Oct 30

Sequel to ‘Bit of Everything

There was a simple tradition I followed. My PC was always the last to be packed. Unfailingly. It used to be crooning the rock melodies till I had done the last of my packing. It was case on the last day as well. I remember listening to “Lost for Words”, by Pink Floyd; the last one I played that day. We were working on the report and the code till the wee hours of the morning on 12th June 2006. That was when we had the project submission and viva.

The person who did take it was none other that the infamous KVV. He asked us a lot of shit on why we made a lame game when we should be doing some kind of research. Well, we did come up with a lot gyaan on how it helped us understand the software development process. (Yeah! Right) I remember, every time he kicked ass with a question, we had one thing to say, “Yes sir, you are absolutely right. We should have thought of it that way as well”. I don’t exactly remember what all he asked, but I think our ass licking in reply to his ass kicking worked pretty well. We managed to score a 97/100 for the project. After we were done with it, we are all very happy and jumping all over the place. Avanish for some weird reason was not taking it too well. I still don’t know why he just took off and was sulking till evening.I remember packing till late evening. I could hear the voices in the hostel. There were shrieks and shouts everywhere till about 12 PM. But it was dying down in about an hour. Soon, there were those sentimental moments. An occasional hug, and those occasional obscenities for ol’ times sake. Hostel can change you a lot. There is a lot you would be taking with you wherever you go and the four years and something you wish to never leave behind. Never on any day have not woken up a ‘madar**** outside my room.

The last few hours in the room were painful. I was taking down the posters and removing all that was part of my room. It had given me a lot in the one year I had spent there. I was remembering the long phone call conversations into the night, the mid night counter strike matches (which at times ran into days), the occasional dose of some ‘pink’ and the burning the mid night oil during those CAT times and of course the people around you. There were a whole lot of biharis around my room. I was the only non bihari amongst them. You get to learn a lot about them when you live with them for one year. There were a lot of bongs as well in the hostel but never really came near the biharis. Its kind of weird how these groups worked, perhaps even avoided each other.

Coming back to the packing; I remember putting all the small things into the big trunk I had. I never had realized I had so much stuff. I had got them over the years. Seniors had left behind mattresses, buckets, pillows, computers, notebooks, porn (but of course!), CDs and what not. I remember Avanish was acting cranky till the last moment before I left. What cheered him up was probably the cigarette. I was kinda hoping the dumb ass would cheer up before I left. I was the first to leave in the group.

I was taking stock of all the stuff. I had packed

  1. One large trunk
  2. 2 large suitcases
  3. 3 large bags
  4. One computer in 4 cartons, one for the CPU, one for monitor, one for the UPS and one for the keyboard and mouse.
  5. Knick knacks packed in 2 small cartons
  6. Two hand bags.

Fuck! How in the world would I carry all this? I left more than half the stuff including the bike with Pritish – the dependable. So I was all set, well not mentally. I collected the 5000 bucks deposit and bid farewell to the pain in the ass supervisor of the hostel. Pritish and I left for the girl’s hostel. I had to meet ‘her’. It was not going to easy. Leaving someone behind is always not easy, especially when they are extra special in your life. Not very easy.We headed for Café Coffee Day in Jayanagar. She gave me a muffler she had knitted. She had been knitting till the last moment. I mean, how loving and caring could one get. We kissed in the coffee house. It did not matter what people said. Screw them. It was the last day for me in Bangalore. We headed for the bus stand now. This was also the time when Pritish was courting Nikita, I vaguely remember, she was mighty pissed that Pritish could not spend more time with her. (I’m sorry Nikita, if you are reading this! But I knew!).

I boarded the bus with the entire freaking luggage. How we fit the five huge pieces of luggage along with me, my gf, her roomie and Pritish , is beyond me. But we did fit in. All of us in the Maruti Zen.

Goodbyes are always too tough, and it was so this time too. I boarded the bus. They were standing there and staring at me. I was trying to be cool. But the fact is, I was choking too. The bus left in while. I was out on my own. I did not have the heart to look behind. Infact, that’s something I never do still. Just don’t seem to have the heart. Just don’t seem to have it.

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Oct 21

Its been more than a year since I came to Pune. Have been speaking to so many seniors from SIBM. They all have just one thing to say, ‘Gosh! We really miss the place’. I can’t stop wondering, what they are going through after passing out, I am going through now. No, I am not missing SIBM. I am missing RVCE.

I spent fours there. RV taught me a lot of things. I grew up in a place far from parents. Not that you don’t when they are around, it was more of the defining period of my life. i turned 18, the second day I was at RVCE. Boy! It felt great. I had never seen so many people around living with me. (Our hostels had 900 people from all years, of course we had a separate one for each year). I was tossed around and butt kicked the whole day by people I had never spoken to. Of course the seniors had a fit, since they could rag me for all they care and say Happy B’day and be done with it.

I was the crazy type then. One of my seniors told me to make an ad for condom. I crack myself up when I think about it. I called it Masti Condoms; I learnt later, there exists a brand by that name. Well what the hell, they could have used the idea I came up with. The ad was an instant hit and the seniors loved me. So that meant, I got free food and booze.

Then in the second year, we got to boss the juniors around. Well, not for long. Soon, they came up with the this rule, making ragging a criminal offence. Well, we were shit scared of our juniors now. If anyone squealed, they would have taken away our degree and done some other crazy things. But I found a loop hole and very soon, I was made the head of the Anti-Ragging Squad. The rules I laid down were simple:

  • You wanna rag? Do it when I am around.

  • Nothing physical. Nothing doing.

  • If you want to rag in groups, book in advance, and I would make the arrangements.

Well, I must have been talking like a pimp. But what the hell, I always thought of juniors as sitting ducks. If you won’t whack them, they would come after you. Ducks can be a pain in numbers. Quack! Quack!

Third year, was when we got the things done. The club we were running was going great guns, and for a while I think the other competing clubs had in their mouth. Soon, we were everywhere. I would remember it most for some of the crazy things we did. I would also remember it for getting to know a person, really well and whom I still long for. I don’t think I can get over her so easily. I am trying, but I think I never will and maybe in some I don’t wish to. I am hanging on.

Fourth year, CAT and MBA topped the list. Here is when I started going around. I started socializing like never before. It was time to leave the work to the juniors and PARTY! For whatever reasons I bombed at the entrance exams. I remember the day, JMET results were out. I sat and cried in my room. All alone and I never felt so lonely ever. Other exam results came, I was too hardened by that time. I had screwed it up big time. I had other things to take care of, I could not cry and make others feel sad. They had their own issues they came up to me with. I really wished, I could have let it out to some one that time. I could not, and I lived with it. June 12th was when it all ended. I was done with my project viva. My project partners and I went for the last snack together. I was off. I would tell you more about the last day, its one of the most vivid memories I have. The next post, I promise.

June 13th 2006, I reached Pune and here I am as on 21st October 2007. More later.

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Oct 20

This is something I am doing right now (trying to speak to a guy making a sale). And I realized how effective this is to sell stuff online. So what was I doing? I got a scrap from this guy/girl (DVD Maniac) on orkut. The scrap was pretty simple. DVD titles and the price. this is what it looked like:

->>NOW AVAILABLE<<—-
Friends (8 DVD)(all seasons) Rs.800
Seinfeld (7 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.700
The Simpsons (12 dvd)(13 seasons) Rs.1000
That 70’s show (8 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.800
Wonder Years (5 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.500
Lost (6 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.600
Everybody Loves Raymond (9 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.800
I Dream of Jeanie (3 dvd)(3 seasons) Rs.400
Malgudi Days (1 dvd)(complete) Rs.300
Scrubs (3 dvd)(5 seasons) Rs.450
Ducktales (2 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.400
Talespin (3 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.450
Tintin (2 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.400
Southpark (2 dvd)(10 seasons) Rs.400
Byomkesh Bakshi (1 dvd)(24 episodes) Rs.250
Karamchand(new) (1 dvd)(miscellaneous) Rs.250
Flop show (1 dvd)(all episodes) Rs.250
DragonBallZ (2 dvd)(225 episodes) Rs.400
DragonBallGT+movie (1 dvd)(complete) Rs.300
Johny Bravo (2 dvd) Rs.400
Swat Katz (2 dvd)(all seasons) Rs.400
Sherlock Holmes (4 dvd)(complete) Rs.500
Visit my profile for complete list
Scrap me if ur interested

So I reply back asking for more details and how to go about doing it. I get this reply:

“whr r u based n wht all series r u interested in??”

I send across the the list of titles i would want. and i get a reply in one minute with the prices and discount. he also makes a list of the payment options, which were:

“draft
cheque (rs.50 xtra)
online transfer
i cn send u d stuff by courier”

Now I was really curious. Is this some kinda prank? I am not even a kid, for a pedophile to track me! I ask if he can do a VPP. VPP allows you to pay on delivery and the good ol’ postman manages the money with a little cover charge. Pat came the reply. Nothing doing, money up front. I play around a little. He gives me another option. And now i was very curious. I could have someone pick the stuff up from his place in Delhi. Now someone was making a deal!

Will i buy the DVDs? Perhaps! It got me thinking about it a lot. Was thinking about all the advantages, could think of only a few disadvantages. Imagine the possibilities of selling on social networks.

  • No startup costs! its free!

  • Find the people exactly by what they would be interested in. Like if you are selling. Like if you are selling movies, search for people who have interest in movies.

  • Look for people in your city or country

  • Making it searchable, your profile where you sell.

  • Creating a community of fellow buyers with requests and testimonials

  • Online presence to millions, the breading ground for viral marketing

  • One could speak to the customers in real time.

  • One can offer various options, and could bargain with the seller in real time. Just like the way we do it in the market. Indians love to haggle, live with it.

Well for the cons,

  • There is a lack of credibility since there are a lot of fake profiles and usernames

  • Even the testimonials could be fake, just to mislead the poor guy

  • There are no secure payment gateways. One has to rely on other means like DDs, cheques.

  • If the business is small time affair, one can’t offer Cash on Delivery. That could cost a lot and do away with the whole cost saving bit.

There are many ways one could go about it. Here is how I feel i would have done it if I were into this kind of stuff.

Step 1: Create a profile with the name of the business. If you have more manpower create multiple profiles with the same name (of course different usernames)

Step 2: The profile created should have all the details of the business in the About Me section, Include pictures of the products in the album listing. The Profile should look like a buying portal.

Step 3: Create a community for buyers and potential buyers. You could have some friends join the community and create some activity to make sound like its happening.

Step 4: Start searching for profiles and communities that would be interested in your products. Like for this case, if selling DVDs look for communities on movies, sitcoms and so on. Start posting and sending messages. Create polls and discussions.

Step 5: Contact the popular members of the communities with scraps or messages. It is important to identify the thought leaders and opinion makers at this stage. They could do half the work for you.

Step 6: Make your friends send emails to their friends on orkut. I have seen this personally, messages sent from communities end up in the orkut mail box. I dont think anyone checks that. Instead, if you make your friends email, it will have a higher response rate since the mails are delivered to their primary email address.

Step 7: Stay online the whole day and start responding! The rest is totally upto you. Make some sales!

You could try these to spruce up the buying experience.

  • Upload a video with the product. You could even include your own video and explain the advantages

  • Create threads on various communities.

  • Create a exclusive chat room online and invite people interested at a specified time.

  • Create a feedback cycle where other prospects get to hear their experiences.

The only way one could establish credibility is by having people talk about you. Ensure that happens. Once a sale is made, contact the person and take the feedback as a testimonial. Use it effectively.

Facebook has already started this service but is paid. One can of course create an application and have their own user interface. Facebook also allows a payment gateways. But then again, at a cost. Orkut is free.

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Oct 17

he second coming into my life. Don’t get confused with the album by Induscreed. Have been listening to this for the last two days; and I can’t stop listening to it. Uday Benegal and Jayesh Gandhi formed the band with some of the best musicians from India like Taufiq Qureshi, Rakesh Chaurasia. Mostly classical. Though this was the most popular track they came out with, there was another video ‘Super Bowl’. That did the rounds on the charts as well.

The band Induscreed though hugely successful, parted ways since each member wanted to pursue his own goals. Uday and Jayesh stuck on and came up with this. The sound can be best described as Indian rhythms and melodies melded with rock and funk grooves. The lyrics can be summed up in two words: cynical optimism.

Its been many years since they came up with an Album and I am really looking forward to one. Romour has it, that are working on a new album. But then again, I am just waiting. You can check their website but I reckon its not been updated for a long time now (Official Website).

This album, they are very vocal about one thing. Record companies may ask you sing shit but one must never compromise the quality for the sake of popularity. Released in 1999 during the peak of indipop, they stuck on. The album was produced with their own money. I really respect these guys for that.

 

Kashmakash (Hindi Version)

kashmakash hai talaash hai sadiyon purani yeh pyaas hai
chale us raste hum haste jab tak hai josh aur dum
chhal hai chal bola yeh man, doob jaane ka yeh jatan
jaana hai, paana hai, gehraiyon mein khone ki lagan

is parvaz mein hai kai raaz, rang, ras, reeti rivaj kuchh ujhle
kuchh dhundale kuchh simte kuchh bikhare se
chalne ko hai raah, hai chaah, yeh nadiyan, yeh dariyan
tez paani ka bahaav, moksh hai haath ke daav

kho gaya hai mera sapna
bharam toota mera
lut gaya jo thha apna
kadam behke zara

guru dakshina shant atma paisa diya mila parmatma
shraddha saiyyam door hua bhram, lambe kash se bas nikla dum
ab woh dhuan kahaan mit gaye sab nisha, kaisa yeh samaah
khali khali hai yeh jahaan

kho gaya hai mera sapna
bharam toota mera
lut gaya jo thha apna
kadam behke zara

dekho khatam hua yeh khel, pathhri par se uthri yeh rail
maro kaato aahein baaton ilzam do dharam ko
dharam tho hai sachchi neeyat, sachchi neeyat hai insaniyat
mutthhi mein hai apni kismat

kho gaya hai mera sapna
bharam toota mera
lut gaya jo thha apna
kadam behke zara

Varanasi Trail (English Version)

Wanderstruck, at sea without a sail, tokin’ guru on the varanasi trail,
renounce the world,
denounce the forces, courses that wend their ways to collision
subterfuge! cries the subconscious mind, i need to go, i need to seek and find the meaning,
the feeling of reaching deep into the heart divine

mystical misadventures in elixirs and blessed tinctures, rituals and frankincense in the pursuit of transcendence
walk the path, the line, the road, the riverbank, at every flank a godman with a handbook - “10 Quick Steps To Nirvana”

somebody’s been driving my karma
somebody ran over my schemes
someone took a piece of my dharma
and left me severed at the knees

guru-dakshina - salve for the soul, god for 3 pieces of gold
faith, patience, a vial of pills, the swami’s off on a delivery of thrills
oh, this emptiness inside, I need substance to feel alright, smoke the pipe, the peace pipe, boom shankar, BOOM!

somebody’s been driving my karma
somebody ran over my schemes
someone took a piece of my dharma
and left me severed at the knees

wonderlust, belief without a veil, ridin’ shotgun on the Varanasi trail, face the world, deface the girl - the churl, oh put it down to religion
sacred remains sacrosanct, to believe in god is to do good to man, your destiny’s in your own hands

somebody’s been driving my karma
somebody ran over my schemes
someone took a piece of my dharma
and left me severed at the knees

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