27 May 2009

Fun time is over!

A month of good time is finally over! Just 5 more days to go before the end of my study hols. Then my university exams begin. It’s been a really short month with hours and hours of TV, sleeping, reading and browsing.
As somebody rightly said, the 8 things that a normal student does during study hols are:
1) Sleeping
2) Eating
3) sms
4) Roaming
5) TV
6) Movie
7) Dreaming of touching books
8) Asking others if they have started studying!
Well, that’s exactly what happened in my case too. I had made a really good timetable for studying with ample time for fun also. But I was never good at keeping a timetable and as usual, within 2 days the whole schedule went topsy- turvy (Except for the fun part).
My daily routine for the month was something like this.
9.00am - Wake up time.
9.30am - Breakfast.
10.00am -Back to bed.
11.30am -Wakes up.
11.30-12.00pm -Opens book and flips pages.
12.00-1.00pm -Fights with sis and hangs around mom.
1.00-3.00pm -Matinee (If the movie is bad, there is always Disney channel to count on with superb shows like Art Attack, Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana etc.)
3.00-4.00pm -opens book and sleeps.
4.00-5.00pm - TV time and time to make tea (The one thing that I’m good at making!)
5.00-6.00pm - Tea time
6.00-7.30pm - TV again.
7.30-9.00pm - Opens book.
9.00-9.30pm - Dinner.
9.30-11.00pm- Reads newspaper and then off to bed.

Significant change in the events occurred only twice, during combined studies. Those where the only days when I really sat down and studied. Studying with friends is the best way for lazy bones like me but I was too late in realizing its potential! When you study along with friends, learning becomes interesting and fun. I regret for not planning more of combined studies this time. But next time around, I’m going to utilize my study hols in a better way for sure! (that is if we get study hols next time!)

21 May 2009

Reading-My passion

I’ve been a voracious reader right from my childhood. As a child I used to love reading storybooks. I’ve often heard my mom recollecting how I used to cry for storybooks when other children wanted chocolates and toys. The world of books has always fascinated me. As they said in ‘Namesake’, “Books let you travel without moving an inch”. They take you across unseen lands and give you a treasure trove of knowledge on any topic. I’ve often wondered how much those people who don’t read are missing out.
One of the best things that could have happened to me was a life long membership in EMS Co-operative library at the age of 10. When I first got a membership there it was just a one-roomed library in the second floor of EMS Co-operative bank and now it has grown into a full-fledged library with all modern facilities. I still remember the first set of books I took from there- ‘The tale of twin cities’,’ Black Beauty’ and ‘Jane Eyre’. I used to love the time spend there among rows and rows of books. And I think it was from that time that I started of dreaming about a library of my own. With ceiling high shelves filled with books on all topics. Those days I used to be a great admirer of English classics (I still love them! My all time favorite books are, ‘Heidi’, ‘Black Beauty’ and ‘Anne of Green Gables’. I never get tired of reading them!) And so my dream library had the English touch with Victorian style furnishings. I even dreamed about having a secret room hidden behind one of the shelves where I would retire for a peaceful reading, far from all disturbances (I think I got that idea from Famous Five).
My school also provided me with an excellent collection of books. My library teacher, Jayashree miss was a good reader and a lady of a strong and impressive personality. She was very strict that we should not confine ourselves to reading just one genre of books.
She encouraged us to read more of classics than Enid Blyton. She also made us write summaries of the books we read and the difficult words in the book and its meaning. It helped us a lot in improving our vocabulary and writing skill. I still have this habit of writing summaries of the books I read. I owe a lot to my wonderful teacher who guided us through the world of books. Thank you Jayashree miss for molding my reading habits and nurturing my love for English language. (If I weren’t into engineering, I would have definitely become an English teacher!)
My friend circle has always been one of book lovers. Discussions on books have always thrived in my gang. Though initially very supportive, the attitude of my parents towards my reading habits changed as I grew up. Can’t blame them! If I get into a book, I forget everything else. I used to smuggle book into bathroom and spend hours reading them (my parents never really figured out why I was taking so much time for bathing!) I’ve even spend the entire night reading Harry Potter, cleaverly hidden under my textbooks. But the net effect was that my father banned all books except the texts in my room! But rules are to be broken and I manage to get hold of a book or two once in a blue moon, courtesy to my very benevolent friends!
A cup of coffee, whiff of fresh air and an interesting book is all I need to be happy in this world!!

Election Results

The results of the Loksabha elections are out and the Sonia lead UPA has swept majority seats in the country with UDF back in majority in the state. The results are very much satisfactory and I’m more than happy that it will be Manmohan Singh govt and not Advani govt, which will rule the nation. But if the reports are to be believed 153 MPs with criminal records have found place in the Loksabha- 43 from BJP, 41 from UPA, 9 from SP and 8 from SHS.

Many reasons can be listed for the phenomenal success of UPA. The various measures taken by the govt for the up-liftment of the lower section of the society has made it very popular among the masses. The ‘sure job’ scheme was an immense hit! The strong stand taken by Manmohan Singh in the nuclear deal was also a deciding factor. More than anything, the courage of our Prime Minister to go forward with the deal, in spite of strong opposition from the left has given the people a reason to believe in the nuclear deal.
The presence and policies of Rahul Gandhi cannot be ignored. Coming from the first family of India and bearing the lineage of some great leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, the common man has a lot of hopes pinned on this young leader. The youth looking forward to a robust government also looks up to Rahul.With his Blackberry technology, innocent looks and firm decisions Rahul has proved to be a strong presence in Indian politics. With his open criticism of certain party policies, strong decision to participate in the election without the support of its allies and bold ideas like talent hunt for young leaders has won the heart of the people. Lack of experience is the only thing between Rahul and Prime Minister ship and hopefully next LokSabha elections will see his ascend to power. BJP’s Hindutva policies have lead to the decrease of their popularity among the people. People like Narendra Modi with his extremist views might succeed regionally but not all can be convinced with his agenda. BJP has been criticizing UPA for its soft corner towards terrorism. There is some reason in it if you consider the withdrawal of POTA act. But apart from Mumbai attack, the government was able to curb much of the terrorist activities. The proving of Pakistan’s interests in Mumbai attack would have ended in war if our Prime Minister hadn’t been so patient (with his sweet smile and soft spoken nature, Manmohan Singh reminds me of Gandhiji! ;)) It’s a good thing to know that during this time of recession we have one of the countries best economists to lead us (Manmohan Singh). The fact that UPA has emerged as the single majority party will also put them in a position to form a government without much pressure from Lalu, Mulayam and the rest. I hope they will bring up a government of educated, cultured and inspired men to lead the nation.

The Kerala politics also saw some remarkable results. At least by now I’m sure some of our leaders would have got the cue that people can’t be taken too lightly, neither can they be fooled. I’m really happy that the wrong decisions of the CPM have been punished in the right manner with the election results. The Pinarayi-Achudanandan clash and Karat’s and parties support to Pinarayi had wounded the emotions of Keralites. The one CPM leader on whom the people had a lot of faith and hopes is Achudanandan. His bold decisions and unruffled nature has got him many admirers including me. It was a real shock to see the party supporting a man like Pinarayi included in Lavlin case and not the truthful Achudanandan. The worst thing was that there seemed to be no one in the party to support him. Pinarayi who used to claim that he is ready to face any enquiry regarding Lavlin was seen moving lawsuits to prevent CBI enquiry! The CPM, which had always stood by communist and social ideas, was seen shaking hands with PDP and its communal leader Ma-Adani (said to have terrorist link ups.) Even in Bengal, CPM’s policies supporting the industrialists against the poor peasants and the Singoor case, has lead to its downfall. CPM as a whole is deviating from its age-old principles and Achudanandan seems to be the only one protesting. The election result is a strong warning to the Left that people are very much against their decisions and moreover as a mark of support to one of the best leaders in India, V.S. Achudanandan.

13 May 2009

Vodafone Ad

People usually consider advertisements as a nuisance. But I love watching them. To make an advertisement you need a lot of creativity. A bit of imagination, a lot of hard work and animation make superb and catchy advertisements.

The recently broadcasted advertisement of Vodafone is one that really fascinated me.
It has a lot of small white figures named Zoozoo, running around and doing stuff. There is this really cute one where one of them plays around with a crocodile. Another one where, one of them reads the newspaper and faints. Then one where a lot of them huddle near a radio. There are a lot of these short and catchy ads in the series. The movements and actions of Zoozoo is lovely and the background score, superb! It’s a pleasure simply watching them.

But the most amazing fact is that they are not animated figures. Its actually people wearing costumes and enacting the parts. Now no one would have imagined that! The advertisement took more than a month to be shot since the artists couldn’t see a thing through the costumes and so had to practice and perfect the moves. The end product is nothing less than perfect. After the famous ‘Happy to help’ series of ads featuring the pug, Vodafone has come up with an equally good one. The talent of these ad makers needs to be appreciated. Why don’t we have any awards for ‘Best ads’? I think its high time we had one.

9 May 2009

Model Exam

Finally my model exams are over and my college has closed for study holidays! Its bye to two weeks of hectic schedules, sleepless nights and alarms!

Being a last minute learner there are a few things that I’ve noticed

1)Your brain works really well during the exam time. The rate of learning increases manifold. The portions, which might take weeks to understand suddenly become clear with a glance the day before exam.

2)The love of sleep seems to vanish all of a sudden. You start counting the number of waking hours left before the exam and devise ways to maximize it.

3)It’s the last minute learners who really realize the value of time. Every minute counts before the day of the exam. Even while eating, I keep my books near me so that even those few precious minutes don’t go waste. (Well I even go to bed with books hoping some fairies would transfer the contents into my head while asleep!!

4)This is the best part. After the hard work, we are the ones who enjoy the breaks after the exams to the maximum. After weeks of dreaming about it finally we catch up on all those sleep and missed TV programs.

Proud to be a last minute learner!!

[P.S: I wont disagree to the fact that it has lot of side effects too. Stress, tension, disrupted daily routines etc. But without these life would loose its charm. I believe that it’s these small difficulties that make life worth living.