The 6th sem and our lab exams were
on.Well, guess who was taking oue viva-voce!!! Natts !
I was the penultimate candidate for the viva session! Excerpts from the viva:
Natts: Come,Sit,(gives me my evaluated cycle test paper which I take instantly
without seeing the marks) What is your name?"
me: (my loudest best) Vishwanath hariharan ,sir !
The name struck him like a thunderbolt. He put down his paperwork and looked
Natts: Oh! where are you from?
Me: sir, mumbai
natts: mumbai!!oh! where in mumbai?
me: sir ,andheri.
natts: where in andheri? east or west?
me:(now this was getting on my nerves .Even then..) Andheri East, sir!
natts: (pen in hand,thinking wat next to quiz me on, history or geography)
hmmm...Why is it that there is only east and west? Y not north n south?
Gosh.. in these 20 odd years that I have lived in tinseltown mumbai, never has
anyone asked me this and neither hav I been curious enough to know why is
there no south or north.(Heheheh...Imagine borivli south,
me: (giving him the impression of a planned, well thought-out answer)Sir, the
railway line divides a suburb into east n west.Sir, thats why there is no
north n south.
(grrr.... stupid answer. "u and ur super-chaat fundaas, vish!!" I thought)
natts:(gave the feeling as though he was thoroughly convinced)hmm..There is a
place called dadar, no? how far is dadar from andheri?
(How far??? Distance in terms of what?? In mumbai ,distance is measured in
hours of travel. But if I tell him that he ll probably tell me that my basic
physics is all screwed up!)
Anyways, I took the safer route and counted ... Dadar,
matunga road, mahim , bandra, khar, santa-cruz, vile parle, andheri.
Me: Sir, 8 stations away! (Perfect!!)
Natts:(His next question, I knew it was coming...hehehe).
How long does it take from dadar to andheri?
me: sir, depends upon whether u trvel by fast or slow local trains! U take
around 15 min by fast and a little more than that by a slow local.
A voice inside my head popped up and said
" Tell him that this is a semester viva voce!! He should be
asking you tech! You hav prepared for 1 full hour before coming here. 1
friggin ,full hour!!!
(Giggling , followed by a smirk)The guy after you (Raavana)has been preparing
for a "tech viva" (Yep,viva voce can be tech or hr, as I had just
discovered ) for a whole lifetime. If he faces the same viva as you, he ll be
heart-broken" Hehehe I coudlnt help but smile at that very thought.
Natts: Okk. There is a new place in mumbai. i dont know whether exactly in
mumbai or not.What is its name.
Me: (wat sort of a question is that?)Sir..er..new place..which place sir??
(heheh..even i was asking him the same question)
Natts: Its a very new place..dont remember what u call it!!
Me: (with a give-me-a-clue expression on my face) Sir ,is it Bandra
(Bandra reclamation!!! hahahaha...(rollin on the floor with laughter).
"Gimme a break vish, U suck bigtime"! You are probably the only guy on earth
who would have dreamt of bringing up bandra reclamation in a metallurgy viva!)
How the devil did i come up wid that answer,god alone knows!! (It didnt sound
so funny at that point of time...haha..bandra reclamation!!)
me: Sir, is it Navi mumbai(correcting myself), New bombay!
Natts: (liteally sprang up towards me with an expression which
suggested "eureka,eureka!!", smile on his face)
Yes!! new bombay. So ,new bombay it is !!That was the place i was looking
for! It is a new establishment??
Me: sir, it is relatively new compared to Greater mumbai!It is a well-
developed n planned satellite town of mumbai. It houses residential
colonies.Many college have also come up.
natts: hmm..(seeming disintersted in the "residential n college" part)
hmmm...ok So u have 2 parts: greater mumbai n new bombay.What is that greater
mumbai that you said?
Me: Sir,it comprises of the island part of the city.
natts: Where are vashi and nerul ? greater mumbai or new bombay.
Me: Sir, new bombay.
natts:okk! So you have to cross the sea each time you have to go to new bombay.
me: Yes sir.
natts: There is a place which comes on the way to Vashi. I dont know whether I
am pronouncing the name correctly . Its name is mankad i think. Something of
that sort .(Repeats) mankad. Am i right?
Me: (Gotcha, this time!!) sir, it is Mankhurd!!
Natts:(repeating his earlier "spring up" act): Yes Yes!! oh, so the name is
natts" How many stations come between dadar and nerul?
me (Oh god not again):sir, both are different lines.
natts: Oh different lines!! ok ok! which is the line on which andheri comes?
me: Sir, western !
natts: and dadar?
Me: sir on both, western n central, it is sort of a junction!
Natts: There is also another place,(thinks),ya some so... ssomething starting
Me: Sir, Sion
Natts: sion, sion!!! yes. Its far away from dadar?
Me: no sir, (saving myself another question) sion,matunga,dadar.
natts: (looking much more interested n refreshed now)oh matunga comes after it!
ok!! which is that railway line which runs closer to the sea coast??
(along the sea coast aa??? ...sea coast???
oh achcha,!!! "arre tubelight!! He is referring to the harbour line i think")
Me: Sir, the harbour line!!
natts: "Harbour line!! ok ok!
Natts: I have been to mumbai before also, but I keep forgetting everything!
Me: (listens silently and nods at regular intervals)
Natts: That nerul, there is a big Hanuman statue there, is it not??
Me: Yes sir (Now it was very clear to me wat he was getting at). Yes sir...
....(quickly added) sir, there is also a well known Vedha-paatshaala there.
Natts: (his joy knowing no bounds,he would have got up and kissed my head had
it not been a viva) Oh Yes!!! Yes yes!I have heard a lot about it.
Just when the discussion was at its peak, we were interrupted by an unexpected
visitor, a certain math prof.
I waited outside while they spoke.
When they were done I was called in for the viva once again and this time
Natts fired metallurgy trivia straight away!! (as if nothin had happened at
all before this).
At the end of it he seemed satisfied .
I ended up with an 'A' in this lab, one of the very few ones and (phew..wipes
of the sweat off his forehead)one of the hard-earned ones!!