Saturday, December 25, 2004


It was around 0700 hrs IST, when my friend in New York told me about an eartquake in my native town, Chennai. He had just got over the phone from his panicked father that they felt some tremors there. Just before he said I received a wakeup message from my friend back home. Unusual, as he is never awake so early. Then I searched the internet for earthquake and saw that there was an earthquake north of Sumatra Island. Wow, the last tremor in Chennai was caused by Bhuj earthquake a few years back. I called my aunt and said they never felt a thing but my mom and uncle had called her. I called that dude in Chennai about the earthquake and it was like how excited a bunch of kids are when they are waken up suddenly.

After coming back from the class I saw the NY dude sending me a link, Yahoo news one, for the cause of the tremor. It seems the quake in Sumatra had caused tsunamis and killed over 160 people in Sri Lanka. AFP, in its usual glory had wrongly reported that Chennai was the capital of Andhra Pradesh state.

My mom later called me to tell that the sea water had entered Chennai (extent not known) and they were watching the TV. I remember the last tremor. We all had ran out of our homes and foolishly stood in the narrow street between two apartment buildings. It was a long fiesta all night, the kids staying up all night and the elders catching up.

One dude in the city that was the 2nd capital of India says they too felt the tremors and he slept through it!

Lest we forget, or don't know, exactly 1 year before, there was an earthquake in Bam, Iran. Maybe this was an anniversary earthquake.

Christmas Cakes

It is nice to have someone who celebrates Christmas religiously. OK, bad joke but you get christmas cakes. Then some celebrate just for fun. Like the one we had here the previous night. One dude dressed as Santa Claus (No padding, all natural) and giving away gifts to all. Then there were the cakes, sponsored by the insti's cultural committee. Christmas tree, christmas games, christmas cakes, and a coffee mug for all, alongwith chocolates. Then in the day, cakes from the hillbillies. Form a posse and run to those rooms which have cakes ('strictly First Come First Served.') Brought back memories of the Anglo-Indian family across my home celebrating christmas and new year. They will start a couple of weeks before, having running lights and stars and a real christmas tree with a shiny star on top. We will all get the creamiest cakes and the sweetest of sweets and mint-candies. Then we all grew up, they moved away to a country where it snows and these stopped. Moreover, the reality of the course coming to an end seems to be catching up here. We have been having parties every week and too much of celebrations. Must be hard, after spending close to 2 years cooped up here.

Also, downloaded a lot of Ali G videos, the pilot episode and one another episode of 'Joey'. Not bad! Just like 'Friends', this too is a series of jokes strung together, but just one guy holding it all. Let's see how long this goes. A junior hillbilly said he has all the episodes of "That 70s show'; must get it before his class leave for their holidays.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Anna University going retro?

Recently the CEO of was arrested because an IIT Kharagpur tried to sell (with limited success) a pornography clip of two school kids. That is a classic case of the law being an ass. Why else would serial sex offenders and rapists and murderers would be given 'protection' by the law itself and a poor guy be arrested, for co-operating with the law.

Now, my alma mater, Anna University, has banned camera-phones within the campus. The reason given is 'it invades the privacy, can be used to blackmail people'. I suggest, go ahead and ban cameras too as they can be used for the same purposes!

Following this 'DPS School Scandal', it is said that many colleges in 'progressive' Mumbai have banned couples of the same-sex even traveling together in a bike! It reminds me of my 'co-educational' school days when we had a school full of Syrian Catholic teachers who would to the sky if they saw a 'boy talking with a girl', inside or outside the school and segregated the class into boys and girls, with wide space between the 'boys row' and the 'girls row'. There were teachers who would 'blackmark' a boy because he 'talked with a girl' and give him hell of a time, even reporting to the 'headmaster' and get him trashed.

For some, college was supposed to be a major step away from this 'segregation' and freedom. Friends who joined 'reputed engineering colleges' like SRM, Sathyabama, etc were pushed a step backward. This, from an email forward I received, summarises everything parents supported in the name of 'discipline' and 'character': No casual dresses, only black shoes, no interaction between boys and girls, no cutting classes, seperation of boys and girls not just inside the campus but in the college bus also (extended to the bus-stop). My friends who studied in Sathyabama have also told about the attenders/peons being 'rewarded' for reporting such incidents to the 'management'. My cousin has told about how every record note-book has to have the same cover and class-notes were to be made (in college?).

In case we don't know, or we forgot, Sathyabama was built by the greatest liquor barons of all times, Jeppiar (said to be the biggest rowdy for beloved MGR). I am afraid Anna University will turn into just another Sathyabama or SRM. This, in addition to the dilution of brand value by, what the public understands as, 'making all engineering colleges part of Anna University'. But hey, we are the 'largest Technical university in the World', bullshit!

Monday, December 20, 2004

I Irked someone, it seems!

Time: ~11:30 pm, venue: Mess
We were a small bunch of guys sitting outside the mess and talking about projects and how they were done. One junior hillbilly was saying that they got an assignment involving field visits with only 7 days to complete. He said that they should have told atleast a month in advance on with such a short time only googling will do. I jokingly referred to this guy, who was with me in that aaspathiri assignment, the presentation of which I missed because of some allergic reaction, and asked him to tell how he did his part. Immediately he 'clarified' that only another person had done copy-paste work and he did everything by himself. The topic jumped to another, almost directly. End of the matter, right? NO!

Time: ~2:30 am, venue: My room
Yes, after a deliberation of more than 3 hours, this guy comes to my room, agitated and almost yells at me, "what did you do for the project? You did nothing!"
Half asleep, at first I was confused, 'what the hell is this guy talking about?' "What?"
"Why are you telling others that I did only copy-paste work?"
"C'mon man, just a joke!"
"Joke? Have some seriousness about this. I am going to tell to drop your name from the group" and then he rushes to that guy's room. (Another group formed for another subject this term)
I went back to sleep, and after some time wandered off to the mess.

Oh yeah, look at this too.

And, I finally made a backup of all the advertisements and music videos I had in my hard-disk. This clears about 5 GB now so I can start Kazaa again and download movies.