July 2, 2008
I’m leaving Delhi tomorrow. The train to Bangalore departs from Hazrat Nizamuddin around 6.45 in the morning. I’ll be spending a few days with Prasanthettan and Praveenettan and family, in Bangalore, and reach Thrissur on July 10th.
It has been a wonderful, wonderful experience for me, working at the Inter University Accelerator Centre. I carry back with me loads of inspiration, basically to learn. As for my work here, Ajith sir and I have documented some Physics experiments in the form of a lab manual. It’s still very crude. A lot of work is still to be done (and a lot more experiments to be added) before it can become a book. But it’s a beginning. Besides that, we have made a new Phoenix live CD based on Debian. It would be available soon on the website for download.
That’s it for now. I won’t be able to write again till I reach home on 10th. In the meantime browse through some of the photos I took while I was here (includes the roaming around with Shyamachechi as well) …
June 25, 2008
delhi, exploration, walk
The SBI ATM near the IUAC gate has been out of order for a couple of days. And guess what, I ran out of money yesterday! The three nearest ATM’s are mentioned on a sticker on the ATM here, and according to it, the nearest one was at Ber Sarai, two kilometres away. So I thought I’d go for a walk. Ber Sarai is actually a continuation of the Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, from the JNU junction (I don’t know what it’s really called). To reach the JNU main gate, though, you have to turn west and walk for another kilometre.
I started walking from IUAC at around five past seven in the evening. Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, like most other roads in Delhi, is a well maintained four lane road where cars rush along at high speeds. But there is ample space for pedestrians also, though I doubt whether many people walk along that road, because it is really deserted, except for a few institutions on one side. On the other, you have the Sanjay Van, an intriguing little forest. While walking down the road, you can see the Qutab Minar in the distance, rising like a lone watch tower, on the other side of Sanjay Van.
The Aruna Asaf Ali Marg is home to a variety of instituions. Starting with the IUAC, you have the Indian Council for Social Science Research, the National Institute of Plant Genome Research, the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and the National Institute of Immunology, all on the same side of the road, before you reach the JNU East Gate.
The walk took me just over half an hour, so I think the distance is closer to three kilometres than two. The return journey also took me roughly the same time. By the time I reached my room, I was overcome with the pleasant weariness that’s associated with all long walks! And I almost forgot to mention the important thing – I did get money from the Ber Sarai ATM!
June 22, 2008
delhi, exploration, monuments, sight seeing, tourism
This post should have appeared four days ago, but at times there is some trouble with the proxy server in accessing Gmail and WordPress. Anyway!
I’d been roaming around Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday. Shyamachechi called me around 12.45 on Tuesday afternoon, after Pallavi’s counselling at NIFT was over. They were at JNU, with their friend Aneesh, who is doing research in political science there and has been selected for the Civil Service. I took an auto and went straight to JNU, which is a huge campus. From there all of us went by taxi to Kerala House, where Shyamachechi, Kannettan and Pallavi were staying. Had a nice nadan lunch from there! Then we went to the Connaught Place metro station, but it was so crowded that we decided to abandon the metro trip. We spent around an hour in Palika Bazaar, the underground market. After that we had tea, and Aneesh and I returned by auto. I got off at JNU and caught another auto to IUAC.
The next day, I met them at the National Museum. It was my first bus ride in Delhi! I took the 604, the only bus which comes near here, and got off at Munirka to catch the 615 which stops in front of the National Museum, as Aneesh had told me. Actually if you are interested in History, you should spend a whole day at the National Museum. There’s so much to see there. We made a quick round-up and set off for the Red Fort, in Old Delhi. We stopped at the India Gate in between and took a few photos. From there we went to JNU to pick up Aneesh, had lunch and then visited the Qutab Minar. This was my third visit to the famous monument, only a couple of weeks ago with Rajuettan. Then they dropped Aneesh and me at our places, and returned to Kerala house in their taxi.
Overall, it was a wonderful couple of days of exploring Delhi. Now I’ve travelled in Delhi by bus, by auto, by cycle (on that great little trip through Kishangarh with Ajith sir), by car (that too in princely manner in Rajuettan’s car) and of course by foot (going for walks is one of my favourite pastimes)… Only the metro has proved elusive so far, except of course, the cycle rickshaws which you find in abundance in Old Delhi.
I’ll upload the photos of the trip together, when I reach home.
June 2, 2008
cycling, delhi, mehrauli, monument, shanty town, trip
Yesterday was an eventful day. I spent the morning and most of the afternoon in the lab. At four o’ clock, I went to play cricket with the PhD. scholars here. Prasad, who comes from Kerala, had been asking me for a couple of days to go and play with them. So I played one match with them. After that I got a bit bored. Besides, playing in the sun here in Delhi is not that easy, and when I was returning to my room, I met Ajith sir and his younger son Sarath with their cycles. They got me Ajith sir’s elder son Jithin’s cycle, and we went for a little trip.
Delhi is a city of extreme contrasts. There would be a very well planned and posh locality right next to a shanty town. Near the IUAC campus, there is one such planned locality by the name of Vasant Kunj. There is also a village, which Ajith sir showed me. We rode our bicycles through the little fly infested crowded streets for a while, passed through Mehrauli and reached an old Mughal monument. I looked for its name, but all there was, was a notice that it was a protected site. We could see the top of the Qutab Minar from there.
The village streets are a buzz of life and activity. They are so congested, that at some places, the buildings on both sides of the street are so close together, that there would be hardly a metre separating its balconies. It was a very good experience to observe the activities of the people. On our way back, we bought some mangoes and bananas. Our trip had taken around an hour. I was pleasantly exhausted and went to bed early.
May 20, 2008
accelerator, delhi, flight, iuac, phoenix, project
I reached the Inter University Accelerator Centre, New Delhi, today at 4 pm. I’ll be here for a month and a half, to work on the Phoenix project, as a sort of summer internship, under Ajith sir. I checked in at my hostel room, and then Ajith sir took me to the labs, and particle accelerator control rooms. It’s almost as if I am inside a science fiction dream! I have got a room mate called Rohit Sandal, most probably a PhD student, but he hasn’t shown up yet.
After dinner, I walked around the beautiful campus for a while. It’s alive and bustling with energy at 9 pm, with children playing football, riding bicycles, chasing each other… people doing their evening walks…
By the way, today’s journey was my first ever, by air. It was an incomparable experience. To fly above the clouds, through the heavens, it is the stuff of dreams…
The labs here are open round the clock, and I’m going to spend some time here before I go to bed. That’s it for now…