Friday, June 15, 2007

What have I been up to?

It has been a long time since I last wrote a blog and a lot has transpired in the intervening period. When I started out blogging in July 2006, I thought I would blog regularly and always keep it updated. But somehow I consistently managed to find novel excuses to keep procrastinating. That I would rather like to call those 'novel excuses' as 'valid reasons' is a different matter. Now that I have decided to break the silence and wage another war against my procrastinating self, let me forget about rationalizing and rather come to the point. What have I been up to in these ten months or so?

Career wise...

After the twin visa denials last year, I applied for some Research Assistantship positions under Professors at the IITs and IISc. As luck would have it, I faced an unexpected telephonic interview and landed up at Esqube Communication Solutions, Bangalore - a startup founded by a group of IISc professors - as a Graduate Engineer Trainee. I worked on the PHY layer design of a Wireless LAN conforming to the still-to-be-ratified IEEE standard 802.11n. It was an experience worth it's weight in gold. I learnt a lot - probably more than what I had learnt in four years of my B.Tech. As I was simultaneously preparing for my Masters', I performed decently in GATE-2007 and got an offer for admission into the M.Tech program at the Centre for Electronics Design and Technology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Books read...

Dont worry I wont mention technical books here. If you know me well, you would know that I'm not a voracious reader. So do forgive me if you have already read, ruminated and digested the following books ages ago.

"The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari" - by Robin Sharma
"The Alchemist" - by Paulo Coelho
... got these from my maternal aunt's place at Coimbatore.

"The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" - by Stephen Covey
... picked this one up for ninety bucks from a book-seller on the footpath in front of MS Ramaiah hospital.

"India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium" - by APJ Abdul Kalam and YS Rajan
... borrowed it from a colleague's room-mate and I'm still reading it and getting inspired.

Places visited...

Bangalore: I have been here for more than ten months now but I have hardly seen much of it. And the cliched excuse is lack of time again. But there are two things you would know about the city even if you were here only for a couple of days - salubrious weather and sickening traffic.

Coimbatore: I had been there in October last year. Some of the places visited in and around Coimbatore were Malampuzha dam and botanical gardens, Maruthamalai temple, Swami Chinmayananda Ashram and Isha Yoga Centre. One thing worth noting about the region is the low prices of clothes because of the proliferation of textile industries.

Rourkela: It was a memorable experience to go back to my alma mater to receive my B.Tech degree certificate last December. The fact that the renowned entrepreneur, Subroto Baghi, was the Chief Guest of the Convocation was the icing on the cake. His speech, as expected, was a very refreshing and thought provoking one.

Chennai: It's the exact opposite of Bangalore - has extremely sultry weather and fast and convenient public transport in the form of local trains. I guess it took me just about 45 min to cover a distance of 30 km from Park station to Tambaram. To think of traversing the same distance in typical Bangalore traffic would be worse than a nightmare.

Plans ahead...

As I approach my last week at Esqube, I'm eagerly looking forward to taking one full month off before I join IISc on 30th July, 2007. I'll be going home after six months! I'm sorry if that sounded ridiculous - especially to those who are doing their higher studies abroad (Hey, do come back to your country after you complete your studies there!). Anyway, I have lots of plans stacked up in my to-do list for July. I shall spend some quality time with my parents, shall meet relatives and friends, shall go back to my school and meet my teachers, shall brace myself up for my Masters' by doing a bit of self-study, shall learn to cook, shall try a hand at doing some social service. I'm thinking of joining Bharat Uday Mission and devote some time towards doing something for the country while I build my career.

Do visit this site and give it a thought:
I have already mailed the url to many of my friends. So please forgive me if you have already received it. But please dont ignore it's importance. It is just about putting aside some of your time to help your country. I hope you will join your local chapter of Bharat Uday Mission - or even establish a new chapter where it doesn't exist - and get actively involved in it's activities. YOU can make a difference.

PS: Related links:

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