Monthly Archives: April 2009

Roadies 6.0:Finale [Part 2]

Saw the Roadies 6.0 finals [part-2]today & I must say the conclusion was REALLY good. The whole show as such was nothing brilliant, but with the ending, it becomes pretty good.

Unlike the last Roadies final, this one was full of emotion, passion & the best part…only the deserving guys were in the finals, again, unlike the last Roadies [ come on!! Aashu & Nihaal? ughh *gags*]. Thankfully this time Raghu was fair enough to give the eliminated, but deserving roadies, another chance, esp. Sufi. I agreed with him that some good contestants had been eliminated, just due to his twists. The last chance was just. There was this speculation that Sufi had won & this unwittingly helped to add more twists in the already knotted game. Unfortunately, when the rumor spread the finals had not even been recorded!!

Naumaan had performed admirably in the last stages, enabling his survival. I don’t know why everybody was biased against him. Agreed, sometimes he did look like a sissy, but ridiculing him & not Palak[Gurmeet]? Why was everybody [the other roadies/ex-roadies] rooting for her? She was the one who swore, who hit & was in everybody’s face…the moment anybody retaliated she would burst into tears, causing Samraat to go “Main PAGAL ho jaaunga…”! I was jumping with joy when Raghu slammed her in the part-1 of the finals! She deserved every bit of it…And did anybody believe her “Respiratory Distress”  act when she stormed off & collapsed?? [The medical term is the result of watching too much “House MD” :)] Was jubilant when Palak was “chopped”. That chick [am being polite here…] was just:crap.Period.

Nauman & Kiri were both great. Both had been eliminated, but made their way back when given the chance. I was kind of cheering for Kiri…nice guy. Liked his open demeanor & apolitical stand throughout the game.
The final task was INTENSE. It had everything that a riveting final should have. I already knew the winner but even then I was tense & awaited the conclusion with bated breath. You must watch it to feel the thing. Superb.

Naumaan Sait is the winner of Roadies 6.0.The prize money finally stood at Rs.3,62,000.
HH Karizmas were given to:Naumaan, Kiri, Sufi, Samraat, Palak

Congrats to Naumaan on a well deserved victory!

I saw the results here: I loved how they stated the it!!
We Respect him:Kiri
Loser:Gurmeet! [Hah!]


Tripping my way to Delhi-2

Basically one has to convince the interviewer that we will not overstay or try to remain in the country illegally. That is the only ground for rejection in the case of a tourist visa. For that one must have adequate documentation/investments proving your connection to your country & that you will return after the stipulated time. We had bank statements & CA documents that showed our total assets-House, Money, Investments. The fact that both our parents were employed & were doing well. We had letters from our school/college showing that we are studying here. We had to convince them that we had strong links in our country that would guarantee our return. We had to have sponsorship letters from mama stating that he had financial stability & could support us. The first time we had applied for the US visa, we were denied. That would cast a negative shadow in the mind of the interviewer, but that denied stamp was in the old passport, one that had expired. The questions we were asked during that interview are foggy [it happened way back….I was in class 6 at that time], but the whole thing had been filed under “scary” in my conscious! On the positive side, we had been granted US visas when we were in the UK & had applied for the visa there. Also helpful, was the presence of other visas-UK, Schengen. [when we applied for the visa from UK it was way easier. All papa did was fill the form, send it along with the passports & the money. No interview, not even a personal appearance! The passports came back with the visa stamped!]
Then there was the thing about my name. It has been changed so many times that it warranted some questions. The reason for the changes were purely astrological, but explaining that to a foreigner[the interviewer is always from the foreign country] would be hard. There was the fear that me & my sis might be considered a flight risk on the basis that we may start to study there, get job offers in the US & then stay there permanently…a very common occurrence .
A lot of our acquaintances & family members have had a lot of trouble getting their visas ,so applying for the visa is a BIG deal

Spoiler[read from right to left]————- asiv eht tog eW ————

-The Visa interview was on the 17th at 9:15. We were staying close by & reached the US embassy by 8:30. Thankfully we were not made to wait..
-No mobiles/ipods or other electronic gadgets allowed in. Only documents, in a clear transparent folder. The person sitting outside noted our application number/name/passport number & asked us to proceed.
-Opened the super heavy door to get into the embassy. There was the usual security check. Xray of documents/wallet etc. walk through a metal detector, frisking.
-Collected everything, got into a shed-like-room. On being asked we presented ourselves as visa renewals [we had filled the renewal form], told the dates of the visa expiry & were given token numbers. Being blood relatives, we were supposed to go in together, but somebody came in between & we were assigned different numbers. We got that changed & out token number was E25.
-Sat down & were chatting away, unmindful that our number was flashing on the electronic notice board. The guy sitting next to me pointed it out :). We got up hurriedly, thanked him, hoped that he too would get his visa & marched off to counter 7.
-Counter 7 was behind another heavy door. We entered to find people standing & being asked questions. I was like “whoa, that was fast, we are at the interview”. The suddenness had gotten me a bit nervous till I heard the questions. It turned out to be a scanning of documents, collection of the visa fee receipt & fingerprinting the applicants. Waited for the couple in front to finish up.
-Our turn came up. The guy took a look at our documents, entered some data into his computer & asked us register our fingerprints. Aastha’s application photo was very different from her present self & he kind of blasted her a bit, stating that the picture should not be older than 6 months. Though why he was being rude, I had no idea. [as it turned out the indians stationed all over the embassy were considerably ruder than the foreign interviewer! The guards outside were rude with mum, who is ever happy to pick a fight, lambasted them for their behavior :D]
-We then proceeded into the inner room where the actual interviews were taking place. There was another electronic notice board that would flash the token number & the counter number. It was flashing E12, so we had a long wait ahead of us. The tokens were’nt only of the ‘E’ category, there were ‘P’,’J’,’L’ etc. [as in P34,J14,L22]. Only 5 counters were open & any number from any category could flash so we had no idea how long the wait would be.
-We had each other’s company, so it was ok. We didn’t get bored. I had already had my dose of adrenaline at the previous counter so now I was pretty calm. Kept an eye on the flashing number & chatted away. I tried to figure the average time of the interview, tried to guess if ppl had gotten their visas or not.An hour later E24 came up & we got ready. Unfortunately it was another half an hour later that E25 finally flashed. The unnecessary wait had instilled some jitters. Got up & went to the counter for our interview
-Interviewer was a middle aged guy. Wished him Good Morning & took our places. I had planned to stand near the speaker as I can sometimes have trouble hearing clearly. That backfired when to were asked to confirm our fingerprints on the FP machine. The speaker was on the right & the FP machine was on the left. First Aastha went on the machine,switched to the right & then I had to go on the machine. Eventually I ended up on the left 😦
-Gave him the applications & the passports. He asked us about our previous visas, I showed him the old passport. It had my old name & thankfully he did not ask anything about it.For the next 5 mins he checked our applications, scanned our passports, entered stuff on his computer, compared our pictures to us, asked me to take off my glasses etc. This was good as I get a bit flustered at the beginning of any interview, need 10-20 seconds [not as lucky during my oral exams!]. Standing there I felt pretty confident
-Finally, the questions.

Interviewer:What do you do?
Aastha.Student, Loreto Convent, Class 12.
Me.Student, Studying in MIT, pune

I.What are you studying?

I:Ok, What kind of Engineering?
M:Mechanial Engg.

I:What does you father do?
A:He is a bureaucrat, secretary to the CM

I:Why are you going to the US?
M:To visit our uncle, he is a doctor

I:Where does he live?
A:Rome, Georgia

I:What kind of doctor is he?
M:err…he’s a physician[could not remember what it was!!]

I:*laughs* I know he is a physician! What kind of physican!?
M:umm…[What does he do!!internal physician??no…]
A:Internal Medicine.

I:How long will you be staying?
M:About a month.

I:Who else is going with you?
A:Our mother

I:Who will be financing you?
M:Tickets etc. will be bought by our parents. In the US our uncle will be taking care of us.

I:So you will be staying in Georgia for a month, with you uncle?[the tone implied incredulity ]
M:Leisure activites. We have another uncle who lives in california, so we will also be visiting him.


-Entered some more stuff on the computer. Then he picked up the passports & put it aside & said that the passport would be mailed to us with the visa. Man hi man laddu phoot rahe the!

Wanting to scare mum a bit, we tried to straighten our face & make it look sad. A very tough job since my mouth would automatically form a grin! Aastha got the brainwave of holding our old passports in our hand [if we had been denied the visa, our passports would have been returned to us]. So we walked out looking for mum. She was standing with an umbrella & we saw her face tense up. The moment we got close, aastha jumped on her about the way they had advised the filling of the form, how the photo was not new, & the data erroneous etc. [I had planned to go soft, but aastha launched into an offensive!]. Mum had this shocked expression till we told her that visa mil gaya! The relief was instant & then came the expected lashing!![She had already had the tiff with the embassy security. She told us about that later!]Called up papa & told him & later Nana Nani & Mama.

We came out in 2 hrs. That was very quick. Last time Aastha went it had taken them 4 hrs.! The procedure was very streamlined, but maybe that was because we were applying for a renewal. Whatever the case, we got the visa. The duration will be known only on receiving the passport, but hey, I am going to visit both Mamas this summer!!

Tripping my way to delhi-1

I had applied for the US visa & had requested the interview date of 17th April as my cousin brother, Ranjan bhayia was getting engaged on the 19th & I planned to kill…err hit… two events with one trip. Well I got the date & was all set to leave for delhi.

Getting from pune to delhi was a major headache. A communication gap between me & the agent resulted in a cancellation of a confirmed AC ticket, leaving me without any means to get to delhi. And I came to know of this gaffe 12hrs before my supposed departure date! [I did not tell mum as she would go all hyper] Thankfully the agent got me a waitlist-ed ticket [WL 86!!] on the Jhelum Express that would atleast get me to Delhi. The next day I got to the station, caught hold of him again & he got the ticket confirmed. How, you ask?well let’s just call it “Indian Jugalbandi” 🙂

The journey was the most excruciating one I have endured. The mixup had gotten me a ticket in the sleeper coach, in the near peak of summer.In the block of 9 seats [yes, it was one of “those”…even the side berth had three, & I had to sleep in the middle :(] there were 15 ppl. Of them, 8 were aunties that were on their way to Vaishno Devi that screeched on top of their voices throughout. I had to use my Sony noise cancellation earphones to tune them out & prevent the onset of a headache. The heat was melting me, the air was too hot & no place to sit.All the water I was drinking was being sweated out & I was scared for my kidneys!! [After watching House MD, I am scared that something that I think to be very minor is going to land me the hospital. That TV show has made me do some crazy things, something that will soon write about ].The berth was very small & I was cramped throughout the night. One small consolation was that I had my friends iPod touch that provided me with some entertainment in the form of 3.5 movies [the battery ran out during the fourth]
I dont eat much during train journeys, having a phobia for using train loos. The aunties were concerned when I did not have any dinner, unfortunately for me they did not see me having breakfast & were adamant that I share their lunch with them. Now I know their intentions were noble but the food they were eating was just roti with various pickles. The rotis had become hard & dry, the pickels did not feel good in the heat. Sadly in India we have a habit of going overboard when trying to make a guest eat. Each aunty gave me 2 rotis, so I ended up with 16. As it is, I was not hungry, & even if I was, no way could I have eaten all of that. Somehow I managed to return most of the rotis, but still ended up eating 6 as it would have been impolite to leave it unfinished. They had to throw away the pickles [they had given me pickles as if they were subzi!]. Again I dont mean to be disrespectful but I had to stuff the food so as to not offend them, food that I did not like one bit [tasted like sandpaper :(]

Anyway,I was mighty glad to get to delhi when I did, which was at 10:30pm on the 16th. Went to the guest house where Mum & sis were.I was surprised to find that the place had an internet connection & a VERY good one :). Have a couple of torrents lined up for download!!

So here I am lying in a big bed, in an air-conditioned room & tapping away….
Visa interview in the morning, so off to sleep now

Reasons to party…no no just excuses!

In the last 3 months we [flatmates, some friends & me] have been a part of many parties…party here actually means ‘treats’. A couple of them were deserved, but the rest is pure tamasha! Here’s a list, go figure:
1.I was the first one to leave for home in the last sem. These guys took a treat from me for that!
2.Hemant was the last one to come back to pune this sem. We got a treat 🙂 [basically, hemant & I pooled in & gave the treat to Raghav & Anuj ]
3.Birthday: Hemant’s bithday is in Jan & so is mine. I was at home during my birthday[yay!], but the treat was due. This time instead of gorging on some expensive food we went on a daytrip to Matheran.
4.Birthday:Raghav’s birthday is in Feb, another treat. For this we went to Chokhi Dhani.
5.Raghav scored the highest in the flat. Result treat 🙂 Had dinner at Deccan Royaale [no not a spelling mistake, that’s how it was named]
6.Raghav’s parents got a new car:The New Honda City….gaadi dilli mein aai, par party pune mein hui!!
7.Hemant went home for holi. Since he had gone home, in the middle of the sem, we demanded a treat!
8.Anuj had gone to attend a marriage function during holi, so he too had to treat. Hemant & anuj gave a combined treat at shiv sagar.
9. Hemant has bought a laptop & is getting a blackberry as a free gift. As soon as the blackberry arrives…yep another party!
10.Raghav is going home for a week. On his return party hai!
11.Raghav’ s laptop has completed 2 yrs. Considering the life of a laptop to be 4yrs, raghav’s laptop is at its Golden Jubilee! Trying to get a party for this too :D. If he caves in then in another year it will be Platinum Jubilee 😉
12.Anuj repaired his laptop’s charger. That saved him around Rs. 3000. He had said he would treat me with a Cad B[not the’s a thick chocolate shake]

And It’s only been three months!So as you can see we don’t need a reason. Just an excuse 😀

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