Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Journey Home...

This post is dedicated to all those who live away from home...

"The journey home is never too long
Your heart arrives before the train
The journey home is never too long
Some yesterdays always remain"

Simple, but meaningful lines from A.R.Rahman's Bombay dreams. It is a strange feeling. I don't know how to express it in words. I am handicapped by the sheer incapacity of any human language to accurately describe complex feelings arising deep inside our hearts. All I can say is, it just happens as those lines say. The simple thought that you are going to be at home in some time make your heart feel that it actually is at home. The rushing memories, the forlorn feeling, the gushing happiness, the aimed-at-nowhere smiles, the ethereal sensation... Hmmm. I felt it most recently stronger than anytime before.

The stage was set 3.5 weeks (am an engineer :P) back! Though I had been home just about 2 months back, there began this strange desire to get home. And for things like these, obstacles on the way enhance the effect! We could not have had a better fuel for our fire... Yes, the bad old exams were back!! :) If you want to know how big an ordeal exams have become to me nowadays check out a blog article a few 'page-downs' away. Again the same old story, 5 days and a lot many exams! Add to this, absolutely no mood to study :D If you have 2 things to look forward, one so-good (read going home the coming weekend) and other not-so-bad (read exam next day), which one will you choose? For us the choice was so simple :) Oh yeah, it was us not just me!! The whole campus was feeling it the same way. Nobody was even bothered about exams. The questions asked in the corridors changed from 'Did you study this chapter?' to 'When are you leaving home?', mess conversations shifted from 'subject 1 or subject 2?' to 'bhai train or flight?'. They say, Do as Romans do in Rome. The whole NITIE was not studying, so didn't I! If I was half the reason for my not studying, my room mate was the other half. This is what happens when you get a roomie with a great frequency match. Your frequencies match and.... what else, resonate! (engineering brain, I can't help it!!) Adi, I don't know how many more modules we are going to end up screwing and still smiling! But not many left! We had fun alright. The useless chats in between study breaks, the long slide gazings that usually end up in 'mama nothing went inside', the screw-this-i-wanna-go-home outbursts, the nescafe coffee breaks which usually last longer than our single-stretch-study-time, the going home discussions regardless of what exam it was... dude, we had a great time at 422! Thanks for being with me and supporting me through the testing(!!) times :D We will face the next storm together!

The exam timetable actually added icing to the cake. The exam on the last day 'Procurement and Materials management' was the ultimate paper. Nobody knew what to study and nobody seemed to do anything about it. NITIEians can vouch for it. It just got over. Somehow. And suddenly it was time to go home! I was smiling all the way from Mumbai to my home. The reactions of my fellow passengers made me smile more :) No dear world, MBA has not yet driven me mad... Hmmm, I went home. But what did I do? Eat, sleep, pick up and drop mom from and at office, watch movie and occasionally tv, do some grocery shopping, scold my sister, travel a little and WTF!! They said it was over. Those 15 days had just flown by even though I had nothing to do and was bored like hell. I was at home doing nothing useful and I am back here doing nothing useful again. Why did I even have to come? Can't I do that 'nothing useful' from there itself? Crazy world, just doesn't understand my profound thoughts! Hmmm... Its just more than 24 hours since I arrived here. I don't know when the next official holidays are. But I have started to think about my next trip home now itself! The journey home is never too long, your heart arrives before the train. But this time my heart chose to stay behind instead of travelling back and forth!! :)

And yeah, I have added a new feature called 'reactions' to my blog. You can find it right below the post. Use it!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The DREAM code

Dreams, a rather abstruse but fascinating dimension of the power of human brain, is a difficult topic to write upon. On any average day, I would say writing on dreams is not my cup of tea. But today I had a dream that has prompted me to do this piece of writing. I don't know if a person who reads through this can identify with the fascination that dream left me with. Nevertheless read through. This is an interesting journey into my brain. Everyone of us have wondered what causes those little movies to run through our mind when it is suppossed to be resting. It is another big surprise that we are not able to remember all of it. A colleague of mine gave an explanation to this. Dreams are a result of the subconcious brain. When we sleep only the conscious brain goes to sleep but subconcious keeps awake. This subsoncious fellow, a rather dumb one, tries to make sense of whatever info concious brain had processed. Since he is dumb he uses improper logic and creates senseless videos that get screened inside our skull theatre as dreams. Till yesterday I thought this could be true, but today I say this could be the most plausible explanation for dreams. Here is the dream I had and its signifance.

I am roaming in some place in Bombay where I meet Adi and Sambit. They are buying shoes. It is afternoon time and we decide to lunch together. But they both dump me and run away in a bike. I am worried about eating alone and lo there comes Sankara. We both go to lunch together but he chooses to have just a black currant ice cream. We then decide to take a walk. We keep on walking and suddenly reach a small pond. By now Sankara has disappeared and I have a group of friends with me. After exploring a bit, we find out the pond is an extension of huge lake and there is also a dam on the other side of the lake. My friends decide to get to the other side of the dam. But I don't go with them as the width of the dam is so small and I fear I may trip into the water. After some time I start walking alone. At the middle of the lake, I find the dam to be transferred into a railway track and a train is coming towards me. I cramp myself below the tracks to let the train pass. Suddenly I find Joey's leg is caught in some barbed wire and I help him out of it. Then everything goes black and soon after I woke up.

I got this dream at around 12 noon when I was both hungry and sleepy and not sure which one to handle first. All characters featured in this dream are real and I interact with them on a day to day basis. All the words in bold above are a direct reference to what is going on in my life now.
  • Adi & Sambit - Two of my best friends at NITIE and with whom I interact the most. Adi is my roommate and Sambit is my neighbour + team mate
  • Lunch - It was 12 noon and I was really hungry when I got this dream
  • Bike - I miss my bike so much and I think everyday of how to bring it in here
  • Sankara - He is coming to India on Jan 1st and I am drawing plans to meet him
  • Black currant ice cream - They gave us black currant ice cream in the mess instead of the traditional vanilla
  • Small pond - Obvious reference to the NITIE pond
  • Group of friends - I remember everyons's face. It is the same group with whom I play MAFIA every night
  • Joey - Nowadays I have started watching a lot of FRIENDS
This is too much to be true. Direct references to all that is happening in my life right now! Yes there are some bits that don't fit into the jigsaw puzzle. But they could be a deja vu. OMG! Are our brains recording all that we do? Some sort of a log file! If so how big is it and is there a way to find what all is recorded in that till now? I used to advice people I know to develop thinking capability. But people, think twice before you decide what to think. Your brain is recording all of it. I am absolutely enthralled after this experience! Dear Sigmund Freud, I have really started to feel the power of human brain. It now seems, after all, those super computers are no match for the human brain. But there is a obvious question that crops up in my mind. Why us? Oh god, why did you make the human brain so powerful? Is it because humans would achieve unprecedented levels of advancement in science  and technology or is it because at some point of time these so called advancements would wipe out human race from the face of earth? Was it given as a means for unravelling all the mysteries around us or a means for effecting self destruction? If I ever get a chance to meet god and ask him this question, he would perhaps say, "BOTH!!".

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ups and Downs of life...

The say life is full of ups and downs. Hmmm... for the last few couple of weeks it really was so. Stress - up, sleep - down. Tension - up, rest - down. Work - up, energy - down... and it all ended it Temperature - up, B.P - down  :(  yeah it was an experience to be cherished(!?!) for life time. Btw any takes as to what caused all this? No chocolates for guessing right... It is the EXAMS. But what is the probelm? Have I never heard of exams before or have I never taken exams before? Why did they cause so much trouble this time? I finally discovered I am now grown up. Hey world, I am 22 years old, how do you expect me to take exams at this matured age?

Discoveries aside, my purpose of writing this blog is different. I just want to know the person who invented the concept of 3 hour written exams.Newspaper ads and TV commercials are beond my affordability. So I decided to place a blog ad for this  ;)  Friends, I appeal to you, in case you find the person who invented the concept of 3 hour written exams, just pass on his details to me. I have some issues to set straight with him.  I have had enough from this guy's invention. Its a pain... really!! Till some time back, I had thought I cant get any worse. But actually, IT GOT MUCH WORSE. They keep saying you need to improve in life. But this is not the kind of improvement you would wish for even in the stupidest of your dreams. From an exam a day, we had improved to 8 exams in 5 days. The timetable read 2, 1, 2, 1, 2. At first thought I wanted to run away. But then as I have already written in m previous blog a few lines below, I am gifted with never say ___ attitude. So once again I fought with valour on and on and... (8 ons in all) and got low BP. But the worst part of exams is that you go through the pain once in the exam hall and you go through the pain once again when you get your marks. Do we care? Not at all...  :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Midnight masala....

Let me start this blog with a question. What do you do at midnight? Tell me what all can you do in the middle of the night? I give you 10 lines to think.
10. Time up....
Know what I am doing at near midnight for the last week? I am attending interviews... :( Can you believe it? But yes, thats life in a B school. NITIE is the only b school that is mostly run by students (proud to be a NITIEian). This place has got committees and secretaries for literally everything, right from who decides which company I will get placed to who decides who will cut the grass in the football field....! Committees are the life line of NITIE. No commitee means no NITIE. Needless to say, you would have undestood by now that I have been attending interviews for these committees. Arey yaar, kya baat hai? Hamara colege mein bee commitees hotha hain. Usko bee selections hotha hain, hain na? Nahin. NITIE commitee selection process is on par with CAT selection process...! We submit our CVs to various commitees we wish to join. After that they conduct 2 rounds of interviews to select the best out of the best talent. The worst part is that they conduct interviews at off business hours.. Oops.. off college hours. :) The interviews start at around 7 in the evening and go on and on. Again comes the same old story. My name entitles me only few of the last slots in any lexicological queue. Dad and Mom, why did you name me Vasanth? Can I cut off that V? Asanth would seem wierd, but at least it will bring me on top of the attendance register. Hmmm thats my headache anyway, let me go on with my story. As I was saying, my name would always crop in the end. Some of the slots I recieved were 12.30 am, 2.20 am and the best one 3.15 am. In any event there are bound to be operational delays and that meant by slots would get pushed by at least another half an hour :( How do these people expect me to attend an interview at these unearthly hours? The time I spend yawning will be more than the time I spend speaking... Given the fact that I am a professional sleeper and I have seen sunrise only a handful of times in my 22 year life span, things become the most horrendous for me. Thank God, I had applied only for 3 committees. Can you imagine my plight if I had applied for all 9? What I wrote in my previous blog would have come true. I would have gone mad. But as the world knows, Vasu has been gifted with a never say die (oops i said die..!) attitude. I went to the battle field armed with full hand buttoned, tucked in shirt and formal leather shoes (at 3.15 am) and tasted victory in all the 3 battles. Now its time for the second round of interviews (oh god, not again) The same story repeats again - 12.30am, 1.30am and 2.00 am. The last 2 being on the same day, today....! As you know, I am gifted with the never say ___ (:P) attitude. So here I leave, to the battle field, to fight with valour, to defend the questions and to come back with victory....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sallam Bombay, Salaam Bombay.....

Ha ha ha... Mein bee ek B school student ban gaya... :)
Yes. Now I am sitting in a B school, NITIE to be more accurate. But then from where did I get enuf time to write this blog? That secret is published later in the blog :)

June 18 2008: 6 pm : Bombay Santa cruz airport
I landed with great enthu and glitter in my eyes. The Bombay traffic made it null and void. It took me 2.5 hours to get to NITIE :( I walked up the 94 steps on the first day with gr8 excitement. Just 1 hour later, they said my admission formalities were over and I could leave. Arey c'mon, it was Thursday 10 am and my classes were beginning on Monday morning. Wat was I suppossed to do till then? They could have asked me to come on Saturday right? Wrong. Those 3 days became the most eventfull days @ NITIE till date.

Our seniors wanted us to meet them at 6 pm at the Bady court. Dont imagine things linking bady and court. We mean badminton court. It was a fun filled evening when we introduced ourselves and everyone was pulling each other's leg. Midnight striked, so did terror in our hearts. Seniors gave us a case study to do and the deadline was jsut 12 hours away. Boy, that was terrific I should say. Sitting in a group untill 4 am with everyone struggling to keep awake :) Somehow we managed to submit it. And do I have to say that we did not get selected? hee hee.... :D

The next morning happened to be my biggest exploration trek in my life... We went on a NITIE campus tour :D I should say the view from the top of MDP hostel was breath taking....! I am so worked up here that I dont remember what happened after that. The only thing I remember is that we again slept very late.

I dont remember exactly when, but one day we played football. Floor against floor. Most of you guys would have seen our team photoshoot on my orkut. Anyways participation is more important than winning right? Now I leave it to you to guess result of that match. Hmmm slowly, very slowly time dragged on. Still 1 more day was left in the induction (heck...) The assignment senior's had for us that day was we were supposed to design a mutual fund. They were benevolent enough to say that we could make any assumptions we needed and did not lay any constraints. But it makes no difference to a guy who does not know the a,b,cs of finance. A large storm cloud loomed over my head. Oh God, a third consecutive night out. :( The only good I got out of that night out was that I learnt something abt mutual funds. I think the seniors have something against me. Yes, they did not select our mutual fund too :)

It all got so heavy that most of us bunked Sunday's treaure hunt and ended up paying a huge fine for that... Aha, see I completely forgot. There was a quiz too. Know what? Our team came up third in that. Hey god promise yaar. Believe that... :)

We have now reached the end of our induction program. After so much work for the last 4 days, all 4 being night outs, we finally got a chance to enjoy ourselves. There was a bon fire that evening... After a break of 1 year, Vasu came back to form. We danced, danced and kept on dancing. Pics already uploaded on orkut. Before we went to get some sleep before our classes began, we asked our seniors why did they have to make the induction this tough. Everyone had the same answer. "You have to expect the same for the next 2 years." Thats it. My heart shattered. My dear friends, if by any chance I go mad by the end of my MBA, you guys have to take care of me..... OK?


P.S: I wrote this blog at 2 am :(

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is my Infy.....!

All good times must come to an end. So does this one. I am writing this blog 3 days before I am going to quit Infy, my first employer.

It all began on 23rd July 2007 @ Mysore. A sultry Sunday marked the beginning of my corporate life. I would say the beginning itself was unique. Yes. Tell me which company will make its employees stand in hot sun outside the company gate on the very first day? Infy did. Wow… I had my breakfast at 6 am on the train and it was 8 hours before I could at least see some food :( Hmmm no one can go back and change a bad beginning, but everyone can start today and make a good ending. 700 odd people started that day.

Early next morning, we were all pumped up. Why not? Somebody was actually going to pay us for whatever stupidity we were blessed with. Then we were made to go through several ppts in the name of induction. Never mind, we had 4 yrs of experience in handling those. Yes, engineering only :D Induction was too boring, but they said it was the only free time one gets in Infy training and it was almost true.

Then started the mandatory, boring, generic training. You are supposed to master(…!) the basics of computer engineering in 2 months. We did. :) Actually I did it with a li’l glitch. I flunked for the first time in my life :( But then failures are as important as successes. So forget it. Our batch was blessed, I would say. We stayed 2 months outside the campus and 2 months inside. That was the best mix one could expect. We could enjoy the splendor of Mysore city at the same time exercise our rights over Infy’s facilities.

Though I had CAT coaching classes over the weekend, I enjoyed as much as I could. Late night movies at the multiplex, full hogging at de cheap Dhaba, fruity at Gazeebo, once in a while thanni party at Ambrish dhaba, quick breaks at Loyal world, late night tennis, midnight badminton, cricket at hostel TV, FC2 lunch… the list in endless.

After I completed my generic training, I received the shock of my life. I was put into PLES unit. Don’t know what is PLES? Don’t worry; half of Infy still does not know what it is… Btw it is the engineering services wing in Infy. We were supposed to take another 2 months training in PLES about aircrafts. Hiya I am an aeronautical engineer. That status enabled me to clear training without studying (read without attending classes ;)) PLES training was a breeze. It just went by. Actually we had so much fun and I can’t disclose all that publicly. It classifies as classified.

By the virtue of so many prayers right from my birth, I successfully cleared my training and was posted at Bangalore. It sounded funny when I joined my team at Bangalore. Wont it be funny if the whole team is in bench? And that includes my PM too!! After about a month, our team got a project from Airbus. They called it luck. I dint tell them it was because of me :P Like the squirrel that helped lord Rama, I helped Airbus to make their giant A380 fly better. Believe me, it is still flying fine ;) Hmmm the time has come for me to bid adieu to my first company and chase higher dreams of life. My stint at Infy, though short, has been nothing short of a roller coaster. All these days, I wanted to quit to do my masters. Now the time has come , but… Let silence fill that sentence.

Monday, June 2, 2008

FROM : Up above the world so high....

It was my first night flight.... Hmmm whats so special about it? Take off, cruise, and then land. Big deal.....! Nopes. There was more to it. It was not actually a night flight. I was going up when the sun was coming down... In short I was flying at dusk. I had to fly from B'lore to Mumbai for an interview. Since my role in my project was so critical (...!), I had got only a day's leave. So I decided to leave after office hours and hence had booked for an evening flight. Dont be surprised when I say the flight from B'lore to Bombay took 1.5 hours and my travel from office to airport took almost the same time. :( I live in B'lore, you see. After completing the formalities I was on the plane. I forgot to mention that I had got a window seat :D Its always fun for an aeronautical engineer to be in a window seat and observe the flight. Hmmm slowly the plane came to the runway, picked up speed and whoa..... took off :) Only then did I notice something. Storm clouds were forming in the sky. So were they doing in my stomach. Much to my relief, our captain assured us that we wont have any problems whatsoever because of that. The accent was fairly eventless and we climbed right through the storm clouds. Then on the flight radio they said it was raining in B'lore. I looked out of the window and hey what was that....!?!?! It took me sometime to comprehend that sight. C'mon yaar , how often do you get to see rain from a top angle? ;) Seen "independence day"? The clouds over B'lore skies sort of resembled it. It was fun to watch rain that way, I would say. It seemed like a giant taurpaulin roof that was leaking all over :) Oh nature, how beautiful can you become..? Nature answered me with a sight that can never be erased from my memory. I am still thinking for a word to describe it to perfection. Just as the sun had set, colours began to splash over the sky and it resembled one of those paintings in Taare Zammen Par. And finally as it became dark, I saw the biggest rainbow of my life. This time not because of rain, but because of sun and air alone. Yes scattering, diffraction, bla, bla, bla had joined hands to produce the biggest rainbow. The whole horizon was painted in seven colours. You need a thousand eyes to cherish that sight. Hmmm I had witnessed enough that evening and I wanted to rest my eyes a little. I had an interview the next day (if you remember). Slowly I started dreaming zzz.... I was so obsessed that day that even in my dream I was flying over Bombay. My dream captain said "We are going to land shortly. Fasten up your seat belts." Suddenly my neighbour shook me out of dream world. Actually those words were not uttered by my dream captian but by my actual captain. We were actually approaching Bombay airport. ;) I peeped out of the window and was literally shocked. How the hell is he going to find the runway in this mess? What if he gets frustrated and lands it in the sea? I dunno swimming. Arey yaar, even I forgot that I was an aeronautical engineer! I remember reading something called Instrument Landing System in an aircraft. Phew.... I was safe again. I closed my eyes to reduce the effect of reduced G forces and after sometime as gracefully as an Eagle, the aircraft touched down. The pilot applied full brakes and it came to a screeching halt. The moment I came out of the aircraft and smelled Bombay air, I wanted to sing "Pudhiya vanam, pudhiya boomi...." (For the benefit of those who do not know Tamil, its a Tamil song meaning "new skies, new land...") How much had technlogy advanced... Just 80 minutes back I was in B'lore and now I am in Bombay. Wow... But I had realised something else that evening. How much ever technology may advance, man can never match the beauty of nature. Nature's beauty is beyond wordly expression. I shouted, "Hey mankind... you may be foolish enough not to enjoy this beauty, at least dont spoil it." My voice got drowned in the metro noise...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My worst Bike ride :(

Where did it all begin? Right here at Infosys Multi Level Parking Lot. A chill breeze that blew when I started here told me something more was yet to come. Just a few kilometers onto the highway, the rain gods opened the sky. Aha, it started to rain, and I love rain (who does not?) But I wanted a place to hide from the rain. All I could find on the deserted Bangalore - Hosur highway was a railway brige....! :( I chose to stay under that bridge as it gave me a 50 - 50 option. Half rain, half shade. I thought of waiting till the rain subsided, but it never seemed it will. In fact the rain started turning into a deluge. Oh my god, my home was 20 kms away. I decided to put to test my riding skills, I valiantly started by bike in the rain and off I went. Only to find out how stupid my decision was. The rain jus got harder. It felt like some unknown person was pelting me. :( But as I am gifted with this never say die attitude, I continued with my ride. Only to find my decision was stupider this time. My inability to see properly (read spectacles) rendered my ride horrible. Though I had my helmet it was of little use. If I put on the visor, I could not see properly. If I remove the visor, I could not see at all..! Same case with my specs. I then decided to scrape my attitude when I was completely wet and was shivering (actually trembling). As I could not ride any further with my trembling hands, I stopped near a shop. You can imagine how wet I was when I say a small pool had formed at the place where I stood near the shop. Aha, there was a tea shop there :) Hot boiling tea in the rain should be sensational feeling. Wait a minute, my wallet was safely tucked inside my bike and I did not dare to venture into the rain again. Only then did I remember my mobile was also in the bike that was in the rain. Thankfully my mobile is safe now. Even after what seemed eternity, that I spent trembling, rain never seemed to cease. It was already getting dark and I had to reach home before it was too dark. You know how tough it is to ride with both rain drops and headlilghts cutting across your eyes. This time wind gods joined the fray. Already rain rendered my visibility to zero and now wind was literally toying around with my bike. I was not able to cruise at more than 30 kmph. Twice I was put at almost dead situations. Thankfully disk brakes were invented and that is why I am writing this blog now. Phew... After a long persistant battle, I reached home. Know what? Rain stopped just as I reached home. This was the worst ever bike ride I have been through. It felt like a battle. Every inch of my body is paining :( Hmmm, I have decided. No more biking to office till next summer. I cant and I wont survive this again.