Friday, May 22, 2009

First two weeks at Bangalore

The first five days at Bangalore, where I have come for my training, have been to put it mildly, “interesting”. Not to mention, the journey till here was also an experience on its own. I had taken a train till Hyderabad before boarding another for Bangalore. The first half was a standard train journey for me. Set up a nest on the upper birth and stay there for the entire journey coming down only when nature called . I even had my food at the top. The first part of this ride was harrowingly uncomfortable because of the heat.
Now, there was a 10-hour gap between the two trains and among the multitude of options I had of places to visit and people to meet in Hyderabad, I chose to spend the time in Secunderabad station itself. Bad decision! To start off, I kept all my luggage (except my laptop) in the cloak room there. I was lucky as apparently five minutes later it was filled to the brim and they did not accept any more luggage. After this, I had decided to hav some food and had a Onion Uttapam. Next on the list was the need to take a bath. They had dormitories for Rs.50 upstairs but they were all filled and anything else was too expensive for my liking. So, I was left with no choice but to use the bathrooms at the station. The problem was i had a laptop with me and nowhere to keep it at. This was when I did one of the boldest things anyone with a laptop would do. I kept it at the table of the guy who was taking the money for using the bathroom and went in to have a bath. Call me a carefree person or what. Thankfully, when Ireturned the bag and the laptop was still there and I was no longer sticky with sweat. The next 5 hours were full of boredome. I got so bored that I endeed up opening my laptop and watched 3 episodes of the “Big Bang Theory”, just another audacious little thing to do in a fairly crowded station. Finally, the time came for me to board my train, which was a relief. Reached Bangalore safe and sound.
Alwar's dad , who is working here, had very kindly agreed to let me stay with him till I found a PG for myself. The challenge was finding his home which apparently was in some obscure location in Bangalore.. I scouted around for a bus at the 'Majestic' bus-stop and finally got one whose conductor said that the bus indeed went to “Whitefield” (where I had to go). Here I must mention something about the buses of Bangalore. The air-conditioned 'Vajra' buses are a class apart and better than any I had ever seen anywhere in India. However, the other ones are pretty awesome too and are pretty regular. The conductors have a unique whistle to signal to the drivers when to stop and start the bus. This means if you can’t whistle with your lips then you can’t become a Bangalore bus conductor. Anyway, getting back to the point, I was asked to debus at Sathya Sai Hospital which I had told the conductor as the landmark for my destination. Ironically, this was not the hospital I was looking for and was much much larger than the Sathya Sai General Hospital which I had to go to. Reaching there took me another 45 minutes and two bus rides.
Having freshened up, I then took a bus to National Aerospace Labs (NAL) for some paperwork I had to complete. Man, this place is a fortress. No mobiles allowed inside, security checks everywhere. You would imagine there is some national treasure or some ground-breaking technology being developed somewhere here. All formalities done, I went to the security office for having my ID card issued. I was most impressed by this procedure. I was asked to sit at a chair and was told to smile. I did not know why but I smiled anyway. There was a flash somewhere and 10 seconds later emerged a yellow coloured piece of paper not larger than a visiting card. It had my photo on it, my name, my college’s name, the division I was assigned to and the date till which it was valid. It was my ID card here. If only all government institutions worked with this efficiency, we would save millions in money and time.
It took me all of four days to find a suitable PG accomodation and in the process I used to walk as much as 8-9 kilometres a day. One particular day, I simply went through the roof (or if i may say, through the wall) with my walking. I walked more than 15 kilometres at one go, at least i assume i must have walked that much given that I walked for over 2 hours. Finally, I bid Alwar’s dad goodbye. I must have caused him some amount of inconvenience and for that I am really thankful to him for bearing with me for 5 whole days and taking care of me during that period. The last weekend was spent lying around getting accustomed to the surroundings. Hims dropped in on Sunday before he moved to a senior’s home during his stay here. We ran into a senior from college who had graduated a year ago at a mall and hence were assured of a free dinner. SJ too came over on Monday. We will be room-mates for the rest of our stay here.
Since then I have sort of fallen into a schedule. Leave for NAL at around 9, do whatever work I can do over there, return at 5 or maybe later. I hope working life would be more interesting than this. I’ll be free for the weekend which starts in a few hours. Plans to visit a few seniors and Nilu is also coming. There is also this conference lined up at NAL, which I might attend, but in all probability leisure will gain precedence over work.

P.S. I have really loved the bit of Bangalore that I have seen. Really well-organized, awesome weather, great transport system, lots of malls and lots of pretty girls. If I am given a choice as to where I want to be three years from now, Bangalore would be somewhere near the top of that list.

P.P.S. I have drafted a plan of all foreseeable expenses during my stay here. I have also allotted a certain amount for unforeseen expenditures such as splurging on enjoyable activities. Hope what I have allotted suffices.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Opening up my Inbox

Over the past few years, the use of SMS has become really useful in informing people about things in a clear and subtle way. However, my cell phone has been flooded with SMSs which have no relevant information in them but rather convey what the sender is feeling or at best contains a joke. Surprisingly, it is the same people who keep sending me these messages. What is even more disturbing is the fact that I actually end up keeping these messages in my inbox while deleting the once with any semblance of information in them. So let’s see what people have had to say since the beginning of this year. A chosen few from my inbox ... (What I thought about them are within brackets)

From S1’s mobile

·         The hardest part of missing friends isn’t their absence but it’s when you think of all the good times you’ve shared and ask yourself, “Will those moments ever happen again?”

Sent: Jan 7, 2009 19:29.
(Awww... Cho Chweet! Well, obvious;y those moments will never happen again.)

·         What is education?
It is an organized system through which we waste half our life learning how to waste the rest of our life.

Sent: Jan 8,2009 19:40.
(Very True. But you sent it to the wrong person. I can’t do anything about it.)

·         Dua hai meri:
Jo mujhe bhool jaye, Uska mobile tut jaye, charger jal jaye, SIM lock ho jaye, SMS fail ho jaye aur uska Local call par bhi Roaming lag jaye.
Sent: Jan 11, 2009 16:29.
(How considerate!)

·         Imagine world without girls: Galiyan Sunsan, College Viran, Duniya pareshan, Tanha Insaan, Na Jaanu Na Jaan, Har taraf bas Karan Johar aur Jai Hanuman.
Sent: Jan 14, 2009 15:08.

·         Being a good person is like being a goal keeper. No matter how many goals you save, it is the ones that you missed that people will remember. That’s the truth of life.
Sent: Jan 17, 2009 22:22.
(WOW! Now this guy has turned philosopher. All that we needed.)

·         Two lovers planned to commit SUICIDE. Boy jumps first. Girl closes her eyes and returns back saying ‘Love is Blind.’ Boy in air opens his parachute and says, ‘Love never Dies.’
Sent: Apr 5, 2009 19:39.
(Smooth, very smooth.)

·         After 12th, in CET only one question was asked:
Fill in the blanks- If a girl faints, we must first touch her PU_S_.
Those who wrote PULSE got Medical, all others Engineering
Sent: Apr 7, 2009 12:30.
(If only JEE was like that...)

·         Teacher to Johnny: If there were 5 birds on a fence and you shot one, how many are left?
Johnny: None, as others will fly away.
Teacher: The answer is 4, but I like the way you think.
Johnny: I have a question ma’am. If 3 women were eating ice cream, 1 licking, 1 biting and 1 sucking, which is married?
Teacher (sweating and nervous): The one sucking the ice cream.
Johnny: No, you are wrong. The one with the wedding ring. But I like the way you think, ma’am.
Sent: Apr 13, 2009 18:49.
(Ha ha ha ha ha)


What S2 has to say

·         Silence doesn’t mean I’m gone. Quiet doesn’t mean I’m dead. Being with others doesn’t mean I forgot you. Deep in my heart, anywhere, anytime, you are always Remembered and Cared.
Sent: Feb 3, 2009 14:36.
(Really? Is that what you do all day?
 And if you are reading this, don’t get me wrong, but you send this to someone you love or have a serious crush on, not friends.)

·         Sometimes in life we run so fast, we don’t notice anyone running with us. We notice them only we fall and they stop and come to pick us up. They are called friends.
Sent: Mar 23, 2009 22:10.
(Why are we running??? What does the winner get?)

·         Ek din zindagi aise mukaam pe pahunch jayegi, dosti toh sirf yaadon mein reh jaayegi, har cup coffee yaad doston ki dilayegi, aur haste haste phir aankhein nam ho jayegi. Office ke chamber mein classroom nazar aayegi, par chahne pe bhi proxy nahi lag payegi. Paisa to bahut hoga, magar unhe lutane ki wajah hi kho jayegi. Jee lo khulke is pal ko mere dost kyunki zindagi in palo ko phir se nahi dohrayegi!
Sent: Mar 30, 2009 23:56.
(Sob! Almost made me cry. Sniff! Sob!)

·         It starts with a ‘hi’, changes to ‘wassup?’, grows to ‘oye batana’, tends to ‘pagal apna dimaag mat chala, jaisa main kahoon waisa kar’ and never ends... thats friendship.
Sent: Apr 26, 2009 02:07.



Thoughts of S3

·         Friendship is not how you forget, but how you forgive; not how you listen but how you understand; not what you see but how you feel; not how you let go but how you hold on.
Sent: Feb 6, 2009 01:41.
(Lecture on friendship at 2 a.m. when I might add, I’m sleeping. Thank you!)

·         The one who holds your hand every time you need support is surely a good friend But a best friend is one who holds your hand more tightly when you say “Leave me alone.”
Sent: Mar 26, 2009 01:01.
(Interesting thought. But wouldn’t you call it intruding into your private life? Oh btw, does this mean we are best friends?)

·         People meet by coincidence, they spend sweet time together, then God separates them, not to end the story but to see how much they remember each other.
Sent: Apr 19, 2009 01:22.
(Awww. Senti at 1:30 a.m. And so cruel of ‘God’. Its pitiful.)

·         A lot of ants were roaming around my phone. I was wondering how come. Then I suddenly realised that my phone contains contact of a very sweet person and it’s you.
Sent: Apr 23, 2009 01:46.
(Wait! What was that? Is she hitting on me? [Pondered for a while]... Naa... its only “S3” ... besides when you hit on a boy, you definitely don’t call him ‘sweet’)

·         It’s difficult to wait for someone, it’s difficult to forget someone but the most difficult thing is to decide whether to wait or forget someone.
Sent: Apr 27, 2009 23:17.
(I am confused. What is she thinking? Why do you want to forget people? And more importantly, people are not buses that you wait for them. Also, the same thoughts as previous SMS did cross my mind.)


S4’s stock

·         There are only 5 things we need in life: Good friends, Good job, Good food, Good sleep and Good _uck. Both the things you are thinking about are right. J
Sent: Feb 5, 2009 16:46.
(Hee hee hee! Awesome! Worth a Gtalk status message)

·         One fine day, all of us will get busy with our lives, long working hours, No discussions about GFs, BFs... Won’t have time for ourselves... On such a day you’ll look outside the window and see all the good old memories flash by you and you’ll get a smile with tears in your eyes and you’ll get back to work, wishing you could go back!!! Hello to one such special person who helped create such unforgettable memories.
Sent: Apr 26, 2009 22:27.
(Why does everyone want to make me cry???)

S5 speaks

·         Listen and Silent are two words with the same letters and are very important for friendship because only a friend can listen to you when you are silent.
Sent: Mar 8, 2009 04:40.
(I can hear you loud and clear. Now you try to decipher my silence. I am screaming: “Woman, it’s 4 a.m.!”)

·         Well-wishers are like walls of home. Sometimes they hold you. Sometimes you lean on them. And sometimes it’s just enough to know that they are around.
Sent: Apr 26, 2009 22:16.
(Wish me well)

·         Life sometimes becomes so selfish that it wants everything. But while trying for everything, we miss something that is worth everything.
Sent: May 8, 2009 10:51.

PS This list does not include the annoying SMSs my service provider keeps sending me every few hours.

PPS A few days ago I got this amazing SMS which goes like this -

“Kabhi yeh mat socho ki tumhare girlfriend (or in the case of girls ‘boyfriend) ne tumhein kitna romantic SMS bheja hai. Hamesha yeh socho ki use kisne bheja hoga.”

Bet I’ve got all you lovers thinking, haven’t I?

PPPS If you are wondering whether I get SMSs from only 5 sources, well no. There are quite a few other random individual senders, but the number of SMSs they send are few and far in between to make a list.