Friday, May 28, 2010

It's that time of the year... when is your time coming?

PROLOGUE : Let me start this one off on a good note. Congratulations to all you 'couple in love' to 'couple married' people. May you have a blessed life together ahead. And I sure do hope those waiting in line do get married. I really do. Love the payasam you people serve us during the wedding! And now... read on.

It's that time of the year... when a lot of people get married. This year is no exception. In fact, if marriages were the monsoon, this year would be a mega super ultra bonanza year. I've already attended 3 weddings, and I know of at least 4-5 more on the cards in the very near future.

A lot of my friends have been getting married of late. And by of late, I mean ever since I finished my engineering, which is about 4 years ago. Initial estimates by me say that about 99% of my engineering batchmates are already married. Over the past one year, I've been getting only marriage invitations from all my B.Tech classmates. And, almost invariably, the spouse would also be from the same college.

The engineering course is tailor made for everlasting, long-term relationships. You have better odds of getting yourself a good life partner, than understanding what those AC/DC machines do, or the CINs and COUTs of any programing language. It's like this :

1. Get into engineering college. Preferably a reputed one. But, we all know how that goes. Our choices are limited by how many educated guesses we get right in our entrance exam.

2. Woo a girl of your choice, your life partner, within the first 2 years of engineering.

3. Do... all those girlfriend boyfriend things in the next 2.

And by the time you are with your degree, you can immediately get married and life a "happy", "nag filled" life ever after!

4. Wait for a couple more years, and you can get yourself a partner with an MBA too. Even better. No extra knowledge gained. Lot more money in the bank, though. Secure future!

I guess my B.Tech batch mates knew this WAYYY before I did. Finally, I understand what those management gurus meant by "First-To-Market advantage". No wonder so many of them are MBAs.

The only thing different about Kerala would be that there are more women than men. So, you will actually get to see SINGLE WOMEN over here! That's something that's even rarer than the blue moon, going by how good the sex ratio was at MDI (and, by extrapolation, in every other "top notch" B-school that admits under the CAT.)

Another thing with this place... (not sure. Could happen anywhere, for that matter.) is that everyone expects you to follow the crowd. In everything they do. 

They do B.Tech, you should do B.Tech. 
They eat appam and mutton stew, you eat appam and mutton stew. 
They fall in love in college, wait for boy to finish MBA, then get married, you should fall in love in college, wait for boy to finish MBA, then get married.

I followed them two-thirds of the way.

A very VERY common sequence of dialogues that I hear practically everyday, these days. Doesn't matter how old you actually are. You're batch mates actions forced you to listen to this, till you finally go insane and jump off a cliff. (OK. Probably that last part you might not do. But, you are resigned to the fact that you WILL get a lot of this.)

Someone : Hey there! Been quite sometime yo! What's up?!

Me : Nothing much dude. Things going cool. You tell me.

... (Some more small talk)

Someone : This guy who's getting married, he your batchmate, right?

Me : No. He was my junior. And the girl too my junior.

Someone : Ah! Yes. So you're an MBA now, right? mmmm... interesting... so when is your time coming?!

Me (Counts) : This is the 732nd time someones asking this!!

I sure do hope all future marriage seasons will be as event filled, if not more, than how it has been this year. Now, all you married couples (or anyone else for that matter) who might want to kill me after reading this, kindly read the PROLOGUE once again.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

'Kavasam' at Athirappilly.

A friend of mine from MDI had come over for a small tour of Kerala recently. As I had not been to Athirappilly lately, I thought it would be a nice idea to take him to the place.

Now, for those who do not know of this place, here is a small writeup on it :

"The Athirappilly Falls are situated on the Chalakudy river, which originates in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. Many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna are found in the forests of the Athirapilly-Vazhachal area. This area is the only place in the Western Ghats where four endangered Hornbill species are seen."

Of course, I have plagarised this from Wikipedia. Sue me.

OK. So, we reach the place after a good 2 hour drive from Kochi. After parking the car, we find out that we had to take tickets for parking, the camera and to enter the premises of the falls at a place exactly 100 m behind us. Why wouldn't these people have ticket counters near the entrance, only God knows. Probably that's why Kerala is called "God's own Country". A lot of stuff can be explained only by God Himself.

A good walk later, we come back, tickets in hand, and enter the premises, only to find out that there's another small trek before we actually get to the falls. The peaceful and blissful surroundings (by surroundings I mean only the flora and fauna, and not the other hoards of loud singing talking tourists that had also come to see the place) made the small trek much more bearable. It's a wonderful walk through a pathway, and takes about 5 minutes from the entrance to reach the falls.

The view of the falls from the top is breathtaking! You would have to actually be there to appreciate the beauty of the place. Not even an SLR (or whatever those high quality cameras are called) will be able to capture the beauty.

While we were appreciating this new found beauty, we suddenly find a small group of people crowd around near where we were standing, and they were looking down below.

Was it a ship? No.
Was it a huge school of fish desperately trying to climb up this huge waterfall?? No.
Was it a film that was being shot at the foot of the Athirappilly Waterfalls?? You Betcha!!

And like supermen, we were at the bottom of the waterfalls within a matter of milliseconds. Even Usain Bolt would have struggled to beat us to the bottom. Or even an actual bolt, for that matter.

We barge into another group of onlookers down below, and try to find out what movie it was, or atleast what language it was.

"It's a Malayalam movie!"
"No da. It's Telugu"
"Arey! It's Kannada"
"It's French!!"

Seeing that we were not going to get anything out of this crowd, we set out to see if we could catch someone from the set, to get the movie's name.

I try and find out if any of the locals are at the set. I see a guy under an umbrella, and figure out that he would not understand Malayalam. So I snoop around a bit more.....

Me : Cheta!! Ithu ethu padam annennu parayaam pattumo? (Brother! Will you be able to tell me what movie this is?)

Chetan (Big Brother) : Enikki ariyilla. Ithu etho Teluguo Kannadiga padam aanenu thonunnu. (I don't know. I think it's some Telugu or Kannada film)

As you can see, I wasn't getting anywhere.

My friend, on the other hand, did much better. He goes to that guy under the umbrella.

Friend : What movie shooting is going on?

Guy under umbrella : It's a Tamil movie. 'Kavasam'.

Me : :|

So much for local advantage!!

All you Tamilians out there. (Not you fraud ones.. like me.) Do let me know when a movie by such a name releases. I really want to see that song for which they were shooting at Athirappilly!

Oh, and yes. We did see the waterfall from below, in between the constant need to find out what the movie name and the who the actress was. And her dance instructor. And all the other women who were in the water on set. It's an even more breathtaking view from below.

This is one place I will definitely visit more than once.

So, this was our little adventure to Athirappilly. There is lots more that did happen, but that was on our way to Cherai. And for another blog post. Which will come soon enough.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pros and cons - Doc in the family.

Not many of you out there have had a doc for a dad or a mum. So I'm pretty sure that you guys would have had quite sometime trying to get in touch with one, asking for the doc's advice, second opinions and what not.

What does it feel like having a doc in the family? Have any one of you thought "How I wish my Mom/Dad were a doctor?" Well, here are some of the pros and cons (Not exhaustive by any means. I will add more as I get more) of having one in your immediate family (Mom/Dad types. Might work if you have really close relatives too).

Advantages of having a Doc in the family

1. He can get you an appointment with any other Doc at anytime. All he needs to do is barge into the Doc's room at anytime, with that stethoscope of his, and within a couple of sentences, you got yourself a high priority appointment.

Doc in the family (Barging into the theater when the other doc is doing an operation) : HEEY THERE!!! This here is my boy. He has a tooth ache. Please make it go away, pronto!

Doc (who is performing the surgery) : Right away!! HEY YOU JUNIOR DOC, take care of this while I look into the curious case of the Doc's son here, will ya?

Junior Doc : But Doc.... I don't know what to do....

Doc (who is performing the surgery) : aaaeee! Just insert this needle thingy right there, and see where it goes. Elementary!

And thus, your appointment is fixed.

2. If you say the right things, after the initial introduction, you can get your appointments for anything at anytime of your convenience.

Doc : You'll have this very important surgery done on Tuesday!!

Me : But Doc, I have a wedding to attend that day

Doc : OK. Let's have that very important surgery done on Wednesday!!

Me : Wicked.

3. You can say anything you want about what you do, or even about simple household appliances, like the computer. Chances are that the doc (your dad/mom) will accept it word for word, and will try to implement it too.

Me : Hey Doc (Mom/Dad), did you know that if you just sat in front of the computer, it would switch on... JUST BY ITSELF!! I modified the internal circuitry of the system to suit the requirements.... and Eyjafjallajökull (for those who actually are surprised by this word, read my previous post on B-school internship .)

Doc : Hey!! That's great!

About an hour later

Doc : Son... I've been sitting there for an hour and the system still hasn't switched on!

Me : Ha Ha! Gotcha! AGAIN!

Doc : We'll see about that when you get acute chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis! (This is a disadvantage. The Doc can always get back at you with his Doc Talk.)

Me : :|

Disadvantages of having a Doc in the family

1. You could end up listening to everything the other Doc says. And it doesn't sound like a nightingale. Not even to Florence. Makes you wonder whether they would make good consultants, though.

Doc : The previous examination showed us that the filling in the root canal cavity was not properly performed. A look at the X-Ray (Pointing at something on the film), shows that there are a lot of cysts formed due to the prolonged exposure of the infection to the cavity. Hence, a huge cyst has formed, leading to your current situation of *something*sclerosis. What we will need to perform is a MINOR (That's an attempt to keep me from screaming my head out) *something*ectomy (Oh. Doc talk. Very ectomic.) on you. 

Don't worry. It will involve only minor plumbing and digging into your teeth.(OK that last sentence is what I understood from the conversation. It's a good enough summary, though.)

Me : Want to work for my consulting company?? You'd blend in easily. You can do medical insurance.

2. The Doc in the family has the same cure for any problem that you will have. So will his/her spouse who, after so many years of marriage, would have enough knowledge to get a people's MBBS (You know. The one where he/she feeds information based solely on the experience gained through marriage), and start having second opinions of their own.

Me : My stomach's not all right.... uuggghhhh I don't feel so good.

Doc : Here is some paracetamol, you knucklehead.


Me (After some research of my own) : AIIYYYOO!! I have acute chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis!!!

Doc : Oh....Here is some paracetamol, you knucklehead.

Spouse : How about some rabeprazole. Isn't it better?

Doc : Oh yeah. Here is some rabeprazole, you knucklehead.


Doc and Spouse (in unison) : KNUCKLEHEAD!

So, all of you who had aspirations of having a doc as your mom/dad, think again. Evaluate. Use porter's 5 forces. Strategize. Then harbour those aspirations once again.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My mom knows me best!!

Mom : DDDDAAAAIIII!! Come and do this for me.

Me : I want to be paid by the hour!

Mom : OK. An extra dosa for every hour of work done.

Me : What about overtime?

Mom : Extra Thaiiru chaadam (Curd Rice) for that.

My Mom knows me best!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kerala Rhymes - These lyrics can be used instead of the original.

Oh yeah. The musician in me coming out. Aaha, aaha!!

"Take me down to the "Gods Own Country", where the trees (and basically everything else) is green and the girls are .... ummm.... well..... they outnumber the number of guys, OH WON'T YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOOOOOMMMMEE!!"

Oh, and now I see an alternate career in the music industry. A.R. Rahman and Anu Malik, here I come! Woot!