10 Reasons

And one for the marriage season. Here are 10 reasons why to.

10. The partying
9. Meet everyone you know in a single day
8. Get tons of likes on everything you put up on Facebook
7. Enough photos to last a lifetime
6. License to shop. A lot
5. Easiest two week holiday to get off from work
4. Sweets, sweets, sweets
3. The shiny new diamond ring
2. Easiest way to get an iPad for a present
1. You can play bad cricket afterwards and nobody will really bother


The blog template has been changed and so has the header. The header is from a photo of my wall which now boasts of a bunch of greeting cards I’ve received from school till date.

Elephant Obsession

Until a few days back, I thought it was an innocent fascination but now, I am afraid, there’s more to it.

For ages, Kerala, the land I was brought up in, has been associated with iconic characteristics like the Mallu accent, the coconuts, the fish fascination and the like, all of which have promoted nothing but friendly banter. I would not give any of them a second thought but now, something strong seems to be lurking behind all the usual clichés. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Elephant Obsession.

What I intend to focus on is not the in-your-face type of usage but the less observed. One of the first times I have encountered this obsession is in one of Tharoor’s articles where he explains the power of India as a large democracy with quite a serious tone but finishes on a lighter note addressing it as an elephant. In fact, the elephant seems to find its way quite effortlessly into many of his articles, oftentimes in the title itself, like The Elephant’s Choices, Can the Elephant Dance with the Dragon?, or even a book title, The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cell Phone.

However, let me not delve too much on Tharoor for he has had more than his share of news space as it is. When Chairman-ISRO, Mr. Radhakrishnan, a Mallu of course, released an official press release regarding the launch of a GSLV rocket, he took this Elephant Obsession to a whole new level. According to him, the increase of the launch capacity to four tones holds the equivalent meaning of carrying an adult elephant to 25000 kilometers above the Earth.

Why elephant?

The Walk

With a head held high,
You walk and walk and walk.
Not even a sigh
While you walk and walk and walk.

You bump into a wall;
On and on, you walk and walk and walk.
You’re not so tall,
Yet, you walk and walk and walk.

Another wall there and one more here;
Still, you walk and walk and walk.
Dismissing it as an aberration, mere;
You continue to walk and walk and walk.

Yet another similar one hits you hard;
But you walk and walk and walk.
The invisible walls seem a hazard,
Unmindful, you walk and walk and walk.

And then the next one hits,
Numbing you from toe to top.
Shattered into a million bits,
You stop.

The Saturday Post

Today, at lunch hour, I was weighing the pros and cons of waking up at 9 am on a lazy Saturday and wondering what to do since then till lunch with that of waking up just before lunch. I’ve always liked weekends whether they were spent having fun outdoors or doing work indoors. Besides, I like the Poha they serve for breakfast at the mess on Saturdays and I doubt I’d get it elsewhere in Chennai. Anyway, the point is that I’d woken up early and I didn’t know what to do. I could work on my BTP, but that’s religiously reserved for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for Tuesday is my weekly BTP update day.

My fellow lunch-eaters found it odd that in spite of having time at hand; I wasn’t churning out a blog post a day. It’s simple really. My blog posts are usually descriptions of queer or interesting incidents that happen in my day to day life. And since I don’t seem to have any of those up my sleeve, I can’t think of what to write. So then they ask me to write about placements and all that? This is simple too really. For over four months now, I have been the object of quite some trip on that front. Ever since I made it to the shortlist, new words like Miss. Consultant, pun intended, have been coined by many a considerate friend. A few isolated heated debates saw me using the occasional personal pronoun for BCG and this has led to quite some teasing over coffee and such. So, I don’t really need to encourage anyone by blogging about placements and interviews now. So here’s a modest update.

I’m doing three courses this semester in three different departments, not including my major or minor department, thanks to which I can firstly say that a lot of Nernst potentials are being maintained in your head right now, secondly, declare that I can put money in one country’s bank and borrow from another bank in such a way that mathematically spells profit, and thirdly, wonder why there is a geometric period in Greek history. My BTP is the center of my weekly agenda as of now, for I work two days leading up to it and hit restaurants for three nights after which brings us to Saturday morning when I cannot seem to think of what to do.

One Day in the Life of

Yes, I am that jobless.

It was all calm and quiet from outside, almost as if nobody was home. I am known to exhibit an eerie inclination to land on friends’ front doors unannounced. Thankfully, Neethu was home. “You’re here already!”, she exclaimed, quite surprised with my early arrival for a lunch appointment. “Yeah, I was feeling bored. So, here I am.” The time was half past eleven and nobody else was home. A few minutes of catching up ensued and then, a cake arrived. It seemed like it was going to be a relaxed Saturday after all.

The telephone rang. And then it rang again. And then she made another phone ring somewhere. Meanwhile, I was leisurely flitting from car to car in Autocar, the car and bike magazine. “You’re coming with me, right? Of course you are.”, she said to me. In less than five minutes, we were in a car whizzing past the city limits to the CESS office. Yeah, that’s the Centre for Earth Science Studies. I got busy in reading the news articles pinned on the notice board at the entrance while she went in to meet someone. A few minutes later, Strange Lady comes in and starts a conversation with me.
“Are you here for a project?”
“No, I’m here with a friend.”
“Oh, the other girl! I saw you two getting off the car.”

Doesn’t that sound like a logical place where any self respecting person would stop an unwelcome conversation with a stranger who was busy reading the notices in the first place? Apparently not for some strange ladies. She went on to tell me all about her life, her education, her qualifications, her designation and then, her husband, his education, his qualifications, his designation and then, her son and his so on and so forth. Before she could go on to her sisters and nieces, Neethu came back and announced that we were invited for lunch at the canteen. So, we had a nice traditional Mallu lunch.

Next, we headed to meet someone else, who gave us a lecture on EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) and basically why these folks do the work they do. We were all set to leave when Strange Lady reappeared out of nowhere and requested to be dropped off at PMG. I would have wanted to say no a thousand times over but the driver had already said yes. At least this time I wouldn’t have to endure it alone. She started with a conference she was attending earlier that morning and added that she was heading back there as well. Just to clarify, nobody asked for such information to the best of my knowledge. She went on to talk about her husband next and then her son. More information poured out about his college and applications to universities and all that stuff. The driver enquired about our destination and she went overboard with, “Oh that place? I know that very well. I'll direct you there. Don't worry.” I had officially stopped listening to her with that. She was basically one of those old women you read about in short stories and wonder how you’ve never really met anyone like that. PMG seemed ages away but it finally came and she got off, waving a very dubious goodbye.

We got back to her house, stayed there for less than five minutes and left in another direction whizzing past city limits yet again to her under-construction house. A phone call to a guy with a girl’s name who responds to my name with, “she’s a weird girl”, happened. A few hours and a few FRIENDS episodes on a faulty laptop that made everything look like infra-red vision later, we headed back. And with that ended one day in the life of Blah! Blah! Blah!

Going bananas

It all started as I thought of starting a banana chips shop at Trivandrum next year. Add half a day of coding with an unfinished statement of purpose and placement strategies running in the background and this is the level of insanity that results. Here's what followed.

Vani, possibly having reached equal levels of insanity, decides to join me.
Vani's a business partner.

Surbhi is not planning on staying far from the action and decides that she will be given two packets every month free of cost.
“Let’s take the product to North India! I will tell everyone I know that banana chips are amazing.”
“Well, we can always appoint a dedicated sales force to do that for us. Why would we give you two free packets to do this?”
She decides to change strategy. “I will tell everyone that your chips are useless. Nobody will eat them.” She wins.
Surbhi gets free chips. Launching in North India.

A certain Hippo yawns, “I booked the franchisee first for North India.”
“Are you sure about your business prospects?”
“We’re discussing it around an imaginary round table as we speak.”
Hippo appointed as franchisee in North India.

“Count me in!”, pings Aditya.
“As a what?”
“As a cook. I'm pretty good.”
“But I actually want to carry this out.”
“Okay, welcome aboard.”
“And if we do well in the first 2-3 years we'll open a branch in Dubai. And then we'll come to Insti for placements.”
“Of course. We’ll be taking MAs mostly as part of sales force.
“We'll make commercials with them perhaps or let them just cut the bananas.”
Sundar Aditya appointed as executive cook.

Er-what-arbitness expression fills Divya’s face. She is unanimously chosen to be the license provider.
Divya IAS shall provide licenses.

“When you start a food business, first rule is to appoint someone who won't eat up whatever you make. Hippo? Seriously? Rahul Venkatraj - chief taster (quality control). I have previous experience in a kwality walls ice-cream factory.
“Wonderful. Work ex is always welcome. Welcome aboard.”
Aruppu appointed chief taster with reco from Kwality Walls.

Pressure comes up with, “How can you forget Bangalore? I will market it in the whole of Karnataka!”
“Why should we choose you for Bangalore?” On spot interview begins.
“I have spanned Karnataka from Bidar to Chamrajnagar, from Bellary to Madikeri!”
“Sold! Welcome aboard. “
“So I have got clearance from all of the board of directors! WOW! Can we also market banana chips cut longitudinally? That will be new!”
“Right now, we are focusing on the basic model only. We will keep you updated.”
Kshitij appointed franchisee for the *whole of Karnataka* and not just Bangalore.

The honourable BC, Dickens, makes his contribution with, “I want to do the chip design :)”
“Ah, why should we hire you?”
“I'm an experienced chip designer. My BTP is in chip design. Ever since childhood I have had a fervid desire to be a chip designer.”
“I see. Have you faced any obstacles in any chip designing that you did and how did you deal with it?”
“Obviously the design of any good chip is never free from obstacles. You might know that the famous Banana Dual Core Chip is my brainchild.”
“That’s an interesting idea. Could you elaborate on that?”
“Not, really, I'm afraid it's trademarked.”
Quick! Hire him before we lose him. “Welcome aboard!”
Dickens appointed as chip designer with trademarked Banana Dual Core chip on the cards.

“Hey you missed out on me. I need some job too.”
“You have to apply! We won’t come looking for you, you know.”
”Do we need to upload CV? I’m applying for the AP zone.”
“Ok. why should we hire you?”
“Well firstly I am a huge fan of banana chips. Secondly I am also telling you (having been a resident of AP for like 18 years) that banana chips has a huge market there, but is marketed poorly. So you’ll get multitudes of contracts just from my region.”
“Welcome aboard.”
BG appointed for AP division.

“Volunteering for TN division!”
“Ah, why should we hire you?”
“I have experience in tasting a wide variety of banana chips from various parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This way I can eat a banana chip and tell you if it was made in TN or Kerala in a jiffy. Besides, TN is a very big market.”
Impressed by the market fundaes. “Welcome aboard.”
Deepak appointed for TN division.

“You can get the bananas from my farm.”
“Do you have a farm?”
“I will in the near future and then you’ll get bananas from the rich Palakkad soil.”
Ragesh to supply raw material.

“I shall be the graphic designer for all your design needs.”
“Welcome aboard.”
Multi for all design needs.

"Gimme middle east distribution marketing and sales Qatar UAE Bahrain Saudi.", pings Noufal
"But why should we hire you?"
"Because I have conties in middle east, so I have sufficient experience and networks on ground already up and running. I have prior experience in fmcg and sufficient cheap manpower from mallu land."
"I see. What prospects do you see by expanding to these zones? "
"Well any enterprise started by Ms. Leela Aarthy would definitely have the potential to be a global brand. Ms. Leela Aarthy likes this. Middle East has a number of mallus, I mean probably more than Kerala and if you see a potential in Trivandrum and Kerala as a whole it is bound to work in the Middle East."
Noufal appointed franchisee for the Middle East.

All that in the span of a few hours. :)

Whitelighter to take over sponsorship and so on.
Shrav for internet advertising.

Unleash the Ethics

What happens when a certain agent L and a certain agent S put two and two together? The result is four, no doubt, but with an incredible mission and a mischievous smile. The day was perfect for what they had in mind. Two A4 sheets and a pen were all the weapons they needed and the middle page of the day’s newspaper served as camouflage for the same.

Agent S thought it wise to write the column details before heading to war and agent L nodded. Sl. no., name, roll no. and sign were the chosen columns and with that, half the work was done. They made sure they kept their calm all along lest someone should doubt something was fishy. Since agent L is known to take the middle page of the paper along to every ProE class and PPT alike, nobody shot a second glance at the weapons they were smuggling in. They were nearing the war zone.

The roughly 20 students present in the hall made it seem impossible to carry out the task at hand without being caught for the same. This way and that, they analyzed the case. The decision was finally made to go ahead with the mission. The next question was how. How about entering the class along with the professor and sneaking the sheet to the ones on the last row? It was too late for that because the professor was already there! How about faking a re-entry into the hall and sitting on the last row? There were too few students to pull that off. How about just passing it along from where they were? It would be impossible to convince anyone that it wasn’t a fake sheet.

A few minutes later, the agents decided to go ahead with the most risky, yet most satisfying, option; the third one. There were two sets of students to choose from; the electricians and the mechanics. The mechanics won solely because the agents didn’t know who they were. The agents asked for a pen from the row of mechanics behind them saying that they had to sign the attendance sheet. Unbelievable though it may seem, it worked. The fake attendance sheets were being passed with more and more authenticity associated to them with every signature that was put and every sms that was sent to those who were absent. The mission was a success. The agents high-5ed, rather low-5ed, in appreciation.

One row, two rows, the sheets were moving fast and soon, it had reached the crowd on the other side of the class. A few minutes later, the professor, quite unexpectedly, decides that attendance would be taken! Was it a divine turn of events so that the agents wouldn’t get caught or had the professor noticed the A4 sheets making their rounds around class? That, we’ll never know.

Aimed Kills

It’s the end of the world. A giant brainwash is set to take place. Since the intelligent ones have killed each other over property rights feuds, the responsibility fell upon the mediocre ones to perfect this weapon of mass deletion. Presenting Aimed Kills*, the world’s first brainwasher!

Now, what shall we erase? It’s too much of a cliché to erase memory completely but erasing just the cerebral regions would create a whole bunch of morons. How about erasing all memory of food? A consensus was reached and it was hailed as a phenomenal idea given that food is what sustains life as we know it. The brainwasher was programmed accordingly but, given the mediocrity associated at different levels, the final product was, what can I say, not quite perfect. You see, it left some leftovers, if you will, of what it set out to delete. To add to the confusion, the one food item that remained unscathed after the process was the sober Idli.

It almost seemed as though Idli had been crowned hero of the day and it was on a double-sided mission to set things right once and for all, albeit in an oddly selfish way. What were those crunchy finger shaped snacks called? I don’t remember; let’s make them out of Idlis! And thus, Idli Finger Chips was formed. What was that saucy thing you had at a Chinese restaurant long back? Never mind; let’s make them out of Idlis. Voila! Idli Manchurian! Wasn’t Biriyani the most elaborate and spicy of them all? Who cares! Let’s make them out of Idlis. And there you have Idli Biriyani. If you don’t mind, kindly extrapolate the aforementioned line of thought to Rasam idli, Idli Gulab Jamun, Idli Ussili and Idli Curd Rice. Thank you.

Did you think that was a lame figment of a writer’s imagination? SK Mess Saturday dinner as on 24th October was exactly that.

*Aimed Kills is an anagram of SK Idli Mela.

I wish

I wish home was just a wink away.

That was my status message for the last couple of days. I guess it was bound to come up sometime but given that nothing even remotely close had surfaced for the three plus years that I have been away from home, I just assumed that it never would. Yet another first timer.

I had a nice happy Diwali with relatives and food and firecrackers. But, even so.

You know what's the bad part of festivals? When they get over and you are jolted back to reality, where you don't find sweets that you invariably overeat or firecrackers that you get saturated with. Like a bad hangover, it strikes you when you are least prepared for it.

My status message has changed now. To busy.