with us. He had to leave in a few minutes and handed over the charge to another person. God bless this ‘other person’. He dug out an entire set and finally it was mission accomplished. Mementos in hand, starved and exhausted we dropped dead by the time we reached our homes. By now, we decided on our project topic too. A study on ceramic/crockery sellers in Bangalore and the types of ‘cunning shop-keepers’. I’d be better off writing a thesis on ‘How NOT to be an over-enthu senior and volunteer to go memento hunting’.

PS: *Only 50% freshers turned up for the abovementioned party.

* I strongly believe I should continue with Gandhi’s ideals of non-cooperation and civil disobedience.


Demo-crazy

The day before Kerala went to polls, Amma and I were at KIMS, Tvm. While the mother’s backbone defied symmetry and created backaches, the daughter developed a fever to spoil her vacation in Kerala. Thus, the two of us sat in the corridor waiting for our turn to be called in for consultation.
Waiting for a doctor’s consultation is definitely a torture. People groaning in pain, some rambling on their mystery illness and the pain they go through, fellow sufferers trying to establish similarities and differences in their symptoms, few people wearing a dejected look while others waited in anticipation for their near and dear ones to come out of the consultation room… the entire situation was quite depressing. The only saving grace was a bunch of toddlers, competing for their share of attention. One of them was giving her dad the much needed physical exercise by running through the length of the corridor while another one was screaming his lungs out, demanding frooti.
Somewhere in between a little more older one was sharing his worldly wisdom on painless needles.”Amma ippo injection edukkumbo vedanikkoola” ( Amma it doesn’t hurt when they give an injection now).

I was seated on the chair placed in front of the VIP lounge, which was exactly opposite to the doctor’s consultation room. Suddenly, I see this young pretty woman carrying a baby entering the VIP lounge along with an elderly lady. A few minutes later, a man walked into the lounge. From his outfit, he seemed to be the typical politician, clad in white Khadi shirt and mundu. As I saw him enter, I said to mom ,” Ho Khadar ittal VIP ayi” ( You become a VIP if you wear Khadi). I glanced sideways and to my utter horror the door hadn’t closed properly and I was audible enough for the politician to hear. He came out a few minutes later and cast me a dirty look. I put on the ‘ It must be some ghost who said that’ look and sat there trying to look disinterested in whatever was happening around me. The kutti(young) politician looked irritated as no one from the PR turned up for his service. He stood there, looking everywhere trying to get hold of someone from the management. The nauseating, imported perfume added to my headache!
So this kutti politician was engrossed in DEMO for about 5 minutes, desperately trying to get a look of recognition from people walking past. Soon he went inside the lounge and a few minutes later, the nurse assisting the doc came out. She called an old lady inside and pointed to an old nun,” Sister you go in next”.
Twenty minutes later the old woman and the kutti politician came out of their respective rooms simultaneously. The nurse was helping the old nun to get up and was leading her to the consultation room while, the kutti politician scurried across the corridor to the doctor’s room. In the process, he managed to shove the nurse who almost lost her balance and the nun would’ve broken a bone or two if not for the chair she caught hold of. The kutti politician oblivious to the consequences of his deeds ( like the rest of them in his clan) firmly held the doorknob, barring anyone else from entering the doc’s room and ordered to the nurse who had steadied herself by then,” My family is inside the lounge. Get them here”. The poor nurse wore a disgusted look and went inside the lounge. She knocked for sometime and it took hours for the VIP family to emerge. Gritting her teeth the nurse led the family into the room. After what seemed ages, the family came out of the doc’s room. The nurse was helping the nun again when the kutti politician commanded again,” Hey, you! go to the lab and get these formalities done and call me when our turn comes”. The nurse trying to control her temper said, “Sir, can you please wait till I take her inside?” . Our kutti politician looked like someone had slapped him on the face by asking him to wait. Maybe the only time he ever waited was for a party ticket. After pushing his family into the lounge he went and shouted at the people in PR. For the sake of not making a scene , they relented and sent someone to answer to his every beck and call. A couple of patients went inside and soon, the kutti politician barged into the doc’s room with another relative of his. This was disrupting the entire process and people waiting were getting restless now. Some smartasses followed suit and started forcing themselves into the doc’s room regardless if it was their turn or not. What ensued was utter chaos.
People who had been waiting for hours together were now intimidated by this VIP’s ruthless action and the unscrupulous elements who followed him. They were engaged in deep-rooted discussions on how these politicians never change. We vote for them, they gain VIP status and leave us in the lurch, end of the day. They are granted privileges with our votes but why do they make use of these privileges at the cost of the common man?
If only one of us could stand up to him and say,” What do you think you’re doing, while the rest of us have been waiting here for hours?”
If only the nurse could prevent him from entering the room just like that
If only the doc could throw him out of the room, when the kutti politician barged in , at the first instance.
But, if any of this had happened, we would be tormented for a lifetime. Most, of us chose to remain mute spectators and idiots like me rant about it in blogs. Couldn’t the kutti politician live the life of a common man for a few hours at least before the elections?
I may sound cynical or even melodramatic but what change can we hope for, when on a day-to-day basis the voice of democracy is silenced by authority? That we get to voice out and vote, once in five years is no big deal while we live with the same torment for the remaining time.


A trip down frustration lane

what happens when you’re forced into a trip???

Wednesday, much before Satyam was in hot soup, yours truly was bulldozed into going for a trip to the abomination that is ‘IFC’ . Do not consider my economist background and conclude its THE IFC … its just this particular innovation where idiots are meant to flock the city .

A bunch of mighty seniors and a herd of sissy juniors set off on the trip with our lecturers and a spaced out agent. The bus-trip was an exercise on my auditory, sensory, and nervous perceptions with ‘The Fray’ playing through the headphones in my right ear and radio mirchi playing loud in the bus.

No trip is complete without the photo-shoots, especially when trips like these have to be accounted in the newsletters or college magazines. Looking towards North, northeast, north-west, east, or west, facing the wrong camera or a wrong angle, I’m yet to see the outcome of the whole exercise.

The entrance of this place is characterized by statues, which did represent something . On the first look, you feel they are characters from ancient Greek mythology but a second look and you shift towards Europe. Curiosity got the better of us and I shot this question at the guide

” What do these statues depict?”

” Madam, these are statues. That is a waterfall where the statues add to the beauty. These pillars also have the statues. We have a mall coming up here soon, you can see the stores already there…. blah…blah” HE WAS THE GUIDE. Oh god! Where do they get these specimens?

” Oh OK…Thank You” Suppressing our laughter with all our might S and I moved away to a corner, yet the Guide saw us laughing at HIM. Whatay explanation I say!

” It must be European style, not the Greek ones” one of them in the gang opined.

***** says,” You should pester the guide into giving you the answer. You should prod them till you get a satisfactory reply. Anyways, Mr. TP will be here soon, he will have answers to all your questions.” Yes, Mr. you have many questions to be answered.

The tour package offered us only limited entry to a few star ATTRACTIONS. The guide ushered us into the 4-D theatre. We were waiting in the queue when I overheard this conversation between two silly juniors.

” Hey, who is that girl”.. (pointing at one of the mighty seniors) said the one whose hair coloring had gone all wrong. Looked like a 2 year old had his first experience of watercolors on this junior’s hair.

“I don’t know .. I’m a girl. I don’t look at girls. If you find her hot why are you asking me,” retorts the shorty. OMG! These CHILDREN. I thought my juniors made only intelligent conversations and deprived me of blog-fodder. Sometimes you feel so good about yourself when you come across people like them and hear such conversations. Dumbness still exists in these tough times of recession and depression.

Coming back to the 4-D movie. You wear those 3-D glasses, it becomes a 3-D movie. It is 4 dimensional when a snake comes on the screen and a jet of water is sprayed onto your face, symbolizing the snake spitting out venom. Next came a rabble of rats and air was blown to make us jump out of our seats. So much for feeling the fourth dimension phewww! Trust me even nursery kids would have booed at this.

Whoever came up with this ‘innovative idea’ must be hiding somewhere in Amazon for fear of his life.

****** asks ” Yes, JJ, you enjoyed it?”

Me trying to hide my disappointment and pasting a plastic smile : “Actually I was expecting some more adventure.”

Louis Tussaud’s wax museum was the next stop. I never knew people wanted their faces disfigured to this extent. Bill Clinton was the only one who looked a bit realistic. Angelina Jolie couldn’t be recognized if not for the label. Well, the ancient Mummy topped the list since there wasn’t any real face to compare with. After another reinforced realization on how each penny was being wasted we hopped over to Ripley’s believe it or not. Unbelievable is the word. Educative and informative, worth the money spent ( in specific terms-utility derived was equal to marginal product) is another word. Honestly, I enjoyed it.

Mirror maze was the only ‘fascinating experience’ A few smart ones like us, stayed back, chose not to follow the crowd and tried to get lost. While Sw came up with the logic, for every 2 lefts you find a mirror, it was fun to see people shout,’ Oh this is original’. Oh no! in addition, some screaming at their own reflections. Twice we reached the exit within 5 minutes of entry and retreated to get lost in the maze again. The third time, the security glared at us, sending the signals,’ if you don’t get out of this place I will throw you out soon’ and we exited.

After a delicious lunch, we headed to Aqua world. Structured almost like a beach, this was another example of paisa gone fizool. Pool under maintenance, said the notice at the entrance. A group of juniors started a game of beach-ball/throw ball whatever it is known as.

With an inflated notion that my expertise in playing catch the ball with my 6 year old cousins would come in handy and that of being a reasonably good player in class 5-7, I joined the game.

It was out of sheer respect and the sake of being civil that the kids didn’t throw me out of the court when it looked like their team would lose coz of my fouls :P. That is how my friends a mighty senior embarrassed herself in front of her juniors. I still get those funny looks whenever my path crosses with them. That explains why, my coffee intake has drastically reduced and visits to canteen have been stalled these days. It will take some more time to restore the mighty senior’s self-esteem. Damn that game of throw ball and the ‘towering’ juniors.

When the maintenance work was completed, we entered the pool just for the heck of cooling ourselves and our temper (for the money that went to the ‘POOL‘). The artificial beach, without any waves grrrr…. To add insult to injury, a maddo supposedly the Dj was playing Himesh Reshammiya songs. What a way to conclude an episode of sheer boredom and frustration.

Tea/Coffee-Salt less bonda later, we embarked on our return journey… No trace of TP whatsoever, to answer the numerous questions I had… Someone was pulling my hair from behind. Grumbling on my misery and sleepiness settling in, I had this irresistible urge to point at the notice inside the bus.

Any passenger trying to disturb other passengers are liable to be thrown out of the bus.”

The drab return journey ended and an hour later I was back home cursing the moment I was bulldozed into decided to go for this trip. An hour long vent to amma gave the idea for this blog 😛

On a serious note, just how do people manage to make business out of fun ? Exorbitant rates for nothing? A few minutes of adventure or fun? Okie, there are answers like returns to scale, huge capital outlay involved and how you need to price them in order to break even blah blah! However, it just doesn’t make sense. Do we really have to shell out so much of money for something as unproductive as this? A few hours of over-priced entertainment and fun? Before I go on rambling and end up writing a thesis on dissing the entire entertainment industry, I’d rather stick to the truth…

Another year has passed and my inability to gain any utility or fun from all this proves… I’m not growing any younger. Now I understand why that 3 year old niece of mine told me the other day,” you’re so boring”:P

PS: This post is dedicated to D who couldn’t make it to the trip and was sulking the whole day 😉

PPS: This post was born out of frustration for being forced into a trip….No offence meant to anyone whatsoever. Just a way to let it out


This is how your semester shouldn’t begin!

Was supposed to be posted on 17/11/08… didnt get time to finish and edit until now .

College reopened today (unofficially). The official reopening day was 13th Thursday, but as we hardly had any classes, I decided to join only today.

Since last night Ma has been reminding me. “Get up early ok, its not like how you slept till 10 all these days.” How I hate waking up early , especially in winter its almost impossible . I dont have a choice, do I? By 7 I dragged myself out of the bed. God, please why can’t I have an extended vacation. I know I already had a 3 day extended vacation but still..

After playing another version of Ishan Avasti’s horrible mornings in TZP, I gulped down the hot-coffee, burnt my tongue and damn! my bag .Where did I dump it after exams? After fishing it out from the junk in my cup-board and Ma’s repeated ” When will you learn to keep your things properly?” I rushed out of home.

By 8 a.m I reached the bus-stop. I was running 20 minutes late. The bus-stop seemed crowded like never before. Waiting at the bus-stop is entertaining. Especially when it happens to be in front of the top-most private educational institutions in Bangalore. “Bade baap ke bigde aulaad” The antics these kids resort to in the name of money … Oh my!( Guess I’ll blog about it later)

Today, I was in no mood for entertainment. Everyone had a grim expression of Monday-morning blues written on their faces and the delayed buses did no good to people’s nerves. The crowd extended almost mid-way through the road. Several vehicles passed by and there was no sight of a bus. One bus zipped past without stopping. Time was 8.30 now. I couldn’t find a single unoccupied auto. I was sure to miss the first hour. Finally at 8.45 I managed to run behind a bus which stopped miles away from the bus-stop and pushed my way through the crowd into the bus.

I reached college by 9.20 and didn’t want spoil to Ms.AN’s mood with my late entry. So, I headed to the library instead. Well, that is a record of sorts. Usually, I never enter the library till the end of the semester when exams make it inevitable.The whole place was being cleaned up. I picked up a newspaper and settled down in a corner. That was when I discovered the reason for the reduction in number of buses. Old man and son had some rally in the city and BMTC had rented around 1000 buses for the people who came to take part in the rally. Damn our newspaper guy. He’s back but doesnt turn up before 10.

Public inconvenience for the sake of public nuisance. Little did I know there was much more in store.

I entered class during the second hour and that was Stats. The subject drives me crazy but the lecturer seemed to be annoyed too. She imagines problems and that meant calculations dealing with numbers that read like mobile numbers. I forgot to take the calculator. The lecturer showered me with reprimands for the same. Now isn’t it my fate that day, that I had to hear so much from a lecturer just for the sake of a calculator? C’mmon had it been some serious mistake I’d never have minded. But, forgetting a silly calculator didn’t deserve so much.

The next hour was AN’s again. I was praying to god, please let her not ask why I bunked… please at least let this hour pass without any casualties. Guess what happened! She was trapped in the lift. Luckily she had her phone with her or else god knows what would have happened in the 2 hour long power cut and the back-up system that never works. She managed to call up one of us and we managed to get help on time. Maybe, she was a bit too disturbed, she really didn’t care if I bunked or not. It was the first hour of the sem which passed without any mishaps.

Lunch hour and we headed to the canteen which seems to be the only sought after place in the college. A huge board was displayed with the increased rates. An aloo paratha which cost only 15 bucks was now priced 20. Inflation… everyone was discussing.. but just lass Friday, news flashed all over the channels that inflation moderated to 8. something percent. Ah whatever… Our FM and PM talk only non-sense these days.

Final two hours and the hangover of my siesta during vacations seemed to manifest itself on my heavy eyelids and the mouth which refused to stop yawning. A terribly boring micro class could be sleep-inducing. Struggling hard, messaging, playing games and almost exhausting the charge in my cell-phone, I sat in that class for 2 hours.

4 p.m I reached the bus-stop. I never get a direct bus for return so, I travel to Majestic and then back home. I got a bus to Majestic on time which was one of the few good things that happened to me today. The crowd at my platform in Majestic , from where I was supposed to changeover startled me. How am I gonna get back home today for heaven’s sake?

I waited for almost an hour, watching the varied human forms and their characteristics in a crowd. Observing people in such crowds is my favorite passtime. The movements, the actions, the quirks, observing people for an hour gives you an idea as to what kinda person he/she is. (Now puh-leeze dont say I’m being judgemental without you being judgemental ok?)

My legs were aching… why on earth did I wear those shoes, thanks to the floater’s straps that were bitten and torn by our neighbour’s dog. I hate that creature.grrr

Finally a bus arrived. I knew the crowd would turn wild to enter that bus. Well, to pass on a little secret, always try sneaking through the sides. You get lucky most of the times. At least I do :). I resorted to my age-old tactic and nudged the girl in front of me. Sorry, in such a situation you can’t expect me to be all nice and miss.goody two shoes. She extended her hand to hold the bar at the door and block me when I put my foot on the first step. I had lifted my other leg and this chic had no intentions of moving her hand. Come what may, I just pushed her hand away and the funky bracelet scraped through my neck. It hardly hurt compared to the joy on finding an empty seat. The girl sat next to me and muttered,”Ivalde okke ahankaram” Oh yeah baby…

People were still scrambling to get in when I heard a loud shout. A middle-aged woman was shouting,”How dare you push me like that.I’ll complain to the police wait and watch” She was shouting at a lady who was very old and was being pushed by the unruly crowd. This was one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve heard in recent times ( ignore the press statements and aaj tak news) The oldlady couldn’t even stand properly. It was not only me who was having a bad day! A young chap got up from his seat and offerred it to the old lady.

Half-way through, the bus slowed down and remained static for half an hour or so. I was wondering … don’t tell me this was all happening coz of that rally. My uncle called and asked me about my whereabouts. He said it’d be better if I walked back home, because the traffic ahead in our area was stuck for almost 5 hours and there was no chance the bus would move that side. I spoke to him in Malayalam and heard the girl let out a gasp. She threw a dirty look at me and I threw daggers at her. In a game of survival shit happens and I was not in the best of my moods that day.

I rose from my seat and the girl wouldn’t budge. I said, ” excuse me” in a meanly-polite 😉 manner. She pretended as if she didn’t hear. “Please onnu kaal maattuo” I raised my voice. Sensing danger, that I may wring her neck next, the girl obliged. That’s when I noticed her record book which indicated the name of her college. Oh God! No wonder… I had already learnt to put up with this species in 3 years. Can’t really blame her for that attitude.

I alighted, said all the prayers I could remember and managed to cross the busy junction where vehicles seemed to come from all directions. The rally participants and their buses added on to the chaos. Vehicles unsure whether to take a left-turn or a right-turn or a U-turn were all making a traffic kichdi. You could never predict in which direction a vehicle would start moving.

I crossed the stretch with a gang of girls and slowly the intensity and intentions of Old man and his son’s doings started unfurling.

Two air-hostesses and a steward were walking down the footpath as their cab was completely stuck and there was no way they would get to the airport on time. The airport was at least 35 kms away. There were many people walking along the stretch and you know… how during crisis strangers turn into acquaintances. The cabin crew were on their way to the airport and had no clue how were they going to get there. I wanted to enquire ‘ what’s the point in walking this distance’ but I preferred to keep my questions to myself. The footpath in front of IISc which is otherwise clean, was reeking of pee. Paper-plates with chicken bones and leftover biriyani were strewn all over the place and on the roads which made it difficult to walk. The traffic was still at this point and you could easily walk through the middle of the road. The men who had come to attend the rally to extend their support were loitering all over the place and ogling at the air-hostesses in front of me. Controlling their temper and frustration, they walked on. Soon, I had to take a turn and bade them good-bye. That’s when I heard someone shout” Excuse me, how long will it take”? A kid in a DPS school bus which was stuck in the traffic was asking me. I was in front of a traffic police station where policemen were not visible anywhere in the vicinity. I said it’ll at least take 20 minutes more as I didn’t want the child to despair. Little did I know these kids were stuck there from 2 p.m. and it was almost 6.30 p.m now.

I continued walking, skipping and hopping my way through paper plates, shit, pee, beetle juice and men. The bloody shoe was hurting my feet. Parents of the kids stuck in the school buses had come down and were taking their children back but they didn’t know how to head back. All routes were blocked and there was no choice but to wait. “I think K.S is venting his frustration on his defeat” One of the parents complained.

I walked and walked, feeling extremely sorry for the schoolchildren. 45 minutes later I dragged my feet home, nearly 1/16th of the speed with which I rushed out in the morning. Flung my shoes across the room and Ma understood my frustration. Finally, I was home. A journey that usually takes just 20 minutes max now took 2 and half hours.

Had a hot bath and sipping a hot cup of coffee I stood in the balcony of our house which is on the first floor. There was no sign of movement. The road could only be seen in traces. One of the kids in a school bus parked in front of our house spotted me and screamed, ” how long will it take”. My mom said they were stuck since 2 p.m. Poor kids apart from a never-so-likeable-monday in school had to go through this torture! I have no idea how many times I sweared at the Old man and son that day. In the whole stretch which is laden with trees, buses were parked in the shade and drivers were missing. There was no way to trace them when the convention was being held 5 kms away in Place Grounds.

As I sit down to type this post, the time is 10 p.m and the traffic has started moving slowly. Yet, the movement happens hardly for a few minutes and the stationary vehicles and blaring horns continue. My head is throbbing and I am drained of my last bit of energy. Its just sheer frustration that I’m blogging about this. My eyes are burning and I guess I should get some sleep.

Can’t stop without this,”Dear old man and son, you might have conducted this rally to show your strength and the support extended to you by the people this state, but you have earned the wrath of many Bangaloreans. Our politicians never learn. Traffic policemen were nowhere to be seen( maybe they were busy monitoring your main venue) or rather didn’t know how to handle this situation! School-kids left stranded in buses for hours together, worried parents, people who missed their flights, people who had to walk long-distances, people who were stuck in the middle of the roads in despair… people like you make democracy a mockery! The so-called supporters came for the free ragi-muddhe and biriyani. Given a chance the same people would attend your rivals’ rally too. But, what choice do we citizens have other than to grumble about it?” its you or some other crook every other day.