Wednesday, 19 May, 2010

The Wonder Years

A heartfelt dedication to everyone who has been a part of the most memorable years of my life!

May 20th,2010
This room, these four walls have been my home, my best friend. To think that I cant ever come back to call this home again! My bags are packed. The goodbyes are done. The photos have been taken. The customary promises to stay in touch have been made. Plans for a get-together are already afoot! But the fact that things will never be like this, however hard we try, hits me hard in the face, as I sit alone in the room, savouring the last few minutes in my den. And then it's done. The room is locked. A final look at the hostel, and I'm gone.

Fresh from school, we arrived, with the air of one who's set to conquer the world. We were the lords of all creation, as we strutted about the campus that night. The dream had been realised. We were here.

It seems, but a blink of the eye, as semester after semester rolled by, each more eventful than the other, each as memorable as the other. Every day seemed an adventure. Coming late to class, sleeping and not getting caught, bunking class and going to a movie, bunking class and playing football, bunking class and.. well, just bunking class for the heck of it! We dictated our terms, and lived by those rules, our rules. We were no longer kids, nor were we adults. And boy did we abuse this situation ;) .

All of the good times that I can think of, has loads of people in it. Come to think of it, we were never alone. There was always somebody around to share the stupidest of jokes. Exam times were insane, as 30 of us crowd around a solitary laptop, a "session" in progress! To all those self-less souls who took the time to help the others out - Unganaala thaan machan arrear vekkala!! More than the T20 matches, the taunts, and the overall atmosphere in the TV room made it an experience that I shall always cherish. We were always together, always a group, and that made things all the more special.

After college, the society leads us to evolve into unitary individuals, as we try to fend for ourselves, and later, for our family. We naturally become self-centred, and the joys of sharing and friendship, are at best, futile pursuits. Night time chats with friends in the hostel that extended for hours on end, stretching into the wee hours of morning, will become a mere e-mail, as we hurry past our life, running after it. These four years were when we actually lived life, drank it in and savoured it, enjoying every moment!

May 19th, 2010
Last day for most of the chaps, penultimate day for a few others. The gloomy weather and the looming storm seemed to be a reflection of our moods, as the entire atmosphere was damp and ominous, thanks to over 12 hours of continuous rain. But a day that promised to be one of the worst, turned out to be the exact opposite. As darkness swallowed the campus, the lights gave an almost ethereal appearance to the trees. The entire campus was glowing! It seemed that the place had become beautiful, just to give us a lovely farewell. The last ride in the campus, is an experience I will never forget. Every single lane, every pavement, each and every building treasures a volume of memories that can never be expressed in words or caught in photographs!

A few years from now, I don't know where I or any of my friends are going to be. We will definitely be in touch, but I am not even going to pretend that things are ever going to be like this, ever again! That's the worst thing about good byes. There's absolutely nothing good about it. Here's a toast to each and every person, who has shared a part of 4 of the happiest years of my life.

Good bye, and thank you for making this experience, very special.

Tuesday, 18 May, 2010

Of Anticliches and their abuse

I just finished watching In Bruges, a movie starring Collin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralf Fiennes. I loved the film. The music, the screenplay, everything was just about perfect. Farrell was surprisingly good. Brendan Gleeson as Ken, an aging hitman was simply brilliant. But hey, this post isn't about the plot. It's not even a review.

Cliches have been plaguing cinema for quite a while now! (Ask Vijay fans). Movie-goers were no longer willing to lap up whatever the production houses threw at them. The directors at hollywood realized that and thus was born the era of the Anti-Cliche.

Consider the classic cliche :

Good guy always survives

No matter what the villain does to him, the good guy survives. If he's thrown off a building, he lands on really soft stuff. If he gets shot, the bullet hits a locket that he wears around his neck. If he's Vijaykanth.... hell he just cant die!

So the directors wanted to change things a bit and thought "Hey lets knock off the good guy!". This has been seen in a lot of movies as well. Arlington road, The Road to perdition, Pan's labyrinth, Titanic, anything to do with Nicolas Sparks, Gladiator, and urm Departed (where just about everybody who had a 20% or more screen presence got killed). We have had a lot of movies which show the protagonist dying. So many that this has become a cliche.

So along came another plot device.

The Open Climax :

Ok, good guy living is cliched, good guy dying is cliched. So what do they do? They feature a monologue by the protagonist, while the film runs in black and white, as he lies, barely alive, with people rushing about him in slow motion. And then the credits start rolling
While watching In Bruges, it was kind of obvious that this is what was going to happen in the end. A variation of this was featured in Truffaut's 400 blows, where you don't know if the kid is captured or runs free. Heck even "Yaaradi Nee Mogini" featured an open climax.

Thinking about this, I can only recall that I have never hated fairy tale endings. (Unless it was some really sissy movie loaded with cheesy stuff, that is). So do directors have to really come up with convoluted endings, just to show that their film is not treading the beaten track? Or are directors going to come up with another new trick?

Sunday, 28 March, 2010

Top 4 worshht quizzes I have been to

Quizzing has been an integral part of my college days. A great way to spend your time and you get to learn about a lot of stuff as well. Oh yeah, most quizzes have decent cash prizes. So in times of economic turmoil, these reserves come in very handy. We have been to some really nice quizzes, but then, nice stories never make for interesting reading, do they? So here are some of my most umm.. entertaining quizzing experiences so far.

Before I forget, this post is a dedication to a fellow quizzer, a veteran of over 200 quizzes, his daring exploits ranging from the very tip of Kanyakumari to the far reaches of Kashmir. ( He also has detailed information about food stalls and canteens in most of the Engineering colleges in South India )

MNM Jain does a Cronje :
After writing a prelims replete with UKG trivia, which incited eye-ball rolls and similar expressions from the participants, the finalists were announced, with most of the usual suspects, joined by an unknown team. Before the finals started, those chaps gave us some gyan - Hey dude, see countries and capitals. You will have questions on that". We gave him a pitying look. However, when the finals commenced, they were iding arbit individuals whom we didnt even know after the names were displayed, and in the rapid fire round, they pipped all the other teams by correctly naming the capital of Nicaragua and similar such stuff.
That was the last time we saw/heard from those awesome quizzer dudes, as they disappeared from the quizzing scene, retiring with the spoils garnered at MNM.

Techofes Ent :
It's kind of embarrassing, but one of my worst quizzing experiences was in my own college. After a hotly contested battle for who gets to host the quiz, three guys landed the contract, pipping an ent legend to the finish line. We all expected a below par quiz, but boy were we surprised!! The prelims had such awesome questions like "pick the odd one out : Billa, Aasal, Vaali and Aegan". Another question had the contestants grappling for the answer, and when it was announced, we could only stare, lost for words. It was another find-the-odd question, the answer being, only 1 film's music was scored by Yuvan, while the rest were not. The quizmaster's charm was evident, with quips like "You gaav to dentify this paamus actor" ( Heath ledger would have rolled in his grave had he heard this).

Et tu NIT? :
If you thought it was bad havin a sad quiz in CEG, well, eat this. Me and my afore mentioned veteran co-quizzer travelled all the way to NIT-Trichy to attend a biz quiz there. When you have been to quite a few quizzes, you'll know just by the atmosphere in the hall, that a quiz is going to go downhill right from the start. It was one such day there. 2 things were insanely irritating about the quiz. 1- it was fixed. 2- the quizmaster. An outfit, complete with blazer, cuff links et al, our suave ( read Gay ) QM assumed his place on the podium, casting mischievous sidewise glances at the participants, with remarks like " minus five, is not what you get" in a round that has no negatives, said in such a nasal monotone, that it was kind of freaky! We had to show them evidence from the internet to prove 3 of our answers were right! The QM, however stole the show with his "that's mostly perfect answer. All, give clappings" , delivered in the same high pitched monotone with a gay glint in the eye!

And the pick of the lot... The MIT Sports quiz :
This was a true gem. Here again, the essence was the amazing Quiz master, who for some strange reason, found it fashionable to bellow in to the mike with a garbled tone that sounded zoological! He seemed to take things really personal when someone gave a wrong answer, as he snatched the mike away from the teams hands, with a disgusted "NOOOOO!! THAT'S WRRRROOONG", coming just short of clubbing them on the head with a cudgel. The quiz in itself, was a spectacle, the pick of the lot being this one - A video of Yuvraj hitting a six in that famous over where he raped Stuart Broad, was shown. And the question - Of the six sixes he hit, which one was this?

Many other quizzes deserve a place on this list, and might have barely missed out on some criterion. However, one question deserves special mention :

Connect :

Contact for answers :P

I will leave the answer to your imagination.
@ other quizzers : Kindly comment about your interesting quizzing experiences as well, guys :) . Lets try making this an exhaustive collection of (un)forgettable quizzing experiences