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Archive for the ‘Ridiculous’ Category

It’s a no-brainer that ours is male-centric one: from people craving for boy children, to women having to stand by their men while they succeed in their careers, is all commonplace. And we’re quite so used to it. Out of the blue, every now and then, there would be talks of women empowerment – namely when Women’s day comes around, or when a movie like Ki & Ka releases, or if we listen to RJ Balaji and get inspired. But otherwise, it’s quite gone from our day-to-day life. Ask your female colleague if she’d join in on a weekend party, and the go-to response would be “I’ll check with my husband and let you know.”

But that’s only one side of the story. In the great words of uncle Ben,

With great power comes great responsibility!

And thus the onus is upon the plug gender (as against the socket gender) to be the primary provider of any household, to be financially secure, and yet at the same time believe in equality. This pressure is never spoken out – it’s taken for granted.

When I was a kid, my dad used to advise me on the importance of education: and cite that my sisters would one day get married and settle down, but it is essential (especially being a boy from the brahmin community) that I study hard, score exceptionally well, and get a good job so that I can eventually settle down. I’ve managed to break pretty much every part of the stereotype tam-brahms are: I didn’t go the US for my yem-yes, took up a research-based study path from within India (man, who does that?), fell in love (a.k.a. made girl fall in love), get married before finishing studies (well the PhD is still viewed as an educational pursuit in India), ran a start-up becoming an entrepreneur, and what not! But hey, this isn’t about my life – I’m actually in a way an exception to this post.

So even if… (more…)

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It’s been a couple of weeks since I shifted to Bangalore, and whenever someone asks me how’s the place, I respond with an automated message, “oh it’s great, except for the traffic that makes you suicidal.” If you’re someone who loves driving like me, you’d understand what I mean. It’s the kind of town when you tune into radio while driving to work, and the RJ says, “I’m giving up my daily samachaar at 08:08AM to warn you people not to go to work in case you haven’t started yet. The entire city’s traffic situation is satya-naas.” Could you ask for a brighter morning?

However, this sob story is all too well known to everyone. Being the optimist that I am, I try to find a silver lining in any situation that gets thrown in front of me. New company delays joining – I get more time with my wife. Mother cites aadi maasam sentiment to not move into new house – we invite ourselves to friend’s place for a month to party hard. Car’s gone in for service – let’s pick up an Uber pool to commute.

So that’s how I unassumingly hired an Uber pool last evening to go from the KR puram tin-factory area to Trident Hyundai’s showroom on the intermediate ring road off the Domlur flyover to pickup my car from service. I was logical enough to cross the road so that I’d be in the direction in which I need to commute, got into the cab. The cab driver, Suresh, was a very well mannered person (judgmental assumption from one gentleman to another), and addressed me “Sir” at every conversation, and we start talking about traffic related stuff.

Fifteen minutes later we’ve crossed a whole fifty meters in the evening traffic, and he’s excited to see another passenger whom Uber matched. I was all too happy, to think that I might get to travel along with interesting people, pick up a conversation perhaps and forget about the bangalore traffic (or about the overcharging that the service centre is going to do). So he accepts the co-passenger(s): they’ve marked their pin at RMZ infinity, and we were bang opposite (at the fag end of Gopalan Mall on Old Madras Road). I asked him if he could please request them to cross the road and get into the car, as a couple of U-turns would mean we lose another half an hour. I mentioned that I had also crossed the road to get into the cab as I knew which direction I needed to go. He turns to me, and I quote him: “Sir, aap jaisa log sochte nahin hain. Dekhiye, yeh log faltu mein drama karenge.” He very politely explained to them over the phone, that he’s across the road, he accurately gave the cab’s position so that they can locate it, and the ladies agreed to cross. Five minutes later he gets an angry call from one of them yelling, “paagal ho kya? Kitna chalke aana padega?” He still keeps his calm and gives me an I told you so kind of look and tells me, “Dekhiye Sir, drama shuru ho gaya.”

And enter two young girls, and I presumed they work at EY, looking at the ID-tag on one of their necks. One of the passengers was Megha (who was very calm and coy), and I don’t know the name of the other – she didn’t bother with pleasantries (let’s call her UNK_GRL). They stormed into the car – the UNK_GRL turns to Suresh and yells that they had to walk a whole kilometer and the car was too far away, and if he couldn’t explain directions properly he should have taken a U-turn and come to pick them up from the building – even better the reception (I’m sure if possible, she would have wanted him to directly pick her up from her work desk). I can testify that the location they had dropped the pin was bang opposite where our car was located, and after getting into the car she says that they were beyond the Gopalan mall, and had to traverse the entire length of the mall. I kept quiet for not wanting to lose my mind, but just wanted to tell the UNK_GRL that if she’s so particular on people being clear, she must have known better to mark the fucking pin in the uber app. And I just wonder what achievement makes her feel so superior that she’s better than the cab driver. He’s doing his job: one doesn’t need to appreciate him, but could at least be polite to fellow human beings – the cab driver and the darned co-passenger. But I must be grateful that at least they didn’t ask me to get out and sit in the front seat. And before Suresh could respond to her accusations, she turns behind and says, “you know what Megha, just leave it! I don’t want to end my day like this.”

And begins the journey. We’re all on the phone, and Suresh turns on music to avoid any more accusations and drives away peacefully. Every now and then there are random conversations between the two on what to cook, about the traffic, about a random test UNK_GRL needs to take the following day quoting how stupid her employers are, about small gallis and how she wouldn’t know alternate routes to her destination because they were in tiny roads. The irony was that eventually their drop point was in the middle of a heavily congested locality filled with tiny roads. I mean, what the hell is all that fuss about. And finally they pay Rs. 32 for the shared ride and get off. THIRTY-TWO RUPEES. That’s it, and she acted as if she owned the darn car and as if Suresh was her slave imported from some other land.

I just sighed, “all this fuss for thirty-two rupees!” Suresh turns to me, he says, “Sir, I told you, right! This is pretty much how most of my customers are. What would UNK_GRL be earning? 40-50k per month? I hold a fleet of four cars I own. I got three other drivers who work, and in net profits (after deducting operating costs) I make approximately 2.6 lakhs every month. Sometimes I wonder why I need to put up with such people, but of course, I can take off whenever I feel like it.” He also tried to stereotype North Indians as being crass (I didon’t agree with his sentiment), but anyway that was his point of view. I just passed a judgmental joke or two about UNK_GRL (my bad), and we shared a hearty laugh.

That was the last of the conversation about them. We continued talking about more relevant things – some philosophical, some about current affairs, minimal about Bangalore traffic, and I even found out a place that’s better for car servicing, etc., and possibly made a very resourceful friend. After all, you meet people to enrich your lives, right?

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Say what?

I tuned into NDTV’s news this afternoon, and had to listen to news that the Director of CBI uttered this at a recent event:

If you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it!

And of course, it raised all kinds of responses. It doesn’t matter what event that were. It doesn’t matter what the context was. I have absolutely no clue as to what was running in his head while he uttered this analogy. But it’s wrong. Just wrong. One can’t make a statement like that in public, all the more because of the position they hold. Even if they give out an apology. I can hardly imagine the state of my country, if the Director of CBI, heading a body that investigates crimes, jokes about victims enjoying rape. It’s beyond the context of rape: it’s talking without using his head, and that’s just preposterous to do at the stature that he holds. It’s outrageous. There’s absolutely no defense. I think he ought to leave: be fired, or just resign. It’s important for people to know that statements have consequences. That’s it. Bye bye, Mr. Ranjit Sinha.

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I’d like all of you to read the title with a classic tamizh accent, hence reading faar-into faarin.

This bootiphul post (or so I assume it shall turn out in the end), is dedicated to all those friends of mine who have bravely ventured into the western world (not just the U.S.A. any more) and have become a class of people whom I’ve termed <term-under-construction>. So here’s how you know you have friends far into foreign land (a little guide).

1. You get added on skype and make more video talks (thereby seeing more of them) than you did all your life you knew them.

2. You see albums of places unheard of (so far), in the likes of Williamsburg on the WabashKirkstall Abbey, and Burlington Coat Factory!

3. You get updates on the weather forcast.

Ooh! You knowvaa? It is minus two here, and it’s not even winter. Apparently fall itself is colder than usual this year. I don’t know how I am going to survive yaar . . .

(quite an oxymoron, to have both the aa suffix and yaar in the same quote – but I suppose that covers dialects all over India – top to bottom ;))

4. You see some of them relinquish their religion

5. You see pictures of birthday parties celebrated in style, with Indian music being of core attraction

Cartoon brilliantly drawn on Microsoft paint, by me. 😀

6. You hear their reminiscing of simple Indian things

Oh how I wish I could eat the parathas at the dhaba outside college, drink chikkoo shake from that juice shop, give clothes at the laundry outside, get my hair done for less than 10 euros, . . .

7. You see their patriotism rise ten fold *after* they’ve fled the country

Yes, that’s the Indian tricolour, a bit garbled though. Picture in colour courtesy Kolor.

8. They celebrate events that were once totally foreign to you (and even to them)

Easter island picture modified from Marek Zochowski’s here.

9. They attend Halloween parties without costumes

Disclaimer: I’ve been through most of these myself, so do not misinterpret this post for a rant about my being within the country – I’m loving every bit of it (well most of it, at least)!

Furthermore, it’s amazing to have friends abroad while you’re still within the country. It gives you a fair enough exposure to how things happen outside, and especially if you’re in the scientific community, it fetches you publications! Thank you all, for your continuing support! 😀

Finally, my apologies to not having posted anything in almost a month. November began with much hope in my blog-life, and I thought that I would be posting more often. However, some amount of logical discussions with my boss drove me into resetting my priorities. I’ve been genuinely busy with my work, and blogging by all means is secondary to a few more important things (my own priorities by the way). No these aren’t some paruppu peter statements, and I shall post whenever I find time.

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Spoiler: I am not discussing this year’s peace prize. If you really really want to know how Obama did it, read Ramesh Srivats’ or take a look at Jai Iyer’s. Since it has been given away, I see no point in going on ranting about it. Not that this is the first controversy over peace anyway!

And since controversies always hog the limelight, the rest of the awards given away this year was almost hidden. Being the bio-geek that I am, I am directly jumping over to the prizes in Chemistry and Medicine this year. Two reasons why:

  • Nobel prizes in both chemistry and medicine were awarded to research carried out on bio(techno?)logy. One set of people for deciphering the ribosome structure & function, and another one for discovering the telomerase.
  • What? Wasn’t that a good enough reason? Here’s number two, then: I am somehow not all that attracted towards controversies – everyone writes about them, and a lot do way better than I do (the two referred in the opening paragraph for examples). Plus, literature is just beyond my simple mind.

Now that’s settled. So coming back to this year’s two prizes in discussion, both the groups’ got their prizes much after their work was done. I’ve read about the structure of the ribosome in every book prescribed, and I was just ignorant when we had our teachers rambling on about telomerases.

GEEK ALERT. For the benefit of those with a non-bio background, here’s your lesson:

  • The body’s made up of many tiny little cells, and each cell has tiny molecules called proteins which basically do all the work: talk to other cells, break down the food you eat, take care of harmful things that enter your body and stuff like that. So within a cell, proteins need to be manufactured, and these ribosomes are factories in which they’re synthasised.
  • I’m assuming everyone who’s seen Mani Ratnam’s Aayuda ezhuthu would be aware of Surya speaking of DNA, chromosomes, XX, XY, blah et. al. So basically all *information* about you (like the colour of your eye to your left/right hand habit) is stored in your DNA (a copy of which is present in every cell in your body), and telomerases are a certain type of proteins (refer previous paragraph) which make sure the DNA size is maintained.
  • See, it isn’t all that cryptic!

Ah, yet another diversion. So moving on, like I was saying: both these awards have been given away way after the work was actually done. Why’s there such a lag in awarding the prizes? Was it because no one’s done anything in the past one year or does it take so much time to recognise work? It seems that people need to stand the test of time on top of their achievements before the most prestigious award is bestowed upon them (the *most prestigious* tag still intrigues me). And in certain cases, history has shown us that certain times even several nominations are insufficient to win the prize (this one’s an interesting article I came across on the Nobel prize site itself). Furthermore, awarding the prizes posthumously has been of great debate. So with much ifs and buts running around the Nobels, what’re we all hyping it up for?!

P.S.: This post’s long been sitting in the drafts bin of my dashboard. I just never managed to complete it till the point where I lost track of where I was heading. My apologies.

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Inspired from Manasi’s (her’s from here).

Simple logic: title says it all!

Theme: things related to Singaara Chennai.

Reliance opens new iStore. So sterile!

Naidu hall: the family store. Really?

Sterling joins College: Haddows is born.

Rajini film release. 1st week house-full.

Sathyam cinemas: expensive, but worth it!

“Mylapore to Airport auto.” “Rs. 500.” Walk.

Chennai metro underway. 100ft road halved.

Kapali temple Therottam festival. Colourful joy!

House without mummy. Full bottle thanni.

Swine flu in Pune. Chennai-ites masked!

ARR concert. Off city. Still rocks!

FB chat with Nick. Better theme:

What else, but full-time college bitching?

Four years in Hellore. Leeds. Yay! (dedicated to Nick)

Four gone. Two more again? WTF?! (my sad plight)

New ProCs. New reforms. Still sucks.

Convocation day. Party hangover pending. Whaaaa?!

Mid-night walks, random spots, missing dots. (?!)

Open ticket. Two hour travel. Home! 😀

New IRCTC eat-out in Katpadi. Yum!

Feel free to add more lines.

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Here’s my rough understanding of how the Indian education system works:

  • Kids are pushed into school when they’re three two-and-a-half two one-and-a-half.
  • They’re grown up to believe “studying” is the only way they could come up in life. All those sports people who became billionaires through endorsements playing good sports are cheats, and aren’t good enough to be considered role-models.
  • Class 10 is when their intellect is tested the first time. From parents to teachers, kids hear: “this is the most important exam in your life: it makes or breaks your future. Don’t screw it up.”
  • Now every parent’s kid needs to get into a science stream, to become a doctor or an engineer. Those who go into commerce rot in hell.
  • So whether they fare well or not, whether it could be afforded or not, whether the kid wants to go or not, they put them into some engineering colleges (and for the more flamboyant, medical schools).
  • Students pursuing engineering degrees usually get tired of the methods by the end of their first year at college, and branch out into two three kinds:
    • ones that understand the system, and just run smooth. These have bigger plans in mind, and they aren’t really bothered about the system: they just run along till they get out.
    • ones that just care about big grades, and to make maximum worth for the tuition they’ve paid. These arguably pursue it for the sake of holding a degree in hand, and for a job at the end of it.
    • ones who really don’t care a rat’s arse, who eventually rot in those institutions till they clear their exams later or get kicked out.
  • So if you’re a parent, you’d probably argue saying, “at least my son/daughter has passed out with a job in hand. On campus placements make the degree totally worth it. Even if it is an IT job (which in nine out of ten cases has nothing to do with the course endured).”

Or so you think. Step out of the college utopia (?!) and you’d be slapped by the harsh reality of the corporate world. Since folks are hired in bulk (much like contract labourers who go to the middle-east), they’re made to wait.

This is to inform you that your senior batch has just been called. Do keep your fingers crossed, we will call you in due time. In the meanwhile, spruce up your computer skills and be prepped for an eternity of damnation.

After the painstaking wait is done, the call finally comes. And to help the newbies, the previous batch of people who made it to the same company give them tips on how to face the first year:

Dear Friends,

Pls carry these documents when you are going to join the company. These are very important, please dont leave behind anything.

  1. First to Last Semester marksheet (attested xerox + original)
  2. Consolidated marksheet (attested xerox + original)
  3. Transfer certificate (attested xerox + original)
  4. Provisional degree (attested xerox + original)
  5. 10th(X-th) marksheet (attested xerox + original)
  6. 12th(XII-th) marksheet (attested xerox + original)
  7. Birth Certificate should be in ENGLISH ( attested xerox + original) if in case u don’t have your birth certificate u have to get an affidavit from a lawyer towards ur birth place and
  8. date of birth (affidavit should be in a 20 rupees Indian non-judicial stamp paper bought in ur name). NOTE: any other proof is useless as they are very specific about this Birth certificate or affidavit.
  9. Passport, Pan card  (attested xerox + original),
  10. An affidavit from a lawyer that there are no criminal cases pending against in u (affidavit should be in a 20 rupees Indian non-judicial stamp paper bought in ur name).
  11. Ur service agreement in a 100 rupees Indian non judicial stamp paper. NOTE: The person who gives this surety must be an income tax payer.
  12. Form 16 of the surety giver’s attested xerox must be brought and attested passport xerox of the surety giver or PAN card attested xerox of the surety giver must also be brought. these are the supporting documents for ur service agreement and are mandatory.
  13. Call letter and Offer letter.
  14. Formal dress is a must inside the training campus. better have atleast six set of formal dresses.(for gents full slag formal shirt ,formal pant, leather shoes ,belt, tie is must).
  15. Passport Size Photograph.

The person who didnt get the call, u pls check the mail atleast once in a day. Mail may come in Spam Folder also, so check the Spam Folder too.

First to Last Semester marksheet (attested xerox + original)
Consolidated marksheet (attested xerox + original)
Transfer certificate (attested xerox + original)
Provisional degree (attested xerox + original)
10th(X-th) marksheet (attested xerox + original)
12th(XII-th) marksheet (attested xerox + original)
Birth Certificate should be in ENGLISH ( attested xerox + original) if in case u don’t have your birth certificate u have to get an affidavit from a lawyer towards ur birth place and
date of birth (affidavit should be in a 20 rupees Indian non-judicial stamp paper bought in ur name). NOTE: any other proof is useless as they are very specific about this Birth certificate or affidavit.
Passport, Pan card  (attested xerox + original),
An affidavit from a lawyer that there are no criminal cases pending against in u (affidavit should be in a 20 rupees Indian non-judicial stamp paper bought in ur name).
Ur service agreement in a 100 rupees Indian non judicial stamp paper. NOTE: The person who gives this surety must be an income tax payer.
Form 16 of the surety giver’s attested xerox must be brought and attested passport xerox of the surety giver or PAN card attested xerox of the surety giver must also be brought. these are the supporting documents for ur service agreement and are mandatory.
Call letter and Offer letter.
Formal dress is a must inside the training campus. better have atleast six set of formal dresses.(for gents full slag formal shirt ,formal pant, leather shoes ,belt, tie is must).
Passport Size Photograph.
The person who didnt get the call, u pls check the mail atleast once in a day.
Mail may come in Spam Folder also, so check the Spam Folder too.
Note: This guideline is sent based on Last years call letter format. This mail is meant only for prior preparation for ur joining.

Note: This guideline is sent based on Last years call letter format. This mail is meant only for prior preparation for ur joining.

And this informative mail is followed by a lousy all the best (but the guy who sent this should be thanked: at least he gave an insight to those dorks who’re oblivious of what’s coming their way). Read once through and you’d know how preposterous the corporate world is. The apparel: wearing a full-slack formal shirt with a tie in Indian weather is the single most excruciating thing one can be subjected to. They want attested copies along with the originals? Just doesn’t make sense: if you’re going to show them your original certificates, why do they need to be attested? The intellect of these dumbass corporate bosses are just too incomprehensible. It isn’t just bureaucracy, it’s plain dumb. So at the end of it all, I’m convinced into saying, “is this really worth all the pain?!”

God save those who fall into this trap!

And another of my pet peeves: xerox is the name of a company, the copier makes photocopies. Get your English right!

P.S.: Yes, my descriptions of the corporate world have been made based on my knowledge about one IT company (biased perhaps?!). No, I’m not falling into the same trap by signing up for that offer. And yes, I’m glad to pursue academic research.

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