Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kudos MHRD!!! State quotas abolished in AIEEE !

Common sense has finally prevailed in the Ministry of Human Resource & Development. Just when I thought caste based reservation and electoral politics was the mainstay of Sir Arjun singh and Co., they did something surreal.

For the record, prior to this year 50% of the seats in every National Institute Of Technology(NIT) were reserved for the candidates from the state in which the NIT is located. The left over 50% will have a state quota so that every state in the country would be duly represented in the campus. The number of seats for different states was based on quite a few factors like the nearness of that state with the state where the NIT is, the population of the state et al. So here in NITJ we ended up with 140 seats for Jharkhand, around 25 for UP, around 20 for Bihar, 8 for the entire North-East, 1 for Goa, 1 for Sikkim and so on(in our times in 2k5). Total number of seats was escalated considerably in 2k6 and so were the number of seats for the respective states. This – I’ll admit it quite unabashedly – created a upset in terms of the All India Ranks (AIRs) among the students. The pangs of fortune tilted towards the so-called “backward” states whose students managed to lock a seat by achieving an AIR even ten times of students from the states where there is ferocious competition for an engineering seat in a reputed institute for example, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh , Rajasthan and most importantly, Andhra Pradesh, the most awful sufferer. The irregularity can be best gauged on learning that the solitary seat in NITJ for Mizoram remained vacant for three years (2k3 to 2k5) as the total number of seats allotted to Mizoram in different NITs outnumbered the total number of eligible candidates from the state!!! Contrast this with the thousands of aspirants from the above mentioned states who haplessly watch the guys from the “backward” states grabbing the seats with both hands.

According to the new concept, come AIEEE Counselling 2008, 50% reservation for the home state is kept untouched. But as a rare welcome development, the remaining half would be filled up solely on the basis of AIRs. This would help in shipshaping the skewed balance and create an atmosphere of people with just about the same AIRs as in the prestigious IITs.

Students hailing from the “backward” states, hitherto benefited from the system, would have a rough time rubbing their eyes on reading similar chunks of dream-shattering news. But re-emphasizing, the development would, no doubt, address the admission irregularities.

This was not expected at all, to say the least. But one needs to thump the back of
the officials from MHRD for such a wonderful step. Bravo!

TOI: :

My pre-teen classics!!!

Spare me for making you read this shit but couldn't help myself from posting these masterpieces that I accidentally found in a diary a month back. The masterpiece named "Examination" was created when I was in the 8th standard. Kindly consider the cranial limits of a twelve-year old. The next one, "Mathematics" goes one step ahead in "quality". I wrote this in my seventh standard of schooling. Read at your own risk :


This bloody examination is really a headache -
To all my enjoyments it puts a check.
Thirty – thirty chapters are not easy to learn,
And all I can do is to sit and spurn.

In this mysterical(Gawwwd!!! That isn’t even a word) history
I cant by heart the names;
Suddenly a ban occurs
On all the games.

Now the subject of geography
The delta and the meander;
That we study such a subject
Is the greatest wonder.

The physics and the dyne
Prick me like spine;
After studying this subject
I’m never fine.

Someone please save me from
Chemistry’s deadly claws;
For I have to mug up
A million of laws.

When I study Biology then
I become ambiguous;
Was it the chapter
Mentioned in the syllabus.

Hey this computer science
And the programs in BASIC;
Convert my happy mood
Into happy and tragic.

English and Hindi Chapters
Pass above my head;
Remembering all those characters
Is truly a dread.

But the only subject of Maths
Where I score a hundred;
The silly reason is that
The total is three hundred.


Lets throw some light
On this mathematics
Because of which I broke my house
Just to count the bricks! (Did I really write these lines???!!!!???)

When I open the maths book
I always feel a surprise;
The same sum again
And again in disguise.

Making innocent children
Study set theory;
Is a criminal offence
Serious than the dowry.

Then comes the polygon
Dangerous than a machine gun;
2n-4 or 2n-5
I’m always in confusion.

Whenever I see mensuration
Forehead gives out perspiration;
I never find in those figures
Any type of anticipation. (Wot on earth is that supposed to mean???)

The rules of logarithm
Are more than mysticism;
And all the measurement
Puts me into amazement.

The AAS and SSS
Of Congruency and Similarity;
And fins the sums
Never in parity. (:o!!!!)

Then come the cubes and cuboids
With six-six hands;
And I always try to run
To my intelligent friends.

The angles of trigonometry
Alpha, Beta and Gamma;
Always leave me in
A huge huge dilemma. (That was my best idea of rhyming)

The constructions in geometry
Aren’t less than headaches;
For always in between
My disloyal pencil breaks.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ye Road Tere Baap Ki Hai??

“The rate of accidents and casualties is disturbing. There is an urgent need to curb the menace on our roads and highways. With more people driving or using personal transport, only a stringent law will induce vehicle users to avoid rash driving,” asserted Justice A R Lakshmanan, the Chairman of the Law Commission before recommending that maximum jail term for a casualty caused by drunken or rash driving be escalated from two to ten years.

A sneak-peak into the statistics (bunched up through various official websites of Indian legislative organizations) :

• India is the world’s leading light with 35 – the highest – accidents per 1000 registered vehicles. (Pinch of salt : These figures are official.) It varies from 4 to 10 in America. Bravo! One-love!
• Around one lac people wash their hands with their lives (come on, its my favourite hindi idiom translated. I always wonder how is this done!) in road accidents per year (Official figures again!). We are next only to China. Buck Up, folks. We have in it us to eclipse the dragon. The same number in the U.S. is as low as 17k. Two-love; Game Point!
• In Patna and Mumbai the percentage of pedestrians among the road mishap victims is the highest in the country at 90% and 78% respectively. The highest in America is nowhere around. Three-love, Game!!

No doubt something needs to be done, urgently. But isn’t the proposal, in terms of the TOI, “driving too far”? Is the lack of stern norms the only impediment in the way of a healthy traffic system? Hasn’t it got something to do with the goddamn execution of the present norms?

Aamir hands the Rs. 100 bill to the Inspector Sahib in Rang De Basanti with impunity and exclaims suggestively, “Welcome to India!” All of us have either done or witnessed the same in our lives. It’s such a regular phenomenon in urban India that it has been exploited to full comic relief in other flicks like Gurudev Bhalla’s Shararat where the “cool” male protagonist dupes the corrupt traffic constable in the process of bribing him.

Jaywalking is as common as spitting on the roads. Here in Jamshedpur, the traffic officials have no mechanism to prevent the populace on Shanks’s Pony from walking on their whim with full disregard to the traffic lights close to the Natraj Theatre in Bistupur.

Drunken Driving is a peril yet to be cracked down. Few things can match the thrill of continuous honking and overtaking when blasted. For us, this is our desi version of Psychedelic Rock, Mr. Devil may care! Being mellowed down by a frigging Maruti 800 is an insult to The Hammered. Give the driver a mouthful and there you go. In the Bollywood ishtyleYe Road hamare baap ki hai!!!

Lets get down to serious business. Why is the flouting of traffic norms so common? Why isn’t it such a pain in the neck of the developed nations? The answer follows as an example of the American scheme of things.

The process of acquiring a driving licence in the States is a hard nut to crack in itself. One needs to duly attend a traffic school and needs to pass a written test. (This exam made the two - Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron - meet in one of my favourite mushy flicks – Sweet November). Negative points are awarded on every single violation of a law, however inconsequential it may be. Continue being Mr. Mere-Baap-Ki-Road and your licence would be confiscated in no time. Time to grace the traffic school all over again with your presence; in conjunction with a hefty fine and an increase in the insurance premium. Now this is something!! The best part is the implementation. Far less corrupt and far more dynamic traffic officials hold the key.

There is no need of labouring the point of making people aware of the norms from an early age. Poppycock! Who doesn’t know the rules? Even if we are dumb enough to be confused by the self explanatory traffic signs, we can at least read the words in the regulations mentioned along the divider line on the roads. But then, why the heck should we care? A 50-buck is all that’s required in the nearly worst case scenario. Well okay, inflationary times. Lets make it 100. Deal!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

He Came, He WARNEd, He Conquered.

We know him as “thicker than a set of Wisden yearbooks” for his incorrigibility. We have heard of him as the “eternal child”, “Cyclone Shane” and “Hollywood” for his theatrical antics. We’ve heard of him caught up in more off-field controversies than any single cricketer. He has been the God of sledging in the slips. But yet we adore him. Critics would never rate him as high as some of the other spinning legends. And yet Wisden rated him as one of the five cricketers of the century – the only bowler to have featured in the prestigious list along with Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Sir Vivian Richards.

Some say he’s the best skipper Australia never had. And he proved it in the IPL 2008 and how! Having been assigned the twofold role of captain-cum-coach, the man led a bunch of neophytes to victory. In fact, the team, considered small fries before the contest dominated it like no other team did.

In words of Dinesh Salunkhe, who shared the dressing room with him said, “I was quivering when he first entered the room. A couple of conversations later, I felt as if I’d known him for years. He became a friend, philosopher and guide. He has no airs about himself. It took me only one chat with him to make me believe that I belong here.” Zilch was left to be explained when the U-19 guys of the team hurrahed after the final conquest, shouting at the top of their voices that he is a legend.

He is Shane Keith Warne. Two years into the retirement already, The Royal would return next year to defend the trophy. The team would straightaway start as favourites all thanks to their first outing.

What made Warnie such a Pied Piper? Some say it was his knack of seeing the intangibles. An astute judge of talent, he prepared an awe-inspiring dossier called “What is My Role?” for each of his teammates merely after a couple of practice sessions. He asked them to give it a shot of their lifetime. He asked them to lope on the edge, thoroughly assured that he would be there to catch them if they fell. Such raw zeal towards the game after remaining 15 years at the apex logically made the team follow him blindly. The 17 off the last over by Symonds against the Chargers made the team swear loyalty to him till death, as it made them believe that they had a leader who could walk the talk. A TEAM was explicated to the bunch as “Together Everyone Achieves More”.

He treated them all alike – from the support staff to the franchise owner Manoj Badale. Shane Watson was denied an entry to a team meeting when he was 5 minutes late. Warne added, in no uncertain terms, that Watson could not take things for granted just because the latter was one of the “better known” players of the side. He asked the squad to wear black armbands as a mark of respect when Zahir, the luggage handler, stayed on with them even when he lost his mother during the tourney.

Swapnil Asnodkar, one of the finds of the series, owed himself to Warne. Learning that Swapnil’s grandfather was a diehard fan of his, he graced the Asnodkars for dinner. Grandpa’s parting words to Warne were that now that he had seen him, he could “die a happy man”.

He assigned the role of the “Pace-setter” to Munaf Patel. He guaranteed that MP was their spearhead no matter what was being whispered about him. The result : he redeemed himself almost incredibly. The man who had to be concealed in the field; the man who preferred not to bend too much to stop the ball from running away; the man who was disparaged as the cricketer with the “least cricketing attitude” of all times; the man who the outgoing team physio labeled as the “only bloke I couldn’t understand” flipped 180. He hit the deck hard and had the best field days ever.

Warne made sure that the guys enjoyed themselves to the fullest off the field. In the words of the franchise owner, he “personally ensured that everyone had fun (at the parties). He cracked jokes, learned the choicest of abuses in Hindi and used them whenever possible.”

Being a hero in a nation that vehemently abhors the Kangaroos was no trifle. But Warnie did it. Leading a lineup that had been assembled for chickenfeed, when compared with the big daddies was a daunting task in itself. But Warnie did it. It was almost impossible for a team that lacked the oomph factor to make headlines in a nation crazy about Bollywood. But Warnie did it. Warnie did it all

Monday, June 09, 2008

When Mumma bowled me over!!!

Having nothing more stimulating to do, there I was surfing the channels a few minutes back. Star Cricket was telecasting the highlights of the 3rd day of the 3rd test of the nPower Test Series from Trent Bridge. Being an aficionado of quality test cricket – actually any shitty cricket including the Australian domestic codswallop; a 22 yard of cricket turf is all that’s required to seize my attention – I let the remote control heave a sigh of relief. It was Jamie Anderson’s day. He was delivering gold. The out swingers were simply unplayable. He had already scalped one-to-six of the kiwi batting order and had left them seething at 123-7 (he finished with outstanding figures of 7-43). The score line bordering the lower edge of the television read “NZ need 42 more to avoid follow-on”.

There was a usual doubt in Mumma’s mind. “What’s a follow on?” she enquired. Well, this was regular stuff. Mumma has been whetting her knowhow of the gentlemen’s sport since the time I’ve been religiously following it. She started with the trivial things like “Why doesn’t the eleventh wicket fall???!!!!” or “Why didn’t the batsman get out when the fielder caught it after it had bobbed once?” or “Why doesn’t he run for extra runs before the ball could run across the boundary?” And I used to elucidate it all to her gleefully. Actually it helped me to avoid getting her irritated and change the channel.

She has come a long way. She can now calculate the required run rate in the death. She now knows what a maiden over is. And she is no more amazed at the sight of Warnie spinning the ball by miles.

I tried to avoid any technical jargon and explained to her what a follow on is. She understood it as always : she’s a fast learner. But then came Stuart Broad who dismissed Kylie Mills on the third delivery and outsmarted Ian O’Brien on the fifth delivery of the same over. One slow-mo replay followed another. Here I was nonplussed by the rank unplayability of the reverse swinger that took the off-stump off the ground when mumma dropped a bomb, flushing down the gutter all the cricketing gyaan. “Umpire galat hai dekh…Ball to balle se lagi hi nahi…”

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Happy Eyes

-Written and performed by: Varun Gupta

Now that I've lost the race
Now that it's a big disgrace
Wish I could say in your face

You think you left no trace
You think its empty space
Sadly that's not the case
In my heart…

It's the same since the time you were gone; Every little thing is the same
Learnt my lesson the harder way round; Won your heart baby, lost the game
Everything was slipping out of my hands; I was blind, I couldn't realize
All I'm left with, All I've got; Frozen tears in my happy eyes

Chorus :
I wish, you could, see through happy eyes;
I wish, you could read my happy eyes.
I wish, you could, see through happy eyes;
I wish, you could read my happy eyes

Now there is no one to stand by me, No one to catch my falling tear
Its eating me from inside of my soul, Its not like I don't wanna share
Everybody gets the wrong end of the stick, Friendship is such a thin disguise
Hardly I blink without thinking of you, Your dreams play with my waking eyes

Chorus :
I wish, you could, see through happy eyes;
I wish, you could read my happy eyes.
I wish, you could, see through happy eyes;
I wish, you could read my happy eyes.

Happy eyes, Happy eyes, Happy eyes, Happy eyes…
Happy eyes, Happy eyes, Happy eyes, Happy eyes…

Better Late Than Never !!!

3rd June 2008 brought with it for NIT Jamshedpur a light of hope, pun totally intended. It takes a great deal of nerve to publicly admit that one’s insti sucks. And I make a clean breast almost unabashedly. Grubby politics has always been an innate characteristic of all the organizations and institutions in this part of the country. But inhumane conditions of living added insult to injury. And all this to the wannabe technocrats, nearly all of whom missed a berth at the hallowed Indian Institutes Of Technology by a whisker after clearing the screening stage. Some of us even committed the Great Blunder of turning our backs to the IITs due to unavailability of the desired disciplines owing to an AIR around 3k.

But now things are most likely to take a handsome twirl. Multiple strikes by the junior year students finally bore fruit. Kudos! Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Corporation (JUSCO) – the vocational training hub for our batch mates from the Department Of Civil Engineering – has been a godsend. We, The Deprived, have finally been blessed. What this coup de theatre means to us would never be appreciated by them who have never been left to languish to spend the most vital four years of their lives in the state plagued by this loopy power crisis. With the risk of lending my words a semblance of exaggeration, I would like to classify this development as the single best thing to have been happened to this institute.

I feel for you, our 2k4 seniors. You missed it by month, damn it! And equally do I feel for the 2k8 juniors, due to enter the campus in early August. You just can’t imagine the thrill of spending the whole dark night out, sitting on a bench bordering the Downs’ ground, gossiping like hell!!

Our next valid wish is that the administration looks into the Wi-Fi project that has inexplicably been dormant for the past few weeks. After a remarkable progress in the early days of the project, which aimed at connecting the length and breadth of the campus by a wireless network, the project receded into conspicuous obscurity.

Can’t wait to return to the hostels!!!

As per mid-June 2008 : hostel mein 24 hours wi-fi connectivity bhi aa gayi hai...yip yip yippieeeee...