Sunday, January 29, 2006

Republic Day Special

Whenever I think of something to talk about on the blog, my hands freeze. The reason could be many but i always end up guessing, what about me is so interesting that someone will spend time reading my blog. But then again my hands write as it knows that I am writing only about my thoughts and opinions. So here goes...

There is this website which my friends asked me to check out. It is somekind of Online game. I ended up by getting hooked to it, but it is a simple game of clicking and little thinking. Anyone should give it a try, you will be amazed. The main makers of this game (more like puzzles) were Notpron (138 levels). With the same idea IIM, Indore made Klueless of 30 levels during there fest called IRIS. Also heard that IIM, Ahmedabad is having one. Have to check out that one also. The requirements are simple, you should have time to sit on the Internet and ofcourse the next thing is good internet connection, as you have to be online to solve the puzzles. I suggest to those who have time to check it out. The main idea of the game is to explore the internet and in the process you will learn something. By the way, one thing is common to all, they have an affinity to Google.

The Republic Day of India went by on 26th January 2006. It should be a proud day next to Independence Day or on par with it. On this day, the Tri-colour Indian flag was raised and also the constitution of India was presented. This constitution laid down the main points for making this country one of the most Democratic and Secular country in the world. But then again only the book was laid down. The people to implement it became corrupt over time and they won't even leave the seat until they are forcefully put six feet under. All the politican in India are Senior citizens who should be taking rest but end up in scams or are chased by the IT (Income Tax) department or CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). What do they think, they can take there money to the grave, or build a Mausoleum for themselves like Taj Mahal. The only thing I could lest consider is that they might have experience but the only experience I can see is fighting, hiding money and have cat fights for power seats. Worst is we loose all that the constitution states. We should be Democratic, but ultimately some corrupt leader comes in power by manipulating. We should be Secular, but after so many riots that India has seen which always led to the bloodshed of innocent lives. The worst of all the open boasting by some parties of being secular and performing Non-secular acts doesn't make India Secular.

If anyone ever goes out of India and see how the Expatriates (NRIs/PIOs) live, then you will understand that they have more respect of being an Indian and are proud of it. In India the respect for Republic Day, 50% discount at Big Bazaar from 8am to 12 midnight on 26th Jan only. So where do you find the public, I guess you can find all the people with savings money at the Big Bazaar standing in long queues which go way out of the compound recking havoc and creating traffic problems. So No parades for these people as they are busy buying things which they might not need, but ofcourse the prices are awesome, Can't help taking them.

I am not trying to offend anybody but then look at what we have become and how much respect do we give to freedom which our forefathers fought for. Someone once told that to feel happiness, one should feel pain, then only you will value happiness. I think this saying goes for Freedom also. We should know what Slavery and being suppressed is all about then only we will understand Freedom. If by chance you ask anyone, if they wish to stand in elections so that they can make some changes for the benefit of the people, then the answer 99.99% is "Why me, I am not interested in Politics and this whole politics is corrupted and dirty." But they will never stop criticising about how bad something is or how worse the politicans are. I think everyone gets the point.

Does anyone really understand how important India is? 1 in 6 people in the world is an Indian. But even after all the statistics given out, we cannot help but get 2 bronze or Silver medals in Olympics whereas USA, Russia and China end up wiping it out. Look at the publicity made for Indian Cricket matches by BCCI, lakhs of rupees are spend for ADs, sponsors etc but still we don't give the same respect to Hockey which is our National game. The only time I heard people talk about Hockey is when the team somehow was in the finals that also against Pakistan. Right.... Let's talk about Football, here the meaning is Soccer, not much media coverage is given and forget about the turn out for the match. Even if 5% of public show up they mostly comprise of friends and family of the players.

That's about it. I can keep talking about this without stopping. We are screwed at so many levels that we have to seriously think about fixing or reordering ourselves first before even commenting on others.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

First Tour in college

The tour came as a suprise to everyone, even us who were planning to go. Usually freshers don't venture out much but in this case our seniors were supporting. We had also talked to our parents and had got a green signal for it. It had been just 2 months since we joined the college and were starting to know our hostel friends. 19 of us had decided to go on a tour to a hill station 500 kms away called 'Ooty'. The days were picked accordingly as our college had announced holiday for 2 days on Thursday & Friday. We had planned the tour for 4 days starting immediately after classes on Wednesday itself.

The journey was going to be around 10-12 hours due to the night travelling and we wanted to reach somewhere in the morning so that we could enjoy the sites. So the journey began with the help of the seniors who were keeping an eye on us by asking us to report daily about our whereabouts and condition. We reached the town of Mettupalyam which is at the foot of the hill station. The famous Blue Mountain express also known as Nilgiri Express runs on Steam Engine and travels 47 kms through lots of tunnels uphill to the beautiful town of Ooty from Mettupalyam.

We had checked into the cottages which had been recommended by our seniors and also booked in advance through phone. We refreshed ourselves and went into town to check out the places. The Botanical gardens are one of the most famous of Ooty but then again, it was October so not much of a sight-seeing. It is said that this garden has an amazing presence during the spring months, a sight worth watching. Other places were like the Pykara dam and some waterfalls. The highest peak is Doddabetta peak which can give a beautiful view of the landscape. Ooty is also famous for it tea plantations.

Apart from all this we were coincidentally present when the shooting of a Bollywood movie (Kuch Naa Kaho) was going on. We were able to see Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachan, Jaspal Bhatti, Tanaz Currim and other stars. It was a song sequence and the scenary looked so beautiful. Looking at a location like that can get anyone to dream with a beautiful stream passing by with a small area of forest. This whole area is in a valley which is frequently used for Movies.

The stay was amazing but on Sunday we decided to drop by at a Water theme park which was near Mettupalyam called 'Black Thunder'. We had spend the previous night at a lodge near the water theme park after having dinner at a restuarant nearby. We were allowed to hold a bon-fire which was ofcourse under controlled supervision. On Sunday, in the water theme park we all got exhausted by the time we settled in our transport back to college. Most of the people were in deep sleep and were woken up at 4am as we reached our hostel on Monday. I guess some kept sleeping throughout the day while some made to the classes. This was really a memorable trip as we had spend time together with new friends.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Hostel Life: First Party

Within the first 2 weeks of college, the new batch of freshers had decided to have dinner at the restuarant in town. So when the weekend began, everyone was excited as most of us had not been to the town. My last time was when I was staying at the hotel during my admission period. Some of us had asked our seniors about some good restuarant in town and they had mentioned of one which had a Vegetarian menu. So we all showed up around 8 pm as the college had a policy of open night on Saturdays (That is the gates get locked at 11:30 pm).
So in the end we all were sitting at 5 different tables trying to accomodate 30 people for dinner. By now we all were getting to know each other. Each of us came from different places from India. There were people from Jammu & Kashmir in the north to Kerala in the South, Rajasthan in the West to Assam in the East. Geographically speaking, we all came from thousands of kilometers but at that moment we were sitting next to each other having the same kind of dinner.
We can't describe this as a party but yes we all had an outing at the town which was situated at 9 kms from our college. The other main reasons for the outing was that we wanted a change with the food as we were getting tired of the mess food due to its regularity or taste, that depends on one's thinking. But that day led to the start of the outside college life whose beginning and end was always reminded by Auto-drivers (3-Wheeler Cabs) high pitched fares which would lead to tough bargaining as there were no other modes other than the local buses which show up anytime between 30-45 minutes (Auto fares are fixed by saying as Meters are not used in that small town).
Due to the inefficient Auto fares and untiming buses to the college and also the campus being situated atleast 2kms away from the nearest major bus intersection, some students were motivated in getting 2-wheeler (buying or getting from home). With the increase in the 2-wheeler on campus, concerns regarding safety prompted the college to enforce the Helmet rule. This did save many lives, as at this particular age many think less of safety and end up endangering their life knowingly or unknowingly.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hostel Life: The Start

My entry to the college was purely based on search over the internet. The procedures to enrollment was all decided over the emails. I was to show up at college and finish the formalitites. Trust me when I say that I had no idea where Vellore was on the map. I had got a rough idea from the map provided at the college website. The journey from north to the south of India was an experience that is still fresh in my mind. Along with me on this journey was my dad. We had checked into a lodge for the night and decided to go to college first thing in the morning. The next day we showed up at the admission office to finish up the formalities. I had come to the college a few days in advance before the classes (orientation week) began just to get the hang of things.
When one is going somewhere, we like to be prepared. I had heard a lot about the interaction between seniors and junior (More roughly used word: Ragging) at colleges from friends and articles from newspapers & magazines. Some incidents can give people goose bumps just hearing it, let alone the thought of remaking it in one's head. On my way to the hostel I came across a senior who had seen me at school. I was kind of shocked to find out that someone from my school was in the same college. I was to check out the hostel and choose a room for myself. Since I was one of the earlier students to check in the hostel, I had an opportunity to look at some of rooms which were vacant. After choosing my room, I had picked up all the necessary stuff required for staying in the room. I checked into the Hostel room around the start of the weekend while my classes were to begin on the first day of the coming week.
My first night was one of the most memorable as I can still remember the sequence of numbers that led me from one room to another making me know about my seniors. That night, the exhaustion and fatigue was pretty high. What was the cause of it is still questionable? Was it those long hours of talking or was it the long hours of standing or worst, was it that huge load of data or information of all the seniors in the hostel. The names of the seniors, their rooms, branches, their hometowns, some of their hobbies and many more. I still remember feeling the softness of my bed at the crack of dawn. I was woken up by the knock on the door, opening it revealed my dad standing with the background of bright sunlight. When I checked the watch it was way after the zenith of the sun (afternoon).This was the weekend and my seniors were enjoying the holiday by also getting up late. The previous night had led me to meet 2 of the other guys in my batch who were also staying at the hostel. The 3 of us were spared on that Saturday night because of the arrival of a newer batch of students. The most puzzling moments were when we tried to find out who were in our batch or otherwise we ended up infront of a senior who was waiting for amusement. But that weekend was the beginning of the glorious memories and friendship that lasts until today. It made the word IH form a new meaning of looking out for each other and ofcourse being one of the most partying people or better known as Revellers. (IH stands for the 'International Hostel")

Myself and my birthday

I think I must have bored most people to sleep or worst run to another blog with my previous two articles. I had written about my college from where I completed my Bachelors in Computer Science Engineering. Ofcourse the other blog explained about my current location of residence, that is Bangalore. I don't want you all to die of statistics this time. I will just write a few words about myself and will explain in the future posts.

I am an Indian by origin who completed his Graduate degree in 2005 and am currently pursuing some courses in MCSE and CCNA. That is some computer courses to attain knowledge in Networks and Administration of Microsoft computers. For the former to complete I have to give 7 exams at Prometric centers and for the later I have to give 1 paper. So am currently juggling classes in the day time to understand the course.

As for the lastest information, my birthday just passed by and I was suprised with a cake by my roomates at 12 midnight. Why 12 midnight??? This comes with a life where we all get to see each other only around 9 pm each weekday. In the morning each of us get up according to our times and leave for work/studies and according to traffic. The birthday cake caught me by suprise as I had guessed that after college life, time flies and changes. My hostel life has been the most memorable and I will always cherish it. It's all because of friends that looked out for each other when times were bad. Like when one fell ill and then you would find a team of guys spending their night in the outpatient's ward in the hospital. In upcoming posts, I will also mention about some of the events that made these things memorable.

As for the now, I did get Birthday wishes through emails, scraps on Orkut, E-cards, Cellphones, SMSes and ofcourse the conventional greeting by the hand. The only thing that goes through one's mind at this point is how fast time flies and whether you are growing older at the speed of light. Life waits for noone and this is a fact that no human on earth can change. So the only question one asks to oneself is "What imporatant stuff have I done in the last one year???" And the head goes into a spinning frenzy trying to find an answer and make new resolutions for the next one year. Something like New Year's resolution. Now I leave with you trying to analyse what changes have you done in the past one year.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Facts of Bangalore

I wanted to talk about Bangalore (India) as I reside in this so-called "High Tech city" of India. This city has seen better times, but now has one of the worst traffic jams and bad roadways. This city currently has population of 63 Lakh (6.3 Million) people. This city has risen up at such an incredible rate in population and land prices due to the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and IT (Information Technology) industry. The traffic problems are due to the odd ratio of vehicles on road to the capacity of the road which stands at 3:1 (23 lakh / 2.3 million vehicles in the city). Well off people prefer taking 2-wheelers as its is easy to cut through the traffic. 18 Lakh (1.8 Million) 2-Wheelers are in this city making it a record in the world itself.

Intially before all the traffic problems and large scale population, this city was known for being a capital of Karnataka state and also titled as the "Garden City of India" (Even if you see through a satellite image 40% of the city is covered by Trees). This city was an amazing destination for Holiday makers due to its pleasant climate which is due to its altitude that is 1000 feet (330 meters) above Sea Level. This place has pleasant climate through out the year with moderate showers.

The above factors attracted the intial flow of BPO and IT industries making it develop at tremendous rate. Even the Bangalore Authority didn't mind as it was creating a major job opportunity for the people of the city. Naturally these companies give out private contract for constructing amazing building structures in a short period of time (Anywhere from 1-3 years) whereas expecting any contract on the Government side for Road infrastructure or any facilities around the proposed site will go for discussions, analysis and then proposals and finally giving out contracts that also which can be done in a 5 year plan. So these lead to the major problems of infrastructure like roadways, electricity and other factors. The prices in the real estate shot up, with Land prices going easily above 150-300% and opened a whole new market of Hostels, PG Accomodation, Rental apartments, leases and etc.

For a person who comes to this city in search of a job leads him to PG Accomodations as these are reasonable and includes food meals & laundry. Whereas if a person trys to rent an apartment or a house, he has to be prepared for the hefty amount of advance or so called security deposit which is 10 times the rent of the place. This city has made the standard of living very high along with other things. So mainly real estate is the best business or investment anyone can make in this city.

The greatness of this city is seen with crime rates soaring high and also the impolite nature seen by the Autos (3-wheelers) and Call cabs. Though the police has been trying there best against these kind of problems but they find it difficult in getting their hands on these problems. On the political level. the government keeps finding itself unstable with a tug of war between the top politicians of the coalition government namely Mr. H.D. Deve Gowda (Ex-Prime minister, member of JDS - Janta Dal Secular) and the current Chief Minister Dharam Singh (Member of Congress). These have led to problems in infrastructure development and the most infamous incident in which Mr. Narayana Murthy (Chairman of Infosys) resigned from the Airport Authority over charges and allegation put on him by Mr. Deve Gowda.

The much delayed Bangalore International Airport project which was conceived in 1991 and plans to get ready by January 2008 is yet another hiccup being faced by the current government. Even this amazing airport which is situated around 25 kms north from the heart of the city is not the only problem. The Bangalore Authority has to think about the common people problem of transportation once this Airport gets developed.

This is just the top of the layer of all the problems that has engulfed this once beautiful city. The future blogs will carry more information regarding this.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

VIT gaining popularity

VIT- Vellore Institute of Technology (Deemed University) has been gaining popularity in many ways. Recently the article that came in Washington Post about the facilities viewed by Mr. Sebastian Mallaby as one of the most modern at this has sent the colleges popularity soring high. It explained about upto date teaching techniques followed by the college faculty with the help of modern infrastructure. For more information, you can check out the Washington Post article on the following link:

About the facilities provided at the college, it can be viewed at the official Website of VIT - in the Photo Gallery section. The college has over a period of time made major Infrastructure changes for its 8000+ students. The important facilities needed by the residing students are met by the college like the state of the art drinking water treatment facility which provides germ free water. Many more facilities can be checked out at the wensite. The main point stands out is that even being at a remote location around 130 kms from Chennai and 230 kms from Bangalore, the college has earned a good reputation in Job placements with approximately 70-80% placed over 100+ companies.

The interest shown by the students willing to join this college is huge as in the year 2005 approximately 44,000 application forms were received for the VIT Entrance Exam itself. This has been yet another accomplishment by the college due to the increasing infrastructure and placement record. Many more information about the college will be seen in the upcoming blogs.