Archive for July 2009
All through the while, as I was typing this post (I miss the good old days when I used to write stuff before typing it *sigh), I had half a mind to change the title to “The Week that wasn’t”, because I couldn’t think of anything else that describes my first week in IITR better.
Abra, Cadabra “Electronics and Communication” – so said the notice. After the initial feeling of being a “prisoner of my own device”, the chastisations by my venerable seniors and haunting by ghosts of the ubiquitous second-decimal point, I attained a state which can be classified as predominantly blissful. The subjects seemed great and to my joy Data Structures was a five credit course… I was just thinking “All’s well….” when R-land’s very own Murphy showed his ugly face.
Of all the great institutes in the world, it is only in R that you end up regretting filling up that coveted list; it is only in R that branch-changers are treated like criminals. The last one week has seen me losing almost all the weight that I gained this summer. Running about the institute – dept to dept, acad section to ug, dosw to dean-ug , I would have given those ethopian marathon runners a run for their money. Bureaucracy at its very best. Last I heard, I had become such a familiar face in the DOSW’s office that they were considering giving me a clerical position. What with the recession and all, I should probably go ahead and take it.
But all cribbing aside, R-land’s tranformation is still underway. New faces, New cycles and new buildings, one wonders what happend to our dear mantra of “Go green“. Familiar faces are being sorely missed, especially in the gaon (make it) dubai. But their legacy lives on, “Ashok Rajaraman, B.Tech Metallurgy”, it says on my trunk. Thanks rapu 🙂 And there is this quaint charm of seeing lost faces in front of RJB, parents bidding teary farewells and snapping of photos near the library building – feels like you’ve travelled one year back. But with a difference. The hunter has become the hunted. The albatross around our necks in the form those two “Rs.10 non-judicial papers” has led to the sophomores maintaining significant distance from the freshers. As for dreaded R-word…. shuuuussshhh!! it does not exist except in those huge banners. Fearless fachahas striding about the insti playing mafia wars in the library computers. Bah!
Just like the knights templar out to get the holy grail, I too was on a mission – to get my abode transferred to other side of the dreadead slope. After hours of pleading and making the government workers understand what I wanted in my heavily accented broken hindi, things seem to have taken a turn for the better. Azad, here I come. (No, not if I get a matchbox room).
Azad reminds of one of my favourite quotes that I happened to re-read recently.
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows
“A Maddu Related to time – 5 Weeks ago” croons the blogroll of a certain Mr.B. Speaking of Blogrolls, my own begs to be updated. The brightly lit population of R-land having to taken to blogging as the last resort to counter velagiri, it is high time I updated my blogroll with the newest bunch of illustrious names. It was just the other day that the Mallu Marauder with his usual verbose pragmatism posed the question, “you have been a rather sedate blogger these vacations?”… more a double edged sword than a question.
The answer, I borrow from the Platonist, “It’s not time but me”.. And yet this summer has been an eye-opener of sorts. In all probability the most packed and productive summer of my whole eighteen years of existence. The realization of a certain Ex-Chairman’s, “The closer you get to Maddu land the more awesome you get” has fully dawned upon me (Awesome being a very subjective term of course). Very vividly, I recall the last few days spent at R-Land, the packing of books and the promise I made to myself, “Enough of ghissing. It’s time I started participating” with the most sincere of intentions. But now, the label of “ghissu”, nor the jeers of my compatriots matter nought, I know that my tryst with graph theory, parameterized complexity and the connected vertex cover and in general algorithms is far from over.
Inspirations come in different shapes and sizes. More often than not, it has been people. Be it Pete Sampras, Steve Jobs, innumerable family members, seniors at school and college or even teachers. This time however it is an environment that has opened my knowledge eye, to quote a tamil cliché. The summer programme has come at the right time and right place. Having rediscovered my passion for algorithms and been exposed to the fascinating world of Theoretical Comp.Science, I am left wondering whether I have found the answer to my life, the universe and everything else. Sample this:
1) The atmosphere – brilliant
2) The papers being published – mind blowing
3) The rapport between PhD Scholars and profs – a stark contrast to my own dear institute
I am contemplating, with utmost seriousness, about a career in research. Research, as I have learnt, is slow and terribly frustrating but nothing beats the sheer joy of having discovered something by yourself. However insignificant it may be, it still remains a small step for mankind and giant leap for yourself.
As awesome as Maddu Land is, R-land still commands a class of its own. “Results not yet finalized da”, the god of fun announced giving room to more frustration. One wonders whether we are expected to do a Pinky before finding out our true destination.
Fate hangs in the balance, but the road ahead is clear. All is well… for now.