Thursday, August 26, 2010

First day at College


  Today was my first day at college. I woke up early, had bath (that's like twice this week. hurray!), chose neatly pressed clothes (pressed because they were still not taken out from my baggage), combed my hair, even applied hair oil! With full expectations of studying in an international university i walked in the piercing heat towards my class from my apartment. Until now the campus would look empty but since classes start today it was full of people. Lots of races - American, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and occassionaly European. I was all smiles about UTA that it has so far lived up to my expectation in terms of diversity. Walking toward the engineering building I thought to myself - I am actually in an very diverse and international university. Proud! And then it happened. As I approached the Engineering building, the 2 sets of automatic doors opened up as though welcoming me inside. When the second set of automatic sliding doors opened, the first thing that i heard was: "Aye nimmajji, NH 220 nallo class-u." I thought my ears were ringing. Walked on. Next I heard "be** C**d - aaj teri baari hai khaana bananeka." I was a little startled as to where I had come. Did the doors of Nedderman Hall (our engineering building) have teleporting facility ? because I felt like I had been sent back to some college in Bangalore !! And then it struck me. I am actually in a literaly International university - the Engineering department is full of international students. Okay, full of students from India. "TagoLappa! idyenta experience." I thought. "Ade boLi maga, ade Su** maga... ayyo!"  My diversity dreams were blown away somewhere when the doors of Nedderman Hall opened and the gust of cold air hit me!
  The first class today was Data Mining being taught by Prof. Chengkai Li. He's a nice informal person. He looks younger than me if I stand beside him. He started off with his introduction and then asked us to introduce ourselves. It was consistant. Out of a class of 23, 5 were non-Indians ... which included ONE American undergrad student, and ONE German-American lady who finished her undergrad in Biological sciences - 20 years ago. On my turn to introduce ... I proudly and concisely packed in my 4 yrs of work exp. at Bosch and some opensource thing, etc. etc. I heard random "O" here and there. Not sure  if it was Owww! or Oh! Then the class went on. Prof. Li explained us how his course is organised. He has neatly packaged his course with interesting content that is cutting edge (makes u want to cut ur veins in ur wrist), and state of the art. Taking his course almost looks like bringing on Insomnia for the next 3 months. Towards the end it became clear to me that I have chosen a "rod" subject. As RangayaNa raghu would put it elegantly: "maga, woge ne."
  At 7 pm local time, I had another class. Now this one is amazing - everything about it. Starting from the classroom, to the professor. It is called "DBMS Modeling and Implementation Techniques." In short we call it DB2. It is taught by Prof. Elmasri. Yes, the same DBMS Elmasri whose text book we had tried to mug up and vomit in the 5th sem VTU examination. It was quite a feeling to sit and listen to a lecture from a person who authored one of the books we studied in BE. Guess which textbook he wants us to use: yupp. his own. Only now its the 6th Edition as opposed to the old fourth edition. Prof. Elmasri finished his Ph D from Stanford university in 1980. And since then he is into Databases and database management systems. He is working on databases more than the time that I 've been alive! That reflects in his teaching. Every word he says has lot of content. It was very tough keeping up with him. In a little over an hour's time, he completely covered Transaction and Transaction processing concepts. Only problem is, it is tough to retain in our minds those one-liners that aren't present in his book.
  I think I am going to enjoy this graduate experience of mine moms, I left my job, amazing family, nice city to come thousands of miles away to live like an alien after being spoilt at home for 25 years. Until next time moms ... i'll let you know about my life over here.

- chetu

Thursday, August 12, 2010

30 days later

   Its now a month since that jealous bastard called you upstairs.The world is not the same place without you moms. I hope that jealous bastard who calls himself "almighty" is having a good time with you. I wish he understands how much fun you are and also sunk in guilt having taken you away from us.I hope that you ask him all sorts of questions and induce a huge swelling in his head.I hope that jealous bastard gets fed up of your questions and sends you back down whilst removing that little pest in your head. Man if I were to see him, I really don't know how I would pound him - that 8*&&*^*&&*(asdf9&*^&&*&*(.

   Although I didn't realise today that it s been a month since that fateful day, I had a sinking and deep feeling in me right from morning.In the evening I happened to see the calender gadget on your lap-top and realised that its been 30 days already. Its how you always used to say moms, if it has to be it has to be.Frekking destiny - although I didn't conciously remember that its been a month today, my very little subconcious brain remained hooked on timelines. Every day there is some deep feeling in my heart, but today was different. It was amplified by all those memories. From shivu, to raju, DBD, DBC, our exam time combined studies, or the times we spent sitting on the banks of devara kere, the time when your bike had a flat tire somewhere b/w Kollegal and Talakadu, the walks we took in that Isro  layout park, the way you used to blast me for saying no to a shared burger and repenting later, oh the list goes on and on moms.

   What can I say moms, a lot has happened since these 30 so days and not everything has sunk in yet for me. First of all, I left Bangalore not to go back for atleast a year, but i still don't seem to miss that yet. I came to where you lived during your grad student days - stayed there for like 72 hours. I miss those 72 hours more than my 4 yrs of professional life back in Bangalore. Some screws are really loose in my brain or I've taken granted the fact that I can call home anytime and someone will pick up. The same is with Cary, NC - but I still miss it! Anyway, I am in my university now - Arlington and it is hot! (literally) I don't know what to expect but I do know that I am not in the wrong place considering my interests and my past experience. It seems to have some value. Glad that I didn't waste 4 years at Bosch ;) I came real early over here. Hence i found plenty of time for retrospection, and introspection. Believe me - you don't want to be doing that - especially when you are alone.

   My journey as a student has kicked off - with flying colors ?? I don't know that yet.
All thanks to you moms - that I am here today. You, my sister, my mother are the main reason that I am here. You had made all the basic arrangements for me to come over here. I didn't even have to do anything. Funny thing is ... I can't even say I owe you. But I do, I do big time. I promise I'll meet you moms - not yet ... just not yet. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Baby steps in USA


  Finally arrived in the USA! After a tiring and boring flight i came home to some very nice homemade sweets by veda. They showed me the place where you lived. Nice one it is! They took me to a Chinese resturant over here in Durham. Nice food. Had a nice sleep. Woke up very early in the morning. Raleigh-Durham-Cary is a wonderful small township. I love it here. It reminds of the outskirts of Sirsi! Lots of vegetation, frogs croaking, birds chripin (other than crow!!). They say u can see deer in the evinings! wow.

  I still don't know what to expect. May be i'll follow poms' adivice and take it as it comes. I don't know if I'll be an amazing student, i don't know if MS will give me a perfect platform, what i do know is i'll definately get some good exposure. What ever said and done, I will always miss you. Every moment we stop and ponder how would it have been, had you been here. 

More to come,