Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Life away from Manipal

Two days at home and life is already so boring!!!!

There is nothing much to do at home, the only thing I do is to sleep, eat and watch TV. Getting bored with all this.

All my things have arrived. My bike has suffered a few damages on the way. So got to repair it.

I got to call my friends and meet them, will start doing that from today.

Missing Systems Lab a lot!!!!!!

Dharmasthala & Shringeri

After convocation, it was time to go to places with my parents. They wanted to visit temples, since we had already gone to Mookambika, it was time for the other famous places around Manipal. So we thought about Dharmasthala and Shringeri.

The day started off with an adventure. During convocation, we met Sunil Nair's parents and they also expressed their desire to make the trip with us. Since there were 6 of us, we required a Qualis to make the journey as pleasant as possible.

In the morning when I was leaving the hostel, I came across a taxi driver and asked him the details about the trip, he was very helpful and even offered to get a taxi for me. He got me in touch with a Qualis driver and i called him to the hostel, without even asking about the rate.

The guy came within a few minutes, and then I asked him about the rates, which were quiet high, so called my dad and made the taxi driver to talk to him. But things did not work out and my dad asked me to leave him and come to the hotel, where they were put up.

Now the things started to change, the taxi driver was annoyed. He was justified in being so, since it was my mistake. But during his arguments he asked me whether i was in my senses or not. Now these words worked like magic, i was pretty much cool till then; but as soon as i heard those words, i lost my cool and started shouting at him. He was asking for 100/- for making the trip from the taxi stand to the hotel. My anger made me forget all the logic he was talking about.

I straightaway told him to get lost, and challenged him to do anything to make me pay 100/-. I started walking from the hostel to the rickshaw stand, and he followed me to the stand. He reached the stand before me and started gathering people. Strangly I was not even bothered with the 4 people waiting for me in the taxi stand. The driver straightaway pointed to his 3 new friends and asked me to pay.

I could not believe myself when I started to shout back at him. I stood tall, over the 4 of them, and shouted my heart out. Threatned them to use whatever method they knew to get 100/- from me. After 2-3 minutes, out taxi driver was alone, his new found friends had deserted him. So when I started to get away from the scene, he did not dare do anything, just got into his taxi and left. I never knew that I had so much courage to face 4 people who were looking very threatening in the beginning, anyways it was fun!!!!

I reached our hotel, took my parents and went to the hotel where Sunil's parents were put up. We arranged a taxi from the hotel and had a great day.

Baring that incident, the rest of the day was great. Both the temples were great, the drive was excellent.

Dharmasthala was really hot. We had to leave our footwear a long place away from the temple and had to walk barefoot on the road, which was a terrible experience. I nearly burned my feet.

In Shringeri, after the visit to the temple, we went to the banks of the river Tunga, where people where feeding fishes. The fished were huge and they flocked in large numbers to the banks to be fed. I could not stop myself from thinking how tasty they would be if they were friend and served to me. They were really huge and looked tasty!!!!

We returned to Manipal via Agumbe. We were late to get to the sunset point, so missed the amazing site from there. You can see the sea and the sun setting from up there. The place is atleast 50kms from the seashore.

We reached Manipal at 8pm and I went straight to the hostel to finish packing. There were a few things left to be done and I finished them off in 20 minutes. That was quick!!!!

We got into the bus at 9:45 and left for Bangalore.

Good bye Manipal!!!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2005


The day started with loads of work to be done. I could not pack all my things yesterday night. So there was more to be done, moreover I had to make arrangements for my scooter to be scrapped as well as my bike to be shifted to Bangalore.

At 9, the person who would be scrapping my vehicle called me up and said that he would take the vehicle now. The vehicle was taken to his garage and scrapped in front of me. All it parts were taken out and finally it was cut into two halves, so there is no danger of the scooter getting back in the roads and creating problems.

After the scooter, it was the turn of the bike to get my attention. It was to be shifted to Bangalore, so booked the vehicle in VRL, it will come there on Monday.

The convocation function was supposed to start at 5:45pm, but all the students were required to be present at 3:30 itself to prepare for the same. Firstly we had to wear the convocation coat. Initially we were in the Chaitya Hall of Valley View, so due to the A/C it was ok, but then we were asked to come out for the group photo, it was really hot outside. Had a tough time with so many clothing on me.

In Chaitya, we had a lot of photos being taken. I had brought a roll just before the function, and after leaving Chaitya Hall when I looked at the number of photos taken, it was 24!!!!

The function went off very well, but the only bad thing was the heat. Met lot of my friend's parents.

Got to do a bit more of packing. Will be leaving Manipal tomorrow. So this is my last night at TAPMI Men's Hostel.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Leaving Manipal

After the Kodai trip, it was time to leave Manipal. I had already packed my stuff, but I had to send them to my home.

In the afternoon, the HSBC credit cards for which we had applied for arrived. These cards are issued to the outgoing batch of students. The main features include free membership for the first year, and also the words "TAPMI Class of 2005" embossed on it. This is my first credit card, and I felt good holding it in my hands.

I contacted XPS and booked my luggage, they will reach on 28th. Now only my bike and clothes remain, which I will take along with me when I leave on 27th, I will book the bike on Saturday.

In the evening we went for another party, the last few days have been full of parties, this one was for TSG. To spend the 3000/- we had won for being the best forum. Went to Sai Parivar and had a great dinner there. I tried Scotch Whiskey for the first time, and drank 180 ml of Black & White. It was so smooth. I am beginning to realize my capacity of drinking, and it is not bad at all. After the drinking session, I drove my bike back to Manipal and also locked the Systems Lab. Then I also worked on this blog as well as the previous one.

Karthik reminded me of one interesting fact - out of the 3000/- to be spent, the hotel bill came out to be Rs.2949/-. Out of the 51/- remaining, 20/- went as tip and the rest was used to buy 'Paan' and cigs. So we managed to spend the entire 3000/- that we won.

My parents will be arriving tomorrow, have booked rooms for them in Hotel Broadway. We are planning for a trip to Mookambika temple tomorrow.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Back from Kodaikanal

After 3 fun filled days in Kodaikanal, it does not feel very nice to be back at TAPMI. The break was a well deserved one, and when you are traveling anywhere with 13 others, its definitely a gala time. Let me recollect the trip daywise -

19th March

I left with the other gang at 6:30. Reached Mangalore by 8:30. The train was at 9:15, so there was time for dinner at the vegetarian canteen. The dinner was not great, but then when you are traveling by train, the options are few. I managed to get a berth since there were lot of empty berths in the train. Had a nice time in the train, which included a long chat with Rupak.

20th March

Reached Palghat in the morning at 5:15 and went to Anirudh's house. Had a superb breakfast. His mom had prepared 'Puttu' (Rice Cake) and 'Kadala Kari' (Horsegram Curry). By the time the breakfast was over I had more than one 'Kutti' (The vessel used to prepare one serving of Puttu) puttu.
We left for Kodai at 9 in a van. The van was a 16 seater and had TV and a CD player. We brought "Bad Boys 2" and "The Rumble in the Bronx" to watch on our way. The Bad Boys CD was not good and hence we abandoned it half way. Watched one CD of Rumble in the Bronx when we reached the starting of the Ghat section for Kodai. We decided to switch off the CD and enjoy the nature.
During the ride, the fun I had with Raju was very memorable, he will remember it for a long time - "Mazza Aa Gayee".
The climb was good. Lush green forests around, one or the other view of the plains. We reached Kodai by 3. Kept the luggage at the apartments booked by the gang and went out for lunch. We went to "The Hill Top Inn". The food was terrible. In the meantime, I had contacted my gang and asked them to come to the center of Kodai.
Met them after lunch, and then I rejoined the original gang with which I was initially supposed to go.
I went for shopping with them, and got thoroughly bored. The gang with whom I came to kodai comprised of 13 guys, so it was fun. My gang was also 13 members, but there were 7 girls, so the idea of shopping crops up every now and then. I hate shopping, but still tugged along.
Went to our cottage in the evening. It was a cute cottage, great rooms and the service was excellent. The owner of the cottage was a great fellow. He arranged a camp fire for the 14 of us and it was great fun, we even had a disco.

21st March

We started the day with a trek near a beautiful location in Kodai. Had a great time, and due to my adventurous spirit, I gave a tough time to the guide who was constantly trying to tell us the dangers of being adventurous.
After the trek, we went to the house of the owner, who owned a horse. It was an Arabian horse, which he had bought after it retired after racing. He gave us a free ride. It was my first horse ride, and I came to know the reason why these animals are called the "Ship of Land". I rode after having a heavy lunch, and if had taken another 10 minute ride, I would definitely have puked.

22nd March

The day was for sight seeing. Went to a lot of places - Upper Lake View, Dangerous Spot, Pine Forest, Suicide Point and Pillar Rock view. The guide was good and we enjoyed the time very much. After the sight seeing, we decided to spend the rest of the time near the Lake, we took a cycle and went around the lake once. Its a huge lake and it took half an hour for the ride. By the time we returned to the pick up point, it was late and there was just enough time for us to pack and leave for Palani for the return trip.
The return trip was in the night, and the view of Palani City in the night was magnificent.
We reached Palani at 11, and reached the station well before time for the train. Boarded the train at 12:15 and had a good sleep before we got down at Palghat at 4am.

23rd March

The connecting train from Palghat was supposed to arrive at 4:2am, but it was late by 70 minutes. I slept off after boarding the train at 5:30 and slept till 9:30. After that, I spent the rest of the journey at the doors.
There was an incident near Tellicherry. As the train was approaching the station, I could see a few people running away from the tracks. As I was standing near the doors, the things became clear to me. A man standing near the tracks was run over by the train, and as the train passed by the spot, I could see his body - half outside the track half under the train. He would have had an instantaneous death.
We reached Mangalore at 2pm, and some of us took a connecting train to Mangalore, owning to their bad health while others opted for the bus. Buses are cheap and also the ride is quiet comfortable. I opted for the bus.
Reached Manipal at 4:30, took a leisurely bath and reached Systems Lab by 6, to write a few CD's and to check my mails.

I uploaded the photos of the trip in my Yahoo! Photos album. They can be viewed here.

I searched for a few sites on Kodaikanal. They provide a lot of information for a new visitor. The best one according to me can be viewed here.

We stayed at J's Heritage resort. The service there was good, and I would definitely recommed the place to anyone going to Kodai. They have a lot of packages to offer. you can get more information about the resort here.

I would like to mention the names of the gang members with whom I made this memorable trip. Gang 1 is the gang with whom I made the trip to Kodaikanal. The excess baggage of their trip, I did enjoy each and every moment I spent with them. Gang 2 is the gang with whom I spent the rest of the trip. This gang has been with me throughout my life at TAPMI.

Gang 1 -
Abdul Rehman, Alpesh Kumar, Anirudh Bhaskaran, Guruprasad, Jayesh Dave, Kamal Saxena, Karthik Abhiram, Kuldeep Gaur, Narasimha Raju, Ramakrishna Rao, Rex Tom, Rupak Ranjan Das and Srijeeth Mohanthy.

Gang 2 -
Akanksha, Amitabh, Chintan, Debanjana, Dipti, Ganeshram, Kranthi, Pratima, Priya, Rachitha, Ravi, Sujay and Surya.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


What a day it has been!!!!

Till today morning, I had decided that I would not be making the trip to Kodaikanal. In between I was tempted to go by the persuading of my friends. But at the back of my mind I had my scooter and my dad. Yesterday our gang had gone for a treat. It was Priya, Surya and my turn to treat them. Had a nice time. Sai Parivar's food is amazing!!!!

In the morning, when I went to see these guys off at the bus stop, everyone was coaxing me to accompany them. I had a tough time saying "no", and finally they left without me. After they left I felt really bad. Coz of me all their planning for this tour would go for a waste, and moreover such a tour would never again happen in my life. In my heart I wanted to make the trip, but as I said before, the scooter was holding me back.

After I came back to the hostel with Adi, even he could not go since he had commitments at Pune, I just could not sit in the hostel. That's when I decided that I would make the trip. There was another gang which was making their trip to the same place in the evening. I have planned to accompany them. They will leave by 6.

It will be fun to go with them - The 2nd floor T-Flankies!!!!

The issue of my scooter was also solved in the evening when dad gave me the number of a person whom I could contact and get the scooter scrapped. I called him up and he said he would do the work by the next week. So I can make the trip without worrying about my scooter.

Finally a word about my friends. They were literally pleading with me accompany them and I don't know how I was able to say a no to them. During the 20 minute session in the bus stand I was nearly moved to tears.

Finally, as the old saying goes - Alls Well That Ends Well!!!

So here I am, ready to leave for Kodaikanal, another half an hour to go.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Exams are Over!!!

Finally, after 20 months of non-stop assignments, quizzes (surprise & declared), presentations, mid-terms, end-terms, viva, etc, etc; life at TAPMI is slowly drawing to a close. The last exam was NTOP and the only good thing about the exam was that it is over!!

I had another important work to do today - to make arrangements for my scooter to be transported to Kerala. I was using the scooter in the first year; in the second year I bought my bike. Since then the scooter has been lying in the basement of our hostel like an antique piece. To make matters worse, I lost the RC book and other documents of the scooter. Now I will not be able to transport it as easily. I need to take it to the police station, get a receipt that the papers are missing and then transport the scooter by KTC. Dad knows a few people in KTC, so it will be done without further problems.

I cleaned the scooter today; tomorrow I need to give it for service. The entire process will take some 3-4 days. So finally I decided to cancel my trip to Kodaikanal. Would have loved to go there with my friends, but now there is no choice.

There was no much work in the evening, so was going through Wikipedia for interesting articles. Came across an article on Spoonerism. I also have this habit of mixing up words while speaking. The famous one being "Garing of Shanes" instead of "Sharing of Gains".

Another interesting incident of the day. My friend Amitabh was sitting in the CC and was planning to write some CD's, while I was at my favourite place in the Sys Lab. He did not know how to burn them, and asked me for help. I did not want to leave the Sys Lab, since I was busy with movie compression work. So I went online in Yahoo!, and sent him instructions on how to burn over the messenger. Advent of technology!!!!!

The Last Class

The last class of every stage of my education has been memorable. The last day of classes in 12th in KVCLRI, Adyar, Chennai; the last class of my Engineering in IT from JJ College of Engineering & Technology was full of emotions and fear of what awaited me in the future and also of leaving behind good friends. This time it was different, may be due to the fact that I know where I am going from here, and also the kind of attachment we have with the college. The day passed by as any other day. The last class was Simulation and we had a quiz today. The way the quiz went about was quiet hilarious.

Nobody knew or had any clue of how to solve the problem with the probability tables given to us, so they resorted to asking doubts to the professor, who after fielding some questions was irritated and started solving the problem himself on the board. He gave us the answers and even drew the final graph on the board!!!!! So much for a 15% quiz.

My preparation for leaving finally took some shape. I managed to get some cartons and packed all the textbooks. Now I need to get in touch with the packer service and send it home. There are lot more things to be done, and most probably I might have to cancel the Kodaikanal trip with my friends, all thanks to my excellent planning and execution skills.

Today we had our valedictory function. TSG was voted the best academic forum of the year. We won the award last year and in the year previous to that the award went to the same group. So its been three years on the trot for the systems guys. They best non-academic forum was the CCG. They are winning the award for the second year on the trot. They really deserved the award this year, especially for the 2 Amrtya's and for the Interface.

Few things to remember about the valedictory function are - the dig taken by Badsha and CCG at Nutty for the low budget given to Interface and the mix-up in speech by Kedia, while he was giving away the prizes for Speed. He had prepared a sentence to be spoken at the end, which related sports to marketing. In his mixup Kedu said it before the end of the award ceremony and the entire auditorium was rolling with laughter.

Finally managed to complete "King of Torts" by John Grisham. I had issued it on the 7th of this month and was unable to find time to complete it. I finished it after allocating 3 hours for it. The novel was very well written, the story was good, though it lacked suspense and action - the kind of novels I like - but it counts as one of the good novels that I have read. "The Firm" by the same author is another of my favourite and it is difficult for me to pick which of them is better.

For people who are planning to read "King of Torts", it would be better if you stop here. I would like to share some part of the story. Thought it will not contain the climax, but it would definitely cover a major part of the plot.

The protagonist is a bright, handsome and smart Lawyer - J Clay Carter, who works in the OPD (Office of Public Defenders). The OPD is not the kind of place for a good lawyer like him and with a salary of $40,000 per year, he wished to get out and start his own firm; but he knew that he did not have the funds for it.

One day he happened to be in the court room where the judge was handling a murder case which looked like a street fight or old rivalry. The murderer was financially weak to employ a full time lawyer, for such people the judge appoints lawyers from the OPD. Since he was the only member of the OPD present, the case was handed over to him, much to his displeasure.

His attempts to dump the case on other lawyers did not succeed and he is forced to take up the case. On primary investigation he finds that the murderer - Tequila Watson - is a drug addict enrolled with a rehabilitation center. Tequila had served over 100 days with the rehab, which earned him 2 hours per day visit the world outside. The murder was committed in these two hours on the 115th day after Tequila joined the rehab. Further investigations prove that Tequila had no apparent motive to kill. Clay also learns that one of the fellow attorneys in the department had a similar case - with no motive to kill. His investigations lead him to the rehab center and after some time he realized that he was being followed by a Burgundy car.

Was there a motive behind both the murders? Why was he being followed? Was there more than what he could see of these two murders?

His concerns other that the case was his love interest for the past four years. Her name is Rebecca Van Horn, who worked as an assistant to a Congressman. She was beautiful, smart and the kind of woman Clay wanted to spend the rest of his life with. The only problem was - her parents, who wanted her to get married to someone richer. Clay hated the very presence of her parents and she would not leave her parents. Clay was noticing signs of Rebecca falling for pressure from her parents, and was hoping against hope that she would not leave him.

In the midst of all this, Clay gets a call from Max Pace - a fire fighter. A fire fighter who settled fires for big corporate clients who wanted to get things settled without going through the hustles of a court. He offers him a job which could earn Clay money he could only have dreamt with his present job. The new job was guaranteed to earn him more cases and more money.

What follows are the events in the next 17 months of Clay Carters life, during which he earns $121 million., starts a new office in a post locality, hires lawyers, paralegals and secretaries. He also gets hooked to Ridley, a model he had employed to accompany him to Rebecca’s wedding to create a flutter. Ridley liked to spend time with rich people and she took a liking for Clay and his wealth, while Clay did not mind being accompanied to places by am extremely beautiful woman who caused many a heads to turn.

Was the $121 million ill-gotten wealth or was it legitimate earning by Clay. Would Rebecca come back to his life? Would he be able to lead the kind of simple life he has dreamt of living with Rebecca? Was Ridley really concerned about him as she was showing she is? The story tells us how Clay rose from the OPD to be the “best lawyer” in Washington DC, how he became known as "The King of Torts" and how future unfolded for him.

A real good read. I liked it for the narration and the story.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Formatting Blog & Interface

The only 'Productive' work I did today was to format my Blog. Added my photograph, and made a few changes to my profile.

I'm not well versed with HTML, so need external help. Since everyone was busy, I choose the easy way out. Went to Karthik's Blog, and saw his source file. I formatted my blog according to the code in his source file.

I used 'Hello', to upload my foto. The foto is the one taken for Interface.

Talking of 'Interface', it was released today. The only thing I did not like in it was my caricature. One of the things that caught my attention was the homage paid to Ajit, Jacob and Syam. I really miss them.

Will be going thro it in detail tonight.

Went to Malpe beach for the second continous day with my friends.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Uploaded Photos

Uploaded few Fotos taken over the last one month. Most of them are taken during 'Speed', some of them during Farewell.

The foto due to which my juniors called me Smoke-ne-kar is also there in the album.

Had a hangover from yesterdays drinking. Had to take a glass of buttermilk to get things to normal.

Went to Malpe beach in the evening.

ADMT End Term & Farewell

The day began late, with Adi waking me just in time for me to get ready and reach the examination hall in time. If he had not woken me up, I would have definitely missed the exam. All the questions were looking quiet new to me, and then I began regretting my decision of not studying for the exam. Infact , I did not even open the books or peek into the slides. Spent 45 minutes in the hall and I was out.

This could be my first deficit in TAPMI. I do not have a deficit in any subject till date, ADMT will be my first.

When I had joined this place, I came with a lot of dreams - To be amongst the top 20 in the batch, to learn a lot of things about management and to get a good job. After 2 years, except for the last dream, ie of getting a good job, I have not realised any other dream. I was consistently in the bottom 40 of the batch, and the learning I got was not that much. Anyways happy that I am leaving with a good job.

In the evening, our juniors gave us a farewell. It was very well organized.

There was a presentation in the mini-audi of our college, and the juniors were able to find one foto of me smoking a cig. They put up the foto and changed my name from Arun Panicker to Arun Smoke-ne-kar. Later in the night, they were giving gifts and titles to all the seniors. I got the title "Mobile Chimney". Which was preposterous, since I smoke a maximum of 2-3 cigs in a day, while there are many others in the college who smoke more than I do.

The party witnessed firecrackers, great music and good food. It went on for 3 hours. I was in my senses for 2 hours, after which I was too drunk to realise what was going on around me. Had a great time.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

NTOP Presentation

Had to make a presentation for NTOP. Was working late for that. I had my own doubts whether I would be able to wake up for the class. Luckily my eyes opend at 8:30 for the class at 9. Had to miss breakfast for the class. Missing breakfast has become a ritual in my life at TAPMI. The presentation went off well.

In the afternoon, I was updating the Yahoo groups, adding new members and creating birthday reminders for the members.

There was a presentation in the evening too, this was a non-academic one. The presentation was made to the juniors, regarding various elective courses in Systems. Gave some 'Gyan'.

Have an end term tomorrow. I am in no mood to prepare for the same.

Why Blog????

I have had a desire for a long time now, to keep a note of various incidents in my life, to maintain a dairy.

The first attempt was made when i was in the 3rd standard, and it lasted a mere 2 days. Then there was a hiatus. The next attempt was made after i joined Engineering, this was due to the fact that I had left home for the first and I was feeling very home sick. So this time it went on for 6 months till i finally gave up.

The last attempt was made 2 months ago, and this time it was for 2 days.

Now one of my friends, Kamal Saxena, sends me the link of one of this blogs and asks me to make some entries. Thats when i hit upon this idea of creating a web diary, since I frequent Internet, it might not be a problem for me to maintain a proper record of my life.

I hope this endeavor breaks my earlier record of 6 months.