ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘guwahati

College: A place to make friends

leave a comment »

I completed my graduation recently and have taken up a job. The transition phase of life is as complicated as it is exciting. It’s not as if, I had to move for the first time. It’s just that the four years at college imparts stability and in that sense a settling feeling to life. Moving away from the cozy spaces of college to the material world is not as easy as it sounds. It’s not just the college and the hostel room you are leaving behind, it’s far more complicated than that.

At college you begin as a fresher, go through various facets of life, learn zillion things or as they say mature. During the first year you meet a lot of people. Slowly and steadily you find your own comfort space and the people who you are comfortable with. We call them friends. You live a lot of lives with them; you die a lot of deaths with them.

There are times when you are happy and you party with friends. There is time when you all plan a mischief and execute it nervously and then it becomes a routine. They are the people who, even if screw you, you share a laugh with them on your being screwed. The first time when you were holding a drink and you hands were shaking, there were friends who too had shaky hands but gave you a zillion fundas and spoiled you and got spoilt in return. You shared the first smoke with them and had GD over the first adult film you saw. They consoled you when you were down. They carried you on their shoulders when you a bit a too drunk. You shared each and every secret of your life with them. They were your teachers, they were your students. This can go on endlessly.

All of these are not things that one can just brush aside. They remain an integral part of memory which remains etched in forever. A lot has been written over friendship and a lot would be written in future. For me it’s one of the strongest relationships in life. There are times when it goes sour. But when you are in deep trouble you know that there are friends you can bank upon. This for me sums it up.

Advertisements

Written by arpitgarg

November 25, 2008 at 11:52 am

Tring…Tring…are you an idiot?

with one comment

I received this call last week.

Caller: Hello, is this Hardhik Garg? not clear whether it was Hardhik or Karthik.
Me: May, I know who this is?
Caller: Hi, I am Shyamsundar. I am a pass out of IIT Guwahati. You are also from Guwahati naa Hardhik. I got your name and number from Satish Mittal. You might know him. He was from your batch.
Me: Arre, my name is Arpit. Yes, I know Satish.
Caller: Sorry Arpit. Actually I just talked to Satish over the phone. He was busy with a presentation. So couldn’t hear him clearly. By the way I am from ‘99 ECE batch.
Me: ’99 passout batch?
Caller: No ’99 joining batch. I passed out in ’03.
Me: Oh!
Caller: Yes, you and Satish would have joined a year later.
Me: Yes, exactly.
Caller: You might know Bora Sir, Gogoi Sir.
Me: Yes, I knew Bora Sir. Not remember about Gogoi Sir.
Caller: Well, I am in Mumbai right now. I came here with regard to my visa for Australia. I was travelling in local train when my wallet got lost.
Me: Oh God!
Caller: Yes and with it went all my cash, credit card, debit card.
Me: So you are out of cash right now. Guessing that’s why he had called.
Caller: Yes. That pretty much the case. I called Satish for help. He was busy in office. I know how it is. I myself was at Microsoft for over a year. So didn’t disturb him much. He gave me your number and asked me to contact you for help.
Me: Oh Ok
Caller: So where exactly are you in Mumbai?
Me: I am at my office in Powai area.
Caller: Oh! Near IITB. I have been there once during college.
Me: Ok. So where are you? How do you need help?
Caller: Sorry yaar. I guess I am not disturbing you.
Me: No problem at all.
Caller: I have just one debit card left with me. Fortunately, it was in the bag and not the wallet. It’s an old HDFC account. I haven’t used it recently, so it doesn’t have any balance right now.
Me: Yes listening.
Caller: Can you please deposit some money into this account. Would it be a problem?
Me: No. not at all. What’s your full name? Shaymsundar…
Caller: It’s S. Shaymsundar. I am from south.
Me: Oh. Ok. Yes go on.
Caller: My account number is XXXX. I will return your money as soon as I reach home.
Me: Oh. Ok. I haven’t received such calls before. Was not sure whether it was a crank call. How to be sure? Just then it struck to me. So which hostel were you in?
Caller: Oh! I didn’t live in hostel. My dad was … he told some Govt job, that I forgot in Guwahati. I used to live with my family in the city.
Me: Ok. You might know Ravi then. He was from your batch only. (Just made some name up to check).
Caller: No I don’t remember any Ravi. Which stream was he in?
Me: I don’t know exactly. Thought you might know. Well so bhaiyya (trying not to sound too questioning), who was the director at your time.
Caller: Oh! He was someone called Mohanty. You might not know him. (Caught you!!!)
Me: Yes, yes. So what is the sum you need?
Caller: Let’s see. I have to take a flight from here to Banglore. I would need 2-2.5K.
sounding hesitant and feeling sorry to disturb me I hope I am not troubling you any bit?
Me: Arre naa.
Caller: Is there any HDFC branch near you? You may check online for that.
Me: I think there is one branch nearby.
Caller: Oh. Thank God! So how long would it take?
Me: It should take me around 20 min to reach there.
Caller: So are you leaving right now?
Me: Don’t worry. I will leave immediately.
Caller: Thanks yaar. I would repay it on reaching Bangalore. I would like to meet you and Satish both when I return from Sydney. You guys are really helpful.
Me: Oh! No problem at all. After all you are our senior. This is the least we could do.
Caller: So. I’ll call you in half an hour.
Me: Yes, sure.

I called Satish. He whispered over the phone. He was in a presentation. I asked him does he know any Shyamsundar and had he given him my number. According to him, this guy called him some 15-20 minutes ago. Was not sure where he got his cell number. From orkut, perhaps. Forwarded the call to me, as he himself is busy. “Plz verify before doing anything”, were his words.

Well. I did leave immediately not for the Bank but for lunch. I went over the chinks in the story with my friends, to weigh the odds.

Chink 1: He was not able to tell the name of the hostel and made up some excuse. Plausible though, I must say.

Chink 2: There was no director by the name of Mohanty. GB Sir were there in our time and if he had passed in 2003, as he said he did, he should have known his name.

Chink 3: I would have understood if he needed some cash. But he needed money transferred into his account. Given internet (core) banking these days, he could as well have called his friends and family. They would have deposited money anywhere in India into his account.

Chink 4: Similar argument goes for the flight ticket to Bangalore. Any of his known one could have booked the ticket online. He just needed the PNR. Instead he went all pains to ask someone he didn’t knew even remotely.

Chink 5: The best part of it. The call was from a local landline number. I tried to call back but it was engaged. Probably a STD booth. So the guy didn’t have a cell number.

He called back and I told him that there is no HDFC bank in my vicinity. Better he call his friends and family to get a ticked booked online. Sorry that I could not help him. Looking forward to meeting him when he is back from Sydney.

Well, I still have his account number. (Based on real events)

Written by arpitgarg

September 9, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Dreaming again 3: Friends For Sale

leave a comment »

We had an unexpected break this Thursday. The lecture got cancelled (quite an anomaly!). Medical problem, I guess. It’s one hell of a problem in this side of the world, more so, if you are an outsider. I myself took time adjusting to the local weather, had to be medicated a couple of times. This takes me back a couple of years, when I snubbed the CMO, IITG. God! What a prig I was.

“…how to compute the probability…given the…we try to uncover the hidden part of the model…”

The nodding goes on as usual. Lata is sitting right in front of me or as they say I just came and sat right on the back of her. I tell you, I am losing charm in her overtime; her being married hasn’t helped much either. I think it’s finally over.

The Friends For Sale (FFS) application on Facebook is really making me crazy. When I meet someone new, I often find myself guessing how much he is worth.

“…we try to use optimality criterion to solve this problem as best as possible…”

Here comes champu and jj. Pucchu is not here yet. Today champu and I went to Prof. Ketaki. She is the instructor for our humanities course. It was about our presentation that is due.

“…model parameter is called the training sequence…”

Oops! Sir tried to peak into my writing.

I had one of the most satisfying talks with her. She sensed a bit of political sense in me from my mid-sem answer scripts. She talked about how not to lose sense of what we believe in and how we feel about it. “The whole world will try and take it away from you…but it’s so divine that it must be protected”. Her words are still ringing in my ears.

“…let N be the size of the code book. So we get the seq of vectors out of M diff. indexes”

Why is the attendance so low today? I can hardly count 15.

Where was I? Yes, champu. He is the sort of guy who keeps the group going. “Never let the fun die out”. Champu tried to peek into my diary. I gave him the finger.

“…to segment each of the word training sequence into stages and study the prob. Of the spectral vectors.”

God! I feel sleepy. It’s been 2 days now, I guess.

JJ and I finished working on a term paper recently. It dealt with DNA cryptography, such a novel idea. We have worked really hard on it. Hope it materializes.

It’s the purple suit and a brown hair clip today. Can’t I leave it already?

“…once the w-HMM’s recognition of an uttered unknown word is done using a solution to problem.. each word is modeled based upon the given test observation sequence…”

The FFS is engulfing like hell. I was just napping about it. God it’s great. I heard a remark about me sitting in this particular seat. I got the hint.

Champu sneezed, kido yawned while ld enjoyed the usual nap. FFS once again crossed my thoughts. Don’t call me crazy. If you think you don’t get addicted that easily, try it once.

Written by arpitgarg

April 1, 2008 at 11:42 am

Interviews@IIT

leave a comment »

The placement season is almost over at IIT Guwahati. Most of the batch has been placed and placed well.

I sat for about 5 written tests and was selected for 3 personal interviews. Job interviews are a bit different than what I have had before. They are not of NTSE type or for some scholarship or internship. They are there to define your career. The pressure they bring with them is intense for sure. No matter how cool you are they do affect you. I have seen the coolest guys of my batch jittering before interviews.

First thing first, you have to be good at your subject. No doubt about that. It’s only if you know your subject well, you will be able to qualify for PI (short listed on the basis of written test). Frankly speaking the interviewers, most of them, are not from an IIT (baring a few top notch companies like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo etc). They also are in awe of us most of the times. Also for most of them its 2nd or 3rd time that they are interviewing someone at IIT (again baring a few who are quite experienced).

What I felt is that the fear of losing out on a good job, often make us under perform. Go in as you have nothing to lose. Those who have done that have succeeded for sure.

Let me cite a few examples to prevent this blog from becoming a boring sermon.

1. A friend of mine was selected for 3rd round of Microsoft (after 2 written rounds). He was given a problem very simple on the face of it. I don’t remember it exactly but it was comparable to a tree traversal problem. He had to write the working code for it (yes they do ask to write working code on the spot, at least Microsoft and Google do). He wrote the code. The interviewer looked at it and asked him to point out the bugs in the same code and report them. He found a couple of them. He was however not selected coz he didn’t write the base case. He knew it all along but thought it would not matter to the interviewer. Plz try not to think what the interviewer would want from you. Instead try to show him what you know.

2. Interviews are there to test what you know and not for testing what you don’t know. Just keep this in mind.

3. Never try and lie in an interview about any question be it tech or HR. Speak the truth, however bitter it may be. Truth needs no backup. Lies do. Interviews are often quite smart to catch your lie and can grill you over it. Any company would prefer a less competent employee to a one who lies). For ex. in the HR round of Lehman they asked me had I written CAT. I told them yes. So what’s the score? I told them I hadn’t checked as I didn’t want to check. I had no plans for an MBA. They further grilled me as to why I had written CAT in first place. I told them there was no reason why not to. Most of you would not have liked my answers but I spoke the truth and fared well.

4. Be straight forward. They asked me again why I don’t want to do an MBA right now. I was fed up and told them why do they want me do an MBA. If they want an MBA then why aren’t they going to an IIM, what are they doing at IIT, in the first place? Don’t be shy to speak your mind. Though I knew that they wanted to be sure, I would not be leaving for an MBA soon.

This blog is becoming quite huge. I will cut it short here. Will write again with some more insights.

TC
Arpit

Written by arpitgarg

February 15, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Yaari Teri: My First Song, Manthan

leave a comment »

Written by arpitgarg

November 24, 2007 at 4:40 pm

%d bloggers like this: