Life’s Meandering…

Statuary Warning : I’m gonna get Philosophical in this post!

Its been a long time since i’ve posted now, mainly coz so many things have happened so fast and i didn’t have time for anything else.
It seems like November last year was ages back, i was getting into some research, fighting along the usual bureaucracies and politics involved in getting what you want, getting bored in class, having fun with friends, enjoying my new found love life, and occasionally cursing myself for the life I’ve chosen and wondering about the direction in which I’m moving.
Then, in the midst of all this and college exams, the semester abroad program started, knowing the usual way of how things work in the university, i was skeptical of if anything would work out as moreover, the program was for spring 08 and we had less than 2 months to send applications, get acceptance, complete the visa procedure and reach there after being finalized by SRM, which itself would have taken 2 months knowing the cat and dog fight we generally have .. lol. But inspite of all the odds, we were successful in getting through everything, if not for some divine intervention i wonder how everything happened .. it was magical how finally on 18th of January, 3 days before start of class for spring 08, i landed in Milwaukee… the city totally covered with snow ..

To be continued ..

Ok, i step out of the aircraft and s small fissure between the aircraft and the aerobridge to the airport premises introduces me to the cold air which i have to face for the next few months to come, i felt as if i’m some freezer, within the next few seconds my attire was transformed to one similar to an eskimo .. lolz.
Apart from the extremely bitter cold, (which surprisingly, i was reasonably comfortable with), Milwaukee and American life in general was quite exotic, even though we think we know it all through electronic media…

Anyways, UWM’s college life was like a dream come true, i’ve never enjoyed college life more than in those 5 months, and i never knew how time flew. Academics was for once really challenging, which made you rattle your brains and the sweet satisfaction of success cannot be found anywhere else. Before embarking on this adventurous mission, I had no idea about whether or not i’ll be able to cope up and perform with the standards maintaining in a world class recognised institution.. but i’m happy to say that I surprised myself, and the end of the day leaves me with more confidence, more opportunities and a different outlook of life.

But again, you want more.. coz now you can see more and as you want more you are not satisfied. This insatiable need to keep reaching the higher high is what keeps you going, and it needs continuous fueling by the individual as well as his environ. Coz i feel if the environ is not conducive enough for the individuals desires, the desire to excel burns out and complacency creeps into the picture. I know getting higher in life and keeping your momentum going is easier said than done. In fact, I have a part of me is very lazy and complacent, it wants to be ignorant of the reality and the world around, it likes get lost in its own blissful world where there are no worries, no deadlines to meet and a easy going fun life. Unfortunately this dream world exists only in dreams, and somehow we need to kick some senses into ourselves and snapback to reality, the sooner the better.
Even if we are able to get ourselves to work with full vigour, there are times when you seem stuck, there are problems which seems unsolvable and all our fervor is dampened. This dispirited nature cant get us anywhere; quoting Randy Pausch, ” The Brick walls are there for a reason, They let us prove how badly we want things “, So its these testing times which show us our true potential, these times show us what we are really capable us, I should not be preaching all this as i so far don’t follow most of it strictly myself, but at the same time, i don’t say i’m correct, I accept my weakness and I try to overcome it at several occasions.

Spending a semester at UWM has made me grow much more as a person, and i’m very happy for that. Now my life has taken another turn here, I get the opportunity to take transfer, spend two more semesters at UWM and graduate with a BS in Computer Science, trust me when I say, for a guy from a middle class Indian University, this is like free tickets to the Moon !! There’ll be several instances of your life which later you realize were your major turning points, like for example me getting admitted to SRM initially at Modinagar, but this was one of those moments where I can feel it right there that “Yes, THIS is gonna change my life”.

With every new thing, comes loads of speculations, anxieties, brick walls, but i believe in Providence, Karma and doing my part of the work properly. So far, i’ve been blessed with good luck and things have gone smoothly, and i’m going in this new found direction trying to reach my destiny; at the same time, I’ve put in time and effort to help others to achieve the same and more in life. As i believe that Arrogance and Insolence leads to one’s ruin but having a humble nature and helping others gives you a Divine Euphoria and Peace.

Thus I say my Life’s Meandering as I don’t know where I’m going or what my destiny is going to be, I’ve been so surprised by thew amazing ways life takes turns that I feel there’s no point expecting anything out of it. As nothing seems to have gone as expected. But I can say that things are happening for the better, and i’m very happy with the way things are going, I have dreams and ambitions no doubt, but maybe just by sticking to what i’m supposed to do and not expecting much out of life, I get more than what i asked for .. 😉

Peace out people .. I’m tired…

Life in The U.S. of A and Lessons learnt so far .. ;-)

It has been quite a smooth yet vibrant stint in the US so far. Firstly there were the various shocks to deal with, weather, culture, cost of living, food, academics and PR. Not all of them were really good but none of them was entirely unwelcome or surprising either. Well, for those who wanna catch with what’s happening here, currently I’m at University of Wisconsin@Milwaukee as a Special Student for one semester. Don’t be so Naive as to be taken by the ‘Speciality‘ of it, Semester Abroad Program was launched under a MoU between SRM University in Chennai and UWM, so under this, whoever can cough up the fee, is free to go and explore the world. Anyways, coming back to where we were.. Milwaukee is the second most coldest city in the US, and I’m surprised at myself and my body fat to have adjusted to it so well. We landed on 18th of Jan and faced temperatures of -6 F. For those more comfortable with the metric system, -6 F is like even below -21 C and you can add the wind chill over that and it comes to somewhere around -28 C.. haha, you could not be outside on the street for more than half an hour tops, then u gotta move in some place and warm up before you wanna go out again. The Sun is highly deceiving, all that is bright is not hot is a lesson people from India learn very quickly here. Though as exciting and new it was to us, winter is not enjoyable for long, and the irony is that today 27th of March, i can still see it snowing outside. I mean what the hell, does the spring semester have only one month of actual spring in it. Well, moving on, the Culture shock was not much, the whole world knows America and its ways of life ( pun intended ), but now that i have seen the reality for myself, i really pity them. As flamboyant and social americans try to be, the truth is that they lead very lonely lives, family ties are very weak and social bonding ain’t that strong either. The Philosophy of every man for himself seems right in many ways, but doesn’t always make you happy. But the cursory attitude adds to the irony, if you are walking down the street, lots of people walking across will greet you, ‘Hi, Howz it going’ is a commonly heard phrase but the person would have said that and walked away even before you reply, so why did he ask the question in the first place if he’s not interested, bcoz thats customary and thats how they are, they try to be friendly and good outside but everyone understands the material world and no one actually cares for anyone else. The Cost of Living in US was a big big shock for me, i never expected things to be so so expensive. The Average living expenses for a month for a student is around 600$, and bcoz we are in University Housing, expenses are as high as 1000$ per month for us. Thats the expense of an entire semester back in India. I can write on this for hours but i guess it would be sufficient to say that a loaf of bread cost ~3$ in US and around 25 cents in India. Even Electronic Stuff, which i could have bet to be damn cheap in US, turns out quite expensive compared to prices to you get back home, but if you living here and earning in dollars , then it wont seem that expensive to you. Whatever be the case, nothing beats good old Nehru Place in Delhi or Ritchie Street in Chennai for me. Then, Food was something which was actually a shock to me, US being a land of Immigrants, gives u taste of food from all over the world. But i couldn’t figure out that what people have as a staple diet here. I mean u have a horde of choices from Italian,Mexican, Chinese etc, but Indian works best for me, so instead of getting confused what’s best to eat and spend lots of money on food, i have started cooking on my own. Get Rice, some Vegetables , MDH masalas , some ready-to-eat curries plus a Microwave and you’re all set. But in spite of all these problems, the excellent education system and quality of academics is what makes me love this place. Your creativity is brought out and you’re actually made to think, studies is fun and exciting. Loads of assignments and projects makes life interesting coz i love challenges and keeping my mind occupied. So far grades have been excellent for me. Lets see how it goes on.So that was a brief description of my life here, i hope those planning to think about following my suit can get good pointers from here.

SRM – Semester Abroad Program…

Hi all..

Now that’s its officially launched, i’m proud to say that SRM, my university has launched SEMESTER ABROAD PROGRAM, in which they plan to send selected students of the University to spend a semester in leading Universities of the World in USA, UK, France, Japan and other countries. I’m even happy to say that i’m a part of this initiative and one the first students to get this opportunity. The Launch was done on 4th of January and Chief Guest was Mr. David T. Hopper , the Consul General of United States Consulate in Chennai .. The Press coverage of Hindu is as below and also available online here http://www.thehindu.com/2008/01/05/stories/2008010559520200.htm

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Chicken in Chennai

All credit to Joe for discovering it.. This tiny shop(Arabian Delights) sandwitched among many on the main road leading to Roundtana, in Annanagar.. serves maybe perhaps the best halal cut kebabs in Chennai .. I can’t wait to be visit it when i go over to my friends’ place ther..

haha Ajay   Joe

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My new Phone !

I got it !! Finally.. it drops down onto my hands as a surprise !

True.. if u dream of something n don’t get it .. u get something better ..
BEHOLD MY NEW FRIEND n FOLLOWER, My new Phone .. NOKIA N 95 !

N95 .. Ubercool !

Various me…!

Well i was just fiddling around with Photoshop and surprisingly produced quite a few decent morphed versions of myself.. !!

Charcoal Sketch !

Charcoal me !

Motion Blur !!

My Photo

Light n No Shade .. 😉

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Black n White..Close up!

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