Archive for May, 2006

the ‘Rock’ story!

Kaushik’s ‘metaphor’-isms

The road is blocked by a huge rock. I know, I will have to somehow move the rock, if I have to go any further. But the size of the rock boggles me down. I have a mental block that I will not be able to move this rock. So much is the feeling that I will fail to move the rock that I do not even want to try and push it, even once. Right now, I am pretty much happy, listening to voices from the other side and trying to make a picture of the road ahead. But even now, I know, that I can be (and maybe am) misleaded by the voices from yonder. I know that the present impasse cannot stay for long, and that I will have to make a move to know what the future holds for me.

But the trouble is that, I have no will to move the rock. I am afraid of the consequences. I want to stay shieled by the same very rock which I know I have to move. Not that, I did not push it before, but the sneak preview that I got, was horrible enough for me to decide to reamin in the shades of the rock itself. But for how long?

Not that, I do not have inspiration from my own life. A few years ago, when the afformentioned rock seemed to be no road block at all, I was confronted with another ‘Rock’. Back then, the circumstances were such that I had to push the rock with all my energy at all times. Push, I did but without any conviction that I will be able to move it. A time had come, when I had resigned from the exercise, having decided that whatever was beyond the rock was well beyond my capabilities as well.

As is said, the best in you comes in times of adversity. With everything seemingly lost (as I had decided that I was not competent enough!), I had to weild the rock one more time, and this time with just one hand. Like a cornered tiger, I was and to everyones surprie, I found that I could move the rock, and move it quite easily. The adverse circumstances helped me eat away the demons in my mind, the rock was there no more, the highway was there, empty, for me to speed on it.

This is the inspiration that I am looking up to in my confrontations with rock mentioned earlier. But then, I hardly find any inspiration, and it seems that I am waiting for another adversity to wake me up, either to move the rock or to let me know that I do not have the strength to move it. Whatever it is, presently, all I can do is wait and watch, for I do not have the strength and conviction to try and move it.


Increase the seats

Do the ministers work in India or a never-land of their own!
It may seem a good decision after all for everyone in the country, the cabinet deciding to increase the number of seats in the colleges. But, the truth is it the dumbest decision ever.
Sitting in the parliament, it is easy for those fools to tell, give 27% reservation, increase the seats by 10% etc etc, but are they cared about the implementation. That does not concern them, they have got the vote-bank for the next election satisfied. Their work is over.

Having been in IIT-B for the past one year, I can vouch that at the present level, the institute has reached a saturation.
To be competitive as an academic institution world-wide, the research output of the institute has to increase, and for that to happen, the post graduate strength and the research scholar (PhD) strength has to increase. The IITs have nicely leveraged their existing reputation to gain worldwide recognition for their budding research plans also.
What this means is that, the PG admissions in IIT-B has double over the past decade.

With the infrastructure of class-rooms, labs, hostels etc remaining the same, this is a crunch for IIT-B. Already, first year UG and M.Tech students share their room. Two people are stuffed into a room, which will be small, even by single occupancy standards. Faculty-student ratio has increased and the crunch is felt in the class-rooms as well. More than 90 students are there in each class, and it is not a matter of joke to teach 90 people at such hgh standards and make sure that they understand it also.
Add to this, the administrative problems, the problem of getting new faculty, when even the existing faculty need a pay rise. Talk about providing accomodation, world class labs (which at the moment itself is so over used), food etc after increasing the seats.
Right now, a major part of the IIT budget is spared for buying sophisticated equipments, technology and setting up new labs etc. With this decision of the gorvenrment, we will just take a step back and spend the money building hostels and class rooms.

The whole issue in this debate about reservations is the dilution of merit, quality in top institutions. Blindly increasing the seats, directly ensures that quality is diluted.

The reservation gimmick, is a key sytrategy for the gorvernment. They are killing two birds with a single stone. Not only are the vote banks strenghtened, but also, it helps them avoid the tougher (but rather less sensitive and less sensational) issue of strengthenig the school level education in the country. A recent survey in Maharahshtra showed depressing results. 90% of class 2 students in gorvernment schools do not know addition. A similar number of class 4 students do not know proper spellings of easy words. These are the type of students being groomed to enter IIT/IIM after they complete school.
The govt, would have forseen protests from the country regarding this, and now, in an ad-hoc way, as an appeasment to all, they have suggested an increase in seats, which at the present day is not possible at all.

Someone should go remind Arjun Singh that he took oath as a minister, who would work for the development of the country and his portfolio is Human Resource Development

P.S.: This policy reminds me of history classes of the old, where we were taught to condemn a certain administrative policy by the British called Divide and Rule!!!


Left Bengal

ramble on!!!

been cracking my head for the last few days on what to write…..and i keep coming up with a feeling that this space is meandering to its death.

so i thought i will just keep writing whatever that comes to my mind. But on second thoughts decided not to do so, because right now, all i am thinking is about the monte carlo code that i need to write!!

Infact, the last few days, have been really hooked to my project. Firstly because, i needed to get as much doubts as i could and get them cleared before my guide flies of to the US, but lately, i have got hooked on to it, and am getting newer ideas and stuff, and am literally staying awake the whole time, getting the ideas sorted out in my mind, before i actually sit down and code them. Most of the times, most of the ideas turn out to be of no use, but the mental exercise is pretty interesting, and i am liking most part of it.

My sister is here. Really, both of us have become so naughty now, that my mother is on the edge, saying that she had a much easier time controlling us when we were kids.
Enjoyment for each of us is just disturbing the other, keeping funny nick-names (we have so many that i have forgotten most of the ones made up last week, and of course irritating mom.

My influence


what else?
Saw the election coverage on TV, and as usual, election time is a full entertainment package, a full blooded masala hindi movie, entertainment guarenteed!

But this was by far the best thing that I saw on NDTV.
They did a biograpy of sorts of Karunanidhi. One particular bit was about how he used cinema to put forth his ideas to the masses, and having scripted the careers of the likes of shivaji ganeshan and MGR. This was shown, with a scene from the movie ‘parashakthi’ playing on the background. As the voice over finished with lauding KK, the sounds from the movie came into the foreground, with Shivaji aptly saying “Inne lendhu naanu ematrukaran” (From today onwards, even I am a con-man”)….
all I can say is Comically APT!!!!

Jayalalitha has publically announced that she will not attend the assembly until and unless, there is an issue of immense importance, as a tit-for-tat for KK, who did not attend even a single day of the last assembly because JJ was the chief minister.
What do I have left to say. Publically shunning the job that she has been told to do? And what do we do for this, make her the chief minister in the next elections

West Bengal may as well change its name to Left Bengal. Nothing seems to be stopping them. And poor Mamta, her pet dialogue on losing, Scientific rigging, is a no issue now. But Budda factor seems to be making waves, and the media is just getting crazy over this right leaning leftist. But I like his style, I am communist but I am not a fool!!!

well, thats all folks……..i will try and write some sense next time ( and hope that some of you might still return to read my stuff!)As of now, let me dive back into Monte Carlo and try and control the surface roughness of a silicon chip!!!



Just another random memory from the good old school days plucked out of my pensieve!

Well, there are some teachers the whole school loves and there are some who are hated by everyone, right from the tiny tot in LKG to the big bully of the 10th standard. This memory is of one such Mrs P, who had a particularly strong dislike for me.

Before I start narrating the incident, some background knowledge is essential.

P used to teach me history in class 8, and unfortunately, history was slotted for the 5th period almost everyday, right after the lunch break. To add to this misery, was the fact that P’s idea of teaching history was to read out whatever was written in the book at 200 Db to the class. The 200 Db was important, because otherwise, it would be impossible for anyone, including P herself to stay awake in the class. Still, she got drowsy, and to be awake, she generally used to pick on her favourites (which unfortunately includes me!) and some of the last benchers (who are every teachers favourite when they want some entertainment). But even, this can get monotonous, and then she just used to call the ayah, who would be busy trying to clean spilt tiffin from the break and start up a chat with her. Unfortunately for us though, even this conversation would be at a high decibel levels, with even higher “Keep Quiets” thrown in between, so that we do not get a condusive atmosphere for chatting.

As for me, and most other boys, class 8 was a landmark year. After years of neglecting girls and stuff, our hormones started to take effect. And like most of the boys in my school, lunch break was often spent sitting in the class and eating tiffin with the girls rather than playing in the ground.

Anyways, I had quite a nice group of friends to sit and chat with in 8th standard, and more often than not (occassionaly, there were inter section cricket and kho-kho matches etc scheduled for the lunch break) spent the lunch break chatting in the class room itself.

So, now finally, the incident…
Class 8B was right next to the staff room. I had got ‘Dosa’ and ‘Molagai podi’ for tiffin. As it happens with cold dosa, with molagai podi, fingers get a dark black stain which needs soap to be removed. As expected my fingers had the black stain. But, the discussion going on was pretty interesting and quite hilarious, so I decided to stay on and have a bit more ‘fun’ before I go to wash my hands. Unfortunately though, 2 things happened. Firstly, I was so engrossed in the chatting that I forgot that lunch break was over, and my fingers still had that stain. Secondly, Mrs P decided to come early to the class. I had my back to the black board, did not know she was in there. At around the same time she entered the class, someone cracked a really amazing joke ( a so called non-veg one! as is the vogue among 8th standard boys) and I laughed out really loud. Others on seeing P, backed out, but I contuinued for a few costly seconds extra till furtive glances and frantic signals from my friends stopped me. But then, the damage was done. I expected her to lash out on me there and then, but surprsingly she was quiet. (Little did i suspect what was to follow!)

The borrrrring class goes on as usual, the only thing being, Mrs P did not get any victims to pick on that day. But, then there I was, ever-ready!

Suddenly in the middle of Sepoy Mutiny or the formation of the congress or something like that, Mrs P just stops, and says “Kaushik”.

I stand up, totally amazed, for I was neither “sketching in my note book”, “talking to my neighbour” nor “sleeping”. Confused and angry, I ask “Yes mam?”. She replies “Why were you laughing?”. Now, I really think that she has gone crazy. I repeat “Laughing? I was not laughing. Infact, I was not doing anything but read along with you”. She replies- “Not now, but at the end of the lunch break”. I get the point, and replied that “someone shared some joke”. She goes on-“But no-one else laughed. I saw only you laughing and that too laughing out loud HA HA HA”. I wanted to say that, if the others had not seen you, then even they would have been laughing HA HA HA, but obviously I could not tell that. I was quiet for a moment, trying to think of a convincing answer.

But unfortunately, my thought process was severed, when she shot back again at me “And look at you. Pen marks on your shirt, hair not cut, and your fingers still having remains of your tiffin…how do you manage to stay like this”. This really got me off gaurd and off everything. I was trying to blabber something, and then she shot back again, and now with the most embarassing of comments- “Kaushik, I think you need to meet a Psychiatrist. Tell your parents that I think you need some professional help”. By this time, my mind had gone totally numb. I did not know what to say, and moreso, I was thinking, I must have made some really big mistake or something, and just stood quiet.

But, thankfully Mrs P decided that she had enough. Her entertainment package was used completely for the day and started reading out the sepoy mutiny or the formation of the congress or whatever it was she was trying to teach.

As for me, I continued to stand, not knowing, if I was punished to stand, or if I sat down, she would start the whole thig up again. But again, thankfully, she asked me to sit down after a couple of minutes.

This memory has been etched into my mind. For some reason though, I still have trouble laughing out loud, or if I do so, think that I have made a fool of myself, think that probably, I have laughed out loud just for a couple of extra seconds etc etc….

And, I still HATE Mrs P.

1. Exams got over. Actually, they got over a week back, but I was too busy enjoying to blog.
2. Research has started. Right now, I have 40 technical papers staring down, with all un-understandable words and formulaes and programs, which some-how, I have to understand, and understand all alone, as my guide is flying off to the US for 2 months.
3. Am having (in IIT lingo) “Infinite fun”, that is loads of fun, laughing at the great Indian comedians, the politicians, and especially the tamil nadu elections. Each news episode on Sun TV and Jaya TV is a laugh riot.
4. Am a little sad that Pramod Mahajan passed away.
5. Who says, Indian team plays a lot of cricket. When will 18th may come.
6. Two Lives by Vikram Seth is really good. Especially, when he follows the life of his aunt Henny, who lost her mother and sister to the holocaust. Cannot imagine any person to hate another human so bad, and also, that same person, getting so many other people to believe he is right.
7. There is no book like Lord of the Rings. Third revision going on. But, not at the same speed.
8. Saw “Walk the line” again. Just love that movie. Saw “Ice AGe II”. you gotta watch it.
9. Said ‘Bye-Bye’ to Windows. Now, I am another “Linux” user. (though I have serious doubts about Linux’s performance on 128MB RAM)
10. Two weeks of bliss, my SUMMER VACATIONS is here!!!!!!!!!!!