Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Paneer !

2 litres of milk that got spoiled today, that had to be boiled and filtered and cooked into paneer bhurji.

That was the highlight of my day so far.
From those to whom much is given, much is expected.

From http://www.gatesfoundation.org/MediaCenter/Speeches/Co-ChairSpeeches/BillgSpeeches/BGSpeechHarvard-070607.htm

Monday, August 20, 2007

New Home

Finally our new home in Pittsburgh has been set up.

We have mattresses and a couch and a desk+chair, and a fan and lots of really pretty lamps, and also a lot of gadgets in the kitchen - microwave, dishwasher, sandwich maker, blender, BIG fridge, etc. etc. It looks AWESOME !!

This is our living room :




This is my room :



And finally this is the kitchen :

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Friday Night

Today was pretty much my first real Friday night here, and I went out with Alankrita, Ramnath, Jose and Daniel to Station Square. We listened to some live music at the square, saw musical fountains, had pizza at Louie Bar, and finally, went up the incline of Mount Washington to see Pittsburgh. And when we went up the incline, some baseball match had just got over, and there were some brilliant fireworks display going on for 15 minutes !!

That was fun!

Differences

As we waited for our bus to CMU, I saw a car driver pass by, with what looked like a bottle on the top of his car. And when he turned at the intersection, of course the bottle fell in the middle of the road, and juice started spilling out all over... while he still drove on at 80 kmph, or whatever speed he was at...

And Alankrita and I were shocked to see such a callous act, especially in the US of A. I thought that maybe the driver or passenger was drunk, and thought it was a funny thing to do. But then Alankrita had a better explanation - that the driver was drinking juice as he came out of a grocery store, kept the juice on top of the car while he loaded his groceries, and then sat in the car and drove off, forgetting the juice on top, where it stayed till the first turn.

Her theory was soon validated when we saw the driver stop 200m away from the intersection, looking back trying to figure out what had happened. Then he drove off.... and we saw him a minute later, as he turned and came back, parked at the side of the street, and came to the middle of the intersection, to pick up the bottle that he had dropped.

This happens only in the US.

Friday, August 17, 2007

CMU Campus

Well, to be honest, CMU doesn't seem to have a campus, just a whole lot of buildings, since it doesn't have a campus boundary wall at all. But then again, it has this largish lawn, with trees in between the HUB and the University Center building - almost like a park ... which is the closest to an identifiable campus-like area.

And today evening, while I walked through it, in search of my own building, I crossed under-grads playing ball, and frisbee, and other students walking along, talking animatedly, and this one guy who was sitting under a tree, playing the guitar and singing songs.

The weather was warm, yet a nice breeze was blowing, ruffling my freshly washed hair, and there was nice music, and it just felt so good.

So I sat down in the grass as well, and listened to him play, and watched the sunshine through the leaves in the trees, and stared dreamily at all the people. With a lap to lie down on, life would be perfect.

Roadside Blues

So the first thing that has started bothering me about the US is that they drive on the wrong side of the road, so I never know which side to look when I cross !!!

And then you have to worry about not jay-walking, and not standing on the wrong side of the road when you are waiting for a bus, and you have to remember when to pay the driver (its not fixed, it depends on the time of the day, and the direction the bus is going - I think).

Hadn't thought that non-drivers would also get confused about looking left/right first, and then crossing.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Robotics

So I walk into the Newell Simon building today afternoon, and I see a robot walking (rolling) towards me. It stopped in front of 2 guys ahead of me, and said "would you like some sweets?". It had a tray full of a variety of chocolates (one of each type), and you could ask for a chocolate, and it would recognize what you are asking for, and then you had to pick it up, and show the chocolate to it, and it said "OK" (not sure whether it was learning the types of chocolates, or actually cross-checking whether you took the right chocolate). Superb stuff !!

And did I mention that there is a robo-receptionist here, who doesn't have voice recognition yet, but has NLP capabilities, so you can ask it for "directions to XYZ's office", and it will answer ?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My Hero

I remember being in seventh standard still.
Watching Yeh Dillagi 10 times. And all the rest of Saif Ali Khan's movies. Even the worst of them were watched again and again.

Watching his bad dancing, and wishing I were dancing with him.
Smuggling bad postcards that cost 1 Rupee and had his photograph on it into school. Punishment for being caught with such a postcard in school was severe, the risk taken was worth the thrill of having your hero in your bag to stare at all through the day.

Day dreaming about him in history and geography class.
Planning to bunk school with Neha Naik, and try and find his house, and stand outside it to get a glimpse of him (she wanted to go to Shahrukh's home). Never found the guts though.

Making weird acronyms that started with SAK(Saif) and SK(Shahrukh), progressing to weird poems with each line starting with S, A and K in succession.
Learning the steps to "Job bhi koi ladki dekhon", the dialogues in his movies, being so jealous of Kajol, cause he loved her, and danced with her, and ...

Refusing to believe that "Main Anari, Tu Khiladi" could be a flop !! Such a great movie !!

Growing up and realizing in 11th what a bad bad actor he was then. :(
And how pathetic he really looked with his girly long hair, and weird dancing steps.
Falling out of love, never to idolize anyone this much ever again. No more heroes.

Noticing a couple of years ago how he has improved, how he looks good now, and acts soo well.
Not falling in love again though. With him or any other "hero".

The days of innocent hero-worship have gone.