Monday, January 30, 2006

D-Day Disaster

The bash was a complete disaster, with the anti-Mars feeling dominating a large part of it. The venue was a total let-down. It was a unlevelled open site, for God's sake, and they had put up cloth all around, and made it look like a consumer exhibition. And to top it all, we had the Zensar guys looking at us from their balconies. First-timers somewhat enjoyed it, but then, they had no yardstick to judge it. Last year's bash was leagues ahead of this.

We reached the venue in the afternoon, in the sweltering heat, and the first things we are given are some games coupons. (I am being convinced this is an exhibition after all.) I look around and see heavy snacks (read dosas, bisi bele bath) being served, and dust all over. Didnt feel like eating much.

The mood went for a toss right there. Had a look at the games counters - put a ball through a swinging tyre wrapped in golden paper, put the coin in the tumbler immersed in a bucket of water, hang rings on a couple of hooks five feet away. Sheesh!!! My high school exhibition had more exciting games.

Cut to early evening. A poor man's Johnny Lever takes the sub-stage and does a poor show of imitating Bollywood. Me looking at a red M&M 4x4 parked mear the main stage. Yawn!! Show over, the comedian begs for applause and beats a hasty exit. Me does a photo session with friends on the red M&M. The jeep is the only solace in the hot afternoon sun beating on our backs, getting the sweat to flow. Wrong choice of clothes, I think to myself, looking at the beige trousers getting reddy streaks, thanks to the mud and dust around. The shoes are a complete wreck, took me half a bottle of Cherry Blossom to bring them back to black.

Cut to late evening, when the Idol starts. The first round is a classical round, and it starts on a melodious note. But where is this "Just Chill Chill" coming from. Its the DJ at the kiddie zone, belting out the numbers blissfully unaware that someone is stretching their vocal chords to the highest octave just next to him. The noise surprisingly subsides when the IDOL steps on stage. By this time, the crowd has settled down and found their groove, though some are still loitering near the breezer counter, hoping to grab the first bottle. By the time the IDOL takes the stage for his second round, side screens are in place, flanking the main stage, and beaming up his face for all to see.

The choice, the rendition and the outcome of the song was such, I heard at least half a dozen people openly saying they could do better. Out of the seven, yet, the IDOL came up tops, and the presence of a certain person saw to it that Mars gets the least points (read a lowly third), even though it had two of the top three singers that evening. Needless to say, IDOL won the Idol, for a second time in a row.

Ever heard of Abhijit Sawant winning the Indian Idol 2. But hey, this is bash, and anything amiss is perfectly okay.

The bar was telling a story of its own. They were serving only beer and breezer, and what do we have with it? Wonder of wonders, peanuts and potato wafers. Is this an annual bash, you are tempted to ask, but you decide against it, to wait and watch. The first few rounds are given in bottles, and what do you see next? Liquor given in paper cups. Where is the world coming to? Even Laloo gives tea in earthen cups, and we get liquor in paper cups. Better kick? Maybe, ask those who were high on it. Compare with this the unlimited vodka and whisky which flowed freely last bash, in decorated glassware, and Thai and Lebanese starters to go with it. Last bash even had a cigarette stall to lift the "high" people higher.

The food was okay, but thats the best that can be said about it. The damage was done as early as mid-afternoon when people saw all the dust settling on the cutlery and stuff. Award ceremonies gave way to stage performances, and it kept on dragging behind schedule. The results of the IDOL brought along with it the results of the campaigning and the house tallies. With IDOL walking away with the accolades, it was certain that Venus was way ahead of Mars, but the final nail in the coffin was hammered when they announced they had divided the 100 points for campaigning equally between Mars and Venus. Now, someone please tell me how can two campaigns be equal?

Campaigning is where there is always a clear winner. You come up with a brainwave, and the other comes up with an equally killing idea, but there is always a clear line which declares the winner. I agree the Mela and newspaper were stunning moves, but the 50-50 stank of the rancid politics going on.

Finally the rock band came, and gave some real headbanging for a few minutes, before they were asked to leave the stage in the middle of their performance. Reason unknown. Result unknown. Rock gave way to DJ, and finally, some hip shaking numbers came through the speakers. The dance started from one end of the stage, and dust raised to spoil the shirts. (The trousers were already asking for their date with the drycleaners).

I remember the last bash, when we left the venue past midnight, and had voices reach their peak in the buses, on the way back. The event reverberated for two days then. This time around it wound up at 10pm, and the buses started to leave. As expected, there was a humungous rush for the first bus back to the city. And the ride was a silent one to boot, you could have heard a pin drop. And when one reached home, it was perfectly normal that he curled up under his rug, and dozed off watching tennis on the TV, just like any other day slogged out at the office.

I am happy I did not shop for this bash.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Woman on Top

The pre-bash events finally drew to a close on Friday, with the campaigning ending a good 48 hours before the bash. Barring Treasure Hunt, Venus had taken a slender lead of 3 points over Mars, and the scales looked to tip in favour of Mars as we had our trump card in Company Idol, to be held on Sunday (Bash Day).

Come to think of it, any of the nine planets could have come up and staked a claim for the winners, but just look at who is roughing it out. Its Mars and Venus, like Men and Women in real life...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Annual Bash

Yeah I know... I know...its been a long time since I have come here, but then...better late than never.

The company is gearing up like anything for the Annual Bash. The pre-bash events are drawing to a close, and for the first time today, Venus caught up with us Martians, to share the top place.

Oh!! Wondering what this Mars and Venus are??? The entire organisation has been divided into 9 planets, and events have been organised to see who comes up tops. All the events have been given galactic names, in keeping with the theme of the bash-Brahmand. Carrom was Black Hole, Quiz was renamed Cyborg, Badminton was Space Shuttle and so on.

The first event was carrom, and Mars (to which I belong) drew the first blood by getting the top place. We also got bonus points for it as we had our GH participating in it as well. Next me and Santu teamed up and brought home the Quiz titles. Badminton too fell into our basket.

Mars headed on to the skyline of the house tally like a rocket, and even as the other teams were trying to catch up, Mars took the lead further by staking its claim to first AND second prizes in Dexterity. FYI, Dexterity is soap-carving.

Lot of other events like Antakshari and the Company Idol are going on and Mars has strong contenders in each. But ever since Venus has taken the Cricket trophy and sent four of its teams to the semifinals, it has started to look menacing.

Today, for the first time since the events started, there is someone who stands neck and neck in front of us. I have to mention though, that some of their publicity stunts have been superb. The Globe in the middle of the annexe lift, with a light in it was a sure point-puller, and so is the newspaper they have launched today.

The newspaper was a gem of an idea, but they have not taken it the extra yard. Giving in to the temptation, they have badmouthed other houses, part of it is justified, but in the end, it leaves a bad taste to the person looking from outside. I doubt whether they get any substantial points for it.

I have been hearing mixed reactions on the Red Fort of the Martians, but the effort makes it worthwhile. The whole of fifth floor looks formidable, with red fortress-like looks, complete with mock spears, shields and what not.

Mars has also been involved in Community services, and involving the support staff in its publicity campaign, so they are the hot favourites for grabbing the max of the points for publicity. Jupiter too is in the fray with its innovative Jupiter Swing which moves with the Annexe Lifts.

Anyway, this weekend will see most teams making a last ditch effort as everything would end on Friday. Will keep posting more on the Mars - Venus battle.

Adios for now...

Monday, January 02, 2006


It has been a delightful and exciting experience cracking each of these levels. So, if you really want to enjoy the fun, dont read this, slam doors, pull your hair out, and think "out" of the box and solve it on your own.

But, if nothing rings a bell, you can take a sneak peek here. But there are no answers here, only clues, which are more obvious than the ones you can see already. Do read the rules carefully, and remember them (and the answers you get as you move ahead) while solving each level :))

Here goes...Always look at the URL, the Title of the pages and other obvious clues before looking at anything else.

Level 01: Click on the gate.
Level 02: Wait till something blinks on the door, and quickly click on it.
Level 03: There is a rainbow behind the word Goddess. The obvious hint is towards the 'rainbow goddess'.
Level 04: Where have you last seen this type of B. It has something to do with the last answer. Which part of your body is the 'last answer'?. This is a very popular brand in its line.
Level 05: Read the clue. "You havent seen all yet". Wonder why they gave a scroll bar? Google and find the band. Band will lead you to singer, and the next level. The URL asks you to "use this space".
Level 06: See the face? May the source be with you. Connect the face and Liz Hurley. He asks you to dial, so you know what goes in the field.
Level 07: Keep it simple. Follow the rules to the letter.
Level 08: The title and the source are the key. How do you send a message. What is on the road? Connect, google and decipher.
Level 09: "Devil and Saint", Yin and Yang, Male and Female, Black and White. Double entendres. Text twist.
Level 10: Again Keep it simple, but not so much. Read rules, change things.Level 10: You guessed the B. Now guess the A. Think Rings, and Commentators.
Level 11: "Type it again", "switch it back". Something's wrong in the keyboard. What should have been the id/password?
Level 12: "singalong".asp, Which map do I see? Does the knife kill a beast? Is the spirit a 69? Who has a Mercedes Benz? "Try going out of this level", "NO EXIT"? Can you never leave? First word ID, second PWD.
Level 13: Thirteen, thirteen everywhere...decipher.
Level 14: Google Ahoy!!!
Level 15: Deja Vu...English Cricket?
Level 16: Notice the scroll-bar? Get something, and use them with the right keys in the right boxes.
Level 17: "Whose words". Google to the rescue.
Level 18: Why dont you message back?
Level 19: "Look There" Where? Behind? In the source? "Pointed which way"? Decipher now.
Level 20: "If you know him, you will know his ..." The man who said the first line had a peculiar way of doing things. Google your way ahead for a completely different answer.
Level 21: Akash-Siddharth-Sameer.
Level 22: "Turned around", "I can come back to where I began", "Authenticate for a=z, b= ..."
Level 23: "Get this". "dontchangethis.asp" Change something else, to "get" something. Go ahead, techies.

Level 24: Blue Pill:
Level 25: Google your way with the obvious clues.
Level 26: "Turn or something". Put a CD to a different use. Get the riddle, solve the puzzle.
Level 27: What is a diamond also called as? What does it have to do in windows? Why does the title say PLAY? And who made it first? After all, its a solitary diamond in a window.

Level 24: Red Pill: They say memory should be good, for these kind of games.
Level 25: Think Rings, but not olympics. See the face, but find the location. Connect, Google, Voila ... Translate ... Voila ...
Level 26: Its a line, but also a circle. Concentrate on the lines, and the colours. Bunty was not nicknamed just like that.
Level 27: This is my favourite. Think comics, Think heroes, and their friends. Fantastix.
Level 28: Flags for some decoding...and some changing...Ironically, you would win, if you skipped this.

... and you are on your own hereafter.

I hear Amit and Co are adding more levels to Klueless. Waiting eagerly for it.

Will keep you posted.