I just spent 30 minutes walking on the snow for no apparent reason. Well there's a reason and I'll explain that later. Last 24 hours have been extremely blog-worthy. I don't remember so many different things ever happening within such a short duration. Almost every problem I had yesterday seems possible to solve now. Yesterday I went to the Goldman Sachs Internship Presentation on campus. Between 6:30 and 8:30, I got a good overview of what working in the corporate world after getting out of college could be like. While I was quite intimidated in the beginning during the DVD presentation, later after talking to the recruiters, things seemed a lot more homely. Goldman Sachs is one of the largest investment banking firms in the world and being a Computer Science and Economics major, I could either join the Technology sector or the Banking sector of the company. Obviously I'm leaning towards the tech side.
After talking to a few people from different divisions, I met with the Technology guy, who talked to me for about 25-30 minutes. While they were looking for 2nd and 3rd year college students to intern at GS over the summer, he said if my background is strong enough, I could be considered for a full-time position. At the end, I gave him a copy of my resume (or MS Word) and after getting back to my bunker, emailed him a copy just-in-case. Today I got an email from him saying I need to be more descriptive in my resume and explain which platforms and languages I used for which systems/applications. Here's a tip he gave me: "When applying for Tech-jobs, don't pay attention to the 1-2 page limitation because we want to hear EVERYTHING that you know." So now I'm going to release an Extended Edition of my resume and send it over. I wish I had read these resume tips before.
While waiting in line to talk to him for 30 minutes, another interesting thing happened. This cute 18yr old Russian girl standing behind me started talking to me. While she seemed really nice and all, in my head I kept saying "don't be distracted by a girl - you are here for a job!" After 15 minutes of polite small-talk though, she said she loved computers and wanted to get into the Technology field ever since she was a child. She doesn't party a lot and would rather read a good book or go to a museum instead. That's when sirens went off in my head. Whoa there lady! You're young, pretty, quite intelligent, like to learn new things, AND love computers? That's a first one I have to admit. During my talk with the Tech guy, she stood right by me and she asked a few questions herself. Afterwards we walked out together, she took my cell# and AIM screenname. I'm not sure if she'll ever call or IM me, but hey at least it was an interesting incident. Maybe I'll run into her on a bus sometime. But for now, all I know is her first name is Ally.
Three days ago after reading some whiny British students say how hard it is to pay tuition fees of £1,125 a year, I posted on Fark that my debt is so much more than them and the job market doesn't look good at all. After reading my post, someone emailed me to say he's hiring people with C++ experience in Texas. Now my first reaction was "haha funny" but I emailed him my resume anyway and today got a phone call from his Human Resources Dept. I have a phone interview this Monday at noon. Till about one hour ago, I wasn't too keen on this deal, till I Google'd the guy's name. That's when I got a little shock. Unless the guy who emailed me has an identical twin living in the same city and doing the same tech work, I think he is someone quite quite famous. A little bit of Googl'ing showed that he wrote this chat software and sold to Apple for $25 million! So let's see if it's the same guy or not.
And finally I met with my research advisor Prof. Dinesh Pai and he suggested a few things I could do. One of the topics I liked was sound synthesis. That is why I walked on the snow for 30 mins. Prof said that I could find a way to generate the sound that is made when a person walks on the snow. Right now when movies and video games have people walking, it's mostly recorded sound. What if I could write a software that automatically simulates the sound based on a few conditions like the type of shoes, thickness of the sole, weight of the person, amount of snow (or sand, gravels, pebbles), and the type of surface like wood, cement, concreate etc.? Well if I can actually do it, that would be awesome. Now I have about 3 months in which I can either do it or fail trying. I think I'll do it. I'm optimistic.
So that ends the eventful 24-hours. Now I wait for a few hours and will prolly go to the bars with Kat. Haven't seen her for a loooong time now.
So I got invited to Orkut by my friend Chris. Orkut is Google's unofficial answer to social networking websites like Frienster and Tribe. The neat thing about Orkut is that it is invite only and so if you want to join, let me know and I'll add you as a friend (even if I don't know you! See I'm THAT nice!) Now that I made my profile in Orkut, put up a little information about me, and added a bunch of friends, I can see who likes what and who knows who. There's a lotta cool features like Communities, Messaging, Rating etc. It's basically everything from HotOrNot to Match.com mixed into one. Maybe Orkut can help me find a job :)
I am going to graduate in May. After that, I have no idea what I'm doing or where I'm going. I'm trying to apply for jobs and colleges everywhere. So far no replies. Elyse is being too nice and helping me find a job. Let's see. I'm trying my best to be optimistic but I can't believe things are so bad in the job market.
Been busy with work lately. Studies, job-hunt, GRE preparation, work all going in full-swing. My cousin Keval is still in the hospital. There's nothing we can do except wait and hope.
Saw Elyse over the weekend. Had some Smirnoff Ice and pizza while chilling with her. Had a lotta fun. Rest things are going ok I guess. Can't wait till I'm assigned my research topic.
Had my first day of school during my last semester. Three economics classes and one math. Nothing too interesting. Mostly decent boring stuff. It didn't seem too difficult either.
Keval's condition is still critical but hasn't changed in almost 3 days. We're just praying for him to get well.
I got news that Keval's toes almost moved. Another good sign I'm sure.
Keval just moved his jaws!!!!!! After 2 days on life-support system my cousin just showed some motion. Doctors are still saying that the situation is critical. But now we have much more hope. And of course he moved his jaws. He loves food :) My earliest childhood memory of Keval is him jumping as high as he could to grab the sacred onions hung outside the doors of his neighbours to ward off evil spirits. Seeing as how many onions he stole and instantly ate, I'm sure the neighbour's house was always haunted by monsters.
Thank you whoever is up there. Thanks a lot. Now we wait till he stands up on his own feet and gets a loving hug from the hundreds of people who love him.
For the first time in my life I wish I was a doctor. Keval's dad, Paresh Uncle called me up and said if I were a doctor, he would instantly call me to India otherwise it's better that I just stay here and pray for Keval's recovery. It hurts to be here so far away but I'm going to do whatever he says.
I try to divert my mind and think about other things but it's kinda hard to watch a movie when you know your cousin is half-way around the world attached to an artificial lung.
I'm at my aunt's home right now. Call my cell if required.
No improvement in his condition. I'm going to my aunt's home in a few minutes. I can't stay alone anymore.
My cuzin Keval who got into a major motorbike accident yesterday in Goa, India is right now in Mumbai. His condition is now worse than we previously thought. After a second brain surgery to fix the blood clotting from the first operation, he is in an extremely critical state right now. We are all praying. Guess that's all we can do right now. But I trust him, he's a very strong kid - hell the strongest in the whole family. He must pull through.
Well another bad news, though nothing very serious. I just got my GRE Computer Science Subject test score. Turns out, I did awful. Not just bad-awful; more like my-future-is-screwed-awful. I got only 660 scaled score and my percentile was 27%! That means I did worse than 73% of the students taking the test. This pretty much takes away any chance I had of getting into a good grad school. Hell even Rutgers has a minimum of 50-60%ile I think. I guess I'll just have to give the test again if I want to get into CS graduate school. But frankly, I don't even care about the GREs. How can someone measure all my 12 years of knowledge, experience, and hard work within a stupid 3-4 hour multiple-choice question test! I think I'm just going to work hard on my research work this semester and if it goes well, then good, I'll pursue education. Otherwise I'll just get a job and then see how it goes.
Keval is recovering now. He is still in the ICU and condition is still very critical but I've been told to worry less. I guess I'll try. Thanks everyone for emailing me and praying for Keval's health.
Great news. They had kept Keval on an artificial respiratory system and now it has been removed because he is normally breathing on his own again :)
The only KevalSat, 17th Jan '04, 1:35 pm::
My cuzin Keval from Bombay is right now in a hospital in Goa. At about 3:30 PM Indian Standard Time today he had a severe accident while riding a motorcycle. He suffered injury to brain and eyes. After a successful brain surgery, doctors say he is in critical condition for the next 48 hours. My whole family is extremely worried at this moment. I don't have a brother but he's closer to me than a real brother. I got news that things are better now and that I shouldn't worry. As always, my dad said "Don't worry. God is with us." I'm sorry but I can't stop worrying. I am considering flying off to India in case the situation doesn't get better in a day or two.
I love you Keval. And I have faith that you will recover fully vey soon.
I can't believe that I did NOT pass the Tuberculosis test!!! I went to the health center on Wednesday with utmost confidence that it's just a waste of my time and went back again to get the skin-reading. Doctors said it looks like either I have remnants of TB in my body OR the nurse bruised my arm while giving me the injection. I have to go back again after 2 weeks to get another test. I don't remember ever being exposed to TB. So this did come as a shock. Oh well, it's probably just nothing. But still sucks that now I'll have to go schedule more appointments and tests.
Jello (or Jelly in India) never tasted soooooooo good. God knows after how long I made jello. Probably 7-8 years. But the funniest part is, I don't have a fridge. I simply bought a $1 jello packet, poured it into a bowl of warm water and put the bowl (with a plate on top for cover) in a tiny little window in my bunker. Fast forward four hours and we have the most perfect jello ever! Temperature of normal freezers is about 5F and that of fridges is 35F. It's 2F outside right now. Of course the jello is well set :)
It's little things like these which make life fun. Well little things and 930GB of hard drives :-P
Once again, things have got too busy for comfort. I gotta finish my friend Aript's site Books4Lease.com real soon. Have been working on it for days now. Just a lot of repetitive database stuff. Had an interesting web conference with another client today.
About 15 of my client's customers from all over US & Canada went to this site and logged on to see my client present a web demo of this site I made last month. Basically anything my client does on his computer, everyone else who is logged in, can see in their browser window. Pretty cool concept. Add to that phone conferencing and it really did seem like a great way to meet with small groups of people for quite a low price. Lasted about an hour in which my client loaded me with a lot more work.
Now with work comes money, so that's good. But then I really didn't want any more work this year, since I already promised Arpit that I'm gonna concentrate on his site. Oh well we'll see. For now, I'm just gonna get Books4Lease done as soon as possible. God it's cold and boring here!
Today I got a Tuberculosis test for no reason whatsoever. Well there's a tiny reason - my university requires all International Students to take it. Results come out on Friday. I think this is the only test I'm not really worried about. Heh.
Happy B'day Bena!
At what costTue, 13th Jan '04, 9:45 am::
I haven't 'blogged in a while mainly because nothing interesting has happened. Last night I went to bed hoping that something blog-worthy happens today, so that I can write about it and share with everyone. After all Taylor nominated me for Bloggies 2004 Best Kept Secret Weblog award. Thanks a LOT Tay! So I just had to blog something big.
As they say, be careful what you wish for; you may get it. I guess at 9:15 am this morning I did. I got an international call from her. Not a lot of people know her. Probably two of my friends in India and almost nobody here. I never hide anything from my family but I guess 'her' name just never came up. If I ever had a crush on a girl, my sister would be the first to know. If I wanted some advice on how to approach so-and-so's daughter, I would ask my dad first. If the girl didn't want to go to a movie with me, my mom would tell me not to worry because there'll always be someone else (by the way this was when I was 14-15, so enough with the momma's boy jokes).
But I never told anyone about 'her' even though I know I liked her from the day I saw her in my college in Calcutta. I think now I know why; because she was never a crush or a random hot chic I run across every other day at some coffee shop. I clearly remember walking into an already stuffed classroom in the first week of college. The girls were seated on the left half while the boys were on the right. I looked for a space on the boys half but it was too crowded. I walked towards the back of the class, found half a row empty on the girl's side, thought screw-it, and just took a seat. I looked on my left and there she was yapping away non-stop. I looked at her, she looked at me, her friends looked at me, the guys on the other side looked at me, and everybody laughed. It was quite possibly the most embarrassing moment of my college life and I didn't really give a damn.
Next day though the class was half empty, I went and sat next to her and her posse. They poked a few harmless jokes at me - something about me getting a sex-op - but I think she knew by then that I was a good guy. Within a couple of days, I knew all her friends well and we went to the juice center down Ray Street. I remember telling my dad about my trip to the juice center with a bunch of girls and him warning me to be careful of some street gang of full of jealous guys. Ya we have those in Calcutta. I don't think I knew then that she was going to be an important anonymous person in my life. But then again we never really know anything. Your best friend today could become your sworn enemy tomorrow and the person you didn't say 'Hi' to on the elevator could be donating blood to save your thankless soul.
What makes me feel the guiltiest is that I did not go see her the summer before last when I was in India. I made the stupid mistake of thinking "I'll call her tomorrow" too many times and when I did call her, she had already left the city and had gone to see her relatives in a different state. I joked about this to my best friends, saying how she really likes me but I'm not sure if she's worth my time. I pretended in front of them that I was too cool for her. So I didn't bother to see her then. And I didn't really give much thought when she started crying to me on the phone one night that summer, saying that I should really just take a flight and come see her. Her parents really wanted to see me, her uncle even talked to me on the phone and wished to meet me in person. I told her "sorry but I can't" when in truth, I just didn't want to. I didn't want to, because I still hadn't realized she was more than a nagging friend that I was treating her like.
I know had I gone up to see her that June in 2002, I would probably be engaged to her by now. Maybe I would be making plans for her to come here and stay with me while I complete my education. It would be very difficult but I know we would make it through. But I was too "cool" to accept a little hardship in my comfortable existence. I wanted things to be easy and my way. So I told her sorry dear I can't do it. And she kept telling me to keep trying and find a way. But I just ignored her. Oh I loved talking to her on the phone but just didn't want her to screw up my so well laid-out life plans. And so while trying to make my own selfish life perfect and in-sync with my future plans, I basically f***ed up things with someone who loves me so truly.
She got engaged today. She just told me I was one of the first people she called. And she's getting married in the first week of February to some guy she doesn't know and doesn't care about. She said she doesn't even like his name. I always thought those movie scenes where people laugh while they are really crying were bullshit. I mean either you cry or you laugh, you can't do both. Now I know you can, because that's exactly she was doing. She wanted me to congratulate her and said that I, being such a "good friend", should be happy about the news. I have never hated myself so much in my entire life. Here is a gorgeous intelligent girl who loved me so much and even today, didn't blame me for my inactions and here I am, not paying any attention to her because she didn't "fit" into my visions of how my life should be. I always liked her a lot too. She is everything I would want for a girlfriend/wife, except that she is 10,000 miles away and I have a PhD to obtain.
This is exactly what happens when you take some people for granted in your life. I always thought oh she'll be there when I come back to India all successful and well-educated. And if I'm not successful, she wouldn't want me anyway. I couldn't be more wrong. She just wanted me, as I was the day I met her. In every romantic film ever made, they call this person "the one." People always tell me, don't worry, there'll always be someone else. Or she's not worth it man. Or don't screw up your life plans for some girl. I know everyone is right in their own context. But what about the ones I've wronged. How can I forgive myself for playing, flirting, and cooing with her all these years though I wasn't going to ever commit. Or at least not till I became the "educated" man I wanted to be.
If she is reading this, she'll prolly hate me for the rest of her life. I guess I deserve it. Sorry. I hope you can forget me. I know I can't forget you but I really wish you congratulations on your engagement and hope that you move on. Best of luck in all your life's endeavors and hope your marriage is peaceful and ever lasting.
I've written a few 'blog entries in which I made fun of myself or proved how stupid/boring/weird/dumb I am. But I don't remember ever writing something that showed how much of a sick selfish person I really am. Well I guess there's a first time for everything. Right now I hate myself and don't tell me I shouldn't. I know what I've done for the past 4 years is despicable. So ya, I got my wish. I got a "beautiful" reason to write a long blog entry. Maybe I should get some goddamned award now to make me feel even shallower.
Wow it's almost a year since I moved out and started living on my own. Just one year ago I didn't know so many things that I do today - operating a washer/dryer, price of bread, and the nearest ShopRite. It's been a good year I guess. Lotsa ups 'n downs but I managed. This year will most probably be the most intense year of my life. I have to engage in serious scientific research, graduate in time, apply to Graduate schools, brush up my resume, find a good job, pay off my student loans, and save the world :) Ok ok not save the world but at least pay off my loans in full after I get a decent job. Uhem... Anyone wanna hire me? Hehe.
Been setting up my computer all day. I got about 890GB of space now :) I'm sure I'll fill it up soon enough.
Quote for the day: ""Achievement is limited only by what you think you cannot achieve." - Mihir Bhanot
Man it's damn cold outside. I love it between 30-40F. But right now it is 16F (that is -9C) and it's windy too. Tomorrow, it's going as low as 6F (-14C). Welp, I do have a really thick winter jacket so it's not gonna be too much of a pain.
I've just been working non-stop all week. Got a lotta papers to file too. Things are pretty calm right now. No people at all around the campus. Oddly enough, I like it better this way. I remember such emptiness around the campus kinda bothered me over the summer. Now I think I've learnt that there is something more important than having hundreds of cute girls walking around the campus, something that truly matters: NO LINES WHATSOEVER. All the fast-food places and administrative office are open fully and there are no students, meaning I can get my food and file in the required forms without any delay :) It rocks.
For a change, instead of just posting on my 'blog, I posted this entry on my buddy Taylor's site. His internet is blocked and so he couldn't even tell anyone that he was being blocked. So I hijacked his site and ruined his net life forever :)
Quote for the day: "Don’t just enjoy your work but manage and do your work in such a way that you get time to enjoy!" - Roshni (my sister)
What a night. Went to see the World Premiere of Red vs Blue at the Walter Reade Theater part of Lincoln Center in NYC with my buddy Arthur and his friend Shawn. Red vs Blue is a series of episodes shot by these amazing folks who use the video game Halo to do the animation and dub extremely hilarious dialogues over it. The Blood Gulch Chronicles is a story of two armies - the Red and the Blue army, who are stationed in a barren wasteland on a remote planet and their only mission is to wipe out one another. While this sounds plain violent, the folks at RedvsBlue have made it so funny that you'll laugh non-stop throughout each episode. See the videos of the Blood Gluch here.
After the premiere of their movie, I got to meet Bernie & Dan, two of the lead characters and got autographs from the other characters. Here's more pictures from RvB in NYC as well as a couple of pictures from my ski trip with Art.
Quote for the night: "I got violated by Private Donut!" - Chirag
Hope you like the new design :) I had the design ready for a long time, just had to convert each page to fit this theme. I still have to go over old blogs and make sure they all look good. I have a few new sections to this site - lyrics collection, twist etc. In time, I'll start filling them up. Also on the left there'll be a random quote and below that links to my friends' websites and automated links from Linkpool.
Oh and one thing about this new blog. I know it goes against professional web design practices, but I specifically designed this site to work for resolutions of 1024x768 and above. It looks great in 1280x1024 and works just fine in 1600x1200. If you are on 800x600 then I'm sorry. I gave up 800x600 resolution in 1999. It's 2004 now, so seriously, upgrade your monitor/video card. Or if you already have a large enough monitor (17" or above) then change your resolution to 1024x768 or above.
Happy New Year!