Saturday, January 28, 2006

Quals on Wednesday!

My PhD Qualifier Exam is on Feb 1, that is the coming Wednesday!!!!!

For those who do not know what it is, this is the day I face 5 professors who are experts in their fields and present to them what I want to do in the next 2 years which will give me my PhD. 1 hour for the presentation, one for the questions. Somehow I can feel my knees going weak....

So dear friends, I am gonna lay low for some time, no more blogging.. only PPT making and practicing for me...

Wish me luck,

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Shubh Ganatantra Divas 2006!!

Hi all,
Today [Jan 26, 2006] we Indians are celebrating 56 years of being a republic. I strongly encourage you to read through the address to the nation by our dear president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. [Thanks to Abhijit for the link]

We hoisted the tricolor at USC this morning at 7:30 and it was interesting to see that at least 15 out of the 1500 Indians at the university were there braving the cold and having woken up on time.

The sweetest thing happened after we had taken down the flag. A girl [sorry I could not make out her face since I was not wearing my glasses] came up and asked why the flag was not up. We said that we had taken it down since we cannot leave it up all day. Upon that, she said, "Please at least show me the flag. I am feeling so homesick". Sweet.. very sweet.

The I-day and the R-day both evoke mixed feelings in me. Since I never saw the country in times of explicit peril [wars, pre-independence, etc.], I feel that sometimes I undervalue the importance of these occasions. So my dear readers, I pose this question to you:

What does the Republic Day of our great nation mean to you?

It will be interesting to see your responses. Hopefully it will answer some questions I have been struggling with.

My answer will be in the comments.. see you there!

Jai Hind!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

IITians make a political party

Yes yes, I know many of you have read it already, but here goes:

Many sources reported today that a bunch of IIT graduates have formed a political party, having left their lucrative jobs.

Nice to know about that, lets see how far this goes. It will be interesting to see how they can maintain "quality" while growing in size.

From the article:

“People think we are crazy so much so that our families have also failed to understand our motto, but we won’t give up,’’ he added.
The core team of “Paritrana’ ’ comprises Rajpurohit , Shukla, Amit Beesen, also the vice president and a B Tech (Mechanical) from IIT Bombay and a LLB graduate, Chandrashekhar (national treasurer), B Tech (computer science) from IIT Kanpur, Bharat Sundaram, the PRO of the party and B Tech from IIT Kanpur and PhD in electronics from Melbourne.
“Paritrana means complete relief from the various causes of distress, and that is what we want to do for our people,’’ added Chandrashekhar. Low funds have not discouraged them in their efforts of holding door-to-door campaigns in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and parts of Maharashtra.

Kudos to you all people... maybe I shall volunteer for this party once I am back :-).


Monday, January 23, 2006

His Eye is Safe!

Various sources are reporting that the eye-gouging sentence to be meted out to the Indian guy who injured a Saudi person's eye [mentioned on this blog first here and then here] is not going to happen!

A really happy news indeed. Best wishes to his family and congratulations to all those involved in saving him!

From the HT article:

"The victim has pardoned Naushad. This has been authenticated by a Saudi court," Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed told reporters in New Delhi on Monday.

The decision to pardon Naushad, currently held in a Saudi jail, was officially conveyed to Ahamed by Saudi Ambassador Saleh Mohammed Al-Ghamdi on Monday evening.

"We are very grateful to the Saudi government for this generous act," Ahamed said. "This is just the right gesture that will boost goodwill between the two countries."

Notice how the "victim" has pardoned him, leading to his freedom. Interesting.

That's it for now folks.... back to work now.
P.S. And yes, I ran 14 miles on sunday... took 3 hours... but it is not hurting so much, so all is good :-).

Thursday, January 19, 2006

If you wanna marry her, rape her!

A couple of interesting articles, all deserving your attention, dear readers.. so read on...

First, there is the news that gives this post its title : about how a rapist has offered to marry his deaf, mute and mentally challenged victim. Article here [make sure u read thru all 3 pages]

From the article:
The victim, who worked as a domestic help at Dilip's residence, was raped by Dilip and his accomplice, Vinod Chauhan. Meena's mother had abandoned her at the Ahmedabad Mental Hospital, near Dilli Darwaza on August 18, 2004, promising to return with some biscuits for her.

The MoU, according to defence counsel, was made after Dilip and Meena gave their consent for marriage. According to public prosecutor Sudhir Brahmbhatt, "the consent of the victim, who according to medical reports is equivalent to a 10-year old child, cannot undermine the case."

Fair or not? What do you say? I strongly recommend you to read the article to form a proper opinion.

Second news is that the family of the person who is facing the eye-for-eye verdict in Saudi Arabia [talked about earlier here] is planning to meet the Saudi King. Lets hope something nice comes out of it.

Finally, here is a nice interview with the Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar. I am really looking forward to some development happening in this state.

That's all for now folks... back to work now!
Love and Luck,

Amul does it Again!

IndiaFM has an article about the latest ad of Amul Butter, based on the hit movie, bluffmaster!

These guys are so creative! Simply love them!

... off to the Indian store to buy some Amul butter...


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Arz kiya hai...

Okay.. so the busy phase continues, and I am postponing my "India trip report" .. sorry for that!

But, to feed your minds, dear readers, here is a nice link to Varun's blog, where he has recently posted a bunch of his new creations. Amazing stuff!

For those who don't know him, Varun Grover graduated from ITBHU with a B.Tech in Civil Engineering in 2003 and now works as a writer in the Mumbai showbiz industry. The name Rahul-Varun that you see in the credits of "The Great Indian Comedy Show" is Varun Grover, my friend. I had the honor of working with him when we ran GAP Productions back in ITBHU [GAP = Grover, Arya, Pathak, for Varun, Pranay and Yours truly].

Keep em coming Grover!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Local Indian computing and a movie to watch out for

My "India developing" post that is long overdue... but I shall keep it due for now.

Got some time, so felt like telling you all abt two interesting items I came across today.

1. The trailer of Darna Zaroori Hai is online now. Go here to read a review of the trailer and a download. Look at the list at the bottom! I for one am looking forward to it, but first I would like to watch the first one :-).

2. There are two articles today about how local customizations of things common in the western world are coming up in India. After all, if you can get 1/6th of the world to buy your service, that translates into LOTS of money! The articles I am talking about are about launch of a tamil browser and a much bigger news about Microsoft Research working on an interactive, multilingual map of India.

From the article:
The research prototype enables the addition of information such as the location of polling booths and other data, that helps citizens create and maintain maps that are uniquely relevant to their communities. Microsoft Research India and the Department of Science and Technology plan to leverage experiences from this prototype, to develop effective country-wide mechanisms for spatial data creation, collection and dissemination that can be useful in a number of ways, such as for disaster management.

Interesting things happenning in that country... lets see how this proceeds.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Indian Pride, and Indian Shame

The busy phase continues.. but I thought you all might be interested in the following.

1. India develops its own SCRAMJet [here].
From the Article:
ISRO considered this achievement as a major technology breakthrough in air-breathing propulsion. Other than the United States, which had recently carried out in-flight demonstration of supersonic combustion for a short duration, work related to supersonic combustor designs in other countries like Japan, China, Australia, Russia and Europe were either in their initial or ground testing phase.

At the same time, we have Neeraj posting on this very interesting topic of Prithviraj Chauhan's death and the current state of his tomb. Makes me wonder... who is going to have time for launching a mission to get the remains of the great Indian ruler back from there if the political parties are busy preventing guys and girls from meeting [remember operation Majnu!].

That's it for now folks.. now back to work!
P.S. I saw Owen Wilson [wedding crashers] yesterday in his limo when I was runnin near campus!!! Boy, now I feel like I live in LA!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Tale [tail?] of Three Kitties [200th Post!]

I am super swamped currently, hence a lull in posting, but hey, this is the 200th post on this blog! Never knew it would reach this milestone when I started this blog a year and half ago.. thanks for the encouragement.

So, coming to the point, since time is less, I felt I should post about the three felines I came across in the past month. Here they are:

Cat #1:
Name: Daisy [or Desi, as I call her ;-)]
Location: Varanasi, with my cousin
Special: Rescued kitten, now lives inside my uncle's house and has amazing concentration when it comes to stalking mice [as in the pic]

Cat #2:
Name: "Billi" [cat in Hindi], that's what mom calls her
Location: Mankapur, with my mom
Special: Lives around the house, with mom giving it some milk occasionally. Has learnt how to catch mice so is sufficiently self-sufficient. Dad does not like her, or so he tells us :-). Sneaks in every once in a while to steal some milk.

Cat #3:
Name: Cucho or Cuchito [Shweta, his owner, says this means cat in Spanish, but Babelfish does not agree]
Location: Los Angeles, with us!! Soon to move to the east coast
Special: We are cat sitting for Shweta till she takes Cucho in two weeks time. He is very gentle, and likes to sleep on Karthiks's legs, but also licks his mouth when he is sleeping... no wonder Karthik has been a little drowsy in the day of late :-)

That's it for this time folks... back to work! Once again, thanks for supporting me till the 200th post!

Love and Luck,

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

in HKG.. again!

Wohi Hong Kong airport.. wahi free net waali machines... aur wohi main.... waiting for my next flight to LA....

14 hours more...

Interesting journey so far, met an ITBHU MECH-85 alumnus who is a patent attorney in LA, and a 12th grader Canadian girl who was in India for 3 weeks [her first time in India] meeting her sister who goes to school here!! Also, there was a "is there a doctor" announcement in the plane, too bad I do not have my PhD yet :D.

Saw xXx and "The Skeleton Key"[minus the last 5 minutes, because the plane landed!! .. wonder what happens in the end]

Lets see what else happens in this journey... on to LA!! [home sweet home?]

Monday, January 02, 2006

I am back... almost

Hey people,

Wish you all a very happy 2006!!

I missed you, and hope you missed me too :-).
I shall be back and posting starting 3rd Jan evening, LA time.

Abhi posting from a Reliance cyber cafe in Delhi, sitting with my cousin, who also has started blogging.. more abt that later.

The India trip has been nice, I gave talks at my high school, and several at my college.. hopefully the kids will learn from the mistakes I made. It was heartwarming to see them at the point where I was some years ago. Still cannot believe I passed high school 6 and a half years ago!

ITBHU now has online access to all journals, IEEE, ACM, Springer.. you name it... we are going for wireless access in hostels soon.. things are looking up.

I have some interesting pics too, will upload when I get back.

And now, back to shopping and meeting people... see you all when I get back!

Love and Luck,