Saturday, July 29, 2006


You Should Be a Science Fiction Writer

Your ideas are very strange, and people often wonder what planet you're from.
And while you may have some problems being "normal," you'll have no problems writing sci-fi.
Whether it's epic films, important novels, or vivid comics...
Your own little universe could leave an important mark on the world!

Who can go against the fate? It orders me to create a new universe like Bramharshi Vishvamitra or at least (compared to B.V.), Isaac Asimov, and I try to fulfill the orders...

Creating a sentient being has long been a dream of Man. Inspired by that dream (and a lot of similar stories), I wrote a story in my third year engineeing which was published in our departmental magazine. Probably the fact that I was Chief Editor (or E-in-C as I preferred) contributed a lot to this. Anyways, re-inspired by Prof. Shonku's "Ashcharya Pranee", I am striving to finish a long-ago-planned project of mine, to translate the story in english. I present to you...


P.S. With this post, I have passed my blog exam, in the true engineering fashion...

P.P.S. Hooked on "Lage Raho Munnabhai" songs.. Waiting for the movie... "Bande me tha dum..."

The Great Eagle has spoken...

Quote of The Day:

Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.
- Isaac Asimov

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Getting Back...

I was actually going to write the second part of the travelogue while going to India. But then I thought, I am back in Durham now, and truth to tell I don't remember that much about the journey now after two months, so forget about that. The journey back was more eventful all in all, so I thought I should put it here, and of course I had written the entire thing to my friends in a mail already, so it is easy to post (lazy that I am). Anyways, here is it, after removing the private part...


I reached Durham finally after a looong journey on Saturday night.

Anyways, reached Mumbai airport on 12.30 on Thursday, and reached the Air India desk. It seems there was a place on the earlier flight at 3.30 (which was the one I was supposed to be on from London to New York) had a seat on. Literally like, स्टेशनवर गेलो, conductor म्हणाला आधीच्या गाडीत जागा आहे, बसून घ्या. म्हणून गेलो आधीची गाडी पकडून. Solved a major problem, सकाळी ५ ला उठालो नाही तर सकाळची flight चुकली असती ना... Flight was mostly uneventful, spent some 1 hour in Delhi airport in aircraft, watched Rang De... and Taxi no. again, and watched a movie called Aquamarine. The only event as such was the aunty in the window seat losing her watch one hour into the flight after we left London. Not a pleasent one, but she "saw time at 6.10 and then at 8.15 there is no watch". Sherlock Holmes would have been mystified, as were the air hostesses. Try sleeping when an old man next to you is poking you to so that he can go out... Still no good looking girls sitting near me even though there were some on the flight, some guys have all the luck. The service was good, so was the food, and so now I have effectively survived 4 (ok 3, but the third was a long one) AI flights.

Anyways, reached JFK airport, New York at 3.30 pm on 21st, rushed to immigration. तिथे "रामाच्या शेंडीपासून रावणाच्या दहाव्या डोक्याच्या (सगळी एकावर एक ठेवून) केसापर्यंत" लांब रांग होती. Took me more than 1.5 hours to pass that. Immigration passed good, very happy to see that both my bags got through ok, without missing their way on the way (like last time). But then, I knew this would happen. Then rushed to American counter to get the good news that my flight has already full, since I could not reach there before last call, and all passangers are waiting at the gate. They gave me a ticket on 9 o' clock flight, which was supposed to take me to Durham by 10.30. Then I passed through security and saw that the flight was delayed to 10.50. Oh well, anyways I am going to sleep once I reach Durham, let my friends stay awake for me.

Then at 10.30, they declared that the flight was cancelled due to "Bad weather and traffic control". So I collected check-in bags and rushed back to counter to stand in line for about 2-2.5 hours, and got the good news that they could give me stand-bye (with rare chance of getting a seat) on morning 8 flight, or a confirmed ticket from La Guardia airport at 3'o clock in afternoon. Confirmed ticket it was, and I moved off to see if I can get a place to sleep on the airport. Opened a bag, and started eating the "बाकरवडी" and लाडू, since all the cafes and everything on the airport was closed.

Woke at 7 next morning and took airport bus to La Guardia. Checked the baggage in (again) and went in the security area. The flight to Washington was good, on time, and then the next flight was about 2 hours late. Finally, after waiting for a lot of time in airports and some time in planes, I reached Durham around 10.30 pm on 22nd July, more than 24 hours later than I was supposed to. Slept at about 1-2 am. Was supposed to wake up early on sunday, but had a dream that it was 1.30 pm and I hadnt gotten up yet. So I woke up immediately and checked the time, to see that it was 6.30 pm already. My friends were knocking on the door to see if I was in this world yet. Then I could not sleep at night, and so I had to go through the night without sleep, after which I slept at 6.30 next afternoon, woke up at 2 am, slept at 5 am and woke again at11 am. All in all the time table is completely gone. Calculating the time differences, I have moved from India to somewhere in atlantic near UK, so there is improvement. By this rate, I will be able to get rid of remaining jet lag by tomorrow or day after. And this is the reason I haven't sent mails to anybody till now. Watching TV while half asleep is not a great encouragement to write mails.

And I have noticed two things about my international flights:
1. On first flight to any country, one of my my checked-in baggage gets way-laid. If I have only one checked-in, tough luck.
2. On the second flight to the same country, me and my baggage will be safe and sound, but the flight will be late by at least 6 hours.

The Great Eagle has spoken...

Quote of The Day:

Wow, this flight contains a lot of hot men.
- One AI air hostess to another (she was fresh out of academy, in her defense)

Friday, July 21, 2006

4 A Piece

After a long absence from updating the blog, I finally received the “Last Call” from Deepa regarding her tag yesterday. So I thought, I should update the blog, finally...

So, Deepa, here's the tag:

4 jobs I’ve had:
I guess only paying jobs count, so there are only 3:

  • Software Engineer – first job I got, straight out of college

  • Stacks assistant – in my college library, putting books back in place, dream part-time job I can get

  • Programming Assistant – I think thats what I should call it

4 films I could watch again and again:
Many movies will come under this heading and I can watch parts of many more movies repeatedly, and the top honors go to:

  • Andaz Apna Apna - I love eggs...

  • Dil Chahta Hai – beet gayein who din

  • Hera Pheri – Need any comments?

  • Topgun – No surprises given that I am fighter enthusiast.

4 places I’ve lived in:
Let's count the places I have lived in for more than a month (which excludes the places I have been to for long duration camps), and exclude Pune, which is my home town

  • Hyderabad – where I was trained for my first job, 4 months of fun

  • Mysore – where I worked for around 1.5 years

  • Stuttgart, Germany – for 2 months, onsite

  • Durham, NC – where I study currently

4 TV series I like to watch:
No cable where I live, but I watched a lot of TV till I reached Durham, so:

  • FRIENDS – need I say anything?

  • SWAT Kats – T-Bone and Razor, who else?

  • Takeshi's Castle – on Pogo, the only reality show (if you can call this that) I watch.

  • CID – one of the few crime/detective serials which are not unintentionally funny (I had to omit Byomkesh Bakshi from this list as it is no longer aired)

4 places that I’ve been on vacation to:
Of course, I will omit Nasik, which being my mother's place was vacation spot of choice for every vacation.

  • Manali

  • Byet Okha (Dwaraka)

  • Mahabaleshwar (for camp, and more importantly 2 days with my friends)

  • Goa, Kanyakumari, Kodaikanal, Ooty etc (Should not include this in “vacations” list, since technically this was part of our so called “Industrial tour”, but honesty compels)

4 websites I visit everyday:
Barring mail sites, and Google -

  • Orkut – ok, it's not a visit, I am usually at orkut when I am online

  • Google Reader – for keeping track of blogs

  • Cartoon strip websites – that's Sinfest, PhD Comics, CAD and LICD. And Garfield.

  • Blogger – for updating my blog and commenting on others blogs (when in US)

4 books I’d love to read again and again:
Only 4? Ok, then I must limit this to top 4 in the list (And I agree with Deepa, about 90% novels I like are worth nth reading)

  • Sherlock Holmes (The Complete Adventures of ... one)

  • Harry Potter Series

  • Any book of PuLa

  • Mrityunjay – The greatest book on any Mahabharata character

4 favorite dishes:
Difficult question, but here goes:

  • Methi vegetable

  • Potato slices (or what is called batatyachya kacharya in Marathi)

  • Bhel, Panipuri etc chat dishes

  • Any sweet dish (and that is ANY)

4 places where I’d like to be right now:
Aah, Home, Pune does not count currently as I am sitting there. So, I will start from Rank #2, discounting fiction like “with my girlfriend”:

  • Nasik

  • On The Round Table, with everybody in full flow – there is a big history behind this, which will come out soon. Suffice here to say that this was a real table in my friend's house which has seen some of the best hours in our life. This is where we learnt that “stomach ache due to laughter” is not a myth, repeatedly.

  • Any place with my friends – As I said, we don't need a laughter club, its laugh till (and sometimes even after) you drop.

  • Mysore – Ok, I miss the company campus sometimes... there, it's out.

4 people I’m gonna tag:
Many people from my friend's list are missing from blog scene. But still:

Again Deepa, sorry for delay...

The Great Eagle has spoken...

Quote of The Day:

The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)