June 29, 2003

Last Week:
Three treats in two consecutive days-quite a delight:-)
My Project Orals+ surgery on the same day-Should I say this added to my delight:(
Two days of no talking-Painful
Taking one whole hour to eat a single idli-Can it get more painful?
Four days of convalescence to make me look respectable for the first day of my job-Not so bad
Reading Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix- A pleasure
Knowing some of my friends are going to stay in Pune after all-An added bonus
Blogging after what seems like eons-DELIGHTED:-)

I lost this blog’s archives for a day, last week.For some holy reason ,blogger made all except my first week’s posts disappear.Then all kinds of errors started appearing.It took a day’s work to bring them back.
Still on blogs, Backblog, our commenting site has started posting ads. Not to be outdone Nedstat, who keep track of our visitors are on the ad path too!

June 25, 2003

Many Happy Returns of the Day Deepak! As you turn all of 21 today, I think maybe its time all the Fergi gals were reintroduced to you;-)

June 24, 2003

Shopping done 3 days ago-
2 T-shirts - $---
A pinafore - $---
A couple of shorts - $---
A jacket for my sis - $--
A gift for my friend - $--
The look on my face when I look up my credit card statements online - priceless!
There are some things money can't buy, for everything else I wish there was my Dad's credit card available here....

June 23, 2003

I have been toying with this idea for some time now-everyday I read so many blogs with a sincerity which would be well used somewhere else but I cannot really claim to know any of the bloggers.So keeping the geographical restrictions in mind, how about a Pune Bloggers Meet? It would be a nice way of knowing the faces behind the blogs:-)
I expect the comments to come thick n' fast here else I’ll just scrap the idea for want of enthusiastic bloggers!

June 22, 2003

I thought that my friends would be saying bye to me, but now it’s turning out to be the opposite. With all the companies giving early joining dates, that too out of Maharashtra, I’ll be saying farewell to lots of friends in the first week of July.

Shopping done 2 days ago-
6 T-shirts - Rs---
A kurta - Rs---
A pair of jeans - Rs---
The look on Dad’s face when he gets his credit card statement-priceless.
There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s Dad’s credit card.

June 20, 2003

Hiking, bhel and wild orchids.....
You can find hiking trails even in New Jersey. This article (Free registration required) notes that a third of Americans are into hiking. Point to be noted is that hiking is also something that can be done in NJ, apart from visiting Oak Tree Road (the India town here in Edison/Iselin), famous for its Indian restaurants and Indian stores (where you can get really good bhel and chaat), and going to Atlantic City, the Las Vegas of the East Coast. The boardwalk in Atlantic City is quite nice, and so are the casinos, enjoyable for a one time visit, the loud and glaring color combinations of the "Trump Taj" and the sky dome in Caesar's Palace and the cute and ubiquitous slot machines. Anyways the only hiking that I ever did in India was a trek to Bhimashankar, as part of a Science Club activity in Abhinav. That was sometime in September, near the end of the monsoon season, and the region in and around Bhimashankar was really verdant, and we even got to see wild orchids, which otherwise are somewhat a rarity.And we also visited the famous Shiva temple there. I hope that the trail is still as nice as it was then.

June 19, 2003

I used several modes of transport today, except my regular one-my two wheeler. I started off in a car, after some work hopped onto a rick, then switched to a bus, finally using my own two legs.All this made me realize the value of a two wheeler.It is crazy trying to drive a car in this city.If there is some accident , it is always the car driver who is at fault. A rickshaw driver who keeps you on the edge of your seat with the fear that he may accidently hit someone with his superrrrrrrb driving is no good either. The pace at which the meter ticks doesn’t exactly help us middle-class people. That leaves the bus-if you’re lucky, you may be blessed with the sight of the bus. If you’re still lucky, you may get a place to sit. If your luck lasts, you may get a window seat. Of course that means inhaling all the diesel fumes which your bus seems an expert at spewing out in all the eight directions. But isn’t that better than being stuck in a sea of humanity in the center of the bus, bad enough to cause claustrophobia, where no one thinks twice about pushing you or stamping on your foot?
I have always had a two-wheeler as far as I remember. As a result of making a fuss, which younger siblings are experts at, I learnt to ride a full-size cycle in kindergarten, got my own in 2 Std, was riding it to school by 5th Std. As it so happens my b’day conveniently falls in the week before college opens. This led to me waving a learner’s licence with joy, a day before the start of college, both in 11th & FE.
But I always took it for granted that I’d have a vehicle. It is days like these which make me realize how lucky I am to have a two wheeler. The freedom to zip along narrow roads, the convenience of actually being able to park on the road, a nice long drive in the cool night air letting the wind blow through your hair, where do you find all this in any other conveyance in Pune?
Some more of these days and I may even stop cursing the Pune traffic!

Wool & Cricket?
There is a connection, so it seems. This time while making bundles of wool(see one of my previous posts on the same page) I enlisted the help of a volunteer-my Dad, though it wasn’t exactly voluntary. When I had a ball of wool almost the size of a cricket ball, it made Dad comment that wool for a cricket ball is wound the same way.
It seems that a cricket ball has cork at its core, around which wool is wound, which is covered by an outer layer of leather. The weight of the cork & leather may vary, it’s the wound wool which is used to keep the weight of the ball exactly 5 ½ ounces.
Quite interesting.

Finally managed to read 2 books, The Spoils of War by Thomas Fleming & a Perry Mason. The first one is a mix of Gone With The Wind, politics - Jeffrey Archer style, with a few other things like the struggle to get women the right to vote etc. thrown in for good measure. Perfectly ok for tp. The other one was as typical as a Perry Mason can be. I guess I am so accustomed to his style of writing that all my guesses about the twists & turns kept turning out correctly. I always have a sneaking suspicion that Erle Stanley Gardner purposely decided on the DA’s name as Hamilton Burger, so that it could be condensed to hamburger whenever needed!

June 18, 2003

I made my first pickle today.Though how good it tastes is a question that can only be answered tomorrow.

June 16, 2003

A looooong time in coming, but finally I have updated the left side bar.It has the names of a few blogs Indira & I visit frequently & of course ones which are updated quite frequently.While adding the links I noticed that Sandeep has four blogs of his own! I have trouble writing for even one! Wonder how he manages that! I have just added one of his blogs. For the rest go to Anita Bora's blog.

I created a big mess today.I seem to be making quite a few purses for my friends.I thought why not make something for myself? So off I went & brought some wool in bulk to make a scarf.The shopkeeper insisted that I buy small bundles of wool,still I didn't realise the danger signal. I went for the kind which is wound.When I came home & tried to unwind the wool, it dawned upon me,I really know how to make a mess.As a result of my efforts I cannot find a strand which is not badly entangled.I'd better get back to clearing up this mess.

I witnessed a tug-of-war yesterday.Though wasn't very pleasant coz it was between my dentist & my wisdom tooth.My tooth seemed to have a mind of its own & seemed quite content to stay in my mouth.But as usual, my dentist won.The only bright spark-I finally got over my fear of injections & took three,in my mouth. Ok,ok, I did have a wonderful time later, gorging on ice-cream.After three more such sittings, I am going to be an expert on tug-of-war!

June 13, 2003

Just one among many like these................
"I thought that some of the metaphysical imagery was really particularly effective....Oh and, interesting rhythmic devices too which seemed to counterpoint the humanity (vogonity) of the poet’s compassionate soul which contrives through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that, and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other and one is left with a profound and vivid insight into…..whatever it was the poem was about!

- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglass Adams

There are so many advantages of having a team blog! But the best one is opening your own blog at all odd times to find new articles posted there:)

Hardly had we finished our last exam than joyous shouts rendered the air! A band added to the clamour-a regular custom at COEP. But I never will be able to recall the feeling of how I celebrated the finish of my BE exams with joy-while everyone decided to watch Bhoot, necessity demanded me making a futile attempt to turn the pages of a Networks book. Boo hoo:(

Picture this-You are writing your last exam of your undergraduate life. It’s so hot that you can wring a handkerchief after wiping your face. Halfway through comes a welcome relief in the form of a thunderstorm.
Everyone’s wishing they were out in the rain. God decides to fulfill this wish & the roof starts leaking!
I also learnt an important lesson-use waterproof ink!

June 10, 2003

I’m back! And as an affirmation of the fact that I have been studying here’s a nugget.
Henry Spencer’s Sixth Commandment for C programmers-:
If a function be advertised to return an error code in the event of difficulties, thou shalt check for that code, yea, even though the checks triple the size of thy code and produce aches in thy typing fingers, for if thou thinkest “it cannot happen to me”, the gods shall surely punish thee for thy arrogance.

June 03, 2003

A hobby........
Everybody has a hobby that they think might become their ideal job, though it is an open question whether a hobby should remain just so, and not become your primary vocation.
Anyways, traveling has always fascinated me, for all the obvious reasons. New places to see, different cultures to learn about, interesting experiences, it all is as exciting as it sounds.

One place that I would really like to visit is the Serengeti. Serengeti is originally derived from "Siringitu"- It means the place where the land moves on forever. I came across the Serengeti in one of the National Geographic documentaries. The image of the cheetah streaking across the starkly beautiful landscape is not something that I will forget that easily. Anyone who has read Wilbur Smith’s books will not fail to understand the magic of Africa, its different tribes and the beautiful, unspoiled forests, deserts and its grasslands. Gold, diamond, oil reefs, different metals being discovered in this previously unexplored continent resulted in the people pouring in, eager to cash in on the riches. And quite recently, not so long back, apartheid and its abolishment has gained international focus. But hopefully, all this will not deter from the national parks being preserved…......

To quote from the official Serengeti website:
"What we must face, all of us - poachers, tourists, farmers, conservationists and pastoralists - is the difficult truth that the land does not go on forever."

And so one for the Cheetah
The cheetah is the fastest and most elegant hunter of the Serengeti. Although it used to be widespread across much of Africa and Asia, it is now almost extinct within Asia and confined entirely to eastern and southern Africa. Today there are less than 14,000 cheetahs world-wide, and they continue to decline because of loss of habitat and persecution. They are increasingly found only in protected areas where they occur at extremely low densities. Even here their survival is threatened because their main competitors, hyenas and lions, are thriving.
Over the last 9 years Dr. Sarah Durant, at the Institute of Zoology, the Zoological Society of London, has been running the only ongoing long term study of wild cheetahs in the world. This project began following individually recognisable cheetahs 25 years ago and has told us much of what we know today about wild cheetahs. The main focus of The Serengeti Cheetah Project is a study to pin-point optimum habitat for cheetahs supporting the beautiful but vulnerable cats in their struggle to survive.

Being "Blog Worthy"
Slowly writing on the blog regularly enough is becoming part of my morning schedule. I wonder, do other people also begin to think the way I am doing now when they start blogging regularly. Anything interesting, anything that happens to catch my fancy goes into the blog. I look at events from a "blogging" point of view, whether they are “blog worthy”. A few days back, I even caught myself thinking about what should I be writing tomorrow on the blog. An interesting turn of events…………..

June 02, 2003

Cannot seem to get over "The Bridges of Madison County" . So here are some verses from the book. Have been chosen at random, but with a common thread running through them - "Travel", Robert Kincaid's passion, the reason that led to his becoming a National Geographic photographer.

Too close to the fire.

I came from the East with a small band of travelers.

The constant chirping of those who would
save me and those who would sell me.

Talisman, Talisman, show me your secrets.
Helmsman, Helmsman, turn me for home.

She wished him steaming trains that left from the winter stations.


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