Saturday, September 27, 2008


Hi All...

You must have received an sms as well...Here's thumping the point in more prominently...Gaurav Chhibber will coming to conduct a workshop on Public speaking on Monday, 29th September, at 5 p.m. in the auditorium.

This guy has been into public speaking for at least 10 years now, and that's from as far back as I can remember. His professional workshops have been a huge success in the past too, and he created a decent stir the last time he was in our college..

If you want some very practical advice on public speaking, which can actually be implemented when you are doing some of it yourself, he is the man to look for...

Compulsary for SAASC members to attend, it is also open for all and any outsiders, from within and outside college. Tell all your friends, this will be worth the effort...Adios, see you on monday

Thursday, September 25, 2008


It was a dark night then. The coiling winds that otherwise palliated the coarseness of the alfalfa that grew yellow and green, thick and large over miles outside the country, aggravated its customary tenderness to a more feral conduct, blowing all and sundry into the vastness of the Field. Quiet plugged all emotion, but not the occasional sniveling of the upset wolves that ran the grounds howling to the white weary loop that stood in all its length and glory, completing the dark skies above. The night was doomed to singularity, to serve that that never would be loved, but remembered, though with an apparent objection and with the regular roll of eyes, and yet, in the deepest hearts of some, with deference for having been, but different.

In the thick of the black and against the rush of the vindictive winds, with the most feline gait even in the most uneven walks, ran an overtone of black, dodging the labyrinths of the tall grasses, running but deeper into them. Laayela pulled the pashmina hard against her cold face, her heart walloping against her supple chest, as she rammed against the shrubs and to her purpose, looking back every few moments. She, must not be seen. It had been a demanding week for her, having tripped over Nagartha, the unbounded ranches of Outertown, having almost been caught, twice, attempting to relieve the magic from the lakes beyond, and now scuttling through the hardnosed, fat grasses of the Field, all but being an overtone of black, not to be seen. And yet, she knew she was being watched, and would sooner than later, add to the count of her kind taken in this Hunt. So for days had she not broken this run, and with her ran , camouflaged in the blackness of the night and in the falseness of illusion, the belief of her folklore in the long-kempt craft of magic that for ages ran in her blood, and now in her pace.

Laayela, hadn’t always worn black. There was once an age when the sun flamed yellow over the neatly mown grasses of Nagartha, turning the green greener, on which a little girl with other little girls blew bubbles of color in the heat of the air outside, that would turn lighter and larger as they floated atop, only to burst with a sudden ‘pop’. The girls always laughed at that. Little Laayela then, would clutch the end of her claret frock tight and run the length of the town to rework the effect of the bubbles to her mother. Never had Nagartha enjoyed the reputation of being a decent escape, for all feared the eeriness it lent to the country, not to forget the horrid rumors that always did the rounds, of witchcraft and voodoo that they said the parish of Nagartha had ever since fathered. And when man, blessed with nothing but the ordinary, chose to cave in to the temptation of emulation, that they say has the capacity to wreck the best; Nagartha, even in all its mind and muscle, couldn’t manage a win. Nagartha lived no more, and little did live of the magic that destroyed it, and of that little, Laayela, this day, knew a lot..

Laayela felt the lands turn coarser against her thwarted feet as the grasses thinned, the numb of her left ear further tranquil being stung by the bitter winds, whispering of the purpose that drew closer each moment, her batted eyes follow the grey smoke as it spiraled in the darkness above hinting of what probably burned in a distant clear. The recklessness that had for days refused to flee from the depths of her mind and from the look on her face fractured to the most contented smile Laayela had ever smiled since the commencement of the Hunt …she knew her peace was closer than ever before.

Loud callous laughter cut through the silence of the night spiking alarm to Laayela who’d never really liked the witches of the Outertown for their conduct. Sisterhood always spoke of how subtlety and calm best house the rushes of irrepressible magic; the faction of Outertown, from what Laayela had heard, propagated quite the contrary, tagging strident, braying activities most appropriate to keep alive the extraordinary, for both shared the pulse of haste and the will to awe. Laayela pushed hard against what seemed like the last tress of grass that rooted the Field, to face the circle of five gifted women and a blazing fire. For a moment, the best could fall fool to the casual ambience that added to the warmness of the fire; it looked more like a tea party that entertained a handful of middle-aged women, where they could complain of their lives, swear upon their lovers, envy famous women and blush unapologetically as they’d narrate concocted trysts with well-built lumberjacks that sweat a few blocks from their place. Laayela knew it was no tea party, and the women that soaked the warmness there, laughing, did not share jests this inappropriate., and so she walked closer, clearing her throat and declaring her presence.

Ah, another visitor, and that too this pretty”, sniggered a rather sturdy, black woman, closest to the heat, as she stared at the rest; her eyes that of a bufo-bufo suggesting private humour. And so the rest obliged, snorting and hooting out loud; warm whisky spilling off their lopsided mugs.

Laayela smiled back. She neatly laid all paraphernalia that she knew she’d need later, and joined the circle.

And our missy would be?

Laayela from the town of Nagartha. Sent here, by the sorority of the worthy Sisterhood.

The humour in the group fell immediately punctured. None showed no more of their jabbed brown teeth or rolled around feigning hilarity, none drank more of the intoxicated drink that lay uncorked next to each one of them; they knew never before did anything require more of their minds than their magic, than this.

The witch, who sat on Laayela’s immediate left, pulled up the azure hood that veiled the best of her face from the light of the fire, and turned to her right; her hard pursed lips giving away absolute incredulity. She was bald and an albino, the best haulers of the craft as the old always said, with hide as clear and visible as their purpose. Her eyes pressed hard into Laayela’s, peering harder in, to which, Laayela looked away.

It’s true that they say then...” she whispered, in the most silken tone, “you do sing?

Laayela nodded gently, still stealing her eyes from the albino, staring hard into the fire. All, except the albino gasped, hands pressed hard against their breasts, immediate fear draining them of all the extraordinary. Laayela stole a glance at them and smiled; it’s amusing, she thought, how the slightest stigma of association with death could blind the best with the darkest fold of pretence. The albino stayed unruffled though; she smiled back at Laayela, and in swift move grasped Laayela’s cold hands in her own warm ones.

And for?

Laayela knew she’d be asked that, and she had her answer prepared for long. Sisterhood asked of her to reveal only that it deduced best for all but Laayela had never quite agreed. For long, she knew, had her kin suffered for their attempts at blatant fabrication and for presuming that the world would never be ready for them. She wanted to believe that it was this day, and if not even today, then never would they be granted acceptance in their own kind, and its best to go out there and fight than to hibernate in the soils of shameful lies.

I sing for the blessed” spoke Laayela in the hoarsest tone the cold of the night allowed her, “I sing for those that carry the magic

Laayela’s hands fell out of the albino’s grip, as she cupped them hard against her face. The black witch sitting diametrically opposite to Laayela shrieked out loud, dropping all whisky into the blazing fire; bursting it into wrathful flames that hissed and slithered against the wind, detesting the liquid as much as the uncalled revelation. The flames spiraled out against the circle of women, burning sights of all in rude shades of yellow; Laayela stood up and backed a few steps, her skin blackened by the burning flames and the rage of those around it. The tears that boiled in her eyes, in the briefest moment, brought to her the realization that she hadn’t after all, been wise.

You invite death to us?” cried the black witch from the other bay of the thick stands of fire that twisted and turned mischievously, throwing nasty knots of flame akin to a veteran cowboy. Even through her soggy eyes, and against the rowdiness of the fire, Laayela could feel the hatred and the avenge of a crying chagrined witch, who with a purpled blade in her left hand, and eyes reddened in fury, stood ready to fight the serpentine flames as much as the ally of her biggest foe.

Laayela knew the damage was done. She knew she could do away with her black housecoat now, now that no darkness could shadow her truth. She stood there waiting no more to be understood or be accepted in the slightest, or maybe she’d lost much interest to seek the same; she could now see the sureness of impossibility drawn by the insubstantial human mind, and had finally, chosen to come to terms with it. The blade that smothered in the shaky hold and the look of supreme aghast that stole each face, assured her, that belief, was something she’d never be granted.

Laayela wanted to run against the harshest and the thickest of the flames then, and to that black witch, hold her hard against her bosom, like a sister to another, like a mother to a mislead child, and narrate to her, the part of the story that none in the world ever chose to believe. She wanted to cry out loud to the cold of the night, that never did she, or any of her kind, bid death to anyone, but only helped those, for whom it lingered close, prepare, by singing to them the customary requiem. It was a service they were doomed to afford, a service that they had always been shunned for. Fear, she now knew, always casts the last spell.

The cold suddenly turned unbearably bitter. Laayela no more felt the heat of the flames as the ends of her fingers numbed, sending the chill across the length of her spine and to her within. Salty waters flooding her eyes halted, only to rush back again, wild and escapable as the million human emotions, of panic, of joy and of absolute grief. And the numbness finally conquered her mind, sighting it against the brilliant light and to the Call. Laayela had known this sensation for long, and better than any other now, she knew it was time for her to play the part; she knew it wasn’t her decision to make as much as it wasn’t her song to sing..

A slow stinging cry cut through the quiet like the sharpest knife. It wasn’t music; it wasn’t noise either, but a stable painful wail that flowed with the winds, calming and caressing them of their annoyance as it diffused into the enormity of the Field; powerful and chaste as the Element. It had no tune to it, nor did it have the slightest variation, all that remained of it was the plainest, basest quality, that in all ease fooled the night of all its intentions, and culled absolute peace. The black witch, as she stood against the brands of a fire that now gently purred in joy, providing warmth as warmth is required, dancing in the black of all eyes; stared harder still at the pretty young woman kneeling in front of her, the branching green veins of her throat showing in all clarity, as they pulsated in and out, producing the melancholy, that now drowned all silence.

There was an immediate movement in the grasses around, voices of rough men talking in vernacular reached the fire as the clanking sounds of metals and boots grew louder every second. The night, with no reason, had begun to explain itself…

Blank of any emotion and even in the deepest of the trance, Laayela knew they had finally been hunted, and that the End now lay close. The Men, led by the envoys of revulsion and bitter desire had reached her magic, their magic, and now there remained no escape. The six witches with the fickle fires had lastly been cornered. And yet Laayela knew that it wasn’t her call that trooped them here, and that it was only sung but to tip off their arrival; she knew that her gift with the entire happening would be misconstrued as it’s always been, and this pained more than anything, than the bite of the cold winds, the burn of the wrathful fires, the fear of being taken, the agony of having lost her sweet, little town….

The albino, who now stood next to the black witch, calming her, gently walked towards the fire, her eyes unfocussed as they wandered with the tender movements of the low-lying flames, hurtful in the least.

The end we know is close, but what end, is yet, for us to choose

All followed suit and the circle drew closer.

The Banshee's only done what a Banshee does

Monday, September 15, 2008

My raging fire

I’ve lost the desire
to fly higher
for my life’s become a satire
written by men the gods hired.

The wrath that ignites the fire
The ire it breeds for the liar
does make my mind tire
and wonder who sits and conspires.

Each thought of revenge
has given rise to a flame,
which has been
really hard to contain.

A flash of jealousy
A flicker of vanity
A streak of greed
A spark of dishonesty
each light up a flame
I try to subdue.

Each fume that rises
with a fiery hue
seems to reflect
my point of view.

I have failed to extinguish
the flames
that have fed on my soul every day
only to throttle it today.

The flames that have risen
and tightened their grip
around my neck,
have left a deep regret
for every emotion they have checked.

My raging fire,
that has left me fuming
at my own fate,
has gained prime importance of late.

I wish it would die
I wish I could fly
but my feet remain entangled
in matters that can't be handled.

It's like they say
so free we seem
so fettered we are...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Senteen

Good bye teenage life...

You gave me a lot
And took too less...
I wish I had done more
To make it a success...
I wish I hadn't cried
When the sun was bright
I wish I hadn't slept
When there was some light...
Take care of my years
As they leave me behind
As I head for the a life
Unknown to my mind...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lucky in PEC


The geeks and nerds of India start preparing for IIT-JEE just after 10th standard of schooling. A very effective test of whether a guy is fit for getting into the IITs is asking a very simple question: "Do you have a girlfriend"? A guy who says anything else other than "What's a girl?" would not get through the test. Girls are considered unfit to get into IITs, though some girls manage to get the application forms as they look like guys. To make sure no girl gets through the system by bribing to get the application forms, the applicants are required to specify their gender and affix a photograph in the application form. Those faces that resemble anything girly are not selected.

The entrance exam, IIT-JEE, is an extremely selective undergrad admission process (accepting less than 2% of their applicants). As they say, if the input is right, the output is automatically right. The six-hour Joint Entrance Exam held, as the name suggests, jointly by IITs, consists only of questions on Physics, Chemistry and Maths and not on other exotic details like Booze, Drugs, Crime, Pr0n etc. which severely affect the quality of the incoming students. Since the Indians are well known for cramming up loads of information, questions in JEE are never repeated.


The IIT curricula is carefully decided so that there is no scope of learning anything. The students, then, take up alternate learning routes, most common being Pr0n. The IIT alumni on knowing the tremendous potential of internet, provided all hostel rooms with free and unlimited internet connection. The IIT administration tried to propound their agenda by putting lecture videos on the LAN, but this is yet to be confirmed as this has not been tried by any student. The IITians are also forced to eat mess food, that prepares them for the worst they can ever face in their life.

The guys also learn how to make 50 palladins in 25 minutes and get three frags per shot. Some of the creative minds also make a quick buck by selling MMS clips online. Since there are assignments to be submitted every now and then, the guys also learn how to use Google adeptly. Photocopying centres are provided for every 100 metres of road so that time wasted in photocopying assignments is minimized. Lecture classes are held from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. IST (Indian Stretchable Time). It has been established by years of testing that the time can be stretched to as much as 30 minutes beyond provided it is backed by a cardinal excuse. The summary and results of many such experiments has been documented well in a book by an IITian titled "Five Point Someone: What not to do at an IIT". The book also deals with complex issue of dealing with a girl in IIT.

Life and culture (or lack thereof)

When entering the IIT, a guy has two options. The first is to take up the common learning route described above. Since IIT-JEE makes sure a lot of mavericks are selected, many of them also end up being happy among themselves. The girls in IITs, usually referred to as Non-Males and measured as parts of girl per million parts of guy, have to struggle keeping their identity as girl secret throughout their stay in IITs. Sometimes they are forced to tell the truth, like when a gay IITian proposes mistaking them for a guy.


The alumni of these institutes have been very successful across the world (more in USA than in India). Most of them either get frustrated and leave technical education to study management at IIMs, or start a company of their own totally unrelated to their major discipline. There are also a select few who develop a fetish for studies and end up in institutes like Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. An interesting aspect is that, alumni of these institutes form the second-largest graduate student group at MIT, the largest being MIT undergrads and one day hope to colonise the whole of MIT campus.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fire in the Hole !

I would like to call this fire of a different kind.
It is neither on my candle nor is it on my mind.
It is trapped in my belly and will leave from behind.
And will destroy the spaces where its to be confined.
Yes it is the fire from spices that I have ingested.
That will burn out my insides as I sit here congested.
It was a dark temptation from the snowy peaks of Tibet.
Some ancient black magic was on the loose, I surely bet.
It was at this little stall that I had fallen a victim.
Which went by a strange name, "From Tibet to Sikkim".

Sunday, September 7, 2008

fire is lit...

I was waiting for the right time to break the news to my father. But, I guess, you can’t plan for these things, they just happen. He told me that he was going out, scouting for banquet halls to hold a party the family has been planning to hold for an eternity now, and he expects me to come along because I know Mr. Rajeev Kakkar. *

It had to come out now.

Papa can’t meet him without knowing anything about it. So in the brief 10 minute journey, I explain to him the plan in as much detail as time would allow. He meets him, sees the venue, satisfies himself and we are homeward bound. We go into the financials on the return journey. It’s a topic on which I generally lose him every time. We stop at the neighborhood market. He tells me to wait and goes off. He comes back and hands me some crisp notes.

“Start with this; we’ll arrange the rest later”

That is when I realized that it was for real, the plan could go ahead, and the fire had been lit. It falls upon us* to build upon the start, to convert a fire into an inferno.


*Mr. Rajeev Kakkar: Group General Manager, Western Court Group of Hotels, Industry veteran, Rohan`s Dad

*us: me, Rohan and Wadi, may we have a thousand adventures together.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The fire within..

She froze in mid-motion with her back towards him, stiffening with every echoing footstep he took that brought him closer again to her, tearing down the distances that her faltering feet had striven to create between them. Her heart banged against her ribs; it belied the cold stony composure she fought hard to maintain as he caught her by the arm and spun her around.

She managed an icy smile as she turned, and pressed her lips hard against each other to keep them from trembling. She could do this. Her blood was boiling inside her, but she coolly shrugged away his arm and looked into his face with stoic calm.

Her eyes gave her away, they always did. It took one piercing look of his to hail the searing pain that broke her facade, that made her eyes turn into molten mirrors and made her mouth tremble before he crushed it with his own.

Goodbyes aren't easy :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Killing of Salman Rushdie

Ahmed adjusted his night-vision. His compatriots assembled their rifles.

The four would seal their deals with Allah soon – unto each would be given a gift of seven virgins and an eternity in the fair land. He was ecstatic, for it would mean his life would have been meaningful after all. He had spent months planning the operation. The entry into Britain, the smuggling of arms, the relentless surveillance, and the constant battle with paranoia were now but mere chapters in the great book of his life, which was driving towards a conclusion at last. The others were equally eager. They, like him, felt truly honored for being chosen by Allah for the task they were about to complete. It would be their moment of glory, their tryst with history.

The fatwa was what had incensed them – Salman Rushdie was not Allah’s Musalman. He was a traitor and had dared to blaspheme against the sacred text. He had called their prophet a dotard, and their Allah a figment of their imaginations. He was a Kufri, a Kufr-bak. He was to be assassinated in the name of Allah, the one God.

“Kufri ko maut! Kufr-bak ko maut!”

Ahmed had been 14 then. Enraged by The Satanic Verses, he had left Mianwali village and enrolled himself into a Jihadi Camp in NWFP. His years had been long and hard. He would have them fulfilled soon. He brought his thoughts back to the present moment. Now, there was just the wait.

He smiled. Just a few hours more…

According to Ahmed’s sources, Salman Rushdie had had an eventful day. After a book reading at Manchester he had flown to Cardiff where he had been invited at Tussaud’s for an examination of his wax-double. He had napped on the flight back and had taken coffee at Paddington before heading to his hiding quarters in his bulletproof Maybach, and had retired without having dinner. The old man had called Padma exactly thrice before laying down between the sheets and turning off the light. Ahmed smiled, everything was perfect, the old man had followed his usual routine.

As history is their witness, at 3am, on the slightly chilly night of September the 3rd, Ahmad and three others gained entry into the Rushdie Compound, killed the two guards and their mastiff, shut off the power and air supply to the Panic Room, locked all the doors, changed their security codes, and walked onto the Rushdies’ carpeting.

As his breath fogged over his watch, Ahmad realized that the heating had been connected to the air-supply. He winced, but the end was near. It would wait for nothing. He prayed for history to fail in acknowledging his error.

Ahmed and another entered into Rushdie’s sleeping quarters, while two kept guard outside the room. Ahmed pulled back the covers. He wasn’t there. Ahmed did not panic.

It had been a good idea to use the Sonar mapping. The door to the real sleeping quarters was concealed in the wall to the right. He slid it open and guided the other in.

The room was lit. The bed was empty. Allah.

Footsteps down the staircase, the others are nowhere to be seen, surprised, Ahmed starts, runs for the stairs, squinting through the night-vision… Rustling in the Kitchen, he makes for the sound… the door to the study opens and shuts… Just then, Ahmed is astonished at how everything seems just out of his control, just on the outer edge of his command… but senses seem to boil and fizzle out… reality begins to blot out into whiteness, his vision starts to shake crazily like a camera’s… through sheer will he forces open the study door and finds it empty, but for a book lying open on the floor… and then all goes black, as he drops out of existence, out of history…

Rushdie yawns and stretches himself. It has been a tough night. He’s bored of the assassination attempts, and this one was a close shave. He and his magic are getting old. He caps his pen and closes his notebook. He’s tired, and he wants the heating on. Writing himself out of history, and back, is tiring enough.