Saturday, August 07, 2004

the damnable thing

is that i forwarded mail to myself of a reply i wrote to my batch co-ordinator about life in tcs. the thing hasn't reached my gmail inbox. great. but why does vindication make me feel like shit. niyant called up and was talking about how skydiving is a great pursuit and he wished he could do it, if he could only do it in america. heck! for half the cost, I would push him off from someplace real high. Of course. No parachute. And then he was meandering about quantum computation. It seems I am the only guy not doing my ms now. That's ok. No great hurry. I am too busy exploring now. There's treasure everywhere....

F(r)iends from Hell

What is it with all these Hell movies going on nowadays. Van Helsig, HellBoy, Go to Hell, how to give hell, born to raise hell, where to stash hell at night so that the cleaning staff don't get it....

I am thinking of writing a spoofy screenplay called....

oh! just read on....

collaborative efforts anyone. just add it to the comment and I will make these changes and keep republishing better drafts of F(r)iends from Hell....

[Dark Screen]

Friends. Friends. Lend me your ears. Hey you Sam. Yes you with the red collar, give me your pitchfork.

[Ouch! Argh!-shrieks]

Yes. You friends from hell. Quiet now.

Listen ye and listen all. In this glorious year of the new millenium I have decided to start a brand new society that will finally finally finally provide us respite from these years of being tortured, beaten, murdered, killed and sewn up by sanctimonious so and so's from the church to the trade press, I present to you, a society that is designed to forever protect you.

[Buzz in the crowd]

Yes. Protect you from the harsh uncivilized brutes from all over, who keep opening up wormholes in space to our world, come thrashing us, and do unspeakable things to us. An institution that will forever protect you from the most fiendish creature possible. Man

[frightened crowd]

An institution that will protect your rights as a living creature, to the pursuit of happiness, values, and morals. I present to you...

[ A large flag of the United States covers the screen]

No you idiot, those are our allies.

I present to you.

F(r)iends of Hell!

[A large blue cloth randomly dotted with gold specks comes into view]


F(r)iends of Hell

topics usually discussed in TCS meetings

I am guessing here. I am never invited. Stick to your screen, villanious peasant, is what it is for me....

related to the it industry
1) tcs has a very low pay scale
2) tcs has a very low pay scale
3) my pl sucks

related to technology:
1) do you get better porn movies with divx
2) where do you get shots of pam anderson
3) can we play it here?
4) SExual orienteation (Is it up or down)

related to personal networking
1) are you female
2) if so are you naked
3) if so will you send me pictures of yourself

A field guide to getting married in South India

O.K. Long, hot and educational day in Chennai here. While work is about as non-stimulating as a dead halibut, Parul's made me think a lot. His question "why doesn't chennai have chicks", has made me think long and hard, and well, come up with some more tripe, but I think I will document it anyway. Some tripe can be saved...

Chennai doesn't have good looking girls, because in a moment of madness we gave them over to our guys in Seattle a long time ago. Or Bangalore. Or Fondue Alaska. Or wherever the money is.

Yes. TN is rapidly joining the eclectic group of nations amognst which are Poland, Israel and Ireland. We now have a larger number of expatriates living outside the state than within. We wouldn't mind if half of them were the mustachioed ding dongs, we have to put up with. But most of them are our girls.

Yes. In reply to Parul's question let me state. All of Chennai's girls are in Seattle, happily wed to south indian tambram males most of whom are errr... software engineers. in most cases it's a lucky accident if the girl in question is over the legal age for marriage. because to the tambram the one thing that speaks of a secure if rather boring future is the software job. Remember the tambram motto "go for gold".

To understand the finer nuances of this prediliction of tambram father-in-laws for software engineering, you need to understand the mind of the tambram father-in-law(quite a controversial statement this, the grotesque gossipy grooms association has just issued a statement that the tambram fil has no brain at all. To them I answer "wait till you get daughters", with a sneer, seeing that this is impossible, since they can't get married).

Most tambrams are quite conservative, traditional folks, with a strong streak of hypocrisy. This is not to say they need to villified. In this they are as much like the other thevars, chettiars, jats, punjus, gujjus, mallus, communists and other jingoistic tribes that make up much of this secular if confusing nation.

Many progressive tambrams may object to this sterotyping. To them I shall quote statistics. From the great tambram institution of The Hindu. Later. And they shall be convinced.

To continue...

This conservative and secure streak in the mind of the prospective tambram father-in-law has led to a rigid stratification of the educational qualifications that is necessary for any prospective groom to possess.

At the bottom of the layer, the very least that a girl ought to marry, the discount/compromise degree of educational qualifications is of course the engineer. This is the ordinary "plain-engineer". To the tambram fil (father-in-law), an engineering degree is the least that he can tolerate. An engineering degree qualifies you as scratch for entering the matrimony market. Commerce graduates need not apply. The engineering degree is what qualifies a boy to scratch. Only if he is an engineer is he supposed to have the necessary intelligence to even get married. The tambram fil looks upon commerce as an abomination, economics as something studied by mental retards, law by the lawless,and arts as that studied by rogues and ruffians. Liberal studies are an unknown quantity here. The one thing that certifies that you will be capable of taking care of your wife is an engineering degree.

Trivia: Did you know that TN contributes the largest percentage of engineers to all of India. It's not because we have this desire to build bridges, but it's because otherwise we won't get any.

The plain engineer is one of those who have been churned out of one of TN's many engineering colleges. And holds only a BE degree. This is why he is plain. His college is virtually an unknown quantity, and resembles to a large extent any secret society. Mostly only those who are forced to go there, know it's existence. But let's move on with our ranking...

Next are those who have graduated from Anna University and the RECS. But there is a large schism within this group. There aretwo factions. One of which are those who hold their noses high in snobbery because they have been educated within TN, in either REC Trichy or Anna University. Facing them are the others noses equally highly held because they hold the opinion that their sons and daughters having been educated in such foriegn and alien lands like Punjab or Haryana are better, tougher than those who have been mollycoddled back home. Their detractors claim that this may have polluted their morals and ideals, and thus stepping away from the boundaries of TN must immediately make them inferior to their pure and idealistic Tamil counterparts. If you ever come down to my family, you can regularly see two aunts belonging to each side of this schism, indulging in severe snoberry, putting down their opponent's offspring and generally being terrifically bitchy. Oh well! Aunts certainlly aren't gentlemen.

Next comes a rather disenchanted and usurped group. They once held roost over this entire pyramid of qualifications, but over the last few years, the job market, and offshoring has conspired to push them lower down the pecking order. Yes! Ladies and Gentlemen, these are the IIT boys. They were once royalty, enobled, endowed with mythical abilities in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and stuckupness. Their intellectual prowess was enough to convince the tambram fil that this lot would keep their daughter happy. In fact, matrons with marriageable daughters invested such powers in the IIT guys, that it was sometimes embarassing. Yes! Atthai, I am refering to you. And no! that poor bugger didn't startup Intel. He was just working in it, and no! he didn't own the company, just some stock options there. But the fall from grace has been anything other than dignified. The strict emphasis on the monastic life in IIT, and their unconcern for most of the world, and their boldness has not endeared them to the fil's in tamland. The present trend has been to be rather disdainful of IITian's. Yes Atthai! I am talking to you. And no. He didn't walk out into the Canadian cold clad in his chaddis. He was locked out of the house. And no! he doesn't care if you don't get your daughter married to him. He wants to remain a bachelor. Nowadays, urban legends are circulated about the eccentries of IITians, possibly started of by some irate nogoody who didn't get any, about the IITians various excess, but these urban legends still continue to fly about. These may turn out to be the proverbial nails in the coffin of the IITians.

Next comes a rather generic rank. The subdivisions in this rank are still not completely defined, boundaries are constantly shifting, so are loyalties, and there rage battles in families, when an aunt or an uncle, contravenes social customs, and unknowingly promotes the status of one subgroup over the other. But there are three distinct subgroups. MNC-mappilais, MBA-mappilais, IIT-MBA mappilais. The MNC man is a plain engineer who has through sheer dilligence begun working in an MNC and is hotter than the mere IIT graduate who works in a startup. The IIT-MNC scores over the MNC and the commerce-MBA-MNC is at the bottom of the pecking order in this group. The IIT-MNC scores over the commerce-MBA-MNC. Top of the pops is the IIT-MBA-MNC. He scores over the other two, and is quite a favourite amongst old tambram patriachs, who voice loudly to neighbours and young tykes not yet strong enough to rebel, the opinion that it's better to still be able to talk to your girl. However the MBA's we are refering to are IIM MBA's. People with international MBA's do not fall into this category. Unless they are non IITian international MBA's. In which case they are clubbed with the hoi polloi MBA-mapillais. However this has led to a lot of discontent with the international non IIT MBA's claiming their right to emancipation and asking for a separate category altogether. In this they are joined by their tambram fils who feel quite cheated like the time they brought a stock valued at 2000 and the bottom fell of at 2. nonIIT IIM's are lower than the IIT IIM's but a cut above the mere MBA-mapillais. Quite a few skirmishes are indulged in by all these warring tribes, and the amount of real politik indulged in by the elitist mamis, in a game of one upmanship has to be seen to be believed.

After this rank are the IIT-international-MBAs. Wharton in the glorious United States of America or WaggaWagga in Australia, these boys are fine examples of the fmcg that they usually market. But the intellectual snobbery of the tambram comes to the fore here. These fine young gents are looked down upon as soap sellers, never mind that selling soap is the largest industry in all of the world, and ink happens to be the blood of all civalization. If an mba, he needs to be an ibanker. Many a tambram fil has been shamed by the knowledge that the happy "Manager of Sales all of North America" to whom his daughter was married, was a mere soap seller. This has caused inconceivable sorrow to a lot of these international inverteberates, not to mention a lot of the poor blokes who are forced to sit and listen to warring uncles proclaim proudly that their sons are great because they are or are not MBAs.

On top of this pyramid is the MS boy. He is the paragon of all virtues, and of monumental mental abilities (sic illnes). The one educational qualification which speaks of "status", "prestige" (not to be confused with the cooker variety), and soundness of investments, this is the pinnacle that any tambram boy can attain. Of course like the p-band of the orbit of an electron around an atom, things are not so simple. There exists an onion skin layer of close divisions amongst the MS'es. Lowest of all is the MS boy whose is not an IITian and not working in an MNC. Then comes a non IITian MNC. Then comes an IITian non MNC, and then finally IITian MNC. MSs are valued more than PHD's for reasons best known to tambram fils. Like the Jews of Israel, MTechs from IIT and Phds are a neglected tribe. I remember a friend of mine in Stanford who did a Phd in Computing. After which he decided to join his buddy Larry and work with 10 computer boxes on Larry's scheme. But unfortunately his parents couldn't find a suitable bride for him, becuase he wasn't an IIT-MS-MNC. There was no way he fell into any of the mentionable bands, because an IIT-Phd would project him as being incredibly donnish and thus not intrested in his wife, while IIT-MNC would brand him as an underachiever. So after long thought his parents forced him to get a job in an MNC, presented his MS certificate alone, "he is trying for a Phd" was the excuse I think and at the end of it, voila he got a job at AT&T and a wife. Of course his friend Larry was dissapointed, and offered to buy our banda back with stock options, offers promptly refused. Larry went on to be the founding father of Google, but such is life. But even amongst the MS there exist layers of sub stratification. Topmost are the core intellectual courses like computer science and communications. A fall back is something like mechanical which is good if you work in Caterpillar or Ford and downright bad is civil unless you work in Larsen and Tubro.

Amongst the neglected tribes are the MSes who have returned back home. This group has continued to confuse everyone. They have all the categories required, yet their coming back home seems to speak of lack of some moral compunction, some defeciency of the soul. But worst of all is the fact that they are unclassifiable and this leads to a hatred of this tribe. With his strong grounding in science the failure to classify this group irritates the fil, and finally leads to his hate for the group.

But even as we speak the differences between these groups are being eroded, whilst they still indulge in battles.

O.K. enough dramatic. Let me now ask and answer a few questions.

1. Has this answered Parul's question?
A. Yes it has

2. Does the entire essay explain the answer
A. No it doesn't. It was tripe. Btw the Tambrams association has decided to sue your balls of you.

3. Where are they getting their lawyers.
A. They aren't. However the next time you use your computer you better watch out.

4. How can I use this article.
A. You can promote this article and forward it to friends, make me famous and earn my eternal blessings. Yes! you can forward this as much as you want as long as, you maintain I wrote it.

5. Or?
A. Or you can use this as a guide book when you enter a tambram family intent on murdering it's own, and then use this to maintain a diplomatic distance from the bitchy mamis and sanctimonious mamas.

6. Can I help you?
A. Sure you can. Can you get me a beer?