Mountain Dew punch!

Mountain Dew (India) uses the campaign line “Darr K Age Jeet Hai“, which means “Success lies beyond your fears“. In the ads they show people doing things (which they are usually scared of) after a drink of Mountain Dew. I just took it a little further,

and here is my punch on Mountain Dew!

Click on the pic to get a better view! (Hey, I made a rhyme!)

That's the way to DEW!!
That’s the way to DEW!!

I hope you like it. 😀

If you care for more, here is the story behind this poster. Yesterday in the evening there was a sudden storm. As I ran out to collect the clothes hanging outside right there was a huge crash of lightning and thunder nearby. I almost fell down scared. So, I thought I should have had a can of Mountain Dew before doing this and had my Light-Bulb moment! It took me around two hours to put this together.

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A job interview: My luckiest day ever!

(Some of you might be knowing that I successfully cleared the 1st tier of IBPS bank clerk exam, today was the day of the interview)

Today wasn’t a dream come true, rather it was a live dream. Let’s have a replay!

My day stated at 5:50. Dad called up on my phone. With sleepy eyes I went on with my daily morning business. Then took a bath, got ready in my new formals (this was to be my first off-campus interview in full formal gear). I had a light breakfast, then put on my shoes, bah-byed my elder sister and left off. Stepping on the road I remembered that I had left my money purse on the T.V. I can’t have gone anywhere without it.  I ran back and found that I had left my files and documents along with my money purse! Momentarily I had a flash-forward of a future in which I was appearing before the interview panel, without any of my documents. This whole thought made me go a little dizzy. I dropped on a sofa to catch my breath. My heart was chasing Ussain Bolt and it did take me a few minutes to gather myself. I thanked god from the deepest of my heart and went off again (Let this be a reminder to us all as an example of a grand blunder, caused by tension).  From that point of time, everything went downhill.

Within a few minutes of reaching the bus stop, I got the bus. The venue of the interview was very close to the Chetla rest house, where I have stayed a number of times with some of my friends and had a few memorable days (click here).  I reached there with an hour to spare. Waiting outside in a line, on an Indian summer day is extremely uncomfortable. But it wasn’t as bad as that. The sky was cloudy and the place where we were waiting had a lot of trees to shade us. Having nothing else to do I got acquainted with some. All of them had come from different places and different backgrounds. Each one had a different story but none was even close to mine. Suddenly the crowd at the gate thinned. The candidates were called in. There were four interview panels of 4 people each. I was assigned to panel  number 10. The interview was scheduled for later on, first our documents were to be verified. We were seated in a room having the design of a very small auditorium. Seats were raised progressively from front row to the last one. We were told to arrange our documents with photocopies and get it verified from them. Many had not brought all the documents, but they did not fret at all. Even when I went to submit my documents, I was a little tense and shaky. The person at the desk noticing me, asked me to calm down. His words were “Don’t be tense or your interview will be ruined. We are here to take care of all the formalities. Calm down, you have nothing to worry about”. Just imagine, such a reassurance from a person on a desk job, handling so many documents, simultaneously verifying them, it is too good to be true. Same was true each one of the staff whom I met. They were surprisingly calm and reassuring; one of them even cracked little jokes to keep our tension at bay. One can’t ask for a better venue for an interview.

After some time it was my turn. I went in and with the usual formalities took my seat. First question was

Mr Mahanty. Are you by any chance related to (a short pause) Ramesh Mahanty?

(Before I go any further, I gotta say this was a sort of trick question. Mahanty-s are rare in this part of India and Debasish Mohanty was a famous player in the Indian cricket team. So, the question was supposed to go along the lines of “Are you related to the Debasish Mohanty”, and I was expected to answer with a “no, Sir”.
Instead he changed just one word and asked “Are you related to the Ramesh Mahanty”, but I saw through his trick)

I replied “Yes sir! He is my father”. The interviewer seemed impressed at my prompt and correct response! Then there were the usual questions like “Why banking after B.Tech”, “do you think your skills are going to be of any use?”, “What are interpersonal skills” e.t.c. The fourth person, a lady, was obviously a person of technical background. She asked me some basic questions from networking and programming (Electronics graduates are not supposed to know in depth about computers and programming, so she wasn’t expecting any answer from me but I proved her wrong). The interviewers were impressed. One of them began in Bengali and gave a long speech of 10 minutes concluding with “boy, you are a born officer, don’t chase such petty jobs as that of clerks”.

I felt like this!

When the interviewer praises you, it is hard to keep your teeth concealed behind your lips. I was feeling so buoyant I might have floated off the chair!! With a lot of restraint I managed keep it limited to a modest smile. They wished me good luck and I left. Coming out of the room I was so happy that I grabbed my bag and ran off!! I was so, soooo happy! People of Kolkata are too busy to notice anything else other than their own business, but if someone had seen me then, he might have thought of calling the Mental Hospital. My luck had not run out yet. I was buying tickets for the metro at Kalighat, when I met two celebrities. One was the star of a Bengali daily soap, another was a veteran actor of Bengali cinema. I might have approached them for autographs, but didn’t. Coz none around me seemed to be noticing them. Like I said before, people of Kolkata are too busy. I could not dare to stand out from the crowd and approach them, also because I could not believe my own eyes seeing them. As usual I took the bus for Durgapur at Esplanade. Luckily enough we didn’t get stuck in jam at Panagarh (the most dreaded place on the Kolkata-Durgapur route). Even better, as our bus entered city center bus stop, I thought I would have to wait for an A-Zone bus to take me home. Like I said before, waiting for anything on the noon of an Indian summer day, is terribly punishing. But today was my lucky day! Right then an A-Zone bus came in. I was thrilled! Had I bought a lottery today I would have hit the jackpot for sure! Thanx to all of them who wished me luck for the interview 🙂

Bad-luck, Good-Luck? Or just co-incidence?

You decide for yourselves but whatever it was, I enjoyed it through and through 🙂

As a few of you might be knowing that I had my FCI tier 2 exam scheduled for this 3rd Feb. I was pretty excited and nervous. This exam if cleared could end my job hunt and secure my life with a government job, otherwise you know what. My exam center was at Umes Chandra College, Kolkata. Usually for exams in Kolkata I go to my big brother’s  place on the day before.

I had tickets for the Kolkata bus scheduled to depart at 1:00 am from city centre. I reached there with 15 minutes to spare.  Ten minutes to the departure, I was sitting at a place. My mind toggling between the exam, and jobs I had applied for that morning. My phone rang up, I received the call. The caller was an unknown lady, asking me if I was Somesh. She then told me that I  had an interview scheduled for 4th feb 11 am at Kolkata. I was exhilarated with the opportunity after a long time! I had a little consultation with my friend Arijit and accepted the offer. Then there was a bolt from the blue! I remembered that I did not have a single pair of formals. This was the first time that I was leaving for Kolkata without an extra pair of interview formals, coz I had a 8-10 kg yam (harvested from our backyard garden) for my brother in my backpack. Bad luck or pure co-incidence, I didn’t know what.

On the GT road towards Kolkata at a distance of about 45 minutes form here, is a place called Panagarh, infamous for traffic jams. Anyone leaving for Kolkata dreads Panagarh like anything, and if one is on a tight schedule he/she prefers taking the train to the bus. We were lucky, or so I thought as we passed through Panagarh without a hitch. By the time our bus stopped at Shaktigarh (halfway to Kolkata) I was pretty sure of reaching my destination before the evening rush hour traffic.  Little did I know that a few traffic jams were awaiting us on the way ahead. At a little distance from Shaktigarh we could see an increasing number of police vehicles along the way. Barriers were placed at numerous points on the highway to throttle traffic. Naturally we were delayed. Was this the price for our good-luck at Panagarh? Or pure co-incidence, I didn’t know what.

We reached esplanade, late by an hour. As usual I took the metro. But it was rush hour, I got myself jammed against the sliding door. At each station I had to get down and get back on. I got off at Tollygounge, took an auto-rickshaw. I was lost in my thoughts about the exam on the next day and didn’t notice anything else till the road and surroundings seemed unfamiliar. I asked the auto-wallah if I had crossed Ranikuthi, I was supposed to get off there. At once he stopped the auto and asked me to walk back, I was way past my destination. I won’t say this was bad luck, this was my fault. My streak of bad luck had finally ceased. 🙂 There was chicken biriyani for dinner! With tummy full, I went to bed early.  I woke up early in the morning, perhaps due to exam tension. Got ready and left off for the exam. It took me around an hour to reach college street, still I was there pretty early. I didn’t  have any friend or acquaintance with me, so I was kinda lonely, tired too from standing for half an hour.

A view from the 4th floor balcony of the college
A view from the 4th floor balcony of the college

The exam center was a named Umesh Chandra College by my admit card. On reaching there I found out that the same building had 4 different names including the one in my admit card. On inquiring I found out that the same building housed four different institutions, at different times of a day!  This was one hell of Multiplexing I have ever known 😉

My seat was at room 27B, 4th floor, it was quite tiring climb. Some were climbing the crowded stairs with their shoelaces untied. If someone had stepped on their laces by mistake, it would have been an accident of the scale of a stampede. Carelessness at its worst!  Anyway, we were at our places on time. The OMR sheets had been distributed and we were busy filling it up. The question papers were being distributed when someone raised voice saying he had got the wrong question paper. We were supposed to get Paper-2. But it turned out that our invigilator had brought the set of Paper-3. The room was already buzzing when another guy came in running saying all rooms had got the wrong set. The college itself had got the wrong set of papers.  After some time 3 official looking men came into our room to inform us that the exam had been postponed until further notice as all the exam centers in Kolkata had got the wrong set of papers. Some were infuriated. They had the LIC ADO exam on the same day and they didn’t get to sit for that because of this one. Their candles were burnt on both ends. But I was happy! Terribly happy because I had a few more weeks at least to prepare better. I came out with everybody else. It was time to go back home. I was waiting for the bus for Esplanade when I saw a tram of the same route coming up. I never had rode a tram before and I always wished to do so. There it was before me.

Now the problem was that I didn’t know if trams had any fixed stoppages or just stopped wherever needed like buses. I put out my hand to signal it to stop, but put it down quickly thinking it might look awkward. The tram didn’t stop, it slowed down. I guess the driver didn’t notice me, it slowed down for the traffic ahead. Whatever, I got up in the second

Inside the tram
Inside the tram

compartment. The conductor and the 2 passengers were looking at me as if thinking “this guy is insane”, because I was taking clicking pics of the compartment 😀 😀 . For me it was ten minutes of fun ride and I was excited like this was my first plane ride! 😉 Stupid, isnt it? I got off at esplanade took the Durgapur bus leaving at 11 15. Another coincidence was awaiting me. On the previous day I had got seat number 8, right behind the driver. On the way back, I got the same seat again! 😀

Marriage of the News and Daily Soap in India

I bet u are thinking “How’s that possible?”, “When did this happen?” etc. Well, u know, it was a very silent affair;-) and it happened without anybody noticing. Before I explain further, I shall recall the commonest traits of Daily Soaps.

Whenever there is a turning point like any slapping scene or something supposedly shocking dialogue or anything like that, it is invariably repeated 3 times at least! The characters are always in a state of emotional disturbance. None lives or lets anyone else live in peace. The never-happy saas (mother in laws) and bahus (wives) are always trying to stab each other in the back and trying to gain control over the male. Mountains are made of mole hills. When you are sure that the story is about to conclude, invariably a new character springs up and adds up a few more months worth of new episodes etc.  Half nude characters and intimate scenes are slowly invading daily soaps to add more spice and make it more attractive. Last but not the least; the background music is “omnipresent”.

Now that I am gonna talk about the news channels, you shall see some striking resemblances between the two.

“Sahib Biwi aur Tv” screenshot from News24

Turn on any news channel, first thing you notice is the background music. Each news channel has its unique style of background music, which makes you think that the channels are hiring more musicians than reporters 😉 .  Silly news pieces like “RGV’s movie has tumbled” or “Uday chopra has fumbled” make up news reports worth at least half an hour and are advertised for a day before being telecast. There are programmes like “Sahib Biwi aur TV” on news channels which gossip on what is happening in leading daily soaps (as if was any less torture if left alone). Each and every dialogue, even the tiniest twitter status updates are scrutinised minutely to find leaks to turn celebs on each other. News readers are being increasingly replaced by smartly dressed men or attractive women called news anchors. They don’t sit at a place reading the news. Instead they walk about in the news room with hundreds of people working overtime before the thousand screens visible in the background, just like daily soap characters delivering dialogues. It produces the dramatic illusion of the news being served raw 🙂  .Trailers add to the chaos! Earlier there used to be only a single trailer at the bottom of the screen in election times, to give us a continuous update of the results. Now, a minimum of 3-4 trailers run at the bottom and top, even some are placed on the sides. If this trend continues, then news anchors might vanish behind the trailers in the near future. Then the TV screen might seem like a newspaper with moving sentences and the anchors’ voices in the background along with the omnipresent background music and so on..

So, we can safely conclude that News channels have indeed married Daily Soaps. Like an ideal couple they have assimilated and imbibed each others’ traits 🙂 , although they were too shy to report this on TV 😛

An emotional Get-Together

The day started with little excitement, I was gonna see my dearest ones after a gap of around 3 months. But I had no idea that this was gonna be the such an emotional day, that it left me with a nose blocked by held-back tears..

Indra was the first to reach college. I too had planned to get to my college by 9 in the morning, but a last minute appointment at the bank delayed me by around 2 hours. Some of you might know that I and my friends had built a mobile phone controlled robot car for our B.Tech project. I had brought it back home to show it to my parents. Alas! it didn’t work. I tried repairing it, but without success. Today I had planned to take it back and deposit it with my project guide. The 8B buses are always too much crowded for carrying any such delicate piece of work. So, I had to take another route and so forth. Anyway, getting off at my college I saw Avinandan with his better half. On entering the gates we saw Indra and Sneha at a distance. Sneha was a bit miffed. Her better half had scrapped his plans of coming and meeting us here coz of sudden fever. Otherwise it was great! we could not stop talking and smiling and laughing.. Needless to say, I kept cracking my fresh baked anecdotes whenever I felt the atmosphere settling down. My main target was Avinandan, coz his new-found girlfriend has brought about some seemingly impossible changes in him, that too in a couple of months.  So, we set off to get our N.O.Cs and final mark-sheets from the Registrar. In the course we went to different labs we had attended in this 4 years. Memories came flooding back as we visited them. The bench vices of the workshop, the drill machine diagram diagram on the black board, those huge DC motors in the electrical lab.. With all the signatures we went to the Admin Block for the next formalities. We were surprised to know that the piece of paper with all those signatures was not to be submitted today 😦 , we got to wait till December to submit it. Then we shall get our certificates.

So, finishing off this business we went off to Panch-Phoron, a restaurant nearby. On the way we saw a lot of policemen armed with guns and sticks. Reason? The town development authority has decided to demolish all illegal constructions in the city. They didn’t even spare the roadside makeshift food stalls. The ambient scenes could have dampened our spirits any other day, but today. We were too charged up for that! We were so busy talking that we hadn’t noticed that we were walking past our destination 😉 . It was Avinandan who pointed it out. The restaurant was on the 2nd floor. We first thought of taking the lift. But not being patient enough for the lift to come down, we set off the stairs.

We took an 8 chaired table for ourselves. Handed over a paper napkin to Sneha, she took out a pen and started . She is the manager at all out outings. She finalizes the stuff we order, how much each one has to pay etc. I had expected an item of PANEER, but no one else seemed to think on my line and so it wasn’t ordered. We ordered 4 plates of mix veg, 3 plates of biriyani and some more plates of some chicken items (I can’t recall the names :P). It was quite a while before we were served. We spent the time listening to Arijit’s experiences at Durgapur Steel Plant (he works there), telling Avinandan’s new found love how much had she changed him in these last 3 months who kept complaining about how much of a trouble it was to bunk a day at his job, I got my rakhi from dear sister Priyanka, teased Sneha how she never likes her own smiling photos, took a few pics etc. Finally, it was time to dig in! The food had been served. I was damned hungry.

There was a shortage of gravy 😦 but it was all great! Sneha and Priyanka could not finish their cold drinks, which I happily finished off! I am well known among my friends for my vicious appetite. All were saying they were full to their throats, but I felt like I could finish off another half plate of mix veg (though after a loud burp). We paid the bill and came out. Again thought of taking the lift. The lift showed “overweight” sign and I had to get off. We all met at the bottom of the stairs. Avinandan and his girlfriend were the first to take off for their workplace at city-center. They were getting late. Then it was Sneha’s turn, she took another auto to city-center bus stand. At last myself, Indra, Priyanka and Arijit were left. We took the next bus to city-center.

Within half an hour we were at city center bus stand. Sneha was smiling and waving furiously at us from her window side seat, the bus was “vroom”ing. There was still a minute left for the bus to depart. We kept talking but she insisted us to go on, enjoy the evening and not wait for her. Suddenly she turned her face away from the window. We could sense her choking on her cries. A few seconds later, she did look back at us, smiling, once more. But this time her eyes welled up and she could not hold back her tears. The bus started moving, tearing away her tearful eyes from our view. Slowly the bus took a turn around a barrier and she was gone.. I caught a glimpse of Priyanka misty eyed, before she wiped them off.. I could neither cry properly nor could I brush away the emotions (like I always do). I don’t know what was holding back my tears. My eyes were red, but my nose was runny..

The last time we had parted, we weren’t so much emotional. We had a reason which made sure that we would meet within another couple of months. But this is the final parting shot.. This time, we really don’t know when shall we meet again, if at all..

An Indian myth about the West

The average Indians gets introduced to the western world mostly by Hollywood movies and RAP song videos. They like the stuff shown, think it is “Cool” to be wearing hooded tee-shirts, ripped and faded jeans, to get drunk, party hard late in the night, and all the stuff they see in those movies. Being western is the all-time favorite flavor here.

From the time of adolescence when we came to know about the world of “birds and bees”, we have been watching western models in porno stuff,  most of us have seen American Pie, all 7 parts. Even premarital sex is catching fast and so on. Simply put, we do a lot of things that our parents don’t approve of and think it is okay in the West, which is not true. Seriously, this generation  harbors  some  myths about the west and I would like to point out a couple of them.

We think

  1. It is in their culture to dress baring and suggestively, and their parents are absolutely “cool” and never have any problem with it.
  2. “Respect for women” ,“Respect for elders” and “Modesty” exist only in old Indian philosophy, Westerners never heard of that.

And much more of such crap..

I am not gonna lie, but I myself had such ideas, till I started blogging. I have been blogging seriously for around 6 months and the blogs I visited, I read them all very carefully. Some of which have corrected these beliefs of mine. I can’t recall all of them, but I am giving here the link to latest one I have read.

Bird’s Thoughts on Nipple Shirts and Lust  (If you don’t have enough time to read the whole post, just go through the 5th para and the comments. You will know what I am talking about)

Conclusion:

Westerners may not be dressed in saris and dhotis, but they do have the same ideals as we have. They aren’t any different, neither they support all that bad stuff that our parents don’t approve of.

Your thoughts please..

My first metro ride!

The day began with an unusual excitement and slight tension. Tomorrow I got to attend another job interview. This time, I have to take the whole journey by myself,  all alone… After packing, I went to buy the tickets, the shop was closed. A look at my mobile told me, I had gone there early. To pass the time I went to visit my friend Arijit. 10 am in the morning, and he was still sleeping. Noticing that, I thought of running off, but aunty wouldn’t let me go. I was very much pleasantly surprised that Arijit wasn’t angry at me for waking him up 😛 . Helpful as always, he gave me some proper directions to reach my destination. He also gave me some contacts, whom I may ask in case of emergency and the most important thing!!! He had given me detailed explanations on the way to travel by Metro trains.

By 12:30 I was on my bus. It was time for departure. contrary to the cold and cloudy morning weather, now it was a warm noon, leaving me sweating under my jeans.. The whole journey was quite uneventful, except for a little jam at Panagarh. By 4 pm, I was at esplanade. Knocking down people with my huge rucksack, I was walking up and down around esplanade. For this is the first time, that I had such a  chance to explore a new place all by myself. No rules, no limits, nobody to tell upon me..

Keeping exploring aside, I called up my elder bro to inform him of my location. He straightaway replied “take the BBD-Garia bus, and come to my place”. Bit apprehensive, I asked him if I could take the Metro Train route. He paused for a few moments, my hair was standing on edge for the climax

Finally he said,”yes, if u have traveled by a metro before”.. I went ecstatic!!!! Crossed the road in a run, and there it was. A LED display board over my head, inviting me into esplanade metro station. At first I couldn’t find the ticket counter. A policewoman gave me proper directions. At the counter, I was given a plastic token. Then I crossed the barrier. Took the escalator, down into the station. I asked a person where to wait for the train and went to the platform indicated. I was a bit nervous. But the height of it happened when a crowded train came on the opposite platform. People were jostling to get in and out of the train. I was thinking, “this is no 8B bus that will wait till I am in. If the door shuts with me in between, or worse, if  I am not able to get on the train at all…”  I must have shown some signs, or maybe for my perspiring forehead, some people were curiously looking at me. That was complicating matters even more.. that is why, I was both surprised and happy when I saw that my train was quite empty!!! The train came to a halt, the doors opened. Instinctively, I sort of jumped in, my rucksack knocking off two men 😉 . No empty seat, I had to stand. Standing near the door, my eyes were wandering over the numerous heads and faces. I was sure no one around me was a novice at riding a metro. Some were dozing off in their seats. Some blabbering among themselves, some others looking at them and listening as if students in a class. A few tall heads were towering over all. In the meantime, my attention was interrupted by the mikes announcing the station names. Some had noticed my curiosity and were trying to be curious about me :-P.. All of a sudden, the announcement said “next station, MAHANAYAK UTTAM KUMAR, platform on the left side”. I got ready. The train came to a slow halt. This time I got off smoothly. Following other passengers, a deposited my token and got out of the station.. My first metro ride, all alone!!!!

P.S. sorry to disappoint my readers, but I couldn’t get pics good enough for this post