Friday, February 25, 2005

A beautiful peice..

Hi People,

Heres a link I think all of us would enjoy!!

And this..

Thursday, February 24, 2005

A Photo Essay

I got the below link for a friend/colleageue of mine (thanks Sai Sathish for forwarding it). An ex-bitsian visiting the campus and clicking his way through while he was there.

Click here
and watch the snaps if you want to jog down your memory lane.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

guss it, it was anyway not sac

Here in college station for about 1.5 years now. This place is definitely not filled with BITSians. Well, we are a decent number, but given the vaaast campus, it is difficult to meet up and catch up. I guess, unconsciously, I have managed to built a little world around myself and filled it with substitutes of BITSians experiences. The lexicons are a good start, I hear my roomies say:"Enna, laccha again?"(What? laccha again?), "Guss Kaatu, amma"(Guss it ma) to their parents. I am sure their parents are scratching their heads now, wondering where their coy, gentle daughters picked up this strange language from. What filled me with smiles was when my American friend quirked:"Wasn't that sac?".

TAMU campus has sprawling landscape and my B-school has wonderful lawns. So I get my share of lazing in the sun, sleeping with the book on my face :). The village feeling is sure there with abt a hrs drive to cities. But it feels strange to have high speed internet, q-less student computing centers(ipc's TAMU version), lawns mowers without buffalos :).

The eateries department is sure trying hard to recreate itself. My description of Nagar chai, Pramod's sam chat has inspired my roomie to try her hand at making tea. So, I am bombarded with her delicacies: Ginger tea, Red chilli powder tea(!!), asafoetida tea(??), masala tea(well, thatz tolerable), sugar tea(dont even get me started on the amount of sugar in this tea)..oh, did I forget to mention potato mash with sauce, cookies and cream :). My kitchen is my anc, sky and redi, of course, sans toothy smile of pappu, warmth of nagarg and customization of pramodg.
So much, so little, so far away..
till later
My Name is Amrutha Ragavan, sirs and mams
My ID no. is 1998B3A6427,sirs and mams
My room no. was 7101 MB, sirs and mams :)feels nice after a reallly looonnng time

Thursday, February 17, 2005

My college is better than yours

What makes going to a residential college such a profound experience? Nine semesters in Pilani have taken their toll on me. I've become an incurable bore. It's been just a few months since I passed out, but I've already developed a regrettable tendency to start long monologues on how life in BITS was soooo much fun. I've been known to be a bit of bore, but things are really getting to be scary now.

I'm hoping it's a passing phase because otherwise it could create a few problems. I'll never be able to get a date for one. Most of my non-BITSian friends seem to have developed a protective mental shield that protects them from my anecdotes. Their eyes defocus slightly and they tend to look at distant objects and mutter things like "Oh, really? That must've been fun" while I tell them about how my wing deflated the tires of all cycles parked in front of Budh Bhavan one fine winter night.

My story about how we tried to climb the Sardar Patel statue seems to have lost it's zip as well and I never thought I'd see that day dawn. I've tried talking about things that aren't related to BITS, but after about 15 minutes of normal conversation I realise that even sweeping my room in BITS ( which I never did ) was waaay more fun than anything currently being discussed. Once I realise this, it takes very little time for me to let everyone else know how I feel. The result is that I now have a lot of free time on weekends.

Given a choice between jumping under a moving bus and going back to BITS for another 5 years, I'd pick the bus any day, but somehow I can't stop talking about BITS. About how I love BITS. How I hate BITS. How I can't live without it. How going to BITS was the best thing that happened to me. How going to BITS was the worst thing that happened to me. How nobody could have ever had more fun than I did at BITS.

Okay. It's started again. I need a cold shower.

If any others on this list have had this problem before then please let me know if the condition is curable. As a temporary measure I've started a blog. Gushing there will probably keep me straight for a few weeks, but after that....?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

An ode to the green door

If some four years back someone had told me that they are going to paint their doors green, i would have laughed at their aesthetic sophistication - not anymore. The green doors of the pilanian hostels now hold a special place in my heart. They were the barriers between the chaos of the outside world and peace of my room . They are the antique heroes( most of them being as old as pilani itself) who year after year of see dream filled students passing out of the "middle earth" of university education. Beaten by cricket balls, kicked by students, punched by drunkards, angry slammings, they have stood by them all.

Something about them makes me miss them more than anything else in pilani( exclude sky from this). After spending long hours in the insti, the sight of the green door would fill me up with joy, as it held the key to my private world. When i come back to my room after going through the formality of a screwed up test or tut, the mere sight of the green door would make my spirits fly high. My heart bleeds to see the new double room doors painted a kind of grey blue, why would anybody want to do that.When I close my eyes to recollect the bygone era, more often than not the image which reels into my mind is an empty bhavan corridor with the long line of green doors standing besides each other like warriors ready to go for war. If I were the soldier who had to choose between a roaring tiger and beautiful damsel i would choose the door painted with a dark ugly green any day - no matter whats behind.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

BITS of fun?

No way!

As i begin to write this, i want to flail my arms in familiar fashion, make irritating and angry noises, roll my eyes and convey as much agitation as humanly possible. Cos I cant begin to imagine a day without fun at Pilani. Now, that does not do away with those awful days of the lowest lows and "oh u're so worthless" times. Nor does it try and claim the "it's the way u live ur life that makes it fun or otherwise" philosophical high ground. However, I do hope to convey beyond doubt that there was always something that was fun to me and happy about Pilani. And the best part was, there were times when things were fun simply becos u wouldn't live or do them anywhere else. Ever!

Sample? Well, what about baking cakes together as a wing for the 12 o'clock birthday? i continue student life in another school now. The dorm comes with a pantry, a well stocked refrigerator...well, the works. Birthdays are brought in beautifully here too. There is this huge congregation of 70-100 people singing for u, and cheering u on as u cut your 20th/27th/31st/42nd birthday cake. The cakes of course come from this speciality place called "Upper crust". Or was it "cakes and bakes"? Never mind.

You thought that was girls' domain? Try and ask some of those guys from Krishna, who tried valiantly to produce one of 'em chocolate wonders on 'her' special day. With or without cake, you've lived (and survived) a fun experience.

Oh, before i move on, throw in the trips to the dairy farm for fresh cream, punctuated by the more than necessary stops at chimpu's for mango shake.

We're most of us Orkutters I presume. Well, either way, u must check out some of the scraps that the BITSian species leaves at the "sky-heaven on earth" comunity. The best thing about sky was that not everyone became a sky-person. You had to hav undergone sufficient wear and tear changing positions on the sky lawns. You had to hav chosen precisely the most important CDC class of ur student life to devote to the amoeba in order to finish that Terry Pratchett. You had to be possessed at 5 in the evening everyday to walk straight past FD-3 and through those gates, as if in a trance. And finally, you had to be able to say "ek veg moinneee dena rei.." just like only Pappu could. For the uninitiated, that's veg mayonnaise sandwich.

So, u'd think, every college has the good ol' canteen with memories peeping through from every corner. Well, to that, i say, not every one of them comes with a sun dial to laze and sun bathe on. Not all of those canteen's dirty blue green pools are used to good naturedly welcome the new department head. Ok, let's stretch it! None of them houses a Dakota!

By the way, i haven't even begun on IC yet!

I've heard the "conforming" argument often enough at BITS. Of how, by second year u've risen one rung in the evolution chart. The individual is lost and you can only think in groups. Of how, by the end of year two, you are steeped in department tradition, silly club rules, wing defined c'not behavior and well, the general lethargy. I cant claim all of it doesnt exist. But i also think that to grandly label the entire population is a gross generalisation.

If that were true, wud u believe me if i said a coupla crazy friends wore pink trousers and purple shirts a few days in a row simply 'cos they wanted to. That some only grew to enjoy solitary walks more and more as time passed by, never mind if the rest of college was watching "har dil jo pyaar karega". That a particular batchmate wore the most paint stained and food stained crumpled t-shirt on a monday morning, matched with 2" shorter than appropriate brown trousers becos the rats in the lab beckoned and everything else ceased to matter. What about the special final semester DW? The locally defined Kapoor chopsuey?

To top it al, the concept of zero attendance and the freedom to attend the lecture u liked. Everyone made his own decision. To make this clearer to me, a friend once said, " After all, everyday my friend and i wake up at 10, when the common hour's been kissed good bye. VK's abandoned at 5 to 11. I drop him off at FD-1 for a CDC i hate, and proceed to sky. When he's done with two hours of Ghotting, he comes over for the before lunch dum. And then of course, it's off to c'not for a two hour lunch. He's happy cos he's done his day's quota of classes. And I am 'cos i've done one fifth my day's quota at sky:) " They were part of a larger fun loving group of guys. They did a thousand different things and held a thousand different opinions. U'd find them occupying the hallowed parapets or "walls" in front of the c'not stores in the evenings. Hmm...i think for the greater part, they conformed to not conforming:)

True blue BITSianly, i could go on and on and on. And even more true blue BITSianly, i could feel psenti about a million other things. But then, v all hav our little potli of psenti things at BITS. I jst wanted to share a coupla mine that to me make the BITSian experience put simply, fun.

You see it all in a different light when u're on a new plane and absorbing a new system. Comparisons and contrasts showcase the uniqueness in full glare. I've just been able to soak in some in the seven months since i graduated. And i continue to believe, when it's time for fun, i'd love a liberal dose of the Pilani one!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The kheer? 1/2 on 25

(These tiny stories appeared in BITSAA's Sandpaper, but here they are again).

Tuesday night dinners? Always a little dreary: slopped into one of the compartments in our thalis was a concoction that, we were led to believe, started life as kheer.

When Dinesh and I sit down this Tuesday, that RPA mess servant institution, Girdhari, sports a troubled look. Before passing our thalis out, he turns one over. "Look," he says. "The stuff stays there." The kheer. It does. Stay there. So congealed, it won't fall out.

This is not something to take lying down, or even sitting there. We summon the manager. I speak to him. Meanwhile, Dinesh picks up his spoon lugubriously, sticks the business end into the kheer, and thumps the other end with his hand. The small piece he shovels out of the once-kheer then goes into his mouth. He drops the spoon. Thumps his head with one hand, his chin with the other at the same time. This way, he munches through the stuff. Lugubrious still.

The manager gets the point. Maybe not. Next Tuesday, the kheer is the same.


We called Nitin "Bondo" for no apparent reason other than it was one more of those peculiar BITS names. But he was, in the very best sense of the word, peculiar anyway. I know he'll be thrilled to know I've described him like that. Hey Bondo, if you need to reach me, try directory inquiry in Timbuctoo.

One incident summed up Bondo's outlook on life for us.

In a long-forgotten test -- some 3rd year Maths or Physics course, I think -- Bondo came home with half on twenty-five. (I got a big fat zero, but that's another story). That's right, half a mark out of a maximum of 25. Still, that fraction alone was not what made this a special occasion. Good old Bondo picked up his paper and streaked off to the concerned professor's office. To protest. But not, as you might imagine, that he had been given an unfairly low mark. Or half-mark.

"Half a mark is a disgrace!" he wailed at the bemused professor. "Please reduce it to zero!" he pleaded. "At least then I can show my face to my VK wingmates!"

The odd thing was, he was right. When he returned with a resplendent zero, we looked at him with new respect. Then we gave him bumps.