Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bye Bye Mumbai

And India
Im leaving in less than 15 minutes from my home.

Guess I had a lot to write but as usual procastination and last minute packing took up my time.

Have some regrets
Should ve spoken more to some people (eapecially my parents and sister)

Shouldve spoken a lot less everywhere else.

Shouldve ridden my bike more
SHould ve read more books. (Damn im on last 100 pages of Shantaram a 900 page novel)

Shouldve spent time better than lazing around
tried to lose weight
pigged out a little less.

But now im turning over a new leaf.
IN this new chapter of my life

Life is gonna be more of I WILL DO
no more shouldve


Friday, April 14, 2006

Dye Another Day

As any one who has premature grey hair will tell you, the most dreaded question is HOw come do you have white (or gray) hair? Right from the neighbourhood grocer, classmate, family friend, uncles and aunts right to the barber who plans to earn a coupla more bucks by appying Godrej Hair dye on your scalp.

All those wannabe well wishers would soon keep giving advice, think over aloud the possible reasons and suggest many remedies. But all this advice when simply not asked for.

Here are some of the sample Qs

Question by Well Wisher (QBWW) : Hey youve got gray hair
What I really Wanna Answer (WIRWA) : Yeah, im not blind, and i do comb my hair and brush my teeth in front of a bathroom mirror. So this isnt news
What I Endup Answering (WIEA) : Yeah i dunno some how, you know errr i got some white hair

QBWW: Why do you have gray hair at such a young (24) age
WIRWA: Why did god create spherical planets and not cuboids? i dont know and really i dont care. Now that ive got it im living with it
WIEA: Well pollution, bad water, bad air, may be stress

QBWW: Oh so do you have anxiety problems? Are you always stressed out? DO you think way too much? Is it due ot the heavy workload at IIMA
WIRWA: Yeah actually my main cause of stress and anxiety is people probing into why i've got grey hair
WIEA: No may be im a little introspective, and i like to reflect but no its not due to heavy work load at IIMA

QBWW: Actually you know you are those intelligent persons (sic) who think so much thats why you age faster (damn). And may be its your hair thats why you are still single
WIRWA: you @!$*^%$#)^&^%$%@#&( if that had been the case morons like you would be ever youthful. Damn lemme tell u one more thing, i dont thing the colour of my hair (or lack of it) has to do anything with my single status. And damn you and your full f**king family (esp the female members) its not a sign of intelligence, its not my goddamn grey matter spilling out
WIEA: I dunno, errr (look at the ceiling/sky/something else)

Anyways at each instance i try and change the topic, not because im ashamed of my hair, but simply all the questions are rhetorical. The person asking the questions only wants to hear the answer that he/she has in mind.
Dammit im happy i atleast have hair on my head. (So all you bald or guys with thinning hair wipe of that smirk on your face)

Anyways as i read recently in a book about how humans tend to judge on the basis of first impressions, i do understand that any deviations from the norm are looked at in a suspicious manner and how deeply ingrained are our stereotypes, but then im really thankful that though it is true i might have actually gotten my hair dyed before the placement season at iima. (thankfully i didnt and i got the job of my preference, first preference infact)

Dunno how long will i keep runnign away from the fact that i might have to dye my hair black, but for now im proud that they are grey. Infact I dont care a rats ass of what others think, but only sometimes might get angry at the silly questions.

So no more tolerating those other Qs like wht ur 24 u look more like 34 or may be 44. No more kaali ghata jaiso zulf teri songs in front of me, cause though i may not have the courage to say it upfront on your face, you now know what im thinking right :P

Bar Bar Dekho, Hazaar Bar Dekho

Nopes im not talking about the famous song sung on the silver screen by Shammi Kapoor, but the recent court ruling re allowing dance bars in Mumbai.

I dont understand what the whole issue is all about. World over you have legalised pornography, prostitution and you have strip clubs a plenty. Having been to a strip club in Amsterdam, ( the sex capital of the world) well i do definitely agree that it encourages prostitution, and women are in such places as little else than objects of sexual gratification, but well in a patriachial and male dominated society for years sex has been commoditised and women are seen as objects to be f*** around with.

Sex is one of the oldest profession known to man, and selling your self for favours is nothing new and thus all over the west (and now much even in south east asia) prostitution is legal. Frankly speaking, however hard one tries, one cannot completely eliminate it. By legalising it the state can not only control it and collect taxes (aha the government comes everywhere to collect its share of pie in the capitalist world, and you call communist governments being all interfering). Also at the same time the Commercial Sex Workers (CSWs) can have some designated area, health insurance, the spread STDs such as AIDS (and im sure there are many others like herpes, gonnorhea and what not) but then by legalising it the social stigma as well as the fear of being caught gets reduced and the number of men visiting CSWs and the number of women turning into hookers would simply increase manifold, which i feel is bad. (personal opinion that it has a negative externality on the society)

More over in this specific case State Minister R.R. Patil wanted the dance bars in Mumbai to be banned since they spoilt our moral fabric. Anyways in India we are so used to having a system where we feel the masses cannot think for them selves. The people are so dumb that they cannot fend for themselves thats why no gambling, no dance bars etc.

Why do people want to be moral police. Agreed many indians are crazy and need others to make decisions for them. (note riots when Dr. Rajakumar the film star died a coupla days ago in Bangalore) but i guess Mr Patil is one of them as well. HOwever sexist or MCP it may sound "men will lust after women. Some of them will seek some form of sexual gratification by visiting such bars"

And how different are women in skimpy outfits dancing in front of you in the shady bar at the end of the street to skimpily clad women dancing in the music videos on MTV, [V] or hindi flicks. Do you ban movies. Every one kow that the casting couch exists. What do you go ahead and do for that.

I believe we all should be less than perfect, and simply accept some level of evil in the society. If some one wants to have a drink while ogling at a lady who is bent on tittilating him by dancing on raunchy numbers so be it. Let those who dont want to go to such places not visit. (RR Patil included)

It can be regulated thus the person who blows up his money on a chammiya shakin her ass, let the government collect its share of the pie.

Why cant we all behave like GROWN UPS and live and let live.
No need to make mountains out of mole hills

Convocation Pictures (like a lot more its long over due)

yeah Pics of the highly over rated convocation at iima.

Posting some of the pics i took (many more have taken pics with me, but don't have em here)

So first we have the entire batch picture, Im right up there on the top row right at the left (co-rodinates (1,1))

Then you have me here accepting my degree from none other than NR Narayana Murthy

As my internet connection at home is slow, so first ill have to reduce the picture sizes and the only will be able to upload something.

now that im at home and doing nothing, might blog daily.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Whats in a Name? (Convo Blues)

Yeah, my name is Nirav Kanodra, I dont see anything difficult bout pronouncing it or spelling it right. But well the world does.

On Umpteen ocassions my name has been spelt as Neerav and the surname think of all the combinations:
Kanodia, Kanoria, Kandora, Kanodara, Kanodria, Kanorda ... and the list goes on and on. As some one said we read only what we want to read. So 'Kanodra' not being a popular indian surname most indians simply use their intelligence and write what they feel is correct. More over they pronounce it the way they feel its right (and not the way i the bearer of the surname pronounce it)

All my childhood in school i was called Kandora after a teacher said that in class 3, the same time we had 'Pandora's Box of troubles' being taught in english. That stuck for a while and then someone called me the desi version "Kannu" and this one stuck well into engineering days where Saurabh Vilekar nicknamed me Kandy (thankfully, Saurabh i still thank you for that). In L&T again my nick name reverted to Kannu and then in IIMA the less said bout nick names the better. (PS my parents know my nick name ... damn)

anyways these errors are so pervasive in my engineering degree certificate there was an error (Kanorda instead of Kanodra and then they mispelt it the second time as Kandora, damn lightning struck twice)
And the bigger whammy was before our actual concocation we had a rehearsal and the chairman of the PGP Pregram Professy MM Monipally mispronounced my surname. He went like Nirav errr Kan-do-ra (the whole batch applauded) and he corrected himself. (I wasnt alone, Mohit Pradhan became Rohit Pradhan and Nangmuansang Lethil was a toungue twister)
So much so that in the actual convocation, there was a louder than normal applause for Nangmuansang and me. I felt really happy thinking that my parents might think this was due to me being more popular (as in most popular guys got really loud applauses) but damn they were seated near some students from my batch and they overheard "Oh so finally MMM got kanodra's name right"

SO i surely have been used to being called something apart from my name right from childhood days, but lets see what is it which makes my surname so special.

Rewind to 1900s or there abouts. My Great Grand Father was born Ravishankar Trikumji Trivedi (son of Mr. Trikumji Trivedi) Being born in a Brahmin family he too managed some education (or so they say) and was an employee of the prestigious "Burma Shipping Company" which was a part of the original East India Company. (All you Indians please dont curse my lineage, i still dont support the colonial rule)

Some where in Late 1930s Mr. R.T. Trivedi had a problem. His boss had the same initials and their letters used to get routinely mixed up. To that add some religious mumbo jumbo and throw in an astrologer and thus for some vague reason (which we shall never know) he decided to change his surname. Thus from Trivedi he changed it to "Kanodra" (but this spelling was in devanagiri script i guess) Apparently as my grandpa says Kanodra is the name of the goddess of our "Kul" (you may call it a sect, or some super sub division in our caste of Shrimadi Yajurvedi Brahmins from Jamnagar). Well the truth is no one actually knows.
Now Great Grandpa died young and this when his eldest son came of age he was offered a job. But by then the management changed hands. Now it was "Scindia Steam Navigation". The operations at the Jamnagar port stopped for good, and now their botched records wouldnt let Mukundrai Trivedi work as he wouldnt be the son of Mr Kanodra.
So my Grandpa moved to mumbai and changed his surname, and then some where in between some clerk some where got his name as Canodra. So we had Mr. Mukundrai Canodra starting his career on the Princess Dock in Mumbai working for Scindia Steam Navigation. He didnt know the difference as he didnt study much (He and his brothers didnt pay much attention to education after great grandpas death)
So now we had M.R. Canodra but his brothers continued to live in jamnagar and continued with the surname trivedi.

Now fast forward some where in 1950s. My dad is admitted to a school and his name was finally spelt out as Kanodra (the spelling which stands till today). in the family we had Mukesh Kanodra son of Mukundrai Canodra and Mukundrai Canodra was the brother of Vishuprasad, Mansukhlal and Natwarlal Trivedi.
Some family ehh.
Thankfully my dads 3 siblings were all Kanodra (no more variations) though my dad has faced problems in the past. How come you are Kanodra and your dad is Canodra?

Anyways thus today on the surface of this world there exists only 8 Kanodras. No make that 7 Kanodra's and 1 Canodra. (It was 7 + 2 a couple of years back but my Grandma Mrs. Shantaben Canodra expired)

So thats the story behind the surname.