Career (read Peer) advice


There was a time in my young career when I was weighing my options. I was thoroughly confused about what I wished to do in my future. Although I know what I want – A lazy, nothing-to-do life – I had no idea where I would be able to live such a life. Barrons scared the shit out of me. Not the words so much as the endless lists of them. I recollect reading up to Wordlist 11 and then realizing that I had NO idea what Wordlist 1 had contained. I had no idea why I was reading Barrons in the first place. I don’t wish to go to Amreeka and the thought of devoting sleepless night in a foreign land to ‘research’ makes me wet my pants. Those were the days when everyone around me was reading Barrons, and more out of curiosity than anything else, I thought I might give it a looking into. This is where I feel peers are ever so helpful. If you could attribute my screwed up mind to anything, it has to be the people around me.

“Don’t tell me you are not giving the GRE, dude. With your angrezi and everything…”.

I think that was the statement that made me pick up the please-don’t-say-its-name  book. What I didn’t see soon enough was that I was preparing for an exam which will get me admitted to a course I didn’t want to do, studying subjects that bored the hell out of me, in a land that didn’t even want to go toThe day becks pawned GRE the way he had pawned SEn, I heaved a huge sigh of relief – Thank God I didn’t give the test.

It is at such junctures that peer power is often grossly underestimated. One must realize that peer pressure and its equally evil counterparts do not die out even AFTER a person has made a decision. It is the property of peer pressure to actually intensify when the guy thinks he has it all sorted out. I was never immune to such forces of evil and the fact that they did get to me shouldn’t really raise eyebrows.

“Oh, So you are not giving the GRE. You are giving the CAT, is it?”

I must here add that the abovementioned polite inquiry was made to me 3 days before the CAT forms came out. One must realize the intricacies of a polite inquiry. It is like one of the questions that we so often get at DA – Answer if true or false; If false, then give explanations. You can escape from the polite inquiry only if you answer positively. Say a simple “Yes, that is my POA.” and everything will be as hoodly-doodly as before; the matter and its polite inquiry fade into oblivion. Answer otherwise and you are at the receiving end of a reaction that will put a knee-jerk reflex to shame.

“What?! Then what are you going to do?”.

Readers bear in mind, this a tactic often used in the peer world. I have carefully represented the same in a tactical flowchart for the benefit of the proactive reader.

 

flowchart

The peer Algorithm

I will not fool the readers here – I did buckle under the pressure – and before I knew it, I had bought a form for CAT even though I had practically no idea how I was going to prepare for it. A couple of days later, when I stood in my room rather foolishly with my CAT form in one hand and a booklet from the TIME course material in the other, I wondered whether the moolah could have been better utilized in procuring an account of the World of Warcraft.

[Thank God for the placement committee.]

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Life with Baba


A long time after my (rather well-remembered) antics in SEn, and my rather dismal effort to conjure up a novel, I have been looking pretty much all over the place for a source of inspiration. There even came a time when I stood on the shore of a water-body, just as they do in Bollywood movies, and hoped to soak up ideas or whatever else it is that these heroes soak up on the banks of a water body. After half an hour of standing in the filth, buzzing with flies and not ideas, with the breeze depositing dust in my hair rather than weaving gracefully through, I realized – the banks of the Mahi were not really the Bodhi tree of the west.

Back to DA, and I really had no clue what to write about. It is hard to write regularly and make the reader fall over with laughter every time. Even Wodehouse would have had times when he thought he had run out of ideas, or when he felt he simply wasn’t funny anymore. To the man’s credit, he did manage to pen down (or typewrite down) quite a few books before either his writing capacity or his sense of humor deserted him. But little did I know, inspiration was calling out to me, grabbing me by the scruff of my neck and slapping me across the face and yet, somehow, I wasn’t noticing it. This fine morning, however, I have heeded the call of the wild, if I may, and looked over around my monitor to see a divine guidance in human form; I wonder why I did not see it before. 


Here I must inform the reader, my roommate is not the same one as I had for the first two and a half years of my college. Wrath was a quiet lad (till he didn’t turn up the volume on metal), rather sober (when there was no vodka in him), pretty studious (when not around AarJay) and more or less a non-violent person (unless someone was stupid enough to make fun of the Marathas in his presence). Those were peaceful days, unless you account for the rather loud jamming sessions and the in-room headbanging sessions. 


When I hired Baba to be my new roommate, I had no idea what was in store for me. He had had a troubled history as a roommate. His first roommate got kicked out of college, his second went into probation, his third roommate went into depression and his fourth roommate saw his academic records tumble faster than a castle of cards in a hurricane. I was to to be Baba’s fifth (and probably last) roommate in his college life and one with no previous experience of handling volatile beings.
Baba’s looks are deceiving. A self proclaimed expert in Indian cultures would take at least a week to be able to nail Baba’s linguistic identity. He dresses in immaculate young-gujju-hip-guy attire, walks in english and talks in english and even has a touch of Nepal in his veins. For a Bihari you see, is like no other and there is no other Bihari quite like Baba. 


As we speak, he is bantering about on how he is sure that his Pulsar’s engine RPM is more than the set norm. “How much was it?”, asked Bhola innocently. For the ignorant reader, I’ll state here that the Pulsar, among many other bikes, has an RPM meter on its dashboard. It is very prominent and really, you can’t miss it unless you wear binoculars for glasses or were less than 2 feet or over 11 feet in height. Back to the conversation then, Bhola’s demand to know the RPM of the bike was met by Baba’s deft reply, “How do I know? It’s not like I was sitting there and counting.” And you wonder whether there are Pulsars (or for that matter, bikes) in Bihar.


There was a time when I thought Baba was really a neat guy. It wasn’t his fault that he was born in Bihar – I shouldn’t be stereotyping people. But little did I realize, he was merely an advanced version of a Bihari – Bihari 2.0 if I may. It may come in a stylish outer casing, but the clockwork inside is very much the same (Speaking of which, I wonder if  Biharis know that clockwork has been invented).
For the first few days at least, he came across as sophisticated (if that’s the word I am looking for). He worked on a squeaking-clean Dell laptop, wore a well trimmed goatee and a ‘LIVESTRONG’ band on his right wrist and even used the Western style commode (It took me a month to find out that he uses the western commode in an ‘Indian’ fashion). 


Two months into my experience as Baba’s roommate I know that the ‘LIVESTRONG’ band has been smuggled into the country through the forests of Nepal and the goatee is in place because he feels that he has an ugly chin and he can’t grow a complete beard. I might also add here that he is an ‘Authorized Dell Vendor’. No idea who authorized him. Whatever the case, it lends weight to the allegations that Biharis let go of no opportunity  to earn that extra buck.


He takes an hour to brush and ‘freshen up’. What he does in the washroom during that time is anybody’s guess. He also has ‘social contacts’ outside campus. He is the sort of guy who runs into an acquaintance where you might think there is no scope for human habitation. His NIFT contacts and ‘friends’ who live near GH-O are restless leechers of our precious DC maal; The dallathat Baba is, I am sure he charges them for every MB that he transfers onto their harddisk.


I have plenty more to say, but my classes are calling. Signing off.


Cheers.

Life with Baba


A long time after my (rather well-remembered) antics in SEn, and my rather dismal effort to conjure up a novel, I have been looking pretty much all over the place for a source of inspiration. There even came a time when I stood on the shore of a water-body, just as they do in Bollywood movies, and hoped to soak up ideas or whatever else it is that these heroes soak up on the banks of a water body. After half an hour of standing in the filth, buzzing with flies and not ideas, with the breeze depositing dust in my hair rather than weaving gracefully through, I realized – the banks of the Mahi were not really the Bodhi tree of the west.

Back to DA, and I really had no clue what to write about. It is hard to write regularly and make the reader fall over with laughter every time. Even Wodehouse would have had times when he thought he had run out of ideas, or when he felt he simply wasn’t funny anymore. To the man’s credit, he did manage to pen down (or typewrite down) quite a few books before either his writing capacity or his sense of humor deserted him. But little did I know, inspiration was calling out to me, grabbing me by the scruff of my neck and slapping me across the face and yet, somehow, I wasn’t noticing it. This fine morning, however, I have heeded the call of the wild, if I may, and looked over around my monitor to see a divine guidance in human form; I wonder why I did not see it before.

Here I must inform the reader, my roommate is not the same one as I had for the first two and a half years of my college. Wrath was a quiet lad (till he didn’t turn up the volume on metal), rather sober (when there was no vodka in him), pretty studious (when not around AarJay) and more or less a non-violent person (unless someone was stupid enough to make fun of the Marathas in his presence). Those were peaceful days, unless you account for the rather loud jamming sessions and the in-room headbanging sessions.

When I hired Baba to be my new roommate, I had no idea what was in store for me. He had had a troubled history as a roommate. His first roommate got kicked out of college, his second went into probation, his third roommate went into depression and his fourth roommate saw his academic records tumble faster than a castle of cards in a hurricane. I was to to be Baba’s fifth (and probably last) roommate in his college life and one with no previous experience of handling volatile beings.

Baba’s looks are deceiving. A self proclaimed expert in Indian cultures would take at least a week to be able to nail Baba’s linguistic identity. Firstly, he has NO surname! That’s right! NO surname. It is as if he was born to hide his cultural identity. He dresses in immaculate young-gujju-hip-guy attire, walks in english and talks in english and even has a touch of Nepal in his veins. For a Bihari you see, is like no other and there is no other Bihari quite like Baba.

As we speak, he is bantering about on how he is sure that his Pulsar’s engine RPM is more than the set norm. “How much was it?”, asked Bhola innocently. For the ignorant reader, I’ll state here that the Pulsar, among many other bikes, has an RPM meter on its dashboard. It is very prominent and really, you can’t miss it unless you wear binoculars for glasses or were less than 2 feet or over 11 feet in height. Back to the conversation then, Bhola’s demand to know the RPM of the bike was met by Baba’s deft reply, “How do I know? It’s not like I was sitting there and counting.” And you wonder whether there are Pulsars (or for that matter, bikes) in Bihar.

There was a time when I thought Baba was really a neat guy. It wasn’t his fault that he was born in Bihar – I shouldn’t be stereotyping people. But little did I realize, he was merely an advanced version of a Bihari – Bihari 2.0 if I may. It may come in a stylish outer casing, but the clockwork inside is very much the same (Speaking of which, I wonder if  Biharis know that clockwork has been invented).

For the first few days at least, he came across as sophisticated (if that’s the word I am looking for). He worked on a squeaking-clean Dell laptop, wore a well trimmed goatee and a ‘LIVESTRONG’ band on his right wrist and even used the Western style commode (It took me a month to find out that he uses the western commode in an ‘Indian’ fashion).

Two months into my experience as Baba’s roommate I know that the ‘LIVESTRONG’ band has been smuggled into the country through the forests of Nepal and the goatee is in place because he feels that he has an ugly chin and he can’t grow a complete beard. I might also add here that he is an ‘Authorized Dell Vendor‘. No idea who authorized him. Whatever the case, it lends weight to the allegations that Biharis let go of no opportunity  to earn that extra buck.

He takes an hour to brush and ‘freshen up’. What he does in the washroom during that time is anybody’s guess. He also has ‘social contacts’ outside campus. He is the sort of guy who runs into an acquaintance where you might think there is no scope for human habitation. His NIFT contacts and ‘friends’ who live near GH-O are restless leechers of our precious DC maal; The dalla that Baba is, I am sure he charges them for every MB that he transfers onto their harddisk.

I have plenty more to say, but my classes are calling. Signing off.

Cheers.

My WordPress URL


I am fooling around on WordPress as well. https://almostaverage.wordpress.com/

Welcoming myself


Let me not waste time. I have been blogging on blogger.com for quite a while, rather unsuccessfully. I do have a few people reading my seemingly useless posts there, so I feel bad posting on a new domain all of a sudden. But it did occur to me that I should settle onto a domain before I decide to spend ample time and energy on my blog. So here I am, on WordPress.

There were people recommending blogger – These are the die hard google fans, who like their accounts on orkut, igoogle, gmail and whatnot to be linked to their blog. Also, these are the people who don’t believe in logging into too many sites. One internet, one ID is perhaps their motto. There were others who swore by WordPress. Google apparently doesn’t pay attention to its blogging service as much as it should. So I thought I might as well give WP a shot. I have nothing to lose, do I?

Blogger?WordPress?

Not that I was never here. I faintly remember having a URL to myself, although finding it again looks as hopeless as cause as cracking a sledgehammer with a sewing needle. It has been a while; WP’s dashboard was distinctly different. There were precious few options, and blogger seemed like an obvious choice at the time. But what seduced me over to WP was its load time.

Though the WP dashboard looks cumbersome and tacky at first, one realizes it provides for very smooth going once you get used to it. The first glance tells you it is too heavy for the crappy net service in India, but surprisingly it turns out to be smoother. The wonderfully arranged menus are a delight to navigate around – some that google has missed out on. The dashboard on google is a pain like no other.

WordPress does seem to have its hitches, though. The biggest hitch (I don’t know how they have overlooked it) is that there is no option to increase font size on the text editor. Yes, there are options for text style (Heading 1, Heading 2 and the like) but there is no way I could increase the font size of, let’s say, a single word in a line.

The other drawback is the lack of an option for the WP user to upload his own template. There are of course plenty of available templates and they are more or less customizable. A new blogger should have no trouble finding the template that he needs among the offered ones (at least I did 🙂 ). WP has truckloads of tools and options (most of which I might never have the honor of using) for the not-so-n00b blogger. So, I’d say there is something here for everyone.

I think I might stick around on WP for a while, unless I encounter something of disastrous proportions which makes my progress in the blogging world infeasible.

Cheers.