Sunday, February 05, 2006

Off the Wall

In the land that was older than the hills, there was an old, old city.

And in the old, old city, there once stood an old, old college.

Well, its still there, but that is hardly the point.

And in this old, old college, there were some old, old walls.

Ah, this is getting tiresome!

The point of all this being that once upon a time in Presidency College, the walls of the Union Room and the Canteen weren't as blank as a slate, or as minty fresh as a Chlor-mint. In fact, they were daarty yellow kalar and looked straight out of occupied Basra.

They were also glittering testimonials to the collected aantlami of an entire generation.

Being ridiculously smart and scarily creative as we all were (and still are, I am told), the authorities viewed us with an apprehension only matched by that of Mr. and Mrs. Kent as they watched little Clark destroy Ayers' Rock with an ill-directed sneeze.

In lieu of a troupe of costumed supervillains to keep us busy, we were led to a section of campus and given carte blanche, as it were. On the walls of the canteen and the Union Room, we were told, we could do whatever we damned well pleased, as long as all works of art were duly signed.

And so it came to pass.

There you could find witty exchanges, like the following

Life is a Sexually Transmitted Disease

Death is Hereditary

Impotence is not.

(written by three different people, mind you).

There were plaintive pleas.

Stop the world - I want to get off!

And fashion advice.

The ends justify the jeans.

Some in jokes that made sense to only a few.

Pol. Science or bust

And some that made no sense to anyone at all.

Legalize Counter-Masculinity

Some expressed their political views.

All opposition is suspect.

Some expressed their views on politicians.

Don't vote - you'll only encourage them.

And there were those that expressed their view on the entire debate.

Lenin lives, but McCarteney ROCKS!

Potshots were taken at everyone - from the staff.

The world is full of creatures, big and small.
Some that creep and some that crawl.
And Presidency College employs them all.

To the faculty.

Where did professors come from?
From the West, because the wise men came from the East.

To our friendly rivals across town.

Those who can, do.
Those who can't, join SXC.

It wasn't just the outside walls. The long toilet behind the canteen, lovingly christened "Pakistan" (which is quite spotless these days - the toilet I mean, not the country), had the following scribbled at eye level above a urinal stall.

If you can hit this, join the Fire Brigade.

and at around knee level

Cutoff for SC/ST's.

And there were posters of all hues. Political mainly, but some others as well. A particularly clever one was put up in the immediate aftermath of the left-led protest against the setting up of a Coca-Cola fountain in the canteen. (Yes, young reader, there WAS such a time). The poster had a squashed Coke paper cup pasted on it, with the words.

Coke is Red.
We are not.

But my all-time favourite was the sight that greeted me when I walked into the canteen a few days before Election Day. Strung across the canteen was a huge banner, that had obviously taken a great deal of effort to put up. Written in large black letters across it was the following.

Do YOU suffer from Bad Results? Do you believe something needs to be done about your bad results?
Join us in the Bad Results Association.

I never found out who the mastermind behind this operation was, but I silently appluaded him. Not to be outdone, some other bright spark put up a poster a week later announcing the launching of a new party, the Presidency Association of Non-Terrorist Youth

Some of these attempts at humour did not go down well with the self-appointed guardians of Presidencian Virtue (no, really). A particular graffito that was painted over while I was still in college read.

Ashes to Ashes,
Dust to Dust.
If grass don't get you,
Acid's a must.

And there was my own attempt at wit, which backfired. A friend had put up a poster which read -
War is necessary for peace.

below which I thought it necessary to post -

War for peace is like sex for virginity.

Duly signed of course.

The friend in question found it hilarious. Certain illiberal leftist elder brothers did not. I was confronted in the Metro Station with the poster, and it was menacingly ripped up in front of me, crumpled into a ball and flung onto the tracks. I was also warned to never write such dirty things (involving the words 'sex', 'virginity', or any combination thereof) again. The next week I joined the 'other' party.

But thats a whole different story. Before this becomes "The memoirs of a Presidencian has-been", I shall sign off. But I leave you with the most telling graffito of all.

God is dead - Presidency

Presidency is dead - God

Attack them walls again, young 'uns, or that annoying know-it-all up there might just end up being right.


At Sunday, February 05, 2006 5:11:00 AM, Blogger Rimi said...


In other words, mindfuckingly brilliant (bring on the dadas). And looking for someone to design a T-shirt for me with the messages. Really :)

At Monday, February 06, 2006 3:35:00 AM, Blogger Arthur Quiller Couch said...

This kind of graffiti in a Calcutta college? Wow.
Some of it is copied from "Graffiti: the scrawl of the wild". I read that book in Calcutta.

We always thought Presidency was a staid place. This changes my view. Was St. Xavier's as good?

At Monday, February 06, 2006 7:04:00 AM, Blogger #3tiYo>B_shyo> said...

ahh, cant resume graffiti untill stupid NAAC goes away and leaves us with a different existance. we'll hopefully become Pee U. and honestly, even im surprised with the graffiti quality in our very own canteen and elsewhere.

At Monday, February 06, 2006 8:15:00 AM, Blogger "sen"sational said...

aha....if sxc was the friendly rival...then what was ju???

p.s. absolutely hilarious post btw.

At Monday, February 06, 2006 10:21:00 PM, Blogger Gamesmaster G9 said...

Staid??? I've heard many unpleasant things being said about Presidency (mostly by Xaverians, whose opinions don't really count anyway), but STAID!!! Please!! You sir, have clearly NEVER met any Presidencians. Especially considering that you even asked whether Xaviers was as good! Hah! For those who missed it, the word 'friendly' was used with tongue firmly in cheek.
There was never any real rivalry with JU, though. Xaviers was just so blatantly the "other" for us, that we had no choice but to hate them (Non compos mentis fashion victims!). And in our defense - THEY STARTED IT.

I will admit though, that not all the graffiti was original - I know for a fact that "Lenin lives..." was copied out of a book.

At Tuesday, February 07, 2006 8:09:00 AM, Blogger Bengali Guy said...

When it comes to witty slogans how about this one.

On my way to work one day I saw the following:

Someone with good intentions had written on a placard hanging from a church steeple in huge black gothic fonts


And just below it, was written in somewhat smaller fonts, with a can of spray paint :


Beat that !

At Wednesday, February 08, 2006 8:37:00 AM, Blogger #3tiYo>B_shyo> said...

ahhh, ani da, u were IC then?

At Wednesday, February 08, 2006 10:12:00 PM, Blogger Inkblot said...

God, I miss that place. whats happening in Pramodda's den? heartening to know it ain't selling out to the psued gang!

At Thursday, February 09, 2006 12:36:00 AM, Blogger Grafxgurl said...

hahhaa this was SO funny!! :D had a good laugh after so long!!

havent been in Cal for such a long time.. miss it so much.

take care! and thanks for the uplifting post! :)

At Friday, February 10, 2006 12:54:00 PM, Blogger Srin said...

According to a professor in college, "Life is a sexually transmitted disease" is the name of a film. Can anybody verify that?

At Sunday, February 12, 2006 12:11:00 AM, Blogger erebus said...

I remember that last one.... that was probably the largest... and the one that made the least amount of sense...

At Tuesday, February 14, 2006 11:27:00 PM, Blogger debu chow said...

great post, have seen the last one and the prof. from west one but all have been removed.
some seniors thought of catchline -
darabo, dar korabo but unfortunately it never saw the light of day.
anyway the college looks too clean for even doing anything, looks more like a virgin waiting to be ravaged but wearing a chastity belt.

At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:59:00 PM, Blogger AB said...

Oh now I am feeling so nostalgic after reading it. I crave those good old days:(

At Wednesday, March 01, 2006 1:31:00 AM, Blogger Patient Portnoy said...


And here I was, feeling sad and lonely with the "blanket ban" on graffiti in Kolkata


At Saturday, March 04, 2006 9:23:00 PM, Blogger Anupam said...

Does anyone remember the one where someone had drawn a couple of three dimensional cubes and under them had written "Picasso's balls!" That was one of my favourites.

At Wednesday, March 08, 2006 10:37:00 AM, Blogger dwaipayan said...

the graffiti has been repainted. but the masterpiece's are missing no!!!!!!thanks to NAAC

At Wednesday, March 08, 2006 10:37:00 AM, Blogger dwaipayan said...

the graffiti has been repainted. but the masterpiece's are missing no!!!!!!thanks to NAAC

At Wednesday, March 08, 2006 10:37:00 AM, Blogger dwaipayan said...

the graffiti has been repainted. but the masterpiece's are missing no!!!!!!thanks to NAAC

At Wednesday, March 08, 2006 3:16:00 PM, Blogger Apoplexy said...

Lenin lives but Lennon rocks was opp canteen walls-- no Mc.Cartney.Somebody is writing 3rd person witness accounts here.
Not all of these were written on the is an STD is indeed a film and most of the slogans are from May 1968 Paris.

At Monday, March 27, 2006 8:27:00 AM, Blogger Rony said...

Great post. In fact, it made me so nostalgic that I couldn't help going to college a few days back. Read a new one, "In a society that has abolished all our adventures/the only adventure left is to abolish the society"


At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:46:00 AM, Blogger Bishu said...

I remember two from JU :

"Malobika tara-tari phire eso
Noile ami kobita likhte bose jaabo"
underneath two well drawn cubes a caption :
"Balls by Picasso"

At Thursday, April 06, 2006 4:52:00 AM, Blogger samit said...

fond memories.

also, ani, its relevant that we chose to put this stuff up on the walls on admission day, and got told off by our friendly neighbourhood dadas for corrupting the minds of the youth

incidentally, did you know Pol. Sc. or bust is now married?

At Wednesday, June 28, 2006 9:26:00 AM, Blogger Kamalini said...

Hmm....surely very very interesting....been in college for two years now...haven't seen much wit on the walls...and what can one do? Ic ra ajkal maar khete khetei pagol hoye jachchhe...I say...IC kore "kathi" and SFI day "lathi"!!! Myself an avid IC, I find such talent waning away in the miseries of post-SFI danga...No one's bothered about "deoal-likhon" anymore...Its kind of dampening on the which the "others" will say, IC manages to gulp enough "spirit" to keep their spirits high...See, its incorrigible...not even here could I spare the khit-pit.
But I liked that Pee-U comment....helluva one!
Keep posting...
Kamalini (3rd Year Sociology)

At Monday, July 03, 2006 11:05:00 AM, Blogger vkk1_hypno said...

Six Steps to Success
Throughout the centuries history tells of men and women with the midas touch, who achieved greatness against what seemed insurmountable odds. To some their successes appeared to be the result of blind luck, to others the reward for hard work, but the truth about the successes of men such as Andrew Carnagie and Henry Ford is much more interesting.
Success is a state of mind to which all people should aspire. Like many others you can unlock te gate to achievement and the fulfilment of yor personal desires. With the six steps outlined below anyone can arrive at a set destination, with the added advantage of renewed self-confidence and secure in the knowledge that every goal is attainable.
Step 1. Desire
The key factor involved in the process of achieving any desire lies in the response of one's mind to the objective. If a complacent attitude is apparent then there will be a lack of enthusiasm leading to failure or only half-success.
If a goal is to be reached determination is needed to carry set plans through to a successful conclusion. This determination must have enough mental 'weight' behind it to propel you forward onto the road of achievement. This mental state can only be instilled by one thing - desire!
As can be easily seen, when we look around us, it is this desire-force that has launched mankind on his frenzied zest for ever-new knowledge and has enabled him to push back the boundaries of science to never dreamed of achievement.
It is this same desire-force that must be used in our business and personal affairs if the success we seek is to materialize. It is not very hard to develop this kind of desire for all you have to do is go after what you really want - its that simple. With this desire you will have all the persistence you need to accomplish your goal. There is a great saying "you never fail until you give up"!
Take heed of what Napoleon Bonaparte said "What we ardently and constantly desire, we always get".
Step 2. Goals
If success is to come your must realise what is expected to materialize. This statement may seem obvious at first but if careful thought is given its meaning takes on deeper significance.
Many people fail to gain satisfactory results from their endeavours because they did not know what they wanted to accomplish in the first place. Your objective must not be hazy or incomplete. Before you reach your goal you must be able to identify how your life will be different when you achieve it. You must know exactly what it is that you want to achieve. How will your life be better/different? How will you feel? What way will you look? What situations will you find yourself in? Will other people in your life be effected and if so how will they react? You need a clear definite picture in your mind of what the attainment of your goal will mean to you.
Step 3. Belief
Belief is the back-up system of desire. It keep the fires of enthusiasm burning and makes us continually strive to get nearer the goal attainment. Faith can truly move mountains; the mountains of fear, inferiority, worry and low self esteem - 'the success killers'!
Once a goal is firmly fixed in mind and our desire-force is hurtling us toward seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the firm belief that we can gain a favourable outcome can spur us on to victory. When the mind has been manipulated to reflect this state, wonderful physical results can ensue, producing symptoms of success in our lives in every area imaginable.
Although many can attest to the power of belief and to the wondrous accomplishments that were achieved through nothing else except faith, it still remains that many individuals find it hard to believe that a positive outcome will be forthcoming when they are faced with momentous opposition. Whether the opposition is mental or physical the fact that nothing seems to be going right and everything seems to be wrong is enough for even the strongest of us to 'throw in the towel'. But it is in these very situations that faith can conquer all. Faith in yourself, what you are doing and belief that that your objective will be reached.
There are some who bemoan "easier said than done". This is exactly the kind of mental attitude that sustains the problems that they are trying to eradicate. If your belief power is not apparent, take hope for it can be acquired.
Each morning and night recite your intentions from a written list of your goals. Voice your belief in your own abilities. Tell yourself that in due course you will be successful. As you go about your daily affairs reflect as often as possible on your goals and affirm that they are yours now. Fool your mind into believing it and you will see your world reflect it!
Step 4. Plan
Having decided upon your goal and being determined to build your faith you need to give your desire-force a 'vehicle' through which it may materialize. This 'vehicle' will take the form of a definite plan of action.
Do you need to acquire certain skills? Do you need to know certain people or be in certain places to help you achieve your goal? Make a plan that will help you get closer to your end objective. Research your desires and get clear on what you need to do. Then do it!
Ensure that your plan is workable and realistic for you. Although your plan should remain flexible so that changes can be made when appropriate only make changes after careful consideration. Trial and error will eventually show the way to a good plan although you should be open to intuition also.
However, I should point out that, it is very likely your goal will materialize in a most unexpected way. The fact that you have set a plan for its accomplishment tends to set things in motion and like a chain reaction (or the butterfly effect) subtle changes made by you may cause dramatic changes elsewhere and your goal may come before your plan is completed.
Step 5. Visualization
Visualization is the art of creating mental movies of your completed goal. This has many beneficial effects upon your consciousness. Without going into the deeper esoteric benefits of using this art let me just say that you are truly designing your life when you use it. It has one other major benefit - it strengthens your desire and persistence because you momentarily experience the thrill of having achieved your goal!
Just form a mental picture of having achieved your goal. See what you will see. Feel how wonderful it will be. See how it effects everyone around you. Hear people congratulate you. When this state is experienced nothing will stop you in your quest for your objective and thus your belief-power will also be reinforced.
Step 6. The Subconscious Mind
It is within the subconscious part of your mind that you hold all th positive and negative beliefs about yourself - your self-image. These beliefs are reflected back to you in the form of attitudes. Therefore it is from the subconscious mind that the thought of failure or success comes.
Attitudes are just mental programs and so is your self-image. They can easily be changed (yes I said 'easily'). Any attitude or belief can be changed by using the formula outlined in this article - by combining affirmations with visualization. Henry Ford used it, as did Ralph Waldo Emerson and even Arnold Swatzeneger. It is reported in some circles that a similar technique was employed by Bill Gates to build his global empire. Andrew Carnegie used it exactly as described to attain and give away multi-millions even though he was an unschooled manual worker when he started it. Carnegie's legacy can still be seen today when you freely borrow a book from any Carnegie library of which there are thousands.
If you use these six steps there is nothing you cannot achieve. Luckily we have the advantage of living in the Twentieth Century with all its new technology and innovations such as hypnosis and subliminal programming. Use these steps in conjunction with your favourite personal development system and you are assured success. subliminal messages

At Saturday, August 05, 2006 8:03:00 AM, Anonymous personal development said...

Thought your blog was great. Here's a great place you might like hypnosis.

At Thursday, August 24, 2006 4:48:00 AM, Blogger cylon said...

I am sure you have heard the song "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club but have you ever given much thought to its meaning? While on Earth, you are living in a world of reincarnation which is governed by the law of karma. Karma begins to propel you as Soul on a personal journey through the universe. Karma ends when you have reached enlightenment and fully realise that this physical reality and the Universe itself is just an illusion. When you reach a state of knowingness that there is but One all pervading essence and that essence or consciousness is You!
So what is Karma and how does it work? While in the illusion you have a soul. This soul lives past, present, and future lives. To grow in love, joy, and awareness, you reincarnate into a series of physical bodies to experience different existences. This road leads to the experiences of being both sexes, all races, religions, and ethnic types throughout many lifetimes.
Karma in its simplicist terms can be described by the biblical statement "as you sow, so also shall you reap". Karma is the principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, total cosmic justice and personal responsibility. It brings 'good' experiences as well as 'bad' - a debt must be repaid and a blessing rewarded.

A more indepth esoteric look at karma gives us the following distinctions: Sanchita Karma: the accumulated result of all your actions from all your past lifetimes. This is your total cosmic debt. Every moment of every day either you are adding to it or you are reducing this cosmic debt. Prarabdha Karma: the portion of your "sanchita" karma being worked on in the present life. If you work down your agreed upon debt in this lifetime, then more past debts surface to be worked on. Agami Karma: the portion of actions in the present life that add to your "sanchita" karma. If you fail to work off your debt, then more debts are added to "sanchita" karma and are sent to future lives. Kriyamana Karma: daily, instant karma created in this life that is worked off immediately. These are debts that are created and worked off - ie. you do wrong, you get caught and you spend time in jail.
As a soul, you experience a constant cycle of births and deaths with a series of bodies for the purpose of experiencing this illusionary world gaining spiritual insights into your own true nature until the totality of all experiences show you Who you really are - the I AM! Until you have learned, you will find that pretending that the rules of karma do not exist or trying to escape the consequences of your actions is futile.
Although it may often "feel" like punishment, the purpose of karma is to teach not to punish. Often the way we learn is to endure the same type of suffering that we have inflicted on others and also rexperience circumstances until we learn to change our thinking and attitudes.

We are all here to learn lessons as spiritual beings in human form. These lessons are designed to help us grow into greater levels of love, joy, and awareness. They teach us our true nature of love. Where we do not choose love, show forgiveness, teach tolerance, or display compassion, karma intervenes to put us back on the path of these lessons. Quite simply, the only way to achieve a state of karmic balance is to be love.
Before you incarnated into your present personality, you agreed to put yourself in the path of all that is you need to learn. Once you got here, you agreed to forget this. Karma is impersonal and has the same effect for everyone. It is completely fair in its workings and it is predictable - "do onto others as you would have them do unto you" is a way to ensure peace and tranquillity in your own life as well as the lives of those you come into contact with. The law of karma is predictable - "as you sow, so shall you reap" what is done to you is the net result of what you have done to others!
Karma gives you the opportunity at every moment to become a better person than you are and to open up to the realization that you are the master of your own fate.

The goal of karma is to give you all the experiences that you need to evolve into greater levels of love, joy, awareness, and responsibility. Karma teaches that you are totally responsible for the circumstances of your life. They keep you on the straight and narrow until you have mastered your vehicle and can ride freely on your own. Once you understand that you are the master of your own circumstances and that everything you experience is a direct result of your past actions due to your thinking and emotional responses you can overcome its seeming negative effects by creating only 'good' karma.
Karma forces us to look beyond ourselves (oneness) so that we can see ourselves as we truly are Whole, Complete, at One with everything. Once we truly understand ourselves, we can see our divinity and our unity with all life.
Karma drives us to service. Love means service. Once you accept total responsibility for your life, you see yourself as a soul in service to God. Once you do, you become a fully realized being, allowing God to experience the illusion through you.
Belief in karma and an understanding of its workings will lead you to a life of bliss. Only your own deeds can hinder you. Until the time comes when we release ourselves from our own self-imposed shackles of limitation and fully understand who and what we are we will live under the mantle of karma. So until that day why not create some wonderful experiences for ourselves by "doing onto others, as we would have them do unto us". personal development plan

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