Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ghonchu, his Soul Mate and the Professor

Ghonchu was tired and upset. His assignment to Professor Strictu's course was due (it was 10 minutes to midnight) and his code wasn't working. He had a brainwave. He decided to ask Professor Strictu by mail for an extra day to complete the assignment.

The next day, he entered the lab after lunch. On checking his mailbox, he was relieved to see that the Professor had granted his request albeit reluctantly stating that this should not become the norm ... you should maintain deadlines and other such nonsense.

He sat down to debug his non-working code. He opened the terminal and wrote './run benchmarks'. The terminal said Segmentation Fault. The same had happened the previous night; Ghonchu being the eternal optimist had hoped his code would have corrected itself overnight while he was sleeping.

After half an hour of tinkering with his code and cursing Professor Strictu 36 times during that period, he wrote './run benchmarks' again. The terminal said Segmentation Fault again.

Frustrated and thirsty, Ghonchu decided to drink a glass of cold water. On his way to the water cooler, he saw a beautiful girl. Suddenly, Ghonchu's eyes told him that the girl was speaking to him. Ghonchu's ears told him that the girl was asking him if there was any place on campus to eat something. Ghonchu decided that he would have to drink a cup of hot tea to quench his thirst. He heard himself saying that he was on his way to Tea Board and would love to escort her.

Ghonchu, his code already forgotten, walked jauntily to Tea Board along with his soulmate. He had fallen in love on previous occasions. However, despite having fallen in love 17 times previously, he felt this was the real thing. Some people might say Ghonchu could give Bingo Little a run for his money.

However inevitably, a calamity was waiting to happen. At a distance of around 50 meters, Ghonchu spotted Professor Strictu coming towards him and on the same side of the road. Ghonchu cursed Professor Strictu for the 37th time in forty minutes and thought of his options :-
- Ignore him totally
- Just wish him 'good afternoon' and walk past
- Hide behind his soulmate

Problem with option 1 and 2 was he remembered his code and the Professor's mail about adhering to deadlines. He knew Professor Strictu well and knew that he would derive a sadistic pleasure in stopping Ghonchu and asking him about his assignment. Option 3 wasn't feasible.

However then he suddenly spotted bhOndOO walking towards him on the other side of the road at a distance of 20 meters. With the cunning of a jackal, Ghonchu decided to crossover to the other side, talk to bhOndOO on some pretext, greet the Professor from the other side of the road and then catch up with his soulmate later on. He told his soulmate he had something important to discuss with bhOndOO and asked her to carry on to Tea Board where he would catch her.

Ghonchu executed his plan to perfection and started talking with bhOndOO keeping one eye on the Professor. As the distance between them grew closer, Ghonchu smiled (more like baring his teeth like a wolf) at the Professor. He then realized that the Professor was paying no heed to him. Surreptiously, he followed Professor Strictu's line of sight and realized that he was busy staring at his soulmate.

The Professor passed Ghonchu and bhOndOO without even noticing them and continually looking backwards at the diminishing sight of Ghonchu's soulmate. With evil thoughts, Ghonchu cursed Professor Strictu for the 38th time in forty five minutes and compared him with a poisonous snake.

After the poisonous snake had passed, Ghonchu got rid of bhOndOO quickly (who was unaware of all that passed), and quickly rushed to Tea Board. His eyes searched for his soulmate and finally found her already walking away from the Tea Board with a packet of Kurkure in hand. The distance between them was already 30 meters and increasing.

Dejected, Ghonchu gave up the chase, walked back to the lab and started debugging his code.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Am I getting older !!

I always had the impression or the belief that myself and others of my age are still quite young. So, more often than not, it is a pleasure to indulge in pranks, make silly, nonsensical jokes and what-nots. No need to behave in a mature manner, that maturity and thoughtfulness (assuming of course that I possess it) preferably lies underneath the facade of childish playfulness. However, I recently have had train of thoughts which led me to think otherwise.

A few days ago, I chanced to look upon an old Maths notebook of 11th standard. To digress a bit, 11th and 12th standard were the only times I really studied and evolved as a person. Credit goes to my school but mainly to my coaching institute – Vidya Mandir Classes who gave me an experience worth a lifetime. Those lectures about life; the amount of intense study, sometimes upto 12-14 hours a day which were accomplished without a grudge or a thought- why am I doing this.. those days really left me with a lot of poignant memories. They were inspirational. Period. I never needed to or had the will to work as hard again, neither during my BE, maybe a bit during 1st semester of Masters. So to speak, I always held 11th and 12th standard as the point in my life from where it all began. Those are the days I always held as the start date to calculate anything...

But now looking at that notebook of 11th standard, I happened to glance at the date of a class. It was 9th Dec 2001. 8 years (7.5 to be precise) ago. That suddenly seemed like a long long time. And yet as I glanced through that notebook, I remembered things as though they had happened yesterday.

In another incident this weekend, a 17-year old kid (notice the way I call a 17-year old person a kid) scored a wonderful match-winning goal for Manchester United. I looked at him, and thought, not so long ago I used to dream to do something like that. Not so long ago, I dreamt of hitting a century (even double would do) in a world cup, scoring a goal or two in football, winning a grand slam ... and so on. I am sure everyone goes through such fantasies as a teenager.

At twenty three and a half, questions like 'am i getting older' shouldn't ideally be going through one's mind. But those reminiscences left me with this feeling. Dreams I had, things I thought happened just yesterday actually happened a long time ago; 8-10 years ago. Those years in between passed away without my realizing it.

Maybe all this is like a moving window. Maybe two-three years down the line, I would have forgotten school, and would remember things starting only from my BE and so on.. I certainly hope not. Yet again here I remember a comment in Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix by Dumbledore : “Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”

I certainly hope I never I commit that mistake.

Of course, all these are just random senti thoughts; it could just be the case my food didn't agree with me today, or I got up on the wrong side of the bed; which led me to write such stuff. Tomorrow I will get back to my nonsensical normality.