• Tuesday, August 14, 2007 

    The Adle Quest

    Unlike most of my previous posts this one does not speak about me for a change. The protagonist in question here is none other than our very own Mr. Deepak Bharti (better known as DB or mika), fellow intern and mischief maker at Barclays Capital.

    This was our last weekend in London, and having had enough of Lewisham the suburb we lived in, we decided to spend this weekend in style. We crashed at Ganesh and Hil’s place in Bakers Street (ya the same which was made famous by one of the most revered fictional character ever – Sherlock Homes). After the Sheesha experience (Iranina restaurant with specialty in flavoured hukkas) and a long unwarranted walk (it’s a long story in itself) me and Ganesh ended up in a Casino. This was a 1st for me but believe me you, Ganesh is a pro, while I watched and learned, Ganesh ended up making some 60 pounds in the few hours he played poker.

    Now Ganesh has this excellent philosophy that money won in a casino needs to be spent in style, and not kept for profit purposes. I, DB and Ganesh had an excellent idea how we wanted to spend this money, while the committed guys from the group backed out (read Hil and Baveja) the three of us decided at least one trip to a strip club was definitely on the cards. With a sponsor we had nothing to worry and the predicament that we were not going to spend money for such a cause was solved as there could hardly be a better use for money won in a Casino :)

    The Venus – that was the place. We had seen the ad on the paper and after making sure that the place was not just a sham, there was no looking back. The tube took 9 minutes to Farringdon and "the place" was quite close from the station. The bouncers on the gate had biceps the size of my thighs or maybe thicker, a glance at each other and we all understood that none of us should even try to play the wise guy. We were escorted in, there where chicks all around… will not get into details but it was gr8 (BTW there were no lap dances there only table dance – no touching strictly), and there she was one look at her and DB fell in love, there she was Adle, dancing gracefully with an innocent sparkle in her eye and a Colgate smile on her face. When the dance ended DB was in a world of his own, the other performers came and went but DB had his eyes fixed on this beauty who was sitting all alone at a corner in the hall.

    Dreamy eyed almost in trance and with infinite enthu boosting from me and Ganesh, DB finally decided he wud talk to her and that he did… even earned a personal performance. For the entire evening and most of the next day DB was lost in a different world. Adle never left his mind not until Monday morning when we were back to office… DB was is love and at times the way he speaks about her I’m sure he still is.

    Saturday, March 10, 2007 

    The most eventful B'day ever

    The most eventful B'day ever

    Not many people get to celebrate their b'days in a manner that I get to do, not that I throw a huge party its just that 31st December happens to be a day when the whole world is partying and celebrating and this year was no different and the best part was I got to celebrate it with so many people it was real fun. If u've talked to me lately few of the things I would be continuously blabbering about are, this assignment, that report, some quiz, some other exam, life has become very predictable at IIM B and you can rest assured that more often than not I'll be busy in one of these if not more, however our exams ended on the 30th, knowing better than to escape the "bday bumps" I had planned to stay behind for the midnight bash, so after a pseude dinner and a couple of beer bottles down in an uptown Italian restaurant ( Little Italy - Indiranagar and I aint ever going back there, never ever, not that it pinched my wallet too hard, and believe me you, it didn’t spare me much on that count, but the freaky place was a vegetarian!!!, now there is a limit to what a man can stand... I'm sure all non-vegetarians would unite with me to say a vegetarian meal while eating out is a waste of time and money)... back to the story ...after a pseude dinner and a couple of beer bottles down in an uptown Italian restaurant, we raced back to be in time for the dreaded "hooshing". I was there on time but the best thing was more than half the batch had already left for home and after the token hooshing we had the most civilized of the b'day celebrations ever at IIM B. I actually got to cut the cake and people actually had pieces of cake to eat and when we were thru we left the cut pieces on the mess table, people must've surely thought it was a joke.

    I had an early morning flight and had to leave at around 4 in the morning and so I decided against taking a nap (getting up would've been very difficult with 3 days of exam sleep still pending + a couple of beers in my belly). After an uneventful journey (except that it was my 1st time ever in a flight) we reached Calcutta and a few phone calls (and a little more) and a couple of hours later I was sitting in the same restaurant where some of us had given our placement treat at the end of that memorable 1 day cal tour for all the winigies. Jha was there with me, Suvro joined in a little later (later I came to know another bastard wingie Uddu was in town but had not bothered to inform us) and as far as motu is concerned not even the guys who live in cal know about his whereabouts, and the bugger is so dormant over the group that his absence was almost taken for granted. Anyways here I was celebrating my b'day with few of my best frnds and of course I don’t remember how much we gulped down this time but it was soon time for my train and off I was to catch the train. Jha was there to see me off and maybe it was the amount of alcohol , or maybe jha has that magic, but it did feel a little like the time all the wingies were seeing off every other guy one by one, its been almost 2 years, with some I've met once, with some maybe twice, with Dhingra of course a lot because of our common connection with Mumbai, but now that’s lost too, and with most I haven’t met at all and I don’t even know when all the wingies will set foot together...

    Back to celebration mode there is more to come, Mom Dad and Cacha had come over to pick me up and there was a party of a different kind lined up a family party for a change, some of my (infinite number of) cousins (and their kids) had come over from US some other had come over to meet them in all it was a large gathering with 3 generations (1 both above and below me) coming together. I did cut the cake again, we played lots of party games which both the kids and the oldies enjoyed and for the middle generation it was great to be involved in all those moments like when a nephew or a niece or an uncle or aunt enacted / cracked the dumb-charade clue. Winning is fun but as they say its more about participating than winning, specially when it comes to such occasions.

    As the countdown to New Year ended we celebrate with firecrackers and hugs and smiles. Finally my B'day ended, so did an eventful year and a New Year set in with new promises, new boundaries to be challenged, new horizons to be explored...

    However there is just this little that I still have to add to that particular journey, we started early and reached Ranchi by brunch time, with no one else at home dadi was at bua's place. We were meeting for the 1st time after dada's death and even though they hardly came across in each others way but they were the only two people around the house all the time and decades of getting used to each other for better or for worse, it was a big loss for her too (this dadi is widow of my dada's elder brother and has been living with us almost since she was married, my dada had drawn his last breath in October last year... the previous blog...) and I think one of the 1st words from her were "babua, dada ke pujo ke samay na aa sakla" (son, you couldn’t even come for the last rites of grandpa...). Anyways I wont get into the emotional angle here, the last post was supposed to do that, this one was meant to be different. Bua is a grandma now too and it was the 1st time I saw Mannu bhaiya's daughter, she's such a sweetheart made absolutely no fuss in making friends with another "Chachu". 4 generations were there together laughing and smiling and as I took the wheels and we said bye to bua, there was just one more thing on my mind, next stop "home sweet home"

    Friday, December 15, 2006 

    Dada, this one is for you

    The earliest memories that I have of my childhood features my grandpa very prominently. He used to walk me down to my nursery school, every now and then I would play a prank and come with an excuse for not going to school, the most common one being good old stomach ache, every time he use to fall for that and bring me back home and then tell mom “isko pait main dard hai, kaisse school bhej deti ho aise halat main” mom of course knew what that stomach ache was all about, but after the lecture session I would get the whole day off. But there were some –ve’s of going with him to school, the iron man he was he could walk miles without a sweat and expected poor me to do so as well. He would tell me stories of how when he was a kid, he used to walk to a different village to go to school, it’s a marvel how he maintained the same strength and endurance almost throughout his life, except for the last few months, when he was way into the 9th decade of his life.

    We learnt a lot from him, his dynamic life had started as a child in a small little known village in north Bihar and then transitioned to a bread winner for his family in Ranchi, to a well to do businessman, to being cheated away from all that, to the proud father of 3 well settled daughters, and two sons one an engineer and the other one of the most famous doctors of Ranchi. He had seen it all, done it all.

    He gave a lot to me, my childhood would not have been same had it not been for him, as a child I would go massage his legs and he used to give me toffee’s chocolates and also money at times. I used to feel so rich with all those rupees I used to keep safely in the locker of our (my and bhaiya’s) almirah, bhaiya would borrow leisurely from that treasure and often it gave us an excuse to get into another scuffle. Thinking about all those moments and many more memories from which dada is an inseparable part its hard not to be nostalgic.

    When I was back in Ranchi for a few days after L&T and before IIM B, we met for the last time. Everything was normal when I reached Ranchi, we met we talked, he told me about the time work had taken him to Mumbai way back in 1940, he told me about the things he did, the places he visited, he remembered things like it was just the other day. Of course conversations with him was incomplete without he reciting a few of his new compositions (he used to write poems), but that was probably the last normal day of his life, he lost control while walking and fell down, he was bed ridden since then. His memory also weakened and his condition kept worsening over the months before finally he succumbed to his old age on 14th Oct 2006. I was coordinating one of the events of VISTA’06 when dad called to inform me, even though I knew all about his condition I was stunned. All the flights were full, I could not go home, that was one day when I felt totally lost, what’s the worth of all this if I can not even be with my family in such hour of need. I spent hours that night in the OAT, lying down gazing at the stars, my mind totally blank. The next few days were very tough, with summers round the corner, forms to be filled, resumes to be submitted, quizzes coming up…, mom, dad, bhaiya, everyone told me to stay back and I couldn’t even be there for his last rites.

    Despite his shortcomings he was a hell of a person and will always remain a great influence on the lives he has touched, mine and everyone else’s who were around him. Anyways all that is past now, he is gone but his memories will never fade away, I’ll always love and respect him for the man he was. He had extracted the most out of life and now that the time has come, may he rest in peace.

    Monday, September 11, 2006 

    Gutando’s didi’s shaadi

    Only one year working and I’ve developed such a taste for comfort that after n number of ordinary bus journey to Patna, I decided that I couldn’t settle for less than an A/C bus this time. Should’ve been wary of the Bihar Tourism bus though, the dripping water from the f***ing A/C vents made me wiser for the return journey.
    I reached Nand Lal Chapra at 4 30 in the morning and as advised by Guta Singh I got down in the secluded part of the highway, in retrospect, would’ve been much wiser if I had gone to the town instead. Ne ways after repeatedly calling Guta for what seemed like an hour he finally woke up and then after waiting for wat again seemed like an hour he finally came down to receive the V.I.P guest. Back in Guta’s home I realized he is a true reflection of his family, everyone was so warm and loving. Uncle was obviously very busy and I did not get to interact much with him, but bhaiya, didi and aunty were all very caring and lively ppl.
    Back to the story as soon as I reached his place Guta Singh declared I was going to be didi’s chauffer (driver snds too lowly) for the day, that did not happen entirely, but yes I did end up driving for most part of the day. Jha had made himself useful and reached home but sri sri Buddha ji maharaj wanted a chauffer to come up and pick him up, and that moment onwards I drove and drove and drove…
    The other highlights of the day,
    Sharing a sutta with Jha after ages,
    The spell bound, childlike attention of Buddha while I was narrating my Mumbai escapades
    Meeting the “Tez tarra, tez dhaar” another product of Guta’s ‘social’ Singh’s friend factory – Jyoti
    The timely and opportune jokes of Shankhu
    The leg pulling of Ravish
    And obviously the marriage itself.
    Guta Singh being the brides brother was obviously burdened with more important things in life and while he was ably supported by Jyoti, for the rest of us, apart from the rare SOS calls it was fun all the way.
    BTW the jodi made a very nice couple, the groom looked almost as smart as didi looked beautiful.

    Apart from the fact that i almost missed my bus back to Ranchi (courtesy Guta Singhs scooter breaking down mid way to the bus stand), those two days were full of fun and masti, almost like college re-visited

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006 

    The journey continues

    The chicks are fine, but u need more than that to make a journey interesting, this one is tourney out to be a pretty boring one. Every now and then I get out of the coach, sit on the gate for a little while, catch a breeze of fresh air and capture the sceneries around in my cell, but after a while when I come inside, its again the same dreary atmosphere. I tried to strike a conversation with a few arnd me but nothing lasted more than 5 mins. Not very optimistic about abt things changing much, but one thing for sure from this low things can only improve (as they did later when I got into a chat with another uncle, Kgp alumnus, who was traveling with his family that also included a hot daughter)
    The main problem with striking a conversation with when one starts a conversation with someone is that it inevitably comes to what are u doing, what have u done sort of questions and then in becomes hard to keep words like IIT and IIM out of the conversation. If its left to that its fine but invariably the other person either totally embarrasses u buy showering praises, or else starts trying to prove he/she is better off. Get a life dude, I’m not interested and I did not even want to bring up the subject, all my enthu then vanishes.
    BTW u must’ve surely heard 99% of the grls in the world are beautiful the rest 1% are in my college. A similar analogy can be drawn in my compartment, but since I believe all the grls in this world are beautiful, there is a slight change in the wordings – Almost all the grls in this compartment are gorgeous, the not so beautiful one has a seat just beside me :(
    The babe I had talked about in the “uncle ji” post has other babes frnds, who have come calling on to her. So I’ll put my pen down now and concentrate more on the “scenic beauty”
    After thought – out of the 5 grls that I’m seeing right now, its hard to determine which one is the best. (puppy note I guess the mini Bombay thing is true after all)

    Saturday, September 02, 2006 

    Uncle Ji

    Continuing with the posts I had written in the train, here is Part two of that journey...

    There are people around me talking about engineering; talking about Chemical engineering, there is one particular uncle ji, a Mr. Know it all (maybe he is), who is constantly advising a babe kinda creature as to what engg is all about, what the job scenario is and similar stuff. Most (I’ll give him credit, not all) of it is fart, but I remember how I felt as a fresher out of school to such advice.
    Their seat is in the next lot of 8, a lil far off, had it not been for the chick, I wouldn’t have even cared what’s going on there but now I think it’s my moral responsibility to undo at least part of the damage that has been done. I’ll do it tomorrow, there is still one and a half day to go before I’m finally Bangalored.
    BTW uncle ji is also very vociferous about women’s rights and their empowerment, in the little while I’ve eavesdropped there have been references from Rani Lakshmi bai to Kiran Bedi to Kalpana chawla, to name a few.
    Another hero is now into frame, he’s in to advertising, after listening to a bit on what is branding and advertising all about, uncle ji has again decided to take the centre stage. Like all passionate Indians his line of thoughts is heavily influenced by cricked and movies. Being an oldie, Amitabh B is the obvious choice, a local flavour is added by the invent of Dhoni in the discussion, and being a loyal local, Tata is obviously not very far from his thoughts.
    I give in, the randomness of his thoughts, his imaginative prowess and astounding creativity is too difficult to capture on a piece of paper. I’ll stop trying that, but one thing for sure, the journey is not going to be boring ;)

    Monday, August 21, 2006 

    Last bit of masti in Mumbai

    0345 hrs, 21st August 2006
    This is 1st of the 5 posts that I had written down while traveling to Bangalore, with the intent that I’d post them as soon as I reach Bangalore, well that did not happen but almost 2 months since then I finally got the time and the enthu to start blogging again…
    This is sort of flashback in flashback…

    I've decided that the best possible way to spend this train journey is by doing something I really enjoy a lot but haven’t done for quite some time
    So ready or not here comes the next complicated/rubbish/... installment of my blog

    So much has happened since I last wrote that it really astonishes me to think, how fast life moves ahead. the last few days in Mumbai is a blur, there were so many things I had planned to do before bidding adieu but I ended up chucking out most of them, the good thing is I managed at least some of them. The most memorable would be watching X men 3. had bunked school to watch movies, have lost count how many times I did not go to college coz I was watching a movie, and now finally I got the opportunity to bunk office to watch a movie. I did not have much to do in the last 3-4 days (being the usual efficient me ;), I had finished my targets much before time and was coming to office only because my release orders were not yet processed), having decided that before I leave Mumbai I must watch X-men 3, I managed to convince my friend and colleague Mr. Aaloak (strange way to spell his name, but he thinks it takes care that no one mispronounces it, poor fellow hasn’t met many of the species called hardcore bongs :D). Left office at 1115 for Huma Adlabs noon show, 8 people in total watched the show; fortunately the show was not cancelled. There was another 1st on that day, 1st time in BEST air-conditioned bus - conclusion a very nice experience and an intelligent mode of transportation but discovered too late.
    After clicking a few snaps of L&T from outside, we finally made an entry back in the office not long after making us visible for a while we again ventured out; after all how long can one survive without lunch ;)