news...:)

Written on 10:48 AM by Tushar Thole

"सकाळ इंडिया फाउंडेशन'तर्फे १८ विद्यार्थ्यांना बिनव्याजी शिष्यवृत्ती

पुणे, ता. १६ - "सकाळ इंडिया फाउंडेशन'तर्फे उच्च शिक्षणासाठी यंदा १८ विद्यार्थ्यांना चाळीस हजार रुपयांपर्यंत बिनव्याजी कर्जाऊ शिष्यवृत्ती देण्यात आली आहे. .......
या शिष्यवृत्तीचे मानकरी आणि त्यांचा परिचय पुढीलप्रमाणे -
वृषसेन पुरुषोत्तम पवार (वय २९) - श्री. पवार हे डॉ. बाबासाहेब आंबेडकर मराठवाडा विद्यापीठातून "संगणकशास्त्र' विषयात "एमएस्सी' पदवी उत्तीर्ण झाले आहेत. याच विद्यापीठातून "संगणक व माहिती तंत्रज्ञान' या विषयात पीएच.डी. करण्यासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. कराटे व कबड्डीमध्ये त्यांनी बक्षिसे मिळविली आहेत.
जकी इम्तियाझ मुल्ला (वय २३) - श्री. मुल्ला यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून संगणक विषयात "बीई' पदवी मिळविली आहे. अमेरिकेतील "युनिव्हर्सिटी ऑफ फ्लोरिडा' येथून "कॉम्प्युटर इंजिनिअरिंग' या विषयात "एमएस' करण्यासाठी प्रवेश व शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. कविता करण्याचीही त्यांना विशेष आवड आहे.
निरंजन दीपक पेडणेकर (वय २४) - श्री. पेडणेकर यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून रसायन विषयात "बीई' केले आहे. अमेरिकेतील "ल्यूझियाना टेक्‍निकल युनिव्हर्सिटी'त "रसायनशास्त्र' विषयात "एमएस' करण्यासाठी प्रवेश आणि शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. त्यांनी क्रिकेट आणि फुटबॉल स्पर्धेत विशेष पारितोषिके पटकविली आहेत.
तुषार नंदकुमार ठोले (वय २३) - श्री. ठोले यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून संगणक अभियांत्रिकी विषयात "बीई' पदवी मिळविली आहे. या विषयात "एमएस' करण्यासाठी अमेरिकेतील "जॉन्स हॉपकिन्स युनिव्हर्सिटी'मध्ये प्रवेश व शिष्यवृत्ती त्यांना मिळाली आहे. व्हॉलीबॉल खेळात त्यांनी विशेष प्रावीण्य संपादन केले आहे.
पुष्कर संतोष छाजेड (वय २२) - पुणे विद्यापीठातून श्री. छाजेड यांनी "बीई'ची (सिव्हिल) पदवी मिळविली आहे. अमेरिकेतील "जॉर्जिया इन्स्टिट्यूट ऑफ टेक्‍नॉलॉजी'मधून "एमएस' करण्यासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. पुरुषोत्तम करंडक आणि फिरोदिया करंडकात त्यांनी भाग घेतला होता.
विपुल सुहास पदमन (वय २३) - श्री. पदमन यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून "बीई'ची (पॉलिमर) पदवी मिळविली आहे. अमेरिकेतील "युनिव्हर्सिटी ऑफ सदर्न मेसिसीपी'मधून "पॉलिमर केमिस्ट्री' या विषयात "एमएस' करण्यासाठी शिष्यवृत्तीसह त्यांना प्रवेश मिळाला आहे. बॅडमिंटन आणि क्रिकेट हे त्यांचे आवडीचे खेळ आहेत.
मानसी नरेंद्र पिंगळे (वय २२) - मानसी पिंगळे पुणे विद्यापीठातून "बीकॉम' परीक्षा उत्तीर्ण झाल्या आहेत. फ्रान्समधील "ईएससी रेनीज स्कूल ऑफ बिझनेस' येथून "स्पोर्ट मॅनेजमेंट' या विषयातील उच्च शिक्षणासाठी त्यांना प्रवेश व शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. बास्केटबॉल आणि क्रिकेट या खेळांची त्यांना विशेष आवड आहे.
नेहा अजित अरोरा (वय २४) - नेहा अरोरा मध्य प्रदेशातील "इन्स्टिट्यूट ऑफ टेक्‍नॉलॉजी अँड सायन्स, इंदुर' येथून "इन्फर्मेशन टेक्‍नॉलॉजी' या विषयात "बीई' उत्तीर्ण झाल्या आहेत. अमेरिकेतील "ओरेगॉन स्टेट युनिव्हर्सिटी'कडून "कॉम्प्युटर सायन्स'मधील उच्च शिक्षणासाठी प्रवेश व शिष्यवृत्ती त्यांना मिळाली आहे. नृत्य आणि चित्रकलेची त्यांना आवड आहे.
अमी प्रफुल्ल पारेख (वय २२) - अमी पारेख यांनी मुंबई विद्यापीठातून "कॉम्प्युटर इंजिनिअरिंग' या विषयातील पदवी मिळविली आहे. अमेरिकेतील "कॉर्नेल युनिव्हर्सिटी'तून "इंडस्ट्रियल अँड लेबर रिलेशन' या विषयातील उच्च शिक्षणासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. नाट्य आणि संगीत या कलांची त्यांना विशेष रुची आहे.
कल्याणी महादेव येळे (वय २२) - कल्याणी येळे यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून "भौतिकशास्त्र' विषयातील पदवी मिळविली आहे. नाशिक येथील "इन्स्टिट्यूट ऑफ एरोनॉटिकल इंजिनिअरिंग अँड टेक्‍नॉलॉजी' येथे पुढील शिक्षणासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे.
रश्‍मी चंद्रशेखर बोरोले (वय २२) - रश्‍मी बोरोले यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून "इलेक्‍ट्रॉनिक्‍स अँड टेलिकम्युनिकेशन' या विषयातील पदवी मिळविली आहे. अमेरिकेतील "मास्टर ऑफ फाईन आर्टस इन कॉम्प्युटर ऍनिमेशन' येथे उच्च शिक्षणासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. त्यांना चित्रकलेची विशेष आवड आहे.
दीप्ती मिलिंद केळकर (वय २१) - दीप्ती केळकर यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून "मायक्रोबायोलॉजी' या विषयात "बीएस्सी' पदवी मिळविली आहे. जर्मनीतील "युनिव्हर्सिटी ऑफ ब्रेमेन' या विद्यापीठातून उच्च शिक्षण घेण्यासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्तीसह प्रवेश मिळाला आहे. दोरीचा मल्लखांब आणि कराटेतही त्यांनी प्रावीण्य मिळविले आहे.
नीलिमा रमेश परांजपे (वय २३) - नीलिमा परांजपे यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून "इंडस्ट्रिअल सायकॉलॉजी' या विषयातील पदवी मिळविली आहे. अमेरिकेतील "इलिनॉय इन्स्टिट्यूट ऑफ टेक्‍नॉलॉजी'मधून उच्च शिक्षणासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. गायन आणि चित्रकला या विषयातील परीक्षाही त्या उत्तीर्ण झाल्या आहेत.
स्वाती भालचंद्र वर्तक (वय २२) - स्वाती वर्तक यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून रसायनशास्त्र विषयातील पदवी मिळविली आहे. कॅनडातील "युनिव्हर्सिटी ऑफ कॅलगरी'मधून पीएच.डी. करण्यासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. जपानी भाषेतील डिप्लोमाही त्यांनी मिळविला आहे.
वनश्री श्रीपती नरगुंद (वय २४) - वनश्री नरगुंद यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून एमएस्सी (प्राणिशास्त्र) आणि बीएड या पदव्या मिळविल्या आहेत. अमेरिकेतील "इंडियाना युनिव्हर्सिटी, ब्लुमिंग्टन' येथे उच्च शिक्षणासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. त्यांना वक्तृत्व आणि पोहण्याची आवड आहे.
अपूर्वा अभय राजगुरू (वय २२) - अपूर्वा राजगुरू यांनी संगणक अभियांत्रिकी विषयातील पदवी पुणे विद्यापीठातून मिळविली आहे. अमेरिकेतील "न्यूयॉर्क स्टेट युनिव्हर्सिटी'मधून उच्च शिक्षण घेण्यासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. "ह्यूमन मशिन इंटरफेस'विषयी आंतरराष्ट्रीय परिषदेत त्यांनी भारताचे प्रतिनिधित्व केले आहे.
सजल विजय रायकर (वय २४) - सजल रायकर यांनी पुणे विद्यापीठातून "बीई' पदवी मिळविली आहे. अमेरिकेतील "युनिव्हर्सिटी ऑफ ऍकरॉन' येथून "बायोमेडिकल इंजिनिअरिंग' या विषयातील उच्च शिक्षणासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. चित्रकलेची त्यांना विशेष आवड आहे.
नाजनीन नौशीर इरानी (वय २१) - नाजनीन इरानी यांनी मुंबई विद्यापीठातून "इन्फर्मेशन टेक्‍नॉलॉजी' विषयात "बीई' पदवी मिळविली आहे. अमेरिकेतील "पेनसिल्व्हेनिया स्टेट युनिव्हर्सिटी'मधून उच्च शिक्षण घेण्यासाठी त्यांना शिष्यवृत्ती मिळाली आहे. टेबल टेनिस खेळातही त्यांनी प्रावीण्य मिळविले आहे.

Friday the thirteenth!

Written on 11:23 PM by Tushar Thole

Today is Friday the thirteenth... and I was sitting for 3 hrs on 13th floor on a building in room #1303 with my project partner Wyatt discussing Distributed Systems project...what a coincidence!

P.S. Techincally posted a day later but who is gonna notice that:P

One month!

Written on 11:47 PM by Tushar Thole

"Tushar This is one mth we missed you but to gain some thing you hv to give some thing Try to be happy and go ahead God bless you Good luck"

This is from a mail from my dad. It had slipped from my mind that it has been a month that I am away from home. Actually I have stopped looking at the calender these days. It doesnt matter what day it is as long as u know the day when ur assignment is due.

Dad's mail made me realize that back home people miss me and I should live upto their expectations.

Dad, I will try my best to make u feel proud ...I promise.

Waqt

Written on 11:29 AM by Tushar Thole



Life has become 'a race against time'!


While sitting in the class today I casually calculated what is gonna be my schedule like for a typical week .Btw this is just some hypothetical schedule based on the best case scenario that there are no assignments due! When that element is added to the picture then only one word fits the bill – HELL.

Given that a week has 168hrs:

Classes (4 courses)- 12hrs

Sleep(6*7)- 42 hrs (Given that I have to walk a lot I DESERVE more sleep!)

Time pass (3*7)- 21hrs (mails/chat/watching 'friends'/eating and cooking dinner)

Job-24 hrs (max 20 hr/week allowed by law+ transportation time)

Some research work for my own- 5hrs

So total time for self study per week- ~60hrs

that is 8 to 9 hrs a day!

still I sure that...
I WILL SURVIVE...I AM GONNA MAKE IT THROUGH:)


Cornell

Written on 7:14 PM by Tushar Thole

I attended my first ever lecture in US at Cornell University.

Had been there for the labour day weekend and I simply followed Minu in the class :) I attended lectures by Ken Birman and Johannes Gehrke. Their books on Distributed Systems and Database Systems are used widely as a reference for any masters program worldwide. It was inspiring to listen to the fundas from the horse’s mouth.

Cornell is a great place! It is located on a hill at Ithaca, NY which is a university town and it is safe to roam there even at an odd hour at night. Moreover the place is just like heaven. There are multiple gorges which are almost 50 ft deep and host huge and beautiful waterfalls. The entire place looks like a painting. Check out the pictures here.

Life at Hopkins…

Written on 6:53 PM by Tushar Thole

It has been more than three weeks that I am here and there are many new, positive and exciting things are happening in my life.

Yeah I got my luggage back.

British Airways sent it back 4 days after I landed here. I had sent them an email asking for compensation and I forgot about it. It was a pleasant surprise that 2 days back I got an email from British Airways doing follow-up of the matter. I might get some compensation from them some day.

Finally I moved into my own apartment. It is located on the 14th floor on the building called Carlyle. It is a really nice apartment and the view from my balcony is awesome. Some of the pics of the same can be found here.

Getting a decent place to live turned out to be a Herculean effort!

In US everything depends on how good/bad your credit history is and as I am a ‘new’ international student I was at their mercy. The housing authority simple refused to believe any docs that Indian students were showing them (Carlyle is sort of ‘India house’ as most of the people staying here are Indian students). We had to pay a fat amount as a security deposit to get the house.

For the record, I earned my first dollar on 5th sept,06. Ofcourse through on-campus jobs. I had multiple opportunities out of which I had to choose. (Not that my profile great but getting an on-campus job at Hopkins is a child’s play!)I will start working on coming Sunday. Back in India I was really worried about covering my living expenses and it feels great that I will be a position to save a significant amount every month.

Classes started from yesterday (9/7 – date is US style :)). For first two weeks I am gonna attend lectures for all the subjects that I find interesting. I will take 4 courses out of following 6_ distributed systems, algorithms, internet protocols or network security, computer vision or object oriented software engineering.

Profs here are amazing! Since it is just the second day of classes I am finding it difficult to stay awake in class:) but the quality of discussion in the class room is great. I feel really great that I actually understand the stuff being taught in the class (that was not the case in my undergrad years:)) and ask at least one question during each lecture. (There are some marks for the class participation but believe me it has nothing to do with me asking questions :))

People here are extremely friendly and I’ve made some good friends among Indians here.

Indians are everywhere! You cannot escape them anywhere in US.

I cook almost daily and am quite good at it. It is fun! Those who are reading this and don’t know how to cook should grab the first opportunity to learn ‘the art of cooking’.

I did not face food problems even though I am a pure vegetarian. Actually in US being a vegetarian is a ‘cool’ thing :)

I do feel lonely at times even though I am mostly surrounded by my ‘new’ friends.

Whenever I listen to the song ‘luka chipi’ from Rang De Basanti, golden voice of Lata Mangeshkar reminds me my sweet mom and my eyes invariably get wet :( It is hard to stay away from your family, friends and your ‘own’ country! You realize this once you get here…

Life is full of new challenges and I am really glad that I am back to school.

History in making!

Written on 6:42 PM by Tushar Thole

I left home on 14th evening on a very sad note. All my relatives had gathered at my place to give me a farewell. Given a choice I would have chose to stay in India.

Car journey till the Mumbai Airport was boring. We were stuck in the traffic for 3 hours and somehow reached the airport at 1030pm. Due to tight security checks I had go inside 3 hours before the flight and had to bid good bye to my loving family:( I cannot handle goodbyes. It is very difficult to leave your family behind. I cried even on the airport. Who cares man! I love my family and I was unhappy to part ways.

I took a British Airways flight till London. The first-time-flight experience was not bad. I was one of the few unlucky people whose TV was not working but since we started at night I did not feel much bad. I had a window seat and could see Mumbai City shimmering with lights as we took off. We reached London after 10 hrs.

Hearthrow airport at London is huge and I had to travel from one terminal to other. I was there for just a couple of hours and I spent time talking to other Indian students and window shopping in duty free shops. Our flight from London to JFK, New York was delayed by an hour and we were sitting in the plane during that time. An old British couple was sitting besides me. They were really friendly and they even showed me a few landmarks in London from the window. London did not impress me at all!

I watched ‘Over the hedge’ movie in the plane which I wanted to watch back in India. The journey lasts for around 8 hrs and I watched ‘V for vendetta’ and ‘Friends’ as well. Asian veg food served on BA flights was great. I stuffed myself as I was unsure of when I will get to eat quality Indian food again! I reached JFK at 130 where as I was supposed to reach there at 1130.
I had no idea what was in store for me from there…

After the customs and immigration I waited to collect my luggage. After a good 45 min wait I could not find one of my bags. I went to BA luggage counter inquire and I came to know that that bag was still in London! I registered a complaint with them and they told me that the bag will be sent on my US address by FedEx.
This business took longer than expected and I rushed to terminal 9 from terminal 7. JFK is one of the biggest airports of America and I understood that in a hard way!

How will u expect someone to travel between terminal 7 and terminal 9 on the same airport?
Well I crossed a street, climbed three levels up, took an air train which runs between two terminals, climbed three levels down, again crossed a busy street, climbed three levels up to reach a HUGE dome which was my destination_ terminal 9… believe me doing all this when u have luggage close to 95kgs is NOT easy!

I reached there at 3 pm and my plane was 4. I was standing in a line to collect the boarding pass and thought I will make it comfortably. I dint advance much in half an hour and I started loosing patience. At 330 I asked an official what are my odds to make it to the plane. She said ‘u are not gonna make it!’ I lost my wits. I was dead tired coz of carrying all luggage on my own and I was feeling sleepy, hungry and thirsty at the same time. There were no shops around and I could not leave my luggage unattended. I was in a fix. I had no idea what I am gonna do if I miss the plane…

When my turn came it was 4 and plane was gone. She asked me whether I know anybody here in NYC where I can stay for the night as there are only two flights per day from JFK to BWI (my destination_ Baltimore Washington International Airport) and I had missed both of them. I din’t know anybody in NYC but still I asked her to put me on another plane for the next day as I was ready to spend the night on the airport. She looked at the computer screen for some time and said ‘Sorry sir there is no place in tomorrow’s flights as well’! She asked me to go to ‘La Guardia Airport’ in NYC and take a flight which goes to Washington Reagan Airport in Washington DC.
I was so frustrated but I had no choice.

This luggage blunder by BA had changed my entire itinerary!
I wanted to go to JFK (NYC) to BWI (Baltimore) but I had no other option but to choose the flight between La Guardia (NYC) to Washington Reagan Airport (Washington DC).I made a call to my senior who was going to pick me up explaining the entire situation. He asked me not worry and be calm. I said to myself that there is no way that I can escape from this so why not enjoy the journey!

I came out of the airport to take a cab from JFK to La Guardia. An Indian came running and asked me ‘Bengali ho? 45$ lagenge’ What a way to meet the first Indian in US! The actual fare was 30$ and he was trying to trick me! I got myself a cab for 30$ (whose driver was also Indian) and reached La Guardia an hour before my flight. I was damn sleepy by this time and chose to sleep till I landed in flight.

The regional jet plane that I took for this domestic flight was miniscule as compared to 747 Boeing Jet I had taken during my international flights.
I could barely keep my eyes open for 5 min when the plane flew over NYC and got a glimpse of ‘Empire state’ building which as a child I had known to be the tallest bldg in the world:)

After an hour long journey I reached DC.I waited at the airport for an hour but my senior did not turn up. My senior was busy with something and he asked me to take a shuttle and come to BWI. Shuttle took an hour to reach BWI and I saw ‘war memorial’ and ‘the white house’ in the capital:)

It was 10pm when I reached BWI. I was supposed to reach here at 520pm and my journey was supposed to be luxurious!

I had lost a bag, missed a plane, visited Washington DC for no reason, hadn’t had food for 9 hrs straight but I was not unhappy.

I had visited three biggest cities of America _ NYC, Washington DC and Baltimore. I learnt to make calls from a telephone booth, saw US currency coins for the first time, spent my first dollar to buy a Coca-Cola, took a cab ride NYC and Washington DC, saw ‘The white house’! It was a hectic journey but it was fun!

I landed in US which is gonna be my second home on Indian Independence day that is 15th Aug 06 and this surely is history in making:)





Leaving on a jet plane

Written on 6:23 AM by Tushar Thole

Feeling really weird since past few days. I don't feel like leaving my loving family and dear friends behind...But life goes on!

Here is the song which suits my current mood the best!

----------------------------------------

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go
I'm standin' here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye

But the dawn is breakin', it's early morn
The taxi's waitin', he's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

I'm ...

There's so many times I've let you down
So many times I've played around
I'll tell you now, they don't mean a thing

Every place I go, I think of you
Every song I sing, I sing for you
When I come back I'll wear your wedding ring

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

Now the time has come to leave you
One more time, oh, let me kiss you
And close your eyes and I'll be on my way

Dream about the days to come
When I won't have to leave alone
About the times that I won't have to say ...

Oh, kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

And I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go...

- John Denver

The real friendship day pledge

Written on 2:27 AM by Tushar Thole

Tired of all those sissy, mushy "friendship" poems that always sound good but never actually come close to reality? Here's a series of promises that really speaks to true friendship!

1. When you are sad . . . I'll get you drunk (or gorge on chocolate) & help you plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad.

2. When you are blue . . . I'll try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile . . . I'll know you finally got laid.

4. When you are scared . . . I will rag you about it every chance I get.

5. When you are worried . . . I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and to quit whining.

6. When you are confused . . . I will use little words to explain.

7. When you are sick . . . stay away from me until you're well again. I don't want whatever you have.

8. When you fall . . . I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.

This is my oath . . . I pledge till the end. ...why? Because you're my true friend :)
Happy Friendship Day!

Thanks to Debu for the content:)

adios!

Written on 7:20 AM by Tushar Thole

Today is my last day at work. Below is the mail which I sent to 'all@calsoftinc.com'.
--

Dear all,

Today is my last day here...

I started my professional career from Calsoft which was like a second home to me. In the two year long stint, I learned a lot on the technical as well as professional front. Here I met a few people for whom 'action speaks louder than words' and a few for whom 'attitude is everything!' I made friends for the life time with whom I went for trekking, played football in the balcony, watched movies in office, converted the conference room into a TT hall, played rang panchami in office and did a lot of such crazy things together. It is good to see the wonderful rapport Calsoftians share with each other irrespective of whether one is from HR dept, sysadmin dept or a member of technical staff. Keep it up guys!

If you want to know the true meaning of the word 'camaraderie' then have a look at the Panasas team! You guys rock!

As it is said that change is the only thing constant in life and fortunately in my case the life is changing for the good. I will be joining Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, USA as a graduate student in Computer Science.

A special vote of thanks goes to Minu, Rameshwar, Riyaz, Ankur and Parag.
You people are really close to my heart.

Thanks to Asheesh: You have been very supportive.

Thanks to one and all. My best wishes for your future.

Keep in touch.

Best,
~Tushar

Rang panchami in office!

Written on 3:54 AM by Tushar Thole

Yesterday it rained heavily in Pune and all the balconies on the second floor of our office were flooded with water. The water entered into the work area and we had to put the disaster management principles to use:)… Quickly we shut down all the machines and had a rocking time playing ‘rang pachami’ in office!



Rajesh, Ganesh, Swati and Riyaz enjoying the shower!

















Isn't this profession better than the software job!
















Riyaz hit by a tsumani wave:)















Disaster management team(Adhish, Aditya and Dinesh) inspecting the damage done by the flood





















Rain water harvesting!









Poor office boys burning the midnight oil to clean the mess.

wachel to wachel!

Written on 5:00 AM by Tushar Thole

I love reading! Everyday I make it a point to read something let it be a novel or newspaper at least for half an hour no matter how tired I am. For past one and half months I have been reading this_

#Wise and otherwise by Sudha Murthy
It contains real life anecdotes described by Sudha Murthy, chairman of Infosys Foundation, who is working on a large scale towards reducing the social and economic imbalance in the society. All the stories are mostly about mundane topics but what I like the most is the message that Mrs. Murthy gives. Good read but I somehow found the language too simplistic.

#Who says elephants can’t dance? By Louis Gerstener
I’d never thought I’ll enjoy reading books about strategies, processes, project planning etc. but Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, proved me wrong! More about this whenever I finish it:)

#Marathi books by Va. Pu. Kale
When I was in school I used to read books like crazy. I’d joined two libraries and I used to read at the pace of a book in two days. Many times I used to go the library at 4 pm to return the book that I’d taken in the morning. The library staff used to wonder whether I’d actually read the book! I could not pursue marathi literature after 10th maybe because I got too busy with studies or got too engrossed in the sea of English literature. A month back when I realized that once I land in US it won’t be possible to get Marathi books to satiate my desire even when I am ready to spend big bucks then without wasting time I joined the same Marathi library which I used to go to in my school days. To my surprise even the staff was the same (and so were the books unfortunately!) and they were happy to see me. I had this rather bad habit of writing the name of the book on the back cover and when I issued the same books now I was elated to see my handwriting after years! It was an emotional trip down the memory lane!
I never read Va. Pu’s books at that time but when I listened to his ‘kathakathan’ I liked his style of narrating stories immensely. In the last few days I read almost 5 of his books and more than 10 marathi books. It feels so good to read something sometimes just because it is written in Marathi. I am surely gonna miss this…

P.S. BTW the name of the post is a proverb in Marathi which means one who reads will survive!

Project Aardvark.

Written on 9:01 AM by Tushar Thole

Ever since I am back from an amazing trip from Kanha (gotta blog about that before memories fade away!) I am hooked to the net reading blogs, technical stuff, websites of various grad students and it has been tremendously exciting!

All of my friends who are pursuing masters’ degree in US are about to start summer internships that are quite uncommon in India. While reading JoelOnSoftware (I had never read this site before and I regret it!) I came across project Aardvark.

In project Aardvark, four interns shipped a full-fledged product in 10 weeks. Three of them were into technical aspects of the product and one of them was into marketing. This whole thing was made into a documentary called project Aardvark! I liked their website too!

Inspiring!

Romancing the Wall Street

Written on 10:19 AM by Tushar Thole

Yesterday when we were having evening snacks in the company one of my colleagues mentioned about the reliance IPO. He had applied for 1000 shares and was going to take 1000 more for his bro. One of my colleagues’ mom had also invested in the same. I discussed this matter on phone with one of my friends and she said that she has already invested in it. I called up my tenant who deals with shares quite a lot to inquire what is the fuss about. He said he is going to buy shares of 99,000! Aaaaaaah… it seemed like a part of some dreaded conspiracy that everyone knows about and I was the only one who was ignorant about it. I called up my dad and asked him whether I should also take the plunge. He gave the green signal and I applied for 1000 shares of Reliance Petroleum:)…Wall street beware! Another Warren Buffet in making:P

Let me put in technical terms about my first ever shares' deal:
I have applied for 1000 equity shares of reliance petroleum. The face value of the share is Rs 10 and the floor price is 5.7 times of the face value and the cap price is 6.2 times that of the face value. The price band of the shares is 57 to 62 Rs.

Souds really geek! Isn't it!

If you don’t understand the terms in bold letters then you are not bitten by the Wall Street bug.

Have bought ‘Rich dad and poor dad’ a few days back and hope that enlightens me even more!

Brokeback Mountain

Written on 7:10 AM by Tushar Thole


Yesterday night I had gone to watch this movie in the open-air theatre at BEG (Bombay Sappers), Khadki. The open-air theatre, named Gazni, is extremely nice and you can feel the freshness of the air you breath! Every Wednesday they screen an English movie and it was the second time* we blessed this place with our presence.

Brokeback Mountain is an Ang Lee masterpiece, which is “Based on the E. Annie Proulx story about a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys and their lives over the years.” [Thanks to imdb for the plot outline]
The movie deals with a very delicate topic and something that is considered as a taboo in the society. The plight of those two ‘men in love’ couldn’t have been portrayed better. I particularly enjoyed the scenic locations, serene lakes! Great movie! Check out this to know more!

This movie was considered as a hot favorite at Oscars but couldn’t match the expectations. Still it won 3 academy awards. I had decided to watch as many Oscars nominated movies as I can and glad that I am making it happen.


*Last time we’d watched ‘The myth’ starring dream girl Mallika sherawat:) and Jacki chan at his worst. The movie sucked but we had a gala time cracking jokes every now and then!

Hazaro khwahishe aisi….

Written on 4:15 AM by Tushar Thole

These days I have come across many wish lists on the web… Here goes mine… this is strictly for non-technical things!

The order holds no significance.

# To learn Warli painting.
One of the main reason why I would like to purse this is I am always fascinated by the art of painting and I am no good at it. I consider it as a very powerful tool to ‘express yourself!’ I have come across a workshop that is conducted at India Art Gallery in Pune where Warli tribal people themselves teach this art. This is really exciting! Lets see how it goes.

# TT / Ping Pong
These days I have started playing table tennis (or Ping Pong ! Now that’s a funny name!) in office in the free time. I am still learning the tricks of the game and I am enjoying it a lot. I was interested in this game since my school days just that volleyball took precedence over it. I hope to become as good as Forest Gump at it:)

# Pool / snooker
We have a pool table in office since ages and I have touched it just once! Now this sucks! Learning to play this game is on the high priority list!

That’s enough for wishlist.v1

hotels in Pune - I

Written on 7:13 AM by Tushar Thole

Documenting all eating joints in Pune I have been to and have liked…Maybe it can help some soul in need :P…This is the first post in the series.

Disclaimer: I am not a gourmet but I love to experiment and believe in the saying ‘Variety is the spice of the life!’[No pun intended!]

Lets go area wise.

JM Road

New Yorker
Nice ambi, good variety, one of the few places on JM where you can actually hear the other person talking!

Pizza hut
Needs no introduction!

Shivsagar
I usually avoid this place due to the crowd. I cannot enjoy my food if somebody is staring at me all the time expecting me to vacate my chair.
Great variety though.

Macdonalds
Nice meeting joint for your gang.

Mathura
It is very recently that I came to know that this place existed on JM. Amazingly well made Maharashtrian food. If you wanna try all flavors of Maharashtrian cuisine then a must visit place.

Naturals
I love the ice-cream@ this place!

FC Road

Radhika
The best place to chill on FC. I have spent hours sitting at this place.

Vaishali
Needs no introduction!

Yana
Great sizzlers. I tasted ‘wok’ too and liked it.

Koyla
I absolutely love this place for the ambience, great background music [Listening to Jagjit Singh invariably reminds me of this place.] and great food.

Corn club
I love anything that is made of corn and that explains all.
.
Horn OK please
Good place, good food, innovative ambi!

China garden
Great chinese food.

Aundh

Kobe
Good ambience and great sizzlers

Pizza hut
Needs no introduction!

Shivsagar
Good place to be when you haven’t decided what to eat…great variety

Deepek Sweets
Nobody makes better panipuri than this!

Rajwada
Even though this place mostly offers great variety for non-veggies it is a great place to spend an evening. Great ambience.

Polka Dots
Don’t know why people like this! Had tasted some weird Thai dish with one of my friends and I had stopped eating mushrooms for a long time:(

SB Road / University circle

Aloha – SB road
Nice ambiance , nice variety

University Choupati
Good Chinese and Maharashtrian food if you don’t think about the hygiene factor for some time.

That's enough for you to digest for today !
More to follow...

a brand in making...

Written on 7:09 AM by Tushar Thole

Go through the following conversation between me and one of my friends named Person_A below for the sake of anonymity.

(17:29:20) Tushar: m going thru ur blog
(17:30:49) Person_A: Person_B has started his own blog and is asking me to promote it :D ... he's standing over my shoulder asking me to do it ... :P ... so pls see this link ...
http://Person_B.blogspot.com/
(17:31:00) Tushar: oh:P
(17:31:01) Tushar: sure
(17:31:10) Tushar: ask him to go thru my link too:D
(17:31:16) Tushar: tit for tat:|
(17:31:17) Person_A: ok done deal
(17:31:35) Person_A: man ... i feel like a dalal
(17:31:53) Tushar: =))


This is what you call brand promotion!! Do you _really_ need a degree from IIMs:)

makes sense?

Written on 4:18 AM by Tushar Thole

Sometimes the journey is more interesting than the destination...Realized this today morning!

Murphy's laws...

Written on 10:58 AM by Tushar Thole

As I write this I am refreshing my mailbox to check whether some good news has come...It has been the same since past few days. I am a bit surprised myself with this 'unwanted' change... I know I am going to make it and that too with a bang still my skeptic mind sometimes reminds me of those dreaded Murphy's laws...

Judgement day

Written on 3:47 AM by Tushar Thole

On Monday I had gone to my alma mater VIT as a judge for the final year project exhibition. I had ‘been there and done that’ last year as well. This time I had gone there with my colleague Batman and my delivery head who was the chief guest of the ceremony.

We reached there in time and were seated in the HOD’s cabin with my principal and my professors. One of my profs who is very talkative by nature mentioned about my ‘best outgoing student’ title then my boss patted on my back and said to my profs that he is lucky to have me in his team! It made me humble.

Projects IMHO were mediocre. I judged 6 projects and out which very few had some innovation. Most of them had no idea why they've worked on an idea that was implemented years back. In some cases even the source code is available on the net. Those who had a neat project idea had not-so-good-understanding of technological alternatives available. They were working on that idea just because their guide told them to.

Batman judged 12 projects in a day and it is a record in itself! Had a lunch with my profs and colleagues in the college canteen and everybody recalled their college days. We talked about MIT to BITS pilani. The conversation gave some ‘food’ for thought:)

VIT is going to become an autonomous institution in the next year. I wish I can give back to my alma mater in the way IITians do that is donating generously. Hope that won’t take long! There is a very famous marathi poem by Mangesh Padgaonkar…


‘Denaryane det jave
Ghenyarane ghet jave

Gheta gheta ghenyarane
Denyaryache haat ghyave!’

Amen!

Holi hai...

Written on 3:14 AM by Tushar Thole

Holi always reminds me of my good old childhood days when I used to play with colors like anything:)...yesterday I had planned to go to a party 'Rang de' organised at pancards club.
I got up late, rushed to Pune to catch a movie 'Taxi no 9211'. It's a nice movie.John looks amazing and Nana rocks as usual! Ramesh Sippy has produced yet another feel good movie after 'Bluffmaster'. His movies are much like Hollywood flicks where you can relate to the charecters. They look real and not reel. I enjoy a movie more if I can relate to the theme of the movie and get a feeling that something like that can happen with me too!

After the movie we rushed to Pancards. Had a good time there dancing to the tunes of the DJ in the artificial rain. These parties _CANNOT_ match the fun you will have with your friends playing holi at your place. But nowadays since everybody has become busy and time is hard to find one has to search for other options to have a good time and enjoy the festival. I still remember the holi celebrated in my final year with almost 40 boys from my college. We were on
rampage and had a helluva fun:)

Rain dance soaked all the energies and we went to my office to have a shower...Yep.My office has all those facilities.It is much like Google in that respect:) After getting all neat and prim we went to Pizza hut to grab a bite of freshizzas. We chatted for almost 2 hours talked on topics ranging from movies,life, relationships to what not. Felt amazingly good to spend long hours with
friends.

My faithful reader, hope you had a good time too!

Avocation

Written on 6:23 AM by Tushar Thole

On Friday I had gone to conduct a seminar in an engineering college (MAE, Alandi) for Calsoft. The topic was “Linux kernel module programming and debugging”. I had a few assumptions about the audience in mind and had prepared the seminar accordingly. When I went there I was shocked to see that the entire audience consisted of second year students who didn’t know what an operating system is all about. Phew… for initial half an hour I talked about what an OS is and what this seminar is going to give them. When I started off there were hardly 10 people in the class and when I finished the whole class was full! I felt great:)

After the seminar a few guys came to me and told me that the seminar was really good but I should have conducted it a little longer. I felt like a celebrity:).. A few took down my cell no and asked me whether I conduct private coaching classes :P…

Not a bad idea! Another ‘Chate’ in making :P

backups...

Written on 6:09 AM by Tushar Thole

Today is a Sunday and m home… Those who know me will understand what’s so special about it:)

I slept a lot, watched movies, went to the library, chatted with mom and surfed the net…I was surfing for almost 4 to 5 hours. Read blogs of a few geeks who are pursuing their masters just to know what future holds for me. I must say that it wasn’t so scary. I am damn sure that I can survive!…Someone who knows me really well says that I can survive in any place m put to.

Had planned to go for white water rafting at Dandeli on the next weekend. Had talked to foliage outdoors for arrangements, had dropped mails to my friends. Somehow I lost the interest and dint pursue the matter any further. Have a backup plan ready though:)…Next weekend I will be going for a moon light trek… I had been to one such trek to Rajmachi last year during the same period . After walking all night long we were all drained. In the afternoon when we started the return journey it was really hot and we were praying to the rain gods and all of a sudden miraculously ….it rained!…Hope something like that happens this time too!

Tonight I wanted to take my parents to a movie but dad had to go to Bombay for some office work and the plan was cancelled:(…then all of a sudden Sam called up. Tomorrow is my friend Saudamini’s b’day who got married few months back. Tonight we are going to her place to decorate the whole place and give her a pleasant surprise:)…More about this later, as I gotta go:)

Yeh dosti...

Written on 10:31 AM by Tushar Thole

This is a story about one of my friends.

We were the closest pals during my engineering days. I used to spend hours at his place studying [Sounds funny? Believe me that’s the truth]. We watched movies together, roamed in Pune for long hours and most importantly dreamed about life.

We had lot of things in common. We wanted to make it big… He was a wizard when it came to programming. He was crazy about that thing and I used to wonder how can anybody spend so much on books [Actually I still do]. I must say, to a certain degree, this guy made me aware of my own capabilities.

After finishing engineering we started our career in the same company. Things didn’t work out well with him and he quit his job and worked somewhere else. That was when I lost contact with him. Later that year he left for further studies to The Netherlands. We never had a formal fight but there was something which kept us away from each other. I didn’t even go to wish him luck for his future when he was flying.

The reason for this post is… today I met his father. He was absolutely delighted to see me. Most importantly he was very concerned about what happened between us. He was very happy to know that I too have got an admission to the same university as his son. He kept talking for almost an hour about his son and recalled the memories of good times.

Now I am feeling horrible about myself. I could have taken the initiative to break the ice.

Better late than never.. I want to tell him that I AM SORRY.

Water Kingdom

Written on 5:56 AM by Tushar Thole



I am back after a yet another refreshing weekend. This time the venue of the
outing was Water Kingdom at Bombay.This is the best waterpark around as far as I
know.I had gone with my teammates at Calsoft including my manager.

We had hired a 14 seater and left at 730 on Sunday morning. The
journey was amazing and I shot a lot of videos of our 'antakshari'. You
encounter lots of tunnels on the expressway which look amazing in the yellow
lights and some of them are so long that the length of the video in which I have
shot the jorney through the tunnel is 2 minutes! We took 5 hours (!) to reach
the destination as the driver of the vehicle was a jerk and din't know roads
well and we wasted lot of time in figuring out which way to go. The park was
flooded with people which was assumed as it was a Sunday. We dint waste much
time in getting the lockers, changing clothes and getting showers. In less than
half an hour we entered the first point which was the dance floor!

The place had a ROCKING DJ and we danced our hearts out.Before moving ahead to
the next ride everybody was telling each other that we HAVE to visit the dance
floor again! There was a loooooong line for the next slide.We waited for almost
an hour till our turn came. While we were standing in the queue we discovered
that we had "Johny" in our group:P (Will the real Johny please stand up?). After
doing rafting in the (artificial) river we did some petpuja and ate a bucketful
of Maggie.

We spent most of our time playing on the slides 'gushing machine' and 'hamunga
kowabunga':D...The 'black dragon' in my opinion is the best slide which makes
you feel that you are falling in a black hole! We had a great time in the wave
pool where we taught each other a lesson or two in swimming:).As the night
started falling we ran to the dance floor. I had the best time of the entire
trip here dancing in the rain to those rocking tunes.

As a promotional move we were granted an entry in the esselworld. The whole
place was lit with lights and it was an amazing sight. I shot a very nice video of the
same. Wish I could upload it here:(...Soon we headed back to our den. During the
return journey we clicked lots of really funny pictures. As there was no light
inside the vehicle and my cam has a series of flash before taking the actual
snap everybody was finding it very difficult to keep the eyes open while
taking the snap.Riyaz was the worst of all. I had to click his snap 7 times before he
managed to keep the eyes open:D...We were pretty tired due to the day long
dangamasti and Riyaz was killing us with his 'Saas bahu stories :animal
version'!It was a very memorable picnic!...Click here for the snaps.

Surely you are joking Mr. Feynman!

Written on 4:31 AM by Tushar Thole



"There are two types of genius. Ordinary geniuses do great things, but they leave
you room to believe that you could do the same if only you worked hard enough.
Then there are magicians, and you can have no idea how they do it.Feynman
was a magician."
- Hans Bethe, Nobel laureate.

I read this amazing amazing book called "Surely you are joking Mr. Feynman!".
Feynaman got Nobel prize for his work in theoratical physics. In the book he has
narrated witty anecdotes during his stay at MIT,Princeton,Cornell and Caltech.
I thoroughly enjoyed the way he describes GREAT things he had done in a very
humble way. Great read!

Crash

Written on 4:47 AM by Tushar Thole



I watched 'crash' on the weekend. The movie.It has got 8.4 rating on
IMDB...A iraqi shopkeeper,a black cop who makes love to his colleague,his
mentally retarded mom, district attorney and his 'white' wife,two white cops out
of which one has a grudge against 'black' people,two 'black' goons , a Korean
couple...all these people crash against each other in LA ...This is a story
about racism,humanity and hope.Let me warn you that it is very serious movie and
I got an headache by the time it got over:(...But this movie truly deserves 6
Oscar nominations that it has got.
This time I have decided to watch as many Oscar nominated movies as I can...
Atleast you are guaranteed that the movie is good!...Lets see how my resolution
goes.
On Monday I had taken a leave from office (compensation off:)).In the
evening I was back in Pune to attend Ramu's b'day party. The venue was 'Shisha
cafe' @ ABC Farms. The place has a very nice ambience.There are couches
available where u can sit and chat for hours with ur closed ones. No bright
lights...No need to tell how nice it is to have a candle light dinner when jazz
music is playing in the background.I tasted Irani cuisine for the first time. It
is very bland that is what I can say. I am used to a lot more spicy food than
that.Anyways a veggie has very less options:(...After a nice refreshing dinner
we had icecream at Naturals.It was a nice break from the monotonous hotelling @
JM and FC.

Hidalgo!

Written on 5:53 AM by Tushar Thole



Hidalgo is the name of a nice movie which narrates the story of a horse Hidalgo
and its relationship with its master. On Saturday night I was watching this
movie on Star Movies. Incidently the next day I had planned a visit the stud
farm where my dad works as a manager. Stud farm is the place where race horses
are bred. The farm is named "Equus" which means horse in latin. It is situated
in Talegaon Dabhade at the base of Ghoradeshwar Hills.

We had decided to gather at Shivajinagar station and were gonna catch 8 am local
till Begdewadi station. It is the nearest place to reach Ghoradeshwar Hills
which hosts many Hindu caves. There is a temple of Lord Shiva in one of the
caves and this place attracts lots of devotees during Mahashivratri. It was
Riyaz this time to miss the local and Mrunal was going to come on his own bike.
Eventually six people [myself, Minu, Ramu, Harish, Parag, Somil] reached the
place as planned [Plan ke mutabik :D].

It was almost 915 when we started climbing the hill after eating the sandwiches
that I had got for everybody. The scorching heat made us reconsider our decision
to go trekking but as there was no other way to reach the stud farm which was on
the other side of the hill we carried on. Surprisingly it took us around 20-25
minutes to reach the top and we rested at the main cave which has the temple. As
this place is situated at relatively higher altitude it gave us panoramic view
of the surroundings. We could see the Birla School below and greenery of Equus
Stud was making it stand out. I was carrying my digital cam with me and the
place was ideal to click some really cool snaps or should I say Orkut snaps:P

We started climbing down and it turned out that it was difficult than climbing
till the top! Initially entered a stud farm which is the neighborhood of Equus
and got the first glimpse of race horses. We reached the main gate of Equus by
noon where my dad received all of us.

The first few horses that we saw were mares which had given birth to
colts/fillies. The oldest among all babies was 4 days old and they were really
cute! The funny part was when we tried to interact with the baby horse it used
to hide behind its mom:) All of them had 'shahi' treatment and had the luxury of
the cooler. There were many mares in the nearby stables which were due for
delivery. I was surprised to know that the weight of the horse touches the mark
of 700 kgs during the pregnancy period. Since it was noon almost all the peddoks
were empty as all the horses were inside the stable so went to have lunch.

For lunch we went to a Jain temple _ 'Parshwa Padmalaya' which contains 52 Jain
temples [called 'Jinalaya']. The entire temple has very beautiful carving and as
far as I remember the place is being built since past 10 years. They hope to
complete the temple by May 06. It was a treat to the eyes even in the incomplete
state. We took off to visit yet another temple which is an exact replica of Sai
Baba temple at Shirdi. After taking the darshan we reached the farm and took
afternoon sherbet at Dr. Ali's place who works a vet on the farm. His 2 yr old
daughter Sara is the healthiest baby I have ever seen! Mrunal likes to take
pictures of people [Mostly unknown people :D] and he took some really nice snaps
of Sara.

On every stud farm there are 3 to 4 stallions as compared to 100+ mares. This
stallions cost in crores as the price of a baby horse which is ready for sale
depends on its genealogy. If either of its parents have won the race then there
is a very good chance that it also will. You will be surprised to know that
lineage of a horse can be traced back till 300 years. Info of every race horse
is maintained at the race course and it even has a passport. The horse is sold
when it is 2 yrs old and the trainer trains it for a yr. It will run the race at
the age of 3 and will continue racing till it is doing good. The weirdest thing
is no matter when the horse is born its birthday is always 1stJan. For e.g. If a
horse is born on 31st Dec and the other is born on 30th Jan both of them will
turn 1 yr old on Jan 1st of the next yr:)

We visited Dad's boss' bungalow and had food over there too...Yeah we eat a
lot:D
All of us took pride in clicking snaps with the vintage merc standing outside. I
shot a video of horses running wildly as a part of their muscle building
exercise. It was almost 530 when we left for my home. On the way back we took a
halt at the 'shakti bhakti' monument in Nigdi. This place is giving serious
competition to Saras Baug. We had a nice time at home and everybody left by 7 pm
local.

I hope everybody had a nice time as I did!

Click here to see the snaps.

[Word editors in Linux are SAD. Blame them for the poor formatting of this post:( MS office rocks!]


V-day...

Written on 9:48 AM by Tushar Thole

How should a software engineer working in systems domain celebrate the valentine's day?

Any guesses/suggestions?.

Here is what I did...

I bought Love's book for myself(What a pity! Buying a gift for myself:P... But I know that the fate of almost all techies is no different:))... Don't get me wrong! It's a book called “Linux Kernel Development” by a kernel hacker called “Robert LOVE”!

Hope all of you will do better than this:)

Gaining wisdom...

Written on 10:07 AM by Tushar Thole

The point is I am getting a wisdom tooth :) I know some people might have felt relieved after reading the name of the post thinking “Chalo! Ab to ise akal aayi”... Sorry that still seems a distant dream:)






Helmet [Paradise?] lost

Written on 3:13 AM by Tushar Thole



No points for guessing that the name of the post is inspired by John Milton's “Paradise lost” .

Yesterday I was not feeling well and my all reflexes had slowed down. I was even thinking slowly!

Has this ever happened to you? You tend to think that you have done the thing you were planning to do a moment ago but the reality isn't the same:(... That is disheartening you know.

I decided to leave for home early and was on the way when I got a phone call. I took my bike off the road, parked it aside and kept the helmet on it. The road was full of traffic as it was the rush hour but unfortunately there were no lights on the road. I hardly talked on the phone for 5 minutes and when I looked at the bike all of the sudden I realized that that the helmet was gone!

I was wondering whether I can do something about it and the answer is NO. Is Pune really safe? I wonder!

Movie mania…

Written on 6:53 AM by Tushar Thole

Last weekend was a little unusual as I was at home most of the time. I spent some “quality” as well as “quantity” time with my family members:P I also met my room partners who have moved to other places (B’lore and Mysore) in search of better opportunities.

I saw the republic day parade on Jan 26th.My dad was fortunate enough to watch the parade in person in his college days. The ammunition and highly advanced military equipments that were showcased in it were mostly indigenous. It is a pleasant shock to know that not the entire talent in India is running after IT.

This week I discovered that I have become a total movie buff. If I am not reading any book the only thing that I feel like doing is watching a movie! I watched two animated movies _ Shrek II and Shark Tale. Shark Tale is undoubtedly the winner! I am crazy for such animated movies and my friends tell me that I need to grow up:P

I watched a horrifying Marathi movie called Blind game with my college pals on Sat that too in the theatre:( We could not stop laughing in the end not because it was very funny or something but we were wondering why on earth were we watching that crap!

On Sunday I watched Rang de Basanti… I don’t wanna comment about how good the story/direction/casting/acting/music is. You must watch this movie to get a feel. By the time it got over I had started thinking about my closely knitted college group, all the fun we’ve had together. The movie clearly lives to it’s title_ a generation awakens!

Flamingo watch!

Written on 5:30 AM by Tushar Thole




'Bird watching' is a the most favorite sport among all teenagers. You know what I mean:)I had not been trekking since past six months and was dying to go for something exciting.I was aware of the bird watching activity conducted by Insearch Outdoors at Bhigwan dam which is located at 100 kms from Pune. We were supposed to get a glimpse of greater Flamingoes (if we were lucky!)and other birds which stay in the wet grassland habitat. This sounded something I had never done before and I said to myself ``Lets try this thing too!''

There were 2 buses loaded with amateur bird watchers which was unexpected. We were a group of 8 friends namely me, Minu, Ramu, Ankur, Riyaz, Nikhil, Mrunal and Uttara.I had to try really hard to convice the organizers to reserve our seats. On Sunday we all gathered at Garware College at 6 am in the chilling cold.The bus was full of
'senior' citizens and amateur photographers who were carrying their really expensive cameras . We occupied the last seat in the bus.As the bus took off we started cracking PJs and I felt pity for the PSPL guy who was sitting with us.

The bus waited at a hotel on the way and we had breakfast which was provided by the organizers. This is when we saw the first animal in our journey which was none other than a cockroach! Ramu was the lucky one to find it in his dish:D. Soon we reached Bhigwan Dam and I beg to differ when somebody calls it a dam...it was no less than a ocean. I AM exagerrating but the quantity of water was enormous because of the monsoon in 2005.The water is spread on the both sides of the bridge which is supposed to be the center line of the water body.Greater quantity of water has attracted more species of birds this year.

There were boats arranged to take us to the Flamingoes which were on the other shore of the dam. Greater Flamingoes come from Gujrat and Iran. These
migratory birds are really beautiful. They are about 4 ft in height and have pink shade in the inner side of their feathers.They feed on the algae and insects which can be found only in the shallow water and that's why they are always found on the shore of the water bodies. Bhigwan has suitable i.e. warm climate and food for 'visitors' is plenty.

My friend from VIT , Vishal Gokhale was our guide who is a amateur bird watcher and was volunteering with Insearch. The boat was really small and could accommodate only 9 to 10 people. It was shaking continuously and the 'boat captain' was making us change places to achieve the balance.On our way to Flamingoes we saw different types Herons [especially the Grey Heron is bigger in size], terns, cormorants and sea gulls. Till that day I knew only one seagull and no prize for guessing _ Jonathan Livingston Seagull:)...I had seen this type in Goa as well and I like the flair with which they fly. We saw many seagulls sitting in a line on the electric wires running from one pole to the other which were immersed in the dam water. Thanks to the fantastic camera [Canon IXUS]that Uttara had got I clicked many pics. Mrunal was ofcourse there with his mindblowing Canon S2IS camera clicking the pictures wildly:)

I saw thousands of ducks on the water and one could see black dots on the horizon in all directions. Brahmani ducks caught my attention in particular because of their brilliantly colored feathers. As we reached near Flamingoes Vishal told us to observe the silence strictly. These birds are very sensitive and fly off whenever they sense any danger. We were about 200 mtrs away from those beauties who were busy fishing. We clicked pics frantically and I was happy on my decision to get my binoculars along. As we were observing them closely some jerk tried to come near them from their back and the whole flock flew... It was an amazing site. Thank god Mrunal could capture those memorable moments in his cam. The whole flock flew and went to the opposite side of the dam thankfully exactly near to the place where our buses were standing. We turned our boat and starting our return journey. We spotted painted and other varieties of storks as we again approached Flamingoes. This time we were lucky and spent 15 to 20 minutes observing those birds.

As we reached the shore after two hours of fantastic and memorable boat journey we headed off to the sugarcane field nearby to satiate our appetite temporarily. There was a calf which was 2 to 3 days old and I could do some wild life photography as well:)

After having lunch in a dhaba we headed towards Matoba dam. We saw Baya weaver bird and other types names of which I don't remember:)...Sunset at the dam was fantastic site and m glad to capture it in the cam.After a journey of 3 hours we reached Pune. We had dinner at Nisarg Hotel near Nalstop and were rolling on the floor laughing while listening to Nikhil's anecdotes.

Epilogue:
Mrunal and Uttara are goin to upload the snaps soon.
Bird watching is really cool and shall do that again given a chance.
Made some new friends and we have decided to cook some more plans in coming days.

I came across a really nice link where one fellow who accompanied us to Bhigwan has uploaded pics taken during the trip.

The fun has just begun!



Cool Computer but…

Written on 11:12 PM by Tushar Thole

Since past two days I was trying to install Linux on my home PC, which has an AMD 64 bit Sempron processor.

The computer which I had in my college days was a real pain. It invariably used to not work when I needed it the most. I remember I changed the motherboard once and even got the existing one repaired, changed FOUR hard disks, got the SMPS repaired, once the ram was burnt so I had to put a new one (it turned out to be really difficult since old SD RAMs are not readily available nowadays), my keyboard had all keys jammed. Just before I got rid of it, my UPS was screwed and soundcard had stopped working. The only part which I did not change was the processor (Touchwood!) which was Intel PIII – 933MHz:)

Few days back I switched to AMD (though it is still a desktop). I have a 64 bit hardware on which I hope to do some RnD in the leisure time. It has got a DVD writer and the best of all a broadband connection! This computer has made my life a lot easier.

Today I successfully installed SuSE 9.1 on it. It is not at all difficult to install Linux on most of the machines but you can hardly do anything if installation cds stop co'operating’.

In the beginning of the installation of SuSE a message is flashed on the screen…
“Cool Computer But…
You are about to install a 32bit software on a 64 bit hardware!”

So human! Windows really lacks this!!

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