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with 24 comments

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



Written by Chronoz

July 28, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Posted in Council of Elders

Winds of Change

with 11 comments

“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.

Written by Chronoz

July 9, 2009 at 11:56 am


with 12 comments

I belong to the class of people who just cannot start their day without a sip of Coffee and an intake of the latest news, however cliched that may sound. However, in India if your eyes first fall on the newspaper, there’s a great probability that you may be whining for the rest of day. R-Land has robbed me of my coffee and thus the only good thing I do in the morning, I don’t do anymore. (Un)Fortunately it hasn’t robbed me of the newspaper. And believe me, when the first thing you read about is a Bomb Blast or Murder (or both) or a couple of political turnarounds, or kidnapping or rape (let us for the moment forget the fact that our cricket team does also feature on the front cover), the probability of a smile coming on your face is negative (mathematicians are welcome to give their take on this). When Charlize Theron said “A woman in S.A gets raped once every 26 minutes”, it doesn’t really take a celebrity to make us realize that our country’s crime rate isn’t any better either.

At times like this, only Lennon’s Imagine comes to my mind. I’m not a big fan of Beatles nor am I of Lennon’s solos but this particular song without great “music” is one of his few, which have appealed to me. Listen to it when you get the chance to; its a beautiful song.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Written by Chronoz

November 28, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Posted in Council of Elders

Men of ‘Onor

with 6 comments

Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom……..

Nehru’s speech is immortalized not just in our Indian textbooks but in the minds of anybody who appreciates beautiful oratory; just because it embodied the spirit of a whole nation and inspired an entire generation.

Yet one speech that struck a chord with me recently belonged to a man who too inspired his entire generation:

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer…………..

With a muslim middle name few expected him to give the bigshots a run for their money. Yet, in a stunning example of personal determination, he broke all odds of race, religion, etc and is what we see him as today – The President of the U.S.A. The week that was, most definitely belonged to him.

Yet, IMO, the week also belonged to another man, who did not exactly steal the limelight. Yet like Barack Obama, he is truly “Destiny’s Child”. Like Obama, he inspired an entire nation. He and Obama are two of the most envied leaders in the world, each in his own light. Like Obama, few in his own country would have heard of this man before 2004. When he played, he was ridiculed for his long hair and for damaging the beautiful game (I know its not cricket, but still!).. When he became captain, few envied his job; the pundits wrote him off. But today, M.S.Dhoni is the darling of a nation and his men would be willing to do anything for him.

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Written by Chronoz

November 11, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Posted in Council of Elders

Love in the Time of Cholera!

with 20 comments

Bloggers Note: If the title does not even sound vaguely familiar to you, I’m afraid your quizzing funda is not upto the mark. Go Google it, or wiki it or (preferably) scroll down to the bottom of this long, long post to find out what its about.

“Love is in the air”, the purist inside exclaims as the cynic (who has always had his way) snubs it saying, “Yeah, so what! Its always been in the *ahem air from the childhood to the blah, blah…”, you know all the crap! But yet being ’18’ adds a whole new dimension to the above phrase; you actually get to observe it.

Things a IIT aspirant gets to observe can hardly be classified as relevant to the common man. When I closed my house gate, i realized that i should apply my force as far away from the hinge as possible, simply because Torque=Force x r. When the bus braked, Newton’s inertia filled my mind. And ofcourse, when adding sugar to tea, I was reminded of anomers and epimers.

But now that I’m an “IIT’ian”, I really get to see Love (mind you not feel it :P). When one sees people around him going out with each other, he often wonders about the true meaning of this concept called Love. One friend conveniently referred to it as an extended-friendship but I still find it hard to realize the difference between ‘best-friendship’ and the so-called ‘extended-friendship’. Is it all about whispering sweet nothings, private meetings rather than gang meetings? Maybe only (*ahem) experience will tell.

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Written by Chronoz

November 1, 2008 at 11:20 am

Posted in Council of Elders