11 Things You Did if You Studied Engineering

Brought to you by the extreme boredom of Sunday afternoon! It’s “that day” of the week that I almost always want to hold on to. I mean, come on, how can you not! The vestiges of free time as you slowly move to another work-week, such are the joys of adulthood! And today, from the throes of idleness, I bring to you some nuggets of nonsense, that will probably make you laugh, and if you are studying to be an engineer or already an engineer, take you down to the lane of nostalgia. You may have done more than 11 things, but these 11 just had to be a part of your engineering life!

11. You cursed your college like a b*tch : It doesn’t matter whether you studied from IIT or IIN, you cursed your college with words that you can’t even dare to say in front of your mother. Sometimes it was the rules, sometimes it was the lecturers, sometimes it was the mess, or the commute, and sometimes, well, nothing. But you still cursed it.

10. You felt there were no good looking people in your batch : But oh, look at your seniors! Or even your juniors. Why are we stuck with a bunch of nerdy, ugly people? Never mind that you yourself have mirror-shattering looks and years later, you will look at the same nerds and wonder, “Hey, when did he/she start to look so hot?”

9. You just had to study the night before the exam: Notwithstanding that you spent all your preparatory leaves sleeping, or the subject in concern is “Principles of Management”, which “you knew since you were born.”

8. Torrent was your lifesaver : You downloaded all new movies, all exciting TV shows, and ahem, lot of other things. Torrent made your hostel life, worth it. If the LAN is working well for a change, you will finish up all the quota for your semester by downloading stuff from torrent, and then wait for someone to create a hotspot when your limit is over. Oh, the joys of seamless download and GBs of multimedia!

7. Maggi stood for bliss:  You loved Maggi. Food sucks at mess? Grab a packet of Maggi! Late night studying? Cook some Maggi! In canteen after a boring lecture? Let’s have some piping hot Maggi! Those days have gone, and your traditional “Yellow packet Maggi” is now replaced by “healthier” Vegetable Maggi.

6. You spent more than one weekend binge watching your favorite TV shows: Friends, anyone? Or Prison Break? Or Breaking Bad? You name it, and at least one of us has spent days together watching the same show over and over, and imagining ourselves in our favorite character’s shoes. Which of course reminds me, of “Carrie Bradshaw” and “Mr. Big”. Sigh 🙂

5. You almost always called the topper of your class “Rattu Totaa”:  No matter how well he/she does, you know he is a “Maggu” and “memorizes everything”, and “doesn’t understand the concepts”. And when h/she gets a placement before you? “Saala Chatur”. Which gets me to my next point.

4. You related to “3 Idiots” instantly : You laughed your guts out at Chatur’s “Balaatkaari speech”, you rooted for Rancho when he answered back to his Mechanical professor, you cried when Raju jumped off the window of Virus’s office, and called your HOD “Virus” every time he yelled at you. Above all, you found yourself connecting to at least one of the characters. And that’s why 3 Idiots remains one of your favorite movies.

3. You hated the mandatory attendance rule of your college : You always maintained that “Attendance was not needed to score well.” Never mind that when you did attend lectures with some regularity, you understood the subject more. Because, hey, bunking is cool. Abhi nahin krenge, toh kab karnege?

2. You had at least one favorite spot in your campus: No, I don’t mean lolling in front of Girls’ Hostel. No, not that. Despos.

1. You miss your college like hell : And that stands true in all cases, irrespective of how much you loved or hated your college. Because a college is not a building of bricks and mortar, it is made up of friends you made and the memories you created.

Does this post remind you of more? Share your thoughts in the comments section! 🙂

The wonder that was – Nothing Like Lear

On my weekends, I often look for things to do – apart from sleeping, cleaning, cooking and the weekly grocery shopping. The kind of lazy bum I am, I tend to while away the glorious two days just like that, unless and until I have something to look forward to.

One new thing that I have found these days to do is watching plays. Now I am a drama queen, my friends and family can vouch for that, and I have always been very fascinated by theater. I have acted in plays only twice in my entire life, that too in school, but I enjoy watching them quite a lot. A theater actor always ends up having a very real connection with his audience, and it is extremely challenging – you know the reaction of your audience on the spot, and it can be quite daunting I feel.

So when I got an nice mailer from BookMyShow regarding a show right next to me at RangaShankara, JP Nagar, I booked a ticket for myself without much ado. And there was a perfectly legitimate for spending 300 INR plus Internet charges for a single ticket – It was “Nothing Like Lear”, an experimental take on the famous Shakespearean play “King Lear”, directed by none other than Rajat Kapoor and starring Vinay Pathak! It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, watching a theater stalwart and an amazing actor performing live in front of my eyes and there was simply no reason to miss this one!

My Saturday today too began the usual way – I woke up late, went to buy vegetables, did a little cleaning, and had my lunch. Before I knew it, it was already 2.45 pm, and by the time I got ready and left my house, it was 3.20 pm! It didn’t help that I found the slowest auto rickshaw in the world, and as I reached tumbling and stumbling into the theater, the legend, Vinay Pathak was already on the stage. As he saw me, he told me, “It’s okay, the play is yet to start.” Oh the embarrassment of the entire jam-packed theater looking at me and laughing! I looked around in a hurry, found a place, and settled down, hoping that no one still had their eyes on me 😛

Soon after the lights went out, and I saw the magic happening, real-time. The play stood true to its name, there was indeed “nothing like Lear” in it. But it had its own plot and sub plots, the sublime layers, a father’s immense love for his daughter and a man’s resentment against his brother, the “bastard”. The character held the audience spell-bound, going through a roller coaster of emotions – laughter, mirth, love, happiness, anger, pity, revenge, and finally, great sorrow. Vinay Pathak was extremely engaging, I am quite sure he couldn’t have had all those lines written, especially the jokes he cracked at the audience, with the audience. Even if every word was written, the spontaneity of his delivery made it look like he was the character, living and breathing it.

It was a 90 minute show, and the audience clapped with the character, an old man dressed like a clown, laughed with him, felt sad with him and loved him to bits. The climax was very intense and as Vinay took the final bow, he got a resounding thunderous applause with lot of whistles, and hoots, and a well deserved standing ovation. I wish Rajat Kappor had come in front of the audience too, it takes a great director’s imagination to come up with a beauty that the show was.

If the play is screened in your city, do watch it. It is worth the experience and honestly, way way way above in terms of value for the amount of money charged for a ticket.

I am too much of a amateur to rate a play by such theater giants, but just to act extra smart, I will do it 😛

Rating :  5/5

Have you watched any plays recently? Does this remind you of another great play you saw? Do you want to see a play? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

The sham and the shame

The sham of Women’s Day and the shame of being “India’s daughter”.

Even if you are not a very active user of any social media,  you must have seen, read and/or forwarded messages containing text like “Celebrating Womanhood..Happy Women’s Day 2015” or something else on the similar lines. Chances are that your office might have been planned a small celebration for “thanking women for their contribution to [insert name here]’s success”.  If you are an Indian woman, you must have politely smiled, replied with the dutiful “Thank You”s and gone ahead with your day, because you know in your heart, that celebrating Women’s Day in India, is the biggest sham of all.

Couple of days back, many of us came across snippets of the interview one of the co-accused of the Nirbhaya case, Mukesh Singh, gave to BBC for their documentary titled “India’s Daughter”. For those who might have forgotten, on December 16th 2012, a young 23-year old girl was brutally raped, horribly assaulted and thrown out of a moving bus by a group of 6 men to die in New Delhi late in the evening, along with a male friend. The story would have faded into oblivion, but for the fact that the girl survived, to recount the horror she went through. The news spread like wildfire and the entire country was shocked at the brutality of her assault. Protests took place all over the country, and people prayed in every corner hoping for the girl to survive. So much was the impact of the case, that Indian government had to fly her to Singapore, on the pretext of better care, when the doctors already knew that she wouldn’t survive.

The girl died on 29th December 2012. She was a bright student, from an under-privileged background, determined to do well. If she were alive, she would have been as old as me.

The BBC documentary was banned dutifully by our esteemed government, but BBC went ahead with the broadcast on 4th March 2015. I caught it here. Tears rolled from my eyes as I watched it, and it shuddered me to no end to imagine the pain and suffering the victim went through.

News channels and papers are full of debates about the statements given by the accused, the defense lawyers and the families of the accused. People are outraged at the audacity with which the defense lawyers defend the killers, but sadly, that doesn’t surprise me. What they said is probably the mindset of many Indian men, irrespective of their education. Because sensible thinking doesn’t depend on hordes of qualifications, but on sensible upbringing.

The rapists come from a delinquent background, and it was only a matter of time that they committed such a heinous crime. Poverty knows no morals, and such people are just dormant monsters, waiting to strike some innocent victim with the vindictiveness of their frustration and misplaced belief systems.

But poverty is not the only reason for such crimes. Any crime against a woman stems from the basic prejudiced thought – that a woman needs to be “shown her place”, each time she “crosses a boundary” like watching a movie post 6 pm, wearing jeans, possessing a mobile phone, using public transport to commute, hanging out with non-familial men, or daring to go anywhere alone without company.  It doesn’t help that our law-makers too are owners of such thought process, and it is obvious that it will happen, because we choose our leaders among our own kind.

A lot can be and has been said about crimes against women. The documentary contains statements from many distinguished people, who have given very plausible solutions to contain these crimes. I won’t talk about this. But I will just like to point out, the shame I feel for my countrymen, each time I hear of yet another rape, assault, domestic violence, or eve-teasing incident. Maybe things are changing, but the change is too slow for my liking. How long will it take for my shame to percolate through the deepest strata of the society, I don’t know. But I certainly hope that the flame lit by the victim, very aptly named as Jyoti by her parents, won’t die down without concrete consequences.

Do you agree? Do you disagree? Do you have something to add? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Issey Metabolism kehte hain Buaji!!!!!

If you are a 90s baby, you will fondly remember an era of premature Cable Television, video game players, tape recorders, cassettes, VCRs, and that slow inception of CDs.  Above all, you will remember the songs – some cheesy like “Tu chiz badi hai mast mast”, or soulful renditions like “Humko Sirf Tumse Pyaar Hai”. And with the songs, you will remember a voice, that dominated the romantic numbers of 90s – Kumar Saanu.

Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a tribute to that period. And yet, it is different and modern in its take. It is set in Haridwar of 90s, with its narrow lanes and nosy neighbors, where everyone knows what is happening in whose house. The casting is perfect, with both simple sets of parents, a bua with a slight hint of innocent sarcasm, and of course the protagonists – Ayushmann Khurrana as Prem Prakash Tiwari, the “naalayak beta”, who is an ardent Kumar Saanu fan. Only three things get tears in eyes – his Dad’s beatings, the English Question Paper which has been his undoing in 10th board exams, and Kumar Saanu’s voice. Ayushmann falls into the role almost effortlessly, and it is hard to believe that he is the same guy who played the suave, “Dilli ka launda”, Vicky Donor.

The breath of fresh air is the debutante Bhumi Pednekar, cast as Sandhya Verma, an educated Indian girl, albeit fat, who is comfortable in her own skin. She is smart, she dreams to be a teacher, and wishes to get married ASAP. Bhumi seems like a seasoned actor, and it helps that she was a casting director for YRF for many years. She specifically gained 10-12 kgs for the role, and that speaks a lot about her commendable dedication to her profession.

The movie unfolds with Prem and Sandhya getting married, much against Prem’s wishes, simply because Sandhya is fat and therefore, unsightly. Sandhya tries hard to woo Prem, but gives up when she hears Prem calling her names in front of his friends. But unlike the heroine of yesteryear, Sandhya doesn’t take it lying low. She stands up for herself, and puts people in their place when they are mean to her. Of course, Prem realizes what a douche he is, and tries to make amends. The entire movie is set against a backdrop of “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”, a fun competition, which calls for a married couple’s understanding and endurance, with a prize money of 10K INR, a huge amount in those times.sunder-susheel-promo

The movie is splattered with lots of hilarious moments, and the comedy is clean and truly funny. “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” is an attempt at giving us Indians our own rom-coms, and it is worth appreciating. It is a short movie by Indian standards, it wraps up in less than 2 hours. The crisp editing ensures that movie doesn’t seem like a drag at any point and is genuinely sweet and enjoyable. It drives important social messages across, without being preachy. It asks us to understand how little appearances matter when it comes down to judging people, and how an educated woman need not feel afraid of societal pressures and put up with an unhappy marriage.

If you haven’t watched it till now, do so. I don’t have more to say about it, since that would be like giving away everything of a predictable plot. But do watch it for a respite from the likes of “Chennai Express” or “Singham Returns”, for it is good to watch movies that you can actually relate to.

Rating: 3/5

P.S : If you did see this one, don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below!!! 🙂