Friday, January 23, 2009

MUSINGS OF A LOST SOUL--

STATUTORY WARNING:
Anyone who has spent his/her entire time mugging mindless stuff in a college is forewarned about reading the following material. It can really prove hazardous. And yes, I really mean it! And no blame should be attached to me for any unwanted results that may follow on account of your unwarranted indiscretion and pretension of false bravado.

A day in life of a jobless engg student:
For it is an observation of a guy who has almost completed his 4 years in an engineering college pondering over the question, “WHAT AM I DOING HERE?”, again and again and never has he been able to find any answer to the aforesaid question. His quest for even a little bit of info on his query has been relentless and at times have been provided with certain responses, which, to say the least , have been nothing short of being hysterical and some others that even casually tend to question his very existence. In fact, I should never have affixed jobless before engineering student because it is an accepted fact that most of us have nothing else to do in our life than to just go through the daily grind of being in a college because we were condemned to do so.
DAYBREAK:
Attendance is such a major issue here that even insomniacs, which, most of the guys here turn out to be in due course of time, pull up their socks and manage to turn up for their classes, despite the humongous adversities that they have to face here in course of their existence. Kudos to these brave souls! The daybreak, as people prefer to call here, of an ordinary student here happens at most half an hour before the actual class schedule, which, in some cases can happen even at the scheduled time. Then there is the perennial battle for reaching the classes in time, which, incidentally ends up in a losing cause more often than not, much to our joy and, unfortunately, to great consternation for the hapless prof. But, again, a word of caution. Yes he is hapless, but, only till he allows us to enter the class. But it only takes a shake of his head or, in some cases, a complete indifference to our repeated pleas and we never lose a moment to turn him into a villain. People turn back, heading to the canteen with curses in their minds and expletives on their lips, though muted in front of him but, quite loud and imaginative in nature when he is not in sight. Though it is altogether a different matter that some of them somehow even manage to be late for the next class as well!! But again, if he allows us to enter the class, which, often is the case then an altogether new struggle begins.

HOW TO SPEND TIME IN HIS CLASS?
If the prof is strict, then this task becomes all the more difficult. As always, there are numerous ways to solve this problem. The best is to study and seriously follow what he says. Sorry guys, don’t fret , I was just trying to be humorous ;)
Enjoying the outside scenery is one of the best options but, there is a catch. How often the blooming flowers appear is not in anybody’s control. One has to be on the constant lookout for even a trace and hope that luck is on your side. But, sooner or later, one gets bored and in the process finds new ways to spend time. SMSing, browsing net on one’s handsets and of course, gossiping are some of the other ways in vogue. Somehow, someway one always manages to find topics for gossip. Indulge in that and the period gets over in a jiffy.
But, above all, there is a time tested method that has the potential to come in handy for your entire life. Sleeping with your eyes split wide open, in my opinion, is the best way and coming from a man who has been a leading exponent of this art for so long, be rest assured, this will never fail you. Provided, that you are relentless in its practice. Your body is there, in its most attentive posture, in front of the speaker but to your great joy, your mind is free to wander wherever it wants. You can build castles in the air, fulfill all your ambitions and get to be a champ! Where else do you get to fulfill so many of your desires without even making a semblance of any physical effort? A truly enlightening and enchanting experience! The only prerequisite to experiencing such unhindered joy is to close your ears to those envious souls, who blinded by jealousy condemn this wonderful talent as heresy and love to slander it with titles such as ‘daydreaming’, ‘absentmindedness’ etc etc. One has to be really strong-hearted to prevent oneself from falling prey to the devious designs of such lunatics.

Of course, in between you have a periodic intervention called lunch which, over a period of time becomes more of a ritual than a time to unwind, just a routine part of the grind.


EVENING:
The best part the day is the very moment the classes get over. What a relief! Some head straight to the joint, have a quick fag while haggling over the day’s events amongst themselves. Then comes the most interesting part of the day. Except for a few dedicated souls rest always find time to loiter around in the campus till girls are around. I really need to make two points clear at this juncture. By dedicated I’m referring to guys who are dedicated to such so called frivolities of life as gaming, movies and the most common one, sleeping. Nothing else matters to these dedicated fellows once they have realized their sole purpose of existence here and their dedication is unmatched. Coming to the topic of girls, not every guy walks around the campus with them but a large number of them indulge in an ever-thriving form of art called ‘bird watching’. Requiring no previous practice, all one needs to be guided by any well acclaimed expert as to where one can find good species in large numbers. Add to that liberal doses of unabashed male bravado and suddenly you metamorphose into a self professed expert. But the bubble bursts soon enough and you somehow manage to drag yourselves back to the hostel. Pockets empty, and you are left with no other choice but to undergo the process of dining in hostel mess. Cribbing about everything, you somehow enter the mess but the sight of the same drab mess food leaves you with a sudden desire to run out of sight. More often than not you give in to your impulse and depending on the state of your finances and the time of the month you begin to examine various options. Besides, one has to keep in mind the weekend expenses and the days which turn into nightmares if you are idiotic enough to eat in the mess on those days.

THE DAY BEGINS:
Yes, the universal truth! When the whole world goes to sleep, the day begins for us. For, we are the creatures of the dark!! Its ok yaar, I’ll stop exaggerating. But it is an accepted fact that for engineering students of all species, nerds and also-rans alike, the day begins at the same time. Only their nature of work differs. But not every man can be a sage. Isn’t it? Gaming and watching movies, seasons and some other ‘stuff’ seem to be the most common activities during this time. But, of course there are some adventurous souls, who never miss an opportunity to get high and for them every night is a big party. There are periodic interventions in the name of exams, but more about it later on. For, the art of passing exams with just one night of preparation is an epic in itself!

PS: there’s more to life than just books. But what can you do when this ‘more’ becomes ‘too much’ and you fail to strike a balance between fun and getting education?
I’ve stopped thinking about it. My degree is almost over.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

INDIAN MALE'S OBSESSION WITH VIRGINITY

“How can you even consider marrying a woman who’s not a virgin?”, opined a friend of mine. A view, that is shared by an exceedingly large proportion of men with whom I’ve had a chance to interact on this matter. Even men who have had girlfriends and multiple female companions in their past, and probably even have a few more lined up in their future, invariably, shared the same opinion. Men, who never missed a chance to proclaim themselves as modern, would suddenly turn coy when asked whether or not would they consider marrying a woman who is not a virgin. Hardly an isolated opinion.
So, why is it that we Indian males, who never miss an opportunity to condemn the theocratic regimes of Islamic countries for suppressing women freedom and are far more quicker in aping, whatever we can, of the west and its culture, have such an obsession with an issue , which, incidentally, is hardly an issue in the west? Did somebody just happen to mention double standards? Naah!! ,we are just following our culture, tradition ,etc ,etc. So, what exactly is our culture .Probably, more of Victorian era than Indian. Probably, we even intend to deny Khajuraho, Kamasutra or the existence of Kamadeva in our Hindu mythology. Our hypocrisy reaches such obscene levels that we do not , even for a moment , desist from calling a women a whore and anointing her with such slanderous titles if she admits that she has had a relationship with someone else in past. Quite surprising, considering that most of us aren’t virgins by choice but virgins out of compulsion. The fact that we were unable to get a woman to our bed sounds so insulting to our bloated male ego that we prefer to hide behind a veil of chastity and proclaim ourselves as self appointed guardians of morality.
But, the roots of the problem lie somewhere else .As more and more women have started reaping the benefits of education and there has been a gradual rise in their social standing, somewhere down the line our male ego has been dented. Fed from our very childhood with visuals of man being the sole breadwinner of the family and woman, a symbol of love and devotion, living at the mercy of her husband/father, we refuse to believe that women can be our equals in intelligence, knowledge, power, and most importantly, sexual desires and preferences. Hardly surprising, that we have coined terms such as ‘marriage material’ and women who are high achievers just don’t fit the bill. Anyone who thinks that this is just a case with less educated men is probably indulging in wishful thinking. just as probably someone once said ‘men will be men’ and education has got nothing to do with his thinking or his libido.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

why we all want to be fair

Today I’m going to tell u a story. When I was young, say, about five, or may be even more, though that is inconsequential to the facts being presented herewith , I always used to ask my mother why wasn’t I as fair as her or, for that matter, my father? She would look at me, I can still vividly recount the emotion in her eyes- of profound love, and with her voice quivering with emotion, she would say, son, men who are fair don’t look handsome at all!
I’ve used this small little anecdote to highlight the social stigma attached to skin colour, especially if it is dark. It’s a fact-we Indians have a penchant for fair skin, a fact corroborated by the presence of such a large number of fairness products in the market to achieve the desired results. Daily we are bombarded with advertisements of such products whose sole aim seem to be nothing short of proclaiming that dark skin is worse than being a cripple. We are fed with visuals of women being rejected by men for being dark and accepted by the same generous soul after using a particular brand of cream and becoming fair, much to the delight and unfeigned relief of her parents. What a fallacy! as if, changing the skin colour were so easy.
But this is not the crux of the matter. The cause for concern is the undue importance given to such a trivial thing. The same people who actually propagate such beliefs by accepting them, I am sure, would be left speechless and bewildered, if asked what bearing a person’s skin colour has on his character? Would Mahatma Gandhi be any different, if he were to be fair? The answer is a definite no. He came to be called a mahatma, not because of his appearance, but by his deeds. Then, why this obsession to be fair? Perhaps, the ghosts of British Raj just refuse to die. Having spent such a long period under subjugation, we have developed some kind of anathema towards our own skin colour and just refuse to believe that we in our skin can be as good as our fair skinned erstwhile masters. This kind of servile attitude manifests itself in its most ghastly form when we start showing our dislike for dark skin.
Skeptics may argue saying it’s a problem with our government. it doesn’t formulate requisite rules to curb the activities of such companies and ban their products. , and so on But, the problem is not with the government. why should a politician care about something which doesn’t bring him votes? save for one or two dusky beauties of bollywood, we are enamoured by actresses and models who are all invariably fair. And those blonde bombshells just seem to be the cynosure of all the eyes of teenagers and grown up alike. Men crave for them and women just want to be like them. perhaps, this just explains why we have only blonde Barbie dolls!

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