>> Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I am almost a Graduate.


Among other things

>> Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Me: Hello, University of Poseidon? (Poseidon here stands for a city in one of the southern states in the country).
Voice on the other end: Ok.
Me: Sir, I had a query about the current admissions procedure.
VOTOE: Admissions?
Me: Yes.
VOTOE (sighs and then murmurs resignedly): Admissions.
Me: Yes. Well. Umm, I am a general candidate. I was wondering if the stipulation of sending a proof of medium of language in class 12 was a general requirement or is it solely for the backward classes.
VOTOE: Hindi, English, mumble wumble..
Me:I beg your pardon?
VOTOE: Hindi, English, mumble wumble...
Me:(wondering if he was asking me to speak in his local language) But these are the only languages I know!
VOTOE:Hindi, English, mumble wumble...
Me (Throwing caution to the winds): Umm, Main general candidate hoon, er, I was wondering, umm, proof of medium of language, sab ke lie hain ya (here, Hindi fails me), shudhu backward classes der jonno?
VOTOE: (now agitated) Hindi, English, mumble wumble.
Me (suddenly enlightened): Oh you mean, if the medium was Hindi or English, we need not send?
Me (happily): Ok.

Later we found out we did have to send it. Also, that Po means go.


Filler 3

>> Saturday, April 18, 2009

......In contrast, consumer goods industry grew rather slowly. Food, beverages, tobacco, textiles and leather products grew at a rate of 4-5% p.a. The only exception was the footwear industry which grew at the rate of 10% or even more. The second phase (1966-1980) was marked by a slowdown in growth rates in three main industries, viz., metals machinery and intermediate goods. On the other hand, there was a revival of growth in consumer goods industries. The maximum growth rate (14%) was achieved by footwear industry.....

I have always maintained that it is womankind which will rescue the world from the clutches of recession. Women of the world-unite. We need to go shoe shopping.


Sort of a bucket list

>> Monday, April 13, 2009

I would rather not sleep.

I wish

  • to marry a statistician. It is the only way I can pass any of my examinations. If you know of a statistician who is looking out for a wife, point him to this blog. Pretty please?
  • to remember the person I had fallen madly in love with three years back. To remember you love a person and not to remember the person is devastating, to say the least.
  • to draw new doodles. I am so bored of the typhoons, I shall very soon descend to drawing hearts or swans.
  • to sit in the park with Bonky, eating homemade brownies and wondering what life has in store for us.
  • I had not forgotten about the latest Artemis Fowl. I can not believe I still have not read it.
  • I could stop being an utter idiot for once.

It has just struck me.


I shall now hyperventilate.


The Nights Before Examinations

>> Sunday, April 12, 2009

Midnights, creeping in, usually find me gaping at the window, absentmindedly doodling on the margins of my notebook. My doodles usually conform to depictions of typhoons, Chinese fans and noses. It probably reveals something deeply disturbing about my psyche, but I choose not to delve on it.

It is 12:30 soon and the cellphone tinkles. The first message of the day is a cryptic plea from an unknown number. I read it again and again to make sure I have not skipped a few words or sentences.

"Sweetie (it says), I miss u. V hv not met up for so long. I know u hv exams but cant u make some time. If yes, give me a missed."

I gaze fascinated at this epistle for a long time and then call up Bonky.

"Whom do you know," I ask wonderingly, "who would miss me?"
"You should really learn some phone skills, you know. How come you never say a hello?"
"But who is capable of missing me," I ask insistently.
She ponders. "Apart from the entire faculty in our department, I really can not think of anyone else. Why do you ask? Having a sneezing fit?"
Whereupon I tell her the story.

"Hmm," she says after a few moments reserved for giggling. "Give this person a call. See who it is."
"Is not that a bit desperate," I muse.
"Honey, when you can not recall any person who would miss you in the middle of the night, chances are you are desperate."
"We are not having this conversation. Go study."

It is now one hour and ten minutes. I have finished my seventh typhoon and am starting on my fifteenth nose. The cellphone tinkles again. This time it is a phonecall.

"I have not started Indian Economics. Do not ask me anything. Go away."
"Umm, Pongs," says the voice on the other side. "I am in love."
"Oh dear," I sigh. "Now?"
"Uhh, yes?"
"Who is it? Does he have any single friends? Please do not get married before I get a boyfriend," I plea, my voice trailing away into a whine.
"Well, I met this guy in the metro. I actually bumped into him and apologized. Then I looked into his eyes, oh Pongs, such dreamy eyes, and fell in love."
There is a pause.
"Uh," I say, breaking the pause. " Then?"
"That is it," she replies, matter-of-factly.
"You do not know the guy," I exclaim, scandalized.
"I do know that he is my soulmate," she mumbles in a small voice. I can even visualize her puppy face.
"OK, honey, you know I am all for this sort of thing. But I can hardly help you hunt for the love of your life. I shall be very busy the next couple of months."
"Oh no," she hastens to explain, "that is fine. Actually I called you to help me find a perfect song for this moment."

It is close to two. I have actually read something from my notes and fallen into a reverie, most of which involves ghosts materializing through open windows.

The cell phone tinkles again. I start the conversation with the familiar denial of ever studying Indian Economics when I am interrupted.

"Could not care less. Listen, I bought two club sandwiches for dinner today. You know the hostel food. But I could only finish one. If I keep the second one for breakfast, what are the chances it will not stink or something?"

I blink.

"Is this a probability question," I venture, flabbergasted.
"No, idiot, I am asking you. You are a girl. You should know about stuff like this. Food and rotting and things."
"Ohh. Right. But, you see, I do not," I reply, as gently as possible.
"I knew I should have called Deep. He would have known. By the way, we have to go to Chennai in a month's time," announcing which he hangs up.

Wherein begins a flurry of phone calls, messages and further downloading of application forms.

It is soon almost half an hour past three. I have now degenerated into spelling my name in Bengali. Succeeding in that, I now venture to spell the names of the characters in Harry Potter, faltering badly with Hermione, and shift to spelling the names of the characters in Feluda.

The next tinkle on the phone is Bonky.

"Want to go out for coffee tomorrow?"
"Eh, this is coffee we are talking about, something you have Freudian dreams about. How can you refuse coffee," she asks, taken aback.
"Bonks, I have been practically stuck in this house for three months. My face is now a deathly white, and my dark circles make me look like a poltergeist. I actually have a haze all around my face. I look like an indeterminate mass. If you take me out for coffee tomorrow, everyone would think it was the family ghost's day out."
"Want to meet up in your park and crib about our lives then?"
"Yeah, all right. Also, I need a couple of notes. Get me the text on commerciali.."
"Never mind, Pongs, I think I will take a nap tomorrow," she says, a little wistful.

It soon is five. I close the windows, give the books a malevolent gaze, avoid my image in the mirror and thankfully go to sleep.

This morning, however, I blogged.


My Goodbye Post

>> Saturday, April 04, 2009

Yesterday was the last tuition class, the last trip home from the ends of the world (or South Kolkata, if you prefer), the last time we groaned at the Dil Chahta Hain soundtrack perennially being played on the car stereo, last time we photocopied some more worthless notes we would possibly never read, and the last time we were together as classmates, friends, confidantes, and car poolers.

Holding up my carton of Frooti, I proposed a toast from my seat at the back of the car, bundled among bags, notes and empty Frooti cartons.

"Guy," I choked, not disguising either my tears or the fact that I badly needed to blow my nose, "I want to thank you all for make my college years so amazing. I do not think I have ever been happier. Everyday we met was full of laughter and joy. I can not remember a day we have not laughed..."

"Hey, what about the day when we went to watch Taare Zameen Par," interjected Joe.

"Oh, yes," recalled Pingu. "Ritika was bawling so loudly, the woman beside her had to shush her."

"I was not bawling. I can not sob quietly," I replied haughtily. "Are you implying I am a cry baby? What about the day we went to watch Guru and Bonky kept on sniffling?"

"That was you, Pongo," remarked Bonky from the front seat.

"Actually it was both of you, I kept on passing my handkerchief from you to you," said an amused Pingu.

"Oh, how about the time Bonky was sick of being the object of love of The-Father-of-Five-Point-Five and started sobbing at Pingu's place," again remarked Joe,not renowned for her tact.

"It was not because of him. I cried that day because of Fishface, " lashed back Bonky.

"Oh yes, I had completely forgotten you used to be in love with him," Pingu chimed in.

I smirked. "Used?"

"Yes, why do not you add your own bit to my own failed love story, Kalua lover," said Bonky, smirking back.

"I will have you know I was not as much in love with Kalua as, ok you know what, this has nothing to do with my toast, which you people have ruined completely anyway," I grumbled and sank back into my seat, covering myself with more papers.

"Hey, no, no, " said Pingu soothingly. "It was a very good speech. Please continue."

"So what I was saying," I continued, still a bit miffed, " we have had our ups and, ok, why are all these photocopied pages on me?"

"Do you realize, in these three years, we have actually spent about 20000 rupees on photocopies," mused Joe.

"We should probably open a Xerox place when we grow up. Only way to become millionaires, really," joked Pingu.

"Why one," I queried. "We could have an enterprise. A photocopy centre near every major college and coaching place. We could have cafes attached so that people could wait while their pages get photocopied. We will have the lowest costs per page and people will flock to our shop."

"If we have the lowest prices, how do we make any sort of profit," asked Pingu.

"From the Japanese restaurant we open next to it. It shall be a sister concern."

"Japanese," interrupted Bonky. "Who likes Japanese food?"

"There are no Japanese restaurants in this city. It is so weird. Does not Japanese cuisine deserve to be introduced in a gourmet food loving city like ours?"

"How about a scheme or something," Bonky asked excitedly. " French fries free with every bunch worth 200 bucks."

"This is a Japanese restaurant," I exclaimed, alarmed. "How can we have French fries in a Japanese restaurant? We will have...umm...noodles?"

"What do Japs eat? I know they use chopsticks to eat whatever they eat," wondered Pingu.

"Sushi! Japanese people eat sushi," exclaimed Joe. "So we will give free sushi."

"You know, let us make it a home delivery system. If you order food, you get your photocopied pages home delivered for free," said Pingu. "But hey, your speech?"

"Oh yeah, " said I, coming out of our entrepreneurial reverie. "So what I was saying was..umm never mind. I guess all I do want to say is I love you all so much and I will miss...and I...oh...(blubbers).."

So, since everything has finally come to an end, all I do want to say is, despite all the regrets and complaints and grumbles, there are some things you remain grateful for ever. Even for the day you walked in, looked up at the building, and fell in love, wretchedly, happily, submissively, because, nothing else mattered than the fact that you were a part of the college even before you knew whether it wanted you or not. Because of three wonderful, wonderful years, despite all the Economics and heartbreaks and misgivings and self doubts. Because of the friends and the people who could have been friends and the people who never could have been friends and the people who never mattered. This will be the hardest good byes of all.


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