Saturday, December 31, 2011

Who is the real Narcissist?

Diary Entry – 38

Who is the real Narcissist?

Not Me...

The word Narcissism has its origins in the Greek Mythology. There was a handsome hunter named Narcissus who fell in love with himself after seeing his reflection in the water. He loved himself so much that he couldn’t take his eyes of the reflection. He was so captivated that he died there looking at his own reflection. So who are the Narcissists of the modern world?

If you use twitter or facebook you would have met them. If you use twitter to follow some of the great people you look up to, you will often find yourself disappointed. You probably like them for some awesome dialogue they said in a movie or something great they said during a speech. A dialogue or a line which gives you goose bumps each time you hear it. You thought there was nobody greater than this guy and you wanted to be like him someday. When you first joined twitter and when you followed him, you expected him to display that same greatness in his tweets. Instead, what do you get?

“I love the smell of warm coffee on a Sunday morning...”
What makes them give such light headed confessions? Narcissism of course. Recently I saw a chain message being circulated among guys in their facebook wall. It was a message to curb a type of Narcissism which is so widespread among the female population.  

4 out of every 5 girls' statuses (every now n then) read like:
awwww!!!♥ ♥ today had loaadsss of fun with nisha,isha, misha & gusha ♥♥...also stay at dundu's house wass awesumm...thnk u shoo muchh dundu :))) u r shoo shweet !! cant forget u guyyysss...:D :D and tuttuu ...will missh u shoo muchh :(( :(( ...hugss. ♥♥ !!
which is followed by (God knows for what) 35 likes and 142 comments!!!

People who suffer from Narcissistic disorder reveal this kind of high levels of self focus and self importance. Some girls change their display picture every other day. They then text their friends and ask them to log in to facebook and like their new display picture. When a girl I know asked me to do it, I asked her why she was so desperate for my like in facebook. She said she was competing with her friend to see who got the most number of likes. So girls these days fight for likes the same way a politician does for the people’s votes. When a politician asks for votes it is called political campaigning. When a girl asks her friends for their likes, it is called Narcissism. If the handsome Greek Narcissus lived today, he wont be looking at his reflection in the river water. He will be typing status messages in facebook and asking people to like his display picture.

The most Narcissistic thing I did this year was changing my facebook display picture. The display picture I had before was the two hands holding a candle. It is the same display picture I use here in my blog and it is the same display I have had for the last five years. So changing my display picture and putting my own face in facebook was a big step for me. One hour and four likes later, I changed it back to my original picture. I was far too self conscious to put my face on display.

I was taking a closer look at my new facebook time line and I realized how boring my facebook time line was. I never put any real status messages like any of my other friends. My facebook timeline showed little about my history. The few status I did put, I deleted after a couple of days or a couple of hours. I realized I used facebook only to play poker and to promote my blog. Feel free to call me Narcissist but you should look at yourself before you call me that with the hopes of offending me especially if you are one of those chicks who puts display pictures and do a narcissistic campaign for likes.

So if you are wondering why in the world I named my blog Diary of the Narcissist, I have to tell you how I was inspired to write a blog to begin with. A guy in my facebook friends list was boasting that he got some thousand visitors for his blog in that month. I was amazed. I had no idea he was such a great blogger. I had to read some of his stuff. So I went to his blog to find the most boring piece of sh*t in the world. I thought if he can write such stuff and get away with it, I should write stuff too. His blog was about politics and sports. I could not write about such stuff because I barely read the news paper to develop an opinion about stuff like the lok pal. The only news paper I read is the New York Times. Though it might sound all fancy and hi fi, let me tell you it is more like a magazine and contains little latest headlines. So I couldn’t write about politics, sports, entertainment, business or social stuff. Not because I did not want to, but because I did not have any original thought in those areas. I decided I will write about the stuff that happens in my life and since I am focusing my blog on me, nothing can be more appropriate for a title than Diary of the Narcissist. At that time I thought nobody was so crazy enough to write blogs about their own lives. I wouldn’t be a Narcissist now had I known the number of people who wrote sad stories about their lives in such tragic ways that gives the reader suicidal tendencies. I guess it has ultimately served the purpose of giving me a unique identity as a blogger.

I was worried people will start thinking I have a personality disorder because of my blog title. But one gentleman gave such a fine review for my blog. He doesn’t know me but has got his review spot on. It has laid all my worries to rest about readers misjudging my personality. Check out the review he gave me by visiting Lucifer House Inc. He gives reviews for anybody who wants them (provided you satisfy certain conditions).

It is been six months since I started writing and I am celebrating my blogs half birthday today. I know nobody celebrates half birthdays but where is the originality if everybody celebrates their birthdays after a year? And what is so special about the birthday? I got a new custom URL for my blog -

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Torture called Waiting

 Diary Entry – 37

There are some people in my family who will spend their entire fortune to travel a few kilometers without any form of discomfort. I have made it my life's aim to show these people there are cheaper ways to travel, without losing out on comfort.

Travelling in an auto-rikshaw was once a luxury for the people in Chennai. Rickshaw guys were an association of crooks a few years ago. I still remember how the rickshaw guy cleverly ripped me off during my 6th grade on a rainy day when I was late for school. He told me it was eighteen rupees to travel where I wanted to go. When I reached the place, I paid him twenty rupees and asked him to keep the two rupee change. He told me to pay up sixty more. He said we agreed on 80 rupees and I had heard it wrong as 18. The twenty rupees was all the money I had. Mom gives me that to buy samosas if I was hungry. She is sometimes worried I will die out of malnutrition. I was gracious enough to give him the two rupees as tips but that was not enough for him.

But things have changed since the time I was in 6th grade. Autos (or share autos) have become a lot cheaper now. When I came back from hostel late one night, I hired an auto to go home. The guy dropped me off near my house and he asked me for only ten rupees. Five years ago, I would have paid two hundred to travel the same distance. I made a mental note not to travel by bus ever again when I had these super comfortable and super cheap rickshaws. I could not have been more mistaken about the comfort part. The first time was very late in the night and there were only two other passengers in the auto. The second time however was a nightmare. There were twenty two people in the auto. The drivers change the design of the vehicle to accommodate more passengers. The auto could accommodate only ten people even after all the modifications. But the driver was determined in taking more. He started the ignition only when one of the passengers yelled at the driver in crude Tamil, “There is no space you fool. If you want one more passenger, he has to park his ass on my face. You better start the auto now, I have waited long enough.”

The next day I took the bus. Once I got in the bus, the driver starts yelling ulla po pa, ulla po pa (go inside, go inside). I am pushed into the centre of the bus to realize I am surrounded by women. A LOT of women.  I was like the guy in the AXE effect ad, with females crushing me from all side, except it was not the Victoria secret models, which made things very unpleasant for me.  It was a bunch of old ladies and small school girls. When a chick is surrounded by a group of men, men have the decency to maintain a distance of one foot radius around them (except for gropers). But what do the women do when a guy is stuck in their midst? They squeeze his life out.

So that evening, I thought I will try out the last option for transportation – asking dad to pick me up. My dad shows up late for everything. It is sort of like his personality trait. So in the afternoon I tell him to come pick me up in the evening from the Tambaram station. He asked me to get down at the previous station which is called Sanitorium. He told me it will be easier for him to pick me up from there. Since my dad is no paragon of punctuality, I tell him I reached Sanitorium even before I board the train in Nungambakam which is 30Kms away. Every ten mins I call him up and yell at him telling him, I have been waiting for so long and he has not even got here. But I am still in the train.
When I finally reached Sanitorium, I expected him to wait there fuming. But my dad is nowhere in sight. I call him up the tenth time, the first time I am calling him up after actually reaching the station:


Dad: I am on my way... *Phone Cut*

After 15 mins. I call again.

Me: If you can’t come, I can come to tambaram....

Dad: I am coming wait. *Phone Cut*

Me: .... and take a bus home.

30 mins later.

Dad: I am nearing the station now. Where are you standing?

Me: I am standing where you asked me to stand.

Dad: Where is that?

Me: Near the Sanitorium Subway.


Me: No I said I can come to tambaram if you can’t come.


Me: Acha I have been calling you for the past one hour, telling you I am waiting in Sanitorium. I know you think I am gifted, but I have not been blessed with the power of teleportation to be here for one hour and then instantly appear ten kilometres away.

Dad: Wait I will come pick you up. *Phone Cut*

Me: Grrrrrrr

So I ended up waiting an extra half an hour for my dad to pick me up. Going in an over cramped share auto looked like travelling in a limousine now.

The discomfort of suffocation and lack of space is nothing compared to the torture of waiting.      

Sunday, December 4, 2011

“What are you?”, she asks

Diary Entry – 36

When I was a kid, they told me I had a star when I was born. I felt quite special and thought I was meant to do great things because I was under the impression that the only other person who had a star during the time of birth was Jesus Christ. That is what happens to little kids who live in Christian colonies and who go to sing carols during Christmas.

Then one day one of my uncles killed himself. It was a very sad day for the family but his death helped me dispel the notions I was the next Jesus Christ. My grandfather comes next to me and tells me not to turn out like my uncle. Worried that my grandfather thinks I am mentally unstable, I ask why he thinks I will kill myself. For this he tells me that I share the same star as my now dead uncle. So much for starting my own religion.

In the stone ages, when there was no electricity, our ancestors used to stare at the starry sky instead of watch soap operas in the night. They noticed constellations and other celestial bodies and made them into zodiac signs. Women I newly meet keep asking me the question, “What are you?.” They are expecting me to answer with my zodiac sign. I have ended up losing my individuality because of my zodiac sign. Whenever I am talkative, they attribute me being chatty to me being a Gemini. When I am not being a conversationalist, they attribute my laconic nature also to me being Gemini. So when a girl asks me to tell me about myself, all I have to do is say I am Gemini. They will decide my character, personality, the compatibility I have with them and the possibility of me being their future partner.  
It would have been lot easier if they had a universal astrology sign. But your signs keep varying with the time zones. I am Gemini in the west, a goat in India and a sheep in China. The Chinese zodiac reading a girl gave me was especially crazy. She told me I was wise, gentle, and compassionate and I am compatible with Rabbits, Pigs, and Horses.

But there is nothing weirder than that concept of Gothra. When I was travelling alone, I happened to talk to this Brahmin guy who asked me what my Gothra was. I thought it was a new astro hokum invented in Tamil Nadu because I have never heard of it before. I conveniently tell him that I am from Kerala and there is nothing called Gothram in the place where I come from.  For this he tells me that every human in the world has it. When I ask him how to decide which Gothra I belong to, he told me that it was the name of the male ancestor from whom my people have descended in an unbroken male line. When I went home and asked dad what my ancestors name was, he told me something weird in Sanskrit which I have trouble remembering to this day. So I did a Google search on the list of Gotra names and picked the one I could easily remember. So when people ask me what my Gotra is these days, I tell them it is Kashyab. It is one of the Gotra names and it is also the name of my classmate, which makes it easy to remember. If you are Christian, I hope you won’t be asked this question. But if you are ever asked this question, you can always say Adam.

I have successfully memorized all my astrological details. If you live in India, remembering them is very much necessary because you will be questioned like an American immigration officer questioning a Cuban. I had to get my Letter of Recommendation from a professor in my university. Before he signed my LOR he asked me my sun sign and the name of the star I was born in. When I told him almost instantly, due to repetition, he looked up and pondered for a moment and did some calculations in the air with his hand. Then he said very good and signed my LOR. Never underestimate the need to remember your astrological signs. If you don’t know them, ask your parents today or search them in Google and pick one which you find most catchy and remember it.  
This reminds us of Sheldons dialogue on zodiacs. I recommend this video to all people who use zodiac signs to judge peoples personality.

Previous Post - I See Gay People

I See Gay People

Diary Entry - 35

Priyanka Kamnath asked me to write a guest post for her. I thought she was going to kill herself after she read this post. But she liked it and god bless her for that. Anyway the links in her post are dead and she refuses to update them for some reason. I think she stopped blogging. So I put the post here since it is after all something I wrote.This is also partly the reason why I don't write content for other people.

A few days ago, I wrote my last undergraduate exam. It was time to leave the hostel for good. I could not help but think how much I was going to miss some of the people in hostel. I thought I should give them the customary good bye hug before I leave. Then I realised how awkward over the years, hugging another guy had become. Guys today cannot give proper hugs to their male friends (note how the term boyfriends has been replaced by male friend so that you will not raise eyebrows). If in some situation they are compelled to hug another member of the male sex they reciprocate the hug like Sheldon Cooper. (For those who have no idea what I am talking about, watch the video down below. Even if you know what I am talking about, watch the video.)

Guess who is gay in real life? The guy who plays Sheldon Cooper

So men these days hug each other like Sheldon Cooper because they think hugging each other any other way will make them gay. In the process they end up looking gay even if they don’t have any homosexual tendencies. Men act this way because they are paranoid. If they think another guy is staring at them, it will take only minutes to think that it is a gay guy out to rape them. On the contrary, very few men worry about other people thinking they are gay. What they fear about the most is the idea of being molested by another man. Some smart people use this to their advantage. When there comes a guy they can’t stand, to get rid of him all they have to do is tell thim he looks sexy. The paranoia will drive him away and he will never bother them again.  
The downside to this is that it renders all forms of saying goodbyes to a friend impossible. Very soon even shaking hands is going to irk people and everybody is going to switch to our age old Indian Namaste. 
On the contrary women have no such paranoia about homosexuality. It is amazing how two straight women can call each other soul mates in public.

P.S – Just so that you don’t think I suffer from homophobia (fear of homosexuals), I would like to point out that I support lesbians. ;)

Previous Post - Men Flirt Women Gossip

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Men Flirt Women Gossip

Diary Entry – 34
After a very long time I met two of my buddies Yoda and Stud.

Stud: Wassup dog? How many chicks have you managed to pick up in the past few years? (TamilEnna da naye? Ethana figureeh correct panne?)

This is the way buddies greet each other these days. They think that the general well being of a person depends on how many girls he has been with.

Me: Haha. You definitely have not changed much. How are things with you? Girls in your college chasing after you like always?

Stud: No man. The girls who I study with have a really weird taste in men. They are after this girly dude who looks and acts like a gay fashion designer.

At this point the wise Yoda steps in.

Yoda: I thought an alpha male like you would have punched his face by now.

Stud: Trust me, a lot of people in my college want to do that but we can’t. It will be like hitting a girl. It feels so very wrong. I have no idea why all the women flock around him.

Me: Maybe girls like him because he is a real charmer.

Stud: Charmer my foot. Dude I can probably flirt with chicks better than him.

Yoda: Girls flock around him because his area of interest matches with theirs. That is why they like him so much.

Stud: Area of interest? Dude some of the chicks are really stupid to discuss subject related stuff with him.

Yoda: I was not talking in an academic point of view you fool. I was talking generally. Like the general area of interest of most men being flirting.

Stud: Oh so what do you think is the area of interest of the females in my college?

Yoda: Gossiping

Stud: Gossip? How do you gossip macha?

Me: We are doing it right now.

Stud: Those chicks are all a bunch of aunties da. (Tamil - Ellam seri ah na mami macha.)

Yoda: Dude, you know what the girls are saying right now? They are calling us a bunch of flirts. (Tamil – Kadala Party)

Stud: What is wrong with being called a flirt? Is that not a compliment recognizing the efforts we put in?

Yoda: Well not exactly. Being called a flirt is like calling a woman a gossip monger.

Stud: That can’t be good.  

Yoda: It definitely is not.

Stud: So you are saying I should change my approach when it comes to women? Start gossiping instead of flirting?

Yoda:  I don’t think it will bring the effect you desire.

Stud: Why?

Yoda: Flirting is something you have been doing for years. Your current level of skill and knowledge can be compared to that of a bachelors’ student and before you get married you will have the skill of a masters’ student.

Stud: Okay?

Yoda: Just like how you have a bachelors degree in flirting. The chicks you seek to mesmerize have a similar degree in gossiping. But you my friend are still in high school when it comes to gossiping and the girls will be in preschool when it comes to flirting.

Stud: Why do you think they are in preschool?

Yoda: How many women have told you that they do not know how to flirt, as if it is something to be proud of?

Stud: Oh yeah. But I can work on my gossiping skills rite? Make it better to match their skill.

Yoda: Yeah go ahead and talk about us behind our back. It will make us very happy to have you as our friend.

Stud: Hmmm sorry.

Yoda: There is nothing you can do about it. When those chicks get married and have children their gossiping skills will have attained doctorate level and when they become grandmas they will probably win a noble prize if ever there was one for gossiping.

Me: Uh some people will call this stereotyping you know. :D

Yoda:  Oh I am not saying that all women are like that. There are exception to everything just as there are some women who are like angels from heaven with an exceptional talent when it comes to flirting.

Stud: Boy don’t we wish all women were like that :D

Yoda: If only we lived in a perfect world.

Stud: But dude if women like that get a PhD in gossiping by the time they have kids, wont we have a similar level of skill when it comes to flirting at that point of time?

Yoda: If you pursue your PhD after your marriage you will get something you don’t want for your degree certificate.

Stud: What is that?
Yoda: Divorce papers signed by your wife.

An apt reaction for this post would be:

If you are woman – “Men! They never change.”

If you are man – “Haha! That is so true.”

If you are a gay fashion designer – Say the same thing the women are saying :D

Previous Post - The Crooked Tooth

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Crooked Tooth

Diary Entry – 33

Mom: We should take you to a dentist sometime.

Me: Why? Is something wrong with my teeth?

Mom: Mmm there is nothing wrong with your teeth but it does not hurt to get an opinion about things from a professional.

Me: Uh? Opinion about what?

Mom: Your teeth of course. I think we can make it look better than what it is now.

Me: Oh you mean get a cleaning? I could use that. I hear women these days are attracted to weird things like manicured nails and straightened hair. Whitening my teeth seems a lot more logical that all that.

Mom: Well I was thinking more in the lines of braces da.

Me: What? Why do I need braces? Is my teeth misaligned or something?

Mom: I think your teeth are a bit crooked.

(I run to bathroom to look into the mirror.)

Me: Oh my god. Mom why did you not tell me this before? I thought normal human beings had teeth like mine. :O

Mom: It is nothing to worry about. We can get it fixed in a few months.

Me: Will wearing braces be painful.

Mom: You don’t have to worry. It will be a little uncomfortable at first but you will get used to it. Also these days they have these internal braces you can wear.

Me: Okay. I want to get this done as soon as possible.

Mom: You can also get your teeth whitened when you are there. The Dentist is my patient so you will get quality treatment.

Me: Hmmm okay.

I go to the dentist. Lie down and get my teeth cleaned and whitened.

Dentist: Your mother tells me that your teeth are crooked and you might need braces to fix it.

Me: Yeah she told me that too. Is it very bad?

Dentist: Exactly the teeth in which jaw does she find crooked?

Me: What? You are asking me?

Dentist: Well I am not sure which tooth she finds crooked.

Me: Why don’t we call her up then?

I call.

Mom: Hello. What happened?

Me: Amma. Which tooth do you have a problem with?

Mom: What? Give the phone to the dentist.

Me: Okay

My mom and the dentist have a small talk and the dentist hands the phone back to me.

Dentist: Open your mouth.

Me: Aaahhhhhh.

Dentist: I think she is talking about this tooth over here. It is slightly crooked.

Me: Can we fix it? Is it very bad?

Dentist: Tell me. What course are you doing right now?

Me: huh? I am doing engineering?

Dentist: You plan to make a career as a model or movie star?

Me: What? No. 

Dentist: Then nobody is going to notice this one crooked tooth of yours. Have a good day.

 When in doubt about how I look, I ask the opinion of the lady who noticed the crooked tooth that even the dentist could not find after examining my mouth. Most of the time she thinks I look great. Nothing can be more reassuring.   

Previous Post - The Boy Friend

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Boy Friend

Diary Entry – 32

When your friend starts acting weird, there is usually only one reason for that. They have a boy friend. When Lulu (name changed) started acting weird, I did not know why. Lulu and I were far from being best of friends but we used to talk to each other a lot and I would like to assume that that was enough for us to be more than mere acquaintances. Then she started acting weird and a few weeks later, I learn from one of my friends that she has a new boy friend.

I first thought it must have been something I said, but I learnt that her other male friends were not getting any special treatment either, so I just let it pass thinking she will come around when her senses return. Three months later, my friend tells me that she put her facebook status which hinted she was going to get married to that boy friend of hers. Dear lord, we thought J Lo (Jennifer Lopez) was crazy. If you do not understand what I am talking about, note how J Lo is getting married with a different man in each magazine cover.

I did not believe my friend when he told me Lulu put a facebook status that suggested she was going to get married and so I wanted to go check this out myself.When I went to her facebook page to confirm what he said, I realized I was not there in her friends list. You may be arch enemies with someone in the real world but they will still be your friends in facebook. Some of my friends got deleted from the friends list by accident and I thought this case was no different. But when I tried to add her back, I couldn’t. So I talked to her –

Me: Hey! Did you delete me in facebook?

Lulu:  No Abhi. Why will I do such a thing?

Me: Lol. Maybe your boy friend hacked your account and deleted me or something. :D

Lulu: No he wont do anything like that. You don’t know him.

Me: Mmmm. I am sorry if I said something wrong. I was just kidding. Your boy friend doesn’t have your passwords rite?

Lulu: Yeah he does. I gave them to him.

Me: WTF?

Lulu: What is wrong with that?

Me: What is wrong with that? What is wrong with YOU? My god. He gets to access your entire personal life? You don’t have any privacy at all.

Lulu: It is all about trust da. Me giving my password shows how much trust I have in him and gives him reasons to trust me.

Me: Oh yeah? So you trust him enough to not misuse it and take control of your life.

Lulu: He will not misuse it in anyway abhi.

Me: I sure hope for your sake he doesn’t. But add me back in facebook. I am not able to add you.

Lulu: Lol I will do it in the night. Facebook seems to have a lot of bugs ever since Google brought in Google+ :D. We should complain.

Me: Lol yeah I guess.

The next day

Lulu: I am really sorry. You were right. My boy friend read some of our chat and felt insecure. He blocked you in facebook. I think he gave report abuse also. That is why you are not able to add me.
Me: WHAT? He gave report abuse because I am your friend? HOW IS THAT ABUSE?

Lulu: I am sorry.

Me: How can you put up with this guy? He doesn’t even trust you.

Lulu: He trusts me very much. You don’t know him.

Me: He trusts my ass. Jealousy I understand. But blocking your friends from facebook? :x.

Lulu: You don’t know him. He is not like what you think. He must have thought you were like all guys - a jerk.

Me: If he trusted you so much when you gave him your password, why will he find the need to go through your Gtalk Chat history?

Lulu: He trusts me okay. He just gets very jealous. He doesn’t even like other guys looking at me. He is very possessive.

Me: WHAT? Is he going to make you wear a purdah then?

Lulu: Hehe. No abhi.

Me: Sheesh Lulu don’t you see that your boy friend is everything you women have been fighting against in the last century? I know a feminist who will shoot you down with a machine gun for making him your boy friend.

Lulu: He makes me very happy da. He is like this because he loves me and I love that about him.

(What can I possibly say when she loves that?)

Me: Hmmm. For your sake I hope I am wrong. If you live happily ever after like Cinderella, I will be very happy. BUT, if you break up with him, please add me back in facebook.

Lulu: Okay. I am sorry again. There is nothing I can do. Bye.

Six months later

New Friends Request

Lulu: Abhi!

Me: Hey Lulu. I guess your boy friend finally started trusting you more huh?

Lulu: My boy friend is an asshole.

Me: (Did I not tell you? :D) Oh! What happened?

Lulu: He cheated on me.

Me: Oh you poor thing. :D

Lulu: I dumped him but he keeps stalking. I want it to stop. Tell me how to change my passwords abhi. Tell me FAST.

Previous Post - Excuses

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Diary Entry - 31

I know I have not blogged for quite some time now and people keep reminding me that.Some might tell you it is pure laziness that is keeping me away but the truth is, I have been juggling with several things and have not got time for anything else. Apart from the usual college work, I have to apply for MS. When I was preparing for my GRE I thought once I am done writing the exam, everything will be easy and I will be in America climbing the Grand Canyon like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible

I was wrong. Going to America is not that easy. Writing the GRE is the easiest part of the process. Deciding which university to apply to, writing your SOP, getting your LORs and Transcripts followed by filling the long application forms of each university has been keeping me occupied. Writing a SOP requires a lot of introspection. I have given mine none, which is reason to worry. If this was not enough there is this final year project work that I have to do. That followed by exams, assignments, seminars and placements is enough to keep me busy. The little time I have for myself I spend saving the world in video games.And you thought Batman was awesome.

I will be back soon. :D

Previous Post - The Fanatics

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Fanatics

Diary Entry - 30

I know the past few posts have been super long. I kept this post as short as possible so that even the lazy reader will read.

I have a lot of Christian friends. But I have had only one friend who was a fanatic. Some try to reinforce their beliefs by having a very low tolerance to other people’s religious belief system. When me and my fanatic friend started talking about religion, I learnt a lot about the Hindu god, Krishna. Krishna stole butter and women’s clothes. He also danced, bathed and did other stuff with the babes of other men. By doing this he had successfully broken three of the Ten Commandments given by god to the children of Israel.

Thou shall not steal
Thou shall not commit adultery
Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s wife

I was told that worshipping a god who steals and does stuff with women, doesn’t speak very highly of me. I later learnt that the entire thing was a metaphor. (No way I am turning my blog into a place of religious tosh by explaining the metaphors. I suggest you look it up in the internet if you are that interested). When I told my fanatic friend the metaphors in the Krishna story, I was laughed at. Religion has been my least favourite topic of conversation ever since.

Four years after that conversation, I met Krishna in a bus.

I was going home from college. It was a six hour long journey and I was going alone. I was hoping that the movie in the bus was going to help me survive, but half an hour into the journey, the guy tells us the TV is broken. No movie. No company and a 6 hour long journey. My phone had low battery which meant I had no text buddies for company either. And only because I had no choice I spoke to the stranger sitting next to me. His name was Krishna.

I asked him where he was heading. He tells me his name is Krishna and a bunch of other crap that was not the answer to the question “where are you going?” I was a little worried that this guy is going to talk me to death but I actually liked talking to him. We talked about food, women, movies, college and a lot of other crap. Then our conversation went to New World Order and we started to talk about Palestine and Israel. He did not seem to like Muslims much but he seemed to hate Jews more. I was more interested in talking about the politics of the region but he was more interested with the religion. He was telling me how Jewish people were inherently selfish and cunning and how the world needed another Holocaust.

Hello Hitler

I hated it. I for my part did my best to defend the Jews (not because I liked them but because his arguments were prejudiced). I told him about the article I read in the New York Times which attributed the smartness of the Jews to centuries of oppression. Being smart, especially with money, was the only way for them to survive. I told him that the story about Shylock and the jokes about Jewish rabbis fighting for a penny are a result of bias, envy and the kind of oppression they have been facing for centuries. I told him it should not be taken literally like the jokes about Catholic priests fighting for small children. I hoped that the Catholic line was going to make him laugh because the conversation was going Nazi by the minute.  But instead of smiling his face turned so red with rage that I felt he was going to burn in a stake.

To understand why his face turned bright red with rage, let me tell you a little about Krishna. I learnt this  AFTER I cracked the crude Catholic priest joke. Krishna’s family is something like the royal family of England. They name their sons after their grandfathers and their daughters after their mothers. They were a typical South Indian Hindu family, but then the Christian missionary came along and made them change their religion. The missionary however failed to change their names. It resulted in a Christian having the name of his grandfather, Krishna. After the conversation I had with the first Christian fanatic, I sort of took the liberty to assume that people whose names were Krishna were anything but Christian. But this Krishna epitomized the worst of Christian Fanaticism. He was the reincarnation of Pope John Paul II. It turned out to be a tragic irony for me.

Moral – When some people say shit about you or someone else, the best thing you can do is smile.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Job in Paradise – Part 2

Diary Entry - 29

This is a two part post. Please read the previous post A Job in Paradise – Part 1, before you read this, otherwise it wont make sense. 

Though people like Poochie thought TCS was paradise, I was not very excited about it. I had no intention of working there. But I applied anyway. It was my plan C. If I did not get a job in any other company and if I got rejected by all the universities I applied to, I will still have something to do in life. A IT job is my solace in case life puts me through the worst case scenario. But I really did not care because I did not want the job so bad. I did not open the C and C++ book like my other friends. Did not practise for HR questions nor did I have a decent passport size photo with me. The photo of mine was in the worst condition. When I think about it I want to bang my head on the wall. I did not have a replacement photo and I was too lazy to go take a new one.

Also, there was no water for the past couple of days in hostel and so I did not take bath before going to the interview. Well you probably are wondering why I even bothered to sit for the interview if I was not serious about it. It is because Poochie told me that if I skip the interview after applying, I wont be able to sit for any other company that comes to campus. Also last year the interview was super casual. Some students were even asked to sing a song in their native language and stuff like that. So I learnt the first  few lines of a song in Malayalam and Tamil just in case, hoping that will be enough preparation for this particular interview.

When I was finally called for the interview, one of the interviewers turned out to be a really pretty lady. Suddenly I started thinking what a big mistake I made by not taking a bath. This is what happened:

Interviewer: What happened to your photo?

Me: I had to submit my form for verification and the photo kind of got lost with other forms because I hadn’t pasted it properly. It happened to stick with the application that was kept on top of mine. I had to stick it back from there. It turned out to be like this. I am very sorry ma’am.

Interviewer: Haha that is okay. Tell me about yourself in brief.

Me: Blah blah blah (This is one question where I have so much to say in so little time)

Interviewer: You have any siblings?

Me: No ma’am.

Interviewer: Oh. So what will your parents say if we put you in Lucknow.

Me: They wont have a problem with it. They sent me to study in a hostel here all the way from Chennai and it will be the same thing if I go to Lucknow.

Interviewer: But college is different. It is a definite period of time. Working in Lucknow will be not the same.

Me: I am pretty sure my parents wont miss me as much as you think they would. If they wanted to see me that bad, we have skype. *Grins*

(I kept smiling the whole time. The Interviewing akka was sooooo pretty)

Interviewer: My god. Your area of interest is Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics. That is like the toughest subjects in mechanical.

Me: Blah Blah

Interviewer: But why will you want to work for a software company then? We don’t use Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics here.

Me: Heat transfer and thermodynamics can be used everywhere and anywhere blah blah blah

Interviewer: Okay but IT job can be just plain coding and not involve all this.

Me: I am pretty sure there will be some use to what I learnt.

Interviewer: Okay tell me why you want to work in an IT company.

Me: My ideal job will be somewhere I am constantly challenged and where the process of learning will always be continuous. I have heard that IT jobs are perfect for that. I will say an IT job is my dream job. (This was total bullshit and she figured that out herself :D :D)

Interviewer: Really? (She raises her eyebrows and gives me the Rock look.) But here it states in your career objective that you want to work as a mechanical engineer in a company that challenges you. You are not going to be a mechanical engineer here.

(I forgot to change my career objective because I had no intention of working for an IT company before. That line gave me away and showed that I was not even a least bit interested in working for IT. The questions that followed and the answers that I gave simply confirmed it.)  

Me: “A company that challenges me” is the main part of my career objective. Of course I want to work as a mechanical engineer but I haven’t been sitting in all the core companies that have been coming to campus either. I sit only for the companies which I think will be challenging and a learning experience. For example, I did a small project in L&T and the state of the engineers there were depressing because they were never challenged and they had reached a point of saturation in their career after the first few years. They had seized to grow and learn. In such working environments, a person’s mental acuity will start to decline. So when L&T came for campus selection, I did not sit for it and that is the case with many other companies that I did not apply to. TCS provides a challenging work atmosphere that I look for in a job. It doesn’t matter if it is not mechanical related as long as I am challenged.

Interviewer: But you are a mechanical engineer. How can you contribute when you haven’t studied what the computer science and IT students have.

Me: I am hoping to do develop a Java based software for Ford motors for my final year project. It involves using the algorithms I learnt in Operations Research. I will have to learn and develop the software all by myself because I am doing the project alone. So by the time I join the company, I will have considerably skill in Java.

Interviewer: Oh but what if they like your project in ford so much and hire you. Wont you go there?

Me: They pick people with a high level of work experience. Before they hire freshers, they will probably put them through a lot of tests.  I am pretty sure they wont just take me because I did a good project.

Interviewer: Okay then. What are the companies that come for campus selection in your college that you would like to work in.

Me: Ashok Leyland, TVS, Hyundai, Ford uh TCS :D :D

Interviewer: What if you get placed in Ford. Wont you go?

Me: There is a very slim chance of me getting a job in Ford. :D

Interviewer: Why do you say that? What makes you think you don’t have a chance?

Me: It is not that I am less qualified ma’am. It is just that there are several equally capable candidates in my college and Ford takes very few people. The competition is going to be really high and luck will play a major role.

She asked me a several more questions and she realised that I was Bullshitting her big time and I was feigning my interest in joining the company because I fitted the profile of a guy who wanted to work only for a core company.

Interviewer: You have done biology in school and you know nothing about C and C++. Would it not be a mistake hiring you.

(Hell yeah. The biggest mistake in both our lives :D)

Me: I did C and C++ in the first year ma'am. I got A grade in that :D

Interviewer: Oh good so I can ask you what pointers are then.

Me: Uh I don’t know what they are ma’am. I guess they point to something :D :D :D

Interviewer: What are the types of Variables?

Me: Integers, ....  :D :D (Why does this lady have to torture me before she kills me?)

Interviewer: Have you ever written any program in your life?

Me: We had a c and c++ lab in the first year.

Interviewer: What programs did you do there?

Me:  We did stuff like addition of two numbers and checking if a number is a palindrome.

Interviewer: You are definitely writing a program for me now. Add two numbers for me.

I squeeze out what I could remember from my subconscious memory and wrote what looked like a program. It was so not fair. All the other mechanical guys got questions only from mechanical and that too from their area of interest.

Interviewer: You do realise that this is an IT company rite?

Me: Yes ma’am.

Interviewer:  (She smiles and looks at the other guy who barely spoke). How will you equip yourself if we give you the job?

Me: Uh I will go through my C and C++ books and attend C class ma’am

Interviewer: *Smiles* Thank you. You may leave.

I was so sure I will not get the job. The lady even asked me if I opened the C and C++ book to prepare for the interview. I told them since C and C++ are primitive languages that people no longer use, I did not feel there was a need to revise.  I felt I had done a pretty good job of convincing them that I was not interested one bit. Before the interview I was considering telling them that I was going to do my masters in abroad and was not interested in the job. I wanted to do that because deep inside I felt if I ever work for an IT company, I will lose myself. But I dropped the idea because I thought having an extra option is not going to cause any harm.

Today the results came out. Four hundred people got rejected and I was not one of them. I got the job. (Yeah, I know. I don’t know why they hired me either.) What could those people who got rejected have possibly done, that I did not, for them to not get accepted. Guess all the smiling helped after all.

My parents give the worst reactions every time there is a prospect of employment. This is what my mother had to say:

Me: Amma, I got placed in TCS.

Mom: Ayo. Ippo Endhu Chaiyum? (Oh god. What will you do now?)

Me: I can sit for other companies too amma. It is not like I am going to work there.

Mom: Kozhapam illa. Pota vidu. (It is okay. Dont feel bad, leave it.)

Me: Seri ma. (Okay Ma)

Yes my mother is upset that I got a job.

As for my father. Well my father sort of pretended he did not hear and changed the topic to paying my mess fee. I always thought my dad hated paying my mess fee. First time in my life, he enquired without me telling anything. Changes TCS brings in a persons life are truly amazing.

Previous Post - A Job in Paradise - Part 1

A Job in Paradise - Part 1

Diary Entry - 28

Every now and then, professors from around the country are invited by the people in our college to deliver lectures on topics which nobody gives a damn about. Of course the students are not very excited about it because if there is one thing more boring than a classroom lecture, it is listening to a lecture of how a guy used a home microwave oven to heat metals instead of using it to heat cold pizza. The managements knows how much students hate this, so they threaten us to mark us absent in the attendance and force us to attend it. In the end they give us canteen coupons which we can use to buy badam milk in canteen. It is the thank you present that they give us for listening to the bull shit and for not pelting stones at the speaker. Doing an engineering degree is much like listening to a guy talking about heating metals with a Godrej Microwave. It doesn’t make sense to you at all. In the end you will feel bitter because you wasted 4 years of your life. But there is always a canteen coupon, a canteen coupon which is an anodyne for the pain. A canteen coupon which comes in the form of an IT job.

There are several IT companies that come for recruitment. But according to my friend Poochie (not his real name, it means insect in Tamil), there is no equal to TCS. Poochie thinks that working in TCS is like working in paradise. When I asked him how, he gave me the following arguments:

A new world record:

If you sit for TCS, you automatically become part of a new world record. Sadly that record will be broken, same time next year. Last year, TCS took 1359 students from my college. That is like 70 percent of students who sat for placements. This year they took 1755. That is 87 percent. This time, when the top officials from TCS came to our college to interview students, our college invited them like this:

                       We welcome you
You welcome our students/future TCSers
            All or how many above 1359?

When I saw this and pointed it out to a friend who was reading a news paper during the pre presentation talk, we couldn’t stop laughing. His reaction was “We are a bunch of cheapos macha”. He was right. The last line did take our college to a whole new level of cheapness. It is true that TCS takes a lot of people. But my college makes it look as if TCS is Microsoft. Dont even think for a minute that only my college is like that. EVERY COLLEGE in Tamil Nadu is like that. If it is not TCS, it is some other IT company.  People have a point when they say 5 % of engineering students get placed in core companies and the remaining gets placed in IT companies. So by getting placed, one automatically becomes part of a world record and that according to my friend is something one has to look forward to.

Male:Female sex ratio:  

Now this is something that really made me think Poochie was right when he called TCS paradise. TCS and IT in general has been a backup job for most people. But for guys, it is a backup job with a lot of women. According to Poochie, the sex ratio is 4:15. That means there are 3 and a quarter women for each guy. Poochie couldn’t understand why people fight so much for core jobs. They pay less and they have no women there (except for the cleaning ladies).  You are better off being a Jewish rabbi than joining a core job, because joining a core company is like accepting sainthood.

Work Environment:

Poochie tells me it is the best in the world. A senior told him that except for the initial taxing training period, the TCS work environment had no equal. If you are an engineering student and if you had computer lab in your course, you would have spent most of the time enjoying the ac and talking to your neighbour. Every now and then you do a little work in the computer. Working in TCS is the same thing, except here you get paid to do what you did in your college computer lab. When I told Poochie that they will fire us if we work like that, he laughed. It turns out that people who laze around  get paid too. People are never fired even if they do absolutely nothing. You cant expect the same treatment in other IT companies. That is why my friend found TCS in particular to be a paradise. You are promised job security of more than a hundred percent. You cannot ask more in this world. 

No Farewells:

Ever felt so emotionally bonded with your friends in school and college that you thought during the farewell day you will need counselling for depression? Poochie is like that. He misses the people he studied with in Kinder Garden. Well if you are in TCS, you can save yourself that pain. Everybody who finishes college, go to work for the same company. The people you hate and the people you like will all be there. The people you studied with in school are also going to be there. So if you miss them, you will be able to reunite with them too. But what excites Poochie the most is his reunion with his 6th standard crush. Who thought a company can make a person happy in so many different levels. 

Apart from this there are things like having a discount on all Tata products. That means the cheapest car can be brought at a cheaper price. You also get to go abroad if you are a hard worker and you will be rewarded in kind.

This is a two part post. Please read the next post A Job in Paradise – Part 2. But before you go, comment on this one and let me know what you thought.

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