Thursday, July 24, 2008

Going up.

I love going up the stairs.

I hate coming down the stairs.

I'd rather not go up if I have to come down later.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Scindia Stories #1 - SM973

I arrived at Gwalior station with a huge black trunk and a 16-inch suitcase. I was in a daze; I do not remember at all the trip from the station to Gwalior fort, where the school was. It was afternoon.

I was in Dattaji house. Apparently, our housemaster, a Mr. Sanjeevan Bose was out of town with a school contingent, and one Mr. Dhirendra Sharma was helping out the incoming 'new boys'. We were also introduced to the house matron Mrs. Handoo, a tall, heavy built woman, who looked extremely sweet to the parents, what with that over enthusiastic smile of hers. All 'new boys' were queued up in a veranda and weirdly, some teachers and some 'old boys' were trying to clap hands to gain attention. They would go 'Clap clap' and shout 'Quiet please'.

Now, the parents were asked to leave the premises. I could see tears rolling down my mother's eyes. I was holding mine up somehow. After the simultaneous emotional exchange between 65 new boys and their parents, we were assembled again for a talk.

During the talk, we were given ID numbers, that would last us for our Scindian life. I was allotted 973. We had to tag everything that was ours with our initials and this no. So, for my Scindian life, I became SM973. My underwear was tagged, my shampoo was tagged, my shoes were tagged, and basically everything was tagged with a permanent marker.

Later through the years, whenever my clothes or shoes were dirty even after a wash, the matron ready with a stick in hand would summon me and give me a nice beating on the palm.

Although it was supposed to last me only for my Scindian life, SM973 has stuck to me even ten years after Scindia. My previous phone lock code consisted 973.

Scindia Stories - Prologue

I had a little history regarding boarding schools. In the 1st or 2nd grade, I had appeared for an entrance examination for Welham Boys, and when the result came out and I realized I was admitted; I tore off the result. I simply did not want to go.

So it still confuses me as to why I enthusiastically suggested that I be admitted to the Scindia School, Gwalior in the 4th grade. It may have been because of the stories of Mussoorie International School that I had heard from my sisters.

Whatever the reason, the three years in Scindia were the fondest of my schooling life. In the following series, I will write incidents and tales that I remember from Scindia.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


A list of the few things that I would want to have.

1) BMW 530i

2) Tag Heuer Grand Carrera Calibre 8RS Chronometer

3) Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Solitaire Silver Fibre Guilloche

4) A Hugo Boss Suit

5) A Vincent van Gogh

6) Signed copy of all Jeffrey Archer books

7) Cristopher Tolkien signed Lord of the Rings

9) Sachin Tendulkar signed bat

10) Arsene Wenger and Thierry Henry signed football

11) Pink Floyd signed The Wall

12) Bose Lifestyle home entertainment system

13) Arsenal Football Club

Do they say lucky no. 13?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Indian Premier League - A delayed review

A few years back, when the South African cricket team visited Australia, a new rivalry was born; that of arguably the greatest leg spinner the game has ever seen and of a flamboyant young captain leading the resurrection of a tattered team after an unsuccessful world cup campaign. Shane Warne and Graeme Smith never became the best of friends.

Come 2008, and suddenly, the two fierce competitors were bought by the same franchisee in the much fancied Indian Premier League. By the end of the tourney, Smith declared Warne as a 'fiery old man' and said that they 'got on like a house on fire'.

Now that is what the IPL has done to the sport of cricket. Even one Mr. Sourav Ganguly is now happy to work closely with one Mr. Ricky Ponting, something that seemed unforeseeable in either's careers.

No sport is friendly, but it must be played in the right spirit. The IPL was no different. At the opening ceremony itself, each captain signed the Spirit of Cricket statement, confirming that they intended to play in respect of the game. Another incentive for promoting sportsmanspirit was the Fairplay Award, which took into account a team's behaviour with their opposition as well as the umpires.

It might seem surprising that the Rajasthan team eventually won the IPL. They were touted as the weakest link, they had an accented English-speaking captain, they had no Indian superstar cricketer. However, they had desire. Warne's want to win a game from the most miserable situation was infectious, and it thus showed in the performances of youngsters like Shane Watson and Yusuf Pathan.

One might argue that the famous Harbhajan-Sreesanth slap incident did not do much for nurturing sportsmanspirit; but it is clear that neither of these players have behaved saintly in their past careers, so to blame the IPL for such an incident is not correct.

The inaugral IPL did its bit to promote the game of cricket. Old enemies became pals and respect grew amongst contemporaries. Cricket still remained the gentleman's game, although the viewership grew amongst ladies and children as well.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai

Yesterday, I went to the IIT for Techfest's night event, Laser Floyd.
Now, the last word in the last sentence is enough to draw me, and maybe a couple of more people to the event. So, there it was, a Laser Show from some group from America with Floyd's The Wall playing in the background.
Let me be frank. The laser show was not something brilliant. I think I saw the same kind of thing at our college fest two years back, maybe on a little smaller scale. And just to praise my college a tad bit more, I think the idea of having a live band in Vayu perform along with the laser show was much more exciting.
Anyways, what I loved about the show was the crowd. I would so wish that kind of a crowd present for an event I organize. Even before the show started, the mexican waves had begun. After a couple of rounds of hand-raising fun, there was the flashing of mobiles. It so reminded me of everyone holding a candle during Scorpions' Wind of Change performance; I did not imagine cell phones could be so visible from 25 mtrs.
All right; people who had not heard any song from the album came just because they thought it cool to attend something to do with Floyd, but the spirit of the crowd was enough to make you want to go to that place year after year. Imagine an open air theatre, filled with almost 6000 people, all waving their mobile phones in the air. Pretty decent.
It's things like these that make me even more fond of the IIT; forget the education bit, it's the IIT experience that's the real thing.