Category Archives: Escapades

Food!!!

Firstly this is a post partly in response to this.

11 hours 36 mins … my watch does not show seconds and you have stopped timing the intervals between meals. You just pulled that number out of the air anyway. Let it suffice to say you have been working all day and are hungry enough to eat a camel. You wonder how you haven’t eaten in a while. Its just the way things are now. And being a huge foodie, its kind of tragic. You look at your code and the bug persists. You give up. Your’e just too hungry to care. The cell vibrates and you pick up to hear your mother’s voice “Are you going to eat?” You reply in the affirmative. You almost miss the bus home but that is not because you are smelling freshly fried samosas or vada pavs. You would give your right hand to be able to eat those on a daily basis.

You don’t pay the driver and just trudge along home. As you open the door, the smell of freshly cooked divine food does not greet you. Its just the smell of some food made a long time ago that is starting to get bad and stinking up the fridge. You take off your footwear and move towards the kitchen. No one tells you to wash your hands. It doesn’t really matter. You look at the empty plates, sigh and start to wash the rice. Its going to be a 30 minute wait before you get to eat. That is what life in the USA is really about.

For everyone in India who thinks that in the USA one would indulge in a life or carefree debauchery and will experiment with all the vices the new world has to offer, the reality is that you can really do all those if you want to, but considering the amount you pay to get here, can you afford to? And the biggest price to pay for a food lover is that the food here is disgusting most of the time. And if you happen to be a vegetarian, God help you. Its not as bad as in Europe I hear, but the American concept of vegetarian food borders on what their pet rabbits eat. Raw vegetables of every sort piled in the corner of the buffet.

Mexican vegetarian food is not too bad but you can’t have much of that. And when Indian places are few and far between and expensive at that, you really start missing the spices. And of course, there is no home made food unless you count your own cooking.

Something I am very thankful for is that I like to cook. Its almost therapeutic. My mom made sure I knew my way around the kitchen before sending me to the US and I have been fortunate enough to be right at home here. It started with the simple stuff like peeling potatoes and dicing vegetables. Before long I had graduated to making rotis, hakka noodles, stuffed parathas and yes even Pav Bhaji. But it is a pain to do it day in and day out of course. This makes me respect and admire my mother a million times more. How do you spend an entire day at the office and the go to the kitchen and whip up a delicious meal for a family of 3 every day? I promise to help her out in the kitchen a whole lot more once I get back.

Not that I am a very fussy eater, but I cringe when I remember all the times I have complained about brinjals or bitter gourd. Sometimes it is the most convenient thing to make and until now, I never realized what a pain cooking is. I promise never to complain about food and just eat whatever my mother puts in front of me.

As far as easy to make food is concerned, I have developed new respect for pulav. It is so easy to make and so convenient that I have eaten more rice in the past 6 months that I have in the 2 years before that. But I now officially hate pasta. It happens to be even more convenient to make than pulav but the pasta I eat here does not bear any resemblance to the macaroni my mom makes at home. I have started hating the taste of the pasta sauce and since it is used as a substitute to tomatoes in my house, I have to taste it in anything I eat. It has now become one of the most disgusting tastes in the world. I long for the taste of fresh tomatoes. When I go back home, I think I will order a 200 Re. plate of pasta and will go and give it to some poor guy and take the 4 Re. vada pav he is just about to eat and devour it with relish.

After tasting every kind of cuisine the USA has to offer, I have come to the conclusion that there is no food like Indian food and in that, there is no substitute for what my mother makes. So to all other cuisines in the world, “UP YOURS”

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For those who came in late

The past few months I have seen a slew of bloggers from SPCE-SPIT. Many of them are still in college with some in their first year. Over the past four years, much has changed in college. Some places have changed their locations and some have ceased to exist altogether. This post is just a record of my recollections of SPCE and I hope whoever reads this looks at the campus in a different light.

Ten things you didn’t know about SP:
1) The year I was an FE i.e. 2005-06, was the year SPIT came into existence. Before that there was just the SPCE Aided wing with Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and SPCE unaided with Computers, IT, Electronics.

2) The 2005-09 batch of EXTC was the first EXTC batch to pass out of college. Hence placements for that batch were awful.

3) There used to be only one General Secretary, Cultural Secretary and Magazine Secretary for SPCE-SPIT combined even when we were in our Second Year. Rules used to change every year after that and we ended up screwing every college festival.

4) SPACE ’06 was the best SPACE to ever happen. No arguments about that. Jal had come to college. Bhavan’s ground was packed and all the events were amazing

5) We had two canteens when we were in FE. There was the normal canteen where we would get misal pav, poha, etc. and there was a sandwich, paratha, pizza, etc. counter near the stairs on the ground floor near the SPIT entrance i.e. opposite the elevator and adjacent to the SPIT office. The sandwich counter was shifted to the canteen in our SE.

6) The new SPIT wing did not exist in my FE. There was nothing there. Just the remnants of an old structure. Me and the rest of FE Trical spent many happy afternoons playing football there.

Notice the background?

7) There was no grille and no barriers separating the Quad from the college. The quad was all-access till my SE. And also the Quad height did not vary as much as it does now. There weren’t any fans or curtains.

8) In SPCE midterms were never taken seriously at all. Still aren’t I guess.

9) There was a reading room adjacent to the SPCE library. After our FE, they broke the wall and expanded the library.

10) This is just for the record really.

Rohit Ajitkumar, Chinmay Kamat and Siddharth Deekshit are the official founders of Sardar Patel Quiz Club, fondly known as SPQC. And BE Trical batch of 2009 will remain the undisputed SPQC Champions. Doubt it? We will take you on anytime, anywhere.

P.S. If anyone remembers anything else I missed out on, please let me know

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Who's better than the Beatles?

A simple comment by a friend on Facebook set off a good debate. Here it is verbatim:

V (The original status): the best thing that happend to music..CREED..

O: agreed 😛

Angry young man: Ummm I kinda disagree……..Have heard a band called “The Beatles”?……..

Angry young man (here it gets bizarre): BTW Creed is a Christian Rock band……and those type of bands are more prone to drug abuse than any other rock bands……

O (very sensibly): there’s a difference between opinions and facts, one man’s beatles is another mans creed and whats drug abuse got to do with it anyways, unke gaane sunne hai, unke yahaan rishta leke nahi jaana

Angry young man (getting progressively more angry): So u r telling me Creed is better than Beatles?…..If u really know what Creed is singing about then u r better off listening to Bhajans (needlessly insulting Bhajans, some of which are beautiful) ……

Me: always thought choice in music was personal. and was not aware that music could be compared

A: I agree wit rohit…Its the music that matters at the end of it all… n I think creed is a great band… n i feel that beatles is all ballscrap… totally overrated..

Angry young man: Nice one A first u agree with Rohit……Then u go ahead and compare music……..have u ever heard of a word called “hypocrite”?……

Me: @ Angry young man. read A’s comment again mate. he clearly says “I feel that beatles is all bullcrap”. Its an opinion. He does not say “Creed makes better music than the beatles do”.
Anyway high five A. And this comes from a total Beatles freak.

O: Angry young man, what if i like creed better than beatles? The Beatles aren’t everybodys favorite band u know, how come you’re oblivious to that simple fact remains a mystery as quite clearly you’re portraying yourself here as the all knowing master of musical knowledge. U don’t seem to have heard of the word opinion, and u think only u know what creed are singing about? Hum sab yahaan pe bewakoof baithe hai na

Me: shaant gadhadhari O shaant 😀

V: welcome to battlefield MUSIC..

Me: lol totally. where is Angry young man though?

Angry young man (And this is where he loses it): Dawg I was also giving my opinion in the start but u were the one u butted in and started the debate…….so i guess u r bewakoof……..

Me: what was that anecdote about people living in glass houses?

O: they should change clothes in the basement 😛 and hopefully they’ll stay there for the rest of their lives too

Me: haha. very true.

O: u still don’t get the difference, i respect your opinion even though its simply daft, but u think your opinion is what the world should calmly accept as fact but anyway i dont think you are bright enough to register a fair and cogent argument so peace out hombres

Angry young man (sounding chastened): Hey its cool……in the end Music is Music no matter what type……BTW good debate….kept me thinking the whole day…..

Me: heh. that’s it. this is going on my blog

P.S.
Angry Young Man: Hey if u like how the creed’s singer sounds like……listen to Kings of Leon….. (Total Wtf!)

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Home

This has been doing the rounds in facebook for a couple of days now. 50 reasons. I don’t need them. We all have our own reasons to love Bombay.

Its the city I was born in. Its where I learnt everything that was worth learning. It is where my father, who arrived way back in 1981 with nothing but an appointment letter in his hand made his life. It is where I said my first words. It is where I first learnt the concept of a crowd, of slums, of reality.

It is where I went to school and college. It is where I made my greatest friends. It is where I marveled at the co-existence of enormous wealth and utter despair. It is where I saw people who usually never wasted their breath on meaningless pleasantries, go out of their way to help a lad get back on his feet after a bad fall from his motorcycle. It is where I saw people go berserk when Misbah played that fateful shot.

It is where I learnt that no man is an island. It is where I came across the most genuine people in the world. It where I experienced the crests and troughs of life.

Now that I live thousands of miles away, where the thought of going back one day is the only reason for me to see the day through, I ache for it. There is a part of me in Bombay. And a part of Bombay in me which will never be happy in these clean streets and among the friendly people. It will always crave for the rudeness of the conductors and the honking of the car horns in traffic.

Simply put, there is no place like home.

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WTF at loot

For the uninitiated, Loot is a chain of stores in Mumbai which is said to offer branded clothes at huge discounts. The fact that most of the stuff is not too good is a different matter (though to be fair you do come across a gem from time to time).

Well I went to the Loot store in Goregaon today and I was looking for a pair of shorts. I told the ready to help lady there that my waist is 34. She went to the rack and held up a 30 and said something to the effect of “Do you think you could squeeze into these?” While I was just gaping at her, I somehow mouthed “NO! My waist is 34!”

She dives into the rack and comes up with a 32 and said “Would this do?” as if she was ready to bargain. I was on the verge of asking her which part of the sentence “My waist is 34” she did not understand when helpfully she said, “Sorry Sir, we don’t have a 34.”

Really, WTF????

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A letter to SPCE Electrical 2005-09

Life is short. Time Flies by. A fantastic quirk of fate compounded by the inexplicable, unproved but oft observed butterfly effect culminated in the eclectic and unique mix of people that is our class. And what a wonderful class it is!

It all began in August 2005 when we made our way cautiously through the corridors of SPCE searching for FE Electrical (or Trical as we later learnt it was referred to), trying to avoid seniors and ragging. We didn’t quite succeed in avoiding ragging, but hey, that’s all part of the fun. The fresher’s dance was an awesome experience. Hagofying on stage (ask Mr. Divyanshu) felt great. The first DJ session in the quad was even better.

One thing that I will never forget is the great enthusiasm we share/shared for football. I remember a time when we once played a full ground game 16 on 16 on a hot April afternoon. That was simply fantastic! I will miss our stadium Craven Cottage where the unpainted travesty that is SPIT wing 2 stands. Long live football!

The great trips that we had. Bangalore, Goa, Mussorie have all been wonderfully enriching experiences. Organizing and participating in all those festivals still brings back fond memories.  SPARK 2008 remains the best organized fest in the history of SPCE. SPARK committee zindabaad!

But these are not the only reasons I will remember our class by. It is because of the people. Everyone in our class is special to me. I have made the best friends of my life here. So many people have made me realize so many things about life and have helped me in no small way to discover myself.

As I write this I can remember some of the incidents which have occured that bring a huge grin on my face. Chakku’s last over where he bowled 3 wides to help the batting side achieve the 3 runs needed for victory, the Houdini act on Salil, Spoof-o-mania of both technobreaks, Project Fridays’ movies, well I could just keep going on and on.

A wave of nostalgia sweeps over me as I turn back the clock. The last four years have been better than the rest of my life put together. I don’t think I will ever find the kind of happiness that I found in SPCE Trical. Time is exceptional at his job, as he efficiently pulls us apart and makes us face the real world without the comfort of knowing someone else is stuck in the same boat (remember submissions and vivas!).

Years will pass, we will grow older and perhaps more sober. But I hope the memories of our stay here will just remind us of the fun we have had together and help us retain a bit of the insanity that we have picked up over these years. I wish everyone in my class all the best for the future. I sincerely hope we stay in touch and never forget each other. I order all of you to be present for the 50th reunion of our class in 2059!!!!

I love you, SPCE Trical 2005-09. Thank you for everything.

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A "Quiz Question"

So the legend goes…….

X is a well known member of SPQC. Y is also a member and also very well known. X is in the habit of reading Dilbert online with his dad.

Y tells X about a new comic called Savita Bhabhi and tells him to visit savitabhabhi.com (you can do so, provided your parents are chilled out about it. I dont think they will be.)

X thinks it is a really good idea to read this new comic along with his dad and faithfully does so.

Armageddon.

No need to identify Y. I want you to guess the identity of X.

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