Monday, December 31, 2007

Travelling.. seems like I get too much of it nowadays

Been long since I travelled in an unreserved compartment.
I didn't get tickets to the direct train from Visakhapatnam to Chennai.
So I got up on Sunday morn with some last minute packing left, had lunch and boarded an express from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada, in the general compartment. One had to use a lot of strength to climb into the compartment in the first place. But I was one among the first so lucky for me I got a seat. It was a three seater seat with 4 women and a kid on it. I was sitting between this girl with her son and another lady. This was the beginning of the journey.

The kid was cute and she was fun to play with. But her mother was tired. This kid didn't help either finally she ended up fizzing Miranda on everyone around.
The lady next to me had been travelling since the night before. She didn't have breakfast so she bought some food. It was very crowded and she ended up spilling some curd all over. And I was sitting right in between.

Soon enough both of them got down at some station and in their place 4 others had come. So we were 6 in a 3 seater. Everyone cribs everyone else is taking too much space. But then everyone is really nice. They want to know where you are going and what you are doing. And they actually take care of me, may be because I am all alone and a girl. You know. And they have no idea what engineering is, but still I am studying in chennai so I am studying something great :)

After 6 hours of journey. I managed to get out. Then I had to wait for 2 hours before my train to Chennai arrived. Waited in the waiting room and ran into some volleyball players from Indore you are doing their MTech in Physical Education.
And finally landed at 7 30 today morn.

All morning I was busy doing stuff, then crashed in the aftee and guess what. This is when I realised the effort of yesterday's travel. My head is pounding, my body is aching, throat hurts, my voice is cold ridden and I still wish to party. But guess what it's 8.30 and I still don't have plans. :)

Happy New Year's eve to you all !!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Christmas

23rd was a lonely Sunday and I cried that I was all alone in a lonely hostel and much lonelier campus. Everyone home and so should I be, but I had to wait. Painstakingly slow it was. And I packed my bag on the Christmas Eve. And Christmas ?

Christmas was a beautiful day. I woke up at 5 30 in the morn and walked into the morning mist. Yes my campus is beautiful, especially on a cold December morn with mist and snow all over. You can’t see anything in front of you and you can’t see anything behind. It was all an eerie white fog.
I took the 6 30 train to Chennai central and met my mom and sis and began my day long journey with them back home. I talked I slept I woke up to eat and talked more. And finally reached home at 12 in the night.

After spending 3 days at home. I have one more day left. And again on Sunday I’ll be on a train back home, home to campus. Wish I could stay longer here though. But I’ll be with friends for New Year. Any plans anyone ?

Friday, December 21, 2007

I m boREd

LaChayim, LaChayim to Life
To Life, to Life LaChayim .

Sullen Spendour

silken hues
slipping time
memories and memoirs

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ooh Aah Let the music PLAY

You should check out the Out of Home entertainment system in the Westside. Found it cool.

The !3th Floor

While I was in Bangalore, I caught up with an old friend from home. We haven't seen each other for about two and a half years and it was nice to catch up on everything (even though we are in constant touch through gtalk :) )

This was his first time in Bangalore and though not my first I didn't know much either. We decided to go to M G Road and Brigade Road. Took an auto from Forum and landed up in Garuda Mall. Went up and down Garuda Mall till we got bored. So I was like what are we going to do now. Since it was lunch time and he was hungry he said he'll catch some lunch.

Where do we grub? The 13th floor he says.
I assumed it was the name of restaurant.
So where is it ? He doesn't know but on the 13th floor he says. Overlooking the entire city, its got an amazing view he says.
So it's not the name of a restaurant ? No and he doesn't know the name he says. But he knows its somewhere here he says.
How does he know about it ? His friend showed him the building he says.
So what is the building called ? He doesn't know he says. Except that there is Barista outside the building he says.
OK so how do we look for it ? There were green plates in the middle of that road he says. Like those and points to something on the other side of the road.

So we took up that road and started walking to one side. Kept walking. Kept walking. Walked about half a kilometer. I was like are you sure this is the road ? He isn't he says and calls up his helpline.
Whatever inference from his helpline, we have to turn around. So we turned around, walked back the half a kilometer and walked more for about another one kilometer.
No security guards knew anything about Barista. So we used the helpline again. We found out the name of the building. Barton Centre.
We stopped a guy and asked for Barista and he blinked. For Barton Centre. Oh it's about one and half kilometers on the other side and pointed to the direction we had been coming from.
My friend gave up. What do we do now he says. Lets take an auto I say. We took an auto to Barton Centre and turned up at the building with Barista outside it.

We walked up tot he building read that the 13th floor is Ebony restaurant. So we took an elevator (it was old, it was vague and it seemed ready to stop in between anywhere and get stuck n choke us to death). We landed on the 13th floor and asked for the restaurant. and we finally realised we were there.

Do we have reservation ? NO
Do you want to sit inside or outside ? Outside
But it is sunny ! It's OK.
So we sat on the 13th floor, drooled over the amazing view of the city, watched the skyline with no hills at all, gaped at the eagles that flew by, warmed up by the sunshine directly on us and we ate.

It was all worth it he says. I agree I say. He would have given up the search if not for me he says. I would have if not for him I say.

The address for you to go to: (though it was maajar fun to search for it)
Ebony Restaurant
13th floor, Barton Centre
Brigade Road.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Waking up sleeping fisH

Do fish sleep ??

Do fish sleep with their eyes open ??

Actually, they don't have eye lids, only a membrane. Or rather they have transparent, always-closed eye lids.
But they do sleep.

To wake up a sleeping human
Now we human beings can close our eyes but not our ears. So our ear can hear but our brain cuts it out when we sleep. So, it is possible that our neighbour can scream and the scream can reach the brain and shake up the senses and wake a person up. But any amount of visual impact in front of a sleeping person cannot wake him/her up as the eye lids are closed.

To wake up a sleeping fish
BUT, fish cannot close their eyes. So technically if we show some disturbing visual stuff to sleeping fish it must reach the brain and shake it up and wake up a fish, right ?

Waking up a mermaid
Now that's interesting. May be she has a pair of batting eyelashes with her eye lids, and also membranes. Lucky her. :)

The IITs and other ‘Indian Institutes’

This is an article that I had sent The Hindu. It never got printed :( . It was a long time ago and I felt that since it's been written it might as well be published, wherever :)

The sound of “IIT” rings a bell in the minds of most students in class 11 or 12, all most all across the country. The awareness level is fascinating considering we still have millions below poverty line who do not have basic education facilities. This is the effect of the brand name.
My article today is in reference to the article “IIT model ought to be replicated” by Prof Shreesh Chaudhary, in the Open Page (15th July). As the professor stated, we can have “a hundred IITs, teaching arts, business, humanities, sciences and engineering.” Actually we do have, not hundreds but a good number.
IIT, as we all know, stands for the Indian Institute of Technology. We also have a variety of other Institutes; equally known ones like the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management, and lesser known ones like the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, the Indian Institute of Architects and the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (formerly known as the Indian Institute of Banking).

So what is it that makes the IITs different and more sought after?
The brand name assures certain credibility and so the companies and universities abroad seek IIT graduates. And everyone who wants to be an engineer wants to be in the IIT so that they have good opportunities, be it studies abroad or a fat paycheck. So youngsters all over India struggle to get in and the winners are the fittest. When these so called fittest of the lot enter the institute, even if they slack out a bit, they still do decently well, with the facilities that the institute provides. More or less all of them come out with flying colours and help uphold the brand name.
But what brought the brand name in the first place? It is not over one or two years, but over many years that IITs could establish themselves. The answer lies in the two pillars that Prof Shreesh Chaudhary mentioned. They have branded IITs and continue to make sure the saga lives on.
There is a third pillar which I see from a student’s perspective. It is the environment. The environment that is fostered in any IIT is freedom. A freedom of thought which enables you to think out of the box and a freedom of spirit with no restrictions imposed helps nurture the spirit of enquiry. Opportunities stare at you in the face; it is up to you to use them. Yes, there are cases of misuse, but there are always a few weeds everywhere. But overall, the “IIT model”, as the professor rightly put it, is successfully.

Why is it that the other “Indian Institutes” do not have this amount of credibility?
I think it’s because we, Indians, probably thought (and still think) that we are in need of only engineers and doctors. We apparently are under the impression that we do not need other professionals. Like in a house, electrical appliances are usually bought from branded companies who hire engineers to design them, where as, when a house is built, we do not call in branded architectural companies, we just call in the mason who built many houses that stood. Now, this mason probably has no idea of how many types of roofs exist, but he does know what it takes to build a house and keep it standing. Technically, that’s more than enough for us. So opportunities are less and obviously nobody would want to venture into these branches of education unless they are passionate. We do have a few global personalities; Nobel Laureates and Booker Prize winners. But the system is such that there is no urge for improvement, neither from the government nor from the public.

Replicating the “IIT model”
For India to replicate this “IIT model” it is not just these two pillars that Prof Shreesh Chaudhary mentioned. It is the third pillar of freedom that has to incorporated, not just in the “Indian Institutes”, but in the society at large. A society where a child is free to choose one’s own specialization after completion of schooling must be encouraged. The present scenario where a child is mentally prepared by the parents, right from class 5, to become an IITian, must change.
Ah! The word ‘change’, is very tricky. Yes, the society has changed in the past and will change in the future too. But will it change how we think is good for India’s progress? Who will change the society but those who make it, men and women like us. But then, another little word comes up, ‘how’. And the word remains.

Monday, December 03, 2007

When you think

You've respected them all your life. Suddenly the respect grows to infinite bounds
Life looks good and it makes you wanna think about one year from now.

Too many insecurities. Too many uncertainties. Too much of restlessness. You know they are too stud to be with you.
That's where the insecurity creeps in. There will be a day when you are on the stage and pushed by a lot of expectations from everyone around you. And you know as you stand on that stage you cannot perform. You knew it all along. But you still will go ahead with the performance. Or rather try.

The result. You don't even want to think about it.