The Sound of Music

The sports fest in our insti was a bash. Basketball and football golds, great performances in athletics, loads of movies collected and ten-hour sleep routines underlined the three days. For me, though, the sports held little meaning- not that I am not happy that we won that clutch basketball final. I was busy collecting stuff for my- wait for it- 1 TB hard disk. Much work still remains to be done, but with the tests around, I doubt if anyone will entertain a vela 4th yearite. But I got enough movies to last my brother the next year (hopefully after leaving out the seriously strange ones), hope to fill up on sitcoms and series, have an appointment to collect mind your language, and have now got a 60 odd GB music collection, no videos.

On that last part. First, let me acknowledge the contributors. Dela, Sunky…..brilliant musical taste. Especially the Sound of Music original soundtrack. Love it. Also, all that music actually reminded me that I had commitments in other places too. So, it was not without a large amount of guilt and some misgivings that I took the detour to the auditorium in order to just make sure the last musical event of the academic year was going on track. In fact, it was my last musical program as a member of the music section. Little known fact one: I play the violin.

The day before, when I looked in, I knew things could go terribly wrong. Wrong scales, off-beats, faulty mics. As usual. I didn’t tell them anything they didn’t already know. Most of them are virtuosos in their own right, probably far better than I am. But I felt good about trying to be a help.

The next day, I am called up to the auditorium a few minutes in advance. I saunter out, catch a bite, then head off to watch the basketball finals. Fifteen minutes to the end of the game, I am cheering from the crowd, one face among the hundred who had no idea that the program was going to start any minute.

We won in a climactic finish, by a single point. I managed to get Sushi and Triple H to accompany me to the auditorium, promising them nothing, making sure that their expectations don’t reach levels beyond mediocre. Ah, they wouldn’t have anyway. We all took the longer route to the show. Tell you a lot.

First thing that catches our eye as we enter- late- is that a fellow Lit is compering. As she expected, we did ask “What the hell are you doing?”. To each his own, I say. And so we settled down for the rest of the show.

Thinking about it now, this was one of the best performances given by the section in my time here. I finally got to here the new rock artist sing. A brilliant find. The instrumentals were reasonably well coordinated, largely thanks to the efforts of Yella V 2.6 and a second year Meta chap. Vocals were hashed at times. For once, I did not quite tell them that. Many of them were singing their last songs on this stage. I knew my last performance sucked big time, and I didn’t like that.

A concluding victory lap on the stage was boycotted by me for being too corny. It told me where I belonged. I love music. I have had some brilliant time at the section. But I am just not made in the same mould as them. They are passionate, talented, hard-working people. I can’t keep up with that. I can’t function as their group does. I often skipped celebrating with them after every show. Such a close knit group- it would be most other groups envy. But my individuality would not liven that group. It would only be suppressed under the social norms that govern such a body. What a pity. I would have liked to know most of them better. Especially when others ask me questions about who the people on stage are.

I might have been a visible figure in Lit, but I chose to be obscure here. I came and went on a need-to-play basis. I even turned down the offer to perform in Chennai. You can’t have everything, I suppose. The least I can do is acknowledge them as a small, significant part of my life here that I have ignored for too long. So long, farewell…..

p.s. Not sentiaap, people. More of a duty to be done.


The Greats

I have changed my theme. Maybe you noticed. Maybe you are a first timer (wishful thinking) and haven’t. Anyway, HHH commented he liked this theme a lot. I loved it on first sight, but I had misgivings about a dark theme with no header image. But the name is class ( Azad Bhawan Day, anyone?). Chaos theory. The perfect name. My 11th grade project. The Joker. Michael Chricton. Black holes. In short, it speaks Lit like no other team ever does. And I’ve kind of started liking the white on dark combo. Feels like a perpetual night, cool, embracing, with the stars shining down on you. You feel blessed.

Interesting post today (you wish). A list of the most memorable quizzes I’ve participated in. Gunda- style memorable too…..

  1. Freshers 2005- Team: UD Sn., Supraj Paleti and yours truly. In-tuh-resting combo. We did qualify. We did answer. We did finish in 7th place. And we did witness an all-girl team winning a quiz for the first (only?) time ever.
  2. Inter-Bhawan 2006- Team- The Good Boy, another Lit hater, and me. Pipped out the long established quizzing champions of the first year, answered Scarlet Pimpernal and Murphy, made Matthew cry, and came 4th amidst the Titans of Trivia. Oh, and a 100 buck cash prize for best RJB team, in an era when every paisa was accounted for.
  3. Lefty’s RJB quiz- Team: As above. Result: Second place.Reason: Mispronounced Fermat as Fermi, knowing full well they are two different people. Wonder if it still lies somewhere in the archives. Worth going through.
  4. Mummy’s India Quiz (Thomso 2006)- Ehhh???? Bilkul gum?
  5. Quizzotica general quiz (Cognizance 2006)- Team: Lefty, the Wild Bore and me. Earning respect wasn’t hard after this. All thanks to Keerthi, who very gracefully stepped aside to bring about a balance of power.
  6. Thomsonian 2006- Lone wolf number 1. Vinu concots a brilliant potion of geekiness, dudeness and rudeness to dazzle a very cooperative audience. Bhalu fumes over how the 2nd yearites c2d’d to cut him out. He’ll never let them chat in the same quizzing hall again. Mathew takes the sole podium, leaving me adrift by 4 points.
  7. Titans of Trivia (Thomso Encore 2006)- Team: Lefty, SriP and me. Chetri feeds, KQA eats, we get the crumbs, the others are left starving. Though Mho and Tejo did exact some sadistic pleasure out of the fact that Vinu and Mathew didn’t even come close.
  8. Lefty’s connect quiz 2007- Team: SriP, the Wild Bore and me. Close fight, Dela’s team wins. First time we were outstripped by the juniors in a general quiz. Classy, really long quiz.
  9. Vinu’s Old Monks 2007- Team: Khandekar, Lefty and me. Now, here’s a quiz! Oh yeah, we won. Eventually. Too long had we waited for this moment. Too long had we suffered. We covet it as ours, our own, our precious.
  10. Praneeta and Kaptan’s Old Monks #1 2007- Some fun, some classy antics, no crowd, and walking off in the middle just as we were winning.
  11. Thomsonian 2007- Much is remembered about this quiz. Especially the great chocolate incident. Mathew played the cool, elderly gentleman, while Tejo chose this moment to enact the angry young man. Apologies were passed, and NesC made a huge profit on chocolates. In the midst of all this, Ramakrishnan decides to go into hyper mode and trumps me by 2 points. So close
  12. Comfortably Dumb (Thomso 2007)- Team: Well, technically SriP, Lefty and yours truly. Reliance comes round to recruit interns, and I end up with the geeky team name T(t)= Team at time t/T(-1)= SriP, Lefty, Raps. The duo occasionally make guest appearances to aid me, but in the end, I am left alone for good. I guess being a geek helps in Banga and UD’s quiz after all. We finish second.
  13. UD’s quiz- Team: SriP, AP, me. For once, Lefty and the Wild Bore are not on my team. Seems like I needed a change. Well, it worked. We won. AP’s brilliant. By the way, this is the “Can I?” quiz.
  14. Ashesh Memorial 2008- Team: SriP, AP and me. Lefty’s chickenpox came at a bad time. Four freaking points.
  15. Tejo’s Old Monks 2008- For the reason that no one turned up. Sorry da.
  16. Thomsonian 2008- Finally. I almost thought I wouldn’t qualify. Thankfully, I did. Even more thankfully, some of the giants didn’t. Well, a victory is a victory. I haven’t collected the prize yet, though.
  17. The Lit Quiz (Nihilanth 2008)- Team: SriP, Lefty and me. Why did we qualify? Anyway, to this quiz, we owe the origin of the LitSec grand password- catamite- and its motto of specializing in emotional ****wittage. For once, I won’t mind the profanity.
  18. The general, auto, sports, biztech and ent quizzes (Gnosiomania 2009)- Brilliant questions, very, very short quizzes. The insti topped biztech and had podiums in almost all. Nice one.
  19. Ashesh Memorial 2009- Team: SriP, Lefty, me. Our turn to win. We did. We bow to the Don. All hail!
  20. Quizzotica general (Cognizance 2009)- Team: UD Sr., Lefty, me. Shettingar cometh, the prizeth go our way. Most people remember these as the Europa and Venus quiz. And Dela would remember it for the classic “Are you passing it?” line.
  21. Quizzotica MMS quiz (Cognizance 2009)- Team: Mho, Lefty, me. To the dud team that came so close!

That’ll be all for now. If you didn’t notice, that’s 21, i.e. 42/2. No post could have gelled with this team better.


Crap. I lost some 50 rupees worth of balance answering calls on a single day. Fame exacts a dear price at times. Too dear, as you realize when you go through the estimated cost of living in California…….

Apparently I wrote the last post too soon. More decisions awaited me,  as I found out some 12 hours later. Maybe my brain wouldn’t have been reduced to powder had I managed to screw up my GRE. Oh well. On the bright side, I don’t need to decide whether a company is worthy of being graced with my name on its payroll. Oh, and you are welcome, arbit unemployed person reading this blog.

There have been calls telling me that this isn’t a difficult choice to make. I disagree. And so does my family. And 3 people who are currently (hopefully) pondering over what choice would benefit me the most. (You know, it is at times like this that I seriously despise the devaluation of currency)

And to move on to other, very important news, I finished all level of this brilliant game:

Great timepass, if you ask me. Also try Suicide Salaryman. That’s hilarious. And 4-2 is awesome! Do I detect jealous glares and vacant stares?

Come next week, I hope things will be clearer. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get to be the next Sheldon Cooper. Logically improbable, though. Don’t get me started.


You won’t be surprised to know I am home. Naah…..I’m in 4-2 after all. What’s the point in staying back? Especially if you live some 180 odd km away (my sympathies, Dela da). So that was my first decision. My sem break shall be spent in the usual place.

Fear not, there is more to come, but I need to fill space and make sure everyone knows the situation. So, let me recount the past harrowing/amazing/harrowing week. For a start, I was found working in the department. Pop the eyes back in, please. My project partner had decided that it was about time I actually gave him a hand. And so, he wisely slipped off, leaving me like a beachball in the clutches of a pretty active seal, who certainly exercised too much for his own good health. Meta guys, take note and translate for any flummoxed individuals nearby. And so started my 10 hour day routine- 9 A.M. to 7 or 8 P.M. I even missed the show put on at SB while stirring some sodium potassium niobiate sample. But at the end of the week, I did see a smile of satisfaction on the seal’s face, and I knew I had made a mark when he said he’ll be sending cubs far larger than me to receive instructions from yours truly. I am flattered.

Well, where does that leave us? My second decision- I shall not, in knowing or unknowing, work for 10 hours in a laboratory ever again. Period. Stamp that, attest it, and send it to be included in the Constitution. It should be a fundamental right.

My third decision. Ah well. Once in a while, good things do happen. Like last Wednesday, when the great Meta team of the Don, Lefty and me won the long lusted for Ashesh Memorial quiz. That’s three thousand bucks a piece. Wooooooo! I had planned to dedicate an entire post to it, but I won’t rub it in further.

And so, you see, amidst all the madness, you find tiny glimmers of harmless senility. And so, based on some mails that I had received a few days ago, I declare I will withdraw from the placements the moment I get a call. But naturally! Not much of a decision, is it? I just thought I’d make myself clear.

My final decision shall be castigated by a large number of people. I do not understand their feelings and feel no sympathy for their actions. I do not accept responsibility for any suicides related to this. Okay. Hold your breath. I shall not hold a quiz for Old Monks.






(Expect murmurs)

(Someone shouts out something obscene)

(Now I am sure that red projectile is a tomato. Or it a red iPod?)

Hell, I did not say I won’t have an Old Monks! I just won’t have a quiz. I was getting a little tired of being in the same old rut. I want to try something new. Something on the lines of a treasure hunt maybe. Any takers? Ideas invited.