Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tipping Point 2: The Unusual

Tipping Point Part 2: The Unusual
This story runs into two parts. Click here for part 1.

My Plate – Your Plate: I noticed this before reading Tipping Point. There is this hotel next to our office where tables are full with working people during lunch hours and a common food ordered by everyone – Mini Meals. I am not the biggest fan of monotony. The tipping takes place like this.

All the tables are cramped with hungry, sweat drenched, Axe-laden males and rare females. They are really not in love with the sultry weather – neither the super-tired fan (ceiling fans!). They want to fill their bellies and run back to their air conditioned offices, they do not have time to be creative but a quick suggestion will do. When waiter comes, you need to shout at the top of your voice to get his attention. Everyone shouts – what else – “Mini Meals”. I try twice but the waiter does not find me a subject for mercy and moves away. He is now far away (still in the hotel) from me… I feel embarrassed, and I shout like a guy who is embarrassed, “Hey waiter! One Masala Dosa (another type of food), please” and it tips.

I feel happy to find early adopters by the time my order comes and by the time I leave, I can see a mature market for Masala Dosa.

I am cold. Me too! This phenomenon is same as the lunch tipping, the difference here is, that the people are constrained by the thinking that they might be contradicting other people’s wish. I am talking about night train journeys in sleeper class at in mild cold season when most of the people feel cold while fan is running but they do not take any step to switch the fan off thinking that they are the only who is inconvenienced by the fan.

I noticed this many times. What happens is as soon as I start feeling cold, I ask the person closest to switch to fan-switch to turn it off… It involves shouting and repeating the intention. In following minutes I hear people asking the same in neighboring compartments… and it is successive enough to feel like triggering chain reaction.

Fire Walk: Recently, I went to a seminar where organizers claimed that they will make people (ordinarily available bipedal human being) walk on broken glass and flaming fire. I thought it is doable, but did think that they will pump a lot of funda, boosting talk and some technique. But they did not. I went there thinking a long session of platonic talk to divert our brain from concentrating on the real danger of burning and cutting, but all they did is, they placed a seven feet bed of coal, poured gasoline heavily, flamed it and said casually, “walk!”

I got crazy. 30 seconds of burning fire, no one walked, and all were cold feet [he he … this phrase does not suit here]. Now, the coals has become real red rubies and I, for a split second, though to just run through and finish this drama but consciousness was on denial. And, I guess everyone had this surge of thought to go through in a quick movement and end it (and be the burnt feet hero).

45 seconds. And one of them got surge and could not hold… ran through. There was no need of organizer to encourage, it had already been tipped. People went through in succession. They added more and more gasoline (when I walked the first time, flames were coming up to my lap) but once tipped the suppressant like this did not work. The same thing happened with ‘walk on broken glass’ and ‘stand on nail bed’ events.

This story runs into two parts. Here is part 1 >>

Tipping Point 1: Usual Tipping

Tipping Point Part 1: Usual Tipping
This story runs into two parts. Click Here for part 2.

Marla Singer. I, once again, got reminded of Marla Singer. But I resisted playing Marla this time. I was standing opposite to Bangalore City railway station and I needed to cross the road to make it to the station. In less than two minutes, more than twenty people gathered at either sides of the road and they were in the same mindset – “jump cross the road as soon as rush of speedy vehicles gets a break.” And it never happened.

Few more moments of wait and someone decided to commit suicide and started walking casually – well, the suggestion worked, everyone joined him and it tipped –a momentary halt in racing vehicle as if there was a red signal.

Power of Suggestion makes it possible to tip an event – Tipping Point says so. I have some non-utterly-boring incidences where I think I can relate what I read in the book, Tipping point. They all point to power of suggestion part of the book.

Uncontrolled Traffic: There are quite a few very deadly crossroads on Poonamallee High Road, Chennai with overloaded traffic, self-assumed-smart vehicle drivers and thinking-over-smart pedestrians and this phenomena tip almost in every 4 of 10 red signals.

Red signal is yet at 35 second in down timer, at this moment there was a momentary slack in orthogonal traffic and a daring self-assumed-smart bike rider zips through it – A suggestion. Now tipping point, every one joins the bike rider and crisscross, honk-honk, shout-shout…

The same thing happens at 09:50 onward at night but with one difference, the suggestion is a commonly known fact that traffic lights will be in yellow-mode (that means see-and-cross, decision is yours) at 10 o’clock. And 09:50 PM is the tipping time for all non-major traffic signals.

Real Boring Habit can Tip: I lived 10 months dwindling in different private hostels in Chennai. The arrangement is like this, the hostel is nothing but a 2 bedroom, one hall, one kitchen (basically all except restrooms are converted to bedroom) apartment which is so strategically situated that no one wants to buy this or accept as rent. People who stay have one of the two main reasons to accept this. One, they do not have money and two, they have one or more attributes like they are ultimate lazy, totally unplanned, short stay or have no friends in Chennai.

No matter what the reason is, once in hostel they realize that they have been paying more for less, feel cheated. So, how to recover? Simple, utilize resources to the maximum – watch TV 24 hours, take bath two times (well, that’s a requirement sometimes), over eat et-cetera.

I read book occasionally. Reading anything was assumed to be most miserable thing to do in hostels – people become sympathetic to you. The other activity that we used to do, when not wasting resources, was, to talk – and we talk a lot. During one of the discussions, I kept on quoting different books wherever required. For some unknown reasons, people really liked it. And within a week, TV hours reduced, people started going to Landmark (bookshop) with me, borrowing books and most of them started a book. Phenomena tipped. The readers in the hostel had shot from one occasional reader to one occasional reader plus five enthusiasts, from 12.5% market share to 75% market share.

The reverse happened as well. Enthusiast dropped as quickly as they adopted. It happened something like this. I paused reading for one very busy month. I could see no one’s bookmark had shifted a page. I, finally, shifted to a new place and whenever I go back to the hostel – the bookmark still stays where it was, when I left the place.

This story runs into two parts. Part 2 >>

Saturday, September 20, 2008

RWNV 3: Roaming Rameshwaram

Rover, Wanderer, Nomad, Vagabond Part 3: Roaming Rameshwaram
(This article runs into 3 parts. Links to PART 1, PART 2)

Rameshwaram: Ramarnatham is a holy place for Hindus. It is one of the four tirth, mythology says visiting all the four reserves a seat in Hindu heaven. (I have already visited two, yay!)

Rameshwaram is a lovely coastal place. It is a normal tier III Indian city, with people having only two sources of income fish and tourism – and this fact was repeatedly injected in my mind by our driver. When we were there, there was no rush we got nice economic hotel room, reserved a car for city site seeing at reasonable rate, toured around half of the day and came back to hotel.

The Ramarnatham temple is big and spacious. Being off season and weekday, there was no people overload – in fact, it was mostly empty. You need to take bath 27 times (I am not sure whether it is 27, but it is close) at 27 different wells which are assigned names of holy rivers or Gods. The idea is to be super clean by taking bath from all the holy waters in India before doing the holy work.

Then there was small queue to see god. See God, pray for your earthly needs, and walk in famous 3rd corridor. Take pictures.

I liked this. I liked this thousand times more than Balaji. It was open and accepting, unlike Balaji which is closed for normal people, wrapped in illusion of security and ego and denial as the first response. Or perhaps, I was fortunate in Rameshwaram.


RWNV 2: Thirupathi Thrills

Rover, Wanderer, Nomad, Vagabond Part 2: Thirupathi Thrills
(This article runs into 3 parts. Links to PART 1, PART 3)

Thirupathi Balaji: A god for fat rich people. Don’t get me wrong, it is one of the wealthiest (yeah, in terms of revenue) temple loaded with behemoth overhead of security and people management (damagement, I would say). The process to get a look of the god is so inefficient that you may not get a chance to see god, even if you have 8 hour time window.

Last time, me and my cousin, S , reached there at morning 10. And – no surprise, there was no information center (or our heuristic search didn’t get one) and officials and dudes do not believe in possibility of a non-Telugu language. We assumed our methodology was wrong and we should have learnt Telugu.

This time, with non-coherent knowledge from different sources that includes experienced guys, internet searched and travel agencies, I was clear about one thing that I was not going Balaji the next time (even before journey starts). No, yeah, I agree they have tried to facilitate people but it fails miserably. So, there are number of tickets issued by the temple authorities that are mysteriously available in some unknown temple in T. Nagar, Chennai. All the persons, who are going to Balaji, have to be there at ticket booking center to get a bar-coded tag with visitor’s finger print stamp [1]. I never get one, they are volatile, supposedly.

Since, this is a high-tech (?!) temple they have on-line ticket that ranges next 90 days for booking. I had enough time to plan (around 40 days). It was weird to find out that ticket has been already booked for all the future 90 days. Out of curiosity, the next day morning (9 o’clock) I checked availability of ticket on 91st day, no surprise, no room. I started checking this site frequently; it was always full – less mysterious, more doubtful.

Finalized, I booked a bus ticket from a travel agent that ensured a Darshanam (glimpse) of the God. We started six in morning from Chennai and were there in an infinitely long queue for Daarshanam. We were happy that even if the queue was actually 4 KM long, if we kept moving and 5 hrs (at the worst) in the queue and we would get a glimpse of the God.

Running over and below people’s feet, we reached to a monkey cage. Where they made us (500 people) stay and get bored for six long hours, the only thought I had was to escape from there even if it means no Darshanam (I wasn’t eager from start, either) [2]. And the truth was – no matter what God feared people say – everyone was getting more and more frustrated, restless and anxious. The effect of this pressure building resulted in a stampede as soon as the cage opened. People hit iron bars, got squeezed, rubbed and gone under other physically painful sufferings. People started shouting, cursing, pushing, slanging and doing all kind of panic activities.

The result of this rat race was a coupon for sweet that you are ‘eligible’ ONLY IF you have done Darshanam and you are back in another cage. Now, in this cage, people had become verbal. They started calling (requesting) officials to open the door or asking when the cage is scheduled to open etc. – all unanswered. Rumor starters had fun there, if there was a rumor that gate 3would open, people run from gate 1 to gate 3 (earlier rumor was for gate 1); four more hours for monkey descendents in the cage, and then opening of the gate at 10 o’clock at night.

It was very long, empty and silent corridor. And suddenly, there was an eruption. Everyone was happy; I am more than sure it was happiness of freedom. It was less a willingness to get Darshanam and more an urge to return home which was driving people to run and run-over.

The main temple had a tiny entrance, one person at a time. When the entrance pushed by the mad mob, I felt my ribs were going to collapse. People were shouting, using all the dirty slangs on fellow visitors and pushing each other, while entering. The passage way was narrow, many people with accessories like earrings, handkerchief in their hand and similar, had lost them because the pressure was peeling skin off. A lot of people got hurt. I have got a powerful push which made my heel bone to hit a corner stone leading a deep cut that bared the bone. I was already less faithful, I became even lesser.

It was quarter a second glance before security person pulls people by their arm and throws out of the area where the God is visible from. I couldn’t see anything; neither did I have any wish. I completed my Darshanam even before a quarter of a second, in fact, I ran the zone of the queue where people wait and see for 250 milliseconds before getting forcefully thrown.

We came out bought some stuffs for memories, I already had got something permanent on my body for memory – a solid wound which would leave a mark forever.

We ran back to bus, reached home at 4 AM.

[1] There is a hack for this system if the persons visiting Balaji are not around. The trick here is your security/non-transferable band has gender and fingerprint only, the barcode is just a cross-check to validate that it was issued from appropriate authority.

Now, if there are x men and y women are planning to visit Balaji and for some reason (small time window of visit, busy schedule etc.) they cannot go to ticket counter in Chennai. So, to hack this system, you just collect x men and y women of any age, get tickets issued. It is less likely that fingerprint is ever going to be verified at the temple.

There is no or very superficial checking on Balaji – unless you are damn unlucky you will not be caught.

[2] Yeah, they provide some free food, free water and toilet facility; which is a good idea. The problem is every time they bring food people rush to choke the food center and since they take more than what they can consume, there was big wastage of food and a lot of people never get food. The other good thing is cleanliness; hourly cleaning people come and clean the place.


RWNV 1: Kabala of Kabini

Rover, Wanderer, Nomad, Vagabond Part 1: Kabala of Kabini

(This article runs into 3 parts. Links to PART 2, PART 3)

Travelling is not my hobby. I have high inertia – even the thought of travel makes me feel bad in my stomach. But to maintain sane image, I rarely deny a proposal of an adventurous trip offered – no matter how bitterly I loathe the idea of carrying my dead body up to the hill. So last six weeks I was either busy in planning and organizing tour or touring.

Life was calm and crappy as usual in 7 bar 1* – the only round the clock shit-smelling paying guest house of ours, until I had got an enthusiastic call on June 17, 2008 from home that they were planning to visit me in Chennai. I was missing my mom too, but the amount of work involved in making their comfortable stay in Chennai was daunting, especially when you are a bachelor and your options are constraint by limitation on expense. I made few shameful excuses, few facts about availability of a proper staying place – It came out that they were ready to manage by their own. I realized that I shouldn’t let them down. And I started searching a rental place to accommodate my family. It turned out a costly deal to me, but I was happy that, at least, pre-requisites were done.

(* ‘7 bar 1’ was the place where I used to live earlier to July 1, 2008. ‘7 bar 1’ is nothing but the address of the place which is 7/1 Annanagar)

On July 1st, I with Syed and Kannan had shifted to the new place, this shifting period of next 10 days were hectic. And, in the mean time, family visit plan kept on canceling and rebuilding. And finally, when they made a concrete plan to visit on 16th July, 2008 – I realized that we have an official tour plan from 17 – 25th of July. Family visit had been shifted to start from 27th of July.

I am going to comment on places that I have visited. You should just ignore the stuffs that you do not like about the place because I don’t like travelling, anyway.

Kabini (Mysore): Kabini is a place close to Mysore - rich with natural diversities. 

We stayed in Kabini River Lodge – a government owned 24 hour stay picnic-cum-safari arrangement - quite good for people with fat wallet. It is like any other green jungle nearby a water pocket modified to get post-civilization humans a feel of jungle without losing civil-values (like, they exist!).


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Weaker Sex

The Weaker Sex (Earlier ‘Varanasi Revisited March 2008’)

“… They called their marriage ceremony off and returned groom back home without marriage because they were asking more dowry than they initially asked for. …”

Refer Indian Express 18th May special edition news about 3 girls who returned grooms back home.
(Author’s Note: I always think what happened to them. This story reminded me three other stories that I have came across. In this post, I raise a question, not putting my point of view)

I had been wondering all through my education why there were always a section called “woman’s condition” whenever they describe a society in any age or under any ruling? Perhaps the reason is that if woman, the weaker sex, had better condition, then the people at the bottom of the pyramid are treated humanely. When history would read early 21st century, it would say women were treated equally to men. The sad thing about history is it doesn’t reads below the layer and perhaps for good. See no evil, do no evil.

I find it very visible that female is still suppressed half of society specially after seeing these three real stories.

Story 1 [Bangalore]: An educated, born in respected family, software engineer who lives in a posh area of Bangalore and is a – so called – typical of gentlemen. A guru, supposed to have practical solutions to all real life problems from ‘how to clean carburetor’ to ‘how to find your real love.’ Let us call him Mr. Guru. This story, I found three months before leaving Chennai for Varanasi.

Mr. Guru cites this example of having happiest family life that “he” built. The example has big part as his initial marriage life which is full of frequent beating of his wife to straighten her out to make her follow his way. And when father-in-law interfered, he said that she was either a daughter or a wife, if father thought that she was his daughter take her to her paternal home, else – let him to handle her. One time in the story, Guru makes a comment that is rather explicit to mention here, where he says she liked beatings at some other times. And asks the audience why the father shied away when he mentioned this fact (Likely, this might be a fake to spice the story up)? At this moment, pupils (listener) make a laugh and agree. Supposedly, few months of beating made his wife a good woman. And they lived happily ever after.

Story 2 [Chhattisgarh]: This guy is a heavy drinker, almost lost his job due to alcoholism, once, but being in a government office no one expelled him. He was married eight years ago when he was presented as a responsible, educated and real shy guy from a very reputed family background. We will call this guy, the Drunkard.

The next month after wedding the wife of Drunkard reported his habit of drinking and occasional slapping and beating which were ignored by wife’s family as initial unsettlement. Then later Drunkard got notice of being expelled from office because of absenteeism (as the wife reported, it was due to husband’s alcohol love). Although that didn’t take his job away and he had started drinking heavily. The wife found out he had been a big drunkard and lazy even before the marriage. Beating was a daily routine now and more brutal.

Wife’s family, afraid of her life, took her back home; kept her happily for seven years. Now, she had become a social shame and financial burden to her parent. Moreover, second marriages are more a loose character issue than a symbol of ability to take strong steps in India. So no one would marry her. She went back to Mr. Drunkard.

I met her on the way to Varanasi. On asking how Mr. Drunkard behaves now, she replied this is a part of life all she hoped that he would stop daily beating, someday and she didn’t care whether he kept on drinking.

Story 3[Varanasi]: The guy is a philanderer, married at 32, a typical of UP guy, full of ego on nothing – a government employee. The relationship went smoothly with wife for almost six months until the girl wasn’t pregnant. Afterwards, the guy’s skirt chasing became visible to blind eyes. Call this guy, Womanizer.

Womanizer used to squander all of his money on women, took debts from friends and finally wife paid. This cycle went on until a big fight between the couple, the guy left home leaving his wife alone in last months of pregnancy. The girl didn’t call anyone until the condition became critical on the day of baby’s birth.

Girl brought back to paternal home for couple of months, the guy never showed up for next few months. After few months, the initial decision to leave the guy and live independently seemed to be against social security as well as social reputation. Remarriage was impossibility in UP and remarriage with a girl carrying a baby is next to impossible.

Now (when I was in Varanasi), my friend was describing that the girl’s parent and the girl were agree to send the girl back to Mr. Womanizer on his terms. The guy was tightening all the bolts to make sure that his side of business kept running.

The question is whether the glass is half filled or half empty? Are we correct when we say marriage is an institution - A custom that for a long time has been an important feature of some group or society? Aren’t we forcing to see half full glass? Is it possible that glass is actually half empty? Is it true, by our animal behavior, that female is, in fact, the weaker sex?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reply: Uneducated Literates

Rarely you get a comment that is a mix of suggestion, criticism, answer and question. Here is one and I really liked it. Reply to this comment would be so explanatory and justified (may be controversial) that I could brainstorm in discussion for hours. Here is the comment posed on my previous post Uneducated Literates and follows my reply.

You went for nightouts for your projects, you studied and toiled with all reverence and you landed up doing a job where mere diploma-holders could suffice. Who asked you to do a job like this? Who stopped you from doing R&D? Who asked you to join the herd of sheep or that of penguins for that matter? The answer is simple dude, its "you"!! You could have sought a challenging career even as a photographer, you could have excelled as school teacher with all your knowledge. But no, you from the very beginning were after something else. And let me give you a simple suggestion my friend, very few places give you both of what you seek. So, stop cribbing about what companies are doing, because you yourself are in that very mess(i suppose). Go and join CERN if you want to do some high-level research and drill down your brain to the brink. You are talking about India as a country, look at yourself dude, "you" are India and so are all of us. Cribbing is the favorite sport for Indians. So let Mr.S be happy with what he is doing, rather stop your whole body from burning and do some good.

-Anonymous Comment

I am not sure what you mean by 'cribbing', I use cribbing for copying. But from the context that you are talking about, I feel you mean 'frustration outburst' when you use cribbing. So, lets take one-by-one bottom up questons of yours.

First thing, I am not writting something that is a consequence of some 10 minute frustration and I shed it down on blog. Yes, I was frustrated at the very moment when Mr. S described, but afterthought made me realize that the dream he was running behind could have been achieved some three years back, plus he would have been a specialized in the work he was planning to do.

If he could have joined a NIIT J2EE Expert course, he could have been learning technology specifications for 2 years, a certification from Sun and we would have had a strong Java developer. He could have add-on more expertise during his career.

The problem here is career guidelines are hazy. We follow mob psychology, so if Mr. S's cousine did his B.E. in Civil Engineering then he joined Infosys, and now, after 3 years in Infosys, he is on on-site assignment in USA. We follow that path blindly without looking at inefficiencies in that. And, actually, that's justified for it is verified. But... had there been a open minded thinking over the process, you see a guy learnt Civil Engineering for 4 years, does some hefty swift course for a quater of a year that enables (and perhaps specially made to enables) him to clear Infosys interview process. Do you find it smooth? I do not.

The same could have been achieved in a better and effective way. People know that Civil Engineering isn't paying. And if paying, it's not the craze. It is not the one where mob push lies. And moreover, we have tracked path to USA with the guy's brother as example. I ask why would anyone bother trying anything new? (Although it saves few years.)

It itches when you see all these potential, who could have started adding values long-back, is doing interview passer courses that enable them earn 8000 INR/month. And then they wait clock to tick away 2 years so that, they can apply a job where they ask 2+ experience.
It is too procedural. It is boring. Are we having all these branches, engineering colleges estabilished and mashrooming up to produce software engineers? You cant deny the preciding statement. And if you agree, then I ask another question. Is it correct? Isn't it a removable inefficiency. All my post says why dont we have courses that creates software professionals by keeping courses based on real market demand, instead of openning engineering degree colleges that make Biotechnologists, Mechanical engineers who later become software developers.

Now let's take on why I stress people doing diploma in engineering instead of degree. I am not sure whether you are following or not Ranbaxy is in rumour for ownership change. There have been long debates about IP, about patents, R and D and about egnineering and pharma grads. The main thing out of this story, India is a developing country with lot of cheap labour and heavy natural resources. It is economically favorable to be a producer than being inventor, at least for the present times. To be a producer you do not need engineering grads, or at least, you do not need bulk of engineers because you are importing alrerady-in-use technology from some foreign country which is well verified and approved. The technology won't break on daily basis in a manner that need engineering skills, all it need diploma guys who can manage them efficiently without getting frustrated. And, if you want to know the truth, India's current biggest automobile manufacturer RnD unit is a joke.

Let come back to "me" being India part. You are correct that we are the youth of the nation - we drive the country. I have that realization. I did had childhood dream of having my own version of R2D2, could be easily achieved by joinind Honda or probably I may go for higher education, some heavy duty RnD. I like those stuffs. But it is hard to stay sane when see lies opening up. You go mad when you see the best of our country labs are miles behind the sophistication they claim. You break to find out some of really nice labs are as useful as Pandora Box because of several reasons.

It is frustrating to see misguided talents and at the same time to find out misused resources and bubble boasts. So, who told me work in mob's way? I reply, I decided. I chose not to work in an area where we aren't frontiers. I decided to accumulate talent and streamline them. I dream to make an invention driven, innovation mativated environment. I look for the next big thing. And that is why I decided not to go for CERN but to create another CERN. Are you with me?


Monday, May 12, 2008

SLOG: Uneducated Literates

SLOG: Uneducated Literates
SLOG means Small bLOG

Mr. S is my roommate, a nice guy, about to complete his bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering in next one month. One day during talk I asked how his project work was going. He replied that he, like other guys, had paid INR 18,000 to some company which would create a project for him, work on it and before the presentation; they would finish the project and give the software with document and presentation to him. All he would need to do is read through the presentation during the seminar.

On asking the knowledge of this fact to the professors he replied that everyone knows and all the students do this.

I had got burned from my top to bottom listening this, but after giving a thought I found out that this phenomenon is almost omnipresent in India. The education is just a tag; it is not a meter of knowledge. And for the developing country like India, it is job what matters at the end of the day. And for a job you do not need to perspire on a useless project that is, anyways, going to be assumed to be a fake owing to the massive fake CV culture.

We don’t have massive demand of technical guys at R and D level for the reason that we are not at technological forefront as a country, so we don’t have companies doing research. All we have is companies that buy the technology and they need technical guys who can just take care of the process as an inspector. For doing so, you don’t need a project to be done. In fact, you don’t even need a technical degree; a diploma would be just as fine. So what is the purpose of going through night outs for a lousy worthless project?

I do not understand why we have so many degree colleges, especially in technical fields when all we need is diplomas. We need persons who can understand technology and work on them effectively. This requirement is completely fulfilled by a diploma holder. And a diploma gives you early job opportunity. After your high school (std 10), go for a three year diploma course. Done, you are a jobseeker at the age at the age as low as 17 years.

I do not understand why even after knowing the reality we don’t change, why education is more like a blind man showing path to another blind man or rather it behaves like a herd of sheep or perhaps, thousands of penguins at the edge of iceberg.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

SLOG: To Mr. Tharoor

SLOG: To Mr. Tharoor
SLOG means Small bLOG

March 30th, 2008, in Sunday Times in his column, Mr. Shashi Throor writes a fiction, “An IIT graduate walks near a pond, gets a speaking frog that requests and then begs to kiss it so that it can turn into a real beautiful loving princes. The IITian guy replies that he has got no time for girls but a talking frog is cool.” [Rephrased from: Why some engineers become terrorist]

For your kind information, Mr. Tharoor, engineers are frustrated variety of human being. A kind of people, who get frustrated when everything is the way as they wanted, for the reasons why everything have to be in their way; and the other way, they have got reasonable reason.

They are frustrated. If there is no work, they feel wasting life, if too much work then a slave. And in case there is good work-life balance, then they feel making no positive impact on the world by living like any other Tom, Dick or Harry.

Mr. Tharoor, frustration is the 47th chromosome that an engineer adds up in its DNA during education. This chromosome pairs up with 48th chromosome as terrorism in later phase of its life. Now, depending on dominating circumstances, either the engineer turns into more common spouse torturer or less common terrorist.

I am pretty much sure that you must have never been to pond for a walk. If you go, you may find some engineer catching every second frog and kissing to get a possible princess convertible frog.


Monday, April 21, 2008

SLOG: Dogs and Long Hairs


Annanagar is a decent posh area of Chennai. Everyone, from people to dogs, is friendly unless you are weird in their sense.

I love walking on the wide and beautifully brighten dead late night roads of Annanagar. It feel good when cool wind blows against me, for the reasons it feels soothing and it feels nothing less than a Hollywood hero (who appears against dark horizon after having deadly fight with werewolves), when you see your shoulder blade reaching hairs waving in air without any constrain.

But, that was my description, a person who owns long hairs. For a decent and totally non-drug-addicted dog, it is stranger than fiction to find out a six feet long walking Hydra with his active one foot long tentacles being super excited to see living being dwelling around for a good dinner. This dog makes sure he wasn’t hallucinating and decides to save human race from this over grown Hydra. He follows me closely.

I, completely unknown to the dog’s psyche, feel something’s following and growling. I turn back to find out a dog, barely inches behind my leg with its jaw open. I start a panic run. The dog, now completely sure of the evil, runs behind me… and then I pick some pebble from road throws back to the dog that hits it in its ribs. It runs away. Phew…

Suddenly, it reappears out of nowhere, jumping on my legs to catch a fleshy part and pull down the villain. Now, I – out of my wits – also start jumping. I don’t know what to do and never remember afterwards what I did. But somehow three-four security guards appear from the nearby ATMs and I am saved – barely.

This is one of the three similar occurrences on that day. And that day was one of many similar days when I leave the office late without hair band.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Terror Trips: 2

Terror Trips – Bangalore Bruises (Part 2)
This story runs into 2 parts. Read Part 1>>

With my laptop in hanging side bag (hanging to left) and my airbag hanging to right, I started running up the flyover. At the top, I found it was barricaded. ‘Shit!’ I almost shouted watching I have lost one more minute and then thought that I wouldn’t go back via subway. I just jumped over the barricade. And then broke into a run.

It must have been very funny seeing a plump jelly bag running with two bags jumping by the side of it in perfect synchronization. A good example for a physics student to explain how forced oscillation works. But I was not in image makeover mood. The last thing I wanted this time was a phone call (not really, nature’s call could have been the worst). And it did ring. I cut it.

I was by the side of the road. (“Use subway.” you are not supposed to cross road here – the black painted words on yellow isosceles triangular board were barking on me.) ‘Now I need to cross the road, jump over high divider, then run through the parking, cross ticket booking counter, look at the electronic board for platform number, cross the over bridge to get to the appropriate platform. Get into any of the coaches. And the rest would be dealt later.’ I was straightening up the plan.

I was amazed by the speed I ran. It was 11:42 when I reached here.

I had got stuck now; vehicles on the road were not getting me any chance to cross the road. For a moment I thought I couldn’t do it because all I had was three minutes in hand and a job which was daunting for a spineless serpent. Then I recalled Uncle’s formula, ‘desperate conditions need desperate measures.’

You can call me extremely lucky because I ran through the road without even looking on coming vehicles. All I realized was Marla Singer from Fight Club (2002) movie was right and I should not follow these kind movies!

Now I was on the station side of the road and no big boundary to break, so I ran without caring who I bump into. It was 11:44, I was near information center. Surprise! All the information boards were black. No information about any train. Which platform should I go? Without wasting any other moment I ran to platform one expecting the display there would be working. Alas! Blank screen! “No, it cannot happen to me. I still have one minute in hand.” I was aggressive this time. (Which is the rarest of my emotions, for most of the time I am depressive.) I could see trains on platform 2 but cannot read the number of the train from platform one. I jumped climb over the flyover that connects platforms when I reached at the top I could see that trains were there on each of the platform 2, 4, 5 and 6. And no display was working on any of the platforms or on the flyover on which I was.

‘I cannot climb down each platform check and climb up until I get right train. If my train is on platform six, I would surely loose this way.’ I thought and I ran on the flyover and reached to a place right above platform two. I started shouting to people standing on platform two, ‘Hey! Hey you! Hey Man! Bro! Oye!’ No reply. I ran down to platform two to find out that it wasn’t the train I wanted. I asked one fruit vendor at the platform about the train. He thought for two or three precious moments and said, “may be on platform five.”

I was high on adrenaline, I had almost ready to do the most courageous task at the moment. It was 11:44 when I was on platform one, I did not know how much more seconds I had got before the train would whistle and depart. I didn’t have luxury to think and evaluate the risk associated with going via flyover (which may risk catching the train) and going through the rails, crossing one standing train which may move any second (which may risk my life). I chose the second one.

Jumped, crossed the rails with my head turning left to right frequently and horribly looking for any clue of any coming train. Then I crossed through the standing train. And here I was on platform five. The digital clock says 11:45. The train before me was 6221 Chennai Express. I asked Ticket Inspector, confirmed with travelers, and reached to my compartment. The birth was empty. I jumped over it and lied down. Curled myself in, perhaps, a perfect circle the way balances forces make perfect circle of a head to tail tied string when it is put into soap bubble to show tenth standard guys an example of surface tension. I started feeling pains and response from different parts of my body which was never ready for a Die Hard kind of adventure.

My thighs were thumping hard like drum skin, gut was wrenching. I found that I had smaller lungs than I needed at that time. I was breathing heavily. I was drenched in sweat and was dying of thirst. I was the least of the surprises of the day to find out that I forgot to take water bottle. I wasn’t angry rather I was very calm. Perhaps I was too happy with myself or perhaps I didn’t have enough energy left in me to be angry, whatever.

I think the next time I would plan Bangalore trip carefully.

---- The End ----

Terror Trips: 1

Terror Trips – Bangalore Bruises (Part 1)
This story runs into 2 parts. Link for Part 2 >>

This was the fourth time in last six months – every time with more commitment to make it more organized and fruitful the next time and, evidently, ending up doing exactly opposite. This story is about my last trip to Chennai from Bangalore.

First time, in September, Chennai Central railway station 4 o’clock in the morning Saturday, I had no idea what to do – one thing I knew that I had to go to Bangalore today, at any cost. I was lucky got Shatabdi express at six.
Returning was the same. Sunday, Clueless on Majestic bus stop Bangalore. A cunning broker gunned me down for twice of the cost for a private bus seat. I took countless big red etching spots all over my body as a souvenir for one full week by bed-bugs provided by the bus service.
‘Organize the next time’, I decided.

Second time, first week of December, coming back from Mysore trip, I cut short the trip detoured to Bangalore while coming back. I reached there with very foul feeling in my stomach.
Returning ticket was at quarter to twelve on Sunday. Unclear whether I’d get a bus at that much late night from the place where I stayed (which is a remote area), so I left the place at nine and reached at the station at ten. Rest hundred and five minutes I kept on counting – counting number of pillars on the platform, counting numbers of LEDs in the big digital watch etc.

Third time, December end, perfect plan – got up and down journey tickets reserved by bus. Came by bus without any warm clothes, at morning 5 o’clock I reached to Bangalore almost half dead by cold. I had two glasses of hot tea before starting from bus stop to Nihar’s place.
While returning, surprisingly, I lost the return ticket and when reached to the bus stop (without ticket), I found the bus stop was too confusing that when I got to the place where the bus stands it had already left ten minutes ago. Withdrew money from and overly crowded ATM, re-reserved in next bus which came seventy five minutes later.

The fourth time – this time I have got up and down train reservation one week in advance which was in waiting but had got confirmed by the journey day. Left office at 7:30, planned to catch a bus from nearby bus stop to my place at 08:30. I thought that I had too much time, but I was panic before I could reach to my place. It was 08:30, I had not packed yet. There was no guarantee that I would get a bus from the nearest bus stop (from my place) for the railway station. And even if I got one, I wouldn’t be able to get the train which was scheduled to leave at 09:30 at night.

Sijju Joy came to rescue. I asked him if he would be able to ride me up to the train station in ‘FIFTY’ minutes. He misunderstood it with ‘fifteen’ minutes and took it as a challenge and asked me keep watch of the time.

Chennai roads were very busy and full of one-ways that makes a rule following excellent bike driver to take a minimum of thirty minutes to reach from my place to the station.

Sijju told me that if there is no traffic police he would do all the malpractice to make the trip shorter than fifteen minutes duration. Then he started. He saved times by turning using smaller radius at higher speed and at highest possible inclination, sometime by jumping over red light which was green a moment ago, some other time by overtaking the vehicles from wrong side, some time by escaping from very narrow gap between two vehicles and sometime just by shouting on the preceding rider for neither riding fast nor giving pass. And once he drove through a one way from wrong side.

I was sure that the ride was going to end well within fifteen minutes. At the end of fifteen minutes either we would be dead or on the station – in any case Sijju was going to keep the promise of making the trip within 15 minutes.

I reached safely with my heart exploding inside my rib cage. Thanked Sijju for helping me out in such an odd time. (And also for not killing me)

Returning was weird. It was GP’s job treat – Barbeque Nation Hotel, enjoyed, overate and at the end of the dinner we realized that returning to Nihar’s place, packing and then running to rail station by bus would be a sure shot method to get late for the return train. So, Nihar triple rode – GP and I were looking curiously for any traffic police who could catch us, so that Nihar could strategically run away. We reached back Nihar’s place safely.

When I got the bus from Nihar’s place to railway station, it was five minutes to eleven. The train was at 11:45; and in general it takes more than an hour for a bus to reach from Nihar’s place to train station. It may take fifty minutes or less because it was night – I thought for a moment and then, instead of abandoning the journey, I took the risky decision to take bus and try and fail (or pass). Bus ran unexpectedly fast and I was there at the closest bus stop to railway station at 11:36 as the station’s tower clock said. I was yet around half a kilometer away from the station.

If you haven’t seen me recently, you can assume me as a plastic bag full of jelly, the way you think blob may look like or perhaps boneless cheek flesh stuffed in closed skin. And note that sports and me are antithesis. Now this piece of utterly lazy meat was in pathetic condition. I was in a sport challenge without practice. The distance that I take 30 minutes to cross, I had only nine. I jumped from the bus and was confused because I didn’t jump where the stop is, I jumped before it to save time, to make short cut but the place seemed to nowhere connecting to the way to the station. I ran in Brownian motion, sticking from all possible knowledgeable blokes in my circle of visibility – in the same manner nucleophile searches for a positive rich site in an organic reaction. Finally started running towards the way where the bus would have gone had I not jumped out of that. Reached to the place where bus was stopped. I got it. Yeah. This was the subway that connects bus stop to the station.

11:39 tower clock said. ‘Now I would go through it to reach the other-side – the railway station side. But wait. Remember? The last time when you came here it was closed half the way. No I wouldn’t take risk. I would use the flyover and then cross the road. But it is rule violation. Let’s risk it. I had nothing to lose.’ I thought these things in nanoseconds or perhaps picoseconds whatever.

Read part 2 >>

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

B.U.F.Y. 11: THE END?

Baby, Uncle and the Final Year (B.U.F.Y.) 11: THE END?
Links for Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8, Part9, Part10
[This is the last part of the series]
F**k you Tavant Technologies: Tavant Technologies is one of the worst things that ever happened to me – they are one big cheat. On 27th of April they informed us that our joining date is December the 10th, which means six months of unemployment – or in other words, they were saying that they have hired us but they aren’t capable to pay us so we should get out in the market searching another job for ourselves.
There are many aspects of this organization which I knew from my different sources inside Tavant at the time.
  1. Their major (perhaps only) client which accounted for 70% of the revenue had pulled off their project from Tavant.

  2. At the point of out recruitment, a wave of resignation was dominating inside Tavant. Their recruitment spree was a fail-safe, or may be a show off.

  3. They didn’t have the courtesy to respond to our queries.

  4. HRM never talked to our Training and Placement in-charge, in fact, they rudely behaved with Professor Sinha. Professor had got pissed off but he couldn’t ban the organization from Training and Placement. I do not understand this. Perhaps it was heavy load of getting higher placement percentage or ignorance or lack of gut, which refrain him from blacklisting Tavant. All we could get out of him is ‘wish you all the very best in your future endeavors’ which I readily translated into ‘guys, see I have thousands of other important things to do than cleaning the mess that you have made. Go get yourself something that suits you and get off my back. I, hereby, declare my surrender.’
    ‘You are lesser of the two evils, sir. Thank you for not wasting our time.’ I thought.

  5. When we came down to Bangalore, we met this really friendly employee of the company who advised us that we are luckier not to join the company.
And for my miserable sixty days, I will never forgive Tavant Technologies.
See you Kgp: May 10, 2007, I was a winner. My presentation was one of the best and my guide was personally congratulated by the invited invigilator. After presentation my guide called and congratulated me for a really great presentation and asked me whether I would like to work more on the project and get it published in technical journal? I denied. Had you asked me, one day before this day, about my professor, I would have told you he one of those non-believers who thought students can never do anything worthwhile. But now, he kept on appraising and I melted.
Throughout Kharagpur’s life, I have been blaming this institute for the reason that except for the days of Robotics events, my life was too static there – doing nothing, there was nothing else that kept me interested there. I was one of those guys who dragged the years of their higher education second by second, or may be millisecond by millisecond. Still, leaving Kgp was a painful experience. Once it was decided that we have to leave, we were fractioning every second to get the maximum out of it. We were trying to pull the sun hard to prevent the end of each remaining day. But then one day, no one knows when it came, we were moving out. To my disbelief, it hurt.
Ask me three best things in IIT Kharagpur. I would say,
  1. Central Library: The richest library, I have ever seen. I was in absolute love with this place from the first day when I saw it and the love kept on growing. Anything and everything, you can get on pages, were there. Muse yourself, explore anything you want, surprise yourself. It is one of the least utilized resources of IIT Kharagpur. Majority of Kgp think that it is good for nothing, I certainly couldn’t convince them but neither could they to me.

  2. Robotics: I had this wish to own one of my R2D2 robot. Frustrated as anyone with that kind of wish could be, when he comes to Kgp to find a white elephant namely, iLab which runs IIT’s robotics society headed by a know nothing Tuglaq – Prof. CS Kumar. It is one of the examples of how bad an organization can become when its values are rotten by student politics of accruing certificate for doing nothing but praising seniors and professors; and whose sources of inspiration, the professors involved, are busy in self appraisal. It reminds me Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

    I was lucky enough to find two really serious guys who were damn interested in Robotics and extremely hard working. They were confident of making a robo-servant, R2D2. I feel myself really blessed to have them with me. They are G. Vijaysagar and Kiran C. I admire them.

    It used to be high time for us; once the problem for institute’s national level robotics competition problem is out. It is, usually, start of November when we start thinking, January is full of work and excitement. February start is anxious because we used to have only a few days to the competition. And somehow we would manage to finish our robot by the day and have something, really, to be proud of.

    We started from 2nd year failed to even make a working robot this time, learnt it a very hard way of failures. We were at a point of being breaking off after this failure, but then situation stabilized when we did some projects and participated in some other robotics events. Finally, got prepared to win the 1st prize the next year and then again next year.

    I used to resurrect in every November to die again in coming February from 2nd year to 4th year.
    Amazing days… huh, all I wanted to do is to make a team with my wing-mates but they had other priorities – I was a dreamer.

    I still am.

  3. LAN: Hardly anyone can deny that Local Area Network (LAN) was one of the list toppers for everyone’s ‘Things I miss after IIT Kharagpur’ list. It was alive, dynamic. Like the library, anything that you can wish for a computer can hold, is there on the LAN.

    Aladdin must be jealous of IIT Kharagpur’s LAN. For everything, Kgp is dedicated to the service of Nation but the LAN. LAN is dedicated to service of the students, in all possible ways.
    MOTD: Bow to the mighty little green Dinosaur.
E for enjoy Electronic City: June 2007, with the clear picture that Tavant had screwed us, Uncle and I were calculating our chances of getting a job in next 30 days. Later we knew that we were wrong with our initial assumption of 30 days.
It was 06:30 PM at Electronic City, Nihar and GP were back from their office. Uncle and I were sitting on the Hall bed waiting of their question what we did that day (for job search). I was frustrated because I knew that we did nothing that could assure them that I had moved one step ahead in the quest of my job search. And they did ask. I was thirteen year old again and my father asking how I managed to fail in History. Although, in both the cases, they were thinking the best for me, but I felt like micro organism being viewed with single weak naked eyes of a giant from over the universe. And just then, my phone rang, I ran to the roof with the mobile. It was fierce wind with drizzling. Opposing wind, then, felt like saying that everything is against me.
I clicked to pick the phone, the first few letters that spilled out of the receiver, were ‘Student life is over, dude!’ It was Saumya Kant Sahoo, trying to make me realize that the time has come to put off the pink glasses. It was more a sort of irritating babble which followed this line and I, really, never cared what he said after this line. It was a sort of chanting that had started running into my mind – out of my control – ‘Student life is over, dude!
Standing on the roof of the four storied building, sky grayed with depressed watery clouds, with cold wind to trying to throw me out of the roof, lights in neighborhood coming alive one by one, the balloon at e-Inn and I were strongly in conflict with the environment with our (balloon and me) feet steady on the ground (assuring each other) and then, suddenly, the surrounding buildings started shattering down one by one as someone had put a mass destruction plan all over Electronic City and here it goes, as end scene of the movie ‘Fight Club’, with loud heavy guitar with lyrics
With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind

……. End of the Series …….

Monday, February 04, 2008

B.U.F.Y. 10: Ready to fly, Ready to fight

Baby, Uncle and the Final Year (B.U.F.Y.) 10: Ready to fly, Ready to fight

Links for Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8 , Part9(Links to future parts will be available in comments)

Dhoti, Kurta and Bang-Bang: In fifth year, we were able to create a new synergy among the people of 5th year Mechanical Engineering of Manufacturing Systems and Engineering (by ‘we’, I mean all fourteen students and all professors who taught us that year.) This used to be a dysfunctional, throw mud on others group. I kind of started feeling a personal attachment with the group and the year ended too soon to relish.

We decided that all of us fourteen would wear dhoti and Kurta on the last exam of our last year of the course. Arrangement were made, dhotis and Kurtas were brought from Gol Bazaar from a shop which provides clothing for drama groups. They were distributed to every person. Cameras were checked, rechecked. We were kind of fearless from the exam, so we went with minimal preparation of exam that made sure that we did not fail - the bare minimum.

In morning, between a lot of confusion and hubbub, we started moving to examination hall from our hostels – five minute after the exam had started. We reached to the examination hall at 9:10 to find out that none of us were there in the hall – AND IT HAD ALREADY BEEN 10 MINUTES SINCE THE EXAM HAD BEGUN. But as I said, we had become fearless by then. So we asked the invigilator to come in. And here comes the show stopper – the party pooper professor releasing a fatwa of either to go back change the cloths with something more sober (and I used to think that Dhoti-Kurta was an Indian dress!) or come next year again but sober.

We all hurried up to the nearest toilet. Fourteen people inside the toilet hall – all changing cloths – was a bit uncomfortable for the people who were already in there relieving themselves. They left the toilet immediately with a weird look and fake smile as if they were saying, ‘what a nuts!’ We did not deny.

Wrote the paper and we all came out around half an hour before the final bell rang, buried the question paper in a hope that ‘may god provide peace their poor souls, which always bear the burden of turning a normal person into anything but sane, on a mere flick of a professor’s hand.’

We went back to the same bathroom – all fourteen again – shooed off everyone inside, changed into Bengali Dhoti-Kurta and roamed around the campus, Clicked every single corner of campus wherever our legs took us. Had a nice lunch at Harrys, talked all big air-castle plan around our near future. Obviously, we were far beyond the ground reality when everyone of were claiming that they know the world out there.

I was just 22 days away to learn the first lesson of “ground reality” when I boasted my semi-truth claim of ‘I know because I have seen!’ (And tighten my neck as a proud crane.)

I am attaching few snaps that you may find interesting.

Uncertain goodbye: I thought it to be a joke when Uncle came to my room dry mouthed, half worried and gasping to inform me that Nitisha and he were provided with a joining date of December 10, 2007 by Tavant Technology which was the same organization I was placed in. I thought it as a trifle matter that would be solved by some talking. And I wasn’t much involved until I had got the same.

I was ignorant until I realized that IIT Kharagpur’s Training and Placement department was as feeble as we were. All they could do was to say ‘we hope the best for your future endeavors.’ The moment these words came out of Professor Sinha – the then TnP in-charge, I felt like someone punched a powerful kick into my gut, I was on periphery again. All plans were subdued. When everyone else were calling home to inform that they would come on the certain date, I was playing juggling with my plans, spreading a confusion whether I would go home or Bangalore – switching back and forth, I was one poor soul asking for mercy from someone whom I did not know for something which I did not do. I was desperately searching for panic button.

Monday, January 28, 2008

B.U.F.Y. 9: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Baby, Uncle and the Final Year (B.U.F.Y.) 9: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Links for Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8 (Links to future parts will be available in comments)

Uncle’s Bear Bottle Bottom-up: With yet another treat by Bio-Techies for the reason of why-do-we-need-a-reason-for-after-placement-party. Uncle came, drunk, straight to my room and announced aloud that he had managed to drink a full bear bottle without getting sleep in between. For your information, Uncle used to be a great drinker in his boasts only. Uncle had this habit to doze off after having half a bottle of bear, at most. I disbelieved and continued listening Iron Maiden. Uncle left the room in frustration.

Half an hour later, late in mid night, Baby knocked the door to go and check whether Uncle was alive. Uncle was watching South Park with immense concentration and was cutting the skin near to his thumb’s root. (It always gave me creep!) We sat next to him and kept bugging until he shut the show and was ready to dance on ‘Namak Ishq Ka’ song. (I really amazed how we had come to this decision.)

Dancing, dancing… suddenly half the way of the song, I didn’t know what came to Uncle’s drunk brain, he popped his shaking bums out (as if it wasn’t a part of his body) and pulled his tracks down showing his bare posteriors. I certified that Uncle had had a full bear bottle inside his belly.

This was the third time in two semesters when Uncle did it without any regret in future. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the second time. It was the time when Dharmu came to Kgp for our placement treat and Uncle made a camera captured show of his pee-pee.

Uncle, Baby, Kgp’s Psycho and all about ‘Indian Flag on Mars’: Very few notice that the iron giant of Frankenstein age that stands next to Tagore Open Air Theatre (TOAT) near IIT Kharagpur institute gate is supposedly a coal refining plant. It is a group three great tin cylinders, one main cylinder of 25 – 30 feet height and 2 feet diameter is accompanied by two relatively smaller ones in height and diameter. All the three were having a conical cap at the top, like a chimney. The main cylinder had pipes connecting it to the auxiliary ones and a big iron pipe coming out of the main cylinder and going into the ground by making three weird elbow turns. The color was Communist Red with rusty red variation in hue which was giving it a perfect look of a ‘once a great technology now abandoned’ look. (Unfortunately, it was painted with water-proof shiny color in mid 2007)

With our now (after placement) more frequent visits to staff canteen and Nescafe, we happened to talk about this ferrous crap occasionally – comparing with all kind of thing that could remotely look like this (believe me you are not going to like if I tell you all the stuffs we compared it with). Uncle and I came up with this fantasy story about ‘Did Indians Land on the Mars?’ It was a conspiracy theory, which proves that Indians actually went to Mars in AD 1952 much before USA guys claimed to flag Lunar. We, actually, had a plan to create a video documentary on it but could not.

The theme follows closely with ‘Did we land on the moon?’ except the motive. This documentary proves that Indians did land on the Mars contrary to the mentioned one. The story goes something like this.


R and D Center: IIT Kharagpur.

Chief Design Engineer: Prof M. Ramanujam. (Mechanical Engineering Department)


  1. The mad Bengali Communist whom you can see shouting on the road with a side cloth-bag. Legends tell that he was a research scholar at the institute when he got lunatic (or marsite). Since then he never left IIT Kgp campus somehow managing his living necessities. One can easily find him near Harrys’, barking in Bengali mixed English – some time on real big issues like American monopoly and intrusion in Iraq.

  2. A weird red dog. It was one of those dogs that give you a shiver in spine – not because they are monstrous but because they look like one of those Resident Evil dogs. You feel pity and angry at the same time.

The Martian: Imagine someone whom you enjoy to torture.

Continue reading >>>

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Did Indians Land on the Mars?

Did Indians Land on The Mars? - A Documentary

Very few notice that the iron giant of Frankenstein age that stands next to Tagore Open Air Theatre (TOAT) near IIT Kharagpur institute gate is supposedly a coal refining plant. It was a group three great tin cylinders, one main cylinder of 25 – 30 feet height and 2 feet diameter - was accompanied by two relatively smaller ones in height and diameter. All the three were having a conical cap at the top, like a chimney. The main cylinder had pipes connecting it to the auxiliary ones and a big iron pipe coming out of the main cylinder and going into the ground by making three weird elbow turns. The color was Communist Red with rusty red variation in hue which was giving it a perfect look of a ‘once a great technology now abandoned’ look. (Unfortunately, it was painted with water-proof shiny color in mid 2007)

With our now (after placement) more frequent visits to staff canteen and Nescafe, we happened to talk about this ferrous crap occasionally – comparing with all kind of thing that could remotely look like this (believe me you are not going to like if I tell you all the stuffs we compared it with). Uncle and I came up with this fantasy story about ‘Did Indians Land on the Mars?’ It was a conspiracy theory, which proves that Indians actually went to Mars in AD 1952 much before USA guys claimed to flag Lunar. We, actually, had a plan to create a video documentary on it but could not.

The theme follows closely with ‘Did we land on the moon?’ except the motive. This documentary proves that Indians did land on the Mars contrary to the mentioned one. The story goes something like this.

[read this story real s--l--o--w.]


R and D Center: IIT Kharagpur.

Chief Design Engineer: Prof M. Ramanujam. (Mechanical Engineering Department)


  1. The mad Bengali Communist whom you can see shouting on the road with a side cloth-bag. Legends tell that he was a research scholar at the institute when he got lunatic (or marsite). Since then he never left IIT Kgp campus somehow managing his living necessities. One can easily find him near Harrys’, barking in Bengali mixed English – some time on real big issues like American monopoly and intrusion in Iraq.

  2. A weird red dog. It was one of those dogs that give you a shiver in spine – not because they are monstrous but because they look like one of those Resident Evil dogs. You feel pity and angry at the same time.

The Martian: Imagine someone whom you enjoy to torture.

The Story:

IIT Kharagpur is India’s first national engineering institute. There was a reason why unlike all other IITs, this IIT had no foreign collaboration in its foundation and why is it situated in the mid of unknowns of a remote jungle in the least developed area of west Bengal. The reason was secrecy. IIT Kharagpur was founded for development of World’s first attempt to send a life form to Mars. The institute was named as an engineering education institute just to deceive the world and this fact it still a truth – you don’t learn anything there.

The documentary starts with black and white footages of weird places like automobile lab, people working as concentration camp labors in foundry lab and other weird yet technical places of Kharagpur. It talks about how they captured brainy guys of that time and turned into highly sophisticated bio-robots (zombies) that work relentlessly, environment friendly and efficiently.

The conversion from genius humans to genius bio-robots is a batch process namely, Manufacturing classes and labs where they are psychologically dosed for three seemingly never ending hours a week and then three hours of lab a week to actually screw the sensible part of the brain out. After 8 months of such treatment you are left with insane bio-robots. At this point this documentary shows black and white Nazi looking video footage of a three fourth sleepy class in fully packed Raman Auditorium. This may be a scene from Chemistry lecture of 1st year. And another footage with similar effect which shows Transport Engineering Lab or Machining Lab. Few more footages goes in this section which shows acting-monkey guys and girls from Spring Fest (SF) and the narrator says that they are the bio-robots that went out of control and then it focuses towards SF Control Tents which, narrator says, is responsible to keep out of control bio-robots busy in monkey-act and keep them from disturbing the project.

The second part of the documentary starts with the present video footage of the coal refining plant. Narrator says that it is actually a space craft that flew up and down between Earth and Mars, Indians had renamed it to a coal refining plant to avoid any attention to the great machine of all times. The narrator then explains the technical sophistications of the spacecraft. And a very short launch film of the launch is shown with a shaky camera in black and white. This footage is hazy and unclear with salt and pepper noise and was taken from a big distance. At the corner of the footage red ‘EXCLUSIVE’ would be blinking.

The narrator now announces that now he is going show us some footage that our eyes would never believe and our consciousness would refuse to accept the fact. He continues with a pause, ‘this exclusive footage and documents were provided by one of the key member of the project who agreed to hand over a copy of the material on our guarantee of not to disclose his name and one day Bandh in West Bengal.’

Here starts the footage of mars.

We decided to shoot this part of documentary on an abandoned red ground near IIT Kgp, which looked perfectly like a Martian land in red lit evening sun during March. The special effect would be done in a manner that looks the video a very crappy ‘50s color video with a lot of blurs and audio and video noises.

The footage starts with blinking red ‘EXCLUSIVE’ at the top left corner. This guy, the astronaut, totally wrapped (which looks like someone hastily done the job of wrapping) in Aluminum foil with a one foot long antenna, also wrapped, coming out of his fore-head – jumps out of the spacecraft. Unable to manage to stand on the surface he rolls and then stands up embarrassed. And the screen freezes at the moment and a Windows pop up message comes saying, “A small roll by a man, a giant gyration by Mankind. To continue with the video, please click ‘Agree’ button.” The video continues when the narrator clicks the agree button. Now, the astronaut starts picking different stuffs from Martian ground sniffs, analyses and some time licks the things and puts them into his side bag. (the cloth bag)

The narrator starts, “The keen eyed and brilliant minded astronaut sneaked out some very crucial things from the Mars which laid the path of modern technology on the earth which includes diet Pepsi among the others.” Then the footage shows the stuffs that he picks from the ground. It shows the man is madly picking up stuffs. First he picks up Diet Pepsi with the message “for obese Americans of late ‘90s”, then he picks up a credit card, followed by a CD which is labeled as

‘Hotmail Installer.

Password of this CD is the name of Sabeer Bhatia’s mother. Wait till he takes birth’

Uncle’s Suggestion: In the back ground of this scene, we would show the dog, which went with the astronaut wrapped in aluminum foil with antenna projected normally his forehead, is fucking a red colored naked human-like animal (a Martian, in fact.). When finished, the dog picks something from ground and goes back in spacecraft. Later in footage, the dog is shown with a packet clutching in his mouth. Camera zooms in the packet, the label reads, “Condom. This is only for the prevention of the virus this animal is taking with it. It cannot be cured on the Earth because it needs a Mars grown herb. Thank you, visit again.”

The Mars part footage part ends here and the narrator starts with the documents given by the man.

The documentary shows an old paper with a very curvy dotted line joining Mars and Earth. The dotted line has a cross mark directly above the Earth, precisely above Pakistan, and a continuous red line joining the cross to Karachi. The narrator says, “Indian had this plan to drop an atom bomb on Pakistan from space. A very clever plan which is now being copied by USA under the name of Star Wars, the plan was failed because it crashed with a trial rocket projected by Russians. Unfortunately, Russians recorded it as mission failed due to technical malfunction while in reality, there rocket was perfect if it hadn’t collided with the atom bomb.”

The documentary proceeds with the current scene in IIT Kharagpur. It shows this astronaut shouting in Bengali mixed English by the side of ill faced dog. The narrator says, “This dog was the reason of HIV spread on the Earth. I still wonder how it passed to human and spread! [Pause]The astronaut was de-memorized. When shouts like a mad, he sometimes leaves sprinkled information about the mission in his seemingly mad talk.”

The scene moves towards Prof. M. Ramanujam. The narrator says, “The professor, who was the chief-designer of the project, was too obsessed with his work that after completion of the project he had gone out of his mind. Rumors have it that he was asked to design a water tank for PAN loop. He, supposedly, took Martian value of gravity and mis-designed the water tank and the result is that PAN loop of Kgp still suffers water problems.” Documentary shows few lunatic clips of the professor.

The narrator paused for 10 seconds when all the main clips are played once again.

Narrator starts, “So, the big question is why India is still mum? Our sources say that India is keeping a silence for its coming project. Indians are the biggest consumer of the world. They are eating up the resources like anything and growing big in population. Once the Earthly resources end up, their plan is to shift to Mars. Their next project is to consume earthly resources as fast as they can and then they would dig out whole India from the Earth, and pull it up to the Mars and settle there. In the way they may drop a neutron bomb on remaining earth to end up left outs misery and any future intrusion in their future earth – The Mars. Are you ready?”

The documentary end with the question


Authors Note: It is a hypothetical story.