Thursday, May 31, 2007

Of me and Bahin...

Well, so some of you know me better than I know myself! I am indeed back and I am surprised ! I know, some of who had even prophesied an early return-- ‘waah’ ‘waah’ to you!
:)

Now, let me tell you how Sayesha, unknowingly paid a beeeg role in my return.

You know, I am not Raam Pyari, as in I was not named RP by my parents .But yet it has somehow become a part of my identity. ‘Smilethesmile’ is just a blog, I know, but it is indeed at least a small part of my identity. It is difficult to get a new name, a new address and pretend as if all was like before.

In comes Sayesha.

I am, I guess, one of her most regular readers even if I do not comment on each and every post. So, when I came face to face with the problem coz of which I had stopped blogging here, the first person whose advice I wanted to take was, well, you guessed it right, Sayesha.

So, I went to her blog, but sadly there was no email contact to be found and I again found myself at sea.

So, with all this happening, ‘Blogging all the way’ shut down and all, I happened to read the latest post at the bar.
500 drinks :) !!!

[Cheers, bahin, btw! ]

There is this one line in her post which I shall not quote, which was almost like ‘Bahin’ talking to me about the problem I was facing here. In the post she also mentions what she thinks about such a situation .AndI could so totally see her point of view. It was an epiphany of sorts, the clouds parted and there was the proverbial sunshine all around.

So, that got me thinking, and the more I thought about it, the more sure I started feeling about reopening this place.

I will not/ cannot die for ‘Blogging all the way..’ but you see, it is two years of me- from the time when I was in 2nd year Btech till today, when I have just finished the last theory exam I will ever write as a student of a Btech course.

Almost two years and about 180 posts.

That is a lot of me.

I could not let it go, just like that.

I kept thinking about all of you who read whatever crap I write here. I mean, it just seemed useless to let go of this place.

Hence and therefore, I am back and Bahin is to be at least partially thanked for the dramatic return!

So, I take this[she has just reached post number 500] opportunity to thank Bahin, not for writing that particular post but for churning out post after post, for allowing me and others like me , unknown strangers , to peek into her life , for being honest, for being funny ,for sharing with us the smallest of things, for sharing with us the biggest of things , for making the bar such an integral part of our lives.And for helping me decide on coming back here:)

500 down?
5000 more to go re!

The good thing was that due to all that happened here, I got a chance to know some of my readers here who took out the time to actually mail me.

Keep Rocking!

RP.

P.S. Girl series will be back. I will try and finish the story before I leave my city!
I do not think I need to put this here, but Sayesha a.k.a. Bahin can be found at www.sayesha.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The blog is open.
Details later, have an exam kal.
Big thankyou to Sayesha, for making me see sense.

will be back with a detailed post!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dear readers,

Some of the more regular ones amongst you all have been mailing me about why I have restricted access to my blog...

Well, restricted access it will be..I might start a new blog, migt not blog, might blog here only with limited access.
However, my stat counter has been telling me that there are people around who have been reading my blog with tremendous regularity for a long time, poeple who I do not know, probably poeple who do not even blog themselves.
So, this is message for all of you, who I am vain enough to believe , like to read my posts.
I am putting down my email id...do lemme know about yourselves,if I ill start blogging again, I will let you guys know :)

Thankyou for reading what I have written for the past 2 years.

Will miss 'Blogging all the way'

RP.

P.S.: EMAIL ID= raampyari007@rediffmail.com

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Logic and Science behind an Indian Marriage

So, my cousin’s wedding just got over and in taking an active part in her wedding, I got an opportuniy to observe keenly all that is so intrinsicly a part of the proverbial big fat indian wedding!

Seeing all ‘rasma’s and riwaazs [customs]I was surprised to see the sheer logic and sense behind even some of the tiniest of customs we follow so casually .
For starters ‘dowry’..no not the dowry we talk of today but go back a couple of hundred years I guess.A girl going to a new place would simply feel more comfortable using things she gets from her own home….than actually going to new and strange people and asking them for it.

By giving things like utensils etc as part of dowry the girl’s parents set up a mini household for her simply for her convenience.

The whole huge gathering that happens at the wedding--I think in ancient times also all the community members would gather for a girl’s wedding. The reason? My guess is that instead of being the grand show of one’s riches and affluence that a wedding now sadly is, it was ,I guess ,meant to ensure that all from both the sides got to meet one another and know the other one better.

Similarly customs like ‘joota churai’ et al ensure a light atmosphere during the wedding itself and also helps the two families to get to know each other better.
The excessive make up girls are supposed to put on during the wedding and the bangles and ‘bichia’s , the ‘mangal sutra’s and the sindoor ; now I have two theories on that. One is that since these are telltale signs of a girl being married, random men who would see the girl would know before hand that the girl is married and hence no untoward incident would happen.

The other logic is that that makes the girl look more attractive and there by the husband would feel more attracted to her. Now this brings me to another aspect of the whole thing. The ‘ghonghat’. Why the ghooghat? I have done my bit of talking to a lot of people on this and have come to a conclusion which is as follows. See, culturally we are not a ‘nuclear-family’ society, we have joint families ,with the father , all the sons and their families –everyone living together. Now from what I have heard apparently incest is quite common in rural and probably also in urban India even today. So, keeping the girl’s face covered, particularly when she went in front of the other men of the family was a tiny step in ensuring that that would not happen.

Similarly take the widows; they are not supposed to wear any kind of makeup, no colorful clothes, nothing that makes them attractive; this being done to ensure that men would not be interested in them!

The saying ‘Ladaki ke shaadi waaley ghar mein kaam karne se punya milta hai’ [You are blessed if you help out in a household preparing for their girl’s wedding ] is one of the smartest thing our pundit jees have come up with. I have seen enough of a household preparing for its girl’s wedding to know how much of work there is to be done!!! So they really need people to come forward and help! And if people generally believe that by helping out they are getting brownie points , so be it!!

Customs like the ‘chauthi’ according to which the girl is supposed to return to her parent’s house for a day on the 4th day after her wedding is another smart one! See, obviously the girl is suddenly face to face with so many strangers , so like if she knows that she would be going back to her house in just a few days , that might make things that little bit easier for her! I also think that the custom of the girl celebrating her first Holi at her parents house is just another gimmick our ancestors cooked up to ensure that the poor girl gets at least one more break!!

If you look closely at the nitty gritties that happen during the actual wedding you will notice that there is some tiny thing that only the ‘bua’ is supposed to do, something the ‘chacha’ is supposed to do. This distribution of roles and duties amidst the members of the family probably kept the interest of all alive and kicking! This probably came about as the only way to keep the whole family together and make them feel important!

I don’t know really, I have no great knowledge of the human mind, nor do I claim to possess a great insight into our culture and history. Hence this can but be called only a very na├»ve attempt at understanding the science and logic behind the manner in which the marriages in our society in general have been shaped. Everything that we refer to as being part of our ‘culture’ is nothing but probably a way of keeping the society in order. What we think of that ‘way’ per se might be good or bad ; it depends on us as individuals but I feel that with most of our customs , if you look just that closely , you will come across some thing that definitely makes sense.If nothing , you will atleast be able to make a vague guess of what was probably going on in mind of our society at that point in time.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Job #2...

Okay, so 2 days back Adobe came visiting to our campus. I came to know of it only the night before that and I was in mood to work for it. I had stopped working on my technical skills by Jan last year when I had started working for a b skul in full earnest and somehow never started working on it again.
So like , I was in no mood to stay up the whole night working for it...so I just brushed up a little bit of C and was basically ready to go give the test.
I was mentally prepared for being chucked out in the 1st round itself.
It would be nothing more than a slight embarrassment, I reasoned with myself!

The whole day was spent busy with the farewell party that my branch juniors had organized for us , I came back dead tired at about 8 , watched some TV [only ' some' because it was a Sunday and Dad was home for the evening! ] and went off to bed!

The next day I got up at around 8, got out of bed at about 8:45 and left home for the PPT that was to begin at 9 , at about 9:15.

Spent the next hour listening to the ppt and err… admiring the cute guys …ahem..and before I knew it, it was time to write the test..

There were three things they tested, analytical skills, mathematical skills and C .
I personally was not very satisfied with the test and instead of waiting for the results I decided to head back home. There was no point in waiting for about 2 hours for the potentially negative results!

At 5, a friend called up to tell me that my interview was slotted for 5 sharp.


Needless to say all hell broke loose…I had been semi asleep cuddled next to Ma when the call had come and the transformation from the sleepy me to the screaming me had to be seen to be believed !! After having created enough tension at home ,I changed into a dark maroon salwaar kurta, tied my hair in a plait, kajal for the eyes, a tiny black bindi .This was followed by a mad rush to look for the CV and certificates [ which were still in the file I had used for the Narsee Monjee interview in Delhi ] which was then followed with forcing Dad to drive fast to drop me to college!!

When I reached college, I was immediately handed this huge form to fill..I had just borrowed a pen [I do not have any faith in having pens of my own, you see ]and was about to fill in my name when this guy from the team came out and called my name!

Like a woman possessed I hastily tried to fill my form .Once that was done I headed for the interview room. I just paused outside the room for a few seconds to compose myself before heading straight in.

So began the first round of interview.

The guy taking my interview and I felt completely relaxed…infact he even asked me how I was so well prepared for the interview!
:P
Then followed some puzzles which believe it or no I managed to solve !!!I guess the tough DI caselets I solved for CAT helped me there…
He even got me to play a game with him..he asked me to sell him a paper weight, a pen and sooo many many other questions!
The interview went on for about an hour..it was so extensive, the fact that he was easy on the eyes helped a little bit ..hehehe :P

Then the second round happened –another 50 minute interview of extensive grilling!
And then as soon as I was about to go in for the third one I was asked to wait for sometime…by this time it was already 9 o clock in the night, so I got together with some frnds of mine and we went and had Maggie at the Nestle counter just outside the academic block….


Maggie in college at 9 in the night?
Priceless!

So, then finally the interview happened at 10 in the night, from 10:30 to 11:00!! Haf an hour of the gentleman trying ot figure out my insecurities!
:|
Yess, that is what he said…he also asked to me to tell him about the craziest thing I had done.
I actually told him that it was censored and could not be mentioned here!
And he actually said that whatever I said would remain within the walls of the room!

Heheh..Imagine

So finally at about 11:15 I reached home, after having been standing the whole day without a moments rest!

And with that my second job interview came to an end.

Epilogue: I got the job!!! Yeayyyyy!!!

P.S : If you wish to check out my first job interview with CTS , here is the link--- http://smilethesmile.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html
Check out the post in green

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

So, apparently, I am the only one who has managed a vaguely decent convert from my coaching institute[ Yes, you can go be as surprised as you wish to be ]. The centre heads had decided to arrange a seminar for the entire batch for CAT 07 and I was cordially invited to share with the students my own experiences.

Ahem.

Since it is the first time that I am actually being treated this way, let me share with you guys all that happened.
First of all, I had no idea what I should ideally wear for the occasion! [ A day before that a class 12 girl who wanted to speak to me had exclaimed on seeing me ‘ Didi toh humare age ki lagati hai ‘ .
Huh! ]
So, Western wear was totally out, it makes me look much younger than I actually am , so I settled for a light pink churidaar salwaar kameez with substantial chikan work all over in white, tiny pink danglers and a touch of kohl for the eyes. The cotton suit + hair in a pony, academic, hard working girl look! :P

Ma dropped me off at the venue and Chotu Bhaiyya [ the odd job guy at the coaching I used to be very good friends with when I was regular with the classes] on seeing me waved a cheerful ‘hello’ and directed me to the hall.
It was a HUGE hall and had around 200 seats, the centre Head#1 was on stage giving gyaan about the various terms used in business mags et al. Centre head #2 , a female who has without fail failed to impress me , was seated in the front row.On seeing me, she waved and asked me to come over, So I sat next to her and listened to centre head #1 give gyan. It was actually a pretty decent lecture and I listened very attentively to all that was being said while centre head #2 yawned and yawned non stop beside me.
Other faculty members were also there and it was nice to talk to them once in a while in hushed whispers…
One hour later, centre head #1, wrapped up his lecture and Centre head#2 went on stage and introduced to the audience the three of us.
Before calling me to the podium, she said ‘I have to mention one thing about this girl, she happens to be one the most hard working girls I have ever come across’

Nice thing to say?
Yeah , you might say so..but it rang quite hollow for me simply coz I know Centre Head #2 never bothered about me during the time I was studying with them..it just did not make a lot of sense ..
Anyways..I had no idea really about what to say…I think I gave gyan about the AIMCATs, asked those kids to read as much as they could and stressed on how important revision is.
Blah blah!

After the whole thing was done with, I was standing outside the hall, surrounded by a group of boys asking a variety of questions. One of them, a very enthu type of a guy[ he put up a pertinent koschan . ‘I am really very serious and want to do my MBA from abroad.How should I prepare for GRE’!! Ahem.Double Ahem ]was asking most of them.
Suddenly he thrust his register at me and said, ‘ Ma’am can I have your autograph please’
I was too taken aback to know what to do, it was sooo silly! One senior standing near me started laughing and said that he should leave the star and her fans alone.
Grrrrrrrrrr…
So, well, I refused to give the silly autograph as it made no sense to do so, but then the boy kept insisting and I did not wish o create a huge issue out of it, so I asked his name, wrote his name, and wrote my name a little lower and a ‘have fun’ in between.

The boy looked at me and said, ‘ Ma’am aapka pehla autograph!’

Ahem.

This reached the centre heads also and they pulled my leg real bad about it  , one of them , centre head #2, actually pretended to fish out her own autograph book and asked me for a autograph as well. All of us had a jolly good laugh about the whole thing.
Anyways, for the next 30-45 minutes I was surrounded by students who had a variety of questions they wished to ask me.

As I was answering their questions there were some things that kept coming back to my mind.

First and foremost, I had this overwhelming feeling that all the CAT +Bskul tamasha had finally come to an end for me. I know I am not heading for an IIM, but I do not regret anything per se. I genuinely never was IIM material. CAT tests your IQ, hard work can only take you that far..I know this sounds pessimistic but then one can only do as much as one can possibly do. I worked as hard as I could and yet my performance in CAT was worse than it had been in most of the AIMCATs and the SIMCATs.English was my forte and I messed it up so bad, if an institute kicks me out coz they believe that my English is rotten, then so be it ..but I cannot be bitter about it….
Almost always I end up in an institute that I have never even contemplated going to which is quite a funny thing in its own way.

My B skul, although not one which had been my dream college, is respectable enough for me. The IIM dream remains one that I could not realize but I guess that is okay.
I will try to make the best of whatever opportunities that come my way and lets see where I head to.

In the beginning of 3rd year I had put up a cynical, irritated post. 3rd year is going ot be tough, I had written angrily as if the weight of the world was on my slim shoulders.
I need to get placed and I need to get thru a good b skul.
Even as I was putting down those words I remember wondering which out of these two I will get and which one I won’t.
I got the first job I interviewed for, maintained my rank in college, got a decent b skul.And to add to it, Adobe came visiting our campus , and after 3 rounds of lambaa interviews , picked a handful of people including.And the package is about 2.5 time more than what I was getting earlier!Also till I go join my bskul, my coaching people want me to work for them
So, I have 3 jobs and one b skul admit.

Academically and professionally what more can I ask for?

:P

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Big Fat Indian Wedding!

So, I am back , the wedding is done with and bidai khatam!!! Let us move chapterwise here!!

Chapter One : The Evening of the wedding!

The drama began at around 2 in the afternoon yesterday when the bride’s barat reached my city and from that point on , being the only family essentially from this city we had a lot of work to do!

Bhai spent majority of his time driving around people [ a la the myth during his cousin’s wedding :) ] and I would at times catch a glimpse of him, sweating like anything in the horrid heat , shouting instructions at some random person.
Anyways…we [S, the bride to be and I ] had to reach the beauty parlor at 5 sharp and by 6 we were still at home , managing stuff! That got us into the panic mode big time, so by 6:15 we somehow namanged to reach the parlour. On reaching there, I realized that I did not have a matching petticoat for my sari!!!!! [The petticoat continuies to create problems for us as a family also!] It was 6:30 by the time the realization dawned upon me and tht got me into a super panic mode . So I grabbed the arm of Megha, a friend of S and we hailed for a rick and headed for an unknown market place to get the elusive blue petticoat.
Having never gone to that market made things a bit difficult as it is , plus it was getting late and dark, the last I had eaten was I dunno when and I was getting extremely panicky.

We stopped at this dingy shop which hopefully stocked petticoats, and I handed the blouse to the shopkeeper. He immediately told me that he did not have the same colour .But on seeing my crestfallen face he actually offered to run around the market to look for one !

So, there Megha and I munched on somethings from a shop nearby while she told me her love story [ she is getting married to her guy this November ] while the nice shopkeeper got me the petticoat!
Virtual ‘muah’ for the random stranger who helped me out. *blush*

So, then as soon as we reached the parlor , I got down to wearing my saree for the day, I had loads of hands to help me , one aunty helped me wrap my saree, another did my make up [ which was too dark for my simple tastes, so I washed it all off as soon as I got home and re applied light makeup, and yess btw! The lady at the saloon has sent me a nice 600 rupees ka bill for the makeup.huh! ] and so I was ready by 8:30, by 9 we all reached the venue for the wedding.

Chapter Two: The gathering!

This wedding was a khumbh mela of sorts! Relatives who had not met each other for like a century were squealing with delight on spotting some long lost cousin/whatever . The sheer number of relatives was mind boggling!!There were so many of them!!!I was on my feet non stop attending to the guests, managing my sister on stage, receiving the guests, saying the farewells..etc etc

I have never been hugged /kissed sooooooo many times in such a short span of time [ got loads of compliments as well *blush* ]. It is funny how now with a MBA degree in sight I am considered to be highly qualified, its funny coz from the circle I come from I have in my vicinity people heading who are heading off to A , so my meager lil college does not seem good enough, and here amongst people in general things are so different.



Us taking centre stage even before the bride and the groom arrived! Moi in the blue and green saree with cousins!

Chapter Three : The Jaymal

So we began the coy , shy , walk with the bride , with the jaymaal in her hand. We were a couple of cousins and bhabhiz walking beside S . I am actually quite good at the shy coy bride thing or so I have been told. Imagine!
The strong light of the cameras and the instructions barked out by the cameramen ?
Shee shee

Okay , now finally we reached the stage and the boy and the girl both stood facing each other when the ladake waaleyz began their traditional drama!
R wouldn’t bend his head down and S was not tall enough to manage the jaymal unless the high and mighty groom deigned to bend his oversized head!S tried to reach for him a couple of times. On seeing S try, the ladaka waalaz lifted R so that he was now totally out of reach.!!!

Bleddy ladaka waalaz!
But we girls were also very smart!

We were like, sure go ahead, kab tak 70 kilo ke aadami koh kandhe parr uthaye rahoge, We decided that we would wait for the ladaka walaz to put down their precious 70 kilograms of human flesh! [ yess, that’s exactly what one of my cousins said to the groom’s elder brother! ].

So we stood their waiting for some time amidst loads of shor sharaba!
By that time one Mama stealithily made his way to the stage and before we knew it, he lifted S high up!!!

R was so totally taken aback , and we were like ‘ Cummmon S mala daalo!!!!’ S is my sister and like any intelligent female she does not let an opportunity slip by, so hoisted a couple of feet up the ground inspite of being dressed in all that bridal finery [ which can switch off any body’s brain functioning, trust me!]she immediately flung the jaymal around R’s neck! .So the jaymal happened when both the boy and girl were about 4 feet above stage level!!

This unexpected turn of events brought maxxxxx taaliz and whistles from amongst the crowd!



Just before the ladake waaleyz started their drama, the bridde and the groom!
Chapter Four : The actual wedding and the cheaters!.

So at around one the wedding began. Almost the entire family stayed up including me !And it was such ossum fun! Most of us cousins had changed from sarees to salwar kurtas for the sake of convenience by then. [ Being the eldest one , I was the undisputed leader of us all gundaz and all did my bidding! *superior luk* ] However our sooper high spirits were dampened a bit as soon as S enetered the mandap as she was already in tears and that made us get quite emotional as well.




S getting very emotional and moi trying to calm her down, my Nani looks on and the errr...cooler.

The joota churai is an art. It requires careful planning followed with a meticulous execution of the plan. The ladake waale cheaters cheated their way to glory, the moment R [the groom ] got off the stage , bingo!! No jootez on his feet!!!
Imagine!

And then they sit and taunt us!

So, well, we kind of searched for the jootez and then when we really could not find them we started doing a bit of jasoosi!

First and foremost we spoke with the ladake waaley ke side ka head cheater [ that fellow has taken away ALL my CAT material! ] , then we followed their each and every move with care and we came to a shocking albeit correct conclusion!
They had chupaoed the jootez in their hotel, that was across the street!!!
Locked it in a room!!
Imagine!
Bleddy cheaters!

Ah, so well…R was wearing a pagadi on his head, I was standing next to him, I simply whisked away the pagadi while R was busy doing something to something as per the panditjee’s instructions You cannot imagine the halla the other cheaters made when they saw us pull off this coup!.
We refused to hand over the pagadi unless they told us where the jootez were.
At around the same time Mamaz got extra enthu and we started making up songs for the occasion.

Lyrics of some of them
“ mushkil mein hai banna,
pagadi ke binna!
Jootey ki lalach mein
Pagadi hi lutai|”

Heheh..it was funny you know, we made up load of songs, taunting them like anything.
However there was this cap kind of a thing which looked like a Christmas tree to me, so they placed it on R’s head and that acted like his pagadi.However we soon got bored and after announcing that afterall R is our ‘jeeja ji’, and we cannot bear to see him pareshaan and all that ,I placed the pagadi back on R’s head amidst thunderous applause form the grooms side!

During the wedding we put digi cams to good use by clicking pictures of any barati found sleeping..the moment our cameras would point to the sleeping , unsuspecting barati, the other bleddy cheaters would get ultra alert and start poking and jabbing the poor guy real bad and would generally wake them up before we would really click the snap!

Lots of dholak pitana happened all throughout the night, we made up many many songs and outdid the ladake waaleyz when it came to originality and creativity!
Huh!
*Superior look*

All throughout the night elders would point out stuff and tell me to observe the proceedings carefully as I would presumably be the next one sitting in a mandap. One month ago, this would scared me like hell..but now that I know that no shaadi waadi for the next 2 years, I took it all in my stride.

At about 4 one of the boys from the other side , brought into the room a packet which looked suspiciously big , my cuuzn , being ultra smart that she obviously is, immediately pounced upon that and guess what we found inside that packet?????

Them bleddy jootez!!!!!!!!!!!!

The bhais spent the remaining part of the night closely guarding the jootez, most of the time by actually wearing them, and sauntering to the ladake waala side to simply piss them off!!

So, when at 5 the shaddi finally ended, and R and S had to be led away from the Mandap, we all surrounded the groom and refused to budge till we were give a decent amount of money!
After many rounds of ‘yaar pachchas each mein mann jao, achcha sau each parr man jao” we finally settled on one thousand each!!!!

It was it guess a decent performance from all of us.
Good work, team!

*pat on the back!*

There were more things to be done including my having to touch R’s shoulders knees and forehead with rice 10 times with rice in my hands!
How weird was that!
We also played some games with R and S which were a lot of fun!

Post that I had to come back home to manage kaam dhaam here and hence I missed the vidai, which in a way was a good thing!
Infact today has been sooo busy that I cannot put it in words here, I have been on my feet the whole day busy managing innumerable things at the same time!
:|
This is actually the first one hour that I have manged to steal and it is almost one o clock at night!

With that the wedding comes to an end , I have my exams in a fortnight and now I need to go back to padhai!!