Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Gymkhana Day!

Sportsmen play, actors act, musicians perform, dnacers dance, debaters debate, quizzers win quizzes (ha ha ha!), and at the end of the year what do they get out of it? Gymkhana Day!!!

Yes, Fergusson College has its very own Award Ceremony! Move over all you Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, Razzies and Nappies, the Gymkhana Day Awards are here (someone suggested calling them the "Gymmies" but that's just too ghastly).

Okay, now for some background. Gymkhana Day is the annual gala event organised by our great College's Gymkhana. It is a celebration of all that Fergusson College stands for: talent, integrity, honesty and putting in one's all for certies and prizes of doubtfull worth. And in return for all this talent, integrity, honesty, etc, the college rewards us with certies and prizes of doubtfull worth.

The event, as is always the case, began an hour late. One cannot, in all fairness expect VK "Joylon" Wagh (our principal), the chairman of the Deccan Education Society, the vice-chairman of the Deccan Education Society, the chairman of the Gymkana Management Committee, two chief guests (?!) and our college's General Secratary to all take time out of their busy schedules to make it in time for anything.

Anyway, late or not, the event began. Someone sang the Guru Vandana. The Samaii (lamp) was lit, and then re-lit when it was discovered that some of the guests hadn't gotten to do any lamp-lighting. Then we had the traditional bouquet presentation ceremony. Principal Wagh gave a bouquet to Mr Chittaranjan Kolhatkar, one of the Chief guests. Mr. Kanitkar gave one to Mr. Vijay Sawant, the other Chief Guest. Mr Wagh gave one to Mr Kanitkar. Mr Pardeshi (GMC Chairman) gave one to Mr Pathak (DES Vice Chairman). Anand Godse (our GS) gave one to Mr. Wagh. Mr. Pathak gave one to Mr.Kanitkar. Pardeshi to Wagh. Sawnt to Kolhatkar. Kolhatkar to Kanitkar. Kanitkar to Godse. Gooooooooalllll!!!!! (Readers should be advised that factual accuracy drops off towards the end of the paragraph.)
(PS: After all this, an extra bouquet was found, which was quickly given to the Secretary of the DES, Mr. Kakatkar.)

And then, the speeches. Principal Wagh gave one in which the most intelligent thing he said was, "I am not from this college, I am from different college, I am from SP College." Mr Sawant gave one in which the most pertinent thing he said was, "In the old days, Fergusson College dominated the academic results with only the occaisional Sanskrit or Logic topper from SP College. What say, Principal Wagh?" (Translators note: Some of the venomous sarcasm in that sentence was lost in translation. My apologies.) Then Mr. Kolhatkar spoke at length about putting a lot of effort into your acting. Mr. Kanitkar spoke about how much money the DES has, and they are going to spend it in schemes that totally do not interest us. Mr. Pardeshi spoke about how Fergusson College won a lot of awards in various sports tournaments. And after each speaker spoke, Mr. Patankar (the MC) attemped to translate the speaker's Marathi speech into English ("Like he said...").

Finally, they got to the part everyone was waiting for, the prizes. The Physical Education teachers gave one to everyone who had ever worn a Fergusson College jersey ("Mumble mumbe mumble Nanded, mumble mumble mumble badminton, mumble mumble Priyanka Vyavahare!!"). The prize given to these worthies was a Fergusson College jersey. Then Mrs. Kelkar, our Cultural in-charge, gave a certificate and a momento to all the members of the Fergusson College Cultural Committee. Students who had achieved extraordinary achievements in the cultural sphere were also felicitated. Finally, having run out of bouquets, certies, momentos and jerseys, the revellers unwillingly declared the ceremonies over and adjourned to another part of the campus for a free dinner kindly and unwittingly paid for by the UGC.

And thus, ended the 2005 edition of Gymkhana Day. Three solid hours of sitting in a non air-conditioned hall in unconfortable seats listening to mumbling bozos waiting for one measly certificate. Hopefully next year I will get two. I can't hardly wait.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

How to improve Maharashtra's Gene Pool

Don't make helmets compulsory for two wheeler riders from 25th January 2005.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Road Trip!

On Thursday I went to Dapoli (Depoli?) on a road trip on my trusted Caliber 115 (Hoodibaba!) with friends Siddharth, Salil and Kunal. Had an amazing holiday, spending two whole days riding our bikes, hanging out at the beach, eating Malvani food (not such a great treat if you're a Goan, but good stuff anyway) and generally longing around. We stayed at Murud (small village 9 kms from Dapoli, not to be confused with Murud Janjira, which is quite a bit further to the north) at a resort called Dreamland, which happened to be right on the beach (yippee!). Saw the main attraction of that area, which mainly consisted of a resort called Sagar Sawali which is about 20 kms from Murud at a place called Burondi (not to be confused with the Tin Pot Little African Country three inches from the Mediterranen) which was a ripoff, the harbour of the nearby fishing village of Harne (3 kms from Murud) and the Ganpati Temple at Anjarle (12 kms from Murud). In touring the Konkan countryside we also thoroughly enjoyed its rustic beauty, its sylvan splendour and its mindboggling profusion of ghats (and I thought Konkan was just low lying coastal plains!). Our journey to Dapoli was via Mulshi and the Tamhini Ghat, thence to Mangaon and then Mahad by National Highway 17, after which we got lost and saw more Konkan countryside before reaching our destination. Our return journey was via Khed (not to be confused with the taluka in Pune dist., the village in Satara dist., etc, etc), where we took yet another wrong turn and saw even more Konkan countryside. We then took the NH17 to Poladpur, where after some excellent misal pav, we took the Fitzgerald ghat to Mahabaleshwar. After luncheoning on butter chicken, we left for Pune (but not before a 45min "rest cure") and reached our glorious metropolis at 7:45 in the evening, putting an end to our most enjoyable vacation.

(PS: Expect more posts on the same here, here and here.)
(PPS: Due to reasons beyond my control, no photographs are available.)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Mood Indigo 2004-II: Other Stuff

Extremely sorry for delay in posting Part II of this series, but I just haven't had time this past week (unlike some really lukkha engineering students I can tell you about J). Unfortunately, since there are still conflicting demands on my time (a true Economic problem, as that other Mrs. Robinson would say), I can only put up an abbreviated version of what I had intended to put up, so here goes.


The pronites this year seemed a poor imitation of those last year, which rocked. The classical night was amazing, with Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhat simply blowing us all away with his brilliant performance on the mohan veena along with his son, Salil. Unfortunately we could not really see the previous dance recital by Hema Malini and her daughter Ahana Deol because the IIT Open Air Theatre (OAT) was jam packed and no seating was available. However, after the dance finished, half the audience left, and allowed us to experience Pt. Bhat's magic. The Fusion night sort of sucked, because the first act, a Sufi group, just didn't have their stuff together. The singers all sang well, but there was no coordination whatsoever between the five of them. Remo Fernandez, who came next, sort of rocked the crowd, but then sort of lost it, and said some things that led us to speculate on his state of inebriated-ness, as it were. The fashion show, which came next, had a huge crowd, but wasn't all that great (Note to choreographers: Next time, don't confuse us with those little skits on stage, and just get on with the skimpily clad chicks, that's what we're there for, after all). We didn't go for the classical night, but heard the Colonial Cousins made fools of themselves on stage, and caused half the crowd to walk out on them. The Rock Night, sadly was cancelled on account of Mr PV Narsimha Rao's death, and our hopes of seeing Parikrama, Zero, Prestorika and Medicis were dashed. Damn you, GOP!!


One excellent new addition to MI this year was the Lounge, a series of events at the Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology (KReSIT) Auditorium. It included audience quizzes, rock videos, Crazy Workshops (How to irritate your teachers), etc. We enjoyed watching the videos, won Mood-I t-shirts at the quizzes and laughed at the workshops. All in all, a great idea by the IITians, I'd say.

Other events:

As Mood-I did, of course include events other than quizzes, I will now try to briefly recount what I saw of them.

The English plays rocked, in that many were the type you laugh at, and not with. The Xaviers play, in an attempt to convey the existential metaphysical beauty of a raging storm (they did it with ropes and squirming people), screwed up colossally, and got universally knocked by all, including the judge. The Tolani play (which strangely made it to the finals) included some performances that were funny, to put it charitably. The FC play rocked, but somehow didn't pull through to a top three finish. The winning play, Tiger by Mount Carmel was quite good, however.

The Music events were quite excellent, with competition being quite intense. This is an area where FC has traditionally does quite well, and so they did this year, winning the Tune making competition, coming second in the Western group vocals and third in Western solo instrumentals.

The English debate, of which we saw the end, was quite good, with an IIT-B team tearing a Jhavierite team a new one in the finals (quite entertaining, that). The JAMs were, well, very entertaining. Didn't really see too many other events

Final Standings:

In a brilliant performance, the Jhavierite juggernaut led by fellow blogger Prathamesh pulled ahead of the hosts to clinch a well-deserved (I guess) first place (Their strategy, I believe involved mainly not getting drunk the night before events). IIT came second, some random colleges came third and fourth respectively, and FC came a disappointing fifth (or is it fourth?) Our friends at VIT did reasonably well getting two second places AFAIK and totally shattering some intricate analogies involving Anju Bobby George (In-joke alert!), and finished I don't know where.

Well, that's it, I guess (it's all I can remember at least). Mood-I 2004 was, well, an OK sort of experience. It was also an intensely humbling experience, totally deflating our Pune Quizzing maaz. Couldn't really get rid of the feeling that last year was a better Mood-I. Hopefully, next year will be better.