10:46 AM | Author: kaushik
WARNING! This is a very very long post!

First semester at IIT, we had our introduction session. Each one of us had to go up to the stage, state our names, where we are from and our hobbies and ambitions. My batch started giving mundane answers, where only the 'nouns' changed. All this while, waiting for my turn to come, I was thinking of a 'different' and 'refreshing' approach to answer the question.
This is what I came up with:

".....Where am I from? In a sense, you can say I am a true 'Indian'. I have stayed in Delhi, done the whole of my schooling in Calcutta, Engineering in Bangalore, called Chennai home when doing engineering, and am now in Mumbai, and in a month or two, my parents would be shifting here, to make Mumbai, my new 'home'........."

This brings me to the real purpose of this post. For the last couple of days, I have been thinking, which city do I call "home", and the following rambling is the analysis of just that!


17 years in Kolkata! This alone is reason sufficient for anyone to say that their home is Calcutta!
Childhood memories are the sweetest and all my childhood memories are set in calcutta. Memories like my first school rickshaw, 5/6 of us cramped into a small box, pulled by a never tiring rickshaw-wallah, of the reckless school van driver, of the tram that took me leisurely to school/tutions, of the metro, my best friend in helping me reach school on time (11th and 12th), of playing "gully-cricket" and breaking "kaanch" (window panes), and "Dissaparating" from the scene, of staging dance and plays for durga puja and for the "south india club', of roaming all round the city on "ashtami" nights, of globe and new-empire and priya and menaka, of "third millenium" on park street (my favourite haunt, cal guys, let me know if its still there), of chowmeins and egg rolls, of reading "ASK" secretly, of trying to look smart and 'patao' girls at vibes, cataclysm etc etc...

Obviously, I can't just say Calcutta was about a naughty childhood only! It is the place where I have learnt to become what, I am. I have learnt 'to live' here. My closest friends today are still those who I befriended in my school days. I have learnt my lessons in almost all walks of life here. City of first crush (back then, it was first love), city which has given me the confidence to dream and achieve them (obviously, through the amazing teachers that I have had there), taught me how to be a friend, taught me love, jealousy, hatred, reconcilation, humility, pride.......

But today, If I return to calcutta, I will return a stranger, a strange 'madrasi' who speaks fluent bengali. Everything that was calcutta to me has changed in the last 5 years. My school, has become unrecognizable from the asbestos covered shed it was, my teachers have either left or retired, all my close friends have relocated to other cities in search of greener pastures, newer roads, taller buildings, unfamiliar neighbourhood......

I will go back to calcutta, looking for a familiar past in an unfamiliar future.
Makes me wonder, what do I have in Calcutta, except for my memories to call it 'home'

If Calcutta gave me the preliminary course in life, Bangalore gave me the 'advanced' course, with an additional tricky subject called 'Independence'. Bangalore gave me "hostel life", and I would be lying if I do not acknowledge 01-05 as the best years in my life. The hostel made each one of us 'men' out of 'boys'. This is not just a cliched phrase that I am writing, but a fact!. Trying to manage life on Rs2000/- a month, living alone, washing your clothes, taking care of small sundries, is an essential eduaction. But the real education in Bangalore (apart from my degree that is!), was 'maturity, handling situations, organizing events, handling friendship, relationship, love, heart-break, success, failure is something that I
will never forget. These are some 'instincts' that I will never forget.

No discussion of Bangalore can be complete without mention of the 'fun' and 'friends' that I had and made at bangalore. These friends are a part of me now!
Fun in college varied from year to year. First year was the year of making friends and girl friends, then second year's fun was to celebrate each and everything worth celebratable, in the third year, seriousness was 'fun' with joint study sessions for GRE/CAT/Placements, while the fourth year was spent parked at various pubs and discos and bars rather than our hostel rooms!

Again, as with calcutta, bangalore is slowly becoming a city of memories for me. Atleast, till last year, a few of my closest friends were there, but studies/work is taking them away from Bangalore. Still, presently, I have an urge to settle down at bangalore. You just get addicted to the bangalore weather, and not to mention the vibrant culture of the place, which is special only to bangalore!

'Home' during hostel years was Madras for me. Dad got transferred to madras about the same time i got my admission to RVCE bangalore. Initially, my sister and me were a bit skeptical about leaving calcutta, the only place we had known then, to go to 'ultra conservative' madras, a city where boys of class 8 start preparing for boards, IIT, GRE etc etc, where only 'marks' matters ( got a nasty experience
of this), where the Mamis have an 'eye' out for making unwarranted comments even if a boy says hi to a girl. Anyways, I was happy that I would not have to stay there 24X7
But, If I were racing in bangalore, Madras was my 'pit-stop'. Over the four years, I have started to like madras. Got pretty close with my cousin, especially my cousin sister (who I admire and respect a lot) and relatives, all of whom with, I have had a great time.
Right now, I miss 'Madras'. I miss my lovely relatives, my adorable sister, who is slogging it out at a 'maximum security' girls hostel and a antedilluvian physiotherapy college.

IIT and living in Bombay had always been my dreams. 2005, was two in one: admission to IIT-B. But since then, I feel that, I am in a downward spiral. I am not able to connect with the M.tech junta here, which is making my life lonlier by the day.

Bombay is a beautiful city, sandwiched between hills and the sea, but the people here are so busy that they do not have the time to stand for a second and enjoy the beauty. Life goes here at clockwork precision, and I am not able to adjust to it at all. I am more suited to the 'Babu' lifestyle of calcutta or the 'lazily' busy bangalore way.

But still living in Bombay is an experience which no other city can give and words cant describe!

Dad got transferred to Bombay, september last, and then 'home' and 'ghar ka khana and mahoul'has been my lifeline in lonely bombay.


I have rambled on and on, but still am unable to figure out, what my 'home' is! My heart skips around all night in my dreams.

Guess this is another lesson that I am learning.

"......Musafir hoon yaaron
ghar hain naa thikaana
chalte jaana hai
bas chalte jaana hai....."

PS:I feel terribly guilty for not being able to update my blog regularly, and more so, of not being to read and comment on my 'blog friends' posts!
It is crunch time here at IIT-the semester end. Profs are realizing that they were too slow the last three months, quiz scheduling is looking like a optimization problem. assignments double, submissions triple....
But this is just a part of my 'bahana'. I still have a lot of time, but that is (mis)used in trying to set a WR for maximum sleeping in crunch week and a new found hobby, writing meaningless scraps on orkut
Hope to be more regular when all this ends, third week of april!!!

All the logos for the city is from a site called googlealive
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11:48 AM | Author: kaushik
Been tagged by aragorn!
Started- 23:20
1. Were you named after anyone? Yes, some rishi
2. Do you wish on stars? No
3. When did you last cry? 2nd march, 2004
4. Do you like your handwriting? Not really
5. What is your favourite meat? Me a veggie
6. What is your most embarrassing CD on your shelf? I am a mp3 man!!( downloaded for free!!)
7. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? No
8.Are you a daredevil? Depends
9. How do you release anger? Mostly by taking a walk, occasionaly by shouting at others
10. Where is your second home? Bangalore and Kolkata ( cant decide between the two)
11. Do you trust others easily? Yes and no.
12. What was your favourite toy as a child? My cricket bat ( i have hit hundreds of centuries to bail india out of trouble!!)
13. What class in school/college do you think is totally useless? Personality development in college( though it was not compulsary in my college, some colleges have made it mandatory)
14. Do you use sarcasm a lot? No. Hate it
15. Have you ever been in a mosh pit? No.
16. What do you look for in a guy/girl? Zest for life, passion for atleast "one" thing, humour and integrity
17. Would you bungee jump? Yes
18. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? I am a slipper man! and when i do wear shoes, i dont untie them
19. What's your favourite ice cream? Tooti-frootie
20. What are your favourite colours? Red and black
21. What are your least favourite things? Labs, Shopping
22. How many people do you have a crush on right now? on reese witherspoon
23. Who do you miss most right now? All my friends from RVCE, IIT sucks
24. What are you listening to right now? Simon and Garfunkel: I am a rock
25. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Brown
26. What is the weather like right now? Still, hot and humid
27. Last person you talked to on the phone? Karthik N, discussing process control
28. The "first" thing you notice about the opposite sex? Dont know
29. Do you like the person who sent you this? I like his blog.
30. How are you today? Confused, want to know where my life is headed to!
31. Favourite non alcoholic drink? Tea
32. Favourite alcoholic drink? Beer
33. Natural hair colour? Black.
34. Eye colour? Dark brown.
35. Wear contacts? No.
36. Siblings? Yes. One. Younger sister.
37. Favourite month? Winter months and August
38. Favourite food? drumstick sambhar and rasam
39. Favourite day of the year? None.
40. Have you ever been too shy to ask someone out? Yes, always
41. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings.
42. Summer or winter? Winter.
43. Holi or Diwali? Diwali
44. Do you like your name? Yes.
45. What book/magazine are you reading? In the garden secrety and other short stories by Jean arasanayagam
The BFG by Roald Dahl

46. What's on your mouse pad? Some crap on reflexology
47. What did you watch on TV last night? No TV in hostel, saw a bit of 4 weddings and a funeral over the lan
48. Favourite Smell? first rains after the summer, everything from mommys kitchen
49. Have you ever regretted breaking up with someone?never been in a relation to break up!
50. Most tiresome thing you’ve ever experienced/done?The ride back to bangalore from bombay by bus in the middle of HOT may(2005)!

finished: 00:01 (including editing the stuff)

I tag (donno if they will do it or not!)
demonic dude

PS: one of my closest friends has started blogging again!!
Welcome aboard once again sashi
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8:36 AM | Author: kaushik
update:well, again i have had no new posts for about a week now. This time it was because I was having loads and loads of fun with my undergraduate friends from RVCE, as we had met up for a reunion in aamchi mumbai. We booked a bus and went to alibaug for fun in the sea, went shopping in mumbai, and chatted and chatted all night long at my house. Even though everyone has gone back to their respective work/classes etc, our minds is having a phase lag and is stuck at the awesome weekend that we had!!


Over the last weekend, I have realized one thing. No matter, how hard you try, you cannot ever construct a wall that cannot be breached, a canyon that cannot be jumped (or even drift galaxies apart)between close friends!( and the vice verca!!). All it takes is just a couple of moments and all is forgiven!

I "got back" couple of my closest friends, bhavani and suku, over the reunion. It had been more than two years that I spoke to them, and all the while, I knew that the new life I was creating for myself, where i kept repeating to myself that I do not need them was just an illusion. But still, many things had been said and done, and I was not ready for picking up the phone and calling them, as it would be very awkward and also very un-natural.

Frankly, I was very skeptical about meeting the two of them before the reunion. Our friendship had gone down the drain, I had avoided them (successfuly, i might add) for two years. It felt to me that it was going to be another very weird "formal" meeting between the three of us. I am pretty sure that they were also thinkig the same way.

But our subconscious had differnet ideas. It seemed like God had played the perfect cards, so that we start talking again and also all the uncomfortable moments of forgiveness/forgiving etc etc are thrown out of the window. Unknowingly, our paths during the two days went in such ways that, now we have realized how much each one of us is worth for eachother. Hopefuly, I do not blow it again!!

The walk to the bank and back with suku (thanks to tension in navi mumbai because of which all the autos were off the road), reminicent of those college days, when we used to walk after dinner, and talk about so many things, will always be very special. And, as I said again, what we talked about was also so much like those good old college days. It felt so great to be talking about such things with him again!

Bhavani has always been a special friend to me, but only I know, how much I have hurt her over the past 4 years, and it so great that she keeps forgiving me again and again. Things got settled, on the evening of the 18th, in the sit-out of my home. We chatted about silly things the same way, we used to do in the canteen in the first year, to break the ice. And over sunday and monday, we even got some time to talk about some delicate issues and settle it there and then!!! It feels great to be back on talking terms with bhavs!!

And hey, Anshu, I am not going to bore you anymore again! I just hope the old days are back again! I know, the catch-22 situation, you have been in, the past two years, and my God, you have done a great job!!

PS: I have read many blogs, where names are subsituted with my friend X and Y etc etc. I purposely avoided that for two reasons. Firstly, all my friends who I know, will immediately know who X and Y are! and for all the people to whom I am an blogger named kaushik, I just feel, that using the names is better!!

Aragorn, I see that you have tagged me (yipeee! i am tagged!!). I will do that tomorrow or the day after.
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2:27 AM | Author: kaushik

I am really sorry for not having updated my blog for more than a week now. The reasons is a good mix of really hectic studying for a test on sunday, some laziness, and a small wait. My close friend Shriram, has come down to Mumbai for his visa interview.
He and I have always had a penchant for writing. Infact, our favourite classes in school were the english classes, where we had to write essays, reports etc.
Also this is going to be my 50thpost, so I thought a small wait for letting Shriram write the post would be worth it.

So todays blog, is a GUEST blog, written by Shriram. Hope you all will like it!

Only humans have the tendency of acquiring pleasure at the cost of some one else’s misery. Insatiable.

I used to go to play at a boy’s home in the evenings when I was in the 5th standard. This friend of mine used to be in the 4th at that time.

One such not so fine an evening his mom was chatting with both of us when I had gone down to play at his place, enquiring generally about my studies and other curricular things. Suddenly she asked me a weird question,” Tell me Shriram, do you love your mother more or your father?”
I was taken aback but replied quietly a few seconds later that I couldn’t possibly chose between the two. She said”Come on!! There must be someone you like more than the other.”
I said” I like both equally.”
She wasn’t satisfied and told me pacifying “You don’t have to worry about anything. You can tell me. Who do you like more?”
“My mom”, I said and turned as if indicating that the interview was over and she could leave now.

Incidentally my mom and dad were coming to their place for a casual visit later that evening. After the normal customary servings of coffee, and snacks associated with it, my parents and my friends’ started chatting which I being a kid did not feel compelled to attend and listen. I was playing cricket in the other room and suddenly the ball entered the hall where the adults were sitting.
Aunty remarked to my mom on seeing me” you know Gomathy; your son likes you more than your husband.”
I saw my dad’s face getting small, hurt.

I went back to play and no one said anything to me later, but I stopped going to their house.
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7:05 AM | Author: kaushik
how many times
  • have you Crashed into a party of someone with whom you just exchange hi/hellos.

  • has That party is suddenly planned at 9:30pm

  • has it happened, That by the time everyone leaves, it is 10:30

  • has it happened, That the party is at a restaurant 30KM away, near the Gateway of India (unfortunately it was not the taj)

  • have You had dinner at 11:30 in the night

  • has it happened that you forgot all about the last train back home and were digging into mutton seekh kababs and other such dishes till 1 AM

  • have You realized that you have missed the last train and, so will have to spend the night in V.T. station

  • have you Taken a walk to the gateway at 2AM

  • have you seen V.T. station with only a few 100 people in it.

  • have you chatted with a complete stranger and advised him to go seek a work instead of trying to follow the girl he loves, have told a foreigner to go somewhere else to somoke, as smoking is not allowed inside stations!

  • have you tried to take a nap inside a totally empty Bombay local

  • having been unable to sleep, sat up and chatted, and made up stupid mosquito jokes

  • have you taken the first train in the morning, and played the silliest of all games (antakshari of names, especially girls)

  • >have you seen, a 4AM train being full, and people actually hanging out of the train as in peak time

  • have youpicked up a fight with the auto-wala at 5AM, on if he should charge night charges or not

  • Have you Slept the whole day?

  • totally unrelated to what I have written about, is the blank noise blogathon, an eye-opener, to all the men in India (and the world), of what our female friends have to go through day in and day out, on the streets, buses, trains and even offices. I am providing some links to well written and (sadly true)articles on their plight of women. Read, this by anna, this by megha, and this by deepti.
    And, now I think, that you will agree with me, that this is not a war only of the ladies against those perverted sadists, but of each one of us, educated, decent young men, against all that filth that exists. If you think, it is going to be easy, read this by Freaky Chakra.
    Many of us have commented so much on RDB, collective responsibility of the youth etc. Now, this is our chance. Let us be united in protesting against such sadists, protesting in public, let us all men, keep our eyes and ears wide open, so that we can proomptly go to help every single girl we see troubled by the perverts, let us not shy from going and giving those eve-teasers a punch in their face, let us try to make others around us aware of such atrocities, let us try to change the escapist mood of the aam junta (i am not involved, why should I bother), the sick attitude of the police (the girl should dress properly bullshit).
    We owe this to our friends of the other gender.
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    7:10 AM | Author: kaushik
    The great manna dey, gave a private performance yesterday for IIT-B staff and students. Obviously, one does not miss such a wonderful opportunity, to listen live to a man who has acieved so much praise and fame like Manna De (and that too for free)...

    The evening began at around 730, at the OAT in the gymkhana.

    Even though, all of us acknowledge Manna De as a great singer, his popularity on the basis of recall value of his songs is not very high. An average person, will know quite a lot of songs of rafi, kishore kumar etc, but does not recall many songs sung by Manna De. I too was no exception, as were a lot of people in the packed OAT.

    Manna De, was a little hesitant to start off, little unsure about performing for such a young crowd, which sways to the complete opossitte of the type of music, manna de specializes in. He, too was skeptical about the fact that his songs are not as popular as those of kishore and rafi, and said very very clearly, at the outset that he will not sing any of their songs.

    But then slowly, as he started coming to his groove, the crowd started to enjoy his mystical voice, his evergreen songs and he had each one of us hypnotized by his magic.

    For me, personally, it was a great feeling. I like old hindi songs, but my knowledge, as I said earlier was restricted to kishore and rafi and rd burman etc etc. Slowly, as Manna de started to sing his favorite numbers, I was completely transported into a different world.

    The first song of the evening that I fell in love was " Sur na Saje Kya Gawu main, Sur ke bina jeevan suna", a heart wrenching number.
    Then, obviously one had to like "janak janak payal baje", an immensly popular song, performed with great style and panache. Before starting the song, Manna De said that he was going to perform a number which won the national award, and the crowd started appluading, and he quipped back "pata to nahi hai kaun sa gana, taali baja diya" (you do not know which song, but you people have clapped), and when he started the song, another wave of applause as the audience realized the song, he was about to sing.

    This was followed by a request from the bengali section of the crowd to perform a bengali number called "Coffee-house". As, I listened to this song, I could not help but falling in love with this song. The lyrics were amazing, and the tune was peppy. Trying to download this song!

    He ended the first half with "Oh mere zoharazabeen", during which the crowd literally went crazy.

    As in cricket matches when Sachin plays for tea, and then comes out all guns blazing after tea and decimates the attack (sigh! where are those days!), Manna De, was just unbelievable after the break. This time he chose to sing more of his popular numbers, and the crows was lipping each song along with him. It was just magical.

    He started off with some duets, Aaja Sanam Madhur chandani maini hum tum mile to wirane main bhi aa jayegi bahar" and then the Condom song (whenever I listen to this song, I am remined of the nirudh advert)"Pyar hua ikraaar hua", and then went on to sing some great songs like "Phul gendwa na maro" and "Dil ka haal sune dilwala".

    But, he had preserved his best for the last. On crowd request, he performed the incredible song called "Madhushala" by Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan. He was initially reluctant to perform it, suggesting that why should such a young crowd listen to this song, but finally, when he performed that song, it was just unbelievable. You had to be there. The lyrics of the song is just too good, and Manna De's rendition of the song, took singing all together to a different plane. The man himself, was overcome by emotion, and did not quite finish the song, but the crowd had been completely hypnotized by his song. The applause for this song was just unbelievable. As if to keep us hypnotized for a little longer, he started of Laga Chunari main daag", a classical masterpiece.

    By then the time was ten, and the concert over.
    The crowd was cheering on, and living every moment of an event which everybody knew will probably be never back again. Manna De was also delighted with the resopnse he got, and finally exclaimed, that he never thought that such a young crowd will like his brand of music, but after the show, he can feel nothing but 10 years younger.

    Before I finish, I will have to mention about Mr. Khurana, the Master of ceremony, who kept filling in with some amazing jokes and shayari.

    Truly, one of the unforgettable evenings in my life!!!
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