Thursday, May 18


Phew!! Finally the exams are over and I can get back to normal life……lots of sleep, films, ice creams……… The exams were a nightmare (ok just short of a nightmare) right from my preparations to the examination center all screwed up.

I generally never get tensed during exams. Infact I think I have a psychological problem. The sight of all those tense faces and voices actually makes me even more confident and puts a weird smile on my face. But this time I was tensed, probably because it was my last year of the Masters. Though it was good in a way, I concentrated more during the twinywini bit of preparation time I had. On the first day I had two papers back to back. Total six hours of writing to do. And with one of the papers being "more of current affairs and general knowledge" I was having a gala time, with only concern for my fingers. Of course I had read up stuff and studied, but my mom thought it was far below my usual standards. End result the papers went well, though my fingers were badly aching.

The most interesting part of the exam was the examination centre. Situated in a dicey kind of a locality, it took some real time to firstly search it out. The entire college consisted of some 15 rooms and the people appearing for exams were seated only in two. Infact for the 'first day first show' there were only 24 people! There was some big time construction work in progress and you had to go through a lot of cement, iron rods, bamboos, mud and what not. If you were unfortunate a decent amount of mud on your head was just fortunate. Then there was a continuous flow of water outside the window with a generous sprinkling of the same on the desk. For my last paper I had to sit at a window and boy it was torturous. The water sprinkling and the dust in no way added to my concentration levels. And at the end of three hours there was a thick layer of mud on my ruler! To make matters worse that was the chosen day for some high level banging (no pun intended). There was this continuous thud thud at very high decibels right above our head and every now and then I wondered if they were trying to knock down the roof. The fans which worked only for an hour were physically shaking, though not in a circular motion. The guy sitting right below one of them kept looking up every now and then with fear of a fan-crash writ large on his face. However the supervisors were very cool about it and leaving the class to their musing they took the opportunity to have men-to-men chats right there in the passage. Anytime one needed a supplement, one had to go out, call the person in and then feel guilty for having broken in on most important discussion of the century!

Wonder why the University chooses such examination centers were certain basics like silence, supervisor presence in classroom and legible seat numbers of desks are luxury!

Thursday, May 4

May his soul rest in peace!

Late evening returning home from office, I came across a few policewalas driving in a particular direction and I suddenly thought, "Mahajan must be dead." God knows why those policemen made me reach this conclusion, but that was the only thought to cross my mind. And so it was. Pramod Mahajan, the firebrand BJP leader passed away Wednesday afternoon.

After the teenage attraction and awe of all things glamorous and mystifying, and a brief stint in journalism, I have almost become indifferent to individual politicians. No matter how charismatic, how great their work might be, they fail to make me give them that second look. I still laugh at the thought that when around 5 years back A B Vajpayee took to fast unto death for some reason, I had briefly cried out of worry that comes out of love. I know the reaction would differ today.

For BJP Mahajan's loss is immense. He was one of their star campaigners, the right hand man of the two most important men in the party, the skilled manager, the expert fundraiser, the firebrand spokesperson, the face of a young BJP. With him a lot is lost. His death was so unexpected that fallback options might not in place; but for contenders it is an opportunity, a larger playing field.

To me it was curiosity initially. Yesterday the news of his death made me sad. I am no great fan of his. But definitely appreciative of his standing in the BJP, his rise from a small town boy to one of the probables for the PMship, careful grooming of his person to suit the media tastes, management of the BJP election campaign in Rajasthan and his oratory. The content of his speeches is a matter of debate, but his style was definitely impressive. He left you enthused, almost voting for him (or his party). His smile was assuring, though at many times cunning but lovable, and left you with a feeling of him being that 'familiar-face-uncle' you smile at during your morning walks. His death left me with the same feeling you have when that uncle is not seen for a couple of days and you wonder if everything is alright and then smile a extra wide smile when you spot him a few days later. Of course here, 'uncle' is never going to return.