CATaclysmic – A CAT 2006 review

November 23, 2006

CAT 2006 is now dead and buried. And with that the hopes and aspirations of the 1.9 lakh odd (minus the 3000 elite, off course!) aspirants. Some of them having spent a good part of 2006 in honing their skills and sharpening their pencils!! Well, the sad part is thatI was one of those who did just that.

After 8 months of training and preparation, the D Day finally arrived! I had followed the suggestions given by my training institute to cease studying a couple of days before the test and to sleep early on the eve of that day. I woke up fresh on that day, and was in high spirits in anticipation of this test. Much had been talked about it, speculated, predicted about the pattern of the test.. now it was time for some action.
I arrived at the test center about 1 hour before the start of the test procedure. As serendipity as it may seem, I met an old friend of mine from my pre university days and we chatted about our college days, future ambitions and the like. That definitely helped me control my nerves during those final moments leading to the test, where you see many aspirants totally burying their heads doing last minute preparations.

The test procedure started at 10 am, after everyone had occupied their alloted seats. A predictable thing about CAT is its unpredictability! So much was the tension in the air, that those 20 odd minutes before the bell felt like hours! One thing that caught my attention, as it would have to any other aspirant was the fact that for the first time in CAT history, each question contained 5 options as against 4. Though it might be a strike of lightning for some, I had already written a few mock cats in this pattern and had actually put a bet with my friend on this [patting my back… :)] . But these slight advantages (if I can call so) vanished the moment I opened the paper.

The Verbal section, which I was betting myself to score heavily turned out to be a scorcher!! Each question more
intimidating than the previous.. add to it an extra option to scare the living hell of me. The options were so confusing and looked so alike that even after 4 days, the various training institutes are in loggerheads as to which is the right answer! Some how, that shook my psyche and was dreading the other two sections to follow (DI and Quant). I had already over shot the time I had originally alloted for VA, so my back was to the wall.

But coming to DI, I was pleasantly surprised. The questions were no were as intimidating or scary! I was so alarmed at the simplicity that I was scared to mark the answers even when I solved it, lest there is some trick that I might have missed. But, in the hindsight, that was the reason I lost a bit more time in this section too and couldn’t capitalize it to the hilt.
Quant has traditionally been a haunting subject for me. Its not that I dread maths. On the contrary, I actually love it. But, such is the type of questions that used to come that, one needs more than just love for the subject🙂. But, in this case, the paper setters must have had a walk in the park before setting the paper. The ruthless dont-even-dare face of Quant was replaced by a beautiful kiss-me face of a lady!

So to sum it, CAT 06 was different, actually was different in more ways than before. And the one who held his/her nerve during that crucial period will come out the winner.

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Campus Romper.. an idea..

September 19, 2006

Hi Guys,

I recently hit upon this idea of doing a social networking site (you must be thinking, oh! no.. yet another Orkut clone…! but guys hear me out and u just might like it!). Orkut has been a revelation in bringing all our friends together under one umbrella. But too much of anything starts getting messy, and the scrapbook was a initially a rage cos it enabled others to spy the others scrapbook, has exceeded its expiry date. Lots of orkuters have started deleting scraps and having conversations offline which beats the whole concept of scrapbook. Then you have the friends list which keeps on growing every passing day with no feature to categorize them.

 

What I have come up with is a social networking site mainly focused on the college-going crowd. Some of the features that I like to see in this are:

 

An user can be associated to an university, to a college, to a dept or even right down to his/her batch.

 

While this will have the adding and accepting friend flow as in orkut, the friends will be categorized based on their University or College or Department etc. This categorization helps in organizing ones friends list.

Categorization by batch allows one to view his/her seniors batch mates et al.

 

Provision will be provided for sponsoring events and the targeted audience can also be restricted by the event organizer. For eg. say, College ABC is holding a intra college fest. The portal allows the organizers to put in a web page for the even. They can also define the audience scope (the college in this case). Some one belonging to that college can register his participation for that event thru this portal. The organizers will be given all the creative freedom to furnish their event while also giving them participant info and the like. In affect they would be creating their own web portal and managing it.

 

It also allows users to share their projects, it source code, presentations and the like.

 

An instant online chat similar to a Google talk web client will be provided for pinging a person who is online. A global chat will be provided for an event where one can ask their doubts and get those clarified from the organizers.

 

Polls can be done at the University/ College/ Department/ Batch or event levels and only the members who are part of them will have the voting rights.

 

These are some of the ‘must have’ features that we’d like to incorporate in the portal. There may be some wish lists that you might like to find in this solution. Your suggestions, in this regard are most welcome. The vision is to make this solution a one stop shop for a college grad, touching every aspect of his/her campus life.


Real Life imitating Reel life or the other way round…

August 16, 2006

This is one of those egg-came-first-or-the-hen kinda question, which has been the discussion of umpteen number of chat shows and kitty parties. While there is no denying the fact that cinema takes inspiration from real life incidents, people follow their favorite star in every conceivable way.. what with people jumping of skyscrapers after seeing their desi superman.. aka Krishh flexing his muscles and doing the same.

 

But one startling episode which wins the case for the latter, is the recent pesticide incident in the colas. For a guy like me who has seen CORPORATE you can’t but sneer the events unfolding before your eyes. IT IS A BLODDY RERUN!! For those who have not seen the film, don’t despair, u are seeing the same thing (or almost the same thing. If you want to see sultry siren Bips sporting a high flying corporate b*tch look you’ll have to pay the 100 bucks, my dear friend) albeit in this case, u have THE most revered brands in this whole wide “concrete” world.. the daily supplement of every belly-popping couch potato.. PEPSI & COKE.

 

The question is whether the politicians saw the film first and order the probe or the quality officials saw the movie and intimated the politicians!!!

 

What is disheartening though, is the fact that the so called brand ambassadors of these products instead of condemning the drinks or at least sitting quietly and watching this from the sidelines, are coming out in open support of these blood sucking conglomerates! This I feel is very unethical on their behalf. India is a nation of heroes. Unlike the west, Indians Idols are demi gods. Be it cricket or cinema, People go to lengths imitating his/her favorite star’s walk, talk, the clothes they were, the parties they attend blah blah blah. This being the case the BA s could have exercised a bit of caution before going public.

 

The cruel fact, though is that, Bad habits die hard! Within no time, the cola companies will get back to their old ways… churning out ads which promise a life filled with joy and happiness when one drinks their cola!! And we on our part being silent victims to the age of consumerism will get back to our same old habit of gulping these poisons… UNLESS an effort is made not just by the government .. but by us, the youth in boycotting these pesticides. Let us get back to coconut which not only is a good drink.. health wise but also will feed the Indian farmer instead of filling the MNC coffers.

 

Nahi tou.. Piyo Sar Utake…. Maro Sar Jukaake!!


Wonders at Wanderers

March 13, 2006

Every one of us hopes to see a miracle at least once in their lifetime. Few people actually get to witness one. I can proudly say that I am one of them!! I am referring to the humbling of the Mighty Aussies by a resurgent and spirited Proteas at the Wanderer’s stadium in Johannesburg on 12th March 2006. This is a red letter day in the history of One Day International Cricket. A day when breaking records which stood for decades was passé.

This match had a script which was oscar-worthy.. a story wherein heroes became villains in a space of a single delivery.. (Words can’t express the feeling I had when Andrew Hall scooped the ball to mid-on when he could have just nudged it for a single! I would have literally kicked his a** if he had happened to be anywhere close to me). The match was see sawing all way up to the last over with each side trying their mighty best to out beat the other. The South Africans held their nerve till the end and that made them come out of it victorious.

Applause must be given not just for the fact that SA overwhelmed such a huge score, but for the intent with which they went about the task. Gibbs and Smith provided the resurgence after the loss of Dippenaar, and that too scoring at 10 runs/ over!! Gibbs, for one played the innings of his life. At one point, he just couldn’t do anything wrong! Gibbs silenced his critics with a magnificent 175 of just 142 balls. Credit must be also given to Mark Boucher who in spite of the climbing run rate maintained his cool to play a stellar knock.

Earlier in the day, the Aussies knocked out the earlier highest score in ODI which was held by Sri Lanka with ease. Ponting once again showed why he should be considered one of the best batsmen of this era. His 164 was the back bone of their mammoth score. Everyone in the Australian side chipped in (if I can batsman scoring 50’s as chipping in!!) Gilchrist, Katich, Hussey.. you name it.. everyone scored and scored HUGE!

Scoring 434 runs, Ponting must have assumed that they could rest their heels! Little did they know that the story was far from over. The resilience shown by the Proteas until the death overs is praise worthy. They have redefined the phrase “Nothing is Impossible”. It has now become “Impossible is Nothing!!!”. Ponting might have won the World Cup twice and have been consistent in keeping Aus as the Numero Uno team for many years, but this defeat will be a black scar in his illustrious career which cannot be masked away.

We now observe a minutes silence for the sad demise of one of the great arts called “Bowling”. Nothing can be taken away from the batsmen for scoring those runs, however the bowlers also shouldn’t be blamed for this. Both the team had pretty good bowlers, but each one of them was made to eat dust! Cricket regulation boards around the world and especially ICC must do a whole revamp of ODI. I know it is heavily favored towards batsmen, but cricket has always been a contest between bat and ball, not between the bats of both teams. Tell me why any one would want to be a bowler after such a slaughtering. If this trend continues, the day is not far off when you’ll have the bowling machine bowling. All 11 members will be batsmen then. Scores of 600 – 700 will be the order of the day. One question though?? Is it cricket? At least not the way I perceive it.

All said and done, it was a very memorable experience for me. Something which will be fresh in my mind for many years. The ‘elated’ feeling has still not sunken in! so surreal was the experince!


Awakening the “Rang” in You

January 27, 2006

“The movie Rang De Basanthi is an awesome cult movie. Very moving, beautifully portrayed, a must watch for all, especially the younger generation….” Saying this I could have finished this blog and no one would have opposed my opinion. Then why don’t I feel contented about it. What is that inside me, that wants me to go that extra mile and write this blog? Why do I have this inner voice that’s screaming that the real adulation and appreciation one can give to this masterpiece, is not just by watching it umpteen times or telling all your friends and relatives to watch it, but by actually implementing the underlying message of the movie, the very essence of national spirit and patriotism that our forefathers once showed in great abundance.. the essence which WE, the present generation seem to have shelved it as something for the history books.. It is more of an introspection. It makes us think, as to how we should actually celebrate our freedom. I was really moved by some of the ending lines by the narrator, “I thought there are 2 types of people in the world, one who die crying and other who move away in silence but today I learned there is third genre, people who go laughing”. That says it all…

RDB is a masterpiece.. and I say that not for the classy camera shots, great editing and cinematography, breath-taking music and background score, awe-inspiring performance from all the characters, but for the way Director Rakeysh Mehra had come up with a piece of art which blends moments of Dil Chahta Hai and Mangal Pandey!! The transition from the pre-independence India to the modern multi cultured, cosmopolitan India is a testament to the fact that nothing has changed in both the scenarios except the enemies… British in the former while the corrupt ‘US’ in the latter.
RDB is a journey.. a journey towards truth.. a journey towards justice and self awakening, which the 5 boys and one girl from a Delhi University go through while filming for a documentary. The same guys who were once the merry-makers, the don’t-give-a-damn-about-this-bloody-india sort and the ones who consider ‘having one leg in their past and another on the future.. but are just pissing at the “present”!!!; connect to their true identity which are of Indians who are struggling to make a mark because of the wrecked bureaucratic system. It is about how they relive the scenarios they played in the documentary, and the relevance of ‘Inkilab Zindabad’ even to this day!
This movie not just shows the deep self excavated well that we have dug up for ourselves, but also provides the ray of hope.. the silver lining amongst the dark clouds.. the attitudinal change needed by each and every one of us to bring about the true Indian in us…. The Indian with a sense of freedom and national pride.
The fact that amazed me the most was that such a hard hitting, in-your-gut movie is such an enjoyable experience. The sublime humor and playfulness among friends makes you feel one amongst them. The relevance of the subject.. the fact that it makes to think once. As the saying goes.. ‘There are two primary choices in life, to accept conditions as they exist or take upon the responsibility to change them”. I believe most of us want to bring about the changes without doing anything, so its time to give food for thought folks and take some responsibility.


Mera Jaise Koi Nahin

August 25, 2005

What do I say about these so called “Torture Serials” (as I like to call them), guyz.. The lesser we talk about them the better!! (Else I’ll have to face my mom’s wrath!!). Neway.. I have mustered enough courage to go ahead and voice my opinion. Damn It! I am an honest, respectable (?), law abiding (?) citizen of Independent (that’s what they say!) India. So here goes..

 

Why am I grumbling about these serials in the first place? The stupid (If any of you belong to this category, please ignore the adjective!! I don’t want to face another saga in real life!!) people watching those serials are happy, the TV channels are happy and the producers (Read Ekta) are grinning-ear-to-ear.

 

There are several reasons for my outrage… First and foremost one-line-per-week scripts which stretch the story in such a way, that… if the same thing was done by a lingerie company.. they would have fitted a sumo wrestler into a bikini!!! (just the thought makes me giggle.. chup.. this is a serious blog.. so move out of the parantheses…!).Strange metaphor! But drives home my point. And to top it.. you have the same bahus fighting the same battle with their saas.. (Move over Lucas.. ur Star Wars contained only 6 episodes). To top it you have these fifty-plus-wannabe-models wearing oh-so-loong bindis, sporting the sleaziest of the saris and whitewashing their hair red, blue and what not!! (Yucks!! Feel like omitting at the thought!). The most surprising part is that it has captured the tv-is-a-bad-influence generation. Now they are watching these more than what we used to do. And then there has to be their “EXPERT” comments, which does not end when the episode ends.. they have to talk about what Tulsi or Jassi ( just a couple of names I could understand from their commentary.) should have or should’nt have done. Huh! Givemme a break!! When will they grow up!!! ( Am I actually saying this!).

 

This is a sincere request for the so called moral-police. Please ban these serials!!! Forget my moral values.. I am going mad here… But I know that my pleas will fall to deaf ears cos the so called moral-police are none other than the saas-bahu-wars-watching generation. I know that I can’t mend them. However, I want to warn our generation…. I must give our generation a name… hmm.. ok the ipod generation… because we are different from the harry-potter generation (say 10-19 year olds) or the pokemon generation ( 6-16 year olds). We have to wage a war against the Dark Side, and we will not stop until we get our hands on the remote control…until we become Lord Of the Remote!! So what if we may have to spend hungry nights (cos u’r mom got pissed of by your revolt).. or get yelled at by your granny (who is the director of most of the serials.. or so she makes us believe!!!) we are not bulging from the sofa…

 

So Guyz… May the force (your own!!) be with you!! (Even when you are hungry;-))


Sab kushal “Mangal” Hai!!

August 14, 2005

After 4 years of anticipation, several hours of talk on Aamir’s moustache and hairdos and more than 1 hour in the queue I got a balcony ticket for the “Bap of the Baps” magnum opus of the year 2005 “Mangal Pandey – The Rising”. As the lights went off and the curtains rolled up, my anxiousness was getting the better of me.

10 minutes into the movie brought me, who was soaring high above on a jet plane, SLAM BANG! down to earth. This is India, my friend!! The more hype a movie creates before its launch, the lesser quality product you get!! Now, I am thinking why the movie got released after all. It would have been much exciting to be in anticipation.

Aamir “Mangal” Khan is the one guy whose stands tall amidst the ashes. He gives a stellar performance gallantly fighting to save the sinking ship alone!! (Reminiscent of a similar sequence in the movie). Rani has been wasted in this movie. After her awe inspiring performance in BLACK, the role she portrays is just to keep the front benches whistling. Amisha’s role is not even worth a mention. DON’T BLINK. Lest you might miss her!!

 

Ketan Mehta, being an experienced director has not lived up to expectations. The screenplay is very choppy. The transition from one event to another is controlled by the narrative done by Om Puri, who does an OK job. Except for the title song and the Vari Vari, the lyrics are not of the quality we have come to except from Javed Akthar. A R Rahman has given his worst music to date. You wouldn’t keep the album in your shelves for more than a week.

 

The subject had all the ingredients of becoming an epic. However, the final outcome left much to be desired. You can give the first half a miss. The story gets gripping in the second half.

 

All said and done, it is not a movie which can be flushed down the sink. The movie has its rare moments, when you feel the patriotism, the intensity, the passion of the moment getting into you. Sadly, that starts to happen towards the end of the movie; when the audience had enough of crap and they are ready to go home.

 

So, what’s my final say? Well, you got to see it to believe it! Go to the theater with no expectations and you might just have a good time!!