Monday, April 21, 2008

The last stand..

Lethargy can be a part of your life but sometimes it tends to set your life apart; even if it is your usual semester examination. There are times when you hate a subject which conveniently adds on to your woes. One such subject was computer architecture ,way back in third year.

CA classes were for activities like sleeping, dreaming, writing records under desk, chatting everything except listening. I am not even sure what the staff attempted to teach as I was stubborn not to listen. The internals don’t pose a threat because cramming in the answers the day before and during the long tiresome bus journey was more than enough to score decent. The questions were always predictable.

You realize that the time has flown only when the semester exams are around the corner. Perfect for get-together…ooops..I mean the effective combine studies. The CA exam was in another two days when my friend and I realized that we had done nothing.
If I were the VC of our university, I would make sure that the exams are never in May because the sun and books do their magic and make us sleep; even in the exam hall.

Big fat foreign author books are very good. They explain concepts clearly but strictly not recommended for people who study the day before the exam. After some desperate search for a local author book, we got only one copy and decided to share. We made our avowals and swore to do some serious study the next day and worked on a plan.

Our study strategy’s first step was to invite two more people to help us. My sister and another friend were chosen. The pathetic part was that my sister was in eleventh and the friend was doing medicine!!They seemed much more focussed than we were. The problem was one book and 4 people.Trrrrrr…the book was torn into four sections-chapter 1 & 2 with me and rest distributed among others.Chapters are always framed this way-first easy,second long but doable,third and fourth hard, and fifth..I am not sure.I have never reached till there in any semester.The two tables in my room were occupied by sister and me and friends made themselves comfortable on the bed.My Engineering friend slept more than she read.The room was silent was 3 hours and the first to speak was my doctor friend(that’s how I am going to refer her ) who had read the entire chapter assigned and was ready to pour out whatever grasped ;much to our embarrassment.She did her best and we dealt the rest ourselves.In this way most of the syllabus was done.My sister was excited about the entire process and asked questions,to which we, obviously ,didn’t know the answers. Two of them left early while my engineering friend stayed till late night.The subject was done to satisfactory level.

The next day,after usual hustle-bustle in the corridor and last minute cramming, I entered the hall and prayed extra hard.I found that I wrote more than I had learnt but that is what I call tactics.Everyone described that paper as tough, so that left me in safe zone as the correction would be lenient. My friend too had done her best .During the time-gap between the exam and result,we promised that we would be more serious about exams and many other things (which we have never followed till date). We waited for the results anxiously which came out in another two months.

Much to out relief,we managed to scrap through!! My mother was shocked to see a ‘just pass’ but I gave my innocent ‘I –don’t-know- what-went-wrong’ look.She grumbled about something-the university or me I couldn’t hear.I rang up the other friend and told her the result and bribed my sister not to tell the inside story.

After all that was over,I made it a point to not to repeat this last minute study again as luck would not favour a person always.

Having read just four lines from my ‘entire’ Mobile Communication’s book, I was bugged and so began to write this article. By the way, the exam is in another 2 days.

Chew n swallow

Things I have learnt n learning from life so far...

1) Advice ur peers how much you would want to hear.
2)We make friends but at the same time enemies too.But that is not your problem;it's theirs.
3)Whatever happens,whoever comes or however things go;ultimately it's 'you' that matters.
4)Give in your best but expect the worst.
5)Some people dont change;we change for them.What you must realise is that there are other people too changing for you.

hmmm...still learning..(will be updated as and when things happen)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Absurdity...

My sister has always been smart though I rarely admit that to her. Anyway, I can say that with confidence because no one else knows her better. When her tenth result was out, all of us just grinned. Many score well in boards because they work hard while she hardly worked.Intelligence is the right term , I suppose.

We have one thing in common-rarely miss classes but our views are different. I attend them so that I don’t miss out on anything and she attends because she attempts most of the paper with what she listens in class. I think with my head while she thinks on her feet.Her intellectual talents don’t stop here.She has been selected in Olympiads many a times and a regular topper in national talent tests. So,you could say she is versatile.

Hey!I am not writing this in praise of her or even to shower her with love or anything but to give the general idea how smart a person she is.Hope you got the idea.

Now,coming to the point;IIT wants people like this(or that’s what it claims) and I believe she has got it all to make it there.

After tenth ,we put her in one of the IIT training institutes. I believe that these institutes are not only coach you to help you enter IITs but also provide a platform to show where you stand amongst the crowd. Mother was entirely pleased with the coaching centre but what remains irony is that the same institute coaches another 52,000 students the same way.

This was the time she worked.I think I am understating the ‘work’ part.I have heard of passions but never felt it all my life. Whenever I enter the study room(a rare occurrence),I see her work furiously.You know they say something like work with heart and soul-exactly the same.I am not exaggerating.But I didn’t see this only with my sister but her friends too.

My curiosity got better of me-I questioned them all .Half of them said it was their dream; other half ,their future; while some explained that they love to study(wow!quite shocked when I heard that).I always make a mockery of the mock tests. Everyone acts like they are for real.After a mock test is done they discuss ,grumble and make some avowals but always took it serious.Infact the entire preparation was serious.

The teachers were dedicated.I have hardly seen staffs so broadminded.The collective IQ of the staffs in her school alone could be more than the collective IQ of my entire college(he he he).No rote learning or teaching ;all solved just like that.She was very satisfied with the institute.She says that she doesn’t care if she gets through IIT or not but has enjoyed every moment of working for it.Thats attitude in my opinion.

Yesterday, sister’s batch wrote the IIT exam. 4 years at IIT has been her dream for past 5 years.Friends and her discussed the paper as usual in the evening.Looks like all have done their best.

What is daunting me is that when the results come in june first week,It is definitely going to make some sad while other’s fulfilled.That one day is going to justify everything-a student’s smartness, hard work,passion and dedication.That just one day.

Can things be more absurd?

Why I love 5.someone

NOTE: This is not a review.

Being a teen is fun but being a youth is altogether different. You are compelled to be responsible and mainly sensible:).College life plays a dominant role and it is the time where you can have fun and at the same time realize your dreams.Be what you want to be and do what you ought to have done all your life. Friendships reach great heights in college life and everyone will seem special in one way or the other.
5.someone is all about college life and friendship-the very first reason why I adore the book.I have read books of very few Indian authors and so it is kind of absurd to say Chetan is the best still I find his style unique and simple.What you say or would do is there.They fight, argue,take sides and even lament now and then but finally they stand for each other and when you have finished reading the book you would probably start realizing that some of your friendships are like that. The book is genuine-it simply revolves around three ordinary guys who could be among us.
The second reason why I would recommend the book is that a person could be one of the three characters or merely their combinations.One could be cool and good looking yet timid at heart or top your class yet feel that you are useless or even feel miserable about your looks.
When reading the book, I found that I was partially all of them.I am a bit like Alok ,very less of Ryan and more of Hari. I say I am more of Hari for a simple reason-I too want to be like Ryan.

I simply love the book.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Traumatic yet sympathetic(project experience)

Now, I feel like Einstein. Three months of 'so called' project in my core subject and it is done once for all. By mentioning Einstein, I wasn't referring to the brains or even the experiment but my hair has just turned out that way with ample sunshine everyday..he he.

It all began last year with HOD demanding that we find a sensible project in some good company. But the point is that the GOOD company had to take us!!But who listens??Like the intrepid and daring travellers, my friend and me first started searching for a project and almost begged for it towards the end(ok ok ,no details on that).As we are the future telecom engineers(with us as the engineers , I doubt if the telecom has any future?!?!),we started with the same industry i.e. AIRTEL,BSNL(they gave projects to both computer science and information technology students but not for ECE) and AIRCEL.All denied our requests by simply saying that the labs have tight security and allowing us would be dangerous.Poor things,they really didnt know our abilties.After telecom,our destinations were predictable-WIPRO,PANASONIC and BPCL.Each of them had their own excuses .After all that search,we became desperate because it was almost project period .Suddenly the idea of asking at the Chennai Port Trust hit us.But what has an Electronics engineer to do in a port?When we put forth the same question to our HOD,she simply said that our seniors had done projects there.That was enough and two almost exhausted nuts reached there the very next day.

The first day at the port was the most unforgettable. Hey, of course not in a good sense.What happened was that the bonafide from our college costs us (can you beat that??..yup,20 solid bucks for each bonafide) and we have a habit of submitting the xerox at all places.We did the same at the port.The director was so strict and he found out that is was not the original.The reaction-he flung it in the air!!And my friend did some gymnastics and caught it in mid air while I stood frozen staring at his face.I found myself shivering and was quite happy to see my friends hand trembling too.After certain initial blasts he finally allowed us to do a project there.However he warned us that the projects would be old and not very useful for average scorers (ya,the average scorers) but we agreed because we needed a company certificate.We were asked to meet his minions and the usual running around the place began.The only thing I don't like in Chennai is the sun and it was unusually scorching at that time(what at that time..cha..all the time) and we turned very much the darker shade.When we enquired about the title and the projects offered,they weren't good and one of the supervisors hinted that we could get help somewhere.That was it!!the next day we were in search of a project centre(ya,the same place where you almost get the project done).To be frank,it wasn't our laziness or languid nature but our aim was to complete our project successfully with an output.As recommended by our HOD,we hit a centre at Nandanam and chose the embedded field.

The tragic story part-two began here.I really don't know why but we had problems with everything-with coding,output,slides and enhancements.We hit the centre almost everyday either fighting them or simply what I call negotiating and occasionally gave attendance at the port to show our progress.Our guide at the port was very flexible and friendly.The certificate was assured.

But the problem at college did not end.HOD found our project too simple and demanded enhancement.Thanks to Jimmy Wales,Wikipedia is a boon.We searched the net for all possible enhancements (and occasionally sneaked into orkut..he he) and found one totally hilarious -something like a loud speaker.We got the entire circuit from one of the electronics sites.The HOD wasn’t all that impressed but it was the best we could find.

Hey!How could I forget the reviews?It was a classic performance-a big time comedy(well you guessed the jesters:)).We made everyone happy(ya ya,they laughed their heart’s content)-HOD,staffs and even our juniors(now,I am waiting for their turn:)) .We say something and they laugh.So,all the reviews went on this way(and I still wonder why we spent time on the slides when no one was interested).It was during the end of project that we found our enhancement not compatible and a big thanks goes to our classmate who pointed out that it wasn’t possible(Thank god that some technical guys do exist).It was as usual the last minute galata and we needed to get it done somehow.The solution was obvious-the ritche street(for people who aren’t aware of ritche street-it isn’t just a street but a long stretch of road at Chennai where absolutely any electronic gadget is available).

Here began our tragic story part three.When we got down from the bus,we didn’t know into which corner we turned but our heads and the corners began to spin at the same time.We went into every shop we could find but the IC wasn’t available.The enhancement idea was dropped(and we made a point to buy a couple of ear plugs for the reasons everyone can find out).

The project at the centre was done(with lot of persuasion and slogging) and when the kit were in our hands ,we felt like warrior princesses.With a smile stuck on to our faces, we proceeded to get the certificate at the port.That guy was a sweet heart. He simply looked at our project and was satisfied with our efforts and the certificate was issued within an hour.Now,for the report.All we had to do was fill pages with what we had done.More the pages ,more you have slogged-that was the general idea. After 7 semesters at our University ,that wasn’t going to be hard.After referring to many old reports, we finally got ours done.

We planned to take the print out at Kodabakkam-supposed to be cheap and fast .The grave mistake we did was to go there the day before our submission. I have seen queues at passport office, ration and even near water pumps but this was the first time I saw queue at all Xerox shops. ‘Wait for half an hour to one hour’ was the standard reply.We finally managed to get into(actually crammed into and considering my size, it was a bit comical) one of them.After time moved like snail,we got ours done. Though we both weren’t entirely satisfied ,didn’t mention that to each other. It was very late in the evening when we gave the print out for binding.I left the place earlier and my friend waited.We got only one book bound as the place was crowded.

The project is almost over and it looks like half the battle is won.The final review is yet to be done and think it wont be much of a problem(as always,saying is easy).

When we were doing the things and working, it seemed hectic and irascible but after all that is done, I think I enjoyed every moment. Hmmm…Life is that way:)