Thursday, July 15, 2004

Mid-term Crisis Averted...

As I write this a hundred poor finance focussed people are reading obscenely long questions on options pricing and arbitrage and swiss bonds and understanding jack. My exquisite portfolio of courses, which is sheer Andrew Fastow on the fraud scale, have no midterms whatsoever. So I sit around and think of education, which makes me think of school, which makes me think of how it was, and how I wished it was.

I always had this fantasy thing going on when I was in school. In my moments of self-aggrandizing introspection I would oh so often make these wild disaster movie type stories in my head, all with me walking in through thick white smoke, and saving the exploited black guy, his dog, one national monument and getting the girl. I would then walk far far away into a blazing orange sunset, valiantly dwindling in size till the curvature of the earth got in the way and you couldn't see me anymore.

There were no bad guys in any of them I think. I used a lot of guns and bazookas and longswords, but never killed any people. Only animals that were definitely not endagered and aliens I was sure had no emotions and no families back on their home planets. When I shot a cloned rabid Saturnian chicken it died immediately and without pain.

Once a rather lissome belle of a teacher invoked in me a vivid fantasy that never leaves me to this day. It all starts off as a normal day in school. Hundreds of little children bounce into school in their white shirts and blue bottoms, gleefuly unaware of the fact that a RIP-ROARING APOCALYTPIC EARTHQUAKE IS ABOUT TO HIT THE SCHOOL IN HOURS!!!

I arrive late that day to school. Its the fourteenth time and this time the Principal summons me in no kind terms.

"Thats the fourteenth time this year Mr. Vadukut"
"Yes, your teachers have taught me to count..."
"I will not be spoken to in this tone...I am the principal!!!"
"You are a sharp one arent you..."
"Enough!!!... your mid term papers are with me. You have topped in everything again. If it weren't for your inexplicable intelligence you would be out on the streets... a long time ago..."
"Sir, I came from the streets. The street is my domain. Streets dont scare me..." (I shift in my chair impatiently, sending ripples of muscle through my razor sharp tight white shirt.)
"Ok get out of my office and don't do anything stupid. We dont want heroes here, only straight As..."
"I do what I have to sir... good day..." (Cue thick white smoke outside principal's office, assorted administrative staff, the hot school nurse, and some girls from senior school whisper behind my back... fade in electric guitar riff...)

Its halfway into math class. As I walk in, there is a deafening hush. The teacher stops mid sentence, he is intimidated. I walk to my usual place in the left rear corner (so I always get a clear view of everyone in class), prop my feet on the table and slip a strip of gum into my mouth. The bottom of my shoes, as always, are chunky and sparkling clean. Class resumes. And promptly comes to a halt. They just can't prove the Pythagoras theorem. Having spent years training for a top secret UN agency dealing with evil unendagered animals, and criminal aliens abandoned at birth, I have an IQ beyond my years. Snapping shut the book on particle physics spread on my desk I walk across to the board and write out an elegant proof in yellow chalk. As the drumrolls subside, I walk back to my desk... Just another day for Sidin Vadukut ace student cum secret agent cum cubist painter cum opening batsman cum best dressed male in 8th grade.

Suddenly I hear a soft beeping and I whip out my UN issue commset that has an inbuilt radio, cellphone, pager, xerox machine, microwave oven and orange juice dispenser. All packed into a small plastic cube the size of a 2 by 2 inch plastic cube. What I read off the LCD screen makes me speechless... (Cue small sweat globules break out over forehead... clenched fists... violins...)

Deep under the school, directly below the Women's staff room, two tectonic plates, Joe and Bartholomew, rumble expectantly against each other. I rush out of class and run to the principal's office, someone has to warn these innocent children. (Thankfully my parents are out on vacation to the Bahamas and I dont have to worry about them...)

"Please, not another one of your hairbrained ideas Sidin..."
"Sir, we have a situation. At exactly 1400 hours GMT there will be an earthquake beyond anything this school, leave alone the womens' staff room, has ever seen. If we dont act now, hundreds of innocent lives will be lost..."
"I will not listen to your paranoic schemes. I have good people on the Emergency School Earthquake Response cum Library Maintenance team... Go back to your classes..."
"Sir we have only one hour left... do you want the lives of these children on your hands? Or do you want to do the right thing... Sir, the choice is yours, only yours..."
(Suddenly one of the goons from the Principal's Secret Service retinue enters...)
"Sir, the vice-principal..."
"Mr. Principal, we have to listen to his man. He may have low levels of class participation, but noone has ever made a still model of the Solar System like his in the history of this institution... he is a good man"
(The Principal thumps desk...)
"Okay start evacuation procedures... and Sidin I want you to go the shelters with the others... our team can handle this... dont stick your insolent business in federal school business..."
"Sir, thank you.. I just hope your not too late..."

Alas the earthquake strikes ruthlessly. After around 20 minutes of hajaar special effects, some heriocs, I finally rush to the staff room to make sure its safe, tremors after tremor rips across the school. As I rush in I see "Le Hotte Teacher" struggling to get out. Her micro mini is stuck to the coffee machine in the room... I run into save her... a huge tremor... the lights go out... there is a thud as I hit the floor...

Now everything in my fantasy falls into place see. We are stuck in rubble, just the two of us, for over 48 hours. The nights are cold, the days are dark. No sunlight comes in through the packed rubble around us. Steamy scene, cut to rescue effort outside, cut to steamy scene and so on back and forth. The ending is a blaze of light and sirens and press reporters and a standing ovation when I walk out of what could have been rubbly grave. Sunset, walk, curvature, cut.

I also had fantasies of going to watch the interschool football match. Due to a traffic jam, blocked roads and a plague epidemic not too many students come to support the team. Alas in the dying minutes, one of our finest forwards is mowed down by the opposition. Victory is essential. (The money we make from the first prize will keep the school alive, else we will be closed down and the land will be used to make a Gujju Thaali place...) The team has no substitues on the bench. They turn to the audience. Only I stand firm. I step on the field, and in three minutes of sheer footballing brilliance, I score 19 goals, thus making our team win 19 - 18. The opposition and the scheming thaali people are foiled. I am carried around on many shoulders...

Then theres the one where aliens attack earth and I make a computer virus to fight them and stuff. I wrote a nice 7 stanza poem on it and send it to my German penfriend Roland. He mailed back saying it was too far fetched and even worse than the one I send him about floods in New York. Dammit.

But anything is better than Swiss bonds.

P.S. Thank you thank you all for the wonderful piece you all earned me in the Indian Express newspaper. And thanks Kiruba for hosting it.



I am famous!!!

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

for me it was always an island. me and the latest crush marooned in a cosy little island....

Anonymous said...

famous?

that's like the pope's signing off his blog with "I am Catholic!!!"

hmmm...i'll rate this one around 220 milliTravails.

~im

as said...

becoming famous - is not the only reason for ppl to start blog'g .. its kinda vent !

Sids - your blog rocks man ! keep going

Lucifer said...

hey Siddin
as the famous dialogue in cliffhanger goes " Your are a piece of work man" :)
Was introduced to ur blogs by ur very own "magga" .. rem him still ?? well am glad I came across ur blog .. and about time too ..
and the best part about discovering ur blogs this late?? Have all the archives waiting for me .. ! :)
Ur style is pretty Terry Pratchett ish .. in case u have'nt heard abt the man .. think its about time you looked up some of the works by him .. Howlarious is not the word .

... Keep walking !
Just a thought, instead of writing an entire book, you can publish your blogs .. will be great reading am sure .. and all of us will buy it even tho' we've read them here .....

Hitanshu said...

ossum man! ;-)

Anonymous said...

"suspiciously large amount of time"...."SUSPICIOUSLY LARGE AMOUNT OF TIME"- this was for effect... fame is fleeting. As puritans can observe, the quantity keeps increasing, the quality keeps decreasing. Whatever happened to the real Sidin?

Try applying 'Strategic thinking' to your posts. And give your keyboard some rest.

---- so, sidin fans, please take the comment count to Maximum. Over to you

Anonymous said...

there's constructive criticism and then there are sour grapes. So Mr/Mrs. Post above......please shut the f*** up.

Susheel J said...

What is a Manac quiz? I searched Google and it gave: Do you mean maniac quiz?

Vinod said...

Manac is Management Accounting and I think I know from where Samanth Subramanian got that!

Btw, Sidin, huge fan of yours. Keep the good work going!

gump, very gump said...

ok ok ok

i'll let you write the script for my next(read first) movie (yep i am a film director in one similar dream!)
:))

nice post...i just fear that you might be putting too much time into blogging...keep it balanced :)

Chakra Sampath said...

>> I am famous!!!

- Yes you are!! Way to go man!! Best Wishes!

- Chakra (http://www.chakkarapani.com/blogs)

Famished Artist said...

Congrats, my friend. Happy for ya!! ;-) Dont ever stop blogging!

roses said...

Hello!!!
Rosy here... As I'm getting my share of it for 'buttering you up'.. might as well go the whole blog!
SOOO happy for you... you ARE famous..
And this post.. - you SO rock! And all those who say you don't, take a walk and fall down the curvature.
And may you go from strength to strength...

roses said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
newt! said...

way2go, maximus (cue cheerleaders with pompoms! :))
i wish the gutless 'anonymous' would post his name next to his opinion, for a change. otherwise, mr. sorepants, you r just spam. and you also look like a very green-eyed version of it. i think we should quote dick cheney here.

nirav said...

Dude u r getting your 15 minutes of fame ... go encash it, get down to find a publisher of ur blog, write another book like 5 point some thing like chetan bhagat, and make money .... soon ala rushdie u to will have a padmalakshmi, ur southie name non withstanding...
and in the meanwhile u cud save the universe, kill the evil man, go down in the sunset with the heroine...
but before all cud u managean i-banking summers for me dude .....

ash_rose said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
arun balaji alias @|?|_|\| =|/-\|_/-\_|! said...

hello sidin,

i have a small suggestion.

dont publish ur work elsewhere or go to a publisher.

self publish it.

there are lots of authors who publish thier books on thier own money.

i have a small article also called listen to ur heart - a simple 5 step method that i want to publish.

send me a email if u want to know more about self publishing

urs
arun balaji
@runb@laj!

Vivek Kumar said...

Its really sad to see people trying to "defend" Sidin. In fact, its silly beyond belief.

May be some people do not find some postings funny. What is wrong with that? I find some postings more funny than the others. And so, there will be criticism at times by people who found something not-funny-at-all.

Take a chill pill and stop trying to "defend" Sidin. He doesn't need it. Your defense makes him look lame.

Foolish supporters are worse than smart critics.

You keep posting Sidin. You are outright funny with most of the stuff you write. And dont let your defenders come in the way.

Cheers.

Nikhil Narayanan said...

Hats off to u d00d...

anuj said...

Good show Sidin!!
Good to c that ur blogs r the crowdpullers outside ur A aswell. Reg. manac quiz, it is a course in ist term in IIM-A called Managerial Accounting. It gives the fachhas/fachhis jitters for a long time.

Famished Artist said...

Woah! Update time! 2 days without Domain Maximus and I get itchy!!! Update please!!!

Anonymous said...

Hm..If I understand right, people whod efend Sidin are 'losers'. Then what about the people who post criticising the posters who defend Sidin? That's like taking the Loser tag to a whole new level :-)

Anonymous said...

Reg Manac- It's a course at IIM-L as well. Management Accounting is sweet revenge for all us Commerce grads at b-schools, for having to take quant courses!

Sridevi

Anonymous said...

Hey sidin...

Finally! lots of criticism suddenly huh? no probs. and someone finally thinks to "defend" sidin, is not required; his talent should do that. Bravo! Go through what you have written earlier and see what your present writing lacks. Anyway this piece was quite ok, enjoyed reading it. But in the end a feeling emerges that the reader hasn't gained much. Don't let that happen. The Roman Dimension write up was quite interesting. Lotta facts put up so nicely, making it fun to read.

The sincere critic

rosie said...

No comments, no criticism, no compliments..
Just please post an update...

rosie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
roop said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Please do not remove comments posted! Everybody should say what they want!

Anonymous said...

about time, sidin. feed us. waitning for the next one...

Anonymous said...

Sidin,
Woof woof woof....woof woof...whineeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

- Doggy

Anonymous said...

beta sidin,
where are the posts??! comeon dude cricism means u r popular - dont do this to us!

Anonymous said...

howdy siddin. gandhi here ...nice to see the blogs .....funny stuff