The tree by my window

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Rarity

It is a sad situation when you want to talk to someone, and find nobody.

I just saw a film that moved me more than I ever thought it would. Sahib Bibi aur Gulam. I would go so far as to call it a masterpiece. So many of my generation will never understand it, connect to it, find it ‘corny’. I don’t.

It portrays a depth of emotion that is timeless. From the innocence of Rehman, to the self indulgence of Guru Dutt, from the pain of Meena Kumari, to the liveliness of Waheeda Rehman – there is no emotion that does not touch me somewhere very deep inside. The story may be set in a bygone era, the events depicted no longer relevant, but the emotions never change, never lose their relevance.

The dagger of pain and desperation pierces through the human heart as sharply today as it did 150 years ago. The joy of first love remains the same, as does the pain of losing someone you love, literally or figuratively.

It isn’t that these emotions have never been depicted well in films earlier. There are many films which could rival, and easily outdo Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam in terms of cinematic excellence. But somehow this movie touched me deeply, perhaps more than any other so far. I now wonder …. Was it the film, or was it just me??? ;)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Infatuation, crush, liking, attraction… many words ….one emotion …

What is it?

The hint of a smile playing around my lips.

The winking smiley at times, and the grinning smiley at other times.

The perfect daydream during a boring (or not so boring ;) ) lecture.

A gust of moisture laden breeze – wetting, but not drenching me.

I’ve had crushes for as long as I can remember. From movie stars, to musicians to classmates, to random online friends. Its what lifts my life from the mundane, its what puts a smile on my face at odd moments, its what makes my eyes dance with naughtiness. It gives me hope in love, joy in living, and keeps me (most of the time) from getting grumpy. It fulfills me, for in my best moments, I’m not in love with a person any more – I am in love with love itself, and in love with life.

Vive l’amour !!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I ………..

The words don’t come
Polite conversations, a smile
Not fake, but guarded
Mild banter, boring

Something in my eyes
It prompted a question
I wavered, then withdrew

Virtual paper and thoughts
Time on my hands
A gaze slowly turning

Joy and mirth,
Not superficial,
I remain untouched

Distractions that work,
Most of the time,
As for the rest,
It passes somehow

Knife as well as balm
Panacea and poison
I shut out a tune

Familiar places
Brick and mortar, and in my head
Afraid of some, braving the others
I laugh away some demons

A light breeze
Another day ended
Something ended, something not begun
I live life in limbo

This one's for you -----, for knowing, for understanding, and for being. Thank You

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The end of a beginning

Note: This was written on the 1st of April ......didn't have time to post it till today

Yesterday, something came to an end.
Something that began a year ago.
Something, which turned out to be different form anything any of expected (at least, I don’t think any of us quite expected things to turn out the way they did)
We came to MICA a year ago.

Actually, its not exactly a calendar year to the day when we came to MICA. But it’s a full academic year now, and also, we got our MICA call letters almost exactly a year ago, and for many of us, that was when the journey began.

And the journey has been eventful to say the least. What started with us running out of a classroom to enjoy the first rains of the season, has developed into a bond that all of us will not only cherish, but also live up to. The impromptu singing sessions at chhota in the heat of the summer have metamorphosed into the BrumousBlues, and a new Palaash Song which we defend zealousy against the older (and now boring) one!!

Yes, its been an eventful, and eclectic year!

10 months ago a motley (yes, I KNOW that’s rather clichéd) bunch of about 85 people landed, bags and parents (for the most part) in tow. The first sight of the hostels, comprising of images as profound and thought provoking as Absolut Overkill, and Ground Zero, triggered a variety of reactions. Some positively rejoiced, some took it in their stride and some spent the next few days wondering just what they had gotten into.
And so began the journey of the 13th (but by no means the unluckiest) batch in the history of the exalted institution that is MICA.

The rest of the summer orientation, was spent sleeping in class, and staying up nights, with guitars and chhota tea for company. It was of course, liberally punctuated with varied efforts by various teachers to actually get us to learn something. Equally obviously, hardly anyone succeeded. What we did succeed in doing, and haven’t yet lived down, is the great MICAn rain dance, having stopped a lecture midway, no less!

July brought with it an ‘Orientation’ of a different kind, and some unfortunate repercussions of the above mentioned rain dance. This orientation was also our first taste of what MICA was really all about. The taste? Bittersweet really. From the authorities turning bitter because the ‘orientation’ was stopped, to seniors taking it in their stride, and not really holding it against us, the taste was, well, bittersweet. The orientation brought out most starkly, both our eclecticism and our individuality as a batch. From taking strong stands unsupported, to 94 people standing behind one man, from issues as profound as personal values to as trivial as the unthinking use of profanity, we did it all, and for the most part, got away with it!

The first term went by, and between economics, Moulin rouge, and trying to understand the phenomenon that is MICA, we never quite realized when the exams were upon us. Just when we were fretting about finally having to do the pre (and by now very very post!!) reads, one of our exams was cancelled, in true MICA style.

A number of us never really knew how cold and hard rejection could be, till we faced it (in extra large doses!) during the summer placements. Many frustrated outbursts, tears, and exhuberant whoops of joy later, we were all (yes, all 94 of us), placed. Not all got what they wanted, not everyone wanted what they did get, but the magnitude of the feat accomplished by the placements committee (both Junior and Senior) deserves a salute. Thank you PlaceComm.

October also brought with it MICANVAS, and all the ensuing chaos. Amidst much nail biting by the marketing team about budgets, frantic phone calls by the PR team, and much hollering from creatives to come and help, dawned the morning of 27th , and began MICANVAS 2006, which over the next three days went on to surpass everybody’s wildest expectations in terms of participation, hospitality, scale, and grandeur. From scandalizing outstation teams, by asking them if they wanted co-ed accommodation, to swinging to euphoria singing English (?!?!?!?) numbers, and having treasure hunts at midnight (it really started at 2 though), we did it all, without really breaking stride.

Scarcely was MICANVAS over when we saw looming large, SANKALP 2006. Endless cups of chai from chotta, a harried director, a confused lights team and a far more harried marketing team later, we got the show on the road, and pulled it off too.

In between, of course, were various courses and faculty, some in house, some visiting. Most tore their (sometimes already scant) hair out in frustration at our utter unapologetic indiscipline. All this of course, was only incidental.

The third term. Well, this one was perhaps the most hectic of all. Starting with the final placements for the seniors, going on immediately to the final alumni meet, we never quite realized where January went. Of course, for a few of us, life was made even more chaotic by Director Saab, who though he otherwise seems to be in a state of permanent somnabulence, woke up like a modern day Kumbhakarna, and rising from deep stupor, went on to drive us quite like slaves, till the annual day function and the staging of the noe famous ‘CUT’. Fond memories of the final show. Of the audience laughing even at places we didn’t expect them to, of last minute dialougue changes that worked, of a last minute replacement which we pulled off seemingly effortlessly, of an hour on stage that seemed no more than a minute, and of the ultimate reward – a standing ovation.
The theatre streak, having been rekindled in a number of us, refused to be put out again, and we went on to participate in and win (despite some considerable hurdles and an extremely horrid audience) both in the street play and the one act play category at DAIICT.

Holi came and left in its wake, many multi coloured faces and torn clothes. Most of the torn clothes were to adorn the tree near Chandni for a long time to come, sending most unknowing innocent people into a mild state of shock.
The rebelliousness and eclecticism of our batch had not waned with time, but had in fact grown, as was evident when we tried to get an entire course scrapped (it wasn’t, but the effort was worth it!).

It finally dawned on us, in stages, that we were no longer the juniors, but the soon to be seniors. Elaborate ‘orientation’ plans for the next batch were begun, and a farewell for the senior batch put together (need it be said – at the last minute!). And then, as we sat watching the awards ceremony, and the next day, the convocation, it gradually sunk in. The first year at MICA, had ended. It sunk in more cruelly, as we packed, stripping our rooms bare of all signs of life, packing a year of our lives into numerous cartons, and wishing each other a good internship (placecomm people of course, adding to the wishes, entreaties for PPOs!!!).

It was the end. The end of our beginning at MICA, the end of a year that gave each of something, yet took away something too. The end of the beginning.

The above was a feeble attempt to encapsulate our first year at MICA. Of course it isn’t really possible. There is a lot more left unsaid, many milestones left unmarked. But like I said, its not really possible to pack away a year into bags and cartons, or for that matter, condense it into a blog entry.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Back Again……..

Back after a long, long hiatus……..longer than I expected. Not that there was dearth of writing matter……..or even the will to write…….but somehow I never got around to putting thoughts down in words. The months have been eventful……….first it was placements, then MICANVAS, and now Sankalp.

I very nearly wrote about the placements……..but it was so hush hush, and the placecomm so nearly died of heart attacks at the very thought of any aspect of the placement week being leaked out (damn!!! how did they find out that there were three ants in the room on the fourth hour of the third day of the placements??????)…..that I decided to spare them the agony, and keep my comments on the placements to myself.

Then came MICANVAS………now this definitely merits a post……

What is MICANVAS you ask? A plain vanilla, B – School (NO……How many times do I have to tell you…….C School!!!) dictionary definition would be – MICA’s Annual fest.

Pitifully Inadequate

MICANVAS to us is weeks of chaos that swirls around and swallows up every part of campus, leaving no one untouched……the chaos from which finally emerges cosmos……the universe that is MICA
MICANVAS is three days of little or no sleep…….(it remains to be judged whether this is from too much work, too many things to do, or simply because there were five other people already sleeping in your room, leaving you high and dry!)
MICANVAS is packing up and turning your room (amidst much under the breath muttering) over to participant(s) from other colleges………believe me this is more difficult than it sounds……try putting part of yourself into suitcases and storerooms.
MICANVAS is selling concert tickets to random people in random places, convincing them to attend Euphoria and Indian Ocean (No No……even if you live in Baroda……you can extend your trip for a day……watch the concert and go……here……the ticket’s just Rs. 50)

MICANVAS is participants getting down from the train and asking the hospitality committee.... Participants- Where’s the booze yaar??
Hospitality (huffily) – Gujarat is a dry state, you know……we don’t have booze.
Participants ( now in a more nudge-nudge wink-wink, conspiratorial tone) – But ….heh heh…..this is MICA ……heh heh…….you must have booze, eh what?
(long sigh)…..such is the reputation we enjoy among the B School fraternity…..(longer sigh)……we felt righteously indignant at such insinuations by an outsider, and took it much to heart…….he was treated to many hostile looks (and NO booze!!!) during his stay…….and much to our collective and vindictive satisfaction, did not win the event he came for.

MICANVAS is midnight treasure hunts that start at 2 A.M…….and send 75 odd people scurrying across campus in the dead (?) of the night. And not just scurrying around either…….they had to throw (and catch) three eggs, to get to the third clue!!!........or eat three green chillies each if they wanted hints. Sitting at the control desk while eggs fly through the air is no job for the faint hearted I tell you…… takes all the courage of a fighter pilot to sit through the possibility of getting egg on your face (literally!!). The compensation of course was watching hapless participants gobble down green chillies…….and frantically hop around, shouting “Water!! Water!!” in true filmy style!!......there was one black moment when we ran out of water, and the logistics people hadn’t got refills yet…….the expression on that particular team’s face shall remain etched in my memory forever!!

MICANVAS is weird, panicky, bordering on the insane announcements from the reception desk………
“GOOOD MOORNIIIING MICA” (Lage Raho Munnabhai Style)
“_______ jahan bhi ho……daud kar reception desk par aayen!!”
“A new treasure hunt has been organized…..whoever can find the MICANVAS core committee members stands to win a prize”
……..and when the reception people get sick of the work, they turn the reception desk into a jukebox, playing all kinds of good/bad/ugly numbers……..and driving nuts anyone who was trying to sleep!

MICANVAS is watching Indian Ocean and Euphoria……..with both wonder and disgust.
And having your attention diverted midway through the concert by a lecherous, fat man, obviously drunk, and dancing away to glory be right in front of the stage. Though to give the devil his due…….at times he was more entertaining than the concert itself!.......The security team however had a tough time, hovering around him all throughout.

MICANVAS is nuttiness at its extreme, creativity at its peak, tempers at their shortest, endurance at its highest……..MICANVAS is MICA at its best.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A tribute to Survival

I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name for this post. For against all odds…….we have survived. Survived weeks of pure madness…..of days merging into nights into days…….of not knowing how and when one last slept……of roaming zombie like in the corridors in search of absconding group mates…….of AMM, Eco, and above all – LCC.

Yes….LCC, the bane of the entire PGP 1 class, the name that can give the faint hearted (and even the not so faint hearted!) a myocardial infarction, the very mention of which still sends comedy and munch running for cover……….we survived it.

Yesterday we finally had the presentations for the reports that we had submitted earlier (see ‘relief’)……and after more sleep deprived nights, more quarrels, some heartburn, and a showdown over email later……we’re through!!! Once again…………YOO HOO!!!

Of course it was tough while it lasted. We had to sit through 10 hours of presentations and SV’s ‘Rapid fire’ vivas. At the end of it, we were ready to puke (and I swear…..even the vomit would’ve been ‘culturally’ rich!!!). The presentations ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous……to any non MICAn, the topics would seem mind boggling…..but then, that’s MICAn creativity at its best for you. A sample of the ‘culturally rich’ topics we covered –
The culture of Vampires
A study of Loss of Innocence through J.D. Salinger’s The catcher in the rye
A world behind bars – the culture of prisons
A study of the Sicilian Mafioso
The culture of Ideal Beauty
The culture of dance in bollywood cinema
The Culture of One(?!?!?!)

Its amazing …..the level to which pfaffing can reach when circumstances demand it.
Of course the presentations were punctuated by some hilariously funny incidents……

Act 2 Scene 1

Topic – Culture of Coins
Time – Presentation

Apu S. - ……and we see that the coins from the time of Mohammed bin Tulak…..
Audience – That’s Tughlaq
Apu - Yeah …whatever!! (sounds resembling the tearing out of hair emanate from group members on the sidelines)

A few minutes later, the presentation is taken over by gauts, who’s reading out from flash cards

Gauts – and the coins from the pre mughal dynasty period….(stops…….frantically shuffling the flash cards with perplexed frown)…..damn! I’ve lost it!
SV – (with amused smile) Is that your next slide …. ‘I’ve lost it’?
(more sounds of hair tearing)

Act 4 Scene 1

Topic – Kinship in Marriage
Time – Presentation

Dhriti – So now we see here, that the Ego, would marry the daughter of his father’s sister who was also the daughter of his mother’s brother, who in turn was born from the union between his father’s father’s sister and his mother’s mother’s brother ……..
Audience – (with a dazed look) …..huh?….
Dhriti – No, its quite simple really….see, it all starts many generations before, when the father’s sister marries the mother’s brother, and then their children marry each other’s sisters, but of course we must take into account the cousins and the fact that there may be more than one sister in which case she’d marry the father’s sister’s husband’s brother’s sister’s…….
Audience – ….Errr…..right…..whatever!

Act 4 Scene 3

– Loss of Innocence seen through the book ‘catcher in the rye’ by J.D. Salinger
Time – Audience Questions

Gomes – Don’t you think Holden Caulfield was a big idiot? I mean, he wanted to return to innocence after having gained knowledge, and seen the world. That’s like …….wanting to return to being a virgin after you’ve had sex!! (Loud sounds of clapping and whistling from class)
Freaky - Uh…’s not like that you know….. ( long discussion on how Holden Caulfield’s dilemma is different from wanting to return to the state of virginity after having lost it)

Act 4 Scene 7

- 11:55 P.M.

Palak – and with that we finish with the last group for the day……
(loud and sustained applause from all corners of the class, which goes on for five whole minutes)

Comedy – Sir, behalf of PGP 1, I’d like to thank you for being here. (Wide grins from rest of the class). We’ve really enjoyed all the classes(grins herself, suppressed sniggers heard from a few corners)….and we really respect you a lot (unable to suppress giggle, louder sniggering from the class)

Post Script – Actually, SV’s folly lay not in being a bad teacher, but in being too good a teacher. His plane of thought was so above ours, that we never grasped a thing. He just left every class horrified that we didn’t know about Levi Strauss (no, NOT the jeans guy!), McLuhan, or the panopticon, and we remained as clueless about these things as ever.

But……we survived. We actually came out of those 10 hours alive, and reasonably hopeful of passing the course…...the possibility of which had seemed bleak only 24 hours earlier. For those of us who were faced with the double whammy of having to appear for the French exam and LCC presentation on the same day, the joy is doubled, for we managed to pfaff our way through the French exam as well…..which was another interesting experience…….but that would demand a post all its own.

UPDATE (13 Nov. 2006) - Most of us did clear the french heartfelt sympathies to those who didn't. Keep watching this space for an update on the results of the LCC course.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Not Again!!!

Ok …..I’m at it again. Writing this when I have far far more important work to do.
This time it’s the AMM assignment, which incidentally is DUE tomorrow. Interestingly enough, Gomes and I were discussing this today. Seems we both suffer from the same affliction – namely – doing utterly useless things when there’s better, more productive work to be done.

The AMM assignment requires us to apply all the concepts taught in class to a particular company in a product category of our choice. Actually there’s nothing much to it……its fairly straightforward, and only requires some sincere effort(ahhhhh….you begin to see where the problem lies!). But today I just don’t feel like doing this. Something within me is militating against it.

Thankfully I don’t have to do this alone. And I don’t have to do much. My tantrums are taken with good grace, and I am indulgently relieved from most of the work……..I elect to do the typing part(the part that requires the least use of brains). That too is accepted, and I let my brain relax while the others beaver away. It is at times like this that I feel – I am blessed.