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2000-2002 in Review

It is amazing how the wheel of fortune turns a full circle. The first continuum had reports of people going places, meeting people and giving us a feeling that we are someone very special. For it was longest economic expansion wave in history, it turned and the ugly side of this broad cold world that we had heard mostly and seen only in glimpses reared it its head. True, that this continuum has been a year late in coming, but nothing will better contrast the gloom of this year to the euphoria of continuum 1.

But, it has not been all gloomy throughout. Appropriately, Kholu embarked on a new journey in life as a married man, though he lives like a bachelor and has made Canon, Japan his home. However, unknown to most, this is not the first marriage of our batch. That honor went to the Forgotten Member, who could not write some code in C-Dot as she had forgotten to bring her drawer keys. The register, which contained the methods to do the work, was locked in it. Satti, in Cisco Texas, will follow Kholu in the list. Formerly the skinniest, he now sports a paunch (giving serious competition to some in class) and is not averse to partaking liquor. Becoming happily married is also the redoubtable intention of Kela, who claims that he was found the one (or another one) while working for SAP, Germany and is settled in life after some French encounters. Lets hope he succeeds in his intentions; after all he was our first member out of the NFC.

Speaking of marriages, Ruchi, working at Cisco, has also announced a change of status variable from single to single and looking. Now ladies and gentlemen, this comes much to the delight of the Wipro stud and world traveler Bond, who was making sincere enquiries about her on his last trip to US. Only time will tell what will transpire next. The other ex-Wiproite, now the Cisco lamp, Batti, has seemingly reached his destination in life and is working his daylights out. He laments that he doesn't get enough work and so has to use his hand to pass his time. It may sound hard to believe but this great NFC member, has taken to spiritualism. Alongside to him works Gullu, the man who went to Goa and resigned from NFC. That one mail (with two attachments) from him about his exploits, resulted in drop of sales of one-handed magazines. His most recent exploits include a Brazil trip with ...... IQ last disappeared into Agere networks and not surfaced still. His pal, Bangs, enjoying (hopefully) work at Sapient, Delhi, giving shocks to people around with his Bangarisms, even in London UK.

If we have Bangs on one end, I think the other end of the band is our revered PLD. He who has been preparing for IAS and not dropping as much a mail or phone call in past 2 years, has been to Laddakh of all places as an inchare of security in DRDO. Also living close to Delhi is our Anup Kumar Khooni, who joined the long list of recession victims. Riverrun was desperate to have him back, but our Maruti Zen owner decided to join Aplion Networks. Till reports last came in, he was still enjoying benefits Juni's clout in Riverrun. Juni has been a source of inspiration to many who were struggling with weight problems. Giving the shock of their lives to her batch-mates, friends and King alike, she has continued working at Riverrun. King left HCL for Tejas Networks. He seems to derive maximum joy in switching packets across networks rather than the worldly pleasures. This gentleman, moving to Bangalore prepared specs for a house to be rented, spent 2 months hunting for it, although he ended up moving in Bond's house.

Around the same time, our NFC president Ali moved into Trilium, an Intel Company and wasted no time in getting settled as contrast to King. Currently fighting for his job, he is engaged and is slated to marry his childhood sweetheart. Soon we would be looking for a new NFC president. Our NFC chairman, Gokul, has seen rough weather in face of the recession. But knowing the tough guy he is, it's a safe bet that he will come out tops and excel in life. Same we hope for our L. Baba, who has just finished his MS. He was also very hopeful with a certain South Indian girl but his hopes built-up at ITCSE were dashed at mere sight. The new and improved Vani, who has not opened ashrams but bought expensive cars. Having tasted the corporate world life at Hewlett-Packard, he is going back to do a PhD. The revered Professor, Murli at Penn State University is on his way to become a professor. So engrossed is he in studies and deadlines galore, that he scarcely mails us. Lets wish Murli and Vani every success in their endeavors in the academic arena. The other makku Chhakka is still writing code somewhere in Canada or India. He sent 1 mail to egroups for past 2 years. Whether in Chennai or in Canada, this man has been the epitome of inactivity on the egroup.

Our BC, the greatest NFC member till date, lost his honorary executive status to dames in Bangalore, Luxemburg and god knows where else. His entry into NY for a PhD brought about the fall of the WTC (coincidence ?). Of course, he found his soul mate at SAP labs while playing footer. Jhabru, our eyewitness at the very scene, confirmed this. He was oscillating between Germany and India and sufferered pangs of work between periods of lethargy. Of course, his transactions with a certain Swiss miss in Zurich have cast a shadow of doubt over his NFC membership. Dhakkan first had heartbreak with a marriage of his landlord's daughter and then a feeling of despair swept him when he spotted a girl at his sister's wedding only to learn that she was also attached. This Tenet laborer was bowled over by beauties in Japan, but he is still the Hanuman Bhakt of yester years. Our grand old duke Jain is still with Lucent Bangalore while at the same time he is indulging into direct marketing with Amway. The hair on his head is falling faster than the layoffs at Lucent. Arora, besides his tragedy with his bike and Microsoft is still with Aditi. He was reported to go off mysteriously with someone on weekends. The news has not been confirmed yet.

The same period has been a bad one for Allahbadi with the loss of his father and a consequent setback to his future plans. He and Phattu (Ankit) are team leads in HSS, while they both got their hearts broken by Neha. The endless pile of clothes grows for Phattu and his tussle over the N-factor with Ramlal and a certain Surdi was observed by Chuddi, who since has migrated to Ericsson US. This chap went to the San Jose library before venturing on to the beach. Among his other achievements, one to derive the equation for Fourier transformation at Microsoft Interview stands out. He has also been an obstinate mule in the past year when he lost his way back from a dog beach and never asked for directions. Why he took his visitors to a dog beach ( not a goat beach) is still a mystery.

The lone gunman, Makku in Hyderabad has climbed up the corporate ladder in DeShaw. The most active member of the egroup and New York traveler, he has been traveling all over India for recruitments and reports directly to bigwigs. He was another slowdown victim like Pondy who could not make it to the land of green money. Pondy quit is job and joined Mascot and was immediately rewarded with a trip to Germany. This man who claimed to marry as soon as he completed his B. Tech is still unmarried. Loner too is Muttar in Mumbai, at iFlex. With stints at US under his belt, he is virtually a resident of New Jersey.

I think that leaves the Laurel & Hardy pair. Lambu / L.Veer calls himself the survivor of the century as he saw his startup embracing the American corporate philosophies with euphuisms of restructuring and lay offs. This man rides a mazda, gets sloshed at parties ( in India ) and goes to bars in Silicon valley. For me, after belling the CAT, life has its ups and downs. The ups being having dates in college and the downs being the CGPA worries. More on the latter in Snapshots from Hell: The Making Of an MBA that follows.

I know that we are seeing some rough weather and may be things will never be the same again. But tomorrow always fills us with hope and we should always remember that we are the best around and we will survive and come out tops. The following lines of a poem by Harivansh Rai Bachchan come to my mind and have been a source of inspiration to me when I am down - (This is in Hindi for some of my detractors)

Abhishek Sinha (Pants)