Thursday, May 15, 2008


A number of significance in many parts of the world. A lucky number to some. A number of nobility. Eighteen can be seen in many ways, but to me, after two years, I see it in a different light. To me, it is much more than a number. An identity. A phase of life. A degree. A group of people. Friends. Memories. All associated with the number 18. It all began in the Fall of 2006....

Strangers we once were, all from different walks of life, with different experiences to bring to the table. Right from day one, life was a journey of twists and turns. Of late nights and early mornings. Of impressions, and arguments. Of courtships and heartbreaks. Of failures, and successes.

The many long days and nights in this place showed us a lot. We ran businesses, drove them to the ground, caused world harm, and then made strong profits. We allocated memories, and connected to the Internet. We designed routers. We analyzed networks. We made hardware talk to software. We designed protocols. We studied the world out there. We created things for the world to use, and discovered things about us in the process.

But that's not all this was about. It was about explorations, and discovery. Two years, locked in books and the computer is not even close to what this was about. It was about bonding, and experiences. A year of struggle was brought to a halt by a summer of supreme fun. We resumed here with a new perspective, and the world seemed to warm to our new sense of enthusiasm.

But now its coming to an end. A close. A finale. We came here to be graduates. We got something else with the deal. A treasure. One so vast, that nothing can take it away. Two years, with the 18s. Here's to us!

A journey takes a lifetime
every single day goes by
we're on a trip with no time
to rest before we're old and die
and our life is like a river
is like river of no return

Sunday, March 30, 2008


"Every day, a page turned down; every night, a lonesome sound,
Like a freight train rollin' through my dreams:
Every mile, a memory."
-Dierks Bentley

With every beginning, there comes an end. For some it comes earlier than others. These last few weeks have seen a chapter close in the story here in the Tartan World. About one-third of my class survived the tortuous, as well as many fun times here, to enable an early escape, somewhat unscathed with something we all came here to achieve, their Master's degree. First, let me congratulate them on this accomplishment.
[Edit: The rest of us hope to be done by May. ]

Of course, we have never been a bunch to shy away from extracting humor from a situation. So as the graduates prepared to leave, we all gathered together to talk about memories, and first impressions. We spoke about times past, and times yet to come. We spoke about connections, and things we will never forget. And all this while, we spoke about friendship.

Nearly two years together, and a bond formed between everyone. The bond may have been stronger with some than it was with others, but it ran through like a twine that connected each one of us. There are still many things that we can claim to be exclusive to us here at the INI.

There were many highlights of these 2 evenings that we have had so far. Stories narrated about everyone present. Recollections made, jokes cracked. In the end, I have to finish with my most hearty congratulations to P and S for taking the next step in their lives. They have come through here, and will leave INI with not only their Master's but something that, I am sure, will be much much more important later in life.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Its in the air...

Walking home from school last night, passed a normally ordinary bus stop. The bus stop, a lifeline on campus, is the starting and terminating point of the airport shuttle. And for students, nothing has more meaning than a way to get home. :-)

Last night, however, was different. Festivity rang through the atmosphere. Was it because of the day? A festival of colors in India, a holy weekend here. Or was it just a special night for a few special people? Whatever it was, it was beautiful.

A bus stop with satin cushions on the bench. A small table with a tea-pot and a tea cup. The walls of the stop covered with paintings, and the curtains drawn back.

A charming sight.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

(Extra)Ordinary People

He always thought there was something fishy about them. The two years of intense work that they seem to put in. The fruits they bear may be ripe, but to an outsider it always seems to be short lived. Yet, his biases were always strong, and to him, the job of management should be earned not handed over to some infants of the corporate world.

That was before he knew people who were on that side of the fence. His side always seemed like the "right" place. Many friends, however, saw otherwise, and walked the bridge into that part of the world.

Thats when he got exposed to what that world really was. The effervescent and confused souls that they were, they now give the impression of being composed and well thought out. What impressed him most was the way they could pick up on any topic that came up, and glibly carry on a conversation about as if it was their pet topic and they nursed it right from inception.

It doesn't stop there. He had never seen such attentiveness, and sense of drive. His world was full of aimlessness, and lack of direction.

But then, they really aren't ordinary people.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Journey

It has been a long walk so far. For many months he had trekked through uncharted territory. He walked on without looking up. There was nothing to distract him as he plowed through the thick. The going was getting tough, however. There was need for a booster.

The booster came in way of short bursts. Small adventures that make the journey memorable. As he approached a clearing, he decided to take a short break, to rest his weary legs. His mind wandered...

Not too long ago, he came across a tribe in the jungle. These people were always lively and jovial, yet they valued their secrecy. He stayed with them for a while, and learned of a new outlook on life. Thats probably where he could begin to see the edge of the forest, or at least, he thought it was the edge.

With his new found zest for life, he did not hesitate to take up the daunting. Stranded at the banks of a river, he rode across the white water. Stuck at the apex of a mountain, he parachuted back to earth. When some new path appeared before him, he didn't hesitate to explore.

But time marched on. He had to leave the tribe.

He walked on, alone. Occasionally he was accompanied by an earlier acquaintance. That made the journey more pleasing, and interesting, as they would lapse in conversations as they enjoyed the fruit of some of the bushes they came across. It also involved learning experiences, where he saw the world through another's eyes, and perspectives grew again.

He still remembers the day he came across the ruins. It was a city, an archaeological beauty, and by a twist of irony, they were the ruins of a ruin. A small city built around an excavation of the large bodied ancestors of the planet. One of the buildings also had fragments of imagination inked by people from a time long ago. The vivid coloring impressed his weary eyes.

He awoke to the sound of fanfare. Trumpets, tubas, saxophones blared all around him. Was it over? Had he gone through? As he stirred, he realized that it had only been part of the dream. He shook his head and got up, ready to walk on.

Thats when he saw it. A flash of brass disappeared before him. It wasn't over yet, but not much more remained.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


It began with pictures. Pictures became symbols. Symbols evolved. The evolution caused a spark. The spark of creativity. Creativity unleashed the mind, and that's when it got lost in the world of imagination. The jungle of imagination is a funny place. When you try to find your way there, you invariably land up at the harbor of truth and reality, showing you the vast oceans that lay untouched as everything constantly changes. Unconsciously, however, the mind will move towards the labyrinth that is wild and untamed.

Many instruments exist for recording such journeys. It began with carvings, and then moved to stone. Soon, however, with some portability, it moved towards ink, and carbon. Today, its more just a bunch of dots lighting up in strange ways depending on the way some electrons dance.

There was a time when I needed to hold something in hand whenever I wanted to enter the land where rules can be broken. It was my key, without which everything would be boring and mundane. With time, all I needed was the strangely laid out board with symbols. Button presses would emit a surge of feelings, warped in a web of words.

I tried the pen again few days ago. Its amazing how much we rely on something from a machine. It felt strange to grip something and move the hand in a way that would create symbols that could be read by the eye, and deciphered. That day, however, I struggled to read my own handwriting. Pencils are better though. They help in clear thoughts, and give you the freedom to make mistakes.

But to think, I need to type.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Lustrous white, ductile, malleable metallic element, with the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of the metals.

Precious in terms of jewelry and other ornaments.

The orginal driver of photography.

Marks second place.

Speech, in comparison with silence.

Talks about good in a bad situation.

Poetic reference to the movies.

Safe, when it comes to cars.

Celebrates twenty-five.