College started last Monday, and classes started again for me, after a gap of over 8 months. Sitting in a classroom again, as a result, was almost a novel experience, though I am disappointed to report that a week on and I’m already jaded, and plan to fall asleep during my next Statistics Class. This is highly advisable, as staying awake and paying attention through three hours of statistics isn’t the best of ideas, you’ll lose your mind and never get any real work done. I also submitted homework to my Financial Accounts professor on Monday, the first time I think I have done and given homework on time in well over four years. Impressive. But how can you not do homework for a man who asks as the first question of his first multiple choice quiz (which counts towards 10% of my grade, the quizzes)
“In Accounts Class
A)Homework must be submitted
B)We don’t need to do homework
C)We have homework, but don’t have to submit it
D) There is no homework”
This, I assure you, is the least of the man’s stunts, and he has thus inspired me to study his course. This is again, a good thing, as accounts isn’t one of those loveable courses you can breeze through even with a bad Prof.
Classes over and done with, I joined up my first two CCA’s (Co Curricular Activities). Fencing classes (which I was made to pay for, the horrors) will start late September, and I have already started my training at SMUDS (or the SMU Debating Society).
SMUDS is full of people who have lost some part of their mind. This makes me feel quite at home. Additionally, the seniors in the society seem to think being evil and mean is a fun way to pass time. This is a skill I felt I had lost, but to meet people ready to inculcate me back into the fold, heartens my soul. Thus, I have taken up being randomly evil again, and I assure you, it’s as fun as ever. Just please look out, if you’ve got a webcam installed, and you’re trying to chat with your boyfriend. You don’t want an evil SoB (School of Business, you filthy minded lot) student coming up behind you to give you a big hug.
Or do you?
Monday, August 29, 2005
Introducing Godi Lattu
Pronounced Goh-dee Lat tu
After what seems to have been the better part of enternity, my laptop, a spanking new T 42+1 Thinkpad(yes, it still says IBM on it) presented itself to me today. It's progress to it's ultimate destination was slow, marred by inumerable tragedies, and generally made my life annoying over the last three weeks.
But Godu is here now, and all is well again. With my own computer, I shall now return to regular, and boy do I mean regular, blogging. So, dear readers, or whatever is left of dear readers(one notices a major drop in hits since one left for Singapore) suggest a topic, and it shall be written about.
Alternatively, I'll just ramble on about whatever the hell I feel like.
Which sounds like a half decent idea as well.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
My college held its convocation today. It was a nice, hot -shot function, what with the CJI and other HC and Sc CJs there, along with various MPs, MLAs etc(dont you just love the acronymns in the last sentence?) There were various advantages. For one, all the departing batch was there. Which , to be frank, wasnt really affecting life in any major way. For two, there was great free food. It wasnt strictly for us, of course. To be fair, it wasnt for us, period. But if you Happened to be in the academic block, and Happened to not have work to do, and Happened to espy that all the seniors were busy unto themselves (as most of us did) it would be criminal to refuse hot GulabJamuns[ you discover the value of nice, good, Hot, GJs once you cross the North south divide. They dont believe in good dessert here. And no, Mysore Pak does not count). Also, we get tomorrow off, which is brilliant. One extra day to postpone the washing of the clothes....
We got all dressed up and were made to get up at the ridiculous hour of 6 on a beeyutiful Sunday morning. Chicks getting ready in saris in a common bathroom without their customary mothers around- it is a sight not to be seen! Thankfully, coupla them knew how to tie saris pretty decently. Even more thankfully, I decided to stick to the more conventional and plainer, but inifnitely more comfortable and better looking salwar kameez. of course, as things are wont to happen, the bus did not leave till 8(*cough*sodding arses*cough*)....
The function itself was rather drab and boring...the highlights being the silver sceptre(there was a silver sceptre! they insisted on calling it a mace, but i know a sceptre when i see one...), a random disruptment and general hungama when a striker entered the hall and started shouting some slogans and was chucked out, and the free food.And the guys looking absolutely adorable and utterly marry-able in formals. And having to correct fifty billion copies of the bleddy speech which had some typos in it, all the while making up ridiculous jokes and games.
All in all, a day well wasted.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
I think I have made a point before, on how first impressions work in the world that I inhabit. They're godawful. I don't think I've made a single good one in my life, especially with the people now most important to me. Thus, it is heartening to know that I have continued this trend here at SMU. You see, the last three days, I've had a big grand ol' freshman orientation camp for international students, followed by our official convocation (congratulations, you're in college) ceremony. This has given me the opportunity to meet several new and interesting people, and create a whole variety of first impressions. Let me start with the most common.
I smile. A lot. Strangely. Pretty much all the time. People can't seem to figure this fact out. Added to this, I have a habit of randomly strolling about, and popping into different groups of people at different times. All the while smiling. This has prompted a first impression on several people, who now think I'm on drugs. As I may have mentioned before, I am not.
Well, if this wasn't enough, at the end of camp, one outdid himself. The last thing you should do before a crowd of international freshman at the end of a two day camp is go up with two other guys and sing Wonderwall. Hindsight, as they say is 20/20.
But of course, the cherry on the cake is never added till the very end. Today was convocation, as I have mentioned. Formal affair. White shirt, black pants. As I am a scholar, I was to recieve my Scholarship commendation this day as well, and thus had got myself a very nice Blue SMU Tie, provided to all scholars. Thus, dressed like a perfect gentleman, I marched up on stage and recieved the digs. The ceremony ended, and disaster struck.
They had a rock concert.
They played headbanging songs.
I had company, the same who sang wonderwall, who would headbang along with me.
There were three video cameras on us, broadcasting these images to the entire audience, as we were right up next to the stage.
That is called making a first impression, on the entire bleddy college.
Congratulations, Mr. Khanna, you've done it yet again.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Ties That Bind
The worst part about being in a God Forsaken Gaon, is that they don't celebrate any normal festivals, like the rest of the country. Rakhi is coming up, and the whole funda is missing from the general psyche. Having to remember to go and buy them, and send them, without someone prompting me, was whole new experience. And though I set off enthusiastically, I was greatly disappointed to learn that most shopkeepers had not heard of the concept itself. In one non-descript shop, I esoied a sad little sign saying "Raki. 19th Aug."The guy took out one box of the most garishly coloured monstrosities possible-and coming from me, thats a Strong Statement. There was one with a bright blue plastic bunny rabbit, one with a diameter of atleast 2 inches, and All had a base of bright, shiny Golden threads. Course, the Evil side of me wanted to buy and send -and tie- the most spectacular ones to each of my chaand se bhais.But better sense prevailed-I Do want monetary returns. I actually spotted some thread like rakhis, very sober, very tiny, and looking very pretty. I asked the guy for 4 with a thankful grin. He looked at me positively aghast, and in his Diga Hindi, said "But Madam, yeh to Friendship Band hain". The bugger positively refused to part with them. I mean, I know, friendship bands have special significances *cough* but still......
The sad part is, not only do we not get a day off for Rakhi(we have an examination, thank you very much), there is also the very sad fact that sending Rakhis is absolutely no guarantee of pecuniary recompensation. Gah. Being a girl sucks!
Long weekend soon, and just 2 exams to go. Dude Where's My Car, Top Gun, 9 hours of sleep a day, and iff i can manage it, Bill and Ted's.Woohoo!
Monday, August 15, 2005
This is my first in my series of my continuing adventures in Singapore, particularly the ones around the area I am staying, Chinatown.
Now, Chinatown in Singapore is actually very nice. The place, contrary to what everyone will lead you to believe, does not smell. The place, contrary to what everyone tells you, is not a hellhole. The place is quite lovely in fact, and as a real bonus to hostel living fellows, is cheap as cheap can be, living in Singapore. Allow me to make a small diversion at this point.
There exists no concept of MRP at all in this City. Walk a hundred meters to a new shop/supermarket, and the same items could cost double the amount, or more. If you want to know how to get stuff cheap, two things are a must. You have to explore your options, and you have to be open to bargaining, because in Singapore, and especially in Chinatown, haggling goes.
My hostel is in this small lane(Pearl's Hill Road) behind a very large apartment complex, and at the base of a smallish but not all that small hill, called, no surprise: Pearl's Hill. The entire hill itself is a very large park, which is amazingly maintained by a local secondary school, under the "Adopt a Park Scheme" of Singapore. The park, being on a hill, is three dimensional, and in the words of Ankit Guglani is "A short walk with a bit of a climb". The place is green and beeyootiful, and has very large trees with great big roots, which come out and extend themselves in multiple directions. A short walk into the park leads you to a small pond, with great benches all around. I have actually never visited this place during the day, and thus have only seen what it looks like at night. This is not a bad thing at all, it's well lit, and looks pritty at night. The wildlife also comes out around that time, and as you walk along, frogs jump out of your way. You can hear them croak all the time, too. A short walk and a bit of a climb later, you're back to hostel, and life is good again.
Look out for more Chinatown Adventures, and indeed Singapore Adventures regularly now, for I have found the library, and have ingratiated myself with books, the nice comfy sofas, and indeed the computer terminals.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Your Daily Dose of (B)Lah!
The wait is over, yer Badshah Returns
And boy has he been aroun'
After a humdrum existence in Delhi
He's settled down in Chinatown
And college's orientations have begun
He soon will be back in action
For now he's navigating his way
Through Chinese, Malay and Tamil factions
Cos' You've read it from De Capital, you've read it from Bangalore
Settle in, ladies and gentlemen, Blah's now live from Singapore
PS: I want news from back home, gimme comments, lah!
Monday, August 08, 2005
The Girls Hostel, part I
For Those Disturbed, By Vrinda
You know whats the worst part about living in the Girls Hostel?The Girls. Now, I know, it seems like a very random, arbit statement to make. But to actualyl realise the profundity of the statement, you have to Live surrounded by a bunch of girls- yes, i do realise its most of you guys' dream come true, but moving on..... Let me elucidate. I have never actually lived with girls before, and most of my friend circle has always been guys. So its a radical new experience for me. Yes, there has been a lot of people roaming around in...very scanty clothing...but thats not what i mean. You learn to live in a totally different way, and learn to somehow survive without losing your point of view or your sanity. I was inititated to this concept about a week into the academic term. Everyone agreed that a respite from the 'gruelling schedule' was needed, and that a movie shall be rented to fill the void. "A good Movie", "Finally something decent" were some of the phrases doing the rounds. The cockles of the heart, so to speak, warmed up to the new found living environs. One sat down with the rest, agog with expectations...to be treated to Princess Diaries, One AND Two. The horror of one, can only be imagined.
Another thing I 've learned? Food is a very very arbit concept. Nothing is Your Food anymore. It is all, Our Food. All the ghar ka khaana, and the chocolates, and the noodles, and the junk food, is communal property. There also arent, as previously postulated, 4 meals to a day. Theres the 1 am Noodles. Everyone returns from their respective work, and plunks down at about 12. 30. By about 1, it is realised that everyone is ravenously hungry. So about 3 packets of Instant Noodles are made, and eaten in a manner befitting not so civilized beings- sinc e there is one fork and one plate between a floor ful of about 12 females;often accompanied by rituals(Not, as is popularly stated amongst the guys, dancing naked in the moonlight) as demandign as jazz dancign for a bite of the above mentioned noodles....'mast mast' videos of the same *might* be provided to storng enough applications....:D
And theres nothing quite like learning about concepts like Community, Sharing, Mutual Trust and all that crap, when youre about 10 minutes late for class,standing outside the loo dressed in pretty much a towel, the five of you staring at the one bucket of hot water available. Cat-fighting seems like such an excellent option at times like these....Of course, you do resort to having baths with the bountiful cold water....word of advice from the experienced?Dunk your head in first, then your legs and arms, and finally your tummy, that way, you only have to shriek out in consternation once.
So many thing college life teaches you....Watch this space for more....
Saturday, August 06, 2005
I'm Ready to Go
I'm leaving, as the song goes, on a Jet Plane. I'll be back. Blah! will be back, even sooner.
One chapter closes, and a new one begins. As a few of my friends have pointed out, this is the beggining of my next big adventure, because that's how I've treated life, and that's how I'll continue to. So cheers to you all.
Friday, August 05, 2005
All My Bags Are Packed
This is the Big Fat Suitcase, which got bigger this evening. I'd just like to point out how absolutely neat everything is just perfect. From the top view, I'd like to point out my resident monster, Gengarr, toothbrushes, Bill Bryson's Made in America and A Short History of Neartly Everything, A pack of Cards, Carl Sagan's Cosmos, a Blue T-Shirt, my Insane Tie, The Little Bit Of Pink Which is Part of The Electric Pink Sock, A tennis ball, my swimming trunks(the blue thingummies), and of course, a beige towel. And that's just, if I may use the phrase, the tip of the iceberg. Ninety percent of everything lies beneath.
That's my life in a suitcase. I sure hope the airlines don't lose it.