Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Return of the King.

Yes it is true, and your RSS reader is not playing tricks on you. That is if my blog actually is in your RSS feed reader. I did see my blog stats the other day and I was happy to see atleast the one reader who has me on his/her RSS reader, so yay!

Anyway, coming back from a particularly prolonged slumber, I would start yet another post talking at length on how long it took me to write a new post. But a clear lack of inspiration and time (which by the way is the most common of excuses) kept me away from this for quite sometime. I'm sure with how things currently are, I cannot promise any increase in my frequency of posts. Now that's off my chest, on to continuing from where I left off. Let's see... ummm... right! I came to the US and reached this country called Texas. The people are good, atleast that's what I am to believe. So far so good - no attack on my colour, accent (which I am desperately trying to improve upon), dress sense, hair colour, body odour, toothpaste brand etc. I have however, developed a liking to the Texan accent. People here don't really speak, they sing.

College Station is a nice place for Indians to begin their existence in the US. People are conservative, families regularly go to church on Sundays, most students are into religion big time - the by product of which, is a lot of free church dinners (though it helps to be a non-vegetarian, something which I am not) - queers are usually sneered upon and other things that we are used to seeing, growing up in India. So it's not much of a culture shock. But the best part of being in College Station for an Indian - it being a college town like Roorkee - is the amount of free food from fast food restaurants and the University itself! Texas A&M students are known as the 'Aggies', derived from the 'A' in A&M which by the way stands for Agriculture (I know. Even I felt let down when I first learned that's what the 'A' stood for). Now we have these weekly Aggie nights on Fridays where scores of students (read predominantly Indian grad students) swarm for free Pizza from Domino's and free pool and bowling. It's also a fairly significant event for many grad students because it is also the time where they get to meet their friends, or do we say fellow student colleagues. And oh, before I forget, grad life in the US is pretty hectic (which in my opinion is also a gross understatement, but nevertheless that's what is the easiest thing to say). So it is the Aggie nights where we get together, meet friends, tell them how tall they've grown or how thin they've become. And wonder whether they've run out of food supplies and don't have transport to get to Walmart. Or if the only roommate of the said thin friend who knew cooking, in a particularly sado-masochistic mood, decided to go on a hunger strike which in the process deprived the said thin friend of food for a week.

I re-learnt a word I had forgotten clearly due to a lack of exposure to the said word. My brain never really had to process that word throughout the significant part of my lifetime; in the process pushing it deep down my memory stack. It took some digging for 'Homework' to come right up and stay put in my permanent memory and stay to haunt my very existence in this place for what is now going to be another one and a half years. The karmic law is very much true here. All the time wasted in undergraduate life plagiarizing other peoples' plagiarized assignments have cost me dearly. The thought of writing chunks of code all by myself seemed alien to me. Well, as it turns out, the amount of code I've written now, dwarfs even my B. Tech project! That's graduate life, and it is wonderful.

Now about the one element I didn't mention so far... entertainment in the form of audio or visual media. Hi-speed internet over here is good, and having that in the apartment is even better. The only things lacking were a laptop and of course, time. Well, that was until recently when I got a good deal on a Toshiba duo core laptop that I bought off CompUSA. The online links that I discovered - albeit, with a bit of help - from other peers would allow me to spend the whole of December watching sitcoms like Seinfeld and Arrested Development, and drama such as Lost and Prison Break (I have finished the first two seasons of Prison Break, though that will be another story). Since all these developments are of a more recent occurence, for the record, I have seen one movie, i.e., The Pirates of the Carribbean 2, since setting foot on American soil. So much for a guy who averaged 150 plus movies a year in his undergrad heydays.

The good part of Texas from an Indian point of view is the weather. Especially from a South Indian (read Chennai-ite) point of view. Texas is usually hot but the best part of the heat is the chance to cool off in the shower, ice creams and the air conditioning. The best(est) part of the Texan climate is the months of November and early December.

So, my dear reader(s), I think that should be the end, as well as the beginning of another period of blogging hibernation. A period spent on introspection, fighting, begging, squeezing every penny that can be squeezed out of anything, planning and budgeting (if that's even a word) and blowing them away on trifles that go by the names of Subway, Fatburger and Taco Bell hence bowing down to the urges of Hydrochloric acid and the blown up, beautifully enticing and perfectly photographed burrito on the windows of the said trifles; in the process, shying away from the calorific and financial benefits of a rajma chawal/dal chawal due to the labor and temporal costs involved in the preparation of such otherwise, equally mouthwatering cuisine. It
must be asserted however, (for the twin purposes of self-aggrandizement and the-use-of-contrast-to-heighten-the-effect-of-something, as in, creative writing), that yours truly makes food better than you - yes you my dear readers - and all your descendants can only dream of. If you feel offended, which I believe you are entitled to, by American law, please take a note of the fact that I included only your descendants out of the deep respect I feel for your ancestors. Hope that makes you happy.

Take care and howdy.



  1. Nice to see that you have had a typical desi experience at A&M. I am long past that now and believe it or not, haven't yet attended a single Friday Aggie Night.

    Hopefully you'll take some time to explore College Station and its surroundings by getting away from the Casa Del Sol-Cherry Hollow-French Quarter parts :)

  2. Hey, UC Davis teams/students are called Aggies too, and for the same reason! They also have these nice huge eggheads planted in the campus hither and tither: eggies-aggies and all that.
    That's useful information on life in Grad School in TX, btw:)

  3. Geetika,
    Interestingly there is a nice story about UC Davis. In TAMU they cloned a cat or something (not really sure which organism) and gave it to Davis to do research on the cloned cat. That and other reasons, A&M Aggies call them the copycat/clone Aggies. There are a lot more aggies in the US though when one refers to Aggies they are really referring to only one of them i.e TAMU. Tradiotion wise, I could have a separate post on them because there are that many and that crazy!

    Having a friend who owns a car really helps. I am exploring and hope to do more in the coming months.

  4. well.. yes.. that reader would be me.. and i had actually given up any hope of getting a new feed from ur blog.. anyway..
    nice to know ur exp there... by the end of ur program u'd turn into one of thoss ghissus i think..

  5. Oh well, I dunno the history...but UCD has been around for, like, forever...they started as only an agriculture-farming school or something. But then, I'd rather not play the defense game. It's not my school or anything. Not yet anyway:)

  6. Amit,
    You said "by the end of the course", trust me I'll turn into one way before that :)

    Same story here (about the agriculture only thing).

  7. Oy, youre back!:) So I take it you dont get coke shikanji and bun panga in any of the aforementioned spots?:)

  8. Adi-Aggie-Ramgo

    Suppli is beatiful. By the waym texas sounds a lot better than how goole images projects it. Aggie eh? We here are called Archies. not for carrot tops though.
    In seventh hell,