Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back to Campus

(Yamuna during sunsent)

Does it happen with me or with everyone else that the thing for which you are excited and are so eagerly looking forward to always get spoilt. The more excited you get, bigger gets the spoiler. This has happened to me so many times that I now force myself not to get excited. But in the process, I think about it so much that excitement though not apparently visible boils inside me all the while.

This time I was so much excited to see Sangam. I wanted to see the confluence of Ganga and Yamnua which merge together to form Triveni. But alas, there was no Ganga. I know it sounds incredulous but its true. The flow of Ganga has been stopped by some dam upstream. So there was just Yamuna. All those people downstream who believe that they are actually taking a dip in Ganga are getting cheated. Its just Yamuna there. Ganga has been stopped. You could see its river bed at Sangam.

But nevertheless, Allahabad visit was great. Nothing can substitute Ganga. But Yamuna with its green water makes up for the deficit. The rivers always beckon me. Its so soothing to see that great a mass flowing in unison. But at the same time it is also intimidating for its flow can uproot you.

The flow of the Yamuna is gentle in the great plains. So you cant hear the water flowing as you would upstream. I would have loved to hear that sound. I could imagine myself lying beside a river on a moonless night with nothing but that sound as my companion for the night. I have infact breiefly but closely realized this imagination. It was during our visit to Sikkim. It was night time and river Teesta was flowing at some distance from our accomodation and I was standing there by the wall facing Teesta, unable to see it but still feeling the presence of its water through the sound. I led her water enchant me. It was just so comforting and so magical.

Besides Yamuna and Sangam, we went to see Swaraj Bhawan and Anand Bhawan, the home to Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. They are now museums with many pics of the Nehru family, depicting their jouney during the coarse of their struggle for Independence. There was one pic of Mahatma Gandhi with other Congress men in which he was wearing a suit and was so unlike the stereotypical Gandhi we have in our minds that it was really difficult to recognize him. Believe me, if you are given a photo of him which is not in his loin cloth, then you will not be able to recognize him.

In all Allahabad visit provided me the change that I had been seeking since a long time. So after 2 days at Allahabad and 4 days at home, I am back to the campus for the new semester. We also have first yearites in our hall this time. So I'm looking forward for some 'informal interaction' with them in the coming days.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Off to Allahabad

Finally I am getting out of Kanpur for a week. I am going to Allahabad tomorrow with a friend. The train leaves at around 6 in the morning. That means we will have to get ready by 5. And that can happen only if we don't sleep tonight.

I had wanted to go to Allahabad and Varanasi since quite a long time. I want to see Ganga there. Not because of some religious beliefs but because there is something about her that mesmerizes me. Ganga and Ganga ghats. I have seen them at Haridwar, Rishikesh and Kanpur. And all the experiences were different.

At Haridwar, the ghats are always flooded with the people. We went there on the occasion of Buddha Poornima. So the numbers were much greater and so was the impact. It really is a spectacle to see people in that great number. You can just stand there doing nothing but just watching the people. Some are there for the last rites and some are there to celebrate the birth- the first mundan. Some are tourists like me who are attracted as much by the river and the temple as by the people.

There is an evening aarti everyday at Har Ki Pauri. You can see fire against the backdrop of water. Its just splendid. The mornings are no less eventful. I took a dip in the Ganga in the morning. Even on that hot summer day, the water was cold and in the end, I would say that it was a courageous act :P .

Ghats at Rishikesh are much more peaceful. Here the backdrop is different. It now has mountains and tall trees. And then there are these narrows streets with sidelanes originating unexpectedly. The atmosphere there just forces you to leave everything and go for a backpacking.

In Kanpur, there is a Ganga ghat at Bithoor. Unlike Haridwar and Rishikesh, it is not abuzzed with people. The flow of the river is quite gentle.(The pic below is of Bithoor ghat)

But the view of Ganga is still incomplete for me until I can see her at Sangam and at Varanasi. Along with Haridwar, Sangam is the most pious pilgrimage for the Hindus. My friend says that one should make a point to see it during a Kumbh mela. At that time, Allahabad becomes the most populous city of the world.(Below is a pic of Sangam that I found on Flickr)

Below is a picture of the Varanasi ghat taken on a morning. I found it on Flickr. This single pic has left me craving to go to Varanasi. I don't think that I would be able to go to Varanasi this time but I do know that I will go there some time or the other.

Its 4 in the morning, so I should start my packing now. I will write again with the details of my Allahabad visit.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shifted to new hall of residence

This 'Hall of residence' term very much belongs to IITK. Our hostels are called by this name. The reason for this naming was told to us 4 years back during our orientation. I don't remember it clearly but the underlying reason was that it gives to its residents, a sense of belonging. Though I am sure that any hosteller would have as much attachment to his hostel as we have. But I really like the intentions. It sounds better. It feels better. Hall of residence.

So today we shifted from hall 1 to hall 9 and the whole day was consumed in this activity. Right from packing all the stuffs to transferring it to hall 9 in a cycle rikshaw to arranging things again in a new place. This hall is quite far from the academic area. A cycle has become a necessity now.

I used to own a cycle. It was 7-8 years old. I purchased it in class 8th or 9th and brought it with me when I came here. But my first hall (hall 2) and then hall 1 were so close to the academic area that I never felt the necessity of using it. And when I shifted to hall 1, I didn't even bring it with me. I abandoned it just like that.

I still remember the excitement with which I bought it. I had cycled from the shop to my home in the afternoon. It was 7-8 km. But my association with it ended just because I didn't care to bring it over a distance of 200m. Quite ironic. Actually even now I didn't go to see it. I think that by now it must have been confiscated and auctioned.

I really liked hall 1, the oldest hostel of IITK. It is about 45-50 years old. It is the residence of the 4th yearites. It is dreaded by the 1st yearites but revered by the rest. I still remember the initial days when our seniors used to threat us to take us to hall 1. At that time, it looked to us like a great bastion resided by the all mighty 4th yearites and from which escape was next to impossible.

There was so much of glory attached to it. All those years we caved to go to hall 1. We had to wait for 3 long years. But the wait was worth it. Probably that is what makes it Hall 1.
The dual degree program really sucks. I had liked to graduate from the hall 1 itself. Its nice to retire in your highs.

But hall 9 isn't that bad. Its quite new so there are not many trees around, something of which we are very used to. But all the grass makes up for it to some extent. And since it is a bit far from the main area, its quite airy. The sky also looks much clear.

It would take me some time to get adjusted in this new place. I don't like changes. At least not initially. But then I get used to them. And then I start liking them and then I don't want some other changes and the cycle goes on. This time I just hope that this change brings me some good luck and good sense. I need both of them desperately.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Test Cricket is Beautiful

Test crckiet is having a good run these days. Earlier, it was Sri Lanka and Pakistan and now it is Australia and England in Ashes. The last 2 tests were an absolute pleasure for any cricket fan. Though I have not been able to watch any games but I am following them very closely. Its really so nice to see some test cricket. After IPL and T20 world cup, cricket was looking boring. T20 is mostly about mind less hard hitting. It is just good in small doses because after some times, all the matches looks more or less same.

But it just took a week of great test cricket to bring back the lost excitement. Test cricket is just so beautiful and elegant. Those jam packed slip cordons for the fast bowlers with edges coming there every now and then, all those close fielders for the spinners eagerly waiting for an inside edge, the straight drives against fast bowlers and square cut against spinners are just a treat. And when its Ashes, its really an icing on the cake. All these years with the exception of 2005 Ashes series, Australia has mostly dominated the matches. But it is still so delightful to watch the matches. I especially love the way English men watch their cricket. Coming early in the morning with an umbrell, beer and a newspaper and having a nap sometimes in between. The first match though ended with a thrilling finish was mostly one sided. I hope that the coming matches are bit more close.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Confused, puzzled, undecided !!

Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator.

This statement comes from one of the greatest self - acclaimed procrastinator and that is me. After having wasted nearly whole of the summer semester, I have started feeling guilty now. It feels as if I am cheating myself. I had planned many things for these summers but I just kept on delaying things. I could not find any motivation to do anything and that is because I just don't know what I'd like to do in the future.

The luckiest person on the earth is that who knows what he wants to do and also gets to do it.

Life was pretty straight forward till class 12th. I knew what I had to do. I had set an aim for myself. But right now, everything seems hazy and unclear. Earlier, there was a desperation. A desperation to clear JEE. But after having cleared it, I have become complacent. In fact many IITians do. You start to think that your future is secured only to discover later that it was just a start of the journey.

I really miss the desperation. Desperation just energises you. There is nothing to lose. You give your heart and soul to your work. I seriously want to be restored to that class 12th phase. But unfortunately, like computers, we don't have any resotre points in life.

Do what you like and like what you do.

This really is the mantra for achieving success in the life and I am really glad that I have realized that. Earlier, phrases like 'job satisfaction' used to look so pompous. But off late, I have really realized its importance. After having spent last four years studying (or rather not studying) computer science, I know I will not be happy doing something which I can't even tolerate for a semester. Or so I think I can't tolerate. But in any case, I need to figure out something immediately and for that it is important to explore the options.

The question that I had kept on deferring since the last four years now lingers in front of my face and the answer needs to be found.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A cloudy night

Against the backdrop of the moon, a clouded sky looks so much more animated than a clear sky. Clear sky insinuates the stillness. It hides the cosmic chaos and transpires tranquility to the onlookers. It makes you realize its vastness.

The stars look so close but are yet so distant. It must be really lonely up there. No one is in the vicinity. No one is in the reach. There is a separation of a light year from the nearest kin. There is a restlessness there. With each passing moment, the entropy increases. The star is doomed to fuse into its core, eventually bringing its own demise.

But all that we see is a gleam. We rejoice while it burns. The twinkle hides its sorrows. The air screens the heat. And the distance prevents the realization.

The clouds on the other hand are gregarious. They love their lot. The sky is their playground. They chase each other. They embrace each other. They disperse and then assemble. They take shapes and create designs. The moon is their pal and the wind is their guide.

The clouds fill the sky with their colours. They are white and violet and black. And when they cover the moon, you can see some yellow too.

The clouds seem to contain the sky. The make the space look finite. And they look so delicate. If only you could reach them, you could crumble them.

But they are not delicate. They are mighty. They could hide those giant stars and the moon. But the creator was prudent in not vesting them with the supreme power. Else they would have been been too proud. They would have lost their cheerfulness.

The almighty let the wind control the clouds. But he also let the earth control the wind and the stars control the earth. This way he induced symbiosis into the whole structure. He was able to preclude tyranny. One could thrive only with the mutual cooperation. He inscribed this message in all his creation. If only we could read them.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What's up ?

Have you ever had a phone conversation (or rather a face to face conversation) with a guy who goes blank after some time and leaves you wondering whether the phone has got disconnected and am I talking to myself ? Well, I am that guy. Not always. But sometimes, I really find myself at loss of words. Its not a ploy to make the other person leave the phone by boring him to death. Its because sometimes I can't find anything to speak and all that is left is 'Whats up ?' and 'Aur batao..'. These words are a great tool to shift the task of carrying the conversation on the shoulders of the other person. Its quite a spectacle when you find the other person just like you. Under such a situation, I feel obliged or compelled to say something, to break that silence. But again, all that I could mostly conjure is 'Whats up' . Long stays at the hostels can really do this damage to your social skills. Proper civilized conversations are a rarity these days. You can discuss, you can debate, you can gossip but you can't converse. Plus, the hostel life could sometimes be so monotonic that you don't have anything to talk about.

I really admire girls in this regard. They surely can talk. And all those who I know can definitely talk at length. They make you realize how happening their life is. There are so many things going on with them each and every day. But then, if you really think, most of the things they talk about are day to day stuffs. Things that are happening everywhere with everyone including me. Its just that they are good enough to involve them in the conversations. I on the contrary can't do that. But I would like to be able to do that. Its just that right things don't pop up in my mind at the right time.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rakhi Ka Swayamwar

All this buzz about Rakhi ka Swayamwar finally compelled me to see this one of its kind show. To describe it, there are 2 words - Nautanki unleashed. You know everyone is faking it, the anchor, the contestants and Rakhi Sawant of course. And at times, the show with its background score, contestant's idiotism and desperation and insincere sincerity could be really hilarious. Though I don't think that this comic element was anytime intended. I think that for contestants, its just a plaform for achieving the instant fame. I don't think that anyone of them including Rakhi Sawant is interested in marriage. Its just the glitz and glamour that they are after. The news says that the show is enjoying quite high TRP. In that case, I do think that we can expect a second season.