Thursday, September 22, 2011

The elixir of our beauty....!!

I just cannot escape from this reality. I can’t because my television always gives me reminders.  No matter how old I am, I need to give a lot of attention towards my beauty or else my life will become a torture. I will not be able to survive with my head held high in the society. 

The advertisements tell me that I should use those beautiful and life saving creams on my face to hide my wrinkles and pimples which are termed as one of seven signs of ageing. No matter what my age is, according to the ads, I should start worrying about my future looks and so start taking care of it from now onwards. And I should always look fair and pale. Those who are black lose their confidence easily and so they should go for those cheap fairness creams. My hair looks like unmaintained grass because I don’t use that particular shampoo followed by the conditioner. My armpit must and should look like the same color as the rest of my body. I must rely on health drinks and sugar free capsules to stay fit. Forget about home-food, they make one fat. I must protect my face from very harmful UV rays or else I might lose my job for looking too tan. I must always look beautiful, energetic and glowing or else people will ignore me and my life will become one hell of a living thing.  

When did we become such a narrow-minded society? The advertisers seem to pull all the plugs in the race for increasing their TRPs. All the models look like they have just come out of beauty parlors. And viewers are supposed to follow them. Maybe everybody should look like they have just come out of spas and parlors even when they have just come out of their schools, colleges, offices and homes. It’s a crime if anyone is found to be sporting a pimple. And all those ageing lot, beware! Very big danger ahead!

Below are some cartoons that I came across thanks to Google.

It does not matter any more if wrong messages are spread among people. Every day, different ads come and go. Message remains common. If we don’t use those beauty products out there, our lives will be ruined, neglected and unimportant. But if this is the case, how did my mother and her mother before her and so on managed to keep their skins look clean and remain healthy? They never applied expensive creams and never drank any health drinks! They never had any conditioner to apply after shampoo. But their hair remained silky and shiny for a long time. 

So, then, I have a good idea. For those lots out there, who are like me- pimples and dark faced, have a great chance in our lives in spite of looking ugly. We can go to our beloved advertisers and beg them to give us a shot in their advertisements as ugly models under the banner of ‘beauty products istamaal naa karna kaa anjaam…!’ 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An open letter to my best friend

Dear Safina,

Remember when we first met? You entered late in the class and realized that all the last benches were occupied. So you were left with no choice but to sit with me on the first bench. We looked at each other, smiled and turned towards the blackboard. Who would have thought at that time that we will be best buddies today? You were, and shall remain, tall, bold, smart and optimistic and I have always remained a coward. But look, we have proved all the critics wrong!!

You know what; I owe a lot to you. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. You make me smile whenever I am sad. When any problem arises, I just need to give you a miss call on your Nokia. And you answer immediately. No problem even if it’s in the middle of night. Whenever I feel troubled, you have always stood beside me. No harm dares to cross my path because you don’t allow it. You have made me turn from a ‘shy and worrying girl’ into a ‘face-things-head-on woman’.

And what have I given to you in return? As far as my memory goes, I have given you nothing solid except a habit of reading novels! How many novels have you read so far? 10,20 or perhaps some more….not at all bad for a starter, isn’t it? I should give myself some credit!  You are such an unselfishly humble creature that you never ask anything from me. You are kind and active in all the things. Your family is so proud of you. But I am, allow me to say, more proud of you. The famous dialogue from Deewar comes up in my mind, “mere pass bungala hain, gadi hain, naukar hain, paisa hain…tere pass kya hain?” I promptly answer, “Mere pass Safina hain!”

Why I can’t be like you, I wonder sometimes. But then, there will always be only one saif. God just cannot create a second person like you, I swear. Or else, the world would have been full of angels like you by now!!

Yours always,

PS: Saif, don’t kill me for posting this photo. I couldn’t resist. You look such a darling with 2 trophies!! I also want one!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Five point someone : 3 idiots :: Copy: Paste

I was very curious after 3 idiots got released. What a hit movie! It instantly grabbed attention from audience, students, and colleges too perhaps. Chetan Bhagat, the author of the best selling novel-five point someone claimed that the movie had taken the main idea from his book! So, was the movie based on a novel? No, it wasn’t. Or so, the director and the producer pronounced or rather declared like a judge of the Supreme Court. I too gave in. We have heard Salman Khan making remakes of Tollywood but who has ever heard of Aamir Khan acting in a movie based on a novel?  There was press conference and lots of debate in the media as well.

Right now, I have finished reading five point someone myself. Yeah, I know, it’s a bit late. But better late than never right? And guess what! 3 idiots is indeed based on five point someone. It’s just that Mr.Bhagat has written about 3 student’s lives during IITs. Whereas our beloved Mr.Hirani has gone beyond 4 years of engineering.

Coming to five point someone, it’s a story about Alok, Ryan and Hari who are in IIT-mechanical department. Ryan is cool and talks about degrading standards of IIT just like Aamir aka Rancho in 3 idiots. Hari’s character portrays that of someone who wants to be like his friends and gets engaged with a professor’s daughter (remember how in the movie, Rancho romances with kareena, the director’s daughter?). The most crying-baby character is of Alok. He has a paralytic father, a mother working as a teacher and a sister who mournfully is reaching her marriageable-age. Alok is very poor financially. This character has also been taken as Raju Rastoli in the movie. Plus, how can we forget the scooter scenes in the movie? Well, originally it is Ryan’s scooter in the book. Ryan always challenges the education system at IIT, makes a radio in the major- completely opposite to what their experiment is, thinks practically and most of all, he loves and helps his friends till the end, no matter what! This reminds me of Rancho!! How he helped Farhan and Raju in difficult times!

In the book, professor asks students the definition of a machine. To which we get the answer that it is anything that reduces human effort. These same lines have been delivered well in the movie too. So to conclude my little argument, 3 idiots is indeed 50% from five point someone. The main idea, characters and situations have been copied from the book in the movie. Only Mr. Hirani has cleverly re-written the script putting his own brains and BANG…..the movie is an all-time hit.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

NO to Ragging

I was sitting in the bus, on my favorite window seat when I heard the commotion outside. There seemed to be a huge crowd outside at a particular point in the campus looking like they were watching an entertaining show. Amused, I walked out of the bus too. After much pushing and 'excuse-me', I came in the front. There were some fourth year students,crying and pleading with some professors. After a few moments I realized that they had been smartly caught ragging first years by those professors.A girl nearby whispered in her neighbor's ear,"excellent! Now these people will learn some lesson". The other one giggled. For some strange reason, I realized that I could not stand there one more second. I was feeling embarrassed. Maybe because I was a final year student too. Unbelievable.

I boarded the bus again and went on my seat. When I sat, the seat underneath creaked. Damn bus! Maybe all its part will come out some day!! And so on, I started cursing everything around me. I do this whenever I feel angry. My anger was coming from my old memories when I was ragged by my seniors. I remember many incidents.

It has become a habit of 'interaction' between seniors and juniors in every college bus nowadays. The thing was the same when I was a fresher. Being a day's scholar, I had to listen to various senior's demands and commands. It was another thing that I never listened to them. Whenever I was called, I used to pretend to be sick. But luck can't favor you always. I was sometimes caught off-guard and I had to listen to various stupid demands of the seniors-" Bring me a Cadbury  right now"," Tomorrow you should not wear jeans ", " Say good morning to every senior you meet today" etc. I wanted to ask them back," You are a beggar, are you? Not having money to buy chocolates ?" But I hardly could do that. And there was the usual bus CR who once announced loudly," Ragging is not allowed. Any juniors having any problem,call me." Only the next day came towards my seat and said" Get up. Sit some where else." WHAT THE HELL ? I came first for god sake! But I got up nonetheless and had to stand on the whole journey in the bus. All the seats had been taken up. I was already suffering from stomachache and had a bad headache after reaching home. All the body pains not only because of standing in the bus for an hour but also because of feeling hurt,anguish and injustice.

This all was very irritating to me. Today, when I look back, I feel happy to be in final year. But when episodes of cheap ragging comes into lime light, my old memories flash back in front of me. In third year, I caught a senior ragging a first year girl. The poor girl was told to parade the whole campus imitating a soldier and salute whomever she meets. That girl looked tired and close to tears. I felt sympathetic towards her. I went  to the senior and asked her not to order anything  so. That girl looked at me and said," mind your own business." I did not let it go so easily. I kept arguing with her. Exasperated, she shot back," when we were in first year, we did too all these things for our seniors. So why leave these freshers so easily now?"   I wanted to slap her at that moment. 

Ragging is fine upto asking introduction of the freshers. Answering their doubts and helping them in whatever way we can. But bullying and insulting them is a strict NO. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Interview

I had completed my aptitude test. And was in a dilemma later. Should I wait for the results or should I go?
The aptitude test was ok but certainly not fantastic. I called my mum and told her. I sent a message to my best friend that I have  NOT been selected for the second round which was an interview with a senior HR  from the company. She called me. 

Safina : So, the results are out ?
      me: No, not yet.
Safina ( aghast): But you msgd me that you did not get in!
      me: I wrote the aptitude paper. I know what answers I have written. 
Safina :How did you attempt?
      me:Well...logical was fine. But I dont know about verbal. Time was less and I could attempt      passages in  the end. I dont know safina, whether they are correct also or not!
 Safina: But you wait in the campus and tell me when the results are out. ok?
     me: Fine.

(  I went inside the seminar hall. Met Sony and we started discussing further.)

Sony: How did you write?
    me: I am ready to catch the 4.40pm bus now. 
( Everybody in the vicinity laughed. Our college bus leaves at 4.40pm. Meaning that I was ready to catch it as I knew I won't be selected for the interview.)

After some moments, a HR of the reputed company came and announced.....

HR: The results of the aptitude test conducted is out. Now those names I am going to call out, please come forward for the interview.

( He had a single sheet in his hand. He held it in front of him and called out..)


( I was paralyzed with shock. Didn't move an inch. Sony nudged me. I still didn't move. )

Sony( whispered): Areyy...get up!!!
                   me: Which Snehal does he wants?
( To this, Sony literally shouted to the HR.)
Sony: Which branch sir?
  HR:  Branch is not mentioned here....birth date will do?

( Oh, yes. Anything will do, I thought.........Everybody were talking in low whispers by this time.HR was again 
 scanning the list. After a few moments, he cleared his throat. )

HR: arrr.....Tripathi Snehal..??????

( Now I jumped. I ran towards the HR . I was signalled to stand in the front to wait for other candidates.)
I could not believe my luck.
Below mentioned is the interview which I faced by another HR  of the company................

I was standing outside the interview room. A volunteer told me to go inside the room when called. After a few tense moments, I heard my name being called. I dragged my legs forward and entered the room.

HR: Snehal?
 me: Yes sir.
HR: Please sit.
 me(sitting): Thank you sir.
( He started scanning my resume. I waited patiently.)
HR: Dont be tense or something 
( I looked at his face in horror. So, was my face that easy to read?)
 me: I am fine sir. Thank you.
HR (smiling): So, what all projects have you done?
( I told him. I had by-hearted my own project titles from my resume like a parrot. I answered him at top speed. )
HR: So, did you face any problems during these projects ?
 me: Yes sir. I had a lot of problems but I could finish all the projects in time.
HR: What problems did you face?
 me: I have been the team leader of my projects all the time. The toughest challenge I faced was convincing others that what I am doing is right, meaning my team members. Sometimes people's egos clash too. I had to deal with that as well.
HR: Did you not plan how you would go on with your projects before? No planning?
me: I plan and then execute everything in projects.
HR( smiling ): Then how come you faced problems? You say that you planned everything.............
( At this point, I wished that the Earth might open up and pull me inside it to hide. Seriously, how should I answer now????..........)
me: Sir, we plan everything but forecasting is different and in reality at the last moment, anything can happen. Before any projects, I plan and accordingly execute them. But at the last minute what will happen is very hard to predict. Just have to deal with it.
HR: You finished your projects in time?
me: Yes, sir.
( The HR was very impressed with my answer, I could see that. He started scanning my resume again.)
HR: You know Marathi?
me: Yes, sir. I have lived in Maharashtra for more than 10 years to complete my schooling.
HR: You have bagged many prizes in essay writing competitions.....
me: Yes,sir.  
HR: ok. Snehal. You may go now.
me: Thank you sir.
( I forwarded my hand for the shake. We shook hands and I left the room and  bumped into another candidate. She asked me how did the interview go. I answered ,unable to resist, "COOL" loudly. To which the volunteer, standing outside attending to other waiting candidates whispered "shshhh!!" )

I waited till late at night for the result. And guess what....I did get in. I got selected in Infosys!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Alibaug and Friends

EVER wondered going to a place where you are surrounded by sea waves slashing against your legs in a pleasing manner and nobody disturbs you? When you look around, you find peace and solace? Greenery and humble people around you? If yes, then you must have come up with some places to go to at present or future. Maybe Goa or Kerala. These places are famous for their awesome beaches.......But there is a small place in the state of Maharashtra where you will find not only beautiful scenery and peace but also that simple and comfortable life that you always wanted to live.

Alibaug is a coastal town in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. It has Arabian sea towards its one end. The famous Kolaba fort is situated near the sea shore.The town's name also has some history. There was a man named 'Ali' who had a magnificent garden in Alibaug. People started calling it 'Ali chi baag' which is a Marathi translation of Ali's garden. In due course the town was named Alibaug after the famous Ali's garden. This town is an approximate four hour journey from Mumbai via road transport.If you want to get a real time experience,visit Alibaug by bus-you will have a thrilling ride.And you don't find railway here. No tracks!!!!!

This is a picture of the mud prints made by the waves of the Arabian sea on the shore. And if you walk on them, you will get your own foot-prints!!!

People like mostly to write something on them and later see water spreading on it and erasing the stuff........time for writing once again kids!!!!!

The evening scene of the beach is another marvelous view. Also there's fun in riding on the horse cart.

I lived in this town for nearly 11 years. The place is equipped with all the things you want to shop for. A very nice time for ladies of course. Nice restaurants and hotels.Huge sales along the beach front every year. In the month of December you find a grand fair. I used to go their along with my good friends and their parents every year. My mother with aunties on one side and we kids(me,sachin, jyotish ,priya, roshan ) on the other side. And fortunately we never got lost in the crowd (yet). I had an awesome time with friends here. Sachin has always been as frank as ever and here I am not talking about Sachin Tendulkar; but I am talking about my good friend Sachin Singh. He never complains about anything-no grumbling and no tricks. I learned cycling through a number of practice sessions with his cycle. And today I want to learn to ride bikes. Huumm....... Are you reading this sachin??
Jyotish is another witty and humble guy. He has an enormous garden and we had all played in his huge house a lot of times. The only place where I used to eat delicious sambhar and chutney  with dosas made by his mum.

So now guys, what say?? Lets go to the school again,cross the playground and chase the Arabian tides .ok???

Friday, June 24, 2011

School days-K.E.S

Remember your school? Your friends,teachers,classrooms? That playground and stage? Every year you had annual function and sports. You had to pay attention in your classes and you couldn't bunk. Those hours in the morning........I wish I could go back and live those moments again.

As a final year student of Electrical and Electronics engineering, I have realized the importance of my school days. My school was very simple in architecture. One side open towards the town and the other side to Arabian sea. Awesome view!! Every morning I had to get up early to get ready for school with mum ( she had to prepare my tiffin box ). I had to literally run with my heavy bag on my drooping shoulders to reach school in time. Its an altogether a different matter that I used to be always late till seventh std. Then it was time for punishment! Bhagat sir ( P.T teacher ) used to make us run around the playground or a single hit with a wooden scale on each of our palms. Late comers were always punished no matter what. Then  I had to assemble on the first floor for prayer with my classmates. We sang Hindi prayer, national anthem followed by pledge. Then we attended classes. Our lunch break was for 15-20 mins. Not good!! But nobody complained.

Whenever annual day celebration date was announced ( we called it gathering ), we used to start dance practices nearly a month before. Every day last two hours was allotted to this. was time for music, masti and lots of noise. Sports day was held for three days ( meant no school work and attendance used to be full!). My class had a lot of good dancers and we all participated enthusiastically. Who doesn't want to dance anyway? On the night of  gathering, audiences used to gather early to get the best sits. The program used to start in the evening at 4 pm and end at 11pm. All the parents used to assemble to see their kids perform on the stage. No cell cameras, no mobile videos....but still the evening used to be in everyone's mind for a long period of time. The next day used to be prize distribution day........everyone's favorite!! The whole year's prize winners were awarded with medals and certificates.Prizes were for different competitions being held before like poetry, essay-writing, singing, speeches, dance, plays, top rankers etc.The award ceremony used to start with the speeches of the people on the dais- the most boring part.But later was the best part for students. Whenever prizes were announced, the particular student would get a tumultuous applause from his/her class. Just imagine - you go on to the stage and the chief guest bestows you with medal and certificate and then you turn and see that everybody is cheering and of the  happiest moments of my life.

When I entered tenth class,the usual phase of nervous breakdown started. But I had good teachers and me along with my friends fared well in our board exams. I remember our farewell party at school. Ground floor classroom with all senior teachers sitting in the front. Some students had even given some speeches including me. How much long was that? How much time has elapsed in between??...............................

Right now looking back, I miss my school days a lot. I am not even in the town!! I get calls from my friends and only one question is evidently being asked," when are you coming back?" And I dont know what to answer. Stuck in college life now and careers ahead of us.I have a pre-placement training going on right now!!! Everybody has started talking about interviews and  which is your dream company crap. And all I want is to meet my friends and teachers in Alibaug  and play dodge-ball in the playground!!!!! And hello! I am going to go inside the circle first!!!!, priyanka and pooja first....what say????