Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Back to college

College life after the holidays has not been too good. As expected my life after the winter break has been difficult. Quite a number of factors have contributed to this, in fact everything has been dull and gloomy since my very first step in Chandigarh. As soon as I got out of the train at 8:20 in the evening the cold weather of Chandigarh welcomed me. Chandigarh in winters has always been chilly. And it was the first time I was facing it. The ride from the station to the hostel in an auto-rickshaw was a blood-freezing one. The first week was full of anxiety and tension, specially because the Ist Semester results were declared. Maths was really bad and the rest, except Solid Mechanics (which I have not received yet), was pretty good.

I received another blow when I met Rishabh Dara. He is a nice soft-spoken guy with long hair and a cool look who likes to instruct people (atleast me). He is one of those kind who either perpetually chews gum or smiles or does both simultaneously. Dara (this is how I refer him) is the co-ordinator of Technical Commitee (and a IIIrd yr Student of Telecom And Information Technlogy). In our very first meeting after the holidays he bombarded me with tonnes of work. That was expected. He wanted us to stay behind during the winter break. And I on the other hand spent my winter break in Delhi and on top of that I also bunked the whole first week. These days our committee is under a lot of work-load, esp because our college fest Goonj is coming up. Also it is organising a symposium on the latest trends in communication and computing. I was given 3 tasks. Firstly to make a notice on CSI membership. CSI is not Crime Scene Investigation. It is the Computer Society Of India. Secondly to make announcement about the symposium. And finally to make questions of two events to be held in Goonj. Now that is a lot of work.

My subjects in this semester are too tough. Maths, Chemistry, Electrical, Thermodynamics, Applied Mechanics, Humanities and finally the most feared one- Engineering Drawing(ED). ED I believe is a subject created by demons. In the first class of ED we were taught how to write English alphabets and numbers!! They want characters of exact dimensions, exact ratio, exact shape... I mean... it seemed to us that we never passed the Nursery class. Next it has so many strict rules that you have to follow. 4 kinds of pencils, a mini-drafter, sheets of A2 sizes, soft erasers and all the components of a geometry set are required. So many rules and instruments not only makes this subject difficult, but also time consuming and confusing. Last Saturday I went to the ED hall to complete 2 assignments. I spent three and a half hours only to draw margins of one sheet, a title box and one sentence- "A QUICK BROWN FOX...." in CAPS. Maths is another subject that bamboozes you. It was my first class and at that time I did not know my time-table. A teacher walked in and taught us for an hour. After the class I got up and asked one of my friends "Which subject was this? Phisics?". "No" he replied, "Maths". Whole of last hour I could only hear words like Vectorial Mechanics, forces, vectors etc. If you do not believe me refer our maths book- Vectorial Mechanics by J.S. Bindra and K.S. Gill. This is what the book consists of - Vector Algebra, Multiplication of Vectors, Resultant and Equilibrium of Forces, Moments and Couples, Friction, Graphic Statics, Funicular Polygons, Centre of Gravity & Pappus Theorem, Moment of Inertia, Velocity and Acceleration, Force Projectiles & Circular Motion, Work, Power, Energy & Impulses & Momentum, Angular Momentum & Energy of Rotation, Virtual Work, Mechanical Vibrations. Now in this whole syllabus only two words seem to be related to maths- Algebra and Centre (from Centre of gravity)!! The rest is all Physics!! And mind you, this is not a physics book. It is a proper Maths book. The former author was Head Applied Mathematics and the latter is a lecturer in applied mathematics.

Although I have been facing plenty of lows, there were a few bright specs. Two major festivals were celebrated last week. Ed on the 11th Jan and Lohri on 13th Jan. Muslim population hardly exists in this part of India. As a result Ed was no special day except for an off day. Ed was celebrated by us at a Chinese Dhaba where we all had dinner. This Chinese Dhaba (as we all call it) has become very popular among our friends recently. It is located in Sector 15, about 5 mins walk from Gate No-2 of PU. Although it is not a very clean eatery, it is definitely cheap and tasty. Lohri on the other hand is much more popular. All the departments (except ours, i.e. UIET) were closed in the second half. We all bunked the post-lunch session unofficially. A DJ was set up in stu-cee during the lunch hour and everyone was rocking to the tunes of bhangra. Pieces of wood, logs, broken wooden furnitures etc were stacked up in every Department, Hostels, Stu-cee etc. ready to be ignited in the evening. Some of the departments also arranged for big speakers and DJs. Even our hostel celebrated Lohri and all of us were given a pack of peanuts. Since the mess was closed at night we again had dinner at the same Chinese Dhaba. But the celebrations were very short-lived and we are back to a usual college life. My struggle with the difficult subjects has resumed. Even the weather grows gloomier and it has started raining in Chandigarh. But there is one thing that I have been truely enjoying. "LOST". Thanks to Rungta who has sparked a craze in me.
Hopefully this phase will soon be over and I will be back with a blog entry describing how good life is @ MyWorld.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Winter blast!

My winters holidays are now over, and I am back with a new post. Most of the time in Delhi I was busy doing only 2 things. Either I was riding the newly inaugurated metro (Line 3, the blues line from Dwarka to Barakhamba Road) or trying real hard to install Mac OS X onto my computer. Now if you have visited Karan Misra's Blog you know everything about it, incase you haven't here is the painful story. Karan returned from Stanford with a new Mac installer. Obviously I was thrilled to hear this news, as the previous one that Rungta has been successfully using for quite a few months does not recognize my SATA hard disk!! Now that the new installer is here and Mr. Misra is also here, WHO can stop me from having Mac on my computer?? And this question still remains unanswered. Well, I gladly carried my entire system to Karan's home hoping that by the next day I shall be proudly using Mac on my PC, but unfortunately the installer kept stopping midway. After spending two days working on it Karan realizes that the disk image might be corrupt. So the image is reacquired over a period of 4 days and then again the installation was retried, but again sKaran was unsuccessful again. This time it did not even boot from the dvd. Now after wasting about a pack of dvds, a precious week and quite an amount of data I am back to a usual Microsoft life and a computer which has been declared as ”MANHOOS” by Karan. Thanks Karan sob,.. weep you tried hard, but sob, unfortunately weep weep, bad luck...

Now some of the bright parts of the winter break. Delhi Metro is definitely awesome that is an old statement. Now I have realized that the adjective 'delicious' can be associated with the Metro. Now everyone knows that I love to eat. FOOD drives me crazy! And now Metro takes me right from Dwarka straight into the heart of Old Delhi!! On 2nd of January I decided to go old delhi and have lunch there (and this was a good excuse to ride Metro). So I went. At noon I started off from home and reached the metro station at Dwarka More (The closest to my house as of now). I bought a smart card for Rs 100 (acutally Rs 200, including the security deposit) and boarded the train. It took me about 35 mins to reach Connaught Place. The ride from Dwarka to CP is excellent. You get to see very big Malls and Multiplexes, the highest station at Rajouri Garden (the tracks go over a flyover and the view is spectacular - the engineering must be appreciated) then you see a big Lord Hanuman statue and the train slowly moves underground into the Rajiv Chowk (CP) station. Next I go to the second level of underground station and change over to the yellow line (from Central Secretariat to Vishvavidyalaya). This train took me to Chawri Bazaar station. This station is extremely deep under the ground level. Three flights of long escalators separate the platform and the ticket counter (which is also underground). And as soon as you come out of the station you are greeted by cycle rickshaws, tempos, bonk bonk, horns, traffic jams (in short a complete chaos). I selected one direction and started walking for sometime enjoying the Old Delhi atmosphere. After some time, I looked for help to reach the Paranthewali Gali. A shopkeeper helped me to reach that place, called a rickshaw and off I went. The distance was not too much but the ride was extremely time consuming due to frequent jams and confusion. And after a tedious ride I reached the lane, the renowned Paranthewali Gali. This old lane which earlier used to be full of parantha shops, now only has three parantha shops left. I went to the shop that was recommended by the shopkeeper. He asked me to watch out for the one that has the photos of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi etc. That shop was the oldest and the best. Well, I located it soon and enjoyed a few paranthas over there. The food was tasty. The simple vegetable paranthas are for Rs 15 each and the special ones, namely paneer, rabri, chini etc are for Rs 20 each. You are given 3 different kinds of vegetable, mint chutney and pickle with the paranthas. The shops are extremely small, stuffy and jam-packed with customers, but still the experience is worth it and the food is good. Next I decided to have the special authentic Muslim Biryani. I hired a rickshaw and went to Jama Masjid. The entrance to Jama Masjid is not very good. Even this place is pretty dirty and full of crowd and goats. I did not enter the mosque but managed to taste biryani at Meena Bazaar. And the biryani was excellent. The taste was toooo goood!! Mutton Biryani, 250 gms for Rs 10/- only and this is a must try. But I must tell you that only a real food lover should go there and have the biryani as the shops are dirty, you may find pieces of hair in the food (and whether that belongs to the goat or the cook?, I do not know) Just close your eyes, keep your nose open (the food smells great) and enjoy the biryani. And after the divine experience I went to the Delhi Main metro station (near Chandni Chowk) and went to CP. Here as soon as a climbed up the stairs leading out of the station I saw Wenger’s, the bakery. The pastries at Wenger’s are the best that I have tasted so far. Everyone must visit this bakery once and try out the flavors. After this superb lunch and desert, I returned to Dwarka. And finally I must repeat, Metro takes you to tasty food.

Two more things happened this winter-break that I really enjoyed. Firstly the DPS RKP reunion. It was good to meet old school-mates, although many of them did not manage to turn up. One thing I must mention is that in the past 15 years of my association with DPS this was the first time we were offered a proper meal by the school. And secondly Rungta's B'Day. He rescheduled his celebration as I was leaving on 7th Jan. We had a good time at ‘Not Just Paranthas’.

Basically this sums up my entire winter break and now I am back to college...and some bad time lies ahead of me........