Feb 9, 2016

777. Engineering Mathematics is a Pakistan Terrorist

Till last week, the only thing I remembered from my BE degree was my examination registration number. I finally forgot that 6 digit number. So officially I have retired from my Engineering degree. To honor me, Brendan McCullum retired from One day international cricket.

I am an Electronics and Instrumentation engineer. If you ask me anything from any subject during my Engineering degree, I will just give a blank stare. I don't remember anything now. I vaguely remember that I had a subject called Fluid mechanics in my 6th semester. I also remember that I had a subject called field theory in my 5th semester. 

Then there was this huge book written by A.K Sawhney. If Philip Koetler's book on marketing is the Bible for all MBA students who specialise in marketing, then AK Sahney's book is the bible for all Instrumentation engineers. The only thing I remember is that I sold that book for 200 Rupees and bought an underwear and a Beatles CD from the money.

I seriously don't remember anything else. Well! I remember all the cultural events that I participated in. I can write a book and publish it based on my Engineering days. But a lot of authors have already done that. So I won't do that. 

One thing that still haunts me is "Engineering Mathematics". I had one arrears paper in my BE degree and that was my first year Engineering Mathematics paper. I came across Fourier transforms (4th semester) and Laplace Theorem (5th semester). I still do not know how I cleared those papers. This is why I seriously doubt the credibility of University of Madras.

Let me tell you How I flunked in my first year Engineering mathematics exam.

I was a day scholar during my first year of Engineering. I was weak in mathematics. All the best mathematics students stayed in college hostel. Till two days before the semester exam, I tried my level best to study for the exam; but nothing entered my head. So I decided to study with my classmates who stayed in college hostel. That was the biggest blunder I ever did.

It was a Sunday morning. The exam was on Monday. So after the church service was over, I rushed to the college hostel. All the guys were wearing minimal costumes and were roaming freely in the hostel corridors. As soon as I entered hostel, Edwin (EEE student) approached me and said "Machi, came for combined study? You have come to the right place".

His words of encouragement was a tonic for me. He came along with me and took me to all the rooms in the hostel. All the rooms were filled with smoke. The guys were all high too ( I did my Engineering in Pondicherry. The college was affiliated to Madras University). I asked Edwin "When will all study for the exam". He calmly looked at me and said "Don't worry. We will start soon".

Then we entered one room where Augustine Paul and co were playing a game of cards. As I entered the room, they welcomed me and allowed me to join them in the game. After a few games, they said it was time for lunch. So we went to the college mess and had our lunch. Once we were back, all the guys went to sleep. I again asked Edwin when they will all study. He looked at me with a cool look and said " Don't worry machi. We will start in the evening".

I slept with he gang. It was a new experience for me. I have never been in a hostel environment and I was getting accustomed to the wolf pack. When I woke up at around 5 PM, no one was around me. I rushed out of the hostel room and saw all the guys in the college play ground.

Some of them were playing cricket and some others were playing ball badminton. As I was a ball badminton, right back player, I joined them and played to my heart's content. It became 7 PM in no time and it was time for dinner.

We again rushed to the college mess and had our dinner (chappathi) and came back to the hostel rooms. Still no one had opened their books. I started to panic at that point of time. I again turned to Edwin and he put his arms around my shoulders and said "Don't worry machi," Many of them started writing formulas in small chits. I understood that they were going to cheat the next day. I did not want to join them.

So I asked Edwin to lead me to the room where people would actually be preparing for the exams. Edwin is a Maniratnam fan. He took out his purse and showed a passport size photograph of Maniratnam that he had kept in his purse. Edwin started to explain the film taking nuances of Mani Sir. It seemed as though the spirit of Maniratnam had entered Edwin.  Before I realised, it was 9 PM. Now fear set in and I started to panic. I had an exam to write in 12 hours time and here I was standing without even opening the book. Edwin again looked at me and said "Ok Machi! I will help you now".

He opened his book and showed me some of the caricatures that he had drawn. He was a master story teller. I had no clue how I got sucked into his story. Before long, it became midnight and he yawned, thus showing the first symptoms that he was sleepy. He immediately packed his books, kept them in the shelf and lied down.

I looked at him in disbelief and said "Please help me". He looked at me with calmness and said " Don't worry da. We will wake up early at 4 AM and I will guide you through some exam questions". I slept too with the assurance that I will get up and learn some short cut methods to clear the exam.

When I woke up, it was 8.40 AM. I did not even have time to take a bath. I just brushed my teeth, wore my shirt and pants and ran to the exam hall. When I looked at the question paper, it looked like Rocket Science to me. I tried to fill the paper with random numbers and when I ran out of gas, I came out of the exam hall. The results came after 3 months. I had scored 12 marks out of 100. The pass mark was 45. I went in search of Edwin and I saw him talking to a few juniors (The first year students have joined by that time) about Maniratnam. I asked him how much he scored. 13 out of 100 was the reply. How did he get 1 more mark than me?

This is one of the very few photos I have from my Engineering days. Edwin is sitting next to me in the picture.

That was the first time I ever failed in a subject in my life in exams. Engineering Mathematics is indeed a Pakistan Terrorist.

This post is dedicated to my dear friend Edwin

- Chronicwriter

Feb 7, 2016

776. Funny Facebook status messages

There is some joke in every single situation in life. One can come across umpteen number of funny stuff on Facebook. You might have come across some funny facebook posts that would have made you ROFL. Check these ten funny Facebook posts posted by some of the geniuses in the social media world

1) Mind voice-nu nenachu loud-a pesuna lady (The lady who did not know the difference between an inbox and a status message)

2) Who needs hackers when we have people like Jeremy, Heather and Sandi

3) When you try to be the know-it-all and end up at the receiving end

4) My mom used to do this all the time.

5) When She does not know if she is a she or a he

6) Nee adhuku sari pattu vara maatta

7) When you join the Al Qaeda without Osama Bin Laden's knowledge

8) I think it's so stupid

9) Enna kaiya pudichu illutheeyaa?

10) Asingapattaal Autokaari

- Chronicwriter

Jan 21, 2016

775. My first movie theater experience

I was born in an orthodox Christian family where watching movie in a cinema hall was not allowed. When I was a kid, we had Doordarshan at home and the only day Doordarshan telecasted movies was on Sundays and we had strict rules of not watching TV on Sundays. Hence I did not know much about movies when I was a kid.

My first movie in a cinema hall was " The Ten commandments". My folks took me to that movie because it was a Biblical movie. But I vaguely remember watching that movie on the big screen because I was very small that time.

The next movie I watched in the big screen was "Jurassic Park". I remember that incident pretty well. It is still fresh in my memory. So I consider that as my first movie experience in the cinema hall.

Jurassic park hit the Indian screens two days after my birthday. April 15 1993. I turned 11 on April 13th. 15th of April was also the same day when Titanic sank. It was summer holidays for me. I had just completed class 6. Officially it had been just one year since I stopped wetting my bed.

One week after the movie hit the theaters, my dad came home and told us that he would take us to the movies. That of course meant that he had done his survey about the movie and had carefully seen to that the movie did not have even one kissing scene. Back then, when ever we heard the term English movie, the first thing that we pre-teen guys would ask each other was "Is there a kissing scene in that movie?". Care was taken at home that we did not come across any kissing scene on TV.

It was a saturday. We all had our lunch and mom told us "If you sleep well, I will take you to the movie for the 6 pm show". They already had the tickets and she was just saying that just to make me and my sister have a good afternoon nap. I was innocent that I did not even logically think of this at that time. I just obeyed her and went to sleep.

When I woke up in the evening, my sister was already dressed up for the occasion. I got up from the bed in a hurry, went to the loo, did chuchu, freshened up and changed my clothes. Soon the whole family started to the movie hall in my dad's Lamby scooter. I will stand in the front. My sister will sit between my dad and my mother. My dad used to drive the scooter at a top speed of 20 Kmph.

We reached the cinema hall (Muthu theatre in Nagercoil) just in time. As soon as we entered the cinema hall, I was stunned to see the big screen.After we settled down in our seats, the lights went off. I was scared of the dark and I did not expect  the lights to go off. As soon as the lights went off, fear engulfed me.

I did not know that the movie would be scary. I thought it was about some children movie with some friendly dinosaurs. I watched the movie with fear. I was literally screaming when ever the big dinosaur made his appearance on the screen. In one scene the Dinosaur would literally gobble a man sitting in a western commode. That incident has left a scar in my life. Even today I am scared of sitting in the western commode. I always finish my biological export in a jiffy. When I constipate, horror thoughts fill my mind.

Another scene from the movie that made me jump out of my seat and fall on the ground involved a dinosaur jumping and almost biting off a small boy's leg in that movie. When I saw that scene, I literally pulled my leg up and lost balance only to fall from the seat. My sister literally laughed out loud. When my dad picked me up from the floor and put me back on the seat, I realized that the dampness in my shorts was because I had peed in my shorts. I still do not know till date how my urine tank burst.

That night after the movie was over, I did not utter a single word. I came back home and plunged into my bed and slept off. I resumed to bed wet for some more time because of Jurassic Park.

- Chronicwriter

If you want to read my first experience series, click the following links

1) http://www.chronicwriter.com/2014/04/634-my-first-shaving-experience.html

2) http://www.chronicwriter.com/2010/05/409-i-have-never-puked-this-is-first.html

3) http://www.chronicwriter.com/2014/11/688-my-first-college-bunking-experience.html

Jan 13, 2016

774. I love to sleep with...

This is the most difficult thing for me to do. I belong to the breed of human race that plays kabbadi with the snooze button in the alarm clock for one hour every morning. As a matter of fact nothing can wake me up once I doze off. The only way of me waking up from sleep is when my brain and my rear end agrees for a bilateral agreement. 

When I was a child I had the habit of bed wetting. I used to bed wet till I was 10. Please don't ask me if it was 10 years or class 10. I won't answer that question. When I was a bed wetter, the moment I power my bed sheets with liquid proteins, my brain would give me the  "Get up signal" to me. But after I stopped bed wetting, that only way of waking me up died. May be I should continue to wet my bed.

My daughter sleeps with me and she takes after me when it comes to bed wetting. My parents still doubt me thinking I have not yet stopped the habit of bed wetting. But, they may be true. Who knows?

When I was a little boy, my dad used different torture methods to wake me up. I am a person who never uses the ceiling fan while sleeping. Yes! I will sweat and sweat and still not use ceiling fans. I can survive in the hottest places on earth. But they say like poles repel each other. Hence I stay away from Hot places. 

My dad will switch on the fan. I will immediately cover my head with the bed sheet and sleep. Then he will increase his torture mode and will sprinkle water on my face. I will wipe that water with the same bedsheet and still carry on with my dreams. He will then resort to some cheap tactics which involves pain. They say there is no gain without pain. He will call my mom and once she comes into the picture, the pain levels will increase multi-fold. She will be accompanied by some coconut sticks. If you have got beatings by coconut sticks, you would understand my agony. As I can't bear pain, I will wake up and head straight to the loo.

Once I am inside the loo (Bathroom+ toilet), I will open the tap and allow the bucket to get filled. Then I will put another bucket upside down, sit on it and rest my head on the corner of the room and start dozing off again. My mom will wait outside the bathroom for ten minutes. She would know that I would have dozed off. Then she would bang the door and say, if you do not come out of the bathroom now, I won't allow you to see Shakthimaan. 

Keeping me away from Shakthimaan was equivalent to capital punishment according to me. The next moment I would be outside. Then I would eventually get ready and head to school. Years have rolled by. Almost the same process follows. Dad and mom are now replaced by my daughter and wife who know how to wake me up and pack me to work.

There is a tamil saying which goes on like this -" Thoonguravana ezhupidalaam; thoongura maadhiri nadikiravana ezhuppa mudiyadhu" which means you can wake a person who sleeps; but not one who acts as though he is sleeping. This quote does not apply to me. Because I sincerely love to sleep and I am proud to say this.

OK. Good night.


Jan 4, 2016

773. Bragadeesh Prasanna - The Tirunelveli inspiration

When I am down and sad, I often visit Quora and read some of the most inspirational real life stories. Then I would watch some youtube videos on inspirational people. That would give me my dose of inspiration which I would eventually pass it on to my friends in the form of advice and philosophical quotes through Facebook status messages.

As I begin this year 2016, I decided to write an inspirational story about a guy I know for the last 11 years. His life story will be an inspiration for everyone who reads this blog post.

I first met him in a social networking site called Hi5. I was doing my first year MBA in Cochin. It was the year 2005. For those who do not know what Hi5 is, let me tell you that Hi5 is the grand father of Facebook. Hi5 begat Orkut which inturn begat Facebook.

My conversations with Prasanna were restricted within a public chat group called "Chennai Tamil Teens". We were an online gang - Mike, Guru, Bala, Sinduja, Prasanna, Maddy and I. We would discuss about sports, movies and about love.

Prasanna was studying first year BSc in a college in Tirunelveli. He would find it difficult to string one sentence in English. Hence he would be the listener when we all conversed. Once I asked him to tell more about himself. He said that he worked in a hotel as a server to earn money for his studies. He also told that he earns Rs 20 every day.

Oh! A man who was earning to pay fees for his own studies! That was the first impression I had about him.

Then one day in 2005, he told our online gang that he has joined a net cafe as a net cafe in charge so that he canuse the internet cafe to  chat with us all in addition to earning Rs 75 per day. That was also the year when Chetan Bhagath entered the Indian market with his books. Prasanna would ask us to suggest him some novels so that he could improve his English. We suggested him to read some of Dab Brown's works and Sidney Sheldon's books

Here was a person who was learning to speak in English and was showing great signs of improvement in our discussions. Soon, he started typing sentences in English. Prior to that, he would type all his sentences in Tamil

Then one day in 2006, I invited him to come to my house. It was the year 2006. It was the first time in my life, I was inviting an online friend to my house. I stayed at my parents' house in Nagercoil. Prasanna travelled all the way from Tirunelveli to Nagercoil ( 2 hours bus journey) and reached Nagercoil bus stand. I picked him up from the bus stand. We went to Kanyakumari and this was the first picture I clicked of this guy.

After his first visit to Nagercoil, his visits to Nagercoil became frequent. When ever I landed in Nagercoil from Cochin, he would visit us. He loved the biriyani that my mother makes. This picture was taken at Maruthuva Malai (The southern most mountain in India)

Then, one day in our public chat, he asked us what he should do to improve his English. Sinduja told him to come to Chennai and start working in Chennai. 

Without a second thought, he just came to Chennai and got a job for Rs 2161/- per month. It was the year 2007. 

During that time I was working in Trivandrum and when I came to Chennai in 2008, I met him again and I was pleasantly surprised to see him speak in English. Yes! There were lot of grammatical mistakes in his sentences. But who cares! He was at least making an effort. His economic condition and his struggle were never his deterrents. I was seeing a man coming up in life with his own efforts. 

Later in the year 2008, I moved to Singapore and I only returned in 2011. By then, Prasanna had made huge strides in life. He started working in a BPO, was earning a decent salary and also was my neighbour in Chennai. We would spend every evening together in Chennai. We would sit in my house balcony and talk about our childhood days. Though he had settled down in Chennai, he was in deed a Tirunelveli kaaran. 

2011 was the year I got married. Just before I got married, Prasanna was the same guy who egged me on to be disciplined in life. He was there with me when I got married.

He is also a blogger. His blog in Tamil is a very interesting one. Read it here [link]. He pulled his parents to Chennai and the whole family shifted from Tirunelveli to Chennai. One day he called me on my phone and told " Chriz! come with me to the bike show room. I am planning to buy a bike". We went to the show room. I selected the bike color for him. We booked the bike and came back. Buying a bike is no big deal these days. But the manner in which he bought the bike still gives me goosebumps. For those who sit and cry for little losses in life, there is this guy who grew up, crossing all stumbling blocks, carving a career for himself, and building his own dream.

In the year, 2014, he called me up and said "Chriz, I have got an offer to head the operations of a BPO".  I was happy for him. As I started thinking of the Prasanna I first met in 2005, I could not think of any one else who has grown in life without anyone to back him up. 

Today he is a blogger [link ], a man who is about to publish his first novel and also a successful corporate leader. When people see him with his electronic gadgets, they may not see the hard work that has gone behind the scenes. Everything that guy has in his life (Be his iPhone or the house he is constructing in Chennai or his big gang of friends) is solely because of the bloody hard work that he has invested in his life.

If Some one asks  me " Does Hardwork pay?", my answer would be "Bragadeesh Prasanna".


Dec 28, 2015

772. When lies become Moral lessons

Finally the truth is out. When my friend Bragadeesh clicked a picture of an old man, little did he know that a great truth will finally be revealed by that old man. The picture says it all

- Chronicwriter

771. Frooti and my childhood

The Frooti pack image that is added here is a new version of Frooti. When it hit the markeet inthe late 80s / early 90s, the drink came in a green pack.

The song "Mango Frooti! Fresh and Juicy" is still fresh in my memory. Watching that ad in the old Bush TV in our house in Doordarshan brings me some great memories of those days.

The Frooti pack was priced at Rs 3 at that time and it was a costly drink. My sister was a big fan of frooti. She would always buy frooti. Me, being a boy always opted for Gold spot.

I treated Frooti like a girls drink and I would consider that only boys were capable of drinking aerated drink. Yes I was against gender equality.

I would try to drink Gold spot in one gulp, but always failed to do that. Holding the goldspot bottle in one hand and drinking it was supposed to be a cool act back in the late 80s. Those who have done that will understand what I am talking about.

Though I did not like Frooti, I always collected the pack after my sister completed drinking it. I would then inflate the pack by blowing through the hole in the pack, keep the pack on the floor and jump on it and it would explode with a loud noise. How many of you have done this? The fun with frooti is not in drinking it; the actual fun lies in bursting the pack.

This morning I read the news about rebranding of Frooti. The news pulled me back to my childhood days. Do you have such memories with Frooti?

- Chronicwriter

Dec 10, 2015

770. Throwback to examination hall

Ten things that happen in every exam halls

1) Exams make people get closer to God. The five minutes before receiving the question paper and the one minute after receiving the question paper in hand, is the period during which fervent prayers are offered to God. People who have not touched the book also become spiritual hoping God to do a miracle

2) If you write a lot of gas for Instrumentation papers (BE) you will get good marks. I am an Instrumentation engineer from Madras University (1999 batch)

3) If you happen to sit behind a studious student, you automatically get an inspiration.

4) The hand writing in the first two pages resembles a neatly written record book. I the last 30 minutes of the exam, everyone becomes a doctor. (My doctor friends all have bad hand writings. So I take the liberty to make this statement. Doctors, who have good handwriting, please excuse me. Don't file a defamation case against me. I have a weak body. Adi thaanga maatein)

5) A student who helps you during exam time by passing chits, showing you the right answer is a FRIEND

6) A student who does not help you during exam time is a terrorist and such a person should be immediately sent to Pakistan.

7) The first person to leave the hall after finishing the exam is seen as the hero of the class. When he goes out, he waits at the entrance and makes sure some body else joins him. So he encourages the others from outside showing hand gestures to come out soon.

8) People who teach us sure-shot questions right before we enter the exam hall are the spiritual gurujis of the class.

9) People who use scientific calculators in the exam are scientists. Most of the time, I just press random buttons on the scientific calculator (especially when the invigilator is in close proximity)

10) I forgot the 10th point. This always happens with me. For a ten point answer, I would always forget one point. But I would not just leave it blank. I would fill that point with some answer as I have done here.

Click this link [ Examination Blues - Those School days] to know about my school day exam time memories.