Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My brother(s) under the Sun

I don't know how many of you have heard this song:
Bryan Adams - Brothers under the sun (OST Spirit: The Stallion of the Cimarron)
I had a dream - of the wide open prairie
I had a dream - of the pale morning sky
I had a dream - that we flew on golden wings
And we were the same - just the same - you and I
Follow your heart - little child of the west wind
Follow the voice - that's calling you home
Follow your dreams - but always, remember me
I am your brother - under the sun
We are like birds of a feather
We are two hearts joined together
We will be forever as one
My brother under the sun
Wherever you hear - the wind in the canyon
Wherever you see - the buffalo run
Wherever you go - I'll be there beside you
Cos you are my brother - my brother under the sun
Link: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x583vu_spirit-stallion-of-the-cimarron-bro_music
(Sorry.. Couldn't find the entire song)
The stallion calls the eagle who flies with him in the prairies and then later the Red Indian who rescues him from captivity and treats him as a friend, as his brother under the sun...
I have been very very lucky enough to have several such brothers under the sun.. These are the people who have been with me at various stages of my life.. Always there for me.. Always ready to help, listen, understand, support ( even when the going is hopeless).. One should be blessed indeed to have so many ppl influencing your life..What differentiates these guys from the other great friends I have?? Apart from the traits I have already talked about, one more thing about these guys are that I can be me!! No masks, no need to think before I talk or comment on anything.. And no matter how long it has been since I have spoken to them last, I can continue my conversation as if they were always around.. That makes them so special!! This post is for you guys.. My brothers under the sun!!!!
The best way to describe them is in a chronological order..
Kishore - Primary school
Rahul - High School
Karthik - Pre University
Sandeep - Undergrad
Aashutosh - IIMI
Varun - ITC HO
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Kishore S
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He was like a breath of fresh air in a cave.. He was like a brief period of brightness, when the entire world is lit by a lightning.. Kishore joined our school in 3rd standard and left in 4th.. But in those 2 years left a lasting impression..
The thing about Kishore is that he was always, I mean always lively!! I do not remember a dull moment when he's around.. I still remember how Manas, Abhishek, Srihari, Kishore and Kiran formed the MASKK ( Yeah!! I came up with that lame group name back then)
Kishore was this eternal benchmark I always chased.. This one person who seemed to be better than me in everything.. We were fierce competitors, yes, but the best if friends too!! More like Sampras and Agassi and Hakkinen and Schumacher!! He taught me how to keep smiling, keep loving and how to keep improving on yourself..
Kishore!! I don't know whether you'll read this or not, but those 2 years... I'll cherish forever!! Thanks buddy!!
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Rahul S
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Now from 5th to 7th, I had plenty friends.. Some good, some great, and some close ones.. But my next brother came in 8th standard in the form of Rahul Shanbhog..
Rahul is this amazingly chirpy, amazingly talkative and amazingly cheerful guy!! His witty remarks, lame PJs and bubbling energy is what makes him different!! And the real bonding started in 9th when Rahul's tuition classes ( yes.. He went to one!! I think more for passing time than anything else) were close to our new house..
All those bus rides, cycle falls, loong looong hours of bakar, cartoon network... Oh yeah.. I need to mention cartoon network!! Swat Cats, The Centurions, Flintstones, Dexter's Laboratory, Captain Planet - we watched them all!!! Our favourite discussion point though was Dragon Ball Z!! God knows how many times we watched Goku land on Namek and the idiotic CN guys would decide to start all over again!!
Rahul was my first secret box!! I used to literally tell him everything!! He was the first person I told as to whom In our class I had a crush on.. Those long chats on how to approach her, what to do!! Still remember them all!!
And he reciprocated too.. Oh the fun discussions about 'Icecream' were just hilarious!! But one of the best moments was the Ankita story which we cooked up and I proudly played my due part.. And I'm sure Rahul would agree that I did a good job!!
Being in the same group only helped us grow from strength to strength.. A point to be noted here is that Rahul was the guy who introduced me to the 'color' films!!! ;-)
Though he was in a different section in pre university, and a different institute during engineering, Rahul is one guy whom I know I can call anytime, any place and he'll be there for me!! We might not have kept in touch as much as I would have liked but hell we don't need to.. I know we'll be like nothing happened the moment we meet!! After all, he's my brother!!
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Karthik R
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It is a very rare happening when you find another person with so much of similarities with yourself that you are truly shocked and mesmerised that such a thing could happen!! Karthik is such a person for me!!
It was uncanny and sometimes downright outrageous that someone could think EXACTLY in the same way, like EXACTLY the same stuff and do stuff EXACTLY in the same method to me.. Karthik and me struck a bond in an instant.. Our sense of humor ( however good bad or pathetic it was) matched too well!! So you could see us chuckling away to glory for almost absolutely nothing!!
We had the audacity of sitting in the front desk and still pull off all sorts of nonsense, laugh and not get caught.. What I remember the most is when something random would happen, both of us would stare at each other avd gag trying not to laugh!! I'm sure if he's reading this, he'll know exactly which moments I was referring to..
We had this great ability of skipping steps while solving a problem, (no.. Not to brag) which gave us those extra moments when we continued doing more productive nonsense!! ;-)
If there's one thing I wanna know from Karthik is - how in the freaking wide world do you stay so thin man?? :-D Karthik was another guy whom I shared everything with.. We had the sane interests in engineering, computers and coding was something we both enjoyed!! MBA was actually just a peer pressure thing for us.. But it clicked for me but he preferred technology over management!
Regardless of all those things, he's still one of the best friends I have ever had! The guy whom I know will not hesitate to tell me what's best and what's not!! You come back from the US idiot!! There's a lot of catching up to be done!!
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Sandeep C
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Sandy was an unknown name for the first year (he was in Electrical* Information Science Department), a person just more than a good friend in the second year.. But with the GMG, he truly became my brother..
The thing about Sandy is he has strong views, sometimes totally conflicting to mine.. But that has never stopped us from endlessly arguing not coming to a conclusion but still having a balk of a time.. For us it was not the end which mattered, but the means!!
The few of the best moments with Sandy is playing the good cop bad cop routine in the interviews of juniors!! I dunno who enjoyed those interviews more.. Him or me.. But I know for sure who didn't!! ( Sincere apologies to all the juniors harassed by me in the interviews.. I hope there were some take aways for you guys which helped you in your interviews)
Sandy.. I have a gem of an video which I recorded during a lab session by Ramesh!! You must listen to the stupid questions we posed to him and him trying to reply!!
The walks to the lake with the gang, those few cricket matches in the ground, few in the classroom, rummy, UNO and everything else.. Thanks for being there during all those times!! You, Kaka and me made one hell of a team!! (though my contribution in the final project was limited to the report making!! See!! I had already transited into the MBA mode! :-P)
We must do the Ladakh trip on bike as we had planned!! Sooner than later!!
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Aashutosh T
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You know ppl talk about guardian angels?? Farishtey as they call it!! It's said that everyone has a guardian angel always with them but they cannot see them.. But when the need is dire, when you're lonely, they manifest themselves in the form of a person and get you through your difficulty!! Aashutosh (Aashu) is my guardian angel!!
IIM Indore was the first time I was going to live away from home.. And the first few months of it were nothing shirt of a nightmare!! Cut throat competition for everything.. Ppl who just seem to be so much better than you that the very thought becomes demotivatinf!! At these times when ppl don't have time for you, ppl don't care for you, Aashu came as a last hour Samaritan!!
If there are a few words which can describe him, they are, quoting our good friend Antony, "My rock of Refuge".. He is what Professor Dumbledore described Cedric Diggory as, "A fierce fierce friend"!!
Aashu has been there through thick and thin!! Through happiness and sadness.. Through ups and downs and through highs and lows.. And never ever for once did his friendship waver, never ever did he change who he was and never ever did he give up my side!! If there's one person apart from Ashwini, I remember being with me through the horrid days of 2nd term and 4th term, it was Aashu!! (the two Ashu's in my life are real life savers!!)
If I start describing the great stories we have had during our days in IIMI, I would be describing most of my 2 years in IIMI!! May be i will one day!! Let's keep it for another blogpost!!
Aashu!! I won't have a Christian wedding!! But you are my best man dude!! And that makes you rightfully the Godfather of my kid(s)!! And I'm sure you'll guard them just like you did for me!! Thank you is not for you!! Cos that word does not in anyway do justice to what I feel!!!
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Varun S
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How one person can win over another in a short duration of time, leave a lasting impression on him, in such an emphatic manner that life just doesn't seem the same without them around, without their presence, without their words!! How some ppl are so badly missed that it is bordering injustice for having such a short duration with them!! Varun!! It's you man!!
From my first day at work in HO, Varun has always ensured I feel at home!! It was almost like he felt it was his obligation, his duty to do it I felt!! And boy did he succeed in that!! Whatever be the work, whatever be the time, whatever be the situation, there was always Varun to lighten things up, show me that it's nothing to worry about, that him along with Arun and Ankur will help me out!!
And soon, I formed this rare bond with Varun!! One of coworkership (if theres no term like that, i hereby coin a new term) one of friendship and one of brotherhood!! Varun is one of those guys who'll listen to all your cribs, agree with you wholeheartedly (regardless of whether he thinks you're right or not) and once you cool down will come and tell you that you might have been wrong!! This is what separates him from the rest and this is what I love the most in him!
His creativity and wit are unmatched (may be Aashu is also up there!! That's be an awesome face off!! ;-) ) His hardworking nature unrivalled!! Varun is a true gem and I really really really rue the fact that I got all but one year with him! He is one guy I would have loved to grow up with, study with, play with and work with forever!!!
Varun!! You're sorely missed in the team dude!! And trust me when I say this!! I'll do my best to be to Akshay what you were for me!! Don't think that'll ever be possible but I'll try my best!!
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I don't think I have done justice to all the ppl whom I have mentioned and written about here!! I dont think I ever can!! But I had to write about them and I have tried my level best!!
This post doesn't mean that I don't regard my other close friends as any lesser!! You're all the reason to shape who I am and I am thankful to each and everyone for being there for me as always!!! Thank you!!!
P.S: I need to thank a special colleague of mine whose constant encouragement made me complete this blog post!! Thanks a lot OC!!

For the benefit of others who are reading this and not know the ppl (If at all there are any reading this in the first place!!!)



P.P.S: Please don't mind any spelling errors or gramatical mistakes. I wrote the bulk of it on flight and there was baby screaming non stop for 45 mins!! (Dunno how that would make my case any stronger but something!!!)

*P.P.S: It has been brought to my notice by Ashwini that it was a girl who came from Electrical to our branch. Sandy came from Information Science. It is but obvious that I know where the girl came from.. Who gives a damn about Sandy anyways?? :D

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Maidan

Next Station: Maidan
अगला स्टेशन: मैदान
পরবর্তী স্তাতীয়ন: ময়দান (Parabarti Station: Moidaan) [Though I always thought the announcement was boroboti!!]


Well... Yes... they actually announce this in the metro after the "Robindro Shodan" Station. The pronunciation of the word "Maidan" is different. But that's got to do with the Bengali language. And just as differently they call the place, they see the place differently too. Maidan is one huge playground for us, but a completely different planet for Calcuttans (I hear they like being called that... over Kolkatans!!)


A Calcuttan's view of Maidan:
I guess, when a Calcuttan goes on a Sunday to Maidan to play, regardless of the time or sport.. this is what he/she sees:





I guess they get lost in the beauty and go ahead and pick any spot to play... ANYWHERE!!!!

And like all things in life, there is a flipside....


A non-Calcuttan's view of Maidan:
When you enter the expanse of Maidan, all you can see is - PEOPLE.. People running... people running behind balls... people running behind small balls, big balls, white balls, red balls, chequered balls, colored balls, leather balls, tennis balls, soccer balls, volleyballs..


You will even see dogs, birds and horses running!! When a fast bowler is running at you, what you need to be scared of is not his short pitched delivery which might hit your head or the yorker which might smack on your toe. What you really need to be scared is a free kick taken by the "Man Utd" shirts team v/s "Arsenal" shirts team!!


I heard Ganguly grew up in stature in these grounds. No wonder he was such a good "fielder". There is always someone 2 feet from you ball, wherever you hit it. What's the need to field it huh??


And why is he regarded as one of the best captains for India? If you can manage to make your team play cricket in Maidan without getting distracted, you can def lead a country!!!


But Calcuttan or non-Calcuttan, if you are in Calcutta, you must play cricket in Maidan.. regardless of the commotion, cacophony and confusion, it is still one of the best places in Calcutta. Get a decent group, get a few stumps, a ball and a bat and you are good to go. Don't worry about rules, the more you play, the more of MCG (Maidan Cricket Ground) rules you make up..


And if you are in Calcutta and are looking for a Sunday morning cricket, do give me a buzz.. Will let you know!!


And yeah.. finally I have managed to explain no.7!!



Update:
Came across an interesting bit of "Maidan Belief" a few days ago while playing a match. The belief is that, the cricket bat should always be kept the blade facing up and never let the bat flat on the ground as..... wait for it....... "the runs will flow away from the bat to the ground!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


So next time you're playing cricket remember this:







Friday, February 3, 2012

List no: 15 explained - Chopping of limp noodles!!

High Paanch!



Yes.. I am not sleepy.. and some MFs are drilling away to glory on the main road.. I doubt I will get sleep either.. So here goes the first story:

Everyone knows about High Five's where it looks something like this:





But our style is a Five and a Fist (which has been called a Flump.. saaaad name I say!!!!!)






The description is wrong, because in our case, we know that we are going for a high five and a fist!! So... Flump off..

How it actually looks like is this: (Me - Fedex, Varun - Sampras.. [ePIC!!])



So now for the Etymology of High Paanch:

Five in Hindi is Paanch and Punch in Bengali is "Paanch" ;)

So there you go.. It's not a Flump, you idiots.. Its a HIGH PAANCH!!

Those small things at Work



OK.. Disclaimer.. I am sure you will understand very few of these.. and I promise.. I will explain most of them in my coming posts.. They are integral to our work!! :) May be even more important than our vlookup and pivot tables..

And you will also notice a lot of food related stuff.. yes.. we are a foody bunch and love our time offs from the work to do some R&R and bitching (more of the second one ;) ) Well.. here goes the collection.. And credit goes to Varun Singh, Arun Sriram, Ankur Bhatia, Prafull Kumar (PK) Srivastava sir, Sheel, Abhishek Sriram for making this list worth mentioning.. and special thanks to Varun for not yet helping me out with this list!! ;)

Here it goes!!

1. "High Paanch"s [Long story.. some other time I guess]

2. 4 bucks tea

3. Jhal muri

4. Sandwich and Veg. Noodles (and fight with the outlet guy why he doesn't keep Yippee!)

5. Chilla

6. Coffee on the 5th Floor Virginia House

7. Cricket in Maidan

8. Random bakar on "Office team" on Whatsapp (which I am no longer a part of of!!)

9. Gol gappa

10. Roshagulla at Gangaur

11. P K Sir's - /2 coffee

12. Ankur's "Ghanta" tune

13. Varun's "Green Me"pan

14. Arun's "Eh"s and "aaaaaaHello??"s

15. B's "Chopping limp noodles"

16. AIIISSSEEEE KAISSSSEEE YAARRRR??

17. "Kya bataan kar raha baiiii??"

18. Abhishek's "Order extra rice for me!!"

19. Aiiiisaaaa hai.....

20. You meow meows!!!

My team.. The only few guys who make my life better here!!


Not a good day



It starts of with a groggy start.. when you know, deep down, that this day is so effed!! Dragging myself to the washroom, somehow dressing myself, just wonder, "Can't I just bunk and submit a leave letter later??"

Anyways, the saving grace of the day (and most days) is Didi's breakfast.. (blah blah blah.. I would have described the entire day but in no mood..) [See... I told you I was lazy]

Yeah. so we are in the evening and we start getting queries on the dashboard we had sent (dashboard - measures our branches.. don't ask me anything else!!) And then I realize that there is something wrong.. Though the impact would be nullified by us soon, the whole point is:

1. I hate doing mistakes (who doesn't huh?)

2. I hate letting my team down.. (I hope those guys aren't reading this.. especially @versatilevarun)

So, that's how the day ended on a "I am pissed off" note.. and I just had to talk about.. I did tell @ashwini_ravi.. but thought would write it down too..

Now let me end this idiotic post.. which I am sure doesn't make any sense even if I myself read it after a few months.. goodnight.. let's see if I continue this one at least.

PS: In case you are reading this, you like this (HA HA!!!).. then do follow @sriharikraman ... heard he tweets very similar to me and knows everything about me!!