Monthly Archives: May 2008
The chemistry lab was quite big. You would need at least a liter of petrol to smoke it up completely. But i manage to do it with a 25 paise coin and a few table spoons on nitric acid. I think its of common knowledge that nitric acid is used 4 cleaning as it is a corrosive but i was about to learn another interesting thing about it that fine day. It was our weekly chemistry lab and we were as usual jobless. I was walking around talking to everyone. Then some friends of mine(we call ourselves GRADHS) had this idea of putting a coin in nitric acid. They tried with dilute nitric acid and nothing happened. I was blissfully ignorant of this happening and was walking around. Then aravind called me asking for my expert opinion on the matter. In my usual self-possesed tone, i say
“guys what are you doing with dilute nitric acid. Lets do it with concentrated one”
Saying this i filled a bowl with nitric acid and put the 25 paise coin in it. It started quite well. There were a few crackles and bubbles coming out. Things started smelling fishy when white smoke started coming out of it. I failed to notice the fact that my friends were gradually moving away from the ‘crime scene’ as the intensity of the smoke started increasing. And by the time the smoke took a multi coloured texture i was the only one standing near it, hopelessly trying to keep it down by waving my hands while the whole class and thus obviously the teacher was looking at me.
I had my own custom made excuses for any situation that may arise. But because this was a new situation, never anticipated before and because i was caught red handed, i had perfectly nothing to say as i was led to the principal’s room other than my usual loong smile……
When i write about the recent comments made by the U.S President blaming the emerging middle class of India and China for the global food and oil crisis, i expect an open debate on it and anyone who who goes through this article please be kind enough to post your comments and views.
The Govt. of India has countered the argument of the U.S President by quoting statistics which shows the average consumption of U.S five times that of India and restarting the debate pitting ‘food for fuel’ against ‘food for hunger’. But what i feel is than rather than giving a foreign country reasons why we are consuming so much, we should have officially condemned the statement as utterly unwarranted and arrogant. He blamed the increased food consumption of the ever increasing middle class as the reason of the crisis. But is it not the right of any nation to ever consistently strive for the improvement of the living conditions of its people? It is our rightful right to improve our living standards to levels comparable to the best in the world. This right applies to any nation just as the right to good living applies to any citizen of a free nation. In such a case even if its the increased consumption that has created the crisis the reason for the crisis is not the fact that we are consuming more but that we never anticipated the increase in consumption and prepared. Failure to appreciate this fundamental right and appreciate the ambition of every nation to create world class living conditions for its people is a reminder of the mindset of the colonial era tyrants and should not be tolerated. So in such a context i consider such a statement by a world leader, that too by the President of the most powerful country in the world highly unwanted and out of place. Adding fuel to fire, he has gone a step further by putting the blame of spiraling oil prices also on the same middle class. With an average consumption that is greater than all the major nations together and a war in its back which took the prices from 30$ a barrel to 120$ a barrel, i think even a layman can figure out who can be held responsible for that crisis.
With popularity ratings at an all time law, the war on terror reaching no where, impending elections, the Iraq quagmire and an economy in recession, I think that its high time that Mr.President took a vacation in Camp David to regain his cool.
I think I am officially(at least) half an engineer with the fourth semester ending on july 23. So the vaccation that I am having now (the reference of the length of which makes my neighbours and relatives jaws drop to the ground whom i try to pacify by referring to my last years 100 days bash which was 12 days lengthier, afterall you should have less days now that you are one year senior) can be considered as the half time break between two turbulent halfs. And what semesters the last two were??. Unheard of subjects supplemented by jargon ridden classes have made sure that i had a lot to do on the days immediately before the exams. The names of the subjects were quite funny: Random Signal Theory, Signal and Systems and blah blah and all that i can recollect of those classes are the blissful sleeping hours i had in the back bench. Obviously i will have to go through all those stuff again just before placements (i don’t want to bother my long term memory with such futile stuff let my short time memory handle it so that i can delete it the moment i get placed, hopefully). Being in the class was not so boring, there were enough amusing anecdotes spread throughout the two semesters.
One such funny thing was when i was caught by our maths prof in the class. I was blissfully having a nap after reading ‘Identity and Politics’ for half an hour. I was wearing a pink shirt that day (oh, by the way i am straight alright) which made me quite conspicuous i suppose. What i failed to notice was that almost everyone in the bench behind me were quite unconscious with saliva dropping out of their mouths. The prof pointed at them asking them to stand up. But all those good hearted classmates of mine thought that it was me the prof was pointing to. When i wake up hearing all those grumblings, everyone is looking at me. KIck starting my insticts, i get up saying…
“Sir, headache” (oh my God how many times i am relying on that ubiquitous problems to help me out)
My good hearted classmates(I would not blame them afterall) and I understand our blunder(more of mine but those idiots also share the resposibility) only when the prof says….
“Actually it was not you whom i meant”…