Friday, November 17, 2006

After a grueling day, I pulled out all the coins I had stuffed in various compartments in my bag and figured that I had to take the public transport to get home. Usually, I board the bus in the terminus itself. While I sat there waiting for the bus to move, one girl came up to me and said that she was studying in Anna University and that I should tell her where to get down. So far so good.
We were getting bored and hence we were asking very basic questions about each other’s lives. She was from Kerala and was doing her first year of engineering and had got in purely on merit. I am sure that any commerce student would be aware that there is an institution called Anna University and that engineering is a four year course.

Now it was her turn to question me. She asked me if I was a student. I answered in the affirmative. Next she asked “Which college?” I very boldly told her that I was doing ca. Her reaction was something very disturbing. She said ‘Oh, but I asked where?’ I told her the full form of ca and even told her that it is not done from a college. Even after that she asked “But what do you study in college then?”
I decided to give up and I told her the name of some college and told her that I study B.Com in college. At least after this reply of mine had she left me alone I would have had some respect for her. No, she exclaimed and said “So, you are doing commerce?” My head was spinning as to why people do not read newspapers. You do not need to read business newspapers for that. Many companies publish their financial statements in The Hindu! On seeing those will they not wonder, who are auditors?!

While I was lost in my thoughts, I could see her lips moving. Suddenly realizing that she was talking to me, I wished away all my thoughts and made an effort to listen to her. She was saying how easy life is for those doing commerce where as they had to slog their way out! Finally this conductor announced that another bus would leave the terminus as this bus had some problem. I rushed out and sat as afar as possible from that girl after reassuring her that I would inform her when she has to get down.

As the bus moved, the soft wind that brushed my hair I was wondering if any commerce graduate would agree that studying commerce was the simplest thing to do. Moreover they do not realize that they will have to study more than the B.Com students because they turn out as professionals at the end of four years but not graduates. They have a longer way to go. CA? What do these letters mean for engineering students? Well, I could not come out with an answer. This girl whom I was talking to was from Kerala which is 100% literate!
Hmmmm….so that is being literate!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Privacy.. Is that too much to ask for?
At times I find it very frustrating to own a cell phone! Everyone owns one irrespective of their age and requirements. I was traveling in a bus, when I came across a school girl, say about 12 years of age talking incessantly over the cell! She spoke so much that she had forgotten to buy herself a ticket and worse she did not even realize it. Anyone standing near her would have known all about her, her school, her place of residence, her plans for the weekend, and her new crush at school. That’s all I managed to listen because after that I was lost in my thoughts.
The fact that you are accessible to everyone at all times of the day makes everyone to take you for granted. People just do not have the basic courtesy as to what time of the day they can call! Even if you keep it on silent mode and the call goes unattended the other person would be sure that you would know he had called and worse expect you to return the call. Supposing you returned the call after a few hours, they even take the right to question you as to what you were doing all the time! Once I switched off my cell and the next morning I got a message from my network operator that I could view all those who had called while my phone was switched off by sending a message! Damn these money makers! Anyways, I got down to my work and after a few days I realized that my friend was upset that I had not returned her call! She called me a miser for not subscribing to that service!
Messaging, a boon during college hours is a pain during other times. Almost all phones show whether the messages have been delivered or not! I have seen so many people staring at their phones to just see if it says ‘Message Delivered’. Moreover, even if the phone is switched off the other person will know when exactly you have switched on your cell and the questioning session begins! Doubts, to a certain extent can be cleared by way of a message but not the entire sum! If you ask the other person to call, he will tell you that since your messages are free you can message. Even if you offer to call he will say that he is outside and cannot speak freely. Apparently he is multi-tasking!
I went to enquire about computer classes in a nearby place. He was explaining the course contents, the fees and certification details which were rather confusing in his pamphlet. In that half an hour, he had got four calls and five messages which he very patiently attended to. Each time he would finish attending the call and say ‘Yeah, so any other doubts?’ Well, I did want to ask if he was the most wanted person in the country or rather if he thought so.
Fine, the guy there need not respect me but I did expect my friend, whom I had not visited for long to speak to me. But that was not so! He sat right opposite to me and would start saying ‘Hey, you know what happened?......’ As you guessed all I heard after that was a beep and he was replying to that message. The worst part of this incident was that he looked up and said ‘So, what is happening in your life?’
But I do agree that there are occasions when I felt that my cell phone saved my life! So, I very meekly decided to accept that every coin is two sided!