Saturday, March 01, 2008

Updates ...

When one 're-blogs' after more than a year, the thing to do is to give updates and not write boring monologues on life, theoretical models, women, philosophy and 42. And I will stick to that.

Lot has happened in one year and .... oh! forget it I am not going to say the exact months and days. The most important, to continue from the topic of my previous blog, is that I have climbed the tallest peak of my lifetime. Mt. Langley, 14042 feet above sea level in the scenic Sierra Nevada range. I have hiked into the Big Bend National park on the borders of Texas and waved at the cows of Mexico, I have hiked into the breath-taking realms of the Grand Canyon, I have seen the sunset at Clingman's Dome in the Smokeys, I have been to NYC, I have gone across the Golden Gate bridge in SF and I have seen most of San Diego sitting in the saddle of my beloved shadowfax with my feets clicked fast into the pedal.

Professionally, I have grown and matured a lot too. I have started reading PhD-comics. I can start a long conversation with many a smart information theorists (I shall tell you the secret. Its easy, most often always goes as ... "So, what is the upper-bound on the channel-capacity for the model you consider?"). I have my Ph.D. qualification exam in almost a weeks time from now and hopefully I would be promoted as a good-for-nothing-PhD-student from my current position of good-for-nothing-M.S.-student.

All in all, Life is going good. And so, its time to go to sleep. I won't promise to blog soon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Acrophilia !

In the land of Corn (and Soy) fields ...
Life goes on as I watch by ...

And missing the mountains
On top of which I sat once
Not long time back
With silver streams flowing by.

So what do I do ? Oh me !
Oh me ! poor me !
I go and climb
The tallest skyscrapers nearby.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Angel of Mercy, Angel of Death

Guilty, I stand, facing you, with head bowed
Lend your soft hands, and raise me up the scaffold.
Let the black veil of your hair, flow down my head
Hide from me, if you can, the inevasible fate.
Loop you hands, 'round my neck like a noose
Itz up to you now, to hold me tight, or let me loose.

-- Addu

I wrote this for a girl.
She later told me that her hair was brown not black.
Oh ! I must observe things better.

The return of the Rhymer

I got a mail from a friend of mine (Kaustubh Nadkarni - or Nadya, has he is popularly known) a few days back. It was a reply to a long-lost-mail of mine with the same subject, and which Nadya had apparently archived ( Thanks Nadya !) . The mail went something like this :

had this in my archives...
ugot abtdoing anythingafterthis one?? :D


On 11/25/03, Adnan Raja _02007013_ <> wrote:
> Listen to the Electron
> ----------------------
> I wonder what an electron would say,
> Here I go dwon the band
> Free falling my way.
> If you cool me down,
> I would be in Fermi's trap
> If I get excited, I know
> I can jump any gap
> And when I leave
> I don't leave you empty hand
> I leave equal no. of holes behind
> When you shine light on me
> I rise;But also give it back.
> Learn something from me
> All you RG chaps.
> And in your circuits I go round n round
> To turn your lights and
> to make your fans go-round
> And all this running about
> makes my back ache, my joins jolt
> Will someone humanist file a case
> For electron exploit !
> No matter how high a barrier
> I would tunnel through
> Though knowing that it would leave me tired ! Phew !
> When you try to see me
> I am just gone;Where am I ?
> It would never in you minds dawn
> "Ah ! You are uncertain, unsure "
> -you may say
> But that's just to keep your
> inquisitive mind at bay
> For I know the 'ultimate' answers
> As I merrily run around
> While making you scratch your heads
> And scribble equations down.
> -adin
> p.s -
> More to come:-
> :-"Multiply me with you"-sang one matrix to another
> :-The system's call
> .......And many more

Don't Laugh ! It was two-and-a-half years back and it does sound rather childish to me too now.
No ! Nadya, I never wrote the matrix or the system 's call ones, but I keep writing now and then when I get inspired (or bored!).

I used to rhyme on the batch-mailing lists back then. It was fun. My style was simple and crude. Look for words, that rhyme and fit. But it also depended on my mood. Emotions guiding words and words guiding emtotions. Limited by words and limited by emotions. Sandhya, who always used to rhyme better said I lacked rhythm and meter. I never undersood it then. I still don't.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The settler

Not that I was much bothered what my name meant, but it was always a little uneasy for me; when a rather curious person - A friend's over-zealous father or a talkative Professor or an ice-breaking HR manager - affronted me with this question. My answer used to be - 'Why should a name have meaning ?', 'When I go from this world, I would have given a meaning to my name?' or on other bored days, I used to say - 'Its some complicated Mythology. Something to do with some river in the heaven? ' I don't know if the answers amused anyone, but it made myself happy by concealing my ignorance, in what I beleived to be a smart way.

The way to the answer was obvious and simple. Google search ! On a lazy monday-morning as I surfed internet (on my still a week-and-a-half-old laptop) I casually typed 'Adnan meaning' - Enter. Voila ! I am the settler ! Peace !

But how settled am I ? Somewhere deep down I have always been fascinated by the life of a Vagabond ; A wanderer ; A taker-of-life-as-it-comes-by. Like the words of R.L.Steveson ...

The Vagabond

Give to me the life I love,
Let the lave go by me,
Give the jolly heaven above
And the byway nigh me.
Bed in the bush with stars to see,
Bread I dip in the river -
There's the life for a man like me,
There's the life for ever.


-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Or like Larry in Somerset Maugham's "The Razor Edge". No ! Not like him. If I would have been him. I would have taken a job with the Maturins. (And the confident side of me says - "I would have gone on to make a grand sum and earned 'infinite' wealth"). I have treaded the worn-out path. (But not always, I have gone on many a trails in the forest and the hills and have got lost and it's all been good). From Vijaya High school in Bangalore to The National College, Jayanagar and there to Mumbai :

Prima in Indis,
Gateway to India,
Star of the east
With her face to the west.

(From "Midnight's children" - Salman Rushdie)

IIT Bombay. Oh ! wait ! Did I break a convention there. The well-treaded path would have led me to IIT Madras. But then, there was a green grassy path to IIT-Kanpur as well. Compromises ! Were they ?

'Face to the west' - I am headed to America. A stamp of approval for 5 long years lie on the fourth page of my passport.
Five well settled years ?
A clean road with spacious lanes ? Gleaming straight and perfect-perpendicular through the Infinitidue of Corn-fields ? Through little-neat rows of houses of Indians and Chinese ? And dreams ? ambitions ? fame ? pride ? money ? values ? family ? satisfaction ? (No ! don't bother about the order)
The settler will be settled happy, won't he ?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sounds of Silence

"Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence"

- Simon and Garfunkel

I tried
to explain this
to a friend once.
I wish
I had remined


Fifteen more days before I finish B.Tech and leave for home.
End of four memorable years ...
Memories of adventires,
Of friendship, of love ..
Of dreams
Fulfilled and unfulfilled
Of lectures
Of ups and downs
Cold nights on the hill, And sunrise on the lake
Chirping birds on trees
And cycling roads
Food, canteen, laughter
Smiles, rhymes, spams.
End of an era.
The moments have been lived
The lessons have been learnt
The past shall remain
The future will be faced.
Good bye !

Monday, November 07, 2005

The greatest thing you'll ever learn ...

There was a boy
A very strange
Enchanted boy
They say he wandered
Very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he

And then one day
One magic day
He passed my way
While we spoke
Of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love and
Be loved in return"

-- Moulin Rouge

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cost of four mangoes ?

All of us at some point in our schooling life must have solved simple questions on ratio and proportion ....But how often have any of us probed into like Swami does .... An excerpt from R.K.Naryan's 'Swami and Friends'


Half an hour later Swaminathan sat in his father's room in a chair,
with a slate in his hand and pencil ready. Father held the arithmetic book
open and dictated: ' "Rama has ten mangoes with which he wants to earn
fifteen annas. Krishna wants only four mangoes. How much will Krishna
have to pay?"'
Swaminathan gazed and gazed at this sum, and every time he read it,
it seemed to acquire a new meaning. He had the feeling of having stepped
into a fearful maze. . . . His mouth began to water at the thought of mangoes.
He wondered what made Rama fix fifteen annas for ten mangoes. What kind
of a man was Rama? Probably he was like Sankar. Somehow one couldn't
help feeling that he must have been like Sankar, with his ten mangoes and
his iron determination to get fifteen annas. If Rama was like Sankar,
Krishna must have been like the Pea. Here Swaminathan felt an
unaccountable sympathy for Krishna.
'Have you done the sum?' father asked, looking over the newspaper he
was reading.
'Father, will you tell me if the mangoes were ripe?'
Father regarded him for a while and smothering a smile remarked: 'Do
the sum first. I will tell you whether the fruits were ripe or not, afterwards.'
Swaminathan felt utterly helpless. If only father would tell him
whether Rama was trying to sell ripe fruits or unripe ones! Of what avail
would it be to tell him afterwards? He felt strongly that the answer to this
question contained the key to the whole problem. It would be scandalous to
expect fifteen annas for ten unripe mangoes. But even if he did; it wouldn't
be unlike Rama, whom Swaminathan was steadily beginning to hate and
invest with the darkest qualities.
'Father, I cannot do the sum,' Swaminathan said, pushing away the
'What is the matter with you? You can't solve a simple problem in
Simple Proportion?'
‘We are not taught this kind of thing in our school.'
'Get the slate here. I will make you give the answer now.'
Swaminathan waited with interest for the miracle to happen. Father
studied the sum for a second and asked: 'What is the price of ten mangoes?'
Swaminathan looked over the sum to find out which part of the sum
contained an answer to this question. 'I don't know.'
'You seem to be an extraordinary idiot. Now read the sum. Come on.
How much does Rama expect for ten mangoes?'
'Fifteen annas of course,' Swaminathan thought, but how could that be
its price, just price? It was very well for Rama to expect it in his avarice. But
was it the right price? And then there was the obscure point whether the
mangoes were ripe or not. If they were ripe, fifteen annas might not be an
improbable price. If only he could get more light on this point!
‘How much does Rama want for his mangoes?'
'Fifteen annas,' replied Swaminathan without conviction.
Very good. How many mangoes does Krishna want?'
'What is the price of four?'
Father seemed to delight in torturing him. How could he know? How
could he know what that fool Krishna would pay?
'Look here, boy. I have half a mind to thrash you. What have you in
your head? Ten mangoes cost fifteen annas. What is the price of one? Come
on. If you don't say it—' His hand took Swaminathan's ear and gently
twisted it. Swaminathan could not open his mouth because he could not
decide whether the solution lay in the realm of addition, subtraction,
multiplication, or division. The longer he hesitated, the more violent the
twist was becoming. In the end when father was waiting with a scowl for an
answer, he received only a squeal from his son. 'I am not going to leave you
till you tell me how much a single mango costs at fifteen annas for ten.'
What was the matter with father? Swaminathan kept blinking. Where was
the urgency to know its price? Anyway, if father wanted so badly to know,
instead of harassing him, let him go to the market and find it out.
The whole brood of Ramas and Krishnas, with their endless
transactions with odd quantities of mangoes and fractions of money, were
getting disgusting.
Father admitted defeat by declaring: 'One mango costs fifteen over ten
annas. Simplify it.'
Here he was being led to the most hideous regions of arithmetic,
Fractions. 'Give me the slate, father. I will find it out.' He worked and found
at the end of fifteen minutes:
'The price of one mango is three over two annas.' He expected to be
contradicted any moment. But father said: 'Very good, simplify it further.' It
was plain sailing after that. Swaminathan announced at the end of half an
hour's agony:
'Krishna must pay six annas,' and burst into tears.