July 23, 2008


eyes meet
...and there was Light!

July 22, 2008


go add me to favourites or smthg!!!


the very dream that you created
wisp after wisp,
vision after vision
to a million pieces...
The once sweet...
lies in smithereens
Past's sole glory
present's bitter pain
reminding you time and again
of a cold icy failure


you are not as great and infallible as you think
there are other perspectives than your own
life may not give you everything you ask,dream,desire
there may be other roads open
while roads you want shut close
there are oceans ahead
and you stand alone- no ship, no sails
you need to build your own boat
you got no time
you are alone
there is help at hand
yet you are alone
the sea rages ahead
and time slyly smiles
a li'l trick of the mighty one above
a trick to test your skill
how far would you go
how deep do you want
how much would you sacrifice
for one persistent dream?
for one moment of ecstacty?
how much would you trade for
the one epoch you dreamed about?


A little more of sunshine
A little more of smiles
A little less of tears

A little more of truth
A little more of light
A little more simplicity

A nicer brighter dawn
Let a sweeter world, it be, if it can
Lots more laughter,
Lots more cheer
A little less of strife
in this lifegoo
Is all I ask you
Oh God, grant this prayer!


Give me a reason to smile
They don't come on their own anymore
You don't give up on fantasies as you grow old,
Fantasies give up on you...
for turning into one more of th world men!

And then you find no reason to smile
There's nothing worthwhile anymore
dreams-you know may never come true
and love and laughter are so momentary!

What stays? You ask and ask again!
Oh.. but only this emptiness and search!
I need a reason to smile again
To trust more wholly
to live more heartily
to smile the smiles again!

A dream...

A dream it was
A perfection
A moment for expectations to rejoice

A flutter of hope was born
To take wings to soar in the sky
Clouds float by
The wind buoys it higher

Wake up
Only a dream it was!


It's weird... this life.. this everything

a vague attempt to wait..
for what?

We know not!

I seek
I seek
I seek again
without a goal,
without a reason!

Why this perennial search?
Why this painful wait?
And for what, I ask again!

I wish i knew.
I wish I could
get to propel forward.
Gone is the hope
the faith, the trust

The world cruelly snips your wings
and asks you to fly!

Ramblings of an over thoughtful analytical mind!

so many wants...
so many dreams...
wish i could turn back time!
and show myself how things could be done better!

wish I could erase some memories
not the bitter horrible ones
but the absolutely perfect sweet ones
which haunt me
reminding me of better times
...a better existence
a life where things happened
stagnation was non-existent
in fact- obsolete!

Those sweet memories
of fulfilled dreams
of cherishable times
of pink blue green lights
rainbow ends
and starburst skies

whither has gone my moonbeam?
to make everyday and night a wonder to live through
the pink glasses- come back again!
to make me love this life as before!


One day the weight of expectations will sink in you... and you find that you don't have it in you to carry the load!

Burnt memories flash as embers,
forgotten dreams smirk,
killed hopes haunt you as ghosts
nd you want to cry and drown them all...
and well...


...and a deep gnawing ache bites through your soul!

July 20, 2008

Not all dreams come true! Especially the ones that your heart deeply desires!!! Someway or the other, life snuffs them... and deals the death knell to it! And then...

the very dream that you created
wisp after wisp,
vision after vision
to a million pieces...
The once sweet...
lies in smithereens
Past's sole glory
present's bitter pain
reminding you time and again
of a cold icy failure

White lies to hide almost white foamy disasters,A big wave of meaning to the ripple that was lifeA big excitement to mask mundane life into oblivion,A thrill-unable to be expressed to the world,A hidden horror beneath it all- unable to string to words,A lovely deep gurgle of joy- inexplicable for want of strength,Life on a new plane- a new recreated self,Rebirth-a nice new novel way to prolong survivalA new vision, a new purpose and a new dimension added to existence


Been here, done that!
Life repeats here and there
A recap of yesterday’s events
Rehashed into today with a floss
A long ago’s time
Fills once again,
Today’s pages are sprayed,
With yesterday’s olden sunshine

Words from the past revisit
To flush into the present all of a sudden;
A vague memory awakened…
A forgotten thought yanked…
A new fragrance added to the flower of life…


*written on a change of college bus*

known faces, strange looks,
Well-trodden paths, unknown nooks
Known destination, unfamiliar sands,
A stranger, i've become, in a known land!

A whip

A slap
A delve with a knife into my heart
Couldn’t have hurt me more
Than that one word from your lips


I’m a leech
Clinging on
To old memories
Broken bangles
Forgotten tangles
Lonely wanderings
Sweet nothings
Sunshiny smiles
Childish wiles
Broken hearts
Their scars and marks
Joyous times
Nonsensical rhymes
Little boats of thoughts
Streams in and out fast
Divine presence
Unknown silence
Lovely gurgling laughter
Lonely desolate after
Holding on to past
As day after day does pass
Can’t let go fast…


I sigh
It’s been a weary day.
My limbs are aching
Hunger comes in the way

My bus goes on its rickety journey,
Back to where there’s food and rest waiting
I look out through the window,
Lifting my droopy dead eyes, out into the city
Out into Chennai’s cityscape
Painted; at the same time alive
Buzzing and peaceful
Going about its work…

The sky is all gray with clouds
Outside looks so much better a place to be!
The earthy-rain smell makes me go high!
I smile, I relax, I look out and see…

There the wayside tea-shop sales
Are roaring on, like the gale.
The brown concoction steaming,
Creating abstract art forms
On the canvas of air.

There the lady with the pink umbrella
Stands, awaits the bus.
The evening sun is setting down
And home beckons with its work and fun

Here the lonely cycler walks,
Looking at the beautiful world
Drinking in delight, its golden beauty.
“Ah sometimes it should just be nature and me!”

There the beach stretches along
With a thousand hidden pearls
And secrets, well kept.
Its echoing waters call me,
Its waves lick the ground
I look and the blue expands,
Expands… till I can see no more!

There the beggar woman sits
Black eyes, looking out to nothingness
All around her, lives go fast…
Her life is filled with nothing but the past!
She cries and begs for a coin,
The beauty of the world, notwithstanding!

My city, in its shades of green,
Its shades of grays and blues and pink!
In shades of black and brown and more,
Stretches ahead on my road.

I see it now; I’ve seen it before,
Yet, it’s got something new in store.
Every time, a jolt of pain, a bloom of joy,
Life here makes you laugh and cry!

I look on outside, at the cityscape,
Tall buildings, hut, sun and rain!

Eighteen going on Eighty! :P

Am I girly or a granny?
Oh god wont you tell me which?

I feel confused and irritated too
And when I’m called mother, I go ‘Boo Hoo’.

What in the world do these people think?
How can I change from granny to girl in a wink?

It’s funny at times, but mostly hurting,
My tear glands are full, readily spurting

Sister, mother, granny dear,
“So early?” the girl in me fears.

Can’t I be just me- plain simple me?
Why can’t everyone just me, see?

God, bringing your power, intervene.
Make me a girl, a pretty queen!!!


Sitting in idleness
Sometimes, I feel
This life- in retrospection-
A mixed bag has been.

Eighteen years-
Not long, nay!
Too short a span,
To judge, maybe.

Nevertheless, as I look back
A few moments, good and bad
Come alive, for seconds few,
Rewind and play again, I do!

Funny- this way I live again,
The dread, the glory; the joy, the pain.
I feel the myriad feels, I felt ago,
As if they happened now, just so!

Flash back seems so nice a way,
To go back to the past, from today.
Then stop, forward, on I go,
Dream away on future in tow.

This life- a journey of joy and pain,
A lesson- once taught, never again.
This birth- a disguise in offer,
To learn about life, before the coffer*.
This body- a form giving refuge
To the spirit from a grieving deluge.
This soul- a mysterious entrapment,
A perennial question, a divine fragment.
This mind- an unfathomable expanse,
A practical figment, an intellectual dance.

This life- a miracle, a journey onwards,
A lesson once taught, a victory cornered.

Eighteen summers gone, eighteen autumns seen,
Years waiting to come- a surging dream.
The wishes, the thoughts, the heartbeats, the desire,
The unquenched glory, the passionate fire.
Waiting for their dawn to come their way,
Waiting for life to unfold each day!

Twilit Traverses

All the sky is mine
And all that’s beyond.
My life seems enchanted
Drenched in a dream song
I am out to work and conquer
And fill my days with blossoms
Of renewed hopes and ties!

I am a victor
I cannot fall
I hope, I dream, I conquer
The sun just yonder, will soon rise tall…
And spread the rays of The Master
Beneath; on humanity-all!

The world will gape my power,
The world shall love and praise.
All the world’s at my feet,
Victory fills my days.

A sudden look at the sky
A sudden budding hope.
All doubts vanish in a second,
A miracle sows its crop…

‘THE’ girl

I walked around aimlessly,
With nothing worthwhile to do.
Feeling exhausted yet ready for excitement,
I stood without a clue!

What am I doing?
Killing time mercilessly?
I wondered and then stopped,
For my eyes fell upon a dancing girl,
Who seemed perfect and flawless!
She had a mouth blooming with smiles.
She was a beauty to behold,
A masterpiece painted with passion.

Her self was all a-hope,
Distant dreams she wanted to bloom
Her dance was one- bewitching!
Full of grace, style and beautiful moves.

Oh! How perfect she seemed,
As I stood in awe and rapture,
What a great person, she is,
The Creator’s one great creature!

And then it occurred…
After so long…
That, that perfection,
Was this very soul only!

Well, if only everyone thinks the same\!
Why should, God, I blame?


Oh! How dead and stale is Life.
Past was sprouting with beauty.
The present seems dull and dark.
All that stretches ahead in future,
Seems to hold no light, no spark!

How dull, drab, uninteresting!
How spiceless, how void!
Life just seems a stretch of days,
Of happiness-devoid!

Suddenly a kite emerges,
Out of the fluffy white clouds
Struggling with the gushing wind,
Against all odds –fighting it out!

A riot of colours dancing in the air,
Splotched in beauty and full of dare,
Courage, attitude and strength of mind,
All and more in it did I find.

Oh! Being alive did I not know,
Courage and perseverance-how to show!
It took a little kite to teach me,
“Life is tough-fight it with glee!”


Sudden footfalls inspire,
The cold wind to chill the bones.
Was that the sound of spirits?
Walking out of graves to roam?

Eerie silence suddenly prevails,
The rustle of the leaves echoes.
Leaving no hope for calm,
Fear in the mind it sows.

The cobwebby stones emerged,
With an elegy to sing in praise,
The long dead man rests,
Unknown of how much he is loved.

Maybe sometimes he does come out!
To see those faces stained with tears,
And weep alongside and mourn-
He for them and they for their dear.

Out ahead looms,
The graves of all ‘dead’ souls.
Dead are they really?
A sudden doubt rolls…


She slowly opened her eyes and beheld the world,
Oh! How splendid and bright it is to be alive!
Her father had not wanted the girl,
Her mother had thought the same.
And together they had tried to wipe,
From life’s pages, her name.

But, oh, the poor girl did survive,
As a crippled lame thing,
Escaping death by a whisker,
A heavenly blessing?

She grew up amidst dislike and hate,
She remained unloved, unwanted.
A lonely heart amidst her kin,
A limping servant maid.

“Your birth brought us no joy,
Let your parting, a lakh, pay,”
Her father had fixed a sixty year old groom,
The girl refused, ran away from ‘home’.

A gang of men waylaid her,
She tried to save herself.
Once more the heavens helped,
A bus stopped to take her to town.

There she worked, she earned, she found her lucky dame,
Ability in her disability, won herself a name.
The girl prospered as heavens smiled again,
An honest co-worker married her and wiped away her pain.

But wouldn’t her life been better,
Had there been love, kindness and joy?
Oh mankind, give woman a right to her life,
Give her an identity other than mother, child and wife!


~ Dedicated to all the children who lost their lives in the Kumbakonam tragedy.
*This poetry was inspired by an article written by Ramya Kannan in The Hindu

The dazzle and shine of the sunlight,
Woke her up on Friday morning bright.

A bath, a prayer, a quick book-check,
Powder on the face and beads around the neck.
Heavy bag across the shoulder where pig tails danced,
Out to her school- she ran, she pranced.

Eyes abrim with hope for that one word of praise,
For all the work done the past two days.
A joy for the morning, a joy for the day ahead,
A joy that was visible in her very tread!
The big eyes danced in hopeful light,
That she’ll stand victor and show the world her might!

She squeezed through the school door,
Where a huge crowd did throng.
Her greets to her dear friends
Drowned by the school dong.

Soon began the roll-call, soon began the class,
Soon did they recite their Tamil lines in a mass.
And suddenly that big spark did emerge,
Embracing the thatched roofs, on, it did surge.
Panic here, panic there and all ran about,
With ‘Help! Help!’ ‘Save me’ and a million other shouts.

Oh hours later all of them lay in silence,
The big-eyed girl, among them, her face-rigid and tense.
Her unburnt eyes were wide and in them could be read,
Pain, disappointment, panic and dread!

Oh dear girl! Your dreams are no more!
You’ll no more see victory, no more see a dawn!

...and may there be Light!

Light,shine into the soul,
As you dazzle outside
Sweep off the cobwebs
Them that gnaw at my spirit.

Exhilarate,emanate and express
That ultimate feeling called bliss
Joy be to the world this lighted night
Let every life be filled with happiness bright!”


My dreams soar up,
I look up at the silver shine
All around me is beauty
My eyes fill me with wonder light

And as I shift gaze down
I fall, fall and fall below
Passing the star the moon,et al!
The wonder disappears in a flash of light

I fall on the ground
Hard on my face
I’m bruised
I’m hurt
I’m mentally pained

I look above
See no shine
No beauty either
Nothing but a blazing firmament

Burning through my eyes
Burning every fibre
Burning a hole
Through my very soul

I walk and walk
But find no calm
The mind is still haunted
By those dizzying heights
Those heights I touched,oh
For a wee moment
But what a moment that was!

And now all I have to my hand’s grasp is dull, bald and boring
Nothing to waken the senses
Nothing to interest the mind
Nothing to make the heart leap
Oh nothing save nothing, is mine!

I want, I want, I want many many things
I get few, I fly, I fall down hard
The skies are where my heart is,
The earth is where my feet!

And still the eyes look above,
Knowing that the end is defeat
My longings-so many
My dreams-countless
A few do bloom
A few fall down
I go to great heights
And see great lows
My life-a see-saw, in disguise.

Oh dear, how long, how long, I ask?
This highs and joy and lows and naught?

The soul cringes,
The heart pains
The mind is numb
The body does ache

Oh dear oh dear
Grief struck her blow
I’m depressed, beyond words
I’m oh-so-low!
Oh, Life is forever,a Mirage!

July 19, 2008


Finality of finalities! We had to head to the studios for the grueling last-minute work. Jibi and I went only at 11 after the long arduous work. My partner, seeing my overnight brilliant progress, was more relaxed and FINALLY believed in my capacity to ACTUALLY finish work! :P

The last day, Ashwini and I went into hysterics laughing at random things. Blame it on the pressure or the fact that we ACTUALLY managed so much work. It might have been her overnight understanding of REVIT or my success at the plans. But the final day saw us actually working in unison rather than look at the differences and bicker.

It felt nice to be normal :)

Eddie and Rahul were working too much and trying to scare me. Devendra was doing views after views. Uma was way way way ahead in his work! Saarang and Kasturi had some helluva drafting done. Jibi was in hyperscared state. I was calmly working and having a nice time yapping with Saumya and working at once! :D

We managed our work somehow, submitted it, collected our train refunds and then headed for the celebratory dinner party that they hosted for our benefit. Yummy food after hard work and relaxed atmosphere after frenzy really had an intoxicating effect on me.

I was in great spirits, nicely fed on paneer and gobi manchurian and hothothot paranthas. Two nice round gulab jamuns and some yummy motichoor laddus later, I was in the most relaxed of moods. As the professors began to talk to the students, a few lazy souls, myself included, slithered away to yap. Saumya and I got so bored, we began to walk around idly and also ate some strawberry icecream just to while away time! :D

With permission to watch a movie and with Pankha and Eddie(alongwith Audi and Rahul) fooling me into signing for the projector, we all settled down to watch 'Jaane Tu ya Jaane na'. Sadly, that was project-fooling-us-number-2 and we ended up watching(me-sleeping) through the movie called 'Fool's Gold'. Although the hero was dumb-hot types, I couldn't quite watch it as I was so tired and exhausted in mind and body. I couldn't even get up and go 'cos those mad boys had fooled me into taking responsibility for the projector! HMPH!

So after a nice dozing off and catching bits of screen footage of the dumb-hot looking __________, I returned the projector and went back to the room to hear scary tales of IIT suicides from Jibi. Shit scared from that second, we both refused to go near the toilet without the other standing outside keeping guard from whatever-that-be! :(

Somehow... we slept!


July 14, 2008


The last-but-one day of submission. We were asked to assemble at the Seminar hall for a small lec-dem on Resist software followed by the post-workshop quiz. And then we had to head to the studios.

Our pyramid concept seemed to pose troubles and my partner was going beyond hyper! :P And I was slightly losing my cool but considering how she was not familiar with computer execution of projects, I understood her position and kept calm.

More MP3 wars and food and glasses after glasses of nimbupaani went by and work was going snail pace. :D

I began to make sincere efforts to get to know everyone in the group. I began to pick conversations, get introduced and get chatty much to my poor partner's escalating blood pressure.

Work officially ceased at 12. Jibi and I however burnt oil post-midnight in our hostel rooms and slept a couple of hours. We got up again at 5 and resumed work till 10 am the next morning!


Day 3 was supposed to be a complete intensive studio sessions-with-breaks type. We headed directly to the never-ending drawing studio and the ice-cold computer labs to work.

The lemon juice(made mildly bitter by squeezing it too much), the terrible coffees and worst-ever chais with some yummy biscuits sustained us.

Eddie, Bhasker, Munazza and I took up the round table and bonded like hell. If Nimbupaani made Eddie sweet enough to get me every possible thing to eat at regular intervals, our songs brought a DJ-war between us. This would make Monazza clutch her hair in despair and ask us to shut up and Bhasker would keep a bottle of water in front and urge us to "doob mar"-ofy in the "chunnu-bhar ka paani"! :P And trust me to hear that as "chulha bar paani"! :P

Between Jibi's exasperated Tamil dialogues, Saranya's constant help and Saumya's frequent "I give up"s, we had FUN working! :D

The early-dinner on paneer rolls and dew and real juice and cakes with Nishita, Saranya, Jibi(DUH!), Saumya, Aditi, Rahul and Umadhar turned out to be super fun! Not only did we eat like there's no tomorrow and go berserk talking, we also confirmed plans to go for 'Jaane Tu ya Jaane na' and tour the city!

Work ceased officially at 12. We hit the canteen in the girls hostel for some food and I ended up staying a while with Aditi and Saumya talking. Nidhi, who works in Kanpur and stays at IIT-K, was giving us a list of places to go to. Hit the bed at around 1-ish.



More lecture sessions followed this day- not as great as the first day's, or maybe I was just plain tired and sleepy. I have this tendency to run a temperature or keep dozing off if I haven't had my beauty sleep of a minimum of 6 hrs everyday! :P

Doze I did in the lectures and hence, I'm really not in a position to talk of its contents. Mr.Suresh Ailawadi, a godfather of sorts to all the participants- making sure their stay was comfortable, sending taxis to pick and drop etc- made a rule. A wonderful rule, if I may add. He made it compulsory that we don't sit next to a person from the same state/city and keep shuffling after every lecture.

This way, we got acquainted with people easier and also got introduced to all the people they knew! For the lecture on Day2, I sat next to Aditi from Chandigarh's supposed snoot-sabha! (Boy... I want to hit myself hard for being so wrong in my judgement about them!!! :P ) Aditi turned out to be just the opposite and was a very dear sweet girl. I was introduced to so-thought-super-snob Saumya who turned out to be my soul sister!!! :D

We began bondingbondingbonding. I met Jyoti from Lucknow who turned out to have attended the SAME workshop in X class as I had!!! I got introduced to Umadhar and Saarang too.

Saarang was this fellow I instantly became friends with. I mean, he was one of those people you see and you KNOW you're gonna be great friends with!!! :) hehe. I told him that too! :P Trust me to do that. And we realised that he was a Saggitarian and I was an Arien- and BINGO, they are supposed to be the best of friends according to Linda Goodman!!! :D

Point to be noted here: I had not yet been acquainted with Himanshu, Hemant or Vishwanath and I thought Rahul was either too introverted and quiet or a super snoot! :P Ditto thoughts about 'Eddie' Aditya and Umadhar(although we DID speak).

We had some intense studio sessions where we were supposed to be working. My partner was a hyper-tensed super-scared female and I am this procrastination-is-my-middle-name type when it comes to architectural design! :P So you can imagine how many arguments, near-tears fights and fissures we had. But valiantly, both of us stood by one another, made some adjustments and flexibly finished our designs. It took both of us immense strength and a lot of letting-go-of-egos to get the work done and I'm mighty proud of her and me! :) Best part- we did multiple designs!!! And we both worked on both!!! :D

Studios, food and tea sessions brought Saumya, Aditi and our previously formed gang of Audi, Pankha(dear Pankaj who's this bro-come-buddy to me!), Nishita, Saranya, Jibi and I, together. A visit to a boring structures lab revealed Aditi's prowess of the Tamil language and my god, we had a roaring laugh over her expletives!!! :D

A city tour followed, where I met the rest of the junta who were to be a part of our gang- Rahul, Himanshu, Hemant and Vishwanath. And again, I ate my words about the CCA group! :P Rahul just takes time to open up with people! He ain't a snoot! LOL! To think I thought SAUMYA was one!!! GOD!!! :D

The city tour was restricted to two things- the JK Birla Mandir and the Naveen Market. The rain further restricted the city tour's extent. We were drenched to the skin and yet had a jolly good time! :)

At the end of Day 2, we were all acquainted. And I was discovering what delightful people the others were too! :)



Reach we did for the stipulated 8:30 am seminar, but at the wrong seminar hall! After some searching, calling and exercising my thoota-phoota Hindi speaking skills(sans Tamil accent! Ha! I'm proud of the fact that everyone I have spoken to so far, has told me "tumhari hindi sahi hain. Aur tamil accent bhi nahin!!!" Arrey waah! ;D ), we found the right place.

After registration and inauguration and a few mutual exchanges, we set off for the ever-necessary 'group photograph'. At that time I was like, "God knows how many of these people I'm ever gonna remember. But yeah...whatever! I'll pose!".

Well, for once I was mistaken and GLAD I was! :D

Enter seminar hall after the photo shoot, and we have a monstrous quiz which I had no clue about(once more I was mistaken. I scored a decent 14 on 25! :P). The sessions soon started and we had interesting lecture hours with earthquakes, structural behaviour during quakes, techniques to prevent collapse etc. Then the dreaded design problem was introduced. We were to design a multi-storey residential complex with around 160-190 houses in the span of 2.5 days!!!

And for this we were divided into pairs to work. Nishita(the cake-holding Guwahati girl from the previous night's convo near the room-without-the-fan) sweetly asked me to be her partner. But then there began this whole big issue as to 'partners kaise choose karein'. Deciding on lots, I finally ended with Ashwini from AOA,Mumbai a III yr student.

This whole partner-separating session stemmed off some issues, which I was asked to resolve, as Nishita found me the 'most reasonable person of the lot'. From then began a time where responsibility began to be thrust upon me and people began to think I was some self-appointed leader and hated my guts! :P

In the process of resolving Nishita's group mates' issue, we became acquainted with fellow-tamil speaking Saranya from Chennai and the entire Guwahati College junta. We also got to speak to this super-snooty-cum-i'm-too-intelligent-to-be-talking-to-you-looking peeps from Chandigarh.

We somehow resolved the issue and ended up going for Adithya(Audi's) birthday treat at the restaurant near the IIT Supermarket. Some yummy paranthas and panner guzzled down with fanta-later, we realised this was the very same brat-pack that refused us answers the previous night in their Audi-budday-celebrations!

Chuckling, we bonded over the bitchings and food and took some crazy snaps(on the road, at the traffic police-ka-stand, with random kids who thought we were victims of some hit-and-run on campus etc) and established a wonderful friendship! :)

A movie on the Mexico quake followed where AGAIN I happened to walk in late and hence was entrusted with operating the projector!!! Some more 'god this girl is so exasperating' looks were passed. I am so used to people hating me in the beginning, that I ignored those looks! :P

Day one ended with people knowing who Sandhya was and hating her for her supposed 'self-made leader' attitude! :(


(written a week ago)

It was a great surprise when my lecturer called me and asked me if I was interested in applying for a "Workshop for Earthquake Resistant Design Practices" to be held at IIT-Kanpur. I was pretty excited! For one, it was going to clearly be the first Architecture stuff I was going to participate in. Even in the NASAs and ZONASAs, all I did was take part in the culturals, writing or such on-stage events. But nothing architecture except for the trophy works.

Secondly, this was an individual participation thing- which was thrilling and confidence-boosting. I could learn something and get more direction as to what to do for my thesis.

With all the above in mind, I sent a filled-in form. And surprises of surprises, I DID get selected. So now, I am in Kanpur, with my friend and class mate Jibi and we are having a nice time...

Well, I should have added 'now' when calling it a nice time. It didn't quite start that way. We had a really horrible train journey which got extended by 3 hours for 3 reasons- a)we ran over a buffalo(R.I.P. Buffalo), 2) the engine burnt off and 3)a rock got stuck beneath the train and had to be removed by chiseling on it.

To top it all, we realized that the womenfolk of the nation have no option but to forever carry a pack of sanitary napkins every once they take a train! Not one convenience store in any of the stations that we got down at. Exasperation and anger reached new heights. It must be made imperative for every train to have a sanitary napkin dispenser or a convenience store should be present in every platform!

And finally, when we DID reach Kanpur, it was only at 11:30 pm. One must remember that this city sleeps off by 11. With rumours about Kanpur being the i-shall-carry-guns-around-and-may-shoot-you-down-anytime blinking at the back of the mind, we desperately searched around for the cab that was sent to pick us up. Many cabwallahs creepily and uncannily came and asked us- "IIT Kanpur jaana hain?" Evading all those omniscient cabwallahs, we finally found the one meant to pick us up and discovered a 'SandhIya(yes with that obnoxious I) and a 'ZIVI'(instead of a Jibi) placard in his hand.

The drive to IIT was scary- deserted roads, very few people loafing around and some creepiness lurking in the air. Our Brijesh Bhai(cabwallah) was a very naive fellow. We reached Kanpur at 12:00 precisely and were very sweetly dropped in Guest House-1(GH-1) instead of Girls Hostel-1(also the same damned GH-1) and so had to lug our baggage(that definitely weighs twice as much as I do) all the way back on the clean deserted streets of the IIT-campus. But that is NOT why he's naive. He was very innocently asking me if Kolkatta was near Chennai!!! No wonder foreigners used to refer to India as 'land of snake-charmers and elephants and diseases'. Our own people are so much in the dark!

Somehow we reached the destined GH-1 at around 12:15 to see three girls and two guys jumping near the entrance and ignoring our "excuse me...is this the girls' hostel". After a nice mental cursing, we signed in. But well, doom it is that befalls the doomed! Like, DUH!

Enter Sandhya and Jibi into the room and we notice we get no beds, no pillows and well... no fan!!! After almost 2 whole days/40 hours of sweating it out in a filthydirtyirritatingslowdarned train, we lost it! We JUST lost it. We demanded a nice room with fan and get we did. Just that we still haven't got the beds and blankets. But 'looking at the condition of the one mattress we did get, we decided against asking for another! :P

We met some people with a yummy licked-off-all-the-cream-proclaiming box of chocolate cake from Guwahati. We didn't realise THEN that we were to see a lot of them in the coming days and they were the same brats who did not answer our questions of "...is this the girls' hostel?"

After a nice long shower and some frantic calls, we left to grab some grub at the canteen in the hostel that is open till 2 am. A yummy paneer parantha and a bottle of Tropicana Twister(I have literally been drunk on it all the while! So much so that the aunty who runs the canteen takes out a bottle when she sees me!)We hit the bed at 2 am, only to be reminded by our organiser that we need to assemble at 8:30 am the next day!!!

© Dryad's Peak
Maira Gall