Sunday, November 26, 2006

No Regret

Ok, I am in a state of ecstasy and unbound joy. Why you ask? I just managed to play the 10 year old computer game Crusaders : No Regret in my laptop! Now this is no ordinary feat. This baby runs only on the original Dos that comes with Win 95 and 98. With the invasion of XP only machines, I had to bid a teary farewell to Dos. I tried so much to get the game to play on Win XP but my efforts were always futile. Finally using a program called DosBox, it works J Why this game is so close to my heart…?

A brief history of time….

Crusaders No Regret is just not a game. It is something that just blew my mind when I first saw the game in my friend’s house. It is about a rebel warrior and his allies who have to fight the Govt controlled evil energy empire that is bent on ruling the world in the year 2099. The graphics for a game that’s over 10 years old is simply ahead of its time. The story line is the ultimate with characters like the Silencer(a.k.a the ‘Tin Man’ who you control, Denning(my fav guy, hard ass), Col. Shepard and finally Draygen the baddie). Can you believe this game has 15 weapons, ranging from projectile to energy, Over 10 inventory items like spider mines/bombs/disrupter/shields and the host of awesome enemies like enforcers/elite enforcers/stormtroopers and a gamut of servomechs! This may sound like a Greek and Latin to you but its music to my ears. In fact one of the highlights of the game is the whoop ass action music that sets the pace and should be a part of your playlist. The entire game takes an iso metric view and virtually anything can be destroyed in game. The ingame video transmissions are so well done and add so much depth to the storyline. The missions are so varied and well designed that unlocks more of the storyline and new weapons/units/ as time flows. Another reason I love this game so much is that It gave me a very close friend and we share such fond memories of the same.

-> Level 1 on the vigilance platform

-> Silencer recharging in an energy station

No Regret was the sequel to No remorse, a blockbuster when it came out. Crusaders: No Regret incidentally won the game of the year 1998 with an impressive 8.9 from at that. This game really did not make headlines though(one of the greatest mysteries like how Bush was relected) but rightly got a well deserved place in as ‘one the best’ action games of all time. There were plans for sequels like No Mercy but it was shelved L I sincerely thank echo station and wikipedia for giving me the joy of playing No regret on my XP Pc.

-> The main screen which has the best musical score

For those who have read my post on Starcraft, yes I still don’t know myself on which is the best game , Crusaders: No Regret or Starcraft. Both are not just great games with such emotional pull with reference to their storyline and music but the friendship I developed with so many people whilst discussing the game so thoroughly that I should be a part of the credits under ‘testing’. To make a choice on which is the best, let me ask you a question. If you can give me a clear mandate on that, I will chose my best game. Deal?

Ok, here it is: would you rather be blind in the left or right eye?


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

One More Year Later..

Well, it’s been a year. One year since I had my tryst with destiny, CAT 2005.

Pre Mock Prep

I can recall every moment of that day and the months leading towards it. I consciously decided that I will not repeat any blunders on the preparation front which I had made for my CAT 2004 preps. I even bought the ‘Trisha’s Quant Book by TIME and worked out the entire book 3 times in hopes that my QA will improve. Did it? I still don’t know. I decided using the school type approach to solve them like I did last time would never help. I realized to do the ‘cool’ method, you have to know the basics 1st which I never could grasp. I worked out the entire TIME material from my friend and saw that my English improved significantly, especially the RC section. I never bothered with the Verbal Part because I knew I was a P.I.M.P there. DI was something I can’t understand whatever I did I never seem to show any improvement.

The Mockery

I will never forget the golden weeks leading up to CAT 2005, the TIME mockcat phase. Log on to Saturday night, look at the preopened TIME AIMCAT 60X threads and see the ‘best of luck’ posts and the angry moderator who would clean it up! I used to wait for my friend just outside Vivek’s & Co at 9:30, we would go on the bike to Loyola College to give the mock. We would endlessly discuss the strategy we would adopt if it was a 3 or 4 section paper, which section 1st etc. Once I got the paper, any strategy that I had adopted would be futile. I would invariably start with VA àRCàDIàQA. Once the paper was over, sit under the main tree at the center of campus and discuss the attempts, difficulty level etc. After 1 hour we would head back home, work out the remaining paper under test conditions. As always, the easy questions are disguised. Log on see the mind numbing scores of people: Eg in the DI section of a typical stud A/R/W/N : 30/24/6/22 .. Score checking is a nerve racking process, I would start with English 1st, be glad I made 40 attempts and got about 20+. Id never put up my DI/QA score as it would be default be less than 5. I would analyze the mock cat to the fullest on Monday. I made an excel sheet(cr. Chandoo of with my entire strategy of that paper, mistakes made and new stuff learnt and what I should do/do not do in the next mock. This happened for every mock. I loved Thursdays when the results would come out. My avg percentile hovered around 80-85 at best. I would wait for the toppers to display their mind blowing scores: Anubhav Kaul, ConvSig, ExpHor, etc.. The Godly scores ranging in 60-80! Id recall the 2004 mock cat heroes like vikuboss2001, SuzyQ, Thussu, I loved to see such scores and dreamt when I would get the same. That I guess was a pipe dream. The only memorable mocks were when VA was a separate section, Id transform into a hyena and rip through that section. AIMCAT 614, I score 30 on 35 with 99.99 overall rank 4 and Chennai Rank 1. That’s the best I could get. QA and DI never seemed to progress.


One look at the 90 question format told me that this is a hell of tough paper and I had already hung up my boots before the round began. I spent 50 minutes in Eng, and the balance in Qa and Di. DI went so above my head it reached the Stratosphere. Qa was a repetition of my Mocks aka disaster. All done, go to see a new post every 3 seconds. I knew I was out of the race even before I went on to the track looking at the scores posted.

Edit: Now that CAT 2006 has passed by, looking at the tough English, easy Qa and Di I realize the gravity of my error not to have given CAT this time. It seemed tailor made for
a guy like me. Ah well, atleast I will have a blast solving the paper and reading the GD/PI experiences of the studs on @ the IIM’s. I thought this obsession of mine will wane in time, at least after making it into a BSchool. But I guess the scars of my saga with CAT run too deep and when they will heal is a question that can be answered only as time passes..

Friday, November 17, 2006


The 1st day was unforgettable

Something about ____ made an impression
There was no contest. Hands down winner at least in ___ respective field
I then reliazed that I was no contest. At least not at that time
Apparantly everyone share my views.
But as time grew, things changed.
My 2nd pareto was lost but speed was gained.
Did this change things? It sure as hell did, atleast for me.
A lot of events occurred that left me stumped and confused.
My tongue, the tool which I could weave against anyone;
Had lost its once infamous edge. The very same that could;
Spin tales and dazzle the plebian had now recoiled;
Freud’s 1st level was dented;
Was it time to give up and move on?
Looking at the crowd, I recall the apt quote:
‘A winner is one , who quits when he is ahead’
But my mind does not accept it, it snidely suggests:
‘Small drops make a mighty ocean’

I then realized the folly;
I had not made one.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


It all started out as an accident. Nobody wanted it to happen. ..right? Weren't amends made to their fullest ? Or was this an excuse to keep it going? From then on there was no stopping it. Did I encourage it? Were the embers stoked or put out when they should have been? Did I unconsciously allow the former to slip by? Was it because it was something new and exiting and I never had the chance to experience the same? There was an appropriate time and place to settle any differences. But what existed was not a normal relationship. It took on an avatar of its own and turned its creators. It could not be defined to ourselves much less explain it to those interested. What is this now and what happens next?. Compounding to this are the events that have occurred in the past week or so which are the culmination of another set of complex misunderstandings and 3 way connections. I am afraid that the time has come now to make clear what is the current status of the situation and make amends to see that everyone walks off without any ill will towards the other. Is it possible to get back to status quo?

Can this be attributed to the fact that I have a self destruction attitude towards such things and if so why? Or is this due to the 3rd element that has been there for some time but has decided to surface now? Or was it always present and this is now being used conveniently? Was it fate?

There are so many questions to be answered so many desires left unfulfilled.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The MotorCycle Diaries: Diwali Style

Let me start off by saying I was one of the few idiots who decided to stay back on campus ostensibly to study for the end sem exams. I realized that there were quite a few of them(12 to be precise). Since we knew we were gonna be stuffed with the stories of how great it was to be back home with family especially on diwali, we decided we needed something to save face(what was left of it). And so it began…

On Diwali day, we had plans to got to the hill top temple to offer our prayers and a chance to wear our veshties( I came in smart pants as well..ahem I did not have one, ordered one asap). We were supposed to depart at 7:00 but something called NFS:Most Wanted was did in fact live up to its name and eventually one had to be beaten and dragged away from the machine and so finally we made it to the temple at 10:00. Offered our prayers and an excuse to take photos of our mugs did not go in vain as you can see :-

We then decided that this was just the dress rehearsal, we needed something grander to make our story(plus this blog) telling/posting respectively worthwhile. The guys hit upon a plan to visit an ancient fort called Singhad which seemed perfect(Well going to IIM-A would be better but you get the idea) . The mode of transport was bikes voted on unanimously (out of no other option). Some Number Crunching : The fort was 40 kms one way, 80 overall. There were 5 bikes , 9 guys, so 2 per bike+1 solo rider. 2 bottles of chilled water (not so much when we got there), 7 coolers, 7 caps and we set off at 3:00 pm.

So it was Muthu[d]+Me, Aravind[d]+Sid, Anurag[d]+Aditya, Sivad[d]+Vijay[d] and Raman the brave solo rider, d for driver

The drive was great with near empty highways and on the road photographs taken by our resident and over enthusiast ‘HI’(do a small circular wave as he does here people) aka Sivaram. The wind in your hair is great at 80 kms and make sure you have your cap on the right way as the foto guy’s was tossed back ½ a km back [we had to stop to retrieve it]. As we got closer to the fort, which was located on top of a valley, it seemed like the ooty/kodai trip I had taken with my family, the circular loops on and on. We had a great view beckoning us and that’s all the excuse we needed to take more snaps.

Finally we got to the fort and it seemed like a nice tourist spot. I thought I was missing something, there was not single tall structure or Age of Empire’s style Castle. Then realization dawned upon me that this was what was left of it. Rubble. Ah big deal, we found another small minaret-cobblestone style setting and took a couple of more snaps!
We left at 7:05:43 pm and drove cautiously as night fell. We patted each others back for making it unscathed past the tricky areas when we realized that the normal roads was where the fireworks began, literally. We had to keep an eye out for lit fuses, wayward rockets and Molotov cocktail throwers in practice(throwing crackers not the cocktails). The ride back was the highlight; the chill biting air at 80 kms is something that needs to be experienced to be believed. We made it just in time @ campus for the few paltry sparklers that no one wanted to light so we did it, the 1st cracker of the day, diwali wouldn’t have been complete without it!

Overall, this is the 1st time in 21 years Im not with my family for Diwali, I was down in the dumps. But this trip did light up my day.

Dedicated to the bimbo biker boys

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