Mtv promotes bitchiness!!

Registration for Mtv’s VJ hunt is on but VJ hunt after such a long time…why so? Because all this time Mtv has happily chosen VJs from the reality shows it has conducted.

Mtv Roadies have been immensely popular in India. Roadies season 7 is about to begin. Over the last six years there has been 6 Roadies winners among which Ranvijay (winner of Roadies season 1) has been very successful as a Mtv India VJ. He is smart, handsome, sophisticated, has the gift of gab and has always represented a true Roadie spirit as a host since then. Ayushman from Roadies season 2 has been a successful VJ too. So it is common for Mtv to hire fresh VJs from Roadies and its other reality shows like Splitsvilla and Teen Diva.

Bani J, the 1st runner up of Roadies season 4 became very popular for being the most verbally abusive girl on the show. Do you guys remember that season’s winner? Ya, vaguely some guy named Anthony but we all remember Bani. She outdid the guys even when it came to mouthing abuses. She got more footage than any other contestant on the show. Despite being voted out numerous times she was brought back by the show makers on some reason or other as if that season the show’s fate depended on her. What would not the TV channels do for TRPs!! Shambhavi and Anmol from Roadies season 5were chosen as VJs too though all they did on the show was plotting and bitching. Roadies season 6’s Palak was a abusive drama queen no.1. She didn’t win the show but hogged the limelight the most thanks to her crude antics. Because of this acquired popularity, after roadies she was selected as a contestant to celebrity reality show ‘Is Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao’ on Sony Entertainment Television (But I didn’t understand from what angle is she a celebrity?!). Rhea from Teen Diva season 2 was the most manipulative and self obsessed of the other teen contestants, she didn’t win the contest but caught Mtv’s eye and became a VJ recently.

So here is the tip for all you girls out there who has a dream of being a VJ on Mtv-be a ‘bitchy bitch’ as that is what seem to be Mtv’s criteria for choosing female VJs.

3 useful persons to befriend at hostel

Every student knows what public relations (widely known as PR skills) can do to their careers so why not apply the same skills in your hostel if you stay at one. Knowing a few extra people besides friends who would be of help at time of need never harms. Here’s my list:

  • Any one of the cleaning staff in your hostel

Ways to befriend them – talking pleasantly to them, acknowledging them kindly by ‘auntyji’ or ‘didi’ or ‘bhaiya’ etc. whatever applies to your hostel, having a basic conversation with them whenever they come to clean your room and occasionally 10-20 bucks or some small gift of food items, old clothes etc does the job.

Benefits – You will have a stink-free clean room and loo always, on certain days you can ask them to clean your room even if they are off duty, you get all the inside digs of what’s going on in other rooms in the hostel (gossips!), they can be your personal spies on your enemies in hostel (well that was a bit too much!!).

  • Any one of the hostel mess staff

Ways to befriend them – same as above but girls should take care to be not over-friendly as that looks like you are flirting with the guy (because mess staff in both Boys and Girls hostel are always men!).

Benefits – You would get extra salad (which is never served twice in mess!), if you do not feel like eating the awful mess food on some days you can get him to prepare something special for you, you would get special attention while being served food (read ‘hot’ chapattis, rice, daal, sabzi etc.).

  • The hostel gate security guard

Ways to befriend them – smile at them while passing through the gate, say ‘hello bhaiya’ and ask ‘how are you’ often etc. Befriending the hostel gate guards can be a bit of a task as they are under orders from the Warden to be strict on hostellers so take your time in befriending them.

Benefits – You would not be reported to hostel warden even if you enter the hostel even after the curfew timings, girls would not get reported to warden even if some guy comes to drop you outside your hostel (you know Girls’ hostel wardens keep tab on the ‘reputation’ of the girls in her hostel !), you will be able to sneak out of the hostel sometimes after curfew timings if needed (though do not overdo it as you never know when you get turned in and face all the horrors of being lectured by the warden, getting reported to parents, fines, punishments etc.).

Alternatives to the awful hostel mess food

Only thing which really bugs hostellers is the kind of food served in hostels, be it any hostel anywhere in India. This is the main reason which makes hosteller homesick and miserable. Here are certain alternatives I could think of, I am sure one or two would work for you too:

  • Checking out the options at college canteen

The standard of food at college canteen is always slightly better than at hostel mess. So do check out the canteen whenever the tolerance level for the mess food crosses limit. Besides canteen food is reasonable too and certain colleges have canteen running 24-hour.

  • Locate a nearby cheap local eatery or Dhaba

If your college is located in a city then you do not need to read this but most colleges (more Engineering colleges) are located at secluded places where you are lucky if you find a good cheap Dhaba nearby. If you locate one, keep its number and you can order yummy Dhaba food like Tandoori rotis, naans, chicken, daals, sabzis etc. (I am feeling hungry already) anytime right from your hostel and Dhaba food always gives complete value for money!

  • Find out if there is a Dubba wala or Rasoi service available nearby

If you find a service like this then you are really very lucky and all your ‘awful hostel mess food’ woes would be over. These services deliver daily 2-time a day or 3-time a day meals in Tiffin boxes depending upon your choice to your hostel. The food almost tastes like home-cooked and you can opt for the items of your choice. All this comes at a very reasonable monthly fee depending upon your menu. For no ordinary reason The ‘Dubba-walas’ of Mumbai so very popular and IIM has done a case study on them.

  • Cook your own food

I know this is the least likable option as it depends upon a lot of things like one should know cooking, the hostel should have a common LPG gas-stove area, one needs some basic utensils like a small cooker, fry-pan, large spoon etc, one has to arrange the ingredients and most of all one needs time and energy (with regular classes, studies, labs, assignments it is difficult). This option is good for students who stay in rented flats or PGs. One need the inclination towards cooking too as it can be quite a chore who do not like it! Check out the posts in Quicky recipes category for some ideas!

  • Spice up the bland mess food

Get butter, ‘Chaat masala’, Pickles etc. and make the bland mess food eatable to suite your taste buds. This option needs the least amount of hard work from your side save the part you would have to carry the little jars with you to the mess (even this can seem like a chore for some who hurry to the mess just as it is about to be closed for the day!).

Like it is said ‘Every thing has pros and cons’, even hostel mess food has some qualities-it makes you lose weight in no time (definitely does good to people who are weight-conscious!) and it makes you appreciate the food cooked by your dear mum (remember the times when you used to pick on her cooking!!).

Note: whatever you do, never waste the food in your plate; take fewer amounts if you are not too hungry because a lot of people in India do not have the luck to get even this. Besides give a thought to the amount of hard work the mess workers does all day from early morning to late night to prepare such large amount of food for a hostel.

3 must read book series of fantasy genre

The following post is a bit too long but sorry guys I could not help it if I wanted to put in every detail. Bear with me…:)

  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling became one of the most celebrated authors by gifting the world this awesome story with magical characters. This series was originally targeted towards children but its magic engulfed the whole world. Harry Potter series because of its phenomenal success got printed in 67 languages and it sold more than 400 million copies worldwide and still continues to sell. This series consists of 7 books:

The first book ‘Harry Potter and the philosopher stone’ describes 11 year old Harry’s (an orphan who stays with his unkind relatives) journey from the muggle (that is the word for non magical people like us!) world to the magical world of wizards, witches and all sorts of magical creatures and the adventures of his 1st year the legendary wizard school Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where Harry gets admission.

The second book ‘Harry Potter and the Camber of Secrets’ describes Harry Potter’s 2nd year at Hogwarts and the same time reveals bits of secrets of Lord Voldemort who is Harry’s parents murderer.

The 3rd book ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ describes Harry’s 3rd year at school and Harry gets to know he has a godfather.

The 4th book ‘Harry Potter and the goblet of Fire’ is just awesome, one of my personal favorites in the series. Triwizard tournament (the inter-school magic tournament) takes place in Hogwarts where Harry gets mysteriously selected despite being underage. Lord Voldemort returns to his full power again.

The 5th book ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ is darker, Harry Potter is grown up now. Lord Voldemort and his followers (the death eaters) are back to terrorizing the magical crowd. Harry’s godfather Sirius Black gets killed by a death eater. Harry is furious and wants revenge.

The 6th book ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ gets even darker, Harry’s headmaster Professor Dumbledore tells Harry as much about Lord Voldemort as he can so that Harry is ready for the day when he has to face Lord Voldemort. But Professor Dumbledore gets killed.

The 7th book ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ is the final book. Harry with the help of his friends finally learns all the secrets about Lord Voldemort and finally faces him. In good versus evil, the good finally wins, finally happy ending.

I am sure you guys (gals too) would love every page of every book in the series. The language used by the author is simple and very easily understandable. This series is a collector’s item; these are kind of books you would love to pass on to your kids!! 😉 Movies of the first six books are out and have been top grosser. But I say books are always better than the movies.

  • The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

With the release of the movie Twilight (based on the first book of The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer) at the end of 2008, this series became even more popular. Twilight became a top grossing movie. This year it was released in India too. This series sold 85 million copies world wide and is published in 37 languages.

This series consist of 4 books and are targeted toward young adults. This series belong to fantasy-romance genre. This describes the story of a human girl and a vampire guy who falls in love with each other and the complications that comes with it.

All the books are written from the perspective of the lead female protagonist Bella Swan, who is a shy, mature, kind and an unconventional girl.

In the 1st book ‘Twilight’ Bella comes to Forks in Washington to stay with her dad. She doesn’t like being in Forks but since she wants to give her mom who has recently remarried some space, tries to adjust to the boring life of Forks. In high school she gets attracted to this exquisitely handsome, mysterious, strange, perfect guy named Edward Cullen. But Edward Cullen and his family are vampires living in Forks in disguise as humans as they are not like other human blood sucking vampires. Cullen family is special, Edward can read minds (though not Bella’s), Alice (Edward’s sister) can see the future. But with the entry of Bella in the Forks high school Edward realizes he craves Bella blood more than anything. With much effort he distances himself from her but develops strange feelings for her and misses her. Despite wanting to kill her Edward falls for Bella and could not stay him anymore from her and eventually realizes that she has the same loving feelings for him. What develops between them is true eternal fairy tale quality of love. Stephenie Meyer does a very good Job of portraying this true love between Bella and Edward. Now complications follow-a blood crazy vampire named James wants to kill Bella and almost succeeds if not because of Edward.

In the 2nd book ‘New Moon’ Edward Cullen leaves Bella Swan due to a very unfortunate incident. Bella is heart broken. She finds comfort in Jacob Black (who is the son of Bella’s dad’s friend Billy Black) who becomes her best friend. Jacob has feelings for Bella. Bella eventually comes to know that Jacob is a werewolf. Werewolves and vampires have been enemies for ever. Alice (Edward’s sister) sees Bella committing suicide but when she comes to check, she finds Bella is okay and alive. Some misunderstanding follows and Edward believes Bella is dead and goes to the Volturi (an Italian vampire royal family which maintains law and order in the vampire community) to ask to be dead. Bella accompanies Alice to Italy to save Edward.

In the 3rd book ‘Eclipse’ Edward is back in Bella’s life. Jacob Black is pissed by this. Victoria (James’s mate) is persistent on killing Bella to avenge James’s death in the hands of Edward. She creates an army of new born vampires and sets them after Bella. The Cullens and the werewolves despite having differences unite to save Bella and Forks from this attack. Everything is brought in control. Bella and Edward gets engaged as Edward promises to change Bella into a vampire if she agrees to marry him. Jacob is deeply hurt.

In the 4th and final book ‘Breaking Dawn’ Bella and Edward gets married, Bella gets pregnant and gives birth to a girl named Renesmee and almost gets killed in the process. Edward changes her to vampire as an attempt to save her. Bella becomes a talented vampire who has the power portray as a shield. Renesmee is misunderstood as an immortal child whose existence is banned by Volturi. So the Cullens gather witnesses to prove it to the Volturi that Renesmee is not an immortal child. Finally they are able to elude the Volturi. Everything is set right for Bella and Edward and so happy ending.

Movie based on the 2nd book ‘New Moon’ is recently out. The language used by author is beautiful and very dreamy. Since all the books are written on Bella’s perspective, one would feel as if Bella is speaking the words and thinking the thoughts. Girls would love this series as Edward Cullen is the kind of man every girl desires in her life. This series is like a fairytale.

  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings is an epic fantasy novel written by philologist and Oxford university professor J.R.R. Tolkien in 1954. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier novel The Hobbit written in 1937 but developed into a much larger work. The Lord of the Rings is a definite classic and the daddy of all fantasy genre books. After reading this series I felt that a lot of fantasy genre books have been inspired by The Lord of the Rings. Well that’s what I felt. The Lord of the Rings series consists of 3 books:

The 1st book ‘The fellowship of the ring’ consists of two parts, in the first part hobbit Frodo Baggins gets a ring from his Grandfather Bilbo Baggins which contains magical powers. According to legends Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him the Rings of Power-the means by which he will be able to rule the world. All he lacks is his plan for dominion is the Ruling Ring, which has long back fallen into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. As the ring is entrusted to his care Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task of taking the ring to the Cracks of Doom to dispose it. He lives his home with three of his hobbit friends. But they have some misadventures and Frodo is wounded. In the second part Frodo is healed by the elves and a council is held which decides that a fellowship of nine companions is made who represented all the free races of the Middle Earth (that is the world where all these exotic races live). The fellowship is the protector of the ring carried by Frodo. The ring proves to be too evil and was setting to work within the fellowship itself which leads to a member of the fellowship to attack Frodo. Frodo then decides to continue his journey alone but his closest hobbit friend Sam insists on accompanying him.

The 2nd book ‘The Two Towers’ consists of two parts too, in the first part the rest of the fellowship continues to fight evil forces of the Dark Lord. In the second part Frodo and Sam continues their journey to Mount Doom. They realizes they are being followed by Gollum a creature who has lost his saneness in the quest of this One Ring carried by Frodo as long back this ring was once his. Frodo and Sam capture Gollum. Gollum leads them through secret ways. But Gollum is untrustworthy and wants to retrieve the Ring from Frodo. Gollum leads them to a giant spider’s lair which bites Frodo and he becomes unconscious and his body captured by Orcs (creatures which are Sauron’s slaves). Sam escapes all this but wants to free Frodo.

The 3rd book ‘The Return of the King’ consists of two parts too, in the first part, the remaining fellowship gathers other forces to fight the evil forces. With all their gathered forces they attack the Black Gate (entrance of Mordor-Sauron’s evil kingdom) to provide a distraction so that Frodo and Sam may have a chance of reaching Mount Doom and destroying the One Ring. In the Second part Sam rescues Frodo and they succeed in reaching the Crack of Doom. As Frodo was about to dispose of the Ring, he succumbs to its powers and refuses to let go of the evil Ring. Just then Gollum attacks Frodo has bites off his finger along with the Ring, but in this confusion Gollum loses his balance and falls into the Crack of Doom. With the destruction of the Ring, Middle Earth gets freed from Sauron’s powers and peace returns. A new fair king is crowned and the hobbits are honored. They return home.

Movies based on all the three parts have been made and they have done justice to the books. The Lord of the Rings is written in an old kind of English which is bit difficult to understand but the series is absolutely worth reading. Sunday Times very correctly commented on the series-‘The English speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and those who are going to read them’.

Dan brown disappoints!!

Dan Brown is a very well known author world wide. His most famous and very controversial book ‘Da Vinci Code’ still sells numerous copies everywhere. I personally am a fan of this author whose captive and suspenseful plots keep the readers hooked right from the beginning to end.  Dan brown’s in total five books have been published so far, they are Deception Point, Digital Fortress, Angels and Demons, Da Vinci Code and most recently The Lost Symbol. Out of these Deception Point and Digital fortress were science fictions, and Angels and Demon and Da Vinci Code were historical fictions. Dan brown came to be known mainly for his unique plots of his historical fictions and the main protagonist of Angels and Demon and Da Vinci Code – Robert Langdon presented as a renowned historical symbologist.

Dan most recent book The Lost Symbol was a total let down. This too is a historical fiction and has Dan Brown’s famous protagonist Robert Langdon but it fails in imagination. The story is about US capitol’s Masonry connections and their long hidden secrets of some worldly power which can uplift common man to God’s status. If this is sounding gibberish to you guys, here is the easy version: The same Robert Langdon with his claustrophobic dreams and his shy nature which appeals to females, the same fanatic psycho villain who is after some divine historical super secret, the same old victim who is the top member of a secret historical society guarding their super secret, the same old female protagonist who is described in Dan brown’s style to be beautiful and super brainy. The plot is very repetitive and irritating. You start reading this book thinking this would be something like Da Vinci Code then gradually hope atleast it would like Angels and Demons but sorry guys its none. Throughout the book you would irritatingly keep shifting between scenarios of different characters (this style of Dan Brown was really appealing in Da Vinci Code and somewhat okay in Angels and Demon) but its bugs you a lot in this recent book. After tolerating this whole book it is very obvious to expect to be let into the super secret which would give super god like powers to common man which the author kept mentioning, explaining all the crap related so called historical facts but as usual kept the reader in dark. After all this wild goose chase story what worldly secret you gat to know – ‘That humans have souls for real as proved by some crappy science called Noetic Science and enlightening the souls gives you God like power’   Ha Ha!! Its like you dig for gold and find only crap!!

Seriously guys, this book is not worth reading so forget about it!

All in a pendrive

Imagine this scenario:

You have a computer which you use regularly, you have installed in it your favorite programs in it all of which you use at ease. In your school, college, workplace or some other place you go to – you have to make do with some alien computer whose some or other feature you may not like….then you badly miss your own computer.

Yup you can say that if one has a laptop, they can carry them around….after all notebook computers were invented to fulfill that very purpose.

But it happens that your can not always carry around your laptop too….then what to do??!!

There is this cool site called portableapps.com which allows you to download portable application softwares especially for portable devices like pen drives, portable hard disks, iPods etc. This site has portable software versions of almost all popular softwares like Mozilla Firefox browser, uTorrent, VLC media player, text editors, web editors, image editors, Ftp clients, games, even an operating system (only Mac OS classic 7) though soon Linux would be available portably. This site is very user friendly. Here have a look:

If you are a complete novice and do not know what a portable application is is here is the solemn definition:  A portable program is a piece of software that you can carry around with you on a portable device and use on any other computer. It can be your email program, your browser, system recovery tools or even an operating system. The coolest part about it, is that all of your data and settings are always stored on a portable device so when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind.

Best part about portableapps.com is it is 100% free and open source with no catch anywhere.

Here is a tip from me: do no go for their portableapps.com suite which is a collection of pre included portable applications because you may not like all the included apps. Click on the choose your download link which would show you three choices, select the first one which includes their platform only (which is needed to run the portable apps). Then go to application and select whatever applications you want. Install all the above on your pen drive (a 2 GB drive would be perfect). To uninstall a portable apps from your drive go to the program files folder in your pen drive and delete the particular app. If you want to uninstall all simply format your pen drive. You can save a copy of all your favorite portable app on your computer local drive so that if you format your pen drive, the apps can be installed in it again.

So in conclusion – travel light guys!!

No internet so use gprs!

Most youths are low on cash, even if they are not they prefer to spent their money on stuff from which they can get out the max. Well readers i also fall in this particular category. Private engineering colleges in India have cropped up like shops – yes they are actually shops, if you have money you can definitely buy a seat. A very small percentage of students get to study in quality govt. engineering colleges.

You guys must be wondering why i switched to the topic of crap engineering colleges after starting with talking about cash, here i explain…..most of these so called crap engineering colleges are situated in far off places – by far off places i mean outskirts of cities or countrysides. Most of these colleges boast about providing its students 24 hours internet service either through computer labs having crappy dial up connections or their so call dedicated campus WiFi. These WiFi are very slow, the institute web administrator block most popular sites and the connection is switched on or off at the whims of the web administrator.

So what can the students do who stay in the campus hostels to connect to the net??

Every one has a cell phone these days. If your cell phone is capable of connecting to the internet through gprs (general packet radio service) network, it can work as a modem to connect you to the internet through your PC/Laptop. All you need to buy is a data cable with its software compatible with your cell phone model. Its advisable to use a data cable as the connection that sets up is more consistent than with bluetooth.

You need to contact your service provider to send you gprs settings compatible to your cell phone model and to activate a per day, weekly or monthly gprs service rental plan. Do not go for no rental plans as they charge money on each Kb of data transferred and ultimately would make a hole in your pocket.

In India almost all cellular service providers like Airtel, Idea, Hutch, BSNL, MTNL, TATA docomo, RELIANCE etc. offer gprs services. Here this is the maximum that is offered in terms of cell phone internet. Ya BSNL’s  3G is service is there but it is still not popular at all, costs are high and BSNL’s network is erratic at lots of areas. I hope BSNL sells 3G slots to other service providers soon!!

Out of all these service providers Idea’s gprs has a decent speed compared to others. Download speed is 72Kbps (on average) during the day and at night mostly after 12 AM download speed sometime reaches up to 200Kbps – quite decent. They have a gprs20 plan which chargers Rs.20 a day ( mean monthly Rs620) for unlimited browsing and downloading. Best part is this plan can be activated or deactivated at will. Though you should first confirm from Idea’s customer care if this plan exist in your state or not. While activating gprs rental plan always go for the plan that offers unlimited downloading, it would a worth the price if that’s upto Rs600. Airtel and Hutch provides cheaper monthly rental plan than Idea but their speed are slower.