Fly to the sky

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Jam packed Fun day!

A fun day, time well-spent, satisfying to the core. Things I did today...woke up at 12, rushed to school for the Holi party organized by Om. Great food, and the best part it was unlimited:) Have no count on the parathas and ras malais I must have gulped...hehe. Didnt hand arnd for long there for the color play...friends rushed me to the fun-fair. Not very different from any mela in our towns...all crafty items around...Egyptian culture stall, Aladdin and 40 chor ones, science exhibits, Red Indian history, Alice in wonderland and many more like that. Very arty stuff, am sure must have taken months to make. Very beautiful and stylish, all of them without any exception! There were kiddish games at many stalls...throw the balls within the holes drilled, or the rings around the toys and u win some prize. Won many chocolates along these ;) Then the crazy rides. I know them as Giant wheel, Tora tora and break dancers. They r known as Hurricane, Sizzlers and Ferry wheels here...but all the was so much fun, my head was spinning after a while!

It was nearing 4:30 now, and we headed to the soft ball game organized in honor of Late Prof Jim was raining and hence the game replaced with Volley ball. Ow, played after real long I know. Wasnt very good at it, hurt my wrists in a couple of shots but it was fun and I enjoyed that a lot despite the fact that my legs were killing me...went on for an hour and a half or so. Had pizza now, it does taste better when u r absolutely worn out, hehe.

A quick email/voice mail check and rushed home for some rest...and back to school for the fireworks at the carnival. The air was misty with rain and the moisture, but there could be nothing to dampen the spirit of the Spring fest at CMU! The fireworks were breath taking, it was awesome. Initially began with the different colors sent in one after the other, then followed it up with some patterns, then the sparklers which were like the shooting stars....The grand finale was terrific, the melding of different colors was so cool. The whole show must have lasted for like 40 mins I guess, it was amazing!

Didnt feel like heading for home so soon...had clubbing plans but decided against that...went to the SCS Lounge, had some coffee and chocolates, wafers for food:) Played scrabble ekdum my style, full with cheating over scores and fighting over non-existent words, borrowing of tokens...hehe, felt like I was back home...then, the word building where I am the reigning queen, never-beaten by anyone on earth:) The 20 questions game where again we fought over cheating rules, hehe. TT was fun, played after long but man, do I ever lose touch with any game, hehe...and before we realized it was 2:30. Left for home soon by the next shuttle....

A fun-filled total time pass day, haha...laughed and gossiped to my heart's content...

Friday, April 21, 2006

An eventful week

Ow, too many things happened too fast this week. My Mom/Dad got their visas, they will be here for my graduation! Thats the biggest news of all, and their visa has been granted for 10 yrs...I could invite them over anytime I miss them:) They have already started making elaborate plans on the things they wanna do when they are here, many got to do with the variety of food stuff they wanna feed me;)

On the work front, things have been looking real good...what with the presentations we are asked to make to the industry guys. There had been a poster presentation scheduled for the security researchers and our project was selected for the same. CMU is nerdy, this I knew...but you put in a bunch of damn smart people, provide them the required infrastructure, fund their projects, provide them the required ambience to groom their ideas and Boom! what do u get, an excellent futuristic world. The projects that were showcased were truly mindblowing. Biometric face recognition, iris matching, survellience systems, the automatic network recognition, self healing systems, threat modelling, vulnerability anaalysis, automatic code generation, system modelling etc etc. The topics were varied and each one was only better than the other.

Our project fell under the threat modelling category...and grabbed quite a few interesting personalities' interest:) We had visitors from Boeing, TCS, JP Morgan Chase and a lot more companies. Many researchers asked for a demo. Some company representatives asked if they could install a prototype in their own company. The JP Morgan Chase got amazingly interested in the topic, he has been researching the area for more than 10 yrs now...and when he heard that I am graduating this May, he immediately got his visiting card out and asked us if we would be interested to work with him, much for this project that I crib about these was good work and I did have fun researching it, but can I do that for my living, I guess not...I am quite practical and unless I see the immediate value and applicability in real life projects, its difficult for me to sustain my interest. Call me short-term visionary or whatever, but thats what I am!

And after this eventful evening, all participants were treated for dinner at the Carnegie Museum. There was this huge hall with paintings and sculptures all was like being in a place of so much peace yet a sense of magnificence and mystery to it. The ambience was amazing! Had a few drinks before the food arrived. The lecture that followed it was quite boring, and the speaker was monotonous, speech was uninteresting...I have listened to a lot of software engineering stuff in my Masters already now...and was a bit too buzzed to concentrate too...but the good food and surrounding more than made up for it. Overall, a very satisfying day, I must say!

Our client is happy with the way the projects shaping up and as a token of her appreciation, she treated us in an Indian restaurant. She was so much fun. We talked on all topics from American culture, religion, Indian men, Bollywood movies, parent's tolerance level towards kids in India v/s here....our future goals, the career path, arranged marriage etc etc...It was nice. One thing I realize and accept is to never generalize on anything or anyone. Every individual is different under different circumstances under different influence:)

We have a carnival on in the university to commemorate the SCS 50 yrs. There are seminars held all day, so can easily grab pizzas and cookies, brownies for food;) There are fun-fairs, soft ball games, and plays, movies, musicals held all week long. Its fun, so much to do when no classes to attend...and on the personal front too, things are looking I finally getting into something serious, guess only time will tell...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Canaan valley camping trip

If there is anything I could call it as a perfect holiday, this was it! We had a camping trip to the Canaan Valley resort, WV organized by the IASTE and the CMU-explorers club this weekend. We had to leave the CMU campus by Fri evening and return by Sun afternoon. The schools
participating: CMU, UPitt, Maryland College. There were 4 cars driven, we were 25 in all...

Left the campus at 6 in a Kia, reached the resort at 10. We drove straight, read 'never got lost'. Bcos, the ppl who left earlier at 3 and 4 did lose track quite a number of times, we all reached the place at the same time:) There was one mishap though, one of our friends who drove from Virginia met with an accident, her car skid on the ice, toppled and the car was in bad shape. Though the car got totaled, miraculously, she was unhurt and safe....

Reached the place, it was like amidst a dense forest, the resort was beautiful. Deers all around the place, their skin was glowing in the dark, some found that menacing I found it enchanting though:) Fri nite was fun...We began with an ice-breaker...had food, got drunk, danced like crazy, lit camp fire, had mash mellows with hersheys' chocs and was 2 and the party was still on. Obviously, we were not up bfore 10 the next day.

Sat morn began with a heavy breakfast - pancakes, bagels, orange juice. Headed to the lodge to find the activities available...found that the bungee jumping, chair ride, rock climbing are not gonna be open till May. This leaves us with little we thought, but we had little idea on what fun awaited us:) We got to explore mother nature more than ever before...we went for a trek. Took the deer trail first. Took a long walk along the woods, fed the deers with bread, we played hand ball and foot ball along the way...a little tired now, we needed to pamper ourselves. Went to the hot bath, then to the pool and the sauna. Wow, this felt like a perfect holiday. Played pool, discovered new skills I have...quite a number of air hockey games and we were ready to head
back to the cabin. Now, it was pitch dark! I had my cell phone to provide the little light we could travel with...we talked about ghosts in this ever dark night, the 15 min walk seemed like an eternity...

Had food, too tired for drinks and dance tonite I thought...played truth or dare kind of games...hit the bed at 1 and was up at 7. We took the club trail, took us an hr to cover that...the forest looked much more calm and serene in the morning...the trees, most of them barren...were wild but looked peaceful. We could hear the wind and our voices echo...the trail was a little marshy, it had rained last night, there was dew in the air...Back at 8:30, headed to the pool and sauna. Back to the cabin at 10, had breakfast, packed the stuff. Seemed like the trip had just begun and we were already heading back home.

Made so many good friends in this short trip, each one was funny in his own way. I still remember each one by their nick names we kept:) The German guy who couldnt follow a word of what I said, I was high but am sure I couldnt have been that incoherent either;) The guy who tried to flirt with me to make his girl friend jealous...the guy who danced salsa like I never could imagine, forced me to follow his steps and man, was I good or what, hehe...the babe who could do gymnastics in her dance steps...the sweet lady who cooked us pancakes...donno if I will
be in touch with any of these ppl, but each one was special and am glad I met them.

Started at 12 from the place, we took a wrong turn, rode an extra 55 mile stretch, that cost us an hr more and then the day light saving, man...I lost 2 hrs, hehe...but had fun, now damn tired...cant stop thinking about the various stuff we did.