Friday, August 25, 2006

Delhi News

Just finished my first week at IRL - a hectic week that started with a nice car ride along Delhi roads to Gurgaon to complete joining formalities at the main IBM office (with a trip to Kutub Minar included in for free) and ended with pineapple cream cake AND chocolate cake at the IRL month end party to celebrate August birthdays and introduce freshers. The middle of the week was work, which I will skip :)

Am off now to look for a rental place to live in thats not too far away from IIT. My first weekend from job starts now. Yipee !!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Plans

Have been busy the past few days winding up, packing my bags, saying my good byes. Am off tomorrow evening to attend Aditee's wedding in Nagpur on the 20th, and will be flying from there to Delhi, to join a job at IBM India Research labs (IRL) from the 21st.

If you know anyone I should be knowing who is in Delhi, please let me know. :)

Am currently busy in ironing clothes and making sure my bags don't weigh more than 20 kgs. Its tough deciding what not to take.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Convo

It was our convocation today.




Was dressed in all white churidar and kameez and the MTech green uttariya.
Heard the speeches by Director Ashok Misra, and the convocation address by Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Took my degree, gave it to my mom.
Became a chipku.
Went for lunch and dinner treats with friends.
Off for movie watching now.
Kinda get the feeling there should be moonlight somewhere, reflected on water though.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lets go outside.

After 2 days of heavy heavy heavy rain, the sun finally came out on Tuesday afternoon, the roads became dry, and I thought this is a good time to empty my desk at IIT and take all the stuff home. By the time I had packed everything up, it was 8 pm, and it had started raining again - very light rain though, so not too bad.

Given the amount of stuff in my desk, it had taken 1 suitcase and 2 plastic bags to get all the stuff in. So I thought I would take an auto home. Asked the watchman at KReSIT to call for an auto, but the main gate guys said that since it's raining, I wouldn't get an auto.

This is when I should have taken the lift, gone back to the 4th floor, left my packed bags there, and gone home by train. I instead frowned and wondered loudly how would I carry a suitcase and 2 bags in the rain? I wouldn't be able to open my umbrella, and would get wet. The watchman then commented saying that its not raining heavily, and the market gate is close by, so I will not get wet if I walk till there and take a rick.

And stupidly enough I took his advice. Suitcase in one hand, 2 bags and unopened umbrella in the other, I started walking. And of course, the rain got heavier. By the time I had covered 60% of the way, my hands were hurting like crazy, and I was totally wet.

This is when I should have thought that this is a stupid idea and gone back and left my luggage at KReSIT and gone home by train. I instead thought that this is a stupid idea but I'm 60% done, so lets keep walking - "market gate dur nahi!".

By the time I had reached the gate, my hands were killing me carrying all that weight, and as already mentioned, I was anyways totally wet. So I kept the luggage with the watchman, and tried to find an auto.

50 minutes later I was still waiting for the auto. Yeah, 50 minutes. And in case you didn't know it, my house is 45 minutes away from IIT by train.

Finally, after 50 minutes, after I had gone to 2 auto stands, and had waited at the main gate (walked from the market to the main gate in the hopes of finding an auto there), finally, I got an auto. But 2 other men had already booked it. :((

But I guess I looked so frazzled and tired, that the auto wala told the other 2 guys to "go away", and decided to take me instead. (Or maybe it was because I had to go a farther distance, and that would mean more money. At that point though I was soo happy that I attributed my good fortune to a v nice auto-driver.)

I sighed in relief thinking finally the nightmare is over.
Guess what. It wasn't.

Now, it was v apparent to the driver that autos were in major demand, and a LOT of people were waiting for autos.

So he decided to start complaining about the traffic to me.

Everytime the traffic slowed down by a miniscule amount, he would start cribbing about how he is losing business cause he is dropping me to Kurla, and traffic is so bad. And then he would ask me to get down there. Knowing fully well that I have a suitcase and 2 bags and am wet and I will not get another auto for another 45 minutes (if at all).

So I had to tell him, "chalo naa bhaiya, please". And smile. X(
When he had said it for the fourth time, and had started slowing down his auto to one side of the road, in the middle of a huge puddle, I wanted to kill him, wondering what more could go wrong now.

Oops.
Wrong thing to be thinking about.
Things did get even more wrong.

It started raining even more heavily.
And the winds got much much worse.
So now a lot of water was coming inside the auto.

This guy had an auto with the curtains that can be rolled down when it is raining, and they were rolled up, and I was getting v wet, so I tried to open the curtains. At which point the auto wala says "Madam, aap bhi gilli ho rahi hai, aur main bhi ...... to curtains rehne deejeye".

I was 10 mins away from home then, and thought it prudent to not get him annoyed now, so sat in the auto getting wet, with the curtains rolled up. :(

Finally, I reached home at 10:30 pm, wet, tired, and irritated.

And this was the night that the lift was not working.
And my house is on the 5th floor.
Thankfully, Jisha had come down to help with the bags.

Small mercies.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Counting sheep

Mom starts getting tense about me going to Delhi, so she tells Jisha that she can't fall asleep.
My sis says "relax mom, count sheep and you will soon fall asleep"

Mom, lying on the bed, closing her eyes, starts saying "sleep 1, sleep 2, sleep 3 ..."

Sis starts laughing. "Mom, I said sheep, not sleep !!"

Mom : sheep? Whats that?

Sis : The animals which give wool ?

Mom : Oh bhed ! Why should I be counting them again ?

Sis : The idea is that you imagine sheep jumping over a fence, and you keep counting them and then you will fall asleep. Its a concept shown in all the cartoons.

Mom : OK.

silence for a few seconds.

Then mom starts saying (loudly) "sheep 1, sheep 2, sheep 3 ..."

:)

Am not too sure how effective the technique was !!

My mom is super-cute though !!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Done

Done with MTech.

Done with hanging out in 210.
Done with treats.

Done with walking the roads.
Done with mess table guppe.

Done with cribbing bout courses.
Done with MTP - major time pass !

CH is all empty right now, so are the h11 rooms.
Noone I know at Badlu, no missed calls for lunch.

Everything seems all empty right now :(

Day 10 - The End

Got up, checked out of the hostel, took the subway to the airport, thought for the millionth time how efficient everything was in London, how helpful everyone was, how easy public transport was.

Checked in luggage, got in the flight, admired the London skyline from the plane, ate good Air India plane food, slept.

Looked back at the past 10 days, felt very happy at all the fun, all the excitement, sad cause the holiday is over, thankful for this opportunity (no, I'm not starting a speech!), wondered when would I do this again.... and with whom... worried about how much I had spent in 10 days....

Wondered if all the chocolates I had got would be enough for everyone, should I have bought some more stuff, did I forget anything?

Made a resolution to blog all the details so I wouldn't forget anything !

Checked out, collected baggage, smelled the smelly Bombay airport, came out to find mom and Tejaswi waiting for me, loaded my luggage in the auto, felt v happy cause it was raining, and reached back to IIT.

The holiday is over.

OK ?

Was waiting at Tilaknagar station at 10:00 pm at night to come to IIT, when this young girl walked by. Not more than 18, dusky, thin, average looks, wearing tight jeans folded up to form 3/4ths, a full sleeved white tight tshirt, with a pink spaghetti on top - just like in the pop song videos. Pink lipstick, kajal, blue eye shadow, chunky earrings and a head scarf completed the outfit.

She walked by me, and then asked some men sitting on the platform "ladies dabba kidhar aayega". And I was surprised by how fearless she sounded. And somehow how lost. How innocent. Almost like she has just come to Mumbai to make her filmi dreams come true. Or maybe run away from family?

Wait a minute. Tilaknagar is right next to Kurla terminus, so thats actually a likely explanation. Now I felt a little worried for her. Who is she? Is she safe? Does her family know she is here?

By this time, she had walked up to me and was asking me if she should be standing here for the ladies. I replied, and later kept staring at her (non-obviously of course), wondering ... And then she asked me at Kurla where to go for Thane. And I was with her in the next train as well. Wondering "Whats her story? Where is she going? Where is she coming from? And whats up with the clothes ?? "

Wanted to ask her if she was OK.
But couldn't.
Noone interferes in anyone's life in Mumbai.

I still hope she is OK though.

Day 9 - Shakespeare

I woke up on my last day in London with a long list of things to be done - places to see, people to call...

First stop was St Paul's Cathedral, which was beautiful, but at first glance, it didn't seem like there was much to see. They had a display going on about Anne Frank, where a life size replica of her room had been built, along with short stories from her book, talking about how her experiences are still relevant in today's society. Since St Paul's is a cathedral after all, they have a crypt underground, which was quite spooky. After that, I climbed many many steps to the Whispering Gallery, where a whisper on one end of the gallery can actually be heard at the other end. I couldn't test this out myself cause I was all alone :), but there was a German couple whispering to each other, and I had fun enacting the man-in-the-middle attack. :)

After that I climbed some more steps to the Golden Gallery, which is a circular balcony from where the whole city can be seen. That was gorgeous ! You could see "everything", and even the London Eye seemed small in comparison (at which point I decided not to go to the London Eye, cause it just couln't get better than this). The London skyline is very beautiful indeed !

I climbed down the 530 steps to the bottom, and crossed the Thames to try and get to the Tate Modern Gallery on the other side, when I happened to see a small "Shakespeare Museum", and entered it cause I thought I had a lot of time. Inside I realized that the museum was connected to the Globe Theatre, and that some Shakespeare play was starting in 20 minutes, and standing tikcets were available for 5 pounds only. Took up on the offer, and watched Coriolanus standing in the front gallery, right next to the actors, for 3 hours. Very tiring, but very interesting as well. Initially, the accent and the Shakespearean language were very tough to follow, but thankfully facial expressions are universal, and I was soon able to figure out the storyline. The theatre itself was beautiful, and so were the lead characters, with great acting as well. A part of the play actually involved a lot of actors standing in the crowd with us, and screaming their lines, and even we were prompted to say "Naye Naye !!" on being asked some question by the actors in the crowd ! Great fun !

Walked around for some time after the play, but was just too tired, and was back to the hostel, for dinner, packing, and for some great conversation with Hannah. Went to sleep worried about the alarm, hoping that I manage to get up in time for my flight back home.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

An Orange Ball with Black Lines

Just a reminder that I had fallen in love with a kid once.

What about the paper jewellery ?