Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Finally i am back to chennai and back to where i belong. and yeah thankfully my trip back to chennai wasnt as eventful as my trip home. i just had to wait for 7 hours in the ahemdabad airport doing absolutely nothing. my bus from jamanagr to ahemdabad arrived at 7.00 in the morning and my flight from ahemdabad to chennai was at 3.00 in the afternoon. oh man!!! i experienced absolute heights of boredom. i did not have my laptop, i did not anyone for company and i knew absolutely no one in ahemdabad whose house i could go to and the worst part was that i could not walk up and down exploring the airport for fear of the fact that someone might pilfer my luggage. as my luck would have it my mom sent all important things with me to give to people all over chennai. the number of instruction i got!!!oh man!! "mythili aunty's sari is in this one. its very important. dont lose it". "preethi's diamond earrings are in that one. guard it very carefully dont check in that bag. have it as your hand luggage and this is a gas regulator which your fathers colleagues neigbours wifes sister will come and collect from you once u reach chennai. be very careful with their stuff. mothers i tell you!!!

so i just sat like piece of luggage in the airport, obvioulsy inviting curious glances and stares from the airport workers who were probably thinking that i am a terrorist checking out the aiport to bomb it or something. maybe the airhostesses felt that i had come to take their place. heh heh!!ok ok..no tension. and anyway those air hostesses look so bad. i mean yeah ok u need to put make up to look presentable but cant u put it in such a way that makes u look presentable and also a little human?? they have layers and layers of stuff on their cheeks, their eyes and lips and an extremely artificial and plastic smile on their faces. ewwwwwwww. well somehow i managed to kill time. thankfully i had a book with me. god bless PG Wodehouse. thanks to PGW i was laughing to myself all the time thus inviting even more glances from everyone around me. :D:D. and the worst part was that the ahemdabad airport was being renovated or soenthing there was just one shop in the whole airport which sold something to eat. i had one sandwich for 60 bucks and i dunno what filled my stomach. the sandwich or the steep prices!!!

well finally 2 o clock came, i checked in my luggage, discovered that it was 2 kilos overweight because of all the stuff my mom had packed, paid excess baggage charges and finally boarded the flight thinking that i would be in chennai in another 2 hrs. only then i came to know that the flight had a stop in hyderabad and only then it would go to chennai. had to wait in the plane at hyd airport for about an hour and then finally after four hours i reached chennai at 6.30. phew!! did i say it wasnt an eventful trip??;)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Its Funny

Though it might sound very funny I am finding it very difficult to adjust to my life at home. Home is the place where one is most comfortable and finds all the pleasures of the world and still I feel so out of place. Each morning when I get up it feels funny to get up to the smell of clean sheets and burning incense and an empty other half of the bed after being used to getting up to the smell of unwashed dirty linen and the presence of my huge roommate on the other half of the bed. In my sleepy state I shuffle for my cell and my bathroom slippers only to realize that I am home and have no use for these things. While going to brush my teeth I brace myself for the toothpaste hunt and then realize that a new fat tube of toothpaste is staring at me from the shelf. Its funny. After being so used to the ways of the hostel I am finding it difficult to adjust at home. Its funny when my dad comes and wakes me up at 5.00 and says “you never get any exercise. Lets go jogging” and I feel like telling him “Dude!!! Get a life and a watch. Do u have any idea what the time is. How can u go around waking up people in the middle of the night like a banshee”. But of course he being my father I refrain from saying those words. Its funny when my mom tells me “you are 21. you have attained marriageable age. U better learn to cook”. The woman who has never let me enter her kitchen for fear of me converting it into a disaster zone is now giving me responsibilities and asking me to cook, clean, water the plants (it’s a different issue that I never do any of that). Its funny when I realize that I can eat how many ever papad’s I want to without the mess workers telling me that I am allowed only one(papad’s are the only edible things in our mess). It feels funny to enjoy all the food that’s on the table and have mom cook what u like. It feels funny to have the computer all to yourself without having to share it with twenty different people on the floor. It feels funny when I try searching for a bucket while going to take bath and then realize that this is home and bucket, soap and all the luxuries are available is in the bathroom itself. Its funny when I hear a particular song and excitedly look around to tell someone “machi!!thats our song they are playing” and realize I am sitting in a empty room whose silence is deafening after being used to the constant din at hostel. Its funny when mom comes at 10 in the night and tells me “still awake??? Its so late. U better go to bed” and I feel like telling her that this is the time we usually get up after our afternoon nap in the hostel and start having fun. My life at home feels very very funny but when I go to sleep at night and silent tears fall down my cheek and I wish I were back on my smelly sheets in hostel, back to the disgusting mess food and back with all my friends, that is when it stops being funny.

P.S: this I think is my third nostalgic post about college and hostel life but I cant help it. I miss that life so much!!!!:( :(

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jinxed!!!

After the happenings in my life in the last one day I have come to the conclusion that I must have been very very busy collecting bad luck and jinxes when god was distributing good luck and charm. Before yesterday I used to find Murphy’s laws funny and laugh at them but considering all that has happened yesterday if Murphy were alive today I would have given him a slow painful and horrific death.

Before u guys decide to call Kilpauk and institutionalize me let me recount the happenings of 17-18th May. For the first time in my life my parents had booked me on a flight from Chennai to Bombay and another one from Bombay to Jamnagar (usually I go in flight from Chennai to Bombay and then from there till Jamnagar in train). I was thrilled and overjoyed at the thought of traveling in comfort all the way from Chennai to Jamnagar, something which I had never done. Jamnagar being an extremely remote underdeveloped and disgusting city is situated in the western tip of Gujarat (don’t sweat if u have no clue where Jamnagar is. When my parents first told me that we were shifting to Jamnagar in class 7th I thought it was some foreign country) and is the worst connected place. There are no direct trains from Chennai, there is only a single flight from Bombay and the trip from Chennai to Jamnagar is an adventure in itself. An auto from home to Chennai airport, flight from Chennai to Bombay, train from Bombay to Jamnagar and another two hours of car journey on disgusting roads to home. By the time I reach home the excitement of coming home would die down and the fact that I would have to undergo similar torture a month from now to come back to Chennai would totally put me off.


This time I was beyond myself with joy that the torture trip would be a lot less tortuous because I was going all the way by flight. My happiness was very very short lived to say the least. I caught the flight from Chennai to Bombay and landed in Bombay at 11. my flight to Jamnagar was at 12 and I so I had to rush to another terminal to check in my luggage and get my boarding pass. The two terminals are separated by a distance of half a km and I ran like a woman possessed to reach the correct terminal at time(all this while my cell was ringing away but because I was running like my pants were on fire I couldn’t talk). I reached just in time puffed and panted and checked in my luggage and went to the counter to collect my boarding pass. This was the conversation between the guy at the counter and me

Me(puffing and panting and heaving): Jamnagar.. Bombay Jamnagar please.

Guy: sorry ma’am??

Me: boarding pass for the flight to Jamnagar please

Guy: Oh!! Sorry ma’am that flight got cancelled in the morning. Dint u get a message from us??

Me: what????????????? What the#@%#$%R%*&

Guy: yes we sent a message to everyone in the morning at 9.00 ma’am.

Me: but I was in the flight from Chennai to Bombay then and my cell was switched off (I have no clue why I said this. It made absolutely no difference to him if I had come from Chennai or Chicago or Czechoslovakia and he was about as interested in my case as I am during a class of software testing)

Guy: I am sorry ma’am. U can go to the ticketing counter and get a full refund on the ticket or reschedule for the same flight tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Me :( thinks) U As******. Don’t say sorry for the inconvenience when u don’t mean it.
Me: (says) ok

Now I had no clue what to do who to call. That’s when I realize that I better call my parents and tell them that they can enjoy one more day of peace without me when they call me and tell me that my flight has been cancelled and that I need to contact my cousin in Bombay who would come and pick me up. Now for people who know me u know that I never have balance in my cell to even message let alone call. So I went to the nearest STD booth called my cousin fixed up things and went to the ticketing counter to re schedule my tickets. When she asked me for a photo identity I rummaged in my bag for my purse to get my license when I realized that my purse was missing. With all my luggage I ran like a crazy idiot to the STD booth when I heard the loudspeakers in the airport blare “We request Miss. Revathi Ramanan to kindly get in touch with the airport manager as soon as possible”. I rushed to the manager’s office and had to listen to a fifteen minute lecture from him about carelessness (I hope my parents never stumble across this blog. I still haven’t told them that I came very close to losing my purse with 1000 odd bucks, my license, ATM card and my identity card and if they come to know about it they will never let me live it down) and then for another fifteen minutes he made me describe the contents of the purse in detail. (it was silly because my photo is there on my license and on my ID card and he just had to look at my face to know that it was my purse he was holding in his crummy hands). Anyway I had to again rush to the original terminal where I had gotten off because the driver was waiting there. He took me to my cousin’s place. I was kind of happy because I have two angelic nieces and an awesome sister in law and I was really looking forward to seeing them. But as luck would have it they had all left for delhi for the summer and my cousin was leaving that night.

So I was stuck in a house with a laptop for company and no books to read. Absolute heights of boredom. Somehow I killed time spent the night in an empty house and got up in the morning to a message from the friggin airlines (air deccan) telling me that my flight had been delayed by an hour and that they were “sorry for the inconvenience”. So I spent another three hours at my cousins place and finally reached the airport confirmed if the flight was on today and sent the driver away, checked in my luggage, got my boarding pass and waited for 1.00 to come. Till 12.40 when they hadn’t called for boarding I went to the counter and asked them and the lady at the counter very coolly tells me “the Bombay Jamnagar flight has been further delayed by an hour ma’am. We will be leaving at 2.00 and boarding at 1.40. sorry for the inconvenience ma’am”. I still dunno how I controlled myself from hitting her and boxing her ears. In an extremely sarcastic tone (which was wasted on her) I asked “will it atleast leave at 2 or will it be further delayed?”. “no ma’am we will be leaving at 2.00 sharp’

That done I sat and waited for another hour at the airport counting the number of lights the number of vents in the AC and trying to solve the sudoku, kakuro, crossword etc in the paper. Finally at 2.10 I boarded the rickety flight(I am not exaggerating but I swear I have seen PTC buses in Chennai which are more hi tech than air deccan’s flights. No AC, dirty seats, sleepy sir hostesses and a captain whose English was pathetic). And then the runway wasn’t free so we had to wait for another 45 minutes and finally the flight took off at 3.00 and I reached Jamnagar at 4.30 pm.

After I had reached Jamnagar for some time I dint believe it. I saw my sister and mom at the airport and rubbed my eyes to affirm the fact that yes, after much ado I had finally reached the godforsaken Jamnagar. I just cant wait for CTS to call so I can leave this hell and go back to my paradise a.k.a Chennai!! :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Operation Sunrise :)

Though today can go down in history as one of the most depressing days in my life I am quite happy that finally after the end of four years I have been successful in completing operation sunrise. Before u guys decide that I belong to some terrorist group which goes around murdering people before sunrise let me tell you what operation sunrise is. Operation sunrise in ladies hostel of SSN means that we stay awake till the sun rises and after dawn breaks we hit our beds..:P:P..i have been unsuccessfully trying to complete operation sunrise for the past four years but I always doze off by four. But yesterday I sat up till six and watched the sun rise over the horizon and for the first time in my felt that I could have been a morning person. The dawn looked beautiful, the weather perfect, the breeze just right and the company just awesome!!(thanks Mi:)). I am sure I will be overwhelmed with emotions if I start writing about operation sunrise in detail. So I will just tell u in short about yesterday night (my last and most perfect night in hostel)

Toshibha laptop with 80 Gb harddisk : Rs 35000

Thiruttu DVD of Chennai 28 : Rs 40

Packet of Murukku and two diary milk bars : Rs 50

Sitting under a tree at 3.00 in the morning watching the song jalsa pannunga da..from Chennai 28 with some of my bestest friends in the cool summer night breeze and wishing the night would never end : Priceless :) :)..

I dedicate this post to all my friends in general and to Milinta, Aki, Fermie, Madhu and Gowri in particular who made my last night in the hostel all the more special by staying up all night with me. Love u guys a lot.

Today is my last day in the hostel and I have met some amazing people and made some really great friends. I sincerely hope we remain in touch years after we part!!

P.S: a special mention about preethi who came in at 3.00 and provided us with diary milk (she specifically wanted me to mention this..happy now preethi?? :D:D)

P.P.S: Another special mention about Thiru who tried to stay up with me but dozed off in between. Love ya loads

P.P.S: No more special mentions girls. I Love all u guys. :):)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Travails of Travel

Having lived in Chennai for the past six years and having traveled in the bus for majority of those six years I think I am qualified enough to write about bus travel in the (in)famous PTC buses of Chennai. This blog comes in wake of a recent event in my life. My bus travel from adyar to velacherry.
Now coming to bus travel. There are five stages in bus travel namely

Sitting
Standing
Squeezing
Dying
Dead

Let me discuss each of these stages in detail. My experience with the first and second category is almost nil coz I have NEVER got the place to sit, sometimes if I am lucky I get an area of quarter feet by quarter feet to stand but MOST of the times I come under category three or four.

SITTING:
If u have done punyam in ur previous janma or if u r as belligerent as mike Tyson or if u board a bus at the source station u will be lucky enough to belong to this category. When u belong to this category u can sit comfortably in the seats and smirk at all the standing/squeezing/dying/dead people around u as if to say “Ho ho ho!!i sit therefore I am”(ok that was a bad one!!sorry). most of the times even if u board the bus at the source station u might have to go to the standing category because u have been pushed roughly or elbowed cruelly by some meenkaari/ pookaari/pichakaari/karigakaari who believes herself to be mike Tyson re-incarnate!! A disadvantage of being in this category is that if u r below the age of 30(and are sitting) then u will have to give up ur seat for old women/expectant mothers/ women with small wailing running nose kids. This way u can do some punyam and ensure urself a seat in the bus in ur next janma.

STANDING:
This is a comparatively comfortable position where u will have some space to stand (sometimes even lean) comfortably and have no fear of perverts (because u can steer clear of them. U will have ample space to do so) or pickpockets. U will have enough space to walk to the conductor and buy ur own ticket and will be able to get down comfortable when ur stop arrives without having to push/pull/shove/ jostle through a sea of humanity. And after u get down u wont feel like someone has just squeezed the life out of u and u will be still be able to walk.

SQUEEZING:

This is the next stage where the rule of 40 sitting+25 standing will be broken. There will be 40 people sitting and around 40-50 people hanging, standing, suspended, stamping and doing lots of other disgusting things. In this stage it is best to carry with u a deodorant with you. This is not for you. This can come in handy when u r forced to stand next to person who has lifted his hands to suport himself and the stench emanating from his underarms is suffocating u to say the least. So a minimum requirement for this stage is to carry a deo if u want to survive and not die of asphyxiation. U can liberally spray the person with the deo. In this stage u must try to reach the entrance two stops before u wanna get down. Only then u might be successful in getting down two stops after ur intended stop. In this stage u can vent out all ur anger on someone by going personally to buy tickets(rather than passing it thru someone) and stamping the feet of everyone really hard with all ur strength in the process. Really helps ease out the tension of being squeezed mercilessly like a lemon inside a lemon squeezer.

DYING:
In this stage it is wise to call home before boarding the bus and telling them that u MIGHT only come home and let me tell u there in NO point waiting for the next bus to come because the next bus will be equally if not more crowded. When the bus approaches the stop u might wonder “how the hell am I gonna get into this sea of humanity”. Don’t worry. U just have to stand near the entrance and a wave of humanity will push u inside. It is advisable not to carry any bags because when u get down after this stage either u will not have a bag or not have the straps on ur bag or the contents of ur bag will be missing. In this stage u must try to get to the entrance almost as soon as u board because only then u will be able to reach the entrance in time for ur stop. All those people who argue that they will stand near the entrance itself, it is obvious u have never seen the insides of a bus in the “dying” stage. As soon as u enter the bus the conductor will shoo u and u will be pushed by fat grandmas, stinking men and malicious aunties into the absolute interiors of the bus. A deodorant wont help in this stage because u wont have enough space to take it out and spray it on ur fellow passengers. In this stage mostly there wont be place for u to keep both ur feet on the ground. So u must necessarily keep it on someone’s feet. And don’t even dare to try to get ur ticket on ur own. If u value ur life and limbs pass the money for the ticket. This stage can get really really worst during peak summers when everyone is sweating and the stench is unbearable. And after u get down at ur stop it will take u atleast 5 minutes to collect urself and even after that all u can manage is a hobble back home.

DEAD:
What can I say. This is the worst stage by far. Personally I have never been inside a bus during this stage so I am not qualified to write much about it. When this bus arrives at the stop it is at an angle of 75 degrees to the road (instead of the usual 90). The other two wheels of the bus are almost off the ground and the number of ppl inside the bus in the sitting stage will be equal to the number of ppl hanging on the foot board in the dead stage. I never board a bus in this stage. I value my life. I cant imagine how the people are able to survive

And with the ever increasing population (and with Mr. Murphy always being on my side) i never seem to find a place to sit or stand comfortably nowadays. Phew!! i love chennai but sathyama bus travel mattum thangala pa!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Aaaachooooo!!!

I have been suffering from this insufferable cold for the past three days and it is absolutely getting on my nerves. GOD!! Give me malaria, give me typhoid, give me jaundice. They atleast have a cure. But please don’t give me cold where medicines don’t help, the inedible unpalatable mess food does not help and the fact that I have my semester exams coming in a week most certainly does not help. I m sick of blowing my nose(the dustbin in my room is overflowing with pink colored used tissues), sick of coughing and sneezing, sick of this blasted weather which aggravates my cold by making me sweat, sick of not being able to smell anything, sick of not being able to drink or eat anything cold for this weather, sick of eating horse hide chapattis and a brown colored liquid with alien particles floating (proudly called by the mess workers as kurma) and sick of having to study a subject called software testing(which is almost as insufferable as this cold if not more!!) when all I want to do is curl up and sleep. I proudly got the photocopies for my subjects next week about two days back and at once I got this cold which makes it impossible for me to appreciate what William perry has to say about software testing (he is the jobless dude who writes book which we must read to become “engineers”). I keep telling myself that software testing might be a very interesting and absorbing subject but I am not able to appreciate its nuances because of this cold. :P:P. well whatever!! I better start studying if I must clear my papers and become another useless engineer of this vast country.

P.S: Ahem!!I read somewhere that a shot of brandy helps cure cold. Can some good Samaritan provide me with some???

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bored!!!

The writing bug seems to have bitten me. I seem to be caught in a blogging frenzy. Words just pour out once I open MS-Word. This verbal diarrhea can be attributed to the fact that nowadays I have so much of time on my hands I don’t know what to do. Suddenly the ladies hostel is blessed with 24 hrs free super fast net (originally we used to have something like 15 mins of net a day. Its an irony actually. The times when we actually needed the net for “educational” purposes like project or assignments it never existed and now when we have no use for it, it is lightning fast). So what do I do when I get absolutely sick of orkut, sending mails to equally vetti ppl, chatting with some more vetti people and reading the novels which I have already read a zillion times?? Yes!! I blog. There is no subject or anything for this blog because this blog is just a proof of my utter boredom. I am qualified enough to write a book called “100 ways to kill boredom without spending a penny”. I have suggested some ways here. These are excerpts from my book. So be grateful that I am giving u some tips for free. I am sure my book will be a bestseller once it hits the market. :P

1. do a general survey and find out who has what movies in the girls and boys hostel.

2. ask them to share it and save them on to ur computer/laptop and watch when bored (I have watched forrest gump 5 times, green mile 3 times, first daughter 3 times and a walk to remember about 6 times.)

3. when feeling really low or lonely keep a copy of veerasamy, sudhesi, dharmapuri or Michael madana kamarajan and watch them again and again.

4. give missed calls to everyone in ur phone book. Atleast 50% of the people will call you and ask you whats wrong. WARNING: Never call a parent. They will ask you to study for CAT, or study for the upcoming exams or generally and waste ur precious time giving u advice which can be used effectively to do the other things on the list.

5. change ur profile in orkut, change ur profile name, change ur display picture, change ur interests and hobbies, change ur nationality, ur religion and scrap all the people who are online in ur friends list and be assured of atleast three replies.

6. catch up on all the lost sleep(even if u haven’t lost any sleep there is no harm in catching up on the sleep that u might lose in future). Go to bed at 2 or 3 after watching all the movies and wake up for lunch the next day. Start the movie and orkut marathon.

7. if u ever get tired of doing the above have a stock of Jeffery archers, sheldon’s, Wodehouse, ken follet, archie comics, malory towers, St clares etc. these books can be read again and again and it has been proved that boredom can be killed effectively.

8. make a list of all ur favorite songs(hindi,English and tamil) and google for the lyrics and try to master the song (ur voice is of no consequence. Even if u have a voice similar to rani mukherji's sing out really loud. This will result in people coming to ur room and asking you to shut up. Once they come do not let them go. Catch hold of them and irritate them by singing even louder)

9. if u are still bored then go online and read blogs. This has been proved to be a really good pastime and can do wonders to kill ur boredom

10. still bored??? Start a blog and write about inconsequential things which are of no use to anyone but help u kill time like me.


If all this still does not kill ur boredom then you are beyond help. You have reached a stage where you must spend money to kill boredom. So catch a friend, catch a bus and go to mayajaal, blow up 150 bucks on a ticket, another 60 bucks on a burger and voila!! U have killed five hours of boredom.
For any more details please feel free to contact me on orkut or yahoo or gmail or hotmail and be assured of a quick reply!! :):)