Revelling in Captions

First of all, I want to tell you all that I am the Batch Representative of my Biotech Department. My official responsibilities ask me to perform very few roles and that too in academic settings mainly. But unofficially (and that is how I like to work), I am the person who is understood to take lead in any event be it time-table management, organization of parties, or any other discussions. So last week, I was accosted by a friend of mine with the proposal that we should go for a Batch T-Shirt (Sweat Shirt) and the next moment I was sending a group mail regarding the same.

So last friday night we had a meeting regarding the same. Now our dept. is sort of divided into two factions. One of those who love the department (read bio) and are going for higher studies and others of those who hate it. So the main point of contention regarding the batch T-shirt was whether to choose a caption related to bio or not. Some of the bio related captions were:

  1. Lost in Translation ( Translation is mRNA -> Protein) , with DNA helix running on sleeves.
  2. DNA helix made up of mathematical symbols and beneath it, Formula for Life……..

And similarly, the anti group had their captions like:

  1. Biotech – No – Logic (from Biotechnology)
  2. A Pic of a Cat coming out of an Egg and beneath it, We never studied Bio.

As the rivalry between these two groups was growing, one person presented us with an ultimate three letter word (read “Ram Ban”) which led to formulation of new captions. The word is “Got” and the captions were:

  1. Got Mutated!
  2. Got Evolved!
  3. Got Differentiated!

Though these captions acted as the pacifier but they were considered too cliche or lame by many including me. So the meeting ended with the captions from all the three groups, and I suggested that if we are going to discuss all the captions through meetings, then it will take a helluva lot of time. So I ordained (:P) to have further discussions on Orkut community and posted the topic for the same.

Now, some of the guys who were not present in the last meeting came up with new ideas and those were:

  1. Tombstone with engravings 2004 – 08 and beneath it, R.I.P i.e., Rest in peace.
  2. A phoenix holding a scroll with Bio 04 written on it and beneath it, Reborn from the ashes.

Now, the tombstone idea was giving negative connotation (with the kind of caption) as per some. So I modified the caption to “Lived My Life” and after haggling a lot over that whether it is giving negative connotation or not, we have reached a decision to conduct another batch meeting and it is scheduled at 10 tonight. Lets see what evolves……

P.S.: Since the tombstone idea is the favorite till now, so I am attaching the pics to give a look to you.front.jpg


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My IIMK Interview…..

Date: 26th February

The interview was gone just like I wanted it to be, I will not b selected but I hv learnt (:) 🙂 🙂 )…..

My Profile: B.Tech in Biotechnology (8.61 CPI) from IIT Guwahati, going to graduate this yr….

CAT ’07, Total: 99.05
Quants: 96.01
DI: 98.53
Verbal: 93.94

I reached the center at 1:15 pm. The interview process was going to start from 2 pm. So I just fooled around and came to know that max. of the participant were from IIT D and the others were also from some IIT or NIT. Anyways at 2 the panelists came and sorted us out into diff. panels, I was in panel 2 with 8 others, 1 was absent.

GD: We were given a paragraph on certain effects taking place due to climate change (2mins for thinking, 12 min for discussion). Participated effectively, gave some cool points like:

  • not to discuss whether climate change is taking place or not
  • CO2 -> Fuel
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • Biofuels
I was the 3rd one according to the sitting order to be called in for interview. There were two panelists
Male Prof (MP): Dr. Pritibhushan Sinha
Female Prof (FP): Dr. Sweta Srivastava Malla
and yours truly (YT)
I entered the interview room and was told to sit down by MP
FP: If we convert your name to English, what will it be called?
YT: Madam, ………. seed (after trying to think abt the first word)
FP: Will it be seed?
YT: No, Madam actually I am not able to recall the first word (Fuck, fuck, fuck 😦 )
FP: Sprouts??
YT: Yes Madam, Germinated Seed ( 🙂 )
FP: Hmmm…. Ankur, So tell me smthing abt Stem Cell Technology…
YT: undifferentiated cells, can be grown to convert into any cell type…..
FP: So is it ethical to use the technology…
YT: No Madam, actually we can create super humans through this, and also we are playing God by cloning etc….
FP: Do you know what is the source of Stem Cells??
YT: Trying to think…… Not able to remember Madam….
FP: Ok, you have written in your form that gentle breeze flows early in morning. Tell me why is breeze gentle in morning ???
YT: (????) Madam, because Sun is not there so air is not charged due to heat waves…
FP: hmmmmm, Ok, so tell me the Basket of Commodities for calculating Inflation??
YT: (????) Basic items like Food, Petrol and others..
FP: Are you guessing??
YT: (What else can you think of?) Yes Madam, we have not read abt it in economics course….
FP: Ok, What were you taught..
YT: tell abt the things, starting frm 1st sem (had done 4 eco courses)
FP: Ok, What is HDI??
YT: Madam it is an average of Literacy Rate, and…………. smthing related to death…. Madam, actually it contains three indexes which I am not able to recall……
FP: What is relation between inflation and demand??
YT: Inflation is caused due to a increase in demand and decrease in supply but if there is a increase in price, then supply will increase and demand will decrease…..
FP: Ankur you dont know anything, you hv superficial knowledge..
YT: Try to explain it…..
FP: (Looks convinced) Ok tell me smthing abt Public Distribution System
YT: Blah blah…..
FP: What is the poverty line, in money terms??
YT: Blah Blah, 1$ and Rs.20 in India.
FP: Is Poverty line calculated as per expenditure or income?
YT: Income (I am with stupid)
FP: what is wage per day of a laborer in India
YT: Rs. 100
FP: So why is so much poverty in India
YT: Seasonal unemployment, Unemployment due to extra workers….
FP: nodding..
FP: to MP (ishaare se)……
MP: Ankur, so you hv done a course in Numerical Solutions of a PDE. Write a 3D-wave equation…
YT: After thinking…… 3D, sir we hv not studied 3D wave equation
MP: How could it be possible, Ok what equation hv you read….
YT: Write an equation which is similar to 2D wave equation….
MP: k, write any equation with 2 variables whose solution is known to you
YT: Tell smthing abt an equation frm course of ElectroMagnetics and its solution
MP: If you hv done Electromagnetics course, you must hv studied 3D- wave eqn. Ok so you hv done a course in probability, what is pdf. and asks some questions related to it…
YT: A big blunder, get confused b/w pdf and PDE.
MP: Asks 2-3 questions related to probability
YT: Able to answer just one of them, try to answer other but futile efforts…..
MP: An arbit question…..
YT: Able to answer
MP was also giving lengthy explanations to every of my answers and gave to it also….
MP: Thank you Ankur
YT: Thank you Sir, Thank you Madam………
Got out, got relief……..
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GRE Issue: Laws and Human Nature

“It is possible to pass laws that control or place limits on people’s behavior, but legislation cannot reform human nature. Laws cannot change what is in people’s hearts and minds.”

Laws are made for there two basic functions; to provide every person with basic rights and to restrict other persons to encroach on a right of an individual. Although these may seem to converge at a single point, but they have subtle differences. I agree with the concept provided to a certain extent that these laws cannot change what people think or feel about something.

Lets start from the very starting of the human life, the schooling period is foremost period in which an individual comes in touch with laws or restrictions. Some of the rules like not bunking the classes, not making noise, etc. Every student faces these laws, some like them as it enables them to be in a disciplined life, some others are indifferent about them as they already are disciplined, and some others scorn them for they believe that these laws debar them from the right of freedom. Among these students, some follow them from the fear of being punished while others keep on violating them inspite of the fact that it causes them harm. They keep on following what their heart and mind believes and others who are not violating these laws, from the fear of being punished, also have their heart and mind in the same things.

Further, we are able to see in day-to-day life that there are innumerable laws to restrict persons from encroaching on the other people’s rights. But the maximum the laws can do is to restrict them from not doing so but it doesn’t changes the laws. Like, in India, showing public affection is considered to be a crime and there are strict laws against it. But again, you can see the young generations, cuddling and kissing in public places like parks and restaurants, though quite secretly. And like in the previous case, those who are not showing public affection illicitly doesn’t mean that they want to abide by the rules willingly, but they are not doing so just from the fear.

Although these examples quite explicitly show us that human nature is irreparable, but there are other examples which show, though not explicitly, that human nature can be reformed. Take for example, the life of a person to whom it is inculcated right from his birth that we should respect the laws and behave accordingly. These persons become those law abiding residents of the society who believe in the things they do, even if they are imposed on them in their unconscious mind. Also there are felon who through community service, a part of their punishment, come to know that their violating of rules was very harmful to some other. These people get a change in the way they think and do.

Concluding over here, I would like to say that, most of the times, I go with the authors believe that human nature is immutable and although they will abide by the laws of the society but these laws cannot restrict them from thinking the way they do. But, in some cases, which are more than exceptional, humans do change and thats why the concept of society is still intact. It is because of this, I believe, that humans are different from others. It is their power to reason over something, as is illustrated by Mario Puzo in his book “Godfather” very efficiently.

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GRE Issue: Originality

“Originality does not mean thinking something new that was never thought before; it means putting old ideas together in new ways.”

Originality can be defined on the basis of how an observer see it. One can say that this universe is so vast that we can find a similarity to every original thing in the universe. Or in other words, the basic idea is always existing, its just a matter of inclining it to our use. So, although every new thing is evolved from some old thing, but they are more than transformations.

Originality is creativity; going away from commonplace or trite things and delving into something new. Take for example, the invention of telephone which was a totally new idea. Although you would contravene it by the fact that it is a way transferring information or to be in contact, just the same purpose letters served before that. But according to me telephone is not just a transformation of letters but according to me fax, etc are the correct products of letter. In telephone, the sound was transferred from one place to another which in itself was a very new idea.

Further, we can also take the example of Airplanes, which is a very bold and a new idea of Wright brothers. Every one had thought of traveling through land, through water but no one had thought about traveling through air which is considered to be ephemeral or a nonentity. Traveling through a medium was never a problem, but what had been thought was to travel without the need of any medium.Again you can say that birds are the source of this idea, but the idea that man could fly is as bold (and original) as the idea of a time machine.

But its not always that originality always consists of new ideas only. As one can see from the example of automobiles which are just a transformation from a bullock cart. The only creativity in its invention was to thought of something which can drive a vehicle. Similarly one can go as far as to take the example of movies, in which again the only thought was to make a play shown at two places simultaneously without the need of the artists to be present at both the places.

So one can come to the conclusion that although we try to emulate things already present in nature but they can either be new or just a new version. It depends on the degree of disparity between the old and the new things. A highly distinguished idea cannot be just called a new version for its dependent on the old. And similarly a minute change cannot be identified as something new.

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GRE Issue: Artists and Critics

“Artists should pay little attention to their critics. Criticism tends to undermine and constrain the artists creativity.”

Critics play an important part in the world of art, their expertise. And as per the authors view that their criticism undermines and constrains the creativity of artist seems a bit exaggerated. The main function of the critics, as acknowledged by themselves, is to help the artists by elucidating them their mistakes in their recent work.

Critics are the persons who have an expertise in some form of art and they want to put their qualities to a good use by refining the works of artists. Criticism, in my perspective, helps the artists to know the multifarious responses of the public. And this criticism can either be put to use by artist to improve their work or they can play a deaf mute to these if they don’t find it pertinent.

Exemplifying, through the cinema, we can examine the motley of movies based on very varied genres. The directors play deaf mute to the criticism only if their work is praised from the other sources. So, further, we will focus on only those movies which have been successful. Their exist two type of cinema, one is critically acclaimed and the other has got acclaim from general public. And both of these cinema coexist in the contemporary world. This is because that not everyone wants to see a perfection in art. Art is considered, by many, a medium to express themselves and in the process of doing so, they want to explore their creativity and not restrict themselves to some of the stringent rules laid out by the critics.

Further, I don’t want to completely abolish the notion of the author. Since we have considered only those movies which have been successful either in terms of the profits or through the praises. But among the rest of them, which constitute a major portion, many artists try to find their misdemeanors. Some of these artists, in desperation, for a need to win may go to the extent of completely impeding their creativity.

So I want to conclude, that though, sometimes, criticisms can constrain the creativity of artists. But for those who revere their art, and consider it as a canvass to express themselves freely never waver through criticisms. And those who just try to get a praise from a public, also, don’t like to follow the path of perfection.

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My Journey

It might frighten u to even dream of a 60 hours scheduled journey in the month of may(hot n humid) in a sleeper coach from Guwahati to Bangalore but i hv witnessed it alongwith 3 of my friends…

It was on the eve of this journey dat we were very happy bcoz our exams were finished on that day at 5:00 p.m. n sm of my friends were going home, sm were stayin in IIT Guwahati n sm others like me were planning to hv a long journey to d place where we were destined to live 4 d next 2 months(project) b4 going home…. We were all busy in packing n all sorts of stuff like chattin bcoz it ws not b4 3 months dat we r going to c each other.. So after a lot of mess i was able to packup by 12:00 midnight n then i thought of taking a shower b4 going 4 d horrifying journey.. n then i got ready by 1:30 to catch d bus scheduled to arrive at 2:30 a.m. Still none of my friends were ready so i waited n helped them to pack. Then we asked Sarang to give party 4 he has got d intern just days b4 in IIT Delhi. N our bus arrived 5 min. later bt it ws jam-packed n there ws a long queue in front of us of d students who were our co-passengers, so we thought of takin d next bus n only 6 of us were waitin outside Dihing hostel 4 d bus which cm 5 min. later n we all boarded it.. 5 min later i ws sleepin n 5 min later i ws woken up by my friend to tell dat we hv reched station( no it ws nt 5 min. only it was 40 min. actually bt 2 me it seems 5 min.). We reached station at 4:00 a.m. n 3 of my friends remained at platform 1 n 4 of us departed to our platform. 2 includin me cm bk to hv breakfast n then got bk to find our friends shoutin at us dat why we were so late(it ws5:00) n then we boarded d train which had arrived in b\w. 1 of my friend got out to get smthin 4 him to eat while d other said he dot want to tk risk of losin d train. Then our train started at 5:35 a.m………….

We all were feelin sleepy so we slept n i ws awakened by ringin of my phone i answered, it ws my friend vaibhav who ws leaving in d evening, he sked dat why we didnt wk him up wn we were leavin n then he bid gudbye n i disconnected… n fell to sleep again.. I woke up at 1:00p.m., to find all of my friends were still sleepin. I woke them up n then i asked whether they want to hv smthin to eat, n 1 hour later we cm out on d station to hv smthin 4 us, i took a bottle of colddrink n a cake, we cm bk n filled our appetite.. then we took out d magazines which we hv brought n strted flippin through pages of them which we were nt finding ne interesting so we slept again… we woke up at 6:00 in the evening n then we again read magazines n saw the surroundings.. then on the next station where our train stopped at 8:00 we got out n had smthing for us.. (bread, biscuit, butter, n namkeen)… we again filled our appetite n were nw thinkin of snthin to kill our spare time.. we chit-chatted n were told by our fellow passengers to switch off the lights at 10:30, which we did at d instant n then we were again consumed by d diff. anecdotes of ourselves….. it ws 1:00 a.m. dat we all started feelin sleepy again so we slept by placin a alarm 4 4:30 p.m. bcoz 1 of our friends hs to go to Howarah n his station time ws dat.. At 5:00 a.m. i was woken up by 1 of my friend, he was asking me to eat roll which he hs brought frm d station.. i said i dont want to n i again went to sleep…

I woke up at 7:00 n started feelin hungry so i cm out on the nxt station at 7:30 took 3 samosas n a newspaper to keep ourselves updated no wats goin in d country wen v r nt dere(i mean v r in train)… then in d morning we remain woke up till 10:00 after reading newspapers n then again fell into our dream world(sleeping…) I woke up at 1:15 approx. n then took a luk to find dat others r still sleepin(yes i ws d1st one always to wake up) bt i cm to know dat they hv already ordered for themselves so i got out on the next station at 2:00 n took smthin to refill myself.. It ws till then dat v were thinkin dat our journey might nt b dat bad bt destiny hd smthin else in store 4 us… well then i started reading the novel “The other side of me by Sidney Sheldon” n by 2:30 it ws impossible 4 us b seated in d scorchin heat… then as an angel my friend cm wid d news dat sm of our friends r travellin by ac coach n i asked him dat lets go to their coach bt by d fate i saw TT goin in d direction of AC coach n i sat bk… bt after 1 hours dat is at 3:30 me n my friend decided to go to d coach n we reach dere n v saw TT sittin over dere so v thought of keep movin in sm direction n at dat instant 1 of my friend called out frm dat coach n i stopped while d other friend got on to d sm path.. so i sat 4 1 1/2 hour in dat coach in front of TT(wid confidence on face wen i ws prayin in my heart dat he shudnt ask me 4 d tickets bt dat never happened…)

So after so nice exp. i cm bk to find my frnz still sittin in d heat… then i told themdat d train will reach at 8:00 to vishakhapatnam where dere is a nice restaurant on d station where we cn hv briyani so all my frnd jumped up… bt d train didnt reached dere b4 9:00 to keep us in agonizin pain of hunger.. me n my frn got out to find d restaurant at d other end of platform so we jogged till their n v found out a huge rush of public in which i tried to place myself, succefully.. bt only to find dat d briyani r finished n they will tk time to cm up again so i waited dere wid people trying to strangle me n after 25 min. v got our briyani n v ran to our compartment then v finished briyani n i found dat train hasnt moved till nw so i got out n we bought 2 packets of cherries( they were very sweet)…. nw wid d darkness around us increasing v started to become more n more attentive( no v r nt bats..) at 9:30 we were asked toswitch off d lights which we again did to ensure our privacy…. Then we started talkin abt sm of d ghissus present in IIT n sm of their idiosyncracies… The talk shifted to our love lifes which escape me n 1 of my frn others were having… n then at 1:00 we again started feeling drowsy bt 1 of our friends had a stop at 3:30, so we again put on the alarm slept i woke up at 8:00( my friend hd already gone) n sun ws shining outside….

Well then i did sm breakfast at 10:00 taken frm d train itself…….. n again went on to my job of snoozing…. then i woke up at 1:00 asked my friends to wake up n started reading novel… then we bought sm fruits bt like our luck they were raw so after taking one bite we threw them… then we were waiting eagerly for d next station so dat v cm hv smthin to eat which endowed us wid its presence at 3:30… then i bought a bottle of fruit juice n sm biscuits as i ws nt dat much hungry….. then my friends went to sleep bt i continued reading d novel…. it ws 5:00 n the hope of reaching in bangalore started growing.. so i woke my friends even coping wid their strong resistance n we started to luk out of window to get d sliver of sm girl… bt all in vain … we reached d city of bangalore at 6:00 no nt at our final station bt starting of d city.. n 4 d last hour of our journey i was remorsing dat i hvnt seen any beautifull girl in the whole area n prayin to c 1….. yes bt i got to c many on d station ater our arrival at 7:10p.m. so the whole journey was of 61 hours n 35 min.

N our hard luck continued wid us bcoz wen we reached it ws raining n none of us hv brought d umbrella so in d rain we tried to find out a hotel room n by 8:30 we were in d room wid all our luggage…. so we got refreshed by 9:45 n did our dinner n by d time we completed it all d shops were closed in d nearby area…. so my friends watched T.V. while i was gone in my dreamworld by 11:00… The next day i woke up at 7:30 n we hurried up to get refreshed(bath nt included) n then we did our breakfast n by asking sm people we headed to our destination of IISc……….

By yours truly,
Ankur Gupta…


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