Saturday, September 25, 2010

Post-Birthday Blog

Hello all,

It's been a long time in a new place and I can see a lot of changes, both inside and around me.
To begin with, on 21st, I turned 18. It was the first time I spent my birthday away from family and with friends. I was woken up at midnight and smeared with cake on my face. It was quite an evening...after all, it's an important milestone in any human's life. You get more liberty, and along with it, more responsibilities. It comes as a package.

I do remember the times in my childhood when I wished I grew up. I used to picture the idealistic college life and how carefree I would be. Only now I realize that I can't really be carefree. Here after, I will be judged based on my actions, and often more prone to being mistaken compared to when I was a kid.

The past three months have gone quite fast, faster than i thought they would, faster than I wished they would. Yep, that's right. For the first one week into hostel life, I wished time went as fast as possible so that I could get back to what I then referred to as 'normal' life. As time passed, the definition of Normal changed. In these months, I've got new friends, met old ones and had a really good time.

Talk on Uni Life

As I've mentioned before, I've joined this Uni called SASTRA University. It has a long full form, let's get to that later. The campus is fairly big, spread across about 200 acres and has Engineering, Management and Law blocks. We have a cricket, football, volleyball ground and a so-so indoor stadium cum gym.

I, like most of the freshers, have been allotted a room in this hostel called Sandipani Sadan which has over 100 rooms, each housing people (well, in most cases.) In the beginning, I had three roommates, but one of them soon left since he had got accepted by a better Uni. Talking about the room, it's about twice the size of an average bedroom and houses four people, three in my case. The restrooms and bathrooms aren't attached and are common for about 8 such rooms. We've a number of these, but most don't have proper bolts on the doors. Every morning, I just hope that I don't run into a homo.

The food is decent, but once in a week we do get something for breakfast that very much resembles wet sand obtained at the sea shore.

Our freshers' courses are at the Mechanical Engineering Block, along with people from all streams. I've Maths, Chemistry, Basic Civil and Mech, C Programming and Engineering Drawing as main courses, besides the regular ones like English, CAD and Personality Development sessions. The wifi connection at the freshers' hostel is pathetic and opens nothing but what's stored in the local servers. Although, the popular sports are streamed in over wifi which can be viewed using VLC Player. I watched the Champion's League matches that way.
Sad as it may be, Uni has a strict rule on dress-code: No T-Shirts. That makes things a bit strange, but you'll get used to it since everyone around you is in normal buttoned-shirt. I mean, the guys.

But nonetheless, Uni life IS fun. I could also unleash my passion for photography seeing many interesting things all around me. There were many picturesque moments, like that time when I could see from the top of my hostel, that it was raining on the other side of the campus. And another instance when there was a small opening in the clouds and the evening sun rays hit down like a portal to the heaven. I've also begun playing Table Tennis on weekends, for two reasons: to enjoy sport as a human, and to reduce some weight since I'm a bit Healthy :P
Last month, I got a chance to go home and brought my guitar and iPod to Uni. It's really a good pass-time to play guitar. I met other guitarists in the hostel and even jammed with a few of them. Last week, a guitarist friend of mine, and I covered Street Spirit by Radiohead. I'm also teaching basic n00b guitar stuff to my roommate. It's really fun teaching another person, watching him or her experience what you went through when you learnt it.

The weekdays just go by in running to lectures, finishing assignments and writing lab records. But weekends are fun. I also went to a nearby town and watched a local movie with friends. The act of roaming in an unfamiliar town with friends was interesting, that I wasn't really much into the movie. And many more small but interesting things happen at Uni, such as late night milk-inspired talks in the terrace or heated arguments in the break between two classes...arguments which stop when one speaks out something stupid and funny...

Life is full of such small moments which give you momentary happiness and sit as a memory deep in your head. I believe it's these small moments in your Uni life that makes you remember and cherish it years after you're out living a completely different life.

I'm off to studying for my next mid-term test that begins on this tuesday.

Until my next blog,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Out of office autoreply.

Not yet, but soon.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I've got an Electrical and Electronic Engineering course in Sastra University, Tamil Nadu. The classes begin on 14th, so I'll have to get settled in my hostel room by 13th. For which, I shall be leaving tomorrow.

Obviously, the last week has been very, very hectic for me. In the midst of packing, procuring necessary things and getting mentally prepared, I also had little time to watch a few movies and get hold of some anime. I haven't watched the anime, that's another thing, but I heard that they're some of the best: Neon Genesis Evangelion, GetBackers and Full Metal Alchemist.

Anyway, I won't be watching any of those or listening to any new music for a while.

For the first few months, I won't be having access to internet, and thus may not blog all that often. I'm hoping to get a laptop by Diwali (sometime around November) after which things should get better.

In a few days, my life will supposedly take a huge turn thanks to the following:

--> I'm moving out of home for the first time, away from my family and thus will have to get over my personal attachment and become independent.

--> I need to share a room with three other people which means i will not be having anything 'exclusive' any longer, such as 'my' own room, 'my' cupboard and so on.

--> For the next few months, I'm going to live in a place where's there is little or no connection to the outside world. For instance, they've no television. They've wi-fi enabled all over the campus, but as i won't be taking a computer or my iPod, i can use neither unless i borrow from a friend of mine.

--> I'm not going to get anything instantly. If I feel hungry, I need to walk across the campus to a canteen that's half a mile away and get whatever I want. No refrigerator. It's another thing that the refrigerator at home wasn't very useful in this regard, but i'm going to miss its presence.

--> Talking about being independent, it also includes being disciplined. I need to manage my own things and cannot just drop them around my room...simply because it's not completely mine.

--> I'm getting into an entirely new system of education that's definitely different from our regular high school education. It calls for a different approach to learning...something that I can only learn over time.

--> I'll be living such a life for almost four years, barring the vacations that come twice a year. Although certain aspects will improve as I get settled in my hostel.

Sounds like prison life doesn't it? Well, not exactly. College life is also known for the fun the students have and how they get shaped up as good individuals and better citizens.

Looking at all these, it's both exhilarating and unsettling to consider what lies ahead of me. But it's all a part of life. Sooner or later, I'll have to experience all why not now?

Anyway, I'll keep a little journal to myself where I shall be writing my little experiences. I'll post them when time comes.

I'm off to packing again...and go on a relatively long break from blogging.

Until I blog again,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two Weeks


It's often said that people reach a very, very low point at least once in their life. Well, I think I did mine. Between this post and my last, a lot of things happened. I had some of the worst experiences: I was denied what I deserved, simply because i was not better that what i am. With result, i had days filled with head ache and chronic depression while nights were sleepless. For about two weeks, i had know idea what I was going to do. Life had come to a standstill and I was in no mood for vacation.

For those two weeks, I had no idea what college i was going to join. Will I get a real good one like BITS? Will I get something reasonably good? Or will I be in a state where I get an obscure college with an unpronounceable name situated in a place that doesn't have a pin code? I didn't know. Or worse...will I have to repeat one more year to make up for my misgivings...and lose a year of my life in nothing but redoing what I didn't do very well?

I looked around. All along I had been thinking that people around me were doing more or less what I was. But the extent of 'more or less' had been large enough to put me in a grey-area where i was absolutely alone. Everyone was ahead, in some way or the other. Or at least they were CLEAR about what they were going to do. I wasn't. Either people had modestly decided to repeat their twelfth grade and prepare exclusively for the deadly entrance examinations...others had somehow managed to get their colleges. I on the other hand wasn't sure about any of those, and worse, wasn't able to think in that direction at all. There were a few final fibres to hold on to, a few colleges who hadn't released their results...but what if they snapped too? I had no back-up plan.

Thinking back on what I did in the past two years, I've realized that i made one big mistake: I had put too many restriction on myself to push my performance up. But my net efficiency was still down. For instance, if I saved four hours by restrictions, I used only two and a half of them. The remaining, just went as i dragged the work that I could have taken lesser time to do, or had better sense to give up and start over with something achievable. I took this weird path of lethargic perseverence. I paid.

After weeks of the turmoil, I finally have a seat at hand, from an institute called Sastra University. It's not something you could call great...but I'm more than just glad to have it. Right now, I'm ready to go for it...although I'm yet to receive any communication from another college called VIT. But that's not the point. The point is...even though i was going to get my seat in a college, I got it after all this trouble maybe because I was supposed to see something in meantime. Something which is perhaps inside me. Have I? I do not know.

Nevertheless, I'm certain that these two weeks worth of experience has changed me. I'm no longer the same guy. How have I changed? I do now know. But to keep it simple, I can (and will) promise myself, right here and now, that the mistakes I've done will never be repeated.

It's a fact of life, one might say. But it's not all that easy i suppose. Not repeating a mistake is perhaps just as difficult as not committing it in the first place. But who says we've an option?

Until I blog again,

"If you try the best you can,
If you try the best you can,
The best you can is good enough" -- Radiohead

Friday, May 7, 2010

Procession moves on, the shouting is over.

EDIT: I restored my system before posting this blog, and due to some sort of mess up, it shows that i posted this on May 7th. I, actually, put this one up on June 4th.

Hello all,

Time moves with a strange speed after all, very similar to a journey in an airplane: You look out through the window and all you see is the landscape beneath you barely moving. But in no time, you're far away from where you started!

The last few months have been quite eventful on many fronts. All my exams are finally over, with shockingly mediocre results which, definitely, are not going to fetch me the best colleges in the country. I flunked IITJEE (the seven hour long test). However, the colleges i'm eligible for, aren't so bad either. I hope to get myself into Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS.)

On the non academic front too, things have been moving well. Soon after I had my Seagette External Drive installed, I got a Western Digital 1TB Drive. I haven't installed it yet since I've a lot of space inside my PC, and very little outside.

My Sony Ericsson G502 went into serious trouble and began hanging and restarting about five times a day. With it's timely entry came the saviour: It's evil twin! Yes, I now have a Sony Ericsson G502, a black one this time with a few improved features and a more sensitive keypad. I've been lately clicking a lot of pictures using it. Those who have added me as your friend on Facebook can have a look at it.

I've been a lot into movies lately, exploring across various genres from film makers like Kubrick, Tarantino, Tom Tyker, Linklater and Scorsese. I also happened to watch this Anime series called DeathNote and really liked it. I further borrowed a few episodes of GetBackers and Neon Genesis Evangelion from a friend of mine, but they don't seem to work very well on my PC...need to find a more versatile media player.

Rant on DeathNote

EDIT: Not exactly a rant...rather the opposite of it.

Talking about DeathNote, it's got one of the most ingenious plots and a very interesting concept that's partially based on Japanese mythology of death Gods or the Shinigami. The series opens with Light, a high school boy who tops his class, is popular with the ladies and the son of a cop, stumbling upon a notebook. He further comes to know that the person whose name is written in the notebook shall die.

The anime on the whole revolves around the two ways of defining justice. Light, believes that criminals should be punished, and hence goes on to use the DeathNote to kill the criminals. On the other hand, L, a mysterious but highly successful (claimed to be the world's best) detective believes that every criminal should be given a chance to start over with their life, and hence works towards stopping Light, pronouncing him a psychopath murderer.

DeathNote contains a wonderful story with a very tight plot that leaves no loopholes and questions the intellect of the viewer at certain instances. L is also portrayed as an individual with strange characteristics like holding objects as if they were contaminated, and having an extremely sweet tooth.

Another good feature about the anime is its Original Soundtrack. The set is peppered with musical masterpieces which have influenced my guitar playing a lot. Tracks such as L's and Near's theme are intriguing and set a good mood. That friend of mine who recommended the anime to me listens to L's theme every time he gets stuck with an integration problem!


Talking about music, as I always do, I've been exploring new bands. Most of them have been from the British music scene, although I've also tried a few American/Canadian indie bands.
The ones at the top are Arcade Fire, Joy Division, The Smiths, Dirty Projectors and Pavement. I don't have much to talk about each of the albums in detail, but I'm sure each of them a must-listen to every indie rock lover.

Apart from that, I also continued with my as usual deep digging of Radiohead and listened to their B-side and EP tracks. Many of them are quite good enough to be placed on the regular studio albums. Others have interesting tunes, but pathetic with the sound quality. The rest are just repetitive. Moving out of the Radiohead's works as a band, I've also been listening to the member's solo works. Jonny Greenwood's OST for the film Bodysong is an excellent piece of art with loads of experimentation and continuity between every two tracks. One can find a lot of jazz and electronica elements in the album.

A few weeks back, I had spent sometime in Bangalore in the name of vacation, and had a chance to visit this music instrument store called Furtados. The shop is heaven for anyone who's looking for music instruments, and has knowledgeable attendants who are ready to give as much information as possible than just simply waiting for the customer to either buy or leave. I suggest all my guitar-loving friends to check this shop out. They're a chain of shops across the country and have branches in all the metropolitan cities.


I've not been into books lately. I last read the the legendary sci-fi novel called 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C.Clarke. Really impressive. As suggested by my friend, I also read The Firm by John Grisham. Reviews to come soon. I've a stash of books waiting for me to read, only that I don't find much time for those.

I think I've covered most things that I've been playing around with. Can't think of more. I believe I'll be more regular with blogging now that my crucial exams are over.

So Cya all until my next blog,
Templar AKA Sumanth

P.S.: I've already told this before, but for those who are bored of reading long blogs like this one, you can receive short and quick updates here:

P.S. 2 (not the playstation, you dumbo): To keep up with the name of my blog, here's an interesting site that you might want to check:
Have fun =)