Thursday, 27 December 2012

It Happened One Cold Early Morning

We used to enjoy hell lot of corridor cricket at hostel during our engineering days, specially in winter. In fact, some of the laziest guys also enjoyed in the afternoon, a little bit of corridor cricket encouraged us to have bath in those cold days. Almost all the doors in our hostel used to have 4 square shaped glass panes. It was a hard time for some of the guys whose rooms were very close to the corridor as quite often someone or other used to break those glasses.Unfortunately Bhushan’s room was closest to the corridor where we used to play cricket. Bhushan was one of the most entertaining guys in entire hostel. He was quite popular for his amusing activities. He was very down to earth, emotional and extremely funny guy. If you have watched “Bheja Fry” movie, you must remember Mr Bharat Bhushan. For the first time when I watched the movie I was so much delighted to see our very own Bhushan kind of character and surprisingly they even had similar names.  If we ignore the singing talent of Mr Bharat Bhushan in the movie then there wouldn't be much difference between them. Initially whenever one of the glass panes of his door used to break, Bhushan brought a new one and somehow managed to fix it. But after 3-4 occasions he was fed up and instead of glass he used to fix chart paper on the broken pane. But cruel world didn’t  show any sort of mercy to those papers either and eventually Bhushan left his broken pane just like that.

In almost all engineering colleges, guys used to study only during exam. In our days most of us started to study only after we filled the examination forms. We had to finish 6 subjects in just 10-15 days and those days were really horrific. Some of us even had to run after the professors for our clearance, as we didn't have enough attendance.  Some of my unlucky friends even had to visit the University to fill the examination form, as by the time they managed to get the clearance, the due date was already over. Many of us didn't have any idea regarding the syllabus till that time and used to collect all the class notes, specially from our female class mates. After settling everything,  finally we concentrated on how to finish the syllabus? Some of us felt that it would be impossible to finish all the 6 subjects and we prepared only for 4-5 subjects.  In our days if anyone couldn't clear any of the subjects then they had to clear it next year.  There was literally  pin drop silence in the  entire hostel for the next few weeks.

During the exams many of us studied whole night and used to wake up late. Most of us used to do combined study (may be because there was no other option left for us) and everyone had enough stocks of cigarette. But there were a few exceptions, as some of us used to wake up early morning to study and without  much surprise, Bhushan was among them. Bikram studied the whole night in someone’s room and finally decided to sleep. It was a cold morning and I think it was 5 AM when Bikram was on his way to his room. As he passed through the corridor he was little stunned to see a moving hand out of Bhushan’s door. Bikram went a little closer and saw that the door was locked from inside and one entire hand was out  through the broken pane. Bikram waited for some time and out of curiosity he knocked the door.  

Bhushan opened the door and Bikram asked him “What the hell was that? I just saw a moving hand out  of your broken pane and it was moving for quite some time”

Bhushan replied with a smile “It was my hand dude! Actually I just woke up and was trying to check the temperature outside"

Bikram said "Kela ! ki boki aaso? What the hell are you saying?"

Bhushan tried to justify his point and said "I was just checking how cold it is outside. If it’s very cold then I thought of sleeping for another one hour."

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Oh My God !

In both first as well as 2nd semester of our engineering we had physics and chemistry. Most of us usually ignored those subjects as we thought those were not important and only limited to first year . It was comparatively easy to pass those subjects in theory but in order to clear the lab exams, many of us had to take some sort of pain in the ass during the lab exams. There were some 10-12 lab experiments in our syllabus but most of us used to bunk the lab classes. Sometimes by mistake or maybe because our friends couldn't give the proxy in the previous class, we had to attend the lab class. So, somehow we managed to do 3-4 experiments properly in the entire semester. During the lab exams we used to have some kind of lottery. The lab instructor used to make some chits with one experiment name written inside each chit. We had the opportunity to pick 2 chits and had to choose one among them. 

We had our 2nd semester physics lab exam that day and some of us were little anxious and wondered "what if we miss both the chances?". Nobody wanted to fail in those useless subjects as it would be a unnecessary headache later. We all waited for our turn to pick our share of the chits. 

All of a sudden one girl screamed "Oh My God! What should I do now?"

To be honest, I was little happy that moment and wondered “It’s OK, even the girls are also like us” 

After sometime we heard some noise as few of the girls discussed  with the OMG lady. We could hear her voice clearly as she tried to justify her scream and said “actually, I know both the experiments so nicely and I was totally confused which one I would choose?”

Thursday, 20 December 2012

We looked up into the sky all day long

When one of my friend call me that day and said "We are planning to go for Bangalore Air Show, are you in?". To be honest I didn't have much idea about the show and was not very much interested. But when I heard that a hell lot of friends are going and the show would be almost a full day event which would be held at the outskirts of Bangalore, I was very much excited. All of us eagerly waited for the day as we believed it would be a great outing for a day. We started early morning along with few friends and everyone met at the venue. Initially I was more interested for the kind of get together we were about to enjoy, but as soon as we reached the venue I was quite excited to see such a huge crowd. It was the first air show for all of us and we thought it would  definitely be something very interesting. As soon as the show started, we all tried to go at the front for a better view. We witnessed some breath taking stunts in the sky one after another. The show was a mind blowing one and we were really fortunate to watch such amazing stunts live in in front of our eyes. 

There was an hour of lunch break and we enjoyed our lunch out there and relaxed for a while.

My most favorite stunt was by the Red Bull, the aerobatic team of Czech Republic.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Sinha, the hefty eater

Our college and the entire campus were at the outskirts of Guwahati city. There were a few dhaba’s within the campus but everyone had to go to either Panbazar or Maligaon to bite some yummy stuff. Panbazar is at the heart of Guwahati city and is quite far from our college campus and Maligaon is at a distance of some 5-6 KM. The “Ritz” restaurant in Maligaon was quite popular among us. We really enjoyed the food out there and it also had a wonderful bar. I and few of my friends used to visit that restaurant quite often, usually in the first week of every month when our pocket was in a little good shape.  The most popular dish out there among us was “Chicken Butter Masala and Butter Nun” , wow! it was so delicious and my mouth is already filled with water. I don’t exactly remember the price but I very well remember that for one full plate they used to give 8 huge pieces of chicken.  Whenever we used to go as gang of four we usually ordered half plate of chicken butter masala and 5-6 butter nuns, but on  few occasions we had 2 pieces of chicken  per head as well.

Sinha was a real foodie guy and was never satisfied with one or two pieces of chicken even though the pieces were big enough. He was the kind of guy who could finish a full tandoori chicken without much effort. One day Sinha was on his way to hostel and he was quite hungry that moment. As soon as he reached Maligaon and came across the Ritz restaurant he couldn't resist himself and immediately got down from the bus and entered the restaurant.  One waiter approached him and asked for the order.  Sinha had a close look at the menu for a few minutes and order one full plate of chicken butter masala, one full plate chilly chicken and 3 butter Nuns.  

The waiter asked Sinha “Sir, are you expecting some friends?”

Sinha replied “No, what’s the matter with you?”

The waiter said very cutely “I think the food you ordered would be too much for you”

Sinha was little embarrassed and replied to him with a smile “you don’t have to take tension and better concentrate on your work”

Sinha enjoyed his meal graciously and took his own sweet time. He felt little uncomfortable whenever the waiter who took his order used to stare at him each time he passed by.
Sinha  took more than half an hour but still had to finish 3-4 pieces of chicken and his tummy already became a tight balloon. Initially he thought to parcel the remaining food but the waiter’s glances didn't allow his inner soul to do so. Later he thought to leave the remaining chicken pieces just like that, pay the bill and leave from there. All of a sudden the waiter passed by Sinha and starred at him as well as his plate and gave a cute smile. Sinha’s ego was badly hurt and he took it as a challenge. He took few more minutes and unwillingly tried to finish the stuffs. He was almost done and just one more chicken piece to go. By that time his tummy reached the threshold level and could have bursted any time. 

Sinha was not sure what to do? His prestige was at stake. He gave himself some more time and somehow managed to finish the last piece.  What a relief ! Sinha paid the bill and just before leaving had a look at the waiter and made a proud smile. As soon as he came out of the restaurant he wanted to have a cigarette but he didn't want to take any risk as anything might have happened that time.  His stomach could have bursted or the stuff inside it could have passed through some alternate route.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Happy Birthday Jia

Time passes so quickly. Today is Jia's first birthday. Even though I am an atheist kind of person right from my childhood and never asked anyone  for any sort of blessing, but for my little angel I want all your blessing and good wishes.

                                                                               1st Day

                                                                            2nd month

                                                                            3rd month

                                                                               4th month

                                                                             5th month

                                                                              6th month

                                                                              7th month

                                                                             8th month

                                                                               9th month

                                                                              10th month

                                                                           11th month

                                                                                 12th month

One Night in Ooty

It was year 2005 and those days were special as it was not a very long time we got our first job.  The second and 3rd quarter of year 2005 was quite hectic as there was no holiday for a long period of 5-6 months. Everyone so eagerly waited for 15th august as it was on Monday. So, finally we had a holiday after a long wait and a holiday on Monday just spiced it up. Most of the people had some plan for the long weekend and we also had something on our mind.I, Lami and Kamal decided to visit Coorg. We heard a lot about Coorg from our friends who stayed in Bangalore for a long time. I tried to google about Coorg that time and was happy to see so many good reviews. In some of the websites they even mentioned Coorg as “Scotland of South India”. I was very much excited as it was our first Coorg trip.We booked our bus ticket from Bangalore to Coorg a week earlier and it was scheduled for Friday 9 PM. That particular evening we started a little early as we knew about Bangalore traffic quite well. We took a bus at around 7:30 PM and by 8:15 PM we were somewhere near the railway station. The bus moved very slowly but we were not worried as we had hell lot of time. At some point the bus was motionless for almost 15 to 20 minutes and that moment we started to worry a bit. We took a very good decision that time and we got out of the bus and started to walk. We walked for almost half an hour and somehow fortunately we didn't miss our bus to Coorg.

Coorg is indeed a very nice place situated in the Western Ghats of southwestern Karnataka. Next morning as soon as we reached Coorg we had to struggle for almost an hour to get a hotel, the kind of hotel which would fit into our pocket. After breakfast we had a chat with our hotel manager and had an overview of the places to visit out there. We hired a cab for the entire day and visited all the well known places like Abbey falls, coffee plantations, Harangi dam, the Tibetan monastery and few other places surrounding Coorg. 

It's really a very nice place to visit, the entire surrounding is refreshingly green, the streams are so beautiful and the weather is just fantastic. But in one day we visited all the well known places and there was literally nothing more to visit. Earlier we had a plan to stay the entire weekend in Coorg, but there was literally nothing we could have done there for another day other than chill out. Coorg was a perfect holiday destination for honeymoon couples that time and to be honest the entire Coorg overflowed with honeymoon couples that weekend.  

We decided to return Bangalore on Sunday evening itself instead of Monday and we were about to book our tickets on Sunday morning. To be honest I was not very much satisfied with the trip so far, may be because I had too much expectation for the long weekend and wanted to enjoy for another day or two. All of a sudden I had an idea “what if we go to Ooty from here?” My friends laughed at me and said that's a weird idea. I tried to justify but they said that's wild idea as everyone had to join office on Tuesday. I said if we hire a cab, it would hardly take us 6-7 hours to reach Ooty and on the way we could enjoy some beautiful scenery. Next day we could visit some of the places in Ooty and in the afternoon we could come to Mysore by the same cab and from Mysore we take a bus or a train to Bangalore. It took me a long time but finally I was able to convince them.

So, after lunch we hired a cab(Indica) for Ooty and we started at 3:30 PM. The journey was awesome and quite thrilling as we also had few sips of vodka on the way. We enjoyed some wonderful flora and fauna, sunflower garden and some dense forest. We missed some of the thrills when we passed through the Bandipur national park as it was dark outside. We expected to find some fierce wild animals on the way, but had to satisfy ourselves with some wild pigs. We reached Ooty at 9 PM and it was damn cold outside. We saw a hell lot of crowd outside; there were people all over the place, almost like a carnival. We saw a huge group of students enjoying their camp fire and most of them were singing and dancing.  We were so much thrilled and I said to my friends “see, Ooty is so lively and you guys were not ready for it”

We went to a nearby hotel and there was a huge crowd at the reception. We asked the manager for a room but not even a single room was available. We went to a different hotel and even there we got the same reply. So, we went to a 3rd hotel and there the manager asked us when did we arrive in Ooty? When we replied that we reached Ooty just half an hour back, the manager started to laugh.

He said “You see those people standing in the road? They came in the morning and till now they are not able to get any room. I just did a small favor as I agreed to keep their luggage’s safely here”

We were stunned with the manager’s reply. We tried our luck for another 2 hours and approached almost every hotel in Ooty but no where we were able to manage  a room for the night. It was a pathetic situation as we all were so tired. Our cab driver was also very much surprised and he said to us that he came to Ooty more than 15 times but never experienced or heard of such a situation. This kind of situation is quite common in Goa during New Year time. We even tried our luck in some expensive resorts but Ooty was on carnival mood that night. At around 11:30 PM we had our dinner and everyone wondered where to stay the night? Our cab driver was generous enough and asked us to sleep the night in the cab itself. That was the only option we had that night and the driver parked the car in a safe place and we tried to sleep inside the car. It was a pathetic situation and the vodka helped a lot but after sometime my entire body started to pain.

Early morning we went to a small restaurant  to have tea as well as to refresh ourselves. After tea we didn't waste much time and immediately we were on our way to Mysore. The early morning journey through the Bandipur National park was quite thrilling and the smell of the forest was so refreshing. On the way we saw hell lot of deer’s, few peacocks, some elephants and few more wild animals.

We reached Mysore by 10 AM and had to wait in the railway station for a couple of hours for our train to Bangalore.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Cost Cutting

My wife is into Health Care industry and she works for a company which provides health care services to the corporate. She is part of operations as well as business development and quite often she has to go for client visits. They have various kinds of health care services to impress the HR of the companies they visit. Organizing health camp within the premises of the organization is quite popular among the HR  community. Companies usually organize free eye checkup, free dental checkup, free heart checkup and so on. With some big companies they have a little different kind of business called “OHC”. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with the term, for me these terms are just part and parcel of my everyday life. OHC is basically “Occupational Health Care”, which is nothing but a kind of dispensary set-up within the organization itself. HR's usually outsource these kind of services to those companies which provide health care services. The minimum requirement for an OHC is to have a doctor and nurse with necessary arrangement of basic medicines/first aids. Also there should be an ambulance along with a driver ready for any kind of emergency 24/7.

The OHC concept was initiated by the “WHO” and is actually a primary health care service that any organization can provide to their employees working in factories, construction sites, refineries and many such organizations where there is considerable amount of probability for the employees to get hurt. But now days the concept is not limited to such organizations, it’s within the HR policies of some of the large software companies as well. Now for doctors as well as for nurses it’s a pretty cool job. In the whole day few employees would visit the OHC for their minor problems. The visiting frequency could be a little higher if the doctor on duty is an admirable one. Whenever any employee visit the OHC with a little serious problem the doctor never hesitate to recommend him/her to a bigger hospital.  

One day my wife was in the middle of a discussion with a client and all of a sudden the client shared one of their OHC experiences. They said that they have outsourced their OHC to a health care company the previous year and everything looked so perfect, as all the doctors and nurses were quite good and the OHC was open 24/7. The client said that the OHC also had an ambulance for any kind of emergency. The OHC guys were quite professional,  specially the ambulance driver. The driver usually used to chill out but was always visible in and around the OHC. Whenever any patient employee used to visit the OHC, the driver stood proudly in his  neat and clean uniform near the ambulance. He looked very enthusiastic  as if he was fully prepared for any sort of emergency and  almost ready to take the patient  employee to a hospital.

Now in a software company what kind of emergency one can expect?  Hiring ambulance drivers for 24/7 and literally doing nothing is  a waste of money but we never know when any emergency kind of  situation might develop? Also it's a part of the business deal that ambulance driver should be available 24/7. The client lady said that after almost 6 months of setting up the OHC one day they had an emergency situation as one of their employee had a mild heart attack. Some of the HR people also came along with the patient to the OHC that moment. The doctor out there suggested  to transfer the patient immediately to a nearby hospital. The ambulance driver as usual was very enthusiastic but was a little nervous that time. Initially he had to struggle a lot  to start the ambulance and once it started in no time the vehicle had a head-on collision with the nearby wall.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Hostel Picnic


After passing out from AEC (Assam Engineering College) I enjoyed a few picnic trips but hostel picnic was something completely different. It was purely raw and we enjoyed our picnic in some of the most exotic places. December/January was the peak picnic season and all the well known picnic spots was usually crowded with college students. Some of the exotic picnic spots in Arunachal Pradesh were not very much crowded even in the peak seasons. In order to enjoy in those spots we had to go a little  deep inside the forest. sometimes we could hear elephant sounds from the other side of the stream. Some adventurous guys dared to cross the stream and used to go a little further  inside the forest.  Those days New Year celebration was incomplete for us without a picnic trip.

Those magnificent places in Arunachal Pradesh was favorite picnic destination for all the hostels in AEC. In fact those places were admired by  most of the colleges in and around Guwahati.  There are hell lot of highly recommended picnic spots in and around Bhalukpong and Tipi in Arunachal Pradesh.  It was almost like a dream to booze in such exotic river banks, as if Mother Nature herself  treated us. 
Even though it used to take almost 8-9 hours from hostel to our destination but the journey was so amazingly exciting. We used to keep big sound boxes inside the bus and the voyage was completely "Dum Maro Dum" kind of. During the drive we had the opportunity to listen to all sort of music, right from Bollywood blockbusters to rock music to metal and never forget our very own Bihu songs. Everyone was quite well prepared and used to keep the stuffs in excess quantity than the usual capacity, just to be on the safer side.

Oh !!!,  I so much miss those picnic trips; they were just out of the world.

We usually used to start early morning, in fact it was late night as we started by 2:30 to 3:30 AM. Some guys used to sleep early that particular night but out of excitement some of us couldn't sleep at all and after dinner it was a long wait for the picnic bus to come. 

Out of boredom and excitement some of us used to open our stuffs a little early. Everyone was highly charged for the initial 2-3 hours of the voyage and then many of us experienced snoring sounds echoed all over the bus. We used to have breakfast somewhere near Tezpur, situated in the banks of river Brahmaputra. After breakfast everyone was recharged and the party would come to live once more.  All of us used to party like hell the entire day and our hostel cooks also used to enjoy a lot even though they  were quite busy preparing food the whole day.

We usually used to have our special picnic meal by 3 PM and finally at 4 PM, it was time  to say good bye to those wonderful and magnificent streams. By that time everyone would be literally tired. After such a hard core party some of us, specially few of the first year brothers usually had to struggle  a lot to balance their foot steps.  Now, it was the senior’s responsibility to see that everyone is inside the bus. The return journey was almost lifeless, no music and there was complete silence all throughout the journey except those snoring sounds. Quite often one or two guys used to make the bus a little dirty, as they couldn't digest the over dose of the stuffs. We usually stopped at some place for the evening tea and after tea everyone used to come back to life for a while and someone would play the music. But after some time again most of us would go to deep sleep. We used to reach hostel at midnight.

We just returned from one such picnic trip and I was in my 5th semester that time. My good friend JP was the kind of guy who was able to digest hell lot of "Kamur" from us. “Kamur” is an informal word and used very frequently among the youths in our state. "Kamur" basically means “pulling someone's leg”. JP remained cool almost all the time but sometimes even he also used to get irritate and that time we realized that we may have crossed the line. That particular day JP somehow digested too much over dose of "Kamur" the whole day from many of us. We all were so tired after returning hostel at midnight and most of us went to sleep. But there were few stuffs left and some of us thought to  finish them off. We were some 7-8 guys and JP was the center of attraction for us and to be honest he started to show some symptoms of his irritation. After few rounds all of a sudden we realized that JP was not there with us. We went to his room but he was not there either. We were little worried and started to look for him in the entire hostel.

It was already 2 AM and we couldn't find him anywhere. Then someone said "JP is a very sensitive guy, he might have committed suicide”

Another one replied “holy shit !  what the hell are you saying?"

Our level of tension considerably increased  and some of us went to other hostels and few went to the nearby surrounding to look for him but JP was nowhere. Finally we gave up but  still awake, may be because we had to finish those stuffs completely. At around 3:30 AM, someone went to the loo and was little surprised as he heard some unusual sound out there. He had a close look and saw something bizarre and immediately came to call us. We went there and everyone was highly amused to find JP  lying inside one of the bathroom and was literally snoring like a pig.
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