Sunday, May 10, 2009

Some funny moments I enjoyed recently

These are to be captured before I forget them. There is still a lot of happiness around me and people are enjoying with me hanging around. I am still lively. :)

1. There were lots of funny moments around the colors Green and Yellow. - Yeah, that was with our green card holder, Malaysian Tamil Superstar, Pala. :)

2. The Taboo comedy - Rams and Naresh were in the same team and they have already played the game with the same set of cards. The person who has the card asks - "What do you find in the forest?". Rams replies "Treasure". Then somehow they came to "Plants", "Trees" and then "Animals". Since they said Animal, the guy said "This is an Animal. What is it?". A normal person would say "Lion", "Tiger" etc.. Rams very correctly says "Giraffe"

3. Playing Badminton was meant to be a good exercise. But the badminton we played was different. It is called "Sarojadevi Badminton". :P

Saturday, May 2, 2009

2009 - a year to remember

2009 started in New York City. We watched the crystal ball fall on TV. I went around various famous places in New York with my cousin sister and her husband. It was a nice trip and thanks for the "Vengaya Vatthal kuzhambu". Then I came back and got myself a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg Edition car. And after that I started traveling. There have been days when I have taken my car and driven just for the sake of driving with no place to go. When the fuel tank was close to empty, I used to re-fuel and return home.

We went for the skiing summit a few times, to the waterfalls, some hikes - all in my car. It was fun. I used to get tired and get a sound sleep. I used to go and play games like Poker, 5 cards/Uno, Taboo in my seniors' place. We played Squash in the weekends at the health club. We played Table Tennis in the late evenings. It was quite good. Inspite of all these efforts, I was not happy. There are a lot of reasons for it. I felt like going back to my home country.

There were so many happy days in 2009. I wish it continues this way. Ya, I am, on a whole, not so happy but it is ok with me. It happens and happiness will be mine soon. Some highlights of 2009 so far:

A trip to Alaska
This is like a dream trip for anyone. We went to Fairbanks. During our flight, we saw the Northern lights. The dance of light in the sky will just mesmerize you. Then we took a couple of AWD vehicles and I drove one(RAV4) most of the time. It was a great experience to drive there. We stayed in an isolated bungalow on top of a hill in the Cleary Summit, far away from the city lights. We saw the dancing bands on the sky that day. By that night, our mission of the trip was accomplished. But then we had planned a lot more for the next few days. We went to a small town called North Pole. Then we went to a vast open land of ice. There we went on a dog-sledding ride. Sledge dogs pull you on ice and then through the "Arctic"* trees. After dog-sledding it was Snowmobiling. This was the ultimate fun ride. We rode the snowmobile with full throttle - no traffic, no rules. We climbed sharp cliffs of ice with it. It was awesome.

The next few nights there were only faint displays of Aurora. It was not so great as on the first day. Then we went to the famous Denali national park. We hiked to the Horse-shoe lake, a frozen lake wearing snow-shoes. It was a great hike. The drive back from Denali to Fairbanks was an unforgettable one because of the snowstorm. Driving in the snowstorm with low visibility is not so easy. Then we went to Chena Hot Springs on the next day and we took bath in the open at -20 deg F. The water was at 70 deg F. It was an amazing experience. Then on the way back we spotted some wild animals. Overall, it was a great trip.

I will continue more on the next trips in my next posts. Now, leaving immediately to see Tulips for the 3rd time. I doubt if the people in the gardens would have seen Tulips longer than me. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Writing more..

Just today I was going through the comments and i found a few "keep up the good work.. keep it coming" comments. So I am feeling energized to write one more. So college days are gone. 20+ years gone. Before I start blogging my thoughts and my own philosophies, I will share the incidents in my life as I believe in being a common man and also they will be interesting to read than philosophies. Great people discuss ideas, common people discuss events and there are other people who discuss people. It is always fun sharing events and happenings.

Here I begin.. My dad and me took the IA flight to Hyderabad and were quite excited to see a person holding a board with my name and my company's name written on it. We were taken in a nice air-conditioned sedan to Taj Residency (now called Taj Deccan). I was recovering from Amoebic Dysentry. And I decided to anything that is vegetarian and no restrictions. 15 days of stay in the Taj, we will never forget. Everyday, bathing in the tub for an hour and a half. Boy, that was awesome. Great food at the Blue Flower, the restaurant. We were given a cab for the initial 15 days to go around Hyderabad.My friends were put up at a nearby hotel Taj Banjara. We synced up in the weekends for going around places. We went to the Film City, Secret Lake and many other places. My dad and me covered other places like the Museum.

The museum is a great one worth a mention here. It is called the Salarjung Museum. The museum is a huge one with G+3 floors and we could not cover all the exhibits. The museum ticket had a picture of veiled rebecca and people had told us the important things to see. There were things like large dresses which could be folded into a matchbox, ivory carvings, huge furnitures, man and woman in the same statue, monalisa's duplicate etc.. There was a painting of Salarjung which is a beauty. The room containing the portrait has two entrances. When you enter the room through one of them, Salarjung's foot in the portrait will point towards you and as you move, it will always point towards you till you exit the room. It was awesome.

Then we went to see the veiled Rebecca. It was a white marble statue of a lady covered by a netted veil. And there was a lot of people looking at it. We never realised what makes it so great. Then we went and read the description near the statue. Some history and then this statement, we were taken aback. It stated, "The veil is made of the same marble and the veil merges with the statue at the back". Immediately, I felt goosebumps. Yes, we did confirm it seeing the back of the statue. Make sure to see veiled Rebecca if you come to Hyderabad. She is a beauty.

We found a house to stay in one of the very posh areas of Hyderabad. In fact, it was not a house, it was a bungalow with garden in front of it with space to park 2-3 cars. The house was too big for us. We thought three more would join us. But due to some reasons only we 3 stayed. My dad, after finding us a house, left for Chennai. The area was very calm with lots of police as one of our neighbors was the ex-CM. We later moved from there to an apartment near our office, as we were not willing to pay the exorbitant rent which was planned to be shared by six but was shared among 3 of us.

In the beginning, our team which takes care of the already shipped Operating Systems, was in a different building than the company campus. It had dwarfish cubicles so that we can stand and talk with people in the next cubicles. I still remember the meeting with my Director. The entire team was invited and the new hires were asked to give an introduction. So my intro was "I never intend to speak funny but whatever I talk people have enjoyed and laughed". And of course people laughed at this intro as well.

There we used to play a number of continuous games of Table tennis in the weekends. I also used to play Foos ball, a really tough game to play when you are new. Those initial few months, we played only indoor games and were so eager to shift to the campus. The pool table always looked attractive but I knew I do not play that game well so I avoided it. Work, I do not wish to discuss here nor I am allowed.

Then we moved to the campus.. Already too many words.. Continue in the next blog..

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Final Year

Placements were also fun. I never cleared any written test. I was hoping for a company which would start from an interview directly. I got a couple of placements and I chose to be with one of the best companies. There were a lot of treats and a number of trips. We had been to Bangalore for an All-India contest in Intel and we won the first prize of Rs. 30000. Then we had been to Coimbatore for the Asia Regional finals of the most prestigious programming contest. I had by then placed a full-stop for my pursuit of Masters degree in Science. That too was a decision on my gut feeling. I did not secure my target in GRE and did not even bother to write TOEFL.

Then one of the most memorable trips of the college days was to Goa. It was for a poster presentation at a conference on High Performance Computing. It was for a half-day session and the rest of the 4 days in Goa's water bodies, churches, monuments and the long train journeys were great fun. Then I came to Hyderabad for getting sponsorships from companies for our college's technical symposium. And apart from this we went to a trip to Coorg, Thalacauvery and around. Coorg was a so called hill station and it was not upto our expectations.

And one good cricket ball match, where I was involved in a big unbroken partnership, after wickets tumbled. That was a match where I played in the two-piece stitched ball after a long gap. But did well by scoring the second highest in our innings, though there was a huge difference between what the highest scorer's score was and mine was. We won that match. I conducted Quiz in Prodigy for school students and Abacus, International Technical Symposium.

Then we did enough work in our final year on our research project which is now an IEEE publication. Then after I completed my final year exams, I went on a trip to New Delhi, Simla, Kullu, Manali, Kufri, Chandigarh, Manikaran and Kurukshetra. Rohtang Pass is the best place you can reach by road in the entire world as it is the highest road in the world. Hats off Border Roads!! Taj Mahal, the wonder in India, you can simply realize why it is that greatly acclaimed by the very first sight of it. And after all these travels and treats in a year, I fell ill for a month before I joined my company and I dropped 10 kgs. And that is the only way, I could have lost weight. I will continue with my company experiences in my next post.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Second year and third year

Before going into the Second year, the NSO camp of the first year has to be mentioned. It was a very great experience. The running, mess food, yoga classes, sleeping on the terrace, escaping and going home. Here, we did one more thing when we sneaked through the hostel gate and went for a movie at night. It was a Hindi movie and as I did not know hindi I just had to see the heroine of the movie. Those ten days were great fun and I got new friends there. I played Shuttle Badminton in the camp and since then I have played Shuttle Badminton only a very few times.

Second year we slowly started moving away from the studious attitude and we started involving in other activities. Marks did not matter any more. We started participating in various programming contests and I got close with the most brilliant students of the class. And my god, they were BRILLIANT. There was difference in each and every person in the class. In our second year we went on a tour to Bangalore, Mysore and it was called an Industrial Visit. But many just saw the company from outside. It was great fun and our OS staff could not do any hindrance to it inspite of her efforts.

Third year, we planned to start a company but people suddenly realized it is not going to happen and started quitting from that thought, may be it was a wise decision not to start and face a big flop. Myself and my friend wrote a paper and implemented the idea and went to some college and presented it and won prizes for it. It is the credit to my friend for putting the simple idea in complicated terminologies. My birthday in that year was celebrated so well that I could not forget it. We went to the Marina, cut cakes and had great enjoyment.

We went for two more visits that year. One was to Munnar, Cochin, Ernakulam and around. And the other was an incredible trip to Parson's Valley, Ooty. Parson's Valley trip can never be forgotten. That trekking was awesome, adventurous. I saw natural ice and a brook for the first time, to my memory. Only a very few students went for that trip. I am collecting photos of those trips and soon will post them. As you could easily realize, I am rushing years very easily, since there was nothing so unique, that happened in my life. Thorough enjoyment with laziness no less or no more. Unique events or happenings become slightly unbloggable.

These two years we have played cricket quite often. I remember some of the matches where I went opening and played dead slow and created tension and won them. There were great cricketers in our class. There were people who could bowl really fast. We used play between the two batches and there will be clashes at the end and all were fun. I will continue with the final year happenings in my next post!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

College Fresher

I got a seat in Open Competition in Com.Sci & Engg. in the best college of the University. This has turned out to be the wisest decision I could have taken than to have opted for some other discipline or college. I have seen a lot of great students, brilliance and talent personified. So the first year is where a lot of things happen and it is fun to think of them. In the first semester, I was in the special batch of foreign language students. I had opted for French. My hostel room mates were all from my same native. There was one another similar person to me in the room whom I met for the first time only in my college. He is still residing with me.

Both of us were very lazy and were not at all interested in putting in hard work after all both of us were tired of studying too much for +2 exams. The other two were quite sincere in the beginning. One left after a month to pursue his medicine studies. Hostel was ok but the mess was pathetic. I never used to have food there. Once lizard had fallen in the food and I have even had food in the mess that day. So first year -> ragging!!

Ragging was very mild to me when I listened to the stories of many other fellow class mates. I never went to the Senior hostel for a long time. I went once and escaped somehow. Three instances alone I remember when I was ragged. Once at night in the bunk canteen, some senior asked me to propose for him to his classmate and I did. Then some more naughty questions as usual and as expected. Anytime you met a senior you would be called to their hostel block. I avoided many.

Then it was in French committee inauguration of the year, many were ragged in a well planned way. I was made up like a tribal person with leaves, ink, toothpaste and all sorts of ladies cosmetics and commodities. Then in Freshers' party as usual they made me a messenger and I had to convey many things between a senior boy and a girl. Everything they did to me in ragging were highly acceptable. Our college way of asking name to a senior is "Might mighty senior sir, dirty dirty junior sir, may sir I sir know sir your sir name sir sir sir?" and I have told this quite a number of times.

Then in first semester, being new to Chennai we had to see some places in Chennai first. We have gone for bowling, multiplexes, watched movies back to back and led a very very normal college life except that I could not have food in my mess. It was simply scary and it forced me to call my mother and make her shift to Chennai for the next semester.

First semester was laziness to the peak. Workshop was a torture and boring. Second semester we had Engineering drawing and I hated it to the core. Apart from these two rest of the courses were fine. I got to know many hostel students and after I became a day-scholar I came to know many day-scholars as well. This is a real good thing to know many people. First year, we studied as well. My highest GPA in college was in the first semester with 9.04/10 and my eight semester CGPA graph plot will be one with a negative slope. Too many things have happened but it is too difficult to narrate in short. I will continue soon with more on my college life, studies, tours, treats, Chennai city etc.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My family and my final days of schooling

We were a joint family as I have told earlier. Later, for occupational reasons people went to different places. My father was brought up by his uncle and grandfather. He had come up in life from misery. I do not want to share his life stories and make my blog a sad one. He was brought up in a very very disciplined way. But I was given great freedom by my dad. I am proud to have him as my dad. I have thoroughly enjoyed my life till date. I never felt that I could have had a thing and he has denied me of it.

Me, my parents and later my sister have a great understanding. Whenever we feel something different can be done, we sync up and do it. Right from small things like going to a restaurant to buying things for the house, travel plans etc. were great. We have like tastes. And my tongue was respected by many in my family and friends. I have been quite a gourmet, and my parents have taken me to all restaurants in my native. We have felt the difference after coming to Chennai. Chennai restaurants are awesome when compared to the best of the hotels in my native.

We have travelled a lot, though still not outside India. We have been to many tours like a Kerala tour, Karnataka tour (this is still in my memory Belur, Halebeedu etc.), Bombay tour to mention a few which I can name immediately. All those were not captured in digital media. I am in process of converting those memories in digital media. Our last tour to Kullu, Manali, Shimla etc. are digital memories. School tours were slightly less fun as most of them were single day tours. Our native town lacked a lot of attraction as I realised later when we came to Chennai. I like to travel a lot and I do not think of reaching the destination.

Tenth standard Matriculation board exams were held and I secured 1005/1100 a fair score. I was as usual not the school topper, I stood second. 47 of us wrote the board exam and more than half the strength left the school. Even the topper left the school stating that there is no competition for her. I wanted to study French as my second language in +1. But I was denied by my principal as they were expecting a District rank from me and French students are not considered for it. +1, total enjoyment and my score was less than 85%.

Lost the original content... Adding trying to write whatever I would have written..

In my +1, the only paper where I have performed well was Mathematics where I was awarded 200 and then reduced to 199. I was shown the paper in +2. +2 was the only year I have studied like hell. I had special coaching from three experts for Maths, Physics and Chemistry. I secured Disctrict II Rank with centums in Maths and Physics. I was offered 50% scholarships in two entrance coaching institutes and I joined both the institutes. In one of them, I regained touch with my old friends and one of them is now one of my best friends. I secured a good score in the Tamilnadu Professional Courses Entrance Examination as well.

Now I remember what I had written earlier. Some rare incidents...

In +1 there was a Parent-Teacher Meeting. As usual the staff complained to my dad that I never wrote definitions and answers as given in the textbook. I always put them in my own language. This was a concern for them as I was expected to score a high score in +2. But I was always thinking of a B.Sc. in a college in Tirunelveli. My dad never had let me down. And he always would say that Prasad studies well and he will fair better next time. I never could write or reproduce as given in the textbook. That time, in the meeting, this was another comment which my dad has told me. My english teacher had told that my uniform was not pressed on Monday of the week before the meeting. My dad was too impressed with the care, the teachers showed towards us and the amount of attention they gave me.