Monday, March 31, 2008

NewYork Darshan Day 2

After a tight sleep, the day had to be vibrant. As expected, it was. The temperature was about 28 degree Fahrenheit and wasn't snowing :(

The day’s tour started with the visit of UNO headquarters. We went past the Times Square and all the digi cams inside our limousine were just capturing the beauty of the beautiful street. UNO is a place to visit, mark my words!!

Inside the UNO

After a remarkable time in the UNO, we did a bit of shopping in the UN store (boy, its damn expensive).
UN store Merchandises

Next stop had been the Empire States Building. But we were unfortunate, the sky was cloudy and thus the visibility was Zero miles. So we decided to eat out and the teams split into vegetarian/non-vegetarian group and get into different restaurant and in the process, I GOT LOST.

In a foreign country, like a lonely ranger, I tried to find my team desperately looking for them everywhere when for my relief I found Neetha, one girl from my team, but here came the best part, SHE WAS LOST TOO!

But thankfully she remembered Mr Naik’s number. We met 2 Indians who happily called Mr Naik from one of their cell phone and thus we finally joined the team.

We went to Macys store later where girls did a lot of shopping. As the items were really expensive I was extremely happy to do WINDOW SHOPPING.

Someone's Busy doing Window Shopping :)

Our first show in USA was for Asianet USA channel that evening. The shooting went on till 3 am in the morning. It was damn fun. More than that, the way the Americans looked at us when we were in our dance costumes, was a sight to see!!

Asianet USA show

Thursday, March 13, 2008

NewYork Darshan Day 1

As soon as we landed in JFK International Airport, we were taken directly to BridgeWater, New Jersey where we stayed in a beautiful lodge named Days Inn for 3 days. We were welcomed by Mr and Mrs Naik and their 3 charming kids.

A royal Welcome at The Days Inn

When we say New York, the first thing which comes to everyone’s mind is the Statue of Liberty. Contrary to many of our beliefs, Liberty islands is in the State of New Jersey!!!. After we dumped all our luggage at Days Inn and freshening ourselves up, we all sat in a Ford Limousine and started to Liberty Island. On our way we passed the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States.

The Brooklyn Bridge
It had been a freezing experience to all of us, especially me who had grossly under-estimated the US cold. We started from Ellis Island which is popularly known as the immigration island. Here we visited the Emigration Museum where we were told about the history of this federal immigration station.

Ellis Island has a very grave history though. All emigrants who wanted to come to USA had to go through innumerous processes, tests and examinations. The officer in-charge explained us how the medical examinations of the emigrants were done. He showed us the stairs where the emigrants were observed while they climbed up, the Great Hall and the hospitals for the diseased. This island is very close to Liberty Island. The guy went on narrating many anecdotes while our team members slowly started to fall under the influence of jetlag. We badly needed sleep!!

Do I look sleepy or do I look lost?

So the plans to go to Liberty Island and climb the statue of liberty had to be dropped unfortunately. But the ferry went so close to the Island that we almost felt we are in the Liberty island.

Ellis Island

Away from India - My First Experience

The Joyous team in JFK international Airport

On 4th Feb, 2008, our aircraft, the AI 141 landed in John F Kennedy international Airport in New York. For many of us, the day was the most memorable one. For me, a lots of things happened for the first time in my life during the first 3 days of our USA trip.
  • My first Flight
  • My first time in Mumbai (i'm not joking)
  • My first international Flight
  • First time snowfall
  • First site of Sky Scrappers
  • First feel of –ve temperature
  • First trip in a Right-Hand Drive Car
  • First sight of a fully functional GPS etc...
As i see the world from Top
Mr Venkatesh Naik , a Mangalorean by origin, now well set in New Jersey hosted our 3 days stay New Jersey and sponsored our entire NewYork Trip. It is almost impossible to host a group of 17 people in NewYork for 3 days and take them on a NY tour, especially if it’s an All Students Group and especially if its Team Sanskrithi. Mr Naik was not just kind and sweet but he was patient enough to tolerate our boisterous nature.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A feather to Sanskrithi's Achievements - the USA Trip

Sanskrithi, a team which started as a 4 member dance team in 2006 in PESIT has grown like a Banyan Tree in 4 years. With a firm root (named Raghu), powerful Stem (named Chithra) and the greatest nurturer (named Nisha) Sanskrithi has grown as an Institution itself.

Sanskrithi has trained/nurtured innumerous dancers like me in the process of its development. There is no forum in which the team has not won a prize. Starting from Bangalore College fests, the team's victory chain is never broken.

Sanskrithi's fame started oozing out of Bangalore with its victory at the Antaragni, the main fest of IIT Kanpur. Then on, it has won awards and accolades at the JIPMER Pondicherry, PES medical College Kuppam, IIM Bangalore to name a few. It has performed at many prestigious forums like the East Cultural Association, Kristal Kalavedi, Innovative Film City Bidadi etc.
A feather to all its achievements :
When we, the team members got a mail from Dr Bob Camp, the Dean of Eberly College of Business and Information Technology inviting us on a Cultural Exchange program in Indiana University of Pennsylvania, we couldn't believe it. We had an option to perform abroad, completely sponsored by PESIT (our institute) and IUP!!!

It was more than what I had asked for

Sanskrithi in Indiana

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Team Sanskrithi - My Dance Team

Sanskrithi, the eastern contemporary dance team of PESIT is a very unique team due to lots of specialties that the team as a whole has. It has got dancers from all over India, specialized in various dance forms of India like the Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam, Satriya, Kathak, Yakshagana etc. We all are Engineering Students with a passion for dance.

This following song defines our team's enthusiasm... The junior dancers of the team actually wrote this song as a dedication for Senior Dancers. It is a modified form of Dekho Dekho from the movie Taare Zameen Par which is Aamir Kahn's directorial debut. The song goes as follows :

Dekho dekho kya yeh team hai
US jane wali team hai
raghu ne milaya rag
chithra hai chitrakaar
aur nisha ke nashe se
hua hua hua hua sanskrithi ka shuruath
duniya bar phelayenge sanskar
sanskrithi hai hamara parivaaar
(Chorus)Bum bum bole masti mein dole
bum bum bole masti me tu dol reoooooooooooooooooooooooooo (Chorus)

shreyanka ki chaal ne kiya hai dhamaal
o phir ayaa o pj master (Thats me!!)
hasna hasana uska kaam hi kaam
kuch jatke aur matke aur jhoomthe rahe
dus hazaar bar kiya humne dashavtaar
aur har baar mila hume hume hume hume hume puraskaar

{Chorus}ab aaye hai joonis senies ko nachane
ab aaye hai joonis senies ko nachane
par kudh seekh gaye nachne gane
khoob sataya (oh) khoob ghumaya
aur joshila sanskrithi humne banaye
khulke soche aayo
pankh zara phelaoo
rang naye dikhlao
chalo chalo chalo chalo naye khwab bundlen {chorus}

The Boisterous Team

Monday, March 3, 2008

Microsoft Technology Immersion Program

On 16th December 2007, Microsoft decides to acquaint MSPs (Microsoft Student Partner) with 3 sub-divisions of Microsoft : Microsoft Research Lab (MSR) and Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE). So 8 MSPs from Bangalore (including me) and 5 from Chennai decided to make the best use of this opportunity.
We started our trip from the MSR labs located at Sadashivnagar.

Phase I : Microsoft Research Lab is a home of some of the world's best brains. Firstly Mr Mr.Ashwani , University Relations Manager for Microsoft Research, gave us some insight into what Basic Research, Applied Research, Prototyping, Advanced Development, Software Development and Services actually meant. He then spoke about the various research areas at MS Research that included, Cryptography, Natural Language Processing, Algorithms, Networks. He told us there are about 35 PhD scholars and about 15 non-PhDs (interns and himself) in MSR Bangalore.

We also interacted with Dr. Raghava, a young, energetic cryptographic expert and Dr. Jeff from University of California, San Diego (networking expert). I asked him personally about Indian students' performance in UCSD and he said, "They are doing Great".

Phase II : Microsoft Development and Platform Evangelism (DPE)

Here we interacted with Mr Tarun Gulati, the GM of Microsoft DPE. He wanted to know our opinion as Why isn't Microsoft successful in Stricking the Chord ? He was on a quest to know what was lacking/missing at Microsoft from getting the WoW factor among the customers.
We had a session by Mr Deepak Rajendran, the Enthusiast Evangelist on Photosynth Live and a seminar on Data Isolation Techniques in Microsoft SQL server by Mr Vinod Kumar.

A sneakpeak of Microsoft Global Tech Support Centre (GTSC) at the Signature Building in the evening concluded our Technology Immersion Program. Mr Tom, popular in GTSC as Top-Pa gave us an overview of GTSC and their work. He told us how people were wrong in assuming that GTSC is Microsoft's BPO wing. He explained us what was the level of expertise in technology an employee of GTSC had to possess in order to be able to solve its client's problems.

It was an amazing experience for all of us, a great escape from Exam stress indeed!

MSPs from Bangalore

Blue Buddies in PESIT Campus

Intel Blue Buddies, a group of enthusiast Engineers from Intel came down to PESIT campus to demonstrate the cutting edge technologies from Intel, the Classmate PC, various chip platforms like Core, VPro etc. At the end of the seminar, the most innovative question from a student got him/her the invitation to visit Intel India Development Centre in Bangalore.
So on 14th November, I went to Intel IDC along with my other friends who earned themselves an entry too. We were pleased to meet Ms. Mukta Darera who is an application developer and a blue buddy at Intel. She took us around the campus along with few guys from other campuses (RVCE and Dr. AIT). We had a chance to witness the Penryn Technology release and a Grand Feast on that behalf.
We also bought ourselves some goodies from the Intel Store as a souvenir. It was so sweet of Mukta to be with us throughout the Intel visit and host us.

Group Photo

Touched by an Angel

Mr Prakash Subbarao, the CEO of Spark Consultants, Bangalore is the owner of Bangalore Quiz Group. I had once posted about Blitz - The IT Quiz Book (My book) in the forums of BQG.
He instantaneously followed up the thread and congratulated me for my efforts. Not just that, he bought a book himself and posted his opinion...
And then came the best thing..He wanted to gift me something, which will help me in publicising the book. The first thing which came to his mind is A WEBSITE. So if today, i have a website of my own, all thanks to him who gave me idea and a push in that direction.
Visit my page :