Certifiable Test Case

Confused employee wading through Nerd Nirvana

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Location: Hyderabad, AP, India

Program Manager Microsoft IT India

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Kodaikkanal Kandukondain

Just returned from a trip to Kodaikkanal – NSS Unit IV Post Camp 05, with Arvi, Srinath, and yours truly as organizers. And organization was a nightmare, although the trip was really enjoyable.

The problems actually started before the bus even left Chennai. We had got it into the parking lot of Children’s park in Guindy, and had 46 students grumbling about the distance they had to walk inside. The bus, supposed to leave at 4.30, left after 6 with 51 ready-to-make-whoopee students stuffed within.

You had to hand it to our driver though. Narain Karthikeyan could have taken tips from this guy when it comes to the highway. Within the first three hours, we had overtaken 45 lorries, 23 minivans, and 16 other buses, not to mention motorists and car drivers. That meant, of course, that we’d reached Villupuram by dinner time.

The first night on the bus was rather peaceful (not at all like last year, we brought the roof down). Everyone quieted up and went to sleep by 11.

Reaching Kodai at 8.30 in the morning, we found to our great dismay, that the hotel had not kept its word. With only 9 rooms at our disposal, and with several students waiting, we had a bit of a problem at hand. Of course, we adjusted and left for sightseeing.

We returned to the hotel, aweary at 8, and the rooms still weren’t there. After a lot of arguing, we got 11 rooms, and that problem got resolved.

On top of this, one room key got lost.

The next morning, we faced a dilemna…we had nothing left to see. We solved the problem by a combination of Antakshari, shopping and free leisure time to roam the streets of Kodaikkanal, which is a rather charming place, come to think of it.

Then the driver started grumbling that he needed to reach the city by 6 am the next morning, and that hence, we had to leave Kodai by 2. Knowing his proclivity for life on the fast lane, we made a sort of rebellious halt in Srirangam for an hour and a half. This got him really pissed off, and he applied his anger to the steering wheel with the concentration of a devil. Result: we still reached at 5.15 with one angry driver.

Could hardly stand on Monday, but went to lab anyway.

Great exp. Till next year then.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Half Blood Prince

The sixth Harry Potter book released worldwide at 12 GMT on Saturday, July 13, and I got the book from my local library on Monday, which is not a bad achievement. Needless to say, I finished by book by Tuesday evening, and here’s my review of J.K. Rowling’s latest addition to the saga of her character.

Verdict: SO – SO

The book, like Rowling promised, answers a lot of questions that were raised throughout the series. This, of course, is its first fault. Methinks it would have been better to keep the suspense high till the final book. The sixth book is solely for the purpose of finishing the series…it ties up several loose ends neatly and conveniently, and then kills off the only person who knew all the answers.

But then Dumbledore had to die. He was the mentor, and literature offers too many parallels…Obi Wan Kenobi for one, and I’m told something similar happens in Tolkein’s LOTR. Yes, Dumbledore has left us, but before that he told his protégé whatever he could, and so outlived his usefulness.

While the book began and ended well, the middle was horribly boring. In an effort to tie up some things, Rowling gave her character too much purpose for an interesting story. Besides, the pages in the middle could have been used to add tidbits to several other characters: Dean Thomas, Luna Lovegood, Hermione [yes, where’s the background].

The choice motif, and Dumbledore’s speech on choice had shades of the Matrix.

Ending was fantastic, though, with that R.A.B. touch, whom I’m betting will be introduced to us the first chapter next book. My bets are on Aberforth Dumbledore or Rufus Scrimgeour. Anyway time and Rowling will tell..

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sophomore no more

One month into junior year…..and I’m wondering where the hell all the free time I had last year went. Junior year represents a sort of transition…the experience of old combined with new knowledge…but here again I start philosophizing as is my wont.

Here are the highlights of junior year so far:

· Responsibilities: Loads of that on my shoulders right now, being the Rep, being Secretary of GT [Guindy Times, yes, it exists!!], and Camp Sec. in the Unit. Whew! Long year ahead.

· Relationships: A broader perspective on relationships is developing, and I’ve to learn a lot of tolerance and patience this year. Also there are now two junior sets…how time flies

· Reminders on placements: Got loads of advice from seniors, and this year is at least filled with some purpose J

· Fun: There’s been lots of it.

· Boredom: There’s been some of that too.