Archive - Jan 2004

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January 23rd


Techfest, one of India's biggest technical festivals begins tomorrow at IIT Bombay. I'm sad because I didn't have the time to prepare for it and come up with something (Kapil, Jayant and I are all working at different places this semester). I'm also sad because this is probably the last college technical festival I'll be witnessing as an undergraduate. Of course, that is assuming I am fortunate enough to pass and get my degree this year.

Well, there's still a lot to see in a tech fest even when you're not participating. I intend to be the "silent witness" this time, instead of putting on my usual enthusiastic software demo zealot garb. I'm really looking forward to the Open Software Demo contest and the talk by Kevin Warwick.

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No, I wasn't suffering from writer's block.... it was more of a guilt sort of a thing - trying to cope up with the overdose of holidaying, and not working. Now that I'm back in my geek-workaholic-sit-in-front-of-computer-all-day mode, things should become normal soon.

The first thing I want to write about is where I'm writing from. As you can see from the header graphic, I'm writing live from Mumbai, more specifically from the Informatics lab at the Computer Science department at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, which is in Powai. The work environment at IITB is quite different from what I'm used to. The networks here are built like fortresses; everything is secured. It took me hours to get past the firewalls and figure out a way to check my own (outside) email. IITB(or atleast the part I've seen so far) is a linux country; windows machines are harder to find than girls on the campus.

January 13th

live from mumbai

Greetings from the city that never sleeps! To compensate for the non correspondence from Jamshedpur, the most well planned town in India, I shall now write about my stay in Jamshedpur, a.k.a. Tatanagar. The town is named after the great Jamshedji Tata, founder of the Tata Empire, one of the largest corporate empires in India. It was founded many, many years ago by the Tatas to support their iron and steel mining operations, and is a true marvel in town planning. I find it incredible that a single corporation takes care of everything in the city - the roads, electricity, and all other facilities are handled by Tata.

January 8th

travelogue II

Greetings from Ranchi! Here I am, in the capital of Jharkhand, the one time summer capital of British India's eastern zone. It's almost as cold as Delhi, except that's it's less foggy and less polluted.

The one scary aspect about travelling is relatives. In India, meeting an uncle or aunt or grandmother on any other remotely related relative means that they're going to stuff you. Stuff you with food. With sweets. And with an uncanny, manic, sadistic pleasure so overpowering that you promise to do the same to them the next time they come to your place. I'm sure this custom is a conspiracy by the Indian foods and sweet industry.

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January 3rd

travelogue I

Thanks to the fog in northern india, it's virtually impossible to drive almost anything anywhere. Visibility at dawn is next to zero - we had to follow blinking lights of autorikshas on our way to the station. And then there's the train which arrived here 9 hours late. Oh, by the way, I'm here in Kolkata - reached safe and sound, albeit tired and trainsick. Supposedly, the last few days are the coldest Kolkata's seen in years, but it seems like spring to me, compared to the winter in Delhi. I guess I'm travelling on a cold wave.

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January 1st

too oh oh fo!

The leap year's leaped in! Happy New Year!

Having slept a total of about 15 minutes in the last 48 hours, I'm finding it very difficult to write coherently. Anyway, my next post will be from Kolkata. Bye!