Friday, November 21, 2008

Hum Ne Veg Bolatha!!

The company offers one non-vegetarian dish as part of the daily lunch menu. Few days back a vegetarian (a strict one at that) found a piece of something in his portion of sambar. Since it did not taste (or look) like anything he was supposed to eat he thought it was a piece of non-vegetarian dish and handed it to one of his colleagues for "testing". The test turned out positive and the unfortunate vegetarian was deeply hurt by the fact that his hitherto pure body (and soul let's add) had been contaminated by a dead animal’s flesh. This unfortunate vegetarian would go on to shoot mails, notifying this matter, to the FOOD committee (Yes, we have one such committee. Too bad if your software firm doesn’t care for such things) putting the entire division in which he works in CC.The mail described the incident as a utter disregard towards the vegetarians and said that the sentiments of the veggies have been hurt seriously by such incidents.The day passed away with little response except a few replies supporting his line of argument (with everyone else added in CC).

Little did he know, the turmoil his mail was about to create.

A week after the "ghastly" incident the aforementioned FOOD committee, in an attempt to take strict action against the caterer (as demanded by THE mail), decided to scrap off non-vegetarian dish from the lunch menu (forever apparently).Now, I know that in India, the Brahmins have always received huge respect and their word as never been breached but this decision was genuinely stupid. I have brought Brahmins into the picture because there is no other reason for one to be vegetarian in India (unless you are some health freak).Also, one would expect vegetarians to have the sympathy of people in such cases since they are the "bechare ghas phoos khanewale" but still, this decision was genuinely stupid (once again).The committee notified the decision through a mail which was broadcast to every one in the company. This mail got bombarded by replies (with everyone in CC off course) over the next two days and there was such an uproar from the non-vegans that the FOOD committee might have been sitting under police protection to avoid any violent activities against them. The writer in everyone seemed to have awakened all of a sudden as mails flew in all directions which were CC-ed to everyone. Hasty, outrageous, un-necessary were words used to describe the decision. “Fixing the bug and leaving numerous side-effects”,"Cutting a head to cure a head-ache" were similes drawn towards it (though I don't know what the first one meant).The entire non-vegetarian population was thrown into a fix so as to what to eat from the next day .Many of them lost the motivation to eat and dragged along behind their respective teams.
The food committee members were constantly at the receiving end of the evil looks and curses of the non-vegans. One of my team members raised a valid point by saying "I don’t understand man, if they find a cockroach in veg food tomorrow will they ban veg food also?”. This logic seemed supremely flawless and I was pretty sure he would do something about this stupid decision (one more time).And just as I thought he did do something about it. He went and joined the FOOD committee stating that it lacked enough non-vegetarian members and that this was the prime cause for this stupid decision of theirs(again haha).Also, he gathered a few non-vegetarians to support his entry into the FOOD committee and had a long argument with them and his vegetarian counterparts trying to convince them about the stupidity of the decision (last time) and gave suggestions as to how non-vegetarian food could be served without affecting the sentiments of the veggies. His ordeal ending after about an hour-and-a-half and he came back vindicated and announced that non-vegetarian food would start again from the coming Monday (after a drought of one week). This came as huge relief for all vegetarians too, who had heard nothing other than the misery of their non-vegetarian friends as they poured it out over the lunch table through out this week.
All ended with a statement from me that even though this incident had thrown many people's dietary habits in utter chaos, it has given rise to a new dish called Chicken sambar.
Seriously, I have eaten sambar all my life and have unwillingly (in most cases) tasted all sort of combination my mother tried with the taan (vegetable) and masala that go into it .I got to eat sambar rice even in my college, though it is located in the remote district of Dhanbad in Jharkhand (not Bihar) but this thought of mixing sambar and chicken never ever crossed my mind or the minds of my non-vegan friends (theirs being non-vegetarian minds and hence having a wider scope).

Footnote:-What coincidence I am Sambarboy and I have got this opportunity to share a newly discovered variety of sambar with you.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Working in this human-farm type atmosphere I have kind-of got used to the people that surround me. I know nothing about them apart from their names which are written on the name-plate atop their respective cubical and yet I have a neighbourly feeling towards them. It might me due to the fact that we all strive to make saftware for a living or simply because I got used to the faces and saftware vastu (saftu) they are a part of. Saftu is sort of a harmony between physical and cyber forces, meaning, to make efficient saftware, I need so and so person to sit diagonally opposite to or behind me, another person with his chair facing east and one more facing anywhere but to the north-east of the toilet and so on.

For a long time now, about 2 week (I guess that is long in this saftware world), the cubical next to mine has remained vacant. The person who occupied it got shifted or went abroad if I have figure out correctly from his relentless trials of getting a travel laptop over the phone with the Systems Admin. guys. Even though I knew nothing about the former occupant of the said cubical I grew a familiarity towards him and I was coding very well thanks to the saftu energy that I drew from the surrounding (of which he was an integral part).

The HR department, unaware of my saftu theory, refused to let one seat go vacant and allocated it to some person thus effectively utilizing our (or their) resources. And so, my new neighbour arrived today announcing herself by completely disrupting the saftu of my cubical and it will take a while before she learns the ways of level three right wing cubicles (if any). Moreover, I have to get used to her (not that she cares whether I succeed in doing so or not) and gauge her saftu energy and according shift my chair or table or computer so as to revive the above mentioned saftu harmony. The fact that she is a "she" presents added problem to me for there has been a lot of junta surrounding her this whole day. I guessed it might be so since it was her first day at the new "house" and all her friends came to attend an unofficial house-warming ceremony. Sadly, it does not look like the conglomerate will be temporary as she seems to be the epicenter of all chatter and this has quite a disturbing effect on the peaceful atmosphere that I had got used to for so long. But one does not complain if one's neighbour is watching his/her favorite TV show in high volume or if they shout into their mobile phones while leaning on the compound wall separating the two houses .Similarly, in Saftware, I have learnt, that one does not complain or raise his/her voice against such apparent nuisance but comforts oneself by either joining them or absent oneself from that place and materialize near the coffee machine and stay there till the "party" has come to an end.

I hope that the day comes soon when my new neighbour finds the above mentioned harmony with her surroundings and starts to contribute constructively to the saftu of level three right wing cubicles.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Of low rise jeans and sleeveless Tee

This article was written for my college newspaper- Mailer Daemon .

It is high time someone said a word or two (or even an entire paragraph) about the recent developments in the dressing sense of the students here. The students belonging to the lower half of the 4 years seem to have taken up the job of revolutionizing the fashion in the campus. The most noticeable fashion trend emerging among the kids (this would refer to my non-immediate juniors) is the low-rise jeans. For the ignorant, low rise jeans is a kind of jeans that refuses to hide one's underwear’s patti . Thus if you are a guy wearing a pattiwala underwear, there can be no better dress to show it off than the low-rise jeans. Growing up in a very conservative family, fashion to me was the 2 meter Raymond’s trouser material that I used to get from my grandparents after prostrating 4 times before them. Therefore the concept of the low-rise jeans seems absolutely alien to me. One is often lead to think as to why someone would wear something that skids halfway down the buttock? I remember trying it myself when I once pulled my normal jeans down so that it would look like the low-rise and failed miserably .For, when I came back to my room I found that the jeans had actually been sweeping the campus roads all the while.

The younger ladies on their behalf seem to have set the sleeveless Tee as one of the standard dress codes to the class. One has to understand that a hot day to them is a hot day to us too. Again my very fashion illiterate mind is lead to think as to why should this particular attire be limited to the female domain of the students only? I know a few brawny guys who could scare the teacher to death if they wear a sleeveless Tee and sit in the first bench. This at least would help the students by getting rid of an hour of boring lecture.

But jokes apart, I believe that one (boy or girl) must dress like a proper engineering student when inside the campus. People are free to wear what they want, no doubt, but not inside the campus or to the class or to the library .When you are going out for the movies or to have a fancy dinner you can show your wardrobe off to everyone. The dress we wear or the way we eat or the way we speak to people are all part of us being engineers .As engineers we are supposed to have an air of dignity and respect around us. Thus the way one does the above things shows how much he/she values his/her engineering. But then again, all is well that ends well. So, it is for you to decide, the next time you wear a low-rise (or a sleeveless Tee), weather you look like an engineering student or like an 11th class kid going out with his/her buddies to the mall.

Venkata Raghavan

P.S .Read the Wikipedia article on low-rise jeans (subtopic:-medical concerns)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nice poem

It is by pure chance that I found this poem while surfing the internet. The words rhyme perfectly but does the poem make sense or not and how far is it true are questions left to the reader.

Sugar and spice and everything nice
That’s what little girls are made of.
Spiders and lice and wee little mice,
that’s what little girls are made of.
Alabaster skin
and emerald eyes,
and ruby red lips,
to hide all her lies:
That’s what little girls are made of.
A forked silver tongue
and a head full of bats,
pierced dimpled cheeks
and claws like a cat:
That’s what little girls are made of.

Sugar and spice and everything nice
That’s what little girls are made of.
False promises and lies
made through half open eyes,
with angelic smiles
and feminine wiles:
That’s what little girls are made of.
An appetite for money
and a runt made of honey:
That’s what little girls are made of.

Sugar and spice and everything nice,
that’s what little girls are made of,
and deceit and pain
and betrayal for gain:
That’s what little girls are made of.