Thursday, January 13, 2011

Curriculum Bournvitae-The resume making tutorial

I had already written about the farce that most résumé's contain in this refined and polished post. As anticipated, it generated as tremendous a readership as an editorial on Sudan's economy on the center page would. With encouraging feedback like "Hello! Can you tell me how i can register mail at google [url=http://google.com]google[/url] http://google.com ", I have decided to recycle the post.

I go through a dozen resumes every week at work and the first thought that comes to my mind is whether I should refer the candidate for a Veta course . The sad part is most of them are so out of place that they could keep Sidhu laughing until 2030. Hence for the benefit of the public, I present to you, without further ado, the complete tutorial for preparing a resume .






Let us take a sample guy's name. For political correctness and to avoid north south clashes and bus burning, let us name him "Senthil amit". Now Senthil Amit is a typical IT guy with 2-3 years experience, a modest skill-set and outrageous dreams of going abroad, becoming a CEO in 5 years, buying New Zealand and marrying Megan Fox. Let us now prepare a professional resume for him. The starting point is the header. The name and address go here.


For those unfamiliar with tamil, pothal kaadu refers to the area which was populated with dense vegetation and was the spot for people to answer nature's call. Before we beef it up , let us make it more auspicious.

You see what I did there. I applied turmeric and made it super auspicious. Now, we have to make sure evil eyes dont fall on the boy. Because in our country despite people being devoid of talent, we tend to blame evil eyes for lack of success in our lives.. So we need to put something that looks like an ogre, similar to the devils that we hang outside houses or automobiles costing over 10 lakh rupees.


There you go . We have made a powarful head-start. Let us now dwell into the details. Define all the keywords that would make google redirect to you, get you that CEO post and give you a shot at Megan fox.

With these keywords, google is all set to redirect to your resume . Considering that procreation is the only Indian form of recreation, your resume is guaranteed so many hits that it would be left with a black eye.

Now lets write one section that no one gives any excreta about : "The Objective". I leave it to you to fill it up with execubabble.

So far, so good. Let us now add some skill-sets. Here is where we need to fill up content with whatever little you know.


We are more than half way through to Megan Fox. Let us now add your project experience.

Following is a sample:


Description: I gained a lot of exposure through this project. This project involved extensive use of OOPS . So much that my manager used to say "OOPS, we are screwed. Bigtime!" everyday . I have also won several awards like "Best client money milker" , which is the param veer chakra of my company.

College projects:
Girls hostel periscope
Description: Enabling lovers to chat without the warden busting us and thereby saving bribe money,this project went on to become a superhit. Using Wifi connection and face recognition technology, it made sure that a guy cannot converse with anybody else apart from his girlfriend, thereby ensuring fidelity.


Now, a little bit of personal info about your age, DOB, passport number and ration card details(note: need not mention monthly purchases from ration shop).

Finally list down your hobbies. I ll write down a sample to convinience you.

Finishing touch. Add whatever you have published .



Now add the portion where you swear that whatever you said was true.
And then, we are done. Well, hold on. something is missing.

How is it Indian if it does not contain any message for others?

Download the full image of this post here.

Cheers,


P.S: Happy new year everybody. I solemnly swear that I ll write regularly this year.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saloony tales

//Insert obligatory pretentious prologue explaining absence on the blogosphere as if anyone cares.
With a gap of more than 2 months and the mind being exposed to more work, I doubted if I had the ability to write and more importantly write funny. The faith in my humour and writing was reaffirmed after I wrote my self appraisal. Again, not that anyone cares.


Apart from the fundamental right to education and the right to not put education in practical use, I believe a child needs to have the basic right to a monster truck to carry the bookload to school and the right to choose their own hairstyle. Yes, the idea is from my own harrowing experiences of being denied the right to choose a hairstyle. Story slightly melodramatic for the faint hearted and actors from Karan johar movies.

I have vague memories of my trips to the saloon in Kannur when I was a kid. Childhood trips to the saloon were accompanied by my father whose mindset was on the lines of the typical Indian middle class i.e more hair cut for less money or 40% extra hair cut for the same amount. He had a philosophy that after a haircut, the hair should be so short that you should'nt be able to pull it by hand. Of course as a child, anyone would hate that. The trip to the saloon was on my dad's bajaj scooter, the quintessential middle class mode of transport, which can cleverly accommodate even a horse in the front. The entire journey to the saloon would be spent by me writing an obituary to my hair. "Dear hair, Thanks for being there with me for so long. We had a good run so far. I would love to be with you, but the society does not want us to be together. Hope you become a wig and land on the head of a hollywood superstar,maybe that old grandpa who built Jurassic park(That was the only English movie I had seen until then). Bye."



The relationship with a barber is as crucial as a relationship with your doctor or the peon who knows of your illicit affair with the secretary or a cricketer;s relationship with a bookie. You need to trust him completely. However my barber at Kannur(Kerala) was slightly eccentric and Sreesanthish( except for the fist pumping and dance). My father narrated instructions to him as if he was going to launch a GSLV into a geo-centric orbit. "Korachu cut seyyum" ('less cut do' in google translator language), said my dad and he went off to catch a smoke.


Apparently barbers take kids too lightly and he was all engrossed in Lal Etta's comedy clip while cutting my hair. The ugly elf in me was slowly getting unraveled and I started resembling Gollum more and more. As I imagined the pointing and staring that I would have to endure the subsequent day, the barber neared my scalp enjoying Lal etta's antics onscreen. The worst thing during a haircut, however, is that it itches under your nose and with hands under the sheet, you are as helpless as a bollywood policeman. I try to divert my mind to thinking about various things from Baba Sehgal to Uncle Scrooge trying to forget the nasal torture I was going through.

Finally after cutting the hair, shaving the sides with a razor , re-cutting the hair , re-shaving with the razor and finally giving it a thorough inspection , he takes the sponge which had all the hair from South Kerala and rubs the back of my head to make it more dirty. Then he removes the sheet and it is freedom finally. I instantly rub the area under the nose to gain some quick nasal pleasure. My dad was back in the saloon and he surveyed my head like some kind of forensic expert. After final approval my head passes the official approval for external display. I look at myself in the mirror and I see a recursive display of myself between the two mirrors.

By the way, there is a world of difference in mothers before and after a haircut. When I enter home after a haircut my mother treats me like I just returned after committing a triple murder. I am not supposed to touch anything in the house until I have a bath. I doubted if she torch me to flames if I disobeyed and hence I never took the risk.

The next day at school, there is a lot of pointing, staring and enquiries about the haircut and I get the feeling of returning from drug abuse rehab. Kids try to come up all sorts of animal names on the Wildlife endangered list(eg: Porcupine, platypus, Vinod Kambli) to compare your haircut to . However it just takes a few hours for people to get used to the ugly haircut(the absentees in class take a few hours the next day). Things finally get back to normal and I am considered slightly human again.

Aaj mere paas housing loan hai, credit card hai,rapidshare premium account hai, mere neighbour ke pass gaadi hai, bank balance hai, lekin hair thoda kum hai. Nostalgia as I get my hair cut at a Velacherry A/C saloon by a barber who owns 3 grounds at Velacherry and is richer than everyone of us.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

The art of examination survival



Things were not looking good for me. A backlog would just outcast me from my family and bring inexplicable ignominy to everyone. The question paper looked like Greek,Latin,Telugu and Marathi to me. My plan had failed miserably. The questions looked as complicated as a boring editorial on Europe's economy in the Hindu. I had read 5 out of the total of 10 chapters, assuming that alternate lessons would be enough for a comfortable score. Some cynical professor who would definitely be born as a toad in his next birth ,thanks to my powerful curses, had messed everything up for us. The first thing I did after getting the question paper was to pinch myself to check if I was in one of those clichéd "stuck in the exam hall with a Chinese question paper in my hand" dream . It was a real paper,not in Chinese, and could not be oil fried to crispy manchurian like I do it in my crazy dreams.And if you are wondering why there is an Anil Kapoor picture, read the entire post.


24 hours ago,my Coimbatore home

I was having a hard time remembering all the circuitry. In fact, the only thing that I found interesting in the entire book of "Linear Integrated Circuits" was the author acknowledging his in-laws who stood by him while he was writing the book. It was frustrating me that I could hardly understand and comprehend even a minuscule portion of the content. Integrated circuits were grating my brain's circuits. This was when I was reminded to use the emergency mugging up technique. The technique was to make relatively easier acronyms to memorize large content . For example when I had to remember chemical equations in the 12th grade, I read CH3COONa as Chatri-Coona and CH3CH2OH as Chatri Chattu Aw. While linear circuits was nothing like chemistry, I decided to make vibgyor like acronyms for answers which had bullet points, by taking the first letters from them. I came up with 'maryBombLeh'(memorized as mary went to bomb the leh valley) , 'marBmwIdle'(after eating idlies, hit and run with your BMW), 'wordPimpdel' (delete and forget whatever a pimp says) and more on the same lines.


Exam hall,Today

A few minutes of sweating vanished the worry in my mind and my blood pressure came back to normal . I looked around for company. Vinoth looked at me and gave me a thumbs down, quite to my relief. Raju however seemed to write something vigorously and that somehow seemed to bother me. I closed my eyes, mumbled hanuman chalisa to myself and somehow convinced myself that I was motivated. I ticked out the questions I seemed to know. With a sparsely ticked question sheet , I started writing whatever I knew. This was when I realized that I remembered the acronyms pretty well, but I did not know the questions to which I had to tag those answers. And for some godforsaken reason, my mind, quite inappropriately, was playing "One two ka four, my name is lakhan' on a infinite loop, which I was unable to stop.

I took a best possible guess and expanded acronyms for questions that I believed were the right ones for the answer that I wrote. For every unknown answer I promised one coconut for lord Ganesha. After an hour, I drank 2 huge cups of water taking all the time I could, for whiling time was also becoming the primary concern. I decided to take on a few unknown questions. To motivate myself, I quoted my past achievement to myself where I had used the sewage disposal system from 9th standard and converted it to a nuclear reactor in 10th standard exams, with just some changes in interior decoration.

Frankly, I seemed to relish the scope I had for my creativity . The first question I had to answer was about something called the Walter-Nelson circuit. I had to narrow things down, both logically and creatively.

I started making a not of all that I could infer. It was invented by two people, it had to be somewhat big. The question has a return of investment of 12 marks, so I had to write 2 pages.

""One two ka four, Four two ka one, my name is lakhan", sang my mind when I reached a moment of oblivion. I had no control over the relentless music and images of a hairy Anil Kapoor slide show played on my mind.

Now, I had to put things in perspective. I tried to remember whatever I could from class about Walter-Nelson circuit.

2 months ago, 2nd year classroom

Something called Water -Nelson circuit was written on the board, double underlined. "Your turn now", said Kavikumar, handing over his mobile to me. I hid the mobile under the desk and started batting. In fact, a circular plain faced Tendulkar was batting for me. I had to score 23 in an over to beat Kavi. When I scored 12 off the first 3 balls, an sms interrupted me . Kavi took his mobile,read the message and said to me, "Nothing important, just Shreya wallpapers message.". I gave a momentary and obligatory glance at the teacher who said,"The reason we have 2 capacitors is ".,when Kavi gave me back his mobile and broke my attention.


Exam hall, today
So 2 capacitors is all we know currently. Maybe we will have a resistor for company. As far as I remembered, 80% of circuit diagrams had at least one resistor in them. I decided to start out with the circuit diagram.



Subconsciousness -" Two people have worked to create a circuit, its got to be bigger. This is too trivial . You had to add something more. Maybe something creative."
Subconsciousness said,"yeah, great impulse of creativity. Drawing a fido dido in a circuit diagram totally makes sense."



Subconsciousness: "Okay, For the love of god, the last comment was sarcasm. Stop drawing junk, and save yourself from a backlog. Probably have a two level circuit or something. Meanwhile, let me get back to my song, "One two ka four, my name is lakhan, mera naam hai lakhan'.

Subconsciousness: "Good. A timer adds authencity. Maybe Walter-Nelson invented the time bomb.Anyway, lets wrap things now. Probably complicate stuff and confuse the examiner with one more layer of circuity."


Subconsciousness: "Great. So genuine and authentic. Moment to take pride on our work, inspite of the fact that we do not know what that arrow thing stands for."

I gleamed with a sense of pride and self-appreciation. I then started writing the text for the answer.I wrote a huge paragraph describing the components of the circuit with excellent description accompanying each component. Then I randomly mixed a 'marbmwIdle' and 'wordPimpDel' to form a 'marPimpDel' , and put them quite pragmatically under the heading 'benefits'.

And there you go.


One month later,street corner Ganesha temple

"Dear Lord Ganesha, You rock", I said, breaking the first of my seven coconuts.








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Read between the résumé's lines

The talk of the town is that the economy is picking up. Most companies are in the hiring mode and job portals now have multitudes of résumés getting uploaded every day. While a résumé is meant to showcase the candidate’s skills, most of them turn out to be as funny as a Khushwant Singh joke book, unintentionally though. While I am no expert on writing résumés, I can for sure tell you what not to write it.

Every CV starts with a bit of your personal details in a letter pad format. The name and contact details of the candidate will suffice in the top portion. Avoid using logos of your previous organization or the political party you support. This is followed by the mandatory and ‘taken for granted’ Objective section. This column is usually meant to describe your career ambitions and preferred career path. Pity though that no one fills it up by them self and just do a Ctrl A, Ctrl C and Ctrl V from a friend’s résumé. This portion is generally filled with lofty statements, no short of an election manifesto. A typical IT professional’s objective would go like this, “To work in a highly challenging and stimulating environment which offers enormous scope for growth, innovation and new ideas”. In most cases this roughly translates to “The ungrateful superiors at my previous organization gave me peanuts for a hike and I want more money to pay the EMI for the home loan I took to buy my apartment located at a missile shooting distance from Bangalore airport”.

The most exploited part of your résumé is the skill set portion. Human nature is such that we blow up triviality into something awesome. A typical IT professional lists the programming languages he has worked on, heard about or read about its existence on the internet. A business person’s skill set would have Microsoft Office all split up and described in detail. Please note that if you know Microsoft Excel, just put it there. Detailing different versions of Excel under your skill only adds to the word count.

Every résumé features the set of projects a candidate has worked on. This is a tricky portion for an interviewer. Most candidates fill it up with execubabble aimed solely at making the content indecipherable. Sample this from an IT professional’s résumé “Worked on a comprehensive end to end project which offered utmost scope for communication with other end users offering immense challenge and space for creative ideas.” My guess is that it meant “I had an active Facebook and Orkut profile, while I was documenting my previous project”. The onus is on the interviewer to comprehend the truth behind the unintelligible text written in Times New Roman. While I am on it, I have a policy of hating résumés in Comic sans font. Remember this is a CV, not a cheap brochure detailing unlimited internet plans asking you to contact 'unlimited Shekar for more'.

Interviewers also have to be wary of self made acronyms by the candidate. So when a candidate says I worked on a NASA project, it could be referring to some Natwarlal and Sharma Agency at Gorakhpur. I sampled one résumé which said that a candidate had worked for ISROO which could easily be overlooked as ISRO.

Another clichéd résumé sham section is “Highlights and Past Achievements”. This section offers space for ostentatious projection of a candidate’s market value. Most CVs bullet point a list that starts with “Excellent Leadership skills” and rambles on. If a candidate does not justify how he can claim that he has the aforementioned quality, I would rather prefer reading a home loan pamphlet .I request candidates to note that 173 followers on twitter does not serve as an example of leadership . Organizing impromptu birthday celebrations for friends or Navarathri Kolu events for the housing colony does not qualify as a proof for Organizational skills either. Also, candidates need to make sure that mentioning trivial stuff in Past achievements adds no value. So a third prize in an intra school essay competition is better left unsaid on a résumé.

It is always better to make sure that your resume is as true to its ‘Times New Roman clad word’ as possible. More the brevity, better the résumé. Remember, the number of pages of a résumé is not proportional to the chances of you getting the top notch job. You are not replying to a show cause notice for heaven’s sake.




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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Communication and the internet in India



Year 985AD,
King Raja Raja Chola Puri of Madurai wakes up after his deep sleep. Still yawning, he slowly walks up to his balcony with the twig in his mouth and a glass of Pakistani Inzamambazham fresh mango juice. Sipping juice he checks his balcony rim for new p-mails. There were 2 pigeons holding a chit each in their claws. He opens them one by one. One of them was from TamilPolygamy.com which offered a marriage refferal to add to his collection of wives. The other one referred Queen Shakeelam Devi from Kerala through MohanlalMatrimony.com. Meanwhile 4 different crows appeared on the rim of his balcony with their own chits. He opened them to find out that they were from random foreigners who sold Rolex watches or Performance enhancement herbs. "Maanamketta Spammergal(Shameless spammers)", he abused in pure Sangha Tamil,thereby venting his frustration ,shooing away the crows.



Postal Communication
A few centuries later, particularly in 1900s, people started using the postal means of communication. Letters were written throughout India with bad grammar and language . Auspicious letter had turmeric at the sides. Indians joined the party sending letters like"Send this letter to 5 people or one of your 20 kids will get lost in the Kumbh Mela". The most popular letter format was the inland letter, famously called "England letter" in TamilNadu. Emergency communication was all cryptic and telegrammed to people. A sample death notification telegram went like this, "Grandpa and Anacin expired. Bring Anacin and Ambulance".Because telegrams were charged on the number of words, people tried to squeeze in maximum content like this, "Happy married life,diwali,pongal,thiruvalluvar day.congrats its a boy. Or a girl.".

Vocal Communication
The invention of telephone changed everything. Indians had a telephone operator who used to plug wires and connect to people. STD rates were too high for the average aam aadmi, and Indians had to rattle off the words quickly and loudly to pass information via an STD call. A sample telephone STD call at a telephone booth went like this "Hi, How are you?Are you fine?I am fine?Regards to your family.How is Kasturi and her 7 sisters?Bunty stop pulling my Pyjama. Ok. Bye."(slaps Bunty,then buys him a Melody chocolate).


1990's and the internet
The early and mid 90s saw a lot of technological change in the US and hence it reflected in the late 90s in India. Indians started becoming engineers and landed themselves in US. The first internet connections appeared in India. Internet spreads like mildfire. Everybody got a dialup connection with a modem that produced Vuvuzela like cacophony . People start reading news on the internet and gossiping with others on the internet. Things started changing and even Palkaarans(milkmen) started accepting paypal payments .

Indians displayed their creative prowess in email with some fantastical email ids called coolganesh95@aol.com, jollyprasad@hotmail.com, situl_coolblitzer_terminator@hotmail.com. The patriotic dudes took ids like ramesh1947_india@hotmail.com and sardarpatelfan@rediffmail.com. Now in the current day,most of the email address are already taken and you need to insert a combination of names of your ancestors for 14 generations,your mobile number and some Indus valley civilization characters to get yourself an email id.

Messenger
The growth of the internet paved way to usage of Yahoo messenger for IM. People started using the new internet lingo of shortening words and talking to each other. All the guys disguised as girls with feminine email ids and would ping girls asking their A/S/L. Hence it became a giant cycle of guys in chatrooms talking to other guys ,each one presuming the other one is a girl.

Matrimony
Match making started happening on the internet and facilitated people to apply caste bias in the virtual world. Seperate sites were created for TamilMatrimony, KannadaMatrimony, OriyaMatrimony, SaravanaBhavanHighclassvegmatrimony, MuniyandiVilasMatrimony etc. Later portals were dedicated to modern sub castes like TCSMatrimony, WiproMatrimony and InfyMatrimony. The Khap panchayats started the SameGothraMatrimonyandhounourkilling.com.


The social networking era-Orkut and the Orkutiya
The post 2005 was an exciting surge for the Indian internet user. Broadband connections came into picture in India. 2005 also saw the introduction of Orkut in India. Orkut was a trend in itself with every Indian creating an orkut account. All the stalkers of India joined Orkut and they were quite popularly known as the Orkutiyas. The Orkutiya spoke in bad English,stalked girls and vigorously searched Orkut for fraands. The orkutiya had some profound status messages.


Then he sent girls "fraandship requests" and scrapped them.
He misunderstood what the word testimonials meant.

And he joined some thought provoking communities.

And he succeeded in stalking girls thereby making friends with girls who have pictures of a teddy bear, Koala bear or a picture of a baby.


Facebook
The more intellectual and the Yo Yo guys were on facebook and they shared some really important status updates .

I have a lot more to write about facebook. More about that in my future post called "Deshbook".

Twitter
Like there were'nt enough avenues to waste time on the internet, somebody invented twitter and it has been spreading shallowness all across the internet. Twitter is a micro blogging sites where celebrities talk to themselves, give updates on their gym schedule and give flying kisses saying "Muaaah ma tweeps".

Twitter also has space for retarded child celebrities.


And twitter always had space for bile.



*The End*

P.S: I will finish aloo-tikkipedia and also start writing a series of such informative and wisdom imparting essays. Thanks as always.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Aloo Tikkipedia-Chennai part 1


Dear fellow Indian who hails from the North,
Greetings. Howdy? First of all, sorry for the fact that your company has posted you to Chennai(chinnai mein posting hai saala, as you say it to your friend on phone) and that you are forced to be here for the heck of earning money. But Chennai is not that bad a place as you presume it to be. I am saddened that you have such a bad impression on Chennai. Ok, I agree the place is hot and the girls are not. I know your mother is sad that you looked as healthy as Rishi Kapoor when you left for Chennai and came back looking as skinny as Ranbir Kapoor . I am amused when you order "Butter Chickaan" at Saravana bhavan and get astounded when you see that there is an item called "14 idlis " on the menu card. I understand your curiosity when you ask if mini idlis have holes in them likes polo, and when you wonder what fried Vada has got to do with the place called VadaPalani.

While I know you have not been liking Chennai and making jokes like these.

Tamilian:Tamil teri ma.
Sardar: Punjabi tera baap.

to which RajniKanth made a reply joke

Seth: Kaun hai
Rajni: Boss da , kenae(fool).

Enough is enough and lets all make peace with each other. There are ways to make life easier at Chennai. As a socially,morally, politically and environmentally responsible blogger and an undercover superhero, I will henceforth write a series of informative essays for you to convinience your stay at Chennai and remove any inhibitions of this place that you have and also help good relations between North and South.

I noticed that the wikipedia page is boring and less informative. Hence here is Virtualjunk's Aloo-Tikkipedia page on Chennai.




The reason why Chennai does not suit you is the fact that people here do not know Hindi as such. The little Hindi we know include "hindi nahi maalum" and "Hum aapke hain kaun". We also use "Kuch Kuch sabji hota hai", when we want extra sabji at the Bihari chat stall. However if you bank on that and try talking to a layman in Chennai , he may only be able to sing "Choli ke peeche kya hai", in response to your hindi rattling. Hence learn the basics of Tamil . Atleast ones like "Taaamil teriyadhu" and"Kunjum Kunjum".



Geography,History and Zoology of South India

Unlike popular belief at your place that anything under Maharashtra is called Madras and people hence are Madrasis, the south is divided into 4 states- TamilNadu,Karnataka,Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. TamilNadu was the place Idlis were invented and great scholars like Sir.C.V.Raman and Ramanujam hail from. Karnataka shares a border with TamilNadu and both these states fight over river Cauvery. Karnataka is a sweet state and adds jaggery to anything that is edible. Kerala meanwhile, is a tourist place and this is where Coconuts come from . Also known for its high literacy and youtube relevance for hot videos, Kerala needs no more introduction. Andhra is where andhra meals come from and where Gongura chutney and Gun powder(not an explosive) were invented. Andhra involves a significant contribution to IITs and Microsoft(do a search at Microsoft and who knows, even Steve Balmer may have been from Nellore or Golconda).


The 4 different languages spoken are Tamil,Telugu,Malayalam and Kannada. A brief example on how these languages differ from one another. Take a sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog". Lets now translate that into all the languages.

Telugu
"The quick brown fox gaaru jumped over the lazy dog loo". (*Not that loo)

Malayam
"The quick brown foox jembed, jembed and jembed over the lazy doog. Then it realized it was a strike as usual at Kerala and it stopped jembing. Finally it wend to gelf for embloymend."


Kannada
"The huick hrown hox had Mysore masala dosa and humped over the lazy hog. One and half meter charge for humping after 8.30 pm.

Chennai Tamil
"The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog after the morning idly and filter coffee. The lazy dog shouted "Kaide, Kasmaalam. Voottaanda solltu vanttiya"(Tamil version of WTF)."

Ok, Now that you are familiar with the South., let us move our focus back to Chennai's vitals now.


Transportation

Long ago a war was being waged between Deceptons and Auto-bots on the planet of Cybertron. The Auto-bots hid in earth at the eastern coastal city of Chennai since 1960s and were being generally driven by impolite gentlemen. The Autobots are known for their reckless driving and abusive words. Known for mercilessly taking cuts,turns and U-turns at inappropriate locations and charging a sum that amounts to a hijack ransom, the Auto-bots turned pretty notorious and gained bad reputation over time. Evolution kicked in and share-autobots came into picture, which have a deceptively large seating capacity and charged pretty less. Together they are the Transformers. But because an average drunk Indian perceives a Transformer to be a peeing zone, they are too scared to transform themselves at night.

Ok, spoof apart. I know how much you go through the auto menace especially if you are Northy and do not know Tamil. The driver would say that reaching Adyar from the Railway station consists of a sequence of one-ways and the shortest route is via Pondicherry . And then you sell off your mansion in Patiala to pay for the Auto. However once you are acclamatized to the routes , travelling by bus and share autos becomes a routine for you and travelling should not be a hassle.

Climate
Well, as the old adage goes, Cows give out milk powder and hens lay Omlette in chennai. You need to bathe twice in Chennai generally to keep off the sweat. IT companies see a surge in number of people working overtime and on weekends during summer for the sole purpose of air-conditioning. Drainage leaks and low lying zones make the rainy season worse too.


Intersection with the North

Though relations have been strained between the North and South over a prolonged period, things are getting better now. Cultural ties have been getting better since Sridevi danced in the rain with Anil Kapoor in Mr.India,later marrying Boney Kapoor and since HemaMalini married Dharmendra. Out of market actresses from North India have made a mark in the Tamil film industry. In our movies, most of them fall in love with a mechanic who hails from a village and comes to Chennai to avenge his evil uncle and his son, for his father's death(shown in a flashback, visuals all negative).

Kushboo, Simran and Jyotika to name are a few of the pioneers who made a mark in the industry so far. Kushboo even has a variety of idly named after her and the legal process is on to prefix Tamanna before Idiyyapam. Most of them marry and settle down here bridging ties further. Few years ,2 kids and a divorce later, all of them act as the protagonist,bold, oppressed female in Mega serials spanning 8 to 10 years.


Food
Ok, again you might have known how popular Saravana Bhavan is to the food supply chain of Chennai. Saravana Bhavan is Chennai's most popular restaurant and has 20 plus branches in Chennai and branches across Dybai,Abu Dabhi, Chicago,Alaska,North Pole, Moon and Mars. Rumours are that Neil Armstrong had 7 taste Utthapam at Sarvana Bhavan after landing at the moon and then he washed his hands at the basin which said 'Please dont comb hair in front of mirror'. There is a conspiracy theory video which shows that if you listen intently, you can overhear "Saarrukku oru barotta parcel(one parotta parcel for sir)" when Neil said "One step for man and a giant leap for mankind".

A few scientific principles that might help you avoid a surprise at a South Indian restaurant.

Lemma 2.1
Chappathi of chennai = Plain paratha of North India.

Lemma 2.1.1
Parotta of Chennai != Paratha of North india.

Lemma 2.1.(1.5)
Mini idlies do not have a hole in them.

Lemma 2.2
SaravanaBhavan=Pure Veg hotel,no Butter Chicken.

(To be continued. ..)

P.S: Thanks for the great response to the IRCTc post. Also, Complaints that my posts are PG-13, sorry for that. Will write better henceforth so that you can read it with your family and kids.


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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dummies guide to IRCTC


It is never easy to get a railway ticket in India. Remember those days when you had to wake up early, hurriedly brush your teeth and be at the Railway station before 8 am, only to find a long single queue split into four and converging at a tiny window . You endure sweaty people cramming for space,people who borrow your pen and sneak it away conveniently(Even if you gave them the pen without the lid),people who create a brawl claiming they were there in the queue and went away for a pissbreak.You endure all the arguments,make small talk on how bad Indian Railway service is and listen to people suggesting how Sachin should have played the previous night.And finally the moment arrives, you reach the tiny counter to find a worked up,depressed lady clad in dull coloured saree, who looked like she had never smiled since she joined duty. The tiny windows counter is only enough for 3 fingers, and you croon your neck to make sure you are able to speak to the lady whilst you endure loathesome strangers giving you shoulder push from the sides. After all that, you come out and find out that your ticket is in waiting list 220.






Now you can forget all that. Because here comes,wait...hold your breath....IRCTC. So for beginners ,here is the dummies guide to IRCTC.






What is IRCTC?
IRCTC offers a genuine Indian ticket booking experience. There is waiting, there is more waiting, then there is frustration,there is scratching yourself,there is hope and then there is dismay at the end when you find that you are not able to book tickets. Altogether a great emulation of real life ticket booking scenario.

Great. Lets get started!

Ok, Here are the starting steps

1. Open your browser and type irctc in the address bar.
2. If you do not know what a browser means , open another browser and google "What is a browser?". Do not get distracted when google gives you intriguing suggestions like"What is a blouse?". You may end up having a delightful time,in turn forgetting your ticket conquest you set out for

Anyway, the site responds with utmost speed and pukes this.





Nothing to feel disheartened about. Press Refresh from your browser. Now you will get this .





This is as per design and intention. Now keep doing this and after some 2 x 10^20 attempts,during which you might develop arthritis and or become a leper, the page finally loads.





It takes a humongous amount of time for the page to load. What should I do in the meantime?
Ok, Here are some of the things you could do while you are waiting for IRCTC to load.

  • Look out for traces of beer in Mars and make sure human life is possible there.

  • Listen to Atal Bihari Vajpayee speak.

  • Contemplate doing a pHD.

  • Repeat Gayathri mantra 10000008 times even though it may not be avani avittam.

  • Sue IRCTC in Indian High court and wait for the verdict.

  • Watch Jodha Akbar twice.

  • Write Sri Rama Jayam on paper. When the website is loaded, you have enough pages written to reply to a show cause notice.


  • Take up sanyaas and sit under a a coconut tree for enlightenment. Atleast you may end up rediscovering gravity if a coconut falls on your head.

  • Or you could disconnect and get a life and a girlfriend.

The page has loaded now.Finally!
Great! you are getting lucky today. Now you will see something like this.




And another set of options like this.



*Note Clicking on the "Get Laid at Egmore" popup shows this





This lady has single handedly installed malware in several male PCs. By the way, if you thought you could find Jennifer Aniston at Egmore , well, you deserve the virus.

How do I book the tickets?
Ah, yes. Click on 'Plan my travel' now. Until the page loads, go empty your bowels and come back. Now that your intestine is unloaded and the page is loaded, you will find this on the screen.


Here select the source and destination of travel, your gothra, ,ticket type and class.

If you are a mallu, please note that Gelf is not in India and IRCTC does not provide train services there. Also note, if you choose Thackerey express to reach Mumbai, both from and to have to be 'Mumbai'. Thackerey express safeguards Marathi culture and prevents outsiders into Mumbai. The train nimbly takes a U turn from platform 1 of Mumbai CST and reaches platform 6 in 5 minutes. The train timings can be found on Samna .




Whats next?
Select your passengers list now. You can enter only six people in the list .So in case you have a large joint family, daughter in laws are requested to create a rift amongst family members and seperate and then proceed to book tickets. Consult Ekta Kapoor for suggestions.

Note :
Filling up the passengers list as
"Name: Dhanno 22 litres, age 13, sex female " and bringing a cow onto the compartment is strictly prohibited(unless you are one amongst Laloo's nine children or Laloo himself.)

Regarding the choice of berth IRCTC takes care that tall people get Side upper berth, senior citizens get upper berth and infants get rooftop berth. Then,the TTR does a massive swap operation which is as difficult to understand as a Thermodynamics IIT problem.


Right,How do I pay the money and finish it off?
Now that you have got everything right , click on Go and then Make Payment.

You have multitudes of payment options like net banking, phone banking,iPod banking, debit card,credit card, ,sodexho coupons etc. The option "Pluck and debit from my garland" can only be availed by Mayawati.


Now select your bank ,click confirm Payment and select finish. You will see this on your screen.












Make sure you don't press anything or touch anywhere . IRCTC now takes you to a page with sumptuous information and this page stands out as the epitome of end user friendliness.




Confused?? Obviously yes, you do not know what happened to your transaction from the blank page. IRCTC has been diligently designed as a foolproof system,by a team comprising of experienced fools, where the status of the transaction is not visible to the naked eye. There are cryptic codes in the document which are invisible . We consulted noted cryptologist Van Drown who said this on seeing the page





"I have seen this page and have conducted quite a lot of insightful research on it. This page seems to have hidden dots which connect the text "Mama Biscothu" and "govinda govinda". I believe this is a startling revelation and will lead to new discoveries of certain hindu gods being gay. More on that in my next book "Dalda Vinci told".

-Van Drown.




What can I do next?


You could take the author's lead and do this.








Now you are good to go and face the ruthless portal.





*THE END*





P.S:
This post is intended as a mild satire and does not intend to malign IRCTC. As a reader pointed out, IRCTC is the best thing that Indian Railways has done and does work smoothly except at non peak times.



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