Archive for December, 2005

Playing hardball …

I was going to let this post go, but now I am sort of compelled to write this piece.
Yesterday, something very strange happened … there was a comment on my previous post about sponsorships and stuff, from a guy named saurabh.
When I clicked on the name, I was taken to my own profile …

At first, I thought that either someone had gotten hold of my blogger password, or I, might have posted the comment in a delirious state myself …

Anyways, the trick is simple.
You say you want to post a comment, then click on the “other” option and then paste my profile URL in the URL area and volla … identity theft.

Though I have a pretty good idea who had done it (dude! I have a counter which tells me which ISP you guys come from), I thought I’d let it go and I deleted the comment, because it was pretty rude in context that the particular individual would go to the extent of spoofing my I.D. to probably mock me or for whatever reason he had …

For the benefit of all the people reading this, this was the comment that was posted to my previous post.

Hehe, But I’ve agreed to sponsor 100K more to the Prize money from my own pocket money;) Well, If it dosn’t suffice, I’d get it by selling my Computer, Bike and anything and everything I own;) For me, the Inter-College Festival is above everyting else…;)

– Saurabh

My verdict – not cool !

But then, after having deleted the comment, this person had the audacity to come and post the some comment again today – at approximately the same time as yesterday.
This time, I am not deleting the comment. You can read it here.

For your benefit, posting it here also …

Oops! Somebody has impersonated me on the last comment! I just deleted it, and incase any of you saw that last commnet, I suppose I can assure I am not sponsoring my money on that;)

I don’t know whether I am reacting to this in a proper manner or not, but I am pretty pissed.
Hence this post.
I am not going to remove the anonymous comment posting feature, because I believe that everybody reading what I write, should be able to express their opinions.

However, going way out and spoofing an identity, is just plain shameless.
I have a fairly good idea who you are, and you know who you are … and I pretty much know that you are reading this too !

As for the statement about the inter collegiate event being above everything else for me, it isn’t quite so.
The only difference is that I believe that something worth doing, is worth doing well – or not at all.

For people who have no motivation in life, and spend most of their lives just “planning” and who probably don’t have what it takes to go and actually do something, this concept might be a bit difficult to grasp.

I am not complaining at all.

From the time the vacations have started, a couple of us guys have been slogging our asses off, trying to get sponsorship for an event, which has no “visible” benefit for the whole lot of us.
At times, we wonder, why are we bothering with all this …
Things aren’t going too well … but we aren’t quitting anytime soon.

It is easier to sit on the sidelines and pass judgement.
I don’t blame these people … I actually pity them.
And these are the same people, who will turn up at the end of the event to collect their “Certificate of Appreciation” for helping out in the event.
I am not complaining … I have made my peace with that.
As long we get our event rolling, we can carry such people along …
It has always been this way, and I guess will have to continue for times to come ahead.

In retrospect, I won’t say that the entire sponsor hunting endeavour has been a waste.
I have learnt how to deal with people, and I now know, whom I can trust with some responsibility and what are the chances of it getting done.

My problem has been that I trust people way too much. I learnt it the hard way this time.
I may not have turned into a cold calculating machine – yet … but I think I am getting there.
And I know it is for the best.

It takes all kinds of people to make the world …


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Sponsor hunting …

These vacations (if they qualify as vacations) have probably been the worse ever …
Which I guess was pretty obvious after the disastrous exams that I gave before them …

Anyways, we guys are having our inter collegiate festival in the last week of Jan – from the the 30th Jan to the 3rd of Feb.
After a much smaller event last year, we guys decided to spruce things up a bit – with 5 days instead of the customary 3, and 12 contests compared to the 5 last year.

Naturally, to get more people to participate, we guys even cranked up the prize money we “intended” to offer.
So, from the 19 grand last year, it jumped up to 119 grand this year.

We guys thought, what the heck … we have lots of time (we’ve been working on this from the last week of Nov somewhere) – and we should manage to raise the dough.

Now, with only about a month left for the event, and only 46k from 2 sponsors, things are beginning to look a bit hazy.

The reason that the vacations have been sucking so far, more than the fact that we’re literally hauling our asses every morning – to go sponsor hunting, is that the response we’ve got so far is pretty dismal.

We’ve been trying to analyse the reasons to this and can point to a few, but these are primarily out of our reach.

I just hope things start picking up now, or 2005 will be a year best forgotten.

Hehe … I intended to put down a blog later about “successful” sponsor hunting, but I don’t see that happening now …
Lets see where this goes …

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So now you’ve gotten your engineering admission and you have shelled out quite a large sum of your dad’s money as fee.

Now what?

If you’re in Pune University, it would already be mid semester by the time you start college.

If you’re in a decent college, where teachers actually give a damn, they’ll start rushing from day one. So don’t crib.
Though some of the nicer ones may ask everyone to get up and introduce themselves, thats the max you get.

By the second or third day in college, you’d be full throttle.

Going from the 10th grade to the 11th is a HUGE step and going from 12th to Engg is bigger.

Luckily, when in the first year, most of the courses are superficial, so students can get by easily by referring the local author books.
These are generally recommended, because in the first year, everyone has the same courses, and the local authors actually manage to churn out decent material.

C’mon, you don’t want to look like an idiot in front of all the Engineering students now, do you?
No one does, so these people (local authors) copy properly from other reference books and ensure that they have their spell and grammar checks on while actually typing stuff on their own.
Also because everyone is rushing you and you have a big time shortage, you can’t (generally) go about trying to refer specific reference books.

The local authors put in their books, all the stuff – which if you study decently enough, is all you need to get a high percentage.

Also, because of the less amount of time in the first semester, it becomes difficult to screw around and you’re either busy completing your journals and/or your assignments.

Luckily again for you, most of the subjects are not that bad and all of the start with the heading “Elements of such and such Engineering”
So, most of the course is basic and do able.

Once you come to know which books you are supposed to buy, and you have actually bought them and are happily on your way back home, you suddenly stop.
A realisation dawns upon you (this generally happens earlier to people who have a copy of the syllabus book).
You take off that heavy bag from your back and peer into the bag.
And you go : “What the hell is an Elements of Mechanical Engg book doing in my bag?”
I’ve paid for a Computer Engg course.

Hmm …

I don’t know if this a good thing or a bad thing, but the first year syllabus is the place where the syllabus setters give you a taste of ALL the major engineering disciplines.
This has been going on for ages, and will go on for ages, so you need to stop cribbing and mug up the formula : n = PV/RT even if you’re doing a non mechanical discipline.
It is kinda like Baskin Robin, where you can go to each ice cream counter and get a taste of the flavour for free (except that this is not as nice as ice cream … duh !)

This has a good side because it allows you to change your course in the second year (if you did not get something you wanted ealier, started liking some other course better. But for this to happen, quite a few of your batchmates need to flunk the year)

Also want to write about teachers and what to expect of them and stuff like that – but that will be in my next post (this has been long already and I need to get back to wasting time)

Until later …

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The Pakistani’s have developed a new torture technique.
It’s guaranteed to get any information out, from any human being, or even otherwise.

What they do is, they tap into Doordarshan signals broadcasted every Sunday night at 9:30 pm and tape this serial called “Kalakaarz”.
Then they repeat the 30 min episode 6 times to make it a 3 hour long version and store it by day and date.

They also rank it from 1 – 5 stars depending on the intensity of torture the show can inflict.
Then they tie the victim to the chair, in front of the T.V and play the tape.

Apparently, they later realized that making a 3 hour version of the episode was a waste of man power and good ol’ tape, because the victims would either surrender within the first 7 minutes, or if they resisted, they would die by the 9th minute of the episode.

Tests show that none of the victims survived after the 11th minute.

So now, they just tape the first 15 minutes of the episode and save multiple episodes on 1 tape instead.
Quite a save, don’t you think?

Not having cable has its good as well as bad effects.

The good thing is that you have ample time (about 3 hours everyday more) than your fellow mates to put to better use.

The bad thing is that once in a while, when you just want to take your dinner and sit in front of the T.V. set, you have only one channel to turn too.
And with Doordarshan and its C grade programming, you’d be better of watching the static screen.

Today was one such day.

I happened to turn on the T.V and watch – one complete episode of that crappy show “Kalakaarz” which recently started on DD – and the worst part is, I somehow managed to survive through the entire show (Doing Engg gives you a lot of patience).

The show is about trying to scout for acting talent.
It is definitely in response to the huge successes that shows like Indian Idol and Fame Gurukul have been.
But even though I don’t like the way these shows go about doing what they do, at least they have some quality standards.

No offence, but the people who turn up as participants on the Doordarshan show, would not even qualify to be extras in a C grade flick, even if they offered to work for free.

And I have heard, that these participants undergo a number of screening tests before they go on air.

Woah ! Can you imagine how bad the people must be who dont make the cut?
Or maybe no one turns out for the auditions.
So what these Doordarshan people must be doing is, sending out agents to catch people from the street opposite their studios, kidnap their family members and threaten to kill them unless they turn up for the show.

I really, really pity the judges who come on the show.
Atleast we have the remote control.

I know Doordarshan charges a LOT for advertising time … even on the most crappiest shows, because their TRP is generated automatically.
If you don’t have cable, then you’re watching Doordarshan – and the number of people not having cable in India is pretty high …

The only real good thing about this entire crappy TV channel is that you get to watch decent news and the occasional India match, if its being played in India itself.

My entire point being, if Doordarshan charges so damn much to put up advertisements and the people watching the channel is HUGE, why don’t decent shows go to it?
And why does it not push for better shows?

It is not that you cannot make out whether a show is good or not till the end.
It’s right there – on your face – and its pretty much pathetic.

And most of the shows look like table scraps from bigger distributors (Balaji telefilms) which were thrown out from other channels.

Doordarshan, once upon a time, was pretty darn good.
Remember Malgudi days, Surabhi, Amravati ki Kathayen, Tipu Sultan, etc etc?
They even had Street Hawk (man how I miss that show) and Knight Rider (pretty lame by today’s standards, but still watchable)
Now, those were some really good shows – even compared to today’s standards.

They should probably dump all the crap they are showing now and revert back to the programming of about a decade ago.
Sure it won’t be glitzy and glamorous with pretty looking stupid women who do nothing but cry, bitch and conspire all day … but I bet it would have class and grace … and probably more “cable” TV watching audience would even consider tuning into to maybe watch Malgudi days.

And I challenge any of you cable viewing folk to tune into Doordarshan on Thursday nights at about 9 – I think to watch this show called “Aankhen”.
Thats probably the only other show which could beat the one I mentioned above.
Writing more about it, would be wasting blogger’s bandwidth and mine also.
So, I shall stop right here.

Thank God for the “moddable” XBOX and Bit torrents and the amazing number of people who seed TV shows like LOST, Whose Line is it Anyways, Joey, etc etc :)
And all your college buds who believe in sharing :)
I love you guys :)

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As I stepped out of the corridors of the college, into the sunset and the open fields, the Gladiator Movie theme (the one with Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerald) started playing somewhere in the background.

Was I imagining things?

It was really playing.

As my other fellow mates slowly trickled out outside, squinting their eyes at the sight of the sun (or whatever of it remained at this time of the day), I slowly made my way to the fields.

The music was still playing in the distance, but I could hear it clearly.
I walked up to the more sandy parts of the field and stood there for a while.
Then, I dug a hole in the ground with my bear hands … and taking the five sheets of papers from my bag, buried them in the hole which I had dug and covered them up with the mud.

I stood up (the music still playing), looked up at the setting sun and said “Now we’re free”

I had just finished writing my last exam paper for the semester, and the five papers that I had buried, were the tragic question papers – ones which had killed many of my fellow mates and would kill even more (including me) once the results are announced.

However, the time had passed.
We were all free to live whatever life we had left.
As I walked across to my bike, the feeling of relief and jubilation set it in …

The music in the background had gradually stopped and it was now replaced with a soft sort of ringing, which had gradually grown louder and louder.

Till I realised it was my alarm !

I woke up. It was 6:30 am – and I was in my bed with still one paper to go !
I cursed, got out of my bed, when …

I heard a thud.
It was me falled off the bed.
I was dreaming about the alarm and was actually having a recursive dream (dream in dream) like the picture in picture feature of many TVs.

Just to be sure, I dug out my cell phone and read the date.
It said, 16th Dec 2005, 3:34 am

Exams got over yesterday.
Phew, what a nightmare !

— NOTE —
Just came from watching King Kong as a post exam treat.
Wrote a review on it, which you can check out by clicking here.

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The Tata Safari Dicor Ads

I had posted sometime ago about the Indian Ad market reving up of late. You can read it here.

Anyways, the TATA Safari Dicor ad is not doing the rounds as it was once ( or maybe I am not watching enough TV ) but I really needed the soundtrack for something.

So, half an hour googling for it, landed up on hundreds of posts and reviews about the ad, but no sight of the ad or the soundtrack.

Finally, thought of checking up the company website and what do you know ?
Both the ads ( though I had seen only one of them ) are up for grabs :)

A mere 2.5 MB with the respective quality also – they are embedded in a swf exe.
So, you can’t really monkey around with them unless you have the proper tools … well atleast most of the people can’t, so its a smart move by the company.

Well, atleast have a working copy of it … one of the best ads ever.
Always brings a smile to my face…

And oh, if you are looking for it yourself, they can be downloaded from :

NOTE : Please use Internet Explorer only, the download links don’t show up in Firefox !!!
( When will people start making browser independent sites ??? )

Enjoy !

— Update —
If you’re looking for the Bajaj Avenger ad also ( I had written about that too .. ), you can get it from here : http://www.bajajauto.com/avenger/Avenger.zip
It’s about 9.7 Meg and at a decent res ( much better than the dicor ads )

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Hehe …
Pre examination wastage of precious time …
Well not really actually, took me about a minute and a half …

You Are a Pundit Blogger!
Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

What kind of blogger are you?

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