Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Vain Review

Although I profess no academic education in analysing or discoursing upon Literature, I have attempted to ‘review’ (for want of a humbler word) this exceptional work by the great William Makepeace Thackeray. I draw my inferences and understandings of the piece from the novel itself in absolute as well as in relation to the other works that I have read, set in a similar era, in a similar place.

Like the name suggests 'Vanity Fair' is story about human Vanity truly in its element. It is a story about an emotion that permeates society at large and dictates individual lives in a way that is as tangible as it is abstract. It is the puppet master in whose hands lie human emotions and actions , coolly mocking us, and laughing in our bewildered faces that our very existence is rooted in superficial make-belief.

This essay here is not as much of a plot spoiler as it is an analysis of the emotions, the environment and the unspoken laws of social hierarchy that existed in those times.

Set in the early 19th century England, with the impending confrontation with the French emperor Napoleon as a background, Thackeray gives a fascinating account of the colourful dramas played out in the Genteel society or the ‘stalls in the fair’ as he puts it. While the plot is more or less dominated by emotional turmoils in the lives of the two female protagonists, side events and jarring morals abound throughout the story. For Becky Sharp it is the constant struggle to rise above her ‘Birth’ and monetary situation while taking advantage of our gullible gallants, the Noble folk, to move in the purest of company. Her life is an epic drama of blatantly cunning manipulations and brilliant foresight to lay foundations of future comfort, only to be thwarted at each turn by the means she employs to achieve them. As for Amelia Sedley, Becky's first and only true friend,her story would have been particularly frustrating if it was not so ridiculous in its foolish fancies and wonder worlds, and at the same time quietly ideal had it not been for the complete lack of rational thought in any and every of her decisions.

Thackeray employs a rather unique style of story telling, many a time walking us through the story, like a diligent guide, knowingly pointing at every turn to a moral here and a moral there. While his walks do border on the ‘sermonising’ at times they go a long way in emphasizing the crux of the emotion, or the cunning leading up to the event. A note of warning here: while to expect a ‘classic’ to be a rapid page turner is frankly speaking doing it great injustice, Thackeray does stretch your patience at times with his digressions. Had I not been sufficiently familiar with this style of story telling wherein the author goes to great lengths to paint a highly elaborate picture of the background and side circumstances, keeping the story aside altogether, I confess I would have given up after a few such tangents. Also at a lot of points in the novel I noticed that Thackeray takes special effort to literally spell out the learning from a certain event that has taken place, speaking to the reader in a warning sort of way to act thus or not to act thus.

Well so coming back to the story itself, while Becky’s machinations and strategies take her great places in the social hierarchy, placing her besides some of the noblest blood of England, these very same plots also exact a cruel vengeance upon her life when fate decides to pull the chair from beneath her. In short, in her hay-day she rubs shoulders with great Peers, (Lords, Earls, Counts et all ), while in less fortunate times she is forced to consort with petty gamblers and amoral students.

What stands out through out her stomach grinding roller coaster ride through Vanity Fair is her spirit which is so indomitable in nature that she can be as good humoured at a lowly ale-house as in the king’s court. Indeed, fascinating is Thackeray’s portrayal of a character that is so adaptable and pliable that her misfortunes are never permanent. She always manages to rise above her situation and finds someone to piggyback upon. Her schemes at times, horrify you with the sheer selfishness of human nature and at others make you sympathise with her victims who she so effortlessly traps within her webs. Noteworthy is the fact throughout the novel is that her patrons are almost always Men, whom she knows excellently how to bend to her will. Indeed she is so adept at making a place in the ever generous gallant’s heart that she leaves a trail of female jealousies throughout her journey. The men love her for her wit and charm and artless flirtation, while the females hate her for the exact same reason. It is a telling take on the vanity of those times. If you have descended from a noble line or have a healthy property to inherit only then will society will pay you its respect. The former takes precedence of course. There is absolutely no other way that you can find even a rats ass worth of notice. Such were the rules in those days. Even honest successful bourgeois were second class to the blue blooded and often bankrupt nobility. The class lines were so rigid that trespassing was punishable with something worse than death, a cruel banishment from the society. Were you to aspire higher, your present equals would hate for your ambitions, while your superiors would be appalled by your audacity. These are exactly the reasons that do Becky in time and again, as she is forced to flee from place to place trying to gain a foothold amongst the worthies.

On the other hand Amelia Sedley is a proverbial doll, sweet, charming, extremely gullible, and easily hurt. Her life is a long static story involving an errant lover, a short traumatic marriage, and pecuniary misfortunes (the last in her father’s life). She lives her life as passively, surrendering to fate completely to take her where it will, as Becky tries to make hers with her own efforts. She lives in a perfect make-belief world, holding on dearly to a few ideals that she defines very early in her life. Refusing to accept even the slightest hint of fault in her husband in the initial parts, wallowing in her widowhood later, and finding solace in her child till the end, is her lot. The character of Amelia Sedley is sort of an antithesis to that of Becky Sharp. Amelia thinks of everything and everyone else but herself most of the times, ready to trust at the drop of a tear and ready to drop a tear herself at the hint of a tragedy. Her devotion to her child is almost foolish in its single mindedness. Her trust of her wayward husband is impossibly blind, and her refusal to accept a much worthier man’s love, post her husband’s death, extremely trying.

As these two go through their lives in their own separate directions, there are a host of other characters that play significant roles in their lives. A perfect embodiment of Vanity and fake claims to greatness is Amelia’s elder brother Joseph Seadley who spends his life ranting about his charlatan exploits to all those who might listen, fabricating and exaggerating his own role in the major events in the background to a laughably impossible scale. As opposed to this is the steadfast, humble, wise William Dobbin who lives an ideal life, with a well earned position in the King’s army and moderate levels of comfort. Throughout the novel there is only one thing missing in the Major’s (towards the end to -be- Colonel) life. And that is a favourable answer to his permanent devotion to his one and only love.

The Crawley family also plays a significant role in the story; with the younger brother Rawdon almost lost to debaucheries and debts learning his lesson the hard way in the company of Becky as his wife. His story is another one that plays out as a brave rebellion to the rampant vanities in the novel.

As the story seeks to hammer home the moral that kindness, generosity, respect are prizes to be won and given for deeper reasons than monetary situation or bloodlines, it does so with perfect examples of the exact opposite happening almost throughout the story. Most characters live their lives building their fantasy lands wherein they are most beloved, the most respected and the wisest, only to be cruelly put down time and again as they lose what only their money or ancestry had bought, and was never a tribute to their person. At times the narrative takes a sarcastic turn. However mostly Thackeray seems to be pleading and entreating the reader to take a lesson than satirising. He in fact also very suitably justifies many of Becky’s schemes that look outwardly perverse but are in essence simple tools used by that unfortunate person to survive in society. Ironic is the fact then that whenever she is to be a partner in the success of the scheme, she is unjustly cut off and left high and dry by others who end up benefitting hugely by her strategies.

Vanity Fair is as a lesson is perhaps more captivating than most I have come across. As a historical fiction it ranks up there amongst the ones that will stay longest in my heart. Reading Vanity Fair is one of those endeavours that are extremely painstaking and taxing upon your faculties. Yet you want to keep going, because in your heart you know life will be much more beautiful at the end of it.

Friday, December 21, 2007 ass

I know i don't like to watch hindi movies and resist with all my will power any circumstance that would force me to do so, but then exam time is the rarest of rare cases. The pull towards everything but text books,like the PC or a novel or the comfortable looking bed or the adorable kittens in the next building, is almost impossible to fight. I mean dash it i say, its a scandal all right, but i end up watching some infernally ridiculous and stoopid movies during these days.

So I happened to watch 'Goal' the other day. Yea the same film for the premier of which our worldly wise Bipasha Basu wanted to get none other than the godly Christiano Ronaldo himself. Well i am so so glad he could not or did not attend the said premier. I know that escaping shame owing to ignorance of the discerning individual is but small consolation, but consolation it is nevertheless.
And consolation is the first thing that I searched in vain after having seen this movie. That it took me many days of excusing myself, blaming the occurance of the event on all sorts of circumstances however remote they may be, is a different story in itself, and beyond the purview of this essay.

To get down to describing the story itself, I confess i am rather impatient with all supposedly inspirational depictions of the 'country men rising above their mental devils and overcoming the oppressing racists with their own weapons in their own backyards' unless it is our beloved Gandhiji fighting the cause in Africa. I also tend to dismiss rather quickly the whole idea of being obsessed with our individuality, our tradiitons, our culture once in the foreign land. And even if I usually tolerate and understand that, these impositions on 2nd generation immigrants (or those are technically borne and brought up in foreign lands) by their worthy families is taking the matter a bit too far.

What i mean to say is I completely fail to understand the Indian diaspora restricting their accented, westernised wards to Indian brides and Indian festivals and the Indian way of life in general.Well anyways we are digressing from the point.

The movie is not at all about the aforementioned complaint, at least not in any major way.
The Movie is about Racism which is the one thing thoroughly conspicuous by its absence. For a plot that has its roots in racism and more or less tells the story of a bunch of oppressed individuals rising above it, there are precious few instances of the act itself in the movie.

Agreed that the fallen-from-grace to-be-coach of the team does run off in mortal fear of certain soccer hooligans who threaten to destroy not only himself but his family too, but even that incident is played out only in a short flashback without leaving any great impressions about the racist nature of the attack that happens on him.

The Plot revolves around a nondescript club patronised by the South Asian Community of London. The said club having once boasted of achieving the pinnacle of success and glory is now infested by a bunch of sorry, discouraged soccer enthusiasts from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and such like who strive to keep some semblance of soccer alive at the club. The gist of the story is that they are in a fight to review their clubs fortunes and name and more importantly to save it from being taken over by the civic authorities to be used for some commercially fruitful projects. Rather a regular plot, and nothing original or exciting about it except for the change of setting. The story is rather reminiscent of 'Chak De' and is similar in many aspects, including a coach who has been living on the fringes of existence and makes an inspirational return to take his former team to glory. Then the regular see-saw of failures, and betrayals, and long speeches follow finally leading up to sweet victory.

Nothing out of the ordinary except for the phenomenal blunders that this film makes in almost all departments.
The dialogs are the worst insults to our sensibilities . The actors are grossly drab and listless, Boman Irani fails to inspire any respect, Arshad Varsi is permanently under-utilised, Bipasha Basu has the world's most horrible dialogs, and the drool inspiring John Abraham !...., the less said the better, he is excruciatingly boring...that should suffice for him me thinks.

I mean...c'mmon! for the sake of crying out loud... there is acting talent in Arshad Varsi, and there is experience in Boman Irani that could have been put to much better use. While Varsi only almost makes u laugh, when you are so pleading for at least that much respite from a man who was such a Riot in Munnabhai, Boman Irani only has a ranting hopeless character role. Again the horrible dialogs let him down for sure, but the role just doesnt suit him. I mean these Denzel Washington type roles can be done better by only one person in the world and that is ...Denzel Washington himself. Even Sharukh Khan is only a mere sheep before the power of Washington's performances.
Irani is given no persona, he does not have a domineering character, and he does not have a commanding voice. He's almost always a unshaven raving 'almost-hero' with blood-shot eyes and the most humdrum of speeches.
All John Abraham does throughout the film is smile his stupid lop-sided grin so trying to emulate the Harrison Ford that he is not, apart from thundering some powerful volleys into the back of the goal. The one and only scene wherein he ever shows any emotion at all is when he flails his arms in indignant consternation at his father who does not see him being the Indian that he wants him to be. That scene also happens to have the best dialog. Apart from that he is simply the poster boy who is just that, a poster boy, un-exciting and inconsequential. His role is certainly significant but his presence howls mediocrity and boredom.
I had heard a lot about the waves that the busty Bips was making in filmdom but this was my first experience of seeing her in a film. And it is so terrible an experience that i don't want to ever see any film that has even an inch of her person in it. As if to add to her sham of a performance she happens to have landed the most sexist ( like a good friend of mine pointed out) and slutty dialogs.
She hovers around John Abraham in particularly and the team in general trying to act as angelic as possible while her whole bearing cries out just the opposite. I mean she is so wrong in an innocent , girl-next-door kind of character.

If i remember correctly there were also a few songs in between, but its taking such an effort to recollect anything worth remembering in that movie that i am going to let that be.... and not tax my memory too much about it. A NOTE however, the Goal anthem is very catchy and nicely made.
The movie is so horrible, and people are being so shamelessly blatant in praising it that I am rather depressed more than anything else.

Its a third rate movie with a lot of side roles and a lot of worthless crap all throughout. Heaven save us if John's wish of making a sequel comes true. He says he had great fun playing football. For God's sake, please save us the torture simply to accomodate his hobby. They play football everyday in the ground besides my house. Just send him here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Survival of the fittest...or the best endowed-part I

Life has been particularly kind and generous to me. Or so I’ve been thinking, post a recent conversation with my younger sibling, As he narrated the ridiculous stories of his ‘groups’ vandalisms and anti-social operations, quite invariably targeting some poor weakling and making his or her life a string of abject embarrassing events. While such situations can be dismissed as a cruel hand of fate and laughed over 10 years down the line, how does one go about forgetting the trauma when it has been plotted, not by fate directly but by immediate society itself? Perhaps the only part fate ever played in such suffering is to gift the said individual with a improbable name, or a hopelessly incurable constitution, or a downright unfortunate visage.

It has been said often that to be borne in an unfortunate body, family, caste, neighborhood, is a crime that the unaware infant commits before he ever even learns to breathe. It is the ‘Original Sin’. And as heinous as original sins go he/she is to be punished and punished again for it for most of his life. Their is no penance, and there is no retribution, unless the unfortunate soul changes his situation completely, renounces everything he has ever known and settles down again in the world as a total stranger, completely wiping away his past so that no boisterous fellow employee can ever remember at that blasted corporate party that you vet your pants in your kindergarten, or that you had a father who wore transparent bollywoodesque apparel to PTA meets, or exclaims loudly how wonderfully trim you look especially after the grotesquely fat school days, so that you bury those inhuman cat-calls that colorfully described your weird surname, or your not so generous complexion.

Pondering upon the millions of insults that I had myself heaped upon society around me during my childhood days, I can’t help but heave quite a prolonged sigh of relief that, though not having Greek-god looks, or Nobel prise winning brains, or a James Bond like persona, I was still lucky enough to be nondescript enough to escape that torture and yet well endowed enough to throw the same all around me.

I suppose that qualifies me as quite a bully. Though the western representation of a ‘Bully’ will unfairly exaggerate my ‘behavior’, I am sure I was as much a bully as you get in cultured, ol’ India. Recently while watching a random movie called ‘the bench warmers’ basically about these so called oppressed people get back at the bullies that have haunted them since school days, helped by a former bully himself who regrets having spoilt quite a few childhoods during his school days.

So my brother proudly narrates how just last evening they conspired to displace a romancing couple that had had the audacity to occupy their favorite hangout place. They Decide to play the local variant of ‘hide & seek’. The farcical seeker is chosen. And the hiders all dash off to their hiding places, those that inexplicably revolve around the hapless couple. They hide besides the bench and behind it, they crawl around the bench and under it, all 12 rascals of them, abusing each other and catcalling with meaningful gusto. To take on 12 roguish vagabonds obviously being physically impossible and ungentle manly the guy meekly suggests that they go somewhere else. Well the battle is won. They follow the victory with raucous cries off ‘ ha ha bhaag gaye, bhag gaye’, the couple being well within earshot.

What cruel hand of fate twists and warps such young minds into marching into such criminal endeavours? What else but a blatant disregard of any form of manners, culture, respect whatsoever.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

...about great Men and Great Dictators

Like all my interests watching movies is also deeply rooted in a need to learn, understand, and appreciate art or the lack of it. And like all my interests this one too remembers its roots only now and then. When I do stay true to my intentions though I come across some beautiful movies, mostly old ones, often of the black and white era, when they were purely art, and a sincere media of mass mobilisation and education.

Charlie Chaplin is lovingly remembered the world over for brightening up a world mostly ravaged by the devastating wars and impoverished by whole scale depressions and destitution. In those simple yet impactful comedies, amidst tears of laughter what I have come to observe in his films is a thorough portrayal of society and its norms during his time. Acting the role of a hapless happy-go-lucky tramp in most of his ventures came so naturally to him that it makes one wonder if it was acting at all. Perhaps it wasn’t, perhaps he was in fact living his own life on the screen, telling us the story of a society that did not like to laugh at itself very much, one that needed a scapegoat like him to hammer home the point.

I happened to watch ‘The Great Dictator’ the other day. Having scoured ‘crosswords’ and other movie stores alike, around the city for some time, and been unable to lay my hands on this gem of a movie, I finally managed to borrow it from my aunt. I have distinct memories of having watched the movie once when I was really young. And I also remember rolling in laughter over it, in the good old days when watching doordarshan wasn’t a heresy. Well, so I wanted to watch it again, this time to understand it along with enjoying it. It was worth every moment of it. Here’s a few of my thoughts and interpretations, though not very intelligent in nature, heartfelt nevertheless.

Released in the Year 1940, at a time when America had still to enter the Second World War officially, it is a striking take on the madness that was the flavour of Hitler's quest to rule the world on the hypothetical argument of such an event being the God given right and duty of the Aryan race, exaggerated by him into a campaign not only to win military victory over the world but physically exterminate the supposed lesser, inferior races, chief amongst them being the Jews.

Chaplin plays dual characters in the film which begins with a hilarious scene depicting the first world war in which he is a Jewish barber serving as a private with the grand ‘Tomanian’ army, a reference to Adolf Hitler’s stint with the German war campaigns under Bismarck. A comic incident involving the much touted ‘Big Bertha’ gun that was to win Germany the war is only a premier to the numerous pot-shots that chaplin takes at Hitler and Mussolini

Chaplin portrays the helpless goofer to perfection, ending up marching with the enemy ranks after having lost his way or fumbling his way with and aircraft as he helps an injured Tomanian pilot into his aircraft and taxies out of the war front. The aircraft eventually crash lands and he ends up in a hospital where he spends the next 20 years in a state of amnesia. Meanwhile the ‘Tomania’ around him moves on. It is now headed by a ruthless dictator Adenoid Hynkel; Chaplin in his 2nd role in the film. A direct reference to Adolf Hitler down to the intonations of his fiery speeches, Chaplin cuts a hilarious figure, poking fun at the ‘mad-man’ at every turn. As the story goes, Chaplin spent days studying Hitler’s speeches to get the imitation perfect. The speech has one rolling over in laughter at the exaggeration and the overacting that has ‘Hynkel’ coughing and sputtering gibberish that, well sounds like German. His supposed German tirades throughout the movie are a complete riot. Even though the script more or less revolves around the dual roles played by Chaplin, two of ‘Hynkels’ top men
General Garbitsch’ modelled on ‘Joseph Goebbels’ and ‘Field Marshal Herring’ having a resemblance to ‘Herman Goering’, make timely appearances in scenes that has one gasping for breath with the sheer comedy of the dramatic situations that Chaplin presents. Later in the movie a character modelled on ‘Benito Mussolini’;
'Benzino Napaloni' as the ruler of the ‘Bacteria nation’ shares the screen with Hynkel. This boisterous imitation of the Italian Dictator bosses around a much perplexed ‘Hynkie’ as he is invited to Tomania to discuss an important power struggle over the border nation Osterlich (Austria); a take on an early altercation between Hitler and Mussolini over Austria that has almost been forgotten by modern history. Most of the movie is taken up by this issue. In the other role Chaplin returns to his barber shop from the hospital unaware of the turmoil that the world around him is in and happily ignorant of the persecution of the Jewish community by Hynkel’s storm troopers of the army of the Double Cross.

The movie switches back and forth between the Dictator and his dreams of world dominion and the simple barber and his budding romance with a Jewish washer-woman ‘Hanna’ living in the ghetto. ‘The Great Dictator’ has some classic scenes that have been etched into the history of Cinema, chief amongst them being ‘Hynkel’s’ dance with the globe, depicting his obsession with world conquest, a delightful scene of oneupmanship between him and Napolini in which they keep raising their seats in Hynkel’s palace barber shop to show superiority over one another, and the touching speech that the barber (having assumed Hynkel’s character after a rather comic sequence of mishaps) delivers to his troops after conquering Osterlich.

As the barber passionately implores Hynkel’s soldiers to start thinking for their own and refuse the rule of ‘Machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts’, the climax makes for a stirring end to a story that strikes right into the heart. ‘The Great Dictator’ leaves you with memories, not just of the laughs that one had, but of characters and scenes that had a story to tell, of madness and the helplessness of the common man in controlling it, of egos and the damage that they can cause, of hatred and the wounds that they carve into our lives, of the gashes that take ages to heal. If any movie could have stirred a generation through laughter I am sure this would have. In a time when dying for a cause had assumed larger-than-life proportions, this is a story that calls men to pray to the religion of humanity, to erase the boundaries and look at each other in their naked personalities, unfettered by the identities of nationalities or race or religion.

In my opinion a must watch for any one tired of the mind less bullet riddled, gravity insulting, sexually outrageous cinema that has us aesthetically numbed and unreceptive.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Since i also watch a fair amount of movies and read a fair amount of books, thought t'would be entertaining to review them in this space. However let this serve as a disclaimer; I hate bollywood and I will not read Mills & Boons. As for Harry Potter, LOTR etc. enough has been written about them. One might as well expect a movie called 'Gunga Din' discussed out here. In my experience though, the less talked about the movie the more intriguing it turns out to be.
Having said so I do not profess literary authority or cinematic qualification of any kind. Therefore these essays are obviously no intelligent critiques on books or movies. They are simply the products of a terribly idle mind that has been allowed to decompose for most of its existence.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Coming out of Hibernation

Another semester flys by , and how ! This trivial attempt at writing that i ventured out on before my lsat exams hasnt exactly lived upto expectations, not that i had many. I i have always found it difficult to keep up the same level of interest with which i start of on these self styled adventures. Tis funny really, since no one makes me do this, in fact were i to start on a literary venture it would be becausei like writing genuinely. Inspite of this being the case I cannot make my self shut down those addictive chat windows, or abstain from that senseless surfing or orkutting.

To declare the semester as an eventful one is an understatement to say the least. Reflecting upon the events from the start of this academic year I am often amazed at the nature and quantity of radical changes that have swept throught the halls of my college lefaving most of us reeling and scampering to salvage what is left of our dented prides and misplaced ideals.

The idea of writing about it all has drawn me to the keyboard often, for some reason i have put it off. Perhaps this is a good time. Not that any thing will come out of me spilling out my own interpretations of it all. It just makes the whole issue seem so much more ridiculous and non-sensical when you sit down to write about it. For those who are expecting events of national or even international importance being discussed over here will be sorely disappointed. For my story is more or less restricted to the minimalistic campus of my college. And it is highly unlikely that the events taking place in my collge will ever have any bearing upon any thing or any one outside the gates. The turmoil that we so love to be victims of, the persecution that we are so happy about being subjected to is in fact nothing more than a certain females and her cronies coming into their own, discovering the joy of being the movers and shakers in so many lives, and learning to demand and command loyalties.

And there is the very natural rebellion. Every radical descision in history has been opposed by a rebellion, wether successful or not is not the point. The whole joy of it is in having a cause to fight against. A rebellion of course seems glamorous and the idea of martyrdom ( well not literally) is so inspiring, that we often throw caution to the winds, forget sense and plunge headlong into a fight, making it so much a part of our life that the reason itself is lost.

Now it has come to a point where the fight simply cannot be won, the cause has lost its appeal....sigh...this is why i dont blog so often....I always end up sighing...
Hopefully i just might start writing again, atleast for the sake of writing...prep Leave has begun again, and as usual i don't have anything to do.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Farcifying education ( part II )

Free lectures were rare and far in between thus far, now to our delight we found ourselves free oftener. Rumor had it that the teachers were busy coping with the sudden demand on their mental faculties.

Departments went into overdrive trying to equip their professors with all sorts of logistical and tactical information about their courses.

Direction sign boards cropped up at the most unexpected of places. Places that we never thought belonged to our college suddenly had “Instrumentation department” and “electronics department” pointing to them.

Folk who hadn’t been seen around the college premises for years suddenly took on the mantle of ‘Head of Department’.

We had a gymkhana. Not much of it, a room full maybe, a gymkhana never the less. One fine day we noticed the faint prospect of computers and electrical equipment in the room from afar.

Approaching the oddity we found a so far unheard of ‘Development Lab’ in its place. Development Lab sounds like a cool thing to have. The only hitch here was; no development had ever taken place in this room. Amongst all that cool looking electrical litter thrown around to give it a worn out feel, probably only the Robocon contraption had ever seen that place before.

The poor gymkhana we found to have been scrapped off totally. So now we were to ‘Share’ with the adjoining Bsc, arts, commerce, BMM etc. etc. their Gymkhana.

D-Day, we could feel the tensions rising to the point of exploding. After all t’was all about how well the masks would stay in place, whether the meticulously planned cosmetic surgeries would be flashy enough to fool them, whether the religiously practiced drama be played to perfection, whether the zealously by hearted lines recited flawlessly.

Black boards all over the place cried out flowery messages of welcome. The latrines got a much needed clean over, huge banners proudly claimed the great vision of the college…” To create a vibrant, knowledge oriented environment with innovative teaching practices and to inculcate a tradition of socially conscious application of Technology “

The halls of knowledge vibrated with the overload of humans and non-existent infrastructure, the environment bustled with the anticipation, as with hollow claims and hopes, and we consciously resigned ourselves to the irreversible stagnation.

At least we hadn’t set the precedents; that had been the good work of some other good men. That was our consolation. We would reap the benefits of the deep rooted deceits, why complain then!

The stage was set…