Summer or Awe-TEM!! Whatever... Forever

Writing from Delhi, doing my PS at NPL! One would imagine, that I am here enjoying myself; that I am enjoying thoroughly the exposure I am getting to the world of Physics at a Research Level; that I am spending each moment, inspired. But things haven't been so rosy here… until today! [All this while I had been only doing a lot of mechanical labor, very unhappily…]

Its around 12 noon, when I get a call, in the lab, from my guide asking me to come down to room no. so and so. I had no idea what that room had, or why I had been called. I enter and I am lead to another room inside. I enter and there's a huge machine. (first look, reminded me of Vickers' Hardness Testing Machine, that we had in Lab at coll and I had a test on using it!) and its called a TEM. But when I got closer, I fell in love with it! I dunno how and why, but it looked simply amazing and extremely lovely to me [Nothing like the Vickers' machine]. A 25 to 30 year old machine, lots of controls all over it, lots of circuitry out in the open… absolutely awe-inspiring..[though I knew nothing about them.]

And then came the moment. The lights in the room were turned off, and slowly and steadily the beam intensity of the TEM was increased. Gradually the Greenish Fluoroscent Screen (displaying a sample magnified X27,000) came to life… with control lights blinking here and there… in the darkness of the room.It was absolutely amazing; A great feeling. Though I was in there for a very short while… an absolutely unforgettable experience; and will remain so, for the rest of my life.

Now, it doesn't matter to me even if I don't learn much, during the training period, I don't mind doing any kind-of mechanical work, I don't mind not getting any results from my work, whatever… it doesn't matter any more. This one moment; that's all that matters.

CET-ting their Lives??!!

Phew! I'm back home after one of my worst semesters so far. [there have been only 4 upto now!! :P] {Also, not one of the better ones grades-wise, but otherwise?? anyways.. forget it.. } From today on, the lives of 2,27,483 young boys and girls [with the exception of a few thousands] (in that part of the World called Andhra Pradesh) will never be the same again. The so called verdict on their lives (yes, the verdict of their lives!!) has been pronounced at 11:45am today. EAMCET-07 [Engineering, Agriculture and Medicine Common Entrance Test] results announced. This is no more a matter of anxious students checking out, how they fared in comparison to others of their age. It's no more a matter of getting into Under-grad to come out a Grad in a chosen discipline.

"The Hottest Topic" in town. Nobody's left out of it. Young or Old, Rich or Poor, Stout or Slim, Tall or Short, Theist or Atheist, Engineers or Doctors, Black or White. "Black or White"?? How could I and those around me be left out?

Here's a little from what i see… [Is a little exaggeration allowed?]

  • An ad on the FM… "ee karyakramanni samarpinchindi… engineering vijethala mata.. bata.. Sri chaitanya.." [This programme is brought to you by… Sri Chaitanya.. the voice and choice of Engineering Winners!!]
  • Another ad. Neti EAMCET phalitalalo kooda atyuttamaina vijayala tho… Narayana.. [With the most wonderful victories even in this time's EAMCET, Narayana] {Sri Chaitanya and Narayana are two very popular Junior Colleges here.. with hazaar franchises.. all over the State}
  • A : How did your neighbor's cousin's friend's daughter's friend do? [ob exaggerated] B : She didn't do quite well. It seems she didn't study the I yr syllabus properly!! {How did he ever get to know that?!!?!?}
  • Me : Where's A? Why's he so late? J.H : His sister's Medicine results are out. She scored 700! A local rank of 10! She'll get into any place she chooses. Me : That's cool. So that guys gone for a party or what? J.H : No he's consoling his sister! She's weeping for she expect to score a rank close to 300! Me : Oh c'mon!!

Why the hell is the whole state dragged into this? Can't the guys n gals be left alone? Why is that a little thing as a test that allocates various grad seats to the students, blown out of proportion? Do we need big Corporate giants fighting for the ranks and cash of aspiring students? Why all the hue and cry??

Isn't is possible for these people to have a normal life, where these CET's are just a part of their lives and not their LIVES themselves? Can't they be doing other things along with preparing to get into a good grad school? Do we wish to have Engineers and Doctors who, all through the best couple of years of their lives, were busy grinding, swallowing and puking out heaps and heaps of books just to get one seat in a Grad School?

Will things ever be normal again? When will kids "here" start being kids? When will the parents and teachers and all the zillion others understand that their kids need to be given everything in life, exposed to everything. Not just dumping in gallons of formulae and tons of equations. Will people ever give CETs just that much attention as it deserves, and not make it a big issue all over the state? When will the EAMCET stop being the lives of college students and start being just a part of their lives??

[I have tried my best to portray the situation, in this part of the World. But it is quite possible that I didn't do it well enough….]

Every time you wake up and ask yourself, What good things am I going to do today? Remember that when the sun goes down at sunset it will take a part of your life with it – Douglas Adams

Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live. – Richard Bach

Alone...

i am feeling terribly alone
i feel like i did never before
and this poem, therefore…

is it cos a friend's gone
to return, never again?
but there are others around
and of them, i'm proud

is it cos i'm away
from home, sweet home?
but its been quite a long stay
and i never felt so lonely…

i wonder why, then
do i feel terribly alone.

-— btw

  1. one of the rare occasions, when I felt like writing a poem.[obviously, something is seriously wrong.]
  2. you may choose not to call it a poem

Update: I found this during my not-so-random-blog-walks.

“..Alone is not a bad way to be;

it clears your head and focuses you on the journey.

Cherish the short intervals during the quest you have with others,

but be prepared to walk alone in the darkness.”[11/05/07]


Update: Interesting quote from a story…

“… no one is never really alone. Even when there is not other perso around, there still must be someone. Someone who made you and therefore cares what happens to you. Someone who will help you if you do the best you can. So you're never alone. You can't be alone, no matter what you do. That's the secret of happiness, of doing things well, of everything…”

– Larry in The Star by Arthur Gordon [28/05/07]

Eber-yone!?!

Exam time now. Sleep time cut-down! [already compensated for, during the whole semester! :D] Getting up quite early during these days…. [To cram in something at the last minute.. :P]

But all that kept aside, I feel great to be waking up early in the morning. Watching the Sun rise.. is a great feeling. The calm of the dawn, the chirping of the birds n the cool breeze.. Its absolutely amazing – awe inspiring. Its a great experience. A rare one for me,though.. :( For the last four semesters, I have been a part of the owl-tribe… staying awake till late in the night and doing all sorts of stuff… [other than study - during the non-exam time…] Its great fun staying awake very late in the night… having fun with friends… B'day parties, Musical sessions in Ringo's room, Movies, Carrom-Nights, all-night Chats(online n offline..) and lots of other stuff.

But all this can be done during the day can't it[The fun of doing it in the night is totally different though..]?? If I enjoy the morning times so much, shouldn't I be enjoying it more often? If its such a great feeling.. to be waking up in the morning.. should I trade it with all the fun I have, late in the night?? Is it worth it? Like Voodoo believes, should I put in efforts to enjoy the sunrise each day?? Is it time.. that I try out the cliche… "Early to Bed, Early to Rise…" [EBER – that's what UC calls it… and hence the title… :P]


Update: If for Fear, people are able to cut-down so much on their sleep, and work so hard, I wonder how much is possible for LOVE. I think this is the thing that drives all the great achievers… the Scientists.. the Hackers.. the Artists.. the Engineers… the Writers.. the Doctors.. and a lot of others… I need to find something, that I would Love to work on.

Unchosen Choices??!

I was just wondering, a couple of nights ago, at dinner.. "When did I first decide that I would be doing Engineering?" The answer – I don't know… All I know is that, during my High schooling I was more interested in Maths and Science {Physics specially…} Then I did what most just-out-of-school kids with an interest in Math & Science do {specially in that part of the world where I live, Andhra Pradesh} Took up Math.Phys.Chem in intermediate and prepare for Engg. entrance tests alongside. After failing to get a rank that would fetch me an Engg. course in any of the IITs, I landed here..

Then the choice of discipline, that was just based on popular opinion and luck [called preferential allotment…] and I finally ended up in EEE.

But the question is when did I make that choice of becoming a so-called Engineer? Did I ever consider the alternatives and make a decision? If yes, then when?? What kind of an engineer did I choose to become? Did I make the choice of becoming an electrical engineer??

I think, I never knew what kind of an Engineer I wanted to be.[ with the knowledge of an average School pass out…, you wouldn't expect one to know all about the various fields of Engineering.] I think, I never even exactly knew [and don't do so now…], what it means to be an Engineer. An Electrical and Electronics Engineer.

But isn't it important that we the future "Engineers" of the Country, know what it means to be one and what is expected of us? Isn't that knowledge essential, for taking a decision to do engineering.. and also to make the most out of the Engineering programme?

I wonder what field {or profession or whatever you call that…} I would choose, if I were given a chance now… [i.e after a couple of years in an Engineering College…]… I wonder which discipline I would choose after getting this little insight into the various fields in Engineering… I wonder what I would choose, if I get this chance, a couple of years later… or five years later… :D

Engineering is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings homes to men or women. Then it elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life. This is the engineer's high privilege. – Herbert Hoover

What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world. – Albert Einstein

Presentation or Tribulation??

This semester [2-2] I had to give two presentations! As if that was not enough trouble, the courses were (Principles of) Management [POM] and (Theory of) Relativity [ThoR] !! The former was with a group and the latter was an individual affair.. Each one had its Trials and Tribulations… But at the end of each, I feel equally foolish. None of them were worth the efforts…

The POM (a course whose reason for existence most of us fail to understand) presentation was specially torturous to our group. We had 8 members in our group, but to no avail. Nobody, other than Bubbly, was bothered about it until we were neck deep. With just 3 days left for the last day to submit the Report/Soft copy, our frantic searches began. We finally landed on an interesting topic, A Case Study on AMUL… We started work only on the night before the submission day… But the interest and excitement, [along with deadline.. :P] got us through with amazing speed. All of us, were through with our parts of the job before going to bed. The next morning, I along with 9 put together everything, almost ready to be submitted. But fate had other plans for us… The topic we worked on was rejected! Reason:There's already a group working on it!!

Back to square one… we began the search again. After much effort we found a couple of topics and approached her for approval. Though the topics weren't damn interesting.. they were something we would've liked to work on. But all we get is another rejection and a Magazine that had a ready-made case study! We were supposed to speak on operations management[o.m] in a cosmetic multinational! [2 days, to work on some *#&$# cosmetic firm! Worasht!! Imagine writing a Report on a Presentation on a Report in a Journal… and that too on a Cosmetic Company!!] The last nail on the coffin was hit. We felt hopeless and work didn't start again till the night before the D-Day.. Not interested in working on that cosmetic thingy.. we decided to work on o.m in some other firm, and HLL seemed a neat choice.

After slogging through the whole of the next morning, we somehow managed to get the report ready and finally at 2 pm, me and 9 went in search of a printer! None was found until 5:30 in the evening!! Somehow we submitted it finally… Phew!

But that's not the end of the story. There was a lot more in store for us. The presentation date. We were given a date, on which to give the presentation, but couldn't give it on that day, for too many people were called and there was too little time… Hats off to our Ma'am for such wonderful managerial skills. We had to beg her to allow us to present it on a date convenient to all of us.[She insisted that we do it on a particular date, when we already had other appointments!?!!] Finally, she agreed. Phew!

On the D-day, 8 people, 40 mins… it was fun! There wasn't enough time left for my turn and so I hurried through my part, the conclusion…. But,the best part of it all was that, even a half-hearted, just-for-the-sake-of-it effort could impress her!! The presentation passsed off as a "very good presentation"! [Not "yaxcellent!", though]

Then the Relativity one! I had to speak on Kerr Black Holes. I hadn't heard of them until one day Dr. A.K. Biswas gave me the topic, and asked me to speak on it, after he finishes teaching Schwarzchild Black Holes. It was all fine, until there was just a week left for the Compre's to start and he didn't start teaching about Black Holes!! This Monday he asked me when I was going to give my talk. Hoping that he would teach at least a small part of it during the last week, I chose Friday. [Even at the cost of ruining my comprees..] But, he didn't even tell us what Black holes were, leave alone discussing the Schild Black Hole. I was trying my bit to work my way through it but 3 days were too few to read all about static Black Holes and then move on to Rotating ones! I had a tough time.. but tried my best to make head and tail of it. Finally today, I thought I understood a decent part of it and was ready to present it before the class.

After an unsteady and slow start, I managed to put across a few points about Black Holes in general and the Kerr Geometry. But then, I wasn't very comfortable with the other parts of what I had to present, and this clearly reflected in my talk. It was growing dumber and dumber… So, Sir stopped and asked me if I was going to present the Penrose Diagram, and I said no. Thankfully he understood my situation and asked me what I wanted to present and asked me to finish it off with a few of the simpler things. I jabbered something and was done with it. Phew!

But what was the result of all this drama? Were the results in proportion to the efforts put in? Were the presentations really worth the effort? If the intention of these presentations was to increase the Knowledge base of the class, I think we achieved nothing. If we were supposed to enlighten the class, then we failed in a big big way. But if the intention was to increase our own knowledge base, I would say we succeeded in a very small way… There definitely are much more efficient ways to increase our own knowledge base. So is there any other purpose for such talks??

A final few things… [I know you are wondering why I wrote this post. Such a long one. I don't know….]

  1. It would've been better had the topic change been in ThoR and not in POM. I should have spoken on Black Holes in general and Schwarzchild Black Holes. Not Kerr Black Holes.
  2. The two people who guided us/me in the Presentations had contrasting opinion on the Internet! Our Ma'am considered the Internet to be a Devil [or some such thing] She doesn't like the fact that people get info for their presentations from the net. [Why? we haven't figured out yet] Journals are god-like for her!! Unlike her, our Dr.Biswas is quite respectful of this wonderful tool.. the Internet.
  3. None of these presentations were comparable [in terms of energy,excitement and fun we had!] to our last sem's presentation, "Copyleft". Is it because Copyleft wasn't a course related topic?? :P
  4. Giving a Technical presentation is tough. Its even worse if you are speaking on topic that you are studying just for the sake of the presentation.
  5. The presentations were rated as good, even if I know they were no where close to what a Real Presentation should be like. POM – bcos Ma'am thought we used the journal she gave us!! ThoR – to encourage us to put in greater efforts.
  6. I'm not very good at giving presentations…

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. –Albert Einstein

Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future. – Ancient Indian Proverb. It is the first of all problems for a man to find out what kind of work he is to do in this universe. – Thomas Carlyle

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. – Albert Einstein

A Song for a Chum...

I just put this song here… for

  1. I just loved this song…
  2. It's been composed by A.R.Rahman and I like his music..
  3. In my present state of mind.. this is the Song I best connect to…
  4. I've heard to this song.. N times last night..
  5. and for a Dear Friend of mine… …..

Pray for me brother
Pray for me brother
Pray for me sister
Are you searchin'…
Pray for me brother

Lookin' for the answers To all the questions In my life
Will I be alone Will you be there By my side
Is it something he said Is it something he did
I wonder why He is searchin’ For the answers
To stay alive

Could you ever listen Could you ever care
To speak your mind
Only for a minute For only one moment
In time

The joy is around us But show me the love
That we must find
Are you searchin' For a reason to be kind, to be kind…
He said… Pray for me brother

Pray for me brother Pray for me sister
Pray for me brother Say
what you wanna say now
But keep your hearts open
Be what you wanna be now
Let's heal the confusion
Pray for me brother

Don't let me take When you don’t wanna give
Don't be afraid Just let me live
Don't let me take When you don’t wanna give
Don't be afraid Say what you wanna say now
But keep your hearts open

Be what you wanna be now Let's heal the confusion
Pray for me brother Pray for me brother
I'm ashamed ah, brother be dying of poverty
when he down on his knees its only then he prays
And it's a shame ah, brother be dying of ignorance
cos the world is a trip and everybody’s a hypocrite
Need to stop ah , taking a look at the other
I'm not ashamed of poverty
need to be making his life better
So think about it, think about it once more
cos life is a blessing and it's not justa show, ah
Round and round the world is spinning around

We need to be singing a prayer, we need to be singing it now
Round and round the world is turning around
We need to be singing a prayer, we need to be singing it now
Need to be feeling the power, need to be feeling the faith
We need to coming together just to win this race

Need to be feeling the power, need to be feeling the faith
We need to coming together just to win this race (twice)
Are you searching for a reason to be kind ?

– Pray For Me Brother (2007) Composed by A.R.Rahman Lyrics by Blaaze Singers: A.R.Rahman and Blaaze

Non-e-Moments??!!

A few days back.. we [the usual gang of Ringo,9,UC,Vudum n me.. along with a lot of others who joined us later] were in the park, just relaxing and having a chat… but with the others joining us [with whom I usually don't hang around..] , the topics discussed were quite different from those that interest me…and we usually talk on.. I was getting bored.. but suddenly an interesting idea popped up… the funda of living on CS.. [though the tone in which they looked at the idea was different… I found it interesting..]

The ppl were criticizing a guy (don't wanna name him :P) {who hosted wierd maps with soccer and other such stuff in it..}.. the people were imagining wild things like.. maps in which class-notes would be read out/scrolled… maps where food items would be displayed at lunch time.. etc.. This might look like a funny and weird idea.. (that gave us all a nice laugh..) but it doesn't seem ridiculous or crazy to me.. the very fact that the idea was conceived, annihilates it ridiculousness, for me. Though such a degree of dependence (and addiction??) may be an over exaggeration but…

A walk in the hostel corridors any time during the night will tell you why i say this… I can see people in every room… (literally every one.. and mind you I am no exception to this..) stuck to their comps doing all sorts of things… [actually not a wide range.. its pretty predictable… :-(] and now after my comp's network card got burnt out (…probably… thanks to the lack of grounding in hostels) I can see it even more clearly… that computers are ruling our lives… [at this point.. I'm confused why I started writing this… what's it that's bugging me? I'm definitely not against ppl using Comps.. for I love them…]

Is it that it pains me to see people use comps for stuff that's not so technical? Does it hurt me that we have such "Powerful" machines before us.. and all we do with them is trivial things like chat with others or play? I don't think so… Yes, when I read the book Hackers:Heroes of the Computer Revolution, I felt ashamed of using my comp in a meek and powerless way… but then I realise that they were the Hackers from the Hacker land .. and everyone can't be one, can they? Then what's it, that bugs me?

I guess I miss the time we spent in the first (and a little of second) semester… when very few people had comps. We had a great time… doing other activities that were more physical… and refreshing (than sitting in front of a comp and posting this!!).. I miss those football tourneys we had in the quadrangles.. I miss those "leg" cricket matches… I long for something like the Wrestling match we [Vudum, Ravi,Thatha n me] had in my room… I miss those thermo sessions with Vudum n Ravi.. I miss the tuts in Ravi's room… (mind you we sometimes studied even when there weren't exams!!) I guess I miss a lotta things from the first sem… The time at dinner and the chats in parks, are the only things that are still intact… [ I wouldn't dare forget to mention our recent trip to the woods near the lake… it was awesome!! something that we'll all cherish for life…] I just hope we have more and more and such moments… moments that i will cherish for life… moments.. that "we" will cherish for life…

Update: I just saw Ringo's old cd of Illayaraja songs… and realised, I forgot to mention the wonderful time we [Ringo,9,Hari,UC n me..] had listening to them in Ringo's room on a CD player… and Ringo's mouthorgan!!!

Everyone hears what you say, Friends listen to what you say, Best friends listen to what you dont say. – Anon.

Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Johann Von Goethe

The PS-1 Ballyhoo...

PS stands for Practice School…

I would've titled this post, "NPL… here I come!!" but for all this…

It all began with an unannounced letter from the PS division… giving us just 5 days time to fill up our "PS-1" forms… with Waves round the corner.. this was too short a notice.. and the panic button was pressed.. and pressed real hard!! {lots of heated discussion.. frantic google searches.. repeated calls to/from home.. etc were kicked off…}

Then, the filling up of on-line forms… [oh you thought.. online forms were a cakewalk?? even i thought so.. until this!!] We had to fill a priority list of 214 items.. flat… That was not the big problem… We had a not so well developed form handler…[i'm probably being unfair to the developers…because the server also caused quite a few problems… but that's the least i can say…] I know of people.. who learnt their options by-heart… thanks to the wonderful system and the server, that made them fill the whole list 4 to 5 times..

Then there was this headache of filling up everything in ink… [one of the rare ocassions.. other than reports for MT n Mu-P… when i wrote so much.. and felt it all useless…]

Then, a meeting organised by seniors to "help" us choose PS[Practice School] stations… noble intentions.. but i ended up being more confused!! [After telling all the good stuff.. they came down to the point that staying close to home.. is the best thing to do.. this put me in soup!]

All this is nothing when compared to the "declaration of results" (it wasn't any exam.. to call the allotment.. results.. but the use of these words is intentional…) First, there was an April fool attempt by one of the students… it was quite cleverly planned but the little error of sending everyone the same password.. ended the whole thing tamely.. but it dindn't go for nothing.. it was successful in rebuilding the stage… people began discussing the topic..

After a wait of 4 days… the D-day finally arrived… and people went crazy!! As if the excitement wasn't enough.. the PSD added its bit.. the results weren't sent to everyone at once.. they sent it one by one, discipline-wise… (god only knows how they managed the feat[around 1400 students!!], manually) People were eagerly waiting for the results… a world cup final would have been no match… F5 keys on all the keyboards took a beating… People shouting wildly!! (both in delight and rage..).. There was quite a lot of Drama…

Now after the reality has sunk in… its a bit cooler… but still quite humid.. every talk inevitably is leading just to this… a lot of analysis, discussions and post-mortem going on…. happy about their partners/collegues… people getting angry with others(both for discussing and not discussing about it..)… unhappy with partners… phew! a lot of action all around the place… [It's as if a sleeping Giant has just been woken up…]

After all this hype and ballyhoo.. i just hope the PS stands up to something… I mean.. I hope I stand up to it…. and do something.. some small bit of work.. that'll keep me hooked for a couple of months.. something that'll be worth thinking of later on in life… something that'll be worth posting abt…:-P ok!…. "NPL… Here I come…!!"

I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel. – E.B.White

Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one's levels of aspiration and expectation. – Jack Nicklaus

A Second Blog...

  • It can't really be called a Second Blog… because I won't be posting any new stuff there…
  • I just started it to have a Wordpress experience…
  • I started it to know.. to compare… and to choose…
  • I started it just for fun…
  • I started it because Blogspot may soon be blocked on campus!!!