On the Sunday before the last, captain’s ‘ramana‘ was showed in tv, again. Watching captain fight corrupt bureaucrats, wily daadas and baakistan teeviravadis can be an inexplicable experience(you can never decide whether you want to laugh or cry). Captain is the pioneer when it comes to using technology in kollywood movies. I simply awed at the scene where he uses a floppy disk to get the list of corrupt officials. Although critics argue that the 15 names could have easily been written on the piece of paper in which the disk was wrapped, i still consider it an ingenious method of promoting technology among the masses. Had captain taken the movie this time around i am sure the script would include greater use of technology. Here’s my speculation of what captain would have done. Captain would start by creating an spreadsheet using online collaborative tools like zoho, google docs and share it among his followers located at the different districts. Each one of them would then enter the name of the most corrupt official in column A and the amount they have accepted as bribes in column B. Captain would wait for all of them to finish entering the data and at the end of it, would apply a function to sort the sheet on column B in descending order. Captain would then highlight the name present in cell A1 with the colour #FF0000, at which point the mouse pointer would dynamically change to snipers’ target symbol. I know that the way i have described the scene doesnt sound great, but add to it flashing lights, some close up shots of captains’ raised eyebrows, blood-shot eyes and plaited nose hair and deva’s background score… we have an academy award winning scene.
I wish I had a professor like ramana back in college, i would have been a part of the greatest revolution against corruption, tales of which will be discussed in mad.. er.. time magazine. (Incidentally i had a prof named ramana back in college, but all he cared was teaching DSP rather than killing DSP’s.) I racked my brain in an attempt to remember things about my profs and to see if they were anywhere closer to the legendary ramana. Here is a short list of people who taught me and what i could best remember about them.
The first person that came to my mind was pushpalatha. Now, pushpalatha was totally in love with the blackboard and given that every lecture hall had one of them, she would invariably move closer to the board and start whispering her deep secrets to it. What she spoke about, nobody had a clue, the class was generally apathetic towards this behaviour, except this one time when guru chose to disturb the tranquillity with a question regarding something that she was supposedly teaching. pushpalatha was positively shocked at this rude interruption, how ignorant would a boy have to be to disturb a pair of romantics. Any other person in her position would have hit guru with the wooden duster and ran out of the building swearing and screaming, but composed as she was, she chose to shed tears in front of the class. The worst part was that junta misunderstood this reaction as her inability to answer even basic questions about the subject that she was teaching. Some geniuses are grossly misunderstood.
The next person i remembered was shenbagadevil. I think she was into western philosophy, and enjoyed reading works of kant, bertrand russell.. etc, but i believe her favourite was descartes. Now she has even extended his cogito ergo sum and formed theories of her own. Descartes said, “I think, therefore i am“. Her extension goes something like this… “I think I am the best prof, therefore I am the best prof. QED.“
Next on my list is kpr, fondly known as cupper, for his generosity in awarding failure grades. There are perhaps a thousand kids who were F’ed by kpr, totally F’ed up. He had a peculiar dressing sense, he used to come to the class wearing nice shirt, neatly pressed pair of trousers and a pair of matching Hawaii slippers. Somehow I felt this combination odd.. but given that i am not up to date with the happenings in the fashion world, i will refrain from commenting on it. Who knows, it could have been the trend in milan, la, paris that fall…
I really dont remember the name of the next person in my list.. all i remember is that he was the instrumentation prof. Now, the biggest mistake anyone could possibly make in his class is sit on the first bench. The poor soul would be showered with a gelatinous mixture of gutkha, pan masala and saliva emerging from the depths of his larynx, which would dry up by the end of the hour leaving him/her with the glow of a perfectly enamelled copper wire. No wonder salt paper sales would soar in nearby hardware stores during the semesters he chose to teach.
Next is rpp, he was the master, the champ when it came to delivering soporific lectures. I imagine him sitting with other profs and discussing things…
Push:”I created a personal best today.. 10 minutes 18 seconds, entire class into deep sleep”.
Shenbaga: “That’s good, but not as good as mine, 7 minutes and 25 seconds.”
Kpr: “hmm.. looks like all you junior profs are picking up the art of teaching, how did u do instrumentation prof?”
Instrumentation prof: “i wasnt able to put the entire class to sleep.. there was this kid in the first bench continuously wiping his face… “
kpr: “aah… disqualified again.. too bad instr. prof, how did u do rpp?”
.. and nobody really heard the next word, all went Zzzzz… Such is his calibre. Although rpp’s physical features resemble those of captain, i dont think he is anything like ramana.. while ramana fought to eradicate corruption, rpp used to happily trade favours in exchange for letters of recommendation for kids wanting to do their ms in the us.
The next person is someone whom i have consciously reserved as the last, for in my opinion he is the only one who can come close to emulating ramana. It is none other than pvr, (supposedly) the greatest prof my department has ever seen. Just like ramana, pvr leads a groups of carefully chosen geeks for his top secret project in his top secret lab. And given that most of those belonging to his cult are out in the us doing their ms, i can only imagine that their operation(if there is one) is in a global scale. I tried to join this cult a few times but was rejected on the grounds that the geek contamination levels in my blood werent sufficient. I had only 28% contamination, while pvr only accepted geeks with a minimum 80% geek contamination levels.
Anybody who has seen the movie ramana will never forget the scene where ramana delivers a lecture to the doctors. I had the misfortune of being in the receiving end of one such from pvr. During one of the practical classes, i had used a 2k resistor in my experiment and had based all my theoretical calculations on the value 2k. But i had carelessly marked the value as 3K in the circuit diagram. pvr was positively furious at this mistake. I tried explaining that i had indeed marked the resistor as 2k but it was because of the amazing-yet-to-be-discovered properties of the interaction of light at the intersection of the bifocal lens he was wearing that created a reflection about the horizontal line in the 2 and made it look like 3. He threw away his bifocal and wore a progressive glass.It was still 3.(Damn those filthy ophthalmologists creating progressive lens and ruining the lives of innocent kids like me) pvr had the following to say “I can parade 20 people into this room and confirm that this is 3”. I said sorry.. and expected ‘sorry, englishla enakku pudikkada ore vaarta’. Instead he asked me to pay for the bifocal that i had caused him to break.
There you go, I did in fact have a ramanaesque persona teach me. Did you have any ramana’s in your university?
*Disclaimer: The names of the professors have been changed by delta x to preserve their identities. In case you visit my university and find one of these names teaching there.. stand there and marvel at this coincidence. if you happen to find all these names around there, all i can say is miracles do happen, start believing in god.