Monday, November 27, 2006

Writing Under Influence

An interesting trip to Vegas,
A touching reunion with Kai,
A touching letter from an old friend,
A day spent thinking of 'the news',
Some conversations that helped,
Some that did not,
Some moments of ecstacy,
Others of trying to curb the ecstacy,
Some opinions on life and 'cults',
A few shared laughs,
Some futile attempts at understanding the FLP impossibility and more,
A recapture of life in TSEC,
Some thoughts of sitting on stairs and sharing notes,
And getting the last miute doubts solved by Neeti and Mohit and Akshay and all,
A disastrous performance in a quiz,
Reliving those moments AGAIN,
Listening to Piyu Bole,
Being under constant hypnosis of those thoughts (is it really over?)
Scanning thru old emails,

Smiling after seeing someone,
Getting helped in connecting to server,

Smiling again,
Reliving again!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Then and Now...

Things are getting exciting...
I have moved ahead from (struggling to understand the syntax) to (coding)...
In more than one ways...
YAY!! :-)

I am learning new things... at least getting aware of them!

Last night I went to Goleta Beach Wharf. It was beautiful. I couldnt see the sea, I could only feel it... the sound of the waves and the sea-birds.
The wharf was lit... like a lighted passage that goes on and on... And in the end, there is a breath-taking view... But its pitch dark, so there's no real view. Its just a breath-taking feeling...
I danced...
And the lights were like yellow spotlights.
It reminded me of Madhuri dancing in Dil to Pagal Hai...

After that I had a heart-to-heart talk... with THE listener... :-)
And then... well, public blogs come with their own downsides!!! :-(

Well, apart from all this abstract beauty, there was real beauty... Where??
Oh! How much I love the store... Grocery shopping gives me a high, and with high-fi stores like COSTCO, the high is higher!! I bought a packet (48) of Power Bars... and crate of Tropicana juice... and soft French Bread (anything french is yummy ;-).. And Vanilla Yogurt...
Now I am a satisfied being!

There is much more happening... Emotional highgrounds and lowgrounds...

Life in Mumbai:-
1. Get woken up by Ma.

2. Fight for the bathroom with brothers.

3. Get reminded by ma - "did you take mobile phone, wallet?". Say goodmornin to Bhai, Mummyjy (grandparents).

4. Run as fast as you can to hail a rik... Curse the mornign traffic... Dont take change of Re.1 from rik driver bcoz of lack of time... Curse again... See the train arriving on the station... Run like a madwoman... Just to see it leave...

5. Curse again... with another bunch of similar fated train-missers!

6. Take the next train, and see your batch mate... heave a sigh of relief (both of u will be late... blame gets divided... you wont get embarrassed ALONE!). Suddenly get the feeling of 'birds chirping' and 'trees singing' and 'rainbows in the sky' and all that jazz... coz you have a partner-in-crime for being late... And you both silently know that the excuse shall be 'Trains were late today'... (Oh how much I miss those days!!)

7. Go to college... In all likelyhood, Murphy will be right.. Teacher will be more late... And she'll be in the NEXT train!! haha!

8. Attend lectures and play word builder with friends. Simultaneously, of course. In the rare case of doubts about what is being taught, pay attention. Most likely, someone else has similar doubts. If not, ask neighbour... and get a weird look from him.... that's why sit next to Mohit :-)

9. Eat at Jay's or Mani's with the 'group'.

10. Do practicals.. (actually NEVER DO anything.. just fool around and appear busy when the teacher is looking!)

11. Get back home in the train... with Mohit! Discuss Akshay's jokes, and re-laugh.

12. Spend time with family, and on phone...

ONLY COMPLAINT: No privacy... No Solitude.

Life in America:-
1. Get woken up by alarm!

2. No fight for bathroom... Every1 has probably gotten up already.

3. Say good morning... to yourself... Have breakfast (agree that it is delicious honey-oats cereal instead of poha) with yourself...

4. Pack your bag yourself. Get reminded "Did I take the mobile, wallet, Debit card!," and the worst... "house keys"??

5. Run as fast as you can... downstairs... Bike to college... alone.

6. Attend lecutres... Pay attention... attempt paying attention... have doubts... note them down and ask the TA later... by email!

7. Eat at the salad bar. Alone.

8. go to the lab... Do 'practicals'... Do them! No teacher is looking, and there are no practical timings and there is no need to go to lab. Yet go to lab. Get worried. Alone.

9. Bike back... in a cold chilly night.

10. Come back... 'cook' food... eat it...

ONLY COMPLAINT: too much solitude!

I am liking it... Ita not so bad... Human beings are adaptive creatures... its a matter of time... I shud stop looking at things from this perspective. I shud stop the implicit self-pity.

The key is 'confidence' and 'hope'.

And some more night-sessions, probably ;-)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Miscellenious (or however it is spelled)

You say you live in a dream world...
I'll say that its alright.
You'll say that you get hurt everytime it shatters.
I'll say you know it was a dream world.
You'll say you dont want to call because everytime I say 'something happened' it crushes you.
I'll say I cant wait to be friends again.

And then I realize, we have no choice. Its the case of 'love me, hate me, but cant ignore me'.
I end up fighting the impulse.
I get up in the morning, and sing 'piyu bole'...

The connexon is not virtual anymore... its hard-wired.

I end the endless playing of conversations in my head. I say 'chuck it yaar!'

I have work to do. 'Work' to do!
I attend lectures.

Psychology is super-fun (for the lack of a better word).
I havent paid more attention to any other talks so mcuh...

Graphics is fun to DO... not to attend class. But the professor is interesting... the TA is more interesting... the programs are gratifying (I made a water surface with rain drops and refraction and reflection and other fancy stuff).

I still have no clue what Ruby on Rails is. But thats not a bad thing. The bad thing is that I have no inclination to know it! Just want to get done with it....

Amr's course is interesting. He makes me think. And he convinces me of something. And then asks me why it cant be the other way round. And I am lost! But I am liking it.

I went on a trek. One helluva experience. Was tiring. Went with Brinjar and his international friends. People here are FIT! And I thot it wud be easy... I huffed and puffed and fatigued out... And then someone said that we were almost 1/3rd the way! I gave up.... But finally completed it :-)

We have a 3rd TV at home. Its bigger than the other 2. So we have 3 TVs - big, bigger and biggest.
And 2 microwaves. And a printer. And a fancy 'water-purifier' that makes gurgling noises in the middle of the night. And I get confused coz my stomach makes similar noises. Somehow, the silence here is so loud that you can hear the intricate workings of your stomach. It almost gets embarrassing.

Kai called. I felt so nice talking to him. He is awesome! I saw his orkut pics. He's the authentic 'cool dude'.

And now I stare at the mobile... waiting for it to ring... waiting for the call... waiting... to no avail, perhaps!

I wish I felt like this!

Friday, November 10, 2006

The little joys of life...

Some things that have produced an un-wipeable smile on my face, of late:-

1. Receiving an international packet from Ma which contains lots of new clothes and mithai and ear-rings and footwear... but more importantly, lots of memories of mom's idiosyncracies (a letter which contains all the items ennumerated and meticulously described - silver earrings with beads etc).. I love her... and miss her :-(

2. Talking to Prerna and having insightful conversations about 'life' in general, and 'ours' in particular. :-)

3. Eating my first self-cooked meal! (vegetable with tortilla and orange juice... ok, I agree tHat I didnt cook much... But turned on the gas for the first time... Poured vegetable oil, added masala.... I just cant help feeling smug.. although the bhaaji was so raw that it wud probably bounce back from the wall).

3.1 Grocery-shopping in Albertsons... Its a soulful experience!

3.2 Eating Luna Power bars and drinking pink lemonade in the lab while trying to solve a problem.

3.3 Eating honeybunch and oat cereals at 2am (a true breakfast time).

3.4 Munching nachos with guacomole dip!

3.5 Tasting Juan's super-spicy food with chop-sticks (and getting heavily applauded when the task is successfully accomplished).

MAN! Life seems to revolve around food here... NOnetheless, we shall move on to the less important stuff ;-)

4. Biking down in 'full speed' when its brrrrr cold and the jacket is forgotten at home in the pile of clothes.

5. Getting good grades for a quiz I have no idea about (Yes, no matter what, authentic Mumbai Uiversity students cannot be satisfied with just 'knowledge'... they are a super-competitive breed who need to 'prove themselves', NOT by doing some fundoo research, but by scoring!! glee...)

5.5 Getting my doubts solved by Mohit :-) and hearing his 'gargudi' talks.

6. Overhearing conversations of grad students in lab
Stuent1: I am totally screwed ($%^&Q%$%)
Student2: Why do you complain so much? YOU have chosen this life of yours. Remember, in undergrad, it was your dream to come to grad school and do research.

HAHA! It probably does not sound as funny as I initially found it, but when I heard it from the horses' mouths, I was in fits of laughter! (and now remember the GRE word paroxysms!)

7. Manipulating the code in a way that it seems right, but is not actually right (In particular, doing all the calculations, and then displaying a manipulated value!) (Again, thanks to MU)

7.5 Laundry-ing the piled up clothes of 3 weeks and then suddenly getting the feeling of a fresh new wardrobe! (with the lovely fragrance of the dryer paper... whtever the hell that is!)

7.75 HAving a long uninterrupted bath of warm water in a tub... Ah! the little joys of life...

8. Listening to Reshammiya after a long days work and missing the rikshaw rides which invariably played him!

9. Seeing his name pop up in my orkut inbox!.. and listening to his talks... and his ill-timed jokes... and his accent... and his 'take' on issues... HIM!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

old habits die hard!

The clock on the computer says its 11.44pm.
I look at it wearily... and agree with it.. then think of Lamport's timestamps and suynchronization of global clocks... and then laugh to myself.

I am still in the lab. Staring at the screen. Switching between getting the program to work and googling and orkutting and gmailing... and orkutting and geting the program to work and.. blogging!

I just had a packet of chocolate chips... bought from the slot machine.

I have not worked so much in 4 years of undergrad put together, as much as I have worked in the last 2 weeks.
Everytime my program stubbornly refuses to work, I turn around (as is my wont) to talk to my lab partner to ask him to borrow the code from the assigned coder of the class.
Then I remind myself that I am not in TSEC.
I am supposed to write the stuff!

The last 4 years, I had implicitly thanked (and in the weak moments even blessed) those coders whose code I had 're-used'. Today, I dont think that it was such a good idea....

Life would be much easier if only I had been sincerer in the past...

or if I am abumdantly carefree in the present!

Even as I end this article, I press Ctrl+S out of my new-formed habit!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Rationality defied

The lyrics that I most relate to, these days...
From the movie Filhaal,

Maasoom si hasi, bevaja hi kabhi
Honton pe khil jaati hai
Anjaan si khushi baheti hui kabhi
Saahil pe mil jaati hai
Yeh anjaana sa darr ajnabi hai magar
Khoobsurat hai jee lene de
Yeh lamha filhaal jee lene de

The 'masoom hasi' is almost perennial. I cant get rid of it (not that I am complaining)...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Arbit Reflections

And here I am in the GSL lab... working.. trying to work... pondering... trying to restrain the pondering... pondering nonetheless!

Why am I not motivated enough?? Why dont I feel like getting the program work?? Where has that desire for the sense of achievement vanished?
Why do I do things because I have nothing else to do or because I am 'supposed' to do them??

Why does a 5-minute read of an interesting article get me way more excited than humdreds of minutes of lecture time??

Why dont I feel the passion?? Why am I lost beyond belief?

But yet, why am I happy?? Why am I at peace?? Is it because of the new-found freedom?? I dont think so. Freedom is a state of the mind. I can be as free or as chained as I want to be.

What has changed though is that I am confident of my thoughts. I am thinking things through. I am distinguishing between what matters and what eventually does not matter.

Also, because I have changed the constraints on myself. I dont have to be 'successful'. I have to be happy. And they are not always causally related.

Happiness can come because of suddenly coming across your fav poem, biking down at 2 am with the interesting C.S.Officer (who makes a remark more insightful than most of ur well-wishers), laughing till your wits end, chatting with someone of a rather different background, listening to Rehman music, eating Vanilla cream Yogurt, attending a Psychology class, getting surprised on orkut by an old friend (crush?), going on long walks at night and hearing someone's talks, watching someone's smile as they stare at you in the eye...

Well, I am happy. Not peaceful. But yes, happy.

Gotta get back to the dam program and wonder how to render the wave equation....

But now I am happy that I am happy :-)