Listening to: Title track of Freaky Chakra [crazy movie, crazy track, you can listen to it and the other songs from the soundtrack here .]
It is, as Nitin reminds me, a month since our vacations began. Everyone and his brother seems to be doing a project at IISc, or BARC or some such equally [for me] inaccessible place. And most engineering students in Bangalore have two weeks of Study Holidays, which, for some weird reason, they use to study. But that isn't it. The guys doing commerce are studying for their CA exams [why, it beats me, when the exams are in November] and the remaining Commerce and Arts students are already cramming for CAT and GRE, doing wordlists [somehow it feels stupid to me, poring over lists of words you never would be caught dead mouthing], Class XII math, and the like. Some ingenious souls targeting top universities in the country and abroad have discovered the need to be able to hold a fluent conversation on "Pink pajamas on Red Fort" and similar topics that make infinitely loads of sense to mere mortals like me, and have resolved to religiously dig into newspapers everday, solve The Hindu's cryptic crossword, Sudoku, Kakuro, Spellathon, Scramble and Mindbender in ToI[let paper, I maintain].
As for me, I'm stuck at home with broadband Internet and my very own laptop, and all I've become adept at is doing nothing. Well, I've developed a hobby of sorts – I sit in a corner all day and collect dust. Apart from that….. I've been compiling A Dozen Ways to Do Nothing, taking inspiration from Contraption at Shaastra. Here's a sample:
- Decide at night to wake as early as you can as you want to go for a walk. To your surprise, wake at the appointed hour. Step outside, and run back in shivering muttering about how the weather here is aeons colder than what it is at the coast. Spend an hour watching soothsayers and spiritual gurus on the morning shows of various channels. Since you've woken so early, you're feeling tired and deserve some rest. Go back to sleep, not heeding mum's wake-up calls. Wake up close to noon, and curse about how half the day is past without your knowledge.
- A lot of people maintain that Orkut is the foremost way to waste time. But naah, not everyone seems to be orkutting these days. You almost get bored to frustration reading others' so un-happening scrapbooks, or checking out profiles of people who are "a eclesiastic mix of extremes" or "hard to get to know" and are "looking for genuine friendship". There are better things to do, like classifying your friends list. Put your friends into groups like "Bigtime Leeches", "I have eyes for", "I'd prefer not laying my eyes on", "Wouldn't mind sharing my toothbrush with", "Best kept at an arms length", etc.
- Argue with yourself about whether reading the book prejudices you against the movie. To prove or disprove your theory, decide to watch The Motorcycle Diaries before you read the book[btw, today, ie June 14, is the day Che Guevara would have turned 78 if he had lived]. Spend a day and a half downloading it off Limewire. Refuse to preview the movie while downloading, as it is a waste of time. When you finally get down to watching the movie, discover to your amazement it's in Spanish sans subtitles. Decide to watch it anyway, as, if it doesn't help you, it will build character. Spend the next two hours preventing yourself from nodding off, and wishing Ernesto never had to leave Miramar.
- For Stage II of your experiment, try obtaining the ebook online, as you have gotten unused to buying paperbacks. For once, a request goes unheeded on the various Ebook communities on Orkut. Sullenly go to your corner bookstore and spend the better part of half an hour looking for a thick volume in the upper shelves, cursing yourself for not being taller. When your neck muscles can't seem to take it anymore, ask the assistant for help. He will locate a slim volume in one of those shelves you hadn't bothered looking into. Curse yourself for your oversight. Curse yourself some more when you see the bill.
- Arrange to meet an old friend at one of the various malls of Bangalore. Catch 40 winks on the bus. Wake up in an area totally different from the one you hoped to get off at. Hurriedly get off the bus, only to discover you should have stayed on until the next stop. Decide to walk the rest of the way. During the walk, discover new muscles in your legs, and the effect of heat on a hotheaded girl. Get to the mall and hunt all around for your friend, who happens to be nowhere in sight. Discover now that you are low on your prepaid balance, and that your friend seems to be in the same situation from the way he's been replying to your missed calls with… missed calls. Look around for a half-an-hour more to see if you can spot the tiny guy you used to sit next to in school. Finally concede defeat and call him up, and give him accurate directions to reach you. Then discover that your 'ickle ex-classmate has morphed into a six-foot tall hunk, the same one who you thought was leering at you ten minutes back. [No, he wasn't leering, he thought you looked familiar.]. Marvel on how much people change on the outside, but still stay the same inside.
- Decide to finish atleast half of Tolstoy's War and Peace. Have one look at the ebook and decide the font's too small to read. Select all, copy-paste into a Word document [or OpenOffice.org Writer] increase the font size and convert it back to .pdf, 'coz no other format seems as comfy. In the middle of the process, feel it's taking too long, and begin to chat on Y! messenger and Gtalk simultaneously. Then in the thick of a good conversation, begin to feel it's distracting you from the epic book, and piss your friends off by raving about the book, and how they should be reading it too, instead of talking about those inane topics you suggested. When they finally leave you in peace, decide the book is too long, and too boring to be read in one go. Since it's bad for the eyes to read at a stretch from the screen, shut down and go to bed.
- Locate a link to download that textbook everyone wants, but is afraid to buy, thanks to its dimensions which are larger than the average laptop, and its correspondingly massive cost. With joy, click on the link to download it. Don't be too surprised at its size which is around 40 MB. Agree that two hours is worth its while in downloading such an esteemed publication. Spend the two hours doing something as inane as writing this post. When download is completed successfully, open it with anticipation, only to find that the book is all Greek to you….. no, wait… isn't that how French is written?
I now take this opportunity to curse all those people I've been dying to meet from the past three months, and who have been luring me with false promises of reunions and suchlike things, who can't take a day off cramming and mugging for the godforsaken exams conducted by their Very Technical University. Guys, I know I'm being slightly unfair here, as I haven't called you all up or anything, but I just don't have the heart to distract you from your successful acquisition of an Engineering degree with my jobless ranting. I don't see the point of writing this, either, as y'all wouldn't read a word apart from your textbooks and the occasional Sidney Sheldon, much less come online and read the mails I send you [and if you do, the max y'all care about is replying as if it were an sms] , and least of all, take trouble to read my blog.
PS: Dee, if you happen to read this, don't be under the impression I'm pissed off with you, it's just the joblessness getting to me. And yeah, we'd better meet up sometime soon, it's been aeons since I saw you last.