April 30, 2003

We had another farewell party on Saturday. This was a real surprise coz it was from the department. So it was at 10.30 in the morning, on the last day of college, that all BE Comp students gathered in (where else) Comp Lab-1.As usual the party started half an hour late. We had the reading of the annual report-of the students, by the students, but for both students & staff members, which was hilarious & of course confirmed the fact that our class excelled more in extra-curricular activities, rather than studies. Then followed a lot of speeches both complimentary & suggestive. We had some funny moments too when students recounted incidents like their goof-ups with proxies, in front of teachers.
We followed the de facto standard which meant giving tokens of our appreciation to staff members, eating some snacks, and of course listening to speeches which exhorted us to “go for it” in life.
My project was completed wholly at home & college all thanks to our HOD, who made so many resources available to us that we never knew, existed in college. This was actually a positive side-effect of the Computer Department finally separating out from the ENTC, this year, quite overshadowing the many tiny losses we had to endure.
We also did what every sane class in COEP does-photo sessions on the Boat Club. I finally fulfilled a long desired wish of climbing the BC trees, though so many people climbed up after me, I’m not sure the tree will even be seen in the photos. I’ve always been very unlucky in that respect. Whenever I have actually clambered up trees (with photos taken as a proof), either the photos turned out to be clicked from a great distance (which meant I couldn’t be recognized) or people would make the brilliant mistake of forgetting to put the roll in the camera (which a particular somebody did on a trip).As our mouths worked , so did our hands, busy signing autographs, filling slam books.
All of this makes you hungry.So off we went, to Ram Krishna to be treated by a foursome. We even managed to have a “Ukhane session” there!(For those who don’t know, an ukhana is a kind of two-line poem, peculiar to Maharashtrian marriages. The bride & the groom mention each other’s names indirectly, through these poems, which border from sweet to sarcastic).
We all dispersed, a happy, tired & nostalgic lot.
Which brings me back to my question, why am I not feeling sad yet? Is it the excitement of my future, or is it because I know this past is now a part of me, which’ll never leave me and go away?

Those who did not get the first four lines below, please open the Atlas & take a look at the map of Europe.

April 24, 2003

Long legged Italy,
Kicked poor Sicily,
Right into the Middle,
Of the Mediterranean Sea,
Austria was Hungary,
Took a bit of Turkey,
Dipped it in Greece,
Fried it in Japan,
And ate it off in China.

April 23, 2003

That I've fully ingrained all the nuances of COEP was revealed to me today.
Submission time means Comp Lab-1 is the perfect place for hulla-gulla.Everybody wants to be in that lab coz its got both printer & internet.It is also the time when sincere people's coep mail id's & passwords become the most sought after all thanks to the fact that their accounts(which,trust me, work with an amazing speed) hold the precious programs with something even more treasured-the outputs.The tendency is,let the program go haywire, as long as we have the output, who cares! The speciality of our coep accounts is that, when you log in from another comp, your earlier open account logs out by itself.So finally, today I landed up making an announcement in the lab to request people not to use Ruddhi's account, before using it for our project work!
Coming back to the main topic of this post, amidst all this clamour, a few of us sat today, of course adding to it.The lab-in-charge finally could stand it no more & shouted "Awaaz Kunacha?"Note that this was a rhetoric, meant to achieve some degree of silence,when I, busy writing my journal, found the words involuntarily popping out of my mouth,"COEPcha"!

April 22, 2003

Dragged into shopping for sarees today, I found that a new variety has come into the market in my absence from the shopping arena,it has quite a funny name "Sunday-Monday Sarees".
When I heard the reason for this name, I couldn't but smile-the saree can be worn normally & inside-out.If one side is purple with a sprinkling of cream, the other side is exactly the opposite.You have 2 at one go. What I liked about it is the care taken to do the weaving, seeing to it that no spare threads jut out from either side.
I had just heard of jackets which could be worn both ways,what next?T-shirts, skirts & pants too?

Anybody who receives an admit to Stanford has to respond to his/her offer for admission by setting up a SUNNet ID(Stanford Net ID) account.This ideally should be trivial work. But when it comes to me, nothing is trivial.So when I went about the task of setting up my account, there came the problem.
Now there’s something called as you SUNNet ID which also acts as your mail id & never changes throughout your association with the college.Its also used for your job searches... etc etc ,you get the picture.It means you have to choose an ID which is sober.I with all joy decide to go with my first name.I log in, try to choose my ID, then find out, I cannot enter my name………all because I’m allowed only 3-8 characters !And both my name & surname happen to be made up of 9!
Then started my search for a new ID.I couldn’t even choose the standard form, one initial followed by the other part of my name.A big discussion ensued, with TEites & BEites in the lab, all that we got out of it were such funny variations of my name as I knew never existed! The only other decent possibility “Priya” was also taken..Finally I chose an ID I am personally not fond of.
I wish someone there had considered the fact that people could have names beyond eight characters, splitting up which doesn’t make for a pleasant email address.
Anybody curious to know what my ID is, mail me to find out!

April 20, 2003

Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers
-Alfred Tennyson

I'm getting an idea of how long & painful, the lingering of wisdom can be...
All with reference to my wisdom teeth.

April 19, 2003

What is it about the months of the year that attracts the Tamil lyricists??? July Madham (Madham is Tamil for month), September Madham, October Madham, December Madham, November Madham, April Madham, all find mention in songs, a picture named May Madham ….what did poor Jan, Feb & March do, to not deserve this honour??

April 15, 2003

I never slept yesterday night. For that matter I never came home either.What started as the farewell party yesterday evening turned into an all-night party.
Our juniors took pains to organize a really good party.To show that we were true COEPians, we started the party an hour & a half late.The initial half had us playing lots of innovative games.In the warm-up game we were given a card with the name of a city written on it.We then had to search from 6 people carrying placards,the intermediate stations & return back to our starting point.Ramanand managed to beat me by a whisker here.
The next ones were more interesting.We had 5 couples at a time playing some one minute games.The one Ankush & I got turned out to be a laugh riot with me putting some 14 ponytails on his head.He looked quite a sight!The winners from each round had to then run a three legged race, for a minute.This one proved to be my undoing.Initially we dashed off like crazy(we were finished with the second one by the time others were starting it), managed 4 rounds and then after bumping into others for the umpteenth time, I went bumpity-bumpity-bump onto the ground & managed to tear my dress in the process. I don’t know where I found the enthusiasm to get up & run 4 more rounds. Today enforced the realization that I have a lot of bruises & bumps to account for. Fatty (of the Five Find-outers) would have been really proud to show these off:) The last game really took the cake.After some elimination rounds, some 9 finalists were blindfolded & asked to jump above or below some ropes, all held at different levels, without touching them. There was this whole act of a trial round where they were given a chance to judge the levels. Now when the real race began, the ropes were just removed, which saw the participants jumping over or crawling under imaginary ropes. It looked like a scene straight out of those serials where people are hypnotized to do all sorts of funny stuff. We split our sides with laughter here & of course managed to give some ‘guidance’ to them too on how to avoid the ropes!
Then there was the usual stuff, dancing, eating.The finale had them giving us gifts-CD’s ,creatively designed into trophies.It set the right mood with everybody chipping in with something nice about the others.
Quite a few became sentimental & cried too, but there was I, sitting ,not a drop in my eye.Sad, yes, but couldn’t even think of becoming sentimental coz there are a few more days left. Maybe the day I actually leave Pune will be different.
With this party over by one, a walk in the college at night started our Pune Darshan.3.00 am saw thirty of us in Comesum ( a 24-hr café by the railway station). Sitting there, drinking an Espresso, talking about my likes & fears one moment, playing Bottle the next. Then we went on a ride to Khadakwasla.Pune by night is a beautiful place.The empty roads(no pollution),light breeze,the almost full moon made for an enthralling picture.The only other time of my life when I’ve been on an all-night drive was last November , after the practical exams.
The moon kept changing its color- in Pashan, it was a milky white, with grey black clouds like turbulent waves in an ocean, surrounding it. But by the time we were on the highway, it had turned a beautiful golden color, hiding at intervals behind the clouds which now looked like puffs of cotton.4.30 saw us at Khadakwasla, watching the moon set. It really is as mesmerizing as the sunset at Kanyakumari. The pitch-black water, NDA from a distance, the looming walls of the dam all look quite different at night. At the advent of dawn we went to Asawari’s place to drink tea. Then it was back to college to drop others off, and then back home. The invigorating early morning drive made me reflect on the fact that its ages since I’ve been up before 8.00, let alone step out of home.All attributed to laziness!
At home, in reply to my Grandmom’s enquiries, I said I had been up all night having fun. Is there anything else I could have said!

April 13, 2003

Dictionary definition: tri.o.let: a poem or stanza of eight lines in which the first line is repeated at the fourth and seventh and the second line as the eight with a rhyme scheme of ABaAabAB.
Here are some good examples of triolets. Below are some to which I can relate well...on networks. :-)

by Stacey Blau
With all this mess, you'd have to convince me
Life is somewhere in this maze of switches
That drive packets through networks endlessly.
With all this mess, you'd have to convince me
That something presides over sanity
Through new landscapes of thousands of glitches...
With all this mess, you'd have to convince me
Life is somewhere in this maze of switches.

by Kevin Burleigh
ATM or Ethernet,
which way should we go
to transmit a packet?
ATM or Ethernet,
which one is going to hack it
as technology improves so?
ATM or Ethernet -
Which way should we go?

End-to-End and Ethernet
by Matthew Goldman
Ethernet and End-to-End go hand in hand,
the low-level link layer does not waste time
checking packets; that stays in TCP land.
Ethernet and End-to-End go hand in hand
since time is precious due to width of the band
and the protocols handle reliability just fine.
Ethernet and End-to-End go hand in hand,
the low level link layer does not waste time.

Saltzer's Therac
by Owen Ozier
From first end to last end, I must send a packet.
The function in question, correct and complete.
Information in danger - I must try to track it
From first end to last end. I must send a packet
And count all the counters while registers back it
Up, saving the status. There will be no delete
From first end to last end. I must send a packet:
The function in question, correct and complete.

I’m standing on the road of life at a point which forks in 5 different directions.I’ve already decided not to go on two roads.Which of the other three to choose? All three hold so many possibilities… Each one with its own compelling reasons calling out, trying to tempt me to walk on it………
For the first time I wonder, why did He give me so many choices…Wouldn’t it have been easier if He himself had decided my fate??

April 11, 2003

An interesting website about the heroes and killers of the 20th century.


Take a little time off to reflect on how lucky we really are!
It really is an enlightening experience to discover how much we take for granted in this world...with all our silly complaints....when we find out about other children trying to make a life without even the basic amnenities that we always have considered to be a part of our lives.

Asha for Education is a secular organization dedicated to socio-economic change in India with a focus on basic education.

Asha - The story of how it started.......
In the summer of 1991, a few students including V.J.P.Srivatsavoy@, Sandeep Pandey*, and Deepak Gupta# got together to think of ways in which they could play a role in the development of India, the country of their origin. These young people shared the belief that education is a critical requisite and an effective catalyst for social and economic change in India. Basic education became the agenda for the action group that emerged from this gathering. The group was named Asha to represent the hope that had brought these individuals together and the hope that they aimed to bring into the lives of children in India. In that summer of 1991, Asha was born at the University of California in Berkeley.

@ V.J.P.Srivatsavoy was working in India with Unilever, Mumbai. He passed away in May 2000. Please read the article about our late founder - Remembering Sri
* Sandeep Pandey is currently in India and is devoted to social work full time.
# Deepak Gupta is currently a Professor at IIT, Kanpur and continues to be involved with Asha in shaping its vision.

The objectives of this group are:
1. To provide education to underprivileged children in India.
2. To encourage the formation of various local groups, both in India and U.S., to reach out to larger sections of the population.
3. To support and cooperate with persons and groups already engaged in similar activities.
4. To raise the required human and other resources to achieve the group objectives.
5. To provide opportunity to individuals based in the U.S. who wish to participate in Asha activities in India.
6. To address, whenever possible, other issues affecting human life such as health care, environment, socio-economic aspects and women's issues.

As part of the publicity drives and fun raising events for Asha, we are organizing a quiz, the Asha Quiz 2003, one of the biggest quizzing events in the NYC/NJ area on April 19 2003, Saturday in the Food Sciences Auditorium in the Cook Campus, Rutgers University.

April 10, 2003

A sumptuous lunch at Praj’s place…..An upcoming farewell party….The looming term-end….People talking about exchanging postal addresses(I personally never remember any )…Teachers asking for future addresses……All emblazoning the fact in their own way that my days as a COEPian are now numbered…

In the past few days, I had a chance to brush up my culinary skills. With my Mom on a trip down south, Dad & I were left to make our own messes.I always look upon cooking more as a thing of necessity than pleasure.But this time, with some time in hand, I somehow had a change of heart.Not contented with basic cooking, I thought this was the best time to try out other, more complicated dishes. And so landed dishes like BisibeleBhath & Puliyodharai on my table. I don’t know whether it was my esurient appetite which made the food taste good, but I’m just happy I had no disastrous consequences making their way down my food pipe.

April 07, 2003

A Little Cheering Up!
Today’s rains reminded me of a similar day ,a few months ago.
It was one of those days when nothing seems to be right. Any work I took up that day had to have some problem, forcing me to leave it incomplete. I was in a grouchy mood.Grumbling to myself, I was driving home,when a sudden roll of thunder made me look up.It suddenly grew dark,a brilliant streak of lightning lit up the sky, all the rust-coloured leaves danced with the wind, the trees seemed to sway with the beats of the thunder.One of those rare moments Nature flashes before us. I had to stop to watch this pretty picture. I let the wind caress my hair,let the first raindrops fall on my face,inhaled the delightful smell of the wet mud.
My worries seemed to have gone with the wind,washed away with the rains.My spirits lifted up enough, I continued my ride,only to find an rare occurrence- an empty stretch of road! ‘Tis funny but it made me feel all’s not ill with this world.It made me count my blessings,made me realize how much I have to be thankful for.
A full-speed drive on the road proved to be the perfect remedy.Thus cheered up,I proceeded with the rest of the day with a smile on my face,a song on my lips.Other people seemed to catch my enthusiasm too, turning it into a pleasant day.
One thing I still regret is missing the sight of chairs flying on the Boat Club in college that day, as I had left early.
Its wonderful how little things in life can cheer you up!

April 05, 2003

What I Thought for 2 Hours Yesterday
(In college,Blogging)Lots of new blogs visited today.So many people write so well!(Checking mail)How come my Inbox has so few mails?Why do some people never take the time out,even if they have time to write replies unless pestered once more(checking stats on my site)I could write an interesting blog on the keywords used to search my blog(Looking at my watch)I’d better be getting home.(Driving & humming tunes)Why do Minnale & Kannathil Muttamittal songs keep swimming in my head?(Sudden Halt)I’d better buy some stuff if I have to cook(In the Southie Store)The smell of fresh ground coffee is heavenly!(After eating some freshly roasted coffee seeds) And so is the taste!(Entering home)No fragrance of Dhoop to welcome me back today! No diyas lighted either. (Making coffee)What can I eat? (In front of the TV)Coffee, bhakarwadis, chocolates & Roja, a perfect combination!(After cooking &cleanup)Now, home looks like home(In front of the comp)How about chronicling my thoughts over the past 2 hours?(Writing it)How should I end it?(Yell from Dad).Now if I don’t go to eat, I’m gonna be killed!Bye,Bye Blogging!

I’m not exactly a hotel person.I belong to the kind who love to eat at home come what may.But a look at my eating habits of the past three months belies it.Here’s a list of hotels I’ve visited recently ,most of which do figure on my “visit again” list-

Mirch Masala-Food & ambience both are good. The only glitch here is that it opens after 7.30 in the evenings.The advantage-5 minutes away from home.

Prithvi-Right opposite Mirch Masala,great place if you’re really hungry & would love a mix of Marathi & Punjabi thali.These people allow you to create your custom thali & serve unlimited rotis & rice.Great for your pocket too.

Horn OK Please-“The Great Indian Dhaba” as they themselves advertise. I like their concept, with the front of a real truck making a part of their entrance, a horn by the cashier, an innovatively designed menu, with dishes called “Garam Engine”! The service’s great too!

Waadeshwar-This one’s adjacent to Horn… , both situated in prime locations-near Good Luck chowk.The snacks seem to be good here, most of the restaurant is made up of a garden.Was popular from the word go.

Vaishali-Who can forget the darling of the masses? One of my favourites since I understood the meaning of “hotel” coz a very famous pediatrician has his clinic opposite it.Waiting for my checkup was a big bore.Nobody would mind a trip across the road for “idli-sambar”! It obviously became my hangout when I was in Fergusson.We’ve done things then like ten people going there(all to gossip) & ordering just two sandwiches, which used to make the waiters all angry,but they could never do anything! Recent visits have been few & far in between, but each time I land up eating SPDP!

Panchali-This one’s exclusively for COEPians. It can’t be that in your four years in COEP you’ve never visited it. The visits here are more out of need & convenience(its so near college) than actual liking for it.

Kamat-I’ve now been to all the four branches of this one-the two on JM road,one in Dhahanukar Colony, & one on LB Road. While the food at all the four is almost the same, the service differs a lot.The Dahanukar Colony one is really good in that aspect.

Palavi-We paid a visit here coz its so near Suppi’s place. The Punjabi food is pretty good here. The service is slow though.Seems to be an MIT favourite.

Durga-Again on Paud Road, the cold coffee here is truly amazing that too at just 8 bucks. It’s a steal!

Sheetal-This is one of the most popular hotels in Kothrud due to its good food & decent prices.The Pav Bhaji & Chinese food are really worth trying out.

Dominos-For me any pizza with cheese, capsicum, onions, baby corn as topping is pretty good. Still have to figure out the difference between these & the Pizza Hut ones!

Kimaya- Tried out new stuff like ‘veg balls in garlic sauce’ here.Turned out to be a good gastronomic experience. But lots of people don’t like the snacks here. For the ambience blah blah, just another hotel.

Shelley’s-This one’s only for people who want authentic Gujju food.Too bland for my taste.

Garden Court-This is one place I feel is just over hyped. Its just worth the location. The food is too weird-tasting & oily.If you’re interested in just spending some time with people, are not fussy about food & have lots of money to splurge, this is the place for you.

Poonam-I liked this place. Quite simple, with good tasty food. The service is great too. Definitely on my visit-again list.

Saahil-This was my latest haunt.We were being given a treat by Angana & Jyoti coz they were given stipends of 5000 per month for their project along with job offers.But , how we reached there! Initially we went to Garden Court, found it closed due to some strike, after a big mess-up & an accident, managed to reach JayashreeGardens.Found it too quiet for our liking, so shifted to Saahil.This one’s got great food & excellent service.The Pineapple Raita there has you licking your fingers.Very obviously, I’ve no clue about the prices:)
But with term end looming ahead, I think this roaming is going to be cut down After all if you are always eating when do have time to do anything else??

April 01, 2003

A smile a day.....
An old man lived alone in Idaho. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, Bubba, who used to help him was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament. "Dear Bubba, I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my potato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me. Love, Dad"
A few days later he received a letter from his son. "Dear Dad, For heaven's sake, don't dig up the garden, that's where I buried the bodies. Love, Bubba"
At 4 AM the next morning, FBI agents and the local police showed up and dug up the entire garden without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. The next day the old man received another letter from his son. "Dear Dad, Go ahead and plant the potatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances. Love, Bubba"


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