Monday, February 27, 2006

Totally recall (nothing to do with that obnoxious switchneggar movie)..

I am right now on a nostalgic trip, thinking of all the good things that happened in my life. The umpteen friends, the few relationships. The first crush and all that. I am so reminded of my life for the sheer variety of experiences and people whose paths I have crossed, in one emotional decision I have decided to put my photograph


Source: "The hindu"

Just kidding!!!!!... I thought which is the best way to pen an ode to one of the brightest filim makers in tamil movie industry. Thats cheran and if you do happen to have a taste for tamil movies, you should watch Autograph He is a genious.For the rest of the folks who are not too keen to watch a tam movie dont you worry, its being remade in all major lanugages Kannada, Telugu, Mallayalam and Hindi (Prayer : God please god, save this movie and please let not shah rukh khan act in it.... Even mithun would be ok... but not shah rukh... please god)

When I was in coimbatore I positively tried to get out of that place and for a while thought, "Oh god what kind of a college i have joined ?". RVS was hardly known for its academics. It was popular for the IDC (Indefinite closure. College shut down and students sent back home normally for 15 days. It is accompanied by strikes, a slew suspensions and an odd dismissal. It could be as profound as cauvery issue or anti-jayalalitha or as silly as bad dosas in the canteen)

Any batch which hasnt forced 1 IDC atleast in a year is known as a sissy batch and people would constantly rue and complain about the falling standards in college kids. From a P.S kind of school(shark infested, where dyslexic kids like me would be routinely humiliated) in chennai where I was the top of my class (from the bottom), I suddenly found myself the only guy clearing mathematics, electronics an all the mumbo jumbo of science in my college. Back then my only aim was go to North India for an MBA.

When I did go to Pune for my MBA, I realised the value of studying in RVS and I realise now that those were the years I got transformed into a person. I formed my identities, gave my idealism some structure. I was so full of activity that I used to have 16 hour work days doing all kinds of things. The library was mine to dig out dust laden but non-dogeared books and have it issued, stamped and read from preface to index.

Even now there would be books with just my stamp on it. The NSS camps trying to build toilets and educate old guys with a big heart and gutteral laughs. It was RVS that gave me an opportunity to go up on stage, commit a few mistakes without being bludgeoned for that. I realised, I could sing well fight for my rights, argue with professors who were worse than me and represnet myself in an honest way. Thats the word, RVS was an honest place. With all the politics and tension, you would never find instances of backstabbing, manipulations etc. It was as uncouth and unsophesticated as its stark barren environment. It was one of the few non-threatening environments which gave me space enough to develop. For a meek kid I was, RVS was a growth tonic.

I realised that only after reaching IMDR. from RVS to IMDR was a humongous leap in all aspects. you had 50 people highly motivated from all parts of the world cocky and self assured about their abilities (afterall they all cleared CAT). It was a place of real testing my potentials. What surprised me was I had the courage to put myself and my ideas out in the open class with a typical south indian accent but I never really believed I was good. To be acknowledged by peers was a great thing and despite all my insecurities I was a computer expert from rural tamil nadu. When you are inside tamilnadu you never realise how tough you actually become in achieving goals. That state with its horrendous scarcity of resources makes you a near vulture. But when you meet people from other states, you are suddenly aware of the fact that your basic nature is aggressive.

It took a while for me to get out of the "I have to survive" trip and calm my mind down and make some real friends. Friends like Sachin who are totally unencumbered in their thinking and totally non-threatening in his approach. I had to literally disarm myself to be percieved as non-threatening and acceptable. The confidence was there thanks to the 3 year RVS experience. The utter confidence that I can be whatever I set my eyes on. Maybe that one lesson is worth the three years of percieved lost opportunities.

"Its all nostalgia", my mind sometimes says chastising me for this luxury. But isnt it nice to think of your past and feel good ? There were some serious lessons I learnt without knowing I was learning it and its worth a look once in a while isnt it ? but the whole dilema is between participation and analysis. When you analyse you look at your experience in a non-participative way. When you participate you dont have time to pause, think and come back into the loop. "It is a contradiction. But only if you look at it as mutually exclusive processes", says sachin. You can always count on sachin to immediately get on your train of thought and talk at the same plane.

Maybe that is my next sign post. To participate in day-to-day life and still have a analyst process running in the background...

There is one thing I did good in RVS. Because of my tremendous insecurity about falling behind acadameically I over corrected. I packed my day with so much activity that I was juggling college, NIIT, NSS, Library and a ton of other things including spending long hours in the electronics lab. I am glad I learnt COBOL and UNIX in coimbatore. Can you actually believe COBOL and UNIX ????

But hey whatever it is do take some time and watch Autograph...Its worth the DVD rental.


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At 11:24 AM, Blogger Hamsa said...

Hey vasu,
nice movie. even appa identified with it. Cheran is tops.
And I kinda idenify with you..after bearing the brunt of pressure in school, then moving to SVCE; kaduppa erukum..lost among demigods literally.
am still searching for me..still i dont know how far i have to go...atleast u go to it quicker mate!!

At 11:42 AM, Blogger the wannabe indian punkster said...

Very nice......lots of nostalgia...

And I loved autograph! Cheran is brilliant in his simplicity...

At 10:20 PM, Blogger kaushik said...

hi...very nice post...
...peer recognition is very important.
even i am going thro similar feelings. after engg in RVCE, where i slogged it out, i am kinda enjoying it for my masters here in iit!
and yes, my days in rvce, gave me the confidence to start, motivate events and things, to stand up and speak for myself and my friends, something which I lacked and did not develop in school.

i was watchin autograph on the insti lan a couple of days ago, but unfortunately, the third CD is not there!!!

At 12:34 AM, Blogger Deepti said...

Autograph is a lovely movie... so is thavamai thavamirunthu!!! :)

When you analyse you look at your experience in a non-participative way. When you participate you dont have time to pause, think and come back into the loop.

btw.. love the statement.. cause in hindsight i always wonder.. why did i react a particular way ..when a different one would have been more appropriate!!

At 2:00 AM, Blogger Vasu the terrible said...

@hamsa - I loved the way cheran scripted this movie. A virtual rollercoaster of a script. If you chart the script graphically, its one huge sine wave..

Venkateswara is a tough college to be in.. I think it is a mega school, in terms of professors, assignments etc. Do those guys ever strike for anything ? I think in hind sight it is important to learn to fight for your belifs. It develops a much rounded human being.

When I hear about SVCE, I am rminded of PSBB.. dunno why... maybe because these guys dont tolerate those poor in academics.

@megha - Thanks a ton.

@kaushik - peer recognition reaffirms ones self belief and identity. It need not be flattery, just respect would do..

@deepti - have to watch thavamai...
I also often wonder, why is hindsight so different from the sight when you have as you do stuff. Is it the nature of hindsight or can the gap bridged. If the gap does get bridged then you will never have hindsight. Or is it that then you would have a different hindsight...

At 7:20 AM, Blogger kuttichuvaru said...

hey, nice piece of blog.... wen I saw cheran's pic n ur start, thought u were going to recollect ur romantic adventures (like the 3 women in the movie), but this was an altogether different track n a gud one too.....

ya, cheran's movies are close to the heart n specifically, if u hav something tat connects with the scenes in the movie, makes more sense.... thavamai thavamirunthu is another gud movie too.. well, part of it was shot in my college in Karaikudi.... so it made me more nostalgic to see my college buildings n classes!!! wen u get a chance, do watch it...

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Vivek Kondur said...

One of my college-mate was mentioning about this movie today morning, will try watching the original (let me see how many dialogues I can grasp).

Atleast this part is true w.r.t me 'participation and analysis', all throught out the day I participate in various activities & at the end of the day I analyze them. I feel this process has helped me.

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At 8:09 AM, Blogger ravi said...

Seriously but to me u really look like VASU of that movie ek duje ke liye..or kamalhasan looked like u in that movie. In Zara See Zindgi he looked ditto like this picture of u. Very nostalgic photo frame.

At 10:45 PM, Blogger Vasu the terrible said...

@kuttichevru - The thing Autograph is a movie of Cheran and his 3 romantic escapades. If I were to make a movie on the same measure, it would be like what 10 hours long ??? :D... Just kidding. In my humble opinion (IMHO), I loved the movie because it captures the trvels of one man from excitement, hope, despair to maturity. The whole romantic take is just incidental and the story has to do much less with the romantic angle than what we may think...

@Kondor - you should watch the movie. Like many tamil movies, dialouges are important but you can still get the soul of the story without understanding the nuances. Its a visual story...

@Ravi - When I read your response it was like deja vu. I spent a good 5 years in north india. Pune and mumbai was north india for me. Very much similar to a bangalorean being a madrasi once you enter roti-dal country. Whenever I introduced myself as Vasu invariablily the next question/comment would be Where is sapna... :)...

Just to make it very very clear. Thats not my photo. A photo of cheran. I just wanted to play a little trick.. Hmmm.. wish I was as goodlooking.. maybe I should resport the beard and become Spectaclur....

At 4:44 AM, Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

Good blog, Vasu. Interesting to know more about you. Thanks for your good comments on my blog--I welcome them and I responded. I am glad we have met each other in cyberspace!

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Prabu Karthik said...

another class post!
the thing u've captured is it pays to be a head in a small gang than to be a tail in an accomplished group.

i cud realte that. i did my schooling in carmel garden. big guys a bit.

when i joined college(which i eventually dropepd out in a yr) it was kinda liberating initially. suddenly i was rwecognised, i was not in anybody's shadow... i cud relate to that....

now i think the fact that i dropped out made me a better person..

At 10:27 PM, Blogger Anita said...

Vasu, can you please call? Can't get through to you...

At 2:41 AM, Blogger Deepti said...

i guess hindsight is just like advice ( take it from bazz luhrmann) .. a form of nostalgia.. wishing you had done things differently .. and i don't know if our hindsight would have been different if the gap would be bridged.. isn't our hindsight what we epitomize to be the perfect way to react? Aren't there so many instances in our life where we are delighted with the things we say or do.. in those situations hindsight seems to be non-existent. In my case , think atleast 10 seconds before you say or do something is all i need to get rid of 90% of the hindsight i face.. to control that wayward tongue!

At 5:08 AM, Blogger Neets said...

cheran is an amazing director. the ease with which he handled the story... no hype, no frills... a simple story . i loved the acting of the girl who played his first love interest... boy was she GOOD!
your right that life sometimes throws things at you,& u'd be screaming 'en garde!' to anyone who comes across. but all that balling and batting makes you tougher,more alert.
your out look towards your self- that introspection was a major factor in recognising what was wrong and why.... keep that with you and you'l go a long way dude.

At 5:46 AM, Blogger Vasu the terrible said...

@enemy of the republic - Thanks enemy (I hate it to use it in short hand)... do keep coming.

@prabhu - when you are participative in life, you tend to look at things as life and death. Like "God if I dont get into aeronautical engg my life is a zero". But you generally find 5-10 years later, that whatever you do it really doesent matter. Sometimes we make too big a mountain about where we study than what we learn.

Isnt carmel like stanes ? high profile, snobbish ?? thank god, I studied in RVS...

@deepti - I dont mean hindsight in the sense of regret. I meant hindsight as retrospective. Not trying to rue and regret but just relook and learn. But I know what you mean when you say that there will always be hindsight even if the gap is bridged. It would be a factor of what we see as perfect and will therefore be always a jump ahead of what we do....

@Deepti - Cheran's take on the whole movie was about a common man's journey through life and how he sees new begining. I loved the initial in yor face introduction of himself and inviting everyone for his marriage. To me the movie came a full circle and helped him his character resolve all past issues and look for a fresh begining. I loved the role of sneha more than anything else, brought a whole new freshness in the last third of the movie. Though the movie itself is an exaggerated close up attempt of his process of dealing with his past, it is definitely accurate and very very relevant in almost everyone's life. Thanks for your feedback and do keep popping in..


At 5:57 PM, Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...


I've been enjoying your comments on my blog about the war--unfortunately now, Mickey and I have turned to football--huge topic in Philly. I just found out today that you can be 45 years old and enlist in the army--Nazi Germany anyone? I bitch about the war all the time, I go to protests and I give whatever monies I can, plus I write to the soldiers. But let me tell you, most people in my country do not give a shit. Today a guy even made fun of me for it--I don't care about that, but I'm thinking--wait till your son gets called or even you. I am not proud of my country right now, even though I do love it.

Sorry about the long post!

At 2:09 AM, Blogger Viji said...

Me too studied in Coimbatore (Kumaraguru)... and I regret it to this day!

At 2:11 AM, Blogger Vasu the terrible said...

which year did you study ? I had a good friend who studies in 93-97 called gopalakrishnan.. I think BE electronics... But why do you regret ???

you dint like it ?


At 9:37 PM, Blogger Pradeep said...

Thanks a lot for that good comment on my blog. Enjoyed reading your post. The one good thing about nostalgia is its recharging effect.

At 4:23 AM, Blogger Neets said...

ok, vasu the terrible... you've been tagged. check my blog for details, machan!

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I chanced upon this blog and to my surprise you are from RVS. When did you pass out ? Even I've seen two IDC's and have involved in strikes.You can be a rebel as well as a liberal and thats the beauty of RVS ! ehh .. putting me in nostalgia ..

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Deepti said...

hey.. how about writing something political/ social awareness soon?????? plzzzzzz..... :)

At 1:13 AM, Blogger Viji said...

2k-'04 batch.
Vasu, adhu oru soga kadha... Though I loved math, I wanted to do Medicine. Seat kedaikkala, had to settle for Engineering at Kumaraguru. andha virakthi laye 4 varusham pochu. Yennoda thappu dhan, vera yarayum edhuvum solla matten...

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