Sunday, March 25, 2012

Allahabad-My city,My Pride

Naini Bridge
Allahabad meaning ‘adobe of God’-my hometown- is the city of Sangam-the confluence of three significant Indian rivers-Ganga,Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. Besides it is a conglomerate of culture I am extremely proud of, of history I borrow my respect from, of tradition that runs into my veins and of values I appreciate since yesterday till tomorrow.

It is the city where much of the history of India’s independence was planned and written. It was one of the active centres of the 1857 mutiny. It was Nehru’s ancestral home –Anand Bhawan- where the leaders of India’s freedom movement congregated and charted the course toward independence. It is the place where Chandershekhar Azad breathed his last unwilling to submit himself to slavery of the colonial regime. ‘Prayag’ meaning ‘place of sacrifice’ it was so rightly named.

Allahabad proudly boasts of producing connoisseurs in almost every field. It has given India four out of fourteen Prime Ministers till date. The most prolific and prominent writers of hindi literature –Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, Sumitranandan Panth,Mahadevi Verma, Harivansh Rai Bachhan, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Dharmveer Bharti etc belong to this city. Superstars like Amitabh Bachhan and Nargis,renowned scholars like Harishchandra and Amarnath Jha , freedom fighters like Madan Mohan Malviya and Purushottam Das were nurtured on this very land. Such is the sagacity in its soil.

Allahabad is known for education since eons. Allahabad University established in 1887 is one of India’s oldest universities (now being the Central University) and has earned the epithet of ‘Oxford of the east’. Besides there are three deemed universities (including my Alma mater), an open university, research and technical institutions and colleges known for providing higher education in vast range of disciplines. This attracts thousands of students and learners from all over country every year turning this city into an education hub. Allahabad is better known as a ‘factory’ of producing adept engineers, doctors, advocates, judges, IAS/PCS officers and even musicians and writers.

The city is a mix of some of the most amazingly grandiose churches(eg All Saints Cathedral), intricately designed and colorful temples to Hindu gods and goddesses(eg Bade Hanuman ji), and the most beautiful colonial architecture as seen in the old buildings of the High Court, the city offices, the universities, some schools and private bungalows. The view of New naini bridge at twilight is certainly a treat to the eyes.

During the festivals of Magh mela/Kumbh mela thousands of devout from all over the world(including the young, the old and the weak) gather here (through incredible journeys)to take a dip at Sangam making it an extravagant affair of the land. There is a surreal spiritualism in the air all through the fest. It is believed that it is at the Sangam, that a few drops of the nectar 'Amrit Bindu' fell, making its waters truly magical. Faith. Sheer faith! In Allahabad religions truly embrace each other. A Hindu guy helps his Christian neighbor in decorating the X-mas tree. A Muslim guy does not mind selling colors/crackers in his shop. And a Christian guy bows equally before the temples and mosques. Allahabadis celebrate each and every festival with utmost zeal and enthusiasm-be it Ramlila’s at Dussehra or kapda-faad holi. The gusto is so very lively,always!

Allahabadis are too much ‘khaane ke shaukeens’. They can’t do without oily and spicy food. Street foods here are much more famous than hotels and restaurants. Dahi-jalebi at Hira Halwai (our favorite breakfast) or Netram ki kachaudi or Shanti ki kulfi or Highcourt ki daal-baati or Spicy-bite ka non-veg or Sulaaki ki pooriyan or Hari ke samose or Loknath ki namkeens or Barhana ki chaat or Medical chaurahe ke dose-each is ambrosial in its own delectable way. Paan-walas, Chaat-ke-thelas, 'Ganne(sugarcane) ka juice' and 'lai-chaana walas' can be found in every hook and corner of the city, with almost equal crowd at each spot. Who cares about health and hygiene, after all ‘Shauk Badi cheez hai’. Besides Elchico,Kahna Shyam, Friends, Sapphire blue, Sagar ratna etc are other hangouts for sumptuous dinners and treats.

Allahabad has its own nuanced culture – that of extreme politeness, graciousness and righteousness. You’ll be swayed by the hospitality offered here irrespective of you being a Punjabi or Marathi. People put relationships before the product, and take time to recognize the human in the other before the ego in the self. The amiability of ‘aap’ and ‘hum’ is way too winsome. The tu/tera slang isn’t our code of conduct until and unless you mess up. ‘Ram-Ram bhaiya’ is an allahabadi’s way of greeting. So godly, no?

Uncle ji’s generally chewing paans and discussing about politics, aunty ji’s buying vegetables and telling tales, students strolling through the crowded alleyways and children playing gali-cricket or doing patang-baazi are the most common sights you’ll come across. Life here runs at its own leisurely pace and at the same time provides all modern amenities for comfort and leisure. In the very first look Allahabad looks like an old decrepit city. Its foundations are nonetheless very strong. You’ll have to dig deep to get to the implicit beauty of the city. It might not have exotic locations but people are just so beautiful (beautiful you know?) and in its narrow lanes they often cultivate broad-mindedness.

Too wise yet too innocent
Too simple,yet too appealing
Too ignorant yet too knowledgeable
Too dabangg yet too sensitive
Too different yet too similar
........................................are Allahabadis!
                    Proud to be a one!

Kumbh mela 
Kuch baat hai ki hasti mit-ti nahi hamari....................................................

A strange calmness envelopes the city when sun rays fall on to it's holy waters. I bet Allahabad’s quiet and peaceful life will leave you mesmerized in an unusual way.

No matter where I go in life I'll always boastfully belong to this city. Long live it's legacy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

108 Things I'll remember about MNNIT :D

  1. First day @College: Excitement at its peak
  2. The whole campus: GS,GW,FN,SEW,LH,NLH including all the halls, roof tops, terrace and stairs; well actually the gala time we had there!
  3. Swagat 2K8 : Independence day!
  4. Flying aeroplanes in class infront of the teacher: Hilarious 1st year memory
  5. Get-togethers with seniors
  6. Teeping/Taaping EG sheets
  7. Successful massbunks in front of the teacher :P
  8. Unsuccessful massbunks due to some attendance-addicted creatures (no offence)
  9. Massbunk coordinators and the zaddozehad they had to do :P
  10. Talking/Passing chits comfortably in class that too by being on 1st/2nd bench
  11. Laughing on a matka’s gestures on his face and he asking “Aap log mere upar hans kyun rahe hain” :P
  12. Your name wrongly pronounced by the teacher. Hell irritating man!!
  13. The moment when a teacher’s mobile rings which has some Akshay-kumar/Govinda type of ringtone
  14. Entering 10-25 minutes late into the class and still getting an entry :P. What a pride feeling, no?
  15. Giving names to professors/batch mates; the list is way too large!
  16. The moment when teacher says “Ye mujhe bhi nahi aata” :P
  17. Sleeping in class with eyes wide open :Yawnnnn
  18. Nodding to the teacher as if you’re really getting what’s actually going on: We’’re just too good at it!
  19. When a teacher cracks a PJ and nobody laughs
  20. Getting a secret pleasure when a teacher walks out of the class - after blasting the whole class on discipline
  21. Getting branded as "the most indisciplined and naa padhne waali branch" by the entire faculty
  22. Copying Practical file/Assignments just few minutes before the deadline
  23. Enjoying the window-view when other members of your group are busy doing the practical :D
  24. Manipulating the readings of an experiment to get the proper graph :P. Seldom did our “sircute”(read ‘circuit’) worked.
  25. Vacants :blessings
  26. Classes being cancelled :blessing in disguise
  27. Cursing the guy who asks doubts
  28. Last five minutes of a ridiculously boring lecture
  29. Cursing the professor who continues teaching after the allotted time
  30. Rushing to the water cooler after every lecture
  31. Getting an SGPA of 9 when you are actually expecting 7 :) or vice versa :X
  32. That ‘rich historical text’ engraved on benches/tables
  33. Scribbling in your notes copy everything apart from what is being taught; from cartoons to poems
  34. Photo-state shops during exam time (Engineering would not have been this easy without a Xerox machine :P)
  35. Getting through a subject while not attending even its single class :P. You’ll be surprised to know that there were others who attended the class but couldn’t get through. *evil grin *
  36. Making new theories in viva-voce and then being addressed with ‘honorable titles’ by our more-so-honorable professors :P
  37. Cheating in exams-both karna and karana :P
  38. Eating Chocolates/Polo/Centrefresh in class and dividing it into as many parts as the no. of chatore’s around
  39. Participating in tech-fest and losing all :P
  40. Participating in cultural-fest and winning some :D
  41. Coordinating an event
  42. Tapra-Bun Makhhan and kulhad mein adrak waali chai
  43. Having jalebis @9 AM
  44. GPL’s-kabhi bhi kahin bhi
  45. “Happy Birthday’s”-Birthday wishes+Scrapbooks+Greeting Cards+Cake+Gifts
  46. Treats-be it sumptuous dinner at restaurants or ‘ungli chaatne wala khana’ at dhabas
  47. Trips especially the ‘travelling’ part
  48. Bunking the class and outing with friends
  49. College canteen: Be it Nescii ki coffee or Bikaner ki Crispy!
  50. Antakshari in College Bus that too at top of the voice
  51. Small little leisurely strolls-in or outside the campus
  52. Aiwayi road trips
  53. Girly Gossips :D :P
  54. Tripling on scooty/Bike: The 3 Idiots
  55. Power-cuts during exams :P :P
  56. Photographs and photo sessions :D
  57. Small-little fights and then the roothna-manana process
  58. Group studies and suddenly diverting to a more interesting topic
  59. Nite-outs
  60. Facebook-ing: the innumerable groups you have to join,’status’ updates, and the weird stuff being shared
  61. Culrav 2k12: Enticing is the word!
  62. CDC:Kyunki accha lagta hai :)
  63. Eating magi from a plate shared by six other girls
  64. Getting shocked when you have attendance shortage and it’s on public domain and you’re the only girl in the list
  65. Power-cuts in labs especially when the circuit wasn’t working
  66. Talking to your single girl pals about the dearth of "accha ladka log" in campus vicinity :P :P
  67. Teasing non-single souls about their better halves.
  68. Teasing friends for their crushes and calling their names aloud when they are passing by :D
  69. Teasing friends in the name of guys whom they hate the most :P
  70. Getting awesome compliments from random people :P :D
  71. Mimic-ing all the teachers - the good and the bad
  72. The day CTs/Endsems get over
  73. Texting in class
  74. Listening to the ‘interesting’ conversation of the bench behind or the bench infront
  75. Roommates/Blockmates/Wingmates and the perfect bond we share :D
  76. Hostel mess: the kharaab khana, the accha khana and the 'espaesal' khana plus the crowd at the hostel canteen
  77. Hostel courtyard: a place to eat, sing, dance, study, play, walk and talk
  78. Sharing things be it T-shirts, Shoes or Study material
  79. Exclusive celebrations in hostel be it lohri,holi or diwali
  80. Sayonara: the extensive preparations followed by unlimited masti
  81. Playing cards late night in hostel
  82. Practice sessions during culturals
  83. Those movies/serials we saw together
  84. Our special slogans: yai hai,yai h; sab lite hai ;Aaooo Aaooo; gangu bai, Ek do teen chaar-band karo ye atyaachar :P…… etc & etc
  85. Those totally baseless stupidest conversations/adventures with friends : kyunki pagalpanti bhi zaroori hai :) followed by incredible pet-mein-dard-karane -waale-aankhon -se-aansoo-nikalne-waale laughter sessions
  86. Basky Court: dhoop mein basketball khelne ka bhi apna maza hota hai  :)
  87. Exhaustive shopping cum window shopping :P :P
  88. Day dreaming/Planning about our obscure future
  89. Hooting :anywhere, everywhere :P
  90. Project Presentation mein apni ‘udwana’ no matter you worked for 2 hours or 2 months: ghor beizatti :P
  91. The one and only Protest we witnessed followed by sleeping on road with thousand others :P
  92. Making spunky videos of professors teaching in class :P
  93. Clicking in class :)
  94. Branch T-shirts: Awesomeness :D
  95. MP hall ki raunak during fests
  96. Playing songs on loudspeaker and then dancing like mads :D
  97. Excitement-filled hours long Packing for home :D
  98. The day results are out and ‘Next semester mein bhi nahi padhenge ‘ attitude
  99. That entirely new vocab we learnt here :P
  100. Those times when you fell ill and were overwhelmingly taken care off
  101. Wo log jo dasste hain :P
  102. Voice modulations in class: azeebogareeb aawaaz nikalna and taali bajana thing :D
  103. TPO: much thanks!
  104. Bucket Party after placement :D
  105. The company you are placed in: First job is indeed special!
  106. That moment when your besties got the job
  107. Souvenir: getting/giving nicknames was way too funny.
          And last but undoubtedly the greatest:

 108.  The best-est buddies(read 'FRIENDS for LIFETIME') we earned here with whom we have lived all above and much much much more :)

PS 1:Rukhsat 2k12-in waiting :)
PS 2:There are umpteenth other moments.Everything cannot be shared. :P
PS 3:Thank you PM and SB for helping me with this list :)
PS 4: Do leave your comments :)