Friday, October 31, 2008

Convocation series - My first birthday in NID!

This was my first Birthday celebration in NID and was organised by Manisha, Kushal and Shilpi on the eve. There was a mega bash later (at mid-night) on when four more of my classmates celebrated their birthdays with me!

In terms of the video quality there is much to desired and the length could certainly have been much shorter, but I didn't really want to edit it so its almost completely here. There is hardly anything visible and all thats audible is Shilpi making noises. Oh yes, this is the only birthday when she (Shilpi) actually wished me. The cake and the chocolates were yum and the video is fun!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Convocation series - Abhishek, Divya & Bhavin

Here is the next group of people. Quite an unusual mix but its intentional.

Abhishek Singh

Abhishek was my first friend in the class and I really don’t remember why or how. I guess it was Ramya, our common friend in the beginning of first semester. We three had some good time together, before the eventual fall-out. However, surprisingly this never affected my dosti with him. It was never a very deep or philosophical but more of a ‘fun’ dosti. Somehow, we had quite a few common friends over the next two years, some girls as well. Now that I look back at those years, I think there were plenty of reasons for us to fight, but it never happened (my roomies in first year were not so lucky though). He always had more friends outside the class than inside and became popular and sometimes even unpopular because of his antics with the females in NID. Abhi is in some ways only a kid, eternally seeking his soul-mate and his life-mate. He is the ‘Ranbir’ from ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’…but sometimes dangerously close to ‘Shahrukh’ from ‘Anjaam’ also. I am quite likely to be murdered for this one!


The most extraordinary thing about Divya in the beginning was the fact that she was my Junior in Navarachna, Baroda (1996-98), though none of us were aware of that then. I first became friends with Sanjeev and through him with Divya as well. We had some good masti together, though my friendship with Divya was largely (and sadly) limited to these aspects only. I guess we knew much more about each other’s lives than we acknowledged, and this was certainly not good. But in a way the ups and downs in our life made our friendship solid. I remember a shoot we did for Bhavana in a temple for an ad. We had good fun during that. I have some pics and videos from that and I may put it up if possible. Somehow with Divya my friendship has always been dark and more about sorrows than smiles. I hope that changes in future.


It took a long time for me to become friends with Bhavin. I remember the walk we took (Mousumi, Muzayun, Bhavin & me) over the bridge very late in the night very early on in NID and that is when I discovered about his lightly concealed imagination and talents. He could really talk dirty, I mean really really dirty and that made the four of us a true foursome. We had tremendous fun and laughed like crazy. I think one of the things that shaped our friendships in the class was the people with whom we did our projects, with Bhavin I hardly ever worked. I started knowing him better towards the end of NID and particularly in Bangalore. Now he is my housemate and it’s only now that I appreciate him as a friend and companion fully. And we are similar in a lot of ways, sadly because of that our house hardly gets cleaned!

Read about Vijay, Snehal & Vivek, Sanjeev, Shweta & Devesh, and Kiran, Pavan, Mousumi & Mahesh.

Read more posts on Convocation Series here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Convocation series - Muzayun laughing!

I guess we all know how good Muzayun is with bringing the house down with her notorious laughter! Well, this video isn't exactly the best but somehow captures the essesnse of madam's famous laugh...hahahahahahaha...

Mumbai Meri Jaan!

I studied ‘Unity in Diversity’ as one of the key factors which makes India such a special and unique country. And it’s only now that I realize what a sham it was. Where is this damn unity? Aha…maybe in Mumbai. It was always the epitome of Cosmopolitism, not Delhi, not Calcutta and certainly not Chennai. And I guess it was another sham, a pretense and the mask is now coming off finally. Thank God for that. We live with so many masks around that it’s nice to see at least someplace which is without one. So what if I don’t agree with what I see behind the mask and it breaks my heart and shakes my faith in our Indian Union itself. At least the cat is out of the bag, at least there is some truth there. I saw a TV show last night and almost every Marathi (right from a student to an aged housewife) agreed with Raj of MNS fame. Most denounced the means (violence, for instance), but almost everyone again attributed it an expression of pent up feelings (which to many justified it all). It sounded so much like the Ahmedabad violence rhetoric or the Delhi Sikh riots when Rajiv made his rather infamous statement. Oh why just the audience, even one of my classmates once said that there is some merit in what Raj says. And maybe there is, considering the fact that so many support it. Of course, in a Democracy, majority wins! 

One interesting statement from the show - ‘Those who stay in Mumbai should learn and speak in Marathi’. Why the hell? Why should anyone be forced to learn language? And to show what? I have never lived in my home state and I don’t even know what language is my mother tongue. Is it Hindi that I learned in School or is it Kumaoni, which is just a dialect but vastly different from Hindi. I’ve lived in Gujarat for many years and my Gujarati is, at best, pathetic. Does that mean that tomorrow I may just be branded unwelcome in the state? What the hell happened to India? Wasn’t I a part of this ‘great’ country and had right to move around freely and seek jobs anywhere and live anywhere? Why do I have to now prove my love and affection and respect for a Maharashtra, or a Gujarat apart from showing it for India as well. Cant I just be an Indian? What the hell happened to the so-called concept of ‘Unity in Diversity’? What if I don’t want to learn Marathi or celebrate their festivals or talk to my Marathi neighbours? What if I talk only in Hindi and celebrate only my North-Indian festivals? I feel rather scared that I may end up getting beaten up somewhere in our dear old Mumbai if I do this. 

As the saying goes, ‘Little knowledge is a dangerous thing’. Maybe I am also one of those who know little and try to talk big. I have so many friends from Maharashtra and I love them all, but it has nothing to do with the fact that they are Marathis. I just don’t care who they are, they are good people and that’s all that matters. They can even be from Germany or Jamaica. Who cares? I think many people do, and to me that’s scary and very unfortunate.

Few more thoughts on this by others:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Convocation series - Famous dostis!

Well our class had many dostanas which all of us will remember for a long time to come…some of these started and ended with NID, other are still there. But they were all unique in many ways. Here is an attempt to cover a few of those; it would be great if anyone can remind me of one that I may have missed. I shall update it immediately. The order is random.

Kiran - Muzayun

They became famous as Hanthi-Cheenti! Well apparently the names are based purely based on size. Poor Kiran despite doing everything and more for his Cheenti, is always on the receiving end. But their friendship is one of the most fun-filled, especially for people around them!

Mousumi - Muzayun

They already had many things in common when they came to NID, so becoming friends was easy and natural. And they also looked good together. But there was something about them that still remains elusive, was it jealousy, mistrust or something else. I am quite likely to be murdered for this.

Sanjeev - Siddhartha

We became friends easily, because I realized that he could make folders really nicely, even for me! He was perhaps the only one in the class with whom I could share things from outside the class as well.

Devesh - Snehal

I guess Snehal was one person who could really understand Dhutappi well. While we all cribbed about his unavailability, these two could bond well. It was also a friendship which developed with slowly and strongly.

Sanjeev - Snehal

These two also became friends pretty fast. It was always interesting to overhear them have arguments over architecture. Both had actually promised to design my house way back in Semester one, though their views hardly match (except, of course, about Hafeez Contractor).

Muzayun - Siddhartha

We didn’t become friends immediately but I was very easily drawn to her laughing sessions. But once we became friends, there was no looking back. We spent most of our time in NID fighting over everything and worked on almost all the projects together, rubbing some people the wrong way in this process.

Kiran - Shweta

To me they always appeared to be fighting over the pettiest of things and I could never understand why! They were very close but hardly ever showed. Doing ‘Systems’ together was a phenomenal task; but we had the best of fun during those days.

Divya - Sanjeev

As friends they were perfect for each other. Both used to get up early in the morning, eat breakfast even before it was made in the mess and go to the studio to work. Their work was extremely symbiotic, both complimented each other well.

Bhavin - Mousumi

They have been superb friends for as long as I can remember. I was never a part of it, so I also know little. I have seen them fighting also, but I guess was affection strong enough to bring them back together always.

Devesh - Divya

The first so called ‘couple’ of the class. So much so that they were actually married and behaved like one, it was all done in a very funny way and added to our entertainment in the class! This almost disappeared with Sanjeev coming in later.

Muzayun - Snehal

These roomies actually behaved like ma-beti, with Muzayun as ma and snehal as her beti ( though father remains largely unknown, the fact that beti's surname is 'Joshi' must mean something)! But they always made a nice twosome. Fighting and cribbing but superb friends nevertheless.

Pavan - Vivek

Well the one of the most famous 'dosti' in the whole of NID is reserved for the end. They became friends quite early on. And they looked good together as friends, their stature matched. Also it was nice to seem them together hanging out with their girl friends. Of late there appears to be some storm brewing up, but they continue to remain friends.

Read more on convocation series here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Convocation series - My roommates!

I am really tempted to write about a few more of my classmates, but I will rein in the temptation and write about something else today. It’s about my hostel room in first year and more so about its occupants – Pavan, Mahesh and me.

Well let’s just say that our friendship as a threesome was always on the edge. I was, very reluctantly, the moderator to these two very aggressive roomies! Not that they didn’t have their shared moments together…well there were actually many such occasions. Anyway one of the most talked about stories about the three of us was Pavan’s habit of stretching out on the beds (his and mine) while sleeping at nights. One such famous incident happened, when Pavan was sleeping in his famous yellow T-shirt and without warning for some reason decided that I was Neha (Pavan is now happily married to her though). My cries woke Mahesh up and he came to my rescue and helped move Pavan. However, this whole exercise failed to rouse Pavan still and he continued to dream about Neha. Mahesh still remembers and recounts this incident with much happiness (I should be happy too, as he saved me that night), though somehow I wish he didn’t.

This picture was taken near the end of Second semester and we are happy as ever! Hahaha…maybe the joy was also because it was almost the end of our stay together!

The room, however, had many more memories. Our room was directly below the Mousumi, Snehal and Muzayun’s and I had taken the habit of waking up Muzayun almost regularly in the most insane way possible, and I guess that was also the beginning of attempted flirting sessions with her back then. Once I woke Japneet up instead and got a major dressing down from her (she, of course, still remained a good friend). I guess everyone in A hostel knew about this almost daily hungama and am convinced that secretly even Muzayun enjoyed my calls to her!

There are so many more things, but they are more about the hostel so will jot them down later. It would be really great to have Pavan’s and Mahesh’s take on this. I am sure they will also have many stories on me, especially Pavan!

The video is close to my heart! One of the few surving ones from those days. You can see Pavan stretched out on both the beds in his famous 'yellow' T-shirt!

This video is the last that I made in my room, we are almost done with the packing and the room looks stormed (though even otherwise it hardly looked different). Mahes and pavan blabbering along with me in the background!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Convocation series - Sanjeev, Shweta & Devesh

My second post here is about my dear class! I intend to pick three people (randomly) and write something about them. I shall try and be frank about it, lets see how it goes...

The first three in the series are Sanjeev, Shweta and Devesh!


Saw him for the first time during our interviews, and immediately became a fan. His work was not just enormous, but phenomenal too! He became my first close friend in NID and in some ways the only one as well. There was a time when we used to go to the mess early in the morning when only a few would be there, and drink coffee and chat for hours. We became distant over the period of three years but I guess the affection always remains. We’ve both seen the highs and lows in each other’s lives and I guess that still binds us together.
Shweta aka rani

I met Rani when she was still learning to walk properly during the ‘Design Overview’ course with her mom. And I guess for a long time we hardly talked much. I really started liking her when I realized that she was as bad in sketching as I was. This was during ‘Design Drawing’ and we started to jell well. However, I think we really became good friends in the last year. Doing ‘systems’ together was a boon, despite all our fights. She has many names - Shweta, Rani, UT and so on…I prefer Rani because I gave her that name. Rani can talk for hours and hours and make you smile all the while. And she also has her mood swings, thankfully I never had to face them, but those who do go into depression for days altogether. She is gonna be married soon…God bless her!

I shall never forgive him for never ever inviting me to his home in Ahmadabad! Hahaha, of course am just kidding. There is only a little I know about him for sure, the rest of it is all rumours. Some information about him - he is the fairest of all in the class and hates to tuck-in his shirts (both facts), he likes to fly in the night and suck blood (unconfirmed rumour), he talks the maximum with you on phone and ignores you in person (fact), he likes pink (fact again), he is getting married in Milan (rumour) and he likes to mix cow’s milk with goat’s milk before drinking (rumour). We’ve celebrated his birthday about a zillion times, though, he is the youngest in the class.

Read about Vijay, Snehal & Vivek, Abhishek, Divya & Bhavin, and Kiran, Pavan, Mousumi & Mahesh.

Read more posts on Convocation Series here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Convocation series - The Venue!

Convocation is around the I am planning the next few posts about the time spent in NID, maybe a kind of series of pictures and some videos. Some funny, some emotional and some outrageous...

The first in the series is a video which features two very good friends turned foes. This was shot in the beautiful early morning January sunlight in 2006 and the occasion was our Republic Day! You can see the most famous tree in NID (though I am not sure how long would it survive) and the lush Green lawn (incidentally this is exactly where the convocation would also take place!). The content of the video would be rather senseless to someone who didn't know these two pretty (and mind you, now married) women, for the rest they are just being themselves.

The video also features Sanjeev (PD), Anuradha (SDM) and Tarundeep!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sea of Poppies

Finished reading 'Sea of Poppies' by Amitav Ghosh today afternoon. This post is not meant to be a book review but a recommendation to read this book.

Its difficult for me to really write much about the book but I loved the fantasy world created in it. Trust me most will not find it very fantastical, but to me it certainly was. The poppies, Bhojpuri, Calcutta with its Sahibs and Mems, Ganga right from Baneras to Hooglie, the Rajas and so much more. The book took me into a state of trance at times, or maybe it was just of my illness. Well, I would never know that for sure, still...
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