Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I walked through IIT Chennai last evening!Wow!

I went to the IIT Chennai last evening.I don't know how others feel,but just like I had read in books,I felt at peace with myself when I entered the campus.Now,I am not a science student but,even though I am from a different stream,the power of the place hit me a wee bit.The rustle of the trees,the cold breeze blowing across the lanes,the serene atmosphere.It was amazing! I recalled Chetan Bhagat's famous book on life at IIT,Delhi, Five Point Someone,and was picturising all the antics described in that book,happening in the Delhi campus of the type of institute that I was walking through,for the first time in my life.

The sight of a senior student standing in front of 6 absolutely tense students,explaining some scientific phenomenon is a sight that I will treasure for eternity.The boy was standing in a jeans and long shirt,explaining some theory with immense passion,fire in his eyes and terrific commitment.Six juniors(they may have been classmates of his,I'm not sure)were sitting in a bench in front of him,absolutely glued to what he was saying,scribbling notes and marking points on their books.This was bang in front of the famous Central Library,a building where one can spend a lifetime and still not be done with all the reading in the world!I remarked to my counterpart,that the library could pass off as a software company - that's how smashing an architectural masterpiece it was!

Many of my friends in the engineering world have told me that life in IIT is an experience and one gets immensely nervous on just entering this hallowed turf of the science world.I guess the trailer I experienced last evening is what they were referring to!

I have walked all around the IISc in my hometown,Bangalore.And that I thought was a mesmerising experience.The walk through IIT yesterday was even better!

I am proud to be an Indian!Jai IIT!

Friday, January 06, 2006

A nice,serene 28th birthday!

A really nice day today!After a really long time,I had a nice,serene,relaxed birthday!

My room mate ensured that I had the traditional surprise on a birthday,by waking me up at midnight and making me cut a cake!!Its been 7 years since I cut a cake on my birthday!The cakes were yummy!Customary calls at midnight followed from friends!Two lovely girls were the first to call me and wish me!Felt great!!Few sms's flowed in as well!Felt nice as I lay down to sleep at 1 a.m.

Could hardly get up and run to office in the morning.But old friends will be old friends.My oldest friend(I know him since 1989!) woke me up at 7 a.m and wished me.The phone kept ringing and sms's kept coming,so I decided that I may as well get up.Logged on to the net,checked email, got ready and then headed to office.

It was a low-key thing in office.Not much publicity, prefer it that way these days, compared to the jazz in previous birthdays.I still remember my 16th birthday.It rocked!Abou19 friends called me over to a restaurant, and the tallest among them smashed a cake on my face to euphoria surrounding him,with everyone going gung-ho and wishing me in public!It was a serious high!And I share my birthday with a lovely,tall girl,who graced this planet 1 hour before I did,in the same year!And on that 16th birthday she was around as well. Girls sure get their way around - nobody smashed a cake on her face!Anyway,that was a high,once upon a time!

This time around,I was cooped up in office with absolutely no mood to work.Lots of pleasant memories of past birthdays came flooding back.Felt great to recollect them all!A handful of my counterparts in office wished me in office.At lunch time,I decided to invite my team mates out for a snack/treat in the evening at Amethyst.This is one of the most cosy, upmarket coffee shops in this city of Chennai!Everyone readily agreed!I booked a table for 7 of us immediately,as more often than not,this place gets flooded with cosy twosomes!

We left office early and reached the venue at around 6.15 p.m. after beating some maddening traffic.Settled down around a nice,round table and didn't quite realize how the next 2 hours went past.Had some terrific,freewheeling conversation with the entire team with everyone at their enthusiastic best and out to try some new dish or the other.One of the guys around was the solitary non-vegetarian and was initially feeling very awkward.But he retained his courage of conviction in non-vegetarian food and hit a lovely sandwich!The rest of us placed our orders too and it was seriously the lightest birthday I ever had.Out in a corner table, with a small bunch of nice people,away from the pressures of the office,away from deadlines,bosses and clients,seated in the open,on a lovely breezy January evening!Wow!(Almost a perfect setting to go out with a hot babe on a romantic dinner!).

As the evening progressed,I sensed that my companions were up to something fishy.And my gut feel came true,so to speak.They surprised me with a cake!A terrific,plum cake!Slurp!I cut the cake in suspended animation as it was very breezy in that place and we found it tough to keep the candle alight.Managed it finally.My companions thrilled me when they offered to treat me,rather than the other way around.Now,that was a first of its kind for me!

We then split and I got off near home and walked home.Was still not convinced that the day was complete.So went out with my room mate to the most authentic north Indian food joint in Chennai city, Bombay Halwa House.It was simply awesome.The dishes there were not only inexpensive but also of incredibly high quality.Just too good!I gulped down the cold buttermilk with some masala mix and dived into the exotic menu there.The roasted papad there with green chutney rekindled memories of my trip to Jaipur last January,where I had the greatest Rajasthani food till date!

Anyway,finally got home at 11.15 p.m. checked my mailbox and crashed at midnight!

So ended a nice,serene birthday!And the best part was,I did not miss my old girlfriend.Thank god I've moved on in life!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Bitten by the writing bug!

Its bitten me now.Hard and deep.I want to write now.I've always been a very expressive person.Never realized that expression,passion for life,and innate interest in writing and engaging in a conversation can be harnessed to reach higher levels.Maybe even carve careers.

I am right now in a writing-related job,where I write about technology markets!I think I need to make the most of the emerging boom in the media.Do something about my passion to write.Do something about my flair for expression(No,I am not blowing my own trumpet here,I just have genuine interest).

Let's see how it goes.The seeds of interest are sown.Need direction!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A year of recovery-2005

It would be safe to say that after a very long time,I had a fantabulous year in 2005.It was undoubtedly,a year of recovery for me.

The highlight of the year was surely my first ever trip abroad.The experience of the US across three months,opened up my eyes and horizons into a world beyond anything that I had experienced previously.

Three days in 2005 defined the year for me.July 22 to July 24.I visited the world's melting pot,New York!It was the realization of a childhood dream for me!I had seen the world famous Times Square and Statue of Liberty on TV,way back in school.I had dreamt of seeing the tall skyscrapers,of experiencing the happening events in the greatest city in that part of the world.I had dreamt of seeing NY city from the top of Empire State Building.I wanted to see the museums there.I wanted to get into teh hustle and bustle of NY life and experience the subway there.I had dreamt of getting my own caricature done(I got a portrait!).OH!How I had dreamt of all this,way back in school- a good ten years ago!And to have actually realized that dream,gave me a kick like nothing else.The pinnacle was the incredible Broadway show that I managed to get discount tickets and attend!Ooh!What a phenomenal experience!I was in a trance at the end of it.And to watch Times Square on a Saturday night,from the Broadway balcony,with scores of people,fun,frolic,lights,action and a fever pitch in the atmosphere,just got me mesmerised!Will NEVER forget that evening at Times Square and the stupendous professional performance of all the actors in the show,Fiddler on the Roof!I never knew that Broadway actors were legends in their own right,and very deservingly so,if I may add!It was a TRULY GREAT evening for me!!I felt on top of the world that evening,that's how special it was.Even now,the strands of hair on my wrist straighten,whenever I think of that exhilirating evening!Wow!

Even though its been more than 5 months since that visit,my jaw still drops whenever I recall those 3 days.What a scintillating experience!Wow!I guess,my friend in New Jersey would be cursing me a wee bit as I hardly let him sleep those few days.But then again,I am sure that he will appreciate the fact that it was the greatest experience for me outside India till date and it was something truly memorable!

For a long time,I had been crippled with failures,not necessarily due to my own faults.But all that changed in 2005.I reaped the rewards of some good work,got some amazing opportunities that I had never even attempted earlier and of course,got a fair degree of exposure in working in a globalized world.I would have to credit my professional interest and sustenance to my stupendous boss and team mate.Many of us are blessed with great jobs,some of us with great money,while others may be engaged in path-breaking work.But I would trade a lot of those glories for the peace of mind,fantastic integration within the team I operated in.It was an experience to work with such a fine American Director and professional team mate.Will always remember my team mate in the US for helping me with my ways around that country,as I was a total novice when I went there!My US trip would not have been what it ended up as,if not for the terrific co-ordination,assistance,and enthusiastic co-operation from my team mate there in more ways than one!

I guess,even otherwise,I diversified my interests during the year.Read many new books and did some serious writing.Hell,I started my blog in 2005!!Now,that's something incredibly exciting for me!

I suppose the start and end of the year said it all.I started the year in a most disastrous condition,following a break-up with a fine girl after 11 years.From those days of cringing and being subjected to emotional trauma to the end of the year symbolised with some internal peace and a complete resurrection of my own self, was one hell of a journey between extremes!I think I would suggest to anybody who has a break-up,to give himself time(can only speak for a he here,but I think the girls can pick up a pointer or two as well!).No point in forcing the recovery process.It will get nobody anywhere,most of all the person concerned.Am glad that I have recovered now!Hell,even had a birthday party of a very,very,very close friend on Dec 30 and I had a blast of a time there!

There is a great confidence that is now embedded into my system,following a rebuilding process after string of professional failures and a personal disaster at the start of the year.But I think,I trained myself.I worked on myself like a project,slowly rebuilding myself,inch by inch.There were many times during the year when I used to climb a bit back into recovery and then go crashing down into depression even deeper.But then,I realized,its all about a will to get on with life.I have only about 70 years on this planet(excluding accidents or sudden occurrences for a sec!).27 of that 70 is gone!So,it does not make any sense to me anymore to bother about things and people I do not control.Makes eminent sense to me to bother(COMPLETELY)about things and people that I have in my life,can do something about and enjoying having in my life.No point wasting my presence on the earth with things and people that are not there.These were hard lessons that I discovered as I worked tirelessly on my recovery process.Am glad that I have some very firm lessons now to guide me through the rest of my life!