Sunday, July 06, 2008

College Chronicles : Something Wrong

Time 8:20
We are stuck in traffic, AGAIN! But to be honest we started out at 8:15, for our class at 8:30, so we were partially to blame, the rest of the blame is to be evenly shared by the roads, the corrupt government, the people of Chennai ,society on the whole and the Indo-US Nuclear deal. We are at the Kathipara junction, for those unaccustomed to Chennai traffic, Let's just say the top speed in a 1Km radius of the junction is 1Km(s) per hour.
My classmate/good friend/chauffeur Arjun, turns on the AC in his car, as I located the only music CD that I had compiled at the start of the 2nd year, we were in year 3 now. The mesmerizing tune of "Voodoo" by Godsmack takes over for probably the 200th time in that car.
Arjun then begins his daily routine of trying to weave in and out of traffic, in his yellow Wagon-R. I would like to take a moment here and thank Arjun for choosing this colour as it united all our friends in the constant pursuit of making fun of him for 3 years and hopefully for many more years to come. The only other topic that enjoys such a unanimous backing is "making fun" of yours truly. Sigh!

Time 8:25
We are about 1 meter ahead of the position, we were at 8:20.It was time for contingency plans to be put into action.We begin the reconnaissance mission by sending out the customary SMSs to the usual culprits of our class.Usual culprits refers to enthusiastic hostellers who turn up 15mins early to class.
No response to our SMSes.Something was wrong!These guys are usually quite quick to respond to messages as it serves them the dual purpose of whiling away their boredom and making life a little more troublesome for us.But even we have gotten pretty good at reading the "Fake Reports". For example.
Class nt strtd,cm even if l8 translates to Class is cancelled ,How, you ask? It has been proved scientifically that when one comes to class when there is no class, it gives sadistic pleasure to those already present in the class.
Cm fast,attndnce goin to strt translates to Your attendance has passed and no one has given you proxy but come all the same coz we would like to see your face when you find it out for yourself.
There are many such subtle nuances and variations in messages that you can only appreciate after years of back stabbing by your loyal classmates.

Time 8:28
I put forth my one-stop-solution for all college related problems, "Lets just cut class da". Unfortunately,My friend remains persistent. He wasnt going to let precious petrol go to waste. If not for the money being spent on his education, atleast the personal money spent on petrol MUST NOT be wasted. We trudge forward.
Another 2-3 messages pass by, no response.

Time 8:31
My friend turns to me and dramatically says "Make the call". I flip open my flippable mobile phone.Trust me, flipping open your mobile phone to make a call is totally cool, ever since I saw Neo flip open his mobile in Matrix,I have wanted to do that.I have just realized that "flipping open your flappable mobile phone" doesn't sound all that cool when put down in words. I open the address book and begin the process of narrowing down to the ideal candidates. The kind of people who
- will be present in class
- will be seated at a safe distance from the proffesor
- most importantly are gutsy enough (some say foolish..I say GUTSY) to answer the call in our class.
Answer the call in a class which is part of the main campus of a university which pioneered in banning cell phones in 232 constituent colleges and its own HOSTEL.
Answer the call in a class ,which belongs to the mechanical department which in turn is the home department of the current VC.(The cell phone ban thing was his brainchild)
See!! GUTSY guys. Now, CLAP FOR THEM!

Time 8:34
I narrow down prospects to 3 final candidates and start the calls.

Call No. 1 >The phone is switched off.
Call no. 2 >The guy is out of town, but doesnt let me cut the call until I promise to put proxy for him but with the stipulated clause of being extra careful so that HE is not caught. I didn't have time for this, I say "Yes! I am in class and putting proxy very carefully right now,as we speak" and I cut the call.
Note:For the uninitiated,"putting proxy" refers to a person voicing out the phrase "Present" or "Yes" or "Yes Sir" when the attendance is being marked for the class.
It leads to loads of entertainment when things go wrong and it also warms the heart to know that a fellow soul is still slumbering peacefully somewhere in Chennai.Of course, 2-3 continuous proxies and this warm feeling is replaced by some good old fashioned therapeutic anger.
Call no. 3 >The phone rings, and he cuts the call.Why would he cut the call when he could have answered it and not spoken.Something was wrong!!

Time 8:34
We park at parking lot 1, the furthest parking lot from our department.The "No Driving in Campus" rule was put in place in our 2nd year,to ensure a greener campus.It must be noted that the professors were still allowed to park right next to the department.I can only assume my university has found some new green fuel that does not pollute and the university is sharing this only with its staff, cause when I last checked, petrol pollutes whether it is my car or my profs.Cursing the fact that my dad wasn't a prof,we begin the rush to class at a brisk pace.Yup! Brisk pace, not a mad rush.No running allowed, the reason being ..
1)I don't run, it might accidentally do some good to my health
2)I sweat like a pig, and considering that we are late for class, we will have the most lucrative hot spots in class and I do mean HOT spots which are situated in the corner of the class, away from the window under the non-working fan and home to a dusty bench thrown in for Vaasthu compliance.
So, we walk at a brisk pace taking the shortest path to our department, cutting in and out of hedges.In the midst of our mini jungle safari,It struck the both of us, we didn't know who the enemy was? What subject was the first hour?. We quickly browse through the 3 notebooks that we had between us and luckily one of them actually had part of the timetable.(The book didn't belong to either of us ,I just brought it from the car so that I have an extra book to wave myself when I am seated in on of the Hot-spots.Talk about lucky!).Turns out it was Mr. Bensely's class, don't ask me what the subject was. I'm not that good with subjects. Bensely is a nice guy, young, short, kind of strict. We were measuring up the consequences of us turning up late for the class based on the various modes of entry into the class.
There's the stealth mode, where we try to stealthily(DO NOT LAUGH) try to get into the class and just sit down at one of the benches but this wasn't a good method as we were already late and it was going to be tough to get a seat even if we manage to get behind enemy lines.
Then there is the head-on-approach – Where we stand at the door and look like we have just committed murder and are feeling really guilty about it. This is coupled with the ever green excuse of Chennai traffic and the rest is left in the hands of the almighty. This however can backfire if you don't do your homework properly, it hadn't failed me yet though. There are some professors who just want to be disturbed cause it gives them an opportunity to do the ONLY thing that they can do that can justify their presence as a professor in our college. One such professor was Muthu. Code name: Muthu[UNDERSCORE]Kuthu. He will first stare you down while you look as sorry as possible. His next words will be "Day scholar or Hosteler?" There is no right answer to this question cause either way the outcome is the same.
"Day Scholar sir".
"Still you are coming this much late?"
" Sir..There was an accident on the…"
"What is time?"

"8:32 sir"
"Not your time man! Department time.GO SEE DEPARTMENT CLOCK"
(As if the Department is on some other time zone!).From hereon, It would be tough to predict if you will get into the class or not, but your attendance is already lost ,so you would be daft to want to enter class in the first place.Unless of course you are there for the entertainment. You may need subtitles to his performance but it is worth it. Some of his classic performances are the Superhit blockbuster "When you are finish, empty the department". That one ran for 100days+,(The entire semester!!)
Another one time hit, which gained cult status was the "It is a hot engine is there" (It was neither hot, nor an engine, it was just the apparatus for flash point testing).I would need to write another article just to praise our very own muthu_kuthu.
Back to Class Entry Modes 101 .There is also the "Better late than never" approach where the guy just walks in and sits down at a bench whether or not the guy is watching, as if it is his birth right to be able to come to class 20 minutes late. You would be surprised to know that this actually works on certain professors and has hilarious results on others.
Then comes the "Shock and Awe" method.The guy turns up 5minutes before end of class, Gets into class by hook or crook ,gives attendance and leaves. The reason why It is named "Shock and Awe" is because of the look on our faces. And finally comes the "Don't enter class but get someone to give you proxy" approach, which wouldn't have worked anyway as the proxy-givers were incommunicado.
Anyways, we chose the head on approach for Bensely and "Traffic at kathipara" was the weapon of choice.
Do not think that this decision was made lightly.Such choices are based on numerous "performance parameters" pertaining to the prof and other prevailing conditions such as niceness quotient, moodiness quotient,attendance policy,Timing of attendance marking(Post session or pre-session?), butter-ability, possible domination at home by the wife? It wouldn't be too prudent to say it is a science unto itself.

Time 8:45
15 minutes late and we were charging ahead,I could hear the "Mission Impossible" tune start playing in my head. We make it to the department at 8:50. Our class is on the first floor. Before me make the trip upwards ,we scout the banyan tree next to our department to see any enlightened souls from our class to give us some pearls of wisdom.No one! Not a soul, there is usually at least 1 guy sitting there not having the courage to move in alone, waiting for someone else to turn up to hide behind.Today, it was Zilch. Something was wrong.
We move on ahead, up the steps.Slowly and carefully.Trying to egg the other guy on, to be BRAVE, to be a LEADER, to be THE CHOSEN ONE.
We climb back up to the class and we try to peer into the class through the back window. No good. We would have to take a peek through the main door if we were to get any idea of what was going on in the front. So we move to the door, and VOILA! Who do we see standing there? None other than our beloved Vice Chancellor, decked in his full sleeve safari suit, the the kind of suit that makes you sweat by just the sight of some other guy wrapped up in it.
Before we move any further, I find it necessary to point out our college's wonderful dress code.
Gentlemen were to wear formal shirts, no t-shirts(NOT EVEN ON FRIDAY), no jeans.And I am not even going to get started on the Ladies dress code.Our VC drew a lot of flak for this rule, but he wouldn't budge.Not even being publicly ridiculed on national TV could make a dent in this decision.
And there I was dressed in a "formal shirt" that screamed "Welcome to HAWAII" and a pair of jeans,which looked like it was handed to me as a family heirloom.I don't remember what my friend was wearing but I remember the shoes, they were RED. Red NIKE Shoes that looked good when Michael Jordan wore them, but doesn't seem that much of a good idea, now that you are wearing it to college.
And there he was speaking in front of our class and us standing like fools,staring at the man whom we had come to love to hate.We were staring at all the "something wrongs" that we didn't heed to.
It was as if my mind went into overdrive…Strategy needed to be changed, Head-on approach wont work....this wasn't the way it was meant to be....2 years of college training and we were not prepared for this situation...Part of my brain was racing ahead trying to figure out the best course of action for being late by filling in various "performance parameters" based on inputs received from various totally unreliable sources...another part of my brain was trying to figure out how do to minimise the bright effects of my cool and calm attire....Then there was this voice in my head asking me if my mobile was on silent...I want to switch my mobile mode to silent before Murphy's law takes over and I get a call from some long lost friend who I don't really care about.But I couldn't move my hand...I couldn't move my legs....there was too much information....multi-tasking wasn't my forte….WHY WAS I EVEN BORN?!??.

I don't know if it was the noise from the whirring of the gears in my brain, but our VC's P.A caught sight of us,and we could see the smile on his face as he asked us to come forward and wait at the side of the class.We enter and move to the side of the .We then use the defense mechanism adopted by Ostriches(which I learnt from National Geographic).The Ostrich hides it's head in the sand at the first sign of danger, the logic behind this is that when there is no danger to be seen, what is the worry?(The logic is infallible),And that was precisely what we were doing, I mean..we didn't hide our head in the sand...but we were pointedly looking at the ground and not making any eye contact.Our VC takes a look at us, My mind is still screaming "IS THE MOBILE ON SILENT??" and he asks us to take a seat. Whoa! It was our lucky day. The guy is clearly on some PR building exercise. Maybe he didn't take his meds for the day.Maybe he wanted to change the image that the media had built of him. Maybe the Ostrich defense mechanism actually works....Whatever be the reason...we didn't care. We were safe. We were happy, we were lucky. And then to add to our luck,Mr. Bensely was late for class! He got a sermon for being late to class, we sat down and enjoyed the rest of the speech given by our VC where he told us that he had a special place in his heart for the Mechanical department, which we will believed meant a lot more rules being imposed on the Mechanical Department. He also spoke about allocating a massive amount just for our department. I think most of it was spent on the new water cooler that was provided towards the end of my 4 years in college.And the rest of it was spent on the department restrooms.I can safely vouch that the newly renovated mechanical engineering restrooms are definitely far better than all other departments in our campus,that is not much to say but I needed something to vouch for, for my college, for my VC.By the way, I think I should let you guys know that Mr. Bensely turned up 15 minutes early for his next class, and didn't allow anyone even a second after 8:30! The "head-on-approach" had failed me!

Fast Forward 3 Years
I wake up by 6:30 and catch the bus by 7:10 and am in office at 8 itself and leave at the earliest by 5:20.A duration that I have never ever spent college on a single day,except of course when I had attended the Infosys Interview. Oh the IRONY of it all.
I am currently sitting in a plush Air conditioned office, reminiscing about an incident that happened barely 3 years back..... currently thinking about how to end this article as it was a pretty subdued ending to all the hype. And then I had an epiphany, It isn't always about the ending, sometimes it about the journey as well, as long as the journey was enjoyable, the ending can be corny, just like this article. I am truly thankful for all the "Something wrongs", both on that day and throughout my life,they make life worth living and more importantly re-living.A wise man once said "most pleasant memories in life come from times when things went wrong".
Amen!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Feeling HOT HOT HOT!!

Being jobless and aimless (temporarily!)does bring out the innate ability in a person to observe, appreciate and enjoy the finer things in life. Like the wonderful summer that we are having here at Chennai. Having just finished my final semester exams, the pathetic sight of my "blog", has inspired me to write about something that is affecting me deeply emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. The Chennai summer.

In the 4 odd years that I have spent here, the Chennai branch of "Mother Nature"®, has been kind enough to give me complete access to the wide portfolio it has to offer its clients. In spite of being privy to the Incessant rains that went on for almost 24 hours at stretch, freezing decembers, the wrath of the tsunami and Mild earthquakes(Ok OK! Really mild earth quakes),I have never really been around to "appreciate" the wonderful "Peak" summers of Chennai. The reason being, I usually rush off to Muscat to meet my family, not that the weather is any better there but in Muscat, any house/school/boarding(A shelter of any sort) is almost perpetually air-conditioned and its not as sultry as Chennai(special thanks to the Indian Ocean).As I was saying, this summer is the first time I am getting to enjoy the Peak summer of Chennai and To sum it up, in the words of a famous wise man, "ITS HOT". Even though the wise man was referring to Monica Belluci, I think it is perfectly apt to use it this context.

Hot & Sultry. I cant walk 2 meters without beads of sweat forming on my forehead and other less interesting places. And then I rush back into the Air conditioned room to calm myself down and consciously try to reduce the metabolic rate of my body. My cousin, in his moment of deep spiritual awakening, told me that by slowing your breathing and remaining calm, your body tends to reduce usage of body resources and in effect, you stop sweating. In retrospect, I feel stupid. You don’t work-->you don’t sweat. I didn’t need someone to tell me that. And now that I think about it, his concept of slowing down your breathing and being calm is in many ways similar to sleeping.

Then, one fine day, Catastrophe, the air conditioner in the room with the computer, breaks down. I strongly feel it was because of my dad. He kept picking up the electricity bill glaring at the bill and then glaring at the A/C.I think he worked some of that mind over matter jazz and shut down the A/C.Anyway, There I was torn between 2 bare necessities of my life. My computer and the A/C(in the other room).I finally decided that I will brave the "Non-A/C room" and put my survival skills to the test. I mean, What kind of immature, kiddish person would prefer physical comfort to his “orkut” time?

But even managing with out an Air conditioner in the room couldn’t prepare me for what was to come, the infamous power cuts. There is no specific time that it will strike at. But its effects are most felt in the afternoons(when you want to take a nap), late evenings(Just before it starts to get slightly cool and just after the "sultryness" fully sets in)and nights (when all you want to do is switch on the A/C and go to sleep).

One minute after the power goes. My reaction is standard, I pick up the phone ,call up my local Electricity board and ask them why has the power been gone for the past 2 hours. His reaction is also standard, "They are working on it sir, there is some fault in that area, we are trying to locate the root of the problem". The next time I shift my house, I am locating myself next to some ruling party MLAs house.

Tough times like these always reminds me of inspirational sayings, One such phrase was "When the going gets tough, the tough get going", and thats exactly what I did. "Got Going". Got into the car, Switched on the air-conditioning and slowly drive in and around ashok nagar. Making frequent calls to my mom asking if the power is back.

Another option would be to take a bath, everytime the power goes. Take a bath. You can wash off the sweat as they form. That way you feel refreshed when the power finally returns, as opposed to the rest of your compadres. This method doesn’t work when the power is off for periods greater than an hour. I have stopped using this method off late because it reminded me of the acute water shortages in Chennai some 2 years back and just makes me feel guilty. To be more truthful, it makes me feel a little scared at the prospect of carrying all those buckets of water to fill up the tank. Anything, I can do to push back the day when I have to relive that part of history, will be done.

There is one more ingenious idea that I have worked out to counter these power cuts. Go for a walk. No, The summer sun has not affected my brain in anyway. Think about it! If you stay at home, You are going to sweat! You are going to feel discomfort! Might as well, go for a walk. Along with the discomfort, you will lose some of that excess fat.(Dont Lie!You have been getting fat. The very fact that you time to read up random blogs like mine means you are spending way too much time on the computer...and probably eating as you read this!) And should you find an air-conditioned Baskin robbins on the way, you can spend a couple of hours in there with their special 10 Rs. ice-creams (Please leave before the manager asks you to leave, this way you can return to the scene of the crime many number of times before they put up a picture of you below a "No Entry" sign).

These tips are just tip of the iceberg(Oh! the Paradox!).The summer is just getting started. I was told to look out for a special "Kathri" season. Supposed to make you ask some pretty serious questions about life ,god and hill stations.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mother Nature®
Registered Trademark of GOD.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

MTV CALLING!!

Ahem!
I just got a brand new Nokia N93 about 4days back. Anyways, I was going through various features of the mobile and landed on the movie maker and this is what I have come up with.

I NEED FEEDBACK!


Click Play If u want to watch it!

By the way, If you have no clue who the people in the video, they are my friends from college and i got all thier "Model wannabe pics from orkut" and a video that I took in the college and used that for the video.

The song is "I am too sexy for my shirt..." by RIGHT SAID FRED.It just made sense to use this song. :P

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Blog Back on track

Well,
My blog was recently banned by the government of India for the anti-Indian comments made in one of my posts about the Veshti (a.k.a Dhothi) and after a really long and brave struggle ,It got released recently. OK! OK! For those of you just can’t differentiate between a statement dripping sarcasm and a normal one, here is what happened.
Mumbai Blasts-->Indian Government asked ISPs to block certain blogs with anti-Indian sentiments-->ISPs are uber smart (not to mention lazy) and instead of blocking the sites alone, blocked the whole domain i.e. www.blogspot.com.
I first heard of this through the paper and saw it on CNN-IBN.com, almost felt like I am part of a freedom struggle when I saw my fellow bloggers up in arms, this new-found enthusiasm lasted until I was asked by a fellow blogger to go and register on an anti-government site with all my personal details. HAH! There is "Fighting for a cause" and there is being plain gullible (not to mention Common-senseless).Anyways, When I tried logging in today, I was able to log in, I just HAD to make a post.

OK! So, what have I been up to between my last post and now(I can almost see you people with excited anticipation on your faces-Don’t worry you wont be let down) The highlights of my life!

1) Got placed in Infosys, Those 2days of placement went by in a haze. They were manually calling out names of candidates selected and I was dreading this part of the whole process. Luckily, I didn’t have to face the agony of being one of the last few to be called out, probably the most nerve wrecking feeling outside the auditorium and a sense of immense relief inside. Such a drastic jump in emotion, something different. "Good different".

2)Started driving my new "Vandi" (Maruti Suzuki Swift) in and around Ashok Nagar and K.K.Nagar and almost any traffic congestion in these areas can be attributed to me.

3)College started-The timetable rocks. Almost all days of the week, the afternoons are free and one of the few days with lab in the afternoon the professor asks us not to come. How cool is that?

4)Israel bombs Lebanon. Can do nothing but burn and fume inside reading the atrocities committed by the Israeli army in the pretext of taking out the hezbollah. Even though we can sympathize with Israelis for the attacks by hezbollah and guerrilla tactics followed by them, there can be no excuse for this kind of reaction against a civilian population. They are just venting out their anger on the wrong person.

5)Other current affairs that evoke some sort of emotion in me! Natwar singh's brilliant answers to the oil for food scam .
Jaswant singh's blatant publicity for his book by the whole "Mole" hungama. I am making it a point not to buy the book just because of this whole episode(Not that I would have rushed to the book store had this episode not taken place, but atleast I am very consciously not buying it now or I may go to the extent of buying a pirated version, I said “MAY”, I don’t want any lawsuits flying in at me)

6)Saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest-First Day -First Show! Yay! Can you believe there weren’t that many jobless people in Chennai on a Friday morning at 11:30.WEIRD!!!Johnny Depp rocking as usual. BUT none of us knew that it was part of a trilogy so you can take a wild guess as to how pissed we were when the movie ended. We just sat there looking at the credits roll by hoping for them to play the next movie after the credits.

7)CAT-BELL THE CAT!-CHASE THE CAT-LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG-CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT! Don’t ask me if they make sense but I have seen every corny phrase or proverb with the word CAT used in reference to the Common Admission Test and it is starting to bug me a little bit. I don’t know why but wherever I go , I see ominous signs of the CAT.
-First of all, IMS (My CAT training centre) chooses to send me flyers and planners on almost a daily basis now.
-And then my classmates Paurna and Gautham seem to be living the CAT. Always discussing something or the other relating to CAT. Even though I feign interest towards the CAT when I am near them. I am sure they have called my bluff by now.
-I go to youtube.com to watch some clips and IMS chooses to advertise on this site as well.(Are they tailing me or something?)
-Not to mention all the stray cats around the place.(This is where you start laughing uncontrollably and your welcome)

8)The first set of assessments got over today and I think i can safely say I lost all fear or exams or atleast the internals. Almost every single paper was treated with the most minimal preparation possible. WHAT HAS THIS COLLEGE DONE TO ME?!?

That’s about it in my very exciting life so far. I know this hardly counts as a blog post but at least it’s better than nothing. OR IS IT?!? Don’t answer that!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Moved & Shaken



Well,
I have just shifted my house from K.K.Nagar to Ashok Nagar.For those of you who actually know the distance between these two places, will probably ridicule me for shifting in the first place but ever since my bro and mom planned to come down to chennai, I knew we had to shift.The old house is kinda small for all of us and for the lucky few who had the luxury of actually visiting my house may throw some light on my rather SPACIOUS bathroom and W.C. . Incase it hasn't penentrated your forever serious mind, the previous sentence was dripping with sarcasm.
Anyways,Getting to the purpose of this post.Cant blog for a while, primarily for 2 reasons

1)I have just shifted into my new house and my dad, very wisely, did not allow my computer to remain in my room.It is now placed in the master bedroom where he can actually verify if I am really doing that assignment which never seems to get completed at any point in my college life.

2)THERE IS NO NET CONNECTION.Inspite of repeatedly calling both Airtel and Sify guys for about 4days now, both seem reluctant to actually come and give me a connection. I am now trying convince them that it is actually them who make the cash if they give me a net connection.I also plan to lay 10 Rupee notes in a line from the Airtel Showroom till my house, hopefully one of thier agents will pick the cash and follow me home.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Special Veshti Award conferred on Local Blogger


Staff Reporter
---------
Tirupati: The acclaimed "Veshti Assembly & Maintenance Award" was conferred upon veteran blogger(If i say so myself! :D) T.S.Gowrishankar late on Tuesday(9th May,2006).Mr. T.S.Gowrishankar successfully completed the gruelling examination which is not just merely securing the veshti in a failsafe manner but also involves an arduous obstacle course. He was asked to begin his veshti quest at the foot steps of the Tirupati temple, attend a special seva* and then make his way by standing in a 2hour long queue to pray in front of Lord Venkateswara and return safely. The queue which starts out as a number of people decently stacking up behind each other usually transforms into a mini-stampede as we get closer to the deity.This is then followed by collection of prasadam** which is also a relatively long queue.Such conditions can be disastrous when one is wearing a loose flowing piece of garment which can be stepped on/tugged at easily. Such tugging leads to myriad counts of embarrassments which often leave long lasting mental scars on the individual.

Several attempts were made by Gowrishankar himself to avert this test but constant support,words of encouragement and a very strict order from his parents succeeded in finally changing his mind. The media was kept away at a safe distance and in spite of speculation that a photo shoot would be held later in the evening, the photographers(primarily his relatives) were grossly dissappointed. Even though we couldn’t get a photo of Mr. Gowrishankar with the veshti we managed to get a file photo of a similar veshti (shown above).He wasn't available for comment, but reliable sources say he was both relieved and excited on receiving this award.

Veshti, also known as Dhothi in North India is the original and timeless garment of men's wear in India. A rectangular piece of unstitched cloth, it is wrapped in a complex manner about the waist and legs. It is usually white or cream in color, although colourful hues are often used to create more vivid ensembles. There are more than 60 different ways of draping this garment, that is more than 60 ways of it untangling at the most inappropriate moment to embarrass you.

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*Seva-Special darshan carried out at an auspicious time.
**Prasadam-Small offerings of food which is first offered to the Gods and then to you, believed to be blessed by the Gods.

While researching for this article(*Cough) I was shocked to find this small snippet of information. I heard that Tirumala temple is one of the richest temples in the world but this definitely was news to me.
Tirumala temple is the richest temple in the world after Vatican City. The popularity of the temple can be judged by the annual income which is around six billion rupees.(12Million Dollars).I have just decided to quit my engineering studies and pursue a job at Tirupati.
Trivia courtesy of Wikipedia

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This article has been edited due to the persistence of my friend Arjun Rajkumar(R$Y) who kept insisting that it is "Veshti" and not "Vaishti".After some serious threats from him over the phone/orkut messages , I found it in my best interests that I remove "Vaishti" and replace it with "Veshti".Sorry for the inconvenience.Any anger,hatred, long suppressed ill-feelings towards me maybe vented out on Arjun.Please message me privately to get his residence address.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Fine Art of Writing an Exam

This Article was strongly edited/modified by my good friend “N.Thamizhvaanan”.Any grammatical errors/complaints may be attributed to him and compliments/homages/donations may be forwarded to me.:D 

I got inspiration to write this piece, the day I finished my
CAM(Computer Aided Manufacturing Exam).Should my professor decide to
sit down and read the intricate details provided by me as to why DNC
systems are preferred to CNC systems, I am sure he can convert it into
some sort of a bollywood movie script. If you read my paper closely, you will suddenly be transported to a distant land with fairies and talking lions.

Pre-requisites

Don't worry; there is nothing that will take more than a few minutes
of your "Oh! So busy" schedule. Just a few minor tips that will let
you laze around till the 13th hour(No! Its not the 11th Hour coz thats just for normal people) before you decide to do something
about the exam next day.

I know people tell you that you must relax before an exam and there
are even more weird people who say stuff like relax the day before an
exam. Had I followed such advice, I would have definitely failed at
least 70% of my exams. The key to success ( I mean Pass) is PANIC.
Panic at least two hours before the exam and get the adrenalin
flowing. By doing this you make sure that you cram in as much data as
you could have slogged throughout the semester.

As I was saying, the 2-3 hours prior to the exam must be spent with a
person who has finished the syllabus the previous day. Pester him with
frequent doubts, as obvious as they may be, but still ask, even though
he says he's gotta do some zillionth revision (some weird people do
that). Listen to all the important topics, remember topics (VERY
IMPORTANT!),remember keywords, they help in making you look like you
have actually read through the book . Any graphs, simple diagrams and
flow charts must be vaguely remembered. Don't forget to remember what
the X and Y axes symbolize.


Crunch Time

Here is where you put in all your effort. There are a large number of
ways of distracting the examiner from finding out that there actually
isn't anything worth grading in this paper (well, there is a very fine
line that separates forgery and writing an examination :P).

Active and Passive voice

The most powerful English language tool in writing an exam. If you are
fortunate enough to know even a single point in a given question. It
can be converted to 2 sentences with ease and if you are determined
enough a whole paragraph can be derived from it. Example?

The primary advantage with CNC systems is that they don't have a
tape reader which increases efficiency and doesn't need skilled
labour.

The lack of a tape reader in CNC systems not only ensures better
performance but also ease of operation.


You could also insert another sentence in between the above examples
just so that it doesn't get too obvious, should the examiner choose to
actually sit down and make sense of your answer (the probability of that is as much as you actually sitting and studying for the exam, so I think you are safe) . Make sure that the extra line carries a word atleast from the question or sub-heading title. Use the name of the subject if you know neither of them . This is called contextual answering. VERY
IMPORTANT.

Colourful Presentation

Get yourself a Blue pen and a Black pen.(or any colour from within
visual spectrum that exists as a pen in this planet.).Keep writing
your stories in blue and every now and then there will be one or two
keywords that you will remember that is actually part of the given
topic. This is where you pull out your black pen and insert it between
your blue lines. This method maybe used effectively in conjunction
with the above "Active and Passive Voice" method. Make sure you write
different keywords in Black in your passive sentence. It maybe a
little time consuming but it will usually ensure that your prof.
doesn't really read the stories that you have written and added to
this, it gives the prof a false sense of security that you have studied
something.

Flow Charts-Graphs-Diagrams

A Picture is worth a thousand words. This phrase, our wise ancestors
framed purportedly for exam writing. Make sure that you are sure that
your graph is correct because it is easier to spot a mistake in a flow
chart or graph rather than in a huge paragraph. Hence make sure you are familiar with
all the basic flow charts, graphs and diagrams in the given syllabus.

Make some passing reference to the keywords that we talked about
earlier. (Note: Diagrams are good source of keywords, so studying
diagram helps in more than one way.)

Draw it Big-Preferably occupying at least half the page

Draw it Neat-Use one of those lead pencils

Label it properly

If possible come up with unnecessary supporting stuff like legend, scale etc.

Explain what you are going to draw in a paragraph before the diagram and
what you have drawn in another paragraph after the diagram. Atleast four
sides of your answer sheet should have been filled by now

Don't follow the point system (neglect the fact that I've bulletted
the points that I mentioned above. Those are exceptions,Iam just too brilliant :P)

Never write only points. Even if, by the grace of god or by a sudden
stroke of madness, you have studied for an exam and want to write only
points. DON'T DO IT . Make sure you have written something below.

Eg:- Point No. 4-No Friction Reduces Wear

Primarily, Friction will cause wear but when we make use of the
following component. There is a drastic drop in dynamic and static
friction, resulting in reduced wear compared to the wear with more
friction!


Fill the darned answer sheet. One among the thumb rules of the art of
exam writing. Always believe that you can guess your way to the right
answer. A good student(or should I say a good “Exam Writer”) should be able to write volumes of pages of answer without illuminating a speck of his profound ignorance of the subject.

And if all else fails, the keywords desert you, you suspect you've got
one of those "Hard disk not found" kinda memory failure and the
superviser after repeated pestering, convinces you that the question
paper is indeed for the right subject and not misplaced and you wish
the ground would open up and eat you alive, there is PLAN B. This is
often attacked on ethical grounds, but almost everyone does it and
even the few who don't do it are not doing it more so for the fear of
consequences rather than any ethical grounds. OH! Did I forget to
mention what this method is?


COPYING

Even though COPYING is unchartered territory for me (*Cough Cough*), I
do know some people who do indulge in such "APPALING" activities. Inspite of me
not condoning such behaviour, it must be accepted that
copying is an art unto itself.


Copying is broken down into 3 primary categories

Copying from the guy near you

Copying from some prepared document (usually prepared by you)

Copying from Text book

It is usually a combination of all of the above methods but quite
often you come across the person who solely depends on the other guy
and doesn't even take the initiative to follow the more arduous second
path. That's just plain lazy.(*Looks around nervously*)

Copying from someone near you
In this age of Telecommunications, students still rely upon primordial
ways of Data Transfer from one person to the other which varies from
rudimentary vocal communication to sophisticated cryptic body language
and every other possible type of communication except anamolous
communications.

(a).Sound Waves

This is basically orally asking your doubts to any person who is in a
one bench radius (Left, Right, Front, Back, Diagonal…doesn't matter
really). If you are desperate enough you could try a 2 bench radius,
but this usually back fires as even the even the examiner hears your
question and comes to you to give a fitting reply.

Make sure that when you are asking the question your mouth is clearly
facing the person because quite often ,you will look in front and ask
something to the guy behind you and you don't really have to be
Einstein to figure out that sound wont make a "U" turn and a
subsequent left turn into your friends ear. You must also ENUNCIATE.
Many a times I have seen a guy literally mumble something to himself
and then crib later that he didn't get help. This method is time
consuming and quite often wastes a lot of time of both the copier and
the "copiend" (The guy who assists in copying, Yay! New Word, Calling up Oxford!).


This method also preferred by the Ethical lot in the class. There is
always the option of just asking a small doubt which is more or less
like the "Open Sesame" of their brains.

He looks left, he looks right and then left again( you would think he
is crossing a busy highway), and then the sudden strike "Dai, what does
the "O" stand for in LOM(Laminated Object Modelling). I barely say
”Obje..”. And he goes something like "Ok ok ok! Got it, Got it!" .And then he spends the next 30minutes of his life,Half a cartridge of ink and 1/2738 th of a tree building on the word that I so graciously let slip out. Hmmm,
works for him. He needs just a word to strike upon the entire answer,
whereas ME! I need the entire answer before I have a remote idea of the meaning of that single word.

(b).Paper Hanging

No, this is not death penalty for paper. If you are blessed with
relatively good eye sight, you could ask the guy in front of you to
hang the paper on the side of his table. This method is very effective
as it doesn't really need your partner to worry about paper getting
lost and it also has a quick retraction system should the professor
start walking towards you. Make sure that the guy in front of you
writes big. And no, you shouldn’t bring binoculars to exam because
i)I am pretty sure that they are not allowed
ii)Thats just plain weird - WEIRDO! (Heh, I love this, I get to insult my blog readers as well)



(c)Paper Passing

Slightly risky, but will avoid a lot of wastage of time in asking
doubts. It involves the passing of the answer paper of the guy, either
behind you or in front of you. Beware, this is a very common source of
passing mistakes from one fools paper to some other moron's paper.
Thats because we normally tend to switch of our brains (that is the
default state) while copying from answer sheet.I have witnessed numerous incidents where the copier actually strikes out the right answer and copies the wrong one.A little common sense can take you a long way in such activites.Another point to note in this method : Unless both the copier and copiend is calm, things could get a little ugly should the professor start walking up towards you. For those of you who just don't have the GUTS(Aha! Provoked yet?) to pass paper, there is also an effective alternative.

Question Paper Passing

All you have to do, is get the guy to write major points behind the
question paper and exchange the question paper. (Don't just take his
question paper and forget to give him your question paper. This can
easily lead to getting caught)


Copying from some prepared document (usually prepared by you)

Prepared document covers a large spectrum. It can be books, Xerox
copies of books, hand written bits, drawing boards, personal data
written on permitted items in the exam hall, like calculators, data
books. Essentially anything that you are allowed to take into the exam
hall (which includes yourself). So you can also have stuff written on
your body. Yea, we students invented body art too. Each of these
concepts have been plagiarised in the film Memento and double
plagiarised in the tamil film "Ghajini", wherein the hero writes
important details on his body.I am in talks with the Students Federation Of India.
We are planning to sue them soon.


A good student should maintain perfect symbiosis with his environment.
Make use of any object that you can see within your reach. It is
within this context, that I am going to explain the next method - The
Drawing Board Practice . This may be a practice that is specific to my
college but it is one of the most fool proof methods I have witnessed
so far. I have never seen a single professor looking at the boards
before an exam. Sometimes they come and lift the boards to see if
there is any bits underneath the board but will completely ignore to
see the stuff written on the board. I don't get it, there is so much
data written on the boards and yet no action is taken to either clean
the board, punish those who write on it or even make an effort to see
if anyone is actually writing on the board. The fact that the boards
have at least 9-10 layers of ink, spread out over 3-4decades of their
survival makes it really hard for the professor to actually search and
detect the data relevant to his subject. Thus making it visible only
to the eye of the writer.


I am sure the word BIT needs no introduction, basically a very small
piece of paper in which you cram in as much detail as possible.
Beleived by many to be the precursor to Nanotechnology. Once you are
done with that, follow the previous step till you feel confident
enough. Another extension of BIT is the Mini-Xerox. It's nothing but
your normal Xerox but scaled down to an A8 or A9 paper. Your ability
to face embarrassment is tested here when you go to your local Xerox
shop(quite often you will make a trip to an alien neighbourhood so
that no one recognizes you).

You enter the Xerox shop-you wait till it is empty-you call the Xerox
guy to the side-quietly ask him for a "mini-xerox"-he will say it will
cost you 4 times the normal cost because he will use “special ink"(HAH!
The excuses are hilarious)-But you are desperate and say "ok ok,
please take it fast".

Copying from a text book.
Some beleive it is not feasible, but after witnessing several live demonstrations myself, I should say it is damn effective. Make sure you've got one of those
"local authors" text book (which is actually a question bank with a
mis-spelt title) that are easy to sneak underneath the board and easier
to flip through. Make sure you have gone through the book atleast once
before the exam, or else you will keep flipping the pages but never
hit upon the right portion.


Excuses

If you get caught, there is nothing, really, that you can do about it.
You could try coming up with some excuses but they are all more likely
to fail than succeed.

Moral: Prevention is better than cure. DONT GET CAUGHT.

But just as a backup you could try the following excuses before
completely giving up.

-Deny point blank that you copied and it was merely a circumstantial
coincidence which has made it look like you were copying.

-Once you realize that the above excuse holds no water, you could try
pleading with the professor.

" I met with an accident yesterday"

"Life is very tough at home, I am supporting my family"

"My uncle passed away yesterday"

But for some reason, the moment you get caught, you tend to loose all
sense of "common" sense and come up with the most weird excuses to say the least. Here is couple of "Brilliant Excuses" that have ever been uttered in my
presence.


My professor catches one guy with the paper of the guy behind him. He
accepts to the crime and gives one of the standard excuses mentioned above. Then
he moves onto to the guy who gave him the paper and confronts him and
this is where total brilliance of this young man comes out, instead of
just accepting it, he goes something like this "Illa sir, kathulla
parandhu avanode tablikku poiiduche"
That basically means "No sir, the
paper flew due to the wind and landed on his table"
.Even the professor couldn't control him self from laughing and told him there was a limit to bluffing.


Another time, this guy writes on the question paper and passes it up
front but forgets to take the other guys question paper. The examiner
comes and asks him where his question paper is. This guy is totally
flabbergasted and looks around desperately and finds a question paper
on the next table which was empty, takes that and shows it to the
examiner. As luck would have it, the question paper wasn't even the
same subject. The hilarity of the situation kind of broke down the
tension and the examiner let him off with a warning.


So you could try some funny excuses in the hope that he just might
start laughing and let you go.

If all else fails, you could try playing dead!

That round about sums up this article. Even though this report will
contain specifics pertaining to Anna Univ. slight modifications can be made to suit schools, colleges, universities all over India.

In these 3 years of college studies, my college may not have modelled
me into an ideal mechanical engineer, but if there is one thing that I
have learnt it is how to write exams.

Now, this doesn't really mean I have been acing my exams or anything.
Just that I manage to clear all my courses(so far!) with minimum work possible.
May you all have a wonderfully lethargic and lazy academic life ahead
of you.

DISCLAIMER:
I hereby declare that details provided above are true only to the best of my friends fictitious imaginations. It has been written for pure entertainment. Any resemblance to anything living or dead is purely coincidental. I would like to reiterate that I am nothing but a innocent bystander and I do not endorse nor recommend any of the techniques of mentioned above.
Hopefully that will ward off any law suits that may be flying in at me. If any one has any other fool proof disclaimer please reply with it. I will edit the disclaimer accordingly.


Special Thanks to “N.Thamizhvaanan” again.

EDIT:It has been brought to my notice that I havent acknowledged a lot of people who have been instrumental in the writing of this articile,not from a literary perspective but more of practical research for the article(which has been spread out over the past 3 years).I would have thought they would much rather not be included in this article but I guess, it would be unfair for me to not drag down the whole crew if the ship ever sinks.So here goes, Special thanks to the following for extensive research in the above topic spread out over a period of 3 years.
M.Gautham,Harish.K,Arun Kumar.T,Aaron.J,Krish.K,Arjun.R.
Revenge is sweet. ;-)