Sunday, November 22, 2009

Vacate ... vacant .. and now going home!!!

After complaining about it for almost a week, on thursday, I had set upon the task of clearing my desk/drawers/shelves in the lab. And, it was pretty easy. It mainly required throwing away several kilos of printed paper into the recycling bin. These pages were basically versions of my various papers, reports and thesis filled with the supervisors comments. I don't own any books in the lab and haven't stored anything much there either. So, all my stuff from the lab eventually fit into a single small backpack. It mainly contained the binded final version of the reports and thesis.

Thursday evening had the so called farewell party with my labmates and was awesome :). Oh, and how did feel to have been vacating my desk? Not very pleasant perhaps, after all, it had been somewhat my home for 3 years! Yeah, my actual house did change over this 3 year period, but my desk and my lab had been a constant...

And in 10 hours, begins the journey home! In an Airbus A380-800, that is the huge huge double decker plane :D! And with that, officially begins my joblessness vacationing period of 70 days at least. Well, not that I have done any semblance of work since the thesis corrections. It's mostly been partying and partying :D.

And now, we move onto a completely different topic. Since, I am finally trying to ease back into my voracious reading mode, here is an interesting extract:

"You are now bored of talking to me now and you will let me pass unhindered"
"Gosh, good try. But I'm afraid I'm not. Actually, I'm going to eat you"
"You aren't scared of limes, are you?"
"I am frightened of nothing!"
"Are you extremely frightened of nothing?"
"Absolutely terrified of it"
"You know, I have nothing in my pockets, would you like to see it?"
"No, I most definitely would not", and then he disappeared.
Nothing matters. It most definitely does!

The above extract is from the novel I read this week "Anansi boys" by Neil Gaiman ... its a somewhat farcical, somewhat fantastical kind of comedy. Let's say, a non sci-fi Douglas Adams kind of a book.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ages ago, how did i blog?

As most of the earlier posts on this blog would attest, I used to write (to be understood as 'type'; when will these two words become synonymous rendering pen and paper into antiquity?) without any particular topic in mind. I used to ramble, falter, and continue to blabber. More often than not, the title would precede the post, even though, neither it and neither I knew what the post would end up containing. Those were the days that I didn't have to think for a post, I just had to login, click on new post and voila, the post sprung up, though, it might have been quite meandering and direction-less. But, one cannot hope to forever possess such skills. Nowadays, most of my posts start with a purpose in mind- perhaps to blog about a trip or an incident or about any such topic. Of course, the occasional abstract post and ad-hoc fictional paragraphs do make an appearance in the blog, but only seldom.

But that's not it, there are more frightening afflictions plaguing us. Lately, I have often felt the mood to ramble, to set upon a voyage of abstractness, sail across streams of incomprehensibility and type out my mood aka feelings, with gusto, in a language that is clear to all but rarely understandable to anyone. Yet, I haven't been able to do so. By the time, I am all set to start typing, I realise that my fingers have gone numb, the thoughts had fizzled away and the mood had become indecipherable. And, the post remained un-created. It faced, not a discerning audience (that's you readers, revel in this 'platitude' :P), but the ignominy of being deemed silly before it even had the chance of being born to argue its case.

Thankfully, this post suffered no such fate. It wriggled itself out into the world and is now left at its mercy. merci.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

tag tag .. post for no reason

Oh, did I say I don't do tag-posts? But then, there are exceptions, especially when ordered by agentyne in her post which was followed by a tweet as well ! Though, let me warn you, this one has too many points .. way too many!

Notation: £=yes, $=maybe

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink $$ [bought everyone I 'know' a drink] :P

02. Swam in the actual sea [I should learn swimming properly, first!]

03. Climbed a mountain ££ [in Scotland .. even blogged about it, I think]

04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive [should first learn how to drive :D]

05. Been inside the Great Pyramid

06. Held a tarantula

07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone

08. Said "I love you" and meant it

09. Hugged a tree

10. Water-skiied

11. Visited Paris ££ [posted about it too]

12. Watched a lightning storm at sea

13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise ££ [those times at IIIT]

14. Seen the Northern Lights

15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa/Qutub Minar $$ [been to the Pisa tower, but didn't have time to walk up :( and at QutubMinar, walking up wasn't allowed then ]

17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables $$ [does coriander count? :D]

18. Touched an iceberg

19. Slept under the stars ££ [quite often when I was young and we used to experience all night power-cuts :D]

20. Changed a baby's diaper [and don't want to, either !!]

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon

22. Watched a meteor shower ££

23. Gotten drunk on champagne $$ [the drinks included copious champagne, but didn't solely consist of it :P]

24. Given more than you can afford to charity ££ [but then, I won that amount as a prize, in a hard fought competition by the way, so was okay :) ]

25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope ££ [wasn't mine]

26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment

27. Had a food fight [what does this even mean? fight with food or fight over food? :P]

28. Bet on a winning horse

29. Asked out a stranger ££ [no story there, didn't succeed :P]

30. Had a snowball fight ££

31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb

33. Seen a total eclipse ££ [aah, those young "inquisitivish" days]

34. Ridden a roller coaster ££

35. Hit a sixer that won the game [just wish I did]

36. Danced like a fool and didn't care who was looking

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day

38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment ££ [often often :D]

39. Had two hard drives for your computer ££ [of course .. what's 7 years education in computers for, anyway? :P]

40. Can name all 27 states ££ [always can .. rock at Geography .. Su will testify :P]

41. Taken care of someone who was drunk ££ [quite a fun activity it is :D]

42. Had amazing friends ££ [what do u mean, "had" !!]

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country ££ [refer to some similar point above to understand more details :P]

44. Watched whales $$ [tiger sharks should also count right?]

45. Stolen a sign/damaged public property

46. Backpacked in Europe ££ [do you actually need proof? :P]

47. Taken a road-trip ££ [in europe, of course]

48. Gone rock climbing

49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving [would have said yes, had this been 'gliding' :P]

51. Visited Kashmir

52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love ££

53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them ££ [it still counts, even if it was during a conference right?]

54. Visited Japan ££ [ofcourse :D, first trip abroad ever :D]

55. Tried to make a buffalo move when it sat down in front of your car [rofl]

56. Alphabetized your CDs [I dont have CDs !!]

57. Pretended to be a superhero [why to pretend? :P]

58. Played 'Antakshari' in a public place and sung really loudly without caring about the onlookers.

59. Lounged around in bed all day ££ [more times than I would admit :D]

60. Played gully cricket ££

61. Gone scuba diving

62. Kissed in the rain

63. Played in the mud

64. Played in the rain ££

65. Gone to a drive-in theatre

66. Visited the Great Wall of China

67. Started a business

68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken

69. Toured ancient sites ££ [how much ancient? but am sure I have visited places ancient enough :P]

70. Taken a martial arts class ££ [for a few months in school; all I learnt was the colour ranking of the belts :D ]

71. Played a video game for more than 6 hours straight ££

72. Gotten married

73. Been in a movie [no because they didn't select me, said I looked too young :P .. am not lying! it's true !!]

74. Crashed a party

75. Gotten divorced

76. Gone without food for 5 days [am sure I would die, I have no food reserves in my body anyway!]

77. Made chapatis from scratch ££ [yes yes]

78. Won first prize in a costume contest

79. Ridden a gondola in Venice

80. Gotten a tattoo

81. White water rafted

82. Been on a television news program as an "expert" $$ [well, I was interviewed by TV crews regarding my 'sci-fi' achievements and did appear on TV, though not in a panel or something! ]

83. Gotten flowers for no reason [never got flowers even when there were reasons! :P]

84. Performed on stage ££ [quite a few times, once I even had a 'double role' since a person playing another character failed to turn up and I knew all the dialogues/scenes since it was my script anyway .. ahh those school days :D]

85. Been to all states in India [this is a toughie!]

86. Recorded your own music $$ [a single song counts? without instruments? only lyrics and tune!]

87. Eaten shark and preferred roadside 'bandi' food [would always prefer bandi food compared to any sharks anywhere!]

88. Kissed on the first date

89. Gone to Thailand

90. Bought a house $$ [it's just a plot of land and well, I did pay for most of it ! :P]

91. Been in a combat zone

92. Buried one/both of your parents

93. Been on a cruise ship [I guess small ferries don't count :(]

94. Spoken more than one language fluently ££ [some wouldn't agree about my fluency but then, they are just too finicky]

95. Performed in the National Day Parade in New Delhi/your city

96. Raised children

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour

98. Passed out cold ££ [quite a few times, a weak fainting child I was!!]

99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country ££ [Austria is exotic enough!!]

100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over ££ [well, moved to another country and started a phd .. am sure that counts!]

101. Walked the Howrah bridge

102. Sang loudly in the car - with the windows open - and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking

103. Had plastic surgery

104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived

105. Wrote articles for a large publication $$ [will school and IIIT magazines count? :P]

106. Lost over 10 kgs $$ [lost 7kgs in 2 months :P not that I wanted to!]

107. Held someone while they were having a flashback [flashback? what's that? I need clarification!]

108. Piloted an airplane $$ [engine-less plane aka glider counts right? and also that I had the instructor sitting just behind me, doesnt matter?]

109. Touched a stingray

110. Broken someone's heart [now now, why would I do that?]

111. Helped an animal give birth

112. Won money on a TV game show [not that lucky]

113. Broken a bone

114. Gone on an African photo safari

115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears

116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol $$ [to shoot balloons? :D]

117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild

118. Ridden a horse $$ [it was less of a ride and more of a stroll :P]

119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet

121. Spent the night at a railway station $$ [airports count as well I guess!!]

122. Slept for 30 hours in a 48 hour period ££ [very often, very very often :D]

123. Spent the better part of your life outside India $$ [define "better part"]

124. Visited all 7 continents [one of my to-do things in life :D]

125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days

126. Eaten kangaroo meat

127. Eaten sushi ££ [in Tokyo and absolutely hated it!!]

128. Had your picture in the newspaper ££ [on one ocassion, most of the local newspapers had my picture :D]

129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about

130. Gone back to school [ as a reunion? :P]

131. Parasailed

132. Touched a cockroach ££ [it touched me!!]

133. Eaten fried ice cream ££ [didn't like the coconut covering though]

134. Read 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey' [tried and failed miserably]

135. Selected one 'important' author who you missed in school, and read $$ [missed most authors in school anyway :P]

136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

137. Skipped all your school reunions [used to go when I used to be in Hyd!]

138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language ££ [it is not so hard! Japan taught me that :P]

139. Been elected to public office $$ [this is too long and controversial to talk about here :P]

140. Written your own computer language [that would be crazy]

141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream ££ [yes yes I did]

142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care [what is that?]

143. Built your own PC from parts $$ [I chose the parts but someone else put them together :P]

144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you [me and art? rofl ! ]

145. Had a booth at a street fair $$ [fairs in schools also count? :P]

146. Dyed your hair

147. been a dj

148. Shaved your head $$[I love my hair, but my hair was shaved when I was 3 or something, not with my consent though ]

149. Caused a car accident

150. Saved someone's life [no, but my life has been saved often :D]

whoa .. managed to finish this epic-tag post .. so, am i also supposed to tag someone now? baah, no one really blogs much anymore ... sad state of affairs!

Friday, November 13, 2009

post-defence ramblings + abstracts

./restart abstractness
[about to start] ctrl-s [long break] ctrl-q [memory blank] [vocabulary found wanting]
just a simple question: did you ever get anything right at the time that you desired it most? or has it always come late, too late that you no longer cared much about it?
Or is it the other way round? Those that you don't manage to obtain become more and more desirable, and those that are on their way lose their attractiveness such that by the time you actually get them, you have lost most of the interest?
Either ways, it's a pity, "ain't it so"?

Oh! by the way, I felt like rambling the below few bits, a week after my PhD viva .. but never really got down to posting the post .. anyways, here it is [was written on 4th or 5th nov ]

A lot of people in the lab are apparently aware of me and my name. People who I never thought knew my name (and hence couldn't have really figure out who passed their defence just through the mail announcement) are coming up to congratulate me. What can I say, some people are more popular that they thought themselves to be :P.

Almost a week of partying .. finally ends with monday of work. Oh yeah, I still have some work left, namely, the post-viva corrections that ought to be done for the final hard-bound submission. Monday was spent in work from like 11am to 11pm (with breaks ofcourse :D) And then a rigorous tuesday evening of work .. and voila, they were all done! and then after ratification from the examiners+supervisors, will have to give for the hard-binding which will take 7-10 days!! No idea, why it should take that long !!