2008/08/12

The Devil's Glossary

[With due apologies to Mr Bierce.]

BTP
Stands for Bonded To Professor. The first step towards forgetting your Nobel dream.

DC++
As the name suggests, a programming language. You may sometimes skip compiling: everything is already compiled.

DKC
The ocean where many a freshman starts his voyage of ruin. Hence the name. (A clever homophone of Decay Sea.)

Faculty
A rock band that conducts five-day long concerts every week. Usually their lyrics are unintelligible; if you don't want to make meaning out of it, you may face the music.

Girl
A sparse but particularly deadly species of wolf in the campus. To protect the male population from its danger, access to its lair has been restricted. As further measures of safety, a separate feeding area has been built for them, and the academic zone and Central Library are placed nearest to them so that they don't trample across male territory. Despite these, thanks to statistical laws and peer pressure, by the end of the final year nearly every girl manages to pair up with an unsuspecting lad who had failed to see through the sheep-skin.

Grades
A special alphabet used to write your biography.

Himalaya
The largest tea-shop in the country. It also sells leather, vulcanized rubber, manure and various adhesives. Patrons are frequently seen putting these into their mouth, not unlike the deer that have learnt to swallow polythene.

Hostels
Gas stations that finally supply gas and not petrol. In order to use them to inflate your tyres, you need to enrol for work at one of them, where accommodation will be provided just behind the station. Your job will include generating the gas chiefly through, as the lingo goes, putting fart. Workers with extra gas, usually in their heads, tend to spend more time for their hostel than for themselves.

Internet
Obi-Wan Kenobi put it best --
'It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.'
Locally, the field is generated by the sun and the field lines curve in space before reaching and partly enveloping Earth. Hence at any given time, one-sixths of the planet's surface is not under its influence. This explains its absence in these regions from 0100 to 0500 hrs.

Internship
A commonly misspelt word for internment. The sentence can last upto twelve weeks, which can be reduced to six on grounds of good behaviour.

Open Air Theatre (OAT)
A flying saucer that crash-landed in the campus decades ago. You can hear the hoots and whistles of the aliens trapped in it when you visit it on Saturday nights. During Saarang, the OAT is converted into a circus where the spectator is on the stage and the clowns are all around.

PJ
A term to be uttered in a contemptuous tone when someone cracks a clever joke you didn't think of.

Quark
An elementary particle that, for all its incomplete quality, has abnormal charges.

Sitcom
Stands for 'situational comedy'. Everyone involved tends to make a buffoon out of (him/her)self and tries to imitate the actions of the rest of the cast. Usually a sitcom is aired in eight seasons, each having several 50-minute episodes followed by a few three-hour ones. The filming takes place before and between the episodes. Also known as 'BTech'.

Treat
A superstitious ritual, passed on by ancestors to the present generation, followed with unquestioning blindness by an otherwise scientific community. It is carried out at the conclusion of feats ranging from putting up a new status message to winning a Fields Medal.

Vindya Mess
Outlet of the drainpipe from Tifanys.

Workshop
A shopping mall constructed over a large area so that everyone can fit.

When Gentlemen Gossip

I wrote, 'We must shake hands on that, for umpteen have been the times that my heart too has grieved over the apathy of my coterie. In fact, the name of my mailing list is 'Busybuddies' (sounding somewhat like busybodies).
But let us not exhaust our sorrow there: non-replying to forwards must be having an explanation. What really amazes me is the disuse of the Reply button for personal mails! Are they trying to make a statement ('I'm a busy man. I don't have time to reply to mails.')? Am I just out of touch in a world where lack of replies is acceptable and commonplace? No, it beats me. And to top it all, a month or two hence would land on my Facebook wall or GTalk IM window a perfunctory 'Hey, what's up?' from the party in question.'
He replied, 'You're touching, no, hammering a raw nerve there! Although I don't think it is less of a crime to not reply to forwards (you actually thought of them when you came across something, there *must* be some value to that), let's proceed to this dreary personal mail business.

I completely agree! Reams upon reams of personal mails share a fate that would make those dreaded silent chambers in the Russian gulags seem kind and benign flower-gardens. Nobody is busy enough to not write at least a one-liner or a thank-you note. What vexes me the most is, any attempts at humour not bordering on textbook jokes will seem pitifully puerile every passing day without a reply. "Uh, wait, I thought (s)he was going to reply.. it's been a week now, maybe I shouldn't have put in that pun." "Ouch, maybe this should have been more formal?" and finally "Wait, did I do something wrong?". And there's something rankly insincere about these 'wassups'. It is almost as if a social to-do is being ticked off a list.
It is also sobering to note that this is perhaps not a phenomenon restricted to the overly busy days that we purport ourselves to be in. Old chappie Russel once lamented, "A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation."
The most hurtful part of this entire business is that most of the time, the party simply doesn't care. That little spike of happiness on reading a witty line or an 'Ah, that's clever' moment isn't there; consequently, this makes the universe a more disgusting place than what we'd have previously thought.
The funny part is that most people are fairly regular when corresponding with strangers, but with closer acquaintances, a pattern seems to naturally emerge irrespective of factors like intelligence, writing/typing ability, social standing, etc. Some people seem to be born with the idea that mails must be responded to, and not doing so is extremely rude. This breed is likely not to insert 'With Best Regards' as part of its signature, and will instead prefer to type it out. The other breed seem to think of emails as being of equal importance as (on good days) an ad on the radio. Heaven help him who hath a mate from an unlike breed.
One also wonders how one can continue living Life with equanimity when forced (by the vagaries of Fate or more cruelly, Cupid) to correspond with this breed. I find it impossible to brush away repeated non-response as 'only human' or look kindly at it. I'm not also able to figure how to politely inform people I'm infuriated by this. I have taken to Meditation and (more recently) Binaural Beats to not change the original plan of Mother Nature having the pleasure to pull my hairs out. I ask you in desperation, JUST HOW DO YOU COPE?'