Archive for August, 2008

we do, sir.

Aug 29, 2008

Oh! Today is the book renewal date! bhOndOO exclaimed looking at the Yahoo! reminder.

bhOndOO set such reminders because he did not like getting fined for such petty reasons. He was the only student in the CSA department not to have spoilt his name with library fine. All earlier books he took from library were returned within two days of issue, since bhOndOO hardly understood anything from them. Not that he got a lot from the current one, but BenJi had taken it from him for some days. He decided: I will go to the library in the evening and renew the book. The issue counter is open till 23:00.

“Hi.”, a pleasing voice came from behind.
bhOndOO smiled, turned his head and greeted, “Hello.”.

Shami settled at a nearby computer. Within seconds bhOndOO realized that there was nobody else in the lab. This is such a rare chance! bhOndOO thought of taking advantage of the Kabab me no huddy situation. He checked his pocket which contained enough money.

bhOndOO looked at Shami and tried to speak, but could not. His pulse rate started increasing. He opened his mouth, but no voice came out. Finally, he told himself, Be brave, man dies only once.

“… Ca… Coffee?”, bhOndOO managed.
Shami smiled, “Where?”.

bhOndOO was thunderstruck by the question. What does she mean? Is she asking me to take her out? Is it a hint? He tried to regain his breath with “In tea-board!”.
“Tea-board is closed; it is a holiday today.”.
“Oh!” Silly me.

bhOndOO kept silent. The pulse rate started reducing. When it came to normal, bhOndOO realized, Oh! On holidays, the issue counter is open only until 16:00. bhOndOO looked at his watch: 15:15. Man! I need to hurry.

bhOndOO did not have the book, but he knew that he could renew it with his ID card. And, importantly, he was carrying his ID card. bhOndOO logged out and got up.

“Going to hostel?”, Shami asked.
“To the library.”.
“Wait, I will also come.”.

bhOndOO was overjoyed. They both left the lab.

“Wait, I will take my bicycle.”, Shami said.
bhOndOO tried to show his good manner, “Oh! You can go ahead then, I will come walking.”.
“Not a problem, bhOndOO.”, Shami smiled and took out her bicycle from the parking lot. bhOndOO was on the seventh sky to have got the pleasure of a romantic walk with Shami. bhOndOO even thought of taking Shami double-seat on the bicycle — but himself felt shy. We will save that for some other day, he told himself. They started walking.

“bhOndOO?”, someone shouted from behind.
They both turned to see Gullu running towards them.
“Going towards hostel?”, Gullu asked looking at bhOndOO.
“Yes.”, Shami answered.

Gullu handed over two books to bhOndOO, “Hey, please give these books to BenJi. He is leaving for his home in next 15 min. He needs these books badly. I will SMS him that you are bringing the books. I am going to Cauvery Theatre for God Tussi Great Ho. Okay, bye, I am in a hurry.”.

Gullu ran away before bhOndOO could speak. “Keep those in the container.”, Shami said. bhOndOO kept the books in the container attached to the handle in front of the bicycle. They continued walking.

They reached in front of the library and bhOndOO saw it open. It was 15:30. bhOndOO was feeling accomplished.

For crossing the road to the library, they looked back to check any vehicles and saw Lili from BioChemistry Department. Lili was holding her left hand with the right one. The left hand was bleeding.

“Oh! What happened, Lili?”, Shami asked.
“A bottle broke in the lab and there was a cut. I am going to the Health Center.”.
“bhOndOO, can you take Lili to the Heath Center?”, Shami said and without waiting for an answer, continued, “Take this bicycle, you will reach faster.”, and handed over the bicycle to bhOndOO.

bhOndOO had no choice. Stout Lili grabbed the back seat and fat bhOndOO, with full effort, started paddling. The cycle started with a zig-zag path, and Shami felt that she would witness a triple-fall. But bhOndOO managed the balance. He himself cycled past the library, feeling like someone stealing 1000-rupee notes from his wallet in front of his eyes and he could not do anything.

“Thanks, bhOndOO.”, Lili bid adieu in front of the Health Center.
You are not welcome, bhOndOO thought and uttered, “No problem.”.

bhOndOO thought: BenJi can wait for 15 more min. I will go to the library first and then go to him, and bhOndOO almost rushed towards the library. It was 15:45.

bhOndOO was cycling very fast. He knew that he was going to make it. His pulse rate had increased and he had started sweating (in Bangalore!). bhOndOO was also about to keep his record unbroken. He felt good and increased the speed.

Finally, he reached the library. He looked at the watch: 15:50. He felt relieved. He parked the bicycle. As he was crossing the road to enter the library, a fast bike almost hit him. bhOndOO felt shocked thinking of meeting with an accident. The bike stopped and Chunna shouted, “bhOndOO, where are you roaming yaar! BenJi is waiting for his books. Come on, lets go to the hostel.”.

“See, Chunna. I have to renew my books.”.
“He is already late. He will miss the train. Come.”, Chunna was amongst the students who felt that anything related to library was non-critical.
“Okay, you take these books.”.
“How will I carry them while driving, you idiot! Now don’t give foolish reasons. Just get on.”.
“I have to return Shami’s bicycle.”.
“You can return it later, man!”.
“But listen to me…”.
Chunna’s look made bhOndOO keep silent and get seated on the bike. While Chunna turned the bike, bhOndOO kept looking at the library passing by.

While handing over the books to BenJi, bhOndOO got to listen to a lot of cursing. But bhOndOO was not listening. He knew that it was already 16:00 and he had lost the battle. He felt depressed, went to the hostel and slept.

In the evening, he walked to the library, took Shami’s bicycle and went to her hostel to return it.

Next day:
You have broken my record, bhOndOO sighed looking at the one-rupee coin in his hand. He went to the library and stood at the counter. The lady at the counter checked his ID and told him, “One rupee fine, Sir.”. bhOndOO handed over the coin to her. While she was writing the receipt, bhOndOO kept feeling bad of yesterday’s incident.

“Why don’t you keep the issue counter open till 23:00 on holidays also?”, frustrated bhOndOO finally spoke.
“We do, Sir.”.

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puncturing gullu’s bicycle.

Aug 25, 2008

“How do you take a printout, Sir?”, bhOndOO heard a soft voice coming from the back. As he turned, he saw five young girls surrounding him. He was overjoyed — rather surprised. He quickly inferred that although the thought was very pleasing, he was day-dreaming and the freshers were asking the question to someone else in the lab. But noting that he was the only representative of the Adam’s species in the lab, he recollected his orkut fortune, You will always have good luck in your personal affairs.

bhOndOO came to senses. He managed, “Just type clpr filename.”.
“Okay, Sir.”, and the congregation of the ladies moved to a nearby computer.

Gullu entered the Computing Lab and grabbed a seat in a corner.

bhOndOO continued dreaming like Shah Rukh Khan: Shaan se rahoon sadaa, mujhpe log ho fida, haseenayen bhi dil ho khotee. His beautiful dream was disturbed by whispering of the ladies team.

“No! not lpr, it is clpr.”.
“Not filename baba, but the name of the file. Yes, isca.pdf.”.
“The file is not there. Isn’t it saying it is not found!”.
“But it is there na. See ls is also showing it.”.
“Oh! Then, …”.
“Hmmm…”.
“clpr is not there.”.

After 60 seconds of murmuring discussion, 20 seconds of hesitation, and 10 seconds of wait, the ladies club came back to their angel, “Sir, it is not working.”.

bhOndOO made a face as if it was an NP-hard problem. He then came up with the reason (linear in time).
“Oh! clpr may not be in the path. Try the complete path /home/scratch/Printer/clpr.”.

The mob returned, typed something, whispered, hesitated, and said (this time, not coming back to bhOndOO), “Sir, it is not working.”.

bhOndOO’s status was at stake, which made him a bit (to say less) excited. But the uniform error interface of Sir, it is not working made bhOndOO angry. He wanted to know what was not working, but the girls paid no heed to his pink-turned face. Finally, controlling his anger, bhOndOO came to their computer.

“Oh! You need to convert the file to postscript to take a printout. PDF is not supported.”.
“Oh!”, came a uniform sigh, and all the girls hesitated again. After a gap of 3 seconds, one of them asked, “Sir, how to convert it to postscript?”.

bhOndOO heard a giggle in the corner and he was annoyed by now.

“Okay.”. bhOndOO opened the PDF file in acroread and printed it to a file output.ps. He himself then typed the command /home/scratch/Printer/clpr -f output.ps and pressed enter. clpr returned to the prompt with undecipherable error. bhOndOO tried again. Same undecipherable error. Adamant bhOndOO tried yet again and clpr proved itself equally adamant.

The prestige issue made bhOndOO look at the printer with red eyes and heart full of curses. He walked to the printer and (showed that he) checked it. The tray contained enough pages, the plug was connected and the wall-switch was on. bhOndOO observed the printer from all three dimensions, but did not find anything wrong with it. He then returned to the computer and tried the same command. clpr returned the same error.

After 300 seconds of getting bored to see bhOndOO trying the same 3-4 commands in random order, the ladies club reentered the mode of whispering. bhOndOO gathered that he had been demoted from the post of angel to a useless senior. He kept looking at the printer and felt like crying.

The girl mob, leaving their angel, moved to another angel in the corner. Gullu got up, came to their computer on which bhOndOO was playing the trial-and-error game, looked at the error message thrown by clpr, thought for a while, walked to the printer, looked at it, and pushed a button. The printer woke up roaring like a lion. “Try now.”, Gullu told the girls.

The girls hesitated. bhOndOO got up from the computer. One of the girls tried the same command and clpr said, The job completed successfully. The roaring lion threw out a set of pages.

“What was the problem?”, one of the girls asked their new angel.
“The printer button was off.”.
“Oh! Thank you very much, Sir.”, the girl said with a lot of gratitude in her eyes.
“You are welcome. But next time, just remember that you should consult the right senior.”.

Gullu and the girls’s gang giggled: Gullu freely, and the gang, as before, hesitantly. bhOndOO felt bad, as bad as he had felt on listening to the remarks when he had (by mistake?) boarded a ladies bus in Bangalore. At the next moment, he was out of the lab.

“Hi, bhOndOO.”, came an enthusiastic greeting.
“Hello BenJi.”, bhOndOO’s cold, tight-lipped reply.
“What happened?”.
“This Gullu considers himself a Hero! At my cost, he is trying to impress the girls! He must be taught a lesson. I will teach him the lesson.”.

bhOndOO narrated the story to BenJi and brought him outside the department.
“Where is his red bicycle!”, bhOndOO exclaimed.
“Whose bicycle?”.
“That bastard’s bicycle! I will puncture it today. Ah! There it is.”.
“Wait! He must be coming out now. He goes to tea board everyday around this time on the bicycle.”.
bhOndOO stopped himself, remembering the built of Gullu’s physique. “Then what should I do?”, bhOndOO asked himself.
“See bhOndOO…”.
“Okay, I am going to tea board. I will wait for him to park his bicycle and once he goes inside, I will puncture it. What does he consider himself to be! He must be taught a lesson! I will teach him the lesson.”, and he started walking without listening to BenJi.

BenJi knew that there was no point in trying to stop bhOndOO, for he was very excited and angry. BenJi nodded his head, as if saying, Kaise kaise log hai is duniya mein? and turned to reenter the department.

Prof Krishnamurthy, bhOndOO’s advisor, came out of the department.
“Good afternoon, Sir.”, BenJi greeted.
“Good afternoon.”, Prof Krishnamurthy greeted back and walked past.

BenJi was about to go in, when he realized something. He looked back to see Prof Krishnamurthy taking the red bicycle out of the parking area. BenJi raised his eyebrows and wondered, “I hope Prof Krishnamurthy does not go to tea board.”.

At tea board, bhOndOO waited eagerly. He did not stand in the parking lot not to be seen by Gullu. After some time, his advisor, Prof Krishnamurthy entered tea board and he wished him. A few moments later, Gullu entered the tea board. bhOndOO hid himself behind a table and managed to escape out of the tea board without getting seen by Gullu. Gullu got into the queue.

bhOndOO came out and saw the red bicycle. He went near and looked around to see nobody. He then sat near the bicycle and thought of puncturing the back tyre. But he had no pointing instrument. He tried scorching with his nails, but that was not very helpful.

For the lack of any metallic object, he picked up a big stone and started hitting the tyre with it. His cautiousness made him look around to see BenJi come running along the road. Why is he running? Whom is he waving at? What does he want to say?

Suddenly, BenJi stopped and turned back. bhOndOO did not realize the sudden change and he added two more strong hits to the tyre. A pat on the shoulder made bhOndOO turn back. Looking at his advisor, he almost fell back. Prof Krishnamurthy asked, “What is going on, bhOndOO?”.


I better end the story here.

update on mishra’s bone marrow transplant.

Aug 23, 2008

Thanks to all of you for donating for Ashutosh Mishra’s cancer. An update is that Ashutosh has found a suitable donor and would have the transplant done next week.

Let’s pray that everything goes well and we get to see him recovered soon.

Update: Ashutosh passed away on Oct 05, 2008.