Sunday, September 10, 2006


I have not taken he time off recently to update my blog. There might have been reasons to write new posts, to pen down own my ramblings, to announce my activies, and in general to let the world know of my wel being. But I refrained from doing so. Why ? I would have loved to put it down to something (read work) other than laziness, but the honest (and modest) person I am , I find that my hands are tied. I shall still try

Grad school was supposed to be this new exciting chapter in my life. I was supposed to read more than ever before, I was to explore new avenues, I was supposed to turn a new leaf. But none of these has happened. Life in general continues at it's same pace, with a time difference. I have three courses , a TA assignment. Among the three, the one that interests me the most is Quantum Mechanics . The histrionics of the professor make the classs even more interesting. He makes jokes, funny ones , and does not put people to sleep.

The people here in greenbelt are pretty nice. Most are indians from various parts of indi. Most of them smile when they see me, some greet me , and some others are too busy. We take the shuttle to school, wear school bags with laptops in them .There is no uniform. While in the shuttle people normally sleep.

I pack lunch from home, a box of curd rice and some pickle. I have this every afternoon at one, before going off to sleep.

I have five roomates, about six friends , and people here sleep when it is seven in the morning in India.

I read a few pages of Naipal before I go to bed.

I get up everymorning when the clock rings five past noon in India.

I take the shuttle to school and smile at people.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


It takes time to understand the independence. It takes time to graduate from an undergraduate. It takes time to understand that we have come here more to find a life of our own than to study. We are not here merely to fulfill the wishes and live the dreams of out parents, we are here to live our dreams , aren't we ? We are here to start lives as adults, we are here to take full responsibility of ourselves. It takes time for this to sink in , but when it does, as it will surely and slowly, "peace" dawns upon you. For the first time in weeks, I found a moment to reflect on this today. I am here to make my life ! And I confess there is some amount of elation in this discovery, elation and excitement that will keep me up for the night.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Terrapins !

And as the day progessed , I went from the depths of depression to getting a vague idea of what the great american dream is about ! Now now , have I changed ? Have I donned on a pair of sunglasses; peirced my ears , plugged into a Ipod and refer to every other person with a very sprightly "yo dude ! " . NO I don't. I still want to see people spiiting on the road, I still want the cars to speed by over the zebra crossing with not an ioata of concern for the pedestritians, I want to the see more of the cudidar kameez than skin , I want to eat food , that would be still food by indian standards. So what am I ?

The day started with a TA orientation program. I was the only Indian in the lot. The others were chinese( 7:1 , I was outnumbered ). The graduate programs director met us after that, and gave us an idea of what the TA evaluation was and in the meantime, she made an attempt to make us feel at home. Washignton she said, has a multi ethnic community, with a lots of chinese, moslems( my race ) and other misc originns. This was the dull part, and I was coming to rue my decision to come to a university far far away. The paper work futher alienated me from myself , putting in great doubt the prupose of my visit while i was filling out that part of the form. What ensued was a better. It should be pointed out however that for my state of mind at that time, any thing , even a brocolli salad would qualify to be a good agent of change.

I was taken on a guided tour of the student stamp union by a Liu Wen , my student mentor. I was pleasantly surprised to to see that I could infact carry on a conversation with a chinese. We talked about chemical physics....about china and India, about the very visible lack of population here, about missing home, about going home in december ...time flew like it has never done in the past two days....we reached the student stamp union and went up to the resturnt for a sponsored lunch. As is the custom in most restrts , the only thing vegertarians do is to sit to stare , while all around there is a veritable massacre . Everythign that can move is cut up ( and for the things that couldn't move ..well they did not have a chance in the first place ! ) . I had some french friies and a pepsi.

The third day saw me take an english interview. There was some miscommunication between the interviewer and myself , for he apparently heard " I come from India" as " I Hindia phrom kome" . Obviously I did the pass the interview and had to take a listenning dictation ; where in I had to faithfully reproduce what I heard. "What is your name " is to be written as " What is your name" and not as " Wat iss syour mane " as we Indians do. I salute the Maryland English Institute for their objectivity.

US is a strange place, more so to new people. I shall write more on this later , for I still don't have a roof over my head that I can proudly call my own !

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Flying off

I never thought I would miss this place. Having spent the best part of the last four years away from home, I had come to believe that moving on to the US would not be as tough. Seperation to a greater degree. But yet in the last few days I have noticed a yearning for anything "Indian". I love the potholes , I love the puddles , I love the power cuts , I love the fact that the mildest of drizzles causes cables to snap , I love peeing on the road ( not that I do it any more ....but the freedom to do so ! ) , I love the random chaotic way we go about our lives. I just love it. Ironical , 'cos about a month ago , I was revelling (yes revelling and to no small degree) that I would be off to a land far removed from these.

I remember my delight when I saw the email annoucning that I had been offered admission. I remember thinking of US as a developed nation, of dreaming of a sophisticated way of life, of cleaner air, greener grass. The fact that the institute offered me the chance to pursue some form of physics came to me much later( and thankfully remains so till date). But my first impulse was fascination for a new way of life.

What am I coming to now ? In the last few days , I have been questioning my decision to opt for studies abroad. A good part of me is biased against doing so , mainly so because I am after leaving my home (by which I mean India). I might grow to like the US way of life. I might , but what I am sure of is that I will miss this way of life.

A prelude to this, was when I left IIT after the convocation. A plethora of emotions, all in a flash. The first time i entered the hostel, my first day at class, I still remember those as clearly as the pants I wore yesterday(Kennith Parker , Kakhis ...readers must get themselves one ! ) . I was incredibly silent on the train , and refrained from talking to two of my class mates... they waited for five minutes ...i feigned sleep.....and they walked off in search of better company.At that time, leaving IIT (with it's share of potholes , and chaos ) seemed foolish ! ( I didn't have an option did I ? ). I now look back at the four years with some remorse, but mainly satisfaction.
Will it be the same when I step into the Airbus?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lord of the Chairs : An Extract

AS(s) was on his knees, cringing before the four legged seat of power. He yearned for it; but he could do nothing about his yearning. The seat of power was taken. All he could do was to mutter , "My precious...... my precious". He shrank back to his corner, reminiscing his days with his precious. Joy, unbounded gallons of joy filled his body, and brought an involuntary smile upon his lips. He was the undisputed lord of all he surveyed. There was pain, there always is as a rule. But as a rule this was temporal, and vanished along with his conscience. And with that he was free; free to impose his freedom ; free to perpetuate his machinations. From a jack to a king .......and back ...... in his corner he schemed once again; schemed for his precious.

Now how does this story end ? does he get his precious ? Does he jump in into the boiling hot lava after his precious? Does he live happily ever after ?
Wanna find out; Read the the Lord of the Chairs ; call 000-00-000 and leave your credit card information for a special paper back copy.

Still not convinced? This classic has a smattering of all you would ever find in the average Indian movie. We have heroes, heroines , sentiments, evil villains who double up as politicians, plain evil villians who want to take over the planet, mum's, the family song, the family dog, the church the temple and the mosque,and a lot more jostling the 1000 pages of space the author(s) had to restrict the book to. Do I need to say more ! Extracts from the book can be found at almost all major news websites. Order your copy now !
Udate 1:
Have a look at the video posted on for a start

Thursday, July 20, 2006

We are back

I shall leave it at that , " We are back". Forgive me for being cliche and using "We" when I am actually just referring to me. The phrase was more pompous than " I am back". And to everyone (all the bloggers , the RTI act, and the news people) who forced the GOI to retreat, I offer my gratitude

Monday, July 17, 2006

Is Blogger Doomed ?

The papers and many other bloggers have been reporting a ban on blogger by several ISP's. Now I am not an active blogger, I do not have many stories to tell, I tend to rather self-centered, with most of the posts glorifying my day to day chores and musings, I do not have many readers, but inspite of all these , I still like taking off the odd five minutes every two weeks to indulge in a blog.

You see, the blog is a medium of communication. It has always been. To suddenly wake up to this fact and to be alarmed by it's reach; alarmed enough to enforce a ban on something as widespread is plain foolishness. But I shall prepare myself for the dark days ahead. We as a collective seem to have lost all sense of logic. Rather surprising; given the brainpower we boost off, but add everything up and we seem to be heading for times that would be reminiscent of the dark ages.

But I shall prepare myself for the future. I shall train myself in rhetoric. Reasoning would have by then been reduced to a few simple axioms, simple enough to be elucidated in this short space
1. He who speaks the loudest is right
2. He with whom the majority sides; and hence he who posseses the loudest collective voice shall be deemed right
3. He who opposes the right is wrong and shall have no further role to play in society.
Taking after our leaders we pride ourselves at simplicity don't we ? Here I have put down the basic tenets of life in 3 points, can it get simpler. I cannot wait for the day when aforementioned tenets govern our lives.......the world shall be a simpler place.

And I would stand vindicated having prepared for the future.
(Alas ! this might be my last post for some time if blogger is indeed banned ; I had quite a few in the pipeline ...the great indian family ; trip to sringeri .......alas ! )
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