Mann this blog has been dead for quite a while now! Completely forgot about it....
Lotsa stuff to write about...will get to it soon as the laziness ends...

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How much is enough...


There's never an end to how much you can 'want'. And it doesn't quite help if you work in the very store that sells all your wants...CHEAP!!
After my winter holidays back in India, I got a new job at an Computer / Electronics store. Now my wish-list has always been quite long, favoring more towards the tech-shiny-gadgets side. Things on the list include - MacBook Pro, 25" Wide screen LCD, Fender Stratocaster etc etc. Now barring the Fender, the store sells practically everything else. At as an employee, I get everything at cost price! I was always aware that stores make a lot of profit on their margins, but actually working there gives you the true idea of what's happening. Most high end gadgets have a profit margin of at least $500!! Ah...and the fact that I can buy these at cost price...ah..thats killing...

Apart from work, not much has been happening. Just been hanging out with friends. Here are a few pics of all the nonsense everyone's been up2...

The Bong Connection


Here's an advice to fellow travellers. Never help out a 'bong'.

For the uninitiated, a 'bong' is a slang for a typical person of Bengali origin from Calcutta. To clarify, even I am a Bengali. But as I've pointed out numerous times, there are two types of 'bongs'. There's the Bengali, who are normal people, your everyday person. Then there's the Bangali. This is your typical Calcutta bred bong, who's major attraction in life include eating fish rice, doing 'adda' with friends in the local 'para', and sleeping. I'm not really gonna elaborate further, cuz I could write an entire book on the distinctions between the two. Now back to what I was saying, never help out a 'bong' (read: Bangali). A bit of background first. With the boom of numerous low cost carriers in India, a new fleet of flying customers have emerged, most of them from the bottom half of India's surplus middle class. And majority of them are first time fliers.

So this time when I went back to India, I was flying from Chennai to Kolkata. As I was checking in, a 'bong' couple next to me were having difficulty conversing with the check in staff. It was apparent that they spoke nearly no English or Hindi, and were desperately trying to figure out what the boarding passes handed out to them meant, why did the nice lady bending the counter take their luggage from them, and why wasn't the so-called airplane they heard of anywhere in sight. As the airline staff didn't speak any Bengali either, I offered to help out, explaining about the security check, the boarding process etc. Typical of bong behavior, they started called me 'lokhi-chele' (blessed child). And after that was sheer misery. The couple followed me everywhere I went. As I was sitting in the waiting area, they came and sat beside me, one on either side. I was constantly bombarded with questions - 'What is your name?', 'Where are you coming from', 'Why are you travelling alone', 'How much did your tickets cost', 'What did you eat for breakfast'.....the questions were endless. I tried to be as polite as possible, keeping my answers to a minimum one word or one sentence. I tried to make an excuse that I had to call someone, so I pretended to head off toward the public telephone. But they followed me wherever I went!! I came back and sat down, still bombarded by their questions and observations. They were mostly interested as to why I was studying in Australia, and why didn't my parents accompany me on my trip. And then came the dreaded question a bong in such a situation I was hoping wouldn't ask...but there it came..."You know I have a daughter your age. She's just like you. Maybe you should meet.." AAAAHHH....I quickly pretended to have a headache cuz of all the travelling and shut my eyes as if to sleep.
They didn't quite shut them up, but it did quieten them down.

Time came for the security check, and they had to create a scene there as well. As I passed through the metal detector and waited for the security personnel to frisk me. And these two 'bongs' came rushing in and stood behind me. The guard kindly explained to them that they had to await their turn, as it was to be only one person at a time. But they refused to see the logic in that, bringing up another series of arguments on why it should be so. Ah! It was a surprise they weren't kicked out of the airport there itself. Once on the flight, I headed towards the seats next to the exit as they had more legroom (the airline offered free seating on a first-come-first-serve basis). And as expected, they also came and sat down right next to me. Their handbaggage consisted of jute bags filled with various kick-knacks , which they placed between their legs. The air hostess came and asked them to keep it in the overhead compartments, as keeping anything on the floor next to the emergency exits were prohibited. And there started the next series of arguments - 'Why should we hand our baggage to you?', 'Why can everyone else keep their baggage on the floor', 'When we travel by train nothing like this ever happens'....I was having quite a hard time to control my laughter. During the flight i feigned the usual 'I'm sleepy' routine, which surprisingly worked this time.
After that there were more arguments between them and the air hostesses, which I listened to heartily behind my fake sleep! Once the plane landed they started a ruckus on why it was taking them so long to open the doors and so was total madness!!!

I'm never travelling with bongs again....

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Spotted On A Wall.....


Heights of self motivation....
Spotted before start of semester exams...



Its 5:22AM on a Sunday morning. Its 9 degrees outside, and I've got the heater set on just right. But the fact that I'm sitting right next to the window, with the breeze blowing in means that one side of my body is frozen, and the other side is slightly over-warm cuz of the heater.

The room's a complete mess, books, papers, cups....evidence of the countless cups of coffee and tea that have gone into me, are scattered here and everywhere. My computer screens in front of me are cluttered with countless open files with information ranging from routing protocols to power shortage crisis in Uganda. I've been in the same orange t-shirt and beige shorts since Thursday evening, and a glance at the mirror a couple of hours back says that I probably shouldn't go out like this, else I'll certainly be perceived as homeless.

The reason for all this? I'm on the last week of my semester. And by far, this is gonna be the worst week I've ever had. I have to give a presentation on Monday morning, followed by three networking certification tests in the afternoon. On Thursday, I have a final exam on Perl Scripting, followed by work, which I'm most likely to skip. Why? Because on Friday I have 4 assignments to hand in, including a case study. Oh, and I may have missed that I have two more certification exams after Monday. And yes, the rest of the final exams following the week after.

So at this point my life seems interesting enough. I hope everyone else is experiencing similar 'joy' where they live.


An Inconvenient Truth...


Global Warming. Our effect on the environment. Climate changes. We all know what these are, how are they caused, the consequences etc. "An Inconvenient Truth" is a documentary I just finished watching less that 5 minutes ago, and I was a bit shocked by the facts it presented. It doesn't highlight that much what you and I already know, but what are the reasons we aren't doing anything about it. Facts about climate shifts, rise in water levels etc. I already knew, but this gave such a deep perspective into every aspect of Global Warming, that this film is not just something you might want to see, but as one poster rightly points out, '....its a necessary film'.

the poster reads : "by far the most terrifying film you will ever see"

If you haven't seen it, do so. If you have, recommend others to watch it. It really gets you thinking. To get you started, here's a peek

A fire...a fair...and another fire!


This is just getting a bit ridiculous now. If you're been following posts from before, you'll have noticed on how many times the fire alarm went off in the student village (3 i think...), about cops chasing cars crashing into fences (read previous post) and the like. So I bet it won't take a genius to figure out what happened during my lecture on Tuesday morning. Yup..another fire alarm! And by this I was like..."not another one...!!". So in usual fashion we were all evacuated from the building with the warning sirens all jangling above the head. But it probably must have been someone's shoelace on fire or something, cuz 15 mins later were all all back to out classrooms. But I think the best line that day was "I know the fire alarm is ringing...but shud we just finish this chapter first?"

Next in line was the Career Fair. To be honest, it looked more like free shopping spree than a career fair. Each and every booth was lined with employers who had tables full of pens and chocolates and stationary and all the nitty gritty nonsense. Some were even standing outside the stalls with the freebies...luring the people in...and then dropping the one liner, "Here's something free for I don't suppose u'd be interested in working here"....Well if I worked there I know what my job would be....go to other career fairs and hand out freebies...hahahah...

More pictures of the career fair are at "Career Fair 2007"

And yes...there is still another fire story!! Was at the city today, waiting for the bus, when smoke started coming out from the bin next to the bus stand. Probably someone dropped a cigarette in there or something. And literally within minutes of me sitting there, the fire department came rushing there, sirens blaring n lights flashing to put it out! *Sigh*...gotta get rid of this fire phenomenon following me everywhere. Least I know I'm safe in the city tho...


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