Friday, April 23, 2010

Stereotypes - Class

My second in the series of Stereotypes, I hope that this one is liked as well as the first one on  Stereotypes in Traffic-----------------------------

Mr-Know-It-All - A SRK or Amitabh of sorts in the class (purely in terms of status and not to be taken as an estimate of popularity or looks); he is the bane of all his fellow class mates. An outlier that he is, he can single handedly take the class average up. Now, while that may appear as a good thing, it’s not. He creates major problems in Relative Grading scenarios. (You know who I am talking about here, don’t you?)

Mr-Who-Think-He-Knows-It-All – Akin to Rakhi Sawant, he may think he is very clever and all but rest assured, he is not. They think that they have the force with you but what they don’t know is that the ring of Sauron has slipped off their finger a long time and that the people can actually see him for what he they really is.

Mr-***Licker – These are the “Yes-boss” followers of the Yoda that the professor is. Never known to contradict whatever the professor are saying, they are often also known to evolve to a point to which they even start sounding similar to the professors, expressing the views that the profs are still in the process of contemplating. In the extreme avatar, these people even start wearing similar clothes as to the profs (aka Thick-brows and Gai sensei :D).

Mr-Sleeper – Well the name explains the chief characteristic of this person. Whatever the class, whatever the subject, whatever the professor and at all the times of the day; this person can be banked upon to give unwavering performance of sleeping in all the lectures. Often, they are very active once outside the class, but the soporific powers of the class have an especially strong effect on them. These people can be seen often on the vicinity of back benches, sometimes accompanied by loud sounds which the scientists are now planning to call as “snores”. Occasionally, these are also known to exhibit astute awareness of what is happening in their surroundings and react accordingly such as waking up suddenly with a question and supporting argument for the professor. The results for same may sometime include the elongation in the facial features of the surrounding people along with a certain bewilderness of the person concerned.

Mr-I-Don’t-care-whatever-you-say – This is the category of students which is the bane of the professors. They are least concerned with whatever the professors are speaking. They, after all, have their own very important things to consider such as the rate of growth of toenails in the ants or creating a solution for global warming. If they don’t like the statistics class that the professor are teaching, then he better be ready for a reprimand because these people WILL speak their mind. They are very carefree, innocent people; not very well versed with the functioning of the real world. So what if they are late for the train? Surely the train can wait beyond their departure time, shouldn’t it?

Mr-Stud – Bare minimum required levels of attendance, decent looks, minimal studying and still passing the exams with more than average scores; these folks are a source of jealousy to a lot of people. Even the profs are a bit inclined towards being a bit lenient towards these creatures; thereby creating a source of even more jealousy.
Mr-Cynic – He is very well known for his sense of crtiticism. People are afraid of speaking abything to him for the fear of a sharp reprimand on the knuckles for he is well versed with the art of nit picking and how to strip an argument bare, down to the last strand of DNA. He takes every comment, every argument, every figure... In short everything with a pinch of salt. Though, he can always be banked to bring out a sound logic in most of the projects.

Mr-Project-Manager - This species of homosapiens are well versed in the art of dividing. Whether it is dividing as to who will read what before exams and teach whom, or who will complete what part of the project and present which part; he can be banked up on to complete their work. They are always infested with a cluster of false emergency signals and have been known to have actually submitted their assignments well before deadlines. Though, they are a bane to most of the free riders as PM saab treats the free riders in the same way as the lepers are treated at the national convention of high tea drinking English upper class ladies or how the Pakistani players were treated at IPL3.

Mr-Globu – GLOBE or general bakar is the forte of this person. He need not even know about the topic on which he is speaking because he has certain set passages, snatches from different conversations and his ability to speak impromptu which are bound to come to his rescue and get him through any conversation with any person. But be warned, you stand at risk of losing your sanity, or in extreme cases your lives, while talking to him. I have seen people who have lost their will to live just by talking to these people. Interestingly, a lot of students who belong to this category are often known to become communication or “leadership” profs in their career; thereby tapping into a vast reservoir of unsuspecting bait, ready to unleash the full extent of their GLOBE on to those unfortunate ones to have landed him.

Mr-Theory – An Aristotle cum Shakespeare sum Yoda in the making, he is the perfect person for you is all you want to do is to spend an hour or two in his black hole (no pun intended). Have you been wondering why KKR has been displaying such dismal performances in IPL or why Mania actually wants to marry Kho-aib? For all such queries do contact Mr-Theory baba at 420-9-2-11.

Mr-Fraud-Questioner – What we used to call as fraud CP [Class Participation – As noted in ancient scriptures, it was a clever ploys developed by the sensei’s of ancient Japan to pit their followers against one another and to see which one out-speaks the other. Needless to say, like so many other Japanese techniques, this one is still widely practiced. Only the classrooms have changed] or one who actively indulges in after class participation with almost every professor. Their knack of confirming all their doubts from the professors often leaves the fellow students slightly red faced and in dire need to a few hundred shots of Vella-llium. Of course they are extremely obnoxious in nature and do actually think that they are indeed very smart and that the professor hasn’t noticed that they have simply rephrased the question original asked to the class. The professor, on his part, is silently laughing at the folly of this person while the rest of class is openly muttering curses to turn Mr-Fraud-Questioner to a Gollum and restricted to saying only “My Precious”.

Mr-Opinionated – He has an opinion and no one in the entire wide universe, no logic no rhyme can stir him from his opinions. He need not even have any logic behind whatever he is saying but he will argue for it like it is the most fundamental thing.

Mr-Sincere - In the pre KJo-Bhardwaj-Chopra era of the bollywood, of the famous mere pass maa hai genre; this class of the students were the ones who were known to top the exams and become awwal number the afsars even after studying under the street lights, their modern day avatars, though diminishing in numbers, can still be found in groups in the libraries of the college. They are very often the favorites of the professors for their knack of actually reading the cases assigned for the class, submitting the assignments by solving the questions on their own and a strict no-no to topoing assignments from others.

On popular demand, here are some stereotypes found only in the females but first a general observation. In both engineering (not talking about IGIT) and management education (not talking about XLRI or other HR management instis) there is a death of female candidates. Thus, all that the male candidates want is a more demographic representation of the countries’ male-female ratio in these institutes. In these hallowed institutions, sightings of a fellow homo-sapiens from venus is considered a divine sign and properly revered. Unfortunately, the situation reverses at the time of placements when the odds are indescribably in the favor of fairer sex. In most of the cases, an educated (trust me even big names are not required) female from the institutes (even if they are from Baburao Ganpat Rao Apte Institute of Medical, Engineering and Commerce Studies), with decent “attributes” are amongst the first ones to land with the best of the jobs. That’s not to say that they are not qualified for the job, heaven knows I have seen more than my fair share of qualified females during both engineering and MBA, but that sometimes other glaring attributes may also play a significant role. It is at those times that all males rue the fairer sex and crib about them.

Now that that bit of cribbing is out of the system, let’s get started with the stereotypes:

Ms-Sati-Savitri – Not referring to the marital or any other status in the fairer sex, these stereotypes are like the Brahmins-touch-me-not-i-will-get-dirty caste of the fairer sex; half of the guys are even afraid to talk to them lest the Earth should split open and swallow them up or the Lord Zeus start showering thunderbolts from the fabled 600th floor of the Empire state building.

Ms-Know-It-All – In addition to possessing all the attributes associated with Mr-Know-It-All, they are known to be incredibly insufferable. Often accompanied by load screeching voices emanating from their mouth or loads of thick, bushy growth from the top of their head; they know it all and they want to prove that they do. As I say, “There is nothing more dangerous than a girl with a point to prove”.

Ms-Congeniality – They like to create an impression of being infinitely delicate and being a femme fatale, always being on the prowl for unsuspecting males through which they can get their work done. Needless to say, many broken hearts are a testimony to the success rates of their tactics.

Ms-Tomboy – Rules, social dictat all may go to hell when these man-ladies decides to strut around the college with weird, barely fitting, ten sizes too short clothes; doing things that no guy would be caught dead doing.

There is an obvious stereotype of the fifth type (you know the one that ditched the singer and cause him so much of emosanal atyachar and to whom the singer pleads to take away his life) in the fairer sex (and one whose male counterpart is relatively rare to find, but sometimes you do find some playboys being described in newspapers) but I would rather not elaborate on them in view of this being a public forum and the fact that they are all too obvious for everyone to see.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review - May i hebb your attention pliss

A friend of mine, with whom I spent my time in the torture chamber that Kolkata was, forwarded me an address to a blog written by some Bengali Chap called Arnab Ray about a week or two back. The blog can be referred here. Initially I was a bit skeptic about the blog because… well frankly I have not had a great track record with understanding a Bengali mind and frankly found some of the Bengali literature to be way over my head. In fact, if I have to guesstimate it I would say obher the head of most of da pipil. But from the moment I read the first (or is it the latest) post on the blog, I was hooked on to it. The satiric, sarcastic writing of the dude is so interesting to read especially since I am a great fan of that sort of writing. I liked it so much that within a couple of days, I ordered the newly written book of Arnab – “may i hebb your attention pliss”. And what a delight it turned out to be. 

I do recommend that you read the book but first some important things that need to be mentioned-

1) It is not a novel. It does not have any story. The book is divided in chapters and there is no interconnecting links between them except that they have been written by the same demented mind.
2) It provides a view of the world from the perspective of an extremely keen realist who sees the world for how it is and is able to present it with sarcastic twist to it.
3) The humor in the book begins from the first page itself starting with rave reviews” of the book from some of the people who have benefitted from it.
4) The language has been kept very simple and often a mixture of English that we use daily and Hinglish. And you need not have had any exposure to the blog to understand the contents of the book.
5) The chapters relate to Bollywood, Television (especially Saas Bahu sagas), KLPD syndrome, some critical view on the current happenings and most importantly on the lives that we have all lead but never relay observed. The best part about the book that I felt was that you could really associate with what’s written over there and recall your own experiences in the same situation.
6) A special bonus for all those who liked the movie like Loha, Gunda and double entendres in some of the Hindi songs.

What I would have wanted to be more in the book? More twisted views on politicians of India. Something on the Yoga of Baba Ramdev. Probably a chapter on the blind faith practiced in the Indian households… the lost continues. Oh well… you can’t have it all.

Some typos and minor such errors which can be easily ignored. 

All in all… A good read and a must if you are a fan of slightly dark, sarcastic, satiric humoristic writing.

Disclaimer: This book is not for the weak of heart or those who might get tired of laughing. Expect a lot of bad puns and double entendresin the book.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stereotypes – Traffic

In every situation, you would find a certain number of stereotypes. Be it office or a party or an average class. The stereotypes are present everywhere in different avatars. You just have to have an eye to look out for them. In this post, I would list down the stereotypes that you are bound to notice when you are driving on a moderate to high traffic road.

Honker – The sole aim of this guy is to scare the hell out of the soul who didn’t see him coming or irritate the cr*p out of the person next in line to him. He might or might not want to go anywhere fast but he surely wants the road ahead of him clear of any vehicle. Often, this species of humanoids is found to behave as if he is permanently angry with someone, accompanied by loud voices emanating from his mouth.

Pursuer – This is one guy you can’t shake off. You might have been able to get rid of sticky girlfriends or any other friends, unwelcome atithis etc. but not this guy. All he wants to do is to either one up you or keep on following you. He will park his car behind you and will follow you anywhere you drive (of course not to your destination if you both have different ones).

Zig-Zagger – This guy will follow the path of least resistance to the places that have minimal traffic. It doesn’t matter to him if he disturbs the floe of the entire traffic behind him but he must get o that vacant spot at the other side of the road.

Speedster – Give him a space of 10 meters and this guy will try and show off the speed of his car to one and all. Also, this species is known for highest fuel consumption per head amongst all species because they don’t know basic things such as how to switch off car at red lights or in traffic jams.

Blocker – Also known as “Mr.-I-Wont-Budge-No-Matter-What”, these people are very well known for their habit of following a set path. No matter how empty the road is, no matter the traffic signal has just turned green, no matter if he is driving in the wrong lane. This person will assiduously plod on his chosen path, unmindful of the discomfort that he may be causing to others. Very often, this specie also exhibits the traits of adopting a set speed at which they will drive, or try to drive.

Mr.-I-Will-Change-Lanes-Without-Signal – These are the most dangerous of these traffic stereotypes and are singularly responsible for more than their fair share of the Insurance Companies’ workload as well as most of the traffic jams that you or I are destined to come across. As their categorization suggests, they are free willed people who truly believe that signaling for lane changing is for novices and that they can actually manage without it.

Jumper – A compulsive red signal jumper by nature, the traffic signals don’t mean anything to him. God may help those who decide to step in the way of these daredevils as they are bound to need god’s help if they are to survive that ordeal. It is often rumored that they jump lights because they are actually color blind and don’t know which light is on but don’t want to admit it. Needless to say, nobody has been able to stop them long enough to make an independent confirmation or rejection of such a statement.

In addition to this, there is also another rapidly vanishing species. They are called as Sane Drivers. Once, when cars used to be spare, these used to be found in abundance. But with the advent of Honda city (and the likes in cars) driving Jats (and the likes in humanlike creatures), these Sane Drivers have been steadily decreasing. In fact, I remember that at some point even I used to be a completely sane driver. However, so much driving everyday has caused me to mutate into a combination of these stereotypes. I still have some sanity left in me so I am not completely gone as yet but I am scared what will happen to me? What affect this continuous driving have on me? Only time will tell.

PS: Please note that even though article has been written for a male stereotype, it would not bode well to assume that similar stereotypes do not exist in the drivers from fairer sex. In fact, the traits can be observed even more clearly in them.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Naxalite Attacks

The newspapers today are full of the recent Maoist attacks on the CRPF personnel, resulting in 76 of them being killed. It is at these times that I feel ashamed of being an Indian. Don’t take me wrong here, I am very glad that I am an Indian, I like our culture, our values, our food (especially) and all other things. But I can’t tolerate this soft stand that the Indian government has a habit of adopting on issues which require a firm handling. Why should we see our security personnel being killed by a rag-tag bunch of bandits? We should learn a lesson or two from the global precedents. Look at the way the Americans destroyed the rule of Saddam Husain or the Afghanistan incident. Now I am not saying that what they did was correct in any sense but the idea here is to adopt the firm “No-nonsense” policy against any threat to the nation from any invaders; be them these bandits or China. Look at SriLanka… Their firm handling of LTTE got them off for good. Now that’s the way we should handle the situations and not play by the vote bank politics of the leftists.

We have top class defense, strategy personnel in India. India, as a country, is known for people with humungous brain powers. Why don’t we utilize a fraction of it in such projects and eradicate these bas****s completely.

In this case, I hope that all the political parties get together for a full and final eradication of such anti national forces. I, for one, am all for it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


"The humble cycle rickshaw is now being acclaimed as an environment-friendly means of transport. CSIR has developed an innovative product called 'soleckshaw' to replace manually-operated rickshaws. It runs on batteries which are charged by solar power."
---- Excerpts from the Budget 2010 speech of Pranab Mukherjee

More details on this wonderful can be found here. I for one think that this is an amazing invention, if not from an environmentalist point of view then atleast from a humanistic viewpoint.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Commonwealth Games 2010 – Part 2

Further continuing in the series of articles for commonwealth games, there is one particular observation that I would like to make.

We Indians have an innate infatuation with the western culture. Whether it is reflected in the way we try to copy the western way of speaking, their clothing, styles, cultures or even their movies and songs. Take the case of any gala event in the country. If you look at the event closely enough, you will realize how “western” oriented the theme is. How the media will go in frenzy over an international group performing, however obscure they may be. On the other hand, our local talent; however good it may be; is almost always ignored.

To this extent, I would like to propose at least one item for the inauguration ceremonies of The Games 2010 – Prince Dance group of the “India Got Talent” fame.

This group is a bunch of rural folks from Orissa, India. Some of them work on farms, others on such equally blue collared works. However, they are an amazing bunch together and have given out some of the most amazing performances.

Some of their videos can be watched as below.

It would truly be a shame to let such a talent go waste and instead spend crores of rupees getting some foreign performers to come here.