Sunday, March 09, 2008

For those Living Suiciders

By 'living suiciders' I mean those who give indications of committing suicide but not potray suicidal behaviour. This is generally done to threaten or to freak people out or simply for the fun of it, to see how people react; or of course in some rare bizzare cases as an elocution piece.

For those few here is a compilation from a simple Google search

12 common ways to commit suicide:

12. Vehicular Impact
Results From Failure: Permanent loss/damage to organs.

11. Self-immolation
Results From Failure: Permanent scars and third degree burns

10. Drowning
Results From Failure: Oxygen deprivation can cause severe and permanent brain damage.

9. Electric Shock
Results From Failure: Deep burns from 500-1000 volts, ventricular fibrillation at 110-220 volts, and severe neurological damage.

8. Exsanguination (usually slitting the wrist or throat)
Results From Failure: Extreme loss of blood causing the heart to dramatically slow eventually depriving the brain of oxygen. Also, most often, deep scars and tissue damage.

7. Jumping
Results From Failure: Shattered femurs from impacting with water up to severe bodily harm from impacting with any solid surface.

6. Suffocation
Results From Failure: Turning back at the last minute before passing out can result in serious and long-lasting to permanent brain damage.

5. Carbon Monoxide Inhalation
Results From Failure: CO molecules irreversibly attach themselves to human hemoglobin and the result is often fatal even if one backs out.

4. Poisoning
Results From Failure: The toxic levels of poison required to kill one’s self are generally non-reversible. However, hospital staff can attempt it and often make one vomit or something similar. Lasting effects can include internal organ damage.

3. Hanging
Results From Failure: Brain damage from lack of oxygen, Often, failure to actually break your own neck may only yield strangulation and you can be saved, but damaged. Also, permanent rope burns or implement scarring can occur.

2. Drug / Alcohol Overdose
Results From Failure: Severe to permanent organ failure if successful removal isn’t achieved, as well as impaired judgment. Often, clinical assistance is necessary if attempt is repeated.

1. Gun Shot
Results From Failure: Sometimes the blast isn’t enough to kill. In this case, severe to permanent bodily damage can occur as well as blood loss, organ and tissue damage, and brain damage.

Not : But of course : This is not an encouragement to those living suiciders but a mere reminder that there are a lot of things that can go wrong in attempting suicide. And probably your life is a happy one till you attempt and then it would not be worth living but you would be stuck in the hell that you would have created for yourself.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Fete in Pics

The day


The machine:



Poison Ivy:


Mr Freeze:



Monday, March 03, 2008

29th Feb Page 1

The Theme

The literary secretary called it the theme; we called it the submission date.

29th February! Whoever came up with this uniquely marvelous masterpiece of a theme must get their creativity quotient* checked for it is going off the charts and pouring all over the Sharav entry. For the record, there are people who have still not digested the fact that it is really the final choice and I find no reason to blame them.

It is creative writing week alright but to come up with something so extremely excellent that people actually reconfirm whether it is indeed the theme is fairly unconventional. Like the other day, someone walked up to me and challenged me to suggest something creative about the theme so that she could think of writing. This is what happens when you stumble onto the theme while on a post-slumber high. Talk about Eurekaa! How many people can boast of an idea as original and unadulterated as this especially when ideas arguably better than the one under slaughter were being floated?

James Finley said, “Nothing encourages creativity like the chance to fall flat on one's face." The present scenario only fortifies this. The creative theme fell flat on most people. No surprises there.

On second thought, it seems like a really crafty way to remind people about the last date. When it comes to a competition with a deadline, it is the last date that is frequently reminded. In our case, this has been remarkably avoided. Every Tom, Dick and Harry (or shall I say Eena, Meena and Deeka) who has anything to do with the hostel knows when the Creative Writing week ends. It is almost as if the organizers have become weary of reminding people about deadlines and having to go around saying that the entries must reach by such and such night. God bless the coordinators who by some vague telepathy recognised the lack of significance of this date and also the extent to which we detested it (alright, not all but most of us) and changed the submission day to a proper day which is not a figment of some historical figure's imagination.

. Perhaps the rarity of the date February 29 is supposed to make us draw an analogy to the rarity of girls here at IITM. It is, after all, an accepted fact that girls in the institute keep reminding others about their negligible population, butthis is taking it a little too far.

That brings us to an even more serious issue not as if this wasn’t serious enough. Do such titles for movies and other forms of entertai nment reflect complacency or so called creativity? A simple Google search reveals an alarming number of movies and sitcoms titled after dates, some of which have little or no relevance to the movie or the sitcom, whatsoever.

All said and done, the theme is here and it is here to stay. Like Carl Sagen said, “It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.” In our case, it has produced this exquisite compilation that you are holding in your hands. Certain things are just done differently and nobody does it better than us. We proudly present to you 29th February – in Leaps and Bounds.

*If you haven’t heard about it, then you probably shouldn’t be reading this in the first place.

Did you know?
compiled by Anita, Preethi (tadpole tag)

45 BC: Emperor Julius Caesar proclaims the last day of February as Leap Year Day, skipping it three out of four years. Back then, February 30th was the last day of the last month of the year, which is why he picked it.
4 AD: Emperor Augustus corrects a counting error in Leap Years. He also gets the month of August named after him, and steals the last day of February so that August can have 31 days, just like Julius' month. Now February has 29 days in Leap Years.
1582: Pope Gregory XIII, moves the end of the year to December 31st, and makes century years leap years if they are divisible by 400. (So 2000 is a leap year, but 1900 was not.) He moved the end of the year back two months so that Easter would occur in the spring.
1288: Scottish parliament under Queen Margaret legislated that women could propose on the 29th of February, and imposed fines on men who declined.

at the end of each page

Pg1: hypnopompic = the semiconscious state of sleep which led to the idea of 29th february
Pg2: idiopathy = the very well known but unknown disease of assuming 31 days in february
Pg3: adultescent = a 60 year old who acts 15 as a consequence of being born on the 29th february
Pg4: El Dorado = a company that gives bonuses and paid leaves only on 29th february

29th Feb Page 2

Were you born on the 29th February ?

Kansas is Home. It’s a pity I ain’t livin’ there anymore. I always thought I was unique. I had this keenness of sight, this acute sense of smell ever since I was born. I could smell fear. And I saw blood. ALL the time. I’m very earthy. My skin feels like warm wet clay. And it looks like sand on a beach. In
Washington, among the Prairies, I can hardly be seen at all...
My family has been living in Washington for generations. After the Civil War, my great great grandfather was bequeathed acres of land in Washington County in the state of Kansas by a dying heirless war-hero.
We’ve lived here ever since. I know Washington, every nook and cranny. Every tiny inch of space where a molecule could be squeezed in. Maybe, it’s because it’s a small town. Not many households you see. But everybody knows me. From the affable errandrunning boy of the town, I’ve become the quiet strong Carl. Quiet. I like sitting in the porch in the evenings, sipping beer. Sometimes I go out to The Ranch for a drink.
Sometimes, I hunt. I can’t say I’m very talented but I really like to hunt. In 1975, I had four animals entered into Pope & Young's trophy hunting world-record books. It’s nice when people appreciate trophies. They should too. It’s a matter of great pride. In fact, The Ranch has a mount of the whitetail I hunted in 1968. It attracts a lot of customers, you see. I like going there. Jerry, the barman tells everybody about it. They keep talking about how good I get the game.

It was there that I met her. How can I ever forget her? Large blue eyes, fair golden hair just like the Prairies, just like me. And pale. So pale. Was she Nordic? A Hansen, yes, a Hansen she was. She was not from the town. A foreigner. She was from Alaska. As soon as I walked in, Jerry announced- Gentlemen, the birthday boy is here.
Everybody in the bar raised their drinks to my health. There is so much feeling in that town.
She sprung out of her seat and said- Were you born on the 29th of February?
Its 29th February today, so I guess so.
Me too! Happy Birthday to us, you know! I’m so glad we met. I never met a person I share my birthday with until now. Do you mind if I join you?
We spoke for quite a while. She looked pale. Cold and Icy. Her cool blue eyes. She didn’t look like anything I had seen before. She didn’t look human.

Jerry told me about that deer. Why did you kill it?
I hunted it. It was on my land. I don’t like trespassers. No business here.
I’ve hunted seals in Alaska. Hunting is an experience. I’d like to hunt in Kansas too. But I need lessons, you know. From you.
Talk. Talk .Talk . She talked herself to death.
How about me giving you some Hunting tips tonight?
Tonight?-she giggled- Then when do we start hunting?
As soon as you’re game for it.
She caught hold of my hand. We ran out of the bar, into the car. She leaned over and kissed me several times.
We drove through the fields and she looked excited about a “fun”– filled lesson.
We stopped short at the barn.
It was a dark night. No moon out there. Everything still and beautiful. Perfect for a hunt. Hunting in MY experience - and by hunting I simply mean being out on the land - is a state of mind. The faculties are fully incorporated into the landscape. It is more than listening for animals or looking for hoof prints or a shift in the weather. It is more than scouting, baiting and camouflage. To hunt means to have the land draped around you. To engage with it in a wordless dialogue, one so absorbing that you stop talking to people around you, people within yourself. Only the animal speaks. The predator speaks.
Relationships melt, like you melt in the scenery. Blend with it. Patterns - hoof prints and a bird's warning call – become relationships. Relationships become Patterns. Suddenly the pattern - which maybe a memory of your family, and memories of the Prairies you have walked through - takes in the Whitetail. The bulletshot is like a word spoken out loud. It occurs at the periphery of your imagination.
When I hunt I am spiritually engaging in an age-old predatory relationship of Nature. I feel like a witness, a party to the common ecological process -- just as a bear seeks its prey.
I was in a trance. I gagged her, I don’t know when. My hands were ever-steady. I told her we would be playing a game of hide and seek. She hides, I seek. She ran out of the door into the sultry night. Running through bushes, running through the Prairies. Running through the Prairies that shines like her hair in the golden sun. Running away. Running like the deer. Running like game. Running for her life.


There, I killed it. I put a .223-caliber bullet through its head.


Johnny from Spain

Once There was a handsome man from spain
He was called Johnny, who loved the rain
On twenty ninth feb, he said
I hate rain, lying in bed
for Lightening left his butt in pain

Look before you leap
-Anita, Preethi (tadpole tag)

Born on the last day of Feb was a man named Peep,
Too sad it was in a year that was leap,
Peep was sad, loony and shattered,
That his B'day celebrations were so scattered,.
So he told his parents, "Please....LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP!"

The Interview
(continued on page 4 in the original copy)

What is it like to be born on 29th February? The question fascinates one and all. We, the leapers, caught up with someone who was lucky enough to be born on this day. Karthik Puthraya is a second year BTech student in Engineering Physics at IIT, Madras.

How does it feel?
“It feels slightly weird. I feel a lot younger”, he says in one of his usual peppy tones. It is unique to be able to age four times as slowly as others around you.

“What exactly makes u feel weird?”
“Actually it is not me but people around me who think it is a little weird.” It is true that is special to be born on this day and people do exclaim in surprise when you say your birthday to them.

However, life is not so rosy as it seems. When asked about the disadvantages of the same he says, “Actually there are a few practical problems. At many places there is no provision to accommodate 29th February.”
“Is that so? Could you elaborate?”
“Like for example on the Institute Hospital card, my birthday is written as 28th February because probably the computer software doesn’t account for leap years”
Now, that is something unusual. A birthday is very important for records and such and these technical problems might cause complications.

He throws some light on the technical aspects of the issue, he being the national record holder of being the fastest solver of the Rubik’s cube. He says, “Moreover, most people don’t know to calculate leap years. Do you know?”
“Years that are divisible by four, right?”
“Ha! Got you!” he exclaims in delight. He directs us to the Wikipedia article on leap year which turns out to be quite informative.” Contrary to common misconception, the calculation of leap year involves one more condition. He gives us a hint, “There is some catch involving the last two digits. For example, the year 1900 wasn’t a leap year.” He explains further, “The year must be divisible by 4 and not divisible by 100 for it to be a leap year.” Now, that is something not many people would have known.

Coming to birthday celebrations, we asked him, “When do you generally celebrate you birthday? 28th February or 1st March?”
He replies, “Actually I don’t celebrate on either day”. “But you can take it as 28th although, this time I have 29th”, he adds with one of his characteristic charming smiles.
Being the IITians that we are, the next question asked was, “So, are you giving a grand treat on your actual birthday? After all, it is the only time in your life at IITM.”
He laughs and adds diplomatically, “Let me see. I guess I will get some grand bumps too.”

“One more interesting question; we generally remember birthdays only when we keep wishing people. What is it like in your case? Do your friends remember your birthday because it’s on a special day or do they forget because it is so infrequent?”

”People will obviously remember. It is unique.”

29th Feb Page 3

Absinthe's 29th

28th February, 2119, Planet Absinthe
Dawn breaks as the huge red disc rises over the barren land. Clear is the silhouette of a man running against the sun, against time!

2118, Space station X12FA
Capt. Bakshi sat facing the board, with the results of the data. The revolution of Earth had slowed down due to the presence of the new Planet Absinthe (gets its name from the fact that it was believed to be a hallucination, since it leaves the solar system for a brief period annually). This planet that belongs now to both the Solar system as well as the Proxima Centauri system has earth like atmosphere but no life as yet.
The consequence shall be the increase in the days per year. But the bigger problem is the climatic catastrophe that has been forecasted. The tides, the temperature, the seasons will all be out of order in the near future.
After numerous intricate and involved meetings, it was decided that the tiny planet shall be destroyed. It shall disappear into dust when its rotation is stopped with the help of huge electromagnetic coils that are placed on the near by planets Saturn and Xylonia (from Proxima Centauri system).

28th February, 2119, Planet Absinthe
The coils are in place the planet had been checked again for traces of life. His faithful team had followed orders to the word. Now, when the time has come, here was Capt. Bakshi running for his life to get to the spaceship and fly away from the prescribed danger zone within the given 5 hours before which the coils come alive.
He ran as fast as his legs could carry. He had two minutes to reach the little ship. He could no longer feel his legs and for a moment his entire life flashed in his mind. He wished he could see his son for one last time. He reached the ship but the two minutes had passed. He lost hope, but still pressed the red button before collapsing.

29th February, 2119, Civil Township, Earth
Capt. Bakshi fluttered his eyes to an anxious bunch of people. “He’s alive!” The spaceship survived too, the exteriors suffered a lot.
And the date was 29th February. The little damage that Planet Absinthe had done was covered by an extra day in the year, dedicated to Capt. Bakshi!
He muttered a little prayer before slipping into unconsciousness again.


Concept: Pranava
Illustrations : Ramya, Kirtika (tadpole tag)
Graphic modifications: Leela

Concept: Ramya, Kirtika (tadpole tag)
Illustrations : Ramya, Kirtika (tadpole tag)
Graphic modifications: Leela

Concept: Pranava
Graphics : Pranava


Concept: Ramya, Kirtika (tadpole tag)
Graphics : Ramya, Kirtika (tadpole tag)
Modifications: Leela

29th Feb page 4

Dawn at Twilight
-Akhila (tadpole tag)

Into the moonlit sky I gazed
Stunned, elated, truly amazed
Drinking in the gurgling brook
The wilderness that surrounded me
That’s when I stumbled upon a key.

Curious, I lifted it
Searched around for a lock to fit
Something, somewhere told me somehow
That the key was no ordinary one
It was the key to bliss, to fun!

I searched for a couple of hours
In the light of moon and stars
But with no luck, whatsoever
Tired, hungry, angry, I swore
And stopped when I bumped into a door.

Reaching for the key I found
Unlocking with a mighty sound
I found myself gaze even more
At what I saw before me now
I just felt happier somehow.

Into the starry sky I stared
Something was wrong, but who cared?
All I knew was my eternal bliss
I thanked the stars for the key
And the happiness it brought to me.

And as I was at the zenith of zeal
A sudden movement I could feel
I turned, a little irritated
To see this unfairly handsome fellow
Who held out his hand and said 'Hello'.

I turned rudely and started to walk
I was in no mood to talk
I did not care what he thought
That’s when he started to sing
And I could feel my mood swing.

'The key to happiness you have found.
All around you is beauty profound
But I must warn you, if I may
The key isn't yours, nor is this place
I hate to tell this to your face.

'There's a price you've got to pay
For every happiness that comes your way
And this 29th of February,
It was a pleasure meeting you
Protect yourself from the mist and dew'.

Dejected Lover
-Kirtika (tadpole tag)

Teary eyes, weary soul and gloomy spirit,
I stand all lonely and in despair;
Whether straight from the heart, or fake be it,
I crave for attention, a little bit of care –

Everyone has good times, they used to say,
When the one you love ,bestows bliss from yonder...
I waited for my own, thinking patience would pay-
Amidst intimate moments, my fantasies would wander.

True love is always reciprocated
Or so I had heard,
My thoughts, my speech – to her were related,
While, she, for me, uttered no word.

In her paradise, me and her, Ah! Her show !
At last, it came, what I so longed forever-
Lost in ecstasy, little did I know,
Four years of misery, the joyful time would follow.

Hard as it was, for me to bear
The truth of my life was clear and bare,
Shattered and disoriented – I have only this to say:
Never love the calendar if you are a leap day.
I broke my heart and the world turned cold-
To second of March, what I deserved, was sold.

29th February - Pages 1to4

29th February

Well, what is so special about 29th february except for the fatc that it is a leap day ??

It also happened to be our theme for creative writing event.

the requirements:
entry will be in the form of a pamphlet (an A2 sheet folded in half = four A3
entry must have these sections.
1. A cartoon/comic strip (sarcasm/humor?) based on the theme
This has to be original.
2. A footnote at the bottom of each page referencing a word for which you
come up with your own version of its meaning/origin
The footnote must refer to a word present in the page above and give
an imaginary meaning or describe the origin of that word.
3. A flash fiction based on the theme with a word limit 400 words
Flash fictions are characterized by their brevity. This is just a normal
fiction with all elements of suspense but restricted to 400 words. Don't
bother writing prologues and chapters.

I shall paste 4 jpeg images in another post.

Gotham City !!!

That was our theme for "Fete", the biggest lit soc and tech soc event in IITM.

Each hostel is expected to stick to a theme and creat a game stall with ambience and blah blah blah. Here is what happened last year.

So Gotham City!!

The tent with the Gotham city skyline invites you to enter through the bat-mobile. You are welcomed with the machine with a continous show of bat-man's skills.
The vinyl print outs stuck to the tent, the batmobile with carboard n paper, the TV decorated to look like a machine.

Now the Penguin stops you at the gate. Fight your luck as you spin the wheel and see if you can make it inside the city.
The wheel produces a no which inturn glows in the hollywood squares and the key hanging there is picked out.

Else there is Riddler with his secret entry. Guess the name of the batman's badman and the cryptex unlocks itself to present to you the key. The key lead to a little box that provides you with a weapon.
The wooden cryptex has letters, and they all have to be arranged vertically to open the cryptex, and inside lies the key.

Poison Ivy has trapped Robin in a maze of ivy. Batman must save Robin and bring him out of the maze without touching the ivy.
A wooden platform with thermocol maze covered in leaves with wellcrow at certain areas is the maze. Robin is a magnet and so is batman's weapon. The glass over the maze stops the magnets from uniting but helps bring robin out. The wellcrow captures him incase he touches the ivy.

Now that Robin is out, he brings with him the four digit code to unlock the mysteries of the brain of Scarecrow, who provides you withe the laser gun.
It's just a digital lock for a box covered in hay to look like the scarecrow.

Mr. Freeze has frozen half the city now. Save the rest by destroing his 3 mirror bodyguards and 4 bodyguards in invisibility cloaks and finally mr. freeze's brain in a single shot with that Laser gun.
The bodyguards are mirrors, the invisible ones are windows and finally the laser strikes the brain and a blue led glows.

An finally, drop the grenades into the Joker's mouth and choke him to death.
Ah! A joker face with 3D effects with cardboard and newspaper. There is a motor rotating a cardboard with two holes behind the mouth. You have to throw the balls into the mouth and through those holes. which finally decend upon to switch off a casette player playing the Joker's laugh.

The entire stall had the comic "Pow" "Boom", etc., the cityscrapers, the ambience for every individual game. We also had the batman villians cut out off vinyl and stuck on cardboard put up as standies, and of course batman himself. And a particular "XXplosive" sign (for those who didn't get it, we have the XX chromosome and its dangerous!)

There! You've saved Gotham City!! Batman, you are a hero!!!

Results : There were two categories
Lit-soc : 4th position fetching us 10 points
Tech-soc: 2nd position fetching us 30 points

PS: pics to be put up soon