Vantage point

Monday, May 13, 2002

13th May 2002

Partial freedom. That is what I experienced yesterday. The last practical exam of my engineering life, a chronogically misplaced subject called "Electronics Measurement". One would have expected this subject to be somewhere in the 6th semester, but anyway, here it is, giving us the last look at fucntion generators.

The Prof in-charge of the practical, Wani, is one of the wierdest people in COEP (College of Engineering Pune) and he displayed that ostentatiously yesterday. He always keeps a few M.E. students handy to help him out with stuff he doesnt know about (which is pretty much everything in the department) and it is these M.E. guys who really teach us about his subjects. He told us about the pract exam- "Half your marks will be given by the ME students, half by myself and half by the external examiner"...shades of Asrani "Jailer" from Sholay? (aadhay idhar jao...).

So anyway, the experiments are very easy and one finishes them within 15 minutes. Then the orals, which were a bit dreary. Wani made a lot of gaffes, which is pretty much the reason for his existence, and entertained us. We are thinking of compiling a top-ten of his "memorable quotes". The funniest two that come to mind-

"You should be dynamic. Being dynamic is very necessary. Only dynamic people succeed in life. Like that Henry Ford. Do you know about Henry Ford?" he asks a shy girl who nods her head. " He saw this meat factory and he was dynamic so he thought i will put a two stroke engine on a chassis (the last 's' pronounced) and he started making Fiat(sic) cars."

I dont think the Italians will be happy with this comment. Another comment during his dynamism trip-

"That fellow (pronounced pphellow) who started Microsoft, what is his name, haaa, Bill Clinton"......the whole class goes "SIIIIIR!!"
" No no, not Clinton, what is his name, Bill Gates, yes Bill Gates is dynamic." then sensing the need for damage control, he proceeds to do exactly the opposite " You see, I said Clinton because since he is the President of USA, he controls Bill Gates and is the real owner of Microsoft."...all this said a few days after 9-11 when George Bush was taking his presidentship seriously and "making no mistakes" about it.

Life in COEP would be so boring without Wani Sir. I hope he isn't into reading blogs, cos if he is, then I'd better cancel my ticket to Lucknow and start filling the ATKT form.

Oh yes, the ticket to Lucknow. One of the things I don't really look forward to is railway reservations. But there comes a time in our life when we have to walk that path. Spoke with this other guy, a senior from COEP who also got thru to IIML this year. His name is Sunil Joshi and he was the cricket captain of COEP (no, he isnt a left arm spinner). After standing in the queue with him for almost an hour (a very short time by Indian Railways standard), perusing the "Trains at a Glance" and being forced into conversation with a guy behind us who was of the view that computers make the whole process slower, we got 2 tickets each!!! Crazy? Not quite. It is Sunil's genius at its best. We wanted to tarvel in AC, but AC for June end had a waiting list of 14 people. So took that and also took a Second Class ticket each for the next day, just in case the waiting list doesnt clear. If it does clear, we cancel that ticket. Brilliant I think. That's what an aspiring MBA should think like.

I havent seen Harry Potter for some reason or the other. And now I am the only one left who hasn't seen it. Trying to convince friends to give it a second dekko, but that's tuff in the PL's. I am thinking of blackmailing Madhura into coming with me. She finished reading the first 2 parts. I could threaten to tell her the ending of "Prisoner of Azkaban" or "Goblet of Fire". Hmmm...

This always happens to me in the PLs (preparation leave). I read everything other than my E&TC textbooks. I finished "The Fellowship of the Ring" and now feel drawn towards Nehru's 'Glimpses of World History', which I bought at Teen Murti during our class "study tour" to North India. History has always fascinated me. I was one of the handful at school who actually looked forward to history periods. Even now, I feel my real calling is "History Teacher". Wow, this can't be a S.O.P for IIM Lucknow for sure. Anyway, with the BJP re-writing history, I am sure any history-loving kid will have a saffron tint in his/her eyes.

So both Tanenbaum and Nehru are in contention for today afternoon's reading time.

Oh ys, had the first Hapoos (alphonso) mango of the season yesterday. I know, it's very late,but the real hapoos tastes best in mid-may. It really does wonders for the taste buds. No other fruit can ever come close to the hapoos. There is absolutely no contest at all. It is like Michael Schumacher and other drivers.

And since Schumi is so better than his fellow drivers, I really fail to understand why Barrichello was made to let him go in the last lap. The Austrian crowd was booing Schumi and Rubinho was almost in tears. Schumacher stood on the 2nd place on the podium however and made Rubens accept the winners trophy and sit at the center in the press conference. However, it is Michael who gets the 10 points, which is the whole point of a Formula 1 race. Kinda reminds me of that story from the Mahabharat about Ashwatthama. Dronacharya was evry poor and couldnt afford milk, but his son Ashwatthama used to ask for milk, since the kids he played with were all princes who were rich. So what Drona used to do was mix some wheat flour in water and give it to Ashwatthama who happily drank it thinking it was milk.

The bad taste left in my mouth due to this decision was washed away by Ajay Ratra who became the first Indian wicketkeeper to get a century abroad. Good job, man. Anil Kumble has a broken jaw due to a bouncer he ducked into. See, thats what happens when all your exercise is concentrated on your abs, back, legs and arms, and you ignore the jaw workout !!

Time for me to touch a textbook or two. It is the PL after all.
And I'll give Nehru a one-over too.