Note: Considering a surprisingly substantial amount of time has passed since the last time I picked up a book that tended to some sort of English literature, the current post will be shorn of its usual trappings : blatantly plagiarized and shoddily concealed phrases (and the occasional passage) picked from P G Wodehouse, Enid Blyton and the Bible(if you look closely enough) , and will veer dangerously towards what this medium of expression usually is about, the inanities that pepper lives of human beings who find elation in sharing with their equally inert audience(hey, no offence :) ), their daily adventures in Slo Mo Land.
With that lengthy premise and the concurrent lowering of expectations(and a proportionate dwindling in the readers(hey, thanks for sticking around btw ), let me talk about what Yours truly is currently engaged in. Its been a long time since I dispensed gyaan on the portal and I might as well get everyone up to speed.
I have reformed , so to speak, realigned myself, turning over a new leaf. Four years of inactive and rusting machinery is creaking back from lethargy, the self-dubbed but slightly misnomer-ish MCQ machine is rumbling back to life. In a life that has measured its age in terms of competitive exams given ( starting from the Holmes and Christie era of NTSEs and Scienc-y Olympiads to the Tom Clancy times of NSOs and real Olympiads, the JEE singularity led me into what I like to call the Wooster life, with all its trappings and concatenation of unfortunate coincidences - the occasional spreading of sunshine, hurtling in and out of love, assisting blokes in carrying out their escapades(romantic or otherwise) , concerned fathers(or in this case, the Girl Hostel guards) giving nightly pursuits , hunting crops in hand. I had a fair share of Aunts as well(figuratively speaking), some very nice( Aunt Dahlia) , others who ate broken glass and sucked blood by the full moon(not figuratively speaking) .
But unlike all Russian novels, things ultimately sorted out to everyones satisfaction, the only occasional casualty being my sanity being called into question.
However, after a rather prolonged stay in this mode( with a not insignificant number of times when the hand passed over a feverish brow) ,it was time for something new. God knows there have been enough petitions by my parents to , to risk paraphrasing, go get a life. High hopes were harbored, the IIT IIM combine glittered like a tonne of fool's gold at the other end of the rainbow, prospects of a new generation Jha starting to earn his boarding and lodging charges seemed likely, much to the incredulity of everyone. Thankfully, I shifted gears, and in a remarkable turn of events decided to take a year off for 'doing other stuff'.
So, here I am, filling the ranks of the educated unemployed, mooching off of my parent's hard earned money and time for another year at least, and feeling happy about it all. Preparing for civil services, for all its horror stories of 14 hour work days, 7 days a week for 2 years straight before you can even call yourself an aspirant, is something that I would recommend to anyone who unlike most people, has time to waste and then some, parents who are willing to finance their way through a couple'o years of grazing the pastures of multifarious books, commentaries and stuff so random you cant even begin to imagine. Especially, the more technically minded brethren of mine who have spent most of the past decade or so honing their formulaic brains to the single minded pursuit of science , technology and in the later part, girls. Its a fantastic journey to make if you are into that sort of masochistic stuff but I should perhaps , for the advantage of the ones with too much money and too much time on their hands, sieve out the parts that are fit for consumption by the general populace, however employed they might be at the time.
But all that perhaps, for a later post. For the moment, try out a couple of "Books I have read" on the right hand side of the blog. Ones that I would seriously recommend are R Guha's India After Gandhi, Sunil Khilnani's "The Idea of India" and Amartya Sen's " The Argumentative Indian". For the more hard core readers who want to go "in depth", go pick up the11th 5 Year plan :D