Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Orangey Fanta Times: Laughter Knows No Bounds

First Day at the College. The Orientation Programme.Pin Drop Silence. One of the prominent person of the university is delivering a speech on Discipline and Rules and Regulations. Explains us with the help of a story. The story is about Frogs. A 650 people capacity auditorium. Pin Drop Silence. I am sitting with Aalisha-the first dost I made at the university. We both knew we can’t control laughter.Yet,we dared to sit together. The speaker addresses the frogs as ‘tinee(read:tee-nee::Actual:Tiny)’ Frogs(Maybe,by mistake).The next moment, bursts out our riot of laughter. Of course, there was Pin Drop Silence. But laughter knows no bounds. We start attracting creepy looks of people. Thank God, we were seated in the last row of the auditorium. Thank God, it was just a few minutes for break.Else,God knows what would have happened.

Thank God,We are not the only ones! :D

*This post in no ways tries to make fun of the  speaker. This is just a piece of those college memories which will forever remind me of my and Aalisha’s uncontrollable ‘hasi’!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Orangey Fanta Times: Exploring our Creativity!

Here's a sneak peak into an (to-be)engineer's creativity!All explored on the white benches and the rear pages of our notebooks!
Note:This is not the result of singular work!I have a friend who equally shares the credit! :P
Before you start awing and applauding our works and run to buy these autographed works on Olx(Also kept for bidding on Quikr!),we wholeheartedly thank you for the love and support you're showering upon us.Hope these paintings and scribbles look awesome when hung on your drawing room walls ! :)

This is a piece of conversation of my two friends :
Charu:Hathi merey Saathi
Jinal:Koi aur mila nahi?
Charu:Padh na Padh!

This is height!
aaj tak
har serial mai kal tak kyon hota hai?

It Reads:
Aap aayey merey liye..
Bittu..kon hai yeh aadmi!

(Ohh..That OLX and Quikr thing was just a non-sense!But,would you actually like to buy them?:P )

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Orangey Fanta Times: Oh..The Librarian Knows Me!

We had our 2013- MSE(Mid-Sem Exams) going on sometime in the Mid September. I had my second- last paper that day and as we engineering students usually are, I too hadn't purchased a lot many books and relied on the library. Each exam ended with the usual ritual of dropping the subjects’ book into the library’s dropbox. It was MIS paper that day and MIS and ERP being related, I had taken my ERP book (I owned it! :P) too that day for the last-minute-revision(RE-Vision? :P).Following the daily practice of dropping the library books into the dropbox in the evening-after the exams, I accidentally happened to drop my ERP book too. And guess what?I realized that much later when I returned back home to prepare for the next-days ERP paper!Sad,but I couldn't share my plight with anyone in the family and was left with the only option of e-book and my not-so-complete class notes.

And as far as my college is concerned you don’t get back things as easily as you drop/forget them. The next day, after my ERP paper, I had to go to my one of the favorite and most visited places of my university-the Library and had to request them to keep aside my personal copy. This was not an easy job. I had to recall all my scribbles and all the unique marks I had made in the book to confirm  that mine was not a false claim.
After around two to three days, I went there again, not to inquire about my lost book, but to issue another. I had almost lost all the hopes of getting my book back, for they had promised that they would inform me if they come across that book, and I hadn't received a single mail/call. Just when I was searching for a Core Java book in the third row(See, I remember all the nooks and corners and shelves of my library),the librarian comes there(and he’s not the one whom I had spoken to, regarding the lost book) and asks me:
“You are Pooja Karadgi,right?”
I am astonished. How does he me?
“You had dropped your ERP book?”
I said,”Oh Yes.”
Even if he came to know my name from that book,how did he recognize me?
He asks me to go straight from there and get my book at the specified section. When I reach the place, the moustached man, sitting there, asks me.
“Are you Pooja?”
 I say, “Yes.”
“Why did you drop your personal copy?”
“Sir, by mistake. Along with the rented books”
“Show me your Identity card. And tell me what have you written on the first page of book.?”

I recall and repeat all my scribbles back and just when I’m trying hard to remove that hard-bar-coded id-card, the “You are Pooja Karadgi?” man comes there and says,
“આ તોહ આવતી જતી હોય છે . Id-કાર્ડ  ની કોઈ જરૂર નથી.હૂન ઓળખું છું આને .”
(She keeps on visiting the library very often. No need to cross-check. I know her)

And I’m like,”Wow! The Librarian knows me!”:D
Only God knows, how many more procedures he saved me from! 

PS: “Orangey Fanta Times” titled posts will be somehow related to my college-college friends, the masti,the lol moments, so that when I pass out this phase of my life, I’ll have something to laugh about and be nostalgic!
Orangey Fanta Times...because that’s the tune that I rhyme when I’m sad, happy, ecstatic, nervous, crazy!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Orangey Fanta Times: An Unforgettable LPW Viva!

I remember how nervous I was that day. We had the LPW (Laboratory Project Work) Examinations going on+ simultaneous SEE(Semester End Exams) preps to do, the index papers to be signed..In short a lot of walking plus studying plus persuading plus flattering!

It was Workshop viva that day. Workshop for first year IT students. It was the unusual carpentry, metal cutting, molding work, welding that they used to make us do!(Insert that boring+confused+sad smiley here).  
And the fact stays that we girls had an added advantage in this subject as far as the practical work was concerned. We used to try a lot, but the metal and the wood were adamant enough for not letting their posture off (Metal ego?:P).My first wood cutting prac was a disaster. After hitting the hammer in the right direction and getting the 3/4th of wood in shape, I had gotten so much excited that the next time I hammered it, I had two beautiful pieces in hand and each individually looked perfect!

Finally after surviving this WORKSHOP for 5 long months, we had the LPW Viva examinations. Disaster was expected, wondering myself, sitting there replying a NO to every question but I had never expected that I’ll return holding my stomach tight and tears in my eyes!

We were divided in a group of three. I was the only girl in my group. And one of the guy was the highest Workshop marks bearer and the 3rd one was all least concerned, waiting to board a flight to Kuwait the next day.

We entered the room, a typical Workshop smelling room with nearly all the workshop equips there. There was this large tray containing hammers, moulds, fitters, scissors etc. etc.!The faculty sitting there asked each one of us to pick one from the tray. I was the first one to take something (I don’t remember) but I was sure at the time I had picked up that I’ll be able to answer questions at least based on this. The Mr.HighestScorer picked up yet another.Mr.Kuwait is a funny man. He looks at ma’am for a long time and when ma’am taunts him saying the choice has to be made at that very moment itself, he decides to pick up some screws!(Which obviously weren't  kept as a choice!)

On being looked up with anger by the ma’am he finally decided to pick the Welding Safety Glasses. This Mr. Kuwait has original specs too. My turn for Viva: As said, as expected, I mingled all the processes and all the equipments up.Mr.Kuwait waits for his turn to answer.

Ma’am: What is this thing which you’re holding in hands?
Mr.Kuwait: Chashmai.
Ma’am:Who muje bhi dikh raha hai.But what is the difference between what you’re holding to what you’re wearing?

Mr. Kuwait removes his glasses off his eyes to examine both simultaneously.
He gives the most, most terrible answer.
Mr.Kuwait: Mine is RED in color. These are white.Also, my specs have a rectangular frame. These are circular.

If I were the examiner there, I would have literally started laughing there and then. Being a student din't alter the situation either.
Ma’am: What are you saying?
Mr. Kuwait held up the specs near his eyes to see if any other difference could be spotted but all in vain, because, before he could, we were given a “Its Over!” signal.
Any other person could have felt saddened ,at least by that harsh “It’s Over” signal. But in our case? No!

We were laughing out so loud that when we took an exit from the room, the others were like-“Itna acha gaya?!” LOL! 

PS: “Orangey Fanta Times” titled posts will be somehow related to my college-college friends, the masti,the lol moments, so that when I pass out this phase of my life, I’ll have something to laugh about and be nostalgic!
Orangey Fanta Times...because that’s the tune that I rhyme when I’m sad, happy, ecstatic, nervous, crazy!

Orangey Fanta Times: A Prank Call Proves it All!

Not long before, I used to doubt my classmates' talent. When they said, “I can fake my voice to an aunt’s voice or some rowdy’s voice and can threaten and fool anyone.”, I used to reply “You can fool the rest  but not me. I am very good at recognizing voices!”

Having heard such an arrogant reply of mine, my friend thought of teaching me a lesson. Here goes a phone conversation transcript with the description of the scenes, my ecstasy, my anger and finally the lol moment.(All in the same order!)

Date:11th November,2013.(Which also happened to be his birthday. And believe me, I had wished him in the morning itself. Still he did this to me! :( )
Time: Around 6:30 p.m.
I am trying my way best to get some Computer Networks stuff inside my li'l brain .

Phone rings.

I’m the only one in the house. Needless to mention, I pick up the receiver.

I: Hello.
He:Hello,Kya mai Pooja Karadgi se baat kar sakti hoon?
I:Line mai disturbance hai.Kon bol raha hai?
He:Miss Pooja Karadgi se baat kar sakti hoon?
I:Haa..Bol rahi hoon.
He:Ms.Pooja,mai GujNRE ki taraf se bol rahi hoon.

(GujNRE is an annual presentation contest held by the ISTE student’s chapter, Nirma University. We are supposed to submit a PPT Presentation proposing our solutions to the given problem. The best 5 are selected from the state wide accepted entries and a discussion is held wherein the winner gets 25000 bucks.)

He:Haa Mam.We just wanted to let you know that your presentation has been selected as our judge’s choice.
I:That Faulty business practices one?Why now?That ended a long time back na?Even the winners have been declared. Are you someone from the ISTE club?
He:No mam.I told you na.I am speaking to you on behalf of the GujNRE team.That club messed up all the results this time.
I:(No reaction :P )
Leave that.What am I supposed to do?
He: Mam, we are having a national level event being held at the Town hall, Ahmedabad on this Saturday, wherein you’ll have to present your views on the same topic.
Morever, it’s a mega event where we have participants from IIT’s (He also named a few ones. The rare ones too, like, IIT Mandi, which made me believe him to an extent), NIT’s. And just because we sponsor your annual event, we also have you.
Would you like to confirm your name as a participant or should I choose the next presentation?
I: No...No...I’ll present.(All ecstatic!)What’s the topic? The same one?
He:Yess Yess..What was that..Faulty (He actually doesn’t know.He recalls this from the last time I mentioned it in the same conversation.).
I: The Faulty Business Practices in India?!(One raised eyebrow)
He: Yes..Yes..The same. You’ll be given 10 minutes for the presentation and the prizes are 250000,100000,700000 for the first, second and third positions respectively.Also, the event will be telecasted live on BBGyandarshan.(Sic! Who knows that? This made me believe that the call was not a fake one!)
I :(I was all Yay..Yay) Oh that’s cool! What are the timings? And may I please know your name?
He: I’m Nidhi Lodha.And the timings and the other details will be mailed to you. Your mail id?
He:And yess.Please make sure you are there on time with proper preparation. We have Mrs.Anandiben Patel coming up as the chief guest.
I:Yea..Yea..Sure! Thankyou.

Next, without a moments delay, I call up my best friend and narrate the entire conversation. She’s the only one who understands all my craziness and acts the same in such situations! She ends up saying “Party,chahiye ab!”.

As soon as I end the call with her, my landline rings again.

He:Hello,Pooja mam se baat kar sakti hoon?
He:Mainey abhi call kiya tha..Regarding thet GujNRE?
I:Yess Yess.
He:I’m so sorry to inform you but we had to strike out your name as the participant.
I:What do you mean?
He:We had received a recommendation from your college for Kritika Jalan of which I was unaware of. Do you know her?
I:(All fuming!)Yess.But she works for that club. Isn’t it obvious that those people would want her to represent and not me?
He:I understand that mam.But what do I do? Some person named Aayush Singhal gave her name. I know it’s wrong but yours is a private uni-ver-sity(Add a pause after each dash. That was her/his accent! :P).It works that way. You say, what to do?
I:See,I am nobody to decide that.But,Don’t you feel that it’s getting unfair right here? Does this stuff work on the basis of some recommendations’ and not on the basis of the presentation?
He: We’re so sorry mam.
I: Fine.
And I bang the receiver. I,then decide “Aisa injustice nahi honey doongi.I’ll try all the possible ways out!”
You see how I am! :P

Next I call is Kinara, who is the admin for the club and also a very good friend of mine.

I:Kinara pata hai ye GujNRE waalo ka phone aaya tha.Ye log koi event organize kar rahey hai.Town Hall mai.
And then I narrate the entire story to her.
Kinara:Oh aisa?I don’t even know that. And Aayush recommended Kritika?Trisha(President for the club) and Aayush(The GS) se baat karni hi padegi ab.
After a while.
Landline rings (She has the 111 BSNL-BSNL unlimited offer plan :P)
I:Haa bol Kinara.
Kinara:Abey,aisa kuch toh hamey pata hi nahi hai.Trisha and the rest of them are shocked.Aayush knows nothing about it.Koi pakka club ka naam kharab karney ke liye doing this.
I:Ohh really? Maybe!

Aayush calls me up from Kota,Rajasthan (We’re having our Diwali cum reading  vacations!)as Kinara is having a never ending WhatsApp discussion with her club-mates.

Aayush:Purey se bata kya hua?
I narrate it back for the 4th,5th time?!
Aayush:Pakka,kisi rival club ne kiya hoga.College mai milney de.Batata hoon usey!(We’re still assuming that I had a conversation with a female!)
I:Yea..Maybe.Chal bbye!

The next day.
Time:6:30 p.m.

He:Ha Hello.
I:Haa bol Vraj.(See..I can recognize normal unchanged voices!)
He:(Starts laughing)Kya batli(bottle) mai utara hai tuje bey!
I:Shitt Damnit!Tu tha!Idiot!
He:Haha..Bada kehti thi na..Koi ulloo nai bana sakta.See how easy it is!
I:Damn.Leave that.Bolkey dikha vaapus.(That’s an order!)
He:Nidhi Lodha  again repeats a few sentences.
I beg him to say that uni-ver-sity around 4-5 times.He does that all the times.
I:Damn.Masst that bey.
He:Haaha.Thankyou.Thankyou.I know! I am soo talented na?
I:Ha bhai..Ha!Bass?Pura syllabus nipta ke betha hai and bass ab logo ko pareshan karna hai tuje.Aunty kuch bolti nai hai tuje Pagal?
He:Mummy yahi samney hi bethi hai.Le baat kar.
I(to Aunty):Aunty isko pito.Khali fokat mai sabko pareshan karta rehta hai yeh.
Aunty:Chalo.Jhadoo se pit doon?
I:Haa Aunty.Pukka!

In the next hour.

Kinara:Damn,yaar.Kal toh uska birthday tha na.Wish nai kiya tha usko?
I:Kiya tha bey.Saarey velle log apni class mai.Woh Trisha ko bata dena okay?
Kinara:Kya bey.Ek toh club me mai akeli IT waali.Pehle hi yeh Chemical waaley IT ko velle samajtey hai and ab yeh bataungi to toh meri puri tarah se udney waali hai.Bolenge koi aur kaam nai hai terey classmates ko?
I:Hahhah!Bol dena ki see how talented my classmates are.Par bey,Masst tha.Mai usko bolungi tuje call karey ek din.

The conversation ends.

You see, how various people have varied ways of taking revenge.
Lesson Learnt: Never claim,that you’re excellent at something.You may encounter people waiting to prove you wrong!

PS: “Orangey Fanta Times” titled posts will be somehow related to my college-college friends, the masti,the lol moments, so that when I pass out this phase of my life, I’ll have something to laugh about and be nostalgic!
Orangey Fanta Times...because that’s the tune that I rhyme when I’m sad, happy, ecstatic, nervous, crazy!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gujju's:The Awesome-est people! :D

It has been 20 amazing years of my life since I'm living with these lovely,kind-hearted Gujarati's!Below are some specialities I find in them."We" has been used,beacuse I've started considering myself a Gujju too! :-D

  • We love eating!Wheather its The Khakras,the Fafdas,The Jalebis,The Farsi Puris..Name any oily food  and our mom knows to cook them the best!When it comes to Gujju's and eating,you can fairly relate us to Jethalal of Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma.We are exactly alike!
  • We love gossiping!Be it about Mr.Modi or any distant relative whose daughter recently had a love marraige,we know it all.Also,this gossiping habit seems to have no age bounds at all,although the topic of discussion may sometimes vary.
  • Yes!We agree that naphō (profits) and business is in our blood.We'll not bother to travel 5km. extra if we are getting a higher discount there.
  • Our marraiges are a heavenly experience.The band-bajaa-and the beautiful bride!
  • We'll atleast have one relative who's a NRI.Else,you cant call us Gujju's.
  • 'Atithi Devo Bhava' .We've always beleived it,We've always lived it.
  • We love reaching to our own weird conclusions."Beemar lagti ti jati vakhtey.Kadach hospital gayi hashey.Aavey to khabar kadiyey".
  • Nirma is Stanford for us."Nirma ma admission malyu!Arey wah!Taru career to set chey boss!".( :-/ )
  • Phones,were probably the best invention for us.When we are face-to-face,we talk for atmost an hour.Our phone conversations last for not less than 2.5hours!
  • Light=Electricity.(Accept it!We've all said "Mummy,light gayi")
  • We love sending our kids to English medium schools,inspite of the fact that we love our mother-tongue.
  • Navratri=Garba=Daya of TMKOC.(All said)
  • We dont hesitate to help people.We are unlike people who recently sold rice plates for Rs.80/kg during the Uttrakhand floods.
  • For us,South India,is a state.It has no further divisions in the form of states.Leave the languages!All seem weird to us,so all are the same.Over!
  • We wont let the outsiders say a word against our state.
  • Grotal's onion deal may have a Gujarati mastermind behind it(Just guessing!).We specialize the art of attracting people to our deals.
  • We are crazy for Ranbir,Katrina,Priyanka,Salman,etc.We'll stand in the queue for 6 long hours to get a 3-min glimpse of them.
No matter where you go, gujjus will always be the awesome-est people you'd meet.(This one's a Special input by Miss.Kinara Shah :P )

P.S:I know I am terribly bad at spellings! :D

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Letter to The BraveHeart

(The person addressed here as Nirbhaya is the same girl who was brutally gang raped by five men, last December-16th, in a moving bus at the National capital)

Dear Nirbhaya,

You know how much I had lamented your death no? How much the country grieved! You were proudly tagged the ‘Daughter of the Nation’. Those days made the media people incur losses as they could hardly find a space in their newspapers to rent for the advertisements.

I hope you remember the brave people who stood up for you and the nation’s rest of the daughters ,who were lathi charged, were the victims of the tear-gas used by the Great Indian Police? They still hold a great deal of respect from my side, seriously! Sorry Nirbhaya,I couldn't join the nation-wide movement, not that I live in a village,but,I was too like million others ,sitting cowardly in front of my television,cursing those police-men & ultimately the government, for whom they work,who showed no mercy to those protestants. 

Today, after almost 6 months since you left us-partially shaking the government and the judiciary, bringing some turmoil into the current system, I regret to inform you that your sacrifice went into vain. I know, it’s tough to accept, but how could have you ignored the fact that you were born in India, Nirbhaya?A country where people who console you in your presence, will leave no chance of mocking you behind your back? A country where a girl’s character is judged not by her conduct but by her clothes? A country where girls fear strolling on the streets of the national capital after 6 in the evening! And your fault? You tried to conquer that fear by daring to watch a post-evening movie show! You were born in a country,Nirbhaya,where the top leaders have forgotten to react & talk until & unless there’s some external force!Remember the ‘Theek Hai?’ mess by our own honorable PM?I tell you, he’s such an obedient man,yet,when he uttered those two words, just two extra words apart from what was pre-written in his speech, without “someone’s” permission, it resulted in a nationwide surge and anger!AH!How could I have left behind the great Indian Judiciary System?!I remember having spoken against the Indian Judiciary-tagged as the least corrupt systems of India (Sic!), and how the mister who was judging the event made me realize once again that the freedom of speech, granted by the Indian Constitution, is just a word of mouth! 

Nirbhaya, the country hasn't witnessed even the slightest of the changes since you passed. The rape cases are soaring higher than before. You see, the recent rape and assault case of the Mumbai based Journalist, who was out on a photo assignment to a mill? She too, was along with her male colleague but how can you expect a single man fight against such five devilish men? Its impossible no, Nirbhaya?

I wonder when we girls will learn to defend ourselves! When will a time come, when we don’t let our hearts skip a beat when someone tries an inappropriate touch and instead, learn to slap him back? The time when we all will dare to go alone for late night shows and return home without a single scratch on our body? 

I hope the day comes soon, Nirbhaya. The day when you’ll finally find peace in heaven. 

Good Bye, 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mr.CM,Gujarat And The Religion Battle

All these days, I've been coming across the TOI link, about one of the malls of Ahmedabad charging entry fee from Muslims on the occasion of Eid.It has got viral on Mark Zuckerburg's worth multi-million social-networking site!

The mall is just a few kilometers away from my residential area and among the top five of the city. Heavy traffic & the amazing lightings is a usual sight if you pass by that road. You get a real feeling of being an Amdavadi when you’re strolling around this mall! A sight of people eating the chats, kids forcing their parents to buy them a balloon, teenagers idly sitting there with their gang and chatting, love birds sitting at its CCD branch and enjoying the Hot-Chocó lava or some geeky guys smelling the new arrivals at the Croosword Store.In short, you’ll be able to observe all variety of people over there!

On the day of Eid-2013, a Friday, I had full plans of looting my sister, who recently received her first afterPG paycheck! How beautiful the city appeared that day, with Muslim men wearing their bright and beautiful Kurtas and women in their gorgeous dresses and high heels! The road was filled with them, the mall too was! Looking at the traffic there, at this mall, we decided to change our destination and hence headed towards the largest mall of A‘bad.

Joyous Shopping I had!

What shocked me was, when, the next day I read about my Muslim countrymen being charged with an entry fee of Rs.20/- in this particular mall. The report also read that they were victim of prejudice because the Hindus-entering the same mall, were allowed to get inside without shedding a single penny! You can read the full article here:

These days, whenever, any bias is witnessed against the Muslims,Mr.Modi's name gets associated with it. Be it this mall issue or the declining number of students from Arab/Muslim nations coming to Gujarat for higher studies.I,as a mere engineering student, cannot judge my state-ruler. I agree that being an Indian citizen, I am given a freedom of speech, but at the same time, I was taught to open up my mouth only if I'm fully aware of the affair. I don’t know who actually was responsible for the deadly Godhra riots or as to whether Mr.Modi's Sadbhavana is just another way of strengthening his position.

 I have already had many debates with my classmates, all of them in favor of Mr.CM,who make me count all the good that he has done to this state. And seriously there's no doubt in it. (Leave behind the education system Please!).Travel on the roads of Gujarat and you'll get to know why people vote for him! More than that, travel on the Ahmedabad-MP-border--Indore expressway and then on purely Gujju roads and you'll feel heaven! Mr.CM loves playing with the roads and the flyovers and the under bridges!

I would once again like to clearly mention that I'm neither against and nor am I speaking in support of Mr.Modi.Even if I’m paid hefty to do so, I’ll not,untill and unless I know the behind-the-netas fact!And,Muslims are indeed wonderful people. So are the Hindus, The Sikhs, The Parsis and the rest! My anxiety forces me to ask the mall-authorities that whether they’re even planning to charge the Bollywood Badshah,an entry fee, if his Chennai Express ever halts there!(Specially if he has read this news!)!

Mommy Daughter Talks #2

Sometimes you feel as if your life is running over with so many problems,is overflowed with so many secrets that you're no longer able to pour anything else into it.Its during these times when God reminds us to pour our heart out to Him.

For me,its my momma,patiently listening to my almost buried(into my heart) secrets.Its as if it was a snapshot of my past three years!An evening two hour talk..Lovely it was! Laughing and knowing how time teaches all of us important lessons!

I take a chance today,to thank my parents,to pass me on the strength and the zeal ,the patience and the attitude,the love and care.Teaching me how your self-respect is important above everything-even your friends and that your true friends are those who'll always try to bring out the best within you!I,as I'm passing through this phase right now,understand all that you have always tried teaching me...

Thankyou Momma,Daddy and Didi! :)
Love you.. <3 <3

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mommy Daughter Talks #1

Saturday noon’s turn out to be so good each week! Especially once when your five-days-a-week college reopens! This Saturday was no different. Instead of chatting and hanging out with old classmates, I was having a nostalgic talk with my mom about my and my sissy’s childhood.
She recalls how di, 6yrs elder to me, used to hate going to school during her kindergarten days. It wasn't that she hated studies or teachers or the infrastructure. It was all the language problem mess! Born and initially nurtured there for a few years, in a south-Indian state, all she knew was Kannada, Kannada and Kannada! No English, No Hindi. Finally when they shifted to Ahmedabad, they had to enroll her to school .Mamma recalls how daily she used to come back home crying and telling “I won’t go to school tomorrow! Nobody talks to me. I am the only one sitting alone during the recess time watching others play and enjoy!” Also, the school was quite far from their home, so an Auto wale uncle used to come & pick her up daily, while for other kids, it was their dearest mamma kissing them & hugging them & consoling them outside the campus gates! This made my sissy feel sad to which she used to say “Please, you too come to drop & pick me up daily as others mother do. I don’t want to go in an auto rickshaw!”
I can feel how much abandoned she would have felt in school during that time and I’m thankful that it passed out soon!

Having seen this state of my sis in her wonder years, when I was to be admitted to school, my mother was the most tensed! What pains a mother more than her child complaining of solitude? That too in an age when she should be having loads of friends and masti! Unlike as in my sissy’s case, My kindergarten school was just a few kilometers away from our home. So mamma used to drop me to the school daily. But each time she used to walk away from the gates. Never did she come to my class. The only reason behind it was she didn't want to see her younger one going through all that again-sitting all alone in the class, having lunch alone and stuff alike. A few days passed by and I never complained about anything to her. Considering me as one of the children who won’t wish to let their parents know about the happenings in the school, one day she decided to climb up the stairs and walk to my class but only after a few minutes of my entering it. What she noticed left her in tears!
I, was sitting atop the teacher’s desk (of course, before her arrival into the class!) and as soon as I did that, all the children gathered around me calling my name “Pooja...Poooja...Pooja”! A fan-following attention, I must say! :P

She still narrates this thing to my aunties and uncles, telling them how relieved she had felt that day!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Capturing the Rains :)

SG Highway,Ahmedabad
Captured this from inside the car using my 3.2MP mobile phone camera!

SG Highway,Ahmedabad
Captured this from inside the car using my 3.2MP mobile phone camera!

Spotted a weird insect inside my college campus!
Hope its visible ;)
Again with my phone camera! :)

Near my home,Ahmedabad
Captured this from inside the car using my 3.2MP mobile phone camera!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Letter to Mudra

Dear Mudra,

I know that you don’t know me and would be thinking why the hell am I writing a whole of a letter to someone whom I’ve never met & never had a talk with.Even you were a complete stranger to me just a month ago. Before you start guessing who I am, let me introduce myself to you. I’m Pooja, 3rd year B.Tech student, who just completed her one month internship as a volunteer at Loyola Evening School managed by St.Xaviers Social Service Society.
I sometimes wonder how a person gets so much emotionally attached to someone whom he/she has never met and in your case, when I know that I’ll never get a chance  to say a friendly ‘Hi’ or maybe flash a broad smile, imitating yours. It’s the same smile which has, for ever, made for itself a place in children’s hearts.
I used to teach them Computers, Mudra. The classes allotted to me were 8th,9th and 10th.The first day itself, when I went to Fr.Rajeev’s cabin, expressing my interest to share my knowledge with the school kids, he allotted me the subject which you used to teach. Only that day, I came to know about you. Although you were not there, I felt you near me...Somewhere listening and smiling to Fr.Rajeev’s praises for you. As they say, some things are beyond human understanding. No science can ever prove it for it has to be felt and only felt.
The first day, I entered the 9th class and asked them whether they at least knew the basics-the files and the folders, the icons, the cursors, and they were so proud to say that they were taught by you. They still remember you and with them, I’ll too, eternally! They’ll make it a point to mention your name at least once a day.
Your life, as told by Fr.Rajeev, has inspired me,ignited my soul. He feels so proud that you were a part of XSSS.The way you used to prepare children for the annual function, how for you there were no social barriers and how you made Computers fun for them.
I’m sure you are there somewhere, smiling each time when a kid thinks of you, reading each letter which is addressed to you, watching out the performances of children during each annual function and applauding them for their efforts.
You were an angel, as father says, you will always be there, shining bright in the sky.

Keep smiling,
With regards,
Pooja :)

PS: Mudra used to give voluntary teaching services to the marginalized and under privileged kids who used to come to Loyola Evening School. She was a 4th year Engineering student and had dreams a-load to fulfill. But God had some different plans for her. On the night of 30th December, 2012, suddenly she started experiencing a terrible headache followed by blood vomits. It was 31st, when doctors announced that she was in coma and would live not more than 24 hours. On Jan 1st ,2013,she flied there, to the heaven. When Father and the rest of the staff went there to her obituary, her parents handed over a packet to Fr. Which was addressed to him by Mudra.He unwrapped it only to find ₹ 25,000 ,all from her savings, to be donated to LES.

These are the people who leave footprints in the sand as their bodies walk away to heaven.

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Pack of Broken Dreams...

Life-It's like a small beautiful gift hamper.Much of the time goes in watching others adore the wrapper's beauty,the rest of it goes in smiling at people awing the skillfully decorated ribbons and then finally when it gets into your hands,you realize its just a box,a box with its fragrance lost !

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Poisoned Souls inside the Smoky Screens

Swapnil's family was adamant*

And the list doesn't end here...Go to http://www.google.com and simply search for "Dowry Deaths in India" and you'll get an endless list of such gruesome cases-even more than the total number of grooms you'll find at all the matrimonial sites!

And for me, it’s not just the newspaper articles which make me feel sad about the mindset of the people. When I was in Class 3,there was one classmate of mine, a newly enrolled girl, who used to come to school with red swollen eyes daily. This continued for days together! One day, unable to see her pain, I went to her and asked "Any problem? Do you need any kind of help? ".It was quite clear from her state that she had nobody to share her grief with. So she let out all her sorrows and woes in front of me describing what all she was going through those days. She revealed to me that her mom and the rest of her grandpa's family was accused of burning her aunt alive due to some dowry related issues and they were all locked up in the Sabarmati Jail,Ahmedabad.As a third grade kid, all that I could understand at that moment were the words "Burn" and "Jail ".That day, I returned home and questioned my mom to what this "dowry" meant. She just briefed me saying it was gifts that girls take to the boy’s family when she gets married. Gifts to me, then, were just the Dairy-milks and the Five-stars. I counter attacked my mom saying "I won’t take anything when I get married. The boy whom I shall marry will give me gifts instead!”.And now, 13 years later, my arguments have grown even stronger (and a bit logical too!).But the sad thing is that, that during those difficult days, I failed to understand that girl's agony. I couldn't be of any help to her. I wonder how brave she would have been then to learn of what her mom had done and about this cheap mentality of the Indian society.

More than a decade,and a transformation to a mature young girl from an innocent kid ,only to notice the same events happening around me even today. Reminding me of that classmate, her agony, her mom and her traumatized childhood. It’s not just Shobhana, Sanju or Anuradha about whom you read (and quite often ignore if they don't happen to be even your distant relative!) about daily in the newspapers. It could be you, your daughter or your own sister facing this tomorrow. I question today, as to why is it that a girl’s family starts assembling gold and ornaments from the day she is born. Why is it that a daughter's mom not enjoy her money wearing gold accessories but rather prefers saving the money as FD's in the banks? Why is it that a daughter's daddy considers driving his scooter his luck and gifting his son-in-law a Ford his dream? Why it that the marriage cost starts bothering him long before even the wedding date is fixed?

The kind of toys may differ...
But doesn't a daughter’s dad spend more or less the same as a son's dad on the toyshop bills?
The food habits may differ...
But doesn't a daughter’s dad spend more or less the same as a son's dad on the grocery bills?
The school may be different...
But doesn't a daughter's dad spend more or less the same as a son's dad on the school fee?
The book's authors may differ...
But doesn't a daughter’s dad spend more or less the same as a son's dad on the tuition fee?
The college may be different...
But doesn't a daughter’s dad spend more or less the same as a son's dad on the college fee?

So, why when it comes to marriage, the society gets greedy? Why is it that the entire responsibility of the marriage fall upon a girl's family? Why do you expect her to bring with her, riches, instead of welcoming wisdom and knowledge?
When her father spends an equal amount on her as your father throughout his life, why should he send his daughter loaded with gold and wealth to your family?

"Where's my dowry?"
"Right here Mister!!!"
When I and my sissy were kids, of the age when this dowry thing had started getting into our heads, we had made an agreement that, in future, whenever we are on our way towards finding a groom, one thing would be well in advance decided.First,No Dowry or No Marriage and second, we had decided that the marriage proposal would advance to its next stage only if the to-be-groom agrees to stay with his in-laws for half-a-year and for the next six months we would go to stay with our in-laws. And I still believe that this could be done!?Not a bad idea daughters, is it? When a guy's parents can boast of having a son to look after them in the later stage of their life, why shouldn't our dads?

It’s the time, girl’s fathers, that you feel proud of being a daughter's dad!

For all the women out there,who consider themselves to be subordinate to men and believe that dowry leads to a happier life:

This post is written with an intention to support the IndiBlogger's RING THE BELL campaign.

For more details about the campaign and to make your promise to act to end the violence against women,visit http://www.bellbajao.org/ .

Also visit the facebook page of Youth Against Dowry (YAD),an initiative by a team of Youngsters from Mangalore and Udupi,  to protest and agitate against dowry.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Being a South-Indian

FS: I was born in Bangalore and was a toddler when we had shifted to Gujarat, India.

Two years back, I remember, how excited I was! It was an end to the oily-haired-pony life and the long assembles in the morning. An end to the heavy bags at the back and an end to the routine of ironing the school uniform each day. I was about to dwell into an entire new chapter of life. A phase illusioned into my mind as being the most wonderful years of my life...Most happening moments and befriending some people who would be my lifelong treasures.
The morning of July 24, 2011 was, I admit, the most uneasy morning of my life. Just one high school friend of mine who was joining the same university as mine! I put on a cream colored cross bag ,my favorite pair of jeans with a red collared-neck tee and my branded floaters. I still remember the number of hours I spent in front of the mirror just to look like a college going gal! All in all I couldn't get rid of the butterflies in my stomach!

I entered a huge classroom, which looked no different from the teaching rooms of school, but it had no particular rows reserved  for boys and girls as it used to be even in the high school.I,with my high school friend, occupied the fifth from the last seat. Next to us was a guy, who, I assume, would not have spent an hour less than me in front of the mirror. The friend and he went through a formal introduction with me sitting beside her, preparing the answers, as each question was fired upon her. Then came my turn.

"Your name?"
"Pooja...Pooja Karadgi."
"Right.But its gi and not ji"
"You're from Saurashtra?"
"No..I'm from Bangalore,Karnataka"
"Eh! South Indian! Ayyo Amma! Idli-Dosa! (smirks)"

I felt like whacking him hard on his face but somehow controlled my emotions being the day,the first of my dream life.

I don’t know why people give me such reactions when they come to know that I'm a South Indian. Not just me, many of my south Indian friends have experienced this. And I bet,you would be so proud of your general knowledge after reading this--When I say, I am from Bangalore, they so confidently ask me

"Toh to tujhe Telugu aata hi hoga bolna"
And I'm like "Wow!"

Then starts a series of lecture making them realize that the entire South India is divided into four states each having their own mother tongues..blah..blah!

What’s more?!

Recently I joined a driving school. My experience of studying different hair types says that my hair can be regarded as wavy. On the 7th day, while waiting in the traffic jam, I received a call from momma. I picked up and began speaking in my native language while,at the same time,observing the instructor stare at me as if I was using some slang! I disconnected the phone halfway just to know what wrong I had done again, only to get fired with another question

"Tum South Indian ho?"
I proudly said "Yess!"
Reply came " Par south Indian ke to curly-curly baal hotey hai na!"

And I nodded thinking how would it be like if all the South Indians inherited ditto genes.

Adding to this chapter of South Indian vs. West Indians, we had a South Indian Economics faculty in the recently concluded sem. First thing about economics is I still wonder why they have such a course in the engineering studies. To append to it were his uncountable "Ayyo Amma”‘s in a peculiar pitch. Each time he said these two words, almost the entire class used to stare and smile at me as if I was the one to discover this accent.
JFYI: I am the only South Indian in my class.

 "Pooja..Tu bhi bolke dikha na..Please"
I was like "Whaht?Mujhe nahi aata!"
And naturally, being brought up in Gujarat, I don’t get that accent!

And then it all ends up with my police-ki-dhamki! :D

Friday, March 15, 2013

Jack and Jill went up the hill...

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown And Jill came tumbling after….

Nostalgia sweeps in, isn't it?

So beautiful were those days, when we used to climb the staircases of our flats singing this, proudly, letting our parents and neighbors know what we were taught in the Nursery class that day!
While, for some like us, if this was a sheer fun, there are a million poor hands even today, in India, actually living the ‘Jack and Jill’s ‘ life! A life which begins on the roads, a life where lullabies are seldom sung ,a life which teaches them crawl in the mud, a life which makes them walk on the hot tar of the roads! A life where the used tiers substitute the ‘Temple Run’!  A tiny-life which dreams of dreaming high!
I’m hereby referring to the kids of those 13 million laborers who struggle for survival. I am,here,not talking about Child-labor , but the children of the laborers! This issue is about those children who grow up watching their parents work on roads-an initial phase which would then lead to child-labor. A phase, where they aren't any benefit to their family, but just an extra consumer of their daily wage. I sound rude, but this is the bitter known fact.

Just yesterday, when I was returning from my college, walking under the burning sun ,on the deserted roads, I saw a little kid, about 2-3 year old, crawling on the freshly created road to reach his mother. She was taking a nap on the other side of the road, after a tiring job. The age, when we don’t even let our kids step out on the roads, this one had to creep all the way long to spend a little time with his mom!The problem for these kids is, their parents are uneducated. And it’s lack of education that led them work on daily basis, and hence the result is poverty. Poverty implies they won’t be able to send their kids to schools, thus leading to chain of never ending problems. My question here is simple, what’s the fault of those kids? That they were born into a poor family, to uneducated parents? Why don’t we try changing the situation?

I am an engineering undergrad, studying in a 111 acre campus, with around 100+ classrooms. What’s the use? Is such a huge campus just for luring the HSc pass students? Because, once you enter, you seriously realize that you don’t need so many classrooms! After 4:00, the time when the college sessions end, the entire campus is just like a beautiful park, but, with nobody allowed to enter and admire its beauty.And,we have some or the other construction work going on every other day at our campus. We are always made to observe ‘the difficult life’. And with it, we see a few kids, watching us with eager eyes, as we walk with our bags at our back! Why don’t we utilize such campuses for teaching the kids after our college hours? Why doesn't the college take the initiative to work for the betterment of our society? The problem is not the lack of teaching facility. I’m sure,a lot many professional teachers would love to do this job, more than their regular paid job. If not the teachers, then at least we would! I have many a friends who go to teach the slum kids after the college hours or on weekends. It’s not the lack of interest, but the lack of facilities. I know it’s difficult, for the laborers are migrants, migrating in search of jobs.But,what if every university,every school, every construction firm decides to do their bit. We've already got the ‘Bakeri’ doing that.They teach the laborers’  kids when their parents are busy working for the daily bread. Aren't we ensuring,for ourselves as well as the nation,a better,prosperous future by sending them to the schools?

I would also like to acknowledge St.Xavier’s Loyola Hall, Ahmadabad for their goodwill.This is the school,from where I passed my HSc .Other than the beautiful campus that they have,whats more regarding is that they provide this campus to the Loyola Evening School(LES) ,a part of the St.Xavier's Social Service Society, to teach the kids residing in a nearby slum area. All the facilities which are enjoyed by a ordinary day-student, are provided to them. From the football grounds  to the library, in every aspect they are treated equally, with equal respect and dignity.

In case, if I win this contest, organized by ISB iDiya in association with Indiblogger,I would like to donate the prize money to Loyola evening School,a wonderful iniative by my alma mater,St.Xaviers High School,Loyola Hall.

PS: To know more about ISB's iDiya,visit : http://www.isb.edu/idiya/