Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A compilation in the name of friendship

I remember a song by ColdPlay, "Such a Rush"; it goes "Such a rush, to do nothing at all, such a rush, to get nowhere at all, such a rush, such a rush, such a rush". Does this really mean anything at all? Sometimes it so happens that simple songs, whose lyrics never meant anything to you, suddenly come alive and make more sense than anything else.
Debashish was quite tired after one particular day's work, especially because he had worked like a dog, till the wee hours of Wednesday morning. He was used to the whole exercise, it was called a "Drop", the client side would expect the deliverable any moment and he would have to be there by their side and clarify "issues" that would arise consequently. The whole problem was the 12 odd hours between the client and Debashish's team. Outsourcing had risen to a new level with more and more foreign companies opting Indian developers of the whole lot mainly because they were cheap labor. Being the team lead in such a prestigious project had its own merits and demerits. Money had the upper hand when compared to a relaxed mind, and Debashish was just 26. "Who wants to sleep while others make money? After all, I am just 26" was his usual reason when asked why his eyes were always red.
The Drop was done at the pre-determined 0430hrs IST, as compared to a better time in the US, where the client was residing. After a few questions on the UI, a few unexpected crashes and a few issue discussions, it was over. The whole exercise lasted little more than the usual time of two hours; three hours and five minutes to be more precise. But that wouldn't end there; his bosses would shout on him for the few crashes that happened in the year's most important drop, and he would come up with his list of reasons, mainly lack of expertise among amateur developers.
It was now just ten minutes to eight and Debashish clearly did not smell even close to normal. He was in fact stinking and with his ruffled hair and dreary eyes, he looked straight out of a Frankenstein movie. Today's night had also been sacrificed at the altar of the software deity; the demigod of Outsourcing business. He got on his cab and sat in the front seat, just beside the driver. He was also quite hungry at this hour; the office coffee wouldn't fill stomach any bit. Last night's paneer butter masala was now smelling bad as he farted again much to the disgust of the driver, who by now had got accustomed dealing with such employees.
Debashish then slowly removed his ebony iPod from his backpack as he did not want to sleep in the front seat. He plugged them in his ears and switched it on. It was Coldplay with "Such a Rush". The song was mesmerizing, hypnotic, and slowly he could feel himself being absorbed into the music, "such a rush", he muttered. He slowly closed his eyes and could feel his eyes needing the much required rest after about 23 hours of continuous work.
"Just slow down please, just slow down, just slow down please, just slow down"
Debashish was beginning to understand the lyrics for the first time, he'd never bothered to notice those lyrics even once. Suddenly the driver said, "saab, ghar aa gaya, please sign in the register". Debashish suddenly realized he'd just been woken up, but he was listening to the song, or was he dreaming it all? After unplugging the ear-phones, he reluctantly walked back to his flat and opened the door. It was as usual deserted, things lying here and there, after all, who gets time to clean up things when most of the time is spent in the office, "working"? "Such a Rush!"
The cell-phone cried for attention as Debashish was woken up by a call at 11:30 in the morning, barely two hours into sleep. It was the project manager, shouting at him for his absence in the team-meeting scheduled for 10:45 AM. No point reasoning with him, Debashish thought. He after all needed a good report card from him at the end of the year for the appraisals he so desperately wanted. After a quick freshening up, few pieces of stale chicken-pizza from the fridge, he changed into his office clothes, only one more pair was left, he thought and muttered, "no bloody time to wash the clothes man!".
As he was tying his laces, he could hear the cab outside, blaring its horn away. He had just about a minute to get there as he had no intentions to go to office wasting one hour in the pathetic public bus. After a quick trip to the office, another quick cup of coffee from the coffee machine in the corner, it was back to work. At about 3:30 in the noon, the phone rang, it was his father "When are you planning to come here beta? Ek saal ho gaya hai tumhe yehan aaye hue, Theek ek saal pehele, tumne apna janamdin hamare saath manaya tha… Happy birthday beta!"Birthday?.. Oh yes, Debashish thought after turning his wrist over and peering at the date in his wrist watch, 22nd of July, "Of course papa.. it's my birthday today… Thank you for the wishes." After a few pleasantries and a few more false promises about going to his hometown, he disconnected the call and headed off to the restroom. He then looked at himself in the large mirror, unmindful of the fact that his boss was also in the same restroom relieving himself. Face down, he could feel his tears and quickly splashed water on his weary face before his boss noticed him. "Whats the matter deba? Why were you so late to the meeting today? And what happened to the drop yesterday night? And is that hierarchy issue fixed?" A plethora of questions he did not have answers at that point of time. He had to answer each of them, and words wouldn't speak here; work had to. A few more hours till about 7 PM, and he was back in the cab once again, in the same first seat, with the exact song. He felt like something was trying to convey some message to him, very abstract he thought, and listened to the song. Again, it sounded different. The lyrics were somehow piercing him right at where it was supposed to.
"Such a rush, to do nothing at all, such a rush to get nowhere at all"
The much awaited Saturday came after two days and almost the whole of it was spent in the house, sleeping. The song kept playing in his head; he was slowly beginning to grasp the essence of the song. What had happened of his ideals, his goals, his Life? He got up in the noon, and suddenly started pondering, "What exactly am I doing? Am I doing what I want to do? Am I doing justice to my life? Have I changed?" Again, none of the questions were close-ended; he could not come up with answers for any of those deep questions. Time slowly passed and soon it was the end of the month and the much awaited salary-day came. Debashish checked his account in the website after entering his credentials. "120500.48", the screen read. He said to himself silently, "What do I do with this now? Is there a new cell-phone in the market? Or maybe a new RAM for the computer? Or maybe…" then again the song kept repeating. He was sure now. A quick stop at a travel site and he ended up spending 12k for his tickets to Hyderabad and back to Gurgaon. "Hmmm…" he mumbled and looked eager to spending some quality time with his family. The ticket was scheduled for the first week of the next month, and Debashish had no clue why all this happened suddenly.
"Are you crazy? Who is going to handle this project? We have the most important drop of the year on the 4th of this month, and you are going home? This is totally uncalled for! Ek baar pooch toh lete.. ?" shouted the project manager to Debashish as he sat opposite him in his cubicle. The project manager could not do much. He could just argue, but not deny.
3rd August, the flight to Hyderabad was scheduled at 9:00 AM and Debashish was on his way to the Airport, as luck would have it, the radio was playing Coldplay. He knew that all of this was somehow correlated, he did not know how. The flight departed on time and reached Hyderabad two hours later at the expected time of 11:30. He then hired a taxi and asked him to go to Dharam-Karan Road, Ameerpet. A good one hour from the new airport, Debashish reached his destination, the old apartment complex called "Nethravathi". Thoughts started coming to his mind, of his friends there, of small incidents, of the watchman, of the table-tennis table in the corner, so many thoughts he could connect with. He had no clue where his friends were, what they were doing… It's been a good ten years since he'd left the apartment. Nethravathi was exactly how it was, way back then, nothing had been added and nothing removed. It did look quite shabby though. As he passed the small parking-lot, his eyes instinctively searched for the grey Maruti 800. It was the same car whose headlight he had broken playing cricket in the parking lot. "At least something has changed" he thought.
There was no need to see the door number, he knew the exact house. There was a change though, that familiar "Dr. P.R. Venkatesan" board was not to be seen.
Yes… it was his dad's name that he was searching for. He was right in front of the house where they used to live. There was some Mr. Sharma's name stuck on the door. He wanted to go in and see but on what pretext, "Just saying that I have come to see my old house after 10 years, the place where he had spent his childhood and a part of adulthood would be odd." These thoughts kept lingering in his mind, when there was a tap on his shoulder with a stick and the voice spoke, "Aapko kaun chahiye, saabji?"
Debashish turned around to see the very familiar face of the chaukidar whom he had seen since he was a kid. He had become old and his eyes had become all the more small but he had become old. There were wrinkles on his face and he was stopping already. Old age had made him not recognize Deb. Debashish said, "Pehchana mujhe, dada??? Main debu…"
The guard looked at him for a while and said repeating his name, "Debu…..debu……. Achcha……… kanch todne wala debu???"
He said this and started laughing and held Debashish's shoulder and looked at him, "Bade din hue, and tum log yahaan nahi aaya. Kya baat hai? Sab theek hai na? Aaj samay kaise mila?"
Debashish didn't know how to answer but he was so overwhelmed to see that the guard still remembered him by his pranks. It had been years that he had actually done something naughty or even creative. He could see himself in those kids who were playing cricket and fighting for runs. Wish he could be in touch with his colony friends who had split after he went to college and changed his apartment. It was certainly difficult but he thought if the guard knew about them.
Debashish asked him calmly, "Dada, baaki sab hain kya abhi bhi? Lattu, Sudhir aur Anil? The guard kept thinking for a while and then answered, "5-6 saal hue wo bhi chale gaye abhi dobara to koi nahi aaya…"
Debu got a bit upset and his hopes of meeting his old friends came down. They would also have been in settled in different places and just like him; they would be rushing for life. He spoke to the guard for sometime and then went toward the gate. He went 2-3 steps and retraced his steps back again and took out his camera from his bag. He called the guard and said, "Dada photo nahi khichvaoge?"
The guard happily posed for a snap sitting on his chair and a holding a stick in hand just in front of Debu's house. Seeing this, kids started wondering as why someone was taking a simple chaukidar's snap. Some stopped playing and some were curiously looking at Debu who was busy clicking snaps. They were whispering something among themselves and they were looking at Debu's camera. It was a really good one. They ought to be attracted seeing something so nice. One kid asked, "Bhaiyya meri bhi photo lo na?"

Seeing the innocence of the kids, Debu felt very touched. He was happy to click a group photo of theirs. Then he realized that how he used to roam about with the small artificial camera when he was a kid and fool people saying that he was clicking a snap. Photography had always been his passion and he had never let it go but what was missing was, 'time'. In this rush, he never realized that actually he could revive his spirit by starting photography all again and giving time for his passion. He could see himself in those kids too who were still waiting for more snaps. He asked them softly, "Tum logon ko photo kheechna aata hai?"

All of them looked at each other. One small girl said, "Haan mujhe aata hai. Mele mein ek camera liya tha maine aur usi se photo liye the apni gudiya ke."
Debu started laughing after hearing this. He caressed her hair and went from the colony. On his way back home he could actually figure out what he could do if only his plan worked out. He went home, checked out his balance. He had enough with him at that moment and there were not any commitments of late for him. He came back to the colony next day and spoke to the guard and found the chief secretary's office. He wanted to open a photography club for the children in the colony so that anyone who has the passion can do something good there. For that he wanted the secretary to hire a photographer who could help them out. He remembered that the one who used to click snaps for the society functions was a very good professional photographer but the only doubt was that whether he was there still or not.

The secretary was kind enough to listen to him. Since he was new to the place too, he made a few phone calls in the colony to find out about the photographer. Luckily he was still staying there. The secretary took Debu to his house. Debu rang the bell. A lady opened. He asked, "Malvakar sahib hain kya?" "Haan, aaiye. Baithiye, bulati hoon."
Malvakar came in and Debu stood up seeing him. He wasn't that old. Just like his dad and he did remember Debu after Debashish gave some more details about him. After talking for a while he out forth his idea in front of Malavakar. He thought over it for a while and said, "Good idea. Mere paas bhi abhi kaafi time hai. Maine professional photography chod di par ab aise waqt hai to main kisi ko Thoda gyaan to de sakta hoon."
Debashish was really happy after listening to it. The venue for the club club could be the sports room and after that the kids could have an outdoor session too. Debu promised that the first investment of buying a camera was from his side. It would give him immense satisfaction. At least there would be no kid saying, "I click pictures with toy cameras."
The plan worked out well and there was a notice put up in the colony regarding this club. In 2-3 days 6 names had been registered and 5 were a bit grown up teenagers who could understand photography better and one was the little girl who spoke to Debashish on the very first day. Malvakar uncle had something to keep him occupied and the kids were very happy.
When Debashish came home and spoke to his parents he was feeling very happy. He told them, "Dad you know what??? I feel satisfied now. It's feels good to slow down one's pace always and take out time for retrospection. Little things can give immense happiness."
Debashish's parents were all the more happy after hearing that their son was satisfied with what he was doing. The rush of blood had not taken over him. There was a long way to go and little things would always give happiness.

Such a rush to do nothing at all
Such a fuss to do nothing at all
Such a rush to do nothing at all

Such a rush to get nowhere at all
Such a fuss to do nothing at all
Such a rush

And it's just like you said
It's just like you'll say

Such a rush to do nothing at all
Such a fuss to get nowhere at all
Such a rush, such a rush

And it's just like you said
It's just like you'll say

So slow down please
Just slow down
So slow down please
Just slow down

Such a rush (x 15)

Look at all the people
Going after money
Far too many people
Looking for their money
Everybody's out there
Trying to get money
Why can't you just tell me?
Trying to get money rush

Such a rush
They all rush
Such a rush

also follow the same story on yourstoryclub.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

ChitraDurga fort, Nandi Hills (HDR)

My first attempt at HDR, shot this in multiple exposures in Nandi Hills :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008



Its 12:45 noon and I hear the voice saying “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have reached Kolkata. The outside temperature is 29 degree Celsius and humidity 97%, Thank you for flying Jet Airways”.
97% does not hit you at the onset till you come out of the aircraft, and then the sudden change in the climate hits you, and it hits you hard. After spending about five years in the nation’s only naturally air-conditioned city, Bengaluru; Kolkata comes as a rude surprise. We got out of the aircraft and took a wheel-chair for my granny, who was clearly not enjoying the flight and did not still come to terms with the time it took us to reach the city versus its actual distance from Bengaluru. After taking the baggage, we headed off to the pre-paid taxi stand and asked for BallyGunj Circular Road; the counter guy promptly tore off a ticket and said, “too thaa-tea”. It took a moment for me to realize that I was in Kolkata where the pronunciation takes a beating; I did pay him after a few seconds and was on my way with my family to the taxi. Granny was still in the wheel-chair and was helped by the airline-guy into the taxi.
The taxi driver was a sardarji and wore such typical attire which was suiting his personality. Dressed in a light blue crumpled Kurta and beautiful dashing yellow turban, he had pathani shoes to match them. He also had a small photo of his younger self on the right side in between the two windows. A “Sat-Sri-Akal” symbol on the wind shield, it was a perfect taxi with the perfectly dressed driver. “Aap south se aaye ho kya sirji?” was his question, to which we replied affirmative and told him that we were from Bangalore. A natural question running in my mind after noticing that photo of his was, How Long? “Sardarji, aap kab se ho yahan?” “Ajee, hum to yehan bohot saal se hain, mere pitaji bhi yehin pe kaam kiya karte the...”, visibly happy talking in Hindi instead of the usual Bengali. He then went on to say, “Aajkal yehan ka mausam bohot kharab hai sirji, bohot paseena aata hai; Humare Punjab ya bambai me to kabhi aisa nahi hota, do-teen hafton se yehan continue bearish ho rahi hai ji
I thought it would be a good time to listen to the radio as our yellow taxi zipped by yet another slowly moving rickshaw-puller. The humidity was fast rising and I could feel my shirt completely drenched, “Am sure it’s gonna cross 100% soon”, I mumbled. Almost as soon as I said it, it happened; slowly the moisture in the air got converted to rain and it started raining in Kolkata. The earthy smell with a tinge of fish stink soon filled the taxi’s already jam-packed air and I was submerged into the typical smells of Kolkata.
Kolkata is a very old city and is truly a photographer’s paradise. It seems to be an extremely contrasting city, with the filthy rich and the filthy naked under the same roof. I see naked children running around unmindful of their future, their caretakers, equally unsure of the same fact. Kolkata somehow feels nostalgic, for no particular reason I can recollect. The old buildings, the damp walls, the bright green moss in most of the buildings, all look like a reflection of our own self. Respecting the old, retaining the old, but unable to care for them seems to be a commonality with Kolkata offering itself as a microcosm of our great nation. The green moss with a shade of black on almost every other building tells me the age of the city. Then there is the Tram, which is again so symbolic of the past, trying desperately to move ahead with time. The same city which captured the fascinations of Queen Victoria still captures the imagination of many a lens’.
From what I observed on a small walk from Ballygunj Circular Road to a nearby place, Cigarette seems to have found itself a niche position in the Bengali culture. It somehow does not feel odd when every second person standing by the side of the road sports a blank look on his face enjoying every breath he takes of the lighted stick between his fingers. “Yes, we take a pride in smoking”, I could recollect, almost four years back, when I asked one of my Bengali friends why he smokes a lot “Aisa nahi hai ke haamko aachha lagta hai, baat it’s a great stress baaster, ek sootah phooko, saara tension khatam”. As I walked past yet another small shanty housing five children and a woman, it again started raining, and people were ready for it, unlike me and my father. The roads were quite bad and all of a sudden all the traffic came to a sudden halt. We crossed the road immediately taking advantage of the situation and reached the other side of the road.
Poverty seems to reach new highs here with the poor literally being taken care by the footpath. The footpath is an indispensable part of the city with everything happening in it, right from bathing to sleeping, to eating - It’s a living and breathing footpath. One new thing which I have not noticed in other cities I have been to is the extent to which the Victorian architecture is still being used. I presume that the water-pump thronging every hundred meters in the footpath has been existing all this while, still serving the cause for which it was built originally. And, nobody seems to care about these footpath people; maybe we have forgotten to bother about them or we are happy looking at a brighter picture of the city, not willing to talk about it, and all this is in one of the poshest localities in Kolkata, so I can very well imagine the other side of the city. Kolkata boasts of being the only city that is so contrasting in nature, the same place where the filthy rich and the filthy naked dot the streets; but somehow I am not getting the contrast here, maybe because the poverty is so much more widespread than the wealth.
For the first time, I am beginning to understand exactly what the IT culture does to a place, taking Bengaluru as an example. The lack of IT jobs in Kolkata is quite evident at the onset, few places to hang out, cheaper commodities, very sorry state of surroundings in terms of maintenance and cleanliness, almost pin-pointing to the footpath. IT in the form of BPO could offer a lot of positives for Kolkata, I feel, maybe because it would help many people to lead a better life. The BPO trick has worked in many places with Bengaluru and Chennai leading the race, Nagpur, Pune and Gurgaon not far behind. There is another angle to this; Kolkata is a city that is a living fossil, still living in the past, not wanting the new to dominate the old. Every other building is very clearly at least 20-30 years old, repainting not at all seen as an option. Maybe its people like it that way, a cup of chai, a nearby café, and an hour of Adda
The city does have something to be proud of. It has inspired many a great personalities who have done their part for our nation. Again, the contrast kicks in; personalities like Subhash Chandra Bose, Rash Behari Bose, Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna-Paramahansa and Mother Teresa. Noticing carefully, each of them is in complete contrast with the other, and each of them have inspired countless. The latest breed of the city’s heroes is Saurav Ganguly, and he is an icon here featuring in many billboards on the roadside from the airport all the way to the main city. The city is quite content with itself and appears to be moving nowhere, yet everywhere. The city’s poor will spend yet another night under the pale sky; while the rich battle it out and the middle class remain busy in their Addas. The whole city, hooked on to the burning stick will probably produce more smoke from their puffs compared to vehicular pollution.
It’s just over two days in Kolkata and I am realizing why many great thinkers emerged from this city. There is something in Kolkata that makes you feel like writing, makes you feel like expressing yourself. I have not yet explored any place in Kolkata, but will be soon doing it and have already got a feel of what to expect from this heritage-city.
The RJ on the radio says… “Shuno-shunaao, aaada jamaao !”, I mumble to myself, “Sure I will !

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Final Blow

The following information was published by Outlook

These are the URLs:



Top 35 Private Engineering Colleges

Rank Name of Institute City IC II I PP PS GT
IC: Intellectual capital (600), II: Industry Interface (300), I: Infrastructure (650), PP: Placement Performance (400), PS: Pedagogic System (200), GT: Grand Total (2150)

1 BITS Pilani 364 191 435.8 302.2 171 1464
2 PSG College of Technology Coimbatore 253 158 412.9 257.5 120 1201
3 BIT, Mesra Ranchi 256 68 435.7 257.2 170 1187
4 Thapar University Patiala 269 73 452.9 231.3 120 1146
5 VIT University Vellore 264 67 400.5 178.8 135 1045
6 Manipal Inst. of Technology Manipal 214 74 388.9 219.9 124 1020
7 Dhirubhai Ambani Inst. of Information & Comm. Tech. Gandhinagar 208 76 328.8 250.2 148 1011
8 RV College of Engineering Bangalore 247 83 315.4 230.3 120 995
9 SSN College of Engineering Chennai 221 62 362.2 221.7 122 989
10 SASTRA Thanjavur 258 64 373 178.3 108 981
11 PES Inst. of Technology Bangalore 233 65 323 216.4 130 967
12 Amity School of Engg & Tech. Noida 179 64 387 217 116 963
13 Karunya University Coimbatore 200 50 376.1 192.2 112 930
14 Nirma Univ. of Science & Technology Ahmedabad 181 66 345.5 211.8 125 929
15 BIT, Sindri Dhanbad 169 54 361.3 242.9 100 928
16 Mepco Schlenk Engineering College Sivakasi 214 56 348.4 189.9 118 926
17 Inst. of Technology & Management Gurgaon 215 63 303.3 215.7 128 925
18 KIIT University Bhubaneshwar 191 51 344.7 228.2 108 923
19 ICFAI Institute of Science & Technology Hyderabad 178 76 324.9 214.2 128 922
20 Kongu Engineering College Erode 228 68 344 179.3 102 921
21 Amrita School of Engineering Coimbatore 195 51 367.4 212.1 88 914
22 MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology Bangalore 239 49 312 214 99 913
23 Bangalore Inst. of Tech. Bangalore 193 73 321.1 178.6 135 901
24 Velagapudi Ramakrishna Siddhartha Engg College Vijayawada 210 56 326.9 188.9 118 900
25 GITAM Inst. of Technology Visakhapatnam 190 52 352.1 189.6 106 890
26 Hindustan College of Engineering Kancheepuram 191 55 354.4 180 96 877
27 Sona College of Technology Salem 237 49 335.5 170.5 84 876
28 Babu Banarasi Das National Inst. of Tech. & Mgmt Lucknow 142 52 344 232.7 104 874
29 Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology Hyderabad 177 54 317.5 210.1 106 864
30 Sreenidhi Inst. of Science & Technology Hyderabad 193 57 296.4 195.4 118 860
31 BMS Inst. of Technology Bangalore 166 56 292.5 215.3 122 852
32 Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering Nagpur 178 57 359.7 159.1 96 850
33 Shri Ramdeo Baba KN Engg College Nagpur 197 44 313 187.4 104 845
34 Galgotia's College of Engineering & Technology Noida 178 48 336.1 174.9 102 840
35 Vishwakarma Institute of Technology Pune 198 54 269.4 201.9 114 837

Some private engineering colleges, ranked in the Top 35 in 2007, did not respond to the Outlook-Synovate survey this year. These include VJTI, Mumbai; The Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Mumbai; SJ College of Engineering, Mysore; Sathyabhama Engineering College, Chennai; National Institute of Engineering, Mysore and the Jaypee University of Information Technology, Solan

Top 35 Govt Engineering Colleges
Rank Name of Institute City IC II I PP PS GT
IC: Intellectual capital (600), II: Industry Interface (300), I: Infrastructure (650), PP: Placement Performance (400), PS: Pedagogic system (200). GT: Grand Total (2,150)
1 IIT Kharagpur 497 218 566.8 306.9 180 1,768
2 IIT Kanpur 359 165 573.8 291.4 183 1,572
3 IIT Delhi 376 234 467.2 305.8 179 1,563
4 IIT Mumbai 373 102 531.5 280.3 182 1,469
5 IIT Chennai 449 136 510.8 193.1 178 1,467
6 IIT Roorkee 325 169 494 314.7 164 1466
7 College of Engineering, Anna Univ. Chennai 288 205 423 259 154 1,329
8 IT, BHU Varanasi 302 74 429.3 293 160 1,259
9 IIT Guwahati 258 85 411.1 304.7 170 1,230
10 ISM University Dhanbad 255 104 416.1 285.9 140 1,201
11 NIT Warangal 270 77 405.8 265.5 160 1,179
12 NIT Trichy 258 54 399.6 299.9 160 1,172
13 Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad 249 80 416.2 253 164 1,163
14 NIT Surathkal 251 71 414 262.1 155 1,153
15 Punjab Engineering College Chandigarh 228 95 412.3 244.1 160 1,139
16 Delhi College of Engineering New Delhi 226 84 388.1 293.6 142 1,134
17 IIIT Hyderabad 239 150 433.2 286.7 13 1,122
18 Netaji Subhash Inst. of Technology New Delhi 207 69 387.4 272.6 150 1,086
19 MNIT Jaipur 250 66 369.1 263.6 130 1,079
20 College of Engineering Pune 224 79 381.2 247.8 140 1,072
21 NIT Rourkela 220 70 391 240 150 1,071
22 Autonomous College of Engineering, Andhra Univ. Visakhapatnam 250 79 372.9 248.9 120 1,070
23 NIT Calicut 233 56 404.9 233.4 120 1,048
24 Harcourt Butler Technological Institute Kanpur 205 77 344.2 253.6 160 1,040
25 Coimbatore Institute of Technology Coimbatore 217 75 356.4 244.3 140 1,032
26 IIIT Allahabad 183 90 366 253.8 120 1,012
27 JNTI Hyderabad 191 61 347.3 260.5 120 980
28 NIT Hamirpur 199 57 361.4 235.1 124 976
29 Sir M. Visvesvaraya Inst. of Technology Bangalore 193 54 334.1 234.6 120 936
30 Shri G.S. Institute of Technology & Science Indore 202 67 333.3 178.4 140 921
31 University College of Engg (A) Osmania Univ. Hyderabad 191 59 340.8 215.5 110 916
32 Guru Nanak Dev Engg College Ludhiana 166 60 371.2 184.6 133 915
33 NIT Silchar 186 54 319.3 211.1 80 851
34 CUSAT Kochi 166 36 309.9 200.5 100 813
35 Jabalpur Engineering College Jabalpur 133 50 345.8 178.7 80 787

Some government engineering colleges which were ranked in the Top 35 in 2007 did not respond to the Outlook-Synovate survey this year. These include Faculty of Engineering & Technology, Jadavpur University, Calcutta; Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur, Howrah; MANIT, Bhopal; VNIT, Nagpur; SVNIT, Surat; NIT Kurukshetra; NIT Kozhikode; Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai University; College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram; and NIT, Jamshedpur


IC: Intellectual capital (600), II: Industry Interface (300), I: Infrastructure (650), PP: Placement Performance (400), PS: Pedagogic system (200). GT: Grand Total (2,150)

Rank  Name of Institute   City                    IC      II      I            PP           PS      GT

5          VIT University         Vellore             264    67    400.5   178.8     135    1045

17       IIIT                              Hyderabad      239    150  433.2   286.7     13      1122

The difference which is around 77, is easily attributed to the name of the Institute and in general lots of other factors, which is why Outlook has classified both of them in different leagues..

And, this is just the beginning - Now, two of India's top magazines cant be wrong right?..

Friday, June 20, 2008

The First Year, Part I

The First Year

NIT Warangal is a beautiful place, and that was the impression on my mind until the time actually came to enter those big gates, which weren’t all that big. I was in NIT-W for my counseling, mind you, only counseling. With a very large rank of 11125, I was not a very hopeful person. My best hope was that a majority of the students blessed with similar IIT-JEE ranks would leave these seats for me to pounce upon. NIT-W was a good place, except for the heat and dry trees that surrounded it. I and my dad went to an office as a part of the procedure. This office, which had boldly displayed many honorary shields and awards, was in a pathetic condition, very similar to my level of confidence back then. Anyway, the counseling took its time and I was finally allotted an IT seat in a college called VIT. I thought, well at least this is better than another institute called Shastra. It was in the same place I met another guy, his name was Chetan. He was also not sure what he would be doing next. Happy with what I deserved, I and my father left for home. I was convincing myself hard that Hostel life is going to be easy, no tension, but deep in my heart, I knew I could not even travel alone, being the single kid I am, I was always dependent on my parents.

I had my first look at the college when I went there with my father for the whole admission process. VIT seemed friendly, but I was quite reluctant to check out the hostels on the same day. I had another look at the college with one of my friends from Bangalore. Anyway, it was just three and a half hours away by train. The railway track actually split the college into two halves, the Academic side and the Hostel side. Both of us checked out the crowd and returned by the 3:30 train back to Bangalore.
The D-Day was finally here. I had all my stuff packed in a huge black-suitcase and cross-checked it if I was missing out anything, everything was there; my mother had not missed out anything as usual. We arrived at a station called Katpadi, and it was quite a long station. I had been through this drill before with my friend so I immediately told the Auto drivers to move away and found one who asked a decent enough price to go till All-Mart, the super-market of VIT.
After completing the formalities, we went to the Hostel side into this building called F-Block. A stout “anna” was having a tough time convincing students and their parents about the room allocation system, which was never in place at that time; it was being done on a FCFS basis with lots of random rooms in the tray. Anyway, we were still quite early and my parents helped me move my huge suitcase into room number 518. Two guys were already present in the 18Ft X 12Ft room with three Double-decker beds and two cupboards. One immediately got up and said, “Inshu Bhatnagar uncle” and greeted my father. The other guy just stood up and introduced himself as Praveen Kumar. I also thought it would be quite rude if I don’t introduce myself, and did the same to both of them. The room was a bit dusty but that did not seem to bother Inshu who was reading “Abdul Kalam’s - Wings of Fire”. Strange philosophical guy, I thought; little did I know it was a part of my syllabus. Once settled, I cross-checked again, my water-bottles were there, the keys very much in my palm, and there I was, finally on my own. 
I always used to love playing a good game of Table-Tennis. Inshu told me there is a place he explored nearby which housed three TT tables. Suddenly my mood changed! I told my parents that I will be managing and they can leave. I still don’t believe that I did just that on hearing about TT, Absolutely nothing after that, no teary eyes, nothing. Just a casual “Bye” and “Take care”. My parents left for the station and I was soon back into my room changing clothes to go out.
Both of us went out to play TT and had quite a good time. One thing that was always on my mind was the dreaded Ragging. Will I face some senior? Will someone catch me and ask me to strip? I saw some guys there who looked pretty elder to me and I thought for sure I was going to get ragged. Nothing happened and I found out that they were also from the first year, one from Delhi (Rishab) and one from Lucknow (Tarun). I did not lose any matches that day. Later that day, I met Chetan again and we were quite happy to meet each other although we had just spoken to each other briefly in NIT-W. The chit-chat continued till about 9:05 and Chetan was in my room with me and Inshu when suddenly some guy just forced the door open and started shouting at us. The neatly trimmed guy was in his 30’s and we could make out that he was in his night-clothes. He sounded pretty harsh and scared the shit out of us. “Who all stay in this room? Speak up guys!” Chetan slowly acknowledged the fact that he belonged to another room, to which he shouted back “Pack up your luggage and get lost! Was it so difficult for you to hear the 9 pm bell signifying the silence hour?” “Sorry sir, I swear I won’t repeat it again” said Chetan. But Robin Rohit was not a person who would get convinced easily and he really intended to scare the shit out of first years. Following a small drama at the security, the petrified students wrote down apology letters. We turned off our lights and decided it was definitely time to sleep (9:30 pm)
I always had this feeling that I was somehow better than the rest as I had dropped a year and all those would actually be my juniors, if not for my drop year. Soon I found out that over 75% of guys whom I met were one year droppers. I thought to myself, Dropping is actually “that common”.
As my luck would have it, Inshu and I were in the same class, it was called “T-Batch”. To top it, he was also in IT. The first class was by a physics lecturer who sounded quite complicated. The classroom was in this magnificent building called Tech-Tower. I met a lot of guys there and noted down their room-numbers to meet them leisurely. Of the few people I met there were Amit Tyagi from Delhi, Abhishek Damani from Maharashtra, Ashish Ranjan from Bihar, Saveen Nair from Kota, Rajasthan, the two Mayanks from Katni and Mumbai, Moinak Dutta from Assam, Arnab Dutta from Kolkata and one “properly built” Amol Kamal Singh Randhawa from Amritsar. Almost everyone had dropped one year and were quite happy about it. I also met a couple of girls in my class and was quite happy for the fact that four of them belonged to IT branch. The rest of the day went quite smoothly and the ended with a no ragging note and I was quite happy for it.
A few days later, another guy came to my room with his father, the guy was of a dark complexion and seemed very quiet and we could hardly hear his voice from the top berth of the double bed alongside the two huge windows. Soon enough, his father left and all of us introduced ourselves. Venkatakrishnan, A.J. was an all-in-one pack. I soon found out that he was a fresher and had completed his plus-two from Hyderabad, a city I was quite familiar with. He actually lived quite close to where I used to live during my stay in Hyderabad.
Venkat, as we used to call him, was a serious bundle of contradictions. He could pass off as a typical Muslim student from Hyderabad’s Old city as he could easily don the role of a Goan Christian. The fluent Hyderabadi Hindi and Telugu combined with a potent mix of Tamil and English was what we both had in common. This particular strength in both of us basically meant we could easily meet and make friends, with absolutely no restrictions whatsoever.
The three of us including Inshu used to frequent the TT courts very often and soon became quite addicted to it. Venkat always used to fall prey to a particular side-spin serve of mine and used to get irritated for the fact that he just couldn’t lift “that bloody service”!
Everything was quite good except for the mess food. Initially it was quite good, but as I met more people who swore every time they entered the mess, I also fell in the trap and began hating the food for no particular reason. The mess was in the ground floor just beside the Badminton courts in the hostel. For the first time I saw people fighting over food when it was the “Paneer-Day”. Each of us was served exactly 5 pieces of paneer by the fat mess in charge. Most of us would meet over the dining table to make new friends and discuss girls in general.
I soon made lots of friends and got quickly adjusted to what I thought would be a really dreadful experience. Finally I met another room-mate of mine. Ram Prasad was a Telugu super-star, many guys used to frequent our room just to meet him. The “Chiranjeevi” craze that he had was exactly what his friends also had in common; and they weren’t just fans, they were devotees and that would be an understatement. Few days later, another guy came to the already packed five guys’ room and immediately asked for a bed change citing some reason. He was rather short than the rest of us and was in the Mechanical Branch. Pavan Kumar, as he was called soon became the butt of all jokes amongst Ram’s friends.
I had my first, rather silly encounter with ragging one night. I was resting on my bad, listening to Lucky-Ali’s songs on my Videocon Walkman post the silence hour when someone knocked my door and asked me to some immediately to the corridor. Terrified as I was, I was led into this group of guys, supposedly doing MCA, or in other words, seniors. “What’s your name? Speak up man! Where are you from? Do you know Telugu?” asked one fat guy with particularly high powered glasses. “Bangalore, but I know Telugu” I replied trying not to look tensed, with both my hands in my pajamas. “Bloody take off your hands from your pocket and stand straight” said a lean guy with unshaven beard. I did not like the way he talked to me and shot back at him rather defensively, “what’s wrong if I stand this way?” That was clearly not expected of me and he commanded me again “Dude we are your seniors! Is this how you give us respect?” Suddenly one guy in vests starts running toward us from the extreme end of the corridor shouting “Anna is coming! Anna is coming! Run….” All of a sudden the “super-cool” seniors were now running for their life and I had no clue what to do. I tried running with them and soon realized that Anna is actually on my side. I stood there as I saw two fat security guards coming hastily with sticks in their hand; they were clearly tired climbing up the fourth floor. I took advantage of the language factor and immediately talked to them in Tamil saying they were trying to rag me. He did not seem to pay much heed; I guess he just wanted to make his presence felt.

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This post is originally written by me @:


Hmmm.. A lot has been said and told...

I'll also give my candid observations...
I am a passout from VIT-U and these four years have been the best years till date.

VIT is an institution of extremes... You'll come to know soon ... Parts of what you have seen is true, parts not true at all .... Read on ....
History: Founded quite early, it got freedom from Anna University only about in 2001 (plz correct me if i am wrong)
So basically that was the beginning of VIT...
Took students from in and around T.N initially (as it was initially under Anna)
Then slowly, one year, it moved to AIEEE... This year (or two) , very good students came to VIT since they were AIEEE level;
left out from NITs and IIITs, they were those guys who were basically good, but the exam probably din go well or some other reason ... basically a good bunch of students
Then later VIT shifted to VITEE (and stopped AIEEE) as they had strict restrictions on many things including strength
This was objectionable to VIT as we never have funds like what IIITs or NITs have..
Most people in my batch are atleast 1 year droppers(for IIT-JEE), so the have a good understanding of what they need to be doing and dont take decisions in haste..

There are rules that are quite strict, but then it all comes in place,.. we may complain one day about it, the next day we ocmpletely forget about it... 
Life is never a cake walk..

Yea, one thing i really hated about these four years was the Extreme climate... Sometimes you get pissed off at some lecturers, sometimes with the security ... its all so 
common .... I believe its in the nature of people who complain.. I am quite sure you cant deny the fact that IIITs are no cakewalk...
Have you never ever got pissed at some lecturer?.. Have you never, ever complained against the "System"?

Know what, i had some friends in NIT-Surathkal ... Believe it or not.. they were surprised that we get water (that too geyser water) 24 hours!
They had access to water only for a few hours ! and no hot water also ...

I've met many people who are quite good at what they know... but are Zero when it comes to conveying the same thing...
VIT has many lecturers who manage to convey the message, even without knowing much english

And i hope you know about the current situation of getting lecturers ... Its not necessarily that only PHDs can teach well ! who said so?
It all depends on you... nobody is spoon-feeding you... 
The opportunities are all here.. its about realizing that and making the most about it...
yea, my friend got placed in Honda, yea the same guy mentioned above .. I know about him.. Daily bunked classes ... maintained the bare minimum attendance, was a 6 or 7 pointer throughout
And what happens finally?... he is one of the 2 guys who make it there ... awesome right!

About SCS, its just like any other college, a healthy mix of good(read some young and mostly older guys) and bad lecturers (read young lecturers)... Bad because many dont opt for teaching
SCS gave us what not... experience in various fields including co-curricular ... certification programmes from IBM, laptops for M.Tech students at low prices..... Laptops to all faculties... CISCO labs, .NET labs, 
Linux Labs, A general computing lab(Santhanam), IT labs(3),MCA lab, .... dude there are sooo many machines here...
Its upto the student to use them....

Now coming to the fact about placements...
Hey can you tell me for what reason IITs were made in ndia by J.Nehru (If i am right, he was behind all this)
The reason as you also know is "To develop India"..
Now tell me the approximate % of students who go and fuel the silicon Valley..
If i am right according to a news report, 4 of every 10 atsrtups in silicon valley are by young indians (please read IITians and IIITians and NITians)
What good is your institute if it cannot develop India, but fuel other other countries? Why should the Govt. provide you money?

At VIT, we pay the money (yea, its a huge sum, i agree), BUT, we fuel the Indian market ! an Indian company !
And this is not as a whole everyone.. This is about the majority who fuel TCS... 

Now coming to your placements (esp. Microsoft like companies where i hope many of you get into)
Microsoft does not trust Indian developers (i know this because i have started working now and have had lots of interactions with guys who have left similar companies like Amazon)
The best guys in IIIT go to microsoft and do what?... do testing/development of a product having an uncertain fate... because everything will be decided by the guys in Redmond... A guy with such good creativity is reduced to do things way below his capabilities... its true, i did a research to arrive at this... many dont speakup, because the pay is good (9.2) !

I know guys in my college who have a "book" full of certificates, presented papers throughout the world... got jobs in places where the paper was presented almost immediately !
I know guys who have made it to the IIM... I know guys who have represented the college at international meets ... I know guys who started earning in 2nd year.. I know a guy so good in Linux, he actually busted out a guy from IIT with 2 years of experience (yea, he is working now ... 2008 passout )
I know lecturers who admit that thaey dunno about something (SCS) and are willing to learn it, which i think takes courage to learn from a student..
I knw guys who hacked into the network(SCS) just because thay were so good at it...
VIT also provides for TBI - Technology Biz incubator, where you can develop ideas into products..

A recent interview at NI, had 4 VITians among 10 students ahortlisted in Delhi..

At one point of time, i was surrounded by chinese students (250 of them).. Last year alone, over 70% of chinese coming to india(not travellers) landed up in VIT.. why not IIIT?.. why not IIT?
One needs to realize that its not just the super-intelligents in the society... (they bloody don need a college to prosper ... they will make it big in life irrespective of anything ...)
Its also the medium guys.. who basically need a job .. to earn for their families.. to grow ... This is where TCS comes into picture..
Earlier, i also had a strong harted for TCS, but now, NO way, its doing justice to so many people.. you really cant compare it with the other companies ike MS..
Both these companies are in different leagues ...
I really dunno the number of people who have made it to foreign universities this time ! Lot Many... and many good colleges ...

Also, VIT has got accredations from so many firms ... I am not sure of the latest one ...

Apart from all this tech talk, its good managemet that is required to make it big.. and infrastructure playing a very important role in that..
that means.. good lawns (although you cant walk on it!! :) ), olympic size swimming pool (Seriourly i have not come across a better pool in Bangalore till now ! ), 
Pool facilities (a lil' overpriced), God places to eat (FoodCourts, BR, and yea mess (not that good) )...
So many courts that promote sports, a new indoor stadium....
Sunshades for the summer, tennis courts, Stadium and Playgrounds (2 of them in contrast to the above post ...)
Riviera, our Annual fest draws so many people throught the nation... We get 2 artistes every year... one Proper Rock and one proper Indian (eg. Parikrama and Shankar Mahadeven / Euphoria)
I mean what more do you really want out of a college?
VIT also provides training camps and facilities to the 5-6 odd schools (plz correct me if i am wrong) .. Its infact taken ownership of them... Every sunday in the morning, so many kids come and have basketball lessons to smaller exercises ... which i think is a very good thing to do.. the playgrounds are utilized by the local kids in the mornings ...
And yea, there is also the Music room where budding singers can do whatever they feel like ....
And also, have to admit, the non-availability of internet to the hostels is not good.. I just hope thay do that soon !

VIT is also providing classes for CAT preperation to TIMS and IMS (not very sure about the source)

Aur yaar baat raho porn aur drugs ki, let me tell you that most NITs and Manipal are major drug-centres, as told by guys from the same college ...
See you really cant stop guys from doing what they want to do if they leave the hostel... 
Rahi baat porn ki, man, is IIIT/IIT/NIT some kind of temple where they only study and do nothing else?... In fact this is sooo widespread that its become some kind of a commanlity among colleges...

Ek baar aao Vellore and ask any Vellore villager how much the place has benefitted from VIT.. believe me, it has actually transformed the place since 2001 (Transformation does not happen overnite.. 7 years is a small quantum of time actually ... )
No longer Vellore is only known for CMC.. Now its known for 2 more things .. VIT and the Golden Temple

Yaar, wake up to the reality .... VIT is growing fast ... :)

Btw. no offence to anyone here, these is purely from my angle, of what i have felt in these four years...

Friday, June 13, 2008

My very own Whack!!

There i was again, getting bored after a full day at office in front of the laptop; disgusted to know that i am once again going to sit in front of the mighty computer and allow myself to check my mail and my scraps if someone left any message for me. Its just the fact that i am now unable to lead a life without this thinking-machine that's practically taken over mine!
Anyway, I was bored of the routine mail-scrap checking and started the ultimate boredom-killer once again. Its called Stumble-Upon.. a wonderful tool that actually picks up random pages based on your interest and displays on the click of a button.
I click it and it displays a page featuring a "Google Whack". The name did ring some bells, it was some competition in my college's tech Fest. I quickly scanned through the rest of the page and learnt that its basically searching for two English keywords that yield ONE result, i.e. results 1 of 1 :)
Man!! I just discovered a great tool to overcome boredom. I immediately opened up a dictionary and started looking for completely unrelated words like "yoga" and "flywheel"
But damn! someone had already put up even such combinations on his site. and these seemingly unrelated words were not just a few, but they produced like 71,400 results !!
So the trick was to get hold of words that are seldom used by anyone in common speech.
Then after about an hour or so, i managed to produce a minimum of 10 results. The interest just kept getting stronger until i realized that something was obstructing my way.
It was the dictionary sites!
There were about 10 dictionaries and they had all the words. Every two word combinations would be found in their site and this really pissed me off.. I began pondering... does the great Google Whack still exist?
Then came the key realization.. getting hold of two words that feature in the different types of written English (like the British version and the American version)
It was another half hour or so when i finally came across a combination that produced 2 results.. I knew the end was near... Another 15 minutes of intense googling, it paid off !
"Antiestablishmentarianism superintendence" was 1 of 1 result...
Another 15 minutes and i found
"Antiestablishmentarianism aggreviate" with the same 1 result. This in fact was so rare that i was not totally convinced that such a word even existed!
Then finally the biggie:
"Antiestablishmentarianism thematisation" . . This actually fetched NO results !!
Both were perfect English words but nobody ever heard of these two coming together.
And this is the reason why i am writing this post, soon my post will have the one topnotch result :)

Antiestablishmentarianism superintendence (1)

Antiestablishmentarianism aggreviate (1)

Antiestablishmentarianism xerographically (2 Results)

Antiestablishmentarianism thingummybob (2 Results)

Antiestablishmentarianism tsarevich (2 Results)

Antiestablishmentarianism thematisation (NO Results)