To do that ... I happen to write!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A Soldier's Letter to Home

Well, not the perfect occasion for this kind of a post, but still couldn't hold it back after I somehow reached the homepage of Captain Vijyant Thapar (Gold Medalist of his time, in Water Polo at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun)

He was given The Vir Chakra, sadly though - posthumously. He died fighting at 16,000 feet - in the Kargil War at the age of 22 in 1999. His birth date is 26th December.

His 2 letters are what I wanted to show:


Letter 2:

Robin was his favorite child hero.

"War for all its glorification is an dirty business. Ultimately, it is business of death. The sooner it ends, the better for all of us"
- Editor in Chief, India Today, July12, 1999

Full article here

Visiting the place he had fought during Laddakh trip - here
Tribute by his Mother
Story in Sun

Friday, 18 December 2009

When I first spoke

The whole school was watching. I had practiced and practiced.

A few minutes ago, I was standing in the corner, going over my 'morning news' silently, whispering every now and then, waiting for the morning assembly to get over. The teacher standing near me chose to help me out. I nervously recited the news to her. She gave me a few pointers and told me to pronounce Bangladesh without accenting it ( I was like Bengle - desh, she was like - Bangla - desh).

There were atleast 6000 students, teachers and others listening. Birds stopped fluttering and settled silently on the balconies. The toddlers standing with their mothers on roofs of distant houses overlooking our school stopped crying - even the incorrigible chatterboxes turned silent...all waiting for me to speak...I turned to look at my pretty co-news reader - who too was waiting anxiously for me to start.

Even just after finishing my part I did not know what I had spoken (except that I had indeed said Bengle-desh, and saw the frowning image of my teacher in my mind). My legs were shaking as if I was left without clothes in sub zero degree temperature. They continued to shake with same wilderness the whole day. I didn't dare to look up lest my eye's meet those of others...

A few days later I dared asked my close friends how bad did I speak. It was then, I realized - No one had even listened to my '
1 minute to fame' speech. Who listens to them, after-all! The shock of it changed into a flooding relief as I realized with joy that all the pressure that I had created was self-imagined!

Every time I go in an interview or get on the stage, I think of the time when I first spoke...

Related: Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the book 'Eat Pray Love', speaks on how to avoid getting crushed under the pressure of performance in a Ted Talk here

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Cuban Missile Crisis

Story is Short -

Russia plants Nuclear Warhead in Cuba which is 90 miles from US. What should US do? If it goes for an attack, a nuclear warfare could start. If it does not, it would be a big political defeat for Kennedy.
Somehow the crisis resolves, as we can see. But it came to be known only in 2002 after the secret military information was declassified that it was not Kennedy (US) or Khruchshev (Russia) who saved the world. It was an unknown submarine officer.

Cuban Missile Crisis (Thanks to Wiki and My guide at RBS)

09/1962 - 27/10/1962 - 28/10/1962 - 23/04/1963

During Cold War (matches with the dates of Sino-India conflict)

US Prez - John. F. Kennedy
Russian Secretary - Nikita Khrushchev (This is a guy's name!)

Movie and Book: Thirteen Days

What Happened - In short

1. US is likely to invade Cuba

2. Russia plants nuclear warheads in Cuba and then lies to US that the equipments at Cuba are defensive and not offensive

3. US is all furious. In its first meeting decides that cuban invasion is the only option, but Kennedy is skeptical and says that this would clear the way for Russians to Attack Berlin, and pose Americans as 'Trigger Happy Cowboys'

4. McNamara (US def. Secy) says that putting 40 extra warheads does not change the military balance at all. However, it was observed by Kennedy and other that it changes the apparent political balance which would then threaten the real political balance (US - Russia)

5. The earlier imposed blockade of naval vehicles to Cuba (pt. 3) was converted to quarantine which is known in international terms as WAR

6. It was suggested that US removes the missiles it has in Russian neighborhood - Turkey. Though this was genuine, it was known as a trial balloon for a long time

7. US moves to DEFCON 2 for the only known time in history

8. Friedel Castro on the other hand was all set for a full blown nuclear war against US at the first sign of US invasion

9. Turkey meanwhile continuously stated that they were unhappy with this 'missile withdrawal thing'

10. Meanwhile Khrushchev made it clear that the US missiles in Turkey was THE thing. Russia will vacate Cuba and US should vacate Turkey. On the previous day Khrushchev had offered that Russia would withdraw from CUBA if US agrees to never attack Cuba again.

11. On 27/10 a US U2 plane was shot down while surveilling over Cuba. US had decided that in such case it would go for all out war, but they thought it might have been a mistake and decided against it. Russia after a short while confirmed that it was a mistake and ordered no more shooting down of U2s

12. EXCOMM pursuaded Kennedy to make the first offer to Russia - that of never attacking Cuba again. After much deliberation Russia accepted it and the crisis ended

13. Cuba was unhappy of the whole development as the entire conversation was b/w US and Russia and their opinion was not taken. This lead to sour Russia-Cuba Relationship in years to follow

14. The entire crisis was viewed as a political defeat of Khrushchev. However, it was because the US commitment of removing missiles from Turkey was kept Secret.

15. It was learned by the world in 2002, that it was on 26/10/1962 that the USS Beale had tracked and dropped signalling depth charges on the B-39, a Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine which was armed with a nuclear torpedo. Running out of air, the Soviet submarine was surrounded by American warships and desperately needed to surface. An argument broke out among three officers on the B-39, including submarine captain Valentin Savitsky, political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, and chief of staff of the submarine flotilla, Commander Vasiliy Arkhipov. An exhausted Savitsky became furious and ordered that the nuclear torpedo on board be made combat ready. Accounts differ about whether Commander Arkhipov convinced Savitsky not to make the attack, or whether Savitsky himself finally concluded that the only reasonable choice left open to him was to come to the surface. One of those

p.s. incidentally, these dates collide with the India - China war of 1962. More details on the war to be found in my Laddakh post here

Saturday, 12 December 2009

3 Marriages

3 extremely interesting Indian marriages that I had chance to see off late:

Marriage No. 1: Up, Up and Away

The stage is decorated as a star studded night sky with moons and clouds and all. The bride and the bridegroom both appear from the two ends, from behind the clouds, seated in their planes! Yes, oh yes, they are in planes and they get closer and then up there, high up in the sky, under the gaze of thousands of people with fallen jaws - they garland each other. Suddenly it is raining on them - not water: Roses!

Marriage No. 2: Sita Style

Royal Stage, almost looks like a Maharaja's palace. And then the land parts away and the bride and the bridegroom both appear from the two ends, in their horse drawn chariots, oh yes, oh my god, horse drawn chariots from under the ground - and they get down and in front of eyes exploding with amazement they garland each other (and then the same flower rain!)

Marriage No. 3: Quick Fix

So my Mom goes to drink water in the Kitchen only to come all excited, and takes me to the window...across the road there is a teeny tiny temple. And near the temple is a makeshift Mandap - the boy and girl with 20 other people, quietly get out of their cars, get married in like 15 minutes, throw the rice, touch the feet, get in their flower studded car and then drive smoothly in the nearest building leaving me amazed, bewildered and flummoxed (boy, that was quick!)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Through Chandani Chowk, Old Delhi on a spicy food trail

12 Noon Gujju: "Yaar kahin chalte hain"

1 PM Me: "I am going to insti, come when you free"

3 PM Me: "Coming?" , Gujju: "Ya, in an hour"

4 PM
Gujju: "I've started from hostel" Me: "Ok"

5 PM
Gujju: "Chal - I'm here. Kahan chalna hai?"

Me: "chal momos khate-khate sochte hain"
Chotu and Chachha also join us...

Me: "Chandani Chowk chalte hain"
Chotu: "Nahi CP"
Gujju: "Achha jo bus pehle aa jae usmein beth jaienge"

7 PM Chandani Chowk - Trail begins...

Me: "Areey jalebi - khaein?"
Gujju: "Spicy Trail ki shuruvat to meethe se hi honi cahiye :D"

Awesomest jalebis that I've ever eaten, almost felt like Malpuas. A little costly, priced at Rs 300/kg. Each one of us ate 25 gms, so it was fine. It was a nice tit bit to start our trail with.Me: "Metro Station kahan hai?"
Chotu (a little phyched) "Peeche reh gaya yaar wo"
Me: Looking sharply across the road, "Ah, there it is"
Everyone: "What"
Me: "Just follow me"

Extremely crispy Aloo Tikkis with khatti meethi chatni, dotted with pomegranate. I needn't mention the Dahi Bhallas, afterall the name of the shop is Natraj Dahi Bhalla. It is listed in Times Food Guide, but still is such small that you would surely miss it. And add to that the fact that the 2 feet space between the shop and the next shop serves as the lane to the Chandani Chowk Metro Station (throughput of the lane: 2people/second)

Me: "Next stop Kake Di Hatti"
2 Amritsari Naan between 4 people is enough to fill you almost upto the neck. Ask for a Dal Fry to wet your throat and whet your appetite. Don' drink the normal water they serve, go for the packed one. (all in 85 bucks)

Gujju: "I will eat full faluda"
Me: "Let's take 2 faludas and a pineapple shake - then we will take one more if possible"

Adjoining Kake di Hatti is Giani di Hatti. Awesomest rabri faluda you will get in the entire world. The quantity is just too much. One full glass and you are done for the night. And Man-o-Man the size of the large glass of pineapple shake! The shop also sells Moong ki Daal ka halwa and other such Indian Delicacies but we were too full to even look at them. Giani is one place you just can't miss. Cost 40 bucks for each shake/drink.9:30 PM:Back in Lab :D

Read Spicy Trail Part 1 here
Need directions?

Monday, 7 December 2009


These days are same as the days after I gave my JEE: They have suddenly lost their meaning, the clock no more shrieks with every passing second, the heart beat is normal at 70, and I have the luxury to sleep for more than 6 hours, again!

What was the first song I heard after I got the job (noticed - the!) - Freebird (remember Forest Gump!). Who were the first persons I called after I got the job? Who were the second? Who was the third (I texted this one, though!)? Why did I jump up and down, and was really happy only 3 days after I got the job!

The feeling is nice. The feeling is that of completion. The feeling is that of satisfaction, but the feeling is also of a lot of responsibility. Responsibility towards those who have really made it possible for me to stand where I stand today -Family and Friends: who have always stood like a rock, who have been the place where I can go anytime for anything, who have known me inside out and sometimes even better than what I know myself.

Mentors and guides: who's experience have allowed me to look at life from several angels telling me which way I would like to shape mine into!

Sometimes even total strangers, or people who I have met just a few days, weeks, or months ago, those who have come in like a gush of fresh wind and have reinstated my confidence in self.

The society - something abstract, in my view, but something which is the foundation of everything we do, see, feel, touch, hear, smell - in how we perceive our life and how we grow to be intellectuals!

And most importantly those who have given me the opportunity to prove myself, and prove I will when the time comes, till then let's do some interesting things! (they will unfold slowly)...

Friday, 13 November 2009

A birth-day in my life

So, one of the best ever, well I will at least remember it for the next 6 years, just as I remember the one which happened when I was 15.

Not only that it went about in the exact way I wanted it to go: close friends (though I missed those few who couldn't join for they were either far away, sleeping, or unaware), cold weather, gentle drizzle, pizza, coke, coffee, standing on roof, sitting around the coffee table and just laughing away. In this world, where almost nothing goes according to how you expect it to go, it was a welcome night.

In fact, the day which followed was also nice. Meeting Mark Tully - the former BBC journalist (Padma Shree, Padma Bhusan and Knighted) and Ritu Menon - Miranda Alumni, a feminist publisher since last 25 years and founder of Press - Kali for Women; followed by an okaish quiz, and an interesting interview with Prof. Deepti Gupta from Textile Department.

The messages, mails and gifts were totally awesome. I just wondered when was the last time I got a gift!

It continued to drizzle in the evening, during which I was handed over an amazing hand made oil painting.

The day ended as interestingly as it began, with a few of my best buddies getting a late realization and scrambling to call one after the other (news like these spread like fire), so the day
ended with 7 calls, between 11 PM and midnight.

Thank you all.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

What Odds

Well, a recapitulation:

Sitting back, reclining on chair, brooding
Suddenly it snapped from the middle
And I fell in a manner, we call ' backwards headlong'
Numb and astonished I, the phone rings - Why?
"Hi we liked you resume, would like to meet you. Will you come by?"

Waited and Waited and Waited
The Black Corollas never came
After 2 hours and a half
took the car of Shubham, to the task
And reached the room in Oberoi, behind the glass

A long sleepless night, a long morning and a long afternoon
All for a 5 minute interview, All for a stupid puzzle
All for a single question, All for another rejection
What Odds that I was called
What Odds that I will be called again

Saturday, 17 October 2009


Plugged in, shutters shut, wings in front of the vent fluttering no more, door shut - locked, sugar dry and sticky in the cup, missing on keystrokes, suicidal thoughts, beacon light.

Push away, walk, Click open, Click open, Pour, Stir, Click close, Click close, Pull again, Plug in, type, drink.

Dying music, slowing heartbeat, blurring vision, languorous gain and mien, 'ya garib nawaz'

Google searches on LSD, shaking head coming out of dreams, shivering with horror, 'i hate trips', i think so. tried. i do.Wasted day. Wasted I.

Where are you, why did you disappear, what is to happen, where is the daylight, where are you. I know. I know.

Gentle skittering in the distant sky, so usual, 'here I am', the world has changed, future is curvy, 'here I am'.

What is life? I think i know. No it was LSD that knew.

White white-board. No more. In green, I wrote - Life - 1) Live. 'Gumsum Gumsum'

Long lists, half frozen laughs, sharp turn ahead, go slow, half frozen prayers, 'love me tomorrow'

Favorite song. Of life and fights, I take notice. Listen. Listening can do wonders. What you think you write, what you write you think. No wonder about the sad life of Ayn Rand and more recently of Sarah Cane, don't even try reading 'Blasted', forget seeing it.

More real now, fading drug thoughts. Thoughts can be so powerful.


I love this.

2nd in a row, and an upcoming birthday. Bright sky outside, cold air hugging me tight.
'shimmering lights'. I race. I run. I go back to place, cozy bed, safe thoughts, friends, harness. Still I am thinking. 'lit up the candle'

I am back. I am. I was never lost. A self created low. Stupid. Interesting.
Upcoming birthday. Shining lights. Lonely road. Cold air. Speeding. Bumping. Turning. Scuppering. Still thinking.

What you think you write, what you write you think.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Copy Paste

A few phrases which are endangered or have become extinctTaken from an IIT Alumni Magzine

Bhains ki aankh: Buffalo's eye. A substitute for a more offensive word that is unprintable

Kailashpati: A guy who spends most of his time/effort on the females of Kailash hostel

To mein Nachun: Interrogative word, meaning should I dance? Rumored to be a witty reply to some boring information

P K Palta: Fell over drunk

Quotes from an Outlook Article

"I also had friends who never needed to study, they had been apparently born with engineering wisdom in their genes. There were guys who spent most of the semester in a drug haze, but sobered up a few days before the exams, cracked them, and went back to their pharmaceuticals"

"The vast majority of males were totally deprived of female company. The girls lived a strange life-on the one hand, they were hounded by dozens of would-be suitors; on the other, they faced the petulant hostility of the majority which saw them as undeserving of so much adulation and so many free lunches"

And the story can't be complete w/o mentioning this Uncyclopedia entry

"A very effective test of whether a guy is fit for getting into the IITs is asking a very simple question: "Do you have a girlfriend"? A guy who says anything else other than "What's a girl?" would not get through the test"

Friday, 2 October 2009

Things I know of Gandhi

Only the date is cliched; not the post.

When I think of Gandhi, only a few things stir up within me - memories, quotes, readings etc... Some good and others bad.
  1. He used to walk the talk. He used to walk fast. He deliberately chose his 2 offices 10 km (infact more) apart and he commuted on foot between these offices each day
  2. My maternal Grandfather used to literally hate him. In the drawing room he had the portrait of 'Maharana Pratap' and not Gandhi (in his days; Gandhi was still alive)
  3. His autobiography is quite bold and explicit. I should read it, but probably after reading Discovery of India
  4. Was a man of extremes - Non Violence, austerity etc.
  5. I really liked his idea of Hind Swaraj or self governance - infact, I was thinking of the same thing for a long time, trying to find words to express it and lo! - One day I find that Gandhi has already put it down so eloquently decades ago!
  6. Studied in England, like many of Indian reformers did. Wrote and spoke splendidly, like many other reformers
  7. Was a Gujju!
  8. His family life was screwed. I don't know if his decision to become celibate at the age of 36 was a reason. Whatever, still Kasturbha, his wife was imprisoned whenever he was. So what's the point! Unfair to her?
  9. I still can't comprehend what was his motivation. How he kept himself alive to put so much efforts into something larger than life, incomprehensible, apparently inachievable. HOW? HOW? HOW?
  10. Used to see things for himself - something what Rahul Gandhi is doing, or alteast showing that he is doing, now a days
Well that's my list! And I think I sound like a Blonde

What amazes me is that, of a man who was THE MAN for INDIA, Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Bapu - how can I care to know so less. But pertaining to point [7], he is definitely a source of motivation. Enigmatic motivation. And pertaining to point [3], I promise to know more about him.

What's your list??? Or you people blonder than me!!!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Romans, countrymen

Brutus Vs Antony

O, What a tragedy

Those once sharing the same dais
turned against each other
for one supported his King, and the other feared his King would become a King

"Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar"
And he fell

O, What a tragedy

Soaked his hands and Sword in blood
Brutus walked
And addressed Romans, countrymen, and lovers

"Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved
Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and
die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live
all free men?"

Antony, noble and bound
not to proclaim honorable Brutus a traitor, begged

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;"

"I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honorable man. "

"I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts:
I am no orator, as Brutus is..."

The praises for Brutus died
and they wept for the fallen Ceaser

O, What a tragedy

Mob drove him out
and Brutus did battle

And when in the battle Brutus did fall
as Ceaser's ghost had told him so
Antony kissed him and said

"This was the noblest Roman of them all:
All the conspirators save only he
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;"

O, What a tragedy
O, What a tragedy


Read the Epic ?

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Creative writing paper at IIT Delhi!

"Haathi mila tha". The elephant described in the questions was actually given to us, to 100 of us. 100 elephants were distributed in the class.

Our thrill was beyond measure - never Gave such an awesome paper :D

Friday, 21 August 2009

Convoluted Dreams

All I remember is that it was a precarious situation.

I had to save someone, and it was getting really difficult. Almost like Frodo hanging with his one hand - and beneath him the Lava of Mount Doom. I was SAM. Despite having always dreamed of saving someone's life, all my life; I was finding it increasingly difficult to pull him up.

At such moment you really doubt your abilities. Every bit of your life enfolds in that moment. It's die or die.

I woke up; drenched in sweat. I was palpitating and was clearly frustrated. After-all, I had 1 trillion other works to do then sleep and dream. I banged my fists real hard on the table, only to find the needles of a few Pin-Up clip and subsequently flinch in pain.

As my hands swung over the table, I hit the really jagged portions under it. Which was totally impossible, but nevertheless my hands went numb with pain and I woke up. Again!!!

Still seething with pain, I got up from my bed to think what was up with me - was I dreaming in my dream?

Caressing my hand, I waved off the whole incidence as 'Stress'

A little later when I sat down on the table to study - I saw 5-10 Pin-Up clips lying on it - sun shining on their razor sharp needles...

Friday, 14 August 2009

Shopping Anomalies

2 Girls and 2 Boys; couples in their own sense, enter a shop to buy a pair of Jeans:

Guy's Shopping:

"Bhaiya, show me a blue Jeans, light shade from 500-600Rs; Regular Fit, simple - no gaudy designs"

He shows 2.

The guy tries them.

Comes out of the Trial Room, and asks his fellow guy - "how does it look?"

"Ok", the fellow guy says getting a little interested that this shopping thing is coming to an end

"Ok", the wearer guy says, getting a little interested as his shopping thing is coming to an end

Time Taken to shop a pair of jeans - 5 Minutes

Girl's Shopping:

The guys are sitting outside after finishing their shopping in 5 mins, looking forward to spend the evening with girls.

The sun goes down, the moon comes up, the stars appear, the numbness of Night starts to bother them, the stars fade, the moon goes down, the sun comes up again, and it goes down again, and again moon comes up, and the stars appear - Summer change to Spring and Spring changes to Winter and Winter changes to Autumn and then its Summer again - onetime between all this - it rains, and onetime the guy's walk across the street to get a Burger, and onetime they walk a few steps to put a quid into the Guitar Case of the guy who entertained the crowd of such guy's sitting outside the shop by playing Guitar.

Finally, eons later- the girl's come out, almost hysterical. They did not like the clothes, NOT EVEN ONE! Some were this and some were that and some were just not short enough and some were just not long enough and some were loose and some were tight, and that when they had planned to buy just a pair of jeans and not everything that the store had to offer.

Guy's are busy consoling them and somehow they get better, only to suggest that they try in the next shop.

That is how both the pairs broke up...

Saturday, 8 August 2009

The Moon Race

This NY Times Article is the epitome of Sarcasm. It really, truly, emphatically captures the times of The Cold War and how Russia's Space Program sent the US into frenzy and how $150 billion Moon Mission took Place, and the role of NASA thereafter.

If not for the great account of History and Emotions, read it for the Sarcasm.

After reading it, I wondered if Kennedy could have said that day in Congress, "Guys, Chill. This is all but an eyewash. We have greater problems to invest our money in. Let the Russians fly out there in the black void". (Oh, Do I sound like Leftist and Oh, then why would have there been a cold war at the first place!)

Also, in case it gets you a little more interested, you can watch October Sky (it's a movie!) as a follow up :)

Monday, 3 August 2009

How a Squirrel Hedges its Risk

This might be true for the squirrel community in general, but it is definitely true for the squirrel community at IITD.

There is a 10 meter wide road which the Squirrel wants to cross. Squirrel is currently at point A and it wants to go to point B on the other side of the road.

Squirrel being at Point A happens to know that Point A is a safe state. It also assumes that Point B would be another safe state, but is not very sure.

Now while crossing, it never makes an impetuous dash from A to B. It always stops at an intermediate point C to evaluate its conditions, i.e. to gauge if it is still safe to cross the road.

Now let the point C be 8 meters from Point A and 2 meters from Point B.

Suppose you approach such a Squirrel (who is busy contemplating at Point C) what would you expect it to do?

Obviously run for its life and get to Point B.

But Squirrels are Squirrels - they run back to Point A!!!


Friday, 31 July 2009

Technocracy For Freshers

This article was published in IITD's Special Publication for Freshers - IITD ke Funde by BSP

Dear Dreamers,

Welcome to IIT Delhi.

Are questions like -What is IIT, what does being an IITian mean, buzzing in your head?

Well, that’s ok. It was same for me. I remember my first day at IIT as vividly as I remember my first crush; both were times full of wild thoughts, apprehensions, excitement and fear.

Soon your classes would begin. You would run all around the Insti; from morning 8 to evening 5. Tired, you would come back to your room, gossip a little with your new friends, study a bit, and sleep. Soon Minors would come, and you would be like cat on hot bricks. Rendezvous would follow and your to-be-girlfriends (or boyfriends) would come to IIT. And in no time your 1st semester would be over. Trust me, my 3 years got over in the same fashion.

During this time, I would not be surprised to hear you lament about being stuck in a dull and gruelling Engineering Design (ED) workshop, when romantic rains are dancing outside, or being irritated trying to understand the rational behind an irrational subject like Group Theory (MAL124)…

Well, after 3 years, I can jolly well say that all courses have several applications in real life, but that would not convince you – you want to know their application NOW! And in this context lies the essence of Technocracy. Technocracy is an initiative by a team of students of IITD, to improve the levels of indigenous research by providing sufficient opportunities and creating enthusiasm among people.

There are several aspects on which Technocracy works, but let’s just talk about – What’s in for you? To put down simply – there would be several basic level workshops, seminars, video presentation to explain you - say, how to use your ED knowledge to design a bike or how Group Theory applies to RUBIKS Cube and so on.

Our Website, BSP publications, posters and events will give more information about different projects, useful inventions, innovative ideas, award, honours and upcoming technical activities at IIT Delhi. Follow our activities and they are sure to fire your dreams to ‘think differently’. And my dear Dreamers, soon you would know – to think differently is the essence of being an IITian!

Monday, 27 July 2009

How I Stopped Sleeping in IIT Lectures

After 3 laborious semesters - I found a simple Answer.

After those countless times when I woke up, with a stiff neck and saliva filled copy, I found it was so simple to stay up.

After long discussions with self, cursing the heart filled with smoke of remorse for missing a lecture held in the best institution of this country - I found it was rather simple...

After finding that my sleep pangs are so strong - that I sleep even in front of those professors who would humiliate you to death if found sleeping, I thought of a simple plan: to ask questions.

Er, Difficult to digest at first but...
...It works!

PS: The only flip side is that other people swear under breath, that they will kill you if you asked a single more question in that class. I have failed to understand why would they want to do that!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The Story of Stuff

It was just another day and just another site - The Story of Stuff

Well, I liked the story Annie Leonard has presented. I learned 2 things:
  1. Production Cycle - The Big Picture + Several Facts about each Stage - Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption and Disposal.
  2. New Ways to address the problems associated with the current Production Cycle.
It is a 20 minute video. The presentation of video, Annie's ability to deliver across the Message, and the facts - all are excellent.

To sum up in a line 'Production Systems on Earth are Linear Production System. Such systems cannot last forever because they use Finite Resources. Hence these systems are systems in

I just did not agree to one thing - she blatantly said that we need to throw our computers and bring a new one after every 5 year or so - 'just because a chip in our Mother Board Changes and the new one does not fit at the old one, because its shape is different.'

She was trying to highlight that some things are knowingly built to become obsolete in some years so that people have to buy new one.

But I don't think that it is possible at all to replace a chip in mother board - for that to happen Graphics Card, Sound Card etc. should all be different entities connected together through some dangling wires..

Well, they used to be such earlier. But with reducing size of these chips - we were able to put them all on one Mother Board - this in turn saved a lot of space.

I am trying to find more on this, but otherwise I think 'Story of Stuff' is too good a video to be missed.


Saturday, 4 July 2009

Welcome to IIT

Welcome to IIT
IIT Delhi? - Welcome even more.

Even though its a 'passe' to say so - still, the fact is that you are the 'best of the best'.
So what are your plans for next 4/5 years you are going to be here?
No Plans! - Ah, Too bad! Never Gave it a Thought - Barn, Too bad!

Waste no more of your time and get started thinking. NOW.

First, make room in your super intelligent head and read the next 3 things seriously
  1. This is the beginning, and not the end (of all the struggle and hard work)
  2. There are NO DPPs and NO Mock Tests. No Spoonfeeding. You are on your own.
  3. This is the best place you can be, at this time of your life. You cannot afford to let this chance go.
Don't be too paranoid of me. This is the truth.

With these things in mind, sit down, or take a walk or go in a park or whatever - but think. Think what you want to do when you are here. IIT is a place where you can practically do anything. Anything. And since you can do anything - let your drems fly. Just think what you want. Write it down and keep it safe.

Let me end by telling you WHY YOU NEED TO THINK? From day 1 you would be overwhelmed by the number of different things you would find here. And if you don't know what you want, you would be literally 'swept off your feet'.

So, my dear IITian - you are starting a life on your own - decide how it should be!

PS: I would be glad to answer your questions - just leave a comment!

Also, See this MIT Blog - 50 things to do in your MIT life
And a blog I wrote on my graduation: 42 things to do in IIT Delhi


People go haywire over this word. It is the buzz word of our generation. 'You can't be successful in this age, unless you are creative', is not an uncommon phrase.

It scares the hell out of me to think if I am creative enough. How do I know? I hope it must be same for a lot of people. So let's try to figure out something...

What is Creativity?

Some People say creativity is simplicity.
Some People say creativity is thinking out of box.
Some People say creativity is a hoax.

Let's see an example - Common Crafts
- I think this is creative.

And we would keep stumbling upon such things which are 'creative'. But at any rate, our aim is to figure out - how can we be creative?

There can be a few things which I think helps in being creative:
1. Meditate
2. Solve Puzzles
3. Breathe Fresh Air
4. Spend Some time alone, Thinking
5. Talk to some Creative people
6. Get inspired by other creative stuff - start from Stumble Upon
But let's not forget the place where Creativity originates - your Brain!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Some things in IT

Have you used Java?

Have you heard of Spring?


Well, than hear it Now!

Spring is the 'new guy on the block'. This new guy is open source as well.

What do you do in Java to create a new object of Class Nishant?
Write something like - Nishant nishant = new Nishant();
Well, with Spring, gone are those days.

Now you don't need to hardcode things. They are picked up, and linked to your code at runtime. Because of that, you don't need to rebuild (recompile) your code for every change you make.

Now you define these objects outside your java code, in an xml file. It is called configuration file. I am not getting into the details of it all, because there is enough of it on net.

My intention is to just make you aware that there is something called Spring.

For small course projects, you may not feel its importance but you must try to seek it out if your project is more than 1000 lines and/or have database calls as a part of it.

Knowing how to write Hello World in Java is sufficient to start with Spring, but you will like Spring more, if you have worked a lot in Java.

The best book on it is 'Spring in Action'. You will understand the whole of Spring, if you read this book. The next best place to learn more about it would be videos on You Tube. The articles on net; I am sure; will always get you confused.

To quote from the book, 'Spring makes it possible to use plain-vanilla JavaBeans to achieve things that were previously only possible with EJBs. However, Spring’s usefulness isn’t limited to server-side development. Any Java application can benefit from Spring in terms of simplicity, testability, and loose coupling.'

I will talk in details about 'Removing Try Catch blocks using Spring AOP' in separate blog. There I will give all the code level details.

Anyways, was knowing about this Spring guy fun?

I hope it was.

As always,

Take my advice, if you code in Java, go and look about it.



Life is simple. It has been a topic of fascination from several years and will continue to be so, as long as we continue to live.

But then, why people find it so complex? Well, it is meant to be so, otherwise where would the sense of achievement come from?

So, is the purpose of this blog to help you make your life simple? Sorry, but the answer is no! The purpose of this blog is to make your complex life interesting.


By knowing interesting things, and understanding them simply.

Ha ha - are you confused now? You shouldn't be.

Because I will tell you things, various things, which you will enjoy knowing. I will try to tell them simply, so that you don't get confused. And I will try not to reinvent the wheel - i.e. if I find a good site or blog which explains the thing I am talking about in a perfect way - I will direct you to that.

Vanity might sometimes get better of me, and I might write a post dedicated to my life. I hope you will bear with me in such posts.

So understood?

Keep Tuned