Monday, December 12, 2005

A month and a half, in short

Our institute fresher party is over, but that is not the end of it. Fresher parties still continue. Firstly we had a hostel fresher party. A few hours of cultural performance by the hostellers - dance, jokes, songs etc. An excellent lunch followed the performances. Unlike other days we enjoyed 3-4 courses, paneer, fruit cream, cold drinks and more- free of cost and as much as you like!!! And if you think two fresher parties are enough, you get more than enough in PU. University freshers!! The whole University is invited to the university grounds for Aagaaz 2005. This is a cultural event which begins in the evening and continues past midnight, organised to welcome the freshers of university. But one can not enjoy everything in life. Since it took place a day before the 3rd maths sessional, most of us could not attend it. I managed to enjoy it for a few minutes on the way to the library and back. The series of freshers was followed by boring sessional exams.

Diwali is fun as usual and it becomes even better when a few drops of mischief is mixed with it. So late night when everyone is asleep, some loud crackers are burst right outside the hostel rooms. Diwali was celebrated in Delhi but the festive season soon came to an end as the Ist semester was drawing near. If sessional exams are boring and difficult, then semester exams beat it in every aspect. The exams took place from 16th of November till 2nd December and practical till 9th December. As a result we had a crazy hardworking time after the Diwali holidays. And since I am too lazy to attend the 'useless' fluid mechanics classes I fell short of the minimum required number of attendance in that subject. As a result I had to face some music till 15th November to get my admit card. The exam papers are of 3 hours duration having 8 questions of 20 marks each out of which only 5 have to be attempted. Although the questions carry a lot of marks, their answers are very short and no one knows how much to write. Questions are sometimes extremely vague - Write a note on a spreadsheet software. Still most of us managed to deal pretty well with the questions.

Now that the exams are over I am free to resume my normal life. Meanwhile Hindustan Times published some good news for all the UIETians. Firstly our new building in Sector 25 is ready to use and from next semester classes will be shifted to the new building. Secondly the present UIET building has become wifi enabled. The whole Panjab University will be wifi enabled in 2 months including 10 hostels. Also a breaking news that laptops may be made compulsory from next semester onwards for students.

Will post more often from now onwards. Leaving you with the most famous PU library...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Tech-Shopping

Durga Puja as usual was fun. Two of my aunts visited us with their family. Since most of the events are held at night I was the main driver during those days. Obviously we could not ask our driver to do an overnight duty and again come in the morning. The Puja days were over even before we realized it!! Dusshera was on 13th October and I went out shopping. I had been waiting for this kind of shopping for one long year. It is the Nehru Place shopping.

Now that the fresher was gone and the ragging has ended, I decided to purchase a new computer. On Thursday, 13th Oct I went to Nehru place alone to do a bit of market survey. There were few points in my mind:-

  • A powerful computer that would not be outdated very soon.
  • No Pentium 4, I want to get over the Pentium 4 era.
  • A good speaker is a must.
  • The mother-board should be perfectly compatible with the processor I choose.
  • RAM and hard disk should have a high capacity and speed.
  • My desire: A Sony 17” LCD monitor!!
  • To cut cost I will not buy anything that can be easily added later e.g. video/sound card.

Now with these things in mind I went out for the survey.
The configuration of the PC that I initially wanted was:-
  • Pentium Extreme Edition 3.2 GHz. This processor has dual core, supports Hyper-Threading and 64 bit computing. It is the latest one that Intel has released.
  • Intel motherboard based on Intel 955 chipset.
  • DVD Burner
  • Samsung HDD at least 120 GB
  • Kingston RAM about 2 GB
  • Sony 17” TFT LCD Monitor
  • A good multimedia keyboard and USB optical scroll mouse
  • Altec Lansing speakers
First I enquired if the processor is available or not. Most of the shops claimed that the processor did not exist!! One shop on the other hand gave me the details of Pentium 4 Extreme Edition Processor. He told me that it would be expensive, and then enquired the price of the processor to the Intel Distributor. The price shocked me: Rs. 42,000/-. F*k man, it is bloody expensive. I continued my survey but did not enquire about the processors anymore. I met Prateek Chadha in the market and we went to few more shops until he was hungry. So we went to his home for lunch. On the way I called up Maanick and asked for some advice. He recommended Pentium D and a good motherboard combination. Since Maanick also had some work in Nehru Place, he helped me with the survey after lunch. End of the day I was dead tired, went back home and celebrated Dusshera. The next day I went to Nehru Place with the cash and a configuration fixed in my mind. But unfortunately the cost of the PC did not fit in my budget. And another day was wasted.

On Saturday there was an Exun judges meeting. After the meeting (and eating) Rungta, Maanick and I went to Nehru purchase the PC. After a lot of negotiation the PC was purchased and assembled. But during assembly, at the end of the day we realized that the motherboard did not have an onboard graphics. So I was forced to go for a graphics card too. The shopping took five and a half hours. I thank Maanick for all the help during the shopping period.

The next challenge was setting it up. So I went to ‘The Rungta’s’ to set it all up. Unfortunately Mac OS could not be installed in my system. But Windows XP is running well. Thanks to Mukesh sir for the Extreme Windows CD. A new problem popped out of the box of the monitor. The monitor had one dead pixel, and I could not bear that. That had to be changed. On Monday I went to the shop and got my monitor exchanged for a different model. On Saturday I was forced to buy D.A. chip based RAM as other companies were not available. Since I do not trust that company, I got it changed too. Kingston was out of budget, so I bought Hyundai-Hynix chip based RAM.

And now my computer is rocking!! Thanks to Rungta for all the help that night (the help still continues).
The configuration of my PC is:-
  • Pentium D, 3.0 GHz
  • Intel Motherboard D955XBK
  • 512+512 MB RAM, 533 MHz
  • Samsung 160 GB HDD
  • Sony 17” TFT LCD Monitor, SDM-H75
  • Altec Lansing speakers, ATP3
  • Sony DVD±RW/±R/CD Dual Layer, DRU-810A
  • Sony 1.44” FDD
  • Microsoft Wired Keyboard 500
  • Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6200 Graphics Card with TurboCache. 128 MB + 256 MB shared with the RAM

Overall an excellent system and in spite of not meeting my initial configuration, I am more than satisfied.

Since I do not have a photo of my system, here is a combined picture of all the parts of my computer.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Night Bus

Mornings have changed since we have bought our football. Every morning should begin with a game of football. Although it may not take place everyday, we still try our best to play once before going for our classes. One of my friend's brother visited Chandigarh for some work. A tall stout fellow with good football skills. We asked him to play with us, which he obviously accepted. It was a lovely morning and about twelve of us were ready to play early (even before dawn). Such was the passion. It was a wonderful game of about an hour and a quarter. End of the game we all got a short briefing from the hulk. The football session was followed by a series of different feelings- excitement, anxiety, confusion etc. It was the UIET freshers' day!!

The event was called Aagman-2005. Cultural programme 3:30PM till 6:30PM followed by dinner and dance party 7:30PM onwards. We were really looking forward to this day, not because of the party, but because it will officially end ragging. The day before the freshers' was the worst day in terms of mental stress. It is supposed to be the day when the 1st year students are ragged till the highest degree of satisfaction is realized by the seniors. That is why we stayed out of the campus for a long time. At night no one came to our hostel as very few UIET freshers live in hostel 6. Some freshers from other hostels were not as lucky. Obviously we very excited about the party but we were really confused about what to wear?? Formals!! We do not have any of those with us!! Some students went back home to get clothes, some of them bought new ones and few lucky ones had their clothes sent to them. The rest (my category) had to work out without proper formals. I had to manage the day in simple trousers, shirt and sneakers!! In the first half we enjoyed good cultural performance by the first year students as well as the second year students. But unfortunately only the group performance which involves dance performance or drama was appreciated. Most of the audience made fun of the individual performance like jokes, whistling talent. These performers had to leave the stage annoyed, humiliated and embarrassed. The events that we enjoyed the most were the dance performance on rhythmic Punjabi and western tracks. The whole Audi was up on its feet dancing to the tunes. The 'Whenever Wherever' performance was enjoyed the most by the male seniors. ‘Julie! Julie!' they shouted at the female dancer. Rounds of Mr. and Ms Fresher were taking place between the performances. The last programme I saw was Punjabi Bhangra in original bhangra outfit - pag, kurta and chadra. They were dancing to the beats of dhol. Even the teachers joined the dance on stage. Although Mr. and Ms Fresher were not declared yet, we left the Audi as we were getting late for the dance party at night. It was 6:30 already and we had to freshen ourselves, arrange for a transport to the Chandigarh Club. So we all arranged for the famous 'Dus Rupay Savari Autorickshaw'. About 9-10 of us in each auto and we all reached club by eight. The party had already begun!

The whole Chandigarh Club lawn was booked for the party. The Disco setup was at one end of the lawn and the arrangement for the food was at the other end of the lawn. Snacks were being offered by the waiters- Gobhi roast, spring rolls etc. There was arrangement for juice, soft drinks and coffee. Some of the seniors were having hard drinks. Dance was going on at its best with some refreshments at regular intervals to compensate the energy lost. Although it was quite chilly, the shirts were drenched in sweat. Finally at around 9:30pm we were offered dinner- one plate per coupon. All UIETians like me are real gluttons. They were so desperate for food that they started filling up their plates from both sides of the buffet counters. As a result the waiters were unable to refill the contents in the dishes. Thus initially there was a shortage of food. The problem was solved after a long time. The menu was very good but the food was not tasty as almost all the items lacked salt!! The sweet dish was very good - ice cream and gulab jamun. At the end of the day, around 10:30 most of us had run out of energy and the music was stopped as loud music is not allowed in Chandigarh after 10pm. But our spirits were still high. Some of the friends decided to go for a movie at that hour. I, on the other hand had to return to Delhi after the party for Durga Puja and Dusshera celebrations. So, some of us returned to the campus. Finding an auto at that time is really difficult. We had to walk a long distance to catch one.

As soon as I reached my hostel I picked up my packed bag and took the same auto to the bus-stand (ISBT is called Bus Stand in Chandigarh). Busses to Delhi operate round the clock. But since I had to travel with my tired body overnight, I decided to go for the deluxe bus. The deluxe bus costs a bit extra but offers comfortable seats whose backrest can be tilted. Also it only stops once at a Mid-Way and goes directly to Delhi. The last deluxe bus is at 11:45pm unfortunately I was the second last person to buy the tickets. I got the last row seat and my backrest could not be tilted. The bus took only 4 hours 20 minutes to reach Delhi, which otherwise can be as long as 6 hours on a normal inter-state bus. The fact that I was returning home to celebrate Durga Puja with my family compensated all the problems I faced during my journey.

I leave you with some of the moments:-








Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Request...

From now on I will start posting fresh posts i.e ones that I have not mailed before.

I would like to know who all are visiting my blog.
Please leave your name as comment.

Monday, October 24, 2005

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSimple Harmonic Motion

8th October 2005

Well, the subject of this post might sound a little peculiar, but as you read on the subject would be justified.

Lots has happened since my last post on ragging. Firstly my second sessional exams. BORING exams again and again. It seems that engineering means giving exams again and again till you drop dead. Short one and a half papers for 20 marks and syllabus are topics written out of 20 kg ink. How to study for that?? For me there is only one way. Go to the library reading room. There is no way I can study in the hostel. Someone or the other knocks at the doors after every 15 mins, either HE(oh! why not SHE) wants something or just to talk/chat/gossip, listen to music etc etc etc. So if you want to study peacefully, go to the library just before dinner time, have your meal at STU-CEE (short for Student's Centre) which is right next to the library and then enter the reading room. One thing you must ensure is that you should satisfy all your requirements before entering the library (eg emptying your bladder) because if you leave your chair even for a micro-second, it's gone. Uptill midnight there is
a huge rush and thus you have to take over a seat and not let it go till midnight. Obviously you must have figured out that the reading room is open 24 hours. I always need some music while studying and so do some of the others. So generally I carry my iPod and connect it to iTrip. Serves two purpose!! All of my friends can listen to it as most of us have mobiles with radio. Secondly I can protect my iPod from seniors. The iPod is kept inside my bag and everyone thinks that I am listening to the radio. The best thing is that all radio-stations shut down at 11pm. A few times the seniors have had doubts- "Radio is time chal raha hai??" And I simply say yes and show them the frequency- 96.1 Mhz (Which I can change at my will!). Now none of them have a radio enabled phone, they just accept the fact. No one can think of a portable radio station!! Now after studying till 2:00 AM, one has to feel sleepy and hungry. What to do at that time? Three options- Drink Expresso Coffee/Tea, the Nescafe outlet is open till 3:00 AM. Next option:- Go to PGI canteen (Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research). There is a hospital inside the PGI campus(right opp to PU campus) and the canteen is open 24 hrs. Last option- Go to the taxi stand right outside the gates of PGI and PU. You will get wonderful Paranthas, Butter, Bread or Eggs. Paranthas of this taxi stand is famous. 3 aloo paranthas for Rs 10. A very satisfying meal at that time. So after the break go back to study. Slog it out till 4:00AM and then go back to the hostel (if you are sleepy). Some of the students there lie down flat out on the reading room tables/line up 4-5 chairs which acts as a bed.

Enough of studying. Now some sports. Well we have a group that has a passion for playing football. So do what? Buy a good Quality ball. So we went searching for a good football. On foot we crossed sector 14(PU campus), sec 15, sec 16 and then finally got a good football at sector 17 market. Checked out lots of brands- Puma, Nivea, Umbro, Nike and then finally selected an Adidas football- 10ppl contributed 119 each to buy an excellent football. Now we are having a good match everyday morning and evening. After buying the ball we straightaway headed to Fun Republic to watch a late night show. Why go at night?? The same eerie feeling- ragging!! The exams are over and the seniors are out- searching for a prey.

The SSSSSSSSSSSSSS factor- What does SSSSSSSS remind you of? SNAKES. For the first time we faced a snake in our campus- just outside my hostel entrance. Crawling on the road leading to my hostel. Quite a long one (atleast 2 metres). Creamish in colour with greenish tinge. Don't know which breed, but in any case every breed looks
dangerous. It was killed using a wooden stick :-( . We are living in a very natural environment, isnt it? We have always had Dogs, Monkeys, Eagles and now a new addition- Snakes!! What the monkeys do is a long story and will be covered in my coming posts.

The SHM factor. A fresh experience(latest one infact). Three of us were in one room(the one adjoining my room-that shares a common balcony with me.) I was sitting on the chair listening to music. Varun, lying on the bed. Saurabh, standing next to us. Suddenly Varun said "Abbe palang kyun hila raha hai?" Saurabh:" Main nahi hila raha"
Varun sits upright looks at both of us and shouts aloud:" Bh*nch*d earthquake aa raha hai" We all felt it. The water in the bottle started oscillating- as high as a mini tsunami. The table fan started vibrating too with an amplitude of nearly an inch. We all got up and said" Bhaago Bhukamp aaya hai" Quickly ran for my key, and the shocks I felt during locking the door was unbearable. And then I ran- faster
than a mouse. Down three floors, along the long corridor, and then out of the hostel. All the hostellers were out trying to control their anxiety. Now this was the strongest and longest tremor I have ever felt in my whole life. Those of you who has never felt an earth quake before, has missed something. After that, the odd feeling continued in my stomach and feet for a long time. Hopefully next time we will be warned before it comes. The epicentre was at Muzzaffrabad in Pakistan measuring 7.6 in richter scale.

Lots has been clubbed in this post and I already have more to write. Will post again soon!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Phantom Returns

25 September 2005

Every one knows that the Panjab University Elections are over. And the end of elections marks the continuation of ragging season!! Fortunately the sessional exams were scheduled just after the elections and the seniors (as well as the freshers) were busy studying. But unfortunately the sessional exams ended and ragging resumed. Generally ragging takes place during the weekends and we are always on the run during the weekends (Best is to spend a long time outside the campus or visit home during the weekends). But last week we were not lucky enough!!

Last Saturday we decided to watch the movie Chocolate which would serve two purpose- entertainment and safety!! We went for the 6 to 9 show and as usual we bought the upper stall tickets and watched the movie in the balcony. A wonderful suspence movie, you all will love it, if you like suspence stuff. When I returned back to the hostel hungry and starving at around 10:20pm a senior caught me at my hostel gate. The senior was from hostel no. 7 (the most dangerous hostel as it only has UIET
2nd year students). I was instructed to wait for them in the mess while they hunt down the other freshers in our hostel. I quickly informed my other friends who were also returning from the movie to stay away from the hostel but by then they had already reached the hostel and the seniors soon caught them too. Ok, fine, no way left to save ourselves. We were taken to Hostel 7 and then it all began....

Firstly their instructions:-
What will follow is not RAGGING. It is PDP. Full form? Personality Development Program.
Incase they abuse us then some of the definitions:-
Behen - Girls who study wth us.
Maa - Girls who study with the seniors.
Baap - Guess who?? the male seniors of course.
Not a bad concept. So if you face some of the abuses related to them, need not be emotional.

All Right, All set. Firstly intro:- You must specify the following things. Name, School, X and XII board results, Father's name and occupation, AIEEE rank and branch. Select one language(English/Hindi/Punjabi) and you must not speak even one word of any other language throughout the introduction. Next you have to turn into Phantom? In case you do not know what phantom is then look at photo (If you still don't understand, ask me). The lights are switched off and you are given 1 to 2 mins to transform yourself into phantom. Next everyone must take off his shirt. Then you are taught a few things:- UIET wish, how to apologise, UIET song, UIET anthem, how to think(instead of scratching your head you have to scratch something else...). "DO NOT FORGET THESE" is the instruction. Now you have to dance, to what?? NOKIA 1100 ringtones. Thus your steps have to match to those ringtones. After that we were
made to dance and sing the anthem to the beats of the ringtones. And then the MunnaBhai stuff. You have to give your intro exactly the way it is done in the movie MunnaBhai MBBS. Show you muscles(doesn't matter if you have a well built body or not) and give your intro. This was followed by several questions/sex oriented quiz etc etc etc.

It continued for nearly 3 loooooong hours. And finally some favours like filling up their water flasks etc. We were also given a homework- difference between CDMA and GSM in details(which like any other homework has not even started). They also told us a policy that the institute will return us Rs 25000/- if we lodge complain of ragging. Thus the instruction was that if we get the 25000/- bucks we must give it to them!!!

Finally when it ended they introduced themselves(only their name and branch, not the way we have to do it). They also gave us their mobile numbers and took our mobile numbers too. And the final instruction before leaving, until the fresher's day party, they may call us again ANYTIME and obviously we have to respond!!

All those who have not been ragged yet- Beware you might have a worse experience.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Election Nightmare...

5th September 2005

One thing that I have learned in the past one month is that college life is more of an adventure than fun. And if one does not agree with, come to Panjab University during the elections.

The following are a list of things that you can enjoy during PU elections.

  1. Chandigarh Police checking you vehicle from boot to bonnet
  2. Ocean of leaflets, hoardings, posters, etc.
  3. Tents of different parties, unions , associations
  4. Door to door campaining, which can take place anytime(literally they can come "Any Time" of the day)
  5. NO CLASSES due to mass cut or campaining in the classrooms etc
  6. Movies, Disco etc- the leading parties take you to these things, although it is not always well organised. For example the party that took us to disco had arranged for transport for going to the disco. While returning there was a serious shortage of
    vehicles. So you have to manage yourself. Also you have about 600 people at the disco which is designed to accomodate only about 200.

    We were taken to a movie in Fun Republic (the only multiplex in Chandigarh), we first entered the audi showing 'No Entry', but we never got a seat that was booked by the party. Thus we were thrown out of the audi within 10 mins. Then we entered the audi showing Iqbal, again we were kicked out as the row which we occupied was not booked by the party. Finally each of us was handed over a ticket for Barsaat which we all enjoyed finally. Reason for this mismanagement:- they initially booked 120 seats and 350+ students turned up.

  7. No Ragging.
  8. Police Raids at each and every hostel room late at night (or early morning) between 4:30AM and 5:00 AM
  9. Every one is tensed- you might be caught by a party you are not supporting. So the key is to remember each politician and keep him happy. How? With a big smile tell him that you support his party even before he asks you anything. And you better not mix up the party name and the politicians.
  10. Riot control police vans all around the campus.
  11. Leaders giving BHASHANS (Speeches- I am the best. Better than the rest. etc)
  12. If you are lucky enough you might see the parties doing DANDIA. In other words trying to kill each other with sticks, hockey sticks etc.
  13. Kidnapping. (This is the true adventure part)
    If any party gets to know that you are not supporting them then you might find yourself in either Patiala, Rajpura and other places far away from Chandigarh. Reason? They do not want you to cast your vote.

    My experience with kidnapping:- Late night on Thursday, 1st Sept there was a knock at my door. Seniors! I thought. But actually they were politicians from the leading party (whom I support). They asked us to carry our books, I-cards and come with them to their hostel as otherwise we might be kidnapped by opposition party. My room partner was really happy to see them and quickly agreed to do whatever they said, I did the same reluctantly. First we were taken to their tent- the safest place in
    the campus (according to them). Then we were asked to follow them and seven of us followed them. A car was waiting for us outside the campus. It took us westwards away from the city. A long ride and we reached an extremely dark village. We stepped out of the car and were guided into a single room on the first floor where there were a few pillows for us to sleep on the floor. We were really nervous (which we
    ought to be). The senior asked us to trust them and he took our mobile phones and did not allow us to make any call. We spent the whole night in that small room with one senior and no electricity. We had no means of communication and we did not know where we were. They refused to tell us anything, just that we were safe there and they got us here as their hostel was sealed by the police. I did not sleep the whole night and in the morning we met a few other seniors who asked us to be calm and offered us food. They took us back at about 11:00 AM and then returned our phone. The next day the same thing repeated but one of my friend and I managed to escape somehow. I told them that I would go to my Local Guardian.

The elections took place on 3rd Sept. We were driven to the polling booth and we met our friends (who in short were 'kidnapped') over there. And trust me that is quite an adventure.

A few facts:- In all there were 110 polling booths in the campus, more than 7500 voters with UIET being the largest department with approx 1250 voters.


Now finally the elections are over and every senior is free to rag us all over again.


If you have not experienced something like this- JOIN PANJAB UNIVERSITY.

The campus...

23 August 2005

You all must be knowing that I am studying in University Institute Of Engineering And Technology, Panjab University, Chandigarh. PU campus is huge and really cool. There are 7 boys hostel and 5 girls hostel inside the campus, roughly 4000 hostellers can be accomodated in them. It is not very good for the first year students as most of the rooms are single occupancy rooms and two of them have to share one single room. They shall get individual rooms next year onwards.

My roommate is from Sirsa, Haryana - Mohit Singla. A cool guy who also likes to eat like me!!. But a vegetarian (that is the most important difference). He is in Computer Science stream. The room next to mine also has two students from UIET. Varun (from Delhi) and Saurabh (from Agra). Both the rooms share a big common balcony. Common bathroom system exists here. A decent mess and canteen in each hostel.

'Girls' - Well the ratio is not too bad (as this is a university campus and not an engineering institute campus).

Ragging: We are relatively lucky in this respect. I am in boys hostel 6 and there are no UIET seniors in our hostel. Hostel 3 and 7 are the worst ones in
this regard.

Other features in brief:
24 hrs library, sports, swimming, we have everything here. What we do not have is WiFi or internet in hostels which ('they' claim) will be arranged by the end of this year. Till then we have to come to the our institute internet lab to surf the net which is open till 8pm.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Visitors Please Note!!

First I shall be posting a few old stuff that I have already mailed to some of my friends. This is for those who do not know what has been happening in my life till now.
Those who have read the mails, please bear with me.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A Welcome Song...

Here I am, this is me
I have come to this world but I am rarely free
Here I am, so young and gay,
right here in the place where I belong
It's a new blog, it's a new start
It's a life in need of new hearts
It's a new day in a new blog,
and it's waiting for you
Are you there??



Those new hearts who are here, please give a thumbs up!