Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Work and Study..... the real deal!

Dad always said, " You are lucky, U dont need to work while u are in college.". Being pushed into working from the age of 18 (still working at 53) he wuld say this to me many times and I being the carefree abstract person I was never understood the meaning of those words.

Enter USA and end of life as u know it. I am now into studying and working life. Study takes from 9am to 5pm and work takes from 7pm to 2am. So really I now know what dad was talking abut.

Life becomes simple though. U reach home at an unearthly hour like 2:30 am, even on a famished stomach, u dont feel like eating, but u eat to keep the body alive, then sleep, sorry crash and before u know it, the alarm starts ringing. One of these days I am going to destroy that clock.

But there are days when I dont work and I assure that week ends remain free. So really I am not complaining abut it. Infact I am glad that I was pushed into doing this. Now I imagine what my father must have gone through at 18, cos he had no day off not even a sunday.

So today after 22 years of my existance I thanked him for all that he did and appologised for being rude many times. I am ok at admitting my mistakes when I realise that they are mine.

" Things change, roll with it!!" right!!


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Sunday, January 23, 2005

Gone with the wind!

Today I want to write about one of my many hobbies.. Biking!

I love to bike. Bike hard and fast. I have a size 26 magna great divide bike with front shocks and 18 speed levels. Its a great machine. Until recently my bike was all paralyzed and stuck, what harmed my bike I dont know but thats past now. I took the bike to the university bicyle centre and got everything fixed.

I usually like to ride at a good pace. I define 'good pace' as a speed which doesnt leave me gasping for breath and yet lets me get to work like zip, zip! Bikers wuld know what I am talking abut. The numerous gear options help.

I have always loved biking and I have always had a special relationship with my bikes (which was part of the reason why I didnt sell my bike when I was supposed to ) . As far back as I remember, I had discovered biking in the 4th grade and I used to bike a teeny tiny little bike around a suitable teeny tiny compound at my building back in India. I wuld circle the compound for hours at a stretch and people wuld wonder why I never got bored. Then I graduated to a bigger adult sized bike which I still remember vividly, partly because I had dreamt of having that bike for a long long time and partly because the bike was simply superb ( the most expensive thing on the market mind you! ). It was a model 'Tango', make 'Hero' with front and rear shocks that really did the trick, no gears though but the bike was great.

Today after cleaning my bike, I was admiring 'Rapier' (thats the bike's name) for a long long time. Everything being clean, it reflected the sunlight clear as a mirror and looking at the shiny metal I pondered abut what biking means to me.

U see every biker develops his own style of biking over a period of time. Some styles are foolish, some are boring but thats just my opinion. Every ones style is different and its their own. I like to feel the experience alive with speed. So even if its a short distance, I am cruising at a good speed.

The thing that I really like is to feel the bike accelerating and to feel the power of my own youth being transferred onto the bike and testified by the growing wind. I judge the preferrable speed by the road and the traffic conditions prevailing but I cannot drop below a point where it stops being exciting and many times it gets me into situations where I am going too fast for the conditions. Thus there is always this element of risk involved when I ride. I mean shuld I fall, I wuld get into big trouble and when I am riding I know this damn well. Its one of the things I get a kick out of.

So why risk life and limb and choose speed instead of a safe steady easy going correct pace? I cannot possible answer that question in words. To get the answer, you need to take a well oiled bike outside and ride fast and look at things going by you at speed and feel the great wind in your ears deafenning you against all other noises and know that the source of all of that was your own body.

To passers by on the street, I am just 'Gone with the wind!'


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College Days


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Saturday, January 22, 2005

City Nights


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Miami Eve


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thats me Posted by Hello


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Monday, January 17, 2005

There and back again!

I got up today and the whole room was spinning crazily, I had been down this road before and knew that it was probably due to a sudden loss of composure of my body; an electrolyte imbalance or a low bp some thing like that.

It reminded me of a morning in Nov 03, I was in the middle of submissions and prelim exams of my 7th sem. The illness was much more sever back then. Everything spinning too fast round and round and spinning u with it. I think my eyes were also rolling. I couldnot stand for I knew I wuld loose balance and fall. Every heart beat sending a jolt of shooting pain in the brain. Definetly scary.

I fought to gain control, ignore the spinning room and focus on what needed to be done. I got into a sitting stance and it reduced the spinning. Next I needed to go to the bedroom to wake up dad, it was 6 am in the morning and everyone was sleeping. I tried to make a route for me out of the room, selecting things I will use as support and the number of steps I culd take before reaching my next support. Ordinary thing like going from my room to the main bedroom had become a navigation excercise. I did get there and Dad being the person he is got me hospitalized in no time.

From the middle of a busy schedule where you culdnt remember the last time u had food, I had fallen into this seemingly slow paced monotony of a hospital room where each second seemed like ages. 6 bottles of fluid and 3 days later I walked out of the hospital irritated at the loss of time and the gap in schedule.

I had missed an exam. And I had no preparation for the next. Result I flunked in the next prelims and took the missed one sandwiched between other two. Thankfully it was the college prelims and not the main university exams.

I finished the prelims some how, then there were viva's and after which the exam was scheduled within half a month. But that was not the first thing on my mind. The first was the application process, which needed attention , a lot of it actually. Preparing application packets is a painstaking process that any MS student here can tell u. Recos, SOPs, transcripts, marksheets, affidavits and what not. Everything took its own time and if during the day you culd free out 2 hrs you culdnt study for the exams, your mental mode wasnt right and this wasnt the way you prepare for exams atleast I was used to work out a timetable, prioritize subjects, select syllabus to be covered, what to study and what to be left for option was decided and only then the subject was touched.

I did go thru that hell afterall and got to USF. ....................... to get into further hell that is. And today it was that experience thru hell that made me stay calm and get back to normal health.

Experience is the best teacher as they say.


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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Things that were!


Today winamp suddenly played a memorable song. It was the slower version of the title song of 'Dil Chahta Hai'. I usually associate songs with the times when the film was released and how life was then. I had seen this film with my entire class in a local theatre while in the third semester of engineering. I was late for the show and the film had already started. People were rocking to the tunes of 'Koi kahe' when I entered the pitch dark of Meghraj. I was stepping over toes and and fumbling to find my seat and even now I can distinctly remember the comfort I had from the fact that shuld any one from the audience beat me up, it wuld probably be a member of my class!

We were just out of hell (freshmen year) and had got our first real 15 day vacation. Fresh and eager to get out of the academic world, we were filled with the contagious enthusiasm that is the hallmark of a second year Engineering student. It was a time when u get to know ur seniors and work with them. U start taking part in extracuriculars, which as mentioned above not only introduces u to seniors but also lets u bunk classes and get attendence for doing it!Academically it was the easiest sem I remember, practicals were light and I had a great programming partner. College wuld usually end at 2pm for comp 3, needless to say we were the envy of our counterparts. I wuld usually go to the basket ball court behind college and play for a while with my fellow class mates and although I never learnt more than 'how to pass the ball', it was great fun none the less. When not playing I wuld sit on the stair like benches (built by some poor work shop students mind you! ) and chat with friends.............. chat abut movies, who is having a crush on whom, who got caught while giving a plagiarized demo, everything and nothing at all and enjoy the wind. It was the most relaxing part of my day.

The world was a very simple place................. there were no career issues in mind, there was no stress and there was no worry. It was the time when I happily kept an empty mind (not a devils work shop!). It allowed friendships to cement and rendered a health that I wuld dearly need to go through the rest of my under graduate career.

Now as life becomes progressively worse, its a memory that acts as my oasis. Bored by debugging an impossible program I sit quietly for a while and make a mental escapade onto the basketball court and hear the ordered chaos of the game, shoes squeaking, the thump of the ball, I almost live it again. And it never fails to give me the strength to fight the damn bug once more.

Afterall as Bryan Adams wuld have said ... "Those were the best days of my life! "


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